Active Scenes on RPG

The latest in-character activity throughout the many universes on RPG. Settings are only listed once, with the most recent post displayed. If you have a character in that location, their icon will appear as a button you can press to immerse yourself into character (IC).

Western Wood
Gloriana


"There, there!" Unlike Damson, Gloriana didn't understand what the speaker was until Damson was rearing and she was struggling to keep her balance. She grunted when Damson finally stamped his front back down... She angled her body so she could see the warlock better, and her blood began to boil. The screams and shouting of her fellow comrades faded into the background.

Gloriana rarely got angry, but this time... she was angry.

"My lady! Shield yourself behind my neck! I am going to run this one down!" Damson ordered. She complied, and grabbed a fistful of his mane while readying herself to keep up with his pace.


Echelon

Echelon was still trying to prepare herself for defending Favian but there was no need... Favian had regained consciousness and was now standing in front of her. "Katrina! You could never beat me in a straight fight and so you stoop to surprise! Call off your warlocks before you are all slaughtered!" the wizard challenged.

The witch, whose name was apparently Katrina, narrowed her green eyes. "Too bad for you that that bolt didn't kill you. Now I get to drag you back to the King alive... For interrogation!"

The energy in Katrina was overfilling now.

In what felt likes minutes to Echelon, she saw in great detail how the electricity seemed to pass through the Witch's arm and into midair... Then like it had a life of its own, it arced and grew, like a spider's web being thrown... straight for Echelon...

In reality this all happened in seconds... and a young dragon such as she wasn't ready to take such a direct hit.

What fire she had been preparing to blast at the witch died in her chest instantly.

Greythorne




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Witch // Attire // Hex: #800000

Don't count me out, Just cause I'm down
Boy I've been down before
Fate has a way of playing games
And I've been keeping score


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Jaiden gave Zoe a brief smile and nod as she said that she'd help, she just needed to be told what to do. In realty, Jaiden had no idea. She wasn't expecting any of this, nevermind knowing what to do in this scenario. Granted, she had the upper hand of having been in this exact situation two times prior, but, something about this was different. Why during the day? None of it sat right with her, but if she were to venture a guess, simply for the Hunters not having to deal with the vampires and those that can only come out at night. At least that's what was making sense to her at the moment, but she didn't have the time to think about it.

She either had to take Zoe with her, or send her off on her own. As much as she knew she probably shouldn't have, a part of her kept nagging her to not let Zoe be by herself. Jaiden wasn't sure if she was being paranoid, but the idea of her being alone just, didn't sit right with her. Jaiden nodded, "Alright, just stay close and-" Jaiden didn't even get to finish her sentence when a Hunter seemed to appear out of nowhere. He what looked like to be a long and jagged knife in his right hand and went for a quick few jabs at Jaiden. The witch managed to dodge his first few swipes of the blade, and managed to get a few good punches in before he managed to swipe down as she went for an uppercut to his chin, and slashed her arm.

Jaiden let out a yell as her arm was slashed by the giant blade, giving the Hunter a look no one had seen in months as she enclosed the Hunter in a cage of fire, and watched as his skin and clothing melted away due to the flames as the remains of the Hunter crumpled into a heap on the ground. Jaiden barely even realized what had happened until it was already too late, seeing a fuming pile of remains. Jaiden didn't even know how it happened, it happened all too quickly. But seeing what she had done had caused her stomach to tie itself into nots, as she hunched over and retched onto the ground. Jaiden didn't even take into account that she had been injured, the only thing that went through her mind was keeping others safe, she only noticed when her arm began to ache and burn. Looking down at the fresh wound she cursed under her breath before looking up at Zoe as she held her forearm, "Are you okay, Zoe?" Jaiden questioned, genuine worry and concern overtook her face as she looked at the other woman.








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Revenant // Attire // Hex: #422c63

They tried to tell me I was lost in the forest
Like a cub with no mother when I actually was where I wanted
Bite off the venomous head, Follow the chemical scent
Look for the hole in the fence, Take everything you demand


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Violet ran throughout the town's streets, warning people left and right as she passed by them, making sure everyone knew what was to come. And then it happened. The screams. She didn't know where they started originally, but they seemed to be coming from all around as Hunters just appeared from what seemed like thin air. Violet dodged out of the way as one of Hunters jumped out from an alleyway, and watched as a werewolf lunged at the Hunter, taking him to the ground. Violet watched for a moment before she turned on her heels and continued to run. She didn't know where she was going, or what she was going to do. But she ran. She didn't know how long she had been running for, but something didn't begin to feel right.

One moment, she was running down the streets of Greythorne, dodging and weaving in between panicked townsfolk, and as she blinked, Violet stopped in her tracks and fell to the ground with a soft thud. Violet pushed herself backward as she looked around in a panicked state, as she wasn't entirely sure of what was going on. The streets and buildings of Greythorne were gone, and in their place was a darkened hallway. Barely any light sources dotted the otherwise barren hallway that she was now in. The walls were covered in a dark, navy-blue color, which appeared to be black without the lighting. Hardwood floors replaced the old concrete streets that she had just seen moments prior. Something about this old and foreboding hallway felt familiar, yet foreign at the same time. The only sound she could hear was the sound of her own heavy breathing, mixed with the dull droning sound of an old grandfather clock that resided to the left of the hallway, but just a bit further down from where she was currently standing.

Violet stood in utter silence as she tried to think of where she was. It was only when a familiar voice broke the silence that she began to piece it together. The voice sounded far away, and disembodied, like an echo that seemed to be coming from all around her. "What do you think you're doing?" it sounded, like a booming voice that came from right behind her, which caused Violet to jump back and away from the voice, looking around frantically for the source of the voice. "What do you want from me? Why the fuck am I here?" she called out angrily. A low rumble of what could be considered a laugh sounded, almost shaking the very ground. "You know the deal, Violet. Or do I need to remind you-"

"You don't have to fucking remind me. I am well aware of what it was. But that doesn't give you the right to-" another rumble shook the ground, causing Violet to slam into one of the walls, "Need I remind you of why you are even alive, my dear? You are mine. And as such, you do as I say, and say as I do. You do not get to break the rules or make your own. Which includes putting yourself in harm's way!" the voice said angrily, slowly getting closer and closer the more it spoke. "I know, I know. But that doesn't mean that you get to break your end of the deal! This was to help them! I can't be here, I need to help them now! They're in danger and-"

"You are mine, Violet. You do not get to go and get yourself killed because of some idiots!"

Violet recoiled at the sudden shift in tone. Never had she heard him raise his voice, not like this. This was genuine anger, nothing like she had heard before. Taking a deep breath, she needed to think. She needed to get out of here and get back to her friends, even if she had to make a choice she knew would be hard for her to make. "Okay look...Let me back there, one last time and...I will help them, and afterwards..." Violet took one more deep breath before she finished her end, "Afterwards I...I'll be your's. For however long you want, I won't disobey another order. I swear.."

There was a few solid minutes of silence that fell over the room after she finished speaking. Violet didn't know what to expect, and then the voice finally spoke up one last time, "I will let you go, under one condition. You even consider betraying me, and the deal we made, your precious friends will die. Do you understand?" the voice said softly, almost above a whisper that caused the hair's on her neck to stand on end. "Okay...I...I promise." she stammered as she closed her eyes. Silence filling the room once more as she was left alone.

Violet blinked once more, as a harsh light assaulted her eyes upon looking around her once more. Gone were the prison-like confines of the hallway, and the eery silence that surrounded her. All that surrounded her were the screams of pure panic and fear as bodies were strewn about the city streets. Both Hunter and townsfolk. Violet felt a not form in her stomach as she looked around at all the death and chaos, but she couldn't help the nagging feeling that was slowly rising within her once more. It was the same feeling as the day when Alex was entranced by the strange woman that was with Zada. Something she had felt a few other times, but she understood it this time. Alex was in danger, and he was afraid. All Violet knew was to run, she had to find Alex. She didn't know why, but she just had to.







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Fallen-Angel // Attire // Hex: #a39d9d

Fast as you can, And run for your life
Run for your life, Don't show your face
They'll lock the cage, If you're an easy mark
I made a plan, Of sweet revenge
I want to take it too far


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Neden didn't initially wait for Travis to follow them up the stairs, but they made sure to wait by the front door for him, making sure to tell him to wait for them to talk to the spriggans and druids outside first. Last thing they needed was for the creatures to attack Travis out of miscommunication. Neden was outside talking to them for only a minute or so, managing to make a deal with them. Travis would be allowed out of the house and be able to help, if he stayed next to Neden and out of the town, staying to the woods only. Neden let Travis out and went over how things were to go over with him as they left the house and surrounding property. Going over how things were going to go, how many numbers they could estimate, and everything else that they both knew about the branded. Coming to an odd agreeance by the end. Neden even suggested that they have some defense around the lake, knowing that the last few times Hunters had been there. But Travis added how the Hunters only knew about one person that hung around the lake and ensured Neden that it would be fine. Something Neden wasn't absolutely okay with, but they didn't have the time to argue. They'd have to work together on this.

The two of them made their way deeper into the woods, and got ready for the fight that was to come. Knowing full well how they worked, something Neden was happy about having someone else on their side that knew how this worked. As they made their way towards the edge of the woods which led into the town, they could hear the screams and yells from the town, knowing what that meant. Hunters had already made it into the town. Fuck. They already wasted enough time, which they couldn't have afforded.

By this time, Travis and Neden had managed to get the drop on most of the first few waves of Hunters, easily taking them out as they fought side by side. This was something Neden didn't expect. Not only fighting beside Travis after everything but fighting the Branded once more was, something that never sat right with them. Part of them felt like something was wrong with that thought, that fighting a group that once they fought alongside just felt off. Choosing to shake it off, they didn't dwell on it for too long.

The two continued to pick off Hunter by Hunter, and easily took them out, giving each other a small smile before they saw more Hunters making their way towards them once again. Slowly the two were separated as they went after more Hunters, not paying much mind, as Neden knew Travis could take care of himself enough. And if not, that wasn't of their concern. They had something more of a concern to focus on. Mainly looking back as Hunters were occasionally pulled back into the trees by the Spriggans and dryads. Smirking to themselves as Neden continued to pick off Hunter after Hunter, barely breaking a sweat. Neden only stopped to catch their breath when they began to notice how silent the forest began to become. Looking around, bodies laid strewn about the forest, many were Hunters, few being forest folk, which made Neden feel worse as they hadn't been fully focused on the others.

Neden sheathed their swords to their back as they slowly walked through the woods, checking on the spriggans that were injured, or taking care of the ones that were hurt. Neden was planning on staying in the forest, stay out of sight of those in the town, but something didn't entirely sit right with them. Something from inside the town was calling to them, or at least that's what they could have sworn it felt like. Looking around once more, Neden turned and made their way to the town, using their wings to take them there at a faster rate. Landing on the roof of one of the buildings, Neden observed the chaos that unfolded before them. Bodies of Hunters and townfolk littered the streets, cars were on fire, as well as buildings had been broken into. Memories of the first few attacks came rushing back to them as they observed from above, a small knot forming in their stomach.

The angel retrieved the bow from their back, and looked down, taking aim at a few Hunters that were below, and watched as they fell to the ground as their bodies fell limp. Looking around once more, Neden spotted a familiar form in the distance. From what it looked like, the figure was slowly beginning to be outnumbered by Hunters that approached from the distance. Neden crouched down, and launched themselves forward, using their wings to help propel them forward, taking aim at two of the Hunters in the distance. Neden landed a few feet away from Rosie, rolling as their feet hit the ground, and used their bow to trip an oncoming Hunter. Slamming their foot into the Hunters head, snapping his neck with ease. Neden quickly turned to see two more Hunters encroaching at an alarming rate, getting two more arrows, they quickly fired and then backed away, seeing one of the Hunters being hit in the arm and the other dodged out of the way of the arrow.

Neden sighed and quickly retrieved a throwing knife from their pant' pocket and aimed it at one of the Hunters, and quickly threw it, piercing the Hunter's throat and knocking him off his feet. Bleeding out quickly as he gasped for breath as he seized on the floor and went still. Neden panted heavily as they were finally able to catch their breath, looking across the street as they finally made eye contact with Rosie. Neden remained silent and solemn-faced as they looked at Rosie, not exactly knowing how she felt about seeing them once more. Especially now.

The angel looked at Rosie in silence, quickly aiming another arrow and set aim towards the siren, watching as it fire passed Rosie and was lodged into a Hunter's head, falling down into a heap just behind the woman. Neden gave a small smirk and nod to Rosie, putting the bow back where it belonged as they quickly jogged over to Rosie, meeting her halfway, "Are you okay? I would have been here sooner I...I'm sorry. I just...I shouldn't have left, I'm sorry, Rosie. Everything was just...I'll explain things afterward just...I'm sorry." the angel said with a rather saddened tone, which didn't last long as they recollected themselves, "Anyway, if there is anything you need me to do, just let me know. I've already taken care of the woods, but...I don't doubt that more will come. Travis is around here somewhere but, we were separated in the woods. I know it's hard to trust us but...I promise you, we're together on this."





Dunchester
It had taken Sverre at least five to seven long minutes to calm himself completely. He heard her last question clearly, but did not answer, even through the door. Instead, he grit his teeth and frowned, barely restraining a low growl.

She was right in that he knew the pack that attacked. They were the very same ones he had spoken to. The ones who he negotiated with in exchange for Eilin and her family's safety. He hated how he foolishly believed the promises of the lesser demon pack. Thinking of them made him angry, and he balled his hands into fists. His grip only slackened at the bite of his nails, short as they were, digging into the skin of his palm.

Sverre likewise did not speak up to inform Eilin that while half of the pack was still free, he had managed to kill the other half. Ten months was all it took for the cretins to go back on their word. So yes, he felt a gnawing guilt every day for not just killing them outright. But did that really make him guilty of the village's entire demise? Was he ultimately responsible for all of them?

His self brooding was interrupted by a muffled growling sound, prompting the mix breed to stand and prepare to assault an enemy. After a moment of confusion, he heard it again, but this time realized where it had come from.

Despite his sorrow, the man had to crack a small smile at the mental image as realization struck him. Eilin's stomach was protesting her lack of proper sustenance. He almost decided to sit back down and ignore his old friend, but he found himself unable to follow through on the action.

She still was in no condition to be exerting herself, and he had no doubt it would take a few minutes for the huntress to put herself together. That was time enough. Sverre took the opportunity to descend the stairs and find the friendly barmaid, smiling as he found her. She certainly was reliable!

"Would you mind bringing up some soup or stew, whichever is available today? The lady is rather famished now." Sverre explained, handing over a bronze coin and one of his tear gems. Thankfully, this one looked close enough to pass as an opal. "For your troubles, and something extra to personally thank you."

"Did you and your friend have a good reunion? Well, you know, as good as could be what with that terrible fight. But she must've been ecstatic to find that you were her saviour!"

Sverre maintained composure, only faltering slightly with a pained smile. "Well...she doesn't seem too happy to see me yet..." he murmured, earning a sympathetic gaze.

"W-well I'm sure she'll come around once she's feeling better! You go on up, I'll bring the soup when it's ready."

"Thanks love." Sverre said, trudging up the stairs to let Eilin know. Upon reaching his room, he opened the door, only to find Eilin looking down in confusion at something she was holding in her hand.

The Chrysanthemum
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❝Inside the mirror do you see someone else in that body?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#0C94CC ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #CC0C2E

|| Azalea|| Nano.ripe ||







As the virus threatens the population of the Underground City, and the Doctor runs free towards the Chrysanthemum's walls, what will be the course of action the Vassals choose to undertake? Would they rebel against Sir Ender or owuld they remain his loyal pawns for the time being? Elise posed her question, and Winter disagreed. "You misunderstand me." Elise said, a calm smile on her face. "The Chrysanthemum wants the Doctor to be able to wage war against us, since we have the majority of the Vassals." She would explain her line of thought in relatively simple terms to help further her case. "But if we can catch the Doctor and hold him, we will have an advantage." Carter raised his hand, upset. "We used him before, and he cut up Winter! Just now, he tried to get you assassinated! We can't let a snake like that near us again!"

Elise raised an eyebrow. "If we can capture him, it would have to be done in secret. Sir Ender would not be allowed to know." The Doctor was certainly a vile snake, but there are ways to defang those poisonous beasts so that they are no longer threats. "We can cut out his tongue and remove his arms. What threat would he pose then?" Carter still looked as if he wanted to oppose her, he more than anyone wanted to make sure they did not further associate with the Doctor, knowing his crimes and his evil. Oliver sat quietly, listening to all opinions before he would make his decision. "If we'll do all that, why not just kill him? A dead man can't hurt anyone anymore!" Elise blinked, looking carefully at Carter. "But why put a valuable resource to waste when we can use it instead?"

"Resource?" Carter asked, his voice raising. "So cutting up Winter was valuable?" He really was not listening to what she was saying, was he? "The Chrysanthemum puts value on his abilities and knowledge. If we have him in our custody, we are denying the Chrysanthemum from using him. If we leave him alive, they may try to rescue him and we can use that to our advantage as a trap." If things went according to plan, the Chrysanthemum would take the bait in an attempt to take back the Doctor. Would the President make such an order to take their pet snake back? "But if it is impossible to capture the Doctor, it would be wiser to keep Sir Ender alive." His experience at leading the Slithers was invaluable, and while Oliver had good intentions, he did not have the same leadership skills Sir Ender did.

Oliver stood up then, looking tired. "I'll have to think more before making my decision." He said, sighing heavily. "But you both make good points." No doubt he was going to try and see the likeliness of catching the Doctor before he wound up behind the Chrysanthemum's electric fence wall. "Winter... both Peona and Cocoa are in the Quarantine Ward." She pointed weakly to her wheelchair, an almost embarrassed smile on her face. "Would I be able to rely on you to help me learn everything again?" Nearly three days of being unable to move set back her progress, but maybe Winter would help her regain some of it back. "Wait, why don't you ask me?" Ezra puffed up his chest with indignation. "I can definitely help! Just look at these muscles!" This light hearted teasing felt different. It felt... more desperate. Was there something Ezra was trying to prove? The black eagle could hardly remember their last conversation.

Vallea
The night had been long and uncomfortable for Samara. The cot had an odd odor to it, and it was quite possibly the most uncomfortable thing she had ever sat or lay on in her life. Her 'breakfast' nearly caused her to vomit in disgust. It was edible, but not much else. It took several tries, but she finally managed to stomach it all without gagging. She pinched her nose shut and ate as quickly as she could, closing her eyes so as to not look at it.

Needless to say, when her captor appeared in her cell, the noble was not in good spirits. She was perched on the offending cot, knees drawn up against her chest in yet another attempt to be comfortable. There were the early signs of bags under her eyes from lack of proper sleep. The dish with her breakfast sat empty in the center of the floor, almost in defiance.

Samara looked up at the demon with a dour expression, lips pressed into a thin, terse line. She said nothing, but simply glared at her jailer.

She would be obedient and tolerate whatever punishment he sought to inflict. But nothing in their agreement said she had to like it.

It never said she had to be grateful and accept without question. She only promised to not resist.

Zoltia
“Sacred Flame hear my words. May you bring us the light and purge the darkness from our souls; with this prayer, I ask you to guide my path, show me my next step. Yours is the brightness, the guiding light, and the gift.”

The sun was high in the sky as a man dressed in simple garb knelt in the streets of Arc En Lume, the sundial in front of him casting no shadow. A simple symbol hung from his neck and he prayed. The streets of Arc En Lume are beautiful and dangerous all at once, like any great city however Henri felt safe making his prayer. One hand on his holy symbol, the other rested on a large blade wrapped in cloth.

It was on this day hours later, the day of his prayer that the cloth wrapped around the greatsword slipped in public. The light from a steadily setting sun bounced from the perfectly shined blade and at just the right angle, it illuminated the paper on the notice board. “Adventurers Wanted”. The sign. The way forward. Riches and secrets.

---------------

The evening approached and the pale moonlight shone brightly on the sign reading “The Jovial Jackalope”. Within were many patrons, however, a gathering had begun surrounding a Dwarf and a hooded figure. A human woman, covered in powders and with an accent that betrayed her heritage. Another with a bird and a beautiful voice and an elf, very clean and well put together. He made note of the number of women but no obvious thoughts came to mind.

Henri shouldered his bag and held onto his wrapped blade tightly. He elected not to sit as the table was becoming very crowded rather quickly. A mug of ale in hand that he’d made sure to acquire moments before noticing the group. He nodded to the dwarf as he stood behind the ladies, he indicted to his blade resting on his shoulder careful not to interrupt the conversation but to display his interest.

Tartarus

Tartarus Owner: Aethyia



5 Victorianus
Leraje's Residence - Late Night - Heavy Snow
Leraje


Unlike many of his demonic compatriots, Leraje did not make his home in either an ostentatious mansion or a high-rise apartment. Rather, he'd long since purchased a large, brick building, at one long-gone time a textile factory, then repurposed to hold apartments, and now repurposed again to hold an apartment and an extensive laboratory, in which the master of all things poisonous, venomous, and intoxicating now spent the majority of his time at his craft.

He'd been a rather more prominent demon once, in the age of alchemy, when humans had worshiped him for his talents and begged his assistance in the transmutation of base metals to gold, the creation of such miraculous things as the Philosopher's Stone. Few remembered that Leraje himself was the philosopher in question, ever the patron of those who wished to reach for knowledge beyond the lot granted to them by a selfish God.

Some wondered why Eve would have given up Eden for knowledge.

Leraje had never had any trouble understanding her at all, though he was rather more... yes, he supposed he could say he was fond of her predecessor, the woman who had refused to obey a man simply because he was a man and become a demon for her trouble. That streak of independent thought was why he still liked Lilith, even if it faded in her more with every passing year.

The whistling of an alarm broke him from his thoughts, though he was not particularly perturbed by the direction they had taken. It was natural, to linger on the past sometimes. As long as he did not become Samael and allow it to consume him, he did not particularly abhor the tendency in himself.

Checking the computer screen in front of him, he logged the data manually in a paper notebook as well, adjusting a few of the valves to his left. Samael's feedback had indicated the combination of N-104 and A-12 hit hard and fast, but faded too quickly, so he was working on its longevity and metabolization rate. He should consider acquiring other test subjects, however; Samael was developing some resistance that would eventually make him an anomaly and thus a poor test subject.

“You might want to make your locks a little more challenging," Lilith spoke as she appeared, arching a brow in Leraje's direction. “It feels like this set was almost easier than the last one," she continued as she moved to take a seat on one of the empty chairs. She had the box in her hands, the one Leraje had given her that she affectionately called Pandora's Box. She still hadn't figured out how to open it, it seemed, as she stared at it.

"Most people knock," Leraje replied. It was a familiar exchange. He'd actually given Lilith the key to his building—it was just in the box. So she continued to pick his locks to access his home in the interim. It wasn't like he minded, really.

“What are you working on, now? More Oblivion?" she asked, keeping her eyes on the box as she shifted it a bit.

"Yes. It fades too quickly, according to the guinea pig." He sometimes referred to Samael this way to his face—it wasn't an insult, exactly. Just a fact. "So I'm trying to give it a better duration, without strengthening it too much, as it's already where it needs to be in that respect." He took down a few more measurements.

"Bored?" It was his best guess as to why she'd come by at this time of night.

“You could say that," she replied, glancing in his direction for a moment before turning her attention back to the box. “Bael doesn't have anything for me to do at the moment, and the guinea pig is currently moping about something. He wouldn't tell me, but I think it might have something to do with that mechanic he hired," she explained as she pursed her lips at the box.

“Ugh, why is it like this? I swear I wasn't this bad at puzzles before," she murmured. Sighing heavily, she tossed the box to the side and finally glanced properly in Leraje's direction. “Besides, I came to check up on one of my favorite demons. I'm allowed to do that, right?"

He snorted softly. Leraje really couldn't recall a time he'd been anyone's favorite anything. The Legions of Hell favored the monstrous, physically mighty types, not people who dealt in subtleties like poison and, worse, thinking. It was a poor hierarchy with many natural flaws in it, but because Lucifer himself was quite intelligent, it made it easy for him to keep his place atop the pile. Leraje could only assume this was the point.

Of course, now, cut off from the remainder of their kin, the entire thing was much more precarious than most would believe. The smartest of them were all in the middle ranks—easily overridden, therefore, when their illustrious leader had a temper tantrum, as he was prone to do. It was why Leraje was quite certain that these so-called Heralds were going to be more of a problem than Bael thought. Whoever was in charge of them had a functioning brain.

"Clearly I can't stop you, as you have so ably demonstrated in your navigation of my home security."

She huffed lightly, moving her hands to cradle the back of her head. “It's not so much that I can navigate your home security," she began, a faint smirk appearing on her face, “it feels like sometimes you're not even trying to keep me out." She shrugged her shoulders lightly before closing her eyes for a moment.

“You should make it more complex like you do your poisons," she added, picking up the box once more to give it another go, it seemed. “I mean, they wouldn't necessarily mean much if I can get past them, but a challenge would be nice every now and then."

She had of course hit the nail right on the head, but he wasn't going to say as much. Leraje wasn't as a rule a sentimental being, but even demons had their preferences. Attachments, even. Only idiots insisted on trying to remain completely free of those things. It made it all the worse when one caught up with them anyway.

"You want me to make it harder for you to access my building," he repeated in a dull monotone. "You are a strange person."

“Yep," she replied easily enough. “It won't matter once I open this box, but in the mean time, make it more of a challenge to get in. Not so much a challenge like this box, otherwise I'd never get back in, but you know what I mean."

She pulled at the box and twisted, her eyes widening as if she'd figured something out before she furrowed her brows. “And I'm not that strange," she began, glancing back in his direction, “just because I want more of a challenge."

"You could just ask me to build you a lock, without attaching it to my door," he pointed out. Such construction was hardly his specialty, but it wasn't beyond him by any means. Much like the puzzle box itself, though no lock would likely take so long. He'd built that to be an object of beauty as well as intrigue, after all. A lock only had to function in the latter capacity.

Finishing his notes, he shut the book and laid it aside for a while. "Do you want a snack? I stopped by the patisserie on the way back from giving my report. You like the shortcakes, right?"

Her eyes lit up when he mentioned shortcakes, and she nodded her head. “Always and forever," she replied. “And it wouldn't be quite as satisfying. Not everyone can pick a lock like I can, so if I can get into it, it means no one has successfully broken into your house, yet. And that's all that matters." She nodded in a matter-of-fact manner.

"Hm. Well perhaps if I build one that's difficult enough it will provide sufficient motivation to solve the box," he noted, shutting down his equipment and making his way to the downstairs kitchen. He actually had another one upstairs in the apartment proper but he spent so much of his time down here that it was just more practical to have both a kitchen and a bathroom on this floor as well.

Strictly speaking, demos didn't need to eat, but it benefited the maintenance of their human bodies and meant he didn't have to go find some idiot to feed on. Much more expedient for antisocial demons such as himself.

He'd already put the decorated slice of shortcake on its own plate, and set that down on the counter with a fork for Lilith before retrieving his preferred chocolate ganache slice and another.

She'd given him a flat look at his first statement and sighed dramatically. “It's not like I don't want to open it; it's just proving to be a little more difficult than it has a right to be," she stated as she used the fork to take a piece of her shortcake. She chewed it in a thoughtful manner before she turned her attention back towards him.

“But sure, why not? I could use a distraction and a lock box sounds like it'll be fun," she said in a simple manner before taking another bite of her shortcake.

Leraje inclined his head in a vague nod, taking a small bite of his own ganache. It had some strawberry jam between the cake layers—this was the factor that made him prefer the particular bakery in question over the other options in the city. That, and it was close by. He supposed he could do what most demons did and keep servants for that kind of thing, but he had no desire to be around more people than absolutely necessary, for the most part.

"I'll start on it after the new round of Oblivion is done."


BlackWater
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Revenant // Attire // Hex: #800000

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Scarlet remained silent as she observed the others getting behind overturned tables and other forms of protection, taking in the fact that they could at least follow simple orders. For now anyway. Just wait for things to start going south, and that's when things would fall apart. Hysteria and panic would take over and common sense would fly out the window. It always did. That is just one of the things that Scarlet found working around commonfolk, they let their fight or flight instincts take over, more often being flight and not caring about others. In her time, she had seen countless people push aside their supposed loved ones and make a run for it from a Wendigo or skinwalker, only to be killed in the end. Something she often questioned why loyalty went in scenarios like that. But then she had to remember, fear was a powerful thing, but that was something she hadn't let control her in years. She couldn't afford to.

Turning her head to look at the woman that she knew by now was the proper barkeep, she eyed the woman's weapon. Simple shotgun, but it would do more than nothing, or even a simple pistol. Thinking for a moment, before she dug around in one of her pockets, retrieving four golden color, rectangular and rounded objects. Handing them to the woman Scarlet spoke in a hushed voice, "Use those only when you have to. They won't kill them, but they'll do the trick when you most need them. So be smart with them." she said with a simple nod. They were normal shotgun shells but had one small difference. They weren't sold on the market to any average joe. Nor could they be bought in any black market or underground system. Revenants handmade them and more often than not kept a plentiful amount of hand, only if they knew for certain that they had the proper amount of ingredients for the buckshots. In this case, Scarlet knew she had at least eight left now, after giving the other woman four. She'd have to be careful and sparing with the ammo for now.

Looking around the tavern, Scarlet took into account how many people were left, all with weapons of their own. She knew they wouldn't do much against what was to come, but all that mattered was that they had something, anything to defend themselves at this point. If they could at least offer up a distraction or stall that left room for the Hunters and Revenants, that's all that mattered. Have enough of a window of time, that's all they needed. Her eyes darted around the saloon once more, and stopped as her eyes caught something from the back end of the saloon. A familiar face was poking around the corner, seeming to be looking for something, or someone. Scarlet knew full well, cursing under her breath she carefully and quickly maneuvered across the tavern and down the hallway where the person was. As Scarlet turned down the hallway that was off to the side, she was immediately pulled into a side room by some unknown force. By natural instinct, Scarlet reached for the pistol by her side, but soon found herself taking a deep breath as a familiar face stared her down. "Jesus Christ, Victoria. What the hell is wrong with you? Next time at least say something before you just pull me aside. You know what's out there-"

"I don't give a fuck. You really don't get it, do you? Three years, and now you're just back. Acting like nothing happened." Victoria said with a sour tone. Scarlet sighed softly as she was berated once more. She knew what was going to come, and she knew full well that Victoria had a point, and it was very well made. But now wasn't the time for this. Scarlet had to get back to the front of the saloon, the smell and feeling of dread was only looming closer by the second. They were running out of time. "I know, and I will explain everything. I promise. But now, now is not the time for this, Victoria. After this is over, I will explain everything. I promise. You just need to go and hide with the others...You'll know when it's safe to come out. Just, stay safe...Please" the Revenant said with a slight tone of fear and sadness in her voice. Showing that she at least did still genuinely care. The other woman simply nodded begrudgingly and began to make her way back to the others, before stopping and turning once more, "You just better come back in one piece this time, you hear me?" she called out, Scarlet gave a small nod, and a shadow of a smile appeared on her face for a moment before she turned and walked back down the hallway. Things would end differently this time, it had to.

Within a few short seconds, Scarlet was back in the main room of the tavern, as an unfamiliar face quickly ran down the stairs with a weapon in his hand, explaining how there was someone up on the roof as backup support. The revenant gave him a cold nod as her greyed eyes scanned him over for a minute. If she didn't know any better, he would easily be one to be looked over in a crowd. But she knew the way that people carried themselves, how he was dressed and the expression he bore. Hunter. But how much he could be counted on remained to be seen. It was evident enough that the creatures had made their way into town, as screams and gunshots rang out over the town. Perfect, just perfect.

"I'd assume you all know what to do. Don't get careless or reckless. And for the love of god, do not get stupid." she said coldly as she looked at the others, before crouching back down behind the table as loud and heavy footsteps were making their way to the saloon. And then silence. Except for the screams and cries of those outside, the footsteps stopped just right outside of those slatted saloon doors. There was nothing between them and the beast except for the tables, which wouldn't do much in the long run. Give them a few extra seconds before they'd have to run or be on their feet.

Scarlet took in a deep breath, taking into account of how many there were. Normally wendigos stayed by themselves, rarely ever being more than one at a time. Nevermind the number that she assumed, simply based off the scent alone. It was far too strong to just be one, nevermind two. Scarlet looked around, seeing who she could at least make silent eye-contact with. Holding up three fingers so the others could see. Hoping they understood what she was trying to get across without words.

Peering through one of the small cracks in the table, Scarlet was able to see the skeletal form of the creature. Its slender and boney arm slowly outstretched, pushing the saloon doors open as it shuffled its all too large and gangly sized form into the building. The creature had to keep its hunched over stature as he crept around the saloon, sniffing the air as its twitchy movements of the head took action. It was looking for some sign of prey. Observing its movements helped her better understand what kind it was. It was slower, more dependant on scent and feeling around for things as it evidently felt one of the walls with its all too long and boney hand. Scarlet could have sworn she felt her heart drop as the creature slowly passed by where she was hiding, and quickly tilted its head to look at her. Its glazed over eyes scanning intently, but seemed to be looking over them all. Which was proven as Scarlet raised her hand in front of the creature's face, and waved her hand. The only reaction that was given was the beast shuffled along further into the back, as if looking for something in particular. Especially as it continued to smell around certain objects. It was hunting something, or more so someone, but why? And more importantly, who?

She could have sworn she felt her heart sink even more as the creature began to slowly make its way to the hallway which lead to the backrooms and the bathing rooms of the saloon. Scarlet wasn't about to let that thing just waltz over to the defenseless people, not like this. Scarlet knew better, but she couldn't stop herself as she rose to her feet and crept around from the tables as silently as she could. Reaching around behind her, she retrieved her shotgun, checking to make sure there were shells. Four. Perfect. Stepping back, there was a loud creak of one of the older floorboards beneath her feet. Giving off her position. The Wendigo shot its head over to her direction, letting out a blood-curdling scream, it blindly scrambled over the tables and the others that were hiding to make its way to its target.

As the wendigo scrambled over closely, Scarlet gave a nod to the others, quickly firing off a single round into the beast as it enclosed its proximity to her. All the buckshot managed to do was stall the beast for a moment, and it was quickly lunging towards her once more, slamming her through the doors of the saloon and out into the street with incredible strength and speed. Scarlet didn't know what she felt first. The ice-cold boney hand of wendigo on her, or the feeling of being flung out of the saloon doors like a tin can and tossed into the street. The air was knocked out of her lungs as she hit the hard ground of the dirt street that she found herself laying on. Trying to gasp for air, weakly getting to her feet, Scarlet scrambled to regain her weapon that had been forced out of her hand and scattered to the other side of the street. But within seconds the Wendigo was upon her again, sinking its teeth into her shoulder, which caused Scarlet to let out a blood-curdling scream.

"Get the fuck off of me, you bastard." the revenant exclaimed, gripping the wendigo's shoulder and tried forcing it off of her. The wendigo didn't seem to care and only continued to sink its teeth further and further into her shoulder, beginning to pierce the bone. Scarlet wasn't going to let herself be eaten alive or be torn to shreds by a damn beast, not like this. Not like some rabid dog in the street. But she didn't know what happened first, the all too loud and familiar sound of an incinerary buckshot hitting the beast or the second the beast let go of her shoulder. But Scarlet quickly scrambled away from the beast as it recoiled in the flames that quickly overtook its body. She knew it would only last a few seconds and then the flames would quickly go out, "Aim for its head when on fire it's their weak spot!" she exclaimed, not expecting anyone to pay much attention as her eyes finally focused on the panic and chaos that took place in the streets.

Countless bodies laid strewn across the street. Half-eaten and dismembered by the other beasts blood-thirsty rampage. Scarlet got back to her feet as quickly as she could, grasping her shoulder for a moment, blood quickly covered her entire hand as the warm liquid oozed out from the grizzly wound on her shoulder. Just what she needed, Scarlet cursed to herself. Looking up to the rooftops, a few figures were seen. Obviously the backup that the the younger man had told her about earlier. But that on the roof of the saloon, so who was the one above one of the other stores? Scarlet didn't have much time to venture a guess, but she didn't much care to know, all she knew was that the figure was firing upon the wendigos whenever she had to chance to, something she could at least be grateful for. But something felt off about the figure, something Scarlet knew all too well. Another Revenant. At least there was a few others, as something always seemed to alert Revenants whenever another was around. Something she never fully got over. But now wasn't the time to dwell on this.

Scarlet managed to retrieve her shotgun, and as she took aim for one of the other wendigos, as best as she could with her now injured shoulder, something came from outside of her eyesight and slammed into her. The force alone was strong enough to fling her into the windows of one of the stores. The sound of glass and wood crashing and breaking under her weight and the force at which she was tossed so carelessly was the only thing she was able to take in. Letting out a small groan as she rolled onto her back as she laid on the floor of the building she was now in. Today really wasn't her day, and she was slowly growing tired of it. After a moment, Scarlet slowly rolled onto her side, and staggered to her feet, gripping her shoulder which now had fragments of shattered glass and wood now in the fresh wound. Cursing under her breath, Scarlet looked around her new environment. From the looks of it there were shelves with all kinds of varied items. She was in some sort of store. Figures.

The revenant let out a sigh, retrieving one of her pistols from her hip. She was slowly running out of patience. Looking to the side as she remembered hearing what sounded like a scream from behind the counter earlier. There was a rather young looking girl hidden behind the counter. Scarlet let out a small sigh and shake of her head, "I doubt you know how to use this, but it's better than nothing." she said rather coldly, tossing the pistol to the shopkeeper. "I'm going to want that back later though." Scarlet said, her tone lightened up slightly, giving a small wink to the girl before she turned and jumped out of the shattered and broken hole in the wall that used to be a large, glass bay window.

Her feet hit the wooden floorboards of the porch of the line of buildings she was on. Looking around Hunters were now out in full force as they shot at the beasts. From above and the street. Scarlet just wished this was already over. She didn't know if it was the pain in her shoulder or the fact that all she wanted was a peaceful drink at the local taverns. She just really wanted this to be over and done with. Eyeing her shotgun that was in the middle of the street, she quickly retrieved it, and hid alongside the side of one of the buildings. Swapping the regular buckshots for the other ammo she had with her. If only she could have gotten to her horse would she have been able to get her fire jars, but she didn't have the time for that. Keeping her head low and out of sight, only taking shots at the Wendigos when she had the opportunity to. This was going to be a long day, and an even longer night.

Beaumont Hills
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Sherry Lin | Myer's Residence | #6960EC | Outfit


She hated it here.

The mess of cars, the booming music, the smell of weed and alcohol wafting out of the doorway. The Myers' mansion was hardly impressive either. Its large windows were marred with rainbow lights. The would-be immaculate lawn had bits of vomit. The five hundred bulb chandelier screamed excess and opulence.

The funniest part was that it wasn't even the largest mansion she'd ever seen. The Lo Po Bia family had the largest house among the wealthy Asian elites of southern California as well as the smartest offspring, a fact that her mom would never let Sherry forget. Lo Po Bia Elaine in particular had a reputation among the first generation as the golden child aspire to and she just so happened to be attending the party. That wasn't why Sherry was here however.

The ghost of (one) Werewolf's past yanked her from a pleasant shower after tennis practice and the subsequent screech did nothing to deter him from barking orders at her to protect his granddaughter. The Asian girl slammed the door in his face but that did nothing to prevent him from sticking his head through the door and rambling on about the "chill in his bones." It wasn't enough that she had to dress herself up to party standard (per her self-imposed wishes), she had to throw around Elaine's name in order to convince her parents that she wouldn't end up drinking, smoking, having sex, or getting kidnapped. Because kidnapping was something that definitely happened at parties.

An icy "I'm already headed inside. Leave." left her lips before she walked up the steps and into the cesspool of hedonism.

Lucky for her, everyone was too self-absorbed to notice her crashing the party or perhaps, her "touch me and die" vibe kept most of the partygoers. Their minds contained nothing more than drugs and horniness, both of which Kenneth had in spades. Though his thoughts were muddled, Sherry could practically trace the trail of his groping, stumbling from girl to the next under the guise of a friendly greeting. She was no exception given that as soon as Kenneth finished greeting one of his friends, he swerved towards her.

"Sherry! Sher-ry! You should've told me you were coming. I would have bought a bottle o' sake for youuuuuuuu," he slurred.

"Where's AJ?" she asked.

"Her? I dunno but I'm sure she'll show up soon. In the meantime why don't you and me-"

Despite his previous sleaziness, her glare seemed to slap the alcohol right out of him, his hand freezing short of her waist. Though she wasn't the face of fear, it was clear that her expression was enough to give him pause. His jumbled thoughts materialized as feelings of awkwardness, unsure whether the right choice was to apologize or leave.

"Forget it," she sighed, dodging past him.

Sherry walked with purpose, her mind darting from one person to the next. She couldn't calm the pounding in her ears. The toll of the dead weighed on her shoulders and the fact that she didn't know who was going to die meant that she was liable to start wandering towards the corpse, whoever they might be. She prided herself on how well she reined in her banshee side and she would be damned if she lost control in front of all her peers.

"God I hate it here,"
she muttered to herself before descending into the crowd.

Sector 756656
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PROXIMAMENTE...

Kanto Region


April 16th
The Cloyster - Afternoon - Sunny
Kasimir Rheinallt


“—a year. Anyone else and I'd have you extracted and demoted for incompetence, Rheinallt."

Kas reached up and rubbed the bridge of his nose. He could feel his chest tightening with an uncomfortable anxiety response, and focused on his breathing. Deep and slow. Deep and slow. He hadn't had a proper anxiety attack since he was a teenager, but he was on the verge of one now, he could feel it. It was a gradual numbing thing, for him, like he was detaching from his own body, only distantly aware of the fact that he was getting the chills, that his head was light, a strange floaty dizziness only lending to the surreal feeling of it.

And still, Steele was talking. He knew what she wanted. It was the same thing she'd always wanted, and he couldn't give it to her. Even the most recent update, with the new information on Project Nebula, only seemed to irritate her, and he knew why. It was because on the surface of it, the only remotely illegal part of what was happening was the theft to obtain the power source. While it was true that something of that kind could be used to arrest many of the high ranking members of NTR—including all his friends.

But the way the political and legal systems worked? They'd end up with dropped charges or at best slaps on the wrist. And they weren't who she was after. Gregorovich could easily claim ignorance and let Aidan take the fall for ordering it. Something Kas knew the other man would be willing to do.

“—listening to me? Rheinallt?"

"Sorry, gotta go. Door's opening." It wasn't—Cy wasn't due home for a while yet, which was why he'd taken the call in the first place. But he couldn't exactly tell his boss he was in the middle of an episode; they frowned on that kind of thing in high-stress jobs like this one. He'd had to get loads of papers signed by doctors certifying that his childhood anxiety disorder had gone away and wouldn't be a problem for him anymore.

All for the sake of a goal he wasn't sure he believed in anymore.

Hanging up, he threw his phone down on the couch next to him, ignoring it when it lit up with an incoming call. Steele might not be done chewing him out, but he was damn well done listening.

His breath shook as he inhaled, scrubbing both hands down his face. Grounding—he needed grounding. Three things he could see, two things he could hear, one thing he could feel. Three he could—

Fuck.

It wasn't long after he'd hung up with Steele that the door to the apartment opened. “Hey, Kas, I'm home early!" Cyrilla called from the doorway. He could hear her moving around before she poked her head into the living room. “They didn't have any tajin seasoning at the store so I couldn't pick any up for you," she stated, moving to head towards the kitchen, it seemed, before she stopped.

“Hey," she called out suddenly. “Are you alright?"

He heard her.

It was a simple thing, honestly. Perhaps even an inconsequential one. But that distant part of himself that was still functioning recognized her voice and heard her, not in the fuzzy, in-and-out way he'd heard Steele, not in the oppressive way he could hear his own breathing, but clear as a bell and... not sharp, exactly, but firm somehow.

That did not, however, amount to being able to talk back. He parted his lips, only for nothing at all to come out. Words failed, his voice failed, and it was all he could do to shake his head and wonder if she saw. His eyes, still fixed on the corner of their rug, could not lift to be sure; it felt like holding his head up with his palms to his brow was the most he could do right now at all.

She must have seen, though, since she crossed the room and positioned herself on his side to wrap her arms around him. It was a little awkward the way she hugged him, but she wasn't sitting in the seat. She was kneeling so that she could move her hands around his head and pulling him closer towards her. She placed her head to the side of his and took an even breath.

“Hey, it'll be alright. I don't know what's wrong, but... tell me or show me how to help," she stated softly, running her fingers through his hair.

It was stiffly that his arms moved, slowly and painstakingly unlocking from their positions to wind around her back, instead. She felt as solid and real as her words had sounded.

Three things he could see.

There was a wisp of her hair in front of his eyes, almost translucent in its perfect depigmentation. When he exhaled, it fluttered. Behind her shoulder, there was her feet, still in her shoes, where she hadn't taken them off yet, and there beneath her the corner of the rug.

Two things he could hear.

Her breathing was slow and steady; he tried to match his to it, like he did sometimes when she'd fallen asleep and he was trying to get there, chin tucked atop her head and arms wrapped loosely around her. He was afraid to tell her he didn't know if he could sleep alone anymore. Afraid of what she might think. Of what it might mean.

One thing he could feel.

She didn't run as warm as he did, but she felt warm against him now; his fingers curled slightly into the fabric of her blouse. He swallowed thickly. His voice wavered as he spoke, just long enough to tell her what he needed.

"Stay."

“Of course," she replied softly. “Anything you need, just name it, Kas," she continued, her arms wrapping a little tighter against him. “You're my best friend and I love you, so... whatever you need," she stated. He could feel one of her arms rubbing against his back in a slow, circular motion.

“I'm not going anywhere, I promise."

If he'd been in a better frame of mind, he might have been able to consider what the words meant. Or rather, on what level she meant them. But as it was, he couldn't do anything more than cling to her, turning his head to bury his face in her neck and inhale, another piece of grounding in the sense most strongly tied to memory.

Slowly, his shaking faded, his breathing evened out, and the lightheaded, floaty feeling subsided. He stayed where he was for a minute more, wanting to make sure it was over, before he took a deep breath and loosened his hold. It was not very often that Kas truly felt awkward, but he did right now, his face burning and his eyes finding some fixed point over her shoulder.

"I uh—" he cleared his throat. "Sorry about that."

She furrowed her brows at him, though, and moved both of her hands so that they were cupping his face. She held his gaze for a moment before her lips pursed together. “You don't have to apologize for that, Kas," she said softly, keeping her hands on his face. “I told you, whatever you need," she began before pushing out a sigh. She tilted his head slightly as she leaned forward, placing a soft kiss on his forehead before pulling back.

“Just say it and I'll do what I can, alright? Do you need a distraction? Do you want something to drink?" it sounded like she was just listing off things of what he might want.

He found it hard not to smile, something coming through the haze of memory sharp as a knife. "Because you love me, right?" he murmured, reaching up with one of his hands to hold her own in place on his cheek. He turned in to face it and kissed the inside of her wrist.

He was being unfair. It wasn't good of him to bring up something she'd said while he was like that—she'd been trying to soothe him, an innocent intention if ever there was one. And an innocent love to go with. He knew he should let it be that. If he pressed, he could probably get her to admit—well. He knew what she'd probably say. What her feelings probably were. But it was better for them both if they never said it, surely. Hard as it was to live in this uncertain in-between place where they were friends but not just that, removing the ambiguity would only be worse.

"I'm lucky, to have such a good best friend as you." He nudged his own words firmly back over the line, smiling a little sadly at her. "I really do appreciate it, Cy. But a distraction and a drink both sound good. Should we head to the backisland?"

There was a faint flush on her face, but she merely stared at him. She didn't immediately say anything, and it seemed as if she were searching his face and contemplating something. Without so much as a warning, she pulled his face closer to hers, gently pressing her lips to his before pulling back. The flush on her face had darkened, but she smiled at him.

“How's that for a start of a distraction?" she stated as she stood from the couch. “I think there's still some left over vodka and rum from two nights ago."

She was magnetic, really. Utterly enchanting. It wasn't so much his own will that moved him to respond as it was a force of nature, so he could hardly be blamed for it.

Or rather... he could tell himself that, and believe it just long enough to act.

"Entirely unsatisfying," he replied, ignoring her comment to answer the question instead. He reached out on a damnable reflex, winding an arm around her waist and tugging even as he leaned back, pulling her back down and into his body in a tangle of limbs. "Now all I can think about is how I'm ever going to get another of those." He said it lightly, but the look with which he regarded her was completely serious, and he used his free hand to tilt her chin up with a finger.

"Are you the sort who wants me to ask nicely, or would you prefer it if I just took what I wanted? I can't quite work it out." He had a guess, of course, but it was always better to ask these kinds of things. Plus, well, there was always the chance she'd tell him to shove off, which would be perfectly within her rights.

He was really, really hoping she wouldn't, though.

It was obvious that she'd been caught off guard by that. She'd blinked in a surprised fashion before her face turned a dark red. He could see her swallow past a lump in her throat before she arched a brow at him in an amused fashion. “Well, that just means I haven't been doing a very good job if you can't work it out," she finally stated.“Because I thought I'd made it quite obvious: you don't need to ask."

“Just take it, whatever you want. As long as it's just you, and no one else, I don't mind," she added, smiling a little sheepishly at him.

Fortunately, that worked out perfectly well for him as well. Kasimir knew well enough when words would just be a waste, and so he spent none of them here, leaning down to press his lips to hers, an action with considerably more heat than the gentle, fleeting thing hers had been. He intended neither with his own—she'd told him to do as he pleased, and what he wanted, more than he could remember wanting anything for such a long time, was to show her what her words did to him.

What she did to him.

He speared his free hand into her hair, cupping the back of her head in the cradle of his fingers, smooth strands of white caught between them, and kissed her until his lungs demanded air. Even then, he pulled back only a fraction, speaking practically against her mouth. "You say things like that, I can't promise I'll stop."

He would, if she asked him. Always. But damn if she wasn't making it hard to even conceive of the possibility.

“And if I didn't want you to stop?" she retorted, the challenge clear in her tone. “What would you do about it, then, hm?" she asked, reaching up with her free hand to gently grab hold of the back of his head.

“Because I'm not sure that is a viable option, anyhow. Why stop when either of us doesn't want to?" she stated. She pulled back a little bit more so that there was more than a hairsbreadth between their lips. “I don't want you to stop, and I don't want to stop. Problem solved."

It was such a bad idea, for so many reasons, but as pressing as Kas sometimes found those reasons—he must have found them pressing at some point, right?—he just couldn't bring himself to care right now. He was not the kind of man who could take a challenge like that sitting down. Not from her.

So he stood, bringing her with him, fully intent on marching her to the nearer bedroom. He didn't bother differentiating between which was technically his and which hers—they only differed in whose clothes were in the closet at this point. He only made it a few steps before remembering that he really didn't care about keeping this kind of thing to bedrooms, and so instead he pressed her back to the wall, supporting her with one arm banded underneath her. She was so small it didn't take more than that, which was good, because it meant he had a free hand.

That found its way under her blouse, fingertips dragging across her warm, bare skin. He felt like an arceusdamn teenager again, hot all over and barely in control of himself. His lips shifted to her neck, trailing down towards the line of her shirt. "I wanted this the day I met you," he admitted, almost mumbling the words against her skin. It had been the way she so boldly threw all of his banter and innuendo right back at him, nothing but playful, sure, but enough even so to pique his interest. "Wanted it even worse ever since."

Because she'd been beautiful and witty the day they met. But she was so much more now, both to him and as a person, herself. She'd changed, and he'd seen it. How could anyone witness a metamorphosis like hers and not want her? His addled mind couldn't make sense of it, really.

She shivered slightly at his touch, and one of her hands moved, almost instinctively towards his free one before she moved it back to his shoulder. There, on her back, were two raised scars that trailed up to her shoulder blades diagonally. “I don't know when I started," she began, speaking out in a hushed tone. “Maybe it was when we first met. Maybe it was when... you became my friend."

“Or maybe it was when I realized that I actually mattered to someone. That I mattered to you," she continued, still speaking in a soft tone. “Maybe it was when you helped me realize that I didn't have to stay with the Koga. That I could leave NTR and not have to look back. Maybe it was when you helped me realize that I didn't have to be afraid of my family, that I could have a new one that was better. That I could be better than I was."

“It's because of you that I've been able to feel what I feel now, to know that they're real and that..." she paused to suck in a breath, “I want this perhaps just as much as you do."

His fingers mindlessly traced the scars as she spoke. He knew where they had to be from. He'd noticed that her wardrobe had changed since she'd returned from Fuchsia, but he'd thought it more to do with the season than anything. He should have noticed. He promised himself he'd kiss the both of them, so many times she'd forget any pain that had put them there. And if that was impossible, well, he'd just have to keep trying.

What she said brought him clarity, enough at least that the heat of the moment was swamped by a different warmth, a peculiar one that he'd never felt in a moment like this before. He didn't know how to express it—not in words. In actions, however... he had a pretty good idea of where to start.

Carefully, Kas set her down, dropping to his knees and wrapping his arms around her hips. He lifted her shirt enough to press a kiss to one of them, then tipped his head up, resting his chin on her stomach and regarding her with soft eyes. "You're incredible," he said simply.

And right now, he was going to show her just how much he appreciated that.


IIA Headquarters
Lawson sits there for about a minute, saying nothing.

Then he speaks.

"You're the one they call Kesslee, aren't you."
Then he continues with,
"Sir. I can only tell you my end goal. I have no knowledge of the big idea."

He sits there for a few more seconds before continuing.

"I want justice. I want freedom. And by god, I may not live to see either of those but I want my brother to. And while you may say I fight back because I'm a criminal, no, I fight back because I love this Empire. I fight because fighting is all I know. And WE know peacefully discussing is no option now." He laughs a bit.

"I've already betrayed my cause. Just kill me."

He closes his eyes and tilts his head back.
Then he looks back down and takes a deep breath.

"We are the Children of Ash. We haven't fought yet, and I have no idea when or if we will, but we have many dedicated men and women in our cause. People that you wronged. Ever wonder why I came out here? I came here because I wanted a fight. I want to fight you. But many of our people are willing to have a peaceful, cooperative discussion about what you fucked up and how you need to change."
Okay, maybe that last bit was a small lie, they all wanted to fight on the inside. They all knew it too.

He just hopes Kesslee understands that he doesn't know anything.

"All I did was a patrol. I wanted to make contact. My parents died in the war and I want to make a change. Any change. I feel like..."
He stops and takes a couple breaths.

Sky's Edge
The Rocketeer was in his work room, assembling a flamethrower asked to be constructed by him on request of a younger member. He didn't know why one of the kids needed it, but whatever. He just made weapons.

He was pretty new to the rebellion, but he was willing to help. He did repairs on weaponry and designed and put things together for his comrades, and was also partially involved in some larger projects, such as helping Mr. Cossack. He wasn't sure what the things he was helping build were yet, but he didn't need to know. He had designed the interplanetary comm, and was working on the overheating problem, but it would take some time, and they didn't really have that. Not a lot, at least.

He screws the barrel of the flamethrower onto the pump and trigger, and sets it aside to be tested later.

The Rocketeer wasn't used to building things other than propulsive tech, but he was good at other things too. He could put together basic weapons, such as the flamethrower he just assembled, and beam rifles, as well as slugthrower weapons, like assault rifles. A lot of the men and women out there were able to fix their own weapons, but the younger ones weren't as usually experienced. So that was what he did part time. Fix weapons.

He flips up his mask and moves on to the next weapon.

Camp Athens
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C H E R I S E x B O Y S E
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The girls were well on their way to training. They had made good use of the area; dusted off all the targets, cleaned it up a bit, and made sure that everything was in working order. They gossipped a little bit here and there, but their goal was to spruce up on their archery and let a little bit of stress go. They even used a bluetooth speaker to put on some sweet, or not so sweet, jams to spice everything up. After all, they were technically working out - drawing bowstrings, running to and from or side-to-side to hit their targets. It's sweaty and tiring work, especially first thing in the morning (thanks Sun child).

Once upon a time, Rae was actually better than her friend. However, over time, Cherise tapping into her godly powers granted her more of a lead. Not that it mattered. They were not competitive. With each other anyway.

For Cherise, this was a good time to think about how she was going to approach Daniel. Keith. Daniel. There must have been a huge misunderstanding sometimes between the day they met and the closet. The closet of which she sort of remembers as pleasant, but she had also been quite intoxicated. Yet, she doesn't remember drinking too much. Whatever. Sometimes she got a little too far ahead of herself, and there's no doubt that the two girls didn't feed off of each other in terms of social drinking. It was a habitual thing.

Rae spent this time thinking about whether or not Pete was still at her cabin. He's cute, kind of a loner - a little less cleanly cut as she normally liked. Probably not, though. While she cared about Cherise's situation, the redhead knows that she already has a few words for their dear Daniel. Kind words in a stern tone, of course. These are the situations that best friends work best. She still needed to figure out whether or not she had to be that best friend, or a nicer one that doesn't scare away all the boyfriends. Not that scaring away boyfriends isn't fun. It is.

Somewhere in her thoughts, Rae lost control of her aim. At first, she didn't think anything of it. Then there was a tweeting noise, and she looked back at Cherise, "Did you hear that?"

The Sun-Child tilted her head, waited a few seconds, and then shook her head. "No, but—my thoughts are in another place. Sorry!"

Just as Rae was going to find the source of what sounded like pained tweets, Ethan and Heath were there. "Morning ladies. Getting some archery in? We were just getting some jogging in before getting some breakfast."

Rae offered them a smile, as did Cherise. They were both friendly people... for the most part. It was decided that the groan must have come from the boys, but then she heard the bird again. "You three will have to excuse me," she informed them as her gaze traveled someplace else for a moment. With her bow in hand, Rae left Cherise with Ethan and Heath.

And that wasn't a problem because Cherise was the friendliest of the two. "Oh, hey guys!" She gave them a genuinely warm smile and nodded to Rae as she announced her departure. "I got my job in a while ago, thank the gods. It's starting to get a little warm."

As Cherise conversed with the two guys, she went around to gather up all of the arrows. "I should probably go get breakfast myself," she mentioned. "You think a ton of people are going to be there right now? I hope not. I'm as friendly as the next person, but I like my breakfast quiet." That was a lie. While the words came out of her mouth pretty easily, anyone with a sense for untruths would know that she was being dishonest. Not that it was a big deal, though.

After she picked up all of the arrows, she counted them to make sure they were all accounted for. Then her eyes traveled in Rae's direction because they were missing one. Maybe the redhead had taken it with her. She didn't think a whole lot of it.

"I can't go to breakfast with all of this, though. Maybe I should go get a shower in." Just to make a point, she lifts an arm and unabashedly sniffs her armpits. No, she didn't smell. She's just trying to buy her time before she had to actually make sense of certain things. Was it really that big of a deal, though? Cherise and Daniel were not an item, per se. She didn't want to cling to the guy. Cherise was not a pleasant clinger, as much as she meant well.


"Actually, I am probably going to go get breakfast now," she sighed and placed the arrows into her quiver, which was then slung over a shoulder. She'd carry the bow for now. "Coming?" she inquired as she began to walk in the direction of the mess hall.

* * * * *

Rae stalked the woods and there a strange feeling that something was wrong crept over her. Her boots lightly and slowly moved across an unbeaten path, cracking twigs and crunching dry leaves that might have fallen about. She took a moment to close her eyes and tap into the visual sense of the nearest living creature, but when her eyes opened the picture was clouded and hazy. It was nearly darkening, and Rae found herself reaching out to touch nearby trees in order to not run into them.

Something about this vision felt horribly out of place, and she blinked once more to snap back to her own sight. She managed to grasp a decent picture of where the creature was, so she used that to eventually find herself where she was supposed to be.

On the ground was a nightingale with one of her arrows pinning the wing to the ground, and Rae looked up upon hearing a series of smaller whistling from apparently more than one source. There, cradled against a tree branch, was a nest. She knelt down and scooped the tiny avian up after she pulled out the arrow. Oh, but she's never been able to heal an animal in her life. What was she supposed to do? She could take her to Cherise, and she made the sound choice that it was her only option. Rae turned and began to go back from whence she came.

That's when her mother showed up; Artemis, blocking her daughter's path. "Going somewhere?" she inquired, her hands calmly placed at the lap of her flowing cream-colored dress.

"Hello, mother. So nice of you to show you care. As I have already shared with you, you're a little too late for mother-daughter talks," she says as a matter-of-factly, and attempted to bypass Artemis by stepping off to the side.

Artemis turned around to look after her retreating child, "You seem to believe that I will stand for your disobedience and your ungrateful little mouth." While the goddess' voice was quite calm, the words were firm and piercing. This was her daughter, and she would have that dominance and authority over her even if it took a harsher tone. She and Rae were very much alike—stubborn to the core, independent of others, and clearly in charge of her own life and destiny with little to no help from anyone. Those were good traits, but she needed further training and Artemis won't stand for any more of that mouth. Rae blamed her for the life that she had to live, but Artemis believed that it built the girl up to who she is now. Had her life been any easier, Rae might not be who she is right at this very moment. Sure, she has some psychological wounds and problems, but they could fix that here. Artemis could help her, but Rae was resistant at every turn.

Rae sighed, still gently cupping the wounded bird in her hands. Ever since she had come to Camp Athens, Artemis has been on her ass and it was getting a little irritating. Who did this woman think she was? Her mother? "What do you want?" she asked as she stopped in her tracks but did not turn around.

That didn't matter because Artemis walked to Rae and eventually moved in front of her. The amiable appearance of this woman made Rae sick to her stomach. The thought that she had a mother through her mess of a life the entire time made her sick.

"I just want you to heal the bird. That's all," she replied calmly and held out her hands to rest them at the knuckles of Rae's. "You injured her, so you heal her."

The truth was that Rae's arrow was never on the direct path to hit the nightingale. It simply wasn't possible. Artemis had caused it, and while it was a sort of twisted thing to do, the bird would be healed regardless of what transpired after. It wouldn't even remember that it has been injured. Perhaps that was cold of the goddess, but she thought that she might have felt a little empathy come from the girl. Just a little. It was just too bad that she had almost zero for humans.

"I'm afraid that I don't know how," Rae confessed.

"Well, my child, if you stop resisting me I can show you," she began, turning away from Rae as if she might leave, "...or you can just run to Cherise and never get better at anything. Your choice."

The Moon-Child was quiet for a few moments, her gaze cast down to the bird in thought. She looked back at the tree with the nest and wondered about this or that. Could she do it? Does she care enough about this little thing to heal it? She picked it up with the intent to bring her to Cherise. Did that mean that she cared?"Fine," she relented.

Ellarian Tartarean Coast
From out of the fog of the deep sea, the prow of a viking longship appeared, heading inland towards the coast. At the front of the ship was the wooden carving of a mermaid in battle dress, hand over her brows, her gaze scanning everything before her. The sail was black, and there was a white raven banner flying above it. Along both narrow sides of the low decked vessel was a row of cross-colorful round shields, painted with the colors of Nordic flags. Blue and yellow, red and white, blue and white, green and black, green and white, blue and red, etc. There were 200 interlocking shields in all, 100 on each side of the ship. Each shield also had the full body of an animal painted on it. There were black ravens, white rabbits, black wolves, bown stags, brown bears, yellow leopards, red foxes, white deer, green tortoises, black boars, white owls and red eagles. 75 thin long oars aligned both sides of the longship for a total of 150 rowers altogether. Sitting on the raised platform at the front of this ship was the crippled viking prince, Ivar the Boneless, paralyzed from the waist down and unable to swim, yet still dressed in full body armor with a helmet and chestplate, hugging the wooden mermaid's waist from behind while peering out over the open waves. Standing on the low deck behind him was his older brother, Bjorn Ironside, who held a different, larger non-painted bronze colored shield in his hand and was lightly armored with no helmet, instead having his face painted with claw marks.

On the back of the ship was a woman in a black featered cloak wearing a blue catskin dress with bright reddish orange hair and bright blue eyes. This was Queen Aslaug, who wore no armor at all but instead held a 33-inch Nordic bugle made from the horn of a large bovine. Leaning against the mast of the ship in the center of the deck was King Harald, wearing light chain-mail and padded leather armor with half of his face tattooed with blue tribal vine-knots, casually picking his teeth, using a small thin fish bone as a toothpick. Standing beside him was Queen Lagertha, the legendary shield-maiden and widow of Ragnar Lothbrok, wearing similar armor with her silvery blonde hair flowing freely in the wind. She held her spear in one hand, a blue and white shield in the other. Sitting against the mast on the other side of King Harald was Ivar's brother, Ubbe Ragnarsson, and the shipbuilder Hrafn-Floki who was wearing a bulky black hooded cloak with black coal eyeliner and a rune painted on his forehead. The name of this massive viking vessel was the Seamaiden, and it was the largest most flexible boat that Floki had ever designed. All around them were several others, dozens of vikings who were already dressed and battle ready, all of them looking quite similar in fashion, but very different in their individual styles, haircuts, tattoos, armor and choices of weaponry.

But they were not alone in Ellaria's deep oceans, for as the Seamaiden drew closer, more viking longships appeared out of the mist behind it. 49 other ships to be exact, an entire fleet of viking ships, each one carrying 200 vikings ready for war. The entire fleet was heading inland together in a triangular wedge formation with the Seamaiden in the lead. Each ship kept rowing at a steady speed, kept in unison by the sound of beating leather battle drums, the low bass rumbling with each smack of 50 large padded drumsticks hitting the open air like an approaching thunderstorm. The fleet was spread out over the waves, but still close enough for each ship to view its neighbors and communicate with the echoing sound of horns and drums if necessary. This was the Great Heathen Army, led by Ivar the Boneless himself, with the help of his brothers. Ivar had somehow found a way to teleport his fleet to Gaia, following the instructions given to him by the spirit of his dead uncle Rollo the Walker, who revealed to him the secrets of the Atlantic Ocean and the whereabouts of the Bermuda Triangle, but nature is unpredictable and ghosts are demanding. Rollo left him riddles and clues, but it was Ivar himself who used his clever wit to discover the time window and enter the portal at the right spot, during the precise moment for such an event to transpire. Prince Ivar was indeed clever, for unlike his predecessors before him, Ivar's fleet had brought an extra ship with them, setting it adrift with nobody on it. As the Great Heathen Army's fleet suddenly teleported into Gaia's ocean, a single vessel would be left behind. By watching the ghost ship suddenly vanish right before their very eyes, Ivar's fleet would be aware that they had transversed space-time and had crossed into Gaia's waters. No other viking leader had ever done this before, and the success of such a tact only boosted Ivar's morale, and his growing reputation as the son of a god.


The Rockaverse
Syra looked away from Price's gaze as he mentioned the group needing to move on Theory. Azure rested her hand on the girl's shoulder, "I can help train the army, my original mission here was to investigate that cannon and takedown Theory," she sighed, folding her arms across her chest, "With the cannon 'safe' I can focus on my other objective, just tell me where to go." She smiled softly.

"I, I want to learn how to use a sniper rifle," Syra began, "I can't bring myself to be out front but I want to support, and take out targets before they get close, or before they even know we are there. Theory will have men at all different intervals patroling different perimeters, if we can take them out before they can alert the next line we will have an easier time getting into his camp." She looked at Seru, hoping the Cobran woman would teach her how to be a marksman.




Tartarean High Seas
As she swam through the celestial lights in the waves, Urakena might have noticed her own glow beginning to fade. It seemed her vibrant blues, as she swam through the purple, were left behind in the light. She grew darker as she went, her beauty fading as if she was sinking.


Archives

Archives Owner: Remæus

Buzzing Bee takes flight again, buzzing around.

Dogs in God's Vineyard
Anna sighed heavily. The burden that had been placed upon her shoulders was growing all the more heavy. Now more than ever, she wished Horatio had stayed with the pack. "We need to get the word to New Life first of all. There's no way around that, we need the telegraph office." She said, starting to lead the group in that direction, before continuing in a low voice. "We won't bring in the sheriff yet. We inform New Life, then go back to the hotel. The owner will need time to obscure whatever heresy has been happening there, he'll surely be startled and scared, and rushing about to cover up his sin. With the four of us forewarned now, we can face whatever is in that hotel."

It was a risk, but she couldn't simply do nothing and wait for reinforcements that would likely be days away. The impatient urge to act in the name of the Lord burned hot in her heart and Anna would not disappoint him out of fear.

Whispering Mountain Prison
Joseph silently wishes for a way to escape, fully knowing there is none. So he lets go of all self-worry and just decides to let go of his personal importance, setting his life as the last on his priorities list. He gave up information about his cause. He lays down on the slab, abandoning the food. He closes his eyes and drifts off into an uneasy sleep.

Realm of the Elementals
Adonis was lonely. She was the first Elementals for a long time. There was no one in the Realm who could teach her. She was teaching herself and, honestly, it wasn't going very well.

Cabin # 1 Zeus

Cabins Cabin # 1 Zeus Owner: RolePlayGateway

Um, where's Athena Cabin?

Indefatigable
"We look forward to receiving you Admiral." Marcus replied.

Admiral Clegg certainly didn't disappoint. His words and demeanor suggested that he was just as interested in revenge as Marcus was. Perhaps even more so considering that comment about "burning the Asylian cities to ash". Gathering three fleets together for a joint operation was a good sign. Marcus was going to find himself right in the middle of a major counter offensive. Just where he wanted to be.

Yellowstone
Slowly, the assembling Aschen Fleet was beginning to gather strength, at over two thousand and five hundred warships strong, with the Keeper of Abassid holding position in the center of the formation. Everything was relatively quiet aboard the Aschen floatilla, And Admiral Clegg was quietly going over the ship’s logs for the day, interrupted only by the chime of the communications console.

“Admiral.” EVE Chimed in. “You have a priority one communication from Intelligence, Black File protocol.” The AI reported, causing the Admiral to grumble, keying up the communications interface, and scowling.

“This is Admiral Clegg.” The Admiral reported, offering a brief salute to the brunette on the other side of the screen.

The visage of Director Madeline shimmered into view, her stony expression accentuated by the shadows of the stark prison lighting.

“Admiral.” Madeline said, returning his salute. “Redeploy your fleet to Sky’s edge, and await further orders.” The Woman instructed. “Priority one, hold position in high orbit, and implement enhanced search procedures on outbound vessels.”

EVE chimed in a moment later.

“Disseminating revised objectives...“

Once the link was terminated, the Admiral turned to his Executive Officer.

“Redeploy the fleet to Sky’s Edge, and prepare to blockade the planet.” He said with a low, gravely tone. Quietly he wondered why the strange orders from Section One of all things? Given that the Intelligence Director was off on some far flung mission. Briefly, Clegg wondered why some backwater colony deserved the attention of his fleet?

“Synchronize FTL, and spool for short-range jump.” He said, keying in new instructions into the interface.

A few moments later, and the ships began to wink out, one by one.

Infinity City
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"A S T R I D" AS-7210
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but am i just a broken machine?
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Infinity was a rough place for a lone android, though Astrid had personally found that the further down you went, the less people noticed you. Maybe because they felt like the rich looked down on them as lesser. They felt less human than those living up in their ivory towers… Or, at least, they felt like the rich thought of them as less human. Astrid wasn’t presumptuous enough to suggest this to any of the people she encountered (and she, like most androids, was programmed to be non offensive; so even if she was presumptuous, she couldn’t suggest it), but a part of her felt like she was right. Still, humans were so very sensitive on matters of their own humanity. As if the very thing that makes humans, well, humans, could be changed.

Astrid was, once again, all on her own. She’d been recently picked up by a less than gentle gentleman, but he and his friends quickly dumped her back on the streets when they realized that she didn’t possess the anatomy they had wanted her for. Before that, she’d lived with an elderly woman. That had been one of the better places she could remember. Astrid knew she had good memories, once, but they were gone now.

Now she stood, watching a broadcast of Cordelia Hallis. Most of the people on the lower portions of the city weren’t taking much time out of their day to listen; the broadcasts always seemed to be much of the same. ’Trust us,’ they said,’ we only want to do what’s best for you.’ Astrid supposed that could be true, but scanning the faces of the people around her, she saw mostly anxiety, fear, anger. Humans wore emotions on their faces so clearly. Or maybe it was her programming. She didn’t muse on it for long, there were other things to be worried about. Mrs. Hallis’ strange behavior, for starters. Astrid wasn’t convinced that the woman wasn’t an android (and there was plenty of gossip that seemed to indicate that others agreed with her), and if that was the case, maybe she was due for an update.

From where she stood, Cordelia’s words seemed to spark anger in the people, but Astrid thought it seemed like she believed them. Like those words were genuine. Besides, Astrid wanted to watch the parade. There was some ghost of a memory, something there that reminded her that someone she’d once cared for like parades. So she supposed she liked them, too.

A small commotion started to rise up. Some vandalism had occurred, painting a single word on the largest screen in this part of the city. ‘Menace.’ Astrid wasn’t sure what that was supposed to mean, but the people in the crowd certainly did. It started in murmurings, and slowly began to build up to yelling and shouting. It struck Astrid that this likely wasn’t part of the day’s festivities, and she decided it was time for her to go. Or, it would have been, had she not been caught in the crowd. She was being pushed around rather effectively, and her programming was forbidding her from pushing back, or doing much else besides stand there and let herself be all but trampled as people hurried forwards to get a better view. “I’m sorry,” Astrid said, voice calm and pleasant, as people ran into her, shoved her aside, “Pardon me, I-” She turned as she was pushed into someone else, “I apologize, my intentions were not to-” Again, she was pushed aside, this time with just enough force to send her to the ground. She heard someone complain about the uselessness of androids, how they only got in the way in these situations. She was in the way, wasn’t she? “Sorry…”

Earth

Earth Owner: Beccaberry

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Goes By Teo
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"Remember, get in and get ut. We can't afford a mistake with this one, mijo." Edgar's voice came in a hushed tone through the small earpiece that lay hidden within Mateo's ear. The young man leaned against the club wall as he listened to his father coach him as if it were his first rodeo. He knew this was a dangerous mission, and despite having convinced his father that he could handle it on his own, the man was still worried. Even more so after being told the target was suspicious and would be bringing backup should anything go South. The best course of action would have been to leave the mission for another day, but they were past the point of no return and if they didn't take this opportunity now, it could cost hundreds of lives later. He simply hummed into the speaking that was tucked neatly under his suit jacket, not wanting to do anything that may raise suspicions.

After what felt like hours, though it had only been about thirty minutes, a tall blonde woman in a red dress stepped outside. After giving enough distance to where she wouldn't grow suspicious, Mateo followed her to the nearby bar. As expected, the moment she stepped inside she met up with another woman, slightly shorter with dark red hair and the two headed towards a private room. After giving the reservation details that the agency had acquired through means of investigation, as well as a masterfully fabricated ID, Mateo was allowed into the private room as well.

"Hello handsome." the blonde woman greeted, extending her arm out for a handshake. "You must be Shawl." The red-headed woman also extended her hand. Mateo responded with handshakes out of curtesy before taking a seat beside them. "Pleasure to meet you, ladies." he lied, his voice low and huskier than normal. He then scavenged the area to makes sure they were the only two in the room before continuing. "But I'm not Shawl, I'm the guy that's going to help you kill him." The women exchanged a look, yet somehow did not seem too impacted by Mateo's statement. Instead, they remained silent and listened. "You're both minutes away from being murdered and the only way to change that is if you do exactly as I say, so here's what we're going to do." Mateo then went on to explain in detail what each of them had to do in order to get rid of the target without raising suspicions. Of course, firing a gun in a public club like this was out of the question, especially knowing the man had backup.

Once having run through the gameplay, Mateo got to his feet, bidding the women goodbye before stepping out of the room. On the opposite end of the club there was a familiar face headed their way. Mateo swiftly blended into the crowd waiting at the bar for their ordered drink but staying close enough to keep tabs on the situation. "You think they'll actually do it? his father's voice came through once again. Mateo scoffed, his eyes ever so slightly watching the target walk inside the where the women sat. "Of course not. We got a waitress on the inside that will prepare his drink." There was a hearty laugh on the other end of the line as Mateo scanned the bar for said waitress, spotting her just a couple of tables away. everything was falling into place smoothly.



Farali Island
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"Come one, Ari..."

"Absolutely not" Arianna repeated for what felt like the millionth time that day. Hailie hung on her arm as they walked across campus, a small pout placed on her pink-tinted lips. For the past week, she'd been attempting to coarse Ari into attending the end of year party that would be happening the following day. This party happened every year, and every year the small girl managed to avoid it. This time, however, one of her lovely classmates insisted on her making an appearance. "Listen Hai" she came to a stop, her body turning to face the blonde who watched her expectantly. "I love you, I do. But I have no desire to go to this party. The only reason I'm not gone yet is that I have one more final to take tomorrow."

Hailie held her breath for a second longer before expelling a sigh, usually signaling defeat. "Fine, at least come have dinner with me and Mia tonight." Arianna carefully shook her head, deciding to mess with the girl a little before smiling. "Of course, count me in!" After an excited cheer from the other, the two girls bid their goodbyes. Arianna quickly worked her way through the busy campus, cursing to herself as she did. She had one more class to attend, which she'd forgotten to grab the books and notes for after having left in a hurry. Of course as luck would have it, her classroom and her dorm were on complete opposite ends of the Science department.

Several hills and a few vending machines stop later, she finally made it. Ari could hear rustling coming from inside before she even opened the door, which signified Bryanna was already there. As much as she was looking forward to her vacation, she didn't want to think about having to leave her roommate turned best friend. As unlikely as the pair seemed, they'd hit it off almost instantly. Though the packed bags and fresh outfit made Ari think the other girl perhaps didn't feel the same way. "Hey beautiful." Ari greeted, her eyes switching from Bryanna to her luggage. "So eager to leave me, I see." she feigned a dramatic sigh as she circled around the coffee table to fetch her books. "And here I was wondering how I'd make it an entire summer without you." Of course Ari knew her friend's eagerness to leave had nothing to do with her, but she never missed an opportunity to tease.





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#20B2AA | Outfit | Location: Library
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A faint beep made its way into Holland's ears. He groaned, letting his half-naked body roll onto its back. Sarah shifted slightly beside him but made no efforts of getting up. Despite his trials, however, his fingers were just an inch away from reaching the beeping device. Holland groaned again, carefully shifting Sarah off of his chest so he could stretch his limbs further. She muttered something unrecognizable, which Holland ignored for the time being as he flipped over the gold iPhone. "Shit!" the curse was louder than he'd meant to, no surprisingly grabbing Sarah's attention. "What's going on?" her voice was still in the raspier morning voice tone despite it being nearly noon. Neither one of them had classes that morning, so they'd taken full advantage the night before. Still, Holland knew he'd manage to sleep through the day if he didn't set an alarm. He just didn't think he'd manage to sleep through said alarm twice.

Sarah lightly tugged on the side of his sweat pants as he attempted to roll out of bed as if pleading him to stay. "Sorry babe" he added in quickly before placing a quick peck on her cheek and getting to his feet. "Got a study date, and I'm going to be really late if I don't get up now." He could sense Sarah's eye roll despite not having been looking in her direction. "You're going to see that nerd again" it was more of a statement than a question. She rolled onto her back, letting the sheets cover up to collar bare bones. "Are you cheating on me with him?" As difficult as it was, Holland managed to hold back the chuckle bubbling in his chest. The irony of her question was almost comical. "I am not cheating on you with Waylon, you can relax." As far as the statement went, it wasn't a lie. Out of all the people Holland has and would continue to cheat on her with, Waylon was not one of them.

After a couple more protests from her, Holland managed to get himself showered and dressed. He hadn't bothered to kick Sarah out. She knew how to lock the door on her own. Thankfully, due to a combination of his athletic physique and the library not being too far from his dorm room, Holland made it to the meeting spot only about fifteen ten minutes late. As he headed towards the grand library double doors, a faint buzz in his pocket grabbed his attention. The message displayed on the screen almost made him laugh out loud. Stepping aside for a moment, he quickly typed out a reply.

To: Way (1/2) If I say I miss you too, will you lend me some coins? :P
To: Way (2/2) I'm kidding, good luck! If he says no maybe I'll let you win for once to cheer you up.


After hitting the send button, he made sure to give himself a couple of seconds before walking inside. The library wasn't terribly full due to many students being in class still, but he did pass a small group of what he could consider friends on his way in. After setting himself free of them, he finally made it to the table where Waylon waited for him. "I know, I'm late again. But I brought snacks this time!"

Ramshead
The imp disintegrates, but 100 other imps have already emerged from Morrigan's impassioned bonfire.
Morrigan fiercely tries to muster up water magic, but everything remains dry as the gin her father drinks. When the spilled rosé lights up with celebrating imps, nearly all hope succumbs to flames and dark rolling smoke.

She tries to focus but her mother is yelling in her ear, Morrigan can't make out the words.
She rushes into the house to try to stop the fire and is encompassed by scorching dryness. She is surrounded by imps jubilant in her failure, dancing around her body.
Then all the light is consumed by the deepest darkness, and all the oxygen is gone.

Tennessee
ImageThough he helped get everyone inside, Rowan kept a distance from the group. His eyes kept subconsciously following Raelyn. The worry practically oozed out of her, and the last thing he wanted to do was add to that. But if he said he felt fine he'd be lying. He wasn't tired, not even in the slightest bit, despite having used to much magic in such a short amount of time. His vision had returned to normal, however, adrenaline still ran lazily through his body. No...adrenaline wasn't the right word. Rowan had felt the adrenaline, and this was not it. Something had made its home in Rowan's bloodstream, like a force that slumbered, until ready to resurface. Despite how hard he tried, Rowan could recall next to nothing that had happened during the latter half of the battle. As if some outside force had temporarily taken possession of his body and mind for that period of time. He watched silently as Raelyn left the living room, followed by Jade. He kept himself at a distance from Izzy and Belle as he stared out the window, both to give them a chance to rest, but also because he wasn't sure how long it would be before this dark force took over his body once again.

ImageIsaiah barely spoke as Raelyn and Jade scurried around him and Arabelle, looking for any possible way to help in true Raelyn fashion. Izzy was glad Belle mentioned food. If there was anything that made Raelyn happy it was making delicious food for others to enjoy. As she and Jade left the livingroom, Izzy let out a small groan. Every muscle in his body ached. Though it was a good sign that his body was not paralyzed like he initially feared, it also hurt like hell. But more than his physical pain, Izzy couldn't take his mind off of Ben. The way he was attacked and killed right in front of him, and there was nothing he'd been able to do to help. Instead he just got himself hurt. Isaiah wasn't used to being useless. He let out a sigh, not to loud so as to not worry Raelyn, and let his head rest of the back of the couch. There was a lump in his throat, threatening to force out tears. Though he managed to keep composure, he couldn't help but worry for his sister and Jade and how they'd react once everything finally sunk in.

Washington, D.C.
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K A I R O ✧ C H O I
Location ✧ Kairo's studio apartment
Dialogue ✧ #400E15
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A small part of Kairo had expected Ethan to reject his invitation to join him, and the young boy's features did appear to be preparing for that for a split second, however, without much hesitation, Ethan catapulted himself into the crystal waters. Kairo couldn't help but chuckle as he did so, deciding to completely toss aside their professional relationship and just enjoy this moment as friends. Truth be told, Kairo hadn't had a friend willing to do these kinds of things with him in a long time, and as he returned Ethan's scattered water attacks, he was reminded of how much he missed it. At Ethan's statement he paused, not because he was surprised, but because he realized that he could relate. He chuckled softly, splashing Ethan with a small amount of water before responding. "I told you." he spoke as he swam lazily around Ethan. "This waterfall is magical."

As far as he could recall, there wasn't a single heartache or worry that this place hadn't been ab;e to cure for Kairo. After a few more water attacks and shared laughs, Kairo brought himself to face Ethan, he opened his mouth to speak but a single raindrop landing on his nose brought his thoughts to a pause. The young therapist's gaze turned upwards, only now having realized the clouds that had quickly gathered. A couple more drops fell on his face, as well as Ethan's. Kairo's eyes widened slightly at the sound of faint rumbling. "Uh oh...we should probably start heading back." he suggested, though he wasn't too ecstatic about having to leave the falls, he also didn't want them getting caught in a thunderstorm.

The two swam to the edge as Ethan pulled himself up onto the dry ground. He let his body air cry before pulling his shirt back on and allowing Ethan enough time to do the same. Though they hadn't been able to stay for as long as he'd hoped, Kairo could see the significant difference in Ethan's features. He was much more relaxed, almost carefree, and Kai hoped to keep it that way. At least for the remainder of the night. The air on the way back felt a bit chilly due to being wet, however, Kairo was thankful the water hadn't caught up to them At least not until they were halfway there. However, when they were most confident they'd make it, the sky crackled and the drops began to fall in a fury.

Earth
ImageEliana was so focused on the book that she nearly missed Timothy's comment. He wanted to help? Ellie wouldn't mind a little help, especially considering this demon seemed to have centuries worth of information to go through. At least, she hoped that was the case. Because so far, there wasn't much. Even still, Ellie wasn't sure what to do. As much as she'd like Tim to help, he couldn't do much if he didn't understand the books. That's when the idea came to her. She momentarily sat the book in her hand on a nearby shelf and pulled out the small deck of cards from her pocket. The same deck she'd used earlier to summon the library. After a moment of shuffling through them, she landed on the one she needed. She carefully took Timothy's hand, placing the card face up on his palm. After muttering a few words, the small card began to glow brighter and brighter until the photo of the glasses that was printed on it were now physically resting on the young man's hand. She smiled softly before signing. "Put these on, they'll allow you to be able to read any of these books." Even with his help, there was a chance they'd come up empty-handed, with nothing more than a name and basic facts, but two heads were better than one. Not to mention, Tim was a very smart guy. He may not know much about the supernatural world, but he could surely help Ellie find and connect any scattered pieces of information.

Lunalake Island
Vragi nodded in agreement with John’s statement on the tower. It was certainly like nothing the dwarf had encountered prior.

“If you don’t mind me asking, can something like that be done?” He inquired, “If this tower was thought or willed into existence from some kind of ability – please excuse me if I’ve misinterpreted – is it possible it might have properties unique to its own existence? Most scholars I’ve met would probably give up straightaway.”

By his tone of voice and the way he leaned slightly over the table, it was clear that Vragi was asking out of curiosity rather than doubt. He had no idea how or even if it were possible to imitate such a construct, but his mind was racing at the thought of all the possibilities, not to mention the challenge.

As he finished his question Vragi took a sip of his 'concoction' , enjoying its texture and sweet citrus taste. It was at this point that he realised that the others, at least those who understood this custom better than he did, had spread their sweet orange paste onto the bread with holes. A look of realisation crossed his face as this epiphany washed over him and he glanced uneasily at his drink, wondering if anyone had noticed and if he should try and salvage his marmalade.

Palace Expressway
Agent Smith had one mission and one purpose alone, to destroy Cerex and to intercept anything which might pose a threat to humanity. He had been sent to Niihama's surface to investigate a strange reading, or paranormal anomaly detected by the Global Affairs Intelligence Agency, and had teleported to the planet through a one-way portal which placed him randomly in the Taiyou Emperor's throne room. Smith adjusted his fedora and looked around quietly, scanning the area.

After a moment of picking up negative readings on his scanner, Agent Smith would speak into his wrist watch. "I'm not picking up any readings down here. This place is empty. Are you sure we're on the right planet?" he asked his superiors. "Positive detective. Our sources tell us that the anomaly should be somewhere on the planet's surface, not far from your location," a mysterious female voice responded through his transparent earpiece.

"Not far to me? Or not far to you? I'm sure this planet just looks like a dot from where you are, but down here, it's pretty big," Agent Smith commented as he looked around the throne room, keeping an eye out for any sort of computer or camera systems. "Hold on detective, I'm picking up another signal. A strange object was just seen entering the planet's gravitational field. Our estimates say it landed in the Yukikaze suburbs. I'm sending you the coordinates now, the object should appear on your screen," the mysterious female voice answered. John D. Smith would adjust his wrist watch as a small holographic display was emitted from the seemingly normal timepiece, projecting an image of what appeared to be an oddly shaped rock.

"Alaqarans, what are they doing here?" Agent Smith questioned. "I think you already know that answer detective," the woman in his earpiece responded. Agent Smith turned off the holographic display and looked at the coordinates on his wrist watch. He nodded quietly before casually leaving the Taiyou Imperial Palace and heading towards the Expressway, reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out a small tin case. Opening the case, he pulled out a small brandless cigarette and lit it between his lips with a black butane metal liter before sticking the tin case back into his pocket. Agent Smith didn't have a pass, but he was pretty confident that he could get into the Expressway and over to Yukikaze City before the Alaqarans even knew he was there.

As he approached the security at the entrance to the Expressway, he tilted his hat politely and nodded to the guards, silently scanning them with his eyes behind black sunglasses. Agent Smith had noticed that the palace and the people around the city seemed very oriental in appearance. He decided to try and communicate in a familiar language and dialect as he approached the gate. Although he wasn't completely fluent, he knew enough to speak in a way that would make sense to most of the Taiyou citizens he encountered.

"Minasankon'nichiwa, watashinonamaeha ējento Sumisudesu. Watashi wa zen sekai chōhō kikan no keijidesu. Sugu ni koko o oshitōshite kudasai. Sore wa kokka anzen hoshō no mondaidesu."

Agent Smith reached into his pocket and pulled out a white ID card, showing it to the security guards. The card contained his facial photograph and his name, John D. Smith, along with the name of the company he worked for, GAIA Department of Investigations, but did not contain any other information about him. After showing the guards his ID, he would place the card back into his pocket and wait for them to give him a security pass so that he could get on to the Expressway and quickly where he needed to be. The whole time, the detective seemed very relaxed and confident. His classy attire and straightened, unslouched posture made him appear even more professional than the security guards he was addressing as he glanced through the gate out at the Expressway.

Home

The Yard Home Owner: Remæus

MacFly nodded and got his men to work.



Iskjerne Bay
Sigurd Hring was dead.

He had been dead for two generations, yet his legacy had lived on long after he was gone. Sigurd had become One with Gaia, and had transcended the physical realm. He was more than just a man. To the native inhabitants, he was now a Titan, and to his viking descendants in Iskjerne Bay, he was now a god. He was the founder and first patriarch of the greatest viking settlement in the universe, the seed from which all the rest had blossomed. All he ever wanted was to live in peace, to create a free society, and help to cultivate the land which loved him so dearly. He had fought tooth and nail to establish a sanctuary where people would be treated equally, where they would have the freedom of religion, the freedom to change their social status and role in society, where they would have the opportunity to make a difference, rather than being slaves.

Sigurd Hring had a dream, and he had spent his entire life fighting for it, all the way up to the time of his death. Sigurd's son had a similar dream, a similar goal in mind. Ragnar was captured, or rather, had willingly turned himself in, for reasons unknown. Ragnar was not spared from torture and torment. He had been bound and chained, humiliated, prodded with spears and whips, his flesh burned and marked, his face disfigured, his body disgarded into a chamber of serpents, so that Ragnar's own sons could hardly recognize him. Oh how the little piggies would squeel when they heard how the old boar had suffered. Never before in history would Vikings be so wrathful and eager for revenge. Ragnar Lothbrok was a legend, and he still is to this very day, just like his father and their fathers before them.

But even Ragnar was not as great as his predecessor King Sigurd, the Ringtaker, the man who married Ragnar's mother. Sigurd Hring, slayer of dragons, giants and dwarfs alike, successor to his own uncle Harald Wartooth, whom he had battled honorably and killed at King Harald's own request. King Sigurd was a legend from the very beginning, a legend which grew over time as he defeated one rival after another, facing monsters and demons, and gods greater than himself, never once surrendering or bowing a knee.

Who wants to be King?

Sigurd Hring was sick of fighting. He wanted only to retire peacefully, to create a marvel for all the worlds to see. He was not so much interested in fame, as he was in glory. Sigurd did not care about riches, wealth, or great expansion. He had no intentions of building an empire, or creating a magnificent army. Sigurd was more interested in the black earth, and fertile soil. He planted a farm, and built a fortified ring around his kingdom where Vikings and pagans could coexist together and find sanctuary. Iskjerne Bay was to be a remote safe haven, far away from all the wars, violence, torture, rape, death and crucifixions that Sigurd Hring and his family had experienced for centuries. His intentions were great, and his dreams were greater, but his timing was off and his fate was fixed. It was only a matter of time before this undefeated rebel met his inevitable doom.

Emperor Shimizu of the Taiyou Empire was not a friend of the Norse kings. Sigurd Hring had a run-in with the Taiyou, and what started as a peaceful encounter soon was wrought with confusion and misunderstanding which escalated into violent warfare between them. The Taiyou Empire, and their fear-driven galactic technology. The greatest civilization that ever lived, heh. Sigurd Hring would put their reputation to the test. Never before in the history of the cosmos had a rebellion been so adamant and strong willed. Never before would such a tiny primitive civilization make such a dramatic impact. Sigurd's army not only fought the Taiyou back, off of their own land, but had dared to attack the Taiyou on their own soil, with enough success that King Sigurd would warrant a visit from the Taiyou Emperor himself.

It wasn't enough. King Sigurd slaughtered the Emperor's army, killed one his advising mages, and sent the emperor crawling home with broken legs and injuries. It was a defeat the Taiyou Empire simply could not allow to go public. They amassed a great space army, and would be hell-bent on taking revenge. Sigurd's actions had endangered the entire planet of Gaia, and his fate was now fixed. It was only a matter of time before the Taiyou returned to make his life miserable.

Sigurd Hring looked around at the kingdom he had established. Women, children, vary a man between 15 and 50, good paganfolk who were not deserving of such ill-fated tyranny. His heart grieved with great sorrow, for he knew the future, and the horrible things that would happen to his people once their enemies had returned. He wept silently by himself, before re-gathering his composure and going out to face his kingdom. King Sigurd was a just and honest man. He told the Vikings what had happened, and what would happen as a result. But the people did not hate him for it. They praised him, erecting a magical permanent statue of King Sigurd from enchanted stone, and worshipping him as a living god. He promised them, that whoever came to him and called on his name, and followed him in death, would be with him in paradise.

The entire viking settlement had committed suicide, following Sigurd Hring in death, and sparing themselves from capture or torture in the hands of their enemies. Adding insult to injury, the Taiyou ships had wasted their journey. The Taiyou Empire was robbed of its chance at revenge, as King Sigurd and his loyal subjects took their own lives, leaving nothing but their memories. It was the ultimate act of defiance, an act of selflessness that would inspire rebels for generations to come.

Many years later, Ivar the Boneless, the son of King Ragnar and grandson of King Sigurd would arrive in Iskjerne Bay, influenced by Norse mythology and Taiyou propaganda, and driven by the spirits of his own ancestors. Sigurd Hring's ghost would come to Prince Ivar in his dreams, giving him spiritual advice and guidance, and instructions on how to rebuild the kingdom. But the young man was too bold and arrogant. He had inherited the same thick headedness as his father and grandfather. Ivar had not followed Sigurd's instructions, but had set his heart towards greed and selfishness. He had formed the Great Heathen Army and had plunged the Norse civilization into endless warfare, perverting everything that his grandfather King Sigurd had held sacred for decades.

That was a mistake...

Suddenly the ground in Iskjerne Bay would shake and tremble as bodies tossed and turned in their graves. Everyone in the great Hall, Viking and Argosian alike, would feel the earth tremble beneath their feet. At that moment, an invisible force seemed to unseat the crippled prince as he was suddenly thrown from the throne, with such force that if he did not catch himself, his bones would surely shatter. Meanwhile, the material wooden statue of Prince Ivar would be uprooted and split in half vertically, so that one half remained standing while the other half fell to the ground. Queen Aslaug would feel the mound below her start to tremble as well. The moment she had been waiting for had arrived.

Sigurd Hring had returned.

no bad names or bullying please thx
Only the lonely echo of your voice responds from the darkness.


Negus-Sol
Alighieri seethed into the region, causing a measurable drop in temperature as the energy of spacetime itself began to be absorbed by the abomination. Stars dimmed, powergrids shuddered, and orbits were perturbed as the great behemoth materialized, consuming greater and greater amounts of power as he descended into this realm.

Prometheus Station
Alighieri withdrew, his attention being drawn elsewhere. Left behind is a cluster of shimmering dust, which floated freely through the space around the station.

As the station flickered back to life, a few instrument panels remained in a state of malfunction, matching the disarray of the fighters which lay scattered in the region, drifting along without the power that had been drained from them.