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Mikhail

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    Anatoly

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About Mikhail

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  1. 'If the alleys are up to code' was a high-grade oxymoron. This town was built on corruption and greed, so every jade sickle was shaven bald, each material downgraded in quality from the architectural agency to the contractors. By now, Mikhail was sure divine providence had more of a hand in keeping these building upright than sound principles of engineering. The chill and damp drove off people without business on the streets, and the alleys were collection points of hazy fog as the pipes exhausted steam and heat from the city's infrastructure. Even if he needed to hide himself, Mikhail knew no one had the professional courtesy to care. The walls were sprayed with graffiti ranging from booty calls to outcries of revolution. Against it, sagging halfway from what would otherwise be an emergency exit, was a rusted metal contraption, leading up towards the first flight of the stairways that would, in the event of disaster, save half the people and damn the rest. Judging from the blunts floating in the pools beneath its open-caged construction, it was used recently enough to give it a dare. The cheap lock on the bars was both an insult to fire safety and a cheap nod at security. Its locking ring had been rusted through, and the butcher's marks on the key face showed it had been picked or forced open multiple times. With a forceful snap and a slight application of his curved knife, Mikhail twisted the lock open and pushed the iron-barred door aside to ascend the fire escape. He took the time going up to ponder his current situation. Doggedly he'd been obeying the demands of his calling, as was proper, but by now he'd need to consider the one trailing along the edges of perception. She had forced him - not out of hiding, but more properly in sight by having the family perform the sacrament. It would narrow his movements, gave her a clear starting point where he would be moving from. From what he'd heard, she liked her business hands-on, using her claws - a decidedly inhuman choice of weaponry. But she was subtle, using threats and then vanishing after she was sure he'd been called, not taking advantage of those cramped quarters to get the drop on him. This, to him, indicated she needed time. Time to prepare, perhaps, or time to observe him. Whether or not she truly was an assassin, he couldn't say. This period of observation could be to mark any weaknesses or oversights to be exploited, or to gauge his character and way of thinking. For all he really knew, he could be hunted right now or performing the most dangerous job interview. But he'd hope for the best, prepare for the worst. “When others turn against me for standing betwixt them and unrighteous vendetta driven by prejudice, I will stand firm. For what is to give light, must also endure burning.” he quoted under his breath, a fine mist escaping his mouth into the cold air. The flat gravel roof gave a solid view of the surrounding buildings. A massive building project, a handful of buildings close together and - as Goza intimated - a twenty foot jump between them. The old An-Teng might not know how he'd be making that jump, but Mikhail was quite confident. He crouched low and assessed his surroundings. Squat, low sheds atop each roof accessed the stairs down into the building. He oriented himself towards his target, and scanned for the gleam of moonlight on weaponry, the red-hot glare of cigarettes being smoked. Easy and quick access did not mean unguarded. Additionally, he knew that a flat roof would be the ideal place to ambush him. If the assassin forced the sacrament, knowing where the boy was already, she could have spent all this time preparing a trap ahead of him at the target site. And a roof like this was hard to hide on, and away from witnesses. "I was not born yesterday" the old Eclipse muttered to himself as he pulled himself up the corner of the roof, dropping into a crouch as he drew his pistols from the holsters tucked under his coat.
  2. "Heh." Truth be told, the Solar had a very good indication what it was about him that pissed people off. Whether it was because of what he did in his past, because of the truth in what he was, or because of who he physically manhandled, there'd always be someone who'd want a piece of him. What irked him, however, was that this so-called assassin would go through these lengths, but not follow through. Had she been hiding in the apartment, she'd have had the drop on him. Instead, she wanted him to take up on the ritual sacrament and lead him here. He got up and straightened the collar of his overcoat, gently placing the ceramic cup back on its saucer on the table. "Then I will be thanking you for your hospitality, and find myself in less hospitable places, before she turns out to have followed me here." before he got out the door though, he looked over his shoulder, back at the old pervert. "But it's not her that concerns me, not yet. If this kid has fallen in with a bad crowd, I'll need to make it right somehow. I've got a promise to keep, and that means I need to be able to get to him without having to strong-arm my way through his new friends." There was an almost palpable sense of purpose radiating off Mikhail, as if he could force his way through the metal door by the strength of his conviction alone. "Goza, old friend. Is there anything you can tell me to give me an opportunity there?""
  3. Mikhail had to admit the old An-Teng had him at a disadvantage. While he was here to ask about a slain boy, Goza had turned the tables and made it about him. He had never liked it when things revolved around him, it rarely spelled good news. He did the best he could to keep a neutral expression while accepting the small cup of scabrous dishwater that passed for tea in Goza's home. Mikhail had the constitution of a bull elephant in musth, and even he did not relish the thought of pouring this bile down his throat. "You have me all wrong Goza," he said while producing the picture of the boy he took from the tenement, "this boy was killed here some time ago. Some say it was foul play, some an accident. You of all people should know I am not amused by unresolved familial tragedies. I want to know what happened to him." Then he leaned forward a bit. "Of course I will make it worth your while. And if you do happen to have some juicy gossip that revolves around me and this trouble that revolves around the hunted hunter, well...I would be deeply appreciative." In one gulp, he threw back the small ceramic cup, the viscous liquid sliding down like hot tar. Mikhail grinned that wolfish grin while counting out some scrip in his hands. He'd know when he'd have hit the right amount of cash once Goza'd have that gleam in his eyes that said his greed had overtaken his self-preservation.
  4. Mikhail listened in amazement to the couple's story. "I agree, it is a strange thing that this woman would hurt you simply for the ritual to proceed. But you don't need to concern yourselves with that now." He got up from the chair and closed up his coat, his expression softening. "My condolences for your loss. You obviously don't know what happened exactly, and your feelings must be all the worse for it. The sacrament is called, so you can leave the burden of guilt with me. I will find out what happened, and once I do, I will take appropriate measures." His response was measured, as it always was in cases where those who performed the ritual were unaware of the circumstances of what they were asking vengeance for. If one calls on vengeance for themselves, it's clear-cut. But here, the greatest need of the family was knowledge and closure, not merely a simple act of revenge. It made his work more complicated, but the results were all the more beneficent for it. Picking up the picture from the table that was used to perform the ritual, he turned back towards the parents. "What was your son's name?" He nodded at the answer he received and left the apartment for the back streets, tucking the photograph in his pocket. He knew what they knew, which was not enough. And when you don't know anything, you go and visit people who do. You visit Goza. The scrawny An-Teng might pose as the proprietor of a dingy little camera store, but his real trade was in surveillance. For the last twenty years a least he'd been gathering and spreading gossip like a bee spreads pollen. Most of it of value, some of it designed to confuse people - that was how he protected himself. Like all stores in the bad parts of town, the windows were mostly covered by steel grating, and the welcoming front door gave way to small stairs leading up, blocked by a second door whose metal frame was filled with iron bars. Goza would be lured into conversation only by the promise of credits, he knew, so he'd have to be prepared to part with some lunch money to get a proper starting point in the Mikhail pressed the button on the intercom next to the barrier. "Goza, old friend. I am a simple man, with simple questions. Care to entertain an old friend with tea and conversation?"
  5. Mikhail was swift, but not slap-dash, strapping on the under-armor before putting on his suit. His guns, heavy in the holsters at the side of his chest, were swiftly covered by his jacket. He decided on a shawl today, and an overcoat. The weather was nippy and cloudy, and the threat of rain loomed on the horizon. Like an undertaker preparing to meet the grieving family for the first time, he steeled himself before going out the door. "I am but one of a handful of lights in the dark of the night sky. But for some, I may be the only light they ever see." Locking the door behind him, he made his way down the hall to the elevator. The distance to cross was small, and he knew the area well. It would take him little time to reach the building, the floor, the apartment. Then, like the bearer of bad news, he'd ring the bell with that slow, long touch that signals to the inhabitants that someone was at the door who meant business.
  6. There must always be an order to things. The apartment, while small and unadorned, was spotless. Its bedroom was a box, and a kitchenette was cramped between the entryway and the shower. Fortunately, the living room was rather spacious. This was a good thing, considering that it contained an impressive collection of gun-smithing tools organized in BILLY book cases. Lathes, ammo press, boxes and boxes of shell cases, lead bullets and of course - inside its tiny safe - the necessary propellants. All the furniture was the cheap, put-together kind that was short to last but easy to replace - and hard to miss if you'd have to leave it behind. Light grey low-pole carpeting provided warmth and silence to its inhabitant, currently enjoying a good old pasta-and-cheese, straight from the cookpot. He lay on the couch watching the news on the television, muted essence-flared warnings of bad weather and bad people forcing themselves into the room. One of his good suits hung on a rack, ready to wear. Right now, he dispensed with flair in favor of a comfortable tracksuit. The LACK coffee table in between him and the television was strewn with the disassembled parts of a handgun he was cleaning for Mrs. Aracas down the hall, as a favor. She had the piece for protection since her husband died, but she didn't have the first clue on how to maintain it. He didn't mind doing this small thing, especially since she was the head of the tenant's association and overlooked the fact that he stored the tools of his trade in his apartment. After scraping the last bit of pasta from the bottom of the pan with his spoon, he turned his attention back to reassembling the handgun.
  7. Mikhail, Grandfather Mischief, Eclipse Caste Solar Mikhail's a 70-year old man in surprising health and vigor, always dressed in dark colored but elegant suits and worker clothes reminiscent of earth's 20's and 30's. The weave, cut and thickness of fabric depends on the season. On his left wrist he has a heavy titanium timepiece of which the glass has shattered, displaying the time he should have died. His hair is cropped to the sides, but left longer on the top. He sports an impressive mustache and a neatly cropped beard. His body is wiry but fit, with muscle built up from decades of labor and fights. All over his body are the scars of blades and bullets that failed to kill him, as well as tattoos that display themes of fate, luck, vengeance and inspirational quotes. Some of them are protective charms and lucky symbols. Most prominent of which is a magpie in flight over his heart, marked with the name "Nasha". When he sends guns and ammunition "Elsewhere" with his charms, they appear stylized among his tattoos. His eyes are cloudy grey with glowing silver rings around the iris, swimming in black sclera, first-age artifacts given to him to replace his eyes damaged during his time in the military. He hides these with round wire-framed glasses which are slightly tinted. He always wears a scarf or a necktie, and usually carries a heavy cashmere overcoat in colder weather. His meticulous dress and the well-cared for weapons he owns are what most of his money is spent on. His apartment skirts downtown and the docks and is quite spartan. He keeps up with modern communications, so he carries a phone, but lacking resources he goes places by public transport or on foot. Public Background Motivation: To balance the scales of Vengeance in Creation Intimacies: Anastazija (love, positive), Those who Oath Vengeance, The Sorcerous Hazrach Nogrod Anima Banner: Mikhail's Anima Banner is an edifice made of broken weapons, guns and ammo, compressed into a ragged column, the rays of a rising sun shining along its edges Attributes: Str 3, Dex 4, Sta 4, Cha 3, Man 2, App 2, Per 3, Int 3, Wits 3 Abilities: Bureaucracy 1, Linguistics 1, Socialize 3, Drive 1, Firearms 3 (Pistols +1), Athletics 2, Resistance 3, Investigation 1 (Tracking +1), Dodge 3, Presence 3, Occult 1, Lore 1 (Hacking +1), Martial Arts 1, Stealth 2, Craft (Fire) 1 (Gunsmithing +1), larceny 2, Awareness 2, Integrity 1 Backgrounds: Resources 2, Mentor 3, Influence (Criminal Underworld) 2 Virtues: Compassion 3 (Red Rage of Compassion), Conviction 4, Temperance 2, Valor 3 Charms Resistance: Durability of Oak Meditation, Essence-Gathering Temper, Willpower-Enhancing Spirit, Ox-Body Technique (x2 for -1/-1/-1/-2/-2), Body-Mending Meditation Firearms: First Firearms Excellency, Heaven’s Eye Marksmanship, Sundog Gunslinger Stance, Lightning Hands Reload, Elsewhere Draw Mastery Dodge: Shadow over Water Larceny: Flawless Pickpocketing Technique Sidereal: Burn Life, Wearing Red to a Wedding Willpower 10, Essence 2, Personal Essence 16, Peripheral Essence 36, Personal Committed: 1, Overdrive 0/10 Soak: 4B/2L (6B/4L armored, 9B/7L against bullets), +5B/5L per use of DoOM Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incapacitated Dodge DV: 5, Parry DV: 2, Mental DV: 6 Join Battle: 5 Heavy Pistol: Spd 5, Accuracy 8, Damage 6L, DV -1, Rate 3, Range 50, Ammo 1/9 Dual-wielding Pistol: Spd 5, Accuracy 8/6, Damage 6L/6L, DV -2, Rate 3, Range 50, Ammo 2/18 Empty the Clip (Dual wielding, SGS, Excellency +7, 4 shots): Spd 5, Accuracy 12/11/10/9, Damage 6L/6L/6L/6L, DV -4, Rate 3, Range 50, Ammo 4/18 Pump-action Shotgun with AP: Spd 6, Accuracy 8, Damage 7L (Armor Piercing), DV -1, Rate 2, Range 30, Ammo 1/6, Two-handed) Karambit: Spd 4, Accuracy 6, Damage 4L, Defense +0, Rate 3) Combos: Wise Conservation of Resources (Durability of Oak+Willpower Enhancing Spirit, 7 Motes): Once the smoke clears, not only did the attack not have the desired effect, but Mikhail's disappointment at the opponent's lack of follow-through seems to give him renewed energy... [1 open slot] Merits: Luck 2, Daredevil, Common Sense, Ambidexterity, Special Sense (Echolocation) Flaws: Dark Fate, Enemy, Dark Secret, Code of Honor Equipment Character notes: What if John Wick could be called by the Dark Sacrament? What if John Preston was a paladin of Ragathiel? What if Riddick was a 70-year old man? I am noticing I probably want to improve my Dodge and either Martial Arts or Melee. For now, Mikhail's careful because he doesn't fully realize he's not as old and weak anymore. With Wear Red to a Wedding he can walk around in a full arsenal, covered in blood - but no one will care unless he starts shooting. One thing I would love to do eventually is to Combo a Martial Arts charm with pickpocketing so that he punches someone, steals their holstered guns and then shoots them with their own guns, after which he banishes them to Elsewhere for later use. Mikhail is an all-rounder for now, but pretty good at being a decent face. He's also good at gun-point diplomacy, referring to his guns as "reason" and "persuasion" while nicknaming a shotgun "a dealbreaker". If the limit of 10 on Merits and Flaws is not in effect (judging by other PCs builds), the code of honor he holds offers additional points. I'd balance them with his dardevil and lucky, with Spirit Sight and the Echolocation Sense (his night vision) being the remaining points, freeing up two background points to use for artifacts or influence. I switched out one set of health levels for First Firearms Excellency. I could use the dice...
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