*The Ten Rings

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Rizion
Posts: 1045
Joined: 22 Jan 2009, 23:17

*The Ten Rings

Post by Rizion » 26 Jul 2017, 19:01

"It's human," The doctor said, peeling back a layer of skin at Amon's missing arm. The pure white room was filled with an array of machines and medical tools with the doctor, a tall gangling looking man wearing a surgical apron, gloves, a mask and cap, his assistant and another man who had half of their attire, an apron covering a very expensive pair of slacks and their heavy, glittering jewelry adorned on their wrist. The doktor was setting his tools down very carefully back in their respected place in his bag, but the other in the room had already removed their cap and mask,

"Come again? You say its just a human?"

Looking back at his employer as if his words were lost, the doctor gave a nod. "I would not say 'Just a human'. This creature survived having its arm cut clean off with what had to be a blade either coated with liquid nitrogen...or; it was a weapon that can achieve and maintain absolute zero in an isolated area. The nerve endings were perfectly preserved so reattachment should be fairly easy though,”

“There is no arm. My idiot nephew tossed it off the top of a building,”

“Ah. I see. Well still, all is not loss. Come have a look at this,” the doctor escorted his employer back to the table and lifted the heavy head of the patient, guiding the others hand. “Feel along there? That dent?”

“Yeah. From the size, .38 caliber, armor piercing round. Able to penetrate most Mark I. EDF suits. Carmine's specialty. He gets them custom made from Abbingdon and gave them the stupid nickname of Sure Kill bullets.”

The doctor gave a toothy smile that could be seen even under the mask. “He took a Sure Kill shot to the back of the head and is still breathing. His arm was cut off by a blade that in theory should not exist and yet he's still alive. That my dear friend is more than 'just human'. “

“This is why I come to you doctor. You are a professional with an exceptional attention to detail. No to to mention that for more than eleven years of working together you have shown perfect discretion. Expect a little bonus included with your regular fee for this one.”

With the help from his silent aid, The Doctor removed his mask and cap, showing mouth full of large teeth full of saliva grinning from ear to ear, his pot-marked, rosy cheeks and iris-less foam cream eyes all a tell that he was something of a man. Then his mouth came agape and the body of the parasite slithered back down the throat, the head jerking and chattering randomly. “Always a pleasure, Henris. I think Nano and I will retire to one of your clubs before heading off world. I do enjoy the music there.”

Henris Nox, the other man in the room, a self made millionaire and accomplished fighter. His current occupation was the leader of a rising mafioso in New Haven, a group called The Ten Rings. When the world had ended by some bio-terrorist named Max cloning himself to nearly the entire population, Henris took those that survived and provided for them. The same people who used to sneer and glare at his fancy clothes paid for by blood money, turned to him to keep them safe from their own kin who had turned into beasts. When the world came around and started to resemble something of “normal”, Henris cashed in all of those favors. A city owed an underworld thug a great debt and he cashed in hard.

But how quickly the public forgets. Two years after Max's defeat and he was back to being looked at with disdain and disgust. Rival gangs started to test his mettle, infringe on his territories which were shrinking with every toppled building or exploded city block from the rampaging metas of the era.
Though they are called The Ten Rings, only six of them in total make up the true body of the organization. Nox, his nephew Fredurik, Carmine and ex EDF weapon's expert, Kazuren and Gaius his number 2 and 3, and Sin. Their hold on New Haven was waning with a stronger effort from the EDF to keep the city from reverting back to the old Sector 8 days and other groups growing more bold with forces swollen by more and more metas turning to a life of crime rather than playing the hero. This left him with a hard choice to make: Kill the creature that three of his own people, one of them his own flesh and blood, swore was a demon, or take the creature in and try to tame the beast.

“What did the doctor say, Uncle?” a voice called out in the hallway. A bandaged Fredurik limped in on a pair of crutches, his face swollen and painted black and purple from the beating he took days ago.

“He said that my nephew is a fucking idiot and that the next time a bullet goes flying through the air, I'd be lucky if it struck the back of your head instead,”

“Aww c'mon don't be like that. I took a beating to bring you that thing. Who else here, other than maybe Kazuren, could take on a demon by himself and survive to tell the tale? Who else would have the mind that it could be useful and bring it back here to ya? Besides, we're all the family we got. You wouldn't want me off and dying would ya?”

“Family? Son my brother was an idiot. Lived an idiot. Died and idiot and a clone of some monster that I shot in the face the moment he turned on me. So when my idiot brother left his idiot cock in some idiot whore whose name he didn't even know and out popped an idiot bastard, I didn't think of it as family. You're here now because at times, when the mood strikes you, you can be almost useful to me,” Henris was up from his seat now, shirt unbuttoned and sleeves rolled up, walking across the room. His nephew seemed to tense up and meekishly looked towards the door which was shut. Nox was known to teach his lessons with his fists, the same fists he used to beat down his former rivals back in what he called the 'glory days' when the gang bosses held fighting tournaments to show off who was the strongest in the streets. The reason why his group is called The Ten Rings? Because Nox won ten of said competitions before they were abolished. So even without being currently handicapped, Fredurik knew having such a man walking up on him, rolling up his sleeves, was not a good thing.

“You brought me a question, boy. I don't like questions, I don't like anomalies. Unknown factors cause unknown problems. You, Sin and Carmine all claimed to have seen a demon, yet SCIENCE says its a human. Kazuren is off world doing the job I sent you to do, make us some money, so I can't get his professional opinion on what that thing is.” He closed the distance between the two of them, placing a firm hand on the back of his nephew's slender neck and pulling him in close. “So when you ask if I would want you off dying then no, not if it isn't going to be useful to me. But if it is...and in a big way, you bet your ass I'd throw your idiot ass off a bridge without a thought.” Fredurik's watery eyes flinched when he was snatched into an embrace by his uncle and a kiss on the head.

“I'm going to the Keywork. Have Sin and Carmine move the creature to the holding cells in the basement. Make sure its the hyper containment cell. Everything King Arthur from Vitae City gave us was installed right? If that thing is a meta, I don't need it running berserk on me.”

Nox was dangerous like this; anxious. It was the same when he got a new gun or discovered a new fighting technique. He wanted to show off his new toy, but that often meant he wanted to show it off -on- someone and this man was not squeamish. But he always wasn't the best fighter, either. He had entered the fighting tournaments before and had impressive runs, but he was never really “Nox”, the name whispered by all others, until he found his artifact. The Keywork was his lucky charm. He never told anyone where or how he found it, people just know he has it and once he came across it he started winning tournaments left and right. Even now, long after his street fighting days have ended, he meditates in an antechamber alone, allowing himself to gather his thoughts. He always came back though with a small piece of himself missing. Like an addict starting to go withdrawals, he'd be quick to anger and a tad more violent, but he did have his best ideas after clearing his head.

So Amon was moved to this special holding cell specialized in suppressing the powers of metas. This technology was the shining jewel of Vitae City and a young crime boss who called himself King Arthur was selling it on the black market. He made an offer to Henris, one of those quid pro quo agreements that could turn deadly when it came time to pay the piper, but for now, it was something Nox was grateful for. At least that's what he thought at first.

Then Amon came to. The slab of flesh that had been slumped over in a heap in the corner of the cell started to stir. Nox made sure he was there to see it in person, this creature that nearly beat his nephew to death with only one arm. Fredurik was an idiot, but Carmine and Sin he trusted not to be. He wanted to see what they saw. He wanted to see his prize.

Unfortunately, he was left wanting. Amon had come to, searched the edges of his cell, then retreated back to the corner of his new home and sat, silent and staring ahead. After the first day, he called the Doctor in again, this time speaking in a more demanding tone to the Tuffle infected medical professional, wanting to know what was wrong with “It”. The Doctor was of little help. Not only did it not take kindly to threats, but it had been enjoying itself so much at the nightclubs that it now had a small army of its own. As individuals they would be no problem, but what was the point of killing one when twenty more would take its place. So despite his harsh tone and to the point approach, Nox did mind his temper around the Tuffle, but it took everything in him not to at least kill one body when he was told “wait it out”.

And sensing that his employer was going feisty, the good Doktor took Nano, his assistant and his favorite three infected, taking off to the stars. Leaving Nox and his merry band to deal with this issue on their own.

~*~* Three Days Later *~*~

None of the ten rings were having a good day. At most, Amon took a deep breath and exhaled calmly, but after three days of twenty-four hour surveillance, Nox was ready to shoot something. So he gathered all of his men, Gaius and Kazuren now present and had them stand in front of the viewing glass.

“3 days. This thing has been awake for 3 days and has done nothing! Fredurik was right, you should have shot killed it and left it.”

A soft chuckle from one in the crowd. Fredurik was feeling himself with that subtle nod of respect from his uncle saying he was right. But it was just a way for him to invoke his rage. Nox was on him, lifting him off his crutches by his chin and throat, putting the barrel of a gun to his temple.

“And you should have left it the fuck alone! But no, you would rather play gangster than actually be one. Like always you played around like you do and got yourself in some shit. Now you got me in some shit. You're a fuck up just like my brother! I shot him in the head and I swear to fucking Kami I will do the same to you and piss on your corpse!”

There it was. The effects of the Keywork and maybe a little pent up, personal stress. The others stood still, looking forward, almost ignoring the situation completely, but all of them turned when they saw a young woman holding a tray standing at the bottom of the steps to their left.

She was young, barely out of her adolescent years, and pretty. Not something many say about Changlings. She had adapted to life on Earth well, finding fashion that accented her natural armor looking features and the proper make up to accent her light blue skin tone.

“You-you said you wanted your food promptly at 6:30 sir and not a second late.” This young woman was afraid, but in her own way, she was showing her bravery and loyalty to orders. She even brought the tray of food right up to him, seeming to ignore the young man he had hoisted nearly up to the ceiling.

“You see this here? How she did the task given to her?”

“Sir..”

The others were all leaving Nox's words floating in the air and had their attention focused on the room in front of them. It took the man himself to notice, but when he did, he took was silent. Amon, though he didn't move from his seated position, his eyes were alive and focused.

“So its a woman he wants?” someone offered.

“See Sin, even the beast doesn-”

“Shut up, all of you. Women have come through here all of time and he's done nothing. He wants -this- woman.” Henris was starting to show signs of excitement himself. He'd finally get to play with his new toy. “What's your name, girl?”

“I-It's Kori, sir.”

“Kori,”

“Sir?”

“do us a favor and take my dinner to my friend here, he's so hungry.” His words spoke of a question, a request one would make to a friend, but looking into his eyes, seeing the violence lingering behind them, she knew this was a command. So now the young woman had to make a choice; face the Alpha in front of her and the claws of his entire pack, or enter the cage with the real beast itself.

The hydraulics to the cell door hissed open and she slowly walked into the room.

She stepped in one foot at a time, confirming her footing as if the floor would cave away from underneath her at any moment. Across the room, the beast's red eyes started to glow in the shadows that covered his form. They were set upon her, never blinking. The rest of his body was still as death, but his eyes lay trained on her every movement. She was shaking, panting, trying to keep the tray of food in her hands steady from her dread filled trembling.

“Sir what are you doing?”

“I'm turning off the power dampeners. I want to see what this beast can do”

The reactors that kept the room powered gave the audible hum as they turned off, the yellow tubes running through the panels in the wall losing their glow. A smirk appeared on the beast's face.

“Look, look there” someone said in a panic. They had all retreated back upstairs to the safety of the security room, preferring to watch the mayhem unfold on a monitor rather than in person.

“What is that? Smoke?” Henris asked to the group.

“Fog, I think.” Another answered.

In the cell, a white mist was starting to obscure vision inside. Amon looked down as each breath he took left a cloud of vapor crystallizing from his mouth. He knew this feeling well, but not to this degree. A frozen tray of food crashed to the floor just as the room was completely enveloped in this frozen fog. He saw Kori disappear in the mist, her eyes a pair of shining, blue rings vanishing into the white.

Amon jerked his head to the right, a needle passing through his mane of hair, stabbing into the wall behind him. Three more followed in an arc that would have been his right iris, his mouth and throat had he not rolled out of the way, but when he came from his movement he was caught by the throat and pinned against the wall.

“S'yra Vashal! Yhan du'ut Tyr Vencer?”

“The fuck is going on down there!” Henris, watching from his monitor was barking orders while getting up from his chair, his henchmen already racing out of the room and back to the holding cell.


Back in the room, Amon was struggling against the grip of his assassin, his one arm chopping at her elbow, but unable to move the limb an inch. It wasn't that the man did not choose to move for three days, the hunger, the wound, the fatigue and the constant bombardment of radiation suppressing his strength, it left him so drained that he could not move. His glare was a defense against this viper he felt entering the room with him.

“Yhan du'ut Tyr Vencer!? Where is the traitor!?” she finally barked in a hurry in a tongue he could understand. Footsteps were clamoring outside of the cell door. He could tell she was becoming anxious with how hard she was gripping his neck, but his face was turning from a gray to blue very quickly.

The Viper dropped her prey and hissed into his face, her black eyes engulfing his vision. “Where is Vencer? Tell me before I tear out your tongue!” She looked in his face and reared a hand back, clenching her fist, but an arm hooked under hers and stopped the blow from going forward.

“Hyaah!” Carmine yelled. The bigger man twisted himself like he were pitching a ball, flipping the smaller Icer over his shoulder and tossing her right into Sin's spinning side-kick. The assassin dodged the attack in mid air, placing her hands on the knee of the woman who attacked her and pushing herself up. A pair of knives came from her boots and stabbed into the ceiling. While standing upside down, she took on the pair of them, dodge and parrying their attempted blows that came at rapid succession.

Finally she broke the stalemate, forcing the two to hit one another, then wrapping her tail around Sin's slender neck and tossing him into Carmine, the two of them spilling to the ground n a heap together. Her body flipped to the ground, where she ran on all fours out of the room. Fredurik met her, swinging a crutch down at her head, but she jumped into his chest, rising from the ground and cracking the bone armor of her skull into his face. He fell to the ground, but as he did a pair of hands cupped at the wrists came at her from behind him.

“Rashomon!” She was caught in a tempest. They were just two palms coming at her, but the amount of force behind them, she thought she was staring at a pair of rampaging elephants stampeding towards her. Gaius' strike caught her dead in the chest, sending the frail body back flipping once through the air.

“Hmm..doriya!” Kazuren was behind her taking a high stance and throwing a snap punch to her lower back to catch her out of her flip. She cried in utter agony. The sudden stop in movement in her spine caused many of the bones to shatter. Kazuren, ever the fighter, made a pivot motion and bounced her head against the wall, denting the reinforced metal and staining it with her blood. Then he and Gaius came together palm striking her in unison, blasting her body back into the cell.

Henris was the last to make it down, having made sure to lock his mansion down. He nearly slid on the ice and slush that had formed just outside of Amon's cell, having stepped over Fredurik as if his nephew wasn't bleeding on the ground.

“What in the f-”

“Hooooooo...!”

Carmine and Sin were both coming to inside the cell and got to see the scene first hand. Amon clamored over both of them when the Viper hit the floor, his hand going for her throat. Her purple blood coughed up all over his arm and hand, but her eyes were still glazed over from the double attack the two men hit her with. The Beast was out now. It needed to feed.

His black aura surrounded his body, blasting away the fog that was still evaporating from the room. Henris and the others looked on in awe and terror at the figure in front of them, the towering Amon draining the life from this assassin. She tried to struggle against his grip, but he set a heavy knee into her chest, several of her ribs cracking, and bashed her face against the floor. Again, he lifted his knee and shoved it down into her chest, causing her to cry out, but when she did, his giant paw reached into her mouth.

“Is this the tongue you wished to take!?” he screamed into her face. His eyes were fully alive, not as a scared animal trying to stave off a predator, but as the beast inside of him emerging from his shattered soul. The Viper bit on his hand once she felt his fingers wrap her tongue up like noodles. She was shaking her head, begging him not to, as the pair struggled on the floor. The rest of the group was simply watching, Henris most intently, a smile upon his face.

“ggrrhhggrrgllrglegl...ggrraaaaaaah!”

Amon's grip grew tighter, his pulls stronger with each passing second as he drained more life out of The Viper. With each pull they could hear the rip and the tear and finally her bloody gurgled scream as he came too his feet, hand doused in blood and a wriggling tongue in his hand.

Carmine was the first to lose his lunch and Sin was disgusted that all of that was spilling right next to her. Gaius and Kazuren stood outside the doorway when Henris walked in, helping his two henchmen up to their feet and staring up at Amon. The Beast was looking more full in the body, his skin gaining more color and the heavy bags and wrinkles on his face receding. Amon stared down at him, eyes radiating with power. This was the demon Nox was waiting to see. Amon lifted the tongue in front of his face and gave it a final squeeze, covering the both of them in The Viper's blood, then simply walked to the opposite corner of the room and sat back down.

The woman, the assassin who infiltrated his organization, was writhing on the floor, crying and whimpering while holding her mouth. Blood was spilling between her fingers.

“Well now, what do I do with you?” He said with a grin. He was glad Amon kept her alive, there was so much to be learned from the living and so little from the dead.

Luke
Posts: 664
Joined: 23 Jan 2009, 00:21

Re: The Ten Rings

Post by Luke » 01 Aug 2017, 08:50

Some of what about to type here we discussed at Hells Gates last night but I'll try to expand on what I can.

The opening is really creepy. Your tuffle doctor resembles a Julian Salnor who took a dark turn, so much so that it almost felt like your were egging Lye a little bit with the character. Nox is interesting in that he has this mysterious artifact, the "Keywork" which apparently has some side effects from substantial use. I feel as though Nox will be the most difficult of the Ten Rings to pull off in the end. If he's too brutal he could easily become a slight variation on a lot of crime bosses from fiction. Fredurik strikes me as the jealous, underdog of the group. The runt whose probably only here because of his relation to Nox and who would probably backstab his friends if he though it might help him go up a rung on the ladder, but I could be very wrong on him. We don't see enough here to get a clear understanding of any of the Ten Rings, this is just my speculation for now. Carmine, the weapons specialist, strikes me as a the defacto leader when Nox isn't at the reigns, even though Nox describes Kazuren, Gaius as number 2/3. They do make an appearance towards the end of the log here and show they're capable, but otherwise I haven't seen a lot of their personality and I don't think I could describe them. Sin and now the Viper round off your merry bunch at 9 of 10 rings.

That last slot is an important one. I would personally like to see another player character from CHAT fill it but I'm not sure anyone fits the bill well enough at the present time. If it doesn't end up being a player I think the character should be someone unique to Amon in some way rather than the other Ten Rings. A compatriot/ally/rival. Someone who helps cement him as part of the Ten Rings.

I feel as though the Ten Rings is really the kind of group that only you could do here on CHAT. I've praised your background characters in the past and I think these 8 so far could each have a "spotlight" solo of their own in the future which I'm really looking forward to.

RPP rewarded.

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