I push through the abandoned tenement's door, clutching my bleeding side, and stagger through the dilapidated lobby fast as my legs can carry me. Fleeing in here was perhaps not my wisest choice, given the shouts coming from behind me, but I'd rather face my enemies here than out in the street. No one else needs to be involved.“Oh, Holly, how do you get yourself into these messes?” I mutter, sparing a glance down at my blood-slick hand. If ever there was a sign I should magically reinforce my clothes, this would be it.I head through the next door in line, scan the hallway for a stairwell, and stumble towards the nearest one while using the wall for support. Just after I push through the door, voices carry from behind me.“Ah, damn it, I lost her!” A man says, voice deep and ugly.“She can't have gone far! Spread out!” Another says, higher-pitched but just as unpleasant.I climb the steps as quickly as I can while still being quiet, making sure to step on what threadbare pockets of carpeting still remain. A door awaits atop this flight of steps, and I push through it into another hallway, more doors lining the walls. I stumble past the first few until I find one hanging slightly open, and push into a shoddy, cockroach-ridden apartment. I shut the flimsy wooden door behind me, lock it, and head for the bathroom. Once I'm inside, I fumble a piece of chalk from my jacket pocket, kneel down, and get to work inscribing a pentagram onto the grimy tiling. It's a small thing, no larger than a foot around, but it'll do. I draw a thin wand from another pocket, close my eyes tight, take a deep breath, and start chanting as levelly as I can through the pain. I wave my wand around in some squiggly lines too, just for good measure. “O ye of great and terrible power, Barathazul, child of Camazotz,” I intone, pouring my will into the spell. “This humble witch requests thy aid, and so I beseech thee to kindly hurry the fuck up.”[1/3?]
There's a puff of smoke in the circle, and it clears to reveal a tiny vampire bat with blood-red fur. It probes the barriers of the circle, only to be forced back by an invisible hand, and the creature glares up at me. When it opens its mouth, the gravelly voice of someone who smokes a hundred packs a day greets me. “WHO DARES SUMMON THE GRAND AND MIGHTY BARATHAZUL?”“You know damn well who I am, Barry,” I say, frowning at him. The bat visibly deflates. Next time he speaks, his voice is markedly smoother. “Take the fun out of it, why don't you. What's up?” “Three assholes out for my head,” I say, waving a hand back at the door. “Need you to go check out their positions for me.”The bat moves its wings in a fashion oddly similar to a shrug. “Sure thing, boss. You got a plan for yourself?”I lay a hand on the concealed-carry holster at my hip. “I have a gun. Beyond that, I'm improvising.”Barry cocks his head sideways. “That's a pretty shitty plan.”“I'm hoping I'll come up with something better before people shoot at me again. Now get going, would you?”I smudge the edge of the circle, breaking the magical barrier that had formed, and show him out the door. Once he's gone, I look around for bandaging material. There's a dirty, threadbare sheet on the bed that'll serve well enough, so I rip it into strips and wrap them tightly around the bullet-wound. It stings like hell getting it on, but at least I've staunched it for now. I wipe my hand on what cloth I didn't use, rip the bloodied part of the sheet off, and stuff it in my pocket, because the last thing I want is for someone to get their hands on my blood.[2/3?]
[3/3]I draw my Glock, flick the safety off, and pull the slide back, frowning as everything checks out. While I'm hoping the cops'll show up soon, it'd be really bad if one catches me with this; the fees for a concealed-carry permit are a bitch and a half, so I kinda skipped them. There's a gentle thud on my door, and when I unlock it, Barry comes flying back in. He hovers in front of me at eye-level; I don't really know how he does it without flapping his wings, so I just file it under the category of 'magic' and don't think too hard about it.“Two on the first floor, third one's taking the stairs at the far end of the hallway,” He says, tone clipped. “Give you maybe twenty seconds before he gets up here.”I offer a wan smile. “Nice work, Barry. You can go now.”With that, he disappears in another puff of smoke, leaving me alone with three men who'd very much like to see me dead.Well. I've had worse days.-----[X] If I'm going to run, or at the very least hobble, to safety, now's my best shot. It shouldn't be too hard to outmaneuver three drug-addled thugs, right?[X] They never should have angered a witch, especially not one packing heat. Let's bring the fight to them.[X] I'll hold up here, wait until the thug comes by this door, and take him out. After he's dealt with, it should be a straight shot out of here.
>>30121354>[X] I'll hold up here, wait until the thug comes by this door, and take him out. After he's dealt with, it should be a straight shot out of here.
If I'm gonna get out of here, I have to play it smart. No charging out while I'm injured and outnumbered, and the same goes for running away. A surprise attack, though? That'll work nicely. A gunshot'll get everyone's attention, though, and then I've lost any advantage surprise will have given me. Maybe I could clock the bastard upside the head with something? I holster my pistol and start searching. After a quick retreat to the bathroom, my eyes fall on the grime-encrusted toilet. The lid seems to be genuine porcelain, amazingly enough. I grimace as I wrench it loose, making a note to wash my hands very thoroughly once I'm out of here, and heft it with both hands. Oh, this'll do some damage.The sound of a door being kicked in down the hall nearly makes me jump, and it's rapidly found by another, and then yet another. The noise grows closer each time, and with apprehension in my gut I skulk toward my door. I stand just outside where it swings open, raise my bludgeon, and wait.The door over is kicked in, and I swallow a lump in my throat.Gotta wait for it.Breathe in.My door is booted open hard enough to splinter against the wall, and my assailant has only a moment of wide-eyed shock before I smash the lid to pieces on his face. He crumples to a senseless heap, pistol falling from his hands. I draw my Glock once again, peek out the door, and thoughtfully consider the goon at my feet.-----[X] Get out of here now; I'm sure my improvised assault caught some attention, and I don't want to be here when his buddies investigate.[X] Search his pockets before I go; if he has any useful leads, I want them.
>>30121636Search him.Am I the only one here?
>>30121695I certainly hope not. For the sake of quick updates, I'll take your lone vote and run with it.
I need to know who I'm up against, and if I just run away I'm not getting anything done. I kneel down, keeping my pistol trained on his head as I rifle through his pockets. I get a bunch of sundry items: a wallet, car keys, some chewing gum, a cell-phone. I open it up, check through his messages; latest text was about ten minutes ago, just before this all got started. 'Found the book in the hands of some girl, boss. We're going after her.'I frown, reaching inside my jacket and laying a hand on the little black book I'd picked up earlier today. That's what they're after? I shake my head as I rise up, pocketing his phone. I'll have time for questions later, but right now, I have to keep moving. I head for the stairs, keeping a tight hold on my pistol.A bullet flies past me as I push on the stairwell door, shattering the window at this end of the hallway and scaring the daylights out of me.“Cut her off!” The thug yells, barreling down the hall with his gun raised. I stumble into the stairwell as more lead flies past, my heart pounding, knuckles white from how tightly I'm gripping my pistol. The spiral steps continue both up and down, and I'm momentarily paralyzed by indecision.-----[X] If I keep going to the roof, maybe I can jump to another building? It's certainly safer than going toe-to-toe with these guys.[X] Going up might give me a way out, but going down certainly gives me a way out. I just have to go through an angry gunman to do it.
>>30121961Go down, fight the dudes
No bones about it, I'm gonna have to fight. I hop down the steps two at a time, one hand on the railing, and shoulder through the door just as the second thug reaches for the door. He reacts quicker than I do, cracking me across the face with a pistol-whip, and I reel backwards, clutching at my bleeding nose. I trip over the stairs, which saves me from the bullet that soars overhead. Before he can correct his aim, I kneecap him.His shot goes clear through my hat as he topples, screaming. I clamber upright, but he grabs at my leg as I pass by, pulling me off-balance. I land face-first, roll onto my back, and kick the thug in the head just as his buddy starts down the stairs. With my leg freed and the kneecapped goon dealt with, I back-crawl past the doorway as the last gunman takes aim. Bullets destroy the plaster around me before I make it around the corner. I pull myself upright, waiting for the thug to come through the door, and catch him with a pistol-whip on the nose. He stumbles, giving me plenty of time to drive a vicious boot into his groin, and his eyes cross as he topples over, leaving me with three men down and the way out clear. I spit on the jerkwad before I go, experimentally prodding my nose as I limp towards the door.Okay, good, made it outside. This may not be a high-class neighborhood, but I know my way around it well enough all the same. I let my mind wander to my next destination as I walk away, the wail of sirens in the distance lend me a little extra bounce to my step.-----[X] First things first, I need this bullet out of me. There's a back-alley doc, goes by the name Joey. Cheap, reliable, and his tools are even sterilized.[X] The local trainyard should work as a hideout for now. I don't go there much, but anyone looking for me will have one hell of a time navigating through it all.[X] My apartment is pretty far from here, but once I'm inside and past the wards, no one's getting to me unless I let them.
>>30122409Head home.Also gtg now op. I'll be back in about 2 hours, I hope someone else joins
>>30122495Thanks for participating, and have a safe... whatever you're doing!
>>30122409>[X] First things first, I need this bullet out of me. There's a back-alley doc, goes by the name Joey. Cheap, reliable, and his tools are even sterilized.
>>30122821Yeah, I'll second getting medical care.
[1/2]Every step I take is a painful reminder there's a piece of metal in me, and I want it out. Fortunately, I know just who to visit. Joey might not be the best around, but he's honest enough, and he takes patient confidentiality very seriously. I holster my pistol as I keep walking, trying to appear as inconspicuous as a woman with a bleeding nose and dirty bandages around her side can appear to be.To occupy some time, I start scrolling through the phone's messages. They're all directed towards this 'boss', but none of the texts give a name. Whoever their leader is, they never responded to any messages. I shut it off and pocket it; it'd be pretty embarrassing if I were hiding from more thugs and one called this phone, after all. Also, I'd probably get shot. That's important too.I travel a few blocks, keeping an eye out for any more thugs in pursuit, but it looks like I've lost them. Joey's place isn't too much further from here, although it necessitates ducking into an alleyway to reach it. I scarcely make it ten steps in before there's the unmistakable noise of a pistol being cocked behind me, and a gentle voice speaks. “Yo, lady, hold it.”
[2/2]I freeze, slowly turning my head to face the man holding me up. He's a young fellow with blue eyes, dark hair, and an inappropriately bright smile given the gun aimed at my head. His eyes flick towards my bandages. “See those shitheads got you pretty good.”“What do you want?” I ask, staring intently at his gun. Firearms tend to draw the eye when pointed at you, after all.“Little black book, same as them.” He says, aim unwavering.I narrow my eyes. “And just what is so important about it, anyway?”“I honestly have no idea!” He says, shrugging. “But the sum'bitches whose shit you kicked in gypped me in a deal, and if they want that thing so bad they're willing to kill over it, I'm not gonna just stand by and let them take it.”“So this necessitates holding me at gunpoint, because...?”“If I tried talking to you straight-up, you'd have run,” He says, lowering his pistol. “But, now that we're friends, whaddaya say we walk'n'talk, huh? Huh?”“...Friends?” I ask, failing to keep the disbelief from my tone.He chuckles. “Acquaintances, then.”-----[X] Any conversation that begins with a gun pointed at me is one that won't have a happy ending, as he's about to find out.[X] Ah, hell, at least he's put the gun away. Let's see what he knows.
>>30123322>[X] Any conversation that begins with a gun pointed at me is one that won't have a happy ending, as he's about to find out.keencap em
>>30123322I want to end with [X] "Any conversation that begins with a gun pointed at me...", but before teaching him a lesson I want to see if we can pump him for information. Like who these fucks that /he/ previously did business with actually are.
>>30123322[X] Any conversation that begins with a gun pointed at me is one that won't have a happy ending, as he's about to find out.Yeah, fuck this guy.
>>30123322>[X] Any conversation that begins with a gun pointed at me is one that won't have a happy ending, as he's about to find out.When is violence NOT the best answer?
>>30123481I'll call it for INFOPUMP PLUS KNEECAP, folks.
>>30123699Alright, sounds good.
You have my interest. Proceed.Also, are you denying write-in votes?
[1/2]“Acquaintances seems about right,” I say, drawing my pistol in a smooth motion. His eyes widen as he brings his gun up, but I shoot first, blowing his kneecap out, blood spraying across the ground. He drops to his good knee, choking back a scream, and I close the distance to wrench the pistol out of his hands and toss it aside. With him disarmed, I train my gun square on his forehead. “Friends don't kneecap friends, after all.”“Fuckin' Christ Almighty, ow!” He bites out, staring up at me with hate in his eyes.“Who are these men after me?” I ask, my lips set in a grim line. “And what kind of deal did you have with them?”“I had a book they wanted, they had money! Then they went and screwed me over!”I cock my head to the side. “Why should I believe you?” “Because you'll shoot me in the face?”I allow myself a small smile. “Good answer. What did you give them?”“It was this little booklet,” He says, sweat dripping down his brow. “Something about a- a blood sacrifice sort of deal. I don't care for that kind of stuff, so I figured I might as well make a profit on the thing.”I quirk a brow. “You still haven't told me who they are.”He bites his lip. “I don't know that much. They contacted me, set the whole thing up. I've never seen any of them before.”
[2/2]“Where'd you meet?” I ask.“It was an abandoned warehouse down on 37th. Never been there before, but they had guys set up around the place.”“I see,” I say, lowering my pistol. “You've been very helpful, mister...”“Hendricks,” He says, looking away from me.“Well, Hendricks,” I say, dryly. “Just so you're aware in the future, I don't like people pointing guns at me. It's a terrible breach of social etiquette. Now, if you try to follow me, I'll blow out your other kneecap.”“Got it,” He whispers. I pat him on the shoulder. “Have a nice day!”He very wisely keeps his mouth shut as I walk past him, but then he makes the mistake of whispering something when he thinks I'm out of earshot.“Bitch.”I stop dead.-----[X] Oh, I'm sorry, there goes your other knee![X] He's not worth the bullet.
>>30124538>[X] He's not worth the bullet.Useless.
>>30124538"I'm sorry, I didn't hear that. Could you speak into my microphone?"Jam the muzzle of your gun under his jaw.
>>30124538>[X] Oh, I'm sorry, there goes your other knee!
>>30124484Write-ins are perfectly acceptable, but I reserve the right to veto anything that goes full retard.
>>30124625I'd give you shit about that not needing to be said, but this is /tg/ and I admire your candor.
>>30124625>I reserve the right to veto anything that goes full retard.You have no idea how reassuring that is.
Damn it all, I'd have started writing sooner, but I had to leave my station for a bit. Writing now, in favor of >>30124582 for being a quality write-in.
[1/3?]While he is absolutely right in his summation of my character, I'm still offended. When you say things like that, you should at least be smart enough to make sure the person you're insulting can't hear you. So, as he pulls himself to his feet with the aid of the wall, I stalk towards him, every step nigh-silent, until I'm standing right behind him.I clear my throat, and when he turns around, I jam the muzzle of my pistol underneath his jaw. “I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you said just now. Here's my microphone.” He chokes up, so I push the gun further. “Really. I implore you.” He glares at me, sweat pouring down his brow. “You bitch.”I nod, pulling back and lowering my gun. Without the threat of getting his skull ventilated, he visibly relaxes.“Wasn't that easy?” I say, stone-faced. “I do expect an apology, though.”As he opens his mouth to speak again, I shoot out his other kneecap. He topples over with an agonized scream.“Apology accepted!” I say, spinning on a heel and going on my way. He's too busy rocking back and forth to swear at me, and I leave the alley without having to shoot him again.Shame, really.
[2/2]A short while later, I find myself standing in front of Joey's place. It's not much to look at; steps lead down a hole in a brick wall to a wooden basement door. I knock on it a few times, and the panel covering the peephole slides open after a rough half-minute.“Holly, izzat you?” A man asks, voice rough as gravel. “God be good, girl, what happened to you?”“People with guns, that's what,” I say. “I got the cash, so open up.”The panel slides back, and there's the noise of multiple heavy metal locks being dealt with before the door opens. I limp into a well-lit room, with plenty of medical tools and random crap scattered about. Joey locks the door behind me. He's getting up there in years, somewhere in his sixties at the very least, but time hasn't taken his steady hands yet, even though it did steal all his hair.“What's the damage?” He asks, clearing random knick-knacks off a table to serve as an operating bed.I pat my bandages. “Gunshot, what else? I'll pay extra for the morphine and some time to rest here.”He gives me an appraising look. “You got it. I'll just need you to get yer shirt off 'fore I can start working.”I shrug, laying my coat and hat atop a recliner. “Didn't think I was your type, old man.”He grunts, busying himself with setting things up. “You know what I mean, kid.”It's a bit harder to undo the bandages and get everything else off, but I manage it. “Seriously, you need to find a lady. She'd really liven up your creepy underground lair.”He snorts, amused. “Whatever you say, kid. So, what kinda mess didja get yourself into this time, huh?” He says, toting a medical bag over as I seat myself on the table. I take a deep breath, keeping my eyes on the ceiling.-----[X] Joey's always been trustworthy; I'll fill him in while he works.[X] I'd rather keep this one close to home, thanks.
>>30125998[X] I'd rather keep this one close to home, thanks.No need to involve him, really. He should value distance in his relationships with his clients really, unless he wants people after him for info or more.
>>30125998>Compromise"I don't even know yet, man! But you know me, and soon as I figure out what the hell I'm caught up in someone's going to get what's spooning to them for pointing their guns my way. Uh, cessation of pain and warm fuzzies, careful Joe, I'm going to end up with a habit to kick if you go so heavy on the morphine."
>>30126185Sure, I'll back this.
Seeing as that's about all there is for the votes, I'll call it for the compromise option.
[1/2?]“Man, I wish I knew,” I say. “But you know me, soon as I figure out what the hell I'm caught up in, someone's going to get a glock shoved up their ass.”Joey shrugs. “More business for me.”He withdraws a morphine-filled needle from his bag and jabs it into my arm. It stings at first, but warmth soon floods through me from the drugs, making everything feel so, so good. I sigh, happily soaking it in.“Geez, Joe,” I say, swinging my legs onto the table and lying back. “Keep the morphine coming and I'm gonna have one hell of a habit to kick before you're done.”“Junkies ain't clients I want to cover, so it'd be bad for business if I got you hooked.” He pokes my side with a scalpel. “Feel that?”I shake my head.“Good. Just relax and let me do my job.”I stare up at the lightbulb while he works, trying to ignore the sound of my flesh being cut open. “You got a plan to find these guys?” Joey asks, after about a solid minute of operating.“I grabbed a guy's phone and figured out where they hold some meetings.” I say, slowly working through the words. Everything's harder to say on morphine, apparently. “Don't really have any idea where I'll go from there, but it's progress.”Joey grunts noncommittally. “Well, before you can do that, you're gonna need to rest up.”“Sounds nice,” I say, dreamily.It's... getting really fuzzy, thinking. In general. You know what I mean?Maybe some shuteye would be nice.Yeah.Yeah, that sounds good.-----
[2/2]I wake up to find myself laid out on a couch, a thick blanket thrown over me. All my clothes are laid out on a nearby chair, and after expending a not-insignificant amount of effort to rise, I give myself a once over. My side's bandaged up and a little stiff, but it doesn't hurt. Heh, Joey even went and stuck a band-aid on my nose.It's the little things, sometimes, that are the sweetest.A quick check of my pockets reveals my wallet to be considerably lighter, which is an unfortunate price of doing business here. Still, at least I'm in good shape once again. I give the bullet-holes and blood-stains in my hat and coat, respectively, a mournful look, but don them once again.Joey himself is nowhere to be seen, although the sound of static a room over gives me a likely clue to his whereabouts. I peek my head through the door to see the old man laid out on another couch, gently sleeping. Leaving him to his rest, I slip out the front door, hoping he won't be too mad about the locks when he wakes up. Where once sunlight was streaming down, the only light around now is that from street-lamps, casting an eerie glow throughout the night. I squint into the blackness, but relax after nothing comes out after me.So, the folks after me have a warehouse on 37th?Time to pay them a visit.
And, after six hours or so of quest-running, I am DONE for now. Hope folks enjoyed this first thread of URBAN WITCH NOIR adventure! I'll be continuing on Wednesday, I think? I'll probably start at 10 A.M. CST, but it's not set in stone or anything.https://twitter.com/UrbanShazam There's my QM twitter, where I'll announce when I'm running the next thread.So, questions, comments, whatever you want to say, feel free to say 'em! I'll be here!
>>30127390Thanks for running OP! I had a lot of fun, but fair warning it might be a little slow at the beginning on Wednesday. That said, I'm looking forward to seeing you then.
>>30127390Pretty good, if a slow start. That early Wednesday might be slow too, but we'll see.
>>30127615>>30127633Thanks for reading! Although, with those concerns about Wednesday, I could maybe bump the start time to later that night? My schedule's not set in stone or anything, I can hash something out with you guys. How does 5 P.M. CST sound?I'm hoping to put more 'Fantasy' into the Urban Fantasy' next thread, by the way, instead of this quest just being WITCH KNEECAPS FOOLS all the time. Something to look forward to!
>>30127784Excellent stuff so far, OP. I had the thread open when it started, but had to leave for a few hours. All in all I'm intrigued already; can't wait to do more. Anyways, do you have any setting inspiration?
>>30128010I'm taking my main inspiration from the Dresden Files, actually! It was my first real foray into urban fantasy, and it got me hooked. I'm taking a lot of cues from it, but this quest is set in its own original setting because have you SEEN how much lore DF has? It's ridiculous.Plus, making this an original thing lets me do all sorts of neat tricks with how the world works, which is really nice!
>>301277845pm CST certainly works better for me, technically I should be around as early as 2pm, but as you said, this aren't really set in stone. That said I'm fine with you running some before I get here, thats bound to happen anyway.Again, thanks for running, lotta promise in this quest.
>>30128255I've gotten a lot outta /tg/, it only feels right to give something back. As for the timetable, if 5PM is what the people want, then 5PM is what the people get. That'll probably work better for me, too, now that I think about it.