The Axalon RPG

 
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 Post subject: Para's Plan
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:12 pm
Posts: 24
Emanon had been sleeping when he got the alert. He was up and plugging himself into the console as quickly and as quietly as he could, so as not to wake the person beside him. When he pushed the cable into the port on the back of his neck, he could feel his senses expand out -- the feed of information coming from across the universe, giving him a 360° view, perfect audio reception, and even a sense of the smell in the area around the person wearing the receptor.

Typically this person was Sphinx or Tular, usually wanting to know if he sensed any danger in the immediate area. He was surprised to see Para walking down a dark and dingy street. It was one of those alleyways that was more like a corridor, because it came with a roof. He knew that they were currently staying in a maze-like under city, hiding from the increasingly numerous and bold assassins being sent after Para. They were quickly learning that Para's famous bodyguard, who had initially been such a deterrent to would-be murderers, wasn't killing the people who came after her charge. And so more came, and the ones who hadn't been killed came back.

Emanon was pretty sure Para wasn't supposed to be walking around by herself at night.

"Hi Emanon," she said into the microphone.

"Hi. Do your, you know, your people, know you're out here?"

He saw Para smile. "Sphinx and Tular?"

"Yeah."

"No."

"What are you doing out here?"

"I'm going to buy a pack of cigarettes."

Emanon paused to consider this, and Para spoke into the silence: "I blocked your connection to Sphinx. You can't tell her."

Emanon continued to pause, considering this new information instead.

"So...you've kidnapped me," he said, summarizing the situation from the confines of the headset that was his only window to be under city Para walked through.

She gave a nervous little laugh. "I guess so. I'm going to need your help."

"To buy a pack of cigarettes?"

"Sort of. Just pay attention and, um, be ready for things to happen."

Emanon watched her pick her way down the narrow sidewalk, keeping close to the wall to avoid the sleek trams that zoomed by on the rails installed in the street, transporting the more affluent travelers without exposing themselves to this neighborhood.

"I'm really uncomfortable with your choice of words," he told her.

"Good," Para said. "Sphinx says you're more alert when you're uncomfortable."

She turned and crawled up a ladder into a tiny lighted opening, lit with neon letters spelling out "DRUGS." Emanon watched her use a credit stick to buy a small pack of cigarettes from the corpulent store owner. He could smell sweat and sterilized things. While Para was waiting, she took a little silver toy out from her pocket and fiddled with it, flicking parts of it up and down and making it glow and then dim. Nervous movements. She climbed back down the ladder and turned into a tinier alley, one with no rails.

"Tell me when you see someone following me," she told him.

"Why is someone going to be following you?" Emanon asked.

"I used my own credit account to buy those," she said, and then added in case he misunderstood her: "One with my name on it."

Emanon paused again. It took him longer to process verbalized danger than it did for him to process the immediate and physical danger he was always on the lookout for.

"There are like, six assassins monitoring video and credit feeds looking for you," he said, and while he felt calm, he could tell distantly that his tone sounded faintly horrified.

"I know," Para said quietly.

"They want to *kill* you," he told her.

"That's sort of the definition of assassin, isn't it?" She said. She sounded irritated now, and it hid the fear a bit. "Just tell me when you see them."

Emanon leaned forward, staring fixedly into the feed he was receiving. Examining every shadow, he lost track of his own body. Para kept turning corners, heading down darker and darker alleyways, into one of the deserted crevices of the city where there was no one to help her, or be hurt by reckless mercenaries. Emanon would've commented on this, but he was busy paying attention. He had realized he had no way to dissuade her from whatever she was doing.

He saw shadow flicker.

"On your left. Duck right. Onto the walkway."

Para followed his instructions, moving with the quickness of a startled snake. He had always admired her reflexes, he got the impression it was a species trait, and she'd only gotten quicker over the last few months.

"Tell me as soon as you see the next one," she hissed into the microphone.

Emanon didn't much like her priorities, and kept giving her quick instructions about the hunter that was actively on her trail, telling her where to duck and run. He pulled up a map of the city that he could reference to make sure he wasn't guiding her down any dead ends. Watching her weave in and out of the narrow streets, it seemed more like a chase through a dark mansion than a dash down the streets of a city. From the glimpses he got of her pursuer, he could tell it was a large man wearing a dark, concealing cape and cowl.

The man didn't appear to be a transformer, but Emanon decided to loathe him on principle.

Para moved quickly, and Emanon gave exquisite directions. They lost him just in time for Para to almost turn into a street where a robotic vulture was waiting for her. Emanon warned her in advance.

Para pressed herself into a crevice in the wall, an alcove that was once a covered maintenance panel, but had been vandalized into openness and unusability. She took a deep breath, listening to the footsteps in front of and behind her. Then she screamed. Loudly and intentionally. The footsteps quickened towards her, one pair clanking on the metal ground.

"Whatever your plan is, I hate it," Emanon told her, he was leaning so far forward over the console he was almost lying on it, as if he could enter the scene he was viewing by tilting towards it enough. Para didn't respond. She was holding her breath. He could hear her heart pound.

Emanon saw the robot and the man encounter each other in the dark hallway. They spoke roughly to each other. He could tell they knew each other. Para pressed deeper into her alcove.

The mercenaries in the hall were soon joined by a hulking ogre-like Goliath, another human, another transformer, and a pair of frightening pale white women that spoke simultaneously. None of the mercenaries seemed happy to see each other, but they were also universally unwilling to start a fight.

"These guys are quick," Emanon said, spitting the sentence out like a swear word.

"I'm in a monitored zone," Para breathed into the microphone. Emanon actually did bite back a swear word. He wasn't sure why he was still censoring himself. If Para was old enough to try and get herself killed, she was old enough to handle profanity.

In the under city of Hecate, where Para was, sections were laced with video cameras, and private firms sold feeds from the cameras to anyone who wanted them. Often police. Often not. Following Para from the store would be as easy as subscribing to a television channel.

Finding where she was hiding would be just a matter of reviewing this hallway's history. The two humans, who had gravitated towards each other on the basis of species, were staring at a data pad, as were the pale women. The ogre was pacing around, sniffing the air. Para took a deep, quiet breath.

"I'm going to jump out in a second," she told Emanon. "I need you to get me out of this hallway."

"You have been hanging around Sphinx for too long," Emanon said, covering his real eyes, which did nothing to alter his perception of the situation. "That's the only... you'd better have an amazing plan. Run right, between the humans. They're all taller than you, so stay low to the ground. Stay the hell away from the sisters."

Para didn't hesitate, but bolted from her hiding spot. Emanon heard a strange metallic clatter on the ground, but once he discerned it wasn't a grenade but the silver toy Para have been playing with slipping out of her bag, his attention flicked completely back to the more aggressive aspects of her surroundings.

Neither human reacted in time to stop her -- Emanon was right, they simply didn't have the response time to effectively go from watching a video to grabbing a bolting lizard. The ogre turned towards her and bellowed, but he was also too slow. One of the pale women glided towards her, as quick as quiet lightning, and Emanon yelled at her to dive left and sprint. He wasn't sure whether it was the technology he was using, or his own ability to perceive quickly moving events, but he saw for a second so long it seemed like a minute how it seemed Para was going to slip away, and then the pale hand, moving at an impossibly normal speed through the slowdown of his perception, close around her ankle. Then he saw the green light creep up the pale arm.

At first, Emanon thought there was a problem with his connection. The hallway from which Para had just leaped was bathed in an emerald light. He saw it color the pale woman's body bright green to her elbow, and then up to her wrist as she collapsed to the ground, still gripping Para. He could see all of the mercenaries on the ground. We were moving, but they were not making noise. Their eyes were impossibly wide, those that had eyes.

Para started to kick the pale woman's hand away, then saw how close she was to the green and froze. She waited and watched as the green stopped looking like a light, and began to look like a mist that settled over the scene, falling, flattening, and spreading until it was like a green dust over everything. And then it was nothing.

Para stood and examined the array of bodies for a moment. Then she walked over and picked up the silver toy, which had opened like a blossom, and was now empty of what it had contained.

"What was that?" Emanon whispered in her ear.

"A life-hate bomb," Para told him. Her voice was shaking and her rill was flat against her neck.

After a moment, she added: "Miss Tular had it in her purse."

After another moment, she whispered: "They're all dead."

"Yeah," Emanon said. They both spoke in hushed, stilted tones, with long pauses between. Everything had moved too fast, and they were still catching up.

Para leaned down and touched the wing of the vulture transformer. Somehow, under her touch, the strong metal body seemed as delicate as the bird is impersonated.

"I hate how easy it was," Para said finally, and in a voice above a whisper. "It must be terrible, for it to be so easy to kill."

Emanon felt suddenly and intensely close to her.

"You need to get back to the safe house," he told her.

"Soon."

Para took a tinier, blue pouch out of her bag. She poured it out over the two transformers. It was filled with sand.

She reached into her bag and took out a dagger. It was long and black and Emanon recognized it as one of Sphinx's favorites from the old days. As he watched she knelt by one of the humans. She took a newspaper clipping with the gruesome picture on it out from her bag, and spread it on the ground.

"Oh Primus," Emanon said, resting his head on his hands as he stared at what Para was doing.

"Be quiet," Para told him sharply. Then she shook her head. "No. No, I need you to help me make sure this looks right."

Emanon didn't say anything for a very long time. Long enough to make Para anxious, bordering on panicked. She didn't think she could deal with being alone right now.

Or maybe it was that she didn't want to become sort of person who could deal with this alone.

"I need them to be scared of her," Para said. "They almost killed her last time. It's best for everybody if they're scared of her."

There was still silence from her earpiece.

"I don't want to die," she said, voice wavering away from creepily adult, back to childlike and scared. "They were going to kill me. I get to kill people who were going to kill me. It's allowed."

"Yeah," said Emanon. He sounded tired.

---

Three hours later, the news feeds of Hecate were excited to report a gruesome mass murder where the corpses were all systematically desecrated with knives. Anyone who knew anything about gruesome mass murderers with knives, thought they understood perfectly what had happened.


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 Post subject: Re: Para's Plan
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:09 pm 
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(Long time no see - enjoyed the read... hope all is well)


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 Post subject: Re: Para's Plan
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:59 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:35 pm
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(The best of intentions. Glad to see more of your writing 'Fish.)


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 Post subject: Re: Para's Plan
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:29 pm 
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(allow me to third that sentiment)


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 Post subject: Re: Para's Plan
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:52 pm
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Location: in the Gulag, with a drillbit to my chest
(I'll fourth that sentiment)


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 Post subject: Re: Para's Plan
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:31 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:12 pm
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(Thank you! Mine and JCat's!)


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 Post subject: Re: Para's Plan
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:28 pm 
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(JCat... now there is a name I have not heard in a while...)


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