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The Ship
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The Dancing Demon

It was time to take flight once more, the great flying circus was now leaving...How did they say it again...Am-er-eeca? There were so many different languages that was out there that she was very much not used to. It took all she could to somewhat learn what the others said but she still had a long way to go when it came to that...But she was in a excitable mood. A new place to visit, a new area to perform at and a new place to visit...Wherever that was but they were going somewhere. And anywhere new was a moment to look forward to.

Of course, when it came to flying, she was not that worried about heights. She took some high falls before with nary a scratch, but the real problem was that she did not enjoy staying in her own room or deep in the ship. It was decently spacious, but the walls were still confining for her, it made her a bit too anxious so she usually busied herself in other places until her eyes were super droopy so she could sleep well enough. So, what better way to pass the time? Practice her act. Locked inside that room with bars she did not have much to do so as someone said: 'When you stop, you need to do practice to brush up on your skills.' or at least that's what the book she read said.

For now, she would make her way through the halls of the ship and head to the deck of the ship. The most open space, fresh air, and of course places to perfect your act. This was no doubt her favorite place on the ship. Mainly for the fact it had no roof and walls, and she would say her room would be a second. It may have been not the most spacious of places, but her roommate Pepper kept her mind off of things. Pepper is nice. But Pepper is a clown...Nice clown...That worked right?

Oh right, she would get prepared to practice her act. But how should she do this...She had her outfit...Horns for it...Ah...She left that behind...Fire?...Not good when they are on the ship. Mistakes could set fire...Bad thing...Heavy objects? Maybe bad...Could have a mistake and lodge it into a wall or something...Ah...Problems...Problems...Dance...Dance...Dance? Yes dance. She could practice her movements and imagine she had fire. Fan...She had a fan in her pocket yes?...Her slender hands would dig into her outfit and pull out a fan. As she can imagine it now...In front of the cheering crowd...

Her performance would start as she enters the ring, her arms stretched to her side as she spins around a bit. The ringmaster starting say words that begin to excite the crowd. Her form would soon dance with flames as the fans she prepared beforehand would ignite with a spark of flint and steel between her fingers. The crowd would gasp in awe as she would make her way to the center of the ring...Hands fluttering and dancing as she would jump into the air and land on top of a barrel. Her fans soon tossed to the side as they would burn to ash as it cascades across her form as she would begin her act. Yes...The start of her real act...

A grand display of strength, from hefting objects that no mere normal person should attempt. To feats of endurance that would have made any other person give up. Yes, so much she can add...But what sort of things should she add? Maybe a stack of massive crates? Drums full of sand? Perhaps punching through blocks of stone or metal?...So many choices...Ah her dance...Dance first...

She got off track for the moment there, lost in her mind and dreams. A good distraction but she would soon move about for a bit to test what sort of dance she should do. Maybe one with smooth movements followed by a spinning twirl of fire, maybe something faster with lots of movement to make the fire rage out...Ah...So many choices...It should come to her in time. If she kept dancing around, she might come up with the good start. The heavy lifting and other acts after that would come easier. She was good at that. At least the others said she was good at doing stuff like that...

The others...She wondered what sort of magic they had up their sleeves this time around. Their acts were always magical, she would always be transfixed on each of their acts. She looked forward to the next show with bated breath...Ah...The show. She should return to her practice...

With that Karolin would return to her state of practice with moments of zoning out for a bit as she practiced her act.

Camp Athens
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xxxxxxxx T R I N I T Y xx W A L L A C E
xxxxxx Daughter of Ares | Outfit | #461f4b


Wes was strong and she appreciated the shield his body served, but she didn't think she liked him so exposed still and not having her hands free and what if the danger wasn't over. Somewhere along the lines, Trinity dropped to her own two feet again but stayed incredibly close to Wes.

Preoccupied looking every which direction waiting for some other natural disaster to finish her and sticking to Wes to protect her vulnerability - Trinity only just sidestepped the flying or rather falling demigod behind Wes’s back, that crashed at their feet pretty hard. “Heath?” she asked peering over Wes's shoulder confused. Of all demigods, he wasn’t one that she imagined got into a brawl. Much more based on parentage, one he couldn’t win.

But soon enough the cause revealed itself as a wild massive boar that bucked and squealed madly with a blade in its eye. Like a switch, her worry about her nudity suddenly didn't exist.

Straight out of something from a horror, it suddenly stopped thrashing about, snapping its head in their direction even when blind, and what started as a simple spark pulsing along its tusks rapidly grew to lightning emitting from the beast forking out in several directions. She pushed the demigods apart out of its strikes, the light and power literally flashing before her eyes. The boar charged, covering distance faster than anticipated for an oversized animal. Trinity was able to avoid the tusks but not the snout. She planted her feet, grabbed the tusks for leverage and tried to fight the oncoming weight and momentum, digging up the ground, but it still forced her back a couple of steps until she lost her footing and the creature was able to ram her into a tree. It tilted its head side to side knowing its victim was right in front of it, wanting to slice her open. She was able to swivel and dodge the tusks only just, then it lunged in such a way it bit her. “Oww!” She yanked the tusks with all her might until the pig flopped on its side. She summoned a blade to plunge into its heart but it kicked out knocking her aim off, grazing its underside instead and scrambled back to its feet. But with no blood...why was there no blood.

Too thrown by this new attribute, Trinity was caught in a crouch frozen. She had to freeze being level and face to face with the mighty boar less she want a tusk to impale her. She was so close could feel the warm breath of the beast on her. Which likely meant it could feel the same or smell her. She watched its nose twitch and pitless sockets, sure it would be staring at her if its eyes weren't damaged. Trinity braced for the worse, expecting it to erupt into a charge at any moment.

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The red haze crawled over the desert, blanketing everything as another sandstorm swept across the Wastes, devouring all in its grainy clouds. Scout sat at the edge of the bed, hunched over, watching. By now, Boqin surely would have raced across the desert to meet them, had he been victorious.

But Scout knew better.

Her ears pulled back in annoyance, her tail laying still on the bed behind her. Their room was otherwise silent, the tension in the air palpable. Slowly, she rose, the ache in her body easy to mask.

"C'mon," Scout gestured to Ljilja. "I'm tired of sitting around."

Ljilja could not help but hope that he would return in time. He said he would. It was as good as a promise to her. So she did her best to maintain that hope. Still, there was an ember of fear inside of her, scorching her mind a little at a time whenever she allowed it to linger.

So she would not let it linger. Instead they would enjoy this time as they waited. She scurried over to Scout, looking healthier than she had since they began this journey; Ljilja had taken full advantage of the virtually limitless water in the showers, soaking in it for far longer than any of the other competitors would likely have done.

"You should be resting, no...?" Ljilja inquired, though her body language indicated she was eager to get up to something with Scout.

"I feel fine," Scout lied. It was evident by her complexion, which had become ashen in the last handful of days. "Sittin' here 's gonna kill me faster," she grumbled half-jokingly, setting off for the door. "’Sides, ‘s better to do something than wait here, it's boring and I haven't gotten to leave the room yet," exploring would help them pass the time and take their minds off of the noticeable absence in their trio.

In her rush to leave the room, Scout had forgotten to put her boots on. The carpet beneath her feet was plush and luxurious, a dark color to hide the dirt the competitors tracked in. "This is fancy," Scout gave a low whistle, looking at the expensive light fixtures in the hallway.

Ljilja at least remembered to put her gear back on before she left, though the Longjacks remained in the room to charge. Scout was enough of a weapon for the both of them.

The little aquatic mutant was used to the people around her occasionally having nice things; a mining colony had certain benefits, even if you were technically all property of the corporation until you worked off your debt. "Mm-hmm, they have lots of goodies, too!" Ljilja explained, wiggling as she walked alongside Scout.

Scout led the way, her hands stuffed into the pockets of her shorts. Had Ljilja changed them while she was passed out? Or had her clothes magically been cleaned? Scout wasn't sure. Unlike the little fish, Scout was not used to being surrounded by luxury, even now. This hotel seemed out of place among the bloodshed. She suddenly leaned against the wall, momentarily dizzy.

"What kind of goodies?" Scout asked, wondering if Ljilja meant food, or something else. Even now, when she could barely tolerate it, Scout wanted to eat; there was a perpetual gnawing in the pit of her stomach. "There's an elevator?" Scout at least knew what those looked like, she had ridden in them on her way to prison and they had them in some of the Dead Cities, although not all of them worked.

"How many floors are there?"

"Three!" Ljilja announced, pointing at the symbol on the elevator's display. Is that what that meant? That squiggly line that looked like a butt-print in the sand? "And they have cookies and ice cream and hot chocolate and strudel and princes krafne and everything! Whatever you want!"

Ljilja was probably holding back from exploring too much until Scout came to - for as much as Boqin's well-being weighed on Ljilja's mind, Scout's had come quite deeply into question as well.

"Three," Scout repeated, her nose wrinkling. The humans would let this entire building rot once these Games were over. The elevator pinged, the doors opening on their own to reveal its sleek interior with tiled flooring. "Sounds good to me," her mouth watered, even if her stomach kicked in rebellion.

Scout took a short whiff in the air, the elevator having a strange scent to it, one she had only gotten to smell a few times in her life. "Flowers," it was the smell of perfume wafting underneath her nose. The other camps had been exposed to the elements, but this one was closed enough to retain certain scents.

The door pinged again, announcing their arrival to the first floor. Scout stepped off, greeted by an ornate lobby with opulent decorations, chaise lounge chairs, and chandeliers. There were corners to tuck yourself into and get lost in and racks with holo tabloids. A holo vision was mounted on the wall, playing a recap of the Games thus far. Scout turned away from it, blocking Ljilja's view.

"Let's go that way," Scout decided.

The excess of humanity's noblest was at its most abhorrent whenever it fell into mutant hands, for it only occurred in the case of vicious Games, slavery, or disposal. The end of all human luxuries was to be discarded once they had served their use; only after the humans were done with their toys and hedonistic goods were mutants able to pick through the scraps of what remained, the exception of course being when said mutants were their toys.

The wolf and the fish were no different. Ljilja followed Scout's lead as the two made their way into the lobby. She tried to get a look at the screens, but was unable. She was curious why Scout would direct her away from it, then remembered that the experience of most teams was probably far less pleasant than theirs. It had not been an easy ride through the desert, but save for some close calls and that final encounter, Ljilja had been spared the brunt of the fighting. That fact was probably something Scout could take pride in, if nothing else.

She had to walk quickly to keep up with Scout. Her hand reached out to try and take hers, that she would not get left behind.

An odd pair, they made. A tall, lanky, wolf, and a small, happy, fish. Scout hardly felt Ljilja's hand slip into her own, but she didn't reject it. Instead, the wolf slowed a bit, recalling that Ljilja could not walk as fast as she. Here; the hallway changed again. Signs began to pop up, pointing in the direction of the highlights of this building.

At one end, there was a pool, in another, a gym, and a third, the dining hall. There were signs for a supply room, a medical room, and an outfitter. All of it was for the use of the contestants, who were allowed to spend as much time as they wanted in any of these areas. At least until the clock struck midnight on the deadline. Then this hotel would be emptied, a pitiful shell of its once shining interior.

Even now, the floor, which had been switched to tile, was kept in immaculate condition, perhaps laid for this occasion. "I can smell it," her senses never lied. They arrived at the dining room with ease. This one almost resembled the one in the mutant housing onboard the ship.

There were real tables and chairs, not folding ones. There was silverware, and even a drink dispenser. Most importantly, however, was the selection of goodies just for them.

Ljilja hopped in place at the sight, gripping firmly to Scout's hand with her little palm. "See? I told you there were many things!" she exclaimed, turning her head this way and that.

Scout nodded, licking her lips. Which side should they start on? Her tail had begun to pick up, wagging in a way it rarely ever did. "Let's go this way," Scout decided. She was still holding onto Ljilja's hand. With the other, Scout picked up a tray. Would it be too much to get a little bit of everything? Scout wanted to try it all.

Ljilja had already eaten some while she was waiting for Scout to come to. She picked up a bowl of crunchy sea snacks and added it to her tray along with some cold tea. Eventually she had to let go of Scout's hand for practicality, but stuck close to her side nonetheless.

Scout was determined, she was juggling three plates by the time she was satisfied and found a table for them to sit at. It was in the corner, far away from anyone else who might enter. She picked some sort of brown drink to wash it all down with, the label too complex for her to read. "I think I got everything," Scout nodded with satisfaction. She set the plates down, looking over her bounty with a strange sense of pride.

Six months ago, she never would have believed that she would get to eat all of this.

A mutant moved nervously towards them, not wearing the uniforms of the contestants. He appeared out of place, what with his strange white bib that read VOLUNTEER across the front and his hat. The mutant was not part of the Game, but that meant little to the others, who would strike faster than they could think. His tail hung between his legs and he swallowed a nervous gulp, approaching the table where two contestants had just sat down. "'Scuse me," he tugged on the collar of his shirt. "There's a package for your team at the front desk, says it's time sensitive on the front. It's a sponsor gift," he looked between them, then quickly scurried off.

Scout glanced at Ljilja, figuring it was probably for the fish. She was popular with the humans and it was no wonder, what with her bright face and persistent hope. "Should we go see what it is?"
Ljilja munched on her crunchy seafood snacks, picking up her bowl and shuffling out of her seat. "Maybe it is a present," she surmised, excitedly hopping to her feet. "Let us see!" Her experience with the sponsor drops thus far had been only positive; even now, her endless flask of water was one of her most prized possessions.

Scout rose, too, having waited for the fish to finish. "They've been generous," Scout admitted. There was not a speck of jealousy in her voice, she knew she was unlikable. She wasn't even sure why Ljilja continued to hang around her. Scout raised her arms above her head, feeling a bit better after getting out of the room. The wolf made certain to keep pace with her partner, not wanting Ljilja to fall behind because of her wide stride. It was easy to find their way back to the front desk, since they had passed the lobby on their way to the dining room.

At the desk was a stack of tubes, similar to the ones launched in the middle of the desert. Each had a different name written on them, but they were left unattended. "You think one of these is it?" She asked, unable to read the contestant names written on the front.

Ljilja followed along with a skip to her step. Perhaps Scout had raised her arms because she knew that, if they were closer to Ljilja's level, she would immediately grab hold of one of her hands. The wolf was plenty likable as far as she was concerned, not that her or anyone else's efforts to convince her of that had borne any fruit.

Once they arrived at the desk, Ljilja looked through for anything labeled Scout, Boqin, or Ljilja, and took it. The rest she left behind on principle; Ljilja was no thief, unguarded goods or not!

"This one says it's yours," Ljilja answered, holding out a tube to her.

"For me?" There was genuine surprise written across her face. She took the offered tube, tapping her bracelet against it. The small door on the container popped open, an even smaller box inside, along with a bottle of water that had the same letters as the one on the tube. "There's a note," Scout raised it, squinting at the letters as though she could make sense of them this way. With a slight blush, she held the note out to Ljilja. "... Can you... read it?" She asked, avoiding her gaze in embarrassment.

"Yes!" Ljilja excitedly proclaimed, taking the note and unfurling it, her bright blue eyes skimming over its surface. "It says it is treatment...medicine to help you feel better...and it is signed from 'B'. Who is 'B'?" she asked, tilting her head curiously before handing the note back to Scout.

Scout stuffed the note in her pocket, "Bea," the wolf opened the smaller box inside, revealing a pill packet similar to the one she had taken while still on the ship. "She said she makes experimental medicine for Ori," was that nervousness or excitement in Scout's voice? Could there be a small part of her that still wanted to live?

Ljilja wiggled in place, squinting at the packet Scout revealed. "Good news, then!" she concluded, hopping once, then twice. "Maybe you will feel better!"

Scout nodded, ”I'll take the first one now," her tail swished a bit, her ears perked upright. She popped the pill into her mouth, chasing it down with water. Hope was such a sweet, but cruel thing.

Like an affectionate cat, Ljilja moved beside Scout and nestled in close against her. The occupation of her hands may have kept Scout from having one of them taken, but it did not shield her from the limitless clinginess of the small aquatic.

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Layla I walk into the big stable in shock at how big it is

Dark Woods
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/say Selest stays silent as she watches and listens from behind one of the trees hoping now one can see her.

The Tower
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With the vermillion flame of her glare fading, it ferried the false notion that perhaps she had recognized a long-lost acquaintance, further supported with her shared draconic status with their current enemy. However, following the neutral stare was a dainty head tilt, now describing more appropriately confusion and puzzlement. She had thought her kind were amongst the stars. Even if they weren’t quite splitting images of the same species, Sibylle figured she at least would be able to prod some answers.

Well, after she has placated the haughty sea drake..

Only granted a short reprieve to process, she blankly stared at Art who now was tucked neatly in her arms before her own honed instincts were lit ablaze. Clenching him close and bending into a taut crouch before bursting into the air. Squalls of fierce winds subsequently erupted from the bellows of her leathered wings, concussing into the floor’s surface before sweeping and spreading across the blond concrete.

“My my? So they’ve entrusted you with a leadership position despite such fallacious judgment? Just makes me want to eat you even MORE! Having landed firmly from her leap with a heel flip, the concentrated force rippled through the abused flooring and formed fractures that stemmed from the foot she landed upon. Tensing further, her taller frame twisted powerfully and in tandem, her tail seemed to enlarge. Spanning to its true size, several times taller than the woman herself, it was both strong and fast enough to swat them out of their leap. Disturbing Sibylle’s flight path and sending them careening into a nearby wall.

Acting fast, Sibylle turned her body to absorb the brunt of the blow as they collided cleanly with one of the supports that hugged the arena outskirts. Iseul, who was closeby, advanced through the dusky smoke, the rhythmic strut reverberating through the arena.

The vermillion dragon recovered quickly, but delicately placed Artellis down first before marching front and center between her leader and her enemy to provide her teammate with the space and range to fire his weapon.

“I pray you can match my stomach, Redwing.” With a voice like pompous silk, she directed her next taunts towards Sibylle specifically as they faced off. “Or I’ll be taking your dearest leader as my next meal..~”

Said leader coughed some from the dust, arms feeling like they’d been ripped from their sockets when Sibylle jumped with all of that force. Artellis’ face was windswept, and he couldn’t help but be envious of his companion’s fortitude. Such incredible movements didn’t seem to harm her in the slightest, and even after being slapped from the sky by Iseul, Sibylle didn’t even really seem to flinch, far more concerned with his own wellbeing before she charged in. In fact, despite taking the blow and cushioning his impact, she seemed less bruised than he was.

“Sibylle-” Art tried to raise a voice of concern before she took off, but it wouldn’t be heard as she moved to clash with her rival dragon. As much as he wanted to believe in her, this other dragon matched and even outpaced her speed - Though had Sibylle slowed down for his sake? He couldn’t be certain. He hoped so. If she could fight this aqua dragon on even or stronger footing, that would be perfect. If not, as it stood now, he’d need to be the difference maker - And ideally, not as a liability.

For now, he shifted. He needed to be clear of their clash before they tore up the ground and wall from impacting into each other. Running along the wall, Artellis repositioned, taking aim for any openings he had to chip at Iseul. Safe shots. He’d need to play it cautious just in case they shifted unexpectedly and he ended up shooting Sibylle. Lining up his weapon, he fired off a few energy rounds, mainly at Iseul’s face to throw her off. In its default state, his gun could wind a normal person and maybe even knock them off their feet. For beings as powerful as these two? Well, distraction was perhaps all he could hope to achieve. All the while, his mind raced, analyzing the situation both in this battle, and across the field. This fight would be for naught if the crown was lost.

Unfortunately such foresight wasn’t a staple in Sibylle’s regular thought stream, unfortunately viewing her supposed leader as an almost materialistic trophy piece of her to-be-protected hoard as opposed to an ally of equal strength. These simplistic views beckoned her to posture herself between Art and Iseul, not exactly allowing him much of an avenue to fire true once their bout started.

However, despite the setback, the measured volley of fluxing energy aimed true. Curving around the charging Sibylle and deterring Iseul for a breath’s reprieve. Weaving as she ran, she dodged the majority of the bolts, the blasts singing the concrete with dusky ash. However, one soared directly into her amber gaze, forcing her to pivot her feet into a violent stop as she deflected the lucent projectile out of the air, and into one of the concrete beams close to the wall with a deft swipe.

As soon as her own hand eclipsed her direct sightline, Sibylle was already leaping into the air and preparing to deliver a punishing smash, jumping to unintentionally provide an explicit window for a few more shots..or taunts.

“Yes… We can do this!” Art grinned to himself as he continued focusing his shots on Iseul through the fresh direct-angle Sibylle provided him. They could do this. Even if Iseul was stronger, she wasn’t powerful enough to deal with the both of them in a scenario like this. Confidence riding high, Artellis waited for the inevitable impact of Sibylle’s killer blow. It made his worry earlier seem silly.

Whetted senses hearing ever clearly Artellis’ premature celebratory gestures, a wide smile formed on Iseul’s previously neutral expression. Scoffing loudly, she readied her counter-measure. “How precious!”

Twirling back, her impressive tail surged forward, a wide deft sweep that swatted away the covering fire and protected Iseul’s sinless skin from blemishing. Moving in tandem, the haughty ivory-scaled dragoness hid behind the wide ridge of the appendage and pranced back in preparation to dodge Sibylle’s slam.

The vermillion dragon instinctively aimed her landing on the tail, only for the finned hind limb to retract back to reveal only the grimy flooring. Imparting fissure where she landed, Sibylle continued her assault, starting with a gnarly right hook that rippled through the air.

However with a dexterous motion, Iseul patted the attack to the side. Despite being off-balance, Sibylle extended her other arm to strike in a horizontal hammering motion only for the sea drake to dip to the side and catch it under her own left arm.

With a wide swipe, Iseul serrated through the front fabric of the other dragon’s blouse and drew blood. Drawing from the opening by pushing Sibylle back slightly and delivering a weighty hard-heeled front-kick that sent her tumbling to the ground.

“Hmb, how you fight, dear dragon, is rather uncivilized. Had no one bothered to teach you how to properly throw a punch?”

With a profound grunt, Sibylle responded in kind to the obvious taunt. Charging once more and inadvertently blocking Art from a clear shot similar to earlier in their encounter. Using her wings for leverage, the red dragoness leapt up and attempted a crescent roundhouse kick. However, as if reading the ebbs and flows of the aether currents in the air, Iseul only needed to dip back slightly to dodge before grasping onto the outstretched limb with her talons and pulling her in.

Combining with the added momentum of Sibylle being brought into her, Iseul changed grips and delivered a blistering punch directly into the vermillion dragoness’ stomach. Not wasting either movement or moment as Sibylle clenched her side at a desperate attempt to catch her breath, Iseul seized the red dragon by her fiery hair before she could fall on her back and angled another intense blow with her opposite fist directly into the red dragon’s jaw. With a fiery smile, she shoved Sibylle back with the elbow of the same arm and delivered a final blow with her tail, twisting her form in tandem to utilize every muscle in her body and condense it into the devastating smash.

Crashing into Sibylle at blinding speeds, the attack thrusted her towards Artellis. As her gashed and battered form landed near her teammate, it became readily apparent that some sort of venom was taking hold. Her body convulsed as if electrifying shocks were flowing through her bloodstream, already unable to move a muscle courtesy of the pain alone and now finding it difficult to keep her eyes open due to the choice combination of both.

“Tsk tsk, as expected for a red dragon. So accustomed to destruction that you’re nothing but prey once your attacks are properly dealt with..” As a lofty tut seeped from her lips, her eyes fashioned themselves into a haughty glare. A condescending look one might manifest when acknowledging a wounded animal.

Then turning her head up, Iseul stared directly into Artellis with an elfin smile. “Now now, Mr. Leader..what will you do now? I might’ve accidentally broken one of your precious tools.”

Artellis froze for a moment as he processed just what had happened. The vicious blows Iseul had landed and the way she’d dispatched Sibylle in what felt like mere moments. “No way…” Art mumbled to himself. They’d been winning right? It felt like they had the advantage seconds earlier, and yet now… Art’s eyes dropped down to Sibylle, trembling more than his own, scared body. Sibylle was incredible. The strongest on their team. If she was dispatched so easily by this monster… What chance did they have? What chance did he have?

Sweat dripped from Art’s chin. They were done, right? They lost. He had to run. Get out and dodge. Away from death staring him in the face. His grip on his gun tightened. If he ran, could he even escape that creature? And if he did, what then? What would happen to Sibylle if he did? Was he just going to abandon her? Did he have to leave another friend to their demise? Artellis swallowed. Then he resigned himself to it. Art shut his eyes and started firing.

His fear and cowardice on full display, Artellis sent a wild spray of energy bullets Iseul’s way, but there was no need for her to even bother deflecting or dodging. They were horribly off the mark, as his shaky, one handed aim was pathetic. Meanwhile his other hand waved in front of him in a panic. Every single shot sailed past her. It was sad really. Fear seemed to have clawed away any rational thoughts in his brain. He really should have put his all into either running away; or if he did plan to face Iseul, opening his eyes and actually aiming at her. As it was, she’d have no trouble catching the stationary target and devouring him. If she even wanted to. A pathetic, annoyingly loud scream of fear was all the confirmation Iseul needed that he wasn’t even worth her time. “DOOOOOOONNNN’TTTT EAAATTTT MMMMEEEE! I SURRREEENNDDEEERRR-” Artellis wailed at the top of his lungs, all of his dignity gone as the coward made his utter defeat apparent…

With a tight frown, Iseul’s legs tauted before expanding outwards, sending her forward at blistered speeds. Treading through the aether-laden air fluently, it would only be a wilted breath before she’d reach him, free of another enemy to block the forward motion and easily dodging the more frenzied barrage of bolts with only moderate adjustments.

“This look is more fitting! Scream for me, Mr. Leader!” The umbra of her slitted eyes narrowed, exposing further the intense orange hearth that flanked the pupil. Pounding off her heel, she leapt into the air and intended to seize him by the throat.

Then, as Iseul got right next to her prey, she heard a single word: “Not~”

Art stopped his screaming, opening his eyes and looking to face Iseul directly, a smirk on his lips. And as his ear-splitting scream faded, other sounds became more apparent to Iseul’s senses. Large chunks of rubble and debris came crashing down around her, the shattered concrete pillar collapsing from the combination of the two dragons clashing and the seemingly errant shots from Artellis just seconds before. It had all been an act! Feigning weakness to have her let her guard down as the rocks came crashing down! Even that undignified scream was a ploy to hide the warning signs-! Though it wouldn’t be enough to take her down, with that long tail of hers, there was no way she wasn’t going to be pinned down or distracted, at least for a moment. And in that moment…

Taking a step back from the approaching dragoness, straying just out of her range, Art reached to the underside of his weapon, pulling and revealing the glowing energy chamber underneath. The liquid inside seemed to bubble, swirl and brighten, energy crackling at the front of his weapon as a sphere formed. “EAT IT!” Art cried out as the energy bolt rocketed off the weapon, a booming noise echoing out from it and sending the man flying backwards from the force of the shot. The green ball of powerful aether tore through the air, kicking up dust as it closed in directly on the dragoness. All he needed was for this to hit. Normally, someone of her power and speed could easily avoid a telegraphed strike like this, but so long as he’d gotten her stuck, even for a moment, this had to be enough to finish her. At least, that’s what he hoped. He’d never known about this mode of his gun until moments ago, but it definitely felt more powerful.

Iseul’s instincts screamed to her, unable to properly read the boy’s latent intention before it was far too late to gracefully dodge. That large tail of hers, as predicted, became caught first by a stray piece of rubble. Iseul grunted sorely as she had to pull herself free multiple times as her tail became caught in rapid succession. Soon after, the fluxing blast rippled through the air and struck Iseul directly in the chest, sending her deeper into the pile before she was buried by the falling debris.

Sitting up from the floor, Art brushed his nose with his hand as he sat, taking in the scene. The gamble had paid off. He’d done it! Breathing a sigh of relief, he leaned back. Earning a reprieve of resting silence, it was almost as if Art could rest easy until the pile of wreckage shook like a stirring mountain. Erupting from the top was Iseul, noble robes ripped and dirtied, skin bruised and scraped. Smiling further, she shouted at Art before pushing off her tail and legs in a mighty skyfall towards his location.

“HAH, I might fall in love. You’re amazing, Leader!~” In a fleeted moment, Iseul was only a few steps away.

“You’ve got to be kidding me?!” Artellis swore as he scrambled to try and get to his feet, having relaxed that bit too much to be ready to move and escape her lunging strike. With his weapon switched to the ‘‘Big-Bang Mode’ as he now thought of it, it’d take too long to charge and fire. Flat footed as he’d been, he couldn’t hope to escape her pinpoint strike. Eyes wide with fear, he braced for what he thought was the inevitable, but a figure seeped from the shadows just in time, well out of the sightlines of both combatants.

With a clumsy dive, Sibylle pounced from her position and seized Iseul’s tail, using her wings and legs for extra leverage as her numbed body still attempted recovery from the sea drake’s poison. Exchanging a stern look with Art, she called to him desperately.


Art blinked in stunned silence, before one name escaped his lips. “Sibylle?!” He didn’t have too long to process her request. And yet, instinct took over. He wasn’t about to be devoured. Together, they’d feast on Iseul’s defeat! Tightening his grip and planting his feet, he stopped running. This time, Art was better prepared for the blowback from his gun. He’d eased off the trigger when his feet left the ground the first time. This time, he’d hit her with everything he had! Crackles of viridian energy leapt from his weapon, and at this range, he’d never miss. Art pulled the trigger.

Another loud boom came from the gun, Artellis’ arms blowing up and past his head from the force. But this time, the boy stayed firmly rooted to the ground. No snarky quip escaped his mouth this time as the blast was dead on towards Iseul. The impact of the shot was mixed with the ringing of the bell and a dust cloud of smoke and debris. The round was over. Perhaps, he should have been concerned about the crown. Whether they won or lost. But instead, Artellis scrambled into the storm of dust, shielding his eyes with his sleeve as he repeated the name he’d spoken moments early. “Sibylle?! Hey, you okay?!” Stumbling over the chunks of fallen pillar, Art rubbed his eyes as he struggled to see through the smokescreen, reaching for the dragon figure on the floor. “Oh thank goodness, you’re okay!” Squeezing her in a hug, Art helped her up to her feet. Then, as his eyes cleared and the smoke faded, he immediately recoiled back as Iseul stared back at him. He’d found the wrong dragon.

The prodding silence after the combination of resounding booms suggested they had finally defeated the enemy, but the rustling within the dusty smoke almost as quickly did away with the notion. Despite the sheer force of the blast, her body was built to withstand aether, Iseul, now with the foresight to prepare, growing her scales outwards as she tanked the familiar fluxes with her shoulders and arms. It seemed she made a conscious effort to protect Sibylle as well, having moved her tail so that the now-unconscious dragon woman that clung to her scaled appendage was well-behind Iseul as soon as the attack made contact.

Still, even as she mustered enough strength to exchange looks, Iseul had suffered much more damage than one might expect courtesy of that pesky workshop weapon. That ivory fabric of her robes seared with blackened openings and revealing equally ashen char marring her previously porcelain skin. Her face was decorated with soot and grime and that kempt mane of hair now disorderly with stray strands.

But that smile of hers, it grew brighter as soon as they locked eyes. Using one of her taloned hands, she pulled Art close to her chest and trapped him for a few moments before letting him finally breath. With a disarming laugh, that hungering personality of hers seemed to shift to one that beckoned levity, now seemingly devoid of that bloodlust that emitted off of her like stench. “I am well, Mr. Leader.~♪ But your worry was well-placed!” Despite knowing that it was truly meant for the other dragon, her playful nature had her tease the poor boy as she stood from her previously knelt posture. Artellis stammered out incomplete words as he attempted to pass his shock and fear.

As a reluctant mercy, Iseul pivoted back to acknowledge the near unconscious Sibylle, who adhered to her whitish blue tail with both hand and foot. The appendage snaked in front of Iseul and shook rapidly, dropping the vermillion dragon in front of Art delicately as he caught her, followed by the tip of the limb drifting to the boy’s cheek and stroking once in a deft motion. “Please don’t wrongly believe I’ve did away with the prospect of devouring you, Mr. Leader. Despite the conclusion of this bout..hunger never truly goes away.~” While still ever cryptic, the tone of her voice suggested that she was merely joking with him about her bloodlust despite her previous intentions.

Turning tail and strutting towards her cell, she tilted her chin over her shoulder and imparted some final words. “Regardless, I would do away with even rudimentary trust in a dragon with red scales. Even if she hasn’t developed it yet, that lust and propensity for destruction flows deeper in those veins than blood.” The coy notes of her dialogue hardened, growing cold and sharp before shifting back to her signature grin. “I’d much rather you join me, I can be much cuter if that’ll convince you.~”

With that, she marched away without slowing. Art could only knee and watch her leave in stunned silence as he held and checked on Sibylle. Though Iseul had given him a lot to think about, right now, the most important thing was ensuring that Sibylle was okay. Though that was going to be quite hard with his attempts not to stare at her torn up blouse. Medical care probably should’ve taken priority, but he was no expert. Instead, he removed his jacket before he’d get Sibylle wrapped in it for modesty. “You did great Sibs, don’t let her get to you.” He commented as his best means of encouragement as the dragon leaned on him for support. She wasn’t in any state to be walking, so… Scooping the dragon up from underneath, Art’s face strained and knees buckled from the effort. Despite his struggles, he was surprised how light she was. Staggering across the room, he aimed to regroup with the others and see how the grander battle had turned out.

Nishihara Academy
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Dragon Ridge Mountains
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suck it

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/say ( hi im bloodywave)

los angeles, california
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Meanwhile, Chloe Hayes had just had her left foot examined and they discovered bone spurs in the ankle area, which was the cause of her collapse on the court at her high school. She was scheduled for surgery in due time. She sat in her bed awaiting the next days before the surgery. She was very nervous about what was to happen next. She knew her high school basketball career was over for at least a year or two.

Chloe was 15 years old, about 5'9", 145 pounds, athletic build, blonde hair, blue eyes. She didn't have too many friends. Maybe being in the hospital would help her find some.

Camp ground on earth date is April 3, 2076
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/say Alyssa, Are you there? I am not sure where to find you. It's Carla. Can you help me?

your imagination :o
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Samuel Okens I sit

Kos: Great Bastion Research Center
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Samuel Okens wave at Rag the Genie

Bastion IV
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Wing City Gardens (South)
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"Unknowns have retreated...This city is always full of strange things and hostiles..." A Guardsman sighed as they went back to work.

For poor Ebba even though the noise began to fade away she just attached herself to Teddy and seemed to have no intention of letting go. Her eyes remained shut, she had cried enough to the point where tears could not fall. Her body was still shaking. And she still held him tightly.

Was it safe? She was not taking the chance to look around. She just wanted to be safe with someone she relatively knew and who was nice nearby.

Wing City Town Square
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The Rocketeer stops, muttering something about having to get off-planet, and fast.

Pagourano Spaceport
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Michael Wolfenstein continued to finish his cigarette while looking around for the contractor who had hired him. He took a few more puffs and drags before putting his cigarette out, when he noticed someone else looking at him.

He locked eyes for a moment with Dr. Lucius, and was surprised to see the director walking towards him before he throws his cigarette butt in the ashtray and pulls out a stick of red chewing gum, unwrapping it and placing the gum into his mouth before throwing the gum wrapper in the trash can as Lucius suddenly stopped to take a phone call. Mike waited patiently for him to put his phone away before approaching him casually, removing his sunglasses for a minute and folding them up as he extended one arm, shaking hands with the independent contractor in charge of paying him for his service.

"Mr. Lamech? Hi, I'm Michael Wolf, I'm here for the assignment?" Mike's wrist watch suddenly started vibrating silently, causing very light sensations against his wrist which only Mike could feel. Mr. Wolf glanced at his watch very briefly before inquiring about the current setting and further mission details, listening carefully even as a crew worker interrupted them during their short conversation.

He just wanted Mike Wolf to sign some papers, which he did without even stopping his stride as they walked towards the deployment chambers. "Colossal Bioscience Laboratories is here on a geological expedition to sample some rocks and stones from the mountains. I guess they have their own contract with XamGen and the Intergalactic Genetic Technology laboratories on Terra. Luckily for me, The Continental also has a few chains on Terra, so I was able to get a pretty good deal on my flight here."

Mike stopped and whistled loudly over the sound of the noisy and crowded deployment chamber, yelling at one of the workers in the orange jumpsuits wearing a neon yellow vest and hard hat to be more careful with the merchandise as he had nearly stumbled while rushing quickly to place a rather heavy and expensive computer monitor on to the back of a 10-wheeled transport truck with an open tent bed. "What's with all the equipment anyway? AEA Zeus? 700 Nitro Express? Mind telling me what this is all about?"

Periwinkle Institute
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kazuyuki miyato.
dialogue: #a59bbd. thought: #a6b5f0.

Jorji is gone and his offer to Bronte is in the air, but that short moment of what feels like chaos settling is swiftly interrupted by another new face. A new face that, if he can be entirely honest, made Kazuyuki want to quit the project and run. He's clearly angry, and truthfully Kazuyuki doesn't think he has the energy to deal with the attitude he was carrying, not after everything the day had already thrown on him. Or the fact that it felt like not nearly enough of this move-in day was organized to avoid these sort of situations.

So these rooms were preassigned? Or they had roommates? Or someone else had claimed this before him, and he just hadn't noticed? It wasn't like it had been locked, though, and he hadn't noticed many signs of anyone else living here, so how in the world was he supposed to know that it had already been claimed? He wasn't all-knowing, and moving into a new apartment was already overwhelming enough as it was without any real information on how they were supposed to handle or go about it.

New blood? His brows furrow, and he glances to Bronte for a brief moment, tries his best not to overthink things more than he already was. What, are we in the military now? Give me a break.

He's reaching his limit. His nerves are fried from the stress of everything today. He hadn't even eaten yet, he was tired. And he'd just finished unpacking, so repacking didn't feel that appealing right now if he was getting kicked out within a just a few hours of arriving.

"Okay, nice to meet you too, I guess." It comes out a little sharper than he means it to and he bites his tongue, attention moving to Astrophel shortly after. "Were we supposed to be following a chart or assigned rooms or...something like that?"

Blue eyes stare back at Kazuyuki, but the child-like AI is shaking his head, "I wasn't briefed on that, so I'm unaware if that's the case. It seems there has been a few miscommunications."

A slight sigh of relief even though he already knew Astrophel's answer (as if he hadn't asked him several times already; trying to move into somewhere with a full set of new roommates was already anixety inducing enough as it was, he wanted to make sure he knew as much as he could on how to handle it before he was there), his attention turns back to the stranger, or one of his new roommates, and if he can be fully transparent, it's very regrettable that that's the case. He'd hoped that most of those here would be pleasant to be around, but he should've known better with his luck. I guess there always has to be one. "Like Astrophel said, there's been a miscommunication, so why not go and find someone from staff to figure things out? I'm sure this can all be sorted out, and we'll be out of your hair in no time-"

And then, the sound of a bell over the intercom, a short message telling them to gather. Already? This was happening much faster than he was expecting. And perhaps ill timed too, or maybe it was the perfect escape to get out of this situation before it worsened any further?

"Or maybe it'll have to wait, unless we can find someone on staff in the lounge to talk to." A small sigh, he moves to grab his phone off his bed (or so he hoped it was his), Astrophel making his way out from the bathroom door to follow him now. He shifts his focus to Bronte, apologetic smile crossing his expression, "I guess helping you move in will have to wait. Sorry, Bronte."

The Sky
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❝You don't have to be afraid, you just have to believe.❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#DE85B1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #ECC8EC

|| [url=SONGURL]songname || artist[/url] ||

Why did Key have this strange feeling as she watched Xi'an walk away with Pandora? Why did she feel as though she was being left behind? "Xixi?" Key's tail fell as her friend was led to the first aid room in order to bandage her arm. "Key, come on, we have a show to prepare for." Felt said, guiding her away from the door. Levi and Felix had already been taken away, the two of them on ticket and clean up duty for their scandal. "What's wrong?" Felt asked as they sat in the dressing room, Argent putting makeup on. "I just feel... left out sometimes." Key replied, even though she had urged them to escape on their own. "Well, that's ridiculous. You know Xi'an and Felix would jump off the ship for you," Felt grinned, tilting Key's chin up. "Besides, staying out of trouble is something to be proud of. You're a good girl Kiki," Felt pat her head. "Now, get ready, or your mother will have our necks." Key nodded, turning back to her mirror.

She put on her leotard and put her hair into pigtails, wondering if Xi'an would be backstage soon. Outside, the crowd had begun to gather, it was time for them to take their places. "Everyone, ten minutes!" Fox yelled, they could hear him through the curtain. Key slipped her shoes on, tying them up around her ankles so that they wouldn't slip. "Let's do this," Felt clapped her on the back. Argent rose, Key would remain backstage until it was her act, the last act. "Break a leg," she looked for Felix, who was sitting on a stack of crates, looking glum. "Ticket duty is the worst," he groaned, perking up immediately when he saw her. "Fox wasn't too angry, was he?"

Key shook her head, "No, but he made me clean the whole dining room," Felix blanched. "That's unfair! We were the ones that busted out." Key giggled, "it's fine. I didn't mind," Levi suddenly walked up behind them, wearing a uniform that was two sizes too big. Key giggled upon seeing him, Levi scratching the back of his head. "Have either of you seen Xi'an?" She asked, looking backstage. "Not since we got back, but I did hear her Mother screaming her brains out." Key went pale, wondering if she should have gone out instead of Xixi. "Hey guys," Xi'an startled them, the three of them jumping. Her grin was mischveious, she yanked Key's tail, Key squeaking, which made Pandora shush them. "What was that for?" Key asked, rubbing her behind. "Payback," Xi'an replied, crossing her arms.

"Kids, get ready!" Pandora called, they needed to take their places. "Hey, I'll be watching from out there." Levi waved, exiting the curtains and going to take a seat. Key crossed her arms. "Do you still not like him?" Felix asked, Key's expression changing, becoming softer. "It's not that I don't like him... I just never asked for a partner." Felix nodded his head. "I can see what you mean. If Fox suddenly said that they had gotten another fire eater, I would probably be mad too." Felix rose, he needed to go get ready. "Break a leg," Key waved. She went to help Pandora fix her corset, tying it in the back for her Mother. "Break a leg," Pandora kissed her on the top of the head, then strode out from the curtains with Fox, their hands connected.

The shrouded claws
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Treda did not respond to Adapa's chirping, but something else did. As the anomalous Belle took a moment to reflect on her past before working her magic and patiently using her intelligence to undo the knotted tails, a strange phenomenon took place. The other 11 adapises had gathered around her, forming a sort of protective circle around the goddess and their king. But they weren't looking around. Instead, they seemed to be focused on Belle and the five or six young adapises whose tails had become tangled and glued together. They were watching closely, observing what Belle was doing and occasionally glancing silently at one another before continuing to observe.


Apada and Fat Guss watched and listened. There was mostly only the sound of silence, with the breeze and the noise of the jungle causing the leaves and long saw-like grass to rattle and sway. There was a low rumbling, and Fat Guss looked down and rubbed his large round belly. Was he hungry again already? Fat Guss had just eaten a whole basket of mulberries before everyone showed up. He looked up at the demonstration again, watching Belle reverse engineer one of the Xamoyoadapiformes' most complex knots. The adapises had mastered the art of knot tying, but were now getting schooled in how to untie them. Some of the squirrel-like primates seemed to be lost in gaze at their own weapons and simple primitive costumes, which their inner-tree civilization had grown their entire culture and perception around for at least 200 years, if not longer. They were beginning to look at the knots they used to fashion such gear and question their own designs, seeing and retaining what Belle was teaching them.

They were learning and remembering what they see...

Fat Guss could feel the low rumbling again and looked down, rubbing his hand across his belly. He started to look up at the top of his seed staff, uninterested in the knotwork so much as the seeds themselves, trying to determine if he was still hungry. But then something strange began to happen. The rumbling got stronger, deeper and louder. "Guss, stop farting." Apada whispered, nudging Fat Guss with his elbow while his focus was fixed on Belle's craft. Fat Guss turned slowly and looked at him with a fixed, blankly awkward expression as the lower rumbling sound continued, the vibrations getting more intense. Fat Guss looked perplexed and speechless, staring at him. "Guss, wha-" Apada was about to elbow him again as he turned to look at Fat Guss, who was staring at him with a stupid look on his face. The rumbling was getting stronger, and by now Apada was beginning to feel the vibration also. Fat Guss began to shake nervously, his seed staff beginning to rattle slightly as Apada's eyes suddenly widened.

His ears perked up, and Apada turned around and gazed up at the giant banyan-like tree that was 150 feet away, looking at Adapa from a distance, who had been distracting the Xamoyan turtle by chirping and barking. Apada whistled through his buckteeth, catching Adapa's attention before chirping at him to stop barking. Adapa listened quietly, still looking at Treda cautiously while flicking his tail in spontaneous rapid gestures. But as the jungle began to move and he started to hear breaking branches and foliage, Adapa's ears twitched and his tail froze. There was a creaking and creeping, methodical high-pitched sound that sounded almost unnatural and mechanical. "Tchs... goddess? Chts tskcs, can we go faster?" Apada asked, seizing Fat Guss's wrist to make him stop shaking the seed staff. The slow, methodical creaking and buzzing of machinery became louder as it drew closer.

Suddenly all of the adapises in the small clearing were focused on the tall grass, close to but not exactly on the same paths they had come from. The grass to the tiny rodent-like lemurian lorisideia seemed like giant walls made of enormous green shoots and saw-like ferns, taller than themselves. But what was walking through the shrouded claws, partially rusted and covered in vines, was even taller than the grass. Fat Guss wasn't starving, and he didn't have gas at the moment. The rumbling sound was being caused by something larger and more dangerous trudging through the jungle, maybe even more dangerous than Treda who was already a massive predator. Adapa saw it first from his flattened perched gaze 10 feet above the turtle in the tall tree, and remained frozen, trying to figure out what it was that he could tell was nearing his position. Adapa couldn't smell anything different in the air which might suggest another lifeform was nearby, and found it difficult to see its full figure even as the unsuspected intruder approached within 10 feet of Treda, stopping abruptly.

It was an Automation Unit Killdrone...

AUK-53 as this more modern unit was called, the anthropomorphic cybernetic machine was carrying a high-energy rifle, wearing strange gear while making unusual noises. None of these things were familiar to anything else in all of their experience in the shrouded claws, and immediately Adapa was terrified, darting around to the back of the tree while climbing up higher and peeking around from the other side to focus solely on AUK-53, now staring directly at him without moving, starting the same process of his ritualistic staring contest all over again. "Gr-Greetingszzzz" the drone soldier or resistant fighter said as it stumbled upon them and detected their presence.

AUK-53 switched through its internal camera-sensitive cyber vision, detecting very little if any difference in the signatures at first before spotting the nest and the king on infrared, but on thermal setting he detected several heat signatures, perhaps more than he had bargained for when he entered the shrouded claws or the whale's belly. There was life hidden everywhere, camouflaged in plain sight, some smaller than the adapises, and some even larger than the turtle. Some had feet and some had wings, but almost none of them were bipedal, apart from the mostly arboreal giant great apes like Xamatopithecus or the small semi-bipedal primates like Xamoyoadapis, in this case, the small sentient and sapient loris-like rodential primates that were living inside the enormous banyan-like tree which towered even most of the other large giant trees which formed the jungle's dark canopy.

As he switched to infrared, the mammals and warm-blooded animals became invisible to AUK-53, but some of the exotic flowers and plant life became more vibrant and noticable, as did Treda's skeleton and Adapa's nest. As he switched his lenses and turned his spectrum back to the thermal setting, AUK-53's eye-like cameras started to detect the Xamoyoadapises quite clearly again through their colorful change in heat signatures, but their nests became invisible. Luckily for the adapises, their nests were in the core of the great tree, where it was very cold and damp, lacking any sunlight and too thick to detect with heat sensors. Adapa himself, however, stood out like a sore thumb, a bright contrast to the color of the tree he was poking his head out from behind to stare silently at AUK-53 with unblinking eyes, his tail beginning to dance and flick wildly side to side like a flimsy snake or tree branch, twitching with very rigid, sudden flickerings without rhythm or consistency, distracting any predators from his head or body as the other adapises 150 feet away from them started to scatter and hide, including Fat Guss who was the first to run for cover, stumbling and running into the brush without looking back.

But Apada and a couple of the more courageous xamoyoadipses stayed behind, waiting for Belle to finish her magic. Apada gripped his spear tightly with both hands and stood guard, determined to protect the king and goddess from whatever dangers might occur. Apada turned and looked up in the distance at the great giant home tree, but he didn't see Adapa this time. Adapa had finally changed positions and moved to a different spot, which caused Apada to breathe more heavily as he tried not to panic, turning to look at Belle. "No likey this feeling." Apada said quietly, looking down at the king. Meanwhile, Adapa stared at AUK-53 as it spoke. He thought he could understand what it was saying, but it sounded different, unnatural. Adapa didn't say or do anything, just stared at AUK-53 silently, trying to determine what to make of it as the drone soldier's form and shape became more visible to his more naturally, slower adjusting eyes which were unfamiliar with the drone.

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One of the CEF guards jumps, a short yelp emitting from her, startled, and quickly turns around, fumbling for the rifle across her chest. She relaxes as she sees the young man, and begins speaking, as the other guards start to walk over. "Holy-, Brother, you scared me. What're you doing here? We didn't expect-" She's cut off as another guard walks over, a yellow circle painted to look like a sun on his helmet. He looks at Terry, eyeing him up and down, and then says to him, "Speak, Brother, and let your intentions be known." The other guards begin to form a loose crowd around the inside of the fence, looking at Terry.

The Rockaverse
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"This.. This world's been rotten," Horik spat as she slowly sat up, a hand gently holding her throat. She coughed and cleared her throat, her voice hoarse as she threw words at Qunith. A low rumble could be heard from the worm that now swam alongside them. Horik's gaze went up to Talideth's face, scowling but making no move again to lunge.

"This place was no damn sanctuary to begin with," she continued with a snarl. "The Skylanders just made this damn pussridden sack of a place burst when they upset the pissing contest between Alarisset and Ajab."


"Certainly hasn't changed much," Argent said with a small smile as he eyed the young girl who had ridiculed him. He then hunkered on down next to the kids and sat cross-legged, looking up at the old man with interest. "Tell me, old man. What else do you know of the Baons? Of what is beyond this here lawless space now? Of who that man is smoking his pipe?"

Argent turned to face the man who had been blowing rings with his pipe.

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Everything seemed to be going smoothly for the crew of the Imperial Aschen Warship Conflagration, until the moment they weren't.

Two audible beeps signalled the new sensor readings for the Stjornhestr's position, and they seemed to be on a collision course for the Aschen warship. Alarms began to blare all throughout the ship as the Commander grabbed the console and called out. "Frak me!" He shouted. "Adjust angle, thirty degrees, yaw twenty nine degrees port repeat hard to port! Evasive maneuvers, full military thrust!"

The massive million ton warship was not nearly as nimble as the much smaller magical viking longship, but it gave it's efforts to evade the collision as armored doors retracted near the nose of the ship, brilliant plumes of flame shooting out hundreds of feet as the ship struggled to turn left, and away from the Stjornhestr. It's shields flickered, and shimmered, and at these distances, the Stjornhestr's hull would impact the Conflagration's shields, which was a sensation not unlike suddenly hitting a wall of water, which likely aided in the ship's deflection away from the Conflagration. Milky white eddies of shimmering light erupted all around the Stjornhester's hull, harmlessly moving about like curtains of light, almost like a milky white, faded aurora borealis, the ribbons of light danced, and shimmered around the Viking longship until it had cleared the field.

At these distances, the finer details of the Conflagration could be made out, massive gun batteries, along with smaller gun batteries riddled the interlocking armored plates. At these distances, the naked eye could see each weld, each rivet in the hull of the massive Aschen cruiser, and even some of the crew pressed against the ship's windows.

If one could get a glance inside the Aschen warship they would see humans, in dark grey, and blue uniforms, hands splayed on the glass as they watched the events unfold in front of them.

However, the Conflagration managed to successfully turn away, plotting a course away from the Stjornhestr, and deeper into the void of space.

Kos: Deep Space
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The man shrugged, and then looked around, as he heard the loud clatter of activity outside the ship, knowing that they were all going to go to the open hatch near the back, from curiosity or from hunger. He then turned to the hatch in the back and his eyes narrowed, as he saw the drone skittering into the room he was in. He just shrugged, and stood where he was, and observed the drone, curiously studying it with his own eyes.

"Well, humans are two legged creatures, who have great intelligence at times, and can be violent, sad, mad, or happy, and a great more deal of emotions and thought processes, I am the more violent, but curious one, I usually keep the violence inside" he said with a grin and then adjusted his jacket, unzipping it, and having his white shirt under it, fitting his form. He then walked forward, unafraid, approaching the drone.

"Well then, come on, study a human" he said with a grin.

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Outer Arm
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The custodian was silent for a moment, a trillion different thoughts condensed into a single moment before he was back around a tiny ship somewhere in the murky seas beyond the Veil. His avatar aboard the Balena was of the typical “ancient civilization”, a bald man draped in a toga that crawled with a strange, ancient script.

”I do not have the might of the Apparatus at my disposal this time, though some of the occupation forces may be requisitioned.”

While VIRGIL organized an adhoc operation in less than a minute, the FTL booster transiting to the Balena was making its own preparations, albeit autonomously. The GXP ship was soon also joined by another as it taxied to the astral gate, the Leagueship Bison. The heavily armed frigate was a blocky distinction from the sleek Balena.

”You are clear to transit the gate, Officers. I am opening communication with the host nation now, as transit to Langara is tightly regulated.”

Perseus Arm
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Antok's face fell, this...wasn't going to be as simple as they once thought. He turned his gaze to his men, and pointed forwards to the opposing ships. He was practically seeing red, and did not wish to retreat. He wouldn't surrender. Him, and his men had come too far.

"Men! Attack!"

And all around, the ships began to swarm and power forwards for space combat. In the meantime, the Event Horizon began charging once more to prepare for a second attack.

Orion Spur
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Dogoda Station, somewhere in the Local Region

Distress signals were a fickle beast, Captain Intana thought to herself as she stood on the command deck of the CNS Agatha Rune, a 234m Atlas class Destroyer of the Exogarden’s patrol squadron as it listed quietly some six hundred thousand kilometers from the large arco-habitat. With a central habitat spanning nearly fifty kilometers in keel, Dogoda station dwarfed the Rune like an elephant and an ant.

For the nearly sixty thousand souls that called it home however, this tiny ant was their only hope of immediate rescue. It had taken the Rune almost three days to burn into the local space of Dogoda station, in which time a routine reactor cycling had gone from bad to worse. Two days ago, a power cascade had burned a six meter hole through the reactor shroud and dosed some eight hundred workers and technicians before failsafes could remedy the problem.

In nearly 72 hours, the number exposed had grown from eight hundred to nearly twelve thousand - not just reactor technicians and powerplant staff either. Now, their families were beginning to show acute radiation sickness, friends and colleagues that worked in completely different systems were now showing symptoms as well. A six meter hole in a reactor with more safeguards than a vault had poisoned thousands in the span of days.

What was even worse was that as problems compounded with the Dogoda station’s powerplant, other station systems soon began to falter and fail. Oxy-scrubbers in the outer-habitats lagged, air slowly spoiling until the very breath was stolen from the lungs as one entered a room thought safe. A working crew of sixty had suffocated to death deep within one of Dogoda’s scrubbing chambers in this way, and another twenty hospitalized with severe hypoxia recovering the bodies of their colleagues.

To call this an unmitigated disaster was an incredible understatement for Captain Intana, who gripped tightly at the railing of the deck. Splashed across a large airscreen projected at the front of the bridge, Intana watched closely as a pair of techs strode along the hull of the station’s reactor module. The Captain’s hands tightened, knuckle going white as she barked out to the sailors below in the pits of the bridge.

“Can somebody get me a god damn tight beam with station control? Those techs are standing on a fusion bomb held together with vac-tape!” Her voice carried along the bridge, comms-techs struggling to establish communications with the station after an array breakdown.

“Station comms are fried, a radiation spike hit their crystal matrix. We can reach them through code-line, but they’re repairing a systems bus now.” An Ensign reported, turning from his command banks.

“Slave the line directly to my Focus when we do, get some drones orbiting the station. Start finding every god damn leak in that hull - and get those techs away from that reactor module!” Intana ordered, quickly issuing her orders remotely with the soft wave of a hand before she turned to the bridge lift. Intana was bound for drone control, a Lieutenant joining her with a tablet in his hand.

“Captain, twelve hours before the reactor problems a ship flagged by the ESPF was renting a slip in the station’s dockyards … “ The Ensign began, turning with the Captain to join her in the lift.

“It’s a big station, smugglers stopping by, waiting for some contraband to cool off, could be anything.” The Captain replied, folding her arms neatly along her back. The concern etched on the young officer’s face drew pause from Intana for a moment though; as he continued, her sharp grey eyes narrowed.

“If it were that, I wouldn’t have pulled the ticket - SIGINT approximated the drive plume to an OPA merchantman that had recently ported in Hadriatica.” The Ensign said, offering a satellite image picked up from an interstellar probe listing aimlessly somewhere out in the depths of the Local Region.

“Spacer militias this far from their Shore planet.” Intana remarked, bringing one hand curiously to her chin. She studied the blocky compartments and sharp metal decks of the merchant vessel, looking at the sleek white wolf painted across the keel of the Roadehkar. She looked Govolian in design, a vessel built for harsh space and trade in a realm of stars where anything was a threat.

Intana was certain she saw the launching cells for missiles, and the bowsprit magnetic break of a keel-mounted railgun. Merchants were often heavily armed in regions of space like this and in the Garden, though the Roadehkar’s 340m keel seemed to be lacking merchant containers and compartmenting.

That was something Intana always used to spot pirates. No one carried a hold full of dried snack cakes and a nuclear missile at the same time for good reason.

“The Gidanadrome can pick up our OPA merchantman, when is the earliest a liner barge can reach the station for a mass evacuation?” Intana then inquired. A flagged cruiser leaving just prior to a catastrophic reactor malfunction was odd enough, though of the more pressing concern to Intana was the station itself.

“We estimate a day and a half at best, the Hutatha is an old aid ship grandfathered into the Terran Navy but slow - though, they’ve dispatched all hands for a humanitarian mission.” The Ensign promptly reported, shifting while the lift began to descend softly. Putting his own hands by his side, the Ensign’s face darkened for a moment. “We’ve been unable to communicate so far with station control however, and haven’t informed them of the vacuum fire: the Hutatha may be only a day out, but in twenty hours that hole will be bigger and - “

“That’s why re-establishing comms is a top priority. My plan is to piggyback some multi-drones into a comm-line with the Runey. Hopefully Lieutenant Commander Page will have a fix for the reactor shroud in the meantime by then.” Intana stated bluntly, watching the doors then peel open into the drone control deck where a pair of Starfleet officers stood before a holographic, orbiting view of the t-shaped station.

“Captain on deck! Disembark the first stack of multi-drones!”

Lieutenant Commander Winley Page stood with her hand fixed over a vac-helmet at her side, promptly saluting with the other hand. Nearby, a technician monitored a drone terminal, where outside the first of ten MRD drones disengaged from their coupling stations on the Rune’s hull.

At only 13 meters in length the Mors drones weren’t any particularly large or well equipped craft, though their usefulness in carrying the large pod relays for comms was understated. It would take around thirty of these drones to establish an adequate audio/video comms-line - accessing station systems would take the systems deck another two and a half hours to complete - but would at least be a functioning link between the Rune and station control.

As the first stack of ten drones drifted along into the empty void between the destroyer and Dogoda station, the distress call that had cycled before station comms were fried continued to blare through the darkness.

This is Dogoda Station broadcasting on emergency rescue frequencies, we have suffered a catastrophic reactor malfunction and are in dire need of radiation control. If you receive this broadcast please retransmit."

Sol: Deep Space
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A literal handful of electronics debris spit out from the Shadow Phoenix and floated in a scatter off into space. Immediately after, the warp drives engaged.

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The ship was unremarkable as it drifted into Sol. The only thing strange about it was that it came from a part of the multiverse never before ventured into by any being.

On board the ship, two beings were awake. They were Oberon, a race very similar in design to the Terrans they were here to learn about. The ship itself, the Expedition IV, was very simply designed. It was in the shape of a pyramid with a narrow base, a shape seen all around the galaxy in ship design.It was unmarked except for two parallel lines intersected by another line, marking that the ship had a skip drive. The little ship just stayed where it was, and the people inside began to prepare for the next part of their mission.

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Master O nodded in agreement.

Very well. I'll tell the others.
he said, before grabbing his coat from the rack and departing for the docking bay.

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Meteor flickered emerald and nyoomed off west

Eastern Seaboard
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Mike Wolf stepped off of the small private airline VTOL passenger spacecraft resembling a white suped up futuristic model of a Cessna 208 Transformer caravan, standing between the two sexy stewardesses in their tight white aviation mini-dresses and black brimmed peaked service hats as he peered out over the vast spaceport with its many busy transit stations and tourist centers, looking over the futuristic airport to the magnificent city of tower buildings and skyscrapers which ascended into the background behind them. He lit a cigar using his embroidered silver torch flick-liter and put his black sporty UV-ray sunglasses on, adjusting his bright red long neck tie before running his fingers through his combed back slick black hair, receiving farewell from the smiling stewardesses who waved goodbye as he stepped down the automated mobile stairway docking platform on to the metallic landing strip, where a bright candy apple red convertible Chevy Corvette was already waiting for him with the driver side door wide open to reveal its full leather interior. A valet in a black suit held the door open for him and handed him the keys as he approached the fancy car.

"Mr. Wolfenstein, I presume. Here are the keys, sir, via your booking request. May I inquire sir as to what brings you here to Asteria City?" The valet asked in what sounded like a very proper African or British accent, closing the door behind Mike Wolf as he climbed into the vehicle. "Vacation cruise tickets," Michael answered, sticking the key into the ignition and firing up the engine. The car was an old classic, but it was in perfect mint condition and purred like a kitten as he bit down on his imported lit cigar. "An excellent place to relax and feel the breeze. Good day to you sir, enjoy your vacation" the dark skinned valet said with a smile as he stood by and watched Mr. Wolf drive away. Michael was heading to one of the fine white sandy beaches overlooking crystal clear aqua blue colored water, but he wasn't on vacation. He was actually going there on business to discuss a potential contract he had not yet heard the details about. But the payment plan perked his interest and he agreed to meet with the proprietor on the Eastern Seaboard as he left Asteria City and drove to the beach.

Jonathan was already there, feasting on crab legs while sipping on margaritas under the shade of one of the laid back but expensive tiki bars at the beach's luxury guest resort in the white powdery fine seashore sand when Michael casually approached him, catching the man's attention. "Mr. Laurence?" Mike asked. John could see that the man standing before him was obviously wealthy based just by his choice of clothing. He grabbed his cloth napkin and wiped his hands before standing up and greeting him with a handshake. "Ah yes, you must be Mr. Wolf, it's good to meet you finally. Please, please, have a seat. Have a drink, come, sit" Johnathan Laurence said as he invited Michael to sit with him, which indeed Michael did. The bartender asked him what kind of drink he wanted, and Mike Wolf ordered a margarita of his own before he and the proprietor started making casual conversation. They talked about travel, about life and its perks, a little about drinking, a little about playing golf or smoking cigars, before finally their conversation led up to business, and the reason for their private little social arrangement at the remote beach resort.

"$10-million dollars, that's the amount that Dr. Rizhiel is offering in exchange for the neutralization of John Wick, but he asked for you specifically," the proprietor started to mention. "Why me?" Mike asked curiously. "Why else?" the proprietor rebuttably answered, ordering two more margaritas for him and his guest. "That won't be easy... I'll think about it. But in the meantime, what else you got?" Mike inquired, causing the proprietor to look at him blankly with a more serious expression as he took a sip from his drink before putting his glass down and reaching into his white coat pocket. He pulled out a folded paper pamphlet and set it down on the table in front of Mr. Wolf, who glanced at it before pausing to look at Mr. Laurence, then picking it up and unfolding it to look at its contents. "$46-million dollars, Mr. Wolfenstein, half in advance, half once you have completed your assignment. That is of course, if you are still interested." Mr. Laurence said with a calm tone. Michael flipped through the pages of the pamphlet but he couldn't believe what he was seeing. "Where is this at?" he asked, confused.

"Bastion IV," John Laurence answered, re-liting his cigar before leaning back in his chair. Mike Wolf skimmed through the pages of the pamphlet some more before looking at Mr. Laurence with an expression of disbelief. He took a long moment to consider his answer. The contract was issued for a very dangerous, almost impossible assignment, but the payout was so tempting it was hard to resist. He started to imagine what he could do with fourty six million dollars. After a long and careful consideration, the two men shook hands and ended their meeting, finishing their margaritas and going their separate ways. Mike Wolf folded the papers and tucked them into his black coat pocket, walking back to his car before hopping in and driving away, heading back to the Asteria City airport. At roughly the same time, Mr. Laurence went back to his own luxury vehicle before starting his futuristic silver SUV and also leaving the scene, heading back towards Solinus City.

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I'm going for a gallop anyone want to join me

Freeport Cosmodrome
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Raphael passed the stranger while paying little heed to what was going on. His gaze was fixated on the terminal in front of him, where a large, but ancient ship was docked. The strange, angular design of the ship contrasted with the sleek, futuristic design of Freeport's coming and going.

Raphael didn't stop, but walked at a hurried pace towards his terminal.

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Parem'Zel Not seeing any real signs of life, Parem continues on his travels. Calling upon the energy of his soul to open a portal to a new realm.

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"Escape?" the uncomfortably tall masked man says quietly as the last words of Kuakare were spoken. It was as if that thought was something so profound.

The mask of OttO rattled lightly and he paused, frozen in place. He pulled away his hand and held up a finger.

"Ah, yes... yes!" he says, as if a revelation came to him. He points out across the sands, and shifts his head to the side, resting against his outstretched arm's shoulder. "Across the sands there is a great fortress, there lives those like yourself who have come here. Me and my kin are not welcome there... but you? You wouldn't have that problem, they would welcome you! Yes! There in those halls are many things lost that have been gathered, in their own aspirations of escape... and their king? He holds a blade of ancient material, of the oldest magic I know."

Dogs in God's Vineyard
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They traveled down along the rightward tunnel, a tense air following the quartet as they moved forward. Pistols drawn and eyes darting to and fro for any sign or hint of danger, the Dogs were on heightened alert as they traversed the area. It took several minutes of travel, but eventually the tunnel they had chosen opened up, revealing its end destination as they exited the end of the tunnel.

The end result was...not quite what anyone there expected.

The tunnel opened up into a vast, excavated cavern, what almost seemed to be some deep mining pit. The open cavern revealed all sorts of excavated pathways and tunnels, leading deeper into all sorts of directions as dozens of new branching paths and tunnels were revealed.

"This is..." Sona trailed off, at a loss for words as she took in the sheer scope of the area. "What is this? Did they build some sort of elaborate tunneling system all over the town?"

"Maybe..." Margaret voiced, though her tone was doubtful. " almost seems more like a mine, than anything else. As if they were digging for something."

"For what?" Sonia immediately questioned with an incredulous tone. "There isn't any gold in these parts, not that I've heard. Or any other sort of precious metal or minerals. What on earth could they be digging for?"

She was silent, however, her eyes taking in the wide expanse before them. Something itched in the back of her head, as if she were forgetting something very important. Something about all of this seemed....achingly familiar to Margaret. But, why?

"He Who Walks the Desert Night..." she murmured to herself, recalling the name Father Mycroft had given for his god. That, too, seemed familiar to her.

Sonia gave her an odd look, but shook her head thereafter. She glanced over at Anna instead, and voiced a thought that almost all of them had to be thinking.

"We should turn back and check out that middle tunnel. If anyone ran down here....there's no telling where they could be now. This place is too big with too many tunnels all around: perfect to get lost in, if not ambushed in. We'd be better off coming back to this area with a militia at our side, or some sort of backup."

The City
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/say aimed at the group. One dagger hit the man’s shoulder, other hit his leg. As she attacked, she yelled “Over here!”, hoping it’d be loud enough to catch their attention.

Dracos Valley
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Murkstav smelled it deep in the rocky canyon. Choosing between its thirst, its need, for water, and tearing him limb from limb. He took a blade out of a satchel along his lower back, a sharp thick blade he had named Swallow.

It glinted and danced, the mercenary could see his very reflection in the blade. Against the blue sky his hard deep features, as if cut from a knife themselves, looked back at him. His gray eyes, thinly hiding a desperate fatigue. His hat, long brimmed more for deception than shade- it seemed almost enough to cover wearer and horse.

He approached the area of the lake, trying to draw the thing out. His black armor, riddled with pockets and tiny satchels, filled with the tricks of his trade, cast a long shadow between rock outcrop and lake.

Murkstav looked up, then where the growling and panting came from, then cast Swallow up at the blazing sun, curling it, reflecting it off the rocks.

Sometimes things cannot be resisted.