Duty unto Death Apr 27, 2021 16:28:36 GMT
Post by Arley on Apr 27, 2021 16:28:36 GMT
Name: The hunted one ⍟
Requirements: 3,000 WC Minimum
Rewards: 1,000z | 200 XP | 500 SP | 2 TP | 4 saga tokens
Description: That weird monster is hunting this blue guy and his red friend. You can either help them out....or give them up and allow things to take their course.
The barrack wall dented as the woman’s fist struck it, the others in the room failing to take notice as they too found themselves spoken to directly inside the alleged privacy of their own head; she could understand searching out those who cause harm and indeed the concept of hunting down lawbreakers across celestial bodies registered in her mind as no different than pursuing someone across city limits but there was a damn line wasn’t there? She couldn’t argue with how efficiently this method got the information across but there was something horribly invasive about hearing some nasally voice rasping in your head, especially one that didn’t even care to look into what world they were even on. That had been what had caused her to lash out at the otherwise blameless wall of this little communal area, the sheer audacity of this bastard to come to the world she guarded, to not even give a damn about the name and then to threaten it if people didn’t do what they were asking for. It didn’t help that the image they sent into her mind showed someone more afraid than callous… that wasn’t the face of someone with ‘much to answer for’, that was the face of someone being hunted down like an animal. Around her the buzz of conversation would pick up as her fellow soldiers began to discuss what was going on and what was likely to come their way because of it… it was only one member of the team that seemed to notice what was going on with the squad’s most volatile member.
“You okay there flopsie? You’re looking pretty pissed there.” The man might have sounded nonchalant but that was simply Duke’s way; he’d found his peace with them on the barricades and there was the sort of affection there that a friend would have for another, alongside the gentleness that one might offer a warrior who had left a part of themselves on the battlefield. Right now they were probably the only one brave enough to speak to the pale skinned woman, their eyes seemed to catch the light in a worrisome way, almost seeming to be taking on a red hue. “There’s no way I’m buying that bullshit duke… did you hear their tone? Their threats? And they have the fucking nerve to make out that they’re the good guy out to grab the villain? No chance, not happening… this reeks of upcoming issue doesn’t it? We’re not a huge organisation and whatever the Boar wants there’s no way we’re all ready to fight some kinda mind wizard.” The words were rough but the notion was pretty solid and something that her peers could well agree with; this entire thing stank to the high heavens and if there was a threat to the planet it fell to them to address it. “Might as well beat command to the punch; let’s get geared up and go fan out amongst the wastes. There’s not many of us but if our squad gets looking now we can find this bastard and keep them hidden.”
“You’re not worried that we’ll sell them out, flopsie? I mean we’re being offered power here and the Earth’ll be safe if we do.” Duke was simply playing the devil’s advocate and the squad knew it, but it was a question that would sit at the back of everyone’s mind otherwise. The woman collected her rifle and loaded it, clicking everything into place before swinging it onto her gear’s back holster. “Not really; there’s not many of us but those who signed up were picked or volunteered for a reason… there’s no one here who’d sell someone out for power, each of us trusts that if turning this guy over’s the best course that we’ll be told to do so… but I doubt we will be, I doubt we would.” Pulling on a glove the woman turned towards her companions and gave them a level stare. “People good and caring enough that they couldn’t bring themselves to shoot the infected wouldn’t be the sort to betray someone in need. I ain’t worried about what we’ll do if we find them, but I am worried about them being found. That’s why I’m deploying ahead of the order we all know is coming, ‘cause let’s be fair and honest here… those higher up than us are cut of the same cloth you all are. The order to seek and protect’s gonna come.”
It wouldn’t be long before the order came down, it wasn’t as if the force was being used for anything else right now save maintaining the quarantine of East City and while that took a fair number of them they were hardly the happy hundred or so who had formed the original EDF forces a year ago. There weren’t anywhere near enough of them to cover the planet and, while their budgeting was generous, it was hardly a source of super technology that could locate a singular being on a whim; still they were rugged, trained and determined and as such the EDF troopers could travel to the most desolate and inhospitable of hiding places to seek out the target of this mind-speaking magical midget’s wrath. The issue of course was that there was no guarantee that they would be in any of those out of the way places but it was frankly the best idea available to them, the woman giving the rest of the team a small nod and a faint smile. “Dibs on Yianzabit; we all know I’m best suited to the Heights.” The rest just rolled their eyes… it wasn’t that she was wrong but she seemed to take an immeasurable amount of pride in how efficiently she could clear the routes through those wind-wailing wastelands. “Meet back here in a few days time, if any of us find them we radio in to Dave on the secure bands… don’t want that wizard finding out what’s going on, now do we? Alright, let’s disperse then… no grasslands to graze this time, we’re going for a nice leisurely hippity hop through the pastures instead.”
The windswept crags of the Heights were like a second home to the woman, the craggy rocks and howling ravines felt as much a part of her as the EDF base did these days though that was likely for reasons she didn’t overly wish to contemplate; it was in a hidden laboratory up here that she had been created after all, the self-same one that had been working on cloning technology to make copies of the Boar no less, refilled with workers after he and Tomoshibi had raided it. Going over the logs left in that laboratory had been a point of interest for the woman known as Arley, seeing someone clearly struggling under the effects of late stage heart virus infection storm the place regardless, shelving their own needs for the sake of stopping a nightmare birthed by other humans had been nothing short of inspiring and she desperately sought to emulate that person, especially since Azure had high praise for them as well. Kicking off of a small rise and twisting as she did the woman landed on a lower outcropping without slowing down, pressing further into the mountainous region, slipping past the caverns here without much more than a glance. She’d know if something was wrong up here, she had a feeling deep down in her core that she would know if a cave was occupied or not simply for how it would differ from every other time she passed them by. Offering a scowl towards one plateux-topped mountain and a quick wadge of spit over the closest edge in memory of the bastard she’d faced up here, condeming their soul to further hells for their crimes, the woman pressed onwards towards her destination. It wasn’t as if she could sense anything special, her scouter wasn’t picking up anything either after all, yet something deep in her bones told her that if something major was happening she would find it in the ruined laboratory up here.
Her thoughts and fears were confirmed as she ducked into a cave near the hidden entryway into Denki’s abandoned laboratory; something went by overhead and in the darkening light the soldier could make out only that it was large and rotund; there was no way that anything human could have held such a shape without being crippling obese and so the only real valid option was that it was some kind of alien lifeform. Was it perhaps something the wizard was using to track down their quarry, some extraterrestrial form of excessively fat bird? She wasn’t certain but simply spotting it sent chills up and down her spine; as it moved off towards the distant skyline the woman felt her breath return in heavy pants… she hadn’t even noticed that she had tensed up as badly as she had, that she might have ceased breathing in order to try and make as little movement and noise as possible. What exactly was that thing that it could leave her with such powering anxiety not to make a damn sound so she could evade the creature? She waited for a minute, then a minute more to ensure the thing was well and truly gone before moving onwards, slipping into another cave and moving down into its depths; she had walked the route often enough now that she didn’t need a light source to guide her footfalls and that was god because a part of her mind was screaming at her that to make light would be to lure the thing out there, to invite it to both notice and devour her whole; before long her hand would find smooth metal amidst the stone and then it was merely a case of moving until the system’s scanners fou--
+++User Recongised: Project Warden. Access Granted. Alert: Unrecongised User in Faciltiy Level B-2+++
With a grim smile the woman sent a text based message off to Dave, informing them that there was something in the Heights and someone in her ‘home’ safe in the knowledge that the information would filter through to those who needed to know pretty sharpish. All that she had to do now was move in through the facility, head down two floors in this mostly vertical facility and confirm if the ‘unrecognised user’ was indeed this strange alien that was causing such a hullabaloo. Despite her usual grace the woman’s footfalls rang out on the metallic flooring of the facility and, as such, when she reached the second basement she could already hear the sounds of movement as the person hiding here readied themselves for battle, though the sounds of their preparation was somewhat secondary to the simple fact that she could hear the sound of muffled tears, of forced down grief buried under the expediency of need. Gently the woman unlocked the door before her and let it swing open, her weapon returning to its holster before she spoke and moved into the room. “I’m coming in now, I’m armed but nothing at the ready all right? I’m not mad you broke in here and I’m not here to harm you. Okay, got that? Good because I’m coming the hell in.” Without waiting the woman advanced, stepping into the room before turning to close the door behind her; there was a strange stillness to the room, a tension thick enough to be cut and sold as cheap building material and so, with a sigh, the woman turned to face the room’s other occupant.
“Somehow I figured it’d be here, nothing good ever comes from my birthplace; drink? You look like shit, you aughta have something to help you through the rough patches.” Sitting on a storage box the woman would punch into the crate and fish around before withdrawing a small bottle, regarding it critically before offering it to the white haired figure that was still standing tense and ready for battle, their eyes red with grief. “No? More for me I suppose.” The woman’s tone was conversational as she unscrewed the top of the bottle and took a pull, wincing slightly at the rough burn of the whiskey she’d taken. “One of the few advantages to being made rather than born… I’m pretty resistant to poisons, even recreational ones. You must know some bastard’s looking for you… so how’s about you tell me why, tell me about the person who doesn’t care enough to learn a planet’s name when they visit. Tell me about the big alien thing floating around up there and tell me why it scares me when I so much as look at it, why it makes me wanna flee. Oh… and since it’s written all over your face and I hate to see someone hurting… I’m sorry for your loss.” The figure looked startled for a moment before relaxing slightly at the distant look on the woman’s face. “It doesn’t take much to recognise grief when I see it. More important than the other questions then… who were they and what happened? Is it to do with the shortarse wizard?”
The figure nodded, sitting back down as if they were trying to find the strength and will to speak, as if giving up might just be the easier option. “His name was Kibito, my guardian; we were being pursued by the creature known as Majin Buu. They might look comical, a large and rotund pink blob person and they might act childish but they are, in truth, a force of great destruction. A long time ago a wizard bound Buu and sought to destroy all things… and the sorcerer was stopped, Buu was sealed’ but the sorcerer had a son, a son that found and released Buu… a sorcerer that wants revenge on the one who stopped his father.” There was silence for a moment, then the sound of the bottle being tipped back again before the figure continued. “We tried running but the sorcerer can track the world we hid on… and on Arlia they send Buu after us. Kibito bought time for me to escape… he died for me and all I could do was run… what… are you doing?” The figure asked as the woman looked up, straightening the bottle up and stopping the amber liquid from pouring out onto the metallic floor. “Huh? Oh, it’s… just a thing I’ve seen the other soldiers do, a ritual of sorts for the fallen. A drink to help console and drown the grief, the bottle to be shared with the soil that the fallen can share in it to; I know it’s another world and this is steel, not soil, but a hero who’d die for a friend deserves this much at least.”
The kai shook their head as if stunned. “But you’ve never met them..” The woman simply smiled softly back and replaced the lid on the bottle. “If I’m honest that doesn’t matter in the slightest, knowing what they did is enough, no more is needed to mourn their loss, nothing more’s needed to understand their passing is a tragedy. I’m guessing that means the thing I saw up there’s this Buu thing then? Some unholy avatar of death here to kill you for being a part of doing the right thing however long ago things went down?” The Kai nodded, trying to keep up with the pace the woman’s thoughts were maintaining; there was something honest about her, but reserved nonetheless. “If we hide out here it should depart and continue its search… I just need time to recover, to grieve, then I can flee to another world; provided we remain quiet there should be no reason t---”
+++Warning! Warning! Facility breach detected! Unknown entity has entered the facility! Attention all personnel, Activation of Project Warden advised+++
The woman cursed quietly as the figure before her went pale, the sounds of something advancing echoing down the stairs and corridors; whatever was coming was making no effort to remain quiet about its advance. “It’s Buu, isn’t it? They’ve found me and this time… this time Kibito isn’t here to save me.” The Kai stood up, looking terrified but determined as they tried to school their emotions back to something approaching serenity. “If I must die then I will die on my feet, like he would have wanted.” The woman scoffed at those words, immediately drawing an incredulous look from the Kai before she spoke. “There’s another exit at the end of the corridor, round the corner; you’re not fighting, you’re getting out of this place and making good your escape. Don’t worry about your pursuer; there’s only one path through here and in case you hadn’t yet realised, I’m Project Warden. This is my facility, my birthplace and I’ll bring it down and make it my grave if that’s what it takes to get you outta here. Now shut up, buck up and get running before whatever that Buu creature is gets down here and forces our hand.” The kai opened his mouth to complain but was immediately silenced as the woman punched him hard in the jaw, the violet skinned alien looking at her in mild shock. “Your friend didn’t sacrifice themselves so you could avoid feeling guilty by dying on the next damn planet; you’re going to live, you’re going to get out of here because that’s what they woulda wanted.” As the sound of footfalls grew louder the Kai shook their head in surprise. “But you don’t even know who I am!” The woman just smiled grimly. “Not important; you’re the victim here and I’m EDF… I protect my world, I protect those who can’t protect themselves. I was made, literally made in this damn facility, to be a shield for those who couldn’t or shouldn’t fight... this is my choice, my duty, my damn reason to exist. Now get moving!”
Stepping out into the corridor the woman could see movement on the staircase, the sound of fleeing footfalls echoing from behind her, a faint, grim smile on her lips as she gripped her rifle’s stock to stop herself trembling.