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#151 Posted by Phantomshell (1168 posts) - - Show Bio
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#152 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@phantomshell: I was gonna invite you along but I don't know what terms we're on yet from the Grimm RP.

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#153 Posted by Noah_Noble (302 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso said:

Okay now, no need to go getting all attached.

@rosso said:

I was gonna invite you along

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(lol tag me in I'm down)

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#154 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio
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#155 Edited by Grimmwald (3352 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso:

"Alright, let's do this"

Leaning against a wall draped in the black skin of a shadow, Kellan's ears caught her words - and his dermal senses followed the echoes of her footsteps. The scuff of her boots on the floor. "Why'd you choose it?", he asked, deep voice rasping in the air as he vanished into the shadows, slithering unseen till he at the other end of the hallway behind her back. "You could do all of that as a soldier, mercenary, special forces", he pressed, his voice calm, his crimson gaze as sharp as the vibranium edge of his sword. "But maybe that website pays better", he shrugged. He hadn't to apprehend or maim her - yet. He'd come to observe, to stalk her and study her mannerisms. Because here, now, he could make a mistake, and she could be more dangerous than he'd anticipated.

But if he were prepared... he'd collect her eyes so she'd never stare down a sniper scope again. Cut off her fingers so she'd never type her website's address again. And crush her larynx so he wouldn't have to hear her scream when he did so. But what if he failed? What if she was so damn good he'd need his brother, Richard? Or his sister, Tessa? Or his girlfriend, Ashley? Or all of them. Shutting his eyes and breathing calm, he rolled his neck and smiled. No, I have to get good enough to take the League from the Shaytan, take the False Bay from Musa... if I die here, heh, I probably deserve it, he thought, his mind pulling back to his growing obsession with the League and False Bay.

"Alright, let's do this".

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#156 Edited by Phantomshell (1168 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso: @grimmwald:

"Jesus Christ man, 12,000 grand? Thats it? Thats a whole helluva lotta risk for chump change. You're out here killing fools for 12 grand...damn Gothic is so *bleep*'d up."

"Ish, dont give me your shit. You know the deal, my situation. So look, will you do it? She needs me to back her up but I cant very well help her if I cant even wipe my own ass." Noah partially chuckled but was clearly agitated, raising both cast covered arms elbows to wrists. Consequences from his involvement in a failed hit on the heroic Hawkshade. And now this...

However the ballcap wearing Phantomshell said nothing, and yet said everything with a genuine nod. Accepting the responsibility his childhood friend had unloaded on him

"Take my phone. When you're suppose to, you'll know where to be and when. And listen, she's smart so just follow her lead and get this done."

Ishmael smiled, hugged his friend, and left. But as he did his face instantly shifted, instantly recoiled from the very idea of murdering a man who was trying to turn the tide in Gothic.

The Shadowland Shinobi had become a darkweb sensation thanks to a live streamed video of his exploits. A living myth in the making. It was only a matter of time before someone put a price on his head. The novelty would serve as an enticement where the monetary gain had laughably failed. Yet it had only taken the living shadow mere moments to savagely rekt a small assortment of expected loners and hitmen. He had taken them all out, all except one. Well....all except two.

Physically haunting - mirroring rather - the Horned Saint's acrobatic entry in through the window, the aerially graceful Strix repelled from across the cityscape skyline and landed in the windowsill itself. Crouched, hands dangled over his knees, the hooded masked Phantom anchored his head to the right for a moment, "Your buddy couldnt make it." taking a deep nerve settling breath before going on, "Judging from them other poor bastards I'm startin to think he had the right idea." Quicklyswimming his arms into either side of his jacket, when they next appeared they were stylishly swing out in a broken X like maneuver. Hurling an untold number of shurikens towards the face stealing merchant of the macabre.

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A poor choice, given the bullet-timing speed of his opponent. Or was it? In fact Ishmael had knowingly launched the basic projectiles with the assumption that the unknown scarlet Strigidae would dexterous avoid each and every one of them. But as he did, the quick-drawing Strix would seek to read his elusive mobility...and gun him down mid-move.

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#157 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

That was a very clever way to work him in while playing off of the last canon. [And aww, Noie Nobies got my back♥]

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#158 Edited by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@grimmwald:

"Website?" She paused. Thought. Wracked her mind, and all answers came up nothing. "I have not a clue what you are talking about," she said, and in the recesses of her damaged mind, she believed it. There would be no physiological betrayal of the lie, for when Valentina adapted an idea for any given self, she didn't just adopt elements of a persona. She became them. At least to herself. Shattered psyche, courtesy of Sorabella, made her the perfect liar, and it was the greatest gift the con artist could've received from her father.

"You must understand. This is not personal. I heard through the great vine* that someone wanted you dead, and someone said you would be here. Soldier, special forces...I cannot sit around taking orders from fools who regiment what I say and do and think. And they don't pay nearly as well. Mercenaries...far too messy. But this...Thi—"

Crsshh!!

I'll be dreaming of shattered glass for the next three weeks.

Still she didn't waste any time capitalising on the new entry (@phantomshell). Didn't miss a beat or even stop for listening to his words. Valentina fell to her back—directly into an (upside down) aiming position, lining up her shot before she hit the floor. She squeezed. Even suppressed, the roar of the TAC-338 thundered throughout the entire building. Kicked the shit out of her shoulder, too. A small price to pay, and she wagered her odds were better with the vigilante being closer and (hopefully) distracted.

*grapevine

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#159 Edited by Grimmwald (3352 posts) - - Show Bio

@phantomshell: @rosso:

No Caption Provided

The Horned Saint's ears caught her words, and his dermal senses did so with every vibration echoing from her voice, heartbeat and shuffling of the feet. Either I'm mistaken... or she's the best goddamn liar in the world, he thought, scarlet eyes doing little to betray his growing curiosity in her. "Then come get me", Kellan smirked, eyes daring her to commit to her assignment until his dermal senses screamed - WINDOW! - and the glass shards of a shattered window rained on the floor. In the hallway stood a man with a helmet as red as Kellan's eyes. The air cried, and his dermal senses screamed again, for the vibrations of moving hands and the glimmering shuriken raced straight at him. Kellan was fast, and his movement nearly perfect. And he was both as his hand wrapped around the hilt of his sword and drew the vibranium blade in time for smooth turns and twirls of the wrist that spun the blade in a whirlwind that deflected every shuriken in one fell swoop.

The white of his grin was there, promising his new foe the same fate as all the others until the gunshots came. Shit. He dodged one, two, three, feet shifting, body moving like a boneless husk - like water. But they were good. The fourth bullet scraped his thigh. The fifth his shoulder. But he was fine, uninjured. Until he was. BLAM! Left thigh leaking blood, the bullet buried deep in the tissues it'd torn apart, the pain was unimaginable, swarming hot through his leg like fire ants. But he didn't scream. Strigidae never did. The pain of his childhood was a gluttonous monster compared to the hot stinging in his thigh. Dropped to his knees, he couldn't stand on that leg. So like Synergy X had during their battle, he stood on one, grin still there. He was as good at pain management as the hitmen were at killing from afar. "Pretty good shot. Nice set-up from your buddy too. But I'm still alive. And who knows.. maybe I can regenerate", he bluffed, his heart never skipping a beat as the lie flowed like truth from his mouth.

But he needed them to do more. To show him what they could do so that he could be prepared when it was he on the hunt for them. And if they walked more, moved more, fought more... he'd find them, because his dermal senses would remember every specific vibration their bodies. No disguise would fool him. But the blood leaking from his leg was flowing faster. He couldn't waste time. Not with killers this lethal. He needed to observe what he needed and leave. Soon. Lest he grow weaker and they pounce. "Come on", he taunted, injured leg folded behind his standing one, his balance perfect, his blade still held. "Don't stop now".

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#160 Posted by Phantomshell (1168 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso: @grimmwald:

"Oh. So you really are crazy then." Ishmael's cadence, while sardonic, was also genuine. As was his growing concern and silent mediation. Something was off here. And that was in addition to the crazy bastard bleeding on the floor baring his teeth and grinning. If the Grimmwald was the target then why couldnt the Phantomshell shake the feeling of being one himself? Why did it all feel so....rehearsed?

There wasnt much sound, wind mostly, as the secret Strix finger twirled his pistols back into their hip-holsters. Cocking his head and crouching once again as the brutal bone breaker taunted them to 'bring it on.'

"Or, and hear me out here, we just kick back and wait till you bleed out." Arrogantly catcrawling over to the wall for maximum back-support and relaxation. "I'mma tell you a secret Shadowguy. I aint really all about gettin beat up, crippled, and fed through a tub. Ya know? And clearly you are one tough son of a bitch...I mean for christ sakes you just got shot in the leg and you still wanna go a couple rounds" pantomiming with playfully clinched fists. And as he did so he suddenly opened his hand and fired several high tension Carbonadium strands from his wrist-mounted device, seeking to 'web' the deadly daredevil up. Unwilling to risk any injury what so ever to himself, but also unwilling to actually snuff the target out, Ishmael approached the apprehension in a similar fashion to a dangerous reptile handler capturing a gator or viper. Low risk. Safety first. And if need be, abort.

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#161 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@grimmwald: @phantomshell:

She scored. A crippling shot, she was fairly confident. Perfect opportunity for a follow-up...if she hadn't blown her shoulder. Well, she might have. Probably nothing serious but God did it hurt like a sonuvabitch. Feck, what I wouldn't give for a 10 of oxy, or even a hydro right now. Hate this gun.

While he talked - lucky for the pain or she would've taken the next shot then, she swore - Valentina lay on the ground, eyeing impassively from where she lay still in position from her shot. The new guy engaged. The associate of Noble's who'd been surprisingly helpful. Yet something in the way he expressed himself made her even more uneasy than the Black House Devil. In her hubris Valentina still hadn't entertained the thought that instead of the spider spinning her web for a fly, she might instead be falling into a mimetid trap. But this one...He'd been around the block as all of Shockwave's allies had, he was native to the country, and he was no stranger to this Grimmwald's type.

And he was apprehensive. That made her apprehensive. She doubted the devil could regenerate as he'd suggested - why would anyone give themselves away like that? - but she'd seen some of what else he offered and, standing or not, an anti-assassin teleporter with that level of detective precision was nothing to sneeze at. That was fine. She just needed time until...

Ting!

Contingency, right on schedule. The officer stepped off of the elevator, hardly ready for what awaited.

Deep-breath. Kip-up. Two Deagle shots to his legs and he fell to the floor just as he rounded the corner. Holding him at gunpoint in a rear-naked grip, Valentina turned to face Grimmwald.

"How about that, Devil? Maybe you regenerate, or maybe you don't...but would you bet his life on your game?" Adding a somewhat flippant albeit truthful apology to the guard. "It wasn't supposed to happen this way, but we adapt. But on the bright side you should get disabled benefits if you live through this. And I could have taken your kneecaps or worse."

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#162 Edited by Grimmwald (3352 posts) - - Show Bio

@phantomshell: @rosso:

"And clearly you are one tough son of a bitch...I mean for christ sakes you just got shot in the leg and you still wanna go a couple rounds"

Balanced on one leg, his injured one folded behind his standing one was the burning ache burrowed deeper in his thigh, Kellan smirked. "I do", he answered with a shrug, flipping and cartwheeling away to an office chair that hung back in the shadows. Sinking into the chair and calmly shoving his vibranium blade into it's sheathe, he hung his head back, held his chin high - and grinned. "Because", he paused, grin vanishing as his scarlet eyes pulled both hitmen into his gaze, "You can't beat me". He believed it. They were dangerous. The most skilled gunmen he'd ever come across. The first in years to spill his blood with gunfire. But as he sat there, the words flowed from his mouth with a confidence colder than the ice water running in his veins. He believed it.

"You can wait for me to bleed out. I wonder how long that'll take", his smirk returned, "Maybe I have time. Maybe I don't. Or maybe I do as I please, the two of you lose a paycheck, and I make you famous as the hitmen who failed to kill a guy with one leg". Then he felt it, his dermal senses urging his eyes at the man's opening hand. But as he was before, his new foe was quick, and in his arrogance, the Horned Saint had sheathed his sword. There was no time to draw it - while sitting - to cut through whatever web sought to engulf him. And had he been away from the reach of any shadow, Kellan's night would have ended with him as their captive. But instead, he pulled back into the shadows, vanishing from the chair a millisecond before the Carbonadium strands engulfed him. He'd disappeared but was still there. Lurking somewhere, moving in the shadows. And at the sight of an officer... his mind couldn't help but think of one word. Shit.

No Caption Provided

But he said nothing. He was silent. In the shadows like darkness itself. And for all they knew... he'd left. But he hadn't. He was still there. Watching as the officer's legs dangled lifelessly, as the redhead's arm snaked around his throat like a constrictor and held a gun to his head. She's good. There was no sound as his hand moved to the flashbang on his belt. No whisper in the air as he made the quickest grenade toss he could manage. The light flared bright enough to blind them both for five seconds, and the loud bang blasted over 170 decibels in their ears. And that was his - and the officer's only chance. Kellan sprung from a shadow behind her, lunged at her, and his muscle fibers twitched with borderline superhuman strength as he sought to grab the back of her throat, tear her away from him and throw her across the hallway with one pull of the arm.

Injured leg still folded behind his standing one, his balance still perfect as his eyes blurred from his growing blood loss, the Horned Saint was quick. If he'd succeeded, he'd drag the wounded officer to the nearest shadow... and vanish with him. Or perhaps without him? Perhaps he'd failed? But his senses had memorized their heartbeats, how their joints moved when they walked, how they breathed.... he had no names, no tangible information - but no mask could hide them from him now. He'd find them. Soon. But perhaps they didn't work for the website, perhaps it was simply coincidence. It didn't matter. He'd learn the truth once he found them - rather, her - again.

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#163 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@phantomshell: @grimmwald:

Shit! She forgot. Lost focus and, so caught up in her backup plan that she'd forgotten to warn her ally that they were dealing with a teleporting meta. By the time she realized, it was already too late. He was too fast. She would've never gotten the words out before the Gothic Gunslinger launched his attack and the vigilante countered. Even if she had it would've just been a distraction anyway.

He was not only fast, but strong. Enough that Valentina immediately knew she didn't want an extended close quarters combat session. Not like this. Through the fog in her senses she felt his crushing grip on the nape of her neck and it took every ounce of self-control to keep herself from panicking. Her hand shot to his wrist. A purely instinctive reaction but one she could she could use. She held her grip like a Viper's, self-preservation prompting her to hold even as he attempted to fling her across the room, digging in with claws newly manifested from her gloves. And seeking to use the momentum he'd imparted into her body to kick her legs around while jerking on the arm, to drag him to the ground with her. Into a triangle or her guard, she couldn't know. She was just scrambling for leverage wherever she could find it.

But she didn't want his neck and she had no intent to waste time grappling with this much stronger man. Nor trying to go toe-to-toe with a man who laughed at pain. But this close? Best opportunity to get a few shots off. There, in close quarters where, attached to her by the arm, he couldn't leap and twist and dodge through the air, she'd take her shots. Even if he could avoid her legs and force a scramble, she'd be there. Holding him. Resisting him. Slowing him down by his mixed objectives with herself and the officer. Seeking, with her pistol hand, to unload the rest of the magazine into his stomach and chest cavity.

Otherwise, she was relying on Noah's contact to save her from a really bad situation. Hopefully something in that mask to protect him from the earlier flash.

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#164 Edited by Phantomshell (1168 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso: @grimmwald:

The flash, harmless. The concussive ear rupturing burst, muffled. The Phantomshell's mask protected the senses from what had become a trademark of nearly every Gothic City vigilante since the emergence of the Knightfalls. Hell, even the Secret Strix had his own customized utility belt with a row of flashbangs on it. Anyone still getting got by that old trick deserved his ass whooped.

With that thought still in mind his body automatically reacted, autopiloted into an acrobatic somersault across the hall. Exercised quads then exploded into a powerful ignition which launched the gymnastic Strix at a vertical angle. Hitting the wall feet first there was no loss of momentum, he daringly dashed along its surface causing a rather distinct Transformer like sound.

No Caption Provided

As he ran the most random thought drop-kicked his focus. Did this dude just call me a famous hitman....You could visually see the Phantomshell's head randomly contort with confusion. Aristocratic pride begged him to remove his mask mid-sprint and holla, Surprise bitch! I'm not a famous hitman. I'm. just. famous. Instead Ishmael calmly put a bullet in the officer's forehead.

Did he have a wife? Family? Was he the mvp of his rec league? Who *bleepin* cared. But the answer was no. Clinton Diggs was a one of a kind piece of shit. Hall of Fame crippled his wife level asshole. Dirty. In the pocket of at least three local gangs, yeah Clinton was an mvp alright. And now he was dead.

In the midst of the cinematic execution however, the HBC of the booming black market enterprise had been forced into a conventional, all be it stylishly employed, series of mixed martial arts reversals. Hoping to leverage the equally impressive madman to the ground before he could overpower her.

Right now. Two grenades. Two grenades right now while they grappled and it'd be done. She'd be dead, he'd be dead, and the Phantomshell would be aerially swept out the nearest window into a freestyle ballet of skyscraper sailing. A famous hitman psycho.

Instead at the end of the wall he floated off into a missile dropkick aiming for the scarlet shadow's good knee while simultaneously tossing one of his Heckler and Kock Mk23's up from his declining aerial position to the hopefully aware hand of the Red Mamba. With any luck he'd crash into his opponent, at the very least agitating his balance. While opening a window of fatal opportunity in the process.

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#165 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

The flash, harmless. The concussive ear rupturing burst, muffled. The Phantomshell's mask protected the senses from what had become a trademark of nearly every Gothic City vigilante since the emergence of the Knightfalls. Hell, even the Secret Strix had his own customized utility belt with a row of flashbangs on it. Anyone still getting got by that old trick deserved his ass whooped.

Heeeey...

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#166 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait, what!?

He killed the officer!

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#167 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, man. This post is a roller coaster.

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#168 Posted by Yoshi_Senju (500 posts) - - Show Bio

LMAO

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#169 Posted by Grimmwald (3352 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso: @phantomshell:

SNIKT. He heard the woman's claws, felt them shred past the red of his costume to draw out the red in his veins. It hurt. Stung like hornet venom. And worked. In a heartbeat, in a flash, they flipped about the darkened hallway and landed with a thud. And with a trained killer clinging to his arm teasing a choke with every shift of her legs, Kellan did - not grapple. He was on a dead leg, she was good, and his muscled back was to her partner. It was the most vulnerable he'd been all night. So he flexed his free arm, felt his wrist blade poke out his bracer like a stinger - and drove it towards one of her legs. Once? No. Twice? No. Thrice? No. His arm was like a piston as he sought to stab her leg a dozen times over, his strength unnatural and bestial till the wrist blade had shredded past all flesh and chipped away at her bone. Knee. Shin. It didn't matter.

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He'd stab again and again and again and again, stab her leg, hip, and midsection. For the pain to swarm so hot through her that she'd drop her gun and abandon the shot. For the pain to come together with the afterimages still flashing before her eyes, and the loud bang still ringing in her ear - to stray her aim an inch from his gut and chest. But his ears had caught another loud bang. The roar of a gunshot. The guard was dead. And be it with his gut and chest uninjured or their armored padding torn to shreds by bullets, his blood spilling, the pain gripping him and his breathing failing him, the Horned Saint's dermal senses would scream at him. He's moving! They'd pluck the vibrations in the air of the coming dropkick and injured or not, he was ready. With a bleeding gut and collapsed lung, he's steel his nerves, yank his arm free from her weakened grip, and - by an inch - roll out the way of the dropkick as the boots of one ally crashed into the face of another.

With a chest and gut free from bullets? He'd yank his arm free, grab her by the ankle and on his knees - swing her like a bat to smash into her ally with every roar of his bestial strength. Gravely wounded or on a dead leg, it didn't matter. He'd gotten what he'd come for. He'd seen what he'd needed to. And though he'd failed to save one life, he'd live to make the hitmen scared to live theirs. He'd pull back into the nearest shadow, grinning if badly wounded, and simply staring if not. The blackness'd embrace, and he'd vanish before either passing out or forever losing his leg.

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#170 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

Oohh, conditional probabilities.

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#171 Posted by Grimmwald (3352 posts) - - Show Bio
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#172 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@grimmwald: Such a lovely moo-stash, now I'm not sure where I wanna go!

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#173 Posted by Hawkshade (4974 posts) - - Show Bio
The flash, harmless. The concussive ear rupturing burst, muffled. The Phantomshell's mask protected the senses from what had become a trademark of nearly every Gothic City vigilante since the emergence of the Knightfalls. Hell, even the Secret Strix had his own customized utility belt with a row of flashbangs on it. Anyone still getting got by that old trick deserved his ass whooped.

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#174 Posted by Phantomshell (1168 posts) - - Show Bio

@hawkshade: LOL u shouldnt. But Musa, Noah, and Rosso sure should :P

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#175 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@phantomshell: I do! So shut up, pinhead! Not all of us can afford fancy gadget helmets!

Besides, I plead culture shock. Vigilantes with flashbangs aren't as common in Madripoor.

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#176 Posted by Phantomshell (1168 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso:

Okay I apologize. Here I got you something. A new theme song

Loading Video...

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#177 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@phantomshell: -___- You're lucky for what that song represents to me.

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#178 Edited by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

Should I also be insulted he really thought about killing me?

I feel like I'm owed another song for that.

Edit: Actually, nevermind. I just understood the meaning and that hand-off was so cool he made up for it.

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#179 Edited by Warspool (659 posts) - - Show Bio

[Open]

Private IP server, foreign-owned. Traceable only through specially-made modems and in discrete parts of the world. Quantum computers? Not quite.

The up-and-coming assassin, the Jabberjaw Jabberwock, the... actually, that last one is gonna be hard to top.

Anyway, point being that Warspool had a decent seat for the main event of a new kind of game. The kind where he got to kill people and got paid for it handsomely. Well, about as handsomely as a burned piece of salami could be. Actually, that putrid Plaguefather guy might have more curb appeal...

He had made his presence known rather loudly on the message boards associated with the syndication. That's probably why he had to wait for so long to get an actual job was because he never shut up on the forums. It was always something about some kind of old song he listened to on repeat for four hours, pointless crap like that.

He finally attracted what looked like the most desperate contract on the server: a jealous coworker of some guy who took the girl or his dreams, yadda yadda yadda "make it look like an accident" yeah whatever.

It was a cool 3k, so... not too bad?

"Ah well, what's the worst that could happen?" He said knowing full well something in one way or another would go absolutely horribly.

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#180 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@grimmwald: @phantomshell:

It worked! They had him right where they wanted him. Locked in CQC and open to literally everything as long as she could hold him. And she did, with all the might she could muster in her body, to control his posture and hold him steady for her shots.

BLAM!

She hesitated. That only meant one thing. Valentina's eyes went wide in shock and horror as the already injured officer toppled face-first to the floor, vaguely making out her dumbfounded expression miniaturized in his eyes.

A sharp pain brought her back to her present reality. His first attack sinking into her leg, Grimmwald's blade seemed to move in slow motion. Edging in...And sliding out. Valentina's grip tightened and she screamed. Harsh cries bounced off of the hallway walls, then became faded and strained as he repeatedly assailed her midsection as well, making it harder to breathe. Tears blurring her vision, she bit down on her resolve and unloaded everything she had into him. Grimmwald continued his assault. Tough sonuvabitch.

Her awareness was enough, at least, that she recognised the play Ishmael had in mind. Dropping her gun as carelessly as a piece of scrap, Valentina snatched the MK23 from the air. No more of this. The next burst was for his head. But as she took aim the Prince of Criminal Penance adjusted--not without resistance--wasting her shot and sending the Madripoor exile's own ally crashing into her wounded midsection with crippling force.

She'd had it. The Ghostshell's kick was not only painful; it drove the rest of the air from Valentina's lungs in another wheezing cry and loosed her full-body grip enough for the target to break her hold. Even still she remained single-mindedly dedicated to the goal. Still favouring her injured side, from her back Valentina fired at where he stood but it was no use. Bullets ripped through shadow and ricocheted off the walls as the Horned Saint vanished.

Several seconds passed...

Nothing.

He was gone.

Feck!

"Hhhhh....H–hh...Hhhhh..."

Valentina let out another series of deep, labored breaths and pulled herself up along the wall to stand, balancing herself partially on the weight of her good leg. Her focus shifted to that night's cohort. She needed medical attention. But first...

"...You g-...ghot a knhifehh...?Blood...in...the carpet...I want that."

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#181 Posted by Phantomshell (1168 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso: @grimmwald:

Crashing into the Black Market Mamba temporarily redefined the nature of Ishmael's athletic mobility. Chaotically whipping both would-be assassins into a clumped mass of bodies before his acrobatic expertise allowed for a remarkable recover.

Quickly planting a solitary hand on the ground and spinning out onto a knelt position, the re-calibration swam in a sea of silk laced reactionary prominence. There had even been time for the former Ghostshell to respectfully glance back over his shoulder, as the DgD (daring gothic devil) vanished into the shadows. It reminded him of the original Noir Rose. The future shadowbending father of assassins and his former childhood obsession. And now, or so it seemed, the latest variations of Gothic's street level heroes had also adopted the shadow based theater. Powerful agents against the uninitiated

And yet this was somehow...different. The Grimmwald hadnt summoned the shadows. Hadnt drawn them to him. He used them, possibly bent them. Clearly shared a symbiotic relationship with preexisting shells of darkness. But he had not called them from nothing, from nowhere. He hadnt produced them, they were already there...

However he had not taken the job to actually kill anyone. Getting back to his feet, the purpose of his involvement remained injured, bloodied, and yet...mission oriented. He didnt offer her a hand up either. Instead he dexterously unsheathed and twirled his Aethrium dagger in his hand as to offer it handle first.

"We need to go." Sirens in the distance grew closer. And yet, true to his secret identity, the Phantom would leave no trace of his involvement behind. While his friends criminal partner gathered what coagulated evidence she needed, Ishmael kicked in the door to the utilities closet nearby. Snatching a can of bleach and pouring it everywhere the Black Market Mamba had splattered traces of her multiple injuries.

No Caption Provided

There was no forecast of a warning before the Phantomshell swooped Rosso's own arm around his neck and fired another Carbonadium cable out the shattered window to the building across the way. Instantly yanked from the upper floor out into the night sky before swinging to the ground in the back lot. "You gettin in?" he asked while leaping into a utilitarian model of a Knightfall inspired vehicle.

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#182 Edited by Phantomshell (1168 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay lol

@rosso said:

Should I also be insulted he really thought about killing me?

I feel like I'm owed another song for that.

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#183 Edited by Warspool (659 posts) - - Show Bio

"How late do people stay up at work?"

Warspool stretched on the unfamiliar couch, kicking the arm restlessly. Each twinge of his muscular structure popped into the next, causing him momentary relief of having been sitting there for several hours now.

[It's like asking how long until Christmas.]

"Wait, am I killing Santa Claus? I heard Mrs. Claus is kind of hot..."

[Is that a Bea Arthur reference?]

"...No,"

He scratched his nether-regions, but shrieked under his breath as he went a little too hard when he heard the door creak open. He cradled his legs, doing his best to hide in the seat of the couch. A man came and sat on the opposite side of the semicircle of couches, holding his face and leaning back.

It took him a minute to realize that he was being watched.

No Caption Provided

He instantly snapped up into a standing position, looking for impromptu weapons and finding one in an iron poker next to the fireplace.

The Jabberwock just looked at him, and feigned a targeting scope with his hands complete with vaguely electronic noises coming out of his mouth.

[Seems familiar actually.]

"Nah, totally original,"

"Who are you?! Get the hell out of my house!"

"Wow, calm down. And I'm sure you can do better threats than that, it's not like we're on a public Internet forum with rules against strong language,"

[Ahem.]

"Oh right, mods are watching,"

"I said get out!"

"Look, Francis? No, that was from the movie, not funny anymore. Anyway - gonna kill you now, make it look like an accident or something,"

Without pausing, the man lunged forward, trying to smash the invader's head in with the poker. Warspool kicked the coffee table into his kneecaps, sending him collapsing into a crumpled heap. His neck bent at an unfortunate angle and he gasped on the floor.

"Wow, looks like a dislocated vertebrae. That's gotta hurt. Well, this is gonna hurt a whole lot more. Get it? It's because... ah, never mind, you wouldn't get it."

The heavy thud of a gas-operated Desert Eagle practically shook the house.

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#184 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@phantomshell:

"That's, not..." she started, but let it hang. It wasn't necessary to clean up after herself. Even in her native Madripoor Valentina was an illegitimate birth with no record--one of the greatest boons she offered any of her partners--so she wouldn't be traced to any official record. Besides, soon enough the whole place would cease to matter.

But maybe they could find out about this vigilante. Who he was, where he worked. The people he cared about, though the thought drew hesitation as she thought of the officer lying dead on the floor. Maybe with Noah, but not this guy. And just maybe Franklin or someone else might have something that could say more about the nature of Grimmwald's powers. So she carved up sections of the floor containing the Devil's ichor and added it to her collection.

"Just a little more...thorough, cleanup." she groaned, and tried to stand but stumbled over to the nearby electrical room, balancing on her sniper rifle as though it were a cane. She felt as though air was rushing both into and out of her head. Blood pressure dropping. Not much time. Unlocking the door with the aid of the Phantomshell's gun, Valentina made her way inside. A small pocketknife lay clipped to her waistline. A multi-tool. She began using the knife to shave coverings from the wires, then ran the blade along the side of the flint, generating sparks.

Shk! Shk! Shk! Nothing. She held the tool closer.

Shk! Shk! Shk! Nothing. Valentina growled.

Shk! Shk! Shk!

By then her ally had had enough and snatched her from where she knelt, and both the Gothic Ghostshell and the Scarlet Shadowrunner were whisked out of the building. The inertia was nauseating. And painful, but she wouldn't allow herself to scream anymore. In a mild panic she felt to ensure her sniper was still strapped to her, then breathed a sigh of relief. She'd lost the multi-tool but that was no big deal.

Foot on the car, Valentina lingered outside a moment longer, staring up at the window from which they'd exited. Watching, to see if her efforts bore any fruit. After just a few seconds she shrugged and stepped over and into the car.

But as they pulled off she stared into the rearview and, after several seconds, noticed a plume of smoke billowing out of the shattered window on the floor that staged the confrontation. Success. The blade itself was no big loss. Only 14 bucks at Wal-Mart. Besides they had more pressing matters to deal with. Valentina was still favouring her side, applying pressure as well as she could in an attempt to comprehensively cover the wounds she'd been dealt. She was losing blood, bordering unconsciousness, and barely hanging on the precipice necessary to form clear words and sentences. "Need...h-h-hhelp. 'nless you know...bettr...think...heard'veaplace."

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#185 Posted by Phantomshell (1168 posts) - - Show Bio
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#186 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@phantomshell: Because I'm psychic. It's kinda my thing.

In that case, I'm a vigilante wounded in a confrontation with a criminal. >_>

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#187 Edited by Warspool (659 posts) - - Show Bio

"What do you mean 'that's the wrong guy'?!"

[It's not him.]

Warspool latched onto the coffee table, prying it up by the edge with the sinewy power contained within his red and black suit. His muscular structure heaved, and the appliance went airborne and into a nearby glass cabinet wherein lay countless fragile heirlooms - most of which were smashed outright.

"God damn it! GOD DAMN IT!"

[Calm down.]

"That was so cool though! I had the scope thing with the hands, the Desert Eagle - I can't even fire this, shit, ow," he paused for a moment, recognizing the colossal pain in his wrist and craning over as his healing factor knitted the bruised and torn tendons back together.

[And you wasted that 'this is gonna hurt' line.]

"And I wasted that 'this is gonna hurt' line!" Warspool threw his hands up into the air.

"Who is this guy anyway?"

[Why are you asking me?]

"Well, you seem to know so much about him including the fact that he's not the guy I was supposed to kill,"

[Doesn't mean I know everything.]

"Yeah but you know some things,"

[Some, yes.]

"So ETA on that warhead, classification 'get on with it'?"

[Well, you'll like this: Desert Eagles are very loud guns. Considering how late it is, you probably woke up half the neighborhood. And the guy you're supposed to kill...]

"Yeah yeah, come on,"

[Was next door, and now he's getting on his motorcycle and heading for the freeway.]

The Loudmouth Lunatic audibly gasped, placing his hands on his face not unlike a famous Christmas movie, and looked out the window only to see a man in completely black attire hop on a Kawasaki and screech off into the night.

"Oh no, who could have predicted that? Certainly not little old me!"

[Just steal this guy's car, it's in the garage.]

"Oh happy day!" Warspool skipped merrily through the kitchen, grabbing the keys on his way out and kicking open the door only to find... a white Chrysler Sunbeam.

A few seconds passed as he just kinda stood there, disappointed. Was he expecting something else? Who was to say, considering the deepening divide between his conscious thoughts and his own sanity? His broken, putrid, meaningless, empty -

"You know, I can hear everything you're saying right?"

[What?]

"Not you the other guy,"

[Just get in car.]

"Fine," Warspool grumbled. "But I'm not going to enjoy this,"

He slid into the driver's seat and the first thing he did besides rev up the engine was loot the guy's CD stash.

"Hootie & the Blowfish," tossed it. "The Eagles, Animal Collective, crap, crap," into the bottom of the seat.

"Foreigner, Wings, blegh, BLEGH. The Decemberists?! Was this guy just born for me to kill him or something?! Oh wait..."

Near the back was the saving grace, something probably buried with time. A sun-bleached 'Smashmouth' disc glowed like a pearl in the sand.

"Oh baby..."

Popping it into the system, he instinctively started pumping the gas while the vehicle was cranked in reverse.

[What are you doing?]

"Has to be perfect,"

[Open the garage - the remote is right there.]

"Some - "

He turned the speakers on maximum, rolled down the window, and crushed the gas pedal, obliterating the door behind him in all directions.

"BODY!"

[For the love of God.]

The only sound that managed to be heard over the bass-boosted lyrics of 'All-Star' was the Jabberwock's incessant cackling of worrisome levels of intelligence and a fleeting grasp on reality.

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#188 Edited by Warspool (659 posts) - - Show Bio

[Do you even know where you're going?]

"Freeway, ten blocks past Fifth Street and a left at Main,"

[That's... not totally inaccurate, but you're looking at a fold-out kid's menu map of the city.]

"Hey, Charred-la-Main's is a legitimate business! They wouldn't lie to me, not unless I was five feet tall and had red hair,"

[...What?]

"Not relevant at this time!"

The Sunbeam hopped over a curb as Warspool made a jarringly sharp left turn, completing the instructions on the map he procured from a kid's meal. The burger itself tasted a bit old, but the Knight-Fries had managed to stay crunchy in the greasy bag.

[I don't even know why you stopped, the hit has such a big head start now.]

"We're not going for the hit, at least not conventionally,"

[Oh boy.]

"Weren't you wondering why I entered in on this side?!"

[Oh nooo.]

"YEEEHAW!"

With a flagrant disregard for both the rules of the road and human safety, Warspool slammed the steering wheel as far right as he could into the barricade, hitting it at the precise angle to not crumple instantly. He flipped over, and onto a lower section of the road, right in front of a certain black Kawasaki. The man crashed instantly, unable to steer against the law of gravity depositing the wreckage in front of him. The Homicidal Jabberwock peeked out from the Sunbeam carcass, pushing his arm back into socket and shivering as his ribs slid back into place and locked with his spine and sternum again.

"Eeeugghh, I hate that feeling," he sauntered over to the motorcyclist, who tried his best at getting away with a broken leg. Didn't go so well for him.

"Alright, I've had my fun. Shot a guy, broke his garage, stole his car, all to chase down my actual - real, totally not fake - hit. Let's see what's behind the helmet,"

He snatched the visor and ripped it off, only to reveal...

"N-Nani?! A woman?"

She let her hair down and rolled onto her back to face the assassin. "Of course I am, what did you expect?"

"Eh, various things: space monsters, evil galactic imperial troops, maybe a kinetic missile in disguise,"

"Shut up, I know what you're here for, I can admit defeat,"

"...Heh?"

"Don't you even know why you're here? The man you were trying to kill tonight, he used to be my husband. He cheated on me, and I hired a hitman to kill him. You killed that hitman,"

"Okay so, I was hired by a jealous dude who wanted me to kill this dude, but he cheated on you with the woman the first dude likes, and you hired a hitman to kill the second dude because you wanted revenge?"

"...That's what I just said,"

"Just wanted to make sure everyone's following along, because as far as I'm concerned - this is canon," he smiled off into the distance for some reason.

[They can't even see you under the mask.]

"Shut up, I can dream!"

"It doesn't matter anyway. I'll go to jail for being an accomplice to an attempted murder," she sighed.

"Well, that's your own mistake, lady. Maybe instead of hiring someone to kill someone else, just... I don't know, have some Thin Mints?"

He reached into his pocket and gave her a plastic bag half-full with the delicious cookies. She accepted them confused, staring off after the fleeing insane man as police and ambulance vehicles pulled onto the scene.

[Do you think what you did is right?]

"What do you mean?"

He heaved himself onto the hotel room bed, taking his mask and costume off to the waist and replacing it with a nighttime Polo. He rubbed his eyes, and opened them at the chair in the corner of the room.

No Caption Provided

There he was, sitting across from himself again.

[Killing someone in the vague assumption of money being involved, only to be proven innocent on a technicality. You're not doing the world any favors by accepting random contracts anymore. You have to put yourself out there, stop scraping the bottom of the barrel.]

"But... that's what I do. No one hires the Loudmouth without seeing all the consequences right up in their face. They just - "

[Shut up right now. You're better than this. Old hotel, falling apart like your self-confidence. This is the throne you're making for yourself. Made of other people's scraps and trash. Pick your ass off the ground and stand up.]

Warspool nodded, slapping his face. Hype fueled his blood. It took him places he never normally went to.

[Sleep on it. Just don't sleep for too long, or else the fire will be gone.]

Contract ? of ? - Status: Complete

$3,000 added to bank account

Saving progress...

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#189 Posted by Hawkshade (4974 posts) - - Show Bio
How many have died because of your greed?
How many have died because of your greed?

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#190 Posted by Warspool (659 posts) - - Show Bio
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#191 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@hawkshade: I'm flattered but I can't take all the credit.

If only you realized how many are commissioned by
If only you realized how many are commissioned by "normal" people...

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#192 Posted by Warspool (659 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso:

Who gave granny the shotgun?!

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#193 Edited by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio

@warspool: Granny is a proud owner of the second amendment.

But Paul over there in the back doesn't know it so he's in for a surprise.

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#194 Posted by Warspool (659 posts) - - Show Bio

@rosso:

Grenade solves everything.

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#195 Posted by Hawkshade (4974 posts) - - Show Bio

@tessa_callahanYou should hack this thing for me so I can bring these murders to justice.

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#196 Edited by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio
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#197 Posted by Tessa_Callahan (1670 posts) - - Show Bio

image

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#198 Posted by Rosso (5464 posts) - - Show Bio
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#199 Edited by Hypertron (134 posts) - - Show Bio

Bounty In Place (Anonymous)

No Caption Provided

Name: Alvin L. Prokopy

Age: 34

Height: 6'1

Weight: 2,689

Conditions: The capture of this person in any condition is acceptable. Once he has been captured, simply bring him back to alley near the bar and he will be picked up shortly.

Bounty reward: $100,000,000

This post is open to anyone who is interested in taking in the person above for a sweet reward.

@theevolutionary:

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#200 Posted by MonstersAndMen (1061 posts) - - Show Bio