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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:23 pm 
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The return to the hideout was somewhat less than triumphant, the players injured or exhausted, going their separate ways for their own goals. It seemed like only a few of them returned, some of those who had left had not come back. Some players were waiting for them in the hideout, but overall, it seemed sullenly silent.

Nighthand looked around as soon as he gated in, peeking into each room in search of the three “leaders.” Sheena’s absence was notable, as was Nall’s. Raine, he finally found down in the control room for the training room, brooding.

”We detonated the final hub.”

”I know, I have my filters scanning the data now. This one had more volume than the rest, probably because it was being used as a stopgap for the others being missing.”

”Why so glum?”

She looked up at him, stress and worry evident on her face. ”Nall’s missing. I sent him off to look for clues, and he disappeared. I’ve sent Sheena after him, a few minutes ago actually, so I hope she can find something… but I don’t know. I’m scared for him, he should have contacted us somehow.”

”Yikes… well, hopefully we’ll find something useful in the hub data, and I’m sure Sheena will come back with information about Nall. The dumbass probably just got distracted by something shiny in a gott statue and went hunting for it, is all.”

She sighed and turned back to her screens and Nighthand, feeling just how tired he was, went up to rest in the barracks. Not to sleep, not yet, but rest would be welcome.

-----------------ooc:

Rest, restock, chat up a storm, etc. I plan to have it move at once-a-week pace until we’re on the field, and then twice-a-week, because this quest should be exceptionally short. It’s really sort of a half-quest leadup to another quest, but depending on the choices you guys make, could be much longer. Really it depends on if you want to fight or not. =P

In short: normal towny things.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:57 am 
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The lycanthrope warped into the underground Hideout with plans to leave almost as suddenly. There was a lot to do, a lot to accomplish that been put aside for far too long because of obligations he had with the Freedom Fighters. With the last of the Hubs destroyed, or at least the last of the ones that they had pinpointed, it was time for him to focus on the one thing that actually mattered to him: Lowen. Alright, so that was a bit of vicious statement, one a little disregarding for the people he cared about within the group, but his cowardice was blossoming such a thing within. He was so afraid to do what he had to. Then, of course, there was the whole issue regarding convincing the group to go to some field and fulfill his bargain with the Puppermaster. Zan simply wasn't looking forward to seeing the faces of Phoenix and Hacorie and whoever else had doubted hid loyalties. The state of his loyalties hadn't changed, he was still with the Freedom Fighters through and through, but he'd be surprised if they actually believed that once they found out he had made a pact with the proverbial devil. The Freedom Fighters hadn't exactly proved to be a forgiving lot in the past and he certainly didn't expect that dependable little factor to suddenly shatter just because it was him. Hell, most of them probably had one grudge or another that they'd be given an excuse to settled. But, again...that was for later.

As Zan continued with his thoughts and eventually left for the Shadow, a female Heavy Blade appeared within the Hideout with something of a look of determination in her eyes. Determination and sorrow. Clad in skin-tight leather, a tied corset and various green accents (not actually unlike the other Heavy Blade who had left a second before her appearance), she thumped her away through the common room and immediately towards the barracks. In her arms, held loosely and limply with an avatar riddled with static-hissing cracks and a generally flickering visage, was Raven. The Blademaster had given his freedom in the real world for Centrus's persistence both their and in the Eventide Crescendo. As much as Nemera wanted to keep him with the group, with what was starting to become a family, she had already come to the conclusion that she was just not a teacher. What lessons needed to be learned could be with the leaders that ran the Freedom Fighters. She wasn't a fan of how Nall ran things or how he made his lackeys dance on puppet strings that promised good deeds and purpose, she still knew that no other place could deal with what Raven was about to go through. It was just how it was. As much as she hated it, she also couldn't deny it anymore than she could deny that water was wet. Placing the boy on a bed, she approached a chatting Raine, completely ignoring the conversation she was having with the dark, odd-eyed man next to her.

"We lost another one. This one has...he's been with us for a long time. He got this way being one hell of a hero and I expect you to do your damndest to fix whatever's wrong with his avatar right now. I'll be keeping in touch with him via Flashmail, and if I find out you guys are pulling any of your usual shit with him...so help me God I'll come back here and rip out your throat with my bare hands and make you fucking eat it." And, with a sarcastic smile, Nemera turned on her heels and disappeared again in a trio of golden rings.

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

Only an hour or two after Zan had left, he found himself again at the Hideout, a completely different man. He had paid attention to the game clock when he had left and knew that only that much had gone by...despite having spent the last day and a half logged off for the last time (until a permanent solution was found, of course). What chance he had been given through the scar in his Twilight was now finally healed over. 'The World' was, once again, his absolute prison. With the events in the Hot Springs and his quest with Raquar, it was officially time to take up Sekai on her offer to join the Eventide Crescendo for an outing. First thing was first; time to face what he was dreading. It wasn't exactly the way he would have liked, but no one actually seemed to be around. A Flashmail, it seemed, would have to do.

Flashmail!
To: The Freedom Fighters
From: Zan
Subject: Time For You to Know

Some of you have been eyeing me as of late and it's time for me to tell you that you had your reasons. No, you knew that already. Let me rephrase: your reasons were valid. In the Devil's field, I made a pact with Marionette. In exchange for getting you to a field he wanted, he'd keep the Elites from knowing what we were doing at the Hubs. I realize, to some, this seems like treachery. Maybe it is. That said, our contract is now over and I need to fulfill my end of it.

The last Keyword of the ones we've been collecting is 'Chance.' If I'm not wrong, that puts the whole thing at Hopeful Tempting You Chance. I, however, am not going to be there with you. Sekai has alerted me that I'm needed elsewhere for a while, with people that don't have the kind of strength the Freedom Fighters do. I know you'll be fine without me, but I apologize just the same for leaving without much more of an explanation. I'll be back, you can count on that, so just make sure you kick some ass and take some names while I'm gone.

With the contract done between the Puppetmaster and I, I want you to hand his ass to him the next time you meet. He's made it clear that he has no intention of becoming any sort of ally with us. He needed us to further his own gains, to break free of the Elites, and there is no doubt in my mind that he'll feel the need to destroy the same people that helped him get what he needed. Call it tying up loose ends, if you want.

Either way, I'm sorry if you think I've betrayed you, but I did what was necessary to further our goals. I'll be back and, hopefully when I do, it'll be met with smiles and not blades.

-Zan

Flashmail! End


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

((OOC:

I'm going to be with the EC for a quest, but their quests do tend to last a while, so I can't tell you when I'll be back with any accuracy. What I can tell you, however, is that I am coming back. There's no way I'd permanently leave the people I've run through so many quests with.

Until then.

:OOC))

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I: Holy Sap, Treebane, Cooked Bile, Nightbane.
EX: Elemental Summon (Lv. 2), Overdrive (Lv.1), Elemental Attacks (Lv. 2), Enhance Dark, Elemental Breath (Lv. 2).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:41 am 
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Location: Carmina Gadelica Alleyway
Your allies fare well,” Corvus started. “Within the time span of your last encounters with them, much as happened. Or so I have derived, as it is very hard to monitor them, for they seem to fluctuate in and out of my traceable space.

Traceable space?” Asgard asked.

It is a place in existence in which things, places, or people can be tracked. I have a certain affinity for tracking, as you can already tell.” Asgard nodded slightly, as he took a shot from the water jug that Corvus had so kindly provided for him. He wiped his mouth dry and looked outward of the alley mouth that he had inhabited for the past couple of days. Carmina Gadelica was a bustling hub of players as usual, the occasional group passing by towards the Chaos Gate, some heading the other direction to buy items and assorted weaponry in preparation for, or in the aftermath of, an adventure into a field. The flying boats sailed overhead near the waters, as well as Grunty Racers rallying at the starting line, ready to do battle in their own unique way. It was very surprising to the Fist Fighter on how people have ended up reacting to the destruction of Delta and Theta.

Every blanket has its own thing that it is covering up,” Corvus said slyly, grabbing the jug swiftly and taking a shot, and tossed it back. Asgard caught took another drink of water and nodded.

Just imagine on what they would do if they knew, and believed, in what this game has actually become for some.

Anyways, the only time I can see the entity that is of your Heavy Blade friend was incredibly brief, like the blip on a radar. Wherever he and your other allies lie, I cannot tell you. The only thing that I can divulge is that the extensive damage to Delta and Theta are too extensive to support active travel to those servers, through any means. Also, Sigma and Omega hide nothing from my sight. Therefore, I can say with somewhat a degree of certainty that they lie within here, the lambda server.

I believe that even your vision can be blurred by the workings of the enemies we face.” Asgard said, motioning to nothing in particular. “The sky itself at any point in time can hold the eyes of my enemies. I have no doubt they have the ability to scry upon anyone they wish, at any given time.

I don’t doubt it. Yet, I am still obliged to wish you well in your quests, as I must part. I have held you up long enough in your search for your comrades.” Asgard and Corvus both got to their feet almost in synchronous motion. They bowed to each other, and parted ways, Asgard heading right out of the alleyway and into the market district of Carmina Gadelica, while Corvus Moore disappeared as quickly as he turned left.

==========

One day had passed, and Asgard was no closer to the entrance of the new hideout. He sat near an empty bench near the Chaos Gate, as Grunty racers bolted across the star spangled track in the sky. Onlookers hollered and cheered as the race finished and the prizes for the race were distributed. Terro, Asgard’s pet gryphon, lay peacefully at his feet, sleeping silently. The lion-bird came back to Asgard shortly after Corvus had departed and said that he was unable to divine the location of the hideout.

I am at odds about something Terro.

The gryphon’s tail wagged slightly more interested in resting on the cobblestones of Carmina Gadelica. What might that be? The Fist Fighter stretched out and yawned, as he looked straight into the ever-night sky. The lights from the short lampposts glowed with a soft aura.

Why the administrator goon squads haven’t been dispatched to apprehend me…” Terro’s tail twitched, and its bronze feathers ruffled. “The first time this happened, it took them not very long to post bulletins regarding information of what I was doing. Not to mention sending Tritoch after me.” The gryphon murmured a bit, stretched its wings and legs and yawned wide. Terro stood up for a minute, rotated once, and plopped back down like the puppy dog it is.

I really couldn’t answer that, my friend. It would probably be in your best interest to contact Abacus for that reason.

Not right away. I think by helping me escape from GM duty, he’s sealed his own fate in that position.

Entirely Possible. But something you told me yesterday about your conspiracy theory sticks out about that.

What would that be?” Asgard got up to stretch and cheer, as the next Grunty race began overhead.

What if it was in the lead admin’s favour to keep you out of the loop and to keep you too occupied to do something about it? Asgard stopped for a moment and thought of the theory the lion-bird and its validity.

“…That’s sounds completely justifiable and most likely what they would do! How did you come up with that?

For one, there’s been a group of four players on the opposing bench about ten yards away, eyeing you like a prime rib.

Asgard looked to his left side, and sure enough, there was a Blademaster, an Archer, a Wavemaster, and a Heavyblade, all looking at him like they have seen him before. The problem was that the Fist Fighter had never seen any of them in his life.

Speaking of prime rib, I could really go for some right about now.

Great. Authorized player killers…” Asgard held his head in his hand for a moment, cursing whichever god put him in this predicament. “I’ll be back in an hour. Stay here.” With that, Asgard ripped off his cloak he used to hide his identity and placed it on Terro’s wings. He walked over to the Chaos Gate, only a few yards away from the bench, and selected three keywords at random, and made sure he pronounced them loud and clear so that the group of four could follow. But they did not care, as they ran over to the Chaos Gate, ignoring the gryphon, and quickly selected the same keywords. Three other groups of four ran from the markets of Carmina Gadelica, and quickly entered the gate after the initial group.

It seems that your master is hunted yet again, it seems.

The fact that you know our agreement, miss, and his unique, repetitive predicament, means that he knows or knew you…

I would hope that he remembers us after all these years, fighting the same common enemy.

Ah. You must be…Raine?

==========

One hour and five minutes after Asgard left through the Carmina Gadelica gate, he returned, slightly bruised, but collected. Terro had been anticipating his arrival, and had the most unusual key hanging off of his beak.

It seems that, in the end, they found me first, I see.

You are correct. Raine found me a few minutes after you left, and told me to give you this. It is a key to the hidden city. With this key on, when exiting from a field or town, it will map your root town to the hidden city that the others currently reside in.

I see. Then we best get going before more rabble arrives.” Asgard took the key wrest lightly around Terro’s beak and it disappeared, integrating with him. "Maybe I should see if Sheena or Raine can make a disguise program..."

Should I ask what happened to the sixteen that decided to follow?

Mature audience only. Only because I haven’t gone without a good fight since Alpha’s incident.

Very well then.

Asgard turned around one-eighty and motioned to the Chaos Gate to return him to his newfound hiding place.

Return me.

==========

The Chaos Gate materialized the Fist Fighter in his new house, a very big house. The Chaos gate was housed in a circular room that looked metallic without windows, much like a bunker. It was also very well lit, inviting, and clean too.

Hello, is anyone home?” Asgard dropped his cloak to the ground, ignorant to its movement. “Hello? Anyone?

_________________
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:17 am 
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With Angel’s defeat, Marionette had no more guardians standing in the way of the Freedom Fighters. He was right about Zan working with Marionette but for some reason he does not want to punish him. The blademaster felt that the guilt Zan may feel was punishment for enough. He walked into the café without realizing it and decided to eat something. In all the time that Phoenix became infected with the Twilight, it never crossed his mind to eat and drink something other than health drinks.

The blademaster pulled some meat and pour some water from the fridge. He thought that he should have some mead instead with the meat but after the drinking contest against one of the narrators, he was staying off the alcohol. The food and water did not taste right for some reason. Maybe his taste buds were never digitized right. More likely than not that the Elities did not think to simulate taste when creating the Twilight.

Another reason that Phoenix thought up that he feels more like a NPC character within the World instead of being a player. His memories of the real world were quite few due to the side effect of sealing the dark personality the first time around. The dark personality is gone now but the effect still lingers. Maybe his lost memories were the true reason that Phoenix fights against the Elites.

Kazuma-sama, I will find a way to restore your memories. I thought the block around your memories would disappear by now. By the way, I noticed you gained another orb. This orb is not an ordinary orb. I feel a special power behind it.

How about trying it out in the training room? I wasn’t the type who could relax for very long. Alright let’s equip it now.

Phoenix proceeded to equip the new orb on Suzaku but once the orb was equipped, something strange happened. Suzaku’s body began to grow bright red for a few seconds before the glow faded away. Kazuma-sama, take out the orb now. I am about to black out now. Hurry!

The blademaster tried to remove the new orb from Suzaku but was unsuccessful. A moment later, the guardian transform into her necklace form. Suzaku. Are you okay? Answer me. Phoenix did not hear an answer from the bird but then an holographic image of an girl appear an inch off the necklace. He recognized the form of the girl as Miaka, a program that helped him during the fight for control of his body.

”Phoenix, you must be surprised by now. This is a pre-recorded message. The time has come to unlock Suzaku’s latent abilty. The orb you obtained is proof of this. She must discover her true self or she will not come out of her unconscious state. Only she can wake herself up. No one else can help you. Trust in her as she has trusted in you. I wish her in luck in her quest.”

Once Miaka’s last word was spoken, the holographic image disappeared. Phoenix at first wanted Raine and Sheena to examine Suzaku but decided to follow Miaka’s advice and do nothing. He grabbed the necklace off the table and grasped it tightly. He gave a silent prayer to Suzaku’s success even though he does not understand what was going on for sure. Then the blademaster put on the necklace on his neck even though she was not going to help right now. Phoenix knew that she wanted to be his side regardless of the danger.

The blademaster finished his meal soon afterwards and proceed to leave the café. He was on his way to the barracks when he heard a voice that he has not heard for quite a while. He saw a fist fighter in the common area but it was not Silk. It was an old comrade of the Freedom Figthers named Asgard. Phoenix and Asgard usually get into fights back in the old days but now; he was going to be nicer towards him.

“Hello Asgard, I see that you managed to find your way here. Also you’re lucky that I showed up when you did because there are lots of new people since the last time you have been in the Freedom Fighters. So, how are you been doing? I can barely remember the last time I saw you. And every time you come back, your powers have changed. I think you should see Nighthand to get caught up on recent activities. He is probably in the barracks which I was about head off to. It’s nice to see an old face around here.”

Phoenix leaves Asgard’s company and went into the barracks. He saw a new face in the barracks. He immediately smells the Twilight from the blademaster. So another victim has joined the ranks of the damned. There’s so much happening in the last few minutes. Suzaku unable to help me. Asgard returning. And now, a new Twilight victim. What will happen next? Phoenix pulls up a chair and sits next to the unconscious blademaster.

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

Kazuma-sama, where are you? I cannot see anything. Where are you, Kazuma-sama?

“He cannot help you. You must complete this quest on your own. You must find your true self or you will never help your master ever again. Now go, Yui.”

Suzaku was confused by the voice calling her Yui but it was not the first time she was called that. Suddenly she begins to see something but it was not the world she was used to. It was too modern. She realizes that she was seeing the world that her master used to be a part of everyday. What is going on here? KAZUMA-SAMA, HELP ME!

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

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


Last edited by Phoenix512 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:43 am 
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Raven couldn't quite grasp what was happening to him. Then again, it was difficult to understand anything, let alone think straight at all when your head felt like it had just been hit with a cinder block and then thrown down the side of a mountain. His vision was playing games with him too, he saw nothing but black, and then static, and then maybe a quick flash of colour before it was back to black again. At one point he was sure that he caught a glimpse of the lower section of Nemera's body, but he didn't really see it for long enough to be sure. Then there was the question of why he was looking at Nemera at that angle as well. Why? That question rang through his head along with many other thoughts, mostly drowned out by the sound of the cries of pain in his head, echoing through the inside of his brain.

Am I dead? Is this what death feels like? he wondered briefly.

The darkness that enveloped him was driving him insane, and whatever coherant thoughts he had were quickly replaced by cries of pain and fear. He didn't understand anything, his mind wouldn't let him comprehend anything that was happening to him. What had happened? Where was he? Why was he staring at what appeared to be Nemera's ass? Well, for the moments his vision decided to flicker back on at very least. Nothing made sense, and frankly, he hurt everywhere. Well, that was not quite an exact description of the sensation either. He was in pain all over, and yet wasn't. It was like he couldn't feel his body, and yet it hurt. The odd sensation only served to disorient him further, as he felt like he was falling in the darkness. A familiar voice rang in his ears, choppy, with static covering much of the sound, but he could still hear it vaguely.

"...lost another... been...long time... hell of a hero...fix...right... touch...Flash...shit ...so help me God ...fucking..." the female voice said before vanishing.

Who was it? It was so familiar, and yet he couldn't place it. It felt like it was someone he knew very well. How could he forget someone like that? Everything was so hazy, everything was covered in darkness. Raven felt like closing his eyes and just falling asleep, but something in the back of his head persisted. Something told him that if he fell asleep, he would not wake up again. Everything inside his mind was spinning though, and nothing seemed right.

Raven...That's me, right? Didn't I have another name...? What was it...? he wondered.

He was starting to get very sleepy, and that damned voice in the back of his mind was starting to get quieter. It was as if it was starting to disappear.

Good...maybe now I can sleep without it bothering me... he thought to himself.

A sudden light brought him to attention, the darkness that surrounded him was starting to get brighter. He could see light, he could see shapes, and he could see someone hovering over him. It was like everything was being fixed, even his mind was starting to think clearer again. He only truly came to what must have been a full hour later. He sat up slowly and took a look around. He was in a large room, one that looked like it was the main lounge for a resort somewhere. He found himself on a bed, like a guy who had just woken up from a coma. Then again, his head was still pounding, and his entire body felt weak. What was he doing there? Last he remembered he had been in a fight, and they had won. That monster Sprouce was defeated, and Centrus and Takua were there with him, happy and cheering. What had gone wrong? Why had he gone unconcious? He tried to recall the moment, and then suddenly remembered. There was Dread Code everywhere, and he had shoved Centrus out of the way. It got kind of hazy after that point, and he really didn't know why he was, well, wherever he was. His vision wasn't completely back, but he could at least make out a shape of a person. He couldn't tell much about her, other than that it was a woman. He caught a glimpse of blue hair coming out of what seemed to be a cloak. Other than that, he really couldn't make out any more details. He did realize that he didn't know who she was though. However, she was the only one he could see, so she would have to do for answers.

"Where the hell am I? Last thing I remember was Sprouce exploding into Dread Code..." Raven muttered, his voice rough and scratchy, not to mention quiet from lack of use.

"You're in a hideout in Lambda. Nemera brought you here to be fixed, you were messed up pretty badly by whatever hit you." the woman told him.

"Lambda? Hideout? Mind filling me in here..." Raven began before the truth hit him.

He couldn't feel a controller in his hands. There were no goggles on his head. He could actually feel the softness of the bed underneath him. He was still in the game, wasn't he? Was he still immersed due to exposure to Dread Code? No, something told him it was more serious than that. He was no longer in a field controlled by the Highers, so there shouldn't be any Dread Code around. If he was still immersed in the game, then there was only one good explanation for it. The girl muttered something to herself before giving Raven the answer that he knew was coming. It seemed she didn't like telling people that their lives were pretty much over as they knew it.

"The basics it is. You got hit by... something, I assume it was corrupted with large amounts of Twilight, and it hit you hard. You're stuck in the game, stuck in a coma, and in the middle of a war. Lambda is the server you're in, and this building is a hideout, protected from detection by the hacker society. Everyone else here is in the same position, which is why Nemera brought you here; we're the ones who can most help you." she explained.

Raven just sat and listened, and then thought it over a bit. As long as he had been a member of the Eventide Crescendo, he had known that it was a possibility. Maybe not so much in the Rue prison field, but the last moments of Vak had solidifed the idea. There was actual danger in those missions, moreso than just having your character possibly deleted. When Raquar and Sekai had vanished after getting hit by Dread Code, he knew that there was more to it than them just getting tired of it. Tiral vanished as well, and he knew why. Nemera telling them all about the comatose situation, as well as about the true reasons behind everything only proved a belief that had already been there. It was dangerous, you were putting yourself at risk. Yet for some reason, Raven had never put to much thought into that. He was needed, he could help them and stop a group of hackers. He never once worried about what happened to him in real life. Why? He didn't really understand it himself. He didn't care what happened to him in real life, that existance was already pretty pointless. Confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, constantly worried that his spine was going to shift and he would end up a paraplegic. Never sure when Jokin or his gang would come back to finish the job they started. That wasn't a good life. He had only ever felt alive when he was playing the game, in The World. Maybe that was why his safety never much seemed to matter to him. Maybe that was why he did what he did. Maybe that was why he had thrown himself in the way of that blast of Dread Code, saving Centrus much as Raquar had saved him in Vak. Now here he was, trapped within the game. This was his real existance now, yet he couldn't feel happy about it, nor was he horribly depressed about it. It was just the truth, that was all there was to it. It sort of felt like he had resigned himself to this long ago.

"So pretty much I'm just like Raquar and Sekai now, right? I should have known that's what would happen when I got between that code and Centrus. Oh well, he was actually doing pretty well back there, so I guess it may have been worth it to save him like Raquar saved me..." Raven mused quietly.

"Pretty much like, yes. In fact, Raquar and Sekai are here somewhere. The group just got back from a mission." the woman told him.

"Oh good, at least I'm not among a group of complete stranger...that's one bright side to this at least..." Raven sighed as he began to try and get up from the bed.

No sooner than he stood up, his legs gave out from under him. They felt like jelly, useless jelly. He fell back down onto the bed with a startled look on his face, not quite sure what to make of it.

"You'll need some rest before you can get up and around much. Also, you're..." she began, pausing as she gave him what he could only assume was an odd look, "...taking this surprisngly well, I have to say. Most people get a lot more animated at the thought of being comatose and stuck in a game."

"Well...considering how much I've been working with Nemera and Sidhe...not to mention experiencing something a lot like being trapped several times before...it just isn't hitting me as hard as I would have thought either. I think I came to grips with the idea a long time ago, it’s just that its only actually happened now. Plus...I pretty much lived in game anyways..." Raven trailed off, thinking of how many hours he had spent in game when he couldn't do much else.

He had spent those long months with little else to do. He had refused to go back to school for so long after what had happened. He had done nothing but stay in the house and sulk other than playing The World. Now it was his world, even after he had gotten his real life together for the most part once again. There was a sort of irony in that.

"I see. Well... welcome to the Freedom Fighters. You should be mostly back to full strength in a few hours, and in the mean time, I'll let Sekai and Raquar know you're here. It could be good to see friends again." the woman told him.

"Yeah, thanks..." Raven told her, laying down again to rest.

Freedom Fighters, huh? Name sounds a bit corny...and I've heard some pretty bad things about them from Nemera. Let's see where this goes. It may be interesting. Raven thought to himself.


(O.O.C. Raquar, Sekai, you would probably be getting a Flashmail from Raine about Raven being here. Talk to Nighthand if you want to know the exact text.)

_________________
Raven
Level 23 Blademaster
2400 Gold
Skills: Rue Kruz, Juk Kruz, Vak Crack, Rai Rom, Gan Crack, Ap Corv | Skill Drain
Items: x30 Health Drinks, x12 Mage Souls, x5 Resurrects, x4 Gale Breaths, x9 Speed Charms, x9 Meteor Swarms, x5 Warrior's Blood, Nightblight, Plasma Storm, Fire Tempest, x4 Ice Floe, Sprite Ocarina, Fairy's Orb, Fortune Wire, Hermit's Bane, x3 Ice Storm, x2 Ice Strike, Cygnus, Matoi, x2 Dark Night

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:57 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Liminality
Several things happened at once that only solidified one young Archer's statement to the one she'd struck a bargain with. That gigantic... feral creature had Angel-san in its clutches as the battle waged on and a night-black blade slid through her body and out her ribs before she was ripped to pieces. Blood stained her hands as she quietly poured a Health Drink over her wounds, cringing at the pain ripping through as the damage corrected itself and left her relatively whole. Blood slicked skin and clothing but, still as whole as someone who felt so utterly torn apart could possibly be.

The Freedom Fighters, all of them, were completely dead set in their own ways of thinking.

And Angel-san had given up at the very end.

As someone who oft wore the mantle of defeat herself; she knew the moment that Angel-san had let herself go and let them win. The rest of them could go watch as they blew up or hacked or whatever they were needing that communications hub for, the rest of them could go celebrate their hollow victory as much as they'd like. Whatever they were going to plan out, what they would decide to do next and whatever would happen to them... she didn't care anymore. Not right now. Not after what they had done.

Whatever they decided, she refused to take part in any of it.

Quote:
To: Sekai
From: Angel
RE: Spirit

I’ve lost, but I’m not as dead as I could be… I leave it in your hands. The rest think me dead; I have nothing to live for, either. Condemn me to life if you will, all it takes is a resurrect once the rest of the party is gone. I’ll live on, and be no threat to you. Make your choice, for I have none.

-Angel


Left in her hands. The choice was hers but it wasn't at the same time. A damned if alive, damned if left to be situation that didn't agree with her already injured psyche. Nothing left to live for and she didn't know if Angel-san would even be alive in either world or if her acceptance of the subtle request not to be revived was going to mean a permanent death. Torn between the desire to respect the peace... or what little of it came from Angel-san's demise for the woman herself and her value of life to be lived to the fullest, Sekai took a breath and let it out shakily.

If things didn't work out, she would offer to end Angel's life herself and let her go in peace this time. If there was a chance she could help her find a reason to live again... to try to keep going... then she'd do so. Waiting for the rest of the party to leave, Sekai swallowed the lump in her throat and quietly whispered the Rip Maen to bring her back to life.

“I wanted to ask you, is... there anything I can do to help you? I mean, I know I should have tried harder to keep them from killing you but, other than that, is there something I can do to help you find a meaning to keep living, at least, for a little while longer?”

Despite the Rip Maen, Angel still looked incredibly fragile. Her HP was low, her clothing torn, her flesh marred. Her blade had been folded once more into her arm, and though her had and glasses had been lost, she still managed to look somewhat imposing. Or would have, in her normal attitude; for now, she simply looked... empty.

"I don't know if there's anything you can do for me. You've saved me from the deletion I would face once your party left, but you can't restore my faith in my Mas-... in Marionette. My mansion is worthless to me now, what little value I could take with me is hollow... You've given me life, and that's all you can."

A series of rapidly spoken “La Repths” were directed in the injured woman's direction in hopes it would be of some help.

“It... may be selfish of me to ask this but, is there a way you and I, well... is there any chance we could try to become, um, friends? I think that we could... learn from each other, even if it is just a little bit at a time. And for you at least, you wouldn't be all alone in this world... unless you wanted to be.”

Angel's demeanor seemed to perk up at the healing, but it wouldn't change the fact that her flesh would be scarred.

"Your offer... intrigues me. You know I can't travel with you, though. The moment another member of your party saw me, I would be doomed once again, and you perhaps with me. Still... perhaps we could... correspond."

Simple minds needed simple answers to please and her eyes lit up from the response.

“No offense, I wouldn't trust them to be civil or even to attempt to work things out if given the option. I can try to figure out something for sure, corresponding is a definite start... um, I don't usually have a lot going on so, I'll be able to receive flashmails and respond at any time. I'd.... like to try at the very least, especially if you're willing to as well.”

"We... we can try. Now though, you must hurry, to avoid suspicion, and I must escape."

“Please take care of yourself and I'll look forward to talking with you again.”

With a last “La Repth” given to hopefully heal anymore damage that was, well, able to be healed, Sekai turned and gated out of the field with a much, much lighter heart than she thought she'd have.

Oh don't get her wrong, she was still very much upset with the Freedom Fighters, but, in the traditional high school girl manner, she had a secret that gave her hope and, as tentative as it was right now, a new friend in the making. Why people underestimated the power of diplomacy and actually talking regardless of what happened during it- and she didn't really blame Angel-san for being so upset about what was going on, she'd probably be upset too and she was rather certain Kira'd probably killed someone when in that kind of a situation- and see what it could do? Potential friends and allies, to an extent anyways, in unexpected places.

Something trickled through her mind, surprise alighting her features as she received a notice from Kira explaining that she was on her way back and was finishing up some kind of battle or another. And apparently she was sorry for not responding, that she'd been caught in the fight and had been enjoying it too much to be paying attention. Typical Kira, she thought with a shake of her head and a frown directed at no one in particular. It would probably be advisable to get some rest, at least a little before she would slip away for a little while and avoid the confrontations with any of the other-

Quote:
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Zan
Subject: Time For You to Know

Some of you have been eyeing me as of late and it's time for me to tell you that you had your reasons. No, you knew that already. Let me rephrase: your reasons were valid. In the Devil's field, I made a pact with Marionette. In exchange for getting you to a field he wanted, he'd keep the Elites from knowing what we were doing at the Hubs. I realize, to some, this seems like treachery. Maybe it is. That said, our contract is now over and I need to fulfill my end of it.

The last Keyword of the ones we've been collecting is 'Chance.' If I'm not wrong, that puts the whole thing at Hopeful Tempting You Chance. I, however, am not going to be there with you. Sekai has alerted me that I'm needed elsewhere for a while, with people that don't have the kind of strength the Freedom Fighters do. I know you'll be fine without me, but I apologize just the same for leaving without much more of an explanation. I'll be back, you can count on that, so just make sure you kick some ass and take some names while I'm gone.

With the contract done between the Puppetmaster and I, I want you to hand his ass to him the next time you meet. He's made it clear that he has no intention of becoming any sort of ally with us. He needed us to further his own gains, to break free of the Elites, and there is no doubt in my mind that he'll feel the need to destroy the same people that helped him get what he needed. Call it tying up loose ends, if you want.

Either way, I'm sorry if you think I've betrayed you, but I did what was necessary to further our goals. I'll be back and, hopefully when I do, it'll be met with smiles and not blades.

-Zan


Frustration built to a brand new level as she skimmed through the flashmail and shook her head. No. No rest for her right now, she was too angry to think straight and to be rational about any of this. Though she'd warn them all against taking immediate offensive action due to, well, how well it's been working and how she believed Marionette-san to be like. Offensive was not going to do them any good, especially if there was some discussion to be done. As a result, she sent her own Flashmail to the rest of the Freedom Fighters, somewhat trying to undermine her friend's authority- as bad as she felt about that- and just let them all have it.

Quote:
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Sekai
Subject: Marionette-san

As angry as you all may be at Zan-san's actions and at those I may have done, I wish to remind you all that violence is not always the answer. It is a lesson taught to us in the world we're originally from and, in my opinion, it is one we should start keeping in mind in this world too. We're all stuck here and until further notice, this world here is the one we have to call 'home' of sorts. There are more people here in our position than you know; not everyone we're going to come across is an enemy and you won't find anyone to help further the goal of getting those who wish to leave and return to the other world out if all you do is assume everyone's an enemy without trying to know the agenda and what they're looking to do too.

What I'm saying is; think first, ask questions and then take the appropriate action. One course of action the entire time will become predictable and make people easier to take out. That's the only warning I can really give to all of you.

I am leaving for the time being, to go help those who need assistance more than you all do. You survived this long, if you are smart about how you go about this meeting... well... perhaps we will see each other again. Be safe and be smart, please. Fighting is not always the answer. I will return when my duty is done.

-Sekai


With a quiet sigh of one who had a lot to really think about when it came to things, Sekai gathered her things and slipped out without another word; be it spoken or written to anyone.

She needed to prepare for the worst; in more than one scenario this time.

_________________
Image

Name: Sekai
Level: 54
EXP: 0000/1000
Class: Archer
Clan: Army of Darkness
HP: 835
SP: 347

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

Head: Bat Earrings (Ola Repth 40, Rip Maen 40)
Body: Saint Cross (Rue Zot 10, RaJuk Zot 30)
Arm: Protect Ring (Ap Vorma 15, MeJuk Kruz 20)
Leg: Ninja Anklet (BiVak Rom 20, GiGan Zot 30)
Add-Ons: Forestlore, Wood Magic (permanently raised Wood Offense/Defense by +3 total)

Wishlist: Levels, Summon: Wood, Archer Weapons, Light Armor


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:00 pm 
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Well-Oiled Machine
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:59 am
Posts: 176
Location: :noitacoL
Out of all the root towns, Mac Anu is always the busiest. Whether it's the flood of new people who have just joined the game, the casual players who simply level very slowly, or the long-time players that simply want to enjoy the social aspect of the game. Not to mention most events are held there. Regardless, it's the perfect place if you want large crowds of all types of people... and boy are there ever all types today. Perhaps it's some sort of universal or at least anime law that young girls must always travel in packs of 3. It's hard to tell, but it seems to always end up that way. Regardless, it's next to one of these packs a small voice speaks up.

"Well, hello there girls." The voice calls out. Immediately the high-pitched chatter between the three ceases and all eyes turn towards the river bank.

"Omg." The long arm of the group starts off, walking over. "That is so awesome."
"Ooh, I want one of those things!" The twin blade of the group, leaning in to get a better look.
"Kinda cute too." The heavy blade says quietly, lightly smiling as she follows.

"Yes, yes, I realize I'm pretty awesome. But please, calm yourselves."

"Hey!" The long arm states suddenly. "We're about to go on a dungeon run. Do you wanna come with us?"
"Yeah!" The twin blade agrees. "It'd be sooo cool having you along!"
"I wouldn't mind it at all." The heavy blade chimes in quietly.

"Oh, I'm flattered, really I am. But I'm afraid I have people who need me. One person in particular I must return too..."

"Awwww..." The girls whine in unison.
"Still, it sounds so noble the way you put it." The long arm says.
"Yes! I wish you good luck then!" The twin blade suddenly states.
"Maybe we'll see you again... You can sit on my lap." The heavy blade says quietly.

"I may take you up on that. Until then... farewell!"


And so, with the dramatic exit, the girls are left to their dungeon run alone. Soon, the Chaos Gate at the Lambda hideout activates, transporting a single occupant back to the Commons. The trip outside seemingly now a success, Kit briskly walks over to a couch in the corner where Lighteria has been sitting since the group returned from the field.

"I practiced speaking English to people today Lighteria!" Kit announces, jumping next to him on the couch, sitting with dignity. "I also refused gifts and practiced my Repthing of wounded people when I saw someone fall off the bridge." She tilts her head up to the twin blade's face, a strange mix of pride and worry crossing her smile. "I did all the things you always wished I did normally... So please... Say something!!"

"..."

"Lighteria!" Kit pleads, lightly pawing his shoulder. Still, the twin blade doesn't answer her, instead remaining in a slouched sit, his head hung and his half-focused eyes staring at the bowl of the Mortar and Pestle given to him by Angel in the last field. This little portion of the couch seems to have become the twin blade's personal refuge since he always seems to return to this spot when he wants to rest. This time is different though. He has yet to open flashmails, doesn't notice Kit or even looks up when someone passes by. Normally any one of those three events would cause him to blink out of any haze and pay attention to the world. This time though, he simply sits, staring at his lap with a blank expression, misty eyed but not crying either. Blanked out would probably be the best way to describe it.

"Will you snap out it?"

Future... No Future... Thought there was one... but there's not... Is it worth it? Do we deserve it? Why couldn't I...?

"Come ON!"

_________________
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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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:20 am 
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Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(Endsville was burning... Laid to waste and consumed by black flame, he watched its destruction spread as the fires simply consumed the life around it, sucking the very soul of the city down to the last bone and timber. It hung expansively down in the valley, with he himself standing over it on an overhanging cliff. Well then... That was that. No more reason to hang around here. He turned and headed in the other direction, across the flat and decrepit landscape. The black-winged stranger felt a certain satisfaction in finishing that job. And yet... He stopped suddenly, hearing something. He was already miles away away, standing in a desert. Looking down, he noticed that a crack had formed in the ground. It had been...following him? He took a few tentative steps and saw that...yup, it was doing just that. How curious... What could it be? Taking a closer look, he noticed a black liquid welling up from the crack. It was blood. His blood, as far as HE knew. More cracks formed, and he jumped back as the ground exploded with several several beasts breaking the surface! They walked on all-fours, had horns and spikes jutting from their bodies, and had curved slicing claws. Each one resembled him, of all things! He drew his blades, taking a stance and watching the prowling beasts carefully.)

"Alright, who's first? Don't you even THINK I'll be afraid just because you look like me!"

"Oh, that's a good one..."

"What the...?"

(While the beasts circled him, a voice of darkest variety - dripping with malice and sarcasm - echoed in from behind. At first, he snuck only a quick glance to see what it was, but that soon became a double-take as he saw this impossibly-black form that seemed to be over twenty feet tall! As soon as his guard was down, the beasts attacked, one of them getting him in the neck, and another jabbing him in the shoulder, trying to pin him. Kicking it off, he fought back against the him-demons, with matching ferocity. Kick the jaw off, stab the eyes, stave in the head, break the ribs, slice the torso, tear the guts out, decapitate, eviscerate, kill them...KILL THEM...KILL THEM!! In the end, the winged warrior stood alone against the shadow. Against HIS shadow. Yes, it DID resemble him, to an extent. But why?)

"Heh heh heh heh... That's the spirit. You know you can't win by sparing the rod. Show them your true self... Then...they'll have no choice but to obey. Obey...OR DIE."

"What are you talking about? I don't...huh?"

(There was a sudden clambering, itchy feeling feeling on his left arm. That's where the scar of his infection had shown itself on him. He couldn't help but scratch...and then it bursted open, from what looked like an eerie-glowing vein...to a jagged mouth containing a crimson eye with tendrils! The winged warrior shouted with shock and fear as the creature on his arm lashed out to take him over!)


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Canti: AAUGH!!

(He sat bolt upright in bed, a tell-tale Fwoomph sound following. Breathing heavily, he soon came down from the shock, instinctively holding onto his left arm to make sure that it wasn't...clambering. No, it wasn't. Nothing happened... He was safe, sitting on a bed in the barracks of the hideout. Canti couldn't recall exactly how he'd gotten back. Either he'd been moved by the others or he'd done so while acting a zombie, unaware of his surroundings. Either way, he was back here, which meant that the Third Hub-)

{-burning, slicing his knives viciously at Angel, her sword parrying and lashing out. Pain in the extreme, ignored though to keep fighting-}

(-was toast. He felt a soreness on his neck, his shoulder, his back, and in other places. Seems he hadn't lasted against Angel, though...he couldn't quiet remember what exactly happened. It was just sort of a vague impression that he got. There was some scarring on his neck, probably from her sword. He remembered that Angel was furious, which made both of their tempers flaring high that time. It couldn't be helped, really. Marionette had forced the issue, putting them in that position, and now...it was over. Of course, he would've liked to know how it turned out.)

So, you're finally awake.

Canti: Speak softly, Rey. My head hurts, my neck hurts...

Your bed's on fire.

Canti: My- WHAT?!

(At first, he thought that she was talking about his real bed, in the hospital, the one that Reyome sat beside, keeping an eye on him while he was in the coma. But then...no. She wouldn't be so calm about then. Of course, it was still a surprise to find that his bed HERE was smoldering around him. The flames were black, and they didn't seem to effect him. Canti stood up almost two seconds before the bed collapsed into a rotten heap and the fire died out. He stared at it for a moment.)

Canti: Rey, what's going on? What is this?

You tell me. I'm just an observer. That fire came out of your hand.

Canti: Out of mine...?

{-pain, fire leaping from his body in waves as he ROARED, sending every iota of power outward, trying to CONSUME her with the dark pyre-}

(He still could not recall the final stretch of the Third Hub battle, but inklings were slowly falling back into place. He looked at his hands carefully. They were smoking... That wasn't good. If one of his elements had come out to play and he didn't know how to control it, a ruined bed might be the least of his troubles. He would need to work on this, and soon. Heading out, Canti moved swiftly, because he didn't want to be called out right now. The less confrontation, the better, because he wasn't in the mood. His swift movements might've been caught by Raine, because he had whooshed right by when he was talking to...uhhh, someone. Canti didn't recognize him, so he might've been a new 'recruit'. In any case, he went into the shops area to make a few purchases. It occurred to him that he needed more flight-training AS WELL AS some fire-training. Yeah, he knew what this all meant now. The virus had bursted open inside him and made him into some kind of dark firebug. Well...winged fire-demon. Whatever. Anyway, after he was finished, he carefully watched the Chaos Gate. Nobody was there. Good. Some people MIGHT notice, if they were observant and had good timing, a black-winged form heading right for the gate, landing quickly, and transferring out of the hideout. The reason? Well, that was for HIM to know, technically. Good thing this is an all-actions post, so you get to find out from behind the Fourth Wall, which I just slightly broke right now.)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

(At this point in time, it was almost a wasted effort to try and conceal himself. Either people would find him or they wouldn't. Well, he didn't WANT to be found, except by one. And for that, he would be willing to wait... As soon as Canti had reached Dun Loireag, he had leapt right off of the cliff and spread his wings. Around here, the winged Twin Blade's ability was priceless. A high-rising cliff-town was a domain that he ruled without contest. Plus, since there was more than enough heat on Mac Anu, why not come here instead? It made perfect sense. At this time, Canti had taken to waiting while staring down the cliffsides while clinging to the underside of a bridge. From there, he could hear people's conversations. One in particular caught his interest.)

"So, he just contacts you out of the blue and asks for our files? How come?"

"He didn't say, but I agreed to help if I could, so I'm giving them to him. We owe him for the trouble we caused."

"I guess so, but where is he?"

"Hiding, of course. He said to meet him behind the Grunty Farm. You'd better go on. I'll see you later."

"Right, sure."

(This conversation, though he couldn't see who they were, was spoken by a samurai fox-man and a British catgirl. The reason they appeared this way was because of a few cosmetic hacks into the system, nothing more. These two, plus one more, were small-time hackers. Not like the Elites. Just some people that Canti had had a run-in with along the way. The samurai left the area while the other one headed to the appointed meeting place. The Twin Blade let himself fall and caught himself with his wings once more, heading for the other side of the server-area. He swooped up and landed behind the Grunty Farm just as she was getting there. She was a Blademaster armored in light-blue, wearing casual clothing underneath and running shows. She had long brown hair that was tied off at the end and his eyes to match. Character's name: Kalina.)

Kalina: You were listening in.

Canti: Best way to hide is to know when to come out. Besides, who can see me under there?

Kalina: Fair enough. Here's your file. What're you planning to do with it?

Canti: A little training. What?

(She was looking at him, noticing the wound on his neck, the slight plumes of smoke rising off of him, and just generally the look of his character.)

Kalina: What happened to you?

Canti: It's a long story. I'll tell ya later. But first, I have to get control of this. I'm bleeding SP, little by little.

Kalina: Are you sure there isn't anything else I can do?

Canti: Not for me. Just don't do anything more to draw attention to yourself. I gotta go.

(He leapt off again, leaving the Blademaster with her thoughts.)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

(Soon after, Canti returned to the hideout, looking over the files. Well, he not exactly looking them over. It was basically a hacked number of small items made to look like discs, containing huge amounts of custom monster data, which Canti had requested from those three for his training. He remembered going out of control there, demonizing. He had to figure out what that was about, why it happened, and how to control it. These files would be easily-read by Raine once he handed them over to her. Canti was about ready to head downstairs while he looked at the little 'floppies' in his hands. Last chance to bother him for a while. For once he was in, he wouldn't be out of that room for anything until it was mission time.)

_________________
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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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:27 am 
Offline
Ikkitousen
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:28 pm
Posts: 108
Location: Hiding in the shadows
By whatever number of holy hells there were, his body hurt. Granted, he wasn’t tired anymore, his unconsciousness had taken care of that, but he was still terribly shaky on his feet, and his entire body ached with the exception of that left arm; it fucking throbbed. He had wrapped the sash around it again, but the boy didn’t have the benefit of the robe to hide it, and as of such, the blue-green of the sash clashed horridly with the plain black leather of the jerkin and trousers and fiery red of the vest. Thankfully he hadn’t run into anybody yet, though that was likely to change.

He had taken residence in the kitchen where he was currently perched on a chair clutching at his legs. The damn things hadn’t stopped shaking since he had stopped off in Mac Anu for that brief excursion. Speaking of, he had noticed the flashmail ding during his speech, but had chosen to ignore it in lieu of other circumstances. Those circumstances were no longer present and so he no longer had any reason to ignore it.

Quote:
To: Raquar, Sekai
From: Raine
Subject: Raven
Message: Nemera dropped off a new player, and he mentioned you by name. His name is Raven, and he's in the barracks, if you want to come see him.


He probably should go and say hi, but the probably would hold off for know. Some rest was in order, maybe the down time would allow his body to recover appropriately, or so he hoped. He leaned his head against the back of the chair and proceeded to stretch his legs out, at which time, he promptly fell asleep.

His head rolled forward groggily, eyes creeping open. He felt slightly better, in less immediate pain, and that was always a good thing. However, he didn’t desire any of the normal company, instead, he sought the audience of another.

”Raine, I found myself wondering about something in the last field I was in. Would it be possible to gather materials, and if one became proficient enough with it, to build a forge? That would be an interesting development, and could potentially help us.”

"Well... It's obviously not built into the game, but Twilight lets a lot of things be possible. I don't know if it exists out there yet, though."

The boy nodded thoughtfully, it was worth consideration at least. Briefly thanking her, he wandered out into the meeting room before deciding he really didn’t want to deal with people at the moment, and wandered outside of the Hideout and into the streets of the Cultural City. There was a place, a small circular mezzanine-like area. He could sit on the railing and look to the stars, an action that was surprisingly soothing. Off in the distance he could see the slowly dying trail of a meteor. The fire blazed its trek through space before slowly burning off into nothingness, as all things did. It brought back painful memories, that last final blaze of glory, and the repercussions that such things resulted. Sacrifice was necessary for furtherance in life. It was a lesson hard learned.

He thumbed the ring first, followed by the onyx fang that hung on his neck. He had responsibilities now. His mind was granted the image of the tiny Blademaster, with the violet hair with the streaks of white. And slowly it would fade, until all that was left with the eye. It could pierce his very soul, his being. Somehow it knew. It was haunting, to know that he had left something here, that he was now more deeply tied then anything he had ever imagined. And yet, it wasn’t all fear that drove him, part of it was hope. That maybe he could leave a lasting legacy, and change this world for better. But that of course, brought about the thoughts of what happened when he was gone?

Sliding off the rail he started to pace back toward the Hideout. He felt slightly better, maybe now it was time to deal with people. Raven especially, he had to give the man shit. After he had gone through hell to save him, and he still got his ass stuck here. The thought brought a chuckle to his lips as he proceeded through the stone portal. That was of course, assuming that they didn’t end up shipping out soon. He had been away for a while, it was possible they would be off soon. Well, he would have to wait and see, worse case scenario he could chat with Raven on the field. Just like old times.

_________________
Level 28 Long Arm
Archspear, Newt Necklace, Smith's Gloves, Wyrm Scale, Kuja's Thong Dress
EXP: [700/1000]

WISHLIST
Levels
Weapons: - All
Armor: Head - Scarab Earring
Body - Nothing until Mid 30's. Ninja Garb Hand - Nothing until Mid 30's. Leg - Nothing until Mid 30's.
Items: Cooked Biles, Darkness Scrolls (Any and All)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Nighthand’s rest was short, but of good quality. Having a digital body meant physical fatigue was a thing of the past, and it was only the exhaustion of the mind that he had to worry about. The mind, especially one such as his that had grown used to a body repairable with a few SP instead of a night of healing, recovered quickly from a surprisingly tolerance of stress. Of course, the lack of consistent sleep could be a contributing factor to the neuroses many of the freedom fighters developed over time… Maybe they should all make a point of sleeping more often.

He was awakened soon enough by Zan’s flashmail, and a quick read pieced it together. The bastard had been working against them? No, Zan wasn’t that kind of guy. He might have made a deal, but he wouldn’t do it to the detriment of the freedom fighters.

Flashmail
To: The Freedom Fighters
From: Nighthand
Subject: Next Destination

It looks like when know where to go next. Marionette has, so it seems, been leading us through challenges to get to his fortress. He’ll no doubt be stronger than any of the minions we’ve fought thus far, so be sure to stock up. Get what you need done out of the way, and be back here tomorrow, so we can all go at once. The destination will be Hopeful Tempting You Fate.

End Flashmail

His mail sent, Nighthand went to follow his own advice, seeing if he needed anything to replenish his scroll supplies, or the like. So far Nall hadn’t returned, nor had Sheena brought word of him. He wanted to worry, but Nall had come through much worse scrapes, and Sheena could no doubt take care of herself. Even so, he wanted to wait for word, for her return.

Still, that wasn’t his problem, not right now. First they had to confront Marionette and learn what he knew. Which seemed to be nearly unlimited.

In his wanderings of the hideout, he noticed some things. Asgard had returned, again, for one. The fist fighter had seen his ups and downs of power, and had his own slew of enemies, but it wasn’t much of a surprise to find him back once again. Whether that meant his own foes were slain, or if they would still be a problem, was up for debate. Asgard was still a formidable ally to have any day, so it was a good thing he had returned.

Another thing he noticed was the arrival of another new player. Nighthand pulled Raine aside to ask her about him.

”Who’s that?”
”His name’s Raven. I haven’t gotten much more out of him than that, though. He was part of the same group that brought Raquar and Sekai to us. We told them not to be so active… but this is what they get. He should be an ally, though.”
”Well… So be it, anyways. Will he be up and fighting to come with us?”

Raine’s nod was all he needed to see, and a flashmail from Sekai cut him off. She had a point… even if it wasn’t the one she wanted to make. They were taking too blunt an approach at the fights they encountered. The one thing the archer wasn’t aware of, though, was the necessity of those fights. It was too often their only recourse, try as they might to attempt otherwise.

Sighing, the heavyblade dug through the kitchen until he came up with a sufficient snack to occupy his hands while his mind roamed. A lot was going through him at the moment, a lot going on with him, not the least of which was a lack of motivation.

A crisis to mull over.

--------------ooc:
I’d like to move out next week, so that’s the plan I’m shooting for. If you’re participating in the quest, you’ll want to get posts in soon. Once we leave for the field, it could be difficult to get you in.

_________________
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Wishlist: Any Armor or Weapons under level 50, Any Scrolls (prefer level 2+)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:14 pm 
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Exalted Player
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 1:59 am
Posts: 226
Location: The "Who's Online List," Stalking People...
Rings of gold descended about the blademaster’s form once again, bringing it fully to life in this place: this safe house hidden within the very fabric of the World. So much had happened, and he exhaled sharply, not knowing where to begin with sorting out his thoughts. The panic from those last moments still lingered, confusion still gripping his brain as he stood perfectly still. How could he come back to this? Right now, his friends were fighting for his life, and there was nothing he could do to help. There was no way to tell if they’d survive or not.

Leek, the one person on Lighthack he’d trusted more than any other, was a traitor, and now Cobalt and Amy were fighting with everything they had to keep him at bay. It was doubtless that he was safe here, and would continue to be so long as he continued to follow the Freedom Fighters, but what about them?! He couldn’t just leave them behind, could he? Eyes closed, forcing his emotions into compliance. No, he had to stay here. If he didn’t, what would their efforts mean?

Amy… he thought, the very word bringing with it untold amounts of bitter loathing, and yet she’d managed to befriend him again. In this digital world, away from the pressures of the real world, she’d found him and tried to reclaim their friendship. It wasn’t something he deserved. Damnit, Amy, you had better survive! Eyes opened, focussing on the hideout – in exactly the same condition as he’d left it in, only now there were actually more players present.

He didn’t want to settle in again. He wanted to go back and fight, to finish what he’d started. He wanted to rape the bastard who’d pulled so much bullshit in his life. Just thinking about it tensed the grip he held on his sword – something he hadn’t noticed until just that moment. Had he put it away since the fight? It didn’t matter. With a sigh, he forced the tension off his nerves, putting the weapon back into its sheath for safe keeping. He had to face the facts: he was here, and for now, it was his best bet to just stick it out with these guys. It wasn’t that he had no friends here, just that the events of the past few days seemed to make Marionette and all of their efforts to destroy the hubs entirely pointless.

A ping, unlike anything he’d heard in what felt like ages, and it was a flashmail. Smiling dumbly as the memory of what they were was instantly retrieved, he opened it, standing still as his eyes glazed over so he could read what had been written.

Quote:
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Nighthand
Subject: Next Destination
Message:
It looks like when know where to go next. Marionette has, so it seems, been leading us through challenges to get to his fortress. He’ll no doubt be stronger than any of the minions we’ve fought thus far, so be sure to stock up. Get what you need done out of the way, and be back here tomorrow, so we can all go at once. The destination will be Hopeful Tempting You Fate.


“Hopeful Tempting You Fate,” he read aloud, coming out of flashmail mode and tilting his head from side to side, stretching the muscles and popping the joints there before he finally continued forward. Without a word, he took his seat on one of the couches, knowing he’d have time later to catch up with everyone. He’d changed too much, and had entirely too much on his mind to enter into frivolous conversation at the drop of a hat. If they wanted to talk, they could come to him. He sighed, eyes glazing over as he opened the return dialogue for Nighthand’s flashmail.

Quote:
To: Nighthand
From: Dien
Subject: Back
Message:
I’m back, currently sitting on one of the couches in the common area. Don’t forget about me before we head out?


Smiling after it sent, he closed his eyes and reclined in the comfortable furniture that Raine and Sheena had so masterfully crafted. Would anyone recognize him? His appearance had changed pretty drastically since he left. No longer was he the guy in the denim jacket and light khaki pants. Hell, every garment he had was worn down and torn now, evidencing more battle experience than there actually had been. Hakouin’s jacket had its arms ripped off in the virus’s final act. The white V-neck beneath that more closely resembled a tank top now, the arms having been bitten off by his encounter in the base of Vulcan’s Revenge. The only garment he wore without some evidence of battle was the dark blue jeans. Same lightweight boots as before were lifted and made to rest on the table. Two belts had appeared seemingly out of nowhere, but he didn’t mind. Red snake-skin is what they seemed to be, thin and durable, and crossing in a single buckle around his waist. None of that mattered, though.

There was a lot to think about.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:07 pm 
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Exalted Player
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 4:28 am
Posts: 285
Location: Carmina Gadelica Alleyway
Dear Abacus,

I write this to you in the house of safety. It has been one week since I escaped alpha and I have finally found my allies that I had sought for through the admin network, yet had no success in locating beforehand. I write this to you, with hope that your character has not been broken down into line code for what you helped me accomplish. I cannot tell you in where I lie, for one, I do not know myself, and for two, that the location of this sky base not be compromised.

Secondly, I need to ask a favour of you. I need you to contact my father, in hopes that he, and perhaps yourself included, can create for me another disguise subroutine that can hopefully get the hired goons off my back. The group that I speak of seem to have a warrant for my death, and I don’t know who their benefactor are, as the hired players all seem to be either very high leveled, or low profile hackers. If you can find out who hired them, or the strongest of the hired, please let me know. I cannot allow my past life catch up to my present problems, for it would call upon more among my allies and I.

May you find yourself safe in these dark times, for they seem to becoming darker by the day.

Asgard

PS. Destroy this letter immediately after reading it.


Asgard sealed the parchment and folded it nicely into a small, manilla envelope. He handed it to Terro, who clamped the letter closed and unmoving in its beak.

You better not wreck that letter,” Asgard said semi-threateningly, in a low tone voice so that none of the others could hear him. The bird cooed under a closed beak. The Fist Fighter did not know how it did it, but he did not bother asking. “Make sure to go to a regular field first, then make your way to Alpha Server. He may not be there, so make sure to go to Beta, Gamma, Epsilon, and Phi as well. Return immediately after you deliver the letter, or if you can find him on any of the servers.” The gryphon nodded as it trodded out of the barracks and, hopefully, towards the Chaos Gate. A ring in his ears alerted him to a flashmail. He had a newcoming mail from Nighthand. At first, he was surprised at the noise, for over the past few months, he had never received a flashmail from anyone; Just updates and meeting times.

Quote:
To: Freedom Fighters
From: Nighthand
Subject: Next Destination
Message:
It looks like when know where to go next. Marionette has, so it seems, been leading us through challenges to get to his fortress. He’ll no doubt be stronger than any of the minions we’ve fought thus far, so be sure to stock up. Get what you need done out of the way, and be back here tomorrow, so we can all go at once. The destination will be Hopeful Tempting You Fate.


He had more things to establish before the Freedom Fighters were sent out to do their job. For one, he had to explore the base a little more thoroughly, as well as divine the threat of this person that Nighthand had entailed 'Marionette'. The barracks of the hideout were semi-occupied as Asgard rose to his feet off of the bed that he had called, for it looked emptier than most and held no objection. Phoenix, and an unknown man of the Blademaster class, were present, but did not bother to wake the sleeping. He had forgotten to welcome Phoenix’s greeting before, so before leaving, bowed to the Blademaster, fist in hand forward. Terro had already left his presence during his pondering session. Now, without hesitation, Asgard began crafting a message in response to Nighthand’s message.

Quote:
To: Nighthand
From: Asgard
Subject: You can count on me
Message:
I will accompany you into the fold if you welcome it. If you need me for anything else, I will be in the common room. I believe it would be ideal if I read up upon the Freedom Fighters’ recent incursions with this ‘Marionette’ character. Also, it is good to see you again.


He closed the mail, and with that, headed out into the commons room of the hideout. He had never bothered to notice the detail of the furniture in the room, what with the urgency of the mail he wrote in ‘privacy’. Such masterful craftsmanship via coding or other means, told him that the owners of the bunker knew what they were doing when they designed this place. To his right, the shop room was present, but the Fist Fighter did not desire to replenish his items at this time, even though he wished for the admin grab bag. To his immediate left, near the entrance to the Chaos Portal, was the meeting hall. As with the shop room, he did not desire to enter it at this point in time, yet.

First, he had to find Raine.

==========

Asgard stepped down into the basement of the complex, to see Raine, exactly the person he wanted to see. If anyone had any sort of file as to what has happened recently, it would be her. She was in the control room, in what seemed to be a foul mood.

Raine?” The leader turned to see Asgard in the doorway. She smiled, trying to look up at the Fist Fighter with glee, but it seemed that something is still bothering her. “You look like you could use a shrink.

I’m sorry. It’s just that Nall’s recently disappeared, as I asked him to go investigate and look for clues. Sheena went after him and she still hasn’t contacted any of us.” Her face was full of worry. Asgard was not the best candidate for cheering people up, but he did not have to think twice in what to do.

I can tell you that I haven’t seen him in my week’s stay of Carmina Gadelica’s alleyways, if that’s any consolation.” Asgard gave a doubtful look, but had to press on in the direction he traveled. “If you want, I could take a look around the other root towns...

No that’s alright. I don’t think he’ll find much in the root towns. Besides, your mapped root town is to the hideout, so there is very much no need,” Asgard nodded. “But thanks for your concern.” Raine partially smiled, bringing a sense of accomplishment to Asgard.

If that’s the case, could you tell me where I can get record logs or files on the last five missions and the current roster? I would like to read up on Marionette and how things have changed since last we met. I’d rather not go into a final battle blind.

That would be best, wouldn’t it, being wet around the ears again! It will take a moment to grab them from the archive. It will be upstairs in the common room in a moment.

Asgard bowed to her, fist in hand forward. “Thank you for your assistance. I appreciate it.

==========

Asgard sat quietly in the common room, sprawled out over a giant, red, bean bag seat, the files in hand from the common room. The adventures of the Freedom Fighters, as always, had their ups and downs, their newbloods and veterans, and as always, their monumental wins over the forces that have bound them in The World.

It truly has been a long time since the last time I fought the hackers,” Asgard stated to himself in soliloquy. “It’s about time I got back into the frying pan and help get these guys home…Starting with Marionette” He closed the last file of Angel’s ‘defeat’ and put it back on the small pile next to the seat, and drifted off into a bliss forgotten, while staring at the blank, gray ceiling.

_________________
This is my non-banner profile. Read at own discretion!
Wishlist (Bolded sections denotate priority, in descending order)
In General: LEVELS
Pet-Related: EX-Levels, [Lv. 2]Overdrive Sphere, [Lv. 2]Ressurect
Armor: Dice Gloves (20 RARE), Golden Turban (42), Saint Cross (41), Protect Ring (41)
Weapons: Master Nunchaku (40 RARE), Three-Section Staff (37),
Items: (None)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:29 am 
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Elevated Player
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 3:09 am
Posts: 63
Location: Wherever I'm needed.
Back at the hideout, I cursed myself silently for my failure to help. Again. We had come up against Angel the second time, Nighthand had given us the power to hurt her... and I had done nothing. I had let the group... no, I had let my friends take all the risks. Yes, they came out alive, but....

I'm such a coward.

I entered the common room from the Chaos Gate, expecting to plop down and brood on one of the couches scattered throughout. What actually took place, however, involved no brooding, though the sitting was present. The first thing, though, was that I saw someone. Someone that looked familiar, and yet I wasn't sure. His clothes were torn, and he looked beat to hell... but I was 99% sure it was him. The only thing left was to ask. I walked towards the couch and did just that. "Dien...? Is that you?"

He turned towards me with a curious look on his face. “Zhao?” he replied, “yeah, it's me....” He seemed to be pondering, contemplating something. I couldn't read his mind, but I could hazard a guess: the two of us hadn't known each other for long, but the bond we shared ran fairly deep. I thought it probably had something to do with the openness that we'd shared back in that accursed tower Suraisu had dragged us into, but how he felt was anyone's guess. His eyes ran over me, taking in the changes I'd made to my outfit, and then they paused- right on my eyes.

"Rikama!" All sorts of malice now appeared on the blademaster's face as he pulled his sword and angrily held it to my throat, "what have you done with him?!"

My right blade was unsheathed nearly instantly, ready to parry his and counter, but then I simply smiled and dropped it to the floor. After all, what better way to prove it to him than nonviolence? "It's me, Dien. Not him. Or rather... it's whatever's left of him that I couldn't assimilate. It's a long story, and quite frankly, I can't remember all of it. It must have put an incredible strain on my mind, though, because I could barely remember who I was afterwards. But now... this is me." I gently pushed Dien's sword away from his throat and smiled once again at my friend, who I'd missed far more than I'd realized. "C'mon, Dien. We're still pals, right?"

Dien seemed to to think for a moment, but then loosened his grip and allowed his sword to be nudged away. "Yeah, sure," he said, the fury that had permeated his every inch slowly evaporating away, "black eyes are gonna take some getting used to, though. So, what'd I miss?” he asked, motioning to a seat across from him.

I took the seat, and tried to think back and form a decent answer to his question. Things with Marionette were confusing as always, and... well, there had been several not-so-happy episodes within our group. Too much division... and I didn't even understand all of it.

Well, I can't tell him everything, so... I may as well just start going on. If I miss anything important, someone else will fill him in. "Well, we met up with two of Marionette's servants while you were gone,” I began, “Devil and Angel. Devil gave us some problems, though we overcame him eventually, and then he offered us... information on Angel in exchange for his life. To the dismay of many of us,” and I frowned at the memory, “Senna and Hacorie decided it was their job to kill him without consulting us. That pissed Zan off something fierce, but we got through it. Angel was troublesome too, but somehow we managed to get through her mansion alright... it kind of blows my mind when I think about it." I chuckled to myself before continuing. How did we always manage to come up with a win? And more often than not, with no loss of anyone? Senna may have disappeared this time, but she had just left. She wasn't dead. As far as we know. "We managed to survive some messed up shit, man. And we have a new member or two to boot. Raquar's a great guy, we've had each other's backs since... since... well, for me, it's been since I met him, since I didn't really have anyone to watch my back right then."

I stopped at those words. Pure rage flowed through me, and it was directed at the blademaster sitting across from me. He left. He disappeared. At the worst possible time, he left you and went off to work for himself! To help himself! I had an insane urge to get up and knock Dien flat... something I never would have done in the past, but now that I was – for lack of a better term – a whole person? Violence and revenge were certainly no longer alien to me.

To me those next few seconds seemed like forever, but I clenched my fist and repressed the urges. After all, I may have been a more violent person now – but I was also in control of myself, which was completely worth the sacrifices I had made to accomplish it. Having him linger as a part of me was a fine fate, compared to the other paths I could have taken.

"He was new,” I said, continuing as though nothing had happened, and though he'd met with a couple of the guys, we just kind of clicked. Hopefully you two'll do the same. It's always nice to have a solid group of friends to keep you safe, neh?"

"Yeah," he replied simply, remarkably calm in the face of what had to have been very visible anger in his direction. Inwardly, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was good to know that he could deal with it... hell, he probably understood why I'd been angry. It always helps to be able to see where the other person is coming from when trying to stay calm....

"So close, though," he said curiously, breaking me out of my thoughts, "it's really only been a couple days."

"Battle and mayhem brings people closer. Though," I said with a grin, remembering our antics, "for me and Raq it's more of the mayhem. Mayhem we caused, no less. We burned out a room in that mansion... something Zan chewed us out for later, but still. It was fun. Stupid, dangerous, and we really shouldn't have, but... fun."

We sat for a moment, and then I lost my grin and began to ask my own questions, starting with the one that had plagued me ever since Dien had disappeared. "Dien... where'd you go?"

Dien's eyes glazed over for a moment, and he appeared to be lost in thought. I couldn't read him at all, which was unusual. Whatever he was thinking about, he was trying very desperately to not let me know how he felt.

"I had to get a handle on my power," he finally replied, a blatantly impersonal look overtaking his features, "but I'm back now." My eyes narrowed at his reaction, and I could tell he wasn't telling the whole truth. Why? Was he trying to protect me? Or did he not trust me after all? I couldn't tell, but... if it let him deal with whatever was going on more easily? So be it. Friends are to be helped, and pressing him for details is going to hurt him somehow. So I gave Dien a warm smile to try to calm him down before speaking again. "Whatever it is, Dien, you know I'm here, neh? And if you work better with your secrets inside... keep them that way. I'll be here to watch your back."

"Thanks," he said quietly, looking into my eyes. "I'll tell you at some point, but right now it's still too soon after the fact." He sighed, letting his fists open lightly and closing his eyes. I just wish I could help you sooner rather than later, Dien....

It was Dien who broke the silence next. "Where's Nall?" he asked casually.

I thought for a moment, and realized that Nall hadn't been present anytime in recent memory. "Haven't seen him recently. Couldn't tell you,” I said, then thought for a moment and added “Nighthand or Raine might know." I hadn't thought much about Nall, and while the player's disappearance was a concern, the group seemed to be handling themselves fine for now.

"Oh," said Dien, "what about our mutual lycanthropic friend?"

"Zan?” I replied. “Didn't you get his Flashmail?” Well, maybe Dien's been gone long enough that he just thought he was gone for good. “He just left, said something about having things to deal with. He also mentioned having... cut some kind of deal with Marionette. But," I added quickly, wanting to make my opinion crystal clear, "I still have absolute faith in him. Unfortunately, just like Nall, I have no idea where he is. Once again, you might want to check with Nighthand, he always seems to know more than everyone else."

"Damn," he said, stretching his neck from side to side, "looks like I'm gonna have to get up before we go, then." The conversation was at an end.

"Alright then. I guess I'll talk to you later, Dien. And... it's good to have you back, man." I can always use more friends these days.

"Yeah," he said, remaining seated, apparently lost in thought. I stood and walked out, entering the barracks in order to give him some space. He certainly needed it. As for me, I had nothing to do except... kill time.

_________________
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Miakita hazu no tasogare ga
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:27 am
Posts: 37
The gang trooped back into the hideout with all of them more or less intact. On the other hand, there were some who were missing altogether, and it certainly gnawed at Silk that his long-time friend, Senna, had been one of them. While the Fist Fighter certainly hadn’t made any enemies as he fought alongside this ragtag bunch of people, he hadn’t made many friends either. Rayo, the archer who he considered his main partner in crime, had gone MIA with the rest, leaving Silk pretty much on his own, although that wasn’t necessarily a new thing.

In fact, rather than seek out companionship amongst his peers-by-force, the Fist Fighter went looking for solitude in the Delta Server. With a few cursory nods and no words spoken, Silk left the Lambda Server via the usual channels and found himself in Mac Anu, the ultimate origin of all of his travels.

At first, he simply wandered. As he passed by one carefully constructed character design, he whistled in appreciation: “Hey beautiful,” the Fist Fighter called, tossing a wink in to finish the deal. The female Longarm looked panicked at first, but then noticed her admirer (a high leveled special class decked out in rares, no less) and smiled, beckoning him to follow.

Silk smiled ruefully at the sheer greasiness of the situation, licking his lips as he considered following the decisively attractive backside of this girl. But he wasn’t in the mood, he suddenly decided, and spun on his heel, leaving the Longarm to wonder where the well ornamented Fist Fighter had gone.

Now Silk found himself passing by the many watery canals of Mac Anu, gazing into the water as he pondered this strange situation he now lived in, day by day. Certainly it was a lot of trouble to battle overpowered foe after overpowered foe, one after the other… but what other choice did he have? The fact that this was all a game left him with little freedom in the matter. On the one hand, he could abandon this group and live out the rest of his life (assuming he could even die!) as a shadow of a person, knowing day in and day out that none of this was “real.” On the other, Silk could throw in his lot with the Freedom Fighters, searching desperately to find a way out of this death trap that comprised his life. Was there even a way?

Nighthand and the others certainly seemed to believe so, but the Fist Fighter had his doubts. Precisely what was it that they planned to accomplish by defeating this shadowy, all-powerful foe – Marionette? Was the mere act of defeating him assurance that they would break the accursed sleep that had rested on their eyes for so long, some for far longer than others? Really, it all seemed unlikely to the extreme, but once again, it was all he had to go with. Unless he found another group of ragtag adventurers trapped in a game, searching for freedom from a frustratingly existent coma, then this was it.

“Oh well!” laughed Silk, never one to be serious for too long. He tended to ignore larger issues and instead focused on the second-by-second process of keeping his mind from succumbing to absolute depression – a philosophy that perhaps a few of his so-called teammates could benefit from.

With this in mind, Silk traveled to a random field, one far below the caliber of his fighting capacity, and began to wreak havoc on the poor monsters that dared approach him. Rather than outright destroy them, the Fist Fighter decided to toy with them; using his superior evasion, he plucked little patches of vermin up from their respective monster portals and took them on a merry chase to gather their peers.

Finally, having amassed nearly fifty opponents, Silk decided it was time to put their strength to the test. “Ap Corv,” he began, reciting the list of stat-boosting spells at his disposal so that he would leave nothing up to chance. He would hate to test fate too hard. While the Fist Fighter didn’t necessarily doubt himself, he also wasn’t about to take any truly foolish risks. So maybe he was a little bit on the boring side, but who was keeping score?

Once he had stopped blatantly fleeing from the legion of creatures in hot pursuit, everything became trickier. A spear flew directly at his head even as several sets of claws lunged forward to take apart his legs and torso. With a twitch of his head, Silk was able to avoid the spear completely, but the claws were a different story. Delivering two might blows, the Fist Fighter was able to actually break the limbs of two enterprising monsters who obligingly fell back to nurse their former weapons of mayhem. A swift kick to the face of another and a lightning fast follow up kick left a third and fourth monster diving back into the crowd of ne’er-do-wells.

Unfortunately for Silk, though, he only had so many ways of deflecting oncoming assaults, and having already chosen the path of most resistance (i.e.: he decided to fight hand to hand rather than stay back and pummel the sea of enemies with spells), the Fist Fighter now had to contend with two sets of claws that he couldn’t fit into his busy schedule.

While the gouging nails didn’t deal grievous harm, it was enough to make Silk bleed. Ignoring the long gashes in his side, the Fist Fighter countered with an eye-opening combination of punches that left the perpetrators in no condition to continue their assault.

However, as was the case in fifty on one confrontations, Silk soon found himself under fire from all angles, and it wasn’t long before he bled from more than a dozen wounds, although he perhaps recalled getting hit more times than that. In fact, something in his brain tugged him back towards this anomaly… but there would be no grabbing his attention from the heat of the battle.

Speaking of heat… “Double Mortal Scorcher!” shouted the Fist Fighter, his hands igniting in the magical flames associated with the most powerful attack in his arsenal. Upon seeing the blinding fire, many of his opponents panicked and stumbled backwards in order to get away. Rather than extend them the courtesy of a leisurely retreat, Silk mercilessly chased the little buggers down with his flaming fists, extinguishing their lives as if they were candles.

Incidentally, the Double Mortal Scorcher acted as the impetus for opening the floodgate of spells in his repertoire of attacks. “GiVak Don!” he called, scorching the lives from a clump of fleeing enemies. Now that he was no longer limiting himself to the use of normal attacks, this fight was laughable. A few more carefully launched spells, the occasional kick and punch, and perhaps one more Mortal Scorcher for the sake of balance, and the horde of once-menacing field monsters had been completely eliminated.

What remained of the field was a fiery badlands that looked like something straight out of the post-apocalyptic vision of Cormac McCarthy, but since he had caused all of it, Silk remained unconcerned with the still-burning shrubs that surrounded him. Instead, he inspected the three wounds that remained on his body, a number small enough to truly grab the Fist Fighter’s attention.

“Hadn’t I been hit like twenty times?” wondered Silk aloud, pondering the gashes in his arms and chest even as they seemed to shrink before his widening eyes. “Well give me some claws and call me Wolverine,” laughed the Fist Fighter. “I’ve got some kind regenerative healing ability.”

This wasn’t the first time he had made use of a heightened ability to recover from wounds of various degrees of seriousness: during his fights with Angel and Devil, he had shown the capacity to shake off a number of hits, but at the time Silk didn’t recognize the ability for what it really was: a hack.

While Zan had his fancy lycanthropy, Phoenix his wind blade, and Nighthand his spell manipulation, Silk had exhibited little to no unusual techniques or skills. The aforementioned trio of freedom fighters was by no means the only hacks among their group, but perhaps they were the most flamboyant. Phoenix made sure to use his wind blade attack whenever possible, while Nighthand and Zan, when their respective talents were unleashed, were simply impossible to ignore.

And now Silk could proudly step into the ranks of hacked players that comprised the Freedom Fighters, giving himself a unique singularity while also identifying himself with the group for what they truly were: hackers. Although to say it that way was far from delicate, there was really no denying it; but precisely the limits of his regenerative abilities were yet to be ascertained. That is to say, if it was to be a hack that could stand up to, for instance, Zan’s absurdly powerful Merged Form, would be discovered soon enough.

Whipping out his Maki Kamas, Silk set about slicing into himself with reckless abandon. With a loud hiss of pain, the Fist Fighter managed to cut a long gash into his arm that would perhaps indicate that he was suicidal. As it just so happened, the gash closed up relatively quickly, leaving him scar-less but considerably bloodstained. Rather than stain the rest of his clothing, the Fist Fighter stripped down to just his boxers and piled the rest of his junk on the ground nearby; he didn’t want to be completely naked in the event someone showed up.

After several more minutes of cutting, the Fist Fighter figured out that the regenerative powers were about a quarter of the ones granted by Rig Saem: not too much to hoot about, but certainly helpful nonetheless. He could even ignore smaller wounds completely.

This was a grand revelation, to be sure, but the grandest revelation of all came as Silk was putting his clothes back on. As he reached through his pile of odds and ends, a rather heavy volume came into his hand. It was the book he found in Angel’s library: “Potent Potions” by S. Snape.

“Hey!” exclaimed Silk. He remembered right away that in order to make these potions he needed to use a measure of his own blood. This was an amazing coincidence, because he had just discovered that he had a nearly limitless supply of blood thanks to his newly found regenerative powers.

As he read through the introduction, it became immediately clear to him that he needed to possess a very rare type of blood whose very existence was known to only a select few. A few anecdotal remarks about powerful wizards hunting down individuals with this remarkable type and harvesting their life fluid sent shivers up the Fist Fighter’s spine, but he pressed on. The likelihood of him possessing the right kind was slim to nothing, yet simply trying couldn’t hurt, especially since he had so much to spare.

The book was divided into five sections: Offensive, Defensive, Transformative, Environmental, and Essential. The Transformative section really caught his eye, so he flipped over to it right away, hoping for something good. Right away, he knew the “Titan Blood” was for him. Never one to stockpile on items, the Fist Fighter was pleasantly surprised to discover he had both the Warrior Blood and the Knight Blood already in his possession.

Without wasting any time, Silk cut himself for the nth time, dripped the scarlet liquid onto the items, and… whoosh! A whole new item appeared!

“Well whaddaya know?” exclaimed Silk, laughing. “I have the right blood type and an infinite supply of it! Now what are the odds of that?” Silly though it may seem, the Fist Fighter was a Knight of Destiny, and these kinds of strange coincidences occurred all the time for Knights of Destiny.

With a few deep breaths, the Fist Fighter tentatively held the newly created item in his hands, as though it might explode at any moment. After about half a minute with this unlikely eventuality failing to occur, Silk decided to activate it.

What came next was one of the strangest sensations that Silk had ever known. His whole body became numb, and with his own eyes, he saw everything from his arms to his legs enlarge to gigantic proportions. After only ten seconds, the Fist Fighter now stood at 25 feet high.

“Damn!” he boomed, his voice considerably deeper. “This is great stuff!”

Eager to try his new size out in combat, he rushed off to the dungeon. It wasn’t long before he was able to activate a monster portal, and the hilariousness that ensued would make any seasoned veteran laugh. The little bastard that appeared was soon disposed of in Godzilla-esque fashion. Simply by mashing his foot onto the harmless goblin that appeared was enough to kill him, and Silk reveled in his new strength and size.

“This is great!” he laughed. “Imma go kill some – huh?” and in the blink of an eye, he had been reduced to his normal size. “Damn! This stupid potion lasts for like half a second! Ah… I guess I should go back to town and stock up on Knight’s and Warrior’s Bloods.”

With that, the Fist Fighter returned to Mac Anu, entered the appropriate shop, and proceeded to buy a bunch of Knight’s and Warrior’s Bloods. Ten of each, in fact… 2000 gold was hardly a dent in his massive purse.

Mere moments after he made his purchase, the customary ding accompanied by an incoming flashmail notified Silk to the presence of a new message. “Nighthand wants us to move out again, eh?” The Fist Fighter scratched his head with a sigh. “Well, at least it’ll give me a chance to show off my new skill.” And with that, he trooped back to the hideout.

_________________
Level 25 Fist Fighter
Boxing Gloves | Nny Scales | Dice Gloves | Iron Anklet | Time Headband

Skills: Ap Corv, Ap Torv, GiVak Don, Ap Torma, Ap Do, Repth, Kiwami, Double Mortal Scorcher

Wishlist:
1.) Rare Foot Armor
2.) FF Belief
3.) Any stat-altering items


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 4:49 am
Posts: 164
Location: UNKNOWN ERROR, please try again later
Have you ever seen the light?

What...?

Reinier's eyes opened as he shifted his head. He gathered his senses and began to look for distinguishable landmarks. A gentle river flowed next to him, with the rustic feel of a Victorian city evident. “Mac Anu...” he muttered to himself. He rubbed his head and attempted to remember anything. With that vain attempt out of the way, he stood. Abraxas was curled up next to where he slept, so that answered one of his questions. He spread his wings with relative ease, but it pained him.

Have I been flying?

With every attempt to drag out a memory, all he could see was a thick mist. He could remember his name and birthday, as well as other arbitrary events people bother you with, but not what had happened the past few weeks. It could have been days for all he knew at this time. Three hubs, most likely three bosses, that's the latest he could remember. “I don't get it!” Reinier yelled, pulling at his hair.

You're going to give yourself a panic attack. Calm down. Amnesia happens after traumatic events, you know this. And what is your life currently filled with? You can figure that out, I don't need to spell it out for you. The best course of action would be to restock your supplies, and head to the Lambda server. You'll always have a home with the Freedom Fighters, because you share a common bond with them.

Reinier released his hair, and let out a breath of relief. His dragon would always be there for him, and for that he was thankful. He picked up his companion, and set him upon his shoulder. Still not large enough to ride, but that's okay. Eventually. Reinier began to walk, but he noticed something in the corner of his eye. Two unread Flashmail. He opened up his mail, to see one from Nighthand and one from Olive.

To: The Freedom Fighters
From: Nighthand
Subject: Next Destination


It looks like when know where to go next. Marionette has, so it seems, been leading us through challenges to get to his fortress. He’ll no doubt be stronger than any of the minions we’ve fought thus far, so be sure to stock up. Get what you need done out of the way, and be back here tomorrow, so we can all go at once. The destination will be Hopeful Tempting You Fate.

End Flashmail

It's only an hour old... I still have awhile then. Good. Thank you Nights for always been a logistics maniac.

To: Reinier
From: Olive
Subject: None


You probably don't remember me, but we had a class together last year. It doesn't really matter, but yeah. I visited you the other day in the hospital, because we had been talking about it in class. You're Coma Kid at the school now. Sorry about that! I called you that to jog someone's memory and it stuck ever since... But it's weird! I always see you online, but you're clearly comatose. I think this is just an affirmation for me, but I just had to message you... So yeah... just message me back...

End Flashmail

At least I'm still remembered at school. Sure, it's as “Coma Kid,” but I'm still remembered.... That's probably the worst justification I've come up with in awhile. I need to rest... Well, somewhere not in an alleyway, anyway.

It's an unusual thing how no matter what your level or the adventures you've led, you never forget the layout of Mac Anu. Reinier navigated through the streets with relative grace, and soon found himself at the bridge. I don't even remember what items I have... has it been that long? I know I'm a special player, and I'm comatose but... wait...

He stood amongst the crowd. He peered around to see players happily chatting with one and another, without a care in the world. Friends, family, future friends, future family, all of these elements were well alive in Mac Anu. And then there was Reinier. He didn't have any of these, and he had forgotten something very important: What made him important? Nighthand would know, but he couldn't bare the thought of crawling back to Mac Anu with as little information as he had now.

You don't remember what makes you, you? You don't feel anything right now? With all the earth around you, you can't feel anything? Considering your natural inclination to Gan, you should be pretty alive right now.

He did feel rather alive, but not for any particular reason. He scratched the side of his face, feeling rather embarrassed. He began to walk towards the library so he could think in silence. Like most libraries, there was no one in the building. No one logs in to a video game to read. He sat at a table, and set his dragon in front of him. “What makes me special?”

“Silly boy...” The dragon muttered, shaking its head. “The battles you've seen, the powers you've acquired, and the people you've met make you special. There's nothing more to it then that. I suppose it must be because you're memory is in jumbles... Is that why you're freaking out? Memories come back, because they're locked within your heart for no one else to see but you.” The dragon smirked, feeling pleased with himself.

The boy grabbed the dragon by the shoulders, just below the wings, and began to shake it violently. “There's got to be more to it then that!” The sound of “Shhh!” echoed throughout the library as Reinier stopped shaking his companion. He knew to seek out Nighthand, because that was usually the first thing he did when things hit the proverbial fan. He knew there were others like him, and something made them special too, but at this point it was still a blur. Thank God Nighthand knows how to listen and be a caring individual.

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

It's interesting to note that Nighthand both is not a caring individual, and does not know how to listen to the feelings of others. But people generally don't hold it against him. He gets the job done, every now and then, so it's all good.

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

The golden rings hardly had time to stop flowing over Reinier's body before he began to walk. The excitement of seeing everyone had built up inside him, and he had reached a bursting point. The two people he really wanted to see were Nighthand and Zan, but he saw neither of them in the area. The meeting room appeared to be dead, but the barracks was where he expected most of the people to be.

Still no sign of Nighthand...

Reinier wandered into the cafe, and there he was. In all his Nighty-goodness. “Nighthand! Long time no see!” the boy called out as he waved to his comrade. He walked over to where the man was sitting, and took a seat at his table. “It's been awhile... care to fill me in on what's happened?”

"Well, we wandered through Angel's mansion and defeated her, and got the last hub and the last keyword to find Marionette's domain. There... isn't much more than that, really." He said with a lack of emotion

“That's pleasantly dull, I guess... So, what now? Go confront the big baddie in charge of the hubs? Is he really a threat, anyway? I mean, those hubs were significant to the Elites, right? How does it effect puppet master?” Reinier asked, scratching his head.

"That's the million GP question isn't it? Marionette has no connection to anything other than guardian of the Hubs. But then, we don't have much idea of where else we could go, yet. We might as well see what he wants."

“Didn't we learn that shooting first then asking questions ends in tears? Like in Royce's tower... that was a bunch of suck. Doesn't Nall have another suicidal mission we can choose from? One that involves girls in bikinis, preferably,” the boy said with a smirk.

"That'd be another thing. Seen Nall recently?"

“Funny thing, actually. I'm having anterograde amnesia. Something weird happened probably, and now I'm not really remembering much between hub one and waking up in Mac Anu. Thankfully I wasn't pregnant and naked, so that's a plus. But, yeah, my memory's all funky...” He paused, then said, “So no. Haven't seen the kid.”

"That's it. Nall's absent. Aside from Raine's filtering of the results of the hub bombs, we're out of leads."

Reinier mused for a bit. “What about,” and in a whisper, “Sheena?” Once more in his normal voice, “Doesn't she have any leads? There's peace and quiet in this place, so she must not be here...”

"She's out looking for Nall, last I heard."

“I thought things felt a bit sane here... Where's wolfy? He still alive? I don't really remember anyone from the group besides you, me, Nall, wolfy... and that rabbit...” Reinier shuddered, the memory of Hijinx rushing back to him. “God... that... thing... so annoying...”

"Sounds like you're going to be a bit out of place for a while. Zan left to go do his own thing for a while, and Hijinx is missing."

Reinier frowned. He still had Abbers, and Nighthand, but this would be a little awkward. Would he have to go out and, God forbid, socialize? It's always easier to be lonely, sit in the back, and just make fun of people. “Bummer... hopefully the rabbit's dead. Zan better hurry back... Do you think the Soul Shrine would be able to access my memories? I remember it was looking at my past, future, and present, right before I wussed out and gated out...”

"I never know what it can do. Not a very user-friendly place these days."

Reinier nodded. “Yet another bummer. Haven't had much time to visit it, have you? I can only imagine everyone's been busy with the hubs, cus it was kind of a time crunch deal...”

"Yeah. Pretty much sums it up." Nothing had changed. Just as trite as ever.

Reinier gave his nod, and stood up. “Sounds good. I should be in for the long haul this go around. I'm going to go pass out in the barracks, since apparently you can sleep in this place soundly now without worry of everything turning to whip cream.” He gave a wave and walked away, saying, “You know where I am if you need me.”

He found his way in to the barracks, and tossed his sword next to a bed. He lay down, watching his dragon crawl onto his chest and falling into a deep sleep. He shifted his hands behind his head, closed his eyes, and drifted off as well.

Have you ever seen the light?

What?

No response. Reinier's mind sucks.

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


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