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 Ecliptic 
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> Pull mini air horn out from tool vest and blast it at the direction of the skittering sounds. "That'll hurt em!". Quicken my pace to the surface.


Wed Dec 09, 2020 4:30 am
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Gaston [-]
Curious now, you set your chopsticks down and pull out your phone. Probably just a weird cloud. Or a government spy drone. Either way, good conspiracy posting material. You take a few pictures at the window of, not much exciting. Just a normal, somewhat run down street, with a city management pickup parked next to an open manhole. Interestingly several people outside are looking up at the sun, some pointing, others chattering to each other excitedly. The angle of the sun and the window don't let you get a good view though, so you open the door, head out, and look-
What?
What the hell?
Is, is that an eclipse?

Knocks [-]
You: "Kids these days, they're so impatient..."
You smooth yourself off from the rude child's brush past you, and head out to the front. The boss man gives you a quick nod over the counter, and raises up a steaming bowl of ramen, loaded with the meat and noodles, and probably a lot of other things you're not enough of a Japanophile to recognize at first glance. You gladly take the bowl and take a seat in the restaurant, ready to enjoy the fruits of your labors.
The other patrons are being a bit distracting though, all making a little hubbub about something outside.

Dirk [-]
Oh you've got just the thing for this little bugger. Maintaining your pace, you use your free hand to pull the small air horn out of your vest. Only really meant for emergencies, but you've admittedly never needed in in your years in this job, so one 'test' won't hurt.
You push down on the button and-
BRRTRRTRRTRRT
♥♥♥♥. That was stupid inside a tunnel. ♥♥♥♥, your ears are ringing now.
You: "That'll hurt em!"
Hopefully more than it hurt you... You hurry up on your way back to the entrance. Almost there now. Damn, that air horn really got you, can barely hear anything over the ringing.
Finally, a ray of light shining down from the roof enters your vision as you round the last corner and come to the manhole you entered in from. Huh, it's kinda dark actually. You weren't down here THAT long were you?

Misha [-]
You: "Come on man, when's the last time I've cancelled? You wanna have a beer and go over the setlist again? Meet you at mine in bit?"
James on the phone: "Uhhhh, sure, yeah sure. I just lit up, gimme a bit to finish this firsss..."
He pauses.
James on the phone: "the ♥♥♥♥? Hey uh, wild question man, you know if a deer can get, like, rabies?"


Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:23 am
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> Why is it dark out? Look around, while stumbling to the truck I came from earlier. That fatberg ain't gonna remove itself!


Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:30 am
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> Take some pictures, but don't look directly at it!

After taking pictures, head back inside to my bowl and search online for any news about the eclipse.


"Did I miss that an eclipse was supposed to be today?"


Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:13 am
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"A deer? Didn't take you for the cabin type bruv, but of course they can get rabies! You better not give me that ♥♥♥♥."

Call that uber


Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:31 am
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> Apocalypse can wait. Food now. Old man completely inhales the broth, like, immediately. Completely inhales the stuff. Eats slowly on the noodles though. Chewing is good for your constitution.


Thu Dec 10, 2020 5:51 am
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Gaston [-]
You frown and take some pictures with your phone. They'll be good posting material, but this is kind of concerning, eclipses don't just happen out of nowhere.
A quick search online brings up no articles, though on social media the tag for eclipse is rapidly blowing up, and you're not alone in your surprise. Your suspicion grows. You poke your head back into the shop for a moment.
You: "Did I miss that an eclipse was supposed to be today?"
You know you didn't. Events like that get everyone all excited, they talk about it for weeks beforehand, and it'd have been all over the news, especially a total eclipse like this.
Clerk: "A what? No, that's news to me.

Knocks [-]
Whatever it is can wait.
Food is now. Hubub is eternal.

You go first for the broth, slurping it with wild abandon. A hot stream of rich, meat-infused broth flows down your throat, satisfyingly salty but not over-seasoned, immediately reinvigorating you and easing pains you didn't even realize you had. It also, in mere moments, eases your pangs of hunger without making you feel full, and you're excited to eat the real meat of the dish. Despite yourself, you sigh in satisfaction, just from the broth alone.
With that over with, you begin taking your time on the noodles and meat and other strange things. The noodles are soft but chewy, though not so much that it's taxing to get through. Just enough to feel satisfying to get through before you swallow.
The meat is all thin slices of some breaded and fried cutlet, still maintaining a bit of the crunch from the outer crust despite soaking up the savory flavor of the broth.
The other things are all tasty, though you only recognize some. A few chunks of green vegetable, what you think are small slices of green onion, a couple slices of what is definitely hard boiled egg, it all melds with the broth flavor suffusing everything else in the dish to make the experience just keep going, no matter how much you eat.

A few minutes later you finally finish the bowl, and let off a muffled belch of satisfaction.
Good stuff.

Dirk [-]
A bit confused, you detach the line from the ladder rung it was clipped to, and climb back up the street where your truck and partner, Harris, awaits. At the top you find him waiting for you.
Harris: "Oh good, you're ok. I heard the air horn, was about to head down to check on you.
Craziest thing up here, there's an eclipse right now!"

An eclipse? You look to the sky and confirm that yes, the sun is fully eclipsed. A black circle with a glowing ring around it.
Harris: "Weirdest thing, hu- What the ♥♥♥♥?!"

You're halfway back to the truck to grab the water jet when you turn at his exclamation. He's standing next to the open manhole, staring down it in shock. You walk back over and peer down too.
Holy ♥♥♥♥. At the bottom of the rungs are rats. Dozens, maybe hundreds of them, all climbing over each other in a writhing mass of squeaking and scratching, clustered around the ladder you just climbed.
But, they all look horrible. Far as you can tell none of them have fur, just bare red leathery skin, and they all look malnourished and gruesome, with the skin hugging their bones in places and hanging loose in other spots. They're also all horrifyingly large, most rats you've seen could fit in your hand, these look like the size of a rabbit or small dog.

Misha [-]
You: "A deer? Didn't take you for the cabin type bruv, but of course they can get rabies! You better not give me that ♥♥♥♥."
James on the phone: "I'm at my house, jackwagon."
Oh yeah, his place is right by a stretch of undeveloped land. Guess it probably came from there.
James on the phone: "♥♥♥♥ though, I think I gotta call animal control. This deer looks, goddamn, it looks like it got seriously jacked up. Like Bambi grew up in 'Nam and got hit by napalm. Acting all weird too, just walked right up to the back door.

Oh ♥♥♥♥, I think it's looking at me. Damn that's freaky. I'll call you back after I deal with this, alright?"


Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:42 pm
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> CLOSE THE ♥♥♥♥ MANHOLE.
"This is NOT WHAT WE'RE PAID FOR... Harris?"
Motion Harris to get into the truck and start it. Rinse myself off before I climb back in?
"Leave those to the exterminators. Call the boss, we can't go down there, those rats don't look right"


Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:53 pm
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> Walk over to the boss man's counter.

"Excellent bowl there son, just let me know if you need anything more."

> Slide a ratty old business card across the counter towards him and start walking out.
(phone number calls a pay phone Knocks sleeps next to)


Last edited by CrazyMLC on Sun Dec 13, 2020 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:20 pm
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"That's what you get when you just toss all your used syringes out the back door I guess."

Travel home


Sun Dec 13, 2020 1:31 am
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> Contribute my images to the social media hubbub, resume eating.

"Well, there's an eclipse goin' on right now."


Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:08 am
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Gaston [-]
Throwing your own photographic evidence into the deluge of other pictures, you return to your noodles.
You: "Well, there's an eclipse goin' on right now."
Clerk: "Woah."
You spend another couple minutes finishing your meal. Good as always. As you're wiping off your mouth from the last traces of broth and noodle, you hear someone shouting outside, a bit distant, maybe around the corner.
Sounds like a woman making a ruckus, probably dropped her latte or bumped into-

The shouting changes. It turns to screams. Your stomach drops out and your heart races. Something deep in your monkey brain tells you "danger" at this scream. Something's wrong. Something's very wrong.
And then she peters out, and everyone stays silent.

Knocks [-]
Not one to let good work go unappreciated, you head to the counter for a moment and the boss man who gave you the noodles takes notice.
You: "Excellent bowl there son, just let me know if you need anything more."
He nods, a bit of trepidation in his eyes, but just a bit. Better than most people do. Good guy.
You slide him a business card to be sure, then adjust your coat and turn to make your way back out. As you do you hear a woman outside start carrying on, but as you lay your hand on the door it changes.
She starts screaming. And it's a bad scream, a very bad scream.

You've been around the block more than once. You've seen some ♥♥♥♥, and some of it has been very bad ♥♥♥♥.
That's the kind of noise someone makes when fear takes over. Pure fight or flight, life or death, and they're closing in fast on the death side.
As you push the door open, the screaming dies down to nothing. And then there's just, silence.

Dirk [-]
Without another word, you slide the manhole cover back onto the hole.
You: "This is NOT WHAT WE'RE PAID FOR... Harris?"
Harris: "Huh?"
You wave at the cab while you go for the hose on the back of the truck. He understands and climbs in the driver seat, starting up the well loved vehicle.
A quick hose down of all your more waterproof surfaces, and a towel off from a grungy towel in the back, and you're good enough to ride shotgun. With another towel under you, because you're not THAT good.
You: "Leave those to the exterminators. Call the boss, we can't go down there, those rats don't look right."
Before he can respond, some lady down the street starts screaming bloody murder. It knocks the both of you speechless for a moment, just long enough for the screams to fade into silence.

Misha [-]
You: "That's what you get when you just toss all your used syringes out the back door I guess."
James on the phone: "Man I don't ♥♥♥♥ with that ♥♥♥♥, c'mon. Talk to you later."
Beep.
Well, time to get a cab.

After ordering, you kick up and lean against the wall by the noodle place. Might as well watch the city's finest while you wait, hard at working cleaning themselves off from the ♥♥♥♥ below.
Fight on you brave sewer monkeys, fight on.

As the guy in the rubber waders is about to get in the truck, your attention is grabbed by some woman around the corner shouting incoherently. A bit worrying actually, she sounds freaked out about someth-
Holy ♥♥♥♥. The shouting turns to screaming, panicked terrified screams, that only end up lasting a few seconds before fading to nothing. You stand there, shocked, along with everyone else on the street.


All
The screams echo across the street for a moment, before leaving nothing but a heavy silence. Seconds later this is replaced by panting, as a young woman comes running around the corner from the direction the screams came from. Her eyes are wide and panicked as she tries to run away from where she came frantically.
A few steps in, the heel on her shoe falls into a storm grate, and she trips and falls to the ground.
A split second later, around the corner comes barreling a group of a half dozen dogs.
Except... they're not normal dogs. All of them have no fur, and their skin is drawn and gaunt tight against their flesh and bones, and a dull red like it was tanned in the sun for a year before being hung back on the bodies. Their lips are curled back revealing huge rows of teeth, bigger and more numerous than any dog should have.
And in just a moment they're upon the woman, and new screams begin.


Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:20 am
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"Maybe the fridge wasn't such bad accommodations after all..."

> Check and see if I brought any weapons with me, can't remember.


Last edited by CrazyMLC on Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:24 am
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"Jesus."

> Walk up to the window, snap a couple of pictures, then make sure the door is closed and locked.

"Hey uh, someone call animal control? Some rabid dogs are tearing a woman apart right now. Can we close the security shutters from inside here? Those things look mean."


Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:36 am
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"NOOOOOOOPE"

Run for the truck, sewer monkey smell or not, I'd rather be in there than out here.


Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:38 am
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