Expanse: The City Reboot (Dark Fantasy Epic) Main Thread (Open, Started)

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imageVergil Crawford - Morning Light Inn - Tinsdal

"Anything for a lady as beautiful as you." Vergil remarked with a warm, caring smile, as he managed to clean off some of the black powder that was on the Vessel's face. Her cheeks seemed to turn a faint shade of red, almost as if she was blushing. He chuckled slightly.

"Now that's what I like to see, a smile on that pretty face of yours. I'm not looking for anything in return because of this. Just showing that I care. Well, thats all the powder off your face, little bit on the arm, and you should be all nice and clean." He added, as he turned a corner on the towel, and submerging it the water again. This time, Vergil started wiping off he blackpowder that covered the Vessel's right arm up to the elbow.

Without looking on her direction, he asked Julie a few questions.

"Julie, how did you recover that vault, and where there any others like it? I have a feeling, that we may find some answers to what just occurred, if we head towards a Champions base."

Julie
"When you retook that hospital and well Ves did what she does, the champions in the district took a huge nock to moral; they abandoned a lot of their local buildings it just a question of knowing the right people and well the right people are the only people I know and I know everyone.

In the end a few of the champs handed it over in exchange for not being hunted down and killed in riots.

What really caught my interest about the chest was that none of them had a clue how to open it, not a single champion in that district. At first I suspected it was just a weapon or something, maybe that lead to treasure.

But now we've seen how Ves reacted to it. Well now I'm curious; I heard the champions had a small outpost nearby can't imagine they'll be particularly well stocked or anything. I recon the two of us could handle it, be nice to see a master thief at work. Long as you don't announce yourself that is.

As for you Vessel." She kneeled down looking the Vessel in the eyes, "I recon you've earned a break, coconut can take you and Scarlett back to the dean's mansion. Me and Vergil just have a little thing to sort out."

imageVergil Crawford - Morning Light Inn - Tinsdal

After clearing off the remaining blackpowder, Vergil gave a friendly smile.

"There, pretty as a picture, and a very pretty one at that." He remarked, before standing up to acknowledge the **** suggestion.

"Your right Julie, a mission like this, could help uncover some valuable secrets, and possibly help understand who our mystery perpetrator is; unless of course, if the base was evacuated, they took stuff with them. Unlikely though, but it is something to consider at least." Commenting on the potential usefulness of this mission. Vergil then helped the Vessel up, before giving her a hug.

"Don't worry Vessel, I'll come back. Just take it easy though, you've been through alot." He then turned to the ****.

"Alright then, lets get going."

imageScarlett Verneer - The morning light inn - Tinsdal

Scarlett slammed the glass a little too hard on the table, she moved a hand to her head and felt the sudden rush of fatigue. She blinked. It seemed a struggle to remain awake. Was she that tired? Scarlett moved her left hand in front of her face and watched as it broke apart in double vision with world behind blurring. Turning her hand over she cursed out loud and recognised the symptoms of the sleeping agent. After all she had used it many times before. Was this, another, careless mistake of old age or was she stupid enough to think that she was safe here in the north? Whatever the answer it did not matter now. Her head hit the table with a thud as the approaching darkness swallowed her alive.

"Seems to me like someone has had enough."

He emerged from the darkness in the corner of the tavern with a drink in hand and a faded green cloak hiding the features of his face. He watched the commotion at the bar with interest. A woman was arguing with the barmaid about guards. It had caught most of the attention of the patrons around the girl. Placing the drink on the table next to Scarlett's head the man picked her up and propped her against his side. He looked down at the old man turning to see what was going on.

"It's all right. She's with me. I'll take her home now."

It seemed the patron had no real interest in the matter and turned back around without a word or look of cation about the situation. He smiled to himself. This had been the easiest kidnapping of a high profile target ever. The man walked out of the inn with Scarlett completely unobserved. And this girl was supposed to be some big shot Red Stain. He scoffed at the idea.

Julie and Vergil Local champion base (not the one on fire)

It wasn't a very special building, sure it looks grand and slightly imposing but in this district everything did. The whole thing had fallen into disrepair that it was still standing was surprising to say the least.

"No sign of even a soul. Still best we don't attract any unwanted attention; even a few guards could be problematic."

The walls were the first problem they leaned forward so climbing them was going to be insanely difficult, not that the gate was going to be any easier, extremely heavily built and the lock was a bastard as well.

The ****'s usual strategy of ask the right person and have them let you in didn't look like it was happening.

"So master thief, care to work you're magic? You'd think breaking into an abandoned falling down building wouldn't be so much of a challenge Did you bring whatever it was our mystery man dropped?
Sorry if i talk to much, I have this thing where I do random characterisation when I'm bored."

imageVergil Crawford - Local Champions Base - Tinsdal

Vergil looked upon the building that was the target for their reconnaissance mission. Whilst it was a rather grand building, like much in the district, it had certainly seen better days. The fact that it was still standing, was a testament to its construction. He began analyzing the front, so spot any potential openings. Going over the walls were out of the question, due to them leaning forwards towards them, even he would have significant difficulty in climbing up it. It seems their only main point of entrance, was the door, which had a large lock on it.

"You'd think breaking into an abandoned falling down building wouldn't be so much of a challenge. Did you bring whatever it was our mystery man dropped? Sorry if I talk to much, I have this thing where I do random characterisation when I'm bored."

"In my line of work Julie, everything is a challenge, you never know what kind of security the enemy has in place. As for the flintlock, I certainly did, although, I plan to use it for intimidation purposes only. Since we only have a single shot, I'd rather save for something important. Its okay to talk Julie, certainly has been awhile, since I had company on one of these kinds of missions. Just keep it to a minimum whilst we're inside, we don't know who could be lurking about." Vergil then went up to the door, and examined the large metal lock. He began examining its structure, occasionally muttering something that was understandable. He then made notes on his findings to Julie.

"Its a 'Kerrigan and O'Malley' made lock, a quality lock for this kind of building. Cylindrical barrel, with a set of five teeth, equally spread out along its length. Have to have all the teeth facing the same way for the lock to disengage. Fortunately, I have such a tool in mind." He then pulled out his multiple lock pick, and inserted it into the lock, and slowly began to work at it. It took him a few minutes to align the teeth perfectly, but the lock soon fell, Vergil being able to catch it with his spare hand.

Captain Felicia Jones - The Warfleet - Interceptor Class Vessel 'The Electra'

The previous night...

She could not sleep tonight. Instead Felicia remained awake and listening to the sound of the gentle ocean outside. The cabin was cold and she could see her breath rising upwards to vanish in the dark. Felicia could not stand the north, the chill of the winds, the ice that formed on the sea at night and wished more than most to be back in the south. She smiled at the thought of drinking wine in the warm southern night air. Right on time the sound of footsteps approached on the creaking floorboards outside. The light from a lantern crept under the door and illuminated the room. The shadows it cast seemed like monsters moving in to devour her alive with only the glint of her cutlass on the wall as a comfort. Another hour had passed and still she could not sleep. Felicia marked time with the changing of the night watch and in a few minutes more slower footsteps would return in the other direction. Tired from the long hours on patrol on the frozen deck. She felt safe in the familiar sound and watched the light from another lantern dance across the room. Felicia turned her head into the pillow and pulled the stiff bedsheets to the edge of her chin closing her eyes in anticipation of dropping off to sleep. She tried to imagine the sight on deck. All one hundred ships silhouetted in the night. Sailing slow to the northern shore.

Katelyn Verneer - Tinsdal Temporary Holding Prison - Tinsdal

She was running and she was running fast. The screaming guard charged through the gate drawing his sword in anticipation of meeting the escaped prisoner but never expected to find her sweeping low and aiming for the legs. He crashed to the ground and rolled across the cobbled stone. Sword clattering behind. She never looked back and picked herself up to regain momentum despite still been chained with iron at the hands. With the original trip to the cell as her guide back to the main entrance Katelyn sprinted through the iron gate and found the stairs to the ground floor. Pushing open the door she peered around and found the corridor to the courtyard.

The adrenaline flowing through her veins was beginning to wear thin and Katelyn began to realise how much of this impromptu plan could go wrong. One over zealous guard and she would find herself bleeding out a slow death. With all the confusion of the distraction provided a few minutes ago Katelyn had taken the opportunity to overpower the single guard watching her cell and make a break for the exit. She still needed to find her mechanical bow stored somewhere in a room at the front gate. There was so much to think about it almost became overwhelming.

Running as fast as she could Katelyn broke out into the courtyard and looked up at the rising smoke. The thick tower of dark smoke rose high into the sky and the guards rushed to assist in putting out the flames. She smiled musing about the risks of wooden roofs. More smoke and screaming came from around the corner. She stepped forward but found herself before a tall guard looking stern at the iron around her hands. He nodded in recognition. It was one of her friends back from starting the fires around the prison. She sighed and followed him towards the main gate without a word as instructed. The large iron gate was open allowing the guards to come and go with buckets of water and Katelyn walked behind the man keeping her head down until she saw the mechanical bow leaning against the stone wall. The guard effortlessly bent down and picked it up leading Katelyn into the streets outside. Once safe in a short space behind a house he produced an iron key and unlocked the bindings around Katelyn's hands. She rubbed the marks and took her bow. The man nodded and walked back to the prison. He would erase her records and allow her a small head start to escape the district. She wondered for a moment what the guild had to hang over his head and force him to break free a notorious prisoner. For this kind of job it must have been something quite bad.

Walking casually down the street she looked around and found what she was looking for. The Morning Light Inn. A known drop point for her contacts. There was a part of her mind that thought better of just walking in and dropping the key words to the bar staff but right now she had no choice. It would not be long before someone back at the prison noticed her absence, or the unconscious guard, or the dead guard who helped her once the group removed him from their employment. She stepped inside and was about to head to the bar when she noticed someone she would rather have not have met.

Vessel
The Vessel still felt a little shaken. The whole thing was still making her jumpy as hell
Vergil had gone with Julie, she should have asked where.

She saw Scarlett, had she changed? She was wearing something different. The Vessel was sure something was different but couldn't put her finger on it, she did look pretty nice though.
"So are we heading back? I think I'll feel better in a proper palace. More security.
Did you do something with your hair?"

Julie
"Not a bad catch."
Julie stepped forward, the grounds were still clear. Foliage was re-taking the land.
"Great more locks."

Julie spied another door this one thick and wooded, she put her had to it leaning on it slightly, what she didn't expect was for it to break and her to fall through it. The insides were fairly dark.

"You think they'd have heard of windows."

Getting to her feet she peered into the darkness.

"I wonder, you think my dragon flame would provide light? Presumably it would give us light even is there isn't any actual light. Or do you have actual light on you?"

imageVergil Crawford - Local Champions Base - Tinsdal

"Your dragon flame may provide some light, depends on how wide an area you can cast it in." Vergil responded with, as he stared into the pitch black room. He tried using his enhanced vision ability, and was able to make out a few details, one of which being, what he thought looked like a torch.

"Hang on a sec, think I can see something that may provide us with some light." He then went over to the torch, and began striking it with some flint. After a few unsuccessful attempts, a orange glow could be seen, brightening up the room some more. Vergil then removed the torch, and began carrying it.

"Here we go, this should help. But by all means, use your dragon flame. Now then, which way do we go?"

"We could always split up and look for clues, then again this place is falling could be dangerous best to stay together."
The place had clearly long since been abandoned and there was a lot of dust in the air.
The building felt like it was bigger on the inside than on the outside by a few orders of magnitude none of the rooms seamed to hold much interesting.
"Vergil? Can you hear voices?
You remember how to get back out right?"

imageVergil Crawford - Local Champions Base - Tinsdal

The pair had been walking around the abandoned base, for what could of been hours, but was more likely to be only a few minutes. He had been coughing every so often, because of the copious amounts of dust that hanged in the air. It was at that moment, that Julie asked something.

"Vergil? Can you hear voices? You remember how to get back out right?" She asked, sounding slightly scared of the situation they were in.

"Hmm, thought I could hear something earlier. Might of just been the wind. Or maybe, this 'abandoned base', isn't so empty as we first thought. As for getting back out, don't worry, you could say that our auras, having been leaving me a trail to follow. At any rate, what precisely are we looking for? More vaults like the one you showed us at the inn? Or something else entirely?" As a precaution, he removed one of his swords, in case someone else was in the base.

Katelyn Verneer - The Morning Light Inn - Tinsdal

She remained still and muted in the sight of the rather strange woman talking to her. She gave no look, or made no remark, that would appear to the room that she was not a friend of this girl. Was it then good fortune that she had been mistaken for her sister? She recognised the girl from before but could not place a name to the face and decided, after some thought, to act the part of Scarlett until she was far from this inn. The last thing she needed was some drunk local pointing her out to a guard. After all, the escaped assassin of the beloved Kalyn Vaalender would no doubt be worth a few Kiel in reward. The trouble was that this girl wanted to return to the palace. The heart of the lions den. She swallowed the concern rising in the back of her mind and adopted a warm smile.

"Come. We should return."

She knew that the friends of this shaken girl would immediately identify her as someone else but where better to hide than the estate of the dean. The last place anyone would look for her.

"Just give me a minute to change."

She disappeared behind the bar to a small room full of shelving. A store house of goods for the use of such characters as her. A fresh set of armour consisting of faintly decorated tanned leather, leather leggings and warm boots. She grabbed a small curved knife and a quiver of arrows for her bow. And last but not least a brown hood that attached to her armour. The barman made a not of the items and added it to the tab of her crew. She nodded in thanks and took a small pouch of Kiel too. Better to be prepared. She returned to the girl and smiled once more. How on earth did her sister act? She had no clue and decided to be as nice as possible.

"Ready?"

Julie
"Hey someone's been in our base!"
"What? Get them now!"
There was a lot of shouting, and clamouring from somewhere in the house. More voices than either of them could have counted.
Julie dashed into a nearby closet.
"Get in? We don't know how many of them are here." Her tone was hushed but insistent.

Vessel
The Vessel was loading up coconut who was already pretty much healed, he was one tough son of a bitch. Once does she climbed up onto him without much problem clearly someone was an experienced horsewoman.
She offered her hand to Katelyn.
"Don't worry; he's gentle just as long as you are.
You ridden horse much before?"

imageVergil Crawford - Local Champions Base - Tinsdal

Vergil could hear the sound of armour clanking around the house, and many voices, more than those that could be counted. He quickly put out the torch, and placed it in a nearby holder, and then sheathed his sword. Julie then spoke in a hush, but rather insistent tone.

"Get in? We don't know how many of them are here." Gesturing towards a nearby closet.

"Right." Vergil responded rather quietly, as he dashed into the nearby closet, and hurriedly shut the door. From what he could tell, the small room was essentially pitch black, unable to see anything in front of his face. He could feel one of his hands on his hip, at least, he thought it was his hand. It certainly felt different at least.

"Well, this is certainly comfortable." Vergil joked in a sarcastic manner, speaking rather quietly, so is to not blow their cover.

Katelyn Verneer - The Morning Light Inn - Tinsdal

She looked at the horse and thought for second. It was clear that the girl had experience around handling the beast but she did not. And that worried her. He might be gentle but the thought of the horse rearing upwards and tossing her to the ground like a sack of cloth was less than pleasant.

"No. Never." She replied, a little hesitation laced in her voice.

Julie
"A closet, sure brings back memories."

The noise was drawing closer, did they leave a trail? Julie was already in her head trying to find out what could possibly have lead whoever it was.

Someone was in the room you could hear their heavy steps, wait! No way was this just one person.
"Search this room? Ever inch. They won't stay hidden much longer."

The volume of their speech oscillated between loud and quite. Under her breath Julie was making calculations.

"Still got a minute or so. Vergil, there's something I want to tell you..."
There was another voice, this one calmer than the others but there was something about it, maybe it was the way the second it started there was silence no more searching or maybe it was the what happened after.

"Gentlemen, if you'll please not destroy the place."
"And who exactly are..."

BANG!

The roar went up, and then a cacophony of shouting and crashing and clashing.
No idea how long it lasted, felt like days maybe.
Didn't dear move, didn't dare speak.

Pitch black and paralysed in the middle of the metal and flesh storm.
Silence.

Julie almost falls out, of the closet swearing loudly and landing on her face expecting an end that doesn't come. Looking up she sees red, as if the stone itself bleeds. And bodies well fragments of bodies, no way to count or calculate or even identify, just bits of people.
Only one is even whole a champion still thick with armour everywhere but where it mattered. There was a hole in the skull right between the eyes, aside from that there wasn't even a mark.

Vessel
"It's fine don't be scared. If he wanted to hurt you you'd already be dead."
The Vessel pulled the imposter up onto Coconut.
"Onwards."

Her rears up fiercely for a second.
"It's ok boy." Then to the imposter. "It's weird I mean normally he has the power to sense bad people but now he seems cagey for no reason."
They rode out
"I know a short cut."
They dashed through the side streets, it was dark here they were alone just the three of them. You couldn't even really tell what was on the ground.

"So what have you done to the real Scarlett?"

imageVergil Crawford - Local Champions Base - Tinsdal

Vergil remained still throughout the seemingly endless roar of shouting, crashing, clashing, and shooting? When all became quietly, Julie fell to the floor, whilst he graciously stepped around her to survey the carnage that had unfolded. All he could see, was an endless field of bodies, even worse, bits of bodies. There seemed to be only a single Champion, that looked like a regular human remaining, but he of course, was dead as well.

Vergil examined the corpse, trying to determine his cause of death. Only one distinguishing mark caught his interest. There was a perfectly round hole, right between the eyes, the expression, frozen in both fear and death.

"Hmm, must of been shot by a similar weapon to this thing. Might of been the same guy that attacked the Vessel. No use trying to track him now, probably long gone." Vergil remarked, twirling the flintlock between his fingers, before placing in back from where it came. He then went over to Julie, who lay flattened on the cold stone floor, and picked her up.

"You hurt in anyway?" He asked. A lack of response prompted him to continue.

"Two questions. One, what are we looking for specifically? Two, what were you going to tell me before all that happened?" Vergil then started to move Julie over to a nearby bench, where she sat down to adjust herself.

Katelyn Verneer - The Streets - Tinsdal

There was no reason to keep the lie going. She wrapped her arms around the Vessel's waist to hold on a little tighter and watched the world, veiled in darkness, rush on past in a blur. The cold wind of the night seemed to be getting colder by the minute.

'Nothing, I just needed an escape so it took her place. Why?'

Julie

"No, not physically at least." She accepted the hand and got up.
"What we were looking for was something like the other chest, see if there are more leads for the Vessel really, and then there was finding out more about this mystery man of ours.

Now let's see it's quite now, so I say we keep looking. Considering how the Vessel reacted to what was inside I don't want someone who's got one of these weapons to have their hands on the notes as well.

Of course if you want to go I won't keep you."

Vessel

"And what exactly are you running from?"

Kain Whitestroke-Outside Mako's Bar-Tinsdal

Kain sobered up enough to leave the bar so he could make his way to back to the hideout and rethink his plan. Kain casually walked down the side alley. "Got some Kiel to spare?" A beggar lying next to a trash heap spoke as Kain passed. The beggar's expectations dropped as Kain continued walking down the alley without a glance. The beggar began to sit down on the trash until he saw kiel from Kain's hands. Kain smiled as he saw the beggar happily grabbed the kiel with delight at the prospect of having money.

Kain was just at the end of the alley when he heard a brief scream from behind him. The beggar was stabbed through the chest before quickly being decapitated. The man standing over the beggar was an armored man wearing a black mask. Kain's smile vanished when he recognized the killer; Xeldin. Xeldin raised a hand and the dead beggar began was standing up again. "Xeldin, what business does a Necromancer have here?" Kain inquired with barely disguised contempt. Xeldin sheathed his sword and chuckled, "The same reason as last time we met. I'm a little curious how you keep up with your rigorous moral standards." Kain didn't break eye contact as he answered, "When your lift depends on it, one can exercise a lot of self control."

"Doesn't look like you're controlling yourself right now. You know what will happen when you give in don't you?" Kain drew his sword, "Yeah," he answered, "I die." Xeldin stepped forward, reached his hand out and pulled the sword out of Kain's hand and held it to his throat, "Wrong." He whispered, "You just belong to me." Xeldin flipped the sword around and returned it to Kain. "There are worse things to be cursed with. I did give you a great ability." Xeldin reassured. Kain took the sword and sheathed it, "Yeah, but you know the reason why I won't use it."

Xeldin shrank away into the shadows, taking the undead beggar with him. "The time will come soon...I'll make sure of it..."

imageVergil Crawford - Local Champions Base - Tinsdal

"Okay then. And no, I don't want to go. I came here for the Vessel's benefit, after all, we each share a deep connection with her. And the way she felt, after that mysterious gunman attacked, makes me want to do anything for her." Vergil remarked, grabbing another torch from off the wall, and lighting it.

"Your right, with everything all quiet now, should be easier to find another one of those chests. Now, which way should we go?"

"Also, you avoided the other question. If what you were going to tell me was important, then I have to know."

Julie
"So we're in it for the same reasons.
Good luck.
As for where to go...
I'm still working on that.
But I recon if they are keeping anything here they'll have done it in a pretty obvious location.
How do you feel about heights."
Julie had spied a window opening onto an internal garden, the natural light was weird.
"Because I think the two of us cloud climb along that ledge there, and from then on it's just a little luck and we're on the roof."

Katelyn Verneer - The Streets - Tinsdal

She looked into the darkness, her mind elsewhere. Remembering. She was running from a lot of things, places, people, memories, but not that moment. Never that moment. She could feel the pride begin to swell in her chest at the thought of killing Kalyn Vaalender. She could still see the arrow piercing his neck. The look on his face as he gasped for one final breath.

"I'm running from a lot of things, girl, all of which do not concern you."

She needed to get back to the overwatch and see the board. But something in the back of her mind screamed about Scarlett. Where was she now? She had not been at the inn. Katelyn dismissed the thought. Someone would know back at base. The sixth sigil would be safe and far from the reach of the five.

imageVergil Crawford - Local Champions Base - Tinsdal

"I'm good for heights, and the rooftops will make for a stealthier entrance." Vergil responded to the question, looking up at the ledge that Julie had pointed out. He gestured towards the nearby wall.

"Do you want me to give you a hand getting up there?"

Resounding, rapid thuds echoed in constant through those swirling, mage lit shadows, mirrored meekly every half second by the growing resonance of a gentle patter. The stench of singed sulphur mixed and faded with the wafting charcoal draped haze; It's aroma overpowering the embered clothe with it's signature miasma of sweat and Choke weed.

"Does he do that do everyone who walks through the front door?" queried the looming silhouette, the twinges of pain noticeable on the fringe of his voice as the figures void-hued claw racked against the centre of it's cloud cloaked visage.

"Not usually, but it has happened from time to time... He gets bored in there." Retorted a the petite abyss to the towering blackness at her heel, her pitch high and friendly.

"Suppose it can't be helped. Still, I feel sorry for the next poor bastard that has to walk in there." Mused the silver haired stranger, his features becoming more prominent as the duo pierced the veil of those drug addled mists and made their way into that wide, dingy foyer.

"So, do you see your friend?" The blue and gold adorned woman asked, her eyes scanning the room on instinct, for anything out of the ordinary.

"Oh bugger-" Lucian breathed as he quickly paced towards a crumpled figure in a furred cloak of midnight.

"What. Did. You. Do?"

Vessel
"Well if you've chosen to run into and with me I think it concerns me. But if it doesn't concern me."
She stopped Coconut back in the main streets.
"Then I'd rather your left."

Julie
"A hand would be appreciated. It's been a long while since I've climbed one of these things."

imageVergil Crawford - Local Champions Base - Tinsdal

"Very well then, if you climb onto my shoulders, I can give you a boost." Vergil remarked, as he got himself into position underneath the ledge, waiting for Julie to climb.

Katelyn Verneer - The Streets - Tinsdal

She looked around. In the dark she had no idea where she was anymore. She would have to trust this girl.

"I killed a man. A very bad man. Can we go now?"

Vessel
"So have I. I'd prefer more information, I'll trade any information you're willing to tell me for the same in turn."

Julie
"Hell of a tall building."
The climb up wasn't hard but that was just because they hadn't looked down yet. The place was built like a fortress, getting up was hard enough but getting down could take ages especially since the whole thing as a labyrinth.

"Look down."
Julie pointed.
It was a court yard. Could be forty champion could be sixty hard to tell.
They were gathered around two people, one looked like a commander of their, the other was well. Didn't look in the least like they belonged, a man (even that was just a guess) in a long flowing cloak. Wearing pure white.

The two were standing on a raised platform in the court yard, a stone circle marked with various old script.

The champion's voice boomed.
"We know what you're looking for, and we know you've found it now, turn over the information before your organs take out restraining orders on each other.

The man (probably) said something but from up here you couldn't hear it.
There was a loud groaning sound, followed by cracking.
Julie stumbled as cracks appeared in the roof.

"Fuck, run."
She was too late, the section she was on collapsed.
The champions noticed looking up to see essentially the whole building collapsing almost instantly a few were crushed while other's tried to escape.
Julie had disappeared from view.

A voice called up to Vergil from below.
It was the man.

"Watch out, get to your left, there's a safe part that way. Try and meet me down here as soon as you can. I can get you out."

imageVergil Crawford - Local Champions Base - Tinsdal

Vergil could hear a loud groaning sound, followed suddenly by cracks appearing on the roof.

"Fuck, run." Julie said, but it was too late, the section of roof she was on, had collapsed, sending her into the darkness below, and disappearing from view. Vergil quickly rolled to one side. He soon got up, and saw that the roof section had crushed several of the champions, whilst others were escaping from the scene. The being that wore the white cloak then spoke.

"Watch out, get to your left, there's a safe part that way. Try and meet me down here as soon as you can. I can get you out."

"Alright, thanks for that. But first, there is someone I got to retrieve." Vergil remarked, before saluting the stranger, and leaping into the void. He landed with an impact, tumbling off the heap, and in darkness. Due to living in the shadows, he could make out the details that surrounded him, but only just. From the outside, he could hear people getting away from the building.

Good. That gives me a little time. He thought to himself, as he walked over to the pile of rubble, a few of his bones aching from the impact.

Vergil then began sifting through the rubble, trying to find Julie. He threw pieces of roof tile and brick to one side, whilst shoving the crumpled bodies of soldiers to the other; the light from above assisting him. After a few minutes of frantic searching, Vergil was almost warn out; but he soon found her, noise still came from outside. Julie lay spread out, unsure as to whether or not she was conscious.

"Julie, Julie can you hear me? It's Vergil, I'm getting you out of here." He called out, and began dragging her to one side. Vergil then slung her over his shoulder, and began carrying her out of the room, following the stranger's direction, which would presumably lead to the same place.

Katelyn Verneer - The Streets - Tinsdal

She sighed. Rubbing the back of her neck to relieve the aching. It seemed this girl wanted to know all the details.

"I killed Kalyn Vaalender."

This story is purely universe building and is a hint at very future things to happen so they make sense. It's optional and doesn't need to be read.

The events of this story are happening in the same timeline as 'Jungle' but takes place at the same time as the current City.

JUNGLE: Blood and Metal
Chapter One - Good Kill

She rose early in the morning just as the sun was rising above the horizon line and blanketing the land in its heat. Getting out of her tent she looked at the large tree's that surrounded her, it was the South Eastern Jungles ruled by Teyain. Bugs and animals roam wild in these parts, mainly due to the Teyain's inability to keep order of the wild life. Going back into her tent she put on all of her gear, folded in the tent and because of their advance technology was able to fold it and put it into her backpack's pocket.

Stepping further into the Jungle she was getting closer to the Teyain compound, taking out her trust M43 Sniper Rifle she kept it closer as she got further up the ridge and looked out and then below at the grey compound against the green trees.

They sure did a poor job at blending it in...

She wasn't on the levels of the Yeanes Hunters, but she was still one of the top Snipers in all of the lands. Turning on her scopes sensor vision it allowed her to see through the trees and it highlighted the people in the compound. When she pointed her reticle at a person, it would scan them and identify them.

Victor Diosh was the man she was looking for, the leader of the Teyain Vipers. Eventually she saw a tall man walk in wearing a hood and it immediately identified the man was Victor.

"Command, this is Ester-Five-Four-One, I got the target in sights, orders?" She spoke over the radio.

"Ester-Five-Four-One this is Command; you may fire at any time. Just don't miss."

She smirked. "Got it." Ester loaded her gun with large rounds that could pierce a thick metal wall from miles away. Putting on Ear protectors, she prepared for the shot. Breathing in and out she steadied her aim and pointed the reticle right on the head of Victor.

When she fired the shot was deafening to anyone without Ear protectors and could be heard from miles away, but Victor didn't. Just as he turned his head the bullet pierced right through his skull and even hit the soldier behind him and splattered the whole wall with blood.

"Target is down; I repeat Victor Diosh is down. Shot through the head."

"Alright, head back now. Your mission is done. We shall send in the Hunters in due time."

She hated that, she did the simple assassination and then the Hunters get to do the rest of the work. In her honest opinion it wasn't fair and made her job less exciting. Packing up her Sniper Rifle she quickly began to move away, the Vipers would get to her position soon. Pulling out an SVSMG silenced she made her way back into the maze of tree's. Vipers aren't as tough or well trained as Hunters but they got the job done and have killed lots of good soldiers in their line of work. Ester didn't want to be on that list of dead.

It would be a five day walk getting back to the outpost and she had no time to sleep. Using her cloak, it made her face lines and body line's less bright and thus harder to see. Some Trison's were unlucky and have bright lines for their whole careers and are spotted the easiest. Her were in the middle, not too bright but not hard to see. Moving down the small creek she covered her noise with the sound of the rushing water and stopped if she heard any noise from abound.

"Ester-Five-Four-One, we detect tangoes coming up to you at your six o'clock. Viper-class identified."

Heh... Faster than usual.

This wasn't her first time encountering them and wouldn't be her last. "We suggest you change your cloak settings to stealth and hide under the large tree to your left." Command ordered.

Taking out her tactical pad she changed the settings of her cloak and it suddenly became one with nature, but it wasn't perfect, there was still a slight blur where the person was, and it didn't completely hide their heat from sensors. Getting under the tree where there was a small hole she sat there in complete silence while the footsteps of Vipers grew louder.

She couldn't help but be thankful to the Gods that Yeanes has such advanced satellites or she would have been caught in a deadly battle. "The Vipers are checking the area, stay hidden until we give the go." Once more Command told her.

Ester looked out and saw one of the Vipers, their armor was white with red stripes and their helmets were snake shaped with slits where they looked out. It was advanced but archaic compared to the Hunters who have taken out many Viper Squads at a single time. But she wasn't a Hunter, just a simple sniper, which was equal to a grunt in the eyes of Hunters. Resting her head she tried to keep still and make no noise because their noise detectors would go ablaze if she moved enough.

An hour passed and eventually the Vipers gave up their search and headed back to their outpost which would be soon under attack again by the Hunters. "Ester you may move on."

"About time."

Julie

She was still knocked out, the building crumbled around them but for now at least they were safe.

The man in white ran towards her and Vergil. Carefully negotiating the rubble with pretty fancy foot work.
"You alive, thank the gods."

He began investigating Julie.
"She's out cold but there's a plus and breath. Leave her to me; I'm a priest a healer. I think I'm the best chance she's got.

Take this. I found it on one of the champions."
He healed out a flint lock pistol.

"I saw you had one and thought maybe, well it's hardly any good in my hands.
Now you're probably wondering why I'm here, well the champions heard I was researching local architecture looking for well, you'll see. But I was kidnapped by them, to find well a secret of theirs. They said it was important.
Anyway"

Motioning to the stone platform.
"See that massive unmovable slab, well we need to move it somehow."
The thing probably weighed several tonnes if they were lucky, moving it could take 10 strong men and that they certainly didn't have. How they were going to do it was a mystery.
SMASH.

Problem solved it would seem, a bit of roof chose that exact moment to land straight on the top of slab shattering it revealing a barely lit cave below with a slight glistening in it.

Vessel
"Who?"

image Local Champions Base (Courtyard) - Tinsdal

"Thanks, haven't actually fired this other one yet though. Waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it." Vergil remarked, as he was handed another flintlock pistol, an almost exact replica of the one he already had; the only slight difference was in the detailing, the metal on this one, had a slightly golden colour, as opposed to the silver on the other one. He then looked at the man, as he began to investigate Julie.

"Fair enough; with you being the professional healer and all, it makes sense your the better option." The man then motioned Vergil towards a large stone slab that sat in the middle of the courtyard. Judging by its size and presumable weight, they would need quite a few people to shove. It was then that a chunk of roof decided to finally give way and fall down, smashing the large stone, which in turn, revealed a cave that was barely lit, which seemed to have a slight glistening shine at the bottom.

Vergil then turned to the man.

"So, which way is our exit?" He asked.

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