View Full Version : The Cult and the Dragon

27-05-04, 13:01
Far above the electric glow of Pepper Park's neon signs, dark clouds rumbled ominously and after a moments indecision resumed their deluge of chilling rain, each falling drop like blood, reflecting the light from the streets below. It hammered on every window and thundered on every decaying roof in the district, cascading down to the concrete below in a futile attempt to achieve what a hundred well-meaning political drives could not. Rising to meet the rain, indistinct music, heavy with bass, blared defiantly from an open doorway across the street. As if inspired by the beat, a constant stream of people braved the elements and flowed through the district in both directions, pausing only to look through grimy windows or engage in conversation with the indigenous prostitutes. Even the surly Black Dragon guards on the walkway below didn't seem bothered by the weather. Indeed for them, it made their job easier. No doubt they were looking forward to another heady night of extortion, violence and robbery, because no one would try anything on a night like this. No one.

Except me thought Kat, brushing damp strands of hair from her face.

She has been waiting patiently on the roof of the apartment building since sunset, silently observing the pedestrian traffic and, more importantly, the entrance to the Black Dragon headquarters some two-hundred meters further up the street. Thus far, her surveillance had turned up nothing more serious than a pair of Tangent runners earning some money on the side as couriers, leaving her cold, wet, without information and in desperate need of a pee. To make matters worse, the rain showed no sign of letting up and the water wasn’t draining off the roof.

"Katherine?" said a faint sounding voice in her ear. "How's it going?"

"When I said I wasn't opposed to a little wetwork, Alan.." whispered Kat, adjusting the volume on her headset, "..this isn't quite what I meant."

"Ah, so there's no sign of her?"

"No.." she replied, noting with a frown that the wind was picking up "..no sign of the target."

"Well, keep me informed."

As the voice on the other end of the line fell silent, another guest of wind swept across the rooftops. Nearby debris was scooped up in the howling wind, spun around, and deposited over the edge of the roof. Neon signs flickered and the corroding metal frames that held them in place groaned unhappily. Back on the roof, a nearby piece of canvas threatened to take flight despite the black bag Katherine had placed on top of it. The corners of the canvas flapped madly in the wind, flinging more water into the air, but she was satisfied that it wasn't going anywhere

"Understood. Katherine out." she replied, and turned her attention back to the street.


Hard to tell at this distance, but that certainly looked like her she thought as she ducked down behind the wall. Taking care not to make any sudden movements, Katherine reached behind her and pulled at the zipper of her bag. As the waterproof material peeled back, it revealed a long matte-black rifle which she lifted out with both hands. She had loaded the weapon and zeroed the sights hours ago; the bolt sat in the forward position and the safety was already off. "Condition zero." she said to herself with a grim smile and swung the weapon over the edge of the building.

Lit only by harsh neon lights, the street below offered plenty of shadows to hide in and it took her a moment to reacquire her target.. but as the cross-hairs came to rest over the woman’s heart, Katherine could see that it was definitely "Sanity is Lost" – she had had more than enough time to study the during her interrogation a few months ago and for a brief moment, she toyed with the idea of pulling the trigger. The Administration certainly wouldn't complain and it might finally put an end to this business once and for all, but although her finger rested across the trigger guard, it remained there. She had her orders, and her orders were to observe SiL, not kill her. Instead, Katherine watched as SiL picked her way though the crowds, sticking to the shadows where possible and carefully approach the heavy set of doors that represented the main entrance to Black Dragons headquarters. She stopped outside and, after a brief conversation with one of the goons, the door was opened and SiL slipped inside.

Katherine lowered her rifle and sighed. With one cold finger she flicked the safety back on and with her free hand, reached into her pocket for the lens cap. It wasn’t until she began to turn that she noticed the soft green glow on the roof opposite, almost hidden by the misting of the rain against the tiles. The glow illuminated the dark face of another woman. A woman taking aim. It was Kalisto.

"Where the fu.." she began, but her instincts took over before she had a chance to finish. She dropped off the wall, landing in a crouch a split second before the round passed overhead with a VIP! and punched a hole in the small metal chimney a few feet away. Hoping to god that the wall she was using for cover wasn't made from the rotting concrete she knew it would be, Katherine threw her rifle into the open bag and slung it over her shoulder. With her free hand, she tugged her pistol from her thigh holster and moved away from the edge of the roof in a low crouch. The darkness, coupled with the driving rain had reduced visibility to a few feet and as more shots whistled past, she weaved in and out of whatever cover she could find, trying to make it to the fire escape.

The blow caught her completely by surprise and had enough force behind it to send her sprawling backwards into one of the pools that had collected on the roof. Splashing water everywhere she landed heavily on her back and lay stunned as three cloaked figures stepped out of the shadows. The lead figure discarded the broken plank of wood he carried in his hands and they formed a line at the edge of the pool. Katherine couldn’t see their faces, but at the end of the day it didn’t really matter who they were.

“Very sinister..” she managed, spitting a mouthful of blood. One side of her face felt numb and everything was threatening to go black. “I’ll bet you guys practise that all the time.”

The figures remained silent and each reached inside their cloak. The laser blades they unsheathed cast the scene in an eerie electric blue, and in unison, they began to advance. Katherine played along and pulled herself backwards in a feeble attempt to get away, only stopping once she felt the barrel of her pistol under the water beneath her hand. Not wanting them to get any closer, she snatched her Wasteland Eagle out of the water and fired at the closest of the three. His head snapped back and he toppled over, but Katherine wasn’t waiting around - she scrabbled to her feet, black bag swinging wildly, and began sprinting in the opposite direction. Ahead of her, the red glow from a side alley marked the edge of the roof but with the other two so close behind, there wasn’t time to do anything else. Shoving her pistol back in its holster, she ran as fast as she could, reached the edge and jumped. The alley below swung in to view below her but she made it to the other side, landing on the slick tiles in a barely controlled roll. Immediately she staggered to her feet and stumbled over to the fire escape, not risking a look behind her.


“Excuse me, miss?” said the middle-aged businessman as she climbed into the hovercab and dumped the bag on the floor. “Are you alright?”

Choosing not to answer his ridiculous question, she sagged into the seat opposite him and stared at her reflection in the window. The right side of her face was swollen and bruised and blood trickled from her nose and the corner of her mouth. Her blonde hair was matted with blood and dirt and she was soaked to the skin - her black fatigues stuck to her skin uncomfortably. No, she was not alright. All she wanted to do was to crawl into her bed and sleep, but as the blurry subway lights begun to flicker past, she realised there was still one more thing she had to do. With one shaky hand, she re-seated her headset.

“Alan, it’s Katherine. Our sources were right. The Skull Cult have relocated to the Black Dragon.”

EDIT: Corrected the grammar, removed a few repeated words etc.

27-05-04, 15:53
Beautiful stuff.. very gripping. My congratulations.

*oh, and could I meet up with you somewhere to discuss access to the NCPD crime data?

27-05-04, 16:00

oh, and could I meet up with you somewhere to discuss access to the NCPD crime data?

Of course. City Admin and the NCPD are always happy to assist our allies in NEXT :D

27-05-04, 18:39
breath taking, sweet story. higher quality than I've seen in a long time outside books.

Keep em coming, this is great :D \o/

27-05-04, 18:55
ooc: omg Siygess that is soooooo perfect, just when i thought you couldnt get any better you do this lol

SiL ..:..

27-05-04, 19:35
I'll try to get on this afternoon (I'm on EST time)

Oh, and are you planning to continue this story in installments, or is this a one-time story?

27-05-04, 21:39

Well that really depends on the cult - it's really their story, I'm just telling parts of it through the eyes of City Admin :D

What ever happens, you can bet that City Admin will stick it's nose where it's not wanted and the results will end up as articles in the Neochronicle / NEMA or here as continuations of this story :)

@San, Husk

Thanks for the encouragement - it keeps me writing :D

28-05-04, 16:55
It's rare to find material of such quality here, very impressive :D

Looking forward to any future installments.

18-09-04, 04:57

Where's the rest? :(

Please keep it coming!

05-03-06, 20:18
Thread restored.


06-03-06, 13:41
[ edited ]

06-03-06, 18:53
Thread restored.


ooc: thanx nid, been looking for this for ages

SiL ..:..