Gielnors Last Stand - The Future

/ By Vossler [+Watch]

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The flesh golem continued to tear through town, hunting down survivors and searching for its target. Very little slowed it down. Police cars got torn in half. Police officers got ripped apart and crushed to death. Helicopters got incinerated. To ensure that there were no witnesses, every building it walked past got methodically torched.

The golem's glassy eyes continued to search for its prey with absolute resolve and boundless determination. No doubts nor fears ran through the golem's mind, in fact very few thoughts were even present. Despite being made entirely of human bodies, the entity was far more machine than man. The golem was slow to progress, however, due to one of its orders: kill all witnesses. The result left a massive trail of carnage in the monster's wake.

It continued its search, unerring, following as much of the route that it saw Nerre take. Much of the route went unseen however, leaving the golem to guess which way Nerre went. The monster was perpetually driven to follow its commands. Running some basic calculations, it concluded that the most likely place for its target to go would have been the hospital. After looking around for a while, it recognized the hospital, and the golem slowly stomped over there, its tattered, bullet-riddled long coat flowing out behind.

_

Corpusraptor narrowed her gaze at Richard. [#131313 [b "It's simple strategy, really. False flag attack. It's why I sent you, and not one of my own. Incite one enemy to fight another. Then sit atop the mountain and watch the tigers fight."]]

Corpusraptor smiled, once again revealing her sharp, augmented teeth. [#131313 [b "You tell me. What do you think I will accomplish? What do you think I would desire? What do you think I would gain by killing a king and starting a war? What do you think I gain by creating chaos?"]]

Corpusraptor folded her petite hands together, still grinning as she spoke to the hired mercenary. Her gaze narrowed significantly. [#131313 [b "What is it that all rulers need to enforce their rule?"]]

[#131313 [b "Now, if you don't mind, I have another task for you... Kindly, would you please download the contents of the Hall of Records for me?"]] Corpusraptor smiled, and handed over a small, intricately designed data drive. It consisted of a thin, flat stick shaped device covered in a white, matte plastic, cut into some stylized forms, and the Phoenix Laboratories logo engraved onto the surface. A few small, faint blue diodes extruded from the surface. The drive had a universal adapter on one side, and small button opposite. A safety shroud covered the adapter to prevent particles from damaging it, but could be easily pushed aside with a thumb. The drive itself was only about as long as a hand, from middle finger to wrist.

[#131313 [b "This is top of the line Phoenix Laboratories technology. One of only five prototypes. They have been tested and work exceptionally well, and can hold 600 petabytes of information. It stores more information than most computers can even hold. Next month they are going to begin commercial production, and will go for more money than most people make in their entire lifetime. It is estimated that only 200 will even ever be made. Don't ask how I got my hands on it.]]

[#131313 [b "It is easy to use, simply insert it into a corresponding universal adapter slot, and tell the computer to download its data onto it. When the blinkenlights flash, it has finished downloading. Do not press the button on the rear of the drive, as that will wipe all data on it."]]

Corpusraptor folded her arms. Now all she had to do was wait.

_
Characters
[#131313 #131313] = Corpusraptor
[#bf1111 #bf1111] = Dr. Fanswick (Deceased)
[#34af92 #34af92] = Hired Mercenary (Deceased)
[#17a1a9 #17a1a9] = Phoenix Laboratories Security Guard 1
[#2c93af #2c93af] = Phoenix Laboratories Security Guard 2
[#a3a3a3 #a3a3a3] = Dr. Sarah White
[#708499 #708499] = RPOG Officer 1 (Deceased)
[#4682b4 #4682b4] = RPOG Officer 2
  Corpusraptor / ShadowOfSkills / 2y 1d 20h 56m 2s
Richard nodded. "He is indeed dead...This is madness though, killing a king? Are you insane?" He asked Corpus.

He sighed and sat down on a couch near the entrance of the room. "What will this accomplish if you do not mind me asking?" He asked her.

_
Atlas arrived to the scene where the Golem was. He noticed Kalas was there tending to Joseph. "Where did it go?" He asked Kalas.

"South of here, that's where the Hall of Records is! We have some info in there that would be deadly if it got in the wrong hands!"

"I...I don't think that moron would know what to do with that info. It would just burn it probably...Guards are stationed there as well so it's safe. The General Hospital is there though...I highly doubt it would be heading there to be honest...It will tire or die eventually. Let's all rest." Joseph said almost incoherent.

Kalas nodded. "Go rest Atlas. We got this."

Atlas nodded and got in his car and headed home. He went unlocked the front door and went inside. "I hope you're right Joseph..."
  Arcanus Arcanum / HEAD ES PROGRAMMER / Vossler / 1y 142d 14h 56m 12s
Headquarters seemed to be in a panic as officer filled cars raced out of
the underground parking lot. Joseph parked his car on the side of the
street just in front of the building. As he opened the door he could hear
screams off in the distance. [+blue What is going on?] He slowly began to walk up to the main entrance. An officer greeted him as he entered. [+red "Hello sir we are glad you could make it"] The officer said. Joseph could hear the held back panic in his voice. "What is going on here?" [+red "A Flesh Golem is on a rampage killing everyone in sight."] The officer seemed to be worried about something, his family no doubt. Joseph sigh " Go home and check on your family." the officers eyes widened as he bowed his head and ran out of the lobby. Joseph shook his head [+blue This is serious, Nerre only disabled the monster. Hmmm something is going on here why is he being targeted in the first place]
Joseph folded his arms as he began going through each scenario in his head. [+blue The only way I can figure this out is to find Nerre but first the flesh golem must be stopped] Joseph had no idea where Ganzu was he down a hall on the right of the lobby to Ganzu's office. He opened the door and peeked his head in. No one was there tho the faint smell of Ganzu's colgna still lingered. [+blue Hmm he must have just left] A loud bang was heard right outside of Headquarters. [+blue What the..] Within seconds a car smashed through the wall next to him. Joseph dropped to the floor but not before the car slammed his shoulder back breaking it. He laid there for awhile the pain was unbearable but Joseph kept through it. He could hear the monster outside with its raspy breath flinging cars looking for survivors. Joseph slowed his breath in fear of it hearing him.
  Joseph Glister / Kekaishia / 2y 29d 1h 47m 23s
Nerre tilted his head back, his heart racing. This wasn’t the first time someone was trying to kill him, but this was [i dumb]. He slept with a glass of water by his futon, a few drops of arsenic would have done the trick and none would have been the wiser. A sniper outside his apartment. A pretty girl with a knife in his office. Instead, someone was trying to send a message. Well, message received.

He wasn’t going to take this sitting down. Fleeing to his home country wasn’t a bad prospect, but there was no reason to think his pursuer wouldn’t just send someone else. And then there was the risk of harm to his family. No, this was something that had to be settled here. First, however, Nerre needed to disappear, and the white sports sedan with the sleek, aerodynamic design was drawing far too much attention. Nerre brought the car to a halt, making sure to stop a few blocks away from his intended destination.

___

Hanging up the last of her laundry, the young woman slumped wearily onto her couch, switching on her TV. Lazily, she flicked through the channels, her eyes glazing over as Gielnor’s dull broadcasts failed to ignite her imagination. She paused, paying brief attention to a poor quality drama that had captured the imaginations of her classmates. A thin actress, renowned in Gielnor for the beauty of her pale skin and platinum blonde hair, made a terrible attempt at reciting a trite cliché about the nature of love. Her co-star, equally disinterested, listlessly took her into his arms as a sentimental string swell blared through the television.

“Yawn.”

Maya Sainterlin was an actress too, and an embittered one. While local theatre groups praised her for her range and delivery, she struggled to get work. Running a dark hand through a curly brown afro, she quietly wondered to herself why the local population didn’t seem to sympathise. Perhaps this was why she had grown so curious about the talented Nernian professor she had met at a function a few weeks prior. Of course, he’d vanished as quickly as he’d appeared, and her calls were quickly met with feigned ignorance.

“Hey Nerre, it’s Maya.”

“Sorry, wrong number.”

“Nerre, I know it’s yo-“

Click. Maya changed the channel. Prime TV were airing a rerun of Ashley Silver’s renowned cooking show. It’d have to do. Maya kicked back and watched with a vague sense of interest as Silver explained the elegance of the [i sous-vide] process. A knock came at the door.

“I didn’t order a pizza, fuck off!”

[i Knock knock.]

“I am not interested in your lord and saviour, no.”

[i Knock knock.]

“Urgh!” Angrily, Maya snatched a still damp oversized t-shirt from the clothing rack and pulled it on, shivering at how cold it was.

“I swear to god, this better be the most important-“ Maya threw the door open.

Nerre gave a half hearted smile, clutching one arm with the other. She crossed her arms and tilted her head at the sudden intruder.

“Fuck do you think you’re doing coming back here?”

Nerre awkwardly pulled off his coat to reveal his shirt, drenched in blood.

“It’s a long story, can I sit down?”

_

“So you came here and not the hospital?” she asked, putting a first aid kit down onto the table.

“Whoever’s trying to kill me has a lot of resources. They’d probably be waiting around for me. I know you’ve been working as nurse lately so - ow!”

Nerre clenched his teeth and inhaled sharply as she sunk the needle into the side of his arm. He wasn’t sure at which point he’d taken such a deep wound, but the bloody interior of his car had made him realise the damage that he’d taken during the fight.

“Hold still.”

“Don’t worry, I wasn’t followed. I took an indirect route and I parked several blocks away. I even came into this building through the fire exit. Nobody knows I’m here. I need to go into hiding for a while.”

“I see. You’re always hiding from something, aren’t you.”

Nerre remained silent as she continued to stitch the wound shut.

“…I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t trust you.”

“You hurt me, Nerre.”

He smiled. He did that a lot. Maya took a pair of scissors to the string hanging off him.

“All done.” She got to her feet, crossing the room to put the first aid kit away. Nerre’s eyes followed her long legs across the room.

“Hey, I don’t suppose you wanna…” Nerre asked, suggestively.

“No.” she replied flatly. “Get out of my apartment.”

He shrugged, taking a shirt from the clothing rack. [i One of his.]

“Fair enough. Hey, Maya. If I don’t die, can I ask you out for a coffee once this is all over?”

She paused, leaning against the kitchen counter.

“You can ask.”

He smiled, sincerely for once.

“Thanks.”

And with that, he was gone.
  nerre. / Tengu / 2y 34d 19h 24m 53s
Policemen swarmed around the downed golem. Such creatures were rare, and the dark magics used to create one such as this were both potent and illegal. Few people could make such a monstrosity. Built for brute strength, insane durability, and relentless persistence, the flesh golem was still driven; it would take a great application of force to kill it. Still on the ground, it violently reached a heavy, stitched arm out to one of the officers and immediately crushed the spine. The rest of the policemen began to back away, and fired upon the golem. Each bullet poked a small hole in the grayed skin, and coagulated blood slowly oozed from the wounds. The creature did not even flinch, instead focusing its attention to its commands: kill all witnesses.

With a sweeping motion, the golem grabbed another officer by the head, tearing off head and ripping out spine, the rest of the lifeless body flung down the street. The rest of the policemen were driven into a panic at that point, and proceeded to flee the unstoppable killing machine.

[#708499 [b "RPOG! Please respond! We have a situation on 23rd street! Rampaging golem! We need reinforcements!"]] an officer shouted fearfully into his com-piece. Only moments later, a street sign hurled towards him, impaling him through the left lung.

[#4682b4 [b "We read you, loud and clear. Reinforcements are on their way."]] a voice through the com-piece responded.

_

An all black van with reflective windows and no license plate arrived to pick up Richard. As it drove away from the palace, it met up with a motorpool of two dozen identical vehicles, driving downtown. After driving together, and changing positions repeatedly, the motorpool split up, each one driving to a different parking garage. From the parking garage, the getaway driver gestured Richard to a white hearse. The hearse then drove a short distance to the South Phoenix Town Morgue.

Waiting for him in a back room was Corpusraptor. [#131313 [b "So, is he dead yet?"]] she asked, smiling. [#131313 [b "I do like it so well when my plans and gambits come together. Did you enjoy your ride? Should keep RPOG off our tails for a while, provided they even turn their attention to us at all. They're rather busy at the moment."]]

_
Characters
[#131313 #131313] = Corpusraptor
[#bf1111 #bf1111] = Dr. Fanswick (Deceased)
[#34af92 #34af92] = Hired Mercenary (Deceased)
[#17a1a9 #17a1a9] = Phoenix Laboratories Security Guard 1
[#2c93af #2c93af] = Phoenix Laboratories Security Guard 2
[#a3a3a3 #a3a3a3] = Dr. Sarah White
[#708499 #708499] = RPOG Officer 1 (Deceased)
[#4682b4 #4682b4] = RPOG Officer 2
  Corpusraptor / ShadowOfSkills / 2y 62d 22h 38m 42s
As she reached behind her getting ready to move another voice rang out from the ally way as an idiot of a bounty hunter shot a gun from behind the two trying to hit the figure in front of her Lilly let out a loud scream of frustration seeing that he had gotten away once again "Thanks a lot you twit" she said as she punched the other in their face and left from the site she was annoyed heading a little deeper in to Phoenix Town. the young woman needed to find something else to punch and quickly or she might just go back and use the hunter that cost her a large caught as her new punching bag . "I cannot believe this" she said as she slowly took a breath
  Lilly / EternalSnow / 2y 71d 8h 37m 24s
Richard arrived near the castle and noticed a blue dumpster in an alley near the castle. He went through the dumpster and received his items: A purple cloak, pistol, and knife.

"Perfect." He said to himself before closing the dumpster and scouting out the castle. "Two guards at the front...Hmm..." He looked above him; A lone building next to the alley he was just in had a ladder leading to the roof. It was a good vantage point for the castle.

Richard climbed up it and scouted out the castle once more before determining that there was an opening on the top. He threw a glass bottle south of him and the guards looked at each other and ran towards that direction. Richard climbed back down and he knew the front was still out of the option. He snuck behind the castle and saw two more guards patrolling.

"Who are you?" They asked.

"Uh." Richard said before taking out the knife and slashing their throats with ease. He then arrived at the back and grabbed a hold of stone bricks that were protruding out of the back due to age. He climbed them and quickly jumped through the opening at the top and he landed in the laundry area.

"Okay...Oh look a map." He stared at the wall map and peeked out the hallway and noticed four guards walking by. Richard hid behind a pile of laundry and let them pass before he went into the hallway.

Richard stuck to the shadows of the dimly lit hallway and ducked into the next room that was a room away from the laundry room. "Empty." He told himself. He heard more guards walk by and he hid under the bed and let them pass, but this time they didn't. They went inside the room Richard was in.

"Goodnight Gabe." One of the three guards said.

"Goodnight." Gabe said as the three guards left and the fourth one sat on his bed.

Richard sighed and slid out from underneath the bed and quickly snuck out before Gabe turned around and spotted him.

He finally arrived at the throne room and spotted the king sitting there on his cell phone. He was entertaining himself since he was sick and couldn't do anything else.

"Come in...And close the door behind you. This is just between the two of us." Desto said to Richard.

Richard went pale and stepped inside and shut the door. "Such a fool you are to invite me in.' he said.

Desto chuckled and sighed. "You're a fool to think you can kill me. I'll be replaced soon. Hell, I'm going to die soon anyway so you'd me doing me a favor."

Richard pulled out his pistol. "Do you know who I am old man? Who I represent?"

"It's surely not the Arcane Clan that's for sure. For one, they have an aura about them that even I can sense. You are just a petty criminal...Nothing more."

Richard growled and kept the gun pointed at Desto.

"I built this town from the ground up. I was one of the many who escaped the horrifying event that is known today as Old Gielnor. I gave survivors hope when no one else could. We were all evacuated to the north and the wizards quickly conjured up a cheap magic barrier. After that we were told this was our new home. An empty field with nothing but a mountain to the north. I couldn't stand to watch these poor people suffer like this...So I gathered builders in the large group of survivors and we built a small village known as Phoenix Town. Ever wonder where the name came from? We rose from the ashes of the darkness and we were reborn to do greater things. The first town in our new home. It went from a small village to a small town, then to a small town to a medium town and so forth. Now look at us, this town, this world. It has evolved into something greater than ourselves. Greater than you and I." Desto said.

"Listen, I came here to kill you. Not to listen to a fucking history lecture." Richard replied angrily.

"Do it. I promise that if you do, you would accomplish nothing. The RPOG would find out and you would be killed. If you don't however, you would be a coward...A lapdog. So you have a choice. Either kill me now, and free me of this disease I have...And be wanted for regicide...Or don't kill me, and let me die slowly...But just be a petty criminal who couldn't even kill Gielnors king in front of him."

It happened too fast. Richard pulled the trigger as the bullet went through Destos head and splattered his blood and brain matter all over the back of his chair. Desto slumped forward and dropped his phone which Richard quickly scanned through for important stuff before sending files to his encrypted phone. He broke Destos phone and climbed a pillar next to the throne and went through a window before heading back to the front where his driver was waiting. Richard got in and the man drove off and Richard took off his cloak and they stopped near a magic disposal hub where trash could vanish forever. He dumped the weapons, and cloak and then the kings broken phone and left back in the car.
  Arcanus Arcanum / HEAD ES PROGRAMMER / Vossler / 1y 142d 15h 22m 37s
Josephs phone rang as he stood up from his leather recliner. As he picked up the phone, he intently stared at the caller ID. "Hmm... Ganzu this can't be good" He said to himself before answering the call. "Yes Ganzu" the phone was silent for a moment before the man began to speak. "Joseph we have a problem." The man said in a monotone voice "What is it?" Joseph wondered what other bad news could come from tonight. "Nerre's house has been targeted. There is many casualties, most are civilians and we have one officer KIA" Joseph ran to his coat which was hanging from a mahogany coat rack "Where is Nerre?" He could hear Ganzu sigh on the other side of the line "He made a call into us with the downed officer and what appears to be a flesh golem. We do not have Nerre's location but we will see if we can find him" Joseph opened the front door and headed to his car. "No i will find him" He hung up the phone and dialed Nerre's cell number "Nerre when you get this meet me at HQ as soon as possible". Joseph started his car and sped off into the distants.
  Joseph Glister / kekaishia / 2y 86d 3h 7s
Nerre had left his apartment the second he heard the message. Generally, he liked to sleep in before work, unless he was making a swift escape from the home of some beautiful married woman. But one of his pupils had passed away unexpectedly, and an old mentor of his had elected to make the call. Evidently, the RPOG were worried - Ganzu Varson himself was overseeing the case. This didn’t make much sense to Nerre. Did they believe the Arc was involved?

Nerre’s white sports sedan came to a gentle halt outside the mortuary, where a young man in RPOG uniform waited outside. Nerre stepped out, his car whizzing away by itself to find an appropriate parking spot.

“You must be Dr. Kiwanuka.”

“Nerre. Pronounced Neh-ruh.”

“Kalas Varkas, pleased to meet you.”

Nerre shook the policeman’s hand without any further pleasantries.

“I’m so sorry for your loss, sir.”

Nerre shook his head.

“Have her parents been informed?”

“Yes, they’re with Ganzu right now.”

“Mm.”

Nerre followed the young policeman inside, wishing he had dressed more appropriately. The morgue was austere and cold, like the bodies that occupied it. Nerre had never been inside such a place before. He wondered if perhaps the image of the white sheet over a once-human form on a cold metal slab was his least favourite thing in the world. As Kalas opened the door for him, that was the image he was treated to. On one side of the table, Nerre immediately recognised Mr. and Mrs. Faris, the girl’s parents. He had never met them before, but she had inherited her mother’s poise, and her father’s countenance. Both parents carried themselves with dignity, dressed in fine Amarthene-made formalwear. On the other side stood Ganzu, the head of the Royal Police of Gielnor, but Nerre made a beeline for the grieving couple. In spite of their expensive air, it was evident that they had not gotten any sleep the night before.

“Mr. and Mrs. Faris, I’m at a loss for words. If there’s anything I can do, please…” Nerre trailed off.

“You must be Dr. Kiwanuka. Our daughter was a big fan.” Mr. Faris sobbed, struggling to keep his composure.

“Thank you for coming. We were told you might know something.” his wife added.

Nerre glanced at the stony-faced man dressed in navy fatigues. His beard and demeanour suggested age and experience, but the professor could sense Ganzu’s youth in his eyes.

“I have a rough idea.”

He looked down at the white cloth with the form of the girl underneath it.

“Would you like to see her, Mr. Kiwanuka?” asked her mother.

Nerre didn’t, but he did not wish to seem disrespectful. He nodded, gingerly pulling back the cover. The last time he had seen a corpse was when his grandmother passed away. He had spent days travelling back to his home nation of Jamhuri, deep within the Nernian continent, for the funeral. His master had looked at him with bemusement. Family had meant very little to her, as she had grown up without one. Karla looked as he remembered her, if a little paler. Her eyes had been closed. Deep down, Nerre felt a slight bit of relief - her head was intact. He dared not pull the cover down any further than her broken neck, knowing the height of the building she had fallen from. He covered her up again, and turned to her parents.

“I’d like to discuss this with Ganzu in private, if that’s okay with you. We’ll just be a few minutes.”

Mr. Faris nodded, sniffling, and the couple shuffled sadly out of the room. Nerre faced the policeman, but continued to stare at the white cloth that covered one of his students.

“You said she had Green Lightning in her system, correct?”

“That’s right.”

“And I’m sure you’re well aware that Green Lightning, while having a whole host of short term memory issues, is not liable to make a young woman climb onto the roof of a locked building and subsequently throw herself off it.”

“It’s anomalous, yes.”

Nerre reached into his jacket pocket and revealed the small bag of Limelight he’d taken from the day before, raising it to eye level before quietly placing into Ganzu’s palm and closing his fingers around the contraband.

“They call it Limelight. It’s being distributed from a warehouse in South Phoenix Town, on the corner of 9th. It’s being distributed by Phoenix Laboratories. Obviously a front for something else, but that’s the first port of call for dealers in the area, and the only thing the kids at PTU are taking. It’s cheap shit. Badly synthesised, short high. Causes some interesting hallucinations. Definitely killed Karla.”

Ganzu let out a low whistle, impressed.

“Looks like you’ve done your research.”

“Yeah,” Nerre replied, staring at the exit. “Look, Mr. Varson. I’ve got a lecture to give on pre-magical revolution irrigation techniques in about an hour, and I have to go back to my apartment to get some notes. Karla should be in that lecture theatre, sleeping through a dreary explanation on the risks of excessive salinisation, but instead I’m going to have to tell her friends that she’s dead. Will you offer Mr and Mrs. Faris my deepest condolences?”

Ganzu nodded, stony faced.

“Thank you. Here’s my mobile number. Don’t be afraid to contact me if you need anything.”

Nerre left the morgue quickly, hoping to never return. As if on cue, his white sports car pulled up in front of him, its magic-electric motors humming to a gentle halt as the scissor doors stood to attention, welcoming him inside. Nerre gave a quick command, and laid back in his seat, stretching out and closing his eyes. Perhaps he could catch a quick nap while the car drove itself home.

He was awoken by a tap on the window. Another RPOG policeman, tapping away. “Sir, sir!” Nerre lowered the window, glaring at the policeman.

“What’s the issue?”

The policeman glanced around, evidently panicked.

“There’s been an explosion on 23rd street. A lot of dead. Fire everywhere. We’ve had to shut down the whole area while we figure what’s going on. I suggest you turn back.”

Nerre grunted. “I [i live] on 23rd.”

“You’re not going anywhere, sir.”

“I guess not. Alright, thanks.”

Nerre spun the car around and punched in a new location, slowly circling the police cordon until he had reached the opposite end of 23rd street. There was no mistaking it. The lower blocks of his apartment building, engulfed in flame. Nerre needed to get closer. He parked up at the side of the street, leaving his coat in the car, and dipped into a nearby alley. Peering around the corner, Nerre spotted a bored policeman, shining his torch on a group of rats, who scattered on contact with the light. Without a sound, the silver-haired professor scuttled up an emergency ladder on the side of the building and made his way onto the roof, creeping across from one roof to another until he could no longer see the policeman in the alley. He shimmied down a pipe, now a block away from what was formerly his apartment. Immediately, he knew something was amiss. The flames burned a sickly yellow. This was not a natural fire, it was chemical.

Creeping carefully closer, a hulking figure emerged from the flames. The smoke, a thick white, ate through the concrete structure of his formerly glass home. He realised getting any closer would almost certainly spell death - this was a chemically induced fire, after all. Nerre bolted back across the rooftop, intending to head for his car. All he could hear was the full roar of the flames behind him, when suddenly a sharp scream cut through the gloom beneath him. He froze, carefully peering down into the alley. His heart sank. A gigantic figure, standing a few feet taller than a man and three times as wide, casually tossed aside the mangled corpse of the policeman that had been patrolling there moments before. The hulking man-beast continued slowly ahead, silently, small licks of chemical flame dancing along the surface of his black trenchcoat. Whatever it was, it was limping, wounded by the violent chemical fire it had inflicted on the nearby street. Nerre thought for a moment, wondering if it was a good idea to try and get some more clues off the hideous construct. Perhaps it would be best to keep a low profile. Conversely, if he was being targeted, they’d find him regardless if he didn’t go into hiding. The tall, dark, Nernian professor with silver hair didn’t exactly blend in with Phoenix Town’s distinctly white crowds. At least if he knew what he was up against…

Nerre scuttled across the rooftop, grabbing a nearby plant pot as he made his way to the edge of the roof. Ruing the loss of some nice fern, he took careful aim, and dropped it. Even in spite of the roaring flames and distant sirens, Nerre could hear the sound of terracotta shattering over the head of the golem. For a moment, it teetered unsteadily, before crashing down onto its face. Nerre slid down the ladder and drew cautiously closer to examine his handiwork. Whatever this thing was, it wasn’t human. The muscular structure was all wrong, and not something a human skeleton could support. Cautiously, he crouched down, examining the creature closer. Doing his best to remain calm, he pulled his phone from his pocket, and made a call to the RPOG.

“This is Dr. Nerre Kiwanuka, associate professor at the University of Phoenix Town. I need you to listen closely. There’s some kind of monster in the alleyway behind the P-Mart on 23rd street. I’m pretty sure he’s responsible for the fire. One officer down, I think he’s dead. I’ve incapacitated the creature. Send help.”

He hung up without waiting for an answer, and quickly approached the fallen police officer, who looked in terrible state. Blackened eyes, bleeding from the nose and mouth. Typical signs of a basilar skull fracture. Nerre gently placed his fingers on the corner of the man’s bruised neck, just to be sure. No pulse. Unsurprisingly, the man was dead. He sighed, closing the man’s blackened eyes with his fingers, and getting to his feet. He turned, not having the time to respond before taking a titanic fist to the side of his head. Nerre spiralled to the ground, dazed. He clutched his head, seeing stars as the hulking brute drew closer. Taken by surprise by something so big. How embarrassing. Nerre unsteadily got to his feet, slapping himself on the cheeks and slowly sliding into a loose fighting stance.

_


[i Nerre fell hard onto his back, the young woman’s weight bearing down hard onto him. He threw out a wild punch, his fist meeting air, before she caught him and quickly slipped position. Nerre called out in pain as she wrapped her legs around his arm and began to pull back.]

[i “I forfeit, I forfeit, arghh!”]

[i She let him go, casually standing up and dusting herself off. Nerre had tried a different tactic, and it had ended disastrously for him. He lay there staring at the woman in the loose fitting gi, nursing his arm. He was so sure that today would be different, but it seemed like his master would always be a few steps ahead of him. She up pulled her sleeve, which had fallen away from a sinewy shoulder, and readjusted her belt.]

[i “Nerre. I’m impressed.”]

[i She rarely paid him compliments. Normally she cut away at his ego with terse words. [b You’re too slow. You’re not trying hard enough. I’ve told you not do that.] But that day, if unconvincingly, she paid him a compliment. She did not smile, nor did she offer to help him up; she spoke in her usual monotone, with as few words as possible. But she said she was impressed, and she never lied.]

[i “Nerre. You’re tall. You’ve got much longer arms than me. Always push that advantage against your opponent. Run if you have to. Be pragmatic.”]

[i That day, he had taken special care to stay as far away from his master’s lightning fast fists as he could, and she had noticed, perhaps faster than he had. His strikes all seemed to miss, or glance off her completely, as she flowed and danced elegantly between his arms, delivering thundering counters until she caught him off balance and quickly ended the fight. He stared out at the sea, watching the ebb and flow of the tide. The waves would vanish, feeling out every crevice of the beach, and then suddenly crash mightily down on the rocks. Nerre learned something about himself that day.]

_

The golem brought his gargantuan fist down as Nerre weaved the other way and snapped his fist foward aggressively, driving his strikes into the monster’s head. The monster continued to swing, with Nerre responding in turn. Soon, the fibers of his being that begged him to run began to disappear. Strike, weave, duck, counter. Ebb, flow, ebb, flow. It was then Nerre saw his opening. [b Crash.] The monster stumbled backwards, tripping and falling onto its back. For a moment, Nerre remembered his master, the range of lethal holds and locks that she had taught him, often painfully, on the ground. But this was no human opponent. Nerre had no interest in wrestling the creature. Slowly, but surely, the Golem began to struggle to its feet, its own weight and its injuries from the fire leaving it unsteady.

[i “Be pragmatic.”]

Nerre looked around, wondering what, if anything, could finish the hideous creature. He’d need something bigger than terracotta. The golem charged, arms extended, leaving him no space to escape. Nerre vaulted the creature, landing inelegantly behind it, and breathed a silent apology to the dead policeman as he quickly patted down the body. [i There.] The wounded golem turned around to see straight down the barrel of a dead policeman’s gun.

Barely a minute later, the alley was swarming with policemen, crowded around the two bodies in the alley - that of their dead colleague, and that of the monster that slew him. The young doctor, however, had elected not to stay behind. He lay back in his white sedan as it sped away, dripping blood on the upholstery.

“Take me to…”
  nerre. / Tengu / 2y 97d 9h 38m 22s
Corpusraptor grinned at Richard. [b [#131313 "Yeah, I can get you some of those. I can also get you one of their pistols, in case things get... difficult."]]

The mob boss reached into one of her coat pockets, and removed from it a brand new Arcane Clan throwing knife. From another pocket, she removed a fairly discrete compact pistol, which looked to be exactly the model used by a few Arc members during the recent terrorist attacks. After showing them off, she returned them to the inside of her jacket.

[b [#131313 "These will be delivered to you when you are in position. Don't worry, my people will know. Your getaway driver will show up 25 minutes after you receive your weapons. I'm sure this will be simple for someone with your skills, no?"]]

After Richard left, Corpusraptor departed from the warehouse, taking the form of her alias Dr. Sarah White once more. She returned to her penthouse, back in her "normal" form, before receiving a phone call.

[b [#131313 "Oh? What do you mean someone is getting too close to the limelight operation?"]] Corpusraptor shouted in disbelief. [b [#131313 "I suppose we'll have to show him what he's getting himself in on. I'll be sending one of my flesh golems. Yes, with all DNA samples erased. Yes, I'm aware this will make RPOG more anxious. They still won't be able to trace it to us."]]

_

That night, a tall, bald, gray figure in a large, black trenchcoat stormed towards a set of apartment complexes, armed with a military grade flamethrower. The figure had simple instructions: burn down the apartments, kill the person known as Nerre, and kill all witnesses. It was best to keep the instructions simple as flesh golems such as this one were not good with complex commands. The flamethrower had a little secret, however; one that the flesh golem need not know: the normal fuel had been replaced with chlorine triflouride, a rather dangerous chemical. The flesh golem raised the flamethrower without a word, glassy eyes gazing upon the apartment complex, before letting out a massive jet of flaming liquid. The flourine fire scorched the balconies, before setting the concrete and bricks ablaze. Near instantly, the smoke detectors and sprinklers went off, but this was of little hope. Within the instant that the sprinklers activated, and the water droplets hit the burning flamethrower fire, it exploded violently. Screams of agony could be heard down the street, as many of the residents of the apartment complex burned alive, being completely stripped of flesh in less than a minute, and the bone continuing to burn. As the screaming continued, the flesh golem continued to hose down the apartment with jets of flourine fire, as well as witnesses who were gathering in the streets, leading to more screams as the flames ate through cloth, skin, flesh, and bone. Burning fuel that ended up on the road began to spread fire there, as the flames ate through the road.

_
Characters
[#131313 #131313] = Corpusraptor
[#bf1111 #bf1111] = Dr. Fanswick (Deceased)
[#34af92 #34af92] = Hired Mercenary (Deceased)
[#17a1a9 #17a1a9] = Phoenix Laboratories Security Guard 1
[#2c93af #2c93af] = Phoenix Laboratories Security Guard 2
[#a3a3a3 #a3a3a3] = Dr. Sarah White
  Corpusraptor / ShadowOfSkills / 2y 106d 41m 52s
Phoenix town had seemed to have changed very little sence the last time she was in it . Lilly moved along the main streets before she stopped her eyes had noticed a familiar face with out saying a word she started moving closer knowing those eyes anywhere taunting her every time turning in an ally way she parted her lips "how long are we going to play this game" she said slightly annoyed
  Lilly / EternalSnow / 2y 106d 4h 28s
Richard nodded. "That will most defenitly put the RPOG in a tough position. It will also make them want to fight The Arc even more." He pulled out a cigarette that had a red filter. "Just give me a throwing knife. Preferrably one of those ones with the red gem on the hilt...That's what The Arc uses nowadays and it will make the murder seem more believable." He smirked and waited for Corpus' to hand him the materials for the assassination.

[h3 [b [i [center Josephs House]]]]

Joseph was an elderly man from Nernias, he was a man of Italian and Spanish lineage. He had a grey goatee and short grey hair to go with it. He was sitting down on a leather recliner staring deep into a stone fireplace. Joseph dialed Nerres number on his phone and waited for an answer but Nerre wasn't there. "Nerre, Ganzu needs to see you early in the morning tomorrow...Apparently a student snuck onto the school grounds and climbed all the way up to the top of the school itself and jumped off of it. They found drugs in their system, and an I.D." Joseph took a sip of his coffee and continued. "Her name was Karla Faris. They say it was Green Lightning. I think she was one of your students right? Kalas will also be with Ganzu. Meet them at the Departed Souls Morgue." Joseph hung up after leaving the voicemail and sat his phone down on the coffee table in front of him.

[h3 [b [i [center Phoenix Town Castle]]]]

"Sir, you got your results back from the hospital." Mason, Destos butler said.

Desto just sat in his throne chair staring at the long hallway entrance in front of him that held many rooms. "It's terminal isn't it?"

Mason looked down and sighed. "Yes Sir...It is."

Desto only let out a chuckle. "A brain tumor...How funny is that?..." He stood up but combined with his old age and illness he trembled. "No one but the doctors and people inside these walls must know about this. No one Mason." He had help sitting back down.

"Understood Sir." Mason bowed down to King Desto and walked off.
  Arcanus Arcanum / HEAD ES PROGRAMMER / Vossler / 2y 110d 13h 30m 45s
The cinders drifted away from the balcony rail, fading into the street below. Nerre looked down, putting out his cigarette. It was only his third over the last week, and he had extinguished it far from the filter. In spite of his other problems, Nerre had lost interest in smoking. Perhaps, he thought, it was time to quit. He procured the carton from his coat pocket, and replaced the half smoked cigarette. Staring at the packaging for a moment, he made up his mind, casually tossing it over the guardrail and onto the road beneath him. Nerre abhorred littering, but loved symbolism.

Dressed in a faded grey hoodie and some fake trainers, a young man looked down at the cream-coloured box that landed at his feet, then up at the white-haired man on the third-floor balcony. In spite of the distance, the two made eye contact, and immediately lit a spark of recognition between the two.

"You can have them if you want," Nerre called out. "There's fourteen left."

The young man crouched down and examined the box for a moment before opening it and checking its contents. Fourteen and a half cigarettes. He looked up and tried to call thanks, but Nerre was no longer stood on the balcony. Bemused, he pocketed the cigarettes, and leisurely carried on down the street. It was not long before Nerre had caught up to him.

"Hey."

"Hello."

Nerre smiled amicably.

"You sold me some F at the eastern Tower festival a couple months ago, right?"

The young drug dealer looked awkwardly from side to side - since blackout day, the Royal Police had been collectively breathing down everyone's necks, and the volume of drugs flowing into Phoenix Town had slowed to a trickle. It was impossible to get a hold of any Fairy Dust. All he had was...

"... I was wondering if you were selling any of this shit." Nerre said coolly, procuring the bag of green powder that had been the focus of his attention for the last day.

The young dealer looked around, concerned. "Woah. That's quite lot. Yeah. I'm your guy."

He gestured towards an alley some twenty feet away.

"Meet me there in half an hour, and I'll give you what you need."

Nerre nodded and turned back, as if to return to his apartment, but then paused shortly after. The dealer carried on, unaware that the white-haired professor was now quietly following him from the other side of the road. South downtown was relatively quiet, as had been the case for a while following blackout day. People were afraid to go out, concerned that the so-called "Arc" was watching them. This made tailing the dealer very difficult, as there was little in terms of crowds to blend into. Nerre often found himself disappearing into shop fronts and intentionally jogging through roundabout routes that would lead him back into the dealer's range, but after about a quarter hour of his clandestine efforts, the dealer arrived at a small warehouse. Reaching a small side door, the dealer knocked, three times, and said something to the person behind the metal door, perhaps a service entrance, or a fire escape. The door opened slightly, then all the way, and the dealer disappeared into the darkness within. Not wanting to get caught watching, Nerre made a mental note of the warehouse's location and headed back to the alley.

It was early evening, but it felt like night in the small pathway. The bitter stench of piss and spilled beer stung Nerre's nostrils, and it seemed to serve only as a space between two buildings. Graffiti crept up the walls like frost, and Nerre lamented the lack of an easy way out. The entrance was the exit. He hoped the dealer would come alone. Fortunately for Nerre, he did.

"You're late." Nerre muttered, looking at his wrist. He wasn't wearing a watch.

"Shut up. I've got the product." the dealer said, reaching under the waistband of his pants and procuring a smaller bag of the shimmering chartreuse powder.

"Cool. Who's your supplier?" Nerre asked, playing with his hair.

"That's none of your business." the dealer snapped, hostile.

Nerre smiled, coyly. "Oh, I guess I'll have to go to the abandoned Advanced Systems warehouse and ask them myself, then? What was it, three knocks?"

The dealer put his hands in his pockets, a thin attempt at hiding the fact they were shaking.

"What do you want? I can't afford to give you this shit for free."

"No, I'll pay." Nerre replied, pulling out a disposable holocoin card - popular among tourists and clandestine drug users, who wished to maintain a secret identity. "Of course, I know how terrible it'd be for you if your supplier were to discover that one of their street-level pushers had accidentally disclosed the location of their warehouse. No. Just tell me what I want to know, and I'll be on my way."

The dealer paused, pondering his options, then smiled back at Nerre.

"I think I have a better idea."

Nerre barely had the time to catch the flash of a blade as the dealer lunged at him. The professor elegantly weaved to one side, catching the man's skinny wrist and throwing a precise right hook at the man's face. As his head snapped back, Nerre twisted his arm violently, causing the knife to come clattering down onto the concrete. Not knowing what was going on, the dealer was brought to his knees, his right arm held awkwardly behind his back. He scrambled for the knife, but it was casually kicked away by Nerre's pointed formal shoe before he could reach it. He winced in pain as his arm, now locked in place, was pushed into an unbearable position.

"I will break it." Nerre hissed, short on patience. "Tell me. What is this shit and who do you work for?"

"I don't know!" he cried out, desperate.

"Don't lie to me." Nerre spat, twisting the arm to breaking point. The dealer strained, tears streaming down his red face.

"Phoenix Labs!" he screamed. Nerre let him go, kicking him onto his side. "I get the product from Phoenix Labs. It's a new product. There's some Green Lightning in there, but I don't know what it's laced with. They cut it before they give to me. I don't know where it comes from, fuck." he spluttered through gasps of pain, clutching his limp arm. Nerre stared down at him, blankly.

"Are you sure you don't know anything else?"

"They call it Limelight."

"Heh. Clever. Okay, good."

Nerre crouched down, touching his holocard against the RFID reader implanted in the dealer's forearm, and picked up the bag of Limelight that had fallen to the ground during the struggle.

"I'll hold onto this," he said, stuffing the drugs into his pocket. "I suggest you forget where I live. Should any uninvited guests appear at my apartment, I'll kill them, and then I'll kill you." Nerre winked slyly at the his crumpled adversary, and hurriedly left the alley.

The drug peddler slowly struggled to his feet, waiting for his phone to notify him of the transaction that had just taken place, but the message didn't come. He pulled it from his pocket, dismayed at the message on the screen.

"Transaction failed. Holocard reader error."

Today was not his day.
  nerre. / Tengu / 2y 110d 12h 39m 42s
Corpusraptor smiled as the new arrival came in, her petite hands clasped together. [#131313 [b "It is good of you to come. I trust you'll be more useful to me than the previous mercenary. He... wasn't able to live up to his fame."]] Corpusraptor gestured to the corpse, whose head was crumpled like a wet paper bag, skull fragments and brain trailed behind giving the appearance of a picture of a fountain, all from a single gunshot.

[#131313 [b "But you're not like him. You're not afraid to get your hands dirty. Your MO is consistent for many killings, and you've been convicted on charges in the past. You're the genuine article, and I'm sure we can arrange some sort of long-term deal that will be most beneficial to both of us. I have much use for a cold-hearted killer such as yourself."]] Corpusraptor's lips pursed as she smiled widely, revealing her sharp, mechanical teeth like a huge shark-grin.

[#131313 [b "But you're here for the mission, of course. If successful, we may have more dealings in the future."]] Corpusraptor paused for a moment, before explaining the mission. [#131313 [b "I'm sure you've seen that tensions between Gielnor and the Arcane Clan are growing more in recent times, yes? After that last terrorist attack by them, the people of Gielnor are looking for any reason to go to war. And I say we give it to them."]]

[#131313 [b "You see, the thing about war is that it can be quite profitable for people that know how to benefit from it. When the public is afraid of predators from afar, they pay less attention to those already lurking near them. When the police and military are stretched thin, they have less power to maintain order. When resources are getting shipped to frontlines by the many, it is easy for logistics to... mess up. That state of chaos and panic would be the perfect time for someone with the right know-how to expand their power base, don't you think?"]] Corpusraptor explained, choosing her words carefully.

[#131313 [b "Now, we have a great power here. Greater than all the money in the world. We have the element of secrecy. The gov doesn't know about us. Arc doesn't know about either. So we can strike from the shadows without anyone being the wiser. We can control information, control thoughts, control public opinion, on quite a wide scale, without using a bit of magic. And I say we should rile them up. The people of Gielnor just need to be stabbed in just the right spot. And you're just the right person..."]]

[#131313 [b "I want you to make the king of Gielnor, King Desto... disappear. I want him gone. Erased. Rubbed out. And I want the very palace guards to swear upon their ancestors' graves that it was the Arcane Clan who did it. I will provide you with weapons, disguise, and a getaway driver. As I said before, pay is five times whatever your usual rate is. It will be delivered after the mission is completed, in holocoins. Do we have a deal?"]]

_
[b Characters
[#131313 #131313] = Corpusraptor
[#bf1111 #bf1111] = Dr. Fanswick (Deceased)
[#34af92 #34af92] = Hired Mercenary (Deceased)
[#17a1a9 #17a1a9] = Phoenix Laboratories Security Guard 1
[#2c93af #2c93af] = Phoenix Laboratories Security Guard 2
[#a3a3a3 #a3a3a3] = Dr. Sarah White
  Corpusraptor / ShadowOfSkills / 2y 112d 21h 56m 49s
Lilly had sighed as she had gotten an update on the bounties and saw the prize target of them all still rising "I have got to find him first" she said as she started to sit up again "I can't just sit around.." she said though her body wanted to hit the bed again . moving down to the lobby she asked for some coffee and sat there waiting she had her things next to her not having much on her she was others in the lobby a night race she haven't seen any of them before . she sipped her coffee to wake her self up before she left out she checked out and left heading on the streets going to Phoenix Town.
  Lilly / EternalSnow / 2y 116d 4h 12m 2s
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