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Ross or his employees. 0.23809523809524 23.8% [ 10 ]
The insect demon guy. 0.023809523809524 2.4% [ 1 ]
The obvious serial killer. 0.11904761904762 11.9% [ 5 ]
The pretty-obviously-a-vampire religious guy. 0.19047619047619 19.0% [ 8 ]
The dreadhead Atlantean. 0.023809523809524 2.4% [ 1 ]
The wererat shaman. 0.047619047619048 4.8% [ 2 ]
Someone else, the suspects are window dressing 0.16666666666667 16.7% [ 7 ]
Daimonas through a patron. 0.095238095238095 9.5% [ 4 ]
The People's Republic 0.023809523809524 2.4% [ 1 ]
The Liberation Front 0.071428571428571 7.1% [ 3 ]
Total Votes:[ 42 ]
Truest Valor 's avatar

Aged Gaian

"We can't let you go, we have an obligation to our clients and we aren't equipped to take prisoners."

Damon's face was stoic and his eyes cold. Strange how a man with so much mental power could look so vacant. He considered himself a professional and didn't allow his emotions to interfere with his work. Already he could see his men twitching to fire their rifles. Why did it make his arm sting so much?

Oh right, broken. That had something to do with it.

"Ending the lives of others is just part of the job, but in your case it'd really be a waste. Kind of like why I hate suicide, it's such an incredible waste of potential. So I want to offer you a chance to sign on with my organization instead. I don't think you want to die here and for people that don't care about you."

One of his mercenaries got a buzz on his headset, lowered his weapon and hurried to Damon's side. "Sir, evac will be here in three minutes."

Damon nodded and looked back to the woman. "Are you coming?" He motioned at the two mercenaries with their guns to her head. "Or staying?"
The battle had near culminated with the surrender of the woman combatants, a quiet fell on the construction yard, that stillness that happens after an eruption of violence. The intensity of anticipation, action and release, it tears at the fabric of reality and seems to hold it in time to try and repair the damage. From a behind a newly lit cigarette blue eyes bore down on the Psionic, years had passed between their meetings, maybe a passing occurrence or two, but nothing held Kain to associate with his former teammate for very long. In stillness was where The Devil lived.

Re-introductions were necessary, it was only polite.

Leaves of the brush blind rustled as Kain moved to the open, still a distance from the yard, the crowd amongst the debris in teh battle zone, the dustbowl, to them Kain would seem just a blurred figure in the distance. An entity accompanied by one other, its left shoulder drooped and the head rested on its shoulder at a grotesque angle. Blood seemed to be an outfit where the creature was concerned, shambling forward with hollow gurgling. Milky white orbs moved around in their sockets, not set on anything in particular, some urge that the former host to this husk manifested with vestigial control.

The shambling tourist broke a screen of dust, smoke and sand that would take it in full view of all that would notice a moving massacre. Its shoes were deeply coloured a blackened red, pants much the same, its chest seemed to have been prey to a meat grinder or Chestburster; ribs poked out everywhere and nothing much else could be identified except as 'mush.' A half hewn mandible danced around the tourists' neck, trying to find a fitting place to settle but unable to be held down. Sputterings and gurgling bubbled from the dried throat fighting against its verbal impairment to eek out something comprehensible.

Knowing full well Damon's abilities, Kain obscured himself in a haze of mental safeguards, muffling his thoughts and presence. It wasn't so much a way to hide in lieu of a sneak attack, this was a surprise gift, a gesture from an old friend to another and he simply refused to betray that semblance of wonder or curiosity. This 'zombie' like thing was new, Damon wouldn't even know it was him.

"...hchhhh--elp.....eee--ggghh....hchelp....-meee--ggg...." Shuffle. Shamble. Stumble. "...Hulp! EE!"
The woman winced and looked between the three mercenaries again. Another chance. She exhaled deeply. << I'll -- >> she lay her head back and inhaled sharply through her teeth. << -- come with you. >>

The organization behind the attacks used her just as a tool; she was basically one of the other four goons that had died her, to them. She could easily have been one of them, and somehow she had the luck of being given the chance to defect. Which was fine by her. Better a traitor than dead; the former term was just Us vs. Them think anyway.

Managing some concentration on something other than the pain or the swirling thoughts that revolted against the agony, she pressed her undamaged hand on the ground and scooted up to a straightened position against the wall.

<< Who -- >> she lowered her head and tensed up her arms, reacting to another wave of pain. << Who are you? >>
Truest Valor 's avatar

Aged Gaian

"Good choice."

Damon smiled for the first time and sat down in the dirt. His mercenaries lowered their weapons but not their guard, and looked suspicious about the new addition to their organization. None of them were going to question the guy that signed the paychecks though. The mercenary that had been injured earlier in the fight was escorted down to the group and the rest of them regrouped.

One mercenary pulled bandages, a splint and some stitches from his medical kit and started to tend to Damon's injuries. His cheek was cleaned, stitched and had a bandage applied to it. His arm, which was in much worse shape, was elevated, put in a splint, bandaged and put in a sling. The entire process caused Damon to let out shallow gasps of pain, but nothing that didn't just come as a natural response. He had been patched together after hundreds of battles and countless cuts, bruises, broken bones, burns, and a number of other things.

Just one of the risks that comes with the job.

He finally got around to answering the woman's question, "My name is Damon Vernal. This organization is called Tactical Solutions. In short, soldiers of fortune and otherwise."

A few of his soldiers removed their helmets and shook their heads. Their evac chopper hadn't arrived yet, which made Damon regret hiring an outside contractor. He was just about to buzz in on the radio when one of his soldiers yelled and grabbed his rifle, pointing it at something over Damon's shoulder. Immediately the psychic went on high alert and rose to his feet, turning around on his heels. Shambling towards them was some kind of torn and tattered man -- a zombie.

Damon had no idea how it had gotten here, where it had come from, or what had caused it to appear here. The last thing that he needed as an unknown zombie horde descending upon them. Things had just gotten really interesting. Damon pointed his finger toward it, "Don't shoot at it! If there are more around we don't want to attract their attention." One of his mercenaries pulled a large combat machete from his side-strap, and cautiously approached the creature. He'd size it up, wait to see if it lunged for him, and when the right opportunity presented itself he swung his weapon left to right to take the things head off at the shoulders.

Dragosani Kain

It's weight shifted in the sand causing a heavy lurch of its gait forward, the morbid humanoid's mouth oozed with a moderately viscous fluid. Blackened, bloodied, and pallid, a grim satire of the living man recovered its footing, marching ever forward without any regard to the mortal wounds covering his body. Stiffened joints drew a trail in the sand decorated with its corruption, blood and bits of brutalised flesh marring clean earth underfoot.

"..damon," an arm raised through heavy resistance the dead body offered, swaying with unbalanced steps and poor co-ordination. The tourists empty eyes had begin to glisten with moisture, a tortured soul cried deep inside, unable to disobey the commands of its body. A simple vacation was all he sought for at the Black Sands, it was beautiful, serene; ideal. Hell found his perfect gettaway instead, trapping him to a constant pain of living within undeath, his hope was to be at the end of this walk and find release. There had to be mercy.

The arm raised toward the Psionic man, completely unaware of the mercenaries, it was only the man ahead that the zombie focused on. The body was compelled to point but limitations were met by torn sinew and eviscerated muscle, death has a toll on everything, magic can only hold so much against nature. "--AMON.....A...IF---GFF---GIFFFFT"

Approaching closer to the crowd smoldering built up within the pitiful thing, its pallid complexion reddened as blood began to flow. The polluted liquid spewing from its wound ran more freely with an increase of its body heat. It gurgled again something indecipherable, an urging from what was once a man; a warning. "ppplllttttt....grraaahhh haachhh Haaaa!---"

"HAAAAAAAAAAA HA HA HAA!" The howling din echoed beneath the turning overcast above, falling down on the area like a chilling gust. What the creature was unable to vocalise Kain had done. Behind a dissipating curtain of scorched debris and dust, the Devil raised his face to the sky and met the coming rain with a smile.
Truest Valor 's avatar

Aged Gaian

"Sir, I think that... thing was saying your name."

Damon looked at the decapitated creature, knowing that there was something seriously amiss now. Thunder rumbled in the distance and a light rain began to fall on them. The mercenary approached Damon, wiping the blood from his weapon and sheathing it. He looked at Damon as though he were waiting to receive an order, but the psion said nothing.

He couldn't shake the feeling that something dark was lingering. He closed his eyes and began to mentally scan the entire area, but he could turn up nothing. If there really was someone... or something in the area it as concealing itself. Of course this could have been an isolated incident.

Finally the sound of rotor blades slowly started to fill the air. A black helicopter soon appeared over the horizon, and neatly landed in the construction site. Several mercenaries gathered their gear and loaded up. The woman psychic was also taken along with them, but when it came time for Damon to get in, he declined. "I'm going to stay on the island for a bit, do a little poking around. Return to base." Some of the men protested, but knew that staying behind would only be counter productive. Plus Damon didn't pay overtime on volunteer work.

Once the helicopter had taken off and vanished into the rain, Damon channeled his telekinetic energy around his body and rose fifty feet into the air. At the apex of his climb, he leaned forward so that is body was a '/' in the air, and started expertly flying over the city. He was looking for anyone that seemed out of place.
The headless thing began to shake violently, impossible twist that were accented with cracks of its bones succumbing to the strain. Blisters raised and pop a grisly display of spurting blood that gave off a foul odor. The body became something out of MJ's "Thriller" video as it was lost in a dance macabre, taking its space, not specifically for a dance floor, but due to the swelling of its entire being. The bursting vessels and its skin wouldn't be able to diffuse the pressure quickly enough before it would simply fall apart, but that was not the plan.

Its chest puffed up, its back thrust out opening the cavity of its chest towards the airborne Psion. A great gaping maw was of ribs and entrails was what came of the Devil's work, the inner workings of man brought to the fresh air; lungs, stomach, pancreas, all visible behind the 'teeth' of its chest. Damon would be able to see that even its insides were enlarged to the point of exploding, and, they would.

In the distance an orange bud of light trailed in the air, carried by a pale hand accustomed to its company. An index finger teased at the tip of a thumb before falling against one another for a crisp SNAP of the fingers.

The tourist-zombie erupted in a mixture of gore and fire, that kind of magically infused combination would mimic the effects of Napalm. As much as things change, the more they stay the same, and, it seemed Kain was no exception. The abomination's protruding ribs shot out into the wild of open air, two were in direct conflict with Damon's ascent and threatened to embed themselves in a leg and hip. Various pieces of fragmented bone showered the area in force not dissimilar to a sand-blasting, which, in conjunction with the explosion, was hardly something to be worried about.

The Merc chopper would get quite a seen through the haze of rain, a veritable lightshow, as they flew further and further from the ambush. Kain's signature magma-globin was a destructive force and it left its mark on that site, though, this was a new technique and much of the power wasn't yet honed, the effect was more-or-less what it was going for.

His hand cupped around the burning cig sheltering the rain's inclination to extinguish anything with a burning disposition, The Devil's calm peered over the top of his hand in examination of the newly applied technique. This expose' was nothing more than a courtesy call, one that should be met as fighters of their generation should; violence.

The charred and reddened dicapitated head rolled its way towards a stack of lumber where another was present, its hollowed out eye sockets met with a pair of amazed green eyes. Maneth's face became a wash of surprise and intrigue as the head's mandible began to renew with life. It open and eeked out as best it could manage, "..d..amooooon......he's...d...d........evil...", and then it was no more.
Truest Valor 's avatar

Aged Gaian

Dragosani Kain

    This enemy may have been able to mask his presence, but the remote transference of mental energy could not be.

    Damon picked up on it and in his eyes he saw it as a crimson light emitting from corpse. Because that energy was so familiar and strong, the psion actually looked back in time to see the thing explode. His eyes widened and he snapped his left hand out, creating a "repulsive" fiend of force against the incoming bones. They shattered against that invisible force.

    Damon hovered in the air for a moment, listening to the final words from the decapitated head. Years had passed since he had sensed this energy, felt this familiar presence...

    "You know, there are better ways to announce your presence."

    He shook his head.


    This presence that he sensed was strong and feral, completely unlike the personality of the devil that he knew. The witty, civilized devil that he could count on as an ally. Something had changed.
Truest Valor

Rain collapsed upon the construction yard, vicious in its biting downpour the dusted sand popped to life making the earth seem to be bubbling to life. Kain looked up to the airborne entity, backlit by the sun behind a darkening overcast it gave Damon a particularly divine appeal. However, he was under the clouds now, behind the warming rays of symbolic hope, here underneath the haze of atmospheric discharge was darkness.

Smoke trailed from scattered fires throughout the open compound, emanating the succulent smells of destruction; charred building material, flesh, and a lingering scent of gunpowder. Wars and skirmishes bathed themselves in these perfumes, hinted with the aroma of desperation, fear, hope and anger. As the rain poured the two fellows bathed in its essence.

Kain's hair swept across his face like the cool brush of a crow's wing, bringing the onslaught of the skies to fall openly upon him. When the cold droplets met his pallid skin it lasted moments before raising again, a mist started to veil the Devil's form in response of water to heated infernal flesh.

"Hello, Damon, " he quirked a smile and hid himself behind a breath of smoke, "Thought I'd send my regards, it's been a while, old friend." His arm seethed with the urge to lash out, the call of the Hateblade's need for blood pulled at Kain to break its fast on a Psionic, on one so readily available. The burdened will of fighting against its madness forced Kain to bring about his energies, steam rose more forcefully, drops evaporating even before landing. Soon a rush of clean white mist covered the Devil in ghostly wisp wrappings, obscuring his form to a haze.
Truest Valor 's avatar

Aged Gaian

Dragosani Kain

      Damon was the sort of man that always greeted an old friend with open arms. Kain had been his business partner and ally in many battles, and had vanished after the last big Heaven or Hell tournament. Damon had searched for him for a time, but the trail had gone cold quickly.

      Now here the two of them stood face to face, and the tension hung thicker than the air and smell of carnage. The hairs on Damon's arms and neck stood straight up and he felt a rush of adrenaline go through his chest. Perhaps the devil could even hear the sound of his heart beating in his chest.

      He calmed himself by breathing in rhythm.

      "Hello, Kain. That it has. I had wondered what became of you."

      The psion's eyes shifted between the blade and the devil's face.

      Did he mean to attack? To talk?

      "Though I must admit, I could not have thought a more exciting way to force a meeting."
His eyes remained fixed on Damon, the Psion was known for distraction tactics through his abilities and it was easy to get caught off-guard. Not one to underestimate fighters Kain was keeping aware of the playing field, Damon seemed to have contracted a number of mercenaries in his absence. Though, without the aid of his private military, Kain knew that his old friend was formidable on his own.

The Devil's mind began turning with what it was he planned to do here, to engage or collect himself now that he was exposed. Isolation from the Gaian circuit of events left Kain out of the loop to the goings on, new forces were at play and Damon would have evolved with them. The outskirts were the infernals playground, toying with the frontier armies that vied for control of their respective regions against each other and Kain's own armies. Though, his war wasn't to maintain and gain control but to even the game and watch the opposing factions run their campaigns.

Perhaps the excitement of skirmishes and command lost its appeal and he felt compelled to seek out the test of a true warrior, that one on one conflict, full of pride, anger, and tenacious spirits. The thought touched the idle sentience of his Hateblade, it seethed in response, pulling at the blood in his veins and teased the magic imbued within. It called for blood to be spilled, it didn't care whose.

"What's a meeting without explosions? Not one I've ever been in, sure." Kain plucked the cigarette from his mouth and let his hand fall against the razored edge of the pulsing sword. Hungry as a spider for its webbed prey, the Hateblade pulled at the blood as if the crimson stream were the tether. He blew the smoke from his lungs and, as if reading the Psions mind, "Maybe this will be the last time."
Truest Valor 's avatar

Aged Gaian

Dragosani Kain

"Yeah. What's a reunion without explosions?"

The construction site suddenly shook as though it had been hit by a powerful, localized tremor. Dust, debris and fragment of metal erupted into the air and obscured both fighters.

Using the murky cloud for cover, Damon drew his telekinetic energy into his hands, cupped them together and thrust them forward releasing a blast of concussive force. The falling metal shards that had been scattered in the initial eruption of psionic power combined with the blast to create a sort of explosive shotgun blast that filled the area between them.

Quick, simple and without any hesitation. This is how Damon responded to a threat. Even one that came from a very old friend.
A violent tearing sounded in response, like soaked canvas stripped to a screeching gale, flesh was rend open on the Devil's back. Crimson arcs shot out from behind him with the extension of two massively dark and leathered wings, giving Kain a far more imposing figure. They wrapped around the being within a protective embrace, his legs set to moving in a waltz like spin against the attack. Debris and glinting steel pierced his wings, much of it becoming lodged in the rough hide, while several thinner projectiles flew through and marked his ribs. The dagger like pieces fell into the inner folds of Kains wings, leaving cuts of Devil flesh in their wake.

He continued his waltz in a counter-clockwise rotation building momentum to send back Damon's special delivery. Kain planted his left foot, turning up dust from under the rain teased topsoil, his wing lurched inward against his body before snapping out towards the Psionics falling dust cover; a good tactic were it not for the weather, after a few more moments neither would be able to use the technique due to the wet ground.

The wing propelled Kain backwards a foot before his right wing came sailing to his front, it slapped against the rain and punched forward, loosing the few slivers of steel that pierced his left wing. A duel arcing counter raced towards plume of a cloud, the formation fell quickly to a similarly 'shot-gunned' description. But all the better once they hit the veil.

Kain fell on his left knee, absorbing the intertia in a slide amongst the muddying ground, his right wing crossing his body allowing him to compose himself. He'd be able to watch over the band of his wing as the second volley would be meeting Damon's cover.
Truest Valor 's avatar

Aged Gaian

Damon had almost forgotten about those wings, and he knew that Kain would use them to defend against any frontal assault. Flesh and blood though they were, they were great at absorbing a lot of concussive damage. You don't spend most of your time with another warrior and not learn his tactic.

Pulling his arms back to his sides and bending on his knees, Damon concentrated his telekinesis around his body and jumped straight into the air. He used his psychic powers to fly straight up about fifteen feet. By the time the metal shards came flying back into the plume of dirt, Damon was not there to be struck by them.

Hoping Kain had no spotted him due to having wings blocking his line of sight, he'd fly above the devil and come dropping out of the sky. His intent was to connect the heel of his boot to the top of Kain' forehead. Because of the physics behind the move, he used his telekinesis to keep his body balanced in the air and to prevent him from landing awkwardly should he miss.
Truest Valor

The shards of steel disappeared into the cloud without much effect than falling harmlessly into the sand behind, leaving the psionic unharmed and leaping to the sky. The drag of his mass pulled the remaining vestiges of dust in his wake, giving a further indication of his movements.

Kain, however, was not blinded by his wingspan, narrowing his gaze that peered just over the top of his wing he kept close attention to the oncoming attack. Reeling back with a shove outward of his leathery appendage, The Devil bent his knees against the force to slide in the soaking soil to ready himself into a backflip. Damon's advance would be increased and off his original mark, though, Kain surmised the action could be corrected with his opponent's abilities. Never the less,The Devil took to the air, his left shin tucking against his chest while his right leg followed up with a counter Guile-style-FLASH KICK. His aim was to catch Damon's calf muscle, send him off balance and leave the limb deeply bruised, with Kain's own retreating slide, it may be that his actions would end up with a scathing rash across Damon's chest.

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