2020-06-15: Fade To Black


ChezlieF_icon.jpg ConnorF_icon.jpg

Summary: Opposing forces meet, but the battle is not one that the Hound suspects it to be.

Date: 06-15-2020

Fade to Black

Rating: PG

The Future - NYC - Chinatown

For the most part Chinatown seems like its untouched, except for one thing, the Manhattan Bridge spanning from Canal Street to Brooklyn is no longer safe as most of the bridge is in the river below and various cables hang from the towers that still stand. Other wise all the buildings and streets are intact. Those who havent fled New York or couldnt flee Manhattan still live here and a few shops for food and other survival goods are still open confined in a two-block area, its nothing of the bustling community it used to be.

Please note 'Fade to Black' is in reference to the Metallica song of the same name.

The only place left in the city to get cooked food at a premium is one of the corner huts owned by a family who doesn't speak any english, and the food served is all local-caught. Enough that people stop thinking about the cat in the rough hand-made noodles, or the vegetables and dog in the stir fry. It's hot, it's fresh, and they SOMEHOW can still make their own sauces. Volk has an order of meat and noodles so spiced that looking at it could make your eyes water. Pulling up part of his mask, armed to the teeth and unconcerned at the moment, he sits down on the curb with a pair of plastic chopsticks to take his first bite.

If there's one favorite spot in the city for the hounds, then it has to be this little corner hut found in the outskirts of Chinatown. Well, favorite for at least one of the hounds, deciding there's enough free time to grab a bite to eat just before heading out on patrol. Ahab may own their minds, but at least their stomachs have a free will! Chezlie is currently unmasked, her coppery hair left to dangle loosely around her head with a thin scar running several inches above and below her right eye. She's even wearing a jacket - skin tight and black (hey, it has to still fit Ahab's little pet's M.O., right?). Paying no attention to the body sitting at the curb, she too has grabbed an order of meat and noodles, requesting for that extra spice she can almost smell so near her. With chopsticks and bowl in hand, she turns away from the counter, getting a distance glimpse of the now fallen Manhattan Bridge.

It's a rather classic moment. Getting up and turning towards the stand to get a little more of the pepper sauce to really kick the flavor off someplace a bit more like he's become used to in his travels. The coppery hair is a giveaway to him, but the sound of the assault rifle thumping against his chest, and the occasional jingle of metal on metal might give the former merc away. Taking another bite from his box, Volk stops next to Chezlie, as usual not saying a word.

The copper haired woman is too busy burying her head down into the bowl, the little wisp of steam rising upwards only to be caught in that tangled mess of hair. Several noodles are slurped up rather loudly and in way that might indicate in several cultures how much the recipient is enjoying the meal. There is a sudden familiarity to the soft thud coming from the man standing literally next to her; one that is obviously enjoying their meal in a similar spiced fashion as herself. Still looking towards the ruins of the bridge, she lays the chopsticks into the bowl to be held in place by the noodles, which frees up the back of her hand for napkin usage. "Deccccadent." She hisses more than speaks, the voice having a distinguishing lack of pitch or tone. It's even hard to tell if she was actually aiming the words to the still unknown mercenary beside her, or was rather uncomfortably rejoicing the rarity of such a meal.

A hmph and a grunt is the reply as more noodles are slurped down, half-caked in pepper flakes and sauce. Turning to face her, Volk pulls out the PDA and taps out with a thumb -The stuff you can get in Thailand is better. Fish balls and sauce. You'd like.- Perhaps the first time since meeting that it's never been a matter than the man doesn't speak. He apparently can't. So he goes back to eating, but then with a frown, he too goes for the napkins, setting his hand-made to-go box, and get a napkin to dab some sauce off the ALICE Harness.

The words are responded to with a simple, if not brief nod followed by more slurping sounds as noodles are practically inhaled down Chezlie's throat. She pulls her head back up, missing the moment where Volk had looked towards her, the moment that final recognition would have been surrendered. For now, it's only the man's back that is seen, covered in all that hardware as the goal of obtaining a napkin is sought out within the crudely made shelves nailed to the outside of the hut. "Never been therrrre." She snorts, repeating the same process as earlier to wipe stray sauce from her chin.

Finishing up his own meal quickly and efficiently, Volk takes his box and his chopsticks, and actually returns them to the stand so they can be cleaned and given to the next guy for use. Instead of leaving money, he takes out a box of .22 caliber rounds and leaves it there… then drops in and adds a second and points towards Chezlie's form. Moving back to the spot he was sitting at, he wipes at himself several times until he's sure he's clean, the man draws down the balaklava once more, and just stares out into the bay. For a moment, he pulls the hood back up again, and scratches at an itch… right next to a tattoo on his neck that says 2018.

A couple more slurps and Chezlie's finally finished her own noodles. She notices both boxes of .22 caliber rounds acting as payment, and notes it as a some what odd, but extremely generous payment - one she'd be a little less inclined to give. She turns back around, watching from behind as the man lowers his balaklava and hood, catching a glimpse of the small, numbered tattoo. Her next exhale of breath sounds closer to a huff while a hand disappears inside the breast of the jacket to resurface with a strange, white mask that is placed over her face.

She walks up next to him, dropping down into a crouch as her eyes continue to gaze forward towards the river. "Worthlesssss relic." She spits out, muffled slightly now that the mask is in place and obviously directing the words towards the fallen bridge. One arm is held forward, elbow crossing over her thigh and causing her forearm to dangle forward. This causes the sleeve of her jacket to scrunch back, revealing a tiny fragment of what appears to be some sort of intricate tattoo of a mountainous landscape.

Finally and fully turning to face the girl, Volk's one blue-green eye flashes a bit before he leans down to type out on the PDA he's been using this entire time, -That which is broken can be rebuilt. It may not be the same anymore, but it can still do what it originally was intended.- Holding that up to the eyes of the mask before lowering it, and flicking it off and putting it away. With the assault rifle snugged so close to his person, he rests his gloved hands along the top like an odd armest, and just watches Chezlie now, head tilted slightly to one side as he watches her once more.

The words cause the masked woman to finally face the man, watching the calculated blinking of that one blue-green eye. Her mask, at first shows a rather expressionless face, the lines appear to have been painted on with a delicate, but medium sized brush. The mouth holding straight, the nose rather long and sharp - it looks like a grotesque caricature of who Chezlie use to be; something that could easily be familiar to the man next to her. "And it can alllwaysss be desssstroyed again." The mouth begins to curve upward at what would be impossible for an actual mouth - the lips slowly part to reveal a thinly painted set of jagged teeth.

Volk shakes his head and motions towards the people here… most of whom are staring and almost expectant that the Hound and the Rebel will start their battle right now, and destroy was little civilization is left in the area. Still with his hands on top of his weapon, the former merc begins to walk down the street and away from the crowds and the survivors trying just to eke by when they can't get away for a little while. There a soft sigh as the man turns his head and motions for Chezlie to follow.

There's a sense of understanding as the smile in Chezlie's mask softens, but still barring the sharp painted teeth. She moves quick to bring herself back onto her feet, the jacket quickly shrugged off and left gracing the curb the two were just recently occupying - a gift to be taken by anyone of the unfortunate citizen's, should they be brave enough to take what was once property of a Hound. Now with her tattoo's naked to the air, the Hound continues forward, following the man as he beckons her onward.

Once a few blocks away from the group of citizens, and away from the main area where people seem to be living, Volk stops and then… undoes the FAMAS and settles it against a streetlight. Volk seems almost…unfazed by the strangeness. Instead he reaches up and turns off the HUD-eye, and takes it off, settling it in the ALICE, then removes the Balaklava fully. Tucking it away, he then gives her an almost sad look. A bit of a frown creases him once more, the tattoo, the claw-slash scar on his lip and chin, and the four-claw mark along the right side of his skull are fully visible, along with the familiar eyes. Previously, those eyes only held rage… now they have a predator's calm.

As Volk stops, so does Chezlie, keeping herself with a solid twenty foot distance. She watches as the gun is laid down next to the streetlight, watches as more of the man's equipment is pulled free until his head has been found; nude and natural. She tilts her neck to the side, the mask dipping down to the left, her eyes never leaving the man just standing there. The smile has slowly succumbed into a madness of swirls and jagged lines, the black paint work becoming entirely jumbled together to occasionally reveal a single, solid expression, the first being one of profound sadness. But it doesn't last, changing back into the web of chaos the mask has just recently started to display. From behind it's construction, the begins of a quiet laugh can be heard. There's a strange sadistic quality to it as the volume grows, though still hardly louder than a whisper.

There's a sigh, and a seeming sense of understanding there as the man who previously was enraged by her presence seems now to carry himself with an unerring calm. The balaklava is pulled back into place in an almost ritualistic manner. Taking the HUD-eye out he tilts his head and looks at the Hound, almost as if to offer a last chance. Volk pauses then… waiting to see her response. Volk seems to be barely even breathing, but his eyes glimmer now around the edges of his familiar power.

With the laughter now stopped, the Hound watches in an eeriee silence as Volk pulls the balaklav back into place. Her own dark brown, near lifeless eyes simply gaze into those of a bluish green, searching for something that would connect her to a time and place that would be completely foreign, yet was once called home. Her left arm is extended forward, held with the palm poised up as her right hand slowly draws free the dagger inked into the soft flesh. The tip of the little psi-blade is carved across the open palm, leaving a wake of blood behind it's slow drag forward. There's a quick flick of her left hand, blood flung out in the direction of the Merc-turned-rebel - an odd gesture that could have hundreds, if not zero, interpretations.

Volk doesn't bother to go for his FAMAS, or to finish fitting the HUD into place. Casually, he flicks his hand out, sending a bolt of blue-green crackling energy out at the speed of a fastball at Chezlie, the intention to pick her up and take her off the ground, robbing her of most of her speed and agility. Despite the seemingly underhanded move, there's a shade of remorse in his eyes for the action, whether or not it connects.

The use of Volk's powers completely catches the Hound off guard, but then again she's never seen him do this, so why would she expect it? It's odd though ,for someone now finding them self in a bit of a disadvantage, feet lifted off the ground and held hovering just above the spot they were once standing, to be laughing almost hysterically. When the fits of laughter do begin to settle down, there's a single hand and finger, pointed back in the direction of Chinatown, one of the few bastions of New York Cities former glory, though in a very perverse and bastardized way.

Following along the way Chezlie's finger points and one would find several sentinels circling the denizen's there, hand's poised to begin blasting away at the people and buildings there. The little noodle hut was a quick diversion before going on patrol, so they were bound to show up eventually, she's just happy Ahab finally had built her a device to communicate quick orders without having to speak out loud to the machines, something she feels has given their servitude a very correctable disadvantage.

For a bare moment, Chezlie can feel it… gravity at work on her at all sides, crushing pressure seeping into her frame, and then let go as the field vanishes as she's let down to the ground. There was barely even a move or a twinge from the man as he casually looks over his shoulder, lending her the momentary advantage, followed by a soft sigh from Volk. The HUD-eye is fit into place, shading over his right eye completely, and tasking him with that familiar and seemingly inhuman look. Reaching over, the weapon glows and hops up into his hand, where he just turns and begins to walk away. Turning his head to look back at her, there's a subtle shake of admonishment to it before he looks down and turns away again… just walking. As if to assume that with a Hound and a dozen Sentinels, the rebel could simply leave unmolested.

The time spent off the ground was brief, but that's not to say the Hound is relieved her little ploy actually worked. It could have ended badly for her, the beginning pangs of crushing pressure all across her body, but even that was only brief and easily forgettable for one who barely holds any of the millions of pieces to her torn and fractured memory. The psi-knife is still held in her hand as she watches Volk walk away from her, poised as if she were ready to strike. It's during the brief second she looks back to the sentinels, almost disappointed she wasn't forced into giving the command to attack all those helpless human's cowering below them and finally destroying one of the few memories of the city that once was, that the knife is returned to her flesh. The laughter begins to build up again as her gaze focuses in on the departing rebel. "Worthlessss relic."

The man whirls, the speed and agility of years of warfare and survival reflex lending something close to the superhuman as he spins, draws one of those cumbersome fighting blades from his back, and launches it. Assisted by his power, it flies like the bullet from a cannon, barrelling towards the woman with an unerring sense of foreboding. Just as it moves, it stops, the blade's path ending as it floats, the tip just kissing the forehead of the mask, leaving the slightest of bindi-divots there for the connection to feel. It comes bubbling up in an animal rasp, "Compassion… is never… worthless." That blade floats slowly back towards him and returns to it's home, and with that Volk simply vanishes… leaving the words and the sensations to wash over the Hound and perhaps to the girl trapped inside.

The barreling blade is enough to stop the Hounds laughter, the painted face across the mask succumbing back into the chaotic swirls as before, showing a twisted look of remorse crossed with pain as the little divet is left in place. Chezlie watches the blade fly back to it's owner, and once in hand, vanish along with him. She turns to look at the sentinels, all who begin to slowly rise up into the air to leave the grounds that designate the land as Chinatown. She begins to head back toward the little hut she just recently purchased a box of noodles and meat, the lines of her face turning much thicker and without the typical definition. The look is demonic; the mouth curled into a smile filled with horrific teeth and the nose taking the shape closer in kin to a hooked beak. Oddly enough, at the corner of her left eye is the lines of a tear, slowly winding it's way down the side of the mask, a subtle hint of understanding that is only unfortunately that Volk was not there to see.

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