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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Inari. The largest county in Finland, measured by its area, 17 334 square kilometers. Such makes it sound much more important than it actually is. With population density of 0,45 persons per square kilometer, it's uninhabited wilderness by standards of any civilized country. This isn't even the middle of nowhere - it's the unremarkable North-Eastern corner of nowhere.

    Or so the black-clad ghost in a bone white serpent mask thinks as it walks on the tundra. Last memories it has of Lapland were from the start of winter. Now it's late spring, but snow is still plentiful. It's pretty lifeless here, both on physical and spiritual planes.

    The ghost shivers. It can't actually feel the cold, but the sight brings back memories. It's moving slow and keeping its spiritual powers in check - any greater attempt at hiding would be overkill, as who would even think to look in a place like this?

    ... oh, right. It is looking in a place like this. Not that it's found anything. Its quarry might never even have come this far. Its like looking for a needle in a continent-sized haystack. Wrapping its arms around itself for non-existent warmth, the ghost makes its way towards Ivalo, the largest population center within hundreds of miles.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Inari, Finland

    This air is FOUL. Disgustingly sweet, fresh, clean and *cough cough* floral. Jack grunts as his lungs suddenly expanded larger and wider, as if masochistically inhaling more of this foul air. Coughing again, he huffs some smog into his mask before breathing in again, feeling more comfortable with the delicious smog that he grew up in.

    These buildings, are too clean. Even in the dim lights of dusk, buildings of nearly pure white and other riotous colors assault his eyes, and the neatly arranged trees along the streets, what in the infernal blazes is this?!

    Dragging his chains with him, wrapping them around his arms like a pair of gauntlets, Jack glares around him. He's out of there. He's home, but this isn't home...
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    If white houses offend Jack's senses, the snow must be even worse. London of his time probably didn't get much snow to begin with, nevermind clean snow. The setting sun is painting the sky and the ground in various vibrant hues of orange and blue.

    Approaching from a different direction, following the bank of the river, Ivalojoki, the ghost in a serpent mask arrives. It comes across a bridge and turns right, getting on the road that leads through the town. Ivalo being a small town of barely 4000 residents, there are more trees than buildings around. Past a traffic circle, the largest building ahead and the only one with significant life in it at this time of day appears to be a convenience store.

    The ghost stops in the middle of the traffic circle. A few cars pass by, their drivers blissfully unaware of the supernatural presence observing them.

    The ghost has not noticed Jack yet, but Jack might notice it. To another spiritual creature, its black-clad figure is quite conspicuous against the bright backdrop. Discounting the Hollow's mask, it quite resembles a Shinigami, should Jack remember what those are.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Jack spots the figure on top of the bridge and eyes it up and down. Not a woman he thinks to himself as he turns and stealthily walks away, not understanding the attire and the appearance, as right at the moment of his death Jack's eyes witnesses the Gates of Hell open right before his eyes.

    Scoffing at the white snow, not affected by its temperature, Jack seeks his usual hunting spots. The darkened alleys of the red light district.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Jack is in for a disappointment, for there is no such thing.

    Prostitution, itself, has not gone anywhere. But these days, all the advertisement happens through the internet and the meetings happen in private apartments. In a small town like this, it'd be a miracle to find a single streetwalker.

    Indeed, it is hard to even find a proper alley. There's no shortage of space, so all the buildings stand quite far apart.

    However, this might be less of an issue than it sounds, because by standards of Jack's time, local women have no trouble dressing like whores even when they ain't such. A girl walks out of the mall, wearing extremely tight-fitting jeans, bright red lipstick and a jacket that exposes her midriff despite the weather and time of year. She's shivering, but apparently looking sexy is a bigger priority than being warm. Hands in her pockets, she walks along the side of the road towards her home and, unknowingly, Jack.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Jack couldn't believe his eyes, the streets are filled with whores?!

    Everyone is in some manner of undress! Even those who are wearing long dresses expose their ankles and the cutting of their clothes render their impure visage blatantly to the outside world! Jack clenches his fists, dark thoughts running through his mind. What has become of this world?

    Turning his head as he hears the clatter of heels, he spots a girl, no more than twenty winters, approaching in his direction. A snarl appears on his face as mist begins to fill the broad streets, and Jack fading away in the mist, trailing the girl until he could find an opportunity of having no witnesses.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    The girl keeps walking, not paying attention the raising mists. It's not that unusual of an occurrence, and she's not concerned of getting lost in her own home town. After half a kilometer or so, she's the only one on the road. The mist cuts visibility at ten meters or so. There are houses not far behind the trees lining the road, but no-one would see what's going on it. A car might drive past, but no such thing can be heard at the moment. The closest forest is not far. It'd be easy for a lone wanderer to, ah, disappear here.

    Growing more distant by the minute, the serpent-masked ghost looks around. It takes some time before its eyes fix on the growing cloud of mist. Is that a natural occurrence? Something about it seems off, but it can't quite tell why. It remains in place, staring at the cloud contemplatively.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Moving with his careful stealth, Jack manifests his chains causing a distinct ringing of clanging metal that echoes through the air as he whips it around the girls ankles and neck and yanks, closing on her windpipe and forcing her feet together as he brings his victim onto the ground, unable to scream.

    Drawing a pair of knives from the mist, Jack perpetuates his grisly act as the scent of blood mixes with his created smog, his first victim, in an unfamiliar land but a familiar deed to a familiar victim.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Skipping the eww details since nobody wants that
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    ((Don't forget the background music!))

    Blood.

    The serpent-masked ghost's head twitches as the wind brings the familiar scent to its nose. It'd almost lost interest in the cloud of mist, but now it's attention is sharply fixed on it.

    Blood. Death. Someone's soul was forcibly liberated from their body. As a Hollow, the serpent-masked ghost is sensitive to these things like a shark is sensitive to blood in the water. Could it be? Could it be its quarry is here after all?

    Back where Jack is, the girl's soul stands next to her mutilated body, staring in horror and shock. What is this? Why is she looking at herself? What is that ghoul, and what is it doing with her?

    Jack, if he's not too distracted by his, ah, hobby, might notice something moving through his mists. Something fast. If he turns, he can see the serpent-masked ghost's black silhoutte forming behind the veil of mist, like a Grim Reaper coming to fetch...

    Him?
    Or the girl?

    "Let's see, who we have here?", an otherworldly voice asks.

    The girl's spirit hears it too and Jack has a second to silence her before she screams. Not that anyone but the two monsters would be able to hear her...
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Jack could feel another presence moving into the mists, as another Jack is observing the newcomer and another Jack whips his chains around the soul-girl's neck, squeezing it tightly around so she couldn't scream.

    "Yeah poppet..look at yourself as I cleanse that filthy sin of a mortal shell..." he whispers into her soul-ear.

    The third Jack, the real Jack, is still hidden in the mists, joining the first Jack in observing the newcomer while the fourth Jack proceeds to do his grizzly surgical procedure on the girl's corpse.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    The serpent-masked ghost takes a few steps closer, looking at all three of the fake Jacks. "Wait a minute. You're not the vampire", it utters, sounding disappointed. "But you do share his love for shell games... so, are you going to eat that?"

    It points at the girl's spirit. The spirit stares back, feebly struggling against the Jack holding her.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    The serpent-masked ghost takes a few steps closer, looking at all three of the fake Jacks. "Wait a minute. You're not the vampire", it utters, sounding disappointed. "But you do share his love for shell games... so, are you going to eat that?"

    It points at the girl's spirit. The spirit stares back, feebly struggling against the Jack holding her.
    Jack shakes his heads. "I don't eat them, go for it if you want." and throws the girl-soul at the masked ghost's feet.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    The Hollow looks at the girl's ghost at its feet, then back at Jack. "What do you mean you don't eat them? Are you not a Hollow? What's with the mask if you aren't? Why'd you kill her, if not for nourishment?"

    The girl's spirit crawls to all fours, giving frightened looks to the monsters around her.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    After taking what he wanted from the corpse, Jack turns to look at the Hollow. "I'm not sure what you mean by Hollow, but I'm no soul eater, I kill for my own reasons. Enjoy your meal." Jack gives a nod before fading in the mists, leaving the grizzly scene.

    Further away

    Jack cannibalizes the harvested organs and moves on, hating the bitter iron of blood and the sin that he is tasting, but oh so satisfying. He will rest and he will hunt again soon after he gets his bearings.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    The Hollow's snake eyes narrow behind its mask. "Not a soul eater? What kind of a spirit kills humans for their flesh? That makes no..."

    Its hand is already drifting towards the handle of the sword sheathed on its waist, but then Jack... fades away.

    Perplexed, the Hollow darts to where the misty apparition stood a second ago. "Wait...!" But it's too late.

    The Hollow is prepared to go after Jack immediately, but rattle of the dead girl's soul chain reminds it there's some unfinished business here. It grabs the severed end of the girl's chain and yanks. The girl's ghost yells in surprise as its pulled to the reaper-like figure.

    Dragging the spirit along, the Hollow examines her mutilated body. "Well there's no fixing that. Ewww", it mutters. Then it yanks the chain again to get the ghostly girl to stand up and look it in the eyes. <"You... do you know who that guy was? The one who killed you?"> The Hollow asks the girl in Finnish.

    The girl freezes, this grim reaper suddenly speaking her language making this situation even more surreal. Then, she shakes her head.

    "... perkele", the Hollow curses. It glances around, then returns its attention to the girl. <"Listen. If I just leave you here, you will likely turn into an evil spirit, outraged at your unjust death and Hell-bent on revenge. But by then, your killer will be far gone. I can drag you into afterlife, or I can expedite that 'turning into evil spirit' part and hope the grand cosmic lottery machine grants you some useful power with which to catch that guy. So which is it gonna be?">

    The girl's ghost stares wide-eyed into the Hollow's. It takes a while for the words to worm their way into her mind. <"S-s-so you're saying I'm dead?">

    The Hollow nods. <"Yeah.">

    <"A-a-and you're s-saying I could take down the bastard who did this to me?">

    The Hollow nods. <"With some luck and my help... yeah, probably.">

    In the span of few seconds, the confusion and terror on the ghost-girl's face make way for tears of rage. <"Well what the Hell are you waiting for? Let's go and make that sonuvabitch pay!">

    The Hollow blinks and lets go of the chain in surprise. "Okei." It draws its sword. <"Glad we could come to an agreement.">

    And then it pries her Soul Chain out of her chest.

    ---

    Not soon after Jack's finished his grisly meal, an otherworldly scream of rage pierces the air. It's coming from the direction where he left the girl's ghost and the Hollow.

    It might be there's no rest for the wicked tonight.

    ---

    Elsewhere, a man is bunking on his brother's couch. It's been a busy week, trying to readjust to normal life.

    Suddenly, a phone rings. It's his brother's, so he pays it no attention. His brother answers it and there is a brief exchange of names. Then his brother brings the phone to him.

    <"... hey. It's for you.">

    Lazily, the man reaches for the phone and brings it next to his ear. His restful expression quickly fades as his eyes shoot open and a frown spreads on his face as he listens to person on the other end.

    He ends the call and hands the phone back to his brother. <"... I need to borrow your car.">

    His brother looks worried. <"...you're not gonna disappear again, right?">

    The man stands up and stretches his limbs. <"Nah. This ain't about me. Just gonna... help a friend in a pinch."> He goes to put on his jacket. <"I'll be back before the morning.">
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Jack hears that scream, as otherworldly and as unnatural as it sounds, it brings a smile to Jack's face.

    Yes...that's it. Help me blanket this city with Fear. Let the papers talk about me and the mothers whisper my name to children fearfully at night again. For I have come from Hell.

    Soon that body will be found, soon the police will be called in. All Jack needs to do is to hunt again tomorrow night.

    Moving further away from the crime scene, Jack relocates himself somewhere secure where he would not be disturbed and hides himself and his presence. Sleeping the light sleep that all Togabito are accustomed to, as the Kushanada never sleep and constantly prowl for togabito to crush.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    <"Where is that son of a whore? I will rip and tear. Rip and tear his guts!">

    A horrible beasts snarls and gashes, throwing its head from side to side. It looks like a giant wolf, or perhaps a misshapen human covered in furs of such, but where its head and snout should be there is instead a bone-white Hannya mask.

    <"Patience, young Padawan!", the serpent-masked Hollow instructs, sitting on the beast's back. <"Night will fall soon. We Hollows are at our best in the dark. Your murderer has at best a lead of one or two ours. If he is anything like a man, he will likewise rest for one or two hours, allowing us to catch up. Now, focus on the scent. Your scent. He took a piece of you with him. His hands are tarnished by your blood. He can run from us, but he cannot hide.">

    A low, dissatisfied growl rumbles from deep within the beast, but she does as told, pressing her bony face against the snow and sniffing around.

    Most Hollows don't start their miserable unlives as mindless, indiscriminate killers. On the contrary, they tend to be focused to the point of obsession on people who were close to them in life, especially at the time of death. Their feelings towards them run the whole gamut from hatred, envy, jealousy and so forth to positive-sounding emotions like love or desire to protect. Only with time does the growing hunger twist these to a fatal extent. It can take years before a Hollow finally crosses the line and murders the living who it covets.

    In this case, though, the beast's feeling is certainly a murderous desire for vengeance, to do to Jack what Jack did to her. To the beast, every possible drop of her own blood shines like a bright red star against the blue canvas of snow at night; the scent of her entrails like a red mist hanging heavy above ground. Gnashing her teeth, she dashes after it before wind can blow it away. Her Reiatsu leaves a trail of deep pawprint leading away from her mutilated human corpse.

    On the back of the beast, the serpent-masked Hollow thinks. If Jack is not a Hollow, what are the mask and the cloak for? It could not feel his Reiatsu earlier, are they for hiding that? From what is Jack trying to hide? Not from Hollows, based on his words. Nor Shinigami, considering the serpent-mask would be easy to confuse for one but Jack didn't seem very concerned.

    So. Many. Questions. It will get some answers before the dawn...

    ---

    Turning from highway 9 to highway 4, headlights of a rusty old Lada Samara sweep the asphalt before it as the night falls over Finland. It will take hours still for it to reach its destination. So boring. At least it's not raining, or worse, snowing yet, so the visibility is good. The driver struggles to not fall asleep on the wheel. Not because he's concerned of dying - he's pretty sure he'd survive without a scratch (how? Past experience), but it would be embarrassing to explain to his brother about the car.

    On the other hand, maybe he should cherish these moments of mundane life before being dragged back into affairs of the spirit world. How did it go again? "Just when I thought I was out, they dragged me back in?" Such cliche.

    But letting a killer go free doesn't sound wise. Maybe that's why his friends from the other side called him. They don't really care about this land, these people, these events. But they know he cares. He has to. Because caring is part of what makes a human, and how can he conceivably keep up the charade of being one if he doesn't care?

    Ugh. Such heavy thoughts. Maybe he should stop for some coffee and a hamburger? Yeah. Sounds like a plan.
    Last edited by Frozen_Feet; 2016-08-29 at 06:21 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Jack feels a tingle in his nose as he senses killing intent rushing towards him. Stifling a yawn Jack shrouds the playground that he was sleeping in with smog. Waiting for whatever is trying to kill him (probably the source of that screaming) to show up.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    It's night by now, the only illumination coming from nearby streetlights. Jack can hear the snapping of twigs and rattling of trees from the dark woods behind the playground. A giant, wolf-like silhouette stops just at the edge of the smog, snarling and thrashing its head as if the smog offends its senses. Depending on how well Jack can see through his smog and in the dark, he might be able to spot the pale outline of a Hannya mask and a pair of gleaming yellow eyes of a nocturnal predator.

    On the beast's back, the serpent-masked Hollow stands up. Smog. That means they must be close. There's no apparent natural mechanism to serve as a source, there's no heavy industry or the like kilometers to any direction. It thinks. This is similar to the sudden mists earlier. It feels safe to presume their quarry is responsible for producing there obstructions.

    It jumps to the ground, next to the beast, and pets her side. <"Good girl."> It peers into the smog, its slit pupils glowing red. "I know you're there! I know you know we're here! Better come clean, pal! Who are and why'd you murder this girl?"

    The "girl" gnashes it's teeth and shouts something incomprehensible (but likely profane) in Finnish.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Jack idly looks at the appearance of the same creature that questioned his modus operandi earlier, now atop a strange tiger-like beast which he presumes must be the source of that screaming earlier through the smog that he could easily see through as if it doesn't exist at all.

    This girl? What in the blazes is that?

    "Who and why I kill is none of your business berk. Take your pet and leave, or leave the pet and go so that I can clear the pest away again the second time!" Jack growls, still invisible in the smog.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    "Oh, not my business? Pray tell, what do you think my business here is? Do you know what you're looking at?", the serpent-masked ghost asks, trying to pinpoint the source of the sound by hearing.

    The beast freezes as it hears the sound, every hair on its body standing to an end. <"Let me! I will drag that son of a devil and a whore out of there! Then I will ram his balls down his throat and draw them out through his...">

    The serpent-masked ghost pets its side again. <"Patience, girl. You'll get him soon enough.">
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    The smog grows thicker as fine particles start to spread enveloping quickly enough the Hollow and its recent pet.

    All of a sudden, a pair of khopesh blades swish through the air aiming right across the throat of the tiger-like beast. Four more blades, seemingly wielded by two entities, go after the hamstrings of each limb and another pair of sharp stilettos plunging directly into the eyes of the same beast, regardless of a mask standing in the way or not.

    A pair of legs drop kicks the serpent masked individual off the tiget-like beast.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    The beast's head plunges down as it sees the first of the figure and the mouth of its mask opens impossibly wide, revealing a maelstrom of sharp teeth trying to swallow the figure who aimed for its throat. The movement causes the stilettos to hit the side of its mask, one bouncing off and the second sticking into it not far from its right eye. The two figures racing past its limbs are otherwise too fast for it, and they cut the tendons of its front limbs easy enough. The beast loses balance and threatens to fall on the first figure.

    The fourth figure simply flies over the beast, his feet meeting nothing, as the serpent-masked Hollow already stepped down. It notices the figure cutting at the beast's limbs on the left side of the beast and stabs at him, trying to hit his back when he's preoccupied.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    Spoiler
    Show
    Typing is a bitch with only 2 fingers not bandaged up like sausages


    The stuck blade dissolves into smog as it leaves a slightly acid-etched mark on the mask as the figure draws a fresh blade from the smog.

    The serpent-masked fellow attempts a backstab with success as the figure implodes in a puff of smog that trails and clings onto the attacker as another figure emerges beside it.

    Ignoring the obviously more dangerous foe, Jack wills his clones to launch a new wave of cuts and slices designed to effectively wither away the beast.
    [Space for Hire...NOT!]

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    Default Re: [BitPRē] Episode from Hell: the Ripper

    The beast tumbles down, unable to keep with the mistborn warriors. However, before Jack's eyes, her slashed tendons knit back together and she immediately begins to crawl back up.

    It is too slow, though. Each time she tries to attack, Jack or his clones manage to cause another crippling wound to her even as her old ones heal. She is quickly reduced to quivering prone on the ground, trying to shield her head with her front paws. <"Argh! You son of a whore! Help me!">, she cries to the serpent-masked Hollow.

    Meanwhile, the serpent-mask rapidly puts some distance between itself and Jack's reforming smoke clone. Looks like this wasn't the real one. It lets go of its sword and points the index finger of its left hand at the new clone. There's a flash of crimson and a sound akin to a gunshot as a Bala flies towards the smoke clone. The serpent-mask whips its hand around, shooting three more Balas, trying to hit the three other Jacks as well. <"I'm on it! Try not to die again!">
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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