“Mr. Fuller?” The tall man looked up at him through a curtain of black greasy bangs and his face was equal parts good-natured annoyance and cool certainty. Detective Cutter liked the annoyance, annoyed men could become angry and angry men made mistakes, but the certainty was going to make this exchange difficult. A man who was certain was a man who would play the game to win and Detective Cutter was just as certain that this man was guilty. “Do you know why you’re here?” Cutter asked as he put the box down between them, looming over Fuller like some dark sentry. He could not, of course, have done this if Fuller was standing. If Fuller had been any further into six feet he would have been playing basketball somewhere instead of writing crime novels. Cutter was all of five feet and only because of his red, Irish curls. He stood over Fuller now though, not glowering but not smiling, from a position of power that Fuller’s certain and almost bright smile did not seem to understand. The game was over in the ninth inning, caught the last pitch before it could sail over the wall, and now it was all over but the crying. Fuller looked at him like a professor looks at a bright pupil who's just broken the cardinal rule and asked a very stupid question, “Don’t you know?” he asked in that deep cultured voice that made Cutter want to start hitting him, “I assumed you must after two officers came to my office to collect me.” Cutter snorted, “Collect you? Mr. Fuller, you were arrested, Mirandized, and placed in an interrogation room. I’d say that’s about as far from “collected” as it gets.” Fuller sighed, “Come now Officer Cutter, we both know that if you could charge me for anything we wouldn’t be having this little chat now would we?” Cutter grabbed the chair next to him and spun it so he could lean against the back of it as he sat. It was a distinctly juvenile posture but he accepted it as he settled in for a long match. He was tired, bone-weary, from chasing this guys shadow for the last three weeks and he’d be damned if he’d let him slip away now. Marcus Fuller was going to answer for these murders if they had to sit here all week and Cutter was settling in for the long run. “My captain likes you for this, hell I like you for this, and we have solid evidence that if you didn’t pull the trigger yourself then you know who did.” Fuller rolled his eyes, “And why would I want to commit murder? I’m a very successful writer with two Sunday Times Noir Award. I was on two Best Seller lists just last week and expect to be again three months from now when my new book hits shelves. I live very comfortably and could easily retire from writing and maintain that comfort for the rest of my life if I choose. Why would I jeopardize that by killing prostitutes and thugs?” “Let's start with that “Prostitute” shall we?” He said as he reached into the box and took out a thick manila folder. He flipped it open onto two pictures of a pretty brunet in her early forties. The top photo showed her inviting guests into a newly opened Royal Casino while the bottom was her being booked a few years before for solicitation. Her expression was the same in both photos; devil may care with a side order or iron poise. “Marjory Dire, proprietor of Dire Need, who was found murdered in her suite at the Seawind Resort.” He flipped the page and behind it were several shots of a glassy-eyed Marjory who was no longer possessed of poise or much of anything. She lay naked across a hotel bed with a long, angry cut from one ear to the other barely visible through the thick collar of blood clotting around the wound. “Hotel staff received a noise complaint around eleven and hotel security found her with her throat cut at eleven-thirty.” He had hoped the grizzly scene would shock Fuller. He had hoped for revulsion, hoped Fuller would turn green, be sick in the wastebasket, or even that he would appear excited by the photos and tip his hand in front of the detective. Instead, he studied them for a moment and then looked back at Cutter expectantly. “Very graphic Officer Cutter but what does this have to do with me?” Detective Cutter reached into the box as he spoke, “The murder scene of Marjory Dire is nearly the same as the killing of Catherine Hoff in your book Hunter City.” He removed a dog eared paperback from the box and Fuller didn’t seem at all surprised to see it. “If you’ll indulge me Mr. Fuller?” and before he could protest Cutter had opened the book to the paragraph in question. “Hold her Jack, I’m about to send Regis a message.” As the switchblade came to life, Cat began to struggle as she hung between Jack and Anthony. Her tears made black pools of her mascara and when Hunter lifted her chin to look her in the eye she had long tracts down either side of her face. He waggled the blade in front of her face and she cringed away as the steel glinted. “Please Glenn, please don’t do this! We can make a deal, I’ll work for you instead of Regis, but please don’t hurt me, Glenn.” And she dissolved into shuddering sobs again. She stopped when Hunter pressed the edge against her throat, “It’s nothing personal Cat; it’s just business.” She sighed like a split seem as the knife parted her flesh and her blood poured across the swell of her modest breasts. When Hunters Gentlemen released her, she fell back onto the bed with a boneless grace and Hunter only spared her a final glance before he strode into the hall and left her alone in the makeshift abattoir. Fuller indulged him as he read and when Marcus finished he only sat expectantly. “What do you make of that Mr. Fuller?” he finally asked when it seemed Fuller would not break the silence. Fuller shrugged, “Seems a fan of my work decided to reenact some of his favorite scenes. As I told you the first time you came snooping around my office I was at a charity event that night and a dozen people will corroborate that I was present until well past midnight. So unless I’m under arrest for writing a convincing crime drama…” “Are you familiar with the murder of Gerald and Jamal Smith, Mr. Fuller?" Cutter cut him off mid-sentence. Men like Fuller hated to be cut off and he felt certain the act would unnerve him. It didn’t. “I’m afraid I’m not,” Fuller said, crossing his arms and appraising Detective Cutter with light disapproval. “They were hired muscle for Selectmen Cane; a local crime boss in the area. All three of them also bear a striking resemblance to Boyl, Barker, and Regis Angel from Hunter Street.” Fuller rolled his eyes and sighed deeply in the back of his throat, “Do tell.” “Both Gerald and Jamal were visiting the tavern bellow Canes office when their drinks were spiked with Rohypnol. Both were large men Mr. Fuller and both had a lot of experience with guns; as did Boyl and Barker. Boyl and Barker, as you’ll recall, were drugged by Glenn Hunter before he assailed the home of Regis Angel and both sets were shot on the stairs as they tried to return to their boss. Their nerves dulled. they were easy prey for both Glenn Hunter and our current mystery killer. Then, of course, there’s the nature of Selectman Cane's death.” “Let me guess,” said Fuller, “drowned in the bath?” He flipped through the file and settled it back onto the table, “Close, drowned in the sink.” The photos were of a man in his late fifties lying face up in a utility sink. His shoulders had been forced down into the wide basin and his face was a spider web of cuts and scratches where the faucet had battered him. One of his eyes bulged grotesquely from his face as his other stared glassily at the photographer. Fuller looked at this with no more interest than he had the others and when he looked up his eyes questioned Cutter on what he hoped to accomplish. “He didn’t catch Selectman Cane in the bath you see and he was forced to improvise by drowning him in a utility sink. Cane fought but forensics says his attacker finally broke his back and forced him down into the utility sink so he could properly drown him.” “That’s not from one of my books Officer Cutter.” “No, but Hunter did drown Regis Angel in a bathtub after killing his bodyguards in a stairwell. I’ve got the passage somewhere here.” He said as he removed a copy of Hunter Street from the box as well. He turned to back and saw Fuller wince as he bent the page back to read the highlighted paragraph. “That’s more of a reaction than he had to the entire photo album.” Cutter thought as his eyes found the spot. Hunter watched as Wagner’s eyes went wide as he pushed through the bathroom door. Wagner reached for the gun under his jacket but the little silenced pistol in Hunter’s hand woofed softly and he felt the angry burn as the acoustics of the bathroom turn Rise of the Valkyries into a cover for the loud wet slap of a body hitting the floor. He entered the small door between the bathroom and the washroom unnoticed and as he pushed the large form of Regis Angel under the water he was rewarded with total surprise. The old man was still quite strong and had it not been for the surprise of the attack and the slippery bathtub in which he had been lounging Hunter thought he’d have been in for a real fight. As he drowned him he bent over him so he could watch the life leave his eyes. “If you watch a powerful man draw his last breath some of his spirit will be transferred to you boy.” His grandfather had told him this a thousand times if he’d told him once but as the struggling stopped and great shadow of Regis Angel left the world forever Hunter felt little save a deep sense of satisfaction and a staggering sense of loss. “You’re reaching detective.” Fuller scoffed but Cutter noticed the change in title and it seemed a victory if a small one. “He was drowned on his back Mr. Fuller, which leads us to believe his attacker wanted to watch him die.” “Which supports the theory of a copy cat!” Fuller barked, pushing up from his comfortable pose to glower at Cutter. “Just because you beat this dead horse over and over again Detective does not mean it’s going to give you anything but…” “Your third book was a bit of a disappointment wouldn’t you say, Mr. Fuller?” That shut him up. He stopped midsentence and goggled at Cutter as if he’d just grown an extra head. If Fuller wanted to play the copy cat game then Fuller was ready to drop his final piece of damning evidence. He was more than happy to let Fuller back himself fully into this corner first though. Fuller blew out a long breath, “I don’t see what relevance that has at all in this case.” “A dozen rewrites, not well received by the fans, and the reception to the ending was so bad you had to write a fourth book and turn the Hunter trilogy into a Hunter quartet. That had to sting a little wouldn’t you say?” “That was a decision I made on my own.” He snapped but Cutter didn’t care. He had this guy and he knew it. The first two pieces were only the appetizers and after he served up the main course he’d be more than happy to give this guy his just desserts. “Well, the most recent murder was very reminiscent of another scene from your book…” “Oh please, do tell! Someone kill a big stupid bruiser on the street with a machine gun? Poison a congressman? Slit a whore up the…” Cutter threw down an open folder and watched the pompous prick deflate like an old balloon, “We had to request the manuscript from his secretary when we found out you had written a fourth novel. She was so distraught that she sent it over immediately. This, Mr. Fuller, is the reason you’re here.” Fuller looked far more unsettled by these photos than anything else that day, “This can't be.” He finally breathed, “I just talked to Dan last week, he was…he was…” “Danforth Wild was murdered in his apartment last week; three days after you threatened him over social media for “stealing the premise of Hunter State for his noir series”. You said you would make his regret every word published, didn’t you? I guess maybe he regrets it now doesn’t he.” Fuller sat looking at the page for several seconds before closing his eyes and sighing, “He was eviscerated just like the congressman in Hunter’s Stand. My agent was the only one who had a copy of the manuscript so, of course, you think…” He closed the folder and glared up at Cutter, “Hook me to a lie detector Detective. Call my assistant and ask her where I was when Dan was killed. I have no receipts for travel, I have taken no leave from work, and you will find that there is no way I could have done these things. Now unless you’re prepared to hold me under suspicion I demand you release me.” Cutter stared at him for nearly a minute before shaking his head with a deep sigh. He had hoped he could grill the answers out of Fuller but the guy was too slick for that. His captain was going to rake him over the coals for this one and Cutter could already hear the sound of pens signing his “leave of absence” slip. “You're free to go.” He said, waving his hand at the door, and Fuller left with a little slam as the door shut behind him. Three weeks of suspension from duty. Cutter drained the whiskey from his glass and slid it back towards Mike the barman. He had drunk his first drink at the Fighting Cock and he thought it would probably be the place where he took his last too. You shake enough trees like he had and you were bound to have something fall on you eventually. Guys like Fuller though made him ache for a drink. The door jingled and Cutter didn’t even look up until someone plopped down next to him. “They thought I might find you here,” said a familiar, cultured voice, “I need your help.” Cutter blew a chuckle into his shot before knocking it back, “You dance around justice, get me suspended for three weeks, and expect me to…” He flinched a little when he looked up at him. Fuller had a long jagged cut across his face and his left eye looked like a few more punches would have broken the socket. He caught Mike’s eye and the barman seemed to be trying to decide whether to call the police or let Cutter handle this. In the end, he offered him a rag from behind the bar and slouched off out of earshot. Fuller's eyes darted towards the door like a trapped animal as he spoke, “I need you to protect me. The man whose been murdering these people has been staying with me for several months now. He’s also responsible for the fourth Hunter book and until tonight I thought his killings were something benign; a way to clean up the streets if you will. When I confronted him about Dan though he went crazy and tried to kill me in my apartment.” “Slow down,” said Cutter as he took a pad of paper out of his pocket, “let me get some information first.” He wobbled a little on his stool as the alcohol settled over him like a cloud. The shots were beginning to catch up with him but he wanted to be sure he got everything down verbatim. If he could bring this information to his captain then they’d have to rescind his suspension. “Let's start with a name, who tried to kill you?” Fuller took a deep breath before saying the last name that Cutter would have ever expected, “Glenn Hunter.”
Through the jungle by the River Styx I've journeyed long and far this day Lurking shadows in the parapets Will never make me turn away Darkened city veiled in crimson mist Entombed in time without decay Never thought it would be like this It feels like I'm living inside a dream But my mind tells me I'm Lost in Necropolis "Wake up." Alois sat up dazed and mumbling unintelligibly upon receiving a gentle kick from Chandragupta. "Bonjour", he yawned somewhat flippantly. "No more drinking. Henceforth." "Well--" "No more, until we're out of this. This is a raid. We need you at the top of your game. You've raided before, yes?" "I was among the boarding party on the Leviathan." "This is worse. Eyes up, Guardian", Chandragupta left him with a friendly pat on the shoulder. "Hey, Windsor... you... well, you spend a lot of time here. Does the impending task at hand carry as much weight for you as it does for me?" "Clarify?" "The original raid on the Four Winds Bar... that was kind of a big deal, no? In a way I think it's directly responsible for the general status quo of the last four years or so. Even the fucking Red War didn't impact the Lanterns quite as much, y'know? Like, obviously it... Well, maybe it's just me. You were already running raids with the Lanterns when I met you." "No, I think I agree, not fully, but that raid took us from a small team with lots of little acquaintances to a proper social circle of brothers in arms... erm, 'brothers' might be a bad term considering all the rampant sex. Anyway, you've been around for the majority of the time our fireteam has existed, and even before you were sworn in officially, you were there for Oryx, and you were there for the Trials of Desdinova." "Hell, I was more there for Oryx than you were." "Just as well. You're the one he came all this way to see." "How's it feel to have landed the girl who the Taken King himself personally came all the way here just to kill?" she said, sauntering over and bringing her arms lazily together around his neck, resting them on his shoulders. "Well, when you put it that way, it's liable to go to one's head." "You really suck at flirting." "Eh, yeah..." Eldris laughed and resumed working on her loadout. Windsor watched her as he absentmindedly cleaned his sword, his focus much more on her than on actually preparing his weapons. "Do you actually need to maintain anything or can you just, like, will your weapons into perfect working order? Being a priest of this place and all", she asked. "Well, I'm still very new to this. I've been a Paladin of Four Winds for almost no time at all, and I am alive in the physical world, at least as alive as any other given Risen. I don't have thousands of years of experience like Chandy; I can travel to the Bar and between Aspects, but it's a lot more limited than the way he can. For all intents and purposes, I'm just another Guardian, but with... perks, that happen to require a lot more time to master than I have so far had." "You pulled all of us into the Four Winds Bar, though." "Probably helps we were not only being summoned specifically, but also have, for at least most of us, been here before, and as such knew what to expect." "Well, I'm still impressed. It's certainly something I can't do." "You could, potentially." "Well... I'm not so sure it's my bag. If I'm being honest, I don't know how to feel about this place. It's certainly fascinating, but... also gives me a feeling I can't quite put my finger on. Like I don't belong here. I don't want to think about what happens after my final death, but it scares me to think I could end up in a situation like this, going on a fuckin' raid because otherwise my consciousness gets turned into an animalistic parasite, and if I fuck up I just end up suffering anyway." "Well, I have my biases, for sure. I don't want to be the pushy sort that tries to convert their girlfriend, but I know that if I were to speak of it, that notion would hang in the air." "Well, don't feel like you can't talk about it. Just be understanding, is all I ask." "Hey, you two." Windsor and Eldris turned to face Chandragupta. "We're briefing. Meet at the docks." "Hello, my name is Chandragupta, welcome to briefing, sit on the boat! We've gathered here today to appease a pair of feral lich kings in order to stop them from wreaking devastation upon the Aspect of Mykonos. I have a sinking feeling this isn't going to go completely according to plan, seeing as the grave goods are already damaged, so prepare yourselves for a wild ride. The golden rules are to stick together to the best of our ability--we almost absolutely WILL be separated at some point, so keep your ghost lines open. Speaking of", he said, turning to Illyria and Freya. "Artemisia returned to me last night", Illyria confirmed, her ghost fluttering out as confirmation. "I... I don't know how to reach Fenriz..." "Well, Freya, lemme teach you. OK, so pull out your ghost." "What?" "Just pull out your ghost." "I haven't had Fenriz since--" "Just... pull him out." Freya, frustrated, did as bade, and nothing happened. "I told you--" "Fenriz isn't any more dead than you are, and as your ghost he is eternally bound to you. Pull out your ghost... and keep an open mind. Things are not the same in here as they are out there." Freya made an honest attempt to call forth her ghost, with faith, if not conviction, that it would work. Fenriz faded into being, as if through a garbled, faulty transmat. "AAAHH!!! Auh... oh... Freya! You're alive! I'm alive! Wait... what?" "Neither of you are technically alive, this is the Four Winds Bar, it's raid time, she can fill you in on what you don't pick up. And, uh, Kessel... how're you now? Got your ghost?" "N--no...." Kessel mumbled, his already-nervous expression becoming further stressed. "What's his or her name?" "I-Iggy..." "All right, shouldn't take all that long provided he's OK wherever he is. He'll likely bind back to you once we're onboard." "You couldn't do that for me?" Freya asked. "No, because you're capable of doing it yourself. I'm honestly not sure Kessel should really be a part of this..." "Let me. Please. I can fight. I haven't... been a Guardian in so long... please..." "Well, if you insist, I won't stop you. And Freya, your armor? A sweater and cargo pants aren't exactly gonna protect you. Just picture... whatever you want to wear, in your mind's eye, and have Fenriz put it on you. Go ahead. Try." Freya, her confidence bolstered by Fenriz's presence, imagined a high-quality set of Vanguard-certifiable Hunter armor, the plating shaded a deep crimson, the leathers a rich brown, light but thick, and a dark mauve cloak, long, flowing and of sumptuous silks. What ended up materializing on her was a decent-quality, Crucible-authorizable version of what she envisioned, her cloak a cheaper version of its intended form, pulled over one shoulder and hanging loosely on one side, tight against her modest pauldrons on the other. "With the memory of Light, that should do you and your little service revolver fine. Man, what a small gun for a handcannon, though. When was it built, 1885?" "Hey, leave me alone, all right? It'll do for now." "Yeah, just couldn't help taking the piss. Well, time to head off", Chandragupta declared, raising the anchor and speeding them off towards the Necropolis. They sailed in silence, due in part to a sense of solemnity and dread, and in equal measure to a failure to sleep well, and for those that did sleep well, hangovers. "Oh." "Wh--oh." Freya followed the Harappan wizard's gaze up the side of the ship. "How're we already...?" Aktaf trailed off. Chandragupta glanced back at shore. "We're ensnared. No chance of leaving til we deal with this." "How can you tell?" "Can't see Mykonos anymore." "Ahhhh.... huhhhh.... swell." "All right, look for the anchor. We'll climb the chain." "Shouldn't it just be at the prow?" Eldris pointed out. "Why yes! And let's hope it is", Chandragupta confirmed, steering the boat to the front of the ship. A great chain extended from the Aegean to the deck of the Necropolis; ordinarily it would be an awkward climb, but the chain was so battered and rotten as to provide handholds in the shape of its decay. One by one the Guardians boarded the chain and set off upwards into the abyss. "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here", Freya said as she watched her comrades climb the chain. "What's that, love? Been reading Dante?" "What?" "Abandon all hope? The line from the Inferno?" "Is that where that comes from?" "Oui. And don't be so gloomy, we've only just begun", Alois said as he hopped on the chain. "We've only just begun and we're already trapped on the open sea with an eldritch ship full of vampires that bypass Guardian anti-thanatics!" "Cheery smiles! Think of all the wondrous discoveries to be made! We will surely learn a lot!" Freya rolled her eyes, directly into Illyria's stare. The Titan was holding back laughter as she began to climb the chain. "Come on though, Freya. What, getting cold feet now that it's too late to turn back?" "No, I... ah, fuck it, come on, let's just climb." One by one the fireteam touched down on the deck of the Necropolis. "All right. We want to reach the captains' apartments, which is meant to be analagous to the royal crypt when the Necropolis is in this form. And it looks like we can enter the main hub of the ship through a side door somewhere along the verandah. Assuming I know what I'm talking about, we can get there by melting down this gate..." Chandragupta strode over to the thin metal gate, which had been sloppily painted over so much it was more paint now than whatever it started life as. He heated it until it melted, and waved for the party to follow him along the verandah. A gentle wind pushed at his robes as he strode confidently to a door nearer the center of the ship. Passing through, they emerged in the main lobby, empty and dimly-lit, unstaffed bars on two of the four visible floors. Above the highest level was a massive, five-story open pit host to four elevators. "We wanna get up there. I don't expect it to be as easy as boarding an elevator. Since we're inevitably going to get split up anyway, I think we should take our chance to make it happen on our terms, and with a goal. Aktaf, Liesel, Alois and Illyria, take the casino route; it leads to the shops, and we need something to replace the finery. Rowain, Ariadne, Freya--you head down towards the theatre. Theatres on these ships often have some kind of... almost maze systems behind and adjacent to them. Plus, backstage probably holds something worth checking out." "What do you mean?" Rowain asked. "Could be weapons, could be treasure to replace the finery." "I thought we were replacing the finery", Liesel commented. "There was a lot of finery. Boris, Mila, take Kessel and investigate the suites. They can be a dangerous place to get lost, but can also often hold passages and backdoors that lead to restricted and hard-to-access areas of the upper decks. Could provide a direct route to the burial chamber." "Should Kessel really be a part of something involving winding tunnels that actively want to confuse and trap people? Isn't that a little too close to the 103-B incident for a guy who seems to be suffering PTSD from it?" Aktaf pointed out. "From what I've read of that incident... uhhh maybe. Kessel, you can switch with Aktaf if you'd prefer." "I'll be OK." "Uhh well, whatever suits you, friend. Windsor, Eldris, you're coming with me to scout for safe rooms. Which brings me to my next point. I assume, between the 13 of us, someone has transmat beacons?" A smattering of murmured agreements commenced. "Great. We're gonna plant those in the safe rooms. Windsor and I can cast a single-use spell that functions largely the same way, if necessary, but you'd have to be with us to travel back, so the transmat is entirely more effective in every single way. Now, we may be traversing, ostensibly, a cruise ship, and it's entirely likely it'll keep this base form for the duration of our stay, but not only can we not guarantee it won't take another shape, we also have to account for getting tossed into different pocket dimensions while we're here. Good news is they will in fact be localized within the bounds of the Necropolis. Any questions?" "We gonna have a rendevouz point?" Liesel asked. "That's what me, Windy and El are looking for. Obviously plant a beacon yourselves if any of you find a safe room first, but mainly concentrate on finding access to restricted zones and offering replacements." "If we're taking treasure replacements from inside the Necropolis, isn't that like... gifting them their own shit?" Mila pointed out. "Many kings are buried here." "So we should wake up more of them?" "...well, there's no guarantee that would happen, but it is a risk..." "What about... would any of the, ah, residents, perhaps be inclined to work against Basileos Megán and Archaeos Therón?" Rowain inquired. "Not sure. I don't know that I'd risk it. I can ask Desdinova from a safe room. Let's get started, and we'll adapt accordingly." The party split into their respective teams. The casino team strolled into their area of operations and soon disappeared into the sprawl of untended gambling stations, glitzy, gaudy lights running on around half, the rest derelict and dark. The corridors team, striking a tight formation, soon vanished around the bend. The safe room and theatre teams walked side-by-side before reaching the fork between the theatre halls and a stairwell. "Keep alert for danger. There's no telling when they'll start to mess with us, but we're on the undead's home base here. Let everyone know if you notice anything. I know it's obvious, but still." "You're talking to a Praxic Imperator, boss", Ariadne said. "I've no doubt for your combat ability and convictions. You've never been to Four Winds before, though." "I've been in Vex constructs on Nessus that had this same flavour of chaos architecture." "Vex are more predictable than this by far." "Well... then...." "Keep your Light safe, Guardians", Chandragupta said before peeling off up the stairs. With a nod of cameraderie to the theatre group, Eldris and Windsor followed suit. "Aktaf. Look at this." The Warlock followed Illyria's voice to a strange table nearby yet another unmanned bar. It seemed to be built directly into the floor; whatever the smooth material it was made from was, it blended seemlessly with the black ceramic tiles of the casino. A control panel of some sort was on the front, with no clear indication of how to use it. "Ca1000, can you tell me anything about this?" "Lemme see", the ghost said, scanning the item. "All I'm getting is, 'map'. Nothing further." "Oh... well, at least we... might? know what it is..." "Artemisia, call Amri", Illyria bade her ghost. Chandragupta answered shortly. "Hello?" "We found a strange device in the casino. Aktaf's ghost scanned it. It's a map, but we don't know how to activate it." "Oh, hm... that's one to file away for later, I guess. Have you tried to do anything with it yet?" "No." "Uhh, try... this would be a lot easier if I could see it. Maybe. All right, well, just file that away for later and carry on for now. Keep an eye out for safe rooms, keep an eye out for danger. Chandragupta out." "You see anything different yet?" Boris asked Mila. "No, floor's the same as the last one." "How long have we been just walking down massive corridors of hotel rooms?" "We've covered two floors in somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes, and there are around nine or ten floors if I'm not mistaken. Seems they've stuck us with easy, monotonous grunt duty on this one." "So it does. How're you, Kessel?" "I'm all right." "Smooth sailing. Always nice in this fucked-up place. I'm getting some real House of the Past vibes here. Like a fuckin' demon spirit is gonna come out any second and start fucking things up." "Don't give 'em that power, Boris. Easy thoughts for our easy mission. What... what's that?" Boris followed his girlfriend's gaze down the corridor which extended nearly the entire length of the ship. A faint twinkle of movement shimmered in the distance. The two of them both looked down the barrels of their sniper rifles. The figure that approached them wore the skull of an auroch upon its head, and draped itself otherwise in layered black robes adorned with strange charms. It strode with a sort of relaxed determination down the hall at them. "Oh, my, do I not want to find out. Call Chandy." "You heard him, Dex. Establish a ghostlink with Amri." "I can't." "Why not?" "You don't feel that in the air?" "What are you talking about?" "Something's... wrong. Like something's polluted my Light." "Scooby, you affected by this?" Boris asked his ghost. "Yeah... I feel really weak and drowsy. A little out of it. Like I'm... poisoned or something." "Shit. Kessel, how's Iggy?" Silence. Boris glanced around. "Fucking dammit."
Casino Royale is gold standard for what fight scenes should be like in modern action movies
I was discussing in another thread how I don't really like John Wick because it was like watching director play video game with cheat codes, there was never any sense of danger when it became clear how unstoppable John Wick is. That got me thinking what movies got it right and Casino Royale is my choice. Especially Bathroom Fight and Stairwell fight They are both just perfect fight scenes in my opinion. Down to earth gritty, dangerous, exhausting, visceral. It actually feels like people are really fighting for their lifes. Bond feels like badass who can kill man with bare hands but there is still this sense that he might not make it in the end, which is unfortunately not that usual in Bond franchise.
Casino Royale is gold standard for what fight scenes should be like in modern action movies.
I was thinking how I don't really like most of modern action movies because watching them often feels like watching director play video game with cheat codes, there is never any sense of danger. That got me thinking what movies got it right and Casino Royale is my choice. Especially Bathroom Fight and Stairwell fight They are both just perfect fight scenes in my opinion. Down to earth gritty, dangerous, exhausting, visceral. It actually feels like people are really fighting for their lifes. Bond feels like badass who can kill man with bare hands but there is still this sense that he might not make it in the end, which is unfortunately not that usual in Bond franchise (in movies, that is. When I read Fleming's books I get that feeling like Bond might actually not make it, even though I of course know that he will. Just goes to show how good writer Fleming was).
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