Vorcium: Chapter 3: Silence (First Half)

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Vorcium: Chapter 3: Silence (First Half)

Post by DEWM NINJA on Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:02 pm


A lone, cloaked figure wearing repainted Knight’s armor approached a throne, two men wearing black Knight’s armor stood by either side of the throne, both holding spears. They kneeled as the Cloaked figure sat down into the throne. The lack of light covered his face. He sat for a few seconds, before Eric appeared from the end of the hall, and approached him. “Eric. Have you claimed the bounty of that Cleanser?” The cloaked man asked. Eric pulled out Matt’s eye, and handed it to a nearby guard, who put it through a handheld retina scanner. “It checks out, Sir.” The guard said to the cloaked man. The cloaked man nodded. “Give him his cash.” A nearby guard handed Eric several bills, specifically 200 dollars in a mix between Demon currency and Vorcium’s currency. “We agreed on 300.” Eric said. “You were late.” The cloaked man said. “I’m done working for you.” Eric said. “No more murders, no more abusiveness of this, bad luck aura of mine. I wasn’t born an assassin. I was born a bounty hunter.” The guards drew their weapons. “Relax. I won’t rat you out. But I’m not doing your jobs anymore. Just let me leave.” Eric said. “No. You will do one more job for me. And this time, you will be allowed to bring him alive. As a matter of fact, you MUST bring him alive.” The cloaked man said, as he removed his hood, revealing himself to be wearing a mask made out of a deer’s skull, without the antlers. “Fine. What are the details?” Eric asked. The cloaked figure got up from his throne. “I cannot stress the importance of this person’s survival. I simply need them captured. If you fail this mission, I will have you hunted down by my men even if you change your name and travel to Venus. Do not screw up years of planning!” The cloaked man said. “I said, what are the details?” Eric said. The same guard handed Eric a sheet of paper. “Jesus, you can’t expect me to do this.” Eric said. “Remember: Reputation is imaginary. No job too small, no bounty too big.” The cloaked figure said. “Fine, Angel. But only under one agreement: I get as much time as I need. Because I’m gonna take a vacation after we’re done here.” Eric said. “Fine. Try not to make it any longer than two months until you begin your mission. You are free to take from the armory, and you are free to bring with you any of my Black Knights. Just try not to get any of it destroyed or killed, depending on what you’re taking.” The figure identified as Angel said. “Alright. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” Eric said as he turned around. Two Black Knights saluted Eric. “Hail the Black Angel!” They both said. “Right.” Eric replied, as he walked past them, and out the exit. The Black Angel put his hood back on, and sat back in his throne.

Maximus entered a hospital room, where he saw Mac lying in a bed, Mac didn’t wear his armor, but that didn’t stop him from concealing his face with a hockey mask. “Jesus Christ. I didn’t know Jason Vorhees served in the Order of Knights.” Maximus said. “I’ll be damned if I’m ever gonna let the public see my face, alright?” Mac said. “Why’s that?” Maximus asked. “Because. I think it makes me more intimidating.” Mac said. “It makes you look like a serial killer.” Maximus said as he walked further into the room, and sat down in a chair next to him. “How long’s it gonna be until you’re back in shape?” Maximus asked. “A week. It’s only an extra two days because you stabbed me.” Mac said. “It was to stop the bleeding. It’s was a tense moment, OK?” Maximus said. “Whatever. As long as that Pyrus asshole is six feet under I don’t give a damn.” Mac said. “So how is it you’re still alive?” Mac asked. “Me? Well, after Radio City, they sewed everything back up and helped me as much as they could. But I died I guess, or it felt like it, at least. Had memory after memory of my life, before it turned into one hell of a lurid dream at the end. Turns out that although the docs thought I was dead, I wasn’t. My heartbeat was too faint to be detected until one of the doctors cut me open and reached in, and massaged my heart. He’s a goddamn maniac, but it worked. By the time they brought me back, I was in a minor coma, and you and Scar were out looking for god knows what.” Maximus said. “Hm. I guess it takes a lot to kill a High General, huh?” Mac asked. “You’re damn right.” Maximus said. “Ugh, I hope I didn’t just walk into you two sucking each other off about your ranks.” Scar said as she entered. “No.” Maximus said. At the same time, Mac said “Yeah.”, Maximus looked at him confused. “How you doin’, Mac?” Scar asked. “I’m fine. The doc said it’ll take a week for me to be ready for action.” Mac said. “So, do you want me to comment on the Jason Voorhees mask or should I spare you?” Scar asked. Mac sighed. “Hey I already told a Jason Voorhees joke regarding the mask.” Maximus said. “Oh, I didn’t realise you were the king of giving Mac a hard time. Please, from now on, I’ll just let you speak for me.” Scar said. “While you’re at it, why don’t you go rule a robot army, and develop the Order of Knights’ weapons, and I’ll go take a beach vacation at the shore of VCT.” Scar said further. “Woah woah, what about a ‘robot army’?” Mac asked. “Oh yeah, you weren’t here for that. While you were being fixed up, Maximus and I went and helped defend that Museum from the Demons. And all the robots swore fealty to me. To a degree.” Scar said. “Huh. Cool.” Mac said. “Oh, and, uh, about that. We used a few of your Ghosts, because we couldn’t afford to arm any other soldiers with camo, so they just kinda followed my orders. Here’s a sheet detailing the damages to equipment, ammo spent, soldiers lost and soldiers wounded.” Maximus said. “Oh good, just what I wanted the first hospital visit from my friends to be like. Doing fucking paperwork.” Mac said. “Can’t be a High General without good handwriting.” Maximus said. Mac groaned. He looked over to a calendar that read “Augent”, Vorcium’s August.

In an outpost within a wooded area, several men armed with makeshift equipment and basic weapons patrolled around. Within the outpost was a man wearing a jacket that was unzipped, exposing a bulletproof vest underneath, wearing a motorcycle helmet, with the visor lifted up, exposing his ever alert eyes. A woman approached him, wearing a set of Knight’s armor. “The men keep patrolling, but there’s no visual of approaching enemies. I believe we’re clear.” The woman said. “We are never clear, my love. For as long as we thrive, the Knights will pursue us, and the Demons will attempt to jail us.” The man said. “Of course. I will inform the men to continue their patrols. And stop referring to me as Love. I told you, it was Beautiful.” The woman said, chuckling as she walked away. “How about ‘Gorgeous’? Beautiful's a tad bland for me.” The man said as she walked away. He walked another direction, pulling out a grip with a button on it. He pressed the button, and both ends of the hilts extended in a metal material, clearly designed as a double-barrel staff, though is was notably very light as he swung it around with ease. He got a bit of a feel for it before he entered a garage, with several motorippers powered off, their lack of a front wheel looked awkward, but as soon as he powered on one of the vehicles, they bursted upwards, with the front end being powered with a jet. Two men approached him, both of them wearing somewhat similar attire. “Sir, the Motorippers are ready to go. On your word, we’ll tear the place up.” One of them said. “Good. See to it that you show no mercy, your adversaries won’t do anything of the sort to you.” Their leader said. “Of course, sir. Anarchy prevails!” The other driver said. “Anarchy prevails.” The man said. As he walked away, the back of his jacket had an insignia that designated him as “The Anarchist”. Anarchist walked outside, before he heard gunfire in the distance. He pulled out his staff, and looked around. He heard more gunfire, which caused him to run towards the garage door nearby and open it. “There’s gunfire, get to it!” Anarchist said. Both of the bikers got on their Motorippers, which were modified to have spears on their fronts, and SMGs attached to the handles, which had triggers. The Motorippers took off without hesitation, though Anarchist was surprised when a Knight began firing on one of the Motoripper’s flanks, which got through to the Motoripper’s jet and caused it to malfunction, crashing the bike. The biker recovered, pulling one of the SMGs off the handles and firing upon the Knight, though was gunned down immediately. The other Motorriper retaliated, though Anarchist made his own defense. He pulled a makeshift landmine from his pocket and planted it down into the ground. The knight that gunned down the first biker turned his attention to Anarchist, who began to make his escape into the outpost. The knight pressed a button on the side of the helmet, saying “I’m in pursuit!” and took off towards the Anarchist, who turned to watch as the knight stepped on the mine, and exploded. Anarchist continued back into the facility, where several bikers rallied around Anarchist, fully armed. From above the building, Knights breached and tossed two grenades in, flashing them all. The Knights swarmed into the room from all angles, cuffing all of the bikers while they were off guard, though Anarchist recovered quickly from the flash, and turned his attention to the designated squad leader. He swung his staff at the squad leader, who was caught off-guard, and his in the chest. By the next swing, the squad leader grabbed the staff, holding onto it with his best grasp, he kicked the Anarchist in the chest, which broke the two of them off. With them in a standoff, the leader pulled out a thermic sword, and rushed towards the Anarchist, slicing off one of the ends to the staff, and hitting him back by shoulder rushing him. Anarchist laid on the ground, groaning. The leader put his sword away, and kicked the staff away from Anarchist. The leader pulled off his helmet. “Listen up, and listen good. You killed one of my men today. And that’s an unforgivable crime.” The leader said, who knelt down next to Anarchist. “Remember my name, it’s Maximus. And the one you killed, Chris. And maybe one day you’ll be able to realize what atrocities you’ve committed today.” A young Maximus said. Anarchist was cuffed, and loaded into a KTTS with the rest of the captured bikers, including the Anarchist’s love, Llorona. Maximus and his soldiers stood in the middle of them all as the KTTS took off.
The KTTS landed outside of Rikers, where Maximus and his Knights jumped out with the prisoners. Two Demon guards were next to the gate. “More for us, huh? Alright.” One of the Demons said, as they let Maximus pass with the prisoners. They walked through the courtyard, where they were greeted by a welcome party of heavily armed Demon soldiers, and in the front was Adamska, who said nothing. “We’ve got some more for you. Take them off our hands?” Maximus asked. “Of course.” Adamska said. The facial expression he showed looked as though he was defeated, as though he had given up on life. The prisoners were sent to be escorted by Demon soldiers into Rikers. “Something wrong?” Maximus asked Adamska. “Yeah. I’ve got a message for Magnus. Tell him we’re through housing your prisoners.” Adamska said. “What? Why?” Maximus asked. “Let’s say the final nail in the coffin has been applied.” Adamska said, before walking away. Maximus rounded up his troops back into the KTTS.

Adamska was hit across the face by Maximus’ fist. Their appearances clearly showed that this was back in a modern setting. Mac and Yuri stood behind Maximus, watching him use Adamska as a punching bag. Even though he was enduring potentially life-threatening pain, he showed none of it. Maximus wiped some of the blood off of his knuckles, before the High Generals left his prison cell, and a knight holding a camera aimed it at Maximus. “Make another move, and your former leader dies. We are through playing games with you.” Maximus said into the camera, before the knight deactivated the device. “Broadcast that to the Knights Emergency Channel. I want the whole world to know that we plan on finishing this war as soon as possible.” Maximus said. The three High Generals returned to the command tower, as they entered the control room, Mac looked at a calendar, he flipped it to the next page, with the month reading “Octes”, October. “Let’s face it, the Demon’s don’t care if Adamska lives or not. They all like Nikola even more. He’s just their kind of crazy.” Yuri said. “It’s better than doing nothing. The Demons are capturing more and more territory. We didn’t even know they were growing during the Icelation.” Mac said. “Stop using that word. It’s far from unique.” Maximus said. “You got a better name for it?” Mac asked. “Eternal Winter.” Maximus said. “Boring, and kind of wrong, it only lasted almost a year.” Mac said. “Whatever, we need to do, something, anything, to strike back against the Demons.” Yuri said. “Maybe we should take Radio City back.” Mac said. “No use. The Demons already killed or subjugated most of the civilians there, and the place is more fortified than Rikers. I’m not sure what they’re hiding in there, but they certainly do NOT want to give up Radio City. It wouldn't give us much of a territorial advantage anyway.” Maximus said. “What’s the situation on the Order of Water?” Mac asked. “You really think they survived the winter? The ocean was frozen solid down to the floor. The people were forced out of their homes, and there’s no word on the survivors, if there were any.” Yuri said. “Maybe we should investigate it. There’s gotta be something left.” Mac said. “I guess it couldn’t hurt. You can go with a team of whatever and see what’s left. Do you have any ideas, Yuri?” Maximus asked. “I was thinking I would speak with one Silas Ordicon, see if we can get an army of bounty hunters on our side. After all, he’s the most respected of them all.” Yuri said. “Sounds fine to me. I’ll stay within our territory. At least one of us should always be ready to lead a defense.” Maximus said. “Right.” Yuri said. “See you on the flipside.” Mac said. Maximus faintly saluted the two, and they went their separate ways. Maximus left out of the front doors to see Vorcium finally no longer covered in snow. He was beckoned by one of his Paladins, Camila. He walked up to her. “What’s up?” Maximus asked. Camila kept her voice down when talking to him. “Look, I’ve been digging around. One of our Knights is a spy. And I’m not talking about some frontline soldier. It’s a higher rank, like one of the generals.” Camila said. “Really? How’d you figure that out?” Maximus asked. “I was reading the Passage Logs for people entering and leaving New Aberdeen. For the last year, one of our generals, Lemaire to be specific, has left New Aberdeen every day at 9am, and returned at 12pm, sharp on both hours, even during AHOD situations where he should be reporting for duty. I approached him, not about his absence, but simply to speak with him a little and see if I can peek through a crack. The first thing I noticed is that Lemaire has a German accent, and which of the five orders is mostly occupied by Germans?” Camila asked. “The Demons.” Maximus said. “Exactly. I’m gonna dig into this, but don’t intervene just yet. I think I can handle this on my own.” Camila said. “Alright, but stay safe. And if you need help, just ask.” Maximus said. “Alright.” Camila said, before she began walking away, though she stopped herself at a couple steps to turn and look back at Maximus. “One more thing.” Camila said, as she walked back up to Maximus. She pulled his helmet off and kissed him. “I love you.” Camila said. “Yeah, I love you, too.” Maximus said. Camilla handed him back his helmet and she walked away. Maximus watched her walk away, then turned to look at his helmet in his hands, and sighed, before he heard the sound of something being knocked over around a corner. He turned to look at it. “Hello?” Maximus asked. He drew his sword, and slowly rounded a corner. He only got a split second to see two men wearing Knight’s armor painted black, and directly in front of him, Eric, who hit Maximus’ exposed head with a hammer, knocking him unconscious.

Nikola’s boots echoed through corridors as he walked side-by-side with an engineer. “He barely survived, but he’s lucky. Of course the cybernetics we had to use were very costly. I don’t think anyone has had that much of their body replaced. And because of serious blood loss, we had to remove one of his hands as well as replace some arteries and veins with pumping tubes. It will still be a long while until he’s ready to be placed back on the field.” The engineer said. “You are worthless. What do I hire you for, to make me angry?” Nikola asked. “W-what? Um, no, sir. I actually do have some good news for you, of course. Forgive me.” The engineer said. “Then say it already.” Nikola said. “We’ve finished upgrades to The Dragon’s suit. He is now 200% more efficient than before. Neural suppressors keep his mind in insanity, further enhancing his capabilities on the field, just don’t deploy him with any of our own, he may kill them as well. Flame jets located within the suit’s expandable jaw can be utilized now, and we’ve replaced his hydraulics to make him more flexible in combat.” The engineer said. “I want to see it.” Nikola said. “Yes, sir. Here.” The engineer said. The two of them stopped at the end of the hall, and the engineer pressed a button, which caused a platform to raise in front of them, revealing an incredibly bulky suit of power armor shaped similar to that of a dragon being clearly inhabited by someone. The man in the suit simply shouted and squirmed with all his might, though was locked into place by a frame around the suit. Nikola had a smile on his face. The engineer pressed the button again, and the platform descended down until The Dragon was no longer visible. “Now, there is one last thing to get out of the way.” Nikola said. “There is?” The engineer asked. “Yes. Do not spend our money to revive failures of soldiers! I’d rather watch them be fed to my hounds!” Nikola shouted at the engineer, before he shot the engineer, splattering brains onto the floor. “Security!” Nikola shouted, and two demon soldiers rushed into the hall. “Get this cleaned up at once.” Nikola said. The two soldiers saluted him, and picked up the corpse, working to get it removed as fast as they could. Nikola left the vicinity, before another guard approached him. “Sir! The Order of Knights have released a new broadcast, a message of sorts. Would you like the summary, or would you like to see it?” The soldier asked. “Show it to me.” Nikola said. “At once, sir!” The demon said, as Nikola was escorted into a viewing room. Nikola sat down, and the demon turned on a recording of it. Once it was over, Nikola simply said “Hm.”. He was silent for a moment. “Combat operations will proceed as normal. As a matter of fact, I am starting to enjoy watching these fools slobber out meaningless words. Keep this recording, I will enjoy watching it when we rule this forsaken planet.” Nikola said. The guard fell over, laying face-down, and bled out of his head. Nikola got up out of the chair and turned around to see two men wearing Demon armor painted black, and between them, Eric, who held a shock baton. “Do you think you’re really that threatening?” Nikola asked, his face showing no expression of fear, but rather, boredom. Eric swung the baton across Nikola’s face, knocking him out.

The Anarchist and his bikers walked through Rikers’ lobby. It wasn’t fancily decorated, or spectacular. It was all it needed to be: the main floor to a prison tower. Adamska stood with his arms behind his back, as Nikola approached him, and saluted. “Adamska. What shall we do with the prisoners?” Nikola asked. Adamska looked at them. “They are murderers. So we shall treat them like the Demons treat murderers.” Adamksa said. “Very well. You know what to do, men.” Nikola said. The Demon soldiers approached the Anarchists’ group from behind, and relieved them of their cuffs. “Since you’re all new here, we will inform you of the rundown. The Order of Knights is a plague to us all. We are going to conquer them. This is an opportunity for change. Join us, or die.” Adamska said. The Bikers were handed the undersuits to Demon armor sets, likely for training. “These are your new uniforms. Wear them with pride. Nikola shall be taking your group and training you all. Follow his word. Or he shall punish you as he sees fit.” Adamska said, before walking away. Nikola took center stage. “Training begins now. Suit up and go to the courtyard, I want to see you each do a hundred pushups. If one falls behind, each of you will have a single finger broken, and you restart the pushups. Fail again, and you will receive more finger breakings.” Nikola said. Most of the bikers began to put on their training suits, though the Anarchist simply dropped the uniform. Nikola looked at him dead in the eyes. “It seems we have our first lackey.” Nikola said. He approached the Anarchist until the two were inches away from one another, and Nikola stared him down. “I suggest you pick up your uniform and put it on.” Nikola said. “I suggest you just let us leave.” The Anarchist replied. “Very well. Go on. Walk out the front door.” Nikola said. “Well. I’m glad you have a policy for this.” The Anarchist said. “Oh, of course I do. I’m not an unreasonable man.” Nikola said, he turned to face a nearby Demon soldier. “Get me tea.” Nikola said. The Demon soldier nodded, and left the room, and quickly returned, holding an almost uncontrollable dog, with a tag hanging off its collar that said “T”. “The catch is, friend, you’ll have to run faster than this dog. And he’s mighty hungry.” Nikola said. The Anarchist grumbled, and reapproached Nikola. “That’s a good boy.” Nikola said to the Anarchist.

Mac, alongside Scar and a few of her security robots, approached the elevator to Heracleion. Mac pressed a button to raise the elevator up, and it managed to work, although there was no welcome party, or any signs of the Order of Water’s Marines. Mac, Scar and the robots stepped into the elevator, and it began to descend into the depths of Heracleion. “So, you think we’ll find anything?” Mac asked. “Probably not. But I like the motivation, maybe we’ll at least find clues to something. And if not, we can always salvage their tech.” Scar said. “Scrap an entire underwater city? No thanks.” Mac said. “We need the parts.” Scar said. “For what?” Mac asked. “Don’t you check up on anything the Crylo Republic does? We’re rebuilding Theseus.” Scar said. “Catch me up to speed, what is-” Mac was interrupted by Scar groaning. “You’re going to give me a CPU spike. Theseus was the codename for a device the Order of Technology was building before they were annihilated by the Demons. It was supposed to destroy enough of the shield to create a permanent hole in it, so we could fly out of it, not to mention we need to build a cruiser to evacuate civilians, and emergency space fighters to defend it, it’s a huge operation. It probably won’t be finished in years. And we’re using everything salvageable that we don’t need from the Museum of Technology and other OOT structures, with engineers building at all times. We’re doing this non-stop as fast as we can. Taking all we can get from Heracleion would be a massive step, especially with their Pathos project never having been completed, they’ve probably got lots of unused parts everywhere.” Scar said. “I can’t let you take stuff from the Order of Water if we manage to find enough survivors to rebuild the Order of Water.” Mac said. “Why not? I’m not a part of the Knights anymore, not officially.” Scar said. “Look, it’s Vorcium law. To steal from or attack another Order or major faction would invoke a civil war, the Order of Demons learned that, or, will learn, the hard way.” Mac said. “Whatever. But if they cease to exist, it’s fair game, right?” Scar asked. “Unless they left a will, then yeah.” Mac said. Scar crossed her robotic fingers as the group moved on through empty corridors. There were no signs of life, but no signs of death either. It was simple abandonment. They walked through corridor after corridor, until they entered a room, the last one where the light was still on afterwards. Upon entering, the room was full of isles containing cryogenic capsules, a person inside each of them. Mac walked directly down one of the isles into the back, and wiped off some fog on the screen, to reveal Jarret. “He looks important.” Mac said. “Should we take him o-” Mac was interrupted as he saw Scar pressing buttons on a nearby screen. The capsule opened, and Jarret shakingly looked around, almost dizzy. When he saw Mac and Scar’s faces, he was shocked. “What year is it?” Jarret asked. “2179.” Scar said. “What? Who are you people?!” Jarret asked. “Eh, just a couple of guys, y’know, hanging around, fighting wars with the Order of Demons, conducting official investigations towards the disappearance of the population to whole cities. Normal stuff.” Mac said. Scar made a sound similar to clearing one’s throat. “What my friend here means, is we’re Knights, you guys disappeared as of late and we’re looking into it. Seems we found out why.” Scar said. “Why aren’t you wearing winter apparel?”Jarret asked, he got out of his capsule, and regained his balance. “There’s no winter anymore. We… got rid of it.” Mac said. “Really? You’ll have to tell my top scientist about that, he’ll be interested in how you got rid of a global winter wasteland.” Jarret said. “Long story short, the Order of Technology made a device that plugs into Vorcium’s core to make it expand and increase in heat, so we kind of made a sun of our own inside the planet with it.” Scar said. “Right. Anyway, I sealed everyone into new cryo chambers. A result of Pathos’ power. We expected to simply skip the winter and the civil war, but it seems you forced us out of it. I suppose we should come out of cryo sleep, then. There’s no winter, so we should be fine. Besides, if we slept through the war, you’d just conquer the rest of the planet and tax us unreasonably for not helping you.” Jarret said. “Wow, do you have a probability device or are you simply good at guessing?” Scar asked. “Wait, what? No, we wouldn’t tax you!” Mac said. “59% probability of the taxation towards the Order of Water, Order of Demons, Order of Sand and the Crylo Republic when the war is over. Which is why the Cryo Republic is going inter-galactic when the shield is removed. Thanks to us.” Scar said. “She’s smart.” Jarret said. Mac sighed. “Whatever. Look, we just wanted to see if you’re fine. And ask again if you could assist us in this war against the Demons. We’ve got our backs against the wall again.” Mac said. “Hm...” Jarret said. “I know, it’s a tough call, taxation or subjugation.” Scar said. “Stop with the taxation thing.” Mac said. “Yeah yeah, we’ll help. I can’t guarantee we’ll be useful. But we won’t be useless. But under one agreement: you assist us with Pathos when this war is over.” Jarret said. “Wait, Mac, no, you can’t accept that. We already had an agreement that if Theseus isn’t completed by the war’s end you’d help us.” Scar said. “It seems like it’s me or her.” Jarret said. “Fuck! Now is not a time for making demands! Now is a time for taking action! Don’t forget that there is an if in ‘if we win the war’. If we don’t unite now there will be no Pathos OR Theseus.” Mac said. The three of them were silent for a moment. “Fine. We will assist you. But we expect compensation in the end.” Jarret said. “Same here.” Scar said. Mac took a deep breath. “We’ll… create a trade triangle. We’ll work out the specifics later. For now, we unite.” Mac said. “Amen.” Jarret said. “I can stand by that.” Scar replied.

Yuri got out of a lone car outside Cliffburn. He walked through the gates to the city, to see squads of Knights patrolling the streets. The Order of Sand had no military, it was a pure democracy where no individual had power over the other, and they accepted the Order of Knights for protection. Though there were kind of some workarounds to this democracy. Silas Ordicon was a prime example. Yuri walked through a door into a bar, where a lone man sat in the corner, playing an acoustic guitar with his hat laid top-down for tips. The bar was full of Bounty Hunters of all kinds. Some close to borderline assassins, others honest working men of the law. Alone in a corner booth, Silas sat in his seat, taking a shot. Yuri took a seat at the booth. “One.” Silas said. “Uh… Silas, right? My name is Yuri Ka-” “Two”. Yuri was silent for a second, before he got out of the booth. “Smart.” Silas said. Yuri walked a short distance away, before he noticed a group of three people, barely old enough to walk into a bar, making an awful lot of noise as they bursted through the doors, laughing. They spotted Silas at the corner of the bar, and approached him. “Hey! This is that one dude I heard about, Ordicon! Yo my man, what’s up?” One of them asked. “One.” Silas said. “Excuse me?” Another one asked. “Two.” Silas said. “I-... He’s counting, I think.” The first one said. Silas gave them a little longer, before he said “Three.”. Silas threw his shot glass into one of their faces, before jumping out of the booth, and uppercutting another one. Silas turned to the third one, kicking them in the genitals and pushing them back. The one who received the shot glass in the face recovered by that time, and readied a punch before Silas grabbed his arm, and twisted it back, before headbutting his foe. The three men were either unconscious or groaning in pain on the floor. The bar patrons all cheered for Silas, though he didn’t relish in the attention. He simply walked back to his booth. After it was all over, Yuri left the bar, and sat down on a bench outside, before being approached by a man wearing rags. “Hey! You! You can’t use my bench, you have to pay first!” The man said. “Is that so?” Yuri asked. “You bet your ass, do you have any idea who I am? Ever hear of the Undertaker? That’s me, so-” The man was interrupted by two Knights. “Sir, is there a problem? You’re causing a ruckus.” The Knight said. “Yeah, this man sat on my bench without paying, and-” The man was cut off as the Knights stopped him. “Sir, you’re in rags. We’ll have to see proper identification and papers designating the rights to this bench if you’re going to take this any further.” The Knight said, as he looked at Yuri. “By the Shield! You’re… you’re-” The Knight began. “Finally, you recognize me, yes, I am the great bounty hunter, the Undertaker. Now show me respect, peasant, and leave me alone!” The man said. A man approached the Undertaker from behind, though Yuri couldn’t see him. “Officers, I can handle the situation here. Go on back to your posts.” The man said. “Uh, yeah, sure thing, sheriff.” The Knight said, before the two left. “Now, Rakuul, what did I say about posing as the Undertaker?” The man asked. “I… OK, I’ll stop.” Rakuul said. “Impersonation’ll get you some time in the slammer. You’re getting off easy. Now go on, get out of here.” The man said, and Rakuul ran away. “And as for you...” The man said. Yuri looked up at him, and saw it was Silas. “Yuri, right? You wanted to speak with me?” Silas asked. “Yes. I did. Why’d you come back, you clearly showed no remorse for those kids.” Yuri said. “Because you’re the first to have left me be when I started counting. All these people find me off duty, and they want autographs, they want to meet the great Silas Ordicon. But you, came for business, and left when I clearly didn’t want to be bothered.” Silas said. “I am a reasonable man. But I want to be straightforward with something, Silas.” Yuri said. “Don’t keep me in suspense.” Silas said. “The Order of Knights has their hands full with this war. We need outside assistance, I came looking to hire an army of bounty hunters. Cliffburn’s brightest.” Yuri said. “Hot damn, you keep my city safe, how could I say no to you asking for some assistance?” Silas said. “I guess you can’t. Here, this is a thousand dollars of Vorcium currency. This should cover the price for all those bounty hunters.” Yuri said as he pulled out a collection of bills. “Keep your cash. All these bounty hunters look up to me. All I have to do is ask them, they’ll oblige.” Silas said. “You think so?” Yuri asked. “I know so. And even if some of them don’t say no, I make tons of money, I keep my family fed, and I do nothing with the rest. Hiring every bounty hunter Cliffburn available or otherwise won’t even put a dent in what I’ve got saved up. I’ll get some boys ready, and send them over to New Aberdeen for you. That sound good?” Silas asked. “Excellent. You’ve already helped a lot, Silas.” Yuri said. “It’s the least I could do.” Silas said. Yuri got up from the bench and returned to his car.

Screams echoed through a dark room as a man was quartered and killed instantly, his blood was splattered about, but most notably on a biker’s helmet. The Anarchist sat tied down to a chair, while Nikola laughed at the man’s demise. He stood alongside two Demon soldiers, protecting him. “Bring in the next one.” Nikola said. “There’s only one left, sire, the girl.” One of the soldiers said. “No! Don’t you touch her!” The Anarchist said. Nikola looked at the Anarchist in curiousity. “Have you learned anything about me? Of course not,” Nikola said. “Go on! Bring her in, for the love of Adamska.” “Sir, we have reports… The girl escaped.” The soldier said. Nikola sighed. “Do you wish to join the, what was his name again? Anatomist? Whatever, do you wish to join his failure of a team?” Nikola asked. “No! Of course not, sir!” The demon soldier said obediently. “I suggest you start running, then.” Nikola said. The soldier dropped his weapons, running and screaming without concern of anything else. Nikola chuckled, and turned to the other soldier. “Don’t send troopers after him. I want him to run around Rikers like a madman, screaming and thinking he’s going to die.” Nikola said. He turned to face the Anarchist, who was struggling to get out of his chair. “As for you, well, I’m afraid I’m going to have to keep you alive until we get that girl again so we can gut her in front of your face. After all, this is your wrongdoing. Your men died for your incompetence. You are such a failure of a leader.” Nikola said. “Kill me.” The Anarchist said. “Have you not heard a word I said? You’re not dying yet. Soon, you will. But not now.” Nikola said. “Kill me.” The Anarchist repeated. “I don’t have time for this. He’s delusional. What a ruiner of fun. Untie him, take him to his cell. Let him be crazy for all I care.” Nikola said. The soldier saluted, and Nikola left the room. The soldier began untying the Anarchist, before he was fully untied, and the soldier pulled out a pair of cuffs. The Anarchist tackled the Demon soldier, choking him until he passed out. The Anarchist pulled off the soldier’s armor quickly, and equipped it, walking to the exit door. Upon opening it, he saw Nikola directly behind the door. “I forgot my keys. Do… where is the prisoner?” Nikola asked. “I’m sorry sir, I walked in here to see one of our own choked out and stripped of their armor. He has disguised himself.” The Anarchist said, pretending to be a Demon soldier. “You fools, what did we release you for? I would begin-” Nikola was cut off by the Anarchist, who pointed behind Nikola towards a Demon soldier running at top speed. “Sir, look!” The Anarchist said. Nikola turned to see the Demon soldier. Nikola talked into a radio, “All units to Section 9, Hallway C. Target is disguised as one of our own moving quickly.” Nikola said. The Demon soldier was stopped by other Demon soldiers, and Nikola appeared to deal with him. “I’m sorry for my incompetence, sir! Please, spare me, I beg of you, I give you my undivided oath to serve until death!” The soldier said, as they fell to their knees. “Who are you?” Nikola asked, confused, before he realized it was the same Demon soldier that he told to run from earlier. By then, the Anarchist was already on his way out of Rikers.

Maximus slowly regained consciousness, though as he opened his eyes, he still saw only black. He tried to look around, before realizing he was being dragged. “What… Hello? What’s happening?” Maximus asked. “That voice… Maximus? Hmph. You finally managed to capture me. Shame you had to rely on other for your dirty work. How unlike you.” Maximus heard a voice say, he clearly was able to tell it was Nikola. “Capture you? I think you’ve got something wrong. I, fuck. The only thing worse than being captured by Demons is to be captured with Demons.” Maximus said. “Such an expression would fool most people. Not me. It seems we are both kings in rags then?” Nikola asked. “Yeah. I guess.” Maximus said. The two were finished being dragged. “Well. We’re here. Wherever we are. I would assume we’re either in cells, or in an audience to someone.” Nikola said. The two of them had black bags removed from their heads, and they were able to see, slightly. The room was incredibly dark, and they sat before a throne guarded by two men, one wearing Knights armor painted black, the other Demon armor painted black. Maximus looked at Nikola angrily, Nikola looked back at him, but rather with a calmed face, almost as if he was about to escape and there was nothing nobody could do about it. A cloaked figure walked down the hallway behind Maximus and Nikola, approaching the throne between the two of them, and the cloaked figure sat down. One of the guards to the side began speaking. “You are now in the presence of the Black Angel. Harbinger of death, harvester of sorrow. What you say during this conversation will be recorded and documented. Choose your words carefully, else it will cost you your tongue.” Maximus was confused. “So are we gonna get this over with? I had plans to assault Cliffburn again today. You seem to be cutting into my time to do that.” Nikola said. “Silence. You two… Ahh. I have long awaited this day, to speak to you two. Fools. What you are witnessing is karma. Each of you think you are the good guys, and the other the bad guys. But you are both half right. You are both the bad guys. Torture, unrighteous capture, murder, mass slaughter, destruction. Both of you have crimes that extend far beyond others on this planet. I will be the interval that eliminates your chaos once and for all.” The Black Angel said. “Yes yes, I’m a horrible person that does horrible things. I tire of this. Kill me or let me go already, I didn’t sign up for therapy. Especially not with… him.” Nikola said, gesturing towards Maximus, who remained silent. “You two are fools to not remember me. Does the Anarchist ring a bell?” The Black Angel said. The two were silent. “Hmph. Another sin you’ve committed, each of you. You wrong so many that you forget the names of those you wrong.” The Black Angel said. “It was the battle a ‘Chris’ died in. I was the one that refused orders and it costed me honorable men.” The Black Angel said. “I’m still not sure about that. I’ve killed lots of my own that didn’t follow orders.” Nikola said. “Shut up, I tire of your pointless comments. Know your place!” The Black Angel said. “Places are imaginary. I will not be chewed out by anyone who isn’t my superior.” Nikola said. “Although, I no longer have superiors. I suppose I should’ve just said no one.” Nikola added. “Take him away! I will have an audience with the one.” The Black Angel said. One of the guards put a sack back on Nikola’s head and dragged him away. “I wish to see you again Maximus. Privately.” Nikola said. “He doesn’t have an off switch, that one. He is such a burden. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have him as a much more personal enemy. I’ve grown used to his existence in my life, however. I have him beaten at every angle, it doesn’t matter what he does now.” The Black Angel said. Maximus remained silent, and there was a long silence between the two. “And it seems you have no on switch. Fine, if you’re going to act like this, I shall force you out of it.” The Black Angel said. He tapped the other guard’s shoulder, and nodded. The guard saluted, and put a bag on Maximus once again.

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