Immortal Vindication Reboot

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Immortal Vindication Reboot

Post by Dax on Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:28 pm

Mortenai ‘Morty’ Denary walked the broken, silent, ruined streets of Phoenix. Oh how this place had crumbled fast and hard. There wasn’t much surprise in it, though. This city had been long been labeled as decadent by the Elder Vampire. Morty walked over broken shards of glass, the deaf crack resonating under his polished, black leather shoes. He walked and walked seemingly without reason or idea in mind. He simply strolled along, admiring the desolate landscape. He was presently among the worst, most completely destroyed part of all of Phoenix. He liked to see the amount of destruction his race and their battles created. It made a sort of perverse pride emerge in this vampire’s coal heart.

The Elder Vampire wore a dark brown trench coat that covered his entire body and stopped about 5 inches below his knees. It was tightly fastened with a sash and proved vital to keep his suit from the filth that simply oozed from the streets of this city. He walked with a black cane in hand, decorated with a silver bat’s head as a grip. The cane doubled as a silver sword, invaluable to his defense against less co-operative lycans. Morty firmly believed that a permanent alliance between the vampires and Lycans was the next step in the long history of the two races. There have been great shifts before in the courses of their respective histories, and this without a doubt, according to this old vampire, that it was the next one, and most probably the most important.

Anyway, not every member of his race agreed with his more peaceful views and told him that such excursions were extremely dangerous. Mortenai simply answered by saying that they were idiots. He then followed through with his theory on converting Lycans to their alliance: they should not focus on the big groups, but on the small ones instead. This would give them the chance to not only be more secure in their diplomatic approach, but the sheer bulk of all of the smaller groups of Lycans combined harassing the bigger ones would provide a false sense of overwhelming pressure and tip the scales in the Vampire’s favour to bring over other, more rebellious, Lycan prides. Unfortunately, many vampires still weren’t happy with his propositions, but they were mostly younger, hotheaded specimens. They still said it was too dangerous and that it was no use in bringing over Lycans in a permanent alliance. Morty accused them of being cowards. They then told him to ‘do it yourself if you think it’s so damn safe.’ So he did.

As Morty continued on his walk, he thought back on what happened but a few hours ago. To tell the truth, the Elder Vampire wasn’t taking a stroll just for fun or soak in the decadence of human civilization. He was on an important personal mission. He had tracked down three young Lycans who had been hunting and hiding in the this sector of the city for weeks now. Morty had adopted the opinion that, since they were few, they would be easy to influence and bring to docility and into a larger group to help against the Night Stalker menace. Unfortunately, Morty had forgotten to factor in the part where the Lycans were young and barely in control of their actions. Actually, they simply were not in control of their actions. The pups attacked Morty on site, forcing him to dispatch them with his silver sword. It was unfortunate, but the only solution.

Morty shrugged off the consequences of his failed mission. It really was a shame, but he would get over it. Right now, all that mattered was relaxing. Morty was very good at that. His job had been done, although it ended in a catastrophic manner, and all that was left to do was light his pipe as try to enjoy himself in this arm pit of the city. So, that’s what he did. With a puff of his black meerschaum pipe, Morty strode on without any particular goal in head. The only thought that crossed his mind was how he could get his hands on a poor, helpless human…



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Re: Immortal Vindication Reboot

Post by Lyonesse on Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:23 am

The sky above the Superstition Mountains was a painfully bright blue above Cian MacCailín’s sunglasses as he glanced over their rims to watch Parker Finch, his apprentice—a term he used mostly to irritate the girl—shoot at a row of empty bottles and rusted cans lined up along an old fence rail. All of them were still standing and Parker was swearing as she stomped toward him. “This whole thing is a bullshit waste of time,” she said.

“Because you were being so productive back at the cabin,” Cian said lightly. He let his sunglasses slide farther down his nose so she could see that he was looking at her bright pink finger and toenails, which she had painted last night with a bottle of polish she’d found among the ruins of a Phoenix suburb on their last scavenging trip to town. “They’ll look very pretty the next time you change.”

Parker gave him a glare and a snarl trickled out of her mouth, a reminder of how close they were to the full moon and Parker’s still uncontrollable transformations. “Dammit!” she snapped. “Like this little thing,”—she waved the handgun at him—“is going to do anything against a Night Soldier anyway.”

“No,” Cian said, “that peashooter isn’t, but you don’t get to play with the big guns until you learn to shoot straight.”

“Are you going to make me learn to use that stupid sword you keep back at the cabin too?”

Cian gave her a bright grin. “Only if you’re a very good girl. Now try again.” Parker grumbled but turned back toward their makeshift shooting range. “Imagine the cans are my head if it helps!” Cian called after her. Parker took aim and squeezed the trigger, winging a crumpled beer can enough to knock it off the rail. She tried to hide the flash of pride that cut across her face, and when she turned back to Cian she had a smirk planted firmly in place.

“What do you know, that works,” she said brightly. Cian chuckled and settled back against another fence post as Parker continued to shoot. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, smelling the air. His sense of smell wasn’t as good as it was when he was in wolf form, but it was still better than a human’s and over the scent of gunpowder he could smell the desert scrubland around them, even the droppings of a peccary. With any luck the animal might not have been scared too far away by the gunfire. He’d outfitted Parker’s gun with a silencer as a slight precaution against long-range audio sweeps the machines had been known to do—mostly in more civilized areas, but better cautious than dead.

So far the Superstition Mountains had proved a good place to hide, he, Parker and the rest of their small pack had squirreled themselves away in the narrow canyons and steep cliffs and had managed to stay under the radar of both humans and machines for several years now. They were hardly living well, but they were surviving, which seemed to be just about the best anyone could hope for these days. Cian tried to tell himself that it wasn’t so bad. He enjoyed the desolately beautiful wilderness, enjoyed hunting for his dinner and sharing his life with his packmates, even Parker. However, beneath the surface he struggled with just surviving and a part of him revolted against the fact that he was trying to enjoy this exile.

He’d been a soldier for so long, fought in enough wars that he had trouble keeping them straight, that trying to sit this one out didn’t sit quite right. Of course he was doing the only logical thing that could be done. This wasn’t a war like any before it and there didn’t seem to be any way to win it. Of course, Cian thought, he’d always had a soft spot for unwinnable wars. He’d cut his teeth trying to keep Cromwell out of Ireland, and had spit on the idea of laying down his weapon even after that fight had been officially lost. What would he do about Parker and the others though? Even though she knew how to piss him off like no other, he’d turned the girl and had a responsibility to make sure she didn’t cock things up now that she was a werewolf. There was also Ruth, Fahim, and Manny, the other werewolves who had agreed to follow Cian into the Superstitions after three of their pack had been killed in the same attack where he’d turned Parker. Others had stayed behind in the city or closer to it. Cian didn’t know what had happened to any of them, but they were all young and arrogant enough that he wouldn’t have laid good odds on them surviving this long.

“There! I did it!” Parker called out, pulling Cian’s thoughts back to the here and now. Despite herself, Parker sounded proud. Opening his eyes, Cian saw that she had indeed hit all of the targets along the fence.

“Not bad,” he said as he stretched. “Let’s call it a day and head home.” He grabbed the backpack he’d brought with them and tossed it to Parker. “I’m going to change and see if I can’t get us some dinner on the way back.” He kicked off his sandals and t-shirt, giving Parker time to turn her back before he started unzipping his shorts. “Feel free to watch, darling,” he teased.

“Sure,” Parker shot back, “right after you grow some tits and lose the bait and tackle, mick.” Cian ignored the slur against his heritage—it was her favorite insult to hurl his way—and chuckled, a sound that twisted and roughened as his shape slid from a young man into a hulking wolf-like creature.

Since he’d passed his five hundredth and first birthday seventy-years back, Cian’s werewolf form had been changing more and more, becoming increasingly animalistic, his muzzle lengthening, his limbs changing to allow him to run on all fours more easily. He’d even grown a tail. He certainly didn’t look like any natural wolf, but he looked more like it than the majority of his kind.

He gave a short bark to let Parker know it was safe to turn around again. She did and he registered a slight increase in her discomfort. Parker was used to seeing him transformed by now, but even after ten years as a werewolf there was still a small part of her that hated and feared the very sight of them. She didn’t say a word though, just gathered Cian’s discarded clothing and stuffed it into the backpack. The two of them set off down the narrow game trail that wound back toward the old ranger’s cabin where the pack had been staying. Cian trotted a little ways ahead, sniffing the ground and air, hoping to get a whiff of the wild pig he’d scented earlier.

Instead he caught the faint but pungent smell of burning. Wood, metal, plastic and flesh…

In a flash Cian was human again. Parker gave a startled squeak at the sudden sight of him standing stark naked in the middle of the trail, but just as quickly, Cian clamped a hand over her mouth and pulled her off the path. The scrubby desert around them wasn’t ideal for hiding, but about fifty yards away was the base of a thirty foot cliff. The base was uneven and craggy enough to provide at least some cover.

Parker shouted muffled curses against his hand and did her best to kick at his shins and elbow him as he hauled her forcibly off of the path and toward a recess in the cliff face. When that didn’t work she bit him and this close to the full moon, angry and frightened, her teeth were sharper and her bite strong enough to tear a small chunk of flesh out of the base of his palm. Cian gave a low snarl, it was enough to speak to the wolf part of Parker and remind her that he was much older, wiser and more powerful than she was. He shoved the young werewolf as far into the recess as she would go and whispered in her ear. “Something’s wrong. I smelled something.” Only then did he remove his bleeding hand from her mouth.

Parker quickly raised her own hand to wipe his blood away from her face. Her eyes were wide and their brown seemed to be lightening just a bit toward orange. She was still young enough that she couldn’t control her changes or change fully when the moon wasn’t full, but she was ten years into her transformation and gaining power and experience quickly. “I can’t smell anything,” she whispered back.

“Neither can I,” Cian said, “Not while I’m in this form, but as a wolf…” As a wolf his senses were extraordinary. He could catch strong scents from miles away if the wind was right when he was in wolf form. The cabin was just about four miles away as the crow flies, but almost seven when you factored in the rises and drops in the landscape as well as the winding trail. And the burning smell had definitely been coming from that direction.

“What do we do?” Parker asked. Her usual confidence and cattiness were crumbling.

Cian clenched his jaw. A part of him wanted to change shape and race home as quickly as possible. His packmates were there. His friends. His family. He couldn’t leave Parker though, not if there was danger out here. She was the most vulnerable of all of them. Ruth and Manny were both well into their adult years and Fadim was an elder. “We go back,” Cian said, “but we do so carefully.” He grabbed the backpack from her and pulled out Parker’s handgun and his own, which was a few sizes larger, heavier and much more powerful. He would have preferred to go in as a wolf, but his wolf form was much larger than his human one and being in human form with a gun gave him the advantage of being able to put distance between himself and his targets while also allowing him to watch over Parker who couldn’t follow him into the middle of a melee battle. “Looks like we might be putting your sharpshooting skills to the test a bit ahead of schedule.”

“Could you at least put some pants on then,” Parker said, echoing Cian’s nervous joking. “In the off chance I die today I don’t want your pasty ass to be the last thing I ever see.”
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Re: Immortal Vindication Reboot

Post by Guilty Carrion on Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:10 pm

To call it a shit hole was an insult to shit holes everywhere. The bar was a relic, half rotted and standing on the bare minimum repairs that served to do little more than line its owner’s pockets a little more. Not that the patrons were really ones to complain. Thugs, thieves and traitors, the lot of them, all here to hide away for a few hours and forget the sins of the day. All in all, it really was the perfect place to hide.

The door opened with a light ring of the bell, and the newcomer ignored the numerous looks as he walked to the bar and took a stool. They didn’t take kindly to new folk, but it seemed they’d tolerate him just enough. The thickly built barkeep glanced at the man, not recognizing his shrouded face from the usual crowd. “What’ll ya have?”

“Scotch.” The man nodded, and quickly poured him a glass. Setting it down in front of him, the barkeep turned to walk away, only for the stranger to raise his hand for him to stop. “And information.” Every eye in the bar was on him now, dark and untrusting of the boldness of his words.

“Sorry, sir, we don’t sell information. Only liquor.” The barkeep half-hissed, eyes narrowing sharply. “If you’re after information, perhaps try a library, or a police station.” He moved swiftly away, returning to his duties at the other end of the bar. The stranger’s eyes glinted with amusement under his hood, shards of ice blue that almost seemed to freeze whatever he happened to look upon.

“No information from a barkeep, eh? What the hell is the world coming to? I’m just looking for Lobo.” The air grew stiff, every patron in the bar freezing in place as the man laughed deeply. “Ah. So you DO know about him. Perfect. That makes this easier. Where is he?”

A young man, no older than 18, rose from one of the tables. “Who the fuck is asking?” The man laughed harder, turning his head sharply to look at the boy, eyes sparking in the dark.

“A little runt ass punk is the only one with the balls to ask? Fuck, Lobo certainly is scraping the bottom of the barrel with you fuckers, ain’t he?” The man rose, stretching to his full height, easily dwarfing every other man in the room. The boy took a step back, swallowing hard before reaching behind him for the small pistol tucked into the hem of his pants. The titanic stranger was in front of him before he could blink, powerful hand gripping his wrist and twisting it violently onto the bar. “First mistake was standing up.” The rest stood up in a hurry, only to freeze when the man pulled a large hunting knife from inside his jacket. “Second, talking.” The knife spun around elegantly, glinting in the dim light of the bar. “Third, reaching. Dumb punk.” The boy screamed as the knife slammed through his hand, pinning the limb to the aged wood of the bar.

The pump of a shotgun caught his attention, and the stranger glanced back at the barkeep. “Get the fuck out. Now.” The man didn’t shake, and he could easily see the predatory glint lurking in the barkeep’s eyes.

“Heh. It’s a little late for threats, now ain’t it?” He reached into his jacket, smirking arrogantly as the barkeep took a step forward, gun levelling on the center of his chest. The cigarette he retrieved perched lazily on his lips, a worn silver lighter sparking as the arrogant man lit the small stick. The thugs were at the ready as well, various guns and weapons drawn from the dark corners of the bar. “Man. Lobo has you fuckers prepared.” He grinned savagely, flicking back his hood with a casual sweep of his hands.

The door exploded inwards, launching a hail of shrapnel into those closest to it. Before they could react, a trio of gunmen stormed into the room, AK-47’s at their hips barking a furious song as their rounds cut down the thugs too stupid to dive into cover. He lunged forward, grabbing the barrel of the shotgun and ripping it forcibly from the barkeep’s hands, spinning it once in his grip before smashing the gun back into the man’s skull. He crumpled with out a word, and the shotgun blasted what remained of his skull into fine red paste.

One of the thugs rushed him, swinging a lead pipe in a wide arc, but he expertly back stepped the blow. The man tried to swing it again, only to find his weapon caught in the larger man’s grip. His free hand dug itself into his shirt, hoisting the punk off his feet and straight into the head butt. The snap of the man’s nose was music to his ears, and he quickly ripped the pipe from the gangster’s grip, promptly spearing it into another’s throat.

Taking hold of the wounded man’s neck, he slammed his face into the bar once, relishing the scream of pain before slamming it down again, and again, and again. A few more blows stopped the screaming, and the next one after that made the satisfying crunch noise he was looking for, followed be the free rush of fluid as the man’s skull caved into nothing.

Wiping the blood on his dark jeans, he surveyed the damage of their little ‘raid’. The bar was mostly totalled, covered in bullet holes and blood stains. The gangsters were either dead or dying, a mixture of sobs and moans filling the once quiet room.

“A little late, Johnny, but thanks for the ‘save’.”

The lead gunman, a stout-looking blonde, glanced over, shaking his head at the ring leader’s arrogance. “When you’re bleeding on the floor one day, don’t come crying to me about it, Kaine.” A quick burst from his gun silenced another of the goons, and he motioned towards the door behind the bar. “I’m betting Lobo is in there.”

Kaine chuckled, a rumbling from deep within his throat that seemed to shake the room as he did. “Don’t get your panties in a twist. Lobo is about as bright as your average gang banger. He won’t have a way out.” He strolled behind the bar, not even bothering to avoid the fresh corpse of the barkeep. “Besides…what’s the worst he can do? Bite me?” The blonde snorted, motioning for the others to check the kitchen. “Douse it. I’ll burn it once I’m done.”

“And Lobo?”

“Burning is the least of his fucking worries, Johnny.” His eyes narrowed, hand tightening around the door handle as he watched his second-in-command shake his head.

“Alright. Make sure to get the info first.”

“I will. Make sure the boys are geared up and ready to go.” A low whistle was all that signalled Johnny’s departure, the crew from the kitchen following him out the ruined front door as Kaine pushed the back one open.

The room beyond was dark, a flickering light bulb in the far back the only source of light, and what it barely revealed was enough for him. “Fucking Christ, Lobo…” Mutilated cows lay strewn about the room, blood and gore making it difficult to see where one animal ended and another began. The smell alone was nearly enough to make him gag, but he pressed onward, catching sight of another door just across the room. When he reached it, however, he found it to be open. Squinting into the blackened office beyond, he searched for anything to tip off where its occupant had gone.

Nothing…had he been wrong about Lobo? No. He was never wrong, not about thugs like him. Then where..?

Golden eyes snapped open in the dark, and Kaine swore violently as he threw himself out of the doorway, the barrelling animal missing him by only a few inches. Deep groves marred the wood where he had been standing, as the human climbed quickly to his feet and stared across the room at the half-wolf half-man hybrid. “We gonna play this fucking game, Lobo?! You missed your god-damn check in, and you know I don’t like having wolves loose in this city.”

“Shut the fuck up, you white-ass waste of flesh! I’m gonna fucking tear you apart!” The words were rough, and barely eligible, but he got them well enough to get the message.

“I’ve been fucking waiting to pound your ass into the dirt for a loooong time, Lobo.” The Lycan howled the sound harsh and grating in the enclosed space they found themselves in, but Kaine barely even flinched. “You gonna fucking talk, or you gonna kill me, bitch?!”

Lobo lunged forward, jaws spread and aimed for the throat, but experience favoured the human today, expertly rolling to the side, before driving a powerful fist into the wolfen creature’s kidney. Yelping in pain, Lobo retreated back a few steps, swiping aggressively from just out of reach. “C’mon, Lobo! You’re what? Almost a hundred? You can do better than this.” He stepped forward, and the Lycan took a cautious step back, snarling angrily. “You afraid of me? Why’s that, Lobo? You remember what I did to your pack?”

They both lunged, the powerful Lycan bowling the slightly larger human over with little difficulty. He snapped furiously at Kaine’s head, but the fighter managed to duck his head to the side at the last second, and wrapped a thick arm around the Lycan’s neck. His fist pounded against the struggling wolf’s back, ignoring the claws as they tore into his jacket and flesh.

His grip loosened ever so slightly, but the werewolf exploited the lapse enough to pull his head free, a wicked smile spreading on his face as he brought his fangs in to bite at Kaine’s throat, only for the boot of said man to plant itself firmly on his stomach and launch the animal of and into the wall. Climbing to his feet, Kaine grinned that same maniac grin, rubbing a small dribble of blood from his mouth with the back of his hand. “Not bad, Lobo.” Before the werewolf could recover, he pulled out a large pistol, and fired a round off into the Lycan’s shoulder. “Now change back.”

Lobo hissed in pain, but forced himself to look the man in the eye. “No.”

Another round into the opposite shoulder. “I wasn’t asking.”

“Kiss my fucking ass!”

“Alright then. We’ll play it your way.” The gun barked twice more, breaking the Lycan’s knees with ease. That done, he disappeared from sight for a moment, heavy footsteps echoing through out the ruined building. Lobo swore under his breath, digging a finger into his shoulder and fishing out the silver bullet that burned at the skin. Casting it aside, he was about to retrieve the other when Kaine came back into view. “Ah ah ah. Don’t go pulling that out with your fingers. You’ll just make it worse.”

Squatting down in front of the Lycan, Kaine took a moment to examine the wounded animal. “So…you thought you could just…get away? Hole up here with an army of morons and expect me to just leave you alone?” The werewolf’s golden eyes flicked down to the glinting cleaver Kaine now held loosely in his right hand. “Don’t make me fucking laugh. You call yourself Lobo. You fucking advertise what you are, and you think you can just run out on me? We had a deal, Lobo. I expect you to deliver.”

He grabbed the Lycan’s hand, and pinned it to the floor. “Now. We’re going to lay down some ground rules. You try and move anything other than your mouth and your eyes, and I will take your god-damned hand. If you lie to me, I will take your fingers. One. By. One. If you behave, you’ll be free to start your life anew. Sound fair?”

Lobo nodded vigorously, eyes watching the blade twirl in his grip in fear. “Good. I’m glad we understand each other. Now, I asked you to find me any of the Ancients in the area.” Panic sparked in Lobo’s eyes, and Kaine’s grin grew wider. “Where are they, Lobo?”

“T-there aren’t any in Pho-” He screamed, the cleaver parting the skin and bone with disturbing ease, implanting itself in the wood with a thunk.

“Don’t fucking lie to me, Lobo. Where. Are. They?!”

“I don’t fucking know! I swear to god, I don’t fu-AAAAAAAH.”

“We’re gonna run out of fingers at this rate. You want to spend the rest of your miserable life with stumps?! I’ll take your legs if I have to, you worthless piece of shit! Now tell me where they are, Lobo.”

“I-I…I heard some ru-umours. An ancient. Up in the mountains.”

“Which mountains?”

“The Superstition Mountains! Small pack up there, but the leader is supposedly an ancient!”

The air was stiff for a moment, before Kaine chuckled. “See? Was that really so hard, Lobo?” He rose to his feet, watching the wounded Lycan pant heavily beneath him. He turned to go, only for a rough cough to stop him.

“You’re gonna keep your end, right? I’m free? Life anew and all that shit?”

Kaine nodded once. “I’m a man of my word.” The cleaver cracked with far too much ease into the bleeding man’s skull, splitting it wide like a melon. “Better luck next life, Lobo.” Retrieving his cigarette from the floor, he sighed upon finding it mostly wasted. “I hate wasting things.” The bar reeked of gasoline, he noted as he stepped through the door to the lobby proper once again. Reaching down, he retrieved the untouched glass of scotch from earlier, and took a sniff. “Ooo…some good stuff.” He pounded it back in one fell swoop, tossing the empty glass over his shoulder once it was drained.

Fetching the bottle it originated from off the wall, Kaine hopped the counter and walked to the door, only to glance back before he left. “I always hated this fucking bar.” Stooping low on the step, he placed his still burning cigarette in the gasoline trail, and watched the flames leap to life and race inside. For a few moments, he stood and watched the building burn, smile fading into a cold mask of neutrality that spoke nothing of everything he’d just done.

A short walk down the street brought him to his bike, a Harley Davidson that had obviously been through more than its fair share of scrapes in recent years. Swinging a leg over it, he fetched his cell phone from his pocket and dialled the first number listed. “Johnny. Get the boys mounted up and ready to roll.” His bike roared to life, and started off down the deserted midnight streets of Phoenix. “We’re going on a little hike.”
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