• Nobles of Null is a forum based roleplay site where sci-fi and magic collide. Here, Earth remains fractured and divided despite humanity reaching out to the stars. Worse still, the trans-human slaves of one major power have escaped, only to establish their own Empire, seething with resentment at abuses of the past. Even the discovery of aliens, though medieval in development, has failed to rally these squabbling children of Earth together with its far darker implications. Worse still, is the discovery of the impossible - magic. Practiced by the alien locals, nearly depleted and therefore rare, its reality warping abilities remains abstract and distant to the general populace. All the while, unseen in the darkness of space, forces from without threaten to press in. For those with eyes opened by insight, it is clear that an era is about to end, and that a new age will dawn.

Chapter 2: The Grand Cabaret

Uso

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Hawking System
In Orbit of Planet Bruno
Fuminsho Station
May 10th 2321


"Are you ready to show your weapons to the boss?" The swordswoman asked, still wearing her rather 'loud' suit, black silk with some subtle patterning over a right red shirt with pop'd collar. The blade she swore by was still on her hip, her hand never quite leaving the handle...

... even though HER future depended on this presentation too

... not that she was being much of a help getting set up.

The past two months she'd busied herself with keeping Hilda busy making weapons, constantly insisting that the guns Hilda was making 'weren't good enough' or just 'weren't as good as a sword'. Despite her complaints, she was doing her best to get Hilda the tools she needed to work, the chemicals she needed to produce ammo. Over two months she had plenty of time to stockpile the numbers of guns and ammunition that were being demanded of her.

The tight schedule left little time for her to relax.

It also didn't give her any time to change out of the tight fitting bunny outfit for her second job: Cigarette girl inside of the Grand Cabaret. The job served as a way to plausibly explain her pay and keep the illegal gunmaking under wraps. It also served as a way for the men of the clan to get another enjoyable face to look at.

Both the Swordswoman and Hilda were both in one of the underground rooms below the Cabaret, one with no windows and no cameras...
 

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"Yes, they're perfectly ready," the blonde haired woman replied. As she pulled up the front of her bunny suit, her feline ears nervously twitched along with her tail. For her, the hardest part of this entire ordeal wasn't making the guns, or the ammunition or the powder or any of that to meet their demands. It was the scandalously salacious and sordid stares and words of these...clansmen? Yakuza? Triad? Hilda wasn't entirely sure, but they reduced her to a sputtering, blushing mess nonetheless many times over. Enough that she'd duck under the counter. The only upside was that they at least called her "Midnight" instead of her mother's name.

That would have likely been the breaking point, she mused. This though? This was nothing.

"These babies might be made with volumetric printers, but they'll do the job and then some!" Hilda patted one of her firearms with pride.
 
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Uso

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"Alright." The swordswoman said, approaching the table, "Show me how to use one." She didn't take her hand off her sword hilt, as if she was expecting the guns to jump off the table and attack. She practically looked at the guns with contempt. She often espoused the superiority and elegance of the sword, the craftsmanship, the precision, being able to ensure that a kill was made instead of having to hope enough bullets had hit the target and then waiting for them to just bleed out or whatever.

Perhaps saying she wanted to learn was an olive branch?

This project was her responsibility as much as anything. Should the weapons fail the boss would blame here.
 

CadetNewb

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"Oh, it's simple!" the so-called 'Midnight' began. "I've put an integrated red-dot sight on all of these since I figure iron sights are too difficult to use," she started by picking up one of her home crafted guns. Wrapping her hand around its grip and making sure to stay away from the end of the barrel, the blond Daqinren turned the weapon around so that the swordswoman could see the crimson glowing speck. "All you have to do is put that on what you want to shoot, and pull the trigger!" she smiled. "It's so easy a child can do it, and they do!" Midnight pointed out. "Of course, that's not getting into proper trigger squeeze technique, firing stances, gun-kata..." her voice eagerly continued to flow. "And you press here to release the magazine," she shared like a child with a new friend, the spring loaded metallic box dropping free into her other hand with ease. "Then you rack the slide like so to chamber a new round, and you're ready! It's got a grip safety and on-off for the red dot, so no fumbling with switches!"

"What do you think?" Midnight eagerly asked.
 

Uso

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The swordswoman would pick up the largest pistol there with one hand and examined it, checking out one side, then the other. She would use her thumb to release the magazine and let it drop onto the table in front of her. With great reluctance she would reach for the magazine with her other hand, letting go of her sword for just a moment to reload the weapon and take aim at one of the targets they had set out. Her hand would go back to her sword as the other raised the pistol, firing it one handed into the nearby target.

*BLAM*

The target wasn't that far away, so she was able to hit it but only just. There was plenty of wobble in her pistol and holding it out completely extended certainly didn't help her accuracy. Really the only thing she had going for her was that the room was completely soundproofed so those outside couldn't hear what was going on with her 'test'.
 

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"Oh my god," Midnight's voice trailed off, eyes wide with disbelief at what had happened. Hand over her mouth, she collected herself just enough to realize just what had happened. "You just horribly maimed their arm!" the feline eared woman excitedly exclaimed. "That's going to cost a whole fortune to fix, and if they don't have much, it'll be months and months of painful rehabilitation and suffering!" Heels to her catgirl outfit clicking as she hurried on over, the woman's blue-green eyes went wide as they peered through the whole. "Why didn't I think of this before? If you wound them, then they're screaming and demoralizing all their friends who have to stop the horrific arterial bleeding! You're a genius!" her heels click-clicked-clicked over, arms wrapping around the swordswoman to give her a bosomy hug.
 

Uso

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The swordswoman didn't know how to respond to her sudden approach, ending up looking at the strange gunsmith and pushing her back with her free hand. "I could cut you in half..." She'd say sternly as the doors to the room opened up.

The boss and one of his lieutenants walked in, being sure to close the soundproof doors behind them. The Lieutenant had on a rather loud purple suit, sword at his side, slicked back hair and a smirk on his face, "Getting close to our gunsmith cat here huh? Guess you two have been working closely together. 'Course if these weapons turn out to be duds she's gonna have a great career in the Cabaret."

"Where's Kuze?" The Swordswoman asked, wanting to know where their OTHER fearless leader had gone to.

"He's dealing with some schlub downstairs who's a little too eager to get his hands on some Blonde Daqin. He'll be on up..." Kuze responded.

The Boss would move to the table, examining the weapons there and picking one up without too much care, "Get an armor plate up there, I want to see if this'll kill a high-cyborg..."
 
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CadetNewb

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Awkwardly regaining her balance, Midnight's face began to blush as the Men came in. Her lips quivered with a sea of tumultuous emotion as they spoke amongst themselves about her as though she wasn't there. It was degrading! However, at the mention of her weapons being tested, she perked upright.

"It's already done!" she eagerly pointed, bouncing ever so slightly as she did so. Just as the feline eared Midnight said, there was a hole punched through the half-inch hardened steel, ominously coated with shining copper. "I have several versions, but the one you want the most is this one here!" Reaching over to her lineup, she pulled out a particularly strange looking pistol that was short yet boxy looking. "A short barrel with integrated silencer makes it ideal for quiet, discreet interventions!" Placing it down on the table, she expertly slid the weapon over to the men, the weapon coming to a perfect stop before she reached for the magazines. "Besides regular bullets for regular people, I have two kinds of cyber-bullets for cyber-men!" her tail stood up twitching in excitement. "This one here has a shaped charge that'll drop them with a high explosive blast and a jet of liquid copper, and finally, my best work yet in this garage!" She held up one, then the other magazine.

"This one has a special sticky-polymer squash head! Hard enough to penetrate flesh, but made to cling to metal - and once it does, zap! The electrical arc will go right through their system," she crowed. "The frying is a lot less noisy than the shaped charge, but not completely noisy. Even then though, they're not going to figure out where the shooter is so easy!" She slid these over for them to see, placing her hands on her hips as she leaned forward excitedly. "Well, what do you think?"
 

Uso

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"Cyber Bullets..." The purple-suited Yakuza said, "Sounds like something outa one of those Daqin games." He would pick up the pistol without racking the slide and take aim one-handed at the target... pulling the trigger to no effect. "Looks like your gun doesn't work little lady."

"You have to operate the slide," The boss said, taking the weapon from his subordinate and racking the slide. He would take up a traditional shooting stance, resting one hand under the grip to support the weight of the weapon and firing off a tight grouping of shots. He certainly seemed to know what he was doing when it came to weapons. "The sight is already zero'd too. It seems you know how to-"

*BLAM*

The boss was suddenly missing a good portion of his head, and the swordswoman was standing behind him with a literal smoking gun in her hand.

The purple-suited lieutenant had just enough time to reach an understanding of what was happening. He turned towards the Swordswoman and had just enough time to reach for his sword before a follow up shot him him in the shoulder, then the chest, then the chest again. The swordswoman advancing on him and shooting him again and again and again while he dropped to the floor, and then twice again in the head before turning his attention back to the boss, firing the rest of her bullets into the man's head now that he'd fallen to the ground.
 

CadetNewb

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"Uuh...." Midnight stood there with her mouth open, gawking like a fish as the rapid strings of cold blooded murder were carried out in front of her. But if anyone had asked her why she acted this way, her response would have been that it made perfect logical sense to her at the time. The swordswoman wasn't a threat to Her! They would not be working her to the bone making guns, and then selling her body to the highest bidder once she was used up, like that one now-deceased bossman was offhandedly commenting on, oh no. Probably not. Instead, there were other concerns on her mind right now, given that she wasn't in any imminent danger at all and was quite certain of that. "Am I still getting paid? I have lawyer fees and such! I don't want the Legal Beagle hounding me! " she nervously rubbed her thighs together. The swordswoman surely wouldn't claim to be better than those men, only to slowly succumb to decadence!
 

Uso

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The swordswoman barely suppressed a laugh, "You're-"

The doors to the room burst open, "BOSS! IT'S THE NEOMNI THEY-"

It seemed that both of them would be interrupted, and the swordswoman would be quick to paint a picture of what happened. "The Gunmaker killed the boss. She must be working with the Neomni clan. I was just about to kill her." The swordswoman had her eyes entirely fixated on the suit'd man in the doorway. Both of them had swords on their hips but it was the Swordswoman who was holding a gun that was still very much smoking. It took only a few more moments for both of them to decide that her story wasn't going to be believed. She would quickly aim her gun at the man in the doorway and pull the trigger.

*CLICK*

*CLICK-CLICK*

She'd throw the gun at the man who would draw his sword, slashing it out of the air as the swords woman vaulted over the table between them and drew her own weapon.

Just beyond the doorway was a hallway that led back to the Grand Cabaret, and it sounded like there was a fight going on there as well with shouting and the sounds of bottles of wine being shattered against walls or heads.
 

CadetNewb

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"Um, uh!" Midnight indecisively wondered aloud, uncertain what to do. "Shouldn't we worry about the whoever they are out there?" she tried to talk the two down.
 

Uso

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The swordswoman would be just reaching the door, out-drawing the man in the doorway and delivering a lunging strike that pierced right through his chest before he could deflect the blade. With a swift motion she could be certain her target was dead.

What was more murder after the first two?

But now the table full of guns was in between Hilda and the Swordswoman. "Let me worry about that..." She said, grabbing ahold of the other man's sword and flinging it at Hilda, trying to get her to back away from the table as she started to close the distance as fast as possible.

All the while the brawl in the Cabaret was starting to overflow into the nearby hallways. Lots of men in cheap suits getting into a fist fight as a dense crowd pushed their way towards the back of the club.
 

CadetNewb

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"That tone of voice!" Blurring into action, Midnight deftly dodged the throw and grabbed the sword herself, smoothly mantling over the table. Steel met steel as their swords clashed, the two briefly locking blades. "It only means one thing!" the blonde gunmaker began. "You plan to give me a horrible, erotic fate don't you?!" the Tigress's eyes burned with fire. "The bosses wanted me to make guns, but that would mean the end of your swords-womanship!" Midnight accused the criminal, pushing her back as her voice rose in excitement. "So you were going to get them out of the way and sell me to some big...fat...balding...UGLY PERVERTS!!!" her voice practically climaxed in ecstasy.

"Well, I won't let you do that so easily!"
 

Uso

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It would seem that their muscle strength was similarly matched. Both women were enhanced, genetic engineering pushing them beyond what a regular human could do for the size. The swordswoman was quite a bit heavier than her, with that extra weight translating directly into more muscle. With their blades crossed, neither woman could make progress on cutting the other down.

"I've wanted them out of my way LONG before they made me spend months with you!" She shouted, "You are actually INSANE, fucking creaming yourself over the thought of those assholes wanting you for something more than your gunsmithing skills. Now that I've got the money to...."

She shook her head,

"WHY AM I TELLING YOU ANY OF THIS!"

She'd continue her attack, planting her feet and shoving forward, looking to knock Hilda's back against the table and pin her against it just like she had with the man before her.
 

CadetNewb

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"Because you know that without my gunsmithing skills, you're as good as dead!" Deliberately falling back as the swordswoman pushed, Midnight leaped onto the table and kept the woman at bay with her advantage. "And you're threatening me with a fate worse than death if I don't cooperate, aren't you?" her eyes blazed with light, mouth watering at the thought. "Well, that won't work!"

"I have the high ground!"
 

Uso

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"No, Death is good," The swordswoman would say, gripping the underside of the table after Hilda jumped up on it and giving it a hard yank, flipping the otherwise sturdy table with one powerful move.

"HEY! THEY'RE KILLIN' PEOPLE BACK HERE!" someone shouted out, the fighting in the main hall had started to overflow. People in rather colorful suits were fighting other people wearing similarly loud clothing.

The twitch of the swordwoman's eye indicated that this was not something she was very happy with.
 

CadetNewb

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"You absolute fiend!" Midnight voice rose, deftly sprinting atop the spinning table as it flipped, only for her feet to land on the ground. Blade lashing forward, she clashed with the swords woman again, their blades locking close so that the two could keep talking. "You mean to say you're going to work me until I'm no longer useful!" the feline eared woman accused the sword wielding gangster. Nearly face to face, her excitement rose as she went on, "And then, you'll send me to your most disgusting, highest paying clients who will use me up until my mind and spirit are dead! Isn't that right?!" Midnight heavily breathed into the other woman's face.
 

Uso

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The swordswoman would step towards the inside of the strike, bringing her hilt up to let Hilda's sword slide off from the clash while going for her head with the hilt. The floor was coming out from under Hilda, both in the metaphorical sense as her former 'ally' turned on her and in the literal sense as a loud crunching sound preceded the floor suddenly dropping a few meters into the office space below. It seemed someone had driven a truck into the structure, and a large portion of the Grand Cabaret was starting to crumble! The once clean demonstration room quickly turning into a large area filled with smoke, guns, and people shouting... one of which grabbing Hilda by the hair and dragging her off as someone else shouted, "JUST GRAB THE GUNS!"
 
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