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Unread 18th of September, 2010, 22:25
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Back Issue #1: Mexico City

The Ruins spread out in a sprawling landscape that revealed the bustling level of activity that must have inhabited it during the height of its life and power. Plainly the ideas behind modern city planning were then unknown for much of it was haphazard to a modern eye. Cramped, congested, towering. The vibrance of the former life here is obvious to even the untrained eye simply by the sheer scale of the place. Several square miles of mostly intact structures.

The ziggurat style pyramids that formed the centerpiece of the whole ensemble rose like the husks of long dead gods, imposing their will on their dead worshippers still. Still possessed of majesty and grandeur after untold years laying in desolation. The power of the place, the effect of the architecture on the mind, the images it created and the emotional responses they evoked, were no less potent than the days in which the place was created. It inspired awe. It created a sense of power and potency, even fear. Plainly a place of rulers, priests, and corruption.

In the distant horizon was the bright cityscape of Mexico City. A bright reflection of the barren womb of the ruins. Electric lights projected the usual garish kaleidoscopic visage all across the modern city. And yet, here was this place, not several miles distant, seemingly completely ignored.

Ignored by almost all things living. No twining or creeping jungle life clung the bones of the place, nor did any living thing make it's dwelling therein. No rats, nor creeping insect, or even a bird to fly within and perch even briefly. The City, quite assuredly, was dead. And Life, Life rejected it.

Blue Blazes appeared in a brief glimmer before becoming fully solid, fully 'there', on the top level of the largest pyramid in the center of the city. The structures front facing was covered in the usual many tiers of stairs for this style of construction, and the top tier contained almost another structure in miniature built atop of it. About the size of a house. Here in the days of old was the 'holy of holies' of this temple.

From within the structure, after Blue Blazes appeared, approaches Shadow. He steps out onto the terrace, spreading open his coat and hooking his thumbs into his belt as he watches the other man quietly. A deep nod is all the greeting that is given. Blue Blazes was still looking about at the ruin when the other man approached, yet he quickly turned to face him. "What is this place?" he says "I didn't think there were any ruins so close to the city?"

Shadow looked down, nodding after a moment. "It is a Dead place. I don't know why, yet. Something happened, long ago, that killed it. And ever since, most people, it makes ignore it. They, strictly speaking, 'can' see it. But it tells them not to acknowledge it, so they don't. It is like the world is mesmerized into pretending that it doesn't exist. Very few can resist and perceive such places. No... this isn't the only one. And likely without the draught I prepared for you, you would never have perceived it yourself either." he says, stopping for a moment to take a breath.

He waves the other man forward, towards the door into the interior. Within, with cables and supply crates showing the rawness and temporary nature of his work, is Shadows 'base camp'. Electric lights are affixed in the place, their power cables visibly running along the walls, and folding portable furniture is the rule of the day. Large mobility crates are stacked against some of the walls, but this first room is laid out as more of a 'receiving' area. Some of the crates are arranged to form make-shift furniture around some folding chairs and tables.

"I sometimes make camp in some of the safer of these 'hidden' ruins, for the sake of privacy if you will. It serves our purpose well here, since we will be starting a fight." Shadow says as he walks over to a table already set for tea. "Safer. The Cartel will be rather unlikely to have anyone who can find me here once we start hitting them." He begins to pour two cups of tea, looking up towards Blue Blazes. "Cream? Sugar?" he asks, before finishing the task. "I recovered some relics here some years ago that, among other things, seem to protect the bearer against the powers of the place. You would be quite welcome to borrow one for our stay and share some space here. The advantages I think outweigh some of the little inconveniences. But then... you can be back and forth from the capital in moments from here anyway. So... in truth, the inconveniences to 'you' would be rather small, eh?"
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Last edited by Vortigern; 19th of September, 2010 at 22:16.
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Unread 19th of September, 2010, 04:21
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Blue Blazes was not happy to be down here in the heat, not after coming from the upper East Coast of the US. However, its better than flying, hoping along like this for the better part of 2 hours! The explanation for this area was not exactly comforting. I made Blue think of magic and for a man of business that was very alien. However, so was the fact he could make a bow out of his own mental energies and it fired arrows made of the same.

Nice place you have here. All the comforts of home and probably one of the reasons you rate a higher price than I do.

Blue will take cream, but no sugar. “If I need something to allow me to get back here without having to drink another of those potions, that would be great.

Blue will take a seat and visibly relax. However, his eyes are always searching…..like those of an eagle looking for dinner.

Last edited by Thanos; 21st of September, 2010 at 03:46.
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Unread 19th of September, 2010, 05:18
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Shadow prepares the cup of tea as requested and presents it on a small saucer. The china is of a fine make, obviously expensive and fragile. It's decor is blue and white, with a floral design with occasional spot of red and yellow on petals and the like. Taking up his own cup he moves it over sit it on a small stack of crates by an empty chair. He does not however sit immediately, giving a silent nod to Blue Blazes he moves over to another mobility crate and works the fastenings.

Opening the crate he takes a small item, wrapped in cloth, out of the packing foam. He unwraps it gingerly as he walks over towards the other man, revealing a small medallion of gold roughly circular and three inches in diameter. It bears a variety of pictographs, some in the center graphically depicting a priest figure sacrificing another person. The item is in impeccable condition, obviously restored, and on a fine chain. He holds it up for inspection, offering it over to the other man as he speaks.

"I believe these were once worn by the, ah, 'proprietors' of this place. They seem to inure the wearer against much of the psychic ill-effects, though, long-term, they can have their own effect on a person. Wear it at all times while you are here. Even when you bathe or sleep. This place has a psychic force, like a weight, that can press upon you. It can wear down a persons mind over time. Much like the medallion, only far greater. However the Temple I think... for lack of a better term, accepts these. Likes them. Wants people to wear them here. But they are a different brand of darkness all their own, really. So wear it here, to protect yourself from this place, however don't wear it away from here, just keep it on you. Or accessible. To protect yourself from 'it'. Understand?"
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Last edited by Vortigern; 19th of September, 2010 at 22:18.
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Unread 19th of September, 2010, 15:40
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Blue thanks Shadow for the tea and detaches his gas filter portion of his mask. He nods as Shadow goes into detail about the not so friendly aspects of the local. He raises an eyebrow about how the amulet like object can also affect him and says, “I should strategically locate the object near here when leaving and pick it up again before trying to come inside the area of effect. So, what is the area of effect?

It is between a quarter and three-eights of a mile outside of visual range. Incidentally, if you are looking at the ruins from a distance greater than that, it will still effect you.

No wonder this place gets ‘overlooked’ by the rest of the civilized world. So, do we have a bead on our friendly neighborhood cartel as of yet?

Last edited by Thanos; 21st of September, 2010 at 03:47.
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Unread 19th of September, 2010, 22:08
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Shadow moves over to his own chair and slides into it. He sighs after a moment, picking up his cup and taking a sip. He doesn't answer immediately and in that moment of stillness the roiling shadows that cling to and obscure the details of his form are all the more striking. They move and writhe even when the rest of him does not.

When he speaks his tone is thoughtful, though some annoyance or frustration is betrayed as well. "The Cartels in the area are... not subtle. The Molina Cartel makes no secret as to their involvement in seizing the shipment in question. Even in the capital, here, they seem to be, and act accordingly, at the center of their power. They are currently one of the stronger Cartels in the region, I am given to understand. Their position I suppose gives them the confidence to hit foreign companies. Usually the smaller fish don't want to take a bite off of something that could be bigger than they could chew, if you will. It should come as no surprise, ah, that the internationals are far more likely to get angry and hire 'specialists' such as you and I to deal with the matter."

As he speaks he seems to relax, thinking less about their surroundings and more about the information that is running through his mind. He nurses the cup of tea slowly, taking enjoyment therein. "Mostly the shipment was medecines. It was a lucrative target because a large number of them are either inherently of 'recreational' value or can be used as ingredients to produce other drugs which they can then sell. And the rest have genuine medical value, which in this part of the world means there is a black market for that as well. So it is very likely that if the shipment hasn't been parcelled out to different specialist hands already, it will be soon. It has been three days since they seized it. So our window of opportunity to acheive anything like a complete retrieval is relatively brief."

"On the other hand the Molina position of strength does work against them however. There are plenty of people in even the low tiers of the local underworld that are 'publicly' affiliated with them. If we had the time to play cloak and dagger we could build our knowledge of them slowly with relatively little risk. It is the time crunch that makes this more risky."

"My initial investigations have given me indications of a couple of 'likely' places to begin our forays. Though nothing concerning the shipment in particular they are logical places that it 'may' be or that we might acquire information concerning it in. There is a machining plant a few miles from here that I understand houses one of their drug depots as well. Not a production facility, but they use the parts distrubution to distribute the drugs as well. The shipment may be there, or have gone through there on its way to somewhere else." he says, mildly, in a speculative tone.

"There is also a clinic that I have on good authority buys a significant number of their supplies black market from the Molinas. Not a 'bad' place per se, but likely to have knowledge of who in the Molina Cartel to 'speak to' concerning our items of interest. They are in the city. If you think Los Angeles is bad though, this area is... not receptive to outsiders. The 'poverty stricken' section of town, to put it politely. Lots of illegal activity, even if it isn't centered around the clinic we are interested in. Plenty of people that wouldn't really care for a 'do-gooder' on general principle."

"Have you uncovered anything yourself?"
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Unread 20th of September, 2010, 12:21
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Listening Blue nods here and there, but always ends up sipping the tea afterwords. This whole things was questionable to start. I should not have taken the contract to ship this stuff south of the boarder in the first place. Fortunately I covered my ass and bought plenty of insurance on the stuff, doubled up even. That is the only thing that is paying for this little expedition and the money needed to free the driver. Thank God the Mexican/American embassy's could take care of that.

"Actually, our mutual employer called in a favor from somebody. It appears he put some kind of tracking beacon on the truck. Mind you, it was disabled several hours ago, but its last known location was a few miles out of the city in this general direction. That machine shop is likely where they took it. The truck is certainly valuable, some 150k as well the trailer is worth 75k to replace brand new. Rub some cereal numbers off and they have a new transportation vehicle. It was at rest for 8 hours before the beacon turned off."

Last edited by Thanos; 21st of September, 2010 at 03:47.
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Unread 21st of September, 2010, 00:01
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Shadow seems mildly surprised as the existence of a homing beacon is revealed. He absorbs that news silently, nodding his head slowly for a few moments and sipping from his cup. Looking down into its contents he pauses for thought before looking up and responding.

"It has some security, obviously, but nothing up to our skills that I have observed. Mostly mundane gunmen and dogs. A Cartel of the influence of the Molinas can afford to hire people of our caliber, but not to guard every installation. If we are careful we could prevent them from being aware of our threat level. Or we can send a message by causing damage, but that will... complicate things insofar as they will then respond in kind, or attempt to.

This initial excursion I think I desire to be low profile. Attempt to track the truck and the goods, as that is our primary mission. Recover it if we can. I have prepared two especially large doses of Void Dust for that purpose. Such that we will not have to carry the goods nor drive the truck away. I can use them to transport them both, if they are encountered seperately, back to prepared areas here.

Then we can plan our retaliatory strikes against the Cartel without worrying about their increased security or sensitivity hampering our efforts at the recovery."
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Unread 22nd of September, 2010, 09:05
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Blue Blazes raises an eyebrow at the mention of Void Dust, but lowers it as he begins to understand. Leaning forward a little he says, "That is amazing. I thought my teleportation powers were good, but moving entire trucks is beyond me at this point. Perhaps if I practiced or something, with smaller vehicles."

Sitting back he continues, "So, we do a snatch and grab if we can, without them being any the wiser. I am sure we could sneak onto the compound, but my teleporting ability is relatively quiet on the pop in....a little less quiet on the pop out. My gun and my bow are at your disposal, sir."
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