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Shaji Ai

"Even if this body and this mind are to be destroyed, I shall protect this ring."

0 · 352 views · located in Vongola Castle , Namimori

a character in “Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn!: The 11th vongola”, as played by Lloyd999

Description

Vongola Guardian of the Mist

Shaji Ai




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GENERAL INFORMATION


♣Affiliation: Vongola
♣Gender: Gender
♣Nickname(s)/Alias(es): Three Eyed Alien, Subject Hiroshima
♣Age: 14
♣Love Interest: None
♣Face Claim: Satori Komeiji (Touhou Project)



APPEARANCE


♣Height: 150cm
♣Weight: 40kg
♣Build:
♣Hair Color: Pink
♣Eye Color: Pink
♣Scars/Tattoos/Piercings: All the scars on her body have long since been healed. Her biggest oddity, however, is likely her third eye and cords.
♣Description: Ai may appear to be an ordinary girl at first, with many strange quirks such as the pink hair and such but otherwise ordinary. Perhaps a little introverted, as she tends to stand completely straight and her movements are often slow and mechanical. She is rather small and very frail, yet she never puts on a face of weakness. The most unusual feature about her, however, are the various cords that stick out of her body from various places, most of which are hidden under her clothes, but some are clearly visible. They are yellow, pink and red in appearance and appear like laces, tied up in intricate little patterns in some places but sticking out of her at others. She can change the size of these cords with her ability to even use them for combat. They all attach to what appears to be a large eyeball, covered in red flesh. Normally, she hides these with her illusionry ability.

♣Preferred Clothing: Ai rarely ever changes her outfit. Her outfit was chosen to assist disguise her appearance, especially with the various heart-related accessories that disguise the heart-shaped nodes where her cords attach to her body.



MENTALITY


♣Oddities: Well, for one thing, she's an Alien.
♣Skills: Like many Mist Guardians, Ai can induce hallucinations in her foes, able to create some of the most vivid of altered realities. She can also use this ability in other ways, such as editing memories and even controlling weak minds. She can even completely possess people's bodies, but she has to be within an extremely close range to do so, and her target must be in her submission. She must then abandon the body she already uses.

However, Ai does have the ability to tap into manipulation of space-time, a process that is extremely complicated and takes millions of years to calculate, but it can be done, thanks to the Thought-Integrated Database. However, this cannot be preformed with confirmation from the future.

Most of her offensive abilities involve entangling her enemies with her 'cords', which she can light with Mist flames for extra effectiveness. As for defensive, she can use her box weapon to make friendly targets invisible or use her special ability to make barriers in space-time, where matter and energy cannot pass through, as well as manipulate and use gaps, which are holes in any barrier, be it physical or not. She also can recover from most injuries to her body, though, it's not exactly Ai that's getting hurt.

[Likes] [Dislikes]
o Silence Failure x
o Power Paradoxes x
o Learning Emotion x

♣Hobbies: None.
♣Phobia(s): Ai's only fear is to fail. Her vessel, however, is a huge pyrophobic.
♣Sexuality: Asexual
♣Personality: Ai is a very odd one. She is the quietest girl you'll ever meet, hardly interacting with others or even moving. She'll often gaze upon things randomly when not spoken to and essentially never shows any emotions of any type, so one can hardly tell if she has a personality at all. However, when she does speak, what she says is so technical and so confusing that it's nonsensical.

When spoken too, she does respond directly. She may hesitate at rare times, but she does talk. She'll answer questions very simply with a 'yes' or 'no'. Or if a question requires an elaboration, she'll explain it very complicatedly, and very monotonously.

However, just because she doesn't show feelings, doesn't mean she inevitably experiences them. And sometimes, even she may let them run loose. After all, her body is a human body.

Ai often feels that her body is very ineffective, seeing that it is the body of a frail girl whom has very little physical strength and is inferior to other human beings physically. Others of Ai's specific 'frame' are trained to disregard the body they possess, not bothering to protect it from harm, which Ai tends to do as well, yet because of a promise Ai had made to the Vongola Tenth generation boss, Ai is forced to protect the body nonetheless.




BACKGROUND


♣Relationship Status: Single.
♣Family: None. Ai is an artificial being, just like the rest of her kind. The family of her vessel had been killed a long time ago due to a certain bomb.

♣Personal History: Ai's kind is a race of Aliens that exist in a time in the future that is so far off that it is difficult to comprehend, a time where even the laws of physics work differently. After the destruction of the human race, their kind was able to advance exponentially, being able to take on less than physical forms and being able to learn all their was to know about the universe, conquering every corner until there was nothing left to conquer, learning everything until there was nothing left to learn. They even managed to survive the Great Change an adapted to an entirely different universe. They became the perfect race that was completely uncontested and had accomplished the dream of the perfect society that knew everything.

What happens next?

Nothing happens next. There is nothing that can be accomplished now that everything that can be accomplished has been accomplished. The Aliens, becoming the perfect race, living in a perfect world, found that perfection was awful. Of course, being the perfect beings they are that strive for nothing but perfection, they wouldn't, or rather, they couldn't do anything about it. So, they would endure the perfect hell for the rest of eternity.

Yet, even in this perfect world, alternate possibilities sprouted from it. Even in a hivemind race could there be a deviant idea, an interesting idea, a destructive idea. For a race that exists only in mind, ideas were the most powerful things. The idea was that it was possible to change their fate. Seeing as they could master time travel, it was possible for them to go back in time to a point where their race could possibly have been most vulnerable, the only point in history where they had been contested, and change that fate so that their race falls. There was only one time that the Aliens had ever been contested by another intelligent race, and that was the war that existed between the Aliens and the Human Race. Humans were a very imperfect race, a race of deviant thinkers whom existed more physically than mentally and had very weak mental interaction. They disagreed, created conflicts and fight each other self-destructively, yet they would quickly recover and grow stronger from these conflicts. If they went on to conquer the universe, it would be unlikely that they would face the perfect hell the Aliens did.

The idea was made and although the Aliens did have power over time travel, they couldn't transport themselves that far back in time because they were adapted to a universe that was greatly different from the universe that existed back then. So, they had to create a frame that could survive during that time period, a frame based on an Alien frame that existed at that time period created for the sake of human interaction, a frame meant for one purpose, for the sake of changing fate and destroying its own kind. It was from that idea that Ai was conceived, and by manipulating the multiverse, she was created with the fail-safe mechanism that ensured that she would both always succeed and always fail.

Ai was then sent back to a time before the war ever occurred, a time where humans were still ignorant of the existence of Aliens. A time where she had the power to prepare the human race for a threat they weren't even aware of. There was many ways that she could have done it, but she had chosen to seek out the assistance of the Vongola Famiglia. The Vongola were a powerful business company, having their hand in just about anything, although few knew of the Vongola's secrets ties to the mafia, the fact the the Vongola was the king of the mafia world. Also, they were in possession of the Vongola Rings, an important part of the Tri-ni-set of which the Aliens seek out (but were ultimately unable to get due to their destruction in the future by the Eleventh boss). With their help, Ai could convince them to create box weapon technology available to the public, a technology developed by the mafia and relatively unknown. Although, a lot of countries like Japan were celebrating a time of peace so creating weapons would seem suspicious. Creating box weapon tech with more civil purposes, however, would be a good precursor to the box weapon technology the world would need to fight the Alien threat.

Her interactions with the Vongola have been kept a secret, but supposedly, she had gotten very close to the Tenth and only highly-ranked members were authorized to know about her. It was these connections, however, that gave her some influence in the family. She was allowed to preform her research under the Vongola's protection. Apparently, Ai and the Tenth had also discussed many secret plans together, but whatever they were, they may not be completed as easily with the Tenth's death. It was a promise that Ai made to the Tenth that allowed her to do what she needed with the Vongola. As part of the Tenth's agreement, it seemed that Ai was decided to become the Eleventh's Mist Guardian. She had only met the Eleventh personally a few times, but she plans to be as loyal to him as possible. There was also another promise that she had to make and that was to free her host body from her control when she felt she had completed her mission.

Ai was hesitant, but she agreed.




OTHER

♠Techniques: Hallucinate ~ Ai can invoke hallucinations in her enemies, as in typical illusions. Using her natural telepathic capabilities, as well as her affinity with human minds (and the ability her frame has to manipulate human memories) she can create vivid illusions in the minds of other human beings. Unfortunately, due to her inhuman nature, she has difficulty creating illusions that would invoke psychological harm on an enemy and her illusions tend to have more utility than creativity.
Materialize ~ Ai's ability to create 'real illusions'. Merely, this is her ability to manipulate reality, by creating an illusion and manipulating space and matter using Mist Flames. The more vivid an illusion is, the more energy it requires to sustain it and Ai only has a steady amount of Mist flames.
Entanglement ~ Using her cords, she can try and entangle her enemies or attack them at close ranges, yet she can increase her range by manipulating the size of these cords from their typical lacy state to the thickness of fire hoses. She can also light them with hot Mist flames to make them stronger and more powerful. The only issue with this attack is if the more essential cords are damaged, it could cause harm to Ai, although her cords have great regenerative qualities.
Bio-Entanglement ~ She can cover her cords with spikes and Mist flames, making them appear to look like rose branches. Typically a very painful attack.
Data Refusal ~ Ai makes a barrier in space-time where no matter, energy or data can pass.
Possession ~ Ai has the ability to possess more human bodies than her own. Ai can possess the bodies of other humans that are in her submission through physical means. While possessing others, she can completely control their minds just as she can control her own, preventing them from being able to think without Ai's permission. Ai can read a person's mind, read their memories and give them hallucinations that are impossible to snap out of, as well as put the body into a coma. While possessing another body, Ai's mobility is greatly reduced as she is focusing on controlling at least two minds at once, so she's quite vulnerable to an external attack.
Betrayal of the Frida ~ Ai has the ability to destroy other Alien minds. While most Aliens are able to attack each other mentally, destroying each other is just about as effective as a human beating another human to death with their bare hands. Ai, on the other hand, is able to destroy other Alien minds with more ease by dealing a heavy blow with a mental attack and absorbing their minds. The human equivalent would be to concuss another using a bludgeoning object like a bat or club and consuming them regardless of if they were dead from the first blow or not. Aliens are very weak to mental attacks.
Recollection ~ Ai releases some control on her own body. In this state of semi-awareness, Ai can preform extremely powerful illusions that have a more potent effect on other human beings. Her resolve becomes more powerful and her body is pumped full of adrenaline. At the same time, however, she is in constant pain, or at least thinks she is, and sometimes finds it difficult not to scream or panic. This is Ai's equivalent of Hyper Dying Will mode, whereas instead of turning calm, she turns hysterical. Ai avoids using this at all costs.
Holocaust ~ Ai's ultimate attack. It can only be used in Recollection mode. Everybody in the immediate vicinity, including Ai, becomes encompassed by an extremely powerful illusion which retells the memory of a true hell on Earth. Getting hit by this attack is the equivalent of being his with an atomic bomb and living.
♠ Weapon: She uses no physical weapons.
♠ Main Box Weapon: Corvo di Nebbia - A Mist Raven. A modified version of the Mist Crow box weapon, it has a large 'third eye' on it's chest. It often acts as a scout for Ai and can also completely cloak itself and others with it's cloaking ability. It's only attack (besides incessant pecking) is called 'Strike Feather', where it fires feathers at it's enemies like darts. Using Mist Flames, they tend to 'weld' themselves onto their target. Also, the Mist Raven is known to have extremely high intelligence, matching that of Dolfine di Piogga, and thus can use telepathy with Ai and can use the Brain Coating ability, letting it communicate with other box weapons and create synchronized attacks. It has the potential for Cambio Forma, but Ai has never attempted the technique before.
♠ Sub-Box Weapon: Nebbia di Malocchio - A box weapon based off the Malocchio Hell Ring, originally in Mukuro's possession. Opening it would release a beast consisting of many cords and eyeballs, much like her own. And it's not just a monster, it's a brain, a supercomputer. It's more beastly than it is intelligent though.
♠ Extra Box Weapons: She has yet to receive any other box weapons.




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So begins...

Shaji Ai's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai

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If Ai could feel nervous, her legs would be shaking. If Ai could feel anticipation, she would be pacing. If Ai could feel excited, she'd be bouncing up and down. Today was going to be a very important event that Ai probably knew more than anybody, would change technology as the world knew it. People have come from all over the world, famous scientists, heads of large corporations and potential investors. Even some politicians. In fact, the Prime Minister of Japan was supposed to come, but he couldn't make it as he had some sort of other important business to attend. Probably for the better Ai had thought.

Still, many people had come, and they crowded the gymnasium, of which was bordered with tables with refreshments and folding chairs facing a stage. Not much of an auditorium, but the gymnasium was supposedly the best place to demonstrate the technologies being revealed, Ai made sure of that. It used to be a testing and training room for box weapon technology that was in use ever since it was commissioned to train the Tenth and his guardians in use of box weapons. It had been replaced, however, by smaller and more specialized ones better suited to testing on the lower levels, and this one had become a gymnasium for the staff to go to on their breaks. Of course, the stage was new. Two men were walking on and off it to make sure the microphone and speakers were working just fine.

Ai caught sight of the External Advisor, Lorenzo DiCaccio, speaking with a few of the guests. He had been the head of CEDEF for a few years and he did his job well, especially since for the past four years he's been taking control of the Vongola, with the Tenth gone. There were a few agents from CEDEF here as well, whom were in charge of security, especially because this event was equally important to the public as it was to the mafia. In fact, it was possible that specific families may not want this technology to be presented to the public. Speaking of which, DiCaccio was supposed to be getting ready to begin the presentation, which was about 13 minutes. Ai decided to inform him about it.

"Mr. DiCaccio," Ai said in her monotonous voice, interrupting his conversation. DiCaccio turned to look at the girl, the two suited men he was speaking with doing the same. Ai, as she always did in public, had her unnatural looking third eye hidden using her illusionary abilities. "I'd advise you to prepare for the unveiling, as you are to make your presentation in ten minutes of time." DiCaccio nodded.

"This isn't your daughter now," The younger of the two gentlemen asked, "Is it, Mr. Di... Disache.. Dikak... is it?" he fumbled over the name. He clearly wasn't Italian.

"DiCaccio," the aforementioned man corrected, "And no, this young lady is Ms. Ai and she has been a great help toward this project, even if her looks are deceiving. Ai, these men are Mr. Isaac Bailey and Mr. Joseph Gadardy. Mr. Bailey is the head of Bailey & Ryan Hardware and Mr. Gadardy is a representative of CANDU, an energy company in North America." They were both going to shake her hand, but Ai had simply bowed, forgetting that the two men weren't Japanese, but they followed suit anyway, as they had remembered that was the proper Japanese greeting. After the two men left them, DiCaccio spoke with Ai as they walked.

"I am informed that not all of the Guardians are present yet," he mentioned, "You are aware, right?"

"I am," Ai replied, with no sense of feeling.

"And you are also aware of the importance of their presence at this ceremony?"

"Yes," again, with neither sarcasm nor seriousness.

"So, would you happen to know where they are?"

"I have made predictions."

DiCaccio sighed curtly. "And what is it that you assume?"

"I predict that the Guardians will be here in time." Ai wasn't trying to be sarcastic, she was merely starting what she thought.

DiCaccio grunted. "Alright, whatever you say, Ai. I know how important this whole event is to you and all, but its important to the Vongola family as well, and I don't need to explain how important the appearance of the new Guardians alongside their new Boss will be. After all, the family's image is at stake," He considered that thought for a moment, "Seeing as they are so young..."

"There is much more at stake than the public impression of this organization," Ai replied tonelessly.

DiCaccio looked back at Ai. "Yes, I suppose that's true. Either way, a lot is at stake tonight and I intend to make sure everything goes smoothly. We've made every precaution. Naturally, I assume you've already witness the security checkpoints near the entrances."

Ai nodded. "I am aware of the new Deathperation Ring detectors."

"Indeed, and it'd take more than a Mammon chain to hide from those. Why, you'd have to swallow a ring to make it past. Of course, they're only set up near the main entrances seeing as only authorized rings can make it through the secret ones. Those entrances are reserved for very important staff, such as the Guardians, but they may be opened as emergency exits at any time. My own men have also made note of every known convict whom has entered the building, none whom have broken the Mafia Law, of course. Every hitman and guard on duty above the rank of D has been authorized a box weapon in case of an emergency, although they wont attack without the Boss's word. I'm sure the Guardians are also prepared with their own box weapons, if they all arrive."

"I understand that the facility is ready to deal with any disruption of ordinary circumstances," Ai said concernlessly, "But I do not think we are secure from an attack of extraordinary circumstances. This is the best possible time for any party to interfere with our goals and should a certain kind of intruder-"

"Ai," DiCaccio interrupted, "I know you are a little uneasy from what occurred to you the day before the inheritance, but you should take it easy. As you had said, the probabilities of such an event occurring are extremely slim, and maybe it did happen, but it's equally as unlikely to happen again, if not more so. As you said, we're not supposed to mention it."

Ai interjected, "I have been designed to consider ever-"

"Ai," DiCaccio interrupted once again, more seriously that time, putting a hand on her shoulder. He looked into her eyes, eyes that couldn't be read at all. Eyes that always unnerved him. Eyes that merely looked back at him, neither listless nor intense. His voice softened. "Why don't you go find the other Guardians? Remind them of their roles to play in this ceremony, alright?" Ai simply nodded.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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There was a room, a room of many colors. A room with many faces. A room with many shelves. A room of absolute balance, of absolute perfection. A room closed off by the impure world outside by a locked white door and curtains of velvet red and baby blue. Within this room was a vast kingdom of perfect beings, all similar yet all distinct. A race beyond all races. Beings of no animation and of no decay, of no hate and no sorrow. They all were happy where they were, artificial children of an inanimate world where only perfection could exist.

Of course, a perfect kingdom couldn't have existed without its perfect ruler, a being of Red, White and Blue. She was the one animated thing in an inanimate world, but she was not human. She was better than human. She was a princess after all. A being without faults, without impurities, without flaws. It was thanks to her that this perfect cage in an imperfect world was possible.

"Tell me, London," she asked one of her subjects while gazing upon her own form in the mirror on the armoire, "Do I not look absolutely stunning?" She twirled about, giving herself various poses, from having her back turned to the mirror with her arms in the air to a more actiony pose with a stern expression on her face, and then to a military salute. The princess couldn't contain her grin any longer though and broke into a hysterical expression of joy. "I, look, soooo, amazing." Rosa could not get over the way the blue reflective material contrasted her usual appearance, accented white frabrics and laces and the various red ribbons and trimming that contrasted it all. "Don't you think, London?"

London gave no audible reply, but her innocent gaze out of her disproportionally-sized violet eyes was good enough for Rosa. London was sitting on the side of the bed, head fixed in Rosa's direction. It looked like it wanted to swing its legs as they hung off the side, but she was merely fixed in place. London was a doll after all, a ball-jointed doll that was modified by Rosa. London was always Rosa's favorite doll of all. Like Rosa, her features were perfect, from the short blonde hair like Rosa's to the violet dress trimmed with white and the white mob cap on top. A figurine of true innocence.

"But, of course, such is to be expected of myself," Rosa declared with pride, "After all, only a true lady at heart could pull off such a breathtaking sight, yet only a princess could truly do such consistently." Rosa twirled around in circles like a ballerina, letting the skirt of the dress fly about. She spun and spun until she was dizzy and snatched London off of the bed and made her way over to her dresser, fighting dizziness with London in a firm and respectful grasp. Rosa grabbed a small brush and began to brush her hair ever so delicately with London sitting and facing the mirror along with her. "Of course, you know the importance of these colors; red, white and blue, don't you? Yes you do, yes you do."

Rosa then paused and turned her head toward an unheard remark. She looked over at one of the many shelves set up in her room that contained all sorts of dolls. The doll that didn't speak up was a Victorian china doll, dressed in a thick pink frilled dress and bonnet, a small parasol with strings hanging from it in her hand and a matching pink handbag in the other. "Oh, but it seems Bercy is unaware. Aww, poor Bercy, perhaps I should elaborate just for you." Rosa stood up to pick up the posh doll, holding it out in front of her to admire its features as she returned to the dresser. She placed the doll snugly next to London and continued brushing her hair. "

"Why, blue, of course, represents intelligence, but more importantly, represents wisdom, the ability to make good decisions. Now, see, intelligence is very important and I wish some people would have a bit more of it, but in the end, its wisdom that is truly all that matters. Intelligence is knowing how to use the world as your canvas when using spray paint. Wisdom, on the other hand, is knowing that doing so is not a good idea. Honestly, some people could use a little more wisdom.

"White represents perfection, plain and simple. When you see something white, you think of cleanliness and purity, especially when you consider how easy it is to taint something so pure. White represents not only perfection, but gives the image of not only a pure person, but a person whom works hard to achieve that ideal. Gazing upon white makes all the complicated things seem simple. It is a color that encompasses all the other characters, optically speaking, and balances them all in a perfect harmony. That is the beauty of perfect white, the ideal, the standard. Anybody whom stains this color is not worthy of any respect.

"And most importantly, red represents nobility. After all, the reddest blood signifies the most noble person of all the land. Not only that, but red represents all sorts of positive things; energy, courage, strength, power, determination, passion, love and so on. Of course, who could possibly deny my nobility? I am the reddest person there is. My blood is red and so is my Storm flame. How could you deny I'm wearing red right now? I come from a lineage of red. My path, my destiny is carved in a sea of red. Understand?"

Rosa received audible no response, only innocent stares from glass eyes. Rosa just realized that her tone was getting progressively, well, normal. She returned to her cheery tune of voice rather quickly, however. "Perhaps, Bercy, I should give you a good combing as well." With a delicate touch, Rosa removed the doll's bonnet and began to brush her hair with a much smaller brush that was sitting on the table, a children's toy from a fashion doll set. "Maybe I should try dressing you in something else, you would look really cute as a bride, that'd be soo romantic. I could find a groom and do a whole marriage and everything! I could even create a doll portrait..."

"Rosa!" a voice called from the first floor, "Are you ready yet?!"

"Yes, Mother..." Rosa replied, her original tone completely disappearing.

"You don't have any friends over, do you!?"

"No, Mother..."




As opposed to her rather cheery disposition about an hour before, Rosa wasn't exactly in high spirits. This was an event hosted by the Vongola Corporation, as opposed to the Vongola Famiglia. The terms were technically both true when referring to the company, but really, from this perspective it has deviated far from its original routes as being a group of crime lords and hitmen. Of course, the Vongola Decimo was to thank for that. 'What an herbivore' Rosa thought.

Of course, the reason Rosa was supposed to be here was perhaps strictly ceremonial, or maybe it was somebody's idea of a new public image, who knew. Of course, the new 'boss' was supposed to make an appearance here, but go figure, she was running late. So much for a perfect image of a boss. From what Rosa remembered from what the External Advisor had said (and her mother had so painstakingly been constantly reminding her) the Eleventh was supposed to make a speech regarding her plans for the future of the 'company'. Knowing that she was of direct ancestry to the Tenth, its likely she was a pathetic herbivore as well, and seeing as she was young, it wasn't difficult to see the company turning its nose away from the mafia altogether. Of course, that'd mean Rosa's mother was out of a job.

And Rosa? She was the Eleventh's Guardian. Not that anybody would ever catch her admitting it. People would walk up to her, apparently because she was the most recognizable out of the guardians, or perhaps just because of how stunning her appearance was, and recognize her as 'the new Cloud Guardian' or the 'Eleventh's Guardian' or God forbid 'one of young Sawada's henchmen'. That's right, she was downgraded to a 'henchwomen'. When she was 10, people were calling her by titles of great infamy, like the 'String-puller' or the notorious 'Doll-Faced Assassin'. Now, she had the honorable title of 'Reida's henchwomen'. Rosa would merely smile at those rather uninformed guests and correct them; "Please, call me the Mastermind."

Still, even if she wasn't going to like being a Guardian didn't mean she was going to prove that she was the best of the Guardians. After all, quite a few of the Guardians, and even the boss herself were late. Rosa, on the other hand, was the first to arrive. Actually, technically, that girl named Ai was first, but she didn't count. Things were never a question of if and when for that girl, they were just facts. Like, it was a fact that she would be here, so here she is. Nobody would possibly pay attention to her anyway, so Rosa being first was the only thing that mattered.

So, Rosa had been there ever since the guests were allowed in. At first, she welcomed all the attention she was receiving, even if they got her name wrong at first. After all, the royals are the ones that deserve all the attention. However, after a while, talking with men and women of various backgrounds got boring for her. Only the people whom had connections to the mafia had any real interest in her, although none of them really recognized her as the young assassin from Italy that disappeared a few years ago. Anybody else that talked to her were usually men, although they never had anything interesting to say. Eventually, though, the attention died down, relatively, with the occasional greeting happening every now and then. Rosa merely stuck to the borders of the room and examined the crowds. She could identify a few of the Guardians, but not all of them. Including most of the late appearances, it seemed they were at least dressed for the occasion. Although, there was one crows nest that had just entered that was bothering Rosa. Rosa squinted to get a closer look.

"The presentation begins in seven minutes." A machine's voice spoke. Rosa's body jumped.

"Jesus!" she cried, "W-"

"I was told to remind the Guardians of their roles in this ceremony as it is almost time to begin the presentation," Ai explained, "Are you aw-"

"Yes, yes, you don't need to remind me a million times," Rosa interjected rudely, "Stand there, look pretty, do as the young Vongola prompts, exit stage left, blah blah blah. You know, its really rude to sneak up on a person and start talking without first saying 'excuse me', you got that?"

"I understand," Ai said dully, before walking off somewhere. Rosa rubbed her hand across her face before searching the crowd again. Crow's Nest wasn't all that difficult to find, seeing as he stuck out like a swore thumb. It looked like a comb had never gotten near it alive in months. Not to mention his clothing was completely wrong for the occasion. And, what was that? A backpack? Did he think he was on a vacation or something?!

Just ignore it Rosa, she thought to herself, don't get involved and ruin your image. Nonetheless, it seemed as if he was getting closer and closer to her! Or rather, she was getting closer and closer to him. In fact, her vision was bobbing and her speed had increased somewhat dramatically. Before she'd even realized it, Rosa was storming toward him, the Storm Guardian. If I'm going to be standing as part of a group, I'm at least going to have some dignity.

"You! Yellow!" she called. Her face was contorted into a scowl, but then again, it almost always was when she was near the other Guardians. "What the hell do you think you're doing?! You can't wear... this when you get on that stage! You're going to make me look awful! Besides, what the hell do you think Vongola's going to think when she has to stand with her Storm Guardian. I'll bet she'll feel real awful, oh, but it's not my fault. Some Storm Guardian you are!"

"Excuse me," a voice interrupted.

"What!?" Rosa turned to see Ai's dull gaze staring back at her again.

"I was told to remind the Guardians of their r-"

"You did already!"

"I was referring to the Storm Guardian," Ai gazed upon him with no sense of judgement in her eyes, "Are you aware of your role in this presentation?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Reida Sawada Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Cornelius V. Roquet Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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Clearly, the woman was dead. The typical rise-and-fall of a chest still struggling for breath, the palpitations of a distressed heart fighting to function. The flicker in the eyes. The grunts and moans and screams. It'd all ceased some while ago, and yet he found that he could not stop. He could not stay his hand.

Again, he stabbed her. This time, the serrated edge of his switchblade entered the right side of the woman's chest, under the ribcage. As quickly as he'd pushed it in, he removed the blade, only to stab her once again, this time in the gut. The blade met little resistance, like he was cutting through hot butter. Blood spurted from this fresh wound, some of it landing on the cuff of his suit, though he'd be lying if he said he cared.

He repeated this process several times, stabbing the corpse in different areas and observing the results. Though the woman had long since stopped screaming, her corpse did seem to stir every now and then. That brought a smile to the kid's face. Ah, yes. He was perfectly content. The woman's blood had begun to pool beneath his feet, though he was careful not to let it stain the fronts his loafers. His mother would have his head if he ruined another pair of expensive dress shoes.

A small cry caused the kid to perk up, breaking him out of his amused stupor. Instantly, he was alert, scanning the room with his eyes. They'd taken out the lights and the blinds were drawn, so the hotel room was nearly pitch black, with some streamers of sunlight filtering in to dance lazily along the walls. The random mix of sunlight reflecting off the bloodied walls reminded the kid of a kaleidoscope, busily turning over and over in on itself, revealing the sordid secrets the darkness kept hidden.

The remains of a decapitated man lay on the bed in the center of the room. His remained were dressed expertly in a gray suit and tie, both besmirched with clotted blood. Elsewhere lay another man, this one still in one piece, though he remained face down in a particularly large puddle of crimson. There was a petite gash in the back of his neck, at the base of his skull, where some small blade weapon had pierced him. He wasn't moving.

They were both covered in eerie black flames, though they didn't much act like flames. They didn't spread. They didn't immediately consume the corpses. They just sat there, burning, the wisps waltzing to some unknown beat.

A grin slowly wormed its way onto the boy's face as he admired his handiwork, breathing in the scene. Three targets. Three corpses.

Then the kid's eyes landed on something interesting. Something they'd missed.

Behind the dresser and fully cloaked in the cover of darkness cowered a wide-eyed little girl. At first it was hard to spot her, though now that he knew she was there, his eyes had already begun to adjust, making her into more than just a silhouette.

The boy stood, turning his body to face this new person. Interesting! The child looked eight or nine years old. Not much younger than him. She was dressed in a fancy piece of fabric, no doubt a dress crafted specifically for the Vongola ceremony. Unfortunately, it'd been marred by the blood of these inconsiderate corpses. In fact, her being here led the kid to believe that she was related to them. Probably a daughter of one of the deceased. Yeah. That made sense.

It took him but a few steps to make it over to where the girl was hiding. She didn't much react to his presence. Probably still in shock over witnessing the death of her loved ones. The kid made sure to drag his feet across the room's expensive carpet as he moved, just to make sure he wouldn't track blood outside when he left. Plus, he still wanted to keep his shoes clean. Can't fault him for that.

After a few moments of staring down at her menacingly, the boy squatted, the innocent grin returning to his face.

"Hi! I'm Alastor." The kid beamed, his countenance genuine. "What's your name?" Instead of responding, the girl simply stared at the knife in Alastor's hand, its edge glistening with the blood of his victims. Her parents. Alastor continued. "Hey, don't worry," he whispered, placing a hand on her shoulder. The physical contact caused her to look up at him, her eyes slowly gaining focus. "If my mother wanted them dead, she probably had a really good reason. She's not a monster, you know." His stepford smile didn't crack one bit. "They were probably alien sympathizers, like that Vongola X guy... or at least they will be... or would have been... or are..." Alastor leaned backwards, the majority of his weight on his heels, his face scrunching with concentration. He used the base of his switchblade to scratch the back of his head. "... or... uhh... were? Whatever, time is stupid."

Just then, Alastor's eyes grew large with realization, his grin morphing into a smirk. "Buuut, that means, in the future," he began, raising his knife above his head, its tip pointed towards the ceiling. His words lost all of their warmth. His eyes gave up their youthful light. The innocence bled from his countenance as if from an angry wound. "You'll become a problem too, won't you?"

Without an ounce of hesitation, Alastor flipped the blade in his grasp, its edge facing downward, and brought the weapon down upon the girl's unprotected head—or, at least, he would have. He froze mid-swing, the blade coming to a stop mere inches from the girl's forehead.

"Stop." The order had come from another. One who was also in the room. The one who'd orchestrated the attack. His voice was deep, tempered by experience and honed by power. It had a certain gravitas to it, like a king unleashing an edict, and Alastor was helpless but to obey.

Looking over his shoulder, the boy eyed the man who'd commanded him. He, too, was dressed in an immaculate black suit and matching tie. He sported an eye-patch over his left eye, his right glowing a soft red in the darkness. He looked like a shadowy demon. Then again, Alastor was pretty sure his eyes matched the man's in both hue and intensity. That'd make him a demon, too, wouldn't it? He almost chuckled at idea. "Come on, she's—"

"She is not one of the marked ones," the man stated, his tone indicating that the discussion was over. With both hands he straightened his tie. It was a sharp maneuver. Curt. There were no wasted movements. Without further ado, he pivoted on his heel and began walking towards the room's exit. He didn't need to ensure that the boy would follow because his commands were unequivocal. Undeniable. Absolute.

The black flames that were busy eating away at two of the corpses seemed to jive excitedly as the man strided past them. After a moment, they lept from the corpses and clung to him like loving pets, though he didn't seem to bothered by this. In fact, it appeared as if he were absorbing the flames into his body. An instant later, they ceased to be.

"Tch." Alastor said more, but he chose to mumble the words under his breath. Begrudgingly, he flipped the switchblade closed, tucking it into his sleeve. The smile was gone from his face, replaced by a child's grimace. He was definitely pouting. He gave the girl one last look before turning to follow the man out the door, hands stuffed into his pockets, careful not to step in any more blood.




The main lobby of the Vongola's gymnasium emptied straight to a spacious balcony area, where many suit-and-tie types were greeting each other before moving down the stairs and merging with the main crowd below. Most of the guests entered the lobby via the elevators, which were used to whisk people to and from street-level. There were two long rows of elevators, each opening, releasing a few people, and closing in rhythmic intervals, returning to the surface every now and then to ferry even more suits-and-ties to the starstudded Vongola event.

Out one of these elevators stepped two burly men. From their Secret Service -esque uniforms, it was obvious who they were: CEDEF agents, under the command of Lorenzo DiCaccio. The two men were conversing in an animated fashion, though their voices were constrained to a whisper.

"Yeah, the call just came in about an hour ago, but they're trying to keep it all under wraps," said the man on the left. Immediately upon stepping out of the elevator, he turned and began walking towards the balcony. "We don't want a panic right before the ceremony."

"Chief, you can't be serious," his partner replied, keeping pace. "Was this DiCaccio's call?"

"Orders should come down for your squad and the other agents momentarily," he replied, sidestepping the question. He was head of CEDEF's security forces within the auditorium. The commissioned officers that served under him referred to him as "chief," even though he'd indicated on multiple occasions his disdain for the nickname. "I'm pretty sure the brass is still deliberating. And get this: there were only three casualties."

The other agent narrowed his eyes, the wheels spinning in the back of his head. "The Bovino family is weak, but not that weak. Surely that had security at the hotel?"

"They did. Not a single bodyguard was killed, only brutalized into unconsciousness. The Bovino heir was also spared."

"There was a kid in that mess?"

"Their daughter, yeah. Apparently she saw all of it, but she isn't speaking yet. And whoever did it... it was a fucking bloodbath, Davis. A bloodbath. Whoever did it was trying to send us a message."

"And right before the ceremony, too." The CEDEF officer, Davis, frowned, pushing his spectacles back towards his face with his forefinger. "Do we have any leads? Has any other attendee been attacked?"

"We have no reports of any other attacks." The chief let loose a heavy sigh, wiping the sweat from his brow as he walked. He was not a young man anymore, and all this walking was starting to get to him. "I'm thinking Trad 6 or the Simon might be involved, but that's just a hunch and we can't go pointing fingers yet. Especially since they're also attendees." The chief paused for a moment before answering the agent's first question. "There was evidence of unencountered flame types being used. Other than that, we have nothing. Yet."

The two agents eventually passed through the tunnel connecting the lobby to the balcony outlet and into the gymnasium. There was a noticeable excitement in the air as people packed the gymnasium below, waiting for the Vongola's big reveal.

"Hey, chief... isn't Barbra here?"

The chief nearly tripped at the words. Right. Yes, his wife, the pulitzer-prize-winning journalist, was here in what she called "an official capacity". She wasn't going to miss the Vongola's first public event in decades, and he had to run security as CEDEF brass. That inevitably meant...

"Yeah, she is," he muttered. "And she probably brought Joey, too." Joey. That was his young son.

Davis chuckled softly. "The wife gets what the wife wants, huh?"

"Yeah yeah," the chief said jovially, waving away Davis's banter with his free hand. "We have an event to secure, remember?"

"Yes, sir."

Several meters ahead of the agents, leaning against the banister that lined the perimeter of the balcony, stood two figures. The first was a man of average height, sporting an olive-colored oversized winter coat, its furred hood resting along his shoulders like the beginnings of a cape. He had his back turned to the CEDEF agents and seemed to be surveying the crowd below. The second was a boy, short, with his back to the banister, a bored expression on his face.

Davis and the boy both caught each other's gazes at the same time. The boy went wide-eyed for a moment before levelling Davis with the most fiendish leer the agent had ever seen on a human being... and he dealt with criminals and vagrants on the regular. The intent behind the expression was obvious: I'll kill you. With his elbow, Davis nudged his chief who caught sight of the boy's demonic visage almost immediately.

The two CEDEF agents made a beeline towards this new and suspicious target.

Noticing his mistake, the boy completely changed his countenance, adopting a child's smile and breaking eye contact, but it was far too late for that and he knew it. Begrudgingly, he reached over and gently poked the man standing next to him.

Of course the man ignored him, choosing instead to keep his eyes on the crowd below.

As the CEDEF agents drew nearer, the clack! clack! of their synchronized steps echoing across the ceramic, Davis muttered a question to his superior. "Do you recognize them?"

"No," the chief responded, drawing back his long coat and revealing the handle of a gun. He rested his hand there in full view for all to see. Of course, he'd need permission before he could engage, but it could still be used to intimidate. "I was on the cameras all day. I didn't see anyone even remotely matching their descriptions go through any of the official entrances."

Back at the edge of the balcony, the boy poked at the man beside him once more. "Hey," he whispered, his voice urgent. Still, he was ignored. The boy gripped the fabric of the man's coat and gave a hard tug. "Alastor."

Apparently, this was annoying enough that the man, Alastor, was forced to acknowledge the child. "What?" He hissed.

"Uh, we kinda have a problem." He gestured with his chin towards the fast-approaching CEDEF agents. Alastor turned just as the agents came to a stop, leaving about a half-meter of space between them.

To Davis, the two looked like twins. They both had similar hair—stringy and black—though the styles were radically different. They also had the same eyes. The same red-amber irises. Similar facial structures. Surely they were from a specific famiglia, though the agent had never seen them before.

Suspicious.

"Identify yourselves," the chief demanded, hand still resting on the gun at his hip.

Immediately, Alastor's expression transformed from a semi-surprised frown into an amiable and well-to-do smile. It looked genuine. "Good day, agents," Alastor began, his voice and tone warm and pleasant to the ear. He was positively charming. "Are you doing well?"

"I said: identify yourselves." He repeated, his tone firm and harsh.

"Certainly," Alastor said, his voice inflecting a bit. He shrunk back a bit, his eyes taking on a slightly-confused look, his voice shaking a bit. "I'm Alastor. Alastor Rizzo. And this here is my—" he paused for a millisecond longer than normal, though the agents didn't notice "—brother. My little brother. We call him Al. He's kinda shy though, just turned 11 yesterday." Alastor looked down at the boy. "Say hi, Al."

The boy Al's expression had morphed to one of reticence. He'd shifted towards taciturnity, his shoulders hunched, his eyes cast downward, his posture becoming soft and demure. To any onlooker, he looked like an innocent and unassuming child.

"H-hi," he muttered meekly, grabbing onto Alastor hand with one of his own, keeping his eyes cast downward.

The air between the two CEDEF agents and the two brothers changed, with the agents becoming a bit less sure of themselves.

Davis reached for his 2-way radio. "Control, I need you to check a name for me," he said, depressing the radio's call button as he spoke. "An Alastor. Rizzo." He over-enunciated, speaking slowly so as to not be misheard. "He has a brother here, too. An Al."

He got a response almost immediately. Will do.

While Davis radioed in, the chief kept pressing. "Do you have identification?" With a smile, Alastor reached into his pocket and withdrew a wallet, handing it to the agent. In it was a license that had his name and picture on it. "And why are you here, Mr. Rizzo?"

The warmth of Alastor's smile even reached his eyes. "Just to observe. We wouldn't miss this for the world! Isn't that right, Al?"

"Observe?" Davis replied, his tone skeptical.

Al, still clinging desperately to Alastor's hand, nodded quickly. "Mommy wanted to be here, but she said we should come instead." Alastor followed up by chuckling, a fluffy sound full of joy.

"Don't be scared, Al. The nice men just wanna know more about us."

"L-like... friends?" He pronounced it "fwiends".

"Yeah!" Alastor mussed Al's hair with his hand, eliciting a smile from the boy. "Just like friends." He turned back to the agents. "Isn't that right, gentlemen?"

At that point, Davis's radio sputtered to life. CEDEF-12, this is Control. Without taking his eyes off the pair, Davis reached for his radio, depressing the call switch. "Go ahead Control." It was a second before he got a response, the silence deafening.

That name you gave us, Alastor Rizzo.

The agents looked at Alastor, who simply smiled with his entire face, his eyes becoming narrow. He waved slightly with his free hand, as if to say that's me.

CEDEF-12. Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo. It checks out. He's on the admittance list.

The two agents first looked at each other, then at the radio, and then at Alastor and his brother.

"Er, yeah." The chief handed Alastor his wallet back. "Sorry about that, guys."

"No problem at all!" Alastor motioned with his hands. "Perish the thought, you're just doing your jobs. There're a lot of bad people out there."

"Yeah, definitely. Thank you very much for understanding." The chief said, bowing slightly in apology. "Please, enjoy the rest of the ceremony."

"We will, thanks."

With looks of embarrassment fresh upon their faces, the two agents turned and began walking away, headed for one of the staircases that lead to the gymnasium's ground floor, where a majority of the guests were currently located.

"That'll teach us to profile people, huh," the chief muttered, sighing. "Can't let crap get to us, Davis, or we'll get sloppy."

"Yeah. They just... something was off about them."

"Something's off about everyone." The chief replied, his tone becoming softer. He was staring off into the crowd below as he spoke, a smile spreading across his face as if he'd just seen something incredibly beautiful. "Gotta let the detective thing go, man. You're CEDEF now."

Davis couldn't help but crack a grin at that. "Yes, sir."

CEDEF-12, this is Control.

Davis reached for the radio. He slowed his pace as he did, lagging behind his superior, who'd already reached the top of the staircase. "Go ahead, Control."

CEDEF-12, be advised, there is no entry here for a brother to an Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo or an "Al" on the admittance list or anywhere in our records.

"What?" Davis didn't depress the call button that time, but still spoke as if expecting confirmation. Immediately, he narrowed his eyes in suspicion, turning back towards the pair of brothers. Alastor gave him a curt wave, the smile returning to his face. Though he'd tried to conceal it, Alastor had been watching the two agents like hawks the entire time. The kid, Al, hid behind Alastor's leg, hand still grasping his brother's.

The agent's eyes went wide. He'd just noticed something.

Davis began walking at a brisk pace, except he wasn't headed towards his chief and the stairs. He was headed back towards the duo. As he approached, Alastor maintained his sanguine demeanor, but the boy, Al, frowned deeply, his eyes narrowing, the innocence visibly draining from his countenance. He let go of Alastor, placing both of his hands behind his back instead.

When Davis came within arm's reach of the duo, he completely ignored Alastor's greetings, instead kneeling and snatching at Al's right wrist. He caught it.

A look of shock flashed across Alastor's face. "Sir!" He began, his tone indignant. "You're being very rude to my—!"

"Shut up." Davis interrupted, holding up Al's hand as if it were some sort of prize. The boy struggled to remove his hand from the man's grip, but it was to no avail. "You see this shit?" He nodded towards the kid's wrist, his tone caustic. There, on the otherwise pristine white cuff of his suit, were speckles of red.

Upon noticing it, Alastor's visage of the "perfect-happy-man" cracked ever so slightly.

"This?" He held up Al's cuffs. "I know this. This is blood."

"Ah, sir," Alastor began, his voice calm. "Surely—"

"Shut the fuck up," he snapped. "You two are coming with us."

Several meters behind the agent was the chief, who'd just noticed his fellow agent hadn't followed him. At a jog, he was rapidly closing the distance. Noting that his chief was inbound, Davis returned his full attention to the boy before him, his expression steely and confident.

Al responded with the icy stare of a hardened criminal, his red-amber irises nearly glowing with the effort. From the sleeve of the remaining hand he had hidden behind his back dropped a small elliptical black object. It landed silently in the boy's palm. Without looking back at or moving his arm, he flicked a switch on the object, causing a sharp silver blade to pop out without making a sound.

It was a switchblade.

Suddenly, Al sneezed. It was a big one that rocked his little body. He stepped forward, as if regaining his balance. The force of the sneeze combined with his pushing against the agent with his arm caused Davis to lose his glasses, which fell from his face and onto the ground. It was painfully obvious that the boy had done this on purpose.

Davis frowned at him for a few moments before reaching down to pick up his spectacles.

And that's when Al struck.

Brandishing the weapon for all to see, the boy reached up and slammed the blade—its metal coated in mysterious black flames—straight into the base of Davis's skull. There was no hesitation in his actions. There was no mercy in his eyes. Only glee.

However, before the attack could connect, Alastor snatched Al's hand out of the air, knife and all, pressing his thumb into the boy's wrist and twisting it around his back, forcing the hand upwards towards his shoulder blades. It was a particularly brutal hammerlock, and it had been executed expertly. Al yelped in surprise but didn't otherwise move, lest his shoulder become dislocated. Alastor wasn't finished, however. He squeezed hard on the boy's knife hand, causing the sharp metal handle of the switchblade to dig into his tender skin. Even when blood began to dribble from the boy's hand and onto the floor, Alastor refused to relent, and Al refused to cry out.

The kid had to be punished for this insolence.

Davis returned his glasses to his face. It was just then that the chief came upon the scene, and he'd seen everything. Without delay, he went for his weapon, unfastening the protective slip and nearly drawing it from its holster. It was the tone of Alastor's voice that gave him pause.

"You two are CEDEF, right?" By now, Alastor's face had changed. It was as if he'd been swapped with a completely different person. The agents could see it in his eyes. He'd become cold. Calculating. Dangerous. "And you," Alastor motioned to the chief with his chin. "You look like you're high up in the ranks." The chief narrowed his eyes, but Alastor continued. "I was watching you. Primitive people tend to stare at shiny objects, don't they?"

The chief took a step forward. "Enough. Come with us—"

"You don't get it, soldier-man. I was watching you. Just now." Alastor motioned with his chin. "Those kids over there. You were awfully interested in them." Alastor's eyebrows shot up, as if his question weren't rhetorical. "You have a kid here?" The color drained from the agent's face. Alastor continued, a smile touching his lips. "Ah. I thought so." Alastor turned his head, looking over his shoulder and down at the crowd. "You see that guy next to those kids?" He motioned with his chin to the gaggle of kids who'd surrounded a particular gold-haired young man. This man was dressed in a long-sleeved green shirt and loose khaki-colored cargo pants. "His name is Cornelius. He's a good friend of mine—one of several I have at this event. Loyal. Ready to flip on a dime."

Alastor nodded slightly as he spoke his next words, he eyes boring into the agent's, his voice growing softer in volume yet more intense. More dangerous. "You wanna know what he can do to those kids?" He didn't wait for a response, shaking his head from side to side as if answering for the agent. "You don't wanna know what he can do to those kids." Alastor took a step forward, once again nodding as he spoke. "Wanna know what he'll do to your kid?" Again, he didn't wait for a response, shaking his head on the agent's behalf. This time, however, he let the silence sit for a few moments before continuing, his eyes growing wide, taking on a frenetic quality. He looked like a man capable of anything. "You don't wanna know what he'll do to your kid."

The agent didn't respond. He just stood there, frozen. The other agent, Davis, looked up at his superior for direction. "Chief?" Still, he did not respond. Beads of sweat had taken to his forehead. The man was assessing his options. "Chief?" Davis repeated, his tone hinting at exasperation. "Are we going to take them?"

"Check," Alastor uttered, sighing in contempt. Like a flash flood, the menace in his expression and demeanor vanished, replaced again by the visage of the perfect-happy-man. He sported a smile so warm and genuine that the skin around his eyes wrinkled. "No false moves, okay? I'd hate a repeat of the Bovino family tragedy." He met the chief's eyes once more. "Do we understand each other, soldier-man?"

"Chief?!" Davis repeated a third time, looking for direction.

It was then that the agent made his decision. Abruptly, he turned on his heel and began to walk away, refastening the strap that held his gun to his belt. He was headed for the staircase at a nonchalant pace, as if the past five minutes hadn't even happened.

Davis did a doubletake before releasing his death grip on Al's wrist and jogging to catch up with his superior. The two men moved downstairs and disappeared into the crowd.

"Checkmate," Alastor uttered as they disappeared, a viciously arrogant smirk spreading across his face. A while later, he released his grip on Al's knife hand. The boy nearly cried out at the sharp pain that exploded in his shoulder. Instantly, Al dropped the knife, the bloody thing clattering to the floor. He brought his hand in front of his face, eyeing the damage.

"You jerk," Al hissed.

"You fool," Alastor snapped in retort. "The Vongola guardians aren't even here yet. Creating a scene now would have given us away. Get it?"

From the front jacket pocket of his suit, Alastor removed the red handkerchief, using it to wipe Al's blood from his hand. "One day you'll learn the value of patience." Al was just staring at his bleeding hand, saying nothing. Without warning, Alastor wrapped the handkerchief around the boy's wound. It was large enough to completely surround his small hand twice over. With a tug, Alastor tied off the handkerchief, fashioning a makeshift bandage. "I know this for a fact."

Al didn't respond, choosing instead to kneel and retrieve his switchblade, which he buffed on the leg of his suit pants before returning it up his sleeve. Once again, Alastor turned his back to the rest of the balcony, his gaze panning over the crowd of suit-and-tie types below him.

After a while, Al joined him, balancing his weight atop the balcony railing with his forearms. "Was that an okay move, letting them go?"

"Hah." Alastor looked back over at Cornelius, who was still talking to the children around him in an animated fashion. "They know their place now. People are my playthings, afterall. Speaking of..."

Alastor held up his index finger. Through a series of practiced hand signals, he could communicate to his people the location of any target. Like local GPS for any Rizzo that happened to be watching. If they caught his eye in return, they could signal him to request a specific Vongola's location. Just now, Alastor had spotted the one person he'd been waiting all day for.

Reida Sawada. The number one. The legendary Vongola XI.

She'd begun to make her way forward towards the podium and staging area at the far back of the auditorium. Arriving along with her was the Vongola's Sun guardian, the young Trevor Sawada. As a person, Alastor didn't much care for children. Too insolent. Too naive.

He shot a glance at Al, who remained wholly unaware.

He'd also been tracking the movements of the Mist guardian. The race-traitor Shaji Ai. He'd read all about her. Just as well, he noted the existences of the Cloud and Storm guardians, Rosa Kuromaku and Troy Takumi, the latter appearing a bit later than expected.

He couldn't help but grin. He'd just signaled to a particular person in the crowd. The target of his correspondence was a large clean-shaven muscular man in a trenchcoat, dressed like a highly decorated general in some country's military, his stringy black hair gelled-over into a series of small stylish spikes. His only oddity was the eye patch he sported.

"Looks like my King piece is on the move. Just a few more Vongola to go and things can finally get started."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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Troy continued to wander the crowd, a bit lost. He didn't see any other Vongola guardians and forgot where and what he actually was supposed to do here. The only thing he knew is that this is some type of ceremony where he's involved. Ai and Reida explained it to him earlier but....he really wasn't listening much. "I'm sure it'll work somehow. These things tend to work themselves out on their own," he said to himself.

"You! Yellow!" Troy didn't need to even look back because he already knew whose voice that was. The one and only demanding doll-crazed girl that calls him 'Yellow'. He looked in her direction and saw her storming his way while disregarding all of the other attendees at the event. "What the hell do you think you're doing?! You can't wear...this when you get on that stage!" He almost gave a reply but she continued, "You're going to make me look awful! Besides, what the hell do you think Vongola's going to think when she has to stand with her Storm Guardian. I'll be she'll feel real awful, oh, but it's not my fault. Some Storm Guardian you are!" A grin appeared on his face as he watched Rosa's monologue.

"Excuse me," Ai said as she approached.

"What!?"

"I was told to remind the Guardians of their r-"

"You did already!"

"I was referring to the Storm Guardian. Are you aware of your role in this presentation?"

Troy couldn't hold it in any longer. The interaction between Rosa and Ai was hilarious to him. He laughed pretty loudly gaining the unneeded attention of others at the event. He started to slowly quiet down and replied, "man you guys are a riot, haha."

He glanced at Rosa, then quickly adverted his gaze towards Ai to addressed Ai first, even though he 'should have' replied to Rosa since she ask a question first. "Yes, I know my role in this presentation. Just stand up there, look good and smile," he said with an overly expressed smile, "I'm obviously wearing my garments for the stage. I'm more than prepared to walk up there." However, he actually forgot what this affair was about and his role.

He looked back to Rosa already knowing she was a bit annoyed by his appearance and nonchalance to this ceremony, "Hey...Doll face? My attire is fine, we'll look great as Vongolas and I'm sure Reida won't mind. You know how the saying goes, 'Come as you are!' So just grab your dolls, present them on stage, and we all can have a tea party together, yay!" Troy was being a bit of the brat, and knew he shouldn't be as much, but Rosa is 'entertaining' for the most part. "So Ai, where should we be going?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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Rosa was obviously visibly irritated at the pink girl's attitude. Did this little upstart really think she could make smart little remarks at Rosa like that? Of course, what was possibly even more irritating was that rather than appearing to be visibly enjoying catching Rosa off guard, she just continued with her dull demeanor like she meant nothing by it. It made Rosa uneasy, but she wanted to desperately regain her composure quickly.

Although, she was caught off guard once again by the uproarious laughter of somebody else, the ill-dressed kid whom was grinning like an idiot the whole time. "Man you guys are a riot, haha." Rosa glared back at Troy with a death stare, but Ai was completely unphased. Not that she ever was visibly phased.

"Yes, I know my role in this presentation. Just stand up there, look good and smile, I'm obviously wearing my garments for the stage. I'm more than prepared to walk up there." Rosa scoffed at that remark, yet Ai had made no reaction, although she did share Rosa's opinion that he could have appeared slightly more presentable, as it was important that a good impression would be made on the audience at this event. Seven teenagers being the new highest ranked members in a rather large company wasn't exactly a very reliable image. Maybe DiCaccio had some sort of plans in mind that he had not told Ai in terms of fixing this issue, but it wasn't of too much of a concern to her anyway. She was only really concerned with this event in particular.

"Hey...Doll face? My attire is fine, we'll look great as Vongolas and I'm sure Reida won't mind. You know how the saying goes, 'Come as you are!' So just grab your dolls, present them on stage, and we all can have a tea party together, yay!" Okay, obviously he was trying a pathetic attempt to mock Rosa, but Rosa resolved not to let it phase her. It was all his kind looked for. People like Troy tended to try and mock her about her box weapon of choice being dolls, to spoil her image, but that's never phased her, merely because that's how she liked her image. Elegant, talented, refined and with a particularly good artistic sense for dolls. Her attraction was merely poetic at best. Besides, nobody actually knew how much she actually cared for dolls, they wouldn't even have a clue. To most, it would seem she cared only for them as tools in combat.

"Hmph, don't group me with you, bum," Rosa replied spitefully, "At least I'm not the one who probably came here after evading law enforcement, vandal" she said it with that repulsive 'I'm so important' tone she always liked to use to spite others. It may have been a guess, but seeing as it happened to Troy often and judging from the fact that he came with cans of spray paint of which he would have no use for here, meant he was at least was defacing some sort of property and was unable to dispose of the evidence.

"So Ai, where should we be going?"

"The presentation will occur shortly," Ai said "So as to be prepared, I would suggest both of you go backstage as soon as possible. I have been assigned with the task of locating the Guardians and reminding them of their roles, before fulfilling my own, so I will continue to carry out that task. I have been assured the Cloud Guardian already knows of her role."

"Hmph, I'm not going until the presentation begins," Rosa said just for the sake of being of contrary. There was no way she was taking orders from this little upstart of all people, whatever her name was again. Ai something? "A princess is always prepared, unlike a certain crow's nest not worth naming," she didn't glance at Troy as she said that, in an attempt to make herself appear more snide. She reached her arms behind her hand in the appearance of stretching to emphasize the dress she was so proud of before walking past Troy, her expression flaring up very briefly has she glanced at him at the moment where their faces were only inches from each other, like a cat hissing. Indeed, she knew she was better than him, he just needed to be reminded that she was royalty and he was common as dirt.

"I understand," Ai responded, looking in Rosa's direction as she walked off before looking back at Troy, "I will now locate the other guardians." With that statement, she too walked off.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Vincenzo Vongola Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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"Vincenzo, where are you going? My dear weapon?" A sweetened voiced called for her, but she ignored. However whomever this voice belonged to was persistant, "Are you going to see those Guardian children?.." No answer. "Why do you waste your time there Vincezo?" Again this voice was followed by silence, but this voice was clever, knowing the girl's weak spots, "Is it because you have hopes to help your father, Dante-" "Dont you dare say his name." Vincenzo snapped, but she quickly wished she didnt, because she knew she just gave in. This made the voice smile, "Oh dont be so angry dear, its scary to see you so uncomposed.. look, even the driver thinks your crazy." At this, V.V took note of the cab driver's expression in the mirror, startled and wary of the girl. Why? Well, the women which Vincenzo saw didnt even exist. There beside V.V was just an empty seat, but to her, there sat her nightmare.. "Um, Miss.. Are you alright?" The cab driver interjected carefully, but Vincenzo quickly dismissed, replying curtly, "Stop here please."

Paying the man, she slipped out of the cab and started toward her destination on foot. From the distance she was currently at from the HQ, she predicted she'll be a little late, so she began to quicken the pace. Hopefully she wasnt the last one, it wasnt in her best interest to put attention on herself, especially around people she didnt know so well. See, Vincenzo arrived in japan not too long ago, in per request of past guardians and members of the Vongola. Of course, she wouldnt have gone if it wasnt for her father's persuasion that she finally gave in. Her stoic expression frowned slightly, wondering how her father was doing in Italy without her assistance in the field. 'He was the one who taught me.. he should be fine.'

With reassuring thoughts, her mind began to leave her like it usually does, her surroundings becoming a blur. For seconds seemed like a few minutes in her thoughts, and after a few brief moments, she already arrived. Taking hold of the door, she entered, IDing with people who checked her. A man took a step back, wary of her demeanor, but he recognized her characteristics. "New Guardian I assume?" The man asked, and she nodded, not particularly used to the new name. "Well the others should be in there, good luck Miss."
Following his directions, she found a few personals that she recognized, Ai, Troy, and Rosa. Getting closer, she greeted the three with a curt nod (not really sure what to say, as always in social gatherings). But as she neared, Ai began to leave, saying something about locating the other guardians? 'Well Im here.'
Deciding to remain quiet, she glanced at the other two who remained. Troy, he was an ecstatic artist if she remembered clearly, and Rosa.. A girl who had an affinity for dolls. A particular choice of weapon, but she saw stranger. However she just never understood the concept of.. toys.. for she never had any. Her "toys" were guns, and she was taught to love them. While Troy's talent for painting was also a mystery, for she never was one for any sort of art- Music, sculptures, etc. "Whats the plan?" She asked, deciding that she had to say something. [Sorry this is a bit choppy in a hurry, but Athaia's post will also arrive shortly, thank you for your patience!]

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Tyde Rumerio Character Portrait: Cornelius V. Roquet

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"You really should watch where you're going, you know. If I had been one of those suits over there, you would probably have a stern look given to you, hehe," the guy standing before him said, pointing somewhere to Trevor's left. The boy followed with his eyes, spotting a bald man in a military dress uniform. He immediately disregarded the man, returning his eyes to the person standing before him. The guy looked... old, though Trevor's perception of age was understandably biased. He also had a frenetic quality about him, so much so that the tension was palpable—at least to Trevor. No one else seemed to notice that this guy carried himself like a cheetah forced to walk amongst the gazelles.

Though Trevor found this stranger interesting, you wouldn't have been able to tell by his face alone. It was as if someone had turned out the lights behind his sterling-gray eyes and robbed his countenance of the baseline warmth and energy inherent in all living beings. To some, he looked perennially tired. To others, he looked inescapably bored. As for Trevor himself, he was too young to really notice he was different, unless he was staring in a mirror, which he rarely tended to do.

"So kid," the guy continued, "what's your name? I'm Tyde. You as bored as I am right now?"

Trevor considered the questions for a moment. Ever since the demise of Reida's grandfather, he'd been strictly warned about the dangers strangers posed to the family... but this guy seemed friendly, if a bit off. "Trevor," he replied, his voice flat. "Trevor Sawada. Sorry for bumping into you. I was following Reida." He didn't consider that Tyde might not know who "Reida" was.

Before he could continue, another voice rang out. "Ty-Ty tan!!!" Another stranger, apparently an acquaintance of Tyde's, materialized out of the crowd holding a plate full of sweets. "You too tan! Try it, tan! It will be awesome tan!" Instead of accepting, Trevor took a step backward, creating some distance between himself and these two strangers. He noticed that whenever older people gathered around him, they tended to pat him on the head or try to touch his hair, which he didn't much care for. Plus, like Tyde, something was off about this new guy, though Trevor couldn't put his finger on it.

Most importantly, he still had to catch up to Reida.

"Hi," he said, both as a greeting to the new guy and a farewell to them both, fully intending to walk off.

Suddenly, Trevor inhaled sharply, his pupils constricting, his eyes growing noticeably wider. A sharp pain stabbed at the back of his head like an ice pick. Reflexively, he gripped the side of his neck with his right hand, the pain rapidly becoming more intense. This agonizing discomfort was not entirely foreign to him—it was a migraine, that much he knew. Though he regularly took medicine for it, they still managed to strike randomly every now and then.

This time was a bit different, though. Unique, even. His migraines typically came about gradually and lasted for a long while. This one, however, came out of nowhere and was more painful than any he'd experienced in his life. It was so jarring that it even affected his perception of reality. The people around him began to fall away, everyone except Tyde and this new stranger, their presences filtering in through the pain as waves of awareness. It was almost as if he could feel them... but they weren't the only ones. He could feel several others, dispersed in the crowd. One... three... six, maybe seven in total. Seven unique sensations. It was as if they were tugging at his very soul, attracting his being towards them like magnets.

And then, as soon as it had come, the migraine ceased, as if it never was. His head cleared. The pain gone. He blinked a few times, reorienting himself, his expression returning to its eerily neutral state. The whole experience had lasted maybe a couple of seconds at the most.

Though he failed to notice it, a familiar voice had called his name.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kurai Rin Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada

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Call it Alien intuition, but Ai was very uncomfortable. Perhaps it was part of Ai's complex systems involved in decision making, a system developed over billions of years of evolution and direct intervention meant to make good decisions based on all perceivable factors, information from the future and her somewhat relatively underdeveloped trust system. Perhaps that was the part that was malfunctioning. No, not malfunctioning, just working as expected. Ai had experienced an attack on herself a day before the inheritance from a foreign factor, and the conditions of this day fit that day very well. The chances of the unlikely event happening again were still extremely low, but it had happened before. Ai was programmed to take chances every now and then, it was the secret to her success, but what that meant was that she was to occasionally accept something of slightly lower probability or effectiveness as true. Now, this was only meant to effect her decision making and not her caution system, which was programmed to take all things with a probability over 1% into account, but perhaps something in her system was triggering the effect to be cautious about another introduction of foreign elements. Was it an error that was coming from the vessel's mind? The instinct of self-preservation?

Regardless, Ai wasn't comfortable with the decision to ignore such an unlikely threat. She was told to put it out of her mind, however, so she did her best to try to do so. Right now, she had a duty, locating the Guardians. She already had spoken to the Storm and Cloud guardians and she had identified the Rain, Sun and Lightning Guardians and the Boss, meaning everybody was present. Now, she had to make sure they were aware of their duties. Of course, she was going to to them in order, and Trevor was next on her list.

When Ai had first identified him, he was interacted with two men, but now it seemed a young women about Ai's apparent age was speaking to him. Still, Ai felt it important to interrupt. Of course, she was going to take the advice the Cloud guardian had given to her. After all, mannerisms were one of the most difficult things to master in human culture.

"Excuse me," Ai called dully yet politely, ignoring the girl's presence, "Sawada Trevor. I was told to remind the Guardians of their roles in this ceremony as it is almost time to begin the presentation. Are you aware of your role in this presentation?"

On a second notice, however, Ai witnessed the presence of another organic create seated on top of the woman's head. No, it wasn't organic. It was a box weapon. Maybe to somebody lesser trained it would appear ordinary, but Ai could tell it was a box weapon. She couldn't identify the flame, however, as it was not immediately obviously giving off flames, nor were the properties identifiable by mere presence alone. Maybe she could guess if she lit a flame of her own in her presence, but a direct sampling would have been preferred over mere observation. Either way, the presence of a box weapon meant that the girl was associated with the mafia in some way.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akio Yamada Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Reida Sawada Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Vincenzo Vongola Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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Her eyes were once again skinning over the speech she had written, the paper held closer to her face than probably had to be, but she was too focused to realize that its surface was just inches from her face. She had already memorized this speech two days ago, but out of anxiousness she couldn't help but read it over and over. It would just be embarrassing if her words suddenly slipped her mind while she was standing in front of hundreds of people.

She shifted her weight to her right leg and returned the pages to their folded state before sticking it into the fold of her skirt. She had her hands clutched into fists at her side and a determined glint in her eye as she stares out at the crowd. This would be first first time speaking publicly as the new boss of the Vongola Famiglia. For the sake of her Guardians and for the company itself, she had to give the best first impression she could give. She was fully aware that there were many who couldn't look at her as the head of a mafia family. After all, she was still just a middle-schooler, but her grandfather was even younger than her when the infamous Reborn begun to teach him the ways of the mafia and what he needed to do to become the boss.

A faint smile had made it's way onto her face, the corners of her lips curving upward as a flicker of excitement sparked in her chest. This was her chance to officially introduce herself, as well as confirm her authority. Her chin lifted towards the stage where the External Adviser, or really more like the current acting head of the Vongola Famiglia, Lorenzo DiCaccio, had placed himself to be ready to begin the ceremony. It wouldn't be long now before she would be standing up there with her Guardians behind her.

"Sounds like you lost a pound and a half since the last time i seen you boss. Lets hope your not losing weight do to the stress of being the 11th."

Turning her head quickly at the sound of a familiar voice, her smile widened at the sight of her Rain Guardian. She opened her mouth to give him a friendly greeting, but no words came out as she realized what he had just said to her. As usual, her cheeks were beyond her control as a light shade of red brushed over them. "I'm not under any stress! If anything, I should be gaining muscle from all the exercise I've been doing. E-Either way, you shouldn't comment on a girl's weight, Akio-kun!"

She crossed her arms over her chest and turned her head away from the pink-haired boy as she tried to force her skin to return to it's natural color, but her attempt was cut short when she heard another familiar voice, this time coming from Rosa, the Cloud Guardian. Before she could respond to her, though, the blonde girl leaned in and pressed her face close to Reida's.

"Revealing..."

Though Rosa had asked Reida to inspect her makeup, Reida's eyes had been drawn to the dress her friend was wearing. She felt her cheeks grow hot again at the thought of herself being put in such an outfit. Rosa could put on anything with the confidence of a queen, but there was no way Reida could ever wear something so showy.

"Is, is anything wrong? Like, at all? Come on, I can't stand here all day."

"W-What!?" Reida's eyes moved back up to Rosa's face that was still leaning close to hers. "Oh, no there's nothing wrong. You're makeup looks great as usual!" she said, giving the girl a reassuring smile.

She turned her gaze to the two others that had followed Rosa over, her eyes stopping on her Thunder Guardian.
"It's good to see you, Vinco-san," she said, looking up at the older girl. She hadn't had as many chances to talk with Vincenzo as she would've liked, but she would definitely make time to get to know her better after the ceremony. She would've said something more to the girl, but Troy's appearance had caught her attention and she moved her gaze onto him.

"Defacing public property again, Ta-ku-mi-kun?" She said this with a smile, but her eyes clearly showed her true nature as she took a step towards him. Raising her bawled-up hand, with her other hand placed on her hip, she tapped the Storm Guardian on the head. "You're covered in paint! The least you could do is clean yourself up after vandalizing the neighborhood! You-" Her lecture stopped abruptly as she noticed a splotch of paint that was stuck to Troy's hair. She removed her fist from his head and placed her hand over her mouth so not to burst into laughter. Normally she would've pointed it out and then offered to help pull it out, but this time she decided to let him find it later.

"Never mind, we should all be taking our seats on stage now. Just Ai and Trevor are left, right? They'll know to come over once they see us in our seats." With that, she made her way up the steps, careful not to trip in her heels, and gave a brief nod to DiCaccio before taking her seat.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kurai Rin Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Tyde Rumerio Character Portrait: Cornelius V. Roquet

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That's right! The sweets are pure awesomeness. They weren't much of these desserts in the time where he originally came from, so this was perfect for him. Cornelius was also very happy that Ty-Ty was enjoying it the same as him. But in regards to the Vongola Sun Guardian, he simply stepped away and said hi, after that, he went away. Well, he won't force it at all. That child has things to do like the ceremony and stuff. He was simply being polite as often told to him by Lia and Elysia. So technically, no harm was done to him. It just means more for him. He happily chomped on the sweets while understanding what Tyde saying about it even if it came out all jumbled. It was not only his eyes were sharp that accompanied his ears especially when it's about things he really likes. "They're really are tan!"

His ministrations were a bit interrupted when he heard Kurai greeting them. He happily looked at the youngest guardian among the Rizzo Famiglia. "Rara, come come tan! Try these sweets they're awesome tan!" He announced once more presenting the plate to the girl. But, he was slightly held back by the sight of something on top of Kurai's head. He was completely ignoring the accusing look from Kurai as if he and Tyde did something or the sudden discomfort brushing on the Sun Guardian. He even did not care for the other appearance of the Mist Guardian who was querying Trevor Sawada. All he cared about was the creature on top of Kurai's head which was similar to the giant stuffed toy he was carrying on his back much like a cape.

Cornelius was only jolted out when he felt the pull from Tyde and whispering in his ear that Kurai was initiating a conversation with the Sun Guardian. He was also told not to make any sudden movements. But, it was hard to do it as the lure of the Animal Box Weapon was far too much. "I'm so sorry Ty-Ty tan! But, I want Kuro tan!" He said and then ran over to Rara without much of a hesitation. His hands reached out and grabbed hold of Kuro as he hugged it immediately. "Kuro! I miss you so much tan!" He rubbed his cheeks to the dark matter cat. There was no question about it, he was the most animated of the Rizzo Famiglia guardians and has the extreme liking to cats. "It's good that Kurai brought you Kuro tan!" He smiled so brightly much like that of a child, actually he was more of a kid than the ones surrounding him at this moment.

He then pulled away a bit from Kuro and looked at Tyde. Games? Oh, that's right. They were here for a purpose and not for the party. It slipped a bit from his mind but he did told the children earlier that if they were good, there will be something exciting going to happen. "Yes tan! I have a lot of tricks tan!" That was true. When the boss-man gives the signal, there will be a performance like none other. But, he was unaware that Alastor had already noted his attendance to two CEDEF agents and even used him as a leverage to avoid a minor scuffle. Well, it was of no consequence to him. He was fine with it because, he will do what was asked of him while enjoying himself in the process. "I can't wait tan! I already told the children earlier tan. You'll also enjoy it a lot Ty-Ty tan!" This was something he was certain of.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kurai Rin Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Tyde Rumerio Character Portrait: Cornelius V. Roquet

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"... Are you aware of your role in this presentation?" Trevor blinked twice, catching the last bit dialogue. Several steps behind him were two adults munching on candy and whispering to one another like the kids back at his school... and right before him were two girls—one familiar and one a stranger. They were both looking at him with an air of expectation, as if he were in the middle of a conversation with each of them. He was pretty sure one had called his name... or maybe it was both of them?

Trevor's eyes shifted between the two in confusion, eventually settling on the more familiar face of the Vongola's Mist guardian, Shaji Ai. "Um... yes," he said, stuffing his hands back into his pockets. "I guess so." After a few awkward moments, he turned back to the other person standing before him. The stranger. She was at least as old as he was, perhaps a bit older. She was definitely... beautiful?, though Trevor wasn't exactly sure why that thought crossed his mind. "Hello. Sorry, but I have to go." His words were utterly sincere, but his tone (or lack thereof) might not have conveyed that.

Without waiting for a response, he turned and began making his way through the crowd once more. His older sister expected him to be on stage with the others, and he didn't want to disappoint.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kurai Rin Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Tyde Rumerio Character Portrait: Cornelius V. Roquet

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#, as written by moahi
"Shh... Kuro, calm down!"
Both of the young girl's hands were on the top of her head, trying to placate the small cat that was now hissing at the girl with pink hair. She was an alien, there was no doubt of it. Kuro rarely responded so strongly to humans, even if they were guardians of another flame. "There, there." She had finally managed to get it to calm down finally, but it was still glaring at the mist guardian with something of a vengeance. "Sorry, he's not... Very good with pink things." She gave an apologetic look at the two Vongola guardians. It was a lie of course, albeit a white one.

"I'm so sorry Ty-Ty tan! But I want Kuro tan!"
The cheerful voice came again, as the ever happy Quaser guardian stretched out his hands, picking her box weapon up and rubbing his cheek against its dark fur, causing the kitten to mew and bat at his hair with its small paws. This was nearly the perfect opportunity to escape from the awkward conversation. However, before she herself could speak, the boy with golden hair did, excusing himself to go to the ceremony. "Please excuse me, but shouldn't... You go too?" She asked the alien girl quietly as she tuned to go to the other two guardians.

Her shoulders sagged with relief immediately after she reached them as she moved behind Cornelius discreetly. That was enough 'conversing' for the day. For the rest of the time before the fight she would stay close to the two guardians "It's good that Kurai you brought Kuro tan!" Cornelius chirped happily, seeming more like a child than anything and bringing a rare smile to her face. It was nice to see at least one person relaxed about the whole business of getting to the rings. It seemed almost like they were close to a family for a split second if they acted naturally to each other. They were a odd group, but she like them nevertheless.

"Yes tan! I have a lot of tricks tan!""I can't wait tan! I already told the children earlier tan. You'll also enjoy it a lot Ty-Ty tan!"
"Try not to make to much of a mess maybe? I'd hate to see your outfit get messy with blood." She said as she reached up to pat a purring Kuro on its head. He does have a tendency to lose himself once he takes of his patch after all.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akio Yamada Character Portrait: Kurai Rin Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Althaia Rizzo Character Portrait: Elysia Character Portrait: Reida Sawada Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Tyde Rumerio Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Cornelius V. Roquet Character Portrait: Vincenzo Vongola Character Portrait: Troy Takumi Character Portrait: Annalise "Anna" Cortega

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"Please excuse me, but shouldn't... You go too?"

Ai nodded, although her invisible third eye was staring at the box weapon. Perhaps it was designed to detect the usage of illusions or of flames in general which caused it to react, or Aliens. The latter was highly unlikely, however. With her cue, Ai went back toward the stage where she saw all the other guardians had gathered, already seated and ready to begin. Upon making it on the stage, she spoke, not to the boss or any of her fellow guardians, but to the External Advisor, whom was shuffling his cue cards while some adjustments were being made to the microphone and the speakers

"All the guardians are present," Ai stated simply, as if it weren't already clearly obvious. DiCaccio didn't even need to glance behind himself to confirm it.

"Yes, I can see that," he confirmed, "And it appears things have gone smoothly so far... for the most part." DiCaccio bent over a bit and spoke in a low voice with the intention that nobody eavesdropping could hear them. "I've been informed that there was an attack on one of the allied families, the Bovino family, less than an hour earlier from now. Three deaths, including the boss, but not the daughter. We've no information about who the killers could possibly be, but we've confirmed that deathperation flames were involved, albeit we're not sure what kind yet. I don't think it is of relation to this ceremony, but my men are still on alert.

"Naturally, the Vongola family is expected to help deal with something like this, seeing as that was the Tenth's code. Currently, I've already ordered my own men to investigate, but it is up to the Vongola head to make the decision to pursue. Now, I don't want to give the Boss anything to worry about right before she's to make a huge public appearance, but I'm going to have to inform her about it tomorrow. I'm sure she wont have any issues about this heroic stuff. I'm just wondering if something like this would be too big for her right now..." DiCaccio trailed off in consideration, glancing at Reida.

He seemed to come back to himself when he looked back at Ai whom was staring at him ever-so intently, standing back up again. "Ah, yes, make of that what you will, Ai," he told her, no longer speaking in a low voice, "For now, we must focus on the ceremony. You know where you've got to be, so go join your friends." Ai stared back blankly. "You're Boss and fellow guardians," DiCaccio corrected. Ai nodded and took a seat on the stage. Though DiCaccio said it wasn't likely of relevance to the ceremony, Ai couldn't help but consider every possibility of a threat. To do so, however, she'd first have to consider the Bovino family and of their relevance. Only, somehow, Ai felt the Bovino family had some sort of significance to them that she was not considering. Maybe she'd consult the TID about them.

With everybody present, the presentation was underway. DiCaccio tested the microphone personally, while getting everybody's attention. With a final lively "Good evening," all the room had their undivided attention on him. He smiled and began to speak.

"Indeed, good evening everybody. I'm sure I've spoken to many of you personally and in fact, if I haven't spoken to you already, then please, do be sure to do so by the end of this presentation, but anyway, my name is Lorenzo DiCaccio and I had been the acting head of this company for about four years now up until recently. In reality, I'm the head of a branching company known as CEDEF, a security agency that began as a simple traffic redirection organization. Indeed, I've been rather vague about the exact content of this presentation, although I'm sure you've all heard the word 'Box' thrown about here and there. Well, that's quite simple. That is because everything we wish to present," he raised a small orange baseball-sized cube with a clam print on it, "Is contained in this little box." He paused to allow the intrigue to sit in as people struggled to get a clear look at the small thing, looking quite sure of himself.

"Now, I'm sure we all have the same question in our heads. 'What could be so special and yet be kept in such a tiny box?' Well, in this little box of ours are all sorts of little secrets, secrets that perhaps were never intended to be discovered by society, secrets of the universe we have been kept in the dark about. Today, I hope to bring these secrets to light as not only is the secret to the next technological revolution hidden within this box, but the secret to the future of our company, Vongola Corporations.

"Now, of course, Vongola Corporations already makes over a trillion dollars a year. Of course, that's absurdly more than we've been making about 70 years ago, when the last head was already beginning to turn this company into what it is today. Back then, we would have only been making a few billion, although back then, of course, that was a lot of money. However, with this new industry we plan on opening with the secrets that are contained in this box, we expect to make it to our second trillion within the next twenty years. Who knows, in a hundred years, we may have a gazillion.

"Of course, we're all here because of what is inside this small little box and what is inside is the future of this company. Indeed, this presentation is not only about the future of technology but the future of Vongola Corporations. Not only do we hope to enter a new era with this new technology, of which I'll reveal soon enough, but we wish to do so under the direction of our new young head, Ms. Reida Sawada." DiCaccio gestured to the young boss. "Now, she may be quite young, but don't let her appearance deceive you. She is a very passionate and intelligent individual on the inside and we are proud to enter a new era of not only industry, but of life, with her guidance. After all, the former head, Tsunayoshi Sawada, had inherited the company when he was only fourteen, and look where we are now!" The audience applauded.

DiCaccio quieted them. "Now, before we proceed, we would like to have the new company head say a few words concerning her plans for the future of the company to open this presentation. We would appreciate it if you held your applause until the end refrain from taking pictures until cued. Any questions directed toward her may be asked at the end of this presentation or directly to her afterward." He explained it with a slight sternness directed toward anybody who might have given her trouble if it was picked up.

"And now," DiCaccio called, "May we all direct our attention to the honorable Eleventh Vongola head, Reida Sawada."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akio Yamada Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Reida Sawada Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Vincenzo Vongola Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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"Now, before we proceed, we would like to have the new company head say a few words concerning her plans for the future of the company to open this presentation. We would appreciate it if-"

Reida's shoulders stiffened slightly as DiCaccio's words pricked at her ears. When he had first starting speaking, she'd been listening rather intently, excitement bubbling in her stomach as the time for her to rise slowly approached. However, as his introduction continues on, her eyes had drifted to the audience. For some reason, she spark of excitement in her stomach had grown less and less pleasant until it melted into nervousness, though she couldn't really figure out the reason. Sure, she was about to give her very first public speech, and as the new head of the Vongola, no less, but she couldn't understand why she'd suddenly start to feel heavy from that. There was something else bothering her, something she couldn't quite put her finger on.

Her head turned from side to side as she looked over her Guardians, wondering if they were feeling the same paranoia that she was, but she couldn't seem to read their expressions. They were probably focusing on DiCaccio, after all.

"And now, may we all direct our attention to the honorable Eleventh Vongola head, Reida Sawada."

Her attention was quickly redirected to the front as the applauds of the audience echoed off the walls of the gymnasium. DiCaccio's voice had blurred out to her for a moment as she searched for an answer to her nervousness, taking her a second to realize it was time for her to stand. She unintentionally hopped out of her chair, causing the seat to move backward a couple inches, but she made a fast attempting at regaining herself and gave DiCaccio a smile and a nod before making her way to the podium.

Standing there, she waited for the clapping to die down before clearing her throat and opening her mouth to begin her speech, the words on the paper she had written skimming through her mind like a movie reel.

"You've all come here today to learn about the new, revolutionized tools that will improve humanity as we know it. Before I go into detail of this technology, I'd like to first say a few words as the head of the Vongola Company. To have my father pass down his title to me was an honor far greater than any trophy or medal. For him to intrust me with the company that my late grandfather, Sawada Tsunayoshi, started was something I never expected, but even as a child I made a promise to both my father and the previous Vongola Head that I would move this company farther than either of them could imagine. As the young adult I am now, I still intend to keep that promise."

The nervousness that had been pricking at her before had nearly vanished now, her mind too focused on the words she had written down. Though she also felt a slight nudge of disappointment as she spoke. Here she was speaking greatly of her father, but he hadn't bothered to show up to the ceremony or even send her message. Come to think of it, she hadn't heard from him since he told her he was going overseas on business three months ago.

She paused for a moment, somewhat to redirect her thoughts and somewhat to add a little dramatic effect into her speech.

"I can't keep such a promise on my own, of course. My grandfather wouldn't of brought the company this far without the help of his closest friends and subordinates. As such, I take great pleasure in introducing my very own personal team."

She took a step back and turned to the side, angling herself in a way so she was still mostly facing the audience.

"Yamada Akio has confidence that exceeds even my own, never letting that confidence falter no matter the situation. Kuromaku Rosa is always aiming for the best possible outcome, never accepting anything less than perfect, her confidence easily matches Yamada-san's."

As she spoke each of their names, she signaled to them with her hand to let the audience know whom it was she talking about. It felt a little strange calling them by their last names, but she decided to do so since it made her look more professional.

"It takes creativity to come up with the most interesting ideas, which is the role of Takumi Troy. Sawada Trevor, the youngest member of my team and also my adopted brother, has medical capabilities that match those of high-ranking doctors. Ai Shaji is never unprepared, always being ready for whatever the future may bring. Vongola Vincenzo even wears the name of the company as her own surname. She's level-headed and intelligent to no end."

She once again turned to face the audience head on as she continued to speak. "It's quite clear that both my team and I are young and still gaining experience, but with this youth comes endless possibilities for the future. With this youth comes the determination and imaginative thinking that the Vongola Company needs to reach it's most successful peak since it first came to be."

Taking in a breath at the end of her personal speech, she waited a moment as the crowds applauding started up once again. She felt warmed up now, prepared for the long explanation she would give next to finally introduce the Box Weapons, or rather tools, to the public. However, as the clapping slowly began to die down, Reida's eyes had locked onto a certain individual. The eye patch was the first thing that she noticed, along with the rock that had dropped into her stomach and had begun to make her feel slightly ill the moment she laid eyes on him. Something about him wasn't right. It wasn't right at all.

"This isn't right. He shouldn't be here. He's not supposed to be...why do I feel cold all of a sudden?"

Though she hadn't noticed yet herself, her fingers had begun to trace the notch on the back of the podium. It had been set up early that morning, with her weapon concealed inside in case of emergency. She became aware of the movement of her fingers when she realized the crowd had been standing in silence for a good few second now as they awaited her to continue. She swallowed dryly, trying to move her focus back onto the explanation she was supposed to give.

"That's enough about myself...I'm sure..you're all ready to hear...the real reason why this ceremony was.." She was speaking slightly quieter than usual, her voice hesitant as wavered on and off as the words left her lips. Her eyes had becoming completely drawn to the large, dark-haired man that had slowly started making his way through the crowd, growing closer and closer to the stage.

"This is..."

Her eyes moved frantically over the crowd, wondering if anyone else had sensed the aura coming from him. The majority of the crowd only looked confused as to why she had suddenly silenced her speech. Had her Guardians noticed? Had DiCaccio? If she looked back at them now, it would only cause more confusion, but she couldn't ignore this feeling.

"This is wrong!"

Though it was quiet, nearly silent to her hear, she heard the faint sound of a finger snapping. In that same instant, she ripped open the small door that had been carved into the podium and grasped her nunchaku. In another swift move, she turned and reached for her brother with her free hand and took hold of his own hand. A threat had made it's way into the gymnasium, and not one person who was posted to make sure such a thing wouldn't happen had realized it.

"I need everyone to get as many people out as possible!" she said to DiCaccio, a hint of fierceness in her tone. She wasn't asking, this was an order given by the 11th herself. "Now!" This time she directed her order towards her Guardians, all of them except for er brother whose hand she was already gripping. By the time she was able to give this order, the voices of the crowd, surprised and afraid at the events that were now taking place, had grown loud and jumbled into an inexplicable noise.

She practically jumped down the stairs, kicking off her heels as she did so, and pulled her brother behind her as she sprinted towards the exit. She had no time to explain her reason for leaving the gymnasium while it was under attack. Anyone could assume that she was running away and leaving her subordinates to take care of the danger, but in truth she had made a single error before leaving her room earlier. Her box weapons had been placed in a nice black shoulder purse that she was supposed to take with her, but in her rush earlier she had completely forgotten it, leaving it on her bed. Normally she wouldn't be so concerned with retrieving them, but right no she knew she needed to get to them at all costs, though she wouldn't be able to explain how she knew.

Halfway down the hall she halted. The outfit she had on was much too difficult to move quickly in, and the tights over her feet were slippery on the floors of the building. She released Trevor's hand and first pulled on her tights, ripping out the bottoms so her feet could show through. Next she pulled on her skirt until the side had ripped up to the middle of her thigh. It was a shame she had to ruin such nice clothes, but she honestly couldn't care less at the moment.

She looked at Trevor, ready to grab his hand and start running again, but she suddenly felt a little guilt for pretty much dragging him up to this point. She couldn't afford to move any slower though, as she needed to get back to her brother to safety and then back to the other Guardians as soon as possible.

"Sorry, Trevor," she said before wrapping her arms around him and lifting him off the ground. She then proceeded to sprint down the hallway carrying the blond boy in a cradle-like fashion.

It was convenient that her assigned room was only a four-minute sprint from the ceremonies location. So far it didn't seem like any enemies were following her, but she held her brother tightly and kept every one of her senses on edge despite that. It had been drilled into her to never drop her guard, even when you believe nothing can go wrong.

Reaching her door, she came to an abrupt stop and, letting Trevor back onto his feet, hastily turned the knob and hurried her way in. The black bag that contained her box weapons were right where she'd left it a few hours ago. With no time to lose, she pulled the strap over her shoulder and stepped back out into the hallway.

"I have to get back to the gymnasium," she said, hesitating a moment before crouching down so she could be eye-level with her brother. "Please find yourself some place to bunker down for now, and no arguing with me either."

To be honest, she felt kind of bad saying these things to him. Hopefully he wouldn't get upset with her treating him like a child. He was a child, after all, but he was also the appointed Sun Guardian. Still, she would see him as her brother before thinking of him as a subordinate, and as a sister she had to make sure he was going to be safe.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akio Yamada Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Reida Sawada Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Vincenzo Vongola Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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Ai was developing a theory. She had been doing so ever since she sat down. Now, it didn't mean she wasn't paying attention, no, she could multitask. She could watch the crowd, listen to DiCaccio and develop her theory in her mind at the same time. Everything was going as planned, yet Ai felt something was off. Now, if Ai felt something was off, she knew it wasn't just a human sense of unease, like DiCaccio had brushed it off as, but it was part of a complex mental system of which she was designed with that made sure she never made any mistakes.

Ai had spent time studying the Bovino family, in her mind of course. She searched up all the information she could using the Thought Integration Database, the Alien telepathic 'internet', with nothing of interest except their involvement in time travel technology. She was receiving data from the future as well, data that told of the incident that just occurred hours before and what they had done in the future. Interestingly enough, they were involved in some of the early efforts to fight back against the Aliens, assisting in the foundation of the Alien Extinction Project of the future, thanks to the efforts of the next Bovino family boss. Further query had told her that she was involved in that incident. Ai tried to gather information on the killers, but found unsatisfactory results. Either CEDEF kept it a secret or were unable to find an answer.

Stumped, that was a fitting answer. Ai needed a new line of thinking. She thought about her attack the day before the inheritance. That had never appeared on the TID, Ai took care in making sure not even her own kind was aware of it. Indeed, though Ai had said the chances of such an event occurring were slim, DiCaccio had grossly misunderstood her. Chance meant nearly nothing when you were dealing with multiple futures. Chance was merely what percentage of those futures had a certain outcome. Either way, all possibilities were certain to happen. So, if something came from a certain future to eliminate her, another was certain to arrive as well.

Time travel seemed to be the center of this mystery. Ai considered the possibility. The killers may have been time travelers. They couldn't have been Aliens as such an attack like the one that had occurred couldn't possibly have had much of an effect on the future, at least of the future worked the same way it did now.

So what if the incident never occurred? What would the future be like if the incident had never happened. Ai may have not been able to get the answer from the TID because the event had already occurred, so all possible futures were ones where the victims are dead because they are in the present, so she would have to get the answers on her own. Using some information from the TID, Ai could invest a lot of thinking power into calculating all possible futures. Her mind worked at lightning pace, the efficiency of it allowing information to move through her Alien brain close to the speed of light. She made connection after connection, possibility after possibility and theory out of fact and could calculate near an infinite amount of universes. Of course, to any outside observer, it would appear Ai was just sitting there quietly, like she always did. The world was moving on around her at the ever fluctuating speed of time. "Ai Shaji is never unprepared, always being ready for whatever the future may bring."

And then, it came to her. The answer to everything, everything that was about to happen. Snap!

"We are currently in danger."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akio Yamada Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Reida Sawada Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Vincenzo Vongola Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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V.V mind zoned out as the speeches were given out due to her lack of disinterest along with the continue persistence of.. that woman. "Vincenzo, are you listening to your fathers advice?" The woman asked, with a sneer, "That man may be a fool but he may be right." She glanced at the crowd expectedly, "This will turn into a party any moment now." And usually Vincenzo would ignore the damn woman but she was surprisingly tense. This would have been the first time she was right.. SNAP Her mind went alert, and by instinct, she flipped back, while throwing the chair she was on in the air in front of her in hopes to block whatever may come at her- bullets, punches, etc. "I need everyone to get as many people out as possible!" She glanced toward the recognizable voice, that was surprisingly.. serious. V.V never saw Reida.. as a leader type, sure she saw a spark of potential, but she never came off as a vongola leader. But maybe now.

Vincenzo shook her head, as she cleared the open area, her gun instinctively in hand- loaded ready to fire. In the meanwhile, her eyes darted to the various of person she registered as a team. They all were on their feet, so she went to the next objection.. the enemies. But a problem was the various of movements happening in the crowd, and despite her keen sight, it was difficult for her to target the.. opponent- opponents?
Her eyes narrowed intently, it would be hopeless for her to run back and forth, 'They will come to me.'
Wielding her weapon, she dodged the panicking watchers, while her eyes kept on searching for anyone irregular.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Reida Sawada Character Portrait: Cornelius V. Roquet

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DiCaccio was growing nervous. The Eleventh was losing herself in her speech. Did she forget her lines? A sudden wave of nervousness. Was she feeling faint? DiCaccio was just beginning to approach the podium to take over for her, when a barely audible voice caught his attention.

"We are currently in danger." It was Ai, in her quiet, sudden way of speaking. DiCaccio was about to question it, but hesitated. Then, even more suddenly, Reida cried out.

"I need everyone to get as many people out as possible!" Her tone was much fiercer than the tone she had before. "Wh-" DiCaccio couldn't finish his question. "Now!" At that, she broke into a jog, taking her brother with her. "What's going on?" DiCaccio asked, yet with a tone of control. The question was answered for him. Chaos was beginning to ensue. It was an attack. No more questions needed to be asked. DiCaccio's hand rushed to his earpiece as he crouched slightly, trying to shout over the noise, "I need security in here right now!"

"Don't," Ai said, standing in front of DiCaccio. She pointed toward the entrance. "There are weapons." DiCaccio's eyes widened as he looked over toward the entrances and saw what appeared to be flame weapons suspended in the air, rapidly expanding. DiCaccio shouted into his earpiece at the top of his lungs, but by that moment it was too late. Explosions rang off in every direction deafeningly. There were many screams as well. DiCaccio stood to observe the spectacle, what appeared to be a pile of rubble, embers of a blaze and a charred suit barely visible within, motionless. DiCaccio gritted his teeth before running backstage into cover, issuing orders. Ai followed him.

"All personnel be advised of explosives on the premises. Detonation of the main entrances has been confirmed. Priority is the evacuation of civilians... Report currently available exits. All emergency exits? Including the cargo doors? We're trapped? All security personnel within the gymnasium, your priority is the safety of all civilians. The Guardians are currently in action. I want all unrelated personnel evacuated from the building if possible. Emergency response units, prioritize creating a safe exit out of the gymnasium, use anything at your disposal. Usage of Box Weapons is authorized. Be advised of the presence of explosives. CEDEF-9 and CEDEF-10, your tasks are to make certain of the Eleventh's safety. All other CEDEF units, initiate protocol B-612. I need info! What is it Ai?"

"I have gathered information on the nature of our attackers. I am to believe there are seven of them, yet certain factors lead me to believe that estimate may be off. I estimate capabilities are beyond our own and many of them have records of extreme violence. I speculate their aim is to-"

"Ai, I don't need your speculation right now," DiCaccio responded fiercely, "I need you to follow your Boss's orders. The other guardians are dealing with the threats, your course of action is to help secure a safe passage for the guests out of the building. Go see if you can assist in clearing the main entrance and have your eye out for further explosives." Ai simply nodded.

Ai walked out from backstage toward the entrance, walking rather calmly through the panicking crowds of people. Vongola hitmen were trying to get them organized, getting people to duck under tables or get closer to the ground, as well as avoid the entrances. Ai approached the main entrance directly, without a word of objection against her. She faced the rubble, examining it up and down before turning around putting her hand out.

"Request formation of barrier foundation," she muttered, before a small white and indigo flame lit on the back of her hand. A circle began to form around Ai's feet, a indigo and white mist that was very visible. While it may have been unidentifiable, it was the base of a barrier that Ai could form at any moment, at the slightest provocation, a complete Data Refusal where no light, matter or data could pass. Of course, she couldn't form a full barrier yet because it would obstruct her vision.

Turning back around toward the remains of the entrance, she examined it once more. First, she would have to check for the presence of any further deathperation flame activity, and if she found any, she would have to calculate an effective way of dissipating it on the quantum level, seeing as she was lacking the proper Rain flames that would allow her to do so much more efficiently, and that would have taken a minute to calculate. Of course, if she didn't find any flame activity, she'd have to calculate the potential of there being an illusion which hid any other sort of explosive device, or any other form of concealment, which would have taken two minutes to calculate. Nonetheless, she was determined. Seeing as this was a matter of urgency, Ai felt that a more effective method would have been to experiment as opposed to speculate.

Now, Ai was always an extremely cautious being, and she had to be even more cautious seeing as she had an important reason to preserve her body, which would mean shielding it from harm and being less reckless in decision making. Nonetheless, Ai was also programmed with a certain thought-path, a thought-path that required the absolute most careful of fine-tuning to get perfectly right, a program that had been put in her mind that would guarantee that Ai would be destined for success, more so than any other of her kind. She had been programmed to take risks.

With careful steps, Ai approached the entrance.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akio Yamada Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Elysia Character Portrait: Reida Sawada Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Vincenzo Vongola Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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Trevor didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary. He wilted ever so slightly under the attention his older sister rained down upon him and the others during the beginning of her speech. He didn't much care for being in the spotlight. It wasn't until Reida paused for a second too long that Trevor began to pick up on the odd vibe she was throwing off. She seemed unsure of something, and he actively resisted the urge to step forward and ask her what was wrong. A moment later, his suspicions were confirmed as he observed her fingers tracing over the notch on the back of the podium, where he knew her emergency weapon was hidden.

"I'm sure..you're all ready to hear...the real reason why this ceremony was.."

That's it. He couldn't resist anymore. Though he knew he'd be scolded for it later, he broke the otherwise pristine lineup his fellow Guardians had made with their bodies, making his way forward towards Reida. Unfortunately, he didn't get more than a few steps before he froze, his eyes narrowing almost imperceptibly. Unlike the others, the snap! seemed to affect him differently. It started as a soft pressure against his eardrums but grew into a raging cacophony so intense that he screwed his eyes shut in pain, his earlier migraine returning with a vengeance.

The next thing he knew, someone had grabbed his hand and started pulling him in a direction. He recognized the sensation—the fingers clasped around his wrist; it was nothing new to him. Reida. She'd dragged him in her wake a hundred thousand times by now, and he knew better than to attempt to worm his way out of it, not that he wanted to.

Suddenly, like a veil being lifted, the pressure on his eardrums ceased, leaving behind a faint high-pitched ringing. Opening his eyes, he realized they'd left the main auditorium of the gymnasium and were now sprinting up one of the side hallways. Looking over his shoulder, he noted the chaos that had ensued back in the auditorium itself. People were running about, kids were crying, intimidating CEDEF agents in burly black suits were trying to herd groups of people towards the exits. All of it was somewhat confusing, but he got the gist. Someone was causing a ruckus, and Reida wanted her box weapon in order to deal with it. That meant it had to be serious... though, like most things, Trevor took it in stride.

That's when Reida stopped abruptly about halfway down the hall. Releasing his hand, she tore her dress like a badass action hero. Trevor just stared, his expression eerily tranquil, his hand suspended in the air where she'd left it. When she turned to look at him, he met her eyes with his own, opening his mouth to ask a question.

"Sorry, Trevor," she interrupted, wrapping her arms around the boy and hoisting him off the ground.

Well... this was new, that's for sure. Still, he didn't particularly mind being carried. "It's okay," he muttered, not wanting to break her concentration. What concerned him most was the expression plastered on her face. As he glanced up at her, he realized this was the first time he'd seen that look on her.

Something was really aggravating his sister.

They reached her room in no time. She set him down, nearly bust in the door, and swept through her room like a hurricane. It didn't take her long to find what she needed, and a few seconds later she stepped out. Trevor wasn't looking at her, however. His eyes were locked on the metal double doors that sequestered this more private area from the rest of the hallway.

"I have to get back to the gymnasium," she said, crouching down so as to be eye level with her brother. "Please find yourself some place to bunker down for now." He opened his mouth to speak but closed it again as she continued, already predicting his response. "And no arguing with me either."

As Reida turned to walk away, Trevor reached out and grabbed the fabric of her dress, halting her advance. After a brief instant of silence, he spoke.

"You can't go that way." He took a step backwards, releasing the fabric. "Somebody bad is over there."

As if on cue, several polite knocks emanated from the other side of the double doors. Without waiting for a response, they were opened, and in sauntered a woman. She had smooth coffee brown skin and thick violet hair that nearly touched the ground. Her deep green eyes were piercing, her forehead marked red. Trevor had never seen such an odd looking person before.

Well, maybe Rosa on an off day.

"Good day," the woman began, "I am here to take the Vongola Sun Ring. If you would kindly please hand it over." Her words were not laced with any hint of sarcasm or any edge of malice. "If it is not complied with, I am allowed to use force."

Shifting his eyes instead of his head, Trevor looked to Reida, his expression bland but his train of thought obvious: how do I respond?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Reida Sawada Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Vincenzo Vongola Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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After ignoring Rosa's remarks and having her storm off as usual with a few chuckles at her 'irritated annoyed walk', he replied to Vincenzo asking, "What's the plan?" His simple reply, "Go with the flow, let your inner chi guide you...that's exactly what Ai said," he lied. He started making his way on stage to his respective seat afterwards. He received many looks and glares from the attendees due to his book bag and strange attire with paint splattered all over it which could have possibly suggested he didn't prepare for this affair; however, he smiled because....it's art. He took stood next to Vincenzo and waiting for the 11th to make her way. He saw her approach them and say, "It's good to see you, Vinco-san," and now the 11th was approaching him. He always has this 'thing' for the 11th, it wasn't like a crush but more like a 'I must protect her and respect her type deal' which he believes came from Gokudera pounding that idea in his head. It's extremely similar to how Gokudera felt about the 10th.

"Defacing public property again, Ta-Ku mi-kun?" 'I'm caught' were the only words that came to mind and they repeating at each piece of his name being said. He couldn't even muster a reply for her thinking she may possibly give him a lecture, but she smiled. A sigh of relief quickly fell over him seeing a smile as vast and infinite as the sky, but her hand swiftly went onto her hip while her other tapped him on the head. 'Awwww here we go' he thought to himself. "You're covered in paint! The least you could do is clean yourself up after vandalizing the neighborhood! You-" She removed her fist and started laughing, "What?" he asked, "What's so funny?" he couldn't seem to identify the source of her laughter, but at least the change of her mood made things easier for him.

"Never mind, we should all be taking our seats on stage now. Just Ai and Trevor are left, right? They'' know to come over once they see us in our seats," Reida said as she begun making her way on stage. Vincenzo merely glanced at Troy seemingly annoyed and continued to walk. "Meh, whatever," he said out loud and followed them on stage to his seat. The ceremony begun, Ai spoke, Reida spoke, blah blah etc. As soon as Troy had his seat, he pulled out a sketch book and merely begun drawing things. Ceremonies and speeches really didn't catch his interest and if he were in a position to make it more 'entertaining' he would; however, there are even some events to where he can't or shouldn't misbehave. In the time it took Reida to finish, he had already drawn a high quality portrait of the audience watching. 'Meh, it looks alright,' he said to himself. He turned over to Ai in an attempt to show her his picture. He said quietly, "Psst, Hey Ai look at thi-." "We are currently in danger." Troy's demeanor turned from a lousy one to a more serious tone. "What do you mean? What 'danger'?" he said. He quickly glanced around to look for the 11th knowing if anyone was a target, she was.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Akio Yamada Character Portrait: Kurai Rin Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Trevor Sawada Character Portrait: Tyde Rumerio Character Portrait: Cornelius V. Roquet

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#, as written by Damioa
It was truly funny how boredom worked. At the start, it seems like it'll never pass. Hours pass by along with the boredom and it seems like each one passes slower than its predecessor. Luckily with boredom comes new ideas. Ideas of how to pass the time. These ideas could be drinking punch, or eating sweats. Even talking to people is a good way to pass through the grueling wait, that promised nothing but the utmost fun. Still, Tyde bared his teeth and went with it. It was his job after all. If he controlled himself then he would have his fun at the end of the day. How sweet it would taste too after being denied for so long. He had to think. Was he a masochist for this type of thing? Did he like being denied his birthright? His right to take life with his own prowess? It was a fun idea for a about two minutes, but seeing as he didn't really care about the ticks he had in his personality to either fix them or follow through with them. Of course this wasn't entirely true. More like a half truth. He would admit that his love for life and the last wonders of it was a tick, by human standards and maybe even alien ones. However, he didn't consider a tick. Instead it was something he was meant to do. A road he was meant to take. . . Plus it was fun.

He sighed, falling back into a state of non existence, or daydreaming for some. He noted the Vongola pair walk away from Kurai, which was a relief to him. The more they stood around them, the more he wanted to kill them.

To make matters worse, he was passing through the mid stage of boredom. Thanks to the annoying man announcing the start of the presentation. This stage was more anticipation than anything. He could literally feel his time coming upon him, much like a kid who studies all day just to smell his mothers cooking. Well, in his case it was either a doctors cooking or a servants, but it was all the same feeling at the end of the day. Usually, in an event like that, one would run to the dinner table, ready to eat. However, this was one of those times where you had to let a meal marinate first. It marinates and all you can do is sit back and look at it, licking your lips raw until the right time calls to dig in. This situation was only different because instead of food, they were targets. All lined up on stage. Had this been a mission to kill them, Tyde wouldn't hesitate but to crush them with rocks found in one of his boxes. Or even himself. Though, when he thought about it, rocks would be better. It would be less likely for them to die, especially if he targeted their limbs. Then, with the ones that survived he could have his way. It was a pity really. His fun would be cut in half, but he'd still be able to bring pain. Tyde decided he would imagine the rest after he was done. He looked at the Vongola, just like the rest of the crowd. Though, instead of paying attention to what was being said, he gazed at them long enough to fix them into his day dream.

The eleventh. Yes, she spoke about things that didn't matter to Tyde, but with every expression her face made, Tyde could see it better and better. The sight of the dark place, he called his thinking space. He had a lot of thought space in his dream world, but the thinking space was special. Each idea made Tyde an Einstein of death. Whether it be prolonging or hastening, inflicting or numbing, he was able to do it. Sometimes he wondered if the things he has thought of and done were things people would find in the future of him simplistic and boring. It made him feel happy, knowing one day, someone could surpass him.

"Oh my," he said in the dark room. "I almost forgot about my pastime. Eleventh Vongola, you aren't my target, but still, I can play with you. Hehe. Here I can play with all of you."

The dark room shown small lights in seven different places, each showing a tied up Vongola. "For the eleventh, I took out your voice box. I don't really want to here you talk about... What is it? Revolutionized Tools? Yeah, just like the man who invented the wheel said. And now look, we don't even need wheels. Circular objects are still used though so hey. Wasn't much of a waste now was it? Whatever. You bore me, so onto the next."

He walked around to the second table which had the sun guardian. "Little Trevor. So young and innocent. Though if I had my way..." He thought for a second. "Yes. Brilliant. I'll stitch your back onto the Storm kids back, then I'll hang you from the ceiling with.... Let's say fish hooks? Maybe that's too cliche. Oh. I can nail you to it with knives. Then slowly the stitches will fail do the weight of Stormy here and he'll probably fall to his death. You, on the other hand, will probably be bled out by then. Yes."

In the current plane, he smiled as he watched the eleventh talked. Tyde's eyes looked like they were focused on her and the rest of the speakers, but in all actuality he was seeing something other than some boring talkers. He was seeing the chaos of a generation other than his own. One before his own. It did become rather boring, seeing as no matter how many times he killed them in his mind, they were all up on stage, happy go lucky and... unamused? He wondered if they even wanted to be there. Well, if they didn't, he'd help them. He'd take away their boredom. Of course it would be replaced with pain, but if he was just given the signal, he would do it. There was nothing more Tyde would rather do.

He found himself going through the third phase of boredom, which was pretty close to surrendering to it. He sighed and walked back to the punch bowl, pouring himself some of the sweet red liquid and leaned on the wall. "Life is what it is I suppose," he muttered looking at his reflection in his cup. "Sure I'm bored now, but as long as life keeps going, I'll be able to cease it sooner or later. Gotta just wait it out."

He slightly tightened his grip on the cup in his hand and brought it closer to his mouth. At that time, if you asked him what he heard first, Tyde would have to say it didn't matter. For both the snapping sound and the volume change of the crowd were equally charitable to him.

The final stage of boredom had finally begun. It was funny. He couldn't even remember being bored in the first place. This feeling, the current one he could have easily exploded from, was indescribable. He loved it. He wanted it to get even more intense. If he lost himself in it, that would probably be the most glorious gift god could give him.

He looked over to Conelius. Tyde knew that he should probably fight away from the boy seeing as casualties were supposed to be kept at a minimum. Though after hearing that he was going to put on a show, he couldn't help but feel like he was missing out on something. Before walking away from Kurai, he patted her shoulder, saying, "Knock em dead kid."

As he walked around looking for a guardian, any guardian, to play with, he caught a glimpse of the older Alastor standing amongst the crowd looking as god like and awesome as ever. Thinking that it would be cool to watch him fight someone, Tyde followed after him, doing his best to catch up with the clatter and panic, the boy saw one of the Vongola guardians challenge the man to no avail. In seconds, Tyde was bursting out in laughter. He didn't even care about older Al anymore. The kid in front of him was a hoot. "Ahahahaaa. Wow. Wait. Hehehe. Ahahahahaha." He giggled and leaned his arm on the boy, laughing even harder. "Sorry, heehe....Sorry but, hahahaha." The laughter was uncontrollable. Tyde had to focus to stop and even after he continued to giggle here and there.

"Okay....Okay. Yeah, I'm good now. Hehe. So kid," he chuckled grinning at the pink haired boy. "You should give me your ring. You're most likely going to have a bad time if you don't." The Rizzo's Asteroid extended his hand as if he was about to accept the ring whenever the Vongola was ready and suddenly stopped halfway. "Actually... This isn't about you is it? Nah. It's about something greater. Life. Life has lessons for everyone to learn. So I'll teach you something. Something about how life, is also unfair."

The young man didn't lie. Unknown to the boy in front of him, he already knew things about him that could be used against him. He was also older and had killed probably more people than the boy has in his living family. One could probably add the other Vongola's families in that mix too. Not only that, but other things also made this unfair. It was unfair in Tyde's eyes. Though the fact that he wouldn't be able to kill him limited him and made it more fair. Still, Tyde was sure of the outcome. He just wasn't sure if he'd be happy with it. "You better be entertaining. I want to see if the blind should even be allowed to exist. Show me what makes life special for you and I'll teach you a lesson."

As he talked, Tyde backed up from the boy and pulled a knife that was sheathed in the back of his belt. "Draw your sword Akio," he said, wondering what the boy would think of his name being known by a stranger. "It's time to play samurai's and ninjas."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kurai Rin Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Troy Takumi

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Troy was still wondering what the impending danger consisted of since he didn't identify any of the 'enemies' in the area; however, panic started to fill the room. He looked around to see who the targets were while looking around the room for Reida. The main target in his mind would be the newly appointed Vongola guardian of course. The worst part about this is that she walked off stage earlier. He had started to walk away from Ai when a cold shrieking voice then murmured his name saying, "Troy Takumi, may I take the ring?" the strange girl asked.

The first thing Troy noticed about her was the gun in her hand, but it wasn't pointed at him. He realized the seriousness of the situation; however, he wasn't worried about himself. He was more worried about Reida because her life was the only placed above his own in his head. With that in mind, he merely glared at Kurai in the eye and slowly took off his book bag. He unzipped it slowly with her still waiting in front of him and pulled out a belt with box weapons and placed it around his waist. The next three things he pulled our were a large paint can and two spray can bottles. He carried the paint can in his left hand, and the spray bottles in his right. "So the ring thing...," he threw the large paint can towards Kurai and threw one spray can to the left while the other to the right. He quickly placed his ring in a box weapon on his belt and pulled out a small Systema C.A.I. pistol and said, "No." He shot the large paint can, and both of the spray cans one after another and they all exploded. Paint splattered everywhere on Troy, Kurai, and the general floor around the area. "The sooner you're out of my way, the better. I kill people like your for breakfast so lets make this quick." He lied.

He placed his right hand to one of the newly made pools of paint and his storm ring begun to shine. A long spear-like weapon came out of the ground, but had a paint brush tip that constantly dripped paint. He looked towards this strange girl with seemingly void black eyes and pointed his pistol at her. "Hope you're ready!" he said with a gesture as if he would shoot. His storm ring begun to shine again and his entire body immediately dissolved into the paint as if his entire being was being melted. He swiftly popped out of the area of paint formed behind Kurai and sent his spear flying at her while the spear at every movement dripped more paint onto the ground. After the first thrust, he sent three more lunges, then jumped back. "Bang, bang" he said with a devilish grin as he begun to fire off disintegration rounds from his Systema C.A.I. gun.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Althaia Rizzo

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Althaia head perked up at the distinct sound of snap, her ears pierced by the signal. Suddenly her body sprung up, and she darted through the crowd like a running rabbit- quick and agile. As she dodged the panicked crowd, her nose began to pick up a few scents.. but one she was clearly looking for was her target: Ai. 'Tick tock.'
Red eyes dilated, 'Im late. Im late.' She appeared before Ai in good distance, "Hello there!" She chirped pleasantly, as her head cocked slightly to the side, "The Mist guardian Ai, Its a honor." A little giggle followed.

"Does your data base have anything on me?" She questioned curiously, seemingly knowing of the girl's intel. "Probably not, but soon you will know me, Us." As those words slipped her lips, a pale, transparent white flame surrounded her body- almost invisible to the naked eye however. But unlike the others around her, Althaia's senses spiked, and everything around her became known. ImageEvery coming movement, to the panicked hushed voices among the crowd. Despite these sensitive sense, Althaia had control, and it allowed her to focus on the Guardian.

She was waiting carefully, watching every little twitch of the target, while keeping a small smile which graced her lips always. "Anyways, Im sure you know what im coming for." She pouted, "But you wont just give it to me correct? So lets play a game." The pout disappeared, her eyes glowed, "Not a short game of course, because I have high expectations in you, in the Vongola, so itll be a lengthy one, but itll be fun." She paused, before chuckling sympathetically, "Even though the winner is already known." The rizzos.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Althaia Rizzo

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"Hello there!" Ai turned her head from her careful work (even if it only appeared as if she were merely standing there) to glance at the voice that had addressed her. A woman in white. Ai could determine from her demeanor that she seemed rather peaceful, although something was quite adding up. Her appearance! Her facial features. In the information she was currently downloading, Ai thought she appeared familiar. The fact that she knew her identity as a Guardian wasn't too alarming. Yet, it appeared she knew more than that.

"Does your data base have anything on me?" Ai turned her body completely around to face her. The woman could only have been referring to the Thought Integration Database. Ai's mind went tense as it reacted to the stimulus of encountering a threat. "Probably not, but soon you will know me, Us." Ai could sense the presence of deathperation flames being generated by the person in front of her, only Ai couldn't quite identify them. Ai stood there, examining this threat. From what Ai could observe, it appeared that similar threats have been encountering the Vongolas one by one and engaging them in combat. Ai determined it had to be their aim, to take on each of the Vongolas alone. This one must have come for Ai. As much as Ai wanted to fulfill the Boss's orders of evacuating all the guests, it appeared that the only way she could assure their safety was to engage this one in combat, just as all the others were, so none of the attackers would be able to direct harm against third parties, unless the threats outnumbered the Vongolas. Ai may have made no movements on her body, but hidden under those hallucinations Ai transmitted, her cords was squirming along the body's membrane, expanding and tensing.

"Anyways, Im sure you know what im coming for." More or less. For Ai specifically, although for what reason she was not certain, yet it had to be the same reason as the others. "But you wont just give it to me correct? So lets play a game." So she was after something. It must have been something in her possession, something all the other guardians had. It had to be their rings, of course. Ai blinked as she watched this threat become more menacing. "Not a short game of course, because I have high expectations in you, in the Vongola, so itll be a lengthy one, but itll be fun." A game. Was this threat's intention not to engage her in combat? Or was it one of those ever-so confusing metaphors. "Even though the winner is already known." Typically, Ai believed that she could win any game that involved either probability, physics or cognitive function. Yet, if this were a metaphorical game, namely, a battle, then she wasn't as certain. Still, like a game, Ai believed she could calculate the positive outcome of a battle as long as she had information. She needed that information. Of course, she'd need to stall for the time to download it.

"I do have information on your existence," Ai said unintimidatingly. It wasn't exactly a lie, but Ai would have to wait to get more accurate results. After all, in one future, this girl was a cripple named Flandre and in another she was a pilot named Rovert. "I am aware of the reason you have come here," for the Vongola rings, yet she didn't know why, "And I am aware of who you are," the Rizzo family, Ai had figured that out a while ago. "Seeing as you are already aware of who I am as well as what I am, then you should already be aware of my capabilities as well as my abilities to both gather information from any point in time as well as calculate infinite sets of probabilities. I have all the information about your capabilities and your weaknesses, including an infinite amount of ways that you specifically are able to lose in battle. Therefore, engaging me in combat is an unnecessary as it is already a forgone conclusion as to which of us will succeed in a battle." It was all a big bluff, but that's what the Mist guardian's specialty was, right?

"With this knowledge, please reiterate the exact reason you have for attacking us, both you as a group and you personally."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Althaia Rizzo

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Her ears tuned in to her words and despite being cleverly retorted by the guardian, Althaia's smile never faltered.
"Seeing as you are already aware of who I am as well as what I am, then you should already be aware of my capabilities as well as my abilities to both gather information from any point in time as well as calculate infinite sets of probabilities. I have all the information about your capabilities and your weaknesses, including an infinite amount of ways that you specifically are able to lose in battle." This wasnt new to her, but she understood the lie that was entangled into those words. Besides, she wouldnt fear a person who knew time anyways.. she only quivered under one, her leader. Well.. for now three leaders.
"With this knowledge, please reiterate the exact reason you have for attacking us, both you as a group and you personally." She shook her head. Althaia was always underestimated due to her bubbly appearance but she was knowledgeable.. besides no one tells their plans in any game.

Especially in a game of life and death. "Well we want the rings." She smiled, "But whats the fun in revealing everything?" She sniffed for her leader, before continuing, "Besides I dont want to waste much time, so lets have fun huh? Even though according to you.. I'll loose." That got a giggle out of her and Suddenly she hopped gently on her feet, as a boxer would preparing for a fight. "Tick tock." she chimed, and as her breath escaped her, Althaia appeared behind Ai, sending a kick quickly towards her hip. At the same time, if Ai chose to use her flame, the area around Althaia, if not a meter away, would not allow any of it due to her comet ability- cancellation. (excluding familar allied flames) And as the kick left her (if hit or miss) she took a light hop back, and sent a upper cut towards her chin. While her body moved, her senses tingled: Her hearing, eye sight, and 6th sense, ready to dart away from any movement coming towards her, like a wary rabbit. Her blood red eyes shone.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Althaia Rizzo

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Ai hardly did much more than bend over slightly when she was kicked. The kick would have hurt, yet Ai was able to avoid harm to her body thanks to her cords. They had quickly wrapped around her midsection as soon as the attack hit, although her opponent wouldn't have been able to sense it. Ai turned around only to see the next attack head straight toward her, yet she did not move out of the way. Instead, the threat's fist appeared to get caught on something, as if it were grapped. Ai stared directly into the threat's eyes with her own two. At that moment, the light around Ai seemed to bend as Ai's appearance began to transform into something much more unusual. Surrounding her body were cords and strings in sickly colors varying from red to yellow to pink. They all connected to her body, some points visible and some hidden beneath her clothing, yet they were everywhere, like orbitals on the diagram of an atom. Many connected to a single point over her chest, where a large inhuman eye hung, staring.

Ai's true identity, that of an otherworldly creature. Only Ai's opponent could see them, yet this was merely an intimidation display. Ai still had to conceal her identity from the other organisms in the room, yet such actions were inefficient. Ai was running relatively slowly as she was still receiving data from the TIC, mainly about the unusual flame that Ai had just experienced. It's properties seemed to have a tranquilizing effect on the growth of Ai's cords, yet their properties were very different from Rain flames. It had to have been a kind beyond the Sky set ordinarily found on Earth at this period in time.

"If you refuse to cease," Ai said with her cold and boring tone of voice, "Then I will be forced to subdue, or if I deem it necessary, terminate you." The cords tightened around her arm.

Althaia eyes refused to shift from the guardian's, for she felt no fear at the moment. Even if Ai appeared different, her true form, Althaia also had one. She knew that she herself was a monster, and it made her wonder what kind Ai was. 'Is she one?' It was a bit comforting to know that she wasn't alone, but she knew these thoughts were the last thing that should come to mind. "I'm sorry I can't," She replied, almost genuinely apologetically. "I have a mission to follow, and if you had one, I'm sure you wouldn't cease just because an opponent told you too." Her smile never faltered, but her eyes suddenly gleamed sympathetically, "If you don't understand now, you will." Suddenly, she bit down on the biological cords with her supposedly human teeth, however on contact, they cut way faster then one would assume.

It was a combination of surprisingly sharp teeth, along with the inhuman strength of her jaw- somewhat like a rabbit. As she teared through, she hopped back, flipping past the cords that came in her way. Her 360 vision coming very handy, but as she backed off, she questioned her next move. It seems like her flames were going to be able to completely stop her opponent, due to the cords being one with her. But mist induced illusions at least, weren't going to be a problem. Brushing her skirt up slightly, she pulled out a pair of weapons, sickles, one for each hand. One the ends were chains that trailed on the floor, revealing their heavy weight which would surely hurt if came in contact with flesh. "Anyways, are you human?" She asked curiously, leaping forward, "Do your fellow guardians know of this form?" She sliced through cords in her way, having slight difficulty due to their thickness.. and as she came close to the girl, she whipped the chains towards her, in rapid moments, while cutting through cords with the other scythes on the end.

Ai found that her biological defenses weren't holding up well. The opponent was quickly cutting through them faster than Ai could grow them. Maybe she could have strengthened them with her Mist flames, yet Ai felt her defenses failing her. Ai was likely not going to win a physical engagement. Ai quickly put up a barrier to defend from an incoming attack, all of her cords recoiling quickly. A great big wall appeared, it merely being a screen of distorted light that look similar to a thick mist. Nothing could pass, not even light, yet it was only a small barrier. Just as quickly, Ai deleted the barrier, it disapating into a thin mist of ionized particals which quickly dissappeared into thin air.

"You are aware of this form," Ai stated, "So you are aware of the particulars of my frame, this frame of which your kind will despise. I will demonstrate the exact nature of my inhumanity." At that moment, Ai completely dissolved into a jumbled mess of cords of which were a sickly pink. They quickly expanded in mass and quantity and appeared to become a great big monster of its own. All at once, this sea of alien spaghetti came crashing down on the human enemy.

Her eyes widened a fraction, unprepared, but her animalistic instincts kicked in to save her. She fliped back, several times, before jumping up and towards the panicking crowd. She was only a few feet from a confused family, and she stared at the piles of cords, wondering what her next move would be. Surely she could aim and hit one her. but Althaia was agile and quick, so one wrong move and one little dodge, could lead to someone else's undoing. Though nobody else in the crowds seemed to quite notice it, the various cords quickly dispersed and slithered through the crowds, closing in on their target from all directions. Her eyes dilated, and her ears twitched, the slithering was every where, and between moving foot steps she spotted sickly colored cords. Her mind gave her calming, rational thoughts, however her rabbit side of her told her otherwise, 'Danger.' Her leg muscles tightened, 'Everywhere.' And from past experience, Althiaia noticed her instincts being the thing to keep alive, so her human mind closed briefly and thus her body launched.

Similar to a panicked rabbit stuck in containment, she began to leap, unpredicatably all over the room, mostly on the walls. As she, she whipped her chains around her, like a barrier in a sense. It showed the skill that Althaia achieved, further proving that shes a force to be careful with. 'Where's the danger!' Her rabbit mind screamed, but the human side slipped in, 'Where was the source!' Not sure her body did the opposite from sensible, she continued to bounce all about, uncarring of the things she was hitting.. such as the people. And because of this, she didnt mind the fact that her chains were about to hit the public, especially a women closest to her.

It may have been difficult, due to the fact that the target was jumping all over the place, but with careful tracking and calculation of the target's movements and velocity, it was possible. Ai appeared seemingly out of nowhere, hidden by a hallucination, right in front of her target. Just as she was headed directly for her, Ai pulled up another Data Refusal which was created right in front of her, with the intention that she could damage her quick-moving target. Ai may have seemed to been able to pull up these barriers effortlessly, yet the amount of calculations she needed to make to create each one really had a toll on Ai's current mental capacity, especially when she was already devoting a portion to downloading information and another to creating constant hallucinations. In fact, to create this barrier, her previous illusion had to disapate, the many cords that slithered through the crowds like water in rapids just disappearing into thin air.

The disappearance of the cords was more than perfect, for her human mind came back in control, and because of that, she stopped. But maybe not in time, she collided with the barrier, which scathed her skin considerable, causing her to pull back. Along with that gravity took a toll on the static personal, allowing her to fall but quick on her feet, she caught herself. She frowned at the scratches on her snow white skin, especially when familar red liquid seeped through, however this was a welcoming price in exchange for the location of her opponent. Quickly, she began to whip the barrier without pause, not wanting to lose track of her. But she again began to question the effiency of her actions, would the barrier ever come down? Nevertheless she continued, hoping to keep note of where the oppoenent was. She also began to move her chains directions a bit as well, trying to get a visual image of the barrier around Ai. From where she hit, she assume that was the shape of the date refusal, but to her interest, the chains suddenly curved as if it hit the side of a wall. Was this not surrounding her like she imagined? Althaia decided to experiment, so she leaped a good distance from the opponent, and instead of sending the chained end of her weapon, she switched, sending the scythe side in hopes of hitting something from her angle. From what she visualized, her current aim would be beyond the "wall", 'Well?' She wondered, waiting.

Ai was planning on using the barrier as a mere distraction as she snuck around to attack her target while invisible. Yet of the thousand possibilities that could have happened instead, Ai's head was hit directly by the scythe, the sharp tool bouncing off her skull and hitting the ground. Ai did not fall to the ground or recoil in pain, however, she was bleeding. Invisible, yet bleeding at the right side of her head where it had hit. One of the cords that was attached to her head (seemingly attached to her headband) was also cut, causing Ai to freeze in place. That one cord may have been one of many attached to vital parts of her nervous system, but that one was heavily involved in transfering illusions from Alien thought patterns into human brainwaves. Ai wouldn't have been able to generate any more illusions until she healed that part. It was already quickly regenerating, but it would have taken about thirty seconds to do so. Ai quickly fled back to the cover of her own barrier, although how long she would be safe in that cover, she wasn't certain.

She blinked as the end of her scythe hit something, whether it was an illusion or not, she wasnt sure but she took her chances seeing how all the other illusions disappeared. "Ai tick tock." She said pleasently, "We are wasting a lot of time!" Even if this statement seemed full of irritation, Althaia was not, she was still as cheerful as she was from the beginning. Going at the wall again, she switched both ends from chains to scythes. One used to give Althaia consistent visual, while the other one was used to hopefully harm the guardian even further. So as she continued on to whipping, her curved blade found the end of the wall, and instead of piercing it.. the blade hooked on. Althaia took note of this, and was careful not to pull back, while the other chain kept at it. this time she wasnt hitting any wall, due to her new knowledge on where the wall was, and by the blades ability to hook on, how thick the wall was, she got a good estimation on where to hit. However her blade was small and she saw her chances to be small as well. So instead, she lept up, letting the hooked chain guide her way, and she began to swipe rapidly with long waves of her hand, hoping to cover more ground.

Ai, crouched on the ground behind the barrier, witnessed the threat soar right over her and begin to attack the area blindly. Ai witnessed it at her chance to retaliate, even though her illusionry ability was still out of commision. Ai stood and approached her enemy from behind, her cords extending with intention of subduing her.

Althaia frowned considerably, since she felt her hook hit nothing. but as she began to continue, her 6th sense spiked. Nothing was ahead of her.. or so she felt, and her sensible human mind agreed, 'No point in going past the hooked blade..' So she decided to try again, thus she dropped without any notice, her feet facing the ground ready to land.

Then, with sudden intensity, Ai's cords wrapped around Althaia, restraining each and every one of her limbs as if she were being mummified. They prodded at her body and squirmed all over it, bringing it close to Ai. Ai brought her victim's face close to her own. The cords around her neck were especially threatening.

"As I have stated," Ai said, regardless of her head wound, "This outcome was predetermined. Cease your violence or risk your freedom of thought." Ai could have easily used her ability to possess this target at any time for the sake of both subduing her and gaining information, yet doing so would have required all of Ai's mental concentration, and she was still downloading large amounts of information from the TID, not to mention the fact that she was still hiding her Alien identity from the masses. Possessing another girl could have meant the end of Ai's mission if she couldn't preserve secrecy. Still, having her ring taken could also have had its own set of catastrophic effects.

Althaia smile fell for the first time in this battle, the words she heard made her scared.. not neccesarily because of Ai herself, but because of the disappointment and anger her leader would have for her.. even if she was dead. If she failed, Althaia may be deemed better gone.. She would have quivered if it weren't for the restraintments. The sight of "bigger Al" in front of her.. his face holding that constant frown.. She bit her lower lip. 'No.' In any other situation, she would barely struggle, she may just laugh about it, however this mission was important.. and if she couldn't achieve this much.. Well her fate wouldn't be pretty. Her life was for the Rizzo's, her king! And so her smile again graced her lips, as she remembered her sole purpose once more, "End me. You clearly have the power too." She said, but as she rambled quietly, her lingering flame that traced around the room from her earlier nonstop hopping, began to concentrate to individual forms.. rabbits to be precise. And because of the flames already being present in the room earlier.. it may not spike any suspicion, until they strike. Now like rabbits, they multipled to a number a bit more then the cords.. and once they finished, they attacked with monsterous speed. Their usual innocent expressions turned almost blood thirsty, and that thirst may be the thing that drove them nuts.

Appearing before Ai and Althaia, numbers of them striked different cords.. some towards Ai directly. But the priority was her neck and limbs, so quickly they teared away, freeing Althaia from close to death experience. Not taking any moment to pause, she used the wall as leverage and shot forward, her scythe whipping ahead of her, cutting through cords.. and hopefully at Ai as well. And if she missed, her box animals too were shooting forward, at a closer range, in search of the disguised alien. But due to the seconds before attack, she took good care in forming the chained barrier around her self.

Ai's hesitation nearly led to her downfall. Ai found herself being ripped to shreds quickly and viciously and though she fought back, it almost seemed as if she was an organism that was fated to fall prey to a greater force. Though her Alien parts hardly were effected by physical harm, her human parts were not. So many attacks were directed at Ai, and soon, Ai's actual body would be in danger. Normally, an Alien like herself wouldn't protect their vessels so desperately, yet this vessel was special. As troublesome as it was, Ai had to protect this vessel at all costs.

As Ai found herself nearly overwhelmed by attacks, her mind ran at lightning speed. She only had one hope left. Just as the attacks nearly connected, the barrier that was still behind Ai began to shift in shape. It's shape became distorted and scewed before wrapping itself around Ai in a circular motion, completely encompasing her in a misty shell. All the non-essential external cords that were beyond the barrier's limits were merely shed as Ai was left with many cut ends and injuries to her Alien body, yet nothing serious enough to damage her mind. At the same time, Ai's illusions had completely faded, yet that didn't matter now that she was encompased by this barrier. Unfortunately, surrounding herself in a complete data refusal meant that she had lost connection to the TID, so she could no longer download any data. At the same time, she could not physically sense exactly what was going on outside of the barrier. Ai was completely trapped in her own little pocket of space, seperated from the universe. It may have been a last resort, but it was the only way to preserve both her body and her ring.