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The Night Bleeds In Black

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The Night Bleeds In Black

Post by Anouk Ueda on Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:04 pm

Lavender eyes iced over with a black fire that burned coder than the center of Hell, glaring at the gorilla of a man behind her that held onto Mr. Blasty, far out of her reach as he shut the office door and locked it, blocking them all in and more than prepared to shoot the bartender with her own shotgun. Dried blood caked her cheek, the flesh already starting to swell beneath the dark bruise. Underneath her jacket, Nu was covered in more than a small amount of cuts and bruises, even though she knew she was getting off lightly compared to the damage she'd been leaving others in. Her injuries would heal. At the moment, however, she couldn't focus on what hurt and what didn't, or how tired she was; her whole world boiled down to this office she was trapped in, the chair she was being forced down into and the beefy hands firmly holding her shoulders to keep her from excusing herself. The leather office chair in front of her creaked around slowly, the old man sitting there smiling politely, bemused with the situation entirely. Even though he had the advantage, the old man wasn't smug; he looked more impressed than anything.

"Mrs. Ueda. So nice to finally meet you," he said, his Cerisian accent heavy on his Cretan words, but light and bouncing. The old man was fat, creases lining his forehead and face, deep smile lines around his mouth giving him an almost bulldog face. Dark gray and white hair was brushed back slick against his head, the ends curling slightly. Anouk looked him over carefully, a few tasteful gold rings on his old, fat fingers, the dark charcoal suit actually looking very smart. Giovanni Stagno. A thick hand reached out to the side casually, a glass with scotch immediately being placed in his fingers. He took a casual sip before sitting the glass down and gesturing with his hand silently, an identical glass being poured and placed before Anouk as a polite gesture. "Please, enjoy. You've earned that."

Anouk eyed the amber liquid carefully before reaching for it to take the first small sip. The smell of the alcohol carried upwards, and she'd watched the other guard fix both their drinks. She hadn't seen him slip anything in hers, just poured straight scotch into the glass, even though there was still a chance that even if the scotch was fine the glass itself could be drugged. But, they'd come too far to just kill her that way. She'd been playing cat and mouse with Stagno for weeks and she'd finally had him... or so she thought. But her own trap for the mafioso had been turned and sprang on her, her every move calculated, planned and countered by him without Anouk ever knowing. There was a reason Giovanni was where he was today; he was too good to beat. The taste and burn was pure, lavender eyes never leaving Giovanni as she sipped and put her own glass back down. "Grazie, signore." Anouk's voice was quiet and tense, waiting for the punch, her head swimming as she tried to quell her panic. This was not how she'd planned to meet with him and get the information she knew he had. At all.

Giovanni shifted only slightly in his chair, making himself more comfortable. What did he have to worry about, after all? "I understand you had wanted to meet with me, Mrs. Ueda. It seems I hold information you want. But... You are a difficult woman to get a hold of. Which is surprising, considering how messy you are and how long your body trail has become." He chuckled darkly, aged black eyes shining in amusement as Anouk struggled to stifle her immediate urges to either mouth off to him or start fighting to escape from the room. A fat hand waved as though brushing off her anxiety at being pinned down and outnumbered in a room with someone who could kill her in less time it took for her to take a full breath. "You may relax, Mrs. Ueda. If I wanted you dead, you wouldn't have made it out of that building, though if it weren't clear you couldn't be persuaded I would be tempted to hire you myself. I wish only to talk with you and make you an offer."

He let himself pause, patiently waiting to see if Anouk would hear the old man out as she took another sip of her scotch out of need more than a gesture of good faith. He wanted to meet with her. Then he knew all about what she was doing and why. "Sorry, I haven't been answering my phone much lately. You know how that goes, I'm sure. But I appreciate you taking time to make an appointment for me today." Politeness. Be polite, no matter how much you want to run the bastard through. Giovannie only smiled, glad Anouk had chosen something less messy than painting his office wall with her own brains.

"You're very welcome. You see, Mrs. Ueda, you are an interesting catch. You've made an enemy of Takatori personally and have been taking on the Men in White by yourself. You have spunk, and a lot of luck on your side. But this business of your husband and children... it is unfortunate. I am a family man myself, and would not wish to see my own sons hurt. So you do have my sympathies. But business is business... You understand." Must. Not. Growl. Burying the raw nerve was agonizing, but she couldn't afford to snap, not now. Her restraint was both noble and amusing. Giovanni leaned forward, his hands folding on the desk. "Mrs. Ueda, I've brought you here to invite you to play a little game. If you play, you will have the chance to kill several of Takatori's employees, and will win the information you want from me. I'll give it to you willingly, just like we're talking now. Easy."

"...I'm listening."

"You will be taken to a building, and pitted against twenty people with your shotgun and your knife. These people are all armed, and will be trying to kill you. Five of them will be employees of the Men In White; fifteen, however, will be innocent people with similar features and who all have legitimate reasons to want to kill you. They all have something to gain from winning this game. Your objective is simple, Mrs. Ueda. You have been privately hunting operatives down and acting as judge, jury and executioner, but each of those kills has been clearly marked for you. Here, you will have to judge and decide who is guilty and who is innocent. Find all five operatives and you win; kill too many innocent people, and I will have someone turn you into the police. Do we have a deal, Mrs. Ueda?"
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Anouk Ueda
MOTHER'S SCORN

Posts : 85
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Location : Never far behind..

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Writer: Shu

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Re: The Night Bleeds In Black

Post by Anouk Ueda on Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:05 am

The building had an interesting history from what the driver had mentioned on the way there, Anouk listening patiently in the backseat and fighting the urge to rip off the blindfold Giovanni had insisted she wear on the way there. It had been built around the turn of the century as a factory, then converted into shopping workrooms and offices. The ownwership and walls changed again, into apartments for decades and then most of the walls torn down again and the building used as a warehouse until it was finally condemned. Now the massive building stood rotting, full of a century's worth of abandoned junk and the bits of memories and lives people left behind, a silent, moaning tomb under Creta's rainy skies.

"Think of it as hide and seek," Giovanni had said back in his office. He'd put her up at a hotel for two days to rest, eat, and let her wounds heal a bit before showtime. Anouk felt sick at the idea, but what choice did she have other than to agree? Giovanni had her where he wanted her, and he knew she'd do anything for the information he had dangled over her head. Even if he wasn't working for Takatori, he still knew where and how to find the bastard, and nothing was going to stop Anouk. She was an Ito, and she would not surrender or stop until she was either dead or had what she wanted. She had a bag of rounds, her shotgun and knife given back to her as Anouk was ushered into the building and the massive doors locked behind her. The game began when the doors closed, and Giovanni would be watching. Oh, he would be watching her every move. Apparently there were cameras all over the building and everyone competing was tagged to let them know when they were either dead or incapacitated.

Anouk stepped lightly, breathing slowly to try and keep her heart from racing. The building was huge and had a nearly-infinite number of places to hide and things to use as weapons, not allowed to leave until she was either dead or victorious against the twenty people all hiding and waiting to kill her. Right, piece of cake. The flutter of pigeons' wings made her jump, reaching for her shotgun and gripping tightly, only letting out a breath once she realized it was only flying rats. Seeing how high up they went, however, only made her more uneasy; the room was like a massive foyer that was littered with the contents of what could have been four department stores' leftovers. Mannequins stood in impossible poses, some still half-dressed and staring blankly into space. Boxes not really sealed sat covered in dust and rotting, forgotten by time. Anouk's slight movements echoed above her yet were muffled by the barrage of things around her. That... was not good. That meant anyone nearby had an advantage in hiding by the things to hide behind and that their footsteps wouldn't carry over to where she could easily hear.

Twenty people, only five were guilty, but all twenty were there to kill her. Giovanni wasn't part of the Men In White, though; he was barely associated with the mafia, a low-ranking man in a nice suit who fancied himself a mid-boss when he branched out of Creta. It made her wonder how he'd gotten five of Takatori's men like this. Had he caught and trapped them, just as he'd caught her, and similarly offered them to take part in the game with their lives as a poker chip? Or had he simply found a way to call that bastard and asked if he could have five of them as though he were borrowing sugar? Anouk bit her lip, stalking and weaving through the disarray, leaving light footprints as she disturbed the dust. Footprints... They would be able to hunt and track her this way, just like she could them. I have to get out of the open like this or I'll lose before I've even started. Every move was slow as she tried to not disturb anything in her way, staying as quiet as possible as Anouk made her way to the left side of the room where the morning sunlight hadn't touched yet. It was strange, though- they knew she was coming, surely. So why hadn't they all been here in the foyer waiting to ambush her? Or had Giovanni laid a rule down that they couldn't just shoot her as they locked the door in order to keep the game interesting?

There was a soft creaking noise as Nu's knuckles tightened around Mr. Blasty, Anouk silently darting deeper into the foyer's rotting and discarded memories, away from the front door and to what appeared to be the opening to a large stairwell toward the back of the room. This place had been converted to an apartment building and offices, so they would have renovated at some point to give the stairs upward a more central location, she figured. Boxes were stacked high and in increasingly-bigger amounts as Anouk pressed in, a sinking feeling closing in around her. The feeling of being watched. She paused, looking around; windows lined the walls, but were rather far on either side, and somewhat high up. Some were broken and some covered in boards or tape, creating odd shadows from the pale dregs of sunlight that washed in through the clouds overhead. Anouk bit her lower lip, looking all around her, curling inward tightly as she reached for her first rounds of shells as silently as she could. Maybe she was paranoid from so long of sleeping with one eye open and anticipating attack around every corner, but in a game like this, Anouk knew her paranoia was justified.

The stairwell loomed closer, and even in the pale morning light it seemed to vanish into the dark past a certain point, the dark wooden paneling choking the area and snuffing the light entirely. Anouk crept closer and stopped again, a slight shuffling behind a stack of boxes making her jump back, her shotgun aimed and ready before she finished drawing a full breath. "So you're the Missus," a man's voice chuckled, his body staying hidden for the moment. His Philly accent was thick, almost clashing against itself. The stack of boxes came tumbling down suddenly, Anouk dodging and whipping around to see where he'd run to, unsure if she needed to fire or not. "It's nice to see you again. You been havin' fun running around trying to play cat and mouse?" Anouk glared hard, following the sound of his voice, aiming with her gun. Again?

"Who are you?" Her voice was nearly a growl, her body inching just slightly to the side to try and get a better shot while taking cover herself. The man shoved down the second stack of boxes running across an open space in the foyer to another hiding place, the blast of the shotgun echoing off the high walls and scaring the pidgeons.

"Aw, you don't remember me? I'm hurt. And here I thought dragging you around by the hair gave us a special bond." Lavender burned, Mr. Blasty raising to aim again as Nu kept perfectly still. She wouldn't charge him or advance, and instead, let him come closer to her. If he was impatient enough that he'd announce that he was there the night of the fire, then he seemed like the kind of idiot who'd take her head-on. She moved slowly behind the rotting remains of the lobby's desk, stripped of the granite face and top it once had to leave the wooden endoskeleton to warp and splinter over time. It wasn't much for cover, but for now, it'd do, and if she made it seem like she was hiding, she could lure him out. Behind his crate, the man grinned, the blade of his knife rising and lowering, wet as his tongue pressed and slid down the metal. The rules had only stated she couldn't be killed upon entering; Stagno hadn't said anything about letting her reach the stairwell. He came closer slowly when he realized Anouk was no longer in sight and hiding, most likely behind the largest thing directly nearby. "If you come out we'll get this done fast and painless. I'll win the game and you'll go back to your husband. Fair trade."

His steps pattered dully against the ruined floor, bringing Anouk's heart a beat faster with each step. Right now he wanted the kill. He could almost taste it. But he also had the advantage for the moment and she needed to take that away from him. As loudly as she could, Anouk did something she doubted he expected: she sniffled loudly, moving her hand to her mouth to almost try to muffle what could be described as a sob, though the action only made the pathetic sound louder. "Please don't," Anouk whimpered as she came up to her haunches slowly, gun gripped in her hands. "I'll come out, but please kill me. I just want to see my family again!" Everything she said was true, her words weighing on her heart and threatening to conjur very real tears to make the panicked sound more legitimate as Anouk held her emotions at bay. His footsteps quickened, coming closer to the desk and leaping up onto the desk as Anouk sprang upwards and fired, the blast ripping through his chest and sending his body back several feet from the force and closeness.

Shaking slightly, she panted, watching and waiting to see if he'd get back up, despite the pool of blood and the trail that had rained down following his body, or if anyone else would jump up from the woodwork. For several long moments, a thick silence fell, the only sounds available being Anouk's breathing and her racing heart before she finally lowered her gun and reloaded, turning to continue to the stairs. The stairs were warped and breaking in places, threadbare bits of patterned red carpet still clinging to the wood here and there. Her choices were keep searching this level, or start her way up; either way, she couldn't leave until she was dead, or had won. Failure wasn't an option, which only left her with the choice of victory, no matter what. The steps groaned beneath her, and no matter where she tested there was no quiet part to put her weight or place that didn't threaten to break beneath her. Slowly she began up the dank and musty stairwell, looking around her every step as she neared the first floor landing. The light fixtures that were still attached to the wall had floral shape to them but did nothing to improve the browned wallpaper that was tearing away from the plaster and dark paneling all the way up. The quiet consumed, and the squeakiness seemed to subside in the stairs as she reached the landing. Nothing seemed to be down the right hall but doors, and as Anouk turned to chieck the left hall all she could see were more doors, and the sword she was suddenly sidestepping and raising her shotgun to block with.
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Anouk Ueda
MOTHER'S SCORN

Posts : 85
Points : 304
Location : Never far behind..

-Case File-
Level: 4
Rank: -
Writer: Shu

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