Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Gold to Lead

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    Prixlezub
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    Gold to Lead

    Post by Prixlezub on Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:59 am

    Time: Evening
    Date: April 15, 0004

    Already the countryside was blooming with new growth, sprouting from the wake of winter in welcome to spring. Even as the sun was setting newly sprouted wild flowers of all kinds were bathed in a warm glow, soft blues and violets nearly washed crimson in the fading light of the day's final hours.

    Fluttering among the fiery colors of the setting sun was a slight, black bird. Or so it seemed. As the tiny fluttering creature soared into the final rays of sunlight, hues of yellows and oranges reflected upon its surface like it were born of polished glass. Another flutter of its svelte wings and it dipped down towards a winding country road, following the dusty path towards a row of vastly spaced farms. However, this part of the farmlands seemed a bit different from the rest. Where were the tilled fields? Surely since the snows had melted the farmers would be plowing and readying their fields for planting. Instead, many of these fields looked like they had not been touched since winter had hit.

    The strange bird dipped and flew closer, it's streamlined head twisting at an impossible angle, revealing a single orange eye to the ground beneath it. Taking note of the fields, water erosion that was evident. Not even a trace of muck could be detected upon the newly shown soil. Another flap and it flew on, surveying the rest of the area before taking note that only one of these farms, despite their vast acres, seemed to be functioning.

    A cattle farm.

    Suspicious, but not the type of behavior that this bird was searching for. Its target was not so fond of living beings, why would it keep vast herds of living cattle upon its land? Ah, but if life alone were to be the only factor that allowed the farm to stand out from the rest, where would be the resting place of the one it sought?

    Interestingly enough, the bird's gaze shifted to another quaint looking farm down below. However, it did not seem as derelict as the rest. Fresh tire tracks overlapped one another on the dirt path leading behind the farmhouse and towards the barn, more than likely no more than a few days old at the most despite the unplanted field. Curious it dipped closer, circling before it landed upon the roof of the house. Despite the bird's stony appearance, it could still detect what its master could in person. The house itself was full of life, easily four life signatures detected through the flimsy building materials. Interesting.

    Even more curious was what it detected emitting from the doors to the cellar. Fluttering down the bird perched upon the lock, tilting its head this way and that curiously. Dark and pale stains alike coated small portions of the door. Splashes of acrid chemicals burned into the wood, small as if accidentally spilled by clumsy hands. An untended land, fresh tire tracks, strange chemicals and four life signatures within... But was this enough to ensure that this was possibly the farmstead of the dead?

    None had mentioned a vehicle, and to allow life within the walls of the house seemed...Uncharacteristic of the bird's interest. Then again, it seemed more suspicious than the cattle farm at this point. Perhaps some looking over would not hurt to confirm its findings.

    Fluttering up to the roof, the small stone bird dug its talons into the gutter-work above a window and leaned forward. What could be seen, and who could be heard?
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    Re: Gold to Lead

    Post by Fear on Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:41 pm

    Soon there will come a time where the filthy life within these old walls will have fulfilled their uses, but not now. One day, but not now. Now was the time of recovery, the time of biding. Undesirable, yet not unprecedented.

    "Sssam, bring the animal. I believe the sssolution to be ready," a dark and booming voice rasped.

    Timid feet shuffled upon the laboratory floor and the bleating of an animal could be heard, one of the cultists leading a blindfolded sheep closer to the altar of damnation. That was the cultists' name for it, not his. There was some words exchanged, phrases that were of little importance, and a sickly green hand dismissed the one known only as Sam away from the test area. "Very good, now take your ssstation. Pull the leversss exactly when I sssay." Unsuspecting creature in the middle and two pairs of hands operating two sets of controls, it was time! "Initiating dead fluidsss control," hissed the voice from before. With the spin of a crank and the release of a few valves, makeshift piping overhead rattled loudly as something traveled within its extravagant clockwork. What could it be?

    A nearby pressure gauge steadily rocketed and a pair of searing eyes kept note every other second. Almost... Almost... Re-purposed shower heads soon began to jostle and spurts of visible gas emerged from the cracks; the ingenious union of welding and duct tape. Very good, very good. Now, to see if a week's worth of preparation was about to pay off.

    "Releassse the fluidsss!"

    With a sharp crackle Sam pulled the lever with a strenuous grunt and thus became the moment of truth. Liters upon liters of corrosive liquid poured out from above, splashing messily upon the nervous sheep below. "Baaaaaa!" it cried out in agony, steam and noxious fumes giving only a silhouette of its form. Soon the bleating became no more as an aroma of burnt flesh filled the underground chamber, bits of fleece bobbing outward from the fluid's natural spread.

    Decrepit claws were fast at work in sealing up the valves and halting the fluid's flow, the testing area slowly returning to normal. After one squeaky rotation of the elaborate machine's crank, both cultist and operator peered forward. "D... D'ya think it worked?"

    No sooner had Sam spoken those words the trotting of bone could be heard, an unsightly shadow breaking through the lethal shroud.

    "Baaaaa..."

    Hear that? That was the sound of one flesh-deprived, boney sheep abomination of the undead! Or, well, something close to it. The once-living creature took a few more cautious steps and swiveled its bleached skull around, sockets empty for all to see. Oh look, it was pretending to graze! Such a majestic, clueless animal. "Hey! I think you got it this - " And then, without warning, the blasted skeletal beast fell right apart. Alas, all the way down to its hooves. "...Or not."

    "Baaaa..."

    A frustrated fist came down upon the workstation, harsh words following. "Damn! That isss the third one thisss month." So close! Well, back to the drawing board and already notes were being hastily scrawled. Perhaps less acid will do the trick... Oh well, there was an eternity to perfect the art and plenty other sheep were available. "Sssam, make yourssself ussseful and collect the animal'sss ssskull. There will be a need for it in the future." Naturally the cloaked mortal was about to stammer an objection, but a pair of glaring, ethereal eyes silenced any and all protest.

    "S-Sure, man! Whatever you s-say." Urgh, he's gotta go walk in the icky crud and fish out the sheep's skull? What if it suddenly reanimated and tried to bite his fingers off!? Don't panic, Sam, don't panic... Nnngh, why couldn't Maurice be doing this job!? The ghoul didn't like her at all!

    Which was more or less true, but the ghoul in question was far too busy jotting and striking out revisions in his formula. Bugger all, how did the sisters manage to - ?

    Wait...

    "Alright, alright... I got the stinkin' skull, are you - uh..." Sam returned after shaking his shoes free of dead fluids, no longer grumbling about how their rubber soles had partially melted, as he noticed the ghoul doing something... weird. Well, the corpse was always weird, but this was new. "Whatcha lookin' up for?" he inquired. It was odd to note that the ghoul's hand remained scribbling down additional sentences in perfect lines while his eyes... or whatever the hell posed for eyes... were fixated directly upward. Why? And how come undead things were just so... creepy.

    Suddenly the ghoul snapped his gaze down, back upon Sam, and the novice cultist literally jumped in place. "Ssstay here," rasped the corpse. The caped undead got up without any further explanation and started to head for the basement's only exit.

    "Wait, why? Why do I gotta - ?"

    "Becaussse we have company," came the succinct answer.

    Well, if he said so. Sam knew better than to argue and he remained behind, fidgeting with the sheep skull nestled between his hands. With a creak of the basement door Sam was left all alone, but that was okay. He glanced down at his charge and placed a hand within its neck socket, shamelessly moving the skull's lower jaw up and down much like one would for a puppet. "What do you think of our current leader, eh, Sheepie? Oh, I think he's a load of crock! A load of crock, huh? Why, I do believe you to be - "

    "Baaaa!"

    "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
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    Prixlezub
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    Re: Gold to Lead

    Post by Prixlezub on Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:09 pm

    Upon glancing into the house, the bird managed to see two of the four cultists inside, lounging about. However, what had drawn the bird's real attention were the noises coming out from below the house. A dark voice boomed from below the floorboards, making the sleek construct decide that this may not have been the best area to observe. Re-assuming an upright posture upon the roof, it walked over to where the slated tiles overlooked the cellar door. Behind it, anotehr energy signature could be seen. Two, given the one that gave int to a beast.

    A sheep from the sounds of it.

    Aha! wrote:"Releassse the fluidsss!"

    That certainly sounded like the ghoul if it had ever heard him. Although what could he be doing with that sheep, and what were these fluids he was taking about? A rattle of pipes and the hiss of acid ripping away at flesh, and the second life energy signature within the cellar ebbed away into nothing. If only for the moment. The first life energy signature gave a hesitant inquiry, only to be answered by the sheep instead of the ghoul.

    Creating undead animals, gruesomely creative, the bird's master had to admit. For what purpose however was easy to ascertain. They could be guards, attack forces, weapons, whatever could be desired of them. That was how the undead worked with the Mancers back on the Material Plane. A sheep was merely the beginning in their line of tests. From the sound of things, they still had a long way to go... Oh, but what was this? How clever, it appeared the ghoul had noticed the tiny thing's company upon the roof. There were no other visitors to the farmstead that could be seen as "company".

    Knowing better than to carry on its charade any longer, the bird fluttered down from its perch on the roof. A nearby tractor served to be its newest resting spot, talons tapping against aged metal painted red. The bird's form began to shift as Judge Fear made his way to the cellar exit, silently folding and dissembling itself around a burning red core, only to be refitted into another form like an obsidian puzzle. What was once an avian scout now looked like a mere orb of dark, polished glass. No larger than a tennis ball it sat on the tractor's hood, the burning core within pulsating to an idle rhythm.
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    Re: Gold to Lead

    Post by Fear on Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:04 pm

    And what was this...?

    No sooner had Judge Fear stepped out from the cellar and heard the earth crunch beneath his rotten feet did the ghoul detect something... amiss. Yes, that was a good term for it. After all, was it everyday one found a pulsating glass orb idly floating over a tractor's hood? No. No it was not, and the Dark Judge stepped out from the farmhouse's shadow to further approach this rhythmic curiosity. Whatever this entity was, benign or otherwise, it had been the same disturbance noticed earlier while he had been occupied in the basement. Now that he had found the source of his wariness, should the ghoul confront this intruder and see what wonders it brought him?

    The answer was yes, as Judge Fear rationed himself to be an immortal spirit that would not perish no matter what this trinket had in store. He advanced a few meters and was soon only an arm's reach away, although the Dark Judge was not so hasty as to establish contact. Not until he had finished with a quick psychic examination. How odd... This energy felt recognizable somehow. Why? Aside from having his interest roused, no hostility or threat could be discerned. That left only other action, then.

    Knowing there was nothing to outright fear and confident in his own returning abilities, Judge Fear quietly looked over both shoulders and held out a yellowed fingernail. Let's see if giving this thing an inquisitive tap will do anything worthwhile...
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    Prixlezub
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    Re: Gold to Lead

    Post by Prixlezub on Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:40 am

    Curiosity was always a vexing temptation, was it not? Even in undeath the ghoul appeared drawn to the pulsating orb, the obsidian object sitting still on the metal hood. Was this energy similar? Perhaps it was, and perhaps it was not. However, the construct held no living presence about it, only a small heat signature from the burning core within. If the ghoul thought there to be any possible tricks or traps that lay within for him, he need not worry. For as the ghoul extended a talon to touch the orb, the glow within brightened and a light emitted out and before the ghoul. Despite the alien appearance of the orb-shaped intruder, the script it projected read like basic. Or more, English in the ghoul's case.

    Hovering before the undead Judge like a crimson hologram, a message appeared:

    Judge Fear,

    You undoubtedly have become aware of the growing disdain towards your actions and beliefs by the city's populace. I recognize your plight, for as you have only wished to bring justice to this unlawful city, others who have decided to use the educational route of death have also been looked down upon despite their usual effectiveness. Of course, as you and I both know, these sympathetic philosophies of mercy accomplish nothing and only perpetuate the idiocy that plagues this land.

    Because of your ways, one has brought it upon themselves to try and rid you completely from this world. While speaking to you of it in this message would be swift, I would rather meet where we could exchange further information, and answer questions you may have about this upstart. I request that you please meet with me in the Daemon Wastes, there is a large dome that can serve as our place of audience without worry of any unwanted eyes or ears prying on our business.

    The night shall give you enough cover for your arrival, and be swift. I await your arrival as you read this.


    After that, there was no more. Not a signature or seal to give hint as to who may have sent it. Only the orb that continued to pulsate silently upon the farm tractor and the crimson summons was all the ghoul was privy to.

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    Re: Gold to Lead

    Post by Fear on Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:33 am

    So this polished construct was nothing more than a messenger... And an elaborate one at that.

    Crimson overwhelmed the ghoul's immediate vision and words took shape in the reddened haze. Devoid of both discernible expression and body language, Judge Fear read this mysterious note in complete silence. How quaint, he thought, otherworldly eyes scrolling through the floating lines. It would seem that someone was of the foolish belief that they were able to kill what did not live. This was, of course, completely unacceptable and an example will have to be made. For good measure the Dark Judge reread this message again, committing everything to memory, and he began to ponder the facts before him.

    One: there was an individual, most likely a sinner, who thought to take justice into their own hands.
    Two: there was a second individual who thought to inform an actual officer of the peace regarding further details.
    Three: and lastly, these details could only be delivered through rendezvousing at a place of convenience.

    A place that, if the above indeed proved true, could be just as much a meeting as it were a trap. After all, the Dark Judge was now made aware that someone wanted him destroyed. An impossible ambition, but still an ambition nevertheless. Who was to say that the first and second individual were not one and the same, or that the second individual was using the guise of an informant in order to lure the Dark Judge into the vigilante's devices? At best, Judge Fear knew that there were now potentially two pieces in play: a hunter and a manipulator. The hunter's motives were already understood, for sinners were never hard to understand and correct. This manipulator, however... Of what reason did this unnamed player wish to aid the Dark Judge in his purges? Were they a sinner desiring a more just path, a machine that sought to eradicate competition, or another force entirely? There were too many questions, too many uncertainties, and the ghoul had every right to be leery. It begged to be asked why he should trust these intangible words as truths and tokens of good faith.

    That having been said...

    "Return to your massster," he hissed at the shimmering automaton. If the creation had originally been detected high above and was found here instead, then it was only natural in assuming that it possessed means of travel. "Tell them I will journey thussss into the Daemon Wassstesss and meet at the desssignated rendezvousss tonight, under the cloak of nightfall." There was nothing more to say and the Dark Judge left the construct to do as it saw fit, the ghoul disappearing into the farmhouse and away from this manipulator's toy. This was a potentially dangerous game, although not in the sense of physical harm or fatality. No, this was a game of another breed; a game of clandestine motions. Of what purpose...

    Perhaps the ghoul will never be privy to such information but he may needn't be. He simply wished to avoid being someone else's pawn, as he had been with Bloodscream and his contractor. Now within the kitchen as hands retrieved both pen and paper, Judge Fear wrote everything down exactly as he had seen it.

    Judge Mortis and K.A.R.R. must be aware of what transpired this evening and their counsel, along with their presence, will be necessary.
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    Re: Gold to Lead

    Post by Prixlezub on Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:54 am

    Friend or foe, boon or curse? The Dark Judge had every right to be suspicious at the anonymous message that had flown onto his farm. However, consider this; if the entity at play truly wished to destroy him, why go through the convoluted means of sending an invitation instead of sending the construct to deal with him right then and there? An orb can carry a message just as easily as it could rip away a spirit, or detonate into a million different razor-sharp shards.

    Even then, to know the name and face of who sent it, nothing could be said that suspicion would not be felt all the same. All that could be known is that this could be an opportunity or a disaster waiting to happen, Judge Fear needed only to take a bold step forward to find out. Upon hearing the ghoul's hissing instruction, the orb shifted once more into its avian form, the single round eye that was burning within its forehead looking towards the Dark Judge before fluttering off and away.

    Another being, far off and yet having just been within the confines of the farm all at once, awaited the ghoul's arrival patiently.

      Current date/time is Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:46 am