Description: Having been deployed to Southtown in order to establish operations in the local school districts, the NESTS cartel has set up a safe outpost within the city's more seedy districts. Within the safety of its shelter, Eve practices her make-up, Nameless comes bearing strange gifts, K9999 is his usual self, and a new face joins the family.
Evening has fallen over the massive metropolis of Southtown. Countless street lamps begin to flicker to life casting pale cones of white onto the streets as the sun's warm glow begins to dim on the horizon. Shadows spring to life among the nooks and alleyways that line the streets turning the already dubious pathways into a dangerous maze that the many people wandering the town do their best to avoid. Along with the literal descent of darkness, the city's more shady elements begin to slink out of the cracks and holes and soon tattooed street toughs and metal-studded gangers roam openly on the neon-lit streets while the more respectable members of society retreat to their homes or better lit areas of town.
As is to be expected of such areas, loud blaring techno music soon replaces the clatter of feet and the crunch of tires, brazenly spilling into the night like a siren song for all things clad in leather or tights. One such establishment in particular, tucked well within the concrete confines of the town's less fortunate district, is seeing a great deal more action tonight than usual.
Twin doors that have been propped open lead into a club of sorts and an almost physical wall of sound and smells assaults the senses upon stepping into is threshold. Bright neon lights sweep haphazardly about the room in an undulating fashion across the herd of bodies that have gathered upon its wide dance floor. Several dozen people, most in various states of absurd fashion statement, move in time with the music creating a rippling wave of constant motion that makes it difficult to move anywhere. Couches and seats line the outer walls, most filled with gruff looking individuals nursing equally rugged drinks - scotch, whiskey, and the like.
It's all a cover, ofcourse. Oh sure the Electric Peach is a real establishment with real papers and real employees - but the /real/ purpose of the building is to allow members of a certain organization on task in the area to come and go without suspicion. The second story of the Peach, accessible only by way of a rickety old elevator in the far corner with a far less ancient keypad hidden in the wall next to it, is a safe house for NESTS agents. It's accomodations are sparse: beds, lockers for equipment, and work tables necessary for various tasks. The outpost is empty at the moment but with so many agents at work in the area, its inevitable that reports will be filed and meetings called. Tonight is just such an occasion.
With the Electrc Peach serving as their cover up, it had been pretty easy for Eve to secure her cover as Ashley amongst the other cheerleader. Finding them some liquor and alcohol? Easy! She has no idea why they wanted this, but she had an easy access to all of it. It allowed her to be easily accepted in the group, hear about all the gossips she found no interest in, and hear about all the inner bitching between the girls.
One of the cheerleader girl told Eve (for her greater good), that the other girls made fun of the way she did her makeup and that she looked terrible in it. Normally, she would not care but now that she spent more and more time with them, she was growing slightly more superficial like the rest of them...
With a new kit of makeup, Eve glances around the secret hideout... No one around. Perfect. She takes a mirror out of her bag. Time to practice her makeup making! Damn that Christie and the other girls they're not going to make fun of her!
Eve is at one of the table, staring at herself in the mirror, eyes up, trying to do her eyelashes. Filling reports? Nope! Got better things to do.
Nameless, likewise, has been doing well with his cover as Jason.
After his successful raid on Seijyun High, the nameless clone, now known as 'Jason,' was well loved by his fellow teammates on the Taiyo High Football Team. But while the clone was popular, he was not happy like Eve was. The things he had to do to stay popular seemed unspeakable to the teenager. Stealing panties? Why would they want to steal panties? It would more effective to harvest them from an alleyway dumpster behind a stripclub, and about as hygenic as well.
Maybe it was an attack on their honor?
Whatever the reason, Jason had to make a delivery. Carrying several packages under his arm. One of them, of course, was some of the raided supplies. For some reason, his older brother, Krizalid, insisted that he needed some of the raided supplies for research. Krizalid had to research something on Seijyun High. This was insisted on. As such, Jason had to make the drop here, once the footballers were done with them, of course. As he enters, he notices that his sister, Eve, was already here. Approaching the cheerleader, the jock reaches the table, face stoic.
Who knows where K9999 was hiding, but he seemingly drops down from the ceiling, wearing his cape and all, plopping right next to Eve and putting his boots up on the table. He's less committed to keeping a 'cover' as the other two, as this was all his idea anyway.
"Hey, sweet cheeks." he says with a nudge to Eve, then points his thumb at the bar. "Go get me a drink and a sandwich. Unless you'd rather your girlfriend over there do it for you." The latter comment, obviously, said with a glance to Nameless.
Almost as if they had worked it out ahead of time, NESTS agents begin arriving in short succession. The second story of the club is fairly roomy but even just the three of these individuals bring a lot of presence with them. Their arrival at the secret hideout goes smoothly but not unnoticed, several gazes following each of them as they vanish into the dark corner and up the elevator. Fortunately, no one seems to care enough what might be hidden away in the 'VIP' lounge or whatever might be up there to try and interfere.
Another set of eyes takes note of the trio of arrivals, denoting each face that vanishes into the glimmering techno lights until all of the people that were expected have been accounted for. There are others, ofcourse, but none that are scheduled for this meeting. Casting its attention around to the nearby rooftops one final time, a shadow detaches from the dark space against a large heating unit and slinks across the flat concrete to a rectangular patch of metal embedded in the roof. There is a soft chime as an electric touchpad registers the correct code, swinging open with a sharp pnumatic hiss. The shadow clambers into the opening and the hatch drops closed behind it.
Within the outpost itself the pressurized burst of air rings out like a gunshot, echoing through the mostly empty space in a deliberate fashion, announcing the arrival of someone through the roof-top portal. The shadow drops to the floor a few moments later near a ladder but the lights on that side of the room are off and they quickly meld into the darkness. A scrabbling sound like nails on a chalkboard quickly replaces the silence and draws closer to the trio until the vague outline of whatever is making them becomes visible at the edge of the light. After a short pause, it steps forward.
The girl, if it can even be called that, looks like something out of a bad monster movie. Her massive trio of claws drags on the ground as she cautiously scoots forward on double-jointed legs, accounting for the odd scratching noises. She peers at each of the other agents in turn, red eyes narrowing slightly as she takes in their features for a few tense seconds. Yes, these are the ones.
Giving a slight nod, more to herself than anything, the creature scoots a little closer but remains out of arm - and claw - length. She brings her hands together, humanoid fingers worrying nervously at the outer edges of sharpened bone claws that looks suspiciously similar to someone wringing their hands. Eventually, she opens her mouth and speaks, her voice a soft and raspy hiss.
"U-um... greetingsss... mastersss."
So much for being alone and practicing. Eve was focused enough on her task that she doesn't notice K9999 or Nameless until they're by her side. She almost pokes herself in the eye with eyelash brush, "Ouch.." She winces.
She puts the brush aside and rubs her eye. She probably screwed up everything. Eve nods her head to K9999, "What drink do you want?" She rises from her seat and makes her way toward the bar. The girl blinks and just stares at the many bottles cluelessly. She had no idea what was what, or if she could find a sandwich there.
'Ashley' waves at Jason and glances down at the packages he's carrying, "What are those?" She asks curiously. She glances back at the bottles at the bar, reading the labels on them. The sharp hiss catches her attention and Eve spares a quick glance over her shoulder in the direction of the voice.
At first glance, the sight seemed like a creature that came out of her worst nightmare. It was a surprising sight, definately not something Eve was expecting to see here. She lets out a sharp screech out of her throat, eyes widening. She drops the bottle from her hand and staggers backward clumsily, ending up tripping on some chair.
Jason turns bright red in the face.
"They are... uh... nothing... well..." He stammers. As K9999 suddenly drops in, he turns even brighten red. He could not, in any way, shape, or form, let his brother find out what was in one of the packages. In fact, Jason holds them tighter. The teenager glances around warily, trying to find anything to talk about than his package.
Fortunately, a new face shows up.
The teenager does not react so harshly by the hissing. Looking over the.... creature, his expression remains stoic. He inspect her. She was an abomination, that much was clear. The fact she made here was a testament to some subtley, at least. "Don't worry, Ashley, this is family." Jason keeps his packages under one arm, as he extends his other hand out to the creature. "Welcome. You may call me Jason. This is Eve." He motions his head at the screaming girl. "And he is..." He shakes his head at K9999.
"...I can't even remember what you call yourself now."
"Nothing bitter is what I want." K9999 states indignantly. Then as Franziska slinks over, his eyes take a moment to absorb her body. Claws, teeth, eyes...
He looks back at Eve, watching her reaction with a loud laugh.
When Nameless addresses the new girl, he shakes his head and shrugs. "I'm Kei out here in public. Don't mind them, they're fuckin' dumb." He reaches out with his blue gloved hand to place it gently onto her head, his smile a bit predatory but at least genuine. "You're actually fuckin' adorable. If anyone messes with you, you let me know and I'll rip their head off and throw it through their family's window."
The shrill cry of surprise from the other female causes the creature to go into full alert, her head whipping up like a bird that has spotted something alarming. Considering that she is practically coated in splotches of dried blood from her slicked back greasy hair to the ragged remnants of what used to be a t-shirt and cargo pants and that every facet of her distorted anatomy appears to serve some varied function of 'rip', 'rend', or 'maim', getting her worked up might not be the best way to start introductions.
Bizarrely, rather than grow aggressive at the sudden commotion, the creature shrinks away, taking a couple of hurried steps back towards the shadows. The expression on her face is one that might be expected upon that of a young child that thinks it has done something wrong. Her sunken eyes go wide and she looks back and forth between the approaching K9999 and the strangely calm figure beside him.
As the hand reaches out for her head, the girl quickly lowers it in a subservient fashion, a faint stuttering hiss escaping her lips. "F-f-f-forgive me, mastersss!" Her teeth click together as she speaks in a hurried tone, her gaze drifting upwards in short half-second spurts. She looks like she want to just turn and disappear back into the shadows again the hand that 'Kei' places on her head seems to root her in place as if it were a leash. "I... I did not mean... to startle you..."
The blood and sight of Franziska had not only startled Eve, it frightened her. Her panic prevents her from hearing K9999's laughter, and Nameless' attempt at calming her is barely successful.
Instinctively, Eve's body reacts : her chi manifesting, electricity cackling from her nervousity as she tries to struggle back to her feet. The unruly electricity that builds up in her and around her causes to light to flicker a bit. Her hair are all standing up from the charges she builds up and the girl looks around in panic.
Eve pants loudly, her eyes wide and alert as she manages to get on her knees and hides behind a table "Fam... Family!?" She asks at Nameless in disbelief, glancing at him, then back at K9999 who approaches her. She whimpers softly and lifts one hand up in their direction. It was too late for them!
Hands on the edge of the table, only Eve's head pokes out from under her hiding spot, staring at the creature warily, frowning at her.
Jason just -glares- at Kei.
"Yes, fine. Kei." The teenager states coldly. As he pets her head, he straighens his posture, staring at K9999 warily. As Eve's body begins to crackle, he pulls away his hand to hold it up to his sister. "Ashley! Please! Behave yourself!" He scolds, putting himself between Franz and Eve. "Our family has all sorts! Not all of us look beautiful on the outside. Some of us are beautiful on the inside." He turns to look at Franz. Some were not beautiful on the inside or the outside. He shakes that thought out, as he nods at Franz, as looks like a frightened animal.
"Please, introduce yourself, sister."
"Don't call me master. If I see someone makin' you call them master I'll rip their fuckin' face off." K9999 suddenly turns around and shows his back to Franziska, thumbing at it. "Get on, piggyback. What's your name?"
He points his gloved hand at Eve rather threateningly, finger aimed at her head. "Calm down or I'll snap your neck. I'm more dangerous than this cute girl."
Then when Nameless mentions being beautiful on the inside... his eyes become murderously cold. "Call her ugly again and I'll eat your fuckin' heart."
The creature's gaze continues to shift between the floor and the various faces of the people surrounding her in rapid succession. She takes note of the differences in their reactions to her presence starting with Eve. Fear is something that she is quite used to along with revulsion and disgust. She had expected something simiilar to this upon her first appearance just... not quite so suddenly. Truth be told, the girl was taking it a lot better than a lot of the test subjects. Most threw up or passed out, either from the sight of her twisted physiology or the unique bouquet of week-old garbage and rotten milk that tends to build up when she can't wash regularly. Now is one of those times.
The reactions of the other two is much more baffling however. She slowly lifts her head to peer tentatively up at the two young men, confusion evident on her scarred face. After a moment of listening to them exchange banter it finall dawns on her what they are implying and she vehemently takes a step back, shaking her head.
"Sssssister? N-no, no, no!" The claws on her misshapen left hand twitch reflexively digging thin grooves into the floor as easy as if she is drawing sticks through sand. She hardly seems to notice. "T-this one is... is nothing. Just an... an animal. A loyal and dedicated servant!"
The girl-creature inclines her head again, clearly uncomfortable at being referred to as family. Her lips pull back momentarily as she gives them all a wide placating smile, revealing rows of razor-like shark teeth that interlock into a zipper of deadly blades. They too are stained dull shades of rusty red around their tips.
"This one is called... H-hound, yes...! The Hound."
Control. That wasn't as easy as it seemed, especially when your heart was pounding. It would have been just much easier to discharge it all right there, but that probably wasn't a good idea.
Eve whimpers softly and her cheeks turn a light shade of red. She lowers her gaze a bit in shame : if there was something Eve hated, it was getting scolded. Both from Nameless, and then K9999's threatening intonation, "I'm sorry!" She replies in a whimper to both of them.
The girl staggers back to her feet, "I, huh..." She takes a few steps back. She was nervous, and the situation wasn't helping her, "I need to go out, I'll clean up my mess after.." Eve says in a whisper. She keeps her gaze low, averting her eyes from both of them. She felt it was about to come out if she didn't do something quick and so, Eve decides to rush out.
She takes a few hurried step back, giving a few quick glances in their direction before she dashes out rapidly for the door, as if she had to hurry up to the bathroom before throwing up.
Jason did not have time for Kei's lip.
As K9999 starts threatening, the nameless teenager starts puffing out his chest. "I was not saying she was ugly, -brother-" He snaps, pointing his right hand at Kei. "And stop calling yourself a beast. Igniz has informed me that you have an unique opportunity. That you will be people, just like our brother, Kei." He glances at Ashley, looking down at his other sister as she pulls herself from under the table. He retracts his hand, and begins to shuffle around the packages. "But the fact remains that while you are family, you will not be able to blend in public."
"Thus, Igniz has a gift for you."
Jason ignores as Ashley rushes from the door. He just shakes his head. At least the nameless teenager knew how to treat family, no matter how monstrous family was. As if he knew the perfect example of that, he casts a glance over, focusing on Kei briefly before he continues. "You will be joining us, as a student at the schools. But in order for you to not draw too much attention to yourself, our gracious leader has offered a gift." The boy hands over one of the packages. "It is a holographic disguise. When you wear it on your head, it will conceal your true form. By doing so, you can-" Jason's eyes go wide.
"-Wait no that's the wrong package give that back."
"Ignore that family bullshit, he still thinks he's a person." K9999 snaps a finger at Eve to get her attention as she begins to leave. "We're all wild animals, but you're not a servant. Anyone bothers you, just bite their hand off. You like hands, right? You look like you like hands."
He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a strawberry Kit-Kat, pulling a piece from the wrapper to offer her. "Eat it. It's good."
When Nameless gives her the wrong package, he wrinkles his brow with intense consideration. "It's probably fancy gloves to dress his girlfriend up. You should burn them."
The creature's gaze tracks 'Ashely' as she flees from the area. Well, she lasted longer than most atleast. That doesn't stop the look of self loathing from crawling onto her face as the other female leaves. Her shoulders droop a little but otherwise she simply dismisses the reaction. Business as usual.
Her ears literally perk up a few moments later however as the conversation continues, sharp triangles of pointed flesh that look vaguely elf-like, or perhaps demon-like, wiggling a little. Her head lifts and cants to the side like an owl staring at something curious. After a long moment of silence she swallows hard and takes an uneasy step further back towards the shadows.
"M-me...? F... family?"
This doesn't make any sense to her. She's been told for years that she was just a tool, a weapon, a hound. So why would they suddenly spring this on her? Is it some sort of trick? A cruel joke to mock her? Uncertainty reigns in her mind and she just clams up, swallowing again.
Then there's a package being thrust at her. Oh, orders! She's good at those! The creature reaches out and eagerly accepts the wrapped bundle. She makes a feigned attempt to work at the bindings around the outside but her claws simply shred the thing to pieces within a moment or two and she tears the rest of the wrapping away before Jason can realize his mistake and try to stop her.
The Hound holds up a piece of skimpy lacey black fabric between two curved nails as delicately as she can, peering at it in the light. She twists it back and forth a couple of times, sniffs at it experimentally, and then promptly pulls the thong onto her head.
Jason turns bright red.
As The Hound opens the package, he reaches out, wordlessly with his white-blue glove. Unable to make words, he tries to mime taking it away. But she is too fast. And then, she pulls out one of the underwears. Curving his fingers, he trembles, mouthing silently. Turning up his nose in sheer disgust, he watches as she puts the thong on her face.
Jason takes a deep breath in.
The nameless teenager exhales. His expression is stoic again. "No, no. Wrong one." He says, delicately reaching out. Deftly, he pulls off the thong by the embroidered 'A. Kazama' on it. Holding it up between index finger and thumb, he shakes his head. "Here, try this one." He stuffs the thong back in the package. And he immediately shoves the proper holographic device package into her hands. His expression is serene.
"Try this one."
"You're fuckin' sad. Ordering panties 'cause you're too much of an emotionally stunted stick in the ass to get someone to show you a pair of tits." K9999 moves over to pay Franziska on the head a few times, shaking his head at Nameless. "Don't worry about him, I won't let him perv out on you. If you ever see him with his pants off, just bite anything that wiggles."
The girl goes stiff when she realizes she made a mistake. Her eyes widen for a moment then shut tightly when she sees the hand approaching, her body tensing up to absorb the impact of the inevitable strike that comes along with failure; but it never manifests. Instead, she feels the gentle pressure of the piece of fabric being pulled up away from her hair and one eye slides open, risking a glance upwards.
The Hound gives Kei a sidelong glance. She has no interest in getting pulled into the middle of whatever squabble these two are engaged in but she can't really say no either. It's almost physically impossible to even form the base thought necessary for defiance at this point. She just gives him a weak smile in response to the patting and tries to ignore any thoughts of pantless handsome men. Such fantasies are not productive! She's totally not thinking about it!
Ahem. Pointedly ignoring the faint rush of blood she can feel burning in her cheeks, the creature accepts the holo-device. It appears to be little more than a few bands of metal worked together into some sort of techno-tiara. She doesn't know much about technology but figuring out which end is up isn't too challenging and it glides around her temples with ease, sliding neatly into her loose blood-slicked hair.
A few moments later the air around the Hound shimmers and distorts in a kaleidoscope of colors as the device winks to life. The eye-searing display quickly fades and congeals into a more recognizable form. Where once a monstrous mockery of anatomy and science sat hunched on the floor a small slender girl, perhaps in her mid to late teens sits on her knees. Long thick locks of flowing blonde hair hang down around her shoulders in thick coiled ringlets in a configuration that can ony be described as 'elegant'. A Seijyunn High uniform adorns her slender but shapely frame and she wears it well - very well.
The girl turns her head up towards the two men, peering between them quietly for a moment. The expression she wears is somewhere between haughty and disdainful as if the two of them were particularly loathesome insects that happened to scurry under her gaze.
"Well?" She says, her lilting voice carrying an obvious tone of demand behind it. "Did this foolish device of yours function properly or not?"
That is what Jason orders at Kei, as his face remains scarlet. Clutching the package tight, he continues to talk down to his brother. "I am under orders from Krizalid himself to provide him with these samples!" He claims. Jason glowers at his brother, daring him to start something right here, right now. "And I would appreciate that you won't spread any lies to our newest..."
That is the response from the teenage clone, as he gazes back upon their sister. The disguise had... well, he did not expect it worked that well. "I... well. I believe it functions well." He said, turning flush again. His blue glove slides up his arm angrily. Jason clears his throat. "But before you can be a proper student, you need an alias, a name. I am afraid to ask, but, Kei."
"Do you have any ideas for her name?"
K9999 suddenly grabs a bottle and smashes the front half onto a table, making it jagged. Then steps toward Nameless as if about to stab him. "Did you just fuckin' tell me to shut up?!" he asks, threateningly shoving the bottle forward a few times.
Then she speaks, and he raises an eyebrow. "Elsa." he decides, dropping the bottle and seemingly forgetting that he was about to stab someone. "She hangs out with me, not you."
The snooty looking girl blinks and looks confused for a moment, startled into silence by the sound of her own voice. Is that a function of the hologram? Tenatively, she opens her mouth to say something else and then bottles are being broken on tables, holy crap.
Her back hits the nearest wall before Kei has even brought the impromptu bar-shiv up in an aggressive fashion, her reflexes acting on sheer auto pilot before her conscious mind could take full measure of the situation. Even through the projection the Hound's eyes are wide as she stares at the angry outburst and they get wider still when it fizzles out just as quickly. Okay, atleast one person here is officially crazy.
'Elsa', as she has been dubbed, swallows hard but the gesture appears to be little more than faint condescending sneer from the outside of the veil. "Hmph. That is a passable attempt at a proper name, I suppose."
The nameless teenager rubs his chin. "You actually had a good idea, Kei. I am impressed. Okay, Elsa." Jason says, adjusting his packages. "You are now on duty. You will report to Seijyun High, and begin your infiltration." He states, with an air of authority. "As it is an all-girl school, we will have great difficulty supporting you. You will not be the only agent there, but you will be alone. Think of this as a test, Elsa." The teenager looks at her sternly. "If you fail it, you will have proven that you are not suited for field work."
"And you will be disposed of."
"Dismissed." Jason demands, as he turns around. He had to drop this package off to Krizalid, after all. Hopefully, he won't be angry at him for the package being opened. He reconsiders.
Maybe he should rewrap this thing.
"I'll kill everyone who tries to kill her, so if she fails lots of people die." K9999 assures with a thumbs up to 'Elsa', then starts heading for the door. "I'm gonna go read your girlfriend's old diary. Before she got turned into a glove she gave it to me. It mostly says how she hates you and never loved you. Good night."
Elsa stares at the both of the agents again as they turn to leave, her eyes going as wide as dinner plates. The whole 'succeed or die' mantra is old news to her at this point but it never fails to be poignant to her interests which include: a) eating b) sleeping c) not dying. She'd been sent on tons of missions before this but they've all been simple hunts or exterminations. No one ever trained her for this!
It's okay the only thing riding on her performance is her continued existance. Gulp.
Very carefully, the Hound removes the tiara from her head and the hologram fades away to reveal her true self once again. She shambles over to the nearest workbench and sets it on a small cushion of odds and ends that look relatively soft before finding the corner with the deepest shadows and curling up on the floor in the hopes that sleep will banish her worries for a little while.
Log created on 19:04:08 11/02/2014 by Franziska, and last modified on 09:47:52 11/03/2014.