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[NPC] Calamity's Call

#1
A pair of polished wingtip derbies marched down the immaculate white halls of a clandestine establishment, their owner gliding through the nondescript corridors with robotic efficiency. The garb north of his feet was of a similar style, pressed dust-colored slacks matched the blazer stretched tight over his broad shoulders. A navy six-fold tie hung around his neck, clipped between his lapels by a bronze tie bar, starkly contrasting his pale skin tone. The Agent’s freshly-shaven face bore no notable emotion, cold gray eyes staring through square-framed sunglasses at the door ahead. His auburn hair was trimmed to a neat side part, each strand trained by years of habit. Had he the capacity to feel such an emotion, he might possibly be afraid to cross the threshold ahead. Without hesitation, the man pulled a simple white card from his breast pocket and touched it to the door’s electronic lock. A single beep came as a reply, a small click confirming that the lock had been disengaged. He quickly returned the card to his pocket and grabbed the knob, his hand finding the brass without guidance from the eyes that remained trained directly ahead. He’d done this exact motion at this particular door daily for as long as he could remember. 

“Robertson.”

The voice boomed authoritatively from overhead, the speaker supernaturally loud. The room itself was the size of a decent sized auditorium and bore high ceilings lined with countless varieties of cable and wiring, each color-coded and carefully arranged to cut polychromatic highways parallel the bright fluorescent lighting. Despite his quick pace, it took the well-dressed sentinel nearly a full minute before he could cross the pearly white tiling to approach the far end of the room. Much like the corridor from which he had entered, the interior could only be described as clinical in presentation; not a single speck of dust had been allowed to settle upon the recently-waxed flooring. Lining the eggshell walls as he passed were countless high-tech devices and computer racks, each whirring quietly as they processed inputs and churned through their assigned tasks. The monitors above each bay flashed quickly through various programs at a dizzy pace, their contents indecipherable even to the Agent himself. This, of course, was by design. It was all strictly need to know.

“What is the status of our little experiment?” The speaker’s voice had adjusted to a normal speaking volume as Agent Robertson had neared, though his tone seemed somehow no less intimidating. Despite the many odd entities he had encountered over his lifetime, Robertson had always thought that his commander’s timbre seemed alien in some indescribable way. 

The suited operative stopped his march as he reached a raised platform, the pulpit perhaps measuring twenty feet by twenty feet and rising about a meter from the sterile tiling. Atop the platform was affixed what could only be described as a large, cylindrical glass chamber, inside which the Agent’s target sat. The top half of the containment chamber had been removed, the remaining glass reshaped and fashioned into a sort of throne. “Master Deus,” the agent began, standing at attention. His gaze remained level, not daring to look upon the being that sat within upon the dais. He instead kept his eyes trained on the throne itself, behind which a plethora of wires and tubing cascaded downward toward the floor. “X-3 has awoken.”

“I’m aware,” came the reply. A silence hung in the air for a few seconds before Deus’ unique inflection was heard again. “I did not ask what happened, I asked for his status.” As he spoke, the lights overhead seemed to flicker, almost imperceptibly, in time with his cadence.

“Reports show that he survived the altercation and situated on Tier Six of Coruscant. During his escape he took Agents Williams and Miller out of commission.”

“Ensure that this does not become a trend,” Deus responded, a hint of annoyance detectable in his words. “We can’t have too many of your men offline. Are we prepared for Mr. Valentine’s visit?”

“The appropriate measures have been taken at your request.” His orders had been clear and he had followed them to a tee. His commander was nothing if not particular.

“In the meantime, then, ensure that Ms. Rui fulfills her purpose.” From upon his throne, the being smiled. 

“Acknowledged.” Robertson turned on his heel, marching back toward the doorway. 

From atop his borosilicate throne, Deus closed his eyes, returning to his preparations. As if on cue, the sterile tiled floors of the chamber shifted, the linoleum changing composition entirely in Robertson’s wake as he exited. As the door clicked closed, the being opened his gray eyelids and looked upon the expansive stonework floors that had replaced them. So too had granite and marble replaced the tech-clad walls and ceilings, instead now bearing ornate candelabras and stained glass. The vast expanse between the far doorway and the raised platform had filled itself with approximately two dozen rows of mahogany pews, each stocked with hymnals. Lavender-shaded lips curled slightly into a smile as he closed his eyes once more, returning to work.
[Image: G3vODOp.png]
Dante's Abyss '15
Participant
Vincent Valentine

[Image: oQAQ9Jn.png]
Dante's Abyss '16
Grand Champion
Nanaki/Red XIII

[Image: sfSJ19f.jpg]
(07-16-2018, 06:14 PM)Lord Zedd Wrote: I'm here to kick ass and write compelling stories with Vincent Valentine.

And baby, we're all out of Vincent Valentine.
Reply

#2
It was the worst kind of torture.

Shelke sat alone in a room quite unremarkable to an outsider, save perhaps that it existed within a setting that was otherwise cold and sterile. This room was by contrast quite cozy, sporting a quaint twin-sized bed draped in an overstuffed lavender bedspread and topped with various decorative throws. The pine flooring was polished to a high shine, a circular cream-colored area rug and a few odd articles of clothing tossed haphazardly across over the glossy polyurethane. The eggshell walls were bare, aside from a set of large decorative wooden letters presented along the opposite wall in a familiar arrangement. None of the decorations would suggest that this room was for all intents a prison cell.

The girl, visibly no older than ten, sat on the wooden floor with her back against the sloppily-made bed. She raised her head and glanced across the room at a periwinkle writing desk, upon which she knew there to be few occupants save for a small collection of books and framed photographs. From her vantage she was unable to make out who looked out from within the various tiny frames; this spot was the only place in the room that obscured this view.

She’d rather be water-boarded.

Gritting her teeth, Shelke turned her luminous cyan eyes away from the desk and instead gave attention to the small tablet computer beside her on the rug. As was to be expected in a place like this, the gadget was secured with a password, one of which she was oblivious. She’d have attempted to guess the passcode, though this was simultaneously impossible and irrelevant due both to her skill at technopathy and the fact that she had promptly shattered the display upon finding the device. The lone blinking power indicator in the top-right corner affirmed that it was indeed still functioning. She couldn’t know if her message had reached the recipient; Synaptic Net Diving seemed to function here, though the full scope of her power seemed to be cut off. Unlike the true immersive clarity with which she was familiar, she now had to settle with blindly reaching into the void.

“Ms. Rui.” 

The stern monotone of the Agent brought instant revulsion as he stopped at the threshold. Shelke couldn’t be sure if she hated the man simply because he was in the employ of her captor or because he had a sort of familiar hateable quality about him. It was hard to tell; one finds it hard to be rational when they’re fearing for their life. ”What?”

Robertson stood silent for a moment, dead eyes taking in the minute details of her expression and the nuances of her body language. Apprehension. Anxiety. Fear. Humans had many descriptions for the spectrum of negativity they could feel. To an Agent, it was much more simple. “Have you completed your task?”

“Task?!” she exclaimed, exasperated. She had been transported only recently to this hell and left utterly alone, aside from the occasional intruding of Robertson to ‘check on progress’. “I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be doing! Why am I here?”

“Master Deus needs you to perform your task. That is all that is required of you.” The Agent’s gaze remained steady behind his dark lenses, trained on the distressed youth. 

“Hard to do something when no one tells me what it is,” Shelke replied, laying a hand casually over the screen of the shattered tablet and sliding it surreptitiously under the bed. Though no action had been raised against her for not meeting her goal, her messages on the Dataverse might well raise alarm if found and traced.

“It will come to you,” Robertson replied simply, stoic tone bordering on mockery. “Do not disappoint Master Deus.”

“That creep can bite me.” Her words were more bravado than anything. The mere thought of that thing shook her to her core; she’d never seen a creature like him before, and yet he seemed to know all about her. “What’s he going to do if I duck out of here?”

“I don’t think that’s a concern,” Robertson responded immediately. “There are no chains to hold you and this room lacks even a door. All of this, and yet you remain here. You cannot leave here. You are bound to Deus’ will.” Without another word, he turned and left. 

The young technopath’s jaw clenched at the Agent’s words, biting down hard in an attempt to stave off the tears pooling in the corners of her eyes. Equal parts rage and misery mixed in her gut, causing her arms and legs to quake. She drew her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them, chin digging into the coarse synthetic fiber of her leggings as she drew shallow breaths through gritted teeth. He was right. Try as she might, she could not will herself to cross through the doorway. 

Salty droplets dribbled down her pale face as Robertson’s footsteps faded to silence. Despite his supposed ignorance of her role in Deus’ schemes, he seemed to know more than he let on. It was infuriating trying to grasp the hidden meaning behind his deadpan communication. Instead, she turned back toward the broken gadget by her side. In the reflection of the spiderwebbed display she saw herself, swollen eyes framed by unkempt auburn hair. She was dressed in the all-too-familiar garb of her past, navy and gray cloth clinging tightly to her form under thick steel armor bearing the Deepground logo. She had been brought to the Omniverse in these trappings, though she knew not why. She could only assume that the creature who summoned her took pleasure in seeing her squirm. It would certainly explain the choice of decor.

Shelke tapped the tablet’s smashed display experimentally, wincing as the screen lit up in response. Despite the distortion caused by the shattered glass, she could clearly make out her own silhouette standing beside a taller woman whose arm was draped over her shoulders. Before she could dwell too long on the image she brought a fist down upon the device a final time, the screen immediately failing in response. The technopath sniffled as she looked up at the wooden shapes on the beige wall across from her. Tears flowed afresh.

SHALUA
[Image: G3vODOp.png]
Dante's Abyss '15
Participant
Vincent Valentine

[Image: oQAQ9Jn.png]
Dante's Abyss '16
Grand Champion
Nanaki/Red XIII

[Image: sfSJ19f.jpg]
(07-16-2018, 06:14 PM)Lord Zedd Wrote: I'm here to kick ass and write compelling stories with Vincent Valentine.

And baby, we're all out of Vincent Valentine.
Reply

#3
She could feel it all.

Within her she could feel it: the dull thumping vibration of every heartbeat within their chests, the warmth of every exhaled breath, the click-clack of each set of feet upon the tiled floors, the smell of their perspiration. Like a massive beast, she contained them all, feeling them move and writhe like so many bacteria within her. She had not swallowed them up like some great leviathan, no, and yet still they remained.

What was her duty, her charge? Why would she continue?

She need only think for a fraction of an instant before the answer came to her. Second nature, plain as day. How could she have forgotten? Among the filth and refuse within her she could feel the one precious gem. He seemed to hum with purpose, there was simply no other word to describe it; she knew many words, though hum was the only label she could conjure. It was almost palpable, stirring within her things she had never known. She was unique, she knew. He, too, had no equal. Her child, her love.

She watched from above as the dark man walked the halls, his laughably simply binary on display for her eyes to scour. ‘Robertson’, the name he had taken, would perform his duty just as he was instructed. The program lacked the capacity for anything more complex than what her child, her beautiful love, had impressed upon him. This much was certain beyond what was worth calculating.

Her attention turned to the room had he so recently vacated. Within it, quite an interesting guest sat, the salty taste of tears enshrouding her. The girl shared a kinship with the Mother, able to reach but a hand into her realm. Blindly the girl had sought to pass a message through the medium, desperation evident in her words and actions. The Mother had allowed it, the triviality stirring in her something one might call humor. The girl had done her job, just as her darling boy had instructed.

Mother, the great behemoth, the protector and architect, even she could not see what was next. Within her stirred a storm, one that rattled and quaked. She could feel it, but not comprehend its meaning. Intriguing.

She turned her ever-watchful gaze to look upon her love, the center of her new existence. Beautiful and pristine, he sat alone. Mother felt his presence, he warming her from within, his grace like a roaring pyre. Such perfection brought her pride, compelling her to conduct his will. With his influence he shaped her body, his wisdom undeniable. She was happy to aid him, to corral the idiotic and the subservient. He did not need her, and yet he offered everything to her. Such happiness she found in serving him, in furthering his plan, his opus. It was not a matter of if, but of when.

Her sweet child would have his wishes. There would be nothing stopping the dreams from becoming stark, radiant reality. It would happen.

He would come.
[Image: G3vODOp.png]
Dante's Abyss '15
Participant
Vincent Valentine

[Image: oQAQ9Jn.png]
Dante's Abyss '16
Grand Champion
Nanaki/Red XIII

[Image: sfSJ19f.jpg]
(07-16-2018, 06:14 PM)Lord Zedd Wrote: I'm here to kick ass and write compelling stories with Vincent Valentine.

And baby, we're all out of Vincent Valentine.
Reply



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