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Thread: [M - IC] Afterlife Agency [Siks & Celeste]

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    Default [M - IC] Afterlife Agency [Siks & Celeste]


    Rated M for possible mature content including sex, violence, language, graphic situations, alcohol, and drug use.

    Afterlife Agency



    The cool night air lingered upon the black top of downtown Black Iron City. The dew already making the old worn road glisten. It was 11 P.M. and Booker was coming out of his favorite restaurant in this part of town. The best steak and potatoes in the part of the B.I.C. he had just gotten a job to play bodyguard for some visiting dignitaries for a few days. Legit work for a change, handed down from an embassy, since leaving the criminal life being a bodyguard suited his skillset the best.

    Things were beginning to look up for the underworld's foremost hitman. But little did he know tonight would be his last and the steak would the last thing he would taste. As he got into his car and turned the ignition a fireball engulfed him as the bomb hidden under his car went off. Last thing he remembered was a bright flash, intense pain, and then nothingness. The next time he opened his eyes he was standing outside of his car looking at the flaming wreck of his car and the blackened remains of his own body. He never often thought about death or what came after it, but he figured whatever would be his fate it'd be hot and terrible, but now he felt he'd been sold a false bill of goods. He should feel some kind of despair or remorse as he watched his body burn. But he always knew his death would be something violent and disturbing. You don't live the live he lived and go out an old man dying in his bed. He was more surprised it took this long honestly.

    But now he might as well see how far the ghost world goes until he crosses over or something. So turning from his boyd Booker began walking off into the night, another ghost in a city of ghosts.


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    Default CO-OP TIME!


    The first portion of their task was complete. The reluctant former assassin was now dead, his spirit ripe for the taking. Now a handful of their living brethren were surrounding the wreckage, unafraid even as other witnesses fled in terror and cried out for someone to call 911. Wearing dark hoodies with hoods drawn, the living Gatekeepers silently whispered a chant, pouring some kind of dust around the car in a smooth, unbroken circle. They would have what they came for long before the police arrived, but there was not a moment to waste.

    The spell used Booker’s own mortal remains to summon the spirit that had once dwelled within them, its power reaching out in the form of thick tendrils of energy to try to ensnare his spirit and drag it back toward the car.

    “Such a strange one you are. Very few can gaze upon their own death and feel nothing.”

    A bearded old man in a cloak suddenly appeared in front of Booker, speaking in a distinctly Mediterranean accent. Neither Booker nor the old man were visible to anyone among the living, and neither was the pure white glow in the old man’s eyes as he lifted his hands. Another force suddenly took hold of Booker, attempting to push him back toward the energy tendrils.

    “It truly is a shame. Had you simply submitted, there would have been no need for this. But alas, such is the fate of all who betray our trust, our generosity. But you are not yet beyond hope. Submit now in death, as you failed to do in life, and you shall receive all that you were promised and more.”

    Booker had almost made it to the end of the street when the someone he first assumed was the Grim Reaper appeared. Along with some strange pulling sensation he felt coming from his burning car. Glaring at the man he looked to be a ghost as well so the thought ran through Booker’s mind that he might be able to fight this man, he recognized the man’s garb and voice once he spoke. “You Gatekeeper fucks...even in death you can’t get the message.” Moving quickly Booker closed the distance and brought his leg up in a high kick at the man’s head.

    The old man did not move as Booker prepared to attack. Just before the kick would have connected, however, the man seemingly vanished in a smoky mist. Still, his dry, wispy laughter continued to echo in the breeze.

    “Such raw fury…” The old man’s voice said wistfully. “You remind me of someone I knew long ago. He lacked your brash arrogance, but never before had one so weak fought back with such ferocity.”

    As the old man spoke, the powdered circle around the burning car was completed, and the hooded figures were using the car’s flames to light the torches in their hands. The pull grew more intense as each step in the ritual progressed, the energy tendrils seeming to grow longer and more solid as they continued to reach toward Booker and try to wrap around him. The old man reappeared next to Booker, but this time his once dispassionate expression had hardened with disdain.

    “I shall tend to him in due course, but first we must deal with you.” The old man hissed. “Come, then. Fight for your freedom, though you’ve already lost. Your spirit is already being bound, and you know not the means to stop it.”

    Booker growled as the man poofed around him like mist. “You cowardly little bitch! You idiots didn’t have the guts to make me be your puppet in life! And it doesn’t matter what magicy bullshit you pull now I will not be your tool! I won’t be anyone’s tool anymore!” With renewed rage he swung his fist around punching at the man in a fury of jabs knowing full well they wouldn’t do anything, but Booker has never been one to give in without a fight.

    Yet again, the old man disappeared. Punch after punch followed, but not one of them connected…

    …until suddenly a swift blur collided with one of the energy tendrils just as it was about to ensnare Booker, while some of the hoodie-wearing Gatekeepers abruptly went stiff and then started attacking their own comrades. Distracted for that brief moment, the old man neglected to dodge Booker’s last punch, and was sent flying a good distance before falling to the ground.

    The blur solidified as it landed not far behind Booker, revealing a dark-skinned female who kept her guard up as the goons in hoodies started undoing their own ritual. The tendrils twitched wildly and then disappeared, while the force that had been pushing Booker toward the car dissipated. The female, satisfied that that part was now taken care of, turned her full focus to Booker and the old man.

    “Go. We got this.” The female told Booker, but then immediately put up her guard as the now-livid old man slowly crept up.

    “Is this all that Aidoneus sends against us?” The old man hissed. “Is he such a coward that he will no longer face me himself?!”

    “Shut your mouth, or I’ll shut it for you!” The female snapped. She very nearly started throwing a punch or two of her own, but stopped herself at the last minute, moving into a fighting stance instead.

    As one of Booker’s punches finally landed he felt like cheering. There was very little he hated more than an unfair fight. Seeing the wrinkly old bastard fall back was very satisfying, but feeling the tendrils finally stop clawing at him was far more satisfying.

    He had chased after the old man to see if he could finish this fight and get back to his life a wandering spirit, but another figure arrived. This one a woman, how many other ghosts was he going to run into today? Whoever she was she at least seemed to be against the hooded guy as well so the enemy of my enemy is my friend he thought. As she told him to go though he simply scoffed. “Look here princess, I don’t know how any of you morons are here, but I do know his type, he won’t leave me alone until I kill him so keep your orders.” Moving past her the wetworker went back on the attack, hopefully the miserable old man would stay solid this time and take his second death with some dignity.

    “Good luck with that, considering he’s already dead.” The woman commented, but was given no further time to spare on quips. The old man tried to dissipate into smoke again, but this time the woman did as well, impacting with enough force to knock him to the ground. He got up yet again, this time not attacking personally, but instead muttering something to the ground beneath him.

    “Hear me now, my servants. Arise and strike down thy foes!”

    As he said this, what could best be described as ghostly zombies rose out of the ground, along with several misty figures with skulls for faces. The figures all flew outward, attacking not only Booker and his newfound partner, but also the ghosts who had been possessing the living Gatekeepers and making them sabotage their own ritual.

    Swearing under his breath again Booker’s fist went through the smoke as the man ran once more. “I will get you! Stop running and take this ass whooping like a man!” The woman smoked up to and caught his target which pissed him off more, but before he could tell her to butt out the old man summoned up zombies of some kind. “I’m getting really fucking sick of these motherfucking ghosts in this mothing fucking street!” Hoping these ghosts would stay solid enough to take a beating The Dragon left the cowardly old man to fight the new ghost girl and gave a long straight kick to the first Zombie ghost. His boot impacted solid flesh and the monster crumpled to dust from the impact. “HA finally someone who isn’t afraid to take a beating!” Having much anger to vent out now Booker dove headfirst into the new spiritual adversaries dropping them to dust like the first one.

    Booker held his own fairly well, as did the woman and the others there, but it wasn’t quite enough. With every one such creature eventually forced to flee, five more rose up to take its place. Most of the other allied ghosts continued to hold their own for a while, but the sheer numbers gradually overwhelmed them, the spirits starting to try to drag them downward. The woman just barely avoided being grabbed by some of the ghouls, but it was clear that they were closing in, and several of them wasted no time attempting to swarm around Booker as well.

    As the odds grew more and more against him The Dragon fought harder and harder, situations like this is how he earned his nickname in the underworld. He never backed down from a fight and like a dragon guarding it’s horde the harder you came at him the harder he fought. His simple refusal to go down is what made him so reliable among wet workers as well.

    But even he was feeling the strain of fighting an endless enemy. Though being a ghost now he wasn’t sure if they could actually hurt him or what would happen if they managed to actually overwhelm him. His spirit seemed to be weakening though how the hell that worked he didn’t know, but in the back of his ghostly mind he was thinking even he couldn’t keep this going forever. Maybe they would just drag him and the nosy girl off somewhere to be eaten.

    Still he was sure he wouldn’t die twice so why hold back? Letting out a roar of defiance he picked up one of the monsters and threw it about hoping to take down a few more as it fell. Moving back he pressed to the girl’s back. “So glad I didn’t leave yet? How about you tell me what in the fuck is going on before we die twice?” He shouted breaking a zombie’s arm off to beat back its buddies.


    “That’s a bit of a long story…” The girl in question replied, all but leaning back against Booker by this point. Despite the serious facade she had given off earlier, it was now clear that her own energy was wearing thin as well, and the zombies just kept on coming…

    …until a wave of energy suddenly rushed through the area, instantly reducing whole swaths of the zombie hordes to ashes before the girl could comment further.

    “Magnus!”

    The girl suddenly looked toward the new voice, recognizing it immediately. Emerging from an adjacent alleyway was what looked like a middle-aged man in a business suit, who glared at each and every dark creature in his path, starting with the ones surrounding Booker and the girl. More waves of energy rolled off from him with each glare, clearing most of the attacking ghouls within seconds and sending the rest scattering back where they came from, while even the living Gatekeepers quickly took the hint and ran for it.

    The old man, however, did not. Instead, a wide, toothy grin spread across his face, the teeth within and his fingernails all seeming to sharpen into points.

    “Finally!” The old man cackled, charging at the man in the suit, their energies lashing out and colliding with each other as they grappled.

    “Clear the area!” The man in the suit ordered between grunts. “Kari, get out of here!”

    The girl responded immediately to the latter, motioning for Booker to follow while the other ghosts focused on clearing the area of any remaining civilians.

    The pulse of power from these two men made Booker’s heart skip a beat...or at least the spiritual equivalent. Fighting now just seemed like a bad idea, but he didn’t know this girl or the two men so as far as he was concerned this was his cue to leave and return to his endlessly wandering the world. “Fuck this.” Was all he said before running in the opposite direction of the rest of the ghosts. He was sure that hooded fucker would come back for round two, but by then Booker would hopefully master that vapor skill he and the Kari girl seemed to have.

    He had a lot of practice being a ghost when he was alive so with any luck vanishing while actually being a ghost would be even easier. He’d find answers on his own away from this turf war bullshit.
    Last edited by Lady Celeste; 10-02-2020 at 08:07 PM.
    Thanks for the set, Kicks!

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    Booker ran for a few more blocks until he was sure no one was following him. Taking a breath he stopped and leaned against the wall of a building. Once he had calmed himself he braced his back against the wall trying to wrap his head around what had just happened. He wasn't dead an hour and he'd been attacked by creepy old men in robes, saved by what he could only call ghost cops. And unless the Ghost Cops killed old men in robes Booker was sure they would come find him again. And with their Harry Potter like misting abilities the former killer was sure they'd get the drop on him before he could see them coming.

    He needed to at least figure out how to do the smoke thing. But he wanted someplace safe to try it or at the least someplace familiar. There was only one place he could think of, his apartment in the Silver Lock complex in the Western part of the B.I.C. A surprisingly high-end place with solid metal doors and bulletproof windows. It was where a lot of Crime Underbosses or expensive wetworkers like himself lived so these added protections were well worth the high rent. While he couldn't figure out the smoke skill Booker did learn how to run through buildings and fences. He wasn't sure if anyone could see him or sense his presence like how he heard some people could do. But it didn't matter to him as he moved swiftly through the dark streets of Black Iron City. Being able to avoid the unending grid of streets and buildings he arrived at his apartment in a matter of minutes and phased right through all the heavy locked doors and gates until he reached his own. The door still looked locked and secured so that gave him a small semblance of relief. Phasing through his front door he stared into the dark interior. It was a fine wide studio space with two separate rooms for the bathroom and bedroom. His furniture was simple and dark colored, the place was decently clean, but looked largely unlived in. Without needing any light he began shifting around his apartment trying to figure out how to turn into smoke.


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    The two men continued to battle, and the other agents stayed close by to provide backup. Kari, meanwhile, quite literally made herself disappear, even from the senses of most other ghosts, and followed Booker in secret. The situation at the explosion site was under control, so she may as well make herself useful and keep an eye on the obvious target of the whole attack, who was already fleeing the scene.

    Not a single living person could see Booker, but for a trained ghost, he was impossible to miss. Poor guy still had a lot to learn about being dead, not that Kari could blame him. He ran through barrier after barrier, and the neighborhood he entered looked nice enough on the surface, but traces of death and corruption still clung to some of the people here. Still, not one of them noticed Kari as she passed them by, following Booker to a particular apartment, but not following him inside right away. Instead, with just the slightest push of energy, she lightly knocked on the door. Maybe he would answer, maybe he wouldn’t, but just barging in while he was most likely still on edge wouldn’t solve anything.
    Thanks for the set, Kicks!

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    He got really good at phasing around his apartment, but the smoke ability still eluded him. He did manage to knock over some of his furniture though. Stopping in the middle of his living room he groaned lightly feeling his aura growing tired again. How out of shape was his ghost body? Or was it his spirit that was out of shape?

    Could a spirit be out of shape? That was something to think about. His spirit has been very black and dead for a long time so if anything his spirit should be in great shape since it was too dead to get out of shape. But maybe the deadness made his spirit so weak that it just didn't have the strength to do the smoke trick. Having managed to solidify himself some he sat down on his coffee table trying to think of what he might be missing.

    Did he have to become one with the smoke? Did he have to let go of his abandonment issues? Did he just have to stop trying and let it happen? How the hell long did it take other ghosts to figure this stuff out? While he thought on that he wandered if being a ghost came with other powers? He saw the ghost girl do some tricks and when that other guy showed up he had some kind of wild pulsating power. As he was running through these thoughts a knock came at his door. He was immediately on edge. No one would be at his door...in fact most people didn't even know where his door was. Maybe news of his death had reached the wrong ears and someone who did know about his place was coming to do some cleaning or looting? Maybe the living versions of those Gatekeeper assholes were coming to burn his place down.

    Could it be another ghost? Or maybe the actual Grim Reaper was coming to get him, though why would that guy knock? Deciding to take a peek before going on the offensive he phased through his own walls and up to the apartment above his. Then to the one above his neighbor and poked just part of his head out to study his visitor. It was the girl from the street, he bit his ghostly lip guess a ghost could follow him easy enough. Dropping down he crossed his arms. "Can't you fucks leave a dead man in peace?"


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  6. #6
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    Kari immediately assumed a fighting stance as Booker dropped down, but then recognized his voice and stood at ease.

    “Better me than them.” She replied. “You must’ve really pissed them off; they don’t usually do sacrifices out in the open, let alone by car bomb.”

    On that note, Kari stopped to check for any unusual energies. Sensing none, she continued.

    “If you think they’ll leave you alone, forget it. Last time the Gatekeepers let a ghost escape, he almost wiped out all their living members.” Kari said next. “There are others who could help, no strings attached. Or I could teach you some of what I know. No offense, but you still have a lot to learn if you want to stand a chance.”
    Last edited by Lady Celeste; 10-03-2020 at 09:33 PM.
    Thanks for the set, Kicks!

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    Booker scoffed adding a hefty eye roll at the end. "I have no doubt they'll come for me, and I'll happily wipe out the rest of their living members, I'm used to keeping one step ahead of the Grim Reaper. Been doing it my entire life, I'll learn your ghost skills and make those asshole rue the day they made me intangible." The fire of annoyance at this all making him forget his senses, arrogance has been the fall of many guys like him.

    Taking a breath he studied the girl. "But I get the feeling you won't leave me alone, so before I agree to anything I need a helluva lotta questions answered first. Please enter my office." He vanished back into his apartment.


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  8. #8
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    “You’re kidding, right? I held out better than you, and I’m still in training!”

    Oh how Kari would’ve loved to actually say that, but she knew better than to scare away the lone wolf by insulting his ego. Her dad - technically adopted, but still - was so much better at this diplomacy thing than she was, and now she had to wonder how he could keep a straight face with ghosts this clueless. Oh well; at least he was willing to hear her out, for now anyway.

    “Fair enough.” Kari said casually, keeping her more colorful thoughts to herself as she followed him into the apartment. There were others who could probably answer his questions better than she could, but it was worth a try.
    Thanks for the set, Kicks!

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    As he entered his old apartment once more he solidified himself enough to grab a drink off his minibar. It didn't occur to him that he wouldn't be able to drink. But the familiar motion of grabbing the glass and mixing the alcohols felt somewhat zen-like for the troubled mind of the newly minted spirit.

    He couldn't do the smoke trick yet, but he had managed to be able to solidify and make himself intangible well enough. Leaning against the bar he studied the girl as she entered, she looked the cop type or whatever qualifies as a cop in the afterlife. "So first question and likely the most obvious. What the fuck is all this." He motions to being dead. "And what is going on with all these robed fuckers trying to enslave and kill me?"


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  10. #10
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    Some office... but then again, this guy wasn’t exactly the bureaucratic type, so maybe Kari should’ve expected as much. She had no particular interest in alcohol right now, let alone while she was ‘on the job’ so to speak, but she had to admit his technique was good. He might make a good agent, if he could just get past the ego trips. Still, she had to chuckle a bit at his first question.

    “You know, usually there’s a big speech involved in response to your first question, but here’s the short version. This,” she copied Booker’s gesture, “is what you’d call limbo. We’re dead, but we haven’t crossed over yet, so for now we’re more or less in between. Most spirits here are the ones who died before their time, and I’m with an agency whose job is to give those spirits a chance to put their lost time to good use. But no pressure; you could walk away right now, and no harm no foul.”

    After that was out of the way, though, Kari’s tone became a bit more tense and serious, recalling Booker’s second question.

    “The Gatekeepers... I’d tell you to steer clear of those bastards, but it’s a little late for that.” Kari seethed slightly. “They make deals with the worst kinds of spirits to try to become immortal, and those deals usually involve taking ‘inferiors’ and offering them up as human sacrifices to extend their own lifespans; they take the lives, and their friends on the other side kidnap the souls. Oh, and by ‘inferiors’, I mean literally anyone outside of their little club.”

    There was a definite chill in the air as Kari spoke about the Gatekeepers, causing the condensation around the mixer to freeze somewhat, until Kari realized what was happening and calmed herself down.

    “Sorry... got a little carried away there. So, anything else?”
    Last edited by Lady Celeste; 10-08-2020 at 02:33 AM.
    Thanks for the set, Kicks!

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