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 Dirty Deeds, Dirty deeds, and they're done dirt cheap
Thrace Castella
Posted: Jul 17 2010, 12:21 AM
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The Mean Molga was known to be something of a dive, even among the bars and halls of Wyvern Cove which were all dives by definition. It sprawled across the eastern docks of the harbor like a cat across a spot in the sun, although it seemed to most observers that no sun had ever touched the grimy interior of the Molga. The mirrors over the bar hadn't been cleaned since the Zoidians were at their height, and the tables were mere scraps of wood propped on top of old fuel drums. But the bartender was discreet, the drink plentiful, and the food cheap, so it suited Finial just fine.

He finished swabbing the last of the gravy out of the crannies of the bowl with a piece of bread and popped it into his mouth, saying as he chewed,

"Show me the goods, Wrak."

The Iron Kong pilot grinned, exposing a mouthful of yellowed teeth, and held up the shipping manifest. "We've got a few zoids from the ruins- unregistered 'cause of their age, which makes this easier- who're we're shipping out tonight to get their paint jobs done, and a crate of artifacts from the Wraith Ruins." He brandished another sheet of paper with grainy black and white photos, stabbing his fingers at the pictures. "We've got an intact piece of pottery, some fragments of a mechanical whatsit- maybe an organoid if we're lucky, but I dunno- two zoid cores, and a statue of that Zoid Eve thing the archaeologists are always going on about. Those are heading to the fence tonight after we drop the zoids off. Any more questions, boss?"

Finial laid a gnarled hand on his gun where it rested on the table and pointed it at Wrak's gut, finger slipping into the trigger guard. "Just one, Wrak." The other man's swallow was visible, and the papers shook in his hands.

"W-what's that, sir?"

"You trying to rip me off, or you just think I'm stupid enough to believe that we can fit two zoid cores into one crate? Either they're from some tiny freaking zoids I don't know about, or you're lying."

"I'm not lying, boss!" Wrak snapped with indignation, and Finial rolled his eyes.

"Whatever. Let's just get this stuff moved, and then I'll deal with you."

---

The small figure sitting at the bar wasn't the kind of person the Molga catered to. For one, she wasn't drinking: mostly because Thrace had found out quickly that alcohol and her didn't agree after attending one of the fraternity parties the grad students brought her to. She did have to admit, though, that using her talents to blow fire out of her mouth was a neat trick, if useless.

Staring down into her soda, she listened to the smugglers' conversation as best as she could. This was an important assignment; the university wouldn't have sent her on this if it hadn't been worth the risk. It helped that they knew of her interest in Zoidian artifacts, and the mention of repainting zoids and moving possible cores only piqued her interest further. These people might be involved with changing Scythe's alignment during her long sleep, or if they hadn't done it, maybe they could point her to who had.

It wasn't as if she had anything to do with her newly-reclaimed life except piece together what she had missed.
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Aeolus
Posted: Jul 19 2010, 12:21 AM
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"Act with wisdom, but act."
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Joined: 7-March 09



It was dark.

And his joints ached.

He was still waking up.

From a nightmare?

He couldn't remember.



Standing amid the salvaged zoids was a dirty, dusty Schneider. He blinked wearily at his surroundings, red optics just barely flickering from dimness, struggling to find life. He could discern nothing of those nearby. Could see nothing of those below. He wanted to move his head, move anything at all, but his body would not respond. The most Schneider could do was let his scanners swivel around and attempt to recognize something out of it all.

He did not recognize anything. But then again, perhaps that was because there was nothing to remember. He tried to move his head. It moved only a twitch. He tried to move his claws. His right claws wiggled. When Schneider tried to move his other claws, they did not answer. His legs felt too heavy to even budge and his tail swished limply at his backside. Schneider tried to groan and was only met by silence.

Where...?

Perhaps a better question was how long? How long had he been awake? Schneider attempted to access an internal clock, and yet even that was frazzled. His system still needed to recuperate from whatever had happened. Was he damaged? The liger tried to read his condition, but nothing came up. It was all useless. He kept trying to coax something out of himself, some piece of memory, some hint of what condition he was in, and the more his body and systems failed to respond, the more he quailed. Panic rose in his circuits and a painful throbbing in his zoidcore only caused further discomfort.

He wanted to put his head between his paws and cry.

But his body would not let him do even that.
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Thrace Castella
Posted: Aug 11 2010, 11:14 PM
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Joined: 13-July 10



Thrace glanced up as the two smugglers began to move, the one in charge-Finial, the dossier said-tossing an obscene amount of cash onto the table in some harebrained attempt to flaunt his money. Flaunting anything-the man or woman on your arm, the money in your pocket, the zoid outside-was liable to get you killed in Wyvern Cove, and she wondered how the man had managed to survive all this time and do so well for himself, if the money was any indication.

It probably meant that he didn't need to fear any retribution.

As Finial and his grunt crossed the threshold out of the bar, Thrace slid a tip onto the counter and levered herself off the stool, adjusting the too-long sleeves of her sweater. It took precious time for her to limp across the bar, ignoring the curious glances tinged with revulsion, and emerge into the night air. She glanced up at the sky once more, searching for familiar constellations, and found none; even the stars had altered their courses while she slept.

'Scythe, did you see which way they went?'

Across the street in the shadows of an alley, acid-green optics flared to life as the black and chartreuse Liger padded out into the street and bent to allow her to climb into its cockpit.

'Two blocks over. Left.'

"Thanks." It was difficult, even now, to hide the faint shade of hurt in her voice at Scythe's new taciturn nature: at the truncated broken sentences where once whole anthologies of poetry had bubbled in her mind in a reassuring constant hum.

Scythe, being Scythe, said nothing in response; said nothing as she pressed on the acceleration and sent him skulking through half-known roads; said nothing as they followed Finial and his henchman to where a dim warehouse waited outside the gates.

The silence burned.

---

Finial's night was getting worse by the moment.

"What do you mean you heard something?"

"I'm saying I heard what sounded like a zoid move in the warehouse, but when I checked, nothing was out of place and none of the zoid core signatures had changed. So I don't know what's going on, but it's got me a little worried and-"

"Shut. Up," Finial growled, gratified by the man's jaw snapping shut. "Where'd you hear the noise?"

"By that Schneider we found."

Finial rolled his eyes. "It's just some freaking bats or something, quit worrying. Are they all loaded onto Gustavs?"

"Yessir."

"Then get in your seat and for Zoid Eve's sake don't bother me again, got it?" He grabbed the watchman by the collar to emphasize his point, then shoved him in the direction of the Gustav. Five zoids were tied down on three trailers behind it: two Rev Raptors, a Snipe Master and Gunsniper EM, and on the last trailer, his pride and joy, the Schneider.

As the Gustav jerked into gear and began following Wrak's Iron Kong, Finial swung up into the cockpit of his Konig Wolf and settled in at the rear, watching for any signs of trouble.

An unobservant man, he managed to miss the Schneider's lit-up optics entirely.
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Aeolus
Posted: Aug 13 2010, 12:59 PM
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"Act with wisdom, but act."
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How was he to communicate? Schneider let his focus slide back and forth, his head hardly responding to his wishes. He zoomed in on what he could, observing a man or two who were in the vicinity of the area. Something had been loaded just ahead of Schneider on what appeared to be a trailer. That must have meant there was a Gustav up ahead.

He wanted to address one of them. His boyish voice rang in his head (Hello? Can you come over here?), but nothing emerged from his speaker. One man walked past and Schneider attempted again to move. Twitch his head, wiggle a claw, anything. And again, his body was unresponsive. One blade trembled in his effort to extend it. He eventually gave up on that effort and issued a mental sigh.

The trailer underneath him jerked. Startled, Schneider shivered and managed a distorted yelp that came out as static. Of course, movement was disguised by the lurch of the trailer.

Where are we? he whined further in his head, his optics flickering and blinking nervously. Where are we going?

Schneider had to admit that whatever was behind him was unnerving. He again twitched his right blade—the only working one at the that—and heard it rattle against its restraints. To know he could at least move that brought some relief. Numbly, he moved his jaw a twitch. He issued another brief moment of static in an attempt to make sound. Schneider became almost eager by that point to recover from whatever condition he was in, convinced that in due time he could speak with whoever was at the back.

Maybe this won't be so bad!
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