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Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

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Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Guest on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:26 am

Twin blades, and a single loaded pistol, one magazine of seven rounds. Ayden snarled to himself as eyes glazed over the arsenal sitting in his lap as he allowed his frame to sink into the bench itself. The light had well and truly pierced the skies, now; Creta had been flung into daylight, and here he was, sitting, with these three tools, these weapons, these paintbrushes for the day's canvas, upon his lap.

Considering Ayden's nature as a weapons enthusiast, one would think that he might regard such a meagre selection as merely not enough to take his revenge on the chimera, but a smile cropped onto his face as the pale daylight danced against the crimson stains of one of the tanto. These weapons were more than enough, with a touch of improvisation and the man's alchemy. He simply kept a range for... experimentation, to see how the weapons functioned yet under his grasp. He was fluent with each and every one of them, and each and every one of them had seen a flash of crimson, and tasted enemies' blood.

But these three weapons were far luckier, for Ayden was to taste the appetiser of his grandiose meal of vengeance with these exact utensils. He hadn't retreated to the Audi yet - he hadn't stopped since he'd slain the guards at the entrance to what remained of the bookshop, and then vanished into the city at dusk, so it wasn't a matter of choice, simply convenience. He'd quickly made a few calls on contacts he still had in Creta, and information on this Berk was tight, but it was there. And if it was there, it could be found.

Sure enough, before long, with a modicum of torture as all good conquests require, Ayden uncovered the information upon Berk's whereabouts. He and his gang were holed up in a warehouse which spilled out onto the streets from its posterior, a complex and labyrinthine network of ramshackle ladders leading over rooftops, and deserted alleyways between decrepit, dilapidated, and unused buildings. Whether they stood their ground within the building or ran, it would surely make great amusement for the assassin. Cat and mouse, after all - save for the fact that this wasn't just any cat. This was a black panther, prowling through the night, garbed in ripped leather, claws bared as he sharpened them and gazed upon the building to his opposite - all-too-conveniently, the warehouse of Berk himself.

"Time," Ayden hissed, his grin stretching ever further with a snarl. His pallor was dotted and splattered with dried crimson stains; he was unwashed, still bathed in his blood and the blood of others, and his fury hadn't dampened a single touch. He carried that same aura of vengeance about him that he had when he'd left the charred remnants of the bookshelf. A bloody snarl erupted from the man's throat, a snarl of longing, as he surveyed the streets, before looking up to the sky.

The day was clear, and the sun shimmering bright and pale, but this part of Creta was one not braced by the public. And considering the day's nature as a Sunday, now, there were no workers to be found amidst the industrial estate. It was still, dead, for one day of seven a week. No repetitive hiss of hydraulics, no squeal of saw-blades, no clunk of machinery. Simply the foul nattering of a syndicate of criminal chimeran lowlifes, people who didn't deserve to even have the ground they stood upon.

Easing the hammer back on the single M1911, Asmodeus, the droplet upon the smiling face's inlay one of crimson, to mirror Astaroth's azure tear. The single pair of the two was incomplete, yet still perfectly functional; fuelled by a longing to be reunited with its brother. Hopefully a brother that would lie within, Berk having taken the single pistol as a trophy. Ayden growled; if he had so much as pulled the slide on that pistol...

[INITIATE BATTLE THEME]

The time was at hand. In the faint distance, a belltower tolled twelve times for midday. Ayden rose to his feet, and sheathed the two blades, the pistol hanging at his side, swaying in arcs like a deathly pendulum. Locked, primed, and loaded - ready to explode.

Approaching the warehouse, Ayden isolated a number of entry points, but quickly eliminated a majority of them due to the unsuitability for his purposes. He wanted to enter at ground level, to start with; there was a high chance there would be a large quantity of guards upon the catwalk about the upper levels of the room. The low growl finally faded to silence in the depths of the silver-haired assassin's larynx, and he clutched the single pistol in both hands as he approached a door near the corner. Here... here, he'd have to be careful.

Twin blades. Check. Seven rounds. Check. Alchemic tattoos. Check.

Vengeance burning like acid in his veins? Fucking check.

Raising a boot-clad foot, Ayden slammed his entire weight into the door, snapping it from the hinges. Two chimeric guards posted as guardsman spun around immediately, and Ayden saw no reason to apply stealth whatsoever, raising the pistol at point-blank range and firing a shot off into both of their craniums in sequence without a single qualm, face blank and lips curved into a wicked, bloodthirsty grin. Vengeance demanded their deaths. Heart demanded recompense. A sacrificial spree of murders in his name.

The two cartridge casings hit the floor before the bodies slumped down; one of the pair had a simple pistol lying in his waistband, the other, a larger being, had cradled a sawn-off double-barreled shotgun. The silver-haired murderer snarled quietly and picked up the weapon, before pointing it to the sky a moment before the room became awash with bullets, and truly eliminating any semblance of stealth, unleashing a bellowing roar to startle any guardsmen remaining. "YOUR TIME IS AT HAND!"

The time was at hand. Ayden's spree of vengeance had begun.

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Csilla Angelis on Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:28 pm

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:23 pm

A time of festivity was held forth as a merry band of men made way and tow towards the street, trumpets flaring loudly, people were happy and jovial affairs were to be had. Musical instruments made for a vibrant array of music to blast forth and about and around in a constant rhythm as happy smiling faces were on everyone's faces... in such regards. Colorful clothes and marching lines were the common feature of those outside of a certain embarking of a revenge as things became dead silent... the times of festivities where happiness is to be had became a time of mourning for the dead or so it shall be. Merry making unto sorrow raking, and death where life is beset in triples.

Such were the sounds of happiness in the great distance beyond the reach of the Berk-one Chimera as he lounged about with lazy disposition and great victorious disease, draped in the fineries of a priest for such enigmatic mysteries. Arrogance flooded his nostrils, lust fell unto his crotch and business spat out of his mouth. The money was big, and this briefcase of wads of cash was serious cash. Not the sort of thing someone makes over a single day, something businessmen have to attain over a series of time in a span onward and forth. Conducting such business with himself, them and her in such a casual fashion. Truly such a man meant to be pious fell awry of his assumed ways to have sunk to such depths of depraved wickedness that'd make a priest grow scorned.

And lo for Besk would say, "...And did you know that he squealed like a pig? I swear, I just killed him, we were facing him head on, and the rest of my team cowered you see..."

"Typical Mister Berk, just typical of them. Of course you were the saving graces of them just like you are of this outfit, right?" An aide would say with the stench and stink of a sycophant's asshole mouth.

"Shut up Dick, now AS I was saying..." His voice loomed to his aide-de-camps and spectators come to enjoy his grand generosity, seated in such fine seating and furniture in such a cheap place, "The Sultan of Slaying was right there you see? He gave my team a hard time, but I said NO! I walk out there and look to his eyes, gun pointed, and he broke down like a girl. Kept sobbing, 'Please don't do this! I don't want to die! Please oh please!' But I said NO! I told him to stand up and fight me like a man, face me and LIVE UP TO HIS REPUTATION! As much as I told him this, he still didn't man up, like a pussy, kept cowering about without a shame, it was even laughable on how he managed to think he can mooch off of his reputation, it was when I shot him bravely in the face... but you know what I say? A dead man ain't no enemy to worry abou--"

BANG BANG BANG!

Not so precisely in such an order did thoughts of alarm flood Berk's mind as he snapped the suitcase closed, before he flung his lot and important files of the sort into the briefcase, he snapped up to a stand and flung the harlot he took to consort with in victorious appreciation of her finer endowments. His instincts baser and feral took a hold. Suddenly alertness strived forth, his eyes looked to find the white maned death's messenger in such a symbolism that disgusted Berk to an astounding degree. Going back, this vibe... this aura... could it be?

"It's HIM! IT'S FUCKING HIM! HE CAME BACK TO LIFE TO KILL US ALL!" Dick shouted, guardsmen up the catwalk blew apart the path onwards to the shaded figure lighted from his back, and bullet holes riddled the wall behind. Berk, without a word, burst unto speed, not a word to his subordinates, ran towards a ground door's way opposite of the silvery assassin, slammed the door shut behind him as audible 'clat' ensued, locking such a path but not the many to him, but he made leeway for time. Time he NEEDED.

Berk... he was nothing like Ballzini, there was not fear in his eyes, but only prompt caution for preparation. Snuffed out of sight by the clashing of the door to a close for such a moment past.

The token few guests below pulled out peashooters, small calibers meant for defending themselves against hoodlums, not a man armed to rival a guerrilla in great warfare. Stupidly rife with filthy ignorance clung together as if they were some Xerxian Phalanx, truly, were they fit for the old days where numbers made up strength, but in this instance, these thoughts were for Dick to have. He was the only one to not fight, the only one to back away, the only one to hide in a corner. To be discreet, meld and to hope this terminator would waver his attention to Berk, the man he wanted. What he saw with his perceptive eyes was as if that single silvery man whose murderous intent illuminated the room, was as if he were but an army of his own. WHY?! WHY DID IT FEEL THIS WAY?! Why was Dick the only one who could see it? Why didn't those great streams of manpower not disperse and steer clear? To draw the attention of a sleeping giant?

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:52 pm

"It's HIM! IT'S FUCKING HIM! HE CAME BACK TO LIFE TO KILL US ALL!" Came the cries from across the room as Ayden took cover behind two of the warehouse's shipping crates, undoubtedly both carrying dubious wares for the gang to profit from; he caught a few mental snapshots of a man appearing to be a chimera diving off, one he'd heard bragging, through a door not twenty metres away from him; the lieutenant and another dozen or so men remained behind, and each unsheathed contraband M1911s and Ingram Mac-10 sub-machine guns.

Looking above, Ayden snarled. He quickly counted six on the visible catwalks lining the room at a height as of yet unreachable; and time wasn't his ally, here. He was going to have to move fluidly, and fast, too. The two behind him on the catwalks with an open shot were the first port of call; barely twenty metres away, the silver-haired assassin raised his pistol and squeezed the trigger twice for simple body-shots. The first, clutching a sub-machine gun, fired upwards in an arc before slumping down against the railing with a post-mortem trigger squeeze; the second, with a pistol, slumped over the railing and fell down with a sickening crack resounding through the room. Hollow-points had just saved his bacon, once more. Had he not been spurred into such a rage, he would have smiled and maybe exerted a giddy laugh.

Three rounds left... shit, and four more on the catwalks around him. The assassin growled and took aim, squeezing off another two on either side who too fell quickly, nine-millimetre and.45 rounds battering the metal crate and ricocheting off every time he popped an arm above or outside the designated safe area of cover. Another snarl as he counted up, the clock ticking ferociously in his head. The bastard was getting away. It was a voice he recognised from the warehouse's exterior. "HRAGH!" Spinning around, the final round primed and locked into the chamber, the assassin Derocha rose his hand and took aim at the second-last man on the catwalks with his final bullet, squeezing it off and turning the back of his head into an exit wound, spurting red and brittle shards of white in every direction like an exploding watermelon.

Another guard still relentlessly patrolled the catwalk on Ayden's left, getting closer with every step; those up in front began stalking closer once the gunfire stopped, the hammer sliding inwards and the magazine clicking empty, the slide drawn back automatically, revealing the bare innards of the pistol's silver barrel. "Out of ammo, I guess..." The assassin snarled, intentionally loud enough for the mooks to hear, re-aligning the slide and holstering the M1911, before finally brandishing the sword.

The click of a draw on an Ingram sub-machine gun from the catwalk across the room as a shaky would-be marksman took aim. Ayden retreated a few steps back along the side of his cover, before, finally, just in the nick of time, a Beretta M92, and a tanned arm that it belonged to, appeared from around the corner. "BUT YOU'RE STILL ALL FUCKING DEAD." Grasping the pistol barrel in the split-second window he had, and tugging the man into him, the assassin spun him around and pointed the M92 far off to the side, leaping backwards and using the man as a human shield as shots peppered his unarmoured posterior. All manner of bullet wounds quickly lined the man's upper-body, but the short nine-millimetre rounds weren't shaped well enough to pierce his ribcage and strike the General.

A pang of pain hit him in his thigh, and the assassin's leg buckled; swept immediately to the floor as the idiotic guardsman on the catwalk went to reload, the tanned thug fell atop of him, gargling and spitting blood. Ayden wrested the pistol from his grip, and spun around, launching two shots in what he could only hope to be a full magazine to vanquish the final catwalk gangster; each found their mark and left the man to smear a bloody trail down the bland, grey wall of the warehouse he fell upon, before collapsing.

A nearby automated cargo trolley caught Ayden's eyes next as the last half-dozen, including Dick, the sycophantic assistant, retracted back to their cover appropriately. "HEART IS JUST ONE MAN! WE CAN STOP HIM!" The assistant howled, when a smirk hit the assassin's face. All of them slammed into their shipping container, pressing their backs against the painted corrugated metal and hoping for a brief respite in which they could reload. Around the room, seven of their comrades lay dead or dying; and six more lifeless bodies, Ayden counted from kneeling atop the trolley, would quickly join them.

Tanto in one hand, pistol in the other, he rose to his feet, and held one above the beg connecting the trolley to its dock by a slender elastic coil. With enough downward pressure, the coil would snap, and the tensile strength would push the trolley along with formidable force. And, alas, even here, Ayden couldn't really get kill-shots, scalps bobbing up and down. "Heart is dead," The man said coolly, and the last final click noises of pistols being cocked turned only into echoes, the men turning and readying themselves to unleash fire on Ayden. "As for me?" A smirk, beneath vengeful wildfires burning in twin azure oases. "My name is Ayden Derocha. And I'm going to kill you all."

SNAP.

The coil slapped against the corrugated metal as the last of the whitened, awestruck men threw themselves into the fray. Grasping to a pole rising from the trolley with one hand, aiming the pistol with the other, through the ten-metre gap from one container to the other, the cart flew, the assassin squeezing off rounds as he sped along. Crack. Crack. Crack. Crack. Bullet-casings didn't even have time to hit the floor with a subtle ting before another gunshot echoed out. Crack. Crack. Crack. Crack. There had to be some killshots there. Crack. Click.

The trolley drew to a steady, grinding halt. Aside from a few streaks of wet blood on his jacket, and a few more of dry upon his face and the rest of his visage, Ayden was unscathed. The Beretta too had clicked empty, the slide pulled backwards. With far less care than he'd handled his precious Colts, he tossed the pistol aside with a clatter, and moved back into the fray, unsheathing the tanto once more, and picking up the loaded sawn-off he'd set back down by the container.

Flourishing the blade, it seemed there would be no use for it yet to see blood. Bodies riddled with the nine let-off rounds lined the floor, all five present slain with simple centre-of-mass and upper-body shots. Ayden counted the bullet wounds as the last of the five started twitching. Only seven rounds... which meant...

Click. Slumped against the container, cradling two bullet wounds oozing blood, was Dick, the sycophant. A smirk hit Ayden's face; he tried to raise the pistol, but the assassin was too fast, bringing the blade along to pierce the soft flesh of his forearm and sever the tendon, holding the hand up and letting the unkempt, badly-maintained Colt pistol hit the floor as the man yowled. "Your boss," Ayden spoke delicately, crouching, before his hand, still holding the tanto in, twisted slightly to the side, opening the wound and just rubbing the metaphorical salt in. "Where's he headed!?" The assassin spat as flames roared within him, the cage left behind, every bar torn or shattered. The beast had been unleashed. And by God was the beast sporadic.

A snarl later, and the man rose his one good hand to the open door, before murmuring, blood trickling down his chin. "The... o-other warehouse..." Ayden inclined his own head, withdrawing the Aerugese blade, and standing to face the ajar door, nodding, bloodied tanto by his side. It wasn't a moment later that he spun back around with a full one-hundred-and-eighty degree twirl in the opposite direction, lashing out with the sword and bringing it straight up to Dick's neck, shearing through his jugular with ease, and firmly embedding into his spine.

Pupils dilated. Blood began to trickle and flow like a crimson river. Ayden held the sword, and all the tension with it, for but a moment more, before pulling it back, sheathing it, and watching as the crimson spurted like a fountain from the wholly-severed main vein in the man's neck, sticking out his tongue to catch some of the further droplets, indulging himself for a moment, before cradling the shotgun in both freshly-bloodied hands. A deep, dark, evil grin. He drew back the hammer. "Looks like we've got a fuckwit to catch," The assassin spoke eyeing a single Cretan hundred-dollar bill that had strayed from the pack in the suitcase the chimera had snapped shut.

With that, General Derocha bolted for the opening, working himself into a sprint, and heading straight for the next warehouse, kicking the panel through and knocking the door clean off of its hinges with a crack. Two shells were loaded. He'd only need one.

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:01 pm

It was a chorus and symphony of gunshots, screams and panicking words that inspired the crescendo of panic, despair and death all into the package of one ordeal. Mingling with such loud thundering gunshots, were those goombas ordering one another when the one person capable of uniting them all for a common specific purpose, just took off like a pageant dress in a prom night, leaving them all to the mercy of the one inside the room of insidious intentions and designs for all of them as blood would've begotten even more blood in this blood feud between the Derocha, and Berk's boys. Truly, in such circumstances where one man is outnumbered, Heart's successor inspired the greatest dread and a sudden piety in all these men as it was thusly expressed literally by the act of the sycophant defecating his pants oozing with such horrid stench most... profane, for an otherwise polite society such as Creta's.

Morale was what should be high in such a victorious celebration of festivities found itself most wanting on the aspect that whom was meant to be the resurrected Heart has come back to kill them as if he were an immortal in this world where Alchemy mingles with science on an intimate level. That as if Alchemy has been used to prevent a personification of death itself to merely come back and lay an ungodly beatdown to this small time outfit as if it were Berk had inspired the wrath of Nemesis itself, something of Xerxian lore and fragments in their myths which purveyed a sense of poetic justice... except there was nothing poetic about men shot to death, falling to their doom and being gored by such an impacting force.

---

Such a daring proclamation of his own identity not that of Heart's but that of his own did nothing to inspire the men's confidence in an increase of his killing. Thee white maned assassin has given dread to what was left out of what used to be quite a load a plenty, now lacking trickles of even a hefty impact. Dick was frozen, he couldn't find anything to surmise his great fear, always protected by honeyed words and a silvery tongue, no longer doing him any boon or goodness to his survival. Those times he bragged about holding a gun and killing the famed Ice Pick? Those were his henchmen for the job, he couldn't even stand the sight of blood. Paler than an Ishvallan's white hair and the like because of it, and because for it, he literally had nothing... nothing at all at hand, nothing at all for salvation, and nothing at all in ascendence out of this Hell on Earth.

He had to quack like a duck, his life decided by inches of the blade against him, readied to excuse him from the affairs of the world at a moment's notice, and he knew this. What the Hell did Berk do for him anyways besides pay his salary and give him a place to stay at? Dick was TIRED of sucking up to him, and didn't have in mind anything to die for just so Berk would get away. Loyalty may have a price... but Dick's loyalty? It was as high as his damn paycheck.

A moment of relief settled in, was he really gonna live? Maybe he could go and warn one of Berk's associates about this rampant assassin, Ayden Derocha, maybe he could make money off of this, he was after all free from his obligations from Berk if this silver maniac was after him after all and... and... his eyes snapped down to find a wave of flash against his neck, cleanly passing through as if it were but a holy Caelist scepter, defiled by a slit of blood. There was no pain, only a liberated feeling, and a longing for home. It was black, robbed of the world's vivid colors in this dull stale warehouse, and only a cursing in his mind for the treacherous Derocha.

...

Death awaits.

The crackling of the doors, the destruction, the clearing of the obstacles between Ayden and Berk found that the Chimera's only barest glimpses grasped at the end of the long winding corridors of many wires, blinking red devices stared with their red orbs at the Derocha, a spider web of tripwire mines. Berk needed the time, the time to get away for preparation. Making way already towards his innermost sanctum, a hasty word to his goombas to watch over the corridor found itself fruitful as they saw the assassin.

"There he is! SHOOT! SHOOT QUICK!" Shouted the left guard ahead of the assassin far divided by at least 40 feet, by an array of "explosive webs", unloading a hail of .45 ACP, Cretan made rounds, rounded and filled with hot based stopping power yet... such a bullet snapped but a single strong tuned thread.

"Fuck." Famous last words of the right guard.

BOOM

BOOM

BOOM BOOM BOOM

BOOM BOOM

KA-BOOM!

Fiery blasts spat out from the tripwire mines, in an infernal hate for all living, grasped for the two and charred them black, melting their effects and denting them so, as such a fire didn't make a distinction for whom it wanted. Only going about back and forth, forth so for the Derocha speeding about lurching swift and so in a draconian adherence for chaos. Such a locked door opposite of the Derocha was punted about with the great explosive force of traps meant for his claiming, and Berk looked behind for such a source of disturbing roars in lieu to the parting gifts he set up so, the men above in the cat-walk in this particular warehouse faltered with great surprise, and some thrown back from the explosion. But not Berk, oh no, his sense of self-preservation and great stability sent him forth in an even more furious sprint towards the pit to Hell itself in the ground. The sewage lines, leaping into the open grating with a dexterous pull unto his top, closing it behind himself. HE STILL NEEDED TIME! It was shameful his inner-sanctum was in the sewage lines where the abyssal ones dwell most... but this was a matter of life and death.

Like good little boys, more men for the carrions stood about, readying for the inevitable as chatters would pass about to each other in nervous mutters.

"Do you think he is dead, Spock?" Says the man named Erdo approaching the now exploded corridors, lights were out and darkness loomed for it.

"Best not take a chance and see... nobody could've survived that explosion... but Mr. Berk didn't seem confident. Oy Johnny! Go check inside!" Spock orders.

"Why me?" Protests Johnny old boy (or young brat) like the distasteful sod he is.

"Because I'll kill you if you don't, now go check it out." The hateful sorry-man Erdo threatens nervously, doing him no boon a great fear in his tone.

"Why!? You're scar--" Guns cocked, Ingrams pointed, and shotguns aimed at Johnny as he sighs, "Fine... I really hate you guys! All of you are jerks!"

Dwelling into such a corridor with cautious fright, he peered about lacking means to find anything, nervously humming to himself a merry Crieg tune in inspection of such a frightful mouth of the halls, "There is no such thing as a boogeyman... no such thing as a boogeyman... no such thing as a boogeyman..."

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:51 pm

Traversing the network of corridors was a simple enough ordeal; Ayden figured that somewhere down the line, the man would be waiting for him, and simply followed his ears in all the commotion going on, listening intently and eagerly for the sound of pistols being cocked, shells being loaded... "There he is! SHOOT! SHOOT QUICK!" The noise was faint at the end of this corridor the moment Ayden threw himself around and into the next, a bullet catching his ceramic vest and slamming into it with impressive force, knocking the wind out of him. Cretan-made .45 ACP rounds, manufactured to hurt.

That was all the warning the assassin needed, spinning around, having already seen the spider's web of tripwires up ahead with those hawk-like eyes of his. Gingerly brushing over the wound and letting the squashed bullet fall from the vest's surface to the floor with a subtle ting, Ayden mused to himself and snarled, reckoning those fuckwits had probably broken a rib.

Their gunfire didn't cease as they oh-so-moronically continued speeding down the corridor in their path, continuing to fire as they stood stalwart, presuming he was still there, still lying in wait. That was when the silence struck, and beneath the echoes of gunshots, the sound of a thin fibre strapping. "Fuck." Famous last words indeed.

KABOOOOOOOOM.


The flames lurched forwards in waves, but stopped well short of Ayden as he turned yet another corner. However, the real danger of any explosion lies not in the rippling inferno it pushes forth, but rather the invisible concussive shockwaves. He felt it before it struck him, a vibration in the metal flooring causing his footsteps to slow and gently stop as he did just as Heart had told him to, all those years ago. The silver-haired assassin stood. He braced his body, and tensed every muscle with every last ounce of might he could muster up. And then, the wave finally struck him, the explosion still ringing in his ears, sending the man careening forwards, his body swept forwards with impressive force, his knees buckling in spite of his form's resistance; Ayden Derocha flew forwards an impressive twenty feet or so, and the very walls of the cheap, corrugated-iron corridors rippled, creaked, and buckled as the shockwave surged through them, too. Some were even pierced with jagged metal shrapnel, the assassin lucky enough that he'd fallen.

However, twenty feet was ten short of the corridor's corner, which, had he not braced his body for impact, he would have been jettisoned into at missile-calibre speed, causing some probably superficial bone breaks, but, at the same time... there was a high risk of some neck-related injury leaving him bruised, dazed, and paralysed. Luck and repetitive training courtesy of his late master had done him well thus far - bloodied, ripped, grime-caked and clothes riddled with streaks of bullets, but still very much alive.

Laying on a broken rib did hurt, however; rolling over after a few seconds and spluttering upwards, pangs and aches began to strike Ayden's form. The alkahestry in Heart's cellar had helped with a little sustenance, but it wasn't energy enough for this straight away. The assassin was running on fumes; what little shut-eye he'd gotten was at a service station, thirty hours ago, and his last meal was fifteen. Hunger and exhaustion were lurching up from within and trying to take control, and he laid there, catatonic, the whistling of an explosion's echo fading in his ears; until something began to flare up in the distance. Click. Click. Click. Ch-chunk. "Fine... I really hate you guys! All of you are jerks!"

A wicked grin began to stretch upon the assassin's face. Someone had drawn the short straw. In that moment, Ayden leapt up, needing nothing more than the seething of his blood and pure, liquid vengeance to keep him going. Sleep could wait a thousand years for this kill; food a million. Spinning around the corner and ducking to pick up his tanto and the shotgun, it was only a matter of moments before footsteps edged around another and began to ring in his ears, trembling hands cradling a handgun. "There is no such thing as a boogeyman... no such thing as a boogeyman... no such thing as a boogeyman..." Rust-specked air began to finally settle upon the ground as Ayden licked a fine, thin coating of saliva upon those pale lips of his.

"No, there isn't," The cool voice extended from around the corner as the boy was just about to turn, frozen hands interlocking about a half-lowered revolver, too shocked to even aim. Seemed little Johnny was out of luck. "But there is such thing as a pissed-off hitman," With a flourish, the blade made for Johnny, lunging forwards and knocking the gun from his hands with a parry, letting it clatter to the floor. Little Johnny was trembling, white in the face and ready to vomit. "And, unfortunately..." Squelch. The tanto had pierced the man's stomach with the simplest of jabs, tearing his clothing and letting grimy white fabric intermingle with sheer crimson. Ayden had pushed himself into the blow, pressing his head forwards and over Johnny's shoulder, barely inches from him, staggered, irregular breaths on the bare skin covering his slender collarbone. "...that's far scarier." Ayden twisted the blade a further ninety degrees, and little Johnny spluttered his last, blood and spittle, all over the wall behind the assassin, before the silver-haired murderer cradled his fall with a single hand.

The assassin swiftly withdrew the tanto and grasped the handgun from the floor, a simple Smith and Wesson .38 Special, all six shells loaded and yet-unfired. Snap, went the cylinder, back into the simple chromed framework. With that, he set both firearms down, raised the blade, and, that signature smile of a plan conjured and germinating taking shape, as brief as this plan's duration was, lowered it, beginning to hack through flesh and bone at little Johnny's stirring, still-warm corpse.

The explosion had knocked most of the halogen bar-lights out save for a few flickering intermittently, giving the silver-haired warrior a distinct horror-movie glow as he advanced. Erdo, Spock, and the rest of their men laid waiting anxiously at the corridors' mouth in the next atrium of the warehouses' networks. Ayden grasped in one hand the shotgun, revolver sheathed at his waist, and tanto at his back, bloodied along with its brother. In the second hand... he clutched the remainder of Johnny's torn forearm, fingers locked in rigor-mortis and curled into a grip, blood still dripping from the jaggedly-hewn stump. The assassin didn't have much to work with.

Stepping over the blackened, torn, and bent metal of the immediate area of effect, Ayden managed to advance without much event, the chatter up ahead prominent enough that it would guise his silently echoing footsteps. Johnny's severed limb flapped around in his grasp, smacking the iron and leaving a bloody smear on black every now and then. However, it wasn't long before the heat began to fade from the ground beneath him, and he came up to the corridor's end, an open door on the left. But his movements had yet been noticed as the chatter calmed, with one significant noise. "Shh!" Came Erdo's aggressive tones as another gun-barrel poked through the doorframe.

"Tick-tock, boys!" A mad cackle smacked the assassin's face; the torn fabric of his left glove gave way to beautiful alchemical engravings beneath, crackling a wild blue with cerulean discharge as the arm began to vibrate wildly. Blood accumulated, and with it, hydrogen, the life essence of the chemical world; before, finally, young Johnny's arm skidded along the floor, tossed around like a primitive grenade, as the assassin threw himself down onto his back with a thud, and unsheathed the revolver, taking aim at whoever dared enter next.

Another bloody explosion, albeit on a lesser scale, racked the warehouse next door moments later. The two bodies of Erdo and another of Berk's minions came flying through the door, fronts of their bodies singed, hairless, and black as they thudded into the wall, smoking. The makeshift flesh-bomb's aftermath still ringed in his ears, the vibrations and trembling beneath taking a rather long time to subside. As of yet, it hadn't triggered Berk's further explosives, just detonating on a smaller scale, and, as Ayden turned the door and stepped in, aiming callously with that liberated revolver of his, having exhausted another three men besides Erdo and the other.

Throwing himself behind chest-height corrugated cover, Ayden processed the scenario's mathematics. Johnny, plus another five dead. Another five alive. That made eleven in whole, one less than the last room. Five still standing... six bullets... now, the assassin really liked his odds. "Fear my name..." His voice came first as a mumble, a trembling wave only resonating inches from the man, but soon, his very shouts would ripple the hair upon his own head. "FEAR MY NAME!" Came the howl, the silver-haired maniac throwing himself up out of cover and clicking the hammer back, launching shots at the first two he could see, closing on his right around shipping containers.

"I AM AYDEN DEROCHA," The harrowing words spilled out onto the warehouse and the ears of the last three remaining. With another upwards rise, he aimed dead straight in front, and squeezed the trigger three more times for two; the first bullet struck in the first lackey's centre-of-mass, and the second missed both. The third sheared through the second henchman's neck, severing his jugular and spurting blood all over the place as he finally hit the floor. "AND THIS IS MY SYMPHONY OF REVENGE!"

The last man's Ingram sub-machine gun clattered to the floor. "No more!" He whined. "Please, mercy!" Hands behind his head, knees pressed to the ground, a quizzical, puzzled expression hit the assassin's face as he cautiously rose to his full height, clutching the revolver and its last round in his right hand. Energy seemed to emanate from him in an aura, his own name commanding gravity and presence, even here, within a foreign land.

Clap. Clap. Clap. Black combat boots struck the ground in rhythm as the silver-haired warrior moved ever-further, sidling up to the paled, vibrating would-be gangster. Raising his revolver, he pressed it against the man's forehead, and finally eased the hammer back, ducking his head to half-growl and half-whisper a final regard. "Mercy is a commodity I don't invest in," CRASH. The sixth round of six sheared through blood, flesh, brain, and bone in a single strike, creating a tunnel from small to large through the man's head, leaving specks of bloodied grey matter to vacate his cranium as promptly as possible. Bone slivers danced upon the air for a moment, before falling too, as would everything; time in this life was finite, and only everything had a brief moment of air time in the big picture before finally returning to the ground.

With that done, the Smith and Wesson slipped from his grip, barrel smoking, and clattered to the floor. A heavy-set iron door beyond was lined with all manner of wires and explosives that would surely vanquish him, melt the very skin from his shattered bones, if he was even an inch too close when they detonated... "Hmmm..." Disregarding his vengeance for a moment, the assassin was, for a split-second, truly perplexed, before conviction and understanding locked together in a beautiful spiral and returned to the murderer's pale pallor. Just a matter of moments before he could cut down this obstacle and advance further, unimpeded, to Berk's sewer-line escape...

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Csilla Angelis on Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:38 pm

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:11 pm

A tempest of furious destruction presided all over the warehouse when no longer has it become a time of celebration but an interval of fascinating destruction. It rained hails of bullets everywhere pocketing the warehouse with scars from each instruments of death in a wild battle, or rather, the aura eminating was more akin to that single man being an army in itself, and the warehouse people of a collective that is merely one in value given their horrid shooting. This was the first time ever they are going up against someone in their entire career whom has military experience under their belt, usually their tactics involve spray and pray, and hightailing it out of there with the occasional lone police officers in Creta to deal with, but not a FUCKING PSYCHOTIC COMMANDO that can bayonet their entrails and actually USE TACTICS, especially a very liberal use of ambushing. Pluses for the fact he had Alchemy whereas they had none. This opponent of theirs... this was the first time ever, and they are doing horribly at it. There were no survivors to tell the tales of the horrors bestowed inside this area aside from the dead, who will no longer share such stories with the living, corpses littering the warehouse that definitely the janitor will have a field day with.

The explosion made it so that there was an assurance he was dead, a sigh of relief... but for an entire section of the warehouse to be shot up and killed with their buddies... the fact they are silent, not even pursuing the soldier-alchemist did not settle the men's weary souls. This man knew what he was doing, to kill all the mobsters and leave their corpses behind so they can't jump him from behind was quite a good tactic, but the fact he could PULL IT OFF really made the one who drew the short stick the most fucked up the face around, and he was the youngest as well.

He was the poorest of them all, suffering the first death in this segment of the warehouse, as he no longer had any dreams for actually living to see the day where he leaves, the day he gets out of this crime business and start fresh. He wanted to start a family, get into a good business, and never look back again into the dark underworld's ugly hide merely on the principle that he is more moral than anyone of the other mobsters around. Known back then as eagle eyes... his optics certainly didn't help him when it came to actually perceiving the hidden threat, especially somewhere as cramped as a corridor in dimmed lighting about that contradicts his very own strength. He might be sharp eyed, but he is certainly not someone that can unveil the layers of darkness to perceive what is unperceivable, his match was far too much, the perfect assassin, whose only sign of coming was when it was too late, far too late for their own good. A lot like Mr. Heart of old days.

...

There was nothing left behind, Ayden's name of Derocha was only told to dead men, anonymous for there were nobody to bring the news back to the people. Famed yet untold for only the stigma of his destruction reigns supreme, a famed man unknown for the slaying happening a plenty in this warehouse turned funerary catacombs. It would be hours later till the police even arrive to investigate the disturbance to find rotten carcasses, flies laying eggs and maggots digesting the disgusting dead flesh. It stank worse than any crime scene they have seen, and those are JUST MOBSTERS. Lowly men the public cares not but for their death, yet the atrocity of their death was inhumane and impalpable in every regards, made a calamity in such terrors inflicted that this person, whomever came through here as the forensics resolved must've been depraved, if anything, unnecessarily been over brutal as a display of power to subordinate all those men whom died here into a position of them being his bitch, to put it in the most astute ways.

Meanwhile... back in the present...

Berk was long gone, having high tailed it ahead, WAY AHEAD in the stinking sewage line like a rat ready to be cornered. He panted and panted, having been running for a while his stooges were buying him time, time to prepare. They weren't necessary for the battle, just there as insurance to get as much possible delay so that he can perform his dance of death, to discharge a barrel each like a musician composes a symphony. The most beautiful sound in the world... well... shit, now he giggled at the thoughts. This was the first time in a long time he actually had to resort to using THAT.

Reaching the end of his long run, he bolted up the set of ladder slits, shoved aside the grating atop his head, and climbed out. He was way ahead of the pale albino anyways, why did he have to worry? He certainly had an idea, as he was in fact inside his armory shack only accessible via sewer escape line. Scooping up every ammo box he could find, he shoved them into a bag, pulling out the bullet stacks as he latches them unto the feed of the multiple barrelled monstrosity as fast as he could, fastening it to a shielding mounting that protrudes from the floor atop a rod.

He felt prepared, the beads of sweat that rolled down his cheeks meant he wasn't nervous... he was just HYPED. What to do? What to do? That assassin looked frail from the glimpse he got, maybe he can use his Chimera strength to rip him apart, no no, not elegant enough, perhaps dabble in a bit of ripping his legs apart with the golden minigun? That sounds grand! But then what should he do? Oh yes, make him squeal, make him realize the mistake of coming here, and see whomever it is that sent him, make him squeal like a pig for embarrassing him in front of his own men when he was just BRAGGING about the times he killed Heart... yeah... he was the one who killed Heart, not nobody killed Heart but him.

But time was running out, he quickly closed the grating, drowning out any lights in the sewage light back to dimness, lacing it with tripwire mines on top, he bolted back. Set up a few crates in between him and the sewage grating twelve AK-47 lengths away, trained his minigun on it, and kept his fingers peeled to firing at a moment's notice. He was trigger-happy, gung-ho, particularly he wanted to see how this battle goes most vigorously. He was dead set on fighting to the death, there were no escapes in this armory adorned by many collections of guns placed on every walls, with the explosives taken care to be placed in concealed locations (inside cupboards that is neatly stacked to the left of the Chimera).

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:56 pm

Sawing through Berk's primitive obstacles took only moments of Ayden's precious time; before long, he too was in the sewers, hot on the Cretan chimera's trail as the savage bastard at the end slowly mounted and set up his minigun, feeding chain upon chain of ammunition into it. Grossly outgunned, the silver-haired madman had rifled through the remainder of the room, peeling through already-opened supply crates as quickly as he could. A few more rounds of buckshot he'd slipped into his pockets for the double-barrelled shotgun he still cradled, a single seven-round clip of .45 ACP bullets, and a pair of brightly-coloured smoke grenades.

As he slowly worked to disarm the traps behind him passively, the assassin too had torn off shreds of the fallen men's bloodied clothing, tying together a thick ring of cloth and looping it over his shoulder, beneath the coat. Fastening one end of it to the shotgun's haft was child's play; allowing it to hang slack, swaying like a pendulum beneath his coat, he holstered all of his weapons and held one grenade in each hand, advancing silently through the sewer mulch with a grin on his faith. All manner of filth beneath him and the warrior batted not even an eyelid, moving as swiftly as he so could. His senses had all but been shut off as hot azure wildfire raged in cerulean eyes; he was yet immune to the invasive tendrils of stink and stench rising from the trench of foul sludge beneath him. The only sound that availed him was the sound of a gentle creeping through thick, viscous waters, like a crocodile slowly skulking forwards, moving into the kill.

From the end of the sewer tunnel, Ayden saw a pale wayward hand drag the grating shut. With a smirk, from beneath, he sidled up against the wall and readied himself. Perhaps this man was scum, not even fit to be wiped from the heel of his already-stinking boot; but as the silver-haired assassin crouched at the side of the stream of filth, poison and rusty water dripping down onto his coat from above him, he told himself that even if this bastard deserved no speech, no availing of honour, no grace or mercy... that his mentor, Heart, whom they had slain, still did. Signing this man's death warrant needed more than just brutality and sleek murder if it were to be in the old serpent's name; no, Ayden needed finesse, and with it, safety be damned, he'd use the chimera's blood as his ink.

The sound of heavy rounds being lugged and fed mechanically into what Ayden could only presume to be some form of high-calibre automatic weapon filled the room and sewer line for at least a minute; but before long, it faded into naught but echoes, and the hunter and his would-be prey were alone once more. "Do you know who I am?"

He asked plainly, with no tone in his voice, true apathy, as best manufactured as he could. Before Berk could respond proper, he continued. "Then let's keep it that way. But know that you killed a man important to me less than a day ago," Swapping one of the grenades into the hand clenching the other, shotgun still swaying beneath his coat, Ayden drew quickly one of the tanto with a flourish, blade bloodied, crimson barely visible in the sewers' filthy black, light only piercing through from above, through the grating. "And for that, my friend, you're going to pay."

[INITIATE REVENGE THEME]

A steady exhalation. Ayden pulled up his sleeve with his teeth, spattered with blood and other, less clean stains, fluids of the men he'd killed, some still warm. Pressing the tanto's blade to his pale, deathly-white skin, gently, ever so gently, he drew it across, then moved to the side, opening another wound alongside it. Repeating this process a third and final time, the assassin was left with three shallow, crimson cuts upon his skin, leaking and letting a symphony of drips fall down into the sludge below, tarnishing it and flooding it, diluting it with his purest crimson for only the most honed eyes to see. "However, how you do so is up to you." Shing. The blade met its sheath once more; Ayden transferred the smoke grenade back into the waiting hand and sighed, the sleeve rolled up still as blood continued to flow.

"If you don't resist, and tell me what you need to know, I can promise you a quick, clean death, and you won't be crippled for the rest of your miserable life and left in the authorities' custody." Tucking the grenades into an empty, waiting jacket pocket, he outstretched the index and middle fingers of his left hand as he faced his right upwards towards the low ceiling above him, still crouched. The blood was still flowing fresh, warm and wet. The pain was of no consequence to the man; something bigger than him, bigger than Berk, bigger than petty mortality flickered in his eyes. Something dangerous.

"However," Pressing his fingers to the liberal stream of blood flowing down his forearm unto his wrist, Ayden drew a liberal amount, and inched closer to the grating. Careful not to blot out the light and move as slowly as he could, keeping his breathing as silent as possible as not to avail the chimera as to his permission, the bloody fingers moved, and daubed a streak of blood as quickly as he could upon the metal grating. It was rough, callous, and primitive, but there was enough of the liquid that the lines themselves would stay whetted and in place for several minutes. Ayden wasn't losing much; he'd pierced a part of his flesh at a simple enough juncture and angle so that he wouldn't begin to feel woozy. He had no explosives aside from gunpowder and the chemicals within his smoke grenades. Even his phials of blood had long since been liberated from him, still in the Audi parked nearby Heart's bookstore.

But, alas, the assassin knew that within him lied the answer; a supply with which he could take out Berk's footing and cause the chimera to fall below into the river of sludge. A supply... a supply that made up seventy percent of his body. His own blood. Before long, he had a primitive square drawn around the edge of the grating, and then trailed a single line leading back down the sewer a few feet until he finally reached what he'd pinpointed as roughly the source of the mechanical lugging noises earlier. Rapping his knuckles against the flattened surface of the ceiling, Ayden ascertained that the stone was thick, maybe three or four inches. So with the last of the blood he could scrape from the wounds, he drew a great rectangle, as wide as the grating itself, and twice as long, around the area he presumed to be the chimera's location, and the location of his weapon. "If you choose to resist..."

Stepping back, and staring for a moment at sick, incredulous marvel at his primitive masterpiece, he used the last daubs upon the tips of his finger to trail back more, forming a thinner line with the black edge of his gloves. A fuse. With that, he took the glove off and tossed it aside. With such grandeur in play, a giddy smile upon his face, such little things didn't matter. His rhapsody of vengeance was close to its first crescendo; for Ayden knew that there were at least a half-dozen who had slaughtered his mentor, his teacher, his idol... his father.

"I will see to it personally that you live out your last pathetic minutes in coursing, white-hot agony until you beg me for death."

The silver-haired assassin pressed white flesh marked with black, inky tendrils against the trail of blood, whetting his hands. White-blue forks of electricity jolted through the air with a thunderous crackling. The source was only one hand, but Ayden felt as if this needed more energy than a single off-handed transmutation could produce. And as the transmutation finally completed, in that single moment, that single, silent moment, between the electrical discharge fading and dissipating, and the reaction beginning, silence washed over both the assassin and the chimera.

In that trail of dripping blood, rapidly, hydrogen molecules slowly began to become isolated and form themselves into a long, thick chain, on a tiny, molecular level. Bonded together by a power stronger than chemistry, alchemy, they forged with each other and created, in that single moment, the most precise, the most pure, the most perfect explosive the likes of the warehouse and sewer had ever seen.

BOOM.

The assassin threw himself back into the sludge as before his eyes, oxygen took to the hydrogen and filled the room with a wreath of flame. Rock and ancient brickwork crumbled to rubble before his eyes, grit and ground dirt. With the explosion still very much present and ringing through, barely a nanosecond later, simultaneous to the assassin's eyes, the rectangle of flooring beneath Berk fell through, hopefully with him very much above it. Crashing into the river of filth and sludge below fell the platform, jagged and wrested from the floor above, taking large clumps of rock with it.

The grating quickly came tumbling into the river too, leaving nothing but wispy tendrils of grey smoke, stone, and the stench of sludge to fill the air. Whatever fires had been present, the "water" beneath - if it could still be called such a thing - had extinguished them. As soon as the explosion had come, it had gone, dropping out the floor beneath the chimera, the minigun mounted and aimed at the opposite wall. The aim of it all had been to relieve Berk of his weapon; and without stopping to see if it had succeeded, or whether he'd just opened up another hole for the scumbag to pivot around and open fire through with a different weapon, Ayden drew both grenades from his pocket, and put them into each hand, his ears still ringing heavy from the explosion, whining sounds of destruction hanging heavy in the canals of flesh he used so frequently for hearing.

Flicking the pins off to the side with his thumbs and raising the grenades above his head, he lowered his arms in an arc, and sweeping them down, let the two cylinders fall from his hands and clatter along the sewer's stone edge alongside the fallen grating. It wasn't long before the sewer was filled with the sound of a slow, steady hiss noise, and moments later, the vision of both parties blocked with thick, white smoke.

Raising the ancient, artifact-class double-barreled shotgun looped around his shoulder and drawing back the hammer, Ayden grinned, snarling into the thick white mist with a guttural growl escaping his throat as he aimed straight down the ironsights into what he hoped was Berk. "Not so tough without your roomful of goodies, are you?!" Breaking from a snarl straight into hysterical laughter, cackling in a manner disturbingly reminiscent of a jester, the assassin kept his eyes trained on the smog for any veiled, fleeting shapes within. "BAHAHAHAHA! YOUR NUMBER'S UP, NOW, SCUMBAG!" With conviction and insanity blended into the most fearsome mix upon that pale, blood and oil-stained pallor, sleepless eyes of blue fire stared with a piercing gaze into the white, smoky oblivion, waiting for the response of the prey within.

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Shula Brighton on Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:13 pm

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Guest on Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:48 pm

[[Note: Ross asked me to fill in for Niko in this. So yeah.]]

Falling from his position, Berk flew down into the sewer water below. The explosion bringing his golden weapon right on top of him. The walls shook, and everything went black for a moment. It felt like he had been hit by a car going 100. Consciousness soon returned to him, but everything was blurry. His clothes were soaked, and everything was numb. Slowly he stirred, and lifted his head slightly, trying to refocus his eyes.

The chimera's head was spinning as he pulled his arms up and placed his hands on the minigun which was now crushing his lower body. He didn't even hear the man's taunts, his ears ringing terribly from the explosion. Ayden was a smart one to be sure, but Berk wasn't one to let himself get cornered without putting up a fight. Pushing upward on the gun, he made quick work of shoving it off his legs. Cracked ribs, legs bleeding, it was getting troublesome to breathe at this point. Slowly he crawled to the wall in order to help himself up. The smoke wasn't helping the breathing problem at all.

"Ugh... Well, that was... interesting." Slowly he brought his right hand to the holster which he had placed his 'trophy' in. Ayden's pistol was a fine weapon to be sure, and striking a man down with his own weapon was something Berk was not new to in the slightest. Grasping his fingers around the handle he quickly turned the safety off and held it out, attempting to aim through the smoke.

Sniffing at the air to try and find the man wasn't working, the smoke was too thick, and mixed with the smell of the sewer wasn't really a pleasant combo. Taking his mind away from finding the man for just a moment, it was then he realized he wasn't the only thing soaked from the sewer water here. The water had gotten into the gun as well. Any firing from here on out wouldn't be his.

Backing up, the rat sifted through his options in his mind. He couldn't run, he couldn't fight at this range, and there was no way Ayden would listen to a plea of surrender. His instincts took control in this moment, and he did only the natural thing. Berk hid. Leaping over the minigun and some stray piping, he then slid between a crevice in the walls' structure. Piping ran underneath and above him, so it was a tight fit, but it would have to do for now. If Ayden didn't notice him, and proceeded forward, the man would take his chances at close combat, but until further notice he would play the waiting game.

If this was the end of him, he wouldn't let himself be just another useless notch on Ayden's belt. Berk would be remembered for this day. At least, that's what he told himself as he dropped the gun and held an arm around his stomach.

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Re: Vengeance, First Note: Crime Doesn't Pay

Post by Guest on Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:59 pm

Spluttering through the smoke, the silver-haired assassin didn't dare to brave the range of the minigun, Berk splashing down into the water with the dull thud of his weapon upon him. For a few moments, the room was thick with tension. The killer did what he did best. He crouched. He pressed himself against the wall, away from the thick mainstay of the smoke. He stared as best he could into it, blue oases doing naught to pierce the thick white clouds until they finally cleared. He stopped. He stood. He waited. And he smiled.

The thin sewer just about cleared of the hissing white smog as another loud splash echoed through. Bubbles surged up through the filth and water, popping and spattering their muck over each bank of the sewer's muddy river, but gave way to a simple fact the assassin could swiftly define. The minigun had been dropped into the water. So quickly had the chimera relieved himself of his only weapon. Which meant one thing. And one thing Ayden realised, in his tired, sorry, blinded and convicted state, only too late. Berk had a side-arm.

Blood trickled down from the rubble, the residual cracks in the ceiling, and Berk's leg threefold as heaving, panting breaths shattered the sewer-line corridor's uneasy, tense silence. "Ugh... Well, that was... interesting." The smoke cleared fully. Cerulean eyes widened as the rat's hand went to his holster and he drew a weapon. In the dim light of the sewer, rays piercing through from the thrumming halogen bars above in the chimera's stronghold, Ayden could make it out. A single azure tear painted over a comical yellow smiling face. Astaroth. His pistol. The one he'd thrown to Heart as the man made his last stand.

It all came flushing back in as the assassin readied himself to roll into the water. The pervasive stench filled his nostrils but it served as little discomfort to him when this came down to survival. The sore, tender flesh of his leg was still very much aching beneath the sheared black leather of his garb; and the murderer wasn't feeling all-too-up to another bullet wound. The swift, familiar click of the safety lead into another trail of dripping noises; too familiar. The ones that the M1911 in his shoulder-holster had made so many times before when beads of blood, sweat, or rainwater trickled off the barrel. It was gentle in its similarity but present to a man who had borne the weapon in his enemy's hand for so many years, and fired it beyond thousands of times. And it hit him. The pistol had long-since been submerged in the sewer water. Whatever panic that had seeped into the General's veins swiftly dissipated. The cold metal barrel of his pistol protruded through the smoke. Ayden stepped forwards swiftly and pressed his forehead dead against the cold, wet, metal.

"Pull the trigger." He whispered, so deadly confident in his analysis of the pistol's being beyond drenched. "Blow my brains all over the sewer." A smile stretched onto his face. Bloodstained. Toothy. As mad as a hatter. That glimmering spark rolling across his teeth. The assassin's trademark grin. "If you can." So now the murderer knew that his prey was unarmed. And he'd just laid his hand on the table. Not usually one for doing that, Ayden here did have to concede. It was coming to the conclusion of tonight's grand game... and he had a Royal Flush, Berk left with nothing but a petty pair. Unbeatable. Invincible. The champion. It was here that the killer knew he would leave this sewer, these warehouses, this country... with his arsenal entirely intact.

Water hissed out from a split pipe courtesy of Ayden's little alchemical display. A stream of bullets from a cracked box of ammunition above trickled down through the ruined gap in the boxed-off stronghold, every last copper round splashing into the filth below like a deadly waterfall. Berk barrelled past him and fled, diving into a maintenance hole once obscured by the pipes, a large impromptu doorway blasted straight into the side of the sewer. The assassin knew he could kill him, and the maniacal smile stretched ever further onto his face as his quarry bounded further down the sewerline off-shoot; shattered only when he heard his treasured pistol clatter against the floor with a trademark sound he knew too well, wincing. This was his companion of years; a full decade, even. And for Berk to so carelessly cast it aside? As if his hand in the murder of Heart wasn't enough... this was the icing on the cake for the chimera's execution, the assassin's leather-clad hand holding the knife, pressing against the top and ready to shear down through it.

A guttural snarl rattled through the sewer and in some bestial, savage motion, Ayden roared through the corridor. The pistol had been a trigger. Everything welled back up inside him as he realised just how close he was, shotgun swaying by his side. Just how close to the first segment of his revenge. To truly continue this conquest required restraint; restraint that the assassin could afford in exchange for the rest of his kills. Just delay this pitiful sack of shit's murder a little longer...

That didn't change the fact, though, that this man was Heart's murderer. Dim light danced along a blood-sprayed face. Immediately, the assassin darted along, sprinting as fast as he could. Liquid fire ran through his veins, burning and singing as they went, with one, simple, rhythmic, thought resonating over and over in the vengeful killer's mind, echoing like a thrumming war drum. This man had a hand in the death of my father.

Heart may not have been his father by blood or genes, but by care and legacy he certainly was. The assassin's son he'd never had. Even if the old man hadn't fathered him in the most biological of terms, Ayden had forsaken Lukas Derocha long ago, and the withered, late "don of demise" had long-since taken up the mantle he should have had. For all the times he'd needed someone... Geoffrey Heart had been there. And the fact that he was gone... a sixth of the blame laid on this man, this chimera, this foolish rat moron for even considering involvement. He had made a big mistake. And now there was a price to pay.

Sweeping up the pistol as he turned the corner, the pray came into vision and Ayden ground to a halt. Overhead, cabling, flickering lights, and maintenance shafts lead a single path straight ahead. One with no exit. No entrance. A sealed, locked door, the edges long-since soldered shut. This place had been forsaken and abandoned long ago. And for his lack of investigation, Berk was here at a loss. With his free hand, the assassin wiped the wet pistol against his drier leg, before sheathing it alongside Asmodeus, the brother with a single crimson droplet upon its face. The two pistols had been reintroduced to each other, and like a breath of relief, the assassin smiled. It was assurance more than any non-combatant could ever know to have the familiar weight of two pistols in their holsters on his body, a more welcome companion than any squadmate or subordinate. For now, more than ever, though deprived of his father, he felt a touch more complete and filled, the black metal glistening beneath the dim bars of light escaping into the shaft from above.

In cold metal ahead the rat ground to a halt. Ayden's advances slowed to naught but walking, that smile on his face, that deadly rhythmic pounding of black heels against metal. "Someone's been... a bad little rat," The assassin spat with every ounce of animosity he could muster curling his grin ever further. Anger and malice fuelled him; desire to simply harm and close up this chapter for his journey of revenge kept him going, and pure fury surged through his blood and echoed forth with every footstep. "One question and I let you die with what's left of your dignity." Looking down to the stinking, unarmed wreck, the assassin slowly rose his shotgun. Berk had stopped at the final wall of the corridor. All hope was gone for him. Despair slowly washed down the corridor in a wave, with one ominous figure at its head. The assassin. The son of Geoffrey Heart. Ayden Derocha.

Conviction contorted his face and he swept the shotgun up and took aim first at the man's lower half, now barely twenty metres from the assassin. The first of two buckshot shells within was loaded, primed, and ready to fire. A crash echoed down the hallway as the smoking cartridge within exploded down the barrel and launched itself, a cannonade of pellets and flat-bore chunks shearing through the air and tearing the oxygen apart as they made their way towards their target.

The first sound Berk heard was the metal pellets ricocheting from the metal wall he pressed himself against; then came the sound of himself screaming as he felt the pellets cut straight through the flesh of his legs. Blood spurted out as the tiny jagged lumps carved further and further into his skin, shearing ugly, bloody lines and sinking in as deep as they could. Immediately, the rat's legs buckled, and he fell to the floor, gingerly clutching at them as crimson lines began to trickle down and pool around him.

For fear of having mortally wounded him, Ayden leapt forwards with a look of glee upon his face. Here came the best part. The chimera, scrabbling in his own blood towards something - anything - as his vision spiked, was face-down upon the floor. Remedying this, the assassin flipped him over with a grin, yielding a sharp, long, and truly agonised groan, echoing through the air with more gusto than any grunt or growl. "The others." The smoking, heated barrels of the shotgun pressed straight into Berk's neck. The smile had disappeared, curved back into a snarl, teeth bared, bloody spittle clinging to the assassin's lips. His heel pressed against the chimera's scrabbling left leg. "Names. Locations."

"They'll kill me if I-" SNAP. A howl of searing agony racked the maintenance corridor. Split bone had made a jagged incision straight through Berk's skin. Red and white had pierced through the back of his leg. The bone was broken. The man would never walk again. But this came of little concern to the assassin. He cared not for such menial things. Only for the location of his next target.

"Do you really think you're getting out of here alive?" Ayden pointed the shotgun down towards Berk's knee with one hand as the man spluttered, haggard pants crushing what little silence left in the complex. No chattering of footsteps far-off in the distance. No men left to come to his aid. The chimera's army was gone. His fools and minions ready to die in the rat's service long-since extinguished, lives snuffed out like tiny candle flames to further avail the assassin's tumultuous inferno as he constantly roared forwards. The other hand pulled grasped the man's filth-stained chin and pointed it up towards him, bloodshot white eyeballs looking over the murderer with a narrowed expression that the General suddenly understood in full. Fear. This was the fear in a man's eyes when he had been pursued. Tortured. Assailed. All those things he'd escaped... and yet still he was destined to die here, like an animal, in some nameless pit where his body would never be found. "I repeat. Names. Locations. Or I blow off your leg."

Only silence, save for winces and agonised, deep, short, breaths availed him next. Ayden snarled. He was getting bored of this. His finger tightened on the trigger; a click that Berk heard all-too-well. "Once I blow off your leg, you'll start losing blood. But that's still another five minutes or so for me to work my magic until you give out." The assassin pushed his face further downwards with a growl. "Five minutes of pain. Five minutes you don't get in the hell you're destined for. And, I can promise you, the longest five minutes of your life."

"OKAY!" Berk spluttered, choking back filth, mud, blood, tears... just about everything. "I-I'll... y-you..." Sternly the assassin gazed down towards his prey. No more fucking around. Any pretense of bullshit facades had long-since been dispensed with. "I only... o-only one of them s-spoke to me." There is no more truth than that you see in the eyes of a man who knows his death is coming, hanging overhead. "She said... her name w-was Joan..." He gasped for air as if it were some valuable commodity the murderer would soon steal away. "S-she s-said... she l-lived in Aerugo... a-and... loved to dance,"

Ayden nodded. That was workable. A few hours of cross-checking, some investigative work, and he'd be there, more or less. It was a lead, and this little shithead clearly didn't know much else. This team had worked on a need-to-know basis, and the assassin had just about exhausted them of it. "Good. Any others?"

Gulping once more, the chimera shook his head vigorously. The assassin eased back his hand, and nodded. "I-I swear, t-that's all I k-know." Ayden's finger tightened on the trigger to the shotgun. Further fear only flooded into the man's eyes, his pupils now nothing more than full stops against a page of the purest white. "I SWEAR!" He howled, as if those two words alone would save him from his fate.

Nodding, he laid a reassuring hand upon the man's shoulder, smiling down towards him. A lead was a lead. Now... he could get back to the fun stuff. A bloodspecked facade slowly trickled back onto his face, one of many masks he could now bearably maintain. "I believe you." Ayden squeezed the trigger. CRASH. At that range, there was no opportunity for spread. Every pellet, every jagged lump of metal, every bore within cut straight through flesh, sinew, bone, and a bloody splatter accompanied with a crescendo of a wailing howl echoed through the room. The shot faded from an echo and left its handiwork behind; two inches of eviscerated flesh, bone shards and mashed, pulp-like sludge that remained of his leg below, the knee ground into nothing but a fine white powder speckling the pooling blood below. Now, there was only a single strand of bloody sinew connecting the leg from the other, and the upper, disconnected half, a severed mashing of crimson furrows and pulsating, sheared veins indiscriminately pumping blood as Berk continued to howl. "But that won't save you."

Freshest lifeblood of the warmest crimson seeped and flowed through as the chimera cried out, echoes of his screams and shrieks the greatest music to Ayden's ears, a perfect crescendo to this little symphony of his. A climax to the first of many great chapters. Furrows and tiny metal ridges beneath him filled and stained with the hot red liquid as the assassin smiled through the intermittent screams, spun around, and wiped a streak of blood across his face. He let the shotgun clatter to the floor by its original owner, empty, unhinged, two shells clattering out and smoke rising from them in white tendrils. The rat's trembling fingers went straight for his leg, shock still seizing the man, as, confidently, the murderer stepped forwards, calling out two last words which made this revenge all the sweeter. "Five minutes."

And with that, he vanished, a look on his face, splattered with blood, that was sated partially, but a ravenous pit within still longed for the souls and flesh of many, many more. The screams of Berk a welcome ambience behind him as Ayden clambered out of the maintenance corridor and back into the sewer, before ascending through the trapdoor again with a smile, only a single thought pounded into his mind above all else, as if it were to be worshipped. One chapter closed.

Five more remained.

[EXIT THREAD]

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