[The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

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Hoid
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[The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Hoid » Mon May 06, 2019 2:46 pm

Bastion, Washer’s Ton District, Noram Bloc
Midnight
It has been a long, long time since men walked the stars like gods. Some mad conflict’d rendered all that effort ash on the wind. Rustdeity, once known by a different name, had been glorious: shining boulevards, miles-high towers, agricenters able to feed billions——even cultural landmarks so famous alien xenogen spoke of them!

That was a long, long time ago. Whatever the Catastrophe was has been forgotten. It was a war, the survivors whispered, a war that set the sky on fire and destroyed entire star systems. No one knew for sure. Literacy was rare, found mostly among untainted bioelites. Formal schooling was non-existent. Survival was too important a task to waste time on such frivolous matters.

Rustdeity’s ecosystems had vanished long before the Catastrophe, turning the entire planet into one massive city. Once the Catastrophe hit, there was suddenly no outside help coming or a way to escape into space, and definitely no arable land. This might have been fixable, had insurgents not made three gigastations go critical, triggering a nuclear winter that took generations to fade.

The air had become foul. Drinkable water was like gold, and eagerly fought over. The endless ‘sea’ of dilapidated, burned-our city blocs had become infested with mutated wildlife, escaped from various zoos. Biotwist humans also lurked in that feral urban mess, degenerate tribes feeding off whatever food they could catch or steal—-which, sadly, often meant other people.

During the day, the sky was smog-covered. Seeing the sun was a rare thing, but hardly a pleasure. The ozone layer had frayed considerably: too much direct sunlight often meant cancer...or worse.

At night, the stars were no longer visible. The moon, rarely seen, was an ill-omen, as robotic drones sometimes descended from the lunar surface to harvest human beings for some unknowable grisly purpose.

But life survived nonetheless. Food and drinkable water could still be found. Nano-assembler factories the size of small warehouses produced edible-if-flavorless foodstuffs, and purified water, making it safe to drink. These biocreches were fiercely fought over.

And, if you were lucky, you might find a greenhouse, fully automated and still miraculously running after all this time. With no one to maintenance them, plantlife within usually grew out of control, creating a botanical feast unimaginable to most of the peoples of Rustdeity.

And if the Nameless God was with you, you’d find a structure that was both. Such was the case with Bastion. Protected by the mighty hero Imperious, Bastion was a beacon of hope in a never ending industrial nightmare. With six thousand bioelites inside its walls, it had such luxuries as running water, flushing toilets and enough purified water to safely waste in normally frivolous things like hygiene.

Of course were it not for Imperious, Bastion would’ve fallen long ago. The god-monster Arcaninauts would’ve burned it to the ground, or the Iron Enginseers would’ve laid siege to it to contest for ownership, or even mutant hordes demanding access but not blessed with restraint enough to carefully husband Bastion’s resources.

But that was not all that made Bastion important, for it had access to the Locked Sea. Once 75% of Rustdeity had been covered in ocean. Pre-Catastrophe, this bounteous water source had been paved over and transformed into unimaginably vast aquacultural farms, zoos and cisterns. Bastion, with the Locked Sea to its right, had fish, a delicacy rarely had.

Life in Bastion was good. Oh, of course, outside forces would try and take it—-mutant gangs, reaver tribes, even the occasional lone Arcaninaut—-but mighty Imperious stood sentinel, and, under his careful watch, Bastion stood strong.

Bastion was not a single building. No, it was a massive complex of structures laid out in a cross pattern and surrounded by high walls, parts of which had been repaired by scavenged bits of metal from the outlying territory. In the dead center of it all was Homestead, a fortress-like cube where everyone slept each night.

It is now midnight, and Imperious has been on the walls for several hours, keeping watch. To his left was Mickey, an alopecia-suffering wastes-wanderer Imperious had rescued a little less than a year ago. Mickey was skilled with knifefighting and ambushes; Imperious suspected she’d been a reaver, at one point. But Mickey’d been ok’d by Mr. Ashcroft, and people learned quickly to accept her.

(Aside from Imperious, only one inhabitant of Bastion had powers: Mr. Ashcroft, a mutant, the only mutant in Bastion, who’d been blessed with telepathy.)

“Lovely night,” Mickey remarked. Her eyes turned eastwards. Far off in the distance, a massive tire fire had beers burning for weeks.

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Sakuro
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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Sakuro » Mon May 06, 2019 8:21 pm

Imperious might have been considered handsome once. He probably didn't look as young as he was anymore. A mere twenty-one years and he'd been through so much. Before his skin had been scarred by unnaturally hot flames. His left cheek, and down at an angle over his neck looked like the flesh had been melted, then cooled giving it an unnatural warped yet smooth texture. There was more further down, but that was obscured by his attire which included gloves. As he looked at the burning fire in the distance, he remembered the flames that burned in his past. Part of him said that he should have made an effort to extinguish that fire weeks ago. Another told him that fires needed to burn. Fire, an ancient ally of man, needed to feed it's hunger or it would die. Just like a man. Where was the balance? He needed to find it. But Rustdeity felt so out of balance, maybe it needed to be created. Forced.

Prone to brooding when left to his own thoughts Imperious felt himself start to head down that road. Then Mickey's voice broke the silence. Just two words, but it was enough to draw his thoughts back from going to some potentially dark place. Imperious heard the moans of a world in torment over it's perpetual wasting. He heard it's cries of pain. It was often hard for him to find beauty and goodness amidst that. But he still looked. For a moment his lips pressed into a thin line. Then, with his eyes panning the horizon, he responded in a mild tone of voice.

"Let me borrow your eyes Mickey. Tell me, what do you see?"

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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Hoid » Mon May 06, 2019 8:34 pm

Mickey spat off the wall. “I see trouble,” she answered. “One scouting party failed to return. They sent me to tell you. It was Renner’s group, they’d been heading towards the Lock—-something about beastmen.” She frowned. “Not sure. Renner was closed mouthed. Like always.”

Renner was another rescue by Imperious, but was nowhere near sane. The man felt no fear. The man rushed into a fight. The man made snap judgments that sometimes came back to haunt him. But—-Renner had a nose for scouting. His groups often came back carting the weirdest and most useful things. (Last summer, Renner’d somehow found a field, buried under ten tons of concrete, filled with barrel after barrel, full of crude oil.)

Mickey sighed. “What do we do about it?”

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Sakuro
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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Sakuro » Mon May 06, 2019 8:57 pm

Imperious wasn't sure what he was expecting to hear. Perhaps something mundane. Something that did not entail potential lose of life or suffering. Perhaps some simple description of beauty in an ugly world. His eyes rose to the sky. Of course. Imperious thought to himself. Trouble.. That made more sense. Peering past and through the smog clouds he took a moment to glimpse the moon and stars beyond. For half a minute or so he was quiet, thinking about the situation. Something needed to be done. More than frantic directionless searching. The search area needed to be narrowed down. Leveling his gaze he turned and brought emerald green eyes to fix on Mickey.

"Did Renner speak to anyone, or take any noteworthy equipment with him before his group set off? You said he mentioned something about beastmen. Do we know of any packs in the area they set off toward?"
OOC wrote:Is "Lock" shorthand for the Locked Sea? Indicating that Renner's group would have headed west?

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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Hoid » Mon May 06, 2019 9:15 pm

Mickey shook her head. “Speak to anyone? That would me and that guy in the sanitation building—-you know the one? Rick? The guy with one eye? That looks all nasty and gross? Yeah, I think it’s Rick.

“And packs? Packs of beastmen? Not since you cleared out that last bunch. ‘Course, some beastmen are smarter than others...”

She turned her attention to the west, towards the Locked Sea. “Dumb bastard probably got himself eaten. Renner and self-preservation’ve never been on speaking terms.”
OOC:
Despite what Mickey says, there would be other people who might have a clue. Rick is a gossip and good at his job, but is often intoxicated. The gate-guards—-of which there’re six—-had to have seen him go. Nevemind that Renner, while crazy, was not necessarily disorganized.

And yes, Lock = Locked Sea.
Last edited by Hoid on Mon May 06, 2019 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sakuro
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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Sakuro » Mon May 06, 2019 9:50 pm

"What about beastmen in the Lock?"

Imperious mused aloud. How often did land walking humans consider the depths of the sea and what might linger there? How often did the two worlds cross since they became even more divided by the growing cityscape? He let the question linger a second, he himself thinking on what danger could lurk within the water that might crawl up to threaten Bastion. The sea had a wealth of potential resources, but also of potential threats. The pause in dialog was not long though. Soon Imperious spoke, providing the plan of action that Mickey had earlier requested. At least an initial course to navigate.

"Perhaps Renner said something to Rick that will be of use. Talk to him and see what can be found out. Question the gate guards on duty during Renner's departure as well. If you need assistance, pull in a couple other people to lend a hand with the questioning. I am going to Renner's quarters."

Imperious allowed a brief pause for Mickey to respond, then he was gone. In a rush of air and a blur of motion he traveled at super-human speed towards his destination.

Hoid
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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Hoid » Mon May 06, 2019 9:53 pm

Mickey nodded. “Sure thing, boss-man.” She watched him take off, eyes wide with an oddly childlike sense of wonder.
OOC:
Alright, where’s Imperious headed?

Edit: nevermind!

Hoid
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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Hoid » Mon May 06, 2019 9:59 pm

Renner’s quarters in Homestead were bizarrely neat and orderly, for a lunatic. Everything in its proper place, everything just so. His bed was always neatly made, his belongings well-cared-for and his room as spotless as he could make it. On the walls were maps of Washer’s Ton District, covering the Locked Sea to the west to the ruins of Seetel further inland.
OOC:
Investigation roll, please! As for me, I’m using CoyoteCode...

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Sakuro
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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Sakuro » Mon May 06, 2019 10:33 pm

The rush of speed ended outside of Renner's quarters. At the door Imperious began to move at normal human speed again. Inside the room he closed the doorthen looked around. He did not see just things. He saw living things everywhere. Everything had a soul. A life of it's own in Imperious' eyes. Either through compulsion or care Renner had cleaned and organized his space. Imperious could appreciate this. Even indirectly it showed respect for the objects that shared the space with him and were companions in his private life. As he moved through the room Imperious emerald green eyes roamed from item to item. Not with the scrutiny of a detective or analyst, but with depth of someone looking beyond the surface of the world.

"The man that stays here, Renner, left looking for something and has not returned."

After speaking broadly to the room, voicing this information, he turned and eye to the maps that were pinned to the walls. For a time he studied the maps, but eventually he pulled his gaze away to drift once more. Searching the surrounding as though he were searching the faces of a crowd.

"I wish to find him and bring him home safely. Are there any here who know where he may have went, or what he went in search of? Was he talking about, or doing anything different?"
OOC wrote:Unfortunately CoyoteCode does not like me for some reason. I hope my use of Orokos is acceptable.

Gather Information: (Contacts + Comprehend Objects) 1d20+12 29

Hoid
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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Hoid » Mon May 06, 2019 10:42 pm

In his mind, Imperious hears one of the maps—-one showing an area on the Lock outlined in red—-whisper, “He sees me and tries to find what is hidden. But I cannot help him. What he seeks is not with me.

Renner’s bed speaks, “He speaks but no one hears. He answers, but no one speaks. Yet he is not alone.

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Sakuro
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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Sakuro » Mon May 06, 2019 11:04 pm

At hearing the anwser from one of the maps stopped looking around. Turned and brough his attention to bear on the surface of the map. Pacing towards it he looked over it's surface before settling on the area outlined in red. That would indeed help narrow a search down. Imperious was not a scout or nagivator, however, and doubted the map itself knew about the distant area it may or may not have ever been carried to. He wanted information about the area before setting out none-the-less. That meant speaking with a human source on the topic. Reaching his hands up he began to carefully take the map down from the wall.

"Thank you. I am going to show you to someone, then you will be returned to your place."

As he rolled up the map and made to stow it in a protective tube he paused at the second voice raising to note in his mind. Again he turned, now to face the bed. Imperious listened to the information it shared. Mused upon it. Was Renner in communication with some distant party, or one outside mundane perception? Perhaps involving dreams? Dusky skinned eyelids narrowed in a thoughtful fashion before he posed a question to the bed.

"Does he speak a name?"
OOC wrote:Are there any people that would be good to ask about the area marked on the map?

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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Hoid » Mon May 06, 2019 11:30 pm

The map murmurs it’s thanks.

The bed replies, “Yes. He speaks and calls this no one who is there ‘Mara’. He tells her he loves her, and begs her to forgive him.
OOC:
Yes, yes there is. Beaumont (no other name ever given) is a blowhard and a braggart, but he’s an amazing memory and is often sent out on patrols. What he sees, Beaumont remembers.

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Sakuro
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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Sakuro » Tue May 07, 2019 12:30 am

Mara. Imperious thought on the name. Ran it through his memory. Reflected on the way the bed talked about Renner's interaction with this person. Possibly an expired loved one who had yet to seek or find her final end.

"I appreciate this information. It is helpful."

… Imperious finally said to the bed. Turning to the door he made his exit. Walking as a man walked. The door was closed behind him. There was a paus outside as he scanned the world around him, peering through walls and into distances as he looked for Beaumont, and ensured that the man was in his quarters. Then Imperious was gone, a blur once more. Racing through the interior of Homestead while avoiding contact with others Imperious made his way to Beaumont's living quarters. Once at the door he resumed moving at a mundane speed. Loosely forming his right hand into a fist he rapped at the door with his knuckles. Knock. Knock. Knock.
OOC wrote:The following assumes Beaumont is both at his quarters and willing to accept Imperious inside. Otherwise Imperious will be using his Super-Senses to aid in finding Beaumont.
When the door was opened by it's resident Imperious looked to the man, then inside.

"May I enter?"

Once permission was granted he moved inside and, with a gesture, indicated that the door should be closed. Then he proceeded to remove the map tube from his coat. As he spoke Imperious extracted the map from it's container, unrolled it, then showed the image of the red outline section of the Lock to Beaumont.

"You may have heard, Renner's group has not returned. I intend to look for him. It is likely he went searching in this area. What do you know about it?"

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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Hoid » Tue May 07, 2019 12:40 am

Beaumont’s eyes widen and he jumps a little. “S**t!” he yips. Then, he calms himself down. “Um, hey there, boss-man. Um, why you here? I swear I ain’t...”

But Imperious speaks before Beaumont can continue, and Beaumont wisely shuts up. He comes over to take the map and spreads it over his room’s desk. “Ohhhh, yeah. I know this place. I—-hey, ain’t this Renner’s stuff? He’ll s**t a brick if you mess with his stuff.”

He looks back down at the map. “Ahem. Right. This is a blackzone. Contaminated all to hell. Crude got dumped into it. Was a cistern, now’s just a giant oil drum. We go there pretty regular; some of our fuel comes from here.” He squints, remembering. “It’s a pretty f*****g spooky place. Dangerous, too. Whole patches of its hydraulic surface-floor’ve either fallen through, or are almost there. Drowning in crude’s a s****y was to die.”

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Re: [The Forever Tree]Rustdeity IC.

Post by Sakuro » Tue May 07, 2019 3:24 am

An eyebrow rose over one eye when Beaumont began to claim innocence over … something. Imperious did not comment, though there was an unspoken 'I may come back to that later' in the expression. Standing at the desk alongside Beaumont he observed the man's reaction the area on the man that had been indicated. A cistern turned into a giant crude oil barrel. What could be hidden amongst that … and was this Mara helping Renner find things? The last question came to mind as Imperious thought on some of the times Renner had found things that no one should have been able to without some kind of special insight or foreknowledge.

"Spooky. In what way do you find it unnerving?"

Imperious looked over the map, studied it for a few seconds, then brought his eyes back to Beaumont after the man had time to consider the question posed to him. Then he asked another.

"There was some mention of beastmen. Do you have any reason to believe there might be some in that black zone?"

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