This is meant to be a pretty dark/gory/creepy RP. Disturbing mental images and all that, probably over 17 stuff too. Just so you know what you're getting into. Using Sera. So the characters somehow find themselves in this mysterious town…
There was a scraping under her feet. Like the sound of machinery moving under the ground, but not so much as to make the earth vibrate. Just a slight scraping, as if that noise were following her every where she moved in this old town. And this town was as eerie as it seemed old. The streets were cracked in various places, paint were peeling off the buildings in layers. What once had been white was now yellowy, musty. Flakes of paint that she pulled off crumbled out of her hands, drifting with the very faint wind, over the rusty bars of metal handrails and posts. They were brown, brittle; just the brush of her cloak as she walked past caused the metal to rub off and flake.
From what it looked like, it was a fairly modern town as well. The rusted cars that were parked at the side of the road and open garages were recognizable as models released just a few years ago. But even they seemed as aged and rusted as the buildings nearby. There was a cinema near the center of the town, the letters on the large sign at the front were missing, making it near impossible to make out the name, only that it started with a "G". Her eyes moved upward from there and focused on the sky. The sun was just there, a yellow orb among the overcast gray skies, barely giving off any light to the gray-tinted town below.
Fog? She looked around. No fog. Tee kiiresti, Sera, see ei ole Silent Hill. At the exact center of the town, just a little way from the cinema, was a large square made entirely out of concrete. A few troughs with dead, leafless trees were situated on all four sides. And on the inside of the square were a bunch of broken and rusted benches just sitting there. At the center of the square was a circular fountain with three tiers, long since stopped working; the settled water a murky, ruddy colour. There was utter silence, now. Not even the scratching that she heard under her feet was present anymore. Dead silence. The wind stopped blowing; nothing at all moved.
Not a soul within the entirety of the town.
No cats, no dogs. Not even a bird. Not a sliver of life. Doghouses were empty, chains and leashes just lying on the ground, attached to pickets. The people who lived here once seemed to have let their pets loose; set them free. The houses she'd checked out had no curtains, and dust covered windows. From what she could make out; the houses seemed untouched, abandoned. Furniture and appliances were there. Dishes and utensils in the kitchen were neatly put in place. It was as if every person who lived in this place decided to clean up, put away things and just leave. But leave… where?
The misty, dark pine forest stood tall on one side of the town, and a steep gorge on the next. There were two ways in and out, two roads. One at the north and one at the south. But no matter which she took, she'd be cycled back into the town. Right back into it. As if it were some sort of hellish Pac-man game. Moving through the forest of dark pines was no use; again she'd find herself walking out of where she entered the woods, right back on the edge of town. On the other end, there was the gorge—a steep drop. At the bottom of it was another pine forest. It was the last option, but she didn't take it; it would probably lead her right back anyway.
Perhaps she could leave the way she came. The Samsara Gateway would take her back to her home in Ebel. Except the devices weren't working. Nothing was. Her digital watch was just blank, no sign of the time. Her cellphone was off, refused to be turned on.
Again. It happened again. This was not the first time Charlie had woken up on a random rooftop with no idea how he got there. It was as if he kept getting slipped a cosmic rufie. This time was different from the last time though. Last time he woke up in a war torn wasteland with death in the air. The air here was just dead.
He stood up and looked over the edge of the roof. The town below was completely empty. Garage doors stood open. Cars were pulled to the side of the street, and while there were no people anywhere it didn't look like anything had killed them. There were no bodies and no sign of violence. Everyone who might have been here was just gone.
It was completely quiet here, but Charlie didn't feel the slightest bit eased by that. The only thing in the town he could spot that really stood out was what looked like a small dilapidated park at the center of town. He decided that'd be a good place to start looking for...well anything. He jumped down onto the lid of a closed dumpster next to the building. Besides the initial bump the sound didn't carry at all. The same happened when he went to the ground.
The place felt even more dead to him. Even a bug chirping in the distance would have made him feel better. He pulled his machete out just to be safe, and made his way for the center of the town. He wondered to himself how he looked right now. A man in a poncho wandering the empty streets with a machete. At any rate he already decided on a few things he was most definitely NOT going to say. Like 'It's too quiet' or 'I don't like this'.
While he walked he pulled out his radio to see if he could get a response. It wouldn't even turn on. The same went for his satellite phone. None of his electronics seemed to work, but he could feel it. His poncho didn't seem affected thankfully. He knew that it wasn't exactly a wired gadget, but miniature cloning apparatus biologically bonded and attuned to him. He still couldn't help but worry about the day that it might stop working.
When he got to the center of the town he walked up to a small tiered fountain. The water in it was completely stagnant or full of rust.
"Guess I'm not thirsty..." He muttered to himself.
Cynathrax stood on the edge of the town, next to what had been an apartment building before it had decayed and been lost to time. Surveying the town and the landscape surrounding it, he quickly came to the conclusion that this place had been abandoned. If there was any life around here he did not see it.
With a jump and some flapping of his wings, he soared into the air and landed on the roof of the building with a heavy thud. He sniffed the dead air and let out a short groan. He sensed some sort of magical presence in the town, but he was unable to pinpoint it. Cynathrax did not see any building of interest, and so the only way to find the magic was to search it thoroughly.
He drew his glaive and cut open a hole. From the black rift came forth ten imps. They held their spears tightly and jumped about excitedly.
"Follow," he commanded. They followed him through a door on the roof that led into the building. The inside was even more decrepit than the outside. He and the imps walked down the flight of stairs and opened various apartments. They did not find anything of interest.
It was as if the people just got up and left. There were no signs of battle, nor bloodshed, nor dead bodies. There was nothing. Eerily enough, the only sounds came from the imps and his own footsteps.
Aurae had no idea how she had come to this place. She had been travelling through one of the forests of her homeland, Sennia, and had stopped for the night, resting at the foot of a tree. There had been nothing unusual or out of place. But when she woke the forest seemed changed - it was darker, quieter, sunken in a sea of mist and a very different kind of quiet from the peaceful stillness before, no longer interrupted by the occasional chatter of birds and the rustle of wind in the trees. It was silent and eerie.
Her horse was gone, along with the small amount of supplies she had been carrying, leaving her utterly alone. But she had been clutching something as she slept that night - a small compass, old and battered, which rolled out of her hand as she got to her feet. She bent to retrieve it, opening it to check for damage. It was becoming fragile in its old age. But what she saw was different - more ominous by far - than what she had been expecting. The needle was not lying broken on the face of the instrument, but was spinning madly around like a cartwheel. Aurae dropped it again in surprise. Something was definitely wrong, and not just with the compass.
Unsettled, she had walked a little way from where she had been standing, sword drawn and turning anxiously in her hand, and had come across something that turned her discomfort quickly into dread. She seemed to have strayed into a completely different world from her own, from a different time entirely. The buildings were strange, and between them were all kinds of things she had never seen before. That alone was not what disturbed her, though - this world seemed dead, shrouded with a thick sense of foreboding.
Now she trod as quietly as she could between the rows of housing, so unfamiliar to her, feeling very small and defenceless indeed. She didn't need to be part of this strange world to understand that something was wrong with it.
She stopped abruptly, having come to a corner which opened up onto a much wider area, where the ground was hard and grey. There, as she peered round from where she was, crouched behind a strange metal cylinder, she saw what she thought were two other people. Who were they, and what were they doing in this strange place? One was female with black hair, and the other was male, wrapped in a strange garment and wielding a knife. She couldn't see either of their faces.
What would happen if they saw her? They could be like her, lost and bewildered...but she didn't trust the place, and if there was a chance that they could be connected to it meant she couldn't trust them either. But then again, she couldn't see many other options, other than to wander round lost for days...
Slowly, she stood up and walked out from her hiding place.
What was that? Sera jumped up, her eyes detecting a faint shadow swiftly soaring over the ground. It was incredibly faint, but the movement was noticeable enough to follow. The figure seemed to be that of a winged human with a spiked helmet, or something of the sort. Perhaps it wasn't a human at all, but some sort of devilish creature that drowned this town in emptiness. She looked up at the sky to see what could be casting it, but to her dismay, it and the shadow had vanished. The shadow had melded with the large, but still faint, shadows of the buildings. As for the one casting it, Sera ran out into an open area and kept her eyes to the sky, only to find that it was empty as it was before.
She stood there for what seemed like minutes, but it was only seconds stretched strongly within the deafening silence. There was a mutter of frustration as she drew her black gun, aiming it towards the clouds. Within the silence it was as if she could hear the inner intricacies of the gun working just before the thunderous, raucous noise violently tore through the silence. The sound echoed throughout the entire town, only to die down and then start anew when another shot was fired. Whoever, or whatever was here would surely be drawn to it.
And it seemed to be working. The scratching sound beneath her feet rose up again, louder than before. She moved, and it seemed to follow... or rather it seemed to be present everywhere under the street, so it wasn't following her at all.
The water wasn't any good, and Charlie suspected any food would be rotten or just non-existent. He wasn't particularly hungry or thirsty, but he guessed it'd be a while til he got out of here. He'd found himself in desperate situations before, but there wasn't even a rat or bug to be found. Suddenly a shadow raced towards him from another part of town.
Charlie had seen it as well. A winged humanoid coming in and out of cover in the sky. All he could make out was its strange helmet, that it had two hands and feet, and wings. As he saw it fly overhead, a girl came running out into the square looking straight up. She was probably scanning the skies for whatever it had been. After it had disappeared either out of frustration or the hope it would come to her she pulled a strange gun out and fired multiple shots into the sky.
Nice long black hair, black and gold getup. This girl looked interesting. He decided to walk up behind her. In what most people would consider an invasion of personal space, he talked directly into her ear.
"Town like this, run down state, missing citizens, you completely sure you wanna call whatever that flying monkey was over here?"
She had barely left the shadows of the buildings when Aurae's attention was suddenly caught by a flicker of movement along the ground, a shadow, which drew her eyes instantly upwards, searching for what had caused it. She was just in time to glimpse the silhouette winged figure soaring high above, before it disappeared from sight. A bird? In this place? No - she had only glimpsed it, but she was sure the shape had been more human than any bird.
She almost leaped backwards in shock at the sound that suddenly tore the air, her hands flying to her ears. When it stopped she took several steps back the way she had come, keeping well withong the shadows cast by the towering buildings, eyes fixed firmly on the girl that had caused the boom. That was no crossbow she held up towards the sky. Her sword suddenly felt small and feeble in her hand. Even if she had her bow this would be nothing she could hope to stand a chance against.
She watched as the man she had seen advanced towards her and spoke into her ear. Were they allies? Aurae stood back and weighed her options. It did not take too long - she did not want to go up against the girl and her sky shattering weapon, and after seeing the winged creature she was not keen to face this place alone either. After witnessing the girl's reaction to the flying thing it seemed highly likely that she at least was in a similar position to her, and so less likely to be hostile. An alliance would be the most sensible option.
"Call it here? I think a blast like that would have driven any sensible being far away from this forsaken place," she said as she approached the pair.
She felt someone approach her from behind. She remained completely still, breathing silently, not holstering her gun, but instead aiming it from inside her cloak, pointing it at the approaching person. She didn't feel like the person was about to attack. But what he did was very, very stupid.
"Town like this, run down state, missing citizens, you completely sure you wanna call whatever that flying monkey was over here?"
Immediately she pressed the barrel of the gun against the person's stomach from inside her coat. There was a loud click, even heard from under the coat, of the gun being readied. "Põhjus you're not full of holes right now is because you're the only living being in this town I've met." She pressed the gun further, and it felt as if she was pushing at something more. This person wasn't just wearing a thin skin of clothes. "I also don't want to damage mu matnel... my coat."
Sera swiftly spun around, moving back a little way so she can stretch her hand out in front of her holding the gun tightly in her fingers, lifting it to the man's head. Her brighten but piercing golden eyes ran over him once. Pale blue eyes under shaggy brown, unkempt hair, contrasted by the neat intricacies of a poncho designed to look like folded wings.
"Call it here? I think a blast like that would have driven any sensible being far away from this forsaken place." Another voice interrupted them. And as quick as a flash Sera had drawn her other gun from beneath her cloak, aiming it in the newcomer's direction. Pale hair, almost silvery in colour, with eyes that match. And judging from her tunic and sword, she was from a place with people that had probably never even seen a gun before. "... Kui jaj, siis you two are far from sensible." She stated, lowering her guns, but not her guard. "People call me Sera. Who are you?" They seemed like they had no intention to harm her. At least the girl didn't. Wasn't too sure about the guy. But that doesn't mean she could trust them, especially in a place like this.
The girl was a bit less jumpy than he expected. Most of the women with guns he knew would have shot him on the spot, and they knew him. He had never heard a language quite like the one she spoke a few words, and he had been sent across the world to kill people. It seemed like English wasn't a first language for her. Just as she turned around and raised her gun to his head another voice came up, and she turned away and raised another gun.
The other voice was from another girl. This one looked more meek, but still carried a blade. She looked...rural. Either that or was just from some world without guns and technology. Not like he'd never met someone like that. These two didn't seem to be from his world or each other's. Interesting...
"People call me Sera. Who are you?"
Since Sera put her guns down he put his machete back on his belt. There was no reason to agitate them further. They were most likely as trapped here as him.
"The name's Charlie, and y'all are just getting more fascinating as this goes along."
From the distance there was the loud noise of an explosion, as if a gun had been fired. All at once, the imps began to chatter amongst themselves.
"What was that?"
"Explosions! Humans! Blood!"
"Stabby stabby into flesh?"
"Quiet!" Cynathrax yelled at them. They fell silent, and then he heard a very faint sound. It was some sort of scratching or scraping noise, and the origin was far below. The imps did not notice and continued to rummage through drawers and closets, although their chattering had ceased. He put one hand against the wall to see if he could feel a vibration, but he could not. Eventually, the noise seemed to drift away and subside.
Cynathrax walked over to the nearest window and peered out. He couldn't see anything from this vantage point, but he knew the gun had to have been shot nearby. And where there are weapons there are people.
"Enough, imps, there is nothing here," he said. Cynathrax began to walk back to the rooftop; the imps followed close behind. Once they were back in the shadows of the roof, he removed his dagger from his sheath and cut himself: the first step to summoning a Lukkoth Flier.
Aurae flinched backwards slightly as the girl aimed another weapon straight at her, a twin to the first, but held her ground. "Far from sensible options is more how I would put it," she said as the girl lowered the thing again, eyeing it warily. She had never seen anything like it. "My name is Aurae," she added.
She had never seen anything like the girl, Sera, either - her clothes were strange, and she spoke half in a language that Aurae had never come across, but strangest of all were her eyes - a sharp, bright gold colour, fiery as dragons' breath. She looked away quickly, focusing instead on the man, Charlie, who stood with them. He was just as unusual, evidently also from a world different from her own or Sera's. He was shabby and unkempt, and his clothes hung from his back like a pair of folded wings.
She sheathed her sword, just as the other two had lowered their own weapons, though kept one hand on it, ready to draw again at any moment. She did not trust these two any more than the dark alleys of this place, but there was something else keeping her hand on her sword – she could hear something deep in the ground, a scraping, creaking sound, the kind of sound she would expect to hear if a distant mountain were to get up and move.
"I wonder if that's all." Sera muttered, pulling her guns back under her coat to holster them. "Just these two," she said more to herself than anyone else, even though they could have heard her, but what was filling her ears was that constant scratching sound under the street. "I don't know what could be making that..." She said out loud, "I haven't seen any manholes or entrances to pakku... uh.. how is it said... under... underground anywhere. No metrood, subways."
She walked further out into the open, onto the well paved streets. It seemed that the streets and the concrete were the only things that weren't falling apart in this place. "I can't leave this place." She turned back to face the two, "Ma arvasin you can't either." Sera looked at them, as if hoping they could say something, provide some clue to what was going on, or where they were. Maybe most of all; how they could get out.
"Couldn't tell ya much about getting here," he said trying to keep his explanation short, "Lately I've just been...waking up in places. Don't know how I get there. I just wake up and do...whatever needs doing there. After that I just wake up in some other world. It'll probably be the same here."
It felt good to tell someone about that, but the feeling was offset by all of the new unsettling feelings this place was giving him. Charlie couldn't walk out of the town. Going down didn't seem like an option with all of the noises coming from below. Even the sky seemed guarded by god knew what the winged thing from before was. None of the three people there seemed to belong there, so his best idea was to find someone that did belong here and shoot it in the head so he could shake the paranoid feeling this place was giving him.
"Swear to god if I hear sirens or see a tall skinny dude in a black suit with a blank white face..."
After ceremoniously invading his flesh with the dagger and allowing the blood to flow, Cynathrax went to work. He began to chant in a hushed whisper while drawing an ancient symbol on the rooftop. The blood continued to flow and form it, and each second the blood grew darker and darker until it was indistinguishable from black.
In the last few seconds of the incantation, the blackened blood completely covered the surface of the circle, and with otherworldly clicking and clacking there came a creature from beyond. The Lukkoth Flier reached out with two of its claws and pulled itself through. Once it was in this world entirely, the portal closed and left behind a circle of dried blood.
Cynathrax pointed outwards with his glaive. "Go and scout this city and report your findings back to me. If you find a living creature then bring it back here so that I may consume it."
The Lukkoth Flier made a few clicks and then flew off. Cynathrax went to the opposite side of the roof and peered out, attempting to detect anything of interest. He would give the Flier five minutes to return before he would go and explore himself.
Much of what Sera and Charlie were saying was lost on Aurae, but what she did pick up reassured her - they were indeed like her, not knowing how they got here or how to escape. "I don't know any more than you do about this place," she said quietly, not quite sure how to respond to the rest of their words.
Instead she looked up into the sky, searching for any signs of movement. And, to her surprise, there was something up there. Her sword slid a few inches out of its sheath as she stared up at the shape. It seemed to be coming straight towards them.
She smirked a bit when Charlie mentioned the "tall skinny dude" and "sirens". She knew those two somewhat well. There was a small bit serenity, of silence right after. Even if the one known as Aurae did speak, she did it softly. As if half in thought and half out of it. Sera glanced at her, but her eyes quickly shot upward as her sixth sense picked up the thing flying towards them.
Immediately she drew one of her guns and aimed at it, keeping it trained on every movement. The creature did not seem too impressed, or pleased, or anything. It seemed to just be looking at them, looking over the area. "When that thing flies off, I'm going to follow it." She announced her intentions early. In her mind, she realized that this was not the caster of the shadow she was chasing earlier. That shadow was more refined, uniform. Humanoid. This beast was rugged and... well, beastly. Monstrous. There was no way that this was the same thing she was chasing earlier.
Charlie in his usual nature decided to run off and see what they would be fighting. He's been thrown at enemies just to see how strong they are so many times it was just a habit by now. His boss Luke didn't like to waste his men and women's lives and knew Charlie would always get back up. On occasion he even took most of the enemies out with him, but he always ended up being a target dummy for larger military forces, and in more recent cases, Monsters. The one thing that didn't cross his mind though until it was too late was the other two didn't know any of that yet.
The moment he slowed down and thought about that the beast had turned around. It was coming straight for him and he had no time to react fast enough to get out of the way. He only got his gun off of his belt fast enough to get two shots off into the base of its strange tail, but the creature used one of its claw like hands to swipe at Charlie from the side sending his body off into an alley between two nearby buildings, and then his head rolling along after it a second later. All in view of the two who had been with him.
Decapitation was one of Charlie's least favorite ways to die. He was always creeped out by the split second or two he could still see and hear. Worst of all he was facing the wrong way to even see the shock of the two girls behind him. He wouldn't do this on purpose, but he may as well get a kick out of the bad situation. What he did see though disturbed him more than the usual decapitation. His body wasn't where it should have been. Just as his severed head would have hit the ground his consciousness faded, he was gone. For now.
The strangest sensation took over Charlie's senses. Even stranger to him than having his head lopped off. It was like he was being held up in empty space with his arms spread out. All of his limbs felt like they were being firmly tugged at. He had no way to move except for his head. He was also naked for some reason. If he had to liken it to something else he'd felt then it would be like a crucifiction. He could only recall that happening to him once though.
"This a ♥♥♥♥ing dream?"
That didn't seem right to him though. He always woke up the moment he revived, and he never had dreams while he was dead. Charlie had no idea where he was. The poncho didn't come off of him when he took the hit, so his revival shouldn't have taken more than a minute. Even if it had been taken off of him while he was dead, he was naked, and there's no way he'd come back without it on now. So where the hell was he?
"No need to...know that."
Charlie heard a voice but there was no direction to look after it. It echoed in his head. The voice didn't bother speaking to him again. Suddenly at all sides of him familiar faces started showing up. Near his legs were a thick built woman with red hair wearing just a white tank top and camouflage pants on the right, Jennifer. On his left was an athletic younger looking man with short brown hair wearing coveralls, Darren. At his right arm was a man covering his shaved head with a ball cap marked with a skull that was pulled low enough you could hardly see his thin pair of glasses, Spencer. At his left arm was a slightly overweight man whose hair and forehead were covered by a maroon toque with a small patch shaped like a bomb, John.
Charlie wasn't stupid enough to believe they were really there. They were exactly like they were the last time he saw them all back at their compound. Then without warning each of them began clawing and tearing at the limb they were closest to. They picked their bare fingers into his flesh as deep as they could each time they grasped at him. They kept pulling and tearing away strips of flesh until there was none left all the way from his hips to his toes, from his shoulders to his fingers. No matter how much blood left Charlie it fell nowhere and he couldn't at least pass out from it. His confusion certainly did not help the pain at all.
They all stopped when they had nothing but bare bone left on his limbs. In each of their hands now were small blades just barely bigger than a pocket knife. Each person started at the base joint of the limb and began carving lines into the bone. Charlie struggled as much as he could but whatever held him in place there kept him from thrashing out in pain in any way. Each person's carvings on his limbs kept suddenly and rigidly changing directions and slowly rotated around the bone.
When each person reached the end of their limb Charlie naively thought it was over for a moment. Suddenly his hair was grabbed and pulled back, forcing him to look straight up. Staring down at him was a grim face. A man in a white doctor's coat with thick black hair. He only ever knew him by the nick name Doc, but this was the man who had made Charlie immortal.
In his hand he held a small strange knife but before he could get any kind of look at it it met with his skull and the doctor began carving a pattern into Charlie's forehead. He couldn't focus hard enough through the pain to even tell what it kind of looked like. The whole time the Doc worked his faced stayed completely still with no focus or emotion.
When he was done with his work on Charlie's forehead he let go of his hair. Before his head could even slump all the way forward there was another person right in front of him. The other four were gone, but now a man with a red head of hair and a goatee dressed in a green shirt and black pants stood in front of him with a knife just like the Doc's, Luke. Again before he could get a good look at the knife Luke had reared back and stabbed it straight into the center of Charlie's chest. The moment it connected the whole scene was over.
"Smells like I feel...♥♥♥♥ty.
Charlie could barely seen a thing. There was almost no light, and the air smelled like waste. He felt the floor was a little damp on his back. He guessed he was in a sewer somewhere, or more like somehow. He strained himself just to turn his head to one side and saw a pipe on the wall, leaking at a connecting point. The puddle forming from its leak seemed to spread over to him.
"At least I'm not laying in sewage I guess."
His mind was split between wondering what the ♥♥♥♥ just happened to him, and just being glad it was over. Now he had no idea where he was though. At least no idea in relation to where he was before. Before long he had the energy to force himself up with his back against a wall. Right about then he started hearing a familiar clicking noise from earlier, but now it seemed to reverberate off the cement walls. Soon after he could just barely see down the tunnel, a tall and ghastly white faced figure. He just had to have brought it up before.
After a few minutes has passed, the Flier came back into view and perched itself on the roof. Grinning, Cynathrax took a few steps in its direction and waited for it to speak. The creature went off on a series of clicking while he stood there thoughtfully. He now had a better idea of what exactly happened in this decrepit city and where the inhabitants might have gone.
Cynathrax listened intently, and when it was finished he ripped open a portal with Shezmu and called forth another twenty imps. If there were indeed living beings here and the town was encircled by an enormous summoning circle, whatever magic laid here no doubt wished to use the humans as the final sacrifices. Something of that caliber would be, at the very least, a difficult fight. In order to ensure that whatever power resides here did not reach full capacity, he would need to safeguard the living creatures so that they did not fall victim to it. Perhaps he could trick them into cooperating, and then he'd capture the magic once he found the source.
The Blood Lord removed his dagger and gauntlet and began the ritual to summon a second Flier. There was no telling when the living would be swarmed and brought below the city, but the sooner he was prepared than the sooner he could stop it.
Charlie grasped at the wall as much as he could trying to get a hold on something so he could get up. When he finally managed to stand with the help of a pipe on the wall it was only in a clumsy tired stance. He had no idea how long he'd been out, but he always got like this after a revival. Charlie couldn't even begin to try and fight anything right now, but that was fine. He knew better than to try. If this thing was really what he thought it was it wouldn't do any good. Now that he was on his feet he noticed something strange. His feet felt very damp. He looked down and his shoes were gone for some reason.
"Torture me and steal my shoes....weird."
He put it out of his mind for now and started shambling as fast as he could down the tunnel away from that THING that just showed up. He had no idea why it would be here, but the stories about it entertained and scared the hell out of Charlie during boring nights at his company's compound. Even if it wasn't that he wasn't in fighting shape at the moment and he had to figure out what happened. Where were those girls from before?
After minutes of a struggling slow run down the sewer tunnels Charlie spotted what he'd been hoping for. There was a ladder on the wall leading out of the tunnels. Once he got to it he made the short climb and started trying to force the manhole cover above him off so he could get out. While he tried to force it away with his diminished strength he couldn't help but take his first look back. He regretted it immediately. When he looked, the same skinny figure with the pale white featureless face was standing only several feet behind him. He hadn't heard anything, slow or fast, coming behind him.
He began struggling even harder to remove the cover blocking his way, and finally it budged and then completely slid out of the way. Charlie couldn't climb out fast enough. He fell over onto the pavement, but quickly turned around wanting to put the cover back on behind him, but when he looked back there was no manhole at all. There was just a solid patch of pavement. He looked everywhere else and found he was back in the same dilapidated town from before. That thing didn't seem to be here either. Seemingly out of danger Charlie shouted the first thing that came to his mind hoping someone would hear him.
"Has anyone seen my shoes?!"
Run. Run. Run. Run. Run.
That was the mantra the lion cub had been keeping in her head as she sprinted far away from the shattered remains of the Youkai Organization. Each step she took, she blocked the memory of seeing the bloody entrails littering the street. The sirens blaring and white sheets covering the partial remains as human medical officers hauled her friends away from ground zero.
With each step she took, she slowly turned back time, rebuilding the impressive tower which fought for dominance in the Chicago skyline. Yeah, it was still there. It was still standing. Still whole. Everybody was alive. Ji's blue eye was no longer hanging out of his socket, staring at her lifelessly as half his body remained crushed under the rubble. Nessi was waiting in front of the automatic doors, her arms crossed as she prepared yet another lecture for An.
By the time she stopped running, everything had went back to how it was and An had no clue where she was.
It was another city, An could tell that much. However, it was empty. An didn't think cities were supposed to be this way. Plus, something here was setting her animistic on fire. They were crying out DANGER. DANGER. The paint was peeling off the nearby buildings, irritating An's nose as small flakes drifted towards her in the wind.
Even the air smelled weird despite An being in her human form. There was something electrical about it. Magical perhaps? It didn't make sense to the young cub. She wasn't taught much of anything. All she was taught to guard and enough information on the human world to fit in well enough. She was mostly taught how to fight and identify monsters. That was her job.
Swallowing the last of her jawbreaker, An momentarily began to panic at the lack of anything in her mouth. Hurriedly searching her pockets, she pulled out a small red sucker. Her hands shook as she tore at the pink plastic wrapping as if it personally offended her. Shoving the sweet in her mouth, she rolled it around slightly with her tongue as calm returned to her being.
This calmness wouldn't last long as she began to explore. More then anything, An was curious. She wanted to know everything. It was this curiosity which constantly had everyone yelling at her and reprimanding her. Not that it ever stopped her.
Her curiosity only served to be further perked when a voice rang out in the distance, almost as if it were a plea for help.
"Has anyone seen my shoes?!"
An turned her head, ears twitching a bit. Rolling the sucker in her mouth once again, it took her less than a second to decide to investigate.
Turning down the street corner, she padded lightly down the grey cement being mindful to avoid the cracks. She only paused when she saw a man in the middle of the street. She tilted her head slightly.
The man was young An supposed and had shaggy brown hair. She wasn't really paying that much attention though. What she was paying attention to was that he had wings it seemed, or a cloak of feathers. Was he a monster, lost as she? It was the only way as far as An was concerned to describe the strange garb. After all, she never heard of humans wearing a cloak of feathers. Fur, yes. Feathers, no.
Well, no matter. It was An's duty to help out, no matter who it was. If he was a monster, she would help him out and offer him safety as a member of the Youkai Organization. If he was human, she would still help him out, and keep him safe from any monsters which may want to do him harm.
Plus, this job seemed fairly simple if he just needed to find his shoes. Once An had a scent of something, she would be able to track it down like any old tracking dog. If she was a narcissist (or even knew what that meant) she would declare she was even better then the hunting dogs.
Her mind made up, she approached the strange feather man with a wide smile and no concern for her safety. The thought that anything in this world would want to (or could) harm her in this city simply didn't cross her mind. It wasn't out of self confidence of her own abilities so much as she trusted everybody far too much to think they meant harm. Especially if they were crying for help.
"Hello!" She chirped, her voice carrying a slight Asian accent mixed with her Chicago dilect. "An will find feather creature shoes!"
"What the hell just happened...?!" Sera cried out, looking around frantically. Charlie got his head lopped off right in front of them, and when she turned around the girl from before had just vanished. She wondered if she'd run away, but she didn't hear anything like that; not with someone's ♥♥♥♥ing head rolling in front of her.
And then it all fell silent. She was completely alone again. Just standing there. "Mida?!" She shouted out, the word echoing down the empty street. She'd even lost the trail of the thing that attacked Charlie. She knew which direction it flew off too, and she started down that way.
First Charlie found some women, and then some monsters. After that was more monsters and now another woman. This one would seem strange by almost anyone's standard. He didn't have any idea what to think of this town anymore. At least this orange candy sucking one seemed more outgoing than the other two. She acted like she wanted to help, so why should Charlie refuse? Whether he could trust her or not, what could she do to him that was worse than what the town seemed to be able to?
"Um, yeah. Name's Charlie, and I'm guessing you're An?" he asked since she seemed to be some kind of third person person, "Well last time I saw them was just before I...uh, lost consciousness, when I was attacked earlier. There were two girls with me. Maybe you've seen them?"
As much what happened to the other two concerned him he was getting tired of walking around barefoot. He had no idea what was in the waters he had to run through before. He was also tired of the pebbles in the soles of his feet. Maybe his shoes were back where that THING had lopped his head off. He might find out where those other girls went from there.
Soon the second Lukkoth Flier had emerged from the portal and stood ready for orders. The imps jumped around with vigorous energy, seemingly ready to do something other than stand around idly. They chattered amongst themselves while Cynathrax looked over the city. Finally, he decided on a course of action.
"Imps," he addressed, "go through the streets and look for anything of interest. The Fliers will join you. Meanwhile, I'm going to investigate the circle that surrounds the city." With excited chatters, they began to descend down the side of the building while the Fliers hovered above the street. As they took off, Cynathrax jumped into flight and headed for the outskirts of the abandoned town.
An nodded her head, her smile never wavering. Feather creature name was Charlie? Charlie seemed so normal since feather creatures from what little An had run into before (tengus being the most frequent) seemed to enjoy naming themselves after the sky or a sly hint towards their own nature. Although, they did seem to fail when they named An considering her name meant "peace flower." The lion cub was much too wound up to even be considered "peaceful."
"An hasn't seen anybody but Charlie!" An announced. The pup seemed to deflate for a moment. "An doesn't know where she is." However, she perked up like her wave of depression never happened. "An can find them too though! If Charlie has their scent, An can track them down!"
She tracked by scent, huh? Well it wasn't the weirdest thing he'd seen all day. The problem was, besides a gun barrel pressed against his chest, he hadn't really made contact with or taken anything belonging to the other two girls. Though seeing as there seemed to only be four people, not counting the human looking thing he saw flying over the town, in the entire town. Chances were pretty good that if she picked up any scent it would be one of them. There was at least one real landmark he could find his way by in this town to give this girl a starting point.
"Sorry, but like a lot of women, I didn't really get close enough to get any kind of scent for you. I might be able to give you a starting point though. Last time I saw them we weren't far from the fountain at the center of town. Can't be too hard to find our way there."
Fountain? An didn't know where that was, even if Charlie said it was in the middle of town. She knew what it was though. She had learned recently when she was chasing a sparrow. She had wandered into a park, and there was this odd thing gushing water a lot, with a big sink at the bottom collecting the water.
When she tried to drink from it though, everybody yelled at her. Saying it wasn't water she should drink. An didn't understand. Still didn't.
Well, Charlie could show her while they were looking for his shoes. An had a lead on that after all.
Getting on her haunches, she sniffed Charlie's feet before wrinkling her nose, running her tongue against the rough of her mouth. Even if her sense of smell was no where as potent as it was in her Shishi form, it wouldn't hurt if Charlie washed his feet every now and then. She told him as much.
"Charlie smelly," she protested, pawing at her nose as if that would get the stench out of her nostrils. Leaning back, she sniffed the air a bit, beginning to prowl a bit like a cat would as she located the trail. Once she found it, she stood up. Ji always was yelling at her to walk on two legs when she was a human. An wondered why humans couldn't just walk on all fours.
She began to follow the trail, sniffing the air loudly, crinkling her nose every so often. It would have been easier if she had just shifted forms, but she didn't want to get yelled at again for changing when it wasn't absolutely necessary.
Turning a corner, she caught a strong stench. Charlie's stench. She gave an excited yip and ran off ahead of Charlie. She had found his shoes! Charlie was going to be so hap-
She stopped dead in her tracks. On the ground was a head. Charlie's head.
A blue eye stared at her. Just behind it was her brother's body, or what remained of it. Red painted the sidewalk and his-theirs-wild flame red hair was matted down by the rubble which laid on top of it.
Within the next five minutes, Cynathrax had reached the outskirts of the town. He spotted one of the markings on the ground and went down to investigate them. There was a clearing that was clearly not natural, as all the branches were just cut off and formed a large circle where nothing grew between it and the sky. Cynathrax landed just a few feet outside of it and slowly approached it. Kneeling onto the ground, he ran his fingers through the grass on the edge of the circle.
"It's under the earth..." he breathed.
"Charlie smelly," the girl said to him. It was probably the sewer water on his feet. What a strange young girl this is, Charlie thought to himself.
The girl seemed eager to help, and she seemed confident that she was on the trail. Charlie tried to keep up with her as she ran through the streets. There seemed to be something to her sense of smell after all. after a while the streets started looking familiar again. They were getting close to where Charlie had been attacked. Suddenly Charlie lost sight of the girl, but immediately heard a loud scream.
When he caught up to her she was just standing there looking terrified. She was staring at something just around the corner from where he was. He put his hand on her shoulder to get her attention and asked, "Hey, what's wrong?" When she turned her head to look at him he looked where she had been staring. Under a small bit of rubble there was...His shoes? Charlie wanted to think something was wrong with her, but his thoughts drifted to the manhole he'd only just come out of a short time ago that disappeared the moment he wasn't looking at it. She may not have seen what he's seeing now.
"An, what did you see?"
An was trembling as she turned. There was Charlie behind her with his head firmly planted on his shoulders. He was looking right where she was, yet she didn't see anything. She trembled as she turned back to look. The head was gone, yet the stench still lingered in her nostrils. It was there. It was definitely there.
"An doesn't understand," she whimpered. "Charlie's head was on the ground, but now its on Charlie's body again."
Charlie's head had been there before. He didn't know why she was seeing it now, but he should at least try to comfort the girl. The way she acted made him think she was younger than she looked. He figured the truth would keep her from thinking she was just delusional, though Charlie didn't like telling people about it that much. People knowing he would just come back to life tended to make them act more recklessly in regards to his safety. He didn't stay dead, but dying was still pretty unpleasant.
"I can tell you you're not delusional or anything. I was beheaded here earlier," Charlie walked over and started putting his shoes on, "but don't worry, even if you see that again. I never stay dead for long. That doesn't have anything to do with this place though, but this town does seem to try and trick you. I can't tell if it's showing things that aren't there or just hiding other things from sight."
An opened her mouth before closing it again, confused. She looked back to where the head used to be and then to Charlie. She didn't understand. Charlie didn't stay dead for long? But how was that possible?
Could Charlie be a vampire? No. They die. So do zombies if you cut off their heads. Charlie not be a human, but what kind of creature Charlie be? An has never heard of such a monster before!
"An no hear of a monster which never die," An protested as she followed him skittishly, her animal instincts now on full alert now. Not that they weren't earlier, but it seems they went to hyper drive mode. She had become a lot jumpier, and even the wind blowing across her face startled her. She was like a frightened animal who didn't know what was going on.
Oh wait, that's exactly what she was.
"Well I dunno if I'd call myself a monster or not. Just an altered human," Charlie said. He knew she probably wouldn't understand the details if he went into it. He tried to think about what to do next. He had his shoes back like he wanted, but still no real idea what was going on here, "Hey An, do you smell anyone else around here? There were two other people with me."
Charlie wondered what happened to the other two girls. He also wondered what they saw. Did they see his head laying there like An just did? With what An saw he couldn't get a good grasp on how long he'd been out. Hopefully An could help him find them. Maybe then they could figure out what was happening.
Altered human? An wasn't sure what that was. She wasn't sure how humans could be altered, unless they were changed. But then he wouldn't be a human anymore. He would be a werewolf, vampire or something of the like. There were very few monsters who were able to turn regular humans into their species. But even they couldn't survive a beheading-
An twitched some as the image came back into her head. She was going to be repressing that later on as well. By the end of this, she was going to be repressing a lot of things. Heaven forbid if one day any and all of this came out. Whoever was dealing with it would be dealing with a very upset and mentally unstable lion. Not a good thing to be sure.
"An smells something," An said finally as she sniffed in the area. Besides the electrical scent which seemed to en-campus the entire city, there was two distinct scents of blood. One was Charlies. The other, she didn't know what. It was odd though. "It's this way."
She darted off, leaving Charlie to catch up. She really wasn't sure where she was going, but the blood trail gave her a pretty clear path.
There was that shadow again, but it was gone in an instant, flying away from where she'd been approaching. Too late to follow it now. But as she looked up, she saw more of the same flying creatures they'd seen earlier, along with what looked like... shadows? Climbing down the sides of the building. What should she do? Should she wait on them to reach down? Fire at them from here? Or climb up and see what's up there. Or a mix of two? Maybe they'd lead her somewhere. To their master? The missing inhabitants of this town?
Sera quickly darted to the side, slipping into the alleyway between buildings, hiding herself away, hoping to tail those creatures. Maybe they'd lead her to find some answers.
Charlie wasn't terribly slow, but this girl's speed was ridiculous. She didn't even seem to realize she was leaving him behind. Before long they were at the edge of the town. Maybe Sera and the other girl had tried to just walk out of the town. Charlie could guess that they wouldn't have gotten far. As Charlie tried to keep An within his sight something else showed up in his peripheral vision. Something that made him freeze and despite knowing better he turned to look straight at it outside the town.
At the edge of the treeline Charlie saw something that haunted his mind long ago. A black goat with seven eyes all of which were looking at him. The thing had never touched him in those waking dreams, but seeing it here and now filled Charlie with more dread than any death he'd experienced before. In a fit Charlie tried to break these feelings long enough to strike at the thing. In all his dreams Charlie simply stood there feeling scared and not doing anything.
"I'm not that same scared kid!" Charlie yelled at the thing pointing his gun at the beast just outside the forest, but before he could even pull the trigger a veil of white feathers swooped upwards through his vision blocking the goat from vision just long enough for it to disappear. For a moment Charlie started to panic thinking his poncho had been pulled off, but a quick pat to his chest made him realize he was still wearing it. He looked around for a moment and saw An next to him. She'd probably wondered why he stopped following her. Now that he thought about it the town had probably been messing with him.
"An saw a..." An scrunched her nose, not sure what the animal was. It wasn't normal though. It had too many eyes for that. She bit her lip as she thought. It wasn't a monster she saw before, and she didn't get the feeling it was a monster, but it was much too far away for her to get a better look to be sure.
"It was black with seven eyes," she said finally, settling for describing the creature. "An doesn't know what type of creature it be, since An never saw it before."
Made by Strawberry
Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it BA Characters