TRP is a post-Great War AU RWBY RP set in Mistral City and Haven Academy with no canons, no rank claims, no maidens, and no god interference. We offer a progression system and site-wide events that change the setting based on player actions.
Post by Solomon Moon on Sept 6, 2019 16:59:11 GMT -5
"You're bad for business, boyo." Francis said as he smeared the counter with a rag that was likely to be dirtier than the pockmarked wood by at least a factor of ten, "Scaring away my customers. I might be of a mind to hold it against you."
Sol just grunted, indifferent to the effect of his presence on the bar's economy when he probably raised the property value by a measurable fraction just by occupying one of the stools. The Cutting Edge, had been a smithy at some point in it's existence, and the retrofit into a shady establishment of an alehouse was not thorough enough to disguise that the main counter had once upon a time been a workbench. Further evidence was dotted around like a drunk scavenger hunt. The floor where a few overturned barrels and pallets served as tables and stools, surrounded a firepit that had obviously been the forge, an ancient jukebox moaning out the melancholy notes of classical Mistralan string instruments sat atop an abandoned anvil that was bolted to the floor. The entire west wall of the building was open to the air, with little better than a curtain of cured pelts to seal it during the winter. The floor was packed earth in spots, cobbles in others, and every inch covered by a layer of discarded peanut shells, cigarette butts and plastic wrappers. The bar didn't have a bouncer, it could barely afford the watered down whiskey that Sol was sipping from an aluminum can, but Francis kept a broad headed smith's hammer within view of the bar at all times, and wasn't shy about menacing troublemakers with it. Sol had even seen him use it once or twice. It was a delicious example of decadence, of a fall from a once noble occupation to serving the lowest class of custom. Sol wouldn't say he liked it, but something about it resonated with him, and that more than anything was what kept him coming back.
Besides, Sol knew Frank well enough that if the man were really fed up with him, he would be expressing the point with a hammer, not words.
He sipped another thin mouthful of what passed for whiskey in the dive. Considering the man's point with the philosophical attitude of a drunk on his third or fifth drink. The Cutting Edge was a secret kept by Haven Academy students, and they made up the majority of it's clientele, despite the fact that most of them were below the age of majority. Being this far south of the Cloud District rendered any form of official oversight a rumor at best. Francis paid the right people to stay in business, and as long as he gave lip service to the fact that he didn't knowingly serve any minors, he got to keep doing business like he had for years. Sol however was an outlier in the fact that he was obviously old enough to be legally visiting the establishment, and did not make any effort to disguise his identity once he was there. The addition of a crest on his back that alluded to a somewhat well known PMC, and the Haven Academy pin on his collar and epaulets, made him a perplexing sight for all the usual patrons. Sometimes it caused trouble, when some drunk got the bright idea to pick on the cyclops, but thus far those issues had been dealt with handily by Frank and his hammer. Sol somewhat thought that the old smith relished the opportunity to make use of the gruesome tool. Students from Haven tended to steer clear of him, rather than risk exposure.
That was the way Sol liked it. Despite his reputation, he didn't particularly enjoy fighting, though he seemed to do plenty of it. He just wanted a place to go and get drunk, away from the clusterfuck that his life had become. Occasionally he had a bit too much, and got a bit sad, or angry, and on those occasions, Frank would gently guide him to the door, and let him find his own way home. It was in that place between bar and the dorms that Sol typically got into scraps, but never at the bar itself. As long as it stayed that way, he wasn't going to be any worse for the bar than any other of the lowlifes who filed through it on any given night. Sol half suspected that Frank said the same thing to half a dozen people every week.
"Another whiskey," Sol replied as he scattered some Lien on the table, and choked down the dregs in his makeshift cup, "You'll put up with me as long as I can pay my tab Frank."
The barkeep grunted an ascent and sloshed another dash of foul spirit into the lordling's cup.
"Why you gotta be coming here anyway?" The bartender continued, as if Sol hadn't spoke, and gestured at the room, "I'm the only one in this place you'll say two words to. Ain't you got any friends? A girl? Christ boy, I seen some sad fella's sitting in that chair, and I don't know how a guy who always pays his tab and dresses in them fancy duds gets to be sadder than all of em."
Sol snorted, and spat onto the filthy floor, face screwing up into an exaggerated expression of disdain, eye wet with drink.
"No." Was all he said, voice a level and dangerous grind, as he took another slug of the disgusting liquor, "No friends, no girl. You sounding like my therapist."
Post by Jackie Bariole on Sept 8, 2019 14:59:59 GMT -5
Frank's eyes crinkled, showing exactly what he thought of all that. Doubtless he would have told Solomon just what he was thinking too, unabashed as he was of sharing his views on the way of things, but the drawling invective never came. Instead, the leather in Frank's well worn face slackened slightly on his cinderblock head. Some motion behind Sol's shoulder had drawn the bartender's eye, and a look of mixed between puzzlement and bemusement slipped onto his face. As much as a shadow could be cast in Cutting Edge, one fell across the seated lordling. Fuzzy as it was, hazy from too little light from too many sources, it described a frame which, if not especially broad, was at least impressively tall, looming over Sol's back like the heights of the Cloud District overhead. Whomever it belonged to lingered at the lordling's back for several moments, with only Frank's watchful gaze to suggest what they were up to. No stranger to hard clientele the weatherbeaten bartender seemed uncertain of what to make of this new arrival, who had seemingly made a point of looming insultingly near to the one person presently seated at the bar. A person whose uniform, if not his bearing, described danger and martial prowess.
"Can I help ya?" Frank asked finally, his patience for the new comer's silence apparently exhausted. From his tone, he'd have as soon served his hammer as anything behind the bar; Plainly there was something in the shadow-caster which he did not like. The question registered as the minutest motion from the indistinct blob that was the shadow's head, suggesting they had only, in that moment, turned their attention to the man behind the bar. This was suggestive all on its own; Besides Sol and Frank, there was nothing worth looking at on that side of the bar, and if the shadows owner had not approached the for the bartender... Well...
There was a long pause between Frank's question and what would eventually serve for its answer. Long enough for the bartender to glance away, first to Sol, and then to the prominently displayed smithing hammer. Cantankerous as he could be, this last glance was less of an implied threat than it was a very practical judging of distances. Some instinct, honed by years of selling liquor in the roughest part of Mistral City, had plainly told Frank to expect he might need the weapon, that he should prepare for violence.
Before the bartender could go for his hammer, or one of the other weapons he'd stashed about his bar, weapons which saw only the most earnest sort of use, the shadow's owner moved forward. There was no shortage of stools available at the counter, and yet it was the one right beside the one eyed huntsman that she chose. A whole half a head taller than Solomon, she loomed over him even while seated, something she seemed plainly aware of as her golden eyes snaked between the lordling and the bartender. "Whiskey." She said simply, though Frank did not look at all inclined to serve her. Her arms were bare beneath the form fitting black vest she wore, snaking tendrils of black and blue ink crossing her amber skin like deep cracks in ice. Whomever had given her those tattoos had been well familiar with the curves of her muscles, because they seemed to follow them, giving the art an almost organic appearance despite the many harsh, straight lines and jagged edges which made it up. Her hair, well curled, fell before her face and across her shoulders with artful neglect, lending some softness to the hard line of jaw and cheek and slightly narrowed eye. Frank, with one final glance at Solomon, dashed a few mouthfuls of cheap, lordling brand whiskey into a dented tin cup. The tendons in the sides of his anvil jaw stood out as he ground his teeth. With his hand over the mouth of the cup, Frank slapped the cup down before the young woman. He did not remove his hand. "That'll be nine." He told her, holding out his free hand.
A small curl in the golden eyed woman's lip described the worlds unfriendliest smile, one split halfway between amusement and scorn. "No ice?" She asked in a tone saccharine sweet upon a bed of razorblades. Frank, not one to put up with anyone's shit, no matter what sort of trouble they promised, did not balk. "If you wanted ice, you should've told me so. Nine. Now." Patient and calm, Frank's own voice was rough sandpaper over an iron anvil; Utterly implacable. Though she made no move to try and take the cup from him, sans payment, a palpable tension built between the pair. "I want ice." Annoyance twitched across Frank's cast iron face. His eyes narrowed, and he seemed to judge the relative merits of pouring the cup onto the floor, telling her she could go get ice in some other bar, or perhaps even doing both, then emphasizing his point with his free hand around the haft of his hammer. Her face didn't so much as tighten, not even to draw that condescending smile of hers tighter across her red blue painted lips. She looked entirely at ease in fact; Though plainly conscious of the tension she had wound between herself and the bartender, it affected her not at all, not even to heighten her amusement. She gave no hint of what she might do if her patently disrespectful behavior resulted in Frank's refusal to serve her, and Frank's reluctance to do just that spoke volumes.
Pulling the cup off the bar, Frank once again considered spilling it out and telling the golden eyed woman to get lost. Instead, jaw working, he turned towards the icebox. "Wait." She said, just as he opened it; Frank paused, turned fractionally towards her. "Changed my mind." From out of nowhere, she'd produced some lien and held it up before her. Not out towards Frank, but so he would have to come and take it from her. Frank's eyes flashed in the deep creases of his face. Not annoyance this time, but actual anger, though quickly squashed. Jaw tight as an iron trap, he crossed back to where the golden eyed woman sat, snatched the lien from her fingers, she surrendered them without putting up any more resistance, then slapped down her cup so hard as to put a new dent into it and splash a good fifth of its contents onto his recently wiped counter. "Drink it and get out." He said, in a tone as flat and hard as the face of an anvil, his patience for this girl and her games plainly exhausted.
Smiling, unperturbed even by the small splatter of whiskey which Frank's vehemence had gotten across her forearm, where it rested upon the counter, the golden eyed woman plucked up the dented cup and took a minute sip. "When I'm done." She said, in no apparent hurry. If she'd enjoyed Frank's outburst, she gave no sign of it, save her continued condescending smile. Frank, holding onto his own temper by the barest thread, glanced once more at Solomon, then spat and stepped down the bar to resume wiping it down. Coincidentally, his new position brought him within arms reach of his hammer. Only then, with that final petty victory, did the woman's expression change. Her lips curled into an unseemly smirk, and she took another languorous draw from the dented cup.
Then, as if she'd only just realized he was there, her gold eyes scraped slowly down towards Sol. "The Celestial Legion..." She said quietly, as though having noticed the emblem on the lordling's back, and sounding as unimpressed as if she'd been describing the glorified paint thinner she was sipping at. Her accent identified her as Atlesian, and her familiarity with his emblem identified her as a probable huntress, even if her bad attitude had not. "You don't look like much of a soldier to me. You some sort of fan, boy?" She said it with a tightly controlled smirk, almost like she actually knew who he was, and was interested to see how he might respond to her pretending not to.
Post by Solomon Moon on Sept 8, 2019 18:21:24 GMT -5
As little as light had to do with warmth in one of Mistral's lowliest of alehouses, Sol could have sworn he felt a chill when something intervened between him and the ambient light of the room. It was next to impossible to gain much insight based on the shape of the shadow's outline, other than that of size, given how indistinct and ambiguous it was made by the multi-faceted illumination, and he had a territorial, nearly pathological need to maintain his current position of being hunched over his drink in the age old posture of hard-boiled men seeking solace at the bottom of a cup. As such, his initial impressions of the shadow's source came third hand from the expressions on Frank's weather beaten facade. The man could be expressive when he wanted to be, as long as that expression was somewhere along the spectrum between frustration and rage, which meant the way his brow furrowed in something nearing confusion told of something very peculiar indeed. Sol watched up through the raven black fringe of his hair as the old smith oscillated quickly through a series of inexplicable expression which Sol would have needed many years more familiarity with the man to identify. Finally, Frank glanced towards his hammer, a few strides distant, in a tell of his mood that Sol could have accurately identified on his first visit to The Cutting Edge.
The place between Sol shoulders seemed to itch as the silence stretched on, and Frank's inevitable offer of custom came more like a demand when he finally ran out of patience. Sol watched how the shadow shifted, and realized that it was only then that the lurking figure had even looked at Frank. The itching grew worse. Sol had been through this particular ritual enough times to guess where his night was headed. He sipped his whiskey, and somehow it seemed to taste even more foul than usual.
The silence stretched on a moment longer, tension building as Sol waited for the snap that was sure to come. Franks eyes shifted beneath his broad sloping brow, like the flat bovine gaze of a bull, cycling in turn between Sol, the stranger, and the hammer resting nearby. Sol could easily imagine the kind of blunt arithmetic taking place in the barkeep's head, and made his body ready to push of the counter and get out of swinging distance before Frank could bring that club of his to bare. Frank didn't seem like the type to really care about collateral damage, and everyone acted unpredictably when things turned violent.
Then, seeming to tease the mood for all it was worth, the stranger broke the tension by taking the seat immediate to Sol's right. He couldn't see the figure, who deliberately or otherwise was occupying his blind spot, and was not about to break of his act of resolute indifference by looking up, but he could almost feel the domineering atmosphere of the stranger's presence, just like how he'd half imagined being able to feel the cold when that shadow fell upon him. When the person spoke, the association of a feminine voice with the hulking silhouette was nearly enough to give Sol a start, but he just continued to sip his drink as if nothing were amiss.
Elbows on the counter, head bowed, and a curtain of obsidian locks veiling his face, Sol could see the arms of the speaker on the counter beside him. Turning to get a look at her face was still more effort than he was willing to expend just yet, but he studied those arms with keen attention. Her musculature was well developed, having that tone and definition that was the sleek female equivalent of a robustly muscular man. She had intricate implants of ink in the furrows between muscle groups, and it gave the impression of the ink having dripped off the peaks of flesh and pooled in the valleys. Frank meanwhile, radiating irritation, collected the newcomer's order and palmed it on the counter between her and Sol, demanding payment before handing it over. While not out of line for this part of town, SOl remarked at just how much the girl must have pissed the old blacksmith off to compel this kind of measure.
The stranger, keen and hard, tugged back, drawing the tension tight once more, as if it were a game to her to see how far she could push her luck without something breaking. It was making Sol anxious, and he could feel his body winding up inside him, resonating to that tension like a tuning fork picking up a tone in the air. His posture became more stiff, more closely huddled around his drink as he sipped it in no particular hurry, taking on the aspect of some abandoned fortification.
"No Ice?" Her voice was dangerous, and Sol half imagined he would see her licking her lips with a forked tongue if he looked up. Frank didn't miss a beat, and calmly growled right back at her, a bull staring down a mountain lion. Sol pitied the poor bartender somewhat for having been through a life that had chipped away all his sense of humor and pounded him into the temperament of a block of lead, only to have to put up with this kind of insolence on a daily basis. He scornfully filled turned to fill the cup, only to be called back at the last instant.
That was the line, Sol felt the snap as clearly as if it had been a tendon in his head. Frank's reply came through gritted teeth like flattenned tombstones, and had no shortage of threat in it.
"Drink it and get out." He said, and Sol had to commend him for his restraint. A moment later the barkeep levelled a withering glare, not at the girl, but at Sol, as if wordlessly declaring, "Didn't I tell you?". Sol couldn't blame him. They, all three, knew where this was going. Things weren't going to get any better from here.
As if on cue the girl turned her attention to Sol, as if he'd gained her ire just by baring witness, though Sol knew that with her type it didn't matter the reason, just the excuse.
"The Celestial Legion... You don't look like much of a soldier to me. You some sort of fan, boy?"
The inevitable came. It turned out the excuse was that he was wearing his house insignia. It nearly surprised him to have the proper name of his company used, as apposed to the more common "Moon Forces", but not enough for him to be interested in dealing with this ill-mannered commoner looking for a fight. A dull ringing filtered into Sol's head, as if he'd been slapped, and the entire bar seemed to be far away. Sol shared an apologetic glance with Frank as he finished off the dregs of his whiskey, and then blew out a long breath to clear the taste of liquid asshole out of his mouth. He pushed himself off his stool, rotating around towards his right to finally get a good look at the newcomer as he passed.
Striking was definitely the word for her. She was beautiful in the same fashion as a battleship, a graceful union of sleek design and obvious capacity for violence. Sol's golden gaze lingered on hers, a striking mirror to his own, for just an instant as he took in the shape of her face. Her cheek bones and jaw were graceful angles of marble, while her painted lips glistened like candy, or the scales of a poisonous snake. She beheld him with a purposeful and fiery intensity, that bordered on intimidating and Sol ceased to wonder why Frank had put up with her as much as he had. He imagined taking her in his arms, and wrapping his fingers around her neck at the same time, like two genres of music playing in either ear. Part of him wanted to stick around and see where this went, hopeful that her insolence was just an icebreaker for her to express an interest in him. He'd had good nights that started out worse, but another part of him knew that it was a different kind of physicality entirely that was on her mind.
"Have a good night Francis." Sol said as he tossed another coin onto the counter, having given the woman no indication of having even heard her apart from the brief instant of eye contact. He swayed a bit unsteadily on his feet, perhaps feeling a bit of the effects of the whiskey, and needed to put out a hand and lean on the counter for a moment while he collected himself.
"You gonna be alright boyo?" Came the bartender's reply, looking not at Sol but at the troublemaking stranger, "Find your way home okay?"
"Always do." Sol replied in his grindstone voice as he shrugged his jacket around his shoulders, and made his way to the door, doing up the buttons with conspicuous care as he went, forced to employ his right hand once the difficulty of doing so with his left proved too great.
Post by Jackie Bariole on Sept 8, 2019 20:10:46 GMT -5
Her eyes met with his, and the moment was electric. Better than electric. It was a lightning strike measured by the heartbeat, making her skin tingle and her pulse quicken. He wanted her, she could instantly tell, and why shouldn't he? She was everything he could have wanted in a woman and more, the living embodiment of prowess and power, a magnificent melding of the martial and the primal. Of course he wanted her. But it wasn't just want in that one golden eye. It was something else. Something deeply buried but which she'd hoped to see since she'd first strode through the door. Not the simple lust that was her due from every man and woman with the wont to want her, but a promise of an altogether different sort of congress. Having heard that whispered promise, she'd no doubt she'd made the right decision coming in here. Her sudden, visceral excitement was such that it was an effort to keep her eyes on his face, and not let her gaze slip to the prosthetic arm that hung down at his side. Would it been the metal hand, she fantasized, or was he the sort who didn't rely on cheap steel and preferred his own flesh. She hoped it was the latter, not for any fear of cyborg's strength, but for wanting the simple pleasure of a warm body against her own, pitted muscle to muscle, skin to skin, in the only contest that truly mattered. Her flesh rose up in goosebumps, anticipating the swing, the crunch of bone. Like a woman lost in the desert, her thirst was almost more than she could bear.
Then his eyes slid off of her. In an instant, their connection was broken, his promise unfulfilled. He turned away from her, like she wasn't even there, and it was so horribly unexpected that he might as well have fallen apart for how disgusted and disappointed it left her. First came the surprise however, the surprise known only to the jilted lover who, having finally found her beau, is ignored utterly. Then...
Then came the anger.
The cup in her hand, still half full of some foul smelling and even fouler smelling whiskey gradually collapsed in upon itself, spilling its contents across the counter. Her smile slipped, like a worn out gear on a rusted machine, as her eyes bore hungrily into the soldier's back. She might have thrown the cup at him, she might have asked where he thought he was going, might told him to come back. She might have stood up, grabbed him, and forced him to fulfill the promise he'd made her with his eye.
"Have a good night Francis." He said, as he took up his coat and started toward the door, just as though she had not spoken to him at all. As though she did not exist! The bartender wasn't half so blind. With a wary glance at her, with eyes to see the slowly building rage his patent dismissal had born, he cleared his throat. "You gonna be alright boyo? Find your way home okay?" A stupid question, but a tactful warning. He wasn't stupid, nowhere near so stupid as the inconsiderate wretch with the metal arm. Working her jaw, she looked down at the counter top, at the cool wetness on her hand and surrounding her crushed cup. She should have thrown it at him, he deserved no less, but she held onto her temper for the moment. It was sad, really, learning he was weak and a coward. Disappointing, truly, but punching a hole through his head with a dented tin cup wouldn't fix that. Little as he deserved it, she determined to help the one eyed soldier. She would teach him a little lesson, since it seemed one he was in so dire need of learning. She turned on her stool, scanning the bar with golden eyes turned hard as glass. There was only a handful of patrons beside herself and the soldier, and all but one had been paying their confrontation the closest sort of attention. Now, seeing her eyes, all but one of them turned away, and half gave the exiting lordling some space; None of them would interfere with her, and they all knew it. She wasn't going to stop him. She wasn't even going to touch him. Her eyes slid over to the bartender. Francis, the coward had called him. The two were on first name terms, with the sort of relationship where the one could worry about the other. Such relationships cut both ways. "I wouldn't worry about him..." She said quietly, meeting the barkeep's narrowed eyes. Inelegant as the threat was, it did not take long for 'Francis' to take her meaning. His eyes moved first to the crushed tin cup, then to his hammer. His fingers flexed around his barcloth, making the meaty muscle of his arm bulge. "Go on," She invited, her voice supple satin sliding over a stiletto's edge. She spoke softly, but not so softly that Soldier Boy, having reached the door, could not hear her. "Pick it up. Let's see what happens." But he knew what would happen. The simple fact that he had not already picked up the hammer said he knew, all too well. Would he say it, she wondered? Would he say that thing that men in his place always said, that tired mantra they always bandied forth, like some talisman against the evils of the world? Would he... "I don't..." "You don't want any trouble?" Heidi's smile lit up, "Then I suppose you had better pick up that hammer. That's what it's for, isn't it? So go on. Now that the only interesting thing in this shit hole has left, I need something else to enliven my night."
Post by Solomon Moon on Sept 8, 2019 21:06:45 GMT -5
Sol waited for the inevitable. He'd been waiting his entire life for one inevitability... or another. He'd grown tired of it a long time ago, but he'd also grown pretty good at it. What form the would the inevitable take? Was he about to be hit in the back of the head with a cup of whiskey, was he about to be attacked from behind? Would she follow him outside and stalk him through the streets? There was no question that she would do something. Sol knew her type, because he'd been her type once upon a time. Her type owned everything they laid their eyes upon. Her type used every tool at their disposal to get what they wanted, sex, violence, bargaining. They had to control everything around them, and they did that by asserting themselves, by manipulating situations to fall in line with their distorted view of the world. He'd taken control away from her just now, he'd asserted his own agency, and that could not be permitted, would not be. It was as inevitable as sunrise.
"I wouldn't worry about him..." A voice like honey and cyanide. It was seductive, and threatening, deeper than what was strictly feminine, but with a huskiness that Sol's body begrudgingly responded to. He kept walking. Inhale, count to four, exhale, count to four, one foot, count to four, next foot, count to four. He kept breathing. His skin crawled, a yearning in him deeper than the flesh. Inhale, count to four, exhale.... Step, left, left, left right left. A flurry of spasmodic twitches crawled up the right side of Sol's face, the numb ruined flesh squirming around the rift of puckered pink skin that stretched from hairline to jaw. Inhale, count to four...
"Go on, Pick it up. Let's see what happens." An angelic choir, quoting an obituary. He could barely hear past the ringing in his ears, a cool sweat filling his palm, his mind felt cold and far away. His chest felt like it was full of steam, like his belly was a cavernous abyss. Inhale... count... to... four... Exhale... His breath was like a rasp in his head, ragged, grating against the inside of his skull... Count to four... Step... His legs were like blocks of wood... Step... He seemed to float, to drift, to glide.
"You don't want any trouble? Then I suppose you had better pick up that hammer. That's what it's for, isn't it? So go on. Now that the only interesting thing in this shit hole has left, I need something else to enliven my night."
He had reached the door, only a few more strides would take him far away from whatever was about to happen in the bar, but Sol stopped. He couldn't seem to lift the bulky jack boot that cradled his left foot, as if it had suddenly been nailed to the floor. The whine in his ears was deafening. His breathing crashing like waves inside his skull, heartbeat climbing. He tried to inhale, he tried to control the rising violence inside him. A wildfire, raging, growing, rolling, roaring, exponential... INEVITABLE.
"Did you call me a coward yet?" He asked as he turned to face her, swiveling like the turret on top of a warship, the right side of his face alive with squirming insensate flesh, the left blank as stone around a glowing golden bauble, the patch over the ruin of his right eye glaring accusingly, the left eye staring blindly. He felt cold all over. The whine in his ears had stopped.
"That's how it goes? I deign not to rise to your challenge. You call me a coward." He continued, artfully dismissing her threats by way of omission, tone as flat and cold as his lifeless gaze, as mechanical as his right hand, which ticked gentle at his side as he slowly worked the fingers around in their actuators, "And then I tell you that if you think that bravery is picking fights in the lowest slums of Mistral, then you are a lower class of scum than I initially took you for."
Nasrin had gotten all dressed up for tonight. She wore her finest skinny jeans and her favorite off-green colored bra and tiny, sleeveless hoodie combo, it let people see her arm tattoo as well as her lack of arm, and showed off a lot of her tummy which was an added bonus. It had been a while since Nasrin had been down into the seedier parts of Mistral and she felt it necessary to wear her favorite ensemble for the occasion. It was like coming back home, after all. She had spent the lion's share of her youth down in this part of the city, mingling with the street folks and the people down on their luck enough to be running businesses where the main clientele was, well, people like Nasrin. Rebellious kids, criminals, ne'er-do-wells and people down on their luck who want a cheap drink. [Break] [Break]
And one of the best places for a cheap drink was the Cutting Edge, Francis’s joint. Nasrin and him had gotten to know each other pretty well over the years Nasrin spent drinking down there to spite… Her parents? The Orphanage? She had a better justification at the time, though that was lost now. Nasrin knew the way there like the back of her hand. She knew all the shortcuts too. Left at the orange dumpster with the feral cats, down the alley a few blocks until you hit an old dust shop with long boarded up windows that now likely served as home for a nice collection of squatters, straight down the road a few more blocks until the big neon sign for a strip club, and then right down a short alley and you’re there. [Break] It was a comforting sight, and somehow the smell was comforting too. Francis had never really managed to get rid of the smell of burning coals, it clung to the place like a particularly stubborn rash, and you could smell it a ways down the road even as you approached. It had been too long since she last came, she thought, so tonight would be a night where she did her best to give Francis enough lien to keep himself running for at least another day or two, she owed it to the guy. [Break] [Break]
Nasrin swung the door open to the sound of a bell jingling, and nearly walked directly into a guy who seemed like he had been about to exit before something stopped him in his tracks. Nasrin thought she could recognize him from the academy, one of the newer students maybe? Hell if she knew, it really wasn’t her idea of fun to keep track of every new student. What was however worthy of note was that someone she was pretty sure went to Haven was down here at Francis’ place, she had assumed all the people who went to that school figured themselves too good to come down to a place like this. Apparently not. It was tough to see around the guy, he was pretty tall and had the broad shoulders she’d expect from someone as beat up as he seemed to be. He looked like someone had tossed him into a woodchipper and he’d fought back enough to make it out after only losing his arm and a single eye. He looked pissed too, though at what Nasrin didn’t really have any idea. [Break] [Break]
He suddenly spun around, giving Nasrin a brief glimpse of… Was that Heidi? What the fuck was she doing here? There’s no way Jackie woulda come down here by herself, which means Heidi had decided to head down without even mentioning that she was back in control. That was another problem, she decided, as the man in front of Nasrin seemed quite upset at something Heidi had done, and intended to make his opinions known. ”Did you call me a coward yet? That’s how it goes? I deign not to rise to your challenge. You call me a coward, and then I will tell you that if you think that bravery is picking fights in the lowest slums of Mistral, then you are a lower class of scum than I initially took you for.” It was quite an impassioned little speech, clearly Heidi had already made an impression, though Nasrin was unsure exactly what this man had done to deserve being antagonized as it seemed he had been. [Break] [Break]
Nasrin strode in, past the man in front of her and towards the bar. ”Good speech, yeah? What’d you say to piss him off, Heidi? Also why the fuck didn’t you tell me you were back! Woulda been nice to know.” She didn’t seem angry as she spoke, passionate perhaps, maybe somewhat disappointed, but not angry. More so curious about the answers to her questions. [Break] Reaching the bar, Nasrin gave a bright smile to Francis and set a hand over one of Heidi’s as a hopefully either restraining or calming gesture to whatever had been going on. She didn’t want Francis to have to deal with more than he usually did, plus it seemed they were making quite the scene - the whole bar was looking towards the two, and now three of them. [Break] [Break]
”Lets not do anything to fuck up Francis’s night okay? If you two wanna fight I’d love to see you smash his face into the ground, but we do that outside not in here.” She removed her hand then and gave a smile up at Heidi before turning to Francis. ”Can I get two of my usual? S’been awhile but I think you oughta remember my order.” Francis nodded, he still seemed quite tempted to grab his trusty hammer, but since it seemed Nasrin knew at least one of the two people fighting in his bar he let his guard down slightly and went off to prepare her drink. It was probably the frilliest thing he could manage that didn’t totally ruin his dingy bar aesthetic, a dark pink drink flavored with grapefruit and plenty of booze to make it worth drinking. It had taken Nasrin months to convince him to put it on the menu, it was one of her favorites. He’d named it Rascal’s Oil after her shield, which always made her smile. [Break] [Break]
Nasrin turned back to the other two just as Francis returned with her pair of drinks. "Here ya go." Before Nasrin could respond he continued. "It's already on your tab girlie, I know how you are." He was distracted even as he spoke though, it seemed he too was fixated on the potentially violent little confrontation taking place before their eyes. For her part, Nasrin was very much prepared to intervene if things came to blows inside the bar. She had meant what she said, if Heidi had decided this guy was worth beating up, Nasrin wasn't about to question it, she trusted Heidi at least enough to give her that courtesy, however she also didn't want the two of them to destroy the bar in the process of settling whatever spat they were having, so it was her duty to prevent that from happening.
Aura: 100% [break][break]
Semblance E, Rascal Heavy F, Strength F, Durability E, Marksmanship E, Graffiti F, Mechanics F [break][break]
Post by Jackie Bariole on Sept 9, 2019 0:28:33 GMT -5
Her volley found its mark when, within a couple strides of the door, the soldier turned to face her. His arrested departure struck a dissonant cord everyone in the bar. Even Francis, focused on her as he was, let his gaze stray minutely towards the man that was her real goal that evening. Together, they turned to face each other. Him by the door, her by the bar, their golden eyes met and that electricity was there again. "Did you call me a coward yet?" He asked, and she could not help but grin. She had not called him a coward, but she had thought it, and so did not bother to deny his words. She was glad to see she'd been wrong however. Sliding off of her stool, hands at her side, palms up, in a comfortably contrite gesture that had not even the first semblance of apology to it. Like a child caught doing something cheeky, but worthy of not too great a scolding and of a sort she'd probably heard before. Caught, but unapologetic. "That's how it goes? I deign not to rise to your challenge. You call me a coward." His tone was flat and cold as a grave stone, and Heidi had to fight to keep herself under control. Her smile grew wider still, while her gold eyes, previously flat and cold as glass, now danced with molten light, alighted on his death mask of a face like it was a gift she would soon be allowed to unwrap. "And then I tell you that if you think that bravery is picking fights in the lowest slums of Mistral, then you are a lower class of scum than I initially took you for." Heidi's smile slipped somewhat. Death's masks and thousand yard stares were one thing, but that was just a rude misrepresentation. Still, she couldn't be too angry at him, not when it was clear he would be making good on his promise after all. Flexing her fingers, she wondered if he would come at her when it looked like she was about to answer, or if he would actually let her say her piece before attacking. Looking at that deathly, hollowed out expression on his face, she really couldn't say which was more likely, and that uncertainty was so incredibly thrilling. She was just about to answer, and find out which he would choose, when she noticed a familiar plume of pink hair at the soldier's back. Heidi's grin slipped slightly, as she recognized the face it was attached to. She'd been so fixated on the man with the dead gold eye that she hadn't even noticed Nasrin standing right behind him. "Good speech, yeah?" asked the pink haired trainee, "What’d you say to piss him off, Heidi? Also why the fuck didn’t you tell me you were back! Woulda been nice to know." Heidi could have cursed, but had the presence of mind to put her smile back on as Nasrin, moving carefully around the shellshocked soldier, crossed the bar towards her.
Heidi barely heard what Nasrin said next, something trite and irrelevant about not making a scene, as she tried to figure out some way from keeping her lover's unexpected arrival from ruining her whole evening. Her eyes remained on the soldier's, smoldering a hole through his glassy eye. Having unlocked the dangerous creature hiding behind that gilded gaze, she knew better than to take her eyes off of him, even for a moment. Things grew worse when it became clear that Nasrin knew the bartender, a cruel coincidence that at least explained her unexpected appearance at the bar. If she'd known the man had any connection to anyone she knew... Well, Heidi still probably would have threatened him to get what she wanted, but she would at least have thought of some contingency before hand.
Things had clearly changed however. Heidi could no longer go ahead with her initial plan of a very satisfying, if brief, brawl in Mistral's dingiest bar. Well, she could have, but she was actually quite fond of Nasrin and maintaining any sort of relationship with her after heedlessly destroying a bar where she was a regular... A new tact was needed. "Do you know who that is?" Heidi asked, looking askance at Nasrin while continuing to keep the dead eyed soldier in sight. She put on her broadest smile, like it the answer to her question was the punchline to an especially funny joke. "Solomon Moon," Her eyes slid off of Nasrin, back to the raven haired lordling, like that should be enough, and why not? Even saying his name gave her goosebumps; Heidi soldiered on in spite of it, and also stepped between Solomon Moon and Nasrin. "I've heard a lot about you. You're quite the celebrity where I come from." She might have chosen infamous, or notorious to describe him and been just as honest, but he was a celebrity in her eyes. A man worthy of, if not admiration, at least respect. Or so she'd thought. "Killed more men than winter, has Solomon Moon, and with fewer regrets." She quoted, putting on an highlander accent for the best effect, "The One Eyed Dragon, Heir to House Moon, Lord Commander of the Celestial Legion. I heard you ate your own eye; Is that one true? I've always wondered." Heidi didn't need an excuse to fight anyone, but there was all the reason she needed to fight Solomon Moon. A man of ill-repute, renowned for his fiery temper and explosive skill at arms. Just the thought of fighting him had her palms itching. "But I suppose you're right," Heidi said with a tip of her head to indicate she was talking to Nasrin, still unwilling as she was to take her eyes off of Solomon Moon, "Might be better to take this outside. Somewhere we can both cut loose." Heidi spread her hands out to her sides, and smiled hungrily, "Unless you feel like buying us a drink first."
Post by Solomon Moon on Sept 9, 2019 13:27:26 GMT -5
The One Eyed-Dragon
Sol was cold all over, his heart mechanically pumping ice water through his veins. A cold sweat had begun to collect in the furrows between his muscles, between his shoulder blades and at the base of his skull. His eye was a flat lens, peering in on an empty chamber. His mind seemed to have retreated to somewhere far away, leaving behind only the lizard that lived at the top of his spine. The world had gone fuzzy around the edges, like his brain was starving for oxygen, while in the center of his vision, the lines had become sharp enough to draw blood. Everything seemed to be lethal, dangerous, made out of razor blades. He could make out the grain on the counter like canyons in a parched plain, he could count the individual acne scars on Frank's furrowed brow, like the cratered surface of the shattered moon. The white stubble that covered the old smith's head was like a tiny forest. He could see the radial striation of the stranger's golden eyes, make out the various fibers of color springing out from her pupil like spokes on a wheel. He could see the minutest of scars that circumnavigated the shorter girl's stumped arm, where the skin had been pulled back over when it was amputated. That detail would have been interesting to him earlier, but the part of him that felt any sympathy was far, far away now.
The relative silence of the bar had bloomed into a cacophony, sound resolving with the same suicidal keenness of his sight. The whispers coming from the corners were like the whistling of a gale through the trees, like a chill draft rising out of a fjord. The multitude scrapes and creaks seemed to transmit like earthquakes through the ground to him, less heard than felt. Sol could count the individual hairs disturbed as Frank, his dull bovine eyes upon Sol with wide and nearly fearful attention, ran his blunt mitt of a hand over the stubble on his head, wiping away the pungent sweat that was starting to collect there.
Sol could smell his own sweat, and could distinguish it from a dozen different types of sweat around the room. Mostly they smelled of fear. Thick, pungent, oily, a bitter sweet brine. He could tell which patrons showered regularly and which did not. He could smell the ancient wood as clearly as if it were on fire, and could nearly taste the cool flat flavor of the cobblestones. Between it all was the exhausted smokey tang of spent cigarettes and discarded peanut shells.
It was chaos. An overwhelming deluge of information, translated through a mind traumatized into the practice of decoding it's environment with as little time as possible. It was impossible to tell what detail would make the difference, and so his polydidactic awareness submerged itself in it, drowned in. It was like suffocating, and like the need to breath, he felt the compulsion to make it all silent.
The tremors had started now. Climbing out of his spine like an army of insects, Sol's muscles rippled too minutely to see as anything but the slightest of trembling, but to him it felt like an earthquake. A drone like an engine seemed to rise out of his chest, each breath like a rattling chain dragged through gravel. His blood sang with the cocktail of stress hormones that his body was producing.
The stranger spoke, said something, either to him or to the girl who had just arrived, but it was just noise, sound distorted by ears which seemed to have grown to the diameter of radio dishes. Sol lacked the ability, or the desire, to make sense of the sounds that came out of her mouth, and just watched her lips move, envisioning how her mouth would look with all the teeth smashed out, with the mandible torn off. He watched the gorge rise and fall in her throat, could see the veins standing out against the tone of her neck, envisioned them opened, spilling out her life blood. Frank was licking his lips, watching Sol with the caution paid towards a strange dog that could not be trusted not to bite. The shorter girl was paying attention to the golden eyed stranger. Frank said something, something in the low soothing tones one used around a wild beast, hand closing around the haft of his trusty hammer. Sol heard it, but he didn't understand.
Sol's left hand lifted, like it was suspended from an invisible string, the slightest trembling in the fingers as he held up the palm towards the golden eyed stranger.
"Die." The word sounded strange as it left his mouth, like the low gravelly voice belonged to someone else, more meaningless noise, with as much thought behind it as a Grimm's growl, a mindless impulse delivered out of habit.
A point of light sprang into existence in the center of his hand, blindingly bright for the briefest instant. A cone of living destruction did not form so much as it appeared, swallowing up the intervening distance between himself and the stranger in less time than it took for a synapse to fire. Stools and tables peeled back and vanished into a cloud of splinters, the counter shuddering and then shredded back along the extent of the blooming column of fire. The beams overhead shuddered an snapped as the ceiling bulged upwards dangerously. A pressure wave slammed everyone in the room at once, whipping their clothes and sending the majority to cower on the floor as their drinks and tables were scattered away. The hanging leathers that formed the furthest wall of the tavern billowed outwards, spitting shrapnel thrown up by the explosion. The sound was like the end of the world, the screams of bystanders, the ratcheting cracks of tortured wood, the low bass boom of detonation followed by the high pitched ring of traumatized eardrums.
The smoke and dust settled around the torn up trench, ten meters long and about three meters wide at the furthest extend, gouged through floor and bar, and tables alike. A deafening silence seemed to hang in the air as Sol took a step forward, seeming as if the act of laying waste to a sizable fraction of the bar had taken no more effort than a light jog. He moved towards the ruined bar, his flat golden gaze scanning for signs of survivors. The cold filled him, his body seeming to burn with the blue fire and red smoke of his aura.
Then the world went very bright, and something far away rang like a struck bell.
Franks hammer crashed against the lordling's head, sparking blue and red off of the point of impact. The young man stumbled forward half a step, turning right towards his blind-spot, eye wide and blind, catching the briefest glimpse of Frank standing there with an apologetic scowl on his face.
The floor swung up and crashed against Sol's senses, his flesh seemingly alive with electricity as the force of the impact traveled along his nerves. The blue red flames covering his body flickered, and then died. Finally everything was silent.
Heidi didn’t seem to pay much mind to Nasrins comments, and she certainly didn’t provide any useful answers or agreements that she wouldn’t destroy the bar. She seemed focused, like a wolf focuses on its prey, on the man that was standing at the door. He was upset, that much was clear by how tense he was and the way he stood and stared daggers at Heidi. It was a dangerous situation, that much was clear. Nasrin didn’t know what this guy was capable of, but she did know that Heidi was easily strong enough to tear this bar apart by accident if a fight broke out. So Nasrin kept an eye on the man by the door as she began to sip her drink. [Break] The moment the tin cup touched her lips the memories of her youth in this place came flooding back with a vengeance. She remembered spending a whole day here with a girl once, just shooting the shit and trying to burn time while the Mistral security forces burned themselves out on the search for the two teens that had destroyed a window and stolen something or another from a store up in the good part of the city. There were good memories, if a bit painful given how she had left that life behind. There wasn’t a single thing she regretted, not really, though there were things that she could now see were mistakes, things that harmed the people struggling to survive in the city more than they harmed the higher ups that she disliked so much. [Break] [Break]
”Die.” A sudden word from the man by the door stopped the flood of memories. He had raised up one of his arms, the fleshy one by the looks, and was pointing it palm up towards Heidi. Almost on instinct as soon as the two things clicked together in her mind - the comment and the raised arm - the glassy shield that was her semblance jumped into existence a little ways in front of herself, Heidi and Francis. And she was justified in this possibly unnecessary action when the entirety of the bar seemed to be swallowed in a bright flash of light. The sound came later, crashing over Nasrin like a tsunami that left her barely able to hear anything over the ringing in her ears. Thankfully the barrier held, she wasn’t entirely sure how powerful the blast was but it seemed capable enough of totally destroying the flooring and tables that had laid in the path of destruction, but the barrier had spared the bar a similar fate, and prevented any unwanted damage to herself, Heidi or Francis. [Break] [Break]
Nasrin hadn't noticed that Francis was no longer behind the bar as all of this went down. At some point he had found the time to grab his hammer and rush from behind the bar towards the man with the metal arm, who seemed almost in a daze as he looked around at the destruction he had caused. Was he not expecting that to happen? Was this idiot too stupid to know how to control his semblance? That had to be what the explosion was, unless a weapon of some sort was concealed on his hand. Nasrin wouldn’t have the chance to ask for clarification as Francis closed the remaining distance between them and hit the man upside the head with his hammer, causing mr. metal arm to flop to the ground like a puppet with its strings cut. And thank goodness for that. Another blast might of hit the few remaining supports of the building and brought the whole thing down. [Break] [Break]
Nasrin looked around the bar, her ears still ringing with the force of the explosion. Most of the other patrons had run off, even down in this part of the city people preferred to not be on the business end of any fights between huntsmen, and those who were stupid enough to get close often didn’t live long enough to continue doing so. She set to rubbing her ears and glancing to ensure Heidi was unharmed before letting her semblance shatter. Even here, without the shield being broken by an outside force, it still became hundreds of tiny glass shards that flew towards Nasrin and picked at her aura leaving her a bright shimmering pink to any onlookers, at least for a few moments. [Break] [Break]
”What the /fuck/ was that? What’d you say to him before I came? There’s no way the shit you just said was enough to get him to do this… I’d like a fucking explanation, Heidi? And an answer to my question from before while our friend over there takes a nap.” She was grumpy now. Upset more at the situation than at Heidi specifically, but the need for answers was certainly very real and she would be quite unhappy if they weren’t provided to her.
Aura: 85% [break][break]
Semblance E, Rascal Heavy F, Strength F, Durability E, Marksmanship E, Graffiti F, Mechanics F [break][break]
Post by Jackie Bariole on Sept 13, 2019 10:56:11 GMT -5
With herself between Solomon Moon and Nasrin, Heidi felt as though she could once more appreciate the one eyed dragon's grimm countenance. The flat look he'd given her before had been exchanges for one of the more frightful aspect and it made her grin broadly to see it. This was precisely what she'd been after, precisely what she'd hoped he had in him. She'd heard so many stories about how the commander had lost his edge when he'd lost his arm and it was plain, simply from looking on his knife edged expression, that such was not the case. He was as cold and evil a bastard as he'd ever been, war made flesh and blood, ruthless as the plague and not even half as restrained. She stood there before him, hands out at her side, welcoming his promise of battle, his gift of violence, the fulfillment of an unspoken promise meant only for her. Her skin practically prickled with the anticipation of it.
Abruptly, Solomon Moon raised his hand towards her. His left hand, his real, flesh and blood hand, and Heidi's heart skipped a beat. A magnetism, almost carnal, in the pit of her being near tugged her towards his upraised palm. Just as she held her hands out, as though to welcome him, he seemed almost to pull her towards him with that simple gesture. "Die." He whispered, and Heidi's long fingers curled into fists which only barely kept from trembling with excitement. Then the world blasted apart before her eyes. It was not the first time she'd been blown up, it was not even the tenth, yet never before had she been poised to appreciate the beautiful carnage, the elegant chaos, the scintillating sensuality of an explosion as she was in that moment. It seemed she was almost able to see it, born in the palm of Solomon Moon's upraised palm, as it expanded out towards her and tore bright lines into her vision and deep gouges into the roof and floor. She waited for the fireballs kiss, almost aching, such was her want, her need, to feel the full force of it on her unguarded flesh. But something was wrong. The explosion, instead of wrapping her in its fiery embrace, seemed instead to coil about her at least a hand's span from her face. She felt the monstrous heat of it, heard the bang, and watched the dust and debris swirl chaotically before her face, but none of it could so much as ruffle her hair. Confused, and more than a little disappointed, Heidi was still standing there when the searing brightness washed back into swarthy gloom. The silhouette of Solomon Moon gradually materialized before her, stood just where he had been a moment prior, similarly unaffected by the utter devastation which now surrounded them both. He seemed as surprised as she felt, but only for a moment. A moment later, a hammer crashed into the side of his head, and the Lord Commander of the Celestial Legion fell like a sack of stones, to crumple into an inelegant heap at Francis the Bartender's feet.
Heidi's hands fell down to her sides, her expression completely and utterly blank, as her golden gaze snaked between the disorganize pile of flesh and fabric on the floor, and the damned selfish idiot who'd put it there. Her breathing came out short, shallow, her body not yet aware of how little cause it had for being excited. Her fingers flexed by her hips, tendons standing out on her arms, as her jaw worked slowly back and forth, muscles twitching on either side of her throat. With some difficulty, Heidi swallowed and drew a very deep, very unsteady breath. The air before her, webbed with cracks, abruptly shattered with a familiar crystalline note, followed by a soft, sharp intake of air from behind her, where Nasrin was standing. "What the fuck was that?" The pink haired girl demanded as she moved out from behind Heidi. The taller woman's golden gaze followed her, one vein stood out on above her temple and another bulging down the center of her forehead. Either not noticing or not caring, Nasrin repeated her question. "What’d you say to him before I came? There’s no way the shit you just said was enough to get him to do this. I’d like a fucking explanation, Heidi? And an answer to my question from before while our friend over there takes a nap." Heidi's fists clenched suddenly tight, so hard that the knuckles of every finger popped in unison. Whether it was Nasrin's tone or her prior interference, or the crushing disappointment of the past few seconds in general, she now felt the quite powerful need to start hurting something, and hurt it quite a lot.
She imagined what it might be like if that something were Nasrin; She was certainly close enough.
"Fuck." She said finally, quietly, but with much bitterness and venom. Then, much more loudly, "Fuck!" Heidi cast about for something else to break, but she was stood upon an island in a sea of devastation, and there was nothing in reach which was not already thoroughly destroyed.
Closing her eyes tightly, Heidi turned away from her girlfriend, then opened her eyes on Francis. Deciding he was to blame for all this, much more than the pinkette, Heidi tried to decide how she might begin; Perhaps by making him chew and swallow his own fucking hammer. She realized she was trembling. Her breathing was coming in quick snorts now, as her building anger twitched unpleasantly across her face. If Nasrin had not known him, Francis would already have been choking on his own teeth; As it stood, it was only the fact that she would have seen Heidi doing it that kept her from breaking the bartender over one knee. That was flimsy protection however, as Heidi had not yet decided whether she should punish Nasrin for her interference. "You want a fucking explanation?" Heidi hissed, looking back at the pinkette, seething, "I was just about to fight one of Mistral's most feared mercenary leaders, and you two spoiled it for me!" Heidi cast a glance to Solomon Moon's crumpled form, unmoved from where it had fallen, and swore again, then twice more when her glance twitched up to Francis' frowning face. "This close," She snapped at Nasrin, holding finger and thumb barely apart before the smaller woman's face, "This bloody close, to fighting someone actually worth the fucking fighting!" Then, as sudden as snapping bone, Heidi pulled a fist and dropped it down on the bartop, right beside where Nasrin was stood. "And as for you," Heidi turned towards Francis, having left four knuckle sized dents in the scarred wood, "How dare you lay your stinking paws on Solomon Fucking Moon." She flung her hand out towards the prostrate mercenary commander, lip curled scornfully. "Look at what you've made of him, you fucking worm. Face down in the damned dirt like some common drunk!" Striding forward, she flung her hand out, pushing Francis away, then stooped down and, less delicately than she might have, hauled the unconscious man up by his coat. After a moment of indecision, Heidi found a chair that was not completely destroyed and placed Solomon Moon in it. Slumped over with his head arched back and his mouth hanging stupidly open, things were hardly improved. Still swearing softly beneath her breath, Heidi tried to fix the poor arrangement, but to no avail. At the end of the day, there was frightfully little and less which would be done to make a knocked out man seem respectable.
Post by Solomon Moon on Sept 13, 2019 14:40:16 GMT -5
Francis' brown bovine eyes glared daggers at the crumpled shape on the floor. His fingers were locked tight around the haft of his hammer, the wooden stock still vibrating dully with the force of the impact. He considered hitting the boy again. He wasn't dissuaded as much by the fact that to do so would take the assaulting of the dead eyed lordling from the realm of self defense to that of homicide, as much as he was by having at least one, possible two more problems to solve first. Francis' gaze swiveled up, the sight of his livelihood left in ruins like sandpaper on his retinas, and settled upon the girl with the golden eyes just as the thin distorting panel that had sheltered her and Pinkie from the blast shattered. He debated making her his next target.
Nasrin's voice was shrill, and still somehow seemed to lack the kind of crushing gravity that the situation had for the old bartender.
"What’d you say to him before I came? There’s no way the shit you just said was enough to get him to do this. I’d like a fucking explanation, Heidi? And an answer to my question from before while our friend over there takes a nap."
Francis' eyes bulged out of his head, face filling with a furious red as he twisted the wooden haft of his hammer, feeling the wood creaked beneath his ham hock fists and bone white knuckles. How the girl could be so utterly oblivious baffled the white haired smith. She seemed to think that it was over, as if the sudden destruction of the majority of Frank's livelihood were just a passing curiosity. As if Francis himself would have nothing to contribute to the discussion. It was then that the blonde, as much to blame for this as Sol was in Frank's opinion, swung her attention to face him, and he took an instinctive step back, planting himself in a ready stance, hammer hefted and ready to swing.
"Fuck...Fuck!" She ranted, approaching like a stormfront. Frank stood his ground, despite himself and the palpable threat that the woman radiated like a bonfire. His brown eyes watched her hands carefully, waiting for the inevitable outburst of violence. Her rage perplexed him slightly, as if he'd somehow offended her by stepping in to her defense, but he was quickly coming to the belief that she was simply insane, and that it might be perfectly possible that no rational explanation existed for her behavior.
"You want a fucking explanation? I was just about to fight one of Mistral's most feared mercenary leaders, and you two spoiled it for me!... This close, This bloody close, to fighting someone actually worth the fucking fighting!"
Frank's left eye twitched a little bit, his head canting to one side as if he'd discovered some new species of life that utterly baffled him with it's existence. In hind sight it figured, the girl had obviously and successfully been goading the young man who now lay mangled on the floor with peanut shells and cigarette butts sticking to his cheek, but it was still an utterly baffling realization. The blonde hadn't just wanted this, she'd been expecting it. She had suspected, if not actually known what Solomon was capable of, and had pushed him anyway. His bar, the business he'd spent decades trying to carve out of the least hospitable regions of the city, and by extension Frank himself, had simply been caught in the crossfire of whatever perverted intention this golden eyed creature had persecuted. It was so frankly irrational, so twistedly simple, indifferent, and utterly beyond logic that Frank couldn't even find his rage beneath the dozens of layers of utter confusion.
"And as for you,... How dare you lay your stinking paws on Solomon Fucking Moon. Look at what you've made of him, you fucking worm. Face down in the damned dirt like some common drunk!"
Francis was still trying to catch up to the current reality, too much in shock as he came to realize the totality of the damage done to his livelihood and the utterly petty reason behind those force. He looked around to the torn up wood and stone, a full third of his bar simply missing, the roof bulging outwards dangerously, a couple of supports shattered like wine glasses that had been struck with a hammer. He turned to what remained of the bar, jaw slack, eyes wide, as he saw that not a single one of the bottles behind the counter was still intact, their contents, the literal lifesblood of his business, spilling across the scorched floor in a spreading pool of burning liquor. His hammer fell out of hands suddenly gone numb, and clattered to the floor, his lips trembling with half formed words.
The hand that he didn't see, shoved him hard and he staggered back until he was caught by the smoldering wreckage of his bar, and the impression of a fist left behind in the scarred wood. And it took a moment to register that the deep, furious feminine voice was talking to him. Frank looked at the woman, his expression one of mute disbelief, eyes wide and uncomprehending, until she stooped to pick up the fallen mercenary. That seemed to snap Francis back to his vaporized senses.
His face went hard, like the malleable molten metal of a blade quenched in a shocking shower of cool water. He pushed himself off the counter and stabbed a finger towards Pinkie, any affection he'd built for her over the years utterly smothered beneath the fury of this most recent outrage.
"YOU GET HER THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!" He roared at Nasrin, spittle flying from his lips like a cloud of steam finally breaching the relief valve of a steam engine, "BOTH OF YOU GET THE FUCK OUT! TAKE THE "LORD COMMANDER" OF WHOTHEFUCKCARES WITH YOU! GET OUT! IF I EVERY SEE ANY OF YOU AGAIN I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!"
Post by Jackie Bariole on Sept 14, 2019 14:21:07 GMT -5
Heidi had been just about to give up her efforts as a bad job when, from behind her, Francis' voice rose up in a paroxysm of rage. "YOU," He bellowed, "GET HER THE FUCK OUT OF HERE! BOTH OF YOU, GET THE FUCK OUT! TAKE THE "LORD COMMANDER" OF WHOTHEFUCKCARES WITH YOU! GET OUT! IF I EVERY SEE ANY OF YOU AGAIN I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!" Irritated more by the grating volume of his explosion than its actual contents, Heidi looked back at the frothing bartender with indifferent eyes. What did he have to be so upset about, anyway? It wasn't as though they had actually fought in his shit heap of a bar. If anything, he should have been grateful she wasn't finishing the job that Solomon had started, for the sheer spite of the act. Considering his threat to kill her, she would have been well within her rights. Some people hadn't any idea how good they had it, nor how good they had gotten off, and just had to keep pushing their luck. Heidi's eyes snaked away from the barman, dismissing him as no more of a threat than an especially loud insect, and found Nasrin instead. She affected a shrug, as if to convey that, stay or leave, it was all the same to her.
Then, without a care for how such handling might affect the unconscious man, she slung the limp form of Solomon Moon over her shoulder and rose to standing, an act requiring no more effort than if she'd been lifting an oddly shaped bag of potatoes. "Come on, Nas, we'd better go," She said coolly, not even deigning to glance in the livid bartender's direction, "Before your friend does something he'll regret." Threatening her had already been pretty stupid, but it would pale in comparison to if he actually tried to carry that threat out, especially if Nasrin ended up as his target. It would have made practical sense for him to go after Nasrin after all, given that he hadn't a snowballs chance in Vacuo of succeeding against Heidi.
Waiting for Nasrin to follow after her, the atlesian reflected on the massive disappointment of the past minute. She'd been forced, quite unfairly, into pushing much harder than should have been necessary to get Solomon Moon to acknowledge her, only for Nasrin to show up, unwanted, and complicate things with her apparent familiarity with the bar's anvil faced proprietor. Worst of all, she hadn't even gotten to fight the Lord Commander. The more she thought about it, the more resolved she became. As soon as she could shake Nasrin, she would be coming back to this miserable sty, and she would pay Francis back for all the inconvenience he'd caused her. First, for interfering in the fight she'd wanted so badly, second, for daring to threaten herself and Nasrin. Damned fool should have counted his good fortunes, instead of spouting off like he had. Now he needed to pay...
Heidi's eyes flicked to the devastated rafters, and decided that was where she would start. A good, solid punch should bring the whole fetid heap down upon itself. A slight smirk toyed at the corner of her mouth.
Nasrin couldn’t really recall the last time she’d seen Francis this angry, and her not knowing what all transpired before she arrived certainly didn’t help her understanding of why exactly he was so angry. As far as she could tell, while Heidi had made some jabs at the… Apparently rather important guy, and had wanted to fight him as her own words confirmed, it seemed he was entirely at fault for actually starting things. Wasn’t Heidi’s fault the guy decided to blow up half the bar cause someone was mean to him. [Break] Still, as Nasrin looked over the fallen man, Francis and Heidi she couldn’t help but notice just how angry Heidi seemed. Anger was perhaps the wrong word, maybe disappointment or something similar. It almost seemed as though she had come into this place looking for a fight on purpose, rather than just stumbling upon someone she thought might be fun to battle. That was why she’d prodded the now very unconscious man by the door, and that was why she spent her time now looking around the bar and taking just slightly too much interest in the crumbling rafters above them. [Break] [Break]
”Come on Nas, we’d better go, before your friend does something he’ll regret.” Looking at Francis, and especially after his comments, it certainly seemed like he was itching to punish one of them if they didn’t leave, and Nasrin liked the man enough to follow along with his wishes without too much of an argument. She tossed payment for her drinks and a little bit extra at Francis, and then ran outside after Heidi. She caught up to the taller huntress just as the two of them rounded a corner into one of the alleyways nearby, the one Nasrin had originally used as part of her shortcut to get the bar. [Break] ”Why the fuck is this kid so important? I’ve never heard of whatever the hell it was you called him before, and look at him he’s a fucking mess. There’s no way he was worth all that, not a chance.” Nasrin gestured to a decent spot to set Sol down, a little trash can with a relatively flat lid. It’d keep him off the street, which in this part of town was something you absolutely wanted to do unless smelling like shit was something you enjoyed. Garbage was a slight upgrade. [Break] [Break]
”If you came out tonight looking for a fight, and I think you did, coulda gone to one of the pompous upper town bars, those fuckers need a good slap in the face every now and then. The people down here are low enough as is, don’t need to push their faces further into the dirt, yeah?” Her voice mostly spoke of disappointment, she wasn’t overly upset but she was unhappy with how things and gone, and with Heidi. Bringing a hand up, Nasrin began to rub the shaved side of her head - freshly shaved and dyed just that morning for her night on the town, what a waste that turned out to be - as she looked up at Heidi and sighed. [Break] ”Also woulda been nice, like I said before, if you told me you were back. I haven’t seen you since… Shit it was the midterm I think, s’been forever! I know you wanna do your own shit, but a hello woulda been nice, okay? Next time.” [Break] [Break]
Turning her attention back to the unconscious man they had carried with them, Nasrin gives his leg a small kick to see if he wakes up. ”Oughta just leave him here, let him stink up a bit before he gets to go home, wherever the fuck that is.”
Aura: 85% [break][break]
Semblance E, Rascal Heavy F, Strength F, Durability E, Marksmanship E, Graffiti F, Mechanics F [break][break]
Post by Solomon Moon on Sept 19, 2019 18:46:07 GMT -5
The forest floor crunched and squelched wetly as Sol marched, his boots playing a discordant song of misery punctuated by sloppy gasps, and snaps as he stood in the mud or on a fallen branch. His golden eye scanned the treeline as they neared a clearing, keeping at least one of the other members of his fire-team in the corner of his vision at all times. Lieutenant Brint was hefting his lance on his shoulder, his earthy camo uniform stained a sloppy brown from the waist down, a cigarette unlit behind one ear. Private Harlem was out in front, his mismatched long and short swords rattling on his belt, a vein standing out on the side of his head, dark brown eyes warily shaded beneath his officer's cap. Private Luther was a short ways behind the Lieutenant, trying to struggle a boot out of where it had been snagged by the muck. Corporal Sand was somewhere behind Sol, and the cyclops could hear him blowing hard beneath the weight of his ludicrously huge greatsword. This would have normally been Sand's team, but Sol had requested to join the patrol to escape the tedium of the command center for a day. Though less experienced than the others, Sol still effectively outranked them all, and Sand had seen it unfit to refuse the request of the Lord Commander's only son.
"Form up at the tree line." Sand's voice crackled through the shortwave communication device pinned to the lapel of each man's combat vest, and Sol raised his hand, four fingers stretched upwards, simultaneously with each other man, a signal of having received the command.
In turn they fell into cover behind fallen logs and broad trunks that ringed the clearing. Luther was muttering something beneath his breath, and Sol guessed that his boot was freshly full of the pungent slime that seemed to serve this section of the forest as a floor. Carefully they peaked over and around their cover. Ahead was a field of tall grass, run through with a few fissures which were likely to be small streams running down the gentle rise of the slope. Sol was relieved by the thought of having solid earth to stand on for a change.The team waited for what felt like an eternity, the silent swaying of the grass and the rustling of the trees surrounding them like a blanket of soft sound. Eventually Sand gave the order to proceed.
"Our objective is at the top of the rise." Sand reminded them, as they broke cover as a unit and filed into the shoulder deep long grass. They'd come here to scout for potential positions for deploying their large bore artillery pieces.
They were close enough now to talk without the shortwave, and Brint was casually mocking the waddling gait that Luther had acquired since nearly losing his boot. The man's brilliant blue eyes twinkled happily in the sun, his face split by a perfectly genuine and friendly grin, his teasing good natured as he was himself. Nearly too fast to be seen, something streaked down from the slope above, and impacted just before Brint's lead foot. The earth heaved and bucked, blooming like a massive bubble and tossing the Lieutenant wheeling into the air, the shockwave knocking the rest to their knees, save for Sand who managed to catch himself on his greatsword by driving the point into the earth. Sol could see the shimmering discharge as Brint's aura peeled off of him under the blow, breaking apart like struck crystal and raining down like yellow sparks of twinkling diamond. Brint was struggling to right himself, flung up spinning, and flailing about to try and find the ground. He landed hard. Another streak fell into their formation, impacting almost precisely where Brint had fallen. Sol imagined that he could make out the faintest tint of red and pink in the next bubble of earth thrown up by the blast.
Sand was screaming now. Yelling for them to run, though he didn't deign to mention where to. Luther, who had been closest to Brint, was just struggling to his feet, face smeared with a chunky mixture of blood and meat. Harlem was running towards the direction of the incoming fire, his progress marked by a V shaped wake he left in the grass as he moved. A third shell fell into the field, almost perfectly in the path of that V, followed shortly by another. Sol never saw Harlem again.
Sol was running too, riding the shock-wave of his semblance as he kicked off the earth, leaving behind a crater as twice as wide as he was tall and just as deep. "Going Loud!" He said into his handset, as he cleared twelve meters in a single stride. The shooter was tracking him now, and Sol could feel the thud of each round as it detonated behind him. He zigged and zagged with each stride, climbing half the slope in a matter of seconds. He could see people in the tall grass, their almost human faces looking up towards him, their uniforms stuffed with dry grass the same shade as the field. They appeared out of the tall grass like the revenants of Atlesian myth, rising out of the fog on the moors. They carried bulky automatic rifles, and as one they opened fire into the field, spraying Sol's aura with round after round.
He landed in the thick of the firing line, hoping against reason that the grenadier wouldn't fire into his own formation. He absorbed the impact with bent knees, and threw out his right hand out as to deliver an open handed blow to the nearest faunus soldier. A collumn of flame sprang from between his fingers, swallowing the man and the three others standing behind him. Sol followed up with a blast from his right hand, and then sprang forward, performing an axe kick that unleashed a third thunderous detonation. Nothing remained but a trench gouged in the earth, smoke rising from it's depths, no more to tell of the existance of the three men than had been left by Brint. The same end, all men wound up on the same side eventually. The barbarians of Northern Atlas, those that lived in the frigid hills, called war the "The great leveler" for how it could settle all debts. Sol thought that definition was close but had one of his own.
He didn't know what made him look up. Something in the back of his mind, perhaps reacting to a subconscious impulse that his higher mind hadn't noticed, told him to turn, and as he did, he saw the rapidly approaching sphere of excited red dust as it streaked down on a shallow arch towards him. Sol kicked off the ground, as the earth detonated beneath him, sailing back out of the grass in a tumbling ballistic path, just like Brint had. He landed hard on his back, air driven out of his chest without the shield of his aura to soften the impact. Somewhere far off he heard another low hollow "thwump" as the grenade launcher fired again, no doubt having adjusted for where he'd landed, and already another round was on the way to turn him into pink mist.
Sol snapped awake with a start. His head was ringing like a struck bell, and it felt like someone had peeled off his temples and then reattached them with screws. He lurched, world spinning around him, stomach doing short flips in his guts, and then toppled off the stack of wastebins he'd been left balanced precariously atop of. He struck the ground hard without much of an attempt to catch himself, splashing in a puddle of water the same color as trench shits. The cool, stinking water snapped him back to some of his senses, and Sol staggered to his feet. Casting a wary glance around, his mind seemed to be tricking in from far off, and it was just about all he could do to put one foot ahead of the last. He might have recognized this particular alley, and it seemed as if in the time he'd been in Mistral he'd woken up punch drunk in half of the city's back alleys.
He supported himself, grimacing, with a hand against the grimy brick wall, and shuffled towards the back end of the alley. He could hear voices behind him, but they had no more meaning to his reeling brain than a random collection of noises. His body was on auto-pilot, just looking for a quiet, dark place that he could crawl into and recover, or not.
Post by Jackie Bariole on Sept 21, 2019 16:17:15 GMT -5
"Why the fuck is this kid so important?" Nasrin demanded as the two of them slipped out of the ruined bar,"I’ve never heard of whatever the hell it was you called him before, and look at him he’s a fucking mess. There’s no way he was worth all that, not a chance." Heidi masked her irritation at the questions behind a low grunt of effort as she shifted the unconscious soldier from her shoulder and onto a waste bin Nasrin had indicated. "Of course you don't know who he is." She said with the faintest hint of scorn, as she flicked an imperceptible particle of dirt from her vest, then rolled her shoulder slowly in its socket. She was beginning to feel a little less than exceptional, a detail which caused her not inconsiderable irritation to redouble. Damned barman and his interference. Damned Nasrin and her questions. Damned one eyed dragon, and his bloody confusing refusal to fight her when she'd first approached him. They'd all spoiled this for her; She'd gotten all worked up expecting a fight, and now here she was feeling the repercussions without anything to show for it. Just inconsiderate, wasn't it? "I said he was famous in Atlas, didn't I?" Not explicitly, perhaps, but she was damned sure she'd implied it.
Nasrin looked unimpressed, her one hand planted on her hip in a way that would have been cute, if Heidi had been of a mind to notice. "If you came out tonight looking for a fight, and I think you did, coulda gone to one of the pompous upper town bars, those fuckers need a good slap in the face every now and then. The people down here are low enough as is, don’t need to push their faces further into the dirt, yeah?" Heidi scoffed at the suggestion, and scornfully curled her lips. The blue bloods were hardly worth the hassle, so far as she was concerned. Barely one in ten of them knew how to properly fight, and none of them were wont to fight dirty. As much fun as it was to wipe a smirk off a pretty face, or beat the undeserved confidence out of somebody, experience had taught her that high-society wasn't the place to find the sort of fights which Heidi most liked. "Also woulda been nice, like I said before, if you told me you were back. I haven’t seen you since... Shit it was the midterm I think, s’been forever! I know you wanna do your own shit, but a hello woulda been nice, okay? Next time." Heidi's scornful curl of lip loosened somewhat. Her frown lessened and her expression softened, and her shoulders rose out from the seething hunch they'd adopted. "Didn't know where I was," She said simple, "Nor where you were." Affecting a shrug, Heidi raised her hands, palms up, as though to hold up the great weight of stone hanging above their head, the great towering mass of Mistral City on its mountain slope. "All I know about Mistral is what I heard at the Academy and, sad to say, your room number wasn't a part of it." It was honest too, though also put, perhaps, a bit of a bend into the truth. Heidi had not spent all that long figuring out where she was, and had made no effort to find Nasrin beyond confirming that she was not in the same dorm room as Jackie. She'd wanted a fight, not a fuck, and had figured she could always track Nasrin down after she'd gotten her knuckles bloodied.
Nasrin gave no sign as to whether Heidi had convinced her, and instead turned to regard Heidi's erstwhile opponent. "Oughta just leave him here," She muttered, "Let him stink up a bit before he gets to go home, wherever the fuck that is." Heidi was about to respond when, unexpectedly, Solomon Moon reeled forward and off of the bin he'd been sat upon, his one eye wide and blind and not yet entirely conscious. He rambled forward, unsteady on his feet, coming for Heidi. Lip curling in distaste, she stepped around his clumsy advance, then put a palm into the center of his shoulder blades for good measure. The soldier spilled forward, sputtering, and landed face down in a puddle of grimy brown muck of especially suspicious origin. With a gasp, more surprised than indignant, the mercenary sprang tottering upright, dripping with filth, and cast about wildly from side to side, like he was expecting a beowolf to fall upon him at any moment. His blindside was to Heidi and Nas though, so he saw neither of them despite his vigilance. With an unsteady step, he braced himself against the muck caked bricks of one of the alley walls and, hand following the wall for support, began stumbling unsteadily away.
Heidi grimaced. It was hardly the display of a man worth fighting; Her estimation of the man had been considerably curbed from the hollowed out gaze, which had promised so much, of a few minutes before. He hardly seemed in any sort of condition to fight anything more than a thin paper bag right the, and only if it was dipped in water first. A bloody shame and an ugly disappointment, all at once, like watching one's idol soil herself and being left staring at the mess. All that remained of Heidi's enthusiasm for fighting the washed out soldier dribbled out of her then. "What a waste." She muttered, fingers flexing, jaw set. She was content to let him wander off into ignominy, if only because it had been made abundantly clear that he wouldn't be giving her the challenge she was after. Not in his current condition. Golden gaze slid back to Nasrin at her side. "Well, I suppose he has plenty of stink on him now." Heidi said, glowering. It wasn't really Nasrin's fault, but Heidi wasn't about to go blaming herself for the sour turn her day had taken.