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Rising Phoenix Gaming

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About This Club

Action movie game
  1. What's new in this club
  2. Cole didn't think, he just reacted, much as he'd been trained to do. He drew his pistol and crossed the street behind the SUV's, he found cover, and took his shot on the closest of the gunman. It wasn't done with a fancy flourish, he definitely hoped to be done with this, and gone. He was mindful of the SUV's, and the fact there were likely still people inside.
  3. An athlete. A fighter proficient in a number of combat styles. Jo was used to waiting for the starter pistol, the bell ringing for the start of the round. Most were shocked at the speed of someone her stature. As soon as the woman was beginning the word 'Go', Jo planted a hand on the car and leapt over the trunk, rushing the gunmen. Excitement and adrenaline coursed through her, not despite the danger, but because of it. Intensity and focus sharpened her senses, narrowed to the three men in front of her. Time seemed to slow, the gunmen seeming to be moving through molasses as the tried to reload their guns. The gunmen had taken their eyes of their targets for just instant to reload and avoid the covering fire, when suddenly there was an oversized, over-muscled bartender coming for them. In seemingly three monstrous strides, she had covered half the distance between them. Then she was air born. The perfectly executed flying back kick planted a heavy soled, size fifteen boot right in the sternum of the middle gunman. There was the audible crack of ribs as he flew backwards to smash into one of the Jeeps. Jo spun towards the man on her left. He brought up his gun, but so slowly. The blonde behemoth tossed him a dazzling smile, blue eyes glinting as she ignored the gun and reached out with her hands, grabbing his head and pulling it down to meet her rising knee with a sickening crunch. Jo let him fall limply to the ground and turned back to the last man, who foolishly thought he was out of reach. Jo continued her turn, blond ponytail flailing behind her, and one fantastically long, fantastically strong leg flashed out in a roundhouse kick, connecting with the side of the head of the gunman and sending him sprawling across the asphalt. Jo's impressive chest heaved with the explosive exertion and satisfaction, red combat haze fading as the thought began to percolate through her mind that she hoped she hadn't killed the men. This wasn't an MMA bout, there was no ref to end the match due to injury.
  4. The woman cocked her head in the contemplative puppy way then gave a terse nod, "In five seconds." She pulled out a small automatic pistol and racked the action. Jo had started a five second count in her head and at four and a half the gunfire stopped. They had to reload!. "Go" The woman stood up and put her gun arm on the car top and began firing rapidly, spraying the area toward the gunmen.
  5. Usually, the bad thing an EMT was sent to keep people alive from was usually over or at least being handled by the time you got there. But, there were clearly exceptions and today, with it's puzzle of why Freddie had been of such particular interest to the crime boss, was proving one. Her partner hadn't hinted at any connection to The City's unsavory side before and if this was an example of the oft-overly-mythologized-honor-among-thieves, there were other people in that ward who had been hurt by the fire. The questions vexed at her, spurred on by the hanger of a fast-approaching lunch time break. The sudden chaos of impacting bullets and whizzing bullets buried any concerns for lunch beneath a tide of adrenaline. After That Weekend, she'd spent a lot of time with her Uncle Bradley, self-proclaimed survivalist of the family, learning tricks and reflexes to never been so helpless again. The most important of those tricks had been to get under cover when shit kicked off, give yourself that much time to come up with a plan for the next six seconds and the six seconds after that, those incremental life-and-death ticks that'd get her clear of the next danger. Nothing she hadn't touched on in EMT training, but in the wake of That Weekend, it had been as much help in feeling safe walking down the street as any amount of therapy. The blonde hit cover without any injury a quick bodycheck could reveal, breathing deeply as she reached for her radio and triggered it, practice forcing her voice level and clear despite the back ground chaos, "Dispatch, This is Unit One Six at the corner of Bunker and Tutts. We have multiple active shooters and car collisions. Unknown number of injured. Requesting assistance." She unkeyed the radio, waiting for a reply, and popped her head up out of cover to take in a heartbeat's worth of scan for signs of injured, her partner, anything dispatch might need. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. She popped back down, fighting to wrestle the adrenaline into being her weapon instead of being it's weapon.
  6. Jo grunted, seatbelt digging into her shoulder and the limp weight of Basilone on top of her. She dug a hand under his bulk, finally finding the seatbelt release and unclipping it. Her other hand reached for the door handle and pulled. There was muted click, then a grinding sound. Jo growled and for a moment had the uncharitable thought of leaving the fat fuck in the car. She rammed her shoulder into the door, and then again. On the third try, the door flew open. The huge woman stretched her legs out of the car, then twisted around and grabbed Basilone by the shoulders of his suit, glad it was of quality so it didn't rip when she hauled him out with her, plopping him down behind the rear wheel of the sedan. She gave him a cursory look. He was bleeding plenty from a gash on his brow, but she couldn't tell how bad off he really was. Jo glanced over at the other woman who had squirmed out of the car far more gracefully then she had, then peeked her head up over the edge of the trunk. She wasn't super into guns, but she had handled enough for roles in action films, fake ones and the real thing. Firing off real rounds with assault rifles and machine guns at a range had been surprisingly fun and thrilling. All that was to say, these guys were not firing blanks. "Friends of yours, Ah take it?" Jo asked the woman with cool wryness as she eyed the distance between them and the gunmen. The gunmen weren't too far and for all her size, Jo could be fast. All she needed was a moment of distraction, for them to stop for just an instant to reload and she could be among them. Not particularly safer than ducking for cover, but she'd rather be beating heads than waiting to get shot. "Ah didn't do anythin' to Benny, but if yah cover me, Ah give these fuckers a beat down they won't forget. Might be they don't remember either."
  7. The Concern, Control’s Office. “A mission? Not quite yet. You will need to recertify, most of the records for the Concern located here in the city were destroyed in the bombing, so it’s mainly a clerical thing. We will schedule you for that later this week.” Control stands up and saunters around the desk and extends a hand toward Cole. Cole stands and shakes Control’s hand. “First things first the Identity you have been using needs to vanish. We have new apartments for you at this address,” he hands Cole and envelope, “keys are in there as well. The place is furnished but if you want to personalize it feel free. Your new bank account and credit cards are in there as well. You have the next couple of days to get moved in and settled then back to the grind.” While saying this last bit Control was gently leading Cole to the door. “It goes without saying, but with the upgrade in Status your work is going to be more challenging. We’ll see you back here in a couple of days. Cole took the dismissal in stride and Noticed that Control was already back behind his desk and looking at files. He turned and went downstairs. He saw Caroline across the room talking to and older black man with close shorn graying hair and a young woman about his own age she was a red headed fem-fatale if ever he’d seen one. All three glanced in his way then put their heads back together again to continue their conversation. No one else in the room seemed to even be aware of him, so he left. Out on the street Cole considered a cab but decided that since he was only a few blocks from the garage where he had his car in storage, the car that he hadn’t been using since if wouldn’t fit with an insurance salesman budget or appearance, that he might as well go and get it out of storage. After all he was once again a spy. Downtown Portside… Tony Vickers sat in the driver seat of City Medical Emergency Transit Unit 16, or what he and his partner referred to as Unit One six, or just one six. He was parked on the curb a bit down from Danny’s Burgers and Dogs, grinning at Scarlet, the aforementioned partner who was threading her way along the crowded sidewalk coming back with their lunch. Scarlet for her part barely noticed the rude passersby her mind was still on Freddie. They had chatted, or rather Scarlet had chatted for about five more minutes before the nurse had come in and told her that she had to leave. The Nurse stopped Scarlet when they arrived at the nurse’s station. “That Chinese man, the older one. He asked a lot of questions about Ms. Anvari before he went in to see her. He also gave me this card and said that if any problems come up concerning her insurance to have the hospital call that number.” A glance at the card shows that is was a Business card for the Hap Sing Association, an Asian Business consortium. Scarlet knew enough to know that this was the legitimate side of the organized crime gang. What the Chinese called Tongs. Tony leaned over and opened the door for Scarlet who stood outside and used her seat as a make shift table to divide up the food. In the Sedan… Basilone nodded along with what Jo was saying, “Well Bennie didn’t say a lot he was sort of in a state, but he wanted to meet so we set something up, but Bennie didn’t show. So, we were a little worried and sent some people around to his place to check on him.” He looks directly at Jo. “You know what we found Jo? I can call you Jo right? Any way we found that Bennie had been beat to death. I mean literally to a pulp. His face was almost unrecognizable, arms broken, ribs caved in. Unbelievable” He points a finger and Jo, “Wait a minute, didn’t you used to do that crazy fight what do they call that?” “Mixed Martial Arts.” The woman in the front seat said. Jo wasn’t dumb, she knew where this was heading, she opened her mouth to speak but before a word came out her world exploded and flipped upside down! Intersection of Bunker and Tutts Streets… Cole Mulvaney had just crossed the intersection and his garage was in sight when he heard two high performance engines rev to life. He glanced across the street and saw that the two big SUV he had noted earlier had both started up. They were Jeep Wranglers and so he had dismissed them as no agency he knew used Jeeps, not even the army. But now they both pulled into the street cutting off traffic the lead vehicle accelerating toward the intersection while the second hung back… Scarlet, who was still standing outside Unit one six heard the roar of the engine and looked up just in time to see the bulky SUV rip through the intersection and collide, a picture-perfect T-Bone, with the darkened four door sedan! The violent impact lifted the sedan up amid the exploding glass and flipped it over not once but twice so that it ended up upright half on the sidewalk one car away from Unit one six. The sedan’s momentum had been stopped by the collision and the parked cars it had rolled over onto. Suddenly squealing tires drew attention back toward the intersection where the smashed jeep stood smoking from its engine compartment. A second Jep at pulled into the intersection and skidded to a stop and three men wearing ski masks lept from it before it stopped all three held short barreled automatic weapons which they pointed at the sedan and began firing spraying the whole area with a hail of bullets! Jo’s world flipped and she was jerked around but she had out of habit buckled her seat belt and so was not thrown violently around the car. Basilone hadn’t buckled in and when the car came to rest he was on top of Jo beaten unconscious by the wreck. Jo was disoriented. She saw the woman up front moving pushing her door open, heaving as the frame was bent. And then the sound of gunfire and the impact of bullets. Both things Jo was familiar with from making action pictures. The driver seemed to come awake then and kicked out the wind screen and leaned up to fire a short submachinegun he only got off two or three bust before the gunmen found him.
  8. Cole didn't relax, and wouldn't. After what had happened, he was still being cautious. Admittedly things looked right, but he'd been taught to not fully trust this as is, but he lacked other options. If this was a ruse, he'd likely never leave the building. "It's a pleasure to meet you Control. I take it you contacted me to do abit more than inform me that I'm cleared of suspicion, and returned to duty. I trust you have a new mission for me." It wasn't really a question, nor was it said with sarcasm. He didn't smile, simply sat their, still, calm. Control, at least the Control he'd known, had never been one to beat around the bush, and Cole himself knew of his own reputation as abit of a thrillseeker. Still, patience was a virtue, as his parents had always said. It was right to do things in the proper order.
  9. Downtown heading toward the port… Jo had been a professional athlete, a professional fighter. She had done some acting, and was a bar owner and bartender. She met and interacted with all sorts of people, dangerous ones, sketchy ones. Only an idiot wouldn't be wary around the Basilones. But that didn't mean Jo was afraid, especially in close confines with everyone within reach. "Ah know Bennie," Jo said with a brittle smile, affecting a calmness she didn't feel. Tendons in her forearms danced as her hands tightened over her knee, enormous thighs swelled as she tensed. Bennie was a lanky guy, sharp featured, always flirting with her. He might even have been handsome, save for the bulging eyes that gave him his nickname. "Gave yah a call did he? Pity he didn't call me. Might've we could have avoided this situation, if he knew somethin' 'bout all this. What did he have to say, if yah don't mind me askin', Mr. Basilone?"
  10. City Hospital The hackles rose on the back of Scarlet's neck, her feverish flash of angry suspicion proven true by her partner's achingly familiar words. She had lived those words, lying in the mud and pine needles watching a different disfigured man loom over her in the cold and the dark, something very much not mercy the only keeping him from adding her to the tally. Her heartbeat pounded in her ears, thoughts racing. How dare he do that to Freddie? How dare he inflict that on someone already experiencing the worst week of their... Freddie's sudden grasp of her hand and very, very relevant change in topic revealing the hospital had briefed her at least a little on her situation poured cold water on the blazing bonfire in her brain, sputtering out the engine of her rising fury. She returned the grip, leaning forward to plant her lips on back of the scared brunette's hand. "Yes. They will. That's part of what they need to do help you heal, spread out some of the good to repair the bad," she returned, looking up to meet the other woman's gaze with the earnest intensity of someone who'd never ever lie to her when it mattered, "Bit by bit and step by step, only as fast as *you* can handle. And that's nothing to the woman who dragged me kicking and screaming out of my shell. I'll be there every step of the way if and when you need me. Okay?" The knuckles on her other hand bled white at her side, a very small, very hot part of her mind promising over and over to make sure that if the Hip Song had anything to do with putting her partner in this state, in this place, at the start of this very steep trail, they'd not do so again. The intervening steps of 'how' seemed completely irrelevant to that silent core as she fought to make sure Freddie understood this was a fight to be won in the few precious minutes she had left before being pulled away from the distressed center of her universe by the chains of duty.
  11. Downtown heading toward the port… Tony gave the young woman sitting beside him a look that revealed annoyance quickly masked. Jo saw this and she also noticed that the woman in the seat in front of her had turned her head, she didn’t look back but her head stayed like that, like she was listening. Closely. “Alright, you been through some stuff last couple days, emotions run hot. I understand. We understand.” Tony looks out the window at the city passing by. “The guy you pay, Bennie the Fish, you know Bennie? He was very concerned for you and your bar. He called us the night of the fire.” City Hospital…. Freddie didn’t take the offered hand and she looked away. “There Was a guy, an older guy, I was still mostly asleep. I think he was visiting someone else, but he stopped at the foot of my bed. He only had one eye, I remember that.” She looks back at Scarlet. “He stayed there for a couple of inutes I pretended to be asleep. He looked scary.” Tears start rolling down her cheeks. She grabs Scarlet’s hand desperately “They say they will have to do skin grafts.” The Concern… Caroline leads Cole through several corridors and into a large workspace filled with a dozen stations with young people with headsets working at keyboards. There are two other exits each with a safety Door, one in the left-hand wall and one to the right. The Left is marked with a large Roman Numeral X the one on the right with the Roman Numeral XX. At the back of the room are two sets of stairs going up in opposite directions but leading to the same landing. The landing in turn leads to a large glassed in Office. Caroline leads Cole up to that office and inside. The office is futuristic and spartan at the same time. Everything is function with no decoration including the desk and the man sitting behind it. The man is slender and fit. His age is north of fifty but probably not yet sixty. His head is shaved, and he has very intelligent brown eyes. He is dressed in a conservative grey suit complete with tie and cufflinks. Cole has never seen this man, had never seen Caroline before, hell had never seen any of this. “That will be all Caroline, thank you.” The man had a clipped new England accent, and the tone was one of dismissal. Caroline looked at him and glanced at Cole. Cole saw a flash of anger in her eyes, but then she took a breath nodded and with a curt “Sir,” turned and left the room closing the door behind her. The man studied Cole. Then he stood and gestured at a chair in front of the desk, “Please sit.” Cole sat and the man sat back down. “I am Control, and you have been cleared of any involvement or compromise following the attack on the Main Cell here in the city. You are cleared for return to service and your status has been upgraded. Welcome back to the Concern, the real Concern.”
  12. Outside the Box… Jo was used to being given a once-over. And a second-over. And a third. But the regard was never so... blasé and unremarked. The big woman frowned when the other woman didn't deign to offer her a name and instead turned her back on her and had the presumptuous gall to expect her to accept Mr. Basilone's invitation. On the other hand, Jo did have some things she wanted to bring up with the Basilones. With long strides, Jo caught up with the nameless woman, frown wiped away under a neutral expression. Jo gave her a nod then squeezed herself into the car. It was a spacious, high-end dark sedan, but Jo's head still brushed the ceiling and there wasn't much room for someone with legs as long as hers. Her bright blue eyes followed the woman through the tinted glass as she slipped into the passenger seat, next to a male driver with a man bun. As the car pulled back into traffic with understated power, Jo looked over at the man sharing the back seat with her. Somewhere in his fifties, with slicked back greying black hair, broad, hard face not unhandsome, his eyes dark and penetrating. Heavy-set, a mix of muscle and fat, his dark, pinstriped suit was expensive, if not as fitted as it could have been, several heavy gold rings adorned his big, thick-fingered hands. Jo watched the news, read the newspaper occasionally. This wasn't the head of the Basilone Family, but she was sure he was a blood member of it. "I am Tony Basilone. And you are the, hmm, the redoubtable Ms. Jordan Johansson," the man said in a self-assured, gravelly baritone, olive face flashing a blinding set of veneers. "Ah am," Jo agreed with cool politeness, crossing her legs in the close confines, and lacing her fingers over a knee. "And Ah'm thinkin' we're havin' a number of thangs to talk 'bout." "To be sure, to be sure. A veritable cornucopia of things, Ms. Johansson. But first, is there someplace I can drop you off after our talk?" Jo was going to demure, but there were still places she needed to go, her Escalade hadn't fared any better than The Box, and she would need to catch some taxis anyway. "That would be lovely, thank-yah, Mr. Basilone. Adamant Storage on Tillahman, by the harbor, if yah would." Tony Basilone caught the driver's eye in the rearview mirror and have a nod, Jo felt the Cadillac turn onto another street. Jo had never backed down to any man. Not any of her four older brothers, who she'd been able to out-muscle and out-wrestle since she was fourteen. Not her first boyfriend, Dexter Fox, who thought he was in charge just because he was senior and a boy and she just a freshman and a girl, and not any man since. And she wasn't going to start now, regardless of the nefarious reputation of the Basilone family. "Now, Ah've paid up every month fer a particular service without any sort of protest. Price of business and all, Ah get that, " Jo said before Basilone could talk. "Can Ah be 'spectin' a refund this month? Or some other sort of resolution?"
  13. City Hospital She'd had a lot of therapy about survivor's guilt. And she knew a lot about how hard and long it could be to recover from burn injuries, delving back through her old WCU textbooks on sleepless nights in a bid to escape her circling thoughts. But she hadn't been fully briefed on Freddie's injuries and potential recovery yet and she was sure that Freddie hadn't been either. It was too early for that, and too much of it depended on her partner's will to snuff hope with cruel, fickle facts. She couldn't, she wouldn't, not with those beautiful eyes looking at directly at hers in the darkened room. So she boiled it down to the truth, the one thing she was certain of right now. "Nothing that won't heal, Freddie, nothing we can't handle." She forced the smile to stay on her face, scooting halfway out of her chair and extending one hand so that the other woman could reach it easily if she wanted to. Lingering veins of concerned anger pushed at the blonde to add a soft question into the silence, "Has anyone else been in to see you?"
  14. If he was being honest, it felt like they were putting in abit too much effort. Still given how the main office had been destroyed, and so many people killed, it was fine. He looked at Caroline, and nodded. "Good to be back in the fold. Deskwork was never my forte." He allowed her to lead on, still noticeably on-guard. In his line of work, you had to always be on guard. He had his pistol of course, even in the old Central Control, you could count on every active agent to be armed at all times. With its destruction, he knew there'd be checks, but he'd just go along with that. He was still an active agent, his clearances weren't revoked, so there was that too.
  15. All-Farms Insurance Agency, downtown in the City… The voice was female and from the accent probably from somewhere in the Midwest. “Mr Mulvaney you are to take an early lunch and proceed to 3641 Gregory Court enter the business there and go to the counter. Tell the person working at the counter that you are there to pick up a special order. Follow that person’s instructions.” There was a click and the phone disconnected. Cole looked at the phone thinking. Then turned it off, opened the back and withdrew the sim card which he snapped in half then flushed down the toilet. He then snapped the phone in half and tossed it in the garbage can on his way out of the restroom. He told his supervisor that he was going to lunch and caught a cab to the address he had been given. The business, which was his apparent destination, was a couple of blocks from the industrial side of the fourth busiest port in the nation. Cole paid for the cab and looked at the business. It was a store, a record store to be precise, one of those old-style places, once thought extinct but with the renewed popularity of vinyl records, had been given a new lease on life. He glanced through the plate glass window and took in the multiple rows of vintage secondhand vinyl as well as the new section which had the outrageously priced newer pressing. He went inside. Cole walk along a few of the rows of record bins flipping through a few while actually taking in the layout. There were a few other people browsing but after watching he determined that hey were real patrons and not Concern. He went to the desk where a young woman with shoulder length, straight strawberry blond hair and lots of freckles was attending the cash register. She looked up and smiled at him, “Can I help you,” she asked noticing his hands were empty of records. Cole smiled back, “I’m here to pick up a special order.” “Of course, your name?” Cole Hesitated briefly, “Cole Mulvaney.” “Ok,” she reached up and locked the register and took the key.” “If you would follow me to the listening room where you can check out your purchase.” She led Cole back into the depths of the store to a sturdy wooden door with a window in it. She unlocked that door and opened it. The room was small would probably hold no more than four people. The walls and ceiling were covered in soundproof tiles and there was a small table against the right-hand wall with a modern turntable resting on it. Speakers were mounted in the four corners of the room. There was one folding chair in front of the turn table. “If you would take a seat, I will go fetch your purchase.” She smiles again as Cole enters the room and sits. Then she walked away and the door, which was on a hydraulic spring, closed. As soon as the door closed Cole heard locks snap and the room began to move, dropping down through the floor. He saw flashes outside the doors window which he assumed were floor or depth indicators. The room stopped after the twelfth such flash. Once the elevator room settled the door opened and there was a tall stately looking woman in her mid to late forties. She was probably once beautiful, but age had reduced her to womanly handsome, a sure sign that whoever she was she had the confidence to forgo cosmetic enhancement. “Welcome back to the Concern Mr Mulvany, my name is Caroline. If you come with me I will take you to Control.” City Hospital… Freddie slowly turned her head but stopped when the breathing tube in her nose snagged. It took her a few seconds reaching over from her left side to untangle it. He right arm was heavily bandage as was her right leg and torso where the worst burns were. Her neck was also banged and so to the back of her head. Her face and her left side looked completely normal. As Freddie struggled with the tube Scarlet had to hold herself back from helping, knowing that most patients, especially at first, reacted badly to being perceived as needing help. After Freddie cleared the tube she looked up at Scarlet and just looked for a few seconds then with her left hand flipped her wrist limply at the iv bags on the right side of the bed. “Numb.” “How bad does it look?” Her voice wasn’t slurred but the delivery was heavy. Outside the Box… The woman tilted her head slight to the left, her eyes shifting quickly to the burned out building then around the street then back at Jo. Then they did a once over of Jo, covering her from feet to top of her head. Jo noticed all of this and noted that the whole scan took about two seconds and the only part of the woman that moved were her eyes. As the woman completed her appraisal she abruptly turned and started back toward the car. “Mr. Basilone wishes to speak with you Ms. Johansson.” She walked straight to the passenger side back door and opened it while looking back at Jo.
  16. Cole did his best to remain calm after recovering from being startled. The workplace didn't ban cell phones thankfully, and he'd just reached a stopping point in his work. He snatched up the phone, and closed his computer. He head out for the bathroom, which was thankfully empty. He took the last stall and finally answered the phone. "Go Ahead." "Confirm identity please. " The voice was automated and spoke "Dawn Breaks, to a red sky." Cole recognized the code phrase as authentic, and gave the countersign "The warmth of Summer, To the day comes." There was a moment then the automated voice spoke again. "Agent voice and code phrase authenticated, Connecting you now." He had no idea what to expect, but with the use of that particular code phrase, he knew something was definitely up. He didn't have long, and while he certainly would have preferred to take the call in the safety of his car, he didn't have that option.
  17. There was a heartbeat where she felt the older Tong assessing her back, a scale in his mind weighing her against some unknowable standard of his own. And then he nodded, adding a simple, "I hope whoever you are visiting gets well soon." This was stated in a flat tone as he waved his guards into his wake and passed from the ward waiting area, taking the heaviness in the air with him. Jenny was the first to exhale, Scarlet's perspective standing near her station letting her see the other woman unclench her hands, letting a little blood back into her knuckles. "I guess that means I can go in now?", the blonde EMT weakly joked. "Yeah," the nurse replied, leaving almost everything left unsaid, "But don't leave Tony with too much of the reports." "I won't," Scarlet promised before passing into the burn ward with the hiss of sliding glass doors, donning one of the universal masks. She hated everything about this space, the almost silence, the quietly contesting odors of sterile air and medication, the hitching breath of uneasily resting patients amid beeping monitors, the sheer dreadful waiting of a liminal space between disaster and wellness. It was her job to make sure people got the chance to reach places like this when the worst happened, but after she handed them off to others here? It wasn't her job to see them the rest of the way. And her Freddie was here, fourth bed on the right, behind one of the ever-so-eerie privacy curtains. She took a moment to disinfect her hands and shed some of the stress she was bearing. At least for the next five minutes. Freddie could always tell when Scarlet was having a bad day, and today was not a day for her bad day. She passed into the space, cluttered with monitors and fluids and the bed holding the most important thing in her life. There was a chair not quite in arm's length of Freddie's bed that Scarlet took. A frown fought for a share of her lips at seeing Freddie was awake and looking away, enough of her face uncovered to betray the small twist of her lips that showed she was lost in thought, the kind she had when a gig went bad or supervisor had been a particular asshole that day. Above all, she looked small, lacking that larger-then-life energy she normally filled a room with. The blonde EMT coughed to get her partner's attention, genuinely smiling to see the recognition in those eyes now that she was off the heaviest of the narcotics. "Hey. Had a few minutes between runs. How ya doing?"
  18. Jo had decided to stop by her storage unit to see about what she could use to replace some necessities and debating between calling Karen or confronting her in person when the sedan pulled to a stop ahead of her and the woman stepped out. Jo definitely preferred men, but well, among female Crossfitters athletes, there was a preponderance of alternative lifestyles, and Jo wasn't opposed to the occasional tumble with the fairer and fitter members of the fairer sex, especially after several drinks. The woman was pretty enough - especially with that exotic, unidentifiable skin tone - and was confident enough in it to show off some pleasant cleavage. After casting an envious glance at the woman's stylish pumps - it was so hard to find nice shoes in her size - Jo's lips curved in a faint smirk as she straightened up when the woman addressed her. It might have been conceited, but pretty much anyone who knew her name recognized on sight, even if they had never seen her before. There were very few women with the height and physique of Jordan Johansson. "Ah am she, Miss," Jo admitted, pale golden ponytail swinging as she nodded towards what remained of The Box. "Ah'd invite yah to mah office, but Ah ain't got one no more. Excuse me, but yah have me at a disadvantage. Who might yah be, Miss, and what can Ah do fer yah?"
  19. All-Farms Insurance Agency, downtown in the City… Cole Mulvaney sat at his desk staring blankly at his computer screen. It had been more than a month since his parents had been killed and the offices of the concern had been bombed into oblivion along with most of the people he had worked for and with for, well, most of his life. And he was doing nothing. He hadn’t been at headquarters when the bombing took place. And when the dust settled, he had received orders to go to ground. About a week later he received new orders telling him to continue lying low and to blend in with the city, get a job and not to attempt to contact anyone. Getting a job hadn’t been hard, but that job was tedious and now more than a month later his mind was numb. His parents had been buried and so had his friends. And here he was a glorified insurance salesman. His phone rang. This startled Cole. It wasn’t the phone on his desk it was the other one the burner he was to use for when he received orders to report in, the burner his orders, which had been delivered by courier a month ago, had told him to get. The burner phone no one knew the number to.
  20. City Hospital Scarlet forced herself to do some quick reassessing. Freddie wasn't the only one hurt that night, and the Box a favorite among any number of the underworld's scions. She couldn't just assume that the man didn't have someone on the far side of that glass who was hurt as well. Freddie was the important thing here, and she'd ask her later next time she was awake. The anger was still there, still triggered by her bad week, but there were rules and there were scriptures that held in the sane universe that wasn't her memories of That Weekend. She chained the anger, hiding it behind an apologetic smile even as she committed the older gentleman's face to memory in case her first leap in judgement was correct, relaxing her arms and exhaling. "My apologies, Sir. Your... Men caught me at a bad time in the middle of a bad week as I was trying to check on someone. I won't keep you if you've other business to attend to," Scarlet responded, not quite able to bury the barb of her anger.
  21. City Hospital... As Scarlet glared she caught movement beyond the glass partition, some on was approaching the sliding doors. As the doors opened both foot soldiers faced the man coming through the door. He was also Asian and much older. How much was hard to determine but his hair which was short cropped was white and there were deep wrinkles about his eyes. He was exquisitely dressed in an expensive designer suit, grey with a light blue shirt and a tie matched to the ensemble. His left eye was covered by a patch. He started to say something to the two men but stopped when he noticed Scarlet glaring at them. “Can I help you Madame?” His voice was strong and there was no trace of foreign accent, he sounded like any other person born and raised in the city. Outside the Box… Jo was contemplating the various numbers on her phone, trying to decide whom to call, when she heard a car approaching. She looked up to make sure she wasn’t in the vehicle’s way and saw a dark sedan slowly rolling up the street toward her. It stopped at the curb about twenty feet away, the side and back windows were heavily darkened which made the interior impossible to make out, all she could see was that there were two shapes in the front, but no details could be made of them. After several seconds the passenger side front door opened, and a woman exited the car. She was average height, about five foot five or six, wearing black slacks and suit jacket with a white button-down shirt. The shirt’s top four buttons were undone revealing a decent cleavage. She had light brown skin, but her ethnicity was uncertain and exotic, her hair was black with reddish ends and worn in a short untidy waved style. As the woman straightened out of the car she looked up and down the street then started walking toward Jo. “You are Jordan Johansson?” The unknown woman asked as she stopped about six feet away.
  22. City Hospital Thoughts flashing behind her dark eyes, Scarlet frowned. Visitors? She was close enough to Freddie's circle of friends and family that they'd tell her they'd swung by. And all her, if she was generous, friends worked in and with the hospital, so they'd damn be sure to tell her. Not cops or city in those suits even if they were breaking Burn Ward protocol by bothering Freddie before she was transferred to another floor. The problem tickled at her brain, and she was one hair's thickness away from a scowl as she glanced at Jenny, "Did they say why were here?" Jenny just shook her head, obviously scared. The Nurse's answer *did* make her scowl, and she crossed her arms over her chest, eyes churning with anger. Daring them to ignore her. 5'5 and clad in her dark-blue EMT uniform with her oft-unruly blond hair bound in ponytail, Scarlet didn't present an overt threat, but a spring started to build tension deep in her guts, feeding on the formless worry and wrath birthed when she first heard the code for a fire at the Box called over the net when she was already elbow deep in another call on the other side of town. She hadn't been there and Freddie had gotten hurt and she knew better than most how little she could do other be there and how much that reminded her of That Time and the nights alone after they'd sent her home and and and... Well, her mind finally had something to pour that clicking stress into as she recognized the 'uniform' the two men wore. Hip Song Association. China Town crime group. And they were here bothering her Freddie? Her Freddie?! Was the fire their doing? She'd been called out to help people hurt by them too many times. Scarlet had enough presence of mind to mouth a sidelong 'sorry' at Jenny as she continued her glare, one (absent) superpower away from vaporizing the two men on the spot.
  23. City Hospital Scarlet stepped off the elevator on the sixth floor, the Burn Ward, possible the saddest place in the hospital. She was working, had just delivered a patient to the emergency room, and while Tony her partner did paperwork for them she zipped up stairs to visit Freddie. She informed the nurse at the nurse’s station that she was there to see Ms. Anvari. “I’m sorry Scarlet,” the nurse Jenny Jones, knew Scarlet from her stint in emergency, “Ms. Anvari already has a visitor.” Jenny had lowered her voice and nodded toward the Glass Partition with the sliding doors that led into the ward. Scarlet saw to Asian men standing at the side of the door. The were both dressed alike, dark suits white shirts, no ties, a red handkerchief folded in the jackets breast pocket. Both were young, probably mid twenties and both were slender. One of them kept his eyes focused on the ward beyond the glass partition while the other, who was fidgety, looked back and forth between the inner ward and the outer. When he spied Scarlet he stiffened for just and instant then relaxed and whispered something to his companion who glanced back and looked at scarlet.
  24. "Clearly not an accident then, Ah reckon," Jo said with a sigh. Her tone might have been resigned, but Randall took a step back from the enormous woman despite himself when her large hands balled into a pair of fists at her side, the heavy, corded muscles of her arms bulging and flexing with her suppressed anger. She took a deep breath to calm herself than reached into her purse and handed the fire investigator a business card. The number for The Box was useless now, but it also had her cellphone number. "Ah thank-yah kindly, Mistah Portman, fer the update, Ah surely do. If yah would be a dear, and call me if yah learn aught else with the case, Ah'd greatly 'preciate it." "With investigations like this, Ms. Johansson, revealing details to the public are tricky, but I'll do what I can," Portman said, giving the business card a look before stuffing it into a pocket. Despite what must be a distressing situation, the Georgian Giant was being gracious and polite and it was hard to say no to such a pretty face, even if Jordan Johansson looked like she could take down the entire defensive line of the city football team on her own. "Until then," Jo said with a nod. She was sure City PD would want to talk to her before long and she had a lot to do, such as cancelling scheduled orders and services, among so much else. She turned to look each way down the street, then strutted across with long strides, ducking her head to enter Joe's Diner. It was a 24 hour place that she and the employees often stopped at to each, since it was still open after The Box closed. It wasn't the cleanest place, the food wasn't the best, but the portions were big and the prices decent. Joe was long gone - if there had ever been a Joe. It was owned and run by a squat, thick Romanian named Radu. Jo took a seat at a stool at the counter and ordered a pair of #3s as she took out her cellphone and flipped it open, wishing as she always did that it had bigger buttons. She didn't have a clue who would want to burn down her bar. You couldn't completely avoid employee theft in the industry, but she had curtailed it by paying well above minimum wage and offering a generous employee discount. To be fair, it did help getting more skilled and appropriate staff for the style she was going for. The staff generally seemed happy enough, and she never had trouble filling a shift. She had fired a shift supervisor a few months back after hearing grumbles from the staff and finding out Karen McGill had been stealing tips. Jo hadn't been quiet about what she had thought about that, but she had refrained from throwing Karen through the damned wall. Karen had run out of The Box and Jo hadn't seen nor heard from her since. Had Karen made another set of keys? Jo didn't believe Karen would be so brave to sneak back into burn down the place, but it was one thread to pull on. Jo was paid up with the Basilones, so it shouldn't have been them. No bar, no protection money. She did have to think about the end of the month now though, wondering if they would still expect their payout. She was doing well for herself, but she wasn't exactly liquid, most of her funds tied up in The Box, and who knew when or if she'd get the insurance money to rebuild. It might be worth talking with the Basilones though. If someone was operating on their turf, they'd want to know, and that could be another lead to finding who the fuck had burned down her bar. Jo nodded her thanks as Radu placed her plates of food in front of her, and immediately started digging in. "Bad luck, that," Radu commented in his thickly accented English, nodding towards the blackened remains of The Box through the front window of the diner. "Luck, bad or any sort ain't got nothin' to do with it, Radu," Jo growled around a mouthful a greasy food. "But someone's gonna find a size fifteen boot up their ass." Speaking off boots, Jo made a note to run by her storage unit. She didn't remember what all she had in there, but hopefully some extra clothes, so she wasn't stuck wearing her Box uniform for who knew how long. She supposed she should also start looking into a place to stay longer term. Staying in a hotel would start getting expensive. She idly started scrolling through the contacts in her phone. She was sure there was a man or three in there who wouldn't mind the company for a while.
  25. "Not Again. Not Today." Name: Scarlet “Survivor” Johnson Hair: Blond Eyes: Brown Age: 29 Height:5'5 Personality: Scarlet has a very good bedside manner, but there is a clear line in familiarity that she doesn't let most people cross. On the other side of that fear of losing another friend, there's a burning passion for her professional calling and supporting the important people in her life. History: Life is full of inflection points that separate the before from the after. For Scarlet Johnson, recent graduate of West Coast U and newly-hired EMT, that was one long weekend camping up at Redwoods National park with her friend group. There, they were targeted by the Redwoods Killer, a madman who stalked and murdered them one by one by one. Of the 8 friends, only one, Scarlet Johnson, survived, bringing down the killer with a lucky shot from a bow stolen from a Boy Scout Camp she stumbled over in the waning hours of the chase. Heaving over their tormentor's cooling corpse, she promised to never be caught so unprepared ever again. For her friends. For herself. One ensuing brief brush with fame, a lot of (mostly successful) therapy, and an extended job search later, she started over as an EMT in The City, putting down roots across the country, trying to escape the pitying looks and recurring nightmares. Somehow, despite her own determination to never be vulnerable again, life found a crack in her self-imposed off duty solitude in the form of a chance encounter at The Box with one Farishta “Freddie” Anvari, aspiring musician/serial retail employee. The two struck it off and it bloomed into an affection Scarlet thought she'd never feel again after the Redwood Killer. Her schedule is still hectic, the fear still there driving her to keep her skills sharp with monthly trips outside The City, but... There is a glow there again, someone to curl up against when the nightmares scream up at her in the black depths of sleep after a bad shift. Freddie was there the night The Box burned down, ending up badly hurt while Scarlet was on call elsewhere. Stats NPC Placeholder Image
  26. Name- Cole Mulvaney Age- 26 Height-6'4 Weight- 230 Hair- Brown Eyes- Blue Role-the Spy Trope- Diehard Job- Business Consultant (Human Resources, management, accounting) Catchphrase- "Let's get to it then." Flaw-I'm an Action Junkie Cole got dealt a pretty crazy hand in life. Tall and Athletic it seemed that he was destined for a career in front of people. Nothing could be further from the truth of the matter however. Cole was raised by his parents, former MI6 agents who'd emigrated to America after a successful career. The thing is, they may have left MI6, but they didn't leave the life behind. They were recruited by a non-government backed spy agency calling itself The Concern, where they worked towards the betterment of the free world. Cole was raised to join the Concern one day, which he did after earning his degree in business management from LSU. He quickly established himself as a dealmaker in his day job, meanwhile he would go on several missions for the agency. Unfortunately, the Concern went too far against particular middle eastern organization (a fact not known to most of the agency), and the central office and most of the Concern's brass were slain in an attack that was made to look like a gas leak explosion. This has left the Concern nearly insolvent, and both listless and leaderless. His parents were slain in the attack, and Cole has been left to fend for himself in the months since the attack. Still, he's not been idle, reaching out and searching for clues as to who perpetrated the attack and how they were able to pierce the veil of secrecy surrounding the Concern.

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