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Old 04-19-2017, 11:35 AM   #9
134
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The Roman Empire
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Ribcage Mall

Whimsy:


Since the city fell into chaos, buses no longer enter Goldenridge; they don't even come close. Dropped off a couple of kilometers outside of the city limits by a nervous man who spun a U-turn nearly as quickly as the doors to his bus had closed, you've walked a long way, to be somewhere you don't want to be, to do something you don't want to do. The weather has been unusually hot for the area lately, and you've arrived at the very heart of the heat wave. The unyielding sun does nothing to bolster your waning willpower.

You're plagued by thoughts of the crime; things you'd have rather pushed out of your mind. They're demanding you dig them back up, again and again. Relive every agonizing detail. Why? What will talking to them again change? Does justice really prevail? These are the questions which occur to you, and which distract you. You don't noticed the afternoon sun slowly setting to your right. Then, the blue.

So much blue.

Cars sit on cinder blocks with their windshields smashed. Houses with their doors wide open, clearly abandoned and long-since looted. And on every stationary surface, there are bright blue ciphers; runes, warning of danger. This was Rib territory.

You aren't too far in. You could turn back before anyone of ill intent took notice of you, and make your way back north, to the Marshall's Headquarters, but you'd never make it across the tumultuous city before your appointed time to testify.

Huh... isn't that a pity?

You've been to Bedlam Ridge before. You know the Ribs are bad news. Some things, however, are worse than an anarchist gang. If you turn back now, you'll probably make it back to the Headquarters before court hours end for the day. They'd probably try to reschedule your testimony. Calling upon your partner in crime, you explain the unfortunate circumstances which are going to prevent any such thing from happening today: you've gone and gotten yourself quite lost, haven't you? Yes, 'lost.' That's right, Blue's in agreement.

There's worse things than anarchist gangs. Things like talking to the police. You see a massive concrete structure a block or so away, covered in tacky, vandalized signage -- a shopping mall. There are rumors about a mall in Rib territory. As you near this one, you find that it looks to be the exact sort of dreary place which no sensible person would dare enter in such a chaos-ravaged city as this. Burnt out trashcans dot the parking lot. Hardly a ground floor window has gone unbroken. Graffiti scars the walls in bright, gaudy colors. In some areas the tags are so thickly clustered that they no longer form distinct images. All these things should warn you away, but the do not.

You cross the main parking lot; it's surprisingly empty. If cars had been abandoned here, they've either been stolen or stripped utterly clean. The entire sheet of asphalt has become a giant canvas for the disaffected members of the gang; a tapestry of belligerence, heartbreak, aggression, despair, and all aspects of the human emotion swirling together into a brash mixture of art and profanity right beneath your feet. Strips of mismatched carpet, no doubt pulled from countless department stores, form a walkway up the center, towards the main entrance to the mall. The doors have been pulled off their hinges a long time ago, and the atrium is dimly lit in an array of colors; a glance upwards reveals that someone has spray painted over the skylight's window panes in various neon shades. Unfortunately, there is no time to enjoy the novelty -- you've just walked into Ribcage Mall. In this small area alone, there are about two dozen people. Some are drinking beer around a dry fountain. Two are playing cards. A pale woman with a swollen stomach and bright blue pigtails is knitting something with stainless steel knitting needles. She looks up with a scowl. A man -- a redhead -- picks up a baseball bat with an alarmingly casual air.

"The fuck is this?" Someone asks -- it's the girl with the needles. Somewhere, you hear the unmistakable sound of a Poké Ball expanding, but you can't tell where it came from and nothing is summoned. You've just walked head-long into the front door of the hideout of one of the two most notorious gangs in Bedlam Ridge. They don't seem happy to see you, and they're clearly on the defensive, but no one is attacking you yet. You might be able to talk to these people. Some things are worse than anarchist gangs, but was a court appearance really one of them? What will you do?



Shanty Town

Kawaii:


The day started off cloudy, with rain in the forecast. You had entered the city from the northeast near dawn, with only Freighya and Cerno to keep you company. They promise to be loyal protectors to you in a place where anything might happen, and their presence brings you comfort. By eleven, you've reached the edges of the disputed territory. Within an hour of that, you're in Shanty Town proper.

You'd heard a lot of stories. You expected some of the things. Due to the widespread robberies, most of the buildings were hollowed out and boarded up. People's homes had been reduced to little more than shacks over the many months of subjugation. Most of the businesses were closed. The Shells controlled the flow of most goods into the town; anything that did manage to be brought through freely risked piracy by hand of the Ribs. You expected ghettos packed with thin and frightened people. That was always par for the course.

But there were other things they didn't warn you of.

The first thing to reach you is the smell of charred wood. You're not even within the territory limits before the lingering odor of smoke begins to saturate the air around you. One by one, you begin to see the burnt remains of houses. Some still smoulder; others have already been raked through. A few have people gathered around them. Most are utterly abandoned, and ignored by the passerby as if a completely normal fixture of the neighborhood. By the time you reach the town forum, you've counted a baker's dozen.

In the forum, people gather, trading meager goods in an effort to eek out their existence. A woman swaps a bundle of Drash berries no doubt plucked from her garden for a pint of Moo-Moo Milk almost assured produced by the man's own Miltank. Necessity, they say, is the mother of all ingenuity. The woman has a little girl with her; as you watch the exchange idly, the child takes notice of you. When she sees Freighya, her eyes light up. Leaving her mother's side, she runs up to you. Her mother has to look twice before realizing her child is sprinting off towards a stranger, but is then hot on her heels.

"Hi!" The child calls, panting slightly as she stops a few feet from you. You notice her skin and dress are both caked in dust. When her mother catches up, it looks as though she hasn't washed her hair in weeks, the stringy, dirty strands tied back with a bandana. The child reaches out to pet Freighya, but her mother stops her.

"Mathilda," The woman reprimands, firmly. "Is that how we say hello to Pokémon?"

"No, mama," the girl -- apparently named Mathilda -- sighs. She looks up to you with wide, green eyes. "Can I pet your Espeon, miss? They're my favorite!"

"I apologize," the woman bleats, tiredly. She takes one of Mathilda's hands in her own, while the little girl offers the other out to the Espeon for it to be sniffed, as she has been taught. The mother casts you a wary look. "My name is Samantha. I haven't seen you in the neighborhood before. Where are you from?"

Constantly harangued by the Shells and the Ribs, the people of Shanty Town are a little suspicious of outsiders. What will you do?




Last edited by 134; 04-20-2017 at 07:42 AM.
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