Smoke rose through the air, engulfing the surrounding area. After only a few short minutes the entire city block was being devoured by a cloud of smoke. Zooming down the street on a red maxi scooter, Mod searched through the ubiquitous smoke for his contact, Frolic. He stopped on what he assumed was the middle of the street. He tried to find the Spring Cerebral convention hall however the thick cloud of smog covering everything, his vision didn't allow him to see more than ten feet in front of him. Mod sighed. This is pointless. I'll never be able to find him if I can't see anything. I ought to just call the goon from the number he contacted me with. Hope he's still got the phone on him. Frolic's job as a contact was to notify either Mod or Cafe of anything he knew about the NMH's activities or where any suspected member may have been sighted. His job involved spying on a top secret organization of assassins. Consequently, he is very worried for his own life. Thus, he does not own a phone, a laptop, a GPS, or anything that can be traced back to him. Normally, he contacts Mod and Cafe from a device available for public access and asks them to meet him somewhere close by. That's what made whatever this foggy situation was about really unfortunate.
Meanwhile, meters away from Mod, Cafe stood in front of nine men. All of them uniformed in yellow shirts and black pants. All of them, aiming their pistols at Cafe. She held her bass guitar, the Little Boy, upside down in her right hand by its body as electricity pulsed through it. The crowd of civilians all stared in awe from the safety of their traffic jammed cars. Most could hardly believe what they had seen. They curiously wondered about what was going on. Were these men terrorists? Had a war broken out? The woman that stood in front of them had to have been a member of the WPC, some thought. She didn't have any WPC equipment however. Could she be a Delinquent? Was this a gang war? The helpless citizens also noticed the slowly approaching smoke that was covering everything in its path. They could only guess what was going on from the inside of their vehicles. Their minds buzzed with countless theories as to what could be happening in their normally peaceful city and why any of this was going on.
Cafe smirked as she looked at the fried man in a yellow shirt. His body was smoking from taking a devastating shot from a bolt of electricity. His eyes were gone. They had burst from the force and voltage and his skin was burned black. She'd killed him in order to distract the brightly clothed goons from attacking her boyfriend as he ran off to conduct informal business. As far as Cafe knew, the man didn't deserve his fate. His death was simply an unfortunate product of chance. Cafe had to choose someone to help her distract the bumble bee brothers and she randomly chose him. He was a victim of probability. His fate wasn't her fault though. He was the one waving a gun around. She had heard once that if one is prepared to kill, they should also be prepared to die and that was something she lived by.
She lifted her head and her gaze returned to the men aiming their small weapons at her. She laughed, "Well, aren't you guys going to try and kill me or something?" she asked them, the smile on her face not disappearing. "We are to kill anyone who tries to pass or poses a threat to the well-being of our cause," one of the men responded sternly.
"What and I don't pose a threat? You saw what did to your little buddy over here," she said while pointing the head of the bass guitar at the charred body. "You don't think that makes me a threat at all?" None of them replied. One of them looked behind, noticing the smoke's slow creep towards the crowd of them. "Wasn't Master Cloud supposed to be here before the smog got to us?" one whispered to another. The other shrugged "Maybe he got held up," he answered.
"Should we leave? It would be hard to keep these people in line when the fog covers us."
"No! What would we do about them if left? It's bad enough the man on the scooter got by us. What would we do if all these people got through? Besides Master Cloud is our messiah! If we leave, we are showing that we do not trust his word. Do you trust Master Cloud?"
"Of course I do."
"Then we will remain here until he arrives."
As the whispering conversation ended and, consequently, so did Cafe's eavesdropping. The man looked back towards the smoke. It was only a few feet from his back and of course it did not stop in its advance. As much as he trusted Master Cloud, he could not help but think that something had gone wrong in Master Cloud's plan.
Cafe noticed the cloud getting closer. That smoke is looking pretty ominous. Smoke doesn't naturally move like that. That is either a product of Technological or Magical energy. Judging by the curious looks on the sad craps in the cars, this isn't a regular occurrence in this city. Which means it's definitely these guys' doing. So then who are these guys and what are they planning? I'll have to find out after I'm done having fun with these guys. Unfortunately for me they've all got guns and there ain't no way in hell I'm going to be able to dodge their bullets. Luckily for me, I'm not an idiot. Cafe used her other hand to grasp the neck bridge of the bass and pointed it downwards in front of her. The Little Boy surged with electricity again as she shot a continuous beam of electricity at the ground in a straight line between the men in yellow and the cars. This caused a cloud of smoke that merged with the creeping cloud of smoke that engulfed the nine men and Cafe.
The men all looked around in confusion. The smoke was dense, obscuring the view of all within it. Without their sight they were lost in the fog. Cafe could hear the scuffling of shoes across the ground and the yelling of the men as they engaged in what could almost be construed as a game of "Marco Polo." Cafe smirked, amused by their helplessness and began concentrating Magical energy towards her senses. Once all the energy had gathered, the technique, Life Finding, took effect. Cafe could immediately sense the bodies of the nine men. Kill eight. Leave one alive. She thought as she switched her hold on the Little Boy. She now held it by its neck and began rushing towards the nearest gunman. As she closed the distance between her and her victim, she swung the Little Boy, its body making hard contact with her enemy's. As the hit connected, electricity burst through the guitar upon impact and surged through the gunman's body. Cries of pain and the loud buzz of mock electricity filled the smoky air. The other gunmen caught on immediately to what was going on. Kill seven. Leave one alive. She had started her hunt.
Mod switched off his neurophone program. He had called Frolic a total of at least ten times before giving up. He reached for his inside jacket pocket, only for a grim reminder of his lack of cigarettes. He spat on the ground and sighed while placing his hands back onto the scooter's handle bars. Didn't really take notice to it before but, this smoke is kind of weird. Why the hell is it covering everything? I wanted to check out that explosion right after meeting with Frolic but I can't find the little bastard. Chances are he's not going to be hiding out in the smoke though. Mod gripped the handle bars of the Fat Man and yawned. Damn I'm tired but I need to find Frolic. I guess I'm just going to have to keep riding until I get out of this foggy crap. He leaned back into the seat, gripping the handle bars even tighter and with just a thought; the red maxi scooter flew off.
Cafe ran through the foggy smoke, taking life after life. It was almost professional the way she systematically went through them. Her use of the magically powered Little Boy, her Life Finding skill and her training in Bing Fa (Uncle Roy's personal martial arts style), allowed her mind to create something of a guideline as to the most efficient way to dispose of these men. Gun shots could be heard in the midst of it all as the men in yellow shot blindly in a horrid attempt to stop Cafe's rampage. Kill two. Leave one alive. She thought as another man dropped dead. She turned to her right, locating the remaining three men. One man stood a few feet away from another. She could sense their trepidation. She grinned a grin so immense it was almost a shame that no one could see it. She ran towards one of them in almost complete silence. The silence was awfully unsettling seeing as how there had been no silent moment since the fighting had started. As Cafe approached the man she lightly tapped his shoulder. In his fit of excitement he swiftly swiveled to face the direction he was touched and pulled the trigger in hopes of killing Cafe. Unfortunately for him, Cafe had planned for that and she had moved quickly. Gurgling sounds could be heard in the direction of the shot. He shot him in the throat. That's gross. Cafe thought while swiftly swinging her black bass guitar into the head of her last opponent.
With her eight targets eliminated all that was left was to pry information out of the last living man. She ran towards him and grabbed his throat forcefully. Using her Life Finding skill, she was able to locate the people in their cars. Fortunately for her some of them had not yet left. She dragged the man out of the fog and past the pileup of cars, some of which had gotten caught in the fog and onto a sidewalk where she dropped him. The man was on his knees coughing and choking while Cafe waited patiently for him to catch his breath. As soon as air had filled his lungs and he was properly able breathe, he swung his pistol to aim at Cafe only to have her smack it out of his hand, effortlessly. "Don't screw with me," she said flatly.
"What is it you want from me?" he asked her. His voice was still trembling from the fright of everything he had just experienced.
"I'm a curious girl and honestly, I like to stick my nose where it doesn't belong, so you're going to answer a few questions for me. Is that alright with you?" she asked him.
He nodded. His gaze turned to the bass guitar in her hand. It was truly an instrument of war.
"It's nice isn't it? It's a Thunderbird. It sure lives up to its name doesn't it?" she said to him with a big smile on her face. "However, those aren't the questions I wanted to ask you. No, those questions are too easy to answer. But if you really want, these next questions can be easy to answer to. All I want is your full cooperation. Keep no secrets from me. I want to know everything in regards to the questions I'm asking. Understood?"
He nodded again.
"Good. First of all, who the hell are you guys?" she asked.
"We're Palace Cove."
Cafe raised an eyebrow. "And? What, you expect me to have heard of you guys before? WHO ARE YOU GUYS?" she asked again.
"We're a transcendence group."
"A transcendence group. That's what Master Cloud calls it. There's two parts to our group. There's our public mask, Last Life, which is a charity organization that Master Cloud set up for our funding. Then there's our real face, the transcendence group, led by our glorious Master Cloud. He's helping us to go beyond ourselves and truly reach the depths of the world. He wants to help us, all of us, even you, achieve another level of being. He wants us all to exist within the HEAVEN."
The man's answer generated a certain response from Cafe that resulted in her sneering at him.
"You cannot be telling me the truth right now."
"I'm serious! I'm very serious!"
"You do realize that you can't exist in the HEAVEN? The HEAVEN is not a corporeal plane in which life can reside. You know that, don't you?"
"That is why Master Cloud calls us to go beyond ourselves. If we reach a state in which we exist without our bodies, we will be able to fulfill our dream of living there."
"Your dream huh? And then what? What do you get after you achieve all this?"
"After that we will be free from this world. This world holds nothing for us except disorder and chaos."
Of course. "So what about this smoke? What is it? Why is it covering everything?"
"I don't know. Master Cloud told us to hold certain posts wait for the explosion. Sometime after the explosion went off, he was supposed to come get us all. We don't know what happened."
"Posts? So you guys are scattered all over the place?"
"Yes, we're all over the city."
"Alright then, you've been good so far. I just have one last question. Where is Master Cloud?"
"There's a building south of here called the Gaelic Building. Its-"
"Do you know where in the building he might be?" Cafe interrupted. The fog had gotten closer and she felt no need to waste any more time with him.
"Well what does he look like?"
"He'll probably be wearing yellow and black like the rest of us, but he also has a green scarf that he likes to wear. He has black curly hair and a mustache."
"Thanks. I appreciate your cooperation," Cafe said as she turned towards the parked cars, most of which were gone or abandoned and advanced towards them.
"Um, can I ask what you want with Master Cloud?" the man asked.
"With all that's going on and what you've told me, I have a few questions I'd like to ask him. I'm not going to hurt him if I don't have to, if that's what you're wondering," she said without turning around, still walking for the cars. Existing in the HEAVEN, what a load of bull. Honestly I don't believe a damn bit of it, but I'll never hear the end of it from Mod if I don't try and find out something from this guy. Plus all this fog shit is interfering with job and it'd be easier to find this guy than to find Mod since I have no clue where he went. I just hope he's found Frolic by now.
Cafe finally approached a car that hadn't been abandoned. The driver had fallen asleep apparently and Cafe could hear the snoring from outside the vehicle. She banged on the glass and the driver woke up, with his body jumping forward in the seat. Cafe motioned for him to roll his window down. "Hey, do you know where the Gaelic Building is?" she asked him.
"Yeah, you just go-"
"Drive me." she interrupted as she strolled into the passenger seat and the car drove off.