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The Multiverse

Shady Alley

70 INK

a part of The Multiverse, by Remæus.

This dark alleyway is a haven for cutthroats and brigands. Only the desperate or the stupid venture down this way. Scattered about are several cloaked figures that linger in the shadows, going about their shady dealings. The stench of alcohol, piss and tobacco is thick in the air.

LawOfTheLand holds sovereignty over Shady Alley, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

994 readers have been here.

Setting


This dark alleyway is a haven for cutthroats and brigands. Only the desperate or the stupid venture down this way. Scattered about are several cloaked figures that linger in the shadows, going about their shady dealings. The stench of alcohol, piss and tobacco is thick in the air.

Like the rest of the Undermarket, this dark alley exists as an extra-planar entity that runs parallel to the mortal plane. It can be found underground, deep beneath Wing City. There are no streets or open skies to be found here, and neither police patrols, or access to vehicles are available.

Law enforcement is a near non-existent concept among the denizens of the Undermarket. Should trouble be found, there would be none to call for police assistance (provided you have a phone company that can provide you with service across dimensions), nor any means for police to respond. Hidden far from the view of the the city above, those who venture down into the Undermarket are on their own with nothing more than their wits and a bit of luck in this god forsaken place.

The Undermarket is beyond the reach of normal methods of access. The Undermarket can be entered via the secret entrance in the basement of Gambit's Bar, the Smuggler's Route, and a handful of other obscure points across Wing City. In addition to the established entrance points, numerous one-way exits spill out into the sewers and old catacombs of Wing City. When departing the Undermarket from one of these points there is no tangible change in one's surroundings or perception, but attempts to return the same way will be met with failure as one finds oneself lost in the catacombs and sewers of Wing City.

RP notes: The best way to describe the Undermarket is as an extra-planar entity that is lain over-top of the sewers and catacombs of Wing City with multiple points at which a crossover is possible. It is both physically present and not present at the same time. While it is possible for law enforcement to locate entrances to the Undermarket, the metaphysical nature of these entrances means they can be destroyed and new ones created to take their place should the denizens of the Undermarket discover that the police have gained access.
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Shady Alley

This dark alleyway is a haven for cutthroats and brigands. Only the desperate or the stupid venture down this way. Scattered about are several cloaked figures that linger in the shadows, going about their shady dealings. The stench of alcohol, piss and tobacco is thick in the air.

Minimap

Shady Alley is a part of The Undermarket.

30 Characters Here

Midas [25] A Golem
Eury CF7-Q076 [10] Reanimated confessor, and utility unit.
Jack Echo [3] His flesh is cold, yet makes your blood boil and heart pound...Jack's history remains a secret... maybe if you could get closer to him....
Sapphira [2] Aura the lycan god
Hale Santiago [1] New agent of the Department of Integration
WCPD Agents [1] Various agents working for the WCPD, who have not yet received full profiles.
Endwinox [1] Powerful shapeshifter with a taste for souls from all species.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midas Character Portrait: Wing City Police Character Portrait: The Hammer and Star Bratva Character Portrait: Fenrias Hallvard Character Portrait: The National Police Agency Character Portrait: Mataiya Callahan
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#, as written by Faithy
Mataiya didn’t flinch much as shots continued to be fired, noting that the unscrupulous men were not shooting towards her, but towards the other creature. At least that’s how she was going to treat the sounds until something closer to her. The Golem still wasn’t moving, which concerned her immensely, a slight frown evident upon her face. Reaching out to poke him a few more times, she shifted her gaze towards the individual who appeared to be Scottish by the nature of his accent when he finally addressed her. Shrugging a bit, she poked Midas a couple more times, huffing quite loudly.

“I don’t know if he’s okay, mister. He’s not responding to my incessant poking, which is quite concerning. Hey! Stop trying to slink away! You’re in need of medical attention as well. What caused all of this anyways…?”

Before anyone had time to say anything else, a few squad cars appeared and she couldn’t help but bare her teeth towards them. She really hated cops, but this time at least she was innocent in the scuffle. Maybe they hadn’t gotten her rap sheet yet. She could hope, right? Remaining right beside the Golem, she rolled her eyes at the cop that ordered her to show him her hands. Why were they always so bossy? She really wanted to smart off to the man, but figured that wouldn’t be a wise thing to do, especially with the injured Russian mocking the armed officer. Today wasn’t a good day to be shot due to a snarky comment. She returned her attention towards the giant rock creature, sighing.

“You’re not placing me under arrest, officer. Don’t even bother trying either. I’m not budging or anything until I know for sure this chap is going to be fine. He was attacked by those scruffy men and is completely innocent in this whole affair.”

Yeah, she didn’t see what happened, but if he was the attacker, more of the men would be squished on the ground and that just wasn’t the case. What made things even more interesting was the fact that the pieces that had been chipped appeared to be reforming themselves. Was he magic of some sort?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midas Character Portrait: The Hammer and Star Bratva Character Portrait: Fenrias Hallvard Character Portrait: The National Police Agency Character Portrait: Mataiya Callahan
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"I'll beh fine..." Fenrias waved off the officer's aid. "I clot quickly... Go check on the big guy or run down those langers that go' aweh!"

Fenrias lifted his shirt and inspected the bloody hole in his gut. The flesh quivered and flexed as the wound slowly but surely began to close. At this rate it would be completely healed within an hour. If the officer complied with Fenrias's dismissal, he would attempt to rise to his feet again.

The man eyed each of the officers and carefully noted their locations and lines of sight. When it was clear none of them were watching him, Fenrias limped towards the shadows and deeper into the alley.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Midas Character Portrait: The Hammer and Star Bratva Character Portrait: Fenrias Hallvard Character Portrait: The National Police Agency Character Portrait: Mataiya Callahan
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#, as written by Saarai
"I'll be back to check on you. Paramedics should be on the way." The officer told Fenrias, the others trying to help Midas to their feet after rounding up the injured thugs.

They'd have a lot to clean up with the few who were dead and the damage the gunshots had caused as far as windows, cars, and doors went on either side of the alley.

Sooner or later there would be that one guy blaming the police for the bullets in his tire or in his iPod containing Russian go-go music.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hammer and Star Bratva Character Portrait: Jackie Machida
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#, as written by Saarai
Vasily ran at full speed down Wing City's streets, his comrades barely able to keep up as they ran as well. The men pushed and shoved people in their path, whatever or whoever was chasing them must have been really bad.

"Come on, down this alley!" Vasily shouted to his friends, turning down into an alleyway. They sprinted halfway through, eventually slowing down and coming to a full stop. The men were panting, hunched over with their hands on their knees.

"I'm out of shape." One of them said, "Fuck." He continued. "Did we lose them?" Another asked, "Da. Those chinks are eating dust." Vasily answered.

"Aren't they supposed to know Kung Fu?" One of the men askeding jokingly, imitating some Kung Fu poses and moves. As he did this a throwing star came slamming into his neck. He dropped slowly, yet suddenly.

His comrades screamed. Of all the things in the world to kill a man, a throwing star wasn't what one usually expected. It wasn't a fear of death, it was the precision of the throwing star that alarmed the Russian gangsters the most. They were mostly street-level guys, they weren't sure if they had made an enemy they wanted.

Vasiliy directed his eyes towards the end of the alley, there stood several, mostly Asian, men and women carrying bats, pipes, machetes, and some with shotguns in hand. The people of Wing City ignored the alley, it was a blight and whatever went down there wasn't their business.

The group began to advance into the alley, light shining on them and revealing their preference for the color red.

At the opposite end of the alley came a van. More red-clad men and women armed to the teeth climbing out to meet the Russians. They advanced on them as well, effectively boxing the gangsters in.

"We'll take you all." Vasily said, "Come on, you fucking chinks!" He screamed, he and his remaining men ready for a fight. "We just want to talk." A man said, stepping out into the forefront of the group coming from the van.

He was an Asian man, unkempt hair on his head and a very rough beard on his face. The man didn't seem to be taking care of himself as he should. The only nice thing about him was the black suit he wore and the red dress shirt he wore beneath it. The man had seen better days.

"About what?" Vasily asked, "It was all just business. If you want war, we want war." He continued, "I do. We all do. But, what I really want is the man who killed my sister and I want to know where Sharashka is." The Asian man said.

"Fuck you, chink. We won't tell you a damn thing." Vasily retorted, "How about you go fu-..." A gunshot rang out before Vasily could finish speaking, a bullet hit him in the cheek and sent him dropping to the ground.

"My name is not chink, it's Jackson. Now, which one of you would like to live?" Jackson asked, still smoking revolver in hand as he addressed the remaining Russian gangsters.

"The other option is a casket."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hammer and Star Bratva Character Portrait: Jackie Machida Character Portrait: The Batman
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Following the Russians wasn't a hard feat; they weren't exactly inconspicuous. Keeping his vantage point on the rooftops, the Batman had a perfect perch from which to follow them. They were running from a group of Yakuza, who they apparently decided were good candidates for rivalry.

The Russians rounded into an alleyway, and Batman simply zoomed in on their position with the cowl. A long-range microphone would allow him to hear their conversation. They mostly made jokes about the Yakuza, relief washing over them as they had outrun their foes. However, the relief would be short-lived, as suddenly one of the men was struck dead with a throwing star to the neck.

He went down, blood seeping from his wound as his comrades turned to face their oncoming attackers. Intervening wouldn't be a very good idea. Of course, they were all just criminals, but they were all armed in a tight space; if not for his own safety, he had to think of who else would get killed.

The Russians were startled, for a moment. Then one of the men, Vasily, began to threaten and issue a challenge. "We'll take you all. Come on, you fucking chinks!" His bravado was less than admirable, and even more so foolish. One of the Yakuza stepped forward: Jackie Machida. Judging by his appearance, he didn't look so great. Of course, having lost his sister probably didn't do too much to secure stability. "We just want to talk," Machida said.

This seemed to astonish Vasily. More words were exchanged, and the two sides seemed ready to tear each other apart. "Fuck you, chink. We won't tell you a damn thing. How about you go fu-..." With that, Vasily was silent; a bullet, erupting from Michida's revolver, tore through his cheek. Blood flowed from the Russian's face as he fell.

"My name is not chink, it's Jackson. Now, which one of you would like to live? Michida took a moment to survey the remaining Russians, his revolver still ready to kill in his hand. The Russians didn't seem to be much in a position to retaliate for their fallen comrade. The other option is a casket."

Batman needed to think of a plan to break up this cavalcade of criminals before anyone else got hurt. But he couldn't risk breaking up this meeting before hearing everything he needed to...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hammer and Star Bratva Character Portrait: Jackie Machida Character Portrait: The Batman
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#, as written by Saarai
The Russians were silent, they figured they'd be killed regardless of if they spoke or not. Jackie was irritated by their silence, brown eyes surveying the men before him. One of them seemed younger than the rest, he had to about in his early 20s at the most.

"You. What's your name?" Jackson asked the younger Russian, "Nathan." The young man answered, "Nathan, I won't hurt you if you tell me what I need to know. You'll get to go on living another day if I get what I want." Jackson told Nathan.

"Don't listen to him." One of the other Russians said, "I've already killed two of your people. Those deaths mean nothing if there's no one to tell Sharashka who did it." Jackson explained.

"You can be the sole survivor." The afro-Japanese man continued, "You'll be praised for your ability to handle yourself and escape. They'll see the potential in you. You'll come out on top and there will be no one left to tell of your betrayal." Jackson said, appealing to the up-and-coming gangster's ego.

"Sometimes to get ahead you have to sacrifice. Usually it's other people you have to sacrifice."

Nathan glanced down at the concrete,seemingly weighing his options. Living to see another day was much better than the unceremonious death he was to see in a dirty alleyway otherwise.

"I don't know where Sharashka is, but the assassin, he's in Van Leugen. He's a Jew. They call him The Butcher. He's an American." Nathan told Jackson, "I'll need more than that." Jackson said to Nathan, "It's all I know. You can ask around for him." Nathan responded.

Jackson didn't say anything else, he looked over the other Russians and raised his weapon at Nathan.

"Please, no!" Nathan pleaded.

"Let the image before you be a reminder that I could have taken your life with just a little bit of pressure on a trigger and a ten pound piece of metal." Jackson said, "Leave. And, rember that you owe me your life."

"Th-thank you." Nathan didn't waste any time in running out of the alley, his former friends yelling vulgar Russian curses at him as he left.

"I need Sharashka." Jackson told the remaining men.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hammer and Star Bratva Character Portrait: Jackie Machida Character Portrait: The Batman
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He watched as the scene unfolded. Jackie's patience was being tried by the Russians, who were either scared that the Yakuza would kill them regardless if they spilled their guts or were just being defiant to the Asian man's request for information. It seemed like Jackson was getting nowhere.

That is, until he trained his sights on Nathan. He was a younger kid, too young to want to throw his life away involved in something like this. Seeing those gangsters that were barely men at all always tore at Bruce, but people made their own choices and he couldn't afford to have too much sympathy for criminals.

Probed for information, and having his options given to him Carte Blanche, Nathan folded under the pressure that came from having a gun aimed at him. Jackson wouldn't have hesitated to kill him otherwise,, but seeing as the kid spewed everything he knew, the Yakuza let him live to see tomorrow.

Names came up in the exchange: The Butcher, Van Lugen, Sharashka... It seemed this plot was a bit deeper than he'd realized. He'd heard of Van Lugen; it was a crime-infested city that rivaled even Gotham's seedy streets. However, this "Butcher" was an unfamiliar name to him. Apparently American, operating out of the City of Liars. That was all Nathan knew, all he said before running off with his tail between his legs.

Jackson trained his gun on the remaining Russians. It was unlikely they'd be as forthcoming as Nathan, and Batman feared the worst would come to them. Jumping down there in the middle of this engagement in the midst of obtaining the information he had would probably hinder a follow-up investigation in the future. As much as it hurt to say, Batman needed Jackson to help him along his way. Wherever Jackie went, he could follow. It would lighten up the workload considerably.

His gun to the other Russians, Batman sat back and waited. If gunshots erupted, he might not have a choice but to swoop in. He wasn't much of a godly man, but he prayed for Jackson's appeal to reason.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hammer and Star Bratva Character Portrait: Jackie Machida Character Portrait: The Batman
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#, as written by Saarai
The Yakuza awaited an answer, but it was clear he wouldn't get anything when the Russians began to curse at him in both English and Russian. Defiant to the end, when faced with death the Russians would rather die than betray their own. Jackson almost wanted to admit he could respect their loyalty.

But it was that same loyalty that probably prevented someone from questioning Sharashka's orders to kill Jackson and his sister for simply refusing to take part in terrorist acts and sell Elysium for the eastern gangsters.

Red Rain was the smallest gang in Wing City at the moment, their mutual ally with The Money Gang through the Soldado Sombra, their decent relations with the civilians and police force, as well as their respect for the other criminals in the city presumably the only things keeping them afloat. But, it was this display right here which really spelled out just why they were able to establish themselves with so few soldiers.

They were smart, they were experienced, and they didn't mess around. Even with his sister murdered Jackson was calm, grief-stricken, but calm. Nothing was as dangerous as a man who knew how to direct his rage in the right direction. And he had recently called in for more help from other Red Rain capos.

He could hear Sirens, someone probably called the police. It wasn't surprising, gunshots teded to travel. It would take some time for the law to actually find the alley, Jackson figured he had a little while longer to try getting what information he could. But, he needed more. He wanted more.

"Hey." Jackson called ou to his people, "Let's go. Vamos dar um. Nós vamos chegar informações dele em outro lugar." He said to them, turning to head back to the van. The other Yakuza advanced on the Russians, grabbing hold of one of them and dragging him away towards the van to toss him inside.

"What about us?" One of the remaining Russians asked, prompting Jackson to pause as he reached the van. "What about you?" Jackie asked in response, his Yakuza taking it upon themselves to execute the Russians they had no need to keep alive. Pipes were smashed into heads, machetes slammed into necks.

Anyone who survived the attacks wouldn't be alive for long without help, and if that wasn't the case they'd have to gro use to eating food as smoothies and getting sponge baths.

Jackson hopped into the van, the vehicle slowly backing out of the alley. The Yakuza began to gradually disperse, trying to blend into the crowds on the street.

Mentally Jackson prepared for war, as well as the questioning he was sure to face when the police came to the teahouse looking for information on the murders. The Hammer & Star had a long list of enemies, but Jackson was sure to be at the top.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Hammer and Star Bratva Character Portrait: Jackie Machida Character Portrait: The Batman
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That was it then.

The Yakuza moved on the Russians, executing them like common mongrels. He could have done something, could have acted. But he would have lost a valuable asset. He couldn't afford to let Jackie know he was onto him, that he was going to follow him and try to break apart whatever plans he had in store. While he could say that they were only criminals and that their deaths meant less of them, it didn't justify the killings; not like their deaths made a dent in the Russians' ranks anyway. There were many, many more of them to spread the infection of crime around this city.

He'd just have to make time to tear them apart, too...

The Yakuza were leaving the scene, the sound of sirens not too far off. Batman took this as an opportunity to make himself scarce. He already knew the whereabouts of the Red Rain, their territory at the teahouse; he even knew where a few of them lived. So not tailing them as they exited the alleyway was of no consequence.

He'd see Jackie again, in due time, before Van Lugen, even. For now, it was just a matter of considering all the angles; the motives, the methods, and so forth, until he got what he wanted. Someday, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, he would come down hard on the Red Rain.

He just needed that opening.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lia Solvent Vasiia Seret
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You're a mess, tangled in your confidence, you think you haven't sinned... She'd been swept into her music, swept away from the shitbasket of a so called "former persona." Cold white walls...
Life is a deeper sin, tattooed, into her taut ebony flesh pulled over delicate bones, a self-done job of course. She yanked her hood over her dark, heavy set amber eyes revealing within condensed pupils a greater, again...self claimed purpose. Darkness is a permanent housing situation, apparently. Those eyes hid sadness, grace. Her tall, slender physique trembled as cold, bitter winds tore at her tattered clothing. Long silvery hair swept past her shoulders, falling over her eyes.
Those eyes.
A disgrace to the Morticicant's, but what sense had a drunken father made to anyone...? Curling up in a tight ball, Lia silently prayed for someone to place a gun against her damned head, make these visions cease. Click the safety off...pull the trigger. BAM! New release, huh?
To hell with a new release.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve Winders Character Portrait: Lia Solvent Vasiia Seret
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"I wonder what'll be around here~!" The happy, curious, feminine words echoes through the alleyway, followed by the tip tap of feet skipping against the hard stone floor. Her long blue hair flowed gracefully as the woman continued on, her hands held behind her back as her blue and white dress continued on with the hair. The long sword held in it's sheath on her waist rattled quietly as it bumped up and down.

Suddenly, Eve stopped. Standing before a strange being covered in tattered clothing, a strange sight. But it's probably some drug dealer or something, this is a 'shady alley' after all. Quickly placing her index finger against her cheek, along with cocking her head slightly to the side; Eve spoke out, "Hey... Whatcha doin'~?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve Winders Character Portrait: Lia Solvent Vasiia Seret
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Lia pulled one midnight blue earbud out of her slightly pointed right ear, taking in but a brief moment of surveillance. Happy, happy, happy, written all OVER this newcomer. Happy, curious...feminine! To hell with new release and feminism.
"You're too happy for someone like me," Lia scoffed, rolling her eyes. "Now, let me sit here, wallowing in self pity." Intaking a long, bitter drag of her cigarette against her blood red lips. "Besides, running alone out here is gonna get you killed, ya know?"

Lia wanted almost nothing to do with this strange woman. "I AM just like you, a regular human being," She lied casually, with a wave of her spindly hand in the air. "What am I doing, yes? Take a guess, I'm not willing to share..."
Much.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve Winders Character Portrait: Lia Solvent Vasiia Seret
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"Hmmm~?" Eve hummed, poking more at her cheek as her deep blue eyes pointed towards the sky. She kept at it for a few moments, looking like she was thinking. Well, that was true, she was 'thinking'. However, it was more like simulating, using her superior brain power to simulate the conversation thousands of times over in order to pick out the next words. Of course, she also took her surroundings into consideration, judging the strange being's stance and actions heavily.

"Don't be silly! Life is great~!" She smiled, moving her gaze back down to the being, "No need to be all depressed when there is an adventure waiting for you!" She giggled, holding her hand to her mouth as she did so before placing her hands behind her back.
"I won't be killed anyway~. After all..." She paused as she bent forward a little toward the being, "I'm not even human."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve Winders Character Portrait: Lia Solvent Vasiia Seret
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In response, Lia blew a puff of pungent smoke into the woman's face, a broad smirk settling upon her own. "Yeah, yeah. Life is shit!" She spat, scoffing. "Life is hell." Her eyes gleamed with a hatred for possibly everything upon such a god forsaken planet. With another drag of her smoke came more coughing, more unsettling shifting of one black booted foot to another.
"Don't give me preacher's shit, girl. Won't need it, ever."

Life is great?! What kinda shithole did this idiot come from? Life is hell. And pain is heaven. "Pain is a heaven known to everyone at one point," Lia stated blankly.
Where...she swore she'd seen this girl...somewhere. "Do you know Viatoria Montrose?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve Winders Character Portrait: Lia Solvent Vasiia Seret
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Eve ignored the smoke with a big smile, a smile which seemed to widen as the woman spoke her words. It was as if she was expecting these words of hate, as if she knew what would happen. Somehow... "Your so silly~!" Eve finally spoke out, making a little twirl on one foot as she did so, "If you see things from another's eye, then you would change your view! Selfishness can make existence seem disgusting, but selflessness can make existence seem like the best thing you would ever enjoy~!"

Eve simply ignored the random crap about pain, it wasn't really much to pay attention to. This woman really doesn't know how fun life can be. With the sudden question, Eve placed her finger against her cheek again, looking up into the sky before looking back at the woman. "Hmmm~. Nope! Never heard of whoever~!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eve Winders Character Portrait: Lia Solvent Vasiia Seret Character Portrait: Dennison "Vox" Marker
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I wonder if I could really make stuff float by yelling at it... Heh.
Walking straight past where dagwood dogs were sold, Dennison began nearing the connection which marked one of the less prestigous alleyways of West City. The unequipped minor stopped suddenly, noticing some familiarities.
Sidetracked? This place...!

It was well known to Dennison. Vox had made one visit here in the past month, and it hadn't been too popular. Dennison would have simply whirled around to get back to the library, but two very contrasting voices caught his attention. He hid behind the corner, and focused on the lexicon.

"Pain is a heaven known to everyone at one point."
Christ. The voice was bitterness in a vocal extract form. The noise was poison. Vox would be disgusted.

"You're so silly~!"
Now that's just... Diabolical. This one was much more harmonious. Innocence played through her words like chords. But what was she thinking?
Shouldn't be any trouble, but I swear... Alright then.

Dennison pulled his backpack around, unzipping it and taking out some of the contents.
A black hoody. He slipped it on.
Light blue contact lens. Delicately he applied them.
A gas mask with wires. Dennison removed his earbuds and under his hood he connected the mask up with the back of his head, his ears and his mouth. *CLICK*! And it was in.
Another *CLICK* and a faint blue glow encompassed his face.

Vox was now playing.

This wasn't the time to engage, so he pulled his hood down and pretended to rest on the corner. Eyes weren't necessary, only ears. Hands in pockets, Vox looked just like another shady character waiting for something to happen.
A gang of mice ran through a gutter, sending a barrage of delicate splashes and taps to Vox's ears. He tuned the remote in his sleeve, almost cringing at the noise. Awkward timing, quick changes weren't too natural for poor Dennison. His tummy thought about rumbling. Vox looked at it and it stopped.
Not a peep. Got it?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Night Dawson
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Night dawson wakes up in the alley slowly, unsure of where he was or how he got here. As his eyes open he looks around groggily, trying to take in his surroundings. It takes a good few minutes for his vision to clear and him to observe accurately. He sees the walls of the dirty alley and the assorted rubbish that littered it, noting that he wasn't in the best of areas. He searches for any other beings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: WCPD Agents Character Portrait: Hale Santiago Character Portrait: Edward Rasleigh
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"No, please! You don't have to do this." the man pleaded. His voice trembled with the fear of his imminent death and the crippling pain born from his mangled leg. He had backed himself against the wall to try to get away from his assailant, but the darkened alley offered him no more to him in the way of space. Edward stood there, clutching a rusty pipe tightly in his right hand. He loomed over the felled man like a wolf waiting to devour its prey.

"That's funny. You were so sure of yourself just a few moments ago. So confident." said Edward as he ran a hand through his flaxen hair. "It's amazing how quickly fate can reverse one's fortune. You know, the Greeks imagined fate as an immutable force - something that not even the gods could alter."

The man groaned again, "Please just let me go, man. Look I'm sorry. I made a mistake."

Edward hated being interrupted. He took one glance at the pipe in his hand and smashed it into his other leg. Another scream. This one scared him a little a bit; sent a chill up his spine. Or maybe that was that was the thrill of him doing something that he knew was wrong. Sure, this piece of shit came after him, presumably with the intention of mugging him, but he could have left already. His would-be attacker posed no threat to him now. And yet something compelled Edward to continue on his gruesome endeavor - a desire that he couldn't quite put his finger on.

"Don't interrupt me again." he practically growled the words instead of saying them. "You know this isn't the first time this has happened to me. And guess what? I don't intend for it to be the last."

The crippled man's eyes widened in horror when he realized what he meant. This man, dressed in a clean gray suit with black spectacles, intended for someone to mug him. He had set a trap. Edward was beginning to grow tired of hearing the man's begging and pleading. It was time to put an end to this. He set his sights on the man's head and swung. One swing. Two swings. Three swings until everything north of his neck was a nauseating pile of mush on the damp ground. His heart raced at a million beats per minute as he stared at the fresh corpse laying before him. He took a moment to calm his breathing lest he faint. Then, he dropped the bloody pipe onto the ground. He had made sure to wear gloves so he wouldn't have to worry about the police picking up his fingerprints.

Edward kneeled in front of the body and stared at it for a few seconds. A small trail of saliva rolled from the corner of his mouth, much to his surprise. Drool. The body's involuntary response to the anticipation of a meal. Was he really getting hungry at a time like this? "Well, nothing wrong with indulging one's desires every now and then." Edward said to himself. So, he stepped forward, grabbed the dead man's finger, and bit it off. There was a crunching sound as his teeth closed into it -- the sound of enamel against bone. Since he preferred not damaging his pearly whites, he readjusted the position of his teeth so he could bite again. This time, he took the entire thing off.

Working his way around the bone was hard, but he managed. The taste of iron saturated his tastebuds as the man's blood filled his mouth. He ate off as much as he could chew, then he spit the rest out before taking his leave.




The Following Morning.


Hale sat at a table in the city's local diner with a plate of apple pie sitting in front of him. He took another bite when his phone rang. He chewed and swallowed what was left of it before picking it up.

"What's the news, chief? Hopefully you have something good for me."

The person on the other end informed him of a murder that had happened not too far from his location. He supposed that him being the nearest detective meant that he'd be given priority on the case. He didn't mind. It'd been a while since he worked a case anyway. Things had been slow in the DoI recently. Why? Hale never bothered speculating. It was probably just a natural thing that happened. After ending the call, he took two more bites of the apple pie. Then, he placed a few bills on the table before walking out.

A sizable group of police officers and forensic scientists gathered around the crime scene. A handful of reporters lingered just outside the perimeter of yellow tape. One of the officers walked up to Hale shortly after hemarrived.

"Detective Santiago. Good to see you."

"You too. Frank. So what've we got?"

"Vic is a twenty year old caucasian male by the name of Raymond Watkins. All the evidence points toward him dying of blunt force trauma to the head. The killer even left the murder weapon on the scene."

Hale gave a look of surprise, "Not too smart, is he?" He buried his hands into his coat pockets when a frigid breeze rolled through.

"Doesn't seem like it. Get this, though: the vic's right index finger is missing. After searching the area, we found what was left of it a few feet away. Looks like someone has been chewing on it."

Hale listened quietly as the officer relayed the relevant information of the case. After nodding to communicate that he understood, he gestured for the officer to follow as he circled the crime scene to locate each piece of evidence that had been marked. This was the third murder this month in which the victim's body was cannibalized in some manner. It seemed that they had a serial killer on their hands.

"Keep me updated, Frank. I'm off to dig up all the information I can find on the last two murders in our jurisdiction. With any luck, I'll be able to find a connection between them and our new vic. Thanks Frank."

Hale patted the officer on the shoulder before taking his leave.