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News Scrolly Thingy

Welcome to Year Eight

"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurtin' fore she keens. Makes her a home."

Year Eight and Still Flyin'! Thank You, Everyone!

Pages: (3) [1] 2 3  ( Go to first unread post )

 Keep Holy the Sabbath, Ares Shield Season 2 - Episode 3
Ares Shield
Posted: Aug 24 2011, 01:43 PM

A Pale Horse

Group: Forum Moderators
Posts: 44
Member No.: 33
Joined: 7-May 06


Everyone needs it, every cause needs to respect it, but for the wicked, rest is elusive.

As it is for those that hunt them.


For the last two weeks, The Ares Shield has stayed on Persephone, hunting Niska’s agents; agents that believed themselves hidden, but Beatrix Ladden and her tortured truth have cast aside the stones covering the tombs of Eavesdown’s wicked and directed the Shield’s soldiers in their quest of vengeance. Info Merchants, Dealers, and Killers have been burned down and the blood of bastards has run ankle deep throughout the streets.

The Tongs have taken a holiday, leery of this new force, and the other evildoers have braced their doors with cocked chairs and prayer.

But the righteous and the just have walked without fear in the warm sunshine, inheritors of that particular earth.

Persephone’s Guardian had returned, and with his flight of Angels, no devil stood a chance.

But no matter the being, rest was required and sometimes...sometimes peace came in a different form...

Welcome to The Ares Shield Season 2 Episode 3, ‘Keep Holy the Sabbath’!

(Please hold for general posting until after the next post)
(Beatrix, Zandra, and Mack will be on The Shield…Lex, Tibby, Bugger and Womack will be rollin’ …Lets rock ;) )
Shepard Yatsy
Posted: Aug 24 2011, 03:01 PM

The Bad Shepard

Group: Members
Posts: 6
Member No.: 1,180
Joined: 26-May 11

The fine leather pair of boots made an impact on the puddle's surface. Filthy water splashed in all directions, some of it even onto the Shepard's robes. He didn't care; no harm done. The Eavesdown docks were not a clean place, physically or spiritually. Clutching the Lord's word in his left hand and keeping his right wrapped tightly around the handle of his makeshift staff, the Shepard continued looking for the ship.

If any of the busy dock workers and travelers looked upon him they would see an old man, swathed in the robes and collar of a Shepard. While his face contained a kindly smile, his eyes contained lingering traces of deep sorrow, his walk was stiff, that of a man who has suffered major injuries in his past. Yet he held his head up, a man confident that Holy God held him safe in his arms. Yet those who looked with closer intentions would see the slight bulge in the side of the Shepard's robes, almost hidden behind the simple canvas satchel. They'd also see the way the top of the Shepard's “Staff” protruded, despite its canvas covering. Yet no one say these things, they simply saw yet another Shepard seeking passage off this world.

But Shepard Davinforth Yatsy was not looking to leave. He was looking for a ship, a very specific ship, a ship called the I.A.V. Ares Shield. In his minds eye he could still hear the man telling him what he needed to know.

* * * * *
The door to the booth slid open, the man entering confession. Yatsy closed his Bible, “Welcome my son. I am ready to take your confession.”

The man spoke softly, his voice weak as if he'd been crying, “Forgive my father for I have sinned.” He gasped out, managing to keep himself under control. “I worked for the devil Father...”

“The devil?” Yatsy was confounded. “Are you sure?”

“Yes Father, but he goes by a different name. We called him Mr Niska...”

* * * * *

Yatsy shook the memories aside, there was work that needed doing. Even as he pressed on, a beggar approached him, hands held outward. “Father, I have nothing. Please spare me some credits!”

The Shepard gave a guarded smile, placing his hand on the man's shoulder. “I'm afraid I don't have any money, however...” Reaching back into his haversack the Shepard withdrew a loaf of bread. It was fresh, hand baked, smelling heavenly with its aroma. “Take this and God be with you.”

“Thank you Father! Thank you!” The beggar cried, tears in his eye. Yatsy smiled, taking his Bible up once again.

Yet have I really helped this man? What if he works for evil? What if he turns to evil? Have I only made it worse? Should I just have let him be?

Images flashed before his eyes, a burning church, bodies everywhere, his robes tattered, the crowbar in his hand soaked with blood, the barrel of the gun, phantom pain. Yatsy winced as he felt it, searing through his flesh. His task seemed so large. Yet he had the Shield, they could help him, he had a mission to accomplish, a divine task. Niska would die and his organization would fall. With purpose the Shepard strode forth down the docks, God would take him where he needed to go...
Posted: Aug 25 2011, 01:33 PM


Group: NPC
Posts: 1
Member No.: 1,225
Joined: 25-August 11

Elsewhere - Beneath Persephone (*This one is rated PG-13 for language)

”No I got it,” Scales snapped in irritation.

Walking through the vast subterranean space with his stem phone against his ear, the capo seemed nervous beyond his own product’s effect on his system,
”You keep tellin’ me there ain’t nothin’ to worry about, boss, but Bait and Master just got steam-rolled last night by that ruttin’ maniac!”

Held between unsteady fingers, his cigarette made a constant circuit from his lips to his side,
”Yeah you ruttin’ told them they was safe too!”

The death rattle voice on the other end of the line rose, violence in every syllable.

Scales’ cigarette glowed brighter, as he absorbed the barrage from his superior. However, the normal fear he would’ve felt at angering Manuel Sandoval was diluted by the mortal terror birthed by The Ares Shield’s arrival on Persephone and its subsequent crusade against all things Niska.

He was scared, but Manny simply wasn’t scary enough to take the crown of fear.

Anger lanced in the capo’s Drop dilated pupils, and he shocked both participants in the conversation by barking back,
”You know, fuck you and your half-ass’d assurances, Manny! You swear me and mine are hidden, but Master’s lab was under the ruttin’ reclamation plant…let me repeat myself, UNDER THE RUTTIN’ PLANT!!!”

Careful not to let his cigarette land near the flammable ingredients of his Drops, Scales flicked the smoke into the corner and shifted the phone to his other ear,
”Bottom line is I ain’t equipped to repel ruttin’ boarders, that’s your job!”

Several of the techs and thugs scattered around the massive chain of joined basements looked over in concern as their boss verbally attacked a very dangerous being. Looks were exchanged between a few, with the prevailing non-verbal opinion being that Scales had crossed a terminal line.

Yet still the capo raged,
”You’re in the city, bitch, so get your sorry ass down here with some muscle and man the ruttin’ walls!”

Before Manny’s promise of pain could pass his nicotine stained lips, the subterranean world of Scales and his cronies turned white from the ‘pop’ of three stun grenades

The capo couldn’t see a thing and his people began to scream around him. Yet, one voice rose over the chaos of the criminals, commanding them with the weight of justice…


Still stunned, Scales screamed into the stem phone,
”Jesus! Jesus Christ! He’s here, Womack’s here!!!”
Lt. Karl Womack
Posted: Aug 29 2011, 12:21 PM

Bad Lieutenant

Group: Forum Moderators
Posts: 259
Member No.: 29
Joined: 6-May 06

Beneath Persephone

Alright, partner
Keep on Rollin’, baby
You know what time it is

”Throw your hands up!”, Womack stared down the dazed thug at the end of his dark gun’s barrel.

Hesitation reigned, as the man made the biggest decision of his life.

Karl drew back the hammer of Pao Nu’s pistol,
”THROW your hands up!”

Trembling, his target’s fingers flexed above the holster he wore low on his hip.

Womack’s tank of patience ran on fumes,

Urine soaked the front of the thug’s cargo pants and darkened the material along his inner thighs, and his hands lifted toward the heaven he would never see.

Move in, now move out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, Back up
Tell me what you gonna do now

Lex and Tibby moved like falcons from his right and left, sweeping over the gathered refuse and parroting Womack’s command to all those they encountered.

Reeling from the stun grenades, most of the gang in the Drop den surrendered immediately…save one.

The man, a red head with a spider-web tattoo covering his right eye, scrambled to reach three shotguns leaning against the far wall. Womack’s slug tore through his knee five feet from them.

Unaware of the progress Lex and Tibby were making, Karl, confident in the pair’s ability to heel the room, focused solely on the man he had just shot. The Spider rolled over cradling his shattered joint but surprisingly didn’t utter one noise; instead he glared at Womack.

Face-to-face with the criminal, the bad lieutenant flicked his barrel at the scabbed over cut along the man’s cheek,
”Told you to skin out, boy; Persephone is off-limits to them that knee to Niska.”

”You can’t toss me off-planet,” the thug hissed through gritted teeth, ”You’re just a ruttin’ normal cop…you ain’t got that kind of juice.”

Womack allowed a haunted smirk to tickle his lips,
”What about me says ‘normal’?”

Doubt tickled the skin beneath the spider’s web, and the man turned to the lessons of reality, of the status quo,
”You can’t kill me…y…you’re a cop. You gotta take me in.”

The smirk dropped from Womack’s face, and his voice foretold a doom a beat before his weapon fulfilled the prophecy,
”I’m a different kind of cop.”


Keep rollin', rollin', rollin', rollin'

(*Purple and Pain, heel the room as you see fit. If they have the ‘mark’, they’ve got to go.)
(Music by Limp Bizkit)
Zandra Sun
Posted: Aug 30 2011, 05:54 PM

The Broken Soul

Group: Members
Posts: 18
Member No.: 1,166
Joined: 10-May 11

On Board The Shield

Sing to me
Sing to me
I don't want to wake up
On my own anymore

Zandra stared at the metallic wall in front of her, her body curled up in a ball. Two weeks on this ship and she hadn't left, yet. She didn't speak. She didn't leave this room she'd been given. The teenage girl, now freed from her stepfather's abuse, had no idea how to live. She'd felt alone since the death of her mother, but now, being physically alone, she couldn't think of what to do. Her stepfather had at least given her something to do. Now, it was as if there was no life left in her, no emotion, no soul. She was just an empty shell, her eyes conveying her hollow being.

She'd been given clothes her second day on board, which she was grateful for. It had turned out they were too large for her due to her petite frame. She liked that, though. Zandra preferred them loose. She'd worn such tight clothing for so long, it was comforting to swim in your clothes. She had pulled the sleeves of the sweatshirt she was wearing over the palms of her hands, placing them in front of her mouth, nails digging into the fabric and a blanket to hold it in place. The blanket was pulled up to her chin, her back facing the door.

Don't feel bad for me
I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart
I really want to go

She'd been checked on several times by the ship's doctor. Beatrix, her name was. Zandra figured it was a necessity of her job. After all, the teenager had come aboard with a large scrape on her back as well as being a rape victim. She could only assume Beatrix was searching for residual damage. Zandra was sure that whatever afflictions remained were all mental and emotion, though, nothing to be found by a doctor. Only scars.

Zandra also got the feeling that the doctor wasn't pleased to have her on board.

Womack had come once or twice. Maybe more. She wouldn't know. She found herself sleeping often or just staring at this wall. She often debated whether she should ask the captain if he could somehow get her bass from the club if it was still there. At least she could play music if she had it, be inspired to do something. But she always ended up talking herself out of it.

Zandra was sure that her soul was shattered. With every piece of abuse she'd taken, she was sure that a piece of her soul had simply broken. Without the pain, she seemed to feel numb, nothing. What was the point of living if you felt nothing at all?

There is another world
There is a better world
Well, there must be

(Music by Emily Browning)
Bugger Jones
Posted: Sep 1 2011, 12:18 PM

Last of the 666th

Group: NPC
Posts: 39
Member No.: 277
Joined: 25-February 07

Beneath Persephone

As the wave of destruction known as Khan, Lexington and Womack swept through the space, the bearded form of Bugger Jones appeared behind them from the shadows. None that knew him before would know him now…he had become his evolution.

In his right hand, a high capacity smg pointed at the subterranean space’s ceiling; ready to drop lead and fools should the need arise. Meanwhile, his left hand, sheathed in a latex glove, carried a Frankenstonian device of his own design. Its upper half, which rested above his thumb and forefinger, consisted of a three-dimensional stick capture and resembled a wizard’s wand, but, while the top claimed the birthright of technology, the lower half was much more medieval. Though looking like a dagger or Turkish knife, it was in fact a stainless surgeon’s detail saw, and it hummed a tune of blood.

Before the simple Drop cookers and low-level thugs could react, Bugger, once one of their ilk, rushed each of the defeated, scanned their faces with the wand, and opened a neat cut along each of their cheeks. Adept at the hand-eye coordination required for travelling the Cortex, Jones never left more than a thin shallow scratch…one that would fade into a white line with time.

After nine such brands, Bugger moved to the side of the room and raised his machine pistol, covering Niska’s low-lifes, and with a nod to Womack, he waited for the others to break the room.

Not once did he compare himself with those he guarded.

He was different.

He was more.

He was Faceless.
Christy Lexington
Posted: Sep 7 2011, 05:48 PM

Lex is a boy's name

Group: Members
Posts: 42
Member No.: 1,093
Joined: 27-May 10

This, Lex could handle.

In the chaos of the attack Lex had peace of mind. Her orders - though she didn't think of them like that - were simple and clear: Control the room. Lead the smooth-cheeked to Bugger. Kill anyone already marked.

Lex marched into the den behind Womack, though she still didn't consider herself one of his followers. She had not chosen a side in this fight, but she walked in by Tibby's.

Once the initial panic and violence was quietened, a face caught Lex's eye. It was a face marred by a thin line down one cheek. Lex glanced at Tibby and Womack; she had a need to make sure they saw.

With a stride full of more purpose than she felt, the blone assassin moved an arm's length from the dead man walking. She smiled at him, and in a tone terrifying in its cheerfulness stated, "I see you've met the Lieutenant before." And before he could take his last breath, Lex put a bullet in his head. At point-blank range, a splurt of blood spattered across Lex's face. She didn't flinch and her hand did not shake; she had a point to prove, to herself at least.

Lex didn't watch the body fall but turned to face the room again. With a killer's smile she asked casually, "Anyone else?"
Tiberius Khan
Posted: Sep 8 2011, 09:55 PM

Large Muscular Lawman

Group: Members
Posts: 120
Member No.: 250
Joined: 16-January 07

Tiberius entered the Den right behind Womack and Lex. He carried a pistol in a leg holster and a pistol gripped shotgun with folding stock in his right hand, the barrel resting on his shoulder. The big cop made no sounds save for barking the command for everyone to put their hands up and the occasional whine from the servos in his cybernetic parts.

He then prowled the room like a wolf sniffing out wounded prey, looking for anyone who had the misfortune of carrying the mark. He caught Lex's glance and gave her an acknowledging nod. He watched as she made her way over to one such bearer, spoke a few words, and then splattered their brains out the back of their head.

The big, bad, and intimidating cop caught movement out of the corner of his right eye and moved to intercept. He clocked the would be runner upside the head with the rear pistol grip of the shotgun, watching as the man did a one hundred and eighty degree turn in the air before slamming face first into the hard ground. Using his right foot to kick the man over, Tiberius literally and almost physically shoved the barrel of the scatter-gun into the man's left nostril.

Seeing the mark on the man's right cheek, Tiberius smiled grimly and said, "Say goodnight, Gracie."

There as a split second of silence before the thunderous boom filled the room as Khan's shotgun obliterated the marked man's face. Bits of blood, bone, muscle, and brain matter painted the floor and the nearby walls as well as Tibby's shoes and pant legs.

Muttering a swear in Chinese as he ejected the spent shell from his shotgun, Tiberius wiped what he could off on the deceased's body and muttered, "Great. And I just had these cleaned.. Motherrutter."
Lt. Karl Womack
Posted: Sep 9 2011, 09:18 AM

Bad Lieutenant

Group: Forum Moderators
Posts: 259
Member No.: 29
Joined: 6-May 06

Beneath Persephone

Lex and Tibby were with him for a reason; they would pull the trigger and not think twice about the morality involved. Khan’s reasons were his own, and Lexington seemed to simply get off on the reaping. Womack wasn’t concerned with their motivation, just that they were motivated. They held a darkness that the others did not…which made them very valuable assets.

For a second, his mind flashed to days past, when he and Skunk stood over a burning body, and he defeated the theory in his own mind; the one that believed his cold-bloodedness to be a product of Pao Nu. No, he had always been one with the lengths needed to procure justice. He wasn’t a superhero, one with a set of untarnished morals; he was a vigilante, a realist and execution was a very effective tool in his lethal utility belt.

Some might call their ‘sweep’ of the Drop den murder, but Womack preferred his own designation of justice. He knew that Persephone’s legal system contained more purchased folks than a slave auction, and in war, he couldn’t be expected to face the same foes over and over. Still, the small fraction of his soul that remained human was not without hope; hope that with one last chance, even the wayward could be righted.

In all three criminals lay on the filthy floor growing colder and not older.

Three pieces of go se.

Three that wore his mark.

Three that had been warned.

Shaking off his inner debate, he returned his full attention to the room. Only one of the living remained unmarked, the assumed leader cowering in the corner, a stem phone still held to his ear.

To the newly branded, Womack turned,
”Look hard at your buddies on the floor,” ice blue eyes burned with hatred, ”They carried our signature on their cheeks, and they heard the same thing I’m about to tell you.”

Drawing himself straight, the broken cop faced the living thugs while he stood over the dead,
”Leave. Skin out. Get the rutt out of Dodge, Persephone and the employ of Niska; ‘cause if we gander your pigus in another of the Old Rutt’s shops or ops, well…” Womack spread his arms wide, inviting his audience to view his props and the stories they told in death.

”There won’t be no discussions, no pleas; my mercy begins and ends right here,” a deadly smile tickled the left side of Karl’s mouth, ”Now I know what your thinkin’; you’re thinkin’ Sandoval’s gonna stop us before long, and if you stay in the life, you’ll be safe soon. A dead man can’t hurt nobody, right?”

Womack’s smile vanished,
”These boys thought that too, so now you’re askin’ yourselves the same thing they asked themselves, ‘can Manny stop Womack before he sees me again?’ But what you should be askin’ yourselves is, ‘can Manny stop Womack?’”

Silence hung thick in the subterranean lair, a haze of possibility floating from Fate’s pipe.

”That’s the bet you’re makin’ with your lives,” Womack finally continued, ”If you think Manny can stop me and mine, stick around, but if you bet that our path’s will cross again and decide to disappear, well then, you’ll win your future. Can’t say I give two shits one way or the other, but you might save Tibby a cleaning bill…which would be considerate.”

Done with the dregs before him, Womack crossed over to Scales. The terrified Drop dealer started to say something, to beg for his life, but a raised palm from Womack stopped him cold. Karl’s hand rolled over until it lay flat, and the cop motioned for Scales to hand over his stem phone.

The dealer seemed surprised that he still held the device and quickly handed it over.

Womack brought the phone up to his ear, ignoring the smell of cheap tobacco that coated the mic. Before his words crept from his lips, they drew into a smile once again,
”Hi, Manny…welcome to my chair.”
Christy Lexington
Posted: Sep 30 2011, 09:32 AM

Lex is a boy's name

Group: Members
Posts: 42
Member No.: 1,093
Joined: 27-May 10

When Tibby pulled the trigger on his marked man, Lex didn't quite flinch but muscles tensed in her shoulders. She would berate herself for that later.

Lex watched the room like a good soldier, but she was also listening to Womack. Admire seemed too strong a word, but she liked the fact that he was giving them a chance. No, not just a chance. He was giving them a reason to start new lives, to become something more than just scum. She would have liked that opportunity. But there had never been any incentive.

She smiled again, briefly, as Womack joked about Tibby's cleaning bill. She turned to the big man and gave him a flicker of his eyebrows, just a share in the feelings of camaraderie that group murder had brought about in her.
Posted: Oct 20 2011, 10:11 AM


Group: NPC
Posts: 6
Member No.: 1,169
Joined: 11-May 11

She wasn't supposed to be here, in this pithole that stank of burning chemicals and stale urine and old take-out food half-rotted in the heat. Her pink sneakers danced light steps around the bodies, mincing to avoid the blood that pooled. In the hell-light, her blonde hair shimmered around her pale face, her heart-shaped mouth drawn down in a small frown as she slipped past the others.

He told her to stay onboard, safe on the ship with Beatrix and Zandra. That was just his way... he didn't know she never left him, not when he slept, not when he dreamed, and not, especially not, when he worked.

He never wanted her to see the violence inherent in the man, guarded her zealously from it ... As though she, of all people, would judge him, weigh him on the scales of the balance of her heart and find him burdenful, too heavy with the blood he'd shed.

Shantassa slid silently to Karlov's elbow as he delivered his message to yet another man who had left her with a scar to bear.

Hi, Manny...welcome to my chair.

Karl didn't know that her scales didn't weigh blood. They weighed Karma. And with those words, a smile touched her lips. Manuel Sandoval's Samsara was coming full circle, and the scales with which he was weighed would soon begin to balance.

The den around her reeked of addiction and death, but in Shantassa's pale blue eyes, as she looked up at Karlov, the lotus blossoms opened fragile petals to the sky. Karlov, Tiberius, Mac, Lexxy ... They were all just angels in the Garden of Fate.

OOC: For those who are new here- Shanti isn't really here- She's actually on The Raven. This Shantassa exists as figment of Karl's imagination, a 'ghost' if you will.
Tiberius Khan
Posted: Nov 20 2011, 04:55 PM

Large Muscular Lawman

Group: Members
Posts: 120
Member No.: 250
Joined: 16-January 07

The air reeked of cordite, death, and fear as Tiberius stood surveying those still alive in the Den, whilst Womack talked some sense into them and gave them a chance to either start their lives anew or wind up on the floor like their buddies. The big man with the pistol gripped shotgun in his hands snorted a bit at the mention of his cleaning bill before catching the look that Lex had sent his way.

Walking over to her while Womack borrowed the stem phone from Scales, Tibby gave her a brief smile as he placed a hand on a shoulder and said, "You did good, Lex. You did real good."

He then gave her shoulder a pat as Womack finished his brief call. After a split second of silence hung in the air, Khan said to the other lawman, "So are we to be expecting guests? Cause if so, then I'm afraid I left my formal attire back at the ship."
Det. 'Manny' Sandoval
Posted: Nov 29 2011, 01:45 PM

Death's Son

Group: NPC
Posts: 38
Member No.: 256
Joined: 22-January 07


”Hi, Manny…welcome to my chair.”

Sandoval froze and a drag of creaking vocal chords carried an audible ‘tell’ to the ears of Karlov Womack.

Silently cursing his reaction, the fallen detective transferred his stem phone from his left ear to his right, all the while maintaining a firm liplock on the King Purple dangling from his stained mouth.

Around him the warehouse hustled and bustled with the business of terror and the lengthy preparation needed for it to be done correctly. Body armor lined the walls, while weapons of devilish design found maintenance beneath the fingers of fiends, and hovers wearing the crest of Allied Law Enforcement rotted beneath the antithesis of their function, noble steeds forced to bear demons instead of knights. The entire place barded the song of a murderer’s rage.

The Army of Niska readied for war.

But the battle had already begun, and Niska’s General had fallen victim to ambush like a cadet fresh from Villainy’s academy. Still Manuel Sandoval was no novice to this life; oh no, he was much more…maniac, criminal, cop, murderer, he was each and all. However, at that moment, he turned to the pursuits of another life, and when he finally opened his mouth to speak to Womack, he danced,
”Damn, Womack, you are something.”

”Buckle-up, rapist, cause you ain’t seen nothin’ yet?”

His death rattle voice produced a phlegm infused chuckle,
”So Pao Nu told you what really happened to your little whore?”

Womack’s tone didn’t change, and the psychological carrot Manny dangled remained bite-free,
”You could say that.”

The smoke danced around his stained teeth, weaving in and out like a forked tongue,
”She had fight that little whore…not enough mind you, but fight…spirit. Of course, after a few hours with us, there really wasn’t much left to fight over.”

Another inhale drug his cigarette’s ember closer to its filter, and with the exhale, he finished,
”Figure once we plant you, we’ll take a little vacation, find that clone you had…Shanti wasn’t it. Yeah, Shanti. I’ll finish what I started all those months ago on your boat, and we’ll see just how much fight she’s got.”
Christy Lexington
Posted: Dec 10 2011, 02:25 AM

Lex is a boy's name

Group: Members
Posts: 42
Member No.: 1,093
Joined: 27-May 10

Walking over to her while Womack borrowed the stem phone from Scales, Tibby gave her a brief smile as he placed a hand on a shoulder and said, "You did good, Lex. You did real good."

Good? Lex didn't think any of this was good. Womack seemed like he was on some holy mission, but Lex had no delusions. The last good thing she had done - possibly the only good thing - was was to leave the people that thought she might be capable of good.

But she knew what Tibby meant. She apprecieated the reinforcement. Of course, she could never let Tibby know that. She couldn't let him think she needed his approval.

Lex stiffened and turned her icy blue gaze on the man. In a dangerous tone she replied, "Don't I always?" She took a few steps away, out of arm's reach. She liked Tibby, but the patting on her shoulder felt a little condescending.

There was a mess on the floor, as she unintentionally stepped towards the marked man she had killed. Something glimmered in his hand - on his hand. Lex squatted, pulled off a gold ring from his finger and rolled it between her index finger and thumb. She'd never taken a souvenir before, but something had compelled her now. A second passed and she changed her mind. She stood and dropped the ring to the floor. It bounced with a quiet tinkle.
Lt. Karl Womack
Posted: Jan 10 2012, 12:30 PM

Bad Lieutenant

Group: Forum Moderators
Posts: 259
Member No.: 29
Joined: 6-May 06

Beneath Persephone

Turning his back to Scales, Womack faced his team: Tiberius, Lexington, Bugger, and Shantassa. His haunted eyes moved to each face, lingering as Manny’s rattle promised death and pain. Though just tools to be hammered against Niska’s might, Karl drew strength from their presence. Christy and Tibby were his swords; Bugger his wizard…and Shantassa, his shield.

He wasn’t broken and naked on the floor of Golgotha.

He wasn’t rudderless chaos driven by revenge.

He wasn’t alone.

Never had his course been clearer.

”Figure once we plant you, we’ll take a little vacation, find that clone you had…Shanti wasn’t it. Yeah, Shanti. I’ll finish what I started all those months ago on your boat, and we’ll see just how much fight she’s got.”

His eyes settled on Shantassa, and they alone saw the woman before him. When he spoke, the words were heard by Manny, but they were not his,
”Am I supposed to laugh?”

A pause conveyed Sandoval’s confusion,
”Now why would you laugh?”

Womack’s mouth betrayed the slightest of smiles,
”Because you said something funny.”

A longer pause ran point for Manny’s inability to define and answer Karl’s cryptic statements.

Finally, the villain settled on the most leading response,
”What did I say that was so funny? Wait let me guess, you’re going to make some crack about me never getting to Shanti on account of you dealing out some murder before I have the occasion? Maybe you’re going to ‘rutt me’ first before I lay hands on your new woman? Come on, Karlov, you can do better than that.”

Womack stared into Shantassa’s eyes,
”You said she was a clone, and if you knew just how wrong you were, you’d think it was funny too.”

When Pao Nu had fallen on him, cutting away the layers of all that he had ever been, Karl had hidden Shanti inside the very depths of his essence; beneath the floorboards of his being…she had become the contraband of his soul.

The torturer’s blade had cut deep, peeling him like an onion, amputating memories, but he had hid Shanti and sacrificed pieces of himself to keep her memory from the razor. Everything else Pao Nu had found: Eddie, Ray, Master D, and Scarlet. However, the meat of those memories had shielded his greatest treasure…and gifted him with salvation.

His reverie has broken, when Bugger stepped forward; his hand cupped over the receiver secreted in his right ear,
”Time’s up.”

Still looking at Shantassa, Karl’s smile grew,
”You hear that, Manny? Time’s up.”

Bugger smiled, nodded and mouthed the words,

”Is that supposed to be funny too.”

Womack’s mouth twisted into an amused sneer,
”No, Manny…that’s hilarious.”

Manny’s voice sounded strained beyond the rigors of his vice; his dying vocal chords betrayed the fear that vibrated them,
”All business, huh Karl…no poetry…no life left in your words.”

Womack’s bright white teeth gleamed in the darkness, and the graying stubble ghosting his chin scrapped against the stem phone, as his face split into a haunted grin,
”Very well, Manny,” his voice dropped into a predatory drawl, one that only a man like he could wield honestly, ”Do you see the horizon? Do you see the cloud hangin' over it? Maybe it’s just a trick of the smoke bleedin' from those pricks you suck on, but maybe, just maybe something out there is burnin’. And maybe, just maybe that something is getting closer, and its torchin’ the ruttin’ earth with each step. Soon your Rome and its dyin’ Caesar will be livin’ in that horizon…burnin’. Rutt the barbarians, Manny…I’m at the gate. Smoke ‘em while you got ‘em."

Throwing the stem phone at the freshly marked Scales, Womack led his reapers out of the pit, leaving the bodies of the living and the dead to their demons.
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