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Blade City: The King and the Pentacle

Blade City

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a part of Blade City: The King and the Pentacle, by Soul_Alchemist.

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Soul_Alchemist holds sovereignty over Blade City, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for Blade City: The King and the Pentacle
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Blade City

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Blade City is a part of Blade City: The King and the Pentacle.

1 Places in Blade City:

5 Characters Here

William 'Will' Silvaro [1] One of the Lion's Fangs
Buster "Rant" Casey [1] Leader of the Masked Brotherhood
Nyx [1] Erase myself and let go of what I've done...
Kristine 'Kris' Solveig [0] The Sun watching the Horizen (WIP)
Avery Cermak [0] Robin in the hood

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The horizon was difficult to see from withing Blade City. It was only from the small sliver of sky given to the inhabitants of the city could Kris see the great masterpiece painted by Mother Nature's hand. The image of the Great American desert was conjured before her mind's eye, the golden sand dunes rising shyly from the ground, reaching out to the sky with a tentative hand before being blown down by a gust of wind. It was the scene of nature, of the purest of arts, so natural, so untainted by the human hand that one loses their breath by the sheer untamed nature of it. Then mankind just had to ruin it all and dig out the hellhole known as Blade City.

Kris adverted her eyes to the sliver of sky now and again, wary of the especially nasty looking men down the street. A tall woman with long strides, it was difficult for the man at her side to keep up. Kris couldn't stand the sight of him, looking everywhere but the space which he trotted along side her despite the fact that he had the audacity to tug at her sleeve every few seconds. A man who took himself way to seriously, who believed that he had what it takes to become the next king when in reality he resembled a ferret more. He didn't even have the strength to attempt force.

"Woman would you just hear me out?" a hairy hand pulled a little harder at her sleeve, "It was just a stupid accident is all. I mean, we were all pretty drunk and it was just a dare. I'm sure you could just-"

From her height, Kris had to leer down, "I don't want to hear it again you weasel. Wasting my time, energy, and supplies for your stupid friend is beneath me. I can't go around treating drunkards like your little friend as an every day thing." The man opened his mouth to retort but Kris started again, her gaze hardening, "I can see you. Your skin is yellow from jaundice and covered in rosacea. You're jumpy and nervous and your hands shaking because you're suffering withdrawals. Not only that, you've got the most disgusting looking rhinophyma I've ever seen. Treating your friends just means that idiots and alcoholics like you will keep causing trouble, taking away from the sane, and wasting my time. Scram or I'll have to resort to force."

Weasel-man squeaked and scampered off. In all honesty Kris didn't enjoy denying someone medical service; she was trained to save lives, not scare people off. Ever since arriving in Blade City it had become the norm to do so and every time she did so, Kris could feel less and less pity. They were all pitiful cases, the ones that she denied. In Blade City it was the survival of the fittest and she was the benevolent doctor that could save the ones that deserved it. It was her decision.

Turning her blue eyes back to the sky, she saw that the reds and oranges had all nearly disappeared, replaced by the star-studded blanket. Kris cursed the weasel man for wasting her time. That man was going to die of liver failure sooner then later. Sweeping back her bangs, Kris doubled her pace to a brisk jog. She was supposed to be at the Pavlov's Dog before the sun set to demand for some vodka or whiskey. Sanitation was a pain but necessarily. This morning she had used up the last of her rubbing alcohol in removing a cyst on a child's leg. The closest thing to industrial strength rubbing alcohol here was vodka. Anyways, the bartender at Pavlov's Dog owed her.

If she was lucky, someone might've picked some up for her so she didn't have to go through the messy negotiating process.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Avery stood in front of Pavlov's Dog, hands shoved into his pockets and leaning on his left leg. A group of scantily clad women shuffled by, sending him winks and blowing kisses in his direction, giggling their merry way. The dirty blond took no notice, pulling at his sleeve and looking at his wrist expectantly as if he had a watch. No watch. He had been waiting for Kristine Solveig, Kris, for nearly half an hour and every second that passed was a second off scheduled. There is nothing more awkward then standing around waiting with no idea what to do next.

Shifting his position, Avery smoothed out the front of his shirt, warily looking past the double doors of the bar across the street. For whatever reason, Kris demanded that he come along with her to get vodka. Why? He hadn't a clue. "Hurry up or I'm leaving," he muttered angrily, more to himself then anyone else. After smoothing out the final crease in his shirt, Avery moved down to dust off his pants, pausing slightly at the pocket; a very slight hesitation. At that moment, the soft light that spilled from Pavlov's was blotted out by a flying figure; some poor sap probably whacked by Tiny. That man has some anger-management problems was Avery's last thought before diving left to avoid being used as a landing mat.

Bits of skin on his elbow tore as it hit the ground, a nice looking strawberry bleeding on his forearm. It wasn't serious, Avery was more worried about the guy who pissed Tiny off. Sitting up slowly, his golden eyes focused on big Tiny and small Will. Wait, Will? Avery blinked but his confusion didn't last long. Will was a good man but getting caught up in trouble seemed to be something that he natural did.

Without a second thought, Avery launched himself in to the air, tackling Will out of the range of another punch. They tumbled back onto the ground in a dusty heap. Luckily for them, Tiny was a slow man, in a physical and mental sense but his punches were usually one-hit K.O.s.

"Good job picking a fight with that guy? What is it, feeling suicidal today?" his words came out as more of a scold then jest. From his periphial, Avery could see Tiny stalking over to them. Brute force wasn't going to work on that man, he'd have to wear him out or thinking of something clever if no help came.

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After being sent flying through the double doors Will hit the ground hard, his back impacting first, allowing him to roll backwards and end up in a sitting position. Off to his right he could see someone, thought it took a second for it to register as someone he knew, Avery. Using his cane, he starts to get back onto his feet, but before he can accomplish this Avery tackles him out of the way of Tiny, who was now on a war path, furious that not only had Will managed to get up after being hit, but thet someone was interfering in his fight.

"Good job picking a fight with that guy? What is it, feeling suicidal today?" Avery says as the two of them get their bearings.

"Good to see you too Avery, long time no see," Will says, catching the breath which had been knocked from his lung during the initial impact, "Just a misunderstanding. No need for you to get anymore involved." Before he can completely catch his breath he hears running, and looks up just in time to see the masked man known as Buster swinging into action. Before he knew what exactly was going on, Tiny was down and Buster was asking how to kill him, though of course he didn't give either of them time to answer.

Shaking his head, Will gets to his feet, then helps Avery up, just in time to avoid the blood spilling from the large mans backside. Dusting himself off he finds a tear in his pants from when he was tackled, revealing the nasty scar on his left leg. "I don't usually reward people for killing," he says, looking over at Buster, "But I suppose this does call for a round of drinks. If they'll have us, let's head back inside. My treat." Ignoring the slight bleeding coming from the scratch on his leg he turns to Avery once more, "How about it, you wanna join us?" He closes his mouth after this, biting his tongue.

During his years working for Leon, William has had to learn the patterns of his targets, and in doing so he learns the habits of others, meaning that he knew that Dr. Kris would be headed this way tonight for her alcohol. Avery being here wasn't much of a surprise either, the two of them often worked together, supply and demand and all that. If he had continued talking he would have asked if Kris would be around soon, but there was no reason William Silvaro should know such things.

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Her friend. Darkness. A friend indeed. Shadows; the little children that ran giddily about her booted feet. All the while, her dear friend with its dark arms around her shoulders. It saw through the ugly. It saw into her soul and found itself dwelling within. Instant friendship. Who could not love themselves? Darkness loved itself, and felt an even stronger love for those who carried it around in their bosoms. Light would sometimes try and sneak it's way in. The night would have nothing to do with it and made a strong stance against the enemy. Nyx could not have asked for a better companion.

Though... sometimes...

A wave of light hit the side of her face as the back door of Pavlov's Dog opened up. The cook walked out, a bowl in hand. He grunted at the lump on the ground. With the light came warmth, smells of food and drink, the sounds of laughter, anger, and drunkenness. The dull gray eye looked past his meaty arm as she gripped one side of the bowl in her dirty, gloved hand. The other was nestle rather neatly just at her chest, the hand resting just below her collar bone. Every day it was some place different, to keep the blood from settling or sores from forming. Nyx was already scarred and deformed enough as it was, adding to her troubles would be plain idiotic.

"Thanks," she whispered.

"One of these days, you're gonna come inside." Though his face was rough, even mean looking, he winked at her. Nyx growled on accident. It hadn't been her intention, but really, that's all she could muster forth. The cook shook his head and turned. The light and warmth disappeared as the door closed behind him. Once again, her old friend wrapped her up in the only companionship she knew well.

Reaching the bowl up to her lips, she ate the bread first, letting the bowl hold it in place for her. Instead of sitting down, Nyx felt like moving her legs a little and limped around in circles, up and down the alley. By the time she was sipping the potato soup from the bowl, the woman had ambled her way toward the front of the building. Interesting things occurred outside bars on most nights in Blade City. Brawls, lover's quarrels, cat fights, romantic scenes, pornographic scenes... You could be greeted by the large fist of a brute or the well-oiled barrel of a gunslinger. Of course, Nyx was only an observer in all these for she kept well away from the presence of most. The cook in Pavlov's had made it a point to run into her. He met with a good beating, only to gift her with a warm meal once a day.

Tonight was no different than any other. Nyx and her dear friend, Darkness, witnessed a young man, possibly her own age, being thrown to the dirty, desert ground. She squatted down, placing most of her weight on her good left leg, and sipped at the soup slowly. Another young man joined in and was subsequently thrown about by the beastly man. She snorted at his lack of form. He couldn't have fought his way out of a paper bag. But what did she expect from a crowd of criminals? Very few would have the discipline she had from many years of training.

While Nyx had been busying herself with licking as far into the bowl as she could, another man with wild eyes entered the fight and took a vote on how he should kill him. Hearing his words, Nyx felt her stomach twist up in knots. The food she was trying to finish every last drop of suddenly tasted metallic and rotten. The swift stench of burning flesh wafted into her memory and she stood up, readying herself to vomit. Thankfully, her stomach was able to grab hold of itself and she limped slowly back toward the cook's door. No one should treat death so lightly. No one! What gave him the right to kill someone? Who made him God of all?

The side of her fist slammed a few times against the wood of the door. When the bowl was returned, she would find her way back to a warm corner of a doorway or abandoned home. Nyx wanted to hear no more of death or smell its blood in her nostrils again.

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Rant was actually a bit surprised when Will actually offered to buy drinks. The masked murderer had suggested it as a joke, figuring he would get a rise out of one of them and get to have another brawl. Before they could venture inside, however, Rant noticed a tall blonde woman sneaking up behind Avery, only able to see because he was looking right at the duo and he has to be observant, lest his lifestyle end up killing him. That wasn't the plan just yet.

"Well hell, now we got a pretty lady joining us. If she gets hammered, I call dibs on taking her to the back for some one on one time" The man known as Rant said, laughing as he turned to follow after the woman in the doctors coat, though was disappointed to see her and the barkeep heading into a back room after he entered.

"Well damn, barkeep beat me to it. Ah well, sloppy seconds never bothered me. When that bastard gets back, I want the strongest shit he's got" He says, and spots ol' Richard Armstrong still sitting in the bar, and Rant can't resist taunting the man. They'd fought several times but Rant always managed to get away. "Old Man Dick" as Rant liked to call him, was one of the few to see Rants face after he got his mask, and fewer still to come close to killing him.

"Old Man Dick! How's it going?! Haven't seen you since you cornered me in that office building! How many of your men did my boys end up killing that day? I told 'em if it wasn't at least thirty that I'd deliver their heads to you myself" Rant said, sitting down across from Richard and sat his chin down in the palms of his hands, mockingly looking at the old man, blinking rapidly like he was flirting with him.

"But hey, no hard feelings am I right? I mean I even have Mr. Handicap over there buying me a drink for saving his ass" He said, motioning over towards Will, then started laughing.

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Will could feel the blood trickling down his leg. The cut wasn't bad, but it would need to be cleaned and a bandage put on it to keep it clean in such a place as this. In Blade City, there was no sanitation department, no roadkill clean up crews, nothing even close to either of these really, which meant a small cut like this, if not seen to, could kill. He had seen it happen before, it was a bad sight, but thankfully he wasn't as susceptible to infection as others, otherwise the scar on his leg would have killed him long ago.

Looking up from the ground after taking a moment to think about his knee, Will spots Kris walking up behind Avery, and though he makes eye contact with her, he says nothing, smirking when winces when he realizes she's there. Once she has announced herself he nods to her and listens but doesn't bother trying to get a word in, knowing when she has something to say she will say it. Better to wait and listen when try and interrupt her. Especially when, as it turned out, she says something on the medical front. Having her, of all people, mention something about the scar on his leg made the pain flare back up, nearly igniting the old sparks of his memory that he been trying to forget for the last few years.

By the time he came back around Kris was gone, as was Rant. Shaking his head a little he looks over at Avery and sighs, laughing a little. "Never a dull moment around this place, is there?" he asks, then looks over to the dead body. Glancing around he notices a few people staring, one of which is an odd case, a woman he'd seen around before but never spoken too before, though she seemed to avoid everyone. "Let's have a drink...let the vultures take care of this guy...I'll bury him later...come on."

As the two men enter the bar several people swarm over the dead man, looking for anything of value; money, weapons, his boots. Will ignores this, having gotten used to this a long time ago. Once inside the other members of the Bloody Lions stare at the men, but nothing is said. They understand the way things work here. If they were able to take down Tiny, they have no chance, and all his death means is more jobs for them, meaning more time to hurt people and more money to be made. Ignoring them as well, Will turns towards the barkeep, only to see him gone.

"Looks like I'll have to get those drinks. Don't worry, the guy knows me, no big deal. Just find a seat, oh and, try not to let Richard get overheated." Will says to Avery, looking over as Rant and Richard meet, "I'll be over in a minute with those drinks."

-=-=-=-=-

"My my, if it isn't Buster Casey..." Richard, the stress of the encounter obvious in his voice, and the face that he suddenly sobered up as soon as Rant entered Pavlov's Dog. He looks over at this 'Mr. Handicap' and shakes his head, "Looks like young William has fallen farther than I thought, if he's having to be saved by a fool like you. And for the record, your boys only took down twenty-nine of my men, that number which I have already replaced twice over. Next time you see me outside of these walls, I shall have your head, along with those of your men." Smirking, he drains his mug then adds, "I'll keep that mask of yours as a trophy, hanging it from my belt like an oversized key chain."

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Walking down the dusty, makeshift dirt roads of Blade City, Vex couldn’t help but wipe off his suit every five seconds. The shoes he wore didn’t help one bit, kicking up particles every step he took. Trying to drag his focus away from his suit, Vex looked around as the city began to come to life. Lights started to poor out of every building on the street, shining signs flaring, attracting the people like insects. Hard to think this civilization came about by throwing highly dangerous criminals together. With that in mind he shook his head somewhat saddened by the fact he was amongst those criminals. Everyday he thought about his highly unfortunate framing incident.

Shoving his hands into his pockets, Vex continued down the road. He was on his way to the well known drinking hole, Pavlov’s Dog. About a block away, Vex noticed a large man lying in a pool of blood, wasn’t an abnormal site, but wasn’t a pleasant one either. Finally reaching the pile of meat, he leaned over it observing the body. “Ouch, in the eye… and his side.” He whispered as he grabbed is eye filling the pain the behemoth must have felt.

Looking up he saw the lights poring out of the bar, lighting the gravel while shadows from the inside flickered across it. “Seems like its full tonight.” Vex said as he made his way to the saloon style doors of the bar. A thick cloud of smoke and a loud, hardy cheer of laughter burst through him as he walked inside. The bar was muggy, but Vex was used to it, the heavy smoke, the smell of cigar, the musky stench, it was all familiar to him. As his eyes adjusted to the light and thick “fog” he noticed a woman heading to the back of the bar where they kept the alcohol, bar snacks, cups, etc…. A turn of the head and spotted an open seat at the bar. It wasn’t the usual bartender, but Vex didn’t really care, he just wanted something to ease his worries. “Scotch on the rocks.” Vex said to the man behind the counter.

After a longer look at the man he noticed something familiar. Vex was sure he knew him in some way, probably seeing him around Leon’s place. “Yeah, he’s a friend of Leon’s.” Vex whispered, trying to convince himself. But there was something else, something about his eyes. They were piercing, looking as if they seen too much, known things they couldn’t tell anyone else. Vex’s train of thought was cut short by another loud laugh generated by some large man in the bar. Looking behind him a saw the infamous psychopath, Rant, accompanied by a burly man named Richard.

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The light, sounds, and warmth inside flooded over her again. This time it was stronger since she stood so close when it opened. The big man who made most of the food, and provided her with some of her own, stood with a harsh face and his arms across his chest. For what seemed too long a time, Nyx and he just lookd at each other. Perhaps he was sizing her up for something? She was certainly unsure why she didn't say anything. Something about the look in his eyes screamed determination and her heart started to slowly sink into her stomach. The untouched hand, covered with smooth skin and ragged clothes, lifted the bowl to him; an acknowledgement that she was finished and wished to return the dish.

It was then his plan came to light. Instead of taking it from her, he grunted, much the same way she'd done so earlier, and backed away. Nyx's mouth dropped open a little in shock. The young woman pushed the bowl back at him, her arm past the frame. A silent battle began. He shook his head and lifted a bushy eyebrow.

"Come on, man." Nyx whispered through gritted teeth. "Take the bowl." The cook laughed, shaking his head.

"I'm tired of this, woman." He waved his hand at her. "The way you live is unhealthy. I do my best to help people out when I can and you definitely need some tending to."

Nyx growled, her fingernails digging into the side of the bowl. "I didn't ask for your help."

"And yet there you stand, in the back door of my kitchen, giving me back my bowl, that was once full of my soup." Nyx bit the inside of her lip, readying to throw the bowl back in his face when something on his face changed. He didn't look indignant any longer. She saw something else there. If she'd been immature it would have been seen as pity; but she knew compassion when she saw it. At one time, in the past, Nyx used to be compassionate. Before Blade City. Before the blood.

"Just put the damn bowl in the damn sink and quit acting like a child." He walked away, trying poorly to hide what she'd seen.

It took her a lifetime. Somehow, without her really even knowing it, her feet were inside the bar. The sounds surrounded her and she dared to sneak a peak toward the swinging door that led to the bar. The cook past her without so much as a sideways glance, holding some plates and pints. His laughter rang as he greeted newcomers. Nyx felt some part of her mouth twitch up. Perhaps...

Shaking her head of misleading thoughts, Nyx made her way toward the sink and set the bowl inside. Her reflection ripple in the water that sat in it. An uneven, soapy painting of her face looked back at her and she watched as it moved back and forth in little waves. It was strange, how just a few years ago she'd been normal. She'd been happy... Carrying her leathery body back toward the back, Nyx looked out the swinging door one last time. The few men from the fight were seated at the bar. It seemed wrong that they could go on like nothing was wrong. Like a man hadn't lost his life just moments ago. Nyx dragged her leg out of the bar and slammed the door shut behind her. It seemed she was going to need to find a different place to get her once a day meals. This cook was getting to personal.

With a sigh, Nyx made her way toward the front of the bar and stood over the lifeless body that lay in the street. Grabbing his shirt, she dragged him toward the alley and laid him up against the wall. He may as well be out of the way. Finding a garbage bag, Nyx emptied it and covered him with it. The fighter moved to the opposite side of the alley and sat down, staring at the plastic silhouette she'd just created. Resting her masked face in her palm, Nyx found herself staring at him without much thought in her brain. Her mind and body were trying to recuperate. She couldn't handle all this at once anymore.

Maybe the cook was right... Maybe she needed tending to.

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"Well now, seems to me if you had the ability to do so, you would have done it already Mr. Dick. Guess I'm just too good at what I do for you to keep up, so I'll tell you what...I'm going to let you in on my next plan. Know why?" He said, then leaned in close so he could whisper the next part.

"Because you can't do shit about it"

Buster laughed a bit before settling back in his seat, lifting his mask up just enough to take a drink of his White Russian he had Will mix up, then looked back at Armstrong. "I'm sure that since Leon makes the rules, and you try to keep the peace, you're kind of tight with him, right? Ever hear of The Den? Place Leon keeps his prisoners of war...heard a lot of nasty shit about it from some of my men who defected from the lions. Killed a few because I though they were lying, but I figured out where it was, and holy hell it looks like I run that place. But the thing is, no one dies in there, they just get tossed into a cell until Leon can use them for something... and that takes all the fun out of having hostages" Buster says, taking another sip before removing his mask completely, everyone instantly looking away. Rant had been known to kill for looking at his face, and it was the only consistent thing about him. Only a few had the honor of being able to see him, and those were his enemies.

"So I'm going to bust them out and help get them back home. The political backlash in this cesspit will be delightful... You'll have your hands full trying to keep order, and I get the paradise I came here for" Rant said with a laugh, finishing his glass before tossing it at the wall to his left, shattering it on impact. "So why do you bother in here anyway? I figure a guy obsessed with order wouldn't give a damn about murderers and rapists killing each other off. Figured you'd help them along. So why take up the mantle of authority in a prison? All inmates hate the warden you know"

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Sure, everyone knew Will Silvaro. Who in this nightmare didn't? Nyx found him to be a strange fellow. Too nice at first. Too chummy. Perhaps that was his method for getting by in this city? It was crazy enough to work. Nyx could appreciate the imagination of it. She couldn't partake in its insanity, however. See, she had her own kind of insanity. The dark kind. The kind that happened once, than left a wound on you so deep that it just sat there, never healing. It's festering smell would enter in some times and she would feel sick and dizzy from it. It was times like that, the Nyx never left whatever hiding hole she'd discovered. Being "nice" wasn't something Nyx was good at anymore.

So when Will spoke to her, she instinctively snarled at him. He probably didn't see it. Even though her face was only half masked, the rest was shadowed by the cowl over her head. The fight, the unnecessary bloodshed, the cook; everything had just went wrong for her. It seemed like, anymore, she just couldn't get some peace. The ex-fighter didn't say anything because she knew he would continue on. He asked her a question, she scoffed inwardly. Of course, he kept on talking, assuming she knew him. The body that lay there had one housed a sickening soul. A black thing with not much more compassion for life than the beast that killed him. It didn't matter though. Regardless of personality or moral make-up, Nyx wouldn't throw a life away so easily. Will ceased speaking and she just watched him, making sure she always had a way out if things got stupid. Sure, everyone knew Will Silvaro, but Nyx trusted no one, regardless of reputation.

"I didn't know him." She croaked out. "Everyone deserves respect in death." For a moment, she watched as her bare hands lifted from the bloody pulp she'd left on that woman's floor. Yes... everyone. His wound was evident. Nyx had no way of helping him with it. She found herself wishing she could help him.

"You should go find that doctor." Nyx stood up, with more ease than usual. Limping toward him, she examined the blood. "It's starting to congeal, but you need a proper cleaning and bandage." The wound made her smile for a half a second. A precious memory entered her mind filled with cheering crowds and heavy blows to the jaw. The useless hand tied to her chest twitched with the memory.

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Richard was about to draw the dagger he kept hidden in his sleeve and slit Buster's throat for talking to him in such a way, but then when he mentions the Den, he lets out a small, dry laugh and settles back in his chair, listening to the masked man as he talks of what he thinks he knows, laughing inwardly to himself at how naive the man is. Or truly insane. Did he really think there was any actual order to this 'city'?

"I see you've gotten uglier since I last saw that mug of yours Buster," the man says, straightening his coat a bit and raising his hand, ordering another round as the barkeep reappears and the female doctor head over to a table. "The Den...yes, I know of that place. I know much more than you do about it, I was one of the first people to be locked in that hellhole, and the only one to have escaped and live. But someone like you wouldn't know that, would you?" When his drink arrives he asks the man to leave the bottle, downs it at once and pours himself another glass of the scotch. "You think I work with that bastard Leon and his pussycats? Then you are sorely mistaken my dear friend. I am no warden, a keeper of the peace yes, but I have no prisoners. In fact, I wish you well on your little venture! Yes, a toast to your success!"

Raising his glass he holds it for a moment, then knocks that drink back in a few gulps as well before slamming the glass back down and rising to leave.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

William smiled as Nyx finally spoke, having started to believe that she would simply sit there until he was gone or had turned his back on her. what she said about respect in death was a comfort to him, letting him know there were others at least a little like him left in the City, that he wasn't completely alone in his way of thinking. Having been looking at her, he turns to look at the body again, hands on his cane, one a bit dirty from wiping at his leg, the other dirtied from moving the man into a more dignified position. Standing there in the dark and cold he begins to contemplate how to move the body, and to where. There was a graveyard in the Guild district of the city, where anyone was free to lay the dead to rest so long as no trouble was brought because of it, but that was a good ways off.

Nyx's voice rouses him from his contemplations, and it takes him a moment to understand what she had said, but when he does eventually do so he smiles a little and faces her again.

"Thank you for your concern," he says with a nod, "I was going to go see here in a short while, but I thought I would take care of this guy before it got much later. Seems I can't do much on my own though, so this will have to do for the time being."

Before he can say anything else, he hears footsteps behind him, someone trying to be soundless but failing, at least when it came to William's hearing. Thanks to his work he could hear a bit better than the average person. Turning enough to be able to see who it is, he instinctively jumps back, nearly tripping over one of the bodies legs, and gets ready to use his cane as a weapon.

"So, meeting women in a back alley now, are we? I didn't think you'd sunken this low, not so soon at least." The voice comes from a short woman in a black skirt and top with long, long blonde hair and cold blue eyes that seem almost to gleam in the shadows, "Or is this one of the ones from when we were together?"

"Hello Alice..." William says, gritting his teeth a bit in his effort to not begin cussing her out for the wound she had given him, "Long time no see. What brings you to a little back alleyway like this?"

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Character Portrait: Buster "Rant" Casey
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"My my, proving the psychotic man wrong making you feel all smart Dick? Though you could just as easily be lying to me, but it's of no consequence to me now. This brain of mine has evolved beyond truth and fact. You'll see" He said, then snarled as Richard stood and walked away, tossing a bottle after him which shattered a few feet from his head, but the man paid him no mind.

"Seems I'm getting predictable" he said as he placed the mask back on his face, then looked up at where the bartender stood. smirking beneath his mask. "Have fun cleaning that up" he said simply before standing and taking his leave as well, punching the man closest to the door on his way out. As soon as he was in the streets again, he looked over at where Tiny had once laid and noticed he was no longer there, and it made Buster frown. Death in this place always made him smile. It was a reminder that his system worked and that the selfish always won. Compassion and respect, as far as he was concerned, were signs that a person was full of horseshit. They felt sorry not for that person, but because they had hurt, and are too weak to do anything about it so they find others who hurt in a way they recognize and help them instead. They were still selfish, but lying to themselves so they could rid themselves of the guilt. Buster could see the faint black trail of dried blood leading to a nearby alley, and decided to follow it, stopping when he heard voices. One of them sounded like Will, and one sounded like she absolutely wanted to eviscerate the poor fellow.

He liked this mystery woman already. He reached into one of his coat pockets and brought out a jagged piece of metal, flashing it in the light of the street lights and waited patiently for a few moments before a giant of a man wearing a gas mask, a dirty t-shirt and overalls ran to Rant's side, looking down at him like an obedient dog.

"Bring the doctor to Schrodinger's Cat. I'd like to get something looked at. You can scare her, but if she's hurt when she arrives, I'll do unto you ten fold what I did to your brother" Buster said as quietly as possible, which still probably gave away the fact he was eavesdropping on Will and the mystery lady, but at this point it didn't matter. The man was off and Rant stepped into the alley, making sure he stood in the light so all parties could see every motion of his body. It was as close to civility as he got with strangers, giving them fair warning if he were to take the notion to strike.

"I couldn't help but hear the tell tale signs of hostility and it was music to my ears" He said, and then realized who the girl was. "Well now, if it isn't Alice Malice. If I'd known that I'd have kept my mouth shut and just watched the fireworks. I really am a fan of your work, though I hope I don't sound like too much of a fan boy. This does present an opportunity I dared not to even dream of though" He said, and then looked at Will and Nyx.

"Are these two bothering you? I would be delighted to incapacitate them for you. Sorry Will, if you survive, I'll owe you a round at Schrodinger's Cat when I finish stealing Pavlov's supplies... Though to be honest I don't want you to survive"

-=-

The man in the gas mask needed no name for his target. There was really only one doctor of worth in this city, and his life now depended on taking her alive back to the hideout Rant liked to Schrodinger's Cat. A sort of salute to the Pavlov bar, though this was a dream of Buster Casey's, so it was certain to be much more sinister than the name would imply. Rant had even picked out a nightly event for the soon to be bar: A man goes into a wooden box and Rant rams a spike through the box, one not long enough to pierce through the box, but certainly enough to maim whatever was unable to get out of the way. Patrons then placed bets on whether the man or woman was alive or dead. The box would be red of course... the blood would be a dead give away.

The man in the gas mask, for now let's refer to him as Logan as that is technically his name, had managed to catch up to the doctor, following her on the opposite side of the street. He had taken his brother to her when Rant had made him swallow seven razor blades as punishment for failing to address him as Lord Bobo, the name he had given himself for the day. There wasn't anything she could do about the internal bleeding, but Logan always thought the bitch had lied. She'd performed miracles before...why not for his brother Charlie?

When the Doc was preparing to take the final turn to get to her street, Logan launched himself like a wild animal across the road at her, the only sound was the heavy breathing coming from the mask's filters as he ran. He ran with his arms outstretched, ready to scoop her up and drag her off into the night, as he'd done before a dozen times to people Rant had taken an interest in. Though he's never once dropped anyone back off again...