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Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Talal » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:03 am

The young girl couldn’t remember how she got to where she was. She felt trapped, unable to move, it was dark, and she was all alone. There was no sound and when she tried to speak, nothing came out. But…there was also a sense of safety and peace. No more explosions and her head didn’t feel like it was going to explode although she still had one heck of a headache. That’s when she noticed the sounds returning. They were far off in the distance getting closer…louder, but they weren’t sending the amplified waves through her mind anymore which was a blessing. If things could do so in a pitch black place, they started getting hazy or rather her thoughts were going that direction. What was happening? No, I…I like it here, I want to stay a little longer.

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.”

”Hold it.”

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.”

“Well, yeah.”

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.
To: Canti, Talal
From: December
Subject: Opening

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.
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.

”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.

To: Talal
From: December
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.
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.

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.


”What now?!?!”
To: Talal
From: December
Subject: Dodge.

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.
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.

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.
To: December
From: Talal
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.
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.

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.
To: Demorian
From: Talal
Subject: Doomkeeper

Can we hurt the Doomkeeper?
To: Talal
From: Demorian
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.
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: Baron
From: Talal
Subject: HELP

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!”
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.

”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.
To: Talal
From: December
Subject: Expert

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. ^_^
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.

((OOC: YAY! For character development? ^^))
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.
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.

Lord Canti
Exalted Player
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.

Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Lord Canti » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:04 pm

(You probably shouldn't be surprised by this, but the two Elites still had a couple of surprises in store for each other. And like an amateur way out of his league, the rest of them could only stand and watch as it unfolded. It started, naturally, with Raikiri unleashing perhaps his ultimate power, transforming himself even further into a demon and looking deadlier than ever before. Even in all his confidence and style, Canti was hesitant to step forward and deal with the man. That was lightning incarnate over there, instantaneous fraggination for the dark Twin Blade. He was wise not to press his luck and try to attack the Elite further while under the rubble. In effect, he'd baited the man with injury enough to allow his true colors to be shown, and it was just that...well...shocking! There were no better words for it! And yet...)


(After a bit of speech, Garaa came out of his self-imposed torpor and declared all of their lives forfeit. And with that, he summoned...a horrendous dark being, some sort of summoning creature or large familiar. Doomkeeper was a reaper with something several times as menacing as a scythe. And the feeling that Canti got off of it by instinct...?)

Yes...that's the one... You know that sensation as you know your own beating heart... That is Twilight in its blackest form!

(Demonic Schwarzwald voices in his head aside, this was a manifestation of Twilight in a terrible form, a thing of pure death and malice if Canti was any judge. And when it moved...it was like a blurring shadow, operating with phantasmal speed! Before he could react or shout a warning, it cut through Raikiri, Sekai, and Takua! Two Flash Mails immediately followed. Nighthand said to run, just run, because of the purely-Twilight-affecting power the reaper had. Sheena, then, said not to, on account of their mission. For that task, she was running interference against Garaa himself! Then, everything happened at once. Nighthand and Demorian took away the injured and paralyzed, and Sheena began her attack. For a second time, Canti was truly impressed by the Fist Fighter's capabilities. But even as he watched, he saw that it was too late for him to make his move against Raikiri. The Rugu-man was attacked by Baron, whom at first didn't seem to know how to end him, but soon slit the Elite's throat and contained the Twilight Item in a box thrust at him by Sheena.)

Canti: Alright, so that's half the mission. Now, there's just the other one...

(Oh yes. You heard it right. This king of darkness had vowed to destroy them. Do you really think it possible to go back to normal procedure when he had that much power and a temper? He'd upturn the server to find them, no doubt. Best to finish what Rugu started... The Twin Blade looked over at Shadow, who apparently had been keeping vigil at Talal's side. Heh, good devil dog.)

Canti: Shadow, keep Talal safe while I get on this.

Shadow: But nowhere really is safe.

Canti: Figure it out. I need to think of a way to tip the balance.

(He moved around to a vantage point to observe the fight going on between the two, unaware that Shadow had thereby followed with picking Talal up and inadvertantly waking her. Sheena and Garaa were fighting on an equal playing field, enough so that either one could win...if it were a stand-up fight. But this was Garaa we were talking about. Did a man obsessed with darkness look like he was all about fair play? Yeah, right... Well, he had an idea that would unfairly throw things askew for Garaa, and it was all thanks to the very land that he and his Elite comrades ruled over.)

"What’s the plan?"

Canti: Agh!

(What the hell?! Canti turned to suddenly find Talal RIGHT THERE and awake, along with Shadow. She seemed up for more combat, though he could tell that there was still lingering weakness about her from whatever the hell happened before. Honestly, the Twin Blade liked this girl's spirit, but she probably shouldn't push her luck nearly as much as Canti himself did. As he said, he was fatalistic. Whatever happens, happens. It was just that he preferred to make whatever happens...be something that he wanted to happen, if you follow that line of thinking. Make your own luck and stuff. Talal seemed willing to fight regardless of things, and frankly Canti figured he should make use of all resources in this, including people. The team works best when together, especially since he was going to use three Vital Targets (on himself, Talal, and Sheena) during this time and one Unity, which would raise all of their stats according to the party. Since there were alot of people in the party, this was useful. Even lower-leveled members would put some kind of dent in Garaa if raised like this. He also asked December to give them assistance during this thing and Shadow casted Ap Do on them all, regardless of the need.)

"Let’s do this, you ready?"

Canti: Damn straight! Shadow?

Shadow: ROWF!

Canti: I think that’s ‘yes’. Right, let’s do this thing!

(The two Twin Blades Immediately went into action and mounted a surprise attack against the Ani Elite. Though Sheena looked irked by their arrival, both of them were able to land hits and Thunder Coil strikes. Nevermind that this was probably crazy and stuff, Sheena. Heh, you belayed that run command, so they were coming out swinging! During this time, December was keeping them in the loop on things like Doomkeeper's movements - not yet - and potential openings. Well, Canti had already decided on his next move, but it happened to coincide with one of advised actions. Garaa was a 15-foot-tall behemoth of a man. He was armed and armored to the extreme. Ergo, these little openings were the sweet spots you had to aim for and hope were any good. So, while Talal went for a leg, the winged Twin Blade flew up Garaa's back to get directly over him and start repeatedly stabbing his eyes! Shadow was looking around for a good place to bite. Poor guy wasn't gonna be of much use here. But then, retaliation... Garaa's demonic wings unfurled and flung Canti away while he was doing his attacks, and Talal was maced! OUCH! December used a lightning scroll, though, that she'd gotten from her, and that opening allowed Sheena to whomp the black Elite HARD. The Fist Fighter glared around at them now.)

"you guys shouldn't be here!"

Canti: Hey, he opened up this can, so we're whooping ass!

(The fact is, though...that Canti didn't want to leave Sheena in the hands of Garaa without back-up, not when Nall had been taken in by these guys. Those two had his respect, so it was better that they were mad at him than dead without him. Even still, there was a small problem, announced by December as Doomy woke up and started moving. Sheena then did something...surprising. It looked like...was it a counter-ability? Some unknown symbol came over her and the other Freedom Fighters. It did nothing that Canti could detect, but...yes, it had to be. Doomkeeper was approaching, but perhaps...they weren't doomed after all? Well, in any case, after having recovered from being flung, he realized...there wasn't much damage. Fish or cut bait? Fish...or cut bait? Mhmm...FISH! Both the winged Twin Blade and Shadow go directly for the knee-pit and ankle of Garaa on the side of him that did NOT have a mace. Talal went to gash the other leg. All this while Doomkeeper went from normal to Holy Shit fast! And here was where the trouble started. Canti had a hunch going that they would be fine because of what Sheena did to them, but uhh...it wasn't exactly correct.)


(Heaven forbid we go a day without Canti suffering some horrible fate. Well, as fate would have it, this wasn't as bad as Sekai and Takua, who were suffering endless nightmarish pain even now through the Twilight. Oh, both he and Shadow were affected, spasming and collapsing as the world filled with incredible agony. That was without a doubt, but the sigil flared up and this was a sign that Sheena had effectively prevented them from becoming a pillar of salt. Even still, you couldn't beat out an Elite with a Twilight Item, so Canti and Shadow were still in excruciating pain right now. For the moment, they were not even able to converse mentally with each other. Canti was on his back and the big demon dog was on his side. Slowly, his mind went from PAINPAINPAIN! to What the fuck just happened here? as Doomkeeper's effect ebbed away. The first awareness of the outside World again followed when someone began to lift him from behind.)

"...d to move, NOW!"

Canti: Talal...

"Shadow, can you move?"

Shadow: Nooo.....

(There followed a whimper from the beast, which meant this was serious.)

"Hang in there Shadow, I’ll get you some help."

Canti: Dammit, this is a fine mess... When am I gonna learn a little caution? Not only have I injured myself, but now my dog? I should've told him to stay...

(Fortunately, the Bogie - who actually wasn't in any condition to resist whatever came his way now - was hauled up by December with surprising strength. Then again, December was an equivalent high-level character, so why not? But as they began to return, Canti saw Doomkeeper on the move again! He tried to shout a warning, but his ability to speak hadn't returned just yet, so he made some noise with a frantic look on his face before some spells disrupted Doom's advance. Nighthand and Demorian were back! But wait, why...? Well, ask, stupid. Your voice is returning.)

Canti: Okay...quiz question. Why did those spells actually stop it? Can anything hurt it?

Shadow: Don't know. Brain still hurting...

(There was a pause, and then Talal responded.)

"Demorian says not easily and it has a lot of tricks. Better to keep moving I'd say."

Canti: Probably strong to darkness too. Damn... Carry on.

(Carry on, indeed, and it appeared that Baron was now joining in the spell-blasting championships against Doomy while Sheena and Garaa STILL fought on. However, it was a little while later that Garaa announced that he had had enough...and blasted Sheena away with one of his badass attacks!)

"I know who you are now. I don't know how you got into my city but you will never leave here alive."

(Oh crap. Garaa sicced Doomkeeper on Baron and Demorion, the latter of whom actually pushed Baron out of the way and dove right through the reaper to avoid getting harmed by the thing. And then...everything went black, courtesy of the Ani Elite.)
Flash Mail!

TO: Freedom Fighters
FROM: December
SUBJECT: Lightning

Not sure if you'll be able to see it in this darkness, but look for the flash of light; I'm going to use a scroll where I last saw him. Hopefully it'll light the area enough we can see... something. Attack once you see him.
(Alright then. This was the point in which Canti decided to act. He got up and began to fly. He felt a little sluggish, but he could manage this much. He heard some protest from Talal. Well...he felt it was important to to something about this instead of just lingering around. He just wanted to do something, high up and far from the Doomkeeper, the kind og attack that HAS TO put a dent in things. He remembered Garaa's basic position, and the lightning bolt- The lightning bolt went off, but he couldn't see it! This darkness obscured all things... Okay, triangulate the sound with where he thought Garaa was. This was it, a Level-3 summon scroll, Bind Vulcan! Canti lobbed the thing and was rewarded with the sound of it going off with a vengeance. Hopefully, that did something, but unfortunately...he didn't know what. After that, Demorian sent an FM to get out of the darkness. Well, alright then. No problem. He was high enough and sluggish enough still that this wasn't even dangerous for him. So, Canti sent one back saying "So we noticed." and complied with what he said. Canti heard a thump or two, possibly someone stumbling or hitting a wall. He got...a paranoid thought while moving, and aimed a BiVak Rom into the darkness as he came out of it. Garaa could FLY, after all, and Doomkeeper was still somewhere, so it was best to do so.)

Canti: Shadow, you good?

Shadow: I'm mobile now.

Canti: Home in on my position.

Shadow: Yes...

(Of course, as soon as they GOT out, Garaa collapsed the bubble and both the Twin Blade and the demon dog found themselves hiding behind a wall, waiting for what occurs next. Sore as he still was, there was always fight in him as long as he could move. Couldn't really tell if the Elite had been hit in the dark. He might've, but it was way too soon to tell. Looks like someone was launching spells, however the general concensus right now was for everyone to get the hell out of dodge, so Canti flew low and quick, getting the hell out of there. Shadow followed only after Ap Do-ing Baron. See you on the flip side!)
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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Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Class: Archer
Location: Liminality

Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Sekai » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:19 am

((Tak and Talal will get this; 9 PAGES; I CALLED IT!))

In retrospect, Sekai was going to start taking the 'imminent bad things happening' feeling quite a bit more seriously than she had before.

So much darkness energy and malice filling the area had the young teenager on the razor's edge of a freak out, there was only a little bit of 'something' needed in order to truly set her off and she had that paranoid feeling like she'd had back in the Eventide Crescendo that something, she didn't know what though, was about to happen and it was going to drastically affect everything in ways she couldn't even begin to understand or fathom.

It didn't help that she had so much to lose either.

This is almost as bad as the Juka field. Sekai thought to herself, swallowing the growing lump in her throat that threatened to choke her. So much to lose, so many people she was responsible for... and had failed so badly to protect that first time. Zan, Nemera, Sidhe, Gil, Talal, Takua, Baron, Tiral and Raquar.

She hadn't been able to protect them. Hadn't been able to keep them safe or out of harm's way, and it killed her every time she watched them risk their lives in battle. Killed them when she thought of them and the last time she had seen some of them... and how the rest were no longer able to be contacted. Strength wasn't in levels, she understood that a little better now. She was getting high up there in the numbers, but she was as pathetically weak, unable to do anything, as she had been before she'd even fallen into the coma.

Out of all of them, Raquar, Baron, Talal and Takua were left. The others gone, unheard from and were no longer able to be contacted, though she had tried desperately to do so time and time again.

Keep up the guilt trip and I'll give you something to be sorry about, little one. Kira remarked suddenly, breaking through the downward spiral of the girl's thoughts. She was being careful to repress any feedback from her end of things, especially since she didn't need Sekai feeling worse or any more guilty than she already thought she had reason to be. You did what you could at the time with what you were given; focus on now instead of the past. She too, felt she'd failed in so many things since she'd attached herself to the girl's character data... and slowly regained not only herself back, but a sense of purpose and pride brought about by a genuine love of her personal duty to protect and guard her little Archer from as much harm as she could.

Difficult when said Archer was about the biggest trouble magnet ever to grace 'The World' and had the tendency to jump into a situation without thinking.

Arrows shot forth from the girl's golden bow, the tawny eyes narrowing and her expression was a cross between tense, scared and stubborn. ”Why won't they just leave?!” She asked no one in particular, frustrated as another Ani soldier ghosted with an Elemental Critical flashing in red above his writhing character. This was so wrong on so many levels for her, a lot of them were weaker than she was, and yet they still tried to throw themselves at her. Sponges for her arrows and magic spells as they fought for a person who'd lost their humanity.

Someone who didn't give a damn if they all died.

Sekai didn't want anymore blood on her hands; she'd already gotten more than her fill of that as it was and had a hard time sleeping as a result of it.

But, as Raikiri and Garaa's eyes landed in Takua's direction, Sekai understood in that one despair filled instant that, before her time in 'The World' was done, she would have the burden of plenty of lives on her shoulders to carry for the rest of her life. I don't have a choice. Her heart wept at the thought and actual tears sprung to her eyes at the thought. But the decision had been made already; and she couldn't... couldn't even bear thinking of the alternative.

If she did, she'd be no better than the Elites.

It was when she'd come to that conclusion that the whole damn world suddenly vanished from beneath her, swallowed up in a darkness thicker than any Trent had ever manifested and the girl felt her knees threaten to give out on her. A ghostly touch against her cheek, sliding down her neck and shoulder to center at her hand startled her along with the sudden flood of grim concern and care from Kira. It was her silent way of communicating that she was by her side; whether she could feel or sense her or not.

A soft slide of chilled air and light, misty-feeling pressure against her knuckles and palm; the silent promise the fiery tempered AI had given her from the beginning.

And all of Hell broke loose the moment that beach ball sized orb of shimmering, twisting power and light manifested.


Her eyes stared at the pure, untainted mass of Twilight. Denial had her shaking her head; she knew what this was going to mean, had heard of what happened to those who had gotten hit with an attack from an Elite, remembered Tiral's screams and cries of agony, remembered Tritoch's twisted, corrupted form and a sob escaped her as she prayed desperately for her friends to be spared, prayed for some way for all of them to escape this seemingly inevitable fate without permanent harm.

As it twisted and formed into the stuff of nightmares- a Grim Reaper in the Western style with a double ended scythe with four wicked blades- Sekai edged closer to Takua, her expression drawn, ashen and the young girl already on the verge of collapse as it was from the strain and fear plaguing her in the unforgiving night and presence of the Elite of Ani and this new being of Twilight.

Raikiri went down first, screaming as he was stricken down, and Sekai tried to close that foot long gap between herself and Takua, determined to knock him down, catch him off guard and send him crashing before that scythe had a chance to get to him as well.

It was as the blades lowered with unnerving precision that Sekai realized something belatedly; her eyes locking automatically with a helmeted Anid soldier who'd frozen, a slender form about six inches taller than she was with an oddly pretty black and silver sword, with said blade poised to stab through Takua's back.

The instinctive flash of fear and understanding hit as the blades trapping them quivered just a moment, a split second warning of what was about to happen as Sekai squeezed her eyes shut and tensed, bracing for the worst. “I'm sorry.” Her voice was broken, pleading for forgiveness as the blades ripped straight through her body, that of the guard's and Takua's own.


Kira watched in horror as the weapon delicately imprisoned Sekai and that stupid, moody little Wavemaster whose ass was going to get kicked the instant they managed to get back to a safe place... and they were all rested and recovered long enough for her not to feel too bad that she was going to unleash holy hell on him. No, no! This wasn't going to happen again; that should be her trapped in that stupid circle of blades, not Sekai.

She didn't like this, not when that fucking thing took down a gods damned Elite and that guy was able to fight somewhat on par with this Garaa asshole. The Long Arm didn't like the look of terror and understanding that dawned on her little one's face, didn't care at all for the acceptance that, once again, there was nothing the girl could do and she was about to accept her fate.

And she really didn't like the look she was exchanging with that damn sneaky Ani Guard who'd been about to backstab Takua.

"Sekai!" Kira shouted, unable to do anything as the girl flinched and ducked her head with eyes squeezed tightly shut- and the blades swept right through her. It was as she dove within herself, looking to take the brunt of the pain for the small Archer as the only thing she was able to do for her- that she found herself suddenly cut off, lost entirely.

Just like before.

Everything in her seized and she was at Sekai's side in seconds, ghostly hands passing through the girl as she tried to reach her time and time again without any form of success. For a brief instant, she had felt it, felt what the girl was going through- and it was enough to drive a stronger person than this small archer insane. Damn her inability to do as much as pick the young girl up and carry her the hell away from the fucking disaster zone. There has to be something better we can come up with, to modify the bond so that more than one of us is able to be solid at one fucking time.

Kira couldn't stand being helpless; and that was exactly what she was. Her eyes landed on the girl's form, tracing to see if she could find a center point for where the pain may have been centered in the brief flare she'd gotten on her end, and frowned. No damn marks. It was like the thing hadn't even touched her to begin with.

...but the hell was with the odd shackle-thing on her wrist?


December froze at the sight of the Reaper, unable to comprehend the sheer amount of power flowing through the thing. Warnings blared in her mind and she whirled, the sheer pink fabric of one of her sashes trailing delicately behind her, and looked towards the little girl she'd been hired to protect. Too late; even if she raced for her now, she'd never get there and time, and Kira wasn't able to physically grab her at the moment. I should have let Kira have the first combat run. The rose haired woman thought with a sudden, unfamiliar tightening in her chest and twist in her gut. If she'd allowed the often exasperatingly bold former princess have her way and be first in combat, maybe, just maybe, Sekai wouldn't be in that situation.

There would have been a chance to save her before those blades ripped through.

Despite not knowing the girl for very long, it was startling to suddenly realize that there was a very large part of her that was empty- a part of her she hadn't realized was there, or even really noticed until the small Archer went down without a sound. Her hand reached up automatically to her aching chest, looking down at herself in confusion, not understanding why she'd done that and why the ache, the sense of loss was so keen and so... painful.

The aggrieved shout from Kira's end, the cry that filled the smaller link between herself and the icy princess was heartbreaking and did nothing but agitate that feeling of loss and guilt within her. Through it all, she managed to hear the words 'not again' from the other woman and wondered just how many times something like this had happened.

It hurt, that was for sure, but the look on Kira's face as the long haired Long Arm knelt beside the downed girl was enough to quietly reprimand the former assassin, to make her realize that her own pain was very likely nothing in comparison to what panic the other woman was very likely experiencing. She'd come to be amused by the young girl's naïve nature, and often nonsensical ways she went about her business and wound up in trouble as a result, but had become... fond of her in her own way. Enough so that she had come to want to protect the girl in slightly more than a business-like agreement and manner like they'd agreed upon.

Enough to be concerned with the unnatural strength of the bond that human girl and another AI had between each other, with something that wound them together that she could not name.

But now was not the time for words, for panicking or focusing on her first rather major failure in a brand new job. Reason and rationality suddenly reared its head within her and the jade green eyes narrowed angrily at the Reaper. Her hands were immediately on her blades, unsheathing them as she prepared to launch what was probably a foolish attack against an enemy that could probably destroy everything in the area before the echoes of the flashmails sent caught her attention.

Curious, she read the contents, hoping they would have something useful in them, some good news that would help steady her foolish resolution for revenge of some sort.

A retreat order, very wise of them to send out. They needed to regroup, plan things out before launching yet another assault of this chaotic magnitude against an enemy who seemed too easily able to adapt to their haphazard assault. The logical side of her was pleased about this, making her more readily available to concentrate and plan out the next step like it was just another assassination job for her.

Which, when put in that perspective[/i], was much less startling and overwhelming than the confusion she'd had before.

But the counter order came in and was a little more to her own personal liking. Alright, it's as she would want. December decided after a long moment of consideration. Since she had failed to keep her mistress out of harm's way, and the other, albeit less competent guardian was at her side at the moment, she could redeem herself in some form by helping the companions that the snowy haired girl with a sweet nature wanted to protect so desperately.

Now, she thought to herself and took a look about the field. Who was going to help this new 'Sheena' person in the battle- and what was her own role in this little chaotic skirmish?


She was dying the fourth death in her life.

Her hands had twisted, curled into white knuckled parodies of themselves as blood seeped from the crescents her nails bit into her skin. It had been a pass of air, a slight chill before something had poured a cross of liquid nitrogen and liquid flame through every pore of her body, flaying her raw before dumping her poor form into an unholy mixture of salt and lemon juice.

Even that wasn't enough to describe the agony she was in at that moment.

The first death had been the car accident at seven years old. A screech of brakes, screams of terror from herself and her friend in the car, the sound of crumpling metal, shattering glass and screech of things bending, twisting in the frame that wasn't natural right before something slammed directly into her side, pinning her between the front seat, the crumpled in trunk and side door and her friend's crumpled, bleeding body. She didn't know too much of the incident, only that the strong smell of gasoline, oil, hot metal and blood had filled the air along with the sound of weeping, faint and distant and not her own. Remembered vaguely the life seeping out of the eyes of Hanako as the two waited for rescue, of the blood trickling into open, unseeing eyes to mingle and become pinkish with the tears that slowly dried.

She had flatlined twice in the ambulance once she had been freed, and had done so again during the emergency surgery.

Her second death had come from her body getting ready to reject her kidney back when she'd discovered what her father and his friends had done to her. Discovery of the repeated drugging and rape had been too much for her already delicate mental state at the time and had sent her into a self-destructive spiral that only Kira's intervention had managed to save her from. She'd flatlined once when they'd operated, went into a coma for three days before waking up thanks to the mysterious, unexplainable miracle that had allowed the AI to help her despite the boundaries between their worlds.

The third was self-explained; it was why she was here to begin with. And that pain was almost, almost comparable to what she was experiencing now. That fateful journey that had kicked her fully into 'The World'... and had left her with the very, very bitter taste of failure and what the ultimate price of someone's sacrifice happened to be. It was still a powerful and frequent source of nightmares for her, along with everything else she'd gone through, often times all of it blending together in some maelstrom of disaster, pain and chaos. Twilight's infection method, combined with the fact that the life on the transplanted kidney had finally gone out, had been the single most painful thing she thought she'd ever experienced in her life.

But all of that combined had no comparison to what was going on now.

This was the sort of pain she'd never been able to fathom even in the worst of her nightmares.

Agony was not a strong enough word, and pain was a laughable way to put it as her body quivered, trying to writhe but too locked up, too tense and wound tighter than a bow string to more than a little at a time. Her eyes were wrenched shut, tears streaming down her face, damning her hair as only by pure luck did her teeth not manage to seek and find her tongue. Occasionally a small, nonsensical sound managed to escape, nothing like a sob, a cry or any kind of pained noise one could possibly use; it was like the assault from the scythe had left her dumb as a result. Incoherant, her thoughts unable to be conveyed, she wasn't even able to feel anything but the twisted pain and the endless spiral it put her in.

One moment it was almost taunting her, like it was going to release her from its hold, the next, a stream of agony unlike the one before it managed to leave her once again senseless, unable to feel anything but what was currently tearing her apart bit by tiny little bit. Tiny little microscopic tweezers, red hot and lined with acid nipping at every nerve, every cell of her body and tearing those tiny pieces into impossibly smaller ones. Again, and again, and again, without mercy, without end or relief.

Even silently begging for death in the scant seconds of coherency she managed to have went unheard. No one's voice was there, no one was able to hear the screams that went on tirelessly within her mind as her body once again became her greatest, uncontrollable enemy. Once again, her body became the instrument to destroy her, to weaken and defeat her like it had so many times before.

Once again, she could do nothing but weep and pray she would die, or the pain would just stop; whichever would come first.


I always knew Fist Fighters were rather scary individuals, but that woman is rather impressive. The jade eyed assassin thought with a light frown, watching as the smug Elite, as they called them, went soaring into a building with a thunderous sound. Not even a few seconds after her arrival, the woman dove back into the building, another earth shattering sound echoing as pieces of rubble fell and crumbled from the impact.

Definitely did not want to be on the wrong side of that woman when she woke up in the morning.

As for slaying that other one... lovingly tended to steel flashed as she turned, preparing to be the one to slay their fallen opponent- and watched a rather grand spectacle of one of the other Twin Blades as he tried to show off, or something, and wound up making quite a fool out of himself trying to 'finish him off', as she thought the saying went. She cocked her head slightly, blinking in amusement as he seemed frustrated and tried the old, normal method.

A nice blade across the throat worked wonders for ending a life, she was rather the expert on that front. Though she highly approved of the second stroke; she'd often used that herself to ensure there would be no recovery.

Of course, her way of assuring that often meant the head was removed entirely... but that seemed a little barbaric and excessive for this merry band of humans and ragtag... AI and assorted other individuals. I wonder who trains these young men and women? Her carmine lips pursed into a mou at the thought and turned back to where the battle was raging, light green eyes narrowing at the sight of two Twin Blades- goodness, but this group had quite the arsenal of them- and the large... hellhound? that accompanied them, sticking closer to the man than the woman.

The former appeared more used to this kind of thing, the latter... not so much, looking about as lost and out of it, dazed was an appropriate word, as one could be but still have their truest wits about them in such a time. If she were a woman who enjoyed gambling, she would wager the three were making plans to go in and assist in the assault against the one that rather powerful fighter was currently going toe to toe with.

And if that were the case...

She would simply offer whatever help she could give.

And she listened to the plan, not making comments on whether or not it was a good, bad or brilliant plan, or one doomed to fail and get them injured, and offered to watch their backs when it came to that bastard of a... whatever he was, that was still waiting for its next target to be pointed out. Not if I have much to say about it; even a warning would be better than nothing. Worse comes to worse; I have a writhing form to haul back to wherever the other two who were struck down were taken. Kira will direct me there.

...for someone who disliked the temperamental, highly inappropriately acting woman, December had a surprising amount of confidence when it came to this group of people. After all, if her suspicion was right, Kira would easily be swayed into doing whatever was asked of her at this point if she happened to mention that this would be what Sekai wanted.

My, but she was becoming a rather despicably manipulative person, the former assassin thought with another frown at nothing in particular. That was becoming quite the habit, and it was going to be a necessary effort to stop it before it became a problem. She was jerked out of her thoughts by the gift given to her- two thunder based scrolls that made her smile at the less experienced girl in thanks. Now she wouldn't feel as annoyingly useless without something to sink her blades into.

And she began firing off openings that she saw on Garaa as the monsterous former human, as she understood it anyways, traded blows with Sheena and had Canti flying in from above to attack and distract him while Talal- that was the lovely little fighter's name- assaulted the legs.

...and because the instructor in her couldn't help it, she began sending tips to the girl, watching as the young Twin Blade began clumsily trying to angle her blades and land the blows as instructed. Not bad, she caught on pretty quick, that was for sure.

Although, December cringed as the girl earned herself a hearty smack from that club of his and went flying, clipping the corner of a bunch of rubble and debris before lying still for a little while. My sympathies, it's never easy to be put down like that. She thought at the girl as she picked herself up and shook herself, trying to clear the headache that she likely felt building up. Helpful as always, she sent another tip and chuckled at the response she received in return.

Poor dear, she really did need someone to help her train what should have come naturally to her by now.

Her sense of humor quickly died as she watched Doomkeeper shift and move. Damn, and here she thought they'd have just a little more time. Cursing softly under her breath, December put on a burst of speed and headed right for them, calling out as she raced to the other three she was on support duty for. ”Doomkeeper approaching!”

Too late. Dammit all.

The man and his hound went down, though something seemed... off, different than before. Nonetheless, he went down and she watched Talal immediately abandon the assault and head for her ally. Part of her was annoyed, wanted to tell the little chit to keep fighting while she assisted the other two in getting away from the battlefield. Shrugging it off, she'd have time for lectures later, December bolted as Talal requested her help, nodding absently to the girl before gently patting the hound's head, scratching him briefly behind the ears as she quietly informed him she was a friend, not an enemy.

And picked the heavy canine up with a little less effort than she'd initially expected it to take. ”At least you don't need a diet.” She informed the dog, she thought his name may have been Shadow, but she wasn't certain enough to say it aloud and followed after Talal. Setting him down gently once she deemed it safe enough, she looked back to find the Elite enraged and cringed. Bad sign, that was all she was going to say about that. ”Good work, you did well.” December murmured to the pained canine and began to head back.

Someone needed to- damn, he caused the blackout again.

A long suffering sigh escaped her as she tapped her foot irritably against the broken pieces of cobblestone and earth. Humans; so emotional and unreasonable, especially when things didn't go according to plan or go the way they wanted it to. Temper tantrums, all the time; even Kira wasn't this difficult when she went into one of her own little uncalled for, unladylike hissy fits.

I heard that, you prissy bitch. Kira's voice came in suddenly, sounding annoyed and much more like herself than it had when she'd practically screamed the little mistress' name.

Good, December thought privately to herself, it was unsettling when people didn't act the way they were supposed to- and the cocky little princess with an attitude bigger than it had any right to be had no business, in her opinion, suddenly sounding like the very girl who'd fallen in battle.

If you have time to sit there and work out some absolutely fascinating commentary on my personality, then get your little ladylike ass out there and go kill something like you're supposed to be good at doing. Scathing little wench, the Twin Blade thought with an amused chuckle, feeling a bit better herself now that the other, lesser guardian was getting back into her normal spirits and headed for a secure enough hiding spot that wouldn't leave her wide open.

Unfortunately, using the scroll did not work in her favor. Damn it all. She heard Kira laughing at her through the link and shook her head. Perhaps she was inclined to be ridiculed, just a little bit, after several of her comments as of late. Perhaps, but highly unlikely- and definitely not what she would admit to the younger woman anyways.

Getting out of the darkness was a good idea, and she slowly backed out, feeling her way daintly with her feet as well as her hands as she sought the end of the shadows- finding it a few moments later and blinked several times against the suddenly flare of light where there had been none before. And, as all things tended to go, the dome almost immediately vanished after. December crouched, her breathing light and near-silent as she spied on Doomkeeper and Garaa from her vantage point. Unless he captured her in some way, and she was not going to assume he couldn't, not when it might mean separating permanently from her newly acquired mistress and being held as a hostage against the small girl and her party, she wondered if being killed in combat, thus reverting to what Kira affectionately referred to as 'ghost form', would be preferable to just running around and wasting valuable energy that might be preventing the small Archer from recovery.
To: Demorian, Sheena, Nighthand
From: December
Subject: Retreat

If we need someone to stay behind and provide a distraction, I am more than willing to offer myself as that person. I have... about five minutes before my 'timer' expires and would prefer spending that time giving you all as much of a headstart as I can. A few scrolls, does not matter what the level is, would be helpful if you have them to spare, as I can use them as strategically as possible to distract him during your escape.

It's a bit of a gamble, but it would be what my mistress would if she were in my position.
She had one left, after all, from the two that Talal had given her and her jade colored eyes narrowed as she began to plan out her rather suicidal game of cat and mouse with a figure who could more than easily crush her without effort once she was caught. All that she needed was that simple five minutes before she could just up and disappear in a ghost-like form anyways.

...but would the three 'in charge' go for it?

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

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

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

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

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Master of Games
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Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Nighthand » Thu May 05, 2011 8:20 pm

“What about Sheena? We need to make sure she made it out?” Talal’s hand was on Demorian’s shoulder, assuring his attention, making sure he listened. Even if he could kill her with little more than a thought, she didn’t care; her concern for the other members of their party was strong enough. Demorian paused for a moment, before he shrugged off her hand and shook his head.

“She’ll be fine. She’s buying us time, and if she needs help, December will let us know.” He paused again, sending and receiving flashmails. To December, he told her not to get involved. A distraction could give Sheena an opening to do more damage, but it could also cause the Fist Fighter to become distracted herself, worrying about others on their team still present. Better to use Sekai’s AI companion as a scout that could, hopefully, not be harmed so easily.

Demorian sheathed his sword, stowing it away for faster movement now that they were out of the immediate danger zone. Behind them, the ground still shook and shockwaves burst through the air; sounds of Sheena and Garaa still fighting.

Thankfully for them, it seemed as though the entire sector had cleared out. In their last several minutes of travel, none of them had seen another player. Those that could leave the area apparently had, when the fight between two Elites began.

- - - - - - - - - -

Nighthand stood in the hollow of a half-collapsed building, keeping watch on the one entrance it had, where it opened into the street. At his feet were the three most affected by Doomkeeper’s attacks. Takua was there where Demorian had left him, before he had returned to the battleground. Next to him was Sekai, the delicate figure of the archer curled in pain, arm twisted uncomfortably due to the Anid guard shackled to her wrist. That would be something to deal with as soon as one or both of them awoke. Thankfully, for now, such a scene wasn’t about to take place.

Nighthand saw movement in the rubble and his hand gripped the handle of his sword, ready to fight off any who approached if he needed to. Then the movement resolved itself into Baron, Canti, and Shadow, all damaged but alive. Nighthand stepped briefly out into the street and waved them down, bringing them into their concealed shelter. It was little more than a brief meeting point, but it would have to do.

“Canti, watch Takua, and let me know if he wakes up. Baron, you do the same for Sekai and that guard. Try to keep them quiet if they wake up.” He went back to the door frame, keeping to the shadows and watching for more movement.

- - - - - - - - - -

On the battlefield, December watched the clash of two immense powers destroying the Sector as they fought. Garaa had virtually no time to react beyond guarding himself and throwing the occasional normal attack back at Sheena. Doomkeeper was oddly still, restful almost, though it was more like a nuclear missile ready to launch than it was anything. December kept an eye on both Doomkeeper and the fight, ready to warn anyone who needed warning when one or the other strayed the wrong way. Only the fact that Garaa had his hands full kept him from noticing her.

”I know who you are now! Sheena, and your Freedom Fighters. That must mean Nall is in the city, and that means none of you truly escaped at all. Oh, how grand.” Garaa still had the breath and will to taunt Sheena, even as he reeled back from her heavy blows. He swung his mace at her head and demolished a building as she ducked, and she drove both fists into his gut, sending him staggering backwards into another wall. A flying jump kick sent him through the wall, all the while Sheena was silent, refusing to talk back to the Elite.

Don’t you worry, princess of the doomed.” Garaa taunted. ”Once you’ve been dealt with, I’ll hunt down all the rest of you, and this rebellion will be over once and for all!”

”Don’t count on it!” Sheena shouted. Almost invisible, a tiny clear needle extended from the back of her hand, a tiny pin that would prick the next thing she punched. ”Stun Blast!” She called the attack name as she was already swinging, her uppercut catching Garaa on the jaw and sending him toppling over. The Elite was stunned, indeed; the Paralysis effect taking hold and leaving him unable to move or speak.

Sheena glanced around and spotted Doomkeeper, still stationary. She kicked hard in the side, sending the Elite dragging across the ground and burying him under some rubble. Then she ran, tossing a gesture towards December, telling her to flee. Then she was gone, the Fist Fighter using all her high-level speed and hacked agility to dance through the rubble and be gone. Her stun, she knew, only lasted a few short precious moments.

- - - - - - - - - -

In the rubble, Garaa screamed at himself as feeling returned to his body. That Bitch! He had been toying with her, and he should have known better, but with Doomkeeper present how could he lose? Except he had lost, he had been beaten. Yet still, he had scared them off and he knew they were still in the city. No wonder the alarms hadn’t gone off from them trying to leave. They hadn’t! Now he could begin the search in earnest, and give them nowhere to run.

First, however, he would have to deal with Rugudorull. The Raio Elite had been struck by Doomkeeper, and would be stunned in pain on the ground for him to get to. Bring him in for questioning, get information about this rebellion out of him, and find out just what the hell was going on.

Staggering, Garaa dismissed Doomkeeper in a flash of Twilight energy and stalked towards Rugudorull, anger rising. Rugudorull had been transformed, but he was no longer. Doomkeeper wouldn’t have reverted him like that. Only one thing would do that… The Anid Elite roared to the sky. At his feet, Rugudorull lay still, blood pooled around him, his throat slashed. His earrings, the Earrings of Raikiri, were gone.

In a rage, Garaa kicked the corpse, hard. It flew, and impacted a wall with a sickening crunch. In his dark anger, the Elite stalked off, heading for the Wastes and his Tower, to crush anything that stood in his way.

- - - - - - - - - -

Demorian and Talal arrived at the shelter, and Nighthand was relieved. December would have said something had Sheena been in trouble, and no such communication had arrived. The sounds of fighting had ceased, and a minute later, Sheena danced out of the rubble and joined them in their shelter. December, too, had joined Kira in watching over Sekai’s unconscious form.

While exploring the shelter before the rest of them had arrived, Nighthand had found a pair of peculiar items. They had no use to him, but he knew who they would work for, and so now he gave them.

Baron and Canti each receive 1x [lv.2]Overdrive Ex Sphere.

“Now what?” Nighthand asked.

“Now we make our way back to the Vak sector. Garaa will be after us, but not immediately; he doesn’t know where we’re headed. He’ll try other ways to find us. Keep a low profile and make your way back to the Vak Master’s castle.” Demorian said. Sheena nodded, clearly exhausted.

“Before we depart…” Demorian added. He pulled a handful of potions from his inventory and distributed them, one to each player present. He drank his own, and used one each on Takua and Sekai. “These potions clear the data flag on us, and link us all together. It has downsides; if one of us is captured, for instance, someone who is aware of the link could potentially trace it. However, it allows us to leave Yamiyo. Additionally, as long as someone linked to us is in Yamiyo, we will be able to return without having to find an entrance.” Sheena too drank hers.

With no other pressing issues, the group split up, each heading their own way to return to the Vak Sector. Nighthand continued his vigil, waiting as guard for Takua and Sekai to awaken. He could brief them when they awoke. Hopefully, that would be soon.

- - - - - - - - - - OOC

It will indeed be soon. Takua and Sekai can awaken now, once people are starting to clear out. Strike up what conversations you want, go your ways back to the Vak Castle, just don’t head inside yet. You can now leave and re-enter Yamiyo relatively freely. You can jet off for a quick solo if you so desire, or not. Lemme know.

Those of you with new Pet Overdrive spheres, come up with your attack and run it by me. One sphere = one attack, and this is the "low power" one, so it's about equivalent to a low-power hack. I'll let you know if the idea you give me is under or over powered.

Also, Shadow gains +1 Pet Level. Canti does a good job of using his pet, so it gets more versatile.

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Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Locke » Wed May 18, 2011 8:57 pm

Ow… my head hurts.

I can’t imagine why…

Is the sarcasm really necessary?

Rubbing at his aching head, Baron tried to piece together what had happened. He remembered that he was fleeing from Garaa and his Doomkeeper, and then… what? Somehow he had ended up in a pile of rocks, covered from head to toe in a fine gray dust… oh yeah. He had dived down to take shelter after a particularly alarming boom, and somehow had ended up botching it. Well, either way he was whole, albeit a bit dirty, so he couldn’t complain. It wasn’t a luxury he could afford, considering his hide was still intact after not only killing one Elite but brushing up against another in combat. He was honestly lucky to be alive.

The Twin Blade rose from the pile of rubble that he had hidden in, brushing dust off of his shirt as he emerged. His silver-eyes were half-closed with the grit, causing him to wince slightly. Perhaps hiding himself in a pile of rocks, slightly unintentional as it had been, hadn’t been the best of ideas; after all, there didn't seem to be any pursuit at the moment, so he was wasting time. That didn’t mean that he couldn’t get going though, since he had to catch up with the others. Where they’d go from there would depend on their leaders; Baron still felt that he didn’t have enough information to make any decisions yet. For now, he’d follow where they led, and see what happened.

As he emerged, he caught sight of the other Twin Blade, Canti, and raised a hand to catch his attention. ”Hey! Glad you made it out too. You know where we're going from here?”

“My thinking is that we carefully make our way back to the Vak pack. We're either in good with fire or in alot of trouble. Or... both.”

Well Canti was certainly straightforward enough. Baron was glad for that, they didn’t have a lot of time for pleasantries. ”I suppose that's reasonable enough...?” He paused, glancing over his shoulder as he strode over. ”You think they're still pursuing us?”

“There's no ‘they’ anymore here. There's just the 'he' that Sheena's distracting. I think Garaa took out all of his own men.”

Scratch that, maybe the straightforward approach was a bit too… straightforward. Oh well, he wasn’t going to tell this guy how to act. ”Well I was considering that Doom-thingy too... by the way, are you alright? You were hit earlier.”

“Huh? Oh yeah. We're fine.” Canti looked towards his canine companion briefly. “Sheena's glyph thingy seems to be all her research on Doomy and Twilight in action.”

“Glyph thingy?” He wasn't sure what Canti meant by that, but shrugged it off. “Well as long as you're alright. Guess we should rejoin the others then?”

Baron got a funny look from his companion for some reason, though he couldn’t figure out for the life of him why as the other Twin Blade continued. Maybe he had just said something stupid without meaning to; for some reason Baron always seemed to end up with his foot in his mouth. “That's my thinking. Better see how the unprotected are doing. I'm not pleased, seeing Sekai and Takua like that. At least I recovered...”

He froze momentarily as he remembered Sekai, and his heart skipped a beat in worry. Takua was his friend, and he was worried about the Wavemaster too, but Sekai... seeing her fall like that had hurt badly. He shook it off quickly though, hoping to keep a smooth face. “Ah, yeah... they should be fine, I hope. We've got Demorian there at least, and he seems knowledgable.”

“Yeah, between him and Sheena, they'd probably be okay. Crazy stuff between those two, and Nall.”

“Yeah... I only just got here and I'm already overwhelmed...” He turned to start in the direction that Nighthand had indicated in his Flashmail. Silver eyes narrowed for a moment as he tried to keep his tone level. “It's... not easy being a new face. I don't know what's going on, and honestly it's scary, something I never imagined happening...”

Canti fell in line behind Baron as the two started towards their meeting place. “I know how you feel. Heh, been there, of course.”

As the he started down the path, Baron glanced over his shoulder occasionally at his fellow Twin Blade. His two companions quickly caught up to him on foot or by flight, and soon they were right next to him, keeping pace. There were a few questions on his mind, naturally, as he didn't know the man well. They were getting on well enough though, so he kept them to himself, and tried to break the silence another way. It was better not to antagonize his new companion if he could avoid doing so, right?

“So how long have you been with the Freedom Fighters?”

“Maybe you recall an sudden unexpected Mac Anu downtime where everything was closed off by the admins with barely an explanation? At that time, there was a fricking war unleashed. The Elites were there, and all the main Admins, monsters and knights everywhere...all with little old me and the FF team caught in the middle. That's when I first met 'em, but that wasn't the start.”

Honestly Baron didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. He hadn’t been playing the game as long, likely, and it sounded like this was something that had happened before he had started playing. A direct war on Mac Anu though? Why hadn’t the Elites struck again, if they had been so bold once? Had the administration of The World been enough to repel them, or had there been another reason to keep them from doing the same? Regardless of the reason, it left him feeling nervous that even the normal hubs of The World weren’t even safe from the Elites.

“Wait... the Elites went so far as to start a direct war in Mac Anu?”

“Because their thorns-in-side were here, as well as some folks they wanted to coma.”

The Twin Blade paused, troubled. “Then what's to stop them from following us now that we've been found out in their own server? Is there really anywhere safe to go?”

“We were flagged upon capture, of course, but they never found us here 'cause we never left. Even still, they'd have to sift the place dry first. They don't have BUGS on us.”

Not quite what Baron meant. “My point is, what's to stop them from following us even after we leave?” The Twin Blade frowned thoughtfully.

“Oh, you're worried about 'em finding us out and about. Nah, we have a hideout, so no worries.”

“You sure?” He still was doubtful. “I don't want to drag anyone else into our trouble...”

“Seriously, we have great coders on our team, keeping us out of the bullseye. That's why these flags won't last either. Someone's on it, guaranteed.”

“Alright.” He frowned and fell silent for a few minutes as they made their way through the ruins towards their meeting place. The Twin Blade was still uncomfortable about the possibility that the Elites could come in on them at any time. Without any way of really stopping them, what was to prevent another attack on the servers looking for them? Even if they couldn’t be directly tracked, it could cause a catastrophe of unknown proportions if they did decide to make another large-scale offensive. Even with their numbers reduced, just one of them could wreack havoc… but now was not the time to think about that, he supposed.

Trying to break the tension, Baron brought up the first topic he could think of. “So... how did you end up comatose in the first place?”

“That's...not a happy topic. The short and easy version is that in Mac Anu, Xenobia used one of the Freedom guys to bash me into the ground. The reason I was there and what led to it...that's more complicated.”

Baron frowned; he didn't want to delve into a painful topic, but he was curious at the same time. Maybe if he shared his own story, Canti would be willing to open up a bit more? It was worth a shot, and if the Twin Blade still didn’t want to speak, then it was his prerogative. But Baron wanted to know more about his companion, if nothing else but for the reason that the two were going to be working together in the future. It was better to know your allies, rather than guessing and becoming paranoid as a result. There were so few people to trust these days.

“Mine wasn't all that happy either. Long story short, Xenobia ambushed my group, we got vines through the face, woke up in jail.”

Canti seemed to pause for a moment. “Were you lured in by someone apparently trustworthy beforehand?”

Someone trustworthy? Baron remembered it all too well, shaking his head as he recalled the trip to that field that had left them all comatose. It had been all too easy then, a lull in their guard after escaping the Juk Prison. But that lull was all that was needed; they had gone to the field, just as the enemy had wanted, and then… well, the rest was obvious. They had been left comatose in the real world and trapped in The World.

“Yeah... it was supposedly a message from Gyl, as I remember.” The Twin Blade shook his head. “We all believed it was real, then she was there, waiting.”

“I was...just on a quest. Some new guild with some decent rewards, a challenging tower to really test myself on.... That's how it started. None of the Elites were there. They only showed up after their plan backfired.”

Baron paused, feeling guilty about dragging out the information. “...You don't have to say anything, if it's too painful. I understand, y'know?”

“It's not about pain, per se. It's just...that plan I had? The one where we went after a guy called Suraisu? He was their lure, and I wanted to bring him to our side. I went to the trouble of hating him, and then forgiving him, and I've got nothing to show for it.”

“I see.” Baron sort of understood it, but again he wasn't going to question it. Touchy subject, it sounded like. “Well... perverse as it sounds I'm sorta glad. You're a pretty strong ally to all those here; everyone does matter, though at the same time I don't think any of us want to be here.”

Baron received another glare for his attempt at comforting his companion. He hadn’t meant it in a bad way; he was just thankful that, of all the people that could have ended up in their group, they had gotten one that was fairly powerful, both in terms of his natural abilities as a player and his Twilight powers that had manifested. Now he felt bad though; the way he had said it made it sound like he liked Canti being comatose. He was really having a bad case of foot-in-mouth today!

Canti spoke quietly. “I want out so bad I'm willing to kill everyone of those sons of bitches to get it. I use to like this game, Baron... If I get out, I might have to burn down CC Corp.”

“I still like it... the game aspects of it.” He shook his head. “I sorta like being here too. In the game, I mean. It's sorta like living in the adventure. But the reason why, and the whole bit behind it, well...”

“I can appreciate the adventure. It's why I got into it. But it's just not funny anymore. Even if I enjoy myself down here, the plight we're in is a real buzzkill.”

“Never said that the 'plight' was any good... honestly I'm as eager to get out of here as you are. My family is worried, likely, and I can kiss college goodbye what with unintentionally skipping the last semester of high school... ugh.”

It was sad, really. His troubles seemed so mundane, but they were just as real as any other here. Others probably had jobs and other troubled family members, maybe lovers or spouses or even children. There was so much that they had lost by being trapped within the game… But that was all the more reason to fight. They had to get out; they had to find their way home.

“I envy you. The most I have to look forward to is the agent looking after my body in real life.”

“Agent?” Baron paused as he looked at the Twin Blade. “You some kind of celebrity in real life?”

“Pfft, no. I wish. There was an investigator into the Elites' affairs at the tower. She tracked me down after things went to hell. She has a bunch of weird equipment to hack into The World without Twilight or even a character. She's the one that gave me Shadow.”

“She gave you...?” He looked over at the Bogie. So he was a coded creature sent to assist Canti. Well that was certainly different from his own canine companion. “Ah, I see... my little friend's a bit different. He came to me on his own.”

“I heard about the wandering AIs of this place. Rey designed Shadow to find me because her equipment can't track or talk to me in Yamiyo.”

“Higure's not really... 'of this place.' Honestly, I'm not sure what he is, or what his origins are. It's sorta weird. Hold on a second, I'll see if he's in the mood to manifest. Usually likes to stay up here.” He pointed at his head with a half-smile.

No. I’m sleeping and can’t be bothered to show up for your amusement.”

“...Ah, looks like he's a bit shy. He doesn't feel like manifesting. Or as he says, 'he can't be bothered.' I say he's shy though.”

“Pretty sure Shadow doesn't...de-manifest. Do you?”


“Thought not.”

“Higure's some weird shadow thin-”

A what?

“Well you are, so hush. Anyway, he's some weird shadow thing that likes to hide up here in my head. I don't really get it, honestly.” He got a grumble from Higure, putting a slight grin on his face, but the wolf let it go.

This was for the best, seeing as they could see the others up ahead now. Quickly Baron ran over to the ruins they were using as their shelter, leaving Canti to approach as he would. Regardless of how nice—if it could be called that—their conversation had been, the Twin Blade had other things on his mind, other worries to attend to. The first on his mind was Sekai; Takua took priority too, but at the same time, the Archer seemed so much more fragile. Baron knew better; the woman was a lot stronger than people gave her credit for, but at the same time, seeing her fall earlier had been a blow to his morale. Hopefully she was alright.

Baron was briefly distracted by Demorian handing him a potion that he said would remove the data flag at the cost of linking them together. Much as he didn’t like the implications of it, the Twin Blade simply downed the drink so that he could move along to check on those who were still unconscious. Takua seemed to be doing fine for the moment, but Sekai… Kira and another woman were both watching over her, making the Twin Blade worry further. Biting his lip and forcing a neutral expression, he quickly knelt down beside her, looking her over. Was she alright? Would she pull through?

Kira seemed to be distracted, so Baron addressed the other woman watching over the Archer. "Hey, dunno who you are but... how's she doing?"

"We're no longer disconnected from her," the woman replied, her eyes finally moving away from Sekai to briefly look up at Baron.. "Kira is currently seeing if she can get her to wake up, or at least communicate in their own little way. And you are?"

Baron didn't bother to glance in the woman's direction, eyes moving over Sekai quickly, biting his lip at the fact that she was still unconscious. He barely acknowledged the remarks about 'connections' and Kira, putting two and two together and figuring this woman was another companion like Kira was. Hopefully this one had a better attitude. "Baron. I'm one of Sekai's friends."

"A pleasure, I'm sure. December is my name, and-" The woman paused, her amused tone taking on a slightly more neutral one. "Kira's filling her in on what's happened, she'll be rousing shortly, anything I should pass on for you to tell her?"

Baron shook his head, again only briefly acknowleging the words long enough to store the name in memory. "No, no, I can tell her when she wakes up. Don't worry about-"

He paused as well, blinking in surprise before turning around. There was a sense of… presence that drew the Twin Blade’s attention. Behind him, as if appearing from the shadows themselves, stood Higure in his humanoid form, wrapped in a cloak of pure darkness again with only the single gold-inlay eyepatch standing out. His black boots barely seemed to touch the ground as he glided forward, cloak completely still despite his motion. Baron remembered this form, back from when the two of them had met; the man was merely an image he projected so that he could interact better with others.

"Oh so now you decide to materialize?"

"Your mind is uncomfortable when it's in turmoil, so you pretty much forced me out." Higure slowly walked over, and then leaned to look Sekai straight in the face, an unamused expression on his face. "This... girl... is the reason you won't let me sleep? Really?"

December raised an eyebrow. "Oh my, you've brought a friend. You should probably stand back, 'lest Kira chooses to decapitate you for scaring our charge."

"Who'm I decapitating?" Kira finally stood from Sekai’s side, her usual glare moving around from Baron to Higure, making the former nervous as he automatically backed a step away. "...alright, you; out of Sekai's face, and you," the amber eyed woman pointed at the Twin Blade. "explain or he's dead."

Higure's expression didn't change the least as the woman made demands at him, giving her the same irritated look that he had given Baron for rudely awakening him. "I don't believe you can back up that threat. So please don't bother me, I'm annoyed as it is."

Baron gave a helpless look to Kira, raising his hands in surrender. Of all the times, why was Higure acting up now? And so boldly, at that! Baron knew better than to cross Kira, and this was not helping! "Don't look at me, it's not like I have any control over him. He comes and goes as he pleases, regardless of what I say."

"Wrong answer." A flash of light and Kira had her spear pressed to Higure’s humanoid throat. Baron thought to tell her that it wasn’t a really good threat as the wolf had suggested, but he let it be; it was better not to get involved. "You get one more warning and I'm done being generous; get the fuck out of her face."

December was oddly calm; Baron decided he already liked the woman all the more for being as relaxed as she was. "Children, behave yourself or you'll upset the little mistress when she does wake up. Kira is understandably short on patience; Sekai's been through an... unusual amount of stress lately, and being unable to aleiviate any of the pain a beloved person experiences is trying, to say the least."

She shot a glare in Kira’s direction; Baron was on the verge of amusement, though he kept his face neutral. No need to stoke any fires. "I understand your sentiment, but this is not the time to pull this kind of stint; wait until later to pull rank on the newcomer, we have more important things to think about."

Higure gave another flat look, and then leaned forward, despite the weapon pointed at his throat. The blade literally passed through his neck as if it weren't there, and the shadow's face broke into a half-amused grin. "Like I said... you can't go through with your threat if you can't see the real me. You can cut at the projection all you like though." Laughing, he leaned back again, letting the weapon pass through him once more before he crossed his arms and looked at the two women. "Frankly, I don't give a damn about this woman. I'm only here to see why Baron's having such a mental storm, and I find some girl unconscious. Either he's in love and denying it or he's just being his usual heroically idiotic self. Both are annoying, but at least it answers my question."

Baron gave an exasperated sigh, especially at the love remark, before casually reaching down through the shadow and grabbing hold of the first solid object he could find, giving a tug. He knew how Higure’s projections worked. There was a brief yelp, and the image vanished, leaving a black-furred wolf having his ear tugged at, his one eye glaring daggers at the Twin Blade. "My apologies. I was just concerned about her welfare is all; she's been unconscious for a bit."

December jumped in quickly, cutting Kira off. Oh, Baron definitely liked her now. "He must be new, Baron, I think it was. Be sure to discipline him well, or he'll continue to act the unruly child. I'm sure you're capable of doing that much."

"Not your fault, kid." Kira seemed a bit disgruntled, shooting a glare at Higure and getting a wolfish half-grin back. "Takua, on the other hand, has plenty to apologize for and I'm looking forward to getting it."

Sekai finally stirred, and Baron jumped as he saw the motion. The smaller woman sat up slowly, rubbing at her head, but she seemed alright. That was a load off of Baron’s chest. Yet even hurt as much as she was, she still immediately thought of their mission. "...d-did we accomplish our goal?"

Baron let go of Higure's ear as Sekai stirred, and the wolf quickly retreated with a look of irritation to sit a few feet away and watch the proceedings. The Twin Blade smiled at his companion's question, and pulled out the ring box that Sheena had given him earlier for when he had killed Raikiri in order to assure her. "Yup. One Elite down, one fancy pair of earrings in the box. I hope you're not offended that I don't gift them to you, but I doubt you'd want to wear all that Twilight on your ears. I don't think it'd do much for your looks." He playfully rattled the box for her.

Higure approached at this point, now curious about the box; apparently he had been sleeping when Baron had killed Raikiri. So wait, him having qualms about killing wasn't enough of an emotional turmoil to wake the wolf, but being worried about a friend was? What a strange AI Higure was. Either way, the wolf stood by the the group now, shadowy flickers around him as he looked on with interest. "An actual Twilight item? That's certainly... interesting. I hadn't expected that."

"Pay attention and sleep less then." Baron tucked the box away before looking at Sekai again. "How're you feeling, Sekai?"

The young woman pulled back reflexively from the earrings; Baron didn’t blame her, considering what they were. "I-I see, you should... you should give those to Raine-san or Sheena-san."

As Higure spoke, though, she looked up and yelped in surprise, causing Higure to chuckle. "Um, okay, I think. Still sore, and everything's still..." Sekai paused thoughtfully. "...scattered."

Naturally she went from there to being worried about him already. Baron wanted to give an exasperated sigh, but didn’t. "Are... you okay?"

He didn't answer immediately. The Twin Blade's face fell for a moment as he remembered Raikiri's death. It had been so simple; two slashes from his blades and the man was dead. He had been helpless; it wasn't even a fight, since the Doomkeeper had all but killed the Elite himself. Baron didn't feel right just taking someone's life, but he understood that his feelings weren't going to get much attention here. They were locked in a perpetual war, after all.

"I'm... fine. It's just been a trying day, is all. What with all the fighting, the worrying about you and the others that were struck down... just been tough, y'know?" He forced a weary smile, trying to dissuade her from asking any more questions. "A-anyway... I'm going to go give these to Sheena... and discipline a certain wolf who needs to learn some manners." A quick glare was shot at Higure.

"Okay, um... please don't worry about me, I'm okay." Baron knew this wasn’t true; Sekai had been unconscious until about a minute ago, so she was far from okay. However, he once again kept his mouth shut, lest Kira decide to go after him next. Fortunately, attention switched back to Higure, though that in itself was odd; Baron thought that Sekai practically seized up every time something Ani-related showed up. Well, whatever worked, he supposed. "Um, w-welcome to the Freedom Fighters, Baron-san's friend."

The wolf smiled and projected his human form again, tall and shadowy as he loomed over Sekai for a brief moment, putting out a hand as a gesture of casual greeting. "Higure... and I can assure you, I'm not part of the group. I just happen to be here for the time being." The golden eye that was sewn onto his eyepatch glittered in sharp contrast of the man's shadowy appearance. "But I suppose the pleasure is mine, girl."

Sekai let out an eep of surprise as HIgure shifted forms; well, that was a better reaction than expected. Baron glared at Higure, mentally noting to show that wolf a little thing called manners a bit later. "N-Nice to meet you, Higure-san, p-please enjoy your stay."

Higure chuckled as Sekai’s hand passed through his own and then vanished abruptly, leaving the four of them alone. Baron shook his head at the wolf, mentally telling him to expect a lecture later, then headed towards Sheena. He didn’t bother to speak, still worn out from all that they had accomplished. All he did was hand her the box with the earrings in them, and then moved over to one of the walls, sliding to the ground. Rubbing at his aching temples, the Twin Blade let his head nod slightly, silver eyes closing as he let himself rest. He deserved a break.

It had been a long day, and there was plenty yet to come.

((OOC: Wayyyyy too much conversation in this post. x_x; ))
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(!)

Lord Canti
Exalted Player
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 3:58 pm
Location: In da' plains of hell, natch.

Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Lord Canti » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:29 pm

(Now, he and Shadow were still a bit of a distance from the others right now. It was annoying, but unavoidable, that they spread out in order to avoid detection by Garaa. Shame, though... If only they'd managed to take him down... Oh well, no matter. Progress is progress, right? The only other Elite with his weakness was down. Man was that scary, though... If he hadn't been careful, Rugu would've lightning-fried him into bite-size chunks. Yes, that's right. He could kill him to pieces! At any rate, his low flight along the ground to avoid detection was working, plus with Shadow around he had extra warning. It was then that Baron caught up with him. He and that guy hadn't really talked before now. Was this really the time to catch up? Maybe not, but he seemed adamant to. Actually, part of it was just trying to get a direction and a handle on the moment. Of the two of them, Canti had at least some idea of what they were doing. Right now, they were suppose to meet up with the others at their position, and then probably head back to the Master of Vak at his castle. Naturally, Baron was concerned about them being followed - which wasn't gonna happen, thanks to Sheena - and over the effects of he and Shadow getting Doom-struck earlier. Canti had to admit it... That was easily the most agonizing thing he'd been through. It reminded him...)

Canti: Tch, it reminds me of exactly another time in which the virus went and caused me horrible pain, and it was such a shock that I needed Rey to get me out of it.

(He could still recall the sensation of that slap. Had it been a hand or a a fox's paw? Even now, he had no clue. His interations with Reyome bordered on the meta-physical and were any thing but normal. In between him talking with Baron about Doomkeeper and such, he had a quick conversation with her. He knew that she could see The World his and Shadow's eyes.)

Canti: Rey, you there?

Yes, I am. You had us worried there, for a moment. Doctors and nurses alike, all concerned that you were gonna flatline.

Canti: Sorry about that. It was-

Garaa. I saw. So, that thing was one of the Elites, eh? I swear he's not even human.

Canti: And I swear that NONE of them are human anymore. Listen, I have a question. When you got through to me after I said I was training the Darkness Flame, did you...slap me?

Kid, I don't have a physical presence in The World. And you sure as hell could feel anything in THIS world even if I put a mound of ice in your lap. Maybe it felt that way to you, but it was my avatar reconnecting to your mind. Though...I will say that I thought about it. Maybe it's the thought that counts.

Canti: Thanks alot, Rey. For Shadow, for everything.


(And now...Baron was asking him about his start with the Freedom Fighters and how he got into this mess. Oh, that was a trip down memory lane, wasn't it? Except, that he didn't like delving into the past. The REAL Canti - Damon Fortis - didn't like to go into his past life and his personal problems. This wasn't really them, but there were still issues like...his failure in Raio Sector. Eventually, they came down to talking about our friend, the Bogie dog. Apparently, Baron had a pet of his own, but one that hid in his head, de-manifested. Shadow didn't do that. He just remained as he was in The World. Now, after their conversation, they rejoined the rest of the group in the hollow of a messed up building. It seemed as though Sekai and Takua were still in one piece...though he had no idea if they were still in agony. Actually, he overheard December saying that her connection to Sekai was re-established, so she must be getting better. Nighthand asked him to keep an eye on Takua for the moment. They'd probably wake up soon and...)

Canti: Well, I stand corrected. Not all the guards were dead, after all. Hey, when you wake up, you might wanna re-think your career! Just saying!

(Ani-Guard-directed snark aside, things were at least stable now as it seemed that the rest were arriving. Demorian and Talal appeared to be okay, and there was no news of Sheena being in trouble, so chances are that she was also alright. Actually, with a focus like hers, Canti severely doubted anything short of the Master of the Elites was going to put her off. Hell, a few moments later, the ass-kicker herself joined the rest of them! Bravo! It was just then, however, that Nighthand came back with something he'd found.)

Canti: Hello, what's this?

Received 1x [lv.2] Overdrive Ex Sphere!

Canti: Well now, this is interesting.

Shadow: Give to daddy.

Canti: O_O Okay...

(Shadow's sudden weirdness aside, they now faced the inevitable "Now what?", the phrase that sunk a thousand plans. Actually, it was as he expected. They would be back in Vak soon enough, to meet at the castle of the Master of fire. Either they were in goods with him now or entirely doomed. Or, in fact, both. Who knows? Life is funny that way. And as Demorian said, Garaa didn't know they were going there, or that the FFs had been hiding out in Gan Sector. Mostly, we the fighting people of the comatose gang had been low in profile, not stirring up the works. Well...except maybe for that fiasco in Raio... Now, he noticed that Demorian had some things in his hands, which he was about to give to them.)

"Before we depart... These potions clear the data flag on us, and link us all together. It has downsides; if one of us is captured, for instance, someone who is aware of the link could potentially trace it. However, it allows us to leave Yamiyo. Additionally, as long as someone linked to us is in Yamiyo, we will be able to return without having to find an entrance."

Canti: Sweet! I've got mah mobility back! Down the hatchitude!

(Glug glug glug... Canti downed his and felt...well...nothing. It wasn't suppose to do anything more than mess with whatever coding had flagged him while he was in prison. Now...he was a free man. Well, about as free as one can get while being in a coma. Ah, but he was feeling better. One Elite dead, another sick, he was free to go to other servers if needed... Well, the gang was breaking up now, and...a thought occurred to the Twin Blade. By the time it occurred to him, Nighthand and the other higher-ups had split off and left. Well, it could wait until he got there, at least. Interestingly enough, he was there with Talal now, and she expressed a desire to take a break from all of this. To which Canti said...)

Canti: I know a place...

(Many a scene have started out with a line like this. With everyone else gone and these two Twin Blades and Shadow being the only ones left, Canti decided...to do something else for the moment.)


A Slight Detour.


(Eh heh heh heh heh... Well...it may have been a tad longer than he expected, really. Because they didn't just take a simple break. You see, they weren't suppose to just head off and do whatever they like all willy-nilly, so naturally as Canti led his little posse back in the direction of Vak Sector, he was thinking of what it was he was going to say to them. And what that was...was simply this. The dark Twin Blade was going to lie his ass off, mostly because they really DID need a break from this, if even a short one. He was always fighting, and Talal hadn't done anything BUT that since her breakout, and apparently Shadow just needed a gin and tonic for some reason. Well, whatever. Canti led his small troupe through the throngs of fiery badasses moving about through the Vak Sector, eventually heading for the flaming castle-fist. Once he saw Nighthand, he spoke thusly...)

Canti: Heh, uhhh...sorry for the wait. Shadow said that some people were giving us the eye, so I had to lose for a bit. Isn't it great how twisty-turny that Bazaar is?

(He was implying that he was shaking suspicion and possible followers this way, though really there was no trail because he, Talal, and Shadow had waited things out at the Titan's Tooth. Even still, it was a good diversion in of itself. Who expected to find him in Stitcher? That out of the way, though, that thought that Canti had earlier came to mind and he lowered his voice so only Nighthand would hear.)

Canti: Say, Nights... Don't you think someone should go back to homebase and tell Raine that we're all okay and de-flagged?

OOC: The last part is, of course, assuming Nighthand is there to be spoken to.
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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Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:19 am
Class: Wavemaster
Location: Walking the line of madness

Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Takua » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:35 am

It felt oddly like a sea pulling back from covering his body. He could feel the tide pulling out, leaving him slowly more and more aware of the world around his body, aside from the pain that still used his nerves as a violin. Perhaps if it were less painful, so that he weren't paralyzed with it, he could cry. But even those muscles had seized, so that he floated in that ocean of agony. What could top this? He used to think that what he had gone through in the Juka prison was bad...but this felt far worse. He'd been totally severed from his senses, only able to feel the pain that made him want to scream, to move, to do something. Perhaps that was the worst part. His body and mind ached to move, to do anything to distract him from the pain. But there was nothing, even his thoughts moved with seemingly glacial slowness. He needed to scream, but he couldn't.

His lungs locked up and burning, he couldn't even release the air needed to scream, much less bring himself to do anything else.

So it was with great relief that the pain began to die down. He still couldn't hear anything, or see, but at least his nerves had gone from 'God why am I alive?' to 'Someone end me now'. The one thought that was still floating in his brain was that he was so very sorry to Sekai for getting her caught up in this. The second one, that emerged as the pain subsided, was that he was very, very, very sorry to Ondine as well. And as the sea pulled out, muscles paralyzed in pain relaxed, moved again. Tears flooded his eyes at about the same time that his lungs decided it was high time to move again, and the explosive gasp for air shot him from the ground to a sitting position before he even registered that he could hear again.

Breathing heavily, he couldn't stop the flood of tears that poured down his face, but he hardly felt ashamed of them right now. Anyone who went through that, and then had the guts to say that they could take the pain...was just flat out lying.

But when he really took a look around, he felt even worse than he had before. Because Sekai was also laid out, just as obviously in pain. And that was his own damn fault since he'd drawn the attention of Garaa. And, obviously, in a really bad way. Kira, of course, would butcher him. Probably as soon as he came to her attention as being awake, or as soon as she was sure that Sekai was awake and fine. Which, to be fair, the Wavemaster wasn't sure that she would be. Or that he would be. Getting up without making too much noise was harder than expected, but he kept an eye from anyone else's point of view. He deserved his beating, but he wanted to know that it was coming for now.

Before he left though, he noticed that December was looking at him. He nodded at her. Let Kira worry about the one who she needed to worry about. He could meet up with them all later. After getting the small rundown from Nighthand, he slipped away. Maybe soon, in just a while, he could talk with Sekai again and apologize to all of them for what he'd done. Until then, he needed some time on his own to think about things and get some air.
Takua - Lvl 57 Wavemaster
Wishlist: Levels, Stun Rod, Hag's Wand, Wand of Truth, Ex-Level, Ex-Spheres, and Myth: Demiurge, FL Fukuoka

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Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:04 pm
Class: Archer
Location: Liminality

Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Sekai » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:06 am

It was funny how one's role in life seemed to change on a whim.

December mused over the thought as she watched over the battle between Sheena and Garaa. Jade eyes narrowed slightly, and on more than one occasion her fingers twitched, aching to be wrapped around the hilt of her matching blades as she performed her deadly dance through the battlefield. It was a very rare occasion that she had been forced to play the role of look out, of the Watch instead of the one who lured the target in and with an elegant series of quick movements and dazzling speed, ended a life that was growing too troublesome to be left alone.

But, then again, it looked like Sheena was more than capable of handling such a fearsome opponent on her own. She'd learned little of the 'leaders' behind the leaders of this merry little band of people she was working alongside, and now the pink haired AI wondered just how the tides would have turned if they would have had the others in top form and on the battlefield with them. Could they have crippled the Elites even further, had Raine and, perhaps, Nall been with them and killed Garaa as well?

From what I gathered, this one is usually the morale booster of the group at times. Cheerful and the like; you wouldn't know it by looking at her right now. She began picking that particular puzzle apart on her own, watching the blows traded back and forth. Personality differences in and out of the battlefield, as far as she knew, were not unusual to find and could be quite extreme. But it was still something else to see it in person when she herself happened to be rather the same inside battle as she was out of it.

Her eyes quickly flicked from the ongoing battle of two powerful titans to the unusually still form of Doomkeeper awaiting command. If it came down to it, she would not leave this 'Sheena' behind and would have to do whatever she could to put on the speed necessary to grab her and, at the very least, throw her out of range and take a potentially fatal hit for herself. Hopefully she'd ghost just as the hit would be about to land and she'd be able to cause enough of a distraction to the Elite that Sheena would be able to recover and escape.

Never did see myself as the self-sacrificing hero type, now that I think about it. December found herself amused at the thought and shook her head. A shout caught her attention, the woman's eyes flashing in understanding as Garaa was sent flying into the rubble and Sheena's hand signaled for a retreat. Excellent timing, as she did not want to be around when Garaa was able to get back up- whatever it was that the 'princess of the doomed' had done to him was keeping him down, for now.

In a flash of pink and gold, the elegant former assassin took off. Focusing on her breathing and on the placement of each and every step so that she didn't end up causing some sort of telltale indicator of their location, or at least, what direction they'd fled in.

Hopefully, they'd be able to pull this off... and there wouldn't be a backstab waiting for them when they got back.


When had the role of Guardian turned into something so pathetically different?

Not one fuck was given about the people around her, something that would have probably disappointed Sekai in more ways than one, and all of her attention focused solely on the curled, pain wracked form in front of her. She didn't remember shooting Nighthand a grateful, anxiety riddled nod of thanks, didn't remember dropping to her knees as soon as the girl was set down, and certainly didn't remember shedding any tears of helpless frustration as she watched the veins in the girl's arms and neck stand out. Unable to help, unable to protect her again. Her semi-transparent hand reached out again and again to touch her, pressing slightly against her forehead, her cheek. Fingers trying to wipe away the evidence of the girl's tears, tried to smooth her hair back out of her face.

Tried in some way to touch her, and let her know that she wasn't alone; that she hadn't been abandoned yet again.

Kira felt December's return like someone'd dropped a smoldering coal into her gut, narrowing her eyes in annoyance as she spared the briefest of glances to see if the bitch had wound up getting herself in any kind of trouble. No such luck, damn, and here she'd been hoping for an injury or two so she could slam the snootier Twin Blade for her comments earlier.

”No change?” December asked quietly, settling near Sekai's head and sent a curious glance over to the helmed warrior that'd been shackled to the girl's wrist. Kira's head shake was enough of an answer to satisfy her, and she didn't press the clearly unstable AI any further for the moment.

...but the silent irritated her soon enough, and she found herself speaking again. ”Anything on this one?” She motioned to the unconscious form lying with their arm at an awkward angle much like Sekai's. The battle and escape had left her with a scarce handful of moments left, and she wanted to test a theory she'd had if Kira hadn't already sneaked a peek beneath the helmet.

Again, another shake of her head. Well, phooey. This whole emotion-mod or whatever it was that had Kira acting like she was a human was certainly annoying


Things had certainly gotten more interesting when Baron had showed up, that was for sure.

Between the sudden emergence of Higure, a figure that Kira knew all too well she wasn't going to like and was less than pleased to have around, and Sekai's gradual awakening, the strung out AI was feeling her already usually short temper start to go on the side of 'nonexistent fuse' and 'ready to go off at any minute'. She'd been listening in on Sekai's thoughts, going all but back into the space within the girl's mind that she'd taken time and time again during their travels together, and was drawing some conclusions of her own as December informed them of the events they'd not seen.

”...I see.” Sekai said softly, finally making something other than a noncommittal sound as the pink haired woman finished her report. Her eyes were dark with thought and she touched the intricately designed iron shackle on her wrist gingerly, as if afraid it were going to bite her. She'd quietly swallowed the thick tasting potion that'd been given to her, removing the data flags and allowing her the ability to go back into the normal servers.

She was troubled, more than a little, and watched Baron's retreating back. Sekai knew that odd posture, knew that false sense of everything being okay, and the need to fake that everything was indeed fine. It hit some people more than others, affected some more than those around them. But no one really got over that first time they realized it wasn't just a game.

It was their reality, and sometimes, the people your blades, arrows and spells sank into and killed... they stayed that way. Forever.

How many of those fought in the Eventide Crescendo, and here, are gone forever? It was a heavy thing to think about for a fifteen year old girl who'd rather talk things over than use violence and force. Her chest tightened painfully, her head bowing a little as she silently added Raikiri's name to the list of those whose deaths she'd helped cause. I wonder... I wonder if the crystals have all been gathered? Something deep, deep down within her told her “no” in a way that she couldn't find an argument against.

In time, when things weren't so... busy, she would approach Baron-san and talk to him again, before the guilt and pain ate him alive like it did her. It might do the older boy some good to know that he could talk to her about it, after all, she knew the sickening feeling all too well herself.

Like it still does, you mean.

The tawny eyed girl finally looked up at Kira, a silent question passing between them as the older woman gave a worrying, but amusingly perfect imitation of a growling feline, and pulled the young Archer to her. Holding Sekai to her and just... allowed herself the moment to feel relief that her little one was safe and out of harm's way again. Her grip might have been a little too tight, a little too smothering to most who might have been watching and her treatment of the smaller girl definitely too rough for someone supposedly relieved to see their important person alive and relatively well again.

”I should, and you damn well know you'd deserve it too.” The amber eyed woman snapped, though there was no actual heat in her voice to carry through with the threat. Her face was hidden, turned at such an angle that none could see the expression of anger and fear melt away into agitated relief.

Didn't see the suspiciously overbright hue of her eyes return to normal with a few rapid blinks.

”S-Sorry...” A heartfelt, quiet apology and an attempt at returning the embrace. The telltale clink of chain and resistance on her arm destroyed the potentially soft moment. Both women comically puzzled at the length of chain connecting the two intricately designed cuff and exchanged identical looks of bafflement.


”You've got to be fucking kidding me; another one?” Kira glowered at the still unconscious form of the former Anid soldier who'd failed at assassinating Takua. Not that she could blame the woman for trying, she'd had more than a temptation to kill the kid on several occasions herself, ending his apparently more than miserable existence like his words and actions had a tendency to suggest. Considering all the trouble that the newcomer, if December's word could be trusted as true, was going to bring them as a whole, the former priestess reined in the growing temptation to boot the woman in the ribs right then and there and save herself the trouble later.

Sekai looked troubled, mildly embarrassed and exasperated. She had no idea what the hell was going on, why her supposedly one time only bond with Kira had suddenly begun flaring up and attaching others to her in the same way as well.

Well... not entirely the same, but still too close for comfort.

It wasn't just the attack from Garaa keeping the older woman down either, the tawny eyed girl thought to herself and turned to the unconscious form still on the ground. The pain had been part of it, a decent part of it... but there was the heavy sting of betrayal- and the grief that came along with being betrayed. She'd felt that on many occasions, for herself, for Kira- and many times when she'd caught glimpses of Kira's history when the AI had been thinking about old times- and even on behalf of others who had been deceived as well.

So whoever this woman was, the shock and grief of betrayal kept her from waking up so far. But when she did decide to wake... well, Sekai wasn't entirely looking forward to that encounter. After all, December had given the impression that this new lady was more foul mouthed and temperamental than Kira on a bad day. Not to mention Sekai was going to have to figure out how not to get killed, and subsequently not let Kira and December, and probably the others too if they decided to get involved, kill this girl if things got ugly and she was attacked.

I'm sorry, you're just as much a victim as the rest of us in this. Maybe even more so, all you were doing was your job, what you were told to do- and the one you served just... She shook her head, reaching over and removing the heavy looking helmet from the woman's head with some help from December. Surprise mixed with awe took over the fifteen year old Archer's face at the appearance of the soldier beneath the rather freaky mask... helmet thing.

Wow, she's really pretty! She thought, even Kira seemed to agree and echo the statement, sounding disbelievingly impressed all the while. Long, dark lashes cast a slight shadow over high cheekbones on a smooth, dusky skinned face, the long looking black hair, glossy with health, tied into the tiniest braids Sekai had ever seen in her life, and to top it all off- a pair of delicately, but obvious, pointed elf ears.

The tattoo, which should have stood out obnoxiously, only seemed to enhance the lovely features of the woman, drawing attention to her eyes and elegant curve of her jawline. A pretty design of flowers of some kind, she thought it might have been a lily, in black, white and pink arched over her brow and cheek.

Blademaster, if she'd heard what Kira and December had said, and an elven woman at that. But... elves didn't have bad tempers, they were graceful, elegant and kind beings... right?

”As flattered as I'm sure Zorya would be, we should head back to the Fire Master and see if he is as good as his word, or if we're about to get backstabbed.” December kindly interrupted the awestricken Archer's thoughts, jade colored eyes twinkling with private amusement as she carefully picked the unconscious woman up as if it weren't too much of a burden. “And as cruel as it will be, take that blade of hers as blackmail. We'll need it with her.”

Kira, figuring that December clearly knew this fighter well enough judging by her words and actions, shrugged and took the blade herself, frowning at the unfamiliar weight and heft of the blade. Give her a damn spear any day, felt like she was trying to swing a hammer or something with this thing. Too bulky and not enough reach for her, left a person too open. Spears were definitely superior, she thought to herself and looked to Sekai, offering her hand for the girl to take and helped the aching girl stand, giving her a wry look as her little one winced.

Maybe next time you'll listen to me, I did tell you that boys were stupid, reckless and have a penchant for being suicidal in attacks most of the time. She teased, gently pulling the shorter Archer along as the girl got her legs used to walking again after several shaky and wobbly steps.

Sekai made a face at her and muttered something she didn't quite catch under her breath, but the small smile she tried to hide didn't escape the Long Arm holding her hand. Together, along with December and her burden, they headed back for the Fire Master's place, rejoining with the rest and waited for everyone else who'd taken off to rejoin them- and then find out what the damage done was.

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

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

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

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

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Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:50 am
Class: Twinblade

Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Talal » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:01 am

Demorian shrugged her insistence off as if it didn’t mean anything to him. Before she could continue with her concerned nature, he assured that Sheena was quite capable of handling herself. She crossed her arms stubbornly and glared sideways. The Twin Blade knew he was right but wasn’t really in the mood to admit it, so she chose the silent treatment instead. This of course wasn’t really punishment to anyone but herself.

The brisk run through the destroyed buildings, some still smoldering, was quiet but the air was thick with smoke making it hard to take a deep breath. Talal brought the end of her long not-so-white sash up to her face and covered her mouth with it. The only thing that could be heard was the wood crackling in the aftermath of being burned, stones from buildings slowly making their way to the ground, and the occasional sound wave from the battle between Sheena and Garaa. Everyone had cleared out of the sector. Probably for the best considering all the spells that had been flying around. There was no telling where they would finish out their strike and it didn’t matter whose side you were on when it decided to land.

Nothing further was spoken between Talal and the Blademaster as they zig-zagged through the rubble which gave the girl a little time to sort through the days events. So much had happened and it had become obvious…finally…that her exposure to the Twilight had reached a high enough “infected” level in her to manifest. What she didn’t understand was why her hearing was the target of her infection? Why not an invincibility ability so she could stop being so damn afraid of everything? Why couldn’t she get something cool like levitation? Talal grimaced, feeling a bit cheated but then she thought of Takua. He’s blind but somehow he can still function so his infection must have enhanced his other senses or something. It didn’t take long for her to give up trying to figure it all out which actually was pretty good timing as the pair had found the rest of the group.

Demorian entered and went straight towards Nighthand but entering the room was the end of Talal’s tag-a-long sidekick status. She hung back, slowly and quietly skirting the wall trying to disappear into a corner. She couldn’t help but notice the looks of relief everyone had because they had finally arrived. It was then that her dark brown eyes caught sight of her friends on the floor in obvious pain and the realization that she was helpless to do anything but watch, wait and hope hit her like a brick. Watching as Kira and December hovered over Sekai and one of the Anid guards that became attached somehow to the small archer. Talal felt like she should go do the same for Takua but at the same time, wasn’t sure so she stayed put along the wall.

Demorian pulled some vials out of his jacket and passed them around. The young Twin Blade accepted hers without making eye contact with the Blademaster. Immediately questions sprung up in her mind like a wildfire. How long has he had these? Why did he wait until now to pass them along to everyone? Who did he acquire them from? What did he have to give in return? How does he know they didn’t put their own tracer or flag into the mix? Why did she always have to question everything? Seeing everyone down the vials without question, Talal plugged her nose closed her eyes and…down the hatch. What else was she going to do…..rebel?

Everyone had their orders so to speak and it didn’t take long for everyone to start clearing out. Takua woke and almost immediately got up and left without a word. She wanted to follow but knew the signs of needing some alone time all too well. Talal sighed, watching the interactions between Sekai and her group upon her awakening. The bond they shared, not the physical one but the emotional one, was so enviable. Small arms slowly crossed, grasping the other with a full grip around the bicep. She was tired of being alone, tired of feeling lost and out of place but there was really nothing that was going to change that for her anytime soon; at least not until she and the rest of the Freedom Fighters won the war and gained their freedom back.

The young Twin Blade zoned out for some time, lost in thoughts about the situation, the journey thus far and what the future might bring. When she came out of her trance, the group had all but left and she found herself talking out loud, not realizing there was anyone left to hear her.

”I really need a break from all of this.”

Much to her surprise a response came from behind her. ”I know a place.”

*********************See thread “A Slight Detour”***********************************

When the trio of Talal, Canti, and Shadow emerged back at the Vak Castle, Canti went ahead and told a little white lie as to the reason of their delay. As per her usual, silent questions started up again. Sure they were the last to arrive, but did it matter? No specific time limit had been given to meet back up at the Castle. Was he embarrassed in some way that they had arrived together like it meant something different than simply traveling together? The whole…safety in numbers kinda thing? She sighed, deciding to stay quiet. The horrible realization that the once overly confident young girl that Takua had met on the roof in the plaza had become some babbling, insecure young girl that darn near had become afraid of her own shadow. Even with her new abilities and somewhat knowing how to access them, wasn’t giving Talal the confidence and sense of belonging that she desperately needed.

She kept back, standing in the back of the group but close enough to hear what the next course of action was to be.
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.
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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Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Nighthand » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:12 pm

One by one the players returned to the outskirts of the Fire Fortress. Some felt differently about the situation than others, but one way or another they had all grown from the experience. It raised a lot of questions, though – the biggest being, why were Rugudorull and Garaa fighting? It served them well, after all. They had gained another Twilight Item from the battle, and Sheena had absconded with it to go try to repair Nall that much more.

Nall was a somber thought. He was still in the process of recovery, though he was looking a little better than before, if Nighthand was any judge. Having known him almost as long as Demorian and Sheena, the heavy blade felt somewhat qualified to make that judgment. He paid a visit to their temporary ‘hideout’ to see how the blademaster was doing, but there wasn’t much to see. Sheena did what she could with her manipulation of Twilight, but what Nall really needed was Raine’s data hacking. Together the two were the perfect safety net for Nall, but with one of them unable to reach them, it was a close thing.

Regardless, Sheena had waved him off, saying there was nothing he could do for him now. So, Nighthand had made his way to the Vak’s center, to join the others in waiting for the party to regroup. He wasn’t the first, nor was he the last. Sheena did, however, give him a message to deliver to Demorian. Upon spotting the man, he delivered it.

”Sheena couldn’t remove the Data Flag from Nall with your potion. However, she thinks he’s secure enough on his own and she cloaked him in the hideout, so if someone stumbles on it he’ll be overlooked. She’s going to take Nall’s potion to Raine, to bring her to Yamiyo.”

Demorian nodded at the news, as though it didn’t much surprise him. That, in turn, didn’t surprise Nighthand. After all, the man had been something of an information master.


Once the group was all gathered, they walked through the holographic field of fire and into the Castle itself. It was exactly as it had been when they left, though the arrogant bodyguard who had accosted them before was chatting amiably with a pair of other guards in the lobby. When they walked in, one of the guards pointed, and the bodyguard turned.

His jaw dropped and he sputtered, a mix between anger and awe on his face. He couldn’t believe they had survived, let alone as relatively uninjured as they were. In his sputtered silence, he turned and walked out. By the door he took and the way the other guards scattered, Nighthand assumed he was fetching the Master.

A moment later he returned, more composed this time. Then the Master entered, and gestured his bodyguard to leave.

“But, what if they attack!” He protested.

“And you expect to stand against them, when they just murdered Rugudorull?”

That put a tense silence in the bodyguard’s voice, and he stalked off through another side door.

“Now then.” The Vak Master said. “It would appear that you succeeded, and our secret is safe.”

Demorian nodded. “Safe enough. So you did know it was Rugudorull who we’d be fighting. You expected to send us to our deaths?”

“No, not at all.” Replied the Master. “I had my backup plans, but I gave you a reasonable chance of success. This way, we didn’t have to act as openly.”

Nighthand stepped forward, his tall black-clad form looming almost menacingly. ”I think you owe us an explanation.”

There was a long moment of tense silence, before the Master nodded. “Yes, I suppose I do, at that.” He smiled slightly. “I suppose you’re trustworthy enough. That, and I have at my disposal enough power to see to it that if you betray me, you won’t live long after.” He shrugged. “Not a threat, merely an observation. Very well, I’ll tell you what I know.”


“I spoke to you of the coup, but I was intentionally vague as to who was involved. As I suppose you can guess by now, the participants include at the very least Klive and me, as well as Rugudorull. Unfortunately, that is all. And now, it’s merely Klive and me. Klive being injured doesn’t help… in fact, it’s what set all of this off.

“You see, when Klive was injured, shot by one of the prototype weapons in development, Rugudorull believed it was no accident. Obviously, whoever shot him intended to do so, but there was no reason Klive would have been unable to dodge, with the supreme powers he holds. Rugudorull believes that the reason he was hit was because of Royce. She was present, and her powers, which deal with illusions, are well suited to such a deception.

“Rugudorull believed that Royce had found out about the coup and was acting to deliberately sabotage the more powerful and cool-headed leader. Whether she was or not, it seems to have that effect. Klive in his injured state could not convince Rugudorull to hold back, and the arrogant wizard decided to press the attack. In order to keep our secret, we had to take action. The results… well, you were there.

“So, was Royce involved in deliberate sabotage? Or was it all a misjudgment? It’s impossible to tell. Klive is holed up in his tower, well guarded from intrusion. The chance to finish him off has passed. However, with only ourselves, this coup is going nowhere. Even with Rugudorull’s support, we needed more to match up against those two, let alone The Master himself.

“We know that Garaa and Royce are loyal, fanatically so, to The Master. Letting them even catch a hint that there’s a coup brewing would spell the end of it. However, if you’re keeping track, that still leaves two others. Melzas and Xenobia. Neither one of them has taken a side, and we’ve been slowly feeling them out.

“Melzas seems… oblivious. I don’t believe that he has no idea what we’ve been hinting at, but he seems deliberately obtuse. My guess is that he’s waiting to see which side is winning, and will join in at the end for whatever advantage it will bring him. Normally that would be transparent and easily disrupted, however, a war with the kind of power the Elites wield would leave anyone weakened. To stay out of the fight and step in at the end is a smart move.

“Xenobia, on the other hand, seems more receptive. She hasn’t outright joined us, but she seems to be growing increasingly disgusted with the way things are going. With the death of yet another Elite now, here in Yamiyo, she may begin to see that the way things are going, something is going to give. Given the power she wields, I would like to have her on our side.

“Rugudorull and Klive, for what it’s worth, began fomenting this plan when Kuja was killed. The death of Jett just cemented it, when The Master did nothing to secure their positions or increase their power. With a leader who cares nothing for the death of his immediate subordinates, they decided the balance of power must change.


The Master paused here, and the resultant silence stretched out for several minutes. Then, finally, he spoke again.

“I would ask of you another favor. Another mission, if you will. I would have you approach Melzas or Xenobia and proffer the idea of a coup. I would have you recruit one of them to our side. Promise whatever you need to, do whatever you must, to secure their aid. As it stands we are destined to fail, but with one, or both, of them aiding us, we have a chance of success.” A pause. “Unfortunately I can’t grant you amnesty to ascend a tower. You’ll have to climb it yourself. You will be well rewarded if you succeed, of course. If you fail, well… I imagine there won’t be enough of you left to barter with. On that note, for your prior success, I will grant each of you something. Whatever you want, if it’s within my power to grant it, I will do so. Information, money, items… Yours.”

With that offer on the table, the Master seemed to be done speaking, and it was their turn.


This is an odd round for you all. I want posts in the old thread and the new thread. In the old thread, feel free to talk to the Master for whatever other information you want. Ask him for your favor, if you desire, and barter for what you want. In the new thread, offer what ideas you may have for where to go from here. I don’t have the next steps firmly set, so you’re well able to influence the direction the plot progresses in. You don’t have to agree with Nighthand if you don’t want, feel free to suggest anything. As usual, it’ll basically be majority rule. Grades for the old thread will come once it’s done and locked. Don’t worry, the new thread won’t move on to a point where it matters until the old one is done with.

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Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Lord Canti » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:45 pm

(So, with nothing else to do for a moment, Canti began to play around with his blades. He actually went into juggling them for a while, but at one point he accidentally dropped one and Shadow caught it in his teeth. And from there, you can imagine what sort of trouble arose from that. Have you ever tried to take anything from a dog while it's in their mouth? The Twin Blade reached for the dagger and pulled. It wouldn't budge. So, he tugged harder on the thing and Shadow actively resisted. Not out of anger, mind you. Large demon hound though he was, it was still a dog, and dogs...like to play. They especially like tug-of-war, which is why even after Nighthand mentioned Nall and Raine and so on, they were STILL at it until Shadow released and Canti hit the ground in a comical fashion.)

Canti: Was that trip completely necessary?

Shadow: Yes.

(Cue the muttering of a Twin Blade as he dusted himself off. Damn mischievous canines... SO! Here is where the Freedom Fighters entered the fiery hologram and seemed to shock the main bodyguard of the Fire Master. Canti couldn't help himself. While the man sputtered and fumed, he gave him a little patronizing wave. He didn't like that guy. If ever there was a fella who'd be trouble for them later, it was him. So, after the bodyguard went to fetch the owner of the castle, he told Shadow to...keep an eye on him at times, make sure he didn't seem to be doing anything...odd. When the Fire Master appeared and there was an argument over whether the bodyguard should go or stay, Canti was further in the belief that the man was not 100%. Then again, who could trust who here? They were taking a massive risk just by talking to these people, especially now that Garaa was on the prowl. Nevertheless, they had done their little mission and it was only fortunate that taking care of an Elite was part of what they needed to be free anyway, so the job was not so bad as all that. So now, guard was away and they could talk freely with the Master of Fire.)

“Now then, It would appear that you succeeded, and our secret is safe.”

“Safe enough. So you did know it was Rugudorull who we’d be fighting. You expected to send us to our deaths?”

“No, not at all. I had my backup plans, but I gave you a reasonable chance of success. This way, we didn’t have to act as openly.”

(Maybe so, but nobody was taking that at face value, least of all Nighthand...who desired an explanation. he may as well have been reading the minds of everyone else here. Yes, an answer to all of this was just about due, because operating in the dark was only something to be done literally. Figuratively will get yourself killed. And while it didn't sit well with Canti that the Fire Master claimed to have the power to do them all in if there was a betrayal, he decided to listen to the man's story. And so, he began with how he was working with Klive and Rugu on this coup idea.)

Canti: o_o What.

(Yes, apparently while the man of Vak did explain that he wasn't acting against the Fire Elite, he did not explain in so many words that Klive was an integral part of this plan, now the only top-level hitter aboard. Furthermore, it would appear that this man had been told about the Elite being struck by the Vegas Vindicator and so had Rugu...who proceeded to go on a tirade that ultimately led to his death.)

Canti: O_O Oh shit...

(Hearing all of this, Canti was going through several stages of disbelief and 'Oh Crap', realizing that their present situation was pretty much the fault of the Freedom Fighters, more particularly him and Raquar. There was no special illusionary power working on Klive that he was aware of. He'd been busy with the rescue party and was distracted enough along with Royce! Had to be... Why didn't somebody WARN HIM that Elites could be turncoat on each other?! The Twin Blade's funny reactions to all this ended with irritation and a facepalm. Now, the Fire Master spoke of their lack of acting power, and spoke of the other Elites.)

“We know that Garaa and Royce are loyal, fanatically so, to The Master. Letting them even catch a hint that there’s a coup brewing would spell the end of it. However, if you’re keeping track, that still leaves two others. Melzas and Xenobia. Neither one of them has taken a side, and we’ve been slowly feeling them out."

(As soon as he mentioned Xenobia, the Twin Blade flinched. And if he was a betting man, he'd say that others did as well. They'd never met formally, but he was aware of her...abilities. She was a manipulator. It was a matter of fact that he was in a coma because she slammed Reinier into him back in Mac Anu. It was also a fact that Talal and her group had been smacked down by her, all their new friends from prison the sole result of her act. And it wasn't the only thing either... Thing is, they thought that she was receptive to the cause. That, the Twin Blade might not have been fully comfortable with. It was more likely that the on-the-fence Melzas could be pointed in the right direction by appealing to his personal desires. If, as was claimed, he's waiting for the right place to act for whatever side is winning, then the fact that Elites have been put down by the Scooby Gang would probably be in mind already. Now...the Fire Master's tale was over, but he wasn't done speaking yet. He had...a mission for them to undertake. Technically, two of them. Go and approach the two non-fanatical Elites with the idea of the coup. Both of these things were highly-dangerous, and not ust because of the Elites themselves. Safe passage could not be granted by the Vak man to either of them. They were complete on their own for that particular venture.)

"You will be well rewarded if you succeed, of course. If you fail, well... I imagine there won’t be enough of you left to barter with. On that note, for your prior success, I will grant each of you something. Whatever you want, if it’s within my power to grant it, I will do so. Information, money, items... Yours.”

(The truth is that they were always going to go after each and every one of these Elites for their freedom in the first place, including this mysterious Master they all served. That was always a given, since the power in their items would be the only thing capable of bringing them out of a coma. However, now things were more complex. They actually needed to secure the alliance of some of them in order to turn them on one another. This was all decidedly a problem in Canti's eyes. The big battle involving Rugu was probably the best shot they had against Garaa. The two Elites had taken large chunks out of each other, no doubt, and yet Garaa still walked away. Nay, he had still been too much for them. It was kind of rough on Canti, knowing that alot of his powers were useless against the Darkness Elite. And let's not forget Royce, who did point out that Light was not elementally negated by darkness here. Giving the whole thing some thought, the Twin Blade finally came up to the Fire Master.)

Canti: I didn't realize Klive was errr...sort of on our side. Man, that makes what I said earlier sound stupid.

"I do very little without Klive's approval, or at the very least without knowing it would benefit his agenda."

(Kind of an odd answer. That standoffish way of speaking kind of reminded him of Guardian. Still, whatever. At least the guy wasn't ragging on him for the remarks, or fully aware of what actually happened to Klive. There was one thing bothering him, though...)

Canti: Can I ask what the end result of the Coup de Klive is? How does the new regime go?

(He laughed, briefly.)

"Klive will be on top, of course. As it stands, he's the only one available."

Canti: What about their own Lord Voldemort, the Master guy? How's he going to fall?

"That...remains to be seen. Hopefully we can aquire enough power to overthrow him. If not, perhaps he'll be indifferent to the machinations of his lessers. As of yet, he hasn't cared for their deaths."

Canti: Oh yeah, sure. Unless you count our boy, Tritoch, showing up to frag our asses. Right, so...why would you trust Xenobia? I know her reputation. She's a manipulator, in all senses of the word.

"That she may be, but if it's in her best interests, she'll certainly help us."

Canti: It's her power that bothers me. The control thing she does...

"Discounting how you might know that... In any case, that's why we want her on our side."

(The Fire Master actually gave him an odd look when he said that. Canti just grinned back at him.)

Canti: As I said, I've heard her reputation. Anyway, there was something about one boon as reward, assuming it's within your power, correct?

"Indeed. You so far have played an important role in our efforts."

Canti: Heh, and I trust you as much as you're flammable. And I endeavor to get this job of mine done, certainly. On that matter, I'm sure you note that I favor both flame and darkness. Lately, I've been alot more on the darkness front than anything else. There any way I can get some tougher Vak spells or something? I feel I'm not doing the element much credit, and who better to turn to than the master of fire?

"What did you have in mind?"

Canti: That's where it gets iffy. I don't know how possible things actually are. A PhaVak Rom would be nice. I seem to run into people that pelt me with that level of power minimum, these days. You can probably do that without even blinking. Just something to make my survival all the more possible.

"Will you allow me to, shall we say, alter your data somewhat?"

Canti: I'd say to be careful. She's a mess. What'd you have in mind?

"An...enhancement. An extra ability, if you will. It would allow you to absorb a small amount of energy from being hit by spells. Every ten or so hits would grant you the ability to cast PhaVak Rom once, for free. In addition, being hit by fire spells will restore a small amount of your SP."

Canti: That is... Hang on, I need to consider this.

(That was a pretty good one, actually. It was sort of like giving the 8-Bit Theater Black Mage his Hadoken spell. It was a good thing that Canti specified PhaVak Rom. In his opinion, the flame tornado was the best of the lot. He seemed to think it over for all of five seconds.)

Canti: Okay, I've thought it over. The answer is yes.

"Very well."

(Here, he drew a very ornate-looking dagger from...somewhere, probably his inventory, and stabbed him with it. Canti winced, but this was hardly 'Beware the Ides of March' time. It hurt, but not as much as a stab wound should, and soon it began to burn. Yet somehow...it was a good burn, like worked-out muscles times a hundred. When it faded, Canti soon noticed a small circle of blackened dots on his inner forearm. A quick count said there were ten of them, precisely. Effectively, it was a tattoo marking his status, a gauge if you will.)

Canti: Wasn't there a sci-fi show that had one of these?

(The Invisible Man!)

"Possibly. This particular enhancement is rather old, though not many have it."

Canti: I see. Well, I don't wanna keep the others waiting then. Things to do and all that.

(The man nodded and Canti was free to go. This thing was gonna make life...interesting. How much so? Well, it depends on how well he kept count. In any case, he was ready to join the others, as they would no doubt have to decide now...just what it is they're going to do next. To Xenobia...or to Melzas? That was the question.)
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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Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Sekai » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:23 am

There was entirely too much to think about.

Sekai's eyes closed as she waited for the others to arrive. Kira's arm was wrapped supportively around her waist and kept her close by. The AI had to be feeling at least a little vulnerable, she thought to herself. After all, they were in a Vak based area with specialists in the element; not exactly something that had proven to be helpful to Kira's already often poor moods and ill temperment.

On the other hand, it made her feel a little closer to those who weren't there anymore. If she thought enough, she could conjure up a mental image of the cocky Heavyblade she'd known for so long. He would have liked this place, as much as someone who could be caught within the depths of a game really could, anyway. Probably would have seen if there was anything that he could use to his advantage; some special weapon or power that could enhance his own strength and fuel his own determination in getting all of them out of there, and destroying anyone or anything that tried to get in their way.

'I wish it was that easy.' The little Archer thought to herself as she silently listened to the chatter between the group and moved forward to make their return. Once inside, she felt a combination of Kira and December's amusement at the reaction from the guard they'd managed to piss off from their very first visit. '...they didn't expect us to come back.' She thought to the both of them, part of her shocked and even a little insulted that their ability to survive and be a fairly consistent thorn in... well, anyone's side had been so under appreciated.

For some reason, seeing the almost identical wicked looking smiles on Kira and December's faces didn't do anything to ease her annoyance, if anything, it served to inflame it all the more. Said smiles only grew all the more when the Master returned- and dismissed the very same guard. 'You both are terrible, it's not nice to laugh at someone like that.' She scolded them both. Okay, so they weren't exactly laughing at him, but still. Smiling at someone's misfortune wasn't a very nice thing to do anyway.

If he wasn't so ill mannered, these things wouldn't happen to him, my dear. December informed her with no small amount of kindness in her voice, shifting the weight of the unconscious soldier in her arms carefully. Besides, he's being deliberately told he isn't very highly regarded, or trusted, by being dismissed. If this Fire Master doesn't trust him, I see no reason for the likes of us to assume he's anywhere near safe as well.

That didn't sit well with Kira or Sekai, and the former assassin knew it. The jade eyed Twin Blade's smile turned a little more comforting as she shifted her position and placed herself appropriately closer to the door the bodyguard had stalked out of. No worrying, dearling, I will listen here and get any further information that you deem important through our link. Besides, this one is getting heavy, I think she went from unconsciousness straight into slumber, the lazy little thing. The amusement in her voice was enough to even get a small smile out of Sekai as she and Kira moved a little further to get as much information as possible as Nighthand began the confrontation and demand for answers.

Kira, of course, had no particular issue regarding boundaries and settled herself closer than was probably considered comfortable. The guard's a dipshit, don't worry about him for right now. Worse comes to worse, we act like our normal selves, piss him off and do the Fire Master a favor by getting rid of him. Her casual dismissal worried Sekai, but she nodded reluctantly, and returned her attention to the ongoing discussion.


The amount of power at one's disposal had nothing to do with the resourcefulness and stubborn refusal to be killed, hunted or ferreted out in the open, Sekai thought to herself. Separately, the Freedom Fighters probably had very little to no chance of survival, unless they'd managed to work out a rough plan of some sorts beforehand. Together... well, they were standing there, weren't they? 'We'll have information enough that you'll be in dire straits yourself if you choose to try and eliminate us anyway.' The fifteen year old thought to herself with a frown, unhappy with the way her thoughts were starting to adapt to the pattern of looking ahead and preparing for the worst.

This wasn't the kind of person she'd wanted to become, wasn't the person she ever thought she would become during her travels in 'The World'.
Royce; now that was a name she hadn't heard very often, but the fact that she dealt with illusions made the hair on the back of the little Archer's neck stand on end. Illusions were dangerous; the dungeons, the fields and all of that terrible, terrible suffering everyone had endured during the Eventide Crescendo had educated her of that. Sekai watched the Fire Master's expression, his body language carefully and looked, listening for any inflection in his voice that might give her any further clues or hints.

They weren't sure who the true enemies were. Garaa was most certainly one of them, and Royce seemed to be a second- but with someone handling Illusions and being a rather adept user of deception... she could be hatching her own scheme and they didn't even realize or know it yet. 'Bad planning. She could just be on her own side, feigning loyalty because that's the proper thing to do to avoid suspicion.' Sekai shuddered a little, memories of a time she would have rather forgotten starting to resurface... of a self she would rather leave buried behind for the shadows of time to devour and be rid of forever.

One couldn't be seen as a threat if they were thought too stupid and insipidly loyal to be an issue.

Concern and affection were suddenly sent from Kira's end of things, she peeked at the Long Arm through her long bangs and gave a bit of a weak smile in response. Nerves were getting the best of her, and it was something she didn't know how to handle or figure out quite yet. It always happened when it came to huge tactical matters like this, she thought with a silent sigh.

Her eyes widened and she felt her face start to drain of color when Xenobia's name was mentioned. Their last encounter with her had gone less than stellar, and she had a feeling any encounter they would have with her would probably end up that way- unless something happened to keep a repeat of the last time from happening. Namely, her eyes slid toward Baron and Kira, the latter giving her a slant eyed look that implied she knew exactly what the girl had thought of and wasn't exactly happy with being blamed for some of the trouble they'd gotten into.

A reward, and then another mission with what felt like the promise of more to come if they should succeed. Her eyes narrowed as she began thinking quickly on what could be potentially useful for the entire group. One by one, the others began bartering, arguing and getting what they wanted as their reward. Primarily power, or stepping stones to getting more- and that worried her. Quite a bit.

'Isn't power the cause of all of this to begin with?' Sekai thought sadly, her brow furrowed as her eyes landed on the door the bodyguard had gone through. She wasn't particularly paying attention to anything about it, more using it as a focal point for her attention than anything else when a voice suddenly snapped her out of her own thoughts.

"I notice you have yet to speak up. Do you simply have no desire, or do you not know what to say?”

Startled, Sekai's eyes moved away from the door the guard had stalked out from and to the Fire Master. She considered his words carefully, and just as such, replied. "A... little of both, if I may be, um, honest." Let him and those who were surely listening in and watching realize that she wasn't one who could be bribed by items or money. She didn't want power beyond everything else. And who cared about material items? She knew they alone couldn't bring happiness or meaning to life; she'd already gone through that little discovery long, long ago.

Power enough to protect those she cared about when needed, and power to hold her own in battle with everyone else. That was all; no more, no less than that.

Perhaps... if it were within his, or his master's ability... she might be able to take some comfort that it would take something truly stupid to ruin what came to mind. "Garaa knows who we are," The young archer said finally, after a moment's hesitation, and a couple of rather... farfetched plans came winging into her mind. "what kind of protection can you grant all of the Freedom Fighters from him, and any allied with him?" She paused for a moment to gather up her faltering courage, and stubbornly pushed on. "I, um, would like to hear if there is... anything you can do about that, if not, I may have an idea that could work, though we would have be very, very careful afterward not to be caught."

"At the moment, the best protection is to continue with out plans. Gather Melzas or Xenobia on our side and Garaa will be forced to deal with them, rather than we relative small-fry." He looked uncomfortable suggesting he was under their radar, but it was the truth. "My power, considerable though it may be, would likely crumble under his wrath if he focused it here."

Figured as much, he was concerned about his own neck- and with good reason. Especially with Klive-san being injured, he'd probably be watched to make sure he wasn't thinking of taking revenge or doing anything like he was right at that moment. "Is there a way to make him believe you've slain us, perhaps? We would have to be careful, but a display, even an illusory one that is realistic enough to fool his senses, if possible, would that be within your power?" She gave him a curious, but considering look. "I doubt you are considered a, um... 'small fry' by any means, if you are Klive-san's second in command." Somehow, it wasn't flattery; it was just spoken how the fifteen year old saw it.

"To do that you would have to come into direct conflict with Garaa again, which is dangerous to say the least. I can't prepare something ahead of time, but should such an occasion arise where it's still useful to believe you're all dead, send me a flashmail. I'll see what I can work out for you."

Catching the flash of Kira's amusement over their link, Sekai shot a look over her shoulder at the expressionless AI, who shrugged at her and motioned to continue with her bartering, and returned back to business. "As pessimistic as it may sound, I am almost certain of another encounter with him again." War games, she was tired of them, tired of the greed that came with them, and the politics. Always the politics. At least she was half-way decent with diplomacy. "Of course, I didn't expect anything immediately, if something does happen, I will be sure to get word to you as quickly as possible... once I have your address, of course, sir." Sekai's hands clasped in front and she bowed formally in gratitude. Old habits died hard. "Thank you for your assistance." She said softly and righted herself, taking a step back to let others who hadn't gone take their turn.

Sekai was further surprised by the formal manner he handed her his member address, showing it clearly on her face before shooting the Fire Master a smile, bowing formally and accepting it in the same manner one would have in the business world. Her father had taught her that, after she'd watched many of his meetings. It was one of the very few things she could remember being thankful to him for, after all the damage he had done.

They would leave, and she would have to give whatever information she had to Demorian and Nighthand... and hopefully convince them of what needed to be done next, as well as trying to have some sort of plan for the future.

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

Currently Equipped:

Einherjar: Kira, December, Zorya

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

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

User avatar
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:19 am
Class: Wavemaster
Location: Walking the line of madness

Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Takua » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:37 am

Considering how he'd left, the Wavemaster was rather a changed man when he came back. First, when he'd left he didn't have a snow leopard that was over one hundred and twenty pounds of sleek muscle and feline fury, prowling to his right with all of the grace and bearing of a queen. Her lazy smirk seemed planted firmly in place as they walked up to the group that was slowly assembling in front of the Fire Master's castle, even if he was one of the last to arrive. Second, gone was his old outfit. His face was unchanged, but that was pretty much where you had to go for reference. He wore a jacket that could have been a very heavily modified bolero-duster in a deep cerulean blue. The embroidery is gold, as is the piping, and it has an uneven Mandarin collar and long, fitting sleeves. Beneath it is a mid-length pale gold tunic with dark red embroidery, and then black trousers that go down to the ankle, with black and gold embroidered Chinese-style flats for shoes. A dark red and gold embroidered belt sits on his waist while a gold and moonstone brooch with long, dark red silk ribbons helps pin the jacket closed. The brooch was the exact same one that had once been on his belt, something else that would be identifiable. His hair was the same dark blue shaggy bob that reached down to his shoulders, getting shorter as it went back.

((Since I suck at explaining))

But the biggest difference was in his eyes, how he carried himself and looked around. Before, he'd been wary, almost afraid of every shadow and person on the street. Now, he walked straight at the group, orientated through Vesica's eyes and viewpoint, a faint smile playing around his lips as he looked around. A few flicks through the viewpoints of the group and those around, and he found the women that he was looking for. Although he was expecting a beatdown by Kira, and she'd be totally justified in giving it to him, he was also looking forward to her reaction when she saw Vesica.

So, like a brat, he just walked up with that faint smile on his face and looked at her, waiting, as the side of his mouth tried to twitch up to a fuller smile. And then he just looked to the side, where Sekai was standing. “Looks like you recovered just fine, good.” The tug started to win out over his best efforts, and his eyes twinkled lightly. “So...when are you gonna beat the shit out of me for that stunt?”

"You're fucking kidding me." Kira snapped sharply, glaring daggers at the Wavemaster grinning like he had every single right to, and the equally smug feline at his side. "You show your fucking face around here after taking off like a coward without bothering to make sure she even woke up, walk right up smiling like nothing's fucking happened, and you bring the goddamn cat with you?"

Amber eyes blazed in barely restrained temper and her spear was called in, held in a white knuckled grip as she seemed to prepare to utterly obliterate him in whatever painful way she was imagining at the moment. "Looks like we were both wrong, and we all know how I feel about being proven wrong when it comes to humans."

Takua nodded, tapping the top of his throat against the blade.  The grin was gone, and he was totally and utterly serious.  "Excellent, then we can get this out of the way now.  If I had been anywhere near Sekai when she was waking up, you'd have killed me where I stood.  Or at least made me wish I were dead.  Again."  He stopped, looked at her.  "So I made sure that she was in hands that would take care of her.  And, yes, knew that this would be your reaction when I came back.  I made a stupid mistake, especially since I didn't tell any of you what I was doing before hand.  I got her hit by that thing, and got hit myself."  Bitterness filled his eyes, but he didn't look over at Sekai.  This was between him and Kira.  "So.  I made myself useful, rescued Vesica from an AI market, and did a few other things that I needed to do.  Instead of being a worthless load and straining you further."  His eyes, however, retained the knowledge that he was likely going to die in a few seconds, or wish he had.  And he'd still come back to get this out of the way.

For once, she let him talk- whether that was a display of self-restraint on her end, or a measure of growth was left to be decided by any witnesses. Her eyes didn't bank their anger in the least, instead only growing brighter with the emotion the longer he spoke. Unsatisfied, that was the exact look on her face and she spun the spear, the blunt end of the shaft finding purchase in the Wavemaster's gut hard enough to likely knock the wind out of him, if not knock him down completely. "Pathetic," Kira told the boy coldly, eyes narrowing and something akin to disgust on her face. "after every excuse you've been able to throw out, you still forget the first thing you always do whenever you've done something fucking stupid that gets you or someone else dead or in a good damn deal of pain."

She gave a rather icy look to Vesica as well. "As for you, unless there was a highly important reason that's anything other than Niarosa being assassinated or Trent's staging a hostile take over of any of the other kingdoms? You'd better have learned your lesson, because I doubt you'll be anywhere near as lucky the next time you decide to disobey me and take a walk amongst humans."

"Kira..." Sekai broke into the conversation in her usual soft spoken manner. "He told me not to follow him, I did it anyway. I put myself in danger." Her hand reached up and put itself over the other woman's, flinching just a little from the icy temperature of the skin. "He's okay, and I'm okay too. So, please?" There was a note in her voice that suggested she was pleading with the Long Arm to let it go.

That same piercing, furious stare transferred to Sekai for a long moment before the spear vanished, for the time being. "Not until he remembers what he's forgotten." She said, finally and with a voice that suggested barely restrained violence. "I don't kill masochistic cowards, they can get their kicks and punishment somewhere else."

He spoke softly as well, but he was no less forceful for it.  "Forgotten what?  To apologize?  To say I'm sorry for putting someone I trust in ungodly pain?"  He laughed bitterly, looking at her.  "You really don't think that's enough for what happened, do you?  Of course I'm sorry.  Of course I wish that it'd never happened.  Of course I wish that I'd learned that lesson without causing pain to you, December, and Sekai."  He shook his head.  "Sekai...she has good reason not to let it go.  It's a pretty common thing with me, I put people in danger with my stupidity."  Although, he reflected, it was probably mostly because it was the Archer who had gotten hurt, nearly killed, that had her so pissed off.  Then a...semblance of a wry smile crossed his face.  "Besides, I broke my own word, so I'm not so happy with myself either.  But really, if I were a masochist, I'd have died from happiness already."

"It's a start," Kira snapped at him, dropping the icy mask and back into heated fury again. The spear was, again, back in her hand as she restrained the urge to bludgeon him again, or dent his skull. "and it's what you say for fucking up to begin with- especially if you fucking well mean it and then you go from there!" Her head snapped to the side, hair flying over her shoulder as she pinned the wide eyed girl with a single glance. "You're the one who suffered because he decided to try and play hero when he knows the pain it'll cause you, the one who takes fucking responsibility for him because of where he is right now. Do you think it's enough?"

Sekai's shoulders hunched around her ears and her eyes lowered to the ground. Trust Kira to turn something into a big massive explosion when it could have just gone away and.... ugh. She swallowed hard and glanced up through her bangs to the snow leopard, and then to the Wavemaster too. "...i-it's enough," Sekai cleared her throat and spoke again, hastily clarifying herself. "It, it's not okay, I mean, and Takua-san shouldn't do something like that again, because like he said, everyone gets hurt because of it.. and not just, um, like I did, but morale wise too." Her cheeks flooded with color and she squirmed, really wishing that Kira would quit looking at her like she was a bug under observation. "But... but an apology for doing something wrong, that's, um... that's enough for me, as long as Takua-san promises not to do something like that again." She looked exasperatedly at the two of them, pleading with the big brown-gold eyes she had that had, on more than one occasion, made Kira stop being such a jerk. "Once Takua-san apologizes properly and promises not to do it again, will you stop being mean?"

The way Kira's glare moved from Sekai to Takua only seemed to further the young Archer's point, and if there was any sense of smug victory, the former priestess knew damn well how to hide it with a rather intense look of expectation.

For once, perhaps, he didn't quail under Kira's unrelenting glare.  Usually by now he'd collapsed under the weight of that glare.  Instead, he met it.  He wasn't sure that he could properly communicate to her how much it hurt him that other people kept suffering because of his mistakes.  First in the EC, and now...here.  Where the stakes, amazingly, somehow, were higher.  So he matched the fury and the glare, that white hot anger, with pain.  "If I hit the dirt and start bowing, will it be enough?"  It was...half sarcastic.  Only half.  "I thought...that I could do something, might be able to weaken him.  I was wrong, first of all, it just made him mad."  Something about that...was really, really amusing.  Hit Garaa, makes him mad.  Hulk smash.  "Second, because I forgot my own request, I hurt Sekai...so much.  I'm so sorry that I did that.  And I do promise not go off on wild, stupid attacks without telling anyone the plan first, because it isn't good if I keep treating myself as expendable."  And he meant it.

"Remember how well that worked for everyone in the Eventide Crescendo whenever that sounds like a good idea." She didn't pull any punches, didn't even seem to see any of the pain she caused either of them by bringing up the subject, or she didn't simply care if it did hurt them so long as her point was made. Her glare intensified a little more before she turned her back on him, pausing to glower over her shoulder at the Wavemaster. "I'm not the one you need to apologize to." Her glower moved to Vesica, her voice slipping into the same tongue she used only around other AI from the Ruem Monarchy. "Better train your pet properly. Her piece said and done, the Long Arm headed over to where December had been patiently staying out of the entire matter- and keeping an eye on the unconscious soldier they'd managed to bring along with them as a result.

Sekai sent a pained, exasperated look after the tall woman, watching the gown shimmer slightly in the light and look more blue one moment, and more on the purple side the next. She wasn't going to back Kira on this one if December decided to scold her for being mean about the whole thing. "I'm sorry, Takua-san, she's being so difficult and stubborn." She said softly, turning her attention back to the taller Wavemaster... and blinked several times. Now that she was looking closely, he definitely looked different than before. His clothing was more form fitting, definitely more colorful too... and what was... different? She frowned a little, trying to puzzle it out. "You... changed your look, it's very different now." Her cheeks turned red and she seemed flustered, rapidly scrambling to properly explain herself so as not to have him think she didn't like it or it was badly done or anything like that. "I mean, it looks good on you, it's just so different from the really big robes you used to wear!"

Takua shook his head as the Long Arm walked away.  Good god, it was absolutely impossible to please that woman in any way.  Well, to be fair, they saw the world thorugh totally different views, so it was likely a product of that.  And her personality.  Ahh well.  He did smile, though, although it wasn't the grin that he sported earlier.  "No, that's okay.  I knew that would happen.  I just wanted it done now, instead of when she had more time to build up a bigger head of steam."  He said it quietly enough that he knew that Kira would be able to hear...even though the woman did have very good hearing.  Just not as good as his.  "She does have a point.  It was stupid.  At the very least, I should have told you."  He gave a bit of a crooked smile.  He didn't...like what he was going to say, but it was the truth, and she'd probably seen that in fighting.  "I don't value my own health and life as much as I do others, so my tactics can be a bit...suicidal, as long as it gets things done.  After all, here, death is cheap if there's someone who can resurrect you.  I'm afraid that Gan kind of beat that into me."

And she was wrong about that too, he though.  It worked great in the Eventide Crescendo.  If you blew up on things, it would die.  So long as you hit it the right way.  Even if it took what felt like half an hour to kill, it'd still die.  He didn't get that feeling with Garaa.  It also worked pretty fucking well when Raven took the hit and wound up comatose, breaking the numbing despair that they had all felt, to know that they would lose.  But if Kira didn't want to understand that, then fine.  The smile got a bit...more broad as Sekai focused on his clothing.  "Oh.  Yeah...I had to catch a lion AI that breathed fire.  With a pokeball.  So I could exchange that for Vesica here."  She gave a soft growl in response to her name, still looking at Sekai, but putting her head up to be petted by her.  "Since my old clothing was totally destroyed in the process, the man offered to give me a new set from someone who owed him a favor, and here I am.  Feels...better, too."  He gave another one of those wry grins.  "Like it's more me-ish."

Sekai's expression quite frankly stated that she didn't quite believe him entirely, but she would let it slide for now and watched Kira kneel down and say something to December, who only raised an eyebrow as a result. Her expression turned sad as a result when Takua mentioned the Eventide Crescendo again, and her arms wrapped tightly around herself, as if she were trying to ward off a chill.  "If... if this had remained a game for you, perhaps it might have still worked out that way, maybe it wouldn't have mattered how many times the avatar you played with died, like you said... because someone could usually just throw a spell or an item and you'd be okay." Something in the way her voice had changed ever so slightly suggested that the fifteen year old was probably the type of game player who didn't see it that way, that she treated every party member, game or not, like they were genuinely real and couldn't be resurrected.

She didn't believe that throwing attacks and blowing things up was always going to bring victory either, she'd seen too many games that didn't allow that to happen... and she'd seen it here as well- and that defeating a "boss" didn't exactly mean what they thought it would either.

And she frowned, drawn out of the shadowy place her thoughts had started going to. "Poke...ball? I don't remember a lion based fire type, maybe a lightning one, but not.." She paused, looking down at the snow leopard and smiled slightly down at her, obliging the demand for a pet all too happily as she ran her hands through the soft fur and gave her ears plenty of scratches and pets as well. "How were you caught? I thought your field was safe... were you hunting or looking for Kira?" She asked the lovely cat softly, concerned that someone might have hurt her. "The clothes, they do look good... I think I'll have to get used to the gold color though, it's flattering, but still a very startling change."

There a bit of a change to Takua's grin, something that turned...incredibly sad. And instead of letting that slide, he latched on to it. "I think that actually explains a lot." His eyes took on a faraway look for a moment, and then he shook his head. "I'm too used to video games. Where everything has an end to be reached. Where whether you succeed or not depends on skill, and using what you have at your disposal to win. It's not..." He paused, reaching for the words that would work. Could work. Finally, he sighed, knowing that it'd be stupid, and childish. "Not a matter of having something that was ever truly impossible to get past. You could get better, and get past it. If that was personal skill, or gear, or a new spell...there was never something that was designed to be utterly unbeatable. That's...stupid, but I guess that's why I'm too liberal with my life. I'm sorry." Because he was. Because other people kept suffering because of his view that this was, still, a game in some ways. That his life, resurrectable, was just another chip on the table. Dying was a strategy. It kept his options open, but it still hurt others.

Vesica...made an odd sound that neither Sekai or Takua had ever heard before. It was something crossed with a happy purr and the sound someone might make when Vesica's teeth found their jugular. "I believe that Asorain has forgotten where we are, and what people belong here.  'Safe' is always a relative term, even prey feel safe before the pounce.  No one likes to be shackled within their own den."  There was a note there that Sekai might identify with, but it was gone within the split second she would catch it.

"I... kind of understand, just a little. I didn't value my life until I had someone else give me reason to." Her eyes had gone to Kira and stayed for a little too long before she'd quickly looked away again. "It's a very... very difficult habit to break, but it's breakable." Hopefully he understood that now, and could work on it the same way she had been trying to do the same thing.

She blinked at the sound Vesica made... and flinched at the words. She didn't belong here, Takua-san didn't either, and neither did... a lot of people she saw in Yamiyo, and in 'The World' as a whole. "Kira hasn't forgotten," and, as was natural, Sekai's emphasis on Kira's name wasn't entirely subtle, neither was the defensive tone either. "she's trying really hard to make sure she gets rid of the problem and get them out where they can't do as much damage as they are now." Sekai swallowed hard, cheeks burning as Kira and December both paused in their heated conversation to turn her way, staring directly at her in a way that didn't entirely make her comfortable- so she didn't look at them. "It's not her fault that she wasn't told that people were invading the safe fields where you and the others are, she'd have gone to help if she'd been informed, you know she would have." She finished lamely, shuddering a little. "W-well, tell her if you see who's responsible, I'm sure she'll be more than happy to, um... make sure he or she can never do it again."

Vesica stared at the Archer, hair prickling.  And then she started purring.  With her eyes fixed to Sekai's.  "Oh yes, of course.  She hasn't forgotten."  The way that her teeth were shown had nothing to do with smiling, and everything to do with preparing to fight something.  "Was it ever said it was her fault that I was taken?  Heaven forbid, she was here, doing things that are in fact more important."  She was about to say more, and then twitched, glaring at Takua for a moment before turning back.  The cold-blooded murder in her eyes had softened some.  "Don't worry, I would not blame her for something that she could not prevent even if she knew of it.  Besides, the boy performed...satisfactorily, and now I'm here, and can help."  Her lips pulled back over her teeth, and her ears wriggled in some amusement.

The expression on Sekai's face almost turned to anger, as if she thought she were being made fun of as she refused to look away from the feline's eyes. "It was implied," she said a little too softly. "so I wanted to make sure that there were no misunderstandings in the future." The little Archer's eyes went to Takua, and then back to Vesica, and her expression went from serious to... confused. "You're staying to help Takua-san instead of returning home? Won't that be dangerous for you?"

There was a sudden burst of what had to be laughter from the feline, and a heavy paw swatted the Archer's leg.  "Such a prickly little thing when I speak of Asorain."  Takua reached down to scratch behind the cat's ears, and she leaned up into it unabashedly.  "I will be able to help here. Without a feline to run things, you've all gotten so confused.  Asorain tries so hard, but she just isn't able to do it like me."  There was absolutely no modesty there at all, getting a good scrach, she presented that bit of bullshit like it were the absolute truth one could testify with to Merrows.  "Also, the boy is bound to me, so he isn't going anywhere without me."  Takua couldn't control his face at that, and he struggled to keep a grin off of it, winking at Sekai as he did so.


He wasn't terribly surprised that the Fire Master hadn't expected them to really return. They'd been up against both Rugudorull and Garaa, expected to kill the first. And he'd given them 'reasonable' odds. Sounded to the Wavemaster like he hadn't expected them to come back. Ah, well, he couldn't really say that he was at all surprised. But while everyone else might be indignant, he just took it as it was. To be fair, having backup plans in case the Freedom Fighters had died was good, as was conserving resources. Unfortunately, now that Takua knew that he did have other options, he'd started to weigh just how likely it was that the Fire Master would consider the a risk and eliminate them.

Then again, if he did, they might have a good chance of getting rid of him.

As talking began about Klive and Royce, the Wavemaster got a vague impression of the much larger picture. The moment that Xenobia was mentioned, he felt himself chill. He didn't really want to face the Long Arm again, but it sounded like they were going to have to if they had a shot at getting out of here alive. He didn't know the elements of Royce or Melzas, but it didn't exactly sound like Royce was the kind of woman one dealt with lightly. And he'd already gotten more than enough of a taste of being helpless in front of Xenobia. Which made him quite concerned about how Baron was going to react to all of this, let alone Talal or Kira. Baron tended to have quite the temper and probably didn't enjoy being trapped in The World, so it'd be logical to beat the shit out of the person who got him there.

Kira was...well, Kira.

Talal tended to be fairly stable, at least most of the time. Which, really, left him. How was he going to react if they came face to face with Xenobia and try to recruit them to their side? He had a fair idea that he'd be pretty damn stable, if only for selfish reasons. He'd already understood that he stood the chance of going comatose through the Eventide Crescendo, it wasn't that much of a surprise in the end. Sad, yes, and at the worst time that he could think of, but not too surprising that it happened. Was he still pissed at her? Well, yeah. Plus, she seemed like a cocky manipulative bitch with power that he didn't want to get near with a hundred foot pole.

But she seemed their best shot, especially if they could prove to her their power. She seemed to understand it well enough, and it might put them on more even footing. That would mean that they should climb a tower to meet with her, facing it the whole way through. From the sounds of it, the towers were pieces of work all in themselves.
Takua - Lvl 57 Wavemaster
Wishlist: Levels, Stun Rod, Hag's Wand, Wand of Truth, Ex-Level, Ex-Spheres, and Myth: Demiurge, FL Fukuoka

User avatar
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:21 pm
Class: Twin Blade

Re: Politics or Power: A Choice To Be Made!

Post by Locke » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:14 am

((OOC: This takes place after the thread Ebbing Strength))

The fight was over, the chaos dying down. They had escaped from Garaa and his Doomkeeper… for now. But what happened next? They had finished dealing with the Fire Master’s errand, but what would they get out of it? Admittedly, the Freedom Fighters had been able to defeat yet another Elite—as Baron knew all too well—and retrieved another Twilight Item from Rugudorull. Technically it was a step in the right direction where they were concerned. However, now what? The Fire Master knew them now, and by proxy, so did Klive. The former played the subordinate very well, after all.

Would Klive act if he knew that they were working with him? From what Baron had picked up, the Freedom Fighters had dealt a number on him previously, and were the cause of his current condition. The Twin Blade didn’t know what the result would be if either Klive or the Fire Master put two and two together, but whatever it was, it wouldn’t be good. Right now, he assumed that they were considered an unknown group, but that was too much to hope for. Only the fact that no direct action had been taken against them was any comfort, but for some reason, Baron suspected that their “mission” to kill Rugudorull was just an indirect way of dealing with them. Maybe he was just being paranoid, though; after all, that was becoming an increasingly familiar feeling.

Thoughts of Rugudorull brought back the same terror that they did before, that same regret and pain that filled him whenever he thought about it. Baron had been the one to kill the Elite, after all. But that pain was tinged with acceptance, an understanding that this was the necessity of the war he had been dragged into. Anyone who looked at the Twin Blade would see that his eyes were still haunted by the act of killing Rugudorull himself, but there was something new in his gaze, a determination that had not been there before. It was a grim expression on the once-comical boy’s face, just another mark that this war had left on the Freedom Fighters. Would any of them come out of this as the same people they once were? For some reason, Baron doubted it.

Well, there was no time to dwell on it. The Twin Blade hurried to the Fire Master’s castle behind the others, running a bit late as they arrived. He hadn’t meant to fall so far behind, but with the whole incident he had been through with Libra… there was quite a lot he had been forced to deal with up until now. It was no wonder that he was so late, but hopefully he’d catch up with the others before they moved on. The holographic flames didn’t bother him as he made his way to the front door, hoping that they wouldn’t become real in the process. For some reason, Baron suspected that the fire wasn’t just for looks, and probably made for quite the defense if the castle was attacked. Here’s to hoping that I don’t present enough of a threat to see it in action.

The castle itself was the same as always, though there was one difference: a familiar face stood pacing outside the castle, loitering about. It was the same bodyguard that had been watching over the Fire Master when the group had first arrived, and whom Baron had gotten thrown out of the study for being overzealous. Oh boy, of all the people to run into while he was by himself. The guard wasn’t too happy the last time they had spoken, but then again the Twin Blade had been outright insulting both towards the Fire Master and the guard himself on purpose, trying to draw the latter’s ire. It had worked, and they had gotten the chance to speak privately with the Fire Master, but Baron was sure that a grudge had formed as a result.

And naturally, the guard proved him right. The man scowled at Baron and moved to not exactly block the way, but required the boy to squeeze past him in order to get into the castle. The Twin Blade scowled right back, a bit annoyed, and moved to shove the guard out of his way. All he got was a foot to his ankles in retaliation, stumbling over as a result. Stopping, Baron turned and glared at the guard, a bit annoyed. If the man had a problem, he could just say it. But instead he just sat there all silently passive-aggressive. That was irritating as well, to just be ignored. The Twin Blade turned to head up to the Fire Master’s study again, but before he left, he spoke quickly to the guard, giving him a verbal jab back for being a jerk.

“Do you have a problem with me, or are you just mad the Fire Master send you to sit in the corner again?” No response, the complete cold shoulder. “That's what I thought. Probably for the best, considering you wouldn't want to fight me.”

With that little bluff, Baron decided that he’d better head inside so that he didn’t miss the briefing on the situation. Sure, Takua would probably fill him in if Baron bugged him enough in Flashmail, but that wasn’t the nicest thing to do when he could just show up instead of always being late! He had a good reason for being late, of course, but still, rudeness was rudeness. Like that guard outside; didn’t anyone ever teach him any manners? Tripping a person just because he had purposely gotten you in trouble and thrown out; it was just bad form! Nevermind that Baron had been just as rude before, but that was all water under the bridge.

Thankfully, he got there in time to listen outside the door while the Fire Master laid out their plans. It wouldn’t be polite to just jump in there while he was talking and ruin the man’s train of thought, so Baron waited quietly, listening through the study door, though one of the servants gave him an odd look for it. The Twin Blade gave an embarrassed grin and pushed his way through the door with a wave, coincidentally as the Fire Master was done and offering boons. Boons were nice things, and Baron could already think of ways that he could use that to his favor. Millions of GP to stock up on some of those hacked items from the bazaar wouldn’t be a bad idea, as that would prepare them for battles in the future. Or maybe some ability or something to do the equivalent would work as well.

Well, he’d think over his request. For now, Baron needed information, and thankfully everyone else seemed to be done talking to the Fire Master at the moment. It was time to do some questioning himself, and there was plenty of things that the Twin Blade wanted to know so that he could be of better use to the others. Information was key in conflicts like this one, after all. “ So, we’re working on recruiting the other two Elites to our cause. What can you tell us about their powers or abilities in the event that they are... less than inclined to join us and decide that we’re to be taken out? I’d like a slightly higher than 0% odds of survival... maybe 5%? Sounds reasonable, right?”

The Fire Master simply chuckled; Baron didn’t get the man’s sense of humor, though. “I’m sure your party can tell you plenty, having been in direct conflict with them before. As a basic infodump, however… Xenobia is mistress of Nature, and all things Juk. Her special abilities include taking control of players directly and turning them against each other. In addition she wields an immensely powerful organic artifact of The World, a spear called Treeweaver. Its powers are largely unknown. Melzas is master of Ice, and his ability to see the future makes combat with him almost a lost cause."

Well that was a fair bit of information right there. It pretty much confirmed what Baron knew of Xenobia, though that information about Treeweaver was interesting. What were its powers, and how could it be used against them? Was that the reason for her control over vines and other plants? And Melzas… fighting him would be a bad idea. Better to leave him neutral for now rather than an enemy. “So, mistress thorns-through-the-eyes has something like Rugudorull’s earr—” Baron caught himself; better not to reveal he knew too much. “Er, powers from an item like the lightning guy had, right? Or is that spear meant to be different? And Melzas… well, fair enough. Nothing we can really do about that.”

“Each of the Elites has a Twilight Item that grants them their powers. Melzas holds the Eye of Disillusion that grants him his future sight, and Xenobia has the Master’s Crown, which allows her to control life. The Treeweaver is not a Twilight Item, but its powers, I’ve heard, are comparable.”

So that was Xenobia’s Twilight item: the crown. That meant that Treeweaver was something else to be wary of, if it wasn’t a Twilight item yet had powers comparable to one. For now, however, Baron continued to play the fool. “Ah, I see. So they're called Twilight Items, huh? Fascinating… well, I’ll note that in the future. So, that boon thing… I guess one of those special items is out of the question, huh?”

The Fire Master almost seemed taken aback. “What, a Twilight Item? Only the Elites have those, not even I can access such power.”

Baron hadn’t thought so. “Hey, you said name anything. I don’t know much about these ‘Twilight’ things anyway, though I think people have talked about them some before. Oh well, then… let’s see… y’know what I want? I’d like something powerful instead. Just… something to protect the others with. We’re a team and we do the best when we're all there in a fight, so if I can help them in any way, I’d like to. Just… wrap up some fancy abilities or spells or something in some rare item, huh? Would be a nice little trick in the future to pull out when needed.”

The rare item spiel was rather impulsive, but Baron figured that it was that little bit of him that still treated this as a game, where he was nothing but a rare item hunter who enjoyed every shiny new toy he got. Still, the point was there; he wanted the ability to protect the others, because he was tired of always having to be protected. When things went wrong, the others who had their Twilight abilities could step in and handle it. The boy, on the other hand, was limited in that regard, and as a result there was little he could do. As a Twin Blade, his physical abilities were somewhat limited, and magically he didn’t have enough of a kick as a Wavemaster did to really make a difference. In other words, he needed to find another source of power he could draw on, and if the Fire Master could grant it, then Baron would take it.

“Protect others via offense or defense?”

Baron considered that. Defensive meant that he could protect them if they were attacked, but he’d have to not only see the attack coming, but also act in time to defend. It wasn’t his style of combat either, which meant that he’d probably be inept at using it right away. Nah, offensive was more his style. “ Offense. Better to deal with a situation before it has a chance to try and deal with you. I'm sure that you've heard of the 'Prepare to Die' Twin Blade weapons? Powerful, very Vak-oriented, but they have some very high stats and some unique abilities that are rare for a Twin Blade to get. I wonder, could you hack a pair that I could use at my oh-so-pitiful level? Fourty-five levels or so seems quite the gap to wait.”

The Fire Master consulted with a notebook before finding something that suited him, and presented a pair of Twin Blades that Baron took with gratitude. “Well, there’s this, if it suits your needs.”

The weapons themselves were impressive. Though they weren’t the exact weapons that Baron wanted, they were still pretty impressive in themselves. They were labeled “Prepare to Fall”, and were a level 35 variant on the original Twin Blades that they were modeled off of them. They still had a powerful level 3 Skill, Flame Vortex, as well as a second-level summoning of Vulcan as opposed to the third-level that the Prepare to Die normally had on them. There was a hefty evasion penalty, annoyingly, but that could be dealt with; as long as he was prepared to use them for situational uses, he wouldn’t have to deal with the penalty. However, they also had a particularly high attack stat… it was a rather nice pair of blades.

Bowing politely to the man in thanks, Baron sheathed the weapons and turned to leave, as the rest of the group seemed to be ready to head out as well. It was time for them to decide their next move… what would the Freedom Fighters do next? Would they go after Xenobia, who could control them and turn them against one another, or Melzas, who could see into the future and thwart any of their planning? Either way, both were not to be trifled with… and they’d eventually be paying a visit to both. But where to begin?

Only time would tell.
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(!)