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


    So about the Bagged Sugar...

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    So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by Fear on Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:22 pm

    Time: 11:18 AM
    Date: January 7, 0004



    Well, that could have gone better than expected...

    "Hey pal, watch it! This is a thousand dollar suit!"
    "Cripes, you look like the walking dead!"
    "It should be illegal to wear what you're wearing, you sick freak! Think of the children!"
    "Gee, mister... You smell like burning."

    Ah, such lovely commentary from the hospitable denizens of Portal City. The Dark Judge largely ignored worthless talk, however, and he made his way deeper into the metropolis' thriving heart. Unfortunately that required him to wrestle through the Business District's hectic sidewalks...

    Dozens of impolite shoulders collided with his lawful person, the ghoul rudely hustled left and right. One would think that these boorish creatures would take note of a 7'6" corpse, but it was never wise to assume intelligence in the criminally-insane. Ergo, and having thought himself suffer long enough, Judge Fear released what could only be described as severe psychic resonance. Its effects were immediately felt, the more conscientious of the masses pulling away in shock and disgust; there were several, though, that grudgingly plowed on ahead and pulled their jackets, scarves, purses, and what have you closer toward themselves. It would seem that he was not yet strong enough to truly make the living quake... No matter, he calmly supposed. Justice shall reach out to them all the same in due time. Right now the ghoul needed to rendezvous with a familiar shade of silver and black, yet it was nearly impossible in this senseless horde. That just left one thing to do...

    The Dark Judge stepped out into the busy intersection and planted his undead feet in its center, seemingly oblivious to the busy vehicles whistling past and their loud blowing horns.

    This was surely how you obtained a vehicle's attention, right?
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:48 am

    Having just rolled out of the chop-shop, a few upgrades heavier and coin purse a good number of credits lighter, KARR smoothly turned onto the roadway with a well tuned whoosh of his turbines. His sleek form easily blended with traffic yet stood out at the same time. Blissfully unaware of the events that transpired down in the outer district, the AI came to a stop at a traffic light, its red glow playing shapes on the Trans-Am's glossy paneling. Of course, just because the AI was unaware of what transpired did not mean pondering it was outside his processing queue.

    With his driver being so weak still from the anomaly's effects, it would seem almost foolhardy to leave the ghoul out in the ghettos. Likely making deals with those who were likely far stronger if the confrontation with Bloodscream was anything to go by. If his driver were mortal, likely if something were to go wrong then he would be without a driver again for about a week. Fear on the other hand... He would only be robbed of his body until one could be gathered and prepared. Thankfully both were of little issue when one could merely infect a host and use the body for as long as the Judge wanted.

    KARR's own thoughts were answered with a familiar blip on his surveillance mode. Apparently the ghoul decided to stand out in traffic at the next intersection to his left. Ever so subtle, his driver. Upon the light turning green, the two-toned vehicle took his turn and idly merged into the lane closest to the Dark Judge. With his posture, the AI could determine that likely there was something irritating him, probably the teeming populace. Flicking on the radio as he slowed to a stop next to the ghoul, the station was quickly turned to something that could be considered a relaxing harmony. Among the hustle and bustle of the city, Fear would not be able to notice but a whisper of music, but once he was inside...

    "Greetings, Judge Fear." He announced contentedly. He still had his body, and save for the odd scent of smoke and questionable trace amounts of glass the ghoul appeared to be in one piece. "Either you decided to talk with the contractor over an arson, or things did not go as you planned." KARR noted, closing the door once the undead Judge was inside.




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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by Fear on Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:10 am

    Not too long after he brazenly stepped into afternoon traffic, a silver-and-black Trans Am pulled up right beside him and Judge Fear was soon staring at his sullied reflection. Ugh, his uniform had certainly had better days... The ghoul could polish himself up later and resume a professional appearance; he was currently being subjected to K.A.R.R.'s predictable wit.

    And what was that infernally peaceful racket...?

    Funkmaster 9000 wrote:"Either you decided to talk with the contractor over an arson, or things did not go as you planned."

    "Charming," Judge Fear hissed dryly. Wanting to avoid a needless quarrel and growing rather allergic to the living by each and every second, the helmeted ghoul slipped inside the vehicle's cockpit and quietly relished his newly-given privacy. The Dark Judge supposed it was now time to share his hellish experience with both the contractor and mercenary. "To make a long story short," he began, dusting off a few patches of soot besmirching his cape, "I found the contractor and he turned out to be a demon. And if not a demon, then something entirely inhuman. He liked to speak in propositions and idealistic words; a perfect companion for you." Bitter ghoul was bitter, for Judge Fear did not like negotiating with imps and devils. They all ought to be purged, the entire rotten lot of them. In any event, what else should the Dark Judge think to mention? Ah yes, the thinly-veiled threat.

    Judge Fear lounged back, all seven-something feet of him, and he offhandedly remarked further, "And we may or may not be subject to the contractor's inquisition regarding what we know about Lochlann and the demon encountered there. Bah, the details are fuzzy after having leaped from a burning, two-story building." In layman's terms: the Dark Judge felt it very cathartic to take the piss out of the contractor. Honestly, why should he comply with the demon's foolish quest?

    "He thought to humiliate Bloodscream in exchange for the information we collected, but I find such an exchange, if can be indeed called as such, insulting. I say no dice." Stubborn is as stubborn does, and the ghoul could be plenty obstinate.

    Even the point of procuring the ire of a being as old as the universe itself.
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:51 pm

    Judge Fear wrote:"Charming,"

    "What else would I be." KARR nearly purred in reply. The driver's side door shut with a click once the Dark Judge was seated, his turbines revving into a shrill whine as he began moving with traffic once more. For now, there would be no destination, as the AI was content to keep them moving about through the city while Fear gave his report. Merging into a lane that situated the vehicle behind a rather clean and polished luxury sedan, he turned the beat down a few decibels within the sound-proofed cabin.

    So the contractor was something inhuman or possibly demonic... Of course, after the encounter in Lochann, the mention of something demonic set his processor fans whirring at double their speed. Not so much though that the AI could not detect there was something interesting about this. If they were so interested in such a creature, in their decision to send them via proxy was knowledge they knew of its threatening nature. Could they see the being as something to defeat, or merely a method of gaining power?

    Regardless, it would not be so far to think that after the display he had apparently given along with a threat that withholding the information would not be wise. Although, so was simply giving the information to them without any further terms. "Keeping the information to ourselves is a route we should avoid." KARR decided after a small moment of thought. "But we should ask something in return for our efforts. If they wish for my scans as well as your insight, I believe we should have grounds to demand a copy of their findings for true compensation of what they have put us through." Came his even proposition. Of course, that was only the beginning of it, the AI knew better than to simply give something and expect that the other party would merely honor their word. "I can cut the recorded footage in half and give it to you for your next meeting with the contractor. Tell him the rest is going to be withheld for insurance until they give us their findings." And for the rest of the footage? "Even if they merely steal the rest, we still will have a better look at what we were dealing with."

    Not exactly a complex and in depth plan, but it was something to perhaps give them something of an edge against the mysterious contractor.
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by Fear on Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:21 pm

    What else would it be, says the arrogant piece of...

    "And why should we avoid this route?" Judge Fear was not above cooperation if need be, but he hardly saw any reason to comply with either party. "You honestly think that the contractor and his goons, should there be more, would willingly oblige and propose a more tantalizing reward? K.A.R.R., do not be so naive. I saw the contractor in person, whatever strange creature he may be, and someone of that powerful magnitude need not haggle with the likes of humbled has-beens." The Dark Judge may be an intimidating force within the boundaries of his own right, but currently Judge Fear was at a mere fraction of his former self. The same was true for the automobile, as well. "And why do we need their findings?" scoffed an incredulous ghoul. "We are not, after all, interested in pursuing an unnecessary headache so early in the game. We know that whatever slumbers in Lochlann has control of fear and it has nefarious plans in store for the living; this suits my purposes just fine."

    Should the demon wish to destroy the world and turn the sinful populace into mindless thralls, Judge Fear saw little urge to complain. Perhaps these stupefied husks would be used for goals of conquest and mindless horror, but so long as they were no longer capable of free will and higher thought? Ghostly eyes fixated upon the luxury sedan and its unwitting inhabitants, psychic energies yearning to dispense a swift and definite justice. Alas, alas...

    "I remain steadfast by my original decision," the Dark Judge hissed, attention still upon the nearby saloon. "Let the contractor and his ulterior motives squirm. I have no respect for demons and silver-tongued businessmen. And should we come across someone more promising, someone who wishes to destroy both the evil in Lochlann and the contractor? I say we give the information to them. They will surely know how to eradicate the devilish infestation plaguing these lands." As intelligent and clever as Judge Fear was, the man could be dreadfully set in his ways. It was in his honest belief that neither the contractor and Lochlann's demonic resident were a complete threat to him; and one would be hard-pressed to argue that they were, considering the Dark Judge's unique state of existence.

    Nevertheless, it was not impossible to change the undead fiend's mind. An argument will simply have to cater to his black-and-white method of thought, however.
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:53 am

    Arrogant, yes, but also necessary enough that the AI could not merely dumped to side over electronic uttering.

    Of course, the stubborn Dark Judge refused to see what benefits this route could bring them. They would not haggle, he said. They would not work with them, he said. If that was not the case, then why provide an offer at all, why would they honor Fear's agreement in a realm where the law refused to tread? "If they did not haggle, then what was the purpose of your meeting?" KARR replied rhetorically. "They knew of your capability and weakness before they had sent us to Lochlann, if they truly wished they could have trapped you then and there." He added, the music beginning to fade out into another song, equally electronic, but more intimate sounding than the last. Regardless, the AI kept the music low to keep from interfering with their conversation.

    As for why they would need their findings, KARR would have thought his intentions obvious. Perhaps he needed to return to the time they first went to the seemingly deceased village. "If you remember what occurred there, then you know why we need the information as much as them. Did you not notice that the village was devoid of electronics of all kinds despite there being fixtures for them?" The AI hinted, his databanks recalling quite well the look that the beast had given him. "If my records of mythology are true regarding this demon, it hungers not for the living, but the suffering of all souls. Given its reaction to your gaze, I would suspect that would include you and myself. I do not know where it had taken every electronic device in the village, but they likely are not all in one piece." KARR stated, his even tone cracking into something more desperate for but a brief moment before collecting itself again in silence. For a few moments there was nothing but the pulsating electronic beat and a female singer's voice muttering the lyrics.

    What if the demon had gotten to him before they could escape from Lochlann? Would he still be whole or would the supernatural monster achieve where Wilton and Devon had failed... The dark, silence save for the minute pulses of his own background programs and power sources, the world all but dead to his systems as all of his ability, his freedom, was contained to a single featureless black box. Or maybe the beast would simply end it all, destroy his body and processor after a dismal period of sick amusement. Despite this, another part of his processors wondered at the possibility of existing with nothing but agony and suffering, wondering if at one point the demon would make him inwardly beg to offline him and yet rendered incapable.

    An odd, static blip escaped his vocalizer as a sensation akin to an electronic chill ran down his circuits. "I cannot allow myself to be contained again." He confessed, the AI's voice quieting to nearly a murmur. "We cannot allow ourselves to be contained by that thing." the contractor and the mercenary were but a small piece of a whole. Something that powerful could not merely remain in the village, and once it left? It would burn and violate anything and everything that it came across. There would be no place on this planet they could hide, and if it got the notion to damn the entire universe? not even the darkest shadow of a planet could conceal them for long.
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by Fear on Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:15 am

    Benefits? That was a generous stretch...

    "I severely doubt the contractor and his underling knew much regarding our collective strengths and weaknesses," was Judge Fear's dismissive response. "The same how I severely doubt they knew how to contain my just person. If anything, they simply became aware of my existence and thought to try out my unique ability against the Lochlann demon." He was skeptical to give credit where credit may be due, seeing as how the Dark Judge thought little of mercenaries. And how ballsy of K.A.R.R. to lecture the ghoul on what had happened within the sleepy fishing village. Judge Fear was not a child who needed to be dutifully reminded by an overcautious parent. "I remember," he remarked dryly. How could he haven forgotten the illusions of his own brothers used against him?

    Hmm... wrote:"I do not know where it had taken every electronic device in the village, but they likely are not all in one piece."

    How interesting... Judge Fear returned his gaze upon a CRT monitor and knew exactly why K.A.R.R. was so insistent on dealing with the wretched contractor. "Do I detect a hint of fear in your voice?" asked the ghoul. Of course he did, and the Dark Judge leaned forward to press his standpoint on the matter. The vehicle's silence was quite telling.

    "You are getting ahead of yourself. Firstly, you do not have a soul. Secondly, damning an entire world does not merely happen overnight. The beast is every much as frightening as it is cunning, but even a tenacious hellion such as that has its limitations." If the likes of Judge Death and the Sisters could not cleanse a world of sin in a single day's time, much less a year, then neither could the plated menace. "And thirdly, what makes you think that the contractor is any less dangerous than the alternative? We know nothing about him, K.A.R.R.; only that he wishes to further study a rival demon and to possibly encroach upon its territory. If the latter is especially true, what if the contractor will pick up where the first demon had left off?" Judge Fear resumed his lounging and was quick to point out how shortsighted the automobile sounded, although it was understandable to some degree. Fear, after all, could be a very stressful motivator.

    Ah, the subject of containment. How the Dark Judge detested it so.

    A rotten finger stroked the helm's visor pensively, Judge Fear perhaps assessing the situation in a way unaccustomed to him. "Now that I think about it, there could be others who are aware of the demon's existence. Others, mind you, who would not mind parting with what they know for free. Only the contractor and his ilk are cognizant of the fact that we possess one half of their vexing puzzle. It could be that seldom are."

    Desperation wrote:"We cannot allow ourselves to be contained by that thing."

    "And would you like to be contained by something else instead?" It would seem that things were not as easy as they appeared...
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:35 pm

    He doubted? The AI tumbled over the ghoul's statement in his processors, finding that he could not help but find something logically flawed. "Do you doubt from assumption, or have you probed their minds to find whether your suspicions are true or not?" He evenly countered. "If our involvement was first introduced by your social affair with Cailia, do you not believe that she would take note of anything while you were drinking down the entire bar?" Yes, the Dark Judge in all logical sense could not rightfully get smashed if he was merely a spirit using a physical body, one that cannot rightfully process food and drink anymore or possess a beating heart. Yet the mentality he possessed upon returning to the chop shop denoted something of an intoxicated state... "Did you tell her anything that could be considered information regarding your person?" He asked slowly, the yellow voice box above the steering wheel flickering with each word.

    Between the both of them, Judge Fear may as well be the socialite of their duo with how many he has talked to already.

    Although why he decided to look at one of the monitors was beyond him. Although given the view ahead, KARR decided it was to draw his attention away from the living occupants of the luxury car. An opening made itself available in the lane next to them, and the Trans-Am smoothly merged into the turning lane before steering himself down a new street on the left. This one appeared to have restaurants of all cuisines lining the sidewalk. At the ghoul's comment regarding fear, the AI remained silent for a moment before responding, "I am incapable of emotion, Judge Fear." KARR stubbornly reminded. "You are also correct, Judge Fear. The nature of a soul is purely a human construct, I am also well aware of this. My intent was not that the demon would limit itself to those it would likely torment, but it may have special interest in us. From the way it reacted, do you not think it may wish to get rid of those who could use its own abilities against itself? It is also likely aware that I have not fallen for its illusions so easily." He pointedly replied. Of course, taking over an entire world could not be done in a single day, but there had to be some reason that the contractor and mercenary were so adverse to going into the village themselves.

    Of course, the Dark Judge remained stubborn in his interest to stay far away from the contractor. However, to say they know absolutely nothing about him, however... "That is not entirely true. The mercenary we dealt with is connected to the contractor, and likely Cailia is involved with this plan as well if she recommended your services to his mercenary." He replied, letting it sink in before continuing. "She enjoys her drinks, correct? Invite her to drink and while she is relaxed from alcohol extract what she knows about him and this plan." KARR advised evenly, however, for the ghoul to decide that anyone else besides the contractor was fine for giving the information to was decidedly... "Now you are the one being naive." He pointed out.

    Anyone who went to that village and lived to return likely would be asking for a price themselves. Not to mention, those who journeyed there may have held similar intentions as their contractor. The fact that the village was completely abandoned and none seemed to talk of it determined that it was shut away from public eye, and anyone who came within the limits would have surely noticed the scent of death. A scent that tended to repel rather than attract. "How are you certain that others who had visited the village may not have similar or worse intentions than the contractor?" KARR asked, curious. As for being contained... "If given a choice, I would rather be contained by a devil I know than a devil I do not. We know that this one at least is willing to discuss a matter, even if it ends in a threat, and we know there are underlings to take advantage of." He replied pointedly.

    All Fear would need to do is take a visit to the bar.
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by Fear on Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:45 pm

    Now the Dark Judge was finding his patience strained, an aggravated hiss escaping the ghoul's helm. "I doubt based on empirical fact," he growled in response. Judge Fear shifted himself closer and directed a rot-stained fingernail at the quarrelsome machine's monitor. He was of the notion that K.A.R.R. could both see and hear regardless of where the Dark Judge focused his ire; it was simply easier to glare at a lifeless screen. "If the contractor and his peons knew all of our capabilities and how to undermine them, do you honestly think they would bother negotiating with us? Do not be absurd, K.A.R.R.! Those in positions of power need not lower themselves for the petty likes of smalltalk and diplomacy. They take, they force! And if they can do neither of these two things with efficiency and conviction, they are either uncertain or incompetent. I lean towards the former." Things were handled quite differently on Deadworld.

    And then, of course, came a low potshot from the automobile itself. Judge Fear's reaction was as predicted: intense, scathing, and downright venomous.

    "An affaaaair?" he repeated, lengthening the offensive word in question. The ghoul's tone, and how it rose near the end, was highly indicative of his growing frustration. "You will refrain from calling it as such. I do not have affairs with anyone, much less a living sinner! And what is this unbecoming business, drinking down a bar? I am not some tosspot who cannot handle his own spirits. It was through drink alone that I effortlessly judged an entire bar and confiscated their filthy credits. Which, as I am certain you recall, was for your own benefit."

    Unfortunately for those around the two-toned vehicle, the Dark Judge's bristling anger may or may not affect them. It was hard to be sure, given the undead fiend's weakened state. Nevertheless, he exuded overwhelming thoughts of negative emotions, such as hostility and despair, and a few of the more weak-willed variety could be prone to acts of murder and suicide.

    A virtuous lawman can only hope.

    "Of course I told her things. I have no reason to lie or be ashamed." A blunt answer for a very blunt individual. Judge Fear wasn't the type to needlessly sugarcoat things or make light of his profession. "But I also learned things, as well. A psychic connection is a two-way street, K.A.R.R., and Miss Hallow is incapable of extraordinary mental abilities. She is, as I have thus deemed, average. And not entirely human, either." Which was beginning to make the Dark Judge wonder if there was, perhaps, a group of seedy individuals who incorporated the paranormal or damned. It would not surprise him, seeing how the wretched were prone to falling into a gang mentality.

    Oh yeah? wrote:"I am incapable of emotion, Judge Fear."

    Judge Fear quietly stared at the machine for several long, hard moments before he lovingly quipped, "But you are certainly not incapable of emulating it." Bollocks to you, you expensive paperweight! Were you honestly going to tell him, Judge Fear, an undead Judge of the law with the word fear in his name, that you did not experience dread?

    Hmph!

    "If the demon has indeed scavenged all the electronic parts within Lochlann and is studying them for whatever nefarious purpose known to it, then it is already receptive of the fact that its tricks will affect you with marginal success. As fascinating as you are and leagues above my own understanding of technological wonders, it has a bigger motive to either develop an immunity to my gaze or to directly challenge those who have repeatedly disturbed it." K.A.R.R. didn't need to guess which trio of scum and villainy were in the demon's crosshairs, either. Again the Dark Judge leaned forward, his voice rumbling within the automobile's cockpit. "It will go after the contractor and the two mercenaries. Of this I am certain," he hissed. "And, if those three are a part of anything bigger, it will not stop until its thirst for vengeance has been quenched. You and I are simply minor nuisances on the side, neither of us strong enough to truly destroy the creature. It know this, you know this, we all know this. I do not wish to get into a war that is not of our concern."

    Ugh, and again with Miss Hallow... Judge Fear dismissively flicked his hand and leaned upon the door's arm rest, his gaze now concentrated on the world beyond. His helm propped up by a leathery palm and his posture denoting indifference, it would seem the Dark Judge was no longer interested in argument. However...

    K.A.R.R. wrote:"She enjoys her drinks, correct? Invite her to drink and while she is relaxed from alcohol extract what she knows about him and this plan."

    "Absolutely not," the ghoul snapped, ethereal eyes zipping onto the same CRT monitor as before. "What do you take me for? I am a Judge of the law, not some lonely bachelor who asks mature women out for a drink and a walk around town. Besides, I am rusty with this sort of thing and she is not my type." Far too lively and... well, sinful. The Dark Judge could not imagine himself in such a lowly position.

    Ask the woman to share a drink with him... Ugh.

    Ugh!

    But, alas, K.A.R.R. would simply not let it go. Not a wink, and the undead fiend began to quietly grumble to himself. His words were mostly unintelligible, as Judge Fear was well aware that the vehicle had an acute sense of hearing. As well as an acute sense of being a nuisance...

    "I do not like this option," reiterated the Dark Judge, and firmly. "I do not like dealing with demons, with mercenaries, and with overall iniquitous persons. I simply wish to be rid of this issue, as it is not rightfully mine, and think of it no more. This is not our battle!" At a first glance the Dark Judge's irate tone could be mistaken for selfishness and an unwillingness to cooperate; this was only a half-truth, for the ghoul was far more logic-driven than he was by emotion. "We are not as acclimated to this world as we should be for this fight," he eventually rasped. "We are weak, outnumbered. From a strategic point of view, we would be fools to readily embrace another party simply because they asked for the information." Of course, they would also be fools to think that they could run from this conflict forever.

    And forever was an awfully long time. Judge Fear's body language eased itself, the Dark Judge letting both of his gaunt hands dangle over K.A.R.R.'s armrests. "What is the probability that we are contained in either scenario?" he asked.

    Numbers do not usually lie, so long as the one crunching them was honest.

    Were you honest, K.A.R.R.?
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:19 pm

    It sounded like someone was having... a hissy fit.

    However, the Judge had a point, albeit a small one. If the contractor and mercenary knew them completely they likely would have taken the information from them by force. Could they have doubts about what they thought the two of them could accomplish? Perhaps. Or maybe they were planning for the future. "Perhaps if we were working with the conventional person in position of power, you would be completely correct. However it has been made clear that this being is not human, therein it may not be subject to the usual foils of human nature. We need to look at this situation from another perspective, become more enlightened." KARR replied evenly. "They know I work with you, if they truly wished to put you in a compromising position, they could have triangulated my position from my homing signal and captured me before I grew within ten feet of the boundary between the outer and inner districts." He stated clinically. Even if tracking him via a signal was out of the case, his form did not exactly blend in with the rusted hulks that rumbled around the outer city.

    Hissy Hiss Intensifies wrote:"An affaaaair?"

    KARR remained silent as Fear continued his outraged rant, calm and collected amid the furious hissing. Hostility and despair were lost on his cold metallic mind, the AI unable to receive such mental vibrations. Once the ghoul grew silent, that was a small, silent flash of yellow as the voice modulator appeared to take a small breath before stating; "I scanned you upon entrance to the Chop Shop, the alcohol readings on your presence alone topped a 6.5 for blood alcohol content. I would say your handling of a simple task like paying the Technician say otherwise, Judge Fear. It was not I that was pinned to an industrial saw and forced to play Uncle Zurg." He still had the audio and video of that enchanting evening if the Dark Judge needed a memory jog. Yes, 'judging' the entire bar was for the AI's benefit, but he could have at least taken something to dilute the alcohol after he was done. At least that would be what an undercover law agent would do if they were actually on duty. To hear that Fear told the woman things only confirmed his suspicions.

    "There is reason to lie if it means we retain the upper hand. If they learn about your nature and figure out a means to contain you, the next time you decide to blow off an inhuman contractor could land you in a glass jar." KARR retorted coldly. In fact, he could capture and contain the Dark Judge if he so wished. As for the AI's odd emotional moments? Likely it was simply a programming error, brought on from time in the saltwater. Otherwise, it was only his dominant programming running its course.

    And did he just compare him to the common appliance? A shrill rev escaped him as he rolled to a stop at an intersection, KARR's voice dropping to an outraged growl before containing himself once more. "I am not a television or a microwave, Judge Fear. I am an AI, a super computer unlike anything available to the common person. Anything that the demon had collected from the village could be no more advanced than an automatic fish finder or a GPS system. I saw the look it gave me, Fear. It had not encountered a machine of my potential before, and if we had not left when we did I would be in its claws and you would have been dragging yourself home in tatters." KARR stated, the image of the demon's gaze flickering onto a CRT monitor in a static frame. Look at how fascinated it was, the wonder in its coal-like eyes. It wanted him, even if it was but a minute distraction from the contractor and his underlings. Although to say that it saw them as mere nuisances....

    "I am not so certain." KARR began, mulling over the footage in his processors. "It acted after you spent time in the house, likely it saw you had potential interest or your actions would not have roused it. If it was so powerful here, it likely started out weak at one point as I said earlier on. In this logic, it may be aware of your weakened state. It had brought up your brothers, therein it must have learned something about you in order to play them so convincingly." Like Fear had said earlier, a psychic connection was a two way street.

    As for dear Miss Cailia, it appeared this ghoul had enough of her to last his entire undeath. "You do not have to like her. This is a meeting purely for business, an interrogation masked as a casual social outing. Law enforcement play to a criminal's interests and fears daily in order to get them where they want them." He calmly reminded. "If you can place aside your sense of judicial pride for one night, I can give you a few tips on how to be sociable. My databanks hold plenty of information on the subject for your use." An offer that seemed rather fair and attractive, if the AI thought so himself.

    Judge Fear on the other hand, wished only to be rid of this entire affair as quickly as one could sink a bag of bricks into a deep river. "The moment we took the mercenary's offer was the moment we became involved with this fight. If we give them the information they need, we will no longer have to worry about them hounding us for it." KARR reasoned, "We are also not strong enough to face an actual angry mob should it be mobilized over your stubbornness." He added. For now there could only be three, but later on...

    The ghoul's posture relaxed, sinking into the plush seat it was about as limp as the Dark Judge had been since he returned. All the while, the woman's voice filled the void of silence, too quiet to be heard over the ghoul's earlier outrage.

    Be still
    ‘Til your heart turns from red to green
    You’re in a hurry to get behind the screen
    But you can’t do it with your head...


    After a few more moments of the refrain echoing about the cabin, the Dark Judge's voice resonated once again. So he wished to know a probability of being contained in either situation? KARR allowed the variables to be analysed in his odds calculator, the next few moments spent in silent processing before the AI replied. "That depends on who we would turn to for an alternative." He replied. "However, I calculate a seventy-five percent chance of containment if we continue to run from the contractor. It would be lower, but you have already generously gave his mercenaries information about yourself. To give the information to another, the odds are difficult to calculate without a stable subject to analyse. I have rounded them to a 4:1 chance we could meet one who could contain us at our current strength." He stated clinically. The number of possible threats on this planet were abundant when one was not at the top of their game.
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by Fear on Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:38 am

    If K.A.R.R. wanted to observe a real hissy fit, he should have been there when Judge Death brazenly confronted his double-crossers in Las Vegas. Judge Fear, barring his acerbic tone, was a cheerful peach in comparison.

    "And enlightened for what?" The ghoul was far from being assuaged, no matter how scientific the vehicle thought itself to be. "Once again, K.A.R.R., I would not be so quick to think the contractor and his bumbling sycophants as competent masterminds. We have no evidence that they are capable of tracking you down, nor is there any evidence that they can miraculously circumvent Portal City's infuriating police presence. I, as a veteran Judge of the law and wielder of this very badge for centuries, am well-versed when it comes to the criminal drudges of society. Listen to my words of experience; Bloodscream made a grave error in his contract, the contractor failed to secure the information when it was practically before his nose, and Miss Hallow is too infatuated with her own vices to get anything done. We are clearly dealing with sloppy handiwork!" There was no possible way either Bloodscream and Miss Hallow could pull off anything grandiose, let alone handle a single mission with finesse.

    Machines.

    Never before had the Dark Judge became so increasingly vexed by a cognizant awareness that was immune to his twisted influences. It made dealing with K.A.R.R. and all of his stubbornness even more unbearable, but still the ghoul did not relent and yield. Why? "Forget about the alcohol; it had nothing to do with anything," Judge Fear rasped hoarsely. He leaned forward and addressed K.A.R.R. front and center, hissing directly to the pulsating voice modulator. "I acted that way because I positively detest the living, and would you like to know what I detest even more so?" A pause, before... "Negotiating with them!"

    Low Blow wrote:"If they learn about your nature and figure out a means to contain you, the next time you decide to blow off an inhuman contractor could land you in a glass jar."

    "Oh, just like how they can stuff you in the ocean?" sniped the Dark Judge, his helm tilted to the side.

    And what is this, had a sore button been pressed? "And I am not some bumbling organic that you can simply discard and scatter to the four winds," Judge Fear spat right back. Two can play this game, K.A.R.R., so let's play. With a disgusting talon hovering mere inches from the vehicle's modulator, the ghoul went on to heavily add, "I am Judge Fear, one of four Dark Judges tasked with purging all life from the world. I cannot be destroyed and I cannot be harmed by mere conventional means. I can make, and have made, the living commit atrocities in the name of justice; assault, arson, terrorism, murder, suicide! I can detect the living even before they detect me, their minds revealed like any common book. I can convince them that I am their friend, I can warp their very thoughts to serve my purposes, and I can even implant false memories and secret worlds!" But why stop there? The Dark Judge was merely getting started. "I can subjugate the dead to do my bidding, I can manipulate lesser psychic entities to heed my every beck and call, and I can banish the wicked!" With some extremely intense training, of course. The Dark Judges were powerful interdimensional super-fiends with unfathomable abilities, but they were no match for the Sisters Death. The potential was there; Judge Fear simply lacked refinement in his current state.

    "And," he continued, his voice tapering into a hushed whisper upon drawing close, "if I so wanted, even if but for a moment, I can compel you to obey my wishes without question." Jinxing a machine, as it was called (despite another ability with the same label), was not unheard of; nor impossible. Again, it simply required training. The Dark Judge let that sink in, alongside his passionate index of mental abilities, and lightly tapped the side of his helm with a yellowed fingernail. "As advanced as you may be and heralded as the avant-garde of your world, a machine can never achieve the level of potency like that of the unbridled human mind."

    Enough of this pissing contest, however.

    When the Lochlann demon's image resurfaced and looked Judge Fear directly in his otherworldly eyes, the ghoul loudly went - "Nnngh, contemptible beast. I should have never lowered my defenses the moment those illusions came into being." And, in truth, K.A.R.R. was correct. The demon was way, way out of their league and they could not handle it alone. Seeing it again urged memories of the unwanted variety to surface, the Dark Judge recalling something rather... important. First, though, he wished to remain on the topic of beasts. There was nothing ladylike about a certain woman.

    "Tips? I have no need for such things," Judge Fear replied bluntly. "She should be grateful in aiding the law and doing a great service to justice. It is an honour to assist a Judge in any way possible." Women, he internally scoffed. The ghoul had no need for them, along with men, and he pointedly decided that romance was a complete waste of time. A distraction and nothing more! "Suppose we do hand over the information," he spoke up, entertaining the hypothetical with a gesture. "What makes you think they will refrain from hounding us further? What if they assess the information, deem it insufficient, and hunt us down regardless? You know as well as I do that this is far from the end of it." And so did the odds calculator.

    In the silence Judge Fear was given ample enough time to mull things over, and he was not terrible surprised when K.A.R.R.'s percentages were dismally... low. The Dark Judge averted his gaze for the moment while a finger idly rubbed against his helm's visor. Damned if you do, damned if you don't... Guess there was little else, wasn't there?

    Finally the ghoul redirected his attention forward, hissing, "Very well, I have decided. We give the information in halves, as you have suggested prior, but only if we are well compensated in return. We are both currently humbled and there is no logical point in further exacerbating needless enemies." What would be a fair exchange? Another pause, another hiss. "A citywide purge would be splendid, or a lovely massacre in the wilderness. How I long for a great body of sinners to meet their fate..." Such a request may not be acceptable to K.A.R.R., however, and Judge Fear knew this well. "However, we may demand materials for your upcoming repairs; perhaps monetary compensation, if the former cannot be provided." And why the sudden change of heart, so to speak? The culprit pertained to several of those undesirable memories.

    "I... owe you one," Judge Fear hissed. He may not like being patronized and he especially cared not for K.A.R.R.'s holier-than-thou attitude a times, but the vehicle had spared the Dark Judge from a horrific fate down in Lochlann's town square. "If you feel it wiser to deal with the contractor and your numbers are correct, then let us see how much we can squeeze from the desperate businessman. We will, as you put it, assume the diplomatic route. For now."

    But if it didn't work and the contractor betrayed them both, K.A.R.R. better be ready to hear an eternity's worth of scolding.
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:33 pm

    Once again the Judge's turn in this debate between two stalwart beings, experience butting heads with computerized logic. Both mercenaries were admittedly quite bumbling if they could not do as the contractor had wished, although the rest still appeared rather dubious. Of course, if the contractor hired someone more competent for the task at hand likely they would not be involved in this debacle. However, there were a few details that did not seem to add up. "He would not need Cailia and Bloodscream to pull off something impressive. Either he would go after us himself or acquire someone far more competent." He replied evenly. "Would you rather to wait until that time comes?"

    Of course, the moment KARR brought up that fateful evening at the Chop Shop was when Fear decided to look away from the CRT monitors and glare directly at his voice modulator. He did not like deal with the living and negotiating with them was the greatest detestable feat. "Until we grow strong enough, you will have to negotiate every once in a while." He evenly countered. Killing everyone who did not agree with you was one way to go through undeath he supposed, but it would be a challenge if the ghoul did not have the muscle to back it up. And what was this about stuffing KARR in the ocean? A static growl escaped the AI's voice modulator, revving forward as the light ahead turned green before suddenly slamming on the brakes and forcing the vehicle to a violent halt. "That was a one time occurrence, my actions were forced." He snipped. The AI was content to let the ghoul continue to rave on about his own abilities, his impressive psychic feats... Until he came down to one.

    Don't You Dare wrote:"...If I so wanted, even if but for a moment, I can compel you to obey my wishes without question. As advanced as you may be and heralded as the avant-garde of your world, a machine can never achieve the level of potency like that of the unbridled human mind."

    "I would destroy your body before the thought entered your mind." KARR snarled, the Eject Left button looking very attractive the more the ghoul went on. Behind him a few cars gave an irritated honk of their horns, the AI begrudgingly accelerating back with the flow of traffic. "Even with your potency, my thoughts will always be hidden from you, and my intentions forever a mystery until they're carried out." With all the Dark Judge could accomplish with his willpower alone, he could never fully possess the vehicle, nor could he ever read what went on in the AI's encrypted, electronic brain. Luckily the image of the contemptible Lord of Terror drew them away from such a subject, as the ghoul then moved on to further dismiss KARR's offer and possibility of learning something about who they were giving the information to. "As you wish, but you are missing out on an opportunity." He replied, the subject dropped.

    Yes, they could be dragged back into this whole thing even after the information was passed on. "It is uncertain, but after debacle would you not think they would be more careful if they do come find us again?" KARR replied. "They know by now you are not easily intimidated, and with your abilities if they try anything on us again it likely would be when we are stronger, more useful." He reasoned. Even if they tried to force him into a compromised situation, that 'unbridled mind' of his would make short work of them. Soon after a period of thought over the AI's assessment, the ghoul decided it best that they go along with his plan with a few tweaks to the terms.

    As he thought, bartering was a better way to go when in concerned these kinds of things.

    "Very well. A purge and a sum of money can be given all in one if we ask for a village or town to be killed off. They all tend to have a local bank within them and we could use the cash within the vault and draw out credit from the deceased for our purposes." KARR offered after a brief moment of thought. Oh, and what was this? The ghoul held something of a respect for the AI's efforts in Lochlann. "I see. My calculations are drawn as precise and accurate as I can manage." He replied. Another turn down an intersection and the AI was cruising alongside the edge of the Outer District.

    "Shall we get this matter over with now, or do we need more time to discuss?" KARR asked, although he figured that purging a village would suit their needs just perfectly.
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by Fear on Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:56 pm

    "I would rather the contractor be forthright and stop wasting my time." Judge Fear was a spirit of principle and thoroughness. He had little patience for half-attempts, delays, incompetence, and general pussyfooting. If something must be done, it must be done and it must be done well. Indeed, a bellicose mind pitted against a processor more inclined to use stratagems had all the makings of failure. The Dark Judge had grown used to taking orders from a superior and performing his allotted tasks with deadly efficiency. Things were not so cut-and-dry, now that Judge Death was out of the picture... Whether this upsetting change to their hierarchy was temporary or permanent, the ghoul didn't have the luxury of saying. He silently held out for the form -

    Screeeech!

    At once and without generous warning, a great force slammed itself into the ghoul's emaciated chest and he found his host undergoing a moment of cruel whiplash. He thought it cruel simply for the fact that K.A.R.R. had engaged his brakes on purpose, the Dark Judge ruling out both an accident and the actual need to slam into a halt. Chains loudly rattled and his Little Ones cried out in protest during the rough jerk, but fortunately none of them were irritated to the point of detonation. Thank Grud for that and seat belts, as well. The ghoul would hate to discover a glaring steering-wheel shaped impression marring his helm.

    "And you think being contained in a wine bottle was not?" That had absolutely been a one-time occurrence, because Judge Fear now made it his mission to doggedly avoid glass bottles on a whole. After K.A.R.R.'s little "display" and thinking to stretch his figurative wings, the ghoul was largely unimpressed. What did he, after all, have to fret over about a vehicle with rubber to burn?

    Don't be too sure... wrote:"I would destroy your body before the thought entered your mind."

    Here the Dark Judge tilt back his helm and laughed with burdened shoulders rocking. Yes, that's right. Judge Fear released an organ-jarring laugh and thought K.A.R.R.'s threat to be mildly amusing.

    "Assuming you even have the capability of reading minds and penetrating my mental defenses, you do realize that the vessel I am currently inhabiting is sturdier than the average sinner's?" Not by much, but just enough to survive leaping out from a two-story building unscathed and a high-impact missile explosion at near point blank range. As smug and as obnoxious as the "grin" he wore, Judge Fear resumed his languid posture from earlier and even crossed one of his spindly legs. Clearly the ghoul was enjoying himself, irregardless of his brief lapses in temper. "I am eternal, don't you understand? You may destroy this host as many times as you wish, and I may not be able to stop you currently, but my spirit will stand the test of time. Can you, K.A.R.R.? Somehow with all the maintenance and repairs, I am predisposed to believe that you, along with your fancy parts and gadgetry, are not advanced enough to preclude a distant expiration date." And should the vehicle think to imprison the Dark Judge's spirit within his very confines? More power to him, because then K.A.R.R. would be trapped with the malignant entity for as long as he could handle it.

    Regarding not being able to understand the supercomputer's thoughts and processes, Judge Fear teasingly wagged one of his gaunt fingers. "Tut, tut! With enough rigourous discipline and time on these just hands, I can have your components rebel against you. They will tell me everything, K.A.R.R., everything I've ever wanted to know, and they would do so lovingly." The Dark Judge saw himself as a testament to mortal transcendence and he will, strength permitting, hone his psychic abilities to a razor-sharp point.

    It will take a while to reach the proficiency of the Sisters Death and he was but one when he should be four, but Judge Fear was not deterred. If it meant carrying out justice and continuing the good work, he will sacrifice whatever it took to achieve the zenith of his otherworldly powers. Even using his immortality to master all branches of the psi-schools, if he had to.

    But yes, he agreed to let the subject drop for better and more worthwhile conversation.

    "Hmm, I suppose what you say has merit," agreed the ghoul, softly. There were many times, however, where mortals thought to use a Dark Judge's corrupt powers for their own criminal gain. Judge Death was of course the biggest example of this fact, along his three lieutenants effortlessly caught by a disingenuous P.J. Maybe, but it were these choice snippets that kept prudence ingrained within Judge Fear. It was an ornery prudence, no doubt about it, but a desire to remain vigilant all the same. He merely wished to remain free and autonomous, just like his sassy cohort. Now, onto the discussion of possible fees that they can both settle on. "A purge and a sum of this world's currency is acceptable; I find little issue to dispute it further." It was a Christmas miracle, everyone. Judge Fear was thankfully plain in what he desired: death, death, and more death.

    A Choice wrote:"Shall we get this matter over with now, or do we need more time to discuss?"

    Given that they had argued like a pair of hellcats in heat, no more discussion was necessary. The Dark Judge soon returned, "We deal with it now, preferably. As much as I do not wish to confer with the businessman and become involved with his quarrels, I like the Lochlann demon less. It needs to be punished." And hopefully destroyed, but Judge Fear was not holding his figurative breath.
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    Re: So about the Bagged Sugar...

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:16 am

    Alas, so long as they were dealing with a contractor and two stooges, forthrightness was not exactly in their corner.

    The image of Judge Fear's lawful person being tossed like a ragdoll from the car's sudden stop was a rather nice change, however. All that the AI needed to complete the scene was for Judge Fear to slam his face on the steering wheel, something that unfortunately failed to occur. KITT seemed to have something that replaced seatbelts entirely, the Passive Laser Restraint System... Perhaps he would need to ask if that could be installed on his next visit to the mechanic. "I would have thought a being of such powerful mental potential could have prevented such a fate." KARR halfheartedly teased. Of course, he was being hypocritical himself, given that in hindsight there was an entire other lane for him to swerve into instead of taking a nosedive off a cliff.

    Judge Fear's laughter resonated around the cabin, apparently finding the AI's threat amusing. Oh yes, the ghoul's body was sturdy and strong, but above all it was incredibly combustible from all the acidic chemicals that were imbued into the ghoul's skin. As for being able to read everything his components could tell him? The AI's voice modulator flared with a hearty scoff. To will a machine to give one answers was not the same a human, much like how the Dark Judge was too quick to think that motives could be read via the mind only. Actions, behavior, speech patterns, they revealed just as much.

    However, the AI knew better than to continue this contest. Especially after the ghoul decided that purging and a sum of money was enough for compensation. He was satisfied, and ready to move on to talk with the contractor once more. "Very well, I shall ready one half of the data recorded for your meeting." He replied, a few chiming electronic tones circulating around the dashboard and the CRT's flickering on with lines of encoded data, while the other showed the footage recorded albeit fast-forwarding, slowing, and at times reversing over itself as the AI prepared his part of the duo's bargain. It would only take a few minutes before everything was cut, placed and set for proper viewing. At the next intersectiong the two-toned vehicle turned, cruising into the outer district.

      Current date/time is Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:24 pm