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Old 10-19-2018, 01:22 AM   #126
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“You’ll have to stay out here Hrolf.” Kara was saying to the big dog, distracted per usual. “I don’t think the fog guys would make for good eating anyway.” She gave him a piece of jerky, resisting the urge to try and pet him. Patience!

Man she wishes she had more of that.

“Yeah, alright. That sounds solid to me.” His weapon looked lethal as hell. The fuck else did he have on him?

Kara frowned while pulling her hair back, her attention turning to his boots as she looped one elastic around a short, bright red bun at the base of her skull. Mostly, how much bigger they were than hers. “Ya gonna be able to climb this?” She says with a gesture to the wall, looping the second bun to match the first, both half hidden by the fur collar of her jacket.

There were pretty slim pickings of handholds and toeholds, if she remembered right. She’s been scaling buildings since she was a kid, but she’d always had the benefit of being light weight with small hands and feet. Two things Moray did not have. “Otherwise, I got a rope. I’m sure there’s something I can tie it to, over there.” She considers. “That’d actually be a faster idea-I throw down one end, you hold onto for me to scale down the other side easy, and then I’ll fix it and give three sharp tugs when it’s secure for you to climb up this side.”

She stepped up to the wall, fingers already lightly dusted with a bit of chalk. She carried a small bag of it around for that purpose. “The fun part.” She says cheerfully, finding the first handhold. There was a wiry strength in that petite form of hers, a surety of movement that made watching Kara climb the wall something of a study. She made short work of it too.

Crouched at the top Kara fixed the rebreather over her nose and mouth, peering over the other side before flashing him a thumbs up. Out of her backpack comes a long coil of rope, some sort of sleek, strong space-age fibers. She tossed one end down and, once he had it-would make quick work of the other side. She just plumb didn’t weigh that much.

The three quick tugs came not long after.

~*~

Kara had tied the rope tightly to support beam for an upper balcony, was keeping watch while her companion made his way over. She doesn't want either of them getting caught by surprise for damned sure.
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:01 AM   #127
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Hrolf lopes off, no more interested in checking out the Sierra than he is anyplace else with even the slightest hint of danger. Moray watches him go with a sneer while securing the rope for Kara, and then climbs it himself - it creaks but doesn't give at all. Strong stuff. He drops on the other side with a faint clatter and crouches beside Kara. His rebreather clicks onto his face, and he glances about to get his first full glimpse of the interior of the Sierra Madre.

He was right. It's a shithole.

Rust-red fog hangs dense in the streets, and it looks to have corroded everything; the brickwork, the buildings, even the wood looks burnt and faded, peeling away from below, where the fog billows up from. Visibility is shit, he can see maybe forty feet before everything starts to blur into muddy redness. He can already see one shambling form at the other end of the street from where they're situated; it moves in gasping jerks, like a fish suffocating, as it slams into and bounces off the pillars that support a veranda of some kind of restaurant. It's uncomfortable as fuck to watch, but on the upside the periodic scratchy impact of it bludgeoning itself with the masonwork has covered their entrance nicely.

They're on the second level, which means there could be more of them beneath, but they're not stealthy at all; Moray doubts it. He taps Kara's shoulder and jerks his head in the direction of a large sign with a cross on it, visible because it punches high above the fog. An easy landmark, and a good place to start.

He's not as agile as Kara is, so as he starts to climb onto the rooftop, he moves gingerly; he doesn't even need to fall to fuck things up. A rooftile cracking under his feet from the weight would be as loud as a gunshot.
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:22 AM   #128
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Kara’s looping the rope back into it’s coil, watching the fog creep warily. She’d been here alone the two years or so ago, slinking around avoiding the things-and even with Moray in tow she’s not keen on tipping them off to their presence.

She’s a stealthy, agile woman, sneaking to the peak of what had once been an orange clay tiled roof and making her way towards the brightly lit cross. There’s a balcony there too, she remembers.

She waits for him to be closer before she hops down from the neighboring building to the railing, and then from the railing to the balcony proper. The doors locked, but that’s hardly an obstacle-Kara’s already working it open by the time he joins her. Caaaaarefully swings the door open, peering inside-the back of one of the freaks is to her. She holds up one finger, then slips inside.

Looks like it’s just the one guy-though peering over the railing, she can see a patrolling ghost. It looked like the one at the fountain, except instead of a lady it’s a blocky dude in armor. Huh. What kind of decoration was that supposed to be?
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:43 AM   #129
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Moray catches Kara's signal, though he takes a bit to catch up, being certain not to slip on the roof tiling. Once he's on the balcony though, he slips in through the doorway behind Kara, and takes in the scene: one fog freak above, one fucking ghost below. It's official, Moray already can't stand this place. Out of the two, there's one he's certain he can kill, so he taps Kara's forearm then creeps past her up to where the shambling figure is jerking down a hallway.

Its senses are shit - it barely catches the sound of Moray rearing up behind it for a strike, but the resulting jerk makes him miss his original target. He'd been planning to split its head in half, but when it twitches to the side in a terrifyingly fast skitter, he ends up lopping the top third of its head off instead. The suit explosively decompresses, a sick green fluid spilling all over the floor as the suited abomination makes an blasting exhale with its mask.

It slumps to the floor, still trying to run away, but its limbs aren't quite cooperating, kicking and flailing without coordination and smacking at the floor and nearby wall. The ghost below them turns yellow, and without further ado Moray reverses his shank-blade and hacks off the fog freak's head entirely. It stops moving.

The ghostly figure turns and looks straight up at them - looks like power armor, almost. Moray drops to the floor and out of sight, and gestures Kara to drop as well.
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:55 AM   #130
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Blech!

Was that green blood? What the fuck were those things?!

Kara’s at the ready just in case-but is quickly distracted when the blue ghost shifts to yellow in her peripheral vision. The hell?

She drops without needing told, nearly in time with the fog creep’s beheading. She waits a beat, peeks again-the hologram is blue and patrolling. Huh. Could these things attack? It had noticed them, but then gone right back to what it was doing-still, it didn’t represent some long dead starlet, it was a guard of some kind. A security system.

She ducks back down as it turns to repeat the pacing-but she’s doing something with the rope and the railing and-there she goes.

The red head slid down the rope and touched down light and easy on the lower floor, more curious than anything else. She darted somewhere he wouldn’t be able to see beneath the floor he was on and didn’t reappear again until the ghost was walking away from the opposite wall she’d dropped down near. The stealthy merc was zeroing in on a glowing device anchored to the wall. She started to mess with it, thought better of it-and pulled the bat and knocked it plumb off the wall with the sickening crunch of metal and glass.

The ghost disappeared, the device rolled across the floor, and Kara replaced her bat in triumph, loosening the rebreather away from her face. “Welp, how about that."
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:09 AM   #131
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Moray watches with furrowed brows. The ghost isn't a ghost - it's a production, a projection of some sort tied to the glowing guzzbob Kara had beat into pieces. That means it's probably Pre-War technology, which makes its purpose real easy to deduce. "Ten caps the next one of those to spot us opens fire with something," Moray grouses, dropping to the ground floor besides Kara. "Pre-War science either kills things or advertises. No exceptions."

He jams the double doors by the simple expedient of ripping the stair handrail off the wall entirely and inserting that through the handles. Then he pulls out a little packet of sealant and starts applying it along the crack at the bottom of the door and anywhere else that isn't airtight, both sealing out sound and fog.

"Go up and kick the freak over, make sure it's dead. Thing was still moving when I took off a chunk of its head, and I don't want it coming back up," Moray advises. "You were right, this place is bad news. I don't think I can reliably dispose of them on the sly. Thing just about fucking exploded when I cut it."

Sealant dispensed now, he hops behind the main counter and starts digging through shelves and the cabinets at the back.
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:32 AM   #132
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Kara scoops the device up, peering into the jagged opening, the wires sticking out. Her bright blue eyes shift to what remained of it on the wall. Hm.

“That sounds like the winning bet, Moray. Can’t hustle a hustler.” That smirk on her lips again, giving the device an upward toss in her hands, testing the weight. She’s not sure how it would attack...but she’s also not sure how it worked in the first place. “The ghost lady at the fountain isn’t solid-you can stick your arm straight through her. She’s decoration. This guy-” A gesture to the empty patrol space. “I dunno. Definitely some sort of security something. Never seen anything like 'em, in all the places I've been in."

"Pre-War science either kills things or advertises. No exceptions."

“Decadent bastards were more creative than that, sometimes.” She sets the device on the counter, intending to look at it some more here in a minute-and then trots up the stairs to check on the fog creep.

He wasn’t moving. Still looked pretty dead.

She slipped forward, caught her boot under the shoulder and gave a slight lift before dropping him again. Nothing happened. The smell was toxic. “He’s looking pretty dead, bleeding all this green through the stump and all. The way it popped like that, half wonder if there's not some kind of life support in there or something.” She scrutinized what she could see of the flesh underneath, holding her breath.

What the hell had happened to this guy? He was no ghoul... Kara muttered a curse to herself, glancing towards the windows and the billowing red cloud. “Fuck, you don’t think it’s the stuff out there that made him, do you?” God only knew. She doesn’t like the way they jerked around for sure. Gross.

She glances to where the hacked at and hacked off head had rolled. The goggles were still glowing green. Kara mutters another curse and moves on.

There’s a defunct auto doc-it was missing a module or two, looked like. She pulls the door open to peer inside. Rust brown blood stains within, recent looking. Kara frowns, peering up and around in the small space. “Looks like someone was trying to claw their way out of this auto doc.”

She touches lightly at some of the marks, then backs out and shakes her head. “Recent, too. But now it’s missing modules, whacked out.” She fires up the terminal attached, spends a minute or two hacking into it. She was right-it had seen use three days ago.

"...throat surgery?"

Kara’s not sure what to make of that. She leaves it, goes to reclaim her rope. “I’ve been in creepier places, but not by much.”
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:05 AM   #133
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Moray strides up the stairs to inspect the corpse of their fog freak himself. He pokes it with his boot first, then prods it with his glaive; periodic bursts of air and greenish fluid inform him that the interior of the suit is irregularly pressurized, and that it is, in fact, going to explode every time he tries to cut through one. Inconvenient.

He kneels beside the thing and peels off the suit, then immediately regrets it. The flesh underneath resembles nothing like a human - it's grown into the suit somehow, all pale and mucous-like, more fungus than animal. The muscles are barely extant, and it moves by propelling itself with the pressurized fog it sucks in through the mask, which explains its jerky motion. There are no organs anywhere that he can find - it's all the same mold-like, pulsating mass.

Thoroughly disgusted, Moray kicks the thing into a side room upstairs and leaves it behind. "Dunwich was worse," Moray says shortly. "These things are weird but killable. I'm satisfied with that."

He steps up beside Kara, glances at the machine, and takes in the scene it presents.

Then he turns around and heads back to counter downstairs, visibly writhing under the surface. Something about it had visibly pissed him off. Rather than bring it up, he picks up a radio downstairs and hotwires the attached clock, setting its alarm to ring in an offbeat rhythm - three quick beeps, three long, three quick again. Then he sets it so that the jingle of the medical station is faintly audible in the background.

"We don't know where Vanessa is," he says after finishing, "But we can let her know where to go."
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:30 AM   #134
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“You went in that place?” Kara’s a mixture of surprised and impressed, but it’s not the time for questions. The fact she was familiar spoke more to her origins, if nothing else.

She trots back down the stairs behind him, eyeing the tense and angry line of his shoulders. He hadn’t liked something about that.

Kara scoops up the emitter while he messes with a radio, poking through what she can with the multi-tool, sitting on the edge of the counter with her boots swinging absently. Figuring out how it was connected, attached. She doesn’t want to knock them all off the walls-too noisy. Best to learn how to disable them if possible.

“By beeping at her?” Kara slings her backpack around and drops the emitter into it for now. She thinks she’s got it, but better to hold onto it. “Oh wait-is that that dot language? Like, for blind people?” No hang on, that wasn’t quite right.

She appreciates he’s talking about her as if she’s alive. Kara’s holding out hope, but she’s too cynical to be overly optimistic.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:42 AM   #135
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"One of the last jobs I did with my father," Moray says. There's a flatness to his gaze now, that sort of murderous indifference he'd had before this whole shenanigan with Devon had started. "Regulators wanted it cleared out, use it as a headquarters. Prove that they could tame the Wasteland. My father, four others, me. Didn't work out, but the building's gone. Call it a fair trade."

He taps the radio. "This is morse code; SOS, a distress call. Anyone military will recognize it, and a fair percentage of civilians will. If nothing else, hearing the med station's music played across a speaker will draw anyone familiar with the area and sentient here. I can't imagine there's much that fits that category around here besides us and Vanessa. If there is, we ask it questions, or we kill it early. Win-win."

He shoulders the knife-glaive, and glances over at Kara. "You know where any of the other ventilation systems are? We could hit those up next, clear up the streets for some solid searching."
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:07 AM   #136
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Dead then.

Kara regrets bringing it up. She’s not real knowledgeable on the whole...having parents thing, but she can imagine how much it would suck to lose one, ‘specially if they were teaching you how to catch deathclaws and naming you after meaningful Bible stories and shit.

She’s smart enough to accept the change of subject.

“Oh, cool. That’s a good idea then.” Morse code. She files that away for later. Maybe next time she’s in a military installation she can find something on that to look over-it sounded pre-war, anyway.

She hopped off the counter, glancing to the door he’d sealed off with a frown. Vanessa could climb, she’s pretty sure. “Yeah, I saw a map on one of the terminals for this area, anyway. We’ll see what we can start up remotely and then what I gotta go whack at with a wrench or whatever.”

~*~

She’s decided the fog men had just about zero perception. Before she’d snuck around and assumed it was just her usual stealth-but now, with as many of them as Moray was killing off, she thinks she could have sprinted all over the place and been set.

Man.

They’d hit two terminals to successfully start up four fans, and she’d crawled in between some corroded pipes to get to and repair a fifth. Course, that was only pulling the cloud back under the city in spots, so it wasn’t a long term solution-but fuck, ain’t like she wanted to live here.

At this point they were a residential district of some kind. Booby trapped in spots. This was new territory for Kara. They had to go slow as she kept having to disarm shit. So far they’d scored 9 grenades out of some sort of godawful bouquet though, so it wasn’t all bad.

Question was, who was leaving the traps? The fog people? Some other 'tourist'? They couldn't discuss it through the rebreathers.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:46 AM   #137
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The fog people were hilariously inept as guards, and Moray has no compunction about slaughtering them wholesale, one by one. The glaive he'd constructed slices easily through their rubbery suits and flesh alike, and after the first mistake he'd taken to aiming straight down over the spine so he'd hit the main body no matter what - major trauma kills them easily enough, it looks.

The booby traps brings him a grim sense of satisfaction - he'd seen a couple fog freaks with bear-traps on their fists, and some laid out, but there's no way they have the mental capacity for ordinance handling. He waves Kara after him as he creeps through the streets, past a pair of pressure-plate shotguns and one nasty sling that looks like it throws a buzzsaw. There's another courtyard past that with mines and ghost people, and then an alleyway with at least one more shotgun plate that he can see before it turns out of sight; the entire mess is coated in fog.

Moray shakes his head and pulls out his pitons and hammer, and starts hammering a makeshift ladder up to the rooftops instead so they can bypass the whole damn thing. It takes a couple minutes, but not having to deal with all those mines and traps and fog freaks clustered together is enough of an incentive.

The rooftops give them enough free space to spot a ghoul sitting in a large room by himself, wearing a pair of sunglasses and drinking a martini, of all fucking things. He raises his glass to them, and continues sipping on it idly.

Moray turns and gives Kara a look, then proceeds onwards to the nearest rooftop, where he hunkers down on his haunches and pulls off his rebreather, now that they're high enough off ground level that the fog isn't a threat. "You look comfortable," Moray says, flat, already annoyed by the lackadaisical attitude the ghoul's sporting.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:46 PM   #138
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For her part, Kara thought the martini was hilarious. Her eyes are laughing over the top of the painted graffiti rebreather, proven to be wearing that smirk as soon as she loosens it to hang around her neck.

"Well hell Moray, why didn't we pack any of that? Now -I'm- thirsty, let's find a bar."

"Dame like you shouldn't ever have to worry about buying her own drinks, dollface." The ghoul's voice was intact, not a trace of gravel or roughness typical of his affliction.

"And I don't." Kara's easy smirk was on her lips. "What're ya doing vacationing in a place like this?"

"You first."

"We're on a job." Kara nodded her head to Moray, the 'we'. "Hired to look for some girl. You seen any recently? Tall, dark hair?"

"Can't say that I have. But since you're here, -I- might have work for you twos."

"Says the guy wearing a bomb collar." Kara tipped her head curiously. The ghoul smiled through what might've been irritation, but it was difficult to tell with what remained of his face.

"My bowtie? Well. That's another problem. This crazy cat rolled in, got as far as the casino before his last crew killed each other off. He still gets on the horn and waxes poetry every once in a while, but truth is, he's stuck in there. He's got a guy kidnapping and collaring folks, trying to force 'em to work together. We're in between crews right now, I figure."

The ghoul drained his martini and Kara let him, watching him closely.

"My name is Dean Domino. I was here when the bombs fell and everything went sideways, and I'll be here until I finally see the inside of Sinclair's vault. I been waiting two hundred years to see what that bastard is holding in there, and I'm not about to let anyone else make off with my score."

"I don't think your new boss is going to like that much."

"Nevermind him dollface-you twos ain't got bowties. I can help you get into the Casino...who knows, maybe your other mark's in there. A twofer."

"The one you haven't seen." Kara reminded, an arched brow.

Dean just smiled and poured himself another martini out of his shaker.
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:15 PM   #139
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The two busy themselves with talking. Moray switches off to stand sentry, surveying the nearby area - while he goes over the ghoul's words, trying to find where the hit would come from. Conversations are easier if he phrases them as violence; the hit telegraphs itself in body language, in vague statements and smiles, forms in the mouth as a threat, then comes out through the arm.

The ghoul's been there since the bombs fell, and two hundred years is no length of time Moray cares to get a grasp on, but it's long enough to burn anyone alive as fuel to get to whatever that patience has been spent on. On the other hand, it sounds likely.

"Big Wig wanted a collar on you too," Moray says, looking up at the casino proper. "Maybe he has more in common with this other moron than his recruitment tactics. Can't imagine many people running around with technological knowhow, an interest in the Sierra Madre, and a ready supply of bomb collars."

He draws out his combat knife from his boot and starts to pick dirt from underneath his fingernails with it. "This guy he has kidnapping people - sounds like a good lead."

He doesn't give a fuck about the vault. Money just gets you shit you can't carry around. Kara might be interested, but a full-sized vault probably has enough stuff in it that even Lucky wouldn't let them get a decent piece of it away.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:39 PM   #140
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Dean stands, resting a hand on the inside of the wall and leaning out a bit. They were an odd pair. He assumed it was a partnership of convenience, wayward mercs thrown on the same job. He hadn't been out there...he really wouldn't know.

But he can use 'em, particular the red head. His other lead hadn’t panned out.

"Somebody wanted to collar you too, eh dollface?"

“Yep. Moray shot the messenger on that one.” The woman said cheerfully, jerking her head in the big man’s direction, a smirk. “Anyway, I like what you're selling Dean-O, but we're busy people. You help us into the Casino proper so we can look for our mark, and I might just think about helping with that vault of yours-for a cut, course."

"Course." Dean's eyes flicked to Moray, his tongue in his teeth. "Three’s a crowd, though, and time’s a wasting. We should split our tasks. Why don’t you and I hunt down a keycard we’ll need next section over, and your big friend can retrieve a few of my stashes? Meet back here, maybe the fountain, if you know it. Big man doing the kidnapping ain't been around for a few days."
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:12 PM   #141
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Moray's eyes flick over, dead and unblinking. Here's the ghoul's gambit. How unimpressive.

"He was a shit messenger," the mercenary denotes, distant and impersonal. "Unprofessional. Vengeful. Tried to skimp on pay. Distasteful on all grounds."

Moray shakes his head. Devon's dead. No use dwelling. Besides, the real reasons he'd killed the man are none of this Dean's business.

"We're well supplied," he says, tapping the heavy backpack and coat he wears, "Neither of us came here to die because we're out of ammunition. Best to do it in one straight shot: get us to this keycard, and we'll get you to the vault through anything in the way."

The way he's sitting, balanced on the balls of his feet like some coiled creature, screams aggression, and the idle way the man starts popping his knuckles doesn't help; he does it one hand at a time, just holding it out and flexing the fingers individually until they pop. Each knuckle is scarred and thick.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:47 PM   #142
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“There’s codes you’re gonna want for those vending machines. Among...other things. I ain’t keen on being dependent on your supplies. Your mark may not be in the best shape, either.”

“How’s that?”

“The security holograms. They massacred the guests, back in the day. Can’t imagine they’d be much kinder on a lone little lady.”

“You sure bring our mark up a lot, not having seen her and all.”

“Dollface, I’m an honest man looking for an honest payday. Tourists ain’t much concern for me. But I need what I need, or no deal.”

“Yeah, okay.” Kara rolled her eyes, a shake of her head. The blue eyes shifted to Moray like a spotlight, taking him in a moment. He doesn’t look very happy about their newest best buddy. “Where’re these stashes at?” She muses aloud, casually adjusting her jacket sleeves.

“All over, but I need the ones in the medical district and the Puesta del Sol switching station most of all. White handprint above ‘em, can’t miss it.”

“Kay, I’ll get those while you and Moray get the keycard. Meet back at the fountain.” Kara smirks, glancing up at Dean through her eyelashes. “How’s that?”

“Well uh...might need a woman’s touch-”

"So you'll do fine! See you downstairs."

This clearly hadn't been what Dean had been angling for at all, and while he laughed good naturedly on his way out that little room, Kara's decently sure she just pissed him off in a major way.

"Vault sounds cool and all, but that’s not what we came here for." Kara casts a glance at the casino, frowning slightly. Dean knew more than he was saying, she thinks, about Vanessa. And if not her, some other woman. Tch.

She glances back to Moray, a grin curving her lips. "Think he'll call ya dollface too?"
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:07 PM   #143
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Moray glances over at Kara. Only his eyes move; the rest of him stays poised, ready to pounce, like some cat that's spotted a mouse. "I think you should keep to the rooftops and keep your eyes peeled. He's eager to send me off to get killed. You've got a lighter touch - stay quick and silent, and you'll probably slip by whatever he's got planned. I'll find out what he knows."

He doesn't do persuasion, but Dean has made an awful lot of noise already. He'll make more before he dies.

He pulls out the pitons and mallet, then hands them over to Kara. "You'll make better use of them then me and Johnny Suave over there. Plus, you'll get a better view from the roofs. I have no idea what Vanessa looks like, or any way to make her trust me. It has to be you that brings her in."

He pops up from his crouch and cracks his neck instead. It sounds like popcorn, inside of a kettle - dull and crunching. "For reference, you want this guy alive just for potential usefulness later? If he goes bitch I can just beat him unconscious fairly easily. Two-century-plus lounge lizard like that isn't going to so much as be a speed bump."
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:25 PM   #144
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Kara nods. Yeah, she’d gotten that vibe too. Switching things up on him should help with that.

“Better to leave him alive until we’re sure he’s treacherous AND useless.” Kara muses with a shrug. “Somebody’s pulling at least a few of his strings, given the collar.” It was possible he wasn’t all bad. Kara would rather not make messes where there didn’t need to be any.

“I’m going to loop back to the medical district first, then the other place. I’m half ghost, when I wanna be. I’ll get his stupid stashes and meet you both at the fountain with the ghost lady.” She slipped the borrowed tools into the side pocket of her backpack, then glanced back up to his face.

“You watch yourself.” Kara says, a little soft. She taps at the empty shield shape on the upper right breast of her jacket, the space where the bird pin had been. “Don’t want your luck runnin’ out.”

~*~

Dean’s smoking at the base of his ‘apartment’, waiting for his new entourage. He’s not pleased with how the red head had switched that up on him-but whatever, suppose a muscle head could come in handy, too.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:54 PM   #145
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Moray descends from the rooftops perhaps ten feet in front of Dean, the fog puffing away from his bulk as he settles from the landing. Then he gives the ghoul a fish-eye stare that bores through his head and goes on forever into the distance. "I'm armed - I'll scout. Give me directions and a heads-up on any traps they've got lying around if you can. You armed?"

The terse instructions come quickly as he starts out of the alleyway that Dean's apartment is located at the end of. In contrast to his creeping approach, Moray moves loud and confident, pulling out his knife-glaive and giving it a flick to make sure its construction is still solid.

"If not, I have a sidearm and combat knife you can borrow. Fair warning, minor trauma doesn't seem to do much to the fog freaks," Moray says, and as one of the aforementioned gimp mooks hears him, it jerks and staggers a handful of feet to the left. Then it shambles at him in a tripping rush, constantly on the verge of toppling over, careening towards him with a rust-red knife in either hand.

Moray takes a bracing step back, then in one monster swing of his glaive chops three-quarters of the way through the fog-freak's chest. Pressure bubbles chain off in explosive decompression and finish the job of tearing the thing in half, flinging the torso off to the side of the street along with a shower of gore.

Annoyed, Moray wipes his face with a hand.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:34 AM   #146
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It wasn’t as fun sneaking around this place by herself, Kara decided. It’d been more fun with Moray. She had found the one stash easily enough, but she’s not sure what the hell he’d really needed with it. Couple of stimpacks, cigarettes, a gun, and a holotape. She was expecting something...well, something. Maybe it was a ruse after all.

She was near the Clinic again, fixing to poke her head in right quick, see if Vanessa might’ve heard the signal and been drawn to it. Embarrassingly she neither heard nor saw anything amiss before something heavy collided with the back of her skull-and took Kara out with it.

~*~

“Master needs helpers...needs slaves...but Dog hungry, always so hungry…”

Kara opened her eyes to slits, the dull throbbing pain at the back of her head not entirely making sense, but neither did the guy talking to himself. The first thing she sees are her own boots-they’re dangling loose several feet off the floor. The second thing she sees are a pair of dark purple skinned feet. A larger than large hand has a grip on most of her arm, holding her aloft like a doll.

“Helpers don’t need ALL limbs…”

Hell. She drops the playacting now that she half understands the situation, a quickdraw on her gun-but the Nightkin is ready for her, its other massive hand catching her around the throat and slamming her into the wall, her single shot wide before she drops the damned thing.

He drew back and slammed her again, rattling what was already a pretty rattled head, the heavy hand cutting off her air. Fuck that-Kara had both of her boots in between them, scrambling to plant them firmly on the mutant’s chest while grabbing for the knife sheathed in one. She kicked hard, extending her legs and back while wildly stabbing him in the arm-quick, painful jabs into the muscle, a little turning flick to really hurt. The monster flung her aside and disappeared, retreating backwards somewhere into the dark recesses of upper story of the clinic.

She’d hit the floor pretty hard, slid-she’s on her front, slowly rising to all fours as she blinks into the darkness. She can taste blood.

Here we fucking go.

“Did you think I’d be that easy of a meal?” Kara asks sharply, a laugh. Her grip tightens on her knife, the freshly bloodied blade scraping the floor as she shoved herself to her feet. It’s a near dance as Kara bounces from foot to foot, her eyes flicking this way and that, the knife up in front of her face. Her heart was thumping hard in her chest, her pulse pounding in her throbbing head but she still smiles, near manic. “What were you hoping to eat first? My right hand? Left kneecap? Sternum, maybe?” The responding growl on her left makes her skin prickle, but fuck it-like she had told Moray, she wasn’t going easy.

She would never go easy.

“You’re the one who wanted to fuckin’ play!” She urged, her wicked, manic grin in full force. Her ‘raider’ smile. “Let’s play.

It charged and Kara was ready, not with her knife but with a grenade in off hand, the bang to the blade’s flash. She dropped low and slid between the still half invisible beast’s legs, rolling the explosive in the opposite direction.

She snagged her gun and kept moving-another slide to take her off the second level-catching herself on one of the spindled arms holding up the railing just as the first boom went off, her full weight hitting her shoulder and wrist, but fuck it-this was almost fun!

She tossed another grenade and heard the thing scream. Pounding vibrations through the floor she was half dangling from-and then he careened over the railing, landing on his back below her, gripping his face and still growling, thrashing, fucking furious.

Kara hauled herself back up and over the railing, straddling the banister a moment as she whipped her backpack off her shoulder-and withdrew what was left of the ‘grenade’ bouquet.

“Bomb’s away-”

~*~

The explosion was loud, and a second one followed on the heels of it-Dean recognizes it as a collar. He freezes in the middle of lifting a cigarette to his mouth, blinking in the direction of the Medical Villa, looking through the ghostly image of Vera Keyes to do so.

His eyes shifted back to his brooding companion. “Uh oh.”

~*~

The clinic’s lower level was on -fire-, the glass blown out of the downstairs windows and the scent of burning flesh on the air. Something had gone down here, and that something had involved a lot of explosives.

The sound of a match striking on the roof behind them-and then there was Kara, holding a sparkler of all things, propped up against a little chimney with one leg straight on the peak of the roof and the other dangling down the slope. “So yeah. I’m like...ninety nine percent certain that nightkin had swallowed a bomb collar before hugging all those grenades.”
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:08 AM   #147
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The explosion ripples through the still air of the villa, freezing Moray where he stands. His head rotates to stare at the rising cloud of smoke - birdlike, without any other motion. He stares at the explosion, breath steady, eyes widening, pupils drawing into a dot in the center of his too-white eyes.

The glaive comes off his shoulder where he'd been resting it, and hacks down and right through Dean's right knee without so much as a glance away.

"Shit!" Dean howls, and collapses to the side, as a backswing of the glaive's pole sends the severed limb hurtling away. It bounces off a far wall and rolls down an incline, and Moray turns to look at the ghoul who now cradles his stump in one hand, fishing for a pistol in his jacket with the other. He stops when the glaive's point comes down to rest on his forearm with gentle pressure.

"You planned something," Moray says, soft. There is more than just madness in his stare. It has something of the rapture of a man taking off uncomfortable boots at the end of a long day, or someone stretching after being cramped - his stiff posture is loosening, and the big human's lips are curling upwards. "You didn't tell us. That was not wise."

"There are mines all over out there, you know," Dean says, almost holding his breath, though his smooth voice is starting to crack with panic already. The point of that brutal weapon has already punched through the fabric of his jacket and rests light against his ribcage. "Hell, dollface had grenades all over her! God, my leg -"

"We were going to have to carry you to the Vault anyways," Moray says, light. "Now it's just more literal. Come along."

He fists one hand in the back of Dean's jacket and bodily lifts the ghoul with a grunt of effort, then stabs the glaive through the shoulders of his jacket (provoking a shriek and a shudder from Dean). His companion now be'scarecrowed, Moray slings the glaive over his shoulders, carrying Dean back-to-back with him, and sets off again. "Don't worry, all you have to do is get me to the keycard, and then we'll go to the medic station for you. That's easy, right?"

~*~

When they make it to the medical pavilion, Moray unlimbers Dean like some demented backpack and immediately pounces up the nearest pillar, climbing up the patterned stone with the help of a railing and making it to the second floor by sheer animal momentum. He's in front of Kara and glancing her over in the next second, and then some of the wide whiteness fades from his eyes, while he exhales.

"You were right," he says, with a nod. "As it turns out, Dean is a lot less dangerous than whatever you took on."

"He cut off my fucking leg!" Dean shouts, mad with pain and fury.

"Especially now," Moray says, visibly amused. "I got the keycard. Let's throw him in the Auto-Doc and then take off for the Casino. He can buy himself a new leg later if he lives."
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:23 PM   #148
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"Eh, this is what happens when I try to cook, too." Kara's absent minded 'drawing' of sparkler shapes goes still at Dean's interjection, the merc popping to her feet and peering down at the ghoul, sparkler hand balancing her weight on the chimney. "No shit?"

Holy fuck, he wasn't kidding! Missing a leg AND skewered through. Kara's eyes widen as she leans back again, a whistle. God damn. Moray was fucking psycho. Must have been real worried.

"All I got was a fat lip, and you done took off his whole leg?!" She shakes her head, almost feeling bad for Dean-if he hadn't probably been planning on the nightkin killing off her newest best buddy, that was. "Shoulda brought it along-the mutant in there was talking about eating some of mine." She considers whether this was funny or not. A peg leg kinda... "Anyway, the autodoc's missing modules, remember?"

"I got 'em!" Dean barks, having the second worst day of his life while the psychotic pair muse about his missing limb, the red head in particular prattling on about nothing while he tries to stay conscious. "I got the stupid modules!"

Kara lands in a crouch, no longer smiling. "What do you mean you got 'em? Who the fuck did you have in there for throat surgery?" Kara doesn't like this. She remembers the blood and scratch marks.

"The elevator for the fucking vault-Vera Keyes voice. Has to be hers."

"...okay."

"Damaged the vocal cords here, bitch had her own autodoc in her room. It'll fix 'em up to be hers."

"...the girl you didn't see?"

"The girl I didn't see-fuck, just get me patched up dollface, I'm begging you!"

Kara straightened, turns a look on the burning lower half of the clinic a moment, and then to Moray. Her eyes are big, blue, and mildly horrified.

"He ripped out Vanessa's vocal cords." She says softly. The bloody scene and claw marks-

Yeah, fuck him. Kara casts an angry glance back to the ghoul. "Let's shove him in the hot box. We might give HIM Vera Keyes voice, it comes down to it."

"What!? What!? You can't be fucking serious, I've waited TWO HUNDRED YEARS-"

"Two hundred years of being an asshole, maybe-ain't nobody crying for you Dean-O, least of all -me-."

For a minute it almost looked like Kara was set to haul him into the place herself-drag him if she had to.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:15 PM   #149
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Moray shrugs, unbothered. He doesn't care about this Vanessa that Kara's been chasing or about the bleeding ghoul at their feet. It's all extraneous to him. Kara's upset, though, so he hefts up Dean by the makeshift load bar he's punched through his jacket, and carries him into the ruins of the medical pavilion. It's basically destroyed: the front end is entirely gone, blown out by a hefty explosion, and there's what looks like the pieces of some blue super mutant spread all over the place.

"Ah, Jesus - " Dean moans. The bombs falling had been bad, but were universal; this was a disaster happening entirely to him, and it had shook his composure hard. "Is this dame so important to dollface? Who the fuck is she, a sister? They don't look nothin' alike, even!"

Moray finds the Auto-Doc, shielded from the detonation by dint of being in a separate room. Then he drops Dean by its side so he can fiddle it open - he's never used these things for shit before. "She feels morally responsible for her," he answers, absently, "Not that you'd understand the sentiment."

"Shit, look, I just want to get out of here at this point," Dean says, realizing he's alone again with this fucking thing that hacked off his leg without so much as the warning of a hard look. "What is it that you want out of this? Sierra can answer all sorts of wishes, so long as we -"

Moray reaches over and crushes Dean's trachea with his bare hand. The cartilage crunches under his fingers like straw and Dean gasps soundlessly, eyes bulging, as he smacks at the man's forearm twice. Then he sticks Moray with a stiletto that he'd pulled from somewhere, and Moray does notice that - the point grates off a rib and slides along it instead in a long, bleeding gash.

"Huh," Moray comments, neutral, seizes Dean's wrist with his other hand -

(Dean's mouth and tongue writhe, his eyes water, and he tries to pull away)

- twists it back until the ghoul's elbow locks, and then punches right though the point of it, dislocating the elbow and shattering the joint entirely. Dean convulses and sags to the floor in a ball, sobbing too hard to make words at this point. The little knife falls from his fingers and clatters to the floor.

Moray rolls him over on his back with the tip of his boot and stares down at Dean, whose terrified eyes stare back up.

"I am a murderer," Moray says, soft. He doesn't blink. "Not a killer. Not one who doesn't understand the value of life - I know what it's worth, and I choose to take it away from you. I want to hear your feet kick and your breath whistle while you die. I want to watch your pain and your suffering and the moment life fades from your eyes, Dean. I live for the ending; I live, for the moment I take, and you are no more. Just meat, because the rest is mine."

Dean's mouth goes dry. His eyes no longer water, and he goes slack; like some squirrel or rodent in the grip of a serpent, fear has overwhelmed his faculties, mindless and screaming in the grasp of the absolute end that now faces him. He barely even breathes through the ruin of his throat.

"Do things Kara's way," Moray says, still softly, "Or we will do them mine. Her mercy is the only kind you will get."

He lifts Dean up and slides him off the glaive into the Auto-Doc, then seals it. The whirring pincers and scalpels go to work, and a faint gasping whistle, like a teakettle, begins to come through the door - the ghoul doing his level best to scream.

Moray leaves the Clinic, and moves back over to where Kara is waiting.

"Saw the mutant. Good work," he says, the compliment coming out like he's reading about the weather, dull and conversational. "I got the keycard, Dean's in the Auto-Doc. Where do you think Vanessa will be at, now?"

He unwinds a set of bandages as he speaks, from a pocket underneath his fatigues, and wraps them awkwardly up under his outfit and around the scratch. It's not even that deep - maybe half an inch at best - but it is long, and bleeding a fair bit. He could stimpak it in a heartbeat, but honestly it's not even worth that.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:03 PM   #150
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Kara shrugs, giving that familiar tug of finality on the front of her jacket. “Him or me.” She steps onto the last dying sparks of the childish ‘firework’, grinding the fire out against the cement in a near petulant, stubborn way. She’s not in the mood for it anymore.

“Where do you think Vanessa will be at, now?”

“Probably hiding from that asshole, I’d guess as far as she could get without the collar blowing up.” Had he called her dollface too? Blech. “And hopefully in less pieces than he currently is, or I’m coming back to rectify…” Kara glanced back over and catches the bandages, her temperamental fierceness slowing to a mystified stop. “...that.”

Kara steps closer, her brow furrowing and attention focused, for once. “Fuck, did he get you?” Fucking hell, Dean-O just really wanted her to knife him, didn’t he? Kara’s hands are out, then twitch and she pulls them up, open and almost in surrender, remembering the whole...no touching rule he had, sometimes, except when in bed with a redhead, apparently.

She half doesn’t want to fuss over him, and half wants to see just what the hell the stupid ghoul had done to him. She’s not happy, either way.

“You got it?”
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