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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:24 am 
Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.

(He headed down into the training area, or rather stood just outside of it while he waited for Raine to appear. She seemed busy or preoccupied at the moment, so Canti just waited for a bit, looking over the disks in his hands. He wasn't really looking into their content, because he couldn't really do that yet. Better that an experienced member examine them to be sure. What the Twin Blade was really thinking about was Senna. He was sure that he'd done the right thing, chasing after her before, since the Elites would find her eventually and just use her... But she just ended up running again, because she felt like the fifth wheel still. And she hadn't told him or anyone this he wouldn't come running.)

Canti: God-dammit!

(Slamming the wall with his fist, a gout of black flame was produced, leaving a mark on the that resembled scorch-mark...yet had all the properties of rot and corruption. It was degraded by this flame, the energy and the 'life' of The World drained from that one spot, leaving it 'dead' for now. It was like the bed from earlier. It burst into flames and was reduced to a black mess on the ground. He would have to be more careful with that, which meant gaining some measure of control. This black pyre, this...Darkness Flame....was the virus' response to his own frustrations, along with the elements that his character seemed aligned to. It was fire, yes, but because The World would not allow both of his elemental strengths to manifest this way, it became darkness. Canti's fiery temper was normal, a manageable state. His sudden admittance, nay desire, to kill without conscience let it on through. And armed with that new level with viciousness, a true demon was born... He'd checked. Several places on his body ached from a transformation that he thought was only a dream. Horns, spikes, fangs, talons - all of it had manifested for real, or as real as The World gets, while he fought Angel. But the crux of the matter was that fire. That flame was something from within, a dramatic change in his own being. Canti knew what had to be done...)

"I'm sorry, were you waiting long?"

Canti: What?, not really.

(Rain appeared suddenly, taking him by surprise. He actually had no idea how much time had passed. The Twin Blade stepped forward and handed over the disks.)

"Where did you get these?"

Canti: From a friend. It's a bunch of monster designs and a setting for the battleground.

"Just a moment, while I take a look."

(It wasn't long before she came back, and the look on her face did not imply good news.)

"About these disks..."

Canti: Something wrong?

"They're incompatible with the training ground system, first of all. But what surprises me is what they are for..."


(What Raine had told him afterward really surprised him. Had they really done all that for him? Apparently, the disks were all parts of the field-editing program that had been used during the event that Canti had attended before. They'd actually given him the program when all he asked for was a few monster files. Thanking Raine for her help, the Twin Blade decided to leave her be. She seemed a bit distracted by something... Canti shook his head now. It couldn't be nearly as bad as what he'd been through lately. Those dreams he'd had were beyond strange. He felt like he was going mad... So, in light of that, the only way to STOP the madness was to be exposed to it. That was why he'd requested it. So, returning again to Dun Loireag, the Twin Blade chose an entirely random set of keywords and entered the field. It was perfect... A rocky terrain that lacked monsters or a dungeon. He always wondered why fields without monsters even existed. Well...this one was getting a face-lift. Raine had shown him how the disks worked, so Canti held them out and watched as they floated out of his hand and combined into a single glowing crystal. Words appeared in mid-air...)

The Shining Trapezohedron is both a miracle of creation and abomination. Here, it is the center of your universe. Do you wish to transform this plain?

Canti: Yes.

Activating. . . . .Done.

(The glowing shape, bizarre to the very eye, twisted and shed light in all directions, warping his surroundings. Soon, Canti found himself in the middle of an area far removed from anything of human resemblance. A murky sky with a red sun lay above, with winds whipping around in complete dischord. He stood upon hard basalt lands, some of it damp and some of it dry. Cracks were all along the ground, besides. Here and there, huge cyclopean towers - windowless structures poised at a bizarre angle - jutted from the ground. They went on for miles, and Canti could not see their tops. There was also distant fog and a distinctly chilling sensation of being watched, hunted, and prodded from afar...all at the same time. When it was complete, the glowing shape vanished. He was in for the duration, or until he gated out. The program would reset either way. So now, as he looked around the place...)

Canti: I wonder of Clive Barker ever... Hhhnnnggghhh...FLLCK!!

(No sooner had he spoken than something welling up inside of him decided to push its way out. The sudden pain in his chest suddenly drew him to his knees, and he vomited pure blackness, either blood or black essence or something worse. It was the color of obsidian, and just as reflective, like black mercury. Then, red-glowing eyes opened like a reflection in the pool, though there was no face or anything else, just the eyes!)

Canti: AGH!!

(He jumped back a step, then looked again. Nothing. What the hell was wrong with him? He couldn't be hallucinating, could he? No chance... He'd been cold turkey ever since he got rolled into this mess! You don't start getting relapses after the shakes have passed!)

Canti: Alright, man. Get a grip. The last time you thought you were crazy, it turned out to be a stake-out mission. It's gonna be fine... Everything's gonna be...


(He facepalmed, hearing the sound of his first opposition appear somewhere behind him.)

Canti: ...ah, fuck.

(Canti turned, knives out and wings spread, bearing down on his assailant...and then looked up. The Twin Blade suddenly felt less confident now. Bearing down on him was something huge and floating, a monster with misplaced mouths and bulging eyes, its flesh knotted and dark in color, tendrils sprouting from several places. It was easily ten-times his size and he couldn't tell if it was actually facing his direction or not. The head-up display labeled it as a "Flying Polyp". Canti would've liked to say that he'd been started out with a big one, except...most of them were probably big ones.)

Canti: Alright, fine! If that's how it's gonna be, then let's rock!

(Leaping higher than humanly possible, Canti took right to the air to attack the Polyp. He was swift and agile, even while flying, but he'd made a critical error here. In fact, it was a bad idea to put himself against these things in the first place. He had no idea what they were capable of. If he had, he'd've never included the Flying Polyps, who dominated wind. Immediately, a burst of air threw him to the ground, causing damage. Wait...air damage? The World didn't HAVE...oh wait... It registered as Juk damage. Suddenly, a tornado came drilling down at Canti's position, forcing him to leap back and avoid it.)

Canti: Man, those hackers did a great job...

(A flew out of the way of the next wind-burst, and quickly saw the pattern. It was all so easy. The bursts were directed outward at him, and shifting sideways to avoid them allowed him to divebomb the Polyp several times. A normal player could NEVER handle this, but he could. However, the Flying Polyp took the chance to counter him, biting the Twin Blade's legs and beating him with tendrils. Then, he was thrown to the ground again for good measure. A ton of his HP had been taken out of him just then. he lay on the ground, watching that unblinking horror writhe and growl at him.)

Canti: I'm sick of being tossed around, blasted away so easily just because my opponent's bigger, stronger... I train and fight all the time! I do everything for the team that I possibly can! What the hell more do they want from me?!

(A twist of three-knotted tendrils flung themselves down at Canti's position. There was a black-blur of motion and an explosion of sorts, dampening the light in the given area. Dark fire traveled up the tendril in force, disintegrating it. Canti, his body seemingly on fire, followed the trail up as the Polyp let out a hollow scream. He tore into every cluster of eyes and parted the knotted flesh, until the horrid monster collapsed and faded into gray. The black fire faded as he landed, and he was unable to call it forth again. Why? Hadn't he just broken through some sort of mental barrier?)

Canti: Oh, gimme a break...

"What? Did you think it would be that easy?"

Canti: Hey, who's th- HGGGHHLLLCK!!

(Another surge of pain in his chest decked him, almost face-to-floor, as he puked another black mess. This strange voice sounded alot like him, but overlapping and twisted like a deranged psychopath...)

"You're a killer, not a combat-veteran. You have to act like one if you want to survive..."

Canti: ...I don't...understand...

"You ever heard of a Closed Circle? You're living one now..."

(No... This wasn't right. Canti began to stand unsteadily, his body feeling horrible. It was as though his body were empty, except for his nerves, which could still relay signals of pain. The pain was too great, and he faltered. What was going on here? Why was he hearing voices and getting sick? Sick... Canti's eyes went wide...and then he looked around to find the field slightly-malfunctioning. A crack of data here, a spark of energy there. But it was clear what'd happened. The virus. The Twilight virus... Yeah, he'd been spared any grandiose effects from it before, unlike Dien or Zan or anybody else, but now that it'd had a chance to well up before the dam burst... Immediately, he tried to gate out, but it was as he expected. The escape clause was blocked. A cold fear came over him, and Canti suddenly called out...)

Canti: Rey?! REYOME!!

(No answer... Not even from her, the only one who could keep him stable, talk to him, give advice - long as she was there when no one else could be. But even then...)

"Closed Circle... Meaning that you don't leave until it's all over, and you get no help from outsiders..."

(The sound of more creatures appearing on the field followed. Three of them, each about twenty feet in height. Huge monsters of humanoid shape with gristly and semi-hairy bodies, their arms splitting at the elbows to give them two hands each and their yellow-fanged mouths vertical with tongues hanging out. Gugs, they were called... Canti stood up and healed himself, feeling very alone. Senna had said to him once that the cure for alone was to know when to call for help. Unfortunately, he'd done that didn't work. The only cure for alone in THIS case would be if help would come. Until then, he needed a cure for dying. Canti took off at the nearest monster, Dark Dance a'dancing.)

I'll have a doozy of a sig later, I swear. It'll reflect ".hack//CODE" an' everything.

Hey look! A profile! It's got items and stats and things! Cool! If it isn't fully up to date, it will be, so don't worry 'bout it.

Last edited by Lord Canti on Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:55 am 
Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.

There comes a time in every man's life, not to mention every women's...

(It was dark and stuffy as hell, and there was a sick wet feeling all over.)

...when you have to just ask yourself, "What's the fucking point, anyway?".

(A faint glimmer of light, the doorways snapping shut, but not all the way. He wouldn't let it go...)

We're all born into this life, dying slowly from a body that breathes in poison every day, dissolved by nature itself. When you prick us, we bleed oh so easily, letting in every possible chance of disease, infection, and the possibility of the blood's scent being picked out by predators.

(Off balance, but pushing hard, he forces open the doorway to salvation...shining light inward again. But...the doorway has musles, and teeth. It will not give in without a fight, and so it tries to close him in once more, forcing him into the dark and smelly depths of eternal torment.)

And to raise the stakes, we human beings have a sentient mind, and free will, which - as we all know - is the quickest and easiest way to make life worse. Instincts would have served better. They never fail when needed. But all the bravado and posing, and the INCOMPETENCE... You're halfway to hell before you even suspect there's any salvation to be had.

(Kicking into the sides of the inner-sanctum, he struggled for balance, and attacked, scraping his weapons into the walls of flesh that threatened to consume him whole.)

Don't get me wrong, though. The idea of putting faith in religion without common sense is like asking to be blinded in both eyes with one hand cut off. Everyone in life is trying to find the right path, and it's hard as hell without the handicaps. If you have to ask, "How could this happen to me?", you really aren't paying attention.

(His entire world lurches and convulges, the gates of flesh and tooth shuddering in pain. Light pours in and he launches himself, litereally, from the jaws of defeat.)

Trapped as I am between heaven and hell, I never ask questions when I know the answer. And that answer is..."It's you're own damn fault, Damon-me-lad."

(His name was Damon Fortis, in another life. That life on hold, you'd probably best call 'im Canti the Twin Blade. Standing in an altered field of The World, he fights for his life against a creeping darkness originating from his own body. He does not ask why this is happening to him. The answer is, it's his fault. How could he not see it before? His body and mind in The World was acting unstably from the virus, so he...what? Ah yes! He goes and finds a hacker to give him an item to doctor up some badass enemies to battle. Only, the whole thing goes south, doesn't it? He stands upon basalt ruins in a world envisioned by H.P. Lovecraft, master of the macabre, fighting abominations to the death. So, why does he act so surprised and shocked when the infection, the Twilight Virus, begins to react to a hacker program? It's only altering the basic fundamental physics of The World! Surely, there would be no harm!)

Canti: Tell that to the voice in my head...

(He had taken this on in order to learn his power better. Halfway into the first monster, it looked like he had a lead into it. Canti had the power of Darkness Flames, but the fire and the corruption in his belly had come up to say "Hello", and it was now corrupting the program. A voice in his head starts speaking out and abominations with the taint of Twilight on them start appearing out of nowhere. Canti is utterly alone with a piece of the virus, and it's screwing with his head. Three new opponents, Gugs, appeared before him and he attacked one right in the vertical jaws. Stupid, man. Very stupid. Although there was damage, the monster swallowed him up and tried to digest him. The World could very well hurt him, even kill him, so there wouldn't be any second chances. Alone and in pain, the Twin Blade did not even have the luxury of a calming voice, someone to keep him stable. Reyome couldn't hear him, and that made him feel more afraid than he ever had in his life. He'd felt secure, knowing she was there in the hospital, monitering him. But she really couldn't help him, could she? He was out of luck. Now...he had one of these Gugs down from that little Fantastic Voyage he just went on, and the two others were attacking. Four hands, meaning twice as much damage per swing. Canti ducked one and got himself decked by the next. They sent him into a tumble.)

Canti: What now? They're fucking huge... I can't...uhhh... Hey...

(And this is where the problem of common sense kicks in. They were big, they were tall, they had lots of HP, and it was a bitch to fight even one... Who would anyone want to assault them in proper? He was a Twin Blade, a master of guile and quickness. And he had wings. Why the HELL was he not using them?! Floating upwards, Canti held at an altitude of forty feet, just hovering over their reach limit. Damn, but they were huge... Big, ugly, vicious... They had a mind, but it was only one of monstrous proportions, meant only to kill him. It made Canti angry, darkly so. He started off by cutting into their outstretched hands, just to spite them. They were just creatures. They weren't like him. He had a life, a reason to live. They existed only to take that away. And in his anger, he found this cruelty to be satisfying, justified, and all the more worth it. Exploit their weaknesses to take them down... Canti dove behind a Gug and slashed down the whole of its back with both daggers. It couldn't reach properly, and he did the same to the other, right after gouging the creature's eyes. Afterwards, he let them beat up each other before swooping in for the kill. He did not notice the fangs in his own grin, or the slight poking of horns while he performed these acts. But a cold laugh trailed into his mind, even though his didn't feel like coughing up more blood.)

Canti: Something you want to share with the class? Or are you just the latest in a long list of psychosis filling my brain?

(The voice did not elaborate. The merest echoes of its laughter remained, and then Canti heard the unfortunate sound of MANY foes dropping in. He looked at them...and screwed up his face, trying to figure out WHAT he was looking at. Winged forms with tentacle-faces and no eyes. Many claws upon the wings and a scorpion tail. They whispered and buzzed as the air became dark in their presence. Each one had a kind of bio-armor on, and held small devices in their claws. They were called "Mi-Go", and there were ten of them. They couldn't be that strong for so many, but there had to be a reason why they'd be called. Aerial dog-fighting was something that Canti had gotten good at. Immediately, he swooped around, ducking claws and attacking swiftly. Never did he use a specific attack move, but simply struck around, sapping their HP here and there. The damages they incurred were negligable. Not using magic gave him plenty of SP for Repth-type spells. And having the next version up for those, he was in good shape. However, that was when the weapons came into play. Suddenly, they all backed away and Canti's world became bright and painful. He fell to the ground, his body smoking as he fought against the SHOCK-)

Canti: Shock...? What the...?

(Then, it hit him. The devices... Lightning guns. More shots were fired and Canti, still on the ground, forced his body to move, to stumble from place to place. He needed to heal, to get those bastards back as soon as possible. He started to leap on all-fours, wings assisting him. Something - an instinct or his powers - seemed to take him over as he leapt and tackled one of the Mi-Gos right off, forcing it against the lightning. AHA! They weren't effected by lightning! Their bio-armor was protecting them from that. Canti rammed the Mi-Go he had into some of the others, unaware of the fanged grin and the black horns that shot from his skull like they had for Angel... A devilish man, a monster in fact, was among the Mi-Go crowd, blocking their attacks with one of their own and killing them while they recharged. Then, and only then, did he see it happening. His arms were on fire. Black fire. Three remained and Canti did them a quick service. For while the bio-armor would have also protected them against fire, the Darkness Flame was NOT the same element. he landed and laughed to the dark horizons surrounding him. He's done it! He'd...)

Canti: Agh, my he...AAAAAAAGGGHHH!!!!!

"Now, now... Let's not get ahead of ourselves."

(His head felt as though it'd been ripped off! Every muscle and nerve from the neck up was screaming on end...)

"You have such a long way to go...and so much darker to become. Why...when you leave here, you won't even RECOGNIZE yourself..."

Canti: Fu-

"Hmmm...heh heh heh heh... And on that note, release the hounds..."

(Canti's black eyes shot open wide. No. Hell no. Anything but that. He started to get a grip, shoving the pain aside so he could just SEE...oh shit. They were already there, and they were as unpleasant to look at as the last one. Though somewhat resemblant of canines, the Hounds of Tindalos were something more akin to flayed lizards covered in acid. They were CALLED hounds because of their hounding nature, hunter-creatures who ran across time and space after prey. Near-impossible to destroy, even here in The World. They had all time to replenish their health in between attacks. Canti had managed to kill ONE before, and that took effort. The only way that he was going to manage TWELVE of them was with a goddamn miracle. Well, maybe he had the right stuff and maybe he didn't. The viciousness was the key here...but he had to be careful. This Darkness Flame... It was giving him a form of madness, changing who he was. The voice in his head was the virus, trying to corrupt him further like the Devil himself. And he had given it the power. Not even waiting for them, Canti sought freedom in the sky, practically blasting off with black fire. They had leapt, and thank fully missed. But...there was one thing Canti had forgotten. Time-creatures, right? They could appear in THIS so-called timezone from ANYWERE, so the Twin Blade quickly found himself ambushed in mid-air, claws raking at his body. He stabbed and struck and slashed in a frenzy, moving quicker and out of the way. He knew what had to be done, though. If they didn't die in one strike, they would NEVER die. Canti waited for an oppurtunity and then reached out with his arms...right down into the gullet of two hounds. It was how he got the first one in the other field to stay put. Shortly thereafter, he burned their bodies out with the Darkness Flame, turning their bodies into a sickening mess in his hands. It stank like all hell... From there, the demon was back, enraged by the creatures attacking him. Black fireballs burst from his hands and covered the monsters in his pyre. They suffered greatly at his hands... Not long after, though, the pain came back. This time, it decked him to the ground as his wings were paralyzed while his head throbbed and he began to puke up more of his black blood. It did this as the horns and the claws and talons retracted. Hellish fury was making him sick, delusional, and suffering in the worst way.)

Canti: What...going on? It shouldn't...*Cough*...shouldn't be happening this way.

(He began to get up. C'mon, Canti... Pull yourself together. However, the voice of the virus decided to chime in and answer him...)

"You can't beat the Devil when you're all alone in hell... Join the club and embrace the madness. We'll burn ALL the bastards and send 'em to their graves."

(The Twin Blade gritted his teeth.)

Canti: I didn't ask you, so shut up!

"They're so smug and self-serving...and they let the Elites walk all over them too. Why not end them all, starting with Nighthand? You know he's no leader..."

(This thing was quite the tempter...but if he let it win, then there would be no Damon Fortis at the finish line. Just a sociopathic monster...)

Canti: You're forgetting...I still believe in the team!

"Hmmm...then that means you need more coaxing... You WILL submit...or you will die here. And that."

(He managed to stand himself straight up, but he was dizzy, and his SP counter was low. The Darkness Flame seemed to drain away his energy like the virus was leeching at his sanity. Soon, he'd have none left and then it'd be "Hello, shit-creek! Take my paddle, please!". Canti believed in the idea of the team, even though he wholey disagreed with Nighthand leading it. But even if the two of them disagreed, there was still shit to be taken care of, and that's why he was still here. That's why he was always here, sticking around here in The World, or when he was just a normal guy in a car shop. Things have to get done. That's life. And as a score of abominations rose out of thin air all around him, he would have no choice...but to take care of business.)

I'll have a doozy of a sig later, I swear. It'll reflect ".hack//CODE" an' everything.

Hey look! A profile! It's got items and stats and things! Cool! If it isn't fully up to date, it will be, so don't worry 'bout it.

Last edited by Lord Canti on Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:08 am 
Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.

(Madness is a frame of mind. They tell you that you're not crazy, but mentally ill, and yet nobody can say just what lunacy truly is. The accepted doctorine is that it is an inability to accept reality in its given state, despite all reasonings to the contrary. Paranoids believe that they are being stalked by hither-to-unseen forces, even when they're clearly not. Schizophrenics claim to hear voices in that do not exist. And let's not forget all manner of delusion and questionable judgement, turning up into down and black into white. Of course, by those rules, Canti was a head-case a mile wide. Voices, constant strife and attack, changes in perception, unexplainable pains, and a reality which he cannot accept all plague him at once. In his situation, however, the truth of what's real or not is in the eye of the beholder, as The World is not the true-real...but the ideal-real. It's a fun reality, a game of adventure and discovery. Oh, if only it were just a game to him now... He would gladly toss aside his goggles and leave this place if he could. But that...was impossible. Beaten, battered, and berated by an unknown voice...Canti was in a World of hurt. The basalt towers which adorned his surroundings in this altered field were crumbling as an earthquake rolled by. Rolled...? There were monsters within that ground. One of the giant windowless towers let loose a giant horrid serpent with a grotesque demonic face and wings. It was gigantic, labeled as a "Hunting Horror". Something below the surface then rose up. Canti was thrown off of his feet as several of them surfaced in his area. Giant things, twenty feet tall with cloven feet at the end of their massive legs. He saw dark bodies, somewhat reminescent of trees, was all big tendrils and gaping orifices. The several Dark Young, whom these were, immediately swung their tendrils at Canti, striking at him and - luckily for him - striking out. He was a bit quick, rolling out of the way. His fortune was in the fact that such creatures easily overtook normal humans, not players of The World, who are like meta-humans by comparison.)

Canti: I can be as high on myself as I like, but it's still not gonna take these guys out...

(Canti was only dodging right now out of fear and avoidance of pain. He'd already received quite a few shockers. He didn't need more. But every time it looked as though he was coming around to a decent finish to his struggles, the virus decided to make the rounds even harder. From one Flying Polyp to a trio of Gugs, then Mi-Gos and the Hounds of Tindalos. Now...all of this. Six of these giant monsters, and they could reach higher than the Gugs could! Canti tried to fly out of reach and he was snagged right out of the air! Only a Twin Dragons assault had saved him, the flailing blades hurting the creature too much for it to swallow him. These disgusting monsters were making bile rise in his throat. ((Well, he HOPED it was bile...)) But Canti managed to snag himself free from a number of ropey tendrils, got out of all the Dark Youngs' reach, and then...WHAM!!)


(Hit so hard that he went flying like a bullet into the rubble of a broken tower. Something hit him hard, and that something was about forty feet of giant flying serpent. As he began to pick himself up and brush off the dirty and rocks, Canti was thankful for one thing: You could not break bones in The World. No matter how much he got tossed around, nobody was going to snap his leg in half, leaving him helpless and in total anguish. Now...the Dark Young were coming, but Canti felt a rumbling from below him. He remembered something from the LAST field in which he'd dealt with these things. Gigantic acidic worm-creatures, an instant death for any normal character... Dholes... Flinching at the thought, he took off into the sky moments before huge monstrous...somethings...broke the surface. Great... Now, it was Dholes and Dark Young on the ground, and the colossal serpent up in the sky. Look, it was already making a beeline straight for him... POW!! He'd been dodging and it still managed the equivalent of a glancing blow, knocking him off balance in the air for a moment. If he wanted to stand a chance here, it was time for a speed-upper.)

Canti: Ap Do!

(One Speed Charm later, he was much faster, and raced around the creature's body with greater ease as the two entered combat in proper. Whenever it missed a head-on ram, the Hunting Horror whipped and struck with its tail. The attacks that hit home seemed to burn, though not in the same sense as fire. Just the pain of your nerves being on fire. The other creatures down below could not do anything until the serpent tried to throw him down lower. But since he was speed-enhanced, it wasn't gonna happen like that. Even when snared by the tail and thrown to the ground, Canti was too quick for them now. After the third time of this happening, though...the HP-loss was starting to get on his nerves. An explosion of black fire shot from him in brief, using up the small amount of SP that had regenerated since the last time. He had to find some way to control this. It STILL wasn't working for him... Damaged Dark Young reeled as he shot off into the sky once more, and found the Hunting Horror's back. Latching on, he grinned wickedly...)

Canti: And now for my Shadow of the Colossus impression...

(The Hunting Horror writhed and shook, trying to dislodge him, but he kept leaping up its back until he finally reached the head, and then things became interesting... Every reflex still enhanced, he began to beat its face in with fists and knives, causing intense suffering in it for a change. Then...stabbing into the gums of its mouth, Canti pulled back and forced the creature to go where HE wanted it to go. Right into the gathing of Dark Young... With so much speed and mass at its disposal, the monster plowed right through them, and he forced it to do it again and again. The Hunting Horror had lost its eyes to the Twin Blade, and so the flailing beast had become the enemy of all while he was on it. On the fifth dive, the creature was hit by a scourge of Dholes and devoured. Canti flew up and out of reach, watching the giant worms and the tree-like Dark Young. He didn't have the spell-power, the dagger-power, or the flame-power to take these out. Not without an ass-long amount of time, time that the virus would not be patient enough to give. But there WAS one thing, wasn't there...? Now, the Twin Blade smiled, pulling out a familiar-looking chest.)

Canti: With regards to Angel, go to hell.

(The chest contained a number of one-use spell-scrolls, most of which Canti had not even used or even properly needed in the first place...until now. Desperate times, desperate measures... The virus was trying to kill him, or take him over. He had to confound it at every turn, or there'd be no hope for him. The chest came open halfway and spells came flying out, each one activating in turn, pretty much how he'd planned it. There were some pings of no effect, but most of the attacks exploded around the many monsters. The Dark Young died off, killed by previous attacks and the chest's magic. The Dholes were not as damaged, so Canti had to finish them with the Darkness Flame, the fire sticking to them even when they submerged underground. This left him utterly spent once more. It was something he was going to have alot of trouble with... No fuel meant no dark fire. And no dark fire meant that he was nearly out of options to fight with. He was exhausted too, in the physical sense. He couldn't keep going like this. In essence, the Darkness Flame invigorated him, so spending it was like trading away his stamina. Oh least it could be regained. As his Speed Charm wore out, Canti found himself chugging a pair of Health Drinks, trying to keep balance as he sought to regain some of his strength. No creatures presented themselves.)

Canti: What's...the matter? All outta'...tricks? C'mon, ya...forgot to torture me.

"Heh heh heh heh... Perhaps you should LOOK at yourself before speaking."

Canti: What's that suppose to...

(Something slid up behind him.)

Canti: ....mean?

(He turned and faced a reflective stone surface, so smooth that it looked like polished blue glass. Upon seeing it, Canti began to stare... It was like his dream, the way he looked. And not just his dream, but his frickin' reality. So similar to the demonic side of him that attacked Angel without mercy, the thing that would have bathed in her blood if given half the chance. In her case, she was fortunate enough to have disabled him. There was no doubt in Canti's mind that what this virus was trying to make him become...wasn't human at all. He didn't want it to be like this... Just then, he looked and thought he saw a form behind him. A shadow. Turning in fright, there was nothing there. And yet, he knew what was going on. The virus was in his head and in the program, manipulating both. Canti put his hands to his head, closing his eyes and trying to focus...)

"Why so glum, eh? Didn't you want to become a demon in The World? The God of Black Flames? Is this not the role that you chose?"

Canti: Oh, for fuck's sake, get it through your head! IT'S JUST A FRIGGIN' GAME!!

(His words echoed far and wide, but the voice snickered at him.)

"It's the only game in town..."

Canti: Well, he's got me there.

(A moment later, Canti felt the ground shudder and immediately took to the sky. It was a good plan, since all the basalt rock under his feet had collapsed into sort of a crater shape, having been absorbed into a massive being of knotted flesh. A dark and shapeless mass, exuding a gas and shifting in shape every moment. Canti saw eyes, mouths, and lots of fleshy squirming. Information on the creature put a name to the shape-changing abomination: Shoggoth. Bigger than the damn Flying Polyp, and definitely more durable, it formed a mass of claws and tendrils...just slamming it all down at him to shake the entire area. Any structures left standing were torn to their foundations now. Also...there was a flicker of static. Something was wrong with either the field or the hacking program. One or the other was starting to break down. Canti hoped that it wasn't the field. He didn't even wanna know what a game crash would do to him. Might perma-kill him, might leave him in limbo. Or worse, he'd be a ghost in the system, forever trapped and unable to touch or effect anything around him. In any case, he'd be as good as dead and that wasn't an option. He had to get out of here. Because of these things was gonna kill him, or the virus will have weakened him enough to take over. He couldn't gate out as long as there was a monster around, though, even if the program had degraded enough for him to sneak out of this 'closed circle'. Dodging the Shoggoth's first strike had been hard enough. Canti sacrificed another Speed Charm, anticipating a real trial.)

Canti: But what've I got that beats a damn Shoggoth? I didn't even READ these damn stories! I knew I should've brought someone with me, even if it was that Toshiro!

(Flying around, leaping off of one extended appendage to avoid the next. The Shoggoth's moves had filled the air as it tried to spear him. It was like a forest of knotted tentacles, writhing and squirming to grab purchase and kill. Canti had only seconds to avoid them, and even less to cut loose anything that snagged him. He had no plan, no method of attack. It was just...a peculiar instinct and level of perception allowed him to survive, to see his way out of situation as much as would be allowed. He just didn't know how to deal with this creature. There was only one thing that came to his mind, and it was not a very pleasant thought. It would require...all of his SP...and he would have to be certain, absolutely certain, that he could do what he thought he should do. Claws and mouths and eyes lashed out at him from all manner of angles, even forty feet in the air. Canti didn't know it, but he was just shy of being annihiliated without mercy here. If he had read H.P. Lovecraft, like his hacker friends did, he would know that the Shoggoth rips its a shred. That is, it completely tears apart and dismembers whatever it attacks, leaving behind only ONE SHRED of flesh behind... It was also a good thing that he did not wait for the creature to capture and draw him in. That was never going to happen. No, the Twin Blade had an ultimately more insane idea in mind: A suicide bombing.)

Canti: Let's see here... Wings? Check. Speed? Check. SP? Check. Brains? chance. Out of all the dumbass things I've pulled today, this one tops the mountain's summit. Heh. Oh well, here we go! BANZAI!!

(From that high up, with all those tendrils extended, this had to be the last thing the Shoggoth expected. It was a shape-shifting creature which would suffer little damage from any mere attack. Even in The World, you had to take into account its massive physical strength and stamina, not to mention its size. But abominations can be taken off guard too. Canti dove down towards the black mass and performed no special maneuver or daring stunt. He simply flew into the Shoggoth's mass without even slowing down. This...was his plan. A second later, phase two of that plan went into effect. And like a volcano, the Shoggoth's body suddenly erupted from the center as the Darkness Flame blasted out of all directions. This was not to say that Canti could just project in all directions. It was just his last attack against Angel, it was a very large progression of flames, tearing through the middle of the Shoggoth and destabilizing its entire body. The dark fire spread out and stuck to the monster, sapping the strength of its form and turning its knotted shapeless form into a slime. Canti got as much of the giant creature as he could before his SP ran out. It was enough.)

Canti: Heh...heh heh... I did it... I got the fucker to work...

(The Shoggoth's body was melting away, and the black pyres were soon extinguished. Canti stood, feeling positively awesome. He spread his arms out, grinning as he watched the sky spark and the ruined background fragment. The program was collapsing. He could see it leaking away as spots of the original field began to appear. The sun was coming out too. Now, if THAT wasn't a good sign, what was?)

Canti: Ha ha haaa!! I did it! I beat you and every you threw at me! You bent hell and everything else over my back AND I STILL WON!! You suck! You suck so bad that you-

(The degradation of the program stopped...just as a darkness crept through all the holes that it made. The sun was gone, replaced simply by shadow-light. Canti stopped himself and his victory dance as he felt the pit of his stomach drop. What was going on? He'd beaten the program AND the virus. And now that the damn thing was collapsing on itself, it shouldn't have any more power! He's beaten it soundly. fair and fucking square! The Darkness Flame was his at last!)


(Something behind the Twin Blade applauded him deliberately slow, as if enjoying the moment. Canti's eyes were wide open as a nameless fear seemed to paralyze him. This thing... The virus had the program in its grip, had him too, and it wasn't giving up. The rules had been changed, and so the program had as well. That's why it degraded. But as soon as it was ready... Canti didn't need to look around, didn't even WANT to, but he did...and he regretted it. Turning, he backed up a step as his black eyes looked into the blazing glare...of the God of Black Flames. Was...this the thing that stared back at him from that black blood, or the reflection? A black form, taller than him, with eyes of fire and light-eclipsing wings. It clapped slowly, seeming to smile at the Twin Blade. Canti felt a cold sweat break out all over as it said one word...)


(...and used the virus within him to launch spikes directly from his body, blood flying everywhere.)

OOC: To be the next post. No, of course he's not dead. Wait for the next part and see how he handles this one.

I'll have a doozy of a sig later, I swear. It'll reflect ".hack//CODE" an' everything.

Hey look! A profile! It's got items and stats and things! Cool! If it isn't fully up to date, it will be, so don't worry 'bout it.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:18 am 
Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.

This...can't be...

(All her could feel was the pain of a hundred new openings in his body.)

Why...? After all I went through... Why...?

(He couldn't breathe, or move. Everything was one big smear of agony all over.)

This can't be happening... Not like this...

(All of his struggles and hardships, taking the weight of every challenge unto himself and throwing it back in the face of the great oppressor ten-fold... All the things that he'd gone through, despite the hopeless situation... Straight from the tower, it had all been downhill, yet he kept on going. Suraisu was a bastard working for the Elites, and he kept going. He was thrown into a coma, and he kept on going. His whole life became a game for the Marionette to enjoy, and yet still... Still, he just hunkered down to do the task at hand. Everything was fine, so long as he could do something about it. He felt...even a bit hopeful, that doing these missions would get him his body back, that his freedom was a few major quests away. Long road, yes, but conceivable... But there were so many problems, and the team was barely a team, and now...the one thing that bothered him the most...was that he was dying on a landheap with everything unfinished. He'd made it. He'd beaten the virus and mastered the power, but now it was trying to kill him, and it was oh-so-close to succeeding. And the one thing going through his mind, over all this mess was...)

Canti: Senna... I didn't even get the say goodbye...

(He didn't blame her leaving. She even said she would if it turned out she wasn't much help, but...even could've ended better. It was Canti's own mood that started this, that brought about this anger and this madness. He riled the virus, and it effected his mind and abilities when he charged Angel. He wanted to kill her, to eliminate her existence, and a part of him still did, despite feeling more lucid. It angered him so much to lose, and that made everythign here worse. The creature of the Darkness Flames, the virus' manifestation of itself as his darker shade, was made so violent by these things. And now, on the brink of victory, it had cut him down, swiftly and most satisfyingly. There wasn't very much HP left now. It was going to fall away to zero soon, because his body was destroying itself... Somewhere, he thought he heard a machine make that sound, the one that flatlines when you die.)

Canti: That's it... It's finished...whether I like it or not...


(Someone's voice... Whose? It was hard to focus while he was dying.)

Canti, please! I know you can hear me!

(Was that...Reyome?)

God damn you, Damon Fortis... You wake up NOW!!

Canti: Agh!

(He was slapped? What the hell? It was hard to tell whether that was a hand or a paw with claws. After feeling the latest shock to his system, Canti's eyes opened and beheld a red-brown haze, a more abstract look at The World. It was the frame of mind in which his perceptual powers activated. It was how Reyome was even able to speak to him. Before him was the shadow of a fox, her avatar as it were, looking down with barely-visible eyes of concern. Everything else was still here, but not in the same frame of mind. The virus could not see or attack someone who was specifically in contact with Canti's own mind. She sat up, now that he'd woken up and his HP stopped decreasing.)

What the hell is the matter with you? You mention something about getting in some training for that fire...and then I get nothing, like you've been blocked. I guess whatever's been blocking me is gone. Either that or I've gotten better at this. This place is a mess, by the way. What have you been doing?

Canti: Fighting like hell against the hordes rode in by the Twilight Virus. Everything's been lethal as hell because of that thing.

And now you're like this because of him? Mind over matter, Canti. This is still The World. You don't get a broken leg or a proper cold. You can stand and fight. And more importantly, you can win.

Canti: Easy for YOU to say. He only shot spikes from my own BODY!

Blades of darkness using your own viral essence. Do you sense a fast one being pulled?

Canti: Err, HEY!! I think you're right.

Always am.

(She had a point... He had his afinity for darkness built into the character. How could this bastard that's suppose to be his mere infection do all this?! It was a trick of the hacker program it corrupted. Canti managed to get to his feet, looking over at his current oppressor. The viral thing had been content to watch, waiting for the moment in which it could become him, to take over. It thought that now was that time. It was wrong. Canti's body began to return to normal as he said "La Repth". His blacker double glared at him with agitation. He wasn't suppose to do that! It was time for him to lay down and die! The fact that he didn't made its position less firm in mind. The way Canti was now, that same trick wasn't going to work... A trial by blood just wasn't possible if the victim overcame that level of pure anguish.)

Canti: So...let's recap. I'm really pissed off and you're about due to get your ass kicked for trying to kill the person that YOU LIVE IN!

"Heh heh heh... You talk as though it were a bad thing..."

Canti: Geez, I knew my infection could be an asshole, but I have no clue it could be fucking retarded.


Canti: You can't become me. You aren't human. Hell, you aren't even AI! You're a disease, a parasite. There IS no 'you'. There's only Pinocchio, crying "I wish I were a real boy!". You're not real. You're just a nightmare.

"If that's the case...then it's time you learn just how real this nightmare IS!"

(It was on, now. A battle between himself and...himself. Well, more like his literal shadow. This wasn't the true God of Black Flame. It was a figment, an imagine. Well, that figment was still a solid thing, and it proved its worth as such. Ducking low, the shadow-demon leapt at Canti with its right arm swinging in to tear right into his heart. The bastard thing was swift, but it still had to contend with a Speed Charmed Canti. He never died, so it never lost its effect. However, dodging out of the way still got him clipped by the rest of the thing's body as it flew by. Then, swinging around in mid-air, the winged shadow landed right in front and began slashing its claws at him with incredible technique... The Twin Blade was shocked to find that it could fight as well as he could! He should've realized, considering the whole double-trouble issue. The two of them were equally skilled, but had different strengths. The false god still had raw power, like a higher unknowable level. Canti's dagger-defense was broken several times, forcing him to back up or take a glancing blow. Fortunately, the Twin Blade's special strength was in his perceptions. He could see a way out and through. Gaps in defense were there. He just had to know where to strike. How could he NOT know? This was a copy of HIM! The daggers found their sweet-spot at the hips when the shadow threw a punch, then the chest. It didn't seem to bleed, so much as...ooze. The creature backed up, obviously growing more and more agitated as Canti's own demonic appearances began to simmer down. Apparently, you had to beat the Devil to keepeth away wrath.)

"You're no different from me. Why are you able to counter? I am the stronger..."

Canti: You are the idiot.

"What did you say?!"

Canti: Think about it. If you're born of my rage, my darkness, then you're the part of me that stupidly lashes out at things like a maniac. Much as I like being vicious, I can't say I like your brand that much.

"You ARE me, fool!"

Canti: No! You're ME. Don't you get it? You're a piece of my fucked up mind, all the things in my life that've gone down the drain. But because you make me hurt and you make me weak, you're also the weakest part. You're the suckiest part of my existence made manifest, and I wish you'd just leave me alone...

(This made the viral form more than angry, more than simply enraged. This was an outraged demon of consciousness. Canti almost tripped as he felt the shudder of the realm. The holes of darkness in the sky and the surroundings increased and the demon grew larger in form, its body filling with fire. The Twin Blade now faced something that was kind of like himself in shape...but also closely akin to a frigging Balrog!)


(And with a roar, the monster threw down a fist and caused an explosion of Darkness Flame, Canti being forced back by the blastwave. The demon leapt and charged and swung after him, forcing him mostly into retreat, him taking only paltry slashes while trying to come up with a strategy. The enemy was enraged and wide open in-between assaults, but the assaults were huge and the damage was minimal. There was only one possible weakspot. Canti flew up and lured the giant demon up after him. He knew that Darkness Flame would have no effect, so the Twin Blade used it to rocket himself at the creature, hoping his elemental strengths would keep him safe from the mere contact with the thing. So saying, he went for the head as soon as they were high up...and forced it off balance. The Balrog-like creature plummeted while he slashed and stabbed at its head. The dagger damage was nothing. He just wanted the heavy impact...which he got. The shadow-demon hit the ground, head first, with full force and remained still. Canti stood on top of it...)

Canti: The reason I win is that, unlike you, I'm not alone. Even if no person could help me, I still have my two friends at hand. You? You've got nothing...

"That's where you're wrong..."

(It sounded like the demon-voice was coming from everywhere. And why not? Canti had made the blunder of forgetting where he was. He was in the middle of a corrupt program that manifests edited characters. The virus manifested itself, but it was REALLY all around him, not just inside. The Balrog's body burst open as an arm grabbed Canti by the leg. Other appendages shot from other areas. He began to see the feral monstrous Canti-demons from his dream, forcing their way into The World from the belly of the beast, all of them starting to claw at him as they tried to break free. The humanoid one spoke some more.)

"We are legion. You are one. The virus is spreading, Canti-me-boy. We'll have you sooner or later, though I prefer NOW!"

Canti: Dammit, get the hell off of me!!

(He struggled to get free, but the other creatures were starting to take hold as well and he couldn't fly out of their reach. Canti fought frantically, both against panic and the ensuing mass of creatures growing in numbers. Then, something happened... Things began to grow dark, and another rumble was felt as he heard...)

Program corrupted. Environment destabilizing.

(That was like...a godsend. The rules had changed. These weren't monsters, just viruses. The program was the only thing holding him in, so! The gate out command functioned, owing to the system error, and he was free... Shortly thereafter, the program - lacking direction - crashed in on itself and the field reset to normal. You wouldn't even guess that anything happened here.)


(Teleportation rings appeared in Dun Loireag as a Twin Blade appeared, lying down and breathing heavily. It took him several minutes to calm down, him flipping off anyone who began to stare. Eventually, he sat up and began to think long and hard sobering thoughts. He'd escaped...for now, but next time...he might not be so lucky. This virus was in a place he couldn't really fight: His own body. It was inside of him, influencing him. And man, did a real beast live inside. He could control the Darkness Flame now. It certainly felt like he had it under wraps. But...would the madness and the rage follow? He liked the way he fought, and he liked taking out his anger on things. Would he simply go bat-shit-crazy every single time? Hopefully not, because the last time got him a nasty scar on his neck. Canti remained in place until he heard a familiar voice.)

"Oh, did you go an' use it already?"

Canti: Huh?

(He looked up and found the light-blue armored catgirl Blademaster standing there. Getting up, he thought of a way to explain it. He didn't really want to go into too much detail... What would she actually believe?)

Canti: Yeah, I used it, broke.

Kalina: What? Nonsense. I made that into a one-use file. It was suppose to collapse.

Canti: Really? How come?

Kalina: Now, Canti. A girl like me can't have someone like you running around with her best hacks, doing whatever he likes. Besides, knowing you, you'd go all red-eyes crazy an' need a breather.

Canti: Yeah... I...guess I did. Uhhh, Kalina...? One question, about last time. When I lost control last time, what happened? I mean, the whole thing. I'm only a bit sketchy.

Kalina: You nearly totaled me two best mates online. Didn't know what it would do to 'em, so I had to step in. I'm only glad ya listened to reason.

Canti: Yeah...sorry about that. I'm finding it's hard to control myself sometimes. Hard to explain.

Kalina: Wouldn't mind hearing it, but I guess you've got other things to handle. See you around.

(So saying, the brown-haired catgirl vanished with gate transport. Canti decided to head back to base. So much had happened in such a short time. It was gonna take him a while to take it all in. He was still shaking from the encounter...)

OOC: And so, it ends. When next we see Canti, it'll be back into the main thread, to catch a little shut-eye until RP-time-wise, he gets on with the others on the mission at hand.

I'll have a doozy of a sig later, I swear. It'll reflect ".hack//CODE" an' everything.

Hey look! A profile! It's got items and stats and things! Cool! If it isn't fully up to date, it will be, so don't worry 'bout it.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:09 am 
Master of Games
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Canti -> +3 Levels, + 3 Nightbane, + 3 Firebane, + 1 Hellstorm

My items and such
Wishlist: Any Armor or Weapons under level 50, Any Scrolls (prefer level 2+)

EXP 500/1000

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