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[CENTER][IMG]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b16/Blayze54/barton.jpg[/IMG]
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[center][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=White][B][U][SIZE=3]Barton[/SIZE][/U][/B]

[I]This tale of bloody vengeance will contain adult themes. Violence, foul language, sex and drugs will be rife here, so beware - this is not a story for the faint of heart...[/I]

The cold wind howled through the empty streets of London, the pale glow of the gas lamps creating puddles of light on the cobbles. Fog crept between houses and buildings, snaking it's way into every corner of the city. The streets were deserted, all save for one man.

Mr Thomas F. Jackson stumbled through the fog, trying in a desperate drunken haze to find the front door of his house. His ragged top hat perched awkwardly on his head, and his long blue jacket was patched with squares of fabric which did not match the original cloth. He was just one example of the kind of squalid filth that populated London, the once-great capital of Her Majesty's Empire.

All of a sudden, there was the sound of footsteps in the fog behind him. His senses awoke, as if he had snapped out of a long trance, and he began to run. There was no telling what kind of degenerate was persuing him, and he didn't much wish to find out. He ran, his head twisted to allow himself to look behind, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of the predator that was stalking him, when his body slammed into something, and fell in a crumpled heap to the floor.

Thomas F. Jackson looked up at the object he had hit, and saw nothing but a man. A man, dressed in the remnants of fine clothes, now frayed and worn around the edges, faded from the years. His face was obscured by shadow, and no hat sat atop his crown. He stood over Thomas Jackson, and the look upon his face caused the man on the floor to whimper in absolute terror.

[B]"Please..."[/B] he spluttered through a barrage of tears which he could not stop, [B]"Please...don't hurt me..."

"It's too late for that, friend,"[/B] came the voice, hoarse and as chilling as the man who owned it,[B] "It was too late for that a long time ago."

"I...I have a family...three children...you wouldn't hurt a family man..."

"I had a family once,"[/B] said the man, [B]"But you, and people like you, took them away from me. Now it is time for me to take my vengeance."

"Please, no...I'll give you money...take anything just don't hurt me!"

"No choice, mate,"[/B] the man said, his voice dripping with sarcasm and irony, and he crouched down over the shuddering form of Thomas Jackson, revealing his face to him. Pale skin was framed by thick hair, as black as the very depths of Hell, and his crystal-blue eyes showed a hunger, a desire for swift, bloody vengeance. The face of the Devil looked down on Jackson this evening.

He held a cut-throat razor in his hand, and he leaned in to whisper in Thomas Jackson's ear:

[B]"Remember me?"
[/B]
Jackson's memory flashed back to him, through the haze of alcohol and fear that had previously clouded his mind, and saw that face, only much younger, healthier, but the recalled memory was cut short by the cold steel of the razor blade slicing through his neck. The final thing he felt through the rush of blood pouring down his body was the dull thump as something small but relatively heavy was dropped onto his chest. Then his vision faded, and his life drained out of him.

---

London has always been the capital of Her Majesty's glorious and Holy Empire, and it was once a proud and beautiful city. But through years of neglect as the Empire expanded across the globe, it has become something very different altogether. It has become Hell on Earth.

Between the taverns and the inns, the brothels and the opium dens, there was once law and order, tranquility. But even that has been stripped away by the power of corrupt government officials, taking bribes and surrendering to extortion and blackmail. London has become a city ruled by the criminal classes.

However, there were a few who believed in the word of the law, who wished to uphold decency and honour in the city, who wished to end the years of decadence that had brought London to its knees. One such man was Alexander Barton, a happily married man who enjoyed the priviledges of an upper-class home in Cavendish Square. He wished to see a new and fresh start for London, free of all the horror and pestilence that ruled the labyrinthine streets. He and a number of others began work upon a plan which was to be sent to Queen Victoria herself, laying out suggestions to improve the quality of life in the city, including gathering money from all the wealthy individuals of any major standing in London, and spreading the money out to the poorer classes of people, to try and ensure that no-one would ever have to live in such appalling conditions again.

But these plans came to the attention of a corrupt official by the name of Lord Edward Danvers, and he ordered the arrest of Alexander Barton and all his "co-conspirators." There was a lengthy court case, in which Barton and a number of his colleagues were sentenced to twenty years imprisonment for "acting against the will of Her Majesty the Queen of England."

It is now fifteen years later, and after escaping his imprisonment, Alexander Barton has set up residence in Soho, and the time has come for his retribution against those who wronged him to be set into motion. Thomas F. Jackson was but the first of these vengeance killings, and he is by no means going to be the last.

Welcome to a world of pain.

---

Welcome to my new RP, a blood-splattered tale of vengeance in the time of Queen Victoria. This story will run a little differently to many of my others, and the story is based more around emotions and morals than fast-paced action and adventure. But that's not to say that this story will be slow - it will simply unfold in front of your eyes, and you can take pleasure in the fact that you are part of it.

It is the story of Alexander Barton, a man wronged by a corrupt government, who wishes to take his revenge upon those who imprisoned him. This means the judge, the lawyers, the jury, and ultimately the man behind all of it, Edward Danvers.

I will be playing the role of Barton, but I will by no means be the central character. Barton acts more as a shadow, simply observing what is occurring around him until the time is perfect for him to strike. No, it is you who will be creating the story. You will be playing the corrupt government who wronged Barton, the judge and jury who falsely imprisoned him, and the police trying to find him and stop him.

There will be one character who wishes to help Barton, in any way they can - his next-door neighbour in Soho. This is an important position, and one of three which I insist must be filled before the game commences.

The second position which needs to be filled is that of Lord Edward Danvers. I have purposely left his character and role vague in my introduction, so as to let you create the character in your own style.

The only other character which needs to be played is a Police Inspector assigned to catch Barton. This will be a pivotal role in the story, as he will, in essence, be the mediator between Danvers and Barton.

Other characters you can play as include:
- Police Inspector's assistant who will be by his side at all times
- Assistant to Danvers
- The Judge who put Barton away
- The lawyer who prosecuted Barton
- Any member of the jury who sent Barton down (this is the loosest role you can play - a member of the jury will just be a member of the public, so you can have whatever job you wish, within reason)
- the head of the prison that Barton was kept in

Remember, this is Victorian London (think Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper, Jekyll and Hyde, the more gothic image of London), so keep your occupation and personal life relevant to this period.

One more thing - characters will die in this story. Initially, I will just be killing off NPCs, but as the story continues and the plot thickens, even player characters won't be safe from Barton's blade.

As a sign-up, I want a short piece (around 1000 words), which details your character's reaction to the murder of Thomas Jackson. Remember, your characters won't know that Barton is behind it - they probably won't even know that Barton has escaped. So they will discover that Jackson is dead, either through a direct source, or simply through the newspaper. I would like you to show their reaction to this incident, and include in the snippet:

- Name
- Age
- Gender
- Occupation
- Social Standing (are you upper class? Or are you a street walker? Or anything in between?)
- Vices (this section is especially important. Are you an opium addict? Obsessed with buying the cheap love of prostitutes? What is your weakness?)
- Personality
- Appearance

If you cannot manage to fit a personality or appearance into your snippet, then please just state them afterwards (for appearance this can be with a picture if you so wish). Your character's history, as well as Barton's, will be revealed in the course of the RP, so there is no need to add too much to this.

As is standard, there is a Backstage thread up here in which you can post any questions you may have.

I look forward to discovering your characters.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT="Palatino Linotype"][center][U][SIZE="3"]A Knowledgeable Gentleman:
The Agreeable [Yet Oddly Disconcerting] Allastor Darcy[/SIZE][/U]
[CENTER][SIZE="3"]?[/SIZE][/CENTER]

The sun that day was in the greatest of glories the streets of Soho had ever seen- its discarded grey beams, despite their solemnity and foreboding, were almost yellow in shade. Even the clouds were less plentiful this day; there could only be three or four layers preventing the fabled blue sky from coming into view. Had the birds not given up joy so long ago, they may have even chirped once or twice that morn. But all of this was inconsequential. It was morning, regardless of circumstance, and thus, a time for awakenings.

Which was exactly what a young Mr. Allastor Darcy did, without the minutest form of enjoyment. He groaned out of bed, his handsome face, and deceptively warm blue eyes obscured by his beautiful, but idiosyncratically un-kept, hair. He opened the blinds to his window, unnecessarily shielding his eyes against the dull light. He bathed quickly, and threw on his casual suit- he had full intentions of receiving company today, and he wanted to prepare his esteemed colleague a fine dinner, as he would undoubtedly be drained of all will and movement. Or rather, any rational man would be. A man of [I]his[/I] insatiable vengeance could only hunger, even in fatigue and in weakness; so thus, a dinner was a most pertinent matter. A knock at the door distracted him from his thoughts- at first he was inclined to believe it his expected company, but the lack of severity in its beat clarified it as another familiarity.

Allastor strode from his room quickly to the threshold of his home, tossing the door open only long enough to catch fleeting glance of a couple walking down the street. Once out of sight, he instinctively retrieved his paper and the envelope atop of it. The couple currently fleeing down the walkway was renting out half of the large Darcy manor elsewhere, which provided Darcy the opportunity to live alone in his quaint house. The happy couple spoke very little to Darcy, and he only saw them whenever they delivered their rent- as well as the rent of the other some odd families who lived on his estate, who shared in the disdain of his existence. He supposed it was attributed to the feeling of inferiority they surely felt in relation to him- they were residents on his expansive property, living the high life earned through his relentless efforts, not their own. They were playing aristocrat, and his presence alone threatened to pull their reality out from beneath them. As little contact with him as possible maintained the illusion, and, ironically, set it into stone- the final step into their idealized aristocracy was denying the existence of anything outside their realm of acceptable and tolerable thought.

He smiled slightly to himself, painfully bemused by the ignorance of the aristocrats around him. Maybe to them, the sky was indeed still blue, the sun still golden, and it was indeed, a time of great joy and prosperity. But to be absolutely fair to those naïve children walking away from his door, to their families, to their neighbors, to the high-risen part of the city, life was as good as it ever was. They never traveled below into poverty, never strode so far away from their well-kept, orderly families and street corners to see a woman lay dead on the side of the street, beaten beyond recognition by her husband. Never having shopped at a middle class market, it was possible they would not, sensible that they could not, be aware that it was just as likely to leave the market with your commodities as it was to leave with a knife wound, and without the former.

He sighed these thoughts away and took to his study. He sat himself promptly and opened the newspaper, scanning it?s pages for some sign of reality, hoping that not every member of this community was too blind to acknowledge a surrounding world. Suddenly a headline caught his eyes, one that could not help but urge forward the smile creeping across his face. Hoping that he was not merely disillusioning himself to believe the papers had discovered this occurrence so soon, he read each word of the headline aloud.

[B]?Respectable Man Found Dead.?[/B] The last word was barely uttered from his lips as he became choked with uncontrollable laughter. Mr. Thomas F. Jackson, respectable? Yes, well, what more could you say of an opium-addicted alcoholic who frequented the street corners for night walkers? Respectable? It was a great offence to the word to use it any mannerism with that man. That despicable man could not have known a word such as respectable existed. Allastor wiped the tears from his eyes as he attempted to regain his composure, still chuckling lightly.

[B]?What a world that we live in. What a world??[/B] He finished his paper without much interest from that point on, and tossed it aside in no time at all. He sat there in silence a moment, then pulled a cigar from his pocket, and lit it, breathing slowly. He felt the smoke swirl inside of his mouth, travel down into his lungs, and corrupt him from his very core. He breathed outward, and became overwhelmed with an urge to convulse in a very sudden manner. He grasped for his trash bin quickly and violently vomited blood. He wiped his mouth clean once the upheaval had finished, then returned to smoking his cigar. He couldn't truly have cared less at that moment what effect that very cigar, or the next, or the next may have on him- he was too resolved to die just yet, though his unconquerable weakness for cigars threatened to test that. He smoked his cigar in renewed silence for quite a while, most assured that as soon as he was to head for the market, his guest would arrive. Taking his chances, he stood up- and without missing so much as a beat, a series of knock echoed through his home. Allastor sighed as he went to receive his company.

[B]?He must be very content to ruin my plans in such a manner, plotting his every move to coexist with and counteract my own. Yet I am in no place to complain. My services to his lordship are most ardently given.?[/B] Allastor opened his door slowly, smiling through his cigar at the ragged man standing on his doorstep.

[B]?Good morn, neighbor. You look absolutely dreadful, and had I not already reviewed the paper, I would have assumed your task assuredly completed on the basis of that fact alone. But, allow me to resign the stage to yourself. Surely you feel so inclined as to recollect the incident with me as I head to the market. Shall we be off?? [/B][/center][/FONT]

[CENTER][FONT="Palatino Linotype"]?[/FONT][/CENTER]

[SIZE="1"][b]OOC:[/b] I hope everything is in order, Blayze. I hope that my character's disposition is clearly displayed, though his vice is slightly more complicated then I let on- Mr. Allastor Darcy does not only have a love of cigars, it extends to a greater universal love of smoke. Steam engines, fires, and cigars are amongst the pleasurable objects that Allastor cannot deny himself. He abhors other drugs, however, and will severely refuse to indulge in these activities, even should the allure of smoke be made clearly.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE="2"][CENTER][FONT="Garamond"][COLOR="DarkSlateGray"]-Silas Birch-

The evening was still and cold. Not even at the devil’s hour would a creature dare stir in the fog-choked streets. The only sign of life it seemed; were those of the gas lanterns that flickered loyally for anyone who would happen to pass beneath on their way home.

Yet, in this land baron of men, the rhythmic cadence of slow footsteps and the gentle tick of a cane heralded the approach of a lone, well-dressed gentleman. For being assumed as a nightwalker at first glance, the man was very dapper and well kempt in his appearance. From what any eyes that would have happened to catch glimpse of him could see that his top hat was hardly out of place, soft, golden curls were set clean against his pale skin, and his evening cloak swayed to and fro with his gentle advancement up the street.

In all honesty, anyone could assume that this gentleman was merely on his way home from the theatre, likely home to a wife and three children, retiring for a late night before he had to be back to the office in the morning. Yet, as much as an innocent gaze could imagine, it could be fooled without fail. For there was much more to Silas Birch than what meets the eye.

It was true that he was returning from an evening at the theatre, but also from the parlor of one George Chauncey. And the beautiful evening attire was on loan to him, used to doll up the young, pretty Silas, so that he could be paraded before the higher society gentlemen, before the highest bidder swept him away to a dusky parlor where he could put his services to good use. But he didn’t regret it; Silas loved his way of life. It allowed him freedom to walk the streets at night, make money, and feel accepted. Even though he was often abused and degraded, that small inkling of acceptance, perchance love, was what he thrived on, nay, [I]lived[/I] for. And in all twenty-four years of breathing, he wouldn’t even trade that feeling for his salvation in the afterlife.

He could easily have left the exclusively male brothel business at any time he wished, pay off his pimp and disappear without another word exchanged between the two. He could just as easily be plain old Silas Birch. But this second life was exciting, lavish and privileged, he couldn’t only be a just a decent yet borish upstanding citizen. Wouldn’t dream of it! It was his lust of acceptance and false notions of love that kept him tied to the soft underbelly of the Victorian men’s kinks at nights and released into an average man by day.

A rank stench wafting through the air faltered young Silas’ steps and reverie. It carried the peculiar odor of alcohol, bile, and something much more pungent. The further he had advanced, the worst the smell had become, until the gas lamps brought light to what lay in the street before him.

Silas was by no means a brave man, but he wasn't a blithering, and panicky coward either. It merely only took a glimpse of a still corpse, haloed in blood to send him striding onward into the night. In the haze he could see rats scattering about, already feasting on what he assumed to be a fresh kill. Murder wasn’t uncommon in these streets, but if one were to lounge about long enough, they would find that their body would be added to the newspaper’s count as well. And without the presence of a coroner, or a policeman, it was likely that this kill was very, very fresh. Thus Silas would hurry on his way home, where he would feel a little bit more comfortable, albeit not much safer…

When he had arrived at his humble flat, a familiar figure was found hunched at his steps. If his hackles hadn’t been raised enough already, the appearance of his pimp wasn’t going to help the matter much. Upon Silas’ arrival, the man stood, his grin glinting in the lamplight. He was a man of considerable size, intimidating and quite rough around the edges. He was by no means handsome, or well kept for that matter. But the man was a smooth talker, highly persuasive, and ran a very lucrative business. Silas only knew him as Jack, and had decidedly refused to be bullied or by him a long while ago. The young man really wasn't easy to fool or jest upon. He was cool, calculative, and incredibly secretive. When other people knew his business, it certainly wouldn't do. And he often would become short tempered because of it. Yet Jack had seen potential in him, because Silas could turn coat for the right situation, becoming the most pleasant, and charming young man one could meet. His sugar-coated pleasantries had made them both a lot of money.

“’ave a good night then Silas?” He asked while tilting his sporting cap in jest, watching the younger man ascend the steps past him, jangling the keys for the door with flustered fingers.

“Wotsamatter wif you lad?” Jack asked with little concern, and then followed, “Got me money do ya?”

“Yes,” Silas said, taking only a moment to dig a roll of notes from his breast pocket, quickly handing them to the man behind him.

“Fanks Silas, did a right good job on ol’ George didn’ ya?” He grinned, noticing that the much paler younger man wasn’t really listening, and was more focused on getting inside, “Look live yeh’ve seen a ghost lad.”

“I’m sure you could say that, Jack.” Silas had finally opened his front door, removed his hat and stepped inside, “Something foul is on the streets tonight. And if not for my distaste for you I’d warn to keep that wandering eye of yours pointed both ways.”

“A good evenin’ to ya then me pretty Silas.” Jack wasn’t easy to put off, but knew when his stay was overextended, “Now mind ya, thems fancy fings go on back to Rodger in th’ mornin’, aye?”

Silas didn’t answer as he shut and locked the door, listening to Jack’s heavy steps amble him away up the street. Sleep would have been suggestible, but such a horrid image racked on his mind, he thought that he would go out again, not very far mind you, to a certain acquaintance of his whom he could indulge in for a little while, to merely forget.

Donning his hat once more, Silas Birch left his home once more, against his better judgment.
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EDIT: Silas' vice is basically an addiction to sex, but going a little deeper into it isn't the act itself, but the passion it brings. He thrives off of knowing that someone wants him and accepts him, even if it is for unspeakable reasons, because he feels in his own mind that it's "love".

And I imagine that he would be tied to the Barton case as a randomly chosen citizen to be placed in the jury. Silas isn't a supporter of crime, so anyone who could convince him well enough that someone was guilty would have his vote.
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[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"][i]
Charlotte Adriette Cathay leaned against the corner of the wall, caught in the curve, illuminated by the oil lamps, and smirked at passersby. She was a drug runner after all. Smuggling opium inside her own body for her employers was frankly run of the mill for her. And like her employers, she held a callous personality firmly between her overly pale fingers. Just barely out of girlhood, 17 and undernourished, Charlotte waited for the streets to fill with an uncanny patience.

Her skirts and corset covered her form, but still, she wore no coat against the evening’s chill. Many men had glanced in her direction this evening, and many others, but she was never for sale. She had already been bought and paid for. Her flat in Soho. Her place in society’s underworld. It was better than selling herself for a few coins. There was no dignity in it to be sure, but there were in fact worse fates. She just wasn’t sure what they were. When one of her more handsome handlers appeared, he quickly crushed her against him for what passersby would assume was a rough kiss and a grope, but really an exchange of goods. Charlotte knew him, and wasn’t afraid of him, but then again. These days, not much really scared her. He released her very slowly, as if he wasn’t sure he’d obtained everything she had on her person.

She smirked up at him with a sweet flash of a smile.[/i]

“Got everything you need, no?”

“This time Lotty. But next time it might not go so easily. One of our couriers was taken down with all his goods. And one of our customers was offed last night. God knows how that’s gonna affect business.”

“Nobody’s ever suspected me. Not unless you gave ‘em reason to.”

[i]He dropped a handful of coin’s and a little fold of parchment down her corset front, the metal cool against her bare flesh, glinting in the murky light. She put a hand against her breasts to keep them from slipping down into her skirts and looked up at him through her eyelashes.[/i]

“I’ll keep that in mind. Tomorrow night then.”

[i]With a flirtatious wink and a quick smack across her buttocks, her handler disappeared into the evening’s crowd. She turned and began the walk to the place where her goods usually appeared. She still had her shoulders bare against the night cold. In some a sign of madness, but in others a sign of simple lack of concern. And Charlotte didn’t care what happened to her own self. Dregs of society, that’s what she was. Nobody cared if she lived or died, they only cared if she delivered what she promised.

And it was all well and good for them. Charlotte turned a corner at the docks, and trailed herself surreptitiously through a group of drunken sailors, most of them too wasted to notice her slipping through the shadows. Mentally, she reviewed what she knew about the murder. Not much. But she did know that the apartment standing next to hers was no longer empty. As far as the tenant went, she had yet to see him. Ah well, she'd mind her own business if he minded his after all.

Eventually, she came to the right tavern, a mess of ale barrels, smoking fires, and poorly dipped candles. The people knew her, or at least recognized her to let her in the back doors. Down in the basement, where the dealer was cutting his products, whores lounged on cushions and benches. Men came back and forth in a steady stream, and ale flowed freely and sloppily across bosoms, floors, walls, and mattresses. Charlotte weaved through the heaving mass of flesh and sidled up to the distributor. He looked up as she slid silver into his pocket from behind and reached a hand around to grab at her chest and pull her on to his lap.[/i]

“On time as always you little minx.”

“I try to be.” [i]She reached down her chest, now soaking with sweat. The heat of the surrounding press of people nearly smothering her. Carefully, she extracted the note that had been placed there and placed it in his hand.[/i] “Here’s the next order.”

[i]The note was simple enough she supposed, but Charlotte had never bothered with her letters. Edmond, her dealer laughed and slid one of his knives across the upside down ale barrel that served him for a desk. A long dark sliver of opium smeared up against the flat of the blade. She flicked out one of her fingers and tasted the goods she so carefully carried for her masters. With a sour glance, she spat to one side, then smiled slightly. The taste was near perfect, some of the best she'd ever tasted.[/i]

“Good stuff. Must have cost you something awful.”

“You bet your ass. But it’s what your lord and master pays me to procure, and so I do.”

“And I’m sure he appreciates it ever so much. I would if I had so pretty a courier to fondle each and every night.”

[i]With a playful smirk, Edmond began filling one of the carefully made leather bags with paper wrapped opium. He folded each bar carefully, and she watched, counting with a light flicking of her finger against her thigh. Satisfied at last, he handed them to her and she stood, making them disappear into a fold of her skirt. Later, in relative privacy, she’d hide the goods more sufficiently and not even a strip search would reveal them to a soul.

Charlotte Cathay was quite simply one of the best smugglers in all of London’s Underground after all. God bless the Queen.[/i]

[center]~~~~~~~~~~[/center]

[b]The Vices of Charlotte Adriette Cathay:[/b] Lotty dearly loves risky behavior in all its forms. Flirting with it, dancing with it, and in general exposing herself to it. She could've just been a prostitute and had a boring repetitive life of meaningless shallow sex, but instead she became a smuggler specifically so she could get closer to that elusive temptress, Danger.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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[FONT=Georgia]Alright, good sign-ups so far, but you're all making a couple of things a little unclear (it's probably me being really dense, but if you could spell it out that would be good). I'm a little lost as to:

a) your Vices. If you could possibly add a small section at the end of your sign-up, as Omega has done, detailing as fully as possible your individual vice then that would be good.

b) your connection to the Barton case. Again, if you could put this in an extra section at the end of the sign-up then that would be much appreciated.

Otherwise, great sign-ups all. And [B]demonchild[/B], if you could delete your previous post once you post your sign-up then I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
[/FONT]
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[FONT="Arial Narrow"][COLOR="Navy"][CENTER]The man without a face: Alick Eastman[/CENTER]

A man of short stature walked down the barren halls of his current employment, his boot heels clicking with obnixious presistance on the tiled floor. He was youngful in appearance but his thick hands were begining to show his true age of thirty-three. Alick turned a corner with graceful steps and opened a door just a few steps down. The room was empty; not surprising.

"Bastard left early again," Alick grumbled aloud. He walked in and slapped the folder in his hand upon the desk, reading over the name plaque that stared back at him: "Edward Danvers". How he hated working for the London Offical, but it was money.

He picked up the plaque, fingering the lettering with bored fasination. He couldn't understand why a man like Danvers was still in office. He was filth, a dog. Then Alick started thinking.

He chuckled, "maybe I'm no better." He set the plaque back down. "What's this?" He reached down, his fingers gingerly wrapping around the thin newspaper. Their was no heading because the page had been folded on top of it. He began to read the article on the front page, skimming through the lines quickly.

"Someone killed a Thomas Jackson. Why is Danvers concerned with this? It has no releavance to his current endeavors." Alick creased his brows. He shook his head and tossed the paper back onto the desk, strolling out with every intent to leave the office. He gathered his things and made his way down the flights of stairs. He beckoned a carriage, pulling his top hat down onto his brow as he climbed in.

"Evenin' ter ya, Mr. Eastman," came an all too familiar accent in Alick's left ear. He turned to see look at the much larger man. "Wot services would [I]yeh be[/I] seekin' this time?"

"None, good sir Jack." Alick said almost miserably.

"Oh aye?"

"Early hours for Lord Danvers tomorrow. Last thing I need is to have some young thing messing up the order of my flat and taking all my needed energy." Alick motioned for the carriage to stop. He slid the door open and signaled for the man to exit.[/COLOR][/FONT]

[CENTER][FONT="Arial Narrow"][COLOR="RoyalBlue"]OOC: I know I didn't go into much detail on Alick Eastman's vice so I'll simply state that he has an addiction to prositutes, both male and female. But he does not necissarily sleep with the women but enjoys abusing them. The men he loves to lavish in fine clothing and luxaries.[/COLOR][/FONT][/CENTER]
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[SIZE="2"][FONT="Garamond"][CENTER]Aiden Chevalier[/CENTER]

The sun cast a soft, white glow through the filter of mist, cloud, and factory smog. Illuminating the dismal city streets paved with cobblestone; cracked and pitted and undoubtedly stained with blood, vomit, and a plethora of other bodily fluids. The very air breathed by the passers-by alone gave evidence to that. As he looked out into these streets from the bistro-style table front of the corner café, he gazed lazily at each denizen, unfocused vision couldn’t protect him from the leers and glowering eyes cast side to side by those possessing enough paranoia , or plain consciousness, to raise their head and peel their eyes from the ground.

The dull thump and consequent scraping sound of a bundle of newspapers pulled him out of his intoxicating concoction of delirium and oblivion. His vision focused to reveal a boy, of no more than nine, garbed in black trousers fastened by a pair of braces, running over a ragged, white shit, complete with a flat cap. The paperboy yawned, the man at the café took notice and promptly drew his pocket watch from within his grey coat. There was a swift flash of silver as the faint light caught the lid upon being opened.

“Half past five, eh?”, he spoke quietly to himself. He replaced the watch in the inner breast pocket and rose, leaving behind an empty coffee cup and a burning cigarette in the ash tray. Striding over to the paperboy, he soundlessly gestured with his hand above his head motioning for the boy to bring him a paper. The young one withdrew a pocket-blade and cut the string binding the stack, pulled the top one off and stumbled hastily toward his first customer.

“Here you are gov‘na.” the boy stated cautiously. The man took the paper and flipped a coin off the top of his fist with his thumb, the boy’s eye’s widened in a sudden burst of adrenaline as his hand darted out to catch the coin. The man gave him a smirk as he noticed the boy’s vain attempt to hide the burst of panic. “Thank ya, Mr. Chevalier!” the boy called behind him, to which was returned an apathetic wave. Chevalier tucked the paper underneath his arm and continued down the road.

He soon approached an officer on a street corner. He was leaning on the lamp post and turned his head lazily as Chevalier approached. Then, up righting himself and smoothing out his uniform he greeted his company with a nod and called,

“Inspector!”, he began, smiling smugly, “Judging by your usual “cheery” disposition, I am forced to assume that you haven’t heard the news.” Chevalier’s eyebrows lowered, and his head tilted inquisitively.

“What’s that you say? News?” He hastily pulled the newspaper from beneath his arm and flipped it up. The headline read: “Respectable Man Found Dead”. As his eye’s sifted through the words he suffered a barrage of thoughts at that moment, but maintained a calm composure. [I]Of all the words! Lord knows that degenerate’s demise was much too severely overdue, but murder…[/I] He looked up in frustration. “Why the hell was I not informed of this immediately?” The officer was taken aback.

“Sir, I-” He began to produce an excuse, but was interrupted as a disheveled man emerged from the building across the street, that was know by common knowledge to be a brothel and opium den, and caught his eye. As he staggered across the intersection absent-mindedly his footsteps echoed with dissonance. The officer made a half-smile as the man approached. He was robed in an old, beaten wool overcoat and a large grey scarf, and two blood-shot eye’s peered out from beneath a rat’s nest of greasy, black hair. Swiftly producing a cloth sack of coins he held it out to the officer, who patronizingly sneered and snatched up the satchel from his palm. “Mighty lovely of ya.” raising his boot up and kicking the fiend in the chest. The pitiable man fell to the ground gasping, having had the wind knocked from him, scrambled to his feet and scurried away.

Looking back to Chevalier, he found the investigator had lost interest, and patience, with his him and began to walk off. The officer shrugged and returned to his task of doing nothing, but was again interrupted as he hadn’t noticed Chevalier’s return. The investigator grabbed the side of the officer’s head and before he collapsed to the ground, he was jerked back up by the collar. Chevalier brought him close to his face and glared deep into his dazed eyes.

“I’m sure that you’ll go and rectify this most deplorable situation, posthaste. Yes?” The officer whimpered and nodded weakly. The officer stumbled into the street, brushed himself off and proceeded. Dead man. Chevalier smiled as he reached into the front of his Norfolk jacket and withdrew a clip of cigarettes. Selecting one, he held it between his lips and after returning the clip, he retrieved a match, stuck it against his pant leg and lit the end of the cigarette. Dropping the match, he took a long drag, withdrew the fag and exhaled thick, grey smoke. He sighed.

***

The district station, where he kept an office, was equally as depressing as the rest of the city: brown brick faded and pitted from decay, weather, and rioters. Above a less-than-impressive archway an engraving read: [I]Police[/I], and below it: [I]Pax Infinitum[/I]. The stifling irony was almost comparable to the growing distaste for this state’s increasing corruption. He settled down behind his desk, removed his coat and stared deep into the ceiling. He groaned and let his head fall loosely to the side and faced himself in the mirror. The man looking back could be construed as moderately handsome, had it not been for the layers of sleep deprivation and stress laid over his visage.

Beneath his grey fedora rested a head of short-shaved hair, his face was dotted with stubble and scar tissue. His attire included a white, linen shirt, a black tie and bracers, a grey waistcoat, accompanied with grey trousers, a grey Norfolk Jacket, and black, scuffed shoes and black, soft leather driving gloves. He sighed. At age twenty-seven, he looked old.

He had an unusually high sense of justice, but for the same reason a sense of paranoia and cynicism, to the likes of which only a world like this could give birth. A universal mistrust of human-kind had kept him alive this long, but this meager existence ceased to satiate him. Justitia, blind to bias, carries the Scales of Truth and Balance, and has bestowed upon him the Sword of Vengeance.[/FONT][/SIZE]

OOC: This looks very promising Blayze! I hope everything is in order, just let me know if anything needs to be amended.
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