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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:42 pm 
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In a small, circular room, thirteen sets of golden rings descended from ceiling to floor. Left in their wake was a veritable army of players. True to that description, they looked much like they had just come off a battlefield. Which, in fact, was true.

Nighthand, barely supported by his legs and still on critical health levels, promptly collapsed, unconscious. Nall followed suit, the two of them the most beat up out of everyone. Raine sighed at the near miss, and picked up the fallen Heavyblade.

”NALL!” Came a shocked voice from the hallway, and Sheena rushed into the room. Dressed in her most casual, a pair of bright orange hotpants and a golden shimmery halter top, her orange hair falling loose, a small gold stud piercing her belly button, her face was a mask of distress as she rushed to his side. Lifting him up like a ragdoll, she threw him over her shoulder and rushed out of the room.

Dien, Canti, and Zhao found themselves no longer ghosted, but still at near-critical HP as well. And, shockingly, they felt every bit of the pain. Dien, too, was unconscious, or at the very least catatonic. Zan seemed his own mirror, thoughts of what he had done playing over and over in his head.

Raine and Sheena returned, and directed for the others to follow them; each picked up one of the remaining immobile members and brought them.

Exiting the circular room, where a small Chaos Gate spun in it's serene swirl, the group traveled down a short hall and into a common room. Couches and tables, chairs and desks, were scattered about. Three openings in the square walls, one in each, showed glimpses of other rooms. Through each was another hallway and another square room.

The opening directly across from the gate room was the one to which they headed. Traversing the short hallway let them glimpse for the first time their new quarters; a room that resembled little more than a barracks. Two rows of beds, several dozen in all, stretched down each outer wall. Nall and Nighthand rested next to each other on the left side of the door, and Zan and Dien were placed to the right.

”You should all get some rest, that was quite an ordeal. You'll be safe here. We'll explain more later, once everyone's awake.”

Raine moved to a bed herself and curled up, quickly asleep. Sheena, who hadn't been in Mac Anu for the battle, went to work on Nall with her healing. So, it seemed, they were left to their own devices.

(ooc: Rewards posted in Saga's End 2.

To add to the layout described above, think of it like a compass rose. “South” is the chaos gate room. “North” is the barracks. “West” is a room with the shop NPCs in it, and “East” is a room with one long table and many chairs. A meeting room. The center of the compass is the common room. There are no doors, just archways in the walls.

For the moment, the gate won't work if you try to use it, but the NPCs will work fine.

Rest, recuperate, do whatever dream sequences you want. By the way, yes, Rayo, Dien, Canti, and Zhao, you're all comatose now. Twilight infection reached critical levels. Dien's discovering his pain right now, and Canti, you'd have the elemental defense tweaks (but not yet the flight, or the other things). Zhao, not certain what you'd have immediately, so if you want to talk about it, lemme know.)

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:06 pm 
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Everything seemed so much more drawn out. Xenobia avoided Lanceor like the wolf was nothing, and then handled the others, including the player wolf with equal ease. Each strike avoided, spell negated…but this was all very typical for the Elites. What bothered the mage was what happened once the long arm was done being defensive. The heavy blade darted off, likely under the same sort of influence that had afflicted many knights already. The wavemaster had hoped those trapped by Twilight might provide a greater challenge to influence, but Zan’s loss wiped away that theory.

Then Xenobia turned to him…why did the high level long arms always wish to slice him in two? Oh right, he initiated attacks against them with a few others instead of sticking with nuking the monsters and soldiers…

It took her but a second to reach him, despite having been as far as possible while still engaged just before. She was going to do it, a strike from her might be enough…now was the time to rip his goggles off and crack his computer, avoid the scenario the others had been trapped within. Yet doing so would…no, there was still more he could do. Keep her distracted and strike with what he did have, their range in weapons barely differed and defense was still an option. Open up a chance for Reinier or Phoenix…

Before his staff could even be raised fully, the controls ceased to respond. Helpless to stop it, the wizard had selected a new target and was choosing a command. Lanceor!? No, the magician had 4SP by this point, that wasn’t a viable option for the hacker…or shouldn’t have been if Xenobia wasn’t exactly that, and one of the best to boot.

Following the path of Lanceor rampaging down the street, Rayo only shook his head, once able, and witnessed Zhao’s demise. Maybe the mage should feel bad about what happened, but he didn’t. Instead it was simply rationalized in his mind…Xenobia killed him. Xenobia was still the target.

Checking his SP gauge, it was at only two, whatever Xenobia had done didn’t leave him in any better shape for it. No good luck within bad luck for Rayo, just more bad luck inside of bad luck. Then again…he wasn’t dead yet. That was the silver lining…probably.

The sorcerer stopped his plans to attack again with other means as Nighthand arrived. Wait and see what happened, lend a hand if the opportunity presented itself. Still, no such occasion materialized. Nighthand was beaten down; Nall popped into sight and was made useless. There were now two elites playing with them, yet no effective offense or defense could be formed. As his SP neared twenty points, the wizard prepared to try anyway, a GiRai Rom to strike at Garaa, who at the very least was darkness oriented. He was given no chance, twin summons stalled the Elites and then Mac Anu was gone. More accurately the player was gone, but with such focus on the battle, his orientation was a bit off until he appeared elsewhere. More or less alive…

His eyes focused, but winced at the pain in right arm, where the imps had shocked him directly…pain? The wavemaster stopped his raised hand reaching for his face before letting it go completely limp. Back, back in The World, again. This wasn’t controlled at all like last time, and the mage almost felt the same rush of feeling he did before, when he didn’t know his true situation. Slowly the fears, pain, and doubt faded away. He was back…but he wasn’t there without a purpose. His pain was no longer different from the others, now it was all the same, almost right.

Hadn’t he known the risks? Yes, Auth had known them all. The Elites…he understood what they could do…or at least the minimum of their powers. Why…that one word could ring so deeply, it could explain why anyone did anything. They were trapped here, this group of people. Others were who were not present, others could be who he may never meet. Bringing them out of comas, setting things right with the Elites, convincing the administrators…none of these things lay within his power. Defend--no, protect. Others could handle the issues that involved ending this infliction. His priority was keeping people alive for when that happened, and lend a hand in this matter.

Still, what of his body? No one would probably check his room at the school for at least a few hours…probably three but it was doubtful he’d go unnoticed through the night. Six hours at the limit, his guess at least. What would they think on the outside, a relapse from the last time? Probably, or it would be concluded it was an unrelated incident, but at least his body should make it to a hospital nearby. The place last time had looked rather nice and peaceful when the boy had reemerged from the game. There were worse places for his body to reside and be kept safe.

Rayo shook his head, no time to zone out and be locked within the mind of the mind. Protecting never could afford to cease. What had he lost? The ability to check the BBS, to look outside of the game for clues, his notepad with all of the statistics and summaries of both the team and the Elites…oh. Never mind, those were long committed to memory anyway.

The mage blinked, his right hand was still in a fist from earlier, gripping his wand which was back in his bag when he gated in to this spot. Opening it slowly, an orb rested on his palm. It was mostly golden…but the center glowed a faint blue. What it is…not a clue. Still, both the timing of it’s arrival and location gave Rayo a theory…

The lightning user watched Reinier walk out of the room, others already having been moved to the beds for rest. Following, the summoner went about a different task, damage assessments that couldn‘t wait for more analysis.


"...How are your wounds?"

"I've had worse, I'll be fine after I finish off another potion... How are yours? It sucks killing off your comrades... 'specially with a Lanceor."

"Xenobia's fault, not mine. I'm not about to lose focus at this point over their games...she'll pay for that next time."

"Yeah... next time... She's too strong, at this point. I need to train... I want to go refine my skills on my own, but at this point, with those three new ones, I don't know if I really should be running off on my own endeavors."

No…Reinier was right. Going off alone would divide them, removing their resources if a push needed to be made. Any training would need to be done with everyone present, allowing it to change from practice to mortal combat without losing out on participants.

"You're partially right...but you won't be able to become strong enough to take her down. They'll get stronger too. When I saw Kamui move...she was even faster than the last time we fought."

"I know I can never match an Elite... but I want to become stronger so I bring more to the table. I must have gone through three swords in that battle, just from blocking... I hate being so weak. My goal at this point is to reach a level of... well, I guess Nighthand's a good starting point."

Nighthand…his level was certainly higher, but how much of a difference could that make? The administrators were tough, and they had level in their advantage. Kamui for one was probably maxed out by now…yet her level didn’t let her take out Xenobia either.

"He isn't strong enough either...I saw him get smacked around a bit up there. Well...there is one thing I do think would help, training I mean. If we do it though, we do so as a unit. Despite all of the Elites being together, for the most part they all did their own thing. I didn't get much of a vibe of that from our side either though...but if we were to learn to fight together, and do so effectively..."

"I can sort of see where you're going, but my powers... I'm still too green with'em to try and train in a group, right now. Later on, once I know nothing'll happen when I sneeze, yeah, we train as a group. Because it'd be a lot easier for me to train if I know for a fact the only person I'll hurt is myself, if somethin' goes wrong."

The mage wondered how long it would take before the way of thinking changed. His own departure previously wasn’t a good example of what to do, but if everyone assumed their losses didn’t hurt the others…

"How long do we even have before we end up moving again? A day? You'll be put in real combat situations with that same concern, but we won't know what to expect from you and you won't know how to use it with allies around."

"I know, that's the scary part... If I could somehow make it back to Theta, and then in to my field... time's no longer a problem... But now, the Admin are probably regrouping and tightening security in our favorite Servers, namely Theta and Delta... we're cursed to... where ever we're at right now."

"Before anything sort of training there's something else we can do. It'll be both simple and effective. It might also make you feel sick, but that's an acceptable side effect."

The heavy blade stared at him, unsure perhaps? The wavemaster had tried to make a joke, but he supposed his normal attitude wouldn’t aid the realization of a brief excursion into humor.

"... Okay, I'm game. What do I need to do, sample your cooking?"

"...No. We need to sit down and have a chat, all of us. We need to learn to respect each other and get along...maybe even trust."

"True... that WOULD help out the situation. It'll have to wait though, seeing as how Zan's passed out, again... and that Dien kid seems to be in the same state. His body looks like it went in to shock."

"It just seems wise to work out more difficulties now...instead of feeling animosity and a desire to kill teammates in the air while surrounded with plenty of other targets...like earlier."

"What're you talkin' about? Nothin' but love on the field. Not my fault the plan Phoe thought up would have gotten us slaughtered in a heartbeat. I guess I could have handled the situation better, but given the thousands of other situations in the air, that one was just a tad... well, if I spent time beatin' 'round the bush, a number of things could have happened. We were pretty open targets, after all."

"There are ways with which things can be said...I just want to avoid that which will not help our survival. I've seen teammates attack each other before without any sort of hacker getting it started. With all of the enemies we do have...we don't need our traveling companions on the list."

"Yeah, I see your point, again. What're your plans then, Sparky? How we goin' to cut down on the animosity levels? Sappy role-playing of our feelings?”

How indeed…the wizard had stopped his plan at getting people into the same room, hopefully without force. Being a counselor was neither his place nor his talent.

"I was going with the idea we just address any issues now. If someone has a complaint, they can make it. Sort it out here, where we're relatively safe...probably."

"This is The World, you're never safe. A place where friends turn on friends, and brothers against brothers. Wouldn't doubt if the Elites knew where we were and were on their way right now to finish up the job they started... but yeah, bring in whoever and we can do that now, I suppose."

"They're welcome to come if they want. If all else fails, maybe I can get one of them to discuss their problems and convince them to join up. As for others...this room looks adequate. Someone will care we're not there. We'll wait for them to come in and find us, instead of giving them the chance to reject our idea."

"Good plan, I don't know how well I could move anyway... plus, I picked out a primo spot, I think. Who do you think you can convince to 'join up' with us?"

"None. We've never tried it before though."

"You've lost me, but that’s cool. I just think my brain's fried from thinkin' too much in that battle... Fuckin' aye man, I can't believe we're alive... I just wish there was a nice little dirt mound here so I could work on my powers.."

"As you wish."

Rayo snapped off his Thunder Anklet and laid it down on the floor. Reaching into his golf bag, the wavemaster pulled out his Ninja Anklet where it belonged and snapped his fingers in the direction of the far corner, out of the way so not to hit anyone or create excessive noise. Sadly, there weren’t any smaller earth spells to work with. Once he was done staring, his companion spoke up again.

"Wow... uh... thanks... That's probably more then enough for what I wanted to do, anyways. I feel stronger... like my sand shield can deflect more. The way my mentor put it, it seems like eventually I'll be able to make armor..."

"Progress is a good thing. Wake me when we have at least six people."

""What're you going to do, sleep on the table? That was actually my plan..."

Never hearing even the sixth syllable in the sentence total, the tired player drifted off into unconsciousness, resting against the wall.

_________________
Rayo
Lv.47 Archer 745HP/311SP
Bell, the Silver Grunty of Thunder
Skills/Spells-Shocking Arrow of Voltage(30), Arrow of the Burning Stars(10), MeRai Rom(40), Rai Kruz(10), La Repth(20), Rip Maen(40), MeRai Kruz(20), GiVak Kruz(20), MeRai Don(20), Rig Saem(15)
Weapon/Armor/Book-Golden Royal Bow/Thunder Torque, Thunder Cloak, Able Ring, Ivory Greaves/Thunder Magic
Wishlist: YL Fukuoka, Stormlore, Winter Stone, Silver Grunty


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:26 am 
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Hijinx came screeching around a corner, running from room to room with a mix of excitement and disapointment. It was a new place, and her cheers, shouts and "awwws" seemed to mingle into one big mess of overall happiness. Of course, the place was basically a pretty cave. Her search had failed to turn up so much as a window, thought she did have time to rig and hide extremely well a surprise in the ceiling of the common room. Naturally she would get bored with this place in time, but for now, there were many promising things to do. The first on her list included the multiple unconscious or sleeping allies that were conveniently located in the same room. Yanking a permanent marker out of her pocket with a gleeful snicker, she went to work.

On Rayo, she drew a childish picture of lightning on each cheek, finishing it with a dark puffy cloud on his forehead that was decorated with a smile and assorted thunderbolts poking out here and there. Nodding with satisfaction, she decided that it went well with the electric wolf playing in rain from the cloud.

Pheonix's was simpler, though his reaction would undoubedly be interesting as well. Across his brow was the name "Nall", carefully encased in a pink heart.

Zan posed a slight problem, being so furry, but the innovative fist-fighter snapped her fingers after a second of thought and ran off. When she returned, she had a steaming steak in one bowl and water in the other, both of which had Zan's name mysteriously etched into them. Setting them down in front of him, she went back to scribbling random glasses, moustaches(some large and comical, many thin and curving at jaunty angles), as well as the occassional goatee or horns where she deemed it appropriate.

Having accomplished the task of scribbling on chins and the like, she was off again, examining the various wares and trying to convince the NPCs to gamble with her for the odd item or piece of clothing. In a matter of minutes, she was rolling dice and wagering a shirtless shopkeeper that they could win everything back if they would put the pants they were wearing on the table as collateral.

OOC: If I didn't specify your name and you weren't awake, you get to make up your own face scribble! Have fun!

_________________
Hijinx the Lucky Former Rabbit
Level 35.000 Fist Fighter
Equip: Fist Guards, Wyrm Hide, guard cap, Snow panther, silver bracers
Item: 5 ressurect, 2 antidote, 10 healing potions, 6 Emperor's Soul, 3 Raging Earth, 5 Ice Floe, 4 Gale Breath, Knights Bane, 10 Speed Charms
Money: 1103gp
"The problem with life is there's no back-ground music."


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:03 am 
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Zan watched the kid flee, shifting quietly into his Garou form as fear began to permeate the air about him. It was a spice to the meat Zan would soon feast on, a dash of metaphorical pepper that made his mouth water. He was so slow...so weak...the man practically glowing with the word 'prey' on his back. Hurried steps sloshed through the dark of the forest, crunching leaves in their wake and imprinting themselves upon the mud patches that lay littered about. This was his forest, Zan's forest. This man was trespassing about the lycanthrope's territory and that in and of itself gave Zan every right to devour him. And devour he would. The light of the full moon beat down through the trees, lancing the pale silver in streams through the dense occupation of branches and logs. With one last, deep breath taken in, Zan launched from his waiting place and sped towards his target, the man's heartbeat reacting to the sounds the werewolf made. The rough pant of his physical exertion was turning into a wheeze and further still into a whimper as the stranger began to lose any hope of escape. Good. Give in. Make this a hell of a lot easier.

It wasn't long before Zan charged ahead and flung himself before the stranger, dropping the man onto his back out of the sheer fright it induced. The Heavy Blade lost himself in the warm splash of blood across his muzzle, the raw taste of flesh as it slid effortlessly into his stomach. Only when the man before him was barely more than bone and strips of fat and viscera did the werewolf look into the man's face and realize just who it was. Dien. No...no....A small chant in the werewolf's head as he stood up and stumbled back, nausea beginning to churn and bubble in his gut, threatening to heave up all he had consumed. Zan encouraged this, praying to God for that moment to come. And yet...it never did. The Beast lived for it, smiling a wicked grin in the back of Zan's skull. God help him, but he
liked it. Each drop of blood was lapped from the rivulets around his lips, teeth picked of globules of skin and muscle and swallowed down wholeheartedly. Zan felt his sense of morality begin to twist and his shame turned to elation as he turned his snout to the full ring of the moon and howled his heart out, echoing his melody into the crisp night air with all the joy in the world. It was only when he turned from the sight of Dien's body did it all come running back.

Instead of finding a forest behind him, some place the more docile half of the Beast could run free and run far...forever...there stood Dien. The corpse of a kid eyed him with judgment, the very weight of the deepest rings of death and Hell in turn held in those irises. Zan had been able to deal with eating a dead body, that was something that he could eventually forgive himself for. But killing Dien, feeling and smelling Twilight ignite in the boy's body as his claws rended flesh into ribbon strips...that had been too much. The very thing the lycanthrope had tried to warn the boy away from was the very thing he delivered. A messenger of irony and hypocrisy, Zan no longer felt himself a man. No, he didn't feel himself to be human. With Dien's hate and livid loathing beating down on him like a club of darkness and the deepest sorrow, Zan could barely stand to be in his own skin. As hard as he tried, as much thought and will he put behind it, the Heavy Blade couldn't change back into his human form. Stuck as the Beast, as a physical personification of animosity, the lycanthrope was hardly worth the dirt he walked on. There was nothing for him...nowhere. The forest began to burn away from him, vegetation and earth exchanged for bones and ash. Somewhere deep in his heart, past this world, Zan knew he was only a second away from permanent catatonia. Nothing left...nothing left...

About to give himself over to this self-pity, this self-loathing, Zan found himself tackled to the ground, his body suddenly sweeping over into its human state at the sight of the one who straddled above him. Lowen. Worry grafted itself into her eyes, knitting itself into her brows, bunching her shoulders into knots. Raven hair fell from past her shoulders, concealing the sides of her face, complimenting the blood red of her halter-top and the jet black of her jeans. One hand cupping the left side of his face, her thumb tracing the line of his cheekbone, she seemed to simply study him. After finding something, some sign in his eyes, she leaned in towards him and brushed his lips with her own in a gesture too tender to be sexual. She was trying to call him back to himself, away from the permanent state of shock that he was steadily heading towards. Above him now her lips moved without sound, without word or a hint of logic behind them. The part of Zan that could still be saved wasn't listening, was refusing to hear what she had to say. It was only when tears began to stain her cheeks in clear lines that his hearing seemed to slam back into full force. Something in his face must have showed this, the woman starting from the beginning.

"Conner...Conner...this is just a dream. You're sleeping. Don't walk down that path; don't let that mind-controlling vixen defeat you so easily. You have to let your humanity be stronger than the passions of your Beast. I need your mind to stay intact. Please Conner. Without you I'm nothing, without you the Hell I'm forced to live in will be the place that claims my life. Please Conner, wake up..."

"Lowen...I..." But she didn't let him speak, placing a delicate finger over his lips.

"Shh. Later. Wake up. Oh, and that rabbit...thing...you know, the poor excuse for horse shit dipped in an acid vat of stupid..." She paused, trying to think of a name.

"Jinx, you mean?" Even saying the name made Zan want to chug down an industrial sized thing of mouth wash.

"Yea, that thing. It's been writing on your face. It's also left you food. I wouldn't touch it." Before Zan could thank her for the heads up, he was lost in a new world.


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

Zan jolted upright at his new surroundings, his senses suddenly perked and searching out any signs of enemy life. But nothing. Wherever they were, everyone was at ease. There were no screams, nothing of the sort. That taken care of, Zan moved on to the next order of business. He could feel an odd weight to his face, something that solidified Lowen's words about the writing. Before Zan could start to get upset, something clicked in his mind. The lycanthrope willed his body to treat the markings like a foreign, invasive presence. It wasn't a quickly worked process, but in time he felt his flesh begin to work itself over the markings, dispersing the ink into his bloodstream where his metabolism quickly beat the shit out of it. Metabolizing ink...who woulda thunk? Laughing a touch to himself at the sight of the steak, way too cooked for his tastes, he tossed the thing aside to rot in the corner and swatted aside the water as well. He could have done well to eat and drink what he had just disposed of, but anything Jinx had touched had to be toxic with suck. Not really willing to risk infection, the Heavy Blade, free from markings or any other outward proof of the...incident?...ignored any further thoughts of the rabbit and focused on other things, like where the hell he was.

Exiting a room that looked like a barracks more than a bedroom, something he was pretty sure was on the dot, he didn't stray from a forward path. When he found himself in front of the Chaos Gate, it's golden ring and clear-blue center almost hypnotizing; he discovered that even a jested attempt at leaving was futile. If it had a Chaos Gate then maybe, just maybe, it was a Root Town of some sort? No...that wasn't right. No one would be as calm as they were at the moment out in the open in a Root Town. Since their last Hideout had more than likely been discovered, perhaps this was the replacement. It seemed more likely as his mini-trip around showed no more than five rooms. This was barely a building, let alone an entire town. Settling on the idea of a new Hideout, too lazy to ask any actual questions about it, the lycanthrope allowed himself to come to a quiet settle on a black leather couch tucked in one of the corners, his arms reclining along the back of the piece of furniture as his gaze dulled forward and his eyes glazed with thought.

Dien was sleeping, the lycanthrope having woken up next to the boy that induced one hell of a nightmare. No, not Dien, but Xenobia. That was the second Elite on his shit list. First and foremost was Melzas for trapping him in this God-forsaken game and next, of course, came that mind-controlling she-bitch. Both had wronged him in one way or another and both would receive their dues in time. It wouldn't be for a while, Zan knew, and he'd probably never be able to take down one on his own. He didn't need to. The werewolf had friends. Lots of friends. Lots of powerful, powerful friends. Sure they didn't match the power of the Elites but the cliché 'there is power in numbers' came to be about for a reason; the sheer science of the truth it held. It would be a very long time before the Elites would fall, but in that singular moment of thought Zan had a very strong feeling that such a thing would be accomplished in time. In time. It wouldn't be tomorrow, or the next week, or the next month, or even the next year. But it would happen. At the rate of the Freedom Fighters' growth, they'd be truly formidable when the time came around to show the Elites that they wouldn't be kept down.

Yea, Reinier was no Jett, but he was getting stronger each and every time he used his newfound powers. The crimson-haired warrior was walking, talking jackassery with a warrior's heart and a hero's blood. His control of earth was minimal at the moment, but one day...one day that guy would move worlds. Nighthand held the weight of a dozen or more lives on his shoulders, knowing full well that his next decision could lead to their deletions and, ultimately, their real-world deaths. It was a burden of responsibility that would cripple most and Nighthand seemed to take it in stride. Though Zan would never admit to it, he was in awe of their leader at times when it really mattered. The schizo leader was an ass, through and through, and there were times Zan would have liked to give him a swift kick in the balls, but Zan would be willing to trust his judgments and his directions in a heartbeat. Unlike any of the other Freedom Fighters, Nighthand had an aura about him that just let you know from being near him that he knew what he was doing.

Rayo, next on Zan's mental review list, was a welcomed addition to the Freedom Fighters. He brought brains into a group that was too immersed in chaos to use their own. His tactics had proved to be both effective and thoughtful, breaking apart only when those involved messed it up for him. And Dien...the kid was green and not exactly the strongest chip off the block, but he carried bravery in droves. The lycanthrope had known the kid for barely any time at all and already he trusted the Blademaster at his back, with his life. No other Freedom Fighter, aside from Reinier, could claim such a trust. All the rest, aside from Jinx of course, played their parts in the effectiveness of the group. It was the unmentioned others that trudged through death, blood, and overwhelming violence to help the Freedom Fighters as a whole to persevere. Without a single one of them, the attack in Mac Anu would have proved eventually fatal. Of that Zan was positive. That was when Zan found himself considering a thank you to Melzas the next time he saw him, before he did his best to make the man pudding, of course. If it weren’t for that Elite, the werewolf would have never been so lucky as to stumble across such a group. None of this was a coincidence. They were on a path; a journey that would take them through experiences that would test them not only as warriors, but also as human beings. Not many could boast of such adventure.

When Zan had explored all of the rooms except one, he decided to complete the tour he had started before and found himself slipping into what looked like either a large dining hall or a meeting room. Knowing that the Freedom Fighters didn't actually seem to care about food, aside from him, he took it to be the latter. Knowing that, more likely than not, the group would amass here in time, the lycanthrope kept put. In the room, that was. Taking to pacing, Zan willed his leather coat from his inventory and willed it further into the long, hooded trenchcoat he had come to feel rather comfortable in. His face hidden partly in shadows, leaving his eyes to their secrets, he began to mull over the situation for the first time. The situation being, of course, what happened in Mac Anu. They had only escaped with their lives out of a sheer and uncountable dose of Lady Luck. The Elites had been moments away from eating them alive, whether figuratively or literally, and they had come to this place only through the Elites' distraction. If it weren’t for Raine, they'd almost certainly be eating the abyss of a Final Death. Not the ghosting, short thing. We're talking the long dirt nap. Worm food. When that thought process was becoming a bit too overbearing, the Heavy Blade sat himself down at the table and slumped his head into arms that folded in front of him on the table, hoping to catch a few more 'z's to clear the aches and pains still clutching at his over-worked physique.

_________________
Lv. 50 Heavy Blade
Wishlist
Special: Levels, GR Sendai, PL Sakai, Darklore.
W: Tonosama Sword, Mineuchi, Jundachi.
A: Samurai Helm, Able Hands, Rare Greaves.
I: Holy Sap, Treebane, Cooked Bile, Nightbane.
EX: Elemental Summon (Lv. 2), Overdrive (Lv.1), Elemental Attacks (Lv. 2), Enhance Dark, Elemental Breath (Lv. 2).


Last edited by Zan on Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:26 am 
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Phoenix was standing near the entrance of the barracks as he saw Nighthand, Nall, Dien, Zan, and Raine were all sleeping in a bed. As he was watching Sheena healing Nall, he remembered the events that occurred before arriving at this place.

Phoenix and the others decided to attack Xenobia during the invasion of Mac Anu in hopes for using her Chaos Gate to escape along with breaking her control over some of the Knights of War. He remembered his time of being control by her that he suggested that they should avoid eye contact with her in order to avoid being controlled. Their attempts to take out Xenobia went very badly as she was watching the Freedom Fighters the entire time. She managed to dodge and block Rayo’s Lanceor attacks so easily while dealing with Zan with mere ease. She took control of Zan and had him to attack Dien while ignoring Rayo and Phoenix who were closer.

Before Phoenix could stop Zan, the werewolf killed off one of the uninfected, Dien which he regain control of himself and fell to the ground in disbelief. Then she took over Rayo and forced him to kill off Zhao with a Lanceor attack. The lightning mage was no use to her anymore which she took control of Reinier and killed off Canti before having him nosediving into the ground. Phoenix was the only left who could possibly do anything to Xenobia but Nighthand soon appear before he could make an attack.

Even combined powers of Nighthand and Nall were no match for the power of Xenobia and Garaa. It looked like that Phoenix and the others were finished for sure until two summons appeared and managed to stop the Elites from attacking. Then a beam of light bathed over the entire city which reverse the damage of the main Chaos Gate along with making the monsters disappeared from Mac Anu. The Elites and the admins all retreated from the city as well along with the Freedom Fighters.


Phoenix was in better shape compared to the others as he did not receive a beating from an Elite as the others did. The only real injury to Phoenix was minor pain from using his gravity powers but that would eventually go away with some rest. He put up his hood as he notices that the newly altered Hijinx was painting faces on the sleeping people. Phoenix did not have time during the battle to notice Hijinx’s new appearance until now. Even though Hijinx had become less rabbit-like in appearance, he still cannot avoid calling her a rabbit. Even her class has changed to one of a fist-fighter, she was still mysterious to the master of gravity.

Phoenix decided to leave the area as Suzaku transformed into her bird form and perch on his shoulder as he was walking around the current surroundings. They entered into the common room which was not being used at the moment. They looked around the room as they began to talk to each other. It’s amazing that we are alive right now after how Xenobia and Garaa almost kill us all. I’m surprised that I came out with just minor pain while the others had various degrees of injuries.

Yes, Kazuma-sama. We were very lucky but for some, there was a terrible cost for being alive. I sense the Twilight in the previously uninfected now. They have become one of us now. The one called Dien is probably feeling the effects of the Twilight the worse right now. Phoenix and Suzaku decided in a clockwise fashion to explore their new surroundings as they proceed to the meeting room.

Oh wow! I’m impressed now. We got a nice conference table along with some chairs. It makes you feel that we’re a part of an actual resistance group compared to the hideouts we had in the past. Let’s go to the next area shall we, Suzaku?

Suzaku gave a small nod before they proceed to the next room in the clockwise fashion that they agreed upon. She looked at Phoenix as she noticed that his expression was rather cheerful which was rare for him. She had known him to be in pain most of the time because of his past and previous battles. So it was a refreshing change of pace to see him in a positive mood for once. They arrived at the southern room which just contains a Chaos Gate.

We even have our own Chaos Gate. I wonder if we’re even on in one of the regular servers or on some random server that Raine and Sheena created for us. I don’t think there could be another Chaos Gate for the regular servers. Anyway, I should ask them that when ever they’re up and about. Let’s go to see the final room, Suzaku.

Phoenix and Suzaku exited the Chaos Gate room and enter the final room that they have not explored yet. They discovered that it contain a bunch of shops and NPCs to run them. He noticed that Hijinx was gambling with one of the shopkeepers and just ignore her for the most part as he tried to spend most of his time trying to avoid her. Then suddenly he got an idea to stock up on some items. Phoenix had some gold that he needed to spend anyway and since the upcoming battles were going to get tougher, he should get some items to help him out.

After getting the items, Phoenix and Suzaku went back towards to the barracks to see how the others were doing. He did not see any sign of Zan even though he was unconscious earlier but the others who were in beds are still in them. The blademaster should rest for any upcoming missions but he was not really tired at all. The pain from earlier had disappeared for the most part as the walk seemed to help his recovery process. Phoenix decided to leave the barracks once again and decided to head for the meeting room.

Once entering the meeting room, Phoenix noticed that Zan was there with the standard sleeping position while trying to get some sleep while at school. It seems that the werewolf moved from the bed to the table before sleeping again. Maybe I should help him in the recovering process. He recently acquired a new pair of boots called the Green Guard which contain the spell of Rig Saem. In a test of the new ability, Phoenix cast the spell on Zan which gave him a gentle stream of health pouring through him like a drippy faucet.

Phoenix decided to take a seat across from Zan and watched over him as he and Suzaku were having a discussion. There has to be a reason why all the Elites showed up at Mac Anu. If they wanted to kill us, they could have done it at any time. So why come during a time where it’s just admins and their lackeys during a purge for hackers? Their actions don’t really have any sound logic to them unless their intent was to show off their power to us and the admins. In that respect, they managed to do very well.

Also I think they wanted to reduce the strength of the admins and instill fear into all of us. All of us know that we don’t stand a chance against the full strength of the Elites which leads us to this question. How can the Elites be beaten? We do know they can be beaten but doing this is another task.

Correct you are, Suzaku. We need something to up the scale to our favor. With this new hideout and all, we can do amazing things. Anyway, the Knights of War have been weakened by the recent assault along with the egos of the admins. I don’t think they will be much of a problem right now. It would be nice if we get some more people back from the old days and add them to the fighting force once again. Finding them is another story entirely. For now, we just wait for the others to recover and plan our next move. I can’t just sit around right now. I think I do some sword exercises here.

Phoenix got up from his seat and took a few steps away from the table and chairs. He reequipped his Fireman’s Coat and Fishing Gloves along with the Matoi sword before drawing the sword from his green sheathe. With both hands on the handle of the sword, he began to swing the sword in various directions along with moving it in blocking positions. He did even some stance work at various states of gravity on himself during this time. As his training continued, Phoenix thought to himself. I could easily blame myself for not being able to protect them from Xenobia but I won’t. That situation I couldn’t do anything even I wanted to. The outcome would have been the same. I will protect them with my body when the time is right.

OOC: Hijinx, I wasn’t sleeping at the time. So don’t do something where I was clearly wasn’t sleeping at all.

EX-Orb equipped: Elemental Breath

_________________
Phoenix
Level 48 Blademaster
Equipped Skills: Vak Revolver, Gan Revolver, Dek Vorv, La Repth, Juk Kruz, Rue Kruz, BiVak Rom, GiGan Zot
Other Skills: Rue Kruz, Rip Synk, Rip Saem, Crack Beat, Rue Slash, Ani Slash, Gan Crack, Gan Revolver

Wish List: Phoenix's Fire, Gold Necklace
EX-Spheres: LV 3 - Overdrive, LV 3 - Curative, LV 3 - Elemental Breath


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 6:38 pm
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Location: Unknown
-Ryok stood in the middle of the quite town looking around at his new surroundings. With a few blinks of his lids he realized he hadn’t the slightest clue as to where he was. All he remembered was Hijinx saving him and then.. He was here. Ryok looked around the room frantically. His pet was nowhere to be found. He had asked her to come with him to the hideout but she had never came. So, maybe she was still next to the rock sleeping in the foggy town of Dun Loireag?

-Hidama?

-Eh?..

-Don’t give me that. I asked you to be there with me at the hideout.

-Wha?..


-Ryok stopped thinking temporarily, something he did often.

-The silent treatment, huh? I see.. Yeah, sorry about that I forgot to come. I’ll be there in a jiffy.

-I don’t know if you can get here though it’s somewhere I’ve never even seen before.

-Nonsense..

-I don’t know i-…


-A burning sensation caused him to look down toward his feet. His pants just catching as she moved out from under him. He pat the small flames out and looked up at her.

-“See? I’m here already.” She said a smile crossing her face. Spinning around she scoped the area out. She to had never seen a place such as the one they were in. “Hmm, odd I thought I knew everything there was to know about this World. This place though… At any rate I’m here now” She said turning away from him and going off to do ‘stuff’. Ryok sighed, now realizing he didn’t really want her here. Turning he looked around at the group. Many were sleeping, exhausted from the battle. He felt fine, for the most part. The repth spell that Hijinx had cast on him before they disappeared had helped a lot. The lack of sleep was starting to catch up to him though. The cause of that of course was the light ‘jog’ with Hijinx in the morning. Other then his heavy eyes, he was ready to fight again.

-He walked over to the NpCs who were standing silently waiting for him to approach. Ignoring those who weren’t being entertained he stopped in front of Hijinx.

-“Uh, yeah thanks for saving me, before.” He said scratching his head. He turned away from her and strolled away not knowing what more to say. Looking around, he moved back to the center of the one roomed building and found an empty couch where he sat. Leaning on his hand he fell asleep, trying to catch up on previously lost shut eye.

_________________

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Ryok| Lvl. 27| Heavy Blade| Demonic Sword| Kagayuzen| Fire Bracer| Suzaku Fiery Pants
Karin| Kannon| Miu Lei| Vak Rom| Vak Don| Dek Vaks| Ap Vaks
Skill Drain| Death

Wish list:Black Sharp Angelic Wings| Time Headband| Unique Weapon


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:15 am 
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Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...
Another twitch sent a line of fire that ran down from his shoulder and down his leg, adding yet another layer to the pain. His mouth opened, dried by the repeated action. Every part of him screamed, crying out in sheer, unadulterated pain. He could feel every nerve ending on his skin shooting molten earth into his veins through a snake’s fangs, every organ in his body reeling and keeling under the pain; and each twist and groan they made sent another echo of pain rising up and down his body. He was shaking, he though. No – it was more than thought. Each repeated gyration jostled him to the core, causing yet more moisture to be called out of his throat. With time, that too would start to hurt, if only due to its hoarseness. Already breathing was troublesome, playing itself out over short gasps.

Each beat of his heart seemed to pound more and more pain into his body – more pain than any human on earth would ever face. Every muscle on his body was sore, and complained LOUDLY when he tried to move. Closing his eyes was not an option, as the hurt caused by the flickering of those muscles caused him to wish his head would just explode. Sinuses ached, pushing ever harder against the bone and skin that held them shut, and his ears had all but imploded under the jarring sounds that gating in had provided them with – and then that girl’s scream. Just thinking about it caused him to wish it was over. That, too, was slowly becoming a reality. Individual neurons were firing off within his head, and he could feel each and every one. A veritable storm flooded his brain with a huge internal whir whenever he tried to think at all, like someone was performing a lobotomy on him while he was still awake – and with the joys of a modern blender.

This hadn’t left him much time to try and figure out just why the hell it hurt so badly. Even an attempt to access the apps he’d made had left him stranded and in more pain than before. It wasn’t really frustrating that it hurt, so much as it was frustrating that he couldn’t even attempt to nullify it. At this point, he didn’t really care if he was stuck in-game or whether he was still home-free in that regard: it hurt too much to notice anyhow. There were memories, though, and so long as he didn’t consciously try to remember them, they could still play without much pain. Part of him wished that he would be able to remember just what the hell had happened there, but he wasn’t going to force it. As if on cue, the movie started to play…
__________

The corridor left by the group’s surge toward Zan was beginning to close quickly, the monsters still having a bit of trouble making it over their fallen comrades, being careful not to step on them. Dien, on the other hand, was not at all opposed to disgracing the fallen, and in fact used the corpses as an elevated running ground. Their armor, which was often broken and cragged, made itself useful once again in giving him a place to run on. Yes, his steps had to be carefully placed, but it wasn’t hard work at all. What was hard was the fact that he was about to collapse.

Finally, just before his opening closed in a horde of spark-driven imps, he made it through to the rest of the group, a radius of about five feet around them keeping the monsters out. Silently he slinked back into the defensive line, turning about to face some of the braver monsters who’d worked up the balls to actually try and turn fate’s hand back to the Freedom Fighters, only to fail miserably. Zhao was at his left and Zan at his right, relatively speaking. Actually, there was virtually no unity in this front – just the general consensus of “kill things.” Granted, their close form made that job a bit easier, but so far there weren’t a whole lot of combined attacks, which would have made fighting easier just that little bit.
This was simply a kill-or-be-killed scenario.

Zhao had paused, Dien noticed after delivering a finishing slice to one of the Earth Mages who failed to see the bad part of running circles around one’s opponent. The orb it sat on shattered on impact with the Souleater, sending quite the nasty series of dings over its once-clean surface. It didn’t matter though – a quick run with Reinier’s wet stone and it would be good as new. Granted, that didn’t do a thing about the Zhao situation. As the blademaster watched, his comrade began to filter off into the crowd of hacker-built monsters. He called the twinblade’s name, but he didn’t reply. Something was wrong.

Casting Ap Do on himself and hastily trying to keep up with the faster class, he found himself barely able to avoid the blows that the monsters were dealing. There weren’t a whole lot of them with him
or the twinblade in their bull’s-eyes, as behind them the more serious threat of a werewolf, a truer earth mage, a practically-Quetzalcoatl, and a handful of other fighters whose powers weren’t yet fully-known to Dien. Still, at the moment he had more on his plate than any of them did: get Zhao out of the fray and back to their circle of safety while avoiding attacks by all the monsters that were contributing to the chaos. Simple, right?

Black. The player's eyes were black – those tell-tale irises were pitch as the night sky over a desert field without stars, and Dien was probably the only one who cared enough to know what that meant, and just how dangerous it could be.

Rikama,” he said, approaching the player, “that’s your name, right? Long time no chat.” Doubtless, the friendly front probably wouldn’t work on this character, but diplomacy was always more desirable than confrontation, especially when surrounded by dozens of monsters. The character, however, simply returned his attempt at salutations with a glare.

I don't believe I ever ‘chatted’ with you, as you put it, nor do I wish to. What do you want?” His words were harsh – even for a homicidal maniacal alternate personality.

I want you to calm down, for one,” Dien paused, looking at the player with a solid stare, “we're in enough of a jam without you freaking out and ruining it for us.

Ha! You think I care what you want?” the player scoffed, “I could care less if you all die.” His eyes narrowed into a thin stare at Dien. “In fact, it would make my life a lot easier. Why should I care if I ruin things for you?” At this point, the blademaster was irked enough that this Rikama wasn’t even taking time to listen to the answers to his own questions.

I couldn't honestly care less about how easy your life is,” Out of nowhere the blademaster spun, taking out an imp that had managed to sneak up during their conversation. From watching the others fight the buggers, he knew that a zap was coming, and stepped to the side and out of its way, letting it collide with the cobblestone and hopefully stunning Rikama long enough to allow for some kind of victory. “But what I do care about is getting us all out of here in one piece.

And that's a goal I don't share with you. You want to fight, Dien? Right here and now?” Dien closed his eyes, un-equipping Souleater and clenching his hand tightly shut.

No, I don’t want to fight,” he said, throwing his full force behind a punch that connected harshly with Zhao’s cheek before the mind inside could predict its onslaught. His body twirled to the ground, and Dien rubbed his fist, now sore from being used in such an unfriendly manner, “but don't think I'll hesitate to kill you if the time should come.” He cast repth on the now-unconscious character and bent down, heaving the limp arm over his shoulder and throwing his own arm under it and around to the other side, making dragging an easy answer. Now was just to get through these monsters and back to the front line.
Just great, Rikama, he thought, watching the hordes that no longer hesitated to close in on him.

A sudden barrage of arrows landed in the beasts, clearing out a veritable path. His head cocked to the side for a moment to try and think how it was possible. Knights? He shrugged, quickly making his way through the ten-foot-long gap before it closed again.
Probably a legion of archers, he thought, making his way to the center of the group before letting the twinblade down, how else would you get that many arrows? Dien looked to the roof of a nearby building, and saw a blademaster with his sword raised. It was brought down, and a sudden horde of arrows, many of them elemental launched off the top of the building and flew for the widening field of monsters. Well, that much is helpful at least.

Turning slightly, he heard what could best be described as clicking from outside of the ‘circle.’ A pair of the black life-sized insects was making its way towards him. Souleater was once again at his side as the Ap Do’s effects started wearing away – he’d have to be quick about this one. Just then, a burst of blue bubbles surged up his being, enwrapping him and relieving his fist from the bruise it would have otherwise had.
Who the… he thought, turning and finding an imp standing behind him snickering as it cast the healing spell yet again. It was yellow, and the bug that creaked along behind him was black. Instantly the connection was made in Dien’s head – send the bug at the yellow guy. They both approached him, neither one knowing the doom they were going to rain down on one another. The only bad part about it was that he would have to wait, and having just cast an Ap Do, it wasn’t fun.

Finally, the bug was in place and ready to attack – just as the Ap Do wore off. The blademaster sidestepped the first cut of its claws, quickly stepping behind and giving it a small shove towards the imp. The next sound was a crack, followed by the crackling of static energy over the bug’s exoskeleton, and the ensuing storm of thunder and slashing that followed until the two were completely done with one another. Smirking, Dien turned again only to see his higher-level comrades commit to a suicide-tactic against one of the admins. First, Rayo launched a summon at her, followed by a quick spam from Reinier’s earthbending and finally an all-out melee barrage from Zan.

Any normal player would have been dead after a minute of it, but this hacker was no ordinary player. Each attack was dealt with in sequence, and before the werewolf’s attack could be made complete, she touched him on the cheek. All at once, a darkened madness – a bloodlust accompanied by insanity came over his eyes, and the wolf turned, staring at Dien. The blademaster quickly glanced from side to side, even over his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t in the crosshairs. It was only when Zan began to charge at him that he realized just
what the hell was happening. He’d been duped, betrayed, enslaved, charmed, or just plain enchanted by the long-arm hacker of wood.

There was one option left – flight. Dien turned and ran, his legs pushed to their physical limits out of fear. This was the one monster he couldn’t fight, the one Beast that he didn’t have the power to overcome. He turned, falling on his back in the clumsy frenzy that was brought on by his panic. Was this really Zan? The character who had so bitterly warned the three of them against staying? He pinched his eyes shut, knowing what was to come, and how powerless he would be to stop it. Then it came – a slash across his gut. He cried out, flinching in his pain and screaming at the top of his lungs. Another slash, and then another, each one bringing in more and more pain. He could feel the slashes cutting into his body, and from them their pain rippled outward, glistening through his body with a quiver that he couldn’t bear. More and more, and then he was turned over, each slash into his back releasing the same shrieked gasp from his throat as the last, his eyes wide with shock.

His character must have died, but his ghost was still trapped in his body: still feeding his brain the pain of what was missing and what was being devoured by his once-guardian. Tears slid down his cheek as his eyes affixed their permanent, dead stare on the one who ate his flesh. Every part of him ached, but he couldn’t cry out, couldn’t even beg for his own release. The open air against his wounds stung, but not as much as the flesh that was being torn away. It wasn’t until the wolf stared into his eyes that he realized just what he was doing. It was more painful to watch the wolf reeling through his own turmoil powerless to stop it – he wished he could just tell him that it was nothing personal. Another twang in his non-existent side sent shivers up and down his spine, and he lay still, another pair of tears shimmering down his cheek: tears that were only made worse by the wolf’s howl and the flood of emotions it brought back.

__________

He betrayed you,” came the man’s voice again, and he stood over Dien, the pain still very real, “I know what you’re thinking. You want to kill him – to deliver him the same amount of pain as he dealt you. Do it! Release your anger, your hatred, your suffering! Pour it all out on him and kill him!

N-no,” Dien stuttered, forcing his dry eyes open to glare at the man. Each second they were opened only added to the reality of his pain, lighting them on fire and letting them burn out, “h-he’s not m-m-my enemy!” Each word came out of his harsh throat, accompanied by a maelstrom of bees that stung every surface inside him on their way out. He inhaled slowly, the long wheeze that followed likely heard by everyone in the room. This time was different – the rest of the World hadn’t stopped at his appearance. They still couldn’t see the man in his golden poncho, but they could hear Dien’s replies to him if they were listening closely enough to his frequent whispers.

Ha!” the man said, pulling out a small knife from behind himself and kneeling down to look Dien in the face, “he attacked you, maimed you, brutalized you, killed you, and infected you! Come now, you must have some resentment for him.” He paused, long enough for the player to shake his head. With a grimace, he put the knife to Dien’s throat, and the blademaster winced, feeling the skin cells around the contact point being crushed under the weight. Wincing, though, sent a whole other fleet of nerve-pulses back to his brain, almost breaking him under their weight.

Stop,” came the statement from behind, and it echoed around the room, freezing time as the AIs’ presence usually did. The man in the poncho looked up, pulling his knife away from Dien’s throat and spreading his wings slightly in shock.

You!” he shouted, holding up the knife only to have it shatter from his hand and lacerate his wrist before vanishing altogether. His free hand clasped at the wound as he growled at the opponent. A brilliant flash, and the poncho-gowned man disappeared yet again, puffs of black smoke fading about the room into their nothingness. Dien turned, pinching his eyes shut and clenching his fists with the pain – which only induced more of it, causing him to let out a small, meek cry. Then it returned to the normal onslaught, the normal dosage of pain. He managed to open his eyes, the repeat-savior having disappeared from his view yet again and time returned to its normal flow.

Sweat fell along his cold brow, coldly trying to relieve the fever that burned throughout him. It condensed on his cheeks, in his armpits, and everywhere else that could be considered natural. Only time separated the acidic liquid from his eyes, and he closed them, hoping and praying that it would be enough to keep the stuff out. It failed, and he clenched his jaw shut, sending another wave of pain that resulted in the same timid cry. Hell had come to him, and the best he could do was endure.

_________________
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Image|||Level 35 Blademaster (+200 EXP)
Wishlist: EXP, Ends of Earth, Armor with Status Effects


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:16 am 
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Location: UNKNOWN ERROR, please try again later
((OOC: Taimat chooses Elemental Breath and Ap Do.))

Sweat poured out of Reinier’s pores, as he stood hunched over using his new pole-like weapon as a crutch. The boys eyes wandered around the new room, compressed and pearl white, which outstretched in cardinal directions. Reinier faced what he could assume to be North, as a barracks of sorts stood in front of him.

No separate rooms… No go, for me. But then again, everyone’ll just be asleep, so it doesn’t really matter…

To his side, he spied a room with a nice long table with many seats. A grin crossed Reinier’s face, as he began to make his way to the room. The pole of a weapon would seemingly echo every time it smashed in to the ground, making it a pretty loud cane. Reinier pulled out a chair near where the head of the group would speak, and set down gradually. He let his sword fall to the ground with a crash, as he gradually leaned back in his chair. His wings draped over arm rests of the chair, not feeling that uncomfortable against the back of the chair.

Reinier pulled out a potion from his pocket, and set it atop the table. He sloshed the drink around on the table, watching it twist against the walls of the vial. He sighed, wondering if it would be worth it to drink it now, or simply let his aching body repair itself gradually. He suddenly remembered his companion, the dragon.

How’re you holdin’ up, Tai?

“...How are your wounds?” The voice reached Reinier suddenly, making him leap out of his seat a bit. His breathing became erratic, having been shocked at the sudden question. Reinier looked up to see Rayo, the tactician of the group. With a smile, Reinier answered, and the two conversed for some time on various subjects and matters at hand.

I’m holding up fine, but there’s some things that are… odd. Your mind’s not at ease, it’s pretty easy to tell these things. Your soul is in your body, we both know this, but it’s locked up by that Wryneck spell. I think it’s having ill affects on your body… VERY bad affects, actually. And also, contrary to popular belief, there’s some interesting memories in your head that concern both of us… If you fall asleep here soon, I can show you them.

Reinier scratched the back of his head as he watched Rayo fall asleep against a wall. He let out a sigh, and noticed the next person to enter the room. A kid he could really trust, Zan. The Lycan’s coat grew on a whim, and he fell asleep in a chair, plopping his head on the desk. “Three more…” Reinier muttered, that being how many people more until he would wake up Rayo.

Next to enter had been Phoenix, who did a peculiar thing indeed. He seemed to cast a spell upon Zan, something that put Reinier at unease. It would be one thing if he were conscious and stated aloud the spell, but to do it in someone’s sleep while he was unaware of it was another. Zan didn’t seem to be dying, so Reinier went back to his thoughts and looked over to the mound of rocks Rayo managed to muster up.

Reinier leaned back, tossing his left wing over the back of the chair, and leaning his left arm on the top of the neck rest. He outstretched his right hand, his palm burning amber, causing the rocks to burst. Subtle bursts came from the rocks, with them simply becoming finely grained sand. The sand slithered across the floor, making its’ way over to where Reinier sat. The boy’s breathing gradually became heavier, as he collected the mound of sand over to where he sat.

At this point, Reinier stood up and pushed his chair back. He walked around his chair, pushing it in as he walked a few paces out from the table. Reinier took in a breath, and outstretched his arm. The muscles and veins coursing through his arms bulged, as his hand crunched together as if trying to grip a basketball. The sand rushed across the room, surging up from the ground under his palm in a double helix, and began to wrap itself around Reinier’s arm.

The sand hardened coarsely throughout his arm, with a rather large spike materializing and protruding up from his shoulder. The sand hugged tightly against his arm, keeping it outstretched and rigid. His hand had remained free of sand, so he had been able to flex his fingers and his thumb a bit, but his wrist remained unyielding. His arm gradually swung down to his side, Reinier unable to maintain holding his arm up with its’ current weight. Reinier grunted, attempting to bend his arm from the elbow, but yielded no results in the arm bending category. However, in the muscle bending category he received exemplary marks.

The room felt as if it had begun to twist around him, his breathing became more sporadic, as he began to wobble while standing. He grasped his head with his left hand, and braced his body against the closest wall. With what little force still resided in his body, he swung his right arm against the wall. His rock-grafted arm hovered against the wall for a moment, before eventually crumbling to the floor. The rocks pelted the floor, breaking back up to sand gradually.

The boy grasped his head, returning to his seat in shame. He yanked it back with his right hand, still a bit stiff from the cast of rock, and plopped down in to his seat. He slumped back in his chair, resting his neck against the neck rest. His eyes closed, he wondered how much training it would take before he would be able to move his limbs in a cask of rock like his mentor could.

Leucosia…

You shouldn’t be day dreamin’ ‘bout your teachers. It’s a bit creepy. Here I thought you’d know this by now.

Reinier ignored the dragon, wondering what everyone was doing.

Rhilla… wonder what that girl’s doin’ right now… Probably training… Knai…

Reinier shook his head, ignoring the fate of his friend. He wanted only the good memories of his friend in his head, not the ones of him kicking his ass. The two had always fought, but it was more like the brotherly fighting then real. The two seemed to alternate living at one another’s house, preferring the other’s to their own.

Garrett

Reinier’s eyes shot open, and he jolted upright in his seat. The single calling of his name freaked the boy out. It hadn’t been his in-game name, either. Few people called him by his real world name, here in the game. He peered around the room for the reason of the voice, to find no one but Phoenix still awake. Reinier gripped the end of the arm rest, a bead of sweat rolling down his forehead.

Don’t freak out so much, it’s just me, Leucosia. I watched you fight, via Taimat. Very easy to use the dragon as a tool… I guess it’s just because he has no true body of his own… Anyways, you fought very well for your first real combat situation with the Blessing. I’m proud of you, but you have so much to learn. You’re still wild with the swings of your blade, as well as when you direct your projectiles. You break your concentration too early! It’s shameful. This isn’t some second rate hack where you just point and laugh, and fire appears. This is an art form. You must make your movements appear easy, as if you were a dancing upon water.

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but I don’t dance. I can work on one thing atta time, the dancin’ or the thinkin’, your pick.

You need to learn manners, first and foremost… Look, next chance you have you’re coming straight here and I’m going to teach you the proper technique for your spells. Until then… learn to think more. It will help you worlds, in your attacks. And as for creating that armor… don’t try it for awhile. You might end up crushing yourself. I thank the stars that you tried to cover your arm, and not your entire body. Easy way to kill yourself, I went through four apprentices that way.

Reinier chuckled and shook his head, as he peered over to the pile of sand. He held up his hand, closing his eyes, and imagined it pouring up to the top of his hand. The gentle scuttling of the sand against his arm could be felt, and as he opened his eyes, he became shocked at the sight. He grinned, as he found a neatly compact and sturdy sand ball hovering in his hand. He peered over, and noticed Zan still silently snoozing. Reinier took in a breath, and without moving his hand, shot the ball across the room and nailed Zan in the head. During the whole process, he continuously thought about the speed and strength of the ball. His eyes widened as the sand actually made contact, and splattered against the table and floor. A bullshit excuse swiftly left his lips, “... oops... Sorry man, trying to control this crap... it's hard as hell.”

Blinking up, Zan groaned his response before actually using words. “I’d rather you miss throw a ball of sand than a spire. But maybe you should ask Raine if she can make you a training place. For all of us, really. Think the Danger Room from X-Men.”

Reinier smiled at the thought of the X-Men, and how the group had been so similar to that group. “I’m more concerned about gettin’ some grub... We should go ask’er to put in a Northwest wing for a gourmet kitchen, free of charge o’ course, and a Northeast wing for trainin’. I wouldn’t mind private rooms, either.”

“God damn, I thought I was the only one who wanted a kitchen. Some raw steak right now would just be...beautiful. And yea, I wouldn’t mind some private bunks either.”

“Yeah... ‘normal’ people like it a little... cooked. I prefer medium rare... I remember, when I visited my father in Michigan one year... my step brother, whom I had never spoken to before that day, told dad, ‘Yeah, I wanna hear’er moo!’ Kinda disgusting to eat a steak that raw…”

“Ugh... a whole cow...live…” Wiping drool from his lip, the lycanthropic player groaned once more, his stomach churning in an audible growl.

“I can hear your stomach from here... Closest thing you’ll get to a cow is a Grunty, and I think Tai made them extinct in Delta... I hope that baby Grunty’s okay... Maybe we should go find Raine, talk to’er ‘bout our alterations.”

“A Grunty could work...but yea. If you wouldn't mind talkin’ to her about that, I’d appreciate it. I need to get around to talking to Dien. We have a few things to...discuss.”

“Like what? How you killed him? It's like Sparky said,” Reinier went on to do his Rayo impression, a serious and deep voiced impression. “‘Xenobia's fault, not mine. I’m not about to lose focus at this point over their games...she’ll pay for that next time.’ Plus, we warned the fuckers ‘bout staying with us. It’s his own damned fault he’s comatose. Same for Zhao and Slacker. I’ll admit... the power boost... it was nice…” A cold smile slithered across Reinier’s face, at this point.

“I wish I could dismiss it so easily. No matter how you spin it, I was the direct cause of his infection. And see, it isn’t that I’m ashamed for the action, I’m ashamed that I loved it so much. Tearing into him, splitting him open; I reveled in it. That isn’t something you just... forget.”

Reinier nodded his head, his smile disappearing. “Yeah... I see your point. I just wish I always had that boost of power from Xenobia. I’d kill Slacker everyday for that Elite power... Elites... the embodiment of power... heh, man... Imagine... custom weapon, custom armor, legions of minions at your disposal…” Reinier fell off in to a dream world, imagining the powers of the Elites at his disposal.

Zan couldn’t help but smile at that, nodding a touch, forgetting what he was avoiding. “That much power could be intoxicating, yeah. But who knows what we’d do with it? Can we really say we wouldn’t go just as corrupt as them? Perhaps it’s good that we’re so humbled all the time. It keeps things in perspective.”

Reinier slammed his hands upon the desk, rising to his feet and glaring across the room to Zan. “I’m TIRED of being humbled, I’m tired of fucking being so WEAK. I... want... Power…” Reinier coughed, and collapsed to his seat. He closed his eyes, and crossed his arms. He mumbled to his friend, “Sorry... Who knows, maybe we would be corrupt... Maybe it’s worth it…”

“You know that isn’t true. Look what real, raw power does to people. It perverts them, twists them into something barely recognizable as human. You don’t want to be that, Reinier. I live day to day trying to place my humanity above my inner animal, and to put that on to yourself willingly... it can’t be a good idea. You’re growing stronger by the day, my friend. I know it’s frustrating to be beaten down so God damn much, but as cheesy as it sounds... It’s our inner-strength that’s going to win us this war. To get the power you want is to sell your soul and your will. Is that really worth it?”

“You don’t know what it’s like... I had it, power. It was getting stronger, too... Those gems had me pretty drunk, at the time, and I loved every minute of it. Now look at me, while you were asleep, I barely managed to cover my arm in armor. I couldn’t even bend my arm, so it’s useless. I’m not getting stronger fast enough. You’ve just grown strong seemingly overnight, mean while... Ugh, I’m barely making my way through this hell... I want to be stronger... If I had to sell my soul... I just might.”

Zan studied him then, thoughts replacing words as he seemed to come to some inward conclusion. “So be it, then. Just know that when that time comes, if it ever does, I'll be there to stop you. I owe you that much. The moment you cross the line is the moment I’ll kill you and make it stick. It’ll be my hands at your throat; not Nighthand’s, not Nall’s. I can only ask you never put me in that position. I also request that, should I get there first, you pay me the same respects.”

Reinier let out a hardy laugh, and looked over to Zan. “I love ya man. I already can feel it, though. My Sand Shield’s stronger... I doubt you could get to my neck now. But yeah, I’ll gladly kill you in a second. You’re a good man, sayin’ you’ll kill me like that.”

Zan smiled as well, shrugging his shoulders a touch. “What are friends for if not for the metaphorical trigger fingers when the other goes too far? If we can’t trust each other to end it, we can’t trust anyone to. I’d rather talk down the road of power we’re on with the knowledge that I have someone to pull me back if I walk a step too far.”

Reinier gave a nod, and gradually rose to his feet. He spread out his wings a bit, and looked over to his friend, his finger tips brushing against the table top. “Any day, my friend. I’m going to go find Nights... I need to speak with him. I figure he’s somewhere about. We’ll talk to Raine later on 'bout the alterations.” The boy walked away, giving a lazy wave over the back of his shoulder, Zan leaving him to his own devices.

Zan, my friend, you’ll be at my throat one day… I know it. I’m going to burn my own path to greatness… No. Matter. What.

Reinier took a turn, and headed towards the barracks to check up on his fallen comrades. He headed over to one of the new kids, Dien. “Hey Dien,” Reinier spoke softly, tapping the boy on the arm. “how you holdin’ up? Adjustin’ to the curse yet”

Dien cried out in pain, in a sort of inverted shriek at the touch, returning his face to a contorted wince and slowly turning his head to face Reinier. “DON’T do that again, please,” he began to write in a Flashmail, “my body feels like I'm being hit by a freight train going 90 MPH consistently, so any kind of added pressure makes me want to kill myself even more. Aside from that though, I'm doing good. And you? How’s your earth-wielding holding up?” He sent the message, though his brain practically blacked out for a second with its sheer volume.

“Sorry man, didn't know. Hey, could be worse. You could have cancer. Testicle cancer. The earth-wielding... it goes. I managed to make some armor around my arm, but I couldn’t bend it so it’s useless right now. You need anything? Water, food, a nice prostitute?” Reinier chuckled at the last one, and rested against the wall. He slid down to the ground, and rested his head against said wall.

Dien’s natural attempt to chuckle at the man’s humor only sent him gasping at the pain that wracked his body for a second. “Advil would be good,” he wrote, “or maybe Tylenol. Hell, I’d take anything shy of Morphine right now. I dunno about swallowing it, though - my throat’s pretty parched.

“I’m almost positive a needle going in to your veins’ll make you wet yourself. We don’t need extra work for Raine or Sheena. I have an extra potion, I can go and pour it down your throat, if you want.”

Thanks, but I don’t think it’d work," Dien replied, casting Repth on himself to no avail before the fighter's eyes, “you might ask the formerly-a-rabbit if it’s got anything for painkillers. With the crap it pulls out its butt, you never know.

At this point, Reinier would have entered a witty zinger, or perhaps a burn, but he had passed out. The gentle snoring escaped out of his mouth, entering in to a nice dream world. A dream world where Taimat had waited for him to enter, in his former human form. The boy fell asleep with two thoughts, still fresh in his mind.

I left that potion on the table… oh well, seat saver… And the other thought, a darker thought. I will burn my way to greatness… No matter what… Sorry Zan….

_________________
Image
Image
Reinier's Wishlist: Sakabatou|Sharktooth
Abraxas' Wishlist: Complementry|Summon
The Hack's Wishlist: Wall lvl 2


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:35 pm 
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The moment Zan's head hit his arms on the table he felt that whole world vanish, his body suddenly seeming weightless; a feeling akin to floating or flying through the air. Opening his eyes, the Heavy Blade's irises were met with the sight of sheer blackness. Zan was familiar with this particular void, any curiosity he might have had taken away as he identified the place to be none other than Nonworld. It was the place his mind used to go to when the Beast took control and his recent trip away from the Freedom Fighters had also placed it to be a limbo world bordering a locked field of The World and the whole of the Shadow. Zan would have liked to call this all a dream, but it felt far too tangible.

Somehow, someway, his mind had taken the once-familiar route and exited his body to go to this place. Why? It didn't make sense. Perhaps...perhaps like people had Alpha and Beta waves, and more, to their levels of consciousness, Nonworld was simply one of Zan's. It would explain a few things, really. There was being awake, then Nonworld, then the realm of dreams. If that was true than Zan was just this side of sleep. The cold of Nonworld offered him no solace with the guilt that stirred, that churned, that threatened to slowly eat away at him. For a while the lycanthrope wondered through one of the Borderlands, a thought that struck him as odd. Shrugging it off, taking it to simply be a word he had invented for the placement of Nonworld, he did his best to ignore the intensity of the cold.

It was getting worse, slowly but surely, and the wind that begun to pick up seemingly out of thin air was not making things any better. What had brought him here? Was it really just his inability to slip back into full-sleep again? Or, maybe, was it something a touch deeper than that? Hugging himself against the bitter bite of the temperature, his form clear as day, unblocked to sight by the darkness as was property of Nonworld, Zan began to unravel the rather simple puzzle of his placement here. The guilt, the self-loathing...all of it had kept him from the full embrace of sleep and had instead placed him in this place. Great.

It was one thing to get all broody while he was awake, but to have him be affected with something other than bizarre dreams was a bit much. Huh. Maybe Zan was going about this the wrong way. Maybe, just maybe, this was an opportunity. If he really was bordering the Shadow, as the Nonworld was, then he could theoretically go
into that cookie-filed world. Air filling his lungs, Zan closed his eyes, trying to will himself into the Root Town of the Shadow, the Umbra. Vertigo seemed to take hold of him, mixing with his psyche, all the negative emotions he had bottled up suddenly becoming a maelstrom of harsh thoughts around him. Audible voices ripped through the air, screaming at him, accusing him, abusing him with verbal low-blows that him shaking on his knees.

Shut up...shut up...shut up...a silent prayer given as hands slammed over his ears, the lycanthrope wishing he had never tampered with this particular layer of his mind. And then, as soon as the voices had appeared, they were gone...and Zan's knees no longer rested on the still-air of Nonworld. No, something solid greeted them, something that felt like concrete. Concrete! The stuff made up the grounding in the Umbra, the small smile that had split over Zan's face at what he thought to be success soon drowning in confusion as his eyes opened to nothing at all. It was the same blackness as Nonworld, but the lycanthrope could no longer see himself.

It was true darkness now, his body bathed and overtaken with it. Okay, now he really, reallllly needed to wake up. Coming to his feet in whatever place he had stumbled upon, Zan took a moment to pinch himself and, yup, he was awake. Where the hell was he now? Was his World body still in their new Hideout; was this still just an extension of his mind into the Shadow? Pulling out his Flame Sword, Zan was relieved at the light the blade gave off, tossing off a small glow in any which direction. To the werewolf's dismay, however, the light revealed nothing more than the ground he walked on and a wall to his right. Whatever the ground had been paved out of was the same thing that comprised the wall.

Running a hand along the wall, the Flame Sword held closer, Zan shivered at the cold it radiated. It didn't feel like concrete, but more like...like some sort of mineral deposit. It was like being in a building crafted out of a cave, but the walls and the ground were too flat and too square to actually be a cave. Drawing his fingers away from the wall, he turned them to him, rubbing the tips of his digits together, spreading what looked to be...ash?...over them. That...that just wasn't
right. Taking a breath, using nothing but human senses, Zan couldn't help but cough at the scent of sulfur that seemed to smack him in the face. Not just sulfur, no, but a sort of dank version of it, the air practically reeking of moisture which, once more, reminded him of a cave. Putting his hand to the ashy wall, however, ridded him of that theory for a second time.

Indulging his curiosity further, the lycanthrope willed his right fingers into claws, running them experimentally along the wall. Although it felt like a mineral wall, the jagged nature of his fingers peeled back paint chips, paint chips that withered and curled into blackness like they had been set aflame before slowly filtering to the ground in ash. So that explained (more so than not) the ash on the walls. Again he had to ask himself, where the hell was he? The draft the place held made it seem so huge, so monumental. The wind was just as cold as the walls, hitting him in the back and riding over him to disperse into whatever lay ahead. Raising his Flame-Sword-turned-torch above him in search of a ceiling, the lycanthrope didn't seem to find one.

Perhaps he just couldn't raise the sword to the height of the ceiling? Banking on that, Zan heaved the sword with the strength of a temporarily-tapped-into Clabro form up, the light the weapon gave off never finding a top to t his odd construction. Calling the weapon back into his inventory before he'd have to attempt to catch it, Zan began an anxious trip to his left in search of another wall, trying in vain to get the dimensions of this place. Ten minutes or so crawled by and still nothing, still no end. How gigantic was the room he was in? Throughout all of this the werewolf still hadn't shaken this pseudo-dreamscape, annoyance appearing plainly on his face as he took a step back in preparation of some sort of return trip to wall he had left long ago. To his surprise, the step back had Zan bumping into the very wall he sought, his sword dropping to the ground with a clammer.

He was sure he had seen himself slowly lose sight of the wall, he was
positive he had gone somewhere. bending to a crouch to retrieve his weapon, Zan's ponderings ground to a halt as he heard it. The world around him seemed to growl, startling the lycanthrope into a standing position, only to find himself on his stomach at the sudden impact his head at met. Turning to lay on his back, one hand clutching the Flame Sword while the other rubbed the back of his skull, Zan was dumbfounded at the sight of a ceiling no more than five feet above him. Again he heard that sound, a growl even more inhuman than any sound the Garou could make, a noise that he heard in every direction, a noise that seemed to prick along the back of his neck. It grew closer, the sound more and more primal as it approached, the energy in his sword snuffed out by the cold...leaving Zan all but blind to the world around him. Even as he stood, finding the ceiling to once again be out of reach, the growl grew nearer. Nearer...nearer still until it was but two inches from his face.

Oh God.


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

Though his eyes still faced blackness, Zan found his body hunched over the meeting room table once more, the startled lycanthrope seemingly jolted awake by the odd sensation pulsing over his form. Checking his status, he found the Rig Gaem spell filtering through him, casted by someone he couldn't really stand. Phoenix. For one reason or another, the nigh-strangers spell had brought Zan's mind back to his body and away from whatever Hell he had found himself in. Though somewhere in the back of his head the lycanthrope knew he owed the man a 'thank you,' he didn't offer it up. Instead he felt his face grow schooled, chilled and unwavering of the actual thoughts that crawled inside of his skull.

Afraid to go to sleep but still too tired to simply stay sitting up, the werewolf once more eased his head onto his arms, only to be disturbed by the sensation of a snowball or something similar dispersing over his head. With Reinier's apology spurning a conversation that disturbed Zan, that made the lycanthrope eye his friend in a new light, he watched as the man slowly exited the room. Would he really have to kill Reinier one day? Would it really have to come to that? As much as Zan hated to think it, something in his gut told him that he would see that day. God damn it, Reinier. God damn it all to hell. Sighing to himself, getting up from his seat to leave the room and Phoenix in turn, Zan made his way towards the barracks a conversation he was hoping to avoid.

Pulling up a stool beside the kid, noting his open eyes, Zan fought for a way to begin the talk they couldn't avoid. "Dien...you awake man?"

Slowly, Dien nods, wincing ever so slightly with the movement. His eyes batted open, bloodshot and pained, and his attempt at a smile turned more into a grimace than anything recognizable. He would have opened his mouth to speak, but the flood of pain that brought on would have been too much, especially with every thought igniting a new fire inside his head. "If you can call this awake," he wrote in a flashmail, sending it to the character. It still hurt to communicate, but at least it wasn't as bad as talking.

Zan didn't respond off the bat, instead taking a moment to close his eyes, lofting his nose in the air, a deep breath indulged. So much pain, it flowed away from him in waterfalls. What the hell had happened? "Wow...you're really hurting. The worst thing I experienced when I first got infected was a sensory overload. Nothing like what you're going through..." Collecting his thoughts, he pushed on. "Look...I know I should apologize to you. And I am sorry. It's just...I wish you would have listened to me. I knew this was going to happen, just never at my own hands."

As much pain as it wrought on his form, Dien reached his hand forward, grabbing the character's wrist to make sure he had his full attention. "It's not your fault," he wrote, "don't worry about it - I owed you for talking about the howl anyway." He closed his eyes, sending the message and withdrawing his hand slowly to reduce the pain he felt.

Zan's head hanging at the mentioning of that howl, of what he had done, he knew that even this had to get out. If he didn't explain it now, it would always be an awkward thing between them, something that could bite them in the ass in battle. "About that...maybe I owe you a reason why that was a sore subject. If you need to get some rest, though, we can talk about it later."

"I don't think I could rest right now," the Blademaster wrote, letting his eyes close, "so if you please, I'm all ears. Note, I may not respond 'til your done, as it hurts to even FM you like this."

Nodding absently, Zan mulled around a place to start. With his head still hung low, eyes too shamed to meet Dien's on the subject, he savored a sigh and tried not to stumble over his words. "A little while ago...I didn't have such great control over the Beast. I was its slave. I knew that I couldn't help the Freedom Fighters if I couldn't get a handling on my infection, so I left for a while. You see this necklace?" He asked, pausing to pull the full-moon shine of metal out from inside his shirt. "It took to me to the Shadow of the World; a giant cookie file, think digital not sugar, of a server that had been deleted. There was an entire pack of werewolves there; only four of them were comatose people.

The rest were NPCs connected to these four. Anyway...when I got there, I wasn't greeted with open arms. Apparently I'm infected with twin viruses, not just the one that you have. I have the Twilight Virus, as you know, and something called the Plures Vultus Mortis. The latter is what allows me to assume more than one form, ones aside from the wolf. Apparently one of the people there could see into variables and mathematical formulas and, effectively, see into the future. She saw me saving them, all of them, from this army of monsters led by our Beasts made flesh. And, after I managed that...I was supposed to kill them all. That's just how she saw it. Lowen...a woman who was Alpha of the pack...made me promise the night before to kill her if her Beast won their struggle.

To lose against a Beast made flesh was to be lost to it forever. Which, as you can imagine, is no way to live. Well...she did lose and I did kill her. I was forced by some obligation to kill the woman I had believed I had fallen in love with. And then...the others just didn't get it. They thought I had turned on them. In my self-hate, my self-pity...I killed all of them as they came at me until the entire pack was gone. Wiped out. Lowen's mind stayed intact only because of her connection to me, to the second virus I carry. Killing her in the Shadow awoke her in her real body, but the three others...these kids that were her best friends, her family...they died. I killed three innocent people because of the hate I carried in my heart for my own mistakes. I can't shake the guilt, and I don't think I ever will."


"Zan," he began writing, taking time to mull it over in his mind, albeit painfully, "I won't tell you that it's going to be alright, because these things have a tendency to not go away. Believe me on that one, I've been through trauma like it before. My one piece of advice is to not let your guilt control you. It's over, it's done; you can't change it, so learn from it what you can and move on. I've had to do it more than once. You seem to have it pretty well under control, though, if I may say so."

Zan took a second to try and muster up a smile, but failed rather miserably. "And that control came at a price. Each time I transform I'm made to understand that. But we'll talk later. Right now you need to attempt to sleep, or something. Let your nerves calm. In theory, it should stop. Eventually." Leaving him with that friendly note, the lycanthrope got up and made his way out of the barracks. Dien nodded slightly, attempting to move as little as possible and follow the wolf's advice, letting his eyes shut through the pain.

The lycanthrope considered the kid's words, considered the entire conversation as he took a seat once more on the black leather couch tucked into the southeast corner of the common room. It wasn't simply Dien that mixed in with his thoughts, but the cards he had laid on the table with his best friend in this place, with Reinier. Further still, he could only pray to find dreams the next time his eyes shut and not whatever field or level in his consciousness that he had before. So on top of his guilt for Lowen's friends was his guilt for Dien's infection, the stress from the knowledge that he would probably have to end Reinier in the permanent sense sometime in the future, and the fear of his own unconsciousness. It was mounting and mounting, slowly crawling to a place that was too much. Zan had patched up his sanity in the Shadow...

...but who knows how well and how long the glue would hold?

_________________
Lv. 50 Heavy Blade
Wishlist
Special: Levels, GR Sendai, PL Sakai, Darklore.
W: Tonosama Sword, Mineuchi, Jundachi.
A: Samurai Helm, Able Hands, Rare Greaves.
I: Holy Sap, Treebane, Cooked Bile, Nightbane.
EX: Elemental Summon (Lv. 2), Overdrive (Lv.1), Elemental Attacks (Lv. 2), Enhance Dark, Elemental Breath (Lv. 2).


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:09 pm 
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A large smile came to Cypher’s face at the realization he would soon be in good company. Whether he was alone or not no longer mattered, for previous acquaintances would present themselves to his aid. Also, his purpose was easily placed on a temporary hold; given the current situation in which the root town found itself in, it would be best to simply aid in the clean up, and then proceed. Cypher attempted to communicate with his friend, sending many praises regarding the newly edited item, but all he would receive was unclear static.

When an attempt to temporarily exit the game in order to see if the program had stopped running was made, a large blow to his back caused everything to stop, sending his digital body hurling several feet before finally touching the ground. However, his progression did not stop there. Accumulated momentum meant he would travel even more, breaking a few walls along the way.

A medium sized amount of health disappeared from Cypher’s display, indicating he in fact had been attacked, and not merely a victim of a random explosion. The final confirmation was the battle mode that kicked in, alerting the blade master an enemy had made him his target. As he recovered from the blast, he caught a glimpse of the bringer of such power, and quickly came to understand the battle to be nothing far from normal, although his opponent would present itself as the most formidable he had faced thus far.

Slowly making its way to Cypher’s temporarily downed body was a large brutish Frost Giant. Being fairly knowledgeable of the game’s bestiary, Cypher knew this was a bad match up for him, since the beast relied merely on the physical aspect of combat, and possessed virtually no magical prowess. Reluctantly, Cypher adopted his guard, his fiery Jinsanran up and ready to spill icy blood.

However, before the battle could ensue, several large explosions froze everyone in place. Several drastic changes warped Mac Anu, changes which went unnoticed on Cypher’s part initially, but quickly became apparent. These were the most obvious, ranging from drastic changes in the sky color, to large shockwaves of energy surging through the land. At times, Cypher could hear roaring thuds, appearing as mere loud noises, but turning into much more when the thud’s coincided with the heavy shaking of the ground.

Midst all this, Cypher attempted to battle. As the transition with Mac Anu worsened, Cypher observed the power of his bracelet drastically increase, to the point where control was lost, and unbeknownst to him, An otherwise evenly matched battle fell slightly towards the Giant’s favor, but only because of personally instability and not because of lack of power. Due to the bracelet’s loss of control, Cypher would often botch even the easiest of sword strikes, leaving himself open for massive damage, and subsequently having to go through a serious of painstaking maneuvers in order to avoid further loss of health.

Yet in the grand scheme of things, his discomfort s seemed to mean nothing. Anger was physically displayed by way of screams, and sword attacks lacking any real form. He carried his screams over to his partner, which form some unknown reason would not reply. No longer was static present. Now, all he was left was with himself, a confused self itching to understand what the hell was going on.

And that’s when he saw it.

From the skies appeared some form of summoned beast, one his eyes had never seen before up until that point. The sense of what was right and wrong in Cypher got knocked off; no longer did reality remain stable, for the creature’s presence defied the rules that constituted his own reality. With these broken, the foundation he had established as ‘normal’ now crumbled, and confusion soon began to reign in his heart.

A streak of lighting originated from where the fear inducing beast was birthed, although it appeared the causer of such monstrous electricity was not the beast itself, but from the skis above. Judging from the sudden transformation in the atmosphere, it seemed the lighting itself was caused by a foreign element, possibly one of the many figures that roamed around the bridge area.

Wide eyes epitomized the sudden shock Cypher endured as he began to notice the figures that stood upon the bridge. Nighthand’s figure was the first to be recognized, with his large figure interacting with the others. Albeit his roster of swords and even his appearance was slightly different, but there was always good explanation for that. Several of the other figures were quite unknown to him, although one could draw the inference through distant observation that they carried great power, and in fact were a threat to Nighthand.

As his eyes trailed more to his left, he spotted a very well known player: Balmung. His trademark wings made him stand out from the rest, although those that accompanied him were also quite unique. Cypher knew well the role Balmung played in ‘The World,’ and his presence alongside his friends meant something quite large was going on. Fascinated by the sudden discovery, Cypher set aside his worries regarding the glove and even his enemy, a mistake which he’d soon regret.

From where the downed giant once stood came an aerial club, descending rapidly down towards Cypher. As it would soon turn out, the blade master had luck on his side, because one of the many bolts created from the creature’s summoning, as well as the ensuing battle, struck out and onto the incoming giant, rendering the beast useless, and severely altering its attack path.

While this was not enough to detain the weapon from striking Cypher, it did indeed alter its course tremendously. What began as a trip to sever his head off ended in a hit strong enough to dislocate Cypher’s shoulder. Several instinctual reactions kicked in, the most notable being a blood curling scream at the top of his lungs, and his free hand rushing to the injured shoulder, hoping its tough would make the pain go away.

But why was he hurting!?

The lack of an answer was almost as painful as the hurt itself. Memories of real life injuries flashed through his mind as Cypher sought to understand the level of pain endured, hoping it was some sort of trick on his own mind. However, it seemed real, and every attempt to heal himself without the use of actual restorative items only worsened it. By now, all he could do was close his eyes, cry, and attempt to place the shoulder back into its socket.

This process took almost a full minute, one riddled with pain and agony. However, the familiar ‘pop!’ that came when it was done sent a wave of relief over him, although reminders of the pain still existed. He would lay there some more, reminiscing on the immediate events, as well as trying to understand why he had felt such incredible pain. Never before had a freak incident like that occurred, although heir current circumstances would allow such weird events to take place.

With that in mind, he pushed it off aside, hoping he’d find some form of answer from Nighthand. As he rose, he ensures his enemy’s defeat, although the burnt corpse that refused to disintegrate screamed of the utter destruction the beast just endured. Moving on towards the bridge, Cypher would fend off from a few more fiends, hoping to find Nighthand, as well as an explanation.

Each attempt to near the bridge would result in a storm of static, mainly visual, although he could occasionally hear the distorted sound replace the town’s usual soundtrack, as well as the battles usual effects. However, each progressive step would make the distortion worse, and coincidentally, his glove would attain a new level of brightness, one which Cypher would normally label as impossible until he was disproved by the next example. Just as he felt he was close to the bridge, several large booms were created, each more intense than the previous one.

And then it all disappeared…

It took a while, but Cypher found consciousness in a place he’d never before been to. Being birthed into this new world came by way of teleportation, a fact supported by the many golden rings that delivered him, as well as other players, into this strange world. Just as his confusion returned from the previous events, the huddled, lifeless bodies of Nall and Nighthand caused a desperate attempt at questioning to overrule all thought.

Yet before he could begin his interrogation, several unknown people took the two away, as well as a few more that were unconscious as well, and began to treat their wounds. Cypher remained where as he first arrived, half sprawled on the floor, full of doubt and confusion. Many of the players in the room with him were quite unknown, although there were faces which he was quite familiar with.

However, familiarity meant nothing in the current situation’s light. Instead of following the others into the next room, Cypher laid down on the ground, near the gates, and began to think. He made an attempt to use his several programs in order to reveal their current location, but for some unknown reason, he could not reach them, or anything outside the game for that matter.

Strangely enough, a new sense of perception washed over the blade master. No longer did it feel as if he watched over this digitally fake body which he controlled, but instead as if his eyes broke through the back of its head, and everything it saw he saw as well. And then there was the pain…the agony that should only appear in real life, when things don’t go your way, and a punishment follows.

Why would he feel that here? Wasn’t the point of this game to leave the real world behind for a bit?

With a sigh, he began to dwell on such thoughts, closing his eyes and drifting away.

_________________
Wishlist: Ends of Earth (11 BM), Black Sharp Angel Wings, BM Swords (Rare/Common)

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 Post subject: Part II
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:22 pm 
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Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...
She had seen it coming. Hell, any AI would have seen something like this coming, and it didn’t help matters any that she was probably one of the more advanced in The World. Now, though, from within Dien’s mind, she found herself in a life-or-death struggle against this virus that had so carefully infected his system without setting off any alarms – any of the alarms that had even been so careful as to catch her movement. She chuckled mildly to herself in this one moment of respite she’d received.

Somehow, in the midst of the hellfire that was burning up within his head, the virus had found a way to manifest itself in a manner that seemed real – like it had wiped out Jed’s mind from the brain entirely and set up a virtual server within. Her back was against a cliff wall, her feet barely gripping the ledge that held her up. Cold sweat practically drenched her, making the fabric of her shirt and pants stick uncomfortably to the skin in the places where it wasn’t torn or burnt. Whatever this thing was, it had taken on the form of a dragon in this realm, and she was powerless to fight it.

Come on, Danielle, think, she thought to herself, slowly sliding her foot down the ledge toward where the dragon had last gone, there has to be some way of fighting this thing. So far, just about every attempt she’d made had been futile: punches and kicks had only served to injure her more than the monster she now faced. There weren’t any swords around, or any other kind of weapon for that matter. All she had was the hair on her head, the skin on her back, and the gradually decreasing amount of fabric covering her being.

Poor guy, she heard, reaffirming her link to Dien, though he’d probably murder me for having pity on him. It was comforting to hear his thoughts again, even though she’d not actually called for it this time. That meant that they truly were still connected – she’d just have to digging for more information later, if she could. Several times through this fight she’d tried paging the player for some kind of assistance, but up until that, there had been nothing. Random as it was, it was a relief.

A sudden crack to her left, and the wall burst outward, sending hot, jagged chunks of rock flying outward, followed by a bellow of flames. More holes were rendered in her skin and garments, accompanied by burns and the sent of scorched hair. It didn’t matter much that some of her hair had met the flame, seeing as how she was just trying to stay alive at this point, but it was still depressing. As though to remind her to stay focused, a loud roar burst from the newly-formed hole behind and to the left.

Two options here, she thought, well no, three, but first: try and shimmy as far to the right along this ledge as I can. The scenario played itself out in her mind, the sleek black dragon shooting out of the hole, coming around and biting her in half. Ok, option 2? Just jump and hope there’s something soft down there. Once again her mind responded, something she wasn’t quite used to yet, pointing out that what was down there most definitely wasn’t soft enough to catch her fall.

Swallowing hard, she timidly looked to the left, knowing the third option before her mind could play it out: turn the corner and do whatever damage she could to this thing before being eaten. Yeah, like she could do anything against
that. Just being this close to it was causing her to shake beyond her will, and there was little chance of finding any kind of victorious method within.

It was too quiet. Somehow, after that last blow, all sounds of movement from the newly-formed cave next to her had stopped. Her breathing grew small, air barely passing through her nose as she prepared. There was no turning back, and the more determined she became, the more her body trembled. Was this the fear that humans knew so well? She shut her eyes again, hiding the blanch atmosphere from in front of her before she turned the corner, letting out a cry and running inward.

There was nothing there. Her charge slowed, and she came to a stop, letting her arm and attached fist fall down to their place at her side.
Where did it go? If somehow it had managed to find another way into this cave and break through that wall, then what was to stop it from coming back around and attacking her from behind? A roar from behind her, and she knew that she’d made one of the bigger mistakes she could have: that thing had lured her into this. Dust slipped out from under her feet as she took off, sprinting as quickly as she knew how up the tunnel, and hoping that her smaller size would make it possible for her to out-maneuver the dragon.

The air grew warm, and she looked over her shoulder, confirming her fear. This beast had let bellow a jet of flame into the tunnel, and it was proving itself to be the faster runner. Something caught her foot, and she tumbled forward, landing hard and staring at the impending doom. Like a flood, it rushed upon her, and before she could try and get away from it at all, the flames consumed her, eating her body slowly along with everything that was attached. A cry was let out, one that was quickly lost to the roar of the inferno that filled the tunnel, craving more of her flesh and the oxygen that kept it fed. It was more pain than she’d ever felt, and she gasped, letting her body lay still on the ground as the flames slowly subsided.

The dragon came moments later, staring hungrily at the victim of its flames that lay burnt and naked against the rocky floor of this cave, still breathing barely, but barely human anymore. With one movement, her body passed through its throat, and it let out a roar that echoed throughout its domain: the mind of Jed. All faded to black, and with a final sigh, Danielle let go, her whole being consumed by the Twilight.

__________

Eyes opened, and Dien’s stare was fixed on the empty bedding next to the stuff that was called his. It felt like they were on fire, which only served to make the pain he still felt even worse. Slowly his vision grew black; his eyes closing themselves, and every pained millimeter felt like the skin was being sheered off one layer at a time. Any form of relief at this point was welcome, and the shivering began again. It wouldn’t have been so bad, maybe, if he weren’t able to feel every twitch and jerk that they threw his body through, and the friction of the sheets and his clothes against the bed and his skin. He had known pain in this game before, but this was too much.

He hadn’t bothered noticing it before, but his apps hadn’t shown themselves in his eyes. In fact, he didn’t have access to any code at all. Lessening his game’s feedback would have been as easy as redefining a single variable – the one that dictated the game’s realism. Just these thoughts were enough to make it feel like he was being stung within the gray matter of his brain countless times. A sharp inhale reminded him of how parched his throat was, and ignited a grating fire that permeated into his lungs. Was there no end to it?

A tear fell down his cheek, its acidity burning against his skin and chilling it to its core at the same time in its path to the pillow. Even that didn’t provide any relief, save to hydrate his eyes and temporarily stop the inferno that danced on their surface. Endless, deep, and unfathomable pain was raiding his body, and there was nothing he could do about it. Yeah, he couldn’t log out, but that wasn’t his most pressing concern at the moment. Besides that, if that dream was really what Danielle was going through because of the Twilight…

Danielle? he asked silently, painfully probing his own mind to try and find the AI’s presence. He couldn’t just go in anymore – he couldn’t just hack into his own brain through the game’s connection and find her like he used to. All he could do was hope that she could hear him, and that she was still alive, even if trapped in the bowels of that dragon.

I’m here, she responded eventually, coming from the black depths that were now his mind. Relief swept over him as his lips tried to curl into a smile, only to be met by impermeable walls of pain.

I’m glad, he replied, letting his lips agonizingly sag back to their normal position, I thought I might have lost you.

I thought you had, she replied, but apparently I was programmed well enough to survive Twilight’s onslaught. Danielle paused, and the blademaster listened, unable and unwilling to think of anything more to say. Dien? she asked, finally breaking the silence.

What is it? he asked silently, another wave of cold flames washing over his being, eliciting a gasp from him physically.

I’m about to do something, and it may hurt you more than you are right now, her voice trailed away, leaving Dien awaiting the rest of the thought.

Well? he asked finally, what is it?

I’m going to project myself from your brain for a few minutes, and if I do it will probably drive you to the point of unconsciousness with pain more than you’ve experienced so far.

Tell me why, he thought back to her, his brain already reeling from this conversation. He knew she knew that he’d let her do it if the reason was good enough, no matter how much pain it put him through.

If I don’t, I think I may never be able to again, she replied, almost sadly, and worse – this virus that has already consumed both of us may start to destroy me. Dien only nodded slowly, his acknowledgement manifesting physically.

Sure, he said, knowing that if the virus was inflicting this kind of pain on him, it could only be that much worse for something inside him. He could feel her hand on his shoulder, a temporary warm relief from the invariable pain he was feeling. A sudden wave overtook his head, grinding its insides to mulch and eating away at him like acid. He gasped with the sensation, the amount of pain produced dwarfing everything else by comparison. Eyes rolled back, painfully tightening the optic nerves as his shivers grew stronger and colder, more acidic sweat leaking from his skin and chewing it away. Nothing compared, though, to the pain inside his head. Like a wave, it bounced from the front to the back, throbbing erratically and dissolving his consciousness with every turn.

Sorry,” she said, putting her hand on his forehead and wiping the moist hair off it. As much as she was an AI, she wished she could take some of the weight on herself, to make his suffering a little less. At this rate, though, the pain he was feeling would likely end up killing him if it didn’t die down, and her projection wasn’t helping matters any.

There were a few other players about the room, and she looked at their code momentarily, learning that the same Twilight that had consumed her had infected each and every one of them, running rampant in their systems, even if varying in intensity and submissiveness from player to player. No names, though: she couldn’t do anything more than look. One player in particular caught her interest, though not because of Twilight, but because of another infection that had taken hold of him, seemingly for a longer period of time than Twilight.

Plures Vultus Mortis,” she read aloud, apparently catching the player’s attention, which was odd. She was just projecting herself to the nearly-comatose boy she sat next to, right? There was no way he could actually see or hear her, unless Twilight had affected her more adversely than she had thought. Not good.

Blinking, Zan drew his Horse Killer in a defensive manner more than anything, cautiously growing closer to her. “What did you say? Did Truth send you?

Truth?” she asked, also standing up, “if that's got something to do with your dual-infection, then no.” It was true, he could see her - something she hadn't wanted for anyone but Dien this time around.

Then who? Michael? Atra? Tell me how the hell you got here and who sent you before we have to make things a little bloody.” There wasn't anger in his eyes, simply wariness for now.

Relax,” she said, taking a step forward, “I don't know you yet - technically you shouldn't even be able to see me right now.” She paused, noting his sword still up and his eyes still wary, “My name's Danielle.” Her hand extended forward, unsure yet if the player would be able to take hold of it or not.

She seemed harmless enough. A quick whiff of the air, a beastial growl playing harmlessly in his throat when he did so, revealed nothing. She had no scent. God damn it. Lofting his hand to her own, it simply phased through it. “I am so fucking sick of you people. Just leave me the hell alone and go harvest humanity or whatever it is AIs dream of doing.

Taken aback slightly at his baseless animosity towards her, and the fact that her hand made no contact, she sighed, speaking again. “For one,” she said, sitting back on the base of Dien's bed, “you're thinking about the hostile AIs. My only wish is to be human.” By God that was cliché, and she cringed slightly, despite the truth of it. “And for two, I wasn't actually trying to interact with you, but it seems Dien's infection has done me worse than I had previously thought.

He was silent then, a curious eye turned to the kid he attacked. “So, what, you shadow Dien or something? Some kind of kinky cyber stalker? I can respect that.” Smirking, knowing it was probably hardly true, he crossed his arms lazily over his chest after a quick inventory-slide of his weapon.

Her face contorted in one of those looks that only a woman can give: the kind that says, ‘yeah, dickhead,’ or something similar. Still she let it go with a sigh. “Ironic how I almost didn't install myself on him because he had such thoughts,” she replied, “but no, he was kind enough to let me install my data on him.

Huh. Is he cooling down at all? I assume you'd know.

No: that's just it, it's getting wor-wor-worse.” Her image clicked like it was beginning to lag out, and in twitched movements she made her way slowly back towards where she'd shown up. “He doesn-doesn't hold it-t-t-t aga-against-t y-y-you,” she said, smiling to the player, “bye-ye now.” At that, she disappeared back into Dien's head, out of the player's sight. It must’ve been too much for him to handle, the blademaster’s mind still reeling from the effects of her projection. There was something wrong, and she would try not to do that again until she could be sure she had control again.

The pain hadn’t relieved itself yet, still gnawing at the inside of his mind with dull teeth, and the blademaster lay still, the sweat pouring out of him now. He was going into shock.

_________________
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Image|||Level 35 Blademaster (+200 EXP)
Wishlist: EXP, Ends of Earth, Armor with Status Effects


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:29 am 
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Phoenix kept swinging his sword along with altering his gravity as part of his training to improve his combat skills when he noticed Reinier rather bored sitting in the meeting room. Normally he would like to talk to someone but with Reinier, most likely he would ignore anything that he would say to him as the previous battle was a good example of this. Phoenix just continued with his sword strikes with Suzaku watching nearby until Zan woke up from an errant attack of Reinier’s. He pretended that he was not listening to Zan’s and Reinier’s conversation as he appeared to continue the training. After Reinier left the room, Phoenix had some thoughts about their conversation.

I do agree with them about the training area. Practicing in the meeting area or anywhere else is inconvenient especially that people are sleeping in random areas of the place. Zan isn’t a bloody-thirst werewolf that I saw during the battle by choice. He would rather be human than to be that thing. I can’t say about his best friend though as he enjoys killing people. His desire of power will someday kill him and us if we aren’t careful, Suzaku. I guess they will kill each other if they become corrupt with power one day. The question is can they be able to do it when the time comes.

Phoenix notices that Zan left the room as well and now it’s just Suzaku and Phoenix in the room. He put his sword back into the sheathe as he was currently bored. There’s nobody around that I can talk to as they either don’t want to talk to me or currently asleep. Maybe a walk around town will do me good instead of being coop up in this hideout.

Phoenix walks towards the southern end of the hideout as he notices Ryok and Rayo were sleeping in random areas of the common area. Was I the only one who decided to not sleep? He heard the voice of his guardian echoed in his mind just after he said that. Well Zan and Reinier were up and about earlier along with Hijinx.

Yeah, that’s how my luck goes. One person who really doesn’t want to talk to me. One person which there’s a hate-hate relationship between us. Finally one person who I avoid talking to or being involved with at all. Why couldn’t I get any decent person to talk to? Oh well, let’s get out of here and hope that I don’t get into any trouble while I’m gone.

Phoenix and Suzaku entered the Chaos Gate room which he noticed that Cypher was in the room compared to earlier when he was in here. He wonder how he missed his best ally earlier but could not talk to him anyway as he was sleeping in the room. Phoenix decided to access the Chaos Gate but for some reason, he could not use it at all. That’s odd. It’s either a fake one or its functions are disabled at the moment. There’s no visible exit. I guess we are trapped here for the time being.

Feeling disgusted with being unable to leave the hideout, Phoenix left the Chaos Gate room and noticed that Zan had taken up residence in the common room sleeping. I guess the werewolf went back to sleep after all. I should probably rest as well but I don’t really feel like though. I wish there was something else to do around here. I guess being powerful just makes you rest for a lot longer than the weak ones.

Phoenix entered the barracks to see Reinier taking a nap as well. As he looked at the players that were in the beds, Phoenix had the weirdest thought just now. I’m slowly losing my memory of myself in the real world. I can barely remember who I was before being trapped in the game. The dominant memories before I became trapped within the game are the ones that I spent my time in the World. I believe the Twilight not only traps you into the game but removes your other self over time. I fear for the day where I completely forget that I’m Kazuma, the person behind the Master of Gravity.

Do not worry, Kazuma-sama. I will not make you forget who you are truly. Remember that you have Shindou as well to remember your true self. As along you remember him, you will not completely forget who you are.

After hearing Suzaku’s words made Phoenix somewhat at ease with himself but he wonder if the others had the same question about themselves of forgetting the person behind the avatar. He would need to ask Nighthand that when he got a chance as he’s still recovering from the battle. At this point, he decided to walk around the barracks which he walked past by one of the new people whose name was Dien. Phoenix remembers Suzaku saying something about him experiencing the most pain from the Twilight. He took a close observation on Dien and realized that he was not resting very well. Upon further look, he noticed that he was sweating very unusually which cause some concern from the blademaster. At that point, Suzaku yell in Phoenix’s head.

Kazuma-sama, the boy is going into shock! He needs help now. Get Raine and Sheena over here now! Phoenix was thinking the same things as Suzaku was as he cast La Repth and Rip Saem on Dien. “Raine, Sheena, get over here now. Dien has gone into shock. He doesn’t seem to have adjusted very well to being infected by the Twilight. I’m not even sure if my healing spells are helping him at all.”

Phoenix just watched as Dien was in pain and waited for Sheena and Raine’s assistance. His initial Twilight pain is much worse than my initial pain was as I just collapsed from experiencing all those battle wounds all that once. I was basically fine after that except for the non-disappearing scars. Let’s hope that this will be the end of his pain soon as he won’t be much use to anyone or himself for that matter.

_________________
Phoenix
Level 48 Blademaster
Equipped Skills: Vak Revolver, Gan Revolver, Dek Vorv, La Repth, Juk Kruz, Rue Kruz, BiVak Rom, GiGan Zot
Other Skills: Rue Kruz, Rip Synk, Rip Saem, Crack Beat, Rue Slash, Ani Slash, Gan Crack, Gan Revolver

Wish List: Phoenix's Fire, Gold Necklace
EX-Spheres: LV 3 - Overdrive, LV 3 - Curative, LV 3 - Elemental Breath


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:23 pm 
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Even simply sitting up as he was, not lounging or slipping into any position too comfortable, the lycanthrope felt his consciousness start to wander. As much as he needed to stay away from the realm of possible sleep, as scared as he was to face that place and the growl again, his body pleaded with him for the indulgence. The fight had been so intense; so God damn trying and the sleep he had caught thus far hadn't been enough. It had been too plagued. The lycanthrope needed trial-free dreams; a place where his mind could go and keep his body from being tensed and hindered from rest. Dare he try for the third time to enter such a place?

Was his head really the safest place to dwell right now, even if his mind begged for him to trust it if only out of some sort of physical greed? What a pathetic thing, to be mulling over the very concept of sleep. That alone decided it for him, Zan no longer willing to be a slave to his anxieties. There was a good chance he'd end up with a nightmare or in that...place. But, hell, it was worth the risk if he could actually have a chance of not waking up and feeling like he had been run over by a freight train. Twice. Backwards and forwards. With spiked wheels. Spiked, rusty wheels. Sighing, knowing full well the consequences of his coming action, the werewolf lay across the leather couch and slept.

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

Like all of Zan's little mind experiences in the new hideout, this one started out with dark promises and even darker ambitions. He could already smell the blood before he opened his eyes and, unlike last time, the lycanthrope knew he was dreaming. Refusing to open his eyes to whatever sight beheld him, something familiar struck his senses, a faint scent that drowned everything else away and culled his eyes to an opening. There wasn't a single drop of blood around him, simply the sight of the woman he loved standing with a small smile in front of him. Lowen seemed oddly proud of herself, hands held behind her back, head dipped forward to fall black locks partially in front of her face, the whole thing giving her coy aura that she used to her advantage.

No words were immediately passed between the two of them, knowledge of silence given without word as she took his hand and led him up the small hill and past a row of old cement camping tables (a place Zan knew to be where the Four used to go to escape their parentally-formed exiles into something a bit more sane). Had he come into her dreams? Still keeping his questions to himself, Zan sat on the chill of the other side of the hill, their legs strewn comfortably in front of them, each resting on an elbow to face the other. Zan was the first to break the noiseless environment.

"Are we where I think we are? Are we in your dream?" His voice was faint, distant even to him.

"We're in a sort of symbiotic...lucid dream sort of thing. They leave me alone a lot more lately. The tests and the torture have basically ceased. They're being careful, Wolfsbane. It's given me time to study and practice in upon the connection we have. Lately I've found that, if we merge our minds in a dream state, I can feel you again. It's so real...it's not quite the same thing, you were there, but it's better than the nothing we've had to go with. Ever since..." She paused, her head hanging, her eyes leaving his.

"Ever since what, Lowen?" She seemed generally troubled about something. Wait...was she blushing? Ohh.."Oh. I gotcha."

"Well...ever since that, the connection we've had has been, you know, intense. And I'm human. You give a kid candy for the first time and she's going to want some more. Am...Am I making any sense?" Lowen's blushing settled, her eyes looking almost angry at the laughter her words inspired in him.

"What? Don't be mad, Lowen. That just happens to be the first time anybody's referred to me as 'candy.' And believe me, I know what you're going through. I miss you. All of you...but can we really stand to chance the bond we have strengthening even more? We can, sort of, control it now. Should we really chance what could happen in this place? As much as I want to, you know it would cheapen it and just make it worse. It wouldn't be real." Was Zan
really having this conversation?

Disappointment in her eyes, but understanding just the same. "I know you're right...all that stuff aside, I just miss you. A lot. Eh...let's forget it. That's not really the main reason I brought you here." Her embarrassment all but gone, she lifted the endless brown of her eyes to his Siberian Husky blues once more.

"Oh?" Curioser and curiouser.

"I wanted you to see what my home looked liked when the sun went down. It's an image that I use to keep myself sane and grounded when thinking of you doesn't do the trick. I don't know...I guess I just wanted to share it with you." Regret filled her eyes then, like she had done something foolish.

Quick to wash those feelings away, Zan responded. "I'd love to see it. Please." Her smile, smaller now, returned just the same.

In a blink there wasn't just the hill and the campgrounds, but a whole scene of magnificence before him. Off in the distance sat the lights of New York City, snuggled amongst the skyscrapers and apartment complexes, basketball courts, you name it. The night sky would have been black, littered with stars and a gibbous moon as it was, had it not been for the ring of orange light that sat in a ring along the bottom of the sky, slowly approaching a fade. This light made the blackness of night into a temporary sort of rich purple, the entire world around him still tinted that same orange as the last minutes of day began to slip away. It was beautiful, beyond such, the blow of the orange-brown leaves of the nearby trees in fall a nigh-breathtaking addition to it all.

It was generally difficult to make Zan speechless, the lycanthrope often just choosing not to run his mouth. It was different this time, the Heavy Blade simply at a loss for words. He had lived in New York City almost his entire life and never discovered how beautiful it could really be, always too lost in his own craziness to really view the world around him. He had missed
so much. Turning back to face her, their eyes coming to catch one another, Zan leaned his forehead against her own.

"I'd give anything to see this with you in the real world." Something the Heavy Blade said was apparently a bad idea, her face growing sullen before the first tear began to fall, a tear stopped by the graze of his thumb alongside the bridge of her nose and under her eye. "I'm sorry Lowen, I didn't mean to poor salt into the wound. I'm an idiot."

As much as Zan wanted to stop it, as much as he attempted to comfort her with words, he could see the toll the whole of this had taken upon her. Zan had invaded her world, taken her friends away, and given her love...only to take that away from her too. Not really, no, but he was sure that's how it felt for her. He cared about her just as much, depended on her just as much for sanity and reason and the comforts only her eyes could give. But, when it came down to it, she was in a place that was her prison, a place that had hosted her tortures and her agony...her abandonment. She was alone and, at the end of the day, Zan was in the presence of friends.

Perhaps he'd endure pain as she did from time to time, but he'd always have the presence of the Freedom Fighters to make all of that easier. All she had was their dreams and even that wasn't enough. More tears began to fall, her concentration and her mental walls slipping, a flash of men in white medical suits holding her kicking and flailing under an ice bath replacing the image of the city around them for but a moment. A sob was choked back as still the tears slid wetly along his fingertips, yet another flash erupting around them, this time of a simple metal halo worn around her forehead, dripping wires from its sides; the same wires fed into a machine that was manned by another person in the white jumpsuits, practically invisible in the same white room she was trapped in.

Each turn of his hand along a dial on the machine made her grit her teeth harder until the noise, such noise, forced her voice into screams so intense that the veins in her temples began to pulse, tears streaking her face as they were now. Before Zan could ask her to stop, to steady the thoughts, she was shackled to that same white room, huddled naked with her arms forcibly raised up and to the sides by her restraints, the woman's back to the other men in the room. At first Zan thought they had inflicted some sort of physical humiliation on her, perhaps something much darker, but that was when the water fell. Scalding waves of it licked like scorching metal in rivers down her back; pinking, burning, blistering as she screamed...God she screamed.

She choked out his name then, screaming for 'CONNER! CONNER!' into a room of people that simply jotted down notes, nodding and whispering amongst themselves. It was so much worse than he had thought, so much fucking worse. It was only then that the memories ceased, Zan coming to lay in shock along his back. Though her mind was now her own again, Lowen's cries still came, her tears still falling as she nestled into the crook of his arm, burying her face against his chest as she emptied her heart and all she had pent up. Though Zan was almost certain time flowed differently in this place, her body shook and tremored with the force of her anguish, of her tears, both hands bunching up his shirt desperately, squeezing it inbetween her fingers in an attempt to ground herself through it all.

The guilt Zan had felt before this little meeting was nothing compared to the hate that now welled for Wolfsbane now. He felt a part of his soul blacken as a single thought, an ounce of certainty hit him: he didn't know how, he didn't know when, but everyone in that group would die. Whether at his hands or with help, Zan would make sure they'd suffer as she did. They would fucking beg for him to kill them. His jaw tightening with the weight of his anger, an anger amplified with each helpless noise she made against him, he willed himself to calm. For now. The Freedom Fighters...he owed his life to them as a whole.

That he wasn't going to argue. But after what he had seen
them do to her...he could think of no better reason to leave them. He could search out the knights that had given him his first ticket out of The World, ask for their help...but where would that leave him? They had said that that one trip was all he would get, that after that the Wound would be sealed. And he believed them, he didn't want to, but he did. Dien had bragged about being a hacker, didn't he? It was a long shot, no real hacker aside from the Elites actually able to screw with Twilight...but maybe. It was something he'd have to ask the kid later, when he had rested up a bit. For now he'd focus on her, on the form that was now trembling silently into his side.

Hugging her to him, his arms wrapping about her tighter, he spoke. "I swear I'll get you out of there. I don't know when, but I will save you. Believe that. Please, believe that." As much as she may have, her body never stopped shaking.

Even as she fell asleep, a sort of paradoxal double sleep, she quivered. It took another hour for her to still and each second Zan simply lay along the hill, holding her to him, whispering hopeful comforts against the silk of her ear. His anger long since having come to a simmer, he thoughts more clear, Zan wondered if he could keep the semi-oath he had made. Would he kill them all? Could he commit that sort of mass-murder in cold blood? Would that be walking down another road that he'd need a friend to save him from? Maybe. If Zan had to see her as he did tonight again with them anywhere near, who knew the kind of Hell he'd raise.

Even recalling what he had seen brought a bubble of that rage threateningly back, something Zan held aside for now. No, all of that could come later. For now he'd simply do his best to enjoy what they shared right then, something he had never believed himself capable of having before. The co-dependency should have scared him, but it only made his path and his goals that much more clear. Whatever he did, whomever he'd have to take down...

...it would all be for her.


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

Whether she had woken up or something had stirred up, he was once more pulled from that realm of lost consciousness to the new Hideout. Sadly enough, his thoughts still lingered on Lowen and the images she had accidentally (was it an accident?) shown him. Never before, not once in his life, had he been a partial witness to someone being in so much pain. Dien could probably argue that, but it was different with him. Though it did hurt, this was him in a game. It was...different somehow. And to have someone purposefully inflict such things on you, Zan couldn't stand it. It had hurt the lycanthrope just to watch her, just to watch the contortions of her face and the burning of her back as they tested her reactions, hoping for some sort of abnormality. She was human. Sure, she had some cells in her that placed her away from the majority of humanity, but all in all that's what she was.

Even if she had been a faol the pain and struggle she would have felt would have happened just the same. Though, thinking on it, Zan couldn't understand why they'd do things to piss off someone they thought to be so dangerous. Or was that not even it? Did they know about the borvos? Was that the real experiment? Either they couldn't catch the real thing (be it because of probable extinction or the simple impossibility of caging such an animal) or they had already managed to and now moved on to bigger and better things. If CyberConnect Corporation had really hired these particular people to be a part of Wolfsbane, it couldn't be a coincidence that they picked people that knew about the real existence of the faol.

There was some piece of the puzzle Zan hadn't connected yet and he knew it, making it all that more maddening. Say they did know of Wolfsbane's beliefs...then that would have to mean that they knew that the werewolves programmed in-game had the same characteristics, that Lowen and the rest had met up to some scan of descriptions and they had assumed Wolfsbane would be just as effective in The World. Up until Atra joined up, that hadn't really been true. But still. If that were true as well, then Michael Grahm, the maker of the lycanthropic program, had to have known about the faol. Huh. Things were chained and connected in places Zan wouldn't have even begun to look.

It was getting to a point where Zan's head asked more questions than it gave answers and, deciding to shut down that stream of thoughts for the time being, the lycanthrope switched his mind to other things. It wasn't an easy transition, but it was accomplished just the same. Zan slid his feet to the floor, coming to stand a moment later...albeit a little wobbly at first. His body still ached, still groaned and whined for more rest, but at least he didn't feel groggy anymore. It wasn't the call for more rest that required more actual sleep. No, his body was just being greedy. He knew, if he allowed himself, he'd end up sleeping the day away and that just wasn't in the cards for him at that particular time.

Zan needed to keep himself active, to keep his mind busy and, selfishly, off of Lowen. If he lingered around that topic for any longer the rage that would boil up wouldn't be contained with a simple crack of his knuckles along the wall. He'd need real, flashy violence and no one here could provide that. Well, they could, but picking fights within the group probably wasn't the best of ideas. Now that Zan had tasted real meat, had feasted on blood and muscle, his body seemed to crave it. His Beast was more active than before, riddling him with impulses and cravings that Zan knew would only be solved with some more food in his stomach. Protein, protein, and more protein.

As far as he could tell, there wasn't an actual kitchen in this place. Pretty sure that it was Raine, code master extraordinaire, that had done this, he decided to seek her out and ask her about it. Eh, actually, better let Reinier cover that base. If he didn't see him do it soon, then he'd get a little less lazy. Going into the wing of the Hideout that held the shops, he indulged himself in a mini-mall-like experience, allowing himself to walk along the rim of shops and consider some pretty pointless purchases. It was only the Item shop that really caught his attention, the lycanthrope considering some of the Bloods that were offered up. He could use some more of those.

If they all had the rockin' effects that the Warrior's Blood had, Zan would be set. The only drawback being, of course, the burn out he experienced afterward. As much as he wanted to indulge himself in the taste of one right now, he knew that too much use in the field would probably bring him some sort of addiction and by God he did not need to add that to his plate. He would stick to the Ap versions of the items for now. Though they did technically do the same spell, the Bloods acted more acutely with the Beast and his particular immune system, so the effects were a bit stronger. Deciding against any purchases at the moment, happy with the items and the weapon he had collected in the madness at Mac Anu, he filtered out once again to reclaim his spot on that black leather couch.

Speaking of the weapon he picked up...Zan drew it out from his inventory, holding the Horse Killer curiously over his lap. It was better than the Flame Sword, sure, but it didn't look quite so nice. The Heavy Blade had picked it up off of the rubble of the Weapon Shop, always glad to have a chance to do some good, old-fashioned looting. Putting his new Main Weapon away, the lycanthrope pulled out the Light Giver in turn, looking it over with a bigger appreciation of its visual appeal, however much in power in lacked in comparison to his Horse Killer. The Light Giver had also been a, uh, indulgent gift to himself during the fray that had ensued in Mac Anu.

A little personal gain could go a long way. Sure, the fighting had been for their lives, but that didn't mean he couldn't get a little somethin' on the side. Putting that weapon away as well, he reclined his arms along the back of the couch, drumming his fingers idly along the material with a sort of blank look on his face; the face that was already partly concealed by the shadow of his hood. The lycanthrope was running out of thoughts to distract himself and it took all of his will not to down in thoughts of Lowen for a second time. Maybe he'd go see Nighthand, or maybe Dien again. But after that conversation with his little AI friend, the one that could see the other virus he carried, he wasn’t sure that was a good idea.

Shrugging to himself more than anything else, the echo of his murderous thoughts still nipping at his heels, he walked on.

_________________
Lv. 50 Heavy Blade
Wishlist
Special: Levels, GR Sendai, PL Sakai, Darklore.
W: Tonosama Sword, Mineuchi, Jundachi.
A: Samurai Helm, Able Hands, Rare Greaves.
I: Holy Sap, Treebane, Cooked Bile, Nightbane.
EX: Elemental Summon (Lv. 2), Overdrive (Lv.1), Elemental Attacks (Lv. 2), Enhance Dark, Elemental Breath (Lv. 2).


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 4:49 am
Posts: 164
Location: UNKNOWN ERROR, please try again later
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Welcome to your own world, Garrett,” Taimat stood in the middle of an earthen field. Rotting, dead trees wearily stood, scattered throughout the open, flat field of ancient rocks. Taimat, no longer a dragon, stared upon Reinier with stern, unwavering eyes which shone a bright crimson. “I was wondering when you would finally come here. How are you holding up?” The man asked the question, still eyeing Reinier dead straight in the eyes. Instead of the armor Reinier had seen him wearing so long ago, he had toned it down and wore a simple white robe, which covered his entire body, with the hood down.

“What did you drag me to this hell hole for, Tai?” Reinier asked, surveying the area. The worn down gravel gently rolled across the ground under Reinier’s feet, waving his hair forward. The dragon-warrior simply smiled, two fangs apparent in his mouth. “Even in my mind you have fangs, cute,” Reinier called out, smiling.

“That’s besides the point. Tell me, why did you start playing this game, Garrett? Did you start off with any goals, or did you just play and half ass your way through it like you do with life?” Reinier stood there staring at the dragon warrior, musing over the question carefully.

“No reason. Just thought it’d be fun, and here I am. Fighting for my life. It is the kind of fun I was hoping for, though. The thrill of fighting, fighting for my life even. It’s a form of ecstasy no drug could ever give me. Plus, I’ve met some cool kids along the way, so it gives me even more reason to play. I want to protect those friends with all I’ve got, even if it’s my life…” Reinier paused, lowering his head for a moment and crossing his arms. He rose his head back up and called out, “That answer your question, dragon?”

“Cute, you’re still more bark the bite, Garrett,” a calm voice called from behind. Reinier twisted his body around to see his little sister standing in his world, a broad smile across her face. “You’re looking well, big brother. Hope you haven’t been missing me too much,” she giggled as she walked up to the warrior, her arms outstretched for a hug.

“If it isn’t my nymphomaniac of a sister. How could I miss the peace and quiet with you not around?” Reinier outstretched his arms, and leaned over to hug his sister. He let out a tiny yelp, as he felt her pluck one of his feathers from his wings. Reinier leaped back, and yelled, “Jesus Christ, why are you always like this Andy? Don’t be jealous ‘cus I got what you can’t.”

The girl giggled once more as she held up the feather by the stem, twisting her fingers to make the feather twirl around. “It’s so pretty! I don’t see why a big ol’ grump like you gets something so pretty. I’m the one who’s always wanted wings, and yet YOU get them. It’s not fair! Lemme have another feather, at least!” Rhilla called out, placing the feather in her hair under her headband.

Reinier shifted back a step, thrusting his left hand on the hilt of his Stonecrusher. “You would draw a weapon on your own dear sister? Sheesh! Some brother!” Rhilla called out, leaning over in a battle pose. She knelt down, her left arm close to her left knee, with her right leg outstretched and her right arm out towards the sky. Reinier stared in to the eyes of his sister, once more, wondering why he would fight the little girl.

The dragon-warrior flew in to the middle of the two, his arms outstretched in both directions of the fighters. “What the hell is wrong with you two? Seriously, you both have too many issues for your own good. Rhilla, you of all people shouldn’t be acting like this right now. He’s here for a reason, and it’s not to fight.” Taimat lowered his arms, and let out a sigh. “Listen up fuck face, I can tell that something’s been bothering you. I don’t know what it is, but it’s really bugging me, and we’re going to find out what it is,” The warrior said to Reinier with a grin plastered on his face.

Taimat snapped his fingers, and all three people were engulfed in flames. Reinier had blocked his face, and when his hand lowered, he stood in a classroom. A detention room, to be more precise. Reinier chuckled, as he saw a younger Garrett, Andrea, and Godric. Then, in the front corner, the silent kid in the corner who Garrett loved to bug, Ecero. He kept to himself mostly, due to his dry sense of humor he had few friends, if any. Reinier held this as a high memory, and solemnly forgot it. “You remember this day, don’t you? Eighth grade year,” Reinier nodded as he watched the kids study.

Reinier watched as Garrett flung his eraser at Andrea, who let out a scream. She leapt to her feet, clutching the eraser in her grips. “Garrett you fucker! You want to die!?” She screamed. The girl had always fought with her brother, no matter the place or situation. She had deep sapphire eyes, which roared with the desire to fight.

The teacher, however, rose to her feet and yelled, “Andrea! Where did you learn this language!? Do we need to call the principal!?” Garrett and Godric chuckled to themselves at Andrea’s expense. “You two! Do you want to join her!?”

Godric spoke up at this point. “We’re just laughing. It’s not like we’re the ones who said ‘fuck’ or threatened someone’s life. Besides, it’s just detention. We’re studying, so what if we’re havin’ a little fun? No harm no foul,” a smile slithered across the boy’s face. Garrett slipped a high-five to the boy under the desk.

The teacher gripped her pencil to the point of shaking, before it snapped in half. This teacher never liked being back-talked to, but it seemed to happen frequently from these two boys. When they were together, they seemed to enjoy making trouble. Separately, they were the perfect students, but together…

“You two are too much trouble,” Ecero spoke up, setting down his pen. “I just love watching you two act up and make dip shits of yourselves.” He shot a glare to the two, before picking his pen back up and continued his doodling.

“I’m tired of all of you, just leave. You don’t get your time for detention today, make it up another day,” the teacher said, sitting down and collecting her things. The students blinked, and Garrett rose his hand in to the air. She let out a sigh, and asked, “Yes?”

“I didn’t do anything. Do I stay and finish the hour?” A smile was apparent on his face, as he knew it was a stupid question to ask, but he just felt the need. Andrea threw the eraser at his head, picking up her backpack and leaving. Garrett let out a laugh, picking up his things and following behind. “Later miss!” He called before jetting out of the room. Ecero had already left, and found his way outside to wait for his parents. Godric followed behind the group, chuckling to himself to a job well done.

Ecero stood in the middle of the entrance to the school, his backpack sitting against the flag pole. The brilliant sun hung overhead, bits of light shinning through the abundant leaves in the trees. Garrett and Godric made their way outside, laughing about some joke Garrett had cracked. “Hey Garrett,” Ecero said, perking his interest. Garrett looked just in time to get a punch in the stomach with Ecero’s left fist, and a right hook punch to the face from Ecero. Garrett stumbled to the side, grabbing the rail for balance.

“Now, what have I ever done to you?” Garrett said, a smile across his face. Andrea could be heard yelling obscenities in the boy’s direction. Godric went down to get the girl and take her home, letting Garrett deal with the matter on his own. The boy came to his feet, brushing away a stream of blood from the side of his mouth with the back of his hand. Two people approached Ecero’s side, a boy and a girl, the boy looking ready to attack Garrett.

“Let’s go, not worth our time Demetri,” and with that said, the group left. Garrett scoffed, and spit to his side before running to rejoin his friends. The memory became fuzzy, before everything turned gray and black. Time froze, and Taimat turned to Reinier.

“You remember the rest of the story, right?” Taimat asked. Reinier gave a nod, to which Taimat responded, “News said three people went in to comas that night. Those three, actually. You felt horrible, didn’t you? You used to be pretty good friends with Ecero, weren’t you?” The dragon warrior asked.

“What the hell’s your point? The kid got all silent and acted like an ass to, why should I care?” Reinier yelled, pulling away from Taimat. The boy let out a sigh, absorbing the scenery he so missed now. “You act like it’s my fault the kid went comatose. Him and his little flunkies… who cares? No one. It’s how everyone is about me, too,” Reinier grumbled, kicking up some dust.

“You’re too dense… You played The World with him, didn’t you?” Taimat asked. Reinier straightened up, and turned his head. His face turned pale, as if he were seeing a ghost. It had clicked.

“Ecero?” Reinier asked aloud. His hands were shaking, the boy’s face he stared in to stern and unwavering. A slight nod came from the warrior, and nothing more. Reinier blinked, and looked away, wondering why he hadn’t came forward sooner.

“You preach about protecting your friends, yet you attack someone you’re helping. You’re quick to judge, yet you don’t know the person you’re judging. It’s sickening. If you keep going down this path of yours to ‘Greatness,’ then the only thing you’ll find is a nice quick death. You’re going to train under Leucosia, and trust me, she’s a hell of a woman. She’ll teach you, yeah, but it’ll be rough. I’ll be surprised if you live,” The dragon warrior let out a sigh. “That’s all I’ve got to show you, I’d hurry and leave. Your friend Dien’s going in to shock from the Twilight exposure.”

Reinier gave a slight nod, and outstretched his hand a bit. “I’m… really sorry…” Reinier muttered, feeling horrible about the way he treated his old friend. All the times he fought with him, throwing things at him, all the things he thought would be hilarious but were just childish. Taimat approached Reinier, and placed his hand on the boy’s shoulder.

“Forgiven,” the single word pierced Reinier’s heart, as he smiled. The smile vanished suddenly, as he felt a sharp pain his side. He looked down, to see a dagger in his side. No organs had been hit, but the pain had been excruciating.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“You son of a bitch!” Reinier screamed, grabbing his side and rolling over in pain. Tears ran down his face, as he grabbed the side where the dagger had sliced. He peered down, and saw no blood. He blinked, and wiped away the tears as he sat back up. The pain subsided just as suddenly as it had appeared. He blinked a few times, as he peered around the room he had been in.

Reinier yawned and stretched out his arms, his wings unfurling a bit as he dropped his arms. He gradually came up to his feet, surveying the area. Phoenix was in a panic for some unknown reason, and had called over Raine and Sheena. Reinier looked down upon Dien, whom had become drenched in sweat. Reinier surveyed the scene, scratching the back of his head as he looked down upon the boy.

The scarlet haired boy walked over to Dien’s side, knelt down and whispered, “This is going to hurt you if a tap did. I’m going to raise your legs, don’t scream too much, please.” Reinier walked over to the foot of his bed, and took in a deep breath. He shot out his right hand, and the rock from the other room slithered across the floor at a normal sprinting pace of a person. Reinier shifted his hand above the boy’s feet, the sand crawling under his legs. Slight moans escaped the boys’ lips as the sand began to pile up, raising his legs.

Reinier felt the strain on his heart, on his soul even, as he summoned more and more gravel to his side. The sand under the boy’s ankles hardened in to “U” shapes, with sand underneath for some semblance of comfort. Before long, the boy’s legs were elevated at least eight inches off the bed. The blood flow would begin to circulate once more, and a normal color would return to his face. His breathing began to settle down, and he seemed to return to his hellish sleep. Reinier let out a gasp of pain as he fell to his, grasping his heart. He grabbed the bedside, and gradually returned to his feet. He stared down to the ground, gasping loudly, yet he managed to call out, “If the boy turns red, lower his legs and raise his head.”

Reinier stumbled out of the room, knowing his job had been finished, and began to walk back towards the meeting room. He plopped down in to his chair, the one where the sand used to be all around it, and reclined with his eyes closed. The health drink still sat in front of his seat where he had left it, as did the sword near his side. He reached down in to his pockets, and pulled out a rolled up scroll, still sealed. He raised the scroll above his head, eyes still closed, and pointed it straight ahead. His eyes shot open as he called out, “Level one Earth Scroll, Raining Rocks.”

He raised hand forward, and focused upon the remnants of dirt. The broken rocks shattered once more, and became sand. The newly formed sand crawled across the floor, and seemingly hopped up on to the table. “You’ve been over extending yourself, Garrett… start out smaller…” Reinier muttered to himself. He extended his body forward, placing his elbows on the table, and placed his right hand around his fisted left. He placed his head atop his hands over his mouth, his right index finger wrapping upon his upper lip.

Little at a time, he would shoot up bits of rock in to the air, make them hover for a few seconds, and then let go of his concentration. The thin spires of sand would scatter and fall back down upon the table. He repeated this three times, each time adding on more and more length to the thinly made spire. Then, he graduated to making two thin spires out of the sand. He continued this process six times, and on the last time, managed to use all the sand at his disposal to make the two spires. From there, he managed to harden it in to rock. The two spires toppled over, bursting in to sand. A weak smile appeared on the boys face, glad he could make some leeway with his powers.

How far will I get with this power? This is already making me breath heavy… Can I really protect my friends? Maybe Tai’s right… maybe I’m just full of it… I have to get stronger… I have to see Leucosia…

_________________
Image
Image
Reinier's Wishlist: Sakabatou|Sharktooth
Abraxas' Wishlist: Complementry|Summon
The Hack's Wishlist: Wall lvl 2


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:20 am 
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Exalted Player

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 7:21 pm
Posts: 485
Stirring slightly, the wavemaster gave up on sleep and opened his eyes. His sleep had been uneventful, boring even, but the job had been done. Had Auth even dreamed? A little at best. The only images that played through his mind were of magic. Not even just his own preferred element, but all sorts of magic, even some skills. His mind didn’t fully want to rest, still absorbing all of the information from the last battle. So many unmentioned abilities had been used…Zan’s transformation, Dek Vorv, a dragon…

Rayo shook his head clear of such thoughts and rose. No one was left around him, even Reinier was gone from the room. So much for any chats for now, those would need to take place later.

Battle plans, that was something worthwhile to consider. Where could they go, what could they do? Who were the powers to deal with or be helped by? Administrators, Elites, and others…help from a source outside of the first two categories would end up being useless in a struggle. Their characters wouldn’t be able to support them. The administrators couldn’t really be swept away, the best that could be done there would be an alliance. Players like Kamui could definitely help dealing with the hackers if they weren’t acting like loose cannons. Additionally, despite their lack of knowledge when it came to Yamiyo Server, one would think that the administrators would have an easier time with gathering information. With such a big force at their control, so many options became available. Still, the mage didn’t know how to convince them to join them instead of hunting them, but it was an option worth listing. At the very least, it wouldn’t be too hard to locate them. Finding random Knights of War soldiers had always been easy to the point of annoying while soloing.

The Elites…killing off the remaining six was already a known object. Actually finding and isolating any of them would be impossible as things stood now…in the past the Elites came to them, not the reverse. Fighting more than one…two at most at any one time would be far too many. Reasoning with them would most likely be reasonably ineffective as well. Still, the party had journeyed into Yamiyo Server at least once in the past. Depending what Nall might know…would it even be possible to enter in secret, perhaps in smaller groups to reduce strike several places at once, and hunt after the Elite’s helpers? Yamiyo was an entire society of hackers…the tournament had proven that. If Nall knew the hackers who worked closely with any particular Elite, it might be feasible to track down one such player and then use get information that way. Taking down any lesser hacker would be a breeze by comparison, and then the party might be able to pinpoint exact hangouts for the Elites.

Yet another option would be to strengthen the party directly. There were three routes to take within that category: statistics, twilight abilities, strategy. Going to normal fields could yield level boosts and better equipment, but the effectiveness of those gains might fail to go beyond the grunts that they faced. Attaining excellence in their unique traits might be key to taking down the Elites, but even those abilities paled in comparison to what Xenobia or Garaa could do. Was it even worth focusing on those specifically? Finally, what was mentioned to Reinier was a possibility. Improve teamwork and make them function as one, and attempt to overwhelm their opponent’s with overly complex plans.

The wizard lost his train of thought for a moment as his the pain in his hand made him wince. Once he was out in the open, it would definitely be necessary to attempt some lightning spells and see if his control of them had returned, alongside his curse. The system should have erased it, but there was always the potential for the game to override what it’s sitters would try to throw away.

Reinier reentered, perhaps looking a tad bit worse than before the sorcerer slept, and commenced with rock tricks. The wavemaster didn't look very different either, only this time leaning against the wall standing instead of sitting, and very much awake. Still, the heavy blade seemed preoccupied with his practice so the thunder mage let him be.

_________________
Rayo
Lv.47 Archer 745HP/311SP
Bell, the Silver Grunty of Thunder
Skills/Spells-Shocking Arrow of Voltage(30), Arrow of the Burning Stars(10), MeRai Rom(40), Rai Kruz(10), La Repth(20), Rip Maen(40), MeRai Kruz(20), GiVak Kruz(20), MeRai Don(20), Rig Saem(15)
Weapon/Armor/Book-Golden Royal Bow/Thunder Torque, Thunder Cloak, Able Ring, Ivory Greaves/Thunder Magic
Wishlist: YL Fukuoka, Stormlore, Winter Stone, Silver Grunty


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