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ReStart: Iris

Hoffenheim

a part of ReStart: Iris, by MartinVole.

The slum city of Hoffenheim, once, in distant history, the original capital of Mordania until wars forced the royal family to move more inland. Now it stands as restoration efforts are delayed by organized crime and smugglers.

MartinVole holds sovereignty over Hoffenheim, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Hoffenheim is a part of Mordania.

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The slum city of Hoffenheim, once, in distant history, the original capital of Mordania until wars forced the royal family to move more inland. Now it stands as restoration efforts are delayed by organized crime and smugglers. Technically the largest city in Mordania, as more has been built around the crumbling interior.

Promises have been made to restore it to some glory, and to some extent they have, but it is never quite enough to make life easier here in the old rotten city.

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Character Portrait: Rey Jihara
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  1. Ulithrean is synonymous with Eastern Lylanges, also less clunky..

    2017-10-11 06:27:35 by MartinVole

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Visions of bright ethereal light spread before the Ga'ragh girl, as a form rises up before her, both magnificent and terrifying, from a field of the old world. Strength leaves her, falling to her knees, surrendering to the heavenly blaze to consume her. A shroud of black covers over her, protecting her from the blaze. Others were there as well, she couldn't make out their faces, but somehow she knew them, and that they were strong. The figure turns to her, kneeling before her and holding her with many black arms emerging from what seemed a cloak. She looks up into its face, like a white bird-like mask, contrasting upon its black form, she gazes into its deep ethereal blue eyes, the pupils likened to a horizontal S. She found it strange, but she did not feel terrified, she felt... at peace.

"I'm sorry," the creature says, a voice so unexpectedly soft and warm. What a strange thing to say... sorry for what? She felt a weakness in her body, she felt cold, strength was leaving her. It was then that she noticed her hands, covered in blood, her own blood, from a grievous wound. Terrified, she glancing back up, she came to understand more than she wanted to. She was not going to make it, and he... was that which is known as the Wakewalker, Hazarmaveth... Death. She didn't want to die, though, no, not yet! Her eyes begged the psychopomp, grabbing hold of his black form, she tries to say something, but her throat had no more the strength to cry out. His eyes shifted, he reached down with one of his arms, plunging it into his own body, before pulling out something like a ghostly blue... flame? It was the closest she could call it. With it he held it before her, a warmth radiating from it. "I... release you of the chains, dream now, of tomorrow."

With a swift motion he plunged the flame into the wound of her chest, a warmth, almost burning inside her chest, radiating outwards, but her vision turns gray, dimming to black... fading... then... CRASH!


Rey tumbles out of the bed of a run-down room, wrapped in sheets, groaning as she sluggishly tries to unwrap herself and onto her feet. Once back to her feet, she stretches and yawns, looking into a cracked mirror at a messy looking creature, her long red hair strewn about without care, her eyes halfway open. She scratches at the scar running down from her right shoulder to her chest, before covering by straightening the sleeve of her shirt.

"You go, tiger... rrowr," she mutters sarcastically, performing the most half-assed claw motion. Outside her door she can hear crashing and rumbling. Sounds like her housemates were having a bit of tussle. With another groan she makes her way to the door, swinging it open to seeing the gang fighting amongst themselves. The leader himself had one of the members in a stranglehold on the floor, laughing the entire time. He was L'el Eruren, an amber-eyed black striped Ga'ragh, fierce looking, red stripes, muscular build, and a magnificent mane. He looked like a leader, like the toughest most fierce beast out there, but this what he was doing now... was goofing off, a subject he was quite proficient in. He glances up, seeing Rey there, their rumble coming to an abrupt pause. The look in her eyes spoke volumes.

"Uh, uhm, hey there, Rey, have any good dreams of me?" He says, clicking his tongue and pointing at her, winking at her, letting the man loose from the hold in the process. Rey scratches her head, leaning on the doorway. He sighs, propping his cheek on on of his hands, closing his eyes and scratching his side. "I'm joking... so, more of the cryptic doomsday type, eh? Yeah, same here." With a swift roll, he flips onto his feet before Rey, giving her a wide cocky grin, holding out his arms. "But hey, look at us, must be bogus because we're still quite alive right!?"

She looks up at him, cracking a crooked insecure smile, her heir falling down into her eyes as she futilely tries to blow it back. She didn't talk much, but L'el had learned to catch her hints. This time it was pretty obvious. Waving his hands as he motions to the bathroom, as if he were presenting it to royalty.

"The shower is all yours, m'lady, and hey, they say the hot water is working for once! Just for youuuu," he says, a faux tone of prestige. She cracks a chuckle, heading on her way in. He then turns to look at the couch, some of the other members peeking over, snickering. "Hey, hey, hey! None of you knuckleheads get any weird ideas bout our guest, you got that?" He then peeks over, seeing something on television. Running forward, he throws himself over the couch and plops down between the others, seeing a weird image that reminded him of a vision from the dreams, those... tendrils of blue light... snagging the remote and turns up the volume. The television was old, worn, and the signal wasn't the best, but it was enough to get the gist of it.

"...Deep 17 director, physician, and leader in the fields of Aetheric Science, Dr. Hayden Addler... was assaulted by one of his interns, after a freak reaction from one of the anomalies. After a snap decision by the PCIC officer, the young intern, Jonathan Zeitler, has yet to awaken from his coma... medical staff found nothing physically wrong, but aetheric signature is disrupted... on other news, his highness, King Mordaine, assures that negotiations with the Ulithrean Empire will continue as originally planned..."

Quickly L'el turns off the TV, breathing a heavy sigh as he rubs his face.

"Listen, guys, don't mention any of this to her... got it?" he says, reluctantly they nod their heads, collectively stomping their feet and grunting in confirmation. "I know she'll find out eventually, but today she's better off without that stupid cloud hanging over. Then its settled."

With that, they allowed her to carry on like normal, as she cleaned up and headed out.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Akana Ungale Character Portrait: Rey Jihara
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Having cleaned up and gotten dressed, which consisted of a gray tank top and tan cargo shorts, customized somewhat to her figure. It didn't help that the clothes were originally meant for a human, similarities aside in morphology, some aspects do not translate well to the beastly form of a Ga'ragh, the tail in particular. The other issue is that these clothes belonged to one of the other female members of the gang who let her use her clothes from before losing weight, a fact that, along with not entirely fitting, set the Ga'ragh girl's self-confidence into a red zone. It didn't help that looking into the mirror, she saw the tired green eyes staring back from some cat-like creature.

As she finished combing her hair, working out the countless knots, trying to actually feel at least somewhat satisfied with herself. It was a... moderate success. Her gleaming red hair was at least long and presentable enough to offset her self disdain. Heading out she found the crew rather quiet all of a sudden, awkward coughs from some of them. She scanned each of their faces, and gave a confused expression.

"Heading out to the... marrrket cent- errrr... store," she says softly, wincing each time her speech impediment acted up. Tilting her head down, shyly trying not to make eye contact with anyone. "Milk."

"Hah, sure thing, no problem! Hell, no need to mouse 'bout it, no need of an excuse to head out," L'el says after casting an agitated glance at the others. The others grunt in agreement, one awkwardly giving a thumbs up, causing L'el to roll his eyes slightly. "We'll hold the fort and uh," he pauses, looking at the wreckage of their earlier scuffle. "Clean up a bit."

Quietly nodding, Rey cracks a half-smile and, grabbing a worn brown outdoors backpack she set out to the local convenience store, looking more like she was out for hiking than shopping. Stopping to glance back at the old rickety door of the old apartment building, finding their behavior somewhat suspicious.

As she made her way, she kept her head down, timidly avoiding all eye contact with any of the people around. At the doors she jumps slightly as the automatic doors open, before swiftly going in, brushing her hair out of her eyes, clasping tightly on the strap of her backpack. She notices the place is bustling with activity today, it was always a bit busy... but today it was almost frantically so. Heading to the coolers in the dairy section she sighs, looking into the reflection of the glass. There she sees those eyes again. Then a voice comes to her, a woman's voice, a whisper like in the wind.

"You are not of this time, Rey, but you could at least try to be... it'd be a shame for a spirit as you to wither."

With hair standon on end, she flips around, wide eyed, mouth agape ready to say something, to see only a startled customer who awkwardly apologizes, before slipping carefully around her and takes off with a carton of cottage cheese. Swiping her hair aside she takes a deep breath, grabs a carton of milk and tries to laugh the whole thing off with a forced chuckle. Unfortunately, to some it only made her seem more unhinged.

With head down, timidly walking towards checkout, she found herself in a still busy line. Luckily she wasn't in any hurry. Leaning to the side, she finally caught a glimpse at the one attending the counter, and, to her shock, it was another Crying Ga'ragh. W-what!? When did this happen?! Her mind raced. First a civic-minded Ga'ragh, now another who attends a store. She felt almost like she was having a fever dream... or woke up from one. Alright, be yourself, buy and get out... er... act more normal than yourself. You got this!

Setting

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Character Portrait: Akana Ungale Character Portrait: Rey Jihara
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Akana grumpily but hastily got through the line of customers, eyes remaining either down towards the lotto tickets encased in glass, or on the cash register, counting out change. Akana was told to be here, not be happy about it. He only made a brief attempt at saying "Have a nice day" to the regulars as their change was handed back.

A carton of milk came sliding towards the barcode reader. Something was strange about it though... No, maybe not the carton, but rather the hand attached to it. Claws, and fur, perhaps a different color but otherwise mirroring the physiology of his own. His brow furrowed brow in slight confusion as he looked up and saw Rey.

He had seen other Ga'Ragh before, but especially around here, they were a rarity. She might actually be the first female one of his species he had ever seen in truth, besides pictures of his mother. He paused for just a bit too long, looking at her in disbelief and amazement.

"Uhh..." was all that could come out of his mouth. It remained half opened as he fumbled for the carton of milk to sweep across the laser. It took several swipes as he couldn't take his eyes off of Rey. He finally heard the beep of an accepted price as it came up on the screen. It broke his concentration as he looked at the price.

"Uhh..."

He stumbled again quietly, and if you knew him, very uncharictaristically.

"That's $3.37..."

Looking back down at the carton, he quickly put it in a plastic bag and rested it back on the counter in front of her, waiting for a response.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jax Reeves
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As the sun continued to rise, Jax moved across the streets from up high...no, across might be the wrong word. Since he was angry, he was moving faster then normal, and was also using this to train his Aethera levels, ever trying to increase it. Actually, he tried to train harder usually, but he was preserving strength. Using this, in a sort of instant blur of shadows, he would disappear and then re-appear moments later, in a different location.

"Where are those bastards...hurting innocent old man Jenkins like that...ah, Nightsky!"

Suddenly, a black bird came and rested on his shoulder. It simply nodded, and pointed in a direction.

"They are that way. Down there, behind that alley in a small courtyard hidden from the streets. They are collecting something they claim to be a 'protection fee'".

"I see..."

Nightsky took to the air again, and Jax moved from shadow to shadow, until he finally reached the place in question. It appeared someone had decided not to pay however, and a fist was coming right down at a young Ga'Ragh woman who was protecting a small Ga'Ragh child...probably her son.

"Ahhhhhhhhh!"

But that arm never made it to the woman, and was not firmly planted into the ground by a blade. Not only was the hand twisted into it, but the blade was turned in a violent and horrific matter that even if someone healed it immediately with Aethera, it would likely still have some problems. After that, Jax took out the dagger forcibly. Those with weaker Aethera looked at him angry, thinking he just got lucky. Those with stronger Aethera realized though...that the situation was dangerous.

One of them immediately pulled out a gun and fired, but Jax had already moved from the spot and was now behind him, taking his dagger and stabbing into the man's spine. He then kicked him down as he pulled it out, and then looked at the others.

Nightsky...

"Yes?"

I know we just took out like, three of them...

While he was thinking this, another body dropped from behind. Nightsky had tore it's throat out with its claws.

...but if they were successfully threatening all of these people, shouldn't they be a bit stronger?

"They are a large group. Its possible all these people have yet to organize. And this place is more isolated, police would not get here so easily".

Jax moved through the shadows again, and the enemies he was fighting found it...difficult...to focus on him when he did. As if his existence moved to outside their perceptions. Like they wanted to forget about him.

Feels weird. I wonder if they just have some big, evil terrifying boss, spreading violence just for the sake of it or something...would be surprised, those people have tons of greed, lust, and wraith, but they tend to come and go...still, he might be going around making trouble for others.

One of the stronger ones finally came after him, drawing a sword while two others fired at him with guns. This forced Jax to stop, for a moment, and sent Nightsky after the two with guns while he had to parry a sword using a dagger...and the sword got cut clean in two.

"After all, these were not really the enforcement gang members. No good fights for training among them. Well, they hurt Old Man Jenkins, and it looks like the rest ran off...or maybe to regroup? It wouldn't hurt to train in fighting against groups some more".

Jax thought about things like this as he ripped his dagger into the heart of the last attacker. Maybe good guys were not usually supposed to be this...brutal...with enemies like this, maybe they were supposed to take them out without this level of violence. But Jax did not consider himself to be a hero or good. Just someone who did what he thought he should...even if he did tend to help people as a result.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jax Reeves Character Portrait: Aquaila Character Portrait: Akana Ungale Character Portrait: Floyd Irving Character Portrait: Rey Jihara
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Footnotes

  1. Jax parts by LookingAtPerks

    2017-10-30 08:47:41 by MartinVole

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Noticing him staring, Rey's eyes nervously shift away and she lowers her head, one of her tufted ears drawing to the side awkwardly. He looked like an animal caught in an oncoming light, and being honest to herself, she probably looked little different. In fact, this whole outing was all kinds of awkward as it was. In fact... everything was strange to her, even herself. She didn't know why, either. So... we work at little stores like this? Where are the tribes? And why is he just... staring like that? Do I really look that weird?

"Ah, um," she stammers a bit, fishing through her pack, fumbling through some money and change, and presenting it to him. "Herrrre." Upon saying that, she immediately winces at her impediment.



Stepping out himself, Le'l had decided to take his rounds patrolling the streets, but immediately the big dark Ga'ragh caught a whiff of something in the air, until clasping his hand over his nose. Aside from the typical garbage and sewage smell, it was something particular, familiar, and unmistakable. Death, fresh death. With a blur of black and red, he took off down through the alleys making his way to the source. What he say, froze him in his tracks, a body here and there, blood spattered all around. Looking at them, he recognized them, belonging to some enemy gang that had started up trouble over the last couple of months.

"Geez," he mutters, checking marks on one of the necks of one. "Hell, this one here looks like an animal attack. Sure they had to go but... I hope I ain't taking the rep for this..."

Then he looked over, seeing a kid standing there, spattered with blood, dagger in hand. "What the hell... a kid..? Ain't you... what the he-" he mutters, his tone lowering, his ears drawing back, his nose wrinkling. "What the hell, kid? Do you know what hornet's nest you're kicking here!?"

Jax looked at him, but not directly. He had been using his aether to help obscure the perception of him, but was using the hood as cover. He wasn't an idiot. "If you let a wound fester, it will only get worse," Jax said.

That response didn't exactly sit well with the alpha maned Ga'ragh, however. He sighs heavily, placing his hand over his face and grumbling something inaudible. "Look," he says, as softly as his gruff voice allows, scratching his nose a bit as he looks around, taking in a deep breath. "These guys, we don't know their leader, and to be honest, we'd like him to not burrow deeper into the underground where we can't dig him up, and by we, I mean, my group, The Fallen."

"The Fallen...huh..." Jax wondered as he looked at them. No, there was something in this look...memory or loss....but it was not specified so it couldn't be said. Jax was able to remain calm under pressure for a few reasons. But one had to be he simply did not trust him. He then looked back at the mother and her child. "So should I just have abandoned them? Should I have let you handle them by the time you arrived here? Even though they had no money and would not last that long?"

It was not quite clear, but not hidden either, Jax had been reminded that this group had not saved him or the other children long ago.

He looks to them, then looks down and sighs, once again holding his face. "No, of course not... just, aren't you a bit too young for..?" his question would be cut off by heavy footsteps echoing all around them, taking him off guard, until catching sight of a figure.

Image

"Isn't it the truth, that you just lack the power?" a deep male voice breaks over Le'l's. A rush of something painfully familiar pierces through them, and each word felt... literally heavy. Footsteps are heard, as a figure, very tall, in a fur coat of some sort. It was a man, seemingly human at first glance, dark skin, but something felt very off about him. For his left eye, a black hollow where it should be, rather than simply an empty socket, glowing fissures run out from the hole. His other, a yellow eye, gazes deeply at Le'l, then at the boy. Then down at the dead and wounded. "Pitiful, isn't it? Like scavengers, the weak latches onto power, and acts upon their baser instincts. When I found them, they were too busy cutting each other's throats... guess now they just switched to easier prey... why do I even bother to try to train these animals..? Still..."

"Train these animals..? These damn creeps are yours!?" Le'l yells, immediately exploding in anger.

"I suppose they are, a bit of an inheritance. But I see they pretty well do as they please... how your kind hasn't wiped each other out by now is beyond me... it is interer-" he begins, before something shoots past him, the breeze of it causing the fur of his coat to sway. Unfazed, he casts a piercing gaze right at Le'l, who gathered around him what looked to be some kind of black sand, forming into dart-like projectiles, his ears back, anger suddenly radiating from the entirety of his body language. "I can see clearly now I picked the wrong group. Well then..."

With that, the man turns his neck to the side, popping it, the ground around erupting into glowing fissures, from them produced are colorful wisps of light, like an aura. A pressure hitting those blocks around. Le'l himself felt as though something massive slammed through his body, but he stood his ground, his legs began to shake, causing him to give a perplexed look at it. "The hell is this..?"

"They call me Lord Lehechalesh, the Tyrant King," the man says, stepping towards Le'l. "Bow."

A force compels Le'l down to his knee, but he fights it, wobbling, trying to stay up straight, glaring back at the man, growling. This thing... whatever he was... was not human.

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Character Portrait: Jax Reeves
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Jax already knew it. The moment this...thing...showed up. Le'l had been one thing, but this was totally different. This...entity was something beyond him. It was something he shouldn't fight yet. Butc, there was something else. Being coated in this energy, because of Jax's Mental Fortitude power, and the Aethera infused in his clothes which were actually Armor, he was protected...however, all over his clothing and on his body symbols seemed to glow, indicating it had been a close call.

And yet, this aura...combined with Le'l being there... felt familiar....

Suddenly, Jax found himself in a building. It was partially on fire, and things outside sounded chaotic. The smell of smoke was everywhere. Jax ran across the room and jumped out a window. He grabbed a lamp post, and saw Le'l again. Teleporting to his shadow, Le'l looked concerned.

"What happened?! Jax! I'm your friend, so talk to me! Are you...GAH!"

Suddenly Jax stabbed Le'l, his body felt like it had been forced to do so, stabbing Le'l repeatedly until he was beyond dead. And he could feel another being inside him, manipulating him. It was already inside him. Jax would die the moment he left.

Suddenly Jax snapped back into the moment they were in.

He looked at Le'l. He felt something stir inside him. Normally he would not care enough for a random person, but in that...flash...he had, he felt himself murder that man by the will of another, and also felt companionship for this man for some reason. Jax was not sure what was going on, but he decided to help this man, at least a little.

Jax moved quickly and subtly, and pulled Le'l away from his aura. "You know, it's not nice to just tell people to bow, especially not when they don't know why. What are you exactly?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jax Reeves Character Portrait: Aquaila Character Portrait: Akana Ungale Character Portrait: Floyd Irving Character Portrait: Rey Jihara
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Akana began to take the change from her, noticing she was short. He completely disregarded the fact and felt the tension in the air, like she was trying her very best to act normal. He then realized his dumbfounded staring was probably not helping the situation at all. He put the change, albeit short in to the drawer, pushing it shut.

"So... when did you get here? I pride myself on knowing almost everyone around, and I don't think we've ever met."

He pushed the milk across the counter towards her with a small smile. Rey looked down at the milk, taking in a deep breath. Where to even begin? She wasn't even sure how she even got here, let alone exactly when. In fact, her memories prior were a muddled mess. She wanted to avoid the question, but didn't want to be rude either, so... facts as far as she knows would do.

"Well," she said, fiddling with her hair a bit, something of a nervous tick of hers.
"Not long, I... mean, a few days. Verrry new fish, I'm afrraid."

She stops for a moment to bag the milk and finally looks at him from the corner of her eyes. "You arrre... second Ga'ragh I've seen, but firrrst like me."

Akana nodded, becoming somewhat annoyed at the mention of a second ga'ragh. He knew who the first probably was... That damn L'el, thinking he was so cool and smug... Johnny come lately more like... He did his back to snap back to attention, doing his best to conceal his mild annoyance. But like me? She must have meant the spots...
Akana nodded. "I'd have to say, you're the first I've ever met like me too! I'm not exactly as special now!" He gave a nervous laugh and watched her reaction as he introduced himself.

"I'm Akana, and your accent is the shit in my book." He said, trying to let her know he was on the friendlier side.

"Rey Jihara," she says, finally mustering enough courage to look at him. It was funny, to say the least, to hear a Ga'ragh who didn't talk much like one. It was growingly evident that he was either not a native of the old country like even L'el, or has been here so much longer than either of them. Though compared to L'el, her speech was even cruder, and that was... bothersome.

"Um, t-thanks, been learrrning to speak clearerr, though." Her eyes light up for a moment, a memory of some sort. Somebody else had taught her before, a man in black, or a... creature? It was blurry, but she didn't remember being afraid, it was almost like... a mentor? Father? "Well, I had a teacherr too, and the tri... errrr... friends help... kind of."

He smiled a bit wider, glad he didn't wierd her out entirely. "Well hey, ya sound good to me, I know what you're saying at least, know what I'm saying?" He took a little bit more of a relaxed demeanor. Something about her, even besides her accent was making Akana wary. She seemed old. But not in physical age. And why did she look like Akana? Why of all days was he called in on his day off, to be placed in a perfect position to meet her? Akana wasn't sure he believed in fate but it sure was strange.

He jerked his head back and yelled "VIVIANNE! I'M OUT!" He began to walk around the counter, taking off his apron and mumbling about how he never gets a day off. "Funny thing." Akana said, on the same side of the counter and fast approaching the door. "I just so happened to get off of work right now!" He lied. "Can I walk you back to.." He paused trying again to hide his annoyance. "L'els pad I assume?" He said it with a bit of distaste he hoped didn't come across. He was genuinely just trying to help.

Rey nodded and headed for the door, he seemed to mean well... it was weird to her that how much has seemingly different from what she assumed was true. The others assumed she had hit her head or something, but the memories seemed so real... the drums and tribal wars. She couldn't complain though, but she was still cautious.
"Yes," she answers. He seemed to know L'el, made things easier... but realized there was something in his tone and body language that showed he wasn't exactly happy with him. It wasn't for her to pry into. She took a moment to look back at the register. "Thank you, but... is it rrreally okay?"

Akana waved his hand at the register dismissively. "Bah. Its fine. Vivianne's got it."
In truth, he wasn't even sure if she heard him, and couldn't really care. If there was one thing Akana had it was job security. He briskly walked over to the door before Viv came to protest and opened it for Rey. He had grabbed the carton of milk she had bought as well, handing it to her on the way out.

"So what brings you to Hoffenheim anyway? You can obviously tell there aren't too many cats around hea. Must've had a reason right? And where from, too!? Oh god I gotta know. Ya accent is way too cool."

He thought about it for a split second, knowing he was probably getting ahead of himself and bombarding her with questions. He decided to tone it down as they strolled along. "I mean... you don't gotta say if you don't want. Either." He kept his stride at pace with hers.

Akana listens intently to what Rey is saying, only breaking that attention to wave at a few people here and there that he knew. As she spoke he nodded along, wanting to add a little bit about himself between every sentence but refraining out of politeness. The old country completely infatuated him, as he never had even the slightest clue of his heritage. He never asked his father until it was too late, and everyone else he had known had the attitude of who cares?
He stopped her at a crosswalk she was about to walk through against traffic. "It is cool?" She concluded, smiling slightly at him.

"It sounds like it. I ain't never been outta this city. Can you believe when I was like a kid, someone asked me where milk came from and I said the store? " He chuckled, but his face was a little more serious than his laugh, like it truly concerned him that he had never been outside of the slums. The light changed, and Akana walked forward. They were nearing L'el's block.
The more Akana talked to Rey though, the more questions he found for her, and more about himself. He hadn't thought that going to work that day would plunge him into a light existential crisis. Or even that she would agree to let him walk her home.

"So... Who found you then?" He asked quietly as they continued to walk. "I mean, who found you with the scar?" His eyes showed concern.

Rey gave a short chuckle at the milk comment.

"I was found in strrreet, say it was hit an' run, ay? By one of L'el's... brrros? But..."
She begins, but nervously she begins to fiddle with her hair again, then stops after they cross. "But... the scarr... scarr... I rremember being hurrt, bad, and a tall man in black, with white face... blue eyes... not human, not Ga'rragh, not... he says something... and then..." She begins to zone out, her voice getting quieter. Then something comes to her, a feeling, something familiar, and terrible. Her eyes grow wide and she snaps her attention to the source, a flood of aurora washing out from an alleyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jax Reeves Character Portrait: Aquaila Character Portrait: Akana Ungale Character Portrait: Floyd Irving Character Portrait: Rey Jihara
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"That guy, he's seriously something else," L'el mutters, gradually regaining his senses as whatever it was that the tall man did was wearing off, although slowly. Lehechalesh watches this and lowers his arm, taking to just following slowly after them, his burning eye staring down at them, each step he takes feeling like it weighed a ton as the earth seemed to shake to them. It was clear that, had the intention, he would have ended this already.

"Boooooy, that armor of yours is military grade... now how would an orphan obtain something like that?" he asks, pointing out Jax his voice shaking the very air as he speaks. "As for what I am, the answer is, in part, incomplete, in another, an enemy of your enemy."

Rey rushes into the alley and into the scene, freezing in place at the scene before her. Glancing around, she looks at the tall man, then to L'el being dragged away by the boy. She freezes from the familiarity of the force behind Lehechalesh, slapping a hand over the side of her face. Lehechalesh himself stops to glare over towards her.

"Ah, I think... I remember you," he says, his glare now fixating specifically on the brilliantly red haired Ga'ragh. She backs away slightly. "From the first fall, you were destined to die, so... you are the ill-starred soul she spoke of?"

From Rey's perspective, she saw images of her dreams, the white light overlapping over the Tyrant King, the painful visions that plagued her sleep. But something was wrong, absolutely wrong with the image that didn't match up. L'el turns his head to see her, his eyes widen, and he flails an arm in her direction, motioning her to leave.

"You'rrrre... not the same," she says, forcing herself to speak. Lord Lehechalesh simply narrows his eyes, cracking a half-smile. "Y-you'rrrre like... shadow."

"Rey, what the hell!? Get out of here!" he yells, cracking finally from his daze, struggling back to his feet, thanks to both Rey and Jax.

"L'el..?" Rey mutters, looking over at him, along with some kid. Her eyes looked glazed, L'el recognizing it as the same look she had when she first arrived. "Who is... what are you..?"

"A shadow, yes, not at all an inappropriate metaphor," the Tyrant says, folding his arms and rubbing his chin. L'el takes a moment to glance between the two, looking absolutely confused.

"Wait... time out, you know this creep!?" L'el yells, his reaction more in shock and confusion than anger.

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Character Portrait: Jax Reeves Character Portrait: Aquaila Character Portrait: Akana Ungale Character Portrait: Floyd Irving Character Portrait: Rey Jihara
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"How...how did you know that...unless..."

Jax was right now thoroughly thankful he did not have a muscle brain, maniac type of personality that loved to fight, as he knew those types would be dead already when faced with this guy. But when his equipment got addressed, Jax was not that shocked he knew it...but the fact that he just blatantly spoke it out loud was a bit surprising and also annoying. Jax had no desire to draw attention, and the fact that his armor could alter its shape to blend in like this was convenient towards that.

And then it occurred to him that this being was able to know what it was. Which raised his opinion of him just a tad bit and gave Jax information rather critical. Because now, he knew for sure what Tyrant was. He did not know an exact name, but he had researched them just a little.

"...An Outsider...an Elder One..."

Jax mumbled that softly to himself. He already knew the being in front of them was crazy powerful, enough to kill them all if he wanted. But there were probably many who could. But the chances of meeting one of them...and his words dinged on him. It was when Rey and Tyrant spoke, and Le'l shouted, did he resume.

"An enemy of our enemy...who? Who will be our enemy? Who is he?"

Jax asked without even thinking. It was clear he didn't consciously think but just instinctively asked those questions if one payed attention, because the wording was off...Jax asked Who will, not who is, and mentioned he instead of it...when Jax noticed the discrepancy himself, he was confused, but focused on the task at hand and wrote it off as some form of panic as he was in the presence of someone who could kill them all.

As Le'l shifted, Jax looked towards him.

"Hey! Be careful! If he wanted us dead, we would be dead, so don't start being antagonistic to change that okay? Besides...it looks like the atmosphere has turned a bit more pleasant..."

If Jax did not have his Mental Fortitude ability he was given, he would probably be panicking and running away as well though...actually, in a sense, he was panicking, but he was also calm. But right now, all that mattered was that it was letting him make decisions without being rash. However, Rey and Tyrant's diologue had a sense of...not quite commraderie, but...acknowledgement perhaps? It was an improvement then nothing at all, so Jax saw this as helpful. If they were able to stay alive until Tyrant left, Jax would consider that a victory.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Jax Reeves Character Portrait: Aquaila Character Portrait: Akana Ungale Character Portrait: Floyd Irving Character Portrait: Rey Jihara
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God dammit, this is exactly why Akana didn't come to work on his days off. He watched the whole scene probably a little less amazed than he should have been given the circumstances. L'el! Of course, Akana knew trouble followed him around. But before Akana could point and yell obscenities he realized whatever was going on was more than just an average alleyway shakedown. He also noticed what was going on with Rey. And... who was this kid? He took another few arrogant steps into the alleyway, stature ready for a fight. His fists balled up relaxed, ears pinning back as he felt the general aura of the mood. Whoever this guy was, he had literally everyone on edge.
Walking up next to Rey he tried and failed to get a word in edgewise, wondering who Lehechesh was.
As he heard L'el exclaim his last sentence, Akana also turned and looked to Rey. Of course, the first Ga'Ragh he meets besides L'el and she's into this crazy back alley stuff. But something told Akana the situation was very serious, so he held back his criticism and snide remarks for now.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Jax Reeves Character Portrait: Aquaila Character Portrait: Akana Ungale Character Portrait: Floyd Irving Character Portrait: Rey Jihara
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This was strange...He was sure he had his boar in his sights. Floyd was thinking how strange it was that his hunt was missing, that was until he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. It was a strong feeling...And he could tell where it was coming from...The city, he was sure it was Hoffenheim. Unless he lived next to another hidden city.

The more logical explanation was that it was coming from the city, and this gave cause for concern. "I guess lunch can wait..." He spoke as he ho,steered his bow and began to run. Whatever it was was bad news. He was close to the city anyways, he did not need a car and transporting goods to the city was not that much of a hassle...Only when he needed a lot more things was when it became a problem.

But that was besides the point, he was close enough to the city to be in running distance. His senses were on alert as he crossed into the city. This intimidating presence he felt...It was beyond something normal. That was until after enough turns he saw the scene that was already unfolding.

People were gathered together, and there was a man. Tall...And foreboding...He was almost certain that the large man was the one that caused his hair to stand...and for good reason...If he was nervous from far away then there was definitely something with that man. He was on guard...But he had to remain focused of course...Surroundings...There were other people gathered. For now, he had to stay hidden.

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"Well, then, it is good to see that when I speak, people listen. It is a sign of intellect, respect, proving... that you transients are perhaps not completely worthless, after all," Lehechalesh says, his words a snide jab. He paces around them, each footstep felt resonating throughout the lot and the alleyways. "Though, to be honest, I'm not quite sure why my counterpart sees you as such a threat, after all." He stops, a piercing gaze at everyone present, even the one who thought himself hidden. "Curious that... now that I mention it, I witnessed it all, this world, all of you, reduced to nothing, and yet, here we are, talking as if that never happened?"

Rey stares at the large man, swallowing heavy. She's broken momentarily from her attention by Akana, who looks at her somewhat accusingly. She stutters something to come up with something to say. L'el on the other hand had regained some of his composure, enough to grunt and signal his hand towards his neck.

"What... do you want?" Rey asks, choking out the words.

"It isn't what I want, it is what you need, ghost, otherwise you'll just die again, and chances are... you'll not come back from this one," L'el's eyes shift between Rey and the dark man, never breaking from sight of him from the corner of his eye.

"Then what, those awful dreams?" L'el says, raising a brow.

"Memories." Lehechalesh responds.

"Heh, now it is comes out, you are just an ichor tripper, high on power right now, spoutin' bullshit," L'el responds, getting a bit smug. "I've heard it causes delusions, mutations. I bet you're somehow feeding these things in our heads, and if we were to take you down they would en-."

Before he could finish, Lehechalesh casually snaps his fingers, the landscape before them fading away into black, replaced with a dreary red sky and the landscape of a ruined city. It was the same place, certainly, but the roads were cracked, and the housing reduced to rubble... far worse than it already was. The air was stale, and dusty, dry, filled with ever floating debris and ash, a faint smell of death. The only sounds were echoes of falling rubble and crumbling earth. L'el was once again silenced, even a tough guy like him, who had seen the horrors of street wars felt something sink into the pit of his stomach at what could only be described as doomsday.

"And imagine... all this, and it wasn't even ground zero," he continues. "Of course, this isn't your reality currently, but rather what yours has replaced, covered up like it never happened. Now this warped space exists just underneath the surface, a non-perfect but livable layer laid down over it." He folds his arms and looks to the group, reality fading back to what they considered normal. "Somebody sure loved you all enough to put forth the effort, probably hoped that my counterpart wouldn't find out about her little sleight-of-hand. But... well, should've known it wouldn't work on one of the first beings to ever exist... speaking of whom, do you... want to... see her? To see Iris?"

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Jax could not help but listen to the words that were said, that resounded from the voice of the being in front of them. He knew for sure who this being was now, from those words. Of course, one could theorize that it was all lies or delusions, but something in Jax calmly let him know to think clearly, and to consider the possibility of truth. To not panic and rush, but analyze and calmly deduce.

First off, he still wanted to know more about this counterpart, but before he could ask the talk of the dreams...of memories...began. And as if like clockwork, the moment Tyrant made that reveal Jax felt another pang in his head. Of voices and visions sealed away, that should not exist, being there. If it was just that which he remembered, then it would be seen as a normal reaction. But he felt something else, himself exploding perhaps, or even more violent. His own death.

If it was not for Mental Fortitude, remembering such a thing could have driven him insane on the spot.

WHispering into Le'l's ear, he simply said one thing. "He...isn't lying, I think...no, I am sure of it somehow...I feel like its true".

Jax, who still had the ability to make realizations like that, managed to acknowledge what Tyrant said as truth and not fiction. Or at least that it was possible, but Jax himself felt sure it was right. Of course, Jax also had the greatest deviance from the first timeline so far most likely, so it made sense in a way. But when Tyrant warped space itself for a moment, and then spoke that person's name, it triggered something inside him.

He remembered a warm voice, a friendly presence, something he considered an ally. He knew that name, it was repeated in his dreams. A vague thought hidden in the back of his mind. Familiar, and important.

"Where is she...where is Iris..."

Even though Jax consciously knew little, he felt like he had to find her. That it was important he did. And even apologize to her, though it was barely a conscious thought in his mind on that. But it felt important, it was needed. Jax recovered his mind almost instantly from the shock, and looked at Tyrant directly in the eyes. Up till this point, he had a voice that sounded more of caution, care, and non-aggression. But there was a bit of a change now, as if someone lit a fire inside Jax. As if after all this time, he clearly knew what he wanted and needed.

"Tell us everything about her, and of the one who seeks our destruction".

It was neither disrespectful nor submissive. Not overpowering or aggressive. The voice he used could only be described as determined, focused, objective. There was still some signs on his face, that could lead Tyrant and the others to guess he already had quite the experience of remembering something he shouldn't be able to. But there was one other thing on his face that had the potential to unsettle even Tyrant. Despite all the emotion he felt, everything he experienced, the current Jax had a smile on his face.

And not even he understood what that meant at that time.

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Akana's agitation couldn't be hidden. He had always wore his emotions on his sleeve. His tail twitched angrily back and fourth behind him as his ears remained pinned to his skull. His glare remained unwaveringly on Lehachalesh, no longer looking at Rey or L'el. Yeah, he was big. But Akana had laid out bigger dudes than him before.
He was stopped, however, when he heard the term "just die again." Wait... Had Rey died before? Akana's demeanor loosened up as he thought about this, before being plunged into the rubble and ruins of the world being projected around him.
His tail drooped as his mouth went agape, taking in the hellish landscape. His eyes dilated. No! The entire city, his entire LIFE was extinguished. But before he could blow a gasket over it the reality faded back in.

"How the Fu..." Akana trailed off, turning his gaze back to Lehechalesh. As he listened to him explain, the question posited he dutifully answered.

"Listen. You fellas seem to have this all figured out. And I know I'm a good looking cat." Akana slicked his hand over the top of his ears as he said so.

"But you must have me confused with someone homie. I just met these busters like, a hour ago."

His atrocious grammar aside, he was only half lying. Trying to maintain his composure, he positioned himself to get back and out of the alley in the matter of a few steps. He may be fearless, but he ain't stupid. His instinct, no matter how wrong it might be, was taking him away from the proposed meeting of Iris.

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Floyd had a chill run up his spine. That man...Or at least he looked like a regular man had looked in his direction. Not general direction, it was as if he knew his exact position. However as he listened to his conversation it was clear that he knew something more than meets the eye. The awful dreams about that...thing...He said they were memories and that they had died before...

He was a little bit skeptical of course, however as the man snapped his fingers the surroundings all around them had changed. Everything...It was desolate and destroyed...Was this what happened in those dreams? This massive destruction?...Looks Like There was something big happenening right under them all...No...In fact it’s already happened and happening.

As the sight returned to normal, the man had said that one name that he remembered. Iris...That name...From that dream. It would be best to no longer hide, it would be a good idea to listen What this man had to say. The reason for what was going on right now.

Floyd stepped out of his hiding spot, bow shouldered as he did.

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"Tch," L'el lets out a sound, of both annoyance and from the stress of the situation, gripping his shoulders nervously as he stood, brow twitching. He was trying to hide away being disturbed by it all, albeit rather weakly at this point. He had seen things, horrible things throughout his life, murder was terrible but hardly anything new, no, what he witnessed was basically nothing less than extinction. What's more, he implied that Rey was some kind of ghost or whatever, she seemed rather lively to him but... she was rather pale. Opening his eyes, he casts a glare at Lehechalesh. "Tch, say all that is real... so what!? Why tell us this? Why the hell do you care? You certainly don't have a very high opinion of us! I'll tell you this much, that tone in your voice? It really pisses me off! That... godlike attitude... like nothing here will hurt you. So I'm thinking, what does a guy like you get out of all this? Some... sick amusement in running us around?"

Lehechalesh stands for a moment, his eye beaming for a moment, staring at L'el for a moment, then to everyone else, including Floyd who finally stepped out to them. Listening to Akana as well, then to Jax, then looking down he grins wide, his teeth bearing. "To be honest, each of you individually are just that, nothing special at all, this very meeting in and of itself is coincidental." His words were brutally straight to the point. Tilting his head back and staring down at them, shrugging his arms. "Or were you hoping to hear some tale of you all being some special chosen ones, that you have some hidden power that can instantly save the world through the power of friendship like in some cute little fairytale? I'm afraid the universe doesn't quite work that way, sorry!" L'el lets out an audible growl, while Rey remained morbidly quiet. For a moment, the giant's features soften some, his head lowers. "But... to put up a good fight against the inevitable? To move the immovable through stubborn will? I can at least say it is admirable, so I see hope in you... one my counterpart is too full of pride to see."

Shifting his gaze back, he proceeds to jab his hand into the air and with a sudden surge of air, and a loud crack, the air behind him begins to bend outwards, like visual distortion from a heat haze, before, what could only be described as a rip tears through the sky, just large enough for them to pass through. The other side was hardly anything recognizable, a completely alien landscape, flowing like an endless ocean, but also like a field of grass, twirling shapes seeming almost alive, vibrant in colors, beautiful, but something about it also was terrifying. "As for telling, maybe it is best to see her for yourselves... don't you think that would be more appropriate?"

Rey's voice squeaks, seeing the world beyond the gate before her, crackings into a mad giggle. "You'rrre kidding..? I'm... nothing special, actually the opposite, I mean... if I'm to get anything, I'm actually... actually useless. My greatest accomplishment? Being saved. And even then, I can't even be saved prroperly, so I'm terrrrible as even being the damsel in distrrrress... hahaha... I just want... something norrrmal, is all," she says, all the time twisting the bottom rim of her shirt nervously, near to tears.

"If that is your choice, then by all means... scurry away, little rabbit, and don't look back," Lehechalesh answers rather flatly, pointing her off down an alley. "But it'd certainly be unbecoming of your reputation. If you haven't noticed, Ga'ragh are no longer the beasts you had run from so long ago... I do wonder if the change had anything to do with a certain martyr. Alas it seems, she truly did die after all."

Rey stood quietly, her pupils constricting to slits, rubbing her arm nervously, her head now downcast.

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As Jax listened to all this, and as all these words were spoken, he could not help but have some lingering thoughts in his mind.

"Hey, you never know what you are capable of until you do it or you don't" Jax told Rey, giving her some words that were only truthful. One would not know what they could do or couldn't until they did it and succeeded or tried and failed. "Besides, the fact that anyone here has encountered the one before us is already quite an exceptional sign. OF course, whether its good or bad there is no way to know for certain...but, it is something. So you cant really call yourself nothing".

And then he looked at Akana. "For example, is he capable of winning Rey's heart? Maybe he can, maybe he cant. Wont know until he tries".

Jax just sort of used that as a random example, shrugging off any implications as he looked into the abyss of the Aether Fields.

"The real question is...why? And how?"