Enter the World through the Lambda Server

Moderator: Nighthand

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Location: ...Tracking...please wait...

Second Run: Who pulls the strings?

Post by Nighthand » Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:45 pm

Golden rings descended in a mob as the party gated back to the hideout. This was Senna's first time seeing the hideout, buried in the data beneath Carmina Gadelica, but it was new for everyone. The only outward difference was a new door in the common room, though that wasn't all that had changed.

Not that Nighthand noticed. He was still in pain, despite gating out, and the bleeding hadn't stopped. Thankfully, you couldn't really bleed to death in The World, but the pain was still intense. Nall, supporting the heavyblade, walked him over to one of the beds and dashed off to find Raine.

Shortly after, Raine, Sheena, and Nall appeared again. Nall and Raine went to Nighthand, while Sheena took care of the introductions.

”There's been a makeover since you left! We now have a kitchen and a training room! Kitchen is behind the item shops, and the training room is downstairs!” And with that, Sheena had done her part, happily bouncing off to the kitchen herself for a snack. Why not?

Now it was up to the group to settle in and do what they would. They wouldn't be leaving for a while, if Nighthand's condition was any indicator.


Nighthand.... Nighthand, wake up.

”Hrrghuh? Where am I?”

”You're in the hideout. Rest.”

”What happened?”

”Primal hit you. Raine manage to repair your data... somewhat. She stopped the bleeding and the pain, but you're going to have a nasty scar and... well, you won't be able to see from your left eye.”


Now what...?
How do you think I feel?

To: Nighthand
From: Rock
Subject: Seeing things
I was at the hospital when whatever happened to you happened. Come to me, I need to give you something. Leave Silverblade in your body, he'll be fine.

Attached to the flashmail was an odd device... something akin to a pill. Nighthand cradled it in a palm and took it when Raine and Nall weren't looking. He closed his eyes... his eye, and it opened silver.

”This is... new.”

It would take some getting used to.

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Post by Lighteria » Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:21 am

"What's with that guy?"
"Oh dude, I recognize that twin blade. He's always running around all nervous, doing random crap. He's like some kind of form of entertainment... I think he's an NPC."
"Yeah really... NO ONE could be THAT shy."

"Hey. You know I can hear every word you're saying right?" Lighteria suddenly snaps at them with a glare, his arms becoming uncrossed so his hand can form a famous gesture. "Why don't you two dumb-asses go back to the retard patrol? I'm sure they need someone to kick around for being idiots." With a snarl, he spits on the ground to his side and turns around, storming off to a more secluded section of town.

There's an awkward pause.

"....You were saying?"
".... ....er.. come on. Guild meeting in 5."

Soon, in a nearby alleyway, Lighteria slams his fist against the brick wall of a building, his face contorted in a strange mix of anger and fear. His teeth grind as his eyes stare downward, looking blank and lost in thought as his cursor flashes over the 'Log Out' button over and over.

Damn it... DAMN IT... I should have figured this out... The signs were THERE I just didn't RECOGNIZE them... Kid's on every time I am... Never seems to have Real Life concerns... ...go to the bathroom... Why didn't I SEE that?! ... ....@#^%!!!! ...I've got to get in contact with him somehow... He's got to sign on eventually... Flashmail or-


To: Lighteria
From: Reinier
Subject: What the fuck?

How the fuck did you log off and log back on? You okay hombre? We're all in the Lambda Server. I'm pretty sure that as soon as you try to warp there, you'll be sent to the new Hideout. It's so radical. But yeah, I haven't seen you in awhile, so yeah. Drop by. Damnit.

Your Dear Friend,


...I feel like karma just kicked me in the face. ....
...DAMN IT!!.. ...If I don't respond, he'll probably think there's something wrong... he could report it to a GM... ....DAMN IT!! ...


To: Reinier
From: Lighteria
Subject: Re: What the fuck?

A dungeon field I was in had a crash, so it probably just LOOKED like I signed off you idiot. Thing are REALLY CRAZY right now, so screw off!!!



....Ok Maybe I need to rethink that.


To: Reinier
From: Lighteria
Subject: Re: What the ****?

S-sorry about all this. I think a field I was in... broke a-and I got trapped. I'll try to be back soon!


....Ok, that works.

His eyes lift from the ground and gaze back to the main streets of the town, taking a hard, nervous swallow down his throat.

.....Ugh. There really is nothing I can do at this point. I can't exactly report this to the GMs. That's just asking for trouble. ...I'm just going to have to go along with this for the time being until I figure something out.

"Lambda huh?" He mutters, lifting his head finally, starting to walk towards the chaos gate. "What's so special about Carmina Gadelica these days?" With a casual stroll, the twin blade heads towards the opposite end of the city. His eye half focus, ignoring all the random players gathered at the trade hubs or the bridge. As he walks though, his eyes glance to the side to catch the view of a green-haired long arm staring at him with a blank expression. Lighteria recoils slightly and gives him a disgusted look, hastening his step to the gate.

Ugh. Perverts.

He thinks to himself as he walks to the gate and selects the Lambda server.

...Wait. that can't be-

He blinks suddenly and whips his head around just as the gold rings encircle him and warps him to the twilight city of Carmina Gadelica, barely catching a glimpse of the long arm's stoic face.

λ Server

OOC: Not much here, I know. I'll be tooling around the root town if you need me.
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"

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Post by Zan » Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:27 am

Zan hung in the transition between the Water Capital and the Cultural City's Hideout in a numb silence, the memory of Xael flat-lining burned into his memory like the scar was on his face. The fight with Sekai had proven a worthy distraction, something that was more than capable of keeping his mine zoned in the wrong places, but leaving Mac Anu had left behind that safety in turn. Now he was faced with the guilt of his deeds. The part of him that didn't feel like wallowing around pointlessly and pathetically fully believed Nulus couldn't have been stopped, that his taking over the reigns in time to save Atra had been simply because the woman wasn't part of the pack. The First had been so hell-bent on taking out a traitor in the ranks that the small optimistic part of Zan believed Xael's death had been out of his hands. Yet...hadn't he hung back knowing what would happen? The sequence of events was a nonsensical blur that seemed amused at his distress, making things as vague and fogged as possible. Perhaps that was truly for the better. The Heavy Blade was so sick and tired of feeling bad all the time for things that had been more or less out of his hands. The only thing keeping him from simply collapsing in the barracks of the headquarters of the Freedom Fighters was his agitation.

Yes, he had killed Lowen's friends and, yes, it had been his body that tore Xael one from zero and killed him in turn. Zan would never be able to atone for his deeds, especially his actions that ripped away the childhood would-be brothers and sisters from the girl he loved. And he knew that. He knew that all too well. That didn't mean, however, that he could do any good just sitting around like a little girl. The lycanthrope was going to stand against this. All he could do, all he'd ever be able to do is change the world (and The World, of course) for the better. If he could help his friends, if he could help the people that had stood side-by-side with him against the Elites and their threats, then he'd be on the right path. Zan had long since forgotten any core, deep and meaningful reason why he fought the Elites beyond 'they're evil and I want to get back home.' Was that going to be enough? Was it too superficial? Perhaps, but only by existing on the surface and tunneling deeper did one find true meaning. It was a foundational reason for him to continue to be with the Freedom Fighters and anything beyond it was only fuel for his fire. There was a second flame to consider, of course, the one that burned to release Lowen from her torment in the real world, from the hands of men that sought only to further the world at her expense. Nothing was worth such a price and he'd find a way back. Not because 'there had to be a way', but rather because he couldn't fail. There was 'if's, 'and's, or 'but's. The Heavy Blade would get back, if only temporarily. End. Of. Story.

Blinking away his inner ponderings to take a gander at the Hideout and its alterations, such a warning having been given by one of the women before he disappeared for a few minutes, Zan found one particular detail lingering. A kitchen. Whoever it was had said there was a kitchen, right? The lycanthrope was only a second away from heading in that exact direction when a sound that no human vocal cords could ever make sounded...in his head. Hunger. It was the sound the darkest predators in times of old made before they bit into flesh. It was the sound that creatures that made people afraid of the dark and forced them to huddle in their caves all of those millennia ago choked out before a meal. Nulus, as human in intelligence as Zan's symbiosis had made it, was still something of the basest origins. Technically Michael Grahm had programmed the First, yes, but it was coded to be something of blackness and sheer bestial compulsions and whatever used to stir in the night when humanity was still a dream had the same heart. Zan knew it. Zan felt it. If even the vaguest notion of consuming raw meat made Nulus expunge such a primal sound, the lycanthrope didn't want any part of it. No, he had to find something to take it off of his mind, Nulus managing to slip in a wave of hunger before the Heavy Blade slammed up his mental shields. Finally, quiet.

Dien wasn't the first one his eyes glazed across, but he was the one he stopped on. The Blademaster had lost Danielle because of (gasp) Zan's actions. It didn't matter that Xenobia had forced such an event to unfold. The lycanthrope no longer blamed himself for the boy's infection, but this thing with his AI was a new development. He needed time to see past his delusions of fault. The walk over seemed agonizingly slow, like the world was giving him every moment to reconsider ever coming in contact with another person again. Would Nulus delete Dien on a whim? Did it even have that power here? Such were only a handful of dozens of questions that bombarded the man as he approached. Sadly, if Zan were ever going to get back in the groove with his teammates, he needed to get over his phobia of killing them. Plenty there were more powerful than him. Nighthand and Nall especially could take him down before he did anything serious...couldn't they? Yes, yes of course. Stupid question. Zan was a notably changed person, if only on a cosmetic level, as he stopped at the Blademaster, several things having happened since the last time they saw eachother (which, he supposed, wasn't really that long ago for Dien).

The trenchcoat was now riddled with dark green tribal markings that held the same hue as the coat's seams, something about them seeming...dead. Inactive. The idle wave given slid the sleeve of his coat down and revealed the cuff that ran about seven inches from his wrist down, crafted of a dark black metal that seemed more misplaced and alien then anything else. Smaller versions of the tribal etches on his coat bordered the top and bottom rings of the cuff, the markings the same sleek black and almost impossible to see in contrast to it all. The one thing about the cuff that was likely to draw the most attention was the flaming green, wolven eye at its center over the top of his arm, the iris glancing this way and that, analyzing Dien with a blink of an obsidian lid. Perhaps most auspicious of all was the fact that, while at the right angle one might have been able to spot a smile or a lock of hair through the shadow of his hood in the past, nothing but an almost tangible darkness lurked there now. It was...unnatural.

"Back again. Just had to take care of something." Yea, because that wasn't suspicious.

"...it looked at me," Dien said aloud, gesturing to the bracer on Zan's arm, "that's different; interesting to be sure, but different." He paused, noting the pitch darkness over what would have been his friend's face. "Any reason for the hood?"

Zan glanced at his exposed cuff, head tilting down a touch before he slid his sleeve over the eye. To the question..."Yes." And that was that, finality in his tone.

Scrunching his face at the statement, the Blademaster shrugged it off. Curiosity would have caused him to pull out his sword and shed light on the situation, but that would put a new level of animosity between them that didn't really need to be there. Oh the pain of not knowing! Whatever. Bigger, better topics awaited their discussion, for instance: "So, uh, what is that thing, if you don't mind my asking?"

Zan paused, not initially sure what he meant. "The cuff?" The Lycan knew the answer as soon as he asked it. Rather than try and describe it, he would simply show him.

Sliding both cuffs into view, he crossed his arms languidly over his chest, both green circles of flame snuffed out by the sudden slam of metal eyelids. Just as soon there was a figure at Zan's back, hovering a little taller than the Heavy Blade. Its general figure could be made out, a dark green cloak tattered and covering the vague humanoid, but the rest of it was shroud in a rich green mist and tendrils of an inky nothingness. It might remind Dien of trying to look at a person ten feet from you in a fog during a moonlit night. Two things stood out, however; the pair of eyes that had once resided on the cuffs now burned with a jade balefire in the center of its hooded and shadowed face and claws emerging from the sides of its obfuscating air. Each claw was wickedly curved and as long as a Twin Blade's dagger, promising pain and much, much more.

"Its name is Nulus. Since you're a hacker, I'll put it in terms you'll understand and probably like. It's the 'beta tested' version of my hack before it was grafted onto a player's character data. If you hadn't noticed, I'm not sick anymore. Bonding with...it...cured me."

"I got that," Dien said, nodding as his eyes scanned over the figure. For a moment their eyes locked, and it was perhaps one of the more intimidating things the Blademaster would ever encounter. No, creepy as all hell was more like it. He didn't quite want to know what this thing could do to him if he got on its bad side, and just thinking about it set something off in him - a slight pang in his head that forced his eyes shut, and his hand to the now pounding forehead. Damn, he thought, eyes revealed once again to the Heavy Blade, if it does this to everyone it looks at then we're in good shape.

"Creepy stuff," he said, only both words seemed to echo in his head more than normal, only making the pain worse, "so he's raw Plures Vultus Mortis?"

Zan seemed to simply stare for a moment (not that his eyes could be seen) while an arrogant laughter filled the air. The sound seemed to come from inside the Heavy Blade's hood...and yet wasn't from him. With no vocal cords of its own, nothing human enough anyway, Nulus was impressing its desires onto the Lycan's. What made it all that much more perplexing was the fact that Zan hadn't actually even laughed, forced or not. Rather, it was using his inactive set of vocal cords; making Zan able to speak at the same time in confliction should he ever need to. Small, unnecessary details, but things the lycanthrope was pondering just the same.

"The Plures Vultus Mortis was a fool’s dream, something the Father tried to make after he was done fiddling with the wolf. It and I are separate, child." The enigma of its speech was only built upon, its own cut-throat, obscenely low vocal tone overlapping with Zan's in a synchronized oddity...and yet Zan did not speak. Apparently even using his inactive cords still kept his voice in tow.

Dien's eyes only widened upon hearing the changed voice. Now that was creepy. He couldn't quite put his finger on why it was so bad, but something about it just set him off. "Okay," he remarked, not really sure how to respond to that at all. To say the least, he was confused. In terms of code, he had thought the PVM something that acted with Twilight to give Zan his lycanthropic abilities, but was that it at all? No, there was something amuck. The bird! That's right, the bird transformation that Zan had used at the beginning of their last quest. Dang, how had he missed so much? Another pound of his forehead brought the hand back up, and he winced slightly.

"So I take it you drove out the Plures Vultus Mortis, from my buddy Zan, then?"

"Indeed. There was just more of me than there was of it. It was actually rather simp--" The overlapping words ceased, a sniff coming from the hooded figure behind Zan. "It knows you, doesn't it? No, no." That arrogant, smug laughter again. "It's in you. Your 'buddy Zan' declined to share with me that memory."

"Yeah," came the reply, "no offense, Zan, but this guy's got a better nose than you do." There was a pause for laughter, although he doubted whether there would be any or not. Truth be told he was nervous, and that probably gave Nulus the edge in the conversation. No matter, really, it just meant that Dien would perpetually be talking up to this guy. No big, right? It would be almost like dealing with...with Danielle.

"...with what happened to Lowen, I think I have to tell you that I can relate. It stole the closest thing I have to someone like that--the PVM I mean. I'd ask you to help out, but something tells me that'd be a no-go."

Zan did laugh, but it was more polite than not, obviously not having gotten the reference or he was just too tired to care. "Nulus had to bind an item to me, these cuffs, to make the transfer over from the cookie file of The World he was in. The only thing keeping him anchored here is them. As much as I want to help, as much as I feel responsible for your situation, it just doesn't have the strength. I'm sorry, amigo. I am." Was there anything else he could say?

Stop calling me an 'it.'

You are an 'it.' Anything else implies having a gender I'm not sure you do.

And then there's the whole you trying to detach association with me. 'It's are easier to handle than 'he's or 'she's.

Zan didn't respond.

"Damn," Dien replied after a moment's consideration, "well, it was worth a shot. Pleasure to meet you, Nulus, but if you'll excuse me I think I'm gonna head downstairs and try out the new room."

Though the First didn't feel obligated to reply, Zan called after his friend. "Don't stay down too long, alright? Don't want to miss the train out." A bad pun. Whee.

"Heh," Dien said, "punny." Alright, enough with the puns. Dien turned, a smile on his face as he began to walk toward the door. His head hurt, but this wouldn't be too long...

All by his lonesome again, Zan watched his friend head for the new training room and pondered doing the same thing himself. It could be fun, if not useful. As much as he simply wanted to bury Nulus in a part of his psyche that would prevent the thing from ever surfacing again, he knew it was a valuable part of his arsenal now. A dangerous part, but still valuable just the same. The training room could be a place for Zan to test out tactics with his new...companion...before they up and left for the second hub. If the second was anything like the first? Well, the lycanthrope would need all the preparations and additional ammo he could freaking carry. Blinking, having almost forgot about it, Zan held the grunty flute (comprised of a white metal with light green vine markings carved in a swirl around it) up to his eyes, smiling faintly. Right, right. Leo, he had named it. Perhaps he'd...no, he didn't need to socialize with the thing for the first time in front of his friends. There were better places to do that. But still, something about the knowledge that he had another friend all his own that wasn't freaking Nulus lifted his mood a little. Dropping his hand back to his side again, he plopped down on a couch in the common room and wondered why he felt like he was forgetting something. Someone.

But wh--...Marionette. Shit.

To: Marionette
From: Zan
Subject: As You Asked

Well, as you asked, I'm getting in touch with you after Primal. We talked about you helping us, about me being a sort of diplomat between the Freedom Fighters and yourself, and you did end up saving us. At least...well, I think that was you. I'm here to pay my dues.

Tell me what needs to be done.


Flashmail! End

The last of his 'to do' list finished off, Zan could only lay there and wait for the next thing to begin. Or, like he had planned, he could go right to the training center. Eh, first he'd stick around; see if anyone else he knew popped up. Mainly Reinier. The lycanthrope was still concerned with why the earthbender had taken off mid-hell back in the first hub. Hopefully he'd appear right when everyone had forgotten about him like he always did. When mostly everyone had, anyway. The thought that he should go find Rayo and thank him for the support in the field popped into his head and, he decided, it was a solid one. If nothing else it would give him some more time to get to know the guy. In the hell in Mac Anu, and the first hub in turn, they hadn't really had much to do besides plan attacks. Zan was still curious how the Wavemaster had been stuck in the game in the first place and, more intriguingly, how he had become associated with the Freedom Fighters. Of course, if nothing else, it could serve to stave away his own thoughts for that much longer. Laying there felt nice, but it wouldn't be long before the things that had been attacking him mentally upon arrival revived.

So was the way of The World.
Lv. 50 Heavy Blade
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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Post by Marionette » Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:07 pm

To: Zan
From: Marionette
Subject: aS yoU desirE

continuE witH youR quesT. I wilL calL oN yoU sooN enougH.
whaT happenS wheN thE puppeT pullS thE stringS?

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Post by Senna » Sun Mar 25, 2007 1:17 am

Things went from fight to confusion on a very short span of time. Spells, attacks, flying pieces of metal, all crossing in and out among one another in a seemingly endless tangle of noise and light and wind. The world was shaking from the force of the magic being inflicted upon the room, and she couldn’t even tell which direction the hits that quickly sapped her HP down to dangerous levels came from. She only knew that the others were probably facing the exact same thing.

And then it all came to a halt, as though someone had pressed the pause button. Senna found it hard to make her muscles, even her mental ones, relax enough to try to gauge this new threat. The creature changed again, to something a little more… well, humanoid. And Nall and Nighthand fell upon it with a ferocity like a pair of feral animals. At first, they were driving Primal, but after a bit of this, something it did seemed to put the pair more on the defensive. Then Nall was tossed aside by a shot from the shield and Nighthand…

It was a lot of blood. As she, along with most of the group, watched, Nighthand pressed the attack again, apparently heedless of his injury, and if she’d thought the attacks before were wild and animalistic, they faded in comparison to the show Nighthand was putting on now. He took out the shield, though he ceded the final shot to Nall, who used another of those skills she’d never seen or heard of, and with that, the foe was finally defeated. The rest, she watched more out of disinterest in moving more than she had to rather than interest in the proceedings. The opening of the door she got, but the rest… she supposed it had something to do with the Hub Nall had talked about ages ago, when she’d first arrived at the field with their group. God, that seemed a long time ago. And the Nall who’d spoken so jovially at first hardly seemed like the grim being who suggested they all get out of there.

She suspected everyone agreed with that thought as much as she did. She never wanted to see a dungeon like that again.

As they left, she was expecting to arrive back in the colorful (she had once called it “enchanting” as a bit of a joke) city of Carmina Gadelica, but the place they arrived was far less open and far less festive. Senna hung back, trying to decide if she should risk looking like a complete idiot by asking where in the world they’d ended up, but the problem was blessedly taken out of her hands as Nall brought two women back, one of whom tended to Nighthand while the other expounded on some “makeover” that had apparently been done to this space. So then, it was apparently some place these people were familiar with, someplace they had a good deal more control over than they might over a part of one of the cities.

A hideout. They had their own hideout. This was just getting a little too friggin weird for Senna. Or maybe it wasn’t that it was too weird. Maybe it was just too much, too much all at once. Too much to take in. That felt more likely. All this… first the weird field which wasn’t the one she was SUPPOSED to be at, then the strange series of challenges, the other players, their odd abilities, then Primal.

Her eyes narrowed slightly even just thinking the name. Primal and Marionette. One of them seemed to be out of the way now, though who could tell for sure in this world anymore? Marionette should still be out there though, and if anyone other than herself was to blame for her current position, it was.

Senna’d never been a particularly long-viewed person when it came to revenge. She might do something in the short term to vent her frustration, but she rarely carried a grudge. This, however, called for a grudge. Nothing in her life compared to this. Nothing. She felt personally, mentally violated as she had only one other time in her life, and this time there was no recourse, even though she knew who had done it. In fact, this was worse. She was cut off from herself, it didn’t GET more personal than that.

She gritted her teeth. Now was not the time to think about any of this. Or rather, it was a time to think about the anger of it. Not about what was happening outside. Not if her parents had found her. Not what Amber would do when she heard. Not..

Stop it, she commanded herself, irritated. Now was NOT The time. For now, she needed a plan. And the best place to start, she decided, would be with getting out of here. Not that she didn’t want to help them with what they were doing. Heck, if it broke them out of this place, she was all for it. But if there was one thing she’d realized during the last battle, it was that she seemed to differ from the rest in a fundamental way – whatever abilities they seemed to have, she didn’t. It seemed those things evened the odds between the Freedom Fighters and their adversaries in some small way. A regular player like her would only be a hindrance to them and put herself in needless danger.

Besides, she was scared. She didn’t mind admitting it. She thought you’d have to be crazy NOT to be scared. She’d just about frozen out there on the field, and she supposed if she’d been able to fully grasp her situation, she MIGHT have frozen – and while she’d done precious little out there, completely freezing might have been even more disastrous. And next time, she felt it was even more likely that she’d end up blanking out or freezing up at some crucial moment. She didn’t like being relied on, and if she stuck around in as dire a situation as this, eventually someone would rely on her. They didn’t know better.

She moved quietly, slowly, just walking, peering around, exploring as conservatively as possible. There was a lot of worry in the room, directed in varying directions or just inward. It was betrayed in voices, in gestures, in stances. Given that and the sheer number of distractions that should be available here, getting away clean and unnoticed should be fairly easy.

As soon as she started, she felt a little disappointed that she would not be spending more time truly poking around this hideout. It seemed to be fairly complete and well laid out. Part of her wanted to ask the unfamiliar woman who’d made the announcement how long this place had taken, how they set it up, what sort of details they could get. Howe real could virtual reality be? But no, she needed to get out of here. For sanity’s sake, for her own health – let’s face it, that was the real reason, not any noble thoughts she might have about burdening others – and for her own resolve, she needed to find an exit. They got in. There had to be…

And when finally found it practically staring at her from the room they’d come in from, an overwhelming feeling of stupidity seized her. If she’d been thinking clearly, it would have made perfect sense that here, as with anywhere else, you would gate in at the Chaos Gate. There had been a general movement further into the base or whatnot when they’d arrived, likely out of concern – rightly so – for Nighthand. She’d never bothered to look around that first room. But now, she saw it was just like a root town, in a manner of speaking. And as such, getting out should be easy.

And she tried. And it turned out, she was right, she could get out. The familiar lights of Carmina Gedelica greeted her eyes, the colors here in a festive nighttime array. Guiltily, she penned a quick Flashmail and sent it out.
To: Canti
From: Senna
Re: (No Subject)

Hey, thanks for saving my hide back there. I really appreciate it. Hope I can return the favor someday.

Not really the best salve for guilt, but it would do well enough. That done, she activated the gate again, this time heading toward more familiar territory – Mac Anu.
Senna, level 33 Long Arm (710 HP/180 SP)
Most common kit: Ichigou, Racoon Earcaps, Air Bracer, Snow Panther, Winter Coat, Graceful Book
Spells/Skills: (Critical Hit/Death) Repulse Cage, Ap Corv, Ap Vorv, Rai Rom, Rue Zot, La Repth
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Zhao Xun
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Post by Zhao Xun » Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:50 am

Pain. Suffering. Fear. That was all he could feel. His mind swam as he tried to get a grip on who he was, where he was. What was his name? Where was he? Hadn't he been with people? Friends?

Friends... what were friends? He couldn't remember. People... people he shared a connection with... but who? And why had he chosen them?

Names swam near the tip of his mind.




Rikama? This one seemed different from the rest. The rest were friends, he knew that much – though he was still unsure of that word's true meaning – but this one was not. In fact, it was something completely the opposite... a nemesis. He understood that word, and through that knowledge came to realize that the “friends” he remembered had helped him against this... this Rikama.

Now if only he could remember his own name.

Everything was falling into place... but not quickly enough. Scattered memories of adventures... with Rikama? That didn't make sense. Weren't they enemies? More memories flowed in slowly, and... betrayal. This was when Rikama became his enemy. In... a tower? This didn't make sense. Where was he? And... why did he have swords? Wasn't he just a normal child? Why was he... fighting?


For his friends.

Understanding hit him like a bolt of lightning. Friends for him were more than just the opposite of his enemies. They were people to be protected. To protect them gave him a purpose. And with that purpose, he could be strong.

More memories fell into place. A second set of memories, from another perspective, coalesced with his own. The two became one, giving him a clear picture of his past and his identity. Battles alongside Dien... Sol's sacrifice for him... and countless bouts with Rikama. And in those memories, he found what he had been missing.

His name.


"...Zhao?" The word was like ambrosia to my ears, and I looked towards the voice to see the friend I had nearly forgotten in my turmoil. "It's been a while. How are you holding up?"

"... Dien? Is that you?" I said, already realizing it was. "I'm... fine, actually. I feel wonderful." I felt... confident, a feeling I hadn't had in ages... but the warmth of it flowed through me like a warm fire on a cold winter's night.
"That's good," the blademaster replied, "that's really good. Rikama behaving himself?"

"Behaving himself... you could say that, I suppose. The full details are a long story." Actually, it was short enough in terms of how long it took, but so complicated and twisted that I didn't feel like explaining it. Also... I really didn't want to go back there. Some of the places my mind might take me were far more than I could handle at the moment.

"Alternate personalities and AI interventions are never short stories," Dien replied, leaning his head back, "so I take it your fit to come with us to the next field?"

I nodded, grinning a bit. "I'll be more fit than you've seen me before, as you've never been with me when I'm in complete control."

"I believe it," Dien said, rising once again to his feet, "you wanna come with me? I'm headed down to the practice room to give it a run."

"Hey, sounds good. I need to get back in shape anyways. Besides, I won't feel too comfortable around the rest of these guys for now."

"Yeah, I can understand that," was the timely response, "I'll come grab you before I head down there - gotta get some supplies and talk to a couple people first."

"Excellent. I'll be right here. Nowhere else to go." I grinned with that statement, letting Dien know that I was in fact feeling better - about everything.

He walked away, and I looked about, trying to see if I could recognize others who had come back. I saw one person I vaguely recognized... but the image of him in my head bounced between a human and a wolf. ... Zan, that was his name. Zan, the lycanthrope. Another warrior, this one clothed in red and black... Canti. He was the other one whom I had fought through the tower with. Some of the others I vaguely remembered, but couldn't put names to... others I just didn't know anymore. Though I had recovered many of my lost memories, the trauma I had experienced in doing so - and in finally forcing two minds into one - had destroyed others.

No matter. I would just make new ones. And this time, I would do it right.

Lord Canti
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Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.

Post by Lord Canti » Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:19 pm

(It had all happened a little too fast. Canti's head was still buzzing from it. They had been fighting Primal one moment, and then it was all but over, with Nighthand injured badly. This battle had taken alot out of them. He imagined that it wasn't often the big-tops took it hard. The first thign that snapped Canti out of his activity-buzz was the annoucement that the place had been changed. Why yes... Yes it did. It looked like a hideout should. All the comforts of home. Hmmm... Home...)

Canti: I guess this is what I have to think of as home from now on. I might never see the old pad ever again.

Now, don't sell yourself short just yet. After all, you and I still have to meet, face to face, don't we?

Canti: Agh!

(That caught him by surprise. It hadn't taken the Twin Blade long to forget he had a voice in his head, source unknown, talking to him for some weird unknown reason. Half of him suspected that he'd gone nuts. The rest...kinda' hoped that she was real. AI? Could be. Psychosis? Might be. A real person? That was hella-optimistic, but he kept the option open. It was something to hope for.)

Canti: Didn't expect to hear from YOU again. Thought this might be goodbye.

Nah. I think a voice to keep you grounded will do you wonders.

Canti: If you say so...

(Hadn't done anyone else good, but why the hell not? Couldn't hurt, right? Anyway, Sheena mentioned a kitchen and a training ground. The training ground caught his interest, but the kitchen did not. Why? Well, think about it. Assuming their real selves were being taken care of and not dying, they were all being fed through an IV, and thus nourished. The simulation of a kitchen to give him the concept of eating when he's not...didn't appeal to Canti. The World didn't have food, except for Grunty Food and such. What was he suppose to do? Boil his Snakey Cactus in three bottles of Cooked Bile? It didn't seem like a good use of his time. Training was far more appealing to the Twin Blade. He was good, but not really good. Not Zan-good. Not Nall-good. Not Nighthand-good. There was room for improvement here, definitely.)

Canti: Well, I know where MY time's being spent.

(His time was going to be much like Dien's time spent, training. One thing, though... Dien and Zan were...starting to creep him out. It was these AIs and these viral things. Wasn't it bad enough to be dealing with the ever-present Twilight? The PVM seemed to be nothing but trouble for either of those two. Canti was glad that he'd missed the boat on that one. A devilish guy like him with the PVM in his system? It made the Twin Blade shudder to think about it. He was already crazy enough, jaded enough, and monstrous enough. He didn't need that. Canti decided NOT to talk to those two, much preferring to withdraw into himself for the time being, listening in and seeing all that was going on. Poor Nighthand. He was one of the first sufferers, and he appeared to be suffering the most. Was this what he had to look forward to? Would the name, Damon Fortis, fade away until he was a non-being who got himself torn up in battle after battle? One day...there would be nothing left.)


Canti: Eh? Wha?

(He was thrust out of his brooding for a couple seconds, noticing that he'd received a Flashmail. At the same time, he caught sight of Zhao. The black-eyed Twin Blade's expression lit up at the sight of that familiar face. Canti gave him a wave as he opened his mail.)

To: Canti
From: Senna
Re: (No Subject)

Hey, thanks for saving my hide back there. I really appreciate it. Hope I can return the favor someday.


Canti: Huh?

(If anyone were watching Canti at that moment - probably Zhao - they would notice his relatively okay expression change to one of confusion. Senna had sent him the message, thanking him, but the undertone of it suggested...a problem. He looked around. Senna had come through the gate, right? Canti's expression changed from confusion to worry as he saw that the Long Arm was NOT among them. His abyssmal eyes darted around, looking around, but all points led to the inevitable conclusion: Senna had left through the gate. Cursing silently, Canti went up to the gate and used it as well. He appeared in Carmina Gadelica, no immediate sign of Senna.)

Canti: This is bad...

(He composed a quick Flashmail.)

TO: Senna
FROM: Canti

Where are you? You can't be out here like this.

(He had just gotten off the message when he noticed that a Twin Blade was standing nearby. He hadn't seen him at first, but he was there and he was convenient. What the other Twin Blade - Lighteria - would see was the dark one suddenly glaring at him with those black pits for eyes, not looking very happy at all. His appearance itself would not seem out of place, per se, but those wings didn't look like cosmetic things. He did not appear the average player. Canti didn't have time for niceties. Senna had just unwittingly put herself in danger.)

Canti: You!

(He pointed at him with a black-gloved finger to make sure there was no mistake in who he was talking to.)

Canti: Did you see a Long Arm here a little while ago? Female, deep red hair?

(Let the games begin...)

OOC: I love the twist here. Light, you and I may want to do an online convo for this.
I'll have a doozy of a sig later, I swear. It'll reflect ".hack//CODE" an' everything.

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

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Location: :noitacoL

Post by Lighteria » Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:39 am

Staring at the chaos gate, Lighteria's eye twitches from the thought of the long arm. By instinct, his hand reaches to his opposite arm and rubs it like he got a chill.

...I'm overreacting here. There's plenty of characters that look the same in this game. I mean... I see dozens of long arms in that kind of gear.

"...Bah. Screw it." He mutters to himself, leaning against the railing of the causeway that heads towards Carmina Gadelica. He lets out a long sigh and lets his head droop, his bangs drifting over his left eye. There's a small pause where his eye twitches. He inhales sharply and puffs a breath at the bangs making them go back up onto his head. Even more irritated now, he lets out a growl staring blankly ahead at the night sky of the city, trying to think.

So I didn't find the hideout. No big deal, I can come up with an excuse for that. I still don't know how long I can keep this up... My best bet here is either to come up with a good solution for contacting the outside... ...which is a bit risky... or go along with all this until I'm contacted myself.
...That's definitely my best bet. Anything else would risk too much.
...That flashmail suggested he runs with a group of people... Priority one is finding these people.

He glances casually to the chaos gate. He sighs deeply as he watches a red-haired female long arm gate in from somewhere and almost immediately gate out, taking note of the location. He sighs deeply and turns his head back towards the water.

Guess I should be thankful this place isn't as busy as Mac Anu. That place is crowded as hell. ...Still, there's really no way to tell these people apart from normal players is there...?

"You!" A voice suddenly rings out. Lighteria blinks and glances towards the noise, spying a black-gloved finger wiggling lightly at his face. "Did you see a Long Arm here a little while ago? Female, deep red hair?"

At this point, Lighteria lifts an eyebrow and turns his head towards this bizarre twinblade. His wide, blue eyes blink as they meet the pitch black eyes of this other player. He gets a face you'd normally adopt if a stuck up twelve-year old was asking if ice was frozen water, you know, the kind that just screams 'Why is this idiot asking me this?' After a brief size-up, he exhales sharply, as though he's trying to brush him off by breathing.

Ugh. Some random moron. This is the last thing I need right now.

"Look marble-eyes." Lighteria starts out, crossing his arms defensively and half glaring, talking down to him. "In case your notice through those horse blinders you call character eyes, I'm busy." His gaze turns into a full glare, though it kinda seems like he's just angry in general instead of at this player specifically. "REALLY busy. I've got a whole truck load of problems that's way more important than prancing across Lambda playing long-arm hide and seek. So go-"

"Shut up!" The twin blade interrupts, causing Lighteria to blink... he was about to shoot a good insult too! "S'not some *ucking game, asshole. Did you see a Long Arm or not?"

Lighteria's eye twitches out of irritation. He walks a bit close and tries to loom over the twin blade, despite approximately equal height. Though somehow he managed to make himself SEEM taller. "WHAT did you just call me, bright eyes?" Lighteria quips with a menacing gaze. Before it turns too confrontational though, the 'ignore it' switch in his brain is flipped and he rolls his eyes, turning his head away. "If you think I’ve got the time or patience to deal with you and that random-ass long arm, you're a bigger idiot than I thought."

"I don't give a DAMN about your problems. Mine are worse, more immediate, and definitely pissing me off. Now, start talking..." The twin blade shoots back, not even CLOSE to backing down and shooting off just as much menace with his gaze.

There's just a quick linger in the time stream as Lighteria's gaze shifts out of dismissial and back to menacing. His thoughts start churning around grabbing this player's neck and strangling him while sending jolts of shadow through him. A sadistic look passes through his eyes as he considers how... fun it'd be to have him hanging by his toenails and begging for mercy while getting none. The vision only lasts for a moment as the realization that this random-ass player is actually getting to him. After all, this was just some random guy. They were practically having an old-west shoot-out stand-off... totally out of the blue! Lighteria rears his head back and just starts laughing at the absurdity of him dealing with this guy, ESPECIALLY with all the problems he's facing right now.

"Your problems? YOUR problems?" Lighteria laughs out, shaking his head, thinking he'd never get it. "You little twerp. You don't have the slightest idea what I'm going through." A moment passes as the... 'timid' twinblade looks back down at him with a long smirk... this could be fun. After all, apparently he had information he wants, why not taunt him a little? "You wanna know about her? Apologize to me"

"Oh, forgive me... I DIDN'T KNOW YOUR HEAD WAS SO COMFY UP YOUR ASS!!" The black-eyed twin blade suddenly yells out, getting another surprised blink out of Lighteria. Within seconds, the Twin Blade jumps up a couple feet and spreads his black raven-like wings, which keeps him aloft in a manner that was... abnormal for players to say the least. Lighteria's smirk fades quickly when he jumps into the air, replaced quickly by a glare... not an angry glare but more the glare you get when you're faced with a fight and you need to be serious. With the temporary hovering, the dark-eyed player lunges at Lighteria with surprising speed to knock and pin him to the ground, shouting out... "I thought I told you to stop bitching! If I don't find her NOW, she is probably going to DIE!"

As he lunges downward, Lighteria's arms whip in front of him rapidly and his feet shift on the ground for support. One hand quickly grasps the player’s shoulder and the other against his forehead, halting his lunge in mid-air, Lighteria's higher level providing the strength to keep him at bay.

These are hacked abilities-! I could recognize them a mile away. But a random hacker showing off in the middle of a root town just to find some girl? Either he's an idiot or something's going on here. ...Hm... I need more info out of him... may as well go for blackmail.

The scene hovers there for an instant and Lighteria grins darkly, leaning in towards his face. "Not bad... you've obviously got some powers." Lighteria grunts in irritation and ducks, twisting his body so the dark-eyed twin blade lands on his feet behind him. With the acrobatics over, Lighteria stands up straight and laughs again, half turning his body towards him. "Die, hm? She'll just come back, won't she? Unless there's something you're not telling me..." He smirks slyly. "I think perhaps you need to cool it... wouldn't want me blabbing hacked character powers to an admin, would you?"

There's a moment where nothing is said as the dark-eyed twin blade takes a moment to think. Lighteria watches his face closely, seeing him calm down a bit but DEFINATELY no less resolute. "No admin could do to me any worse than I've gotten already, but there are some who can. That's all that matters. If a person's life means anything to you at all, you'll cut the crap and help me out."

Lighteria huffs out a breath and turns his head to the side, letting his stance relax. Instinctively his hand brushes back the bottom parts of his hair though since his hair is actually kind of short he mostly gets air. He blinks and retracts his hand awkwardly and grimaces getting a twinge of embarrassment as he looks back to the player.

You revealed more than you thought, kid. Doesn't fear the admins? He no hacker then, any hacker with half a brain worries about getting caught... at least to some degree, and they'd NEVER do this stuff in the open. ...So he has to be something else. ... ...
...I can tell from his expression he's being sincere about this girl. Obviously he cares for her and isn't involved in some idiot in-game role playing. But dying? That's trivial in The World... ...Unless of course... something went wrong. ...

...This could be risky, but this is my best bet.

Lighteria's tone suddenly goes hushed but less out of secrecy and more out of the gravity of his words, his eyes latched onto the players like a vice. "......You can't log out either, can you?"

The black-eyed twin blade suddenly dons a 'what the *uck!?' expression. Lighteria pumps his fist in victory in his mind.

Bingo. Now I'm POSITIVE he can't log out. This HAS to be the group he hangs out with, without a doubt.

"Well, this is awkward.." The twin blade starts out, looking up to Lighteria, this time WITHOUT wanting to kill him. "Look, you can fill me in later on the details, but I need to find that Long Arm. She's in the same boat and doesn't know half the danger of being out here like this."

Unbelievable... This has to be both the best and worst luck I've ever had in my life. Heh... I'm going to end up going with these people aren't I? ...And acting like HIM! ...Haha... This is almost too funny... It's so sick and twisted... It's too perfect. Damn karma. Damn it to hell.

He laughs bitterly and shakes his head. "Unbelievable..." He throws up his hands for a moment like he's been defeated. "She took the chaos gate to Mac Anu." He says casually as he steps next to him. "I'm coming with you, by the way." He says in that tone of voice that suggests it's not up to YOU if you don't want to be followed, it's just happening.

"Fine, just don't drag your ass. I'm a fast one..." The twin blade shoots as he turns to the chaos gate. Lighteria shrugs lightly, not really wanting to retort, too much effort, and instead follows him to the gate.
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"

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Location: Who am I...?

Post by Cypher » Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:32 pm


A grin from ear to ear lined Cypher’s face as monochrome instantaneously gained color, most notably, that of pure, thick crimson. Although the anime cutout that Cypher chose best to represent him inside this digital utopia appeared paper like and quickly drawn, the World’s fast processing speeds allowed the blade master’s frame to properly fill out; soon, textures, lines, angles, depth and even roughness became one of the many factors making up the player known as Cypher.

While the pulsating adrenaline rush that arose from slaying monsters coursed through his veins in a drug like fashion, the high was wearing off rapidly, and satiating the urge- no, the HUNGER- to commit digital murder would no longer be calmed by the likes a few fiends barely toting power over that of the twenty first level.

Still, flashbacks of fighting side by side with his comrades once more made up where the foes lack. That feeling that more than one life is on the line, that one would die for the other, and that a crying sword isn’t always your own; that was what he missed, and that’s why he returned.

Now in the peace ridden root town, where commoners commuted to and fro, destinations varying on whatever menial task they found in this digital enterprise known as “the World”, Cypher’s engines were still burning, hard, cool and clean. Like a junkie with an itch, he’d twitch occasionally, jolt his vision at random times in random directions, and execute other bodily cues that would essentially keeping him moving, as movement always kept the action going.

Settling for bitten nails and a hummed song, the crimson blade master trotted around the root town, looking for anyone and no one. A familiar face maybe, or an old friend…it mattered not; anyone that seemed recognizable would receive a very hospitable treatment, consisting of a half hug, a few jabs to the abdominal area and the word ‘buddy’ attached at the end of every sentence.

Reassurance; that’s what Cypher wanted.

The past year was a blur to him, especially the events revolving around his stay in “The World”. Sure, some sources spoke, others retorted, sides argued, and Cypher always seemed to leave the conversations pulling his hair and cussing out some random deity. So in an effort to find his own answers (and maybe even help others find their own) his alias was entered once more, and the combination of asterisks that formed his password untied for one last time.

“One last dance, one last dance…”

A made up tune with made up lyrics, the nail biting ceased in order for his musical side to take center stage. Of course he kept it down to a barely audible town, which resulted in a lip synching experience due to the naturally high volume levels a root town provided. Still, in case he lost his beat, his right hand would provided the double bass and pat away at his thigh, while the left snared away on his tummy.

Oh so raw…

This little musical ritual kept itself going for the next twenty minutes, occasionally broken in an attempt to converse with random strangers in the hopes of commencing some worthwhile adventure. Finally, when boredom and frustrating agreed to take each other’s hand in marriage and culminate their ‘love’ inside Cypher, a small bundle of impatience was birthed, carrying with it a twin, frustration.

One hand high flipping the bird, Cypher’s digitally unshaven complexion prepared itself to contort into a series of disgruntled faces before echoing his frustrations for all to hear; here it comes, the string of potty mouthed expressions that’ll most likely get him banned!

”User Nighthand is now online”

A long pause…

Cypher’s entire nasty disposition was instantaneously destroyed at one single announcement. A mere compilation of pixels that formed letters, to anyone the idea of having a ‘friend’ log on was…just as normal as the very breath one breaths. However, for Cypher, the player going through hell- yet to come back, too- whose very name was burnt at the cost of others, and whose friends all left him after his request, a friend now was a miracle.

The entire buddy list was empty, that is, until Nighthand’s name suddenly added itself to his list, as if it was always there. Riddled with confusion, Cypher remained motionless for a while, occasionally biting his lower lip or his nails, both subconscious actions done when he was deep in thought. Finally, after a minute of mental silence, a flash mail was opened.
To: Nighthand
From: Cypher
The message field remained empty for another minute as the now nervous blade master ran through all the possible things to say. Finally, after a few rewrites, he sends it away.
To: Nighthand
From: Cypher
Message: Guess who.
Now, to wait.
Wishlist: Ends of Earth (11 BM), Black Sharp Angel Wings, BM Swords (Rare/Common)

New sig coming soon!

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Class: Blademaster
Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...

Part 1

Post by Dien » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:53 pm

Shards of the whole fell, piece by piece until all that was left were the first two, which reattached and reconfigured into something stronger. Not only stronger, but more dangerous. Something about this new phase of Primal set off a fear inside Dien. It wasn’t that they couldn’t win or that it was stronger, no, it was something different. Something commanded his respect of this new form, if only the poise he held. Nighthand and Nall wasted no time in assaulting the character, but their attacks were like a glass of water tossed against a brick wall. Yeah, there was damage on the microscopic level, but as it was this character could not be harmed.

It was the same way as what had happened with the dragments: it could only be harmed when it was doing damage, and with a sword like the one it had that meant someone had to sacrifice. That someone was Nighthand. Damage was dealt in the mean time, and it seemed to break something inside their opponent. No longer did his strength remain intact. With their tanks in full swing against him, it was really only a matter of time. Then Nall did something that Dien hadn’t known about.

Time Slash.” It was an interesting display, to say the least, especially considering what it did to Primal. The boss was gone, utterly and completely. Only his shield remained, and even from a glance anyone could tell that it would fit the one remaining hole. Finally, rang Dien’s thoughts as similar sentiments began to sound through everyone else’s heads as well, let’s just get this over with and go back. It had been a long run, and the blademaster was tired. Hell, they were all tired. It was time for Raine’s program to take over.

His advice to her, at least from what she’d said, had come to fruition. The method of destruction served the double purpose of acting as a probe, copying all of the data and OS of the hub and sending it to Raine for program analysis. If they were lucky, they’d get another lead as to where they could find the entrance to Yamiyo. At this point, though, any attack would need to take a while off before bringing the fight to the Elites. Both sides knew who’d win such a fight, especially with the hackers having the home-field advantage. A whole realm of possibilities existed when the lines of the rules were taken away, and on their own server the Elites could play host to their delusions of grandeur without them actually being delusions. That thought alone would make any sane person shudder.

What swirling had been ceased, and the “pool” of their target froze solid, only to be shattered by a single tap from Nall’s sword. It was ice on ice, which really should’ve broken both pieces, but who really cared? It was over. Finally, their quest to knock out some Elite communications was over. Worth it? That was debatable, but either way they’d have to wait and see what came of it. The party logged out, returning to Carmina Gadelica – their base of operations. Well okay, so it wasn’t actually Carmina Gadelica, but all of the NPCs were the same. Nall and Nighthand went away into the barracks room, blood dripping onto the floor before dissolving into it without a stain. It was really quite impressive.

Not long at all, and everyone had set to their own tasks. Whether it was checking out the new kitchen or just buying supplies, each member was doing something. Sleep sounded like a good idea to probably all of them, but the room was currently occupied by the gruesome sight of Nighthand’s injury and Raine performing the digital equivalent of surgery on his character. It was not for those with weak stomachs. So sleeping was out, at least for the immediate time being, which left not much else to do besides the remedial tasks that most players undertook as part of normal gameplay.

Really, there was nothing terribly fun about going from store to store to buy and sell items and equipment. Often times, haggling with the NPCs was quite the laborious task that was hardly worth the miniscule profits it granted. It was all to be done in preparation: making yourself ready to fight the next fight and survive. Gain a few levels in the process, maybe some items, get the gott treasure, gate out, buy and sell, save, and repeat. After a while, it could get old, but at least the Elites had made it a greater game. No longer were there only levels and items at stake, but people’s lives and things that could screw up the whole global economy. Really, when the grand scheme of things was thought about, the pressure on any one of this merry band of travelers was daunting to say the least. Hell, it was like they were bearing the weight of the whole world, and one small misstep would send the whole thing crashing down.

No, don’t think about that. This isn’t the time to be thinking about things like that. Just play the game as best as possible and try not to die in the process. The fact that they were fighting hackers who redefined the rules at pretty much every turn made things that much harder, but then it was just a different kind of game, and a different means towards the fun he’d discovered. Right, he thought, making his way towards the NPC booths in the walls, fun. Equipment and weaponry were purchased, and only three shops remained: the Elf’s Haven, the Data Recorder, and the Grunty Farm.

Grunties…they’d been at the start of this whole ordeal, hadn’t they? Thinking back, it was a grunty that had almost directly perpetuated his joining the trek through the tenebrous tower. It was a grunty that had made him pursue the notice, and a grunty that had granted him that nice delicious Yellow Candy. While he most undoubtedly wouldn’t get any more of the same from this venture, it was at least worth a shot to try it out. A quick investigation proved he had the necessary funds, so buying and maturing the grunty took all of five minutes.

Okay, now to the game’s save point; the Data Recorder. Accessing it opened a menu by which he could save his data in CC Corp’s database so that, in the event he and everyone in his party died, his progress thus far would be saved. Granted, that entailed that he planned on dying, which I guess you could say is true, but they really couldn’t afford to die; not with what was at stake.

Aimless wandering put him in the den or lobby or whatever you want to call it, wherein he found a figure seated in one of the remote corners of the room. A name came forth from the depths of his mind, along with memories they shared. This was Zhao Xun, a friend and companion who had been with him since the beginning of this venture. Inside him were two personalities now, the third having been slaughtered by the second. Both of them fought strongly for control of the single body.

“...Zhao?” The memories of the tower and of their infection in Mac Anu slowly came back, and Dien found himself seated next to the player. “It’s been a while. How are you holding up?”

...Dien? Is that you?” He slowly looked up, seeing the only person he really still thought of as his friend. “I’m... fine, actually. I feel wonderful.” His voice was full of confidence, as were his eyes, something that hadn't been seen since his original pact with his other mind.

“That’s good,” the blademaster replied, “that’s really good. Rikama behaving himself?” Blue eyes—darker than normal, but still blue; that was a good thing...

Behaving himself... you could say that, I suppose. The full details are a long story.

“Alternate personalities and AI interventions are never short stories,” Dien replied, leaning his head back against the wall, “so I take it you’re fit to come with us to the next field?”

He nodded, grinning a bit. “I’ll be more fit than you’ve seen me before, as you’ve never been with me when I’m in complete control.

“I believe it,” he said, rising once again to his feet, “you wanna come with me? I'm headed down to the practice room to give it a run.”

Hey, sounds good. I need to get back in shape anyways. Besides, I won’t feel too comfortable around the rest of these guys for now.

“Yeah, I can understand that,” was the timely response, “I’ll come grab you before I head down there - gotta talk to a couple people first.”

Excellent. I’ll be right here: nowhere else to go.” He grinned with that statement, letting Dien know that he was in fact feeling better - about everything. The grin was something he hadn’t seen before. It seemed almost out of character on Zhao, but then again with his mental issues there really was no way to tell what was in character. The thought of that made him a little nervous, but at the same time he found that both minds had a common thread, and that thread was his friend whether it would admit to it or not.

There was one other thing he needed to know before he went downstairs - something that would starve his curiosity to the point of inaction, and Raine was the girl to talk to about it. The one problem he had was starting a conversation with her. Part of him wanted to be friendly, but the other part wanted straight business with no chance of any emotional attachment whatever. It always made conversations with her so difficult, especially when he wanted something out of her; some piece of information or whatnot (and it didn’t help matters that she looked so good, either). Ah well, here goes nothing:

“Raine?” He began, walking up to her. Good, he thought, a nice simple start. Now that you have her attention, keep going. “I was wondering how it went about with my idea and the hub—if we got any information or whatnot that we could use.”

I don’t know yet, sorry. I haven’t had a chance to look in at what we got... if anything. I’ve been busy with...” She gestured in Nighthand’s direction. “It was a lot of damage to his code, more than I thought.

“Oh,” Somewhere along the line he’d missed the memo about Primal’s sword doing damage - a memo his mind instantly replayed for him in vivid detail, “shit. Well, if you need any help with that just let me know.” He didn't know exactly how he could help, what with not having access to code nor Nighthand's permission to ‘fiddle around’ with it. Granted, it wouldn't be fiddling, only repairs, but still...

It’s alright, he should be fine for now. I’ve done what I can. Was there anything else?

“Not really,” he replied, turning before commenting, “but I like what you’ve done with the place. Not quite what I’d call the ‘feminine touch,’ but immensely useful just the same.” What? He hadn’t even been into the kitchen yet, nor gone downstairs either…

It wasn't meant to be pretty, anyways... Not that saying so would stop Sheena if she got it into her head to decorate. It was always just a place to rest before we left to ‘fight the fight,’ so to speak.” For a moment she was introspective, no doubt scenes of her years spent fighting and helping Nall flashing in her mind. “We’ll see how it goes now that there’s more than just us here.

“Yeah,” it was the only word he could come up with after that. She was both older and wiser than he, although the latter showed still more than the former if only by how easily she slipped into reminiscence. “Oh, and would it be alright with you if later on me and Zhao took the new training room out for a test-drive?”

She smiled at the blademaster, a hint of pride in her eyes. “Sure. There’s an interface down there, you don’t need to talk directly to me to set it up, it’ll reach me from anywhere in the hideout.”

“Excellent!” His nerve was showing itself again; smiling easily, perpetually on the brink of laughter, probably blushing. Dammit, why did she have to smile?! Really, it was all very...nerve-wracking to him? No, that’s not quite the right word. One might say he had a crush on Raine, though he really didn't know it. “Not insinuating anything, but if there are bugs I’ll let you know—normally I’d hack in and fix it myself, but no access to any data by me..." What the hell are you saying?! Remedy, fast! “...but I’m sure it’s fine, what with your mad programming skills.”

“There shouldn't be any problems, but feel free to keep an eye out.”

“Right...” At that, he turned, walking back away. Well, if that was anything short of disastrous, you’d be hard-pressed to convince me of it. Passing by Zhao again, he was about to pick him up to go and test out their new room when the light of three golden rings sinking caught the corner of his eye. There, standing in front of the gate, apparently cured of his problems with the dueling viruses was Zan. Some sort of bracer was on his arm, apparently alive and…looking around? No, that wasn’t right, it was looking straight at him.

Dialogue followed, and Dien was introduced to the wraith that was Zan’s…predecessor? One might even go so far as to say father, but that wasn’t technically correct. It was a beta, an unrefined version of what Zan himself was: raw instinct. It knew of PVM and the blademaster’s struggle almost without him having told about it. Fighting against it would be a truly frightening experience, one that he would thankfully never have to face.

“Zhao,” he finally said aloud, standing next to him and waiting, “I’m heading downstairs, I’ll see you there.” This could be fun.
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Post by Reinier » Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:16 pm

Reinier jolted up right, gripping the blankets with his left hand. He scanned the room, breathing heavily and sweating rather profusely. He wiped his forehead and attempted to control his breathing a bit more then he was at the moment. He looked down at his legs to see Abraxas sleeping soundly, curled up in a ball akin to that of a kitten. Reinier smirked, stroking the baby across his spine.

Oddly enough, it seemed as if the group of Freedom Fighters burst in to the resting area. Nighthand was slumped over and supported by Nall. Reinier let out a gasp of shock and awe, and watched as they put him down to rest. Sheena said something in her usual vexing tone, and then bounced off. The boy felt sick peering at Nighthand in such a state, and decided he needed to take off. He grabbed his shirt and followed Sheena, forgetting to grab his shoes and sword. Abraxas followed behind, swiftly running across the room to catch up to the boy. It crawled up Reinier's leg, clawed up his back, and rested upon his shoulder. The baby wrapped its tail around the boy's neck, and drifted back to his slumber.

He followed her through the shopping ground in to a kitchen of sorts. Reinier simply ignored Sheena for the time being, and looked through the Cafe Menu, which was rather simple. "Anything." Endless possibilities never settled well with the boy. He would most likely start ordering weird and unnatural combinations, topped with more unusual things. He pulled up to the NPC and said, "Give me a steak, medium rare, with gravy mixed with A1 on top. Mashed potatoes on the side, with fries stacked up in a tower formation. To drink, I'd like a hot fudge milkshake with cherries." The NPC looked at the boy, nodded, and went back to work.

You do understand that in the milkshake, the fudge most likely won't be hot anymore? Ice cream tends to cool things down pretty well, hot fudge being no exception.

Reinier ignored his companion, and rattled his fingers along the side of the counter as he waited for his meal. A C# chimed in his ear, with a message appearing in front of his eyes. "Lighteria Has Logged In." It took a few moments for this to register, as he hadn't seen this message in what felt like decades, let alone from a fellow comatose patient. The boy ripped up a Flashmail message swiftly, and began typing away.

To: Lighteria
From: Reinier
Subject: What the fuck?

How the fuck did you log off and log back on? You okay hombre? We're all in the Lambda Server. I'm pretty sure that as soon as you try to warp there, you'll be sent to the new Hideout. It's so radical. But yeah, I haven't seen you in awhile, so yeah. Drop by. Damnit.

Your Dear Friend,

Reinier nodded to himself as he sent the message. He grabbed his food, made to perfection, and wandered over to an empty table. He began indulging, and at one point put down his fork and knife in awe. He could actually taste food again. No more starvation from undernourishment and over exertion. No longer would he have to gnaw on his hand in hopes it was food, due to the fact they now had a cafe. There was a God, and her name was Raine.

To: Reinier
From: Lighteria
Subject: Re: What the ****?

S-sorry about all this. I think a field I was in... broke a-and I got trapped. I'll try to be back soon!

Reinier raised his brow as he took another bite of his steak. Even by Light's standards, this was a weird message. Reinier tossed his fork down on the plate, picked up his milkshake, and began to leave the Cafe area. He needed to think about this message, and what was up with Lighteria. More importantly, he hadn't spoken to Zan in forever. The boy maneuvered through the rooms, until he reached the common room where he found his wolfish friend.

"Zaaaaannnn!!" Reinier called out. He waved as he took a sip from his milkshake as he made his approach to the fellow Heavy Blade. He stretched out his wings, giving a few good flaps, and asked, "What's up? What all did I miss while I was off doing my own thing?"

Zan stirred from his realm of un-thought, that blank stare filling with consciousness at Reinier's approach. "Eh?" A momentary pause. "Oh, nothing really. Crazy elemental rooms and a boss that was able to nuke all of us, Nall included, to death. Before some unseen force brought us back to life. Insignificant stuff." Odd thing was, Zan seemed to actually mean it.

"Laaamee.... I dunno what I'm doing with my life here anymore. It's starting to feel like I'll never get out... Have you felt like this, yet?" Reinier grabbed a nearby chair and twisted it around so that he could rest his chest against its back. He plopped down on the chair, crossing his arms on the back of the chair, and leaned forward to Zan.

Zan lofted a brow at the earthbender's words, saying nothing for a moment before he finally decided it time to break the silence. "Often, actually. I have just as many things I need to do in the real world as I do in this place. More important things, to be honest, but that's not exactly an option, is it?" A sad truth.

Reinier gave a nod. "I'd give up so much just for one day of freedom in the real world. That's all I want. The novelty of actually living a video game has worn thin, and I just want my freedom already. But after these past few adventures I've been in, I fear any and everyone I love or befriend hits a bad patch in life... You might wanna run away while you have the chance..." Reinier's words trailed off as he rested his head on his arms.

The lycanthrope couldn't help but laugh, the absurdity in the words almost too much. "Reinier, I could say the exact same thing to you." Zan yawned. "But yea, this is really old. Elites and hubs and quests and boss monsters; the whole shebang. I'd just as soon say fuck this as I would continue on." Another sad truth.

Reinier laughed as well at this. "I'm beginning to think I would have better luck finding my escape on my own then being in the group of the damned. But then the fact of I wouldn't know where the fuck to go or what to do comes to mind. So I'm damned if I leave, and I'm damned if I stay. It's too much for these old bones." Reinier smirked at this cruel irony.

Zan nodded along as he spoke, interjecting only when his friend was done. "Exactly. I'm only staying because I really don't have a better option. Who knows, if this crap with the Elites doesn't work, you and I can go tear up The World looking for a way out on our own, eh?"

Reinier let out another laugh. For whatever reason, speaking with this man always seemed to brighten up his day and make him feel better. "I don't think The World is quite ready for that yet. But yeah, that might be fun... By the way, what's up with Nights? He looked like he got in bed with Melzas and had to be the woman..."

The Lycan took that time to glance over at one of their leaders, eyes narrowing in concentration for a moment before he faced Reinier again. "Primal penis-slapped him in the face. With a sword. But I'm fairly certain it was his penis disguised as a sword."

"Holy shit. That's one orgy I'm pretty upset I missed. Hopefully the girls were less disturbing then a penis swinging guy named... Primal? What the fuck kind of name is that? But man... Nights knows how to pick'em. That's one facial he's going to regret for a long, long, long time, me thinks..." Reinier was pretty glad that Nighthand would never hear this conversation.

Zan found himself completely overtaken by laughter he had sworn he had forgotten how to use, the lycanthrope practically choking on it before he found words again. "Oh, God. That was the fucking best thing I have ever heard. Thank you."

Reinier gave a nod and stood up to his feet. "Cosmic Justice with bite me in the ass later. I know it. I'm going to go check on Nights, cus he seemed pretty banged up. Plus I need to grab my shoes... and sword. Do me a favor? Watch Abraxas. He's just a baby, so he needs constantly love and attention..." Reinier set down his milkshake on his chair, and pulled the baby off his shoulder. He held out the dragon, gripping his chest with Abraxas' forearms cradling against Reinier's hands.

Zan blinked but, always able to roll with the punches, pulled the dragonling into his lap. "Gooood fire-breathing menace...."

Reinier chuckled, not quite knowing if it was fire that the dragon would breathe anymore. He didn't seem to hold his usual qualities of flame, but it would become more apparent what his affiliation was later on down the line. "Thanks, I'll be back in ten," Reinier said, as he walked off. He wondered if this would be one of those life-changing occurances for Nighthand, having been attacked by a boss and been seriously injured...

The boy entered the rest area, and noted that Nights was simply resting. He didn't seem different, but then again it was Nighthand. Chills ran down his spine as he approached. Reinier sat down in the bed next to Night's, and asked, "So uh... how's life? Everythin' okay buddy?" Reinier made a fake smile as he looked at Nighthand, wondering if he'd reply.

Nighthand turned to face Reinier, and the heavyblade would be the first of them to see the horrible scar now present on his face. It stretched from scalp to cheekbone, half an inch wide at it's widest, crossing through the man's closed left eye. Raine had done a good job, making it look as best she could, but it was still a streak of scar tissue over the otherwise clear skin. "You could say that." came the reply.

"HOLY OH MY....... uh... wow. Um. It's. Uh. Very. Um... Very distinguishing. Er... other then that, how's everything going? Anything interesting you'd like to share?" Reinier's fake smile grew wider, showing more teeth as his eyes cocked. He didn't know what to say or do, considering Nighthand was now half blind. It was a good thing the God's saw fit to give him a spare, or he might be in a bit of trouble.

"Not much. Took down one hub, but failed on the other, go us. I'm sure you've gotten the scoop from Zan or something. What's up?"

Reinier's smile faded at this point. Something was different. Two minutes had passed and he had yet to make a witty remark. Reinier peered in to his friend's eye, noting the difference in hues. "Who are you?" was Reinier's simple remark.

"Oh, right. Nights didn't go around telling people about me. I'm Silverblade."

Reinier's defenses fell a bit, as he rested back in the bed. Silverblade? What an unusual name... "So, Silverblade? Uh... why are you in his body? Or are you a clone of his? Oh! Are you some kind of magical faerie or something? That would be unbelievably rockin'. Do you grant wishes? Can you do magic? I think I already like you better then Nights."

"Silly Reinier. No, I'm pretty much just like Nights. I'm an AI, I suppose. Gravis was trying to steal Nights's powers through me, but, it didn't work out so well. So here we are."

Gravis? The name rang a bell, but one Reinier couldn't exactly pick up on. He chalked it up to coincidence. But the man was just like Nighthand, but nice. This would be a great addition to the team. Hopefully Nighthand was gone for awhile. "How much do you know about manipulating the elements? I would imagine a lot, seeing as how you hang around Nighthand so much and he can do... whatever he does. I've been having troubles forming like, a shell of earth around my body for protection and I was wondering if you had pointers or something..." Reinier's question drifted off, as he began to imagine himself in intricate armor made completely from rock and sand.

"Not really. My abilities... differ, somewhat, from Nighthand's. I imagine you'll see them once we're in action."

Reinier gave a slight nod, wishing his question had been answered. He would just have to learn this on his own, it would seem. "I'm going up top to the surface to just meander around... you going to need anything? Scrolls? Potions? An eye?" Reinier let out a smirk as he said this.

"Anything you like. Just realize, if you come back with a faerie's orb painted like an eyeball, you'll get less mercy from me than you would from Nights." He, too, smirked.

And with that done and over with, Reinier put on his boots, grabbed his sword, and was off. He made it to the in house Chaos Gate, and selected the option which would take him to the Brilliant City. The golden rings fluttered down over his body, warping him to the city. He pondered about the consequences of leaving his baby dragon with Zan, but shrugged it off. He soon found himself topside in the Brilliant City, Carmina Gadalica. Reinier's eyes widened as he was face to face with Lighteria, a person he hadn't seen in forever. "Lights!"

Lighteria didn't seem to react as swiftly as he should have. He seemed to be thinking, much more then he should have, on a simple hello. Maybe he just didn't hear? Reinier began to call again, but Lighteria turned around. "Uh, hey!" The Twin Blade called out.

"Just a 'hey' after all we've been through? And here I thought we were better friends then that! After everything you and I've been through? How's that little kitten of yours? The gang's missed you ever since you just disappeared. I mean common, you just bring joy to everyone!" Reinier called out, rather skeptical of Lighteria at this point.

A flash of panic swept across the Twin Blade's face as he began thinking. A smile appeared across his face, as he said, "O-oh, that. Um... I'm so... sorry about that! I got caught in the server crash!" Reinier's eyes widened upon hearing the statement. How could he manage to make it out of something like that alive?

"I always thought a server crash would just slaughter people in our condition... how the hell did you manage to get the hell out of something like that? I thought you were acting funny, but I mean, after something like that, it's understandable... but how did you get out? I thought you would be deleted..." Reinier asked, curiosity flaring up in his head.

"Ah.. u.h... the uh.. admins... caused it. ....so ...I got sent back to the root town. ...I think." was the boy's reply. Reinier cocked his eye brow at this statement. The only server crash he could remember hearing about was... well, it wasn't a server crash as much as the fact there was a huge ass brawl down at Mac Anu.

"I don't remember there being any server crashes... What server was this that you were in?" Reinier asked. The chances of this being Lighteria were gradually beginning to dwindle down to nothingness in Reinier's mind. One sure fire way to figure out if this was indeed Lights would be to shoot a spire through his foot and see if he reacted. But that was a bit mean, and Reinier didn't know if he could do this...

Lighteria grimaced, and said, "Th.. the field.. thing. Look this isn't the best time, ok?" It seemed that after he said this, a little something clicked in his head. "Actually yeah, I could use a break to clear my head, why not take me to the hideout?" Reinier frowned, knowing he wouldn't get anymore answers now. But he was shocked that Lighteria would speak up like that.

"Sure... we can get back to the hideout. We've got some new recruits. There's Senna and Reinier. They're both nice kids, I'm sure you'd love them..." Reinier said to the Twin Blade. The fact Reinier just thought of a way to see if it was Lights without using violence shocked and awed the boy.

Lighteria gave a nod, and said, "That sounds great! I'm sure I'll love to meet them."

Reinier stomped on the ground, shooting up a spire from the pavement. He swiped it before it could fly to high, and thrust the jagged piece of earth at Lighteria's neck. "Funny how I'm Reinier, huh? Who are you?" The sense of deja vu was killing him.

"Lighteria" grew pale, and took a few steps back. He grit his teeth while growling out in frustration. "You were tricking me? You paranoid freak..." he said, trailing off at the end.

"Damn straight. Who are you and where is Lighteria?" Reinier said, being the most serious he had been in quite some time. Worse case scenario was that he had to kill the Lighteria look a like, shrug, and move on until the real one came back. He honestly didn't think his little trick would work, but the fact it did was a massive boost to his ego. Not good for anyone around him, as he was now Super Slooth Reinier.

Lighteria growls darkly, eyes glancing around for a second, getting more frustrated. "...god damn it... you sound like a freaking movie character." With a low growl, he then said, "somewhere less public, ok? you're not going to believe this."

Reinier tossed aside the spire, gave a nod, and gave "Lighteria" a golden card. "It lets you in to the hideout. It'll be an option for you at the Gate. Just so ya know, if you try and run we'll find you. I'm a pretty good shot if I try." Reinier smirked and winked, and selected the "Hideout" option in the gate.

Lighteria blinks, the key card disappearing into his character data. He takes a second and groans, drooping his head. "Just keep this a secret, reindeer. I don't need this getting more complicated."

Reinier's thoughts vanished to Chase, with her fascination of calling him a reindeer. He swished his head, as he gated to the hideout. After a moment of waiting, the rings fell over his body and he was once again at the Hideout, his new home. He crossed his arms, and turned to Lighteria. "I would offer you a drink, but I'm more interested in hearing the story right now. Everyone's off doing their own thing, so we have privacy for now. I'd hurry if you want to keep this between us."

Lighteria took a look around, a bit impressed by the hideout. It was a pretty snazzy place for being totally illegal to make "I'm jealous..." He mused for a second but quickly shook his head and sat down, palms in his lap and a semi-serious expression. "There's no need to go into detail here, but there was an... accident at the last field he was in" He grimaces, thinking back. "There was a ...glitch" He muttered something inaudible, "it's actually 'cause of me and that admin." Then audibly said, "and our character data apparently got switched... or something" He shakes his head and puts a palm to his temple like he has a headache. "Ugh, I don't KNOW how it happened. This kind of crap isn't even supposed to be POSSIBLE in game!" He stands up, exasperated. "I mean what the flipping hell?! You can't even log out like this!! And people's freaking MINDS aren't just data!! ...I mean..." He groaned and sat back down.

"ugh. I don't know how. but I got switched into his character... and now I'M stuck." He looked away and grimaced. "I don't even wanna think about what's happening with the real me."

Reinier pondered for awhile, choosing his words wisely during this delicate situation. "Well... if you're a girl, he's probably diddling your naughty parts by now. Unless you're a boy, then he's probably stabbing himself in the hand to see if he's really awake. Or something like that. All I know is, for now you're safe with us. He will come looking for us, because we're basically his family now. When that happens, we can figure it out from there."

Lighteria turned strawberry, and got up to his feet while grabbing his collar. "H-he wouldn't do that!! that twerp's too shy to even look at me!! don't EVEN suggest that!!"

Reinier smirked, not moving at the flinching boy. "You always have to look out for the quiet ones. They're the most kinky." Reinier cleared his throat, and then said, "Anyways, I'm going to go find my dragon and take a nap before we have to head out. If you need anything, there's shops here as well as a Cafe. You should be fine." And with that said, Reinier simply left the boy in the room. If it had been any other person, Reinier would've been more hesitant to do this. But the person was in Lighteria's body.

He would've had better chances taking over a helpless little girl's body.
Reinier's Wishlist: Sakabatou|Sharktooth
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Post by Phoenix512 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:42 am

Phoenix was amazed once again by the combined power of Nall and Nighthand who quickly defeated Primal. It made the conclusion of the battle sort of anticlimactic but at this point, he would take it. After facing four forms of Primal, the party can finally get reward and finish its original mission. Nall managed to disable the Elites’ Hub but the one who sent out Primal never appeared to the party. Phoenix thought that Primal was a test to see if the Freedom Fighters were worthy of his premise but the resurrection by him probably removal any chance to see him. Or perhaps it was a great joke to him to see the Freedom Fighters suffer in pain. Phoenix cannot figure out the mind of Marionette at this point but there were other things to deal with.

Once arriving back to the hideout, everyone just went their own way for the most part. Nighthand was recovering from his wounds against the final form of Primal while Nall and Raine were watching over him. While the others were going to the real hub area of the Lambda server, Phoenix went to the meeting room and sat down at a chair furthest into the room. He did not want to rest in the same room as Nighthand for some reason. He could feel something was off about him ever since the battle with Primal. He wondered about a couple of odd things during the battle like the voice and the shining of the Ingrez Rune which was not being used at the time. The battle with Primal made Phoenix felt underpowered since his power causes him pain every time he uses it.

What was the point of giving me this power, Shinto? Shouldn’t I be able to use this power freely without the pain? How can I help the others when I take so much unnecessary pain? Why?

Suddenly, the Ingrez Rune began to shine a dark blue color. Phoenix has never seen the rune shine blue before since it usually shines purple.

”It’s because Shinto doesn’t trust you to control the power. He’s afraid of the darkness within you or more specifically me. Why do you put up with your so-called comrades? They don’t trust you either because you’re so different from the rest of them. They know subconsciously that your Twilight is so different from their basic Twilight. They trust the wolf-freak and his buddy, Dien more than you and they have another virus along with their Twilight.”

Phoenix was struggling in keeping in control with his own darkness as his body was in pain. He spoke out to the voice in order to regain his sanity. “Because they are my only chance to return to the real world since I can’t obviously do it alone.”

”Ha ha ha ha. That’s such a pathetic reason to do something. There’s no point in belonging in a group that don’t respect you. You even try to save their lives from unnecessary fighting from Primal which they obviously think of you of being a coward for it. What about the leader of the Freedom Fighters, Nall? Isn’t it weird that everyone in the group except for you to be infected by the Twilight when he was around? Along with how they trust him so greatly even though he was the one that caused their current problem? Why you haven’t questioned Nall’s leadership skills lately? Where’s the Phoenix that was willing to question the actions of the leader for the group?”

“Shut up! Shut up! I won’t hear of this. Just be gone and let me be.” The rune shined even greatly now as Phoenix screamed in pain. He feels that his mind is losing the battle against the darkness and cannot figure out how to stop it.

”You’re so weak. You haven’t realized that I’m been here ever since the initial infection. It’s time to shake things up a bit. It’s time for me to show to the entire World the true power of the darkness of the Twilight. Your weak persona is no longer needed. Be gone from this body.”

At that point, Phoenix’s mind was shattered and lost the battle against the darkness. The darkness of Phoenix’s mind was in complete control of Phoenix’s body. ”I think I should get my revenge on those idiots in the Freedom Fighters. They need to cut down a few notches.”

Before the new Phoenix could leave the meeting room, the necklace from Phoenix’s neck suddenly transformed into Suzaku. The bird was in Phoenix’s way of the exit. ”Oh it’s you. I forgot about you. Your attempts to scan your master’s mind without his knowledge to find me make you just as bad as the Freedom Fighters. I should get rid of you first.”

Suzaku was flying when the new Phoenix used the power of gravity to ground the bird. The guardian was in pain as she was unable to fly or even move. ”I’m more powerful than your pitiful master ever was. He wished to have this kind of power. The power of darkness powers the rune and allows me to do things that your master couldn’t do. Like not being limited to one target at a time or being in pain. I especially like the part about not being in pain. The Freedom Fighters would have a tough time against me, the true Master of Gravity.”

Suzaku was in pain but she was not worried. Even though the new Phoenix was a very powerful to allies and enemies like, she was prepared for this scenario. You know what. You have not completely won yet. I have a trump card ready when you made your appearance. Activate Program: Miaka.

For a moment, nothing was changed. Suzaku was still under the field of intense gravity with the new Phoenix still under control. The next moment everything was reversed. Suzaku’s gravity was returned to normal as the new Phoenix was screaming in pain. The Ingrez Rune that once was shining dark blue did not shine anymore. Phoenix’s body suddenly collapsed seemingly from the pain. Good. The program is working so far. It is up to Kazuma-sama to do the rest. This is one battle that he must win or it will be the end for him. I have done all I can. I wished that I had a bit more time to finish the true program but at least he has a chance to fight for his own life.

The guardian flew to the barracks to find Raine and began to speak into her mind. You probably knew that I can choose when I want people to understand me. Anyway, I need you to get my master, Phoenix from the meeting room to here. Also place some security precautions on him if he does not win his battle against the darkness. I have no time to explain the details right now. Just do what I say. If you’re wondering if Phoenix would be evil or not when he wakes up, I can immediately tell. I will tell you if my master is good or not. I will not lie. I rather kill my own master than have that darkness taking control of him.

After telling Raine about the current situation, Suzaku went back to her master. She was going to watch him until the very end. She was wishing him luck against the darkness.
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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Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 7:21 pm

Post by Rayo » Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:02 am

After getting back, the wavemaster really wished he could just go and take a nap. The monkeys, riddles, gargoyles, snake, dragons, hydras, and then finally Primal had done a number on him. That was true for him physically, mentally, and item wise. As much as sleep called him, he needed to prepare for all possible events as much as the mage was capable of. There had been some situations where the wizard hadn’t had tools that would have made his life easier, and more importantly safer.

Obstacle one, the gargoyles. While an enemy capable of reflecting offensive magic was rare, there were plenty of monsters with immunity to such spells. Even if no hacker programmed such features in, standard monsters would present themselves at the worst of moments. Beast Banes were one answer, but those took too much time. His new ability to absorb spells had temporarily picked up one he’d seen before that fit the bill nicely, Miu Lei. Sadly, it was temporary after all and didn’t help one bit now. Status spells like charm had the ability to create allies out of foes, grasp opportunity out of misfortune. If the sorcerer acquired the capability to do such things, then he’d be ready.

The next issue that could actually be remedied was what had been their biggest threat, Primal. Rayo had been able to boost the aim of his compatriots, but his magic had no such backing. Meanwhile, the first form of the boss and it’s final form’s extensions could have been dealt with much easier that way. It might not make a difference, but Ap Torma had to make an appearance now. The second form still left him without answers, but a greater variety of elements wouldn’t hurt. Dien’s solution required that of Rue, of which the caster could boost none naturally until adding in the new piece of armor he found. It filled in the gaps somewhat, with a lv.2 wood spell and a lv.1 water spell, but not enough. Level one spells didn’t cut it anymore. They were still useful, but they shouldn’t be the only option.

When it came down to it, what Auth wanted was more power. His body had been responding to his demands, his spell trick was proof of that much. The orb reflected this as well, glowing with more feeling than before. Yet, how much could he protect without something more? What the wavemaster desired was the capability to eliminate those that threatened that which he guarded. As far as healing and recovery went, the blue mage felt at his prime already. His ability to destroy was something entirely different. Auth couldn’t realistically have confidence in it now. Rayo knew that there was a stronger force, he’d glimpsed it once already. Back at the first hub, the boy had taken in level three and four spells of his primary element. Near the end he was able to completely obliterate the serpent with those tools and some teamwork. Yet, the best he could boast in lightning wasn’t there yet. Somehow earth had overreached itself, but each element needed to attain a new level. Zan would probably understand his need to have more power, the heavy blade certainly had plenty of it. Whether or not his reasoning was the same, the effect of what that other man did was neatly in line with it. Against the Hydra, against Primal… he went in and worked at it like an energizer bunny.

A new note was added to his mental list, empowering the others. There were three basic quantitative categories that needed to be strong in order for them to survive. Pure power, steady defense, and versatility. Whenever there was a moment where he felt there was a different solution that wasn’t tried, that quite likely could have been because no one was capable of enacting such means of war. Stronger spells, summons and boosting items would temporarily hold over the first category for himself if Rayo stocked up on enough Mage’s Souls so that he would be able to use them. If his shopping was completed, his concerns for his own abilities would be put to rest for at least a little while.

There were a few others that could use a bit more spark though. Offering some support to Zan seemed as solid a concept as doing so for his own reserves, and Senna seemed willing to comply with plans too. Dien’s own plans earned the blademaster more personal power, and extra goodies might goad Nighthand into utilizing his skills more often. Shopping time.


By the time the wizard was done, his wallet was near empty. Attached with nametags, the shopper left out the necessary items by his side before he proceeded to go to sleep. A Dark Traitor and three Cooked Biles for Nighthand, two Lovers for Zan, two Lovers for Senna, and a Lovers for Dien. Rayo had succeeded in ignoring Primal’s easy slaughter near the end of it all, knowing that didn’t have any answers he wanted to think about. How long his temporary escape would last until someone awoke him and forced the issue? Hopefully not too soon.
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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Post by Zan » Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:40 am

With the little dragon curled rather comfortably in his lap, Zan had a valid excuse not to be going anywhere anytime soon. Had to watch the baby, you see. Something in the events of the last field had made him almost painfully lazy; something the lycanthrope hoped would change the moment he got on his feet again. It was just so easy to lay there and know that no one would get hurt at his hands. Sure, someone might say that him not being there on the next quest could incidentally lead to another's massive injury or deletion because they lacked manpower, but was his pull really that noticeable? They'd have to understand his reasons for wanting to stay put, wouldn't they? Wouldn't they? Zan wanted to believe that with all of his heart, but the truth was a bitter realization with it all. No, they'd act fake, act like it was okay, but the lycanthrope could imagine about a million different scenarios from the last hub where Reinier could have saved a lot of asses from slow downs and agony. Zan didn't want to be the guy people thought about and went, 'Damn, where the hell is he?' It seemed to have a negative impact in a social gathering that was almost always constantly negative anyway. Not that he personally had anything against Reinier, but he could probably list a few who would have liked him there. Senna for example.

Zan blinked as Reinier returned for the pet, giving Abraxas a farewell pat on its back as he spoke up. "So...what exactly happened to the smartass?" Zan simply assumed the earthbender would grasp his reference to Taimat.

Reinier picked up the baby dragon, setting him back on his shoulder. Instinctively, the dragon's tail whipped around Reinier's neck. "I don't quite remember, actually. My last conscious thought was giving Leucosia a sword, and just dying... Next thing I know, I'm holding an egg. Baby Abraxas hatched from it. Weird, huh?"

Zan held up his hand absently, a surprised laugh falling from his lips as he drooped his hand back down. "I...yea. That's pretty weird. So is that...Taimat at all? Or is that someone new?" The answer was fairly obvious, but it didn't hurt to check.

"I think it's Tai... I want to say it's Tai... he hasn't really spoken all too much. I just know he didn't like the name Taimat, so I picked out a new one. Dying sucks, man. Such a huge time skip..." Reinier let out a sigh, as he scratched the head of his dragon.

The Heavy Blade got to his feet then, tucking a scratch beneath the things jaw as Reinier did its head. Constant love and attention, right? "Well I hope it's Tai. That bastard was too awesome to just lose. You make sure to keep me updated on little Abraxas here, yea? I'd like to know what happened to our friendly neighborhood sarcasm lizard."

"Will do. Where are you off to? If it's entertaining enough, I might head out with you. I'm bored as sin. I need to start killin' or something... I think I might be able to manipulate the earth even better now, and I need to test it out." It would, after all, be nice to dampen his sword with blood once more, after all.

Zan shook his head at that. "I'm going into the training room, but I'm going in alone. I need to test out my pet and, well, not doing that with anyone else in the training room. Another time though, definitely." He paused. "Don't abandon us again eh?" And he was off to the training room, thoughts of just what he'd request still stirring in his brain.

The closer he got, the more the sight of Dien clarified until each step became something infused with anxiety. Every since the incident with Danielle, something he had only heard a brief synopsis about, Zan had felt especially uncomfortable around his once-best friend. After having only recently gotten over his guilt of getting Dien trapped in the game in the first place, having to deal with the fact that a part of him had locked the Blademaster's girlfriend away to whereverland wasn't registering well with him. Not when he couldn't shake Xael's death, not when such a thing was too fresh. Zan partially considered suddenly turning around, but with his luck the kid had already seen his approach and would follow him anyway. That would bring up a question of why he walked away and only elevate the discomfort of the situation. Shit. He had to do this, get it over with. If nothing else he just needed to talk to Dien like they used to. Something casual. Something completely and totally relaxed and not at all emotionally based. A number of potential topics swam in his head, but Zan being Zan, the careful planning went to hell the moment he stopped in front of his companion.

Dien was about to go down the stairs, about to leave, and Zan was too determined to force out this ease of tension between them to just let him go, stopping him with an unintentional vice grip on his arm before the Blademaster had the chance to descend into the training room. "Hey, hold on a sec. I need to ask you something." Only then realizing the muscle he was putting into it, still getting used to having his Clabro stats constantly active and the form itself gone, Zan let him go. "Sorry about that. Working out the kinks of my cure."

Well, the grab was a little harsh, but nothing too bad. Then again, nothing was really that bad next to his original infection and some of the brutal deaths he'd faced thus far. Instinctively, his hand rose to the bruise and he muttered the words of the healing spell.

"La Repth," there, all better now, "don't mention it. What's up?"

The lycanthrope paused for a short while, fingerless gloved hands slipping into the black material of his jeans as he fought for a proper way to bring up a notably sore subject. "Any word from Danielle?" Please say yes...please say yes...

It caught him off-guard. Like throwing the salt in an old wound, Zan had just torn open perhaps one of the bigger emotional traumas Dien was facing. "...no," he said, looking away, what joy he'd been able to derive being pulled away in that instant, "I'm...she..." How could he describe it? He'd had an encounter, and he knew exactly where she was. "I know where she is, I just have to go and rescue her..." After a moment, he added, "I guess it's kinda like you and Lowen, isn't it?"

Whether he had done it on purpose or not, Dien too took away what little happiness he had garnered past the thoughts on Xael and Lowen, the wound she inhabited now thrown wide open with her name mentioned on foreign lips. "Yea, I suppose so." Zan paused, withdrawing his hands from his pocket, a need to do something with them to help deal with the awkwardness almost overwhelming. No doubt Reinier would have a field day with that comment, should the Lycan have vocalized it. "If there's, you know, anything I can do, you just let me know, okay?" God, this whole conversation was a terrible idea. Great topic idea, fuckstick.

"I..." Dien began, losing his words before he could say them, "...I don't know. I mean, I don't even know where to start looking. Any leads you can get, any information you can provide--hell, anything would be helpful right now." That wasn't technically true. He did have a lead, it was just that he had no clue how to even begin following it.

The nods his friend were given were more for appeasement, the lycanthrope suddenly wanting to be somewhere else. Anywhere else. Zan was such a coward. "Yea, uh, sure thing. I'll do that." He had almost completely turned away when he faced the Blademaster again, resignation in his voice. And the guilt, couldn't forget the guilt. This time, however, it was Xael he was thinking about. "About helping me get to Lowen, though...forget about that. I think I can figure out a way to do it on my own. I'm not risking anymore lives. You understand." Zan gave his friend a chance to respond but seemed eager to get away, to be around someone who didn't remind him of his own past misdeeds by simply existing.

"No," was his reply, "what are you talking about, risking lives? My life wouldn't be any more at risk than it's been in running around with you guys if I were to help you..." Something wasn't right, something Zan wasn't telling him. "Zan, what happened?"

Zan waved away the comment with a dismissive gesture of his wrist, hands once again going uncomfortably into his pockets. Where was Jinx when you needed someone to strangle? That would be a useful hand function right about then. "It's nothing. It's what's happening. If I can find a way to do this without risking you dying, and I mean actually dying, then that's what I'm going to do. If you need any of my help with Danielle, though, don't be afraid to ask. If it's in my power, I'll help." Laughter came then; dry, harsh, self-pitying and self-hating. "I owe you that much." The line itself was cliché, but he could find no better use of his words.

"You owe me nothing, Zan," was his reply, "I had just hoped you could trust me is all." Well fine. If Zan didn't want to tell the Blademaster why he was wasting his effort, he'd just have to find out for himself. The hood - that was connected to it. There was no more damage to be done. In one motion, his sword was drawn and ignited, the light of the flame revealing the atrocity that had become his friend's face. A look of disbelief crossed the onlooker's, crossed by sadness and a new realm of sorrow he'd not faced.

For a moment Zan was simply stunned that his friend had breached his privacy, that he had gone to such lengths to force a hand the lycanthrope hadn't been ready to reveal. Roaring in stupid, childish fury, Zan put all of the strength he could into that form and slammed his palms into his friend's chest with a rough shove. The force of it send Dien flying, back smacking against the wall with a THUD that carried through the room. Before the Blademaster could fall to the ground, however, the Heavy Blade was upon him with an inhuman blur of movement, forearm pressed up against Dien's throat.

Each word was spat with venom as Zan ripped back the hood, his disfigurement promptly displayed in actual light. "THIS WHAT YOU NEED TO SEE SO FUCKING BADLY, DIEN?! You don't think I fucking trust you? I. DON'T. TRUST. ME." A breath was taken to fight back the frantic, wild slam of his heart against his chest as the adrenaline fueled his rage; rage gifted to him by the Beast. "The bastard that gave me this? Because of me he was fucking deleted. Do you know what that means? Let me clear it up if you don't. I not only killed him, but I felt him die in the real world. I felt his heart stop. I felt his lungs quick. I DID NOTHING TO STOP IT." Letting Dien go, taking a few angry steps backward, he laughed that bitter, hollow laugh once more. "And that's why you aren't helping me." Zan turned away then, hoping to make his way to someone else, anyone else, without Dien's interference.

He was stunned, too stunned to even move. It all took so long to set in. Zan was long gone before he could say anything, hell, he was gone before any of the words had begun to sink in or even the pain of being slammed into a wall again. No, he'd struck a nerve. Instead of salting the closed wound, he'd dug his way in to find the open one. This was his fault, and his alone. He coughed, tears silently falling out of his eyes. "...Zan..." he muttered, the sorrow and turmoil his friend was feeling imposing itself through whatever empathic drive he could muster up.

"Wait, Zan!" It didn't matter. He was already gone; it was over. "I trust you..."

The lycanthrope, damn his senses, did hear what Dien said as he left, but decided to file away the comments into the pretty little recycle bin in his skull. Okay, so he couldn't do that, but repressing them sure as hell came close. Why had he been so God damn stupid? Out of a million different possible subjects, Zan had chosen the one his brain had actively warned him to avoid. There was a psychological term for that sort of verbal slip, but the Heavy Blade was too shaken up by the whole event to properly recall it. Zan was just as ready to blame Nulus for it all, just as ready to claim the dumbass company in his brain had forced it from him with no remorse for what had happened. And yet Zan knew it was his doing, his own wallowing stupidity. While he had originally intended to ease away the awkwardness that Danielle's condition had placed between them, he had only elevated it to an entirely new level that put him at all sorts of odds against his friend. Was the Blademaster even his friend anymore? Sure, that last comment would lead a grounded person to believe the answer was yes, but Zan simply couldn't fathom how anybody could possibly be his friend after what the Lycan had forced Dien to go through. Not just with that situation, but with everything.

Stop being a God damn baby, it's embarrassing to hear you think. Disgust in its words.

Just shut the hell up, Nulus. You couldn't possibly begin to understand the sheer complexities of-

Oh get the fuck over yourself! So you infected Dien. So your second virus trapped Danielle. So you just tossed him against a wall and broke down like a child because you have some cosmetic boo-boos. So what? That kid obviously still thinks of you as a friend. I couldn't begin to fathom why, mind you, but he does. I've had the intelligence to grasp the spectrum of human emotion for...what...less than a day? Yea, and I already know how this crap works better than you. You are pathetic. Forget what I said, feel sorry for yourself. It's almost a sin if you don't. Laughter then, of course, but it was laughter Zan shut away with a mustering of mental shields. All he could sense now was a vague reverberation of amusement. It was staying that way.

One particular thing about his little interaction with Dien, and something Nulus had so lovingly mentioned in turn, was the violence. Shouted words (words that the whole damn Hideout probably heard) were no big deal, such was the way of arguments. The fact that he had attacked the Blademaster because he had taken advantage of his weakened vanity was just...well, shallow. Had Zan really become so accustomed to his face in The World that he actually thought people would judge him based off of the way his avatar looked like? Sadly, the answer was yes. The lycanthrope was so damn convinced that everyone would judge him as less because of it, that their pity would place him on a lower bracket than he currently stood otherwise. Zan had fought tooth and nail (literally) to earn whatever respect he had in the Freedom Fighters and was downright terrified of that slipping through his fingers. Notions of the real world kept him believing that a disfigurement would give him a downcast look even here and, until he could defeat what was probably just a trick of his mind, he'd have to keep the hood up. The scars would never go away, he knew that, but hopefully he'd learn to simply accept them as a part of himself. Hell, maybe they'd give him character. Or some rugged bullshit.

Trying to brush off his confrontation with Dien, Zan went to Nighthand next. Their leader had been hurt in his frenzy with Primal and the lycanthrope was curious to see just how extensive the damages were. "How are you holding up? Was it as bad as it looked?" He questioned, head tilting to get a better look at the scar (his own hidden in the darkness of his hood).

"It hurt like a son of a bitch, but I'm alright now. Really, having your eye chopped out isn't pleasant under the best of circumstances." He tilted his head to give Zan the same view of the scar that Reinier had received.

Taking it in after having seen his own almost made Zan jealous, but upon realization scars were a stupid thing to get jealous over, he pressed on. A silver eye. His AI...maybe..."You...you aren't Nighthand, are you?"

He shook his head. "How good of you to notice. Nah, I'm Silverblade, his lookalike."

The lycanthrope was quiet for a second, hands crossing in contemplation over his chest before a proper question came to mind. "So...huh. Is Nighthand okay? There any particular reason you decided to play puppetmaster?" The tone wasn't offensive, no, simply curious. This was new.

"Actually not my call. I can't oust him and take control, he has to let me. In this case, his father called him away for some reason or another. Sounded like they had something to discuss regarding his eye... Losing a body part in the game doesn't bode well for the body outside. I... Nighthand remembers a character, Argilus, who lost an arm in the game and went through some trouble outside of it because of it."

Zan stood notably shocked at that, eyes widening in horror as he began to draw back his hood. Oh God. Oh God. A hand pointing at his scars and the single eye that seemed trapped in the orange-amber glow of the wolf, he spoke...almost too carefully...like he was trying to hold back a wave of panic. "So this...I'm going...I'm going to look like this if I ever get out of here?"

Nighthand... Silverblade, rather, stared into the mixture of shadow and scar tissue over the lycanthrope's face. "Probably not. You haven't lost the functionality of a limb or an organ, it's just, pardon my expression, a cosmetic change. Your mind still knows you have a face; unlike mine, Nighthand's. His no longer realizes on the unconscious level that he has a left eye. His body, in the real world, then begins to reject that eye. It'd be a different story if whoever did that to you had cut out your tongue, maybe. Tissue scarring, though, doubtful." He paused again, watching the man's face. "The habit of hiding it, though, may indeed carry over."

Relief was like an injection of morphine over his expression as he pulled up the hood, listening to his new leader's words with a grain of salt. "That's...well, that's really great." He had almost turned away, almost left when the last bit fell from Silverblade's lips. "Yea, yea. Traded Mr. Asshole for Mr. Philosophy. Wonderful." No more to say, he finally made his way back to the common room, hoping to escape not only the new presence, but the scary truth he knew his words held. Denial came easily.

It was almost too easy to walk away from the fleeting words of Silverblade, the lycanthrope acting much like a child with his fingers shoved in his ears humming 'la la la la la.' A psychological analysis simply wasn't what he needed right now, not when his unease with his looks was still so new. Perhaps this...Silverblade knew that and had used that knowledge to poor salt on the wounds. Maybe, just maybe, he was actually trying to help. Did anything, AI or not, that was a part of Nighthand have the ability to actually want to help Zan? Woaaa. Yea, probably not. The whole Silverblade situation as a whole was an interesting thing to consider, if nothing else. While so many had passed through the halls of the Freedom Fighters with alternate personalities, conflicting AIs and pets, Nighthand had never really made his a big deal. The only reason Zan knew that Silverblade existed was because of the single time the AI had sent him a flashmail, the same one that welcomed him back into their ranks only a little while before Zan fought the battle that would rob him of his real world body. Perhaps the Lycan should be upset at Silverblade because of it but...eh...it was too small a detail. Too far in the past.

A few minutes later and he was back in the same green, plush sofa in the common room that he had occupied upon his (re)arrival into the Hideout. It still held a slight indent from his company not a small while ago and was just as comfortable as when he had left it. The sloth-like drawl came back with a vengeance, daring Zan to make his next move. Dien was currently occupying the training room as far as he knew, so doing that immediately was out of the picture. Should he keep walking around making very poor, very clumsy conversations with people he hardly knew? No, it was probably a much better idea to slouch in a digital couch and wait for the next thing to occur. More likely than not he'd still find a reason not to keep sitting still, as the part of him that hated to do so was still alive and kicking, so he'd just have to mull around and see just how much of it he could take. As far as he had seen, the tactical Wavemaster had yet to show. This little theory was remedied at the sight of the entering man, a figure that went to sleep almost as soon as he had arrived. Curious at the tagged items left out, Zan approached the unconscious Wavemaster, snatching up the gifts with a smirk that brought him back to the sofa a second later. He'd have to think Rayo when the guy woke. Until then? Well, he'd just take a little nap of his own. That sounded great.

Yea, that sounded just about square.
Lv. 50 Heavy Blade
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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Master of Games
Posts: 1265
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Class: Bladesmage
Location: ...Tracking...please wait...

Post by Nighthand » Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:47 am

To: Nighthand
From: Cypher
RE: (None)
Guess who.

Silverblade sat up in his bed, stretching and looking around as he read the flashmail. He'd already talked to Zan and Reinier... Nall and Raine had just left for their own thing. He was, for the moment, nearly alone in the barracks.

To: Cypher
From: Nighthand
RE: (None)
You. I take it you're returning? You've already been given the key to the hideout in Lambda, might as well come in and join us.

And, in fact, he had been. Whether or not he knew it, he was able to access their hideout since he was brought there after the assault on Mac Anu.

It was odd, seeing out of only one eye. Still, he could cope. Nothing too serious, only depth perception. Standing, and immediately whacking his shin on the next bed over, Silverblade left the room and began to wander the hideout.

Rayo, being asleep in the barracks when he left, had left a few presents for people. Silverblade took the one labeled to Nighthand, and decided to leave one of his own. Inside the bag he left by Rayo's bed were five Sports Drinks, that he had picked up somewhere along the line.

Silverblade headed for the shops, but passed by without stopping to look in at their wares. It was largely below him. Besides, the scent of food carried into the room and enticed his long-devoid senses. The only sense of food he even had was memories of Nighthand eating in the real world, and those weren't even his memories. While Nighthand wasn't here right now, he probably wouldn't object to having a bite to eat.

Silverblade set himself up in a table near the door, both so he could see whoever came in, and so they could see him. No sense in hiding that he wasn't Nighthand, at this point; the truth was the best thing to tell people, especially now that Reinier and Zan had found out.

A medium-rare steak, baked potato, and glass of wine later, Silverblade was again up and moving. Taking with him the remainder of the bottle of wine. This he sat on an end-table in the common room, while he took a seat next to it. For now... it was time to rest, drink, and see what would happen. Raine had to come up with a positive or negative from the flashmails she had downloaded, the group had to reassemble and rest, and they all had to decide where next to go. It could be a while.

Another probably two weeks of “in between” time, I'd say. Minimum. As I said, we have to discuss where to go next of the two fields, and to do that everyone has to be back. I'd like to have everyone who is doing a solo to have it started soon, preferably to be almost done or done by the time we're heading to a field. Same with Training Room excursions, the sooner the better. Other than that, I don't really have much to say.