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Ashur A thin film of morning dew lingers on the coldmetal leaves of fabricated trees, whose moist surfaces catch a scattering of rays and reflect them in a hundred hundred pinprick lights. The forest glitters like a sky full of stars!

Beneath one of those trees, upon a bench, sits the almighty Ashur. He's twice again the weight this scrap bench was made to hold, and it bends and buckles beneath him, straining in the center but not yet broken. The braided super mutant is exposed to the cold air, casting his golden eyes against the heavens and watching rainclouds flirt with the horizon. Licentious little things, those pregnant clouds, edging closer and closer.

His loincloth folds across his lap and is pressed down by his hands. His bare toes wriggle against the chill ground. And the dappled glimmer of so many metal leaves filtering the sunrise spreads across his great crimson chest, playing shadowgames over the scarred flesh.

Breathe. Inhale, exhale.

"A dead toddler bit me. This is new."
Eden Eden look worriedly at the bite mark. Her eyes can't stay there.. they wander back and forth across all the wounds on Ashur's massive body. Her own head still throbbing, Eden wonders what to make of all the mysteries in Dunwhich. "Did you see whatever hit me? I don't remember it. I remember the zombie kids, and the empty graves, but I have no idea what hit me."
Jacqueline Not too far away, Jacqueline Wayne is looking around this strange metal forest. Someone certainly did have a lot of time and talent, but it's... a little creepy somehow.
The two interlopers nearby draw her attention quickly, especially once the super mutant begins speaking. That bass register sets some of the metal leaves quivering. She lifts a hand and moves to join the two. "Hey, Mister Ashur. Hey, Miss. Taking in the... wait. Did you say /zombie kids/? You're talking about Dunwich, aren't you?" She shivers at the memory of the place.
Ashur "I flung a headstone at the boy with the dangling eyeballs," the behemoth remarks. "It broke and one of the pieces bounced into your head." He lifts his hands and mimes chucking something big and heavy over his head, then lets them fall.


A woman's voice causes his head to twist around, braids flying, and the brute settles once seeing who it is. He nods once and curls his fingers, scratching across a ribbon of pale pink scar tissue stretched crispy over his expansive red chest.

"We were looking for things. Eden is chasing a haunted car. In a graveyard, we found some empty graves that got dug up. Then a bunch of kids showed up."
Eden "A BEAUTIFUL haunted car" Eden is almost insulted that Ahsur does not have any of the same awe of the contracption that she does. "Those graves are connected. The woman, when alive she had driven the car over those children. But why would the one box not open? anyway, you should have seen this car. It was amazing. And I found these!" Eden lifts up her little hand and jingles a set of car keys "They have to be to beauty, don't they?" She asks, a little too hopefully
Jacqueline "A haunted... car? That's a new one on me," Jackie has to admit. "But I guess that explains what you were doing in a graveyard." She looks at the keys, frowning thoughtfully. "I hope you're right," she says at last, but her tone is doubtful. "It sounds like a prize worth chasing. Only... how do you un-haunt a haunted car?"
Ashur "I killed dead people already," Ashur says, lifting a shoulder in a long slow shrug. His right arm lifts, hand balled into a fist, and swats the air casually. "You just have to hit 'em in the head. If this car has ghosts in it, I'll make them wish they were alive!"
Eden This strikes Eden as funny and she giggles. "They don't stand a chance with you after them!" To Jacqueline, "That is a very good question. I thought maybe if we knew how it was haunted.. by who... I found these newspaper clippings describing murders all surrounding this car, so we went to the graveyard to look at their tombstones. That was Ashur's idea. Always with the good ideas." Eden smiles softly at the mutant next to her. Then back to the topic at hand "But the graves were open. I really don't understand how they can be zombies and be haunting the car."
Jacqueline "I don't get it, either. But if ghosts are vulnerable to head-knocks, I'd say Mister Ashur has it covered," Jackie replies, with a grin at the giant. "Knowing the truth always seems to work against ghosts in old films and the like. I guess it's worth a try here, at least in Dunwich."
Ashur "Don't be silly, girl," chastises the giant. "Movies aren't real."

Sticking his arms way up high, a legion of muscles working in glorious concert, Ashur draws in a deep, stomach-swelling breath. He inflates, balloonish, and holds the breath at the peak, his lungs expanded to that sweet spot where the breath finally feels satisfying but also hurts a little-- and then he exhales, lips fluttering as he grunts and drops the limbs with dull thuds of palms against the bench.

"If you want to find dead people, graves make the most sense," he explains. "I'm not used to people coming back from the dead, though. All my life, killing once was enough. Black magic, that stuff. It's why I say smash it all, burn it down, and salt the earth."
Eden "burn it all and salt the earth.. they always talk about that as how to put ghosts to rest. Burning and salting the bodies. Do you think there is any truth to that?" Eden holds her head in her hands, leaning against Ashur as she tries to think. Her head really is still pounding. "Do we know anyone who knows about ghosts? I don't know too many people at all."
Jacqueline "I know... but sometimes they're based on real things," Jackie reminds Ashur. "The trick is figuring out which ones are and which ones aren't. I mean, people coming back from the dead used to not be real, but then we found Dunwich and the rules changed completely. Who's to say the movies don't have some of it right?"
She gives Eden a sympathetic glance. "I wish I knew. I'd say talk to the church folks, but that's out of a movie I saw, too."
Ashur "I thought ghosts were pretend," the giant admits. "Scary stories to spook bad children and tell stories about at camp. But then I went to Dunwich, and that is a place the gods abandoned." He shakes his head and folds his arms over his chest. The supernatural horror of Dunwich has given him nightmares for more than a month, and even the memory goosepimples his nape and makes his hairs stand on end-- but it's a fear overwhelmed by unyielding rage, an aggressive anger toward a foe he cannot figure out how to kill.

"I don't like it. The hellclaws are worthy foes, but the rest is evil."
Eden "Do you think they would help us? I've only met a couple of them. And we never really had reason to talk about anything. Do you know any of them well?" Eden is a bit scared of their speeches sometimes... " back to Ashur "What if we could kill them though. just.. slightly trickier ause they are already sort of dead. What if we could let them all go. That place is filled with badness. But maybe it doesn't have to stay that way?"
Jacqueline "They seem real enough," Jackie replies, her eyes faintly haunted. "I've run into a few in Dunwich. I don't think anything I could think of would be that scary, so I doubt it was my imagination."
She looks to Eden, shaking her head. "I only know one much at all, and that's Sister Tina. She's usually in the church, so finding her wouldn't be hard, if you want to ask her."
Ashur "The pretty nun told me about demons once," Ashur recalls, stroking his fingers through his beard and enjoying the crinkly scratching sounds. "She didn't know much. There might be more about ghosts in her head. But I still say punching them is the smart option. If something hurts you, kill it. Easy peasy."
Eden At this Eden's brows knightin worry. Looking at all the wounds again, she decides to say nothing on the subject. "Well maybe She would be a help. Does she have a name besodes pretty?" Hopes Ashur remembers more!
Jacqueline "I think he means Sister Tina," Jackie says, looking at Ashur. "She's the only nun I've seen working in the church, though I might be missing the others."
Ashur "Tina," Ashur repeats, leaning down and giving Eden's forehead a flick.
Eden "Ow, Hey" Eden rubs her head. Ok, Tina then. If she knows about ghosts then I'll talk to her. But did she say anything more?" Eden rubs her head again. "Or maybe I'll ask tommorrow"
Jacqueline "Be nice, Mister Ashur. I think she's hurt enough," Jackie says, with some sympathy. "I guess that's only natural if you spend much time in Dunwich. Or any time in Dunwich. Are you planning to go back anytime soon?" she asks worriedly.
Ashur The hand that mocked Eden gentles, those thick fingers curling through her hair and giving her scalp a scritch-scratch. "She's tough," he teases, releasing her after a moment's touch. "Visit the church and you'll find her. She dresses funny, but the Sister is nice." He leans back, resting his fists on the ground behind the bench. "I want to find out how to kill everything there."
Eden Eden beams at the praise and the gentle touch! Instantly forgetting any annoyance. "I will visit her. I want to know how to kill them too. I also want to know how it's possible to haunt a machine and a thousand other things, but will start with how to kill dead things."
Jacqueline "I need to speak to her soon as well," Jackie admits. "I just don't know how to bring up the subject of curses. I mean, do those exist? I didn't think they did, but after Dunwich... well, you've seen the place. The usual rules don't apply."
Ashur With a little hup, Ashur rises to his feet, bones grinding beneath the sudden shifting of his weight. The bench audibly creaks and groans as he lifts, and his head brushes against the bladed aluminum leaves. "There is magic in the world," Ashur declares, that booming bass reverberating through the forest like thunder in the mountains. "It has its own rules. And I will figure them out-- and kill the monsters!"

His jaw sets in a stubborn line. "I want to kill more of the hellclaws, and skin them. I need new armor. New clothes. And I'm hungry now. Goodbye!"

He's already walking away.
Eden Eden watches Ashur walk away a bit sadly. Then shrugs and looks back to Jacqueline. "So you want to go together than? I'll ask about the ghosts. I always wind up sticking my foot in my mouth anyway, so asking another weird thing will surprised no one."
Jacqueline "Clothes would be a good thing, I think!" Jackie calls after Ashur, watching the super mutant stride off. "At least, something a little more protective than his own hide," she adds, more softly. "He's noticing being bitten. That's not a good thing, if you're exploring graveyards as a hobby."
She nods to Eden. "I guess together is as good a way as any. Maybe it'll make the asking easier."
Eden Eden giggles again. "Clothes? He insists on only wearing that toga wrapped around him. I don't understand it. Anyway, it's late... wanna meet there in the morning? I really should rest my head a bit."
Jacqueline "It /is/ getting late. The morning sounds good to me," Jackie says at last. "Meet you there around 8-ish?"
Eden Eden grins and gives her a small hug. "OK. see you then!" then proceeeds to catch up to Ashur.