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 Beggars On A Beach of Gold

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Kurr
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Location : Some hick town.

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Name:: Gale
Classification: kandi metalhead baphomet.

PostSubject: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:30 am

Vocal chords weren't working. She gritted her teeth and tried to snarl, but the only sound that issued from her mouth was a low, weak hissing noise, like that of steam issuing from a teapot before it squeals. The inside of her mouth tasted metallic, her skin felt wet and clammy; drenched in a cold sweat as suddenly something even colder edged along her arms, uninvited, unwarrented, unwanted. The hiss she was hearing [but her ears were ringing---someone was whispering, loudly, manically, some sick reality show narration---was the hiss even her own voice? Could she even hear herself over the sound of that vicious commentary?] slowly contorted itself into a strangled, indignant, protested vocalization. Fingernails digging into her palms [those fingers, those hands, those were her own, yes, that she was certain of] as that Edge traveled upwards. It pauses briefly upon her pallid cheek before continuing along the wicked little path it's master had set it upon. It's then that Luka suddenly regains the use of her voice, the frightened angry bellow that had been boiling in her throat finally loosed from her painted lips. Painted. Still being painted. She was unfinished art after all. All painted up in Candy Apple Red.

Not that Vegas really cared---give it but an hour or two and the city would just cover her up in glitter, swallow her whole in it's sleazy maw adorned with cheap glitz and glam; no one would notice. And if they did, they'd forget her soon enough anyway.

----

Luka Li awoke as if struck with the sudden realization that she was drowning. Her pale features face-down in water, lying on her stomach, legs splayed unnaturally behind her as small waves lapped lightly onto her head. Running on instinct alone, she grabbed hold of the bricks beneath her [bricks? A pile of bricks?] and wrenched her head up, coughing and spluttering foam and saltwater. "Gross," she murmured randomly, pushing her sopping dark mane of hair out of her face as she gingerly tried to lean back and seat herself on the awkward beach. Luka didn't need to look at her arms for that wretched foreboding hunch to creep up her spine. She knew---or at least, she knew enough, and had no desire to be reminded of the details.

Shakily, the young woman rips the edge of her dress and fashions a makeshift bandage, applying it to her left eye---or rather, where her left eye once was. Luka knows she should be screaming, hysterical, sobbing, running around and begging the nearest person she stumbled upon, "WHAT HAPPENED, WHERE AM I, OH PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME," but even more disturbing than that, was the quiet yet strangely solid idea that that would be....useless.

She finishes tying off the bandage, fluffing her still pig-tailed, dreadlocked hair over the knot as she slowly tries to rise to her feet, gaze darting about at her immediate surroundings; behind her now what appeared to have been a body of water, and before her a beach of bricks and rubble and beyond that through the haze, the silhouettes of what could only be buildings. "Hello?" It was a typical thing to call out, but the first thing that had honestly come to Luka's confused mind. She stumbles a little, trying to get a grip with her heels. Cute useless things, the half Russian, half Chinese woman mentally grumbles, squinting into the fog.

"Anybody there...?"
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PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:24 pm

Daniel woke up in stages, which was the first sign that something was Very Wrong.

It had been years, so many years, since he had experienced that drowsy, in-between fog that skirted the edge of waking hours and dreams. He had become so used to opening his eyes and being instantly alert, brain and senses flicked on without hesitation. Consciousness like a light-switch. Normally he had such a clear distinction between Awake and Asleep, and Charlie had laughed and called him a robot that first time, when he had tapped a snoozing Daniel on the shoulder and was instantly greeted with a flash of sharp eyes and belligerent “What does he want now?”

Why was he thinking about that? Goddamnit, his mind was a fuzzy mess. Wasn't important right now. Right now he needed his brain to start functioning, not to be chasing after the skirt tails of half-warm memories. He felt like his head was wrapped in cotton—felt like a child, high off a fever. Slowly, Daniel's mind began to sort itself out, drowsiness giving way to feelings of unease and apprehension. Proper consciousness rising up beneath the swaddled mass of his mind. He wanted to punch his brain into correct working order, but that was another stupid thought, so the man opened his eyes instead.

Daniel was staring at a wall—brick wall, city building—getting an intimate view of the gutter across from him. Blurry, grey sparks danced at the corners of his vision and he blinked them away, lifting his head up. Stiff, uncomfortable. He was sprawled up against the side of a building—half propped up by cool brick, half slumped against wet concrete ground—with his long limbs splayed on either side of him. Gunshot victim, bleeding out in an alley. With a small hiss of effort, the man forced himself onto his feet, ignoring the sudden wash of vertigo and tremble of uncooperative legs.

Right, now where the hell was he? Daniel shook his head sharply and willed his eyes to focus. Crumbling decay stretched out all around him, grungy bricks petering out into what looked like—a lake? Fuck, he didn't recognize anything, couldn't remember how he got here. It didn't seem like anyone else was around; he couldn't hear anything beyond the soft lap of water nearby and ever-present whisper of wind. If this was a city, it was an empty one.

Godamnit. Godamnit, if they had left him here alone... It wasn't unusual for their gang to split up when things got too hot, if they needed to throw off some insistent pursuer. They trusted each other, certainly. But they weren't...heartless towards each other, either. He remembers plenty of times when he had to kick down a door and pull Charlie from the half-collapsed mess of a recently destroyed room. Or reckless Sal stumbling against his side, laughing like his head wasn't on straight and bleeding wet patches into Daniel's suit. They didn't abandon their own... And yet they had left him here.

He was going to strangle them when he got back. In order of height. Daniel was grimly placated by the thought and allowed himself a small, satisfied huff as he brushed down his suit. Then he realized he probably wouldn't be able to fit his hands around Hector's fat neck, anyway. Whatever, he'd make sure they knew well enough that he didn't appreciate being left drugged, unconscious, in the middle of a desolate alley. Sal was going to get an earful, at least. A black eye, too, if he could manage it.

A quick assessment of his state revealed that he wasn't injured, thankfully, and that someone had taken his knives and gun. Fuck. Great. Daniel's hands flexed unconsciously. He could feel the burning tension of anxiety wriggling up from the pit of his stomach, racing along his limbs to coil in his elbows and knees. He wanted to hurt something. Someone. Wanted to find out who was responsible for this bullshit and make sure they knew just how terribly unamused he was by it all. But there was no one around. Except...

Except then there was a voice. It was coming from that strange beach, blown in by the wind. Daniel squinted, trying to spot a figure on the foggy shoreline. He couldn't tell if someone was there, who it was. Was it worth the risk? For a moment he stood still, rocked back on his heels with his arms folded behind him. And then he was moving, well-kept shoes click-splashing softly against sodden brick as he made his way towards the water.

Nothing else made sense right now, anyway...
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PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:16 pm

These streets are familiar.

Being split into two pieces, after a fashion was not. Twisted man and twisted hound struggled to get to their feet, acting in unison, a clumsy, drooling circle dance. Trying to gain control was damn near impossible, the primitive and modern consciousnesses colliding, double-vision consuming the torn-apart world that was half memorized from another time.

No. Not here. Not again.

He screeches out a protest to the walls around him. The sound splits between three sets of vocal chords and disorientation rules a man and a toothdog who are truly one in the same, now. The man wrestles the dog down, only to realize that he is the dog. The dog will rise up and realize it feels the pain in the arm it has just bitten.

The scuffle takes some time to order itself, and the white-haired creatures eventually get to their feet to survey the area for danger. People. Clues.

It's funny, he thinks, the only urgent thought in his mind are the pigeons he must have left behind in their coop... who is taking care of them? Is anyone? Will they be okay...?
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Kurr
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Posts : 336
Location : Some hick town.

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Name:: Gale
Classification: kandi metalhead baphomet.

PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:24 am

No answer.

Luka's lips tug themselves into a slight contemplative frown as she wobbles a bit on the bricks, picking her way over them, through them. Every now and then she catches sight of the marks on her arms---now [Now? They weren't always then, were they?] stitched together with black and red thread, sloppily, haphazard. Like some kind of ragdoll. A plaything.

This thought did not amuse her.

Mostly, she thinks that, well, logically all of these gashes, these odd sewn up bits---she knows they ought to be hurting. Hell, at least her eye, right? She was missing an eye and it hardly so much as caused her to flinch. Luka Li clucks her tongue, crouching slightly as her heel slipped awkwardly on some crumbly pebbles. But no. They didn't hurt. It was more of a dull, illusionistic throb, like Novocaine; a numbing sensation that covered up a pain that would normally be far worse.

With a small grunt, the young woman landed on the edge of the "beach," her feet grateful to be on slightly more friendly terrain. Bricks inlaid in their proper place along what appeared to be a street; she looks up, suddenly startled to see the figure of a well-dressed man standing very near to her. "Hi--hello," Luka chirps, so surprised at the sudden sight of him that she could find nothing else immediate to say.
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PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:00 am

“Jesus—” It came as a half-stilled whisper sputtered out past the tight mask of indifference, before he could fix his mouth into that impassive frown. Though he had been considering the vague possibility of other people being nearby—pretty unlikely, given the overbearing silence of the city—Daniel hadn't been expecting to breach the bank of fog surrounding the bizarre lake and nearly walk into a woman. He took a single, automatic step away from her, the hairs along the back of his neck bristling with an odd mixture of suspicion and... relief? He'd never felt this glad to see another person before, especially one he didn't know. It was a surreal and maddening feeling: like the rest of his abnormal situation, it made no damn sense.

But now that he was here, now that she'd noticed him, he couldn't just leave her. That ingrained sense of gallantry kept Daniel rooted to the spot, despite the undercurrent of apprehension that raced across the bed of his thoughts. So instead he tucked his hands into his pants' pockets and fixed his expression with a slightly worried furrow of brows. Poor girl, she looked like hell. Well, to be completely honest, she looked like a streetwalker who'd got into it bad with some particularly vicious John. Were those really stitches racing along her arms and the corners of her mouth? Christ. Her torn clothes were soaked through, and Daniel shifted to shed his suit-jacket, holding it out to the woman. So much for Dry-Clean Only.

“Looks like you've been havin' a worse time of it tonight than me. I'm guessin' you don't have any idea where we are, either?” Daniel asked, voice low and careful. Any answer he might have gotten was suddenly disrupted by something howling from the not-quite-empty city, a stereosonic echo that was both human and animal. Wonderful, what a charming little place they'd landed themselves in. Daniel turned from his new acquaintance and swept his gaze over the flotsam lining the shore of bricks, stooping down a second later to snatch up a rusted sliver of re-bar.

“Best keep your guard up,” he called back to the woman, focus now shifted onto the crumbling faces of the buildings in the distance. Maybe he'd get that fight he had been itching for after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:54 pm

At last the fight concludes as the scents of people not too far off reach two noses. It's not yet overwhelming, despite two noses catching one smell, feeding it back and forth across whatever link they have.

The man, Akida, stops and takes time to try to sort himself out from the animal beside him. Tries to take a moment to be sure the thing knows who is boss. With a few rickety steps they start moving forward, cautiously, two-as-one, towards the smell of people.
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Kurr
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Posts : 336
Location : Some hick town.

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Name:: Gale
Classification: kandi metalhead baphomet.

PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:50 am

"...an idea of where we are? Ha. Not in the the absolute slightest," the rag-doll woman murmurs softly to her new acquaintance, eying the coat the brown-haired man held out to her. She pursed her lips again, ever so slightly; this man was a stranger in a strange place---and accounting for her previous luck with strange men, Luka Li had absolutely no reason to trust this particular stranger of all people. ......However...

After a moment more of hesitation, Luka accepts Daniel's jacket, wrapping it around her bare shoulders with a quiet 'thank-you' and a slight nod. Right now, she'd throw caution to the wind and hope for the best that a kind gesture was simply a kind gesture. She was soaking wet with cold---there seemed no sense in perpetuating anything else to add to her list of newly found.... "health issues."

As that sudden howling rang in her ears, Luka cast her gaze down to her high-heeled feet, black eye blinking at them in disdain. "Well, doesn't take a genius to realize these'll be impractical," she grumbles under her breath, reaching down to wrench off one of the now-dirty, sequined pumps.

"Oh believe me, have I learned that," Luka snorts to Daniel's warning as she wiggles the freed toes of her left foot in the dust. Need...shoes. Sneakers. It doesn't matter WHAT city you're in, if run around barefoot in it, you'll get glass in your feet, guaranteed. Luka Li looks up through a curtain of messy dreads just as Daniel picks up that shaft of twisted metal, holding it like a weapon as he squints ahead down the street. The howling---was that a dog? Was there the scream of a man in there?---falls silent, and Luka lets her second high-heel fall from her curved fingers to the ground, discarding it as she straightens and takes a few steps after the man who's coat she now donned. The woman of partially Asian descent tugs the jacket a little tighter around herself; she'd scarcely begun to warm up at all---before noticing a gleam of silver on her right wrist. She'd almost disregarded it completely; just some bauble, a bracelet, costume jewelry---but it was as if something within her wanted to inspect it further.... wait..... what was....?

"...oh for the love of---Christ, is that a wolf....?!" Luka Li's attention snaps away from her tick and instead diverts to the path ahead of her, to a weaving flurry of white that was not quite the same color or consistency as the fog. Her hand instinctively darts out in front of her, gripping the back of the brunette man's shoulder.
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PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:31 pm

Daniel nods to show he's heard her, makes a faint noise in the back of his throat when Luka shrugs into the offered jacket. Of course they're both lost, can't ever have anything be simple. He's trying to judge which direction the howling racket is coming from when it peters off into the eerie stillness of the city, leaving the pair of them standing in the creeping quiet of unfamiliar surroundings. The noise was coming from somewhere in front of them, that was obvious enough. But he couldn't tell if it was to the right or left of them, too much echo bouncing it along the walls of old buildings. It had sounded canine. A stray, maybe? Some pet gone feral? But there had been another voice mixed in... He turns his head slightly at the soft thud of Luka's second shoe hitting the pavement, the corner of his mouth quirking up for a brief second. Smart girl, at least she's practical.

And then she grabs onto his shoulder, and Daniel has to force himself to ignore every screaming instinct that's making him want to wrench his arm away from her painted fingers and put a great deal of distance between them. Because damnit, damnit he's left his back open to someone he neither knows nor trusts and that is such a fantastically stupid, easy way to get himself killed. But there is no soft slide of a knife between his ribs, no press of metal and flash of gunpowder at the base of his skull, and he has to remind himself that this is not his city. He doesn't know this woman, doesn't know her motivations, so for now he'll just have to assume the gesture meant nothing.

He spots the shape a second after she points it out, a hulking white mass outlined against the fog. Daniel steps back so he and Luka are shoulder-to-shoulder. It's partially to put them at an even level so he doesn't feel so anxious having her at his back, but mostly so he can lean his head down near hers and speak. His words are a carefully controlled whisper that he hopes Luka will understand means “keep your voice down.”

“All right, wait... we don't know if it's noticed us yet.” Has it noticed them? Animals are always so much sharper at picking these things up than people are. Were they downwind? Upwind? Christ, he doesn't know. If it does know they're nearby, it isn't making a big fuss about it. Maybe it doesn't care. Who knows what a wolf, lost in a fucking city of all places, might be thinking? The thing is moving slowly enough that it would be stupid to rush in and provoke it. Let it make the first move, then. He'll probably be able to fend it off if it does come after them. Daniel spares a glance down at the corroded metal rod clutched in his hand like a club. Jesus, where was Hector when you really needed the brute? Bludgeoning weapons were much more his style.

“Wait, just wait a sec...” he murmurs, and wishes dearly that he still had his gun.
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PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:13 am

The fog is chilling, but it nails all the scents down and doesn't let them drift too far away. It does make them harder to see, even for the dog-half, only slightly outlined. Chemical. New. Fear. Not enough fear to be adrenaline yet. The smell of the dogs gets in the way for a moment, but the dog itself smells past it and they keep moving until the people freeze.

Woman. Dead. Angry man, smaller. Chemical. New. Fear. Signals are sent that he only understands as smells. There are no translations.

His spine aches, he lets out a call, trying to let them know he's an ally, hoping that they are allies. Instead, twin throats open and the dog snarls out a parody of human speech, entirely indecipherable.

It takes a bit more time standing still and focusing until Akida can use his own voice, which is still rough and disconcertingly doglike, as if he'd chainsmoked all his life. His teeth are sharp over his tongue. This does not surprise him.

"Not... here to hurt. Been put here.... ugh fuuuuuck." He cusses to himself that his voice doesn't go very far in the stupid fog and the dog growls in a similar manner. His hands go up instead, to show he is unarmed.

The mutant dog stands on its hind legs in an attempt to do the same. Akida gives up and stands still. Let the two make of him what they will.
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Name:: Gale
Classification: kandi metalhead baphomet.

PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:54 am

Shoulder to shoulder with Daniel now, the dread-locked woman bends her knees ever so slightly, her one good eye trained on the silhoue--no, two silhouettes---in the fog. "He's unarmed, he's unarmed," she mutters quietly, taking a cautious step or two forward, having registered the canine shape to be a pet of some sort, judging from how closely it was trailing alongside the humanoid one. In fact it.... Luka cocked her head subtly. Was it trying to imitate the man beside it? Some kind of circus-trick dog maybe. How odd. There was something about it though, being so out of place and so absurd that made the tiniest flash of a smile appear briefly on Luka's face.

Akida's quiet, growling half-man half-dog speech was indeed lost to the wind; however Luka Li greater appreciated his gesturing---where mouths could lie, that movement did not. She continues her approach, raising her left hand in both greeting and peace, stopping just short of 5 meters or so from the two white haired creatures.

"Hi!" She called out to them while keeping a close eye on the dog's movements, trying to force her voice to sound as sweet and kind and feminine as possible---damn did it feel weird to smile with all those stitches in her cheeks. And ha, never mind her being barefoot and having a bloody scrap of cloth wrapped around her head and eye. Well. So much for playing the charismatic diplomat. The charming, alluring little doll. That was laughable---appearances aside, Luka wasn't sure if emotionally she'd be able to play that kind of girl anymore. This s'not the time. Think it over later. She took her own advice, shaking these thoughts off and pressed onward.

"I'm sorry but---" Name. She didn't know the name of the man who's coat she wore. Ask later. "---my acquaintance and I are more than a little lost...do you have any idea where we are..?" It was the most important priority in her head right now. Find out where I am. Put a thumbtack in the mental map. If you know your location you can get to know a way out.
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PostSubject: Re: Beggars On A Beach of Gold   Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:20 pm

It might have been amusing. Another time, another place, if he was another person. This is one of those situations that is just so absurd that the only rational response seems like it should be disbelieving laughter. Maybe bordering slightly on hysterical. But Daniel's not a laughing kind of guy, and this really isn't funny. The man's growls and the dog's actions—and there is something seriously wrong with that dog, though at this distance he can't pinpoint exactly what it is—set him on edge. But Luka is right; the stranger appears unarmed, even raises his hands to prove it.

Daniel isn't entirely convinced by the placating gesture. Still, there are too many unknowns to the situation. The guy seems to be trying to make peace for now, and he doesn't have enough information to warrant starting a war in the middle of the streets. Especially not with the woman he just met standing only a few paces away from that beast that might still be a wolf, or may be something entirely different. Wait for now. Observe. Don't do anything rash.

When Luka moves forward he trails along a step or two behind her, doing his best to look civil in a damp suit and squashed hat. Almost as an afterthought, Daniel lowers the arm holding onto the piece of re-bar, letting it hang loosely by his side instead as they approach this other mismatched pair. He nods along with Luka's words as she explains—watching both strange dog and strange man intently—only chiming in at the end of her speech.

“Anything at all you could tell us about this place, that'd be real helpful.”
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