|The Axalon RPG
|[NWoD] A Simple Thing
|Page 1 of 1|
|Author:||Pyre [ Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:18 pm ]|
|Post subject:||[NWoD] A Simple Thing|
(This is based on a campaign that I was a part of for a long while, taking place in the New World of Darkness setting. I've taken a few liberties with certain vampiric attributes. Specifically this is the 'lead up', as our GM ran us all through a bunch of individual adventures to play out how our character was pre-change, as well as cover the actual embrace.)
Kale put the cup of steaming coffee between his hands and let his head fall forward, yawning deeply. The fluorescents overhead cast a too-harsh white light, and he blearily tried to focus on the black swill in his cup. The briefing room was quiet except for footsteps from the other member of Red Storm LLC, who was headed back from the coffee machine. A rough clap on the shoulder had Kale glaring in a moment though, Adams smirking down before seating himself heavily in a chair beside him.
“Just like the old days, right?” He asked, sipping his coffee. “Damn that’s good.”
“It’s 1 AM,” Kale said, still glaring. “There’s nothing good right now. Besides,” he continued, straightening up slightly in his seat, trying to find some comfortable position, “sleep was supposed to be a perk in the private sector.” The other man shook his head, salt and pepper hair still cut short, a stark contrast to Kale’s own coal black color.
“You take what you can get. Biggest perk is not getting shot at. Well, as much, at least,” he amended, before taking another swig of coffee. Kale’s expression changed to one of disgust.
“What is that, three?”
“Four. You can never have too much coffee. What’s that, your first?” Adams asked. Despite his ribbing at Kale’s expense, he stretched out an arm and exposed a silver watch on his wrist, checking the time. “Dammit, where the hell is everyone?” Kale smirked.
“Hey, plenty of time to enjoy the morning.” He deadpanned. “I saw Michaels in his office, putting together our folders. No idea where Jensen is though. You got the call first, right?. Any idea what this is about?”
“Just the bare bones,” Adams said, standing up, draining his mug and heading back to the coffee machine at the back. Kale rolled his eyes as he topped up again. “Some rich guy that needs something acquired from some other rich guy.” That piqued Kale’s interest. He’d only been with the outfit for six months, but this was the first time he’d been on anything other than bodyguard or escort duty.
“Acquistion? He’s gotta be paying well.”
“Oh, he is,” Adams said, seating himself again with a smile. “Another benefit of private sector.”
“Foreign or domestic?” Kale inquired, turning more fully to face Adams. When the other man grinned broadly, Kale met it with a frown. “What?”
“You’re gonna love this. It’s not just domestic. It’s local,” he said, spreading his arms as if presenting some grand design. Kale blinked.
“Local. Seriously.” The ex-soldier shook his head, leaning back in his chair again. “That’s gotta be a first. Why the hell would Michaels agree to a local contract? Christ, that’s just...look, I’m the new guy, fine, but that’s a lousy idea, it seems.” As if on cue, Michaels entered the room. Over fifty, closer to sixty according to most, he was at the age where not being in the field was starting to show on him, a little rounder in the middle than he used to be. Unlike Adams his hair had gone completely grey, more than twenty years ago apparently, and he went to stand at the front of the room.
“It would be, if not for the ridiculous number of zeroes he’s offering to pay,” Michaels grunted, before looking around the room. “Where the hell is Jensen?” Adams and Kale looked at one another and shrugged.
“Beats me boss,” Adams replied. “Called him and Kale at around the same time.”
“Whatever. He can catch up,” Michaels grunted, and handed out two dossiers to Kale and Adams, who flipped them open almost in unison. “The hire has expressed his need to remain anonymous, and he’s paid the fee for it as well. He wants the steel box that’s on the photo number two. Not what’s in the box; just the box. We don’t open it, test it, nothing. That’s it.” Kale ignored the photo of the objective for the moment, instead focusing on the satellite imagery.
“That’s it?” Kale repeated, frowning. He flipped through the dossier some more, looking over the layout of the building, and some black and white recon photos. and looking back up at Michaels. “This is a storage unit. Sure, barbed wire fence and a few dogs, but there’s no one with guns as far as this intel goes He really needs trained soldiers for this?”
“Mantra,” Adams said, and Kale scowled, before Adams said it aloud himself. “We do the job, we get paid,” he reminded the younger man. “Except Jensen, it looks like. Guess we have to pick him up at home.”
“Remind that lazy ass that the next time he decides to sleep in,” Michaels said, glowering, “that he can forget about his bonus. Every bonus. Ever. Sign out your kits, and get this done.”
“Wait, now?” Adams said, and this time it was his turn to be surprised.
“Now,” Michaels confirmed, and closed his folder.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“This is bad,” Jensen said, rechecking his sidearm for what Kale felt was the hundredth time. “Briefing to op in less than an hour? No time to plan, no backup. This doesn’t feel right, man.”
“Do the job and get paid,” Kale said wryly, turning his head to look at Adams. “Right?”
“Yeah, screw you too,” Adams grunted. His good humor had vanished after they’d gotten down to the equipment lockers and requisitioned their kits. Sidearms, partial body armor, and silenced MP5s. “This feels more like a hit job than an acquisition.” The black SUV they were in hit a bump, and Adams banged his head on the ceiling with a curse. He turned towards the driver, Thomas, and glared. “Take it easy, will you? There’s not exactly anyone waiting for us there. Jesus.”
“That’s something else,” Jensen said, holstering his revolver. “A bunch of dogs? That’s weak, even for storage. There’s gotta be a catch, here.”
“Probably a solid security system,” Thomas answered, looking over his shoulder briefly before focusing on the road again. Beside him in the passenger seat was another recruit, Dias. Fresher than Kale, but not by a great deal, he’d been mostly silent for the drive. “I mean, the response time has gotta be garbage, considering we’re out in the middle of nowhere. That’s another weird thing though, and you’ll like this, Jensen. There’s no GPS for this place.”
“What do you mean?” Jensen asked, suspicious.
“There’s no address for this place. The photos we got? They’re old, man. Really old. Not just black and white, but grainy as hell. That bump you reamed me out over Adams? That was driving over a ditch to take the road we need. Jackass.”
“So in other words, there might be more than just dogs,” Adams grunted. “You may not be a total idiot after all, Jensen. Keep it quiet if you can, revolvers if you have to, heavier only if you meet significant resistance.”
“Fucking revolvers,” Kale muttered, and caught Adams about to argue, only to hold a hand up. “I know, I know. No brass on the ground. All the same.” He reached down and made sure his holdout automatic was still down by his ankle. “This isn’t a Wild West shootout.”
“Five minutes, give or take,” Thomas called out. Kale glanced out a darkly tinted window. There hadn’t been any streetlights for at least a few miles now. It was easy to imagine how Thomas could have missed the turn they took before.
“Alright, everyone knows the drill. Jensen, check for security. We’re up and over the fence or cut it if we have to,” Adams said, going over the plan one more time. “Take out the dogs if you have to. Kale, you and Thomas are our eyes outside. Jensen, Dias and I will retrieve the objective. If we need another set of hands I’ll radio in.”
“Man. Shooting dogs,” Jensen muttered. “That sucks.”
“No argument from me,” Adams said, and shrugged. “But that’s the job. Ready up.” The SUv pulled to a slow stop, and Kale let out a breath, pulling out his revolver and throwing open the door, jumping out and advancing towards the fence. Beyond it was an entirely non-descript steel building, two floors, with not a single window, and only one door visible. Boot steps behind him told him the rest of the team was right behind him. As they got close though he felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up, even under his gear, and heard a soft hum.
“Electric,” he whispered, and Adams nodded, turning to Jensen and motioning him towards the fence. He quickly swung his pack off and rummaged for a moment, while Adams kicked dirt and grass away a few feet from the fence, making a small hole. A moment later, Jensen emptied a water bottle into the hole, and then extended a collapsible metal pole. Kale, Adams, and Dias stood clear while Jensen jammed one end of the pole into the water-filled hole, and then let it fall towards the fence. There was a shower of sparks, and the hum vanished.
“Well, good thing we’re in the middle of nowhere, at least. But those dogs are gonna be coming any minute. Man, I don’t want to shoot dogs! Even guard dogs!” He grabbed another tool out of his belt, a modified jack, and quickly began raising the bottom wire of the fence away from the ground, leaving more than enough room for the team to get beneath it. Despite his protests, Jensen went in first, while Dias and Adams made ready to follow him.
“I’m going to check on the police band,” Thomas said, backing away towards the SUV. “Just in case anyone called that in.” Kale nodded, and by the time Thomas was back in the SUV, Adams, Jensen, and Dias were on the other side of the fence, little more than dark shadows running towards the featureless, two story storage building beyond. Now all there was to do was wait.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“It’s been fifteen minutes,” Thomas said again, agitated. He was back beside Kale again, near the fence, jack still in place. “We should go in after them.”
“Not the plan,” Kale said quietly, but all the same, he checked his radio again. A short burst of static confirmed it was working. “We wait until they come out, or they call. Speaking of calling, nobody rang in with those sparks from before?”
“Not a soul about this place, not that I heard. Could’ve missed it though. Busy night for shootings,” he said, shaking his head, and looking around. “Man, can you believe this?”
“Believe what?” Kale asked, looking at the building and frowning. He’d seen them enter, Jensen had worked his magic on the lock evidently, after that...nothing. No gunshots, not radio chatter. Maybe the building was proofed? That didn’t make a damn bit of sense. Not for a glorified two story locker.
“That five American ex-soldiers are raiding a storage locker on American soil armed with fully automatic weapons? Can you imagine this happening even fifteen years ago?” Thomas asked him, shaking his head ruefully.
“Yeah, absolutely. Maybe not this far north, but...” Kale shrugged, looking at Thomas over his shoulder.. “The world’s been going to hell for a while now, Thomas. You just now noticed? The economy, the wars, everything’s going to shit.” He focused again on the building a short distance away. “Gotta look out for yourself.”
“...great team player,” Thomas said, sounding irritated. “I can totally see why Michaels hired you. Big on leadership too.” Kale shot him a glare, then advanced towards the fence. “Wait, what’s going on?”
“You want to be a team player? Let’s see what the hell Adams and the others are up to then.” He dropped to his stomach and crawled under the wire, but advanced a few feet only to stop dead, Thomas moving to stand beside him.
“What are you-” He began to ask, only to stop dead. “Oh. That.” He glanced around, shifting his grip on his revolver. “What the fuck is that?”
“No idea,” Kale muttered, “but something just doesn’t...feel right. Like someone’s watching. Adams and the rest didn’t stop though. This might be new. Let’s hurry it up.” Thomas nodded, albeit reluctantly, and the two advanced further. Scrabbling running noises brought them to a stop once more though. “Shit, the dogs. Two. Take ‘em,” he ordered, even though he was newer than Thomas, both raised their revolvers and opened fire. The wolf ears each of them wore cut down the firearm’s rapport to something manageable, but-
“What the fuck?!” Thomas yelled. “They’re too fast!” They barely managed a handful of shots before the canines made it to them, lunging. Thomas yelled again as he was thrown to the ground, the dog snapping and biting, while Kale lunged aside, feeling paws grab at his body armor, turning him around to land on his back. But one thing he would always remember, even many decades later, was how for all their fury, this clawing and biting and their impossible, monstrous speed, not once did they bark or growl.
“Get it off me!” Thomas screamed, but Kale’s attention was wholly focused on the dog that had already recovered from its jump and thrown itself back at him. He raised his left hand, snarling in pain as he felt the dog’s jaws clamp around the ballistic plates on his forearms. Adams had called him excessive for bringing along that much armor, but even with it, he felt his bones grind as the dog clenched his teeth down. Reacting on instinct, Kale pulled his knife from over his shoulder and stabbed the thing right in the neck. Barely any blood flowed, and so he stabbed again, and again, and again, almost in a frenzy. Its blood red eyes seemed locked onto him, as it ground down on his wrist.
Finally, the thing went limp, Kale’s left hand on fire from the bite, his right hand numb from stabbing at the thing. Distant shouting broke through the fog of violence, and he turned suddenly, unslinging his MP5 and bringing it up. Thomas was still struggling with his attacker, and Kale moved to one knee, sighting down his weapon.
“Get its head up!” He shouted, flicking the safety off.
“I can’t, it’s too strong!” Thomas yelled, terrified, and in pain. Kale swore, took careful arm, and fired once and its body. Somehow, he managed to score a hit, but just like the dog he’d put down, it barely registered. He fired twice more, one round drawing a yell of pain from Thomas as he shot wide, but not wide enough. The dog at last turned from his target and glared, but again, without a sound. It seemed slower now, for a dog at least, and Kale made a decision, flipping to fully automatic and emptying his clip at the thing as it moved. He lowered he smoking weapon, staring in disbelief as it continued to stagger forward. It might have attacked again, if not for Thomas’ own MP5 opening up, perforating the animal’s head and leaving it laying on the ground.
Approaching it carefully, Kale took count. All together, he could see at least twenty odd wounds from the submachine guns, not to mention a larger one from where Thomas had scored a hit with his revolver.
“Kale,” Thomas said, pained. “I think I’m pretty fucked up, man.” Kale moved over to him, slinging his rifle, and swore. Most of the right side of Thomas’ face was little more than a bloody mess, clearly in shock, and one of his shoulders had been torn open as well. Somehow, he’d still managed to headshot the dog that had mauled him. “I’m pretty fucked up,” he said again, aloud, biting his lower lip, looking close to tears.
“Shit,” Kale swore. “You-” Even as he spoke, Thomas’ good eye unfocused, and his head fell back softly against the grass. Kale pulled off a glove and reached down, feeling for a pulse, then put his ear near Thomas’ mouth, before slowly pulling away. “Fuck,” he said quietly. Then, at last, there was a soft growl behind him. He stood up, turning around and bringing up his weapon, forgetting he’d emptied it...and there was the first dog, the one he’d stabbed, slowly crawling forward with its paws. Its rear legs hung uselessly behind it; Kale had severed its spine. Despite that, it pulled itself forward, Kale retreating, and reloading first his MP5, then his revolver. The pain in both his arms vanished as adrenaline surged through him, urging him to bolt.
“Fuck spent brass,” he muttered as he emptied the rounds from his revolver, slamming a speed loader home and tossing that on the ground as well.. Somehow the dog was closing ground. Remembering what it had taken to kill one of them, he sighted down his revolver, took a deep breath, let it halfway out, and fired. The round took off a side of its head, and it dropped, Kale lowering the weapon in relief...only for a bolt of terror to race through him as the dog somehow raised its head again, despite missing most of it! “What the fuck...” Kale whispered, eyes wide, and he raised his revolver again. The first two rounds went wide, and the next three caught it square on, its head exploding into gore. The hammer clicked on empty twice before he realized it, and slowly lowered it, breathing hard.
As the adrenaline faded away, the ache in his arms returned, and he looked to his left hand. The ballistic plates on the top and bottom of his forearms were, impossibly, dented. By a dog. There was something bizarre, something insane and dark and dangerous going on in this place. Animals that were far too fast, too strong, and too tough. Monsters in the dark. Silence from a team of three professional soldiers. He glanced towards the SUV. He could take Thomas, get out of this place. Call the mission a FUBAR, and grill Michaels for exactly what kind of hell he’d walked into...
Or he could go after Adams and the rest. Gritting his teeth, he walked back to Thomas’ body, took the dead man’s revolver and spare ammunition, and then turned to face the storage building.
He walked forward to the opened door and entered into darkness.
Of his own free will.
|Author:||Jungle [ Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:28 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: [NWoD] A Simple Thing|
(solid - you paint an easy picture to follow. I assume Kale is your PC? The bit about using revolvers as to not leave casings on the ground as evidence... nice touch... this is based on a vampire series?)
|Author:||Psycko [ Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:18 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: [NWoD] A Simple Thing|
Great story segment, Pyre. As soon as I read about the near-unkillable and eerily silent attack hounds, I knew I'd tapped a nice vein of rich nightmare fuel. Have you ever thought of writing horror stories more often? I think you'd do quite well at it.
|Author:||Pyre [ Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:16 am ]|
|Post subject:||Re: [NWoD] A Simple Thing|
Dim light spilled out of the open door into the storage building, casting a sickly pallor over the dirt and grass. Now that he had time to take stock of the environs, Kale flipped on the tactical light at the end of his MP5, sweeping it across the ground. There was a slightly worn path through the green, barely there in fact, suggesting that the grounds didn’t get a lot of traffic. He worked to slow his breathing, trying to shunt the pain of his injured forearm to the back of his mind. He crept carefully to the entrance of the building, pressing himself fully against it, before reaching for the switch on his best.
“This is Kale,” he whispered softly, “Adams, Jensen, Diaz, I’m entering through the front. Hold fire.” The last thing he wanted now was to catch friendly fire. He switched off his radio, waited a few moments, and then quickly turned the corner, sweeping his light across the room. Stainless steel everywhere, the walls, the ceiling, even the simple reception desk and the chair tipped over behind it. Everything except the floor, which was a darkly polished granite. Dim fluorescent lights shone overhead evenly spaced in the stainless steel above, protected by metal grates and there were two computer monitors that he could see on top of the desk. Then of course, there was the blood...
He stepped lightly around the closest crimson footprints, and after one more look down the hallway that led further into the building, crouched for a better look. Nearly a whole bootprint, a trail tracking back into the hallway beyond, not running into the building, but out of it. A heavy spattering of drops at even intervals as well. Kale stood with a grim expression. Even if the bootprints hadn’t been made with the wounded victim’s own blood, they’d been going flat out, judging by the spacing between steps and the fullness of the print. Worse, to get that kind of a series, they would have had to have stepped into almost a pool of it. Running that hard, heart pounding, meant that even if they had made it to the exit, they probably would have bled out in a few minutes. Which led to the biggest concern he had.
Where was the body?
Turning left, then right, there was no sign of a final struggle, no blood splatter on the walls from a gunshot, no shell casings, nothing at all.
“So where the hell are you?” Kale said softly.. No one simply vanished from a full out sprint, especially if they were leaving a trail of themselves as they moved, and with bloody footprints on top of it. It was like something had just snatched him up. A brief note of fear rushed through him and he swung his weapon up at the ceiling right above the door, swearing.
“Fuck,” Kale whispered, shaking his head, trying to keep things together. This wasn’t something he’d been trained for, and it sure as hell hadn’t come up when he’d been deployed overseas. He moved around behind the desk, looking at the monitors, both of which were black. Checking under the desk produced no keyboard drawer, and there wasn’t a mouse in sight, so he poked at the screens in case they were touch-based. Nothing. Putting his ear closer to them, he couldn’t even detect the faintest hum of electronics. So they were just for show, then. But the act of listening made him realize the last component of the environment; the silence..
No noise at all. He strained to listen, wondering if there were any more of the...what, mutated dogs? Possessed dogs? He swore quietly under his breath. He could still turn back now. All of his instincts, training, told him to. Whatever they were storing in here, a pair of guard dogs had killed one, nearly two trained, well armed and armored soldiers outside. It was very likely at this point that the rest of his team was also dead, especially judging by the blood trail leading to the entrance. They’d obviously been trying to run from something. Or at least, one of them had. Despite all that, he stepped back out from behind the desk, and began advancing down the hallway, moving quietly and carefully.
He went on for nearly fifteen feet, backtracking along the blood, before coming to an elevator. The doors were, shockingly, also made of polished stainless steel, the elevator itself looking wide enough to for four or five people to stand shoulder to shoulder and still walk through at the same time. The call panel had been pried open, and there were several wires that had been cut apart and re-soldered, not to mention a small switch that had been attached with a single unmarked button on it. Obviously Jensen had quite literally hacked into the elevator controls, given that the damage panel had a hand reader above it, not to mention a slot swipe card beside the reader, and a ten digit keypad on top of that. Whoever ran this operation clearly had no intent of anyone that didn’t belong getting inside. Judging by the job that Jensen had been required to do, this was pretty high tech security. Kale glanced up in all four corners of the hallway before before doing anything else.
No cameras. At least, no obvious ones, recessed or otherwise. All this trouble put into making the elevator impenetrable, and no cameras? Not to mention the two monitors out front that weren’t actually on. Come to think of it, he went over the desk in his mind, effortlessly picturing the setup he’d seen. Two monitors, no keyboards, no mouse for either rig, and only one chair despite the monitors being spaced well apart. It was a setup, but the kind of person that would rig an elevator to this degree didn’t seem like the kind of person who would cut corners with a fake security desk. Or forget cameras. Unless of course they didn’t plan on anyone even making it past the guard dogs. None of this was adding up. With no other choice though, Kale went to press the button, only to stop, frowning.
No obvious signs of struggle, beyond the trail of red at least. No shell casings, although his team could have been using revolvers. All the same, Kale returned to the desk, pulled on it, and scowled; it had been bolted to the floor. If there was anything in that elevator when it arrived, he wouldn’t have a spot of cover from it when he went in. With no other choice besides leaving, and with that option right now not one he was willing to take, he returned to the stainless steel double doors, and pressed the button Jensen had wired in to the controls. Pressing himself to the side o the lift, out of sight, he waited. And waited.
The building was only two stories, what the hell was taking it so long? As if on cue, the doors dinged, and Kale took a breath, before turning and covering the interior. The smell hit him before his eyes registered the floor; copper. The entire bottom of the elevator was stained red, or at least most of it was. Spent round from the MP5s and revolvers that the team carried littered the red-colored floor. Yet again, though, no sign of the others other than blood and brass. He grit his teeth, and stepped in, his boots making a soft wet sound as he looked for the panel on the interior. On spotting it, he stopped short. Sure enough, the elevator had the ground floor and the second floor available.
It also had five more floors down.
Kale shook his head in disbelief, staring at the panel. Had he walked into some kind of conspiracy novel? Crazy dogs, blood trails, and now this? A secret underground storage facility? This was the sort of thing that happened in movies, or books, not the real world. Some of Thomas’ last worlds filtered back to him, about how America had changed so much in the past few years.
“More than you know, man,” Kale said, and then jerked forward as the elevator doors began to shut. Despite putting one hand, then both up against one side of the steel shutters, the doors continued on their path, and was a curse he was forced to let them close. He looked at the G button on the panel. “I already know how this is going to go,” he muttered, and pressed it. While he was hardly surprised when the doors failed to open, he was also pissed, and with a snarl kicked the door ahead of him, once, twice, but doing little more than adding two bloody partial bootprints to it. Pressing the second floor also failed to trigger the elevator. The level that finally got the lift in motion was B5, the very bottom of whatever hellish place Kale now found himself trapped in.
There was no elevator music, and the coppery smell was strong and bitter. Kale spent the time from the trip reloading his spent speedloaders for his revolver, and checking the magazines he’d taken from Thomas’ body, making sure they were full. After that, he waited out the rest of the ride, and tucked himself in the corner with the panel as it slowed to a started.
The elevator door slid open without so much as a ding, and outside an automatic weapon opened up, spraying the interior with bullets.
Kale cursed and tried to squeeze down even smaller, squinting and gritting his teeth at the echoing sounds of gunfire and ricochets. Impossibly, he didn’t feel a single impact, and after a quick look down at himself to ensure he didn’t see any blood, he leaned around the corner, bringing his MP5 up and sweeping the corridor he saw. The lights above were much dimmer, Kale realizing that more than a few of them were shattered, the hall brightening up further down. More importantly, he saw Adams laying propped up against a wall, reloading his weapon with a shaky hand.
“Adams, it’s Kale!” He said, hoping to avoid being shot at, and having to shoot him. He needed information. “What the hell is going on?!” He demanded, lowering his submachine gun only slightly.
“Kale?” Adams asked, surprise transitioning quickly to anger. “Dammit, I radioed out for you and Thomas to get the hell out of here and report to Michaels! What are you doing here?”
“Something in here is blocking our transmissions,” Kale answered cautiously, moving inside the life to get a better look at the other man. “Jesus, your leg.” Adams’ left leg was a mangled mess from the calf down, congealed blood pooled around his boot. A tourniquet was tied above his knee.
“I noticed,” Adams grunted, closing his head and letting his head tilt back. “Did you find Jensen?” Immediately Kale thought of the bloody footsteps that just suddenly ended on the ground floor above. He waited for several long moments for the doors to close, but a quick glance at the elevator panel showed all the lights on it were out. Damn.
“No. I don’t think he made it,” Kale answered, aiming down the hall. He could see another two of the dead, bizarre looking dogs. In better light, he could see they were even larger than he thought, with coal black fur, but not any breed he recognized. “We ran into two of those outside. Thomas is dead. Past the two dogs there was a mangled body, Kale feeling a moment of disgust when he saw that both of its arms were torn off. “Dias?” He asked.
“Yeah. Guess it’s just you and me. We found the room, and Jensen had just finished running a hack on the access code when they jumped us. No growl, no bark, just...they pulled Dias down and tore him up,” Adams said, not moving or looking at Kale. “We fell back to the elevator while they finished with him. Bullets-”
“Didn’t do a lot? Same problem above,” Kale said. “Had to stab the fuck out of the one I got. Thomas took off most of the second one’s head before he died, I still had to empty my revolver into it.” He paused, glancing at the wounded Adams now that he’d made sure nothing else was coming for the moment. “Ever see anything like it?”
“Not in twenty years,” Adams said, shaking his head and raising it to look at Kale again. Both of them had managed to process what the horror and impossibility of what they’d seen, to some degree at least. “Elevator was jammed after Jensen went up, couldn’t call it again...figured that nothing coming down would be friendly.”
“Close to an apology as I’m going to get?” Kale said dryly, and turned around, pressing the call button just in case. The doors to the elevator remained wide open. “Great.” Glancing to his left at Adams, Kale proceeded past him. There were doors, evenly spaced, and unmarked except for numbers above them, each one with a keypad access, each one without windows and of the same cold steel manufacture as the entire facility.
“What’re you doing?” Adams asked him, a questioning look on his face.
“You said Jensen finished working on the panel?” He replied, eyes front. “I’m going to open it and have a look.”
“We don’t even know if it was the right room, we never got a look inside!” Adams said, shaking his head. “Look, we need to figure a way out of here. Maybe there’s another lift, or an access stairwell.”
“Doubt it,” Kale answered back, coming to an intersection close to where Diaz’ mangled body lay. This close the smell of blood was overpowering, and he shook his head. It hadn’t been quick, either, from the looks of things. “They must’ve been set on you guys down here almost the same time as Thomas and I were jumped.”
“You think someone’s watching?” Adams said, calling down the hallway. Nothing had shown up after he’d emptied a magazine from his MP5 into the elevator, there was no point in being sneaky now. He sounded spent, and Kale glanced back over his shoulder at him.
“Don’t know. This whole setup is just...” He shook his head, stepping into the intersection.
“Left, at the end,” Adams advised tiredly, and Kale turned in that direction. The last door at the very end of the hallway had its access panel hanging loosely, just like the elevator above. He turned off the light on his weapon, saving the battery on it. Who knows what other surprises this place had?
“Got it,” Kale said, and advanced. The unchanging, harsh white light was beginning to make his eyes ache, brightly lit now that he’d moved on past the shattered fluorescents just outside of the elevator. “I’m going to check it out.”
“Take your time,” Adams called out from around the corner. “I’ll just wait around.”
“Hah.” Kale smiled crookedly at the other’s comment, although it faded quickly as he approached the door, slinging his MP5 again and lifting up Jensen’s work. “Alright. Hitting the button,” he said loudly, and pressed it. The door slowly slide open, as soundless as everything else was in here, and then with a loud clunk, he was plunged into darkness. He brought up his MP5 again, his heart starting to pound as he turned on his tactical light again and dropping to a knee as he turned.
“Kale!” Adams yelled, and Kale lowered his weapon for a second, long enough to see Adams’ own light casting out into the hallway from where he sat around the corner, before raising it again. The thought of those quiet, impossibly tough red-eyed dogs padding silently around in the dark was enough to get him sweating. Bastard that raised them would probably have cut off all their claws, too, just to make them that much quieter.
“Still here, lights are out at my end too. Door’s open though,” he replied. He already knew how he was going to play this out. What choice did he have, really? He turned abruptly, feeling that brief spike of panic; what if there were more of the things inside the room? The wash of relief he felt upon seeing literally nothing except floor was almost overwhelming.
“...your call man,” Adams answered back after a moment. Kale made sure nothing was coming, sweeping his light back and forth across the hallway a few times.
“Breaching,” he called, and turned back to face the opened door. He raised his weapon again, and after scouting as much of the room as he could, he stepped in.
When the door slid shut behind him, locking with a soft click, he was not surprised.
|Author:||Pyre [ Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:29 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: [NWoD] A Simple Thing|
That, and the sound of his own breathing were the only things that Kale were aware of. He held his breath for a moment, straining to listen for anything, but mostly for the sound of claws on the floor. A sound that would herald more of the bizarre dogs that had killed at least one of his teammates for certain, left one mauled but alive, and the other had...had just disappeared. He tried to shake that train of thought, he had to stay focused. Sight gave him nothing, the darkness was total. The room was chill, but that did little to help him. Hearing nothing, he flicked at the light on his MP5, and a second later he let out a breath, cursing in the same moment.
The light failed to come on.
Kale flicked at his tactical attachment again, grinding his teeth. This went beyond bad luck. How the hell- as he began looking over the apparently disabled light, it didn't take long before he found the end the of it broken, the light shattered. How-
The elevator. Specifically, Adams' blindfiring at him. It looked like he hadn't been as lucky as he thought. A broken light normally wouldn't have been the worst thing, except for the simple fact that he now found himself trapped inside a room that was pitch black, with no light source. The only way he was going to find a hostile in this place now was either running into it, or being found by it.
Of all the things not to have brought on this op, he was suddenly missing a plain old flashlight the most. Right at this moment, trapped in a room with no light, and no sound, he almost would have traded the ballistic plates that had saved his left forearm earlier in the pre-dawn morning for that. Or a set of nightvision lenses. Almost. With no other option left, he began to feel around to his left, keeping his hand on the wall, his MP5 pointed forward in his right. He tried to remember a time when he’d felt more vulnerable, more weak, than right at this very instant. Try as he might, he couldn’t manage it.
He felt for a lightswitch, a bump on the wall, any kind of defining feature, but all he touched was smooth, cool metal. Very cool to the touch, in fact, almost cold. Frowning, Kale took a step to the left, carefully, slowly, quietly. Just because the door being opened and the lights going off hadn’t disturbed anything or anyone in here yet didn’t mean being loud wouldn’t. The chill walls bothered him though. It was certainly below a standard room temperature already, but the wall itself felt closer to a freezer. There must have been a reason for it, but it wasn’t coming to him right then. His hand bumped into a corner, and he began feeling his way down along the new wall.
In only a few inches his hand bumped into a raised, gently curved protruding edge. He pressed a hand against it, in case it was some kind of pressure switch, only to find it was colder than the walls, but without a single layer of frost. He followed along it with his fingertips, taking the measure of it, and went still as he pictured the metal box they were sent to retrieve. He quickly let his hand drop down the wall, finding in the pitch blackness another, matching edge, then raised his hand up, and found a third above the first. The shape wasn’t quite what one would picture in a movie, but the size, the dimensions, the lower temperature, it all fit.
Kale was in a morgue.
As he had so often on this op, the soldier-turned-mercenary forced himself to remain calm. Every single turn this mission had taken so far was for the worst, and the bizarre. There was only a few things you’d want to retrieve from a morgue inside a steel coffin; a body. Who in their right mind, Kale thought to himself, wanted to retrieve a corpse? Even as he asked himself, he was already thinking possibilities. Maybe the body in question was a member of a clandestine intelligence agency, and they wanted it back to remove evidence? But then they wouldn’t need it intact. A bioweapon or chemical weapon test? Or source?
He shook his head. All the conjecture he was coming up with was just that, conjecture. There was no point in overthinking it. The major problem he was going to face now, besides the utter lack of light, was how in the hell he was going to get a steel coffin with a body out of here by himself. Adams wasn’t going to be any help in his condition...scowling, he kept feeling along the wall. There had to be some kind of cart, or motorized assist. There wasn’t any place to grip the edges of these coffins to pull them free, so it had to be automated. Of course, if it wasn’t just the lights, but the whole power system that had crashed, or been shut down, then he was out of options.
He mentally counted off steps, one, five, ten, twenty. At thirty he found another corner, and let out another curse. The dimensions of the room didn’t mean a great deal in the dark, at least not yet. For all the knew everything he needed was right in the centre of the room, but he wasn’t about to go blindly groping in the inky blackness just yet. Instead he stopped and reached, finding yet another row of the steel coffins higher up. That made four rows, and averaging one the things ever step and a half or so, that meant at least sixty of them on one row alone. He wasn’t about to make a guess about how many of them were currently 'occupied'. Worse, there wasn't a single identifying feature that he had felt so far that could tell them apart.
He should have turned back, was the only conclusion he came to, scowling both at the situation and himself. Monster dogs, disappearing soldiers, a morgue. Anyone sane would have stopped rationalizing and just walked away. Kale was so lost in his own anger in fact, that he nearly failed to notice a very soft scraping noise. Again, the soldier held his back, and slowly moved to press his back into the corner, moving down to one knee, the scraping noise becoming louder. A low, rasped gasp echoed in silence that somehow seemed loud and oppressive, like someone coming up for air after being underwater.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the scraping noise of metal on metal stopped, and Kale heard two feet being set on the floor, and then a steady 'drip-drip-drip' noise, the smell of copper reaching him once again. Another deep breath, and a single word that echoed through the room, leaving Kale unable to pinpoint it, and now unable to stop his heartbeat from quickening.
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