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KINGSGUARD Chapter 60: Invitation

Discussion in 'Kingsguard' started by Marco Polo, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Marco Polo

    monkey d. goth girl
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    It's been a long time coming... but hopefully it's been worth the wait!


    *​

    KINGSGUARD

    Chapter 60: Invitation

    March 28th, 2256. 8:35pm. A doctor’s clinic in a back alley of the Underground City. The doctor is about to close his clinic for the day. However, he receives an unexpected visitor.

    “Hello?” the doctor called out as he heard the door open. “I’m sorry, but we’re closed for the day…”

    As the doctor turned to face the clinic floor, he saw a man wearing a black hooded cape. Panicking, he raised his hands in the air.

    “S-sir! I’m terribly sorry, but I’m simply a doctor! I don’t wish to cause any…”

    “I’m not here to cause you harm, Doctor… Red, is it?” the hooded man replied, removing his hood and cloak. “I just have a couple of questions for you.”

    Dr. Red relaxed a little. “Very well. Take a seat here, sir.”

    The hooded man sat down in a chair next to the doctor’s desk.

    “Have I… Seen you somewhere before?” Dr. Red asked.

    “… I’m new around these parts, so probably not,” the man replied.

    “Hmm… Okay. So, what questions do you have for me?”

    The man pulled out pictures of two men. “Do you recognise these two men?”

    Dr. Red thought for a moment. “… I do, yes.”

    “Have they visited your clinic?”

    “If you’re asking for details of medical procedures, I’m unable to disclose.”

    “That’s fine. I just need to know… How long ago did they come to your clinic?”

    “Hmm… I’d say it’s been about a week.”

    “When they were here, did either of them mention anything about their plans after you treated them?”

    Dr. Red shook his head. “No, but… they certainly seemed shaken by what happened to them. At the very least, you’ve terrified them enough that they won’t interfere with your business again.”

    “… I see. Well, then. It seems my job here is complete for now. Thank you for your co-operation, Doctor.”

    The man then stood up, put on his hood and walked out.

    *​

    24 hours earlier. Persephone’s Lair. The Queen of the Underworld has an appointment with two of her underlings.

    Persephone, her chair turned away from the underlings, sighed. “… I see. It seems you met with quite a formidable opponent. This is a most unexpected development. Whilst the failure in your mission is unacceptable, I suppose I can spare your lives this time.”

    Her two underlings breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you for your kind understanding, Your Majesty.” They replied.

    “Now… About this man that attacked you. Did you happen to catch a glimpse of his face?” Persephone asked.

    The men looked at each other. “Unfortunately, he had his hood up the entire time. We couldn’t see his face clearly at all.”

    “Any other clues to identify him?” Persephone asked.

    The men looked at each other and shook their heads.

    “Hmph. Very well. You’re dismissed...”

    As the two men turned to the door, they heard Persephone’s chair swivel.

    “… From life.”

    A spurt of blood erupted from each man’s chest, and they fell to the floor with a loud thud. Persephone looked down at their now lifeless bodies, disdain in her eyes. Sighing, she pressed a button on her desk to call in the cleaner. Within seconds, the cleaner came in through the door. Looking at the scene in the room, he quickly deduced what had happened.

    “You know, Your Majesty… at the rate you’re getting through these middle-grades, you’ll halve the size of your army within a month.”

    Persephone turned back around in her chair, a bored expression on her face.

    “Well, Kratos… there’s nothing else I can do. It’s not my fault they’re all so hopelessly incompetent.”

    Kratos slung the mens’ corpses over his shoulder. “What’s happened this time, Your Majesty?”

    “These two morons fucked up the most recent Dreamcorp raid. But not only that, they managed to get themselves caught by one of Dream’s grunts.” Persephone answered, her tone full of contempt. “If they’d squealed, our entire operation would have been dead in the water.”

    “They remained loyal to you until the very end, at least.” Kratos replied, heading for the door.

    “By the way, Kratos.” Persephone said. “I’m putting you and your men in charge of Dreamcorp raids from now on. Think you can handle that?”

    Kratos nodded. “Well… With Python and Cerberus occupied, there’s only six of us… But, I’m sure we’ll make do.”

    “Hmph. You’d better. Otherwise you’ll end up like those two sorry sacks.” Persephone warned.

    “Yes, Your Majesty.” Kratos answered. Walking out of the door, he went to throw the mens’ bodies down the garbage chute.

    *​

    April 2nd, 2256. 10:58pm. Kingsguard Facility – Bar. Rayleigh, Amanda and Deva are having a drink together.

    “It’s quiet in here today.” Rayleigh commented, staring into his beer.

    “It’s always like this nowadays.” Deva replied. “It has been ever since…”

    “Don’t. Let’s not talk about that right now.” Rayleigh replied.

    “… Oh yeah. How are your Ragley Boffins, or whatever they’re called?” Deva asked.

    “Disbanded.” Rayleigh answered. “The only one I still see is Soo Young. I cut them all off after the tournament three years ago. She was the only one that reached out.”

    “Heh. Every cloud, huh…” Deva replied.

    A few minutes of silence followed. When the waiter came around and brought the group’s next round of drinks, Deva tried to initiate conversation again.

    “Amanda. I heard Arthur visited the facility a couple of weeks ago?”

    “I heard about it from Moss.”

    “Do you know why he came?” Rayleigh asked.

    Amanda shook her head. “He wouldn’t tell me.”

    “And Arthur wouldn’t tell you either?”

    “No. Ever since he left, he’s barely spoken to me. I keep asking him where he is, but… He says he can’t tell me.” Amanda replied, frustration in her voice.

    “Has he said why he left yet?” Deva asked.

    “… All he told me on the day he left was, “I finally have a chance to make things right again.” It’s been six months since then, and I still don’t know anything more.” Amanda answered.

    “After what happened three years ago, we all changed… But out of everyone, it hit Grinnington the hardest. He’s a completely different person now.” Rayleigh commented.

    “Those first few months, I was really worried about him… But you managed to keep him sane, Amanda.” Deva said.

    “Yeah… you’ve been a really good influence on him since you got together. I’m sure he’s grateful for that.” Rayleigh added, forcing a smile.

    As she thought about Grinnington, Amanda bit her lip to stop the tears from flowing down.

    “Then why… Why would he leave me like this? Doesn’t he know I need him too?”

    *​

    11:02pm. The Underground City – The Girls’ Apartment. Squad Grinnington are having their fortnightly meeting.

    “So, Hercules, Fourth. How have things been going on your end?” Grinnington asked.

    “Well, umm… Pretty good, actually. Mr. Lark’s sold a lot of weapons, so he’s been happy… Oh, and we found this neat burrito stand a couple days ago.” Hercules answered.

    “Did you find any new leads?”

    “Oh, uhh… No. No we did not.” Hercules answered.

    Grinnington sighed. “Alright. Chirch and Rose. What about you?”

    “Well,” Rose replied, “The other night, I overheard this conversation at the bar…”

    *
    3 days earlier. Win’s Authentic Ganqing Restaurant and Bar.

    “Your drinks,” Rose said, placing two glasses of whiskey down on the table for her customers.

    “Thank you, Ginger!” replied the man on the left.

    The man on the right threw a handful of coins on to the table. “For you, sweetie. Pour yourself one.”

    Rose sighed. “You know I’m not allowed to drink on shift, Kelly.”

    “Heh heh. You can come join us after your shift, then.” Kelly replied.

    “If you keep that up, you’ll both be out of here before that can happen.” Rose replied teasingly, walking back to the bar.

    “Robert and Kelly bothering you again?” Chirch asked, carefully polishing a wine glass.

    “It’s nothing. If they step out of line, I’ll show them who’s in charge.” Rose answered.

    While the girls waited for more orders to take, they observed the clientele carefully.

    “It’s a pretty quiet one tonight.” Rose commented. “Looks like we’re going home with nothing again tonight.” As she spoke, Kelly called her over once more. Rose quickly walked over to their table.

    “Another round of scotch, gentlemen?” she asked, smiling.

    “If you would.” Kelly replied.

    Rose fetched the men their drinks. As she placed them on their table, the men thanked her once again.

    “Aren’t you going to invite me to join you again?” Rose asked jokingly.

    “Not this time.” Robert replied. “We’ve got some… business to deal with. Private stuff.”

    “I understand. If you want another drink at any point, please don’t hesitate to call me over.”

    Rose hurried back to the bar. Leaning over, she whispered to Chirch.

    “Hey, Chirch. Could you turn the speakers down a little? I think we might have found our scoop.”

    Chirch nodded. Pressing an LED panel behind the bar, she slightly lowered the volume of the bar’s ambient music. The girls then walked over to tables near to Robert and Kelly’s, and began to half-heartedly clean them, listening closely to the men’s conversation.

    “R. Did you hear what happened to Six and Nine?” Kelly asked, his tone hushed.

    “What, you mean when they got beat up the other day?”

    “No. I mean what happened to them afterwards.”

    “Has something happened?”

    Kelly nodded. “Apparently their bodies were found early this morning. When the garbage truck came around, one of the workers found a bag that smelt kinda gross. When he opened it up…”

    “That’s fucked, man.” Robert answered, his stomach now feeling somewhat uneasy.

    “Apparently it was the skips outside of Persephone’s offices.”

    “Well. It’s not a surprise. They fucked up on that raid and they got tailed. I’m surprised the Boss left them in one piece.”

    “I don’t know who the guy that caught them is, but I don’t think I want to. Apparently, the guys had a load of cybernetic parts fitted not long before they died.” Kelly answered.

    “Shit, man…”

    “I’m going to say this now. If you get asked to do a Dreamcorp raid, say no. It’s not worth the risk. Not only because Boss would kill us if we failed. But this guy that got Six and Nine… he wouldn’t kill us, but I’m pretty sure what he’d put us through would make us wish we were dead.”

    “D’you reckon this guy’s with Dreamcorp?” Robert asked.

    Kelly nodded. “I’m certain. Boss wouldn’t gain anything from torturing her own people. And it doesn’t seem like Hades is behind it, either. He’s never targeted our faction like that before.”

    “Shit. What if it was one of the Twelve?”

    “If it was…” Kelly replied, his expression bleak, “we’re screwed.”

    The conversation dying, Chirch and Rose casually made their way back to the bar.

    “Did they just say… Dreamcorp?!” Rose said, doing her best to keep her voice down.

    “… I didn’t expect to hear their name down here.” Chirch replied.

    *​

    “Dreamcorp, huh…” Grinnington said, stroking his chin as he thought. “I certainly didn’t think they’d be a factor in this mission.”

    “Even though information about their projects has leaked to the Underworld before, they’ve never attacked us directly.” Judge added. “I guess whatever Persephone’s after is valuable enough for them to want to warn her off.”

    “Let’s not think about them for now.” Grinnington decided. “Right now, they’re not tied directly to our mission. If our paths end up crossing again, so be it. But picking a fight with them right now would be dangerous.”

    “If this mystery man tries to fight us, I’ll slice him in half.” Hope said defiantly.

    “Anyway. Judge, what’s the latest with your information gathering?” Grinnington asked.

    “Father’s got a few moles in Persephone’s ranks. We’re waiting for them to find out anything that might be useful to our mission.” Judge answered. “Once something good turns up, I’ll let you know.”

    “Understood.” Grinnington replied.

    “And how’s your work going, Mr. Pink?” Judge asked.

    “At the moment, business is flowing steadily. Nothing overly exciting, though.” Grinnington answered.

    “Well, if and when you have some free time… Hades would like to meet with you.”

    “Hades? Why?” Grinnington replied, surprised.

    “That’s something you’ll have to discuss with him.” Judge answered.

    “Hmm. Okay. Once this mission is completed, I’ll see what I can do.” Grinnington replied. “Anyway. I think that’s enough for now. Keep doing what you’re doing. Slowly but surely, things will come up.”

    The meeting over, the group went their respective ways.

    *​

    April 3rd, 2256. 2:32am. Win’s Authentic Ganqing Restaurant and Bar. Chirch and Rose are on shift.

    Rose emerged from the upstairs area, her break over. Walking past the bar, she quickly caught up with Chirch, who had just served a long-haired, middle-aged man wearing a hat.

    “Anything happen while I was gone?” Rose asked.

    Chirch shook her head. “Not much. Just one heads up. If table 6 call for more drinks, refuse. They’re getting a little rowdy.”

    Rose nodded. “Got it.”

    Moments later, a call came from Table 6. “Hey! Redhead! Get over here!”

    Rose sighed and headed to Table 6. Putting on a polite smile, she took her clients’ request.

    “Some water for you and your friends, sir?”

    The man who had called Rose over drunkenly made his order. “Nah…. Get us another bottle o’ vodka. And while you’re at it… Gimme your number.”

    “Sir. The bar has politely informed me that we aren’t to serve you any more drinks. As for my phone number… I’m afraid I can’t give that out either.”

    “Listen here, sweetheart,” the man replied angrily. “What use is a bar that won’t serve drinks? Get us a fucking bottle, or…”

    “Sir, if you continue that tone with me, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

    Infuriated, the man stood up. His frame towering over Rose, he looked down at her, snarling. “You want me to leave? Make me.”

    Rose sighed. “I hope you don’t come to regret that statement, Sir.”

    The man squared up to Rose. “You know… I don’t usually hit girls. But you’ve really pissed me off.”

    Rose smiled back at the man politely. “If you are dissatisfied with the service you’ve received today, please do take your time to leave a suggestion in our suggestions box.”

    Clenching his fist, the man was ready to fight. “Here’s a direct piece of feedback for you, you conceited bitch.”

    Rose exhaled deeply and closed her eyes. As the man threw a sharp right hand, she tilted her head out of the way effortlessly. Her body reacting by itself, she countered with a powerful right uppercut that sent the man flying across the bar. Their leader down, the drunkard’s entourage surrounded the young waitress. Sensing danger, Chirch leapt out from behind the bar to support her friend. As the five men closed in on Rose, Chirch took two men out with a flying kick, knocking them out cold.

    “I can handle them myself, Chirch.” Rose said.

    “I know, but they pissed me off too.” Chirch replied.

    One of the men then ran at Rose with a chair. Rose ducked as the man swung and powerfully kicked him in the shin. His leg snapping, he fell to the floor yelling in pain. As she turned around, she saw Chirch deal with the remaining two men by slamming their heads together. Rattled by the girls’ fighting prowess, the men crawled towards their leader, who had been out cold for most of the fight. Huddled by the door, they tried to bring him back to his senses. As they did, the girls stood over them, their auras menacing.

    “W-we’re sorry! P-please don’t hurt us anymore!” begged one of the men.

    “Betty. Get the door for me, please.” Rose said.

    Chirch walked over to the door and held it open. Seconds later, the men were sent flying out, landing in a crumpled heap on the street outside as the door slammed shut. As the door closed, Rose sighed.

    “Man… I could do with another break after that.” Rose commented, wiping the sweat from her brow.

    “I’m just glad we didn’t break anything.” Chirch replied.

    As the girls headed back towards the bar, the long-haired man in the hat clapped.

    “Impressive. Very impressive, girls.”

    “Thank you, I guess?” Rose replied.

    The man turned to face them. “I have a question for you, girls. Do you like to fight?”

    “I don’t know if “like” is the right word,” Rose answered.

    The man chuckled. “Heh. I see. Well, let me rephrase. Are you girls looking for a way to keep in fighting shape?”

    Chirch and Rose looked at each other and shrugged. “We’re a little rusty at the moment, so… I suppose we are.” Chirch answered.

    The man smiled, revealing a full set of golden teeth. “Excellent. Well then, girls. Would you care to join my club?”

    “You have a fighting club?” Rose replied, a little surprised.

    “I guess you could call it that,” the man replied. “It started as me and a couple of good friends, but now… Some of the biggest names in the underground come along. Whenever you have a night off, you’re welcome to join. I think you’ll find the people there to be quite a thrilling fight.”

    “Sounds good to us.” Chirch replied.

    The man smiled, and stood up. Approaching the girls, he extended his hand to them. “Betty and Ginger, is it? It’s a pleasure to meet you. The name’s Jack.”

    “It’s nice to meet you.” Rose replied, shaking Jack’s hand. Chirch did the same, nodding silently.

    “Well, then. I think I’d best be off,” Jack continued. Pulling a card out from under the brim of his hat, he handed it to the girls. “This is where to find us, if you’re interested. Hopefully I’ll see you there. If not… I’m sure I’ll be back here for a drink some time.”

    Jack strolled casually out of the bar. The girls then inspected the card he had given them. On one side was a drawing of Jack’s face, the words “JACK’S WORLD” written on his teeth. On the other side were directions to the location where this fighting club was held.

    “Hey, Rose. I wonder if the first rule of his fight club is to not talk about fight club.” Chirch joked.

    END

    Character(s) Debuted:

    @Edinbour as Dr. Red, a back-alley doctor who's probably got his license. Definitely.
    Persephone, Queen of the Underworld
    Kratos, one of Persephone's top brass
    Robert & Kelly, Rose's new favourite customers
    The group of drunks, who probably won't be visiting Win's Bar again
    Jack, a fightin' man
     
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  2. Deathbloke

    chaud is my pet reindeer
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    It's been a while!!
    Interesting spy chapter, although I should visit some of the old chapters to remember some things. I wonder what exactly is going on with Dreamcorp, Kingsguard and Persephone...
     
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  3. Marco Polo

    monkey d. goth girl
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    how do you feel about the RAGAMUFFINS disbanding?
     
  4. Kia

    Kia
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    I was just saying that KG would be back soon and I was excited. Definitely not disappointed. So many new faces... so much to unpack. I wonder if Eve’s got anything to learn from or teach Persephone’s crew or the underworld in general about cybernetics. I love all the feisty, powerful females this chapter. Nice fight club reference. Hooded figure has reanimated Marlo/Apollo feels to me. (They could’ve given the family the Android Apollo to bury instead of the real one). Like he’s obeying Dreamcorp but still has some of his own personality quirks. But what do I know? Whatever the answer is, I’m sure it’ll be fun and interesting. ^_^

    I appreciate how the guys reported on normal things like how they discovered the burrito place that Grin’s new assistant frequents—never know what’s important, you know. That place has come up twice now. Or it seems to be the same place. ^_^
     
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  5. Deathbloke

    chaud is my pet reindeer
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    Well, I've asked you to marry Rayleigh to Soo Young more than twice, so I suppose I'm fine with it lol
     
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  6. Kia

    Kia
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    Nice to be consistent. ^_^

    Also @Marco Polo, all of the bar stuff was really poignant and well done. I enjoyed catching up with the gang and seeing the changes in them after everything that’s happened. It’s one thing to see battlefield changes but social life changes are another thing entirely. There were a lot of relationship dynamics revealed there (as tends to happen during drinking occasions—harken back to previous chapters and all the things we learned about character relationships with the introduction of alcohol).
     
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  7. Marco Polo

    monkey d. goth girl
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    marco polo is SJW libtard confirmed

    That’s Hercules’ influence - he’s a talkative guy.

    It was actually quite sad writing that bar scene - they used to be moments for dumb jokes and drunken shenanigans, but now... I hope one day, they can drink happily again


    Did you read “When Ragley Met Soo Young?”
     
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  8. Dreamer

    I'm more like a stone than snowflake
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    Nice chapter :).

    I liked how Chirch and Rose handled those drunkards but I feel sorry for that trashman who found those men's corpses.
     
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  9. Marco Polo

    monkey d. goth girl
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    Don't worry, they're still alive. Just badly bruised.

    Also, I just realised I forgot to put a "to be continued" thingy at the end of the chapter, so here's what it would have said:

    Kingsguard Chapter 61 is titled "Jack's World."

    Preview:

     
  10. Deathbloke

    chaud is my pet reindeer
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    I think so, it was on PAW, right?
     
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  11. miss_SMP

    Kahel
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    Finally had time to read it, been busy and preoccupied these past weeks.

    Love the pacing of the story, no rush but we're seeing significant movements and progress. And seems like the crew is adjusting well to the world under. Hahaha.

    Though the people above is a little blue nowadays, hope we see them happy soon.

    Can't wait for this secret club. :D
     
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  12. Marco Polo

    monkey d. goth girl
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    yes

    this is music to my ears
     

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