“Since the ‘Event’ the Lower Hive of Thessalonica had not been governed by the regular rhythm of night and day, instead dwelling in perpetual twilight. That abrupt shift was enough to fracture the strained psyche of several of the residents, but not most. Most found other rhythms to fall into. However, even such twilight was not permanent. The lights of the Lower Hive slowly began to increase their luminescence to near blinding levels. Then, suddenly, the whole city went dark.”
Kirai "The Rat": You cower as far back in the vent as you can go. Behind you is a T-junction in the vent system, with one path leading up and the other vertically down. You can hear the slight murmur of noises and some voices, although it could equally be Dr Holst talking to the fighters as it could be them over-powering him and talking amongst themselves. It is a few minutes and Dr Holst still has not come. He may be looking for you, or he could be dead or injured and the others could be looking for you.
While you ponder, or try not to ponder as the case may be, these possibilities, the light outside of the vent begins to grow brighter and brighter. The vent grill, still in place but easily detachable if anyone tried, and the fact that you are far back in the vent shields you from the majority of the light so you are able to watch the light grow brighter than you can ever remember it being before you see it abruptly die. This situation is familiar to you; stuck inside a vent whilst your only ‘family’ is outside potentially in danger. What do you do? Do you continue to hide and preserve yourself or do you brave looking for Dr Holst? Alternatively, do you retreat further and go down the vent to escape what, if anything or anyone, is outside the vent.
Gabriel Frost: (Awaiting previous update. PM me if you return and I’ll add an update to follow on.)
Samuel Holst: What you witness is nothing short of unhinged brutality. The man drops to one knee, clutching his leg as blood leaks slowly from the wound, the knife lodged in there stemming the blood flow. He looks at you aghast and furious. Then the woman is upon him, her wrench smashing into his head with a bone-crunching smack. The force of the blow spins him onto his back. The woman pounces on his back and proceeds to repeatedly smash his skull with her heavy tool. The force of her blows cave in the back of his head but she keeps going for several blows after that, smearing his blood and brain matter into the floor. After he’s dead, she squats on-top of him still, panting from exertion. Finally she reached back and grabs your knife, now slick with arterial blood and offers it to you. “I believe this is yours, Dr Holst.” For someone you just watched cave in someone skull, she is surprisingly calm and well spoken.
Tentatively you take it from her. For a few moments words fail you, but once you have regained your composure the lights begin to glow white hot. The light becomes so intense it is almost blinding, forcing you shield your eyes. The glow of the light between your fingers dies suddenly and you find yourself in total darkness. You fumble quickly for your glow-globe and turn it on. The woman remains in much the same way as she had been before, although he wrench is slightly cleaner, her jumpsuit is not so much. “Your usefulness continues to prove itself doctor.” She says nodding at your glow globe. “We should leave. It’s not safe here.” She makes moves towards the staircase. Do you slip away, hoping to part ways with the blood-stained woman? Do you follow here? Do you try to convince her to look for Kirai with you? If you do the latter, you will find that she cocks her head quizzically, her tongue running along her teeth under her lips before saying “You aren’t worth dying for doctor. I’ll give you 10 minutes, then I’ll leave you and your child to whatever awaits you.” Then she will follow you in however you choose to look for Kirai.
Kanis Strike: the barking of the cyber-mastiff disappears into the distance, obviously content that you came no further rather than feeling the need to pursue you. You and the man you have just met run for several minutes towards the East Side of the town. By the time you both stop, panting slightly, you can make out in the distance the air filtration plant slightly to your left. However, the majority of what surrounds you is hab blocks, market stalls, although there is a minor manufactorum down the street to your right. The man you have just me pants and puts his hands behind his head and begins to laugh softly. “I thought they were joking when they said we’d face the Emperor’s Justice. Still, looks like we gave them the slip! Just like old times…” He mumbles the last part, almost to himself as if trying to convince himself. Clearly he remembers your servo-skull’s threat, but whatever has damaged his psyche seems to have twisted it to allow him to maintain his delusion that you are his son.
“Come on then, time we get back. Your Mother will start to worry.” He begins to walk briskly ahead of you. As you follow, the light overhead becomes lighter, almost light midday light. Then it keeps getting brighter. Soon the man has disappeared into the light and you have to shield your eyes. “Son! Son where are you?!” You hear the man call but it sounds far away. After a few moments you tentatively un-shield your eyes and find yourself in total darkness. As your eyes struggle to adapt to the darkness, you hear footsteps leading away just ahead of you. You begin to follow them before you hear a voice to your left call out “Son!”. As your head turns to the source of this new sound, to your right you hear “Son! If you can hear me, follow my voice!” Still ahead of you, you hear footsteps leading away from you. Which, if any, of the noises do you follow? Or do you simply make a dash for the nearest hab block and hope to find a source of light or wait for the light to return on its own?
Callista "Cally" Santigue: You find several bowls in a nearby cupboard and serve yourself and your new companion a portion of the broth. Whilst it is most certainly stale, it is warm and tastes nutritious to you. The man takes several spoonfuls of his and says to you. “I doubt there’s much point. I doubt he survived, I just thought maybe…” the man’s eyes drift off into the corner of the room as he continues to shovel broth into his mouth. He finishes quickly and sets the bowl down on the floor and breaths deeply, as if trying to overcome some feeling. “I saw it.” He says abruptly. He fixes you with an intense stare. “I was in an Arbites holding cell. Drunk and disorderly conduct they said. The lights died and everyone started screaming. One tried to hide in my cell and I saw it grab him, the muzzle flair lighting it up. It…” The man begins to squint and shield his eyes, as do you.
The light-strip on the ceiling begins to glow white hot, eclipsing even the light of your fire. You cover your eyes as the light intensifies before abruptly dying, leaving you with only the light of the fire. The light of the fire illuminates the hallway and you notice that all the windows are black too. Evidently this black out is not restricted to this building but you have no idea how far it does extend. The man springs to his feet “I’ve said too much. It heard me. It’s coming for me.” He practically whimpers. He sprints out of the room and into the corridor knocking the fires slightly as he goes. What do you do? Do you stay and trust in the light of the fire to keep you safe? Do you hide in this one of the nearby rooms in a wardrobe, cupboards, locker of such thing were the light still reaches you? Do you follow the man or do you simply retreat into the shadows on your own, hoping to find safety in darkness?
Pieter Hark: You reach the street and the man is nowhere to be seen, thankfully. You take one last glance back at the statue of the God-Emperor and notice a single crimson tear rolling down his cheek. You blink and it has gone. Is it a sign? What do you make of that? You hear the sound of barking in the distance and two figures disappear quickly into the distance to your right. To your left you notice that one of the rooms of the hab blocks in the distance is brighter than the others and grey smoke is leaking slowly from it.
Before you can decide what to do or where to go, the lights overhead begin to glow light midday light. Although, it doesn’t stop there. They keep glowing brighter and eventually their intensity is too much and you are forced to shield your eyes. Eventually the blinding like dies and you are left in the street, alone and in the dark. Although its light is too weak to illuminate your street, you can still see the light in the hab block to the north. Do you follow it? Alternatively, you know that the nearest manufactorium is to the east and there is another one in a similar direction as the hab block with the light. Perhaps you should journey there and root out the mysterious stranger? Or neither. They are many hab blocks around you could take refuge in if you chose.