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Author Topic: Quantum Urbs: A City of lies, a city of Secrets (Fantasy/Romance/Action) *Open*  (Read 13962 times)

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Offline Wyrd

10 years ago

Joren walked up the stairs of the apartment building, his heart was warm with anticipation of seeing his Wife and son for the first time since the war. Joren fiddled with his key card for a minute before finally opening the door to the sight of Son, Cody. "Daddy's home!!" He screamed as loud as his 6 year old lugs could go. Joren bent down and picked him up and cradled him in his arms. "Yes my son, daddy is home. For good this time." Joren herd the sound of a plate drop, he put down Cody to inspect. From around the corner of the small hall way a woman with short bronze hair and large green eyes came running around the corner and embraced Joren tightly. "I thought I'd never hear from you again, my love." She said with as she started to sob. Joren kissed her fore head. "Shhhh... I'm here now Tarja. Their is no need to cry. For a time, Joren and his family lived a normal life in down town Quantum Urbs.

One day the that all changed. Around 4 years after Joren had returned to his life from the war. The phone rang in Jorens apartment one Sunday afternoon. "Hello?...  Hey Alice! how are you?..  Hahah. Good, good...    I'm happy for you then. I can't believe that it's been 4 years since you opened up that place and your still in business.... hehe. Well in todays society, theirs no need to know how to fight, not when you have people like me how risk the're lives to protect you...   Okay Alice talk to you later bye, I love you too." Joren hung up the phone and went to go ait down to the lunch that Tarja had made for him when the phone rang agian. "Hello?... Yes I am Captain Joren Tolkki...You want me to came down to the base?... Yes sir. I'll be right over." Joren hung up the phone and looked up to the sight of Tarja's sad face. "That was the General wasn't it?" Joren stood. "Um Yeah it was. They said some people want to give my an impotent job working for this large corporation. look, i'll only be a few hours okay?" With that he kissed his wife and left for the military base a few kilometers down town.

Joren arrived to see a large group of men in suits waiting for him. He ran his fingers through his long blonde hair, the he would always do when he was nervous. The general spoke up as he saw Joren. "Ahh. Capitan Tolkki. So nice to see you again. please have a set." He said with an odd smile. Joren sat down on a small chair in the middle of a bright white room. "Now, mr. Tolkki, It appears that 4 years ago during the war, you and several others were exposed to pure Element F Radiation, and that you were the only one to survive. Is this true?" Joren looked at the man. "Yes sir. It was a routine patrol, and all of a sudden every thing got cold. colder then any thing that i'v ever felt before. I woke up covered in ice and snow and my unit was dead. Sir? Whats this all about?" The General and the men in suits smiled. "Our friends at Armstech have had an intrest in you since your amazing survival of that incident. No one has ever lived more then a year after Element F exposer and lives for more then a year without having the're body heat slowly die. But here you are perfectly fine. You and a few other have been hand picked for the Armstech Elemental program. And I assure you the pay is exceptional..."


Joren was a fighting a battle in his head, trying figure out way the name Armsthech kept coming up, and if he should trust this man. Joren would just have to wait and find out.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 12:55:05 PM by Wyrd »

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

OOC: You need to adjust the timeline. Isaac and Alice didn't meet when she first opened the dojo. They met for the first time four years before the story starts and the experiments were six years ago (I have cornered part of the story in a set amount of years. So ten years, war ended, six years, experiments, four years Isaac and Alice

Offline Wyrd

OOC: Oops! Sorry about that!:(

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

They arrived at ArmsTech, which was a large, skyscraper building, the color white. The surrounding area were test labs, out farther than that, in the unrestricted zones, were the markets. Security was incredibly tight. Lights shown from every which way, mostly aimed at the large building, putting it in the limelight of the entire area. It could be seen from miles away. It held secrets, it held danger, and it held history. Joren and Cornelius had transferred to a helicopter partway, Cornelius simply wanting a change. Cornelius loved change.

"Welcome to the ArmsTech headquaters, Joren Tolkki. You haven't been here in quite some time. I would have to say six years. You probably don't remember much of it, though. No one really does." He said, turning to Joren. "Bring us down on the roof." Cornelius ordered the pilot. Once they landed, they exited the vehicle. Joren was immediately seized and injected with something. Joren knocked the men off of him, but it was too late. "Don't worry, Joren. All it does is temporarily suppress your magic. We wouldn't want you having a change of heart and go attacking us, now would we?" Cornelius led the way, entering a large glass entrance on the roof. Everything was in basic color, giving the structure an odd, unnatural hue. "Let's see if we can bring back a bit of your memory, shall we?"

Offline Gwindolyn

Gwin opens her eyes under the pale moonlight and finds his looking down into her face.  She smiles a bit sheepishly.  With all that went on the past day or so, why is it that her heart flies as a guy she barely met smiles to her in a strange room in a strange place under a moon she doesn't recognize.  Yet everything was as it should be as far as she was concerned.  He was here with her.  She woke up to those eyes.

"Good morning."  The words 'my love' blossomed in her mind, but did not escape her mouth.  I mattered not the time of day, when you wake up, it is morning.  She shifts lightly to be more comfortable in his arms under his gaze.  She did nothing to hurry the moment, only savor it.  A long lonely life without him has vanished into a bad dream as she just enjoys his presence.

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

The door opened, the light from the hallway flooding in. "You two are awake, I see." Came Alice's voice. There was a lonh silence. " you still have your memories?" He asked. "What do you mean?" She asked. "Gwin and I...we have fragmented memories of this place. Of each other." He explained. "What aren't you telling us?" He asked. Alice sighed deeply. "I remember everything, Gabriel. I remember the two of you, I remember your brother. I could answer every question about your lives, at least the missing parts. But, you have to understand that I can not tell you. It would seem empty, and odd. You wouldn't have he memories, instead you would just have my words. It would be empty. Thats why I want you two to remember on your own. And if there is one thing I have learned, its that some things are best left forgotten. At least for now. The body may heal, but the mind isn't always so resilient." She explained. "As for why I came, I did so to suggest that you two go out and do something. Maybe it will help your memory move along."

Offline Wyrd

Joren felt the needle enter his arm as he flung the men off him, as one fell to the ground, Joren stuck out his hand and tried to summon ice and frost to cover him, but nothing happened. "What did you..." " Don't worry, Joren. All it does is temporarily suppress your magic. We wouldn't want you having a change of heart and go attacking us, now would we?" Cornelius interrupted. "Let's see if we can bring back a bit of your memory, shall we?" Joren looked at him, with teeth  bearing. "And whats so important about my memory?"   

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

"More than you may realize, Joren." They exited the stairwell that they had taken down a floor from the top. "This is the bunking area. Sleep for the night. Find yourself a room. You can call the front desk for questions, food, information or other...'services'. I assure you, the women are fine here. We do our best to make our people comfortable." It was then Cornelius left Joren to look around. He was restricted to the living quarters, though.

Offline Gwindolyn

Gwin was frustrated by Alice's refusal to help their memories along, but she understood it.  She didn't push any, letting Gabriel give all the pushing Alice would recieve. She turns to Gabriel "Come, let's go for a walk?"  She begged until he gave in.  It didn't take much effort.  A look into her face and he caved.  They changed quickly.  She still stole looks over her shoulder to see his body as he changed.  He caught her once and she blushed, but that didn't stop her.  Once dressed and together, they wander through the house to the back garden.  She stops frozen.  A look of a ghost comes over her.  She grabs his arm.  "I know this garden."  He looks to her and gently says "We have been here before.  We know this whole place."  She looks up to him and give him a look "not like that, I mean I ~KNOW~ this garden.  I have been drawing parts of this from my dreams."  She doesn't admit she is not a good artist though.  No one looked at her drawings, so she is safe there.  "There is a spot over here that I can't get out of my head..."  She draws him over to a particular cherry tree full of blossoms.  "This spot.  I'm not sure why, but this spot is special to me."

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

They found themselves in the back of the large home, in a garden with a variety of trees, flowers, all different shapes and sizes. The grass was a contrast, healthy green. The trees ranged from small to large, trees similar to those in the training area except given more room to strive. Above, the moon shined down a bright white light, and unlike the city, the stars here were clear and shinning.  Blossoms from the tree lay on the ground, and a small pond with a wooden deck was off to the right. The pond curved around in the form of a stream, leading to a small hot spring, which was guarded by two large boulders in the corner of the garden, against the solid wooden fence in the back.

It was almost hidden, and it was intended to be that way. "I know this garden." Gwin commented. He glanced to her, stating that they have been there before and that they should know the area. She looked back to him, "Not like that," She began "I mean I KNOW this garden." She said with emphasis. "I have been drawing parts of this from my dreams." She explained. "There is a spot over here that I can't get out of my head..." She lead him through the garden, over a small wooden bridge that passed over rivulets of water. It lead to a large cherry tree, which was at the base of an extension of the pond. The area was almost secret, because it was small, condensed, and surprisingly private. It was surrounded by small collection of shrubbery, the area dipped down lower than the rest of the garden, hiding the height of the trees. There were a few boulders surrounding the area as well, adding to the incognito location. From inside, no one could see in.

The Days Forgotten

OOC: The Days Forgotten refer to the memories that the characters lost. Without giving a specific date, it allows the story to be pieced together later, making way for plot twists.

Gabriel chased Gwin through the area playfully. Eventually, it led to the garden, where Gabriel lost sight of her. Gwin had always been naturally faster than Gabriel and she was also crafty. Gabriel first checked the sitting area near the pond, but she was not there. He then checked the hot springs, calling out to her. She couldn't of gone anywhere else. After a bit of searching he was ready to give up. "You win, Gwin!" He shouted out to her. He heard a laugh, immediately revoking his loss. He scoured through the shrubbery, of which people thought was the only thing existing. It lead to a sort of crater in the land formation, where a large cherry blossom was always in bloom. There was also a small pool of water. It must of come from the pond. This had been the source of her charming laugh, he knew it. But she was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, he felt weight on his back, causing him to stumble forward. It was Gwin, he could tell by her breast pressing against his back. "You have a habit of sneaking up on me." Gabriel laughed. She made her way in front of him, and they shared a quick, casual and loving kiss. "How did you find this place?" Gabriel asked her. "I was interested in the Garden. Was looking around. Decided to go through the shrubs." She explained simply, her arms around his neck. She grabbed his hand and led him over to the tree. "Look at it! Isn't it beautiful?" She asked him, glancing up at the pedals. "Yeah," Gabriel responded. "But it's nothing compared to you. There is no woman, or tree," He said, laughing during the tree comment "That can baffle me with beauty." He said, his odd choice of words merely him being him. She pulled him by the hand into the water, which came up to their waist. Gwin dove backwards into the water, inviting Gabriel under with her. He accepted in kind, and they both chased each other in the water for some time. Eventually, Gabriel caught her by the leg and resurfaced with her. He let the leg fall back down. "I finally caught you." Gabriel said, noting that it was the first time he had been able to catch her when they were playing. "You caught me a long time ago." She responded sweetly. Again, they embraced for a passionate kiss. Once they pulled away, she slowly unbuttoned her shirt.

Present Day

"I...just remembered something." Gabriel said, blushing. "I think this is where we first..."

Offline Starlequin

The pain in his shoulder had already faded to memory as Luke moved to counter Alice's next attack. Before his fist could reach her, she cried out in surprise. His hand stopped millimeters from her jaw as she looked at him anxiously. "I didn't mean to do that!" She said, her eyes on his shoulder.

"Next time I won't hold back so much," she called as she walked away, fidgeting with her hair. "I'm sorry about your arm!"

Luke stood and watched as she turned and left the courtyard, winded and confused. She actually thought his injury was enough to stop him? He gave his shoulder a quick test rotation and walked to a nearby cherry blossom tree to sit down. As he peeled off his borrowed gear, he reviewed the fight in his mind. She was skilled, no doubt. And if she was truly holding back--and Luke believed her--he decided he had no interest in ever fighting her for real. Well, not fairly, anyway.

As Luke leaned against the sun-warmed wood, he looked out over the courtyard. Alice had not done it justice; it was quite beautiful. The scent of the cherry blossoms filled his nose, and the wind danced along his skin. His jobs often took him all over the world, but so much of his work demanded the cover of night. Despite what his golden brown skin might have suggested, it was a rare thing for him to feel the touch of genuine sunlight. For several minutes Luke simply sat in the light, his eyes shut as he drank in the afternoon rays.

'OK. Now I'm bored.'

His eyes snapped open and he pushed his sunglasses back into place. He rose smoothly to his feet and walked back toward the house.

''Ana, how much longer on the signal?' 'Not long now. Maybe an hour? I could work a lot faster if I only had direct access; my wi-fi abilities are not powerful enough with only your implants to work through.'

Luke stepped inside and shut the door behind him, then leaned against the wall as he considered the problem. 'I think I may have a solution for that. Can you reprogram some of the medichines?' 'Well, it shouldn't be any problem. They're only nanobots, after all; a few quick alterations to their basic programming and they can do whatever you want. What are you thinking?'

A wicked grin blossomed on Luke's face. 'I'm thinking I might have to bleed for this job, after all...'

~Quantum Urbs~

'Are you guys sure this is a good idea? Maybe we should have stayed with the plane.'

Mikiun trailed along after his siblings as they cruised the skies of Quantum Urbs at a leisurely 790 mph.

'It's fine, Mikiun. Uncle Luke ordered us to protect the plane. Well, we protected the plane perfectly, didn't we? Right up until it went and got blown up. So we're done.' Andiun replied as he whirled backward to face his reluctant brother as they flew.

'So what are we gonna do now? Should we try to find Uncle Luke?' Soriun scanned available broadcast frequencies for traces of Luke and Nirvana's transponders, but found nothing. Etriun busied himself calculating prime factors and performing barrel rolls as Andiun answered, 'Well, we do still have one other order to carry out. Uncle Luke gave us permission to kill every combatant we find, right?' 'Affirmative. But now the battle's over and all the combatants went home. How can we kill more combatants if there aren't any more?' 'Easy! Uncle Luke said to operate on Provoked Response protocols only, right? So, let's go find someone and get them to provoke us!' 'Hey, yeah! That sounds like fun!'

As one, the Cherubims regrouped and changed direction, headed for the center of the city, singing as they flew.

'Genocide, genocide, nobody gets left alive!'

~Alice's Dojo~

Luke heard voices from the kitchen; Ureha and the princess must have been hungry. His own stomach rumbled at the thought of food, but he bypassed the kitchen and headed for the stairs. From her warning earlier, he suspected Alice would have implemented security measures to prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to the upstairs areas; it stood to reason that was where the suppression signal was coming from. He stopped at the foot of the stairs and leaned casually against the wall.

'Ready, 'Ana?' 'They're set, Luke. I have to say, this is definitely one of your better ideas.' Luke smiled as he withdrew a small penknife from one of his pockets and sliced his index finger open. A thick stream of blood spurted to the floor, and almost immediately his medichines sealed and repaired the damaged finger.

Nirvana reached out and assumed control of the smattering of nanobots that dripped onto the floor in Luke's blood; her perception split into hundreds of microscopic copies, and immediately she went to work. The nanobots consumed the molecules in the blood, the floor, the dust in the air, and began replicating. Within minutes, the hundreds turned to thousands, the thousands to millions. The Von Nuemann process drained Nirvana of her processing power, but Luke held her steady with his own brain as a parallel processor. Within a half hour, the nanobots' numbers grew large enough to form a tiny cloud of quasi-sentient dust. With Luke's help and patience, Nirvana at last became at ease with commanding so large a number of minds, and together they directed the cloud up the stairs.

Luke leaned against the wall once again, his head bowed. To anyone watching he appeared to be taking a nap, but in fact his mind was racing as the nanocloud fed him information. It took a few moments to adjust to seeing in millions of directions at once, but once Nirvana commanded them into a cohesive unit it felt just like piloting a camera drone.

The cloud slipped in and out of rooms with ease as the duo searched the upstairs. Before long, they came across a door different from the others they'd run across; this one was steel, thick and heavy. It formed an airtight seal, and allowed the nanocloud no access.

But the walls were not so durable.

The cloud spread out and smeared itself against the wall, the nanobots' operating limbs drilling through the wood and around the steel reinforcement beams. Seconds later, the dust cloud broke through without leaving more than a few micrograms of sawdust in their tracks. The view of the room proved they'd found the signal's point of origin.

The two worked in silence as they directed the cloud onto the small satellite box in the room's corner. Within moments, the cloud's programming was altered once again by Nirvana's remote control, and they nanobots formed a makeshift antenna. Nirvana locked onto the enhanced signal, and from that point it was a breeze to alter the signal's frequency. Nothing dramatic; just enough so that 'Ana's own broadcast and reception abilities would no longer be impeded without letting anyone monitoring the signal realize it had been hacked.

Their task completed, Nirvana sent the nanocloud a self-destruct signal, turning the machines into inert particles. They fell to the floor, an innocent coating of dust under the table.

Downstairs, Luke pushed away from the wall and stretched casually, an amiable smile on his face. 'Excellent. Now, to see what we have to work with.'

Nirvana called up one of the Grigori and located their position within seconds, a large mansion set on a sprawling swathe of land in the northwest of Nihon Urbs. Moments later the overlay appeared on Luke's shades, along with infra-red and spectroscopic views. The place seemed innocuous enough; if there were any underground structures, they were well concealed. As Luke studied the grounds, 'Ana recalled his earlier request for a Saint. She reconnected to the Command Center's mainframe and scanned through the logs. Luke had been right; there were three Saints currently assigned to Nihon Urbs. The closest was McKlisskey, an older man with extensive prosthetics. She informed Luke of the news, and his attention shifted.

'McKlisskey? Isn't he the one that mixed up the packages on the Dax-Aurels job?' 'That's the one. He sent his cover identity's fiancee's father a poisoned pen set, and the executive he was supposed to assassinate recieved a very tasteful tie and cufflinks.' 'Ana's holojection met Luke's eyes, and they shared an expression of doubt and discomfort. As one, they nodded in agreement and she returned to the logs. 'I'll find someone else...'

OOC: Whew! I'm gone for a few hours and I get left in the dust, lol.

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

Alice was wearing a Japanese robe, which completely covered her body. Unlike what she wore when 'out to work', this outfit was very decent. You could not see the figure of her body, excepting the largeness of her breasts; that was something difficult to hide. A lot had happened in the past few hours for her. She walked around, her hands in the opposite sleeves, without any real purpose. Gwin and Gabriel were back; but everyone else was still dead. It was oddly empty, and admittedly she had avoided this place for some time. It was kept clean by technology, now, the workers long gone. She had been migrating from hotel to apartment, the only thing keeping her going being her personal mission. Was it complete now?

After what happened at the dojo, she spiraled into depression. Until she had heard of Gwin, Gabriel, and Isaac all being alive. Her top students, and her favorites. Hope had surged through her once again, though the depression was always apart of her like another, dragging limb. People that she flirted with, and occasionally took to bed, both men and women, probably had no idea of her emptiness. She couldn't fake happiness, but she didn't need to. Passion, lust, and pleasure were things that she actually felt now. There was no need to fake it if it was real. She had joined a group of Hunters in order to gain information about the whereabouts of her students. She was kind of like an older sister for Gabriel and Gwin, though it was much more between Isaac and herself. If there was any possibility that they had been alive, she had to search into it. Even it meant submerging herself into the Underworld of the city. Even if she had to sacrifice her morals, even if she had to betray her own honor. Hell, she had already betrayed her friends. Her honor paled in comparison. She had risen in the ranks of Hunters, never actually being convinced that either of her three pupils were alive. But she had to cling onto hope.

She went downstairs to the basement, specifically to the wine cellar. She retrieved a bottle red wine, and then made her way to the kitchen, retrieving a glass with a few blocks of ice in it. She then entered a room that looked out to the sky, leaving the door ajar. She pulled up a chair to the window and stared out of it, the moonlight shining in. She poured the wine into the glass and took a sip, then setting it on the windowsill. A tear rolled down her face, the presence of the two of three being heart-breaking.

She was in Isaac's room.

Offline Gwindolyn

"I...just remembered something." Gabriel said, blushing. "I think this is where we first..." He looks up and can see she remembers it too.  A tear slides down her cheek.  "It was was a good day," she says, her voice choked with emotions she couldn't begin to tease apart.

Gabriel runs a hand over her cheek, wiping away a tear.  She leans into his hand.  It is the sort of hand that is use to hard work and much use, but is well taken care of.  She liked that of him.  The shared annoyance of knowing a place and yet not knowing a place holding them both quiet a moment as the moonlight lit the garden.  She looks to his eyes and smiles.  "I'm ok.  I have you with me."  She wraps her arms about him and closes her eyes.  She has yet to realize her writings were about them.  She whispers "if this place is real, are the other places real too?"  The thought comes to mind as she mentally compares her inept drawing to the places she saw about her.  There are drawings not of this garden.

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

Their history was being filled in slowly, but surely. But there had to be a way to completely restore their memory. Then his mind lingered on what Alice said: some things are better left forgotten. He was deep in thought when Gwin mentioned something about 'the other places'. "You mean you had other occurances like the one with this place?" He asked her. "Wait..." He thought for a moment. "Are you familiar with the Theory of Art Design?" He asked. Judging from her expression, it was clear that she didn't. "It suggests that original artwork has some kind of inspiration. All of it. Whether it be conscious or sub-conscious tie-ins with another subject. In our case, it's our memory. It's possible that some of our history is buried in our art. I have an idea.
..follow me." He said, leading her to the entrance of the garden. They walked up onto the back porch, and walked to the left and around to the side of the mansion. "If my memory serves me right..." He opened the screen, and was pleased. A black grand piano sat in the center of the room, and other instruments around it. "Just as I thought." He said, jogging to the piano. He sat down and placed his hands on the cold keys. "I have this song that I know. I can't remember ever learning it." His flexible, agile, and swift fingers positioned themselves.

The right hand played a high-toned, longing chord, while the left played a deep backdrop. A short pause between, and he repeated, striking a lower chord with the left, the same chord with the right. He hit an even deeper cord, progressing up the keyboard melodicaly with the left hand, after repeating the same chord in the right for the third time. He repeated the section, striking the lowest chord harder, with more passion. He then played a variation of the section higher, the sound sad and desperate, opening into the sad, yet loving, melody. He kept it going for a while, suddenly dashing into a strong chorus, which was a complex and quick version of the opening section. It calmed back down to a whimper, (next post)

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

(Continuing from last post) Back into the sad, fragile melody. It was even more silent this time around, like a w
soft cry. It kicked back into the strong chorus, a feeling of "Goodbye" mixing with strength and assertion. The chorus slowly died down to a whimper, teasing the melody partially before his fingers ascended up the piano with precision, striking nearly every note in a sort of scale. He slammed a lower chord violently, keeping the rhythym afterwards by tapping the same chord softly. At the same time, his right hand playeda higher, quick, complex melody. A sense of running away, a sense of escaping. Sorrow, anger, and love mixed into the violent, yet beautiful, piano solo. Seemingly in the blink of an eye, Gabriel was jumping from one end of the piani to the other with his hands, providing an epic ambience to the melody played in between. He quickly descended the piano from top, down to the lowest note. He then eased back into the melody, fading out, and ending the song after about four minutes.

OOC: Song is a variation of the piano version of "Sayonara" by Gackt. I actually made the variation and tried to describe it lol
« Last Edit: July 03, 2010, 01:44:11 AM by Dunnuck »

Offline Gwindolyn

She follows him back to the piano.  She watches him sit down and start playing.  The sounds he brings from the piano were so sad and sweet that she feels the tears threaten again, but just as they are about to win, the song changes tone just enough to keep the tears at bay.  She walks over to the violin and caresses the instrument as he plays the piano.  She doesn't remember ever touching the thing, but at the right moment, she closes her eyes and the bow slides over the strings.  Her music sounds as if it were a part of their song.  The long sorrowed singing of the small instrument complimented his keywork perfectly.  It is as if they played it together many times.  And yet, she didn't know the song at all.  The juxtaposition of these two lives fighting for cohesion rends upon her heart and mind.  The song ends and she sets down the violin as if she had been violated.  She shrinks into herself staring at the instrument as if it had betrayed her.  She can't seem to pull herself away.  "I wrote about that."  Her words sounding scared, angry, pained and indignant.  "It is as if someone raped my soul."  She looks up to him to see if he feels the same.

Offline Starlequin

~Quantum Urbs, Bellerophaune District~

Marcos slammed the phone back down in its receiver, tears of rage threatening to spill down his ruddy cheeks. Another lead gone cold, another hour wasted. The old man had called in markers all over the city, looking for any more information that could help Luke complete his mission. He realized he should have provided the young man with what he already had at his disposal, but he simply couldn't bring himself to risk that knowledge falling into the wrong hands. He should have known better; Luke Saipher was not a man to be underestimated. Marcos was barely even surprised when that pet ghost of his called, demanding information regarding ArmsTech; it would not have been a stretch to say he even expected it. The relevant files, what few were available, were already packaged and waiting.


Oh, how he hated that name, hated it and all it stood for with the fiery passion of a blazing nova! Scum. Depravity. Scheming body snatchers, sewer rats scavenging all the good in the world and perverting it into sick, twisted caricatures of hatred and destruction. His hatred of those miserable monsters was surpassed by only one thing.

His hatred for himself.

Marcos had searched for months, overturning every stone, digging into every field of research, seeking a miracle. At last he had given up hope, resigned himself to fate's mercy, turned away from science and prayed, truly prayed for divine intervention. And that was when the devils of ArmsTech had appeared at his door, offering his salvation from lips dripping with poison.

"We can save her," they said, and he accepted their offer. Indeed, he leaped at it like a starving dog upon a marrow bone. And save her they did.

And then they stole her.

Marcos blinked away his tears and slowed his breathing as best he could; emotion could not help matters now. In truth, he didn't know if anything he could do could help matters any further. Everything was in God's hands, now. Or Saipher's. He honestly didn't know if it made a difference.

~Alice's Home~

Luke's sandals squeaked softly on the polished wood as he made his way back toward the kitchen. A quick peek around the corner showed the others were nowhere around, and he shuffled into the kitchen.

'So, about that information from Marcos. You said he had some data on ArmsTech?' Luke thought as he raided the cabinets, digging out a box of chocolate crisp cereal. He studied the box for a moment and wondered why such a serious chick as Alice would have such a kiddy cereal on hand, but he wasn't about to complain. Another rummage through the room yielded a clean bowl and spoon.

'Right. According to Marcos, ArmsTech started out as just another military hardware company; however, about 15 years ago they started making some considerably one-sided deals with the government. At first it just seemed like they were adding a lot of regional prefectures to their pockets, but then some evidence turned up concerning biological weapons research.' 'Human experimentation?' Luke asked as he rifled through the fridge. 'Not at first. Apparently there was a lot of research conducted, but most of it remained strictly theoretical, though there were some rumors of live tests involving rodents, canines, primates, that sort of thing. But 7 years ago, their records seem to go dark. Marcos suspects that's when the human testing began.'

Luke withdrew a can of soda from the fridge and moved to the table. As he popped the top and poured the soda over his cereal, he considered the new information. 'I'm guessing this is the part where you tell me that our new friends were heavily involved, yeah?' He asked, munching on the fizzy cereal. 'Seems that way. Marcos couldn't provide any information on any of the subjects except you know who, but he did hear whispers of the names of some of the other candidates. The Ureha brothers were mentioned, as was, apparently, one Captain Joren Tolkki. There were at least three others, but their profiles are redacted.'

Luke finished his cereal and pushed the bowl away. The spoon twirled and danced over his knuckles as he thought. Tolkki's involvement failed to surprise him; a dude that hard-core almost had to be military. He wondered where the brothers Ureha had gotten involved, but decided it probably didn't matter at the moment. Alice was almost certainly one of the subjects whose records were completely deleted; he had a hunch he knew what that meant, but he didn't much like the road it led him to.

'Damn Marcos; he should have known better than to send us in blind like this. I'm almost tempted to redouble my fee.' 'Now would probably be the time to do it; I think he'd pay almost any amount to get her back safely.' Luke leaned back in his chair, tipping the front legs into the air. He tossed the spoon behind him into the sink and crossed his feet on the table. 'Ah, hell. Let it go. Poor bastard's going through enough right now; we can always put the screws to him later. Now, how about our Saints? Who else do we have?' 'Good news on that front: Roberts is in the area. I've already sent word; he's putting together a level-3 care package and prepping a safe house as we speak.' 'Excellent! Wasn't Roberts the one who-' 'The one who stole the Caumpfeldt Diaries, eliminated the Tang Sun Triad and managed to prevent the Magrasserum Syndicate from consolidating their power and assuming total control over the city's organized crime. Yes.' Luke smiled as she completed her report. 'And people say good help is hard to find.' 'It is, for other people. That's because you've already beaten them to it.'

'Yeah. Ain't I just a stinker?' Luke grinned as he rose from his seat and laid his bowl in the sink. As he was leaving the kitchen, a haunting melody drifted through the manor and gripped his attention. He followed the sound quietly, almost stalking through the hallways as the music grew louder. At last he found its source, and he leaned against the wall outside as Gwin and Ureha demonstrated their mastery over their instruments. The pain in their music, he thought, fittingly reflected the pain in their spirits. His head bowed, eyes shut softly, Luke listened from the shadows as the two poured their hearts out to each other through melody.

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

"I remember something else." Gabriel said in almost a whisper. His voice was fragile and sad, like the bridging melody in his song.What he remembered disturbed him, pushing his questions of Gwin's talent at the violin to the back of his mind. His mind flashed in hectic sweeps of memory. "Our mother had died. I was fourteen. Isaac was only ten." He began. "We had no one to look after us. We had no one except each other. I had to support us." He said, almost entrancingly playing a few notes on the piano. It helped accompany his thoughts. "The part I remember is how I did that. Who would hire a fourteen year old? I mean, the city may not be the best place for children, but child labor laws are still in effect. I was desperate. Desperate to help my brother, desperate to help myself. Our lives dragged along painfully. the world around us moved at normal speed, but we moved in slow motion. I was desperate; and I began 'offering my body' to science. It started off simple; just some monitoring tests. Then, they told me I was special. They said that I had a unique genetic code; not unique as in slightly different, as with all people. But unique as in...different. Actually different. And a few days later, they came. They said they were looking for candidates for a project. And asked if I was willing. They said the pay was good, and that both me and my brother could live comfortably. They said it would be painless.

"In that respect, they lied. I accepted it, and underwent biologically altering experiments. It hurt...badly. It's a pain I regret to remember; but that was nothing in comparison to what happened next. 'Where are you all the time, brother?' Isaac would ask. I would respond 'At work. We need to eat, don't we?'. I never told him, so when it happened, he was confused. I had slipped up about having a brother, something which I had been sure not to tell them. That's when they came and took him. ArmsTech...they did this to my brother and I. Now I am their experiment, set wild upon the world. After they took my brother, I offered myself again. For more...intense and...theoretical experiments. They gave my brother and I a place to stay. Gave us food. It was a two-faced organization. Like a coin."

Offline Wyrd

Joren laid in a bed of snow that he asked the front desk. His eye's were wide open and deep in thought. It had been a 5 years since Joren could sleep, maybe thats what drove him to the brink of insanity. Joren looked over to the naked woman laying next to him shivering and loosing life in the extreme cold of the room. "Go." Joren said calmly. The woman was out of the room in a blink of an eye, knowing that hypothermia had began to set in on her young body. Joren had also tried to call the front desk to get some information, though he got nothing useful. 'This is bullshit! Why the fuck em I here with these science fair rejects!?' Joren thought to himself angrily. Joren went to the phone at the side of the bed and called the front desk. "Send Cornelius up! I'm tired of waiting in this damn place!"

OOC: This is my last post until late tonight. I'm hoping I don't come back  and the end credits are rolling :P

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

OOC: Don't worry, we won't be that much farther. Right now, your pushing the story forward anyways (at least thats what I am planning).

Offline Gwindolyn

She listens to his memory with heartbreak playing through her.  It is as if the strains of the song still pulled at her heart.  It wasn't.  It was their connection to each other.  They begin to unravel how they belong together, but so much remains unknown still.  She sits back and says "I had dreams.  The whole time.  Disjointed and fantastical dreams.  I thought they were just fantasies.  But they were so real, I prefered them to anything else.  I spent hours drawing this garden, this house..."  Her voice drops away as she says "your face."  She pauses and starts up again, "When I got frustrated with my inability to draw things as I saw them, I wrote.  I told stories that starred..." She hesitates again and fidgets with the bow of the violin.  "Well...We were both in them."  She rephrased, but words were failing her.  I don't know which is truth anymore and which is lies, but I feel...."  her face turned to the side.  She stood up and walked so her back was to Gabriel.  "raped."  It was the only fitting word for it.  "Violated to the most intimate depths."  She turns to Gabriel.  "Is it real?  Between us, I mean."  She shuffles her foot a moment and looks up again.  "Or is this just another mind game?"

In the back of her mind she begins to wonder if she was just company for Gabriel here, a student of martial arts, or another experiment.  She has never been special, that she knew of.  But then again if you had asked her to play the violin, she would have told you she did not know how.  Not knowing one's own self is most unsettling when that is all one has.

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

"Yeah, its real. We just need to find our answers. With every memory that returns to me, I feel closer to you. I feel like the world is falling into place. I need answers...we need answers. What happened to our memories? Why were agents chasing my brother? Who killed my brother? And what was the reason my brother changed so much? I am sure you have questions of your own also. We need to start with ArmsTech. Its probably the most concealed part of my memories. Our memories, most likely. Just think: what was the purpose of the dojo? A very small training area, a music area, and there are probably others to. Im begining to see a trend, but we need to go to ArmsTech before I can be sure. I think this goes deeper, and darker, than we thought. But whatever we find out, I will be beside you. Nothing will keep us apart; And I will protect you from anything, even myself if necessary."

Offline Gwindolyn

She moves to him and wraps herself in him.  Teasing apart memories as real or not real was something she was not equipped to do.  She looks down to the ornamental dagger she put on the other day.  Why is it that she felt naked without it on most recently.  She never wore it before.  She looks up to Gabriel suddenly "We need to find that other guy... I don't even know his name.  The one in the shorts, you call him Tracer or something.  He knows stuff.  I'm sure of it."  She pulls herself from Gabriel and begins to pull him with her.  She stops and turns to him "And I'm holding you to the one promise above all else."  He looks at her and says "Which one?"  She grins "That you will never be parted from me."  She walks out in search of Luke, towing Gabriel with her.

Offline DunnuckTopic starter

Gabriel pulled her back away from the door. "Gwin, I don't trust him. He was trying to kidnap you, remember?" He said. He glanced around, makin sure the coast was clear. "He has been lurking around." He whispered. "What do you mean?" Gwin asked. "You've been with me, how would you know? You haven't even seen him since we got here." She said. "Instinct. A feral instinct. I had Jenny check into it, monitoring all activity in the house. But she couldn't. The signal was jammed. She offered to break open the security, but I told her not to. Instead, she monitored the jamming signal itself. There was a fluxuation in the signal. It was only open for about a second. She thinks that someone broke in, and gave themselves exclusive access. Jenny was able to scan the mansion in the second the signal let up. This place isn't wired with electricity like other parts of Quantum. She found nanomachines. They were just recently deactivated, so there was still some juice running through them. She also picked up some odd electrical frequencies, which she described as AIL residue. AIL is artificial inteligence language. Before an AI can speak, it has to write what it says in progamming. It happens in nanoseconds, but it is there. Jenny has got to crack the code since every AI has a unique progamming language, and then she can retrace all history since we have been here. In short, an AI was speaking, and we can find out what it waa saying. I think its Tracer.

Offline Starlequin

Luke dodged around a corner, sinking deeper into shadow as Gwin and Gabe approached the doorway.

'Clever little pups, aren't they? 'Ana, do I even need to ask?' 'Of course not. We have nothing to worry about; I always ensure our communications are at least 128-bit keyshift encrypted. It would take her centuries to break our signal. His A.I. might be just as advanced as I am, but I doubt she has my experience.' 'Perfect. Still, I don't see the harm in letting them find a few nibbles of information. Weaken the encryption algorithms just enough on the data regarding ArmsTech, and throw out enough backscatter to make it look well-protected. Don't let them know anything about our contact with Marcos or Roberts, though; just give them a trail of breadcrumbs.'

As 'Ana went to work on the data trail, Luke stepped back around the corner and leaned against the wall, hands shoved into his pockets. His eyes met Ureha's over the tops of his shades, and he grinned mischievously as the two flinched back from his sudden appearance.

"Hey there, lovebirds. Didn't anyone ever teach you it's not nice to talk about people behind their backs?"