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Running from Nobody

Running from Nobody

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A girl with a lost past is hunted by a dangerous group known only as the Organization. She's found refuge in a dead end town, working as a bouncer in a bar where no one asks for names or backstories. How are they all connected? Who can you trust?

454 readers have visited Running from Nobody since AleriaVanDeLysne created it.

Introduction

It is the year 2688, and the world is naught but a nuclear wasteland. Society has begun to rebuild itself - small towns here and there - just waypoints on a wanderer's journey. Big cities are hard to come by, and are crumbling ruins run by criminals, small warlords. Technology is abundant - if you just know where to look. It is one such town, that a young woman - revealing herself only as Raven - has come to rest. Because the new world is on strings, and she intends to cut them. The puppeteer, after all, has a price on his head, one to match her own. Nothing, especially the girl with the forgotten pas that predates anything of the new world, is ever as it seems.

***

"Hi there, come here often?"

The voice came from a man standing behind the bar, polishing a crystal glass with a threadbare bar towel. The young, dark haired woman turned slightly to face him; when she spoke, her voice was guarded.

"No... Not particularly... Yourself?"

Raven knew that the last part of her sentence was completely unnecessary, but one never knew, and one could never be too careful.

"I'm here for the pickled chips," he shoots back, his seriousness not completely masking the joking hint his tone carried.

"Ah, indeed? I have yet to try them."

"You're still young. You have time."

Raven doesn't like his tone, but she shakes off the distaste with a shrug, and sits down on a barstool she pulls towards her, "Hm. Maybe I will put it on my list of things to try. What else is good here?"

The bartender stands behind the bar cleaning beer mugs in his shirt, tie, vest combo with the sleeves rolled up to above the elbows. "Lots of stuff..."

Raven leans forward, linking her fingers together and resting her chin on them. She looks thoughtful, sitting with one foot hanging off the rest, the other perched precariously as she taps her heel, making her coattail sway, the silver buttons of the dark grey military coat glinting in the dim light, "Care to enlighten me?"

He puts down a cleaned mug to dry and picks up another to clean. "We've got a good selection of wine and liquors.... and the usual assorted "bar foods"."

The young woman smirks and sits back, smoothing out the dark pants that could be seen above the tops of black leather boots "Well, if I wanted wine, I would be in France at the moment. No, better be something stronger," she taps a finger to her chin, gazing at the row of bottles, spotting what she wanted and then carefully folding her glasses and slipping them in a pocket, "Captain Morgan's spiced rum if you please. Leave the bottle."

He looks her up and down, "Shot glass or regular glass?"

"Regular glass, if you please," she fingers the brass goggles at her neck, before slipping her jacket off her shoulders to reveal a dark red shirt, black vest, dark leather bracers, as well as a dark leather holster at her leg, the silver butt of a revolver peeking out next to the utility pouch. She rolls up her sleeves and sits forward again, her coat laying on the stool next to her.

The bartender nods, "On the way..." he turns around to the liquor shelves revealing the dual chrome Berettas with pearl grips in the holsters at his back, grabbing a half full bottle off the shelf he turns back placing it in front of her, he reaches under the bar grabbing a crystal glass placing it beside the bottle, "and there you are..."

She pours herself a glass and grins, mostly to herself, "Do you often get trouble in these parts?" she takes takes a tentative sip, before downing a quarter of the glass in one swig.

The young man tugs the bottom of his black vest to straighten it out, "Why do you ask? Plan on starting a little something?"

Raven smiles serenely "Of course not. But you're carrying quite the hardware there. I was only curious. I've been told not to cause too much of an uproar this time around."

He shrugs lightly, "You never know what can happen when liquor is passed around."

"Very true." Her fingers pass over the silver medallion at her neck, sporting a skull and an odd symbol, "Well, if you happen to have any trouble.. Any one you may want to quietly... leave town... Just ask."

She pulls out a card from the utility pouch. There's no name, only an address in neat black calligraphy. She leaves the card on the bar, and continues to finish her drink, promptly pouring herself another one.

The man on the other side of the bar picks up the card and slips it into his pocket, "Well I appreciate your support stranger."

Raven grins and pulls out a silver cigarette case. "I have to make a living somehow. I heard from a...friend... this could be an interesting place to hole up for a while. I hear there could be some good work around these parts." As she pulls out her lighter, she looks up at him, "Am I allowed?"

"Well this is a town of strangers and someone always be willing to... compensate for a helping hand." He looks around the empty bar, "Well you can smoke...just don't blow it in my face."

"Despite my line of work, I do have manners," the black haired woman grins and lights her smoke, being sure to exhale over her shoulder, "And it is towns like this that I was raised. I got a...sense... for those people."

The bell hanging over the door rings. Both of them glance over to the new comer, and Raven's hand dropped discreetly to her leg.

"Don't be so jumpy..." the man admonishes, "It's just this weeks deliveries."

He jerks his head, motioning to the back behind the bar as the delivery man leads a few other workers carrying crates to the back before they all walk out again.

"I can never be too cautions. Well," she pauses and looks around, even though no one else was present, "no one in a place like this can be too careful."

He chuckles, "Well I think your safe here...nobody is in a rush to tear up the only spot with alcohol in town."

"Hm..." Raven pauses and purses her lips slightly before schooling her features into indifference once again, "Does anyone in this town even drink?"

"At night....they usually work during the day."

"Oh but how dull is that..." she looks out the window, "But dusk is beginning to fall."

"It's all farmers, mercenaries, and labour jobs round here...work doesn't end because the sun start to quit," he chuckles.

Raven grins a feral grin, revealing lengthened and sharpened canines, "Oh don't I know it. And mercenaries you say? Looks like I may be moving on. Can't work if someone already has your job," she looks at him from the corner of her eye as she puts out her cigarette.

The barman chuckles again, "Hell I'll hire you."

The woman leans forward again, pricking a thumb on her the silver tipped fangs as she leans her elbow on the bar, Oh really now? Who do you want gone?"

He raises an eyebrow, "Well nobody in particular..but I could use a new bouncer for the bar."

It was Raven's turn to chuckle this time, "I'll take it. It's something different, interesting.

The barman grins "Well consider that fine liquor you consumed to be your first months pay check."

She smirks, "Read my mind," she grins to herself.

He leans on the bar, "Would you mind placing yer' guns on the bar please?"

Raven leans forward and rests her chin in her palm, "Would you mind telling me why?"

The barman shrugs lightly, "Well my bar's guards do not carry guns. I can't allow you to carry while on duty. It'll be kept safely behind the bar."

"Any other restrictions I should know about?" she stands, but does not remove the gun from it's holster.

"Well if our customers get out of order you toss em out but you gotta keep them alive...my business is repeat business. Understand?" he asks light heartedly.

"Valid. For tonight, you keep the gun behind the bar. After that, we will see whether I keep it safe in my...lodging...or not."

As she speaks, she smiles and unholsters the .44 Magnum Smith and Wesson, emptying the five rounds she kept in it at all times before snapping it shut and spinning it to hand it to him handle first, "And yes, that is the only one I have on my person."

He takes her gun and crouches behind the bar opening a small safe with several guns inside and places hers gently among them before standing again, "Thank you."

She bows "You are quite welcome," her eyes light on the dusty piano in the corner of the bar, "Might I play? Since it seems your patrons have yet to arrive."

"Sure thing, just don't break it," he steps out from behind the bar, "Keep an eye out, I'll be doing some paperwork in my office. Shout if customers start arriving."

"Of course," she walks up to the piano, donning her coat once again.

She flips open the cover of the beautiful grand and sits at the leather seated players bench. Her feet find the pedals with ease, and her fingers rest on the ivory keys. She seems uneasy at first, but takes a deep breath and lets the first strains of music flow from the hammers and strings. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor begins to float through the bar as her fingers dance over the keys.

***

He walks to his office, and sits behind his desk organizing shipment orders and finance tracking sheets.

***

She continues to play, until she notices someone walk in the door and begin to approach the bar. He looks at her as she stops playing. She stands and calls out to the back, "You have customers, sir."

He gets up and walks out taking up position behind the bar as a few men take up seats at the bar he pours them all drinks as they push cash on the table.

She keeps to the shadows near the piano, observing silently as the patrons drink. Her new boss serves several farmer and burley laybourer gents and their wives or girlfriends through the night. He glances over at her as a group of armed men walk in and sit down at at table on the far side...the famers at the bar pay for their drinks and quickly leave. Seeing this, Raven walks up to the bar and leans on it casually, observing the men before looking to her employer, "Want me to check their weapons? Or leave them be so long as they don't cause trouble?"

The taller man gets four glasses and a bottle of whiskey, "Hold yer ground..." he walks over to them and leaves the glasses and bottles before returning to behind the bar.

"Of course," she smiles and goes back to the shadows, leaning against the wall and twirls a strand of long, near black hair around her finger.

The men drink their fill and stumble out of the bar at the end of the night, he walks over and locks the front doors before cleaning up and sitting behind the bar counting the nights earnings. His employee sits opposite him, "Do you need anything done?"

"In a rush to leave? Don't even want your cut?" he inquires while counting up the cash and the coins.

"It was an offer of help actually. But if there's nothing to be done, might I borrow a damp cloth?" she smiles kindly, "and I am not in a rush. I have nowhere to be."

He finishes counting the cash and makes a small pile sliding it to her, "There's your cut for the night," he grabs a damp cloth that was hanging over a faucet, "And here's your cloth."

Raven leaves the cash sitting on the bar and walks over to the piano, beginning to carefully wipe off all the dust from the instrument. She works swiftly, but well. When she's done, the piano seems to gleam in the dull bar light.*

He chuckles and shakes his head, loosening his tie, "So you got your own place in town I take it?"

"Perhaps," she slid her glance over to him, "Unless you're offering me a room?"

He shrugs lightly, "I got space...people come and people go."

"In which case, I would be grateful to accept," she pulls out a wad of bills, "how much do I owe you?"

He picks up the pile of cash she left on the bar, "Consider it paid for...I'll let you know when this runs out."

Raven puts her money away, "Of course," she hefts a leather rucksack over her shoulder, "I don't need much space. Wherever you can fit me that's out of the way."

He pulls out a ring full of silver keys picking out one, "Room 101, up the stairs behind the bar," he shays as he tosses the key to her.

She catches it easily and begins to walk up the stairs, "Really, thanks for this. And I almost forgot. Since I'm working for you, and living here, we should introduce ourselves yes? At least... I need something to call you."
He looks down and grins, his hair sinking forward to cover his eyes, "Call me Mr.Nobody ... everyone in this town does."

Raven looks at him curiously, "If that is what you wish," she backs up a couple steps then stops, clenching her fist at her side.

Mr. Nobody organizes the glasses and puts the bottles up on the shelf behind the bar. Raven walks back to the bar and extends her hand, "I am known by many names. For safety's sake, you may call me Raven."

He ducks beneath the bar and pops up with her revolver placing it in her hand, "Pleasure to be working with you."

Raven holsters the gun and grins, "Thank you," she extends her hand again, "and the pleasure is mine."

The barman looks at her hand then looks back at her with a smile, "I'm sure it is..." he turns and walks out from behind the bar and up the stairs

The woman raises an eyebrow, "You don't shake around here? Alright."

She follows him up the stairs, keeping an eye on the room numbers until she reached her designated chamber. Mr Nobody walks to a room marked manager and opens the multiple locks on the door, "Nobody shakes hands..." he winks at her before walking into his room.

She blinks after him and shrugs before walking into her own room. She drops her bag at the foot of her bed, hanging her coat up on a hook before unbuckling her holster, laying it by her pillow. Her leg sheaths and other blades were quickly put away before she lay back on the bed.

***a few nights later***

Mr Nobody sits in his bar at a table late at night after hours shuffling cards. Raven detaches herself from the shadows to sit across from him, "Want to play?"

He looks up, "What's your game?"

"Well Russian Roulette is my game of choice, but I'll take blackjack," she smirks slightly.

He grins giving the cards a final shuffle, "Very well," he deals out the cards, his dealers hand showing one card...the eight of clubs.

She looks at the cards she's dealt, the king of hearts, and another face down, "Hit."

He deals her a four of diamonds, "Hit or stay?"

Raven looks at her cards, "Stay."

He flips over his card showing the jack of spades, "Dealer will stick with 18...show 'em."

She flips over the four of hearts, "18 as well."

Nobody smiles, "Dealer wins."

She sighs, "Well, what do I owe you?"

Her boss shrugs non-chalantly, "I dunno."

Raven grins, "Well, I concede my defeat, but might I get a glass of whiskey?"

He collects the cards and tucks them in his white shirts chest pocket under his black suspenders, "Sure thing," he stands and walks behind the bar, the spurs on his boots clinking with his steps. Raven just looks around and chuckles to herself. Mr. Nobody picks up a half full bottle of whiskey and tosses the bottle to her, "Its on the house for playing with honor."

"I always play with honour. Lest the other guy is a swindler. Or I need the cash," she catches the bottle, "Thank you very much."

He bows slightly, "All the games run straight in my place."

"I do not doubt it," she pours herself a glass and takes a sip.

He nods, "Good."

The woman smiles and pulls a small book out of her pocket, and a bottle of ink and pen from her utility pouch. She fills up the fountain pen, quickly capping it off and putting the ink away before absentmindedly inscribing line upon line of text in the little black book. Mr. Nobody raises his eyebrows at her, but she only raises the glass to her lips again. When she catches his eye, she quirks a small smile before returning to her work. Her employer leans over the bar, "You retiring for the night anytime soon?"

The young woman looks up, "I can continue this in my room if you wish to retire. I don't sleep much."

"The light switch is behind the bar, turn them out if you come upstairs," is his only reply.

"Thank you. I will try not to be loitering around too late."

He turns and walks upstairs to his room, unlocking the door and turning on the lights as he walks in.

Raven gazes after him until he disappears from view, then looks back at her book, full of names, numbers, and sums. A phone vibrates in Raven's pocket. She frowns, and picks up the call, "Hello?" her frown deepens, "I suggest you do not call me again... No... Shut up and listen..." she sighs, "I never want to hear from you again.... No I told-... I told you I was done with your business... It wasn't just one deal... No. Goodbye.. No I don't need the money... Goodbye," she hangs up and clenches her fist before adding another name and set of numbers to her book.

***

Mr. Nobody closes his door lightly, leaving it open a crack. He hears her mumbling but brushes it off as none of his business before slipping off his suspenders and tossing his deck on his desk.

***

She growls under her breath as the phone in the bar rings this time. She picks it up and mutters into the receiver~ Hello?... How did you get this number?... I don't associate with you... Or your company... No... If you ever come to this place... No... I will make you wish you were dead.... No do you hear me?... I don't work for you. You can't order me-... Stay away.... Nein, das ist die letzte Warnung. Kommen Sie hier und du bist schlimmer als tot ist," (This is your last warning. Come here and you're worst than dead.) she hangs up angrily, and picks up her book to walk upstairs and apologize for causing a ruckus.

He unbuttons his shirt, taking off and tossing it into a hamper. Raven knocks lightly on his door. He tucks himself behind the door, opening it slightly and looking at her, "Yeah?"

She looks away slightly, "I'm sorry if I cause you trouble. And for making a ruckus just now with the phone."

The man's voice light hearted as he replies, "No worries...this place has seen a lot more than a small ruckus."

Raven's voice, on the other hand is but a soft murmur, "I hope that that is all it must see. I suppose I should warn you that trouble may be headed this way. I will handle it if it comes to that."

He opens the door revealing himself, "Come on in...I'll show you something."

She nods and brushes past him silently, standing just within the threshold. Mr. Nobody walks over to a false panel in his wall, pushes it open and walks inside.

"Does my room come with that?" she asks with a smirk as she follows him.

"Nope..." he chuckles as he turns on the light and reveals a small corridor full of guns.

His employee nods as she appraises the weapons with a quick glance, "Well you could take down a small army with these," she shrugs, "But you are but one man."

He in his turn, shrugs as well, "Helps to be prepared I think."

She nods again, "I agree. Well, I hope that we do not-" she is cut off as her phone buzzes again, incessantly.

She smiles apologetically and picks it up. The voice on the other end of the line is harsh and commanding, "Outside, mein fraulein. Now."

The woman replies through gritted teeth, "Nein."

"That is an order, Commandant"

"And I am refusing it. Unless you want a bullet through your skull... Master," the last word is said mockingly and as nothing but a hiss as she hangs up the phone.

Mr. Nobody raises and eye brow, "Wrong number?"

Raven looks at him and nods, "I will be right back. Please excuse me."

She disappears into her room where she dons black bracers and a dark cincher that appears to be made of a smooth, matte leather as well as black gloves. She straps her knives, and remaining twin pistols to her leg and walks out the front door.

Meanwhile, her boss tosses on a black shirt and takes a Draganov SVD sniper rifle off the wall, loads it, and stuffs extra mags into his pockets before going out to the roof. On the street, a man in a dark coat walks up to the woman and they meet in the middle of the street, "So where are your human shields now, Master? Did they desert you as well?" she smirks.

"Enough with the pleasantries. You will return with me, and you will resume your rightful place at my right hand."

"You mean killing whomever you wish dead?"

"What difference does it make? You were engineered, raised, programmed, as a killing machine."

"Well... You aren't wrong. Master," her grin is feral as she draws her pistol, shooting a man hidden under a porch across the street in the chest, before turning to face the men that suddenly encircled her.

On the rooftop, Mr. Nobody takes up a firing position overlooking her in the street placing the mags beside him, "What have we here...?" he quietly mutters to himself.

Raven smirks again, "Brought all of the elitist club with you huh? Well, it's about time they learned why my program was cancelled hmm?"

The mysterious man grinds his teeth together, "We implemented the chip so you would -"

"You really think I'm that stupid?" she opens her palm to reveal a small disk, "I removed it."

As she drops it, she stomps on it with her heel, pivots, and kicks the man behind her hard enough to break his collar bone and proceeds to stab him with a long dagger before confronting the next woman.

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Waypoint Town

Waypoint Town by AleriaVanDeLysne

Welcome to Waypoint Town. A dustbowl of a city filled with farmers, labourers and mercenaries.

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Character Portrait: Aleksandra "Alyx" Volkov

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Character Portrait: Aleksandra "Alyx" Volkov
Aleksandra "Alyx" Volkov

Goes by Raven, has many aliases. Currently a bouncer in a waypoint town bar. Mysterious past, hunted by the Organization. Connection to the Master. Is known to speak English and German.

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Waypoint Town

Waypoint Town by AleriaVanDeLysne

Welcome to Waypoint Town. A dustbowl of a city filled with farmers, labourers and mercenaries.

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Re: Running from Nobody

Pardon my asking, but is this a RP or a story?

Running from Nobody

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