[Prologue] Downrider

Pancakei

Well-Known Member

Time and time again, old stories pass by minds curious enough to believe it themselves. Stories such as these speak of a noble avian Republic so grand, it once held whole worlds, if not realities in it's palm. Some say they came from above, others below. Those who lived to pass the first of their tales say they ruled with a bloody, iron fist. Some stories cite them as proud and noble, but others say their existence was shrouded in a veil of cowardice and delusion. The few who dare state they survived encounters with them speak of metal angels falling from the heavens in broad flashes of light. They came not to protect others, however, but instead to protect their own image. Most who tell these stories say they had no name, but on the rarest occurrence, one would recall, "Avisten".

Tall tales preach the undoing of this Republic of Avisten: how their oppressive grip crumbled as their ancient enemies rose up and disrupted their enforced balance. Their own people turned against them in revolt, joined under the charismatic lead of a Faceless Baron. The war was bloody and destructive, as great weapons tore floating islands from the sky and entire generations of history and progress were thrown to the fires of revolution. The verses sing that the collapse of Avisten was so cataclysmic, that the remnants of the ancient government was blasted far and wide across many dimensions.
The hymns affirm that on that night of fate, the skies were filled with mixed tears of sorrow and rejoice.


These stories, while as old as anyone can recall, still hold promises of untold wealth and danger to those who seek it. To this very day, whispers in the streets speak of troves of unclaimed treasure, and bounties of forgotten technology to be uncovered. To some, such tales and rumors may seem like nonsensical tales the poor spread to stir action; to others, the allure of riches and the search for answers that such mad tales instill can attract those just as mad themselves.

It's these madmen that would heed the call.

The first was a young scholar, equally curious and tenacious, who had spent their whole youth enthralled in the mysteries of these ancient worlds.
It could be either luck or fate that she lived not in that old era, where the fascination and collection of such forbidden information was enough to permit good people to disappear in the dead of night. Instead, the fruits of her obsession was just now starting to take form. Her words of a newfound expedition had spread around the underbellies of the city, and their own night of fate had come. Every captain needs a crew, and those who were willing to meet in the earliest hour of morning could soon find themselves in a position of money, knowledge, perhaps even fame.


Be they curious, seeking glory, or just plain desperate.


---


Capital City Limits
Downrider Inn
Modern Day
11:50 PM


The Downrider Inn sat on a small hill a few kilometers outside the limits of the Capital City. The quaint dive was as old as anyone can remember, with a frame made of logs cut from the large trees that once populated the clearing. While old fashioned in frame, the inside held just as much technology as it did class. Bright orange neon tubes stretched across the rafters, blanketing the tavern floor with a light golden glow. The Inn was rather quiet tonight, with only a few sparse patrons indulging themselves in the modest drink selection at hand.

The owner of the "Inn" was a man just as old and strange as the building itself. He was an avid collector and storyteller, and he had struck a deal with a young scholar looking to launch a new journey. Tonight, the private upper study of the Inn was occupied for the business venture. Inside the enclosed loft sat a large oak table, surrounded by chairs and other furniture. To one end was a marvelous triangular window that ran from the rafters to just above to floor. The bright light of the moon shone through the panes, its blue hues pushed back by the orange lights occupying the rims of the meeting place.

In one tall chair sat the newly named captain of this venture, Dahlia Morgan. The short blue-haired woman was wearing a velvet-colored sweater with a vest over it, with a small pendant strung around her neck. She sat surrounded by various sets of small book and papers, with a dark blue binder set closed in front of her. Her travel pack was draped over the back of her tall chair as she sat with her back facing the great window. There was much on her mind, but for now a log book had her silent attention.

She had arrived well ahead of meeting time along with a few others, to make preparations for the briefing at hand. Joining her was a child-like woman with messy, long auburn hair and a rather skeptical pout upon her face.

Arbitrated Shan's multicolored eyes darted between the door of the room and the large window, outside of which she sometimes could catch a glimpse of a starship. Her new starship - or the one she was going to be flying this time. Piloting was a relaxing way to get around, not like those untrustworthy, seedy taxis or the cramped liners that ferry dozens, sometimes even hundreds of people around. It just happened that getting paid for the process was also quite relaxing.

Sighing, the one named Shan reached into her own small sack, the rest of her luggage packed away on the ship, and with a silence-annihilating crackle wrestled out a packet of trail mix, tearing its plastic wrapper with the ease of thousands of repetitions. Nuts and seeds, nuts and seeds... Sometimes a raisin. Nice! The flavor surprise was enough to stop her from getting completely sick of the stuff.

An MDU-9 Security Android stood behind the pair. However, this particular droid exhibited far from the normal stoic behavior typically associated with the "Bouncers." It leaned over Arbitrated with its off-white faceplate tilted quizzically, insistently poking the small woman's upper back, saying "You are very hot Miss Shan. Why are you so hot? Do you know why she's so hot, Miss Morgan?"

'Miss Morgan' looked up from her book, glancing over at the two. She gave the droid a somewhat concerned look, before sighing. "We need to work on your conversation skills, Cog." Though she knew what the droid meant in his questioning, she withheld commenting for the sake of the small pilot's privacy.

Arbles bounced off of the robot's artificial finger about three and a half times before leaning forward uncomfortably. Hopefully spared the poking for at least a few seconds, she decided to humor the MDU-9. "I dunno, guess it's a new development. Never thought I'd be a model, but I could probably give it a shot at some point." Thankfully looking away, her little mouth curled into a teasing smile.

Having not received any useful information from Dahlia, Cog remained focused on Arbitrated, the girl's attempted humor soaring over his head. "You are well above a fever temperature! Do you feel sick, Miss Shan?"

"Trust me, I'm fine." The childlike woman's face returned to a frown, though it was a fair bit less pronounced than earlier. "I can't even get sick.. Probably. You've never met a sage before?" She interrupted his response with another delve into the trail mix packet, for what little edible stuff was left in it.

Cog paused for a moment, then said "What is a Sage?"

The sage in the room took several moments to silently just... Stare at Dahlia. And then she answered, "Sages are a people. We have, let's say... Interesting natural abilities. And also some side effects, as you seem so curious about mine." Her little shoulders hunched forward.

"They're spread out a little everywhere these days." Dahlia added, not yet looking up from her book. "They're really nothing too extraordinary, they're just biologically inclined to magic."

"....Yeah, that." Came Arbitrated's reply.

"Oh! That explains it then." Cog said, straightening. He didn't say anything else, just stood there, stock still. Silence crept back into the room as the three settled in, waiting for a sign. The sign soon came as a deep knocking was heard from the tight stairwell.

Knock Knock Knock.

Dahlia looked up from her book, setting it closed to one side of her. She piped up at the deep knocking. "Yes?"

The wooden door opened with a subtle creak as a new figure appeared from the frame. It was an older man, well past the age of signing up for an expedition. Dahlia knew him, however: he was one of the expedition sponsors as well as the owner of the very tavern they sat in. "It's twelve, you wanna let em in?"

A wide grin split across Dahlia's face as she straightened up in her chair. "Yes! Bless you, Merv!" The old man, Merv, nodded and left the door cracked open as the captain looked to the pilot and the bodyguard to her side. "It's time!"

"Thank the void!" The little sage stood to her full unimpressive four-foot-three-inch height with a crunch as she balled the empty wrapper, before she remembered that they were waiting for other people to come IN first, rather than going OUT to get back to the ship. Sure there's nothing wrong about this place, but getting on the move as soon as possible has always been kind of a part of Arbs's personality and priorities... Right after getting food.


And so, the three waited.
 

club24

Well-Known Member
Downrider Inn
12:01

Arriving shortly after the scheduled meeting time was Oliver Finneketty, a previously notorious street thief turned con-man which wasn’t much better. Truth be told he found out about the expedition through some eves-dropping and had come along at the prospect of getting rich.

“So this the crew then or was I the first one here?” He seemed to sigh lazily as he walked in, his eyes however were sizing up the three present. Oliver knew the captain but hadn’t heard about the bot or the, what he assumed was a sage from slightly interesting appearance.

Moving to the table he took a seat and leaned back propping his feet on the table. Oliver hadn’t known what to expect and was playing the situation low to get a feel for the others.
 

SirSkully

Active Member
Downrider Inn
12:02

An armour-clad figure appeared in the doorway with some drops of moderately fresh blood dripping from his metallic knuckles, the figure was Finnegan Brustarf, a mercenary that liked to think his name stood out slightly against the many others in his line of work, but they were infact all scrambling around for the same contracts.

"Terribly sorry for my lateness, I was just finishing off another job when suddenly the person who was supposed to pay me tried to harvest my organs.."

The helmet of his suit could be seen sweeping the room as the man underneath took it all in, the room and the people within it.

"So, who else are we waiting for?" he asked the room of odd individuals, one of which seemed to be a little girl but he assumed they were all there for one reason or another.
 

Burgmond

Well-Known Member
Downrider Inn
12:02:05


"Who else but me?!" A lively voice responded loud and clear, the already open door swung further ajar with enough force to dent the door handle!

That was the moment that Juryrig, the mad scientist, the horror that clanks in the night, the force of nature, had arrived at the door. Juryrig's red duster swayed as he waltzed inside in a perky fashion, disregarding the comically large haversack he is toting. He facial expression was wild and happy.

"Why 'allo there, every-body! Came from one side of the three and thirteenth-quarter miles to that one particular area I just came from all the way down here to this beautiful place! Glad to be right on the dot!" The inventor spun on his heels, taking quick ganders at every person in the immediate vicinity.

Now, who do we got? We gotta lost child, a heavy metal homicide man, a.... Might be a chef, a blueberry employer, and a robot... Thought Juryrig. I LOVE IT ALREADY!

The mad scientist couldn't help but giggle openly.
 
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Arbitrated

Well-Known Member
Downrider Inn
00:02


Arbles sniffled a bit as the newcomer burst in through the door. "How many does that make it now? Six?" Her reddened hair swished as she turned to face Dhalia. "Yeah, six... How many did you invite again?" Her eyes softly twinkled on occasion, as the declining moonlight shone through the window onto the undersized sage.
 

Pancakei

Well-Known Member
Dahlia looked over each new member as they came in, smiling juust a little bit. She responded to the somewhat fishy looking man, Oliver. "Welcome, you're the first..."

The scholar found herself quick;y interrupted by the appearance of more arrivals, giving the next two a somewhat questioning gaze. She didn't plan on stealing anyones organs anytime soon, but notes could always be taken. She turned her head to the side as Arbitrated spoke up with a question. She just smiled. "A few."
 

Blizzard

Active Member
Downrider Inn

Beyond the door were several heavy footfalls, along with the jingling and clanging of metal equipment. Whoever was approaching was no lightweight.

The doorknob clicked, and the door itself swung inwards to reveal...

...A knight. At least, it looked like a knight. The behemoth, who stood at just over six-foot and shoulders that barely fit through the doorframe, wore a suit of technologically advanced, blue armor and a white surcoat emblazoned with the crest of a blue lion. In a holster on his right hip rested a massive hand-cannon, and the scabbard on his back held a mean-looking shotgun with a pistol grip and bayonet. Despite how advanced his technology may have been, it still seemed ancient from the extensive damage that painted its surfaces. Plasma burns, gnarly gashes from either claw or sword, all earned from almost twenty years of brutal warfare.

Slowly, the new arrival lumbered across the room to Dahlia and Arbitrated. Once he stood before them, he reached up and pulled the helmet off, revealing a square-jawed man who couldn't have been older than twenty five, with dark, brown eyes and an undercut.

"I am Sir Churchill, Knight of Terra, and Slayer of Poseidon." greeted Churchill in a strong, confident voice. "I seek the leader of this expedition, Lady Morgan."
 

ZweiHawke

Active Member
Downrider Inn

In stark contrast to the brave, intimidating knightly figure, the door opened again to reveal a scrawny, by far weaker man, laden with the smell of metal and oil as he stumbles inside, shutting the door carefully as to not scuff the handle. His red jumpsuit was stained with various oils and mechanical fluids as he walked in. He takes a seat near the group, and sits down, only for the jagged, sharp brace on his arm to make a large thud onto the table. Almost milliseconds after, he lifts up his brace quickly, looking for any damage he'd done to the table and after carefully checking for marks, gently places it down.

"Aha! Found you guys. My name is Reman Argint, dedicated mechanic at your service!" his voice was like a gleaming light in an impossibly dark cavern, though if not a little hoarse. "It's been so long since I've gotten to work on a proper ship! The mere thought of finally getting back to work is..."
 
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Mikodimus

Well-Known Member
Downrider Inn

As Mikodimus Plissken walked up to the inn he flicked the cigarette he was smoking to the ground and stamped it out. At 6'4" he was an imposing looking fellow. He wore his long black hair down to his shoulders. His outfit was a full suit that screamed bounty hunter yet his posture was completely off. He walked with a sway as if he was drunk. He wasn't but then again from those looking at him they would not be able to tell.

He slipped his way into the inn without making a sound. He moved towards the large group that was gathering. In a strong deep voice spoke out. "Ahhh beautiful, looks like we got a real A team going on here." He commented as he sized up everyone in the group. "Names Mikodimus, best bounty hunter this side of the universe." He spoke in a sharp voice as his stance got more formal and he reached up and hit his chest with a closed fist. The motion was enough to move his trench coat to one side and show he was armed with a sword and gun.

"Sir Churchill was it, I hope your knightly ways is better than my late father. If not, well, we can cover that bridge when we get too it." He said with a smirk.
 
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Burgmond

Well-Known Member
Downrider Inn

"Ooooooooh, we're havin' interviews?! Well my manners are just all ovah the place, aren't they?!" Juryrig spoke up, his hand planted on his forehead in realization. "We can't be a proper team if we don't know every-body! Allow ME to help break the ice!"

Within the next few seconds, Juryrig zipped right to Dahlia, stole her hand, shook it quick and rapidly, and introduced himself. "Hallo, Juryrig here, Alchemical Engineer, sausages are great, glad to be here!" He rushed to Arbitrated, to Cog, and everyone else, shaking their hand without their consent and introducing himself, using the same exact introduction.

If the overabundance of energy was not clear at all, the fact he is able to sprint around with such a heavy load and have the breath to spare for a introduction could be considered admirable... If not unsettling.

The haversack shifted subtly, the inventor's jerky movements setting off a few of his contraptions inside.
 

Mikodimus

Well-Known Member
Miko in a half drunk, half snake like motion made his way over to Juryrig. "Nice to meet you Mr Rig. I feel me and you are going to get along just perfect." He gave him a slap on the back which made even more things in his bag go off. "Damn son, what all you have stashed in that sack of yours. Feel its going to burst open at any moment." He said laughing.
 

Burgmond

Well-Known Member
Sure enough, out from the haversack came a flat, six-legged mechanical marvel, made of wood and metal! The pat was all it took for the mysterious creation to come alive and gallop around for a few seconds, stopping by Juryrig's side.

The creation was... A table. A terrifically designed one at that, but the creation was still a large dining table with six articulating mechanical legs. It hissed, wiggled, clicked, and let out a puff of steam from the underbelly, and still sounded nothing like a actual horse.

"That and more!" Juryrig exclaimed, not wanting to miss a beat. "Behold my Alchemical Horse! Tried and tested, it can haul three passenger cars all by itself with the efficiency of - " The mad inventor roped a firm, strong arm around Miko, getting even closer to the knight. "- A TRUE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE! Yours truly designed this little girl all by himself." He spoke with a eccentric brand of confidence, pointing a thumb at himself to emphasize the identity of 'Yours Truly'.

"Tis a masterpiece that has yet to explode! YET!" He cackled, and got up onto the Horse, and true enough to his word, it held up Juryrig without even compressing its legs under the combined weight of the haversack and its creator.
 
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club24

Well-Known Member
Oliver watched te rest of the group walk or snash their way in as he continued to lounge at the table. As much as he loved a good show he was hear for one goal, getting rich with some secondary goals for later.

He was almost tempted to fire his pistol in the air knowing it would deafen most of them for a few moments but decided against it. Instead he turned to Dahlia and said “well if this is the whole crew you wanna try controlling em? No good to us if they don’t listen.”

Although subtle he purposely tried to include himself in her side of the conversation to see how she’d react to a crew member seemingly taking the initiative.
 

Arbitrated

Well-Known Member
"Is there any particular reason you must make a pigsty of this inn? All of you, sit! or stand without breaking or moving or something!" The high-pitched voice Arbles carried pierced through the room shrilly. She continued, "I'm sure that you will have plenty of time to display all of your little skills and such when we're not trying to set up for something actually important!"

The air seemed to waver a little bit around the Arbs, not unlike what people might see from a running combustion engine in the middle of a particularly hot summer. Seeming to not give a damn, she fished out another packet of trail mix and tore it open like the first, grumbling quietly to herself.
 

ZweiHawke

Active Member
Upon seeing the horrific six-legged monstrosity, Reman started growing antsy to fix the shambling, unholy monstrosity. But keeping to Arble's words, he tidies up around him, being as polite as possible. He starts shaking just a little bit trying to restrain himself from grabbing the spider-like table and rending it to pieces.

Waiting to see if someone calls out for action, he patiently fiddles with his brace, trying to make sure everything is in working order.
 

speeder01

Active Member
Grey Three chose to arrive... Several minutes late infact. Already quickly aproaching the point where it would no longer be fashionable to arrive. "Hmm. Wonder what we've got in store?" Came the voice, just as the door opened once more. Grey one. A scientist and explorer of... admitedly little renown. Simply going by the name Grey Three, their overall appearence and origin seems to be a matter of debate more than anything. Some would argue that Grey Three is a group, or perhaps a single shape shifter given multiple supposed sightings giving highly conflicting information regarding the individual.

Today, Grey Three appeared as stereotypical as mad scientists come- ancient surely. Though moving with a certain grace and sureness that did not match that decrepit looking, professer looking form. Nor did the pack he carried slow him either. It didn't appear overly large certainly, and appeared to be a well bade armored black box. However it was very clearly full to the brim with many filled compartments, judging by the slight bulge.. "Ahhh Already quie the crowd huuhhh?" The grin grew wider as he surveyed the room and sauntered on it. The smile was almost like an old man level sweet, untill you caught those too wide, blood shot red eyes.

"I guess I'll just settle in right here why don't i hm? haha." He said this quietly after arriving just in time for the small one's out burst. "Don't worry, little girl. I'm sure Everyone can apreciate a tidy workplace." Even as he said that, he stared intently. Not directly at Arbitrated, but around her. "Interesting." His grin grew wider. But he stood still, relitively speaking.
 
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SirSkully

Active Member
Finnegan simply shook his head and chuckled slightly at the scene that was unfolding before him, it was pretty funny after all. Most of the people there were either wrapped in metal, or wanted to tear it apart and craft some kind of machination it seemed.

“Well if introductions are what we are doing now, the name’s Finnegan Brustarf, but you all can call me Finn” He still stayed in his corner of the room and gave everybody a respectful nod, rather than a bloody handshake...

“Anyway, what’s a kid doing here? Seems a little out of place if you ask me, no offense” Finn asked the group, genuinely confused as to why a little girl was around killers and mad scientists (who might very well also be killers).
 

club24

Well-Known Member
Oliver looked across at the sage and like the others he too initially wondered why a young girl would be here. Hearing her take charge of the room however helped him understand, she clearly wasn’t a little girl but rather of little stature and knew what she was doing.

Even with her command it seemed a fairly weak effort had been made to follow it, the conjurer drew one of his bright pink heavy energy pistols and twirled it in his hand. He knew the kind of attention it often drew hence why he usually kept them hidden however that attention seemed to be required.

“Ladies and gentlemen it seems our esteemed pilot doesn’t quite approve of the behaviour we’re all used to.” Oliver had his slyest grin plastered on his face as he took his feet off the table. “And I for one don’t want to get on her bad side at this point.”
 

Burgmond

Well-Known Member
"An' now look who's talkin' on the behalf of a small, lost child!" Juryrig astutely observed from atop of his alchemical horse, maintaining the crisscross applesauce sitting position. He looked down upon the conjuror with a comically accusing leer, pointing at his teammate with a equally accusing finger.

"You are not my employer, neither is that tiny girl. Employers don't give a rat's corpse on how I act, all that matters to them is that I get their job done! I'm even behaving relatively well, as a matter of FACT!"

The mad inventor gestured, with both of his hands, to where he's sitting. "I'm sitting down and getting along with every-body, and I don't need some random child to tell me if I have to be quiet and take a seat! I just need my employer to stand up and give me some details! Doesn't a marvelous Juryrig, such as me, deserve that much?"
 

META_mahn

Well-Known Member
Capital City Limits
Downrider Inn
Modern Day
12:05 AM


It was incredibly late at night when even the few late sleepers were shambling home to sleep. One girl with silvery-white hair was sprinting down the streets, bags in tow and slung across her body. She was panting and wheezing but still kept running, electrical sparks, strangely enough, flying off her body, if one had a keen enough eyesight.

"Address...Downrider Inn...ah, there it is!" her somewhat pale voice at the moment due to the physical exertion echoed in the night. She dropped all her bags, took a moment to compose herself and catch her breath, and opened the door.

"Sorry I'm late!" she told the small gathering, still looking down and catching her breath.
 
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