((Moving things forward, we've been on the 4th for too long. Gonna try to keep my post current with this years date. Just like the devs on this site. Of course, it means my posts will be a little long winded and it'll seem more like my guy is just hanging out thinking about the last few days. Hope you guys understand and don't mind.))
Tacos Del Rey
Slums of the International Zone
Solaris City, Solaris 7
April 7, 3031 12:45
DeMarkus ravenously tore into the enchiladas and sat back and chewed. He closed his eyes and savored the what he considered exotic taste. Mexican food was something new to Markus, having grown up in the Chinese/Russian dominated Capellan Confederation so he never had the joy of experiencing it and was currently making his way through Del Rey's menu one meal at a time. He had to admit, it sure beat steamed rice or borshch. He also hadn't found ground glass or neural toxin in his meals yet, so he was almost convinced that Juan, Carlos, and Jose weren't working for the Maskinrovka. Yet another reason he liked the place so much.
"Would you like another cervesa, senor Markus?" The waitress asked
He nodded yes and smiled with his cheeks bulging out like a chipmunks, munching away the whole time. With a swirl of skirt the woman went off to fetch the beer. He swallowed his mouthful and took up his current beer and pondered the events of the last few days
Slums of the International Zone/ Solaris mechspace
Solaris City, Solaris 7
April 4, 3031 21:50
Gods does it ever stop raining here?
De'Markus thought while trodding down the street heading towards the huge mech depot on the outskirts of town. But the rain couldn't dampen his thoughts. For hours from now he was gonna be strapped into the command couch of a mech and signing his first contract to fight in one of the areas. He wondered which one. He wondered what manner of mech he'd get to pilot. He hoped someone had a Cataphract.. it'd been too long since he'd piloted a mech not since the ill fated defense of Tikonov. He stopped for a second and tucked his neural helmet under his arm and with his free hand he scratched at the network of scar tissue on his left shoulder. A permanent reminder of that battle and his botched ejection from his dying Cataphract.
First thing's first. I need to make some contacts. I'm getting ahead of myself.
He reminded himself and continued to march on. Up ahead there was something going on. There was a series of work lights set up with part of the street blocked up a few emergency vehicles and an APC parked up on the sidewalk. Flocks of people gathered around the roped off portion of the sidewalk, mostly scantily clad women, thuggish looking men, and a few other destitutes from the slums.
Walking on up he got a better view and saw men combing over the area taking holopics and conversing in small clusters. He noticed that the APC was in Steiner blue, marking it as a military vehicle. He listened in on some of the people nearby trying to figure out what happened here and why the military was present. The drum of conversation increased as the coroner rolled out a gurney with a body bag strapped to it. He turned to the woman beside him, a petite bleach blond scantily clad and tattooed with vines and flowers up her left arm.
"Hey excuses' me, but's do's you's know wat happened?"
She turned to him and leaned in.
"Oh some maniac went apes**t and started knifing people. There's been a whole string of murders. Where you been, living under a rock?"
It was then that she noticed the plasteel boots dangling from his neck (there tied together) and the neural helmet with coolant vest shoved in it.
"Oh your a mechwarrior... You've must have just made it planet side. Say, what kind of mech do you drive?"
She warms up quickly, must think I'm loaded
The wad of cash in his pocket suddenly felt like it weighed a ton. He began to stamper out a reply but was cut off by some lieutenant in a Steiner uniform..
"Everyone BACK! There's nothing to see here, go back to your homes."
The crowd slowly dispersed and once again De'Markus was on his way.
The rest of the hour long trip was uneventful, but Mark eyeballed every shadow suspiciously. If there was a homicidal maniac on the loose he better be on guard. He also made note to keep his needier pistol ready, just in case.... He stewed over these thoughts thinking back on all the mass murderers and serial killers he knew about and before he knew it he stood before the depot. Long and rectangular the cinder blocked building stretched out for neigh a kilometer with periodic roll up doors tall enough to accommodated the tallest mechs doting the facade. Surprised that there was no security, he approached the nearest door.
The sight that greeted him was breathtaking. Mechs stood line abreast in near parade ground like precision. They varied in different stages of repair with gantries and scaffolds framing them. Even at this late hour the warehouse was bustling with activity. Techs ran diagnostics, replaced damaged armor, reloaded expended ammo bins, painted, or salvaged blasted out husks of previously majestic war machines for spare parts. The air was filled with a cancophy of sounds. A multitude of languages conversing or in some cases arguing, the clang and clink of armor plates dropping to the floor, music blaring from external speakers while techs worked on the mechs. The scent of hot metal, fried electronics, and paint permeated the air.
Like a kid in a candy store, Demarkus strolled into the warehouse and began flagging down techs looking for that crucial tid bit of information he sought. Who has a mech and needs an experienced pilot? Techs and in a few cases mechwarriors pointed him onward to the far corner of the building. He eagerly approached.
"YOU STUPID B***H!!"
He wheeled his head about at the sound of the shout just in time to see a large man backhand a woman. She flew and landed in a crumpled pile upon the floor. DeMarkus was willing to let it go and continue on his way, but the man, a tech judging by the grease splattered jumpsuit, grabbed a wrench from a nearby tool cart. He proceeded to stalk after the woman who scrambled to back away from the man. She backed herself up against the metal foot of a Wolverine and curled up in a ball with her arms over her head and cowered.
DeMarkus sprang into action. Summoning up every iota of strength he had, he chucked his neural helmet at the man. The heavy device struck him squarely in the back with an audible 'Oomph!' he then dropped the wrench and staggered a few steps. He quickly recovered and whirled about in time to get punched straight in the nose. Bone and cartilage crumpled under the blow and blood erupted from the face. The man stumbled and tripped over his own feet and fell on his back, Mark was on him like white on rice. Combat boots rained blow after blow, stomping and kicking the tech's head. Bone cracked, teeth flew from mouth, and blood sprayed in every direction.
He scrambled for his gun case and quickly undid the latch. He pulled the pistol from it's home and drew back the hammer charging the first slivers of plastic particles. He whirled about waving making sure nobody was trying to sneak up on him. A small gathering of onlookers stood about taking in the beat down. Techs stood with wide eyes and slack jaws with a look of horror on their faces. There was a few mechwarriors in the mix as well, they nodded when he met their gaze, approving of his actions.
He went back to the man who lay there moaning. He grabbed him by the collar of his jumpsuit and pointed the needier in his face. They swollen eyes grew huge looking down the barrel of the pistol. The man fearing that his life was at an end whimpered. De'Markus leaned in close to his face and spittle dripped as he growled.
((Walt Kowalski moment.))
"If's I's eva hear's about's you's gettn near's her, or's beating's a nodder woman's, Imma's come down here's an it's gonna get's really fracking ugly."
He then dropped the collar and got up and gathered up his things. He slowly became aware of a presence behind him. He turned to look to find the woman she stood there with tears welling up in her eyes. Wearing a set of coolant splatted tan coveralls and anti-static gloves. She had mouse colored hair and a grease spot on one cheek. And despite the bruise, grease spot, and coolant stained coveralls, was truly beautiful. He glanced at the name tag on her work suit and saw the name; Kaylee.
She jumped into his arms and sobbing, hugged him.
Tower Motel #156
Slums of the International Zone
Solaris City, Solaris 7
April 5, 3031 09:17
Damnit, this guys is never going to answer.
De'Markus laid back on his bed and eyeballed his noteputer again as if trying to will the device to come to life notifying him of a response from the info of the man that Kaylee provided. A Mister Jack Slater. The name did sound familiar, he just couldn't place it. He quit looking at the 'puter and went back to looking at the holovid player which was showing more bout's streaming from a arena called 'The Flats.' A huge empty salt flat located somewhere on the other side of the planet. He quickly became bored with the match up of a Crusader and Archer. The two missile boats squared off at long range and bombarded each other with missiles. He yawned.
"Dam waste's of missiles."
With a grunt he changed channels. It was a show on the five main arenas on Solaris. There was a news stream scrolling across the bottom of the screen. He casually glanced at it, but quickly sat up as he read further.
Seeking experienced pilots, all expenses covered...
That threw up a bunch of red flags. It seemed too good of a deal to Markus. But he quickly snatched up his noteputer and jotted down the info. He didn't think their was any harm in checking it out... Probably every mechwarrior on Solaris was already spamming that guy with calls. He typed up a message but didn't send it.
I'm dispossessed, I'm sure he's not gonna front the money for a mech.
Instead he sent another message to Mr. Slater. who had a nice little collection of mechs which were just sitting around in the warehouse collecting dust. Kaylee said the guy was pretty level headed and wouldn't be caught dead in anything less than 60 tons. He should be able to strike up a deal with the man.
He looked at his Mickey Mouse watch.
"Almost's time's to's go."
He quickly gathered up his few valuables and heading off to the Auction House. The sun was finally shinning and he hoped it was a good sign.
Tower Motel #156
Slums of the International Zone
Solaris City, Solaris 7
April 6, 3031 13:34
De'markus sprang up from the bed when his noteputer chimed. He quickly scanned the message and whooped with delight when done. He read it again and jumped around like a six year old coming downstairs on Christmas morning. Feeling like a huge weight had just been taken off his shoulders he read the message again, this time aloud.
"Tomorrow's haggaspace H 360, noonish."
He chuckled and looked around his pigsty room. He didn't want to stay here, he wanted to celebrate. He polished up his boots and put on his best outfit, his fatigues. And strolled out the door. He wandered off aimlessly not caring where he was going, he just had to make sure he didn't blow all his cash. He made his way down the street with a spring in his step. He saw a pack of teenage kids up ahead bugging people passing by and handing them fliers. As he approached one of them broke off and handed him a card, he looked at it and saw that it was a picture of a nude woman with stars stratigly arranged around her body to cover her no-no's and leave something to the imagination. The picture had the words 'Cherry Blossoms.'
De'Markus looked at the towheaded kid who he gauged to only be about 12ish and he held up the card.
"Yo, where is dis place?"
The kid pointed up an alleyway. He shrugged and started walking off that way. Mindful of garbage and other bits of refuse he traveled on past some old bloodstains and a couple of people grinding against one another in the dark recess of a doorway. Two large thugs stood in front of the pink double door under the pink fluorescent lights. The doors slowly parted and the sound of loud music blared out and echoed up and down the alleyway, and some other goon came out. De'Markus eyeballed the neigh impossibly muscled trio and stepped forward. One moved to stop him.
"Now hold it right there solider boy. No weapons allowed."
He stuck his thumb over his shoulder at a sign listing that as one of several rules of the club. The other two chuckled like two drunken lowbrows. Markus cocked an eyebrow and slowly undoing his holster surrendered his pistol. The lead bouncer took the pro offered weapon and handed him a key, he then turned and handed the weapon through a slot in the wall.
"You can get your peashooter when you leave... Oh yeah, and no photography of any kind, and no monkey business. We take pleasure in beating you army pukes."
He strutted in and his senses were bombarded. Black lights, strobe lights and loud music competed for domination. He stood there and took in the layout of the place and tried marking the individuals within. A few mercish looking guys had seats near the stage, while scantily clad girls circled around them like sharks to slowly pluck one off to one of the darken alcoves lining the walls in the back. Not wanting to be obliged to blow his cash on every girl who danced he went on over to the bar and took a seat. The bartender some dark haired chick wearing a pink spandex two piece meandered on over.
"What'cha want handsome?"
He chuckled and said one word.
She went and fetched him a glass. He turned and watched as some patron who had obviously had drank more than his fair share, jumped up on stage and tried to grab a handful of woman flesh. He was awarded a knee to the groin and as the man slumped over one of the muscle bound bouncers seemed to appear out of nowhere and proceeded to drag him off...
Imagining the beating the drunk was probably now getting, he chuckled and turned around and went to down his drink.
"Keep dem's coming, Sweetie."
She looked at him with a puzzled look then, nodded and went and got some more booze.
((Would love it if Christina was here to do the Go-Go dancing with the strippers, but hey, that's not my character.))
Solaris City, Solaris 7
April 7, 3031 11:50
Ugh, my head...
He cringed as someone somewhere dropped an armor plate. The sound reverberated through the immediate area and seemed to echo throughout his head. De'Markus hadn't drank in a few years, and he now made a mental note to never again. He smacked his lips and cursed the cottonmouth that he had. He had to admit he had fun last night, well the parts that he remembered anyways.
"You okay, Mark?"
He nodded and looked at Kaylee who seemed to follow him around like she was his personal tech now.
"You look like crap."
She made a weird face and nodded her head. He nodded in agreement to her statement.
"Yeah, crap." He croaked.
He paced about looking at the location marks spray painted onto the ground in front of the battlemechs which stood around like silent sentinels. He then looked over the mechs nearby, they all bore the signs of heavy damage with more than a few with the words scrap or salvage stenciled across the front of them. But there was one which stood out from the rest, a Jaegermech which looked in grate condition gleamed with a fresh coat of paint. He looked over as Kaylee and cocked his head in the direction of the Jaeger.
"Yeah, that's his." she replied to the unspoken question.
"HEY YOU THE GUY WHO WANTS TO BUY A RIDE OFF OF ME?!?"
DeMarkus grunted and turned to look at the man. He was HUGE 6'6'' at least and broad shouldered he was easily three hundred pounds. Clad in a leather vest, Tshirt, jeans and boots he meandered on over with a casual not a care in the world giant.
No wonder he wouldn't be caught in anything less than 60 tons, he couldn't fit in anything smaller.
"You's Slater?" He replied.
The man nodded.
"Come on, Ole One-Eye is awaiting." The man said then waddled off.
Markus cast a confused look Kaylee's way and headed off after the guy.
"I don't usually do this, but the owner's of the warehouse are giving me flack about having so many mechs stowed here. So in a way your doing me a favor."
The man rambled on then came to a complete stop. He then pointed at a location. De'Markus looked at the mech and cringed. A Commando stood there, barely. Mummified in scaffolding it was a pitiful sight with huge rents gouged out of the armor, a blackened scortchmark from what looked like a PPC right over the mechs heart, and a hole punched through half the head. Hence the name One-eye.
Markus looked at the mech, then back to the man, then back to the mech.
"Yo's wat happen to's it, man? It looks like's an Atlas picketed it's teeth wit it."
"Group fight, lance on lance. The pilot forfeited after the auto cannon punched through the armor there. He couldn't pay the forfeit fee so I ended up with the mech."
He pointed up at the head.
"So you want it or not?"
DeMarkus looked it on over and cringed. It was beyond his meager technician skills.
"Kaylee, can's you's a fix it?"
She looked the Commando on over like she was mentally calculating the man hours needed to fix it. She made a weird face again.
"With enough time, and parts, yes."
"Well, okays then. I'll's take it."
"Alright then. This way, well work on out the paperwork. You handle the slip fee, repairs, and till you've paid me back the cost for it, I'll keep the pink slip. Oh and don't think about taking off with it... I will find you."
"But's wat if I's loose my first fights?" Mark asked.
"Well then, that beat down you did on Ole' Alfonzo's tech will be nothing compared to what I will do to you."
Markus knew without a doubt that the man met everyword.
Oh, what the Hell have I gotten myself into...
Edited by Thom Frankfurt, 08 April 2012 - 04:21 AM.