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Into the Black

Serris · 1584 · 52209

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Marita Marie and Rose passed through the screening rooms and were handed back their belongings. this place sure puts my apartment to shame" Marie whistled at the ornate surroundings.. ' you sure live in the lap of luxury tony she said to him. ' i'm marie. i'm sorry if I didnt properly introduce myself until now. I'm Marie, This is Rose and Marita. we're with the larger group here..' she explaining.
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"Thanks, I'd really appreciate it." Axel said, looking up at the large iguana. "I kind of feel like I'm ruining the atmosphere of such a..." He tried to think of a complement that didn't sound cheesy. "...Such a snazzy house." Snazzy. Nice going. He winced when he heard Anne swear.

"Dinner sounds great!" he nodded, turning gratefully to Tony. "I'm starving... Erm, your dad won't mind having to suddenly feed all of us?"



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"Oh it's no problem." Tony said now. At least... he hoped it wouldn't be. He shrugged at Marie's compliment. "I guess I'm just used to it, but thanks." he said humbly. "Oh... that's quite all right by the way; it's nice to meet you all." he nodded at the three of them.

A beep on Max's cellphone caused him to glance down at it. "Aha! Dinner will be served at 8 o'clock." he announced. "That gives you an hour. Tony, your father would like to see you. And... you needed a shirt, yes?" Max asked Axel. "What's your size?" he inquired.

"Uh... I hate to ask this but... I was hoping at least one of you could see my father too before dinner... to... you know... regale him with tales of how you 'rescued' me." Tony stated, trying not to sound too obvious. "Because now we owe you quite a lot for that so yeah... just a confirmation would be nice." he suggested.

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Lily gratefully followed the iguana to the nearest bathroom. Smiling shyly, she shut the door and gasped when she turned around and saw what amounted to a small pool covered head to toe with water jets, adjustable currents, and peculiar colored nozzles.

Curiously she hit one and fragranted fluid dispensed into her hand.

These are shampoos and body washes, she thought with amazement. He's got spigots for different flavors of shampoo and body wash!

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

Sanjay's attack distracted the other guard for split second, long enough for Emilena to leap forward and stab him through the forehead with the syringe. This did not do good things for him.

Heh, because they're purifiers you don't need to worry about subdermal armor, she thought wistfully as the guard began screaming and jolting uncontrollably. Reliving him of his rifle, she mercy-killed both of them and double-timed down the hallway. "I'll lead, you navigate."



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Tony nodded at Kojuuro. "Very well. I can find my own way up there, thanks Max." Tony said, waving off the consigliere. The ferret led the way up to his father's study, climbing a set of stairs and moving down several hallways until he was standing outside the heavy paneled door. "Well... let's do this." he said, trying to gather himself up before he inhaled deeply, then strode into his father's office.

Cigar smoke curled around an older ferret who sat at the desk at the far end. He was puffing away on a long stogie, and was squinting across the room in his typical fashion. "Come in." Don Stracci said quietly, motioning with his paw for his son to step forward.

Tony hadn't breathed yet, and began moving forward. "Hello... pops." Tony finally said, letting his breath out in too loud a fashion.

Blowing out a wreath of blue smoke, his father narrowed his eyes, the cigar hovering around his mouth before the don tapped it into an ashtray. "If you EVER... leave me again..." Don Stracci said, fixing one eye on his son as he narrowed the other one to practically closed.

"Pops I'm..."

"Shut up!" the don snapped, rising to standing behind his desk now. He wasn't a tall ferret, but he was taller and more well-built than his son, who was much thinner by comparison. "Don't you EVER leave the family again, you hear me? Your mother was worried half to death... how could you do that to her?" he demanded.

"I'm sorry..." Tony said, hanging his head and closing his eyes. "I messed up dad... I know... I haven't done a lot of things right lately... but I came back... I came back because I love you... I love mom... I'm sorry dad... forgive me... please."

His father remained stone-faced, still squinting at him. "You better explain yourself."

"I will..." Tony nodded. "I... was stupid... I was immature... I wanted more... I was impatient... I fell in with a bad crew... dad I just... look, some guys helped me out. They got me out of there... brought me back... I'm sorry OK? Please... I just want to be your son again. I'll do anything... please." Tony clasped his paws together.

His father eyed him darkly, then looked at Kojuuro. "This boy telling the truth?" he asked, nodding at Tony. "That how it was? You got him out?"

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As Tony and Kojuuro walked off, Axel looked at Max. "I'm a medium... Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it." He was led down another corridor to a large dressing room containing a huge variety of clothing. There was a row of shirts hung up on coat hangers along one side of the wall, and he made his way over, shifting his way through gently until he found a light blue shirt with medium on the tag. "I won't get too many food stains on it, I promise."

When Axel peeled off his T-Shirt, he winced at the sight of the ugly bruises and scrapes dotted around his body. In all the excitement, it was easy to forget he'd been thrown around a fair bit in the past few days. Unhooking the shirt, he slipped it on and buttoned it up. Clearly, even though it was a medium, it was fitted for someone more heavyset than him - it was a little ill-fitting and hung slightly loose on his lankier frame. At least I don't look like I've been dragged through mud anymore.

He rolled up the sleeves then swiveled back to Max. "I feel like one of the Family! Sorry. Erm..." Holding his balled up T-Shirt in his hand, he looked around for somewhere to put it. Finally, he stuffed it down one of his jeans' pockets, the top of it poking out and flapping down. "Alright, I'm good. Thanks again."  Max took him back to the lobby where the others were waiting.

"Kojuuro's still talking to Tony's dad?" he asked Marie. "Better him than me..." He looked at Anne. "This place is huge! The changing room's bigger than my whole apartment!"


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Don Stracci narrowed his eyes now at this, and took a long series of puffs from his cigar before he blew out a great pall of smoke and sighed. "Hm... yes... good to see you again. You've done us a service... I'll repay in kind." he said, nodding at Kojuuro. "Very well..." he started moving from his desk now and towards Tony.

The younger ferret gulped, but didn't move, trembling a little as his father reached out, but instead of smacking him sharply across his face, Stracci Sr. placed a paw on his shoulder. It was firm, but not painful. "It's good to have you back." were the words now, and Tony stopped cringing, relaxing a bit as a small smile played over his features. "Say hello to your mother before you eat."

"Yes... thanks pops!" Tony said, brightening up considerably now. He then proceed to hug his dad, which caused the older ferret to straighten up and initially do nothing, caught off guard by his son's display of affection. Though Tony couldn't see it, the slightest wisp of a smile passed over his father's face before he clapped him once on the back.

"Yeah... now go. She's waiting." his father ordered.

"Right." Tony nodded, and looked at Kojuuro. "Thanks for the assistance. I'll be down in a bit after I see my mother." he informed him.

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Gittsun blearily opened his eyes. He groaned and raised himself up into a sitting position, taking in his surroundings. He was sat in the back of a car... how did he get here? Oh right... The girls went to help their friend... His foot clunked against something and he looked down. It was a whiskey bottle. Right... On the way to... wherever they were meeting Marita's friend, he been taking some generous gulps of it, and after a while he'd felt like taking a nap in the back. But... where was he now?

Looking through the car windows, he could see he was in some kind of lot. A little way away, in the distance, there was a large mansion. Since the girls weren't here, he could only assume they were over there - though thinking right now was a little hard... Rubbing his temples and letting out another groan, he opened the car door and dragged himself out. Letting it close behind him, he leaned against the body of the car and looked around him.

There wasn't anyone around... No, there's someone! A few meters away, a man in a suit leaned against a fence, facing the opposite direction. He was listening to some kind of MP3 players, his head bopping up and down slightly - Gittsun could make out a pair of earphones sticking out of his ears. Maybe he knows if the girls are at the house... or if there's anything else to drink, heh.

"Hey mister!" he called out. There was no response. Apparently the man's music was too loud. "A little help here?" Still nothing. Damn it. Still limping on his leg, Gittsun stumbled over, his shoes kicking up little clouds of dirt from the floor. He reached the man leaning on the fence. "Hello?" Gittsun clapped a hand on his shoulder.


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((Done with permission of Bushwacked))

The guard whirled around, his heart almost jumping out of his chest as his silenced pistol whipped out, and fired off three rounds. They connected with Gittsun's chest, throat, and head, splaying blood about onto the fence and causing the human to stagger back and to the side. Unfortunately, he was staggering right towards the cliff face, and though the horrified guard tried to reach out and grab him, he only grasped thin air as Gittsun tumbled over the side and plummeted hundreds of feet into the black void of the rocky canyons below...

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(The Heights)

Anne whistled. "Yeah, I could use a meal but let's wait until everyone's present first."

She sat down in an opulent seal-skin chair. "Wow, sealskin. That must a cost quite a few creds."

She rubbed a finger along her horn inplant. There was a small gouge at the base where some punks had tried to cut off her horn. Unfortunately for them, the horn also made a rather effective stabbing weapon and the Shetland's metal shod hooves did a major number on the thieves' bodies.

-----------

Soren's suit had charged up and he had stripped it off. The guards had told him ó in no uncertain terms ó that his weapons, HMD and exoskeleton could not be bought into the Stracci Compoun. On the flipside, they assured that his equipment would be left untouched

He was escorted to the screening room. A few minutes later, he was in the lobby with Max, Axel and Anne.

The Human looked around the elegant room with its white and black marble floors, crystal chandalier and subdued yet tasteful Italian Renassiance decor.

He took a seat in another sealskin upholstered chair as he waited for whatever business

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

(Purifier Compound)

Sanjay had his pistol out as he navigated through the dimly lit stainless steel and concrete hallways of the complex. Luckily, his cybernetic third eye could see quite well with the low light available.

Unfortunately for the Indian Cobra, his hearing wasn't as good as that of a Vulpine ó or for that matter, a Human.

----------

Aaron slammed back a bottle of beer. The breakroom was a rowdy environment with guards of all species drinking, cursing and generally having a good time.

"You see that cunt in Cell 43-B?" one of the guards ó a big Clydesdale stallion with a skull and crossbones freeze brand on his right bicep.

Aaron pounded back the rest of his beer. "You mean the Vulpine?"

Another guard, a scarred up Human, nodded. "The one who practically came all over you and Marcus during the torture session!"

Aaron's eye twitched as he clenched his beer bottle. "Anyways," he said, his flattened ears betraying his true emotional state. "What do we do next!"

"Get the Fox and Sanjay some more butt-buddies!" a Collie exclaimed. Like the other's she was either scarred up or had a freeze brand. In her case, it was half of her right year ó it had been bitten off by a Macaw in a street fight.

(OOC - Going to assume it's late at night ó ~12 AM)

(OOC - sea animals and songbirds are non-anthro and non-sapient)

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Marcus sat hunched over in the corner of the breakroom, his hands balled into fists and laying on the surface of the table he occupied. Though the room was full, the others tended to avoid Marcus, which was fine by him - he had no interest in joining in with their inane, drunken conversations.

A scowl creased his face as he wondered why Echo and Bhat were still alive. Normally, a prisoner's reward for reaching the end of their interrogation was a bullet to the back of the head. What was so special about these two? Leaving loose ends made Marcus uncomfortable.

All he'd been told was to ensure that Emilena wasn't injured too badly in the course of her questioning. Marcus clenched his fists. He'd seen that Wolf walking around the compound... though they'd had dealings with him in the past, Marcus knew he couldn't be trusted. He's involved in this somehow...



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Tony rejoined the group a few moments later, having been warmly greeted by his doting mother. The family matriarch had been overjoyed at seeing him, and had practically drowned him in worrying affection. The ferret had finally managed to excuse himself under the pretense of needing to get ready for dinner, and after about 15 minutes, was back with the main group.

He noticed Soren had joined the group, and greeted the human as he sat down. "Glad you could join us, Soren! We'll be eating together in about half an hour, so I hope you're hungry." the ferret said. He noted that everyone now seemed to be present, and he didn't notice Gittsun's absence, namely because he hadn't met Gittsun before, so wasn't even aware he was missing. He noted Lily was still away as well, but that wasn't surprising if she had wanted to freshen up.

"I see you changed." Tony nodded at Axel. "Bloody shirt not snazzy enough for dinner?" he inquired, comically using Axel's previous term here.

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Axel groaned. "I was really hoping nobody heard that. Yeah, I figured my dinner conversation's going to be enough to make people lose their appetite, don't need to add my T-Shirt into the mix." He grinned and took a spare seat next to Soren. "I can't remember the last time I ate something that wasn't from the microwave."

He looked between Tony and Kojuuro. "So, Koj said the meeting went well?"


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Lily was completely ensconced in the bath. The jets were playing water across every curve of her exhausted body, and the mingling of every available shampoo and bubble bath had formed an aromatic perfume around her little haven. Even stretching her body out as far as she could, she couldn't even brush the porcelain edges of the jacuzzi tub.

It was the single most relaxing thing she had experienced since waking up in the forest. Drifting off into a deep content sleep, she didn't even notice that she was completely submerged and breathing underwater.

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

Emilena ushered Sanjay into a closet as several unknown individuals walked through their hallway. "We aren't going to get this lucky forever," she muttered. "Someone's gonna see us or sound an alarm eventually..."

She creaked the door open a peek, and the unoiled hinge gave a protesting shriek. One of the Purifiers, who had silently stopped to check a text, jumped and looked around. Emilena snapped forward and smashed the pistol into his skull. This only resulted in him screaming uncontrollably. Cursing, Emilena finished him off with a series of shots to the face and chest.

"Goddamit, why can't some people die quietly?" she swore. Casting her eyes around the room, she doubled her pace.

Once she was gone, the mutilated young man crawled slowly down the hallway, leaving a thick trail of blood. Reaching an emergency phone, he dialed security but passed out before it finished ringing.


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A series of faint, muted pops from down the corridor drew Marcus' attention. His ears flattened as he turned his head slowly towards the open doorway next to him. Gunshots? Possibly... but the gun range was in the opposite direction - and from the dull, echoing quality to the noise, it sounded like it was being carried a long way down the maze-like corridors. Marcus' stomach knotted. The cells are in that direction...

Nobody else in the breakroom had made any sort of reaction, deaf to all but the laughs and shouts of their conversations. He rose and made his way out through the doorway, proceeding cautiously down the hallway. The clump of his footsteps soon replaced the echo of voices as he turned and followed the branch-off that led to the cells.


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(The Heights)

"I am indeed, Tony," Soren said as he took a seat. He then involuntarily shuddered as he recalled the fight with the Purifiers. What if they had managed to stick a tracer on his stolen truck or on one of them?

Anne then turned to Soren. "Hey, Soren. Mind looking at my horn? I'm having trouble transmitting signals."

Soren nodded as he looked at the Shetland's horn implant. He noticed a rather deep nickóone that could be caused by an angle grinder or some other cutting instrument. "I don't have the right tools and equipment but it looks like someone tried cutting off your horn.

"No shit," Anne growled.

Soren looked at the nick closer. After a few minutes, he nodded his head. "It looks like the transmitting cable got severed. I can fix it so you can send signals but without the right tools and materials, the signals will be kind of staticky."

"Whatever, just fix it and get rid of that nick!"

Soren nodded. "Axel, Anne's horn implant needs a bit of repair. Mind giving me a hand?"

-------

(Purifier Compound)

Aaron's ears suddenly shot upright as a distinct odor wafted past his nose. Blood. Coupled with the gunshots he had heard opposite the shooting rangeóand the screamingóthat meant only one thingóprison break.

He gave a loud and deep bark that silenced everyone in the room. "We have a prisoner loose."

That did it! All the guards practically stumbled over each other as they made their way to the armory.

"Marcus," he radioed. "I'm coming with the rest of the guards!"

He then tucked the radio into his belt as he followed the others to the armory.

----------

Sanjay's heart thudded in his chest as he looked around the closet. "We need to create a distraction that should occupy the Purifiers or cause panic. Once we do that, we can hopefully get to an exit and swipe a vehicle."

He then noticed the air intake above him. "Speaking of which, I have an idea! Got one of those autocig?"

(OOC - an autocig <slang terms: burner, hot stick, poke 'n smokes, pull-starts> is a self-lighting cigarette. Cheap ones ignite via an incendiary chemical reaction. More expensive ones ignite via an electrically heated wire.)

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