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Rita Saotome

The Alchemical Troubleshooter

0 · 579 views · located in Modern Fantasy

a character in “Branches of Power”, as played by RedRaine

Description

Name
Image
"SYNOPSIS"


Profile

Name: Rita Saotome

Nickname: Riya(Limited)

School: Alchemy

Race: Human

Age: 21

Gender: Female

Sexual Orientation: Unknown

Theme Song: Justice


Details

Hair: Black

Facial Hair: None

Eyes: Black

Build: Slender

Skin Tone: Light

Height: 5"6

Weight: 112

Handed: Ambidextrous

Body Markings: None

Scar Tissue: None


Clothes

Head Hair clip over left eye


Top Black tank top


Bottom Black biking shorts


Back White coat with black trim fur


Waist Large beige belts


Feet Long black boots



Weapons

Primary Weapon
Weapon Name: SW40P - Sigmas

Weapon Type: Twin Pistols, 9mm

Material: Carbon Steel, Polymyer

Ammo: 9×19mm Parabellum

Length: 7.3in

Weight: ~2lbs

Weapon Description/Info: Twin Pistols. Rather simple weapons.

Secondary Weapon
Weapon Name: Cyclical Supply

Weapon Type: Magical Pouch

Material: Cotton

Weight: 0lbs

Weapon Description/Info: A small bag that Rita keeps attached to her hip. The inside is connected to a magical storage system that holds potions. The supply within isn't infinite, so the bag is more to protect potions inside from being damaged by outside influence. It can hold roughly 9 potions at any given time.



Bio

Marital Status
Engaged: Unknown


Relatives
Mother: Rosa Saotome. Age: 37
Father: Suzushiro Saotome. Deceased


Birthplace
Vancouver, British Columbia


Occupation
Student, Alchemical Merchant


Bio/History
Rita was raised in a single parent home for as long as she could remember. Her mother, like Rita, was also an alchemist by birth but did not embrace them as well as others did, only using her limited reserves to create a small potionry business. True Magic, as her mother taught her, was the hard work one put into everything they did; be it in magic, sport or otherwise. Despite her words however, Rosa was having a difficult time keeping the small family's finances together.

Wishing to help her mother, Rita dove into the art of alchemy much further than anyone her family had. While working on her art as a whole, Rita found the world of potionry to be much more interesting to focus her studies in. Through years of hard work, and many failures, Rita was able to improve her mother's business by a hundred fold using her own recipes; many of which evoking effects previously unheard of. While still a small business, Saotome Sundries delivers potions and reagents around the world.

So begins...

Rita Saotome's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: David Young
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#, as written by Basta
Branches of Power-The Beginning


This was it. Her first recruit. Lily Crishon attempted to look normal, sipping her tea and casually glancing over the passersby, but inside she was wound up tighter than a rubber band ball. Any one of them could be the government agent, a fact that made her even more nervous. What did this person look like? Were they here with backup? Too many variables were unaccounted for and she didn't like it.

Less than three months ago, Lily had been a part of a crazy, Goddess worshiping cult that wanted to take over the world. When she'd found out, she bailed faster than a sprinter off of the starting line. Of course they tried to track her down, but after losing four agents to her, they just decided to deal with her when the time came, if ever. Bad choice on their part.

As soon as she left, Lily started spreading fliers and job offers, informing any one who would listen that she wanted to train up an elite group of mages to combat an "evil rival faction of bastards", as she called it. Disclosing the true intent of the cult would only cause them to re-locate and go underground, ruining her chances of finding them. Last week she hit pay dirt when she opened a mysterious e-mail from someone she'd never heard of before. The message inside was simple.

"Is the offer still open?" Of course she'd replied in the affirmative. Lily wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to get someone to her cause. The next day, another e-mail arrived, this time stating that a high ranking government official was interested in working for her. They'd asked for a time and place to meet. Being a bit suspicious, Lily told them to meet her in two days at her favorite café in her new hometown, Fagiolo Birrai, at three PM. The name always made her chuckle a bit, but they had the best coffee in town. That, plus home field advantage was always nice to have.

Lily pulled her long-coat closer around her body, trying to hide Holimel's Eye. While most people weren't unfamiliar with magical artifacts, the mundane human being still acted wary around those that possessed them. One never knew when such a device might backfire and explode. She didn't want to scare away this newcomer after all, seeing as to how they would be her first recruit if they met the bill. Just as she looked down to check Holimel's Eye for the time, someone plopped into the chair opposite her which caused Lily to jump and swear loudly.

"My, my...A bit skittish are we?" chuckled the man. "Lorry, Roger Lorry. At your service," he declared, as if he expected her to gasp in surprise and begin to fawn over him. Lily simply raised an eyebrow at her guest, saying nothing. When she finally did open her mouth, she simply muttered something under her breath and looked at the man intensely. After a minute, she frowned and tried again. Lorry smirked at her, as if he knew something painfully obvious that she didn't. After she tried a third time, he made a small amused sound and put his hand on hers. Before she could recoil and smack him, a small trickle of energy seeped into her arm, causing her eyes to widen.

"Satisfied?" he asked with that same cocky grin. "There's not many of us around, Lily Crishon. I think you'd like to have someone with my talents on your side. However, before we go any further, let's talk...Rewards. I don't work for free, after all." Lily frowned at Roger, but still said nothing. She mulled it over in her head for a second, her eyes wandering over his form absentmindedly. Finally, she sighed and pulled out her wallet.

"How much?" Roger regarded her cooly for a moment, then replied with "Two hundred thousand a month." Lily's eyes practically boggled out of her head as her mouth spluttered and grunted, uncomprehending. That was more money than she'd ever seen in her life! How was she gonna pay him such an exorbitant fee? Lorry couldn't keep a straight face any longer, however, and he guffawed at her expression.

"I'm joking! Five thousand a month will more than cover my bill. Your expression was priceless though! When do we start?" Desperately restraining herself from jumping the table and strangling the man, Lily shook her head and exhaled through her nose, trying to calm herself.

"Now. You get your government fingers onto the Internet and find anything you can about other magically gifted people. Come to my place when you get your equipment. It's on Fiore che Sboccia street. The third floor, fifth door on the right. Big stone apartment building, you can't miss it. I'll leave the door unlocked."

Lorry nodded and unfolded himself from his chair, stretching out the kinks in his legs and sauntering away. Lily quickly made her way home, setting up a good area to meditate in her living room. Just as she was about to settle in, Roger budged the door open and dumped a steel suitcase onto the floor, letting out a breath he'd been holding.

"Just set up anywhere, then? Right. I'll be here in the kitchen," he stated, more to himself than anyone else. Lily ignored him and plucked Holimel's Eye out of its socket. Letting out a deep sigh, she allowed herself to tune into the magical device, plugging herself into the Ley Line that ran under the street next to her and let her mind expand itself along the entirety of the system.

Over the next 36 hours, Lily and Roger worked diligently, using their respective talents to compile a decent list of potential candidates. They narrowed the list from hundreds to twenty, and ultimately to the final six.

"So, we've got a Necromancer, one David Young, a Conjurer named Hanzo Susanoo, an Elementalist named Isabel Fayth...pretty name...Two Alchemists, Jaida Knowls and Rita Satome respectively, and a Blood mage named Zhang Xiao. Everyone else was either too far off to make it worth it or not talented enough, huh? I guess it'll have to do. Let's get moving, Lily. We've got a lot of work ahead of us.

First on the list, David Young, wasn't hard to track down once they knew his name. Lily and Roger attended Sunday Mass, waiting until all of his "flock" had left before they approached him. While skeptical of Lily's so called cult, he was more attentive when Roger let slip that he knew David was a Necromancer. Since it wasn't exactly common knowledge, he concluded (correctly) that these two strangers either had a lot of power, or were telling the truth. Since the first option didn't make much sense taking into account Lily's story, he told them that once he'd arranged a replacement Father for the church, he'd accompany them. Lily handed David a plane ticket for the end of the month and told him that she'd come to pick him up from the airport in Italy at the appointed time.

Next, they hunted down Isabel Fayth. Likewise, knowing her name put her up on a registry for a bar. The duo ordered a pitcher each, and a bowl of peanuts. When Izzy brought out their order, she caught a glimpse of a stack of papers that Lorry was leafing through with her name and photo on it. Roger had figured that this girl would be very down to earth, and possibly a bit cynical, so he figured the best way to get her co-operation was to show her that they knew everything about her, but were still willing to ask for her help. Isabel was of course on her guard and more than a little bit confrontational towards Lily and Lorry, as expected. She calmed down a bit when Lily pulled out Holimel's Eye and showed her that she was similarly a mage. Lily explained why they needed her help, with Lorry helpfully interjecting that it was a paying job. He named monthly salary with a four figure sum almost double what she made in her current job. Isabel turned in her two weeks notice on the spot. Lily produced another plane ticket, repeating the instructions that she'd given David.

Jaida Knowls was the next one in their sights. Her shop was harder to find, since it was one of those hole-in-the-wall places, but find it they did. Jaida proved to be one of the more striking individuals that Lily had the fortune to meet up with, what with her pale complexion and white hair. Still, she looked good spirited enough. Jaida didn't seem to be much of a conversationalist, but Lily wasn't surprised since she was asking the other woman to pack up all her things and just go with a complete stranger, on an unknown mission that may or may not cost her her life, so all things considered the Alchemist was quite friendly. Still, it took a bit of negotiating (and some legal background hint-dropping by Lorry) to convince the girl to come with them. While Lily didn't like strong-arming someone into a potentially deadly situation, she needed this woman. Lily planned to make it up to her later...somehow. After it was all said and done, Jaida had decided to accompany them instead of taking the plane route.

Saotome Sundries came up as their following destination. They made quite a name for themselves in the world of potions and poultices, but Lily hoped that Rita wouldn't be one of those types that believed she was too good for adventuring. Roger and Lily had tried to brainstorm a way to get this girl on their side, but their salvation came from a direction they weren't expecting. Jaida started chatting Rita up about various alchemical techniques and methods, warming the other girl for Lily and Roger's approach. Lily appealed to Rita's desire to improve herself, claiming that she'd improve another hundred fold in her time with their group. Lorry touted Lily's imaginary fountain of wealth, claiming that Rita would get paid compensation for having to leave her business and mother behind. In the end, why Rita decided to join were known only to her, but she agreed. Lily gave her the now standard plane ticket and explained what was expected of her.

Zhang Xiao, daugher to the famed Vice Commander Hetaigo Xiao was deceptively hard to track down. After Vice Commander Xiao died, his wife and children fell upon his earthly goods like carrion animals, leaving nothing for his youngest. Luckily she was well known in the city, and the trio traced her to an inn downtown. Zhang, after having lived on her own for a year, had hardened up and was a little belligerent towards them, however when they offered her a chance to gain back the riches she'd had before plus interest, as well as a journey to prove her strength to herself and the world, she changed her tune. Xiao, having very little in the way of worldly possessions, took up travels with Lily's growing crew.

The last man on the list, and certainly the hardest to locate, was the mysterious Conjurer, Hanzo Susanoo. They decided that the most plausible way to find an assassin was to put out a hit request, however, and that's just what they did. Roger Lorry subtly spread a rumor that someone was looking for a man named Haze and wanted to kill him. Lorry left an address at each place he visited, hoping that one of them would do business with the shadow man at some point. Apparently, word didn't take long to travel, as the next night one of the wards that Lily had rigged up in their temporary staying place alerted her of an intruder. Lily got a lucky shot on Haze with Holimel's Eye, catching him off guard and giving her enough time to convince him that he wasn't really wanted dead. Quite the opposite, actually. Lily explained that she wanted someone of his talents to accompany her on her journey to stop a crazy cult from destroying the world. Haze accepted immediately, simply because he had nothing better to do with his time. While surprised, Lily was pleased that she didn't have another person to owe exorbitant amounts of money to.

Finally, the time came to unite everyone and get started. While each of them were gifted in their own way, they still weren't a coherent team and they all had room to grow. Once back in Italy, Lily hijacked a large flatbed truck and picked up the remaining three members of her new group from the airport. The ride to her hidden castle was long, boring and dusty, but the view of the Italian countryside was beautiful. As she pulled into the tunnel that led to the front gates, she explained that she discovered this place during her search for everyone, and that it was ideally located in the center of a square of the Ley Line gridwork. The tunnel went under the hilly environment, occasionally opening up to show the sky or to allow in a small stream.

As Lily parked the truck, she told everyone to find a room in the castle and get settled, but to watch out for bugs or snakes, as the place hadn't been cleared completely yet. The group took the time to stretch and unload all their cargo, filing one by one into the castle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Rita Saotome
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#, as written by FizzGig
Well, wasn't this a haphazard adaptation of the 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'?

Sprawled in the back of the truck, using her one duffle bag as a pillow, with the other resting across her lap, Jaida lay dozing, surprisingly comfortable in the cramped, contained quarters that smelled of rust, dust, and sweat. It had been a long time since she'd shared such close company with other people, having run an apothecary on her own for the last three years or so. If people talked, she wasn't paying attention, if people spoke directly to her, well...she guessed they were a tad S.O.L. The traveling had really taken a lot out of her, and being chronically anemic certainly didn't help her in this scenario, so she looked for opportunities to rest when and wherever she could. Some called it lazy, she called it necessary.

She looked at the sky through slitted lids, enjoying the way the clouds and blue sky played across her vision. It was like a dream come true, almost. She'd always wanted to travel, and now that she had a legitimate excuse, it made it worthwhile. Nevermind the fact that she was trying to save the world. Thinking of it as a vacation made the idea seem less exhausting.

It also made her feel less irritated about the way she'd been roped into these goddamned shennanigans in the first place.

She glanced up as the bell tolled the entrance of another customer. Putting on her polite, welcoming smile, Jaida stepped out from the back room, her hands smudged with dirt. Her eyes went round when she spotted the pair standing shoulder-to-shoulder near the customer service desk, both of their eyes fixed intently on her.

"Something I can help you folks with?" she asked, doing her best not to appear guarded. Innocent until proven guilty, Jaida. Don't jump to conclusions...


Long story short, the pair knew a lot more about her than she was comfortable with. No stranger should have been able to dictate some of her more regrettable past events, and use them as a bargaining chip to sign her up for some war she didn't even realize she was supposed to be a part of. For the record, she'd signed up for Lily's sake, not for that bastard Lorry's.

In hind site, Jaida was glad that she'd come along. She'd met Rita that way, as well as a handful of other people, and it felt really good to be in the company of men and women who were talented, gifted with magic, who had similar interests and who didn't think of her as some kind of a freak with a plant fetish. Her only condition was that everyone keep their space, that she be allowed to have her own privacy. She didn't come out here to make friends after all, she'd come out here to help with a good cause.

She just hoped Lily knew what she was doing. She certainly had a lot of trust in the six of them, if she thought they were going to be able to single-handedly stop the end of the world.

The sky disappeared, replaced by monotonous black tunnel that flew by overhead. Jaida sat up then, scooting her numb behind closer to the duffel bag, and took a look around. Found this place by accident, Lily had said. She had some rotten good luck.

When the truck finally pulled to a stop, Jaida was the first to grab her duffel bags, swinging her legs over the side of the truck before sliding to the ground with a audible 'thump'. Whistling to herself, she glanced back over her shoulder to Rita, offering a slight smile before gesturing towards the castle with her chin.

"We should take up our own wing, Alchemist. Otherwise we'll stink all the others out with our brews." Her eyes flickered to Lily, to see if she approved or disapproved of this alliance formation of sorts.

Needless to say, it seemed as though the woman had taken a liking to the other potion-master.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rita Saotome
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"Please. Call me Rita." The aforementioned girl spoke to the accompanying alchemist. "We're both in the trade so we don't need the job description.

Rita Saotome pulled her arms up and stretched, her body visibly tensing and relaxing as she did so. The ride, while uneventful, was just shaky enough to deprive the black haired girl her rest. As so, Rita was forced to watch hours of countryside underneath the hot sun. Rita found it odd that the woman Lily, whom was said to have quite the fortune, would have the need to hijack a truck rather than hiring a car. However, the castle they came to seemed to dissipate some of the alchemist's doubts of her supposed wealth.

"Let's find somewhere spacious and well aired. I'm tired of people assuming we alchemists prefer the dark and dank basements. It's not very practical." She said, facing towards Jaida.

Hopping off the truck, the black haired alchemist sighed as she slowly eased a large metal trunk off the back of the vehicle. The trunk in question landed on the ground with a heavy thud. Without even blinking, Rita pulled on the extending handle and brought it upright. Placing a small duffle bag on top, she started pulling the heavy trunk behind her towards the castle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio
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Zhang Xiao was quite surprised to find herself tracked down, she hadn't had much luck with work and was beginning to fear that she would lose herself in the depression of deep poverty. Yet here there was a white woman telling her that she wanted her to go work for her, and it sounded like something that was very dangerous. She tried to refuse the woman, deep inside her she did not want to go and felt she could not trust this woman. Yet as the prospects of money and a place to prove herself came forth, Zaisu began to tighten around her neck. She might have refused if it weren't for that, but she knew better than to refuse her companion. Zaisu settled her indecision, and she knew that she was giving up her fate to the winds of fate. There was only one last thing...

Words are weak, contracts are fallible, yet blood is true, Xiao said these words softly as she reached for a dinner knife, as she slid the blade over her palm she showed no signs of pain, for the caress of a blade was something intimately familiar to her. "By my blood, I serve this contract, and by your word I am your soldier till a time that you prove yourself false or should speak words to release me." She felt that was enough, as long as they paid her in cash and didn't turn out to be the evil cult they claimed they would stop, she would be loyal. It was as things should be.

Xiao, as she favored being called, was truly daunted by the beginnings of their trip and by the sheer resources of her new employer. She had never been hired for any major task like this, and she allowed herself to fall into a childish awe. Silence took her, and she responded only when being spoken to for the remainder of her trip. Her emerald eyes constantly studying Lily Crishon and Roger Lorry, wondering what their motives might be, wondering how many of their words were lies and what few might contain twisted truths.

As they arrived in Italy, Xiao realized just how far away from home she really was. In this beautiful landscape, she though of how truly massive the world really was. The castle looked derelict to her eyes, a worn down relic of another era, but that might simply be the level of care that Europeans gave to their ancestors. The tunnel felt cold and as they came to a stop she had already shifted her legs against her chest for a bit of warmth. She got out of the flatbed last, standing quietly as the others started to head inside. She found it a little difficult to accept that they would be staying in a place like this, but perhaps it was better that they remain in a place hidden from the public view.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Rita Saotome
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"Never. Again." Rita panted as she pulled her massive silver trunk through the open wooden door. A thin sheen of sweat was apparent on the young alchemist. Unlike her counterpart Jaida, despite being slim, Rita was most definitely out of shape; she wasn't active before nor after taking up the art of alchemy. If anything, being cooped up in a basement with books and brews possibly made her body even more lethargic, if possible.

Taking a few moments to catch her breath, Rita took a quick survey of their potential room. It was a rather large and circular room with four large windows set spaciously apart from each other. This was the perfect room for the two of them to stay in.

"I wonder though." Rita stated as she pulled her bag and trunk against one of the walls, quickly noting that, despite the space, the room lacked furniture of any sort. "That Lily girl mentioned something big happening. I just worry that, if we have to travel often, whether or not we can afford setting up here."

Looking at the heavy metal trunk propped against the wall, Rita made a small note that she'd rather not have to drag it up and down the ridiculous stairs more than once.

"We might also need to do something about finding sleeping accommodations..." Rita mused, once again noting the lack of furnishings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Rita Saotome
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#, as written by FizzGig
Jaida took a turn, glancing around the room with slightly narrowed eyes. “You make a good point, however, I’m sure there’s a few anti-gravitational concoctions we could whip up in the blink of an eye.”

She wondered why she hadn’t thought of that before subjecting Rita to the torturous climb up the spiral staircase. Deciding to let that one go, the woman turned to the wall, observing one of the massive tapestries that hung between the windows.

“Funny,” she noted, glancing back at the other woman. “I seem to remember the tower being larger from the outside.” She walked towards the tapestry, fingering the worn edge before tearing it aside. It was heavy, thick with dust that showered the woman in a cloud. She squinted through the mess, resisting the urge to sneeze or cough as she looked at the stone wall behind it. There was a massive brass knocker, almost like a door knob, fixed to the cobbled surface.

“Rita!” Jaida stepped aside to show the other alchemist the doorway. “Think the furniture might be in here?”

Or bodies. Or perhaps a perilous drop to the ground below?

“Help me pull this open,” she insisted, grasping the brass handle and proceeding to tug.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Rita Saotome
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Rita held onto her shoulder as she swung her arm around in small circles, seemingly preparing herself for the physical activity. Grasping onto the handle, Rita noted the smooth furnish and style. The castle, or at least this section of it, was quite obviously old.

Before Rita gave an actual tug, however, a shrill noise echoed throughout the castle, making the dark haired alchemist cringe with sensitivity.

"Ugh... D-did you hear that?" Rita said, opening a single eye to look about the room. "I dunno what it is, but let's go check it out. We'll deal with this door later." Grabbing onto Jaida's wrist, Rita pulled the girl along out the room and down the long spiral stairs. However, with Rita's obviously inactive lifestyle, Jaida quickly overcame her until it seemed like Rita was holding on just to catch up.

Arriving outside, the two alchemists noticed that the rest of Lily's comrades had gathered together as they seemed to side against a well dressed blond haired man. The man seemed to be tapping into a larger source of energy that gathered quickly around a deck of cards he was holding. In a bout of surprise however, Rita watched as a black bolt of energy erupted from the deck to strike the man Rita remembered as 'Lorry'. Despite the rather impressive display of power, however, the magic seemed to fizzle against him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth
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#, as written by FizzGig
Jaida was in the process of attempting to give a mighty tug on the large brass ring, when the sudden, shrill noise had the woman cringing, with one ear pressing uncomfortably to her shoulder. Gritting her teeth, and peering around the room through narrowed eyes, she was about to make a comment on it when Rita beat her to the punch, grasping her wrist and tugging her out of the room and on down the spiral staircase.

The pair stumbled upon the gathering of the ‘chosen’, with Lily and Lorry standing at the center, facing off against a figure she didn’t recognize. Hmm, there were more people here than she’d originally anticipated. The cards that floated around the stranger figure radiated a unique, pulsating energy that actually put Jaida on edge.

She’d never been a fan of black magic.

She held her breath as Michael finally started to march after Lily, hesitating and standing off to one side, closer to Lorry and Izzy as the angry black magician stalked away.

“So, “ She said to no one in particular, “What stick got rammed up that guy’s ass?”

And not just him, it seemed as though everyone down here was tense about something.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Rita Saotome
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#, as written by Basta
While waiting for everyone to assemble, Lily went over scenarios in her head. She wanted to word things just right, without making things seem too grim, but she also didn't want to sugarcoat anything. They were in this together, for good or for ill. Her reverie was broken as both Isabel and Zhang popped up next to her.

"I heard your call. That was the signal for us to gather up, or did I misinterpret this? I need to ask for help, when we are done with this gathering." piped Xaio. Nodding absentmindedly, the older woman kept scanning the group as they arrived. To Isabel, she held up a finger to ask for a moment. All would be explained once she was sure they were all there. Lily cleared her throat and adjusted her hat.

"I have some news, both good and bad," she stated matter-of-factly. Mentally she winced at the cliché line, but kept going. "You all know that you're here for an important task, but I want to make it doubly clear. We are here to stop the end of our existence. It won't be an easy task...Hell, it'll probably be the hardest thing anyone has ever done, but it's up to us. You all are the cream of the crop, or have the potential to be."

Lily paused for a moment to gather her thoughts. "First, a warning. I would say that if you don't think you can do it, you may leave...But you can't. Not because I'm telling you that you can't, but simply that if you leave now, everyone will die. Second, your best won't be good enough. Not on its own. We all have to be the best. 'Cause you see, our enemy isn't just this cult. It isn't just a group of crazy mages with insane power. It's that, as well as a Goddess! I don't mean the empty deities that people worship in temples, but a real being with real, infinite power. Well, nigh infinite, actually. The cult of Caernavon is researching a way to bind their Goddess into a mortal shell. If that happens, they will have access to all her destructive power and it'll all be over. In case none of you have researched into obscure occult gods, Caernavon happens to be the Big Boss. Her weapons are Pestilence, Plague and Death, and believe me, she will know how to use them."

Her allies shifted uneasily as her speech went on. Lily frowned slightly, realizing that she was painting a bleak and hopeless picture for them. "Don't worry though! The cultists are only humans, and humans make mistakes. Their first one was letting me in and then not hunting me down when I left. We won't let them make a second. However, in order to stop them, we have to train. They won't be as cohesive as we will. The cultists will be a group of individuals, easily divided...easily slaughtered. We will be one unit, a thresher to their wheat. When I'm done with us, we will be the ones that they will fear!"

Her voice rose in pitch as she neared the end of her pep talk, oozing emotion and confidence. Lily fully believed that this group of eight, maybe nine, could become something more, and she made sure they knew of her faith.

"Today, rest and get set up, because we start tomorrow, bright and early. We'll have to fix up the castle, get supplies, set up training areas. It's going to be an involved task, so prepare yourselves.That's all I have for you."

Lily allowed the group to disperse as it pleased, some breaking into pairs, others alone. After a while, she turned to Xaio to see what the girl needed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Rita Saotome
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#, as written by Basta
After hours of tossing and turning, Lily gave up trying to get any rest for the night. In the two weeks that her group had been 'training', progress was little. There were still pieces of the castle in disrepair, the electricity was faulty, and worst of all, her crew still hadn't improved much! Their abilties may have progressed some, but function as a unit, they did not. Lily had been searching in ever widening circles for a test of some sort for the past couple days, and just the night before, she'd found it. A small hamlet, isolated like the castle, had been taken over by a group of mages. They'd slaughtered most of the inhabitants, using the remaining live ones as playthings and experiments.

Throwing on her traveling coat, Lily strode briskly to the main courtyard and whistled shrilly, once and then again after a few seconds. She didn't much care if she was disturbing their precious night's sleep. If Lily wasn't sleeping tonight, neither was anyone else. She took to pacing and muttering under her breath as the rest started to arrive, making her displeasure known.

"Ok since everyone's here, I'll make this quick. You've not been improving...at least, not in the ways I need you to. So we're gonna take a field trip and get some real life testing done. There's a small town to our southeast that's been taken over by hostile mages. We're gonna take it back. Now, some things to remember while we're there. We are a team, and that means we work like one. Use each other's strengths and cover each other's weaknesses. I don't want to see anyone by themselves, and whatever gods you pray to so help me, if one of us gets hurt because someone else wasn't covering them, I'll make you regret the day of your conception!"

Lily stopped herself for a moment, massaging her temples. The last thing she needed was to get angry and lecture these men and women like they were children, but it was hard.

"In the last two weeks, you've all improved individually quite well, but you're still individuals! The culties are individuals too, but there's more of them then us. In order to counteract that, we have to be one unit. I've said all this before, but you didn't seem to take it to heart. Well here's your chance to prove yourselves to each other. You fight together...or die alone. Suit up and meet me at the flatbed in ten minutes," finished Lily with a growl. The end of the world wasn't going to go easy on anyone, and neither would she. These were grown ass adults, and Lily wasn't about to pussyfoot around to spare their feelings. She couldn't afford to.

As soon as everyone was on-board, Lily slammed the heap into gear and took off. The hamlet was about a seventy miles from the castle, so they had to go pretty quick to make good time. About two miles out, the truck puttered out and died. After a couple minutes trying to revive the beast, Lily gave up and had everyone simply take their gear on the march. It'd be stealthier this way anyways. On the outskirts of the village, Lily stopped them.

"We do this quiet like as for as long as possible. Once the alarm goes up, stick together unless otherwise instructed. Remember, under NO circumstance should anyone get separated. Ok, move out."

The moon shone dimly from behind the cloud cover, providing a decent atmosphere for their work.