The Cadre (Bern and Crew) - Post-Recon

Discussion in 'Joker’s Funhouse (Off Topic)' started by BernUnit81, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. BernUnit81 Devoted Player

    The night had settled over the city of Blackhurst like a gentle blanket wrapping around a pair of cold shoulders. The streets had been uncommonly quiet at night since Veghana had made her introduction to the people of Blackhurst, they dare not venture out into the dimly lit streets in fear of encountering one of the sorceress’ thugs or other creatures that crawled out of whole she left between the worlds. Stories of things that go bump in the night had begun to feel less like stories to the people of the city and more like warnings of things to look out for. Religious groups of varying denominations and faiths were shouting about the end of the world, doomsday preppers were in full swing and the area law enforcement authorities and military were being as proactive as they could, part this included consulting Sydney to come in and train them on what types of creatures were out there now and how to track, contain and if need kill them. Ann had been attending classes at Blackhurst’s community college, focusing on classes involving history world cultures. What she had found is that this knowledge could be useful when she is needing to communicate with those who are beyond this current plane of existence. Over the last few months, Ann had gained some better understanding of her new found abilities though powers were still emerging. Bern had been keeping to himself and staying out of the public eye, while he was known to the city, he made efforts to make sure that he was not in front of the camera. Hodges continued his work as a case worker in Edison Park, helping those managing recovery and mental health conditions, he continued to work with the rest of the crew at the coffee shop in Blackhurst on time off from that job. In addition to these activities, Hodges also took up a spot at the counter of the diner owned and run by his girlfriend Missy. Hodges found himself parking his car and approaching the door of the neon lit sign of “Strange Brew”, a feeling of confusion bubbled up in Hodges’ stomach and he thought “for it being 7pm on a Friday night, this place is seemingly dead….”. Upon entering the diner, Hodges found one one in any of the seats or at the counter, the radio was still on and music bounced off the walls of the establishment. Missy was nowhere to be found. Hodges called out “Hey Missy, it’s me, Adrian….you back there???” With no response, the bubbling feeling in his stomach turned to a slow boil. Letting himself behind the counter, Hodges wandered into the kitchen area and looked around to find that nothing seemed out of place, no signs of a struggle. Suddenly, Hodges’ attention turned to the radio, it was playing pop music and Hodges was well aware from being in the diner so much that Missy only ever had the area classic rock station on the radio.

    “Cloaking… the hell did I miss this…” Hodges focused his energies and spoke the phrase “Quid est quod non videt oculis meis, quae mihi adest, et fuit revelare”. A swirl of gold and purple light dances around his hands and shoots out washing over the dinner. As the light fades, Hodges sees the diner in a state of disarray and clear signs of a struggle. One dinner patron lay in the corner by a booth, still breathing though not well. Hodges runs over to him and lifts him up carefully. The patron spoke though the words took much of his energy out of him “That Ve...Veg...Veghana….she was… with…...her…...monsters. We tried to fight…….but they grabbed Missy…...they left through some…….magic whole…..” Hodges nodded and said he was going to help the guy and that he might feel a little discomfort. Hodges grabbed a pot of coffee that appeared to be on a burner and spoke as he poured the coffee over the man’s major wounds “Super aquas lavabit bellator est sanitas cura est illi de tua calidum vitae vis est alius dies ut pugnare”. The man showed signs of new life as light radiated from the pot and its contents and bathed him, the wounds healed and gave the discomfort Hodges spoke of, but shortly after the man rose to his feet and explained the attack on the diner and Missy. Hodges thank the man for his defending efforts and continued to a look around the diner for more clues. In his investigations, Hodges came across an order ticket with a message written in blood that said “Where it began is where it will end”. Hodges knew where the message was referring to, the castle that Veghana held up in when she was not contained in the belly of the beast. Hodges also knew that he would not be able to go this alone and with a few words a light flashed and a portal opened up showing the shops lower level where he and the others resigned to at times. Stepping through portal, Hodges looked around for the others and found Ann watching some show about some vigilante type who runs around dressed in green with a bunch of archery equipment. Ann jumped at the portal appearing nearby and barked at Hodges “Dude….seriously can’t you just drive and use a doors like a normal person!?!?!?!?” Hodges had a frantic look about it him “Ann….where are the others….we have a serious issue on our hands, Veghana has kidnapped Missy and she is going to kill her if I can’t get there and stop her….” Ann read the look about Hodges, no magic powers needed, he was in a high stressed state, which given the infrequency of this from Hodges indicated the level of importance it was to him. “Oh crap!!!” Ann met Hodges’ franticness with equaled urgency “Uh….dad is out somewhere, probably patrolling and Syd is closing upstairs. I’ll see if I can get ahold of dad….”.

    With a quick call, Bern was back in the shop’s downstairs within a moment and Ann explained what Hodges had informed her of. Bern looked at the nervousness in Hodges’ face as he nodded in agreement to Ann’s retelling. The fiery rock skinned brute thought a moment, looked at Ann and then back to Hodges and said “you better really love this woman, because if anything happens to any of us, I swear you will be in for a world of pain my friend…..” Hodges nodded and simply said “Thank you…” Sydney was the last to enter the downstairs area. Hodges looked at Syd who read the look on his face “what happened to her???” Hodges began to shed a few tears and quietly explained the matter at hand. “Syd, I need your help…..I need to get to her, I need to make sure nothing happens to her, I need to end this once and for all.” Sydney listened to Hodges explain his feelings for Missy and what she meant to him. It was never easy for Syd to hear this as part of her still harbored feelings for the sorcerer. Sydney felt that Hodge was one of the only ones who understood the world she walked in because he walked in it with her. Part of her was also somewhat jealous because he found someone out of that world who brings him a sense of normalcy that she has longed for. Sydney let out a grunt of frustration and walked away into her room. “Syd!!?!? What the hell, I need all the help I can get…’re just going to walk away???”. In anger Hodges turned to Ann and Bern and said “ok, looks like it is just the three of us. You better tighten up because this is going to be a little weird where we are going.” As he started the incantation to open the doorway, he heard the familiar sound of bullet clips being inserted into a gun and the pulling back of the slide to chamber the bullets. “So help me Hodges if you screw this one up with Missy, I will put a bullet so far up your backside you will be passing lead for a month”. Hodges smiled acknowledging what Sydney had really just said to him “thank you…” With the reciting of the spell and a flash of light, the crew found themselves on the other side of the veil. The world was dark, smelled of sulfur and was scattered with pits of various illuminated liquids. Ann looked at Hodges and with a confused tone said “This doesn’t look like where we were the last time we were here….” Hodges, looking at the horizon that held a small stone castle in the distance said “you know that part of town that no one ever goes because they know what is there if they do?” Ann nodded “yeah” to which Hodges said “this is that part of the veil”.
    • Like x 2
  2. BernUnit81 Devoted Player

    The group looked at the distance between them and the castle. The wind carried and ominus rumble that gave the air an uncomfortable weight. Hodges turned to face the rest of the group “Ok, so I am not about to give one of those inspirational speeches that gets us all powered up to face some insurmountable odds. I am just gonna say there is some scary crap down here, as we get closer to Veghana’s stronghold, her powers are going to become stronger. She will do things to try and trick you, make you give into to temptations and distract you. If it is too good to be true, believe that it is and knock it down….If we stick together we……” in that moment the ground shifted and the four were torn away from each other, walls of stone peppered with bones rose up from the ground and sealed each person individually away from the others. Laughter echoed in the distance, Veghana was enjoying the show she was putting on for her guest. A razor like nail dragged lightly across the cheek of Missy who watched through a portal, bound and gagged by an arcane like energy. “Oh, this will be fun, won’t it? Let’s see how these kiddies do on their own….” Bern looked at the walls surrounding him and shouted “Can you guys hear me???” The three responded stating they could, to which Bern replied “good, stand back....” and proceeded to draw his right hand back and hurl it towards the wall. The ground and the walls shook with a thunderous roar. The ground underneath Ann’s feet began to crumble away revealing a bit of large boney spikes and putting two and two together, she shouted for her father to stop. The group looked around at their stone and bone cells,, each one showing a singular path for each of them to follow. Hodges chimed in one last time “remember, if it is too good to be true, it is, knock it down….” and the four set out on their define course.
    Ann proceeded down the stone corridor, light was minimal, only small strands of it pushed through the cracks in the ceiling of tunnel she found herself in. With each step made the light seemed to dim more and more until she encountered a patch of pitch black darkness. In an effort to light her way, Ann summoned a bit of her necropathic energy that illuminated he hallway she traversed. As the room illuminated, Ann noticed that the was now in what looked to be a modern apartment type dwelling. Light grew in the space and suddenly a voice rang out in delight from behind her “Annie!!! There you are my dear. I tried calling you but i am guessing you didn’t have your phone on you again….” Ann turned to see a woman standing in front of her with raven dark hair, the bluest eyes one has seen and smile that felt like a warm cup of tea radiating through you on a cold day, Ann looked confused as she sized up the woman who spoke again “Annie, why are you looking at your own mother like she has three heads” and she opened her arms to her and embraced Ann who stood there in a moment of confusion laced shock. Slowly Ann’s arms wrapped around the woman’s waist and she gave a small squeeze. “Hey, sorry mom…..just been a long day is all….” The woman’s voice radiated comfort and Ann seemed to hang on every syllable. “Well you seem to have impeccable timing, your father just got in and we were going to sit down and have dinner. Ann stepped back from the embrace and slowly turned to see a man of large build walking from a room in the apartment to the kitchen, the woman asked kindly “Bernard dear, would mind grabbing the salad please….thank you dear.” Ann watched as the man with the same name as her father grabbed the salad bowl on the counter and look at her “hey kiddo, glad you made it back in time”. Ann looked to see no rock like fiery skin, no armor, mask, this was her father as a human. Ann looked around and wrestled internally with feelings of joy and confusion. Her internal dialogue echoed with thoughts of “She looks just like me, or at least I look like her....” and “I have wanted this for so long..” A smile stretched across the lips of the nercopath and was quickly interrupted by a voice she heard in the distance of her mind “Conners…..this can be your reality…..” the voice hissed in the distance of her psyche and in that moment Ann looked at the setting she found herself in and grew angered by it and herself for allowing herself to forget what Hodges had told her seemingly on moments ago. Ann looked at the woman and the man sitting at the table and heard them say “Dear, come sit with us…” The petite blonde necropath looked at her hand as it radiated a red energy and then looked back to the couple at the table “I am sorry, but this just feels too good to be true…..” and reached out towards them. Red plasmic energy shot from her hands and swirled around the two raising them out of their chairs. The images of what appeared to be her mother and father seemed to be ripped off their frames and showed two other wraith like entities. Ann’s anger grew and in a tearing motion with her hands, she watched the wraith entities split down their middle and explode in a flash of red light. The vision of the apartment faded and Ann continued her path to the castle.

    Bern’s boots made a small thud each step he took. The path in his stone corridor opened up into a large snowy field. Though the cold was seeming to increase with each step the rock skinned brute took, there was a sense of comfort in the winds that carried the flakes of snow across the field and him. A sense of slumber crept into Bern’s mind, his eyes started to weigh heavier and after a few more steps into the vast field, Bern took a knee a slow knee into the snowy pile around his feet. Not only was Bern feeling a sense of rest in his body, but a sense of peace was washing over him. Anger seemed to leave his body, a hand reached out and braced himself up in the windy field. In the distance, emerging out of the snowy winds, a woman stepped towards Bern. The woman was a dark hair, slender woman in a flowing white dress. Bernard, you have fought so any demons both physical and personal for so long. You have suffered such unfortunate and unnecessary hardships. In your world you will never know the true touch of anyone, not while you still need this….” her hand caresses his armor. “Stay here with me and I promise you that you will not need to hold the worry of harming anyone else who knows your true embrace….she slowly pulls his glove off his hand and Bern being slowed by the sense of ease and comfort in this field watched as his hand met the cool winds of the snowy field. Bern watched on as the woman’s hand glided over his his, the steam lifted into the sky but she did not seem harmed in any way by his touch. The brute’s eyes widened as he watched his hand return to that of a normal human one. The woman’s voice rang softly “you need not worry any more, lie down and rest that angry soul.”

    Bern looked at the woman, he watched as her eyes flashed a bright green and in a moment sudden clarity, Bern felt the fires ignite in him once again. A brief smirk graced his face underneath his mask and he said quietly “you know, you almost got me…..not bad..” and his exposed open hand clenched into a fist and struck the woman across the jaw hurling her back into a snow drift.
    A voice rumbed from the snow drift “you stupid brute, you will know the error of your ways!!!” The ground shook and a shadow grew into the sky of the snowy field. With a few steps towards him, Bern saw as a large white beast roarded into the snow filled sky. His hands erupted into balls of flame and he readied himself as the beast charged towards him. “Ok, you and me fur ball, let’s do this.” The two shook the grounds they stood on with each strike they made against each other. The beast lunged its massive jaws at Bern as if to swallow him but the rock skinned brute held the beasts jaws in place preventing it from clamping down on him. The two entered into tug of war, vying for dominance over the other and in a quick motion, Bern pushed and pulled the two halves of the beast’s jaw in opposite directions. The beast writhed in pain and screamed in agony. Bern walked over to the beast and recalling a previous statement made by its more attractive version said “know my true touch…..” and grabbed the beasts neck with both hands and erupted into flames refusing to let go until what remained was a charred skeleton. Securing his glove back on his hand, the vision of the field faded and the path the castle showed clear. Bern looked down at his vanquished foe and continued towards the castle and hopefully the rest of this team.
    • Like x 3
  3. BernUnit81 Devoted Player

    Sydney followed her corridor and soon found herself coming into what appeared to be an old Romanian village. Torches lit the poles along the walkways and people dressed in old world garbs traversed the cobblestone streets. Sydney looked around as she heard a young girl happily shouting “mamma, mamma!!” and she turn in surprise when that voice and the child it came from clung to her leg. “Mamma, there you are. Come, we can still make it in time for the Festivalul Datinilor de Iarna. Sydney, in a state of confusion, let the child guide her down a path where she encountered the rest of what appeared to be the village they stood in and watched as men on lavishly decorated horses trotted through the street while songs where played on large trambitas, other horns and drum like instruments. People sang in the streets to the tunes and a wave of joy coated the town. The young girl pointed to a man on a horse and shouted “Pappa!!!! There he is!!” A man on horseback waved to both the young girl and Sydney. Sydney said quietly to herself “Pappa….?” An old woman grabbed the hand of Sydney and began dancing around with her, smiling joyously and spoke “my dear daughter Sydney, you and Vasile have brought so much peace and prosperity to this village. You two have made life here greater than I have known in some time. I am proud of you my dear, because you have driven back all the evils of this world, we can now rest in peace, you are able to start to the life and family you have wanted for so long….” Sydney spun around as she listened to the words of the older woman in front of her and heard the echoes of the words “rest in peace” and recalled burying her mother after she was attacked by the Barghest. This was one of the moments that set her out on her monster hunting carrier. Looking at the parade of people and the comfort exuding from the town itself, a small tear shed from one of Sydney’s eyes. Pulling away from the old woman, Sydney produced one of her guns and aimed it at the woman. The old woman’s face contorted into an angry, hissing reptile like creature. A single shot rang through the town and the creature with a bullet in its head dropped to the ground. The vision faded and Sydney found on track to the castle holding their intended target.
    Hodges, proceeded down his corridor and found it opened to the castle door itself. Vehgana’s voice echoed from within “you are focused, aren’t you Hodges…. Only those who are such would find themselves here so quickly…...tell me, what does this sack of flesh represent to you that you would be here so quickly???” Hodges, focused but angered said “you are not worthy of that information Vehgana….now I am going to ask you to open this door or I will open it myself…..and you know how…..” Vehgana’s voice echoed again “I do know, I also know what risks you take calling on such forces, you would put not only your friends but also your loved on at such risk???? Wow, you must really hate me….” Hodges felt the surge of energy course through him “Vehgana….open the damn door….” A moment later Bern emerged from his pathway and shortly after, Ann and Syd emerged from theirs. They all looked on as Hodges had that angered thousand yard stare in his eyes. Hodges spoke out loud and as the words “
    In hac necessitate succurratis, in tenebris voco ex deliciis fuit. Manibus meis animam meam ut hosti. Petitionem peto ne facile a quopiam magna et tempore opus” left his mouth, they all watched as swirls of dark energy danced around him and he grew into a hulking dark creature.

    With a swift strike of the now large hand, the doors to the castle blew open and the dark entity that took Hodges over charged into the castle “Vehgana!!!! Where are you, you little witch!?!?!?” The other three looked at each other and shrugged following behind Hodges in his new found state. Bern looked to Syd “you ever see him do that before???” Sydney shook her head “No, I heard him talk about it a couple of time, but he only has so much time when he does it or else he risks losing control due to the high cost of his own energy and concentration and then we are all screwed because that thing takes over and Hodges is lost. “How much time???” Ann asked as they darted towards the castle’s center. Sydney replied “roughly 10 minutes…..” The three watched as the dark entity that embodied Hodges laid waste to the castle, plowing through walls like they were kids building blocks. The group stood in a large whole in the wall and found Vehgana sitting in the throne room of the castle with a magically bound Missy close by. “Let her go!!!” the beastly Hodges ordered. Vehgana laughed “well my dear….by my calculations we have about 7 minutes before you let us all go, if you follow me…..”

    Hodges grunted and reached out to grabbed Vehgana but was stopped in his tracks by a magical force emanating from Vehgana’s outreached hand. “Foolish excuse for a sorcerer, you think you can just bring a frontal attack at my in my own house where my powers are at their peak??” Hodges worked to fight through the restraining force of Vehgana’s attack but it proved to be too much for him. As Vehgana held Hodges in place she slinked over to explain what would happen if Hodges did not relinquish the hold of the dark rapture entity he currently clung to, she explain the entity taking over and unleashing its wrath across this and other worlds, she explained this as she dragged her nail across the cheek of the bound Missy. A villainous smile began to form on her lips but was interrupted by a fireball striking her in the face and the sound of a thunderous approach “you know lady….you talk to much, anyone ever told you that???” Veghana turned her attention to the charging Bern who had leapt towards her and readied and blazing fist to strike down on her. Vehgana dodged the thunderous blow and waved a hand releasing a pack of hellish hounds to dispose of the the approaching Ann and Sydney. The hunteress produced her gun and knife, the two dogs who readied their attack to her stopped and cocked their heads in confusion as if to say “where do you keep those??” Sydney and the hell hounds dodged each others attacks, darting around the room with each other. Ann found herself staring down the larger of the dogs. Red necroplasmic energy swirled around the young girl and she hurled energy blasts in their direction. The dogs though stunned, quickly shook it off and charged towards Ann. Using her powers in a defensive manner, he created barriers the dogs slowly broke through and hurled more and more of her energy blasts, trying to wear them down. Bern and Vehgana traded blows with each other as she simultaneously held Hodges and the Rapture entity he connected with in place.
    Vehgana grew more and more irritated by the groups assault on her person and stronghold and in a fit of rage from the otherwise calm and collected evil sorceress, she threw her hands out and shouted “ENOUGH OF THIS!!!!” Bern, and Hodges both fell to the ground as a wave of green arcane magic struck them like a punch in the gut and the sorceress held her hands out to them emanating the same green energy to keep them down. “You stupid brute’s, you think I have not know how to dispose of things like you? I have face beasts mightier than this, I have struck down entities far more imposing than you, a poor man’s excuse for a sorcerer and this sad excuse for pet rock….you have no idea wh……”. In that moment a single shot rang out through the broken hall and Vehgana’s forehead gushed with blood as a single bullet passed through it. The sorceresses body dropped the ground and the energy that held the two men in place faded, as did the energy that bound Missy. Ann ran to check on Missy while Sydney ran to check on Hodges. Sydney grabbed Hodges by the head and stated to him that he could let go, pleading with him to not give in to what he was feeling. “Hodges, it’s over, you can let go of it, Missy is ok, she needs you right now more than every… need to tell it go away…..c’mon man….” Ann brought Missy over to Hodges, the dark entities eyes locked with hers. A smile graced both their faces and slowly the darkness left Hodges and his normal form returned. Weakened significantly, Hodges rose to his feet and looked at the group “thank you, all of you….” The group looked at each other, a sense of connectedness was felt more so at this moment than in other times they have fought by each other. Missy looked at the four group members and stated that breakfast was on her, but that they ALL had A LOT of explaining to do.

    ~To Be Continued~
    • Like x 3
  4. AlienNomad Well-Known Player

    Nice read! I like how the characters were split up and although illusory, faced their own personal trials. Nice to shed light on the personal lives of these characters. 2 enthusiastic thumbs up!!
    • Like x 1
  5. BernUnit81 Devoted Player

    Thank you friend. Much appreciated. Shedding light on inner aspects of the characters and lives before was what i was going for. I know this was a longer read but there was so much I wanted to get to in this but didn't want to make it a mile long or break it up into parts. Looking forward to your read sir.
    • Like x 1
  6. aurorabenz07 Loyal Player

    Bravo Bern Bravo. Another great addition. I'm with Nomad, the story was great and the way you fleshed out each of your characters was well done. Though there was some grammar issues, it was understandable and did not hurt the overall read. I tip my hat to you good sir. Also, I don't know why but while I was reading, I kept playing in my head the classical piece used in Sleeping Beauty, "Battle with the Forces of Evil"
    • Like x 1
  7. Arwen Skywalker Loyal Player

    good job bern
    • Like x 1
  8. BernUnit81 Devoted Player

    Thank you very much Ms. Benz. Very much appreciated. Like yourself, I tend to draw a lot of inspiration from music I listen to. It might be a song lyric or title that puts a scene or image in my head and then I work off of that. I get the grammar issues. The keyboard I type on is a little jenky at times and I don't always catch them. Anywho, thanks so much for the read, likes and comments. glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to more reads from you as well.
  9. BernUnit81 Devoted Player


    Thank you very much. I take this as such because I am aware you are not one to comment on these types of things a lot, so I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
  10. BernUnit81 Devoted Player

    Bump because