Official RPG Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Let's Read Let's build a city fit for all codexers - The Wagie Cage

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by GrafvonMoltke, Sep 6, 2021.

  1. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    Chapter Three - The Battle of Beanertown

    Part One - The Priest and the Pauper

    Show Spoiler


    Sunday, 21st of September, 2042. St. Proverbius Church, between Globohomo Central and the dilapidated shacks and shanties known as Beanertown.

    [​IMG]

    In the tropical heat of New Codexia, a modestly-sized church sits nestled between pretty suburban houses and a small shopping precinct. Its spires and steeples point triumphantly outward into the sky, as if to reach up to God himself in his heavenly realm. It's the Lord's day, almost lunchtime. As life buzzes around the church, the people coming and going, a congregation gathered within its walls hums its own tune.

    The church is alive with the sounds of holy scripture: a fiery sermon delivered by the Padre himself. The people packed in amongst the cramped pews listen attentively, hanging on the preacher's every word.

    [​IMG] Father Pedro, the conveniently un-avatared priest:
    God? What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us. Just a stranger on the bus. Tryin' to make his way home?

    The crowd murmurs its approval. At the back of the room, a cloaked woman starts chanting, swaying back and forth.

    [​IMG] Father Pedro, the conveniently un-avatared priest:
    Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers. Just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care. Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

    The message reaches the huddled masses squeezed within the crowded aisles like a warm glove greets a shivering hand on a cold Irkutskian morning. The crowd is a mish-mash of various groups, most of whom live in the slums to the west rather than the cosy detached houses to the east. Slavs, Brazilians, Mexicans. The downtrodden peoples of Codexia.

    [​IMG]

    Despite the preacher's invigorating words, he sweats profusely under his clergical garments, looking down at the freshly-printed piece of paper lying on the pulpit's lectern. Thank God nobody has noticed that he has been reciting nothing but song lyrics for the last twenty minutes.

    [​IMG] Father Pedro, the conveniently un-avatared priest:
    Lord give me a sign. I really need to talk to you Lord. Since the last time we talked the work has been hard. Now I know you haven't left me.

    Father Pedro, a kind yet somewhat clueless man, is not the regular priest at St. Proverbius. Most of his time as a junior priest at the church has so far been spent fetching water for the regular priest, Father Fluent, and the occasional charity drive down amongst the poor of the eyesore to the west. When Father Fluent was called away last moment on "business", the responsibility for Sunday service naturally fell to the junior priest, even though he had no practical experience of doing so.

    His first step was to go to google.

    [​IMG] Father Pedro, the conveniently un-avatared priest:
    You are the strength that keeps me walking. You are the hope that keeps me trusting. You are the light to my soul. You are my purpose. You're everything.

    Still, no-one seems to mind too much. The assorted slavs and favella-dwellers don't speak English as their first language, and not many of those in the crowd seem to recognise the lyrics. Some don't understand anything at all.

    [​IMG] Father Pedro, the conveniently un-avatared priest:
    There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold and she's buying a stairway-

    [​IMG]

    The heavy wooden doors at the church's main entrance suddenly swing inward violently, as if slammed open by God himself. The assorted band of rag-tag rogues and killers that now stands in the doorway certainly haven't been sent by God, or by any other divine entity.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named red-turbanned gangbanger no.1:
    Ey, holmes. Check out these chingados.

    The gang of vatos saunters slowly, menacingly, into the church. These bad hombres are all armed to the teeth with automatic weaponry, and their eyes glisten with malicious intent. Red-turbans rest snugly on their bald heads. A number of them grab their crotches provokingly. The female parishioners blush and turn away silently.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named red-turbanned gangbanger no.2:
    Do me a solid, lady. Give this a good tug for me.

    The gangbanger snarls as he passes one especially unfortunate female. She looks down at the floor, defeated.

    As they make their way toward to the pulpit, it becomes clear that these guys are in charge now. The new law around these parts. Whoever was in charge before is now no longer in this position.

    One especially malevolent delinquent from this posse licks his lips, looking pretty loco. He steps in front of the pulpit, addressing the utterly bewildered Father Pedro. He is by now completely flabbergasted, staying absolutely silent as he is unable to process the events unfolding before him.

    The loco one speaks.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Latro, baby!

    He extends his arms out wide, as if to greet the preacher as a treacherous brother. His arms outstretched, his eyes are full of the vision of Christ.

    A man in a trucker's hat and a windbreaker barges to the front of the crowd, intent on confronting the man.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named parishioner:
    You fellas can't barge in here. This ain't bean person of colour heaven.

    One of the bad hombres blows his shoulder apart with a warm embrace of 12 gauge buckshot. It seems to the congregation as if the hombre never took his hand off his crotch the whole time.

    The loco vato ascends the stairs to the top of the pulpit, pushing poor Father Pedro out and down the stairs as he goes. He lands at the bottom with a dull thump. His backside will surely be sore tomorrow.

    The red-turbaned hombre addresses the crowd.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Chicanos i chicanas, you listen to this white boi too long. He fills your head with poison, and you get soft, hombres.

    The crowd gasps as one of the eses grabs Father Pedro by his hair, using his kalashnikov as a pointer to indicate that he is indeed the source of the moral rot inside their heads.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    The LOS ALDOLPHOS run this town now. The casas and the slums, they all belong to us now, chingados. Anyone who don't agree, end up like that white boi over there.

    He gestures in the direction of the twitching corpse of the man in the trucker hat, dead from blood loss.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Let all them know who's the boss. Let our names ring in the city streets! Vamonos, muchachos!

    The gangbangers round up the mass of congregants, sending them back to their hovels and homes. Father Pedro, not so fortunately, is chained ad loaded into the back of a surplus Mexican army truck.

    The loco one, remaining in the church, stares up at the statue of Christ, crosses himself, and leaves with the others.

    The Los Adolphos run things in Beanertown now.

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

    Show Spoiler


    The streets wind past as a car speeds down Poland Avenue. The almost-new sedan maintains a steady speed as its owner cruises past the buses and trucks driving along slowly. It's another beautifully hot and sticky Codexian evening, even if the rain is soaking into every crack and crevice that the city has to offer. Far off in the distance, the sun is setting, saying farewell to another fine day.

    [​IMG]

    The archtect, our humble protagonist, is of course behind the wheel, and he's had a barrelful today. He's heading away from the potato power plant after being assaulted all day long with its million and one problems, but right now there are bigger things to think about; bigger proverbial fish to fry. A situation is unfolding way out to the west, in a part of town ventured to by few but known by all. There has been big talk: of bad hombres with red turbans and murderous intent. What exactly was going on out there is anybody's guess though; nobody in the city administration had bothered to tell our intrepid architect what's going on, so he thought he would go take a look see.

    [​IMG]

    The architect takes a left off the main throughfare of the city and onto a small, unknown road. The name's road is unknown to the architect, and presumably unimportant. Around him life continues: families take strolls down park lanes, gamers get their daily rations of gamer fuel, cool cats play Settlers of Catan on street corners. The Codexian Dream. Codexia has been good to these people, and they all reap the benefit. Little do they know what goes on behind the puppeteer's curtain.

    The architect heads down the street, hanging a right way before reaching Prosper Park. In truth, he doesn't have much idea where he's supposed to head; the west side of town was the only major district that had undergone little development in the city, and is still mostly shacks and shanties. He has heard stories of what goes on over there, but never anything quite so...menacing.

    [​IMG]

    He spots a donut van, which he assumes must be making a delivery to the brave boys in blue at the heart of this veritable heart of darkness. He decides to follow it, heading west down the backroads of the suburbs. It doesn't take long for him to come to the police cordon.

    [​IMG]

    The roadblocks stop him from going any further, so he heads left on a road he does know: Max Payne Road. The Police have made their camp in a vacant lot surrounded by a chainlink fence that wouldn't take too much effort to bring down. The chainlink fence is adorned with Moltke Construction Limited signs; upon seeing these, the blonde-haired man behind the wheel of the affordable sedan groans with indignation.

    He reaches the entrance to the lot, and rolls his car up to the barricades, winding down his window. Standing behind them, soldiers of varying stripes and uniforms perch at their positions, seemingly a little on edge. The architect is almost completely unaware that Codexia even has a military force, and this rag-tag militia with their mish-mash of uniforms, equipment and weapons seem a little unimpressive and unintimidating. The M2 gunner on the humvee to the left of him stares off into the distance, seemingly negligent in his duties as a soldier of Codexia.

    [​IMG]

    The officer on the right-hand side of the gate is another story, however.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.1:
    Listen lady, I'm not gonna tell you again.

    He is arguing with one of Codexia's lowest creatures, the lowest of all pond life. Lower than the all the whores, junkies and street cleaners put together; she is a journalist.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named journalist no.1:
    Come on, Bill. Can't we just get a few shots? I still see your mother on Sundays at the mall. She asks after you, ya know.

    Using familiarity and emotional blackmail to get her way: only journalists are capable of such low-brow, dishonourable tactics.

    The architect rolls up to the kerb closer, as no-one seems to have noticed his car at all.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.1:
    That ain't gonna work again, Marie. You know I don't-

    He finally sees the architect.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.1:
    Hey, buddy. This is a restricted area. I'm gonna have to ask you to turn your car around and get back on the road.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Who's in charge here? What are you doing on my property?

    He flashes his corporate badge, identifying him as the CEO and founder of Moltke Construction Limited.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.1:
    Sir, I don't know nothing about that, but if you don't leave we're authorized to use lethal force. This is an active conflict zone.

    The M2 gunner, seemingly unfrozen from his game of guessing what his purpose was in life, eyes the car, levelling the machine gun at its windscreen.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Well, seeing as how you're on my property, I'd like to make a complaint to your commanding officer.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.1:
    If you have a problem, you can take it up with the mayor.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    And where is he?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.1:
    He's in the command centre, with the chief of-

    The soldier realises he has said too much and stops talking. The architect sits and smiles, smugly.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    So?

    The soldier turns around, looking at the radio operator.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.1:
    Hey Jack! Radio the command centre and tell them we have a Mr Moltke down here.

    Word comes back in a few seconds.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.1:
    You can go through, sir, but the car stays here.

    He walks briskly towards the police buses in the centre of the lot. Through the gap, he spies the "command centre", in fact a tent with a table underneath it. A radio and a map of the district are sitting on top of the table. Despite the rather ramshackle operational organisation, the heavy ordnance littered around the place clearly means business.

    [​IMG]

    He walks through the buses and into the jaws of a beartrap, loaded and ready to spring.

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    What I'm saying is that we take what forces we have, drive them into Beanertown and pummel those goddamn Mexican commie sons'v'bitches back to Tijuana.

    [​IMG]

    The Chief of Police looks up from his seat, noticing the architect for the first time.

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    Although I'm sure this peacenik has a better idea.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I see my reputation proceeds me.

    Around the table are gathered the top brass of Codexia: Rusty, the no-nonsense police chief, Darkpatriot, the last of the remaining colonels who had led the forces of Old Codexia into battle, and Mayor Gregz himself in his fine Italian suit, characteristic drum-round Thompson in hand.

    The Mayor acknowledges the entrance of the CEO of MCL with a curt nod, and then turns his head to the colonel.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Colonel? What's your take on the situation?
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    We can't show any weakness in this situation. But taking all our men and slamming them into the center of that thing? Tactically speaking, it's a nightmare in there. Their positions are well-entrenched, and they have the support of the local population. There'll be a gun behind every cactus needle.

    The Mayor looks at him gravely.

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    What do we need the subtle approach for? I say we load Big Bertha over there and send those goddamn bean-munching, turban-packing monkeys packing.

    He gestures towards a rather mean-looking artillery piece standing over in the vacant lot's edge. The howitzer is aimed threateningly at the compound less than 50 metres away.

    [​IMG]

    Thank God nobody actually has any shells for it, the architect thinks to himself.

    After a moment of reflective silence, the Mayor starts speaking.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Gentlemen, you're not giving my a whole lot of options. We're not looking for a bloodbath here, but how many more lives are these animals going to take? The longer we let this go on, the more innocents are going to get caught up in this.

    He finally looks at the blonde interloper standing outside the tent, soaked to the bone.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    I suppose this is where you're going to throw your opinion in.

    Though he's a little taken aback by this remark, he takes a few steps forward into the tent, closing the circle.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    There's no need for anyone else to die today, that's true. You're certainly showing your strength here, and it's clear you outnumber them, but there's always a peaceful solution to problems.

    The Mayor eyes him sceptically. The Police Chief laughs in deep, southern-accented booms. The colonel does nothing.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    They have a leader, right? These red-turban dudes? They have to be taking orders from someone. You get me in there, and I'll see to it that the city gives them a deal so good they can't help but take it. Then later, when the wheels of justice swing round again-

    He glances at the Police Chief.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    -well, let's just say we'll make law-abiding citizens out of all of these "sons'v'biches".
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    You're really considering this hippy trash?

    He glares at the Mayor, his expression painting a tremendous picture.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    These hombres, they aren't just druggy trash in a yurt this time. They mean serious business. They're armed to the teeth and have sympathisers all over this town.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Everyone has their price. We just need to find it.

    Silence hangs in the air. Nobody seems to want to give an inch more in this debate. The pause continues until one of them breaks, unable to take the silence anymore.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    It all sounds a little touchy-feely to me, but you did deliver on the whole Prosperium situation. The time now is what, 7.43pm? I'm giving you until 8am tomorrow morning to find a peaceful solution to this. That's more than twelve hours. You'll need to be careful, and I mean seriously careful. These guys aren't messing around.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I realise that, Mr Mayor. I wouldn't be going if it wasn't worth the cost.

    He sighs, turning his head. He stares at the helicopter for a moment.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I don't suppose there's any chance of going in on that thing.
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Sadly, no. We are reliably informed that the Los Adolphos have CIA contacts who have equipped them with FIM-92 Stingers in exchange for God knows what.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    It doesn't make any sense at all.
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    They're also equipped with surplus Ukrainian armored personal carriers and a whole arsenal of small arms. These really aren't guys you want to underestimate.

    The architect gulps.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    How am I getting in, then?
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    You ain't gonna like it, hoss.

    He says, grinning.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    The only traffic they're letting in or out of the compound is cargo traffic, although they check every package coming in and out. There is one type of cargo that they might not check, though.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    What about the shacks to the south?

    He brings this up, eyeing the rather unfortunate-looking corrugated structures immediately opposite the vacant lot. They are not part of the compound, but still constitute an eye-sore all the same.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    There may be some turban sympathisers amongst them, but we're not anticipating them to be a threat.
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    They're hard-working slav game designers, for the most part., come to take part in the glorious Codexian Dream.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Also we stuck a gay club in there when nobody was looking, and that seems to have pacified them.

    The architect glances over once more.

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    When you're ready, I'll get my people ready. They'll be able to help get you inside.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Who's the chick?

    He points at a lonely woman sitting on a small chair over by one of the command vans. She's soaking, what with all the rain water, but she seems not to care. A can of Mountain Dew is cradled in her hands, which she gulps down with intermittent fury despite the impressive selection of alcoholic drinks on the table beside her.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    I don't see any women. Just us dudes here.

    He snickers.

    The architect steps over to the woman, curious as to her presence.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Hello?

    The woman jumps up with shock, failing to recognise our inquisitive protagonist approaching her.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    He-heello?

    She says sheepishly, not sure how to deal with this new character.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    My name's Moltke; I'm kind of a big deal around here-

    No sign of ego or shame what so ever.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    -I was just wondering who you were, looking so afraid all over here by yourself.
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Well I'm Father Fluent, the priest over at St. Proverbius.

    He looks the woman up and down, noting her hips and breasts which, despite the clerical vestments, were much more noticeable than a man's.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    But you're a woman.
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I assure you, I am a man, as God made me. My pronouns are he/she/it.

    Baffled by this, the architect makes a mental note of the priest's gender.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Anyway, I'm just hanging out over here. Everything's cool :)

    The ability to represent an emoji in oral speech in such a way was an impressive feat indeed, the architect further notes.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    So if nothing's wrong, why are you here? With the Mayor and all his, er, staff.

    The Police Chief shoots an annoyed glance. The colonel continues stone-walling, full of martial stoicism. Darkpatriot is an apt moniker for such a character, although the architect knows for a fact that his real name is Ted.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Well, there's just a small problem. And, well, it's not even really a problem,-

    She hesitates, not sure whether to bring down the facade of positivity she has worked so hard to build in her own mind.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    -my junior, Father Pedro was taken captive by those awful gangsters :(

    She gasps, realising what she has just said.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I'm....I'm sure they had their reasons though! Socio-economic injustice, internalized white-supremacy and all that.

    She clearly doesn't believe a word of what she is saying, but the architect stays silent all the same.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    So the Mayor was nice enough to let me stay here while I figure out how to get him out of Mexicantown.

    Nobody called it Mexicantown: nobody at all. Even the locals always call it Beanertown. The architect makes another mental notification, this time of the priest's forced political correctness.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    This is the part where fate forces us into the compound together.

    He sighs; the mission is dangerous enough as it is.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    What, really? You'll help me rescue Father Pedro?

    He sighs once more.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Sure, why not? It's not like anyone else will.

    He turns.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Colonel, it's time we made a move.

    The colonel nods, wordless.

    A few minutes later, they're aboard a BTR, rumbling towards the checkpoint.

    [​IMG]

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

    Show Spoiler


    [​IMG]

    You ain't gonna like it, the Chief of Police had said, and like it he most certainly does not.

    The mail sack is uncomfortably snug, and the burlap makes the stiff tropical heat in the back of the mail van almost unbearable. The only thing keeping the blonde architect going is the thought that somewhere out there in Beanertown, a job is waiting to be done. His civic pride thumps around in his chest, while he thumps around in a sack, hitting the side whenever the van hits a pothole.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Jesus, can you be a little more careful please?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    Sorry there, boss.

    The postmen are kindly folk who have very little malice or hostility. What they do have are keen eyes and sharp memories.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    So what's waiting for us when we get inside?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.2:
    There's a checkpoint that's usually manned by some rowdy local types, not Los Adolphos characters. You can think of them more of a local militia; they take orders from the guys in turbans, but not by choice. Beyond that, there's a few sights. We'll show you once we're past the first hurdle.

    He speaks with a quiet confidence, an inner tranquility. He's clearly not worried about how things are going to go down.

    [​IMG]

    The van bounces down Boyarsky Lane, past St. Proverbius on its right-hand side. It has already been sent through the police roadblock on Daikatana Avenue, being "searched" so as not to arouse suspicion, but now they face a real obstacle: the front gate of the Beanertown compound, where gangbangers are waiting to greet the post vehicle with open arms.

    [​IMG]

    The van slows and stops in front of a Mexican army-surplus pickup truck.

    A gangbanger raises his AK at the windscreen.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    Alright, let's see dem hands, holmes. You know the drill.

    The postman behind the wheel puts his hands out of the window, a routine he has seemingly got used to. The postman in the passenger seat does the same, abeit a little slower.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger lady:
    Out the truck, real slow like.

    [​IMG]

    She gestures towards the driver. He opens the door and steps out without a murmur.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger lady:
    Easy, now. No sudden moves.

    She looks over at her vato.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger lady:
    I think you can handle this one babe.

    She goes and stands over by the guardpost. He is visibly annoyed at having to do pretty much all of the work himself. He groans and mumbles as he mounts the army truck, moving it out of the path of the driveway.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    I've got my documents right here, boss.

    He says as he steps away from the open door, holding his clearance documents in his hands. The gangbanger, returning from the moved truck, slams them out of his hand and drags him to the back of the truck.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    Hands on the back, NOW!

    In the truck an architect and a priest, pretending to be mail sacks, can only hear all of this. They wait with bated breath.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    Open it, chingado. Show me what you got.

    The postman looks puzzled at this; he has never done this before. This is not standard procedure for Mexicantown.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    I'm not sure you're-
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    Shut up!

    The gangbanger grips his rifle tighter, pushing the muzzle into the back of the postman's head. The postman knows that something disastrous is about to happen.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    New rules around here, little bitch. There's a toll here now. You wanna get through, you gotta let something go.

    The postman, quietly, skittishly, opens the back of the mail truck. The gangbanger, lowering his rifle, licks his lips and grabs his balls.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    Open that one there. I'm gonna get me something good.

    He points to the mailsack containing the priest, which he/she/it can make out through the microscopic holes in the canvas. He/she/it starts to sweat, letting out a tiny, almost imperciptible squeak. The postman hears it; the architect hears it; luckily, the gangbanger does not, squeezing his balls for a quick endorphine rush.

    The postman, sweating conspicuously, makes a move towards the burlap sack. He pulls it part way out of the van, about to open the bag. The goon licks his lips again, his tongue this time alerting his lady to the loot. She starts licking as well.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named red-turbanned gangbanger:
    ¿Qué demonios te crees que estás haciendo?

    All of the hood's bravado and brazenness are wiped away in a second. His expression is one of a little lost boy, about to recieve a dressing down for taking one too many cookies from the cookie jar.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    Lo siento, señor. I was just-
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named red-turbanned gangbanger:
    You been told about this before, cabrón. All mail trucks get a free pass. You know the boss is waiting for his Ghost in the Shell action figures.

    The red-turbanned gangster, an auténtico Los Adolphos, strolls up to the security booth and the scene unfolding before it.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named red-turbanned gangbanger:
    You better let them through before we put you in the cage with los gatos. ¿Comprendido?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    Si jefe.

    The unturbanned hood sighs and then moves away from the truck. After the postman closes the rear doors and gets back into the driver's seat, the hood waves them through.

    And they are off into the heart of Beanertown.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    Now that was a goddamn, cotton-picking close call!
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.2:
    Never seen anything like it in all my years. You two can come out now.

    The postvan rounds the corner, passing a one-storey shack on the left and a few workers in overalls.

    [​IMG]

    The architect clambers out of the sack, struggling with the tight-ropes. The priest, on the other hand, deftly peels off the bag, uncorking a can of Mountain Dew he/she/it had hidden God knows where.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I think you've exceeded your gamer fuel ration for today.

    He says jokingly, nodding at the can. He/she/it shrugs indifferently.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    We're pretty much safe for now, but try not to draw too much attention to yourselves.

    The van rounds another corner, by the outer edge of the compound, in the North-East. Chicos and chicas walk home from a hard day's work. Corrugated shacks flank them on either side.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    The roads here all follow a spiral pattern right into the centre of town, right where we'll drop you off, so you'll get a good view of everything.

    How convenient.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    Out here it's all makeshift, but the places in the centre of town are a little nicer. The Los Adolphos live in a separated area from the rest of the compound. I hear it's real purdy in there.


    [​IMG]

    The van once more turns another corner, this time in the North-West corner of the compound. They are heading south now. The architect looks East, towards St. Proverbius. The church rises majestically over the shacks, imbuing all the shack-dwellers with at least some hope.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.2:
    Hey look, it's El Gordo's place! Tell him the story.

    The postman's junior points at the taco truck as they pass it. While a queue forms behind it, off to the side a Los Adolphos pukes up what remains of his supper.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    Why tell that story? It's happening out there in real time.

    The van turns the penultimate corner, this time in the South-West. The shacks over the fence in slavtown come into view.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.2:
    Well, at least we aren't there


    The other postman nods in silent agreement. The architect sneaks a quick peek out of the window. The houses down here were indeed much nicer than the shacks on the North side. Still a shithole, but a slightly nicer degree of shithole.

    [​IMG]

    The truck glides along quietly, the postmen staying silent as they pass a Los Adolphos patrol. Eventually, they roll pass another taco truck.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    This place has much better tacos.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.2:
    Two Brother's? I heard they were owned by The Aweigh Consortium.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:

    Maybe. Corporate registration ain't what it used to be.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Hey, where's this Los Adolphos base?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    Back there, on the opposite side of the taco truck.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    You didn't think it was important to tell me?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    Hey we were talking about tacos.

    The architect groans noisily. The two postman continue to natter.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    This is el local watering hole-io.

    [​IMG]

    They pass a grimey-looking cocktail bar next to a patch of waste ground. In spite of its OPEN sign, customers are sparse, and the place looks deserted.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    If you wanna pump the locals for information without worrying too much about getting caught, this is the place to go. It's only ever frequented by residents; the Los Adolphos never go here.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Why's that?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.2:
    They don't serve sake.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Sake?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.2:
    You know, Japanese rice wine.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I know what sake is. Why do they only drink sake?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.2:
    They're "men of culture".

    The two postmen uniformly put their fingers into quotation marks at this and then chuckle. The architect fails to understand what they mean, but he will come to realise with time. The priest quietly sips his/her/its sugary drink.

    [​IMG]

    The van rounds its last corner, into the centre of the compound and stops next to a small, almost-quaint market.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.1:
    This is where we part ways, blondeman.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    You've been tremendously helpful.

    He flips a gold coin to the postman, and then he flips another to his junior, perhaps a little hesitantly. Codexian rules of generosity are notoriously rigid.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    If you ever need a favour, you know where to find me.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named postman no.2:
    We'll let the mayor know that everything went as planned.

    The two interlopers step out into the tropical night; the man in his cheap polyester suit and expensive tie, and the priest in his/her/its vestaments. The humidity hits them at once.

    The van rolls away and with it the only hope of any kind of escape. The point of no return had been passed some time ago.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    What do we do now?

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Beats me.

    Out of the frying pan, into another Codexian night.

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

    Show Spoiler


    They walk quickly in the direction of the market. What exactly are they doing here? What's the plan? How do we get in? A hundred questions rolled around the blonde architect's mind, all of them remaining unanswered.

    The market is probably not their best bet to find information, but they go there anyway. It is right in front of them, after all. It would be such a shame to miss it before-

    No. I can't think like that, the architect muses. We have to save this place, disgusting as though it may be.

    [​IMG]

    The market has a number of different stalls, although most of them are winding down for the night. A few customers mingle between boxes of carrots, fine arabic earthernware, and assorted odds and ends.

    [​IMG]

    Butchers ply their meat; cheese craftsmen offer samples from far-flung corners of the world. A dodgy character even sells what looks to be discarded M16 rifles from whatever conflicts their owners died in.

    [​IMG]

    Our intrepid explorers weave in and out of the stalls, taking in the sights and sounds. Their mission seems not to be important for the moment.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named merchant no.1:
    Dry fruit! You want try? I get best one for you!
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named merchant no.2:
    FISH! COME GET YOUR FRESH FISH! BEST IN ALL CODEXIA!
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named merchant no.3:
    Sir! Sir! How can I interest you in an almost new TV? Only dropped once! Sir?

    They keep wandering, the smells conjuring a thousand tastes in their mouths. Cumin, paprika, coriander. Peppers, garlic, onions. Pork, lamb, beef. Tobacco, gunpowder and sweat. The aromas waft and intertwine and lift the artchitect and the priest up, high onto another plain of existence.

    But beneath it all, there is another smell, easily recognisable. A heady mix of fear, resentment and fury.

    And its source is the dark heart at the centre of the market. The dark heart of Beanertown, maybe even the entirety of Codexia.

    At the centre of the market, a small enclosure, ringed by a 12 metre-high chainlink fence and barbed wire, is guarded by a man in surplus military equipment. His M4 rests in his hands like a cat resting on a warm radiator. But, make no mistake, he stands firmly, guarding that enclosure with all the seriousness that it deserves. His boss, the merchant by the cage's bolted door, attracts a very different type of clientele from the other stalls.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named slave merchant:
    Catgirls! Seven, adorable little catgirls, all for sale! For fun, for decoration, for whatever!

    Catgirls? Did he really just said that he's selling catgirls?

    The two step over to this bizarre corner of the market.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named slave merchant:
    Hello sir! Catgirls for sale here.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    What the hell is this?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named slave merchant:
    Catgirls!, sir. Very tame and lovable. I give you good price, only seven thousand dorra!

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    You'd put a price on a person's life?! You disgust me.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named slave merchant:
    Not person, sir: catgirl! Very adorable, willing to be your slave for any purpose!

    He peers into the cage. The catgirls have very little in the way of expression; their faces are blank. Perhaps as a cruel joke, it seems as if someone has adorned their cage with doghouses.

    [​IMG]

    A crowd of regular cats gathers on the oher side, staring at these godforsaken abominations. The stony expressions on the catgirls' faces continue regardless.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    They certainly don't look adorable.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named slave merchant:
    Hold on, sir.


    The slave trader turns to the cage, his friendly demeanour suddenly transformed into a cruel scowl.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named slave merchant:
    ねえ、あなたは愚痴! 少し笑って!

    The catgirls transform in a split second. One adopts a cutesy smile of a shy anime girl, while another turns her face into a seductive grin. Their eyes beam with an unnatural light.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named slave merchant:
    You see, sir! Very cute! Will do everything for you! You want to try?


    The seductive grin on the closest catgirl tightens, and a supernatural force hooks the architect's soul. His dick enlargens.

    [​IMG]

    Well, seven thousand isn't tha-

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    What? Absolutely not!

    He pushes the thought away, and turns his head to the merchant.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Listen here, and listen good. Open that goddamn cage and let those girls go.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named slave merchant:
    But why sir? You want to buy all?

    He grabs the merchant, forgetting completely about the guard. The guard pushes him away with a shove and the merchant starts screaming.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named slave merchant:
    GET OUT! YOU NO GOOD CUSTOMER! HELP! LOS ADOLPHOS!

    They run. Nobody chases them, thank God.

    After running for a while, they slow down. Stopping completely, they find themselves outside an outdoor gym which is completely empty. The priest, exhaustion and defeatism taking over, squats down on the ground next to an old water tanker. He/she/it starts crying, a river of tears unleashed as if someone had overflowed a bath.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Why did we come here? Oh cruel fate, why did you take Father Pedro away from us?
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Pull yourself together.

    He says as he taps him/her/it on the shoulder gently. He is clearly not comfortable with the emotionality of this man/woman/robot.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    And those catgirls. How can someone do something so cruel? So inhumane?
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    There's always someone willing to make a quick buck. We're going to find a way to free them, don't worry.

    He is more interested in what they are and where they have come from, truth be told.

    The priest rests on the ground for a couple more minutes, then wipes away his/her/its tears with his/her/its sleeve. Standing up quickly, he/she/it stumbles.

    The blonde man puts his hand out, steadying the priest.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I feel dizzy. I need some sugar.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Let's head back to that cocktail bar we passed earlier. Maybe we can question some of the locals.

    They walk slowly, their eyes pointed down at the ground. The architect has his hands in his pockets, projecting an air of confident cluelessness.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Do you think we'll make it here?
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Make it? Here?
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Yeah, here in Codexia. Realising the Codexian Dream.
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I really don't know. I used to believe in the vision of the dark one and his colorful subordinates, but now-

    He/she/it takes in a large mouthful of stale, taco-ridden air.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Now, I really don't know.

    They continue to walk in silence. The sun has completely disappeared by now, and the night, the time of the wolf, howls with excitement.

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

    Show Spoiler


    A small group of musclemen walk into the all-night gym. They eye the dejected travellers as they cross paths.

    [​IMG]

    The architect follows the neon OPEN sign along a dark and treacherous path, the ground soaked with rain and piss.

    [​IMG]

    They pass an old shipping container, tracing their path back to the waste ground near the bar. On the left, at the end of the dirt track, he spies the back of the catgirl enclosure in the distance. He looks momentarily but returns his eyes back to the path; taking your eyes off of it in this light could very easily lead to a bad injury in the pitch black of night. As he comes a little closer though, he finds himself unable to resist sneaking another glance back at the enclosure; the catgirl who had given him a hard-on back in the market is staring at him, her feline eyes picking him out easily in the deadness of night. She blows him a kiss just before their eyeline is broken by the container, and he feels an all too familiar rumbling in his loins. What fowl magic does this temptress have? He returns his gaze to the small cocktail bar.

    The two freeze as they come up on the small terrace area in front of the bar: a Los Adolphos! The postman told them that they don't come here, but here this one is.

    [​IMG]

    They relax as they see him move through the courtyard and out of a side exit. A short patrol, nothing more.

    [​IMG]

    The two settle down and make themselves at home in the rather cheap looking deck chairs. A waitress in a short skirt with large hoop earrings comes over; her face betrays her Mexican heritage.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named waitress:
    What you want gacho?

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I'll take a pina colada. Dark rum instead of white, please.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named waitress:
    And for the lady?

    The architect grits his teeth at this misgendering; the priest appears, or pretends not to appear, to notice.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Mountain Dew, extra ice.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Sure you don't want something a little, err, stronger?

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    The Lord will be my strength.

    A few hours pass. Drinks are drunk. Locals are questioned discretely. New friends are made, and everyone starts to relax a little more.

    [​IMG]

    Perhaps a little too much.

    It is around the fourth pina colada where things start to go wrong.

    [​IMG] Mysterious rastafarian fellow:
    Hey bumbaclot. One hears that you've been askin' questions about dem red-turbanned boys and ting.

    [​IMG]

    The architect, almost jumping out of his skin, turns around to face this mysterious figure. Up until this point, he has been debating thermodynamics with a down-and-out tennis player named Trevor (possibly, but also possibly not), and this has come completely out of blue.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Maybe. So what if I have?
    [​IMG]
    Mysterious rastafarian fellow:
    Me name be Bob, boyo. Dat's short for Robert. People call me Bayonet Bob.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    So it is. Well met, Bob. My name is Graf, Graf von Moltke.

    They shake hands.

    [​IMG]
    Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    Always a pleasure.

    He shfts position, lowering his voice somewhat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    Got me a friend who works wit' dem boys, tells me all kind wild tings 'bout dem. Reckon he can set you up a meetin'...


    Bob grins toothily. Gold stares back at the blonde man.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    ...for a price.


    Of course.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    How can I know you're genuine?
    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    Ask all da boys round da wae 'bout Bayonet Bob. Everyone know he good as his wurd.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I don't like it.

    He/she/it whispers in his ear. He nods; he's also sceptical, but time is getting away from them and all he has to show for it is an erection and a raging headache.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    How much?
    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    Seven t'ousand.


    He's heard that number once already today. Where? He's alcohol-soaked brain just can't connect the dots.

    He digs the money out of his inside jacket pocket. His wife isn't going to be pleased, but nevermind about that.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    Alright, me boi. Ya know dat taco truck what sits out der on da wes'side of town? Da one what gives all dem city-slickers salmonella and ting. Der's an outhouse near der; meet me next to dat in an hour.


    He disappears into the night, not waiting for a reply.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Why'd you do that?

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    That's a good, good question.

    Four pina coladas; what an absolute lightweight.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Listen, we've got to do something here. Time's running out.
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    So what?

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I'll go meet this guy alone. There's no reason for us both to go. If I'm not back in, let's say, two hours then you get the hell out of here. Get back to Mayor Gregz, report everything you've seen. The Los Adolphos, the catgirls, everything.

    He seems to have sobered up tremendously now he's back on the mission.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    If this turns out to be right, to be good, then we'll recollect our thoughts in two hours time.
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I hope you know what you're doing.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Believe me, so do I.

    They part ways with a tight hug. The architect, still seated in his deck chair, takes a few seconds to regain his composure. Then he sets out to find his destiny in the hands of a rastafarian h doesn't know.

    And he finds it, amongst the rubble and cum-stained mattresses out in the wasteground of Beanertown.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    Been waiting for you a while, bombaclot.

    [​IMG]


    The drunken architect stumbles clumsily through the waste in the pitch-black night. The world reverberates around him. The ground beneath him feels paper thin.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    Didn't think a white boi like yourself would giv' up on dat amount o'cash so easily.


    He smiles; a fierce grin of triumph is glued to his face, the architect sees as he draws closer.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    But den again, I didn' tink dey would wanna miss it none, eit'er.

    [​IMG]


    From the left, a squad of of Los Adolphos close in. They march together triumphantly, the same triumph as pasted on the black man's face.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    Ya see-


    The accent is suddenly gone.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, the conveniently unavatared rastafarian:
    I was never one of yours to begin with.


    A rifle butt cracks the blonde architect in the back of the head. He goes down with a dull thud, his hands missing the ground. He falls face first into an old mattress.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named red-turbanned gangbanger:
    What are we doing with this one?
    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob, of the Los Adolphos:
    Take him to the boss.


    He fades in and out of consciousness. He feels himself being dragged across concrete. A pain builds in his right ankle. Darkness.

    Then blinding light. The Los Adolphos compound.

    [​IMG]

    And once more, darkness.
     
    • Funny x 3
    • I found this text to be too long and as such I didn't read it x 3
    • Creative x 1
    • Artistic x 1
    • cuck x 1
    • Shit x 1
    ^ Top  
  2. Rean The only Rean Patron

    Rean
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Messages:
    879
    Strap Yourselves In
    Fluent being a chick is oddly fitting.
     
    • Fishy Fishy x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. Generic-Giant-Spider Unwanted

    Unwanted
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    6,025
    Location:
    Every fantasy game ever.
    unmitigated cringe
     
    ^ Top  
  4. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    Well it should could've been. We'll see how that develops once a certain, ahem, character comes on the scene. Thanks for your kind words!

    Honestly the aiflow portraits make a sizable number of male codexers into chicks, and I've already played the tranny card once. I'm not sure how that's going to work in the future.

    "Cringe" is a term for redditors. What do you have to say in your defence?
     
    • cuck cuck x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22,826
    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Ok crabstrider.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Rage Rage x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. darkpatriot Arcane

    darkpatriot
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,021
    No idea why I never got a notification for this, but it made for enjoyable reading during my BBQ Ribs break.

    I would offer the following feedback:

    1.) I would like to see more gameplay in the Let's Play
    2.) The budding romance between Graf and Fluent is definitely a great storyline we all want more of. I am firmly on board the Graf X Fluent ship as the captain, chief engineer, and insurer.
     
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  7. madbringer Magister

    madbringer
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,695
    Location:
    the vast
    Not having the meth whore look is breaking the character a bit.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    ^ Top  
  8. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    I would assume it's because you're a character in it.

    This is definitely coming. Chapter Three is a big set-piece thing, the scope of which has grown way beyond what I originally intended for it. In fact, this is the reason why it's taken so long to write it; it's genuinely hard to pose all this shit with the limitations of what mods are available for Skylines, and it's pretty boring for a gameplay stand point which doesn't exactly make me want to play it that much.

    I really didn't want to take it that way, obvious as though that's where it's heading. Writing a forum fan-fic about my romance for another man is pretty.....gay.

    Not much I can do about Lutte's portraits. I guess I could ask TZ to photoshop it a bit, but so far I've been trying to keep the whole hat thing the limit of the photoshop cause I wanted to keep them intact as much as possible.

    Part Two of Chapter Three is coming, guys! And it's gonna be YUGE.
     
    • cuck cuck x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    37,706
    your notifications are busted, are you using @ or linking directly to their profile?
     
    ^ Top  
  10. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    Linking directly to their profiles. Tbh if that doesn’t notify them then it’s fine, it was never really my intention in the first place, but I just assumed that’s how it worked.
     
    • cuck cuck x 1
    ^ Top  
  11. baud Arcane Patron

    baud
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Messages:
    3,676
    Location:
    Septentrion
    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I think for the notification to work, you have to put an @ in front of the user name
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    Not gonna do that then cause it’ll mess with the formatting. Gonna have to shill the old-fashioned way.
     
    • cuck cuck x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. vazha Prophet

    vazha
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,808
    Started off well, then fell off the cliff, now only reading to discover Fluents eventual fate (rape, hopefully).
     
    • Fabulously Optimistic Fabulously Optimistic x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    Dear Sir or Madam,

    Thank you for your valuable feedback! Here in the writer's room at Wagie Cage Productions we always welcome the feedback of our readers, and we heartily encourage an open and fruitful dialogue!

    On this occasion, we were a little puzzled though, as your feedback was a little vague. If it's not too much, could you please provide more specific feedback?

    Please, do not worry about being truthfully blunt with us. We are notoriously thick-skinned and can take even the harshest of criticisms.

    We look forward to hearing from you,

    Mr Moltke,
    Head writer, Wagie Cage Productions
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
    ^ Top  
  15. vazha Prophet

    vazha
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,808
    Mon cher Graf,

    I found the first chapter & build up intriguing and enjoyable. The following chapter didnt exactly live up to the hype though, was somewhat stale & less entertaining. The third chapter was ok, mostly due to that abomination Fluent making appearance (still dearly hope he gets raped in this, tbh).

    That said, it's a decent LP so far, certainly up to the lofty Codexian standards. It's just that when you first started writing it, I thought we might have a new Grimwulf on our hands, which, with all due respect to your writing ability, sadly doesn't appear to be the case. He remains comfortably unsurpassed and yet, if you were to deliver half the goodies he did, I'd be most grateful.

    Remaining at your disposal,
    Givi,
    Chief bard, editor and homo extraordinaire at KKK (KODEX KOMMUNISTIK KOLONY)
     
    • incline incline x 1
    • Salute Salute x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    Dear Mr Vazha,

    We are sorry to hear about the disappointment that you have experienced in our writing, and we would like to assure you that your critique will be taken on board by our writing staff.

    We could never aspire to be as monolced as the aforementioned Grimwulf, though we certainly would like to strive to do better in the future. Though no excuses should be made, it still remains that Chapter Two was fairly weak due to the fact that this LP started as a regular game of Cities: Skylines, and as such was not intended to be particularly narratively driven.

    We know that our mere words could not possibly replace the sadness in your heart that our failures have caused you, but we would also like you to keep in mind that this story is the writing team's first major attempt at writing work. We hope that our continued efforts, which we shall surely build upon and improve, will be more to your liking in the future.

    We would once again like to take the time to apologise. If you should have any questions or queries in the future, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Kind regards,

    Mr Moltke,
    Head writer, Wagie Cage Productions
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Salute Salute x 1
    • cuck cuck x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    Chapter Three - The Battle of Beanertown

    Part Two - Men of Culture

    Show Spoiler


    5:26am. Monday, 22nd of September, 2042. East Codexia, the intersection of Poland Avenue and Harambe Memorial Way.

    Even at five o'clock in the morning, Poland Avenue is a hive of activity, as people go about their business. Out along the pathways the citizens of the Wagie Cage engage in commerce of every kind. Gamer grrlz fall out of gaming clubs, riding a fierce wave of amphetamines. Shoutboxers in brown overcoats shuffle into off-licenses to acquire their next drop of the demon-drink. Life goes on, just as it should.

    A bus roars down Poland Avenue just as the sun starts to rise from its primordial slumber. The bus is dark blue, identifying it as one of the infamous all-night "Poland Avenue Cruisers'.

    [​IMG]

    It slips underneath the East Gate, the entranceway into the New Krakovian Shopping District which flanks both sides of Poland Avenue, and chugs along merrily down the causeway on its way to the west side of town. The commuters aboard the bus, mostly service sector employers on their way to start their early morning shifts in the varying businesses of the district, make the most of the time spent within its cramped confines. Some of them listen to the latest in Codexian pop music, others read the early morning edition of the The Kontinental Kodex Khronicles, and a small group of boys at the back giggle at a selection of memes almost everyone over the age of twenty would consider rather stale.

    In the middle of the bus sit two rather unusual characters that stick out like sore thumbs, if sore thumbs do indeed stick out. The younger of the two is clutching a coffee cup with the remains of a mochaccino inside, the whipped cream having been devoured long ago. The older creature, an android clearly not of Codexian design, makes a poor effort of twiddling his thumbs in a humanoid fashion.

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Well, DU sure isn't paying us like he used to.

    The android nods, humming curiously in some bizarre robo dialect.

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    And they call this thing a what?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    It's called a bus, dear android.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    There isn't much space in here.
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Well it is the transport of the commonfolk. There isn't supposed to be a lot of space.

    The bus occupants continue glaring at these two and their odd conversation, while the bus continues to glide sensually down the avenue.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    How is your caffeinated juju bean beverage?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    It's coffee. There are no juju beans involved.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Ahhh yes. I am still trying to acclimatize myself to this peculiarities of this realm. It is truly an eccentric place.

    Somewhere close by a commuter chuckles at this remark. The crisp one throws his coffee cup in the general direction of the voice, the remaining brown liquid spraying the bus passengers lightly, although the size of the coffee droplets does nothing to make them less annoyed. Worse still, the randomness of this outburst almost guarantees that the guilty chuckler isn't one of those affected.

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    OH YOU THINK WE'RE FUNNY?!

    He bellows into the crowd, his booming voice terrifying absolutely no-one. Somewhere towards the back, the chuckle breaks into a guffaw. The android puts his clammy hand on the coffee addict's shoulder.

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Calm there, young compatriot. Let us talk of the task at hand. What should be done?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    From what I've heard things have got pretty bad out there. I don't know much exactly, I was.....busy all night.

    He wasn't busy at all. Not unless watching Wheel of Fortune counts as being busy.

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    We should rendezvous-
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Ron-dey-?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    It means "meet"; we should "meet".
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Meet who?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    I was just about to tell you if you'd let me finish.

    He snarls. The android studies his compatriot carefully, waiting for some pertinent information. Outside, the bus stops across the road from the rather pathetic-looking clinic which happens to be the city's only medical facility.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Christ, you and the boss NEVER LET ME FINISH.

    He slows his breathing, attempting to calm down. He breathes in and out sharply, which the colourful robot watches with enthusiasm.

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    You humans are capable of such oddly quaint behaviors.
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    We're going to meet the Mayor and his cronies, the ones in the center of this...mess.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    And we travel there on this "bus".
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    For a bit longer, yes.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    How exciting! I have always wanted to see how these humans behave while going about their daily routines!

    The android's electronic brain whizzes around, collecting his various electronic thoughts.

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    It really is too cramped in here, though.

    [​IMG]

    The bus continues its journey on down the Avenue, stopping intermittently to pick up or drop off new passengers. Off in the distance, Codexian industry roars on, producing high-quality goods that will inevitably be undercut by cheap Chinese knockoffs.

    After a while, the West Gate comes into view and Saint Proverbius beyond it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    An impressive panorama!

    His impertinent companion smirks and digs into his pockets for some cash to pay the fare.

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    We'll need to get off soon; it's probably better to stand up now.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Such human cognition!

    They get up. While the crisp one weaves in and out of the huddle of people with ease, the robotic one has a harder time, knocking and bumping and banging into people.

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Apologies! Apologies! Please make way! I am on a bus!

    He smiles broadly and completely innocently.

    The bus comes to a stop a little way down from the church.

    [​IMG]

    The two step out of the small door. No-one else seems to be getting off here.

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Too cramped in there, far too cramped by far! You've got to find a better method of transport for these "common" people! Make it your top priority!

    His companion rolls his eyes as he walks away, conveniently out of the other's field of vision.

    As the two get off, they note the police checkpoint a little way down the road. Assuming this was where their ron-dey-vu was, they stride over to the officers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Which one of you is the Mayor?
    [​IMG] Conveniently unnamed police officer no.1:
    The Mayor? Who are you guys and what do you want with the Mayor?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Listen, bubba hotep. I ain't got the right tempo to skedaddle, so make with the goods, got it?

    He beams proudly, absolutely convinced in his own skill in the use of Codexian slang. The officer zones out, overwhelmed with this wave of nonsense.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unnamed police officer no.2:
    The Mayor ain't here. This is just the Poland Avenue cordon.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Where can we find this Mayor of yours?
    [​IMG] Conveniently unnamed police officer no.2:
    Beats me. My lieutenant just gets on the horn with me, says "Ray, you gotta get your oversized keister down to Poland Avenue near the church and make sure no traffic gets through, and don't you take no donuts wit' you neither".

    Both of the officers sigh dispiritedly at their apparent lack of donuts.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unnamed police officer no.1:
    You fellas might wanna check down there-

    He says, pointing to the police checkpoint south down Max Payne Road.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unnamed police officer no.1:
    -I'm sure Officer Frank will know how to find the Mayor.

    Wordless, the couple toss a small gold coin at the officers in the traditional Codex style. The first officer catches it; drinks will be on him later.

    The two continue on their journey southward, reaching the next police checkpoint.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Houston?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    We got them cheap.

    They approach what they assume to be Officer Frank.

    [​IMG] Officer Frank, the conveniently unavatared police officer:
    You the guys looking for the Mayor?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    You'd be correct in that estimation.
    [​IMG] Officer Frank, the conveniently unavatared police officer:
    Keep going down this road, you'll find him in the lot at the end.

    He gestures vaguely towards the south-west.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Thanks, I suppose.

    A silver coin for this one. Typically, the social position of the one giving the coin determines its type. Or perhaps, the generosity of the giver.

    The two continue their wandering, unsure of the specific location. They walk down to the next junction then pause. By this point, they are both a little confused.

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    What's a "lot"?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Beats me.

    They head west, completely walking past the vacant lot they are trying to find. They approach yet another checkpoint, this time manned by gung-ho swat officers with itchy-trigger fingers. Frothing at the mouth, these guys can't wait to be let off the leash.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently unnamed SWAT officer no.1:
    Let me see those hands!
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    You have eyes, don't you? Of course you can see them.

    The two stand in the middle of road, motionless. Their hands remain at their sides.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unnamed SWAT officer no.1:
    Fucking comedian over here!

    He says, drawing his weapon up, aiming towards the ethereal figure's head.

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    You ever tried shooting one of US, penishead? It won't end well for you.

    [​IMG] Conveniently out-of-shot soldier no.1:
    HEY STEVE!

    A shout comes over from the checkpoint at the south-bound end of the junction.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Steve, the overly aggressive SWAT officer:
    WHAT NOW RUPERT?

    He calls back to a soldier in British uniform at the checkpoint.

    [​IMG] Rupert, the anglo soldier:
    DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO THOSE GUYS ARE?

    He makes a sign with his hand. The gesture means nothing to the two colourful men, but it is apparently very clear to the member of SWAT.

    [​IMG] Steve, the overly aggressive SWAT officer:
    My God.

    He composes himself, then turns back to the two men, still in the middle of the road.

    [​IMG] Steve, the now no longer overly aggressive SWAT officer:
    I must apologize, sirs. If I had known... Well. I'm sorry. We don't really get your kind come down here much.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Officer, it would be prudent if you escorted us to the Mayor and his command centre.
    [​IMG] Steve, the now increasingly apologetic SWAT officer:
    Of course sir. Right this way.

    He takes them to the entrance to the vacant lot. Not that much has changed since our intrepid protagonist was there ten hours ago.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.1 (but actually his name was Bill, remember?):
    Hands out in front, mister. Don't make me paint this chainlink fence with your vocal chords.

    The soldier who had previously not wanted to let the blonde architect into his own property was abusing some hobo who had had the gall to ask for some change.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named journalist no.1 (but actually her name is Marie, and she is the lowest of all pond-scum):
    I'm down here at a vacant lot in West Codexia, where, almost eighteen hours later, authorities are still at loggerheads with the terrorists who have occupied Mexicantown. They are still no closer to resolving the situation, peacefully or otherwise.

    The crisp one, by now experiencing severe caffeine withdrawal, shakes his head in despair.

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    These humans...

    They approach the gate. Steve waits off at the side, giving the same hand-sign to the soldier beyond the barrier that he himself had been given.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named soldier no.2:
    You the guys they told me to let through?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Yes.

    The soldier eyes them carefully and, without another word, lets them in. One of the soldiers mutters "yeehaw" under his breath. The crisp one pretends not to notice.

    They stride in the direction of the command centre. The Mayor and his posse are still standing under the same tent that they have been standing under for the last twelve hours.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Oh Christ, this is just what I need.

    He cups his mouth, unable to believe that he has just accidentally blasphemed.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    The Dark One has sent us to check on the situation down here and monitor your progress.
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Or rather, your lack of it.

    He grins; his eyes seem to say gotcha.

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    Woah now wait just a goddamn minute here! We would've dealt with this situation hours ago if it hadn't been for that damn hippy!
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    "Hippy"? What is he talking about?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    A follower of recent trends, dear android.
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    A goddamn peace-loving beatnik!
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Alright, we don't have time for the lesson in your absurd slang. What are you talking about?
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    My men assisted Mr Moltke in his mission to try and infiltrate the enemy stronghold.
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    Moltke? The architect is in there? Our architect?

    The Mayor bites his tongue angrily at the "our" remark.

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Who is this Mr Moltke?
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    He's the contractor who has the exclusive construction rights that we granted.

    He turns to the Mayor.

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    You let him go in there alone?!
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Crispy, there weren't a whole lot of other options. Nobody else was willing to try and go in there. These guys are seriously dangerous, and to call them a gang is to severely underestimate them. They're more akin to a cult, and they hold exclusive dominion within Beanertown.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    You are wrong there, Mr Gregz. WE hold exclusive dominion in Codexia, both old and new, and WE determine what's best for everyone. WE want an end to this situation now. And when we say now, we mean NOW.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    I am sorry to have misspoken, my liege.

    He bows low, not entirely sincerely.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    To attack now though would almost certainly put Mr Moltke in danger.
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    If he's still breathing.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    We have already given him until 8am to return. I would suggest that we at least honor that deal.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    We shall follow that course of action then, Mr Mayor, but please remember: nobody is irreplaceable.
    They all fall silent. Their eyes drift over in the direction of Beanertown for just a second. Tension bites into every crack and crevice.

    [​IMG] Crispy:
    So where's the coffee?

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

    Show Spoiler


    Somewhere inside the architect's mind, he hears a voice calling him.

    [​IMG] Strangely unavatared voice:
    Wake up.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Whaaat.

    Grogginess and nausea. He can feel it all heading to the surface. A thousand trumpets blare a discordant tune in the back of his mind.

    [​IMG] Strangely unavatared voice:
    Come on, sleepy head. You've got a mission to complete.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    No, I need to sleep.

    A headache now. A dry mouth.

    [​IMG] Strangely unavatared voice:
    How many people are going to die because you want to sleep? Get up!
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Please, no.

    A horrible cramp in his stomach. A pain in his neck.

    And he's awake.

    Light floods into his eyes through the tiny crack of his eyelids. The world spins around him as he lays there, collapsed on unknown and unseen floors. Is it a hangover or a concussion?

    His eyes open a little wider. All he can see is dirt and a grubby clay wall. The trumpets continue the blaring as he tries to move his neck to see his surroundings, but it seizes up as a painful cramp washes over it.
    The dreadlocked man seated in the corner, seeing this rather pathetic to get up, laughs.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    Good morning, sir. What can I get you for breakfast? Some ham and eggs? Beans on toast? How about a niiiiiice cappucino?

    The architect relaxes his neck muscles and instead decides to just push himself up. Eyes still jammed shut, he shoots his hands out underneath him and pushes. His arms raise him up a few inches before he comes back down with a crash.

    The dreadlocked gangster's laughter intensifies.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    You having a bit of trouble there, bumbaclot?

    He pronounces this last word with his mock Jamacan accent, his mocking smile beaming down upon him like the sun's rays, not that he can see it.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    Need some help there, boss?

    Finally prying his eyes open, he finds a burst of defiant energy that enables him to force himself to his feet. He looks around; the architect is greeted by the warm embrace of cold, iron bars. He is in a prison cell, and on the other side his jailor perches on a stool, grinning ear-to-ear.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    Guess not then.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Where am I? What is this place.
    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    Fulla questions, ain't ya bubba? You're with the Los Adolphos now, in our cosy lil' abode.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Hardly what I'd call cosy.

    He examines his surroundings more carefully. The cell is fairly typical in size, about 2 by 3 metres. There are no furnishings to speak of, just a small hole in the ground at the far end, the odour rising from it indicating the Los Adolphos had a sizable portion of enchiladas for dinner last night. A patch of dried blood cakes the wall on the left in diagonal streaks.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    Well, it is a prison cell.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    What exactly does a street gang need a prison for?
    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    A STREET GANG?!

    He leaps up, smashing the wooden stool against the wall near the wooden door that was probably the exit. He strides forward towards the bars, the anger rising up inside him, his twisted grin transformed into a raging snarl. He snatches at the architect through the bars, the blonde man's cat-like reflexes failing him as the gangbanger smashes his head into the cold metal bars with a crack.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    A street gang, is that all we are to you?! We're the Lords of Beanertown! We run shit down here! Nothing goes by without our knowledge or permission! And soon we'll be Kings of this whole-goddamn-city!

    The conviction behind this outburst is real; he truly believes that his gang has the upper hand here. If only they knew about Big Bertha...

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    But you don't need to take my word for it, pretty boy. The boss intends to tell you all about it personally.

    He releases his grip and grins once again. His breath smells of garlic and old cooking oil.

    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    So what do ya say, boss? Unless you want to stay here.

    The architect strokes his bruised face. Off in the distance, further in the bowels of the building, someone or something makes a high-pitched screech: a wail full of terror and suffering. Whatever it was, it didn't sound human. The architect shudders.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Lead on.

    The rastafarian jailor grins and licks his lips momentarily. Taking the keys in his hand, he releases the blonde man from his cell and leads him down the stone hallway, past a number of the other cells. Down-and-outs. Alcoholics. Americans. What pitiful sights they make.

    They approach the large wooden door at the end of the corridor. In the cell at the end, only partly visible, the high-pitched screaming has turned into gentle, adorable sobbing. Two red-turbanned gangbangers grab their balls as they leave the cell, locking it behind them.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unnamed red-turbanned gangbanger:
    Hey Bob, you wanna quick go?
    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    With one of those...things? You boys gotta slow down, we are supposed to be men of culture after all.

    The gangbanger smiles happily, apparently taking this remark one hundred percent seriously. Bob, meanwhile, pulls the architect towards and eventually out of the heavy wooden door.

    Outside, the Los Adolphos compound, in all its pathetic glory, opens before him.

    [​IMG]

    Hardly a compound worthy of those with such lofty pretensions of lordship, let alone kingship.

    [​IMG]

    Bob pulls the architect forcefully towards what looks like a colonial mansion, which is presumably what the big cheese calls home. He looks at the rastafarian and fails to notice any weapons, although this is ultimately meaningless. Everyone else around him is armed to the teeth. Besides, this is why he's here. Why should he be thinking of escape?

    [​IMG]

    He glances up at the giant Mexican flag as they pass by it. He wonders how much longer it will be here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They step closer to the house. The heavy wooden doors swing open, and a red-turbanned man wearing small circular glasses looms in the doorway, looking at the approaching men impatiently. Wearing a black waistcoat and grey pinstriped trousers, he hardly fits the description of a muderous gangbanger.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared waistcoated man:
    Come on, Bob. Do you really want to keep the boss waiting?
    [​IMG] Bayonet Bob:
    Not my fault the prisoner's been sleeping.

    He smiles another toothy grin, and his silver teeth glisten in the morning sun.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared waistcoated man:
    You think we all want to get up this early in the morning? We're at war, soldier. You'd do well to remember that.

    The waistcoated man leads them inside the colonial house. Despite its aged Spanish exterior, the inside of the house is resplendent in Neo-Weebic style. Nobori adorn the walls, some of a martial character while others display anime characters of every kind. The walls themselves are mostly white tile, although paper sliding doors separate a different section towards the west wall. On the other side towards the east wall, three cat girls sit on zabutons near a rather un-Japanese-looking fireplace; despite having free hands, their legs are chained to the floor. Their expressions are dour and dejected.

    Sitting at a counter top near a small kitchen, a loco-looking hombre sits, chop sticks in hand. A nigiri hangs delicately from the bamboo points, precariously dangling over a plate of soy sauce. How easy it would be for it to slip from his grip and crash into that pool of soy, making a real mess of the hombre's exiquistely pressed tracksuit, but he's an experienced sushi gourmand, this one, and his strong yet delicate grip never relinquishes.

    He smiles as he sees the architect come in, his eyes glowing with excitement.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    We meet at last.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    And you are?
    [​IMG] Latro:
    Latro, holmes. Just Latro.

    He devours the sushi with a swift motion, moping up a sizable amount of the sauce in the same movement. Wiping his mouth with a napkin, he jumps up from the counter and swaggers over to the blonde man, blowing a kiss at the catgirls as he goes pass; they recoil in horror.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    We were waiting a long time for you, esse.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    For...me?
    [​IMG] Latro:
    We got eyes 'n' ears e'erywhere. You think you could fool us?

    He smiles, tugging his crotch a little. Bayonet Bob grins as well. The man in the wastcoat just rolls his eyes.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Let's go upstairs, holmes. We can talk more there. Don' worry, chief, I ain't gonna touch a repulsive whiteboi like yourself. Besides, that's what they're for.

    He shoots another look at the catgirls, stroking at them through the air. One of them winces but the rest remain expressionless.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    If it's all the same with you, I'd rather stay down here.

    The loco chieftain puts a hairy, sweaty Mexican arm around the architect, leaning into his ear. He smells a little faintly of raspberries.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    What you scared of, whitey? Already told you you ain't my type.

    He overpronounces this last remark, giving it a certain significance it didn't deserve. The architect is intimidated all the same.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Come on, time and tide pods wait for no man.

    The gang leader releases him and slides over to one of the sliding doors. It slides open heavenly with a delicate flick of the wrist, and a winding staircase appears in its place. The Los Adolphos gesture for him to proceed.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Watch things until I get back, men.

    The two men of the gang leadership nod gravely. The leader pokes the architect to tell him to get his ass moving.

    Much to the archiect's surprise, at the top of the stairs is not a sordid love-nest but a balcony between the main building and a small out building to the North. On both sides of this balcony, East and West, the city opens before the two men like a greasy Chinese buffet.

    Latro takes a step to the Eastern balcony, his red turban standing its ground firmly on his head despie the light morning breeze. He clearly wants to show the architect something over on the other side of the metaphorical tracks.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Mr Moltke, if you would be so kind.

    Not a trace of spic in his voice. Clearly Bayonet Bob wasn't the only one putting on a persona around here.

    The two men stand looking at the view, all alone. The world around them seems frozen and stilted, as if in a computer game. Regardless, the majesty of St. Proverbius provides a perfect backdrop with which to showcase the beauty of New Codexia, even if it has not yet reached the heights of the Old.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    It's beautiful, isn't it?
    [​IMG] Latro:
    You could say so. It's certainly beautiful to behold on a morning like this. Can you imagine how many mornings I have come up here to marvel at the view. Every day for three years-

    Show Spoiler


    New Codexia has only existed for a few months now, the architect thinks to himself but doesn't dare say out loud.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    -I have come up to this spot and watched out on that, waiting for our ships to come in, for four years. The Codexian Dream is a wonderful thing, certainly. Wonderful for all those who can get it.

    He slowly takes his gaze away and meanders towards the other side of the balcony.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    But it's not for us to get. This is our reality, Mr Moltke.

    [​IMG]

    He draws his hand up high and waves it indistinctly in the direction of the main town square of Beanertown in a dramatic fashion, as if he is in an anime of some kind. Men of culture indeed.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    The Codexian Dream is for all of us, all you have to reach out and grab it.
    [​IMG] Latro:
    Words like silk! Fine indeed! But let's be real here, people like you, white boys like you-

    He turns and points his finger aggressively at the man in the cheap suit.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    -aren't interested in letting people like me into your hearts and houses. We make fine shop workers for all of your kind, fine maids, fine valets. You even partake in our most carnal of delights: the curvy taco! The buxom burrito! The sensual enchilada! But what thanks do we get? What appreciation do we get? We live in our own filth and squalor down here, and FOR WHAT?!

    He's clearly very annoyed.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    We can play this game all day, but you and I both know that you're the one keeping everyone in here. We've tried to be reasonable, and we've offered everything we can.

    He doesn't exactly know this, but he's sure it's true.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    At the end of the day, I'm here to help. You know that I have the power to get things done.
    [​IMG] Latro:
    It's too late for that now. The die is cast. The rubicon has been crossed. I have chosen charmander, not bulbasaur.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I'm sorry, what?
    [​IMG] Latro:
    Although those people who had Pokemon Yellow were stuck with Pikachu. Poor souls.

    He turns away, once again staring off at St. Proverbius.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    I stared at that church every damn day for five years, and not once was I ever allowed in. But all that's changed. We run this town now. The Los Adolphos are runnin' the show.

    A slight Mexican accent starts to creep back into his voice.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    You're running things here? Hardly. You might run things in Beanertown but you have no idea what kind of a shit storm is waiting for you out there. I am the only thing holding you back from them.
    [​IMG] Latro:
    As I already told you, we have spies everywhere. Don't tell me what I already know.

    Did he tell him though?
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    You can't win this.
    [​IMG] Latro:
    If only you knew what was coming. We have such plans for this place.

    His grin returns. A forboding grin. The grin of a winner.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    Across the road, the church bells chime eight times.

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

    [​IMG]

    The chimes fill the empty void of an average Monday morning. Tensions are high; perhaps the highest that they've ever been. But at the main guardpost at the entrance to Beanertown, the two gangbangers on watch are blissfully ignorant.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger lady:
    Yo, got any smokes?
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    We ain't talking no mo'. I tol' you.

    [​IMG]

    She stares at him, rage filling into the wrinkles of her crack-addled face.

    A short distance away, behind a tarp-covered shack made of concrete blocks, a priest squats down in the dirt, watching the scene unfold. He/she/it is desperate to get out of this zoo of human misery but so far hasn't come up with anything resembling a plan.

    [​IMG]

    The Mayor needs to know what's going on here, he/she/it thinks but is not quite sure why that is pertinent information.

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger lady:
    You're just one huge loser, pendejo. Always were, always will be.
    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger:
    Shut the fuck up.

    He gets right up in her face and grabs it in his tight hispanic grip. This burrito burner is sure to regret this in the morning.

    The priest raises her head slightly. Could this be his/her/its moment?

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

    Over in the construction yard, a grave man looks over his grave plans.

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    Come on man, it's time.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    I know it is.
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    It's eight-gosh-darn-oh-three!

    The mayor keeps staring down at the maps and schematics of the compound in front of him. History weighs down upon his shoulders like a cast-iron pan on a plate of jell-o.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    You've been reasonable. The time for action is now.
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    You better not fuck this up.

    [​IMG]

    The mayor looks up and nods at the Chief of Police. He then nods at the officers waiting for his orders.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Let's show these squatters the meaning of the word poontang.

    The Chief picks up the receiver of a fairly large radio and holds it up to his mouth. The click of the broadcast button signals his malicious intent.

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    All units, all units. This is Central Command. Execute plan whisky-echo-echo-bravo. I repeat, execute plan whisky-echo-echo-bravo.

    He clicks off. In the distance, engines roar into life, animals ready to pounce upon their prey.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    May God have mercy on their souls.

    He crosses himself in the direction of St. Proverbius.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Where's the colonel?

    The police chief looks around furtively. There's no sign of him anywhere.

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    Well he's not here.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    I am sure he has already gone to the front, bravely! Possibly to get a bucket of glory and guts!

    The robot winks at his subordinate to signify his level of coolness. The cafe connosieur rolls his eyes.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Fine. I'm sure we'll see him out in the field.

    He turns to the helicopter pilot fiddling with his equipment with no real purpose in mind.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Get that bird in the air, now!
    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared helcopter pilot:
    But sir, my co-pilot is buying a burrito.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Son, I'm your co-pilot.

    He says, donning a helmet which he seems to have pulled out of the ether.
    [​IMG] Infinitron:
    Happy hunting, commander. We will report back to the Dark Lord at once. We hope you will return to us with beneficial news!
    [​IMG] Crispy:
    DON'T fuck this up.

    [​IMG]

    They depart. The Mayor and the Chief of Police mount the Huey just as the rotors start to turn. Dropping himself down in the co-pilot's seat, the Mayor slaps a casette tape marked "War Tunes" into the helicopter's tape-deck.

    Show Spoiler


    [​IMG] Gregz:
    GODDAMN DRAFT-DODGING SHIT!

    He hits the fast-forward button with his balled fist, which surely wasn't good for the tape-deck or his own state of mind.

    Show Spoiler


    [​IMG] Gregz:
    That's better.

    He grins and lights up a fat cigar. The smoke creates an environment of rich tobacco smell and manliness that he is sure his compatriots will appreciate.

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    Time to show them who the REAL sheriif in town is!
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Let's show them like we showed charlie back in Ia Drang.

    He lifts the control stick and the helcopter ascends.

    [​IMG]

    The die has indeed been cast.

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

    [​IMG] Conveniently un-named gangbanger lady:
    If yo ain't been such a lil' ass bitch you'd be somebody by now.

    [​IMG]

    She attempts to hit him even with her hands restrained. The argument has turned into a full-scale domestic brawl, and they both have taken their eyes off the gate.

    The priest comes out of the shadows, ready to make her move. It's now or never.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile a very short distance away, a SWAT van hurls down a street, with an armada of police and military vehicles falling behind, hot on its heels.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared SWAT officer:
    Brace yourselves, men.

    The men buckle up and grip the seats with both hands.

    [​IMG]

    The SWAT van continues its run-away journey along the trajectory of Boyarksy Way, aiming right at the checkpoint where a distracted couple quibble over mostly irrelevant things.

    [​IMG]

    The calm before the storm. The officers think of their wives and children. Some think of other...things.

    And then....a crash.

    [​IMG]

    The SWAT van strikes the Mexican army truck blocking the main access route into Beanertown at full-speed, sending it flying. The couple look on in horror as it flies away like a paper airplane.
    Inside the officers unbuckle themselves and ready their weapons in one swift motion. The lead scout kicks open the door, scanning the checkpoint for hostiles. Spotting the two gangbangers, he opens fire with a burst from his M4 carbine, killing the two instantly.

    The first shots in the Battle of Beanertown have already spilled the blood of the gangbangers, and they surely would not be the last.

    [​IMG]

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

    Atop the balcony, the two man stand watching this event unfold before their own eyes. The architect looks on in horror, while the gang leader's eyes fill with loco delight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Shit.

    The architect ducks down low to take cover from rifle fire now being directed at the mansion. The loco one just continues to stare down at the battle with his hands behind his back. Nothing was going to stop him from enjoying this moment.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Even if I lose, I win. Comprende?

    He certainly did not comprende.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    For God's sake, get the hell out of there!

    The architect attempts to grab the red-turbanned figure down into cover, but he is quickly shurgged off. Clearly, he wants to enjoy this moment a little more. Eventually, he moves towards the house, not saying a word to the architect, and disappears down the stairs into the house.

    Gunfire erupts all around him, clearly audible to the East, North and South-west. Smoke starts to fill the sky from the direction of the livestock stables out that way. Screams. The sounds of children crying. The sounds of women screaming.

    It's time to go, he thinks to himself, and follows in the direction of the loco one.

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

    Show Spoiler


    The southern wall of Beanertown had already been breached.

    [​IMG]

    Although, perhaps to call it a breach would be a tad dramatic. In truth, Officer Polanski had torn down the wall without orders, and officers with bags full of guns and mouths full of benzos had decided to take the law into their own sweaty hands.

    Right now, they are exchanging gunfire with gangbangers, some turbanned, some not, in the midst of a disorganised retreat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared SWAT officer:
    They're making a run for it! After them!
    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared gangbanger:
    You no take me alive, pig!

    The thug, covering the retreat of his fellow taco-munchers, runs at the cops' position with a live hand grenade in his hands. A burst of 9mm cuts him down just as he is about to reach them.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared gangbanger:
    No mi gusta!

    He dies in a cloud of shrapnel just short of the police line. A piece of metal strikes one of the officers in the face.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared officer of the 'slaw:
    HE GOT ME! HE GOT ME! OFFICER DOWN! OFFICER DOWN!

    [​IMG]

    He writhes in agony amongst the remains of what had been someone's pride and joy: a shack painted in yellow and green, the national colours of trannies everywhere.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared officer of the 'slaw:
    MEDIC! I NEED A MEDIC!

    His flesh-wound will like cost him a few weeks of light desk duty, a horror worse than death itself.

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

    The toilet flushes. A few seconds later, the lock opens with a clack and a uniformed officer steps out. He emerges into the deserted construction yard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Guys? Guys? Where's everyone gone?

    He turns his head and, all of a sudden, his ears are open to the shouts and screams all around him.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Oh shit.

    He makes a run for Beanertown, but he won't get there in time.

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

    Show Spoiler


    Down the stairs the colonial era house is empty, save for the remains of a sushi breakfast. Even the catgirls apparently haven't been spared, as the cushions around the fire place sit empty.

    The architect walks quickly to the heavy wooden door through which he had been led not long ago. Expecting to find it locked or boarded over, he pushes it gently to find that, much to his surprise, the door has been left untouched.

    But then a soft groaning stops him dead in his tracks just as he is about to leave. The groaning is coming from behind one of the house's many sliding doors. Curiosity not having yet killed the cat, the architect crosses the floor and puts his hand on the paper frame. With a sense of trepidation, he carefully, and perhaps hesitantly, slides the door open with a gentle hand movement.

    Or at least, that was what was supposed to happen. Instead, the architect puts his hand heavily through the paper, apparently unaware of the door's fragility, and he falls right through the door frame as his body weight shifts forward, hitting the floor with a dull thump.

    You sure like being on the floor, he thinks to himself in a groggy haze of hangover and possible head trauma.

    He shoots up quickly, hoping that no-one has seen this rather stupid display of whatever the opposite of finesse is. The only other soul in this room, which seems to be a small viewing room for a rather unhealthy-looking hentai collection, is a traumatised young man with an overgrown beard chained up in the corner. He has curled himself up into a ball and sticks his hands out to protect himself from some imagined threat. His clerical vestaments have been torn to ribbons.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Father Pedro?
    [​IMG] Father Pedro:
    DO THE DEW!

    Clearly he has had his mind utterly annihilated by whatever torture the Los Adolphos have subjected the priest to, their sick fantasies becoming a horrifying reality set to the backdrop of sickingly-cute anime.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Come on, father. I'm going to get you out of here.

    He puts out his hand to pull the priest to his feet and actually succeeds a little. As he rises, a small collection of empty, crushed Mountain Dew cans rattles from underneath him.

    [​IMG] Father Pedro:
    NO! NOT MY DEW! MY PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS DEW! HELLO SUNSHINE, HELLO MOUNTAIN DEW!

    He pushes away the architect's hands and scrambles to collect the tidal-wave of aluminium cans strewn on the floor.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    What have those monsters done to you? Come on, Father. I promise you that one day we'll have our revenge, but right now we've got to get out of here.

    The priest makes no effort to do anything but put the remains of the cans in his bunched up vestaments, the lengthy tears almost certainly ensuring that they would fall out and back down to the ground.

    [​IMG] Father Pedro:
    BEAUTIFUL DEW! PRECIOUS DEW! JUST DEW IT!

    The architect sighs heavily and pulls the priest calmly and gently, being careful not to make whatever cans he has managed to save spill out of the torn rags. How on Earth were they supposed to make a quick getaway with this maniac's can collection in tow?

    The architect's brain flashes with pain.

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

    By now, Father Fluent has ran almost all of the way back to the construction site. As the site comes into his/her/its view, he/she/it can clearly see that the Mayor and his cohorts have already moved out.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Gosh, darn, shoot!

    The priest gasps with surprise, pushing his/her/its hands over his/her/its mouth to contain his/her/its surprise. How could such a good, morally stable and completely without malicious motivation person come so close to almost doing a swear?

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Hey, Father!

    [​IMG]

    An out of shape man in a colonel's uniform runs up to the flabbergasted priest. He stops, panting heavily, completely out of breath. He holds a finger up to indicate he would like to speak, but he can't seem to bring his panting under control.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Where.......have.........you.........been?
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I've just come from Mexicantown. Where's the Mayor? There are things he needs to know!
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Why.........did..........it..........it...........take......
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I'm sorry, Mr Militaryman, but we simply don't have the time to sit around and boogie the moody-blues. The Mayor needs to know about the cat girls!
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    CAT GIRLS?!

    His panting is gone in an instant.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Yes, the cat girls!
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    The Mayor has already moved in the troops...

    An explosion behind them seemed to demonstrate this point quite nicely, as if they were in any doubt. A Mexican is lifted up into the air by the explosion, screaming a distinctly Latin scream as he flies into the old chainlink fence of the construction site.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    ...and there's no pulling back now. Come on, we've got to get out of here and find him!

    He looks at the distance to the main entrance of Beanertown and his eyes narrow, exhausted by the mere sight of all those yards still to go.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Preferably in a truck.

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

    Show Spoiler


    The Huey does a pass over Beanertown, watching the choreographed chaos below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Our boys are getting decimated down there!

    The Chief of Police looks down at the battle and verifies that, if anything, the opposite is quite true.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    We gotta support our brave boys in blue! RUSTY! Get on the door gun!
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    But there is no-
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    I SAID MOUNT THAT GODDAMN DOOR GUN, PRIVATE!

    The Police Chief, apparently afraid of whatever ungodly punishment his superior could dream up, dares not to speak again. He instead draws his service revolver and points it through the opening in the doorframe where an M60 may have once been mounted. Taking aim, he fires well-placed shots that drop the beaners down onto the cold, cold ground. Nobody will greet them down there but the devil herself.

    [​IMG]

    The man in the big hat smiles; he is pleased to see that years of administrative work haven't dulled his gunslinging skills: One bullet, one kill.

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

    Breakthroughs have been made in almost all sectors. In the North-East, SWAT forces have almost reached the market, having already pacified the forces occupying the cocktail bar where Bayonet Bob had done his trickery the night before.

    [​IMG]

    In the South-West, the troops have come through to bolster the police forces. Inspired by their fellow officer's light injuries, they have pushed on, taking the houses on the south side of the compound.

    [​IMG]

    The North-West has been taken without firing a shot, as nobody at all cares about the North-West.

    [​IMG]

    The only areas where the Los Adolphos' supremacy remains uncontested are their compound itself and a small exclave of forces in the market.

    [​IMG]

    Outside in the yard, the loco one, still smiling, is directing his forces to further dig in and augment their defences with sand bags and inspirational Mexican mariachi music, although the songs are all sung in Cantonese.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Latro:
    ON TO VICTORY! WE MUST PREVAIL! HISTORY SMILES ON US, CONQUISTADORES!

    [​IMG]

    He sits atop a small throne, its legs short and stunted in typical Mongolic style, projecting an aura of Khanness. Though the throne itself is a stunning piece of craftsmanship, the upholstery in a rich Flemish red velvet and the woodwork engraved with the finest carvings of traditional Nipponic scenery, its size and stature betrays the true nature of the user's manletdom, and so, assumedly, someone has mounted this impressive piece of furniture on a rather unimpressive wooden platform.

    Besides the throne are a few zabutons, only one of them actually being occupied by what looks like a stray dog. The Lord of Beanertown himself is adorned in traditional asiatic imperial dress; the colours of this finery, red and yellow, project an aura of manliness which most likely inspires his forces, filling their souls with morale such as no medal or promotion could ever hope to achieve.

    His forces start chanting, probably driven on by their leader's awe-inspiring clothing and its sparkling sequins.

    [​IMG] All of the Los Adolphos at once:
    MEN-OF-CUL-TURE! MEN-OF-CUL-TURE! TO-THE-END! TO-THE END!

    [​IMG]

    They raise the weeb banners high, for all of Codexia to see. All of the colours of the weeb rainbow are there: the Hentai Hunters, the Kojimo Kollective, the Anime Afflicated, and a million more besides.
    The architect shambles out of the house in a hurried fashion, dragging the mad priest behind him. The priest reaches out to a discarded can of Mountain Dew in the dust of the courtyard, grabbing it and chugging its sandy remains as if it were the nectar of the gods.

    [​IMG]

    Father Pedro:
    IT'LL TICKLE YOUR INNARDS!

    He screams. The loco one cranes his head, noticing this rather shambolic attempt at a getaway. He grins a wide nipponic grin, tugging his crotch in a way we can only assume he is doing.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Oh look. The whiteboi returns.

    He makes no effort to move from his platform, nor do any of his men make any effort to accost them. In fact, most of them don't react in any way at all beyond the odd smirk or crotch-grab.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Latro:
    I'm a lil' busy organizing my camaradas at the moment, but feel free to take that basic-bitch preacher with you. Go on now!

    The architect stops. It doesn't make sense. None of this makes sense. They went through all that trouble to kidnap this guy, starting a war with the city administration. Now they just want to let him go?

    He gets in the face of this cut-rate Napoleon, his bargain-basement Yamamoto. The Los Adolphos suddenly spring to attention, raising their weapons from their defensive positions. All the shaky eyes and itchy trigger-fingers in the yard certainly have the architect's attention now.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    What the hell is going on here, you deranged lunatic? You can't win this war, and you know it. Now you just want to give away your prized pig as well?
    [​IMG] Father Pedro:
    PUT A LITTLE YAHOO IN YOUR LIFE!
    [​IMG] Latro:
    That's where you're wrong, gringo. Look all around us-

    He once again spreads his arms wide, this time spinning a little on his wooden box as he does. The architect has to step back a little to avoid being knocked down.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    -we're winning, holmes! We're always winning!

    He starts laughing maniacly. It would be easy to dismiss this as insanity, but something else is going on here. Something dark and malevolent.

    Somewhere close by, a bomb detonates unleashing a tidal wave of dust and debris. The explosion sends a car flying into the air which smashes into roof of one of the gang's houses. The architect decides not to stay.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    If you'll forgive me, Mr Latro, I would like to insist on taking my leave. Me and the priest have enjoyed your hospitality, but it really is time to go.
    [​IMG] Latro:
    Ain't nobody stopping you, bro. Safe travels.

    The Huey above them sweeps down low over the compound, a single shot ringing out as it goes. A red-turbanned figure goes down with a muffled OOOOF.

    [​IMG]

    Finding a hidden burst of energy within himself, the blonde architect picks up the priest and slings him over his shoulder, to which the only response the priest has is a muffled belch smelling faintly of sugar, presumably gas acquired during his Dew binge. Walking at first, then breaking into a light jog, the architect approaches the gates of the compound, blocked off by large vehicles.

    And that's when it happens; two gangbangers appear in front of the gate, blocking his path. Predictably, he isn't going anywhere. A voice behind him reaches his sore ears with all the softness of a silk-laden coffin, the words creeping into his ears from point-blank range

    [​IMG] Latro:
    You know what, man? I changed my mind.

    The weight of the priest on his shoulders is gone in an instant. An arm probes, then gropes, then circles around the architect's waist, and the gang leader is upon him. He pulls the architect around in one smooth motion so that they are face to face, the burrito-saturated breath of his odious character being obvious for anyone who has a nose. The architect only now notices the wakizashi blade at the loco one's waist, the sheath inlaid with the gripped tentacles of a weeb's fever dream. The handguard appears to be carved into the face of Hello Kitty, almost as if the poor cartoon cat is swallowing the blade in one gluttonous gulp.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    You gonna have a front row seat, for the end.

    [​IMG]

    He grins his malicious grin, his lips widening into a dog-like snarl. A cumin seed is stuck between his teeth, a detail that shouldn't have been important, but to the panic-stricken blonde man seemed like the most important thing in the world. The grinning gang-banging weeb led him back to the throne, and seated him forcefully on a nip cushion by his side. On the other side, Father Pedro had already been set down.

    [​IMG] Father Pedro:
    FRESH UP! KEEP ON SMILING!

    Latro, his grin disappearing from his face, regards this latest outburst with suspicion, but ultimately dismisses it. The architect, on the other hand, can only look on in terror as the world around him burns. His world.
    Outside, pockets of gang-banging resistance continue to battle on, desperately trying to hold out in some futile hope of survival, but by this point the writing is on the wall; the Los Adolphos are almost done.

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


    Show Spoiler


    Back at the street market, which is now under police control, a pickup truck pulls to a stop. Out of the passenger side, a dishevled priest stumbles out, his/her/its vestaments getting caught up in the car door. Out of the other side, well, you know who it is.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Is this the place?
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I...I...think so. It feels like it was so long ago. What a terrible memory!

    He/she/it shudders profusely, almost breaking a sweat. The colonel eyes him/her/it with suspicion, empathy and curiousness all wrapped up into a little emotion-ball.

    Before them stands a SWAT officer; one of a hundred officers deployed in this mini-siesta of human tragedy they call Beanertown. He hums a tune wistfully, seemingly unaware of the old "war is hell" cliche, and clutches his weapon with a childish greed, almost as if his mother is about to take it away from him.

    [​IMG]

    As the two approach, his childlike demeanour changes in an instant.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared SWAT officer:
    Colonel Darkpatriot? Is that you?

    The officer recognises not only the man's uniform, but the man himself. The officer stands at attention and salutes the officer, despite not officially being a member of the Codexian Armed Forces. Paramilitary death-squads, especially those of the right-wing variety, often know who their orders really come from.

    Gunfire echoes in the distance. The Mayor's chopper hovers over the South-East sector of the compound. Someone, if the colonel's sense of smell is not mistaken, cooks fajitas.

    Returning to the man before him, the colonel wonders for a second if they have met before, although this detail is almost certainly without relevance to the task at hand. Pushing this thought aside, he salutes back and opens his mouth, his booming officer voice growling out of it like the soothing, rhytmic pulse of an MG42.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    At ease, officer. What's going on here?
    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared SWAT officer:
    This sector is under our control, sir. There was a market of some kind here before.

    The priest gasps at this, his/her/its hands covering his/her/its mouth with an accompanying high-pitched yelp, perhaps one of panic.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    The catgirls!

    He/she/it dashes forward, so eager to check on the mythical cat girls that he/she/it seems to forget that he/she/it is in a warzone. Apparently unconcerned with his/her/its own well-being, the priest runs towards the slave pens, runs as if his/her/its life depended on it. But why? Is it concern? Excitement? Guilt? Who can know? Who can tell?

    His/her/its concern is short-lived as the abandoned market refuses to uncover its secrets. Everyone is gone, almost as if they never existed.

    The only thing left of the old marketplace that once stood here is the catgirl compound, the dog houses, a reminder of the bizarre insanity of the world in which our cast of characters finds themselves, sit empty, not a trace of catgirl in sight.

    [​IMG]

    The priest, shocked, confused, angered (but only a little :)), turns to the officer, who by now has caught up with the fleeing clergyman/woman/robot.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Where..where are the catgirls?!
    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared SWAT officer:
    Catgirls?
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    The catgirls! The FRIGGIN catgirls! We came here to rescue them! Those poor, misunderstood souls.

    He/she/it shoots a glance at the colonel. He nods gravely.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Officer, have you encountered anyone here in the marketplace?
    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared SWAT officer:
    We detained a few of the traders as they were trying to escape, but most of them got away.
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Was one of them a man of the Eastern variety?

    The officer thinks for a moment, pondering the detainees, who by now are being transported to the shadow realm for questioning.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared SWAT officer:
    There was one, yes. He didn't want to go quietly, so we had to use more...

    The officer pauses, hesitating in the presence of a lady.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared SWAT officer:
    ...forceful means.
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Did he survive?

    The officer shakes his head, quietly but not with an ounce of sorrow.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    But where are the catgirls?

    He/she/it squats down on the ground, tears forming in his/her/its eyes. The catgirls are gone. His/her/its mission is a failure.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Alright, we haven't got time for this. We have to find the Mayor.

    That's when a conveniently-timed message comes through the officer's ear-piece.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared SWAT officer:
    Sir? I've just got a message from HQ. The Mayor and his forces have broken through to the main compound.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Thank you officer. Come on, Priest. Maybe we can find your catgirls there.

    The priest looks up, his/her/its eyes hopeful but not entirely believing. Though hope is the last thing to die, deep down he/she/it knows that they will not find any catgirls there.

    They head to the compound, the final stop on this absurd bus-route of torment.

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

    The final breakthrough into the compound had been remarkably easy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    You're surrounded, Mr Latro, and outgunned. Come out, while you still can.

    The Mayor's forces had broken through the main gate and were now at the last barricade, ready to move in and put an end to this bizarre charade.

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    Come on, hombre! You lost! Accept it!

    Bullets fly by overhead. The old gunslinger blind fires his revolver over the barricade.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    You ain't gonna judge me, holmes! None of you melanin-deficient honkies get to judge LATRO!

    He slaps his hand down on Father Pedro's head in excitement. The priest cries out in pain, croaking out an inaudible cry that one can only assume has something to do with Mountain Dew.

    A panting figure, adorned in battle dress, jogs slowly up to the barricade.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Stay back!

    He yells at the priest following him, who jumps into a nearby dumpster in shock.

    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Mayor Gregz, we meet again.

    He smiles warmly at finally being reunited with his old comrade. They embrace each other warmly with a decidely man slap of their hands.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Thought we lost you, colonel.

    Bullets continue to hit the sandbag wall around them, giving this reunion the sense of grave seriousness it probably deserves. The forces of the law return fire, hitting absolutely nothing but sending the gangsters flying into cover.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Alright boys, the gang's all here. It's just like Tet all over again. We're gonna get out there and kick some motherloving, gangbanging, sake-swilling ass, you get me?
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    Sir, yes sir!
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    With pleasure.

    Show Spoiler


    [​IMG]


    The Mayor smiles an equally winning grin that could rival the most victorious of Latro's smiles.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    On three!

    The world silences. The bullets make no sound.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    One.

    The gangbangers pause to reload. The soldiers take up their positions.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Two.

    The architect leans back to find cover. The loco one, grinning with all the insanity he can muster, pulls him back.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Gregz:
    THREE!

    The three musketeers rise up, seemingly oblivious to the gunfire being directed at their position. The colonel, moving left, takes his old Mossberg 500 off of his shoulder, raising it up to any criminal scum that might get in his way. The cowboy cop, .38 Specials in each hand, levels them at the red-turbanned figures as he takes the right flank. The Mayor, spraying away with his Thompson, hits absolutely nothing and absolutely everything at the same time.

    A gangbanger appears before them, trying to make a hasty retreat. BOOM, and he goes down in hail of twelve gauge.

    [​IMG]

    Another one makes an equally ill-timed dive behind some sandbags. BAMBAMBAM, full of holes.

    [​IMG]

    A gaggle of thugs appears before them, all intent on viciousmurder. RATATATTAT, and they're all headed to the morgue.

    [​IMG]

    The murder continues until they reach the throne in the centre of the courtyard. As they approach, the loco one silences the Los Adolphos' guns with a wave of his hand.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Latro:
    I see you've made yourself at home...

    He spits a gob of yellow-stained, foul-stenching mucous onto the blood-soaked dirt.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Latro:
    ...but I'm afraid it's time to end this.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    You're right of course, gangbanger. The end is here. We bring it to you here on a silver platter. You've lost, and your poorly-organised rabble is no more. Surrender peacefully, and you can still walk away from this.
    [​IMG] Latro:
    That's where you wrong, holmes.

    [​IMG]

    He grins the grin of a grinning winner.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    We ain't lost just yet, you gonna see.

    He stands up, a creak in his knees revealing an old gym injury that had never healed quite right. He takes a majestic step forward, and shoots out his hand in front of him, balling his fingers into a tight-fist. All except his index finger: that damn index finger, floating in mid air in front of him, pointed towards the sky.

    [​IMG]

    The police forces all ready their weapons, raising the tension one level higher. The sounds of weapons cocking and clicking draws a similar response from the remaining red-turbanned hoodlums, the unease and strain on their faces telling the tale of this hard-fought battle with all the seriousness that it deservers. The powder keg continued its triumphant march toward its deadly conclusion.

    After a few moments of bated breath and silent apprehension, Latro speaks:

    [​IMG] Latro:
    You coming here was your own undoing, gringo. You've triggered my trap card-

    He finally brings his finger down, drawing an imaginary card from an imaginary Yu-Gi-Oh deck.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Coatlicue's Womb!

    A few people gasp, but the loco-one keeps on grinning.

    And then it happens: what seems like a million figures in red-turbans swarm out of every pit, ditch and hole in Beanertown, kalashnikovs in hand.

    [​IMG]

    The hive of red-turbanned troops swarms around the now increasingly-thin looking band of lawmen, a sea of brown, black, yellow and red faces making every white man in the compound feel all of a sudden very self-conscious about their rather conspicious skin colour. They swarm in from the west, they swarm in from the east, and they swarm in from the north. Every gun in Beanertown is now pointed at them, and the Mayor and his merry band of men suddenly realise what a foolish move it had been to personally lead the assault on the compound. Pride cometh, Mayor Gregz. Pride cometh.

    The overgrown Hirohito wannabe speaks once more, his absurd pyjamas underlining the alien world that these melanin-deficient men have come to find themselves in.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Coatlicue's Womb allows me to draw forth every deceased warrior of Aztec heritage who spilled their blood on the field this fine day, and, believe me, they're thirstin' for the blood of ol' whitey!

    Gregz gulps. Rusty spits his chewin' tobacco on the ground, just itching for a fight. Darkpatriot is silent.

    After what seems like an eternity, Latro speaks once more.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    And, seeing as how I'm wearing my lucky red turban today-

    He pinches a non-existent brim, running his fingers down it.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    -I get a 50% summoning bonus!

    From the south, a further contingent of red-turbanned commandos makes an appearance, cutting off their last remaining escape route. There is no escape.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    Well, we're fucked.
    [​IMG] Latro:
    Your move, Mr Mayor.

    He bows low in a taunting fashion, and then seats himself once more upon his throne. He gives a sidewards nod to the architect, apparently finding this turn of events deliciously entertaining.

    [​IMG]

    The architect doesn't seem to notice this, as his eyes are transfixed on the nervous group at the centre of this quagmire. He can't let this scene turn into a bloodbath; too many lives have been lost this day. But what can he do? Think! Think!

    And that's when it hits him. He has all the power to stop this, if he can just-

    No, I can't do that. I'm a man of peace!

    Sometimes, men of peace also need to be men of action.

    But can I? Can I do it?

    There's no can about it; you must.

    Alright then, be careful. Don't fuck this up.

    [​IMG]


    With every last bit of strength he can muster, he rushes and slides the gang leader's blade out of its sheath in one swift motion. Pausing to breath for half a second, which very easily could have undone him had everyone in the courtyard not been in a state of shock, he knocks the gang leader forward in his throne and swiftly jumps into a position behind him, extending his arms forward while gripping the sword in his balled fists, the blade faced inwards at the loco one's stomach, nicking it slightly. A small spot of blood drips onto the dust below them.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    It would seem that we are at something of a stand-off here.

    Immediately, a squad of red-turbanned vultures rushes forwards, shouldering their weapons and aiming them at the two figures intertwined on the ridiculous throne.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I wouldn't do that if I were you. Get back! Get the fuck back!
    [​IMG] Latro:
    Goddamn it, I LOVE THIS SHIT!

    He screams excitedly, clearly loving every moment of this and stamping his feet like a child on christmas morning. His enthusiasm for the chaos unfolding in that dusty yard has not diminished one iota, and right now would seem like a good time to bargain.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    Top ten anime betrayals, eat your heart out! Nayaa kawai desu nigger! The pope may got all the keys but ol' whitey over here sure got some HUSTLE!
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    We've all had our fill of your hospitality, good sir. Believe me when I say that, but right now you need to STAND THE FUCK DOWN.
    [​IMG] Latro:
    Whoa, easy there big boy. Get yo blade away from my belly and we can talk.

    He eases up on the blade slightly, drawing it away from the skin by only half a centimetre.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    We like talking, don't we Mayor Gregz?
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Of course we do.

    And now everyone is smiling. The smiles of liars and killers. A courtyard full of murderous smiles.

    The Mayor makes an effort to move forward towards the throne, and his confident strides show a man well in control of himself, even if the will of his compatriots is wearing thin, diminishing in the mid morning sun. He reaches the throne in a few seconds, but stops a few metres short of mounting the plinth.

    But something happened in those few seconds, didn't they? While the Mayor walked confidently ahead. But what was it? The architect tries to recall.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    The time for fighting is over, Mr Latro. We down at City Hall are sorry it had to come to this. We know that for too long you and your family here-

    He puts more stress on the word family than perhaps he should.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    -want the same as all codexers, to enjoy the codexian dream. You and your kind should be able to partake in the New Codexia as we all can.

    He smiles warmly; a smile that, until now, the architect would have considered to be the smile of friend, but, in truth, it is the smile of a winner.

    What happened in that second? Did he do something? Did he say something? How could he have done? Everyone was watching him and nobody saw anything.

    Maybe they were watching the wrong thing.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    We promise you, Mr Latro, that if you and your men surrender yourself to us right now that we will of course be merciful.

    Who hadn't they been watching? Rusty? No, his murderous gaze had been fixed on the bad hombre the whole time. The priest? What would he/she/it be interested in?

    No, it was the general. What had he done? The shrunken, alcohol-drowned excuse for a brain scrapes the recesses of the blonde one's memory for answers.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Of course, there will have to be some jail time-

    Murmurs of disapproval from the bad vatos, although their leader just nods quietly, still smiling his plastered-on smile.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    -but we can of course guarantee that we will ease the transition of you and your men back into society as we should have done to begin with. What can we do to help bring you back into society?

    He takes a final step forward, putting his hand out.

    A miniscule flash in the distance, apparently imperceptible to everyone in the courtyard engrossed in the unfolding drama, but it had been perceived.

    [​IMG] Latro:
    You talk your funny whiteboi talk, gringo. But we no trust you. You speak big-boy monkey talk but nothing get done here in Beanertown. We only left with scraps and the cock-o-roaches! But we'll punish you, oh yes. Soon we'll punish all of you and your plastic, fantastic Barbie world.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Now, now. There's no need for punishments. We can help you become that which you seek most: to be true men of culture in a society that really cares. You have our word.

    His grin widens and he takes another final step, apparently unaware that he's come further than he should have.

    The general had nodded. But to who?

    And then, it happened.

    A faint but distinct crack, somewhere in the distance. The Mayor moves backwards suddenly, as if pushed by the force of a gentle gust of wind. In the eternity of the next few seconds, nobody moves and nobody breathes.

    [​IMG]

    Then, the bullet strikes, hitting the gang leader in the shoulder, and all hell breaks loose.

    In the chaos of the battle, a sort of blind bloodlust grips the members of the Los Adolphos. The various banners of the House of Latro, apparently all vying after their leader's chair, all turn on one another as they fight tooth and nail, bullet and bayonet to be the one to sit atop the gilded plinth. Had they looked down, they would have noticed that their leader was not yet dead, and was laying on the dusty floor of the courtyard, trying to get up.

    [​IMG]

    Show Spoiler


    But this is not the architect's concern. He apparently had the forsight to discard the blade before the bullet had hit, perhaps saving the loco one from being impaled on it when he lurched out of his chair. Picking up the blade, trying desperately to hold on to something as the shit hit the fan all around him, he looks around to find Father Pedro. His zabuton is empty, but a trail of blood leads away from it around to the side of the nearest building.

    The Kojimbo fanboys have retaken the villa, while the Hentai Hunters are making a hasty retreat back out towards the cocktail bar. The police, meanwhile, take cover behind their trucks and APCs, quietly baffled as the skirmish rages on. They seem to be in no hurry to fight.

    [​IMG]


    The blood trail leads to the corpse of Father Pedro, apparently beaten to death viciously by persons unknown. The architect, undisturbed by the events around him, stands motionless for a second, drinking in the bizarreness of this turn of events. Why would someone do something like this? Who could possibly have done it?

    It's a brief thought, as a gangbanger lunges viciously at him.

    [​IMG] Conveniently unavatared red-turbanned gang member:
    For the boss, esse! Men of-!

    He silences as the centuries-old Japanese blade sticks into his rib cage, the blade piercing the chest like a hot knife through ice cream. He looks in gasped shock at the red liquid, presumably blood, leaks out onto the floor. He collapses onto the architect, forcing him to the floor.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    I can't... Help, someone please!

    A decidely masculine, yet suspiciously feminine, arm grabs the dead body off the toppled man, flinging it with ease away.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Father Fluent! You came back!
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Come on, Mr Moltke. We're getting out of here!

    We? Then he sees that the priest has found some old friends: the Mayor and his rag-tag of advisors, all looking a little shaken and worse for wear. The Colonel, an absolute ox of a man, carries the limp, unconscious body of the loco one over his shoudler as easy as if he were a piece of lettuce in a beef burrito.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Come on, peacemaker. Let's get out of here before the spics notice that we still exist.

    [​IMG]

    A short distance away, the police, apparently having decided to let the weebs all kill each other, have formed a defensive perimeter around the courtyard. The Mayor's helicopter idles a little way beyond it, waiting for the Mayor to make a reappearance, which he of course does in a prompt and mayoral fashion.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Alright, let's get the hell out of Saigon.

    He says as he punches his tapedeck with skillful technqiue; the music starts immediately...

    Show Spoiler


    ...and behind them, beneath the watchful gaze of the helicopter's rotors, Beanertown fades away. The bellowing smoke builds into plumes which widen into fat stacks, threatening to engulf the entirety of the city in ash. The sound of gunfire builds into a crescendo, an orchestra of martial prowess; a release of pent-up nipponic tension.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the helicopter, another form of tension is building. The architect, only now finding the right moment to leave his fears and anxieties behind in the other world, turns to his supposed rescuers. Now come the questions.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    How did you know-?
    [​IMG] Darkpatriot:
    About the banners? We're not as stupid as we look, Herr Moltke. We have our own intelligence gathering apparatus and for some time now it has been gathering infomation on...

    The Mayor interrupts from the cockpit.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Well, let's just say it's well-equipped.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    And the all the lives lost? The homes destroyed? All just collateral damage?
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Rather fortituous, I would say. Beanertown was a blight on our beautiful city, a cancerous tumour. Now it's well and truly gone, buried under a pile of rubble. All that's left is to demolish and rebuild, all beneath the watchful eye of a Moltke Construction Limited sign.

    He grins the only sincere grin of the day.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    But we wanted to save those poor souls!

    No-one answers. After a few seconds more, the blonde architect decides to drop the most pressing question.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    So you just let me go in there when you knew all along they would implode like that?
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    Someone had to get him out into the courtyard, didn't they?
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    You dirty, back-stabbing little-

    The chief of police grabs him by the throat before he can finish his insult and hoists him in front of the Huey's open door.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Let him go, you...!
    [​IMG] Rusty Shackleford:
    Careful now. You might have powerful friends in this town, but they sure as hell aren't going to save you from gravity.
    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Are you done playing with the builder? Put him back before you accidentally drop him into someone's swimming pool.

    He releases his grip, allowing the architect to once more regain his composure and retake his seat. The police chief stares at him as he leans back in his own seat.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Well it looks like we won, Moltke. Don't forget what team it is you're playing for. Don't worry about the rest of the mess; we'll be the ones to clean this one up, even after all your hard effort.

    And then he resumes his killer grin: a battle won and a job well done.

    The chopper glides deftly into another beautiful codexian day as the smoke behind them fades into yesterday.

    [​IMG]

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

    Show Spoiler


    A warm afternoon in New Codexia. The mood of anxiety that gripped the Wagie Cage a month ago soon faded into the background of daily life before disappearing completely. Even if a lot of them have managed to escape, the Los Adolphos are vanquished. Their power base has been destroyed and their soliders scattered to the four winds, and if anyone has sympathies of the more burrito-shaped variety they sure are not in a hurry to shower their friends and family with them.

    Of course, this is not just any random moment to jump back into the story. Today is a very special day in the Codex cultural calendar. A momentous occasion is about to unfold down in what was formerly known as Beanertown.

    Americatown is about to open, Starbucks and all.

    [​IMG]

    A stage that had been erected the night before stands in the centre of the newest addition to the Cage's parks department: Fluent Gardens. No-one liked the name, least of all the priest himself/herself/itself, but the Mayor had decided on the name personally, and no amount of petition through any channel was going to dissaude him.

    [​IMG]

    Besides, the thing the codex absolutely needs most is another park which transforms into an open-air market for creaky-kneed whores when the sun sets.

    [​IMG]

    The stage at the centre of the guard extends its presence throughout the whole of the park, dominating, mogging if you will, all of the other permanent residences of the park: the benches, the planters, the snack bar and the novelty oversized chess game. Even the rubbish bins cannot escape it's malevolent, authoritarian grasp.

    [​IMG]

    Right now though, a very different kind of trash gathers around the stage. The huddled masses of the codex have come from far and wide to witness this grand opening ceremony, and they were certainly not going to go away empty handed. It's fairly obvious that whoever organised this flamboyant, perhaps even borderline garish, celebration is surely trying to make an impression, from the flags to the band to the huge stage. The free ice cream and the stalls all devoted to serving starchy potato products covered in films and films of grease. Someone here is absolutely desperate to impress.

    [​IMG]

    The architect can't help but think that the Mayor is deliberately trying to upstage his own grand opening of Prosper Park, what seems like a million years ago, and so far it seems to be working. Everywhere he looks, happy Americans fill the park with happy smiles and happy sounds. Here it is, the Codexian Dream all doused in sickening Americana, all within the happy new settlement of Americatown, even if this new settlement hides a very dark past.

    He scratches his arm, or at least tries to, as the arm is encased in a plaster cast: a reminder of the events that have led him here. Unlike the last time he was in a park during the opening ceremony, he's not a guest of honour on the stage. In truth, he didn't even receive an invite in any official capacity, which he's certain the Mayor's office will tell him was a mistake which they sincerely apologise for. At least this way he can just immerse himself in the crowd and try to drink in the atmosphere, repugnant as though it may be.

    Show Spoiler


    Somewhere behind the stage, a DJ chooses the next song. Determined to hammer home the rather hamfisted theme of today's occasion, he decides on Nickelback. A few rednecks at the front of the stage grunt in agreement, beer cans rattling in satisfaction. They, along with the rest of the crowd, are waiting for the official events of the ceremony to get under way. The ceremony was supposed to start at 1pm, it now being 1:07, but the Mayor is nowhere to be seen. The assorted suits on stage shuffle nervously in their chairs, but the architect is sure that Mayor Gregz is just putting on a show in order to bask in his triumph.

    [​IMG]

    The blonde man is sitting on a bench at the back of the park, and seated next to him is the priest who had accompanied him during his time in Beanertown. He/she/it has received an official invite, the park is named after him/her/it after all, but in some misguided sense of solidarity with him here he/she/it sits.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Also, I never wanted to this place to be named after me. All the sadness. All the loss.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Huh?

    Did the priest just read his mind?

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    It hurts, to come back to this place. To think, this is where-

    He/she/it stops, unable to finish. The death of Father Pedro has hit him/her/it hard, and he/she/it hasn't spoken much at all since they first arrived at the park a little over an hour ago. So they sit in silence for a bit long, waiting for the Mayor to make an entrance.

    When he does decide to make an appearance, Mayor Gregz apparently decided to ditch his characteristic modesty and moderation, and instead decided to adorn himself in a level of pomp and ostentation that would've made Gaddafi blush, all delivered from the comfort and security of his personal helicopter.

    Show Spoiler


    [​IMG]

    The helicopter descends next to the stage, Gregz showing off his masterful pilot skills and knocking a few dignatries off of their chairs with the backwash from the rotors. Most would probably say that attempting to land so close to a large crowd is a foolhardy move, but it's clearly evident that the Mayor is unconcerned with such opinions; he's the one in charge today.

    [​IMG]

    The Mayor steps out, general's uniform blowing in a slight breeze, aviators perched atop his head. He makes towards the stage, entourage in tow. After stepping up to the microphone, he outstreches his arms slightly to the crowd as if to say: here we are. The crowd, only mildly enthused up to this point, erupts into an outpouring of emotion. Triumph, passion and glee. The crowd cheers and applauds vigorously, playing right into the Mayor's hands.

    [​IMG]

    At least, that's how it appears at first glance. From the back of the park, the architect and the priest can see that only those at the front of the crowd seemed to have worked themselves into a frenzy, and they all have something very obvious in common. Beer guts, trucker hats and eyes of juvenile innocence. Americans, clearly, make up that section of the crowd, but around the sides a very different picture emerges. The brown skin of the Brazilians, the gaunt faces of the slavs, the beady eyes of the Germans. Chinks and Italians and Mexicans and Indians, all staring at this outpouring of Americanism with curious indifference. Even the anglos, ordinarily the mirror image of their cousins across the pond, can only look on in disbelief at the sheer lack of taste on display.

    The Mayor raises his hand to silence the crowd, lighting a cigar with his other hand at the same time.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    Well...

    He pauses, and the front of the crowd hangs on every microsecond.

    [​IMG] Gregz:
    ...WE DID IT!

    He starts punching the air, releasing all his excitement at a job well done. The crowd goes absolutely nuts at this display, screaming in exhilaration as their Mayor continues celebrating his victory. The show-boating goes on for a while before the priest decides that enough is enough.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    I don't think I can take anymore.

    He/she/it stands up quickly, about to walk away when he/she/it notices that the architect is still sitting there, staring longingly at the stage.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    The only thing missing is a Mission Accomplished banner.
    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Come on, Mr Architect. Walk with me.

    After what seems like an eternity staring at this sickening outpouring of flag-waving Americanism, the architect joins his clergical companion on a stroll around the new park at the heart of this new city district, a far more pleasant way to spend their time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    The birds are singing now.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    It took a while for them to come back, I know.

    They walk silently for a while, admiring this new symbol of the uneasy peace in New Codexia. While the Los Adolphos' power may have been broken for the time being, and their forces scattered to the four corners of the metropolis, the architect was sure that they have not yet been conclusively been driven out of this new and virgin land, and now the architect has a rejuvenated city administration to contend with, like a gargantuan marble monkey on his back. Other snakes in the grass lurk out there as well, he assumes, and have yet to make themselves known.

    But all that is a problem for another day; right now, it's time to enjoy this pleasant codexian afternoon, in spite of the oppressive tropical heat. They head south along the path, the new constructions on the lower-side of the park coming into view. The Cage's first apartment blocks, lower income housing to provide a decent place to live for hard-working slavic code-monkeys, are being built, all of which will have an excellent view of the park. The architect doubts they will have much appreciation of such a bonus.

    [​IMG]

    North of Poland Avenue though, construction has yet to break ground. It will of course do so at some point, New Codexia is a fast growing settlement after all, but for now it sits unused. For now, the statues dedicated to the memories of fallen codexian comrades watch over the empty land, ready to spring into action and defend the fatherland against all threats should the need arise once more.

    [​IMG]

    The vacant lot where the Mayor and his cronies had hatched their plans to clear Beanertown of its inhabitants has now been turned into the main entrance to the park, along with a small information booth, addict-free toilets and, naturally, a KFC. The colonel's smiling face watches over all codexians who venture into this happy land, comforting in his stern but pleasant authority: an immortal reminder of the tense stability of this new land.

    [​IMG]

    They avoid the Burger King, nobody likes Burger King, and head back North towards the old sight of the Los Adolphos compound. The favelas and casas have all been torn down, all except the old colonial house that the loco one first terrorised the blonde architect. At the Mayor's insistence, it is now known as the Museum of Nipponic Atrocities, a testament to and chronicle of the heroic deeds of the forces of New Codexia against their implacable foe and the strange, asiatic power that they had attempted to channel. Outside the museum, the throne of the gangbanger extraordinaire stills sits, the tourist signs describing in minute detail the final struggle of the Los Adolphos and their doomed leader. Thankfully, he is now locked away, safe and sound, but his seat stands there still, as if to beckon him back.

    [​IMG]

    Naturally, the cocktail bar has been gentirified by hipsters, and is doing much, much better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    It's been nice.

    Another awkward pause.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Let's head back to the church. My flock won't tend to itself.

    [​IMG]

    The architect nods in agreement, and they purposefully head back east, in the direction of St. Proverbius. It's then that a large object, covered in a oversized white tarp, becomes visible next to the church in a small annex of the new park. This new mystery object suddenly piques the priest's interest.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Ooooh, what's that?

    Eyes full of childlike curiosity, his/her/its mood perks up.

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    That? Oh, that. Well, let's just call it a little present. The Mayor may have tried to sideline me, but let's just say I still have friends in this town.

    They walk a little further, over towards whatever it is. As they get closer, it becomes clear that whatever it is is infact quite large, yet does not overshadow the park, instead living in harmony with everything around it, unlike other objects in the park.

    But what exactly is it?

    Beaming, the architect jogs over to the object, where a small crowd of people has gathered. Of course this crowd is nothing compared to the one currently around the stage, enjoying the circus, but this crowd seems different. More genuine, perhaps. They chat happily, patiently waiting for the mystery of the park to be revealed. Happy to oblige, the architect pulls on the tarp, unraveling the mystery.

    The priest looks at the monument first in shock, then in confusion, then in pleasant amusement.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Oh?! Oh? Oh! It's a Mountain Dew can!

    He/she/it grins merrily, suddenly realising that he/she/it hasn't had a can of sugary nectar in a while. She reaches around her vestaments, trying to find a can somewhere but fails in his/her/its search.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Nevermind.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Do you like it?

    He smiles politely, but not overly polite. She smiles back, apparently very pleased with this new gift.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Of course!

    But then he/she/it stops smiling, and a look of sadness flashes across his/her/its face.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    It's just that...well...Father Pedro. He loved Mountain Dew too.
    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    Then let this be a monument to his memory. He died in that compound for a greater cause, so don't let that be in vain.

    He/she/it finds comfort in this and smiles once again. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, he/she/it leans in and leaves a small peck on the architect's cheek.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Thank you.

    The architect blushes and tries to regain his composure.

    [​IMG] Fluent:
    Come and visit me some time. You know where I am.

    [​IMG]

    He/she/it saunters off towards the church. The blonde man watches him/her/it go for a while, before heading off himself. After all, The Wagie Cage is not going to build itself.

    When he passes the street, and St. Proverbius no longer blocks the view of the mountains in the distance, the architect notices something on the mountainside.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] GrafvonMoltke:
    How long has that been there?

    The thought doesn't last long. Shaking it away, he continues his stroll back to the office; there is much to be done.

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow is just another codexian day.

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

    In the darkness, an entity of great power sleeps. Currently in a weakened state, its strength grows, surrounded only by the shattered memories of what came before. Its minions gather in the shadows, and soon it shall awaken, screaming as it is reborn into this new world.

    A world of pain and misery. A world of emotional starvation and idleness. A world full of delicious new troubles.

    And it is hungry.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
    • Funny x 4
    • Brofist x 2
    • incline x 1
    • I found this text to be too long and as such I didn't read it x 1
    • Rage x 1
    • Creative x 1
    • Bad Spelling x 1
    • WTF am I reading x 1
    ^ Top  
  18. Generic-Giant-Spider Unwanted

    Unwanted
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    6,025
    Location:
    Every fantasy game ever.
    Hey hey hey kids! It's another CRINGEY post from the cringe genie himself, Cringevon!
     
    • Racist Racist x 1
    • Bad Spelling Bad Spelling x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. madbringer Magister

    madbringer
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,695
    Location:
    the vast
    :shredder:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. vazha Prophet

    vazha
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,808
    A bit too long to read in one sitting and I am already disappointed Fluent isn't the one who got raped by the turbaned gangbangers in the prison.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. baud Arcane Patron

    baud
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Messages:
    3,676
    Location:
    Septentrion
    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    so cheap they're floating a feet off the ground?

    :lol:
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
    • Funny Funny x 1
    ^ Top  
  22. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    ;)
    You keep coming here, so you must like it.

    When I hit the post button and actually saw how long it was, this was my reaction too.

    There’s still time!

    Sadly nothing could be done about that. For some reason in Skylines props placed on roads fix to the height of the surrounding terrain rather than to the road itself. You actually have to get a mod to even allow that, as in the base game it won’t allow placement on roads at all.

    Think of it as a mystical power native to the lands of New Codexia.

    Hope you guys all enjoyed it!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  23. Thac0 Time Mage Patron

    Thac0
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2020
    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Arborea
    BUT WHY ARE THE CATGIRLS GONE
     
    • Despair Despair x 2
    • it is a mystery it is a mystery x 1
    ^ Top  
  24. GrafvonMoltke Shoutbox Purity League

    GrafvonMoltke
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Land of the Great Steppe
    Who said they are...
     
    • Despair Despair x 2
    • Grab the minigun, there are demons here to smite Grab the minigun, there are demons here to smite x 1
    ^ Top  
  25. Thac0 Time Mage Patron

    Thac0
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2020
    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Arborea
    I trust darkpatriots instinct when it comes to catgirls.
     
    • Fishy Fishy x 2
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Sweat gathers upon my brow, let me dab it Sweat gathers upon my brow, let me dab it x 1
    ^ Top  

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.