The Children of Erebus (A Cyberpunk Apocalyptic RP) (Closed) [Chapter 1]

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"Oh, okay. Sorry, ma'am." Sonia closed the distance between herself and Platinum. Doing so gave her a significantly better look at the carrier. Platinum bore stark differences from what Sonia vaguely remembered: her skin, once flawless, had become a grey, ashy colour. Her eyes had turned completely white. Not even an iris or pupil in them, just white walls where blue had once been. And the curvy figure had become... thin, was the best way to describe it. Like a malnourished beggar on the streets.

Even with the changes to her appearance since Sonia had last seen her, Platinum still had her beat on height and... well, other things. The difference was there, much as it was when she and Sapphire stood side by side. Despite some of the other girls at the Sparrow making comments - including Sapphire at times - Sonia wasn't entirely lacking in curves. She did get a little jealous of some of the girls at times, though she often kept it to herself.

Sonia tried to think of a different topic, one that didn't involve mention of hostility or the infection. Something to build common ground and dispel what was left of the tension. "So... um... Dangit. Sorry, Platinum, I'm not entirely sure what to say. Was trying to change the subject." No point in trying to turn on the charm here. I doubt anyone would be interested in hiring me right now. She awkwardly wrapped a lock of red hair around her finger.

"The only thing I want to do with that thing involves a firearm." She glanced sideways at him. He knew she was lying, or at the very least not telling the whole truth. Smug bastard.

"So what corner did you pick up that new lady friend you have that's been following you like a puppy?" she accused, wagging her knife in his direction. Sapphire didn't suspect he was sleeping around or anything like that, but she also wasn't blind to the fact that this new girl had a small crush at the very least.

"Well, you know I always have one to borrow, just in case..." Derrick said with a small shake of his head. He knew there was more, but it seemed that he did owe her some explanation on his new companion, so he might as well let it go...for now, at least.

"Just a few blocks down, near the town entrance. You wouldn't believe how it all went down. First, I was wandering around in these tunnels, only to notice something moving around. Went to take a few valuables, and found her. She was lying in the sewers, and after I had dropped a small bone for her to chew on, and handing her a small rat as a sacrifice, she decided that I was the best thing in the world to happen to her and pledged to follow me till the end of time...."

He paused, grinning as he watched her reaction. Probably not the best place for humor, but he knew that she could be...touchy about such things. Besides, she wouldn't believe the simple story of 'I probably saved her life'. Or at least would think him somewhat crazy for helping her out so much after he probably put himself in a degree of danger. "But, I gave her a fighting chance, so I guess she feels like she owes me something. That, and I think she could be of great help... I'm guessing there is something suspicious about her that you need to let me know?"

Sapphire just stared at Derrick for a while.

"Since when have you had a heart of gold" she finally teased, tossing the knife in the air. "Just tell your puppy to mind the gap." she leaned over, motioning between them with her finger. "I don't want to have to spank her for you." she winked, brushing his chin.

"This has been the worst day ever, merchant. First my client, then this outbreak, now... this mess..."

"Implying I have not always had a heart of gold?" He feigned the small offense as she tossed the knife in the air, to then motion at him with her finger. "I'm sure she is plenty aware of the gap as well...though perhaps the spanking might have to come up anyways. Just in case something is...missed." Bringing his hand to her own as it brushed his chin, he returned a wink of his own as she lamented the day. Stepping closer, he sighed as he looked about them and how the mess had brought them here.

"While the day might not have been the very best of days...I would like to think of it as an opportunity. The outbreak is out there, your client was a well known jerk, and this particular mess....well, maybe we won't have to deal with it for long. It will all pass, and you'll be heading back on home in no time. And then we can get to the bottom of this 'when I got a heart of gold' business." He teased with the last part, giving a small chuckle afterwords.

Platinum had to chuckle a bit at the courtesan's timidity. "Don't worry about it, sug. It's not exactly a stellar situation to be thrown into. They don't train you for this kind of mess."

Another sigh escaped from Platinum's mouth. They were doing that a lot since Cybille reappeared. "So is this your first time out escorting? They way you look, you couldn't have been on that duty for too long."

"It's my first time out of Baronstadt for work, ma'am, but this is my second year of the job," Sonia explained, shedding her thick jacket to show Platinum the dress and jewellery beneath. It was slightly colder without the item on, but she was somewhat used to lower temperatures. "I've been outside of the Sparrow a fair few times, mostly for clients at parties and such. I was on my own for each of those, instead of being hired alongside Sapphire. Another first."

She was referring more to being taken out with another courtesan, rather than being part of a trio in general. But Platinum would get a laugh out of her choice of words, she guessed.

Once Cybille stormed off with Derrick in tow, Ilya stood there awkwardly. The carrier woman and the other girl began to converse with each other leaving Ilya by herself for the most part. Not knowing what else to do, Ilya followed in Derrick's footsteps which lead down a hallway. She made sure to keep her distance so that she wouldn't overhear things that shouldn't be said.

Ilya hid behind on the corner of the wall far enough away from them but the acoustics made Ilya hear some part of their discussion. Mostly it related to how Derrick got her. He made up some story about sending food down a sewer hole. Ilya didn't know what to make of it since that was far from the truth. Still, it made both of them chuckle so she guessed it was funny. Ilya stayed silent, listening to their conversation some more. It reminded her of how her parents used to talk to each other. Sometimes Ilya would overhear them speak when she was supposed to be asleep in her bed. Her father would joke about the prices, people, maybe the king even and her mother would chuckle and laugh.

She peered out of her cover, seeing the romantic two. Now it was apparent to Ilya that Cybille and Derrick were more than friends. She wondered when they would be done talking but also wondered how both of them even met to begin with.

"Heh. I worked with her a few times in tandem. I thought we were pretty good," Platinum told Ruby. "I thought we were just, perfectly in sync. I mean, of course I was top draw at the Sparrow before she was put into the circuit but once she came up, we were unstoppable together."

She looked up at the wall. It had been so long since she actively tried to remember the old days, but she could still recall the good times. "We had that ying yang thing going with our hair, and we would bait each other to see who would go farther with the john, or who could get the most cash off of randoms without saying anything. Just, she was like the little sister I never had back then. I would have taken bullets for her." And I did...

There was an sombre bit of silence after that last sentence before she turned back to the young courtesan. "But, I'm rambling. No use trying to relive the old days, huh sug? So yeah, I have to imagine you've been learning all sorts of things from Sapphire. She teach you the best way to deal with turkeys that can't pay up?"

"You cut his pursestrings when he's on his way out. Disguise it as a goodbye kiss if you have to. If he doesn't have a coinpurse, steal his wallet," Sonia immediately answered. "If he finds out later, the money should already be in a safe place. Of course, if he didn't bring any means of payment at all, we name and shame so that no courtesan will have him." According to Sapphire there was another means to exact payment, but Sonia hadn't learned that one yet. She'd heard from Diamond once that it involved a knife going somewhere it shouldn't be... somewhere painful. Sonia's dagger was for lockpicking and purse-cutting, not inflicting pain.

"I'm told there's another way, but I'm not sure about using my knife like that, ma'am." She quickly checked to make sure she still had it: it was secured in her purse as it always was.

"Well I've found that it is the more entertaining way," Platinum said. "I know you're still feeling things out, but sometimes it's moments like that where you got a wealthy merchant begging you not to take payment out of his body that make the job somewhat empowering. I'm sure as you get used to the ways of the business you'll be a little more comfortable handling daggers. Course, if you don't like the violence then yeah, cutting the strings is the way to go. Or if it's a house call, just ransack the place on the way out. Hell, I'd do that sometimes even if I got paid, if the john was a shitty customer or was a little too possessive. Again, as you get experience, you'll develop an eye for that sort of thing."

"Sir! Captain Simms has issued orders to search the tunnels for the source of the explosions!"

A small detachment of 6 guards were in one of the alleys near the GunShotz bar, having cleared the area of the undead. They were now tasked with finding the culprits responsible for this mess. The lead guard walked over to the entrance, lifting up what was left of the cover off the entrance, and jumping in.

Most of the tunnels had collapsed, leaving the soldiers with a fairly straight shot to the station.

"I didn't get paid merchant. Not what I could have made anyways." She held up a couple wallets. "I did make something at least." She opened them, taking out the cash and extra goodies before tossing the wallets haphazardly into a trash can.

"Get down on the ground! By order of Captain Simms, everyone here is to be detained and brought in for questioning regarding tonight's attacks!" A loud, distorted voice boomed through the station. The sound of guns loading echoed in the halls. Six fully armed war dogs stepped out from the tunnel, the dim light glinting off of their guns and armor...

"Derrick I think that's our cue to get out of here." Sapphire murmured, instinctively tightening her grip on her knife.

"By order of the Baron you are to allow us to continue our work! We just lost a lot of good people in those explosions and if you want to get to the bottom of it you need our help. I still have people out there searching the tunnels and assessing damage. If you want a damn report you'll get it but like hell you are going to pull me away from my work unless you want to explain to Simms and the Baron why the team tasked with protecting zone UT-7 was pulled away from their assigned task under the Baron's law.

I saw what did this with my own eyes and my people will attest to it. Now stand down officer, you'll get your description and situation report." William replied while his own people reacted defensively.

As Platinum spent the time grilling the young girl on what the courtesan trade had become during her departure, a smell permeated the station. One that had not crossed her senses for a few days, but was still unmistakable. It was the smell that heralded one of the darkest moments of her life. The Baron's forces.

She took off for the dorm-like room where she had slept before to gather her things and shield her presence from the soon to be intruders. From the sounds of the orders they were barking, she had made the right decision to get out of the main lobby. However there was a different problem that needed solving. How the hell am I going to get out of here?

"As good a time as any..." He whispered back, and looked around. There wasn't exactly all that many areas with which to go, except in directions which he was not sure if they would lead them into a dead end. Which meant that they would need to head towards some stairs...though at this point it was likely they already had a squad running around down here. Which meant downwards would get them away from the guards, but probably to the less cared for areas. it was of small concern though, as simply going to one of the ruined tunnels would be enough. If anything, Derrick knew that the guards would want to stick to the paths they took, not venture down new ones.

"Here's to hoping that we can make our way back here shortly...." Derrick muttered as he made his way towards one of the tunnels. Seemed to lead to a storage room of sorts? In any case, it seemed like some sort of prep room for him, meaning that a possible exit would be either at the end of it, or near it.

"You and your company are suspected of aiding the enemies of the nation of Ritheen. You are all to be detained until further notice. Until that time, you will get on the ground until you are cleared. If you do not, you will be shot." The soldiers raised their guns, taking inventory of all the base's residents. "Everyone. Get. On. The. Ground. Now!" The voice commanded again.

"Fuck! The stairs are collapsed!" Sapphire hissed. The explosions had done more damage than she originally thought... She kicked the wall of rubble. They had to get up to the ground level to get out, and the guards would find them quickly if they searched.

She turned around, looking around for a possible way out... and spot Ilya. Who was a... "A CARRiuurph-" Derrick pulled her closer, clamping a hand over her mouth. Sapphire pushed him back. "Derrick a Carrier!? Are you trying to get us killed?" she whispered between clenched teeth.

"Shhhhh..." Derrick shushed as he had pulled Sapphire close as she had started speaking a bit too loudly at Ilya. It was fine that she was surprised, but not that she was going to get them caught because of it. He wanted to have this discussion later, and not when there were guards a small distance away.

"So far, I've been trying to keep us free. Killed is hopefully much further off..." Derrick whispered back firmly. "And she isn't here to eat us, so just...let it go until we don't have to worry about being shot at. Or blown up." Slightly confident that she at least knew enough to be quieter now, Derrick released his grip and got to looking about once more. A complete mess, and no way up from this spot.

"Ilya, you see anyone coming this way? Wouldn't do to get us all caught now after sneaking over this way..." Derrick asked, turning his attention back to looking for another possible exit.

Ilya had hidden in the shadows for the most part as the soldiers went through the base, trying to get a handle on its residence. While keeping an eye on the soldiers, she watched the two try to find a way out. As they did so, something spooked the woman, making Derrick clamp his hand on her mouth. The guards didn't notice but the slightest noise could attract all of them.

"Wouldn't do to get us all caught now after sneaking over this way..

Ilya peered down the hallway seeing the soldiers distracted with the owner of the base but she didn't doubt that they would start seeking any of its hiding inhabitants. Ilya looked back to Derrick and shook her head. At the moment they were safe but in this volatile situation anything could happen.

"You guys are something else." William said before using his hammer to bash the lead guard in the head and take cover as his company either opened fire on the guards or rushed to safer areas if they were unarmed.

Those who were armed also moved to some place safer, they knew they would likely be killed anyway if they turned themselves in harboring civilians and two carriers in the midst of the current situation. So going along with them just meant they would die as a public display without any chance of escape.

Caught off guard, the hammer connected solidly with the man's helmet, and there was a loud crunch as the metal yielded to the large hammer. He fell to the ground as blood began to seep out of the neck. In a fraction of a second, the four remaining soldiers took cover and started firing. They steadily started to pick off the demolition men and women with guns one by one. The guards' superior training and equipment made up for their small numbers.

The unarmed workers replaced their fallen comrades, picking up their weapons and continuing to fight for their lives. Unfortunately, they were trapped between a rock and a hard place, with the guards systematically slaughtering them from one end, and the collapsed stairs preventing them from reaching the exits on the first floor.

Sapphire ducked when she heard the shooting start. "Well, so much for getting out of here alive!" She had to shout over the growing din now, covering her ears as shots ricocheted across the room. "The only way we can go is back, see if there's another way up!" Hopefully the guards hadn't advanced too far, and they would be able to slip past and find an alternate route of escape. She peeked around the corner. William and a few of his men were close to the guards, trading shots, while others used their guns from the doorways. Well, he was either really brave or stupid...

The ground rumbled, the station unsteady and unsafe from the proximity of the recent blasts. Its supports and columns cracked, and the building was ready to collapse under its own weight.

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