What was really happening of course was she was starting to awaken from her mental breakdown where her psyche pulled her mind into a place of safety deep, deep inside. Things had not stopped for the other Freedom Fighters, in fact they had just taken a major hit and Shadow was doing his best to keep the girl safe. The explosions continued to get louder and then she heard a mumbling sound like someone was talking with their mouth full. The only word she managed to recognize was…”Ahhwayye” but the voice itself sounded oddly familiar.
”Awake? I….I” Her arm raised slowly upward. It felt like there was a giant weight attached to it making it difficult. Her hand finally found…fur? Talal ran her fingers through the surprisingly soft fibers until she found what felt like a bony outline. Her fingers ran down the outline and it hit her that it was the shape of a jaw line…an opened jaw line, and she was the rag doll.
Okay, relax. BREATHE!….in, out, in, out. Who or what do…? ”Shadow? What…Where…” Her words came out sluggishly but she couldn’t help but squirm around a bit, pushing on his jaw with her hands. The idea of being in a dog’s mouth wasn’t all that appealing even though somewhere in the back of her mind she knew it was for a good reason and that he meant no harm. Shadow mumbled again and this time it made sense why it sounded like he was talking with a full mouth, because he WAS!
”Way ah sehk.”
Shadow put the girl down as gently as possible. Talal sat up with one hand holding her head which still hurt from the migraine. A quick glimpse of the area showed Shadow standing in front of her and farther off was Canti appearing to be watching the battle. Looking back up at the large black face of Shadow, Talal was amazed at what had just occurred. She didn’t know if Shadow was acting alone or under some kind of direction from Canti but the simple fact that he wasn’t growling at her and somehow managed to carry her without injury from his teeth was awe inspiring. She stood up rather awkwardly but her next move just felt natural.
”I obviously missed a few things and I’m guessing you were protecting me. Thank you, Shadow.” She reached up with on hand and scratched the large black hound’s head just behind the ears in appreciation. However, that little bird in the back of her mind was still humming away that he was formed like a demon dog from Hell and that she probably shouldn’t be so close and suddenly pulled her hand away taking a step back.
”Oh, sorry. You….probably don’t like to be touched.”
Shadow shrugged. It was odd enough talking to a dog that could one, understand you and two, talk back but waking up in a haze certainly had some major downfalls, like not really paying close attention to what’s going on other than what’s right in front of your face. The sudden realization that Canti was the only person she saw struck like a mallet and Talal frantically began searching the area for others in a panic which was rather impossible considering the dark haze that covered the area.
”Shadow, where is everyone else?”
Doomkeeper attacked some. Baron killed User Raikiri. Sheena is fighting User Garaa. Master, over there. Could go track others.”
”NO! We need to backup Ca…Master. I won….we can’t leave him. I’ll be fine, getting better by the minute. Come on!”
”You don’t have to call him master.”
That was a relief. She didn’t really know how to take Shadow. She knew he was a program and that there wasn’t another person on the outside controlling him but then again….how was he able to process information? Not that it mattered, from now on she would just not worry about it. Talal reached up and grabbed a scruff of fur in her hand and trudged alongside Shadow towards her fellow Twin Blade. She was fairly certain that if Shadow disapproved of her holding on for balance, he would let her know.
They walked towards Canti. Talal’s steps wavered from side to side, occasionally tugging on Shadow’s fur. Her health was fine and so was her SP but admittedly whatever had happened took her for a loop and left her not only with one heck of a headache but a little off balance. Something she hoped would correct itself soon as the pair walked up behind the dark clad man.
”What’s the plan?”
Canti turned quickly, obviously startled making Talal flinch and take a step back still holding onto Shadow.
”Now is a bad time to be testing your ninja skills.”
”Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.”
It was a sincere apology. She really didn’t mean to startle him and should have realized that it would, had she been able to think clearly. At that Canti just scratched his head.
”No worries. Just concentrating on Garaa. Baron finished Rugu, so now there’s the king of darkness over there, and I was thinking of helping Sheena tip the balance there before he does something rather horrible to her.”
Talal agreed with his idea. Sheena should not be left to fight Garaa alone, regardless of how powerful she was. The girl also knew she really was in no shape to be charging into a fight of that magnitude and was doing her best not to let the pain show through, but there was no way she was about to let Canti go in without some sort of backup either.
”I don’t have much that would probably touch him, but I’ll do what I can. No one gets left behind. Lead the way.”
Canti stopped her and by his eye piercing glare she could tell he wasn’t buying her act one bit but he didn’t call her out. He used a much different tactic.
”I don’t think anything without lightning is gonna help much, or something tough that just isn’t darkness. I’m only calling myself qualified with Thunder Coil on Rashou.”
He was right and she knew it better than any of them. Her current arsenal was more than insufficient to do the job but that wasn’t the point here. She came here to watch the back of one and is now part of group, a family of sorts even if she wasn’t sure where she fit into it yet. When her own family turned their backs on her, she had vowed privately to herself that if she ever was a part of another family, she wouldn’t abandon them no matter the cost. With a very adamant tone in her voice, Talal was ready to put her foot down and if needed they could argue about it later.
”You’re not going in there alone and I have some lightning so I’m sure I can do something.”
Canti smiled, which confused her but also made her glad that he…understood.
”Alright, because frankly I don’t want to BE alone out there. Dude’s freakier than Tritoch. Problem is, we don’t quite measure up, so I’m planning on using my Yamiyo items there. Three Vital Targets and a Unity. Everyone in our group is gonna get strong, ‘cause we’re a big group.”
The girl nodded in agreement. His acceptance of her help put a whole new look to her attitude and she found herself wanting to be a bit playful and she returned his smile with a sideways grin and a tilt of her head.
”Just don’t let your boosts go to your head. You’re crazy enough without having an invincible complex to boot!” She turned towards Garaa’s position, gently nudging his shoulder with her own as she walked by.
”Hey, I don’t think I’m invincible! …I’m fatalistic.”
Shadow: “You’re still crazy.”
Canti hurried a bit and caught up to her as she continued towards the fight that could be heard between Garaa and Sheena.
”I’m basically planning it thusly. We attack along with Sheena, and we have December watching our backs for the reaper. We do what we can. I saw what it did to the others, so I’d rather not test the waters on that.”
At that her head sank a bit. She could only assume that he was referring to the fight that Shadow spoke of earlier. ”Exactly what did happen to the others? Who all got…hurt and how?”
Canti proceeded to explain about how the field became so hazy dark, the Doomkeeper and how it had gotten Takua and Sekai. He then explained how the others were busy getting the Wavemaster and the Archer to safety. Once again, her thoughts turned to a combination of failure and outright anger at the same time. A feeling she was really getting tired of and just reinforced her decision to tag along with Canti, Shadow and December. She was even more determined now than ever to vent some of that anger by dealing whatever damage she could to the dark Elite; evident by her slowly increasing pace as her fellow Twin Blade finished his story.
”Let’s do this, you ready?”
”Damn straight! Shadow?
“I think that’s ‘yes’. Right, let’s do this thing!”
By now December had joined them although hanging back per Canti’s request to be the lookout. Canti as promised threw out his Yamiyo items giving each of them a boost of strength right before he took off into the sky, immediately frustrating the girl to no end, yelling into the air after him.
”Where the HELL do you think you’re going? I can’t pro….” She stopped figuring he was out of earshot range by that point anyway. ”Ahhh, just forget it.”
She waved a hand up and through the air. Okay, so maybe she was overreacting just a bit. After all, why have wings as an item if you’re not going to use them. Still…. She pulled out the Silence Tarot Card that she had found at the bizarre and quickly used it on Garaa hoping it might land and give the group a brief moment of opportunity to attack without magical retaliation from the Elite. Within seconds though it was obvious the card had no effect on the Elite which was disappointing but it was worth a shot.
Dark brown eyes found the newest member of Sekai’s friends just off to the side. Talal wasn’t sure if December was connected to Sekai like Kira was and now wasn’t really the time to ask so just in case, the Twin Blade ran towards the female and handed her two Lightning Bolt scrolls with a quick nod.To: Canti, Talal
Left knee, right thigh, right ankle’s tendon is ripe for attack if you can reach it. Going for the eyes or the spine is advisable as well.
”Here, maybe you could find a use for these. And…thanks for the info, I’m going for the leg.” Talal took off towards Garaa without waiting for a response. There wasn’t any time for a ‘Hi! How are you?’ conversation at the moment. Looking up, she found Canti up around his head so it was very possible he was taking December’s advice and going for the eyes which made her idea of a leg that much better. Keeping Garaa’s focus separated from head to toe might give them the upper hand.
Okay, so that’s good advice and all but…could everybody just read the girl as needing help every second? What class was December anyways? Talal had never seen her in battle, in fact hadn’t seen her anywhere until she showed up at the hideout. What was her connection to the group? UGH, this was really not the time to lose concentration. With a quick jump into the air, Talal aimed her blades at the back of Garaa’s lower leg, blades angled as suggested since she had no argument against it no matter how much she really wanted to find one.To: Talal
Subject: Thank you
Thank you, it was getting slightly tiresome just being a director, now I can help a little in case seconds make the difference.
A tip: angle your blade to make the connection with flesh less jarring. Twist and yank to maximize the damage and get out of there to aim for another spot as well. He’s big enough, you may be able to kick off of him to gain distance.
Garaa wasn’t having any of it and before she could do much else in the way of the twist and yank recommendation, the dark Elite’s mace swung through striking the girl and sent her flying into a pile of rubble and killing half of her health in the process. Getting hit with a mace was unpleasant and bluntly painful but landing in a bunch of building rubble with sharp edges and corners was even worse, not to mention she was just starting to get her balance back. Getting pummeled just set her recovery back a couple of notches. Pulling herself up to a sitting position, she grabbed her head again wishing if anything the headache would go away. The World wasn’t exactly on the delivery schedule for pain relieving pharmaceuticals or the poor girl would have down half a bottle by now. Instead she would have to get by with what she had and three health drinks were quickly consumed knowing she needed to save as much of her SP for casting attacks as possible.
”You guys shouldn’t be here!”
We’re here and we’re gonna help so deal with it!’
The poor girl didn’t have the will power to say anything out loud but her thoughts were screaming at all of these people who felt they could handle things on their own. It was getting irritating and her headache was only adding to it.
The warning obviously came a little too late to help in anyway except to be irritating and now wasn’t really the time to irritate the young female Twin Blade. She irritated herself enough already and had enough issues flying around to fill a freaking football stadium.To: Talal
Hmm, when we all get out of this, remind me to teach you a little. It looks like you haven’t had a chance to truly get used to your abilities.
You’re a Twin Blade; you will not hit hard like other classes; your strength lies in speed and dexterity. Agility; use your speed, rebound, duck and use your build to your advantage. Small, quick and shallow slices will do more damage over time than one big slice.
Really? Just who in the hell does she think she is? Okay, so not that she doesn’t have a point, I haven’t had much time to work on using the Twin Blade’s natural agility and stuff but damn….never thought it was THAT obvious and I really am NOT in the mood to be called on it right now and…damn it I’m mumbling again. Worse, I’m doing it to myself. UGH!
Talal stumbled on the rubble but managed to get back up to a standing position and found that everyone else was still intact. She debated for a quick moment on whether or not to reply to Ms. Advice. It would be better not to let her irritation shine through too much until she got to know the woman better, especially since it was obvious that Sekai trusted her which to Talal meant a lot.
She had barely sent the reply when she heard December’s voice. ”Doomkeeper approaching.” There was no time to spare and from what it sounded like, Canti and Shadow were on the same wavelength as well. Canti was actually excited about the whole thing, the crazy fighting fool that he was. Adrenaline and a plan seemed to pull her mind back into focus as she ran up the large pile of rubble. Reaching the top, the Twin Blade launched herself into a Thunder coil towards the back of Garaa’s upper thigh on the same leg that Canti and Shadow were attacking. This time she landed her attack, gravity pulling her downward causing two long and painful gashes. She was about to remove the blades for another strike when a low shimmer of light illuminated the girl’s Mikazuchi for a brief moment. Talal knew the blades had Skill Drain on them but had never seen it actually work so she just assumed that this time….it did. Considering the low level of the weapons compared to Garaa, the damage and drain was most likely just an irritant to the powerful Elite but any damage was better than none.To: December
Subject: RE: Dodge.
A little late on the warning. As for the rest….what makes you such an expert? Not trying to be rude, I just really don’t know you and now is not really the time. Maybe we’ll talk later.
Another ping sounded, another flashmail had arrived but yet again, now really wasn’t the time as a dark shadow caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. Faster than she could turn her head, the Doomkeeper was directly below her slashing through both Canti and Shadow. Holding back the urge to scream out, she pushed off doing a back flip in the air and landed in a crouched position next to Canti, who like Shadow, was no longer moving. There were no options to weigh, they just needed to get the hell out of there.
”We need to move…NOW!” Lifting Canti up by the shoulders, Talal struggled a bit to get him situated but was able to grab his wrist pulling his arm around her neck while her other arm wrapped around his waist. She then looked over to Shadow. How was she to get them both to safety in time? Leaving Shadow behind just wasn’t an option. ”Shadow, can you move?” The reply was quick but the word was sluggish sounding. ”Nooo…..” It was followed by a whimper that dug deep into the young girl’s heart. That settled that, the large black hound was going to need help too and she already had her hands full. December was running towards them. ”Hang in there Shadow, I’ll get you some help.” The small Twin Blade did her best to carry, or rather drag for the most part, the dark clothed man out of the building and toward what she hoped would be safety. Coming up on December, she yelled out. ”Go help Shadow! He can’t move and we can’t leave him there. He’s one of us just like any other.” The woman nodded and continued running towards Garaa’s position. Either time felt like it was moving in slow motion or she was hella fast, but December returned rather quickly with Shadow in her arms, catching up to the pair of Twin Blade’s.
Explosions happened behind the group as they fled and Talal looked up scouring the skyline looking for the person responsible. Finally, through the haze she caught a glimpse of what looked like Demorian. The sound of Canti’s voice was a breath of reassurance that he and Shadow were going to be okay. Admittedly after hearing about Takua and Sekai, she had been extremely worried. The question he had however, needed an answer.
Can we hurt the Doomkeeper?
The replay came quickly and Talal passed the information in a shortened version onto the small group. Her question was….where was Baron? He killed Raikiri but where did he go after that? They could use all of the distractions they could get.To: Talal
Subject: RE: Doomkeeper
Not physically, and magic damage is halved, or thereabouts. It doesn’t have a ton of HP but it hits way too hard. Also it has a lot of tricks to pull.
No response came until the sounds of multiple explosions were heard. She could only assume that Baron had gotten her call for help. Even with the Ap Do still in effect, they were still not quite to a point of safety. The area of destruction had grown rather large leaving little to hide behind until you reached the outer perimeter of buildings. The barrage of attacks didn’t last long because Garaa had reached his limit, shouting at the group and blasting Sheena into a pile of rubble. Oh God! We left Sheena behind! Garaa’s mace hit the ground and immediately everything went pitch black bringing the girl to a complete stop. Canti was beginning to move a little so she readjusted her grip still providing support but not holding on quite as tightly. December was quick with a plan evidenced by the immediate flashmail. Within mere seconds Talal felt the feathers of Canti’s wings brush across her arm which all things considered didn’t feel like feathers at first and she jerked her arm away and…..SWOOSH! She no longer had a hold of anything and forceful gusts of air rushed passed her and in the dark came a soft voice, almost a whisper.To: Baron
We could use your help. Long story short….we tried to fight Garaa and now Canti and Shadow have been affected by the Doomkeeper. December and I are trying to get them to safety. Find Demorian. He’s up high somewhere creating distractions. Join in….PLEASE!”
”Canti? Don’t go!”
Even though she knew December and Shadow had just been right near her, she suddenly felt extremely alone and unsure of what to do. A feeling she was growing old of and had every intention of fixing somehow once there were out of the current mess….that is, if they got out. Explosions went off in the distance behind her but it was odd that there was no light being casted at all from them. Not knowing where to aim, Talal hesitated to cast anything of her own not wanting to hit any of the Freedom Fighters or Sheena for that matter. This darkness was like none other she had ever experienced and it wasn’t fun at all. Turning back around, hoping that in the darkness she hadn’t turned too far or in the wrong direction the young girl began to run as instructed by Demorian’s newest flashmail.
With nothing else to distract her, Talal tried to concentrate on her new hearing ability hoping to find some footsteps in the darkness. Anything that could tell her she was going in the right direction. Baron and Canti were probably airborne so that left Demorian, December, and Shadow. Finally….a little to the right and ahead was a faint sound of footsteps moving quickly and more importantly…away from her position. They also sound light in step which by any luck meant they didn’t belong to the enemy. Besides, it would have been difficult or so she thought to end up behind Garaa and the Doomkeeper without getting attacked in the process. There was something else that she could hear too. It was almost as if her own footsteps were bouncing off of the nearby rubble, drawing a map of where to go and which way to turn. The distant footsteps had become closer and were keeping pace with her own which was a little reassuring but her guard was still up just in case.
Without warning the darkness was gone hurting the girl’s eyes as she squinted at her surroundings. Looking back, it appeared that she had found the boundary of the dark dome until it too disappeared showing Garaa and the Doomkeeper still in pursuit. Ducking behind the nearest wall the Twin Blade grabbed one of her last Rai scrolls and a Raining Rocks scroll out of her pouch, opening them one after the other. A quick peek around the corner of the wall rendered her targets and she read the incantations one after the other towards the two Anid figures. The Raining Rocks would be slightly boosted by her possession of the Feng Shui. A little added bonus. Once the scrolls were cast, she ducked back behind the wall searching her inventory for something else she could throw at them to provide a mini distraction giving the others any needed time to hide.
Out of the corner of her eye she caught movement and crouched down. Demorian was hiding behind the next pile of rubble over. With a finger over his mouth, he basically told her to shush and then followed it with a wave of his hand across his neck which was obviously another sign for ‘cut it out’. Mostly because of his place or ranking within the group, Talal felt like she had just been scolded by the matronly school teacher even though he most likely didn’t mean it that way. She obeyed and waited for him to join her behind the wall. He didn’t speak to her but rather used hand gestures to point in the direction they were going to head and lead the way. With her anxiety slowly decreasing now that she wasn’t alone, she took the time to read the flashmail sent by December during the fight.
Assassin! God am I glad I decided NOT to get on her bad side all of a sudden. This….could be just what I need. She did mention earlier that she would train me a little. Perhaps I should get to know her a little better.To: Talal
I was an assassin prior to becoming my young mistress' guardian not terribly long ago. I would say, as a result, combat is sort of my specialty- especially in terms of looking for weaknesses in my target.
We can certainly continue this later, I'll send more openings, just in case they are helpful. ^_^
((OOC: YAY! For character development? ^^))