The Vampire Earth - Post Apoc/Sci-fi - Main Thread ( Closed/Started)

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The Vampire Earth

Possessed of an unnatural hunger, the bloodthirsty Reapers have come to Earth to establish a New Order built on the harvesting of human souls. They rule the planet. And if it is night, as sure as darkness, they will come...

"I have also remarked, fellow-soldiers, that such as are eager in the field to preserve their lives at any rate, for the most part perish wretchedly and ignominiously, while I see that such as reflect that death is to all men common and inevitable, and seek in battle only to fall with honour, more frequently, from whatever cause, arrive at old age, and live, while they live, with greater happiness." - Xenophon Anabasis

The Great Plains, March of the forty-fifth year of the Kurian Order: Only the bones of a civilisation remain, monuments to mankind's apogee. Nature and time gnaw away the rest. Derricks still stand in this corner of oil country, giant iron insects surveying the countryside. Beneath them, the pumps rust, scattered in the long yellowish grass like metal herbivores, snouts thrust into the earth. The former wheat fields, fallow for generations and returned to native forest or prairie, feed longhorns, deer and canny wild pigs. It is a land of receding horizons, a stopped watch, timeless.

The idle chatter of the towns garrison fills the air, talks of previous deeds in battle and drinks earned float around, casual chatter of war-weary soldiers. Horse drawn carts are pulled along the street, leaving trails in the thick mud, water soaking the tarnished wood. The guard watches as your group passes through the main road, silent whispers breeze through the crowed and nervous glances shift around the scenery. Ahead of you a large eight-teenth century mansions stands, the white-washed wood rotting on the front porch and a layer of rot climbing up the old battered door. As you approach, the two guards stand aside and motion for you to enter, opening the door with a creak.

Inside, the smell of cigar smoke washes over your senses and the faint smell of mold tickles at you. The quiet murmur of chatter escapes from a door and you make your way towards it. Opening reveals a large room, possibly a master bedroom, covered in maps and sheets of paper. Logistics officers dart around the room shuffling paper and dull chatter spurts from the radio sets. Sat on the opposite side of the table a large, powerful man sits. His leathery skin lined with wrinkles and a light dusting of grey hair dances across his chin. As he looks up he smiles at the sight of you. Taking his old cowboy boots off of the table he sits forwards, huge powerful arms resting on the table.

"So, this is it." He says, smiling. His eye's dart from each of you almost as if he's silently reviewing every aspect of you. He scratches at his stubble for several seconds before taking a deep breath. "We got an operation, classified and all that other malarkey...I'm sure you've heard it before. Just don't go chatting to the militia about it righ'?" He says, standing and moving to your side of the table, a large map of the old United States covering much of it's surface. Various markers placed about. "Before anything, I'm Colonel Rohne, pleased to meet you an all tha'. Now, to business. We've been hearing reports of a new organization working out on the border counties. This ain't regular Quisling soldiers. They come fast and quiet. Whole towns disappear, with only this symbol left." He places a small carved piece of wood upon the table. A cross, skewed and at an angle drawn onto it. "It's a swastika, a symbol from the old world. Used by some very bad people. We've never encountered this before, but the reports are...terrifying. Reapers using fire-arms." He pauses and lets this sink in. "I don't have to tell you the seriousness of this, damn an unarmed reaper can chew through a platoon of wolves in seconds, I don't even want to think about an armed reaper. We've got news of a recent border town going dark up north. Just off the ol' 35 into Iowa. I want you to figure out what this is." There's a long pause while he looks over you all. "You won't be alone on this, Once you've got what you need head over to the North Gate, Major Rourke will meet you there. Good luck Hunters." With that he motions to the door and turns back to the map.

Back outside the sun has risen, casting it's light over the little town. The Warmth licks at your faces. Various soldiers are patrolling the land and standing guard at the gates of the town.

Jessica listened to the briefing, on the one hand the news about Reapers with weapons was very bad news, on the other she wondered why this was a new thing. "well this kinda sounds like it'll be a long one" she said as they exited into the early morning sun "I'm Jessica by the way" tipping her hat to her squad as she introduced her self

"Shizuka," the woman in the hood replied simply. In fact, it was the first thing she'd said to the group since they met. She had kept her hood up and arms crossed all the way through the meeting, never looking anyone in the eye, though just by looking at her, it was clear she was a Cat. The fake cat ears on her hood didn't help in that regard.

Her ninjaku swords rattled ever so slightly on her back as she walked. They produced more sound than her footsteps.

Scathach yawned and stretched.
"Fella certainly enjoys the sound of his own voice." she remarked idly, watching the empty prairie. After spending most of her life in the city, it was quite a change.
"Scathach." she said, by way of introduction. "So, anyone know anything about where we're headed? Or are we heading in blind?"

"Regan McMahon, at your service."
The intimidating frame of a 'Bear' woman shifted from one foot to the other in the corner of the room, but her body language was contrastingly warmer than her appearance. She was a little apprehensive about working with all these new people, particularly given that the news about the armed Reapers would complicate the mission.
"Nice to see we've got a good mix of Hunters here. Cats are gonna be good at recon, us Bears are gonna be there to provide heavy backup should the Kurians get the jump on us, and Wolves are nice and adaptable."

"Nice to see we've got a good mix of Hunters here. Cats are gonna be good at recon, us Bears are gonna be there to provide heavy backup should the Kurians get the jump on us, and Wolves are nice and adaptable."

"i wish there was another wolf" Jessica said "looks like I'm the only one" she said with a frown

"i wish there was another wolf" Jessica said "looks like I'm the only one" she said with a frown

"Guess that makes you all the more importaint to our team. At least I'm not the only girl this time."

A small frame of a man came wandering along the path, a long coat draping over him. A pair of hard walking boots, in fair condition too, beat the trail and a Boonie rested upon his head. A hard looking face gazed over the group, it was aged beyond it's years. Clearly this particular person had spent many a year in the outdoors. The causal tune of a whistle followed with him, a sing-song tune. Followed by a soft voice; "Cat 'e no yoke. You no see 'im, you no 'ear 'im. Den yomp! 'E come."

The figure stopped infront of the group and looked up, presenting a clean set of light blue eyes. A wide smile came over his face. "So, you're my new pack, eh! A few Bears to boot too, damn commands been good to me this time!" His voice carries a southern drawl to it. "'Spose an intro's good 'eh? I'm Rourke, Major and fellow Hunter. Got both Wolf and Cat stuff mixed in these here vain's, damn wish there was bear too!" He says with a laugh and a smile at the Two giants. Unfolding a map he points to a little town called 'Leon'. "Up until last week, we had grain comin' in from a farm up there. Jus' a little place but enough to keep the Garrison fed and happy. We haven't heard anythin' back from 'em since our last messenger wen' on up and he ain't come back, so we gotta go find out what's up." A large grin spreads across his face and delight sits within his eye's as he pulls out a compass and pen. "So, wha' you wanna do?"

Yuriy looked up towards the rising sun, narrowing his eyes as the sun brightened the morning sky and bathed his face in warmth. He breathed deep, the crisp air and sighed heavily in relief. Relief that things would really get going, that this newly assembled team would be moving onward towards the more exciting work. He streched his shoulders and inhaled deeply once more until felt his back pop before exhaling sharply. Next came his neck with the vertabrae popping as he rolled his head from side to side. With a quick adjustment of his cap, the brim had brought shade to his eyes and clarity to his vision.

"I am Yuriy Solovyev. You all can call me Yuriy, if you wish." The large Bear said with his deep accent as he swept his gaze across the group, giving a tip of his own hat to Jessica in return. He quickly turned to collect his things he left outside the door, a hulking army-issue duffel bag that appeared to be packed as tightly as possible, a rather large rectangular steel box, and the beauty that was undoubtedly his weapon of choice. First, the straps of the box were slipped over his shoulders, followed by the duffel bag which rested neatly atop the hinged lid. Last, but most certaintly not least, his pride and joy, which he carefully lifted from against the wall, and swung it over his shoulder with much of the barrel hanging forward for balance. Once prepared, he returned to the group, his gear clacking audibly as he stepped, and was met with the talk of strategy.

"Nice to see we've got a good mix of Hunters here. Cats are gonna be good at recon, us Bears are gonna be there to provide heavy backup should the Kurians get the jump on us, and Wolves are nice and adaptable."

"Da," Yuriy remarked with a chuckle. "Providing heavy support will be no problem. No problem for us, at any rate. It is a pleasure to meet you all."

As he wrapped up the introduction, they were approached by a man, small even by normal standards, and quite cheery by the look of it. He introduced himself as Rourke, to which Yuriy nodded with a smile, and appreciated his sense of humor. Splaying out a map, the Major gave the group a more detailed outline of the task at hand, some things Yuriy felt the Colonel probably could have added. It's likely he had many things on his mind, I can't say I blame him.

"So, wha' you wanna do?"

"Well" Yuriy said as he inspected the map provided, looking at the marked route and the surrounding areas. "I say we follow this road, this 'I Thirty-Five', though remain on eastern side to make ourselves not so easy to see."

"Nice to see we've got a good mix of Hunters here. Cats are gonna be good at recon, us Bears are gonna be there to provide heavy backup should the Kurians get the jump on us, and Wolves are nice and adaptable."

Shizuka nodded. "Not scared. I'm gonna fight, too."

She apparently figured this was a good enough argument.

"So, wha' you wanna do?"

Shizuka found it a bit difficult to understand the man through his accent, but decided not to mention that. She understood well enough. "Agreed. East side of I35. I'll go ahead, if you want."

She kept shifting her weight to either foot. She was already getting restless. Ever since she was made a Cat, she found it difficult to stand still for too long. Everything around her looking like a springboard certainly didn't help.

Scathach lifted her eyebrows at the massive man with an absurd accent, one she had only ever heard mockeries of, not the real thing. She stifled a laugh.
The other cat was posturing about fighting alongside the bears. 'Let her,' she thought laconically. 'I might join wolfy as the only of my kind here very quickly.'

"I say we follow this road, this 'I Thirty-Five', though remain on eastern side to make ourselves not so easy to see."

"I-35? Works for me, I suppose. Never been this far out into the middle of nowhere, so I wouldn't know." She checked her weapons, slipping each out of it's sheath and inspecting it. She had a feeling she would need them.

"east side of the old highway works for me as well" Jessica said as she looked over the map

"Agreed. East side of I35."

"I-35? Works for me, I suppose."

"east side of the old highway works for me as well"

"There you have it, Major," Yuriy said to Rourke, standing tall and giving the man an affirming nod. "I am ready to move when everyone else is."

The Russian Bear looked to Shizuka who looked ready to burst from standing idle for too long. This brought a smile to his face to see someone so eager to press on. "Of course if anyone would like to keep ahead of the group, you will hear no arguing from me. Though I do not think it is my decision to make."

Shizuka didn't feel she needed to speak, but did anyway... sort of. "Ready."

Truth be told, it wasn't just the standing still that made her restless. Ever since her change, she'd always felt very antsy around members of the other Castes, particularly Wolves. She didn't know why, and it never interfered with her work, but it left her feeling even more uneasy during down-time.

"I35 it is then! S'not that far west of here, ol' bush path leads righ' up to it, easy 'nough." Rourke smiled. "After you, ladies." With a small bow. With a quick flurry of hands, he had pulled an old M1 Carbine from a leather sheath on his back. "She sing's aswell as she did last century" He said, giving the weapon a fond pat. "Alrigh' y'know tha' drill, keep your eye's open, nose clean and ears hard." With a nod to Jessica.

With that, he turned and made his way along the dirt road through the town and back off towards the forest. A thick and wild looking sample, much unlike the friendly and welcoming feeling of the old worlds forests. The sun beat down with a casual warmth, the late summers heat warming the backs of the pack.

Shizuka followed along at a brisk pace, making very little noise as she walked. She was happy to finally get moving, and especially couldn't wait to kill some Kurians...

She pulled out her old P90 and double-checked it a few times as they went.

Scathach carefully replaced her knives, and shouldered her small pack.
"Once more unto the breach, dear friends."
She sighed and followed Shizuka.

Jessica made one final check of her gear and followed the cats.
she had her rifle in hand as they walked through the woods, she wasn't expecting trouble so soon but she was keeping an ear out just in case

"Hey, wolfy. Where are you from?" Scathach asked idly, as they moved quickly through the brush.

""Hey, wolfy. Where are you from?" Scathach asked idly, as they moved quickly through the brush.

"Nashville, that's where i was born anyway" Jessica said with an air of disdain.

Nashville, that's where i was born anyway"
"Don't stick your nose any higher in the air, you might fall over." She smiled. "Old city. Surprised it's still around."

"Don't stick your nose any higher in the air, you might fall over." She smiled. "Old city. Surprised it's still around."

"it's still around 'cause the Kurian's took it over. i had the 'luck', if you can call it that, of being born to an family in the upper crust" Jessica said. even after the years she'd spent with the resistance, her feelings where still mixed when i came to her family "i don't like talking about it 'cause some don't like where i came from"

Shizuka frowned at the phrase "the Kurians took it over". She'd heard that phrase far too many times, after her own hometown was invaded. She can scarcely think of anything in Japan anymore without either tearing up or breaking something.

Fortunately, she managed to resist the latter. The former... she was having difficulty with. She did her best to hide a sniffle.

"it's still around 'cause the Kurian's took it over. i had the 'luck', if you can call it that, of being born to an family in the upper crust" Jessica said. even after the years she'd spent with the resistance, her feelings where still mixed when i came to her family "i don't like talking about it 'cause some don't like where i came from"
"You say that as though there are major cities they haven't taken over? And besides, being a quisling is better than starving your kids to death. At least it allowed you the chance to join up. If you'd just starved to death on the street, we'd be missing a hunter." She hummed a bit. "I'm sure they only wanted to be safe. Not everyone has the stones to defy nearly immortal, shape-shifting, incredibly powerful monsters."

"You say that as though there are major cities they haven't taken over? And besides, being a quisling is better than starving your kids to death. At least it allowed you the chance to join up."

"i guess" Jessica started, a smirk crossing her face "i didn't really have a choice on joining, since my options at that point where 'join the resistance or a slow death'. anyway, some people still don't like it so i don't normally talk about it"

"I'm sure they only wanted to be safe. Not everyone has the stones to defy nearly immortal, shape-shifting, incredibly powerful monsters."

Jessica had heard that before, still sounded off to her. "i guess .... how about you? where they find a kittie like you?"

"i guess" Jessica started, a smirk crossing her face "i didn't really have a choice on joining, since my options at that point where 'join the resistance or a slow death'. anyway, some people still don't like it so i don't normally talk about it"
"Ah, one of those cases. Did something dumb?" She laughed softly.
"i guess .... how about you? where they find a kittie like you?"
"New York. Or the bones of it. I was fairly well known as a runner in some circles, a courier of less-than-legal goods. So South Comm. got in touch with me, had me run orders and supplies to their operatives in the city. Eventually, I wanted to get my little brother out of the city, so they took us to the h.q. I joined up. The rest you can guess."

"New York. Or the bones of it. I was fairly well known as a runner in some circles, a courier of less-than-legal goods. So South Comm. got in touch with me, had me run orders and supplies to their operatives in the city. Eventually, I wanted to get my little brother out of the city, so they took us to the h.q. I joined up. The rest you can guess."

"least they got your family out, mine was probably taken before i woke up to tell the wolves and bear that save me where i lived" Jessica started "one apparently does not try to bury a Kris in a Reaper's back and walk away from it, it's more a 'flying threw the air' kinda thing. as i was told, i got back handed before i could stab it"

"least they got your family out, mine was probably taken before i woke up to tell the wolves and bear that save me where i lived" Jessica started "one apparently does not try to bury a Kris in a Reaper's back and walk away from it, it's more a 'flying threw the air' kinda thing. as i was told, i got back handed before i could stab it"
Scathach frowned. "They didn't. Just my brother. My parents were harvested years ago." She cleared her throat. "Yes. Stabbing reapers rarely works." she chuckled. "Hell, what does work on them?"

Shizuka barely suppressed a sob at this point. She started walking a bit faster than the group to try and escape the conversation, even though she knew it wouldn't do any good.

When she was about fifteen feet ahead, she started checking her P90 again, hoping the clicking would drown out the talking.

Yuriy took up the rear, keeping his primary weapon steady over his left shoulder so his right hand was free to draw his massive revolver on his hip if need be. The large man hadn't a need to maintain a brisk walking speed, as his large strides made sure he wouldn't fall behind. By the sounds of the conversation ahead, it was apparent the Hunters had already begun sharing their backgrounds. It likely wouldn't be long until the Bear would have to share his own, but all that would come in due time. For now, he just walked quietly as he listened to their tales and admired their bravery. Though he remained quiet the entire time, there was one question that had enticed him to speak up.

"Hell, what does work on them?"

"Bullets, I would think. Many, many bullets," Yuriy suggested with a hearty laugh. "Though from what I have seen, they can be killed with enough brute force. I await for the moment I can see for myself, first-hand."

"Bullets, I would think. Many, many bullets," Yuriy suggested with a hearty laugh. "Though from what I have seen, they can be killed with enough brute force. I await for the moment I can see for myself, first-hand."
"If that doesn't work? More bullets! I believe they can be killed if you drop an entire building on them."
Scathach turned to look at Shizuka, having heard the story from other trainees, and saw her rapidly and repeatedly going over her gun.
Scatach caught up with her.
"Hey, are you alright? I didn't mean to upset you, if it was me." She looked properly contrite.

Jessica was going to say something but Scathach pulled away to check on the other Cat, so she slowed pace to match the bears "did i upset her?" she asked

"Hey, are you alright? I didn't mean to upset you, if it was me." She looked properly contrite.

At first, Shizuka didn't say anything, which wasn't surprising. She made a point of finishing her gun's check-over before replying quietly. She didn't turn around.

"Dropping buildings works. Don't recommend it. Noisy. Hard to get out."

Figuring she had checked over her gun enough times to eliminate it as an excuse, she started looking over her ninjaku swords. They were plain-looking straight single-edge swords, but they looked nice and sharp all the same.

"Dropping buildings works. Don't recommend it. Noisy. Hard to get out."
"Damn, you're telling me. I was on the other side of the city and I heard it. And I couldn't go outside without someone thinking the slim woman running around did it for a month." She suppressed a laugh. "But really, are you okay? We're a family, now. You understand? A little, broken family with a penchant for killing, but a family nonetheless. If we're upsetting you, feel free to stab us with these pointy things." She placed her finger against the blade of one of the swords.

"did i upset her?"

"I do not think so," Yuriy said, narrowing his eyes in thought. He raised his hat and scratched his head, keeping his eyes forward on Shizuka and wondering about what she was thinking. "One's past can be...difficult. Difficult to discuss, to even keep in one's thoughts. Some...more burdening than others. There is not much we can do, but accept it. Only then, can we truly move on. I cannot help but to think she is holding on to her past, keeping it here."

The Bear tapped the center of his forehead for emphasis. He turned to Jessica, and nodded, certain that he was right. "In time, she may learn to leave it where it needs to be. Never to forget, of course. Only to keep her head clear enough to keep moving forward. Da...all in due time."

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