Anima - Into the Shadows

The Lines that Burn Us

The trip back to Solomon, following the defeat of Manhater Woe was thankfully uneventful. As it is wont to do, the news of our success traveled even faster than we could. Upon our arrival in Solomon, we were thanked by many for what we had done. Of course Jericho drew many shocked glances as he paraded around Solomon, disguised as Manhater Woe.

Upon arrival at my estates, it was discovered that several people had left messages for us and that Quinn had even sent a package prior to his untimely demise. However, it was quickly decided that all that would wait for a few days while we recovered from our trials. So, after several days of rest, recuperation, and mourning for Soren, we decided it was time to tackle the investigation into Quinn’s death. Unfortunately, Raphael’s wounds were strangely resistant to any and all healing attempts and was therefore forced to remain behind at the estates.

It seems that Quinn’s majordomo Kwal, Jace, and Senator Tyreese had all left messages for us. The senator wished to meet with us at the senate building or at his residence, so we decided to meet him at his residence later that evening. Jace wanted us know that he had the information we had requested him to research prior to leaving. Kwal’s message was the most disturbing. It seems the Senate has suspended the investigation into Quinn’s death, believing it a random attack of hooligans. Kwal did manage to have the alley where it happened placed in a stasis field, so that we could look at where it happened upon our return.

Armed with the information from those messages, we went off to meet Senator Tyreese. As a long-time senator, he had lots of insight into the relations between Quinn and Marcus. It seems that not too long ago their differences had come to a head in the main senate hall where after a long disagreement, Quinn punched Marcus in the noes, resulting in Quinn being barred from the senate building for a time. Their disagreement was focused on what to do about the upstart Abel.

Quinn felt he should be ignored and the senate’s time and energy focused on the betterment of the people of Solomon. Marcus felt that Abel needed to be eradicated and the borders of Solomon expanded. Tyreese told us that he couldn’t risk being seen as involved in the investigation, but that he would help us if he could.

After talking to the senator, we went off to meet Quinn’s majordomo and get the items Quinn had sent to us. We were given all the information Quinn was able to collect on the skykeep that would become Project Ascension, as well as the remote to a Leviathan that had supposedly been damaged in offshore drills. We were of course to return it after we were done using it, and the recovery of a lost Leviathan would certainly only serve to increase our fame.

At that point, we decided it was time to head to the alley where Quinn had been killed. We knew that after bringing down the stasis field, we would have less than 10 minutes before the scene deteriorated to the point where we would not be able to find anything helpful.

2 of Quinn’s loyal guards, Zachery and Asuma, were standing guard over the stasis field when we arrived. After we explained who we were, they gave us the information they had. Quinn’s 5 guards had not been heard from since the murder. They were equipped with transponders, but something was interfering with the signal. At our request, they brought down the stasis field.

There are some things that you wish you could unsee. This is one of those things. The alley was carpeted with the remains of Quinn. I could sense his nanites, quickly fading strewn through the entire alley. We quickly determined that whatever had done this had also removed all the bones and cartilage from Quinn’s body. Deep gashes in the wall seem to have been caused by a large bone-bladed scythe. Burn marks in other places look like Quinn and possibly others fought back, likely with weapons similar to the Zeonic Rifle I use.

Our ODD was able to detect a quickly fading disruption from another subdimension, the Infernal Realms. We were able to determine that what had done this was likely a Bonecollector, one of the beast-like demons from those realms. The knowledge on how to summon one of those is restricted and would require special access in the library, which should leave a trail for us to track. I was also able to determine that there was a senate override blocking the guard’s nanites from transmitting.

Both of those major clues required some research at the library, so we went off to see Jace. Upon our arrival, he handed me a summary of what the nanites in my body would be able to do and after listening to our questions, gave us the generally available information on the Infernal Realms. After looking and not finding much useful information, we asked if he could give us a list of people who had recently accessed the restricted information. The lines of nanites in his body started to glow, as they always do, as he accessed the records. Then suddenly, they burst into a bright white and he let loose a bloodcurdling scream. His body locked in place, the nanite lines continued to glow brighter and brighter as his hair and clothes burst into flame. Instinctualy, I reached out and shoved him off of the access point. A wave of pain washed over me and as I slipped into unconsciousness, my eyes fell to my arm, now just a burned stump where my left hand should have been.

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Leketh CalvinKrug

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