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A Metallic Abstraction

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  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited February 2014
    "So we are supposed to compete with one another in order to get to the final round," Chester summarized. "But our real enemies are the demons, which you've told us to avoid at all costs. How do they compete? Is there a way to keep them from reaching the final round?"
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited February 2014
    "Unfortunately" Ronno began, her voice harsh and clipped. "The Haisal have a free-ticket into the final round provided they live through the final Aether Pool in a set. For reference, I've heard the current set we're in has ten Aether Pools and this is number seven. I've found no way to kill them as of yet, however, as they have an irritating tendency of reincarnating after a time. That being said though, I think we're coming to the end of this pointless meeting, right Vicca?"

    Vicca nodded slowly, looking over at Ronno.

    "Good. Well you all might try to keep this charade up in order to keep your homes free of Hasil, I've lost everything that would be my home and I only have one goal in this, to end it all and make sure none of these Demons bother humankind again. Anyone who wants to help me in this endeavor, come find me once we're done. I'll show you what's what and how we should REALLY be going about this."

    "If you need to contact any of us," Seran intoned "You may go to Inya afterward and he will help you with that as well, I'm assuming that's fine, right Inya?" She looked over at him.

    "Yeah, yeah... just fine.." Inya answered, a bit flustered by Seran.

    "That said though," Vicca continued "Try to keep the competition friendly, and not deadly if at all possible. Anything else?"

    The crowd was silent.

    "Good, well then, I hope you all have a good night, and that the times ahead go well for us." Vicca began to depart quickly, leaving Seran, Inya, and Ronno behind.

    And just like that, the meeting had ended. Several people began speaking to others that they knew, while still more came over to Inya to discuss whatever method Seran had indicated at regarding contacting the Overseers.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Marshal put his cigarette out. "I'm going to talk to the Ronno chick, she sounds like she has a real plan."

    "Frederick, wait a moment..." Chester sighed as Marshal got up and walked away. He faced the other Beltanes. "Henry, I've got a plan in mind. Some rational people here, think it should work. Would you both stand up?" ((Successful Expression roll)) The old man climbed up on top of his chair, standing above the crowd with his arms wide. "Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. I and my comrades intend to compete in Aether, but we have little to lose. Some of you have careers, families, and lives to attend to." He attempted to direct this comment to those in the audience who had children with them. "If you wish to remove yourself from the burden of competition, one of us still requires a Fy. Come speak with us, and we will arrange a simple challenge. We will take on your Fy, and you will be released from Aether. Thank you for your time." Chester leaned over, slowly climbing down from the chair. "I doubt that everyone wants to be here," He said, lowering his voice back to a normal volume. "If we're lucky, we might even get two or three applicants."
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited February 2014
    As Frederick approached Ronno, he noticed that two other people did as well, a man in his early thirties dressed in a business suit and a woman in her late thirties, very simply dressed.

    "It's nice to see that some people here have sense." Ronno noted as the lot approached. "Don't bother with names. They can be fickle things here in Aether. Why are you coming to me?" She stood like a drill sergeant before the three who stood before her, and even though she wore a mask that by all accounts should have been silly, she exuded an aura of intensity about her.

    "I don't want people hurting my city. This city was bound for wickedness when we strayed from the path of Christ, but Demons, I won't abide it." The woman started.

    Ronno did not reply, instead she pointed to the man in the suit.

    "I've always thought there were Demons out there," the man started "if you've got a way to kill them, then I'm in."

    Ronno pointed next to Frederick.

    --

    Chester's words rang and people turned their heads.

    "Good move, Chester." Henry stated, he thought it was a nice gamble and that despite the dangers, someone would come forth, and indeed within a few minutes someone did. A young man and, apparently, his wife, stepped forward.

    "Hi there" the man began eagerly to the Beltanes "My wife and I have a kid and we're really confused about this whole thing. Really it'd probably be better if we got out of it all." He spoke quickly, as he seemed to want to leave, and he noticed other, less genial looking members of the crowd staring at the interaction.

    "No problem at all sir" Henry began, "We completely understand."

    "Only one of you needs a Fy, right?" the man started "Both my wife and I have them, but.."

    "Actually, sir.." Henry leaned in close "My friend here was exaggerating on that front. We didn't want to simply be attacked for not having Fy, but in truth both myself and our younger associate here are lacking."

    "Oh, that.. that's wonderful!" the man answered quietly, "We can start right awa-"

    "Actually, if we could step outside before doing that, it might be better." Henry stated "I've heard you get awfully sick when you first get a Fy, and it'd probably be better if myself and my associates could head home to rest right afterward."

    "Alright, sure. That makes sense." The man concluded. "We'll wait for you then."

    Henry smiled at the couple and turned around to the others. "What the hell is Marshal doing?" He asked the Beltanes who had remained with him.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited February 2014
    "This Aether junk is all new to me," Marshal replied, "But if the best word for these things is 'demon,' then I can't leave them to their sinister devices. I will do whatever it takes to expunge them from our world."

    Chester shook his head slightly. "He went to talk to one of the speakers, Ronno I believe." He turned to call the man over. "Fred! We're going!"

    Marshal glanced at Chester, then back to Ronno. "We're working with Inya right now. Do you have a better plan than him?"
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited February 2014
    "Inya has no plan to stop this." Ronno stated flatly. "He will just let it continue as he has his whole life because he wants to win. I want to stop this. Go to your friends, Fred. I'm sure I will find you again."

    Henry looked over and shook his head, "We'll just head on out now.." He stated as he began to move out, exiting the building alongside Harold, Chester, and the couple who had approached them. After they had gone a distance away from the building, Henry addressed the two, "So, what Fy do you two have?"

    The woman spoke, "I.. I can do.. something, with water... I'm not sure how to describe it. It's like, when I touch water, suddenly more water appears. It's weird, I know.." She found a small puddle where the snow had been salted on the streets and touched it, and sure enough, the puddle began to expand at her touch.

    "As for me," The man began, he actually smiled slightly. Looking around, he made sure that the street they were on was empty before leaping into the air and soaring around for a moment, completely unbidden by gravity, the man was flying.

    "Dibs" Henry said at once.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Marshal nodded to Ronno as he left. "Lookin' forward to it."

    Outside, the Beltanes watched the couple display their powers. Chester watched with bright-eyed interest, Marshal with reserved displeasure, and Harold with simple astonishment. The young photographer was disappointed to hear Henry lay claim to the power of levitation, but he was still ready to get his hands on a power. "So, how does this work?"

    "Hold up there," Marshal spoke. "If you guys react to these parasites anything like the old man did, you're not going to be able to walk home."

    "We'll call a cab." Chester hardly paused. He didn't care about spending money at a time like this: he just wanted to see what would happen. "Now then, the contests can supposedly be anything. Let's see if this works: you two." He pointed to Henry and the husband. "This is an official challenge for a Fy. The challenge is won by the first of you two to speak my name. Are these terms agreeable?"
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited February 2014
    "hmm.." Henry quickly held up a hand to stop Chester. "I don't know if you can determine when we challenge one another... just to be safe, so I don't go jacking your Fy, I'll do the challenge." He turned to the husband and issued the same challenge that Chester had just made, an the husband nodded his acceptance. Henry immediately spoke the name "Chester Duvall" and upon Chester's affirmation that this was his name, the husband's chest began to glow a brilliant white. Phasing through his body, a Fy appeared. The man seemed to be in some amount of discomfort, though he managed to work through it and soon enough, Henry approached the Fy and touched it, allowing it to grasp his arm and merge into him.

    As soon as the symbiote merged with Henry, he began to feel a chill running throughout him, and a cold sweat began to run. "Harold, or Chester... or whoever call that cab now so that it gets here soon... I'm gonna go lie down.. Pleasure helping you two." He offered to the couple, the man who he had 'challenged' was sweating, though standing, as Henry went and propped himself against a leafless tree.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited February 2014
    "Give me your phone, Harold," Marshal grumbled. He punched in a number while Harold considered his challenge.

    "Hm. Don't see any reason to get crazy with it. Should I just do the same challenge?"

    "Do it with his name," Chester suggested, indicating Marshal. While he was not overtly suspicious of the couple, he wanted to make sure they wouldn't be able to backstab them by winning the challenge. He wanted to take every precaution possible.

    "Okie dokie then. I," Harold declared, pointing to himself, "challenge you," pointing to the wife, "to an Aether challenge thing. First one to say his name wins." He finished by pointing to Marshal, who shook his head as he spoke into the phone.

    "Yeah, couple guys aren't feeling too well. Yep, you guessed it, partying too hard. We are certainly cutting loose here. Yes, I can imagine how often you get calls like this. We're on the west side of the Solstice Shopping Mall. Goodbye."

    The wife nodded. "I accept the challenge. Rumpelstiltskin! Heheh." She gave a nervous laugh.

    "Frederick Marshal," Harold replied. Sure enough, a Fy slowly melted out of the woman's body, obviously to her discomfort. It entered Harold's chest, and he promptly fell over. "Guh. Was not expecting that," he mumbled, struggling to sit up.

    Marshal returned to the group. "Cab should be here in ten minutes or so. What about you guys?" He gestured to the couple. "You done or what?"
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "Yes, yes thank you!" The woman stated. "We'll be on our way now.." without so much as a look back, the man and woman left and within a few minutes the cab arrived to take the Beltane's back to their home.


    End of night


    April 29, 2012

    8 AM

    Henry found himself in a bad way, fading in and out of consciousness as the morning sun gleamed in gray through the windows of the factory. He couldn't really make heads or tails of what was happening around him and so settled back into sleep.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    Harold would have felt the same way as Henry, had he managed to wake at all. He was coping by completely shutting down, and there was no indication of when he'd wake up.

    Chester was already up, checking on the two new Fy-holders. Based on his own experience, he figured they need no special treatment beyond a little more rest. He moved into the dilapidated office rooms, where Marshal puffing on his breakfast. "You might have heard, but smoking is bad for your health."

    Marshal shrugged in apathy. "Apparently, demonic possession doesn't feel that good either."

    Chester waved the question away. "Oh, Harold and Henry should be up and about later today. Once they're good to go, we can do some testing."

    "Testing?"

    "Well, we got a basic description of their Fy from that couple, and if it's the same as me they'll get a sort of vision that lets them know what they can do. But we need to get their powers completely figured out before we start really using them. And since we'll be testing anyway, I think we can earn a couple bucks while we're at it."

    Marshal considered the statement for a moment before rolling his eyes. "You want to put on a magic show."

    "How much would you pay to watch a man fly? I think ten bucks is pretty low, but we need to build up attendance a little first."
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "help" came a small voice from what seemed to be far away, the voice contained hints of a British accent and while it was too tiny to be in the room, it seemed to resonate enough to indicate that the speaker was close to Marshal and Chester. "help me." it came again, this time more clearly, but still small.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "What the..."

    "You hear it, too?" Chester looked around the room. "What is that?"

    "It's a voice. Try to figure out where it's coming from." Marshal and Chester split up, slowly moving across the room in an attempt to pinpoint where the voice was coming from.
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    As they moved, the tiny voice continued to call out for help, and eventually the two came to a small hole in the wall which didn't lead to anywhere, just the outdoors on the other side. The voice came from inside the wall, it seemed.

    Just behind the two Family members, the breakfast that Marshal had been eating fell off of its table, seemingly unprovoked, to the ground. On the table was a small beetle-like creature, with a human head at the end of its body where its normal mouth should be. Though it was too small to pinpoint the details, the face was a bald androgynous head that was permanently transfixed into a pained crying expression. Suddenly, from behind them, the voice in the wall spoke.

    "Oh hello there gentlemen!" it called "I didn't mean to disrupt you, it was only I, having a playful practical joke on you!" From another hole further up toward the ceiling, another beetle like the one on the table appeared. "We've been watching you..." it chuckled with its odd English accent "... in the shower? Becoming fine young gentlemen, aren't we?" it breathed heavily, its voice noting that it took some delight in the actions it described.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    The two Beltanes furrowed their brows, following the voices. "That's... That's disgusting," Chester thought aloud, eyeing the beetle on the table. Marshall did not reply, simply moving to crush it with his hand.
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    As Marshall smashed the bug, his hand began to immediately burn and a small hiss emitted as the skin began to peel away at the touch of the strange insect's blood. "AhaHAhaHA" one of the other bugs chimed in, "That won't do, young sir. It will not do a-Tall"


    On the couch which he frequently slept upon, Henry stirred due to the dream he was having. He had not had a flying dream since he was a child, and now he had the most vivid dream he had ever encountered of soaring through Samhain above any and everyone. It was not a fast type of flight, but it was flight all the same, and Henry, though afraid from time to time as he had several near-misses, was ecstatic.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    Marshal cried out, waving his hand about and reciting a string of expletives. Chester watched him, making sure the man wasn't about to die, before turning back to one of the beetles. "Not much of a stretch to say this is about
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    Another bug spoke as more and more lined the cracks of the room. "We heard your announcement last night, and we know who you are, the Beltane Family.." one spoke, "Well consider us your first employer of
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "Employer? First time we'd have worked for a bug." Chester continued to sound off-put by the insect.

    "It burned my f*cking hand," growled Marshal.

    "Why don't you give us a little more information. Who you are would be a good place to start, and what kind of job you had in mind."
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "My name is unimportant, really." a bug chimed in as it seemed that the mass influx of bugs had finally subsided, with a large number of the insects now inhabiting the various cracks and tears in the room. "I'm a human, like the lot of you, and my job has to do with the Demons. I want you to find each of these Demons that are apparently in our city, and get as much information on them as you can. Really I just want this information out there so that all of us in Samhain can at least know who we're up against.."
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "That's an interesting thought." Chester stroked his chin, "That kind of information would be undeniably valuable. It'd be dangerous, though."

    "Dangerous is an understatement. It's suicide." Marshal shook his head. "One of them was bad enough, and you want us to go find five, ten of them?"

    "It's true. We have Fy, but if even one of them wanted us dead we'd be toast. Why us, exactly? Why not someone with, say, multiple discrete, expendable bodies?" Chester gestured around the room to the insects.
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "Because you work for Autumn, and I work for a Demon." a bug intoned, "If a Demon found out that it was myself making inquiries into their business and persons, it would be much more easily traceable back to me, and less forgivable. From what my coordinator has told me, the Demons should be more willing to come to calm communication with you because you do not work for a person they consider to be on par with them. In addition, Demons of their ilk are able to sense Fy, and thus even though my insects may seem discrete, they are a massive beacon of activity to any of the higher ranked Demons who so wished to detect me, as they are a physically manifesting Fy... at least that's what my coordinator told me... Oh, and before you ask, I'm not saying which Demon I'm with, I want to keep my identity a secret after all. Though just know that my fellow humans and I are going about this in a.. subtle, manner.. that is to say, our Demon doesn't know about our plans."

    ===================

    Henry began surfacing on the edges of sleep, becoming slowly aware of where he was as he began to regain sensation. Waking up, he slowly propped himself up on the couch, looking out into the cold "winter" sun that shone in on Harold and him.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "So we're slightly less likely to die than some other *sshole," growled Marshal. "Still sounds like a sh*tty deal to me."

    Chester nodded. "I usually try not to agree with him, but he's right. I don't like this whole dynamic where you can't trust us but we have to trust you. It's not how we work, especially when we're dealing with information. Either you can be a little more accommodating, or we can be done here." He shrugged, as if he could do nothing to circumvent this ultimatum.
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "Well..." a bug started, "How about these terms? You'll do it or the one who just smashed one of us is dead. You see these bugs serve a purpose, they act as a vector for a strain of disease that I've engineered with this Fy. When you smashed one of us, not only did it burn you, but the virus I created made its way into your body, and will progress there unless I make it cease. So you'll do this job, and I'll put the vaccinate you. If not, it will progress through its symptoms, and you will die a very slow, very painful death. " All of the bugs began to emit a low humming laughter at that notion.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    ((This is my 1000th post on Saving Throw. Kind of a weird milestone, given that we left for a while and then returned. Also not as significant for other people, since chatting in an OOC or Spam thread can get you up to 1000 pretty quick, and that's not something I've really done. I've come a long way in terms of RPing, no need to verify that statement by looking back at my old posts. Hope there will be another 1000 to come, whether they're here or somewhere else.))

    "WHAT?!" Marshall grabbed his hand, staring at the shimmering wound on his palm as if he could spot the virus.

    "Are you serious? Are the Fy really that powerful..." Chester looked back and forth between Marshal and the insects, taking in the situation with muted shock. ((I'd like to do a Sense Deception roll, not sure if I have to compare it to bug guy's stats or whatever))

    "You motherf*cking bugs!" Marshal was quivering with rage. "I'll take you all down with me! I'll kill you..." He lunged a couple times around the room, wildly stepping on a few more of the beetles.
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    As Henry sat in his couch, he began to hear a loud series of stomps coming from the floor above him. He also heard Marshal yelling and after a brief moment, decided he should investigate. Hoisting himself off of the couch, Henry's heart skipped a beat as he did not land on the ground, but instead found himself floating in midair over the couch. A very large smile began to creep over his face, though he would celebrate later. The stomping was continuing and Henry began to become worried. Slowly, at about the pace of his normal quick walk. The sensation of flying was enough to make him never want to touch the ground again simply for the novelty of it.


    ((Sense Deception check: 1.))

    Chester tried to discern whether or not the insects had spoken truthfully, and after a moment he realized that indeed, they had. Their blood hissed on the carpet and were it not for Marshal's shoes, would have provided more wounds for the virus to enter through.

    "Yours aren't," An insect spoke in response to Chester "But mine is, I've paid my due diligence and now my Fy is very very adaptable. So then, you'll accept my terms, yes?"

    Henry finally arrived at the door and opened it, hovering in midair as he entered, "What's u-- WHAT THE F*CK!?" was all he could shout as he saw the insects around the room. He did not know what they were, but in his mind they immediately triggered an image of the thing he held particular fear for -- bees, hornets, wasps, any insect that flew and could sting was enough to scare Henry. When he was young, he fell face-first into a bee's nest and the insect's had frightened him ever since. He had not had to deal with them much, living in Winter District, but seeing the hideous human-faced beetles sent Henry immediately back to that fear. He quickly exited the room and slammed the door behind him, waiting on the other side. "WHAT THE HELL ARE THOSE THINGS!?!" he asked Chester and Marshal from the hallway.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    Between Marshal's stomping and Henry's shouting, Harold was finally roused. "Jeezus, what is going on up there?" He slumped out of bed, trying to hustle up the stairs. "Henry, are you all right?"

    "They're our newest employers!" Chester called to Henry. "... I suppose."

    "B*stards!" Marshal's stomping began to slow, as he realized the futility of what he was doing. His feet finally stopped, but his fists remained clenched.

    "So much for all the humans keeping it friendly," Chester muttered. He jabbed a thumb toward Marshal. "How long does he have before this virus of yours kicks in?"
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    "I'd give it maybe around one week. Perhaps a bit longer. The symptoms will begin to show up in a day or so, and by the time one week rolls around, you'd be quicker to just leave him out of any traipsing about." The bugs began to skitter out by the masses, leaving only a few behind. "We're not just going to send you out cold, though. I've got a bit of information that might prove useful. 'L'abattoir' apparently has some strong ties that'll lead you to a Demon. I'll be sure to find you all again if anything comes up. Ta-ta for now, Beltane boys!" With a final mocking farewell, the bugs vanished back into the walls.

    Henry heard everything through the door, and, with his body still pressed against the office trying to contain the insects he thought were there, Henry inquired as to what had happened.
  • KhanKhan Heh heh Full Members
    edited March 2014
    Marshal was still too shaken to discuss what had happened, but Chester relayed the morning's happenings to Henry and Harold. "... The only lead he gave us was 'L'Abattoir.'" Do you think he was talking about that restaurant?"

    ((Hearthwise roll failed)) "Restaurant?" Harold looked perplexed. "Think I've seen it before or something, but I don't really know anything about it. It's in Winter, yeah?"

    ((Hearthwise roll succeeded)) "It's sort of a trendy butcher shop. 4- or 5-star food, but they run it out of a renovated meat locker." Chester shook his head. "I remember when fashion meant looking sharp and buying the best, not charging fifty bucks a plate to eat in a slaughterhouse. Kids with money will do anything these days."

    "Thanks for the history lesson, but I'm dying of a virus. Why the hell are we going to a restaurant?"

    Chester shrugged. "It has sort of a shady reputation for such a fancy place. Supposedly it's the last place a few missing persons were seen, but how many depends on who you ask. I always assumed the owner was just spreading an urban myth to add to the atmosphere, but if it has demonic connections..."

    "F*cking f*ck. That bug says we'll be fine, and the first place he sends us is a haunted slaughterhouse." Marshal ran his hand through his hair, only to wince. "I need to wrap this in a bandage, it's killing me."
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited March 2014
    Henry stared in shock at the events being relayed to him, and as the congregation came to a conclusion on what their next course of action was to be, Henry began to think on ways that he could hopefully turn the tide back in the Beltane's favor. He was the head of this family and as such, any coercion or threat of its members rubbed him particularly the wrong way. "We'll go to this restaurant once you're bandaged up, Marshal. If we're being threatened I want to clear the danger away quickly and then we figure out who this little **** is.." He hovered in midair and floated around the office room that the insects had appeared in. He noticed that the blood had remained on the ground and wondered about that briefly. "We move out soon then. Everyone get ready."
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