Katekyō Hitman REB0RN!: The Next Generation

Katekyō Hitman REB0RN!: The Next Generation

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Only shortly after becoming the next ring bearers, the Vongola Family Guardians are faced with a new threat, the Rizzo Family.

2,211 readers have visited Katekyō Hitman REB0RN!: The Next Generation since Lloyd999 created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://reborn.wikia.com/wiki/reborn_wiki

Introduction

65 years after the 10th Generation , and 4 years after the Tenth himself died, the new ring-bearers, picked out by the Tenth in his will, have received their rings. Most of the Guardians are familiar with the boss, with few exceptions, but they have a lot of responsibility on their part. Thanks to the Tenth, the Vongola Famiglia has been steering away from its long history of crime and became more of a vigilante group behind the scenes, but to the public, they were one of the biggest corporations in the world, being involved in all kinds of businesses; Bakeries, Car Manufacturing, Electronics, Toys, and more to be named. They even sponsored hospitals and other services, making them seemingly perfect and far from suspicion. The new Boss, Vongola Undicesimo, along with his guardians, will have to get used to the new responsibilities.

However, a new group has appeared, coming from a hundred years in the future and using a currently unknown set of flames, dubbed the Flames of Space, each having their own unique properties, these flames of which can be used without rings, for the rings have been implanted in their bodies. They seek out the new young guardians, but for what reason? Perhaps the answer lies beyond the Sky, in the vastness of Space.



Flames of Sky

Sky - The wide open Sky encompasses all that's above and balances them all in a perfect Harmony. These flames can quell any other.

Storm - The all-power and undying Tempest that breaks away at anything in it's path. Destruction and Disintegration are this flame's strong points.

Rain - The cool refreshing Rain brings calmness and Tranquility into our hearts. This flames properties can lessen the power of others.

Sun - The bright and radiant Sun shines upon the ground below, being the source of all of life's energy. It can Activate the true power of anything.

Lightning - Instantaneous and unpredictable, yet when tamed, energizes much of our lives. Anything charged by this flame will be Hardened for battle.

Mist - Lying low, the Mist inhibits the ability to see the truth and changes our perception of reality. In the Mist, anything of your dreams can be Constructed.

Cloud - The Clouds remain untamed and truly free, flowing and growing at will. These flames Multiplication properties can work without any regard.


Flames of Space

Space - Space has existed since the beginning of time, and shall exist until the end. This flame grants the user with power over Time.

Quasar - The absolute brightest thing in the Universe, and absolutely spectacular. The spectacularity of these contributes to the Explosive properties of this flame.

Comet - In the frigid nothingness of space, the Comet roams. The properties of these flames Freeze what others burn.

Asteroid - Asteroids fly untamed and the faster they are, the more destructive. Like the Momentum of doomsday rocks, these flames continually get more intense.

Moon - Our natural satellite flies so close, yet so far away, and while it provides light in the dark, it can bring darkness in the light. Like the Lunar Eclipse, it can Cancel out all flames.

Star - Bright and awe-inspiring, the twinkling stars only twinkle by illusion. For these flames, it is only a matter of Perception.

Dark Matter - Dark Matter is mysterious, not interacting with energy or matter and its properties are strange. To Copy the properties of other flames is the only way to light it.


Thanks for all the support we've received so far! All our character roles are now full! If new roles open up in the future, I will post them here, but for now, it's awesome that all the roles are finally filled.

Sky Guardian - Cain Vongola by Damioa
Storm Guardian - Nami Gokudera by KumoriKitsune
Rain Guardian - Fredrick Dill Koenig by Golgari
Cloud Guardian - Murasaki Eri by TnevdaNai
Mist Guardian - Shaji Ai by Lloyd999
Lightning Guardian - Joel Lambe by Damioa
Sun Guardian - Miyamoto Keiko by TnevdaNai

Space Guardian - Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo by Xunnamius
Quasar Guardian - Hildegarde "Garda" Faust by Xunnamius
Comet Guardian - Miku "Elizabeth" Risso by Miyer
Dark Matter Guardian - Flandre Valiere by Lloyd999
Star Guardian - Sora Rizzo by KumoriKitsune
Asteroid Guardian - Donovan Shmautz by Golgari
Moon Guardian - Trevor Rizzo by Xunnamius

Vongola Character Skeleton

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[center][size=290]Vongola Guardian of the (ROLE HERE)

NAME HERE [/size][/center]


[center][img]IMAGE HERE[/img]

[font=Constantia][size=160]❝Quote.❞[/size]

[size=80][url=link]Name of Theme Song | Artist Name[/url][/size][/font][/center]


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[left][img] IMAGE HERE [/img][/left]

[b][size=95]❋ Nickname ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Nickname Here[/size]

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[b][size=95]❋Box weapon ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Box weapon Here[/size]

[b][size=95]❋Flame type ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Flame type Here {What is your characters Flame type (or types if they have more then one but get go crazy.) how does it relate to their personality, and how do they like to use there flame}[/size]

[b][size=95]❋ Abilities ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Abilities  Here [/size]

[b][size=95]❋ Face Claim ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Face Claim Here { you don't have to if you dont want to}[/size]

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[right][img] IMAGE HERE [/img][/right]

[b][size=95]❋  Height & Weight ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Height & Weight Here {Original}[/size]

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[size=80]Eye color Here { or if they have contacts, glasses, etc}[/size]

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[size=80]Birthmarks/Scars/Tattoos/Piercings Here [/size]

[b][size=95]❋  Physical Description ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Physical Description Here[/size]



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[left][img] IMAGE HERE [/img][/left]

[b][size=95]❋  Techniques ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Answer Here {What Techniques does your character have, or how they like to use there flame.}[/size]

[b][size=95]❋  Personality ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Answer Here {Original}[/size]

[right][img] IMAGE HERE [/img][/right]

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[size=80]Romantic InterestHere[/size]

[b][size=95]❋  Family ❋ [/b][/size]
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[size=80]History Here [/size]
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Rizzo Character Skeleton

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[center][size=290]Vongola Guardian of the (ROLE HERE)

NAME HERE [/size][/center]


[center][img]IMAGE HERE[/img]

[font=Constantia][size=160]❝Quote.❞[/size]

[size=80][url=link]Name of Theme Song | Artist Name[/url][/size][/font][/center]


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[font=Constantia][b][size=95]❋ Full name ❋[/b][/size]
[size=90]Name Here[/size]
[left][img] IMAGE HERE [/img][/left]

[b][size=95]❋ Nickname ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Nickname Here[/size]

[b][size=95]❋ Alias ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Alias Here {If you don't have any just put "none".}[/size][/font]

[b][size=95]❋ Age ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Age Here {10+}[/size]

[b][size=95]❋ Gender ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Answer Here[/size]

[b][size=95]❋ Sexuality ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Answer Here[/size]

[b][size=95]❋Box weapon ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Box weapon Here[/size]

[b][size=95]❋Flame type ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Flame type Here {What is your characters Flame type (or types if they have more then one but get go crazy.) how does it relate to their personality, and how do they like to use there flame}[/size]

[b][size=95]❋ Abilities ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Abilities  Here [/size]

[b][size=95]❋ Face Claim ❋[/b][/size]
[size=80]Face Claim Here { you don't have to if you dont want to}[/size]

[hr][/hr][hr][/hr]

[right][img] IMAGE HERE [/img][/right]

[b][size=95]❋  Height & Weight ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Height & Weight Here {Original}[/size]

[b][size=95]❋  Hair color/Length/Quality ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Hair Here [/size]

[b][size=95]❋ Eye color ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Eye color Here { or if they have contacts, glasses, etc}[/size]

[b][size=95]❋  Distinguishable Facial Features ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Facial Features Here {if any}[/size]

[b][size=95]❋  Birthmarks/Scars/Tattoos/Piercings ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Birthmarks/Scars/Tattoos/Piercings Here [/size]

[b][size=95]❋  Physical Description ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Physical Description Here[/size]



[left][b][Likes][/b][/left] [right][b][Dislikes][/b][/right]
[left][color=#0D9D00][b]o[/b][/color] Like1[/left] [right]Dislike1 [color=#FF0000][b]x[/b][/color][/right]
[left][color=#0D9D00][b]o[/b][/color] Like2[/left] [right]Dislike2 [color=#FF0000][b]x[/b][/color][/right]
[left][color=#0D9D00][b]o[/b][/color] Like3[/left] [right]Dislike3 [color=#FF0000][b]x[/b][/color][/right]

[hr][/hr][hr][/hr]
[left][img] IMAGE HERE [/img][/left]

[b][size=95]❋  Techniques ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Answer Here {What Techniques does your character have, or how they like to use there flame.}[/size]

[b][size=95]❋  Personality ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Answer Here {Original}[/size]

[right][img] IMAGE HERE [/img][/right]

[b][size=95]❋  Romantic Interest ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Romantic InterestHere[/size]

[b][size=95]❋  Family ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]Family Here[/size]

[b][size=95]❋ History ❋ [/b][/size]
[size=80]History Here [/size]
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Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

Browse All » 6 Settings to roleplay in

Earth

Earth by Lloyd999

None

Italy

Italy by Lloyd999

Beautiful and beloved nation of the Italians.

Japan

Japan by Lloyd999

Proud island nation of the Japanese.

Namimori

Namimori by Lloyd999

The familiar town of KHR

Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Vongola Headquarters in Japan by Lloyd999

The busiest place in Namimori is under it!

Joel's Vacation Home

Joel's Vacation Home by Lloyd999

Super-secret training base of the Vongola Eleventh

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 7 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera

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Nami Gokudera


“The fans will love your new set Tempest! You’re like a whole new girl!” exclaimed Nami’s manager, “How’d you make those special effects?”

“Trade secret. Just a little thing I picked up in my meantime,” replied Nami.

‘Bzzzt, Bzzzt’ Nami’s phone buzzed.

”You have one unheard voicemail. Now playing.”

“Hey Nami, we’re meeting up at my place for some training and about the missing rings. I’ll need you here soon,” said Joel. *click*

“Eh, so soon? I have so much stuff to do though,” complained Nami.

She currently was in a limousine on her way to the Namimori stadium. Her ‘Return of Tempest’ concert was tonight and she will have to put on a spectacular show. The miraculous recovery of their idol from the ‘car accident’ along with the missed concerts caused her fame to skyrocket. CD’s were sold out, exclusive accessories were bought, and the fans praying for her recovery finally came into fruition. She couldn’t disappoint them after all they've done.

‘Bzzzt, Bzzzt’ was the ringing sound produced from calling Joel. “I’m sorry, you have reached the voice mail of ‘Joel’,” His unique but manly voice stood out to Nami, ”That player,”. “Please leave a voice mail after the tone *beep*”

“Hey Joel, yeah about that meeting up. I’ll be a little late….maybe even a couple a days. Sorry, but I have a few concerts. Feel free to call me back. Ciao!”

The crowds were packed outside of the stadium. “Wow, lines have never been this long.” Even those with tickets were still at a standstill in line just to get in. “Limousine! Is that TEMPEST?!” one deranged fan yelled. “I love you Tempest!” “Come over here” “Sign my shirt!” “Marry me!” the fans started to yell.

The look on Nami’s face showed her relief of not having to walk through the fans. “Hehe...glad to have a loving fan base.” Her limousine pulled up through the back entrance. She went through her usual process, got dressed up in her stage costume, vocal practices in the back, hairdressers, everything. “You guys ready?” she asked her band known as the Blast of Tempest. “Of course Nami,” one of the guitarist replied. “Lets go guys!”

They were directly under the stage all in position on a circular platform. She took a deep breath, “It’s showtime!’



Sora Rizzo


As Hildegarde entered Alastor’s section of the Rizzo headquarters, her eyes were immediately drawn past the Spartan bedding and the large box-like device on the floor—what people of this time called a “TV”—to the wall on her left. The wall itself was painted white, like the rest of the building, with splotches of dirt and grime occurring every here or there; however, as she got closer, Hildegarde noticed lines and lines of inky black writing. Squinting, she recognized the scribbles instantly.

Math. More specifically, differential calculus in the form of statistics.

Facing the wall, with a marker in his hand, was Alastor, furiously scribbling, adding more equations and calculations and numbers to the painted surface. Behind him stood the Star guardian, Sora, and it seemed as if the two were in the middle of a conversation..

“So, I didn’t get the ring. Whatever. So now what? What’s the next move? I can’t just sit around here waiting.”

Alastor didn’t respond for an entire minute, leaving the room in silence, save for the squeak of his marker as it streaked across the wall. Hildegarde took the opportunity to get closer to Alastor and his work, leaning forward towards the wall in silent admiration of what was written atop it.

“Waiting is what you will do. You’re on standby for now.” Alastor stopped writing, taking a step back to admire his work. Hildegarde stood beside him, nodding in approval… until she spotted something.

“Uh, I think you forgot to flip the sign there, Al,” she said, pointing at the wall. Alastor frowned slightly, his eyes darting to where she pointed. After a moment, he pinched his nose with his fingers, muttering a curse under his breath.

“Thanks,” he responded, moving back to where Hildegarde indicated his mistake. After a few seconds, Alastor spoke again, finishing his conversation with Sora. “Let the other Rizzo handle the remaining rings, Sora.”

“I guess,” he replied unamused, “I’m just bored. Maybe I’ll go around the city for some fun.”

“Don’t screw up the timeline,” Hildegarde joked, her deep accented drawl adding flavor to her words. She moved to hide her smirk behind the back of her hand as she continued. “You don’t want to end up as your own grandfather or anything. That’d suck.”

“Tch, whatever Garda. You’re more likely to mess up the timeline than me. Nice bank robbery, should’ve called me tag along” he said chuckling as he walked off.

“I don’t get it,” came a monotonous voice by the room’s entrance. It was Trevor, who’d materialized in his typical lack-of-a-presence ninja-esque fashion. “How do you become your own grandfather?”

“Well you see Trevor,” Sora began, “when a man and woman like each other very much. They do this really fun thing called—”

“Cough!” Hildegarde said out loud, rather than actually coughing. She held up her hand like a referee. Alastor chuckled softly, but didn’t otherwise respond, choosing instead to keep scribbling on the wall. Hildegarde turned, facing Trevor, casually fanning her face with her hand. “Well aren’t you a lil’ ninja. What’s up?”

Trevor stepped into the room, holding the disk he received from the Tempest in his hands. “I’ve been looking at this chaotic flame we saw back at the Vongola facility.” He looked up at Alastor, who was still facing the wall, scribbling. “I’ve run it through all of the C-Frame’s internal databases, as well as through the Vongola VPN, but there’s nothing on it. Absolutely nothing, as if it’d never occurred before.” He looked over at Hildegarde, and then at Sora. “I think we should research it.”

Alastor stepped back from the wall once again, admiring his new work. “No,” he said, though his tone was not stern. “Nami does not have a ring; hence, she’s not on our radar.”

“But—”

“Our resources’re already limited, Trev,” Hildegarde chimed in. “Can’t spare more people.”

Sora put his hand on Trevor’s head like an older brother, “I’ll check it out Trev. You like this chick huh? Tempest right?”

Trevor looked up at Sora, his expression as impenetrable as his tone. “She’s nice.”

Sora swiped the CD from Trevor’s hands. “She’s pretty too, but definitely not my type for sure. Where will she be at?” Trevor extended his hand, making a couple of grabbing motions. Sora handed the CD back to him.

“She’s about to give a concert in a little while at Namimori stadium.” Trevor looked over at Hildegarde briefly before looking back to Sora, tilting his head slightly to the side. “I can navigate you.”


**


Moving through the sky almost as if a surfer riding the winds, Sora was on his way through Namimori heading towards Tempest’s concert. After using his flame fueled skateboard to jet through the sky, Sora finally arrived at the Namimori stadium. “So Tempest must really be a big thing during this time huh? I’m kind of shocked.” Sora began making his way to the entrance.

“Hey! No cutting in line bub,” one man exclaimed.

Sora looked him directly in the eye, “I’ll let you try that again.”

“Hehe, please sir continue,” the man said.

This process of questioning Sora, eye contact, and the new found kindness produced by the star flamed allowed him to quickly move to the front of the line.

“Ticket sir,” the bouncer asked.

He merely tapped the man shoulder and said, “I gave it to you already.”

“You’re right. Go ahead,” the man smiled as he allowed him to go on.

“Too easy,” Sora said to himself. “Hmm...I don’t want any bad seats. If I’m investigating Tempest, I might as well get close seat. Heh, V.I.P. for free!”

He made his way to the front and gave some unlucky fan to ‘willingly’ give up his seat to go elsewhere. He stood roughly in the second row from the stage which was literally the best seats in the house. The performer Tempest would only be a few feet away.

“I’ve never seen a real concert before, hopefully she won’t disappoint,” he said while meaning on some ‘free’ popcorn which was another ‘kind donation.’

“Are you all ready for a show?!” announced a feminine voice from the speakers spread across the stadium.

“Yeah!!!!!!!!!” cried out the crowd like an army of angered Spartans.

“Why are they so loud?” Sora exclaimed to himself out loud, “can’t they just listen?”

The feminine announcer counted down, “3, 2, 1,” all of the lights focused on the stage while the remaining areas of the stadium stood in darkness. No one was on stage at this moment. Suddenly, POW, miniature fireworks exploded and the title ‘Return of Tempest’ popped up on the screen. A full band and the star herself Tempest arose from a circular platform from the ground all in overly dramatic poses standing still as if time stopped.

The band immediately starting playing an upbeat song called ‘Dance, Dance, Tempest’ from her new album. “Eh, it’s catchy,” Sora said to himself slightly amused bobbing his head. After about five minutes of her standard routine, Nami stopped dancing and said, “Alright band. Stop.”

The crowd grew silent seeing the celebrity herself stop in the middle of the performance. Nami merely stood there staring out into the crowd with a smirk on her face while the crowd murmured and wondered what happen. Nami extended her right hand out in front of her as if she were receiving some money from someone. A crimson flame appeared out of thin air floating in front of her palm. She threw the flame up in the air then it begun to expand like a flipped tornado completely enveloping Nami. ”It’s that flame!” Sora thought to himself while he stood in his chair.

After about five seconds, the crimson tornado spiral slowly moved from Nami and what was seen was a whole new girl. It was Nami with black hair, red eyes, and a mischievous smirk upon her face. “You ready to rock?!” Nami yelled out no longer having her gentle girl persona look. The new song played by the band was more a contemporary rock song with a heavy focus on the guitar. “Nice, I like this. Sounds like that Paramore thing I heard earlier,” Sora said.

They ran through a couple of songs in this style while the crowd themselves yelled ‘Raging Tempest’ as if she’s already accepted this name for this new look.

“Alright my fans, I have one more song before I head out. You've all supported me for the last week especially after I survived and recovered from the car accident. For this, I have a special treat for one lucky fan. You can spend a whole day with me personally tomorrow, but first you will have to come up on stage and dance with the band for the last song. Now who wants to do it?”

The crowd hollered “Pick Me” “Me Tempest!” “I love you!” and were all raising their hands screaming to grab her attention. “I’ll just sit in my seat and lay low, Sora thought to himself.

Nami glanced over the crowd, “Hmmm, I think I’ll pick,” she hesitated for a moment. ’He looks...familiar’ she thought. “I pick you!” she pointed directly at the man sitting in the second row seat.

“M-m-me?!” Sora said in shock.”Ah, no no no! I don’t dance and” before he could finish his speech the crowd combined with others literally lifted him up and extended him on the stage. Nami held her hand out, Sora took it and she pulled him into the limelight. He stood there, completely embarrassed.

“Say hello to the fans watching, we’re televised,” Nami said with a smile.

“H-hello television,” he said nervously. Some fans chuckled noticing he said hi to television rather than the people.

“Alright now! Let’s Rock!” the song started playing and Nami started dancing. “Cmon now, dance!” she said to Sora. He stood there slightly moving a little and merely standing there holding his skateboard. “Oh you skate huh, I know you can do something with it skaterboy. Hope it’s not for show.”

With this comment, especially since the show is televised, Sora’s confidence suddenly appeared. “Now I’ll show you a thing or two.” He hoped on his skateboard and begun a mix of kickflips, tricks, and jumping on and off his skateboard. Nami kept singing, but instead of dancing she extended her hands out towards Sora as if she were presenting him as a trophy. The crowd cheered and Sora continued to do it throughout the entire song.

Back at Alastor’s room in the Rizzo’s operational headquarters, Trevor was staring at the TV.

“Sora,” Trevor said, seemingly at random.

“What?” Hildegarde said, turning in tandem with Alastor away from the wall to gaze at the primitive picture box that sat on the floor.

“Sora is on it. On the TV.”

The three Rizzo watched as Sora did tricks and flipped around on his skateboard. Alastor shook his head, turning back to writing on the wall. Hildegarde pointed and laughed. Trevor simply stared.

The song ended and Nami held Sora’s hand, moved to the front of the stage along with her band members and all of them took a bow. “Cya next time guys!” Nami said with a wink and dragging Sora along with her backstage. She held his hand the entire time causing Sora to blush. She was much prettier up close and in person than her post image even with her sudden appearance change.

“So, what’s your name?” she said while still holding his hand.

“Sora,” he said hesitantly.

“Well, Sora. You look really familiar have we met before?” she asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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"Shaji. I'm sure ya've come up with something tah benefit dah famiglia in some way. I guess that's how I've always viewed ya. So Shaji, whatcha done? Do ya have information dat helps us?" Ai quietly considered the inquiry after listening to the recording. She'd already told them all about the same things, including the Storm Guardian. If she did have any information that would have benefited them all at the time, she would have already told them, at least she assumed.

Ai had told them of how the Rizzo came from the future and that they were after their rings, but she refused to give more detail as to why. After all, the Rizzos believed that they were doing the right thing for humankind and the Vongolas, if they were in the same position, would likely to have done the same thing. Yet, only Ai truly knew why it was so important that the Vongola rings were to never be given to them, humanity's enemies. They did promise peace, but for humankind, there were fates that existed for them much worse than annihilation. It was key that the Aliens, Ai's ancestors, were to be completely annihilated. Thus, as Ai was programmed, to make sure that didn't happen, Ai needed the rings to be protected at all costs and the Rizzos to become unimportant. If the Vongolas were unsuccessful, Ai would need to protect the rings herself and she was willing to give up her own body to do it. Only, would she give up the lives of her family, her Boss? Ai needed to consider it further.

Ai had to consider every possibility in fact, as no matter what, Ai was going to fail in an alternate universe. Everything that could possibly happen was certain to happen. There would exist universes where the Rizzos would manage to take their rings and give them to the Aliens as their peace offering, thus resulting in Ai's universe or similar iterations. Unfortunately, Ai did not have the mental capacity to calculate the infinite. Ai took chances with almost everything, which she determined was the most logical course of action as she was bound to succeed no matter what. Just as she was fated to fail, she was fated to succeed. It was by chance that Ai had continued to succeed. Working by chance allowed Ai to continue to work hard, while if she knew she was likely to fail, she may not have worked as hard. It almost seemed that the less foresight Ai had, the better. Of course, foresight was also important as it helped her make good decisions.

In conclusion, knowing exactly how the universe worked was very stressful. The universe had no more mysteries and there was nothing left to theorize or philosophize. There were no uncertainties or variables, only natural laws of which were reliable for predicting exactly how a situation worked and what was the absolute best action. Surely, this was the goal of all science. Omniscience was something that Ai at her immature stage, just as all of her kind had aspired to, being minds that didn't know anything. Ai had also observed that humans had this lust for knowledge as well. An unenlightened mind always wished to be enlightened. Yet once Ai had achieved it she knew all truths, including the painful truth that omniscience was hell. It was impossible to learn when there was nothing left to learn, no unknown things to fear, no new discoveries to feel joyful about. Were sentient creatures greater than all of existence because mere existence didn't satisfy them enough to prevent boredom? Or was the existing universe greater because it could continue to expand while sentience couldn't go beyond the bounds of existence?

Philosophy aside, Ai contemplated possible information she had that could have further benefited them all. Then she remembered; "I am not an ordinary human being," she said suddenly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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"Koenig. I see you made it."

For an instant, Fredrick looked around, confused. Back in Italy, most people referred to his father as Koenig, while he escaped unnoticed. However, he did recognize the voice. Looking up, he spotted Eri walking up the stairs towards him and immediately froze. The sunlight seemed to catch her hair, which shifted in the gentle midday breeze, moving in slow motion along with the rest of her body. She was like a supermodel crossed with a superhero—strong, courageous, beautiful, and above all, cool. Instead of responding, Fredrick just stared, dumbfounded.

Eri walked right up beside him… and then knocked on the door. Fredrick came to his feet immediately, gulping once. “Uh… maybe we should wait…”

"WE'RE HERE!" She announced, causing Fredrick to wince. The door was not answered immediately, giving Fredrick hope that maybe nobody was home. Maybe he and Eri could just chill outside… maybe?

As if reading his thoughts, Eri turned to face Fredrick. "Nice to see you again. I take that the offer for dinner hasn't been cancelled yet?"

Fredrick chuckled nervously, looking down at his feet and scratching the back of his head. She still wanted to go out with him?! Fredrick internally berated himself. It’s not like a date or anything. Don’t get your hopes up. That’s when he thought of Serlina. She’d definitely give him her infamous “threat of encouragement”. Something like either you go out with her or I will! That made Fredrick smile, if but for a moment.

Then he remembered: he lost his ring. He lost Serlina. He lost everything.

He sighed, looking up at Eri. She didn’t deserve to be dragged down by his misery. Maybe he should just cancel it. He smiled nervously. “Uh… yeah…” He gulped. He had to protect her. He couldn’t bring her into his world. Didn’t want to show her just how weak and pathetic he really was. Then she’d never like him… That’s right. It’d be best just to distance himself from the others… especially Eri.

Especially Eri.

For the first time in a while, he looked her directly in the eyes, his expression becoming imperturbable. “Maybe later,” he muttered, reaching down, grabbing his bag, and slinging it over his shoulder.

At the same time, the door opened, and they were greeted with Joel’s reasoned countenance. He seemed to be analyzing them, as if they weren’t what he’d expected. Fredrick took the initiative, moving through the door before Eri did. As an afterthought, he removed his shoes and tossed them unceremoniously to the side, but did not otherwise speak.

"Fred!!!” Someone who could only be Cain exclaimed, nearly causing Fredrick to jump out of his skin. “What's up man. Come on, give me five. I'd like to get up myself, but you know. My leg is kinda...”

Fredrick sighed, but didn’t otherwise move, choosing instead to avoiding eye contact and look away. It was Joel who reacted instead, interrupting the boss.

"Cain!!!" The Lightning guardian’s was voice mid-ranged in volume, but still carried a level of assertiveness with it.

Fredrick was glad for the interruption, taking the opportunity to go sit in the corner furthest from the others. As they spoke about various things, all Fredrick could think of was shrinking away. He wanted nothing more than to disappear into his chair, becoming nothing and a burden for no one. He sighed. Maybe his father would come pick him up, if only he could find a way to contact him…

Suddenly, Eri appeared before him, the shadow of her presence blocking out the light from the overhead lamp. She handed him a tape recorder, which he took from her hands without question. She seemed to be waiting for him to press the play button, and so he did.

"Fredrick, you cub. I have something for you."

As Eri walked away, Fredrick began to tear up. Keiko… she sounded so genuine, her voice so full of compassion, as if she actually cared. Maybe she really did…

Fredrick brought his fist to his forehead, leaning his elbow on his seat’s armrest. He closed his eyes, trying his hardest to stop tears from breaching his eyelids and rolling down his cheeks.

Why were they all still pretending to like him? He was the idiot who lost his ring to some kid. He wasn’t a leader like Cain, or wise like Joel, or strong like Keiko, or awesome like Eri, or famous like Nami, or a genius like Shaji. He was just… nothing. They were probably laughing at him behind his back, and he knew without a doubt that he could not fault them for it—would not—because he deserved it.

Fredrick sniffed softly, the sound quiet enough to be unnoticeable. He opened his eyes. They were tearless. He refused to cry like some victim. It was his fault that he was in this situation, not Eri’s or Keiko’s or Cain’s or anyone else’s. They did not deserve to be burdened with his weakness. Not now.

If only Serlina was here. She’d know what to do.

"I am not an ordinary human being," Shaji suddenly blurted out. Even Fredrick raised an eyebrow at that one.

**


Alastor stepped back, admiring the fruits of his labor. With a little help from his Clocktower, Trevor’s C-Frame AI, and Hildegarde—the self-proclaimed “crouching brute, hidden mathematician”—he’d successfully performed the calculations necessary to estimate the current rate of temporal flux in respect to the space-time of this particular timeline.

In sending the Rizzo back to this specific point in time, the AIs calculated that they’d have roughly two months to perform their operations and divest the Vongolas of their rings. This would have allowed them to move slowly, cautiously, and also given them some buffer room in case the timeline began to change more drastically than they'd anticipated. However, from what he’d just calculated, they’d just eaten through that buffer.

They didn’t have two months’ time anymore. If his calculations were correct—and he did run them through his Clocktower and the C-Frame AI several times along with Hildegarde double-checking him as he went—they barely had over a million seconds remaining in their window before they did irrevocable damage to the future.

Essentially, the future they would return to, 100 years hence, would be one that was completely unfamiliar. In fact, it would be highly unpredictable. Anything could happen… and with the fate of humanity at stake, they couldn’t afford to roll the dice so cavalierly.

Roughly one million seconds—a conservative estimate. That’s about twenty-thousand minutes. Three hundred hours. Fourteen days. They went from two months’ time to fourteen days after one battle.

“Don’t look so good, eh?” Hildegarde said, allowing her thick accent to carry through.

“Not at all,” Alastor agreed. “Time is something we’re running short on, unfortunately.” He turned to face her. “I didn’t think it’d be this bad. We need to get the remaining rings and get out of here as soon as humanly possible. If one battle did that to the timeline, I can’t imagine what ruinous effects a sustained full-on offensive by the Rizzo would have...”

“No holds barred?” Hildegarde said, barely containing a cackle. “The effect would be: we’d kick their asses.”

“No, the effect would be: we’d totally erase the future we know.”

Hildegarde leaned back against the wall, folding her arms. “I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing,” her voice took on an endearing tone, “my cute little Alastor.

Alastor gave her a look somewhere between incredulity and chagrin, a slight blush crossing his cheeks, though if it was due to anger or embarrassment, Hildegarde wasn’t sure. She definitely loved poking his buttons, just to witness the results. It was positively delightful.

“Hear me out, boss” she continued, raising her hands in surrender. “Maybe changing the future is what we want. Maybe we can make it so that humanity is ready for the aliens before they ever show up as a blip on the deep-space LIDAR array.”

“Or maybe we accidentally make it so humanity flat out loses the instant they attack,” he said coolly, looking back towards his wall of calculations, hand to his chin. After a while, he seemed to come to a conclusion of sorts. “It’ll be best if we stick to father’s plan,” he muttered.

Hildegarde shrugged. “Just throw’n out ideas, Al.”

“The moment Trev finds this Vongola hidey-hole, we’re going in full-strength.” He looked at Hildegarde. “No purposeful killing, but no mercy, either. We’ll crush them completely, and divest them of the remainder of their rings in one fell swoop. We can’t afford anything less.”

Hildegarde grinned, noting Alastor’s use of the adjective purposeful. That was quite a bit of leeway, as far as he was concerned. “So only a few holds barred.”

“Essentially.”
“Sounds good to me,” she said, curtsying deeply. “O glorious leader.”
Alastor sighed, bringing his palm to his face in a halfway attempt to hide a budding grin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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”Hey Trevor... Trevor. Look what I got.” Trevor didn’t much deign to look away from his computer screens, choosing instead to keep typing. “It looks like an address book. Maybe you can look at these area's and see if there are any Vongola around us hmm? If Trevor noticed him, he didn’t act like it. ”C'mon Trevor. Let's do this before it gets dark out.” He reached his hands over the boy and ruffled his hair. “Plus we can go in there as a duo and have some fun. That’d be cool don’t ya think?” Having his hair mussed is what finally brought the boy out of his trance-like state. Trevor very much disliked people touching his hair, though Donovan was the rare exception.

“I think we should stay,” Trevor said, glancing up at Donovan before returning his eyes to the screen before him. “Plus I’m almost done with getting rid of these wires.” He grabbed a clump of thick black cables as if to make his point. They all led to the small inert cube that sat on the boy’s desk. “Then I can have my C-Frame back.”

Donovan looked over the boys shoulder to see what he was talking about. “Oh, I see,” he said posturing himself up to stand up straight. “Well that shouldn’t take long, should it? I really think we could get a lot of information by going to these places. Who knows, we can tap their phone lines, or infiltrate their homes in disguise, or…. or…. I don’t know. Anything’s better than sitting around doing nothing. Don’tcha think?”

Trevor was always surprised at how fast Donovan could speak, and it took him a few moments of silence to digest what the Asteroid guardian has said. “I’m hooked into the Vongola network, as well as every single other local, city, and governmental system on this island,” he said, his voice never becoming anything more than flat and level. “We’ve tapped all the phone lines.”

Knock!

Trevor did not acknowledge the sound, but Donovan reacted, turning his head. Hildegarde was standing in what amounted to the doorway. Without waiting for permission, she stepped into the room, followed by the remaining Rizzos—sans Sora—with Alastor bringing up the rear.

“Hey Hilde!!! You didn’t take me with you when you went out. How could you have fun without me?” Donovan folded his arms and pouted.

Hildegarde gave Donovan a look, shaking her head twice. He was the second person to ask her that question today.

Men.

Trevor turned away from his keyboard for the first time, acknowledging the Rizzo boss’s presence. Hildegarde leaned against the side of the doorway, arms crossed. Flandre hummed contently, appearing to be in a good mood and appeared as if she was in her own world.

Donovan looked over to Alastor and fixed his pouted face into a bright smile. “Hey Al, guess what I did today?!! Something called fishing. It’s crazy. You attach a worm to a pointy thing and then throw it in the water. After that, you talk to an old man and listen to his stories. I’m not sure the actual point of the fishing rod things though, but…”

Miku walked slowly behind with bags of souvenirs from Namimori. She wore large glasses with no lens, had a japanese starbucks t-shirt, and vinyl goods. “So anyways!” Miku begun, “I went shopping today. It was soooooo fun.” “It was a complete utter waste of time. We could’ve been looking for the Vongola,” Elizabeth said. “Lighten up Liz,” Miku replied.

Alastor let loose a bitter sigh. It was obvious that the others didn’t have any relevant news to share. He fixed his fellow Rizzo with a look all too familiar, remaining silent until it became painfully awkward.

When he decided to speak, his voice was low, tone just on the underside of neutral. “So we have a problem.”

Donovan’s face fixed right back into a pout. “What do you mean bud? Did we run out of food or something?”

Hildegarde clenched her fist, which would have gone unnoticed save for the sound of her knuckles popping. It was an ominous sound. “No you imbecile,” she said, her voice steadily rising in octaves. “We—!”

“The timetable has changed,” Alastor interrupted, his voice calm. “Thanks to that last skirmish, our two month agenda has been constrained to two weeks.”

Donovan ignored Hilde’s comment. Mostly for the fact that he didn’t know what Imbecile meant. Instead he reacted to Alastor’s words. “Two weeks?!! That’s like…..” The boy then proceeded to counting on his hands. “Um.. Carry the one….and… Hey Trevor! How much time was shortened?”

Trevor looked up at Donovan. “Fourteen days. Three hundred and thirty six hours. Twenty-thousand one hundred and sixty minutes. One million, two hundred and nine thousand, six—”

Hildegarde snorted loudly. “He said: we’re fucked for time.

“Time?!” Miku interjected, “Why yes! I had a wonderful time at karaoke! I also went out to this shopping mall called,” she continued. “Ti~ime…” Flandre interjected, “and time again, hm hmm, la la laa~♪”

Hildegarde ignored them. “We have a fourth of the leeway we thought we did, if that.”

After a while, Trevor spoke up. “So now what?”

Alastor pulled the Vongola Sky ring from his pocket, holding it up for the others to see. “Change of plans.” Alastor smirked, despite himself. “We’re going to take over the Vongola organization, with me as its Sky guardian.”

“Really!!! Bad ass. We can go in all like, ‘Hahaha. You Vongola’s will bow down to us,’ and they’ll be all like, ‘Oh no. Your sheer awesomeness is too much for us to bare.’ Hehehe. Let’s do it. Let’s do it now!!!” Donovan’s pout once again faded with a wide erie smile. One that would be see on a certain comical villain.

“What?” Flandre broke out of her musical trance, “Can we… Can you really do that? You’re not of Vongola blood, are you?” Of course, bloodline was everything to Flandre.

“I do not require use of this obsolete flame in order to claim rights as the next Vongola 11th.” Alastor slipped the Sky ring onto his ring finger as he spoke. It remained inert. “I simply have to make myself known.”

“So like after we take over the Vongola and all,” a huge grin came upon Miku’s face, “can we build a starbucks in it?” she sipped her cappuccino.

Trevor walked up to Miku, using both hands to take the cappuccino from her grasp. The maneuver seemed oddly surgical, like a drone strike. “No more for you.”

Miku sighed, “Alright… I’ll be more serious. This is how all the other girls my age act around Namimori. So, how would you plan to take over the Vongola?”

Hildegarde looked to Alastor, also curious.

Alastor’s smirk turned into a full blown grin. “We aren’t actually going to take them over. Not really.” He met Miku’s eyes. “With this compressed timetable, we can’t afford to wait on Trevor’s network attack to bear fruit. We just need the King of Flames and his guardians to reveal themselves. And they will, once I lay claim to their precious organization. How could they not?”

“And then we take their rings when they come to fight you?” Trevor asked.

“Exactly.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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#, as written by Damioa
Upon hearing that Nami also wouldn't be showing up, Joel resigned to himself, thinking that maybe her priority's weren't in the right place. Although that was her decision to make and he honestly didn't care. Whether she got her ring back or not was completely up to her. Also, hearing about the b rank rings didn't really matter much to Joel. What they lacked in power he would make up for in their training.

Once Eri told him about what Keiko was up to, he couldn't help but at least feel a little curious to what tasks she was going to take care of. He decided to put that curiosity on hold, noting that it wasn't important at the time. He took the recorder from the girl and played it. After listening to it he gave a slight smirk before putting it down. He gave the others time to listen to their bits before saying anything.
........................................................................................................................................................................................
While Cain listened to his piece, it did make him feel a little better about his defeat. Plus, the fact that him and Fredrick were getting gifts made him wish he could see her again already. "Hey Fred, you hear that," he asked. "We're getting presents. Ain't that awesome?" Afterwards he turned towards Ai. "Hey Shaji, could you hand me that ring? I just got into a comfortable spot and don't really feel like moving."
........................................................................................................................................................................................
Joel looked over the whole group. "Alright guys. It's time to get straight to business. You all know why you're here. I judge for two different reasons. One, you want to get stronger to get our rings back from those assassins, and two, you want to get stronger so you can keep your rings. Either way, I have to say I'm grateful that you all came. Though coming here was the easy part. You probably don't know this, but I've been watching you. I know a lot of your strengths and your weaknesses. During your time here we will work on that. Let me warn you though. It will not be easy, but if you don't give up you will be ten times stronger than you are today. In physic and mentality. Tomorrow, starting at zero six hundred, we will wake up and meditate for an hour. Afterwards, we will eat and then you will each have individual training, assigned by myself. Though now, I guess since it's getting late, we can eat and rest up for tomorrow. You can also take this time to unpack I suppose."

Once he was done his speech, Joel was about to leave the room to let the others do whatever they had wanted to do. Though before he left, Ai's words made him stop and turn around slightly so he could see her face.
........................................................................................................................................................................................
Cain on the other hand looked at her strangely. At first he thought she was saying she was stronger than Joel thought, but he had to ask. "What do you mean Shaji?"

The setting changes from Earth to Joel's Vacation Home

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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"What do you mean Shaji?" Shaji turned toward Joel after giving Cain and Fred their rings. She looked around at all of them, seeing that she received their attention. Perhaps it was because they all knew so little about Ai and wanted to know more, or maybe it was just plain unusual claim of being anything other than human. Ai began to explain.

"I am a bio-mechanically engineered probe of extra-terrestrial designed to interact with humans in order to complete specific tasks as ordered by my superiors. I am what you would consider an Alien. I have existed in this timeline for more than fourteen Earth years, yet my origins exist in the far future, long after the destruction of this planet. My mission is to work with the Vongola in order to make sure your kind defeats mine in the future, something only a select few members of the Vongola are aware of, including the External Advisor and the Vongola Decimo, your father, Boss," Ai glanced at Cain, "Up until his unfortunate death."

"Using my ability to alter the human perception of reality, I have continued to be able to hide my identity from humans," as she said that, odd ornaments shimmered into view on Ai, long pink cords that stuck out from both seen and unseen spots on her clothing, marked by yellow hearts, such as on the end of her headband and on the wrists of her wide sleeves. They surrounded her like the laces of shoes and tangled together in intricate little patterns around her chest like laces, and all connected to a single red sphere, where a large eye stared out. "Yet here, among the rest of you, I should be able to freely express it for I trust you all as the current guardians of the Vongola rings, and as the guardians, it is essential that we keep them from the Rizzo. Much more than the Vongola is at stake and it is both part of my mission and my duty as a guardian to make sure the rings don't end up in the Rizzo's possession, and I shall use this body to the best of my ability to do so."

The setting changes from Joel's Vacation Home to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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Fredrick rolled the unfamiliar ring around in his palms, pondering his current situation. The B-ranked ring wouldn't be enough to bring Serlina back, so why did he even need it? He considered handing it back to Shaji, but that was before she said something that caught his attention.

"I am a bio-mechanically engineered probe of extra-terrestrial designed to interact with humans in order to complete specific tasks as ordered by my superiors."

Fredrick narrowed his eyes. Was this a joke? Extraterrestrial? Aliens? Really? Fredrick sighed, leaning the side of his face against his fist, his elbow on his chair's armrest, retreating back into himself as Shaji continued her fanciful explanation. What was the point of this alien-themed story? Was this part of Joel's training?

And then the tentacles appeared, materializing into existence as if they'd always been there. Pink cords, bobbing and weaving in the air, coming together to form intricate shapes and patterns before dispersing again. Shaji was virtually surrounded by these... these lace things. Fredrick straightened in his chair, a look of alarm on his face. They looked like they were crushing her!

"... it is both part of my mission and my duty as a guardian to make sure the rings don't end up in the Rizzo's possession, and I shall use this body to the best of my ability to do so."

"Shaji?! Are you okay?!" Fredrick asked, voice almost panicked as he prepared to stand, the ring in his hand all but forgotten, nearly tumbling to the floor. He looked to Joel, Cain, and the others. "What's happening?"

The setting changes from Earth to Joel's Vacation Home

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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"Shaji?! Are you okay?!" The Rain Guardian, Fredrick, was the first to react. He seemed the most alarmed out of all of them about her rather unorthodox (and grotesque, though Ai didn't consider it that way) appearance, though the reactions from the others didn't seem much less surprised. Yet before then, many of them seemed somewhat uninterested or confused in what she was saying. They must had not believed her up until that point. Maybe they could reason that she was merely making up all the chords and the strange eye as part of some illusion, with her claiming that she was an Alien a way to strengthen the deception. After all, she was an illusionist and illusionists by definition were liars, people who miscommunicated data to the senses of others. There had to have been another way for her to prove her Alien nature.

"I am fine," she told Fredrick, but she wasn't entirely sure how he could have assumed she was exhibiting any sort of discomfort from sitting or by mere existence, "If you are concerned for my well-being or are misunderstanding the nature of my existence, then you may ask me any sort of question you wish. I do not have the capability to feel offended like a human may." Ai didn't exactly understand why questions about a single person or the nature of their existence would offend them, but she has accidentally done so before. "Unlike your kind, whom existed with physical forms more developed than their mental ones, my kind are thought-based creatures, but you would not be able to comprehend in what form we truly exist in from my words alone. Your language was based upon the physical world and such a language has more words to describe physical aspects than mental ones. My kind, of which is far more advanced in thought than in body, has no need for verbal language and can communicate in a way incomprehensible to your kind. My Frame was created for the specific purpose of being able to communicate with your kind."

"My kind, of which was far more advanced in mind than it was in body, could not clearly communicate with yours, until my Frame was created, a Frame that could exist equally in mind as we did and equally in body as yours does. That is to say I am the greatest of both beings, being of an Alien mind and a Human body. Even so, existing of both body and mind means I am vulnerable to both physical and mental attacks. Therefore, I am cautious when dealing with this body, especially considering it was Decimo's wish that I protect it until my mission is complete."

"In fact, the reason the Storm Guardian was able to awaken from her comatose state was due to my abilities to deal with the human mind, such as my own. She would confirm this as true. No human has such control over the absolute entire functioning of the human mind as I do. Once I was allowed, I was able to control her as easily as being able to control myself and I have the ability to control myself much further than a human is capable of naturally. I can activate and deactivate parts of my body at will and I can control all my internal systems to sustain a perfect chemical balance to avoid decay. I even have the ability to control the normal safeguards of the human body. This type of control of the human body is only accomplishable by humans with the Vongola's Dying Will Bullet. That is to say I was designed with a constant dying will, which makes my drive toward completing my goal unquestionable and I am sure to put my best effort into doing so."

"If there is anything else I must say or do to prove my existence as an Alien, you may request such of me and I will do what is reasonable possible to prove so. Likewise, if you are curious about any other part of me, feel free to ask and I will answer as much as I will allow myself to."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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Murasaki Eri


"I am not an ordinary human being," Shaji announced suddenly and this garnered several responses from the others, with Eri mentally cursing in her mind for losing the bet she had with Keiko.

As Shaji explained her situation, that she was an extra-terrestrial probe, bio-engineered mechanically to interact with them, with humans. Superiors? Now that, she was curious about. These superiors, were they here to assist them? Shaji has been a valuable member of the famiglia... but even then, there were always double agents. Although the Vongola had always consisted of a tight-knit group that were strongly connected, bonds beyond blood. Eri continued to listen without a word as Shaji explained her role in Nami's recovery. Her icy-blue eyes also kept constant watch over the eye and cords around Shaji, remembering what Keiko always said.

'If you knew so much... how come you never bothered questioning her? Did you really trust her that much?' Eri mentally questioned herself, wondering why Keiko would've been so quiet about this.

When Shaji was done, Eri decided to speak. "This doesn't come as a surprise to me, because Keiko always told me that you weren't an ordinary human being to begin with. She would tell me that she always sensed something off about you, that you smelled or felt different, or that she would always see things around you out the corner of her eye but she could never really determine what it was."

"Oddly yet, Keiko trusted you enough to let this issue slide. She really trusts each and everyone of you." Eri's blue eyes stared straight at the eye Shaji had. "But I'm different. I won't simply trust anyone."

"That is why my question to you is. Why have you hidden this from us for such a long time? Who are you superiors? Why have you been helping us? What benefit does it give you? What are you really here for? Are your superiors and you our allies? Or are you our foes?" Her gaze never wavered as she scrutinized the... being, the alien, before her.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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It was the Cloud Guardian's turn to speak up. "This doesn't come as a surprise to me, because Keiko always told me that you weren't an ordinary human being to begin with." Ai turned her gaze upon her, as she described how the Sun Guardian could, in some unreasonable way, tell that she wasn't truly human. Now, Ai usually made the assumption that most rational people wouldn't merely guess an inhuman person was an Alien immediately, unless they had some sort of visual proof. Ai wouldn't have realized if the Sun Guardian had come to this conclusion. Maybe Ai would have to redetermine her rationality.

"Oddly yet, Keiko trusted you enough to let this issue slide. She really trusts each and everyone of you." Ai had nearly expected no less of a fellow Guardian. The more cooperative people were with her, the better. "But I'm different. I won't simply trust anyone." Ai didn't create any sort of troubled look on her face, merely that same expressionless, almost uninterested gaze. Even the rather large eye of which was truly a part of Ai rarely made any sort of sudden movement. At the very most, it might have blinked. The Cloud Guardian than began bombarding her with a fury of questions.

"That is why my question to you is. Why have you hidden this from us for such a long time? Who are you superiors? Why have you been helping us? What benefit does it give you? What are you really here for? Are your superiors and you our allies? Or are you our foes?"

"I observe, as I always have, that you are very insightful, Guardian of Cloud," Ai began, "I have only hidden this information as I was instructed to keep my identity as secretive as possible, so only the people whom needed to know of my identity to be able to assist me have been notified. Because the Vongola have been helpful in assisting me of my duty, I needed only those whom had complete or great influence over the Vongola's actions to cooperate with me. I had determined that the Vongola was the best possible force that could assist me, due to their current successful business standpoint, their influential nature over many powerful parties such as the mafia and their known past incidents, such as when the Tenth generation had saved humankind from a single man and a powerful organization aiming to use the power of the Tri-ni-set to gain omnipotent abilities. The Tenth has been willing to cooperate with me for the sake of humankind through an agreement and the External Advisor has been just as effective in his place. Now that the Eleventh Boss is coming into power, as long as he can reclaim ownership of his ring, he will have the complete influence over the Vongola that the External Advisor will lose, so it is essential for myself to gain his cooperation and it is a requirement for me to reveal my identity to him. As for the rest of the Guardians, I felt it was necessary for you all to understand my capabilities so you may factor them into any future planning, as we are dealing with opponents whom, for the most part, are much more powerful, experienced and knowledgeable than us, and may possibly have stronger wills."

"Concerning my superiors, I am referring to my creators, but I may also extend this term toward my Boss, the Eleventh. My superiors have created me for the explicit purpose of changing the course of history in the favor of humans. In my time of creation, our kind is the most successful kind in the universe, and the only one. We have wiped out all other forms of life and advanced ourselves in unfathomable ways. We have conquered every single corner of the universe and we have learned absolutely everything about it. Nothing is unknown to us, and we live in perfect harmony. That is to say, we live in perfection." Ai caught herself, though it was only visible in her mouth. She did not want the Vongola having positive thoughts that went against her goal. "Yet, I am unsure if humans could truly understand it as neither could my kind before we reached this state, but we found ourselves unsatisfied. Our kind does not share the creativity and fickle nature of your own, and having nothing left to do, we had realized that our perfect universe was the most unbearable. Even I didn't realize it until my birth. So, I was created to be sent back in time to find a way to influence history so that my kind becomes unsuccessful in advancing, and the only event that would allow me that opportunity is the war between mine and your own that begins decades from now and will last for decades. It is my mission to make sure humanity wins that war, as it has been decided that your deviant, creative minds and self-destructive nature would allow for a future much less perfect, but successful. I would assume every human being would be concerned for the fate of humankind."

"Using an advanced telepathy-based communication and cache system which I refer in human vocal language as the 'Thought Integration Database' or the 'TID' in abbreviated form, I am able to communicate with my superiors even across time, and I can use the TID to collect any sort of information that has ever been, or will be collected, by my kind. Beyond that, however, I cannot rely on my superiors for any assistance. My superiors were merely an inferior opinion among the great collective thought that created myself in secret. I certain that there exists a future where their actions have been found out and the greater opinion, of which does not wish for self-destruction, seeks to destroy me. They may send probes similar to me, or other Frames, to destroy me, but because I am a Constant, they can never truly stop me. Most of these probes are much weaker and more underdeveloped than I and I am able to destroy them without much trouble. For the most part, no human will be able to even be aware they ever existed. They will only be seeking to destroy me, so this is of no concern to anybody else besides me, as if their existence is witnessed by another being, they may gain more power than usual. For now, I believe my kind of which exists of this time is not aware of my actions and does not yet hold any ill-will against your kind, but for now we must simply deny their existence. I believe your kind has denied my kinds existence many times in the past, despite clear proof of it. If you are concerned about which of us are your allies, then consider that I am the only Alien creature that is loyal to you and any others that appear should be considered enemies."

"Concerning your concern for my motives, I have not fabricated any truths. I may have, as of yet, few ways I can prove what I say is true or not, but I will have to rely on you, all of you, to trust me. I wish there was more I could do to gain your trust, but for now, I can only remain loyal to the Boss and tell you whatever I am capable of telling you. I, personally as a singular entity, gain no benefit for any of my actions. I merely was created to preform a certain task and to remain loyal to any of my superiors, so as a tool, I shall complete such tasks with the greatest of my ability. Once my mission is complete, my life serves no purpose unless any of my superiors have a new order for me, yet if I am successful, my creators will not be able to give me new orders and the Eleventh, my Boss, shall be my only superior left, whom of which I will serve until his inevitable death. Therefore, as part of my agreement to the Vongola Tenth, I am to terminate myself upon completing my mission, which I shall honor in full, unless my Boss wishes to terminate me himself."

The setting changes from Joel's Vacation Home to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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#, as written by Damioa
Joel retained his position near the outside of the living room. Quite honestly he wasn't really interested in the conversation going on, but from his standpoint it was better to know now if the girl was going to tell them of anything special she had going on with her. Boy was it special indeed. Her being an alien didn't really come as a surprise to him since their were a lot of more surprising things going on in their family. Heck, if one would compare everyone in the room to demigods, Joel wouldn't stop their claims. His mind became broadened the first time he traveled through lightning. It was good to know at least one other person, or thing in this case had something about them that set them up to par.

Cain, on the other hand, hadn't thought about things in the same light. Though, he did think it was cool how the girl was an alien. With further explanation it seemed that he was kept in the dark about everything, including her true mission with their group. He already knew he had to start thinking more like a leader and less like, well, himself when it came to things. So, for once he decided to keep quiet and let the girl talk. Though, it seemed Eri had other things planned in mind when she went on the defensive about it. Though that didn't stop Cain from giving them the open mic. Actually, his glance went towards Joel a few times, just to see if he was going to interrupt, but the man showed no signs of taking the floor. It seemed through all the confusion one person just wasn't interested in getting involved. Cain thought of many things he could say, one being how cool it was that Ai was an alien. Though, he did remember that she said something about her about her being a probe or something of the sort. That had to give the possibility that maybe she was forcing herself on a persons body. It didn't look as if the body itself was alien or not, but he wasn't sure. "Well then," he said while smiling at his friends. "I think we can trust Ai. She doesn't seem to be doing anything wrong and as she said her mission is to prevent our rings from being stolen. Like it or not, the fact that she has been with the family as long as she said means that we should trust her. Though Ai," his gaze went to the small girl, "I'm not really sure the terms you made with my father are actually the terms I will agree to. He was a great man, as I'm sure we all know, but I'm sure he has his flaws. So the only two questions I have for you are, one, will you swear your loyalty to me and to the other guardians? By that I mean will you watch our backs like we watch yours? Because I think that no matter the type of person or species you are the only thing that matters at the end of the day is if you can fight along side us. I personally think of everyone here as my family and will fight for them and with them regardless of the rings they have or don't have. No matter what, these people will always be my guardians and my brothers and sisters. Though, I can't ask you to think of them as your family, but I can ask for you to care for them as such. So that's my first condition. If you can promise me that you have our backs in this way then I can promise you that I will help you succeed in your task."

Joel seemed to be pleased with the boys statement, but of course had to put in one of his own. "What he means is, it doesn't matter what you were created for or who sent you. The boss is Cain and that wont change until his death. So until then, as long you follow his will, we wont have a problem, but, if you slip up and go against him, then I'll be against you." He then looked at the other people in the room for a quick second. "As I'm sure the others will too. However, don't think this rule only counts for you. Everyone in this room has a duty as a guardian and as a member of the Vongola to watch each others back and follow the boss."

"Yeah," Cain giggled. "We're a family. So no matter what happens we have to have each others back. I'm sure if we do that then whatever purpose we have here will be fulfilled."

"Another thing," Joel interrupted. "Cain, you should think about the person standing in front of you right now. The only ones that can have sky flames are people with the will inside of them. Based on what I've heard, there is more to Ai then meets the eye. She says she's an alien, but what you see in front of you is a body of a human. The true Mist Guardian."

"I see." Cain placed his hand on his chin. "Then I guess I should ask this. Ai, if your body is human then that means you're one of those aliens that take control of human bodies. I don't quite understand how, but I have to ask, for the sake of the body and the human that it belongs to, that after you complete your task you let her have her body back or give her the choice at least to have it back. It doesn't sound fair to you, since I'm not sure what'll happen to you if you give the body back to it's owner, but I feel that if I was taken over ban an alien or something I wouldn't like it. I hope I'm not asking too much."

Seeing as the conversation was starting to get normalized, Joel left the room, but before he did he looked back saying, "We should have a talk whenever you have the time. I'd like to know if you could tell me anything useful that we can use for the future. I'm going to the back to meditate. Any of you can come talk to me if you have something to say to me."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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This time, the Boss spoke up. "I think we can trust Ai. She doesn't seem to be doing anything wrong and as she said her mission is to prevent our rings from being stolen. Like it or not, the fact that she has been with the family as long as she said means that we should trust her." Ai felt relief, or at least the intrinsic thinking pattern that equated to relief for her, that the Boss had trusted her words. Humans often denied things when unproved, but that only meant that they were logical beings like herself.

"Though Ai," Ai turned to face him, "I'm not really sure the terms you made with my father are actually the terms I will agree to. He was a great man, as I'm sure we all know, but I'm sure he has his flaws. So the only two questions I have for you are, one, will you swear your loyalty to me and to the other guardians? By that I mean will you watch our backs like we watch yours? Because I think that no matter the type of person or species you are the only thing that matters at the end of the day is if you can fight along side us. I personally think of everyone here as my family and will fight for them and with them regardless of the rings they have or don't have. No matter what, these people will always be my guardians and my brothers and sisters. Though, I can't ask you to think of them as your family, but I can ask for you to care for them as such. So that's my first condition. If you can promise me that you have our backs in this way then I can promise you that I will help you succeed in your task."

Ai was about to agree immediate, but she considered it. Part of the agreement she made with the Tenth was that she would become the Eleventh's Mist Guardian, which would entail serving and protecting the Boss whom she held with top priority. The guardians, however, were only protected by her as a means to an end as they both protected the Boss and the rings. Ai would always be concerned about the Boss over the guardians, such as when both him and the Storm guardian were injured, Ai focused more on making sure the Boss's condition was stable. Now, the Boss was telling her to treat them all with equal respect, to protect them as she would the Boss, like a family as he used the human example. Of course, Ai had no experience of family, but she understood the concept, that the Guardians would be as important to her as the Boss was. Obviously, this would be much more difficult for her as Ai was able to prepare for situations in the future as she had a set mindset for prioritization. Her goal was most important and following orders came after that. After that was either protecting the Boss or protecting the Vongola Rings, but they went somewhat hand in hand, although Ai couldn't really tell which was more important. To consider all the Vongola Guardians on equal level with the Boss in terms of prioritization would be difficult, as it was possible that more situations would appear in the future where one is under an equal amount of threat to the other, and Ai would have to be forced to prioritize one over the other, even if it was the Boss. Maybe it was possible to just prioritize the Boss just slightly above the others, but only slightly. It's wasn't like anybody could tell what was going on in the workings of her mind. But, whether she'd agree or not was out of the question.

The Lightning guardian added in; "What he means is, it doesn't matter what you were created for or who sent you. The boss is Cain and that wont change until his death. So until then, as long you follow his will, we wont have a problem, but, if you slip up and go against him, then I'll be against you." Ai nodded. "As I'm sure the others will too. However, don't think this rule only counts for you. Everyone in this room has a duty as a guardian and as a member of the Vongola to watch each others back and follow the boss." Ai assumed this also applied for the Storm and Sun guardians whom were not present.

Ai was about to voice her answer to the first condition, when the Lightning guardian interrupted. "Cain, you should think about the person standing in front of you right now. The only ones that can have sky flames are people with the will inside of them. Based on what I've heard, there is more to Ai then meets the eye. She says she's an alien, but what you see in front of you is a body of a human. The true Mist Guardian." Ai was taken by surprise. Indeed, the body of hers is merely borrowed, but she would have never imagined anybody would have been able to guess it. Ai didn't reveal it, however, as she deemed that detail unimportant. Also, she understood that humans often were against her existence, thinking of her possession of a human body as immoral or wrong and she didn't want the other guardians to distrust her for it. Of course, Ai didn't think so at all. After all, her design was created for the explicit purpose of possessing humans, so it would be much more wrong if she didn't do so.

"I see." The Boss seemed to understand. "Then I guess I should ask this. Ai, if your body is human then that means you're one of those aliens that take control of human bodies. I don't quite understand how, but I have to ask, for the sake of the body and the human that it belongs to, that after you complete your task you let her have her body back or give her the choice at least to have it back. It doesn't sound fair to you, since I'm not sure what'll happen to you if you give the body back to it's owner, but I feel that if I was taken over ban an alien or something I wouldn't like it. I hope I'm not asking too much."

Such was out of the question as well. Inevitably, she would be giving the body back, as such was the other part of the agreement she made with the Tenth. Personally, Ai believed it did more harm than good, but it was an order. Ai knew very well that upon doing so, unless she could find another body, she would be unable to sustain her own life beyond Alien care, and if she was successful, she wouldn't be able to receive such care even if she put herself in suspended animation unless some human in the far future had found some reason to want to keep her alive and invent a means of doing so. Of course, she would have had no purpose in existence by then. The termination of her existence would have been better for her anyway. After all, if her kind still existed, then Ai couldn't allow any opportunity for her kind to be able to thrive again, especially those that lived with the need to live off of human bodies.

"Your ability to deduce my true nature is commendable," said Ai, "And I will not deny that it is true, the body I possess is that of a human's. My relationship with it is mutual, as while I sustain its life from decay, it sustains mine. If it is your wish that I part with it upon the completion of my mission, then I shall obey. I have no further purpose beyond my mission. What becomes of the body is not of my responsibility, but it is my responsibility to keep this body sustainable until then." Ai thought back to the Rizzo's attack a week ago, when she received a few injuries of which she was able to fully heal. "And as for the former agreement, then indeed, I will protect each of the Guardians as I would protect myself, as a family as you use to describe it. My actions shall take them into more consideration. I hope my words are good enough for all of you as they shall reflect my actions."

The Lightning Guardian was about to leave the room, but before he did, he told her, "We should have a talk whenever you have the time. I'd like to know if you could tell me anything useful that we can use for the future. I'm going to the back to meditate. Any of you can come talk to me if you have something to say to me." Ai nodded.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera

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“Well, Sora. You look really familiar have we met before?” she asked.
"She must recognize me from the headquarters!" he quickly thought of a reply, "Oh, nah couldn't be. I mean you have millions of fans, I'm sure I look like a couple of hundred of them."
With an expression that said 'I'm not convinced' Nami just said, "Eh alright, so about this date?"
"D-date?"
"Yes of course! You get a full day tomorrow with me, but..." she begun with a grin on her face, "Why not start a bit early? You can take me around Namimori!"
"Umm, sure?" he said with a perplexed gaze, "Just to let you know, I'm kind of new here so..."
"Then I'll take you around, come on hurry," she grabbed his arm and begun dragging him through backstage. "We can't let my manager see me because he'll drag me around. I've done more than enough with the concert today."
"Excuse me sir," the manager speaking to the guard at the exit, "Have you seen Tempest? I've been looking around. She completely went against protocol promising a day with a fan, plus we have three meetings coming up with sponsors in an hour."
"Crap! That's the only exit we can take. The alternative is through the front door, but there are fans still out there. Well there's always tomorrow" she said slightly disappointed with a frown.
He saw the excitement drain from her face, "I can fix this. Just follow my lead." Star flames begun to emit from his body as he approached the manager.
“Ah, Shirley and Michelle you both did splendid today. Your dancing exceeded even the most talented of dancers today, please keep it up. You both are heading out for the night?"
With a horrible high pitched girly voice impression, "Yea, we're both kind of exhausted, we'll be back for the next practice right Michelle?"
"R-r-right," Nami said.
"We'll just leave, come on girl!" Sora said grabbing Nami's arm.
As they walked out, it was still mid day, sunny, and warm outside. Namimori was flocking with people heading to their various destinations. After walking a fair distance away, Nami said, "What was that? I saw your producing flames! They weren't mist," she paused as she took a quick second to think.
"I might need to run. She'll probably figure out that I'm Rizzo and," his train of thoughts were interrupted by a loud, "That was amazing though! If you can do that, I can go anywhere! No paparazzi, fans, reporters," she continued on with her long list of possible followers. They continued to walk and talk through Namimori under the guise of just a normal man and woman.
"Must be tough being celebrity huh?"
"It has its ups and down," her eyes gleamed with the next line she spoke, "but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've dreamed of being a singer as long as I can remember. The stage, crowd, performing, and singing are all so perfect.”
Sora could tell from the look on her face and how she spoke when she mentioned singing. She truly was passionate about her career. She went into further detail on the songs she wrote, her father, family, balancing being a Vongola, and on top of that being a high profile celebrity. She was pretty open about her thoughts which shocked Sora. Her celebrity personnel seemed as if she was more arrogant mixed with confidence like a pop diva; however, she genuinely was just a nice girl.
“Sora?” she said while he was caught within his thoughts about Nami as a person. “Sora! Listen!”

“W-what? Oh my bad Nami, What’s up?”

“We’re here silly, just look!”

The place Sora saw before him made his face shine. He has only seen pictures of places like this and dreamed of going since he was a kid; however, in the future they don’t exist anymore. “A skate park!” He dashed off with his skateboard and immediately hit the ramps filled with others. Nami smiled and waved at Sora while he yelled out, “Let me show you something real nice” he tapped his skateboard with his gloves and it begun to emit a sky flame boosting it from the back. His speed on his board nearly quadrupled his speed and he went from doing simple tricks to nearly impossible spins without the boost.

“Whooaaaa” a few kids said watching him. After finishing with the ramp, he jet himself around Nami and continued to circle her at a high speed.
“Hey, Sora stop that! You’re blowing my hair out!”
“Hehe, it’s your turn,” he grabbed her hand and pulled her onto the board while he jumped off. The board as if it was on autopilot took Nami for a ride on the ramps. “Sora! SORA! Stop! I can’t skate!”
“Just put your arms out like you’re surfing!” he yelled from the ground while messing with his left hand glove, “A remote control skateboard was a great idea Trevor.”
“Yea!” Nami yelled out while she appeared as a professional on the flame fueled skateboard. People stood After taking her for a few turns for a couple of minutes, he let her off the board.
“That was so much fun!” she yelled right next to Sora then hugged him. Sora blushed which threw off his concentration of maintaining the illusion.
“Is that Tempest?!” It seemed as if the whole world at the skatepark stopped while people begun to stare. “Who is that guy she’s hugging?” “Quick get your camera phone?” “Tempest, sign my shirt!” The people in the general area started to flock their way.
“Ah my bad,” he took a second to think, “Nami, take my hand!” He pulled her close to him as he stepped on the board. He typed in a few configurations on his glove extending the board just slightly then they both jetted off through the skies.

The setting changes from Earth to Japan

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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Fredrick was rendered nonplussed, finding no other recourse to Shaji’s words but to sit back down in his chair, his eyes widened by confusion. He wasn’t exactly sure what to think of all of this. Aliens? Really? Fredrick listened to his friends go back and forth and wondered if it was all some sort of show. Someone just comes out and says “hey, I’m an alien,” and that’s supposed to be believable? He gave the Mist-guardian-aka-alien a once over out of the corner of his eye, not able to muster the courage to look at her directly, lest he meet her eyes by accident. Simultaneously, he toyed with the ring she’d given him, continuing to roll it in his hand like a worry bead. The B-ranked ring. The one that was supposed to act as the stand-in for the Vongola ring he’d lost.

Just a few days ago, everything was so simple. He and Serlina would banter back and forth. Cain would be on his feet, skating about. Joel, however serious, wouldn’t have such a grave look on his face. Nami wouldn’t have been hospitalized. Keiko would be her usual alpha self. And Eri… Eri…re

Fredrick sighed. When Joel left the room, he stood. Something rumbled and wrestled in his gut, but he wasn’t sure what. He just knew that he felt even worse than he did ten minutes ago. This whole week was just getting worse and worse. Grabbing his bags, he unceremoniously made his way to and up the stairs in absolute silence. He’d been here before, and if things were going to be like last time, his room would be on the third floor. As the only other guy besides Joel, he’d probably end up rooming with Cain. Not that it mattered. Usually, Fredrick enjoyed Cain’s company, though, perhaps, not today. Not with his failures hanging over him like a storm cloud.

**


The bright bursts from dedicated camera flash units bathed the area in a pearly white, matched only by the incessant clicking of shutters as they snapped closed, capturing the sight before them for all to behold. Beyond the antics of the gaudy media press core was a stage, and on that stage stood a dapper man behind a podium. Flanking him were several individuals that looked like agents straight out of the Secret Service. Standing off and to the left were several other individuals. The first was yet another man, as dapper as his counterpart behind the podium. This man, too, was flanked by others, though they were quite distinct in their appearance. They had the presence of an organized gang, or mafia outfit, or something in between. They gave menacing stares to whichever press photographer was unlucky enough to look their way.

Behind the hastily erected stage was a massive pristine skyscraper of a building, with big golden letters on the front that read: Vongola Incorporated. It was the Vongola’s—or rather CEDEF’s—corporate business headquarters, and today, they were tasked with delivering to the world a press conference to tone down fears and ensure the company’s bottom line remained unaffected by recent events.

The man on stage held up his hands, quieting the audience of reporters and journalists, all of whom were throwing out random questions about this or that. After a moment, the flickering of camera flashes slowed to a minimum, and the blurting out of questions stopped entirely.

It was a moment before the man spoke.

“Good afternoon,” he began, grabbing the sides of the podium with his hands and leaning forward. It has a somewhat intimidating effect on those journalists and camera people in the front row, all of whom gave him their undivided attention. In the distance, TV crews could be seen roaming the area, their cameras tracking the man’s every motion, his every mannerism. There were also reporters and news anchors—the usual talking heads—chattering on about something or other, making pointed gestures at the man, but when they noticed he’d started speaking, they, too, quieted down. The man had to be perfect here, on this stage, for the Vongola and for CEDEF. Fortunately, this was his forte. It was moments like these that DiCaccio had been preparing for his entire life.

Now was the time to shine.

“And welcome, all,” he continued, offering the crowd a fortified smile. It was transient. He looked down at the podium for a few moments, eyeing the cue cards he’d so meticulously organized across its surface. Giving them a once over, he found his talking points and, without skipping a beat, began. “Now, as we all know, this isn’t the first time that I’ve come to this stage and held a press conference with a massive elephant in the room.” He paused for a very slight moment, formulating his next words. “Of course, I’m referring the concerted suite of physical and data-network attacks against this company, and the rumors that our internal systems have been breached. I’m also referring to the accidental collapse of one of our research facilities, of which is in no way tied to the network attacks whatsoever.”

DiCaccio brought one arm down by his side, leaving the other on the podium, taking a slightly more relaxed posture. It was having the intended effect on the audience, who swayed and bobbed with his every gesture. If he knew one thing, it was how to subtly work a crowd, even if they were reporters from the Ivy League.

“Now, earlier today, I received an update from my team on these two separate issues.” He was sure to stress separate by raising his voice as he spoke the word, but not by so much that it seemed untoward or drew the attention of skeptics. “With respect to the network attacks, we continue to see important progress across different parts of our strategy in identifying and tracking these lawless perpetrators, and containing the threat they posed.” He emphasized the past-tense of the word posed. “First, we have our personnel and our facilities in the United States conducting a full network audit. Over the last seven days, thanks to the data yielded from this audit, we have managed to stymie the malicious activity of our attackers and restore functionality to the vast majority of our affected systems. Meanwhile, we have urgently provided additional funding to our subsidiaries and partners to reimburse them for any potential loss-of-revenue this downtime may have incurred, including our Swiss and Brazilian branches.”

DiCaccio glanced down at his cue cards again before making eye contact with the audience once more, never losing his tempo. “Today, I can gladly say that we have successfully brought an end to this attack on our network.” He paused. “And though it was attempted, our data centers have not and never were breached in any form or capacity by any foreign party whatsoever.” He ended his words on a beat, his voice low. The man projected gravitas. He projected truth. He knew all the answers, held all the cards. The audience was eating from the palm of his hand. “Furthermore, we have traced this attack back to a so-called ‘hacker cell’ in China, and the authorities are pursuing its members as we speak.”

DiCaccio took a brief moment to reassess the crowd. He grinned ever so slightly. They were still his.

“I’d also like to take this moment to address the accident that occurred at one of our research facilities several days ago. Earlier this afternoon, I spoke personally with the Prime Minister and his cabinet about the incident. At 6:42PM, the facility experienced catastrophic integrity failure, after which it imploded and collapsed. Luckily, there were no casualties and few injuries, all of which were treated on scene. Vongola Incorporated, in joint with the Prime Minister and the government, has opened an investigation of indefinite length into the incident. We are devoting substantial resources and are determined to find the root cause of the collapse, and to ensure that none of our other facilities are vulnerable to the same structural deficiencies. The Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism himself will be travelling to the remains of the facility in person to meet with those conducting the investigation and will receive an update from them on their progress. He will also be meeting with other members of the local community that were affected by the collapse.”

DiCaccio lifted his chin faintly. It gave him an air of being “above it all,” but without arrogance. It was just the effect he wanted. “Again, I can assure you all that, without a doubt, the two incidents are not related in any discernible way. The moment we have more information, we will make it available to the public.” DiCaccio glanced over his shoulder at the man that stood off to the side of the stage, who was surrounded by his own posse. “I will now hand it off to my good friend Samuel Kapachio, who will take some of your questions.”

The man identified as Samuel Kapachio came up to the podium with a purpose, he and his posse exchanging places with DiCaccio and his. DiCaccio gave Kapachio a slight nod as they crossed eyes, but Kapachio ignored him completely. After their last conversation, the response was not unexpected, and DiCaccio took it in stride. He recognized that Kapachio was always better at ad-libbing, while he himself was a consummate master at swaying the crowd.

Kapachio knocked the first few questions out of the park with quick, sharp rhetoric that left little room for follow up. Eventually, the press began to back off, realizing that Kapachio was not one to be easily trifled with. DiCaccio nodded in respect. All seemed to be going according to plan.

Little did either of the men know, someone had appeared at the very back of the crowd of hungry press core members. The person began moving forward, making his way through the Fourth Estate with ease. After gently pushing aside the first few camera men and news anchors, other people began to move out of his way automatically. After a certain point, the crowd slowly but surely began to part like the red sea, with this one person walking down its middle, hands in his pockets, head held low, black hair hiding his eyes and casting a shadow over a majority of his face. The person was taking his sweet time, walking at a very casual pace but with an air of purpose.

On a nearby roof stood a CEDEF agent in tactical gear, looking over the crowd. In his hands was a high-caliber gun of some kind, itself giving off a greenish glow. More than likely, it was a box weapon. The agent tensed visibly, having noticed the commotion at the back of the crowd. Immediately, he locked on to the source of the disturbance—the suspicious person making his way towards the Vongola higher-ups on stage. The agent brought his weapon to bear, aiming squarely at the figure’s exposed head and torso. One pull of the trigger would be all it took to end this potential threat, yet if the person swaggering forward noticed he was within the agent’s sights, he didn’t seem phased in the slightest. The agent tapped a device on his chest, which responded with a beep.

“A1, this is A3. We have a susp—”

A shadow overcame the agent, taking him before he could even react. A dark-skinned hand shot out, wrapping around his mouth, muffling his voice. At the same time, his box weapon was snatched from his hands. The agent was dragged backwards and silenced.

On an adjacent roof was another CEDEF agent, who was peering through a pair of binoculars. When he noticed the person walking towards the stage, parting the crowd, he immediately radioed his compatriots.

“A3, this is A2. Tell me you have visual on this.”

No response.

“A3, copy?”

The agent turned, aiming his binoculars towards the adjacent rooftop and saw his fellow agent, incapacitated.

“Shi—“

The binoculars the agent was holding were sliced in half whilst within his grasp. In the next moment, this agent was also silenced.

Back down on the ground, the person strolled forward, utterly unperturbed. Unlike the reporters that parted in his wake, the two CEDEF agents within the crowd were not so easily intimidated. The agent on the left noticed the person’s advance first and held out his hand, palm forward, yelling “halt!”

Immediately, DiCaccio, Kapachio, and their respective entourages all turned their heads, interrupting the conference.

Perhaps the person did not hear the agent’s order, because he didn’t even miss a beat. He kept moving forward purposefully, as if the agent wasn’t standing in his way a few meters ahead.

Suddenly, the agent disappeared, as if whisked away to Kingdom Come. The second agent soon stepped out of the crowd and into the person’s path, looking around as if confused before drawing his weapon. He opened his mouth to speak, but the only sound that came out was PUGH! It was the sound one made when punched in the stomach, or something to that effect. In the same instant, he, too, disappeared. It was as if the hand of god had simply plucked the agent out of existence.

The person continued his advance with the same exact pace and posture, only now he had the attention of everyone in the audience and those on stage. Whoever stood in his path quickly got out of the way, making a straight line from him to the podium behind which the Vongola higher-ups stood, bewildered expressions fresh upon their faces.

When he approached what remained of the front row, the CEDEF agents surrounding DaCaccio leapt into action, hopping off the stage and creating a defensive line. In response, the person halted his advance, leaving several meters of distance between himself and the agents. The press core took the hint without hesitation, giving the scene a wide berth, clearing the area.

They were snapping up a storm of photos, however, and the camera crews and news organizations in the back were now all focused on this mysterious person.

DiCaccio came to stand beside Kapachio. “It’s him,” Kapachio hissed. “It’s those Rizzo that perpetuated the attack on our facility earlier.” He turned to face DiCaccio. “And I assume your guardians are still in hiding, licking their wounds? Class act, for the so-called Eleventh boss.”

“Now is not the time, Samuel,” DiCaccio muttered in response.

“I told you you had a storm brewing, DiCaccio, but you didn’t listen to me. No, you heeded the command of some punk and his ill-prepared gang. Now look at us.” Kapachio put a finger to DiCaccio’s chest. “This is your mess now. Clean it up.”

“I intend to.” And with that, DiCaccio hopped off the stage, his agents making room for his advance. The second-in-command of the Vongola came to stand before his agents, who formed around their leader like a powerful river. He stared at the person before him. Even though his head was bowed, DiCaccio recognized him immediately. “You. You’re one of those Rizzo’s, no?” DiCaccio glanced at the audience of spectators, reminding himself to choose his words carefully. “Somehow I knew you’d find your way here.” The inflection in his voice signaled that he wanted the person to respond, perhaps with banter, perhaps with a demand, however, the person remained silent, his head still bowed.

After a moment of awkward silence, DiCaccio continued. “Heh,” he said, his hands behind his back. He walked laterally, towards the left end of the line of bodies his agents had formed. He didn’t want to get in the way of their line of fire, after all. “No matter how good you think you are, it was very brave of you to come here alone, into the seat of the Vongola’s power.” He made a sweeping gesture, indicating his agents.

In the distance, more agents began to pour out of the Vongola headquarters building, and others from nearby enclosures. Even more agents were beginning to push their way through the crowd. All of them headed for the person. The Rizzo.

“But also very foolish,” DiCaccio said, narrowing is eyes in preparation for his riposte to the Rizzo’s arrogance. “Boy.” His voice was dripping with so much contempt that it was nearly palpable. The CEDEF agents that were pushing their way through the gaggle of media elites finally burst out from the group, surrounding the Rizzo member.

The Rizzo member only grinned, finally lifting his head and catching DiCaccio’s eye. And then he held up his hand, palm facing his own face.

And then DiCaccio’s expression melted, shifting from one of smug superiority to utter horror. On the stage, Kapachio and his posse mimicked DiCaccio’s expression.

On the Rizzo member’s finger was none other than the Vongola Sky ring. THE Vongola Sky ring. “Hi. My name is Alastor. Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo. And I’m your new boss.”

DiCaccio didn’t hesitate for long. “Arrest him!” He bellowed, making a lateral slicing motion with his palm, signaling his agents to action.

The CEDEF agents converged on the Alastor like the plague, but if Alastor was perturbed, again, he didn’t act like it. He didn’t even flinch, he just waited.

When the first few agents came within arm’s reach, they were immediately blown backwards, their legs and arms splayed as they flew through the air to collide painfully with other agents several meters away. Appearing beside Alastor was someone entirely new. The kid had a broad smile on his face, even winking at one of the agents playfully. His short orange hair was matched by his soft-featured face. It was as if he’d always been there, or he’d just moved too fast to be seen. When three other agents neared the duo, explosions rang out all around them, causing the agents to falter. Like a meteor smashing into the Earth, yet another person appeared, this time a woman. She landed like a monster, the asphalt splintering beneath her feet as she slid a half meter to a complete stop. The woman was heavily toned, yet somehow remained slender and wholesomely thin. Her skin, a deep rich brown, seemed almost radiant. She raised her finger, wagging it as if to a naughty child.

“No no no,” she chided, her voice artificially deep.

After another few moments, the trio was joined by two others.

There was an uneasy silence as DiCaccio stared, dumbfounded.

“As I was saying,” Alastor said, stepping forward, holding up the Sky Ring for all to see. “I have the Vongola Sky ring. That means I may lay claim to your empire, correct?” When DiCaccio didn’t respond, Alastor smirked. “Hmm. Well, consider me your boss, then. And them,” Alastor said, holding out his hand and referring to the Rizzo behind him. “They are my guardians.”

Several of the closest CEDEF agents started muttering amongst themselves. Alastor truly had the Vongola Sky ring on his finger—there was no mistaking that. The agents looked to DiCaccio for direction, attempting to hide their confusion behind their querulous façade, not turning their back to the perceived Rizzo threat.

Where DiCaccio was silent, Kapachio was not. “I’m afraid that’s not exactly how it works,” he said, eyeing Alastor. “Rizzo.”

In the next instant, the posse that surrounded Kapachio dropped down off the stage, moving to stand between DiCaccio and his agents and the Rizzo. They numbered seven in total, each dressed in tight fitting, outlandish leather outfits. What Alastor could only guess was their leader stepped forward, a man perhaps slightly older than Alastor himself. He casually gripped a black sheathed longsword in his right hand. A small equally-black retractable chain connected the weapon’s hilt to its sheath, dangling ominously. It was an interesting device for Alastor to behold. Such weapons were certainly outdated in his time.

“I am Yemyais,” the leader proclaimed, “son of Xanxus, disciple of Sword Emperor Yamamoto, and leader of the Varia, and I challenge you for ownership of the Sky Ring and the title of Eleventh Boss of the Vongola Famiglia.”

For the first time, Alastor looked taken aback. Surprised even.

Kapachio picked up on this. “I have the Cervello on call,” he snorted, a snide smirk spreading across his face. “They will arrive momentarily. You will then lose and hand over the ring to us. Got it?”

Alastor didn’t respond. Hildegard’s eyes darted to the left for a fraction of an instant, trying to gauge Alastor’s demeanor and prepare for his next move.

Suddenly, Alastor stepped forward. The Rizzo followed him, staying in their triangular formation. Yemyais and the Varia mirrored them, stepping forward as well. They met in the middle of the space, Alastor standing a yard or so away from Yemyais.

They stared each other down in silence, but it was Alastor that spoke first. He held up his hand again, putting the Vongola Sky ring on display. His said but a single word, a single command: “Bow.”

It was Yemyais’s turn to be taken aback. “Uh… say what?”

Alastor lifted his chin, straightening his collar with his non-ringed hand. “I said,” he began, making a swift downward motion with his ringed hand, pointing towards the ground with his index finger. “Bow.

A sound like an inbound missile inundated the area and the people within it. Few looked up, and so few were prepared for what came next.

BOOM!

It was as if the very Earth itself was shaken to its core. Excluding the Rizzo, everyone in the general area fell to their feet, the miniature earthquake causing them all to lose their balance. Kapachio managed to use the podium to keep his footing, but soon disappeared into a haze of dust and debris that cloaked the immediately vicinity around the stage. The Varia, however, were not so lucky. They ended up on their knees.

Alastor looked down at Yemyais, who was on his hands and knees before him. The Rizzo boss has quite possibly the most condescending look ever conceived plastered across his face. His next word came across like a dagger to the eye.

“Better.”

The media reporters and press core journalists, once they regained their footing, began to vacate the premises with reckless abandon, some even screaming. They left their cameras, their gear, their jackets and wallets. Anything that wasn’t already on their person, they ditched in panic.

Yemyais looked up to see Alastor staring down at him, his face contorting into a sneer. “You’ll pay for that.” The leader of the Varia shot up to a crouched stance, one knee nearly touching the ground, his left hand on the handle of his sword, his right hand holding it steady at his waistline. His weapon was glowing with a dark shade of orange. “Feel my wrath,” he muttered. Alastor raised an eyebrow, a comical expression on his face. The Varia leader was holding the sheath of his sword in an odd way, as if he were grasping… a gun?

“Ligre Zero.”

Yemyais depressed a hidden trigger on his hilt, and the blade fired from it in a flash, the sound of a gunshot ringing out. Using the momentum to his advantage, Yemyias guided the attack vertically, up the Rizzo boss’s abdomen and across his face.

The attack was fast, indeed, but it was not fast enough. At the last second, Alastor leaned backwards, dodging the attack entirely, though not with ease. The look on his face said he wasn't expecting something like this, and he wasn't. That was a surprise attack, and it was highly effective.

And it wasn’t over.

“Ligre One.”

Before the blade had even finished moving upward, Yemyais twisted his wrist, reversing the blade. Another gunshot echoed, this time from the sword instead of the sheath. The weapon darted back downward, at an angle, as if propelled by some powerful downward force.

Alastor hopped backwards slightly, just out of range of the attack. However, he did not dodge it completely. Part of his suit and undershirt were ripped, and exposed the skin hidden beneath it. Alastor frowned. “Tch.”

Yemyais took the tempo, surging forward in the fraction of a second it took Alastor to regain his balance.

“Tempesta Six.”

He twisted the blade once again, and the sound of yet another gunshot emanated from it, causing it to thrust forward with unnatural force. With this final move, he would run Alastor through, ending him entirely.

However, before the blade reached its intended target, it was stopped cold. A hand gripped the raw blade itself, the act seeming to halt the weapon’s momentum entirely. The orange-haired Rizzo had stepped in and terminated the assault easily.

Yemyais had a look of incredulity on his face, the result of having one of his best attacks stopped dead by someone’s bare hand.

Alastor, on the other hand, was looking down at his suit and shirt, which had a neat slice through them. He touched the tear with his hand, bringing his hand back to his face to look at it. There was no damage to his skin, but the outfit was ruined. Alastor looked towards Yemyais, his expression enigmatic.

“For the fang of one of you primitives to reach me… even without me using my flames. Nicely done.” Alastor looked towards the Rizzo who’d stopped Yemyais’s attack. “Donovan, if you would.”

Donovan released Yemyais’s blade, stepping back towards Alastor.

“If someone like you wants the privilege of fighting me for my Sky ring,” Alastor began, returning his gaze to the Varia leader. “You’ll have to beat my guardians first.” Donovan placed his hand on Alastor’s shoulder, and the two disappeared. The other Rizzo retreated backwards as well, making a flashy show of vacating the immediate area.

Yemyais’s expression was half perplexed, half enraged. Defeat your guardians first? He sighed, sheathing his sword. “How can I do that if you all just ran away…?” He turned, facing the other Varia, all of whom had come to their feet. He realized that the exchange he had with the enemy boss had lasted maybe thirty seconds, tops, yet it felt like an entire hour had passed. Something about that guy… to dodge some of his fastest attacks outright. It was pretty… weird.

Yemyais’s hand was shaking slightly, but after a deep breath, he managed to calm himself. “You guys okay?”

As the haze of dust and debris began to clear, coughing could be heard. It had to be Kapachio. “Kapachio, sir,” Yemyais shouted, looking into the haze, “are you okay?”

There was a moment of silence before Kapachio responded.

“RUN!”

Yemyais scrunched up his face, noticeably thrown. “Huh?!”

From within the haze came a piercing neon red arc of light, appearing without warning, like a demon after having been summoned. Kapachio, along with DiCaccio and several CEDEF agents, came running out of what remained of the haze, moving most expeditiously. Yemyais and his fellow Varia watched them go, turning back to look at the light in the haze. Yemyais gripped the handle of his blade with his left hand, a feeling of dread overwhelming his senses. Something was waiting for them within that haze. Something bad. He could tell his fellow Varia shared his sentiments, for they too prepared for battle.

And then, as the haze cleared, there materialized a… a… thing. It rested upon the wreckage of the former stage, hunched forward, one knee upon the ground, as if genuflecting to some unknown god. It was an all-black, bulky thing, like a medieval suit of armor come to life. Slowly, the armor began to stand. Darkish-gray flames emanated from it in waves. Like some sort of magnetic repulsion, they pushed against the senses of the Varia members. Those closer to the creature could feel a sort of dampening effect in respect their flames, as if they were slowly being negated out of existence.

Where its eyes should have been, there was only a horizontal neon red arc. With a creek, it came to its full height—a bit more than seven feet. It angled its head, looking upwards towards the sky in a silent howl of triumph, the flames surrounding it becoming thicker and more overwhelming, and their influence reaching further.

And then its gaze fell upon the nearest of the Varia.

As he stared down this impossible goliath, Alastor’s words came back to Yemyais with a vengeance. You’ll have to beat my guardians first. Could this possibly be what he was talking about? Was this the thing that caused that quake? Was this one of the Rizzo guardians?

“Crap.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe

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#, as written by Damioa
"Wow these guys aren't the smart bunch, are the," Donovan laughed from the roof of a random building. "We beat their leader and they're still fighting like they have a chance. Hahaha. Well, if we lump them up a bit they should calm down. I'ma go have some fun.

The boy flashed back down to the battlefield in an incredibly fast fashion. He looked over to his pals who were being bad ass at the moment and kicking the butt of whoever was dumb enough to step up to them. He looked over towards Elizabeth who was moving with her own way of agility and gracefully dancing around her opponents, no doubt giving them a few life long scars. He watched them all as they got stuff done and was beginning to expect no one was going to come to bother him, frowning at the boredom of just watching. Though it wasn't long before a few men came to his aid and helped him cease his boredom and replace the feeling with something a bit more fun. "Ayoooo," he said. "You guys want to play a fun game. It's kinda like dodge ball, but on a way harder difficulty. I call it dodge the death balls."

With a wide childish smile, Don grabbed his palla's and sent them flying in all directions, only to become filled with life and dart in varius areas. The boy laughed as his enemy's were dancing around and waving their arms as if they were being attacked by deadly flies. Actually, from the look of pain on their faces, bees would be a better example.
................................................................................................................

Joel walked around the house at night, making sure everyone was doing alright. Actually he was quite curious about how everyone was reacting. Some didn't seem to have a slight down in their behavior. Others did though. It was hard to understand, not being in their shoes, but how could someone actually feel sad or distraught about being on a two week training course? Sure some people lost their rings, but that shouldn't have made someone overly depressed.

Reaching the attic first, Joel looked around to see what Cain and Fred did the place, but it seemed neither really got to unpacking. Cain was in the shower, but he still saw Fredrick, being overly quiet. "Hey," he said aloud to get the boys attention. "You gonna be ready for tomorrow?" The man had his arms crossed and stared at the boy, leaning on the wall as he did so. "Don't disappoint me, Fred. If you're not ready for tomorrow, then you should tell me now. Though it won't stop you from having to participate, it'll at least allow me to put my hopes down now. Though, I don't want to be disappointed, if you know what I mean. So what is it? Are you ready or not?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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"Varia, scatter!" Yemyais ordered, taking several leaps backwards in the hopes of putting some sunlight between himself and this behemoth. His final leap ended with him skidding across the asphalt, the rubber soles of his shoes struggling to grip the ground beneath his feet. It'd given him all the time he needed to formulate a plan.

The Varia Sky guardian looked to his right. "Eric, to me." A clean-shaven black male a few inches taller than Yemyais answered the call without hesitation, his opaque Vogue aviators glinting in the sunlight. Eric's movements were marked with a type of feral eccentricity, as if he were composed of a barely-contained energy simply bursting at the seams. He wore sandals, and was garbed in tight leather pants and a sleeveless loose-fitting T-shirt that read "don't do it" across the front in big bold letters. It didn't take him long to reach Yemyais, and when they stood side-by-side, the age difference was obvious, with Yemyais being at least a year the junior.

"What's the plan, boss?" Eric asked, running a hand across his curly ceasar-esque designer hairdo. There was a slight grin adorning his face. A moment after he spoke, he used his middle finger to press his stylish shades back up his nose, towards his face.

Instead of answering, Yemyais turned to his left. "Koenig, give us some cover!" The Varia that was closest to the hostile armor nodded in response. Unlike the others, he was clothed from head to toe in a large black leather overcoat that hid the entirety of his body, save for some mud-brown combat boots. The coat's collar was flipped up, hiding most of his face. Judging by looks, he seemed to be around the same age as Eric—eighteen, maybe nineteen—with messy dark hair the fell around his eyes and ears in an uncontrollable clump. What you could see of his face was sharp and angular, his eyes cold and hard. It was the look of a man that was all serious all the time.

A chain fastened tightly to Koenig's wrist glowed a fiery blue, the wisps of which emanated from his sleeve. In the next moment, a lengthy double-ended trident appeared in his hands, as blue as the seven seas and sharp as the rocks that adorn their coasts. Without wasting a moment, Koenig spun the weapon in his hands, rotating it twice, before stabbing the weapon into the ground, parting the asphalt like a hot knife to butter. From the wound in the earth came a torrent of steam, like a geyser, that quickly mystified the area, shrouding it in an opaque grayness that blotted out even the sun. The hostile armor didn't move a single inch as the mist embraced it with its myriad tentacles, quickly reducing all visibility within proximity to zero.

Yemyais drew his blade, placing the sheath through a loop in his belt and pulling at the retractable chain to give himself some maneuvering room. "Eric," he began, gripping his blade with both hands and taking a stance like a baseball player who'd just stepped up to home plate. "Solar Eclipse."

"Wha?!" Eric reacted as if Yemyais had said a naughty word. "You serious, Yem? S-class move right out of the box?" Even though he was busy asking questions, Eric moved to stand behind his leader. "I thought you were saving it for that brat Cain?"

"My instincts tell me this isn't an enemy we can play with," Yemyais said, still in stance, the blade of his weapon pointing at the ground, forming a forty-five degree angle with the rest of his body. Eric moved forward, wrapping his arms around Yemyais and overlaying the boy's grip with his own. To an outsider, it looked as if Eric were in the middle of teaching Yemyais how to properly swing a putter in some hipster version of mini-golf. After a moment, the sword burst into brilliant hard orange-red Sky flames. "Plus the move needs some work. So let's try this."

In response, Eric's hands exploded with neon yellow Sun flames that burned with an equal intensity. The white-hot intensity of the two incandescent flames was such that they were visible even from without the cloud of mist.

Eric snickered, obviously having just barely contained a bark of laughter. "I bet you like it when I'm behind you, huh Yem?"

"Shut up, douche," Yemyais hissed in response, his face turning red ever-so-slightly around the cheeks. It was a relatively new technique, and so they hadn't had a chance to work out all the kinks, this position being one of them. It was the best way he could think of to deliver both Sun and Sky flame to his sword in a concurrent controlled fashion, without one of them having to hold on to the razor-sharp blade edge.

Not being around the blade edge was a very important part of remaining alive while executing this move.

After counting to three, Yemyais poured as much energy as he could into the box weapon, causing the Sky flames to burn with such intensity along the weapon's blade that it began to emit a soft high-pitched screech. At the same time, Eric directed his own Sun flames inward through Yemyais's hands, further augmenting the box weapon. The result was awesome in every sense of the word. The Sky flame that surrounded the blade not only grew in size, but grew darker, taking on a golden-yellowish sheen; however, it didn't lose a single lumen of its radiance at all. In fact, it grew even more luminous and magnificent. So bright was this new harmonized flame that Yemyais and Eric both had to turn their heads in an attempt to shield their eyes, lest they blind themselves. The sword was visibly humming now, its soft screech exploding into a full-on scream.

"More!" Yemyais commanded, and Eric was quick to oblige. He transitioned his hands from gripping Yemyais's to grasping his boss's shoulders, allowing him to take a step back away from the weapon and its overwhelming resplendence, though he was not able to directly infuse Sun flames through the sword's handle anymore. He compensated by infusing Yemyais with the flames directly, allowing the boy to boost his own output even further. The flame that surrounded the blade became even darker, resembling a dark golden-yellow in its center enclosed by a black and red sheen—like the radiant halo of a solar eclipse. After a few seconds, Yemyais spoke again. "Enough!" He commanded through gritted teeth, eyes clenched shut. "Stand back!"

The blade handle itself had become hot to the touch, so much so that it began to scald Yemyais's palms, but he ignored the pain. Streams of flame jetted out from the critical mass that enveloped his sword like jets of molten rock from a volcano. Wherever the little black-gold streams of liquid landed, the asphalt melted away instantly, leaving nothing but a gaping pothole.

Eric had long since retreated backwards a dozen or so meters, well out of his boss's way. Yet, even from where he was, Eric could still feel the raw heat coming from the weapon's blade. It was as if he were on a beach at noon in the middle of summer, with no clouds or shade to protect himself from the sun's glorious splendor.

To see his boss shine so brightly... just to gaze at his figure alone, one had to risk blindness.

Eric loved the sight like nothing else in this world.

"I hope you're honored, Rizzo," Yemyais grunted in his effort to keep the massive amalgamation of flames under his control, leaning forward in his stance. He swung the weapon backwards, locking his arms, preparing to strike. When he did this, the ground in his wake was crushed in, as if someone had dropped an invisible freighter from high above. It was the very force of the flames themselves that so affected his surroundings, like an artificial gravity. From the way he held himself, it was obvious that the Varia boss was about to make a wide upwards swing.

"I'm showing you my Eclipse flame."

The setting changes from Japan to Joel's Vacation Home

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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#, as written by Damioa
Joel didn't bother to pay much attention to the boy after he asked his question. Whether he was ready or not, the fact remained that he was in the mans care. He'd have better luck trying to run away from a bullet shot from point blank range than Joels villa. The man just sighed and left for the bottom floor, heading towards the outdoor padeo. Once out there, he meditated for the rest of the night, also trying to push himself somehow as well. Though he didn't get any sleep the night before, he still seemed to maintain the same level of energy. He woke everyone and had them eat, though he didn't cook any food. Cain helped himself to making a sandwich from the items Joel carried in his fridge. Once he was sure everyone was done he brought his presence back.

"Dang Joel. It's like, eight a.m." Cain yawned.

Joel's eyes showed he wasn't amused. "Your point. Listen," he continued on, ignoring the boy. "Since it's the morning now, we can get down to business with a full day of training. So, to start it off, I want Cain and Fred to find a box that I've hidden in the woods. I'm not sure which direction its in, so you'll have to use your senses to find it."

"What about my leg? I can't walk like this."

"I don't know. You and Fred can figure something out. If you don't find the box, I wont let you in the house tonight." Joel's face, although branded with a smile, showed he wasn't playing around. "Believe me, once you find the box, you'll feel better about yourselves." His tone was confident, though it mad it seem like the box had a secret to it of some kind, even though he knew otherwise.

Turning towards the girls, he pointed to a small shack area next to the house. "Okay ladies. Today is gonna be more proactive you, since you get to do two things today instead of one. First things first. Go inside the building and meditate. I don't care what you think about or how you prefer to meditate, but make sure you really get into it. Don't talk and make as little sound as possible. Make it so quiet that the only thing you can hear are your thoughts. At about noon, I'll let you know the second thing I have planned."

Since the girls were the smartest of his trainees, he determined using there minds in a fight would be greatly rewarding in a battle. Not only that, but one of them was an illusionist. He really wanted to test her capabilities, but first meditation was in order. It was always good to warm up.

Joel turned back towards Cain and Fredrick, snapping his fingers causing a long spear to appear with lightning coursing around it. "Take this. You can use it as a cane and it'll allow me to travel to you immediately if things get too rough for you two. Though, don't think I'll come help you just for any little thing.

"Oh cool thanks Joel. I always wanted a weapon like this," Cain said poking the spear into the ground and leaning on it. "So I suppose we should go right then ey Fred. East is that way. Though West would be best. Damn, I can't believe that we have to search for a box without a mad or GPS. Hehe."

Joel looked at the two boys, but soon left to do some of his own morning training. After he was done his part, the "warmup" would be over and the real exercise would start.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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Fredrick wasn't sure how to respond to Joel's words, so he didn't, electing instead to stare, though not at Joel of course. He turned to stare out the window. Was he ready for whatever came next? Probably not. But it wasn't like he had a choice in the matter.

The next day, Fredrick was already awake when Joel came to rouse him and vhis roommate, though of course Cain was in a deep restful sleep. It wasn't his snoring—a sound soft enough not to leave the room but loud enough to annoy—that had kept Fredrick awake for most of the night, as he was used to it by now. This wasn't his first sleepover with the gang. What had kept Fredrick up were his own musings, and Joel's words from the other day.

Maybe. Maybe he'd get his ring back. It depended on him. His strength. Who he was as a person.

He kept getting stuck at that last point: who he was as a person. Who was he? It was a simple question, right?

Who are you?

And yet, each time he broached the question, he drew a blank.

Was he a Vongola? A gangster? Perhaps in name alone, but without his ring, he wasn't much of a Vongola. The "replacement" ring that Shaji the so-called alien—something he wasn't as quick as the others to buy into—had given him felt like a cheap mass-produced knockoff on his finger. Even the flames that emanated from the ring were highly impure and dull compared to the awesome output he could muster from the Vongola version. It was the ring that made him a guardian, right? Then, without it, he wasn't a guardian. He wasn't a real Vongola. He was just pretending.

Was he a pacifist? Again, perhaps in name alone. It was a contradiction he'd been averting his eyes from ever since Cain convinced him to join, and now it was staring him straight in the face. He would never be able to fight the Vongola's enemies, even if he did have his ring. Despite his staff box weapon, a pacifist is non-violent. A pacifist does not kill, or maim, or hurt, or injure. How, then, can a pacifist be part of a mafia hit squad? That's what the guardians were, right? The boss's personal hit squad. And that's who the Vongola had become—a gang of death dealers. Cain's dad tried and failed to change things, and Cain didn't seem like he'd be able to do much better, if he even wants to. The skirmish with the Rizzo was proof enough that Fredrick would soon have to choose: cling to pacificity and forsake his friends... or kill the Rizzo and betray himself. Even if it wasn't the Rizzo, one day the decision would have to be made. He'd be faced with the lives of his friends on one hand, and his moral convictions in the other... and he'd hesitate. He knew deep down in his being that he would. He'd cringe. Flinch back. Be unable to pull the trigger when it was most necessary. He'd hesitate. And those who were depending on him? They'd get hurt because of it. Or worse.

Was he a good son, then? A worthy friend? Fredrick found himself shaking his head at this one. He was neither. He wasn't smart like his dad or epic like his grandad. His father probably thought he was a joke, and it was true. And in terms of being a worthy friend...

It was the middle of the night when Fredrick looked over to see Cain, one of his best friends on Earth, snoring contently. His face looked so peaceful... it was almost too easy to ignore his shattered leg, compliments of the Vongola enemy-of-the-month. Knowing that someone did that to a person Fredrick loved and adored stirred deep sentiments within the boy. Sentiments that culminated in a furiously confused and abject frustration directed outward towards the world... and harsh bitter anger, one that was directed inward. Was he a worthy friend? Hah. What type of friend would let that happen to another?

If anything, he was a hinderance. Earlier, in the dead of night, Fredrick took one of the knives from atop the chopping block in the kitchen. He was toying with the veritable weapon now, twirling it in his right hand.

Did it really matter who he was? Did he have to care that he was purposeless? Whatever. There was one solution to his problems.

Fredrick brought his exposed left forearm out from under the covers, resting it across his lap. He flexed his hand a bit, making the tendons in his wrist and forearm pop. He remembered from anatomy class that a particularly important artery that ran through the forearm, moving up the wrist and terminating somewhere in the hand: the radial artery. It was that thing all the doctors press on with two fingers to get your pulse.

Despite himself, Fredrick smiled. It wasn't a happy expression, or a sad one, it was just his muscles pulling on his lips and nothing more.

In one fell swoop, he could solve it all. He could spare Serlina the pain of a life under such a pathetic wielder. He could protect Eri and Cain by not being in their lives. He'd never disappoint his father again with his weak demeanor. He wouldn't have to keep pretending to be a Vongola either. His friends would then be forced to find another Rain guardian. A better one. One that was dependable in a fight. One that wouldn't lose his ring. One that wouldn't hesitate when the time finally came to be violent. And he wouldn't have to betray himself. His values. His morals. He wouldn't have to make the choice to hurt anyone ever again.

It was Joel coming in that foiled his actions, causing a panicked Fredrick to nearly stab himself as he scrambled to hide the knife under his blankets. Fortunately, it didn't seem as if Joel had noticed, since he left soon after ensuring that he and Cain were both awake.

After Cain dressed and left the room, Fredrick dared to venture out from under the covers, ripping them off and flinging them aside to reveal the cool steely metal of the knife resting most inconspicuously next to his leg on the bed. The blade glistened like dew in the morning sunlight, and Fredrick saw his on reflection upon its surface. Was this really the answer he'd been seeking? The sound of a door closing spooked the boy, causing him to hide the knife by placing it under his pillow most expeditiously. He then shifted in his bed, moving so that his legs now dangled off the side of the structure, his feet several inches from touching the floor. Reminded him how short he was for his age. Yet another failure, eh?

Oh well.

With a sigh, he hopped off the bed and began dressing himself. Joel had something planned for them, so he might as well prepare as best he could. Light shoes, long-sleeved but loose breathable shirt, and a light-weight white and blue striped hoodie. Fredrick eyed his looks in the mirror before stepping out to join the others. While examining a faint tear in the hoodie on the mirror's pristine surface, his eyes fell upon his bed, and the curiously-ruffled yellow pillow under which he hid the knife. He wondered what Serlina would think of him now. What would she say?

Again, he was drawing a blank, and this infuriated Fredrick. In a rare moment of rage, he kicked the dresser that was standing idly to his side, knocking several of the variegated objects from atop its surface. Again, he kicked it, and again, and again, with as much force as he could muster. The poor dresser began to split under the weight of his kicks, and when he heard the first CRUNCH! of splintering wood, he froze, his leg suspended in mid swing. He looked down at himself as he snapped back to reality, his palms, neck, and forehead now smeared with sweat. Fearing that the others had heard him, he dropped to his hands and knees and began picking up the items that fell from the top of the dresser, replacing them in their proper positions as best he could remember. Tears started welling up in his eyes, but he wiped them away with his sleeves before they fell.

"What the hell is my problem?" He muttered to no one in particular.

That's when he happened across a small black bag about the size of a large book. He'd knocked it off the shelf along with the other objects. It had an oddly curved shape, like the main piece of a fannypack. He skipped replacing it, instead picking up the objects around it and putting them back in their rightful places. It took all of maybe sixty seconds to do. When he was done, Fredrick leaned down so that he sat on his heels, examining the bag in front of him. It was the bag his father had tossed him yesterday when he dropped Fredrick off. He'd almost forgotten about it.

All other thoughts were pushed out of Fredrick's mind, replaced by a fierce curiosity that could only be sated by one thing. Fredrick took up the bag in his hands, appreciating its design. The thing was sleek, smooth as a baby's bottom yet cold, like a slab of porcelain. The bag was flexible enough to resist damage from falls, but hard enough to protect whatever contents lay within. All in all, it was a very high quality case. Fredrick could tell because his father had quite a few cases containing quite a few things, but never in his life had he seen a case as "high-tech" and "futuristic" as this one in his father's possession.

Laterally bisecting the case was a black zipper that stretched from one side to the other, like a large mouth that'd been stitched closed. Even the zipper was high quality. Metal. Sturdy. When he pulled on it, the zipper-head made successive clink sounds, instead of the traditional zip-like noise associated with unzipping something. Whatever was inside, his father had spared no expense in protecting it.

Slowly, Fredrick removed his hand from the zipper-head, placing it instead on the top of the case. As carefully as one would when handling a child, Fredrick opened the bag. The thing revealed its contents like a flower blooming in slow motion. There, inside of the case, was a white index card. Fredrick picked it up, examining it. There was nothing on the back, and a single line written across the middle of its front. Judging by the handwriting, Fredrick could tell it was a message from his father:

You are not alone.

To say Fredrick was confused is an understatement. He was utterly nonplussed. You are not alone? Of course he knew that! Fredrick flipped the card over, examining its backside in the hopes that he'd overlooked something... but no. It was empty. His father had left him a simple message: "you are not alone."

Fredrick knew his father. Not only did the man never act randomly, but every single thing he did had a deep meaning. It was always thought through. Never half-assed.

So what was this?

In his internal machinations, Fredrick almost missed the item nestled snugly at the bottom of the container. Fredrick put the card aside, reaching into the case with his index finger and thumb, bringing the item before his eyes. It was tiny—maybe the size of a nickel, maybe a bit smaller. A perfect circle, with no blemishes or misalignments. It was all black, and reflected its surroundings like the sheen of a high-end sports car.

It was a ring. A slim dark ring. At first, Fredrick took it for a mood ring until he examined it more closely. The material that comprised its surface was in constant motion, pulsating—albeit slowly—as if it were alive. Creepy. The thing seemed ominous, perhaps even evil. The energy that radiated from it was definitely foreign in nature.

Why would his father give this to him? What was it, anyway? Well, obviously it was a ring...

Fredrick eyed it for a bit longer before deciding. Slowly, meticulously, he placed the ring on his middle finger, sliding it down until it was about even with the replacement Rain ring that was currently on his ring finger. He then flexed his hand a bit, eyeing the thing warily. The dark ring fit him perfectly.

Interesting.

The moment he placed the ring on his finger, a subtle low-pitch buzzing rang through the boy's ears, though he didn't think much of it, since the sound was unobtrusive enough to be ignored.

Fredrick made his way downstairs and was greeted by Cain, who'd made himself a sandwich for breakfast. When Fredrick sat down, Cain offered him some, which Fredrick gratefully accepted. He was positively famished. One by one, the others trickled into the room until, finally, Joel made his appearance.

"So, to start it off, I want Cain and Fred to find a box that I've hidden in the woods. I'm not sure which direction its in, so you'll have to use your senses to find it."

"Uh," Fredrick began, but Cain spoke up first.

"What about my leg? I can't walk like this."

Right. Fredrick had an unshakable feeling he'd be offering Cain a piggy-back ride at least once before this was over. After rallying the troops and bestowing upon Cain a neat looking walking stick thingy, Joel disappeared, going off to parts unknown. Fredrick watched him go, and then turned as Cain started speaking.

"So I suppose we should go right then ey Fred. East is that way." Cain nodded with his head in a direction that was most definitely North. "Though West would be best. Damn, I can't believe that we have to search for a box without a map or GPS. Hehe."

For the first time in forty-eight hours, Fredrick chuckled, genuinely amused. Cain was always fun to be around, no matter what was happening. "Yeah," he agreed. "Welp... I guess we should get going. If we split up, we could cover more ground, but..." Fredrick eyed Cain's walking stick, and then looked to his friend, an apologetic look on his face.

The dark ring on Fredrick's finger didn't gleam in the sunlight like his other one did. It was as if a void had somehow wrapped itself around the boy's middle finger. A veritable black hole.

Not even light could escape it.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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Ai's slumber didn't exactly appear like a slumber in the usual sense. She would merely sit, in this case on the bed, and stare off into the distance, merely blinking. Slumber was a time for allowing the body to rest, while the mind did its work, considering the past and contemplating the future. Of course, the body may have been asleep, yet Ai was always alert, and sitting upright allowed her quick movement if she ever needed to wake up suddenly. Of course, Ai didn't put effort into maintaining the illusion of being a regular human being while she was 'sleeping' as sleeping was all about conserving energy as well. Ai didn't need to sleep, but if she were to stay awake all the time, she'd have to deviate from her usual meal cycle to make up for the lost energy.

Of course, Ai was efficient anyway, designed that way in form and mind. In body, however, it needed to be cared for like a disabled child, billions of relatively simple cells that come in all different forms constantly monitored and checked for functionality, health and proper reproduction, making sure none of each cell was producing foreign substances or mutated cells, and this particular body had an unhealthy habit of doing so. The human body's design was burdened for constantly fighting against decay with its hyper-regenerative abilities and as soon as energy stops flowing and that Life Flame of the human combustion engine extinguishes, the body instantly decays. That must have been why Ai's kind had given up their dependence on their bodies and continued to evolve with their minds. They may have become more vulnerable mentally, but physical harm was all but trivial. The body decayed all the time, but the mind lasted seemingly forever.

Did it really, though? Her kind lived for absolutely endless amounts of time, until they either died from some sort of accident or were chosen to die for the sake of mental reformation, yet the last mental reformation hadn't occurred since relatively soon after the ancestors defeated the humans and found no more use for their human bodies and were able to develop a new physical form and mindset which had been preserved for the rest of their entire history, up until Ai's birth. Will be, Ai reminded herself, if she didn't complete her mission. That reformation was thought by most as being their greatest achievement, as the age of true discovery and learning occurred since then, and after a great period of time, where the great steam engine of enlightenment was running on 'full speed ahead', there suddenly came a point, which absolutely nobody would have realized at the time, where the last piece of undiscovered data in the universe was learned, and the steam engine came to a grinding halt. Not one thinking mind could have realized it at the time and even Ai wouldn't have been able to point it out on the TID. Everything in the universe had been learned, yet the mind wasn't satisfied, yet nothing could quench it. Ai obviously wasn't alive at that time, though she felt as if she remembered that time herself, mainly due to how connected she was by mind to other minds. Ai's mind was young, yet she had peered into the minds of those much older than herself, millions, billions, more than trillions of times older, and they're minds were □□□□. They were old minds, and though they were wise, they had been □□□, almost lost in a way. The concepts were difficult to put into human words as the workings of the Alien mind were incomprehensible in human words and even in human thought, but to compare the mind to the body, their minds had decayed. Make no mistake, they worked perfectly fine, but because the minds were so □□□□ it was almost as if they □□□.

Perhaps before Ai had been born, she had been taught absolutely nothing as a sort of mercy, if Aliens could feel such an emotion. Ai had spent uncountable amounts of time contemplating and making sense of a world she could not observe, to the point where she achieved the same goal as that of her kin, to learn absolutely everything, and then, Ai was born and gifted with a body which allowed her to observe the universe. Back then, Ai wouldn't have cursed the body's disadvantages but blessed its ability to sense the world in ways she never would have been able to imagine. Only, the sensation of sensing didn't satisfy her, as everything she could observe was something she had already known, something she guessed in her infantile stage, nothing that was new to her, even though it technically was. She had strived for omniscience all her pre-life and when she was born, there was nothing else, and she too felt □□□□. That was how Ai knew that she had to complete her mission.

After all, she was designed that way.




Ai had 'awoken' once Joel had told her to. Ai would have appeared awake the whole time, but what appeared to just be her moving her head slightly was her jolting herself awake, not that she looked disturbed in any way. She would have just been appearing to have been awake the whole time. When ordered, Ai went into the kitchen.

Yes, Ai ate normal people food. She would look through Joel's kitchen quickly, opening things and closing them just as quickly as she was calculating the most appropriate meal to suit her very specific nutritional needs. Eventually, she suited for a rather large meal of untoasted, unbuttered bread, an apple, a medium-ripe banana, a small bowl of of peanut butter, a can of spam, a few slices of cheese, a glass of milk and a glass of orange juice. She ate mechanically and quickly, yet at a stable pace that allowed her to chew up and swallow her food before eating more to prevent herself from stuffing her pace. She appeared ignorant to everything around her or to what odd looks or comments people would have on her rather unusual meal, and ate unshamefully.

Just as unshamefully was her third eye exposed, along with its various accessories. Ai felt no reason to hide it at all among those whom she trusted with her secret in an isolated environment, no matter how unusual or grotesque it may have appeared. The way her clothing was designed did a good job hiding the spots of which the chords speared to her body where the skin seamed to grow over, although the hearts were rather unusual. It was only be efficient organic design and mere coincidence that every location where each chord had connected to her appeared in the geometric shape of a heart, just the same sort of reason why her third eye appeared in the shape of a sphere or her body's eyes were spheres or human bodies were made with such a queer organic shape. Or, perhaps Ai was designed with such a visually appealing external form (clothing-wise), with the exception of the eye itself by some sort of intelligent design, yet her kind was incapable of creativity. Thus, it had to be coincidence.

Once Ai was finished, she turned her attention to Joel, whom was addressing her and Eri. "Okay ladies. Today is gonna be more proactive you, since you get to do two things today instead of one. First things first. Go inside the building and meditate. I don't care what you think about or how you prefer to meditate, but make sure you really get into it. Don't talk and make as little sound as possible. Make it so quiet that the only thing you can hear are your thoughts. At about noon, I'll let you know the second thing I have planned." Ai simply nodded and looked toward the Cloud Guardian.

The setting changes from Joel's Vacation Home to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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Hildegarde locked her hands together over Alastor's chest, entangling her fingers with one another. She was currently standing behind the Rizzo leader, leaning her bosom into his shoulder blades. She had her arms atop his shoulders, her forearms coming together in front of Alastor's body like a triangle, its north-most vertex composed of her clasped hands. Slowly, perhaps even unconsciously, she cracked her knuckles. It seemed to sooth her.

Hildegarde brought her head down to Alastor's ear, releasing her breath across his delicate flesh with practiced tact. When she opened her mouth to speak, her words came out a mere whisper."Why don't you just crush them yourself, Al?"

For Alastor's part, he seemed eerily calm and statuesque. It was as if the Rizzo weren't currently engaging the enemy, and Hildegarde wasn't currently pressing herself against him. With his expression, he might as well have been watching waves crash along the rocky shoreline of some far off beach. Hildegarde knew better, though. Alastor wasn't calm, he was bored. It's why she asked her question in the first place.

Alastor sighed, his eyes quickly scanning the reception-area-turned-arena. "We're here for the other rings." He turned his head slightly, which allowed his eyes to meet Hildegarde's. "You guys can have your fun, but I'm not going to waste flames on the likes of them."

Hildegarde bent her leg right leg at the knee, her heel nearly making contact with her backside as she leaned even deeper into Alastor's back. This shift in weight caused Alastor to hunch forward slightly in order to maintain his own balance.

"Then who will ya waste your flames on?" She asked, her voice confident in its homely southern bent. "You already grounded that skate punk of a flame king, and after this little skirmish, it's only a matter of time before the remainder of his primitives show." Hildegarde touched her right cheek to his left. "What if I need you then? Gonna sit that fight out too?"

The area under Alastor's eyes grew several shades pinker, his eyes themselves darting to the right, in the opposite direction from Hildegarde. From their perch high atop a neighboring building, the two Rizzo had a direct line of sight on the battle that was unfolding below. In response to the monstrous armor-like presence before them, one of these so-called "Varia" had created a foggy haze; it was probably an attempt to mask some form of counterattack. That brought a smirk to Alastor's face, albeit a slight one.

These primitives were one hundred years too early to effectively engage in combat with the likes of that particular beast. They had no idea what they were messing with.

Hildegarde, not satisfied with silence as an answer, shifted her weight once again, this time in the opposite direction, pulling her boss backwards. This latest stunt from the Quasar guardian caused Alastor to lose his balance entirely, making them both fall back towards the roof. When they hit the dirty cement tiling that made up the rooftop, Alastor found himself straddling Hildegard, his palms flat against the ground on either side of her head, her hands still on his shoulders.

"What was that for?" He asked, his tone neutral but his face still slightly flushed.

As he looked down at her, she simply grinned back up at him. "Letting the others have their fun, like you said," she muttered with mock innocence.

"What?"

Though she was a woman, Hildegarde was definitely the stronger of the two. With her hands still on his shoulders, she brought Alastor's torso closer to her own. "Trev and the others can take on those primitives. That means we have time to make a smidgen of our own fun."

Alastor's face scrunched in confusion, but before he could open his mouth to speak, Hildegarde turned things around. She used her grip on his shoulders to roll to the side, causing them to exchange positions. Now she was straddling him, and he lay pinned under her.

Alastor and Hildegarde had been best friends since childhood, and she considered herself to be his most loyal... well, everything. Friend, follower, soldier, defender—anything he or the Rizzo needed her to be. She was his right hand, and would gladly destroy the world if he simply commanded it.

Ever since the day they met more than half a decade ago as little kids, Hildegarde has been playing these types of physical games with Alastor, as she did with all her friends. When her mother was still around, she would always something about her "acting tomboyish," and that wrestling and rolling around was a "boy thing". Such discouragement had absolutely zero impact on Hildegarde, who did what she wanted anyway. Though she toyed with most of her friends in an overtly physical manner, it had always been something distinctly different when it came to Alastor. Hildegarde could feel it in her chest, then and now. It had long since become much more than a simple sense of friendship between them, though she wasn't sure her glorious leader had fully come to terms with that fact... or if he was even aware of what she felt for him.

So she would make it clear, here and now. This was the perfect place: in the middle of a war zone!

"Al," Hildegarde began, her accent thick, her expression devoid of jocularity. She locked his gaze within her own. "I want to have your children."

...

If Alastor's face was flushed before, it turned as red as a ruby now. "B-bu... I don't—wha?" he sputtered, her words derailing his usually lucid and coherent train of logic. "Uh—"

Without warning, something struck Hildegarde in the side of the head. The projectile impacted with such force that her head was thrown sideways, blood and spittle flying from her mouth as she gasped in surprise.

And then she became as silent and unmoving as a statue.

There were no words. There was no time. After what seemed like an eternity, Hildegarde simply stood, the expression on her face menacingly neutral, even as a single strand of blood found its way from the side of her head to the bottom of her chin.

Alastor knew that look. "Garda," he said, using an elbow to prop himself up. His tone had resumed its authoritative tenor. He pointed at her when he said his next words, ensuring he made eye contact. "No killing."

Hildegarde didn't react as another projectile smashed into her face—the top of her head this time. She was prepared for it. The blood-red object exploded immediately upon impact, disintegrating into nothingness.

"You didn't say no maiming, though" she muttered, leaping off the roof and taking flight. Maroon flames exploded from the bottom of her boots as she hurdled towards the source of the attack.

Alastor stood, dusting himself off with a few curt flicks of his wrist before straightening his collar. As usual, it was a sharp suave gesture. Though Hildegarde's earlier words bounced around in the back of his mind, this wasn't the first time she'd said something completely off-the-wall. Nor would it be the last. He'd save digestion of her... uh, desires for later.

Alastor sighed softly, taking the opportunity to survey the scene below. He might not be able to take a bullet to the face like Hildegarde, but he wasn't particularly worried about being sniped. Worst case, he could just suck it up and use his flames, after all, though he doubted it would come to that. The Rizzo completely outclassed the current set of riffraff below, that much was obvious.

Hildegarde seemed to be making her merry way towards one of the Varia members. Whoever it was, he looked completely normal save for the massive red wings that emanated from his back. They were composed of Storm flames, by the look of them. A rare flame type, back in the future.

Whomever ended up being on the receiving end of Hildegarde's rage would come to regret it. He just hoped he wouldn't have to step in to save the poor bastard from a horrible death.

That's when something in Alastor's periphery drew his attention. Looking to his right, Alastor spied the remains of the stage where the Vongola brass had been giving their little press conference several minutes earlier. The area was still covered in a thin gray mist, though it was quickly thinning. What'd caught Alastor's eye was not the mist itself, but a bright golden light that shined from within it. Squinting, Alastor could make out the source of the luminescence.

It was the Varia who'd attacked him earlier—their Sky ring user—and something in his hands was giving off quite a bit of energy. He even began to feel its radiant heat from where he stood, dozens upon dozens of meters away.

Suddenly, the Varia unleashed his attack, making a wide diagonal swing with his arms, curved upward. A thick yellow beam of energy shot forward immediately, following the arc of his swing like an impossibly long staff. The beam of light bisected what remained of the mist cloud, dispersing it entirely, but it didn't stop there.

Several dozen meters away, in the distance behind the mist, stood a pristine skyscraper of an office building, which existed on the other side of the street from the Vongola headquarters building. The beam of molten gold-black light struck that as well, entering the skyscraper near its bottom right side and moving upwards diagonally to exit a moment later near its middle left side.

It was as if a samurai had sliced a tree trunk in half. The newly bisected building succumbed to the temptations of gravity almost immediately, the top portion beginning its downward slide along this new diagonal axis. The screams of bending girders and splintering glass panes reached even Alastor's ears until, after a few seconds, the building imploded entirely, collapsing in on itself in a massive black plume of dust that enveloped the area surrounding the Vongola headquarters building.

Alastor was leaning over the edge of the roof in order to secure a better view, his hands firmly gripping the guardrail. His eyebrows were raised high in surprise. For the first time since he arrived in this time period, he was, for lack of a better term... impressed.

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Earth

Earth by Lloyd999

None

Italy

Italy by Lloyd999

Beautiful and beloved nation of the Italians.

Japan

Japan by Lloyd999

Proud island nation of the Japanese.

Namimori

Namimori by Lloyd999

The familiar town of KHR

Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Vongola Headquarters in Japan by Lloyd999

The busiest place in Namimori is under it!

Joel's Vacation Home

Joel's Vacation Home by Lloyd999

Super-secret training base of the Vongola Eleventh

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Collectibles

By creating Collectibles, you can reward your players with unique items that accentuate their character sheets.

Events

You can schedule events for your players to create notifications and schedule times for everyone to plan around.

The Forge

Use your INK to craft new artifacts in Katekyō Hitman REB0RN!: The Next Generation. Once created, Items cannot be changed, but they can be bought and sold in the marketplace.

Notable Items

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The Market

Buy, sell, and even craft your own items in this universe.

Market Data

Market conditions are unknown. Use caution when trading.

Quick Buy (Items Most Recently Listed for Sale)

Open Stores

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Earth

Earth by Lloyd999

None

Italy

Italy by Lloyd999

Beautiful and beloved nation of the Italians.

Japan

Japan by Lloyd999

Proud island nation of the Japanese.

Namimori

Namimori by Lloyd999

The familiar town of KHR

Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Vongola Headquarters in Japan by Lloyd999

The busiest place in Namimori is under it!

Joel's Vacation Home

Joel's Vacation Home by Lloyd999

Super-secret training base of the Vongola Eleventh

Joel's Vacation Home

Super-secret training base of the Vongola Eleventh

Japan

Proud island nation of the Japanese.

Italy

Beautiful and beloved nation of the Italians.

Fullscreen Chat » Create Topic » Katekyō Hitman REB0RN!: The Next Generation: Out of Character

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