The Bar With No Name (CVnU – Gothic Sub-Locale)

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Mister_Surreal

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Phantomshell

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#102  Edited By Phantomshell

@rosso:

Ishmael's emotionless eyes looked around with mild interest.

"What?" The lung damaged voice of Noah Noble questioned as his only friend optically surveyed the dimly lit bar-room.

"Nothin. Jus cant believe this shithole still standing."Both men pausing to take a shot of bourbon before moving the conversation forward. "I would have bet money on this place going up in flames back when all hell broke lose."

"Nah. You know how it goes. The game dont change. Jus the players." Noah passively scuffed. "Get rid of crime in Gothic. That'd be the day."

By now the Digital Deathnote had man-spread out from well beyond their booth into the aisleway forcing several patrons to go out of their way to avoid tripping or stepping on the outlawz' feet.

"So." A devilish gleam twinkled in Ishmael's eyes. "You and Red partnering up again..." downing another shot never deviating his focus from his longtime partner in crime.

"Dont even. Aint like that. Told you, its business. Always business." Noah's anger was minimal but entertainingly noticeable. "She wanted a meet, so, a meet I delivered."

The Phantomshell squinted and smirked. "Well I'll give ya one thing. Wherever that chick goes, blood follows. Shit aint never boring." Raising another shot glass in a mock toast. "Here's to another ride brotha."

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Rosso

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@phantomshell:

As harsh as it was on the senses (most especially the nose), the Bar with No Name was among the most welcoming places she'd ever known. If for no other reason than she was considered asset or ally to a number of its patrons, here she felt more well-guarded than she had even in her home country. Meeting the boys here was a no-brainer (once Valentina had successfully reminded her subconscious that she was done playing Dr. Knightfall's naif for the day).

No Caption Provided

Until then the smell was a pungent yet gentle gauge among slight, ever-changing cues leading to the establishment. When she opened the door it was as though a physical wall of whiskey, tobacco, and other vices slammed directly into her face, stunning her momentarily. But it was the last thing Rosso needed to purge the double-life from her mind. Like hotwiring a car. By the time she'd set eyes on her former comrade and his occasional proxy, anything even remotely resembling anxiety disapparated, burned off at the door. Suddenly she was light as a feather, weaving her way through the crowd like a serpent through brush.

"Hey!" she blurted, more in the way of a familiar reunion between friends than an associates' discussion.A scintillating smile, manic and unrestrained, promised utter transparency in dealing with her ilk. "So, who wants to buy my first drink?"

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Phantomshell

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@rosso:

Ishmael's loose gaze and heavy eyelids gave his slightly inebriated condition away with but a glance. He callously motioned above the upside down empty shot-glasses on the table as a visual response to Rosso's question.

"Oh we already opened up a tab. In your name"

"Oh we already opened up a tab. In your name." Waving their hostess back over for what must have seemed - to her - like the hundredth time. "Fill us up. And whatever she's having, but, no matter what, ya gotta stick one of those pretty pink umbrella's in it." Sliding a crinkled counterfeit $100 from his denim pocket, "Do it and this is all you hun." he smirked.

Noah simply shook his head and grumbled a forced chuckle. "You a real asshole."The Digital Deathnote mockingly 'ha'd' at his friends off the cuff commentary, before with a quick shove of his foot, pushed the only remaining chair at their table out towards the scarlet mastermind of criminal sin. The full extent of his gentlemanly decorum.

"So. Here we are. One big happy trifecta of cutthroats." Downing another shot and ordering another before making eye contact. "Whats the word red? We got a job?"

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Captain_Lambert

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Grimsrud

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Rosso

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#107  Edited By Rosso

@phantomshell:

For the briefest of moments her carefree demeanor shifted, the paranoid provocateur sizing up both her cohorts with daggers in her eyes. Her name—her real name—was among her most closely guarded secrets apart from those who knew her father. If there was even the slightest inkling of threat behind his joke he had to be dealt with. Suddenly, Valentina became aware of just how much she didn't recognise the man sitting beside of her.

But Noble vouched for him, and he more than owed his life to the Viper. He would have to honor her. The trouble, if there was to be any, would be in convincing his friend that their situation was not the other way around.

That said, she thought, regaining her smile, Noah was too stupid to be anything but earnest. His own kind would sniff him out in a heartbeat...if he didn't tell on himself. It was a trait as amusingly admirable as it was a liability.

"I'll have a White Russian, and Iwant my umbrella. He'll have an Old Fashioned," she called with a smirk before dismissively turning away from the barkeeper.

"Whats the word red? We got a job?"

"I'm actually planning on going into business for myself."

"Well, not exactly...Maybe. You see, I'm actually planning on going into business for myself. But I can't do it by myself. So...youtwo have a job, should you accept it. And if you're committed, we'll all be partners in this." Valentina swiped both drinks as the bartender returned, popping the end of the adornment into her mouth before removing it and sticking the umbrella behind Ishmael's ear, looking quite pleased with herself. "There we go! Much better. You were looking a little naked. First time seeing you without your...thing," waving a hand around her head to signify his helmet.

"So! There's work, but no details before I know. I can't deal you in unless you are all in. We're playing for keeps, here. All I can say immediately is that this is guaranteed bigger than anything you've done before. The rewards, far greater."

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Noah_Noble

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@rosso:

"Now thats somehow more fitting." Noah didnt mind the welcomed moment of levity at the expense of his best friend's ego. Likewise, the Phantomshell took it well and in trademark stride. "I dont know, I think it really brings out the color in my eyes. Dont you?" Ishmael cracked while adjusting his head for the table to see.

"I think its hot." A washed voice from a neighboring table flirtatiously interjected. Ishmael flashed a cheshire cat grin in the direction of his would be partners before hijacking Noah's old-fashioned. "Thats my cue lady and gent." Swimming out of his chair and into one at the aforementioned neighboring table, all before Rosso could fully express the fundamentals of her idea.

"Aaaand there he goes." Noah's thumb and forefinger caressed the unshaven stubble along his staunch jawline with calm relaxation. Masking his true disappointment. For a minute anyway. "Sumbitch. Cant stay on point for a damn thang, as reckless as ever. You sure you wanna partner up with that asshole?" The question was naturally rhetorical. After all, there was no one in the World Noah trusted more. No one he regarded as a better outlaw. Yet it was the fact that, at least in Noah's mind, Ishmael could be so much more if not for his arrogant self-absorbed handicap of narcissistic nuance.

So as Rosso spoke, he listened as to be able to competently regurgitate the Scarlet Shadowrunner's idea to his other - less then focused - criminal half. "Well Red. You know I'm in."Nodding over his shoulder, "Him too." Taking another half second to reorder a drink.

...
..."Some sayin you was dead"....

"So, rumor was you'd met up with a pretty nasty fate during the Purge. Some sayin you was dead. Glad the stories are seemingly exaggerated." His sentiment was as close to a heartfelt emotion as he was capable of producing.In truth , he was excited to her again. More so intrigued by the idea of a three headed teamup with trademarked outlaws with 'run&gun' ingrained in their very dna.

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Rosso

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@phantomshell: @noah_noble:

Nostrils flared, Valentina's head whipped in the direction of the interruption. Wild eyes scanned its source, memorizing its features at first. And then, looking deeper. Beyond that, Valentina looked into her essence, and through the Soul Lavaliere's power, memorized her soul. We'll have her later. If she's in a place like this it's doubtful the world will miss her.

A quiet fury. A hunger. Interjecting its cognitions among her own thoughts, conversing in her mind despite her nonresponse, the lavaliere stirred her violent impulses until–

–Noah's voice broke through.

"I'm in."

And just like that the Underground Prodigy was back. Visibly shaken, but relieved, her eyes fairly glinted as he spoke. But Noah would notice, and even if he said nothing he'd have already catalogued her reaction for review. The best she could do was turn those tails to an advantage.

"And I heard a building fell on you when Grimm became Valor," she teased with a smirk before avoidantly shifting back toward the bar. Sipping from her drink, somewhat somber as she forced herself to look at him. "I'm here, aren't I? I've been meeting nasty fates since I was a little girl and I'm not scared of the Devil." Tossing her head back, finishing the White Russian and motioning for another. "Been dodging that fool ever since I was five. And I'm the reason the night ended when it did."

After a few moments' consideration, Valentina stood up. "D'you...wanna take a walk? We can go upstairs or outside or...I just don't wanna talk about it here in the open." There was a softness, a need in her expression following a brief side-eyed glare in the direction of Ishmael and his new companion.

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Phantomshell

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@rosso said:

@phantomshell: @noah_noble:

Nostrils flared, Valentina's head whipped in the direction of the interruption. Wild eyes scanned its source, memorizing its features at first. And then, looking deeper. Beyond that, Valentina looked into her essence, and through the Soul Lavaliere's power, memorized her soul. We'll have her later. If she's in a place like this it's doubtful the world will miss her.

A quiet fury. A hunger. Interjecting its cognitions among her own thoughts, conversing in her mind despite her nonresponse, the lavaliere stirred her violent impulses until–

If I knew, I forgot, that Valz had that thing. I was like wtf is going on (in a good way though). Caught me off guard. That never happens

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Rosso

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Noah_Noble

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@rosso:

No Caption Provided

The 1vAll had a subdued reactionary recoil in response to the miscarriage of Valentina's normally sheltered sense of self. But even though the Devil's Damaged Rose seemed out of pocket - if even for the briefest of moments - Noah was ready to back a perceived play on her behalf.

Coiling a left arm behind his back taking hold of the cold black steel of a 9mm tucked in the back waistband of his slacks, mere moments away from lighting the Phantomshell's new companion up like a celebratory Christmas day float, the heightened moment unexpectedly came and went.

Rosso seamlessly transitioned back with conversational ease, allowing Noah to exhale and comfortably sink halfway down the chair yet still engaged in a projection of social interest. "What the f(*& was that?"Was what he wanted to ask. Instead he simply grinned and nodded.

Grabbing what was left of the pre-ordered bourbon, titling it towards the theatrically large gatekeeper just beyond the unspoke 'do not enter' sign, Noah expressed his satisfaction with taking their talk upstairs. For Gothic was many things. A safe place for a walk....not even on its best dream of a day.

So upstairs it would be. "You know they still hurt when it rains." A delayed response to the Shadowrunner's previous quip regarding dropped buildings. "Couple adamantium rods and pins, barely holding it all together." Slipping in a gruff chuckle and grunt. That wasnt all to say he hadnt caught Valentina's remark about being the one to end the Purge. The cost, he figured however, had been more then perhaps she wished to discuss. Least of all with him. Least of all, here. "You get em? Dont really hear much if anything about him anymore. Figured he got, got. Figured it was you."opting instead to run with a different topic of conversation.

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Rosso

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Devil's Damaged Rose

No one does epithets like you.

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Rosso

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@noah_noble:

At once the expression of her concern shifted from internally into Noah. Scanning his body with her eyes as though searching for a visual cue to where his injuries had been most severe. Sympathy? Searching for the right words to comfort him? Her mind a layered internal processors, preternaturally keen empathetic registers genuinely concerned themselves with Noah's well-being; while somewhere, buried even deeper than the level of the unconscious, a being who had no idea what it meant to be fully human processed only the need for fabrication. While the familiar outlaw truly cared for her comrade's well-being, this phantom aspect of Sorabella's daughter saw only opportunity.

Adamantium rods...Those would be handy, if she could somehow extract them from his body. Blissfully unaware of this duality within herself, Valentina made a note to check in and see if Dr. Knightfall might be able to find a better solution to Noah's situation. She'd have to surprise him, though, or he'd never agree.

"Both of 'em," she said casually in response to his inquiry. "It was a...an eventful few months." This was true. It was also true that she hadn't even seen Hawkshade that night, but swore if she ever did see him again that she would've done to him what she'd long wished to do to the now-soulless Grimmwald. No longer a purely professional matter, his was a vendetta just as personal after the way the "hero" ignored her in her time of need.

And of course, she was all too happy to add to her legend. It'd be handy to be able to stir fear when bringing her near-future endeavors to fruition.

"Could you believe they were brothers?" She threw herself down on the old leather couch and waved the servingman over. Apparently familiar, he rushed to her side with a wine glass and a bottle of pink Moscato. "The Hawkfecker and the Devil, Grimmwald. 'Richard' and 'Kellan,' they called each other. They won't be obstacles for us moving forward, so you have nothing to fear," she said, lightly teasing as she raised the glass to her lips.

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HumansFirst

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I really liked this. I feel it speaks a lot to his character, and so succinctly.

@noah_noble said:

No Caption Provided

The 1vAll had a subdued reactionary recoil in response to the miscarriage of Valentina's normally sheltered sense of self. But even though the Devil's Damaged Rose seemed out of pocket - if even for the briefest of moments - Noah was ready to back a perceived play on her behalf.

Coiling a left arm behind his back taking hold of the cold black steel of a 9mm tucked in the back waistband of his slacks, mere moments away from lighting the Phantomshell's new companion up like a celebratory Christmas day float, the heightened moment unexpectedly came and went.

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8th_Wonder

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Eventually, Grimm will come looking for Valentina again. It's fate.

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Rosso

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@8th_wonder:

I'll be waiting. Mayhaps destroying the physical body will at least prove cathartic.
I'll be waiting. Mayhaps destroying the physical body will at least prove cathartic.

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8th_Wonder

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@rosso: Didn't know you were that freaky! But I'm open to it.

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Rosso

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8th_Wonder

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@rosso: The fun is in the rush from finding out.

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Supreme_Sapien

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Noah_Noble

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@rosso:

By now the Guerilla Ghost of Gothic City had switched to beer, which he visually tilted towards his would be partner in crime with celebratory acknowledgment. "That'a'girl." A deep seeded sense of closure emotionally shut the door on that unfortunate chapter of his criminal career.

Yet as Rosso proceeded, Noah spontaneously spit his drink before crudely wiping off his lips with the sleeve of his army themed jacket. "Brothers!!!!? Thats f'n crazy and yet....makes all the sense in the World."His brows then shifted, slanted upwards in playful bemusement. "Better pray they aint got sisters or your ass fit to be in trouble."

Noah to continued to drink some. Looked around some. Sinking deeper and deeper into the comfort of the semi-circular lounge sofa. Listening yet saying very little. Until he finally did.

No Caption Provided

"I'm glad you called Red. Been rough sledding out here lately. Truth is I need the work so whatever we're fit to get into, I say aint nuttin too scary for me. Missing a meal. Thats scary. No roof over my head. Thats scary. Going up against capes and supers or whatever you got cooking....shiiiit, that, thats gonna be childs play."

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OO2

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@noah_noble: (I must say, you have Bernthal's cadence down to a T)

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Supreme_Sapien

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@oo2: (good looking out)

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Rosso

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"Tch! If they have sisters I'll be happy to arrange a family reunion," she said, raising a glass in a mockery of a toast to her "fallen prey" before successively downing three full glasses as the silence hung between them.

No Caption Provided

When he finally spoke, she became suddenly attentive, mindful of details she might have missed. So caught up in her own problems and her own schemes, it hadn't even occurred to her to wonder about the well-being of the men she'd called to the bar that night. In some twisted irony they were, indirectly and through no fault of their own, the reason for her own misfortune. And he had no idea.

A spark—triggered mirror neurons registering pain of her own as she scanned Noble with renewed attention for any physical changes. Valentina lost over 30 lbs herself in Grimmwald's captivity, being deprived or otherwise simply refusing to eat out of pure obstinate spite. She'd begun the journey back to herself again but there was still a ways to go.

These afflictions of conscience weren't unfamiliar but they were just as jarring every time—now more than usual. For the first time that she could ever recall, she was torn with respect to an ally. "Get a real job," started a conversation in her head. "Something with reliable income which will allow you to pay bills and see your daughter." She wondered if Ashley might be able to hook him up with a job as well. She'd given "June" a chance despite knowing the truth, and by her virtue made Valentina want to be a better person. Maybe she could turn him around as well. It was worth it for his sake as well as his daughter's. The best thing for Noah would be to leave the game now, before the sucess or failure of her plans saw everyone up to their necks in vitriol.

"Glad I could help." She sipped. Swished the wine glass. Sipped again. Whatever that voice was, whoever it belonged to, it died in silence.

"Buckle up your safe belt, because this is a big one. Quite extensive. Going to change the entire landscape of the underworld if all goes well. But be aware. He who joins this game leaves either master, or a dead man." On the outside she appeared grim and hollow. A woman who held little regard for her own life or the lives of the people around her. In truth, it was her last offer of a way out. Stupid conscience.

"You will be paid handsomely to start. I've managed to secure financial backing from an extremely powerful, extremely wealthyinvestor, who has chosen to remain anonymous. That said, he expects a return on his investment so we'll have to begin work immediately. But when this works outand it will, when you do as I sayyou can have for yourself and your little girl whatever your hearts desire.

"Are you with me so far?"

"But we start small. Very careful. 'Batman shit,'" she said with a smirk. Clapping loudly, a masked man dressed in all-black from head to toe traipsed up the stairs, carrying a file and a phone. Alex always wore a mask so he couldn't be identified by missing persons reports or by enemies he'd made in his past life as a hero. "Only...not so slow. Recently, some rich lady unveiled a cure for metahuman 'conditions.' We are going to steal a shipment. From there I have a contact who can help me analyze its properties and modify where necessary. We're going to weaponize it. I expect resistance but I have an inside contact who I think can be made amenable by some means or another. If there's anything special you need to prepare, let me know. If we can't get it on our own I can have mini-Satar build it." For a fee. She rolled her eyes.

"Are you with me so far?" asked the viper, grinning expectantly, her eyes dancing from Tavares offering the files to Noah.

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Noah_Noble

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#126  Edited By Noah_Noble

@rosso:

Before he had truly digested the masked associate's criminal disclosure, the distinctive click of a double action trigger theatrically sang. The first click brought alarming attention to the fact that the Phantomshell had foolishly set his sights on the Scarlet Shadowrunner's assumed proxy. "And who the hell are you suppose to be? Hm?" Ishmael antagonistically provoked. "And what the hell is this?" Stepping out from behind, and then in front of the covert liaison snatching the portfolio from his hand.

Showing off even more of his true inebriated ignorance, a puzzled glare washed over Ishmael's face as he attempted to examine the document now in his possession.

"You got issues" Noah snorted with disbelief. "I mean what is it about you that shit jus cant be simple huh?" Shaking his head and adjusting to the side, Noah sharply swayed forward mirroring the previous interception. And just like that, the folder had once again been appropriated.

Unlike the Phantomshell however Noah never bothered to look the file over, instead blindly handing it off to the side towards the Crimson Courier of Crime. Then, while still seated, motioning for the violator of protocol to come closer till he was close enough to snatch and yank into the booth and thus, a seated position.

"Wont happen again, go on ahead. We're with ya so far. Heist. Got it. But I gotta tell ya red...I dont like silent investors. Money men. Cant trust'em like that. But we can table that. This 'rich lady you glossed over. Hell red I've been outta the game, not dead. I know who you talking bout. Goddamn Elsa Beremud"

No Caption Provided

"Yeah you sober now huh?" Noah barked as Ishmael spontaneously snapped to attention @ the name drop. Yet with a wild smile and grunt Noah nodded, "F'it. Keep going, we're listening. Hmph. Gonna rob Elsa f'n Beermud....go big or go home, right?"

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Rosso

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@noah_noble:

Although her smile faded Valentina was careful this time not to betray the full depth of her irritation at Ishmael's intrusion. It was a mistake to invite him in the first place. He was only ever an accessory to Noah, invited in an effort to make more comfortable the one man she truly considered an ally. But he was starting to feel like a burden. A stray impulse suggested she reach into her purse, pull an eagle and put a bullet through the bridge of his nose. More than an impulse, she'd begun rationalizing that thus far, aside from being mildly charming company he was yet not an individual she trusted, showed no impulse control and, consciously or not, threatened to undermine every little step in her carefully laid plans.

Thank God for Noah Noble. The tension broiling within her was far from soothed but Valentina appreciated the effort. Perhaps he had learned a measure of perspicacity from the Hawkshade after all, and she'd been wrong to continually cast him into the mold of the brutish dullard. Brushing aside any of the playful jabs springing to mind, she shot the damaged desperado a telling communication with only a look: Thank you. This is serious.

"Robbing 'Elsa fecking Beremud' is nothing compared to what's really going on. When this is over, people like her will be calling you 'Noah fecking Noble.' But only if you allow them to speak your name at all." Never more at home than when ironing out a well-built scheme, calm seemed to retake the weaver of webs. At the risk of throwing off her own processing ability—Just to kill the edge, or so she told herself—she popped one–two–three pills from an unmarked bottle in the purse and washed them down with a few gulps of wine. The effect was almost instant.

The Black Widow of the Dark Web
The Black Widow of the Dark Web

"This is Alex," she said, finally addressing the other elephant in the room. "He was a hero. Went by the name of Arclight. A contract I picked up not too long ago.Now he helps me. You remember the night the city went to Hell?" Her attention was primarily focused on Noble, both for his demonstrated maturity and the bits of conversation shared just between the two of them; although she'd cast a glance every so often to glimpse what level of processing Ishmael displayed in his impaired state. And to read the room. "Well, I didn't just shut all that down, and I didn't just kill the Devil and his brother."

For a fraction of a second her emerald eyes flashed with a golden-orange sheen, as Valentina peeled back the right sleeve of her blouse to reveal a bracelet with a gem of the same hue. "This caused all of that. In the hands of a 'hero.' And I stopped him,"she said, her voice a hollow growl as she desperately tried to convince herself it was a victory that made up for her suffering.

"Remember that night? An army of silent killers took over a whole city in a single night, at one man's whim. The carnage. Terror. Death. Power. Now that power is mine. And I heard through the great-vine that there's more of these lav...lavl...stones. Including one that can transport a single person, or a force of any size, to any location. I admit I don't know much apart from that but it sounds damn good."

She held her arm up, lavaliere in full view."Soul. What allowed Grimmwald to raise his army which now belongs to methe remnants, anyway. Alex was my first test. I can rebuild one of our own. An army of enforcers, completely loyal and bound to our will. Drugs, gambling, counterfeiting, cyber-securityany domain, illicit or legitimate, is within our grasp.

"Just one of these made a man powerful enough to take a whole city in no time at all. Even just one more of them makes meplaces usthe among most powerful individuals on the planet. With my plans, and our resources, we will not fail. I only figured I would start you off with a simple heist job before we talked about stealing artefacts from the universe itself."

Swaying, she echoed Noble's earlier statement, albeit with immeasurably elevated sentiments. "Go big or go home."

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Phantomshell

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@rosso:

In a weird and unexpected turn, it now appeared as if it were Noah whom was slightly overwhelmed. Off put by the mere mention of galactic and universal paraphernalia, while Ishmael seemed oddly at home in his element. Now, more so then ever before.

"Red...what the actual hell" Noah apprehensively questioned. "You sound about as crazy as this asshole awhile back when he was going on about his goddamn space pilgrimage." motioning towards the Shell.

But Ishmael was exclusively focused on the former hero turned pathetic puppet. He laughed. "What a chump. I knew you was a busta. You mean to tell me that with this space rock of yours, you went and turned this masked bastard into your criminal slave?" Once again standing face to face with the aforementioned masked hero turned mind controlled consigliere. Encroaching upon the man's personal space, violating his social bubble as it were.

"So if you commanded him to kill me. Sorry, my bad. Tried to kill me, he'd have no choice but to listen?"A mischievous, or more accurately, a murderous look that screamed, 'make a move, I dare ya,' flashed as Ishmael's hand loosely hung around the front of his belt.

No Caption Provided

There was a moment of suffocating tension. For whatever reason the Phantomshell had arrived just aching for a fight and Alex, had become his primary target. Just in the short amount of time in which Alex had been there, Ishmael had sought to provoke him in as many minutes. Attempting to insight or outright provoke the former hero into a deadly confrontation.

"Whats a matter...'Red.' Scared I'll hurt your boytoy?" snapping a couple times in front of Alex. Registering any and all signs of expression. "Does he even know whats going on around him? Or does he only know what you and your pet rock let him? Noah your a damn fool if you follow this broad. Highjacking the Beremud bitch is one thing. F'n around with celestial artifacts....trust me brother thats a one way ticket to a pine box."

Ishmael had drawn a combative line in the proverbial sand. If the Bloody Rose was to reign in the one man in this two man team that she actually wanted, possibly needed, well then....she was going to have to deal with the Phantomshell. Here. Now.

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Trinity-Blue

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If the Bloody Rose was to reign in the one man in this two man team that she actually wanted, possibly needed, well then....she was going to have to deal with the Phantomshell. Here. Now.

What the hell does that mean!?

I'm not sure if the right move is to kick his ass or let him be an ass. ;>_>

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Phantomshell

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If the Bloody Rose was to reign in the one man in this two man team that she actually wanted, possibly needed, well then....she was going to have to deal with the Phantomshell. Here. Now.

What the hell does that mean!?

I'm not sure if the right move is to kick his ass or let him be an ass. ;>_>

Come on. Its me. You KNOW what it means ;)
Come on. Its me. You KNOW what it means ;)
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Rosso

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@phantomshell:

Well, try not to take this ass-whuppin personally.
Well, try not to take this ass-whuppin personally.

Seriously though, I love it! Grade-A improvisation is my favourite part.

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Trinity-Blue

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Oddly enough I mainly just feel sorry for Noah. He's just trying to be a criminal, and here we are...complicating things.

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Supreme_Sapien

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@rosso said:

Seriously though, I love it! Grade-A improvisation is my favourite part.

Same here. Figured I throw you a junk-ball. See how you responded

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Rosso

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@supreme_sapien: Hmmm...Well that makes me think several different things.

RNG? RNG.

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Rosso

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Oh...Shit.

It didn't take long for Valentina to realize she'd made a grave miscalculation in being so forward. A show of power that she believed would cement their allegiance, Noah's lost expression told her was a complete misstep. Yet he wasn't the one to be concerned about. Her eyes drifted as he referenced Ishmael's apparent journey to the stars and she realized immediately by his unwavering glare boring through Alex's skull that the perennial underachiever knew more—was more—than he'd let on.

At first she just sat, unmoving. Processing. Searching, waiting for the sign that it was all a joke. But the "gotcha" ever came. A cold chill ran through her core and radiated outward, both hurt and confusion showing plainly on her face. She opened her mouth but couldn't find the words. Where was this all coming from?

Alex, meanwhile, despite the threat presented directly at him, was more stonewalled than a man of the Queen's Guard. He never flinched nor blinked, nor openly registered any threat. Merely Ishmael's presence.

And still, despite the Drago-esque display from the light-bender, through their mutual connection Valentina felt his desire to preemptively lash out against the potential threat. To protect his mistress before she'd truly need it.

And even as she forcibly repressed him, she felt her own confusion spawning anger. How fecking dare he!? Who the feck did he think he was? She didn't even have to include him! Part of her didn't even want to!

But as she eyed Noah once more, her reason for being there, considering the probable alternatives, Valentina mustered one last attempt from her concilliatory playbook to appease the Phantom of one of Gothic's last great families. "What, is that what you're worried about? Becoming like him?" To Noah, "You have to know I'd never do that to you. He was one of them, he was fair game." And back to Ishmael, "What're you"

No. No matter what the situation, whatever her desires, she wasn't about to beg this man for anything. Steeling herself against the enforced smallness to which she'd been relegated for life, she leaned forward, broadening her shoulders as much as she could. And placing herself that much closer to her purse on the table (though she made no moves directly for it).

"What would you have me do, drop it down a garbage disposal? Tch!" She scoffed at his perceived cowardice, the impracticality of it all. It was there, and it was hers. Why not use it? Once upon a time, maybe; but once she'd held the lavaliere in her grasp she truly saw no alternative. "I'vegenerously given you both the information you need to make an informed decision about your participation. No one is forcing either of you, as I've made clear to Noah. But you were too busy with Paris Hilton downstairs to hear that part. And still, you may accept my kindness in whatever manner you please stand with me, or see yourself out. But disrespect me again, and you'll be far worse off than Alex or a 'pine box.'"

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Supreme_Sapien

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@rosso said:

the perennial underachiever

I'm stealing this. Great post too. Though I cant lie...was hoping Rosso made a move lol

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Rosso

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@supreme_sapien: You've given me more than enough epithets to steal, so feel free. ~_^

She almost did! I had several outcomes as potentials, but given her proclivities and the situation, this was the move. [Had to kill a ton of beloved dialogue to streamline it though.]

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8th_Wonder

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At some point, Ezra will come to see Ishmael and Valentina. This has been a fun read so far!