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Thread: CROWNLESS (IC)

  1. #81
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    CADUCEUS
    Evening
    Harvester Facility Basement


    It was an inevitability, really. A Harvester carves out a nice little niche for themself, makes it big, then fucks up somewhere along the line and the Sector comes in to snip them down to size. Well, it could’ve just been a rival group. In the end, it really didn’t matter to CADUCEUS. No, the more pressing issue was that the likelihood that he would get his due was going down by the minute, and there’d been at least 20 of those; at best, completely unacceptable. So there was only one method of recourse, really. If the client wasn’t going to pay him, he’d get his due himself. Surely their own stocks would have something of equivalent value. Plus a bit extra for the discourtesy he was going through.

    CADUCEUS pushed off the coffin, landing on the dirty floor. He pulled a pair of scalpels from his belt along with his medkit, methodically sliding in vials of the anesthetics he carried, and once properly set replaced them all. With an experimental swing of his arms, he strode off in search of cargo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  2. #82
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Aries Palace — Amadei


    It most certainly piqued her curiosity, but she refrains from acting. Hasty judgment would lead to mistakes, and in an unfamiliar world of falsehoods, she would be wary and vigilant with every step. She did, however, trust his words, but who he was and his agenda were mysteries Kristina would rather not pry into. Similarly, she had the feeling the suited men that followed her mysterious helper’s path were also part of a different matter. Being too curious would only lead to complications she did not have time for.

    And so, idly browsing through a list of her flock who worked here, she suddenly picked one, hoping her intuition would guide her on the correct path. And if not her intuition, then a nudge in the right destination by His Will.
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  3. #83
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    VIDOFNIR
    Evening

    Aries Palace — VIP Floors

    "It's a pleasure."

    He made no attempt to match the man's dramatic introduction. Fontaine merely took the seat that had been offered and settled in.

    He was uninvolved in any of the business going on in the room. That outside perspective was his weakness and his advantage. He was under suspicion. The management was on high alert for another Sector agent, and they were right to be. Fontaine was certain that, him aside, at least a few others in the Aries Palace were waiting to make a move. Tonight there would be collapse. There would be blood.

    There would also be business. It was his job to intercept it however possible. Most Wings preferred a direct approach, and so did Fontaine. He would directly insinuate himself into the businessmen and gamblers, and he would directly cut the head off the snake once he'd seen through it. The body hidden underground would follow.

    So, for the moment, Fontaine would play. And in playing, he would use his undeserved attention as a mirror to probe at those around him. His goal was no longer money - it was information. Names and numbers worth thousands, if not millions. Contracts, and servants like the frozen-faced bodyguards standing behind the serpent, most likely enslaved by their own Crests. Could he win those at this table? Most certainly.

    "Your man was good," Fontaine said, inclining his head towards Garcia. "A fine bluffer, but..."

    Fontaine allowed himself the ghost of a smirk.

    "I prefer higher stakes - in leisure and business."
    Last edited by Bloble; May 29th, 2018 at 02:13 PM.

  4. #84
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    Aries Palace — Amadei


    As you browse through your archives of your flock, hoping His Will would guide you to the right path, you can’t help but notice something strange. Most people keep their cyberbrains constantly online, and many members of your flock were no different. Indeed, most of your flock who worked here appeared to be online. However, guided by your intuition— that little voice in the back of your head that just seems to speak to you— when you try to contact one of them…

    Complete silence. No response, no rejection, no failed connection, nothing.

    A failure? A lead? Or an omen, a sign of something gone horribly wrong? You aren’t sure. You try another. And another. And each time, you’re met with a complete, unsettling silence. A silence that weighs on your senses, the sheer nothingness and lack of response like almost like static, a white noise, a weight and blackness like the very bottom of the sea.

    You were connecting all right, as if the neural link had gone through. That, at least, had succeeded. And yet…

    The angel’s voice whispers. Once more.

    You try link with one last one. A man named Marcial Andrés, a recent refugee from the ruins on the north shore of the Mediterranean, who brought over a wife and child. The connection goes through. And you finally hear a voice, panicked and disoriented.

    “—Who’s this, who’s there, you…!” The voice falters, as if recognizing your connection. And it calms down, now quiet, steady. “...Sister Kristina…?”

    And in place of the panic and suspicion, you can’t help but notice a twinge of very real fear.


    EGLANTINE
    Evening
    Staff Only Area


    You ask him for his name, though as an investigator, you could easily bring it up yourself. He seems to know this, and he bites his lip again, seemingly aware that he’s being humored.

    “Marcial. Marcial Andrés,” he says shortly.

    He glances nervously at the portrait you bring up, and you notice his eyes darting to the door, apparently wary of any eavesdroppers. A bead of sweat drips down his forehead, you can see him consider you proposition. And then he speaks again.

    “Protection.” He says this a bit suddenly, and then continues a bit more calmly. “I want protection. For me, and for, for—” He fumbles with his holograms for a second; he doesn’t seem too familiar with their operation. Two images pop up, of a homely woman about his age, and a child who looks to be about five. “For Elina and Jacob too. I don’t know everything, but I think I know what you’re here. And what she was here for too.”

    He hesitates here, balancing on the precipice between anxiety and conviction. “I can tell you what I know. But I want to you promise me, promise me that you’ll provide—”

    His voice trails off for a second, and you notice a brief lapse in his attention. One you recognize from your experience, though it would nearly be imperceptible otherwise. He continues to speak afterward, but the implications are clear. Someone is contacting him through his cyberbrain; he might even be speaking back.

    “—Promise me that you won’t let them take us away if I help you.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  5. #85
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Aries Palace — Amadei


    She has very little idea of what it must be like to have a family, to look at your own flesh and blood and love them with more passion than He could ever hope to evoke from their hearts. There was nothing like it in the village, not really, and just thinking about the place from which she came makes her sick to her stomach. So instead she thinks about the heartwarming scenes of a family united, colored by her good-willed naivety, and she hears Marcial Andrés’s panic and her heart lurches, wondering what will happen to the rest. The angel stirs, demands her to take action, and so Sister Kristina Scriabina makes her move.

    “It’s me.” The statement comes out with a composed finality, as if there was no question about the nature of her presence. In times such as these she wished her voice could carry a true aura of authority, but she had to make due with what she had. “You can always tell me what’s ailing you, understand?”

    “Regardless of its nature. It is my duty to receive your burdens.”
    Last edited by Katie; June 1st, 2018 at 04:10 PM.
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  6. #86
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    ARBALEST
    Evening
    Aries Security Cyberspace


    Some people perceived the Net as sound, or color, or feeling. You, on the other hand, perceived it as deep, frozen sea.

    It seems, for the moment, that you have yet to be discovered. With the physical location of where they jacked you into the network, it’s the easiest to connect to the part that oversees surveillance, though you avoid that for a moment, checking for less obvious backdoors.

    You find one into the network that involves one of the slot machines, which are typically monitored in case of abnormal turnouts. What’s strange with this, however, is that the security on slot machines is normally quite airtight. After all, it directly ties into the profits of the establishment, and thus exploits in this area could be deadly to any reputable casino. This one, however, seems to already have been tampered with, for reasons unknown.

    Approaching this already-tampered-with route cautiously, however, rewards you with access to the surveillance system, the series of cameras and ID-scanners and Crest-activity-detectors that form a defensive web about the facility, though you’re not sure how long you can stay here or what you can modify until you’re discovered. Notably, it seems to expand further underground than what the size of the casino would suggest is normal; you recognize what seem to be the IDs of repurposed surveillance devices located in a section of the subway system that has long since been abandoned. As expected, this stretch of activity seems to connect the two facilities. However, given that it’s been tampered with, you aren’t sure what further inspection may bring.

    Something strange you notice about the surveillance system is that many of the connections seem to be moving. While mobile security drones aren’t unheard of, they should be much more obvious than these signals suggest, from what you’ve seen in your visual feeds. Similarly, their movements are irregular, not quite the regular patterns one would expect from a machine’s pathing.

    You find a few other holes in the network, exposing other areas with which you could search through or tamper. Notably, through what seems to be an unauthorized connection from a network-connected toaster in the break room, you manage to get your hands on some files regarding employment records and infrastructure, though some of the data is already corrupted or deleted.

    The most aberrant of these potential paths into the network, however, doesn’t appear to come from any loopholes in security, from innocuous things like coffee machines or toasters connected to the network because some low-level grunt probably forgot to follow security protocol, but something hidden away, yet definitely planted. It’s connected, it seems, to biometric monitoring systems, somewhere deep in the facility BALMUNG’s team was raiding, attached to an encrypted text file.

    Before you can continue, however, you feel something strange. A presence— something obviously foreign entering the cyberspace for just a spare moment, unknown and unidentified, and disappearing from your view as quickly as it came.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  7. #87
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    VIDOFNIR
    Evening
    Aries Palace — VIP Floors


    “If it’s stakes you seek, there is no place better” He grins, steepling his fingers at his end of the table. “While it is an unusual occurrence for us to invite a player up here alone, we were quite impressed with the skills you showed down in the halls. While many vie for the privilege of coming up here to play their stakes, it is our honor to have a player of your caliber up here tonight.” Garcia looks stony-faced at that, as if the man at the table was telling a bad joke.

    The other occupants of the table look equally unamused. The woman with the two Knights, on one hand, looks increasingly irate and impatient, glancing alternately at a wristwatch for the time, and at the man with an expression of annoyance. The other man with just one, on the other hand, looks pale, almost nauseous.

    “Of course, this is but an invitation. You may walk away now if you wish. Though…” He stares at you, a piercing blue gaze. “You came here to seek something, did you not? Is that not what you wish to win?”

    “In any case, it is fortunate that you arrived when you did.” Another grin, though you feel anything but goodwill from it. “The game we play up here is considered by some… unusual. But I do believe it is one more meaningful than of those played downstairs, of tossing around money the likes of us have far too much of. As for up here— well, we can just show you. We were just about to put forward our stakes.”

    At that word, one of the two guards who escorted you up steps forward, standing by the man’s side. You look to the other occupants of the table, and notice the same with them too. One of the woman’s two Knights has stepped forward, her face unreadable, the expression of her companion that of incredulity. At the same time, the lone Knight accompanying the anxious man steps forward as well, his expression now one of listless despair.

    They look to you in unison, as the man at the end speaks.

    “But tell me—”

    He smiles, knowingly, as if anticipating your answer.

    “—What do you have to put on the line?



    CADUCEUS
    Evening
    Harvester Facility Basement


    You wander deeper into the Harvesters’ base, your footsteps echoing among the eerily empty halls. The halls themselves are barren and unadorned, just plain metal tunnels, their walls adorned with crates, with the occasional door here and there. You feel Crest signatures from some of these, but it’s sporadic. You hear distant rumbling, gunfire and yelling somewhere far above. It gets louder, closer, and as you make your way towards the end of the hall you stop, hiding just behind the wall as something moves around the corner.

    It leads into another hallway, a T-junction. You can hear sound coming from the intersection, coming from the right, much closer than before. Boots rush by. Suited men with carrying submachine guns, four in total, yelling orders. You see their shadows cross the far wall.

    “—How many of them are there—?”

    “Two. Espers, don’t know what class, maybe even Knights—”

    “Who sent them? Did we get ratted out—?”

    “You two, go on ahead. We’ll catch up with you.”

    They pass without noticing you, and you peer to the right end of the hall. Where they came from, you assume. You hear nothing else coming from the right end.

    Two of them disappear into the end of the hall, towards the sounds of distant combat, but you hear two more pairs of footsteps stop. It’s close by, in front of a door along the left path, clearly distracted, fiddling with some sort of biometric scanner. They have yet to take notice of you.



    2D
    Evening
    Aries Palace Gambling Hall, Lower Floor


    "An eye on me? Listen, you're about as useful to hacking as I am in any serious combat scenario. Unless you know where we need to fucking go, then you're just dead weight see? What the fuck is the Madam doing that she needs me being watched anyways, I'm not about to go work for her arch rival. You know, because it would make the organization look bad."
    The Knight snorts at your rebuttal, and raises an eyebrow at your lingo, eyeing your Regalia burrow itself into the elevator panel. She shifts slightly to the right, blocking it from the general view of the public, and shrugs. “She said I’m coming, so that’s what I’ll do. The way you’re going, you’re just gonna run into a ‘serious combat scenario’ soon enough.”

    You make short work of the elevator system, linking your cyberbrain to the greater system. It thinks you’re one of them for now. For now, you only dive deep enough to hijack the lift, but you could go further. Make the camera of the complex your eyes, the comms your ears. But it would be risky. Your current level is shallow enough that they might not detect anything, but any further…


    Aries Palace Facility Basement

    Regardless, the elevator doors open, and the two of you walk inside. It begins to hum, you feeling the lurch of the lift moving down, the panel indicating the floor level all bugged out, flickering like static.

    After what seems like an eternity, the doors open. Barren, spartan corridors littered with cargo crates and lined with doorways. You read some of these, an AR projection into your retinas displaying their contents. Storage facilities, break rooms, processing rooms, the like.

    You hear gunfire in the distance. Rumbling in the earth. Signatures of Crests all around you.

    And you hear footsteps, boots against metal, a frantic pace, just down the hall.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  8. #88
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    Aries Palace — Amadei


    Cyberbrain communication is a strange thing. Communication by speech is limited, obscuring, the only information relayed to the other being the sounds of one’s vocal chords, the interpretation of those sounds. Rhythm, cadence, tone, volume. Far easier to lie with. Cyberbrain communication, on the other hand, is a bizarre imitation of that. Imitations of human speech, even if it’s the brain signals themselves being shared. And with mind-to-mind links, something else bleeds through.

    A reflexive response. “No. No, no, nonono—

    Something bled through. Not his emotions, those were clear on display. Fear and panic were clear enough. Something else.

    He was distracted. As if splitting his attention. From that, you can deduce something.

    He’s talking to someone else right now.

    He composes himself, and replies to you, his virtual voice steadier.

    “You have to get out of here. Get out, get out— Disconnect yourself from my cyberbrain now. They can hear us. If you’re lucky, they might’ve not noticed yet. You might be able to get away. They— they’ll find you. Look for you. Hunt for you

    ...Especially you.”

    Thoughts bleed through. Through emotional composure, one could normally prevent these from leaking, but composure was the last thing he had right now. There’s something dangerous here. Things. A collection. A rare power, one they’re hunting.

    You can feel the angel smile behind your back.

    He pauses for a second, and his voice sounds resigned.

    “I’ve… done something horrible. Unforgivable. Maybe I’ll get arrested, or I’ll burn with the rest of ‘em here. But you, you got nothing to do with this. I won’t endanger you from my own mistakes.” A deep breath. More emotions bleed through. Sadness and regret. “Goodbye, Sister.”

    And the neural-link cuts. You can’t detect him anymore, as if he’d been severed from the network entirely.

    All you can feel is a sense of deep dread, beating from the heart of the facility.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  9. #89
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    CADUCEUS
    Evening
    Harvester Facility Basement


    This much of a hassle over two people? Useless, the lot of them. Machine guns won’t accomplish much against a likely pair of Knights. Though if nothing else, they’d at least act as a roadblock. CADUCEUS’s eyes narrowed. Now, that biometrically locked door on the other hand, that’s something more interesting. With any luck they’ll have some strains worth his while behind there. The two goons in front of it are thoroughly preoccupied. Fools. If you have two people, then one of them should be on guard.

    Four scalpels floated out from the back of his coat and silently flew toward the men. Two black blades slashed at defenseless throats to silence them forever, while their pale brethren aimed at the bases of their skulls - undeserved tombstones for their worthless existences.

    Now, would that be enough to get a good look at that door?
    Supports:


    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  10. #90
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    CADUCEUS
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    Harvester Facility Basement


    One of them turns, too late. A gasp forms on his lips that’s silenced as quickly as it came, their lives surgically snuffed out. The two guards fall over dead, leaving you alone in the hallway. As for the door, there is no indication of what purpose it served. No label or sign, just an nondescript, unmarked door in the hall.

    Of course, you need to work quick, before their allies notice their suspicious silence on the comms channel. You take a look at the terminal.

    It’s a standard biometrics ID terminal, one you’ve seen many times before. Three-fold authentication it seems, common among many security systems: fingerprint scan, retinal scan, and cyberbrain scan. They had been in the middle of the cyberbrain scan when you struck, but that was interrupted, and the door remained closed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  11. #91
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    VIDOFNIR
    Evening
    Aries Palace — VIP Floors

    Frederick Fontaine's stoic expression cracks a little.

    Here, he takes a moment to reflect, is the rotten heart of the den of villainy. The people he is sitting with are all scum, or tools to be used by scum, each and every one. He has finally arrived at his destination, the main course after the night's appetizer. Fontaine has no pity for the Knights being traded and gambled away like currency. Only hatred for their Masters.

    Fontaine's lips curl upward for a moment. He does not quite laugh. Rather, he exhales slowly. It's funny. It's funny because it isn't funny at all; it is, in fact, infuriating.

    Infuriating that he can't immediately eradicate every last waste of flesh in this room.

    So, because he cannot curse, or even let a trace of hatred seep through, Fontaine laughs.

    "The choice of what to put on the line," he says in response to the dangerous man's question. "Is not mine to make. But it has been made. I am both player and bargaining chip."

    He eyes the other two players. The stuttering man is a nobody and can be safely ignored. The sweat on his brow cannot be feigned. The woman, on the other hand, is of interest. Fontaine would very much like to feel her hands around his neck, and his around hers, squeezing much too tightly. And finally, the dangerous man himself, with Garcia as his puppet, seeming to understand everything.

    A worthy foe.

    "But."

    The 'but' interrupts the flow. For a moment, it's as if the music has stopped. It doesn't matter what came before, only that Fontaine finds this situation lacking, and will be adding to it shortly. Without skipping a beat he leans back in his chair and steeples his fingers together on the table. It's good velvet. Shame.

    "My Master also prefers higher stakes; I'm worth far more than any one of these third-rate Knights."

    Rather than matching the man's bet, Fontaine skips straight to raising.

    "You'll have to make up for lack of quality with quantity. Shouldn't be a problem for anyone at this table, given how casually lives change hands here."

    He has no time to play around. This is business, after all.

  12. #92
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    CADUCEUS
    Evening
    Harvester Facility Basement


    Perhaps CADUCEUS had been hasty in his annoyance. Still, what’s done is done. To get through that door he needed the proper cyberbrain active. Hacking was right out. Direct infiltration then? Simple enough, but interfacing with cyberbrains was always aggravating. In which case, outside activation? The only thing missing per se was a power source for the cyberbrain. Luckily the key was freshly dead; a chemical jolt to the brain ought to be enough to activate the cyberbrain, like a frog leg twitching with the proper stimulus. CADUCEUS removed a vial from his medkit and loaded it into the scalpel still buried in the doorman’s skull; it shifted to accommodate the drug and administered it with a slight hiss. As CADUCEUS’s other blades tugged themselves free and returned under his coat, he held the man up to the scanner, pressing fingers and peeling up eyelids as necessary.
    Supports:


    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  13. #93
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    VIDOFNIR
    Evening
    Aries Palace — VIP Floors

    The woman scowls at you, her expression twisted in annoyance. If you had to guess it’s meaning, you’d assume she had nothing else to give. The nervous man simply shakes his head in response, he clearly having any more to wager or lose. Your opponent, however, looks almost taken aback, and then smiles. Almost charmed by the sheer audacity of it all.

    “Oh? Am I hearing this right, that you’d play for the stakes of our entire business at hand?” He laughs at that. “Such confidence you have in your abilities, though this business is not mine to wager. But I feel that you’re misunderstanding something. You see, our business dealings are not quite that of the trading of lives, of Pawns and Knights.”

    He snaps his fingers. “Allow me to show you.”

    A man brings over a briefcase, setting it on the desk and opening it. Inside its cushioned interior is a slide of glass, a bundle of thin Strains and set into a silicon chip sandwiched in between them, like a circuit board. A sample. The woman’s eyes widen at the sight of it.

    And you can’t blame her. You can feel its signature.

    A King’s Crest.

    You don’t know which, but you’re sure of it. An unmistakable feeling. It must be.

    But which?

    “The proverbial keys to our kingdom. This is but a fragment of the real thing, but it is this specific composition of Strains that has allowed us to come this far. A peculiar technology. And a glimpse of your fate, should you lose everything here.” He smiles again. “With such technology, your master could create an empire such as ours. Shall we wager this then, if it suits your tastes?” He leans forward, and steeples his fingers, awaiting your reply.

    An absurd wager, in many ways. A single slip of glass, worth more than all the lives wagered in this very room? And yet, it could very much as well be true. And if it was such a powerful thing, to put it up for stakes would be madness.

    Assuming it was at stake in the first place. Of course, you can tell. Just from the expression on his face. To him, there is no risk of loss, no risk of losing the keys to the kingdom. His victory was all but assured. He even said it himself.

    A glimpse of your fate.

    After all this, he’s toying with you. Like a cat playing with its food.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  14. #94
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    VIDOFNIR
    Evening
    Aries Palace — VIP Floors

    "Hmph."

    Nonplussed, Fontaine shakes his head.

    "Tempting, but no. Just seeing this is confirmation enough that you're more than talk. My Master has no desire to manufacture, you see. Manpower in the short term is more than enough."

    An easily cleared misunderstanding. Not everyone sought to be part of an operation. Some merely wanted the end product.

    "Besides... if anyone tried to take that briefcase from you, they would not walk out of this building alive. I'm here for business, not blood."

    Of course, it'll end in blood for sure. But this charade must be played out to the logical conclusion first.

    "The Knights you have on hand will do as an opening bet. Regardless of the outcome you will hear from my Master within the week, either to bid for more or to buy me back. You will, of course, be free to refuse."

    The deliberate bold ploy had drawn interest and labeled Fontaine as someone unconcerned with small fry. And the reassurance would settle the heightened nerves whilst preserving the excitement of new possibility. The bait - a guarantee of profit to come no matter what happened - had been set.

    "So, will you call, Mr...?"

  15. #95
    woolooloo Kirby's Avatar
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    Aries Palace — VIP Floors


    You find yourself in a room like the height of opulence.

    Plush chairs, fine wooden tables. Paintings and statuettes and ceiling-height windows that gave a sweeping view of the city. The buildings and lights of traffic below. The vast ceiling of the Atlas above. It was an environment you’d seldom ever seen, let alone step foot in, but you were here as a “guest”. Infiltrating the enemy, on your mission. Currently, you were pretending to be the bodyguard of some wealthy socialite, “accidentally” lured away to this VIP floor. It was here you knew your target recruited muscle, gambling away ownership of Knights through high-stakes games.

    You (or well, your partner) had been working on this case for months. The center of a Harvester’s trafficking operation, tied to some wealthy landlord of Alexandria. Given the difficulty the Bureau’s had in tracking the head of it all down, this was one of the more troublesome cases your partner has had to deal with. It is also your first.

    Tonight was the night this operation would be brought to an end.

    You recall the details in your head. Originally, it was thought to be a mundane human trafficking operation, given the lack of esper victims, but you have reason to believe a gang of Harvesters is at work here. In hindsight, a smart move on their part. Espers are closely tracked, but when it came to nameless migrants and refugees from the Blasted Lands, many fell through the cracks. Some piece of the puzzle was missing, such as how they’d managed to exert control over such a large operation without capturing any espers. The boss suspected some sort of Crest-based technology. But you were here to find out.

    How you found out all this, you don’t quite recall. The whole investigation thing wasn’t your job. You were here for a different purpose.

    You hear a voice in your cyberbrain comms.

    Feeling nervous?

    The woman sitting to your side smiles at you, giving you a reassuring pat on the shoulder. Your partner. Known to you only as Ms. Tsubaki. A kind, but strange person.

    The plan was to make our move soon, but it looks like something unexpected’s come up. I never heard of a man like that supposed to be here. Not that I’ll complain. Too many Knights here to take on ourselves.” She doesn’t sigh out loud, but you can somewhat feel it in her virtual voice. “The newcomer seems to be someone else. Not a Harvester. Tried linking with him, but it’s not working for some reason. He might be ignoring us.

    Prepare yourself. I don’t know if he’s an enemy or not.

    She then speaks up for real, outside of your link.

    Well? How are you feeling?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  16. #96
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    Aries Palace — VIP Floors


    Ah, now this was quite lovely. Although unnecessary opulence only would come across as gaudy, the Aries Palace was a genuinely mesmerising place. The beautiful decor, the beautiful people, all of it was quite wondrous. However he could not allow himself to become distracted, this was his first trafficking op after all, he couldn't afford it indulge in base pleasures. Playing the role of someone 'lured away' was rather easy all-in-all, Jo- no PREY did not know how old he was but looking like someone barely in their teens certainly had it's benefits from time to time though given the nature of Knights, no one fortunately questioned his guise of a 'bodyguard'.

    PREY wasn't bothered. Harvester’s trafficking operation was going to down tonight if his partner was anything to go by. Although he wasn't an inquisitor or anything like that, intel wasn't his speciality after all, he'd be damned if he was going to intentionally screw that up. He had a specific job for his very particular skill set.

    With that, his cyberbrain comms flared up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Tsubaki
    Feeling nervous?

    The plan was to make our move soon, but it looks like something unexpected’s come up. I never heard of a man like that supposed to be here. Not that I’ll complain. Too many Knights here to take on ourselves.” She doesn’t sigh out loud, but you can somewhat feel it in her virtual voice. “The newcomer seems to be someone else. Not a Harvester. Tried linking with him, but it’s not working for some reason. He might be ignoring us.


    With that he replied through the comms in turn

    "I agree madam. I might be a kid but I'm not stupid, that many Knights is just asking for trouble."

    He didn't need to actually nod but PREY did so anyways before continuing in his own virtual voice.

    "Thank you for the note on the other guy, if he's not a Harvester but still blanking us he's trying to give the cold shoulder or he has something blocking you. Do you want me to stick with ya or make an approach later? If he is hostile I won't let him touch you, you've done too much good work here and I know this case has been a pain for you."

    However when she spoke in person, PREY hopped off the comms and spoke out loud with a youthful voice and layer of innocence to it.

    "I'm quite well, thank you Miss. Enjoying a beautiful place with good company, what's not to like?"

  17. #97
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    PENANCE
    Evening
    Aries Palace — Amadei


    There are many things she preaches, but inaction is not one of them. If they are willing to go after her on mere relation, then they are a threat to everyone else, whether it was her flock or even all of society. Her purpose in life is in providing salvation and naturally, those that seek to take it away from others are her enemy. Even if Marcial Andrés cannot be saved, by actions beyond her own folly, she has a duty to act for those who can.

    The angel stirs. There are no words, but understanding, that she must move. And she is very aware of the cruelties of the world. Not all saviors are clean of sin, and she has never talked of herself being above the masses. It is perhaps hypocritical that she preaches of passive resistance, copying the actions of civil rights leaders of old, yet ultimately, she is not above the decrepit state of the world.

    In order to enact one’s will on the world, there must be force. Violence.

    But she has come to terms with that many moons ago, when the guillotine failed to cleave through her neck all the way.

    And as such, PENANCE moves where the urge takes her, making no act to hide herself. Time is of the essence—direct action is the correct decision.
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  18. #98
    ARBALEST
    Evening
    Aries Security Cyberspace


    A moment of indecision stretches out for an eternity in the icy network eyes unblinking behind her visor as she stares beyond the physical world. EGLANTINE was gathering HUMINT successfully, No need to spook those in the casino, trust in her... coworker's skills. Direct intervention unnecessary at this point. Visual tracking through the various large windows set to a lower priority as she submerses herself completely into the network.


    -BALMUNG move forward, will provide cyber support. Icing the network-


    The icy seeds she had scattered previous activate suborning the various systems in the lower facility. Tendrils of ice solidifying her control and adding to her dedicated processing power. Intercepting signals, not stopping the alarms themselves, but hijacking their signals and using them to go even deeper into the network.


    No longer alerts once those signals are received, but simple requests for updates hiding their frozen package. Each suborned system enhancing her frozen sea's domain. Avoiding the obvious bait while she builds her control, soon the glacial mass would crush everything before her.
    Collection of cherished moments
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotonoha View Post
    I'LL KILL YOU PLUE
    <Zagrin> I'll kill ya Plue

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