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Don't Expect The Inquisition [Maria's Work Thread/WIP]
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|Subject: Don't Expect The Inquisition [Maria's Work Thread/WIP] Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:47 pm|| |
Afternoons would have been event-less moments in her life. Perhaps helping out the Church would just be another mundane task, after all Father Jorge needed help with his homilies these days. Honestly that old codger never seemed to come up with anything until the very last minute. Those moments when he asked for Maria's help, it just ended up with him just ad-libbing on the fly. But no, today was different. Her job as a Cadet gave her other responsibilities, and they were not as mundane as the volunteer and charity work that comprised the Church's daily activities. Yet, even as a Cadet, she was still a devotee of the Church and was expected to take part. Today's activities were no different.
Maria found herself in front of what looked like an apartment, abandoned for the most part. It was small compared to the other buildings around it and was a reasonable distance away from the rest. She was in her religious habit, contrasting against the bright sunny day. So did the building, a good part of it seemed heavily dilapidated which stuck out like a sore thumb."This is it? Is he here?"
she asked with her pupils scanning her environment. The sliding door closed with a thud after she exited the black van. The postulant peered at towards the building, trying to see any details that betrayed a presence. But nothing seemed to stand out from the rest of the windows, all of them either shuttering out the outside or gaping open.
"That's the place. Norwell Apartments, some of the finest apartments since the Eternal Divide. The Inquisition's mark is hiding there. Somewhere."
Father Jorge stuck out his head from the window of the driver's seat, his spectacles eying at the same thing Maria was looking at. The engine puttered to a halt as the key left the ignition. The sound of doors opening and shutting could be heard. According to Herald, a heretic was on the run for some time, evading the Church's wrath along the way. Now, somehow, he sneaked inside Endymion. How one person could ever get inside past security was anyone's guess. But then again, this was a former Executor. An unit from the Church that had undergone rigorous training to become a literal human weapon. Yet this weapon was definitely being mishandled by the sound of the reports.
A voice sweet as honey leaked out from the van, peering through the window, "An odd choice for a rat's hideout. But the Cadets have cleared it out of Psyche Terrorists months ago. Since then, it has been vacant... until now."
"I see. Then it's only reasonable for him to hide here."
It made sense. If the Government cleared out an area of their enemies, it made little sense for them to come back to it. After all, the Psyche Terrorists wouldn't dare to return to a place where the Cadets kicked them out. At the same time, the time passed with no notable incidents had caused a decreased in oversight here. It was only by the Church's own diligence that they found someone had been lurking in the apartment's four walls.
"What's our plan? I don't wanna get gutted up like a pig by a professional torturer.
I'd come here with a full team, but..."
Acolyte Gregory stepped behind Maria, glaring at the building with distaste. Not so much at the structure, but what was inside it that they had to deal with for this afternoon. He had just arrived a few days earlier, sent by the Church to track down today's target. The trail had just recently led him here in Endymion. Gregory would've been here in this city with a team of Templars and two overseeing Executors. Yet, the Church didn't want to gain the ire of the Government. There was too much at stake to just waste it all on one measly heretic and traitor. "Just get in there. Standard drill and procedure. Y'all be fine. This guy was more of a pencil pusher than executioner. Trust me. He's not that great,"
Jorge chided the younger male with a sigh and looked apologetically at Maria, "Sorry for bringing you out here, Maria. I know you have a job to do tonight. But can you manage?""There's no need for concern, Father. I'll be alright,"
Maria replied as she started to bring out Andraste from the van's trunk and began to unlock the coffin holding the Demon Weapon. The Church was under-staffed thanks to the policies that the higher-ups adopted to avoid overshadowing the Queen's sovereignty over her own domain. Louise and other clergy from the Sunlake Church had their own errands. The team here in Sunlake Palms were all this religious branch could spare.
"Don't overdo it."
The postulant nodded, cocking back the mechanism. The apartment was no doubt going to be crowded, but to Maria it didn't really matter for a variety of reasons. Plus, she really needed the experience in how to use this weapon since it was her go-to tool to eliminate demons. But humans? That was something to test out. Gregory gulped silently at its frightening size while Abigail lazily eyed it. Jorge popped back inside the van out of sight. But his presence hasn't disappeared, only the static-y tone through their radio could be heard.
"Right then. Move out, kiddos. Remember, non-lethal. The Government also wants to know how he got in."
The trio began to make their advance into the building. They didn't know what exactly it had in store as they entered its damaged state. But they would soon find out. When Maria carefully opened the barely locked entrance after bashing down the lock with the butt of the Demon Weapon, they finally entered the compound. Only Father Jorge sat in his van, waiting on the team as he stared at the LCD screen that had three blinking lights on it.Words So Far:
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|Subject: Re: Don't Expect The Inquisition [Maria's Work Thread/WIP] Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:19 pm|| |
It was desolate and silent. Each step they made had a tiny echo. The entrance alone already gave them the feeling that they were all alone and had the air of a haunted building. Gregory slowly dug into his pockets to draw out what seemed to be a set of red sword hilts without a blade. At the moment, these trinkets wouldn't have any use in combat. But Maria knew better and came to a quick realization that the red-head was more than he appeared. The Black Keys were weaponized charms of the Church, wielded commonly by the Inquisitors. They weren't any different from the Soulbound weapons the Psyche Terrorists and the Cadets used, but it had its own unique traits. Based on that knowledge, she knew what kind of person Gregory was supposed to be. Abigail didn't have anything in her hands in contrast, but Maria knew better to think she was unarmed. Magdalene was quite a surprisingly versatile Demon Weapon as she soon found out after meeting the silver-headed nun. On overall, it was a rather solid team. The only issue was their lack of experience, but perhaps that was why they were sent to deal with today's target.
"Maria, any signs?"
Gregory just popped out of an empty apartment room. Sighing at the lack of anything remotely interesting, he aimlessly threw an empty can of beans to the side. It looked like someone was definitely here. But it could've been anyone. It wouldn't be too surprising if there were a few homeless, but interestingly enough there was a lack of them in a city as big as this. It was likely a result of the gracious Isla's benevolence. Yet, it felt too empty. The lack of noise was oddly disconcerting.
The postulant shook her head, "Negative. I'm not seeing anything."
"Hm. It's quiet... Too qu--""Finish that sentence and I'll use your Keys to silence you, Gregory,"
Abigail glared daggers at the Acolyte, effectively shutting him up. But he smirked and gave a smug shrug in return before scouring more rooms for their desired target.
Clearly the nun wasn't interested in cliches. It wasn't like the air was full of tension, which it was in a way. They were hunting down a single tested professional despite how much Jorge kept assuring them that he wasn't anyone special. The human weapons of the Church were no joke by any military standard. It's how the Church was able to keep the majority of Europe, especially Italy, safe five years ago from the Eternal Divide and how they were able to rise to prominence once more. It was just a mere practice of patience and diligence. Even when its relevance had fallen since the Reformation and the Enlightenment, its role to become involved in the supernatural hasn't."Father, has the target left the building?"
"Nah, he's still inside. Or else I would've noticed."
Each door they open to another set of room, all it led to them was just another abandoned piece of rubbish. There were still marks of destruction from the earlier conflict between Cadets and Psyche-Terrorists. But that was all they could tell."Keep your eyes peeled, he could be anywhere. He could be using a Shroud,"
the team could hear Jorge speak through the radio. The sound of him puffing on a cigarette could also be heard, they were definitely going to return to a van reeking with a tough odor. Sister Abigail frowned visibly at this, her delicate features ruined at the thought of having to be trapped inside the reeking smell of burning tobacco when they were done here.
It felt like their information was incomplete. Perhaps he wasn't here after all...
The sudden crash caused all three to jolt and ready themselves. Blades immediately extended from Gregory's blade-less scarlet hilts and Magdalene's maroon cloth began to slither out under Abigail's clothes. Yet no one was here, but seeing how they all reacted to the sound, this was no mere imagination.
"MARIA! TO YOUR LEFT!"
She didn't even hesitate jump to her right. While she could've sworn that her ears could perceive the sound of very soft and irregular footwork, Gregory's warning helped. Blades swiped towards the empty space that once beheld the Forgotten. It was a rather sudden movement that Maria made, so her balance wasn't exactly the best in the motion. But she quickly rolled across the ground and immediately propped back up to see who her assailant was as she readied Andraste.
"Those are some nice reflexes."
What stood before the group was a young man garbed in similar religious habit. Bespectacled with a gentle face, it would seem he was quite a peaceful man. If only it wasn't for the extended Black Keys jutting out of his closed fist and the discarded Shroud that was thrown behind him with the other. It had a temporary use and now that it was wasted, there was no need for it. What stood before them was a dangerous man. It wasn't just from what they knew prior to entering the building, but he had that air of danger around him.
"Inquisitor Mark Marino. By the orders of the Vatican, surrender yourself peacefully or face Divine Providence."
The man smiled sadly at her, "You know well my fate is the same more or less."
"It doesn't have to be that way, Marino. The Lord is merciful.""And the Inquisition isn't. I know the procedures, boy. I took part of them for years now. I'm not blind. I don't think any of you are either. But I guess none of you really care, right?"
Their weapons were aimed at his person, causing the man to smirk.
"Fine. Let's get this over with."Words So Far:
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|Subject: Re: Don't Expect The Inquisition [Maria's Work Thread/WIP] Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:06 pm|| |
If there was one thing the trio realized in this battle, it was that Mark wasn't messing around.
The battle began in earnest. Maria had tried to take potshots at the former Executor. Yet, none of the lead could even graze him. There was a great mass of movement, from back and forth to right and left to left and right and towards back and forth. This whole scene was a great chaotic symphony of movement as the trio struggled to stay in formation.
It wasn't like the stage for the skirmish was small in the first place. In fact it was rather ideal for them, it looked like he was looking down on this motley crew of children. And at the rate this battle was going? He had every reason to believe it.
"Tch... Pencil pusher, my ass!"
Even Abigail had a worrisome look on her face, contorting in effort as her eyes were wide open to take in every detail. She tried to navigate around the battle, trying to look for an opening to snare her target. But that was hard when it kept moving and threw a stray Black Key at her to keep her occupied and kept it coming with each bible page metamorphosing to replace the last. Gregory tested Mark's defenses with vicious slashes and thrusts with his own set of Keys while Abigail's Magdalene kept slithering about her defensively while also trying to keep seeping into any openings her enemy might end up giving. Maria swung hard at each interval to keep the heretic on his toes with Andraste's massive size and weight. The combination of these attacks-- no, the maelstrom would seem entirely difficult for most lesser combatants to try to survive, yet Mark wasn't such a person.
Out of all of them, Maria had it worse and for good reason. With what obviously looked like a ranged hunk of metal in her hands, it's very obvious that she would be the biggest target. Even despite her handling it with surprisingly ease, Mark was able to nullify its deadliness from meeting it up close to make it hard for her to fully maximize its power. Where Maria tried to use her whole body and Andraste's weight to smash into him, he was able to read the movement and act accordingly. Whether it be dodging or even moving behind her teammates to complicate things.
But eventually, it had to end."Guh!? AAARGHH!"
Maria flung back to a nearby wall as Mark was able to sneak in a punishing reverse kick to her abdomen in the midst of the mayhem. She was a tough girl to begin with, but so was he. But he also wasn't going to miss this chance. The needle-like rapiers followed after with terrifying precision with an angry whistle, crucifying her to that surface. Even one had actually pinned her arm, causing her to drop Andraste with a loud thud from its massive weight.
While they were soul-bound weaponry, it didn't mean they don't cause pain. While it didn't actually cause real damage to her, its influence was very potent. Maria viciously struggled to pull free, teeth snapped shut and gritting in the process. The clash continued in the meanwhile, and the going was getting worse. With Maria out of the picture, this meant things were getting easier for the heretic. Gregory and Abigail, despite these last few moments, have had their focus tested to the limit. Each movement had to be economical and useful. But it didn't mean all things were bad for them. As Maria wasn't hindering them now, admittedly, it was a bit easier to work together.
Even so, they were starting to collapse. The duo couldn't keep up this dance, slowly they were tiring. Mark was also in a similar situation, but he had been conserving his movements as much as he could and only lashing out when it was most convenient just like how he was able to get the Cadet out of the way.
A goading tone began to seep through the curl of his scornful lips, "Quite the effort I see here. Surely, the Lord will grant you victory. Come on. A little bit more, children."
Try as they could, it was a fruitless effort. Abigail found herself seeing stars as an elbow smashed into face before being kicked away to an apartment room, bursting through the door and splintering the wood with a loud crunch. Whether she was okay or not wasn't definite, but she wasn't returning. Gregory was being pushed to his limit, sweat beading down his neck and starting to make the inside of his attire to stick to his chest.
But with an expertly-done flourish and a knee that broke a few of his ribs, he was disarmed with all his Keys spinning in the air and away from his grasp. They lost. It was a familiar feeling, but it felt heavy. Seeing the Keys in Mark's fists flash at the meager sunlight that peeked into the building's cracks, he knew it was the end. Even Mark thought it was the end, until his very hand was rebuffed with a well-placed Key.
The whole set began to fall from his fingers, but not until Maria howled and slammed Andraste into his chest with the spike first. The Keys that had pinned her down were still sticking into her body, but she ignored it and was able to keep going with sheer force. It wasn't like any of them had actually pinned down her joints, so it wasn't impossible for her to escape.
Andraste violently exploded as the hydraulics shot and expanded the spike at its full length causing the shrieking heretic to viciously rocket backwards through a wall from the impact. An almost human-sized shape was at first edged on it surface before collapsing even further to make a more haphazard looking hole. "...did you get him?"
Gregory rasped in heaving breaths as he cradled his side.
She painfully pulled out the last of the Keys jutting from her body and dropped a couple of them to the dusty wooden floor. But she kept one in her left hand while her right kept gripping the Demon Weapon before advancing...Words So Far:
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|Subject: Re: Don't Expect The Inquisition [Maria's Work Thread/WIP] Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:33 pm|| |
"Uh, kids? About that non-lethal approach...?"
"We're working... on that... now. Shit..."
"Like you're one... to... talk."
Maria carefully approached the spot where the priest had flown to and landed. There was a feeling of dread with each step. A significant part of her wanted this to be at its end. There was still the evening at the Dragon Spas she was required to participate as she promised Serenity last night. It was extremely vital that she had to leave this place in one piece, the next sojourn into that hellish realm promised to be far dangerous than what Mark could possibly offer alone.
"I'll give credit where it's due. I really didn't see that coming."
From the wreckage, Mark was just stepping out of the hole that he had just made earlier. The former inquisitor was fairly nonchalant of the whole affair, but it was very clear he was bleeding. No longer did he seem to be as cleanly neat than before this whole exchange began. But it was very odd how he retained such neat and cleanliness from camping out around a dump like this for a while.
Gregory snarled at his appearance, displeased by this growing shit pile of a situation. Evidently his rib hurt, broken from the earlier exchange. Unlike the Forgotten, he wasn't as tough as her and never experienced the procedures. At his current rate, he wasn't going to be fighting.
"Maria...""Go get Abigail, I'll handle him."
Maria didn't waste any time as she pulled the trigger. The barrel roared at Mark, taking another volley of shots at him. But this time, they glanced off with a resounding staccato with each hit. What she noticed the most wasn't how the bullets couldn't hit its target. Instead, something stood in Mark's place. It was something that was similar to fluid, yet it had solidity. What had protected the heretic seemed to be a fluid-like shield that her bullets couldn't penetrate. Perhaps more to her surprise, it started to take another shape, a mimicry of the Black Keys he had lost earlier. Where exactly did this come from? Sure there were supernatural elements in today's world as she saw from the earlier two days. But, there's usually a source to this. "Blood,"
Maria spoke with a frown. It made her wonder what kind of sorcery he was using. Never in the dossier did it mention this man being able to manipulate his own fluids. But was it a result of some unique ability? It reeked of it, but it was a good thing this was all in the day or otherwise, they would have to deal with his full power.
He immediately threw a projectile at her direction while continuing to charge towards her, Maria retaliated by parrying it away with the Black Key in her hand and blocked a sweep from his set claw of Keys with Andraste by holding up. It was like a repeat when they began that violent concert with Gregory and Abigail, except they were a duet this time around. Maria again was having one hell of a time trying to keep up, with the slender rapier-like blade in her hand to parry off the more trickier of maneuvers and the massive gun to block the worst of attacks. This was going nowhere.
"Your fighting style could use some improvement, Maria. You rely too much on heavy hitting moves when you do not have the resources to dish them out as of yet. Calm yourself in battle and do not take unnecessary risks with your health."
She remembered those words from last night. Perhaps it wasn't so much because of just her debilitating condition that made fighting more difficult. In fact, it may actually have been how much motion she was wasting and how much she was creating all these openings.
The air screeched as her Black Key clashed against Mark's pseudo copy, sparks erupting from the impact. It was a sacrifice she had to make, not because it was getting in the way for her. Rather, she wanted to try and improve something despite how insane it was. Mark Marino would think of her as foolhardy for forsaking a resource. He had every reason to think so, but the flow of this fight began to change rather subtly. The heretic didn't notice it at first as it seemed like he was gaining ground, but... there was something in her eyes. Something had changed.
While they weren't dead when he first began to fight her, there was a renewed focus... and calm. But it was too late to notice, Maria began to move deliberately and conservatively, making full use of her weapon's massive size. It was becoming more of a shield than a hunk of metal. Something that obviously looked like it was meant for pure destruction, Maria was using it with ease and composure unlike before.
This was bad. If there was anything that Mark could use to describe her, it was like trying to scale an endless wall. Where he was beginning to tire, Maria seemed to be evenly breathing. There was a kind of desperation that began to etch on his face. He needed to escape, but that frenzy was all she needed. Where Maria swung the gargantuan mass right at his face, the heretic didn't miss that opportunity to duck and try to jump back to gain distance by using that sudden momentum to facilitate that movement.
But a familiar explosion reverberated the empty halls. Where Maria had made such a wide motion, it had another purpose. Andraste's spike dug into the ground and violently extended to javelin her in the air after the flying heretic with feet leading. Before he knew it, a pair of feet delivered an audible crunch of his glasses and into his now-broken nose streaming with blood before hurling him back to a wall again with a massive thud.
Maria crashed against the ground too, a landing definitely wasn't what she had planned. She struggled to get up since it was quite a distance above ground. If there was a sight that she was glad to see, it was a mess of a collapsed soul that didn't move. His face was a mess of red, broken glass, and a few teeth missing too. This time, it looks like he wasn't getting up.Words So Far:
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|Subject: Re: Don't Expect The Inquisition [Maria's Work Thread/WIP] Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:00 pm|| |
"Yeah, they retrieved him. He's already secure in the van. What else do you need, boss?"
Father Jorge's back was leaning on the van, his ears on the cellphone connected to Sunlake Palm's Church. He had been largely disappointed how difficult it was for them to deal with a simple pencil pusher. Gregory insisted that he was far beyond that, but it only drove the fifty year old's disappointment ever deeper. It should've been such an easy task, that's why he even considered bringing in Maria in the first place. She needed some experience and this had been a good opportunity. But he couldn't understand why they all had a hard time against someone who left the field for such a long time. Maybe he would have to reevaluate things with Louise and Adele. It was a shame he didn't bother to follow the group in, a result of being too sure of their abilities. They had so much improvement to make, especially Maria. She needed to make hers, fast.
"Hm, alright. I'll bring 'im in. I'll see you later."
The beep of the button cut off the connection before setting the phone back inside his pocket. He glanced at the messy and unconscious heretic whose face was clearly in the midst of a facial reconstruction. Even if he was conscious, there was no way he could escape now with Magdalene nearly cocooning his entire body. The Demon Weapon's owner was busy trying to staunch a bloody nose, but with little avail from the dirtied tissues that had been left inside the vehicle's pockets. It felt like to her that she wasn't going to be breathing out of there for some time. There were little left before she needed to find other sources.
Gregory hissed inside the van gripping his chest as he winced. He was careful to not move, further complications could occur for all he knew. As for Maria? She had just packed Andraste back into the coffin and set it inside the van's trunk. There was little she could do for her comrades and one of them hated her guts anyway."Good job, kids. We're moving out. Need to get Whiteboard Marker here back to the Board. Everyone's ready to go?" "...Hospital."
"Later. We need to drop him off first. 'Sides, an egghead can take a look at you."
Gregory growled at his answer, but didn't fight him over the decision. It hurt to just sit there with his side and it was getting hard to breathe. Maria silently nodded while the silver-headed nun just gave him an exasperated glare of approval of the motion. Finally the engine ignited with the key in its place.
A few blocks and turns after, a disgruntled Acolyte cursed loudly after they stopped."Sunnuva bitch! Madda fu--"
A few religiously garbed priests had just trailed out of the Church's doors before gingerly grabbing and leading him away inside as he continued to speak such colorful language that it may make some of the hardened sailors at a distant series of islands to blush."Is that him, sir?"
another robed man walked up towards Jorge, being very wary at the unconscious figure near Abigail.
"Yeah. And get someone to look at her nose too."
His thumb jabbed towards her direction, causing the younger priest to notice at her blood-stained face and then gesturing her to leave with him. Before she left, a pair of disdainful eyes locked onto Maria. The receiver said nothing as she watched the nun enter the building.
"What happened in there, Maria?"
She recounted the events once they happened to enter the building. As Jorge listened, his expression was surprised at first. There had been something strange going on, something was at work here. Then he began to look pensive and began to thoughtfully reach for his goatee. When she finished, he was silent for another moment as if to digest everything the Forgotten had talked about. "Sir?"
Maria presented herself to him with the coffin ever hanging from her back.
"What's up?""I need to leave now."
Jorge blinked at her, evidently confused. But he quickly remembered she had other obligations after noticing the retreating sun. There was still her job as a Cadet. Had he known this would've been so taxing, Maria wouldn't be here. But there was no use crying over spilled milk. "Oh, right. You're dismissed. You need a ride?""No, Sir. It's not necessary."
"...alright. Come back in one piece, you hear?"
Only a smile was the answer he'd get. As she left, Jorge stared at the dying horizon. Night time was coming and he had other things to do. He can only hope that she'd return with success. There was something sad to watch someone walking down alone with a coffin on her back. If only...Word Count:
5000 words achieved.
|Subject: Re: Don't Expect The Inquisition [Maria's Work Thread/WIP] || |