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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).

The Tower
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Despite the artificial atmosphere, Jin appreciated it for what it was. At least it granted a sliver of comfort. He breathed in the crisp air and allowed himself a brief moment to calm himself. Though his gaze snapped toward the Proctor once it was announced that the rest of the participants had arrived.

So, The Crown Game. Obnoxious wasn't it? Fighting over such a thing. Sure, he wished to work under the True Crown, prove himself worthy, but to desire it himself, never. Not even hypothetically. He crossed his arms, it wouldn't count against them, it wasn't worth the effort. Honestly, this was something he'd rather sit out. Watch the others take their measure of it. Observe them from a distance in order to read their moves, learn how they work with and against each other. He could sense his newly partnered company observe him, he sighed.
"Do you want to put yourself through trouble over a chair and fancy head piece?" If she truly insisted on it, who was he to tell her no? However, it would be them against an entire group of varied teams. And if she donned the crown (he wasn't going to) she couldn't leave her spot for the duration of the game. He'd be up against who knew what for who knew how long and he knew his limits.

If they lost the crown it'd be over for them.

Boo 790
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Atlas City
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Jamie stared down the assemblage of heroes they'd found among the fucked up remains of the warehouse. They glanced to Maeve before taking a step toward the intruders. Pale hands went up and scooped their hood out from atop their head, revealing dark, short cut hair underneath. "You guys..." A voice croaked, Jamie squinting at the heroes. "Don't want to be here."

Vincere
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XX Oscar Wilson

Oscar wakes up and feels cold. The chill that has set into his bones more than just a memory, it's tangible. But it's not numbness, and it slowly occurs to him that if the cold is the only thing he gets to feel he doesn't want to open himself to whatever pain that brings. It takes a few long seconds to feel the warmth over his right side, comforting body heat to push away the thoughts of being cold in a white room. Briar is here he doesn't need to run from the cold.

But he's not lost. He still has empathy. He still has love. Does he? Do I?


Teal eyes meet his as the warmth from the man next to him threatens to push away any of these problematic thoughts.


Mission Priority?


Oscar can see everything but nothing at once, he's confused and scared and it's like it all goes away when Briar turns to him. He becomes numb, but it's not like it was in that room. When he thought his ...teammates were dead... family?


"Was it on purpose? Did you want me to understand?" Did he?

Oscar's eyebrows furrow in intense concentration as he tries to process both the question and the answer. He hadn't meant to share his memories, memories he hadn't thought about in a very long time. He wasn't allowed to focus on what was only the mission. He still feared that woman, he was supposed to fear her. For too long he tried to process what fear even was, why it consumed him even now, the woman was far away why was she still the monster under the bed?

" I don't understand it." There it was. The truth. There was turmoil in his body and mind and it was starting to overwhelm him. He looked down at where his skin met Briars with an analyzing eye. It felt like he was glued to this position as he managed to tear himself away from the warmth. He wasn't cold anymore, he was back to the numbers he knew well, the blank state that had become comforting to him. Getting up from the bed and backing away from Briar, from the touch, from the thoughts he wasn't used to. For the first time even in this numb state, he had questions. Why am I here? Why do I follow this? Should I go back to HER?

"Is this what you wanted? What is the directive in this mission?"

The West
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Oh, Lydia's player is also someone I know irl and they are still wanting to play as well

The Horat-verse
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With an annoyed huff, Ginchiyo surveyed the scene before her, it would have been easy enough to channel her chi and simply walk into the volley of arrows, but doing so would leave her between Yuwen and the tengu, which was not an enviable position. Grumbling to herself, she made idle notes of the battle slowly playing out before her. The sniper in the distance was aiming reasonably well, either he was decent with a bow and aiming to kill, or he was amazing with a bow and faking his kill shots.

Certainly, it felt like Yuwen and company were doing their best to put down the Tengu, but perhaps these were simply pawns meant to be disposed of to gain her trust. Regardless, eight on three seemed a little cruel, and as such she simply walked past most of the fighting. It got hard to move in certain parts, but being born double-jointed had its perks and before long Ginchiyo found herself watching the Tengu sniper begin to bleed out. The Red Monkey was lamenting his death, something about not wasting a skill, whatever that meant. The sniper had been about to die a dog's death, who knew the dog's skills were so prized?

Taking a moment to scrutinize the Monkey, she realized that he was genuinely distraught that the wisp had almost killed him. Perhaps their allegiance was more tenuous than she had thought. Her thoughts turned to what lie ahead, what had those three been stalling for? "Wonder if the Rabbit can hear that far..."

She wondered if it was worth going ahead of Fortune, perhaps disrupting his nefarious deeds, but decided it really wasn't worth her time. The favor had been returned as far as Ro was concerned, but she was curious to see where this whole thing was going. Scratching the back of her head she decided it was worth her time to stay just a bit longer; her thought was interrupted by the tunnel lighting up and beginning to shake, bits of rock falling on her person as she made her way to the end of the tunnel that abruptly changed material as it became a cavern. The Tengu prisoner said something about a master's presence, and it was true that she could sense someone else in the chamber, but they were expertly concealed.

Steeling herself, the warrior waited for the inevitable battle with the Tengu Boss.

Rhindeval
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”You’re more important than a vase.”

Freddie froze in place with a blush. She stared at Lilith for a few moments, her mouth partly agape. She was bracing herself to be told off. Such kindness was… unexpected. From a teacher, no less. Almost too good to be true. But Freddie knew that this was no dream, and that she was sober. Mostly. She remained quiet, her dull eyes gazing vacantly into the ceiling.

...Until a pair of hands pulled her close, warmth enveloped her forehead, and a familiar, stark green glare filled her vision.

"Is there anything I can do to stop you from making this stupid decision?"

Freddie didn’t answer immediately. Her brows creased with thought, and her eyes were clear and glinting as they met Reese’s directly. This wasn’t smart. Her dad was hardly a fountain of wisdom. Even Freddie knew that. But still.

“You’re a good friend… Reese.” She finally spoke. “The best, really.” She smiled. “... But no.” Freddie shook her head. ”This… other world... is a part of me. I haven't... accepted it yet… but I’d like to at least… see it… again... With my own eyes.” She paused to gather her thoughts.

Freddie’s lips closed shut. And I’d love to see it… with you, She left unsaid. It wouldn't be right to put such expectations on her friend.

She reached out, placing a pale, slender hand atop Reese’s shoulder. ”By the way, if I get… like, eaten by a giant spider, or petrified... by a basilisk, or.... whatever, I’m leaving everything... to you… in my will.”

Freddie glanced aside, and her voice lowered into a whisper, “...Don’t expect much, though… I think I only have like… 500 dollars in my savings…”

Her brows perked up as she remembered. “...Oh, and my scooter.”

Colossa
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"Helga... Helga I can't see!" Hrafn-Floki the Vitki said panickly while looking around with pure white eyes. As he fell to his knees, Helga quickly knelt beside him, throwing a dark grey hooded cloak over his shoulders before lifting his chin up to examine his face.

"Floki, your eyes have changed!" Helga exclaimed, a bit shocked to see that her husband no longer had bright blue irises. Instead, his eyes were milky white and had no irises or noticeable pupils at all. Just solid white, with no discolored rings or red veins which could be seen. Floki had failed to close his eyes during the teleportation to Colossa, his curiosity getting the better of him as he was now completely blind, perhaps even permanently. It was a small price to pay however, for the clever Floki had gained a wisdom and knowledge that very few others possessed. He had witnessed the wormhole, and the distortion of space-time firsthand with his own two eyes as he peered into the bright spectrum of rainbow colored white blinding light before going through it.

Helga looked around the immediate area, searching for something useful. She found a very old petrified piece of smooth salt dried driftwood which looked like it had once been washed ashore by the waves. But there was not an inch of water in sight, as the oddly curved stick appeared to just be laying out in the open on a vast barren desert of bright red, orange, brown, white and black sand that was so fine and dry that it seemed like powder or dust. Helga quickly picked up the driftwood and brought it to Floki, placing it into one of his hands as a walking stick before helping him to stand up. Floki appeared much different now, with his white eyes, long crooked shepherd staff and dark grey hooded cloak, which was already turning orange from the collecting red dust.

"Tell me Helga, what does it look like? Was I right or wrong about this place?" Floki the Ghostslayer asked curiously, staring off into the distance at the great void of space, unable to see a thing. All the aging middle aged partially balding auburn haired Viking leader could see was a bright white blinding light surrounded by a circle of rainbow colored rays, like stained glass or a crystal prism of sorts resembling a halo or ring. It was like looking directly into the sun itself.

Helga looked out over the horizon. There was nothing to see at first glance. There was no forest, no grasses, no rivers or lakes. Just a vast bright red desert of mixed dust with deep red mountains and low laying wavy red hills of sand. There were no signs of intelligent life, if life even existed at all. The surface of Colossa was very similar to Mars, apart from having a breathable atmosphere capable of supporting carbon-based lifeforms, and perhaps even more obscure alien species. But there was nothing. The sky was thick and orangish brown, with purplish red clouds and windy dust storms. It looked like a desolate wasteland.

"It's... amazing. It's absolutely gorgeous. The most beautiful landscape I've ever seen," Helga reassured Floki before glancing at the others around them and motioning for them to play along. Erik the Red wasn't scathed at all however as he knelt down and picked up a handful of the red dust, letting it sift through his fingers. He sniffed the sand and tasted it with the tip of his tongue before nodding quietly. He was not from Iskjerne Bay, but from the Empyrean Norse Empire, and his advanced knowledge would prove to be a great asset on this unremarkable red moon.

"The soil is rich with salt, iron, and black powder. I think it contains quartz, charcoal, sulphur, gold, zinc, and sandstone as well." Erik "the Red" Thorvaldsson explained. Of course, there was much to be learned from the moon's mostly uncharted surface. As he drew his name in the sand using Futhark runic script, the young red haired outlaw noticed very fine small reflective particles of gold and other elements which he knew could be exploited with a little bit of knowledge and industrial mining. It was very fine though, and Erik knew from his father and grandfather before him what it would take to separate all of the elements and make something of it. But he was sure he could do it. He just needed some time to setup shop and get things going.

Meanwhile, Halfdan the Black didn't even know it yet, but his brother Harald Finehair had just become the legitimate King of Iskjerne Bay, following through with his plan to defeat Duke Rollo, eliminate all foreign influence and restore the Iskjerne Viking Kingdom to its original Norse Pagan independence and glory. Halfdan was now directly akin to the most famous Viking chieftain since Sigurd Hring, and unbeknownst to him, Halfdan the Black was now in danger of being powerful. He wasted no time in trying to establish a moon colony for his new comrades, as he began barking orders to Thodhilda and the other thralls.

There wasn't much to work with, but between the Empyrean Norseman and the Iskjerne Vikings, they would find a way to survive on this desolate Mars-like landscape and thrive by any means necessary, even if it meant they had to improvise by building an earthware settlement and terraforming their own backyards. It didn't take long for them to come up with a plan. They were Nordic peoples, after all, and had learned to survive in some of the harshest lands imaginable. It didn't matter much where the Vikings had landed. They were warriors by nature, and extremely resilient for what limited technology they had. It only took a week for Floki the Blind's group of seven diehard explorers to build a ring fortress out of nothing at all but natural sand.

A sand castle? A life-size replica. Was it even possible? Hrafn-Floki was blind, but not deaf, mute or stupid. As soon as the project was presented to him, Floki began to contemplate a way. Floki had no limitations apart from his own imagination, which had helped him succeed in times long since forgotten. Within a few days, Floki had Halfdan working on building a sustainable development. With no sign of an oceanic presence, Halfdan the Black started using Norse magic and science to make Floki's dream a reality.

The Vikings were already aware that the air itself was breathable. Halfdan the Black experimented with alchemy and studied Colossa's natural resources, while Erik the Red led the expedition party, surveying the area and determining the proper location of the first settlement. Floki himself, although blind, would orchestrate the whole project and he was very keen in doing so. Since there were no obvious natural resources like wood and water, the Vikings instead began studying the soil and red dust beneath their feet.

The red dust, although insignificant to many other nations in the history of the Multiverse, turned out to be quite fertile and full of natural elements which the Vikings themselves took full advantage of. Two weeks or so after their arrival on the red moon, the Vikings were already developing artificial structures and technology. Sigurd Hring the Titan had already controlled the planet Gaia herself. He had sworn to protect Gaia, and now, as nothing less than a god himself who had somehow merged and became One with Gaia, the great Sigurd Hring, known officially as the "Ringtaker", had already subjectated himself to a higher power.

There were many Titans on Gaia in those days. Even the gods themselves were not immune to Gaia's divine council. It had seemed that, despite the power of the Titans, the gods of the solar system still operated under a Council Republic where freedom was preserved, and Medieval Paganism was still the main authority. This meant Freedom, or what was left of it, as the gods themselves operated semi-democratically, with understandable limitations. Sigurd Hring had ascended completely to godhood. But by his own words, he was still limited and unable to leave the planet, bound by an unwritten, unspoken code of honour. The Vikings on the red moon Colossa did not have his direct presence, for the godhood that had been Sigurd Hring could never leave Gaia, and could only observe from Gaia's exosphere.

Hrafn-Floki had taken the Vikings above and beyond Gaia, to a very foreign place within the cosmos. Colossa was a very underestimated, very uninhabited red moon. There were flying translucent jellyfish on Colossa, but no sign at all of Intelligent life. That is, until the Vikings arrived. Two weeks in, Hrafn-Floki and his new gang had accomplished what Hethel Svensson had accomplished years before. Despite being as blind as an Earthworm, the great Raven Floki had established a colony on the red moon.

The moon. A natural satellite for Gaia, one of the overlooked main forces which had driven the gravity, and controlled the tides of Gaia itself, had now been colonized by none other than Iskjerne Vikings, led by a blind prophet. Floki no doubt had concerns for Iskjerne Bay, and despite having only partial awareness of King Harald Finehair's plans to perform a cultural ethnic cleansing of the planet, Hrafn-Floki was intelligent enough at least to put some thought and effort into protecting his homeland and furthering Gaia's security.

Floki the Blind considered every option in his free time, as most of the work on terraforming had been left in the hands of his subservient followers and thralls, or slaves, who worked tirelessly for over a week or two to turn his dreams into a reality. It was at that time that Floki the Ghostslayer developed a secret colony, naturally camouflaged by the red landscape, and a secret weapon designed specifically for the protection of the planet Gaia herself, from the Viking base on Gaia's insignificant red moon.

The Vikings were ready...

The Rockaverse
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As Qunith took aim, a miniature worm rose from the sand and swallowed both beetles before submerging itself once more. Horik watched Qunith's unspeakable display of cruelty as her eyes wandered over to Talideth. The woman had been quiet and pensive since they left the cultists. Occasionally, she would sneak glances at Horik but averted her gaze when Horik tried to lock eyes. Horik frowned. She was starting to find this game irritating, even more so since they were all stuck on a boat together.

"What is it Talideth?" she finally snapped as the woman had tried to stealthily look once more. "Are you wondering if I feel bad for Clorik? Why I'm not frantically trying to go back to get her?"

That was the natural response after all to Horik's calm following the capture of Clorik. Horik knew that but she felt nothing for the look alike. The worm hadn't seem bothered either but then again, she hadn't seen it since it had submerged itself in the sand upon entering the cultist's town. If there was a problem, she was sure it would have risen once more to defend the clone. None of the others seem particularly bothered either, assured in their belief they would be back soon enough.

The situation did irritate Horik. Clorik's body contained valuable information but she had already taken samples. Should they somehow shake the cultists off, it wouldn't necessarily be an issue. Any information on her behavior would be lost unfortunately and that opportunity was what bothered Horik the most.

Talideth pursed her lips in thought before answering in a hesitant manner, "No.. I was wondering.. How do we tell you two apart?"

"...Excuse me?" Horik responded with a slightly hostile tone, eyes narrowing. Talideth paused but didn't seem fazed by the sudden hostility.

"Is there a way to tell you apart from your sister?" she said more assuredly. "There is a great deal of sameness. You two not only look alike but display very similar beha-"

Talideth cut off as Horik lunged for her.

~*~

Clorik watched as the boats floated on down the river, the sound of cultists' voices all around her. She could already hear Horik's voice, clearer than those around her, telling her it wasn't a big deal. Though it wasn't because they would be back for her. The clone processed the memories she had as she searched for any reassurance while Carlessa pulled on the bindings on her wrists, making sure they were fastened. It knew there was none though. Whether they lived or died, Clorik was an anomaly that wasn't supposed to exist.

Wing City
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Main Street
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Astrid's mood rose as she noticed the foundling start to follow behind her. The strange girl looked almost happy, which made her feel oddly similar. "Keep up now, I expect great things from you and I won't be disappointed." She found herself proudly leading Haze into the heart of Wing City, her stride leaving nothing to the imagination for the city's many predators.

Scarriden
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The first half of the day had ended up being rather uneventful, at least on Markus' part anyway. As he was partially stuck with babysitting Erin until she woke up, as Lucian went out early for some recon before the other two would join up with him later. But until then, Markus found himself sitting in one of the chairs, reading a book as he waited for Erin to finally wake up. He knew she was a heavy sleeper, but even this was new for her. The day was practically half over by the time he decided she had slept enough, putting the book down as he rose to his feet. Markus had just made it over to her, hand outstretched when Erin suddenly bolted straight up, "Woah, woah! Slow your roll there, romeo." she yelled, scooting back on the couch, much to Markus' clear confusion. "Excuse me?" he questioned, still taken a back by the sudden jolt. Erin blinked at him, "You were creeping towards me as I was asleep, like some weird creeper. Ya creep." she mumbled, wiping the sleep from her eyes. Markus simply raised an eyebrow clearly still in shock, "I was trying to wake you up! You've slept like half the day. Why are you being so-" "Yeah yeah, lover boy. Save it. I already know what you're gonna say. Kinda jumped ahead of things." Erin said casually, as she pushed herself up off the couch and into the kitchen. Leaving Markus in his confused state.

"Ya gonna keep looking at me like that, or are you gonna actually say what you wanna say? We don't got all day." her voice echoed from inside the fridge. Markus blinked a few more times, trying to wrap his head around what was going on. He hadn't spent much time with Erin in the past year, and it was always somewhat offputting whenever she'd go on one of her longwinded rants, or say she knew what was going to happen before anything even happened. He didn't exactly get how or why she was able to do it. She just did, for as long as he could remember. Markus cleared his throat for a moment, "Yeah uhm, Lucian's gonna need our help with the recon later today, thought you'd be able to come and help out with that, yeah?" Erin pulled her head out of the fridge as she looked at him for a moment in complete silence, "Yeah, sure. That's no problem. Not scheduled until six but, we can go early if ya want." Erin shrugged.

Markus was baffled for a moment, blinking once more as he tried to think of something. But in the end he simply just shrugged his shoulders. "I'd like to get there when the sun's down so, yeah. Make it quick, cuz we got a few errands to run." Erin turned back to look at him, "Like?" one of her eyebrows raised. "Well, for starters. We need to get you some normal clothes. And some that aren't stained in your blood. Or riddled with bullet holes. Or stab marks, or whatever else you get yourself into." His tone went a bit serious for a moment. Erin simply gave him a small nod before answering, "Well, if it's any consolation, I can take care of that no problem. I have my ways, but sure. We can go shopping...Tomorrow." and with that, Erin was already walking towards the bathroom. Markus just raised his hands in defeated surrender and waited for her to return.

A few short minutes passed, before the bathroom door opened and Erin walked back out. Markus wouldn't have taken a second look at her, if something didn't catch his eye. "Ready to go?" she asked. Markus blinked, somehow she was wearing an entirely different outfit than she was prior. But he had no idea where she got the new set of clothing from. There was nothing of her size in Lucian's wardrobe, and she didn't bring anything with her. So where-. "I already know what you're thinking, just don't even bother. It's honestly no big deal. Let's just go and help out your boyfriend with his mission, eh?" Markus blinked in shock and surprise once more. His mouth hanging open for a moment as he tried to say something. "He's not my boyfriend. he mumbled under his breath.

"Sure, and I'm Pope Francis. Your point?" Erin teased, slinging her arm around Markus as the two left the appartment and made the treck to where they'd end up needing to be when Lucian would get into contact with them. Waiting outside on one of the rooftops, as they hid within the shadows, waiting for their cue to get into things...Until then, they waited. Not entirely patiently, or silently. As Erin often mumbled things to herself or at nothing, but Markus did his best to ignore it, and kept an eye on things down below and across the way where Lucian was making his way inside of the building.





Gromp's Shooting Range
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Norg Fungona finished cleaning the cartridge and set the gun down. The shooting competition should start any minute now, right? He eyed the other participants from behind dark sunglasses. The bushy bearded gnome felt something might have been off, maybe someone watching, the lingering of an...energy.

Norg harrumphed and adjusted his pants.

Father
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cayde "quickshot" mori // father ship // #990012 // img credit: alex flores

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By the time that the finned child ran off, the room had been flooded with managers and potential sponsors, some speaking with managers and others content on having competitors fight over their patronage. Cayde was all too eager to observe the spectacle, but Halo would not give him such a luxury.

Their glance pierced through the room, striking the cyborg with unparalleled "concern" (though that word didn't quite encapsulate their feelings). All the years of modeling taught them how to sell a feeling with a single look and in this case, the sentiment seemed to be “don’t shoot yourself in the foot before you even start”. The tilt of Cayde’s helmet, in his mind, said something akin to ”I know what I’m doing”, but there was a chance that his movements would get lost in translation.

Begrudgingly marching towards the bar, he found himself stopped by a blue-haired woman.

”Well, well. I don’t think I’ve seen you around.” Manicured nails trailed up his arm, stopping short of his chest. ”You must be Halo’s little project. I didn’t expect you to be so…grizzled.

”You can say old,” he replied flatly.

”Oh don’t be silly. It’s refreshing to see an actual adult in the competition,” she chuckled. "You’re usually all so young.“

In another life he might have enjoyed the attention but she made it obvious that her gaze wasn’t well-intentioned. Though everyone dressed formally, she carried herself far too gracefully to be another contestant. With a slit up to her waist, detached taffeta sleeves, and an all but open chest, she wouldn’t be caught dead near manual labor much less a battlefield.

”My name is Catherine Rose, of Black Rose Electronics.” Extending her free hand, she shot him a smirk.

Was she expecting him to kiss it through his mask? Or was she expecting him to grace her with the pleasure of seeing his face? She didn’t appear to be the type who would enjoy seeing mutants that didn’t adhere to human standards.

”Quickshot, nice to meet you.” Much to her dismay, the cyborg gave her an awkward shake before letting go.

Holding back a frown, she curled her fingers around his bicep.

”Right well, you must meet my friends.” Catherine gestured towards a standing table surrounded by other, equally opulent humans.

Not so much leading as dragging the mutant along, the woman pointed out every noble family that they passed by, making sure to explain her own connection to each person. As CEO of Black Rose Electronics she had her finger in many pies, naturally.

"Everyone! this is Quickshot," she announced, "he's a competitor in this year's Game of Pursuit."

"Oh? Catherine, I never knew you were into the grungy type," a pot-bellied man said, "I always thought you enjoyed men who were more refined."

"There are very few men here Sid, though you always did prefer them young,” she shrugged, eying the multi-winged mutant that he had his arm around.

”Oh my gosh, you can’t just say that!” a second woman exclaimed, playfully swatting Catherine.

”We’re all adults here Aria,” the blue-haired woman shrugged before glancing at Quickshot.

”Of course,” he replied with gritted teeth.

”So...how did you two meet?”

”I was looking for a girl this year. Something monstrous with a cute face.” Swirling the wine glass between his fingers, Sid took a long sip before stroking the young mutant’s feathers, ”and that’s when I found Ten over here.”

Stiffening at her sponsor's touch, Ten managed a weak "hi" before reaching over for her sparkling water.

”Aww we should celebrate!” Aria raised her glass, "to finding our perfect match!"

”Actually, I think I should be going to bed.”

”But the festivities have only started!” Catherine protested, ”surely you can stay a bit longer."

Quickening his pace, managed to lose Catherine in the crowd before finally emerging in the living quarters. He'd had enough for the night and if Halo and Renee wanted to scold him for potentially losing a sponsor then so be it. Right now, he just needed some rest.

Cursed Wood
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Catherine's smile seemed human. According to the library there were all sorts of vampires, some who could hide their fangs though an illusory mask or even retract them into their teeth. He didn't think much of it individually, but was building up the idea that this woman might not be your average vampire. Average vampire... he thought, and a wave of sadness washed over him. A feeling of powerlessness that Xavier had felt before. He was never sure why, and now wasn't the time to give his emotions too much credence.

Xavier pretended not to hear her question him about the restaurant remark. Surely she was trying to bait him into some embarrassing show of ignorance. He couldn't figure out exactly what it was, so would resign himself to glumly leading her along. Xavier hated this. His chance to influence her first impressions of him, before the others got to her. Oh, he was sure the others said things behind his back. All in some telepathic trance, knowing Xavier didn't have to capacity for that sort of thing. Did they think he was a moron? He'd like to see THEM write a self-enhancing subroutine that can build onto itself and convert the OS of any software. Hahah! Hah! Hah... I worked really hard on that.

Distracted by his thoughts and focus on keeping his seething irritation in, Xavier paid little to no attention. Unlike what she had heard before, Xavier spoke quietly. His words were telling of his mental state. They were coloured by a certain sour snark, delivered toward no one in particular.

"Cool. Cryptic. You'll fit right in..." Creature of the night. Why don't you act like it? Moron.

"Follow closely, here." He said, moving more precisely between the trees. Past one particularly dense cluster the great iron gate of Castle Vankoryth, seemingly coming from out of nowhere. Tapered to either end was a large stone wall, the size and length of which suggested the two should have been able to see the castle from much further way. Even more perplexing was the towering gothic fortress itself, a truly foreboding presence among the dark woods. No movement could be seen past the gate, no sound or sign of life.

"If you were invited, the gate will open. Otherwise someone should be out shortly." Xavier was not in the mood to speak with the higher-ups at the moment. He also didn't feel too comfortable near the castle at the moment. "I'll scedaddle, then. Got stuff to do. Have fun... Uhm..." Xavier realised he hadn't asked for her name. Whether she would tell him or not, Xavier's green hoody would turn a transparent grey. His figure following suit, taking the form of mist as his body dissipated where he stood. The mist snaked down into the fog, rendering itself completely invisible to the eye. Xavier needed to let some steam off.

((OOC: all good to close this encounter off.))

Descendant Academy
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It wasn't that he was trying to treat her the same as he would anyone else, rather Kane was simply ignorant. It wasn't everyday that one dealt with a completely visually impaired person. However, if that meant that she would be treated normal, and she wasn't going to point things out to him - then maybe it's for the best. With regards to the bike ride, he felt that she was relaxed enough to allow him to guide her into leans when the need arose. She didn't give him any problems. It's the scared backseaters that did the most damage, and she seemed perfectly fine the whole way there.

It was relaxing for him, too. Even the ride through Hell's Kitchen wasn't particularly troublesome, as he had been fairly used to the high traffic. He was fine. She was fine. All had been well.
* * *

She climbed off of his bike, and shortly thereafter, he dismounted as well. His foot pushed the kickstand so that he could deal with Myla's helmet. Of course, he had to bend down a bit to get it undone, but he was quick and respectful with it. He didn't speak much, even when she cut the silence off to inject a few words, "I know you don't plan on returning. I don't know your story... I don't even know your name, but you can't be all bad if you answered that message. And went out of your way to give me a ride."

As they had before, his eyes rolled and he turned his head away from her for a second. His hands were shoved into his pocket, and he let out a slight sigh that she may have perceived much more audibly than a visual person. One of his feet, as always seemed to be the case with her right now, was half lifted and ready to pivot so that he could depart. Most of him didn't want to stick around her any longer than he needed her, yet a sliver... just this really faint trade of him, felt strangely compelled to remain frozen in place.

The next thing he knew, his hand was outstretched and she had gently seized it. When he looked down he realized that she had placed the key to room eighty in his palm, and he looked up just a bit further and watched her expression. "In case you change your mind. I can take a taxi back..." He didn't understand it, honestly. She's smiling at him, but she doesn't even know what kind of guy he is. If they had met before all of this, they would have been enemies.

He took the key and placed it into a pocket, and at that same time, noted that there was a swift alteration in her demeanor. He couldn't place her actions, and he probably couldn't even imagine her capabilities in wven his wildest imagination.

She took off after calling out someone's name, and her hurried departure didn't make him budge in the slightest. Did she forget something? Someone? He just didn't know, and there was no way for him to know when he didn't even know who she was or what kind of person she is. He watched her as she attempted to get into the tight night security of the apartment complex and rushed inside.

He turned toward his bike and grabbed the extra helmet, locking it in place so that he could leave. He put his helmet on his head and damn-near fastened it, but he was just holding onto the straps for a long while. Something was bugging him. His gut was screaming at him - something was wrong with this whole situation. Yet, was it his business? He'd never see her again. She'd never see him again. He didn't need to intervene. He's used to a life where one didn't question the things that happened.

He finished buckling up his helmet, sat on the motorcycle, and revved the engine. But that's as far as this weird and urgent emotion swelling inside of him was overwhelming his natural instincts of survival. He needed to check on her.

He pulled off his helmet, turned off the bike, dismounted, and moved with a casual, yet slightly hastened, gait to the entrance. He didn't feel like wasting time with the guard, so he gave him a swift and rather cliche brachial strike to the neck which caused the guard to fall over. He's not dead, but he will take a nap for a few minutes.

He stepped over the man and entered the building, but he didn't know how far up to go. Thankfully, Myla's entrance had created quite the commotion, so he was able to use the noise to guide him. The closer he got - the fifth floor, the sixth, the seventh - the louder and more dire all the cacophony became. He was soon running up the steps and burst through her door, which was hanging open.

"Sedate her," was likely the last thing any of them would hear. As Hell's Angel convulsed on the floor, the only noise would come from the sound of bones cracking, banging, thudding, and all that other fun stuff. Naturally, he was not aware of the additional high frequency going off in the room, but he didn't have time to figure out why she was on the ground like that.

He collided with one man, violently headbutting the back of his skull. Kane wasn't necessarily strong, but even a more lean man like him could overpower brute thugs with a little bit of precision in his fighting skill. He ducked and slid across the floor to snag the knife that one of the ruffians had dropped. As soon as he whisked it off of the ground, he was back up on his feet. Men were coming at him from all sides, but Kane was especially swift in his motions.

He grabbed one man by the back of his shirt as he attempted to rush the assassin and pulled him back while delivering a hard swift kick to another. The fighting seemed like it was taking place for a really long time; the scene looking very much like one of those one-on-group Jackie Chan scenes from one of his movies. In reality, it had only been a few minutes - maybe three at most. He had been moving back the whole time, taking a defensive stance near Myla to keep them away from her, all while fending off attackers.

Kane was grabbed by one guy, and for his size and weight in comparison to the leviathan that now had him by the back of his jacket, was light as a feather. He slammed Kane down face and belly first, and the assassin groaned before he rolled over. The interloper took the now grounded man over by sitting on him. Kane had to hold up his forearms to guard his face.

While it certainly seemed like Kane was going to be subdued and that Myla might be out of luck, he could get a larger person off of him - no problem. Behemoth's had disadvantages, and they were easy to squirm away from. He caught one of the man's arms, even though his face now took the brunt of his left over fist, and pulled the old-fashioned arm-twist joint manipulation maneuver. He was able to get the guy off of him by exerting enough pressure to force him to roll over onto his own back, but he tried to sit up. Kane simply backbacked him; moving behind him with quick speed thankful to the slow size of his opponent. He put an arm under his chin to put pressure on his throat and began to strangle him.

Stangling didn't work like in the movies. It took a couple of seemingly long minutes until the large brute passed out and fell to his side.

Myla and Kane had caused far too much harm for the rest of the intruders to stick around, so they didn't. They poured out of every escape they could, and Kane let them leave; a body or two left behind. Kane's face was a mess. Blood was trailing from one corner of his mouth, and he was pretty bruised up. When he stood up he even felt slightly disoriented, as though he must have gotten hit in the head at some point. He was also in pain, especially after being hit and even sat on.

Since she couldn't see, he decided to take advantage of that by pretending nothing was wrong. He tried to hide the ache in his body and the strain in his movements as he knelt down by her side and waited until she calmed. He gently placed a hand on her shoulder as a subconsious comforting gesture that was meant to give her the sign that she was safe for now.

When she calmed, he took her hand and stood up, helping her to her feet at the same time.

Kanto Region
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July 9th
Cinnabar Back Island - Dusk - Clear
Cyrilla Klein


Cyrilla threw back the drink a lot quicker than she had intended to, choking a bit as it burned on its way down. Diva placed a heavy paw on Cyrilla's back almost as if she were trying to console her somehow, but there wasn't much the lycanroc could do. Currently, Cy was at the one place Marah didn't know about, the one place she felt safe. She needed some place quiet to collect her thoughts and to stave off the anxiety she was currently feeling.

“It's not fair," she mused out loud, earning a soft huff from Zero as she leaned back against the arcanine. “It's not," she repeated, taking a steady breath. Marah really couldn't leave well-enough alone. Somehow, she'd managed to convince Cyrilla's parents to give her dowry to one of the other Koga members. He wasn't Eryk, who was Koga's direct grandson, however; he was still a member of the main branch. Archaic as it was, that meant that she was going to have to marry someone she didn't know.

Someone she didn't love, and someone who was in the family.

“I tried so hard to get out of it," she murmured softly, pulling her legs to her chest. After everything she did, they had somehow managed to reel her back in.

You'll always be part of this family.

To anyone else, those words might have been comforting to hear, but to Cyrilla, it was the complete opposite. There was no comfort, no warmth or love behind the meaning of those words. It meant that she would always be chained to them no matter what she did. No matter where she went or who she became. The Koga had members just about everywhere, and Cyrilla knew that Marah would do everything in her power just to keep Cy from marrying Eryk.

“I'm not even marrying him, and still," she paused when she felt something wet on her cheek. Diva whined softly, raising a paw to Cyrilla's face as if to wipe the moisture away. The gesture was enough to cause Cyrilla's train of thought to disperse as she shook her head. “Today sucks," she stated, earning a slightly amused huff from Diva.

“I need a drinking partner," she said as she reached for her phone. She hesitated for a moment. What if he was busy? What if he was doing something else and didn't want to? After all, things were still a little awkward between the two of them, but...

“Fuck it," she could dwell on that on another time. She sent Kas a text, silently hoping he'd be able to join her.

She received a return text within moments, and after that the minutes ticked by slowly, the sky overhead darkening as night began to settle.

Kas showed up about half an hour later with a paper bag and a weary smile, setting down next to her and reaching back to pat Zero before crossing his legs under him and setting the bag down on the sand in front of him. It proved to, of course, contain more alcohol and mixer options, as well as recyclable plastic cups.

"Rough day?" he asked, pouring himself a liberal amount of tequila and adding some pineapple juice and ice to it, mixing the whole thing with a straw before tipping his head back to take a long drink.

She offered a small smile before shrugging. “I'm not sure if rough is the right word," she stated, reaching for one of the plastic cups and pouring herself a drink. She didn't bother mixing it nor seeing which one it was. She filled the cup, put it to her mouth, and chugged it as best as she could. She regretted it almost instantly, but endured it until it was gone.

“I ran into Marah today," she began, leaning back a little further against Zero's side. She was grateful for the warmth he provided, even if it was already a warm day. Something about it just felt nice. “What about you?" she asked, glancing sideways in Kas's direction.

“You look like you've had an equally rough day. Did Big Bro run the both of you ragged?" She wasn't trying to divert the conversation away from Marah, but she wasn't sure if she should bring it up just yet. Maybe she should since the two of them were still, technically, sober?

"Oof." Kas placed a hand to his heart, as if he'd been wounded. "Way to deal a direct hit to a guy's ego, Cy." He grinned, though, so if there had been any ego damage involved in saying he looked like he'd had a rough day, it was probably minimal. His confidence did seem pretty resilient that way. It made her chuckle, though.

"Work wasn't so bad. It's just busy enough at the moment that anything I want to do with Nora has to be on my own hours, and I'd really prefer to get that contraption off her head sooner rather than later, you know?" He downed the remainder of his drink and poured another, just a doubleshot of tequila this time, it seemed.

"But anyway. Encounter with your would-be mother in law from hell. Sounds like a blast." Kas rolled his eyes, then shook his head and regarded her a little more seriously. "You okay?"

“No," she answered truthfully. How could she be when Marah basically told her that she was going to marry someone and have no say in it? It wasn't fair that those people could dictate her life this way. What gave them the right? They never liked her to begin with, and neither did her parents. They had only seen her as a means to a gain, but now... Cyrilla was among people who did.

She found people who liked her, and loved her in a way she never thought she could be. It was warm, comforting, and... beyond words to describe. She wanted to be with these people, to make them her true family. She knew Ryk wanted the same thing, and they were trying so, so hard.

“Marah... she ruins everything," she began, her voice low and softer than she was used to. “She convinced my parents to give my dowry to someone else in the main branch. Because of that, it basically means," she paused to suck in a sharp breath. “It basically means they've sold me to someone else, and I don't have much of a choice in the matter."

The Koga were everywhere. Even if she didn't want to marry the man they'd supposedly chosen for her, they would make it very difficult for her if she tried to avoid or fight it. They would either forge her signature, or... she didn't want to think about it.

“I don't know what to do, Kas. I'm trying... I'm trying everything I can and yet," she couldn't finish the sentence. She tilted her head back to blink away the tears that were threatening to fall, and took a steady breath. Why couldn't they just leave her alone? It wasn't like she wanted to be born in that family.

He had to process that for a moment, his brows knitting as an uncomfortable expression flitted over his face. Like he had to remember what a dowry even was, and didn't like the recollection. Which was fair, for someone whose family lived in the modern century.

"Fuck's sake," he murmured, a note of disbelief in his tone. It wasn't that he didn't believe her, though, because of course he did. She could see that in the way he looked at her. Not pity, exactly—Kas wasn't the kind of man who pitied people, that she'd seen. But there was definitely sympathy in it, along with a curious, underlying something that looked like anger, a strange heat in the expression she couldn't quite place.

Kas swallowed. "I'm sorry, Cy," he said softly. "Do you—do you want a hug?"

“Please?" she stated, immediately moving towards him and wrapping her arms around him as best as she could. What she needed right now, more than anything, was this hug. It would, she hoped, calm her thoughts and help her process the situation with more clarity.

“Why couldn't I have had a family like yours," she almost jested, but part of her was serious. It wasn't perfect, from what she could recall him telling her about it, but it wasn't them. It wasn't the Koga, and at this point, Cy was willing to believe any family was better than that.

"Hey, let me know if this isn't okay, but—" Kas shifted his arms a bit and lifted her, twisting so she was more or less settled sideways over his folded legs. He'd done this before, and it could definitely be a sexual thing, but it didn't seem that way this time. Honestly from the way his grip changed back again, it seemed like he just wanted to be able to hug her better, and indeed he let out a long sigh when they were both more or less still again, arms still wrapped around her back and his chin atop her head.

It was quiet for a moment, and then she felt his posture stiffen slightly. "Uh. Hm." He hummed, almost as if to himself, the fingers of one hand drawing nonsense patterns where his hand landed on her arm on that side. "So… I just—never mind, that's dumb even for me."

“Kas, you're the smartest guy I know," Cy began, sighing softly as she squeezed her arms a bit around him. “If you have anything, any kind of suggestions that might help, I'd really appreciate it," because at this point, she was willing to do anything to get out of this game Marah was playing.

"Well it's just…" He pursed his lips, one hand moving up and down her back as if automatically. "I can't help but think boss had the right idea, just… not quite far enough. Your adopted brother doesn't really have a say in your marriage but, uh… I can think of one family member who definitely would."

She pulled back far enough so she could look up at him, arching her brow in a confused manner. “Ryk?" she stated more than questioned, really. Eryk was technically part of her family, but she didn't know how much say he actually had in her marriage. He might be the next heir, but even so, she didn't think there was much he could do. He would try, because that's who Eryk was, but... well, there was only so much he could do without outright marrying her.

And even if she was against marrying whoever her family picked, she wouldn't do that to Ryk.

Couldn't.

“I'm not sure if he has any real say," she murmured, furrowing her brows slightly.

"Not exactly what I had in mind, no," he replied, an edge of humor creeping into his tone. It disappeared quickly, though, and Kasimir frowned. "I meant… well, there's one kind of legal protection I can think of that they can't really do anything about. Specifically, if you were, uh…" He trailed off.

It wasn't often that Kas was awkward about anything. He was the kind of person who could breezily talk about things that would trip the average person up more than a little. But he was definitely awkward now.

"If you were already married. Bigamy's illegal, see. And uh… both parties have to sign off on a divorce, so uh—supposing the person you were married to wasn't the kind to fold to pressure, you'd be, well, shielded, in a way." He laughed, the sound faintly strained.

"So… if you can't think of anything else, you could always. Y'know. Marry me instead."

“Wait, really?" she stated in a slightly shocked manner. It wasn't that she was repulsed by the suggestion, she just... well, she didn't think that that would have been a suggestion or solution she would have thought of herself. She could understand now why people said that awkward was contagious. She was certainly feeling it right now.

If she were in a right state of mind, she would have agreed readily enough. She would say they should do it now just to get Marah off her, at least, even if that meant Marah would be taking her frustrations out on someone else. Ryk could handle it, Cyrilla knew, and she also knew that he wouldn't let any harm come to Ana. Big Bro was definitely capable of handling himself, but she wasn't so sure about Nev.

The real problem here was Cyrilla's damn heart. Marrying Kas meant marrying the person she loved for a reason that wasn't traditional, or at least in the sense that most people married for. She wasn't a sentimental person, of course. Cyrilla never really dreamed of her wedding day like most young girls did simply because it wouldn't have been the sort of occasion to look forward to. Hers was, if anything, a forced marriage, however; Kas was giving her another option, something better.

She could marry him and she would still be free. She wouldn't be going back to the family, and she knew Kas wouldn't do anything to make her feel uncomfortable or anything of that sort. Unlike that family, Cyrilla knew Kas respected her. But was that really okay? Was it really fine to marry him simply so she wouldn't have to marry someone else?

“It... it wouldn't be permanent," she stated, lowering her head to avoid his gaze for a moment. “It would just be long enough to keep Marah and the rest of them away. I just... is it..." she couldn't seem to form the words right, and she furrowed her brows before letting a small smile cross her face.

“Thanks, Kas. Give me a few days? To see if there's nothing else? I mean... I hope that doesn't sound like I wouldn't want to marry you. You're my best friend so of course I would, but... it's just," she didn't want to make it seem like a last resort.

Awkward really was contagious, and she was feeling it very keenly now.

It was hard to tell, because of the dark as well as his complexion, but she thought maybe Kas was actually a tad red in the face. "Yeah, uh… not a problem, obviously." He chuckled; it sounded a little strained. "Sort of a lot to hit someone with out of nowhere, so don't feel like… obligated. It's an option there if it… if it would help. That's—that's all I'm trying to do here, Cy. Help however I can, so… yeah. You won't offend me if you decide to go with something else, you know?"

“Thanks, Kas," she replied, leaning so that she could hide her face a bit. He wasn't the only one with a bit of red on their face, but she was, for the first time this month, happy. She didn't feel so strained or stressed about this... whatever it was Marah was trying to do.

Cyrilla had help, and that was more than she could ever ask for.

Widow's Peak
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Everything seem to happen in a weird mix of slow-motion and impossible speed for Markus. One moment they were asking their friends if they were all okay, as well as the oncoming presence of police officers. Something that Markus felt was welcomed enough, but not any less concerning. But it didn't matter if he had lived in Widow's Peak his entire life or not, he had never experienced anything as otherworldly as to what was happening now. Countless people he remembered attending their funerals, or at least hearing about their deaths, were here now. Somehow in the flesh-er well, whatever they were now. It was only when one of the officers walked over to speak with them that he recognized her as one of the officers who was there at the hospital on the night that Soren-Markus shook his head. He didn't want to focus on that. Not now. All he cared about was heeding her words, to get out of here and to let them know if anything comes up. "Yes ma'am. We'll be sure to update you if anything comes to mind." he blurted out, but by the time he said it, the officer was already far enough way from them. Markus simply shook his head, looking back at Soren for a moment. As an old woman approached them, Markus had walked over to Erin's unconcious form and slung one of her arms over his shoulder gently, allowing her weight to entirely fall on him as he supported her, "You're gonna be okay, 'Rin. I got you.." he mumbled softly, as if she would have heard him, but it was more so to himself. He didn't know what was more confusing, the fact that somehow his two best friends were well alive, or at least back from the dead and that's oddly all he cared about. He didn't know exactly why or even how, but if this was just a dream, he was going to let it last for as long as it could. He didn't want to say goodbye just yet.

Markus had managed to walk back over just in time to see an elderly woman saying something about stopping by her home sometime, and something about tea. He had only gotten such a small amount of the conversation that, he didn't really know what was happening. Simply looked at the others for some semblance of context. But, the group clearly decided that it'd be best to get some food and hopefully speed up getting Erin to wake up. Maybe if she smelt some food, it'd do the trick. Markus thought, and the group was off to one of the local places.




Everything around her was a dark, murky color. As if it was just a large abyss of ink that she was suspended in. But, somehow still laying down on her stomach, as Erin finally found the strength return to her arms, enough to prop her up to a sitting position. Rubbing her eyes for a moment, as if trying to adjust to light, but, it was just endless darkness. After a few short moments of looking around, Erin noticed that there wasn't total silence. If she focused hard enough, she could have sworn that she could hear the ever so slight sound of soft rain, splattering onto what she could only assume would have been pavement. Suddenly, a deep, cutting fear dug its way into her stomach. Her fingers clenching the surface below her as she sat frozen in place. But instead of feeling nothing like she had just moments prior, she felt that hot, yet cold sensation one gets when scraping their skin against stone before that sharp pain of broken skin set in. Her fingers continued pressing into what felt like asphalt below. Digging further, and further in until she could have sworn she tasted blood in her mouth as she licked her lips. A habit she always had when she was scared. Further, and further, her fingers continued to press into the ground below, to the point of where it felt like she had made impressions in the cold ground. Skin dragging across cold, wet concrete.

And then there was a sheering pain that shot out across her back. Spreading from the back of her hip, all the way up to one of her shoulders, that caused her to let out a pained cry and a blinding light appeared across her eyes before she found herself bolting straight up in an unfamiliar place...




It had only been a few short minutes after they had gotten to the food joint when Erin began stirring in her sleep. At first, Markus had let her keep her head propped on his shoulder, as Soren sat on the opposite side of him. But after constantly having to pull her head back, he decided to just let Erin keep her head resting against the tabletop. Markus was all too busy in his own thoughts, when he finally looked back down at Erin's sleeping form, to see her eyelids flittering rapidly. As if she was suffering from some sort of terrible nightmare. Which, he honestly couldn't blame her for. She had well, rather literally been through hell itself and back. What her dreams were like when she was still alive, before the accident well, she had already had clear signs of copious amounts of nightmares. From the nights when she'd stay at his home for the night, he'd lie awake to hearing her mumble and whimper in her sleep. Which, often times ended with Erin crawling into bed with Markus, finding comfort in a familiar presence. Which, was oddly something they both found solace in. So, seeing Erin asleep once more, right next to him, still in evident enough stress caused his chest to tighten. He wanted to wake her up, but he knew that usually resulted in someone being punched in the face, usually him. So, he decided to just let her ride it out until she woke up on her own.

Markus began to sit back in the booth, when suddenly Erin jolted awake, seemingly out of breath as she looked around. The expression she wore on her face could only be explained as a deer caught in headlights. Which, Markus mused on for a moment before realizing just how morbid that comment was. All things considered. "Hey hey, 'Rin. 'Rin." Markus said softly, gently placing one of his hands to Erin's cheek, stabling her back to reality. His dark brown eyes staring into her hazel eyes. "You're safe. It's okay. Just breathe, okay...?" Markus said calmly, gently brushing one of his thumbs against her cheek. Just like he always had whenever she woke up from one of her nightmares. Erin stared back at him as her breathing finally began to settle itself, her heart still racing a mile a minute within her chest. Erin looked at the man who somehow knew who she was, and his touch...It was oddly calming. As if she recognized it. No no, she did recognize it. But why? Who was he? It was only when she finally glanced around her surroundings that she saw they were in some establishment, that also felt oddly familiar. And then her eyes finally landed on a few other individuals that sat across the table from her. Two she immediately recognized, somewhat. Xan and Nixie? Right? That was their names. It just took her a moment to remember things. But the others, she didn't exactly recall, then again, there were a lot of things she didn't remember. And the fact that everything was slowly coming back to her, the fact she didn't remember much began to tie her stomach in knots again.

"Uhm..." Erin started, still not fully awake from the hellish nightmares she had endured. "Where...Where am I?" she questioned, dark eyebrows knitted tightly across her forehead. Markus gave her a sympathetic smile, as he gently placed his hand on one of her's. "You're safe, and with friends..." he started. Giving her a small smile. Erin slowly nodded, she still wasn't fully able to comprehend what happened after she had interacted with Nixie and Xan at the diner but, whatever happened must have been bad enough that they went to someplace else to talk. Least that's all she gathered. Erin gave a small, silent nod before looking back at the others, not directly looking any of them in the eyes as she spoke, "Can...Can anyone tell me what the fuck happened back at the diner..? Cuz I sure as shit don't remember anything after...Blacking out?" she questioned. "I..I remember this cold sensation creeping over me and then...Just...Nothing. Like an endless abyss." the blonde shuddered for a moment, as if even just recalling the events sent a shiver down her spine. "I...I didn't hurt anyone, did I...?"





Raptor Bar and Grill
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/say hello

Accursed Gate
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Ghost of Aurora floated through the gate, disappearing into thin air after a moment. Where the sunlight kissed the tree-line a single blue rose bloomed.

Millenium Plaza
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Ras quirked a small smile at Judex’s frown, brushing it off at present. “It is pretty scary if you think about it, I guess.” He folded his arms, wondering what type of person would talk to machines. He supposed it was possible, but it seemed such an odd field to pursue. Then again, he couldn’t really talk.

“Well, lead is pretty heavy so you might not be able to carry around a box of it. And half the reason people get phones anyways is to show it off.” He gave a small chuckle.

The Jedi temple among the clone wars
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Jei stuttered at Ahala's promise to see him again, "Y-Yeah!" He shouted out at her as she ran off.

He pressed himself behind a wall and tried to focus on Ahala and the small man with big ears, whom he had never met before. He heard their foots steps leaving each other and Jei couldn't tell exactly, but he felt as if the Master was looking toward Jei's hiding spot.

Jei shut his mouth tight until he was sure they had gone, and he let out a sigh. He ruffled a hand through his hair and chuckled to himself. Ahala could possibly become his first friend since coming to the Jedi, and he was ecstatic.

Olympia
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The fresh night air wafted across the child of Apollo’s skin as they walked back to the dorms, not fully paying attention to the world around them. Absentmindedly even bumping into a few other students as their mind was...elsewhere. It was only when they heard something that took them a full moment to process that their attention was being called. Cas blinked for a solid moment, shaking their head as they turned to look at who had called for them, seeing that it was only Eden. Cas blinked once more as he spoke, slowly processing what was being said, as their mind was still partially somewhere else. “Oh, hey Eden!” Cas forced out with a small smile, a small chuckle escaping their lips at their friend’s words, “Yeah uh...Party kinda...Lost my attention, I guess. Figured I’d call it early. Ya know?” the Apollo child reassured, giving a small nod of their head for a moment. Taking a deep breath as they gave a small shrug. Cas’ brown eyes scanned over the male’s face for a moment, before they began to turn as if attempting to walk, but knew full well Eden wasn’t going to let them leave.

Cas sighed softly, combing their fingers through their colorful hair for a moment as they took a deep breath, trying to think of something that they could say to get him off their back. Cas wasn’t the type to normally try to bullshit things, nor were they exactly the kind to want to come across as an asshole. That just wasn’t who they were, and anyone that knew them, well, truly knew Cas, knew they weren’t out to be an ass. “Look, Eden. It’s really nothing, okay? You don’t have to-” but they were quickly cut off as Eden immediately went from asking what was up, to telling them to try not to bullshit him. Warning how there wasn’t even a point in trying. The Apollo kid sighed as their head dipped down as their shoulder slumped forwards with a shrug, digging into the ground with the tip of their shoe for a moment. All the actions of one large, none-verbal, ‘I don’t know’, but Cas knew he wouldn’t fall for it.

Cas immediately bit their lip, an overly drawn out exhale sounded as they threw their head back with a grown, “I hate when you do this shit, ya know that?” their tone was raised, their light accent appearing for just a moment and was easily gone the next. Eden raised an eyebrow and grinned slightly at the victory.“Ya know that girl, Nicole? The one I asked to the party? The uh...The Aphrodite chick?” Cas started, looking back down as they were ashamed to verbally admit the next part aloud, “The one that uh...I kinda had a thing for? Yeah well…” Cas combed their fingers through their hair once more, pulling it back a bit as they looked around nervously, fiddling with their hands for a moment, “Safe to say she...Kinda sorta didn’t...We didn’t really vibe like I thought we would, yeah? I put myself out there again, Eden and...It blew up in my face..” Castiella bit their lip again, “I was stupid and thought something...I don’t know, maybe something would actually come from this but...Apparently that’s not how how she looked at me. Apparently she’s kinda the uhm…’One and Done’ sorta deal, if you get me.” they said with raised eyebrows, hoping Eden got it. They didn’t want to have to say it outloud.

As soon as Cas mentioned Nicole, Eden had a vague idea of where this was going, and had to stop himself from grimacing. He sighed as Cas explained everything that had happened and that things hadn’t worked out between them. It was no wonder that they looked so deflated, that wasn’t the type of thing you particularly wanted to happen right before you went into a tournament in which you’d be risking your life.

“I’m sorry Cas, that really sucks. But listen, it’s her loss. Honestly, she doesn’t even know what she’s losing out on,” he said. “And besides, you could do way better anyway, just putting that out there. Wait till we emerge from the Agon victorious, everyone will be falling at our feet and begging for our favour,” he added. But studying Cas for another second or two, he knew words weren’t going to be quite enough, and so he held his arms out for a hug. “Come here, you dumbass.”

Cas simply just nodded their head at their friend’s words, giving a small shadow of a smirk at his comments. Truth be told, Cas didn’t believe any of it. They weren’t some big hot-shot on campus like some of the other students. Sure, Cas had a reputation on campus but, it wasn’t exactly always for the best reason(s). They just wish they had done a few things differently, yet here they were. Unable to change anything.

They looked at their friend and gave a simple shrug, “Oh yeah, cuz you know all those kids will just be so floored by our impressive skills. No doubt about it.” Cas grimly joked back. The more they thought about the Agon, and what exactly could transpire during it, caused that small pit they already had in their stomach, to only get bigger and bigger the more they thought about it. And Cas knew the more they focused on it, eventually it would just end up swallowing them up inside and they’d be lost to that eternally, dark pit of anxiety and dread. It was only when Eden opened his arms and demanded that they came in for a hug, that Cas was only able to nod and walk over to their friend, returning the hug. Cas found themself burying their face into his shoulder for a moment, allowing the hug to linger on for a little bit longer than either of them may have initially intended. But Cas knew Eden well enough at this point, that he’d stay there in the embrace for however long they may have needed it.

After a few short more moments, Cas finally released Eden from the embrace, taking a few steps back as they took a deep breath. A failed attempt at trying to compose themself a little while longer. Cas fidgeted with their hands for a moment before looking back at Eden, “Uhm..I think..I think I’m gonna call it a night, Eden. We...We got shit to do tomorrow and, I think it’d be best if we got as much sleep as possible, ya know?” they gestured with a nod, “That and, I need to stop by and get something for Lex. I doubt she had dinner again. You know how she is…” Cas said with a small smirk, before taking a few more steps back, “See you bright and early, Eden? Let’s kick some arse, aye?” they gave him a small smirk, and nod of their head before they began to turn and make their way back to the dormitory.

The hug lasted a while longer than expected, but Eden also knew that Cas wasn’t the type for prolonged hugs unless they really needed one. He held them for as long as they needed, then nodded sympathetically as they stepped away. Honestly, with the Agon looming, it seemed that most people needed a hug tonight anyway, even people who were having significantly easier evenings than Cas. He could read them as they tried and failed to compose themselves; so when Cas said they were going to head back to the dorms, he nodded again.

“Cool. I should probably head back and make sure nobody makes any ridiculously dumb decisions anyway,” he said. In reality, he wanted to head back to the dorms himself as well, but he got the impression that Cas wanted to walk back up to the school by themself, and he didn’t want to intrude. “Tell Lex that I say hi. And sleep well, we need those mad archery skills at their finest tomorrow, ya hear?” He instructed with a grin.

They formed a small smile as a small chuckle escaped their lips as they looked back at Eden once more, “Oh for sure, you keep them in line, Eden.” they gave him a playful wink before nodding, “Oh, always. We’re gonna smoke those Artemis kids. Have them running for their money.” Cas grinned, before shaking their head. “Well, I’ll let you get back to all that fun party stuff. Make sure to get at least some sleep. I'll be sure to tell Lex you say hi. See you tomorrow, Eden.” Cas said with a small, but genuine smile and finally turned back around and left for the dormitory.






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0000Theo0Luvgoode 00000000000000000|00000000000000000|Amelia0 May

Of Hades | Attirex|xhex: #575772 0000000000000000000000000000000000 Of Hera | Attire | xhex: #833f4d

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Theo stood by awkwardly as Riley and Amy conversed, being able to detect the ever looming awkwardness by the second. Theodore was never really one for socializing either, so he could understand where Riley was coming from at least. And then of course, there was the residential, social butterfly of a friend, Amy. He simply stood by and nodded as Riley excused herself for a few drinks, watching her dart off towards the bar and then disappear into the crowd. Theo looked back at Amy when she mentioned having hit a nerve with Riley, and simply nodded his head a bit. It made sense, for all they knew that tomorrow, could be the day that they all signed their lives away just for some sick competition. Yet here they were, trying to act as normal as any other day would have been, even though they all knew deep down that they were simply bullshitting themselves. Nothing about this was normal. They were a bunch of kids, some barely even out of High School, were willing to be killed for some damn game. It sent a shiver down his spine and a pit to form in his stomach as Amy continued to speak.

He gave her a small nod as the music changed from an upbeat, dance song, to a slow-dance. He couldn’t help but awkwardly shuffle on his feet as he looked down for a moment, before looking back up and tucking a few strands of hair behind his right ear. “Oh I bet that was the case...I don’t see Erin up on the stage anymore, and I doubt she’d ever play anything this...well..Not exactly in her style of music, I guess.” he stated calmly. While he wasn’t exactly the closest with the student in question, he knew her at least well enough to know her music taste, and this sure as hell wasn’t it. Theo looked back at Amy when she joked about all the ‘shock pairings’ that could potentially happen. He couldn’t help but chuckle and roll his eyes at the thought. Young adults, alcohol, hormones, all mixed with the potential ideal of ones life ending...Wasn’t too farfetch’d.

Theo shook his head as he wrapped one of his arms loosely around Amy’s shoulder, looking out at the crowd, “I mean, I’m pretty sure I saw like...A whole group of students walking back towards the dorms and...Well...People are definitely making mistakes tonight, that much is for sure.” he said rather mockingly.

Amy laughed at the mention of Erin. She’d only met the daughter of Dionysus a handful of times, but she got the impression that this very much wasn’t Erin’s style of music. She wasn’t alone in that. Even if Amy wasn’t opposed to the odd cheesy love song, it wasn’t the right type of music for a big, dumb party like this. Parties were supposed to have music you could dance to, music that could make you feel drunker than you already were. Slow, emotional love songs just made the realisation of what they were facing worse.

She smiled at the feeling of Theo’s arm around her shoulder, before laughing at his comment about people making mistakes. “How many teams do you think are gonna be made super awkward as a result?” She asked. “Because I will be shocked if nobody fucks up and sleeps with their teammate.” But watching all of the slowly moving couples across the dance floor left Amy with a feeling of longing. It was cheesy and honestly ridiculous considering the whole idea of the party was to let loose and have fun, but that didn’t mean Amy didn’t want the teen movie moment. She straightened up and stepped in front of Theo, holding out a hand.

“Well, when in Rome, right?” She asked. “Fair warning, I will probably step on your toes, I’ll almost definitely twist my ankle in these shoes, and I will definitely get the giggles. But that might just save a few people from making monumentally terrible decisions so it might be worth it. What do you say?” She asked. She played it town as being chill and more about having fun than anything, but her heart was pounding in her chest, unsure of what was going to happen next.

Theo chuckled at the question he was asked, pondering for a moment, “I honestly don’t know.” he started, rubbing his chin for a moment as he thought, “I feel like it’d be safe to say more than enough.” he shrugged. He chuckled once more at the mention if no one fucks up and makes things awkward for the teams. He already knew a few of the other teams had people either secretly hooking up, or were already together in some fashion. But someone would for sure have to make a major fuckup, he was just somewhat curious for who it’d be.

He was snapped out of his brief train of thought when he felt Amy escape the loose grasp he had on her shoulder and stepped in front of him, hand extended. Theo blinked in confusion for a moment as he tried to figure out what was going on, but it clicked when Amy cleared the air and was only asking him to dance. He felt himself fight back an awkward chuckle, thinking she was only joking, until he realized just how serious she was at the time. He gently took her hand in his and nodded as they slowly made their way to the dance-floor, “I’m no proper dancer so...I can’t judge too hard.” he joked. “Well, as long as you don’t mind us both making proper fools out of us tonight well...Who could a single dance hurt, really?” he questioned with a small smile. He could feel his heart beating rapidly in his chest as he placed on hand in Amy’s and the other around her waist, keeping them just a bit apart. Theodore wasn’t exactly the bold type, but he had his moments of being a gentleman and this was no exception. He always knew he had unspoken feelings for Amy, someone who was one of his closest and dearest friends, and the prospect of them possibly both dying, or one of them in the Agon that would follow from tomorrow on out, well...To say he was scared beyond belief for both of them, was an understatement.

Amy smiled encouragingly at Theo as they stepped out onto the dance floor and Theo rested his hand on her waist, ever the gentleman. It felt like her heart was in her throat, the distance between them at once too close and not close enough. The first few steps were slow and unsure, both of them still finding their feet. Amy knew that this was the closest thing she would get to a prom, and it was nothing like how she’d pictured it when she’d imagined her prom. Everyone was dressed all wrong, and the threat of death or injury certainly hadn’t been hanging over her in her imagination. But she was here with a person she liked and she was having fun, and at least the reality matched that much of the daydream.

And then she stumbled over her feet for the first time, and she began to laugh. From there, it was a disaster in progress. They both began fumbling over their feet and losing their footing, and Amy’s laughter was just making her coordination worse. It ended with her twisting her ankle and losing her balance, trying and failing miserably to catch herself. And then she sat on the ground, laughing enough to make her tear up slightly.

“Jesus Christ, and they want to let me loose with a sword tomorrow?” She remarked, looking at Theo and laughing. She could feel the dirty looks she was getting, but she didn’t care in the slightest. “It might be a good thing you’re not on my team, Theo dear.”

Theo couldn’t help but chuckle at the comment of letting her wield a sword, it truly was a good question if he was being honest with himself. Well, not really. Truth be told, he was genuinely impressed by Amy and her ability as a fighter. Sure, he himself had the potential to be a very combative person, being a child of Hades and everything that came with it, but he wasn’t a fighter. Not like the others. He preferred using his abilities to help the others in training or combat, he didn’t personally like being one to engage in combat. Just wasn’t his way, as well as his fear of some of his abilities. Theo shook his head as Amy spoke up again, breaking the momentary silence he felt as he thought. “I mean, there are far worse people to be teamed up with, so…” he shrugged a bit, looking to the side for a moment before looking back down at Amy, pausing for a moment before he spoke, “I know you are more than capable of taking care of yourself out there but...Please, promise to take care of yourself out there, yeah?” Theo questioned with raised eyebrows for a moment, “I just don’t want to lose anyone out there, preferably no one dying, truth be told..”

Theo’s remark about there being far less people to be paired with earned a grin out of her, but the request to take care of herself turned it into a smaller, more bashful smile. It was followed up with a comment about not wanting to lose anyone, and she just laughed.

“You’re not gonna lose me, Theo,” she said, somewhat seriously. “I’m far too stubborn for that,” she added with a grin. “Come on then, it’s not gentlemanly to leave a lady sitting on the floor, even if it is her own bloody fault that she got here,” she said, holding out both hands to him for a hand to pull her to her feet.

Theo couldn’t help but chuckle, as he in fact hadn’t yet helped Amy back to her feet in his drunken state. He reached down and gently helped Amy back up onto her own two legs, almost falling over in the process. Maybe he did have too much to drink, he thought to himself. Once he had found both of them back on stable ground, Theo let out a soft sigh as he nodded his head, “I know you’ll be fine. I just...Sorry. You’ll do fine.” he said with a tone of reassurance, nodding his head once more. “So, other than tripping over our own goddamn feet all night, what else do you want to do before tomorrow morning comes and we’re faced with endless dangers?” he said with a playful grin.

Amy got another fit of the giggles as Theo nearly fell too, and had to keep her own feet planted firmly on the ground. She just signed and grinned at him as he said she’d do fine. “You’ll do just fine too, Theo. Just gotta have a little faith.” She said softly. At the question of what she wanted to do next, she stopped to think for a second. “Well, I’ve got to say, slow dancing kinda sucks, so I’m okay with not trying that again. We should probably go find Riley and make sure she’s not sulking alone in some corner somewhere,” she said. Then she grinned at Theo, raising an eyebrow slightly. “Unless you still want me all to yourself,” she teased, raising an eyebrow slightly. Part of it was just that, teasing. Theo was especially adorable when he got flustered. But part of her also wondered. Wondered if she should take a chance given what faced them tomorrow. Wondered if it was worth potentially ruining everything for food.

Theo forced out a small smile at Amy’s comment, he was nervous but he'd try his best to play it off as well as he could anyway. The son of Hades let out a small, genuine chuckle as Amy commented on the fact that slow dancing sucked. “Yeah uh, you got a point there.” he nodded in agreement. As for finding their long lost friend, well, Gods knew where she was. If she hadn’t ditched them yet, it was only a certain amount of time until she did. Theo nodded, “Alright, let’s go find her and bring her back to have some fun before the night’s over. Or so help us, we’ll never let her live it down.” Theo chuckled, grabbing Amy’s hand with his own and the two went on a search for their friend, wherever the hell she had gotten herself holled away to.





Dracos Valley
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The ground near Danegh would begin to shake. This was no earthquake, but something far more significant. Before his eyes, he would witness the biggest animal in the land. It was massive, dwarfing all it stood by. The dinosaur was known as a sauropod, its long neck stretching into the sky. Each step it made would cause the ground to experience aftershocks, which wouldn't be unusual for an animal weighing 200 tons.

This was no ordinary sauropod however, this was the titan of the land. In comparison, Danegh would be no bigger than its toe. It approached the norsemen, its long neck craning down to get a good look at him. There was wisdom in this animals eyes, it understood who he was and recognized he was not a threat. It opened its mouth and groaned, the sound capable of penetrating his very being.

Hogwarts
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Castiella Monroe
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Hufflepuff | Werewolf x|x#a82b02


Ever since they first sat back down at the table, Cas could feel the look from Lex. That damned, upset, disapproving look. Cas didn’t know why whenever they tried to come to their friends’ aid, whenever it was Shane starting shit, Lex seemed to have an issue with it. If anything, she should have been worried about her friends, even if Shane was someone one of Lex’s friends. Which, Castiella still didn’t understand why. He was a pain in everyone’s ass, and for whatever reason, Lex seemed to be able to blissfully look past it. Something that didn’t sit right with them. But, Cas chose to ignore it the best they could, and just shrugged it off. They were only being as irritable as they were due to the full-moon anyway, at least it’s what they were using as an excuse. Not that they were even feeling well to begin with. Not that it was a valid excuse. But whenever a full-moon came around, well, they felt off. Even looked paler and more sickly than they normally did. Which, they just passed off as well, monthly situations, that only a few people truly understood even what Cas really meant by that statement. Shrugging it off.

Cas was content with the topic going to the tournament like they intended, they didn’t want to focus on that damned dance any more than they had to. They’d probably just hole up in the dorm-room or go off and do who knows what, seeing as it would be a full-moon that night as well. Which only caused their brows to furrow together as they became trapped deep in thought. Even if by the off chance of them getting put into the tournament, they’d have to somehow manage to avoid anything that involved full-moons. The last thing they’d need is to not only expose themselves for the affliction they had anyway, but turning into a werewolf around others would be anything less than ideal. Besides, they’d be putting more lives at risk, and that would be something they’d try to avoid at all costs. It was essentially a mess.

Cas didn’t know when it happened, but they had absentmindedly let one of the paper origami otters jump into the palm of their hands, and instinctively pet it and stroked the edges of the paper. The paper copy of the animal silently nuzzled into the touch of the hands that held it, as it was relatively sentient enough to act on its own, like most magically manipulated objects did.

There weren’t many things that upset them, or bothered them really, but the list was small but solid. And some of the topics being thrown around wasn’t making them feel any less uneasy. Hell, if all else failed and they needed a ‘date’ to the stupid dance, they had some possible ideas, but none of them were truly ideal in their mind. Not who they’d truly want to go with anyway. God were they stupid. Cas found themselves shaking their head as they got out of that mindset, they didn’t need to bring themselves down or feel shitty for themselves now.
They did it enough as is. Cas just barely caught the last few people who confirmed they entered the tournament. Gently placing down the small paper creature back onto the table as it flopped about and scurried off with its friends.

“Well, regardless of who gets put in there...Try not to die, right?” they forced out a chuckle, looking down at their watch, “Alright, we should probably start getting ready to go. Potions in five.” Cas gave a soft nod before they began to stand up, and make their way over to the staff table for a moment, eyes landing on Trevor Sprout, the Herbology professor. The young professor smiled as he saw Cas make their way up to him. “Good morning, Castiella.” he said with a smile that met his eyes. “Good morning, Professor.” they said with a small smile that lasted only a moment, before they began to fidget with their hands.

Trevor licked his lips for a moment as he understood exactly why Cas had come up to him, digging casually in his jacket’s inner pocket. The two casually looked around and made sure no one was staring or thought it odd of them to be talking, which it wasn’t. People knew that these two were rather close, and wishing each other a small good morning was never out of the ordinary. It was an usual daily routine at this point, so nothing could be suspected.

The professor took another moment before he outstretched his hand, for a seemingly innocent enough handshake, and Cas purposefully wrapped his hand with theirs, completing the simple handshake before pulling away and stuffing their hands into their robes’ pockets. “I hope you’re doing well, Cas.” he said with a small wink. Cas gave him a small nod, “Always, Professor. I hope your day goes well. I’ll see you later for class.” they both shared a small nod, and knowingly look before they parted ways with a small wave as Cas broke away and went back to the group of Hufflepuff students. Feeling the small vile in their pocket, clasping it casually in their hand. They could take it later, all that mattered was that they took it before the moon rose, they’d be fine. Cas gave the others a small smile and Lex a short but knowing look,
“Ready to go?” they asked with a small nod as they gestured for the door as students began filing out of the Great Hall and for their respective classes. For them, it was Potions. Lovely.







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Classes felt like they couldn't pass soon enough, for students or teachers as everyone knew what they all were waiting for. The announcement that would take place later that day, for who would be going into the tournament this year. Bets had been placed, jokes had been made, and whispers were spread around classes as students eagerly awaited. With Potions having been the first class for many of the 6th and 7th year students, well, to say things went by smoothly for poor professor Arthur Talbot. From a few beakers and potions exploding among all the tables, (whether they were sabotaged by Slytherin or Gryfindor, or simple mishaps could have been anyone's guess), or the constant whispering among some friends throughout the Houses. To say Arthur had his hands full throughout the first and second period of the day could only be the understatement of the century. But the class came and went, with more students pouring in after the first set of students left.

The next few classes passed by rather swiftly, but that wasn't to say any of the students made any of the teacher's jobs easy. They never did. It was only as the day went on, and eventually came of the more anticipated events for that day, the announcements. Next of course would be the Quidditch games that evening but, first the students would be finding out who was being put into such an anticipated event, and who to cheer for and so on. As classes finally came to an end, the students were all filed into the Great Hall once more, filing into their respective seating by their House benches and tables. Awaiting feverishly as silence fell throughout the room.

Soft footsteps echoed as a figure walked from the main entrance of the room, and slowly made their way up to the front of the Great Hall, taking post at the small podium at the front of the small incline infront of the teacher's table. Which was filled with all the staff, who were clearly just as eager to find out who was chosen. The figure finally spoke as the woman's face lit up with sheer enjoyment, "Welcome, students and teachers of Hogwarts."" Headmistress Minerva McGonagall spoke, her voice easily heard throughout the room. Her eyes scanned the room for a moment before she continued, "This year, we welcome you all to the traditional announcement ceremony, where we find out who will be put into this year's Tournament." her voice boomed further.

"This year, is a special one indeed. As we will have a special event coordinator with us. He's come a long way from Germany just to help with the events as he does every five years."" McGonagall said as he stepped aside, motioning with her hands as another figure rose to his feet from the table and met by the Headmistress' side. "Sir Damien Steele." she introduced the man as a roaring applause from both students and teachers filled the Great Hall, "As many of you know. He is a former Ravenclaw of Hogwarts, and former Quidditch player. Who has been so gracious to join us for our Tournaments." Damien gave a somewhat bashful smile as he raised his hand in protest, "Oh goodness. You flatter me, Minerva." Damien mused as he gave her a cheerful smile, before turning to the students. Taking place at the small podium. "It always brings me great pleasure and excitement whenever I return to my old school grounds, in coordinating such an event as this one. I've seen many students bring great honor to their House, and I expect nothing less from you all this year. For I feel like this one will be rather unforgettable-" his eyes glanced around the room at at the students, certain faces standing out to him in particular, who he quickly composed himself once more as he went on. "-As we have many talented students in each House, I know you'll do your friends proud." Damien gave a large grin on his face.

"-But, the most important thing about this Tournament? Is for those who enter, will be going against each other in tasks and challenges, all for one particular thing-"" Damien turned around and removed a silk covering, to expose a large cup. The one that students had only ever heard of, or seen once in their life if they were in their fifth, sixth, or seventh year by now. "Let's find out who has the chance to compete for this, shall we?""




A large, rough wooden goblet which was alight with blue flames appeared at the center of the room as the lights overhead seemed to dim, but didn't fully go out. The room was cast in a hellish, blue glow as Damien Steele stepped forward towards the Goblet, dancing his fingers across the old artifact for a moment. "The Goblet of Fire will decide who is meant to take part in the tasks that will unfold."" he began, looking around the room for a moment, "When your name is called, you are to come forward and join your fellow Champions. Each house will be split into Three teams, made of two. After all Champions are called forward, you may choose your teammate and we will officially begin within a month from today." the room fell silent for a moment, before six slips of paper came from the Goblet until, they flittered into Damien's hand. He took a moment to read the names.

"Your six Champions for the House of Gryffindor are...McKenna James, Harvey Gibson, Lily Evermore, Shane Montgomery, Cassie Lightborn, and Logan Pierce!" he shouted, as a mix of applause and cheers rang throughout the room as the Champions rose to their feet and made their way to the front of the Great Hall. Standing from shoulder to shoulder as the cheering eventually came to an end. Damien grinned before turning to the Gryffindors, "Welcome to the Tournament, Gryffindors. May you bring your house the Pride you Lions are so very known for." he grinned.

Within moments, more paper slips came shooting out of the Goblet, Damien catching them as he did before. Taking a moment to read them before speaking aloud, "Your six next Champions, for House Slytherin are...Jessie Carter, Stirling Patterson, Rosemary Doe, Eden Thomas, Linnea Blomqvist, and Danica Roche!" Damien called once more. The same cheering and applause thundered throughout the room once more as the Champions all rose to their feet and made their way up to the others. "Welcome to the Tournament, Slytherins. May you too bring your house the Pride that your house is all too known for." Steele grinned cheekily as the students in question.

Another few short moments passed, before more paper shot out, once more reading them off. A grin formed over his face, "Well...Ain't that something..." Damien mused to himself, before clearing his throat. "Your Champions, for Hufflpuff are...Roan King, Castiella Monroe, Kai Embrey, Spencer Romanov, Elise Dunchamp, and Alexis Halliwell!" Damien shouted. Cheering and applause filled the room once more as the Students chosen rose to their feet, as well as Cas having to help Lex stumble up to the front of the room, standing along the chosen students. Damien chuckled at the display for a moment, "Well, welcome to the Tournament, Hufflepuffs. I'm certain you shall bring Pride to your House this year as well, you Badgers always seem to make an impression amongst the Tournament." he couldn't help but genuinely chuckle.

"And lastly, the last six Champions, for House Ravenclaw!" Damien shouted, slips of paper bursting through from the Goblet. He took a moment to read them over once more, "Crispin Finlay, Kiara Wright, Tarra Anderson, Lionell Andica, Victoria Jamison, and Theodore Karrow!" Damien announced, cheering and applause filled the air once more as the names were called. But Damien took note how this applause and cheering, seemed a bit too forced and exaggerated compared to some of the other houses. Which, he honestly found amusing for just a moment.

"Ah yes, my own former House. I'm sure you will bring the Pride our House is known for, yes?" he mused, which he couldn't help but overhear some slight laughing and chuckling from some of the students. Damien grinned before turning around to the rest of the room and students. "And there we have it, folks. Our chosen Champions for this year's Tournament. We'll see in just one month's time to see how well they all live up to their House' names, as well as show us what they all got." he mused once more, wringing his hands together infront of himself for a moment. "May you all celebrate and find who you'll be teaming up with, then speak with your House representatives later today to let them know and they'll inform me later. I wish you the best of luck, as well with the game's later today. I'll be cheering you all on in the Quidditch matches later today. Until then, enjoy yourselves students." Damien Steele announced, giving a small bow of his head as one more round of applause filled the air as he returned to his seat.

The Headmistress took her spot back at the podium once more as she had one more announcement, "Well, welcome to the official start of the Tournament, Champions and the rest of the House Students. I wish you all the best of luck with your preperations, and do not be shy to ask any of the other event coordinators that will be coming in within the next few weeks as we prepare for the challenges that will await you. As well as your last minute preperations for the Valentine's Day Ball, which is steadily approaching." and with that, the room filled to life once more as students from all sides talked aloud as they congradulated their friends who had gotten into the Tournament, or lamented that they hadn't been accepted into the Tournament.




Vixi High Orbit
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Azul needs to find somewhere to go, he had been standing there daydreaming for only God knows how long. There were people around, although due to the blurriness of his visor he couldn't truly discern what was happening. Swords sheathed, mind somewhat at ease, he walks forward kicking a piece of metal on the ground.

Metropolis City
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“I think for the sake of my interests in the Local Region and the Aschen Home State in the future, you and your government familiarize yourselves with the business of nation-building - despite your propaganda, there’s actually far more important beyond your corner of the galaxy that more of you are learning of. Considering the past and current terroristic nature of your government even, the Exogarden took a moment considering just who their true enemies were before moving forward against the OPA.”

The intelligence chief spoke dryly as Johnne and Maric studied the information before them. “There was an OPA splinter cell that had infiltrated Eden Prime’s nuclear reactor sectors a few years ago - the ESPF had cleaned them up but their network had been left behind. They planned to steal spent fuel rods for use in dirty ordnance, though just because we stopped them in the Shore Planets doesn’t mean we stopped them elsewhere.”

“On Bathe the spacer propaganda and civil arm has been at work across the stations, and a peculiar ship has been dispatched for some months now. I believe this ship to be of particular interest in the goings on - as it was last docked in Hadriatica if I recall.” Rada began, then looking to Prince with a nod toward a picture of the planet hanging over the table. “If the Aschen and Terrans are alongside the Exogarden on Hadriatica, our governments will benefit from a multilateral situation handled by the expertise of the Apparatus.”

Airdalen Academy
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Things were going a lot better than Kei would have ever imagined. It was always pretty difficult for him, but since his sister passed it felt impossible to talk to girls, especially one-on-one, yet he was having a solid conversation with a girl. They were practically rubbing elbows, and he was okay. He was nervous enough to vomit in all actuality, but nothing bad was happening and on the surface everything was good. A smile crept up to his features, it was only a little one, but maybe Rocco was right, maybe with time he could move past all of his unrealistic fear. After all, he hadn’t done anything to hurt her yet, and she seemed to genuinely want to be there, in the moment, with a lame ass guy like him. It... was almost nice. Almost normal. That would be too simple though, right? His phone buzzed in his pocket, interrupting his good mood. That was odd... Kei didn’t get many messages.

Rocco? His mother? His father? No, he doubted it was his father. The man was too busy to call at a time like this. He was in a meeting. Speaking of busy, didn’t Rocco have that trip with Fujioka though? Kei doubted that he would message during that, but he checked his phone anyway. After Kaiya, he was too paranoid to ignore a call or text. Anything could be an emergency. Plucking his phone from his pocket, Kei quirked a brow. A mass email? Was it spam? He tentatively opened it, hoping it wasn’t a virus, or worse, porn. That was not something he wanted to accidentally have on his screen next to his classmate.

What he actually saw on his screen almost made him toss the phone across the room. That dick! What the fuck does he think he is doing with her!? He knew that there was no way that Kaito knew his connection with Kaori, probably didn’t know that like himself Kaori had developed trauma. I don’t give a shit what he knows... he’s pushed shit too far! Kei knew that it was different than his own trauma, he’d made her scared to trust others, male AND female due to the relentless bullying he accidentally subjected her to after his public rejection of her... while he was scared of letting girls down. He caused her a lot of harm because he was lost in his own mess... and he knew that she wouldn’t kiss a guy like Kaito! Did Rocco know? The two seemed really close now... he didn’t see Rocco in the tags... was this to provoke him? To start rumors? What the hell was the motive here!? Kaori had nothing to do with their growing animosity with Kaito. She was innocent in this.

Even though his new best friend seemed to be courting several girls, and Kei had no idea why Kaori was so trusting of him, when she opened up to literally no one else, Kei supported her choices. If it made her feel better, he wasn’t going to interfere. It hurt, but he had no right to feel that way. He was the one that ruined her life because his own was crumbling apart. It was complicated, but he was happy that Rocco could be somewhat of a force of good in Kaori’s life. Who was he to put a wedge in that? It wasn’t like anything had changed. Kei was the same weak person as before, a guy that couldn’t protect her, that instead only caused her pain.

Besides, when he apologized after the fire she made it perfectly clear that she didn’t want him in her life, or to accept his apology. In spite of that... he couldn’t just sit back and do nothing about the kiss he saw. It was like what he had done to her all over again, but this time she was portrayed very flirtatious. Everyone saw her with Rocco a lot, and now ‘she’ sent out a mass email of her kissing Kaito? Bullshit. He knew her better than that. She wasn’t like that, even before.

Anger building to a point, Kei threw off his apron, ”Nozomi-Chan, I am sorry, but a friend of mine is in trouble, I have to go!” He called out as he exited the cafeteria. He waved over his shoulder without turning to look back. He didn’t have time. He had to find them. He had to hail a taxi. His form was shaking in anger, but he found the street soon enough, waving an arm to try to catch the attention of an unoccupied ride. There was no way he was going to let this go. Kaito was always looking for a fight, well now he definitely had one. He recognized that amusement park and he was going there one way or another! Even if he had to run there himself. He let her down once, he humiliated her, he wasn’t going to let it happen again. It wasn’t about winning her back, he knew it was far too late for something like that, but he couldn’t stand by and watch someone else put her in a situation he knew would cause her pain. It was... recompense for his own mistakes. Maybe he couldn’t protect her back then, and he knew he couldn’t stand by her side like Rocco could, but he definitely could break that asshole’s face, or die trying.

Finally catching the attention of a cabbie, Kei let out a sigh of relief, hopping in the back. He was nowhere near the richest student at Airedalen, but he handed the driver a wad of cash, ”Take me to the local amusement park, as fast as possible.” Kei spoke quickly, desperately. He didn’t want to lose them, he no longer knew where Kaori lived. They moved as part of their own fresh start, and he never knew where that white haired asshat lived in the first place. If he didn’t leave now, catch up to them before they left the park, he was screwed until Monday.

Just before he closed the door, a hand stopped him, and Kei looked to that person with disbelief. Why? Why would she want to help him? They didn’t know each other at all, and as far as he knew she didn’t know Kaori, it when Mao joined him in the cab, he felt his heart skip beats. Her expression was unreadable, but he knew she had to be a good person if she was willing to associate herself with trouble willingly for absolute strangers, “Thank you, Nozomi-Chan...” he closed his eyes, a big smile forming on his lips. He didn’t expect to meet someone so reliable, especially after he lucked out with a friend like Rocco. Was someone upstairs looking out for him after all? God? Kaiya? Both? Regardless of why, he was grateful. Having an ally, it felt nice, but his anxiety did build. She couldn’t get involved in what he had planned, “Do not follow Kaito and I for any reason, promise me, or I’ll leave you here.” He stated firmly, leaving no room for argument. Girls were fragile in his mind, to be protected, he wasn’t going to allow her to put herself in harm’s way. She could get Kaori home, or something.






Popularity: +1 to Mao
Notoriety: +1 to Kaito

Outside
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/say I was looking for something that roleplays like once every week for something, but i guess thats fine.

Club Purgatory
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Bit was sitting on a stool at the main bar of the club. In front of her was a tall glass full of some black cocktail; from time to time the neon lights gave some green-silver metallic sheen to the drink. She was smoking a beedi and discrete hints of hibiscus fragrance were floating around her.
Bit was wearing black shorts with a beaded metallic fishnet tank top, and there was little doubt about what she had to offer to the clients of the club; but she obviously wasn't putting much effort into adopting a pleasant attitude for them or event paying any attention to them. She was indeed mostly keeping a stern face with a tormented look, while at some other moments a fleeting divergent squint gave the impression she was looking through people or things.

Avenue of Heroes
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Peter shakes his head a bit. "You don't need to. I can't take your money. And anyways, I have some other arms. But thank you!"
He continues walking until he reaches the building with the sign saying 'Adventurer's Guild." and stops outside the door.
"I think this is it, let's check it out."

Astrius Academy
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Therion nodded happily, there was indeed a cafe there and it had excellent chai. With a grin, he started to make his way to the plaza, "I'll lead the way. You should try the chicken panini if you're into that sort of stuff. The sun-dried tomatoes really pull the whole thing together!"

Hayslem City
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Demor considered his options before shrugging. "I'll meet you at the VR Arcade she was last seen at. As for Secret Back Exit... You two can use it if you want. If I don't want to be followed, then they're not going to follow me." Demor was casual with his tone, but at the same time, he wasn't messing around. Despite his relaxed tone, his stance and body language dictated something else. As seen in the Grand Magic Games, he could easily and consistently move at speeds too fast for the human eye to comprehend, even when in dire circumstances such as low magic power, or even injuries to his body.

He rubbed Iviri's head affectionately as the boy stated that he wouldn't understand what his brother was saying sometimes, and smiled. "Don't worry about me, Iviri. I'll be alright." he smirked. "You two enjoy the baths... I'm off to meet your brother." he said, his tail stretching and bringing him to his feet, allowing him to walk away towards the locker-rooms where he could get dressed, and then walked out the front door. On one hand, it was smart to try and find a secret back door, but on the other hand, the Aschen likely knew where the VR Arcade was anyway, so they'd inevitably find him again anyway.

First, Demor went to his home, grabbing a picture or two of Montrose for Ivera to use in the investigation, before heading towards the Arcade in Questrios

Takayama University of Niihama
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Ragnar Sigurdsson listened quietly as Livia Caesarius explained the very basics of civilized culture to him. Ragnar was still very accustomed to the medieval lifestyle, and to the isolated Viking Age cultures of the far north who had yet to be influenced by Romanesque architecture, plumbing and pipelines. She explained to him how the knob with the red sticker stood for hot water, while the knob with the blue sticker symbolized cold water. He observed her quietly as she demonstrated how the bathtub worked. Of course, he had already figured that out, but he was interested in what she had to say as she demonstrated the proper way of doing things to him. If he was going to fit in, and be seen by the Argosians as anything other than a savage, Ragnar Lothbrok was going to need to pay attention and learn how to adapt.

As she dunked the soap in the water, Livia could feel the ice cold water on her arm. For her and her people, the water seemed perhaps a little bit too cold for comfort, yet Ragnar Lothbrok Sigurdsson appeared to be quite relaxed as he remained sprawled out in the tub with his arms resting over the sides, looking at her. To the Legata's surprise, Ragnar didn't even have goosebumps. Apparently, his body had been adapted to the extreme cold temperatures in his homeland. In fact, as the running water in the bathtub was about fifty degrees, to the hardened Northman it seemed quite warm and comfortable. He started to peel his bandages off as the water began to loosen the tape and soak through the gauze. There was still some blood, but not much, and definitely not enough to be life threatening or turn the color of the bath water as he relaxed quietly.

Ragnar didn't say anything about the soap. He knew what it was, as the Vikings in his homeland had used all natural scentless lye soap to wash themselves regularly. In fact, for having a reputation as savages and primitive barbarians, the Vikings were actually some of the most hygienic and cleanest people of their time period. Whereas most medieval cultures were lucky to even find clean water, with high ruling queens, kings and monarchs bathing only once a year, and lower class people rarely bathing at all, the Vikings were known to bathe once a week on average, and the Northmen even had a specific weekday known as Wash Day in the Norse language devoted specifically to hygiene and cleanliness. Their taste for grooming and hygiene was one of the key factors why the Vikings had been able to avoid the bubonic plague that had swept through Europe and Rome as far as Asia, killing thousands.

Ragnar Lothbrok was one of the few exceptions, however. He had in fact contracted the plague, but only after he had decided to raid Europe and make a decent name for himself. He was sick for a very long time, even on his deathbed, but had managed to pull through with the help of some ancient Chinese medicine he had obtained from one of his slaves. It wasn't the first time Ragnar had almost died, and it certainly wouldn't be the last. After all, here he was again, recovering from several lashings and poisonous snake bites inside the Takayama University of Niihama, being cared for by some of the best doctors and nurses in the galaxy. As he took the soap and began rubbing it on his body, it was clear that Ragnar Lothbrok was going to make a full recovery. He had started to rub some of the soap suds through his hair and beard when Livia stopped him and showed him the bottle of shampoo. This was something new to Ragnar, for he had never heard of shampoo before.

Ragnar placed the wet bar of hypoallergenic soap back on the edge of the tub before cautiously taking the bottle of shampoo and conditioner, examining the contents carefully. Once again, he sniffed it before leaning back and making a strange face. There were so many different scents and fragrances throughout the Taiyou hospital, some more natural than others, he thought to himself as he squeezed a large portion of the shampoo and conditioner into his hand, rubbing it into his hair. It was way more conditioner than he actually needed, but he didn't know any better. It was his first time ever accommodating to such a highly technological and advanced civilization. As he continued to bathe himself in the water, squeezing his eyes closed as foamy shampoo ran down his face, suddenly he heard birds chirping. But they weren't like normal song birds. There was something off about them, for they sounded awfully mechanical and artificial to the Viking pagan chieftain.

Even with his eyes closed, Ragnar could tell that something was amiss. He picked up on the tone of Livia's voice as she began talking to someone over the phone. At first he thought she was talking to him, until she continued talking. Ragnar splashed some water on his face and slid down into the bathtub, dunking his head under the water before resurfacing with soaking wet hair wrapped around his face and neck. He pushed his hair out of his eyes and glanced up at Livia as she spoke.

"I'll leave you to get cleaned up, the doctor will check you over, and we'll get you some clothes." she said before standing up and making her way for the door, closing it behind her to give him some privacy. Suddenly, he felt very alone and uncomfortable again. Ragnar gazed around the empty bathroom, taking a mental note of everything once again and storing the images in his brain. He stood up slowly, feeling more revitalized after taking a bath as the water ran down his body back into the tub. He stepped out of the shower and grabbed one of the towels that was hanging on the wall, wiping his face off. His body was still slightly sore, but not nearly as much now that he had loosened up and moved around a bit. After drying himself off, Ragnar wrapped the towel around his waist like a skirt or kilt before opening the bathroom door and stepping back into the patient's recovery room. He grabbed the wheelchair that had been placed for him and sat down on it. He fumbled with the wheels for a moment, trying to figure out how to operate the wheelchair on his own. After a minute, he rolled himself over to the open window, dragging himself on his heels as he pushed the wheels with his hands.

Once he finally reached the open window, Ragnar Lothbrok gazed out over the open city, taking in the view while savoring the wind on his face.

New York
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georgie roberts
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outfit | #ff7f00



Georgie tried and failed to formulate the words in her head in the few seconds she had alone to herself before Viv appeared out on the balcony after her. She'd never had to drop a bomb like this, she'd never had to break someone's heart like this. She'd been there in the aftermath, of course, but that was different in so many ways. The hard part was done at that point. She couldn't even manage a smile as her friend stepped out onto the balcony. Viv’s comment about how they should have gone into her room instead just made George raise her eyebrows slightly with something that tried and failed to be a half smile. She couldn’t even manage a real smile with the news she had to tell. As Viv asked what was wrong, she exhaled slowly, watching her breath turn into fog and disappear into the night air. Georgie had always known that Viv deserved better than Ray, and the whole evening had really just confirmed this.

“When… when I went to get those drinks, I saw… She took a deep breath and turned for face Viv fully. She needed to just come out and say it. Beating around the bush wouldn't help anyone. “Kelsey and Ray were in the hall. Making out,” she blurted out. “I… I didn't want to ruin your night but I had to tell you now, I was afraid you’d go to the bathroom or something and see them and I… didn’t want you to find out like that.” She said, knowing she was over explaining herself but unable to just leave the revelation hanging in the air between them. “I’m sorry.” What else could she say? What were you supposed to say after telling someone something like that?

Gaia
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Gaia: High orbit

Amidst the magic imbued void of space, a single distortion opened up, cloudy tendrils of spatial energies opened up as a single Taiyou ship, the Shizuru Maru jutted fourth from the nothingness of space.

Once it decelerated, Captain Susumu Kodai watched the displays intently, It had been some time since General Hama had heard from the Argosian legions dispatched to Iskjerne Bay, and rather than risking lowering the defenses at his portal facility, he had opted to redirect the nearest Imperial ship to perform a high-orbital reconnoiter of the Iskjerne Bay region.

Captain Kodai briefly checked his instruments, they were beyond the interference field, and everything seemed to be working nominally. This was good, so the Captain turned to his bridge officer. "Are we in position?" He asked in Taiyou, with which the officer nodded, and a magnified image of Iskjerne Bay flitted into view on the screen, there was a lot of darkness, but the orange glow of flames could be made out in the pixelated image.

"Clean it up, we're going to have to wait until daybreak to take additional photos." He said, the overwhelming feeling that something was amiss seemed to wash over him.

"That's a lot of fire down there... I wonder what happened." The Captain asked quietly, as they magnified the image.

Crystal Nexus
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The following morning, the Vikings awoke from their slumbers and arose from their tents near the campfire, which by now had died, leaving behind only a pile of burnt charcoal and ash. Floki collected some of the charcoal fragments in a glass jar, mixing it with animal dung and a handful of salt before adding some water from the melting ice and dew drops collected from his tent. He then opened a different jar of deep Prussian Blue powder he made using iron, copper, crushed rock salts and other natural minerals which he then added into the first jar. He closed the lid on his jar and shook it up, mixing all of the contents together, creating some nasty dark blueish green mixture. Erik watched curiously, not entirely sure what Floki was doing, but he wasn't about to ask or question anything as the weird thin eye-shadow wearing war veteran poured the contents on to a metal plate and set it out in the sun to dry. It seemed he had a plan.

"So now what?" Halfdan asked as he stretched and yawned, blowing his nose and washing his face in a wooden bowl of water before handing it over to the next person in line.

"Now we go there," Floki said, pointing to a set of archways arranged in a particular pattern almost like Stone Henge, each one actually containing a hidden portal to another location.

This was the Crystal Nexus, a place that Floki had only ever heard tales about. He was very excited to see it in person for the first time, and he couldn't wait to figure out if it still worked. Hrafn-Floki fumbled with the small transparent sunstone in his pouch pocket before gazing up at the peak of the mountain just in front of him, and at the magnificent archways which rose above it in a circle. It was absolutely beautiful, he thought to himself, but he also knew that the journey wasn't finished yet. There were other obstacles his band had to overcome in order to make it work.

But, being undaunted, Floki had a plan. He gathered everyone up at the top of the mountain for a small meeting after breakfast to explain the situation, and the strategy he had invented to overcome the challenges ahead. Because the Vikings were so few in number, getting all of them in at one time wouldn't be a problem. But Floki only had one crystal, and secretly he knew that all of the Norsemen were going to need their own crystals if he was to get all of them through the portal and into the other side. Suddenly this became a major problem for the diehard spiritual leader.

Or did it? As the clever Floki started discussing his plans with the camp, it became clear to Erik Thorvaldsson what Floki had been doing with the plate of blueish green charcoal clumps. Apparently, he had somehow discovered a way to grow his own crystals using charcoal, salt, animal dung and a metallic blue colloidal powder he had used to make ink and dye. Although he wasn't entirely sure how it worked, what Floki didn't know yet is that the animal waste contained ammonia, a key ingredient used to synthesize rock crystals. He was already ahead of the game, but it would take a little bit of patience before the others caught on.

As the days passed, slowly the crystals began to form. All the while, they had been left outside and exposed to the elements, being charged naturally by Gaia's suns and the bright red moon, a process which helped the synthetic crystals to grow faster. To the others who followed Floki, it must have seemed like wizardry, but the clever old fool wasn't done yet. He still had to trick the system, somehow, and re-direct the portal from one location to another if he was going to get his party on to the surface of the red moon Colossa, a destination that the Crystal Nexus wasn't entirely designed to take them. Once again, it seemed that the Vikings were faced with a major problem.

But once again, Hrafn-Floki the Ghostslayer had a clever trick up his sleeve. His former king, Sigurd Hring, who had long ascended and was now One with Gaia, was certainly aware of everything that Floki and his Viking explorers were up to. Sigurd had taught Floki how to use a sunstone, and how to bend light through a prism to form a rainbow. In life, Sigurd had taught Floki that if there was a will, then there must be a way. Floki just had to think deeply, and discover it. Floki the Vitki slowly scratched his partially bald head, standing before the archways and studying their alignment intently. He started to wonder if he couldn't somehow bend the space within the portal, just as he had once bent the sunlight through a prism to form multiple other pathways and colors of light.

"That's it!" He shouted. Floki just couldn't control himself, as his fingers and muscles twitched, causing him to spasm with excitement as he let out a childish chuckle, smiling as he gritted his teeth and looked again.

"Floki you fool. Why didn't you see this before?" He criticised himself before walking over to one of the archways and examining it more closely. Slowly, clouds started to block the sunlight. After a moment of staring at the gate, he chuckled again softly, then walked through the archway and around it, studying every inch of its design before looking up at the overcast skies.

It was at that moment that Hrafn-Floki figured out what he was going to do. He would bend space-time, and re-direct the portal's wormhole from one destination to another by arranging the crystals in a certain way that would trick the mechanism into sending his party to the moon. But in order for his plan to work, his Vikings were going to need some kind of divine assistance from their gods. He began to call out quietly to Sigurd Hring, and to the great mother Gaia herself, asking for a sign.

At that moment, as if by pure coincidence, there was a break in the clouds. A single ray of sunlight beamed down over the mountain, lighting up a small area within the center of the archways. Floki watched silently for a moment, awestruck at what he was seeing. He took it as an answer from the gods, and soon, Floki was yelling at everyone else in the camp to hurry up and join him as he bit down on the knuckle of his index finger to make sure he wasn't dreaming. Halfdan the Black, Erik the Red, Floki's wife Helga, Thodhilda and the others hurried up to the peak of the mountain where Hrafn-Floki was standing, gazing with wide eyes.

He walked over to where the beam of sunlight was shining and stood in the golden light. He started fumbling with the sunstone in his pouch pocket again, waving his other hand and coaxing everybody else to hurry up and join him. The small band of Vikings quickly walked over and stood in the middle of the lit circle with him. All in all, seven Vikings stood together in a tight group as Floki told them all to pull out their blueish green crystals and hold them up to the light. As they did this, Floki pulled out his transparent clear sunstone and held it out in front of them so that the light from the sun would bend, transversing through the sunstone and forming a prism, shooting different hues of rainbow colored light beams to the other stones in everyone's hands. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet beams of light projected over the Viking's seven faces, and suddenly all of the archways lit up as the many different portals became activated. Floki's plan was beginning to work as it started to get windy, and the gateways started to spin and twist with bright blinding white swirls of shimmering light.

A vortex began to form in the middle of the clouds where the sunlight was emanating from, and soon it started to tunnel down around Floki and his Viking explorers until it touched the mountain top, directly in the center around the ring of glowing archways, creating a dark flowing curtain around them. The wind was intense as the powerful vortex spun counterclockwise, slowly distorting the time and space around the gateways. But while it started to look dark and gloomy outside the vortex, inside it was glowing with bright colorful lights so powerfully intense that the Vikings were forced to close their eyes and cover their faces to stop from going blind. Only Floki managed to keep his eyes open, for he could not seem to pull his attention away from such intense power and absolute beauty. It was like a merry-go-round that he had never seen before, proof that the old gods were indeed a very real force and presence in their daily lives. He simply had to watch it all transpire.

The vortex got stronger and stronger, becoming faster and faster before the spinning white lights inside each gate started to get sucked inward towards the spinning vacuum. There was lightning and thunder, booming and crackling electricity, and for a moment it seemed as if the Vikings had been standing in the very center of a super dangerous nuclear reactor. And then suddenly, without warning, it just stopped. The lightning and thunder ceased, the winds dispersed, the lights started to fade and the vortex slowly disappeared, retreating back into the sky from which it came. The Crystal Nexus returned to its original normal deactivated state, and everything went silent.

Floki and his Vikings were gone...

They had disappeared entirely without a trace.

Dogs in God's Vineyard
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"Sounds like a plan to me. Let's get to it," Sonia replied.

With Anna's plan agreed to, the Pack went into action. Even this late at night, they couldn't risk being seen so obviously heading toward the back of the hotel: so they doubled back a ways, before turning back toward the block housing the hotel. From there, it was a simple matter of accessing the side streets, until they neared the back entrance of the austere hotel.

Crouched beside a closed doctor's office opposite the back entrance, they keenly took stock of the situation. In contrast to the front, there was just a lone guard near the back door. A guard that didn't seem all that attentive either, busy as he seemed in taking a smoke break.

"I have a throwing knife on me. I sneak up close enough, I should be able to nail him in the jugular. Won't be able to get out any deathly warnings that way," Sonia suggested after a few minutes of observation.

"Or one of us could cause a distraction, drag his attention away, and we then sneak in while he's gone," Margaret countered. "It saves us from having to hide a body, and affords us a more stealthier entrance."

Wing City Spaceport
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Jay Null clicked his prosthesis and moved onwards. He had things to do!

The Port
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Michael Lewis shrugs and says, "Anywhere but here, I guess. Somewhere."

Aperture
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Haze watched the armored man disappear fully into the portal, wondering if he would be okay. She took a hesitant step forwards, glancing at Moonlight and then down at her feet. She walked quicker, reaching out to the crackling portal. As her finger brushed against it, she clenched her eyes shut and drew in a deep breath.

Adventurer's Guild HQ
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Echo waves a hand dismissively in front of her face, "I don't give out personal details like that to strangers." Following closely behind Peter, she laid a gentle hand on the note he had made. Snapping her other finger, she made a hundred copies of the note appear as a stack of papers in her hand. "We'll scatter them as we go?"

With a shrug, she looked down at the note and read its contents with a neutral face. "Well.." She wrinkled her nose and leveled an inquisitive look at Peter. "Where to next?"

Pear Shire
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Jefferson
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Weargtooth Mountains
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Frendor Falcon-Wind looks around

Rikkisopi Cave System
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Ivaldi enters the cave system through the hidden entrance he found in the rock quarry east of Iskjerne Bay going down into the foot of the Weargtooth Mountains, accompanied by 6 other svartalfar holding magical glowing lanterns, which upon closer inspection looked more like small golden bird-cages with tiny glowing winged faeries trapped inside them. They explored the cave system and looked around for any hidden treasures in the darkness, aided by their dwarfish senses. Ivaldi sniffed the air and followed a peculiar aroma over to a small pile of rocks. As he moved some of the stones aside, he found an empty mead horn with runic inscriptions carved all over its surface. As he read the inscriptions, his eyes suddenly lit up with excitement. The runes were carved by one of Sigurd Hring's vikings shortly before they buried the mead horn and committed suicide. Apparently it was a list of instructions, carved in Younger Futhark, detailing the whereabouts of a hidden horde of magical items and inventions in the form of Nordic riddles. Ivaldi looked both ways to make sure nobody else was watching and placed the mead horn into his inventory bag before putting the stones back where they were and walking away. He smiled joyfully as he crawled back out of the caves and headed back to Iskjerne Bay, teleporting instantly with a snap of his small pudgy fingers using some form of dwarfish magic.

Oor Cavern
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Some time Later...

In the time since the first incident with the Iskjerne Vikings, the orders finally came down to reinforce the breach point with the gate that lead into Gaia. One thousand and three hundred Taiyou soldiers were working to pour concrete, reinforce the cavern walls, and install a thick, reinforced carbon nanosteel door in place of the iron gate.

In the days that followed, Taiyou construction personnel, and the handy Yunboros worked to install the door, sparks flew, and the sound of arc welders filled the cavern, as General Hama quietly oversaw the construction.

"We need to make sure to install failsafes here, and here." The General instructed, as he placed his hand on the map of the cavern. "We have a two tier design, we'll build a concrete redoubt in the middle chamber of the cavern, so if the initial doorway is breached from the other end, the failsafe will go off, and flood the chamber with nerve agents." Hama said, gesturing to the designs, while glancing over to a group of Taiyou Engineers who were pouring reinforced concrete on the far side of the chamber, while another group were installing duct-work for the gas.

Hama brought his gaze to the reinforced door, there was an audible, metallic thud as iron slugs engaged locks, and the door sealed shut, a handful of welds being applied, the lead engineer returning to the General.

"The door has been installed, sir!"

Prioi Cavern
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Yuriko 'Omega' Matsui listened to the whisper, and shouted. "Stop toying with me!" She bellowed, as psychokinetic energies flared about, causing the rocks themselves to tremble. Yuriko started northwest into the source of the whispers.

Svelga Pass
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