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


    Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

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    K.A.R.R.
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    Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:03 am

    Time: 11:36 AM
    Date: January 7, 0004

    It had not been a long drive by any means, getting down to the still burning building. The four block radius of nothing but a complete void of electronic activity had initially piqued his surveillance mode. Although Judge Fear's directions were as clear as a set of coordinates and a set of intersecting street names. 1260 Lane and 96th 4K Street certainly were not forgettable names.

    Slowing to a halt on the other side of the street, the flicker of roaring flame reflected with a nearly mirror-like quality in the car's glossy coat. So, this was the place were Fear had made his conference... Looking at it now, the possibility the contractor would wish to meet here again was dismally slim. Why was it that they never gave a forwarding address to meet at or a time? Of course, it seemed his driver had other ideas. "How are you to summon the contractor again?" KARR inquired doubtfully. Yes, the ghoul had stated earlier some business with a psychic calling or something or other, but it was still a challenge to wrap his processor around. Although whether or not the immortal was in the building was hard to say. The blazing inferno's heat alone was enough to drown out any attempts at a vitals scan.

    Either way, if the contractor was neither here nor interested in a summon, they may as well keep the information at this rate. Within the cabin was a bouncing tune played on an electric guitar and lead by a male singer. The lyrics were admittedly odd and perhaps even unsettling in some areas, but otherwise forgettable as the AI had deemed it. Turning off the radio, KARR unlocked the driver's side door and swung it open with a hydraulic hiss. Begrudgingly or not, there was a task at hand that needed to be done.

    "I will step into negotiations if needed. Until then I will make sure this is not an ambush and the contractor does not try anything untoward." KARR assured. As Judge Fear had been able to take control of the situation well enough from the look of the burning building, the AI decided it would be best for the ghoul to continue where he left off.
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by Fear on Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:25 am

    The directions were clear because it was painfully hard to miss a burning building.

    Plumes and plumes of black smoke rose high into the air, the flames liable to spread, yet there was no firefighting presence to combat them. Why? Perhaps the Outer District was not worth saving, both its properties and its dubious citizens, which suited the Dark Judge's philosophy just fine. He stepped out from K.A.R.R.'s cockpit when prompted, rotten soles planting themselves upon a layer of fresh ash. It was truly a pity that no one had perished within the roiling smoke; Bloodscream no doubt survived his wounds and was already on the move. "The contractor never gave fitting instructions but I require them not," hissed Judge Fear. It was nearly impossible to forget such a bizarre and turbulent mind. And how cute of K.A.R.R. to think that he could stave off the contractor's ambush, should the latter further stoke hostilities. The ghoul let his mechanical accomplice keep that positive spark alive; one of them had to have it, after all.

    Now away from the two-toned automobile and having enough generous room to spare, the Dark Judge surveyed his charred settings one last time. No sign of the contractor or anyone else, for that matter... Just as well, he thought. "Stay alert; any interruptions will cause my focus to suffer." One wrong move was all it took to hijack a mental connection, and Judge Fear would rather not let the demon help itself to his psyche.

    It was frustrating. Frustrating, because melding into the city's unruly awareness proved more difficult than initially believed.

    On the surface, the Dark Judge appeared frozen in time; his body remained completely devoid of movement. Within, however, there was concealed a struggle. So many thoughts... So many angry and bitter thoughts. Portal City was a modern curiosity and quite fascinating to the naked eye, but beneath its gleaming surface and awe-inspiring skyscrapers? It was as ugly and scarred as Mega City-1, thousands of forsaken vestiges from broken souls left to haunt its bustling avenues. Disaster after disaster, plague after plague, Portal City's ghostly twin knew no rest. With the right touch and a pinch of manipulation, the intense negativity brooding underneath its beguiling facade could be molded into a fitting psychic weapon against the living. Alas, Judge Fear was but one when he should be four; he was currently far too weak and limited in strength to perform such a taxing feat. His sickly presence therefore resumed its incorporeal search throughout the metropolis, the ghoul's mind sifting through thousands upon thousands of irrelevant thoughts. He needed to find the one, the mind that was as every much harsh as it was methodical. He needed to find the -

    Contractor, whispered a reverberating voice in the abyss. Judge Fear located what he reasonably deduced was his quarry's unique signature, a mental reading that spanned across the psychic divide like no other. He was diligent enough to keep any and all extrasensory defenses on high alert, for an unsuspecting merge could prove... detrimental. Contractor, the voice rasped again, emphasis added. Return to where we last met, alone and without your tricks. You have a generous total of thirty minutes to accept this invitation and comply. Otherwise, your deal will be forfeit and so will any future attempts to collect the information you doggedly seek. The message was delivered and Judge Fear broke his junction with both contractor and city.

    Feeling strained but capable of handling his own should the need arise, the Dark Judge returned to stand beside K.A.R.R. and wait. "I have made contact with the demon," he elaborated. Ugh, what a wretched realization. "Should he not arrive within a half hour, assume that he is no longer interested with the bargain. We then leave this accursed metropolis and convene no more."

    It was going to be a long thirty minutes.
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by Prixlezub on Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:14 am

    The Dark Judge need only wait ten.

    Fear's resonating words reached the contractor clearly, although despite the odd blockade that surrounded the man's thoughts, he did not seem able to reply back in the same fashion. Silence and a reflected echo would be all that met the ghoul on the link back, the contractor while formidable was all but mute upon their psychic connection. There was nothing to fear about a mental hijacking to be sure, merely hissing tongues and rumbling thunder that the ghoul had encountered before.

    Swiftly the man had come to meet both Judge and his machine, the sound of hard soled shoes tapping against asphalt in the distance that slowly became louder. A man in a dark business suit as he had seen before approached from down the road, raising a tan hand to adjust his tie. Dark eyes glanced between both the Dark Judge and two-toned vehicle as he drew close, the flames that so hungrily licked from the broken windows casting a hellish red glow upon his sharp cut features. "I received your summons." He greeted, his gaze ultimately turning to the taller of the two. "You have come to a decision rather quickly." He observed evenly. Likely to give the information, of course. If they decided otherwise there would be no reason to require an audience with him. Although rather it was due to the prior threat had yet to be seen.

    Coming to a standing halt before the Dark Judge, his diminutive 6'3" frame tilted and craned to look him in the eye, or at least what served as his eyes. Without the being's abilities to shroud it, the man could see clearly that this undead had... A spirit? Yes, it flickered strongly within the being like a stalwart flame...How interesting, and to think that the dead were thought to be soulless husks. The man's tongue flicked and slowly licked over the inside of his teeth at the thought. What wonders allowed this soul to be so stubbornly attached to this world? "Tell me, what have you chosen?" He requested patiently, clasping his hands behind his back.
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by Fear on Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:30 pm

    Ah, the masquerading demon approaches.

    It was with a heightened degree of confidence that Judge Fear could now establish the contractor as having zero psychic potential; his mind was extremely alien but nevertheless unreceptive. Good, for neither the Dark Judge nor vehicle needed to entertain a bout of sadistic mind games; especially of the losing variety. Ghostly eyes looked the demon over, a malignant presence idly deconstructing the contractor's facade string by string. After all, the demon was not the only one whose sight could discern truth beneath the lies. Portal Breach's "flattening" process made things strenuous, however, and the ghoul could only allot his otherworldly energies into this task for so long. And as for how the two came about their decision with an air of haste...

    "Very astute of you, yes." Or, in layman's terms: no stomm. The Dark Judge would rather keep this parley succinct and relatively linear. He resumed his disinterested stare and merely added further, "You already know the reason why we are here, therefore our choice is of no mystery to you. We have agreed to part with the information, but there shall be additional stipulations upon the original contract."

    Contract.

    What an abhorrent word when coupled with a demon's infernal taint.

    Judge Fear wasted no time and proceeded straight to negotiations. "For my associate's end of the bargain, he requires an additional sum of credits. And for myself, I require a great loss of life." A fairly simple addendum, no? "Acquiring funds will be straightforward; I trust even your careless peons can fulfill this task. As for the great loss of life, however, I will not accept anything beneath fifty iniquitous souls. The greater your offering, the more in-depth I shall make my report." Was it lowly of him to demand a purge from someone not of the uniform? Yes, but it was also the realistic option. The Dark Judge could hardly perform his job with little difficulty due to this world's confounded physics, let alone get his stony gaze to reach its once notorious lethality. This was something to utilize in the interim, convincing and manipulating others to further aid in his goal to extinguish all life from Portal Breach. Nevertheless, it was of course demeaning to momentarily rely on the contractor's assistance... Now he knew how Judge Death must have felt when their leader was forced to engage in pugilism for petty entertainment.

    "These are our desires. Comply thoroughly and all the information shall be yours. You have my word as a Judge of the law." Which may or may not be prone to altering should certain exceptions apply. The demon had little to fret in regards to a double-cross.

    He can thank his immense life energy for that.
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by Prixlezub on Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:00 am

    Of course the contractor knew what their answer was, but it as always polite to let others say for themselves their intentions. Not all could be foreseen with analysis and intuition alone. Upon hearing the ghoul utter that there would be some changes to their deal, the man gave a small wondering hum. "That is acceptable, I had mentioned earlier you could ask for compensation for your efforts." He respectfully replied, his eyes slowly sweeping between both vehicle and Judge.

    What was asked could be considered rather predictable. Monetary compensation and a sacrifice of life, at least fifty lives as the Dark Judge instructed. However, there was one thing that the contractor had to correct him on, a simple little detail. "Your terms are acceptable, however we will not be using the mercenaries for this task. This exercise alone has proven their inability to carry out my instructions. No, I will carry out your terms personally." Just as he should have done with getting information from the village. Bloodscream and Cailia had outlived their usefulness on this plane, that was apparent. One had been temporarily dealt with, and the other... She would be dealt with later, after he decided how best to handle her actions.

    For now, there were negotiations to carry out. Bringing a hand to his chin to cup it thoughtfully, the man's gaze removed itself from Fear's for a moment as if in thought. A short minute later, the man spoke up, returning his gaze to the Dark Judge's. "I know of a village out on the coast of the wastes. It is small, but bustling with those of a fishing vocation, large sea creatures like whale and tuna. Boats come and go from the harbor daily, with a few trucks coming in to take some of their catches to the city, but otherwise it will not be missed." He replied  thoughtfully. "The population is well over your desired fifty, to be sure. I can have the place purged in a single night, and you can take your desired credits from the local bank with no opposition. Or I can arrange to have them delivered to a specific address, it is your choice." The contractor offered, placing his hands in the pockets of his suit as he stood confidently.

    The Dark Judge could have a front row seat to the action if he asked, the man would not mind.
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by Fear on Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:06 am

    So the contractor had opted to keep his underlings out of the affair... An acceptable choice, given that both Bloodscream and Miss Hallow were not thought of highly as of late. Now, what is this about knowing a small fishing village off the coast? The Dark Judge was not one to usually accept another being's help, particularly one who allowed for more questionable characteristics to govern his practice, but the contractor was something... different; something that was neither human nor inhuman. It was rather hard to put a rotting finger on it, and Judge Fear briefly entertained the thought of using this indiscernible creature as a tool. And if not a tool then a weapon capable of slaughtering an entire village overnight.

    "I request to observe your purging of this village," the ghoul spoke up, "to see that you will indeed perform up to such lofty expectations." To purge an entire community overnight was no laughing matter, nor an idle boast, but the Dark Judge shall remain open-minded. "As for the credits, bring them to our rendezvous. We will take them off your hands while you fulfill the rest of your bargain's end."

    The contractor was not a nuclear warhead and he was not a flesh-eating plague, but perhaps he will be as effective all the same. "Choose a day and a time," Judge Fear hissed. "It shall be honoured."

    Could even be tonight, if the contractor so desired.
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by Prixlezub on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:41 pm

    At the ghoul's request, the contractor gave a humble nod, "Of course you may." He replied evenly. It was not every day that one claimed to be able to destroy an entire village in one night, especially one that was so populated. At the Judge's instruction, the man turned his gaze downward thoughtfully before returning his gaze. "Very well, we shall rendezvous five miles outside the village limits. There is a cliff that overlooks the coast, it will give you a good view when it all happens. However, your payment will come after the village is purged. This I assure you." He stated firmly. Why would the payment come after the village was purged, one may ask?

    "It is a simple task, tonight at midnight when all have returned to rest will suffice." The man replied evenly, a hint of confidence lacing his tone. Perhaps one could call the contractor boastful in proclaiming the decimation of such a great population in a single night to be no more than a 'simple task'. Then again, experience and practice was what separated masters from amateurs. With a time and place decided, the two were left with but one more final detail before it was time to depart.

    Bringing his hands from his suit pockets and clasping them together in front of him, the man looked over both ghoul and vehicle before inquiring, "It appears our deal is settled, unless there is anything else you would wish to discuss." Better the ghoul state any lingering curiosities or interests now, for busy hours flew by quickly.
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by Fear on Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:52 pm

    Payment after the purge was complete? Judge Fear may be naive in more ways than one, the ghoul at a gross disadvantage to many technological marvels, but he was by no means stupid. His dealings with the contractor was purely on a mutual basis and nothing more, if that. "You will deliver the credits before the purge," he rasped. And for good reason, as the Dark Judge shall never a trust a demon so far as he could throw it. "Place the credits at the rendezvous and wait not for us. We will retrieve it while you are liberating the town." To linger within the contractor's phenomenal life energies was a fool's move; Judge Fear learned quite well after his dealings, and eventual containment, by a one P.J. Maybe. "Then expect us at midnight, and do not bother with communications. They will not be necessary." It should be obvious as for why.

    "There is little else to discuss. We will arrive and agreements shall be met. The two parties will then split afterward; you with your information, and we with our compensation." The ghoul found little need to make things more elaborate, and he was already shambling over to K.A.R.R.'s driver's compartment. With a bony creak of his neck he continued, "We shall be there, you have our word. At midnight, contractor, at midnight."

    At midnight, when the sleepy souls of a fishing village were to be brought before their shameless crimes.
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by Prixlezub on Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:44 pm

    "After the purge." The contractor replied adamantly. "Your payment is in the town bank and its numerous fishing businesses. Once the townspeople are purged, it will be gathered and brought to you shortly, no more than twenty to thirty minutes after. If your payment is not given in that time, you may consider our deal voided." He explained evenly. There was no need to fear a double cross from the suited man, his and the vehicle's information were insurance enough. Otherwise, the man held no qualms with there being no communications, Judge Fear had demonstrated his abilities well enough only moments before their encounter and the negotiations prior.

    "Very well." The man replied, nodding his head respectfully and stepping back from the towering undead Judge. "Farewell, Judge Fear. I look forward to our next meeting." He stated finally, before turning and walking down the street. Rolling clouds of thick smoke poured over from the burning two story building, devouring the man's form until nothing but billowing shapes of impenetrable grey and black were all that the ghoul and his cohort could see. If they attempted to make a chase after the dark skinned contractor, they would find nothing but an empty street and bits of broken glass from the earlier explosion of force on the other side of the choking, thick mass.

    Until midnight, Dark Judge...
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:07 am

    A short meeting, but productive nonetheless. Content to remain silent throughout Judge Fear and the contractor's discussion, KARR attempted to scan over the odd being at first. Attempted being the key word. Throughout the entirety of their brief negotiation, the contractor gave off some sort of energy frequency that interfered with his sensors. Static partially overcame his visuals, and the rest? His olfactory, audio and anamorphic equalizer all displayed similar activity, all unable to comprehend the being before him through the veil of static that threatened to overtake him at his current placement. Within the cabin, his dashboard had grown into a light show of malfunctioning readings, the vehicle's vitals rose and fell sporadically, even to the point where his vocalizer flickered but produced no sound. Although, some of his analyzing programs could discern that the behavior resembled that of a magnetic frequency than electronic.

    During the entirety of those few minutes, KARR's world became a jumble of incoherent data splashed with erroneous warnings. His survival protocols flashed in an obvious warning as the AI focused on keeping himself from fading to black. Though the desire to back away and drive far away from the being screamed in his processor, there was no way he could operate the vehicle in this state.

    With this startling discovery, the AI's prior confidence snapped to a morbid epiphany. How could he hope to stave off such a creature if his systems were too scrambled to put a lock on it? Not to mention he could barely make out a single word of the conversation they had. To say it was productive was mere assumption, along with whether or not he was even in the city anymore. Panic overtook his mind as the static lingered even when the contractor had left before giving way to allow some of his more basic features to resurface among the confusion, a brief crackle of static squawks overcame his vocalizer as he called out to the only familiar name on this rock. "czzkt!- dge Fear-hhzzzzsh-H-help. I cannot see! I cannot--" His frantic calls took pause as his optics finally cleared, seeing the ghoul standing next to him expectantly. "Judge Fear, everything turned to static the moment he arrived." KARR sputtered uncertainly, his voice clearing as the man finally faded from range. A hint of desperation calmed down to the AI's usual even tones, although his discomfort was still present. "His presence gave off a magnetic frequency that interfered with my systems, I could neither make sense of him nor the world around me through the static." He remained silent for a few minutes, as if trying to fully regain his bearings as his CRT's flickered to life, revealing a black screen with streaming lines of nonsensical numbers and letters scrolled continuously.

    Command prompts, code, the signs of a full self check to ensure nothing was erased or destroyed during their encounter. Inwardly the AI wondered how such a strong adversity did not force him to shut down if only to spare his sanity.

    "...If you meet him again, it will have to be you alone. Whatever he is, the contractor is not the same kind of creature we met in Lochlann, even that did not interfere with my scanners as badly as he did." He stated slowly, evaluations running through his processor. "I cannot risk another encounter like that. My systems could be damaged with prolonged time around him." He warned. With that said, the AI took another moment to calm down before finally starting the engine and opening the door. At least nothing was damaged beyond the point of being operational, he assured himself. "How did your negotiations go?  Did everything fall in our favor?" KARR asked finally.
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by Fear on Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:24 am

    After, before; needless repetition, and the Dark Judge quickly let it fall through the cracks. He nonchalantly waved his hand out of dismissal and left the contractor to his own dubious machinations. Shrouded within an undulating cloud of smoke and unknown energies, the demon left and troubled them no more. Or, as the ghoul shall find out soon enough, now no longer caused a certain supercomputer to lapse into a digital panic. How mildly interesting...

    Hmm... wrote:"czzkt!- dge Fear-hhzzzzsh-H-help. I cannot see! I cannot--"

    Mm, to savour this trepidation or to be the voice of support... Decisions, decisions.

    Judge Fear simply leaned upon the vehicle's metal frame and calmly listened, an elbow resting atop K.A.R.R.'s body while the undead fiend idly crossed one of his legs at the knobby ankle. "Oh, how horrifying," he hissed, leisurely gazing downward at the tinted window. It may seem that the Dark Judge was swimming in his own amusement; he of course was, but not as much as one may think. After all, hadn't he told the automobile that "jinxing" electronics was a thing? Nevertheless, the Dark Judge waited patiently for his ally to once again make sense of the world in a way that only a machine could. "A skilled psychic can do this as well," he stated casually, momentarily spreading out his bony fingers as if to inspect his grotesque fingernails. Judge Fear let his hand limply dangle over K.A.R.R.'s edge and further stated, "Calm thy binary nerves, K.A.R.R. Perhaps when I am stronger, and if you decide to keep me around, I can develop a skill to effectively block out such interferences. Remember, my mechanical friend, the human mind is capable of a great many things." Ah, and it was only just yesterday that the vehicle was quick to assume its superiority - its technology-dependent superiority.

    An engine was revved and a door was opened, the ghoul sliding into K.A.R.R.'s cockpit in all his spindly glory. "And you shall not encounter the contractor again," he responded confidently, buckling up. "You do not even have to be there, if you so wish. It matters little to me; I will observe and collect the funds as acquired, walking back to the farm immediately after business has been concluded. I fear not the creature." A proud and stubborn disposition to have, but the Dark Judge was also a proud and stubborn individual.

    Being essentially brainwashed since the age of five may do this to a soul.

    "The negotiations went fairly well. A pity, K.A.R.R., that you were incapacitated and missed everything." And who said machines could not be made to feel fear? The ghoul was not about to lounge back and rest both arms behind his helm, as that would no doubt irk the vehicle to the point of hitting that lovely eject left button, but Judge Fear did feel his spirits uplift. So to speak, naturally. "We are to meet at a fishing village by the stroke of midnight, where the contractor shall comply with our demands. A town will be purged and you will acquire the funds necessary for any subsequent repairs or upgrades. Afterward, I am assuming we hand over our end of the bargain and immediately split ways. Isn't that a wonderful thought?" How difficult it was to not chuckle just then. "We are done here, K.A.R.R. Let us return and begin compiling the information for delivery."
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    Re: Some Sugar for Them Pancakes

    Post by K.A.R.R. on Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:54 pm

    Oh, that cheeky rotten..

    "Have a care, Fear. Without me you would be working completely alone." The AI retorted evenly. Although the more this went on, the more that alternative started to sound attractive. Maybe there was space in that mechanic's garage, she certainly did not seem the type to treat his requirements with sadism. Speaking of which, what exactly did happen to himself? "Yes, you had stated so earlier." KARR replied to his driver's casual statement, albeit distracted as he read through file upon file in his databank. One managed to state what sounded like an exact similarity to his prior symptoms, the AI swiftly scanning it over before speaking once again.

    "The contractor's aura gave off an electromagnetic field. My systems can be modified to insulate against it, but we lack the time and funds currently." Of course, Fear's statements were not forgotten either. "Develop is the key word, Judge Fear. How long would it take for you to master blocking out electromagnetic static from my systems? The mind may be limitless as you say, but it takes time. More time than it would take to install a protective insulation." KARR replied methodically. Not as a shooting retort, but merely cold, precise fact. In the time it took a human to read a single page in a book, the AI could read and download the entire literature. The same could be applied to Fear's development of his abilities, wherein the AI only needed an afternoon to gain his protection while the ghoul may likely need an entire month or more to hone his skills.

    Regardless, it was relieving to hear that the ghoul heeded his worries. Shutting the door behind his driver while he buckled up, the AI listened quietly before replying, "Very well. I will await your return." As for what he missed? KARR was mildly surprised that the contractor would actually go so far as to purge an entire town for the sake of information. Indeed, Judge fear had to be brave or simply too proud for his own good to not show some wariness regarding their mysterious contact. "The data is already prepared and filed accordingly for trade, you only need to take it with you on your appointment." He stated confidently, pulling away from the curb and pulling out into the rolling smoke.

    All they needed to do now was wait.

      Current date/time is Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:37 am