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 Post Apocalyptic Wishes of the Damned (Dalliance x Zephrynus)

Discussion in 'Roleplay Execution' started by Zephyrnus, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

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    Local Time:
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    (pic for reference )

    Azrael squinted through his shaded goggles as the sun above shone brightly upon the bleached landscape. What had once been a bustling city was now a relic of a world lost to a far distant nuclear war. The decaying buildings leaned to the will of harsh winds that had brought with it a sand that tried to consume the items of steel and concrete. The dunes of smooth sands had already engulfed buildings that were short in stature but the taller buildings still resisted the living desert and cast their shadows upon the white sands. It was a sight he was used to and one that dotted the lands as of late. For those that kept moving, cities were the only thing with even the slightest bit of hope in finding supplies and weapons. His coming to this city had been out of necessity. His last run in with cannibalistic mutants had depleted his reserve ammo and caused much of his food to be lost on the roadway. Not to mention the fuel he had wasted in his beat up old truck. The rust upon the truck was just as ravenous as the sands beneath its tires but for now the contraption held together as he came to the crest of a hill and parked the vehicle.

    Taking a step out, he would pull the goggles from his eyes before replacing them with a pair of binoculars. The city seemed quiet enough but that only told him to be more cautious. The quieter the area. The more dangers that would hide within its walls. From the look he got, there was nothing really apparent upon the roads and passages that still held up within the city which would suggest things were either sleeping or moved on. He hated days like this but they had become all too common place to him. With the final decision to go, He pulled back into his truck and headed into the city.

    The utter silence from the world around him allowed the rumble of his engine to echo off the walls for the longest time before the winds above swept the sounds away. For those unaccustomed to the silence, it would be rather nerve racking but he took it as an omen of an easy day. If his truck had not stirred the demons, then there were no demons to be found. That eased his guard a bit but not enough to be able to watch his own back. He watched his reflection in the glass as he passed by buildings that still held the clear barriers and not just the shards of what it used to be. He had not seen his reflection in a while and the soiled man that returned the gaze was not the same man he had seen many months ago. This one was lined and scarred by a harsh life and an even harsher time beneath an unrelenting sun. If he found a place to do so, he would take the moment to clean up and gain some of his youth that was hidden beneath the grime.

    The outline of a mall would soon come into view as the sky scrapers parted to reveal it. The consuming sands had taken residence upon it from all sides but some windows were still left uncovered. He had a way in at least and it seemed others had been here too. He could tell by the slight fortifications about the broken windows to keep the demons of the night out and safeguard all those inside. Yet, no one had maintained it in a while. The sun and sand had chewed at the wood and metal to the point it no longer could hold under the weight and had buckled into pieces. The barb wire was rusted and broken leaving a clear path inside. The vision of death encompassed the scene as his truck rumbled up to the window before he set the brake and shut it down. It was from habit that he pulled the battery from it and placed it in a sling to carry with him. He was not going to lose his ride like he had many times before. With the battery at his back and his shotgun in his hands, Azrael took to his mission and passed into the building to salvage what was left behind.

    The scene inside did not paint a very good picture. The owners of the building had long since passed. Their skeletons littered the area and some had become undone over time. Some had been scattered by the scavenging beasts of the wastelands after their passing but any evidence of a creature still dwelling here was as old as the bones that lay there. He still kept his gun at the ready either way, not wanting to be taken for a fool. As the area grew darker, he would flip on the flash light attached to the barrel of his gun. The light was weak but effective as he walked the tile floors that were revealed from the sands inability to consume the insides of the building. As his light passed over the areas, he found that this had once been a center of a decent sized group. It was well taken care of and well furnished and each shop area was a home for those that dwelt there. It confused him what had taken them all from this life but life was unpredictable at best.

    His ventures took him deeper into the mall before he came upon a holding area of weapons, food, and trinkets. His immediate concern was to the food as he rushed over and began going through what there was and how it had stood the test of time. All of it was canned up and a sight to behold as he rummaged through it all. If this place was cursed, he would take that chance because he wanted to survive. The amount of food to be had was too much for him to carry on his own so he had to leave it for the moment until he could find a way to bring it out. As he walked the rest of the holdings, he popped open an old can of beans to snack upon as he looked over the menagerie of things. The weapons were many and he would need to plan to take those as well but his eyes would go to the treasure pile this place held. Nearby hung a lantern that he believed was there for light. He would walk over to it and pull it from its place. He held it to his ear and gave it a shake and heard the remnants of kerosene still within it. Pulling a match, he took the moment to light the lantern and give him better light than his flash light had.

    The treasure trove he had stumbled upon was no doubt pilfered from a museum nearby. The artifacts predated even this despised existence but they all held their rustic allure. He began to rummage through it to find something he liked. As he dug deeper, he began to find more golds and jewelry taken from the stores that held no value in this world. He may be able to use them as trading fodder but the value was based on the person receiving them. He cursed at the amount of unusable stuff that was piled here. He tossed what he deemed as trash aside before he came upon a very ornate object. Its sleek exterior was dotted with stones. It was in great condition if not a bit dusty. He took a moment to run his hand across it to clean it up some. Even as mesmerizing as it was, it did not peak his interest even after his time of cleaning it with his hands. he scoffed at the trinket before tossing it aside and continuing his digging.

    (@Dalliance )
     
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  2. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

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    Local Time:
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    The world had turned over onto its stomach and presented its asshole to the mercy of its conqueror’s that ravaged it until there was nothing left but the bare remnants of civilization. Stripped bare and nearly dead from the beating it took during the years since humanity diminished, Darwin’s own theory came to life under the indifferent eye of the God that turned its back on this planet a long time ago. Only the fittest survived. But at least it wasn’t complete anarchy. Throughout time, human beings had proved through their feeble existence the ability to unite in, at the very least, packs where they could follow a leader. Even at the tail end of civilization, there were still rulers among men, sparse as they were and spread out across the devastated landscape. But with the dawn of man coming to an end, those that once haunted the shadows of people’s nightmares now stepped out in broad daylight, multiplying like cockroaches in radiation now that their worst enemy were fewer and far between. Man now called them all demons; it was easier this was than to scrounge the tombs of ancient mythology to find their former names. The Bible had survived where most knowledge had not, and this simply proved to be the point of reference used to name the unexplained.


    They still came in all shapes and sizes, their power demonstrated with the sound of crunching bones as they changed their shape to be something fiercer than their human bodies had ever been, or moved at lightning fast speed in the dead of night when the world sought reprieve from the blazing sun below. They slunk through the shadows, seduced minds, took captives, broke bodies, and walked away unscathed with eerie laughter following them in their wake. And the man that trudged through the ruin of the city under the illusion of slumber had stumbled upon a nest. The stockpile of things that he sifted through was someone’s hoard, and he the intruder rifling through things he had no business with.


    The clatter of the trinket he threw across the concrete floor echoed in the room and was greeted by the muffled sound of a voice startled by the sudden noise. Feminine, it echoed back at him, a startled gasp from behind him. She was chained to the wall, left there like the stockpile of old furniture that had been moved around to obscure her from view. She had been napping on a dusty couch when he had entered what was probably once a store from the gated mouth jammed open so that a person would have to crouch underneath to get inside or use their entire brute strength to lift it up. Whatever merchandise had once been on display there was long gone, replaced by what he found now. Which, apparently, included a girl. Or what looked like a girl.


    She had rolled from the cushion when he flung the trinket, her bare feet slapping against the floor as she landed. At first, she backed herself against the plaster wall, her eyes wide as saucers where the rest of her features shifted in consternation as she regarded him. It was neither fear nor curiosity that radiated off her, but rather a mixture of contempt and a different kind of upset that he disturbed her there.


    There were shackles around both her ankles like gripping steel manacles that dug into the cream of her skin, chaffing underneath. The clothes she wore were as dirty as the rest of her, the grime from the outside world having never had the opportunity to be washed away. Stripped down to her undergarments, the female’s pale skin was almost translucent in scant lighting provided by the lamp that he had lit, though the mottled bruises that painted a brown, green, and purple picture across her skin suggested foul play in keeping her there. Furthermore, there were bandages wrapped around her forearms, seemingly cleaner than the rest of her, but not by much. Matted brown locks tumbled around her shoulders in a way that made her look like a feral thing.


    Blue eyes watched him warily for a small space of time, then her lips peeled back into a snarl. “Get out. He’ll kill you. He’s sleeping now – but get out before you wake him,” came the warning from parched lips in a voice that sounded raw.


    “Everything in here belongs to him – and he doesn’t like to share. He’s killed other snoopers like you before, don’t think you’re any better,” she added, stepping forward until the chains jerked around her ankles and she stumbled instead, nearly falling onto the floor. Blue eyes again flashed up to the man who helped himself so freely to the stockpile. There was an eerie cast to them, a kind of glow that made them inhuman.


    So. She was at least something.
     
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  3. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

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    With his attention on the stash and the food, Azrael had put himself in a position of defenselessness that he should have not allowed. His evidence from walking about had proven nothing had lived here. The dirt was smooth and undisturbed, the air was silent and stale, even the horde seemed in disrepair than being coveted. This lack of life had given him the false sense of safety which allowed her to make the progress she had. The suddenness of her voice was as if a grenade had went off within the silence of the building. It crashed through his ears and was a bit painful from his sense adjusting that his actions were more desperate than fluid. With a quick jerking movement, he turned to the woman with the shotgun in hands. He was not one to play with his ammo. He knew there was a round in the chamber and he did not need to pump the grip to seat one. His eyes would fall upon the frail creature but stayed his hand from firing a shot.

    Her words began to sink in as he viewed this chained figure from the short distance they kept. The affirmation of something having control of this hoard came from her words and placed a fear in the back of his mind that he was in the center of an ambush like many others before him. His senses began to make every sound an enemy even if their origin was innocent in nature. The pounding of his heart could be felt through his chest as the sound echoed some off the walls. His mind had not settled on how to proceed due to what he was seeing. A woman, beaten and frail, chained and restrained but her eyes glowed within the darkness with a luminescence that begged to feed itself to the unnatural. His finger itched to pull the trigger and end the threatening creature where she stood but it seemed she had no way to cause him any more harm than being a nuisance. He would keep the gun trained as his demeanor calmed and he gained his proper resolve and paranoia to know that he was not alone and to keep his guard.

    "And who is he? What the hell are you?" He said keeping a soft and relatively silent voice in the moment. If her words spoke the truth, whatever owned this small world was still asleep if he had gone this far without an incident. This could also play to his favor as well. With the master asleep, he could take advantage and put the being down before conflict could erupt. This hoard was not meant to be for one person and it did not seem he was feeding this lively treasure much of it even if she was fed at all.

    The more he looked upon her. The more he found himself wanting to wipe that look off her face with one shot. With the world eaten alive by radiation, the look in her eyes told him that she was tainted by the filth of a more dangerous age. Putting her down would be mercy than allowing her to live the short and possible painful life she would lead. Not many who were afflicted lived long lives and he had seen many die painfully from carnivorous cancers and diseases that came from it. He had almost considered himself the last true human upon the face of the Earth but that was only because his own mutations had not surfaced... yet. With his gun still ready, he awaited her answer if she chose to give him one.
     
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  4. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

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    Even with the shot gun aimed at her, the chained girl still did not show signs of fear, or even so much as a flinch in the face of imminent death by someone’s trigger happy finger. It was the life that they all lived, human or otherwise, that numbed them past the point of fear. Survival meant killing, even to the point of turning the races against each other. So the eerie glow in her gaze that danced from a cobalt blue flame to a sickly green flicker teased with gold remained focused on this man. She stayed stock still as she waited for him to calm, her attention flickering quickly across his shrouded face, noting his body language, until he seemed to ease up a fraction. She was still careful to not make any sudden movements, except to shuffle backwards a step and turn her head to peer back into the shadowy dark, where there was perhaps a back entrance into the once shop. She seemed to focus for a stretch of time, head craned like she was listening for something. Then she cocked her head back to the man standing in front of her.


    “He is one of your kind,” she stated quietly in answer to his question. “Gone mad with paranoia, and I suppose with the poison that mankind has filled the air through time. He thinks that I can create something of an oasis, just for him, where he can rule in peace.” She flashed a grin suddenly, let loose a tinkling laugh as if she found it all amusing. Maybe she did. “Then simply chained me here when I said I couldn’t, because he still says that I simply won’t. So I perform a trick, something that he does not like, so he does this to make sure that I can do nothing at all.” Here she extended her arms to draw attention to the bandages wrapped from wrist to elbow, in need of changing. What lay underneath was something only the imagination could fathom.


    By now, she had backed away until she could sit on an old carpet, rolled up near the wall. Her smile should not have been benevolent as it was when she answered his second question. She knew his fear, though, and her circumstance allowed her these small amusements. The truth was still the same: she was defenseless. He just didn’t know that for a fact. “I’m one of the things you hate so much, handsome. What did you think I was when you looked at me?”


    She let the silence stretch after that, before finally adding, “You look like you either want to kill me or turn tail and run out of here. I don’t blame you. He’ll blow your brains out on sight if he catches you in here going through his things, then I’m the one who will have to live in the stench of your rotting carcass that he won’t bother to clean up for months. It’s happened before.” Let him soak that up. “You could aim that thing lower, too, and help me get rid of these chains.”


    And why would he do that? She still lifted one bare, dirty foot up off the floor and dragged her knee up so her heel balanced into the rolled carpet, showing off the shackle around her ankle. But she had to make the pot more tempting than simply asking him to help her. He wouldn’t; he had to reason to. Most likely, it would benefit him more to shoot her on the spot, take what he could carry, and bolt back out into the open. “I can help you,” she offered, her vague incentive. She would have to wait to see if he took the bait.
     
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  5. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

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    Azrael kept his eyes and gun trained on her with every step and motion she took. There was no reason to drop his guard even if she was restrained from doing anything more than annoy him with her voice. Her eyes continued to play their games with his head with their odd coloration and the golden ring that embroidered it. There was a bit of mysticism within her eyes but with the way the world had changed, there was no shortage of similar oddities that turned out to be just as deadly. His attention became more pinpointed when her attention went to the darkness of the room she had come from and there was no shortage of panic when it came to the fact he was not in a position of power. If some one lived her like she suggested, they would know every nook and cranny of the building and he wouldn't stand a chance.

    The more she spoke of a supposed master, the more he found himself counting out what was upon him and how much it might take to make a stand. He was limited on choices since he had decided to travel light. This treasure hoard was something he desperately needed for his own survival and possible bargaining power for better weapons and tools. His mind was feuding with the proper course of action as she continued to lay out her situation. He had many options but only three stuck out at the moment; kill them both and steal the hoard, kill the master with her assistance, or take what he could carry now and leave. Each option had its own merits and its own rewards. Taking the chance to end two lives was a bit of a stretch at most since he did not know what else came with her vibrant orbs.

    "What makes you think you can help me? If I bust your chains, it will alert your owner and who is to say as soon as I do you don't take my life?" He said rather sternly still plagued by the same paranoia that all were accustomed to. The world was not a place for trust any more and there was no need to start now. Then again, it had been a while since his presence was graced by a female companion. If all things worked in his favor, some extra good could be milked from the arrangement. That thought was quickly tossed from his mind since she was a pet and was leashed for a purpose. "I think I will take my chances and continue at this alone."

    His mind had settled on taking what he could and leaving. He could always come back later for more since he would know where the stash was at. He pulled back beyond the length of her chains and would sling the gun back over his shoulder. The slight need to be quick crept into his being as he shifted to the armory for a few weapons and boxes of ammo before he took the time to begin to fill his pack with food. He had to be careful when doing so. If he made it to heavy, his chances of escape would dwindle with the weight. He also kept a sharp eye on her since any moment she could call for help from her owner.
     
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  6. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

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    If he thought the gun he aimed at her was going to shake her, he was sadly mistaken. She had already been on the brink of death; the threat of him putting a bullet through her chest, or perhaps her skull, no longer phased her. In fact, there was an eerie smile on her face as she watched hid body language war with what he was going to do. A shame his face remained hidden behind his protection from the outside world; she would have liked to see what played in his eyes, across his face. Instead, he stood strung tighter than a musical instrument of old, while she relaxed back against the wall from her perch on the rolled up rug.


    Now her eyes glittered green again in the darkness, ringed with golden fire, and her features relaxed into something more compliant. The smile on her face broadened, tracing a slight moue that delved into her upper lip as her lips pursed into a pout. It was supposed to be a seductive look, captivated by the slant of her eyes as her lashes dipped down with her lids to appeal to him. However, with her hair a tangled mess around her shoulders and her body battered enough as it was in nothing but a pair of panties and a tank top that outlined the pertness of her breasts, she was a conflict of victim and appeal. But to mention the bandages wrapped from wrist to forearm provided a distraction from the rest.


    “You want... what? Things? Resources? Or is this just a play for your survival – do you really just want a stable roof over your head, protection, food in your stomach that you don't have to fight for?” She turned her unwavering gaze away from him for a moment as she gathered her thoughts, speaking again, “I know a place. I was taken from there. So a bargain, then. You get me out of these chains, I help you get out of here in one piece. You help me find my way back home, you can have your reward of choice.”

    It was almost as if she had planned it. Almost. Except she had turned back to face him, mouth parted like she wanted to say more – possibly explain herself to the man who was making like a bandit to abandon her there. There was a look of panic crossed with the calm acceptance of someone who had already accepted their fate, when the shot was fired from the opening the stranger was currently heading back toward. It caused her to jerk up quick, her feet slapping once more on the bare floor as her attention flew to the figure who had fired. Pretty soon her back was pressed back against the wall and that over-confident expression she had been wearing dissipated on her face. A wild gleam took hold in her stare as her attention switched back and forth between the two men now in the room.

    The first was a warning shot, but the rifle that had done the shooting was notched and ready before long, aimed steadily at the head of the intruder. It was a man who held the gun, though his stocky frame was swathed from head to toe, from the heavy duty gloves on the hands that gripped the firearm, to the protective mask pulled over his head to shield him from the sun's damaging rays that now beat down on the Earth this far west from what remained of civilization. He had a hood pulled over his head on top of that, to shield the top of his head, and despite the heat he wore a duster that flapped open, revealing the vest underneath. The click of a bullet entering the chamber resounded in the room, followed up by the tension of the man's finger held against the trigger.


    Drop it,” resounded the muffled voice from behind the mask, reiterated with the shake of his head indicating the other man's stolen goods.
     
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  7. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

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    The more Azrael looked to her the more he saw the slight shifting of her demeanor to try and lure him into doing her bidding. If this had been any other situation, such an action would have definitely caused him to bend to her will but his paranoid and frantic mind kept it from doing such. With the looming thought of a master coming around the corner to shoot him between the eyes, he could not afford the luxuries of giving in to temptation that was obviously her forte. He was thankful for his resistant mind and kept to the task of packing his bags. Her words echoed around him and annoyed him some because she did not seem to want to shut it any time soon. The more she spoke, the more danger it put him in and it poked at his short temper some. When she offered her bargain, he had lost his patience some but knew better than to yell at her.

    "The only thing I want right now is to gather what I can and for you to keep your mouth shut." He said angrily as he bounced the bags he carried to see how much weight they held. With this test, he could determine how far he might be able to make it and whether or not he could stuff more inside. With his mind on alert and the lack of a master showing up, he could almost assume she was the master mind at the center of this trap. She was continually asking to be let go but that could be the action that sprung the trap. The use of a feminine piece of bait was all too common in the wastelands of the world. It would be no surprise, with how she looked, that she could be in a position of power that allowed her to continually prey upon those that crossed into her domain. His heart however played the soft roll of trying to get him to pick the shackles and cuffs and be humane for once. His mind and heart were at war over the decision.

    With her continuing to speak and distract him, he lost track of the notions of time as the first shot fired. Azrael jumped some from the sound but would listen as the bullet seemed to ricochet a bit around them. He almost expected the weakness of death to creep over him and drive him to the floor but no such thing occurred. The shot was a warning and one that should probably not be ignored. He looked to the chained woman and noticed her glance behind him to another figure in the area. The notion that some one was behind him was solidified when the man gave his command. It was gruff and raspy under the mask because the painful air of the world tended to dry out the vocal cords. He would begin to mentally kick himself knowing that he had just ended his life from his dealings with the woman but also noticed she was still very much the victim. With that in his mind, she could also be liable to aid him. If she truly wanted free, she would help play this man into a false sense of security to allow Azrael the moment to take down the man and free them both.

    Turning to the man, he saw the rifle in his hands. It was too dark to tell if he had any more than just one bullet but to still be standing after the initial shot meant that he had more than one. The gesture from the man let him know what was expected and he was in no position to deny him. With slow movements, he would shrug off the bags and give them a slight heave towards the man and allow it to land in between. This was the point where he would need to be clever if he wished to make his way out with all his gear under his control. He looked to the man and then back to the pet. This situation was dangerous on both sides of him if her affliction would demand the reward of fresh meat.

    "Don't shoot. I thought this place abandoned. The way the defenses looked. I thought this place had been lost a few days ago. It was not my intention to steal from you." He said keeping a gentle voice even though it was scratchy from how parched he was. He allowed his hands to raise to allow the look of surrender and to ease the trigger finger of the man who was aiming to kill him. There had to be a way to gain the upper hand but that little piece of information was eluding him at this point. He was almost relying on the needs of the woman behind him to get her to play at her master for her freedom.
     
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  8. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

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    Greed.

    It was always what turned the world and had always turned the world for as long as man had walked in Earth's shadow. She was older than that, she thought, though time had become a dwindling thing like the burning orb in the sky that threatened to scorch what was left of life for good. There were still places out there, she knew, that offered some solace from it all. She had come from one such place – only she had been too bold in her endeavors this time. Stolen prematurely and not by the right hand.

    How long had she been there again?


    Her eyes flinched back with the rest of her when the first shot sounded, ringing through the concrete cavern with piercing alacrity. With her back still pressed against her wall and her chain clanking with her subtle movements, her eyes darted to her intruder's face expectantly. He seemed to be trying to communicate some sort of expectation from her, but before she could fully grasp its meaning, a second shot fired behind the first one. This time sparks flew from the floor at Azrael's feet as the bullet pinged hard into the ground and ricocheted too close to hitting the man himself.


    Her Master, his name being Lucas, was not about to play games with this intruder, and certainly didn't seem like he was in the mood to negotiate whether or not the other man had a rightful cause to be there. A sharp shooter, his next shot was most likely not about to miss its mark. The rifle jerked back up from where it pointed down at the floor to aim at the other's face, the mouth underneath the mask twisting sourly. Only he didn't shoot. Not yet.

    “Angel,” came the gravelly, muffled voice. “Is this fucker telling the truth or should I blow his brains out?” His head whipped to the side as he addressed the chained girl against the wall. The shifting colors of her eyes like a pair of neon lights in the shadows continued to flick between the two until they finally settled on the stranger. “Did you fucking touch her?” The voice filled with rage now as the man took a step forward and cocked the shot gun in preparation to fire again.


    “Master, stop-- He t-t-tells the truth. He did not know. He came in here seeking shelter from a coming storm. I-I-I was quiet. He did not even know I was here,” she pleaded. “I stayed quiet. I stayed here waiting your return.” Her voice had changed, pitched higher than when she had spoken to the stranger; there was fear cast into the high notes that rung true enough to cause Lucas to lower his shot gun. Just not by much. Hate and his own version of paranoia caused his hands to shake around his weapon. Stepping closer, he kicked the looted bag to the side and even further out of reach from the stranger.

    Then he stalked past the man and straight for the woman that shuddered away from him. A gloved hand reached out to snake through her dark, tangled mane of hair. He yanked hard enough to cause her to cry out and brought the strands up to his nose, as if to breathe in her scent from inside the mask. Releasing her abruptly, he moved like he was going to turn away, but instead brought his hand back – and then forward – with a hard slap across her face. Reeling from the blow, she still shot a wide eyed stare to the stranger, her head bobbing as if to signify Lucas' now exposed back to him. Though the gesture was subtle enough that he might very well have missed it.


    “You're a fucking liar, you bitch. You called him here, didn't you--” Lucas made to turn around again, his rifle raising back up.
     
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  9. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

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    9:53 AM
    Azrael took in a sharp breath as the weapon was cocked once more. This woman would possibly be the death of him just by sheer interaction alone. He had no reason to touch the trinket this man obviously coveted more than even his other items. To think the thought of it would force this man to set a new round was even more disturbing. His mind raced to find the words to put together to hopefully stay this man's hand. The fire in his eye and the way the gun was situated to pierce a hole through him there was no doubt that the chained woman was more prisoner than accomplice. The pieces were coming together slowly until his whole thought process was shattered completely as she spoke.

    Her voice and demeanor had changed so drastically that he could not help but falter in his mind continuity. The once strong and determined voice was now wavered and fearful. Whether it was a play or she actually feared the man was uncertain. If she did fear this man, then Azrael was in for a lot more trouble than he thought. Azrael watched as this owner was now making a B line straight for him. He believed this was the hour of his demise as the man seemed ready to do anything. The sense of doom began to hover about him but it all soon faded as the man moved passed him in quick succession. Azrael was now much more confused but what he saw him do to this frail woman was something only an animal could get away with. He yanked and pulled at the woman's hair before giving a very heavy and audible slap to her face. Everything was far more complicated than it had been prior but something clicked inside Azrael that let him know that this was not his day to die.

    The utter focus this man had on his chained treasure was enough to know that any shots given at this moment would be wide and unfocused. Azrael could soon feel the blade he had stashed in his boot. He always tended to forget it was there until it was absolutely needed. This was just one of those moments. The wide eyed look of the woman was enough for him to know that he had his opening. With swift movements and a keen sense of what he needed to do, Azrael would shift and slip the blade from his ankle before charging the man that was now unguarded. With the blade firmly in his hands, he would hopefully take out this crazed man and seize the hoard that he meant to take from the beginning.
     
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  10. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

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    Lucas almost shot the charging man's face into a thousand pieces of carnage to litter the floor. The weapon was cock and the man's gloved finger was happy and settled on the trigger when he whipped back around to face this unwanted opponent that came for him. Only the reeling girl had straightened up in the nick of time, using his distraction as leverage to throw a section of her chain around his neck when her arms flung around him. The shot went wild, buried deep somewhere in the ceiling above them. He made a strangled sound as she tightened her grip around his throat until the shotgun slipped from his gloved hands and clattered to the floor so that he could scrabble at the rusted metal around his throat.


    Fabric could only protect so much – and despite the fact that Lucas was covered head to foot in protection from the brutal sun's rays and sandstorms from the outside, he still needed to breathe behind the mask that struggled to inhale more air into his lungs. The girl's green eyes shot to the man and his dagger, head whipping for him to do whatever deed he needed to do – whether it be to end his life by the blade he wielded or until he slumped from her own sneak attack. Either way, as soon as Lucas became a dead weight in her grip, she released him with a gasp and stumbled backward, the chain drug with her until she landed on the rolled up carpet that seemed to be her bed. Eyes wide, she whipped her attention away from her fallen captor and to the man who had charged, beseeching.


    “Will you free me now – or do you plan on leaving me here until he wakes, if he is not dead?” She didn't want to get close enough to find out whether the man still breathed. For now, he lay still on the floor, a mimicry of what human life now was in his garments. Eventually she might creep back over and rummage his pockets for the key that held her, but for now she remained wary and aware of what the intruder would do to her. He still had the option to leave with the loot he came here for without a second thought to the likes of her. By the expression on her face, tight lipped and almost sullen, the prismatic shifting of her eyes bright, she expected him to do just that.
     
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  11. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

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    Not wanting to waste the chance, Azrael would help finish the man off that was entangled in her chain. The knife was buried deep in the man's chest and he could feel the warm coppery liquid to spill onto his fingers as he knew it made its mark. Pulling himself away quickly, he would watch the man drop to the ground next to her. His adrenaline caused him to pant heavily as his mind rushed to keep up and take in all that happened. His eyes darted for a few moments before her words began to echo about him. Looking to her a bit untrusting, he found no reason to even think about letting her go.

    As his mind began to calm, he found himself scowling a bit at her words and turned from her to continue his looting and let her contend with the freeing of herself. After a few momentary steps, his conscience began to bite at him and it was nagging him about the situation. This woman had been tormented and he was leaving her to further torment by leaving her alone to her own devices. That was a much crueler fate if the many marauding groups got their hands on her. With his mind and heart now swayed, he turned back to her and came back to the the dead visage of her former owner. Rummaging through his pocket, he would murmur and curse himself for the actions he was taking as he emptied the man's pockets of everything. He found a lot of value in that man's pockets but he soon found the key and stood to look at her.

    "A few conditions... You pull your weight and keep up or you get left behind. When you find a place safe enough and wish to go your own way, take it and never look back." He said bluntly and sternly as he glared at her. The shine in her eyes still ate at his head and thoughts but he could not leave her there after she had saved his life. Taking her wrists a bit roughly, he would make sure the chains were busted loose and tossed away before he took the chance to turn his back on her to go back to looting. This whole hoarde was now his for the taking and his truck would easily be able to take on such a treasure trove.
     
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  12. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

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    It wouldn’t be long now before the man would grow cold on the ground, his blood congealing. He would stink up the place fast once his flesh started to rot. She watched the stranger return to his looting once her former Master’s blood seeped through the dirty garments that she wore, staining what was once off white a bright crimson that would eventually fade to dirty rust and harden. With shaking limbs, she cast her iridescent gaze back down to the masked face turned up to the ceiling and moved to crouch down next to him, her own hands pawing shakily through his pockets to attempt to find the key to her freedom. She didn’t expect this man to assist her in any other capacity than what he had already done. And even though she felt elevated that he chains would no longer weigh her down, she still felt that heavy weight that she would still have a long way to go before she was back home.


    Talin was different than he was. Not human. Dirty blood – a half breed. Thanks to the bandages wrapped around her forearms, stained and dirty, that hid a bigger secret, she was still no better than the human man that plucked rummaged himself for the key hidden in the folds of clothing to unlock the manacles around her wrists. She finished the job herself with those that bound her ankles. It was her eyes that betrayed her heritage in the world. They lifted back up to his face surprised when he released her like that – even spoke – and swallowed hard the dry lump in her throat and studied him in wide eyed disbelief. At first, she didn’t say anything, simply stumbled back once the weight was gone, away from the dead man on the ground, and stepped for the first time in – what? Years? – further into the room, her bare feet slapping on concrete as they met freedom, even though it was only a few feet away from where she had been. She stifled the choked sound of gratitude and licked her cracked lips as she turned back around to face him, bewildered.


    Her shaky nod was all she could give at the moment. Stumbling back forward and forgetting the consequences of touching this man, she let her body collide against his and wound her arms fast but loose around his waist in an embrace. “Thank you,” she muttered brokenly in a rasping voice.


    He wouldn’t have to worry about her invading his space for longer than that moment, because she stepped back fast to observe the horde he was now gathering in his arms. She had always been resourceful and she knew she could not step back into the desert like she was. Dreading it, she stepped back over to the dead man on the ground and crouched down again to strip him of his garments. They were going to be way too big for her, but having some protection was better than what she had on now. No matter that the coat was stained with blood and the shirt underneath was ruined from the bloody wound in his chest. She took the coast, the gloves, the boots, and the vest underneath and slipped it over her slighter frame until it was cloth that weighed her down instead of the chains. Once she had covered herself more thoroughly, she stepped up alongside him and started rummaging herself. Lucas had a trove of weaponry at his disposal. What she hadn’t taken off his person she now stepped to the back where the rest of his stash was hidden.


    “There’s some out there that aren’t going to like that Lucas is dead. I need you to pretend to be him. Or at least take his markers so that you won’t be killed on the spot. There are those that already know that I am—was—his—“ She shot a look over her shoulder to this stranger. “So I’m yours now. If you mark me as yours, no one else is going to touch me. We can use his markers to have a place to stay and clean up at different check points out there. With what we have here, we shouldn’t have to scavenge anywhere…” She trailed off, voice wavering. “If you take me to Estelle De La Nuit, you will be heavily compensated. Whatever you want will be yours.”


    She picked up a shot gun, a pair of pistols, and what looked like a sword and walked them all back over to him from the stash in the back. The bladed weapon and one of the pistols she kept for herself as well as the gun that Lucas had used to shoot inside the room. “You can call me Talin, stranger.”
     
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  13. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

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    Azrael was a bit taken back by her sudden gratitude for being released. It was not often that he was thanked for his actions and it was a bit unnerving. That feeling would fade as she let him go and he went back to filling up his bags. He took his time this round since he would have time to venture back and forth to gather it all. His attention did not go to her unless she spoke. She was giving him a warning that he was used to. What little human life was still on the earth, it was easy to know that any one was a big impact on a region. This man was obviously very well off which made him that much more of a figure in the world. Her words were compelling but there was one problem.

    "I don't mark any one." He said rather bluntly in his cold tone. He had been down that road many times and it was never enough to keep things from going wrong. To mark some one was to make them a part of your life and he did not need another person linked to him in any way shape or form. It was a distraction and hindrance that would cause him to question his actions for the betterment of two instead of the survival of himself. Yet, taking her on under the pretense of being her former owner was in his best interest. If his influence and privilege was as far reaching as she said, he would get a pass through many of the check points that liked to shake him down for his supplies. "I will take on his markings for the time being and help you back to your home. You will have to lead the way. I have not been to Estelle De La Nuit. In all of my travels, that is not a place that sticks out in my memory."

    Looking to her as she brought the weapons over, he was about to flinch if she did not give off a non threatening tone. He let his guard relax even if she was armed. He continued his work on gathering the material before addressing her greeting. Gently pulling the goggles from his face, he would let slip the scarf that covered his face in that moment. If they were going to trust each other, she needed a way to recognize him. His blue eyes would look over her features without the hindrance of his shades. He was well kept and shaved which made upkeep that much more doable in this hostile world. "You can call me, Azrael when its safe to do so. For now, lets finish packing up the truck so we can get as far from this place as possible."

    With that, his attention went back to the pillaging of the stores. Much of what he focused on was the food and water which was a hot commodity in the world. After that was packed and put away, he would sort through the weapons and ammo to only take what was absolutely necessary. Some believed the bigger the gun, the better but it was not true to him. He was able to take advantage of the smaller weapons and focus on the ammo for them all. The last thing he touched was the money that he would need from the stockpile of treasure. It was tempting to try and take it all but he just did not have the means to do so. It was a lot of help having an extra pair of hands to help him carry items out to his vehicle even if her attempts were a bit weaker from her time locked up.

    Once everything was taken and accounted for, Azrael took a moment to get her situated into the passenger seat before he took the moment to replace the battery into his vehicle. It was a bit of a process with how he had to fix up the machine to keep it from requiring gasoline that was absolutely non existent any more. It was a bit of a struggle but one that was rewarded with the machine roaring to life when its heart was restored. Slamming down the hood, he took the moment to check the stock before hopping into the driver's seat. He cranked at the locks before everything came free to operate the vehicle as the tires began to spin and push them away from this place. He would replace his goggles and scarf as they made their way since the dust upon the earth was easily kicked up with any disturbance.

    "So which way are we headed?" He asked gently as they rumbled out of the decrepit sky rise of the city. The wide open expanse of desert was easy to see as they rolled through the dust covered landscape. Without the breaks in the land from buildings, trees and any other objects, the distance any one could see was enhanced until a hill or mound broke the horizon. His eyes kept focused and forward as he awaited her answer to their direction.
     
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  14. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

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    She missed the life in the world…


    Before the sun became glaringly bright in the sky and dried up most of the ocean, the lakes, the rivers, even the snow caps on the mountains. She missed the fresh air, not the rancid winds that blew sand in their faces as they took their new stock of supplies beyond the dark confines of the building they and she had been locked away inside. She even hesitated when the door was pried open from the inside, her weight shifting and the bag she had loaded full of the stockpile of weaponry, food, and even medicine that the dead man had kept in his own private room that had once been a store. A change of clean clothes, while too large for her, she also stowed away in the bag for later.


    Weakness showed in the way she moved. There was a tremor in her hands, a delicacy in the way she hefted the weight of the bag over her shoulder. She seemed to stagger rather than walk alongside him through the echoing twists of linoleum under their feet. However, even though her face was drawn with strain and her jaw was set stubbornly, she had a look of determination in her stare as she peered forward, keeping her attention away from the man that had just freed her from the dead man’s clutches. He was left there to turn cold, his sights turned blankly to the ceiling to be pecked out by the rats that made their nests in the walls. She lacked any sympathy for that particular dead; let him rot in his cave. She wasn’t ever going to come back to it.


    She waited to speak again until she had hauled herself up into the passenger side’s seat, the bag she carried hoisted up onto her lap and held there by the circle of her arms. The strange iridescent mix of techno color watched him from behind the dirty streaked windshield that separated the two while he worked at starting the vehicle again and didn’t waver away until he had pulled himself behind the wheel next to her. Curiosity infused her features now that she was settled. Before he pushed his goggles back down over his eyes and lifted the scarf back up to cover the curve of his mouth, she shifted her pack and removed the dead man’s gloves on her hands. Her fingertips were shockingly cold when they touched the bare skin of his face. “How do you shave?”


    She pulled her hand away straight after the curious touch of her fingers that brushed across his jaw so that she could cling to her stolen belongings and huddle back in the seat, but her eyes remained wide on his face when he hid it again to turn his focus to the long road ahead of him. “I don’t want you to mark me,” she did finally retort indignantly. After all, she had only just been turned free from a life living in the shadows with a mad man. She almost shuddered thinking about her time in that building. She did shake her head and jerk her head away, chin up as she stared out the window. “But you should know as well as any that females, unless they exhibit the same kind of muster as men, either need to seek protection from someone, join a Sanctuary, or else be a slave to whatever group or man might claim them..”


    By the hitch of her voice, the girl calling herself Talin was ashamed of all these prospects. Absently, she pulled her arms in front of her where the stained bandages wrapped around her forearms were in her line of sight. Her focus turned to them, thinking, then she spoke again with more confidence. “I can shoot a weapon. I also have connections, but not around here. Like I said, I need you to pretend for a night at least that you are Lucas and I am still yours if for only the sake of a bath and a hot meal. After that, we head west. Far west – Estelle de la Nuit is a Sanctuary of sorts and I belong to them there. For returning me home, you will be very well rewarded, Azrael the Loner. For now we go straight – up this road there is a town. Show one of Lucas’ markers to the guards there and they will let you inside. Three more markers of his will buy you a room, a bath, a meal. You will look suspicious if you buy these things for me as well, since we are expected to share. Only those who spoil their claims buy extra; markers are hard enough to come by, so buying more than what is needed is frowned on unless you are very rich.” She grinned a little bit – a sour one that twisted her lips. “Lucas was not that rich, nor does he prefer to spoil.” Pausing, she glanced over at him from beneath her lashes. “Where do you come from?"
     
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  15. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

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    Azrael felt her hand against his face and was confused by her actions. Whether she was actually intrigued or not by the way he took care of himself was not fully known but he did notice the wonder in those multicolored eyes that he would have thought would have been taken away from her. The chill of her fingers told him the cruel tale of her time in the darkness. The slight bight from that chill almost seemed to beg for warmth but he was not about to give her that much. He had crossed too many women of her caliber in the world and not a single one had good intentions for those they hooked themselves to. She talked about how cruel men were but the women were far more sadistic when it came to their own survival. He had many scars as a reminder of such times. He did not feel it necessary to break her of her curiosity and just kept silent instead of answering her question.

    He listened to her tale and the plan that was intended to at least get them beyond the barrier of this Lucas' world. This was his first encounter with a powerful figure and he was almost resentful for how easily the man was taken down. True, he did not act alone but Azrael found it a bit lack luster in its execution. There were many tales of those that held power and it led many to believe that these men and women could be quite a handful. The world, as it was, made liars out of all with time. His hand would go to the lever that controlled the transmission. With ease, he was able to push them to a higher gear that they could cruise with on their journey. The more she spoke about how things worked. The more he was able to imagine what to do. This would mean a certain demeanor was needed but he would wait for instruction before he acted out on his own. When she spoke his name that was tied to a title, he grinned beneath the scarf as the lines around his eyes crinkled some as evidence of his amusement.

    "Azrael the Loner. I might just have to procure that for the next time some one asks for my name." He said as he thought over her question some. It was a difficult question to answer. Being nomadic was something of necessity and he had several small sanctuaries that he called home depending on the situation. Glancing to her a moment, he would keep his mind preoccupied with her question a moment longer before answering. "As your title suggests, I do not rightly have a point where I belong. I have many small hideaways within the desert of the new world but none of them I call home. Having a home means you are a part of whatever group of sanctum that owns it. I am not owned by any one. I am, however, more native to the eastern shores if that helps any."

    His hands would grasp firmly to the wheel as the road got a bit turbulent in that moment. The rough surface would try and yank the wheel from his hands but he had the strength to keep it from doing so. Shifting their trail off the beaten path a bit, he would find a section of land that would smooth out their ride. The settlement she spoke of was at least fifty miles and as he checked the sun, it was beginning to get low in the sky. The one rule of this cursed world was to never be outside during the night. There were all manners of creatures and mutants that roamed at that time that it was never a good idea to be out and about. Reaching back into one of his satchels, he would rummage for the currency she spoke of to have it up front and ready. He was able to pull one at a time and for a few moments it would have seemed that he only had enough for the gate and a room before his hand found the rest. The system of money these people used was different but not all too dissimilar than the rest.

    "Tell me more about your former owner. What were his quirks and actions that I would need to pick up on? You talk about his callousness but not his actions. If I am to treat you properly, I need to know what is expected." Azrael said as he found a stretch of road that was clear and open. This allowed him more time to look to her and possibly gain some knowledge of her treatment by any bruising or marks that were upon her. The over sized clothing hid most of it but his attention did go to her bandaged arms. He did not believe it all was from being chained to the floor and he hoped there wasn't an action that would require him to add more to that collection she was probably hiding beneath.
     
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  16. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

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    Lucas had been dumb luck in every way, for his way had been to cheat his way into the position that he was in. His wealth was stolen; his methods were a cowards'. For all he made himself appear to have been a dangerous man, the danger came from his own greed. But greed tended to make men stupid. Coveting petty things for his own pleasure had blinded him to the real dangers of the world. This little section of the world his only domain. Talin had seen the truly scary things that went bump in the night. Entire cities had turned into nests for creatures that sucked blood while the night clung to the Earth for longer bouts of time. She had seen demons create a hierarchy of their own kind out of several metropolis around the world, where humanity became their slaves in every way. There were covens that found unwilling sacrifices, slitting their throats so that their blood spilled into the dust under the sickly light of the moon in an attempt to summon something more foul than that which devastated the world to begin with. There was evil in the world. And she was no longer able to defend herself against it in more unusual ways. Like any man, like he, she was now left to her own devices. And look where that had landed her – straight into a den of a madman.


    Shame struck her in that moment, causing her to curl back into the passenger side seat of the car, her odd gaze drifting to peer out the dust streaked window at the scene that stretched in front of them. Out here, there was little signs of life. It was why everything that was living was shielded away from the elements in hunkered down areas. Her heart twisted in her chest as she realized just how far away she was from the place she had called home.


    “You ought to know, Azrael the Loner, that the entire world is not as desolate as this. What brings you so far out into nothingness? Why not find a city to hunker down in and live your life? Why do you wander and scrimmage for other men's things like a scavenger out here in the real wasteland? This where the brigands are; I know there are havens safe for humans; I've been there. Just like there are havens safe for...” She glanced his way, eyes luminous on a heart shaped face. “People like me.”


    Pain scrunched her features. Or maybe it was only regret as she met the blue eyes of the man who raced down the road to the settlement that would at least provide them with some means of shelter, even if the town itself was seedy and prone to its own laws, if there were any. “Keep to yourself and you should be fine. Take my lead, if you must. I am a female here and females--” She shot him a grimacing grin and slunk deeper into the seat. “We are like pets, property. If you are female, you must either be able to fend off the advances of men or you find one to protect you. Against too many men, even the toughest don't stand much of a chance unless you're... different. Not human.” There was still that grimace on her face, tinged with the irony of her situation. “I wouldn't fear me, Azrael the Longer. I'm just as weak as the rest of you now.”


    With those words, she began to unwind the bandages around her forearms with trembling fingers. Bit by bit, reddened skin was revealed underneath the stained tatters. The smell of infection wafted from the newly exposed skin – but it was quickly gone. She was not as bad off as she feared, even though the markings scathed into the insides of her arms were inflamed. As the air hit her bare skin, the injuries pulsed with new pain. They were burns, carefully etched into place, in a language ancient and long forgotten. To any who knew better, it was a binding spell. Her evil was staying inside; the girl with the strange eyes was human except for her eccentricities. She could no longer feel the burn of power underneath her skin and had no idea if it was bound to return with the passing of time.


    Biting her lower lip, she lowered her arms down to her lap and shot another glance his way, this one tinged with fear. “They have medicine at this town.”


    The statement was just that, but the question was unspoken between them. It was there in the widening of her eyes, the uncertain cast of her head. As he had said before, he owed her nothing and she would need to fend for herself. It was his choice as to whether he used her former captor's tokens to help her any more than he had or not.

    “If you must know about Lucas, he was a boisterous man. Possessive of what was his. But at the same time, he was a man who kept to himself for fear that someone might take what was his as well. As for what to expect here, we will be expected to stay together.” The stilted end to that remark said it all. The implication was that they would share a room at the very least.
     
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  17. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

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    Listening to her words, Azrael painted the picture she set forth on what he was expected of. She revealed the world and its underbelly and there were some things that were new to him but the rest was basic lore of the world about him. His attention went to a pack of hounds in the distance. Their skin was thick and scaly and the fur they once wore had long since fallen out. The mutations had made them ravenous and their jaws massive to take the place of the mighty crocs that used to own the swamplands. These were the owners of the desert wastelands and if you were caught by them, they would not let you walk away. One juvenile would test his luck to attack their vehicle and only ended up being a bump in the road when his head crushed against the metal panel and his body became fodder for the tires. Azrael would almost smile if he did not find it sad at the same time. That was one predator down and many more to go.

    "that life has run its course. I was taught early on that movement keeps you alive and it has been proven time and time again." He said as he shifted in his seat to get more comfortable. the padding in his seat needed fixing because the rails in the seat bit at him viciously. He grumbled a bit as he moved before continuing his words. " For the last twenty years, I have passed many settlements and have found one thing. The bigger bads of this world wait for them to gather before striking. Every year, I watch a settlement grow and fall just to start the cycle again. Groups of people cause problems. Every one wants to control the world and those that resist are destroyed. Like you also said, there are those that feed on the weak and settlements are just self constructed corrals for the cattle to be cornered."

    "As for why come this far, I don't know. I felt a need for a change of scenery." He said honestly as he glanced over as she pulled her bandages apart. The look of them was sickening and painful to see as the vibrant color and pain the wounds showed let him know she was suffering more than he knew. He would take a moment to reach behind them and gather a few jugs of water. They were going to be in a settlement and that would be where they could fill them again. He would set them next to her to let her use as she felt he need to. "Use these to clean that up. Might help stave off the worst if it hasn't spread into your veins yet and entered your blood stream."

    The description of this Lucas guy would help him in the ability to blend if he kept silent and focused on one thing, himself. That would be easier for him to accomplish with the way he conducted his life but there was probably more to it. His mind woud run over the thoughts as he looked to the horizon and watched as the sun began to trek behind the features of the wasteland. Flipping on his lights, he would keep their visibility as much as possible if they did not reach their destination by night fall. He did not believe that the case but if they didn't, there would be hell to pay.

    "Now I see why your master kept you in chains... you two were always alone..." he said still untrusting of her position. She may have admitted to weakness but he would need rest and that made him vulnerable to anything she brought to harm him. He knew it was wrong to think that way but she was not human in any way and he still did not know what sustained her. For all he knew, she was a blood drinker or cannibal. Both made his skin crawl if he thought on it too much. his attention soon stayed ahead as the outline of a settlement began to come into view within the dust blown land.
     
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  18. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

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    10:53 AM
    She didn't blame him for not trusting her. She knew as well as any just how brutal this world had become. The rules were made up as quickly as time went by and they changed with every storm that passed in the sky. There were no more great leaders in the world, only those that rose up from nothing to take control. Some of these – they were good, their intentions pure, meant to make the best instead of simply conquering the world around them. Then there were those that reverted back to their primal states; those were the ones to fear more than anything. Talin had come from a place far from this dessert wasteland, where water still flowed unpolluted by the dust that choked the air out here. The city where she had called home for an entire lifetime had become a true Sanctuary of sorts. Now, she was not so sure. She had been sent out from it to find promise elsewhere.


    Tilting her head, she regarded again the man who turned his eyes toward the road. Her mouth opened like she was about to respond more to him, but the hard thump and pained yelp of the beast that hit the front of the jump had her reeling forward to catch herself on the dash. Azrael didn't even flinch as the other beasts swarmed from their view from the truck's mirrors around their dead, distracted now from their fruitless hunt now that the blood of one of their own was smeared across the road. They circled like hungry vultures then pounced, burying their muzzles into the freshly dead flesh of their pack mate to cannibalize what had been left for them. Talin leaned to the side to watch them for a while, then settled back into her seat, finally reaching up to strap herself in with the buckle she hadn't bothered with.


    Her iridescent stare that unnerved him so much did eventually turn back to the man that seemed unphased by the grizzly scene and kept driving nonchalantly. She imagined that he was a man who had seen far worse, especially listening to how he spoke about other settlements. Her curiosity was already peaking by the time he reached around the procure the jug. She took it and its contents in shaking hands, dribbled some of its contents carefully on one arm. She winced as soon as the water made contact with the injury and stifled the pained protest by hooking her teeth in her lower lip. Shaking her head, she held the container between her thighs and shook her head. She could wait until they were in civilization's reach before she took care of bandaging herself back up.


    “How old are you?” Twenty years was a long time to be on his own. Behind the scarf that covered his face, he had seemed young; mature but young still. Handsome in a rugged way for someone who was just a man. She paused after the question, letting her thought gather in a spinning circle in her mind. Her attention turned out the window to watch the dusk settle. It wasn't until the flicker of lights over the horizon came into view that she sat up a little straighter in the truck's seat in nervous anticipation. “I know you don't trust me now, Azrael, but I'm going to need you to at least trust me here. I'm not so foolish as to think that you would simply give me your trust when trust has always been something that is best earned. Or at least proven.” She paused for a moment before adding in a stilted voice, “Don't call him my master. Past or present.”


    Sooner than it appeared so far away on the beaten down road, the town rose up as if rising from the dust before their eyes. What once had been a modest sized city had been transformed into a barricaded province for those that could afford to reap the benefits inside. Shelter, running water, hot meals – though often times the residents didn't question where the meat came from and didn't complain that the stunted vegetables served with it didn't taste quite right, or the bread had an after taste of dirt. It was also the home of a rough, seedy bunch of mankind; they enjoyed the gamble here. The betting, the games, the raunchy ownership of living on the fringes and outside the larger provinces scattered through the world. Here, it was every man to himself. Or the occasional woman. Inside the fortified walls that surrounded it, built up many years ago to protect those inside from the wild things and the storms from the outside, there was a sprawling of buildings of various businesses and homes of the people inside. Trade was either done by straight bartering or by the token she had given him that belonged to the former Marcus.

    As they rode up to the gate manned by a pair of men covered head to foot in a motley of armor and protection against the winds that were starting to pick up as the day changed into night. Protected inside what had formerly been a toll booth of some sort, a pair of dark eyes peered, bored, inside the truck as it rolled up to the gate while the second man flagged them to stop with his machine gun that he waved at them.

    “Name, business, pleasure, or resident, and your toll,” he grunted at Azrael.
     
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  19. Zephyrnus

    Zephyrnus Denizen of Creation Member

    Messages:
    142
    Local Time:
    9:53 AM
    "At this point... I hardly remember. Days are all mashed together and seasons have dried up. I cannot even guess that answer..." Azrael said as he pulled a hand from the wheel to scratch his head a moment before rubbing at his brow a bit as his mind began to try and play through his life to find any indications of his age. He had never thought about or even kept track since he was on his own. The thought of a birthday was now foreign to him since the existence of one life was so insignificant in this desolated world. If you passed, that was just one last creature needing sustaining in this world.

    "Oh I am sorry your highness. I did not realize that you had everything under control back their in your heavy iron jewelry." He mocked not liking her tone. he had no reason to call the man anything else since ownership in this world was defined as such. If you were not the master, you were the slave and from what he saw, she was not the master. The slight irritation on his face would fade slowly as the lights of the settlement began to shine and illuminate them in their seats. He knew he had to now act and it was even more affirmed when he caught the outfits of the guards out front. The armor was covering but it was marked with the same symbols and markings of patrols he had crossed many times before. These were not people he wished to deal with but he needed refuge for the night.

    "I need a place for the night..." He said keeping his response simple and to the point. Looking to Talin, he would gather what he needed to pay his way and flip it out to the guard who seemed ready for it as it happened. There was no shortage of suspicion in that moment as he had refused to answer the questions at hand. All he had affirmed was the need for a room and nothing more. The man on the driver's side would shine his light upon the payment in his hands to verify the markings before he turned the light on the vehicle. It was hard to see the look on the guard's face as the light bathed them completely as they searched the vehicle. The feeling of unease was heavy as the man got closer to inspect more.

    The guard would reach in and pull the scarf from Azrael's face. There was no immediate recognition but there was also no sign that he knew what the owner of the mark looked like. The guard took his time to look around him and saw the woman in the seat next to the driver. It was a bit of an examination but there was some sort of recollection of her in this moment. She was a bit cleaner and cared for but her look was unmistakable. The guard went back to the coinage and would examine it once more before walking back into his shed. He picked up a lan line that was situated inside and would call those inside about their visitor. It was a long moment that almost caused Azrael to panic with the way the moment was happening. He kept his hands on the wheel as he should to keep from drawing any unwanted attention from the barrel of a gun. the long moment would soon be rewarded as the steel panels of the gate began to creek open as the dust and dirt rained from it as it jerked a bit.

    "Your usual accomodations are available. You will be out a few hours after first light." the guard said as he stepped back to wave them on. Azrael felt a wave of relief as they were able to continue and passed the gate into the cesspool of a decaying and greedy world. The streets were packed with people and his driving would be taken slow as the people only parted when they felt they wanted to. The lights and signs of the gambling dens and prostitution pubs were lit up like christmas as the people their fed off of this demeaning world. It was one of the biggest reasons he kept away from these places. If you stayed to long, you became a part of the spiral into hell that they all had become accustomed to.

    "Tell me where to go... I do not know this world..." Azrael said as he looked to her to let her know that she was his navigator. He was not wanting any more delays. The sooner they got to the room the sooner they could hide away under the cover of a dead man's mark. His eyes would go back to the road as he had to slam on the brakes a bit because a drunken idiot fell into the road way.
     
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  20. Dalliance

    Dalliance Snack Fiend Member

    Messages:
    983
    Local Time:
    10:53 AM
    Instinctively she knew that he couldn’t be all that old. Mortal men did not live to be past a certain age in their new land. And she had seen his eyes, a glimpse of his face, and determined that youth still had him in its grasp. But the handsome face under the grime of the world wasn’t enough to wipe the bitter expression that popped up on her face as soon as his comment hit the stale air of his truck. Her cheeks flushed red with his accusation and her dark head whipped around so she could bore the full intensity of her stare at his face. For a moment, the air crackled with the static of her true nature. The radio, which no doubt had been long dead, crackled to life so whisper white noise at them before abruptly shutting off again.


    “I am no slave,” she snapped at him, chin jutting up as her stare turned to a glare that she soon whipped around to focus it out the window. “You may have saved my life, but I don't belong to anyone. You'll see the true meaning of that word where we're going, Azrael the Loner. There are those girls who really are unfortunate enough to be helpless with no where to turn except to something more powerful than them for protection. I am not one of these girls,” she correctly him, even if it was for the sake of being stubborn. She still refused to look back at him as they rolled to a stop in front of the gate. From here, no matter how mad her inner turmoil with her circumstance, she had to curb herself in the presence of the guard when he approached.


    She wiped the agitation from her expression when the man leaned into the cabin of the truck for a closer inspection. Her eyes immediately dropped down to hide her stare and her fingers danced along Azrael's forearm as she edged herself closer to him. She made sure the inside of one of her arms, branded and red like it was, was visible to the man that took a long, hard look at her and him before he pushed himself away. Her hands stayed on him even when they were waved through the gate that creaked open for their passing, her touch skimming against the fabric of his heavy coat. She had been afraid that the guard would notice just what she was wearing; compared to what she should have been wearing, her dead captor's belongings should have been questioned more than they were, though her subservient look from Azrael's arm mingled with the trade of the dead man's marks gave them the pass.


    “Keep going straight until the crowd thins. This is the worst of it up here – Marcus at least liked his space when he doused himself in the thrill of the city. As you can see, there are many delights,” her voice rolled dryly. She had lifted her attention back up to stare out the window of his truck as he edged his way through the crowds. Most were simply stumbling to the next facility, but there were a few bold souls that thumped their hands against the windows and lifted cups, or broken bowls, or simply mouthed their need for more marks through the glass. “And you can speed up,” she instructed sourly when a dirty hand smeared across her passenger side window. “Once you reach the end of this road, turn right. After that, you're going to make an immediate left and drive down that way for a while. The buildings, you'll notice, start to get a little nicer down that way. Where we're staying is going to be themed--” It was a nasty word that she spat out of her mouth like something sour. “Because Marcus did like things to be exotic. Or as exotic as this place will allow without him actually growing a pair of balls and venturing out of this cesspool.”


    Which might explain her. As something exotic, a man like Marcus had seized the opportunity to have her, even if it was dumb luck on his end. Once he had pushed the auto down to the end of the road and followed her instructions, he would see that she was right. The worn down buildings that reeked of humanity faded into a cheap copy of originals from a world long gone. But at least the buildings were starting to become nicer, despite scantily clad women in two pieces of brightly covered fabric waved as they drove past a brothel. Or that one building rang with sound of a party, complete with lights that cost them a fortune clashing out the door. The building she waved for him to stop at was almost rustic in its design. It resembled a saloon with its white trim and porch up front, though the bar's door winked with a sign that flashed neon red to signify that it was open.


    Talin was the first to slide out of the truck. Boots too big for her feet thudded against the ground, but she waited until he had shot the ignition and helped himself out of his vehicle before she had slunk back around to wind her arms through his, body pressing close as she bobbed her head to the door. “In here. Downstairs is – a little wild at night. They like to hold auctions here when they're deep in their booze and the gambling is good. We'll have a private room though, with a tub with actual running water. Hot water. And their food isn't terrible.”


    With that, she led him inside the swinging doors that opened up to the stench of cigars, cheap liquor, and the sound of raucous laughter. The women here wore brightly patterned robes, once called kimonos, to hide their otherwise naked bodies until one of the men decided to grab her around the waist and reach a hand between her legs. Talin kept her head down when they entered – to hide her distaste of the place as well as to keep the attention away from her. Azrael, however, immediately had a young woman with too much eyeliner surrounding her wide dark eyes sliding up to his other side to press her robe clad body against his. She ignored Talin like she was nothing more than a ghost as she grinned up at him.


    “I will be your companion for the evening,” she offered sweetly, but there was something saccharine in the pitch of her voice. “You look like you have been out for a long time. Why don't you come with me to relax?” Her hands were as quick as the way she had moved to press her full breasts up against his chest. They gripped the bulge between his legs intimately in her palm and only once she had made her move did she glance Talin's way. “Your girl can join us too, I don't mind having more.”
     
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