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 Post subject: Evolution
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:20 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:19 am
Posts: 114
Location: Walking the line of madness
Takua flew upwards, feeling the wind from the missed attack beneath him. Felt it, and wondered. How, exactly had he gotten here? What had gone wrong, so many years ago? He'd been...well, not miserable at school. Sure, he had few friends. Not all of them tremendously awesome, but some of them. His family situation could be better; if he wanted to be totally blunt about it then it sucked at times. A lot of the time, really. But, still. He had been normal, or at least as normal as a gamer who had been good enough to win tournaments and get a fair amount of money. Lonely, sure, but good at what he did. That had been...how many years ago? A bit over one? Maybe two years, now? At least before he had joined the Eventide Crescendo in their quest to stop the Highers.

Which wasn't even where things had gone wrong. That made him giggle a little, in some part of his brain that wasn't fighting for its life as another spell exploded around his body. Sure, the Eventide Crescendo was directly responsible for putting him in the situation that he was in now. Or, at least, it was by association with them that that was the case. He could directly point to the Eventide Crescendo as the point at which playing this game, The World, stopped being a game. That was the point where he realized that he was in a fight for his life. A fight that was bigger than just him, or some person on the PC across the room that wanted to kill him for fame or money. He relished that for a time...and then understood what a quietly shallow feeling that way. Fighting for a cause could make you feel good. It could also make you dead. Or break you, and leave you alive. Or do what it had done, and trapped him within this world while his body lay on a hospital bed, comatose, with who knew how many family and friends worried about him. Centrus for sure. Lugiablaster, probably. Everyone else...well, maybe. His parents would worry, at least to some degree.

So where did it all start? When did it all go wrong? Did it start when he entered The World, when he was first exposed to this wonderful game that held more secrets than anyone knew? Did it start when he shot and killed someone who had stalked him in self defense, even though the man was patently insane? Or when he himself had quietly gone nuts, and started hallucinating? Or when he much more loudly went nuts, nearly a year later, and went full fledged Schizophrenic? When he became trapped in this world by one of the Elites, Xenobia?

When did he stop caring about his life?

Sure, he wanted to live. Sure, he wanted to get out of here, get medication and help and whatever else he could get. And be normal, or as normal as he could be. But...he'd displayed a startling lack of any sense of self-preservation since realizing that he was Schizo. Since he was insane. But was he insane? Could he really say that he was out and out crazy?

He hallucinated, but knew it. He had delusions, and fought them with everything that he had when he realized that they were there. If he didn't realize them...well, that was just problematic. He had to rely on others to point them out, if he didn't realize them himself. Was he crazy? Yes...and no. He was crazy, his reality was different than others. But he wasn't, because he could recognize that different and work to find that perspective, that reality, that he had lost.

Was he influenced by his classes for Psychology? Did he think that, because he was insane, he was worth less than other people around them? Was that why he fought so hard both to prove himself, to himself and others, that he could still fight and be worth something? Was that why he worked so hard to make sure that he took the hits, despite being a fragile Wavemaster, so that others might not die? It made sense, curse it. But he also fought with a savage insanity, because he was never sure if he was missing something, or if his hallucinations were actually real.

Did he think that he was less than the people around him?

Was he already betraying the pact, the agreement, that he had made with Sekai, Kira, December, and now one other?

He spun, landing down a PhaRue Rom as he dodged another spell that tried to smack him out of the sky. Part of him was disgusted. Part of him had known that already, and continued on. Ondine was just annoyed that it was taking him so long to figure all of this out.

When had it all gone wrong?

--------------

Takua walked through the Bazaar, listening to the loud clamor of humans, beasts, and other things around him. This sector in Yamiyo was incredibly busy as always, and he could never quite tell exactly what all was here. Which was annoying, when he felt that his very life and livelihood depended on being able to know what was around him at all times. And right now, with the confusion roiling in his gut, he didn't know. Couldn't pay attention to those heightened senses that Twilight had given him, because he had to take notice of what was going on inside of him.

He'd asked Sekai and Kira to give him a few before giving them a few minutes without him. Given what he'd just done to Sekai, or at least gotten her into, he figured that it was the most that he could do. The pain had finally subsided from Doomkeeper's scythe, and he knew that, at the very least, the little Archer's lover would want a few minutes with her. So he'd walked out of the hideout that they'd been using when he felt confident enough to walk. Enough to think where he didn't need to tell people that he was doing alright, or worse, that he actually had to tell them that, no, nothing was alright.

He sighed, shifting a little to the right to avoid getting run over by a running Heavy Axe, and continued walking. So he were here in the Bazaar, wondering what he was even doing here. It's not like he was here to buy anything (with what?) or had to talk to anyone. And since that was exactly what one did here, except to gamble (and he didn't think anyone would enjoy his Twilight Ability if he found a game of cards) he just wandered around. Once he passed someone who was selling candy, just for the taste. Nostolgia. Buying a soda, he reflected that the man had excellent taste. Plus, here in The World, he didn't have to worry about piddling little things like cavities that were in the real world.

“Of course, that's just what you needed. More caffeine.”

Finding someone who was looking at his soda, he measured how much was left in it. Still half. So he grinned back at the woman who sounded like she was over to the right. “Hey, it's not like the caffeine can effect me here, and besides, what'll it do, keep me up late at night? I don't even know if it is night right now or not.”

She snorted, and what felt like a small smack on the head from a very feminine illusion. “Oh yes, right. Can't affect you. Just like all of that vodka that you drank the other night, hmm?”

...oh. Right. He'd kind of forgotten about that for a moment. And he knew that it showed, even for a moment, and he could feel her grin. That sort of grin that always made him wince and wonder what was coming his way this time. “Uhh...alright, you've got a point. But it's soda, what can-”

And then he got it. Oh shit, now he knew what she was about to say or do, and now he wanted to beat her to the punch. Of course, he didn't. Damn her for being able to know what he was thinking and doing. “But Tak-Tak, think about how I'm going to feel in a few minutes.” And he felt his heart stop at the thought of Ondine feeling more energetic than she usually was. In fact, he was feeling more than a little woozy at the thought. Great. He hefted the bottle up to where he would be able to see it, if he could see. Maybe he shouldn't have any more of this...

But all of that was a pleasant distraction from what was bothering him. What was he doing here, in the bowels of Yamiyo? He could be free! Out! Away from the Elites and the server of hackers that followed them. Back to the regular servers...where he would be hounded by the Cobalt Knights and administrators, who would remember his character because of the Eventide Crescendo. And who would, as surely as the Elites would, try to gut his body in seconds. And when death came to this body, it would follow just as surely in the real world, where his body lay next to a machine that kept tabs on his coma.

Did his parents worry about him? Were Ian and Alex still okay? Had Todd finally figured out that he couldn't play The World to save his life? He hadn't seen Centrus or Lugiablaster recently...Ian...not since he'd gone back into Juka to deal with the dungeon, the dungeon that had nearly claimed all of their lives. He shivered as the memory of that godforsaken place, and he could feel even Ondine's mood dampen. Given that when he first became aware of her, it made sense that she might...hate that place. A lot. To be fair, he knew, she had good reason to hate it with every fiber of her being. For that matter, so did he.

His inventory still held the armor of Gan. Something to keep himself from being killed in a single hit by the Higher of Juka. Was Gyl still alright? Xenobia had said that he was far more adept at staying away from the rest of him...perhaps he was okay. Maybe he could send a flashmail to him...see if he couldn't get in contact with the hacker that he had never seen. Were Nemera and Sidhe alright? Zan? He hadn't seen the Heavy Blade since a brief encounter in the Wasteland, and had vanished just as surely once again. The other two...he didn't know that he'd ever see them again. After that explosion of green light and Dread Code (it was DC, wasn't it?) he hadn't...too confident that they were alive. But he could check. And maybe this time, the response from Gyl wouldn't be a trap by the Elites.

But what if it was? It could be. For that matter, was all mail that flowed out of Yamiyo tracked? But he didn't know of any way that you could use it to track where anyone was at any one time...and even if you could, he was walking through the bazaar, lost in a sea of characters that swam in this maze of buildings, stalls, open fields, tables and what seemed like a morass of sound. He could be safe...and could listen for any sound of his name, no? It was worth a shot. He owed them all.

Quote:
To: Gyl, Nemera, Sidhe
From: Takua
Subject: Are you alive?
It's been a while. I'm alive (obviously). In Yamiyo, unfortunately, along with Baron, Sekai, and Talal. And the rest of the freedom fighters. If any of you are alive or able to respond, would love to hear from you. Still remember the Eventide Crescendo, still have the Shell. Lemme know how any of you are doing.

Takua


He honestly didn't expect an answer at all. Maybe Gyl...if he was lucky. Nemera and Sidhe...if they were able to send a flashmail at all. Again, not expecting any miracles. Just hoping desperately for one. But while he was walking, he started talking to Ondine again. “So, how long do you think it's been since we got stuck in here?”

He felt, rather than saw, the shrug in her tone of voice. “Long enough. We don't know how long we were unconscious since Xenobia nailed us, and time seems to be slipping away from us. It's not as though we can see the sun doing its march and set in this place. For all we know, it's been several months. At the very least, a few weeks now? Maybe? Seems like it, anyhow.”

And then he felt her scamper away from him...which was an interesting sensation, since she couldn't. Stupid fscking...hallucination and alternate personality. Right. Okay, so he wasn't terribly sane, but he knew that, so at least he had a bit of a leg up on all of the rest. He grinned slightly, cracking his eyes open just to see if he could, well, see. No such luck, just more blankness, and he shut his eyes again.

He knew that people kept watching him, but that was because of the way that he could watch them. They could feel his Twilight reaching out and stealing their sight. He wanted to laugh. The best voyeur there ever could be, but he rather doubted that he even wanted to watch anyone having sex right now. Or in The World at all. And the only couple that he knew about...well, he was in a pact with them, being caught peeping would likely get him killed by Kira, if Sekai didn't die from embarrassment first. Fortunately, since he had no urge to get it off by watching two other people do so, they were rather free from that sort of thing.

That sort of thought just made him wonder what they were doing now, and grinned lightly. Kira was probably getting ready to beat the shit out of him when he came back. He knew that he deserved it...kind of. Mostly because he had dragged Sekai into it as well, but also simply because it was a stupid thing that he had done and he knew it. He just needed something now to help out. Mostly because he felt like he was still abusing their hospitality, as it were, and he needed to do...something. He was inconveniencing them, was what it felt like. So what could he do to lessen that inconvenience and make himself more valuable? Give them more of a reason to want him around. Well, other than Kira's probable desire to keep him out of trouble.

Although, he grinned with the thought, she had more than enough of that on her hands with Sekai.

According to everyone else, today was particularly busy in the Bazaar. Or at least, it seemed to be more busy than when he had first been here. Wandering through the market the size of a root town was interesting, but so far workable. Plus, there was a lot to see here. Like the entire square that had been turned into what looked like a hacked weapons demonstration, with various abilities that were stored in the weapons themselves annihilating the targeting dummies up and down the area that was a good sized football field. Plus, he realized as he watched, the dummies regenerated.

Given what he had heard about the Merc sector, he was just glad that this wasn't taking place there. If it had, there might have been a few more...well, okay. A lot more dead bodies lying around, because someone would have taken the opportunity to turn the weapons on someone else, or another group would have seized a chance to find a weakness with unfamiliar weapons. Which was why all of the sellers had grouped up here, instead. At least, there were a lot of men and women off to the side watching in wildly different uniforms, although here and there they matched up. Must be the different groups, come to see what weapons they can get for...the army itself or the commander? Probably the commander, the Wavemaster mused, or else the army would swiftly go bankrupt. At least, he assumed that the weapons were expensive.

But he kept himself at a safe distance, walking around it...trying to get an impression of the gossip that was going on here. A lot of talk about the Anid sector, a lot of rumors about what had gone on. Nothing yet approaching the truth...which was good. At least, not amongst most of the people. He supposed that a fair portion of the ones that he heard who had been talking about the truth were actually hallucinations, simply because he didn't like their stares at him as he passed by. Seemed entirely too paranoia inducing to be true. So he didn't think it was.

Even if he really wanted to believe it was.

But each sniff brought in the smells of thousands of people, reeking of blood, leftover elemental haze, sweat, fear, anger, some strange traces of happiness, and the individual smells of all of those people. Plus, all of the hacker attempts at perfume or cologne, some of which were likely hacks as well, or at least, provided tangible benefits. As for him...he'd just as well rather find a nice Juk field and take a bath. He'd have said Rue, but he didn't think that he'd survive past ice block...although, he reflected, he could always just Vak Rom when he was done in order to heat back up. And since he'd been stuck in a dungeon (a literal one) after having been comatosed, and then dragged across the Wasteland, then to a doctor's office, stuck in the hideout, and then running hither and thither until getting wasted by the Elite of Darkness. So he might be forgiven for thinking that he A: Reeked and B: Needed a shower. Or a bath.

...well fuck it. Maybe the Ruem sector had something, or the Bazaar. Although he'd really put money on Rue first, Bazaar second. So perhaps it was time to make a trek to see if there was any sort of place he could wash himself up at. Besides, that would take some time up, and he wanted to give Sekai and Kira a good long while before he drifted back and found them. Plus...maybe it was just his enhanced sense of smell, but most of the freedom fighters reeked. And although he might not say that to them (or at least Kira and Sekai) he might enhance their senses...give them a taste of what they might smell like to gently hint...

He chuckled. Gently hint, right. With any luck, one of them would punch him in the face for that, especially if they got insulted over that. Plus, they just might not care. It wasn't like they could smell it all the time. Nah, that was just his luck. On the other hand...he supposed that when he got his sight back, he could see exactly how enhanced that was. Sure, and then he could actually look into a mirror to have to see his face every day, instead of seeing it in the eyes of everyone he looked through. On the other hand, he was getting a bit better at slipping in without getting stares from everyone he met. And generally better at simply walking through the sight of others.

Which was why he felt confident enough to use the two Ruem wings on his back to throw him into the sky, beating against the air until he was at a height so that people could still see him from the street, but he wouldn't go headlong into a building. It also helped that there were enough people here who could fly on their own to give him some chance of seeing himself in the air. Still, it was freaky as fucking hell to fly around like this without being in combat, and having the advantage of having multiple people close to the ground who could see where he was.

It also nearly took him out of the sky when a flashmail pinged in his inbox. He'd been so focused on the idea that he wouldn't get a response that he hadn't expected any at all. Shaking his head as he got back to the same altitude as before, he opened it. Expecting to see something from one of the rest of the Freedom Fighters. And felt his heart stop a moment later when he saw the sender.

Quote:
To: Takua
    From: Gyl
    Subject: RE: Are you alive?
   
    Fight the free fight, but do not contact me again. Nemera and Sidhe are beyond you now at the edge of The World, in the Borderlands. Beyond even me - for the time being. When I'm gone, a thousand eyes will watch this account, so heed my advise, Takua, and let this be the last time you reach out for us. Where we'll be you cannot follow, but know that our lives were better for knowing you. All of you.
   
    Gyl


The Wavemaster felt tears sting his eyes slowly, swelling up underneath before finally escaping from their prison, sliding down his face to scatter to the ground and the people below. He was alive. They were all alive. He choked back a sob at the last lines, simply staring at the flashmail. Nemera and Sidhe were alive...somewhere. Somewhere that Gyl had called the Borderlands. Wherever that was, whatever that meant. It was in code for a reason, he knew, so the Borderlands had to be something that only the three of them knew about, or what it was. Which really meant that nobody else could find them. And so, slowly, he put a close to that chapter. Until the three of them came back from the Borderlands, they couldn't finish the fight against the Highers. But they still had the Incarnation of Gan, so perhaps...perhaps it didn't matter that much. So long as the Highers never found them, or could get their hands on the Incarnation in some way.

But that didn't stop him from crying.

It took a while for the tears to stop. By that time, he'd reached the Ruem sector and found a bath house, Life's Relief, right along the main drag. Although the name made him wince, the people walking inside of it did seem to go into rooms with showers and hey there that's not the men's room. Disconnecting that line of sight with absurd swiftness, Takua waited until he was fairly sure that his face was no longer flaring up with higher red than anything he'd ever seen Sekai do. Well, to be fair, he couldn't see his own face, but he could feel it burning.

So he made his way into the building, glancing at the freshly washed woman behind the counter through the eyes of another person. Should he open his own, or keep stealing from their own? For that matter, where were...ah, against the wall right there. Watching him. That made it easy, even if he didn't want to think of what a beefy Heavy Blade who stood seven feet tall could do to him. Especially here in Yamiyo. He'd probably already made the two alert simply by stealing their vision...well, nothing he could do about that. The walls were tall, and cascades of water came from seemingly nowhere to drape slowly down the wooden paneling. A little moat ringed the room...and Mr. Bouncer seemed to ignore it totally. He was in the waterfall itself, and didn't give a shit.

Takua shrugged, moving forward and thankful that his gaze never wavered. He opened his mouth to speak...and felt himself abruptly shouldered out of the controlling spot by Ondine. Who used the opportunity to speak in that schoolgirlish, somewhat-innocent-but-totally-sadistic giggle. “Hey! First time here. What do'I do?” And the only thing the Wavemaster wanted to do was die. Right there, right now, aneurism, any second now...

-------

'You really didn't have to do that, you know.'

'Sure I did! It's been a while since I had to have fun. Besides, you're always going on about doom and gloom, so I decided to make you some friends!'

Half an hour later, a much more freshly washed but thoroughly embarrassed Wavemaster walked out of the bath house. Both the bouncer and the secretary (still looking freshly washed, what the fuck?) had looked a little off-put for a second, but let him through into the male side of the bath after a rather concerned minute of wondering where the hell to put someone who sounded like a girl. And looked like a guy. Since he doubted they wanted anyone from the woman's side accusing him of peeping or worse, they had stuffed him into the one his body matched. And had proceeded to have one of the worst hours of his life as Ondine hadn't let him back in control. Since he now doubted that any of the men in that bath house who had heard him would ever want to see him again, he was rather thankful for the large size of Yamiyo. Especially because they might just kill him if they found him again.

'I don't think that friends is the right word. I think enemies, or just people who want to rip my face off, works much better.'

'Now now, that's just your social inexperience showing through! Trust me. When I'm done, I'll have half of the people in Yamiyo wanting to be your friend!'

'...you have one of the strangest definitions of friendship that I have ever known.'

'You just don't get people, and you don't get my charm, and that's all there is too it. And just because you-'

Takua concentrated very hard on not listening to the rest of that statement as he walked away, his face turning redder and redder as he did so. God dammit. Weren't alternate personalities because of trauma? Didn't they have something to do with something that had happened before? If so, where the fucking hell had Ondine come from, and why was she so obsessed with having sex? No, wait, he really didn't want to know that.

But something that he'd heard inside of the building had intrigued him. And concerned him, if he was to be honest. Two men had been talking somewhere nearby, he couldn't quite pinpoint where they were when they had been talking about this. He'd only just barely heard them, but they were talking about a rare AI dealer that had gotten a fresh shipment of AI's in from the normal servers. And they'd been saying that there were a few in particular who didn't know their place after they'd been captured. Which made him think of a certain snow leopard who most certainly would not take kindly to being taken from her home and dragged into Yamiyo. But no, she wouldn't have been captured. This was just a way to pass the time and see the variety of AI in The World, and maybe see if he could free one or two of them.

Ondine just snorted in derision.

So he walked back to the Bazaar, past the huge throng of people that seemed to be everywhere and anywhere in Yamiyo. How many thousands of people were in here? A hundred thousand? Maybe closer to a million? Fucking hell. Way too many people who could all be out of kill him if they just recognized who he was. Or if the Elites put out anything like the post office wanted posters. Ah well, those were all depressing thoughts for another time and place.

For now, nobody stopped and killed him. Which didn't stop him from flinching when he thought he heard something or someone who was about him. Or all of the glances from people that noticed his presence in their eyes. They might not have known how, but they knew that he was watching them. Or something. He hadn't really figured it out yet, he was still working on the kinks of insinuating himself into the senses of people around him. Another thought for another time, perhaps when he had a few hours he could work on practicing the stealth necessary. But then he was through the passageway into the Bazaar. Taking a left a few football lengths into the sector, he started to flip through the eyes of everyone around, looking for this dealer. And rather abruptly ran right into an advertisement on a building off to the left. A couple wrong turns and about five minutes later, he finally found the place.

Come to think of it, he might have figured it out by spotting the monstrous, apartment-building sized mouse that was in the center of the square where he had set up shop. The man, Amaraki by the sign, owned quite the chunk of real estate here. Then again, with how many AI he had packed into the square, perhaps that was a good thing. Certainly, there was barely enough room between some of them to prevent one from mauling the other. Human AI, animal AI, one even looked like an intelligent tree. All of the shackled in some way to the ground, to posts, to chains...or simply imprisoned within bars of force. He wondered if those somehow rated the lethality and power of some of these AI, given that some of those bars of force were for smaller animals than the titanic mouse.

There had to be hundreds of AI here. And he was looking for one. One very special AI that he felt personally responsible for. He sighed...and clasped his hands together. One in his left, one in his right. He owed her...for a lot. He sighed, and started walking forward into the center of the field. Eyesight flickering from person to person, drawing stares. Nothing, nothing, nothing more than AI that looked interesting but weren't the one that he wanted. He reached the center, having just walked past a panther with claws of black night and eyes that burned with fire. He turned to his right...and stared. Barely daring to breathe, he sent a pulse of energy through the Kiss.

The snow leopard was in the middle of trying to maul someone who had walked too close while examining her, and getting wrenched back by a handler, maybe even the owner. The large Heavy Axe was on the ground, ice dripping from every wound, and Vesica's eyes burned blue white. The handler had a hand on the chain that connected to the glowing collar around her throat, something that dripped blood as it dug into her neck. He handled the chain one handed, with a finesse that spoke of a class like a Twin Blade instead of one of the Heavies...maybe a Fist Fighter. But a simple yank was enough to haul her off of the body. And chain the steel links to the ground with a spike that started growing the moment it hit the ground, enveloping the chain before stapling itself down.

An answering glow flared from her eyes, and she glanced up. With a score of onlookers, Takua could see the shock stamped onto her face for a half second before it vanished in a snarl of pain. And as the Heavy Axe got to his feet, the Wavemaster walked forward. Yeah, not gonna happen. Vesica would not go home with some other human who didn't know her, some fucker who wouldn't get her real value. Not someone who didn't need her. And if the Heavy Axe did try, it'd be over Takua's dead body. Given what he'd done to Garaa, he didn't think that this fucking pissant would walk away unscathed, which, unfortunately, Garaa had. Also unfortunately, they were supposed to be significantly more in the way of quiet and low key while everything went to hell. Which meant a more diplomatic approach.

So much for his good day.

_________________
Takua - Lvl 57 Wavemaster
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Wishlist: Levels, Stun Rod, Hag's Wand, Ex-Level, Ex-Spheres, and Heh Heh Heh, Myth: Demiurge, FL Fukuoka


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 Post subject: Re: Evolution
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:49 am 
Offline
Ikkitousen
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:19 am
Posts: 114
Location: Walking the line of madness
There was quite enough of the hubbub around him as he walked up, almost most of it was laughter at the Heavy Axe who was stupid, or low level, or just plain slow enough to get a claw in the face. Other people were taking in the colors and the surrounding pillars, all good things to know. It was also good to know where the table the owner seemed to be sitting at, or at least the person who seemed to deal with the buying and selling of AI. Judging from the amount of talking he was doing and what he could hear from there. A building the size of a small house, maybe just three rooms, lay just beyond them, in almost exactly the center of the square. But his attention was a little limited right now, so he didn't pay any that much mind.

“...should have her destroyed!”

It was a panicked voice, one ranging more up to the high end. The response by the other man practically dripped with repressed sarcasm. “With all due respect, we did warn you that she'd been...intractable. Also, she is valuable, we see no reason to destroy her yet.”

The Heavy Axe paused, seeing the logic in that. Of course, logic was great and everything, but there were times when you simply didn't want logic. When you just wanted to be right and nobody else was. “But she won't be of any value if she keeps attacking anyone that moves! It's hard to sell her if she drives away all of the customers. I-”

Which was the point at which Vesica spat at his feet, snarling with anger and pain. “I would never let myself be owned by anyone. I serve because it pleases me. But only those I can respect can hold this leash.” The Wavemaster would have sworn that at that moment she looked up directly at him, but he didn't have the eyes to see it. He did, however, see what she was trying to say. At least, he hoped he did. So when the Heavy Axe was about to start up again, he spoke up. He tried not to be angry, or sound angry...really, he did.

“Sir, what's the price to take her?”

That got him looked at by a few other people, as well as the two who were currently arguing over destroying the Snow Leopard. Looked over in detail, from how his spine shivered. So when the employee, or whoever he was, turned to him with that warm mellow baritone, he was prepared to get shut down. “You sound certain, despite seeing this? Good. But unless you are incredibly talented, you have nothing to trade or buy with.”

The Wavemaster nodded lightly to acknowledge that. He still wasn't certain about what passed for money here in Yamiyo beyond hacks and GP, but whatever it was, he sure as hell didn't have it. Which meant that he was down to one other thing. But he already knew that. After all, dealing with a certain doctor had already shown him the value of trading other things. Unfortunately, it also required him to say something that he didn't believe in the slightest. “True. She is, however, an AI. If I could get a replacement for her, one of equivalent or higher value, would that work?”

There was another long pause...until finally the man nodded his head, much to the Heavy Axe's snort of disgust. While the other player walked away with a backward glare to another part of the plaza, the man walked over to the counter. Where he proceeded to move over the person who was already behind it, and sit down before gesturing to the front of the table. People shifted and made room...and there he was, at the front of the buyer's crowd. With Vesica's eyes burning icy holes in his back. Hopefully, she wouldn't hate him too much for what he was saying and doing. It was just to free her...and he really hoped that she understood that. Then the other man coughed lightly, bringing him back to the topic at hand.

“A very...influential customer of mine has wanted a single AI that has been wandering the Wasteland for months. It escaped, and now challenges any who might bring it back. All of my hunters have failed. And now it sits next to the Gate, waiting. But all of my employees are busy, and I cannot pass up a chance at this. My competitors are also seeking to capture it. Should you succeed in bring it back to me, I will give you the AI. But I can't hold it for you forever. If you don't bring me the target within three hours, I'll have to assume that you've failed.”

Takua nodded, feeling that that was fair enough. Only...one problem that he could really see here. “Good enough for me. But how do I capture one?” The thing that came skipping across the table at him caused his jaw to drop. And everyone else around him to laugh. He looked down after his hand reflexively caught the little red and white ball, a single metal band in the center with a much larger stud in the center, at the very front. “...you're shitting me. I throw a pokeball at it?”

Now the man was obviously trying not to laugh. “Just like in the games. Get it to critical HP, status effects if you can, throw the pokeball. But I don't believe in disposables, so this'll work over and over again.” Takua just wanted to roll his eyes. Ondine was laughing her head off in his ear, but the other laughs sounded like a pack of hyaenas. A slavering tongue over sharp teeth, gazing at the next meal, drooling at the thought of closing those jaws in around the prey. So he turned that hallucination into fuel, smiling sharply. “Good enough for me. Anything I should know about?”

The man told him.

Fifteen minutes later, he stood on the other side of the gate from the Wastelands. There were a few people wandering inside and out of it, several of them staring at the landscape just on the other side. The titanic gate was currently guarded by several players that looked to be fairly high level, all of them...just, looking. At the fire crested lion that wandered through the redwood forest on the other side of the gate. The trees were thick enough to stand only a few yards apart, but the lion had no problem squeezing through, its fire licking up the trunks, searing them but not putting them alight. Leaves and shrubs burned up in its wake, but it prowled just on the other side of the gate. Not exactly reassuring. Nor was the fact that, once he got ten yards beyond the gate, he'd probably be totally invisible.

The lion was huge. It had to be ten or thirteen feet long, not counting the tail, and from shoulder to shoulder it was probably more like five or six. Crimson flame wreathed its head, its mane burning merrily around its face, as well as a stripe all the way down its back. Its tail was another five feet long, whipping around the trees as though to burn them.

And it was being attacked. He hadn't noticed at first, but every now and then the lion's tail would whip, and a player was suddenly visible, skimming into a tree, into the Gate, or out into the Wasteland. Or a claw would flash, and another character was suddenly lying beneath its cavernous maw. So then, very unlikely that he could capture by a straightforward attack.

He moved beyond the gate, feeling the change in temperature, in humidity, as he stepped across that little boundary. On one side, dry air, a comfortable heat that suffused the air without being too hot. On the other, a damp air that smelled of earthy things and the cool of the forest, only tempered by the blast of heat the lion was giving off.

He smiled tightly as he looked at the AI. Too often he either rushed ahead, or sat back and thought himself silly without action. People, especially in the Eventide Crescendo, had suffered because of that. He gave a swallow when he remembered the power room on the first room of Juka. Too little time thinking, then too much. Never the right combination at the right time. Not enough thinking to realize that the mail from Gyl had been a trap, not enough to realize that even he couldn't pay the price anymore to become trapped in The World. At least, not until it was too late. Until after Xenobia had found them and sealed them inside of The World.

Could he start thinking the right amount? Enough to realize what he needed too, not so much that it paralyzed him into inaction. Vesica needed him, no? Too much thinking about how she might not like to be owned, or said that someone owned her, and he wouldn't be able to help her. Taking the action that he needed to and being apologetic about the manner that he had to do things in would have to be enough, but he wouldn't apologize for the need.

When the lion looked at him, he remembered with the man had said. It charges, but does not attack the first time. It...he said confirms the attack between the two of you. Every time that someone had attempted to deviate between that procedure, they'd ended up fried by powers that the AI didn't normally use. And then the questions would come. Questions that, if not answered, simply powered the AI up more and more, and if answered incorrectly, would do the same. But answering correctly would weaken it. A puzzle AI that ripped you to shreds if you answered incorrectly.

Not for the first time since hearing that, the Wavemaster wondered just who the fuck the person who had owned this beast was.

The AI was still finishing up his current fight. These idiots were throwing out answers, but it was enraging the lion even more, to the point that the trees were starting to crack and break under the weight of its hits. Cover was becoming scarce and...no, wait. All of the trees were breaking. Cracking in the middle or lower, decaying in front of his eyes, even the air was becoming deaden. And as he watched the lion put its jaws into the last of the current people go take a go at it, throwing his corpse away into the wasteland with distaste. With no pause at all, the massive beast turned, put its claws into the earth, and sprung forward.

Takua was incredibly thankful that he didn't have the eyes to see the beast charging, although viewing it from the eyes of the person running at him was somewhat frightening as well. But he stood, fighting the urge to run, as the flaming lion came at him with all of the speed of a cheetah. Dead soil spraying out from under its paws, a mass of yellow haze in front of its sight. There was nobody else around that he could see that would aid him or try and kill him in this fight...at least directly. There were several spectators on the other side of the wall.

At the very last second, the AI stopped. Literally at a distance that he could feel the heat, could put out a hand and feel the tremendous maw in front of him. Switching to one of those handy observers, he watched the lion as it did something that looked like a bow. “Are you my next challenger? A sightless one has yet to come before me, perhaps there is something that you can see that others have not. Are we to duel?”

In response, Takua bowed low, like a martial artist before a duel. “We are. So, do you have a name? Or shall I just call you Lion?” In response to his words, he cast Ap Do upon himself, as well as Rig Geam and Rig Saem. Might as well have the best of the best on him, at least for right now. The Ruem Wings flared out from behind him, allowing the Lion to at least see what he could do. It was honorable, after all.

There was a sound that was like a laugh, a great bass sound that reverberated in his chest. “Indeed. I must warn you, flight will not save you, Sightless One. But if we are to call each other by what we are, then Lion shall do. So cautious are we, to not give what gives power. What gives power, boy?” And the Lion jumped backwards, but there was a twitch to the air about him...Takua flew straight up as a Vak Rom, or something higher than that, burned beneath him. Even as he did so, he was already answering what he certainly thought was true. “Your name. More specifically, your identity. Who you are gives you power, and your name can encompass who you are.”

The lion looked pleased, if it could, but even that didn't stop it from prowling beneath him, throwing more spells into the sky to attempt to knock him out of it. It kind of reminded him of a flak cannon right now, trying to knock down the aircraft that was bombing it. In response, the boy cast a PhaRue Rom on the beast below, something that it deftly avoided after a few ticks of damage. “Indeed. I do hope that you can keep up, Sightless One. Neither foe nor friend, I dwell within you. I am not physical, and my curse is your blessing. I am contained within beast and man. What am I?”

--------

Takua wondered just how long he could go on fighting like this. Perhaps it had been foolish to challenge Lion. Perhaps he couldn't really get Vesica back, no matter how much he wanted to. He'd answered every riddle that the Lion had given him. Some of them he'd gotten incorrectly, and had paid the price for it. His robes were in tatters. The bottom half were cinders, little more than flaming threads, as well as his right sleeve. The rest looked like it'd been...well, mauled.

But he was starting to answer his own question. Where it had all gone wrong. Part of it, perhaps most of it, was his own fault. He took everything too seriously. He hadn't had...almost any fun at all recently. It'd been a fight for survival, a fight for his sanity, and he'd taken it so seriously that he hadn't...really laughed. Hadn't been able to laugh since he'd gone with the Eventide Crescendo. But perhaps it really went deeper than that. Perhaps it had started when he'd killed someone for the first time.

No, no. He'd been able to laugh after that, after a bit. Mostly self-deprecating jokes. But you couldn't just go on thinking about doom and gloom as much as he had been without it affecting you. That was obvious. Really...really obvious. And it'd been long enough since he'd last had a good day. A day here he could smile and laugh at himself, at Ondine.

But even other than his lack of happiness, there were other reasons this had all gone wrong. He hadn't thought that he could tell the people around him everything. He was paranoid, no? But even beyond that he needed to talk. Needed to be able to have some semblance of normal human contact. Which was why he'd made his pact with Sekai and the rest of her group. But even then, he hadn't given them everything he was planning on doing if he had needed to. And it'd ended with Sekai getting put through unimaginable pain. Not just his own pain, but another person had suffered because of his actions. And that was one of the reasons why he was thinking now, really giving thought to this.

He needed to really try and...trust some people. Be able to trust them enough that he could tell them things that even he thought were stupid. And trust them enough to smile and be happy for a change. Was he really that nervous about being happy? Did he think that he didn't deserve it? Or was he simply so paranoid that it would end abruptly in betrayal? That once his guard was down, that once he had a good time, he'd die?

It came back to the same thing over and over again. He couldn't let this beat him, couldn't let it take over him and drive him insane. But to do that...he'd need to be strong enough to fight it and live life in a way that was directly against everything that was now instinct. At least long enough to get out of here. Which meant that he couldn't weaken himself by not letting himself laugh and smile. It also meant that he needed more people, or at least, more people to talk to. People who would smack him if his head was upside down, something that again required that he talk to them.

It was enough to give him the answer to the final question.

There was something ludicrously wrong with watching that huge lion go into a tiny pokeball. Even if it wasn't a pokeball, it sure looked like it. It even skipped back over to him just like in the show, returning to his hand like it was some kind of creature-encapsulating boomerang. The thought made him want to chuckle, even as his awareness returned to the people around him. He'd come to this realization partway through the fight, and he was worried that the Lion had spoken correctly. When the Lion was captured, surely some of those spectators would decide to take out the now weakened boy who had defeated the AI and take the capture, and the credit, for themselves.

Sure enough, there were some who were still looking at him. Others were turning away, the spectacle over. But some of those who were still looking at him...yeah. This was about to turn ugly really fast. He could see the change on people's faces as he walked back toward the gate, towards them. Were they really about to attack him, or was this paranoia? Good question, no answer until it happened. Would he let the Lion go if he really was attacked and there was no chance of his winning? Would the Lion aid him or turn on him?

He walked forward as steadily as he could, checking between multiple angles. Anxiety and fear rising in him like a sickening tide, choked with bodies and blood. Checking two angles at once, feeling his head swell and split from pain imagined as he did something impossible for humans. Switched back to a single viewpoint, continued to check as he walked for the center of the lane, without people nearby.

Takua tried to hide a shudder as he moved by three men who turned to look at him as he went by, eying him as a tiger might see the wounded gazelle. A woman leaning against the side of a stall, cold gray eyes glimmering with greed, sight fixed on him as he walked past. The capture device was in his inventory now, they couldn't take it from him. Right? Could they have that kind of hack? The Elites had, to strip them of their belongings before prison. Perhaps he wasn't safe here. Maybe he needed to walk again in the regular servers. A break from this paranoia, from the fear of hackers without conscience.

And what then? Administrators who could do the same thing to him, but would listen less. Other hackers without Twilight, PKs who cared only for the thrill of the kill. Here was a world of danger from both monsters and players, from the AI who called this land home. A game, right? Games were supposed to be fun. Make-believe. But this land of fantasy had turned from light and fun to dark fantasy, where the poisoned blade lurked in every corner. Where he could really die with the wrong step, and his life would really be terminated. Not as bad as Hardcore mode in Diablo 2, but bad enough. Couldn't die, couldn't be killed unless he had a party to resurrect him.

So what now? What here? With people following him, allowing him to see where he was going, but still following as he walked through the streets. How much money was he now worth? A floating price tag of respect and favors, where one could get an AI from a dealer as a pet. As their little slave. How much did his services normally cost?

Feeling like a miner who had struck the motherlode but with no protection from anyone killing him for that fist sized diamond, he moved. With his senses on max, blood pumping in his veins, touch light on the staff. Moved past the smell of smoke that mingled with blood in his nose, past the feel of every gaze on his back, past the feel of blades on his skin. Until he stood in the same place that he had not so long ago, looking at the same dealer. The same place. What had happened to the space, to the time between the Lion and here?

It had felt like some kind of dream. Try as he might, he couldn't remember the landscape. The buildings, the people. Only the feel. Takua looked up, winced. Where was he?

“Ondine. Are you there? Help me, please. I don't understand what's happening.”

When the pain subsided, when the light faded out, and his consciousness left him, he knew he'd made the right choice.

_________________
Takua - Lvl 57 Wavemaster
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Wishlist: Levels, Stun Rod, Hag's Wand, Ex-Level, Ex-Spheres, and Heh Heh Heh, Myth: Demiurge, FL Fukuoka


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 Post subject: Re: Evolution
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:50 am 
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Posts: 114
Location: Walking the line of madness
Takua's eyes opened to the sight of the hordes of humans passing through the Yamiyo Bazaar. Vendors hawked their wears, the chink of coins ringing in his ears. Ondine stood by him, only a foot away, leaning against the same wall that he was. He couldn't see her, but he could feel her. A constant soothing presence in his mind. He wanted to smile, wanted to laugh. The dream was gone, back in reality. Or what passed for it. Whatever state of mind he'd gone into, she'd got him out of it. Gave him a break.

Maybe he just needed to sleep.

“Thank you.”

He felt, rather than heard, her nod. The appreciation flowed through him like a warm beam of sunlight, and he relaxed. For some reason, she wasn't speaking right now. But that didn't mean he couldn't understand her. He looked around, trying to figure out where she had gotten him to. And found that he was, in fact, only a few yards away from the beginning of the AI dealer's square. For that matter...a worm-like thing was trying to squirm toward him. Amaraki's sign was proudly displayed just a few feet away. He'd done it within the time limit before, he assumed, Amaraki would try and sell Vesica to someone else.

With that thought boiling his blood again, he walked toward the nearest path toward the center. Since the square was practically made into a maze by the AI that were imprisoned there, paths and holes opened up as they were bought.

There was something bad about this. Something that kept gnawing on his conscience. He considered Vesica to be about as human with her personality as either himself, or any other human. Who was to say that the AI he had just captured didn't have the same personality? Who was to say that he wasn't putting something into a type of prison just to exchange for one that he wanted. There was something...wrong here. Something he didn't like about the exchange. He wanted to help out a friend, so he was going to put a different AI into the hands of their former master. Why had they run away? What was the reason?

“I see that you're back.”

The voice brought him back to the present, turning around to see the man who had sent him on his way. It was full of amusement, probably at his state of dress, given that he was burned and shredded all to pieces. Presumably Aramaki. He couldn't see the man, but the voice was the same. Still with misgivings, he reached into his inventory and pulled out the pokeball, holding it out in his hand. “Yeah. Got it for you. There was a moment of disbelief on the man's face that was written as clear as day from the perspective of another bystander, and then it was banished as he turned and started walking towards the center. “Come with me.”

He led Takua to a machine that was near the desk, a tall column with a single slot just over the size of the pokeball. The column itself was black, almost totally so, with a faint electronic blue where the opening was. You could see the gap because the back of it was more of that blue, which just barely illuminated the opening. That was, until the man put the capture device inside. Then that blue lit up, a gridwork of laser-blue lines that had the Wavemaster vaguely reminiscent of the laser wall from Resident Evil moving up and down it. Scanning, the boy abruptly realized as he watched his guide gazing intently at a pale blue screen that had blinked into existence directly above the scanner.

It took a minute before the picture of the Lion, in all of its digitized glory, was displayed. So too was a vast detailed flow of data that started moving as fast as its viewer could read it, but Takua didn't know what it was saying. It was just code. It was obvious, though, that the other man could, because he turned abruptly to the man at the desk. “Tell him that we have it back, for his collection.” He whirled around to face the teenager, and even without seeing his face, Takua could hear the excitement. “You will have to forgive my doubting you, but others have said they succeeded before, without the actual AI, only an imperfect duplicate. They were, of course, summarily killed.”

Now the Wavemaster was sure of it, this had to be Aramaki if only because he was the one giving all of the orders. Could be wrong, but seemed pretty obvious now. He let a faint smile cross his face before giving his reply, somewhat amused. “Even though you knew I had little to trade? Well, I suppose if I were well connected...but in any case, it seemed like a quick route to dying. Well, quicker than capturing the actual one, anyhow.”

The man smiled and chuckled as the capture device vanished into the black pillar, turning towards where Vesica waited, her eyes fixed on the two. Again, the boy in blue with rather shredded clothing wished that he had some way of talking to her right now. She didn't hiss at the man who had taken her captive, just fixing him with a stare that promised death should she ever find the opportunity. Takua though that was rather restrained for her, but he kept his mouth shut on that one as well. Besides, according to the deal, he was now the 'owner' of her. Hah. That thought was funny enough as it was to elicit a small chuckle that he barely managed to hide. He doubted that Aramaki would find it all that funny.

She was still remarkably even tempered as the man took the chain from the ground, the spike that had been in the ground pulled out without even a slightest hint of resistance. A hacked item? Or part of the hack itself, if he had one. Was there a difference? Takua found his eyes meeting with Vesica, and the blue mist spilling from her eyes seemed to be fixed on him. Betraying an emotion, multiple. Relief, apprehension, shame. And then her head was yanked to the front with a hiss and a snarl. They walked over to the building that he had seen earlier in silence, but he felt the tension mounting in him again. What was going to come next? He'd just 'bought' Vesica, what came with the deal? AI wouldn't just sit down and take your orders if they didn't like you, so part of his service had to be able to force that compliance, at least partially. How?

The door to the dark wood building opened, and he stepped inside after the two ahead of him had done the same. It was...remarkably plain. Just a single room. Its walls were bare, with one white and one black circle inscribed in the center. The edges were the opposite of plain, elaborate runes from every element and a few besides that laid into the wood. But that was...it. He'd expected ore. Perhaps something that might have belonged in the Rai sector, with technology, or focuses for magic beyond a couple circles in the floor.

The man led Vesica to the white circle and stamped the chain in the exact center. The next moment, Takua had to blink in confusion with his own eyes as the chain was eaten by the floor, simply sinking down until its length forced the snow leopard to fit comfortably inside of it. “Please stand in the black circle, and we can get down to business.” The voice was somewhat cold, but professional. It also brooked so little argument that he found himself moving toward the circle before he actually decided to do so.

“Since AI can sometimes prove intractable, and since your specimen seems exceptionally so, we offer a few things to their owners that can help with dealing with them. So long as, of course, they don't figure out ways to break it, but most AI aren't sufficiently versed in Twilight to do that.” That was said with a small smile, as if to acknowledge that the process wasn't perfect. Giving them an out if things didn't go as planned, perhaps? The reason that he'd been able to get Vesica at all? He stepped over the border of the black circle, happy that the man was still watching him. Frowning, he decided to take a look through Vesica's eyes....

And the room exploded with light.

He flinched instead of cringing, but that was the most that he could do. The room practically glowed with code that flickered in and out of being, running in strings around the two of them. Between them, even as a large chain erupted from the ground beneath his feet and forced itself into his hand. The hand that contained the Kiss, and he felt pain erupt from the skin as the ice crystal burned. Faintly, he could feel the other doing the same, but it was the one from Vesica that had turned into a icicle of agony in his veins, like his nerves had been stretched out across a guitar and picked. Strummed. Something shattered as he felt, rather than heard, Vesica's scream-

The space was white, a featureless plain with just two beings on it. One animal, one human with a shadow deeper than was normal, cast by a light nobody could see. They talked for what felt like hours, but was perhaps just a few seconds. Just a few sentences laden with more emotion than could be put into words. Until they moved together, one hand meeting the top of the head, eyes locked.

“-ir! Sir!”

The moment that the Wavemaster came to, he knew that he'd made a mistake. His head shouldn't hurt this much. He wasn't dreaming either, or else this would be so unfair. So he was awake...somehow. “Yes?” It sounded more like a croak of pain than words. As he said it, something nuzzled him along the cheek, leaving it slightly damp. Other feelings flowed through him, concern, pride, guilt, anger, a large dose of contempt.

The other voice, though, was substantially relieved. “Oh good. It's been quite some time since that has happened during the bonding. You should have mentioned that you had prior claim over the AI when you came here, you could have proved it.” There was something like a verbal shrug, and the tone went back closer to normal. “Not that I am unhappy, for you provided me with good business, but for the future. I am afraid that you were slightly injured by the process, which is not the norm. It also seems to have destroyed part of your clothing, or at least, what was left. Do you have any way to restore it?”

Such mundane concerns had a tough time getting through to his head until a familiar voice spoke almost right next to his ear. “What he means is that you are barely wearing anything, you have two crystals poking out of your hands, and you look like you walked into a dragon's lair. With cloth. I trust you did not actually do that.” He felt himself relax as he heard her voice. Good. So he wasn't dreaming it. He actually had her back.

Wait, he didn't have any clothing on?

He flicked over to her eyes, and took a good look at himself. Which was when he really got a good sense for how little he actually still had on. Two bleeding, cracked and burned edges of crystal, one golden and the other ice blue, had burst through the top of his hands like a Zot erupting from the earth. Well, just barely, just a tiny bump from both, but it still looked a little strange. But what really drew his eyes were the rest of the scorched and scored clothing that seems to be even more destroyed than the last time he looked at it. Heh, okay, he really couldn't go back looking like this, Sekai would freak out and Kira would have even more reason than she already had to beat him. Not to mention how everyone else would feel...and so much for not gathering attention. “Actually, I kinda don't. Any suggestions?”

The man nodded as Vesica looked back up at him for a moment, and then her gaze moved back down to the Wavemaster. “Give me a few minutes and I'll have someone here to restore your clothing, or at least give you a new set. My apologies on the trouble, but I do hope that you enjoy your AI, and I sincerely thank you for the work that you did. It easily paid both for a new outfit and purchasing her.” There was a small glimmer of irritation and indignation that the boy could feel from his new 'pet', although that wasn't surprising. What was surprising was that he could feel anything at all. A little more worrying was the way that Ondine kept playing around that link.

There was a small exchange of pleasantries after that, and the man left, saying that they could stay until the other man arrived. There was a small silence...and then he felt Vesica play one claw on the meat of his thigh. “If this is not enough for you to start telling me what has happened, I'll move a few inches up and to the right. I've experienced that that position has a certain power with men.”

He couldn't help it. He laughed a bit at that, not standing up. He reached out with one hand to start scratching her behind the eyes as she liked, feeling her bow her head and lean into it to direct him to where she really wanted to be itched. Shortly afterward, he lost sight of himself as her eyes closed. He spoke quietly, this wasn't exactly something that he wanted other people outside to know. “Well, let's see. Sekai, Kira and I went back to the field we were having so much difficulty with. Things went really wrong, we ended up getting kicked out of it, and then we were given a message from the account of someone we trusted to go to a field. One of the Elites was waiting for us, and we all wound up here, comatose if we weren't already.”

He shrugged, shifting where his hand was scratching to under the muzzle, being mindful of the teeth. Wow that was cold right around where her mouth was. Yeesh, way to remind him what might happen. “So after we...ah, busted out, we found ourselves here. We can go back to the regular servers now, but we couldn't until just a few hours ago. We're supposed to meet up with the whole group in just a bit though, after things calmed down from our latest escapade, and I was thinking about dropping by to see how you were doing but...I found you here instead. And since I didn't want you to go to anyone else...you know the rest.”

There was a pause, and then she spoke next patiently, as though he were a misbehaving kit in need of a good swat upside the head. “None of which explains why you have yet to open your eyes. Or why you felt arrogant enough to try to take me as your own.”

It was that statement that made him open his eyes, and really have her take a good look at the blind whites. He swallowed, feeling skin now dry and tight, somewhat nervous about giving this answer. This was the problem. How could he own Vesica? It wouldn't work that way, she was an AI, and he hardly knew how this was going to work out now. “I got into a fight with someone who destroyed my eyes. My new ones are healing.” He closed them, looking down and away from the feline. But he didn't hesitate. “I never intended to own you. I just wanted to make sure that you weren't owned by anyone, and I knew that if someone else bought you, you wouldn't be free.” He looked up at her, or where she was.

“You can...leave if you want to. If you can, that is. I'd certainly prefer that you stay here. Things are a little...unsettled, and I could really use someone at my side. I'm traveling with Kira and Sekai, I just figured that they needed a break from my company for a bit today.” He shook his head, and his voice turned sad. “I'm a little bit more unstable, but a little bit more stable, than when you saw me last. It gets complicated, but I'll fill you in. Regardless. If you want to go back home, I'll see if I can't drop you off there. If you want to stay, it's a partnership, not a case of one owning the other.” The smile came out without intending to, as well as the joke. “Besides, you're a cat, you'd wind up owning me and not the other way around.”

Vesica let out something that sounded, and felt, like a purr. “Scratch.” The voice was imperious, and Takua chuckled as his hand reached out of its own accord to get back to the business of scratching right behind the ears. She continued on with that royal tone that was accustomed to command, and the Wavemaster which Rue affiliated AI had gotten that tone from whom. “Just so long as you know that no one will ever own me, then we shall get along just fine. Besides, it's better if someone watches over you so that you don't go off and get yourself killed.”

He chuckled again, and heard someone approaching from outside. “Are you sure that won't be me saying that in a few hours?”

“Of course.”

_________________
Takua - Lvl 57 Wavemaster
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Wishlist: Levels, Stun Rod, Hag's Wand, Ex-Level, Ex-Spheres, and Heh Heh Heh, Myth: Demiurge, FL Fukuoka


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 Post subject: Re: Evolution
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Master of Games
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Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Takua
+ 1700 EXP
+ 3400 Gold
+ Earth Staff
+ 10 Artisan's Souls
+ That pet of yours

Don't forget to add pet stuff to your profile and choose your starting spheres, and all that jazz.

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