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Lightning

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otherworld.
« on: April 23, 2015, 11:02:36 pm »
JANUS HQ (secret) - Lobby.

It was a glittering city, full of light and life. Charon watched it through the constantly falling drops of rain, each one racing down the glass in thin, quick streams. Traffic sped by, airborne or otherwise. Times Square was often a noise of flying cabs trying to get from one place to the next. It could get rather chaotic.

Even as it poured, the streets were still well populated and dotted with umbrellas. Everyone had places to go, determined, even otherworlders well settled into their lives here. Many of them held jobs, important positions, had families, it was like they'd become a part of this world, a piece no one knew they were missing.

The giant screen advertisements lit up the wet pavement in streaks of white, red, gold, and blue. One of the advertisements featured a pretty human woman, on another, an otherworlder, a recent celebrity in this mingling of dimensions.

She was their assignment for the evening. A recent target of fanatical admiration, but now it was going too far. Whoever this fan was, was killing off her bodyguards in an attempt to get to her. Usually, JANUS wouldn't have bothered with such a thing, but Zanri painted a nice picture of co-mingling between otherworlders and humans, and she was extremely popular with both sides. She made for an important figure, one whose death could tamper with the relations that humans and otherworlders had so far built up.

Charon didn't mind, although he was unfamiliar with her work, pop culture being a thing that didn't quite grasp his interest. He still didn't quite understand why Ezra insisted he was Ghost Rider, whatever that was.

The rain continued to patter, a soft, constant sound till it was interrupted by a brash, angry voice.

"What the fuck, Charon?!" Ezra stormed into the room, despite the weather outside, she was dressed lightly, her midriff exposed by the black tank top she wore.

She didn't wait for an acknowledgment before continuing to yell at him, although he doubted she would have waited for one. She tended to ignore most of his text communications, in person or otherwise.

"Your fucking dog peed on my jacket!" Said leather jacket was stretched out in one fingerless gloved hand. "Take the bastard outside dammit."

He doesn't like the rain.

Ezra glanced at the phone before her eyes narrowed, "Like I give a shit. This is my FAVORITE jacket."

I'll wash it.

"I don't care. I still can't wear it tonight, and I wanted to look good for Zanri dammit. Ugh, I fucking hate dogs." Ezra plopped into the couch across from Charon, eyes now looking out the window. "Where's the boss?" She asked after a moment, seeming to have moved on from her jacket, for the time being.

Charon shrugged.

Ezra clicked her tongue, "Useless. Don't you pay attention to anything? Just staring at the rain like a damn moron."

It's pretty.

Ezra rolled her eyes. "Lemme guess, you don't know where Isaac or that shorty is either, do you?"

No.

Ezra laid her head back, frustrated, "Ugh, we're supposed to head out in half an hour! And like hell I'm gonna be late. This is fuckin' Zanri we're talking about. I NEED her autograph."

Verse

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Re: otherworld.
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2015, 03:35:30 pm »
Umbkep squeezed himself. The obscene suit twisted around him further, muscle fibers rolling horizontally. Eyes the color of stark sun and hair the hue of useless winter rays. He’d worn black lipstick for the day. Tall like a reaching monster, broad ontop, as though his fitness regime had forgotten his legs. A heavy silhouette, ready to topple. A shadow with a radiant face washed in the ever rain. Abusing time, standing.

Zanri was a good reason to be outside. His devotion to the worshipped girl didn’t extend as far as the adoration of some, waiting. He took a step back from the crowd, and trusted an overhang to keep the fat drops away. Alve reached out, back into the shower, underneath the protective edge above, to catch a big stream of water on his lacquered hand. There was a small amount of chemicals in the rain. He tossed it back, drank from his cupped limb. Not much of anything, but the exhaust from the roof tasted honest, persistent. Maybe he could use it to isolate some of the better compounds. Or poison them.

The Zanri girl was good for business. Like anyone with an ego and money she preferred a special buzz. Whether it be the traceless love provided from the end of one of his breathing appendages, or the volatile spread of a bone syringe. Idols like her were good advertisement, so he’d provide the personal touch to his services. There was a standing order for her saliva and blood on the black market, if he didn’t feel like mustering the controlling elixirs that made newly caught creatures of either race into willing slaves. She was a very fine animal among others that could serve him. He could strike coin out of almost everything she did and provided.

All this considered, he was wondering if it wasn’t too much effort to stand out here, when he could be neck deep in a humming gel bath instead, having his tentacles cracked and massaged. The thought of interacting with her bodyguards, though, tipped the scales in favor of this job. They were a fun bunch, though not in the amicable sense.

Bunch. A collection; something tightly wound; individual components put together. Tinder. He might have a few sparks in his mind that these individuals might be interested in. Maybe he’d share it with them.

He was never in the business of getting JANUS on his tail for killing one of theirs, and they were usually not so vindictive that they’d try to take him out in lieu of what he could offer. Didn’t mean his consulting with them was very affectionate. Most of them didn’t like the way he used his tentacles, and he didn’t like the way they didn’t like him. So much animosity in such a fruitful relationship. He ate their contempt and they ate his competition. A bitter symbiosis. Perhaps this was how people felt when they immersed themselves in the first alcohol of the night. Perhaps this was why he liked them so much. Courting his downfall while he was courting his triumph.

Hope your phazers are set on stun. I'm coming with some favors for the princess.

And then he hit send. All of them should get it. Sensitive subject, your protectee recreating with something so-- unsavory. His pallid face was known well enough by the right people that he didn't want to be seen with her outright, nor would she, but she'd invited him into the building to meet her there. What was her plan? For him to do a drive-by shot in her leg? Like her motorcade would allow it.

He strutted behind the wall of people waiting, his black suit reflecting the lights and the lit up signs, but catching no ones eye in this melting pot of radioactive colors. When the fans funneled toward the entrance of the place, he simply muscled through and slid on in. Surely they would have security. Surely she'd seen to that he was on some kind of list.

Pride

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Re: otherworld.
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 11:13:01 pm »
...and the world will shake before him.

Nora’s disapproval was as familiar to Isaac as his own breathing.

He could see that constant downward twist of her lips even with his eyes closed, could hear the impatient drumming of her fingers against the stock of the rifle strapped to her shoulder despite the rhythmic bass of music in his ears, could feel the weight of her displeasure bearing down on him heavier even than the downpour beating a staccato measure on the window above is head. For such a tiny woman, vaunted as a genius when it came to subterfuge and tactical warfare, she carried a rather remarkable presence – the dark lounge he had commandeered for a short nap, long legs dangling over the edge of the short couch under a rainy window, had lost all of its pleasant calm in the wake of the dark-haired woman’s entrance.

Briefly, Isaac was entertained by the idea of pretending like he still hadn’t noticed her – he had his headphones on after all, those old-school noise-canceling type that completely covered his ears and earned him stares everywhere he went. But ignoring Nora, especially when they both knew that she was perfectly aware that he realized she was standing there, was never a good idea. In fact, knowing the short woman’s tendency to take control over a situation, it was only a matter of time before she took matters into her own hands and-

A sudden tug of his headphones took the bass of his music away and brought the sound of the rain, forcibly turning amused lilac eyes to look up at the woman glaring down at him as she twisted his head toward her in the process. Though the lounge was dark, the vibrant lights of the city distorted through the twining walls of rain and glass cast her features in a hue of color: streaks of neon blue across her frowning lips, orange and yellow twisting along her dark hair, a soft green across narrowed gray eyes. Her dark fatigues, the muted grays, blues, and whites that came with urban camouflage, blended well even in the odd assortment of lights. She would be pretty, if not for the cold severity of that look – it made her look fiercer than her diminutive size would lead anyone to believe, a haughtiness that made it clear she thought herself above such interactions with lesser beings.

That point was emphasized in the silence, the woman with a gun almost bigger than her body peaking over her shoulder glaring down at the man with a lazy smile, before Isaac finally broke it.

“Yo.” The short-haired blonde greeted, lifting one hand half way into the air in a friendly wave. “Time for the mission?”

“Why do you even own a phone if you never answer it?” Nora demanded immediately in lieu of greeting, voice quiet and each syllable carefully enunciated, gray eyes flickering with her irritation. She tossed the headphones to his lap, making a curt gesture as she stepped away to give him room. “Get up, we are going to be late.”

“Why, hello to you too Isaac! I’m doing well, thank you for asking. Nice weather we’re having, isn’t it? Did you have a nice nap?” Isaac mumbled with a half-hearted imitation of the annoyed girl’s voice, of which she ignored completely, and swung his legs around and before fishing his phone from his back pocket. The glance at the dark, unresponsive screen was more for her benefit than his. “Sorry, guess I turned it off on accident.”

A dark look told him that she didn’t believe his excuse for a second, though it faded when he pushed himself to his feet and stretched languidly, working the kinks out as he rolled his head from side to side. Satisfied, he lifted his headphones and set them to rest comfortably around his neck. It was only then that he realized she was staring at him, pinching the bridge of her nose in exasperation.

“Just look at you.” Nora gestured to the whole of him, sounding vaguely amused despite herself. “Just how long have you been laying there? You look like a homeless person that stole a nice set of clothes.”

The tall blonde paused, blinking down at his dark yellow dress shirt and black slacks, disheveled from his prolonged lounging on the couch. He had tossed off his shoes and undone the top few buttons closest to his neck so he had room to enjoy the cool air of the lounge, but apparently Nora wasn’t going to tolerate that either.

“At least button your shirt all the way up.” She muttered, stepping forward and knocking away his hand when he reached to fix it. “Stop it, no doubt you will just make it worse somehow. I will do it.” Thin, sure fingers worked the plastic buttons into place with practiced ease, arms stretched upward. “I would like at least one of you to look professional and we both know it is not going to be the gorilla woman who meets that standard.  Where is your tie?”

She followed the point of his finger to the chair and the black tie draped over it, crossing the room and back before he could finish sighing. “C’mon Nora, she’s not that bad. Don’t you guys ever get tired of constantly being at each other’s throats? I mean, yeah, Ezra can be a bit rough around the edges sometimes I guess, but you two actually have a lot in com-“

A forceful tightening of his tie made him choke, though the shorter woman continued to straighten it as if he hadn’t said a word. “Jacket?”

Uh oh. Isaac knew he had forgotten something. He faked a cough and massaged his throat to stall for time, mind racing to make up an excuse, but she had turned that frown up at his nervous grin and stormy eyes narrowed in a way that told him she knew exactly what he was doing. “Uh...”

“You forgot to bring it. Of course you did.” She sighed in resignation, brushing her hands down his shirt to try and rid it of the worst of the creases. He grinned and flexed a little to show off his muscles under the hands patting him down, but she ignored it in the same indifferent manner she always did, focused entirely on working his clothes into a vague semblance of order. After a few moments, she stepped away and eyed him critically.

“Well?” He smiled, spreading his arms wide so she could get better look. “On a scale of one to ten, what would you say I’m at in the good-looks department right now? An eight or nine, right? A ten if you account for my winning smile?”

“Yes, a perfect ten, congratulations. Your looks are surpassed only by your humility.” She dead-panned, turning away from the blonde before he could see where her eyes lingered. “Hurry up and put your shoes on. If we leave that overgrown child waiting for too long, she’ll just throw a tantrum. And turn on your phone back on, you know you’re always supposed to have it ready in case of emergencies.”

She was already half way out the door before she had even finished speaking, leaving him to quickly slide on his shiny black shoes and jog after her, powering on his cell as he went. He finally caught up a short distance from the lobby, where she had paused to check something on her phone. A vibration from the palm of his hand brought Isaac’s curiosity to his own phone as it finally finished booting up, vaguely amused to see the twenty various texts and missed calls from the dark-haired marksman as she hunted for him throughout the building.

He almost put it away again before he realized that, no, wait – the most recent text wasn’t from Nora. It was from the alveolar dealer, warning Isaac – and likely the rest of JANUS, if Nora’s sudden scowl was any indication – that he would be making an appearance before their VIP tonight.

“Hm.” Isaac mused aloud, glancing at the gray-eyed sharpshooter. “Well, that’s not exactly ideal, but at least he let us know, right? I mean, he could have just- Nora?”

She turned from him and stalked into the lobby, leaving the halfbreed to sigh and run a hand through his hair. If the stormy-eyed woman hadn’t been in a bad mood before, she definitely was now – she barely tolerated JANUS associations with the seedier aspects of the city, partially because she understood the necessity and mostly because she respected Ace enough not to question his decisions. But a text like that, with such flagrant disregard for the laws she dutifully upheld, was sure to push her buttons. She would be looking for any outlet to snap at someone now, and considering their partners for this mission, it seemed almost inevitable that the self-proclaimed demigoddess and tiny huntress would butt heads. He could only hope that Ezra would be in a better mood than Nora was.

Isaac followed her into the lobby, raising a hand in greeting to the pair already waiting for them there, though he paused a short distance away and scrunched up his nose, sniffing experimentally.

“Does something smell like dog piss in here to anyone else?”

Lightning

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Re: otherworld.
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2015, 05:11:27 am »
Ezra clicked her tongue again, flicking her phone on the table, it clattering on the wood with a sharp sound. "I hate that damn dealer." She muttered, obviously annoyed, frustrated even. It looked like she was about to say something else, possibly still referring to that text message they had just received, when she snapped her mouth shut at approaching foot steps.

Isaac and Nora had arrived, Isaac in garb far more appropriate for their mission. It didn't even take him a moment to comment on the unusual scent coming from Ezra's jacket.

Immediately, Ezra flared, "Dammit, Charon. This is your fault." She flung the jacket at him, not hesitating to put quite a bit of strength into it. Charon caught it, startled, thankful he didn't have a nose to smell with.

"Take care of it." She shot up from her seat then, turning to look at the pair that had just arrived, "Let's get the hell out of here, Zanri's waiting." She smirked then, seemingly excited.


- - -

A movie premiere. It was an exciting affair. Golden lights and glimmering dresses, expensive foods and plenty of drinks. Hell, it was something a girl could get use to.

Ezra stuck out in her casual yet revealing clothes, slim black jeans with holes at the knees, and the black tank from earlier. She was grinning from ear to ear, thrilled to be in attendance, not quite use to being present at such glamorous affairs nonetheless in the presence of someone so famous.

Zanri was with them, dressed in an extravagant glittering gold dress that dazzled every moment the light touched it. She was a beautiful sight, lovely fuchsia skin and cerulean eyes. She was a people of the flowers, or so she said. She also stuck to Isaac like glue, who the hell knew why. She seemed fascinated with him, but Ezra figured as long as this got her an autograph then it didn't really matter. Although a small part of her wondered how the shrimp was taking it, the idea of it pissing her off just made Ezra's smile grow wider.

Ezra couldn't understand why some lunatic was trying to kill her, even if she did associate with that...ugh Alveolar. Drugs didn't seem out of the ordinary for celebrities, even for someone as popular as Zanri. Everyone had their vices.

"Oi, how's everything outside?" She muttered into her communicator, a small device in her ear that only required a subtle press.

Charon and Nora were outside, Charon doing his usual thing, hiding in the shadows, his corporeal form a bit too obvious and a bit too big to be inside amongst the fancy party folk. She assumed Nora was in some place of a higher vantage point, scoping out the area with those stupid guns of hers.

Charon sent them all a text.

All clear here, but I saw Mr. Alveolar. Black suit.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 07:39:19 am by Lightning »

Verse

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Re: otherworld.
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2015, 01:36:17 pm »
The guard had been more than suspicious about Alve. But the name had checked out, of course. JANUS didn't exactly advertise their relationship and he had made sure his records could withstand at least the kind of prodding an usher could do. The suit of armor would be disconcerting, even for a low grade grunt at the door. Good instincts? Yet here he was, distilling alcohol in his belly from the offered champagne. The event was sprinkled with reflections, from the glitter of some outfits to the mirrored surfaces of the interior design. It made the already grand room seem even larger. He appreciated the finery.

As things got kicked up, Alve counted his acquaintances. Some of the socialite guild were good patrons of his, but he didn't much care for their company today. The stash he wore was mostly to buy good graces, not to be sold for profit. He stayed back, at the corner of the myriads of eyes here. He was more interested in his natural enemies and sometimes partners, of the J brand.

Emily, same color scheme as himself, stalked the surroundings. She and her crazed temper seemed to like it here today. A fond mission, body guarding? And Isaac, planted in the center like some stick for the flower of the event to wrap around for upright existence, as poised as always. Isaac with his manners seemed out of place in this world, as much as anything could be out of place on this mixed and melting plain, and always kept Alve weary. People who are collected are in control. If they are in control, then what's left for you?

But those two were just the fin of the shark. JANUS would not be what they were, a Jesting ANUS in the face of their opposers, if it did not know how to hide some of their assets. Assets in this case meant soldiers. Out of reflex, Alve brought a spider digit to his ear to try and listen for the others with his com, but instead caught other chatter on a more invite-only frequency, available to him through his-- gray scale line of work. He smiled, an even row of teeth. He brought out his micro panel and started tapping on its surface.

Since you were not so hospitable with me, I am not going to tell you when the bogymen will come and visit. Incidentally, and completely unrelated: Three, two, one...

He sent it to all his favorite enforcers. The chatter suggested he was jumping the gun a little bit, but he was sure the ominous message would rile the others here. Alve kept an eye out for actions or movements that would give away what would have to be the hiding JANUS soldiers. The group that was coming was radical, ambitious. There were easier ways to acquire Zanri, be her multi-armed dealer and give her suggestive psychedelics and have her come to you in the staff rec area for example, but they didn't want those kinds of results. Creatures waving guns in a public place always wanted to pad their legacy and legend. Didn't necessarily mean JANUS was up for an easy fight. Ballistic groups have ballistic means.

Alve left an empty glass at a full table and walked out where there were no objects or bodies to hide him. He swung his arms in a casual way as he came to walk beside the also sun-eyed Ezra. He was not her mission today, so he afforded himself this affront. His smile was closed, but wide. She would not be intimidated by their difference in height. She had never been. "So, a pair of monsters walk into a movie-opening... oh wait, you're about to hear this one for yourself." he said, snakes on his torso slithering to shift the reflections on his suit. "Why aren't you wearing a jacket?"
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 05:11:06 pm by Verse »