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Hell's City


Triyun
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OOC Preface:

I'd like to try and get a large base of people to join this. For those of you who have played Dragon Age 2, I got my inspiration for the structure of it based on that. Its going to be Incheon, Korea in turmoil. The RP will almost exclusively be centered around Incheon. I've been neglecting the North so I'd thought I'd give it some story.

First some background: Incheon has faced a nuclear attack but largely rebuilt, it was then again heavily damaged by Sumeragizilla. Now however, while its not great its by far the most intact city on the Peninsula.

At the moment the city has basically had a relatively prosperous city center, as much of the UFE aid has been directed towards getting a command center running for the rest of the peninsula. Most residence of Incheon are therefore pretty confident and elitist about their city being the best.

Around the city's center though there are many refugee slums, including a virtual floating city of boats, these are mostly North Koreans who are resented as economic lessers by Incheon's residence. There numbers however are significantly larger and thus pose a potential clash point. Never the less there are some leaders of the refugees who want to work with the Imperial Authorities and the local Incheon elites for the betterment of their people.

The Juchists while substantially reduced are fighting an ongoing insurgency, particularly using the North Korean refugee neighborhoods as starting points. In addition to attacking PLA patrols (something quite dangerous) they have also been kidnapping and trying to ransom richer Incheon natives. They also have become quite rich by controlling the drug trade in the refugee neighborhoods. They've slowly become more like a mafia/ cartel than a political movement.

Beyond these domestic groups there are two foreign groups. First are the remaining Vikings, who still haven't left Korea. They worship the land around here as a portal to hell and thus view it as a chance to prove their strength. They've begun converting some of the refugees to a particular vicious and martial strain of the old Germanic Religion. This is creating conflict with Korean traditionalists, who are well steeped in Confucianism and view the Vikings as barbarians. Though they haven't advocated revolt yet, many traditionalist Confucian Koreans feel its only a matter of time.

Lastly are the Dragon Cultists who've become obsessed with Sumeragizilla as their god incarnate. They are seeking a way to free her from her prison in the city to the North. They also are illegal, and routinely hunted by the local Korean leaders and the Chinese.

This initially will take place chronologically alongside 'Out with the Old', 'Hapsburg Restoration', and 'Imperial Tour' RPs.

This RP is open to any who want to be in it, but the storyline is going to be run by me, and ultimately your character can be left behind or killed off (some will die). That said, if you bring your main character to Incheon for whatever reason, we can work something out but don't be surprised if they get into some serious hairy situations.

If you want to RP a leader of a group the following will be open for a few days before I assume them:

1) The Viking Leader (Martens gets first dibs on this if he wants it, as the Vikings are from his raids)
2) The Leader of the North Korean Refugees
3) The Underground Dragon Cult or Sumeragzilla
4) The Juchists
5) Incheon Merchant Guild Leader

Please contact me before assuming any of these roles. Note everyone is still my citizens in Korea, so this wouldn't be rerolling into a nation and this is planned.

That said I hope to get multiple people participating. Anyone may go right into RPing [i]a[/i] regular citizen of Incheon, but you gotta be a regular citizen to start, there will be an opportunity to join a faction. Characters from your own nation are also permitted, just let it know this is a dangerous RP :P Activity in this thread will have a big determinant in how large a role people play.

IC:

Incheon had become a fortress city of sorts in the rebuilding from the nuclear war and no the monster attack. The UFE had setup many barges outside the city, turning Incheon Bay into a boat city.

Yuan Li, sat in his office as Deputy Imperator. The concrete building which had been constructed to house the Government of Korea was ugly as hell, hastily constructed for practicality and functionality rather than for style.

He poured himself 6 ounce glass of the korean spirit okroju drinking it straight up. Li's already weather worn fact, had more wrinkles coming in every day, he was drinking perhaps a bit too much. Li had spent all his life resenting his older brother Jia, trying to study everything he could to become a great leader, but now the pressures of the job were starting to show on him.

It did not bother him that Xuehua had been handed the South while he the North. Li viewed the North as a true challenge. It was harsh, the winters were long and cold here, and the people were more bitter. But he wanted that. He wanted to show how good he was, that he shouldn't have been kept in that village most his life... now though he did not know. Mongolia was fine, as was the Transamur, but Korea was like a black hole sucking most of his time up.

In recent months he had become increasingly to depend on three men, Lieutenant General Zhou; the Commander of Army Theatre 'Korea', Special Projects Division Director Ming, and now most recently a Korean Police Detective, Rhee Chang-sun. The man was relatively young, 28, but had been a rising star.

Rhee entered Li's office dressed in a navy trench coat and suit. He'd first established a name for himself during the first UFE governance of Korea. There he had bested the PLA Kendo Team in a match between the local police academy.

When Kim Jong-Un had returned, Rhee had been purged for concerns about loyalty to some of the more reactionary elements of Korea. He had been then captured after leading a particularly clever campaign of insurgency by the PLA when they took back the country. Rhee was only still alive, because that unit happened to be commanded by one of the PLA Kendo team members, who'd remembered the mans cleverness. Instead he had brought Rhee to Zhou. After meeting with the man, Zhou made Rhee an offer he could not refuse. Rhee would avoid execution, in exchange he'd work for ten years as a PCIA operative under the cover of being a detective.

This role Rhee had excelled at, to Rhee's own surprise he even kind of enjoyed it though he was in a way a prisoner still. More importantly, Rhee had shown himself valuable. He'd been able to get in to see the Deputy Imperator on several occasions, and even persuade him away from harsher methods favored by Zhou. Despite Rhee's defiant instincts he knew he had become important to his people and thus was happy to play the game.

"You called for me sir?" Rhee asked.

The Deputy Imperator nodded, "Yes, I wanted to talk to you about troubling reports we've been getting out of the docks. It seems that the Vikings and Juchists are both behind this. Lately we've heard about a new strain of drug, it seems to come in from Viking smugglers and controlled by the Juchists. It whips people up into a frenzy, makes them almost berserkers and is highly addictive. Our police units have gotten into several clashes with hooligans on this, and the results aren't pretty. We've been given intelligence that the Vikings are moving some more in tonight. I want you to confirm this, and if we have an opportunity for a raid call in for back up." Li said.

Rhee sighed, he knew times were tough, but the stuff people were doing these days. "Alright, but how would... excuse me but the Vikings... come up with that stuff it doesn't make much..."

Ming cut him off, "Don't underestimate what dangerously little access to technology can do."

Rhee eyed the Special Projects Director, the man gave him the shivers each time. "Alright. Where do I start?" he asked.

"There is a... bar if you can call it that where the Vikings hang out in, the 'Red Eyed Wench'." Zhou said. "You can start there. We've got a contact there, they call him One Eyed Hector the Cleaver. He's a big viking with one eye and a... cleaver. I hear his tab for the month is late and they're getting impatient."

Rhee nodded, "Ok." He then turned around to leave the room.

[i]The Deputy Imperator looks like !@#$...[/i] Rhee thought to himself. [i]And this whole thing... it stinks.[/i]

Edited by Triyun
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Shino Kae quietly worked away at his laptop. He sat in a wooden chair, with the laptop on a small desk and was dressed in tight jeans and a rumpled white dress shirt. Kae was busy working on his lesson plan for the upcoming school year at IncheonU.

[i]Hmmm, I've established the basis for the first day and what I subjects we are going to discuss, but I want to challenge the students. I should include some current event analysis possibly.[/i]

Kae looked on the screen to see what he had written so far.



[quote]

[u]First Day[/u]

1. Discuss class conduct

2. Pass out class schedule
3. Question: What is international relations?




[u]Things to discuss over semester[/u]

1. [i]Realism[/i]

-Classical Realism

-Neo-Classical Realism

-Postclassical Realism

-Neo-realism


2. [i]Liberalism[/i]

- Democratic peace theory

- Commercial liberalism

- Institutional liberalism

- Neo-liberalism

- Post-liberalism


3. [i]Critical Theories[/i]

-Constructivism

-Feminism

-World-systems theory
[/quote]




[i]Hmmm, that's good. but now I need to work on the current event analysis.[/i][i] [/i]

Kae began looking on the Internet for sites that did analysis of major events and stumbled across Global Research (http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=93685). After looking over the site and checking out the sources, he found GR to have a good amount of legitimacy. [i]This is an interesting site, I very well may use certain articles in my classes.[/i]

After finishing up his lesson plans, he sent them to the head of the political science department for approval.

[i]This is going to be a good year.[/i]


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Retired Admiral Grundy Balzac had been living in France since the collapse of Canuckistan, spending his days in a debaucherous stupor, drinking, fighting and !@#$@#$ his way through an tangent-prone tour of the country. Seaman Sidney Hornblower, his aide and lifelong companion, had soon left him in Toulouse after the two fought over the admiral's increasingly self-destructive behaviour.

Alone, Admiral Balzac's behaviour worsened. Jumping between peaks of anger and severe depression, Balzac was never without an excuse for more drink, and infrequently without an excuse to fight. As each month past, Balzac lost more and more of himself. His memories of Canuckistan and his life as an admiral of its navy slowly deteriorated to the point where the only thing left to convince him that any of it was real was the tri-cornered hat he carried with him. And even the authenticity of that, with its anachronistic design, he had his doubts about.

In a year's time, Admiral Grundy Balzac would have been found dead, somewhere on the side of a road in the south of France, wine-stained lips, covered in flies and the shambles of his uniform, if it were not for Sumeragizilla. Waking up in a Parisian gutter with a smashed bottle of Cognac in his hand, Fortune was kind enough to leave a soggy copy of the previous days [i]Le Monde[/i] beside him. Pulling himself up from the gutter, he casually glanced at the paper. Ignoring his hangover and stiff muscles, suddenly grabbed the paper and jumped to his feet.

"My God! A sea monster!" he read [i]Le Monde's[/i] account of Sumeragizilla and the Viking expedition that had set out to fight it. "Those Viking !@#$%^&*! Hogging the glory." Slowly, everything came back to him. Canuckistan, the navy, battling sea monsters in the Arctic with nothing but a spear in one hand and a bottle of JD in the other. He wasn't what he'd become: a hedonist hobo wandering France in a haze of drunken violence. He was an admiral, the manliest admiral in the world, and goddamnit, admirals fight sea monsters.

He cleaned himself up, shaved and bought new clothes. His old admiral's uniform was ruined beyond repair, but he managed to find a pirate-like outfit that could both pass as both fearsome and not too kitschy. Rejuvenated and ready to take on the dreaded Sumeragizilla, he bought a ticket for the first plane out of France. But he arrived in Korea well after the monster had been defeated. Crushed, he wandered into the slums of Incheon in search of drink.

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OOC: Tired from Hurricane stuff still. I'm going to post for my main char, but for now I'd ask people move their own plotlines forward, I'll starting DMing a bit more next post or two.

IC:

Rhee's nose burned at the stench emanating from the garbage of the district. The damn Vikings seemed to bring with them a stench that was ungodly. Even the pungent odors of Korea's mounds of pickled vegetables were overrun by the fox stench of the Westerners.

The docks were cold and damp, and a mist had settled on them for the night. The sounds of Viking metal music came out of various bars, along with the occasional Viking through the window. Rhee sighed, his nation was supposed to be the perfect Confucian Kingdom, now it had all gone to hell. ...And as far as the Viking's religion went he believed that is what they had wanted.

He sighed, as he entered into a bar. It smelled of stale ale, vomit, and meat that had been left out to "age" for far too long. He watched disgusted as he walked through the bar of white barbarians.

Our country is going to hell, he thought to himself slightly resigned to the thought. Unlike even the Chinese, the Koreans were both a Confucian state but also like the Japanese a homogenous nation. China's confucianism was based on 'How glorious it is to recieve friends from afar'. Korea's was based more on constructing a completely internalized perfect paternalist family unit. Now that the UFE had come in, they were being dragged kicking and screaming into the UFEs multi-ethnic Confucianism and even a more moderate Korean like Rhee wasn't going to be happy about it.

He finally got to the man's table. "Hector I presume?" Rhee asked.

The man was old, he had clearly seen a few too many voyages. A mug of meed dripped down his face as he gulped it.

"Aye, that I be." he said.

Rhee suppressed his face's natural instinct to be disgusted. "I was told you have information for me?" he asked.

"Aye, that I do... but not here." he said. Shifting his one eye around, Hector motioned him to come outside to a back alley.

"They be movin' some hard core stuff." he said. "Pier 8. I don't know much about it, but I here it be makin' you like Thor himself. Many of me men tried the stuff, eventually though... it makes you different. Instead of gettin' to Valhalla, ye become a thrall."

"A thrall?" Rhee asked.

"Aye, a pawn of 'dem Juchists." Hector said.

"Juchists, so they're behind it, then why are they moving it in from somewhere else with the Vikings?" Rhee asked.

"I don't suspect they be the ones. They be smart, but not this smart." Hector said.

Rhee nodded, "Ok. So watch my back." he asked

"Aye." Hector said.

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Rhee made his way to the area that Hector had directed him towards. The streets seemed deserted, lights were only flickering in some parts. It reminded Rhee of a bad movie, the perfect place for an ambush... not that he had much choice. There was no direct route without moving through countless warehouse yards many with alarms and guard dogs that would guarantee he be spotted on approach. The direct route with minimal suspicion was best.

He approached the warehouses where a ship was in port. Few lights were on, but he could detect the hints of movement through the shadows.

"Who are you?" a voice asked behind him. Rhee turned to look at the man and find that he was another Korean. He was slender, dressed in tactical black gear with a wool cap over his head. It was almost stereotypical out of a spy movie.

"I'm lost... do you know where Uncle Hong's Kim Chee Restaurant is?" Rhee asked.

The man raised an eyebrow, "Other direction." the man replied firmly.

"Really I mean the guy over there told me..." Rhee started.

"Other direction." the man said firmly again, Rhee could see he was getting ready to throw a punch, he looked fast too by the form of it, like he knew some martial arts. It wouldn't be an easy fight like the lumbering Vikings who projected their moves 4 minutes in advance. If Rhee won, he'd likely have twelve guys on him and then he'd be $%&@ed.

"Alright." Rhee said, walking off. The front door approach was not going to work, it was a long shot anyway. He'd need to find a way around. Walking off he moved behind an alley when he was sure he was out of eye sight of the guard.

Before he could do anything though several men emerged from the shadows. Vikings all of them. They had weapons out ready to go at the guy. "Well, I guess I can't avoid it!" Rhee said resigned. He began to step back as they came charging at him. Shifting his him forward he kicked a beer bottle on the ground sending it flying and shattering into the lead assailant's face. Rhee then leaped to hit the man's chin with his knee to crack his neck. As he leaped up the man swung.

Rhee went to block but he felt a tremendous force slam into his arm. Falling backwards he barely recovered as he landed. "The hell?" he asked. Two more vikings darted forward their speed was much faster than he was used to. "Hell." he said. He attempted to leap to the left before one came in on his flank, slamming his his fist into Rhee's head, Rhee felt a sharp pain before hitting the floor and blacking out.

------------------------

Rhee awoke to the sound of industrial machinery and waves battering against something. The air wasn't well ventilated and stale. To top it all off his head hurt like hell. Moving to try and get up, he found he could barely move. He quickly realized he was held down by four point restraints on a large table. Struggling for several minutes, he finally relented attempting to look around. He felt the slight rock back and forth, he wasn't on land anymore, if he had to guess he was on a ship. In a cargo hold most likely.

There were few lights, and he could barely make out the shadows of people across the grey back drop. "What is going on?" he asked, as he peered from side to side.

"Subject has awoken." a voice said in Chinese.

"Good..." another responded, in Mandarin again.

"Whose out there?" Rhee asked, he tried to find the two voices, but he could not. Overhead some robotic machinery seemed to move. He could make out two large men, likely among those who had attacked him, as well as a single woman all with blonde hair. He doubted very much those were the people speaking in Chinese. Other than that, the area seemed empty.

He then noticed the slight glisten of a window far above. [i]Must be up there he thought.[/i]

"Subject 4, lay still, you are about to get an injection, it will hurt significantly less if you are still..." the voice said again.

"Subject 4?" Rhee asked as he noticed a large needle probe heading towards him.

"Correct you, your cooperation is not required, but it makes things significantly easier on yourself. Prepare for Phase 1 of the experiment to commence." the voice said. "Proceeding."

Suddenly Rhee felt a sharp pain in his femur, the needle had been inserted into the bone itself, injecting a neon blue substance into it. He felt searing burn inside his skeletal structure. "Phase 1, life signs are stable, pain threshhold within acceptable parameters." the first voice he heard said.

"Good..." the second replied.

"Shall we proceed to phase 2?" the first voice asked.

"No. No." the second responded. "Let us see how things progress."

Rhee felt a wave of relief come over his body, even as he was still consumed with the pain from injection. The guards filed out of the room, leaving Rhee left looking up at the ceiling. "Chinese, why?" he thought to himself. Hector was right, there was something else behind this. He did not know what was going on, but he intended to find out. Now he just needed to find a way out of these restraints.

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Jinho Tojimaru splashed some water on her face, careful not to get any of it on her uniform. She didn't know what kind of madness was starting to grip the city of Incheon, but as a police officer it would be her task to see that it didn't get out of hand. With the precinct she worked at being a small one, information was scarce and more than once they had had to deal with larger precincts muscling in to handle the important cases, and most had known for years that the only way to make a career would be to request a transfer to one of aforementioned larger precincts.

Still, even the cases she couldn't build a career on needed doing too, and she leafed through a couple of assignments on her desk. A stolen car which, going by the area it was last seen in, was probably stripped and gone by now, three appeals against parking tickets claiming a defective meter, one reported case of vandalism against a parking meter -- probably the same one... yup -- and a domestic dispute... dated Thursday a week ago. Massaging a sore spot in her shoulder, she took a deep breath, leaning back in her seat as she looked outside.

"Hey princess, Chief wants you in his office."

Jinho turned in the direction of the sound, wincing at the very unsatisfying crack in her neck at the sudden movement to look at her colleague, before holding her hand up to signal that his message was understood. 'Princess' had been a nickname the others had thought up for her when they had noticed her last name was spelled the same way as that of the Zargathian queen. After trying to get them to stop for a month she had eventually given up, accepting the nickname in favor of whatever else they would have come up with otherwise. Pushing herself up from the desk, she walked to the Chief's office.

-----

Roughly ten minutes later she stood outside the office again, along with two other officers. There had been a phone call about a brawl near the warehouse district, it seems more of those kept popping up everywhere these days. The area was fairly close to the slums too, but as long as they'd keep together and didn't end up too far from the car there shouldn't be any problems the three of them wouldn't be able to handle.

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Bridgette Saenger stared over the machinery at the man lying on the table and smiled. Over the past few years, she had pretty much forgotten what it was like to be a politician and a woman of diplomacy. Instead, she had dedicated nearly her entire life from the point she had been exiled from Austria, to science, and more so, to the destruction of the Hapsburg Monarchy and all nations associated with them. In her arsenal, Saenger held a variety of devious inventions, machines, and chemicals, ranging from enhanced rabies viruses, which she had set loose around Central Africa. To the delightful neon-blue liquid that was now beginning to pulse inside one of Jia's rats laying on the table. Even better, her hypothesis had been correct, the rat hadn't died from the first injection and now she was confident the rest of her experiment would go according to plan.

"You don't think we should hurry with the other procedures, Bridgette?" Said Dr. Y as he crossed his arms nervously, looking at Rhee on the table.

"I don't see why? Just because the life signs are stable now does not mean that things will change in a day or two." She smiled and flicked her shoulder length blonde hair at the Doctor. "We'll come back tomorrow and administer the second test. He's already infected, it won't be long. I want to make sure we're good and ready." She said and walked over to Rhee, letting her hand run over his forehead slowly and mildly seductively. "I'm excited to see the effect, darling. Then you'll be my rat and so much more effective at getting things done."

"Shall we be going then, Doctor Saenger?" Said Y, rolling his eyes.

"Of course, Klara, will you be so kind as to keep an eye on him. Make sure he stays in one place?" Saenger said to the guard with a mask over her face. The guard nodded and Bridgette smiled as she walked out of the cargo hold with Y. "One thing I want you to see about," her voice began trailing off, "Any authorities that cross our paths, I'd like to experiment a different variant...on...them...so..." The voices trailed off and "Klara" was all alone with Rhee, still struggling on the table.

She waited a few moments before removing the mask and walking over towards the table. There were no cameras in the room, the experiment had been cheaply put together for the account that it was chanced not to work. The guard stared down into Rhee's eyes and smiled as she put her hand on the restraints. Her eyes were bright and so was her hair. "You have to be quiet," she said, "But I'm getting you out of here, I'm a relative of the Imperial Family. We need to get to a safe house and I know one a few miles away from the harbor? Do you think you can walk?"

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Rhee seemed to look at her confused, "Heh a member of the Imperial Family eh?" Rhee asked. "I thought they all stayed in the safety of Vietnam and China or in Bunkers." he said. Getting a better field of view, "and obviously... the Hapsburg not Yuans." He tried to move his leg as he got out of the restraints, "Yeah I think I can walk, just some god damn needles, all over me... $%&@." Rhee said as he stood.

He felt like he was about to collapse but summoned his will to keep his composure. "Ok, I think I got this together... lead the way. Please tell me this ship is still docked." he said. "I doubt I can swim."

Outside the cargo hold were several groups of guards, most of them were Vikings or Juchists, street thugs but whom had ingested the new powdered form of the drug. As such they had become exceedingly strong, though their intelligence was somewhat diminished. A few Juchists had been kept off the drug to act as lieutenants as part of the guard contingent. The path for the two off the boat would require a great deal of stealth, something that wouldn't come easy to Rhee with his injuries.

He focused his mind, remembering back to his days in kendo, Rhee had to overcome pain however harsh and not let it effect his movements. He breathed deeply but as quietly as he could as his eyes outlined the path of shadows along the deck. He could see the lights of shore were right there... that was good, they weren't out to sea.

He instinctively moved to take the first step but a sharp pain jolted through him, "Heh, maybe first few steps go together?" he said.

Meanwhile, the scientist who had been working with Dr. Y and Bridgette now had made his way to the private chamber where he was to report to his 'master'.

"Sir." he said as he opened a transmission.

"Yes?" the voice said on the other line, the same which had spoken in the room during the test in Chinese.

"The first phase is proceeding as planned, I have seen to it that the girl releases the subject. I will prep things for the next subject." he said.

"Good... good..." the voice replied. "Makes sure to keep Ms. Saenger at a distance. There is something about her we cannot fully trust. This weapon is for the good of the Federation, even if Jia is to consumed by morals to see it. He's become soft..."

"And Ms. Saenger?" the scientist asked.

"Has untraceable money." the voice snapped back. "Watch Y, he is among my more gifted pupils, but he seems to have fallen under her spell, they must not get the full weapon for themselves."

With that the transmission was over. The scientist gulped, he was not prepared for this sort of life of deceit.

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"Don't worry, we'll be okay." The girl said to Rhee with a flicker of her smile as she put his arm over her shoulder and looked out into the darkness. "I don't know what's going on here, but whatever they're doing to these men, it's uncanny, deforming. You Easterners are all the same, I swear, delving into mystic and genetic things that are of no business to you. Honestly, you lot are worse than the Germans." Then, waiting for a small break in the guards' line of sight, the girl slowly began to creep down the deck of the ship towards the stern, where before she had arranged a set of ropes during her duty as a guard. "You think you'll be able to slide down?"

She didn't wait for Rhee to answer though and helped him onto the rope. "The needles couldn't be that bad and we need to find that safe house so I can examine you better." The girl put his hand on the rope and with her help, they both slowly guided down in the night air. For the girl, this was all very nerve racking, everything had been so easy and while she had been preparing for this moment for sometime, it came off as smooth as the water beneath them. No, something was wrong, something was very wrong.

Finally, the girl and Rhee touched the wood of the dock and with a sigh of relief, she began to lead him away from the ship and towards the slums of the inner harbor. Rhee was hopelessly slow at first, though as the pain of the injection began to wear off, he became less of a problem to her as the chatting of the boat guards became quieter and quieter. But they couldn't keep moving like this, the safe house was too far away and Rhee needed his rest, she could tell. "C'mon, in here." The girl pointed to an abandoned building, just outside of the inner harbor. She knocked down the loose door with her foot and helped the young man inside. There wasn't much, some dusty furniture, a table, and a few rats that scurried away on the floor. But it was home, at least until the morning.

She set Rhee on the couch and then took off her mask as the bright, but hardened face of the middle Hapsburg looked up at him. Not even bothering to introduce herself, Angelika set to work on tearing off the pant leg where the injection had been administered. She looked at the scar and shook her head. "Whatever that was, it's in you now." Turning her head to his eyes though, the middle Princess chuckled, it wasn't a look of despair or anything of the sort. More that he was surprised to see, the sister of his boss' wife tending to his wound. "Never seen a rich girl wearing guard clothes before?"

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Rhee moved with her, keeping pace despite the amount of pain around the area. As he moved he felt a weird degree of rejuvenation, the pain wasn't gone, it was just, it wasn't as important. He wasn't following the woman's words, as he thought about the changes in him.

[i]"You think you'll be able to slide down?"[/i] she said.

Without thinking Rhee complied, sliding down with her assistance, but he was having surprisingly strong grip. It wasn't till he was at the bottom that he realized the strangeness of the cognitive process that had just occurred. But now as not the time to ponder on it too deeply. He felt himself get yanked, and he followed, as they moved he felt as if his blood was pumping something from the injection site throughout.

As they entered into the warehouse and sat down, Rhee finally saw the full face of his rescuer. She was definitely related to the Imperatrix, much of the facial features bore striking similarity. [i]I wonder which of the sisters...[/i] he thought. Before he could finish the thought though she spoke.

[i]"Whatever that was, it's in you now... Never seen a rich girl wearing guard clothes before?"[/i]

Rhee nodded beginning to speak in a fast pace, "You know you're going to think I'm an ass with you dragging me here, but as we moved, I felt it start to move inside me. It feels like its healing me, I mean... I still feel the pain, but its just not important... I thank you for getting me out.. I assume Princess?

I'm sorry, but it just seems odd to see you here. This city, this country, has been a no man's land for the VIP except those specifically assigned here, for what they generally claim is punishment. What are you doing in a place like this? ... and what was that stuff Hector said something about thralls..."

He rubbed the back of his hand with his head, "Forgive me your highness... I should give you a chance to respond to a question, I'm just feeling so [i]anxious.[/i]" he explained tightening his palms into fists.

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"Shhhh." Angelika smiled as she laid her hands against his fists. "You've been through a lot, it's normal that you're anxious. But you have to relax for me, you have to be quiet or they might find us, even here." She pushed up some pillows on the couch and helped Rhee lay down to rest as she plopped herself nicely against the floor. "I'm going to stay here and keep guard for the night, while you build up your strength again so we can move."

At the doorway, a few meters away from where Rhee slept, the Princess kept an eye out on the road. Though her ears perked up every few minutes, as after Rhee had settled into the bed, she could hear the sounds of relentless rustling. An anxious whimpering, growing louder and louder. Finally her eyes were mainly turned towards him, holding her gun nervously, staring cautiously. Perhaps she had come too late?

"Hey, you okay?" She asked, meekly from the dark.

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"Yeah... I'll try." Rhee said. He felt himself swelling with adrenaline, and then it suddenly going away, like waves from the ocean coming back and forth upon sure. "Maybe... I should just lie down." he said.

Rhee leaned back onto the pillows passing out almost instantly, expecting to sleep the night, but rather after only about ten minutes he shot awake, his mind felt like it was... [b]bam[/b] it was there. Then it shut back down.

Rhee felt himself sweat through his clothes as he tossed and turned, he never felt more tired in his life but at the same time, he kept having flashes of being more alive than ever. Bright neon blue eyes seemed to be staring back at him every time he started to fall back asleep.

[i]"Hey, you okay?" She asked, meekly from the dark.[/i]

Rhee's eyes turned, they emitted a slight glow, even in the darkness and he could see her near perfectly, "I think so. I don't know..." he said. "Its like, my body's on fire but I want more... damnit this must be the new drug... but normally it would wear off by now, and wouldn't take this long to go into effect either... this must be a different strand..." he said excited. Pushing against the side of the couch there was a snap as the arm wrest fell to the floor.

"... that count as my strength back?" he asked

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Angelika stared at him oddly, more so when his eyes lit up with blue undertones and she jumped back slightly when the arm rest snapped off from his pushing. "I've never seen anything like this." She pushed herself off the ground and began to cautiously make her way over towards where Rhee stood. "So you feel better then? Much better it seems." The Princess smiled, "Well maybe it's a blessing, maybe with just the first injection they were talking about, there are no negative aspects."

She turned back around happily and shouldered her rifle. "If your strength's back, we should get going. It'd be better to reach the safe house by the dawn. Instead of walking around here in the middle of the day, we'll be sitting ducks." She took a step forward, but the echo didn't follow. Instead all she could hear was the sound of quickening breathing and intense and painful groans, so quiet she could barely hear it. Angelika turned around slowly, "Rhee?"

There he stood, his eyes closed, sweat beading on his face and rolling down his neck. Slowly the groans began to get louder as his hands contorted into fists, shaking wildly and the frantic movements continued up his entire body, until Rhee seemed locked into a strange dance, trying to spend his energy before it exploded out of his body. "Rhee?" Then his body stopped as if by command of her voice, he raised his head at her, his eyes almost solid blue from the serum. Suddenly, Rhee let out a growl as his body tightened and Angelika could see his arms, legs, and chest pulsing as his muscularity itself began to expand, small tears in the fabric beginning to appear.

"My...God..." Angelika's eyes widened as she fell back in amazement and fear, not sure what she saw happening in front of her.

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Rhee only had moments of lucidness in which he started to realize what was happening, "Aaggghh... run, the drug its starting too... ru...." he voice faded being replaced with growls.

Rhee's skin turned grey in pigmentation and his eyes began to glow like firey sapphire jewels as he felt adrenaline come over his body. He felt as if his mind had walls rise up around him and he was encased, merely content to look on as the basic parts of his brain took control. There was a blind rage, a lust for violence that he could feel come over his body. His conscious-self was now a prisoner, watching in horror as a wild predator now was running the show.

Rhee's eyes meant Angelika as he reached down tossing the table next to him like it weighed as much as a frisby. He then let out a deafening roar that could be heard all around the neighborhood as he charged towards her grabbing a broken wooden board from the coach's arm rest and swinging it like a club at her..

Hearing the noise, the scientist on the ship smirked in his room... he knew it would be only a matter of time now before Bridgette found out the prisoner had escaped. But no matter she wouldn't have the first test subject... too much of a scene would erupt for her to act now.

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"Dammit all." Angelika turned on her heels as she began to run towards the door of the house. As she reached it, the table that Rhee threw burst into pieces near the wall. The debris hit her in the chest and the girl fell back for a moment. She shook the confusion out of her head and turned to see the beast running towards her swinging a club. Not wanting to kill him, Angelika threw up the butt of her gun as it clashed against the club. The piece of wood flew out of his hand, but her gun was dented and unusable now and even without his tool, he reached down with his hands trying to choke the life out of her fragile body.

With a lucky duck of her head, the princess slid from the reach of his hand and pushed open the door as she jumped down onto the dark streets of the city slums. Moments later, Rhee burst through the door, bits of wood flying into the sky from his extreme strength and endurance. Angelika couldn't help but watch in awe, if this could be controlled, not having people descend into uncontrollable rage, the militaries of the world would fight battles completely different. It truly would be a battle of the titans.

Angelika had no real way to defend herself at this point, so she began to sprint as fast as she could down the dark streets. She hoped that maybe she would be able to lose him between dark alleyways. But the princess knew, if he became too dangerous, she would have to take him down herself. No one else knew she was here, he would become a casualty and she really didn't want that to happen.

"C'mon Rhee, don't do this, you have to fight through this. Control it." But her plea didn't work and she took off running away from the rampaging beast as they moved through the slums towards the inner city.

----

Meanwhile, Bridgette jumped up from her bed on the ship as she heard the skies of the city rip apart with a great roar from far away. She blinked for a moment, trying to think of what she had heard, then the sound happened again. "No, it can't be, he was guarded." She scowled and threw on her coat as she jumped from the bed and ran through the ship towards the cargo hold. Opening the doors, she clenched her fists in anger and let out a livid scream. Then slamming the doors, made her way to the associate doctor on board the ship, who Ming had assigned as her advisor.

The door to his quarters burst open as Bridgette held a gun in her hand and pointed it at the doctor's face. "Where the $%&@ is he? Those were your guards, this is my science that is now running the streets of this pathetic city." She cocked the gun. "Where. The. $%&@. Is. He."

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Rhee charged forward, his arms moved to the ground, he soon was on all fours moving more like a great ape than a man, his body had added agility and a new sense of smell. Rhee's mind was still encased, he felt like he was having an outer body experience.

Rhee quickly climbed on top of a building tracking Angelika as she moved through the streets. As she turned into an alley in one of the slums, he jumped to the next building. Picking up an air conditioner on the top of the building, ripping the bolts right out of the roof he tossed it down below in front of her, blocking her escape. He then leaped up into the air, his silhouette contrasting against the moon as he then descended behind her.

He felt rage beginning to build, [i]NO![/i] he thought as he felt his muscles contract as his fist cocked back ready to land a punch on the woman who had just saved his life.

[i]"C'mon Rhee, don't do this, you have to fight through this. Control it." But her plea didn't work and she took off running away from the rampaging beast as they moved through the slums towards the inner city.[/i]

Rhee felt the walls of his mind start to recede as the punch began to be thrown. He felt as though he was scrambling forward to take control of his own body. It then went off to the side, rushing past Angelika's fact.

His body began to shrink back to its original side as his senses one by one began to return to him. "Angelika... I'm... sorry." he said. His body was suddenly overcome with a tiredness unlike anything he had experienced before and he fell forward, breathing but completely unconscious.

The sound of military police vehicles could be heard rapidly approaching, as the incident had not gone without notice. Soon the area would be surrounded by soldiers of the People's Liberation Army. Locals would guide them to the point where Angelika and Rhee were.

The men would quickly surround both Angelika and the unconscious Rhee with rifles raised. Then parted ways as a man moved between them. "You would do well men to lower your weapons..." a voice said that would be suddenly familiar to Angelika. "We have ourselves a member of the Imperial Family here... Miss Angelika Von Hapsburg." even in the dimness of the slums the ghost like white of his teeth shown through.

His albino red eyes met Angelika's as he grinned, "It has been a while Princess, it is good to see you again... and I believe you've recovered my missing inspector. The Deputy Imperator has been worried for his safety." Ming said in his snake like voice.

=============


Aboard the ship the scientist merely smiled, "Calm yourself Chancellor." he said. "Mercenaries... they are so unreliable." the scientist said placing his hand over the barrel of the gun lowering it. "Is that not why you need the technology?" he asked.

"If you want this technology, you need me... these are facts. So do not pretend to be willing to pull the trigger or burn a bridge before you are ready to do so." he said sternly. Then turning around he looked out at the city.

"Besides, my master is now firmly in control of the actions of the Deputy Imperator... the man is on the verge of being a drunk I hear. We are in no danger... unless you cause something. Afterall, there is a city full of guinea pigs before us, and new refugees coming in by the day. Who is going to notice a few missing?" the scientist said as a sinister grin formed on his face.

Edited by Triyun
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"Almost there," Viktor said, tapping the man in front of him on the soles of the shoes, pushing him forward.

"I've been at it for over a month," Dmitri said, burrowing a large tunnel using a spork that he had been given with his last meal.

"You went down too far," Mikhail said, "we need to go up now."

Viktor Reznov, Dmitri Petrenko, and Mikhail Kamen were the three forgotten soldiers from [i]Operation Army-of-One[/i] (which was originally called [i]Operation Army-of-Four[/i]). Leading the first assault into Korea, days ahead of the more successful Maksim Trumpledor, they were captured by Korean soldiers and held as POWs for the entirety of the conflict. Every day, the men were interrogated about the position, strength, and tactics of the main Marscurian force. However, the Koreans were some of the worst torturers in the world (chocolate cake is not a torture method).

Since the defeat of Korea, the men were left virtually alone in their cell, and with the disappearance of the guards, the sporking began. Now, they were almost free. With a final push, Dmitri broke through the surface over a mile away from the cell they were kept in.

"Dmitri Petrenko," Viktor yelled, "as long as he lives, the heart of this army cannot be broken! He makes us all proud!"

"Wow," Dmitri said, "I really wish you would stop saying that. It puts way too much pressure on me!"

Free from their "captivity," the three began heading North, trying to leave the ruins of Korea.

Edited by KaiserMelech Mikhail
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After a short drive, two police cars stopped in the area someone had reported the fight had taken place in. The three officers stepped out, and after looking around to see if anyone was in the area, started moving, a little spread out to check the streets for clues. After a while, the oldest of the three turned to Jinho.

"So what do you think it was?"

- "Eh, probably a couple of drunks, or some of those idiots that watched [i]Fight Club[/i] too often. Doubt it was a mugging, this area's too out of the way for people to just randomly wander into."

"Well, looks like my lessons weren't wasted on you after all... Hey Chol, you find anything yet?"

Chol looked up from where he had been pushing away some weeds and overgrowth, wiping some dirt off his gloves as he shook his head.

"Nothing so far, sir."

"Same here. Two rounds and we go back for coffee."

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Bridgette put the pistol at her side as she stared angrily at the scientist looking up at her. "Do not tell me how much I need you, those formulas aren't impossible to master and I suggest you keep them under lock and key from me because if I so much as get those papers. I will kill you where you stand." She took a long sigh and turned from him pausing at the doorway before continuing her talk. "Your Master may be in control of this situation, but he cannot control everything." The woman gestured out beyond the ship where Rhee's scream had come from. "You can't control something like that, something of sheer power running through muscles and sinews. Ming will learn that, just pray I'm not the one to teach him."

She walked back towards the Cargo-hold where Rhee was kept and found Y examining the various tools and the restraints that held him in place. When her shoes clicked on the metal, he turned and frowned. "We can't trust Ming's mercenaries anymore. He's playing with us, using our science for his little games. We should get out of Asia, Bridgette, we're not welcomed here."

The blonde shook her head. "We're welcomed everywhere, Y, we just haven't made our move yet and I swear if I get the chance to put my hands around that little man upstairs I-" She stopped and looked at the small metal drawers on the side of the cargo-hold from which a light shade of blue was shining. Bridgette reached down and tore open the drawer and looked at the fresh vials of the serum in front of her. All the phases and multiple injections, Ming's Rat must not have come back down after Rhee had escaped to clean them up. "Looks like we hit the jackpot, Y."

He walked over and smiled holding her hand. "What are we going to do with them though? Ming has this place under lock and key."

"Get out of here, of course." She took two of the vials and placed them into her coat pocket. "I'm going to go find a guinea pig, I need some muscle on our side. The other, well that will be in case I run into danger. You take the rest and find some place where you can pick apart the chemical composition. Then we can remake the serum without Ming's help."

"Of course, Bridgette." He kissed her on the check. "Do stay safe though."

"You have my word."

---

An hour later, Bridgette found herself walking the streets of the slums. There were police sirens far off, probably where Rhee had finally succumbed to the energy of the serum. But she kept far away, there was no sense to risk being discovered by Ming or any of Jia's lackeys. Then as she was walking, the blonde woman heard voices nearby.

[i]"Eh, probably a couple of drunks, or some of those idiots that watched Fight Club too often. Doubt it was a mugging, this area's too out of the way for people to just randomly wander into."[/i]

Bridgette smiled and stepped out as the two detectives began to walk away. "Actually, forgive me for bothering you both, but I know exactly what caused that little commotion and would be willing to help both of you find the monster, and I assure you, it is a monster and take him into custody. I have the tools you need and the boost required. No cost either, because I'm looking for the brute as well." She fingered the two vials in her jacket with ecstasy. "Care to indulge me?"

---

[i]"It has been a while Princess, it is good to see you again... and I believe you've recovered my missing inspector. The Deputy Imperator has been worried for his safety." [/i]

"Indeed, Ming, can't say I haven't looked forward to this meeting." Angelika said as she put a bit more distance between herself, Rhee, and Ming. "But he's all yours. Hopefully you can take care of him better than your little rebels did. That said, take care, until our next meeting."

She said turning on her heels and walking calmly back towards an alleyway. Once they left however, she would begin following Ming and his entourage again to see just what was happening and what his intentions were with Rhee.

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The head of the Dragon Cult in Korea, Kang Lung, had shaken his head at how far the cult had fallen. Now they were worshiping false prophets! "You cannot worship Sumeragizilla! She is not the true one! You will follow the true ways or you shall follow no one!" He told his students. As he walked into a back room he muttered to himself, "Crazy !@#$%^&*". He found one of the last remaining dragon pendants meant to secure his master's legacy.

"Maelstrom, I have failed you. I have nothing else to give truly but myself in order to contain this madness." He spoke to the amulet. "I give my body to you that you might rise again." He tapped a mechanism on the amulet which caused the dragon to bite his finger. He would pass out.. and would not until weeks later in a cult run medical ward as the MV2009 strain virus rushed to alter his systems and sent him into fever, sweats, convulsions, to the very brink of death as it remade him. They would have their idol back again at least in physical manifestation. Kang still had no idea what he'd gotten himself into yet.

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Ming looked at Angelika and smiled, "Do take care of yourself Princess. We aren't in China anymore, even the Imperator's vision is somewhat more blurry in these parts."

His eyes turned to Rhee, a smiled could almost be seen forming on his face. He motioned for the soldiers to place him into the transport. He turned away looking one more time back at Angelika and grinned.

He then boarded the APC and tapped on top of the vehicle several times, indicating for the driver to move away.

Ming stared down at the body of Rhee, [i]It seems I was correct in assuming this one could handle it.[/i] he thought to himself. [i]To be able to initiate the transformation so fast. That is truly impressive indeed.[/i]

Angelika's movements went un-noticed through most of the city, but surprisingly the convoy rather than heading back to the central government facility made a turn, heading out of the city onto the desolate war ravaged land scape, and towards the ruins of Seoul. There it would head towards a guarded compound, built around a hospital in a now abandoned region. One which did not fly the flag of the provisional authority, but was clearly well guarded and well financed.

Its walls were solid concrete, and layers of chain link fence surrounded them. A direct infiltration would be near impossible.

Rhee once inside was brought into a room and placed onto a bed. Soon a drug was placed into him. His eyes slowly opened. Rhee awoke, jumping almost out of bed.

He saw Ming looking at him, "You're awake." he said.

Rhee's eyes narrowed, this was the last person he wanted to see. "Where is Angelika, and where am I?" he asked.

Ming smirked, "It appears you managed to keep yourself from killing the girl, something impressive given the animalistic form you assumed. As for where are you, you are in a hospital." Ming said.

"Ok, lets get going then, I feel fine, I need to report in." Rhee said.

"Not quite yet." Ming replied. His red eyes conveyed an irritating level of arrogance.

"Why the hell not?" Rhee demanded, irritated, he felt his rage beginning to return.

"Because you just destroyed several city blocks and almost killed a member of the Imperial Family, I cannot allow you before the deputy imperator. We need to run some tests on your first." he said.

Rhee was mad, but he knew the logic made sense, still he couldn't help but feel in his gut Ming set it up so the logic would make sense.

"Alright." he said relenting.

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[b]John (grandfather of Jesse of Delta Squad and father of Paul Rousseau, Duke of Andorra) had come to Hell's city in search of information, but instead he becomes involved in much more than he bargained for.

Cafe in the city of Incheon.

John: [/b]The last time we met Lee you almost got us killed. This is your chance to make up for what has happened.

[b]Lee: [/b]You want to know details on what Vlad is planning. It is simple because he plans on taking over the world. How he plans on doing it is where things get a little complicated. As you know he has many "sons" who do his bidding for him. What they have been doing for the past few centuries is creating an army of vampires. One that he hopes will outnumber the human armies of the world.

[b]John: [/b]Impossible. There are over a billion human soldiers he would have to go against. There is no way he can get enough to do any real damage.

[b]Lee: [/b]That is where things get interesting. They have ways of creating more vampires without having to bite people. Cloning!

[b]John: [/b]Its not possible. There is no way they could have the technology capable of creating whole armies, unless someone was giving him the technology and funds. But who?

[b]Lee: [/b]That is what I do not know. It has to be someone very powerful though. Someone with access to that kind of technology.

[b]John: [/b]There are thousands that potentially have that access. How am I supposed to find the one I am looking for?

[b]Lee: [/b]I will see what I can do but in the meantime there may be something you can do here. You have heard about the underground Dragon cult have you not?

[b]John: [/b]From what I heard they are just some group of people that worship some Dragon deity. I don't know much else about them.

[b]Lee: [/b]Some say that their leader known as Kang Lung has found a way to turn into a Dragon using some type of new virus or chemical.

[b]John: [/b]Have you heard about what happens to people who make my grandson angry?

[b]Lee: [/b]He usually ends up killing them.

[b][John pulls out a pistol]: [/b]I may be much older but I am not much different.

[b]Lee: [/b]I swear. Their leader has found an amulet that contains a chemical that if injected into a human will turn him/her into a Dragon. Here is a picture of it.

[b]John [looks at the picture of the amulet]: [/b]Oh crap they found it.

[b]Lee: [/b]What is it?

[b]John: [/b]The amulet of Maelstrom. These amulets were created long ago. The virus was created long ago to cure a world leader of his cancer but turned him into a monster. Who knows how many were built but each amulet supposedly has the ability to turn the person who wore it into a Dragon. If their leader has one of these amulets there will be very little that can stop him from taking over.

Edited by jesbro
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Kang woke up some week later to his revised form. He was still under intensive care and physical rehabilitation as his body underwent final adjustments. Already the cultists who were caring for him were treating him like the reincarnation of their long last Emperor. It was different this time though. The Virus had mutated. The scales had darken to a jet black shade and had taken a more leathery texture. His jaws were far more pronounced. than previous strains. It would not be long before Lung would reintroduce himself to his cult. With their Emperors 3rd incarnation through him.. it would start a wildfire of enthusiasm through the faith.

While he looked like a dragon cosmetically, the truth is he was a very highly modified homo sapiens. He was the future. That was part of what kept the cultists so enamored. It wasn't merely the deification of their old emperor as much as it was what their leaders represented, the future of humanity. The customization of the self. They all wanted that opportunity. Those who thought he seriously was a dragon were the true cult fanatics.. truly deranged individuals who could be called upon to do.. just about anything they needed.

The amulets were mass produced.. to a degree. Most cultists had one, but only a very select few had the virus within them.. and it was only given to a very select few number of individuals. Maelstrom, had been a madman. He thought he could perpetuate his lineage down through all time with a simple solution, making himself a virus. Ensuring that the Dragon Empire and Cult always had an icon at its head. The cult was merely a vehicle, a mechanism of perpetuating his ideals about the nature of this reality.

Long after the late Emperor had passed, the engines of that mechanism continued to turn and Kang was the unwitting central axis of the drive train for that vehicle. Forever bound to a faith that was.. part truth, part tool.

Kang said, "It is truly a blessing that the dreamer has given me his vessel as a means of returning guidance to the lost. Now we shall rise once more."

ooc: This was mostly back filler to give Jesse somewhat of an idea of what he's talking about, lol.

Edited by Maelstrom Vortex
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[b]John [to himself]: [/b]Go to the bar and talk to the bartender. Shouldn't be too hard. If this doesn't work I am so gonna kill Lee after this.

[b]John walks into the bar and sits down.

John [to bartender]: [/b]If I was looking for the Dragon Cult for some unknown reason who would be able to point me in the right direction?

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The Bartender looked at John like he were nuts. "The people you're looking for really don't want to be found. You think they're going to trust some foreigner like you? You have better chance of winning lottery than finding them and you obviously have no clue where to start. You best back out of it before you end up with your knife in back in some alley somewhere."

A few folks in the bar looked long and hard at John.. then went back to their drinks.

Edited by Maelstrom Vortex
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