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Deus Mortis 02-24-15 01:06 AM

The Emperor Protects
Someone or something had ravaged Thessalonica. Corpses still rotted in the streets of staked to building, the blood sprayed across alleyways and doorways had dried to a deep crimson that was almost brown. The hustle and bustle of the Lower Hive had died away, although the screams of the grey twilight had not entirely disappeared. The moans of the dead and dying still echoed through the streets a hab complexes. Even after the decimation, life still persisted. It is one of the most remarkable about humanity; its ability to endure. One of it most horrifying characteristics is the ways in which it can endure.

Kirai "The Rat": You are on the far western side of the Lower Hive, on the fifth floor of a habitation block. You have been there for three sleeps, although that does not necessarily imply three days. The rations you had are all spent and your small frame is struggling to cope with the lack of nutrition, limited as it was before. You must venture out to find some or perish. In the most recent hours you have heard noises echoing through the ventilation shafts. However, one thing is certain, you cannot stay here for much longer. Hunger will drive you on or it will kill you.

There is a ventilation shaft in the room you are holed up in, although you have not explored far into it. There is a double bed in the room, high enough off of the ground for you to sneak under if needs must. There are a few cupboards in the room as well as a desk. The roomís only exit leads to a corridor. Your room is at the end of a corridor of 12 rooms, 6 on either side. At the end of the corridor there is a left turn, leading to another corridor with 16 rooms, 8 on either side. There is a T-junction at the end of this corridor, right leads to a staircase allowing you to move up or down floors. Left is more corridors.

Gabriel Frost: Hunger is an issue for you. Your stomach growls loudly and you know is has been far longer it should be since you last ate. You can survive for a while longer but the longer you wait the more your awareness and your ability to act will diminish. You swig some of your water at some cross roads on the west of the Lower Hive, your shotgun held loosely in your other hand ready to act at a momentís notice. You have been wandering one of the main streets of the Lower Hive for a few hours now and had only just passed the main munitions factory on your right.

Forward and to you right is row after of habitation blocks, likely some of them are occupied by people of varying humours. Forward and to the left is the Arbites HQ. Behind that is the main elevator that leads to the upper levels of the hive. You know from experience that it is locked somehow. Only those from the upper hive can call it. The lower denizens have to have the elevator sent down to them. Surrounding the elevator shaft is more hab blocks.

Samuel Holst: You are on the far western side of the Lower Hive, on the fifth floor of a habitation block. You have been there for three sleeps, although that does not necessarily imply three days. The rations you had are all spent. Although you could last a little while longer, you can tell Kirai is not doing well. She is sleeping more and longer than she had been when you first met her. In the most recent hours you have heard sounds echoing through the ventilation shafts. You might prefer to not move from where you are, relatively obscured, but if you do Kirai will not last long and you may soon follower her.

There is a ventilation shaft in the room you are holed up in, although you have not explored far into it. There is a double bed in the room, high enough off of the ground for Kirai to sneak under if needs must, but not high enough for you. There are a few cupboards in the room as well as a desk. The roomís only exit leads to a corridor. Your room is at the end of a corridor of 12 rooms, 6 on either side. At the end of the corridor there is a left turn, leading to another corridor with 16 rooms, 8 on either side. There is a T-junction at the end of this corridor, right leads to a staircase allowing you to move up or down floors. Left is more corridors.

Kanis Strike: In the last few hours the voices began to cause you a terrible migraine so you decided to travel back to the chapel and pray and found no one else there. The pews were overturned and most of the valuables ransacked, although some of the bodies remained decomposing silently. However, the statue venerating the Emperor still remained and kneeling in front of it and offering benedictions helped. However, your need for food compelled you to leave, and the voices began to stir again. This time it was no words, but a heightened awareness that you are being watched. You look around but cannot find any eyes spying on you and do your best to dismiss the feeling.

Something compels you to the east of town, heading down the street to your right and then taking a left at some point. You know the manufactorum that produced the majority of the food for the Lower Hive is in the North East quadrant of the city, although most of it has likely been ransacked by now. However there is a chance there may still be something there, or perhaps those who had raided the manufactorum would still be nearby, unwilling to leave what might be a prosperous source of sustenance. You start to walk this way, although there are also several habitation blocks to your left, unlikely to be as rich in resources but also far less likely to be targeted by raiders.

Callista "Cally" Santigue: You are in the basement of one of the habitation blocks close to the ammunition manufactorum. With the auxiliary power generators humming around you and the warmth they give off, it is as close as you can get right now to the familiar surroundings of the kilns you are used to. There is a problem however. There is neither food nor water down here and despite your natural affinity with heat and machinery, the environment is taking its toll on your body. You are becoming dehydrated and if you donít find water soon your condition will deteriorate.

You have a few options open to you. You can choose to go up into the higher levels of the habitation block of that you are in currently. The lower floor are likely ransacked by now, but the higher floors might prove fruitful. You could venture into the open and check the workers quarters of the manufactorum or raid some of the other habitation blocks. Whatever you do, your priority has to be finding food or water as without these you are unlikely to last much longer.

Pieter Hark: You have wandered to the south of the lower hive, you are currently in a 3rd floor of a habitation block which is directly opposite the Church of the God-Emperor. The weak light reflects of its gilded roof and in through the solitary window in your room, perhaps a sign of the Emperorís favour on this position. Regardless of whether such an absent God favours this building or not, you have exhausted your supplies of food and will have to find more soon or starve.

Out of the window you see a man whose head darts left and right. A small skull bobs behind him. Itís as if he is looking for something. He appears anxious to you. He appears to have recently left the chapel and is heading to the east of the Lower Hive. Perhaps he could use some company, or perhaps youíd rather steer clear of unknown people. Alternatively you might want to call to him and get his attention. Your room leads into a corridor, at the end of which are some stairs which will allow you to ascend or descend although about an hour ago you heard several sets of feet use the stairs, whether they were coming or going you couldnít tell.

Carrick1995 02-24-15 11:41 AM

Gabr glances down at his shotgun opening the breech to check his shell count.

"Hm running low, gonna have to search for ammo soon or I'm done"

He contemplates going into the munitions depo he just past but the urge of hunger had set in by now, and
He can't afford to retrace his steps with what ever lurks in the darkness still lingering ready to pounce.

After much debating in his own mind he enters one of the near by Hab blocks in search of sustenance he walks through the Han block checking rooms his shotgun drawn... Just in case.

Shadow's Fury 02-24-15 08:45 PM

Kanis raised his hand to temple, massaging his head to try and alleviate the pain. But it was no good, the voices had wrestled control. It had been almost a decade since they had been able to induce this much agony. It felt as if a mental dam had burst, releasing the voices into his mind in a swirling torrent. Every step he made sent shivers of pain through his body, but not with the intensity within his head.

He knew this was his fault, he had gone too long with proper subsistence and sleep. It had drained him of his energy to keep them locked up. A lapse in control, even for a second, can spell major consequences. He decided that he needed time to recharge, enough to at least stave off the worst of the migraine.

Staying close to the ground and moving with as much speed as he dared, Kanis returned to the chapel, the place he had called home for so many years. However, the bustling masses on their way to praise the Emperor had been replaced with decomposing bodies, some contorted into horrible positions. Kanis shuddered as he walked past them and through the open archway.

Poor souls, may the Emperor’s light guide and protect them in the gloom of the afterlife’ he thought

The passage of time was very difficult to measure in the twilight which now engulfed the lower hive, but it was clear that there had been activity here since Kanis last visited. The pews had been overturned, smashed into pieces.

Probably scavengers, getting something to burn for a fire

He glanced around the great hall to see that nothing had been left undisturbed. All the murals and artefacts of the chapel had gone, leaving nothing but a fine layer of dust and bodies. The number of bodies had increased since last he was here, suggesting that the looters must have fought over the remains of this once glorious beacon of faith. Kanis felt only sadness, for he knew that this was done out of desperation, not malice.

Hard times such as these are the true test of a man’s faith, and many fail

As he approached the statue of the Emperor, the focus point of the whole place, he was relieved to see that it had been left fairly unscathed. The voices in his head already began to retreat back into the depths of his mind as he glazed upon its majesty. But they were not going quietly. He could swear they were hissing curses at the glorious figure before him, as if being this close to the statue hurt them. As he kneeled to pray, the last vestals of resistance from the voices vanished. He felt the pain recede, and a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He prayed for the souls that still remained, and asked the Emperor to look down upon them with mercy, and to guide them to his light. As ever, all that he received in return was the statues stony silence. When he was younger, he had asked how the priest knew if the Emperor could hear their prayers. He was told that the greatest gifts the Emperor could bestow on his followers was hope and faith, and that if he believed strongly enough, he would know the Emperor was listening to him.

Kanis opened his eyes and immediately launched himself backwards. His servo skull had hovered in front of his face while he prayed, meaning that when he opened his eyes it floated only a few inches from his nose. Swearing silently as only a mute could, he got back to his feet. He watched his silent companion for a few seconds while he caught his breath. Kanis had always admired the servo skull. It was a relic of the chapel, being in service for countless years. Overtime, its machine spirit had gained a curious nature, as if it had a child’s curiosity.

It was then he felt his stomach churn, with his attention on his pounding headache, Kanis had neglected the emptiness of his stomach. A quick scout of the area showed that everything had now been taken, so he would have to search further afield.

The Emperor likes to test to flock, doesn’t he

Checking his pack and making sure all his belongings were in place, Kanis left the chapel through the rear entrance, in case he had been followed. He began heading south, towards a habitation block, but then froze. Something was wrong. Another side effect of his prolonged battle with the voices were that occasionally, they granted him a heighted sense. He couldn’t explain this even if he could speak, but it felt like he was able to get a glimpse of the surrounding world through disembodied eyes. He was being watched.

Hitting the ground as quickly as he could, Kanis looked around, incase someone had taken arms against him and were hoping for a distance shot with a rifle. His first day out of the chapel had seen him run into a gang armed to the teeth. He had escaped by the skin of his teeth, and had made him more wary of being out in the open for too long. After a few moments, he decided that it must just be a side effect of the earlier battle with the voices and returned to his feet.

Kanis considered his next move. With a feeling of unexplained dread of the habituation block in front of him, he decided to go East instead. He vaguely remembered there had been a manufactorum that produced vast quantities of food, and thought that perhaps there could be some scraps left over. He moved quickly, trying to dispel the feeling of being watched. He was sure he could hear something a voice perhaps, but decided it must be his nerves playing tricks on him. The further east he travelled, the more Kanis felt happy about his decision, he couldn’t explain why but he felt that every step he made was right, as if he was treading a path which had been laid out in front of him.

Perhaps my prayers have been answer

He headed down a narrow street, turning right down an even narrower corridor. Bodies still littered the streets, some looking fresher than others. He then found himself turning left onto a main street until he could see the manufactorium in front of him. But something was wrong. He could see in the distance the doors were wide open, and what appeared to be a glint of metal.


Kanis dived behind a wall, waiting for the sound of incoming fire. After a few minutes of silence, he decided that either he had not been spotted or the glint was just a metallic piece of rubble. Not wanting to risk an ambush in unknown territory, Kanis decided that he would have to find another potential source of food. He looked up at another habituation block just a few yards from his hiding place. He could see the doors were still closed, and there appeared to be no tracks leading to or from the building. It seemed odd that this building had been left untouched, but perhaps the raiders didn’t want to leave the manufactorium in case a rival gang swooped in and took it from them. Knowing there would be less food to find, Kanis slowly crept up to the doors, deciding that at least this should lead him away from a firefight. He still could not shake the feeling something was watching him, waiting for him to lower his guard just for a second. He pulled out his knife from its sheath around his belt, its weight comforting in his hands.

May the Emperor guide my blade to victory, so that I may serve him and bring justice in his name’ he silently chanted as he pushed open the door.

On the cusp of hearing, Kanis heard a familiar voice, the first voice he had heard as a child when the curse began. It only surfaced when the others disappeared, as if waiting for him to fall into a false sense of security before striking. It was the only voice that he truly feared, for it took the guise of his former self, the child who had his tongue ripped out, the child who had been left to die, the child who sought the darkness and who the darkness still seeks to claim.


Carrick1995 02-24-15 10:01 PM

After a short while of advancing down the corridor, gabe knocks a tin can imediatly snaping his weapon to the then possible threat, realising his error he lets out a sigh and lowers his weapon, before having a swig of water and continuing through the hab block.

One thing keeps running through his mind,

"Am I the last one ?"

Why did he deserve to live when others fell into the darkness, it wasn't fair. These thorght where not healthy they would only lead to his desendance into madness.

After the best part of an hour he decided this was a waste of his time and walked out into the street, looking in all direction for some sign of contact friend or for he dosent care, what are these things waiting for...,

Was this his final punishment for passed sins ... Emperor have mercy.

Asamodai 02-25-15 12:27 PM

Despite the chill in the air, Pieter felt warm inside. A feeling he had not experienced for the first thirty seven years of his life, it was now his constant companion. Though it ebbed and waned, the feeling was always there, the touch of the Emperor's love and his favour for a simple power plant worker on a faraway world. This was a good place, Pieter knew this. He stood at the window of the tiny hab room and bathed his face in the soft light from the church roof. The Emperor could see him here, could protect him here. He would remember this place. It was not his destiny however. He had already turned the room upside down for some sign, some clue as to why he had felt drawn here but there was nothing. He had rested though, better then he had in days. Perhaps that was all he needed, to sleep soundly in the safety of the Emperor's embrace so as to begin his search with renewed vigour.

A figure emerged from the church and Pieter ducked down sharply. Though he had exited the church, he carried himself with none of the peace such a place would imbue upon the holy. Pieter peered uneasily and watched the man walk away. He jumped as his stomach growled so loudly he feared the man would hear it. For all the Emperor's protection, Pieter knew he must still sustain himself. Slowly standing up again, he took a deep breath, soaking in one last dose of the soft soothing light, turned and walked out into the corridor.

He searched each room between his and the stairwell. In the third room along he found a nutri-bar. A short slab of processed grains infused with minimal requirements of protein and vitamins, cheap to produce and supply to the impoverished. It was brown and unappealing, the first signs of fluffy white mould forming at the tips. Pieter ate it anyway. It was bland and heavy and took so much chewing it made his jaw ache. He savoured every bite, for such was a gift from the Emperor.

With nothing left to find, Pieter walked boldly once more into the corridor and took the staircase down towards the street.

Shadow's Fury 03-04-15 10:10 PM

Kanis remained crouched, fear had frozen him to the spot. The voice had caught him unawares. It took all his willpower to force himself forward into the corridor. He tried to calm his mind, his thoughts returning to chants of praise. He decided that he would start his search on the first floor, any raiders or looters passing through early during the mad panic would have surely swept the ground floor clear.

By the time he began climbing the stairs his mind had returned to state of calm. He found himself cursing his moment of weakness, and thanked the Emperor that it had not cost him more than just a few moments of panic. Still remaining low, Kanis moved down the first floor corridor, and picked one of the rooms at random. The door was unlocked, so he pushed the door open slowly.

He found himself in a small room, the floor space almost taken up completely by the small single bed. Apart from the bed and a few discarded possessions, the room was bare. He searched underneath the bed and found what he believed to be a survival bag. Those who were on the run from gang members tended to make up small packs, in case they needed to make a quick getaway. They usually consisted of a small amount of credits, clothes, and a bit of food to keep them going until the next safe point could be found.

Sure enough, as he rooted through the bag he found a can of processed meat. Kanis pried the can open with his knife and quickly devoured the contents within seconds. He settled down on the bed to allow his stomach ample time to digest the measly meal. It would sustain him for a while, but he would soon need to find some more.

It took Kanis a few moments to realise his mistake, and when it registered he could feel fear attempt to grip him once more. He had left the door of the complex open, and it wouldn't take a fool long to figure out someone was here. This fear was quickly replaced by another. This pack had been left here in case of emergencies, if a man needed to escape in a hurry. So why was the pack still here?

Sharukurusu 03-06-15 05:39 AM

Cally stared at the humming machine with both loathing and love. She'd been talking to it lately, having no one else around to make any sort of conversation with. "You know... I could likely get a drink from you if you didn't run on that blasted concoction that you do now." The generator likely didn't answer, which made her roll her eyes and get up. She'd collect up her few implements and decide to start looking around the upper floors.

Caution was foremost in her mind, something she supposed should help for sneaking around. She stayed ducked or crouched most of the time because it seemed like a good idea, and made traversing slow enough on purpose to conserve both energy and to eye over anything of use she may find. Food and water being her priority, she also kept an eye out for other goodies, particularly a metal cooking pot of some sort. Bowls, cups, other assorted vessels, bags and cutlery as well.

She was hardly adverse to picking up anything at all she might find useful, already plotting a way to try and work her way back towards the Manufactorum. She'd collect away, if she found anything, till she could carry little else of true use to her, then she'd retreat back down to her warm little slice of hell.

komanko 03-06-15 11:50 PM

Dr.Holst Stood at the center of a square room, it was scarcely furnished, with very little present except for a double bed, a desk and a few cupboards. Though he could not complain it was a change for the worse when compared to his own apartment and while his might not have been fancy it was surly not as bad as this one. He has been here for a day or two, he was not sure for how many, he slept thrice already but since the automated time tracking system went offline along with the rest of the auxiliary systems it became hard to tell how much and for how long he had slept.

Samuel was about to move onwards when realization dawned upon him, he completely forgot about Kirai. He was unused to having to look out for someone, especially when they were not a patient of his. Nourishment and water were very sparse, they were in need of a proper meal and swiftly, more specifically Kirai was in need of food, her skin seemed grey and unsustained, she was sleeping most of the day, her body conserving the little energy she had.

With resolute steps the doctor approached Kirai, he grabbed her swiftly by the chin, turning her head to the sides, looking at her perceptively, analyzing her current condition, if he was good at anything it was medicine. Her eyelids were wide as if having a hard time adjusting to the dim lighting, her body was changing, trying to match the new conditions she had to deal with but without the proper supplies it could not finish the job. The obvious signs of energy loss were not good, unsatisfactory Samuel deemed her.

He snorted letting her now he is not satisfied with her current condition. She had to start keeping herself more healthy. "You need more food child, otherwise..." He trailed off "Otherwise you are done for, we have to move out." Samuel did not forget the strange noises they have been hearing for the past time, it seemed like they were coming from the ventilation shafts but he dared not risk crawling into that tight unmaneuverable space and he would never allow Kirai to go in there, not right now with the danger possibly lurking about. "Pack your things Kirai, we are moving, food is thin and we need more."

Waiting for Kirai to finish packing her belongings and pet rat he meanwhile looked outside the door, watching for any sudden movement. The whole Lower Hive became a grim place since the Event, he honestly did not know why he was spared, was he lucky, was he chosen for something, it did not matter... His chances of survival were low, with no armed experience he will be food for brigands quickly. But... It was no longer about him alone. He had Kirai and in a way it gave him strength, fighting this new city alone was too much for him... He embraced death a long while ago... He was always just a step from accepting it but Kirai somehow made him go on, maybe by reminding him how young and precious life is, maybe simply because he had a purpose of keeping her safe... He did not know and it did not matter. He had to keep her safe. That was certain.

"Come on gal!" He ushered Kirai forward, chastising her for taking so long. "You have to hasten your step little one." He muttered softly to her as he caught up. He was trying to desperately to act like nothing is wrong but he was not a good lair, he never lied to his patients as well, the ones he did lie to never believed him so he learned to tell the truth always but for her sake he tried, she needed the hope more than he did, but if she would look she would easily see his worried eyes. They had to find food, and fast, the child will not last without it...

They skipped the first rooms and took the left turn at the far side of the corridor, more rooms appeared before him and he felt like there might be something useful in one of them so they began searching.

(Leaving a room for you Ratty, I'll post another if there will be time.)

Ratvan 03-07-15 04:57 PM

Kirai was roughly awoken from her delirious sleep by a skeletal hand snapping her head this way and that, the light dim as it was hurt her eyes and the man continued to stare down at her, his face seemed familiar somehow she thought sleepily that it might have been her grandfather by the way he softly but firmly held her chin but realisation slowly crept back....his name was Holst. Samuel Holst. he was a Doctor of sorts she hazily remembered. Then came the admonishments, do this do that, pack your things, hurry up. Always the same, she knew that he cared, she knew that he was looking out for her but she was so tired, her body ached there was a constant growling in her stomach as the small rations that she had stored had long since been finished.

He was trying to make her feel safe, she felt sorry for him there was not much safety left since the event. Pushing the last remains of her belongings into her pack she hastened to the doorway as quickly as her tired frame would allow. Just as she was ushered from the room she glanced at the air vent system desperately wanting to crawl inside and sleep some more, then she remembered the sounds and her hope faded. The only place that she had found to feel safe lately had just become somewhere where she feared to go, she could not describe the sounds they were not something that she remembered hearing before.

Taking the left turn on the corridor Kirai saw more rooms and the Doctor disappeared into one and began searching, Kirai stood and watched him for a while. He was a good man, and as hungry as she was she knew that he must also eat soon. Determined to find food for the pair of them she turned and entered the room adjacent and began searching, hoping and praying to find food and water trying and failing to put the thought of the noises from the ventilation from her mind

Deus Mortis 03-10-15 11:11 PM

Kirai "The Rat": You are in the room adjacent to Dr Holst. It is largely identical to the room you were previously in. You search in drawers, in the cupboards, everywhere. Your search proves successful. Tucked underneath the bed is a full glass of water, about 500 ml. A small ration, but it will be enough to keep you from dehydrating for a little while longer. You go to take it through to Samuel when you hear footsteps coming up the staircase.

At the top of the stair is a well-muscled woman with a wrench held loosely in one hand. Her face is obscured by an Arbites helmet, although an orange jumper and beige trousers imply that it is likely looted rather than part of her original attire. She appears to be scanning the hallways, whether looking for foes or allies or merely to get a lay of her surroundings. She begins to wander down the corridor perpendicular to yours. If you wish to break for the room Samuel Holst is in, now would be a chance to do so. Or you might want to call him over to yours. Or remain where you are or maybe make a break for the staircase.

Gabriel Frost: You step out of the hab block and onto the street again, your spirits sagging. You turn right, away from the manufactorium and toward the south of the town. As you walk you see a figure disappear into a hab block to your right. Although you donít know who they are, or even if they are particularly friendly, it at least means you are not alone. The need for companionship briefly overwhelms your caution and you chase after the figure and arrive into the opening foyer of the hab block.

The foyer considers of two corridors which peel off to your left and right with small rooms dotting the walls. There is a table with some chairs scattered around it, some more broken than others. There is one completely intact, steadily collecting a film of dust. Directly in front of you is the main reception and on either side of this medium sized booth are stairs which merge into one main staircase behind the reception desk. You hear the faint sound of footsteps from upstairs, although it occurs to you now that just because you are happy to see another person doesnít mean they will be. You may either ascend the staircase in the hopes of finding the person you chased or remain on the ground floor and search the room for food, still a concern for you.

Samuel Holst: You are in the room adjacent to Kirai. It is largely identical to the room you were previously in. You search in drawers, in the cupboards, everywhere. Your search proves successful too. In the cupboard you find 3 tins of pre-packaged post natal food. They have not been opened, although you know that this means the occupants of this room were with or had recently had a child. Perhaps the idea of them being killed or surviving the event troubles you, perhaps it doesnít. In any case it is good news for you and Kirai. Speed of growth was of key importance to the overlords of Thessalonica and this post natal food will likely be packed with carbs, fat and even vitamins and minerals, even if it is not the most tasty. You go to take it through to Kirai when you hear footsteps from the staircase.

At the top of the stair is a well-muscled woman with a wrench held loosely in one hand. Her face is obscured by an Arbites helmet, although an orange jumper and beige trousers imply that it is likely looted rather than part of her original attire. She appears to be scanning the hallways, whether looking for foes or allies or merely to get a lay of her surroundings. She begins to wander down the corridor perpendicular to yours. If you wish to break for the room Kirai is in, now would be a chance to do so. Or you might want to call her over to yours. Or remain where you are or maybe make a break for the staircase.

Kanis Strike: You freeze for a few moments, wary that the owner of the knap-sack you had been pilfering may come back at any moment or that a trap may spring and leave you wounded or worse. However nothing of the sort happens. You are just about to relax when you hear footsteps pounding up the stairs. In the scant few moment you have you dive underneath the single bed in the room and pull your servo-skull close to your chest, deactivating it briefly.You push yourself a close against the wall as you can, hoping to remain unnoticed. You see a set of legs enter the room.

A figure drops down to the bag and rummages frantically to the very bottom. As the figure rummages you hear another set of footsteps, much slower and much more deliberate. The first figure pulls something from the bag and stands up, facing the doorway. He mutters to himself ďCanít go back, not there. Canít go back. Canít go backÖĒ his voice trails off at the end. Another, paternal voice echoes through the room. ďCome on child, donít hide. Come out, come out wherever you are.Ē A moment later the footsteps stop and you hear the click of a pistolís safety being taken off. ďThere you are.Ē A gunshot sounds and a boy no older than 15 drops to the floor with a hole in the back of his skull, blood and brain matter leaking from it. The other voice sighs, you can see his legs in the doorway. ďYouíve gone and hidden again, havenít you. Donít worry Iíll find you. Daddy always does.Ē The legs disappear from the doorway but you can hear the man has not gone far. The pistol is still limp in the boyís hand and is within reaching distance if you wanted. Or you could make a break for it, or remain exactly where you are.

Callista "Cally" Santigue: You begin to steadily make your way up into the higher levels of the habitation block, checking occasional rooms as you go. Compared the heats you are used to these higher levels are considerably colder and it makes you shiver slightly. It is not until you get to the fourth floor is it that you find anything of note. You manage to locate a communal kitchen area. On top of one of the stoves is a pan that contains some kind of broth. Although it is stone cold by this point and the gas supply to the stove is probably off or ruined, there is enough furniture in the surrounding room which you can break to make a fire. You resolve to do just that.

You journey between rooms, breaking down chairs and wardrobe doors to form kindling for your fire. As you cart several desk legs back to the kitchen area and begin to arrange your wood on a pile, you hear footsteps. You turn to face the doorway but seen no one. A moment later though an elderly man come round the corner, a pistol in his hands shaking slightly. You arenít sure if he is afraid, nervous or the jitter in his hands is simply from age. ďWho are you? What do you want?Ē he barks at you. Everyone is on edge since the event and if you donít handle this properly it may end badly for you.

Pieter Hark: You got down several flights of stairs and encounter no body. Whoever the footsteps were earlier, either they have left or are in the higher levels of your habitation block. Either way, you remain alone for the time being. You step out into the grey hazy light of the street and see from the corner of the street you stand on two things.

Firstly, ahead of you in the distance you see a figure dressed in mostly black enter a hab block. He appears to be carrying something although at this distance you couldnít make out what it was. To your right you see a young boy sprint into a hab block followed by an older man, who seems to check behind him and the boy. You canít quite be certain if the boy is running from the man or ahead of him while the man keeps watch. You may wish to follow either of these two sets of people, perhaps relishing for a chance to interact with others and do the Emperorís work. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the chapel near you to seek the Emperor afresh or simply let his will guide your feet and journey in whatever direction you see fit (If you chose this option, PM me and Iíll let you know what you see)

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