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Everything posted by Courtney Adams

  1. As Charlie and Sophia talked quietly in the corner, everybody politely ignored the pair, though one or two smiles were shared at the kiss. One set of eyes, however, rested on the pair a little longer than propriety dictated - hardly a surprise, since the eyes in question belonged to a person to whom propriety was more of a suggestion than a rule. Courtney smiled a little, a mysterious and somewhat cynical curve to her lips as she observed Charlie and his girlfriend, her crimson nails tapping on the table very lightly, then shifted her gaze to the others in the room with an attitude not-dissimilar to that of a lioness watching the traffic at a watering hole. She watched the interplay between personalities, felt the warm flow of emotions between the group, and her smile became somewhat less predatory and more thoughtful as she did so. Kat's thoughts were spinning as she sat down, her emotions chaotic as the events of the day piled up behind her consciousness like a traffic jam. As she fought through the surging, clashing feelings, she became aware that she was not alone, that the glamorous-looking girl who seemed to be largely detested by most present had walked over and sat down beside her. Courtney, she remembered this one was called. The telepath who had just switched sides. "Girl, your head is a mess of static." Courtney said quietly, her gaze warm and sympathetic as she made a slight wincing expression. "Listen, don't pay too much mind to what others say. You've got the gift, same as them. I know what it's like to have a head full of fucking noise." She lifted a hand and placed it on Kat's shoulder. "Look, I'm a bitch, sure. Ask any of them. But Devin welcomed me to your club and I want to help, if only a little. I can't throw down in a fight like those guys, but I might be able to help you focus a bit... If you want me to. Nothing serious, just like a little calm-you-down."
  2. Jenny was having problems. Problems other than a rising tide of rats, that is. The cellar stank, even compared to most of the Sprawl and especially the Barrens. And seeing as her sense of smell and taste were so inextricably linked, it didn't help to breathe through her mouth, even shallowly - it just meant she was tasting the damned cellar as well as smelling it. She was thinking she should have taken the assassination job rather than agree to this... this indignity. She was also thinking she was going to bathe for a solid day after this job, in some of that strong floral bath oil that normally made her sneeze but right now seemed like a balm. Stupid two-legs and their stupid squatting over a dirty water supply and this dank, stench-filled cellar filled with bad astral vibes and walls of vermin - and to top it all off, the fragging wiz-lady's drek-polluted elemental was sloshing forward to add it's own unique brand of stank to the whole sordid business. No, Red Jenny was not in a good mood. In fact, she was cursing in gutter Russian, her voice taking on a resonant growling timbre that echoed in the gloom of the cellar as the nasty, squirming biting things surged around her legs. She could feel the insides of her skin itching as fur clamored to sprout, but instead snapped her Ruger back into it's holster. Whereas Echo had climbed, Jenny practically ran up the hallway wall to just below ceiling level, fingers seeking chinks and gaps in the shoddy masonry to anchor herself. The Stank-Elemental could clean out the vermin. There was no way she was going to try and fight a swarm with knives and a six-shooter. Stupid two-legs.
  3. Actually, in her human shape Jenny has an initiative of 17. Base of 10 plus 7. 20 would be in her feline form. Which given she's knee deep in vermin, might become a factor soon. There's only so much stinky, dark, foul-tasting bullshit a tigress can take. Anywho, Jadzia is up next.
  4. Jenny had frozen in place as the horror had risen from the water, feeling her hackles raising and resisting the urge to attack both the corrupt spirit and the mage who had summoned it. Once it was plain that Jadzia hadn't planned on raising such a thing, and had it under tenuous control, the weretigress grumbled deep in her chest and focused her attention on the red eyes ahead. "Send your pet to play." she growled at Jadzia. "Let spirit fight spirit." Drekking mages.
  5. "Something is here." Jenny said, her voice a low throaty contralto that could almost be called a growl as she sensed the paranormal threat. "Something not natural." She quickly checked the positions of the others, her gaze finding Jadzia. If this was a spirit, then the mage would be invaluable. She glanced at Echo, nodding towards the malevolent constellation of red eyes ahead of them, and moved to one side of the narrow corridor, raising both her gun and the flashlight to probe the darkness ahead as she moved forwards in a slow stalk. "Elf. Keep an eye on the flooded room. Watch our backs." she said to Piper, terse as always, aware that moving towards the entity meant putting whatever might be lurking in that water behind them.
  6. Jenny's first instinct when the basement door had slammed shut had not been a healthy one: she'd almost Shifted at being trapped without warning. Glowering in the darkness at the elf, she'd fought hard to repress a growl as Piper explained the situation. She wasn't completely debilitated in pitch darkness, of course - the Astral overlaid everything with it's faint ethereal glow, highlighted by the vibrant life of her companions, the rats and the dim phosphorescence of micro-organisms that enjoyed basement living. Not unlike some Deckers she'd met. But this was another lesson. More thought needed to go into her gear if she was to become successful. A low-light flashlight such as the one Echo had provided her unasked would be useful for those times when one couldn't rely on regular senses. The stench down here was... Well, Jenny resolved to breath shallowly and through her mouth, grateful that she wasn't in her four-legged shape right now. Not that breathing through her mouth was much better - she could taste just as well as she could smell. Perhaps a breathing mask would also be in order - it rankled her to be cut off from such an essential sense as scent but, right now, she'd happily be a nose-blind monkey. How the drek did they allow themselves to live like this? She'd be sick too, living above and drawing water up from a place that smelled like this. "Thank you for the light." she said tersely, moving to take point as Echo had suggested. Holding the flashlight up and sweeping it over the floor and walls, she headed with her usual silence in the direction Piper had indicated, her Ruger held low and her Astral eyes likewise scanning for anything larger than a rat.
  7. Without a word Jenny drew a pistol that wouldn't have looked out of place in an Ork's hand from the folds of her lined duster. A six-shooter, but there was little quaint or Olde Worlde about the Troll-killing handcannon. Not the most technically-inclined, the hunter liked revolvers simply because they didn't jam, and if you got a misfire due to a dud round you just pulled the trigger again. Additionally, it was suitably intimidating that most street life scurried away from the bore as though they were cockroaches from a flashlight's beam. That was good - it saved her having to show them why they really shouldn't bother her. She moved past the mask-wearing mage and peered down into the darkness, her eyes penetrating the gloom. "Stairs is old. We go one at a time, moving careful, da?" She started down the steps, somehow managing to set her feet so lightly that she made no noise, even the creaking stairs seemingly not registering her passage. Pausing at the bottom, she glanced back at Echo and Jadzia, the dim lighting in the hallways causing her eyes to shine once more with that eerie flash, before turning and peering into the darkness of the basement.
  8. "I take the job. Money paid when it is done, yes." Jenny spoke up from where she had moved to one side of the others. The quiet woman's gaze had not slid far from the mage, but for now rested on Piper as she asked the question, then glanced around the place, pacing to the entrance to Piper's room and peering inside, then back to where they stood. "Need to know." she shrugged, a human gesture she found useful. "What type of sick do people get? Throwing up? Shitting? What is symptoms?" "Nausea." Piper confirmed, with a nod at her. "Just queasiness, some throwing up. Nothing really bad, but bad enough we don't want people using the water." "Fine then." Jenny shrugged again, taking off her green-tinted shades and tucking them into a coat pocket. "Where is basement?" She was all business, obviously wanting to be about the work, collect her money and go. She glanced at the other two, the dim lighting gleaming eerily from her eyes for an instant as she flashed a small smile without showing teeth. "If you come, then come. If not, then more nuyen for me."
  9. Jenny wasn't pleased to see the other two women, both evidently Runners, show up for her job. She didn't react as such, though, thinking it through in her basic fashion. Sure, it should be just a kibble run to sort out what was messing up the water supply to this flophouse, but even if it was and the meager nuyen had to be split three ways... Well, she might at least make some useful connections for better work out of it. The new hunter in the jungle had to take their game as they could catch it. A lean figure in a fastened dark-red armored longcoat, she leaned against the nearby wall and studied the three other females from over the rims of her shades. The tigress was not a deep thinker, but she was a keenly attentive stalker. A leaf crushed against a tree, a footprint in spilled blood - a hunter studied the details and looked for the things that did not fit. Piper... Did not fit. Sure, she smelled like someone who had been living the Barrens lifestyle - kibble and rat diet, hadn't bathed recently. But her manner was uptown, surburban, or out-of-town. She used deodorant, fresh stuff. Her body language was neither prey nor predator, but rather that of an excitable young fawn, lots of gestures and expressiveness. An elf, dyed hair or not, was not your typical Barrens resident. The woman wearing the rebreather smelled of preserved organics, candlewax, spices. A talismonger, or a mage, or both. Given that she was here for a shadow job, both seemed most likely. The other one, the one who sensibly suggested getting off the street - she smelled expensive. Decent gear, bathed regularly with good quality soap and shampoo, deodorant and had some manner of enhanced pheramonal augmentation. Unlike Jadzia, Jenny was always aware of the Astral - it was part of her nature and thus it took no effort or concentration for her to keep track of both worlds. Piper was not Awakened, nor was the Expensive One, though she showed some level of artificial augmentation common amongst Runners. As the Rebreather One shifted her senses though, she immediately announced her nature to the weretigress, who straightened from where she was leaning and looked straight at the mage, her gaze intent. Jadzia, as she swept her gaze across the surroundings, turned to see the form of a large tiger superimposed over the woman in the red coat, it's eyes and Jenny's overlapping perfectly and staring right back at her. There was no obvious menace in her posture or manner, but there was a predatory alertness that was almost as off-putting. "I think we should go somewhere private too." Red Jenny said to Piper, her voice low as she kept her gaze on the spellworm. "We do not yet know each other's names, and we do not yet know if we have a problem that can be solved."
  10. Private message: >>>>>[Piper. I will meet with you, hear the offer and what details you can provide. I promise nothing more. Here is my commlink code to give me directions.]<<<<< -Red Jenny
  11. >>>>>[What is the buzz about the water supply matter, where it is or why it might be an extermination gig.]<<<<< - Red Jenny
  12. There. Added some Shadow-buzz and some OOC info to the sheet
  13. Birth Name: Laohu Shang-Liang Aliases: Red Jenny; Jenny Laohu; Birth Date: Unknown Nationality: Sino-Russian Metatype: Human Gender: Female Height: 5'8" Weight: 150lbs Hair: Black and red (not dyed) Eyes: Greenish-gold, shine in dim light. Distinguishing Physical Features & Appearance: In excellent physical shape, moves with grace, silence and precision. Thick Russian accent. Usually dresses in tight revealing clothing, prefers red and black. Usually avoids more than basic makeup and ornamentation, never wears perfume. Psychological Profile: Standoffish and alert. Never seems to relax in company. Despite manner of dress, is far from promiscuous. A woman of few words and not a lot of patience for small talk, haggling or politics. Prefers straightforward hunting or extermination jobs. Has been known to take recovery runs. Traits: Paranormal critter hunter. Usually works alone, high success rate to date. Classified as a physical adept. Licensed for pistols, concealed carry, bounty hunting and short blades. Dislikes anything more than basic technology. Can barely use her commlink. Motivation: Survival: living free and on her terms. Comfort: she does like some creature comforts. Nuyen seems to be the path to that. Current Residence: Concealed apartment sandwiched between two buildings in the Barrens. Weather-proof, basic matrix access, close to a Stuffer Shack. A stipend paid to the local Triad ensures she is mostly left alone. Life Style: Low Lifestyle: Public Grid, Hard to Find, Dangerous Area. (1800¥/Month) Street Cred: 0 Notoriety: 1 Public Awareness: 0 >>>>>(So this slitch is fucking crazy! Came into a Stuffer Shack where me and my chummer were getting some munchies, walked right up to my buddy, who's one of those straight-edge guys - a little chrome, no drugs, health freak. When I say 'right up' I mean she was all up on him like scales on a drake. She practically dragged him outta there - leaving me ditched, btw - and apparently gave my chummer a wild three or four days at his pad. She never left her commlink code and never called him. So far, so what, right? Only we see her again a month later, hanging in a Mah-Jong parlor - she scopes my friend and I can tell she recognises him. So he goes over to try and break off another piece, right? She blows him off - not embarrassed or anything, just not interested in more sexy times. He's trying to get his flirt on and goes for the ol' casual touch: and the slitch damn near shivs him right there with a goddamn Cougar Fineblade. He said it was like talking to a completely different woman. Lesson learned, chummers - this one is so far up the Crazy-Hot scale she's Jekyll & Hyde.)<<<<< - DrummerBoy (09:12:54/05-13-72) >>>>>(Or maybe she was working, jackass. Word is that Red Jenny does bounty work, mostly paracritter cleanup but she'll track down anyone for recovery and retrieval if the money is decent. Your buddy humping her leg in public that way was probably fragging with her professional image or worse, her bottom line.)<<<<< - Frosty (11:56:12/05-13-72) >>>>>(Yeah, well there's ways to say "Not interested, frag off." That's all I'm saying.)<<<<< - DrummerBoy (13:39:41/05-14-72) >>>>>(Paracritter exterminator. Works alone, mostly. Buddy of a buddy of mine over at the university consults with her in exchange for 'specimens'. I have to say, she seems quite the specimen herself... Joking and innuendo aside, she's supposedly very capable in her chosen field, though I'm not sure about the other more shadowy bounty work she undertakes.)<<<<< - The Nutty Professor (22:19:10/05-14-72) >>>>>(She's pretty new on the scene. Came out of nowhere about 3 months back, did a retrieval job for the local Triads bringing back a bookie who tried to leave Seattle in a hurry over some financial misunderstandings. Cleaned out a devil rat nest for a consortium of local interests in the Barrens, tracked and killed an escaped barghest from a corp security project, and that's about it.)<<<<< - Winterhawk (03:21:14/05-16-72) >>>>>(I've met this chica, up close and personal-like. Never woulda guessed she did that kinda work, to be honest. She moves like- and her skin is smooth and flawless as a- Well, all I'm saying is that she's got no scars. None. Also, she never called me back either. )<<<<< - MisterLoverLover (11:41:54/05-16-72) >>>>>(That's interesting... So she either drops major 'yen on cosmetic surgery, or has a magical edge. She's a licensed adept, so...)<<<<< - Winterhawk (014:29:11/05-16-72) >>>>>(Hey, MisterLoverLover. We need pics. Vids. Trids. For research.)<<<<< - El-Perv(21:34:51/05-17-72) >>>>>(Yeah, even if I had 'em I wouldn't share 'em. She's scary intense, hunts people, and that story Drummer told about the knife? No way.)<<<<< - MisterLoverLover (03:21:38/05-18-72) OOC Stuff: Laohu Shang-Liang was born roughly four years ago in the far eastern reaches of Siberia. She was not called Laohu Shang-Liang then, of course - that name came later, when she Awakened and first changed into her metahuman form shortly after her second winter of life as a young Siberian tiger. An elderly parabiologist, Russian but of Chinese ancestry, discovered the weretigress and 'adopted' her after a fashion, earning her trust through gentle, respectful treatment. It was from this woman that Laohu Shang-Liang got her name, meaning "Shining Tiger", and learned about life on two-legs. Even more than their mundane cousins weretigers are much sought after, albeit illegally, in China for their various uses in talismongery and traditional Chinese remedies. When poachers began sniffing around the area, the parabiologist used what connections she had to smuggle her ward out of the country and over to the UCAS, setting her up with a fake SIN and connection with a local parazoology student with whom she was in correspondence. Kevin Laughing-Cloud knows what Jenny is and sees her as an endangered rare species - he's also a little infatuated with her, a feeling she does not reciprocate and does not encourage, knowing that it would only lead to complications. She is friendly enough with him, but maintains an arm's length relationship - although he knows her SIN and her commlink code, he does not know where she lives or frequents. Most of the time she is all business - direct to the point of bluntness and seldom wastes words. One reason she's not doing so great on the earnings circuit is her habit of either just accepting an offer, or just getting up and walking out if she feels an offer is too low, rather than haggling. Likewise she cares little for metahuman territorial claims, though she is wary of larger organisations such as the Triads or the corps. Despite being attractive and dressing to emphasise this, Jenny (as she now calls herself) only seeks out male companionship of that nature rarely. She dresses the way she dresses firstly because she likes the look, and secondly because two-leg males are easy to distract with breasts. Which she finds foolish, though in cases of the few men she likes also somewhat endearing. The exception in her behaviour is a matter of biological necessity. She is a tigress, and tigresses go into heat. At such times she will be affectionately forward around males who hit the right buttons, and somewhat touchy-feely around everyone else. Other females who happen to be ovulating might get a different reaction, especially if she sees them as competition. It brings a whole new meaning to the word 'cattyness'. Or 'catfight' for that matter. Whenever possible, she sequesters herself away from males she knows and wants to cultivate professional relationships with when her heat strikes. Dietarily, she's a meat eater. This is expensive in the Sprawl, though there are... low-budget options. So far she has mostly abstained from eating metahumans, for a couple of reasons. One, maneaters tend to be hunted quite vigorously if their predations hit a certain point, even amongst the SINless nothing-people. Two, maneating encourages laziness - they're not exactly challenging prey. She mostly preys on critters, ranging far and wide across the various Barrens zones and even outside the city now and then. It's important to note that Red Jenny does not see herself as metahuman. She's a tigress, and whilst she can and does have friendly / professional relations with metahumans, she doesn't consider herself one of them. Generally she considers two-legs to be foolish, obsessed with triviality, weak, sense-blind and prone to all sorts of vices that makes no sense to her. Shadowrunners at least tend to be more interesting, though she dislikes computers and distrusts those who display a great facility with them. She is wary around mages, as they could potentially tell her true nature, but comfortable around other adepts, street samurai, kick-artists: fellow 'hunters', in short.
  14. Bael will be a Mage with the Tevintan Altus background - Noble-born mage.
  15. "Großmutter!" the youth on the floor called out, and Silvestru relaxed a fraction. Grandmother... the woman was this Bǣl's grandmother? "Don't hurt her..." he said weakly, rolling over onto his front and rising shakily, staggering sideways into a table before catching and supporting himself. Now that the searing light of the emerald flames was gone, he looked less fearsome... mostly. The red-gold hair fell to his shoulders in waves of flame, and his eyes were the molten colour of fresh gold. He was also bleeding from his nose and the corners of his eyes, but still managed to give Silvestru a defiant glare. ,, "Valentin!" the elderly woman cried out softly, rushing to his side as a man, also white-haired appeared in the doorway, his expression shifting from pleased surprise to grave thoughtfulness as he took in the tableau. Bǣl, his words slurring, tried to reassure the old woman, but she nevertheless bullied and badgered him into an armchair near the fire. "Valentin. Little Valentin. You have been gone so long, so long." she moaned as she covered the naked youth with a blanket and fussed over him. "Look, Ernst. It's our Valentin. He's hurt, he needs a doctor." ,, "Relax, Petra. Relax." the older gentleman said as he moved to the stove and put a kettle onto a hot plate. "Ach, he is a dynamic, our boy. He has exerted himself too much, that is all. Keep him warm and make some food for when he awakes - he will be hungry. And make some food for his friend, too, the lovely young lady with the knife. You are his friend, are you not?" Ernst Brandt's piercing grey eyes examined Silvestru cautiously. "You do not look like a facist. If you are not, then you can relax here." ,, "And if I am not his friend?" Silvestru had to ask. ,, "Then I hope you are not his enemy, at least." Ernst said equably. "You look as though you have been fighting."
  16. "Ironhelm..." the word was a growl that slipped from between clenched teeth. Bǣl recognised the name. Knew the man who wore it. Arrogant, stupid ubermensch who liked to use his strength and size to intimidate and impress. A book-burner. A proud, goose-stepping moron who believed himself invulnerable because bullets couldn't hurt him. There wasn't time for the enraged Dynamic to employ his reasoning further. A moment or two more, and Bǣl would perhaps have cooled a little, enough to think or plan, but even as Silvestru saw the flickers of a more human intelligence replace inhuman rage the heavy steel door was punched dramatically off it's hinges at the far end of the corridor, and Ironhelm filled the doorway. ,, And all chance of sanity prevailing disappeared as the fires of wrath roared to life in the depths of the glowing yellow eyes, and the boy wreathed in emerald flame turned from her to face Ironhelm. ,, The large Nazi was moving, ripping a section of flagstone up from the floor and hurling it as he charged down the corridor. The black leather of his SS jacket and the black metal helm which was his namesake gleamed in the flickering green light, muscles bunching under his clothes as he moved with terrifying speed toward them. Silvestru dove and rolled for cover, wincing as the scorching stone pressed hot against her, but Bǣl never moved but to raise his hands. ,, The first blast of unnaturally hot flame reduced the hurled chunk of rock to droplets of molten stone which hit the ground and walls with a sizzling pattering noise that put the resistance fighter in mind of rain hitting a hot skillet. Bǣl stepped through the shower of glowing droplets without a care, teeth bared in a rictus grin as Ironhelm pulled back one ham-sized hand to squash the slender youth flat- ,, There was another blinding flare of emerald light, talons of fire wreathing around the struggling, screaming Nazi ubermensch and slamming him into the nearest wall, holding him down. He spat out a curse in German and fought free, raising himself to one knee before he felt a hand clamp over his face. There was another viridian flare of light and a rapidly cut-off scream, and from her vantage Silvestru could see Bǣl standing over Ironhelm, his face a mask of hate as he poured his fire into Ironhelm's mouth, into his eyes and nose, melting through skin and bone and tissue until the helmet glowed searing cherry red and the girl could actually make out a green glow from inside the large German's body through his clothing. ,, Then Bǣl released him, stepping back somewhat shakily as the smoldering corpse crashed to the ground, the helmet coming loose and rolling to a stop, trailing smoke as the open face spun towards Silvestru. She could see the charred remains of a head inside, nothing but scorched and blackened bone, flickers of green flame still dancing in the depths of the skull. ,, There was a groan from the boy she'd freed, distracting her from the horrible spectacle. Bǣl was leaning against a wall, the flames around his body dying away, the searing fires of his gaze fading. ,, "Tired..." he murmured, blinking rapidly as he struggled to focus on her. "Can get us free, fraulein. Can get us away. Maybe... maybe..." The boy seemed delirious now, weak and drained, no longer clothed in the terrible raiment of fire and death. "Other guard. Cold. Ice. Can't fight now." he slurred. "Too angry... too tired." He tried to push away from the wall and fell forwards, landing on his hands and knees. "Fire..." he pointed at a still-blazing room. "Get us to the fire."
  17. Every day was the same. Days of grey-green, locking in his drowning cell. The creature that called himself Bǣl held only fragments of Valentin Brandt in his psyche. Years of near-starvation, of isolation, of degradation... they had worn away humanity and self-respect and civilised mores until all that was left, the nub of his being, was rage. He had gotten to the point where he'd very nearly forgotten that two lives, dear to him, depended on his compliance. Nearly, but Valentin would not surrender that part of himself, clung to it as an anchor against the dreadful, searing need to burn. He would have screamed with his rage and need, but he had to keep control... had to wait. Wait for the chance to make them pay. ,, How I hate them, those men beyond the glass, the men with their guns and the hose and their threats... ,, Only now the men had fallen, moving in delightful slow motion as they slumped to the floor under the gunfire of a girl wearing a bloodstained dress. Bǣl moved slowly through the water, watching as the girl clutched at her injuries. Through the water, he could hear the hooting of the klaxons, and he thumped his hands against the thick-paned glass, attracting the girl's attention. She was quick, he realised as she looked first at him, then at the controls. Quick, and desperate too if she was freeing him. Or maybe she didn't know. Against the rising tide of his fury, surging now at the chance of an opening, Valentin tried to remember that the girl had helped him. ,, She has killed Nazis. She is freeing me. She isn't an enemy... isn't an enemy... ,, The water sluiced away, efficient German designs speeding the process to enable a more time-efficient way of managing him. The chamber could fill again almost as fast, but right now the last cubic metre was swirling down the drains. Bǣl felt his fury crest, and the cell suddenly became a sauna as the remaining water evaporated. From beyond the glass, Silvestru could see only swirling fog as she heard shouting from behind her, men yelling in German, an additional, shriller klaxon joining the original alarm. ,, She isn't an enemy! ,, In the foggy room, she could see the two blazing yellow eyes suddenly flare like a welder's torch. The heat rose so suddenly that sweat broke on her skin as the door was hammered inwards, and purely on instinct, she dived forwards, shielding behind the low wall. The glass window cracked and exploded outwards, shards of superheated glass creating a chiming cacophony as they impacted the wall and door behind her. From her prone position, she could make out a green-gold flickering on the stonework, eerie witchlight crawling and dancing. ,, ...NOT AN ENEMY! ,, There was a sound like a metal diving helmet hitting the floor. The door was battered in, German soldiers following a makeshift ram. They saw the prone Silvestru and raised their guns. ,, ...ENEMIES! ,, The world turned to emerald fire. ,, * * * * * A split second later, Silvestru raised her head and realised that she wasn't burned. ,, True, it was so hot that it was hard to breathe. True also the room, and the corridor beyond, was a swirling, dancing inferno of green and gold flame. Further, the men who had burst into the room were caricatures of men now, sculptures of charred meat and bone with clothing and metal fused into their corpses, and the guards in the corridor beyond could be heard screaming, dreadful screams of pain and suffering. The smell was terrible. ,, But she was unburned. The ground on which she lay was not superheated. Everywhere else, the flagstones smoked, but under her they were fine, if a little warm. ,, A bare foot came down on a smoking flagstone beside her, not even a sizzle of burning flesh marking the event, and she looked up into a pair of blazing, featureless golden eyes belonging to a youth as beautiful as he was terrible. He was wreathed in shimmering flame, his face composed in an unearthly mask of wrath, but as he looked down at her the expression changed slightly. ,, "Not an enemy." he said in a young tenor made rusty by non-use. He looked as though the words were something remembered, something not natural to him any more, and for a moment seemed as if he would say something more. His teeth clenched, though, and the next sound he made was a growl of the purest rage Silvestru had ever heard. There was a knife-edge moment as though the youth were suffering some internal struggle, then his head jerked up towards the open doorway and he strode out into the corridor, past the half-melted slag of the door. ,, There were men out there, away from the girl who was not an enemy. This much Bǣl knew: those men were enemies and he could burn them, all of them. A few soldiers had holed up some distance away and, seeing him, screamed and opened fire, their bullets vaporising before hitting the enraged Dynamic. Bǣl screamed his hate in their faces and made a swiping gesture with a clawlike hand, and a sheet of fire roared from the air around him in response to the scream, boiling and rolling down the corridor and enveloping the doomed soldiers, whose screams mingled with their killer's maddened laughter. ,, They will all burn!
  18. In the western outskirts of Berlin, surrounded by barbed wire-tipped fences, guard towers and large garrison military base, is a place called Justizvollzugsanstalt Plötzensee. Built in the late 1800's on the estates of Plötzensee Manor, it was designed as a place where criminals deserving of execution were sent for their final days on Earth. It is an imposing place, a place of despair and death, and the miasma of half a century of it's grim purpose hangs over the stone-built compound like a cloud. Though so much changed in Germany since the rise of the Third Reich, for Plötzensee it is business as usual. Men are still sent here to die at the hands of the state, only now political as well as criminal inmates populate the bleak grey cells. ,, But there is another side to the prison, an underside. For the cellars of the manor itself have been extended, and deepened, and turned into a second prison beneath the ground. Here are kept prisoners that the Reich wants no-one to know about. Above ground, inmates are examples: do not stray from the path or you will end up here. Down below, one simply disappears. No one ever hears about them again. No one will see them be executed, or visit them in your cell. In fact, people who were believed to be executed in the prison above have re-appeared down below, as they are simply too valuable to lose permanently... for now. A quick trial and execution for the Very Important Prisoner above, then a long, drawn out series of sessions with the Gestapo's finest in Plötzensee Below. ,, But past the cells, past the well-lit interrogation rooms with the drains in the middle of the floors, past the guards with the Dobermans and Schmiesser machineguns, at the end of the main arterial 'road' through Plötzensee Below, is a special cell. ,, It is divided into two parts. The first is a security station, a small room barely eight feet across. Triple-paned, impact resistant glass, a product of the finest Dynamic minds of the Reich, forms a window along one wall, that starts at waist height and stops short of the airlock system at the far end. This door is the only entrance to the second half of the cell - and it's occupant. The second half of the cell is worthy of note for its unusual composition. A room fully 15 feet cubed, it is flooded, a sealed tank of ice cold water. A drain on the floor is currently closed, and the only other fixture to the cell is the triple-tubing, flexible and strong, that runs down from the cell's ceiling and into the diving suit that contains the cell's inmate. In the watch-room, two guards are on duty all the time. Monitor dials on the wall give readings on the water's temperature, and a pair of wheels controls the drain in the floor, which is also the means by which the room is flooded. The guards, actually Gestapo, watch the prisoner carefully, making notes on any action he takes, however insignificant it seems. The room is only drained once a day, under heavy supervision by two Dynamics stationed here for that purpose. Then the young man inside the suit is allowed out, allowed to stretch and shower before once again clambering back into the cleaned suit and resuming his imprisonment. ,, Right now, he watches the men beyond the glass, his softly-glowing eyes two sparks of molten flame behind the thick glass of his diving helmet. He has been here for three years, though in truth he is not too sure of that. He knows he must have been here awhile, as he was only a boy when they locked him in the suit, and he has grown since. The captivity doesn't seem to have slowed down his growth or his development, but that is hardly surprising to the youth. After all, he is one of the ubermenschen, the Dynamics. That is why he is here, that is why they do not kill him out of hand when there is a chance of breaking him. Of course, there is no chance of that, the youth knows in his heart. He is as temperamental as the element he commands, as destructive as any wildfire. But he does not bother to disabuse the facists of their plan - after all, it gives him time. ,, Time is what he plays for. Time is why he chokes down the rising panic he feels every time the water rises over his head and he is again trapped. Time is his ally. With enough time, those he cares about will be dead, or the Nazis will make a fatal mistake, and he will again be free. And once he is free... ,, Some men, when imprisoned, care for birds or small creatures. Others compose music in their heads, or write novels and poems, or construct palaces in dreams. The Dynamic who is still mostly a young man called Valentin has no such... creative urges. He watches the pallid, corpselike men beyond the thick glass and dreams of seeing their flesh roasting, of smelling the smoke of this whole foul prison in flames. He dreams elaborate dreams of destruction and divine retribution. He wants to release the hate and anger and rage he feels in his breast, a smoldering ember needing just a breath of air to surge into being. He dreams of the freedom to live, to dance... ,, To burn. ,, To burn everything.
  19. Name: Bǣl Real Name: Valentin Brandt Nature: Rebel Date of Birth: 1924 Sex: Male Apparent Age: late-teens. Height: 5'11" Weight: 167lbs Known Appearance: A beautiful young man with red-gold hair, molten gold eyes and sharp features. Known Powers: A manipulator of fire, Bǣl can perform a wide range of effects with his element. Visible Aberrations: Unearthly Beauty, Distinctive Appearance, Anima Banner (green flames) History: Claude and Lotte Brandt were lucky, blessed even. The two Dynamics were heroes of Germany during the Great War, they parlayed their fame into fortune and did well even during the hard years following the Treaty of Verdun. They had a son, whom they called Valentin, and life was good. Theirs was a happy household. ,, Then came the rise of the Nazis, and the widespread belief that the ubermenchen would catapult Germany back into worldwide prominence. The Brandt’s saw this dangerous movement and began to speak out against it, pointing to the follies of the prior war and warning against militarism. Their words, as Dynamic heroes of the nation, had a lot of impact, and people were swayed. Other people saw, and heard, and elected to do something about it. The Brandts were killed in a mysterious automobile accident – a very mysterious accident indeed, considering that both Dynamics were inhumanly resistant to damage. Valentin, at the age of 7, was especially confused: he was sure that his parents did not even own an automobile. Lies were told, close family members were persuaded by the evidence, and Valentin went to live with his grandparents in Heidelburg. ,, On his 12th birthday, Valentin’s talent expressed itself. A book-burning was taking place, and one of his cousins – a member of the Hitler Youth – decided that the small collection of American comic books that Valentin hoarded was a perfect gift to the flames. Valentin struggled, but his cousin was bigger and heavier, and held the young boy away while tossing the comics into the roaring fire. Valentin was furious beyond measure. Those comics had been gifts, every single one, from his parents, and this fat pig had destroyed them to appease a funny little man who shouted and now somehow ruled the country. ,, He walked into the flames to get his verdammt comics back. The flames swirled around him, but didn’t touch his skin, their color changing to a verdant green hue that illuminated the terrified faces of the townsfolk, and as he stood on the emerald pyre and looked at the scorched remnants of all the books, his own included, Valentin quietly decided he would have no part of such blighted stupidity. The flames winked out, leaving the market square in darkness. ,, The Waffen SS arrived the next day, with their own Dynamics. They wanted to test the boy, and his grandparents, already old, dared not resist the superhuman presence of the SS ubermencsh who made the demand. So the Nazis took Valentin away – he didn’t want to fight them on his grandparents doorstep, after all. They took him to a camp, but he refused to use his powers. They cajoled him, and he refused. They threatened him, and he refused. Politely, he explained that he didn’t want to be a super soldier for the Fatherland. He wanted to go to school, and then to university in Vienna. He wanted to study the works of the philosophers and work to help all humanity, not just the Nazi party. To his keepers, this sounded like treason, and they couldn’t risk even a single ubermensch working against the Reich. ,, So they imprisoned him, and he escaped. They caught him, and built another prison. This one he also escaped from after a couple of years, causing the deaths of five guards and one Dynamic in the process. His powers had grown in captivity. The effort, however, drained the young man, and he was unable to resist capture a third time. This time, the Nazis did it right: they moved him to a fortified prison on the outskirts of Berlin. His cell was a hundred feet below ground and flooded: a stone box of water. Valentin was strapped into a diving suit and left there, kept alive through means of an air hose from the ceiling. Two smaller tubes also carried his meals (baby mush) and water. Once per day, under guard, his cell was drained and he was allowed to relieve himself and exercise while his suit was cleaned. The rest of the time, he was alone in the dark waters of his prison. He has been told that, should he attempt escape again, his grandparents will be killed in horrible ways. So he does not struggle, and does not complain. ,, And he remains there to this day. Thinking... planning... hating. The solitude and utter isolation, rather than breaking the young man, have hardened his soul to diamond-toughness. He has nothing to sustain him except his anger, which burns hotter with every passing moment. The irony is not lost on him – the Nazis wanted him to be a weapon, and he will be. Just not in their hands. Not in anyone’s hands but his own. Valentin has actually started to hope that his grandparents die soon – and he hates himself for that hope. If he were strong enough, he could reach his grandparents before the Reich can punish them, and spirit them away somewhere. But where? He has been kept isolated – where is safe from the Nazis now? Russia? Norway? One thing is certain, the Reich is going to regret ever having heard the name of Valentin Brandt. Or Bǣl, as he calls himself now. Bǣl, the fire of the funeral pyre. ,, The flame of destruction. (40NP build) ATTRIBUTES Physical (Tertiary) STR: ●●● () DEX: ●●●● (Agile) STA: ●●● () Mental (Secondary) PER: ●●●● (Intuitive) INT: ●●●● (Bright) WIT: ●●●● (Quick) Social (Primary) APP: ●●●● (Stunning) MAN: ●●● () CHA: ●●●● (Arresting) - ( 3 NP spent) Abilities: Brawl: Might: Athletics: ●● Drive: Firearms: Legerdemain: Martial Arts: ● Melee: Pilot: Stealth: ● Endurance: ●●● Resistance: ●●● Awareness: ●●● Investigation: ● Navigation: ●● Academics: ●● Bureaucracy: Computer: Engineering: ● Intrusion: Linguistics: ● Medicine: Science: ●● Survival: ● Arts: Biz: Rapport: ● Intimidation: ●● Style: Diplomacy: Interrogation: Streetwise: Subterfuge: Carousing: Command: Etiquette: ● Perform: Modulate: ●●● (2 BPs spent) Backgrounds: Node ●●●●● Attunement ●●●●● (3 BPs spent, ) Merits: Iron Will - 6 Quantum Recovery - 1 Flaws: Vengeful - 2 Lusty - 1 Dependant - 4 (His grandparents) Phobia: Claustrophobic - 2 Aberration - 2 Unearthly Beauty Quantum: ●●●●● (14 BPs spent) Quantum Pool: 40 Willpower: ●●●●● Taint: 7 - Aberrations: -Taint based: Minor: Anima Banner: Emerald green flame dances around Valentin when he manifests his power. Distinctive Appearance Moderate: Uncontrollable Power: Elemental Mastery Hormonal Imbalance: Rage Special Effect: All of Valentin's fire-based effects manifest as emerald green flame. Mega-Attributes Mega-Strength Mega-Dexterity ● (Quickness) Mega-Stamina ● (Hardbody) Mega-Perception Mega-Intelligence Mega-Wits ● (Multi-tasking) Mega-Appearance ● (Awe-Inspiring) Mega-Manipulation Mega-Charisma ● (Autonomy) - (9 NP spent ) Quantum Powers Bright Viridian Sword - Quantum Bolt Lvl 3 (Extra: Armor Piercing) ●● Prince of the Emerald Sun - Elemental Mastery: Fire Lvl 3 ●●●● (Imprison, Enhance/Diminish, Shield, Storm) Jade Gates - Transmit: Fire (Extra: Incontiguous) - ●● No Power But Mine - Invulnerability: Fire - ●● - (3 NP spent clean, 20 NP spent on Tainted dots) Combat Stats Base Soak: 4 Bashing / 2 Lethal Health Levels: Bruised x1, Hurt x1, Wounded x1, Injured x1, Crippled x1, Incapacitated x1 Initiative: 9 (1 BP spent) ,,
  20. Okay, narrowing my first character choices down to either a haughty sidhe noble (kinda like Bannon, only without the warm regard for his fellow man) or else an Assamite archon (been doing some reading up on the oWoD lore, and Assamite archons are not uncommon or unrealistic since the Gangrel absconded wholesale from the Camarilla.) The sidhe would be played for acidic laughs, whereas the Assamite would be very much a straight man - a Justicar's favorite 'messenger' - who just happens to operate out of Paris.
  21. Watching from the sidelines quickly palled. The mass of Terats politicking, flirting and murmuring about the speeches tonight was nothing new, despite the subject matter. He could go down and mingle, but saw little worth in doing so, especially with Pedro here. The Mathematician was Sphinx enough to innately use anyone he interacted with as part of some scheme, and Surtr wanted none of his 'fathers' schemes. Pedro Santiago wanted something from him, he felt instinctively. There was an urge to control born of unease, bordering on fear, that the red-haired youth sensed when the Mathematician had spoken to him last. He would not be controlled, he would not be contained: not by anyone. So he stood, meaning to use the flaming brazier to depart, then paused as his golden eyes rested on the Anavasi ranks. These were something new - how new remained to be seen, but Puck was aligned with Chang Zha-Yang’s new faction, and the respect Surtr had for Puck piqued his curiousity. Perhaps there was someone here worth talking to. They saw him coming, of course. One of Lucrezia's many selves, or more likely White Rain herself, who's senses were renowned. The Mirror Queen's court watched as the slim youth emerged from the gathering of Marvels, Monsters and Portents. "Chang Zha-Yang." Eyes glinting amber regarded the Anavasi leader with a curiosity that loaned warmth to the young nova's cool poise. He nodded with slow, deliberate politeness. "I would dearly like to converse with you, if you have the time and inclination." He did not offer a hand, or extend any other baseline forms of courtesy, but there was no sense of disdain or offense meant, either. "I am called Surtr."
  22. All will burn in the fires of my disdain for daring to offer tic-tacs!

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