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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:48 pm 
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Master of Games
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
The party didn’t disperse immediately. There was much tending to wounds, resting, sleeping, and an altogether muted air. No one quite wanted to be the first to leave the safety of the safehouse, with the four biggest players all staying put. Nall couldn’t move, comatose as he was. Sheena refused to leave his side for more than a few minutes at a time. Her only move was to see to Takua, to see if there was anything she could do. The answer, sadly enough, was not much. As with Nighthand, she was not top of the line when it came to fixing eyes. Nighthand himself chose a cot in the middle of the room and promptly fell asleep, his light snores providing enough background noise to muffle small conversations. Demorian was awake, weak by Tritoch’s final attack. Of all of them, only he was really mobile. Though he seemed subdued, somehow, hard as it was to put a finger on it.

Some time later, a man arrived knocking at the door. Demorian seemed to be expecting this, and he moved to open it. A brief exchange of mumbled words at the entrance, and Demorian stepped back, letting the man inside.

He was tall, almost seven feet, and built like a truck. The armor he wore was similar to that of the terra cotta soldiers, only far more well-built, more heavy-duty. Also, judging by the pocks and scars on its surface, far more used.

“My name is Guard Captain Nikols.” He addressed the party from a position near the door. He had the air of a weary police officer doing his duty in a classroom. “I’ve heard what you did out in the wastes, and I’m grateful. It’s not often that a citizen will reach the city gates and stay to fight their battles. The Guard is pleased to present a bonus to each of you.” He waved a hand, and each of them received a Flashmail, empty save for an attachment of 10,000 GP and 5 Resurrects.

“Apathy these days. Bah. The usual citizen of this city won’t even bat an eye at a monster at the gates. The guards will stop it, of course. They always do. But would it kill them to help? Okay so it might, but that’s no matter. Anyways. Since you all are new here, I’ll give you a few tips. No one here cares where you’re from. They won’t ask, and you won’t tell. No one cares if you’re lying, either. You’re free from your past here. This,” He smacked the wall with a gloved palm. “Is the Gan Sector of the Elemental District of Luchairt Cradh, Root Town of the Yamiyo Server. Try not to cause trouble. If you get lost, ask for the guard quarters in the Gan Sector, and one of us will find you your way back.”

He shut up so abruptly it seemed like more was to come, but he turned on his heel and left. Demorian closed the door after him. Then he shrugged, glanced over the room, and sat back down. “Well, you heard the man. Feel free to explore. Don’t get into too much trouble and you should be fine.”

--------------------------OOC:

Scatter to the winds, younglings! You can either post actions and have me respond to them in short bursts, or you can script actions with me. All four districts of the city are open to you, and you can use the chaos gates to travel between them. That won’t get you flagged.

I would prefer that you not do out-of-yamiyo solos and sidequests, but if you want to, you can. Just realize that I’ll be making a note of it for later abuse. =D

Wander the town, talk to people, buy things from the bazaar. Generally do the pre-quest stuff you usually would, only you’re not in a normal town. Questions and comments lemme know.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:59 am 
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Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(Whoever said you never hear it coming is a fucking liar. 'Cause it's not so much a matter of hearing it, but doing anything about it. Canti only heard the sizzle and had been struck by the time his eyes widened. He hadn't even the time to shout a curse as the chain-lightning of three elements plowed through him, or to look and see what it was that got him. He was simply out in an instant, and hit the ground, out cold. He was unaware of anything further as he was taken away by the heavily-armored Gate Guards...)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Awakening in The World and yet NOT The World, he looked around at his surroundings and found them to be the deserted wasteland that he'd trekked through. The sky was blood-red and the ground was dark and almost sick-looking, resembling nothing even remotely familiar, no part of the area that he'd been to before. Canti stood up and called out, to see if anyone responded. No one was here. Nobody. Nobody...)

Canti: They wouldn't have... They couldn't have left me... I don't believe that!

(The Twin Blade searched with an ever-increasing panic growing behind his eyes. There was no direction or understanding to this place. It shifted around in the distance, so that going forward was going backwards, and going back was up-diagonal-3! He couldn't get his bearings, because they were running from him like prey from a predator. They wouldn't leave him... They wouldn't just leave him... They-)

Canti: Nighthand...

He doesn't go looking for stragglers...

Canti: Nighthand...!

Doesn't like your attitude, doesn't like the way you think, the way you are!

Canti: ...YOU BASTARD!!!

(POW!!! The ground erupted behind him, forcing him into a run as a mass seemed to grow out of everywhere and shape into...Tritoch! Tritoch in his full monstrous form, with screaming human faces adorning him on several points of his body. The massive chimera creature bore down upon him, exploding bits of The World all around them as the shriek came. That hideous shriek... This was the absolute worst there could be, alone and isolated and faced with an unreasoning homicidal Admin. Canti was running in great strides to GET AWAY from here, but something clicked as he made miles over hellish landscape. Tritoch was dead. This wasn't right. Tritoch died and he was instrumental in killing him. A massive anger filled the Twin Blade's spirits as he suddenly reversed his strided and leapt at the beast.)

Canti: ENOUGH ALREADY!!

(Darkness erupted from all over and blew into the figment of Tritoch in his mind, splashing over it like crude oil and leaving the creatures on its back with Canti standing atop of it.)

Canti: I don't even feel the slightest bit guilty over this.

(He slit the chimera's throat, and suddenly it was human Tritoch with a gaping throat-wound. He flipped the Admin the bird, turned, and left.)

"You'll wish you HAD after this."

(Canti turned and found...himself sitting there, opening Tritoch up and eating his insides, blood and sinew dripping from a mouth full of fangs.)

"We are the Twilight. We eat our own to survive."

(And suddenly, his demonic self charged at him, going for the throat-)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(The winged Twin Blade awoke with a start, looking both shocked, fatigued, and...now very confused. Where the hell was he THIS TIME? He was now sitting on a cot in wide-open room with nothing special about it besides the various furnature this time. Well, at least there were people here now.)

"Demorian. These guys say we’ll be safe here. That true?"

"Yeah. It’s a safehouse, looks like. We’ll be fine."


(Having heard this, Canti then felt very tired, but safe for the time being. He laid back down on the cot, wrapping his wings tightly around himself in lieu of covers, and muttered "Bastard...". It's not exactly sure who he was referring to there, at this point. Before he actually went to sleep, though, he saw that Nall was okay and drifted off as Sheena was explaining something or other...)

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

(Elsewhere in Yamiyo, a Chaos Gate activated, sending golden rings flying in the traditional teleport-in effect as it always did. However, what appeared was not a human being or even humanoid. It was some sort of dark hound with a metal-studded leather collar around its neck. It was not a normal monster of The World, and thus a bit of an anomaly. However, 'round these parts, this could be seen as just another creature of the Wastes. The funny part is...it hadn't come from there at all, but a different server. No immediate explanation there. A deep Orsen Welles-like voice emanated from it.)

"Searching..."

(Immediately, it because to sniff around, taking in the scent of The World. It was in a place with very many twists and turns, so its purpose here would take some time. The monster hound was soon engrossed in the labyrinth...)

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

(Canti was awoke later by the arrival of a guest. Since there wasn't any obvious hostility, he didn't make any sort of move. He had to assume they weren't in trouble. In fact, by the sound of things, they were in goods with the locals...sorta'. Guard Captain Nikols, he was called. The highly highly armored earth-man was actually rewarding them for killing Tritoch. He didn't even know what that bastard WAS. Brilliant! So, he explained what the situation was around here and where exactly they were, which was important for Canti, who didn't even see this place, coming in. He kept the noted little datum in hindbrain for later, knowing full-well that it would be important later. After all, he'd read from that computer and gotten from Demorian that this place was fuggin' HUGE. Speaking of which, the former Marionette gave them the call to go, but be careful. Well, no worries there. Canti wasn't even in the SHAPE to go exploring yet. For one, he needed to replenish his vastely-depleted item stock. Getting up, the Twin Blade headed for the door, but stopped as he heard an equally wiped-out Twin Blade speak up.)

"Mind if I tag along?"

Canti: Eh? Oh, yeah. Sure. Just shopping.

(Talal was about as out of it as he was, but perhaps they could do damage together, right? Wait, no no no! Bad Canti! They weren't here to cause a ruckus! Still, it seemed like a perfectly good idea to party up in this case, to watch your back if nothing else. This place was suppose to get wild at times.)

"Thanks, I need to find some things too and didn't want to go alone. New place and all that."

Canti: Hah, you and me both.

(Opening the door, Canti made his way out into the new server town with Talal, not paying too much attention to the inherent stoney nature of their surroundings. They said it was Gan Sector, so big surprise with all the terracotta and such. Heading for the area of the Chaos Gate, he set the thing to take them to the Bazaar...which was relatively safe since this was a shopping district, mostly. Now, they were suppose to blend in by looking like they belonged here. Sure, no problem. Except...when materializing there, Canti's eyes widened at the place.)

Canti: Whoa. Not what I expected.

"I hadn't paid much attention on the way in, it's really different. So where are we off to first?"

Canti: Ummm... Holy shit, look at the map.

(There was once an age-old game for the Atari system, called Maze Craze, which featured random mazes to navigate through. Now that his map was working again, Canti was shocked to find this place very much like that classic game. Man oh man... You could get lost for YEARS in this place.)

Canti: I'm pretty much stuck to wandering 'till I find what I need. Gotta replenish ohhh...everything.

"Wandering is fine with me. I don't like feeling lost and the only way to learn your way around is learn the layout. I do wonder though why they named the districts after the elements?"

Canti: Ya mean where I woke up? That place...I guess people over-specialize.

"I suppose so. It's as good a guess as any."

(They'd gotten moving along by now, taking in the sight of the place as they attempted to find shops for what they wanted and/or needed to buy. Canti was more focused on the material needs that the people around. Making eye-contact here felt like you were asking for trouble. Then again, sometimes you just couldn't help but stare a little. Talal was more focused on looking at the twisty walls and buildings, and the people as well. Finally, she spoke softly, so as not to draw attention.)

"Canti, are all the people here...like us?"

(Canti actually stopped, the notion catching him off guard. He looked around, at the various people who were anywhere from completely normal to super-wahoo hacked. You could never really tell around here, could you? The fella you meet may be your own worst nightmare or so completely way off base that there is no way to even approach them.)

Canti: You know, perhaps... Nikols said nobody has a past here. They might be like us, they might be awake, or they might...not be real people. You never know.

"I heard someone say once, you could sometimes tell by their movement. Those stuck here like us, our movement is more fluid and not as jerky as someone who is being controlled by a remote. You must think I'm weird for wondering such things."

(She laughed and he had to join in, mostly because it brought up a funny retort.)

Canti: I have a confession to make. No, two actually. First, I think I definitely qualify for weirdness, so no worries there. And second...I totally had fluid grace at the controller. Some people got it and some just don't. Oh, hey. Pillar thingy.

(There were these pillar-like Kiosks here and there in the Bazaar. Canti found one and proceeded to shove a big ole' bag of GP in the NPC's face for a load of necessary items.)

"That actually looks really easy. When you're done, I'll have a go at it!"

Canti: You might not have quite the bulk. I just traded in much of my allowance for the healthy essentials.

"You are probably correct. I do need to stock up a bit but not quite that much.Do you think they sell bottled water?"

Canti: *Blinks* That's...those element-uppers, right?

"Umm uppers? I - I don't know if they do or not."

(He produces a Cooked Bile for visual aid, a small flask-ish object containing a purple Ani-type liquid, located at your nearest darkness-element dungeon filled with eggs. So remember to shop smart. Shop S-Mart!)

Canti: Items for increasing element counts. This is a one-use Ap Anid, basically. I think Bottled Water is for Rue.

(Well, he was fairly sure, anyway. Talal took the bottle to examine it and swish it around experimentally before handing it back to him.)

"I wonder if the Rue ones look and feel liquidy when outside of the bottle or if they are digitalized. I might have to get one and see."

Canti: I have no idea. The only use I have for a Rue bottle is defense.

(They'd started to move around the twists and turns again.)

Canti: Man, when they said bazaar, I didn't think it'd be both meanings at once...

"Agreed! Speaking of which, I have possibly kind of a weird question. Everyone keeps talking about powers and abilities and the first time I saw your body break out in dark flame, I wasn't sure who or what you really were. Is that your ability or power?"

(Canti chuckled at this.)

Canti: I'm as human as you are, Talal. You see, the source of the Elites' power is the same virus that puts people into comas. So, while they're hacked and comatosing people, those people have Twilight in them and start to develop abilities...pretty much based around the character. For instance, I made Canti as a homage to a god of dark flames mentioned in an anime. So, I'm all flames and darkness.

"That helps a lot actually, thank you for explaining that to me. Ooooh, what's that over there? They have some more potion things over there."

(Actually, she still looked kinda' confused, but Canti let it go...as she was already heading over to a new place. It was a vendor shop that looked like it was selling voodoo heads and such, made to look deliberately ramshackle in appearance. The actual vendor appeared as some sort of highly-tattooed tribal magician guy with a bone through his nose, a Baron Samadi hat, and a...monocle over his right eye. Yeah...no idea what that was all about. Canti looked over the vendibles on display.)

Canti: Some of these are...hmmm.

"...not available in Mac Anu for sure. Look at that tarot card over there!" *pointed to The World* "That would have come in handy a little earlier."

Canti: Totally.

(They both buy some of these Tarot cards and such, and then Canti actually tries to palm a few more - all sneaky-like - before the vendor smacks him in the hand with a hammer and tells him to piss off. Grumbling to himself, he walks off to go find other vendies. Talal slapped him in the shoulder for that.)

"I can't believe you! We're not supposed to attract unwanted attention. You're going straight to the corner when we get back."

Canti: Hey, I'm reliably informed that this stuff happens all the time here. Also, ow.

(Actually, nobody really told him, but he DID see it happen a few times, so it wasn't like he was entirely inaccurate there. The other Twin Blade just grinned at him.)

"Reliably you say. How does that old saying go? Just because somebody else does it...?" * she raises a sarcastic eyebrow* "Help me find a vendor that sells scarfs or small cloths of some sort."

Canti: Oh, no you don't. I'm working my way to armor first. I feel under par.

"Fine! We'll go for armor first. Wouldn't want you feeling inferior by any means."

(She laughed, rolling her eyes slightly. Canti just facepalmed.)

Canti: Please tell me you weren't taking that in a weird way.

"Nah, I knew what you meant. Just having a little fun is all. Besides, you'll need something with a little more umph to it if you go looking for your friend later."

Last known location: Yamiyo - Stitcher Sector.

(And that's where he paused for a second, suddenly silent. In the heat of the moment, the dark Twin Blade's mission here had slipped his mind. Guess it's down to the company you keep and the hardships so tough that it's difficult to sleep.)

Canti: Yeah... I can't forget about that. Oh, hey. Quick question. I didn't ask, but assumed... What exactly DID that bastard do while my back was turned?

(She took some time before she answered, the smile on her face all but vanished and a solemness came over her.)

"He let go his final attack. I'm assuming the one Demorian talked about in his message. It was, oh what do they call that, a triple threat? It was a combination of Rai, Rue and Vak and took the form of something similar to chain lightning. Takua got the full brunt of it before...before it continued onto everyone else, effecting us all in different ways depending on how close we were to Tritoch. You and Demorian were still close enough that it knocked you both unconscious the minute it struck. I'm glad you came out of it so quickly."

Canti: Thanks...though I hate to see Tak like that.

(He'd gotten a look at Takua before, seeing how badly he was hurt. The guy had higher levels than him and yet he was the one that awoke... There was ann uneasy silence now. Canti hated those, but he didn't have any good idea of what to say next.)

"I do too and not that any of us could have prevented it from happening. It was so quick and we all thought he was dead." *her voiced raised slightly, angry* "Damn him for having to be sure and poking around a dead body that wasn't dead yet!" *big sigh and she calms a bit* "Sorry, it's just that, he is I guess you could say my mentor. He showed me the ropes when I first started playing. My first real friend in a long time. I feel like I owe it to him to watch his back, ya know? So he knows I was listening and learning and not wasting his time...I guess."

(He gave her a knowing look.)

Canti: You're not wasting anyone's time, Talal. Trust me. You're aces in my book, at least.

(...which he said to lighten the mood, having been given the chance to not let this moment stay awkward and depressing.)

"Thanks! You're not so bad yourself."

Canti: Now then...where the bloody fuck is- Aha!

(PYON!! People in root towns generally leave behind dust trails when running, and no less was that true here. Canti went over the NPC really fast and started purchasing armor equipment, then stood tall as though somehow refreshed.)

Canti: Somehow, my sudden descent into poverty proved totally worth it.

"Feeling more up to par now, are we?"

Canti: I feel parred up and ready to go. Where next, then? I'm suddenly totally hyped. Probably because I'm almost broke now.

(He must've hit her funny bone, because Talal laughed more than usual.)

"I believe it's my turn to find something nice."

Canti: Heh, go for it. I...think we haven't gone that way.

(He pointed in a random direction.)

"Quite right, and we're off!"

(She changed her tone to have a slight british accent with her words while she looped her arm around Canti's elbow and began to walk off in that direction. Since he had NO idea where they were actually going, the dark Twin Blade just let her lead. His obligations to the Canti Survival Fund were concluded now. And soon, they located a vendor whose stand was different from the last - looking somewhat professional - though he had the oddest feeling about it. The vendor looked to be some sort of middle-eastern-looking stereotypical silk merchant. Actually, he looked like Jamie Farr in a Sheik's outfit, almost EXACTLY like Abdul Ben Fallafal from the Cannonball Run movies. Sounded that way too.)

"Welcome, welcome...to Akbar's Fine Clothing Emporium. We have been expecting you all day. So please, have a look and tell me what you like."

(Canti refrains from commenting on the grounds that he would probably say something he'd regret later. Also, who is 'we'? Anyway, Talal was in a good mood now, so she is playing with the material in like high fashion, taking the scarfs and wrapping them around her head, fluttering her eyes and acting all prissy like, and saying "Don't I just look grand!". She laughed and then moved onto some smaller pieces. She found a small piece that could be used as a neck scarf or another waist sash similar to what she was wearing.)

"Excuse me sir, how much for this?"

Akbar?: Here at Akbar's Emporium, the clothes are always coming and going, no fee too small, no style too quaint. That little number is a paltry 5 GP a piece, no problem!

Canti: You got any shades?

Akbar?: What do you need 'em for, blacky?

(Ouch. Canti got himself burned there. Plus, there weren't any of those anyway, so no dice.)

"Sold! I'll take three of them."

(She chose 3 dark shaded pieces of cloth and turned toward Canti, almost ready to leave, and then turns back around.)

"Would you by any chance have some Pure Waters as well?"

Akbar?: Pure Water? Pure Water? I live life with my nose to the grindstone-

Canti: Likely story.

Akbar?: -in a desert and you ask me...for Pure Water? Well, it so happens that YES, I have Pure Water. And for a low price, adjusting for desert tax, you can purchase Pure Water from this very store!

(He held up a case of said items.)

Akbar?: 700 GP a piece.

"Surely, you would consider a lower price for a repeat customer now wouldn't you...say by half?"

(Talal was putting some charm on the man. That seemed to light up Rudolph's expression, and it was all Canti could do to keep himself silent. Seriously, one false move and he was gonna bust out laughing, but he was holding that it so that he didn't make a noise.)

Akbar?: Well errr...stretching the definition of repeat customer a little ummm...yes! Allah smack me with a gavel, I have seen the light.

*Dramatic pause*

Akbar?: 450 a piece and not a sheckle less.

(Damn! So close... Talal let out a dramatic sigh.)

"Alas, that's not quite half but I will accept your generosity and take four of them."

(Of course, she wasn't about to argue with saving 250 per bottle, so there we are. As for Canti, he was thinking Damn, she's good! as the vendor dropped the bottles onto the counter with a flourish, took the offered money, and put the rest away...leaving so-called Akbar 1800 GP richer. And we sincerely hope there was no relation between THIS Akbar, and the 8-Bit Theater Akbar.)

Akbar?: Have a nice day and don't let the sandworms bite!

Canti: I seriously hope he was acting. Someone like that is really pushing the limits of the strange.

"I've found it's the ones like that, that are usually harmless. It's the suave ones you have to watch out for. Just be thankful he didn't come back with a higher price or I was going to have to offer to throw in a kiss that of course he'd never get. You'd be accompaning me on a quick sprint right about now. I'm done with my shopping, was there anything else you were looking for?"

Canti: Not on 700 GP, unless there was something like that guy's wears I wanted. However, I didn't see a hat and trenchcoat, so...nope. Any other things confusing you that you need answered? I'm not going out exploring just yet, so that's almost like having some free time on my hands.

"Actually, it would take more than what time you have today to solve all of my confusion as much as I appreciate the kind offer. However, there are a couple of things bothering me still since you asked. Do you think that our battles from here on out will be primarily against other players like ourselves, like Tritoch?"

(Whoa, a doozy. Thanks for laying that bomb on us. It sounded as though she was very concerned about this. Canti had to visibly think on it.)

Canti: If you're thinking that we might have to kill, you're not the first one worried about that. We're forced to fight it out with whoever the Elites throw in our way. Personally, I won't feel any remorse over Tritoch, but I think I'd rather face monsters who are honestly monsters. Even still, the Elites are people, and we won't be free until they're out of the picture, probably.

(He now looked at her directly.)

Canti: This is a slippery slope, Talal. We want to be right, but we also want to be free, and they certainly don't mind killing us.

"I know they don't and that's the only thing that has gotten me past the last few I've had a part in...killing. I guess I keep the hope that even though they die here, we are simply releasing them so they can wake up from their coma? I mean, do we die in the real world if we die here and vice versa? Does anyone really know the answer to that?"

(She was, at that point, extremely lost in thought to the point she had stopped walking. Canti sighed, stopping with her.)

Canti: I don't know... I've been awfully close a few times. I don't know if anyone wakes up or sleeps forever. I have a hunch that we're literally fighting for our lives, and that anyone in the Twilight is aboard the same boat. As for our bodies, I think we're good for now. I live alone and I'm self-employed, but I'm under care, so that means the rest of us are too, no doubt.

"Thanks, Canti. You know, too bad we are in the middle of the desert. I could really go for an ocean setting right about now. The sounds can be very theraputic. I think that's all the questions I have for now."

Canti: Hey, no problem. I'm here if you need me. For Takua too. I may've been a loner, but I wanna look after you guys the best I can. I do better than Nighthand ever would.

"You're doing great so far. I wouldn't have made it this far without you. None of us would have."

Canti: Ah, you're just saying that because me and my mad skillz stuck it to the crazy admin, right down to an arm-lock he couldn't even break.

"Yup! And you loved every minute of it too, especially the arm-lock and don't you try to say otherwise."

Canti: He deserved it. And in the end, I left it up to Demorian what to do. Frankly, I hope we don't ever see him again. TEN TIMES I got killed and he tries for eleven! Come on, let's get back before we're missed.

"Race ya!"

(Their moods very much improved, Talal counted as far as "2" before taking off and shouting "3" from down the street, Canti yelling "Cheater!" as he ran after her, heading for the Chaos Gate and the promise of refuge in the Gan Sector safe house. Shortly after they were gone, a monster dog wandered along a different-but-connected side-street, but not actually over anywhere which contained the scent of his target. Not yet.)

OOC: From this point on, I control the actions of a demon hound which was created for Canti's use and was only able to find Yamiyo because Canti entered the root town.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:23 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:28 pm
Posts: 108
Location: Hiding in the shadows
He rubbed some of the grogginess from his eyes and looked around again. The stone walls were still there, and so was the ragtag beat up group of players. It hadn’t been a dream no matter how much the boy wished he could sleep the troubles away. A couple people had left the warehouse it seemed, but he couldn’t pinpoint exactly who. Still, it seemed they had the right idea as the air in their little hiding hole was stale with the quiet. Nobody was talking or moving, everybody absorbed in their own thoughts and feelings. He had to cut them some slack, they had after all, just killed an admin. That would bring unknown repercussions and ramifications assuming they could even get out of Yamiyo. It was problem after problem after problem for them. Sure the boy’s nap spared him from a couple hours of grief, but it brought misery in its own way. This was the first time in a long while that he had dreamt of home. Not home in regards to Mac Anu, but home in regards to the real world. With his family, his friends, the inane little things he could tell he would have a newfound appreciation for. Well, that was entirely accurate, his memory was thoroughly shattered, he dreamt of people he presumed were his family and friends, but nothing in his mind could confirm or deny it. He needed some air.

Twisting around for a final look he crept out of the safehouse, attempting to avoid the glances of his comrades. No offense towards any of them, but he wanted to be alone, at least for now. He emerged out into the “Gan Section” and for the first majorly coherent time, Luchairt Cradh. The first things to catch his eye were the domes and spires of a regal looking building that, after a quick glance around, would appear to be the central point of leadership in this section of town. Rather than stand there and gaze like a foreigner the Long Arm quickly ducked in behind a small group of men, whispering furtively amongst themselves. They seemed urgently distracted but not enough where the boy could pretend to partake of their group, so he kept a careful distance behind them and simply followed them, around a couple corners and under a couple arches before emerging into a giant seething mass of sheep.

There were people everywhere. He thought was Mac Anu was bad, this made the River City look like the middle of bumfuck nowhere when compared to Los Angeles. People jostled everywhere, some in groups others by themselves. The only place that had even a little space around it was the Chaos Gate, and that was theoretically so people wouldn’t get clipped by its slowly revolving surface. Shrugging the boy shouldered his way into the throngs of the crowd and let himself get swept along. He didn’t particularly care where he went so he let himself be shuffled and washed around until he was the one that got shouldered out of the way and into a different section of the district.

That was when he realized his wanderings had had a purpose after all. As soon as he set foot into the area the wisps danced in the air around him and his mind joined them in their bittersweet song. He had ended up in the Ani District, and wasn’t willing to write it off as chance. This was good, he felt safe here, this was a place where he could crash and think for a bit. Glancing around he noticed that a couple of passerby briefly cocked an eyebrow in his direction but the majority paid him no mind. He had to admit that it felt kind of nice to be in the middle of a bunch of other weirdoes, they didn’t give a shit about what quirks or oddities that circled you.

The Long Arm had only to walk a few more paces before he found something resembling the offspring of a side street and alley that stretched back a few meters. He followed it back around three-quarters of the way before he found a small stone outcropping that would serve his purposes perfectly. He hopped up and lounged against the wall, one knee propped up drawn into his chest, his other leg hanging languidly off the edge. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and let himself be lost in the song.

. . .

It started as a quiet whisper first, a tiny tug of encroachment on his premises. That tug turned into a shove, and then in a rush he was back the singular mind now back to its full capacity.

You were a bitch to find. What in god’s name possessed you to run around so much?

It wasn’t me. You should know that. But since it took you so damn long I take it you found the hellhole?

Of course I found it you twit, who do you take me for? It took me so long trying to track you all down, and then having to sneak into Yamiyo of all places. Are you serious? What possessed you to take up residence here?

It wasn’t my choice. We got caught and thrown here. We can’t leave right now either. We’ll take care of business once we manage to worm out of this place. In the meantime get some sleep. You’ll need it.

Then keep your blasted humming down you tone deaf bastard.


There was silence once more as the shadows crept and loomed around him. They would have to go soon, but not before he recharged a bit. They had earned it.

_________________
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: Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:02 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Posts: 114
When all the spells and mists died down that last thing anyone saw was Demorian’s blade slicing through the neck of the once great admin. Takua as always, wanted to make sure everything was final and stepped close to the body slumped on the ground. Talal cringed as she watched from afar with a dreadful feeling; something about Demorian’s last message of a finale type strike hovering at the front of her thoughts. Those thoughts instantly became reality when the combined lightning of three separate elements struck the Wavemaster straight on and then jumped to Canti and Demorian sending all of them to the ground in heaped piles; the female Twin Blade screaming at the top of her lungs.

”NO!”

Silenced only by a slightly weakened form of the same lighting as it struck both her and the Heavy Blade next to her, Talal was unable to go help. The soldiers moved and slung the three over their shoulders and started to leave which made both of the injured fighters worried. Talal did her best to help Nighthand up while he cried out exactly what was on her mind. She did her best to support the Heavy Blade while at the same time rush him along a bit to try and catch up to the guards. She wanted to stay as close as possible to them just in case the guards were lying. She was no leader and by far not the groups’ strongest fighter but she was extremely protective of her friends.

They followed, Nighthand leaning less and less on the girl with each step. The guards took them around and around winding through rows of endless old brick built buildings until finally turning down a quiet, scantly used side street and stopped at a large iron door. Once the guards had pushed open the door the group followed them in and found whatever looked appealing as a space to rest amongst the large open room littered with various pieces of furniture scattered about. The unconscious were set down on a few of the cots.

Once in Nighthand was able to handle his own, so Talal went over and found a spot to sit on the floor in between the two cots where Takua and Canti lay to keep a close vigil; at least that was the thought. The mere act of sitting drained the stamina she had managed to keep up fueled by simple adrenaline, barely managing to listen in on what was happening in the room with closed eyes. She heard Canti stir briefly which barred a bit of relief. One was awake, now she just needed to wait for the other. His stirring was followed by the words “safe” and “bonus” and then the door shut. Head bobbing and the door opening startled her eyes back open in time to see Sheena arrive with a still unconscious Nall. That must have been the bonus she heard. A feeling of being complete fell over the girl; the group was once again whole and her eyes closed again unable to fight the fatigue.

Good restful sleep wasn’t to be had. Sounds of even the slightest extent kept her from delving into a sleep state. Everything from someone turning over or repositioning, moving around the room, stretching and most of all Nighthand’s snoring although light, still sounded loud to the young girl. Ever so often Sheena would come over to check on Takua. Did she have a healing ability? Is that how Nall looked better now than he did before? Did she maybe know someone in town that could help? The most recent time, the Twin Blade’s head bobbing once again from a minute amount of time where sleep had not eluded her, she chose to finally ask, her voice heavy with concern for her friend.

”Is there anything you can do for him?”

She shook her head slightly. "Nothing I haven't already done. Were it a simple injury... but it's deeper than that."

Talal tilted her head while the wheels turned inside her mind trying to put the puzzle pieces together and figure out what the woman meant. What exactly had she done to him? The black haired girl hadn’t seen anything go on; then again she couldn’t guarantee that she was awake and coherent all the time either. For now she just nodded with a faint smile to both recognize and thank the woman for her efforts. Asking more questions right now would just make her look as stupid as she felt for not understanding such things.

Another guard arrived later, his uniform suit of armor looked well used which either meant he’d seen a lot of days at the gate entrance from the wastelands or this server was a good one to be roaming around in alone. He introduced himself to the group as Guard Captain Nikols. His words although filled with gratitude sounded like the man could use a vacation. What was that….citizens? So was this place to be their new home? One big giant room with no privacy? Come to think of it, where did the others call home before being dropped into the cell block? More constant questions than answers, so much to the point that Talal was afraid she might actually get used to it. Not a comforting thought in the least.

Captain Nikols gave a short overview of the city and what not to do, like that wasn’t a given, which she filed away into memory. Once he left, Talal opened up the flashmail that had arrived while he was talking but she waited to avoid distraction. Seeing what was attached, her jaw almost dropped making her even happier she had waited. Talk about being grateful. Were the rest of the citizens of this town that bad? Regardless, there was no way she’d be going out alone at least not for a while. That’s when she noticed Canti was heading for the door.

She wasn’t sleeping well and as tired as she was, she need to replenish her supplies if she was going to be of any use for the next fight that came along. Standing from her spot on the hard floor (why again had she chosen that spot?) and then stretching slightly, she hesitantly approached her fellow Twin Blade not sure if she was ready to face the town just yet and asked if she could tag along. He wearily agreed looking as though he hadn’t gotten much restful sleep either, also agreeing not going alone was a good plan.

Talal turned back and took a last look at her friend and then looked over to Sheena sitting beside Nall. Their glances locked for a moment, a look between two caregivers that was unmistakable as to its meaning. The girl smiled slightly and nodded and Sheena nodded in return. Takua would be watched over while she was gone. With that, she turned and followed Canti out the door.

The pair headed straight for the Chaos gate and then onto the bazaar. It was big, busy with people, rows and rows or maybe they were streets of vendors selling anything they could find to sell. Walking towards the hustle and bustle Talal’s curious nature began to show and out came her first off the wall question. Canti took it in stride and her eyes wandered to the buildings and people around them. This server seemed so reclusive so what made all of these people so special to be here? Why did Captain Nikols make it a point to tell us we were free from our past here? What past? Unless…being free from our past meant that being stuck in the game was nothing new to those wandering the very same streets the pair currently walked.

Quietly she posed her question to him not wanting to attract any unwanted attention by the inquiry. The fact that it made him stop dead in his tracks was unexpected. Even though part of what he said sparked another question in her mind, she didn’t voice it, instead laughing the whole thing off. Canti joined in the laughter with a couple jokes of his own that really helped to lighten the mood followed by the finding of an automated stone kiosk or as he so eloquently put it…’Pillar thingy’. Finally, someone else who could speak basic descriptive English.

It was enjoyable to watch him shop through all the available items like a kid in a candy store. It was so fun looking that she couldn’t wait to get her turn at the controls even if she did have a LOT less shopping to do than he did which brought on some more casual laughter between the pair; something that Talal needed desperately.

Even through the fun and the laughter, thoughts never left how her friend was doing back in the room. Had he awakened? If so, could he open his eyes? Was he fully intact – mind and body? Sheena’s comment of his injuries being deeper had her scared. What could she do to help him? Nothing she had item wise could help if there was nothing the other woman could do. That just left old fashioned TLC. Who knows, maybe it would do something, maybe it wouldn’t and she wouldn’t know unless she tried which meant she needed a couple more things, some water and a few cloths. But did the water come out liquidy when poured out of the bottles or was it all digital data? Canti brought out a bottle of a different type of liquid potion to show her. Inside the bottle it swished around so she hoped that meant it would react just like normal outside, but she didn’t want to open his bottle and waste it to test her theory. She could do that with her own stock. Handing the bottle back to him, she looked through the Kiosk and noted it didn’t have what she needed so with her transaction complete they were off to the bazaar.

Either people just had a lucky knack for opening up doors with their comments or she had a way of twisting them in her mind to fit a question that was begging to be answered, being as there were so many of them. Whichever it was, she decided it was about time to ask about his dark flames. She had been putting the pieces together and thought she had it figured out but confirming suspicions never hurt. He chuckled but then gave her an explanation in a way that she could understand it. Canti really did have a way of doing that which she was very grateful for.

Now the question was, was that if what he says is true, what will she become? She didn’t create her character after any one almighty concept. She was just a girl with a couple of blades she slung around. Not that it mattered, it sounded like these extra skills or abilities had to have time to develop so she’d deal with the changes as they came.

The bazaar had so many tents of different shapes, sizes, and atmospheres that it was like being at the fair. Talal caught site of one that looked dark and evil like something out of a science fiction movie or something. It had the little pigmy skulls hanging from twine lacing the outside rim of the tent and then inside there were all sorts of things that looked like they were for voodoo rituals or something. She wasn’t much into all of that but the Tarot cards did strike her fancy and she found one that would have been nice to have a few hours earlier, pointing it out to Canti as she purchased a few for herself.

Her fellow Twin Blade had also decided to get a few and then tried to butter finger a few more. The vendor caught him in the act so he was lucky they didn’t call the guard. What on earth was he thinking? He received a good back handed slap on the shoulder from her for it along with a tongue lashing. Problem was, she was enjoying herself and in times like this it tended to bring out her odd sense of humor so she scolded him with being sent to the corner like a little kid when they got back. Of course she’d never do that but couldn’t resist the urge to say it.

He of course rebutted his position saying he was reliably informed to which she simply rebutted back with some good old common sense and a sarcastic look on her face. A true man though when he wouldn’t let her put shopping for scarves above armor. She just rolled her eyes and enjoyed another opportunity to give him a bad time and then he asked how he got knocked out. The story of it all was a bit wordy but at least he knew the details that way but when she recalled the event, flashbacks of it made her quiet and quickly stole away her good mood. No fault of Canti’s, he had a right to know what happened, it was all just making her a bit emotional and she was doing her best to hold in as much as she could. It wasn’t fair to Twin Blade next to her to ask to tag along and then loose her marbles in the street on him after all.

His reassurance surprised her some but it did bring her mood back up which was good and the mood just improved from there. Talal waited while Canti shopped for his armor. Once he was finished he was more hyper than ever, commenting that it was probably because he was almost broke. She grabbed him by the arm laughing in one of those ‘follow the yellow brick road’ moments, the song actually being irritating and sticking in her head but she didn’t dare start singing.

Canti had pointed in a direction and soon they found a vendor that suited what she was looking for. She ran up grabbing the loose scarves that were hanging and started wrapping them around her head, smiling, giggling and making crazy faces. She hadn’t been shopping in a long time and really back at home, she wasn’t really much of a girly girl to begin with but admittedly she was having fun. Finally, she got back to business and found what she was looking for and then the haggling commenced over the last item. She had to throw on the charm, speaking in the most sexy bombshell type voice she could muster. The girl was afraid to look over at Canti as he probably thought she was nuts. However, the vendor was easily coerced and she managed a lower price on the items. Gathering up her things, she placed them into her pouch. Canti had a look to him but it wasn’t saying he thought she was nuts. His comment about the vendor though made her giggle and she let him in on a little plan of hers had the Egyptian sounding man not lowered his price.

They began walking back towards the outskirts of the bazaar and then it would be off to the gate and back…home. Wow! To think she was going to call this place home for awhile was just unreal still. That was when Canti opened up a can of worms, or at least he could have if she’d taken him up completely on his offer, but that would have potentially taken them hours if not days to sort through the jumbled mess of questions in her head. However, there was one that if he could answer or at least shed some light on, it would help her cope at the very minimum because she could be more prepared for the possible outcome.

Doing his best, he offered what he knew and how he felt about the first question which she found to be very similar to how she felt as well. It gave her an odd sense of comfort to know she wasn’t alone in how she felt about the whole situation. Not to say any of the Freedom Fighters enjoyed fighting and killing but their small group seemed to be so outnumbered in comparison to those who didn’t mind it.

She offered her reasoning and what she hoped they were doing for those that died. Hoping that by killing them they were released from the game so they could wake up again in the real world and out of a coma. It was admittedly a far fetched hope, one that if she could get a clear answer on would offer all of them an out, a game over so to speak so that they could get back to their normal lives. Not that any of them would do it for that reason. If they left, who would end the Elites reign of power? Who would stop them from sending even more people into a coma? No, she could tell that even though deep inside somewhere they all longed to go home, winning over the Elites so that no one else could suffer the same fate was more important.

Her mind started to drift into her own situation not even realizing that she’d stopped walking and was just standing there in the middle of the street. Dark brown eyes were caught in a blank stare even while she finished her question. Had Takua’s message gotten through to his friend? Had she been found and rescued? How long had she been trapped in The World and how long could someone last in that state without care?

The answer she got wasn’t what she had hoped for but there was just something about the way he sounded that brought her back from whatever place her mind had gone to. She gave him a faint smile and thanked him which he followed with letter her know he was there if she or even Takua needed him. He may regret having said that if things got any worse and what was this about him ‘may having been a loner’? Does that mean he doesn’t feel like one or isn’t one anymore? He wasn’t acting like one that was for sure and she enjoyed his company, so if he had she was glad he wasn’t anymore.

Offering up her reassurance this time that he was doing a great job at being there, the mood was once again off the dramatic track and back onto one of enjoyment. She challenged him to a race back to the safe house and in typical girl fashion, took off early to get a head start. Once back, she stepped through the door to find Takua still lying there in the same position. She walked over and pulled a chair next to his cot and removed one of the dark cloths and a Pure Water from her pouch. She folded the cloth so it had layers to soak up the water and then poured about half the bottle into the cloth so it was damp but not dripping. She put the cork back on the Pure Water and placed it back in her side pouch and the proceeded to try and softly wash away some of the scorch marks from around Takua’s eyes.

She knew it wouldn’t do anything to help his eyes heal but she needed to do something to try and help. With his wounds washed as good as they could be, she set the cloth aside and pulled out a second one followed by a health drink. Even though his HP didn’t need any help, she hoped it could act like a topical salve or something and heal from the outside. Anything was worth a shot. Following the same steps she poured part of the health drink onto the new cloth and placed it over his eyes. All she could do now was wait and continue keeping an eye on him until someone figured out what to do.

The chair was even more uncomfortable then the floor so with her deeds done, she stood up and walked to the end of the bed and sat back down. Some of the others had left to explore while she and Canti were gone so maybe now she could get some rest with less rustling in the room. Leaning her head on the bedpost Talal closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

_________________
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Walk beside me that we may be as one.
***************************************
Talal
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Level 39 (0/1000 EXP) Twin Blade

Weapons/Armor: Mukuro (Swirling Dark, Dark Dance), Ice Hunter Cap (Repth), Wristbands (Juk Rom), Fishing Gloves (Rue Kruz), Wyrm Hide (Gan Don), Snow Panther (Ap Vorv)

Wish List: Scrolls, Tarot Cards, and Armor higher than level 30.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:07 pm 
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Master of Games
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Nighthand was roused from his sleep a mere few hours after he settled in, but he felt fully refreshed. The damage that had been done to his data had either been repaired by Sheena or simply healed on it's own. Either that, or most of the damage was in his mind rather than his body. He didn't know either way, nor did he really care. Silverblade has calmed down, at least. The man was silent, for the moment.

Nighthand stood and stretched, fingertips brushing the ceiling of their safehouse, and glanced around. Half the party was there, half was out, doing one thing or another. Hopefully getting the feel of the town. He himself planned to do exactly that, once he had a word with Sheena.

"So how is he?" He said in a low voice, when he neared Nall and his guardian angel.

"Better. I bargained for a self-generating data string that will help heal him without Raine or I working directly. He's fragile, Nights. He won't be healed for a while yet, as the string builds a picture of the original data."

"I can't imagine how much he's been through. How much of him is even left from the original? He's been torn apart so many times just since I've known him."

Sheena shook her head. "Very little of him was original even back when you met him. He's more code than person, sometimes. How we've managed to maintain his soul, I'll never know."

Nighthand tsked. "Pity he's out though. He probably could help a lot in getting to know the lay of the land around here."

"Maybe, but you have Demorian and myself for that. Nall is also heavily known around here. He was an elite once upon a time, after all. He'd draw too much attention if he was awake."

Nighthand nodded assent and gestured at the door. "Alright well, I'm going out. I trust you can hold down the fort at least as well as I could."

Nighthand was gone in a swish of his cloak and a leathery scrape of his wings against the door. Once outside, he spread those wings, and took off into the sky. An aerial view of the land would be helpful, at least to him, not that it was a viable way to travel.

The sky was deep into night, and it didn't seem like time passed here in the town. It was, much like Carmina Gadelica, perpetually night here in Luchairt Cradh. He remembered that from before, in the nightmare town where they had been forced to fight hackers of Garaa's choosing in the dark tournament. So long ago...

From high above, the city looked almost peaceful. He could see the toroidal blob of it's shape as it curved around the Wastes. Even this high, he wasn't near the top of the towers of the Elites, an ever-present reminder seen from any corner of the city. None would ever forget who the masters were here.

His scarred-over eye opened to a slit, and he could see the elemental forces teeming around. He quickly glanced at the towers, and just as quickly looked away. Each stood as a beacon to his eyes, a blinding flare, a sun of elemental force. Below him was a lesser version, each section of that area of the city glowing predominantly with a different colored light.

Nighthand swooped into a dive towards the Anid sector.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Demorian left the safehouse with little flair, and hardly anyone noticed when he left. The man was sneaky when he wanted to be.

Walking the streets of Yamiyo seemed so much different than it had before. He had been there before, so many times before, but the city was always changing. The blademaster knew his way around, though, and before long was lost deep in the Bazaar. Lost to the eyes of the others, that is. He knew precisely where he was, when he opened a battered wooden door and stepped inside.

"You're late. Shop's closed." The voice came from the dark back room. Demorian said nothing, walking quietly through the darkness, until he stood in the shadows of the back room himself.

"You still owe me a favor, Gareth." The gasp of surprise he was rewarded with brought a smile to his face.

"D.. Demorian! Of course, of course! I'd never leave you wanting. Anything you want!" The man was small, dressed in a manner that screamed affluence, and arrogance, and power. Yet here he was, groveling before the blademaster wearing largely white straps. "What... DO you want?" His fear was, momentarily, replaced by an honest curiosity.

"I want a number of things. First is simple. Myself and several of my friends have data flags. I need you to root them out and remove them."

"Surely you can do something so trivial yourself." Gareth scoffed. "What do you need me for?"

"Trust me. I wouldn't come to you if I could help it."

"Thanks."

"Second. I need the keys I asked you to develop for me." At this, there was a long moment of silence. Gareth was barely breathing.

"Demorian... I told you those would take nearly an age to complete. And you come here, now, wanting them? Impossible! Get out of my shop, you fool."

Demorian stepped from the shadows and his blade, coated in a thin film of hoarfrost that steamed in the warmth of the room, was a hair away from the small man's chest. Gareth stumbled back, tripping over an end-table, and sprawled on the floor. Demorian let his sword fall to his side and shook his head.

"I expected more out of you, Gareth." He turned to leave.

"Wait!" Demorian stopped. "I said the keys would take forever to complete. I've completed one."

"Does it work?"

"How the fuck do I know if it works? I'm not about to trek out there and test it!"

"Fine. Give it to me."

Gareth scrambled to his feet and started to rummage through a box. Soon he pulled out a small key, more like a stick with a few branches than anything. This he handed to Demorian, who slipped it in a pocket. "Remember, keep working on the rest of them. I'll be calling. Now... about these flags."

"I still think you can do that yourself."

"Get to work."

Demorian slid his sword away and sat in the cushiest chair in the room. This forced Gareth, who had just dug out a few tools and turned around, to choose an uncomfortable stool. He put on a pair of goggles, a pair of gloves, and wielded a set of long needles. Demorian sat still while the tinker examined his data. Gareth may be one of the more fickle characters around, but he knew what he was doing.

"Demorian... This. This is prison code!"

"I know."

"What the hell were you doing that got you prison code?"

"Can you remove it?"

"Of course. Don't be stupid."

"Then do it."

"I can't."

Demorian raised an eyebrow at the man.

"I know, I know, I just said I could. And I will. Just not yet. It'll take some time to work out the counter. I need to consult some associates, make some deals, you know."

Demorian sighed and stood. "Fine. Notify me when your fix is ready." Then he turned and left, disappearing into the Bazaar crowd in a matter of moments.

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

EXP 500/1000


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:12 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:21 pm
Posts: 111
…Must…inate... project…[

This again? What was going on? It – no, he, as he had been designated – tried to listen closer.

…wrong… cannot destroy…

Destroy? Are they talking about me again?

Cor… We must… pera… its powe…

He listened closer, unsure of what he was hearing.

Begin the process… Project ZODIAC is terminated.

Things shattered again, all exploding into darkness…


In The World, a boy awoke from his sleep, the troubled dreams fading even as they had come.

---

Looking back on the last few days, anyone who heard the story would probably laugh. “It was impossible,” they would say, and “This could never happen.” Most of the time, these naysayers wouldn’t be wrong. After all, a lot of rather fantastical things had happened of late. What were the chances of a fight against an administrator ending in a victory for his opponents? Slim-to-none, there was no doubt there. And even in the chance that it did happen, what would that do for the group in question? They would be made into the villains, the threat that opposed the order of The World. This victory, while it allowed them to continue unchecked, simply marked the group as the “enemy” regardless of intention. After all, they had opposed an Administrator! What other proof was needed?

With a sigh, Baron pressed his fingers to his temples, his back against the chair he sat in. Unfortunately for the Freedom Fighters, that was exactly what had happened, minus the title of “enemies of the system.” There was no proof that it wouldn’t happen or hadn’t already, since the group had no contact with anything outside the Yamiyo server currently, but in essence the rest had happened. The group of comatosed players had indeed fought against an Administrator on their way to the Root Town. However, the battle had not been of their own choice and they had done nothing to provoke it; Tritoch, in his power-hungry insanity, had attacked them in the form of an enormous chimera, and they had been forced to defend themselves. There had been no reason for the attack, though Zan had mentioned a mysterious figure in one of the towers belonging to the Elites had given the former Administrator his power. Perhaps that was the reason; the Elites and the Freedom Fighters were constantly clashing, so the former created a new weapon and sent it their way. It was possible.

Either way, that was done now, with Tritoch finally defeated and the Freedom Fighters safe in the root town of the Yamiyo server. Well, as safe as one could be among hackers of all sorts and varieties. Luchairt Cradh seemed to be the central location to which many different people gravitated, each specializing in some sort of alteration to the natural systems of The World. All that was left was to recover and wait for their next move.

That didn’t sit well with Baron, though, as he leaned back in his chair. The wooden surface was rough even through the Twin Blade’s jacket and shirt, a splinter poking at him. The feeling was another reminder to the boy of his comatose state, but he took this one better than he had previously. At this point there was nothing left to do but accept it and move on; after all, what was the point in dwelling? There was nothing productive to come from sitting around moping. Instead, they had to move forward, to work at escaping their current predicament. That was why Baron rose even as the Guard Captain entered the room, intent on going out to get a look around. The arrival of a prominent member of the Root Town guards did stop him in his tracks for a few minutes though, his hands on his blades in case they were being convicted of something. He only relaxed when the guard started stating his intent.

So, seems we’re in good standing to begin with. That’s a start.

We don’t trust it. You’re in a city of hackers, any of whom can probably take your character data, rip it apart, and leave you wishing you were back with Tritoch. Don’t let your guard down.

No, there’s no way hackers could be completely trustworthy. After all, they’re all about following the rules and helping those less fortunate than them. Please, do I look like I just logged in for the first time?

The conversation went by quickly, and Baron was pleasantly surprised by the flashmail sent to him. He quickly downloaded the attachments, adding to his stash of money and his item supply. Once he was set and the Guard Captain had left, the Twin Blade nodded to Demorian to get his attention. After all, he was the only one who seemed to be on his feet, literally speaking. The Twin Blade simply decided to inform the man of his leave, in case something happened and they were left wondering where everyone was.

”I'm heading out to take a look around, if anyone asks. If anything comes up here, send me a Flashmail and I'll try to get back here as soon as I can.”

The man literally waved at him with an almost cheery smile. “Have fun! Try not to get yourself killed!”

Oh boy, there’s a confidence-killer.

Shaking his head, Baron headed towards the door and stepped outside… right into the main bustle of the region. He was surprised as he got caught in the crowd, pushed along slightly by the flow of human bodies. Pushing his way out of the main road, the Twin Blade stopped at the far side, looking back over his shoulder. He took a moment to memorize what the safehouse they were staying in looked like before turning to face the town ahead of him. Baron knew that he had a place to, but in the meantime he wanted to look around. It never hurt to know the layout of the land, after all.

Of course, there was more to Baron’s little excursion than just that. As a society of hackers, Luchairt Cradh should have plenty of sources for information. A hacker was only as good as the places he could access, and if there was anyone who knew anything about the Zodiac, it would be one of them. The only problem was finding that information; the Twin Blade barely had his mental map from the tower, and that recollection wasn’t particularly sharp. The first thing he had to do is figure out exactly where he was (he thought the Guard Captain had mentioned it but he wasn’t paying attention to that) and from there he could proceed. So he immediately moved to the nearest person he could see, raising one hand to catch his attention.

”Excuse me, I seem to be a bit lost. Can you tell me where I am?”

Smooth… way to sound like a tourist.

Baron ignored the dry comment as he addressed the man, waiting for a reply. The guy seemed a bit confused by the question, but answered simply. “What? Gan. Yer in Gan.”

The Twin Blade tapped his chin and gave a short nod, trying to recall where that was on the map he had seen back at the prison. ”Gan... oh! The Gan sector of the elemental district, right... um, could you tell me where the Chaos Gate is from here? I'd like to get a better look around the city.”

“Oh, just go that way. Follow the crowd.” The man gestured back towards the road that Baron had just emerged from, most heading in the same direction. Since it was the main traffic of the area, it was more than likely it would lead him towards the Chaos Gate. From there he would have access to the other sectors of the town, if he remembered correctly. Normally the Twin Blade would explore each of the Elemental Sectors while he was in the area, but it didn’t seem likely that he’d find information on the Zodiac there. After all, each only specialized in a particular element, and Baron doubted that the entire group of AIs as a whole would focus on one element. It didn’t seem logical, so he didn’t need to explore for now. Now as for the other districts… who knew?

The trip was simple enough, with no issues along the way. Baron found himself pushed back and forth by the crowd, but it wasn’t any different from a normal root town. Well okay, he could feel it, something he wasn’t accustomed to, but nothing beyond that was odd. It was almost like being in a crowded city, bumping shoulders here and there and occasionally stepping on a foot. The pace was quick, though, and soon Baron found himself at the Chaos Gate at the center of the Elemental District, the shining blue gate in front of him. The Twin Blade waited his turn before finally approaching the gate, pulling up a menu of places to visit as he drew close. It read:

Quote:
Transport to:
Uncommon District <=
Bazaar District
Mercenary District


Well, it was unlikely that information would be found in the Mercenary District, though he could probably hire someone to help him hunt it down if he got desperate. The Bazaar was likely to have plenty of items, both legal and not-so-much, and could possibly have the information he sought, so he filed that away as one place he could visit. However, the first name on the list was the one that caught his attention: the Uncommon District. A group of mysterious AIs did strike the Twin Blade as “uncommon”, so maybe that was the best place to start. Without hesitation Baron selected the Uncommon District, letting the usual golden rings drop down to transport him to the area.

---

The transport was quick as ever, leaving Baron in a completely new area after only a few seconds. The Chaos Gate plaza was surrounded by large, high walls separated only by rusted gates. The most noticeable thing was the decrease in people. Where the Elemental District had been rather packed, the Uncommon District was quiet. Almost too quiet. That was bothersome already, though there were at least enough people that it wasn’t borderline creepy. Frowning softly, the Twin Blade strode forth past a random gate, not sure what led where in the district. He vaguely recalled five sectors, but nothing about any of them or even what they were called. So for now it was a shot in the dark while he went to look for someone who could give him a bit of information.

The atmosphere became decidedly chilly (in a more metaphorical sense) as Baron stepped past the gates and into the new sector. There weren’t many people around, and those that were kept to the shadows. Everything seemed wrong about the place, from buildings that tilted strangely or even did impossible to the dark gloominess that pervaded the place. The boy shivered slightly but continued forward, looking for any particularly populated place. At least there he’d feel a bit more welcome and be able to mingle with the populace. One building in particular stood out, the only one that wasn’t closed off like the rest of the area. Well, this one was closed, but there was a lot of noise and conversation so Baron guessed it was a bar or an inn or something. It was worth a visit if nothing else, so the Twin Blade approached it quietly.

Rather than just barging in, in case he wasn’t invited, the boy knocked several times to get the attention of whoever was inside. The noise didn’t die down in the least, so Baron figured he wasn’t heard. He raised a gloved hand to knock again before the door was thrown open and a rather large figure stood in the doorway. The man was easily described as a bouncer for the large establishment, with heavy muscles and a mouth full of sharp teeth. Wait, sharp teeth? A closer look confirmed that they were very pointy, almost like a shark’s teeth. The man’s hair was literally made of water, flowing (ack, bad pun) around his face. The bouncer crossed his arms as he stared down at the boy.

Baron gave an uncomfortable grin, trying his best not to gawk at the rows of shark teeth in front of him. ”U-uh... hi. I happen to be a bit lost... I'm looking for someone who can give me a bit of information...?”


“Yeah? Well step on in if you want.” Baron started in, but was stopped as a thick hand was placed in front of him, confused. “But I'll be taking your weapon first.”
Baron couldn't help but blink and give the man a witty comment. After all, he was a Twin Blade. Two daggers and whatnot. ”Ah... okay. Which one?”

“All of 'em.”

A large hand lifted up, and Baron wondered if he was about to get decked for his smart remark. It was a perfectly legitimate question, after all, but maybe not an appropriate one. Fortunately all that happened was a thin ribbon wrapping around his waist, hardly visible or even tangible for the most part. It just settled there.

Fashionable…

The bouncer finally moved aside to allow Baron inside, and the Twin Blade quickly ducked past him. The bar inside was… strange, to say the least. It had a strange sorta… punk/goth(?) look. Baron could honestly say he wasn’t sure. Mohawks, leather, and that “you got a problem with me?!” attitude filled the establishment. Well, the shady sorts were the ones most likely to have information they shouldn’t; maybe this was the place to look after all. With that in mind, the boy quickly moved up to the bar, his eyes settling upon the first person they came to. A young woman covered in spikes to the point even her hair was a mohawk. Lightning jumped between said hair spikes in arcs of electricity, and Baron wondered just what he was walking into. Still, he approached the woman casually.

”Pardon me, I'm looking for a bit of information, and I'm assuming this would be the sort of place to find it... am I correct?”

“What’cha want.”

Baron was taken off-guard by the rather plain statement, the woman’s eyes only briefly turned to him as she glanced over her shoulder. She turned in her stool to face him, a drink in her hands. “Hopefully not training, you’ve got a long way to go before you should be here.”

”Training? What do you mean by that?”

“Sheesh, you really are green. Training. Getting better. Becoming not a n00b. What's your issue, man?”

Okay, two points of notice. One, that was a stupid question on my part. I meant to ask “what sort of training.” Two, she used the word n00b. Who uses that anymore?!

Apparently she does, so watch your step.

Baron rolled his eyes. He knew that the way he had asked had sounded stupid, so he made a quick apology and rephrased it. ”I'm new to the area, simple as that. But what I meant to ask is why makes training here so special?”

The woman gave him another stupid look, and Baron had to wonder just what he had said to earn another glance like that. “Look around you, kid. Anything here look normal?”

Baron surveyed the room quickly, looking around with a short glance. The woman was right… people were a bit strange. There was the guy whose hair was literally on fire, yet no one moved to put it out, like it was natural. Or there was another water-clothed figure whose garments were just opaque enough to not reveal anything. Everyone in the area seemed to lean towards one element or another, something the Twin Blade thought only happened in the Elemental District. He vaguely recalled something else having the word “Elemental” from the map he had been reading back at the prison, though the context eluded him. Either way that explained things to some extent, though it was unlikely that Baron would find his information here. Still, it was worth a quick try.

”Alright, I'll give you that. Anyway, I'm looking for information regarding the 'Zodiac.' Judging by the look of things, this may be the wrong place for it, but anything involving AIs might help as well.”

“AIs, huh. Can't help ya. Check the Bazaar or something, they'll tell ya.”

Finally, a lead of sorts! Baron gave an appreciative nod. ”Thanks for the information.”

The Twin Blade turned to leave the bar, now that he finally had an idea where to go. Though he had not found any information in this sector (whichever it was, he should have asked the name), Baron finally had a definitive idea of where to go. Surely it wouldn’t be too hard to find one person in the Bazaar who knew something about AIs. There was probably a shop or something for them somewhere! With a bit more of a spring to his step, the Twin Blade hurried back towards the Chaos Gate where he had arrived. Without hesitation he selected “Bazaar District” from the list and let the golden rings fall down around him. In moments, he would be in the Bazaar, and then his hunt could begin anew.

---

Noise. That was the first thing that greeted Baron as he finally appeared in the Bazaar District. That was to be expected, considering the number of people that seemed to just appear before his eyes. The place was crowded, even more so than the Elemental District had been. The Twin Blade was immediately bumped aside as a large group passed by him, likely arriving from all of the other districts. Certainly the Bazaar was packed! Baron quickly picked himself up and moved with the crowd away from the Chaos Gate. He was jostled and pushed around with each step, to the point where it was getting irritating, but finally an opening presented itself. Baron quickly emerged from the mainstream traffic to a nearby stall, one that seemed to have some space around it.

Note to self: People are worse traffic than cars and much more likely to run you over…

The stall that Baron had stopped at seemed to be a weapons shop, one that had a large selection. If it weren’t for the fact that the Twin Blade was up-to-date on his weapons, he may have lingered long enough to do a bit of shopping. Alas, he had a mission to accomplish and no need to hang around, so business had to take precedence here. Baron waited for whoever owned the stall, to ask for directions to the nearest… um, well, he wasn’t sure what you’d call a person who dealt with AIs. Would they be sold, repaired, created…? Well, he’d figure it out. All he needed was someone who specialized in AIs. Even if he couldn’t find anything on the Zodiac, the Twin Blade could at least find someone to take a look at Libra and find out what was wrong with him.

Speaking of Libra… how is he? Any response?

Sorry, nothing yet. He may have been badly damaged by the shock. You may be right in finding a doctor.

Baron gave a short sigh and tapped his fingers on the countertop, waiting for the shopkeeper to show up. Where was the man, anyway? Bored, the Twin Blade’s gaze shifted over to an enormous suit of armor that he hadn’t noticed before. It was well-crafted… he supposed. Baron really didn’t know anything about armor, but this one was certainly decorated enough to be noticeable. He wondered how he had missed it before until it shifted. That was when he realized that there was someone inside the armor. Oh. That probably answered the question of where the shopkeeper was, considering that the visor was tilted towards him. Grinning embarrassedly, Baron quickly addressed the man.

”Hi. I'm looking for information either regarding AIs or the word 'Zodiac.' Do you have any such information or know where I can find such?”

“Fourth street on the left, second street right, third building to the left, second door. Lobanian can help you.”

That was remarkably concise. With a nod and a half-smile, Baron quickly turned to leave. A quick “thank you” was tossed over his shoulder before he steeled himself to merge with the crowd again. Immediately the boy was shoved forward, tripping over his own feet as he tried to turn to face the right way. He managed to maintain his balance, but only just barely, and started on his way. The directions were fairly easy to follow, though often enough he found himself swimming upstream whenever the crowds pushed him past his turn. The Twin Blade made a mental note to never, ever go into a city if he could avoid it, if people were this bad. Certainly it had been a mistake to put so many in once place!

Finally Baron arrived at what he assumed was the right place. He had followed the directions perfectly, and was in front of the doorway that he had been directed towards. It was open, inviting in potential customers. With a shrug the Twin Blade strode inside, only to pause in the doorway. Was this the right place? It looked more like a waiting room for a hospital than a place that specialized in AIs. Still, Baron was sure he had followed the directions to the letter… maybe this was a clinic for AIs? Who knew? Either way, it was somewhere, and the Twin Blade could always ask for new directions if he was in the wrong place.

The woman behind the counter (Baron had noticed her only in brief passing as he had entered) suddenly placed a clipboard upon the surface before her without even looking up. Confused, the boy moved up and took the clipboard, examining it. There was a simple, small form on the clipboard, as well as a small pen attached to the board. Looking over the form, Baron was surprised that there were only three fields to fill out: “Name”, “Name of AI”, and “Name of Problem”. Well, that was certainly simple enough. Baron thought it over for a moment before filling it in.

Quote:
Name: Baron
Name of AI: Zodiac
Nature of Problem: Unspecified


Baron didn’t really like leaving the last field unspecified, but he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to put there. After all, looking for information could hardly be constituted as a problem with the AI, right? The Twin Blade just hoped that his argument would hold water with the receptionist, considering how vague the response was. It didn’t, as he expected, and he was forced to fill out the form again. Frowning, he replaced the AI’s name with “Libra” and added a short summary of what was wrong with him. The nurse accepted this for now, and Baron gave a soft sigh. People were always more of a hassle than they should be.

The Twin Blade was directed to sit down, though he had to wonder why considering he was the only person there. However, it wasn’t his place to say otherwise, so he obligingly found a seat against one wall and waited quietly for the doctor to call him in. It was a good opportunity to rest his feet, considering how much he had walked around, and he stretched his legs out as he waited. It was quiet though, Baron noted. There wasn’t anyone else around, and there weren’t any magazines to read… was he just supposed to sit there? He was already in a half-doze from boredom, and he could almost feel his head starting to drop towards his chest.

…Project ZODIAC is terminated.

“Baron?”

Baron looked up in surprise as he heard his name, realizing that he had drifted off. Looking up, he saw an older man in a cliché white lab coat standing in a doorway with his form in hand. Looking around out of habit in the odd chance that there was another Baron around, the Twin Blade realized that he was still alone and quickly stood. He grinned wryly, wishing that he could stop making a fool of himself, and got the doctor’s attention. Embarrassed, he quickly followed the doctor towards the back.

The two arrived at a fairly empty room, one that felt almost to Baron like an interrogation chamber. There was little furnishing, merely a table, two wooden chairs, and an eerie lamp hanging from the ceiling. The boy couldn’t help but feel a bit uncomfortable as he sat down across from the doctor, his eyes roaming the room. He was surprised again when the doctor spoke to him.

“So you have an AI named Libra that is unresponsive. What happened?”

Baron placed his arms on the table out of habit, resting his head on one hand. “Well, during a recent issue I was unable to act, so he took control of my body with my own consent and used it to help guide me here. However, there was some sort of fight or another and he was badly injured. I think it was the shock from the death- this was a particularly bad one- that messed him up, but since then he isn't responsive aside from the one or two times that he's tried to speak.”

Try not to give too much information away… honesty taken too far is a bad thing.

I know, but I’ve gotta do this if I want to try and help.

“Alright, well, let’s take a look.”

The doctor pulled a pair of goggles from his lab coat and stuck them over his face, an odd gesture to Baron. What was he expecting, something to explode out of the boy’s chest? The man stared at him intently for a few minutes, as if studying him, and the Twin Blade started to feel awkward, like a bug under glass. That staring was particularly unnerving, though the boy couldn’t place exactly why. Either way, it bothered him. Fortunately, the scrutiny ended after only a minute or two, after which the doctor removed his goggles with a shake of his head and sat back down.

“I can’t do anything here. Was there anything else?”

Baron hesitated a moment before nodding. This was his chance! “Yeah, have you heard of anything called the Zodiac? Group of AIs or...” He paused, a vague thought at the edge of his memory. “A... program, maybe? Does the term 'Zodiac Project' mean anything to you?”

“Hmm...” The man stood up and turned to leave the room. “Wait here one moment.”

Baron waited in silence as the man left, wondering what was going on. It seemed he had said the right thing… or had he? A wave of paranoia washed over him, and the Twin Blade almost stood and left. But the chance of finally getting this information was too great, and he wasn’t going to pass it up just because he was worried. So he managed to remain in his chair, hands gripping the table nervously as he waited.

After about five minutes had passed, the doctor came back with a handful of manila folders. Baron was surprised, considering that it was a rather… archaic version of filing considering that they were in a completely virtual world. One would expect something like a data file or some cool screen to be pulled up but no, they had manila folders. Go figure. Baron shrugged, not really concerned with this little oddity, and waited to see what the purpose behind the folders were. Unless… were they all about the Zodiac? If so, this was a greater success than Baron first suspected!

“Now... Is this the Zodiac Project that constructed the six great murals?”

Or was it? Great, so much for a successful lead. Perhaps there were several sources that claimed the name “Zodiac.” If so, Baron had his work cut out for him. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t the proper topic, so he had to put it aside.

“How about the one that... no, I guess if you're asking about it, it wouldn't be the suicide cult. How about this one... group of player-types, speak in tongues, tend to help out those they consider less immortal than they?”

A suicide cult? That certainly wouldn’t last long. For some reason Baron found a cult centered on suicide somewhat amusing. Morbidly so, of course; he wasn’t dark like that! That didn’t seem to be it either, nor did the player-types that helped others out. After all, the Zodiac was planning on removing all of the players from The World to make it their own. However, there was also the chance that they were operating under that guise while they worked towards their final goal, so this group was a possibility. Baron requested that the player-types one be put aside in case it was the right one while indicating for the doctor to continue.

“Okay, you said player types, so not this one. It's made entirely of birds.” The man chuckled, as if he were recalling an amusing memory. “Mess to clean up, that one. Probably this one, then.”

A single folder was handed to Baron, who promptly opened it. The first page read “Project ZODIAC: Caretaker for The World.” Across the page was a bright red stamp, marking the project [TERMINATED]. That was certainly odd. The initial description was written below, including a list of scientists who were a part of the project. None of the names stood out to Baron, so he immediately flicked his gaze down to the project description. Nothing particularly stood out to him until right near the end of the first page.

…at the project’s termination, it was deemed too valuable to destroy outright. However, it could not be left whole lest it get out of control, so it was split into its individual components, thirteen of them. Each component is detailed in its own section in the report.

Eyes widening, Baron turned to the next page, which was titled “Libra – The Balance.” This was it! This was the Zodiac information he had been looking for! But… it was incomplete. Frowning, the Twin Blade flipped to the page after the details on the Gemini, only to find that the file ended there. The incomplete information was a problem… but at least he had a start. All he had to do was track down the rest of the Zodiac Project file and he could use it against the AIs that threatened The World. If only he knew where to begin with that search…

Suddenly Baron was aware of the doctor’s eyes upon him, expecting the answer. Embarrassed, the Twin Blade turned toward the man, giving a soft nod.

“This is it. Yeah, this is definitely it.” He closed it slowly, staring at the file. A frown began to spread across his face as he realized something… nothing in the real world was free, so why would that be any different in The World. “...What do you want for this file?”

“What do you have to offer?”

And there was the kicker. What did Baron have to offer? This was a society of hackers, so it was unlikely that they’d accept things like simple currency. They surely could hunt down any rare items, so offering those would do no good either. There was only one fair exchange here… though the Twin Blade couldn’t just outright say it, lest he sound desperate. A good merchant could pump a fair deal out of a desperate customer, and Baron really couldn’t afford to let that happen. So he started his offer slowly, patiently, leading up to the final bargain.

“Um... well, not terribly much. I have some GP, though I'm sure you wouldn't accept simple pay. I have items of all sorts, some of which you might like since they're particularly rare…” He paused for a moment, wondering if he looked enough like the inept shopper yet to make his last deal more appealing. “But I think the best way is to trade information for information... is there anything you want to know?”

The doctor seemed to consider for a moment before smiling lightly. “Very well then. I'll give you a special deal...”

Baron grinned softly as he realized that the deal for information had been accepted. All he had to do was answer the doctor’s questions, and he could be on his way. That smile slipped slightly though, as the Twin Blade thought about the meaning of that “special deal.” That couldn’t be good, based on the doctor’s smile. And that that was proven only a moment later as the doctor lunged across the table to grab the boy’s shoulders. The old man was strong too! Baron couldn’t shake free, and for some reason he couldn’t bring his arms up to defend himself. He tried to struggle away, but a whisper from the old man stole away his consciousness in a brief moment.

The World faded into darkness…

_________________
Character Information
Baron | Level 47 Twin Blade [100/1000 EXP] | 891 HP / 265 SP
Weapon: Fishskin
Armor: Emperor's Crown/Bone Armor/Thunder Gloves/Ninja Anklet
Accessories/Books: Ethereal Angel Wings, Silver Grunty
Skills: Thunder Coil, Gale of Swords
Spells: Merrows, GiRai Don, BiVak Rom, GiGan Zot, Rai Don, Ani Don, Duk Lei
GP: 750 (As of 8/2/15)
Wishlist: Nny Scales, Lucky Shoes, Saint Cross, Greave Sticker, Pet EX-Levels/Spheres(!)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:03 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:28 pm
Posts: 108
Location: Hiding in the shadows
He couldn’t shake the feeling that there had to be some better way to spend his time. His thoughts drifted to Klive and the shot he took back before the little prison incident. He didn’t look any worse for the wear but the boy refused to believe that. It had to have had some effect. I mean it cost him his life to fire the damn thing, if Klive was completely unscathed, well, it just wouldn’t be fair. He needed to find out, and seeing as how the Vak Sector in the Elemental District was just around the riverbend, it was time to go scope for information. That wasn’t always his strong suit however, he could very easily ask a wrong question at the wrong time and find himself face down in a flesh heap. No, it would be good to call in some backup.

Quote:
To: Canti
From: Raquar
Subject: Foray
Message: You up for a quick expedition into the Vak Sector for a sec? I want to see if I can pick up some information on Klive. I don’t know if wandering around by myself is a great idea. If you’re up for it want to meet me by the Chaos Gate in the central plaza?


He hadn’t waited for more than a few minutes when he heard a voice behind him.

"What's up, doc? Find us a new gun?"

He snorted in amusement at the Twin Blade behind him. "I wish. Actually I wanted to go poke around, see if we could find out any information about Klive after we shot the shit out of him."

"You're thinkin' he's vulnerable, doncha'?"

"Damn straight I do. And I personally wouldn't mind punching a sharp pointed object through that skull of his.”

Canti looked around before responding. "Same here, and maybe get a handle on his artifact. The less the Elites have, the better. Do me a favor, though? Don't go makin' inquiries. People with questions end up in the East River."

"Yeah that sounds smart. Doable too. Lets just wander around and see if we pick up on anything useful."

As luck would have it, they found a couple of promising targets almost as soon as they entered the Sector. They passed by a couple of guys dressed in flamboyant flames and immediately caught onto part of a juicy conversation.

"Yo dude did you hear?"

"Hear what man?"

"About Klive, dude! They say he's been killed!"

"No way man, I just heard he's sick."

"Dude elites don't catch colds. Something bad's gotta have happened."

"Man no one can challenge them!"

"Nah man, who knows, but he's just stuck in his tower and won't leave for anything."

"Sick bro..."

This seemed the perfect conversation to interject with some rumors of his own but the two surfer bros bounced immediately after their whispered conversation. The boy let out a brief curse and turned to Canti.

"We can mourn our precious Vindicator properly now. He served us well."

"That it has indeed. I'm curious, if he's really injured, you think we might be able to get the Master to make a move? Think he's one of the power-hungry types?"

"No clue, but if he is...wouldn't installing him still not help us? We need these guys out of the way to be free."

"Yeah but there's probably lots of red tape and paperwork and that such. His death might be the perfect distraction for us to get the hell out of here."

"Could be that. Also couldn't hurt to find out. Wish I knew what this guy looked like."

Canti brought up a good point. How were they supposed to find out information about somebody they knew nothing about? It was probably also safe to assume they didn’t walk around him just calling him Master either. The duo wandered around, the Long Arm in a bit of a glower. However, luck was on their side again, they passed a crew in the process of dispersing revealed a small scrap of paper tacked to the wall. It had some sort of insignia at the top, a flaming fist. A brief scan revealed a lot of eloquence about a bunch of fluff in regards to the Master wishing for the quick recovery and bountiful life of Klive. This paper did two things, made it doubtful that the Vak Master would be on their side, but it also confirmed, hopefully, that Klive really was injured.

He tore down the poster and stuffed it into his vest. "Shit. So much for that idea. The propaganda doesn't lend itself to our cause."

"This propaganda might just be that, though. Nothing to it. He could be making himself look good, but preparing for the tragic end of their leader and so on. C'mon, it's at least worth a shot."

Canti brought up a good point. Maybe he shouldn’t discount it just yet. "Yeah you have a point. Let's sift around and see if we can pick up anything on him."

It was time for more wandering; but what did an official member of the staff of the Vak Castle look like?

"Say, maybe this guy is like Nikols, with a buncha' guys who have his kind of armor and...oh bugger." Right on cue a giant throng of people wearing some sort of flame-resembling armor passed by. So much for that?

"Shit. This is getting us nowhere. You wanna go check around the castle and see if that turns anything up?"

"Uhh, yeah. I can't for the life of me think of why I wouldn't see the Vak guy's castle on the map or confuse it with anything else."

Heading in the right direction was easy; all they had to do was go toward the giant spires and such in the distance. They weren’t quite expecting the reception they got. The tower was a gigantic replica of the insignia on the top of the poster. A huge fist-shaped tower jutted out of the ground adorned with a single door at ground level and a series of windows spiraling up and around the tower. The tower wasn’t what caught his attention though, it was the flickering flame that surrounded and encompassed it. It was brilliant, vibrant and prismatic all at the same time. It was entrancing, similar in quality to something as spectacular as the Aurora Borealis. It was Canti who moved forward first, hesitantly stepping through the flames toward the door and then gesturing at him to come forward. Seeing as how the Twin Blade hadn’t spontaneously combusted was probably a good thing.

The entrance was a rather large welcoming receptacle, well-lit with flames quite literally everywhere. But the strangest thing is that no one was here. The grounds as well as the interior seemed completely deserted. "Seems empty. That's strange. I didn't think it would be this . . . deserted."

"Well, we didn't explode. Let's head downstairs."

Canti pointed toward the stairway off in the back. It branched in both vertical directions but he followed his partner downstairs. Splitting up now would defeat the purpose of calling for back up in the first place. The staircase spiraled downward, just enough so that you couldn’t quite tell how far below ground they were. At the end of the staircase they emerged into a room where five gentlemen dressed in military uniform stopped chattering abruptly and turned to look at us. There were two doors at the opposite end, both metal and closed, but the five guys prevented any immediate desire to explore those rooms. The Long Arm stood silent, returning the stares of the guards not trusting himself to speak.

"Sorry, is he down here or upstairs?"

A brief look interchanged between the men and a couple of smirks. Not good. They were already classified as outsiders. "Neither. You have a message?"

Maybe not all was lost. The boy removed the poster from his vest and flattened it out, holding it out for the five of them to see. "Yeah. Nobody believes this piece of propaganda bullshit. Everybody knows what's really going on."

The one in charge stepped forward, an unhealthy grin on his face. "Yeah? You sure about that?" He was just out of arm’s reach before he stopped again, his cronies behind him. "What's really going on? Really, enlighten me."

This wasn’t boding well, but he was in too deep now to back out. "The rumors are everywhere. Klive's sick, Klive's injured yada yada blah. Everybody expects that Klive won't be around much longer and that the Master will be sure to be next in line."

"Oh, well then. Thank you ever so much for telling me." Another one of those damned smirks. "Good thing for you, he's not here right now."

Canti chimed in. "Yeah, 'cause he certainly doesn't feel tempted at all by the thought of solidifying his grip over this place, even though a weakened Klive can't lead."

"Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. That's not for us to say. Either way, he's in conference with Klive as we speak, in the Tower. So you best be out of his castle before he gets back to find you." He turned again and gave another of his smirks, one that gave Raquar the burning desire to punch him in the face. "Or what's left of you."

The Long Arm was down for a fight. It was Yamiyo. They didn’t deserve to be here, who cared if he caused a little trouble? Canti however was the voice of reason and muttered a goodbye before heading back upstairs. "Thanks for the warning, guys. Be seeing you."


The staircase spiraled upward branching off every few odd feet to reveal a solid, and locked, door. The boy didn’t bother counting how many there were before the stairs ended abruptly as a slightly larger door, but none less locked. The boy, slightly seething, at this point stepped back and lowered a shoulder. He found a claw on his shoulder as Canti shook his head and stepped forward, opting to knock instead. He knew it was a good call to get some backup here. Two good ideas in a row. Canti walked up and down knocking on all the doors they came across, but the response was always the same. Silence. The place seemed deserted lending credence to the fact that Master of the Castle was currently out. Now glum, the Long Arm followed the Twin Blade out of the Castle and back into the Sector itself. All in all it was probably a useful trip.

"Damn. Maybe the Master took a contingent with him or something. Anyway, let's go back, I'll report to Demorian and we can go from there."

"Demorian wasn't in when I got back the Bazaar. I need him for something, myself."

"Alright. Well I'll head back and confer with Sheena or something. If I bump into Demorian I'll let you know."

“Kay, no problem. First thing's first, though. I know what I'm getting into, and I think I should at least ask for your help on my mission."

"Eh? Well I can hardly say no, what's up?"

"The hacker that got me and Dien thrown in the middle of this is here. Well, he's in Stitcher, supposedly. I want to get at him, but not necessarily to kill. I think he might be able to help us, since he's no longer in goods with the Elites."

"Sounds . . . Interesting. Yeah, I'll watch your back. Just tell me when."

"There's a tricky part to this. I'm bait. Maybe Dien is too. Everyone else acts like they don't know me while I try and lure him out. You gotta blend in so he focuses on me and doesn't think it's a trap...'cause it's not."

"I can do that. I'll find me a perch and just sit and wait."

"Right, I'll let you know when things are starting, or someone will. See ya later."

And Canti was gone. A breath and the boy was heading back to the Safehouse. He didn’t really want to bother Sheena; he would simply wait for Demorian.

Quote:
To: Demorian
From: Raquar
Subject: Report
Message: Found out some interesting information that might help. You seem to be more or less head of our crew so figured it might be best to inform you. Find me when you’re not too busy, should be in the Safehouse.

_________________
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 Oct 27, 2009 6:33 am 
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Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(When Canti got back from the Bazaar - He lost the race, by the way. Talal cheating and all. - there appeared to be some people missing from the safe house. Sheena was there and Nall was there, of course, but Demorian and Nighthand were out, as were a few others. He shrugged this off, though. If there was trouble, the FM of urgency would be forthcoming. Given that, plus the fact that he didn't have anything else immediately to do, Canti was left with that horror of horror for the stir-crazy and action-craving...time on his hands. Maybe you've noticed the ease in which the Twin Blade settles into fighting, looking for exploitable weaknesses and exploring different modes of attack. Common sense should tell him to fear for his life and be more cautious. But then again, that same common sense also pointed out it was very hard to die in a large group, so it evens out. Still, you don't find him being very good at patiently waiting around. At the hideout, he was never deeply engrossing himself in a well-written novel by an author with the initials N.G., say. What he was mostly doing was sleeping, training, or being elsewhere on a fit of wanderlust. But since he technically just RETURNED from said wanderlust, didn't feel like training so soon after the Tritoch battle, and wasn't comfortable with sleeping just yet, this left his option tray suspiciously light. Thus, Canti sat against the wall and began to brood. Well, maybe not actual brooding, but you've gotta admit that he doesn't often take time to sit and gather his thoughts.)

Canti: So, here I am, in deeper shit than I was when this all started. Guess I shouldn't be complaining, Takua in mind. The weird part is that I'm the lucky one, sorta'. But NOW WHAT? Huh? I kinda' feel like I'm drifting in and out of a storm, and I only react when I fight like hell not to drown. So, what's the big deal, O head of mine? Any pearls of wisdom to impart?

(He genuinely expected some form of answer. In fact, he was especially wary that a sudden sinister voice in his head, the voice of his blacker psyche make manifest with the virus, would have a few choice words to say. The fact that it didn't...was only slightly less disconcerting.)

Canti: Nothing, huh? Well, I've got to do SOMETHING. No crazies and no Reyome, so it's all down to me. The question is...what am I waiting for? This is what I wanted, isn't it? This is where I need to be...

(So, what's the hold-up? Caution. That's what. You don't just suddenly run off alone to somewhere into a situation that you don't know what's gonna happen unless you have to. And he didn't have to...yet. What he needed was to see if he could get anyone behind this thing, to help him out in case of trouble. More importantly, he needed a second opinion...to either go along with it or make him all the more willing to strike out on his own. Yes, Canti was that impulsive, but usually only when driven to. This might've been the only chance to attain some level of closure with the circumstances that brought him here. Now then... Nighthand and Demorian were out, and Nall was out-cold. That left Sheena, who - while she seemed to act in support rather than directly most of the time - turned out to be excellent in the field, a quality Canti had immediately taken to. He approached her now, making sure nobody would be close enough to listen in.)

Canti: Sheena, can...I talk to you a minute?

(She was ever at Nall's side in here, making damn certain nothing befell him. When he spoke, Sheena turned to him and gestured for him to pull up a seat. Canti did so, making sure his wings didn't get caught up uncomfortably for this.)

"Sure... What is it?"

Canti: I need your help. Advice, mostly. You and Nall are probably the people in charge here I respect the most, so I'd like your opinion on something. The hacker that brought Zhao, Dien, and I into this mess is here, or was here. Dunno for sure, but I think we should find him. I don't think he's the enemy. Not really.

(He couldn't tell, really, how long it'd been now since the day of the tenebrous tower, a large-but-dwindling group of hopeful adventurers trekking through the puzzle-and-peril-filled mighty castle, led by a lightning Fist Fighter whose promise of reward and ranks in the so-called Elite guild made them blind to the obvious betrayal to come. Well, most of them. In the end, only three made it to the end, and Canti had twigged that the Bladed Demon to come AFTER their evil hellish boss battle might very well have been their guide, Suraisu. But since their escape from that place and getting thrown into the same boat as the Freedom Fighters, the nature and the fate of the lightning hacker was still in question, with the growing suspicion that he was still alive and only pressed into his duties. Sheena knew exactly what he was talking about, and gave it a moment's thought.)

"What would you do if you found him? If you're right, and he's not an enemy? Or if you're wrong, and he is?"

Canti: I see Suraisu as a wild card, like Demorian was. You have to keep up appearances or die. If he's still here and hiding out like us, then he's in the same pot as we are even if he still fights us. I want to see if I can turn him towards allying with us. As for if he can't be won over, I won't stand stupidly in front of his blade if that's what you mean. If he turns out an asshole, then I work out my frustrations for the trouble he's caused.

(The trouble was in the not knowing for certain. If there had been no sign, no indication at all, then Canti would've written him off and moved on. But there's always those niggling little doubts that never seem to go away. Inconsistant things... Like...during a conversation, Suraisu had hinted at things regarding the dark side of The World. He wouldn't elaborate too much, but the nature of the whole discussion at the tower's top left him wondering... Before that, there'd been a moment where the Fist Fighter had taken a large and fatal-looking strike for him. It wasn't necessary, and it wasn't the act of a person who planned to kill them later. Sheena was silent about it for a few minutes, and then said...)

"What's your plan?"

Canti: *Blinks* Plan? Shit...ummm.

(Dammit, you want him to think of a plan NOW? At THIS hour? Nah, it's cool. He has one.)

Canti: I'm pretty sure that going there and asking questions would just get someone killed, so the idea here is that I - and maybe Dien - am bait. Around here, I'm not anybody special. To the guy that led us through a hellish tower, I'm something of interest. Anyone watching the bait stays out of sight, just regular blokes. If he's trouble, you'll know immediately. If he's not, I need to have a word.

"Assuming he's around, and watching. Very well... I have a feeling you'd go do this even if I didn't endorse it. I don't know that I can go with you. Nall won't be awake. I can send Demorian with you, or you can convince him yourself. The rest of the party you can consult, or get him to."

Canti: Demorian's the one that set me on the notion that he's here in the first place. The rest was that computer. It said that he'd been in Stitcher. Dunno who I can get aboard this idea, but he could be alot of help. I'd rather that Nighthand was left out of it if he gets back. He probably wouldn't go with it and I'm thinking he might spook the fist-meister, anyhow.

"You can try to leave him out if you like, though I think he'd be a help if it came to a fight. He might follow anyways, too. Up to you... I'll let you figure it out. If you need me to talk to someone, I will."

(Sheena probably wasn't entirely aware of Canti's irritation towards Nighthand. So, given that the Twin Blade had something of a bias against him, she probably had a better view of the situation and knew perfectly well that an extra darkness-aligned dude would be useful in case Suraisu was in a kick-butt sort of mood.)

Canti: Maybe you're right. I've no idea how strong he is now. Here's hoping he's conversational.

(He left her to her business and headed over to another part of the room to think over his next move. All he needed now was people, right? Let's see... Dien's in. It'd be hard to keep him out, and unfair. He figured Talal would help, but maybe not with Takua in his present condition... Hard to say who else would be game here. Sekai would probably be all for for the magnanimous side of his plans, but not the contengency part for if Suraisu's an enemy. He was still considering this when an FM he wasn't expecting - Yeah, like people EVER know when they're really coming, right? - suddenly popped up. It was from Raquar. Wait...what? Okay, the word "Foray" wasn't in Canti's dictionary. He can't help it. He skipped school before the coma. The message was pretty straightforward. Raq wanted to work on the Elite they shot before with that awesome weapon of data distortion, the Vegas Vindicator! This was definitely a good time for flashbacks, as the dark Twin Blade recalled Klive getting blasted back. Never got to see what happened to him...)

Canti: Okay, Raquar, I'm game.

(Turns out that while their beloved awesome BFG device was scrap data, it had had its effect. For not long after he had met with the Long Arm at the two refugees from a Beach Boys album were talking about the latest buzz about Klive. Canti's reaction to their candor and what they were saying was to suddenly turn away and focus all of his concentration on not laughing. You gotta understand... All they did was walk into the Fire Sector and they were hella-overheard. It was all Canti could do to keep silent, rather than going "Klive is sick alright. We did it! Us too blokes and our little pop-gun knocked your precious leader out of whack! Booyah!" or words to that effect. But no, his control over what he said in public covereth a multitude of sins. People who ask questions and draw attention to themselves end up in the East River, assuming they HAD an East River. This led to the idea that maybe the Master of Fire around here was looking for a promotion and that getting his help to deal with Klive was in order. That is...if there wasn't suddenly this political propaganda paper proclaiming loyalty and hope for Klive by, apparently, the Vak-Man himself. Still, on the off-chance that it was a load of shit, Canti and Raquar decided to look out for this guy....which was kinda' hard since fire-element guys around here looked ALOT alike.)

Canti: Jesus H. Riverdancing Christ, even I fit in here!

(This was where the Long Arm suggested they look into finding the lord of the d- land at his castle. Canti blinked at him and silently checked his map of Yamiyo. Yeah...there are castles for the element masters who rule in power, answerable only to the Elite class. How the hell did he ever miss that? Well, after a moment of saving face, they were on their way...to the Olympic Torch of castles. More like the torch of some kinda' parallel universe where Spartan warriors are the peacekeepers of the Olympics. Missed some of literature, Canti did, but not history. Anyway, ze castle! It was a fist surrounded by fire, and it didn't take a Greecian Alchemist to figure out which one of them was the least combustible. Choosing to bank on his fire resistance to any form of booby traps, landmines, hidden guards, or the actual flames dancing in front of them...Canti stepped forward. Nothing happened. The fire was a fake, a graphic. Apparently, you could just walk in and the man of the house didn't care. Well, here's hoping. The trouble with this place was just how empty it was. No "What's all this then?" from stationed guards or even a "Ho there, strange hominid creature. Is being time for the biting and screaming now, yes?" from the half-expected monstrous pet of the Vak-Master. No such luck. That would make sense. However, in going downstairs, they found themselves facing - Ha ha! - five guys who could very well have been guards in their barracks. It was Canti who broke the silence, using a tone that suggested something akin to "Whoops, wrong room!".)

Canti: We are so blatantly fucked.

(Not because they were outnumbered or that they could be all very high-leveled, but because something about busting in on the guards during their coffee break suggested attracting attention to themselves in a manner that Talal would be hitting him for now. This wasn't like par-for-the-course Bazaar behavior. This was you're-bugging-the-irritable-authority-figures. Still, they sorta' managed to muddle through it...as opinionated jackasses who sounded like they had an agenda. Okay, so they did have an agenda. It wasn't like the guards were using brain-beams to know exactly what it was. ((Nighthand, if you give the guards psychic brain-beams, I will hurt you so.)) But between the two of them, Canti and Raquar managed to imply that they were looking to support the Master of Vak in an ascent to power...should he have the inclination to go for that sort of thing...quietly. The clincher of it was that the guards pointed out that he was meeting with Klive NOW, a fact which raced paranoid thoughts through Canti's head.)

Canti: Man, if this guy's on the level with his loyalty, we could be in some serious trouble here. Hope I don't see any posters with MY face on 'em.

(On their way out, keeping from getting into a stupid fight, Canti gave 'em a gesture from The Prisoner. They wouldn't get it, of course, but it meant to imply that they were cogs in a wheel. Going upstairs, past the ground level, they found a great many doors, all of them decidedly locked. The act of knocking produced no answer. Nobody home. Dammit... Luck just wasn't on their side today. Or maybe it was. Hard to say. One thing was for certain, it sounded awfully tempting to go after Klive, knowing that he was injured. The only things stopping Canti from going with the idea entirely were the flags, the obvious problem of tower defenses, and the Wastes. And frankly, he wasn't gonna try it until AT LEAST he was flagless. If the Elites had any iidea that they were out of jail, they might still think them dead by wasteland. As long as nobody made any unecessary blips, this whole place could be muddled through, perhaps. In any case, Canti was able to get Raquar aboard for his own mission. Hey, it was only fair. For now, though, he was heading back to the safehouse again. Maybe somebody else he could get a word in with was there.)

Canti: Actually, now's a good a time as any to just let them all in on- Whoa!

*SMACK!*

Canti: Owww... What the hell?

(From Vak to Gan, he'd walked past the Chaos Gate without paying too close attention to his surroundings and tripped over something lower to the ground, smacking him face-first into the pavement. Picking himself up, Canti found that he was facing a creature of fair bulk, a sort of demon canine thing. Dark haired, white eyed, and looking vicious as hell. Rather, it would seem vicious if it were doing anything violent. As it stood, the beastie was just looking at him, as though noticing him for the first time. Since it wasn't attacking, Canti concluded that it wasn't a hostile demon of the Wastes. Turning, he headed for the Gan Sector again.)

Canti: Huh... Didn't know this place had guard dogs.

"They don't."

(He stopped at the sound of a deep voice which, despite being entirely ominous in tone, seemed to be making a smartass of itself. At least, at first...)

"You are Canti, correct?"

(The Twin Blade noticed that the vicious hellhound was speaking without moving its mouth, and that it was behaving very little like a savage monster of ANY sort. Was it some kind of kooky AI? The fact that it knew his name was...unsettling. Anyone coming onto the scene would now find the Twin Blade in a Mexican Standoff with a talking monster dog, unsure of whether to play this one cool or immediately suspect this as a trap.)

_________________
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: Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Posts: 114
The surf washed up and then retreated along with the sound of the waves crashing into the ocean after cresting. It was all so peaceful to her ears. She stood there with her feet buried in the sand; her face upward with eyes closed embracing the warmth from the rays beating down. A gentle breeze blew through her hair. What a beautiful day she thought to herself if it wasn’t for this darn kink in my neck. Reaching up, Kali massaged the aching spot with her hand.

*-*-*-*-*--*-*-*-**--*

Talal woke to a half empty room. Many had left and those that remained were quiet. Just as in her dream, she reached up and massaged the back of her neck. Perhaps sleeping on the floor wasn’t such a great idea. The girl stood and stretched before walking over to check on Takua who was still lying there unchanged. She changed out the cloth on his eyes for a fresh one, noting that there didn’t appear to be any change but then again, healing was a slow process and not always one you could see. Her hope remained that what she was trying to do for him was doing something, regardless of how small it might be.

The room felt stale and stagnant and with her body and mind now rested, Talal decided to get some fresh air, if fresh was even possible. The side alley street the safe house opened onto was quiet. It was hard to know what time it was in the eternally night city. She didn’t like the idea of being alone in the dark but as a group, it would make blending in easier. Making her way up to the roof of the safe house, the Twin Blade found a nice spot to sit and mull things over. The spot gave her a nice view of the Gan district and was enough out of sight that no one should notice her there unless they were looking really hard.

Still, there were more questions than answers but Canti had helped a lot with the tougher ones. She gave the guy kudos for even attempting to answer them since she knew how hard they were. Also, some questions didn’t have exact answers and yet others may have more than one. Her mind drifted as to the whereabouts of the black winged Twin Blade. He had arrived back at the safe house after she had so girlishly unfairly beat him in the race, but was one of those that had left again while she’d been asleep. He could handle himself; that much was for sure simply judging him on his tactics and abilities during the fight against Tritoch. Talal just hoped that he hadn’t gone looking for that guy on his own. Surely he’d have someone tag along with him to watch his back.

Dark brown eyes looked over the buildings, some were dark, some had flickering light coming through their windows. Some of the streets even had street lights and then some didn’t. Most likely the darker ones were where darker dealings could be found. Thoughts began to surface of the group, the Freedom Fighters. She had managed to gather a good idea of what the Eventides were fighting but the Freedom Fighters were on a whole different level of sorts. The end game was the same but the enemies had new faces, names and ways of doing things. So who were they? She needed a download of info from someone, if only so that she could keep her ears open while walking down the streets of Yamiyo. As it stood, she didn’t know what to listen for, what was important intel and what was already known.

These Elites as they were called, it sounded like they were even more powerful than the Highers that the Eventides had been fighting. So what were there names? What element, assuming they were like the Highers and aligned themselves as such, did they favor? So many things she didn’t know but should or needed to if she was going to be an asset to this new group. So many things, she thought gazing out over the city. So many things.

_________________
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Walk beside me that we may be as one.
***************************************
Talal
Image
Level 39 (0/1000 EXP) Twin Blade

Weapons/Armor: Mukuro (Swirling Dark, Dark Dance), Ice Hunter Cap (Repth), Wristbands (Juk Rom), Fishing Gloves (Rue Kruz), Wyrm Hide (Gan Don), Snow Panther (Ap Vorv)

Wish List: Scrolls, Tarot Cards, and Armor higher than level 30.


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 Post subject: Part 1
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:40 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...
Exactly how long it had been since that fight, the blademaster was unsure. Tritoch has been unmade in a powerful display, but Dien had been in a trance. The explosions of sheer magical energy combined with the overflow of Twilight on this server and his own transformation had sent him into something akin to shock. He woke up in a stone room, dazed and confused, but still damn tired for how long he’d been out.

His head hurt, but thankfully the lighting in this place was low enough that it wasn’t going to do any worse. The air smelled of earth, which was probably fitting considering where this dorm was. Sparse and various furniture decorated it, but left little privacy. Even just from his initial glance, he could see Sheena leaning over a slightly less decrepit Nall, Takua one or two beds removed, and in another corner of the room, Sekai doing her best to get some rest. Those were the ones that stood out, at least.

Slowly he rose, his head light from the sudden change. Funny that the game could be that realistic. His first check was for the archer, though she seemed to be just fine. At least that’s what his instinct told him: hopefully she hadn’t been hurt in the fight. The next check was on Takua. He moved carefully around to the bed on which the wavemaster lay, noting how haphazardly he’d been placed on the bed. Poor guy had been right at the center of a cataclysmic explosion: the least they could do was set him comfortably to lie.

The man looked like he was really out of it: at least, he’d have to be in order to have not moved into a more comfortable sleeping position. One arm lay under his back, straining at the shoulder, while his head was cocked at an unnatural angle. Couple that with how one leg was bent behind the other as both lay off the edge of the bed, and the boy was going to be sore as hell when he woke up. He was half off the bed, too, which meant that one wrong move would have him in a falling nightmare waking up right before slamming into the floor. That much alone prompted Dien to fix the boy’s awkward sleeping position.

First order of business was his arm. Reaching across, he lifted the far shoulder with one hand, while trying to fish out the player’s arm with his other. Only…Takua was slipping. The blademaster’s knee braced against the bed, trying to support his napping friend while he lifted the shoulder a bit higher to get the arm out. There was no redeeming this situation: Tak’s legs were completely off the bed, and Dien’s knee was the only thing holding the rest of him up. Gently, he tried to set the shoulder down where it had been, but in so doing pulled his leg away from the side of the bed. The resulting noise alone should have been enough to wake him up, let alone the hard hit he took to his head. But he was still out cold. A frown crossed the hapless helper’s face as he struggled to place Takua back on the bed, spending a good five minutes first to get him back onto the thing, and then another two or three getting him into a more comfortable position.

Something’s not right with him,” Danielle finally chimed in, suddenly sitting on the bed next to his feet.

“Oh really?” the blademaster snarked, frustrated by her impeccable ability to state the obvious. She, in turn, only smiled.

Relax, Jed,” she said, rising to her feet, “he’s probably just integrating with Twilight: your own experience with that wasn’t exactly clear sailing, was it?

“Yeah, but I wasn’t completely out of it,” he replied, looking concernedly to the wavemaster, “he banged his head on the floor just now, and didn’t wake up. He’s barely breathing! There’s gotta be something we can do…”

For one, you can calm down,” Danielle said, her eyes glazing over for a moment as she checked on something, “from what I can see his data is mostly fine, save for some damage to the eyes. But if you’re really concerned about it, ask Sheena and see if she can help him.

“Knowing her she’s already done her best,” Dien stated, looking to the golden-haired matron of the group, “and it’s still not enough.”

Well it never hurts to ask, does it? She’d already disappeared into his mind again, and the blademaster sighed. But if she had already done as much for Takua as she could…what if there was someone else who could do more? She would at least know that much.

“Hey Sheena,” Dien asked, walking up behind her, “mind if I get your opinion on something?”

Hmm? Go ahead,” she replied, not even bothering to turn around.

“Well, I know you’ve already done everything your can for Takua,” he began, taking a seat on the nearest bed, “but do you think we’d be able to find anyone else in this server who could help him out?”

She rubbed her forehead. “I’m sure you could.

Needless to say she carried an air of apprehension. “…so does that mean you’re opposed to the idea, then?”

She simply nodded. “The price they would make you pay is probably more than you can afford. We don’t have significant capital in Yamiyo.

“I could probably manage something,” Dien responded after a moment’s thought, “I mean no offense, but I have access to some pretty pricey items.”

She shook her head. “What good are items when the average hacker can produce whatever they like? Your pricey items aren’t even very good compared to their hacked weapons.” She gestured at Takua. “The hacker you’d need to find to fix him would demand something more along the lines of an arm and a leg. Literally. Sometimes they even barter in hacks.

“I used to be a hacker too, you know,” he retorted after a moment’s thought, “damn good one, too.”

Her eyes flashed with a rage he’d never seen before, though it doesn’t really seem directed at you. “You used to dabble in the code of a game wrapped up in more layers than most people even knew was possible. Here in Yamiyo that code is what they teach schoolchildren.” She looked away, back at Nall, the rage fading. After a few moments she continued. “Then again, you like playing with fire.

A comment flashed through the blademaster’s mind, one left better unsaid. There was no winning this debate: Sheena would never consent to seeking outside help. He wanted to explode back in her face, but such a thing would accomplish nothing. Instead, he simply walked away, his mind constructing a scheme to at least prove her wrong, convince her of her undue paranoia. His eyes scanned the room as he walked away quietly, finally settling on Sekai as the target: she probably would be the most sympathetic to his cause, after all. “Sekai,” he said, finally sitting down on the nearest thing at an appropriate height, “I have a proposition regarding getting Takua on his feet again. You interested?”

Her eyes had been closed, stealing a precious moment of rest when the sound of her name had jerked her awake. Blinking rapidly, she glanced over to Dien and bit her lip. “What…did you have in mind?” She asked softly, a note of hesitation in her reply as she turned her attention temporarily toward Takua’s still unconscious, hopefully sleeping, form.

“Well, he’s not waking up, and Sheena’s done all she can for him,” he paused, glancing from the wavemaster to their gilded leader, his expression visibly tensing before he continued, “I’m pretty sure there are other people here who can do more for him; I could do more for him if I still had my add-ins…anyway,” his tone hushed, “Sheena won’t support us getting him help, though, so I need you to distract her long enough for me to get him into my bag of infinite holding and get out the door. Think you can do that for me?”

Her expression visibly fell at the news that Sheena could do no more for him, shoulders slumping and a certain brightness appearing in her soft gold-brown eyes. Still, she continued to listen- even as she began trying to figure out ways on her own to find a way to help him on her own. Distracting someone? Especially Sheena? She might be able to do that for a little bit and- wait. Sekai paused in her attempt at planning and blinked up at Dien, the brightness temporarily replaced by curiosity and a distinct sense of confusion. “Bag of infinite…holding?

A misty, ghost-like form appeared beside her as Kira. “That’s an explanation that can wait,” The tall AI interrupted smoothly with a chuckle, lowering her voice after a moment. “Sekai’ll act too obvious about it; let me do it. I’ve been meaning to ask some questions on how she ‘repairs’ that Nall guy anyways.” Plus, she could pick the Fist Fighter’s brain on what she did know of the area- and which she should definitely keep a certain trouble attracting Archer away from.

“Ah, I’d forgotten you were here, Kira,” he replied, his expression lightening a bit, the faintest hints of a mischievous smile curving the corner of his lips, “okay good. That means you can help me get him into my bag quicker, Sekai. ‘Many hands make for light work,’ after all.” He paused a moment, “so we’re set?’

Hm, maybe we can have a do-over of our first encounter; I’ll be sure and leave a personalized memento behind for you this time.” She replied without missing a beat, her tone light-hearted in contrast with a potentially serious expression in her amber eyes. Turning to Sekai, the two locked eyes a moment as silent communication went between them, the younger girl’s brow furrowing as if she didn’t particularly care for what Kira had said but nodded reluctantly all the same and rose stiffly to her feet. “We’re set.”

“Alright,” he said, “Kira, we’re counting on your powers of distraction.” Turning to Sekai, he continued, “now we give her a minute for the distraction to set in.”

Sekai gave Kira a wary, sideways look as the AI’s lips turned into a very unpromising smirk at Dien’s comment and wondered just how bad that boded for the rest of them. Nodding at Dien, the young girl sank back down and leaned against the wall, opening one eye before speaking. “You…may wish to look as if you’re preoccupied with something else.”” Sekai advised softly. “That way if Sheena-san suspects something, you’re not looking like you set it all up.” Her eye closed again and she shifted uncomfortably to try and find a better position.

“Perhaps,” he thought aloud, letting himself recline on the bed, “we never did pay tribute to Tritoch. We talked about that, right?”

Sekai’s expression turned conflicted despite her eyes being closed. “No…we didn’t.” She replied after a moment. It definitely sounded like the right thing to do, he had been one of them at one point. Human, that is. Maybe not on their side but, human nonetheless. “What…did you have in mind? It may be a bad idea to approach him still, after all, Takua-san…” She trailed off on that note, distinctly uncomfortable and clearly still pained about the whole thing.

Dien thought for a moment, listening as Kira’s conversation began before letting his mouth open. “At the very least, I think we should go to the gate where we entered, and depending on how the situation looks, maybe retrace our steps to where he died. I want…” he began, hesitating a moment before continuing, “I dunno, I just want to go there. Apologize or whatever feels appropriate. Let him know that someone gives a damn, you know?”

Sekai’s brow furrowed as her eyes opened, darker in hue as she thought of the way the formerly human Admin had perished in battle with them-- and to the others who had fallen similarly among the Eventide Crescendo. “I understand completely.” She said softly and sighed to herself.

It was something she wanted to do, most certainly, but she also had no idea on how to do such things for an enemy who had hated them in life as an Admin, and most certainly had until his death at their hands. Hopefully, he wouldn’t become a vengeful spirit. “…perhaps it would be a good idea.” She murmured and began to shift her weight a bit in preparation to assist Dien. “At least, it may help him choose not become one of the goryou.” And that was a rather large concern on her end, Sekai admitted privately to herself.

Goryou?” The blademaster asked, rising to his feet and gesturing for Sekai to follow him as he began to walk towards where Takua was sleeping, thankfully en route to the door, “I’m afraid I don’t know your culture all that well…”

She rose to her feet, brushing herself off and nodded once, following behind the Blademaster as she did so and winced at a crack in her back. “Um…how does one put it…”” Sekai began, fumbling for an explanation that would make sense and translate well. “A vengeful ghost who is of a higher class- like nobility.” That…might have been good and clear enough. “They’e, um, very difficult to be rid of and it takes a very special type of ex-exor-um…spirit dispersers in order to do actually lay them to rest.” Stupid word. ‘x’ didn’t exist in her country’s vocabulary and thus was weird for her to say.

“Oh, so kind of like a Hollow from the old Bleach anime?” he asked, looking over his shoulder with something of a smile as they walked, “where the exorcists are the shinigami?”

Umm,” She thought about that for a moment. “Kind of but not really.” A small chuckle came out as a result. “That…was something that was kind of imported from Europe and adapted, it refers loosely to any death deity…but not to any in specific.” Sekai considered what she knew of traditional folklore and nodded. “Usually, there’s Enma-daiou-sama, who is in charge of judging the dead with reward or punishment, and Izanami-no-Mikoto-sama, the Creator Goddess who became the Goddess of Death and Yomi, the Underworld, after a tragic mishap with her husband disobeying her instructions that caused her heart to be filled with shame, rage and vengence.” That would be good enough, she supposed. “So…what’s a bag of infinite holding, exactly?”” She needed to know; it was an unusual sounding item and a big part of her wondered if it was one of the extremely rare ones in “The World.”

“Well, it’s…” he paused as they arrived at Takua’s bed, “it’s a bag that can hold any amount of anything.” At this, he unclasped the belt that was attached to his saddle bag, only now realizing just how tight of a squeeze it would be to fit a human body through the opening. “I actually made this one myself back when I was a light hacker. It’s…one of the only things I have left from back then.” The bag was open in his hands, and he looked over to Sheena to find her quite preoccupied. He moved to the wavemaster’s feet and began to slide them in. “I actually designed it so there’s a field on the inside,” he went on, glad that his idea was working as he held back against the bag’s pull upwards, “it’s a portal that takes my items and stores them in a custom field that makes them easy for me to grab.” Slowly, he’d been working it around the player’s clothing, and had made it up to his knees, but he was going to need help getting the rest of him in. He nodded looked at Sekai and then nodded to the robes, hoping she’d catch on. “I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone on that field, though…”

Sekai’s eyes followed what the other man was doing, comprehension slowly dawning on her as she froze at the realization. “Is.. is it safe to put an actual human being in there?” She asked hesitantly, wandering over to assist and murmured an apology to the Wavemaster for intruding upon his personal space as she held his clothing down and against his sides to make it easier for Dien to slide the bag over. She imagined it would be quite the odd feeling regardless.

“I’ve never tried it,” he replied, looking up at her and smiling, “but I’m sure it’s perfectly safe. After all, it’s a normal field more or less” At that, the blademaster set about his task all the more, hiding the fact that the data was put through a compression cycle upon entering, essentially scrambling it and getting rid of unnecessary space for more storage. He hadn’t exactly considered that before posing his plan; the bag was designed to hold items, not characters. There was a chance that Takua’s data would become scrambled beyond recognition, but he wasn’t about to let Sekai know of this issue. “I need you to wrap his arms in front of him, please.”

…more or less?” She asked nervously as she did as instructed, murmuring another apology to the unconscious boy in she began to move. “Like this?” Sekai inquired once moe, revealing she’d placed his arms in a typical ‘Mummy’ position; both palms on opposing shoulders and crossed over his chest.

Dien looked up, glancing at her work and giving a nod. “Good,” he said, sliding the bag the rest of the way over the character’s form. Any danger that might have existed was now realized, so there was no use worrying about it anymore. “Let’s meet up at the nearest Chaos Gate,” he said quietly, “we can make our way from there.” The bag was sealed and quickly affixed to his waist once again. He nodded before turning and heading towards the door. Unseen to anyone within, a smile crossed his lips, rank with the disbelief that he’d actually just smuggled something out under Sheena’s nose. At least he hoped. She was scary when she was upset.

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Wishlist: EXP, Ends of Earth, Armor with Status Effects


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:31 pm 
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Master of Games
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Nighthand came and went, and Demorian arrived shortly after. He surveyed the rag-tag group of adventurers sitting around the safe house. Sekai had garnered another partner, it looked like. Takua could see, after a fashion. Dien seemed depressed and exhausted, sleeping away his woes. Canti had come into possession of an enormous dog. Nighthand was out rampaging around the town in a manner unlikely to be allowed a second time. As he watched, Canti approached.

"Hey, can I have a word off to the side? There's at least a couple things developing and I think you should be in the loop."

“Sure.” Demorian replied. “Corner, or outside?” He let Canti have the lead.

"Corner. Don't like the passerbys out there."

A whole sector of people who make him NOT stand out came to mind as Canti went and cornered himself. Once they were situated...

"There are two plans of action building up for while we're here. Do you wanna hear about the local one or the tower one first?"

“May as well go tower. I have an inkling what you have in mind.”

"I can't take all the credit, for the wind-up OR the pitch. It was nearly all Raquar. Klive was hit by that item-extraction gun back when we were rescuing Nall, and now it's common knowledge that he's sick. We discovered the Vak Master is wishing for his health...but I suspect its all politics and that we could ah...get him to work with us in elimination. 'Course, we'd have to deal with him then too, but the main point is that Klive's weakened and won't leave his tower."

Demorian was left thinking for several moments. It was indeed precisely what he had suspected would come up, after the rumors he heard out in the Bazaar. Klive would be the logical target. The trouble was, Canti was missing one important detail. Then again, so was nearly everyone else in The World.

“One slight problem. The Master of Fire isn’t next in line.”

Canti facepalmed, and asked, “Okay… Who is?”

Demorian shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m one of the few people who even know there IS a gap between Master and Elite. The Heirs are kept tight under wraps, not public, not known. The only reason there isn’t a new Earth and Water Elite is because Nall stole the items.” He paused. “Now, that’s not to say that the Master wouldn’t have ambitions above his rank. The Masters do know about the Heirs. He may want to supplant the current Heir. Your plot may work. You just had to be aware of that fact.”

"Well, I'm actually glad we didn't go 'round with that knowledge. Looking uninformed and ignorant is a good cover. In any case, we might be able to tantalize him enough with thoughts of the Twilight item if he's an amoral bastard. But then, we're going amoral on him definitely, because no matter what, the only hands we're letting take what's Klive's is ours. The one thing that worries me is that I know that the Vak-Man was in a meeting with Klive."

“Which may have been a cover for him to assess his chances of making a move. Or might be legitimate concern. Only one way to find out, really… we’ll have to arrange a meeting with him. I might be able to swing that… So. What’s the other plan about?”

"Bit closer to home, you could say. I know 'The Blades' is here. I wanna try and lure 'im out."

Demorian didn’t miss the subtle reference. “What would you do if you succeeded?”

"There's only two ways it can go. Either we can regard him as a friendly or as an enemy. I believe that he's more a forced villain than anything else. And if you have any doubt of the possibility, I'll direct you to a certain jester-boy with a funny voice. If he's still an enemy, well...you know that I'd want to settle the score, once and for all. He's a loose end, Demorian. We need to handle it."

Demorian thought for a moment, running possibilities through his head. “Tell you what. I’ll see what I can get arranged in terms of a meeting with the Master in question. These things usually take a little time, so we should have the opportunity to hunt down your loose end. Assuming we can find him. Flashmail me a plan to work from for him, and we can rally the troops to work it out.”

"Easily done. And Sheena already knows it as well."

"That helps. Was there anything else?"

Canti paused. "Only the stupid question. Is there anything at all that can be done for Takua?"

Demorian looked over at the man, now relatively healed, but still fitfully sleeping. “My guess is just let things run their course. It should work out.”

"In that case I'm tapped out. Oh, and uhhh...don't go near the canine. Just to be sure." Demorian nodded.

He found Sheena dozing on Nall's chest as it slowly rose and fell, and he touched her on the shoulder lightly. She woke groggily, looking up at him. He pulled a small key from a sleeve, holding it by a short leather strap, and offered her a small smile. He put it away. She nodded, and went back to looking at Nall.

Demorian sat in a chair and began to compose a flashmail. Pulling the right contacts, pushing the right buttons, to get an audience with the Vak Master would be slightly complicated. Best to start now.

Then he wrote a new flashmail, to the party.

Flashmail!
To: The Party
From: Demorian
RE: Goals


It looks like we have a new goal in mind. There’s a certain player around in the city that some of you have a vested interest in. We’re going after him. This buys me some time, to put some plans into motion that may lead us to a confrontation with Klive. Rumor has it the Vak Elite is injured, and now would be the time to strike.

Prepare yourselves as best you can, and meet back at the safehouse soon. We’ll discuss the plan in detail.

End Flashmail

Then Demorian sat back and waited, flingering the key he had worked so hard to obtain.

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

If you couldn’t tell, this post takes place after your various solos and whatnot, namely the one where Tak gains his sight and Sekai gains her ally. This means it’s also after Nighthand gave his gifts.

Preferably weekly posting is returning now. That means those of you with unwritten solos should get into gear and get them out.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:28 pm 
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Exalted Player

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Posts: 288
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.
(When we last left our heroes...)

Canti: I am sooo telling my grandkids about this, provided I get any.

(He'd arrived at the conclusion that all things that irritated him were figments of his imagination, since it was clear to him that it was he that decided they were annoying in the first place. But then again, some people were aggravating without actually requiring his animosity to begin with. So, if you had no worries...you had no pains...but others would try to become a pain in the rear. This delve into the wonders of bullshit philosophy was brought to you by a grant from the lazy daemon's rest-up fund. That is, this was one of the few times that Canti actually relaxed in proper and didn't feel he had to worry over things. He hadn't done so in a good while. In fact, had he ever? The Twin Blade found himself unable to recall when he'd felt more at ease about things. It was mostly bouts of sleep, training, and missions...all of which were punctuated his various interactions with part of the group. This town where nobody could find them... Man, what a trip. Frankly, Canti hoped they had access to this place once they left it. Might be worth seeing again, just for all the weirdness. Then again, it wasn't likely. Shadow said- Oh, sorry. Almost forgot. The team has a new addition to the ranks.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Couple Hours Or So Ago...

(The demon dog, Shadow, had come out of nowhere. He was almost as tall as Canti with considerable bulk, reminding him of Ghostbusters just a bit. A dair-haired creature that seemed to be remeniscent of a Rottweiler for some reason. Now, this curious creature - who spoke in a deep voice - had called him by name not too far from the District Chaos Gate. Was it a trap? Who sent this creature? Was this about the Fire Master? No...that couldn't be it. He hadn't named himself back there, and this was clearly not a fire-demon.)

Canti: Who are you?

Shadow: My name is Shadow, and I have come for you.

Canti: Say that again, only less ominous.

Shadow: My purpose is to seek out you, Canti the Twin Blade, and to serve.

Canti: Oh, I see. A tracer-hound to- What?

(The hound stood up from its sitting position, regarding the Twin Blade almost at eye-level. This was a big damn dog... Shadow lifted his head so that Canti could see the collar anbnd the tag. His black eyes widened as he saw the "Property of Canti" message flash, then the fox symbol after that.)

Shadow: I am here to help you at her behest.

Canti: Holy shit... Rey, you madwoman! Hah hah haaah!

(He suddenly grabbed the dog out of reflex in a tight embrace, clapping him on the back and laughing out loud.)

Shadow: Uhh, master...choking...get off...

Canti: Oh, sorry.

(He removed himself, and Canti invited Shadow into the safehouse, noting that his options screen now had a new entry for Pet-related things. Once inside, they started talking and the dark Twin Blade was able to understand WHY this dog exists. Shadow was a tracker, and as such he was capable of sniffing data like it was a scent and perceiving it. It was how he had eventually found Yamiyo, once Canti appeared in its server town. He sweatdropped when he heard that Shadow was now a rumored beast all over the regular servers.)

Canti: Okay, you were given orders to find me and help me out. What else?

Shadow: I am to hunt down the vile creature who insulted my creator, Marionette. His data-signature has already been recorded into my memory.

(Bigger sweatdrop now.)

Canti: You really know how to answer a challenge, Rey.

(Reyome had taken the insult from Marionette personally and created Shadow to hunt and kill him! Demorian wasn't gonna like this... According to the status screen, the hellhound was at Canti's level! That made him scary-good at what he does!)

Shadow: However, before that, I require time to set up the communication node.

Canti: The...what? Wait, won't that draw attention?

Shadow: You do not wish to speak with the creator?

Canti: Wait... You mean you can reconnect me to whatever she's using?

Shadow: Correct. The subtle mental-interface device interacts with the node built inside of me to stimulate contact conditions despite outside interference. I must confess that I don't know what that all means.

Canti: S'okay. I got it.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(From there, Canti had relaxed in an easy chair type deal, with Shadow lying on the ground beside him. Things were looking up now, given all that was going on now. Given his usual stir-crazy nature, you might wonder how the Twin Blade can relax now. That was easy. There were plans, and there were resources, and there were hopes. He was high on a hope right now, or even a desire... He was thinking about it because the idea had entered his head ever since Raquar had mentioned Klive, the Vak Elite. At last, they could take down an Elite - after supposedly two others had died or something - and claim his Twilight Item. He had to admit, he was curious about these Items, though a part of him was equally concerned about them. Nall's had - with increasing ridiculousness - destroyed the one loopy scientist after first corrupting him. He was rejected by whatever Items the guy had had. But Canti had a feeling...that the reason for that was that the man had lacked Twilight in his system. Even still, there was no way to know now, was there? Not until they got their hands on one... Between earlier and now, Canti had slept and when he woke...the door opened. He looked up, and Shadow looked up. It was Nighthand. He was walking around with a big burlap sack on his back, giving stuff to people. Why? Was it Christmas? Oh, please tell me we're not missing the holidays! Dammit... Well, even if it wasn't, it got the Twin Blade's attention, and soon the Heavy Blade came to sit across from him.)

"What's up?"

Canti: A few interesting things. Raq and I found out that Klive is sick, for instance.

"He is? Sweet. Maybe now would be the time to go after him…"

(A few interesting things, indeed, like Nights holding a big sack. It drew Canti's attention, but he didn't mind talking shop first. Better that news gets around a little, as needed. Besides, the leader-man was getting the gist of the idea here. One less asshole to deal with! Whoo! That was when Nighthand remarked on Shadow's presence.)

"Gonna make a habit of bringing home strays?"

Canti: I'm the stray. He's been looking for me, apparently. Just consider 'im a gift from on high and don't question it. And uhhh...funny thing is, Raq and I were thinking the same thing. We figured the Fire Master would be interested in a promotion.

"Hopefully. Unless he's willing to defend Klive with his life. You never know with those military types."

Canti: Which worries me because I heard he was in a meeting with Klive while the two of us were out. It could have been something like 'I know of some rebels who got out of prison. Here's their profiles.'.

(His impression of Klive sounded more like Darth Vader, but who's counting? Nighthand just shrugged and said...)

"Chances are very good that the Elites already know we broke out. They can't really do much, though. Most of us aren't all that distinctive, especially in Yamiyo. A player with wings, or black eyes, that's not enough to identify us as readily as it would be in Mac Anu. As long as we're under the radar, we should be fine."

Canti: Yeah, wings and black eyes. What're the odds, right?

(Two of 'em right there, 'talkin' to each other.)

Canti: And if anything goes wrong, deny everything. So...

(Now, he was ready to ask about the sack.)

Canti: ...you taking the role of the jolly one or did the Salvation Army need a few good men?

"Let's just say I may have done a little distracting of people in the Mercenary District earlier. I was rewarded by one side of the feuding parties, found that I couldn't use the stuff, and decided to hand it off to you folks."

(From the sack, Nighthand withdrew three Twin Blade daggers, each one identical to the next. He did so with caution and said "Careful." as he handed them to Canti, who took them slowly and looked at them in great curiosity. They were made of smoky black glass, and glowed softly with a red inner light. Clearly, there was something very different about them.)

Canti: Three? What are they, exactly?

"They're called the Volcanic Fury Blades. There are three because you use them one at a time. They aren't regular weapons; in fact, if you use them to slash or parry an attack, they'll backfire on you."

(He paused a moment to let that sink in for a moment. When we say "Don't slash with these!", we mean it!)

"What you do, is stab an enemy with one of them. Once you let go, barbs stick out of the blade to latch it into them. Then, after a couple of seconds delay for you to get out of the way, they explode. I've heard it's roughly the power of a couple of level two spells, and a few physical attacks. It explodes in Vak and Ani energy, and the glass forms some decent shrapnel as well. Figured you'd like them."

Canti: Oooh...very nice. Can they be thrown, or do they just not work that way? 'Cause otherwise, you just handed me some very nice grenades.

"I dunno. Basically; two groups of mercenaries were fighting. One of their leaders pissed me off so I knocked him out, and the other leader found out. That other leader asked if I would help him defeat the guy I already beat down, and promised some nifty rewards. So I figured why not? Might as well gain an ally out of it."

Canti: Pretty much what Raq and I had in mind. See, the fire guy has all these posters with these speeches on 'em, proclaiming his wish for the good health of Klive.

(Said paper was handed to Nights, which he read a couple times.)

Canti: Now, it is a 50-50 chance, but I got the impression that this grand campaign to look loyal was all political, no truth. The Fire Master might appreciate some 'help' into a loftier position, which is fine because we want him out.

"Are you planning to double-cross the Vak Master once you gain his help to defeat Klive? Because part of being an Elite is having the Twilight Item associated with the job… I can guarantee the Master would want it, and we're not about to give it to him."

Canti: Oh, I will - in no way - allow Vak-Man to gobble that thing up, even if I have to put it on myself. His part in this is entirely to give us a certain edge in getting up there and dealing with Klive.

"Good. We'll have to plan that out pretty carefully. If he doesn't bite, we're out an ally and we have to make sure he doesn't plot to double-cross us. Turning us in to Klive would net him a good reward as well." He thought some more. We also have to consider ourselves...and whether or not we can take the Master once we've drained ourselves fighting Klive."

Canti: I've considered that. If the Master's loyal, then we could fall into a serious trap. Any chance you found something that's deadly and icy?

(He laughed.)

"Does Demorian count?"

Canti: Yeah, and you can enhance anyone's powers with a touch, right?

"Hmm? No, not really. I can enhance spells. Even that is sort of flaky, due to Xenobia… Long story."

(Not one he wanted to hear either. It's enough to know that Xenobia can poke a person into submission and make them her slave. Canti just shrugged.)

Canti: Still, anyone who's good at resisting fire or is just plain anti-fire should go, I think. Given circumstances, all of us is impossible.

"I dunno. We can discuss it with Sheena and Demorian later, and maybe Nall if he's awake. At least for the trek up Klive's tower, we'd need all the help we can get."

Canti: I'd rather not risk Nall. This all began so that we could keep 'im out of enemy hands. Whatever we do, I wouldn't want to fail on the mission we started with.

"True. I doubt he'll be awake anyways."

(Herein lay the gap of time in which Nighthand left and Demorian arrived and other people were back. Little more then ten minutes had passed and Canti hadn't done more than stretched and mosied around the room for a bit, the bud of the plans still fresh in his mind. He needed to talk to Demorian still, and he also had to keep Shadow away from him. The ex-Puppetmaster was unaware of Shadow's existence or what he was for, and it was all a bit problematic. So, the Twin Blade got his attention and took him off to a corner of the room to speak, thereby keeping the man in the loop. First item of business, a recap-summary of what he and Raq had in mind for Klive. One problem, though. The Fire Master wasn't next in line! Canti facepalmed at this, and Demorian explained that there were Heirs to worry about. Heirs were not generally known about, but the Masters did and they were apparently the replacement-Elites-in-training. The only reason that some of them weren't Elite NOW was because of Nall's possession of Items. This opened up a grand hitch in the Freedom Fighter idea of killing the bad guys. They had replacements and the only way to keep them from ascending was to keep the Items and stay alive. Ah well. Worse things have happened...probably. Anyway, it seemed that Demorian could possibly grant them a meeting to determine their next course of action. In the meantime, Plan #2 was briefed next, though he didn't need much of an indicator as to what Canti was going after himself. 'The Blades' was in town and it was time they handled him, once and for all. To what extent, only time will tell, though... Demorian specified that he wanted to see the tentative plan to lure Suraisu out and then they went on to briefly talk of Takua. The Twin Blade felt real concern over the guy, because he was integral in getting through the Wastes and he'd been Ground Zero for Tritoch's final attack...and because of how it affected Talal. Lastly, he warned Demorian to keep his distance from Shadow, just in case. Didn't say why, though...)

Canti: It's better that I keep them both at arm's length, just in case. Now then...the plan.

(He pulled up his Flash Mail screen and began to type. As he did, he received Demorian's FM to the whole group to bring 'em back. He knew that at least some of them would go for this, probably enough to handle the lightning hacker, should he grow violent. Anyway...)

Quote:
TO: Demorian
FROM: Canti
SUBJECT: Blade-Fishing

As I said, I discussed this with Sheena and...since she didn't find it stupid, I'm going with it.

According to the mainframe at the prison, Suraisu was last seen here in town at the Stitcher Sector. I know that asking questions would very easily get people killed, so my plan is to use live bait to draw him out. Anyone that he would know about would have to be walking around, minding their own business, like they're not expecting anything. At the moment, that's mostly just me and Dien. We're nothing to others wandering Stitcher, but Suraisu will recognize us, and he'll probably confront us...for one reason or another. (Suspicion, curiosity, etc.) If not, there's nothing I can do, but the point is that while we're out there, several people that he won't recognize should be shadowing us, carefully. Make like you don't know the bait, that you're just walking around and stuff, but be on alert for whatever happens.

If we get his attention, I want to try to get him on our side. He could be damn useful around here in Yamiyo. If we can't argue him into at least a neutral standing, and he's violent, I am not pulling my punches. Because if he IS a complete asshole like Dien suspects, then I will not hesitate in blasting him, full-throttle. If that happens, then he has to be put down, even if he isn't on Elite take. This is the guy that nearly made some of us slaves, and probably HAS done to others. If it's not an act to cover for some more redeemable qualities, then he's a sick man. I'll take anyone I can get for this, though I'm pretty sure we can expect help from Dien, Talal, and Raquar anyway.


(Now, all he could do was wait. The rest would be back soon, if anyone was missing, and it would probably be on Canti to explain the full situation to them. He stood there now, in the middle of the room, practicing his knife-play, doing a tornado-spin with the aid of flight. Hmmm...that had possibilities...)

_________________
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: Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:27 pm 
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Ikkitousen
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Posts: 114
Players walked this way and that on the streets below and Talal found it interesting to note that no one really tended to look upwards even though she had seen quite a few more flying around. It was obviously second nature and natural to have the flyers about that no one paid them any mind. The roof also showed evidence that she wasn’t the only one to seek refuge on it recently, although it couldn’t be told whether or not it was a flyer that landed or someone such as herself that simply climbed up for a quiet place to think.

Quiet, that was a novel thought in and of itself as of late. Things, little things had begun to ting her senses, things that she hadn’t even noticed before; the creaking of the cot frames, Nighthand’s light snoring and the rustling of clothes when people walked about or moved in place. Perhaps the knowledge she couldn’t log out anymore was already getting to her and affecting her like a trapped mouse or someone with cabin fever. The sounds felt like something she couldn’t get away from. Taking a deep breath, Talal tried to refocus on the city below.

Who were all these people anyway? Canti didn’t seem to know or at least wasn’t letting on if he did. Although something he had said stuck in her mind; the comment of maybe they weren’t even real? So what did that mean exactly? Were they NPC’s made of pure data, written into the game to give it substance? Or perhaps this whole town was made up of characters, created by the Elites to gather information from unsuspecting players so they could catch runaways, rogues or escapees. Her eyes grew big at her own thoughts while all the little hairs began to stand up on her arms. Slowly and quietly she moved herself back from the edge a little so as not to attract attention and trying to find the darkest spot she could that still held some sort of a view of the town. Making herself overly paranoid about her surroundings certainly was taking her in the exact opposite direction she had hoped it would by trying to think things through.

Random bits of memory popped up and almost as quickly popped back to wherever they had been hiding. A few staying to linger but usually they were the more confusing ones that needed some attention anyways. Time passed but she couldn’t be sure how long it had really been. Her eyelids grew heavy once again and she allowed them to close and watch the battle begin to unfold in her mind.

Puzzle pieces were slowly starting to interlock and once separate thoughts were beginning to merge into one. Now that she had time to really sit and think with no interruption, she was able to connect some dots. The Eventides and the Freedom Fighters were basically fighting for the same purpose, just a different set of enemies and due to the nature of being comatose, these Elites as they were called, were the tougher of the two and higher up on the totem pole in rank. In a different way though, even though it was good to take out the Highers considering the atrocities they were creating, would taking them out have gotten the Eventides any closer to the end result?

Thinking about the group and who were still here, she wondered what happened to some of them. Shenmock and Exangelus both basically just disappeared from the field, Zan had shown back up briefly out in the wastes but had again disappeared. Then there were the leaders, Sidhe and Nemera and that other gal from the Prodigy; where were they? If Zan got out, she hoped that meant the others did too. Unfortunately, there was no time during the fight to pull Zan aside and find out and now he was gone again. Talal sighed heavily at all of the unknowns and over the course of the next few moments had deducted there was probably no way of finding out either. It was just something they would all have to live with, at least for the time being.

Soon the young Twin Blade’s thoughts retreated back to before it all started, to her first few days in The World and her quests with Takua, Baron and the AoD. Their clan, the AoD seemed to have some pretty well fortified enemies, strong and high in level with a few tricks up there sleeves. Must be some of those hackers she kept hearing about. Humph…hackers. They have really screwed up everything and everyone in this game. If she ever found out for sure that someone was one, she might just have to give them a piece of her mind…depending on the situation of course. Time and place for the proper reactions was even more critical now than ever.

Baron was always a pretty upbeat kind of guy until they hit the Juk prison field, then she noticed him breaking down on occasion. Then he started acting strangely during some of the battles through the wastes. Since some of it started before and some after becoming comatose, Talal wasn’t sure if it was nerves, a coping mechanism or something all together. She really should see how he was doing. He’d left while she was asleep so maybe if he was back, she’d check in on him when she returned from the roof.

Finally her mind settled on the Wavemaster which quickly opened that proverbial can of worms. She still hadn’t figured out how or why her walls, that had been in place for the last few years, had crumbled so easily and so rapidly over the course of basically a few quests and conversations. Was it something he did or said? Was it situational to the extent it hit home in too many ways not to let some of it effect her? Or, was she just simply ready to let people back in? Talal was fairly certain it wasn’t the last bit, or at least not entirely. She had been getting lonely as of late before she’d begun playing The World and to make a new friend right off the bat felt really good. That one reason alone though wasn’t enough to convince her it was the sole reason for her crumbling. UGH! This was not something that could be figured out in one sitting, regardless of how long she’d spent on the roof thus far.

Instead, she chose for the time being to let her thoughts waver to memories of the good times, the fun, the bantering, the sarcasm, the addition of even more new and hopeful friendships, and to the smiles that erupted now and again. Canti was good at that. He always looked at the bright side or the fun he’d get from doing something crazy. He had a kindness about him underneath that dark ominous outer exterior of his that at first had made the young Twin Blade uneasy and nervous. There was still a lot to learn about everyone before she’d feel like she fit in but all in good time she kept telling herself. There was a sense of cohesion during battle, but even if it was her own paranoia or cautiousness causing the feeling, she felt there were still barriers between some of them.

Speaking of barriers, if Takua’s eyes didn’t heal, well that was one hell of a barrier. Stuck in a game, fighting for his life and unable to see the enemy he needs to attack is NOT the best of situations. There had to be something or someone in this town of unknowns and secret alleyways that could help him, but how would anyone find such help? Talal certainly wasn’t any good at giving off a good poker face when asking for information. She was pretty sure that she was overly readable to anyone who bothered looking. That meant someone else in the group would have to do it; a conversation with Sekai maybe when she returned to ground level. She laughed at herself. She was forming a small ‘To Do’ list. Finally, something other than adding to her list of questions. She stared out over the town feeling a little more at ease about many things. After a bit, she received a message. Nighthand was looking for her. Wondering what the Heavy Blade would want with her, she simply replied with her location.

Not long after she’d heard the door of the safe house. Confirming her thought, she heard footsteps approaching until the Heavy Blade found his own perch sitting next to her. She didn’t turn to look at him at first. Part of her was still lost in thought; the other simply didn’t know how to react. Of the Freedom Fighters, Nighthand was near the top of the list of the people she’d probably never approach on her own. Even though she had helped him from the field and into town, her mind was in survival mode not conversation mode.

He asked about the view and then how she was doing. His friendly concern for her was not exactly what she had expected. To be sure, she was thinking more along the lines of him wanting to talk about the future and possible upcoming missions seeing as how he was one of the higher players and most likely shared being in charge of the group when it came to decisions. She turned to him, nodding in response to everything being so new and noticed the burlap sack over his shoulder. Indeed it made her curious to know what was in it, but it wasn’t her place. If he wanted her to know she was sure he’d bring it up eventually. Hopefully her curious nature wouldn’t get the best of her before that happened. She noted to him that she was glad he was doing better. Walking, flying and holding a conversation was a great improvement from the moaning out in the wastes.

She paused trying to get all of the thoughts that had been circling through her mind to settle without much luck. The girl may be more at ease with her situation and ready to tackle her new life as it were but there were still so many unanswered questions and here she had someone who for all appearances, had been in The World at least long enough to acquire a fairly high level. Hesitancy settled in as she pondered whether or not it was overstepping some unforeseen boundary to abuse his brief show of concern as a door to get some answers. Finally, she simply started by trying to confirm her suspicion of how long he’d been around and sure enough, it was a heck of a lot longer than she had assumed. The look on her face certainly gave it away too, quickly trying to cover it up with her usual odd humor and a laugh.

”So umm, mind if I ask you something?”

”Go for it.”

Well, that was certainly easier than I thought it would be.

She thought quickly and chose the most pressing question she had for the moment, which truly was a really entailed question. She wanted to fit in, to help, to be productive and most of all she needed something to occupy her mind with other than questions and a feeling of failure. Nighthand thought and then offered to tell her a story which she accepted quickly. A story would probably tell her a lot more than just a short answer to her question and also could answer more of her other questions without having to ask him. It was perfect and she listened eagerly to the Heavy Blade while he told his story offering comment as it was called for or needed.

At the end of his story, there was a small hitch that stopped her in her tracks. Nall, the horribly injured player they were all protecting all the way through the wastes, if she understood correctly used to be one of these Elites. So, that meant he was a hacker. So, how did he end up with the Freedom Fighters and why was he fighting against the other Elites now? Was it all just a ploy to gain all of their powers and be the ultimate power left? She wanted so badly to go and give him a piece of her mind right now, but one, he wasn’t conscious, and two he was being guarded by another one near the top of the list that she probably won’t go seeking any conversation or contact from anytime in the near future. Besides, she hoped the Freedom Fighters were smarter than that and a better judge of people. Obviously there was more to that story that she’d have to wait for.

Moving on, there were six of these Twilight items left to get and that was the end goal of the group. If Nighthand had already been here for four or five years and they’d only managed to gather three of the initial nine, then she needed to be prepared for the long haul of not seeing home anytime soon. That thought brought up another issue entirely. As long as it took she estimated to wake up, get out of the prison, get across the wastes and the time they had spent recovering, she had to accept that unknown certainty that Takua’s message had gotten through to his friend about her. That, or her cousin Zane could have gotten antsy and stopped by. He had her member address and even though flashmails were not getting through well, she was pretty certain she would still show up on his screen as being online. Unless of course, being stuck here erased her from everything; but that didn’t make much sense in the grand scheme of things. Talal just inwardly sighed while she listened to the rest of the story. So many unknowns that she will probably never have answers too practically forced the inevitable truth that it was something she’d just have to get used to.

She thanked him for the story and tried to liven up the mood a bit and asked about his travels. He’d seen way more than she and Canti had and hearing about it was intriguing. Hopefully she would get the opportunity to do some more exploring soon. Perhaps work on one of those other minor fears of hers and go alone instead of waiting for company. Then, the sound of his hand patting the burlap sack on his shoulder and hearing he had gotten something for her both excited and confused the young girl, the confusion showing more so through her expressions. What on earth would make him feel that he needed to get her a gift?

Reaching into his bag he pulled out the most beautiful looking pair of gloves. Black silk with silver embroidery on them and were so soft to the touch as she reached for them. Her eyes grew wide as well as her smile. The World had grown a lot colder in temperature to her since she became comatose. Obviously, the game didn’t have a thermostat. Nighthand began explaining that they weren’t just any pair of gloves either. They had a special ability in them to heal who or whatever she touched, restoring them to full health, full skill and also could remove some of the more harder to cure negative status effects. The one drawback was the charges to do such a wonderful thing for someone were limited. Once used, they would simply be a beautiful pair of gloves so she would need to be extra careful in her decision on when to use them. To say she was elated at the gift would be an understatement. Not only did it provide her with a little extra warmth but he had given her a way to feel like she belonged with this powerful group of people. Not only in an ‘I can finally be of some use’ way but also in the way she felt most at home; healing or helping someone.

She thanked him, stuttering through her words in excitement before pausing to think. He had mentioned towards the end about powers and the gloves being somewhat of a gap filler until hers developed. Part of her thoughts quickly rushed to Takua and wondering if touching him with these gloves could heal his eyes. The other thoughts were of this power thing. Canti had done his best to describe and explain it to her but one thing she still didn’t know was how long it would take. Comfortable now with the Heavy Blade, Talal simply asked him.

He shrugged. "It varies. Given how long you've been stuck, I'd say you should probably be noticing signs of something rather soon. Could be a few days, could be weeks, could be longer. Twilight is pretty inconsistent."

Again, the Twin Blade thanked him and voiced her desire to check in on the Wavemaster. He apparently had more gifts to deliver as well so it was a good time to part ways so to speak. He offered to her that if she had any more questions to feel free to ask. Smiling appreciatively to his kindness, she assured him she would and the turned to find her way down off of the roof. Pausing one last time to take a look out over the town and watch as Nighthand simply jumped off the edge. She chucked to herself, acknowledging the freedom that having wings provided to someone willing and not afraid to use them.


((OOC: If you would like to see the full conversation and story that Nighthand gave her, please read his NaNo posts in the library thread.))

_________________
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Walk beside me that we may be as one.
***************************************
Talal
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Level 39 (0/1000 EXP) Twin Blade

Weapons/Armor: Mukuro (Swirling Dark, Dark Dance), Ice Hunter Cap (Repth), Wristbands (Juk Rom), Fishing Gloves (Rue Kruz), Wyrm Hide (Gan Don), Snow Panther (Ap Vorv)

Wish List: Scrolls, Tarot Cards, and Armor higher than level 30.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:22 am 
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Ikkitousen
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Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:19 am
Posts: 114
Location: Walking the line of madness
Consciousness came slowly to the Wavemaster. When he finally did wake up, the first thing that he noticed was this his head had been caught in a vise and someone on the other end had a looot of strength. The second thing that he noticed was the utter absence of light...at least until his vision flickered on, showing him lying down on the cot...right, the one that he'd crawled into before resting his body after a drinking spree that he should not have gone on with Sekai. Oh but it had been so fun at the time, why did his body want to punish him right now? He knew what this was called, at least intellectually...or, more accurately, he knew that he knew what this was called, but he sure as hell couldn't put a word to it right now.

Memory came slowly of exactly what had happened the night (day?) before. When he did, he sat bolt upright...and then lay rapidly back down again as the pain hit. Right, this was a hangover...and definitely deserved after what he had consumed. Or after what he had done and said with Sekai. Well, at least it had certainly been interesting, that was for sure. He was also sure that Kira and December wouldn't be allowing anything like that anytime in the near future.

More memories, and his fingers touched the bottles that Nighthand had set down for him. Good, that wasn't a dream or hallucination then. Assuming that they worked as advertised (not necessarily true, something that he was already watching out for) then they'd be a significant boost to his power if only for a short amount of time. He made a mental note to thank the Heavy Blade at some point, now that his head was considerably clearer than it had been just before his little nap. Speaking of people that he felt that he needed to thank, be it true or not...

It took far longer than he wanted before he was finally able to locate the Blademaster.  Bad luck, and the simple fact that he wasn't thinking very coherently.  It didn't really help that he couldn't use his own eyes either.  But that didn't matter.  What mattered was that he finally saw the man he was looking for.  He got up and, with a bit of difficulty, walked over to Dien.  "Hey, how ya doin?  Thanks for getting me to the doctor and helping to pay...although I still have to go back every now and then.  My Twilight got his interest as being unique or something."

"Yep," the blademaster replied from his bed listlessly. He was reclining there with a pronounced frown on his face, and didn't even bother to look at the wavemaster, "just trying to help."

He waited a few seconds before raising an eyebrow.  That was it?  Well, what was he expecting...but...  "You alright?  It didn't do anything to you, did it?"

Something...seemed to change. He couldn't see it, but he could feel it in the long pause that it took before he said anything. There was a thick undercurrent of hatred, of pain, of blame, all directed towards the Wavemaster. "It did."

He couldn't help but flinch at that statement, that pronouncement of fact.  He wasted no time in responding though, attempting to harden himself for the next blow.  "Would you rather that you hadn't done it then?"

Again came that same voice, blaming him for the loss of his powers, blaming him, dragging him down again. "No point in regrets, it's not like I can undo it."

Takua smiled wryly, almost amused by it...and yet obviously not.  The fingers of his right hand began to move uncomfortably, the air noticeably bad right now.  Maybe he should leave Dien alone for a while?  That certainly made the most sense...unless he was hallucinating right now. He pressed on on the hope that he was, trying to keep a positive attitude right now. If he couldn't do it now, he never would. "Not quite what I was asking, but alright.  I suppose that works.  You should know that I can't see directly just yet.  I borrow what other people see, something of a vision based power.  Supposedly my sight will come back with time, something about Twilight fucking it up, I don't really understand it all yet."  He abruptly fell silent, realizing that maybe right now wasn't the best time to talk about Twilight related powers to Dien. Shit, that explained a lot about why the other man might be pissed off.

"Sounds useful," was all the blademaster said after a moment's silence. The ring of sarcasm there, of underlying violence, was more than enough.

Takua just sighed.  Right, that was a rather blatant hint to get the hell out of Dien's face before he pissed the man off too much.  "Point taken.  Thanks though, I really do appreciate it."

"I'm sure.”

The boy wandered back over to his cot, awake and finding it difficult to think. The ping of a flashmail told him that he'd gotten a message, one from their current leader. That...brought a nasty grimace to mind instantly, but his face remained calm and refused to show anything. Fuck, he really hadn't thought about that one. Well, okay, so he had...but not in the way that he had needed to. Just telling Sekai, Kira and December had been bad enough, he didn't want to tell either Sheena or Demorian at all. So...maybe make it a little vague? Pass it off on his eyes? Maybe...the later would work.

Quote:
To: Demorian, Sheena
From: Takua
Subject: Responsibility
I'd prefer it if you didn't try and put super critical roles on my shoulders right now, I'm not exactly equipped to handle them at the moment. But I'll do the best that I can, although it may be mostly healing until I figure out exactly how to fight.

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


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:09 pm 
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Master of Games
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Location: ...Tracking...please wait...
Nighthand slept, and as he slept, he dreamed. His dreams were much as you would expect a sleeping man to have, given a long and busy day, a gaggle of new sights and sounds and adventures, and much else. Those dreams are unimportant, however, and are best left for another channel.

Demorian, having returned to the hideout and shown Sheena his key, set to work plotting the next course of action. Sheena of course would stay by Nall’s side. Nall, given his status as nearly-dead, wouldn’t be moving. Nighthand, now returned and sleeping, didn’t appear to be moving much in the near future. So it fell to him. He sighed. He didn’t rejoin this group to become the leader… but be the leader he shall be.

After chatting with Canti about various plots, he sent off a flurry of flashmails. Some to friends, some to enemies, and some to strangers; all with the same goal in mind. He knew enough of the people and the power players in Yamiyo to know who to push the right buttons on, to get his group a meeting with the Vak Master. Those gears set in motion, he set about planning this excursion to the Stitcher Sector.

The Stitcher Sector was a dangerous place, none could deny that. The players there were often warped and cruel, and had no sense of morality or ethics. They took their hacks to a level that others would possibly call fetish. Nearly all of them were comatose, that being the only way they could truly experience the game as they intended. Some were even willing victims of Twilight, brought into the game by their deliberate quest to find one of the hackers who could do it to them.

Flashmail
To: The Party
From: Demorian
RE: Next Course of Action


I have set some gears in motion for several things. First to get the data flags removed from our characters. Second to set up a meeting with the Vak Master, in a plot to eventually hunt down Klive. Third, to kill time until both of those goals come up.

To kill time, we will be following Canti’s lead. For those of you who don’t know, Canti and Dien were delivered unto our group via a man named Suraisu, who has powers over metal and lightning. He’s a dangerous man, but Canti believes he may be redeemable. If so, he would be a great asset to our group. If not, the combined might of the party can likely take him down.

The plan is this: Canti and Dien will wander the Stitcher Sector, making themselves visible. Hopefully this will draw the attention of the man in question, leading to a confrontation. The rest of us will shadow the pair, keeping them in sight but not confronting them until we’re signaled. Dien, Canti, I assume you can send a Flashmail something along the lines of “oh god help” if you need us to step in.

If they can convert him over, it will be brilliant. If we must fight, then we must take care; the Stitcher Sector is a dangerous place.

Please to be gathering at the Safe House. Make what preparations you need to. Talk to myself, Canti, or Dien about the plans. We leave once everyone is gathered.

End flashmail

His flashmail sent, Demorian could do little more than wait and think. He flipped through his inventory pages, making sure he was prepared; while he wasn’t the best suited to fighting a hacker who wielded Metal, or thunder, he was capable enough. He could also do much to enhance the ability of his comrades. He was as fully stocked as he was going to get, so he waited.

==================ooc:

So yeah, getting fired sucks. Oh well. Post is up, though there’s not much to it. Once everyone is gathered (i.e. next week around this time) we’ll head out. In the mean time, Dien, Sekai, Takua, try to finish your solo. If it’s not done, that’s okay, but this all takes place afterwards, so you’re going to be using (or not using, in Dien’s case) powers relating to it, and it’s good to have it public that they exist. Also, you know, you’ve had plenty of time.

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