|Buck Rogers|| Axiomatic: Umbrella is a nefarious bio-horror coverup. It goes without saying, doesn't it? But not all the world understands the righteous fury of TerraSave-- despite its rush of fad celebrity endorsements and pandering political rhetoric that fails to manifest resources or actionable intelligence, the world continues to spin like a basketball on the poison finger of the pharmaceutical giant. Even when their office in Paris was attacked, the response of the masses was not one of just desserts and jubilation.. it was fear, and panic, as terrorists -- terrorists! -- destroyed an icon of sin. A false idol.
They just don't get it. And now there's a quarantined zone, nearly ten blocks of the city, hidden behind fences and armed guards, where people are forbidden to travel. The government says there's nothing wrong. That matters are under control, but the explosion damaged the local infrastructure, and as repairs are done people must be kept out for their own safety. The media supports this.. mostly. But people talk. They speak of strange deaths and queerer sights, inhuman figures and unearthly sounds lurking in the bowels of the city, of rumors from guards and cops and leaked media stories. Inspired, at least one member of TerraSave has decided to sneak into the area, finding a location where the barricades could be overcome-- slipping in over a shadowy catwalk, or hopping a roof between two buildings, or even bribing a bored night guard. Regardless, beneath the setting sun and birthing stars, this section of the city is isolated, lacking in power, in lighting. The streets stretch on and on, and who knows what hides within?
|Celeste||Celeste chose the roof hopping approach and carefully lowered herself down onto a balcony. Once her feet are firmly planted she is making sure her camera is working then begins her slow climb down from the balcony onto the solid ground. Her steps beginning to take her towards were most of the action is going on, though she is just moving her camera around so it captures what it looks like as she is walking. The camera pausing on any parts or destruction that is currently rampant.|
|Buck Rogers||The quarantine zone is quiet. The footage Celeste gathers is fit for urban exploration and artistry but not eco-activism; stairways and footpaths through tree-lined walkways, unillumed signs and abandoned billboards, scavenging birds and dirtied roads. It's a quiet that seems to support the official story: there is no story, just broken gas mains and damaged building supports, making the area too dangerous for civilians. But if Umbrella is involved, that cannot be true. It can't be! She continues on, exploring abandoned Paris. But then there is a sound-- a roar like an engine, a metallic rumble-chuckle. It's from a street over, through an alley between a grocery co-op and a two-story bookstore with attached apartment, over a chain fence pinched between graffiti-strewn walls.|
|Celeste||What should years of watching horror movies taught you? Never go looking into the sound unless you are asking for trouble. Celeste is doing just what you shouldn't and is already scaling the fence and climb down upon the otherside to get a better look into the noise. Her camera at the ready as she continues to slowly move closer in.|
|Buck Rogers|| Through the camera's eye, the world is a bouncing, shaking thing, compressed into a small, grain-filtered box. The climb over the fence is recorded, and when the girl lands on the other side she's on a street with some unpronounceable French name or another-- a long street, leading deeper into the quarantine zone, and here the buildings show the first signs of damage from the explosion that toppled the Umbrella office. Broken windows, cracked sidewalks, trees with branches like snapped femurs-- the city here is wounded, but not dead.
The source of the sound, and the sound itself, is gone. But Celeste can see blood splatters on the ground, leading in jagged pen-streak lines through a small, abandoned garden, painting the sunflowers red. It leads into a fenced-in back yard for a small home. There's a sound there like the panting of an animal or some wounded beast.
|Celeste||Celeste slowly pans the camera around so it can take in the damage she is witness to. Then she begins to slowly and quietly follow that blood trail. Doing her best to remain out of sight but see what is causing the noise, she carefully hoists herself up to peer over that fence instead of just poking her head in through the gate.|
|Buck Rogers|| There is a dog in the backyard. A Braque Francais, the French pointing dog-- a large hunting dog, some fifty pounds, dappled like sunlight on chocolate milk. It stands on the connecting three stairs between the building's patio and the fragrant yard proper.. and strewn across those steps, partially eaten, is an old man. One who refused to evacuate, no doubt, stubborn and clinging to his home, refusing the legal orders to leave-- and paying the price now, as the dog, riddled with sores and oozing blood and pus, chews on his corpse. The sounds are wet squelchings, the crack of bone, the tearing of flesh, and heavy breathing, like a man tearing into a plus-sized hamburger.
The beast stops, and turns its head. Celeste can see it's missing an eye and its lips and gums are blackened with blood.
|Celeste||Celeste goes wide eyed as she looks upon the scene, doing her best to video tape it. Until she sees that head beginning to turn, that's when she drops down and begins to run, she wants a head start. Her feet carrying her as fast as possible.|
|Buck Rogers|| Run from a predator and its every animal instinct comes to the fore; in one moment of fear, Celeste marks herself as prey in the fever-burned cottage cheese brain of the beast. She whirls around the corner and it is in motion, snarling and dashing with the loud pad of its paws across the stones in the yard. It accelerates fast enough that it smashes into the fence with a growled yelp, but quickly reorients itself and begins to run. It's fast-- too fast to outrun. She's pushing through the bloodied garden now, knocking aside tall flowers, and the little open swing-door that locks the garden and yard off from the road hangs open in front of her. If she can just reach it and shut it!
Meanwhile, that engine sound starts up again, closer this time. A loud, mechanical buzzing. And what sounds like a man's booming laughter.
|Celeste||Celeste continues to run, swinging the gate shut behind her as she makes her way towards the booming laughter. He could be a friend? I mean zombies don't laugh like that.... right? She shouts as she draws closer "Help! Please!" Probably not the wisest of choices considering but.... she isn't mending someone or hacking so her mind isn't as focused as it should be.|
|Buck Rogers|| The dog rises on its back legs and claws at the door. It rattles on the hinges and he snarls, scratches, pushes, but is thoroughly thwarted for the moment. Given enough time, it will climb over, or gnaw through, or even just run back into the yard and find some alternative path through the brambles-- but by then, the pale, bloodless girl will be gone, fled to the source of that maniacal laughter.
She sees it as she passes beneath the shadowed overhang of a second-floor balcony near a cafe. The attached lot is strewn with blood and flesh-- a host of little tables lie knocked over, their accompanying parasols tossed about, and countless stains mar the affixed stone seats and benches that lend it a rustic air. There's a smash and a crash and that roaring of an engine is louder now, its origin clear-- a massive chainsaw, black-framed and the blade wet dark, a living shadow that whirls all shark-toothed. The blade is cutting into the arm of some inhuman monstrosity, scaled and five feet tall, five feet and a half, but that same width-- a frog-squat lizard-man with scythe-claw fingers and an eerily human expression twisted in pain as its arm is severed at the shoulder in a spectacular spray of gore. The monster stumbles backwards, eyes blinking with horizontal lids first and vertical second. The gaping wound pumps toxic blood out onto the stone, and it shrieks, swinging its good arm and knocking one of the tables at the man opposite it.
And what a man! Nearing seven feet in height, and wider at the shoulder than three people, the juggernaut is every bit as oversized as his weapon. His bulk is mountainous; his angles are sharp and severe, crisp-cut, and framed by an armored black trench coat that hangs down to his calves, fitted with straps and a few metal plates. A heavy helmet and face mask conceals his identity, but his grim laughter and sheer size suggest clear masculinity.
The creature hurls itself at him, and its face is split in two, a fountain of gore spraying into the air like a gymnast's ribbons, spidersilk graceful-- it paints the area in vivid colors.
The engine dies.
The giant turns.
His eyes, obscured by night vision goggles, stare down at Celeste, who is utterly engulfed in his shadow and silhouette.
"What are you doin' here, beautiful? This is the last place on Earth for a little girl."
|Celeste||Celeste began to videotape the living Hercules as he was destroying the creature. Though once the creature collaspes and the chainsaw weilder spots her, she begins to run towards him saying "Ummm reasons... but there... there is this dog... that was... trying to chase me... and... I... well.. obviously not a fighter." She stops about a foot away from her, nervously looking around. Then she is making the camera pan at the pieces of the creatures that are strewn about.|
|Buck Rogers|| For a long moment, Buck is silent. He's staring down the voluptuous Gothic doll. Why wouldn't he? She's as out of place as rainbows and unicorns here, even if her aesthetic is the opposite end of the color spectrum. He takes a step closer, and the ground shakes beneath his tread-- his armored coat rustles, his fingers crack, there's a movement of the air around him. More than anything, the man takes up space, and his every motion suggests a density, a strength, that belies human norms. When he steps his slow tread toward her, such is his presence that she can't see even see behind him; he consumes everything.
One gloved hand rises and lifts the face plate, exposing his mouth. She can see the dry lips, the bronzed skin, the thick black beard, but the rest of him remains concealed. He laughs and cracks a grin. "You're filming? Hah! Got a hero complex, sweetheart, don't you? Want to put this up on the internet and show the world what's what." The grin remains, and he shrugs, opening his jacket. There's a set of straps inside its vastness for him to secure the saw. Seems custom designed specifically for that. "Hell, why not? I could use a breather. Step right up, little girl, and take advantage of the Buck Rogers Celebrity Tour." She might recognize the name, especially if she's familiar with American celebrities-- the name Buck Rogers belongs to one of that country's hottest celebrities at the moment, a famous ex-cop and media darling known for surviving the Raccoon City disaster and being an all-around macho man badass.
|Celeste||Celeste swallows softly and brings her right hand to her lips and gently bites upon the tip of her index finger as she feels that ground shake. A deep red flushes her cheeks and her breathing hastens a touch at his comment "I... dunno if... hero complex... but.. the world does need to know... about these lies..." She almost drops her camera at the mention of his name and seems starstruck as she just stares at him. Probably not the best time to become lost within what you are gazing upon considering what all the dead parts laying around them are.|
|Buck Rogers||With a booming laugh, Buck reaches down and rests his hand atop the girl's head, giving her a pat. The weight of his hand is obvious, but he's measured enough with his touch that it isn't painful-- just firm. "Finally," he growls, voice a bone-shaking rumble that leans closer to roar even when whispered, "someone hears my name and has the right response. Do you have any idea how many people I've met in this city who don't pay attention to US news?" Her reaction has him visibly pleased, and, in a moment of thralldom to celebrity instincts, he removes the helmet and goggles completely, exposing his face. He could use a trim, his hair's a little wild, but oh, those eyes are a pretty bright blue. Any worries he might have been something monstrous himself can surely be put to rest. With a nudge of his foot, he kicks aside the severed, scale-and-clawed arm, knocking it behind a turned table and keeping it out of sight. But he can't hide the smell of death and violence. "Still, beautiful. None too smart coming here alone; that's the problem with you activists. It's one thing to know in your head it's dangerous, but everyone thinks they can handle it.." Another pat of her head, and his hand withdraws. "I'll be your bodyguard tonight. What's your name?"|
|Celeste||Celeste takes a few moments to actually find words to be able to speak and says "Oh... Celeste.. I am Celeste... and to be fair... if they weren't lying about what goes on... in here... their wouldn't be the need to activists... just saying... so um... Buck.. how... so we get out of here safely?" A nervous giggle escaping her lips as she steps closer to him, just feels safer next to the giant.|
|Buck Rogers||"All sorts of ways," the armored titan replies, straightening his back and pivoting on a heel. He casts his regard against the immediate surroundings and the chaotic disarray he played part in creating. "That thing right there? Been a lot of them in here. I'm guessing Umbrella was working on developing them in a lab-- probably underground, they fuckin' love their underground labs." He tilts his head toward the bestial lizard-man. "They're tough-skinned bastards, and they like to go for the throat with their claws. I'd been tracking it for hours, following some headless corpses-- aggressive little bastards, they even go for the zombies." A shrug, and he reaches a huge hand to grasp Celeste's opposite shoulder, using a little push to encourage her to walk alongside him. "But that's not the sort of thing you should worry about, beautiful. I can walk you to one of the gates, you can get a cop's attention. Probably be fined, maybe jailed for awhile. Trespassing. Or you can stick by me, and I'll bring you with me through the tunnels when I feel like leavin'. Been awhile since I had a pretty girl to entertain me." A grin follows.|
|Celeste||Celeste wrinkles her nose as she gazes upon the monster and says "I fucking hate this biochemical terrorism shit.... so fucking much... and they go for the zombies too?" Her steps eagerly walking along with him, grasping upon his arm with one of her hands as she lets the camera look around as she moves along. A look of worry echoing upon her face as she says "I... much rather... avoid the.. umm... fine or jail or what have you... I.. I would just... be locked up... and... I don't do well behind bars...."|
|Buck Rogers||The man chuckles. It's a good-natured sound; given the surroundings, being in a locked-off shell of a city where monsters explicitly crawl, he's remarkably at ease. Comfortable, even, confident-- he's having fun. "Yeah, I don't think jail'd suit you," he mentions, turning his head and looking pointedly toward her chest, and all the pampered curves of her doll-like body. "So we'll skip the official exits. You promise not to come back in here without me, and I'll get you out, nice and easy." They're walking now down a sidewalk, and the brute, relaxed as he is, is nevertheless vigilant-- his eyes scanning the surroundings, subtly checking alleyways and corners, peering through glass shopfronts to make sure nothing lurks. Even the cars, parked and toppled, might contain something. "You seem a little worked up, Celeste. Need a breather?"|
|Celeste||Celeste sweetly muses to him "I am quite glad you don't think it would suit me. And... I can promise that. As long as when we do come in together I can record things." It is a bit of extra quick steps to keep up with his stride after all given her much shorter limbs. She nods softly and before she says "Breather would be good... though is here safe enough to do that?" A gently blush echoing in her cheeks as she admits needing to get her legs a rest.|
|Buck Rogers||"There's no such thing as a place that ain't safe with me in it," Buck boasts, his free hand lifting to scratch his beard. He's still eyeballing the myriad curves of Celeste's small body-- that's definitely the sort of figure you only tend to see in college girls. "So don't go anywhere without my permission." He pauses mid-stride and scans the area. He can never read the street signs here, and has come to identify where he is via landmark-- judging by the garage he can see in the distance, across from the gas station, he knows roughly where they are.. "There's a little sit-in park this way," he explains, and his hand slides lower, to the small of her back, as he directs her to the left. They cross the street, weaving their way over potholes and fractures like cracks in ice, feet clip-clapping. Ascend the curb, move past a building, and there's a foot-path through lamp-lit greenery, with a picnic table some dozen yards ahead. He guides her there. He watches her. "I'll keep an eye out.. in the meantime," and he seats her, "tell me somethin' about yourself, beautiful. Entertain me."|
|Celeste||Celeste grins at his boast and finds something to sit a top of as she says "I won't. I rather not die to one of those... things or the dog... or well... anything as that is infected." Though when he begins to guide her, she easily moves towards the sit-in park and says "Alright, that sounds lovely." She slowly climbs up to the top of the picnic table and sits upon it, her legs indian style. She giggles a bit and says "Well.. I almost have my medical degree... and I hacker into things... not sure what else to tell you."|
|Buck Rogers||"Oho," the man marvels, looking the beauty over now with eyes fresh-minted by approval. "A doctor who likes computers? I was never much good with 'em-- keyboards are too small for my hands, anyway." He opens his armored jacket and unstraps the chainsaw, resting it atop the table next to the girl. She can get a better look at it now-- it isn't a clean thing, a sterile thing; it is a weapon of war, an industrial power tool repurposed for battle. Far too heavy for her to even lift, let alone fight with, it's black-bladed and crusted with blood, marred by scratches. It is a tested weapon. The table shakes when he drops it. The teeth have bits of flesh stuck to them. Clothing fabrics. She might have noticed by now that for all his talk of looking out, his eyes have never slipped away from her; whenever she looks at him, he's soaking her in, and when their eyes meet he never looks away unless she does first.|
|Celeste||Celeste giggles softly and says "I imagine not, your hands are huge." Her eyes lingering upon those said hands for a few moments before she looks to his blue eyes. Then she is watching the chainsaw and shudders as it is dropped next to her, seeming entranced by it. Then she is looking back to him and blushes deeply as she realizes how he was looking her over and bites upon her bottom lip at a loss for words as she squirms where she sits.|
|Buck Rogers||"A lot of folks think a chainsaw isn't a good weapon," the man remarks, noticing the trajectory of Celeste's attention. "It's loud, it's heavy, it's short range. Run the risk of mechanical failure, or even running out of fuel-- though this baby purrs like a kitten, and is real efficient." He steps in and suddenly he's in her personal space, filling up the air around her, reaching over to shift the machine. For all its size, he manhandles it like a toy. "It's the evolution of combat, you know? We started with our fists, rocks, spears, bows. And these days, we've got missiles and tanks and machine guns. The direction of war has become to kill someone from ever-increasing distances." He smiles broadly, sharp-toothed. "I wouldn't take this baby out into an open field. But against creatures that are sneaky, get right up in your face, and are tough enough to resist small arms? Urban environments like this, where you don't have a mile to snipe? Yeah, that's when it's good. Cuts monsters like butter." He reaches out and brushes one gloved thumb over her lips with a sudden slowness, looking down at her. "You're a real beautiful girl, you know that?"|
|Celeste||Celeste swallows hard as he steps into her personal space, her feet slipping beneath the table so her knees are hugging the edge of it. Her blush only grows deeper as she says "I... suppose so... I tend to well... keep to myself... not always... getting along with others... but um.. I like the chainsaw... and it was... quite fun to watch you cut into the monster... rather.... exciting. And... it may be noisy but... I still like it."|
|Buck Rogers||It's rare that the berserker is struck dumb and silent by what he's hearing-- a life like his, eternally on the edge of death, battling the elements and hellish beasts, leaves little room for surprise and less room for slow wits. But Celeste's slow, nervous stammerings floor him, and his head tilts, eyes narrowing, mouth opening just a little-- the perfect image of 'did I hear that right?'. "A helpless little thing like you," he begins, curling her hair around a thick finger and then trailing it down her cheek, "all soft and small and feminine, likes watching me brutally murder horror movie spooks?" His finger has followed the line of her jaw, and his hand is now near her throat, fingertips brushing it. "You're a lil twisted, aren't you, princess?"|
|Celeste||Celeste's breathing hastens within her chest as he begins to curl some of her long hair around his thick finger and trail it down her cheek. Her eyes slowly half-lidding as his finger continues along her jawline. The brushing of his fingertips upon her throat causes her to sharply inhale before she murmurs "Perhaps... I... am... I.. adore repairing others... but I love to watch those.... abominations get destroyed.... and seeing them.... gutted... or dismembered... it well... it makes my heart race..."|
|Buck Rogers||The calm of dark intent falls upon the brute. The look of confusion is gone with the ease of a mask removed-- and so too has departed the congeniality. It's as if her words wiped away a wintry frost, exposing something raw and primal beneath-- the smile is wider and the teeth more prominent, the head lowered, eyes staring up beneath a heavy, furrowed brow. "So that's what you are," he says, and even his voice is different; there's a throatiness to it, a leonine rasp. It's sudden-- he seizes her by the throat and pushes her back, pinning her down to the picnic table, bearing down on her with every sense. "You're one of those girls that writes letters to Manson, aren't you? One of those sweet little things that get soaking wet in front of murderers." He growls, and his breath is a hot wash against her, face leaning in close. "You like dangerous men."|
|Celeste||Celeste looks a bit bused at his first statement though as he grasps her throat and pushes her back, pinning her to the table, a deep red blush and a look of excitement echoes in her eyes. Her hands immediately reaching up to grasp upon his one as he growls at her. She squirms upon the table though is unable to escape as she softly murmurs "I... I do get... rather... well... hot and bothered by it... yes... and.. I... I suppose... I... I do like... dangerous men..." She bites upon her bottom lip, attempting to remove his hand from her throat truly only to find out when he does in turn, her mind wishing to test a theory with the brute.|