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Donovan Shmautz

"Just because we're assassins from the future doesn't mean we can't have a little fun while doing it."

0 · 559 views · located in Earth

a character in “Katekyō Hitman REB0RN!: The Next Generation”, as played by Golgari

Description

Rizzo Guardian of the Asteroid

Donovan Shmautz



Image

❝Just because we're assassins from the future doesn't mean we can't have a little fun while doing it.❞

Happy | C2C







❋ Full name ❋
Donovan Roland Shmautz
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❋ Nickname ❋
Donny

❋ Alias ❋
Ricochet

❋ Age ❋
19

❋ Gender ❋
Male

❋ Sexuality ❋
Heterosexual

❋Box weapon ❋
Palla: A collection of ten large rubber balls completely filled with Asteroid flame infused iron. These balls gain much more destructive force the faster they're moving and never stop bouncing until Donovan commands them too. If needed, Donovan can also alter their trajectory slightly allowing for negation of friendly fire.

Squalo di Getto: A large shark with bladed jet wings instead of fins. It is made from Asteroid flames, making it able to fly around faster then the human eye can perceive. In fact, only people coated in Asteroid flames can ride it without being ripped to shreds by the sheer speed it travels.
Despite being a very powerful box, Donovan almost always refuses to use it as it is very hard to control and could easily put his friends in great danger.


❋Flame type ❋
Asteroid: Like Donovan himself, hate to stand still. They gain power the faster they move, reaching almost cataclysmic force at full speed. Donovan has traded raw power for training in controlling his flames. He is able to use them to make himself and others move at warp speed or, if he chooses, removing momentum from an enemy, increasing his blows or weakening his opponents.

❋ Abilities ❋
Sonic Speed: Donovan is able to move at incredibly fast speeds, making it seem like he's teleporting to the naked eye.

Enhanced Reflexes: Due to the constant speed of his flames, Donovan has become increasingly aware of his surroundings allowing him to react to things most people wouldn't. This allows him to use his main weapons of choice, Palla.






Image

❋ Height & Weight ❋
5'10", 158lbs

❋ Hair color/Length/Quality ❋
Donovan has Short orange hair that is a constant mess however, he pulls this look off quite well.

❋ Eye color ❋
Amber

❋ Distinguishable Facial Features ❋
Small button nose.

❋ Birthmarks/Scars/Tattoos/Piercings ❋
A large scar runs down his chest. Cause to be revealed later.

❋ Physical Description ❋
Often found stealing food from the Rizzo Family pantry or in the top of a tree, Donovan is never seen without a smile on his face. His short orange hair is matched by his soft-featured face, making him look like anything but one of the most dangerous men in the world. Though his frame may be thin, Donovan carries a surprisingly large layer of muscle invisible with clothes on. A large scar runs down the center of his chest. Donovan is very self-conscious about this scar and tends to keep it hidden at all times.

When on the job, Donovan wears a black tuxedo, white shirt, and red tie, customary of members of the Rizzo family. When off the job he tends wear loose fitting clothing like hoodies and jeans.




[Likes] [Dislikes]
o Excitement Murder without reason x
o Pulling pranks Birds x
o Making people smile Spicy Foodx




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❋ Techniques ❋
Bouncing Hell: Donovan releases his Palla in a location. The balls never stop bouncing and get stronger and faster each time they strike a surface. Donovan is immune to his own Palla thanks to his enhanced reflexes. These Palla can easily break through walls on contact.

Momentous Blows: Donovan increases his or an ally's momentum, making movements and physical attacks much faster and stronger.

"I knew you would do that": Donovan lowers the momentum of an opponent, causing them to move in slow-motion in his eyes. This allows him to easily react to an attack. This attack can also lower their momentum permanently but requires a lot of energy.

Shock Absorber: Donovan lowers the momentum of an opponent's attack at the last second, minimizing the damage.

Asteroid Ripple: Donovan's strongest attack also carried the greatest price. By rapidly flooding an opponent with Asteroid flames, their cells move so fast that they rip themselves apart, creating a nuclear explosion. However, this can only be obtained through physical contact preventing Donovan from escaping the range of the explosion, causing certain death.



❋ Personality ❋
If there was a picture of a person beside each word in the dictionary, Donovan's would be right beside optimistic. With a cocky smile that never leaves his face, Donovan's motto is "Anything can be fun if you make it so." Craving excitement more then anything, Donovan loves to be where the action is often disobeying orders to stay put to go join the fray. Along with his penchant for adventure comes a hankering for mischief. Donovan's pranks are something the most of the Rizzo family members have had a taste of shy the most powerful ones.

Even though he's an assassin, Donovan doesn't like to kill and is usually yelled at from his superiors for showing mercy or just not finishing a job at all. Though he doesn't necessarily believe in (insert Rizzo family leader here) morals, he does respect him/her wholeheartedly and will gladly die for his family.

Donovan's fighting style is focused on predicting opponents moves and acting accordingly, often allowing an opponent to hit him so he can gain a better vantage point. He is reckless and impulsive, relying on his instincts and reflexes to guide him through the battlefield. His abilities allow him to be both a brilliant 1v1 fighter and wreak havoc on groups of enemies. With a flair for being the center of attention, Donovan's entrances will always be as big as he could possibly make them. "Oh, the door is unlocked? I'm going to smash the roof open!"


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❋ Romantic Interest ❋
N/A for the moment

❋ Family ❋
Sharita Shmautz: mother - deceased
Peter Shmautz: father - deceased
Trevor Rizzo: brother - motality unknown


❋ History ❋
Every day was boring to Donovan. His parents were boring, his school was boring, everything was just so….boring. Even after discovering his Asteroid flames by launching a baseball through the school's cement wall, there was simply not enough excitement in his life. Finally, after 14 years of waiting, adventure appeared to him in the form of an elderly man named Glen.

Glen Parker was an informant for the Rizzo family investigating a string of murdered mafioso. His job was to find the perp and execute him but, unfortunately, he knew nothing about the city. Upon stopping at a house for directions, he was surprised to find the bicycle in front covered in Asteroid flames. Amazed by his discovery, Glen sprang on the opportunity and offered Donovan the adventure of a lifetime. Donovan agreed without question and was whisked away to Rizzo headquarters.

The Scientists were completely astounded as to how this boy could possibly produce Asteroid flames and after a quick word from the head of the family it was decided that Donovan would be trained as the Asteroid guardian. During his training, Donovan met a boy named Trevor Rizzo. The two became fast friends and were nearly inseparable until Trevor, the would-be Moon guardian, lost control of his box weapon, permanently scarring Donovan and sending the boy into a deep spiral of Post-traumatic Stress. . Seeing his friend in obvious distress, Donovan vowed to always be there for Trevor to keep him emotionally stable and safe from harm.



So begins...

Donovan Shmautz's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola
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Alastor puckered his lips, forcing the cool evening air through his teeth thusly pursed. Instantly, a melodious tune filled the area around him, drowning out the crickets that, to him, were chirping in honor of his immense glory and unbridled resplendence. He continued to whistle some upbeat tune as he lay relaxed on his back, his hands behind his head, acting as a makeshift pillow.

As he sucked in air through his nose, an all-too-familiar scent saturated his olfactories. At first, the smell was sweet. Cloying even, like an overly ripe fruit. Under the smell's saccharine visage, however, was an overbearing metallic stink that mercilessly jabbed at his nose like a skewer, causing him to crinkle his nostrils every now and then.

Alastor opened his eyes, looking up at the sky above him and the infinite blackness of the space beyond it. The stars, innumerable and indescribable in their beauty, twinkling in the sky. The moon, centerpiece of the night sky, as mellow and calm as it was luminous. A lonely comet hurdled by in the far distance, leaving a thin white streak in its wake—or was it an asteroid? Alastor scoffed, using his arms to push himself up to a sitting position. He was never sure of such things.

The act of making himself vertical forced him to cease his whistling, which somehow made the smell that'd pervaded the air that much worse. Looking around, Alastor noted the source of the coppery scent.

Blood.

It was sort of everywhere, though Alastor certainly couldn't be blamed for that. These Vongola mafioso had decided to resist, and resistance always ended sloppily where he was concerned.

He sighed, replaying events in his head. He asked them politely if this was the location of the Vongola's Namimori headquarters. They told him he "wasn't allowed on the roof" or whatever and pulled guns on him. Blah blah blah, he snapped his fingers, bang bang bang. And now they're all dead.

"Totally not my fault," he said aloud to the closest corpse. The poor man or woman wasn't even recognizable as a human corpse anymore—more like a spattering of meat and expensive fabrics across the floor. Alastor poked at the gooey remains with the toe of his expensive black dress shoe, dying its anterior a dark crimson. Continuing to look around, he noted the positions of the other former Vongolas. Two others, to be precise.

They resembled flies splattered across a windshield. Their skulls were crushed in, their limbs embedded into the wall at odd angles, blood dripping from their assorted remains, pooling below them like a leaky faucet. Alastor smirked. Looked like a truck smashed them into the wall going a hundred miles an hour. Couldn't have been all that pleasant a ride, either.

Oh well.

Alastor leaned backwards, resting his head against the cool metal structure that jutted out of the ground at his back, his stringy black hair in stark contrast with its sterile hospital-white surface. It was tall, perhaps six or seven feet in height, and became thinner the closer you got to its center. Honestly, it looked awkward and foreign jutting out of the lightly variegated rooftop as it was, like some sort of alien space needle. It wasn't hard to imagine that it didn't belong there, or anywhere in this time period for that matter. If you listened carefully, you could hear a metronomic ticking coming from the tower, in tune with the sways and rhythm of time itself.

The Rizzo leader was extremely fatigued after having brought his team all the way over here just an hour or so prior. He could barely keep his eyes open, and switching positions seemed to have burned up the last of his energy. Just five minutes, he promised himself, yawning. Sure enough, with his legs folded beneath him and his hands in his lap, Alastor drifted into a light and wholly content slumber.

Surely the party downstairs would be heating up soon, with all the actors playing their proper roles.


**



"Do you have to follow me around?" Came a boy's voice, light and fluffy but altogether devoid of feeling, as if from a robot feigning humanity. Like his voice, the boy's face was equally stolid and impassive, even as he spoke in an almost accusatory fashion to his would-be stalker.

"Don't be droll, Trevor," his follower responded in a voice just as high and childlike, but with a distinct edge of authority. "I just wanna see who you're gonna talk to."

Trevor didn't respond, instead shoving his hands deep into the pockets of his black suit pants, the gentle lustrous fabric coming down to rest lightly upon the ankles of his dark gray and silver gym shoes. He wasn't a fan of dress shoes. They had a tendency to fall off whilst he was piloting his C-Frame, his anti-alien combat armor. Plus, they were generally uncomfortable, even in the future.

Under his unfastened Jacquard-stitched suit jacket, black enough to match his debonair dress pants, was a collared shirt, a rich resonant gray in color. Tucked in, top unbuttoned. The dress shirt matched his eyes perfectly—a vibrant ghostly gray. A gaunt black tie had been fastened under his collar by his handlers, but he'd loosened it with his fingers the moment he was free, leaving it to hang almost awkwardly to the side, its tail flapping up ever so slightly as he walked. He really disliked ties. They were relics of the past, like little choking devices. Bleh.

Top met bottom at the belt area, where Trevor sported a custom-made black leather belt featuring the Rizzo family insignia on the buckle. The look was completed by a thin dark gray fabric that sat upon his shoulders like a scarf, descending down to the small of his back. It was a gift he'd received from a dear friend a while back. It was made of a fireproof future material that, when heated, changed colors—usually to a flat light purple. Gifts were a rare thing for Trevor, so he treasured each and every one. Specifically, he wore the scarf everywhere he could get away with it.

All in all, his garb was an unorthodox mix of the urban and the dapper. He thought he looked stupid, all dressed up and what not, but he'd been told he looked "like a real Rizzo".

"You look like a real Rizzo, Trev," his now-definitely-a-stalker said aloud, as if reading the boy's thoughts, "though you really should fix the tie. Want me to do it? You know I can."

Trevor picked up his pace, throwing a look over his shoulder instead of responding verbally. The boy that was following him had to be about as old as Trevor himself: around twelve or so. He had stringy black hair that resembled Trevor's own stocky dark hair, too. They were even dressed similarly, with his follower garbed in lightly-pressed black slacks and a short white dress shirt that wasn't tucked in. Like Trevor, the other boy's suit jacket was unbuttoned, its tails swaying back and forth as he walked, his expensive black dress shoes clicking and clacking across the floor as he picked up his pace, lest he be left behind. The boy moved with a regal swagger, as if he somehow owned the place.

To any onlooker, the two could easily pass as brothers.

In his hurry to lose this stalker, Trevor neglected to keep track of where he was going and collided painfully with someone, nearly losing his balance. Ripping his hands from his pockets in an attempt to steady himself, he took an uncertain step backwards, looking up at whom he'd unintentionally accosted.

For the first time in quite a while, Trevor's stolid demeanor fractured, his eyes widening in genuine surprise at the person before him. Dressed in an all-black suit, the man was much taller than he was, that's for sure. He had rough, untamed black hair that fell down around his eyes as bangs. If Trevor were much taller, he might not've been able to make eye contact, but peering at an upward angle as he did allowed their eyes to meet. He noted the red tint of the man's irises and instantly felt an overpowering sense of... something.

Though impossible to notice by simply looking at him, Trevor's knees were shaking. His traitorous palms had become sweaty. He could hear his heartbeat in his ears, like a racehorse pounding down the pavement. It was all very odd. He hadn't experienced anything like this since...

Well, since he fought his first alien four or so years ago, when he was eight. It's your purpose. He remembered one of the scientists from the facility telling him. It is the sole reason for your existence. A weapon for humanity. For the Rizzo. But now he was here. Back in the past. To fight the Vongola of legend that he'd read so much about growing up as a proverbial (or not) lab rat.

And now there was one standing right in front of him—he noticed immediately. And he'd managed to introduce himself by rudely bumping into him. Great.

There was an awkward silence before Trevor mustered the courage to speak, breaking eye contact by looking off to the side.

"Sorry. Um," he began, gulping audibly. "Hi. Sorry." He apologized a second time. "You're... um..." He paused, licking his lips and bringing his hands together in front of him. Subconsciously, he began to twiddle his thumbs. When he began again, he spoke as if possessed, with little to no air between his words. "You're Joel Lambe, the Vongola's Lightning Guardian. Adopted son of Lambo, five feet nine inches in height, one-hundred and forty five pounds, 18 in this time period, goes by the alias Ohm, and whose various interests include—"

A firm hand on the boy's shoulder interrupted his panicked drawl. Trevor turned his head in confusion to see his stalker standing next to him.

"Hey there, Vongola," the stalker began, meeting the man's eye without a single ounce of hesitation. "Nice place y'all got here. I'm Alastor," he said his name as if it were of the highest royalty, bowing deeply at the waist before continuing. "My buddy the talker over here is Trevor. Apparently, he's a huge fan." The words came out with just the slightest hint of sarcasm.

The boy Alastor stared up at the man, this "Joel," with the petite disarming smile of a happy-go-lucky child fresh upon his face; however, the boy's eyes told a different story—one of maturity, hostility, and ill intent.

"Can we trouble ya for an autograph?"


**



Elsewhere in the gymnasium, a gaggle of business executives in sharp multi-thousand dollar suits sipped their drinks and laughed at each other's off-kilter jokes.

"And then I told him just like this I told him," one of the executives began, his nasally voice catching in his throat. He was a short portly man with bulbous sunken eyes and posture so bad he had to walk with a cane in one hand and a wine glass in the other. "No, I like firing people!" With the way he spoke, it was obvious he was attempting an impersonation of someone, however nasally.

Apparently that was the punch line, because the other three executives busted out in raucous laughter, careful not to spill their drinks as they slapped their knees in unbridled glee. As they quieted down, another of the execs spoke up.

"I've got one," he said, his voice a deep baritone full of the weight and power of his position. He was obviously as accustomed to being the center of attention as he was demanding it, and demand it he did. The other executives each turned their bodies to face him, acknowledging him fully. Something about this man demanded their respect. Demanded their adoration. Demanded their eyes be on him at all times.

Far above all others, the man was like some sort of royalty—like a god—and he knew it. He moved with a royal air. He talked with a royal authority. He had a royal presence. There were none here greater than him, and everyone knew it, none more so than he.

He took a sip from his tall ornate glass cup before speaking again. The others followed suit.

"I recently encountered a family not too long ago," he began, bringing the drink away from his face and down to his side. He was quite a bit taller than six feet, and so towered above his fellows. "This family was particularly powerful, but they managed holdings that I wished to acquire, and were generally in my way."

The executives reacted with looks of mock shock upon their faces, one of them going so far as to silently mouth the words "no way".

"So," the man continued, "my guardians and I killed them all." He spoke as cavalierly as one would when conversing about the weather. "We removed their very existences from history itself, along with the existences of everyone connected with them. When we were done with their motley crew, it was as if they never were."

There was an awkward silence as the executives eyed their fellow CEO with looks of incredulity. Said man, for his part, simply took another sip of his drink, eyeing each of them in response. When they noted the sincerity in his eyes, their expressions transitioned from that of incredulous humor to abject fear. One of them even took a step backwards, jaw hanging. The others were similarly speechless.

If the man acknowledged the awkwardness of the situation before him, it didn't show. At all. The expression on his face was one of absolute tranquility—of a man so sure of himself that he regards his own confidence as one would a law of Physics. His hair, as pitch black as the night sky, was styled into a spiky configuration, the gel holding his hair up against gravity as if it were suspended in time. He wore a black pinstriped suit, buttoned properly, with a white undercoat and silver tie. His expensive black dress shoes reflected the ceiling of the gymnasium above.

He projected power. Raw. Dangerous.

With one final gulp, the man finished his drink, setting the glass down on a nearby table. The sound reverberated through the gaggle like a slap, knocking them from their stupor. The executive closest to the man found his courage first, speaking up.

"Excuse me, sir, b-but... are you serious?"

The man turned to him and raised his hand, slowly reaching inside his jacket. When he quickly removed a card, the other executives flinched slightly.

"The name's Alastor," the man said, responding to the executive's question with a curt gesture and a business card. The poor executive wilted under the force of Alastor's intense gaze, timidly grabbing at the card as if seeking permission. After a few grabs, Alastor allowed him to take it. "Alastor Rizzo." When he smirked, it was an expression devoid of humor or happiness. The malice in his eyes was palpable. "Look me up some time."

At that he swiveled on his heel, turning his back to the men. He was bored with them.

With both hands he straightened his tie.

It was almost time.

In his peripheral vision he spotted a girl with short straight pink hair moving about. Immediately, he knew who and what she was: one of the infamous Vongola.

Perfect.

As he moved towards her, he fought to keep down his smirk, though he couldn't keep the animus from his eyes. It was one of the few things that was truly beyond him.

"Hello, miss," he said as he walked up to her, holding out his hand. "You wouldn't happen to be one of those Vongola guardians I've heard so much about, now would you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo
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#, as written by Golgari
Donovan Shmautz



It was a regular dawn in New York City. The birds were chirping in Central Park as the sun rose over the busy hustle-bustle of the city below. With not a cloud in the sky, it was looking to be a beautiful day. Marcus Pochelli, a simple fisherman, finally reels in his nets from a long night of catching halibut. His haul for the day wasn't large but it was enough to feed his family for another day or two. Moving his boat over the murky waters back to the city, a strange blip appears on his sonar.
"What the-"
With a mighty roar, a huge lizard crashes from the depths of the ocean, utterly destroying the poor fisherman's boat. Setting its sights on the city, the creature lumbered forward, hellbent on vanquishing the concrete jungle and all its inhabitants from existence.
Commissionaire Gordon watched silently from his office. The military couldn't possibly move fast enough to protect the city. Their was only one thing to do. Pressing the button on his desk, a large Asteroid appeared in the sky. A beacon of hope that could only bring justice.
In the blink of an eye, a streak of brown flames rocketed across the sky towards the great beast. With the power of one million suns, the masked avenger buried his right fist into the monster's chest, launching it far back into the sea. With the creature gone, the crowd finally got a look at their savior.

Large brown gauntlets covered his forearms and were met by a tight yellow and green spandex suit. His face was covered by a large helmet, obviously inspired by the Power Rangers. He stood triumphantly as the crowd swarmed around him, shouting his name.
"Meteor! Meteor! Meteor!"A small girl, not even seven years old, broke through the crowd. She had brilliant blue hair and a very stern expression.
"Hey Meteor, time to wake up!"

.......................................................................................................................................................................................

The city of New York seemed to vanish in an instant, quickly replaced by a hazy image of a dining hall. Donovan rubbed his eyes, secretly hoping that the dream had been a reality. His hopes were dashed as suits and tight dresses flooded his vision.
He was surprised to see his apparel matched the tone of the room. A shiny black tailcoat, the same color as his dress pants, adorned his torso. A brown collared shirt, half tucked in, complementing the orange of his hair. Not one to wear ties in the first place, Donovan slipped it off the first moment he got and had been currently using it as a makeshift pillow.
Along his waist was the leather belt every Rizzo guardian got when they received their title. Though he'd been a bit disappointed at first, the Asteroid guardian wore his belt with pride wherever he went, mostly because it got him free food and board.

"See Freddy, he was just sleeping. God you worry too much." To his immediate left stood a nervous looking boy about Donovan's age. He smirked, apparently this kid hadn't gotten the memo on the formal attire, showing up in a big blue and white hoodie. On his shoulder perched a small...faerie? He rubbed his eyes again but the faerie still remained, smiling arrogantly. Donovan reached towards the small blue creature, poking her in the stomach.
"Oh good you're real. I was afraid I'd gone insane. " The Faerie huffed in annoyance, whispering something in her companion's ear. He shook his head and extended his hand.
"H-hello sir. I'm Fredrick Dill Koenig and this" he gestured to his blue winged companion, "is Serlina." Donovan smiled, taking the boy's hand in his own.
"Nice to meet you Fredrick, Serlina, names Donovan Shmautz. I don't suppose you know where the bathroom is do you? I kind-of just woke up."

......................................................................................................................................................................................

The outside of the hall was much more quiet the the inside. As much as Donovan wanted to go inside and socialize, he had a job to do. After coming through Alastor's portal, the family had been dropped somewhere in Ireland. With only one day before the coronation, it had been Donovan's job to get them all to Japan with time to spare. A tiring effort no doubt, he collapsed at a table as soon as they arrived at the banquet.
With an silent thunk, Donovan dropped his last Palla into the ground around the building. When the time for action came, Donovan's entrance would be the best, he'd made sure of that. With his weapons in place, the guardian went back inside.

The hall had become a lot more sociable since he left, the anticipation of the new guardians seemed to put everyone in a good mood. Even Trevor, who never seemed to enjoy anything, was gawking over a scrap of paper with the stupidest grin on his face. With light steps, he sneaked up behind his friend and glanced at the paper.
'Whenever you need, lightning will strike for you. For my biggest fan.'
"Seems like you got the autograph you wanted after all, huh Trev?" He said, ruffling the boy's hair. He motioned to the faerie who had woken him up earlier.
"If you're going for the complete set, let's get that guy's next. I'm not sure who he is but that little faerie isn't just a hologram."

........................................................................................................................................................................................

Fredrick Dill Koenig



"Serlina, I can't talk to her. Look at how beautiful she is. She wouldn't want anything to do with me."
The blue faerie sighed, pushing her minuscule hand to the bridge of her nose.
"Freddy, you're going to be GUARDIANS with her in a few minutes. Don't you think you should get to know her better?" The boy's gaze drifted across to the topic of their conversation. Murasaki Eri. For him, it had been love at first sight. Her dainty white hair seemed to bounce with life, ruby lips kissed her pale skin, and ice blue eyes that seemed too warm whoever's heart they fell upon. Her refusal to hurt people was icing on the cake.
"I don't know Serlina, what if she thinks I'm weird."
"Fredrick I swear to god if you don't go talk to her, I will."

Fredrick swallowed hard. Serlina didn't make empty threats and putting her back in her box wasn't possible. Looks like he had no choice but to talk to the object of his affections. With small nervous steps, Fredrick made his way over to the other side of the room as Serlina his inside her box, eagerly listening.

"Uh, h-hi Murasaki." He managed to stammer out.
"So, tonight's the big night huh? I guess we'll be seeing a lot more of each-other...." An awkward silence fell over Fredrick as he clambered to find more words to say. A small pinch came from his arm, Serlina's doing no doubt.
"So I was w-wondering if you'd like to go out for dinner-LUNCH....yes...lunch."
Serlina didn't know whether to applaud or sigh in disappointment.

The setting changes from earth to Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola
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"Yes," the pink haired girl replied, her voice devoid of any semblance of feeling or empathy. In this she reminded this elder Alastor of Trevor, one of his more fearsome guardians back in his proper timeline. For some reason, that caused a jackal's grin to spread slowly across his face. "I am the current Guardian of the Mist for the Vongola."

Though he feigned a polite ignorance as to her true identity, Alastor had quite a bit of intel on this Vongola. Perhaps more than he did on any of the other guardians. This "girl" was a traitor to her species. One of their slaves.

Disgusting.

As the mist guardian completed her sentence, Alastor did something unexpected. In one moment, he was towering over her, but in the next, as if time itself had skipped a frame, he had her right hand firmly gripped in his own, and was actively pulling her towards him.

With the girl sufficiently caught off guard, the man kneeled slightly, careful not to wrinkle his expensive suit. Slowly, methodically, he placed his lips an inch or so away from her ear. He was close enough to feel the force of her presence against his cheek, to hear the air escape her lungs, to see the veins in her head pumping, to smell her scent—the rancid stench of a blood traitor.

"Can your eye see me for what I really am, Shaji Ai?" He whispered his rhetoric, pronouncing each syllable carefully. Delicately. Menacingly. He tightened his grip on her hand with intent to injure, noting with thinly veiled glee her Vongola ring pressing into the skin of his palm.

Easy. So easy it would be to take from this freak. To take her ring. To take her dignity. To take everything that she was and destroy it, as was his birthright. For, in the parallel timeline from which this particular Alastor hailed, he was head of the Rizzo famiglia and more. He was a planetary king—a god!—and people like this girl?

They were the peasants. They were the nothings. They were mere obstacles, standing in the shade of his glory. His power.

Alastor barely stifled a sigh upon releasing the girl's hand. She was not the Vongola whom he was brought here to accost. She was not his target.

"Disappear," he muttered, sauntering away with a princely air. And with that, he was done with her. To him, it was as if she hadn't even existed in the first place.

The entire incident lasted no more than a dozen seconds, Alastor once again straightening his tie with a series of curt professional gestures as he walked. This was the third time he'd straightened it since he'd arrived.

In front of the man was a gaggle of peasants, all blathering on about nothing. Three people soon caught his eye, however.

One was a boy, tall and slender, with light brown eyes and brown hair. This one seemed to be following him, albeit with a modicum of tact. Alastor immediately pegged him as this timeline's Star guardian. A powerful ally he will make one day, Alastor thought to himself. Another was a blue-eyed girl with short, choppy black hair styled in two high pigtails. Alastor recognized her as a younger version of his very own Comet guardian and little sister, Miku. She was as regal and powerful as a queen back in his timeline, but not so here. Not yet, perhaps. Alastor shook his head, though the gesture was barely noticeable. They even had the same lack of regard for formal attire.

It wasn't Miku that interested him, however. It was with whom she was speaking that had drawn his eye.

He was dressed like an urban miscreant, with short dirty blonde hair hidden under a skull cap of sorts. Hoodie. Jeans.

Alastor reveled as a certain feeling began to bubble up in him, eventually infecting every inch of his being with its tantalizing tingles.

He'd found his target.

However, before he could take another step, the lights in the room dimmed noticeably. Alastor tilted his head, peering over his shoulder. He noted hushed activity centralized around the gymnasium's stage. Seems like the Vongola's tech demo was about to begin.

With another curt, surgical gesture, Alastor straightened his tie for the fourth time that night. Hopefully the Rizzo guardians of this timeline were ready for what comes next.


**



Trevor grinned, gawking over the thin piece of paper between his fingers as Josei walked away. Okay, so he didn't really "grin" per say, but he curled back his lips and aligned his teeth like he'd seen people do in the movies. The "warmth" of his attempted facial gesture failed to defrost the expression of tranquil boredom that radiated from his eyes, but it was as close as the boy could get to a natural smile. Truth be told, he wasn't entirely sure how to react to what had just happened. Perhaps a frown would be in order. Or maybe a laugh? He imagined how Flandre might react. Instantly, his mind's eye presented him with a scene of bloodshed and death, with Flandre standing atop a mound of bodies, laughing maniacally.

Hmm, probably not the appropriate reaction there.

Whatever nervousness that overcame him in front of the lightning guardian had finally subsided, replaced by something entirely new. Was it adoration? Was this thankfulness? Maybe. Trevor wasn't sure, but, as he stared down at the autograph in his hands, he knew that he liked this "it," whatever it happened to be.

To have met one of the infamous Vongola was beyond surreal. Their tales were the stuff of legends back in the future, Trevor knew this first hand. His every spare moment outside of the C-Frame was spent reading up on the trials and adventures of the past families. Of all the literature available, he found the harrowing accounts of the Vongola's tenth and eleventh generations most impressive.

Their eleventh generation especially reminded him of the current Rizzo guardians in so many ways. And now he actually got to meet one... it was the boy's wildest fantasy come true. Surely he would treasure this autograph as he would his own life. He reread the words inscribed on the paper: Whenever you need, lightning will strike for you. So cool! Josei's handwriting was a bit messy, but Trevor didn't care.

Absorbed as he was in his own world, Trevor didn't notice someone approach from behind.

"Seems like you got the autograph you wanted after all, huh Trev?" The person said, ruffling the boy's hair. Immediately, Trevor had the knee-jerk urge to slap whomever's hand it was away. He clenched his eyes shut, hackles raised like a cat's, a sensation not unlike vertigo assaulting his senses. He didn't like people touching him, least of all his hair—he'd had enough prodding and probing as a lab rat earlier in his life.

Before he reacted, however, he noted that he recognized the speaker. He kinda recognized the hand on his head, too. Donovan, he said to himself, opening his eyes and relaxing his shoulders. He even let out a small content sigh. Donovan, the asteroid guardian, was special. He didn't mind a pat on the head from him.

"If you're going for the complete set," Donovan continued, "let's get that guy's next. I'm not sure who he is but that little faerie isn't just a hologram." The older boy said, motioning at someone else in the crowd.

Faerie? Trevor knew who he was instantly. "Vongola's rain guardian," he said aloud, folding Josei's autograph neatly in his hands and—

Trevor froze, looking down at his hands.

Empty.

The paper. The autograph. It wasn't there.

"To my biggest fan," Alastor mimicked Josei's voice, reading from the autograph he'd been given. "What a crock." With one hand, he balled the paper up and threw it on the floor. He then snapped his fingers twice, catching the attention of one of the ushers. The man that approached was much taller than the boy Alastor was. "Clean this up," the little guy commanded, pointing at the balled up piece of paper. "I don't want to see it anymore." The waiter gave him a sideways look for a moment before acquiescing.

Trevor only stared at what was in Alastor's other hand. It was the second autograph, the one Josei had given to him specifically. The one that was taken from him. Alastor was fast. No, he wasn't fast, it was different than that. On another level. Trevor didn't even realize it'd been taken from him until it was far too late. All he did was look away for a single moment...

The boy Alastor turned towards Trevor and Donovan, though he was focusing on Trevor. Effervescent red met icy gray as they locked eyes.

"Why do you want this crap anyway, Trev?" Alastor asked, waving the autograph in the air above them. "It's not like they're Rizzo or something. They're just a buncha forgotten nobodies that sucked and died." Alastor brought his hands together, his eyes going wide with fervor. "Not godly like us!"

When Alastor made a motion like he was going to rip the autograph in half, Trevor's hand shot out, gripping Alastor's forearm in a vice. For a moment, neither boy moved.

It was Trevor that spoke first.

"Give it back," he uttered, his icy expression never shifting for a second. There was no trace of anger in his voice. No outrage, wrath, or indignation. There was nothing, nothing but his words.

"These Vongolas you love so much are trash," Alastor pouted, pulling his arm in an attempt to break Trevor's grip. His tone that of a spoiled child not getting what he wanted. "You'll see how weak they are when we crush them!"

Slowly but surely, a dark gray-white glow began to emanate from Trevor's hand. There would be no time trickery where that autograph was concerned. "Give. It. Back."

Unbeknownst to the two boys, the lights in the room had dimmed noticeably. The Vongola's technology demonstration was about to begin, and they were about to blow the mission.

The setting changes from vongola-headquarters-in-japan to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo
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#, as written by Golgari
Fredrick Dill Koenig


As his suspicions had confirmed, he'd been rejected without a second thought. Like a puppy that had lost its owner Fredrick ducked his head and prepared to slink back into the bustling crowd of the party when a loud and familiar voice rang through his mind.
"She's smiling you idiot!"
Smiling? That couldn't be. Every time he had played this scenario over in his head, she'd turned away disgusted. Could it really be the other way around? Peeking through his bangs, Fredrick's heart skipped a beat.

She wasn't just smiling, she was blushing.
"Lunch, dinner, your pick." she told him. "Just remember we need to be here in time for the event."

Soaring on cloud nine couldn't even begin to describe the young guardian's joy. In an unusual bout of whimsy, Fredrick began to dance. His feet moved with unnatural grace, grasping hold of his soon-to-be-date's hands and whisking her across the newly polished floor. Holding her close to his body, Fredrick twisted his partner around the room, dodging children and waiters with ease. It wasn't long before a circle of guests had opened around them, cheering at the performance. The short boy spun his partner, not noticing the pack of older women eyeing him hungrily. By the time he drooped his partner, her white hair strands of snow hanging from her skull, Fredrick was beaming as bright as the sun.

A small blue light burst through the crowd, hovering right beside her owner's face.
"Wow Fred, that was amazing! To be honest, I never thought you would take it THAT far but hey, it seems to have impressed everyone else." Fredrick looked up, quickly plopping his partner on her feet and bowing. His mumbled thank you's being quickly drowned out by the roar of the crowd. Pulling himself away from his adoring fans, he looked back to Eri.

"Sorry about that, I guess I overreacted..." Fingers fumbled with themselves as his nervousness returned. What had he done? Forcefully taking her into his grasp and parading her around the room in front of everybody. The lights began to dim and with it the cheers of the crowd. It seemed the presentation was starting soon.

"I-if you're serious about the date, I know a good..." Fredrick wracked his brain to remember the country escargot came from. America? No, they refuse to eat anything that isn't made from cows. England? No, they just eat potatoes. Canada? Do they even have any native food? "Western place if you'd like."

...............................................................................

Donovan Shmautz


Now Donovan didn't know much, if anything, about the Vongola. He'd usually skip the intel meetings to sleep or test out some new techniques. After all, knowing too much about your opponent takes out all the fun of fighting them. However it was hard to believe that the faerie kid was actually the Vongola's Rain guardian and this is coming from the guy who works with a paraplegic and a twelve year old. He just looked so...jittery. Like a little kid who's too afraid to go to the bathroom at night.

Then again Trevor won't go to the bathroom alone either.

Expecting to see the glint of excitement in his small friend's eyes, he was surprised to find the fire of burning hatred instead.
"Hey Trev, what's wr-"
"To my biggest fan," With a heavy sigh, Donovan turned to behold the great and righteous Alastor, give or take a few years. If you took Hitler, put him in a kid's body and gave him the ability to manipulate the fabric of time itself, you might have one fifth of the asshole that little Alastor is.

And this little asshole has stolen one of his friend's prized possessions.

"Why do you want this crap anyway, Trev? It's not like they're Rizzo or something. They're just a buncha forgotten nobodies that sucked and died." Little Al' lifted his arms with devilish glee, fully prepared to rip Trevor's memento in two. Donovan, however, was much quicker to the draw as Trevor's arm shot out and clamped down on the perpetrator, the little brown flames disappearing from his sleeve as quickly as they appeared.

Little Al's expression turned sour, desperately trying to wrench free from Trevor's grasp.
"These Vongolas you love so much are trash, You'll see how weak they are when we crush them!"
Suddenly, two hands pushed the two boys apart. In the blink of an eye, Donovan carefully folded the paper and handed it back to Trevor.

"Still picking fights, aren't we little guy?" he said, stepping between the two and grabbing Little Al by the collar. "I'm gonna give you a few pointers, alright? First off, saying we're going to crush the Vongola isn't the best way to stay undercover. Second," He jabbed a finger into Little Al's chest, the smile dropped from his face. "If you ever touch any of Trevor's shit again, I'll beat you so bad you'll think last time was a leisurely day at the spa. Understand?"

"Now, why don't you go ruin someone's life who isn't supposed to be fighting on your side."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo
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"Now, why don't you go ruin someone's life who isn't supposed to be fighting on your side."

When Donovan released Alastor, Trevor pursed his lips, looking around. Luckily, they weren't talking loud enough to attract much attention to themselves, though Donovan was receiving some odd looks every now and then.

"I make some real douchebag friends in this future," Alastor hissed, brushing imaginary dirt off of his shoulder and straightening his collar. "Ya both suck. Fuck off." His use of obscene language wasn't surprising, at least not to Trevor. He never really got along with Alastor's younger self. None of the guardians did. Donovan even fought him once. It was Alastor himself who despised his younger incarnation most of all, and today Trevor was reminded why.

Still, the mission came before all things. In order to best the aliens and save humanity, this younger more brazen Alastor was necessary... at least for the moment, while the real Alastor regained his strength.

Turning up his nose, the kid Alastor brushed past the two Rizzo guardians as rudely as he dared, headed in the direction of a gaggle of suits. They were standing in a semicircle and had been clapping and cheering for something a while before, though they'd quieted down as the lights dimmed.

Trevor looked up at Donovan in silent thanks for a moment, taking care to place the autographed paper carefully in his back pocket before turning and facing the stage. Something was happening up front.

The time had come.

The setting changes from earth to Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko
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#, as written by Damioa
The girl was smiling and actually showing genuine laughter. It was either that, or she was real good at faking it. Though Cain didn't think it was an act at all. Not like some of the pompous 'queens' around him have put on. Though one thing he noticed, is that even though she stated that she hadn't been from around there, she hadn't gave up the location of her school. Which was weird because he was only playing about the school trip thing. If anyone was here, he'd expect members of a school to be the last ones. This wasn't that type of party. Though, because he didn't really care all that much about it, he let his suspicion slide and went on to the next subject. After hearing her relief about not being the only one in casual clothing, he smiled. "Yeah," he said, "I believe that if I'm going to wear something then it minus well be something that defines me. Not something people want to define me, but something that actually shows what type of person I am. I like these clothes because they do just that. That, and they're comfortable."

Cain shared a laugh with the girl after she asked him what he was there for. He was actually laughing at his hair keep, as he remembered Joel tell him that he minus well have kept his cap on. Blushing, and putting it back on his head, he nervously rubbed his nose. "Well. I guess you could say this was my party I suppose," he tried explaining in the most Casual way ever. "No, that's not right. Hmmm. Yeah okay. So you could definitely say this party is actually centered around me in a way. It's actually hard to explain. Dang. I wish I knew how." Never liking the idea of explaining his place as family head to people, every time he was forced to it would happen like this. Basically he would give people the dimmest explanation he could. One that wasn't actually an explanation, but a bunch of maybe's and sort of's. Though, she'd see him for who he really was in a couple minutes.

"Yeah. I'm sort of the Vongola boss. Hehehe."





Meanwhile, Joel went around the room, collecting information on who was here and who wasn't. It didn't take long for most of the family to get there, despite one person, but he knew she'd arrive soon.

"Joel," Someone called from behind him.

Turning around, Joel looked at the man responsible for funding all of this. Never in his days of knowing the man, had he ever trusted him. He looked like a snake of sorts with thin eyes and a crooked mouth. Reminded him of one of those mobsters from the old days, or movies that he'd watch about the old days. The biggest problem was that he wasn't Mafioso at all. Just a rich son of a gun. Though, since he had called him, he had no other choice but to talk to him. For saying nothing to a donator at a party funded by them would make the whole family look bad. Yet another instance where he wished he was Cain formed as he sighed to himself, forcing a smile on his lips. "Mr. Hie. What a pleasant surprise you coming all this way. Are you ready for the events kick off?" His voice was patterned to an alternate vibe and showed no tattle towards his thoughts.

"Hmph. Very much indeed I am my boy," The man cheered. "You know, not everyone can say that they were present for the 11th generation becoming an official team. Hehhe. How do you feel about the whole thing?"

"I don't know. I suppose it's not a big step for me." Joel actually felt the opposite, but he wasn't going to let some outcast to the family know he was feeling tired already.

"Oh really. Well I'm glad you don't see it as a problem. That means you can focus on the goal we paid towards. I want the 11th generation to be the best, as much as anyone else. I'm sure you know as well as I, what that means your main focus should be. Remember. We're all watching you. Rooting for you, if you will." The man of rich descent bowed and turned around. His whole movement style. His voice. It was a constant reminder to Joel why he had hated people like that. It was also a reminder that he was helpless around those types of people. People who reminded him that he was currently the fall guy. If anything happened with the 11th, it would be because he failed to groom them. He had always wondered, how can he be a boss to his boss. According to guidelines, the 11th sky guardian should have been in charge, but, because of his age, they decided he needed guidance. What the hell did that mean? Who was going to guide him? No one was alive or available to do it. No one besides from him. Thus it had been decided years ago, that Joel would be the one to teach him how to lead, so that he could lead, Joel would be the one to protect him, until he could protect himself. Joel was the fall guy. Until that kid got it right, Joel would always be the fall guy. Though, he never cared about what people would put on him. He knew it would never come to that. For he would give his life for Cain.

"Hey. Doctors." Joels voice was stern, as it had always been with doctors. Oh how he hated the doctors in the family. "Get to your designated areas. I just felt the last needed guess come in. We're starting in five. Someone tell the guards to stop frolicking and do their damn jobs. I swear if you guys don't act like this is your job, I'll sever you completely from it. Hurry up. Where the hell is Cain?!"

"Wow Joel." The familiar sound made Joel's head turn eagerly. He let a grin cross on his serious demeanor. "You sure have a lot of moxie shouting out orders. I might start thinking you're cool."

"Let it go Wall. I don't need you nitpicking at my leadership."

"Power hungry." Wall laughed.

"I might be. Hehehe. It doesn't matter where Cain is actually. He knows where to go when the lights turn off. We all should. You might want to stand back." Joels smile was cunning and threatening enough to make his own friend step back, but he still stuck out his tongue at Joels own cockiness.



The lights went off and the small noise of the video began to play. the head scientist on their team walked up on stage and began his speech. "Ahem. Yes. Is this mike on."

"I do belief it is." One man said from the crowd.

"Jolly good." The old man said. "Now I had a script written, but then I forgot that my eyes are no longer good enough to read with I'm afraid."

An awkward silence went around the room.

"Ahem. It was only a joke. Don't be afraid to laugh."

Cain was probably the only one who wanted to laugh, but held it in as he looked at Miku.

Awe damn. She's gonna find out in like two seconds anyway. I minus well just come out and say it.

"So yeah. I said I was sort of the Vongola leader. If you wouldn't mind, could I rephrase that?" He said trying to come to grips with telling her.

"Anyway," The scientist continued. "Yes. So as you know, we have brought you here for two reasons. One reason is for you to see the official unison of the new Vongola family guardians. The second, to here us give out description and showcase about the new box weapon projects we are working on. Our goal this time, is to make the 11th generation the best out of all the others combined. We want to secure that there will be no foe that the family can't beat. That is why, everything talked about in this room is confidential to the outside. You all know the repercussions for leaking information from events like these. However, before I give a teaser to the secrets of the new generation, I must call the Vongola head, along with his guardians, for his opening speech." As the man ended, he stepped back giving the floor to the head of the Vongola family. The head, who happened to be none other than Cain.

The boy stepped back, feeling sort of down that he was made to talk so soon. "I'm sorry I didn't come out right and tell you. I'll make it up to you after the party, okay?" Flashing a smile, he took his skates from his bag and placed them under his feet. He then jumped in the air jumping again, off what seemed like nothing but air, leaving fire in the area he bounced off of. He continued doing this two more times, making the guest heads turn upward to be focused on him. The fire coming from his feet wasn't hot to feel threatened of, but some people still watched nervously at the sight. He made it to the area right over the podium and flipped backwards landing and rolling around the microphone box hold, steam coming off of his feet. Looking at the head guy in charge he nodded and went to the mic. He was nervous as could be when all of the peoples eyes were on him, but he didn't show it. He probably wasn't who they were expecting to see, but soon his charming words and polite attitude wooed their opinions.

"I want to be the first one to thank everyone for attending this event. I'm sure that all the staff and my guardians feel the same way about all of you being here today. At first when my father died, I was a little skeptical about taking his place as head of the family, but with your support and the support of family and friends, I can now, one hundred percent, guarantee, that in my hands and the hands of the other guardians, the Vongola will be just as good in all the years that I'm alive, as it was when my father was."

The crowd all clapped at his words, for they could tell that he had really meant them. Their original opinion of him wavering.

"Thank you. I really appreciate it. However, the face of the new Vongola, doesn't belong to be alone. Without further adieu, I'd like to invite all the family guardians to the stand."

With that, he waited as Joel and the rest of the gaudiness came on stage with him. Joel instantly disappeared from where he was, leaving nothing but a hint of light and a crackling noise where he once stood. Instantly he appeared behind Cain and placed a hand on his shoulder, to show his approval at the boys opening speech. Once Joel was on stage, Cain waited for the rest of the guardians to come on stage before continuing.

The setting changes from vongola-headquarters-in-japan to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola
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#, as written by Miyer
Miku grinned slightly as Cain blushed before pulling on his beanie. "Well. I guess you could say this was my party I suppose,". Miku tilted her head slightly as the boy began to fumble out an answer to her question."No, that's not right. Hmmm. Yeah okay. So you could definitely say this party is actually centered around me in a way. It's actually hard to explain. Dang. I wish I knew how.", Miku chuckled slightly, before shaking her head up at him. The kid was cute when he was explaining things. though that smile was soon wiped from her face as Elizabeth repeated the cold words, "Enemy", inside her head once more.

"Yeah. I'm sort of the Vongola boss. Hehehe.", Miku's head shot up in shock at Cain's next words. Elizabeth was right, this boy was her enemy... to bad, he was nice... Miku's eyes darkened slight and Elizabeth moved underneath as their eyes stared at the boy now in front of them, the eleventh.

Miku didn't really notice a man had started a speech. Silently she watched Cai- Elizabeth cut her off again, he was the eleventh, they couldn't be one first name bases... "So yeah. I said I was sort of the Vongola leader. If you wouldn't mind, could I rephrase that?", and then Miku laughed again. The eleventh was just repeating himself and it was cute... She could feel that tugging feeling at the back of her head as Elizabeth tried to take control again. She would have to give in soon... but a few more seconds wouldn't hurt... right?

"I'm sorry I didn't come out right and tell you. I'll make it up to you after the party, okay?", she watched him flash a smile and amusement lit her eyes slightly as they watched the Eleventh make his way, quite dramatically, to the podium. Then the humor was gone and in their place flashed eyes as cold as ice. The school uniform became nothing but a pair of dark shorts and a star bikini top, covered by a deep blue and white cloak. The short pigtails grew longer and fell around the girls shoulders. Elizabeth stared the Eleventh with cold and calculating eyes.

With one last backwards glance curtsy of Miku's lingering personality, Elizabeth made her way towards her little brother. Unlike Miku who seemed absolutely clueless about most of her family, It was hard for the other side of her to pick up that Trevor was her relative. She moved to stand next to Trevor and Donoven almost silently, watching her older brother walk away. "Trevor, Donovan. How it Alastor handling the situation?", the words came out detached as her face remained stoic. "Is everyone prepared for the next course of action?", This question she directed towards Donovan, believing the older boy to have a better understanding of the situation considering she did not place much faith in the reckless Alastor they had now been graced with.

Miku forgot things but Elizabeth was different all together. Not simply a split personality, Elizabeth was the watcher. She knew what had been, what is and what was to come though she held no control over the situation except to watch again from the body of the Comet guardian. The words, "Observer.", had never been more true.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust
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Hildegarde twirled in her maroon dress, its tails spinning like the wisps of a mighty cyclone ready to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting rural town. Around and around she spun, slowly making her way across the elaborate tiling and embroidery beneath her feet like a ballerina, as elegant as a soaring eagle and as mighty as a raging dragon. With a curt click of her heel, she arrested her angular momentum, coming to a full stop near the edge of the balcony. She fastened her hands to the banister with a purpose, each of her fingers clamping down upon the sleek metal rail in a sequential, oddly alluring fashion.

She currently stood upon a small ornate balcony overlooking a massive convention center of some sort, filled with hundreds of moving bodies. The building belonged to the Vongola mob family. From the frantic scurrying of the urbane mafioso and dapper businessmen below, she surmised that the main event was about to get started.

Hildegarde threw a timid glance over her shoulder, a sheepish grin adorning her face. Behind her was a large steel door, and on it in bold red letters read:

TO ROOF
DO NOT OPEN


She ogled the door with a dreamy expression plastered upon her face. Her lover was a mere staircase away from her. Between Donovan's momentum manipulation and sitting through the constant planning and rehearsal, she hadn't really found a chance to talk to him since they'd arrived in this backwards time period—at least, not alone like she wanted. Honestly, it seemed like her lover always found ways to avoid her. If she were a more impressible girl, perhaps that'd make her feel some type of way. It wasn't like they were technically lovers or anything... well, at least not yet. A girl can dream, mind you.

All she had to do now was walk through that door and climb those stairs and she could be in his arms.

Forever his!

Hildegarde took a step backwards, away from the edge of the balcony and towards the door, fully intending to reach for its handle. As with all things in her life, all she had to do was pull and it would obey her will. It would open for her. All she had to do was pull...

But she stopped, frozen, one hand still on the railing, the other suspended in mid grasp, outstretched, reaching for the door as if it were the cure for cancer teetering on the edge of an endless abyss.

In that moment, two things occurred to her simultaneously. First, Alastor had given her a mission, and Alastor's orders were absolute. He wouldn't much appreciate her presence with such a monumental task left unfinished. Second, three Vongola mafioso had gone through the very same door not ten minutes ago. No doubt Alastor had had his share of fun with them, and under no circumstances would Hildegarde allow her brand new high top dress to be besmirched with blood stains.

No matter how thoroughly you wash linens, the inky spots never really come out.

With a sigh of defeat, Hildegarde turned her gaze forward, leveling a frown at the sight in front of her. She stood towards the top of a massive convention center-style auditorium filled to the brim with walking talking suits babbling and bustling about. Among the assorted guests, she could easily pick out her Rizzo compatriots. They stuck out among the riffraff like sore thumbs.

There was Flandre, of course, easily spotted by her "equipment". Technically, Hildegarde was supposed to be down there along side her, wheeling her around like some sort of tacky chauffeur. Hah! Alastor would have to give the command himself before she would reconsider.

By the look in Flandre's eyes, she was riling herself up about something. Following her gaze, she spotted another Rizzo. The Comet guardian, Miku Rizzo. Interesting.

Hildegarde leaned forward over the railing as elegantly and daintily as she dared, using her hand as a makeshift visor in order to block out the glare of the halogen lamps directly above her. Even though the lights had been dimmed, she was close enough to them that they still managed to partially blind her. She noted out of her peripheral vision, and with thinly veiled revulsion, a few men on the stage below gawking at her.

With a motion as suave as a movie star's and twice as classy, Hildegarde reached into her voluptuous creamy-brown cleavage, removing a small bright red object, spherical in shape. It was a simple piece of hard candy. Without missing a beat, she popped the candy into her mouth, turning her nose up at the undesirables directly below.

If Alastor hadn't ordered there be no casualties, she might've given them the show of their lifetimes.

Having lost her original focus, Hildegarde, her hand still acting as a makeshift visor, rescanned the room, looking for Miku's signature pigtails. Instead, she spotted Alastor. Well, one of his images. Timeline clones, of a sort. Such an amazing and spectacular trick, as expected of her Alastor, an Adonis among men. Hildegarde had to physically stop herself from swooning at the thought of three Alastors existing simultaneously.

The Alastor she spotted was the younger version of her beloved Alastor, a positively adorable little boy of around 12 years of age. Hildegarde placed her free hand over her chest.

"Be still my beating heart!" She muttered to herself, a frenetic monsoon of fanatical frenzy baying at the edges of her voice.

Little Alastor was walking off, away from...

Hildegarde squinted, bringing her makeshift visor closer to her eyes. In Alastor's wake were two fellow Rizzos: Donovan, one of the fastest men she'd ever met, and Trevor, the cute little kid who was deep on the creepy side with a face that rarely shifted in expression or countenance. The two were looking a bit standoffish, though for what reason she could not deduce. Then again, those two always looked standoffish. They always stuck together, like cluster bombs.

Hildegarde flashed a petite smile, fanning her face with her hand in mock chagrin. Cluster bombs were her favorite type of death machines after all, and just the thought of them brought a smile to her face.

With another sigh, she returned to her task, searching through the crowd with her eyes. Things had quieted down considerably, and the Vongolas had begun to take the stage. Their boss, known in the history books as the "King of Flames," took center stage and started speaking.

Hildegarde stifled a cackle.

That kid boss and his cronies were nothing compared to the Rizzo dynasty. Nothing.

And then Hildegarde's eyes landed on whom she'd been searching for the entire time. Her target, as ordered by Alastor.

Her goal.

Hildegarde's eyes grew large, her pupils contracting, her lips peeling back from her teeth. The girl walked onto stage, seemingly none the wiser to Hildegarde's malicious presence several meters above her. She was just as the briefing on the Vongola family had described her. 150 centimeters tall with straight short pink hair and matching eyes.

Those beady little eyes.

The girl who had a ring, something that Alastor desired. And whatever Alastor desired, Alastor would get. Hildegarde would see to it.

Personally.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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"Trevor, Donovan." Trevor looked to the side to see Miku, though she seemed a bit different than usual. Her posture was less relaxed, her eyes more alert, her expression serious. He looked her in the eye as she addressed Donovan, who was standing by his side. "How it Alastor handling the situation?" The words came out detached as her face remained stoic. "Is everyone prepared for the next course of action?"

"Elizabeth," came a resonant baritone somewhere over Trevor's shoulder, as if in answer to her questions. He turned his head, recognizing the voice instantly.

"Alastor," Trevor said, almost in deference.

Alastor, tall and immaculately suited, sauntered over to stand between Trevor and Elizabeth such that the four formed a line of sorts. His forearms were locked behind his back in a reverse arm-fold, his hands gripping his arms at the elbow. He seemed at peace, like the eye of a hurricane idling overhead.

He nodded in response to the boy. "Trevor." He gave Donovan a brief nod as well. "Donovan."

Judging from the commotion near the stage area, more of the Vongola must've appeared. From some of the screams, Trevor guessed that a very special Vongola had appeared. Sure enough, after a few moments, she walked onto stage.

Nami Gokudera. Vongola Storm guardian. Also known as: Tempest, from the critically acclaimed (in this time) band Blast of Tempest. Trevor almost bit his tongue.

WIthout a doubt he had to have her autograph... by any means.

"My younger incarnation will handle himself properly," Alastor said, turning to face Elizabeth. He spoke loud enough to be heard, but soft enough not to draw attention. "And from what I can discern," he continued, looking up towards a balcony above the stage. A woman of dark hair and brown complexion was standing there, looking impatient and generally flummoxed. "It would seem that we are all in position."

"What now?" Trevor asked, his voice barely more than a whisper. There was a surreal type of excitement in the air. So heavy was the feeling that it was almost palpable. The adult Alastor smirked, showing his canines. To Trevor he looked like a vicious predator that'd finally found a chance to bury its fangs... and that wasn't all that far off.

Some part of Trevor, perhaps what remained of his inner child, tossed and turned uncontrollably in his abdomen like a cacophony of raging butterflies. It got to the point where he had to place a hand on his stomach in an effort to calm it, a perplexed look adorning his face. For but the briefest of moments, Trevor felt as if he didn't belong here, in this room. Or in this city. Or on this planet. For a fraction of a second, he wanted nothing more than to go back to his own time, back to fighting enemies that he knew.

That he hated.

The invaders. Earth's adversaries. They were the only reason the Rizzo were forced to travel back to the past like this.

These Vongolas, on the other hand, were not invaders. They were not the Adversary. That meant they weren't necessarily his enemies... right?

The prospect of doing battle with someone that wasn't an "enemy" but simply a "target"—someone that wasn't to be killed, just sufficiently accosted—didn't make sense to the boy. In fact, it positively confused him. When he fought as a soldier of the planetary military superstructure of the future, it was always to the death: either his, or the adversary's. There was no inbetween. No "sparing of life". Every battle had its designated casualty quota.

It was for this reason that, during the briefing, Alastor had commanded Trevor stay out of this initial skirmish. The goal was never the deaths of the Vongola. This battle was simply a quest for their rings, not their lives, and so was not a domain in which Trevor could reliably operate.

C-Frames are machines of war and annihilation, after all.

Alastor's answer came without hesitation, snapping Trevor out of his stupor. "You stay put," he commanded, referring to the boy. "I do not yet want them to know that with us we have someone who can do what you do, understood?" His voice positively echoed power, reverberating in Trevor's eardrums—though perhaps he simply imagined it. For his part, Trevor nodded in understanding and acquiescence, long since having gotten used to the elder Alastor's seemingly-backwards polysyllabic manner of speech.

Alastor unfurled his hands from behind his back, instead placing them inside his pockets. "As for the rest of us," he began, glancing over at Donovan. "Shall we begin?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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#, as written by Damioa
Joel watched as each of his fellow guardians walked, ran, and waltzed on stage. He didn't know if being a little too flashy would make his group seem a little childish to some people. However, he also didn't care. It wasn't as if the older fools who would look down on them for their display or in some of their cases, how loud and outspoken they were, could actually take their birthrights away. Though, Joel had to admit himself, that some of the banter being thrown around was unnecessary, but he decided to ignore it. Most of the people around him were still children after all. As for Cain, even though he had his mic taken from him by his guardians he still looked as if he was having a good time. This comforted the man a little, seeing his friend, who was more of a brother to him, smiling. It was hard for most people to tell, but Cain was having some problems getting use to his father not being around. It also didn't help that people kept on asking to talk to him, only to remind him of his position. It was because of those type of people that Joel kept his mouth closed when he looked down upon something. At least when it came to the boy. He had enough problems. Though, once Nami entered the building, some familiar faces were giving Joel a look of disappointment. He sucked on his teeth, not at her, but at the sleazy old men and woman who looked at him so. He wasn't the boss of the Vongola, so why was he the one to always be stared at. He wished he had been born at least two years later than his actual birth. That had to be the reason everyone looked at him so. Though, seeing as Cain would be an adult in two years, he wouldn't have to wait long before the eyes and ears of people were off of him. Though, what type of image would he give to himself if he just did nothing when asked to do something. This was a formal event after all, and so far, most of the top people in the family were informal. He sighed and put his hand on Cain's shoulder. "Hey. I don't think it'd look right if I corrected her here in front of all these people," he whispered.

"Huh. Naw," Cain laughed. "She's cool right? That's just her being her."

"People are watching though. Remember what type of party this is Cain."

To those words, Cain nodded and hopped off stage, starting his walk towards Nami. He kept his hands in his pocket and a determined look on his face as he approached her and the girl she was signing the CD for. "Hey. Let me see that Mic again for a sec," He said, grabbing the mic without much more warning than that. "Yes. Hello again. So It's come to my attention that some people don't like how the new Guardians go about doing things. Well let me tell you this. You all can go shove it up your....."

Before he was able to say anything else, Joel flashed over to him taking the microphone away. "What are you doing?"

"Telling it how it is. What are you doing?"

"Stopping you from acting like a fool."

"I don't know. The only fool I see here is you. You use to be more fun. What happened to the Joel I knew when we were kids huh?"

"He grew up," Joel stated with a glare, "and sooner or later, you're going to have to too. Boss or not, there are images we have to keep."

"Well you know what? I don't even want to be the stupid Vongola boss. So you can take this ring and shove it too. Ugh...Errr." Cain struggled to take the ring off of his finger but, for some reason, it seemed to be stuck. Not that it mattered much, for soon his efforts would be halted.

SMACK!!!!

The area grew silent. No one had expected to see what they had just saw. Not even Joel expected it. Though, expected or not, there was a red mark currently on Cains face, and Joel's hand was crossed. Yes. It happened. With a fast movement and not thinking at the time, Joel had smacked Cain across his face. He only kept his shocked look for a while before going back to his natural frown. "Hmph. We'll talk about this later," He said looking at the boy who was still in shock. "We'll also have a talk," he then said to Namine before walking away.

Cain, on the other hand, had different plans. As soon as Joel began to turn away, he rand for him and tackled him down to the ground. Though, because of the mans size he was quickly put on his own back. Of course, he got one fist across Joel's face before the man held his arms down. His tried moving his feet under the man, sparks following them. Joel couldn't believe he was going to try using his flame against him, but just in case his beliefs were for naught, he flashed to the side of Cain, who quickly got back on his feet ready to attack Joel once more.

"Cain. You should stop," Joel said calmly, nodding slightly to a crowd of people staring at them. "Now's not the time."

With that said, Cain had to admit the man had a point, but also didn't want to stop fighting him. Though, even he knew that this was an important event and decided to walk away. Well, not only walk away, but leave the room entirely.

One person tried to walk up to Joel and discuss what had just happened, but stopped in his tracks after being glared at by the man. "Continue the party," He said rubbing his cheek, giving a slight smile towards how hard the kid had hit him.

The setting changes from earth to Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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Sora Rizzo

After parting ways with Miyamoto Keiko, Sora went to go change into his normal attire and grab his skateboard that he left outside. "It feels sooooooooo good to be out of that godforsaken suit! Now I just need to make sure Alastor doesn't see me," he yelled out. He began entering the Vongola Headquarters again.

"Sir, do you have any ID? You're not dressed for this affair?" a security officer asked.

He made eye contact with Sora, "Welcome Sir Sora, the skateboarding champion!"

"Who am I better than?" Sora asked.

"Tony Hawk of course! Please proceed sir!" exclaimed the officer.

This pattern of ID questioning with officers continued to happen on his way to headquarters, they made eye contact, let him through, no issue, no problem. Walking into room where the Vongola affair was located, he thought about Miyamoto again. 'Ah why do I have to fight a pretty girl? That's not fair! I mean, she's about my height, tan skin, and,' he continued these thoughts while blushing. However, a sight before Sora's eyes caused him to stop his train of thought and lead him to immediate shock.

It was Namine Gokudera, Vongola Guardian of Storm walking directly towards Flandre. 'Oh my God! Flandre will kill her! Sora begun speed walking in her direction and he saw Flandre glance side to side looking for the other Rizzo's, but Sora was too late. Nami opened her mouth to talk to her. 'Now Flandre, please don't attack her yet, please don't slice her up,' he slowly chanted to himself. To his surprise, Flandre kept her composure and conversed with Namine. 'Whew, that went well,' he thought.

He then saw the UniDecimo take the Mic from Namine and say into the mic, "Yes. Hello again. So it's come to my attention that some people don't like how the new Guardians go about doing things. Well let me tell you this. You all can shove it up your..." and the Mic was taken.

Sora chuckled at this and said, "Now that's my kind of guy. I'd do something like that if Alastor wasn't here. I heard the Vongola head skates too, doubt he could beat my skateboarding skills though."

SMACK!!! silence filled the room after witnessing the event between the Vongolas. 'I'll just ease my way over here,' he thought. He saw this opportunity while everyone was focused on Cain, and Joel to stealthy position himself closer to the crowd near the stage where the remaining Vongola guardians were located.

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Nami Gokudera

"My name is Flandre, but I wouldn't mind being called Flan," replied the girl in the wheelchair.

"Alright, nice to meet you Flan!" exclaimed Nami as she begun writing Flan on the CD cover.

Nami extended her right hand to give Flandre the CD.

"You have a very nice ring, Nami. I'd love to have a ring just like yours, Nami. Forgive me if I try to take it, Nami."

For a moment, Nami paused looked directly into her amber eyes. She was smiling as if she was joking, but the look in her eyes and the repetition of her name 'Nami' made her seem completely serious. Nami then thought: 'Okay, that is pretty weird. I'm sure she meant that as a compliment somehow.'

Nami put on an false idol smile and said, "Heh heh, you're a funny one Flan. Thanks for the compliment. I can't give you mine, but I'm sure there's others rings out there."

Nami handed her the CD, but before she was able to turn around to head back on stage she heard, "Hey. Let me see that Mic again for a sec."

She winked and said, "Of course Cain!"

"Yes. Hello again. So it's come to my attention that some people don't like how the new Guardians go about doing things. Well let me tell you this. You all can go shove it up your....."

"What are you doing?" asked Joel as he took the Mic away.

Nami chuckled at this. 'Boys will be boys,' she thought, but then it begun to escalate between Joel and Cain.

SMACK!!!!

Nami saw the red mark on Cain's face, and Joel standing above him. She silently prayed that it wouldn't continue. "Hmph. We'll talk about this later," said Joel to Cain. "We'll also have a talk," Joel told Nami.

An angry expression was shown on her face. "That was a bit much Joel!" exclaimed Nami forgetting that she was at this affair. Cain, then tackled Joel, they went back and forth while Nami watch them thinking about had badly they all looked this moment. Eventually they both regained their senses and stopped.

Nami was tempted to an extent to follow Cain after he stormed out, but after she heard Joel say, "Continue the party," to a man approaching him. She then realized that the next best move would be to do damage control at this affair instead of heading back to a stage without the Vongola UniDecimo. There is now a pretty tense environment in the room for the attendees after witnessing such an event so she decided that as an idol and Vongola Guardian, she should be able to calm the crowd.

"Attention everyone!" she yelled with her announcer/singer voice while putting on the biggest of smiles. "We will be continuing with Shaji Ai's presentation! Would you please give a round of applause and your attention towards the stage!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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Accepting the CD with an outstretched hand, Flandre examined it in her hand. She held the edges by her fingertips, but experimented by putting her index finger through the hole in the middle like a doughnut. "Heh heh, you're a funny one Flan. Thanks for the compliment. I can't give you mine, but I'm sure there's others rings out there." Flandre looked back up at Nami to return a smile of gratitude, but frowned as soon as she saw hers. A false sort of smile she recognized all to well, the kind one put on the faces of children's dolls. This threatening frown, however, was quickly replaced with a someone sinister narrow-eyed grin. "Indeed, Nami..." she mumbled.

Flandre continued to examine the delicate CD with care, as if she were examining a jewel, but experimented with it as if it were a toy she didn't know how to use. Such a nice girl. She couldn't wait to play around with her, perhaps a little more than roughly. She'd have to really bring out the potential the toy had, even if she had to break it, if she wanted to experience her expression.

Yet for some reason, a tiny voice inside Flandre spoke up, a voice she didn't recognize. It screamed Wrong! Flandre ignored it entirely.




Ai, though did not show it at all, did not approve of Cain's behavior. What sparked it, Ai wasn't really aware, as Ai had always made the basic assumption that anything a Vongola ring bearer does will be for what they believe is beneficial toward the family or their goals, not that even the guardians, with the exception of Ai, really knew what their intentions were. She decided at some point it would be critical that she brought the guardians and the boss up to speed. In fact, she wasn't entirely aware about what they all knew about her and wondered if any of them were even aware that she was an alien.

Although, the lightning guardian, Joel, seemed to be more sensible toward the situation and attempted to stop the boss from offending a lot of people. His course of action when he felt it was out of hand, however, was questionable, yet Ai didn't think she had the right to question a human's judgement of justification. It seemed to be a rather vague concept that decided what actions may be taken against somebody depending on their own. Certainly, humans didn't have a natural sense for what is essentially a form a karma, Ai would know, having found ways to use the human body that most humans don't know of, like the ability to slow one's heartbeat, something a famous hitman known as "Moretti the Murdered" was fabled to be able to do. Either way, Ai decided that because Joel appeared more sensible that what he did was justified, at least to him, and in the future he will be easier to consult. Sensible, logical people were people that Ai was used to working with, especially because she considered herself the most sensible and logical.

Ai continued to stand as still as a statue on the stage. Only her third eye, cloaked only through illusion, was darting around all over the place. It looked toward the sun and cloud guardians, perhaps deciding by their actions or reactions if they were sensible and logical. Ai then looked toward the storm guardian. "Attention everyone!" she said, drawing the attention of the uneasy crowd "We will be continuing with Shaji Ai's presentation! Would you please give a round of applause and your attention towards the stage!" Another sensible person, noted. Ai wondered if the boss was the only insensible one. It was certainly possible, but unlike her, he couldn't be replaced so easily. Ai, taking the center of the stage, waited until the crowd settled again.

Her eyes swept across the room. Ai had been identifying whom the possible threats were, the Rizzo family, and identified five whom grouped together. Along with the man, Alastor, there had been a younger one whom was very similar, siblings or possibly the same person if time travel was considered. With him was a boy, younger than this body of hers, a young man with short blonde hair and a girl with jet black hair and a serious expression. There may have been more, maybe half, twice or three times as many, yet Ai had not identified them. She did pay some attention a young woman eyeballing her from a balcony (not that she saw her with her own two eyes) rather expectantly. Ai wasn't aware of any particular reason why she was so special to other people, at least compared to the other guardians. The fact that she was probably the youngest meant nothing to her. The young woman must have some sort of special intel, at least on her true identity.

Ai was mostly worrying about (or at least what pattern of thinking was equivalent to worrying) when the Rizzo's would make their attack, which would likely be for the rings. Ai was thinking it may have been while they were together, seeing as they were apart before, yet now she was realizing it was probably better for them to stay together as they may have been easier to pick off while they were apart. Maybe they hadn't attacked earlier to confirm their targets. By that logic, there had to be at least seven of them, and she picked out five, six if balcony woman was included. Whether they were mobilizing into some sort of pre-planned position or not, Ai couldn't tell. She could only continue as normal until it did happen. Unfortunately, she hadn't the opportunity to warn the boss and the other guardians yet, but perhaps she would when she was finished.

The room began to darken as images began to project behind her. Once Ai had the full attention on herself, she began to speak quite automatically, and unfortunately, uninterestingly. Images, diagrams and words appeared behind her in relation to her speech.

"I thank the storm guardian Namine for the transition and I thank the audience for your patience and your attention. As we have announced, we will be revealing our new field in technology of which we hope you will all heavily invest in, for the good of not just yourselves, but all of humankind."

"An old philosopher had once thought that everything in the universe, including the human body, was made up of fire, water, wind and earth. In theory, the human body had the ability to make use of all four inside themselves. While we have proven to consist mostly of water, produce our own wind and give and gain nutrients from the Earth, we've not proven the ability to utilize fire within ourselves. This philosopher, of course, has been proven wrong in this way, yet what Vongola's scientists have uncovered a way to create a flame out of sheer will, as if it were magic. Not only have we learned the properties of the flame, but we have learned how to harness its energy, an energy that has the ability to alter normal laws of conservation of energy and the ability to manipulate mass in mysterious ways."

Ai then went into a long visually-aided presentation, filled with diagrams and photos of tests and mathematical formulas about how the emotional impulses created by will or ambition created a special surge in the 'wavelength' in a person's body, similar the chi, and can be used in conjunction with a device like a ring to emit a special flame. The test photos were made up, of course, considering the Vongola had been working on this technology for decades, they just needed to give the appearance that it was a completely new concept, the concept of deathperation flames, so people wouldn't be suspicious about why they would keep such a groundbreaking technology to themselves. Of course, anybody from the mafia would be able to recognize that it was all false, but the Vongola remained extremely influential in the mafia, as it always had.

Ai explained all about the different types of flames and their properties, along with more photos, stuff that any hitman seemed to be required to know to survive in the underground. She got into the concept of how the rings worked, as they were proven to be the easiest, most effective and most convenient way to project the flames and how the "purity" of a flame changed depending on the quality of the ring and the strength of the user's resolve.

"Yet, it is possible that there are flames beyond the ones we've discovered. Because the possibilities for different possible flame types are too vast to calculate, we based the names of the seven flames we've discovered so far on the Sky. These flames also have connections with the Guardians the Vongola's pride is in, as it is their rings that have been discovered to produce the purest of each flame.

Then, Ai got into box weapons. She claimed that Vongola scientists had invented and gave credit only to one of the original inventors, Koenig. This too, was required. Ai explained exactly how the exotic energy created from deathperation flames can be used to fuel special anti-mass converters from strange to regular matter regardless of mass or density and how it can only be kept working while the flames continued to combust and how even complex chemical patterns could be replicated in strange mass, including simple workings of the brains of animals. Ai then explained all about different kinds of box weapons they've been working on, such as animal boxes, battery boxes, storage boxes and special flame-based tools and "box-tools", continually stressing upon the various possibilities for purposes, yet putting extremely little emphasis on ways they could be used to harm. Humans are extremely against a new form of science if it is developed for the sake of creating deadly new weapons, yet they often ended up creating weapons using new technologies anyhow, such as nuclear fission in the past used for both energy production and deadly toxic bombs. That was their goal.

"And now," Ai said, yet she didn't change her tone of voice to indicate the presentation would go in a different direction, "I shall now demonstrate the use of deathperation flames and box tools.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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"Western sounds good. But first, we have a presentation to attend to." Fredrick was rendered nonplussed by her acceptance of his offer. All he could do was stare, partly in shock and partly in disbelief, at the beauty before him.

Was this real life, or was he just imagining this?

Despite Serlina’s helpful hints, he still couldn’t fully wrap his mind around the fact that she’d actually accepted. She said yes! It got to the point where Serlina had to forcefully nod Fred’s head for him in response, which made an awkward situation even more so. Not waiting around for a verbal reply, Eri made her way away from him and through the crowd as smoothly as melted chocolate. He watched her go, his eyes swaying and bouncing as he nervously gazed after her.

Cain’s voice snapped him out of his trance-like torpor, rolling across the room like a lion’s roar.

”Without further ado, I'd like to invite all the family guardians to the stand."

Oh. So that’s why Eri made her way forward. Doh.

“Go follow her, Fred!” Came Serlina’s high-pitched voice inside of his head, causing him to flinch in surprise. “You’re supposed to be up there!”

“But…” Fredrick took a step forward, but then froze, eyeing the stage. Most of the other guardians had made their way to stand behind Cain. Wouldn’t it look really bad if he were one of the last ones to walk on stage? In front of all these people… How humiliating…

“Fred. Hey!”

Fredrick looked from side to side as furtively as he dared. Was everyone looking at him? Did they all know he was supposed to be up there right now? He sighed, slinking back into the crowd despite the quivering blue light that buzzed around his head in staunch protest.

Of course they knew.

Whole minutes passed with Fredrick standing amidst the crowd, gazing up at the stage. Even Serlina had become silent. Cain and the others continued to take turns speaking on stage. Even Nami, in all her pop-star glory, eventually made her way up. It wasn’t long before she had the crowd eating out of the palm of her hand, tossing things this way and that. Still, despite his best efforts, Fredrick couldn’t find the courage to step up. It was just too much. Maybe tomorrow. He thought, reassuring himself.

Suddenly, Cain hopped off stage, though Fredrick couldn’t through the thickets of the crowd and quickly lost sight of him. Suddenly:

"Yes. Hello again. So It's come to my attention that some people don't like how the new Guardians go about doing things. Well let me tell you this. You all can go shove it up your—"

Fredrick slapped his hands over his ears, his face turning slightly red. No Cain, no! Don’t say it! He could only imagine the horrified look on the crowd’s faces. It just made him want to huddle up and disappear from the room entirely. After a few seconds of deafening silence, Fredrick sighed in sweet relief. Judging by how quickly Joel had flashed off stage, he must’ve stopped Cain before he said something mean. Good. Good!

”Fredrick,” came that voice in his head again. Serlina. He looked over to his left and saw her fluttering about. Instead of meeting her eye, he looked down at his shoes.

“Y-yes?” He muttered dejectedly.

“They need you up there, you know.” At the mention of his friends needing him, Fredrick’s ears perked up, but he didn’t otherwise move. He still stared down at his shoes. ”Joel sure could use your help with Cain,” Serlina continued, fluttering about his head like an orbiting moon. “Everyone knows you’re the best at calming the boss down.” Slowly but surely, a steely sense of confidence began to build in Fredrick’s chest in tune with her words. Like an all-encompassing warmth, it surged through him, uplifted him, empowered him. He raised his head, a newly confident sheen radiating from his eyes.

His friends needed his help, and he would not let them down!

SMACK!!!!

Fredrick paused mid-step, the sound reverberating throughout the entire complex, as loud and piercing as a hellfire missile. Without wasting another second, Serlina shot up into the air, overlooking the crowd. After a moment, she returned to Fredrick’s side.

“What happened?”
“Cain!” She hissed, keeping her voice down.
“What?” Fredrick said, his newly mastered confidence ebbing. He could hardly hear her.
“Cain!” She bellowed in his head. “Joel just slapped Cain! In front of everyone! And now they’re fighting!”

Fredrick’s eyes grew wide. Seems he was too late… but perhaps he could still be of some assistance!

Taking the initiative, Fredrick began moving through the crowd, uttering “excuse me” and “sorry” at every turn as Serlina directed him towards his comrades. Unfortunately, his efforts were cut short when he bumped into someone.

A surge of fear rushed through him as he turned to apologize.

“Sorry!” He exclaimed in a hushed voice. “I wasn’t looking where…” Fredrick’s voice trailed off as he noted the absence of a person. There was no one in front of him. Then what did I bump into?

”Look down!” Serlina commanded in his mind. He complied, looking down to see a very peeved child staring back up at him. If looks could kill, this kid would have not only massacred poor Fredrick, but his entire ancestry as well.

Oops.

“Uh, I’m really really sorry about that,” he said, bowing at the waist as deeply as he could manage while being cramped by the crowd. “Are you okay?”

The child, a boy of around 12 or 13, simply stared. He was dressed in a sharp little suit, though the look was ruined by his dress shirt, which wasn’t tucked in and hung lazily out from the bottom of his suit jacket. The kid had the whole “preppy” vibe going for him, with stringy black hair that looked like it’d been neatly combed and parted by his mother.

“Hey, douchebag,” the kid said accusatorily, giving Fredrick a slight shove after curtly straightening his collar with both hands. “Do you know who I am? Are you trying to die? Watch where the fuck you’re going.” The obscene language flowed from his mouth in an almost natural rhythm.

Fredrick just stood there, utterly flabbergasted and unsure how to respond.


**



Alastor unfurled his hands from behind his back, instead placing them inside his pockets. "As for the rest of us," he began, glancing over at Donovan. "Shall we begin?"

Donovan nodded in response, his grin now more of a cocky smirk, mirroring Alastor’s. Of all the Rizzos, Donovan’s entrance was about to be the most epic. He opened his mouth to answer Alastor’s question, but stopped when he noticed, peripherally, Trevor’s face. The boy was staring at a girl around Donovan’s own age who’d just taken the stage. “One sec,” Donovan said to Alastor, taking a knee and coming eye-level with Trevor.

If Trevor noticed him, he didn’t act like it. He just kept staring at the girl.

“Who’s that?” Donovan asked with genuine curiosity, referring to the object of Trevor’s interest. From the way she so easily moved through the crowd to the stage, she had to be one of the Vongola… probably. Again, he didn’t really pay attention during the briefing.

“The Vongola Storm guardian Namine ‘The Tempest’ Gokudera, also known Tempest from the from the contemporaneously acclaimed pop band ‘Blast of Tempest’. Daughter of Hayato Gokudera and inheritor of the Systema C.A.I. Five feet seven inches in height, one-hundred and twenty pounds, brown eyes, sometimes likes to wear glasses. Sixteen years old at this point in time—”

Donovan interrupted Trevor by putting his hand on the boy’s head, forcing him to bow somewhat. He followed by giving Trevor his best grin.

“You wanna get an autograph, don’tcha?”
Trevor shook his head slowly. “No.” His tone was neutral.
Donovan’s grin widened. “Are you sure?”
Trevor nodded. “Yes.”

Donovan sighed in mock exasperation, standing and taking a step back. Knowing Trevor, he probably didn’t want to look like a little kid in front of Alastor. “Oh well, it’d be a shame if you missed out,” he said teasingly.

Though it wouldn’t have been noticeable to an observer outside of the family, Donovan knew better than anyone when Trevor was holding back. The boy began shifting his weight from foot to foot ever so slightly. It was almost imperceptible, but Donovan caught it.

And, apparently, so did Alastor. The Rizzo boss nudged Trevor onward with his hand. Trevor stumbled forward a step, looking up at Alastor with an eyebrow raised.

“Past, present, and future, you always have a knack for acquiring the most peculiar of interests, Trevor.” He said the words with certain lightheartedness, as if he always expected this to happen. Alastor didn’t make eye contact with the boy, still looking towards the stage, but he did make a brief gesture with his chin, motioning towards the Vongola girl. “Make it very quick.”

Donovan nodded in tacit approval.

Sure, the younger image of Alastor might’ve been a little ass, but the current Alastor—the real one—wasn’t just his boss, he was one of his best friends. Within this elder image of the Space flame guardian, Donovan saw him. He saw his boss. He saw a friend. But more than that, he saw what his friend would one day grow up to become, and it wasn’t too shabby.

Donovan smirked as he returned his sights to Trevor, who was walking off at a leisurely pace, hands in his pockets, as if he wasn’t resisting the urge to run full tilt to where the Vongola Storm guardian currently stood.

It was a few minutes before either of the Rizzo guardians spoke, with Donovan breaking the silence. “So… are we waiting for something specific?”

“Not specifically,” Alastor said, looking over his shoulder in a preoccupied fashion, his voice taking on a moderately ominous tone. “The arrival of the Tempest seems to have disturbed things. Some of the Vongola guardians are leaving the stage and moving about most erratically. I don’t like it.”

Donovan followed Alastor’s gaze, his eyes landing on the Vongola Sky guardian, who was standing next to Trevor’s Storm celebrity and... was that Flandre?!

“Isn’t that a good thing?” Donovan asked jovially, barely stifling a chuckle. Hopefully the wheelchair-bound Flandre didn’t start things off prematurely.

Alastor was silent for a moment, his eyes landing briefly on Miku before facing forward again. “Maybe this shouldn’t be as surprising as it is, but this isn’t how things went in the book.”

Donovan raised an eyebrow, puzzled. “Huh?”

“This place. This time. These Vongolas and their movements.” Alastor made a sweeping motion with his hand. “Everything pretty much followed the history books of your timeline, give or take a few things, until this moment.”

Donovan gasped in sudden understanding, his countenance somewhat troubled. He remembered being briefed by the head of the Rizzo family—Alastor’s father—back in the future, before the real Alastor shepherded them all backwards a good hundred years. Upon arrival, Donovan and his fellow guardians would be tasked with appropriating the Vongola rings, but they would not have much in the way of time to get it done.

Time.

Donovan remembered holding back a bark of laughter during the briefing, lest he embarrass his boss. It was almost like a misnomer, an oxymoron, what the Rizzo head had said. Not enough time? Yeah, right. What is time to a team of badasses that can travel backwards and forward through history at a whim, right?

Wrong, apparently.

The Rizzo guardians were to be sent back to a specific point in time, one that was determined through complex quantum statistical analysis and abstract mathematical computations performed by future AI supercomputers. The AIs all came to the same conclusion: the Rizzo guardians had a very small window in space-time with which to divest the Vongolas of their rings before their foreign presence so deep in the past began to drastically impact the timeline and all of space-time in general. Donovan was pretty sure it was the reason Alastor forbade them from just killing the Vongolas—it’d have an unpredictable effect on the timeline.

Which is why what Alastor said was so troubling.

“Are we too late?” Donovan asked. “Did we already fail?”

“I do not believe so,” he responded, looking around the room. He began making eye contact with the various Rizzos positioned around the room. “However, we should make haste. The longer we remain without possession of the Vongola rings, the direr the prospect of your future becomes—”

SMACK!!!!

Both Alastor and Donovan spun towards the source of the sound. It’d become quiet enough in the room that you could hear a pin drop.

Alastor shook his head in disgust as the Sky Vongola tackled and tussled with the Lightning.

“Woah,” Donovan muttered, his tone underlined with a vein of excitement. “Can we attack them now?”

“No,” he responded as the Sky and Cloud Vongolas made their way out of the convention hall. In the midst of the Vongola’s internal strife, Alastor managed to make peripheral eye contact with Sora, throwing him a disparaging look. The Star guardian had changed out of his sanctioned attire, opting for a miscreant’s apparel. While unappreciated, this, too, was expected. Like the other Rizzos, the Star of this timeline was very similar to the Star guardian of the timeline from whence the elder Alastor hailed. “Not yet. I’d rather they gather together in a group, preferably on the stage. We want to end this quickly, with as few casualties as possible.” Alastor briefly pondered the seemingly dilapidated state of the Vongola famiglia. It was no wonder they ceased to exist half a century from now. “Further,” he continued, “the longer the fight draws on, the more likely it is that we’ll require Trevor to nullify someone’s ultimate attack or final form or what have you. I’m aiming to avoid that if we can,” he said, his eyes darkening. “Lest one of these Vongolas force us to end them.”

For the next several minutes, Donovan chewed on his lower lip, annoyed with the tedium of it all, his cocky grin long since given way to a deep frown. The Vongolas began their presentation, and Donovan was suffering under the grinding boredom and stifling monotony of an infinite array of slides and images and sounds and blah, glancing over at Alastor every now and then for a sign.

The man was like a statue.

It wasn’t until towards the end of the presentation, when the Vongola boss walked back into the room, that Alastor finally acted. Slowly, he raised his arm into the air, and with one loud Space-flame-assisted SNAP! he signaled to his fellow Rizzos:

Attack.


**



SMACK!!!!

Hildegarde had a look of absolute horror on her face, her hands coming up to cover her mouth, her stance that of a woman taken aback.

Did that really just happen? Did one of the Vongola really just slap the other, like actors in some cheap soap opera? Really?

When the two guardians started fighting amongst themselves, Hildegarde shook her head. Surely her Alastor was thinking the same thing as she: these Vongolas weren’t looking too good as a familial unit. Still, Hildegarde felt genuine pity for the kid who’d been humiliated by a slap to the face. She was generally fond of kids, and didn’t like seeing them hurt.

Then again, he was technically one of Alastor’s enemies.

Hildegarde removed her gloved hands from her face, instead gripping the railing in front of her with a dainty flair. That’s right, they were enemies of her lover. Their mere existences were an affront to his awesomeness! His mandate of heaven!

How dare they. How dare they! HOW DARE THEY!

After blowing a kiss to Alastor upon making eye contact, Hildegarde returned to leering at the pink-haired girl and her friends standing below. They dared to stand against Alastor. Her Alastor.

The audacity.

Hildegarde leered with enough concentration to lose track of time itself. It was all she could do just to contain her hair-trigger need to defend Alastor’s honor against these primitive savages, her head shaking with indignation. So when she finally heard her lord snap his fingers, the long-awaited signal for action, she came to attention almost immediately.

With a terrible shriek, she spit a ruby-red piece of candy she’d held in her mouth out over the balcony before her. It ignited shortly after contacting the air, surging forward like a ballistic missile to crash amidst the Vongolas on stage below.

And then it exploded. Violently.

Hildegarde popped more candy in her mouth, moving along the length of the balcony like a medieval sentry patrolling a gate, releasing more of the explosive charges from her mouth at her leisure. Her intent was to scatter the assorted Vongola, but despite herself she secretly hoped that she maimed at least one of them. They were Alastor’s enemies, after all.

Especially that pink-haired witch.


**



Trevor was standing off to the side of the crowd, near the wall, when he heard Alastor’s signal. The snap! reverberated in his ears like a battle cry, though it was a clash he could not partake in. Not this time.

Not that he wanted to, anyway. The Vongola were just as cool as he imagined they’d be.

Trevor took a seat on the floor, maintaining a firm grip on the exclusive disk from Blast of Tempest, autographed by Tempest herself. He didn’t want it damaged by what was coming next.

As if on cue, the wall directly to Trevor’s left exploded, a large dark-red ball hurtling through it at an unholy speed. Several other walls around the hall exploded inwards with similar results, raining debris down upon the unsuspecting crowd.

Trevor recognized them as Donovan’s deceptively dangerous iron-core Palla, his weapons of choice for inflicting what he always called “big damage”. The Palla closest to Trevor bounced off an empty chair, flattening it like a pancake and increasing its own velocity in the process. Another Palla nearly devastated a poor businesswoman, though the ball seemed to alter its own trajectory mid-flight, sparing her life.

It appeared that Donovan took Alastor’s “no casualties” command pretty seriously, though Trevor knew he didn’t like killing innocents anyway.

Although the reaction was slightly delayed, the grand crescendo of shouted curses and panicked screaming began in full as people started running about. Simultaneously, multiple explosions rang out about the stage area, rocking the entire building and blanketing the immediate zone in a thick black smoke. The overhead lights flickered, many of them shattering entirely, raining glass down upon the panicked audience members below.

Trevor didn’t even have to guess who was responsible for that one.

The combined offensive from the Palla and the sustained explosive rounds raining down upon the stage from above seemed to have a dilapidating effect on the structural integrity of the building, with hairline fractures appearing along various primary support beams and across wide stretches of the floor.

Trevor coughed softly, pulling his undershirt up to cover his nose and mouth like a filter as people scurried about. The smoke from the stage explosions had begun to permeate the area around him, but he didn’t mind it too much.

His only mission now was to stay out of the way.

The setting changes from vongola-headquarters-in-japan to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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Sora Rizzo

SNAP!

Alastor gave the signal. It was time to attack. Sora first made eye contact with Miku, then darted off.

Sora had two objectives at this moment and began running towards the first, the Vongola Guardian of the Cloud, Murasaki Eri. He saw her walking back with the Cain and used this moment to catch her off guard before Donovan began.

He looked her directly in the eye and said, "Hello there, Vongola Guardian of Cloud. I'd like you to meet my Rizzo friend, Miku. She's a sweet girl."


He ran off afterwards literally disappearing with the wind just as Cain and everyone else around her would except for one person, Miku. It was an illusion set for her and all that remained within her sight was the Rizzo Guardian of the Comet, Miku "Elizabeth" Rizzo. Both of these guardians could only see each other in this world as if no one else was there. By sight, it no longer appeared as the Vongola Headquarters, but instead an outlandish world.

(OOC: Feel free to describe the world/illusion as you'd like if you want to.)

After setting Miku up, he dashed towards his target, Miyamoto Keiko. With almost perfect timing, Donovan's iron-core Palla rained destruction on the walls of the headquarters. They bounced off the walls taking no casualties to the people, but causing chaos and panic through the process. He looked around and saw the looks on the people's faces running in fear, the shock on the Vongola's faces. 'This is the right thing to do....right? Of course, it's for the future,' he thought while he swallowed his doubts. He spotted his target, Miyamoto Keiko who he previously met.

"Take this Miyamoto!" he yelled directly at her for her attention. Upon locking eyes, the area around both of them changed. A boxing arena caged match surrounded them.

"So I heard you like close ranged fighting?" Sora smirked, "It's my specialty as well. Once again, let me reintroduce myself, I'm Sora Rizzo, Rizzo Guardian of the Star." He says with his eyes filled with one star respectively. "Now I'll be needing that Sun ring of yours."

*DING DING DING*

"In this corner is the bright star, 5'9 and illusion expert! SORA RIZZO!" says an overhead announcer.

The crowd cheers with applause.

"In this corner, the shining star herself, 5'8, blue eyes and a beautiful physique. The champ herself! Miyamoto Keiko!" says the announcer.

"NOW! FIGHT!"

He ran up directly towards her with a flying roundhouse kick.

Nami Gokudera


After Shaji's presentation, Nami was glad to see Eri and Cain walking back into the area. The attendees of this event have calmed down and everything seemed to hit status quo until the unexpected occurred.

SNAP!

Nami heard an usually loud snap from a distance. Thinking nothing of it, she continued walking on until one bouncing iron ball came through the window. A few more accompanied this bouncing iron ball then they all started to rapidly speed up. As the momentum increased, they became more destructive and deadly. They busted the walls of the building, and begun to injure the civilians at this event.

"Everyone the emergency exit are this way!" she yelled and pointed for their safety.

Nami pulled out a box weapon, 'I've got to act quick!' She infused a storm flame in her ring, placed it inside a box, a a swarm of mockingbirds came out.
She begun singing a song and the mockingbirds surrounded her.

"Cambio Form!"

As the birds flew around her, she performed an almost sailor moon type transformation. The light produced by the sky flame mockingbirds swiftly around her until she was coated in a suit of armor. This armor had jet pack like boosters around her arms and legs. She begun singing to power her suit and dashed around deflecting the iron rubber balls from hitting civilians while they escaped. It was painful to stop them, but their safety and escape was more important at the moment. At that moment it hit her, 'What about Flan?!' She quickly looked around in panic to find her new wheelchair bound friend. Then she spotted her, remaining in the same position still holding her same smile and piercing eyes. Almost as if it was planned, one iron ball headed directly towards her, "I'll help you out Flan!" Nami stepped directly in front of Flan, punched the iron ball out of the way as it bounced in another direction. "Whew, that was pretty close. Are you alright Flan?" she asked.

The setting changes from earth to Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola
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Thick black smoke billowed across the floor like so many ghostly tendrils, a large inky cloud of debris following in its wake. Guests were sprinting as fast as they could manage towards the exits, covering their mouths with their hands, trying their best to avoid the opaque miasma.

Amidst the chaos and confusion, two silhouetted figures slowly materialized within the smoky debris, moving through the deluge with a slow unshakable confidence. Out from the black haze sauntered the elder Alastor, as tranquil as a sage in meditation, his arms behind his back, hands gripping his forearms. He moved with an otherworldly grace, as if he were gliding across the floor. Next to him walked Donovan, hands in his pockets, a shark-like grin upon his face. With a flick of his neck, he cleared a lock of his messy orange hair out of his eyes. The two seemed oddly out of place amid all the pandemonium, as if they’d dropped in out of the sky after a relaxing day at the Spa.

The two moseyed their way through the storm of screaming, confusion, battle, and flying red Palla, Donovan grinning like a kid in a candy story. He was certainly enjoying himself. Alastor, on the other hand, maintained a firm grimace as he marched towards his target.

And then he spotted his mark. The boy king of flames. He was just standing there, looking around. Perhaps he was confused.

It seemed the entire Vongola family existed in a perpetual state of confusion.

Alastor came to a stop a few meters away from the Vongola unidecimo. He tightened his tie with both hands, wrapping the index finger of his right hand around its base and pulling the tail out to the sides with the left. At the same time he cocked his head to the side in an abrupt fashion, cracking his neck as one would their knuckles, the pops echoing like some morbid chime.

“King of Flames,” the elder Alastor called out, projecting his voice over the surrounding commotion. He simply wanted the boy’s attention. When he was sure he had it, he smirked. It was not an amenable expression, but openly hostile.

Alastor turned to Donovan. “If you will?”

Donovan held out his hand, palm facing Alastor. Without pause, the elder Rizzo boss brought his closed fist against his comrade’s outstretched hand, with his thumb and index finger in contact with Donovan’s skin, his knuckles facing forward.

To an outsider, it looked as if he were gripping a rod of some sort, though there had been nothing in his hand earlier. Despite the explosions that rocked the stage behind them and the Palla that bounced this way and that, an eerie silence settled over the immediate area, muffling all other sounds.

“Come,” he muttered, his tone unequivocal in its command. “Minute Hand.”

Slowly, Alastor began to pull his fist outward from Donovan’s palm, but instead of nothingness, a dark red and black metallic object emerged, as if from thin air. The Rizzo boss pulled the weapon out of his friend’s hand as cleanly as a samurai would his prized sword from a sheath, making a whipping motion off to his side, the blade whistling as it parted the air.

The weapon had a very long handle, circumvoluted with thin leather strips for increased grip. A sharp maroon hilt, resembling the wings of a bat, rested slightly above Alastor’s clenched fist. Between the hilt and the blade were several exposed gears, resembling the internals of a clock, twisting and ticktocking at odd intervals. The blade itself, a deep metallic black, was as long and wide as Alastor’s own arm, yet it was, as the Rizzo boss himself put, “molecularly flat”. It was so flush that, if viewed perpendicularly, it was virtually invisible.

This also made it extremely sharp.

Donovan flashed the Vongola boss a devilish grin, giving the elder Alastor a light tap on the shoulder. “Can’t let Garda have all the fun,” he said before disappearing in a gust of dark-red flame.

Without warning, Alastor flowed forward towards the Vongola boss with all the clout and presence of a raging hurricane, his weapon screaming as it parted the air. In the next instant, Alastor was standing before the boy, his body angled slightly, and, in a move lacking any inkling of hesitation, ran him through, his sword cleaving the boy’s neck as smoothly as a blade through butter.

The Rizzo boss finished the maneuver by taking a relaxed pose behind his target, his sword held out before him and to the side, his free hand resting in his pocket.

The setting changes from vongola-headquarters-in-japan to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust
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#, as written by Damioa
It was a wonderful party to return to. Once Cain had seen Joel, who had a playful smile on his face, talking to Keiko, he thought he might have an easy chance to apologize. Though, what happened next he didn't expect. He wasn't sure if any of his family had. What was this? One moment, they were doing a presentation with a whole bunch of stuck up, but seemingly harmless people, and the next, there were explosions in the air with a fireworks like effect that seemed to scatter along the hall. On top of that, something seemed to be putting holes in the walls. Everything was quickly falling apart.
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Joel's face subsided to an even more serious one than he had before. As soon as he saw the lights flashing above him, he didn't even bother to give a look or even say anything to anyone else. The only thing seen in his disappeared body was the green smoked that portrayed his use of his powers and he was on top of the quaking building in the next instant. "Tch," the sound of disapproval came from his mouth as he saw the woman perched on the rail of the roofs opening. His questionable look expressed all of the sense the current scene was making, until he put it all together quickly in his head. It had to be none other than an attack on the Vongola. Not only the Vongola, but from the matter of the attacks, it was an attack on the ring bearers themselves. He only heard stories about the attacks on the past Vogolas. Seeing as how Cain was still young, he could be challenged for his ring and with it his place as head of the family. Though, a challenge like that would actually have to be a challenge. That only meant one thing. Whoever was attacking them were most likely after their heads. Which family would send someone after them though. That was the only blank spot left.
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Cain looked around cluelessly as his fellow guardians disappeared before him. One moment Eri was next to him, and the next, she was gone as fast as Joel could disappear. Looking over to where Joel use to be, he saw that his friend was no longer there and neither was Keiko. One by one they were all singled out. It was inevitable what was going to happen next and as the guest were all leaving and the guards with no targets for their guns, it would seem to the unknowing person that everyone was fleeing. However, Cain had a feeling that wasn't it. Knowing Joel and his other friends, they didn't seem like the type of people to just bail on something like this. No. Not without helping anyone. The only person visible was Nami, who seemed to be trying her best to help who she could with her powers. He also saw Fredrick, looking just as confused as he was.

“King of Flames,” a voice called out to Cain's surprise. He hadn't called himself that in front of anyone, but Joel, and that was just a joke he flew around. How could someone who wasn't Joel know of that self proclaimed title? He looked over and saw a kid, who looked about his age, and a man who seemed almost as strict to business as Joel was at times. This was serious. This was an attack. It didn't even take the revelation of the mans weird weapon to get Cain to come to that conclusion. He wasn't scared so much as he was wondering what the hell was going on. He wasn't able to react to the man coming to him at a high speed and it seemed like he was done for. Sure he had ample opportunity to dodge an oncoming attack, but the manner of the mans movements were unreal. There was no indication of his phases like there was with the lightning guardians. This was some other form of power. The only wind which was coming from the strike to the boys neck indicated that he couldn't even feel the man pass him. However, the swift attack gave the illusion that he had just been decapitated. There was no pain, which he'd expect from his head being severed from his body, but Cain stopped his breathing and even felt his heart pulsate with the type of attack one would get from a jump scare at a scary movie. Though, once he realized his head wasn't flying off of his body, he quickly turned around, back peddling to create a needed distance from his strange attacker, holding his throat just to double check to see if his skin wasn't gashed. There was no wound. It was unreal. He was sure that the tool in the mans hand had went through his neck. If that was the case, then why wasn't he dead? Looking at the man with a glare in his eyes, Cain gazed upon the relaxed man. Judging by his stature, he didn't even look like his friend anymore. His demeanor and everything was that of what he'd expect an assassin would look like.

"I don't know who you are," he said, "but you are going to regret not killing me with that attack." His skates that were still attached to his feet rolled on their own. The forward wheel rolling counter clockwise and the rear one rolling the opposite direction. On both pair of wheeled shoes the friction continued until red flames started to spur from them. He then moved in a beautiful motion to circle the man, increasing speed the further he traveled. Soon it was almost as if a bike was going full speed in a gigantic circle and the flames streaked the ground making a circle of fire. Cain soon disappeared into the flames and prepared his attack. Though he wasn't sure what the outcome of the attack had been. Sure he had trained with his powers, but he wasn't use to using them in a fight. Once he bolted out of the flame ready to attack the man at full velocity with his flame kick, he only could guess that it'd have to hurt on impact. At least that's what he would have wanted to happen. However, upon the first attack, he felt a collision with a blunt object against his feet and merely continued on past the man disappearing into the angry circle. The man looked as if he hadn't even moved. There was no way for someone to be so fast as to not look like they haven't moved an inch, especially if he blocked his attack. Cain continued his assault, this time speeding up as fast as he could and then created a pentagram of fire within the circle. Through every movement back and forth, he felt the same collision and with no trace of the man even moving. After the third dozen of attempts, he ceased his movements. The flames dying down, leaving a tear in the marble floor to show where he had went. Everything was drawn out just like a drawing inside of a circle. Everything, but the area around the man. He gritted his teeth at the phenomenon. How could that even have been possible? What would happen if the man had went on the offensive? He had only hoped he would be able to survive whatever was coming. Little did he know, he wasn't even the slightest bit prepared for it.
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Joel reached forward to grab at the woman only to see the same type of mist that he himself had left upon coming or going at his speed. His alertness told him to step away, not knowing what would come from it. Of course his eyes stretched before going back to being calm as he saw a kid of all people appearing out of nowhere. 'So that's how it feels when that happens in front of you,' he thought to himself, looking at the kid in his eyes. He relaxed his ready stance and stood up more straight. "You shouldn't lie in front of me," he spoke aloud. "Move." He was more interested in stopping the woman who was obviously attacking the hall than some guy who decided to get in his way. Though, he wasn't dumb. For not a second did he not see the boy as a threat. The grin on the boys face looked as if he was playing some type of game. To this Joel returned with his natural gaze, knowing that he'd most likely have to get past the boy before he had done anything else, and, from the looks of it, he wasn't going to end it quickly. There were too many questions in the air to even attempt to do so. Joel flashed, not towards the boy, but up in the air, only to see the extent of his enemies motives, and power.

The setting changes from earth to Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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Donovan appeared beside Hildegarde. He could always tell when she was in the throws of a passionate full-on episode, which she apparently was in at the moment. Again. She probably didn't even notice him appear, but that was okay. Donovan ran his hand through his hair, sighing. He didn't zip up here to see her anyway.

"You shouldn't lie in front of me," came a voice over Donovan's shoulder. One he immediately considered cocky and full of pomp. "Move."

Donovan turned, flashing the guy a smile. Yeah, this was definitely his target alright. The only thing on Donovan's mind now was how to make these next few minutes the most interesting they could possibly be. Perhaps a speed contest is in order? The very thought caused the Asteroid guardian to snicker. Speed to an old guard Vongola flame was something straightforward. A to B. Slow to fast. But to Donovan? To the Asteroid? Speed was a commodity, to be bought and sold like livestock. Speed was not his domain. It was his servant. It genuflected in front of the alter of Donovan.

No, acceleration. That was the domain of the Asteroid.

Without so much as a witty rebuttal, Donovan simply watched as the Vongola's speediest Lightning guardian ever zipped away, appearing several meters up in the air. He imagined the guy hitting his head on the ceiling and chuckled softly. This was going to be fun.

Joel reappeared, feet on the ceiling and his body hanging upside down as if he were some sort of vampire. He looked past the boy and saw the woman he was targeting headed towards Shaji. He gave no thought to it other than the fact that it had became her battle now, which only meant one thing. The boy below him with the nonchalant grin was his person of interest. His enemy to fight. Staring at the kid now with bored eyes, he wondered how he would fight him. It wasn't his intention to hurt a kid, but, if he was as dangerous as he thought, Joel would have to do something at least. He did have to admit, fighting a boy was much better than fighting a girl.

Moving his arms wide out in a motion that didn't really seem to do anything, he flashed once more, appearing next to the boy and resting his hand gently on the boy's shoulder. "I don't think you want this. I'll give you a couple counts to reconsider. This is one." The words flowed from his mouth like instructions, almost in comparison to how a teacher would warn their students.

Donovan made a face, his mouth contorted as if in pain, his lips puckered in the shape of an O. It looked as if someone punched him in the gut.

"Ooooooooooooooh," he began, deepening his voice, "snap!" His countenance immediately corrected itself, his face once again radiating self-confidence. "I believe that's how they complimented such charming and elegant gentlemen when they delivered surreptitious insults in this time, right?" He didn't wait for a response, instead nodding to himself, his toned underlined with contempt. "Mmm. Anyways, so this is how we play, Joel." He put his hand on Joel's, attempting to rattle the Vongola by saying his name. It was not a friendly gesture. "Hmm. How about..." He scratched his chin a bit. "Oh! If you can tag me ten times before one of your friends screams, I won't take your ring. But if you can't..." The grin left Donovan's face for just this one moment, leaving the boy with an expression of deadly sincerity and a voice to match. He stared Joel dead in his eyes before continuing.

"I get to kill one."

He paused for but a moment, taking time to grin again, his voice returning to its upbeat normal. "Kay?! Sounds like fun, right? Here, I'll even do you one better." He gave Joe's hand a pat with his own, his voice as upbeat and happy-go-lucky as a kid's in a candy store. "As a handicap to you," he said, wagging his finger in Joel's face, "I'll let this here hand of yours count as tag number one."

Joel looked suspiciously at the boy when he spoke his name, but didn't speak on it. It was something he wouldn't forget though. Once the boy put his hand on his, he was about to count off another number, but was interrupted by the boy's weird words. While most people might have reacted poorly or threw a tantrum over the words, Joel chuckled and smirked. "That actually sounds pretty interesting," he said. "I doubt any of the others would die to someone like you, but if you win, I'll let you try your hand at them. However, it won't be easy to escape me." Joel stepped away from the boy. "Okay kid. Start running I guess. As a handicap to you, I'll count to five before I start chasing." Joel dropped his smirk, but kept his eyes on the boy, wandering just how fast he could go to think he could escape lightning.

For just a microsecond, a dash of red hot anger colored Donovan's otherwise clear amber eyes. It wasn't something that was noticeable. "Dang beeotch," he said, rolling his neck and artificially raising his voice. "You're da bomb! All that and a bag of chips!" He returned to a serious tone, leaning towards Joel, the back of his hand next to his mouth as if he were about to tell the Vongola guardian a juicy secret. "I've done some research on the primitive speech patterns of this time," he muttered. "I'm doing well, aren't I?" He burst out laughing, holding his stomach. "Okay, but seriously. Let's start."

In the time it would take a human being to blink, Donovan reached his hand out as if to a lover. In that very same instant, one of his bouncing palla came to him, slamming into his open palm with enough force and momentum to shatter a football player's entire body, yet Donovan didn't even flinch. He simply stared Joel in the face, smiling. After a moment, the seemingly frenetic and destructive iron-core palla fell to the balcony, lifeless and robbed of its former color, like a bird whose wings had been clipped.

Donovan began to glow ever so slightly. "Here we g—!"

The Asteroid guardian disappeared without a trace.

Watching the boy disappear, Joel wondered if he should actually give chase to the lad. If he were really the type of person, he would have just forgot about him and went to help one of his fellow guardians with their fights. Though, he thought about it for a moment, realizing that everyone is entitled to their own. Maybe this would be a test for him as well. He counted down the remainder of times he had to tag the kid, and also how many more warnings he would actually give him. It sounded about right. "Nine more then," he whispered to himself, closing his eyes. It would have been a cinch for him to see something moving at high speeds, since he-himself could do so, but it seemed like too much of a hassle to waste that ability. The more he knew about his enemy, the better, and the less his enemy knew about him, all the same. Closing his eyes, he listened. He listened past the crunching sound of debris and the yelling of distant people. All he wanted to focus on was the wind. Something he had realized in his training, was that moving at certain speeds causes a sound distortion in the wind. Of course, when one moves as fast as a bullet, the naked ear can't connect. However, with training, one can hear a bullet as it zips past. The human body was no different. "Phase one."

Upon the words being spoken from his mouth, he disappeared as he always had, though, this time, he left not only green flames, but a small electrical current too. He only opened his eyes to look where he was going. The rumors about moving a certain speed were mostly lies, at least at the speed he was going. At Phase one Joel saw things as fast as they came, though he was trained to react to them. Once he heard the change in wind he reached his hand out, only extending a finger, and once he saw his target he made sure to only barely tap the back of him. As soon as it happened he ended the phase completely, standing on top of one of the Vongola statues, looking forward in no intended direction. He had decided to give it a moment, to see if the chase was still on, or if he would stop. Either way, Joel noted- the boy had eight more chances left to surrender.

"Hey!" Donovan called up to his playmate. "Nice one!" Donovan was lying on the upper shoulder of the same Vongola statue, using it as a hammock. To any onlooker, it would seem as if Donovan had been there the entire time, judging by his relaxed demeanor, and not that he'd just arrived a split second after Joel. "Ya got eight left. Don't miss!"

Once again, Donovan reached his hand out and was again met by one of his bouncing palla, the iron-core ball slamming into his open palm. Instantly, the palla fell back to the earth like a rock, colorless.

Again, Donovan disappeared.

A faint curve almost formed in Joel's mouth upon the boy's demeanor. It had been awhile since he was able to play a game of any sort and he had to admit, he sort of missed those days. He even began to feel bummed out that there were only eight more times left in their game. He had decided to enjoy himself while he had the chance, since it wasn't like he had any other option. This time, instead of trying to hear the boy, he wanted to see if he could lay his eyes upon him instead. What he saw, made him decide to take more mental notes. He was able to spot the lad. However, it seemed the more he followed him with his eyes, the harder it became. One could compare it to watching the wings of a fan move and accelerate with each pull of the chord. "Phase one," he spoke again before disappearing. This time, it wasn't a quick catching up, but instead a long stride, almost as if both were going normal speed and Joel was trying to lessen the space between them. He even had to stop and gain footing on something so he could push off of it to increase his momentum. It was weird indeed. Just how fast could the kid go? Joel was willing to find out. As he bounced off the starboard wall and headed in a diagonal to intercept the actual area where the kid was headed he let that curve sink in and formed an actual smile. Making it the second he had on his face all night. It didn't feel like much, maybe because they were both almost going the same speed, give or take, but Joel managed to flick the back of the boy's neck. Skin contact counted to him especially. If it had been his clothing it would have been another thing, but he was happy to mark another number off. Two rounds of tag finished and it wasn't even a minute yet, and from the looks of it, the rounds and the young men were going to keep getting faster and faster. "You're pretty fast. I might have to cheat. Hehehe."

Donovan turned on his heel, eyeing his chaser and rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. That flick smarted a bit, but Donovan maintained his goofy grin. "Oh wow, you're faster than I thought!" He said, spinning on his heel to face forward. Two palla hurdled through space towards him, but instead of catching them in his palms like before, Donovan simply hopped atop them as if they were stepping stones, using the last one as a platform to accelerate across the room, almost daring the Vongola to chase him. Like the others, the palla themselves fell to the floor, robbed of their color, momentum, and flames.

This back and forth continued between the Rizzo and the Vongola for several minutes, Joel managing to tag Donovan and Donovan responding by depowering yet another palla. Finally, Joel tagged Donovan for the seventh time, tagging him on the shoulder. This time, however, Donovan did not react, choosing instead to keep things moving.

The boy kept on getting faster and Joel was already about to use his third phase. If the kid were to go any faster, he'd probably have to give up on his end. Either that or figure out a new plan of attack. It seemed like the words were left behind a while back as the two were still traveling, out of the sight of the naked eye. Midway through, Joel realized that the boy was going much faster than his phase 2. Faster than intended. "Phase....Threeeee," he said in a strained voice, snapping his fingers and zipping around, leaving a thunderous sound in his going and bring a cracking sound in his coming. He seemed to almost touch the boy, but he kept on missing. It always seemed like he was just a hair away each time.

Non-stop he continued the chase, reaching the edge of the phase the longer he moved. He was starting to wonder if he would even have a chance of catching the kid this round, but subsided. He could always go faster if he wanted to. He could always go to the next phase, but, for some reason, he felt held back. It pained him to hold back. Lightning wasn't the type of flame to be caged in easily. If he kept it up any longer, the odds were, well, he didn't even know, but it hurt enough to feel as if something bad would happen. "Phase..... three point five." His body created a ring of electric waves, making him look as if he was a spark wire. It wasn't long that he could hold this extra boost, but luckily enough it pushed him forward. So fast in fact that he whizzed over the boy's head, managing to get his finger to slightly graze the top of his head.

Not able to stop his momentum, he flipped around to crash down on a wall. Though he landed feet first, as soon as he hopped off, the wall began to fissure and soon implode. The only thing left on the man's mind, was how he was going to catch the boy a two more times without killing himself. He had to relax and think about his next move. He didn't want to use his next phase, but at the same time he didn't want to hold back the lightning flames building up either. Though he was in deep thought, he kept his eyes towards the wall before disappearing once more.

Donovan appeared next to Joel as they zipped around the room. "I'm surprised you managed to get to eight, old man," he laughed, pointing. "Was it hard?"

Joel grinned. "I wouldn't think I was that old, but yeah, crashing into that wall was pretty hard."

"I mean, you tagging me for the eighth time. Was it hard?" Donovan didn't wait for a response. "I know it was," he smirked. "Have you noticed it yet?" Again, he did not wait for a response. "No, you probably didn't." Donovan caught another of his palla, sucking the flames from it like a vampire, eyeing Joel the entire time. "I haven't really been going all that much faster, ya know." Donovan pointed at his opponent. "You've just been going slower. Every time you touch me, old man, you touch my flames. They stick to you like mud... they can speed you up," he began, infusing the now colorless palla with his Asteroid flame. The palla burst back into variegated life, blasting away like a bullet. "... or, like in your case, they can slow you down. If you somehow manage to tag me again, I don't think you'll ever be fast enough to make it to ten!" He said, holding his stomach while he laughed raucously.

"I've been quickly replenishing what I inject into you by catching my palla, but I haven't really been going any faster! Get it?!" Donovan clenched his fists, his expression and tone of voice becoming serious. His flame output became visible, like a fierce red aura that surrounded him where before there was nothing. "I bet you wanna see what happens when I actually go faster." He clenched his teeth, knowing full well that he was as unstoppable and cataclysmic as an asteroid hurtling through space. "Try to keep up."

Joel's eyes gave a hint of surprise when he was told he was going slower. It seemed, maybe using the fourth phase wasn't as dangerous as he had thought, since he might have been able to control it better. Though, that was big might. "I see," he said, giving a no harm no foul type of shrug. "So you've been a little trickster this whole time. Impressive. You've managed to slip something past my senses. You and your lot seem to be able to do that to me. This whole event.... heh. It's like you know how I think or something." Of course most of Joel's words were to himself as the boy had disappeared. Joel could still follow him with his ears, but by the sound of it, he probably wouldn't catch up on his feet. Of course he still tried to anyway. The boy impressed him even more. It was as if he was alter-imaging inside of their little speed world. He was on a whole other playing field than Joel could currently reach. However Joel had a different plan in mind. Slowing down to a stop, he closed his eyes and began moving his arms in a dance of motions. He seemed to be doing some kata of some kind, though whatever it was had no name to it. He ended by spreading his arms out and slowly moving them down. Once again he listened to the sound of the wind, looking for all possible directions it could go. With a snap of his fingers he summoned a metal lance and threw it at an unknown location, only to disappear and arrive at his destination. The lance had missed the boy by 0.23 seconds. Though, it got what Joel needed from it. "Distortion Phase mode," he mumbled, before disappearing and traveling to another point. He traveled to different points, all randomly. He wasn't even following the sound of the wind anymore, but this time, just cause and effect. Soon he arrived somewhere and stuck his finger out, just in time to have it crack upon the boy's unsuspecting chest. He kept his face straight through the pain, but regretted not throwing out his hand instead immediately.

"Hmmm. The web the spider sows to trap it's prey. Hehe. You're not the only one who's been hiding things. These weapons of mine are each connected to the electromagnetic field my body creates. Usually they circle around me without my will sometimes. Though, because I don't think I could tag you like that, I had them stay in one part of the room. All the way from the time I was upside down I suppose. Though, I'm kinda spent. I don't really feel like playing anymore, nor do I feel like showing you anymore of my abilities. I'm more than smart enough to know when I'm being tested. Tell me, was it always your goal to see how far I could go, or am I just imagining things?"

Donovan looked down at his chest, his grin now a faint shell of its former glory. He'd stopped on a dime, using his own flames to negate his gathered momentum and cancel it out completely. He saw Joel's finger less than a millimeter away from his chest. Though the effort of his sudden stop may have displaced the wind around him with enough force to push against the Vongola's outstretched digit, it hadn't actually touched him... but he'd come close. Too close.

Looking around, Donovan took note of his surroundings. He must've still been moving in some sort of... something. To be honest, he was somewhat confused. He hadn't read about this move in the history books. Then again, he didn't read the books at all. Or really pay attention during the briefing. He was going purely off of Trevor's stories and not much else. Donovan shrugged internally. Oh well, should make things a bit more fun, anyway.

Donovan returned his eyes to Joel, his smile returning. "Yeah, you're right," he said, dusting some imaginary dirt off of his shoulder. "I was told by a dear friend of mine that you were the fastest Vongola to ever live. I had to put that to the test." He angled his head to the side, a quizzical expression overcoming his face. "So, uh, why did you throw that thing at me again?"

Joel dropped his grin and sighed, realizing that he was basically talking to a kid in Cain and Fredrick's age group. "Man. I just told you. Maybe I should explain more. Throwing the lance of Izanagi made it so you would slightly change your direction, limiting the amount of times I have to zip around to catch up to you.... and I kinda wanted to hit you with it, but I'm glad I didn't. Good job. Hehe. Though, as for why it had to be the spear of Izanagi, it's because it's the fastest thing I can through. I mean look at this," Joel pulled out one of his weapons from the spinning circle. "You think I'ma throw a gun at you? Hahaha."

Donovan laughed with him. He kinda liked this guy, and not just because he was a speedster. Still had to take his ring though. You know, higher cause, saving the human race, all that stuff.

Suddenly, a wave of pressure ripped through the entire area. After a while, Donovan recognized it as a scream, the sound waves palpitating across their space in slow motion. It was Donovan's turn to sigh, scratching the back of his head. "Here we go," he muttered.

"What the?" Joel gasped noticing the voice. "Shit, Cain. Looks like I really won't be able to play with you anymore kid. Stay back. This is the final warning." Not knowing if the kid was going to get in his way or not, he decided to use his fourth phase to escape. Whether the boy actually listened to his warning was entirely up to him, though it was for his own good. Joel flashed one final smile before saying, "It was good playing with you, boy. Next time I'll be sure to get your name.

"Game isn't over yet, old man," Donovan winked, but he wasn't sure if Joel was paying him much attention.

"Phase four," Joel said. With a snap of his finger, a lightning bolt crashed down upon him and he disappeared completely, leaving no signs of his existence. That was, until a second bolt struck not to far away, landing him right next to Cain. He looked over at Cain with weary eyes and shook his head. "Damn Cain. What did you do to deserve this?"

He looked over and saw Ai not to far away from the body. With another glance he peeked at Fred who had obviously lost his ring as well. He couldn't help but to sigh in reaction. Though he wanted to tell the boy to stop his actions, there were other matters that needed attention at the moment. He looked over Cain seeing his leg was in pretty bad shape. With a break like that, the blood could clot up causing him to permanently loose ties with it. Bending over his leg and laying his hand on it, he shot and electrical current through the boys leg, stimulating the muscles. Cain winced for a second before relaxing back into his slumber. He overheard Keiko yelling in a fit of rage at the group in front of her. It consisted of the boy whom he had seen before and a man who looked oddly like he could be related to the kid. He also saw one kid talking back to her and a woman who was yelling. The whole place was in complete chaos and it seemed the only two who were calm at the moment was Joel and the other man. Looking him in the eyes, Joel almost saw a reflection of what was a hardened warrior—someone who was used to fighting. He gathered that he was the one who got to Cain.

"Ya're talkin' tah ME about goin' too far?!" she snapped, before motioning around her. "WHEN YA'LL DID THIS?! AND FER WHAT? FER A BUNCHA RINGS I RECKON! THEN YA SHOULDA COME FOR US AND ONLY US!"

Sora tuned out her yelling and focused on the task at hand. 'Geez, just back up already!' he thought. Miyamoto snorted as if she was about to spit. 'No, she wouldn't.' As if it was a slow motion movie scene, he watched the spit fly from Miyamoto's mouth. 'Oh Shi--!" he yelled unable to stop the spit from landing on Alastor's shoes. He stood staring at Miyamoto thinking, [i]'What have you done! I'll get in so much trouble for this!'

The younger image of Alastor noticed the glob of spittle as well, and watched it collide with his elder self's otherwise impeccable business shoes. He took a step back from his elder self, and then another, and another. Though he was quiet, you could tell by the look on his face what was going through his head: oooooooh, you're in trouble!

For his part, the elder Alastor turned his attention away from the black-haired Vongola boy and his squeamish demands for his ring, casting a look down at his bespattered shoes, and then back at the girl—the Vongola Sun Guardian. His expression was of a pure neutrality, honed by power and tempered by several decades of experience. His eyes glistened like melted pennies. Whole universes were born, collapsed, and died in those eyes.

Slowly, deliberately, Alastor raised his hand, fixing the blathering Vongola girl with an intense stare. Behind her stood Hildegarde, grinning. The Quasar guardian took a step back in tandem with Alastor's younger image. This Vongola was about to find out that she'd poked the wrong bear.

Suddenly, Alastor brought his hand down upon Sora's shoulder. Alastor's cold, but firm grip caused a jolt to run ra up Sora's spine as if you ran ice up his entire body. "Hehe..." were the only word's he could muster knowing it was Alastor who stood behind him.

"The Sun ring is your responsibility, Sora, not mine." Alastor maintained eye contact with the Sun guardian, despite his conversation with the Star. His voice was cool and calm, completely lacking in hostility, yet it was firm, and left no room for response. "I don't want to have to handle this for you."

Sora closed his eyes and gave a long deep sigh. He has always despised Alastor's methods of 'handling' their enemies; however, with Alastor, Hildegarde, and the devil's brat spawn from hell known as 'little' Alastor watching, he had no choice.

"I tried doing this the nice way Miyamoto."

He opened his eyes with star flames oozing out of both of them. He looked directly into Miyamoto's eyes. "I'm going to scar you for life," he said as the world slowly shifted between the real world and his outlandish illusions. Behind him stood blood, demons, death, and a gruesome sight that switched in and out with the real world slowly. Sora's head slowly spun like a ferris wheel while his voice became deep producing a maniacal laugh. Standing next to them was the one Sora deemed as Miyamoto's close friend after seeing their interactions on stage together. Eri's head stood on top of a spear as if he was decapitated by Spartans while her body remained on the ground headless. The sky remained pitch black with devil red eyes randomly apearing in sight. "And you'll feel every bit of it." Miyamoto, originally unharmed, within the illusion stood bruised, bloody and battered while monsters and demons with razor sharp teeth and claws stood over her growling as if they were ready to feast. The illusion was still flickering in and out due to the shear madness of the world being produced.

However, Ai, whom was very quiet the whole time, decided to cut in. Approaching Sora, she broke his gaze with Miyamoto and turned his head forcefully to look into her eyes. "I will not allow you to harm any more of us," she said threateningly, yet tonelessly, Her third eye looked deep into his and flooded his mind with visions of his own friends, the Rizzo guardians, with blank expressions on their faces, eyes hovering over their chests, cords of varying colors sticking out of them in identical places around their bodies. Alien parasites with evil eyes. Ai's own cords crept around him and moved around his neck threateningly, before slowly constricting. 'So this is the Vongola of Mist illusion, huh?' he thought to himself as he saw Ai's cords move upon his neck, 'This Alien scum. He begun to force the star flame from his body to shift her illusion back into his own world of madness. The illusions flicked back and forth between reality, his world, and Ai's illusion like a broken movie reel. Ai was about to retaliate by strengthening her illusion by actually constricting him with her cords. She had the ability to completely possess anybody in her submission, and this one who was busy trying to fight her illusions with his own wouldn't have even noticed. Yet something broke both of their concentrations, causing the illusionary worlds in their heads to shatter. Simultaneously, they look toward the direction of a piercing sound.

Without warning, a high-pitched roar overspread the area, drawing everyone's attention. "WRRRYYYYYYYY!!!!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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"What are you doing here, kid?!" An urbane Vongola mafioso asked, her gun clutched tightly in her grip, barrel pointed downward. Trevor looked at the gun in the woman's hands, and then up at the woman's arms and shoulders, finally coming to rest at the woman's face, staring her dead in the eyes until it became painfully awkward.

"Come on," she said, her voice oozing urgency, as she took a step closer to where Trevor stood. In response, Trevor mirrored the woman's action but in reverse, taking a step backwards and maintaining the distance between them. The mafioso took another step forward. Trevor took another step backwards. They repeated this at least another three times until Trevor's back bumped up against the wall. The woman put her gun away with extreme caution, thinking the boy was afraid of the weapon.

She held out her hand, a warm inviting gesture. "Hey, kid. Come on, it's not safe here." As she spoke, part of the ceiling collapsed behind her, a volley of explosions erupting in the distance. Trevor reacted not to the woman, but to the explosions, removing his suit jacket and wrapping it around his neck, head, and face military style, like a Shemagh. He didn't want to breathe in any of the smoke or debris flying around, and his thin little undershirt wasn't cutting it as a filter. As the pilot of a particularly powerful box weapon, he took his dietary and bodily habits seriously.

Trevor never once broke eye contact with the woman, even as he finished with the jacket. He simply stared at her, his face stolid, his eyes unyielding in intensity. When it looked like she was going to reach out and grab him, Trevor crouched down, as if he were going to take off in a sprint at any moment. At the same time, an inhuman cry rang out across the auditorium, rattling the very walls themselves. The mafioso woman heard it as well, shuddering instinctively. She held up her hands in surrender. "Alright kid, suit yourself. Just get out of here, okay?"

Trevor didn't respond, electing instead to continue staring, his monotonous gray eyes boring into the woman like a drill. She turned and drew her gun again, running off into the thick dusty gloom of smoke and debris. It seemed to him that the Vongola were beginning to recover from the Rizzo's surprise attack, and were organizing their members in an attempt to defend their guardians.

Not like it'd make a difference. Trevor gripped the exclusive disk he received from the Vongola Storm guardian close to his chest, ensuring it would not be damaged by flying debris. The Rizzo were unstoppable, even when they were ordered by their boss to be merciful. A hundred years is a very long time for things to grow and shift and change.

To evolve.

Their technology. Their box weapons. Their flames. The Rizzo were simply the more advanced beings. And it showed now, in this skirmish between the two families. The Vongola were exactly as the history books described them to be. They were... Trevor looked down at the disk held to his chest, sighing softly through his nose. They were pretty cool to meet in person, but weren't at all the legends they've come to be known as back in the future. Not yet.

They were just—

A sound like an inbound missile caused Trevor's ears to perk up. He'd heard this sound too many times before as a frontline soldier in the war against the invaders. It was like a high-pitched whine that got deeper and deeper until—BOOM!

Something smashed into the wall a dozen or so meters from where Trevor stood, kicking up yet another plume of dirt and debris that rolled over the area like a tidal wave. The boy shielded his face with his forearm, averting his eyes as the smoggy cloud overtook him. Trevor rolled out of the smog, coughing lightly. Clear on the other side of the auditorium—practically an archaic American football field away from where Trevor currently stood—he made out the silhouette of Flandre, the Rizzo Dark Matter guardian. Judging by the damage to the wall behind her and the look of her gear, it would seem that a Newtonian reaction had occurred between her and...

Trevor looked to his right, at the thing that crash landed into the wall, but only saw a mound of rubble. As the translucent dust cloud cleared, he noticed movement. Suddenly, the rubble exploded, pulverized by whatever was trying to free itself from the crushing pile of cement chunks and fragmented rebar. Out from the debris crawled what Trevor could only describe as a monster, its body shrouded in an inky red-tipped frenetic blackness that ebbed and flowed chaotically, like... like... was that a flame?

The monster glanced to the left and then to the right in quick furious succession before its beady red eyes landed on the boy. Concurrently, Trevor recognized the beast. The contour of its body, the shape of its face, the length of its arms and legs, its height, it's hair... was this Namine 'The Tempest' Gokudera? Was this the Vongola Storm guardian?

Trevor frowned slightly, attempting to further process what he saw, but was jolted from his thoughts when the monster unleashed a primal shriek in his direction, the noise a deafening dissonance that shattered any semblance of thought and focus. All he could do in response was cover his ears with his hands, screwing his eyes shut.

The auditory attack lasted for what seemed like an eternity before finally subsiding. "Trevor, watch out!" came the faint echo of a distant yet familiar voice, but the boy failed to register the sound on account of the high-pitched chime ringing in his ears—an aftereffect of his eardrums nearly rupturing. Trevor righted himself, slowly opening his eyes and fighting back the sensation of vertigo, his vision blurry. Before him was a flame monster, a dark demon, a being of wrath. It was something that wasn't a Vongola ability... something that was never in any of the history books.

Immediately, a new sensation filled his head—a comfortably familiar one. His box weapon, known in the future as the Conflagration or "C" Frame—a tiny black cube that hung from a bracelet on his wrist—had detected its wearer's physical and psychological stress. It was attempting to power itself on. Initially, Trevor embraced the sensation, eager to partake in the promise of power, protection, and familiarity that the C-Frame offered, but stopped just short of bringing it out. Alastor's order came to the forefront of his conscious mind, dampening his urge to use the weapon. His orders were to stay put. He was not to reveal the existence of the C-Frame. He was not to engage any of the Vongola guardians. He was not to kill.

This internal conflict caused Trevor to hesitate, and in that hesitation the flame monster attacked, skittering forward on all fours in the most alien manner conceivable. Trevor held out his hand, palm facing his attacker, the universal symbol for "stop". He used his other hand to clutch the disk to his chest. From there, things began to move in extremely slow motion for the boy, his mind racing, his heart pounding on his chest. An acrid smell filled his nostrils—the smell of foreign earth, singed metal, and smoldering bodies. The vivid sounds of machines—the human defenders, frames, similar in design to his own C-Frame—roaring to life overtook his ears, drowning out the incessant ringing. Glancing down at his feet, the ground on which he stood was not the splintered ruins of some Vongola facility, but consisted of red clay-like sand.

He instantly knew where he was. The battle of Olympus Mons. Mars.

"Incoming!" came a commanding voice. "Hold!" The words seemed to be coming from everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

Looking back up, what Trevor saw rushing at him now was not a raging flame beast, but a hostile enemy alien armor, its body like a mass of black and gunmetal tentacles in a shape vaguely resembling that of a human being's, its various parts in constant flux, shifting and turning in on themselves at odd intervals. The enemy armor was oozing maroon flame, its jagged metal teeth bared with intent to kill.

And again it screamed at him, though this time the sound came out as more of an electronic reverberation, like a tone from one of those old dial-up modems.

Upon laying eyes on the enemy armor, Trevor felt something pierce through the numbness of his continued existence: vulnerability. He felt like his life and the lives of his friends, his family, were in grave danger. He felt it deep in the core of his being, like a hand clenching his heart, yet he felt as if he had no control over what was happening before him. He had no control. He could only watch.

Just like that day.

The enemy armor reared up, its foremost tentacles reconfiguring themselves into jagged blades, the deep maroon flames of Quasar coalescing into a fine line along the blades' edges. Immediately, the creature neutralized the two of the human frames that stood to either side of Trevor, stabbing the machines straight through their chest compartments. He didn't have to look over his shoulder to know that the pilots were killed in the resulting Quasar-fueled explosions. Trevor stood there, a frozen pilot, as the enemy armor spun and skittered, targeting him, the bizarre machinations of its armor proving both eerily enthralling and utterly terrifying.

The alien's flaming blade reached him, punching through his chest like a fist through tissue paper.

Trevor bowed his head, looking down at where the mass of tentacles had torn through his shirt and into his body. Blood pooled at the edge of his lips. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't speak. He could barely move. It was as if he were drowning in molasses. Or the cruor of his fallen comrades. Darkness licked at the edges of his vision, quickly gaining ground until his world faded entirely to black, the finality of it all settling across his shoulders like a dense blanket, sealing his fate.

And then someone called his name.

**


"You!" Keiko screamed at the man, "WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?!!"

Fredrick gave her a perplexed gaze, "Umm... Keiko?"

She rammed the man to the ground, headbutted him, screamed at him, and even dug her nails into his arms. Fredrick stood in awe of Keiko's rage. She's hurting him. I must save him! That's what Serlina would say! he thought, hyping himself up. He looked down at his arm where Serlina rested, sealing his wound with what remained of her body. Without the purified flame produced by the stolen Rain ring, he wasn't sure how long she'd last outside of the box. The mere notion of her not fluttering about and chattering in his mind at her leisure was like peering over the cliff and into an endless abyss of loneliness, and it scared him. Scared him more than anything had ever scared him in his entire life.

"UOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!" Keiko screamed, as if she were inspired by the howls of Flandre's enemy.

Tears started to shape in his eyes as he saw Kieko beating the poor man in a berserk fury. Despite the melancholy that tugged at him, Fredrick knew he had a duty—an obligation!—to make sure his friend didn't beat up other people randomly. "Keiko, No!" he yelled, running up behind her and throwing his arms around her shoulders. He interlocked his wrists in an attempted bear hug, injecting into his friend whatever remained of his quickly diminishing stores of Rain flame with the hope that the flame's tranquility attribute would pacify her. "Please, Stop it Keiko! You're hurting him!"

Sora looked at the rampant attacks of this era's "apex predator". Hmmm, didn't expect her to go wild like that... I'll really have to tone down the illusion. Maybe the head on the spear thing with her friend, may just not be a good idea, he thought. He pulled out a small pad, pen and wrote Do not show friend's head on spear. Results: Crazy. *Check mark* *Smiley face*. She continued her onslaught, while Sora walked up to her slowly. He glanced over at the raging Namine covered in an unknown flame and fighting Flandre. Are all women in the Vongola monsters? he pondered.

"K-k-keiko! Why are you hurting one of the Vongola!" he yelled out. She was attacking a Vongola mafia guard thinking it was Sora the whole time. His words started to become more slurred as his eyes poured tears, "Stop it!"

"Ewwww, she's really hurting him," he commented seeing the blood ooze out of the man. "A left hook, headbutt! Ouch! Oh! Kill em! Go SuperNova!" Sora ran up to her side, a safe distance away and begun cheering, pumping his arms like a fan at a rock concert.

Elizabeth noted the raging Namine and the berserk Keiko. After analyzing this unusual occurrence, she shifted her sights towards Alastor. "Brother," she paused, "What it this? Do all people of this time go wild when fighting? Do I need to scream as well?"

Unlike the others, Hildegarde was still standing behind both Sora and the rabid Vongola, but was not paying the gaggle much attention. She was focused solely on Shaji Ai, who was standing further off and to the side of the berserk Sun guardian and the Rain whelp. With the younger image of Alastor out of harm's way, it was long past time she got what she came here for.

Hildegarde rolled what remained of her hard candies between her fingers, deliberating over which technique to utilize. She was simply spoiled for options, and was completely out of patience. A dangerous combination for a woman so inclined. She began walking towards the girl, cracking her knuckles and stomping her feet in order to draw the probe's attention.

No more games. The alien traitor would hand over the ring or they'd be scrubbing what remained of its mind slave off the wall.

"Trevor, watch out!" Flandre shouted, her words carrying over to where the others stood. The Rizzo famiglia pivoted in unison, their collective sight focusing on the raging Nami, who was bearing down on Trevor clear on the other side of the auditorium. Without a moment's hesitation, Miku and Hildegarde surged forward like the twin turbines of a fighter jet. The Comet guardian streaked across the floor, leaving a trail of pale blue flames and frost in her wake. Hildegarde took to the air, rocketing towards the scene like an ICBM.

Unfortunately, Nami in all her rage was simply too fast, and they were much too far away to make it in time. In a blinding flare of black and red, she smashed into the Rizzo Moon guardian, bathing the area in her unknown flames. Miku and Hildegarde screeched to a halt a couple dozen meters away, looks of horror upon their faces. Back on the other side of the room, little Alastor puffed out his chest and stepped forward, fully intending to join the others in exacting sweet revenge on this primitive brute, but his elder image placed a hand on his shoulder, restraining him.

"You and I are done here," the elder Alastor muttered.

The flareup of red and black flames that enshrouded the vicinity died down a moment later. Trevor stood, untouched, his hand still outstretched before him. Mere millimeters from the side of his face was Nami's inflamed claw-like hand, moments from rending the boy's skull in two. It was as if Nami were suspended in timelessness, though it quickly became evident that that was not the case.

Standing directly behind Nami was Donovan. He had a firm grip on the Storm Vongola's wrist.

"Woah there, beasty," he said, his voice uncharacteristically sharp. The look on his face was positively murderous. "One more inch and I would've atomized you." He increased his grip on the Vongola's wrist, enough that his knuckles turned white. Any more force and he'd break it. "Understand?"

The beast didn't move at all as he spoke to it. Not a single inch. It wasn't that she didn't have the desire to move so much as she couldn't. Donovan, in maintaining physical contact with the girl, had not only robbed her of all of her momentum by injecting his flame into her, but was continually robbing her of any momentum she might acquire through any sort of movement. He'd effectively petrified the raging beast in its tracks.

"Trev."

At hearing Donovan call his name, Trevor recoiled noticeably, as if waking up from a nightmare. He blinked a few times, reorienting himself with his surroundings. Donovan frowned in sympathy. He was pretty sure he knew why his friend froze against the Storm guardian. Being a frontline soldier in a war for the survival of humanity meant seeing a lot of things that ought not be seen, and experiencing sensations that ought not be experienced. When not piloting his box weapon, Donovan noticed that, from time to time, Trevor would mentally lapse back into his own past battles, reliving his worst moments.

That's the price of being a hero. The part they don't put in the brochure.

Trevor gently placed his hand on Nami's cheek, nearly cupping the side of her face in his small extremity. Her rogue flame parted before his fingers like the red sea. Trevor stared into the girl's ruby red eyes, and she stared right back. Donovan could feel the intensity of their connection through his grip on the girl's wrist, and soon let go of her entirely. Instead of rushing forward and finishing her attack, Nami fell to her knees. Trevor followed her down, kneeling alongside her, never removing his hand from the side of her face.

There were no words. There was no exchange of blows. Nami's chaotic flame simply ceased to be, replaced entirely with an oddly luminous gray-white flame that manifested itself around the girl but for an instant before it, too, ceased. Nami crumpled, falling forward onto Trevor like a ton of bricks, but Donovan caught her before they both hit the ground, lowering her gently.

Donovan gave the Vongola guardian a quick once over. Flandre had definitely shown her what for. As far as he could tell, the vast majority of her bones were broken or fractured in some way.

Hopefully she'd survive, or the timeline might be in trouble.

Donovan winced, looking down at the hand he'd used to grip the Nami's wrist. His palm was burnt pretty badly, the withered and blackened skin interspersed with patches of red and pink. It was as if he'd reached out and touched a hot iron. Whatever that weird flame was, it was unlike anything he'd ever encountered before.

Trevor, his face still wrapped in his own makeshift mask, looked up at Donovan with his usual intractable gaze. His numbingly gray eyes would give even Medusa a run for her money. They were the eyes of someone who had encountered far more than their fair share. Donovan broke eye contact first, looking off to the side instead. Miku and Hildegarde were rapidly approaching, but he wasn't looking at them. Over towards the other side of the auditorium, around where the younger image of Alastor fought with the Vongola's Rain guardian, stood none other than Alastor. The current one. The real one. One moment there was nothing, and then in the next, he was there.

Donovan sighed in bitter disappointment. It would seem that his opportunity to take the Lightning ring had just expired.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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Sitting there, Flandre was able to take a breather as her fellow guardians dealt with Nami. As she sat there, she examined the damage to her leg. The wheel had snapped right off, the armor connecting it to the ankle having been broken off like a cracker. It must have been a weak point. Maybe Storm's property had low defensive qualities or her own flames weren't very pure, for Flandre's armor to have broken like that. Of course, her weapons, especially her Colorwheel, were near indestructible. The Colorwheel, supposedly, was able to shield from a nuclear blast. The wheel, still connected to the armor where it had broken off lay motionless on its side. Pulling her singed gown out of the way, Flandre bent her leg so she could examine it closer. Her socked foot was exposed and was clearly intact, she could wiggle her toes weakly. It was still useless as a foot however.

The rest of her armor seemed intact as well. The other foot, or rather, wheel was still intact and functioning and so were both her arms, weapons still firm in her grasp. The shield arm was nearly identical to the sword arm, yet Flandre very rarely let go of the shield, so it was deeply embedded in a little mechanism inside the shield, which gave her her iron grasp. There was also a little bit of space between which was probably the safest place to put any very small object, in this case, the CD Nami gave her.

Once Flandre was finished examining the damage to herself, she watched the other Rizzo guardians deal with Nami, her target. Alastor made it rather clear about how each and every one of them was responsible for taking a ring from their own specified targets so the Vongolas didn't interfere with any of the other Rizzos in an attempt to protect each other, or something like that. It seemed as if they dealt with her without too much trouble, however, thanks to their flames. That was the disadvantage of having featureless flames, one always came in last. Although, she did notice one thing, they didn't take her ring for some reason. Perhaps they were honoring what they agreed?

Flandre used both her sword and shield to support her as she heaved herself up. She only had one usable leg while she held the other up behind her. Although, her Colorwheel was technically one giant wheel, which she could rotate with her mechanical arms of which had no limit compared to human joints, like an owl's neck or something. Flandre experimented , wheeling herself forward with her foot and the shield, putting her weight on the shield. It was a little odd, considering the small wheel had to move much faster than the big one, but she could manage it. Dropping her sword, Flandre wheeled her way over to the girl's body on the ground, where Trevor and Donovan were standing.

Wheeling herself right next to her, she examined her. The ring was still on her finger where she placed it. The girl was clearly broken, defenseless, helpless. Flandre could have dropped her shield on her and she'd shatter into a million pieces and she considered it, as a repayment for nearly leaving her immobile. Yet she didn't. Perhaps out of satisfaction that she had completely broken the girl, or perhaps out of some form of mercy, although the latter was highly unlikely. Flandre bent over using her shield as a support and took the ring off her finger using her pointy fingertips. Standing back up, she brought it close to her face to examine it. A wide grin appeared on her face.

"I got it!" Flandre called, like some child proud over finding something of less worth. Nonetheless, it brought her joy as she placed it on her finger. Of course, it was useless for lighting flames as Flandre wouldn't be able to light a Storm property flame. She looked around at her fellow guardians for some sort of approval, when realization dawned on her that hardly any of the other guardians have received any rings yet. She giggled as she brought the ring up to her lips. "I got the ring~" she bragged, "There are many like it, bu~ut this one's mine."

The setting changes from vongola-headquarters-in-japan to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust
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Miyamoto Keiko & Murasaki Eri


Eri made her way through the debris, walking towards where the most people had congregated in, her eyes locked onto the form of Namine enveloped in dark flames.

"Keiko, No!" Fredrick yelled, running up behind her and throwing his arms around her shoulders. He interlocked his wrists in an attempted bear hug, injecting into his friend whatever remained of his quickly diminishing stores of Rain flame with the hope that the flame's tranquility attribute would pacify her. "Please, Stop it Keiko! You're hurting him!"

Rage-filled and mindless, Keiko tried to swipe at Fredrick behind her, roaring all the while. She managed to pull Fredrick from her back and slammed him into the ground. Right before she was about to deliver a possibly devastating punch.

"KEIKO!" Eri yelled as she reached in time to see this, sounding stern.

Keiko instantly stopped, staring at Eri. Slowly her wildness began to subside and her eyes began to recognize her surroundings properly. Eri walked towards her.

"E...Eri? But I thought..." Keiko began, walking over to Eri only to get a very loud slap across the face. Keiko stepped back, shocked by the blow.

"What are you doing? I thought you were better than this, self-proclaimed Champion." Eri reprimanded her, "Aren't you supposed to protect us? You're attacking the Vongola instead."

"Eri... I... ya were dead." Keiko said quietly, rubbing her stinging cheek.

"Nonsense Keiko." Eri said, walking over with her fist raised. "Who was the one who told me not to lose until she could beat me?"

"Dammit Ri-chan." Keiko fist-bumped Eri, her trademark smirk returning to her lips. "Ya know I can defeatcha wheneva I wanna."

The dynamic duo turned to face their adversaries. "That'll have to wait for another day, right now, we have guests to attend to."

Keiko's eyes seemed to come alive yet again, her confidence stronger than ever. She stared as Eri ran off towards Nami's direction. Eri had always been the only one who could quell her rage, this time was no different. Seeing that she was safe and sound was enough to fuel Keiko with the strength of a million Suns... and that, was enough. That in mind, she faced Sora and the suited man.

"I really think ya should hand ovah those rings ya took from us."

It was not a suggestion. It was a demand.

"Nami!" Eri called out, staring at the crumpled figure and then at the other three around, two young boys and a girl, two of which Nami had given her CDs to. "I just want to take her away."

As Eri knelt down to pick Nami up, she could feel bones shifting. 'She broke her bones?!'

"MEDIC TEAM, we need temporary healing, stat!" Eri called out, with the result of two Vongolas rushing to their aid. The two quickly worked on Nami, temporary healing her for safe transportation before she could be properly healed.

"You did that to a person who was kind to you." Eri spoke to the three. "Whatever your motives are, people like you don't mean well."

Eri stared at Flandre, something beginning to surface underneath her calm, icy eyes as she spoke, "I'm afraid that ring is the property of the Vongola. I'm going to have to take it back."

The setting changes from earth to Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko
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"What's wrong, Shmautz?" Flandre asked as he sighed, "Didn't you get a ring?" she sneered at him. She spun around on her working foot giggling, gloating over her victory in her battle scars and how unusual moving around with the shield as a wheel was. She looked over toward Sora, curious as to if he'd gotten the ring or not. His opponent, the Sun one, was bashing wildly at seemingly nothing. Sora's illusions, of course. He knew how to trick his enemies without tricking his allies, so the scene may have been dreadful for the Vongolas, but for the Rizzos it looked very silly. Nobody could contain her anger, not even her allies. Flandre was a bit curious as to what Sora could have shown her that would enrage a person so much.

Although, Flandre's sneer turned into a frown as the Cloud guardian was able to successfully bring her back to her senses. Cloud was the Sky equivalent of Rizzo's Dark Matter flame, yet Flandre didn't think of her as an equivalent. This one seemed to be on rather friendly terms with the Sun one. Their exchange somehow made Flandre irritated, yet she didn't quite understand why. Flandre did recall hearing in their briefing about the exact nature of the relationship between the Sun and Cloud guardians, or at least what was to become of it. Flandre's expression about it was difficult to describe, but she had an idea of its color, gross aquamarine. Some sort of mix between hateful green and gloomy blue.

"Nami!" the Cloud guardian called out in concern for her fellow guardian. Flandre had nearly forgotten all about her already, yet she'd been hovering over her the whole time like a cat over a dead mouse. She backed off as the Cloud one approached. "I just want to take her away." Flandre made no objection. Flandre had gotten her ring and crushed her, she had no further use for a broken toy. Flandre turned her attention back to her ring, playing around with her mechanical fingers, bending and straightening them, simply to flaunt the ring of which stood out against the black metal.

The Cloud one spoke directly to the three. "You did that to a person who was kind to you." Flandre visibly ignored her, purposely telling her that she didn't care. Flandre had little sense of morality. "Whatever your motives are, people like you don't mean well."

Flandre brought her palm out to face the damaged lighted ceiling. "I'm afraid that ring is the property of the Vongola. I'm going to have to take it back." Flandre looked at her with a visibly offended look on her face. "No, it's mine," she spat defiantly, rolling slowly toward her "And I'm not going to take orders from the dog of the Vongola!" Stood face to face with the Cloud Guardian (or rather, looked down at her) and kicked her with her broken foot, knocking her over. Driving right over her without harming her, she went directly for the sword she left on the ground, stopping at the wall and using it as a support to grab it.

The Vongola, however, were mobilizing at an alarming rate. Henchmen were piling around each exit, armed with primitive firearms and box weapons. The Rizzo could have easily dispatched of them all, but more would come and get in their way of getting the rings. These adults were probably more experienced than the young guardians, so fighting them would only make more noise, which Alastor didn't want. Flandre cared little for that, of course, but she had her ring anyway so she was satisfied. Groups of Vongola hitmen seemed to be preparing to apprehend each of the Rizzos. She herself saw a few going for her, pistols and some sort of lightning net weapon in hands and lightning foxes to their sides. Flandre quickly drove back to her allies, Donovan and Trevor, as the began to open fire on her. Her Colorwheel protected her from some of the fire. She asked them "Is it time to leave yet?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera
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Trevor looked on at the girl as she approached. He recognized her instantly. She was Murasaki Eri, the Vongola's Cloud guardian, and wielder of the Cloud ring. She was tall, with silvery-grey hair and an unflinchingly stubborn expression on her face, her eyes darting between the three Rizzo and the fallen Storm Vongola in a rhythmic fashion. When she did speak, he simply absorbed her words, meeting her eyes with his own. Thanks to his makeshift mask, nothing but his eyes were exposed anyway, so she certainly couldn't make out any of his facial features. Trevor looked away from the girl, his eyes landing on Donovan and Flandre. If they'd noticed the Vongola girl approaching, they certainly didn't act like it. Even when she spoke, they still seemed to ignored her.

"What's wrong, Schmautz?" Flandre asked as he sighed, "Didn't you get a ring?" she sneered at him.

"Pfft," Donovan scoffed, turning up his nose. "I can get my guy's ring whenever I want." He folded his arms, looking down as the Vongola paramedics timidly removed Nami from his presence. It was almost as if he were pouting. "I was just checking out his speed," he half-way mumbled. "They say he's the fastest Vongola. Ever." He looked back at Flandre, but didn't meet her eyes, instead taking a quick moment to glance at the metalwork of her damaged leg. "You wouldn't understand true speed anyway. Plus," he continued, motioning with a finger towards Flandre's leg, a devious smile touching his lips, "I'm not in the business of breaking my ass getting pushed around by some primitive flame."

It was Flandre who responded to the Cloud guardian first. Her reaction was predictable. Trevor's eyes followed the Cloud guardian's body all the way to the floor. For a moment, he thought Flandre would continue her assault by smashing the Vongola into the ground with her shield, like she did Tempest, but she seemed to have lost interest with the girl, choosing instead to simply roll away. Trevor watched her go.

At the same time, Miku and Hildegarde sauntered onto the scene like twin divas of some otherworldly fashion show. They came to rest on the other side of Eri, who was still picking herself up off the floor. Hildegarde stared down at the girl, and, after a moment, seemed to come to some sort of conclusion.

"Yep," she began, dropping a piece of hard candy from one hand into the other. "I think I'll just blow her away." She glanced over at Miku. "We can play rock-paper-scissors for the ring later, okay?"

Elizabeth realizing from Hildegarde's remark saw that further fighting from this point was not going to happen. "Fine," she replied while not understanding how a simple game could determine their sole mission of obtaining the ring. She sheathed her katana and look slightly displeased that her fight was not going to continue.

Donovan flinched back at that unexpected promise of violence. "Uh, Garda," he said, scratching the side of his face, a look of besotting urgency evident in his eyes. "I think you've blown up enough stuff. Did you notice Alas—"

Hildegarde ignored Donovan entirely, choosing instead to look over at Miku, her voice taking on a slight tint of annoyance as she interrupted the Asteroid guardian. "We can get the ring off its body when I'm done. Deal?" A bullet whizzed by her head, but she didn't seem to care. "No way Flandre gets a ring and I don't!"

That's when Flandre returned, and brought with her a hail of gunfire. Fortunately for everyone else, she had thrown up her Colorwheel to protect herself, blocking a majority of the deluge. The other three Rizzos moved to stand behind her in an unhurried fashion, as if she had an umbrella and it'd just started drizzling. Though initially surprising, the metallic ping ping ping of ricocheting bullets had little impact on Trevor. If anything, the sound made him more comfortable. He felt a little like he was in his bulletproof C-Frame, hugged on all sides by the protective breathable superconducting nanochemical that constituted the inside of the suit.

He closed his eyes briefly, taking a short breath before opening them again. Trevor swept his gaze over the scene with an unnatural calm—considering he and his friends were being shot at. He took no longer than a second to analyze his surroundings, noting several things right off the bat. For one, the Vongola were attempting to mount a counter offensive, that much was obvious. The hustling and bustling of dark suits and black glasses began to permeate the area, their old-world primer-striking "handguns" at the ready. Then there were the Vongola guardians themselves. One was virtually floored right before him. Two others were floored over by the Alastors. The others seemed to be in one for of disarray or another, even with their own forces mustering behind them.

And that's when someone caught the boy's eye.

"Is it time to leave yet?" Flandre asked the group.

"Not until I get what's mine," Hildegarde answered, flicking a piece of candy into the air over Eri. It was as if she were totally oblivious to the armed thugs attacking them. The candy ignited instantly, bursting into highly volatile Quasar flames, but before it could detonate, Trevor snatched it out of the air with his bare hand and a short burst of Moon flames, nearly cancelling Flandre's flames in the process.

"Hey!"

Instead of responding verbally, Trevor pointed at something off behind her. Hildegarde's face scrunched up in anger, but Miku placed her hand on the girl's shoulder, her voice almost as chilling as her touch. "Alastor is here. We must join him." And then she disappeared in a streak of frosty blue.

Hildegarde turned as well. "Tch," was all she said before taking to the air. Bullets began to impact her the moment she left the protection of Flandre's Colorwheel, but the metal slugs detonated into a fine mist as they came into contact with her body. "You're gonna have to try a whole helluva lot harder than that, you primates!" she bellowed, cackling as she streaked through the air like a firework.

Trevor watched her go, his face expressionless.

"Welp, I guess that's our cue," Donovan grumbled, placing his hand on Trevor's shoulder. In the next moment, they, too, disappeared in a maroon haze.

Clear on the other side of the auditorium, the elder Alastor deigned to acknowledge, however briefly, the Vongola that so cavalierly made demands of him. He glared at her briefly, sizing the girl up in one look. A visceral being. Hot-headed. Arrogant. Overconfident. Unable to comprehend that which is greater than herself. Instead of issuing a harsh riposte, the elder Alastor straightened his tie with a few sharp motions, using both his hands. Simultaneously, the younger Alastor straightened his collar in a similar fashion. At first glance, you might mistake them for twins... of a kind.

Seeing the others flock towards Alastor, Sora hopped on his skateboard and said, "Hasta La Vista, Baby!" as it if were his premiere lines in a movie and begun skating to Alastor's position.

The elder Alastor took Sora as a prompt for movement. "Lightspeed," he muttered. An instant later, he vanished without a trace. The younger Alastor looked down at Fredrick with a look of utter disgust before he vanished as well, muttering under his breath. Both the elder and the younger Alastor appeared on either side of their "current" counterpart, who, until then, had been standing several dozen meters away, next to the Hour Hand box weapon.

This current Alastor looked to be the mathematical average of the two who stood at his sides. Older than his younger counterpart, but younger than his elder counterpart. The trio had hard amber-red eyes, reminiscent of distant supernova. Unlike the preppy straight cut hair of the younger boy or the gelled spiky hairdo of the elder man, the one standing between them had short stringy black hair that fell around his ears and forehead like the frayed edges of some dark fabric. He had a toned muscular physique, though it was obvious that strength was not his forte. Instead of a suit and tie, he wore his trademark jeans and hooded jacket, all black, with fur trimming decorating the edges of the cuffs and cowl. His index and middle fingers were each adorned with a plain silvery ring that glowed softly in the room's hospital-like fluorescent lighting.

This current Alastor turned to his elder counterpart, his face scrunched into a yawn. After a moment, he held out his hand. The elder Alastor reciprocated the motion, holding his clenched fist above his counterpart's open palm and relinquishing the Vongola Sky and Rain rings. The current Alastor eyed the rings before clenching his own fist, a soft grin touching his lips. He looked back up at his counterpart. Their eyes met.

"Perfect," he said, flipping his fist so that his knuckles faced the ceiling.

The elder Alastor mimicked the motion. Their fists were separated laterally by only a few inches. "The Rizzo... the me of this timeline..." The elder cocked his head slightly, his expression impenetrable. "You're all so fascinating."

"Thanks." Like old childhood friends, the two Alastors bumped fists. Almost immediately, the elder of the two combusted into pitch black Space flames before ceasing to exist altogether. The remaining Alastor breathed in deeply, as if he'd just been invigorated. In the background, the Vongola were amassing, but Alastor paid them no mind, instead turning now to face his younger self. It was then that the other Rizzo began to appear beside the duo. First Miku, who streaked across the ground as if skating on ice. Then came Hildegarde, rocketing through the sky like a madwoman. Next was Sora, who, after skidding to a halt, looked daggers at a few of the Vongola thugs, put his balled fist at his chest, bowed slightly and said, "I'll be back!" with a deep Austrian accent, like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their arrivals were followed closely by the appearance of Donovan, Trevor, and then Flandre, whose massive Colorwheel seemed to draw a majority of the Vongola's gunfire.

Alastor held out his fist to his younger counterpart, but his eyes were on his guardians. "How'd we do?" His voice was deeper than one would expect for someone of his size and stature. In tone and tenor, it rested somewhere between the suave confidence and maturity of his elder self and the impatient excitement of his younger self.

While the others spoke, the Alastor 's younger counterpart simply stared at the floor, glowering. After a moment, he seemed to resolve some internal conflict, his frown inverting into a menacing sneer. He glanced up at at others briefly before reaching down and snatching the Hour Hand box weapon out of the ground. Not wasting a second, he pivoted on his heel and began running full tilt. The machete-like weapon he held above his head bobbed and weaved in tandem with his steps, his expression vivid evidence of his willful intent to murder.

"I'm not done yet!" He bellowed, eyes filled with rage. His gaze fell upon Fredrick, the de-ringed Vongola Rain guardian who was at least a dozen meters away as he ran. After successfully injecting his Rain flame into his compatriot, Fredrick had taken a few steps back from the others in an attempt to distance himself from the fighting. He was beginning to regret that. "YOU HEAR ME?!" The Vongola hitmen opened fire on the kid, but every time he seemed to recoil from the impact of a gunshot, he disappeared and reappeared slightly further along in his running path. For his part, Fredrick's flinch was painfully noticeable. He immediately putting his hands up in the traditional pose of surrender, his countenance a confused mess of fear and panic at being singled out.

He could barely utter a delayed response. "M-m-me?!"

Several of the hitmen tried to physically block the boy's path by brandishing box weapons of some type or another, but their primitive molds were easily predictable, allowing the young Alastor to dodge around them. Others tried to grab him, but their hands and arms grasped at nothingness as he continued to invoke his box weapon's ability. When he came within range of his target, the boy leapt like a mighty Spartan, lower back concave, stomach poked out, both hands gripping the box weapon in an overhead reverse grip, blade pointing towards the ceiling.

"BASTAR—!"

The younger Alastor froze mid-jump, as if someone had hit the pause button on his reality. The pointed tip of the serrated Hour Hand blade weapon had become suspended a mere centimeters from Fredrick's face. With a yelp, the young Alastor was yanked backwards as if the back of his shirt'd been caught in a fishing line that someone was rapidly reeling in. He flew across the room like a speeding bullet before suddenly bursting into jet-black flames.

A couple of meters behind the boy, the current Alastor was holding out his fist, knuckles facing his inflamed younger counterpart. The mass of black flame that hurdled towards the Rizzo boss dispersed into nothingness as it grew nearer until it disappeared entirely. Again, Alastor breathed in deeply, eyes closed, head tilted backwards, as if he'd just been invigorated by some mystical force.

"Good," he said, sighing in content. "Good good." Alastor seemed to glow slightly after reabsorbing his two counterparts, though the effect faded a few moments later.

The Vongola forces suddenly coalesced around the Rizzo, encircling them entirely, their various weapons brought to bear.

DON'T MOVE!" The nearest hitman commanded. He was holding some sort of Rod that crackled and sparked with green Lightning flames, its business end pointed at Alastor. "GET DOWN ON THE GROUND! NOW!"

Hildegarde growled audibly, taking a step forward, candies waltzing ominously in the palm of her hand, but Alastor held out his arm, blocking her way.

"Don. Sora." He said their names as calmly as one would on a casual stroll through the park, as if they weren't about to get shot at from all directions. "Get ready." Alastor narrowed his eyes slightly, lips pursed. "We're leaving."

Perhaps the hitman was annoyed with Alastor's tone, or the way the Space guardian regarded him as one would any insignificant insect, but the hitman opened fire with his box weapon, arcs of green lightning smashing into the Rizzo group. Taking that as their cue, the other hitmen opened fire as well. Bullets and flame attacks rained down upon the Rizzo from all sides with such an overwhelming intensity that the Vongola forces lost sight of the Rizzo amidst all the flashy weapon effects.

After several dozen seconds of sustained fire, one of the Vongola shouted "HOLD YOUR FIRE!" Immediately, the others ceased their attacks. As the smoke and dust kicked up by their attacks began to clear, it became evident that they'd reduced the enemy infiltrators to ashes. Certainly no family, not even the Vongola's greatest enemies of this time, could survive a sustained attack from so many people. Feeling confident in their work, some of the Vongola hitmen even lowered their smoking weapons.

And then the smoke cleared completely, the results of their combined attack becoming eminently visible. A few hitmen gasped audibly.

The Rizzo were surrounded in a hollow, translucent sphere of whiteness, but that wasn't the surprising part. Each and everyone one of their bullets was suspended in the air outside of this sphere, faint concentric rings of force emanating from the various points of contact. There had to be hundreds of bullets just floating there, idle, as if they hadn't been speeding at several hundred meters per second just a moment or two earlier.

"A barrier?!" One of them asked rhetorically, his tone one of incredulity.

From behind the translucent sphere, Alastor wagged his finger like a parent admonishing a naughty child.

"A White Hole," he said, correcting the man. And then he smirked. "Now bow."

Suddenly, the bullets began to wag and shake, oscillating like the many tails of some impatient dog until, finally, they detonated outwards in a blinding flash of yellow and white, each newly-energized deadly projectile reversing its trajectory with twice the initial speed. The resulting BOOM! was deafening as molten metal streaked across the room like some firework finale. Those few hitmen that were quick enough to duck managed to escape a majority of the deluge, but the others were not so lucky. The projectiles literally tore them to shreds in a blood bath that was sticky, messy, and all over the place.

By the end, there was no one left standing, though there were quite a few left prone, their hands protecting their heads, screaming in shock and pain.

One such person was Fredrick, who'd dived to the ground immediately. Once the high-pitched shriek of bullets flying overhead died down, he gathered the courage to look up at where the enemy attackers were standing. He gasped in shock.

They were gone. Disappeared, with nearly half of the precious Vongola family rings. The space they previously vacated was utterly vacant.

Fredrick tentatively got to his feet, looking around. There were various Vongola hitmen laid out on the floor, clutching their sides or their faces, some of them screaming... but something was off about this scene.

There was no blood. None. Anywhere. There were no shreds of former people to be found. And, after looking everyone over, nobody seemed at all injured, either. Even the surrounding walls, which should have just taken a hell of a beating from that attack, were in the same condition they were a few minutes ago. It was as if the bullet storm had never happened.

Fredrick scratched the back of his head, thoroughly puzzled. Today just wasn't his day.

The setting changes from vongola-headquarters-in-japan to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo
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#, as written by Damioa
The morning was calm. Then again, every morning and day that lead unto the night was. Maybe a little bit too calm. For a dangerous mission into the past things were sure.... just way too calm. For everyone, especially one boy, things were too quiet. "What the? Dang, all this time I wanted to see what an actual t.v show was like and all of them suck. Seriously. I-Carly. SpongeBoB!!!!! Well that one isn't half bad. Still." The boy murmured to himself and clicked on buttons at fifty clicks per second, only to be disappointed in the fact that the channels didn't change as fast as his clicks. Heck, clicking the buttons was more fun than watching the mass amounts of boring reality shows and the dull kid rated cartoons. Sure that was fun for the first couple of days, but seriously. "Same crap, different day. Yuck. What the heck is that?" He stopped on a food station where they showed a man holding a long rod and line and smiling at the camera which was more fixated on the dead fish than him. "Hmmm. Hey I know that place....I think. Looks like it'd be fun."

Donovan threw the controller to his makeshift t.v. that was totally found and not stolen onto the couch he was lying on, which also happened to be found, and put on his shoes, ready to head out the door. "Hey Trev, tell Al I'm going to look for those Vongola's. Okay? I’m just going to see if I can find them anywhere or any clues as to finding them and won’t interact with them without one of you guys. Thanks amigo. Byeeeee~"

In a second he was out the door and headed to the harbor. It only took him a few seconds to actually get to where he had to be, but once he was there he was running from one boat to the next trying to find a person who would lend him a fishing rod. "Excuse me," he said while entering someones boat home, "you wouldn't happen to have one of those fish rods would you?"

"Get the hell out of my house you crazy hooligan!!!" A fat man with nothing to his body but a pair of boxers yelled throwing a shoe in the boys direction.

"Oh my." Don ducked down dodging the shoe and left the boat house. "Sorry sir, I didn't know this was your house." He went to a few more boats and got something close to the same reaction from the inhabitants. "Geez. How many people live inside boats in this timeline?"

He continued his search before walking past a gate that had the sign, "Iraha's Boat Homes". "Well, that explains it. So where did that one guy go to get that fish? Oh. Lookie there." Making a cap on his forehead with his hands to block out the sun, he saw a group of men sitting at the harbor bridge with the fishing rods in their hands. "Bingo." Don ran towards them at full speeds, only stopping feet behind them as not to scare them. "Excuse me. Gentlemen? Hello." He waved, flashing a big smile to the old men who looked at him with tired eyes. "Hehe. You think I could see one of your fishing rods for a second?"

"Hmmm? What was that boy? I'm sorry these old ears of mine have a hard time relaying messages," one of the old men said.

"I said.... CAN I BORROW ONE OF YOUR FISHING RODS?!!!" Donovan’s yell was loud enough for someone on the other side of the city to hear him. Though the men acted as if he was speaking normally.

"Oh. Yes,yes, of course you can. Here lad." The man closest to him handed him his fishing rod.

"Oh cool. Thanks," the boy said while swaying from side to side figuring out how the tool worked.

"Yup. Tried to get my own grandson to fish once, but you know, young people these days are so impatient. I remember when I was a youngin. My father took me fishing when I was around eleven years old."

"Oh not this story again Lee."

"Shut up Osaka. Let the man get it over with. It's about the only thing the old fart has left."

"Hey, who you calling an old fart? Anyway... Where was I? Oh yes. It was about three years ago when I caught the big one. It was the biggest fish ever found in this area. It was a stormy night and I could swear I saw lightning raining down. Yup. It was definitely a stormy one indeed. You know I'm sure this town hadn't faced anything like that before and if I was smart enough to listen to the people around this area I would have stayed home and hid under my bed, but instead I was out in the sea, looking for a nights dinner. Little did I know, there was more than fish out there. Yup. I'm sure of it. There was something else. In fact, I ran into it soon enough. The waves were picking up and lightning was crashing here and there, but I had a big tug on my fishing rod. I had to clutch it. With the might of lord Izanagi himself I pulled hard as I could and that's when I saw it for the first time. I call it, Liona."

"Why the hell would you name a fish that?"

"Osaka, leave the old fart alone already."

"Jin. You're older than me. . . Anyway. Oh yeah. So I caught it and beheaded the thing. It was a glorious day. However, the storm kept going for what seemed like miles and I was still too far away to see shore. A wave came up behind my ship. A wave so big it would devour some of the city buildings if it was close enough. You know what I saw then?"

"Oh boy. What could it have possibly been Lee?" Osaka took a swig of his bottle after his sarcastic remark.

"Well I'd like to say it was an angel, but I don't believe in things like those. However, it was something. There was definitely a person in that lightning bolt the broke the wave apart for me. In fact it looked like the boy that runs that shrine in Okawa town. Yep. Ever since then I have always went to that shrine to pray on all the holidays."

"Didn't you just say you didn't believe in that kind of stuff?"

"Osaka. The old fart can't remember if he believes in Greek mythology or the Egyptian gods that were said to bring harmony to the world."

"I said I'm not an old.... What the hell is all that anyway?"

Donovan was still trying to figure out how to get the rod to work, but he did hear the men's conversation. "Hold on. Did you say you saw a person inside of a lightning bolt?"

"Hmm? Oh yes. It had to be that male shrine maiden. Still don't know why there's a male there and not a female. Dang times sure is a changing these days."

"Riiight..." Donovan scratched his head. "So um. Where can I find this shrine?"

"Oh, you just have to go down that street all the way to the dead end and follow the tracks that zigzag to the other side of town. Should be somewhere around there. The steps are vast and wide so it's hard to miss."

"Sweet. Thanks mister," the boy said handing back the mans rod. "See ya."

"Oh boy..." The man got up out his chair. "There's a big one on the end of this I tell yah. Hey kid you wanna help me wi....." The man looked around, but the boy was already gone, headed towards a more entertaining destination.

A few minutes later and the boy was at the shrine, zipping in and out of every nook and cranny he could in order to find the Vongola's lightning guardian. "Dang. I really thought he'd want to play tag with me again. Well whatev's. I'll just search his home for stuff." That's exactly what he did. The shrine was pretty cool for being an empty and quiet place. In the main prayer hall, he found two sets of swords and played with them for a bit before stumbling onto a weird pair of clothing. "What is this?" He put the clothes on as best he could and looked at himself in one of the mirrors inside the room. "Oh cool. I look just like a samurai or something. Just like in the books. Hmmmm."

He went outside towards the main shrine area and stood in the middle acting as if he was about to start his samurai training. "For the honor of my family, I will cut down my opponents. Hiya!!!!" He began zipping around trying to cut the fallen tree leaves in half before he back flipped landing in the same position he started in. "Hehehe. I wonder what other cool stuff this guy keeps here. . . Hmm? What's this?" His eyes lead him to a small book. It looked as though it had fallen out of the pocket of his uniform. "Oooh. What is this a diary? Hmmm. Oh.....Ohhh. This is awesome. Kay. Let's go have some real fun. Hehehe." His laughter was over the top and evil as he felt that best suited his situation. After he put the uniform and swords back in their correct spots he went back to his families hideout and proceeded to pestering Trevor. "Hey Trevor... Trevor. Look what I got. It looks like an address book. Maybe you can look at these area's and see if there are any Vongola around us hmm? C'mon Trevor. Let's do this before it gets dark out.” He reached his hands over the boy and ruffled his hair. “Plus we can go in there as a duo and have some fun. That’d be cool don’t ya think?”

Little did the boy know, the adresses in the book were not exactly what he was planning on.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust
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”Hey Trevor... Trevor. Look what I got.” Trevor didn’t much deign to look away from his computer screens, choosing instead to keep typing. “It looks like an address book. Maybe you can look at these area's and see if there are any Vongola around us hmm? If Trevor noticed him, he didn’t act like it. ”C'mon Trevor. Let's do this before it gets dark out.” He reached his hands over the boy and ruffled his hair. “Plus we can go in there as a duo and have some fun. That’d be cool don’t ya think?” Having his hair mussed is what finally brought the boy out of his trance-like state. Trevor very much disliked people touching his hair, though Donovan was the rare exception.

“I think we should stay,” Trevor said, glancing up at Donovan before returning his eyes to the screen before him. “Plus I’m almost done with getting rid of these wires.” He grabbed a clump of thick black cables as if to make his point. They all led to the small inert cube that sat on the boy’s desk. “Then I can have my C-Frame back.”

Donovan looked over the boys shoulder to see what he was talking about. “Oh, I see,” he said posturing himself up to stand up straight. “Well that shouldn’t take long, should it? I really think we could get a lot of information by going to these places. Who knows, we can tap their phone lines, or infiltrate their homes in disguise, or…. or…. I don’t know. Anything’s better than sitting around doing nothing. Don’tcha think?”

Trevor was always surprised at how fast Donovan could speak, and it took him a few moments of silence to digest what the Asteroid guardian has said. “I’m hooked into the Vongola network, as well as every single other local, city, and governmental system on this island,” he said, his voice never becoming anything more than flat and level. “We’ve tapped all the phone lines.”

Knock!

Trevor did not acknowledge the sound, but Donovan reacted, turning his head. Hildegarde was standing in what amounted to the doorway. Without waiting for permission, she stepped into the room, followed by the remaining Rizzos—sans Sora—with Alastor bringing up the rear.

“Hey Hilde!!! You didn’t take me with you when you went out. How could you have fun without me?” Donovan folded his arms and pouted.

Hildegarde gave Donovan a look, shaking her head twice. He was the second person to ask her that question today.

Men.

Trevor turned away from his keyboard for the first time, acknowledging the Rizzo boss’s presence. Hildegarde leaned against the side of the doorway, arms crossed. Flandre hummed contently, appearing to be in a good mood and appeared as if she was in her own world.

Donovan looked over to Alastor and fixed his pouted face into a bright smile. “Hey Al, guess what I did today?!! Something called fishing. It’s crazy. You attach a worm to a pointy thing and then throw it in the water. After that, you talk to an old man and listen to his stories. I’m not sure the actual point of the fishing rod things though, but…”

Miku walked slowly behind with bags of souvenirs from Namimori. She wore large glasses with no lens, had a japanese starbucks t-shirt, and vinyl goods. “So anyways!” Miku begun, “I went shopping today. It was soooooo fun.” “It was a complete utter waste of time. We could’ve been looking for the Vongola,” Elizabeth said. “Lighten up Liz,” Miku replied.

Alastor let loose a bitter sigh. It was obvious that the others didn’t have any relevant news to share. He fixed his fellow Rizzo with a look all too familiar, remaining silent until it became painfully awkward.

When he decided to speak, his voice was low, tone just on the underside of neutral. “So we have a problem.”

Donovan’s face fixed right back into a pout. “What do you mean bud? Did we run out of food or something?”

Hildegarde clenched her fist, which would have gone unnoticed save for the sound of her knuckles popping. It was an ominous sound. “No you imbecile,” she said, her voice steadily rising in octaves. “We—!”

“The timetable has changed,” Alastor interrupted, his voice calm. “Thanks to that last skirmish, our two month agenda has been constrained to two weeks.”

Donovan ignored Hilde’s comment. Mostly for the fact that he didn’t know what Imbecile meant. Instead he reacted to Alastor’s words. “Two weeks?!! That’s like…..” The boy then proceeded to counting on his hands. “Um.. Carry the one….and… Hey Trevor! How much time was shortened?”

Trevor looked up at Donovan. “Fourteen days. Three hundred and thirty six hours. Twenty-thousand one hundred and sixty minutes. One million, two hundred and nine thousand, six—”

Hildegarde snorted loudly. “He said: we’re fucked for time.

“Time?!” Miku interjected, “Why yes! I had a wonderful time at karaoke! I also went out to this shopping mall called,” she continued. “Ti~ime…” Flandre interjected, “and time again, hm hmm, la la laa~♪”

Hildegarde ignored them. “We have a fourth of the leeway we thought we did, if that.”

After a while, Trevor spoke up. “So now what?”

Alastor pulled the Vongola Sky ring from his pocket, holding it up for the others to see. “Change of plans.” Alastor smirked, despite himself. “We’re going to take over the Vongola organization, with me as its Sky guardian.”

“Really!!! Bad ass. We can go in all like, ‘Hahaha. You Vongola’s will bow down to us,’ and they’ll be all like, ‘Oh no. Your sheer awesomeness is too much for us to bare.’ Hehehe. Let’s do it. Let’s do it now!!!” Donovan’s pout once again faded with a wide erie smile. One that would be see on a certain comical villain.

“What?” Flandre broke out of her musical trance, “Can we… Can you really do that? You’re not of Vongola blood, are you?” Of course, bloodline was everything to Flandre.

“I do not require use of this obsolete flame in order to claim rights as the next Vongola 11th.” Alastor slipped the Sky ring onto his ring finger as he spoke. It remained inert. “I simply have to make myself known.”

“So like after we take over the Vongola and all,” a huge grin came upon Miku’s face, “can we build a starbucks in it?” she sipped her cappuccino.

Trevor walked up to Miku, using both hands to take the cappuccino from her grasp. The maneuver seemed oddly surgical, like a drone strike. “No more for you.”

Miku sighed, “Alright… I’ll be more serious. This is how all the other girls my age act around Namimori. So, how would you plan to take over the Vongola?”

Hildegarde looked to Alastor, also curious.

Alastor’s smirk turned into a full blown grin. “We aren’t actually going to take them over. Not really.” He met Miku’s eyes. “With this compressed timetable, we can’t afford to wait on Trevor’s network attack to bear fruit. We just need the King of Flames and his guardians to reveal themselves. And they will, once I lay claim to their precious organization. How could they not?”

“And then we take their rings when they come to fight you?” Trevor asked.

“Exactly.”

The setting changes from earth to Japan

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust
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Fredrick was rendered nonplussed, finding no other recourse to Shaji’s words but to sit back down in his chair, his eyes widened by confusion. He wasn’t exactly sure what to think of all of this. Aliens? Really? Fredrick listened to his friends go back and forth and wondered if it was all some sort of show. Someone just comes out and says “hey, I’m an alien,” and that’s supposed to be believable? He gave the Mist-guardian-aka-alien a once over out of the corner of his eye, not able to muster the courage to look at her directly, lest he meet her eyes by accident. Simultaneously, he toyed with the ring she’d given him, continuing to roll it in his hand like a worry bead. The B-ranked ring. The one that was supposed to act as the stand-in for the Vongola ring he’d lost.

Just a few days ago, everything was so simple. He and Serlina would banter back and forth. Cain would be on his feet, skating about. Joel, however serious, wouldn’t have such a grave look on his face. Nami wouldn’t have been hospitalized. Keiko would be her usual alpha self. And Eri… Eri…re

Fredrick sighed. When Joel left the room, he stood. Something rumbled and wrestled in his gut, but he wasn’t sure what. He just knew that he felt even worse than he did ten minutes ago. This whole week was just getting worse and worse. Grabbing his bags, he unceremoniously made his way to and up the stairs in absolute silence. He’d been here before, and if things were going to be like last time, his room would be on the third floor. As the only other guy besides Joel, he’d probably end up rooming with Cain. Not that it mattered. Usually, Fredrick enjoyed Cain’s company, though, perhaps, not today. Not with his failures hanging over him like a storm cloud.

**


The bright bursts from dedicated camera flash units bathed the area in a pearly white, matched only by the incessant clicking of shutters as they snapped closed, capturing the sight before them for all to behold. Beyond the antics of the gaudy media press core was a stage, and on that stage stood a dapper man behind a podium. Flanking him were several individuals that looked like agents straight out of the Secret Service. Standing off and to the left were several other individuals. The first was yet another man, as dapper as his counterpart behind the podium. This man, too, was flanked by others, though they were quite distinct in their appearance. They had the presence of an organized gang, or mafia outfit, or something in between. They gave menacing stares to whichever press photographer was unlucky enough to look their way.

Behind the hastily erected stage was a massive pristine skyscraper of a building, with big golden letters on the front that read: Vongola Incorporated. It was the Vongola’s—or rather CEDEF’s—corporate business headquarters, and today, they were tasked with delivering to the world a press conference to tone down fears and ensure the company’s bottom line remained unaffected by recent events.

The man on stage held up his hands, quieting the audience of reporters and journalists, all of whom were throwing out random questions about this or that. After a moment, the flickering of camera flashes slowed to a minimum, and the blurting out of questions stopped entirely.

It was a moment before the man spoke.

“Good afternoon,” he began, grabbing the sides of the podium with his hands and leaning forward. It has a somewhat intimidating effect on those journalists and camera people in the front row, all of whom gave him their undivided attention. In the distance, TV crews could be seen roaming the area, their cameras tracking the man’s every motion, his every mannerism. There were also reporters and news anchors—the usual talking heads—chattering on about something or other, making pointed gestures at the man, but when they noticed he’d started speaking, they, too, quieted down. The man had to be perfect here, on this stage, for the Vongola and for CEDEF. Fortunately, this was his forte. It was moments like these that DiCaccio had been preparing for his entire life.

Now was the time to shine.

“And welcome, all,” he continued, offering the crowd a fortified smile. It was transient. He looked down at the podium for a few moments, eyeing the cue cards he’d so meticulously organized across its surface. Giving them a once over, he found his talking points and, without skipping a beat, began. “Now, as we all know, this isn’t the first time that I’ve come to this stage and held a press conference with a massive elephant in the room.” He paused for a very slight moment, formulating his next words. “Of course, I’m referring the concerted suite of physical and data-network attacks against this company, and the rumors that our internal systems have been breached. I’m also referring to the accidental collapse of one of our research facilities, of which is in no way tied to the network attacks whatsoever.”

DiCaccio brought one arm down by his side, leaving the other on the podium, taking a slightly more relaxed posture. It was having the intended effect on the audience, who swayed and bobbed with his every gesture. If he knew one thing, it was how to subtly work a crowd, even if they were reporters from the Ivy League.

“Now, earlier today, I received an update from my team on these two separate issues.” He was sure to stress separate by raising his voice as he spoke the word, but not by so much that it seemed untoward or drew the attention of skeptics. “With respect to the network attacks, we continue to see important progress across different parts of our strategy in identifying and tracking these lawless perpetrators, and containing the threat they posed.” He emphasized the past-tense of the word posed. “First, we have our personnel and our facilities in the United States conducting a full network audit. Over the last seven days, thanks to the data yielded from this audit, we have managed to stymie the malicious activity of our attackers and restore functionality to the vast majority of our affected systems. Meanwhile, we have urgently provided additional funding to our subsidiaries and partners to reimburse them for any potential loss-of-revenue this downtime may have incurred, including our Swiss and Brazilian branches.”

DiCaccio glanced down at his cue cards again before making eye contact with the audience once more, never losing his tempo. “Today, I can gladly say that we have successfully brought an end to this attack on our network.” He paused. “And though it was attempted, our data centers have not and never were breached in any form or capacity by any foreign party whatsoever.” He ended his words on a beat, his voice low. The man projected gravitas. He projected truth. He knew all the answers, held all the cards. The audience was eating from the palm of his hand. “Furthermore, we have traced this attack back to a so-called ‘hacker cell’ in China, and the authorities are pursuing its members as we speak.”

DiCaccio took a brief moment to reassess the crowd. He grinned ever so slightly. They were still his.

“I’d also like to take this moment to address the accident that occurred at one of our research facilities several days ago. Earlier this afternoon, I spoke personally with the Prime Minister and his cabinet about the incident. At 6:42PM, the facility experienced catastrophic integrity failure, after which it imploded and collapsed. Luckily, there were no casualties and few injuries, all of which were treated on scene. Vongola Incorporated, in joint with the Prime Minister and the government, has opened an investigation of indefinite length into the incident. We are devoting substantial resources and are determined to find the root cause of the collapse, and to ensure that none of our other facilities are vulnerable to the same structural deficiencies. The Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism himself will be travelling to the remains of the facility in person to meet with those conducting the investigation and will receive an update from them on their progress. He will also be meeting with other members of the local community that were affected by the collapse.”

DiCaccio lifted his chin faintly. It gave him an air of being “above it all,” but without arrogance. It was just the effect he wanted. “Again, I can assure you all that, without a doubt, the two incidents are not related in any discernible way. The moment we have more information, we will make it available to the public.” DiCaccio glanced over his shoulder at the man that stood off to the side of the stage, who was surrounded by his own posse. “I will now hand it off to my good friend Samuel Kapachio, who will take some of your questions.”

The man identified as Samuel Kapachio came up to the podium with a purpose, he and his posse exchanging places with DiCaccio and his. DiCaccio gave Kapachio a slight nod as they crossed eyes, but Kapachio ignored him completely. After their last conversation, the response was not unexpected, and DiCaccio took it in stride. He recognized that Kapachio was always better at ad-libbing, while he himself was a consummate master at swaying the crowd.

Kapachio knocked the first few questions out of the park with quick, sharp rhetoric that left little room for follow up. Eventually, the press began to back off, realizing that Kapachio was not one to be easily trifled with. DiCaccio nodded in respect. All seemed to be going according to plan.

Little did either of the men know, someone had appeared at the very back of the crowd of hungry press core members. The person began moving forward, making his way through the Fourth Estate with ease. After gently pushing aside the first few camera men and news anchors, other people began to move out of his way automatically. After a certain point, the crowd slowly but surely began to part like the red sea, with this one person walking down its middle, hands in his pockets, head held low, black hair hiding his eyes and casting a shadow over a majority of his face. The person was taking his sweet time, walking at a very casual pace but with an air of purpose.

On a nearby roof stood a CEDEF agent in tactical gear, looking over the crowd. In his hands was a high-caliber gun of some kind, itself giving off a greenish glow. More than likely, it was a box weapon. The agent tensed visibly, having noticed the commotion at the back of the crowd. Immediately, he locked on to the source of the disturbance—the suspicious person making his way towards the Vongola higher-ups on stage. The agent brought his weapon to bear, aiming squarely at the figure’s exposed head and torso. One pull of the trigger would be all it took to end this potential threat, yet if the person swaggering forward noticed he was within the agent’s sights, he didn’t seem phased in the slightest. The agent tapped a device on his chest, which responded with a beep.

“A1, this is A3. We have a susp—”

A shadow overcame the agent, taking him before he could even react. A dark-skinned hand shot out, wrapping around his mouth, muffling his voice. At the same time, his box weapon was snatched from his hands. The agent was dragged backwards and silenced.

On an adjacent roof was another CEDEF agent, who was peering through a pair of binoculars. When he noticed the person walking towards the stage, parting the crowd, he immediately radioed his compatriots.

“A3, this is A2. Tell me you have visual on this.”

No response.

“A3, copy?”

The agent turned, aiming his binoculars towards the adjacent rooftop and saw his fellow agent, incapacitated.

“Shi—“

The binoculars the agent was holding were sliced in half whilst within his grasp. In the next moment, this agent was also silenced.

Back down on the ground, the person strolled forward, utterly unperturbed. Unlike the reporters that parted in his wake, the two CEDEF agents within the crowd were not so easily intimidated. The agent on the left noticed the person’s advance first and held out his hand, palm forward, yelling “halt!”

Immediately, DiCaccio, Kapachio, and their respective entourages all turned their heads, interrupting the conference.

Perhaps the person did not hear the agent’s order, because he didn’t even miss a beat. He kept moving forward purposefully, as if the agent wasn’t standing in his way a few meters ahead.

Suddenly, the agent disappeared, as if whisked away to Kingdom Come. The second agent soon stepped out of the crowd and into the person’s path, looking around as if confused before drawing his weapon. He opened his mouth to speak, but the only sound that came out was PUGH! It was the sound one made when punched in the stomach, or something to that effect. In the same instant, he, too, disappeared. It was as if the hand of god had simply plucked the agent out of existence.

The person continued his advance with the same exact pace and posture, only now he had the attention of everyone in the audience and those on stage. Whoever stood in his path quickly got out of the way, making a straight line from him to the podium behind which the Vongola higher-ups stood, bewildered expressions fresh upon their faces.

When he approached what remained of the front row, the CEDEF agents surrounding DaCaccio leapt into action, hopping off the stage and creating a defensive line. In response, the person halted his advance, leaving several meters of distance between himself and the agents. The press core took the hint without hesitation, giving the scene a wide berth, clearing the area.

They were snapping up a storm of photos, however, and the camera crews and news organizations in the back were now all focused on this mysterious person.

DiCaccio came to stand beside Kapachio. “It’s him,” Kapachio hissed. “It’s those Rizzo that perpetuated the attack on our facility earlier.” He turned to face DiCaccio. “And I assume your guardians are still in hiding, licking their wounds? Class act, for the so-called Eleventh boss.”

“Now is not the time, Samuel,” DiCaccio muttered in response.

“I told you you had a storm brewing, DiCaccio, but you didn’t listen to me. No, you heeded the command of some punk and his ill-prepared gang. Now look at us.” Kapachio put a finger to DiCaccio’s chest. “This is your mess now. Clean it up.”

“I intend to.” And with that, DiCaccio hopped off the stage, his agents making room for his advance. The second-in-command of the Vongola came to stand before his agents, who formed around their leader like a powerful river. He stared at the person before him. Even though his head was bowed, DiCaccio recognized him immediately. “You. You’re one of those Rizzo’s, no?” DiCaccio glanced at the audience of spectators, reminding himself to choose his words carefully. “Somehow I knew you’d find your way here.” The inflection in his voice signaled that he wanted the person to respond, perhaps with banter, perhaps with a demand, however, the person remained silent, his head still bowed.

After a moment of awkward silence, DiCaccio continued. “Heh,” he said, his hands behind his back. He walked laterally, towards the left end of the line of bodies his agents had formed. He didn’t want to get in the way of their line of fire, after all. “No matter how good you think you are, it was very brave of you to come here alone, into the seat of the Vongola’s power.” He made a sweeping gesture, indicating his agents.

In the distance, more agents began to pour out of the Vongola headquarters building, and others from nearby enclosures. Even more agents were beginning to push their way through the crowd. All of them headed for the person. The Rizzo.

“But also very foolish,” DiCaccio said, narrowing is eyes in preparation for his riposte to the Rizzo’s arrogance. “Boy.” His voice was dripping with so much contempt that it was nearly palpable. The CEDEF agents that were pushing their way through the gaggle of media elites finally burst out from the group, surrounding the Rizzo member.

The Rizzo member only grinned, finally lifting his head and catching DiCaccio’s eye. And then he held up his hand, palm facing his own face.

And then DiCaccio’s expression melted, shifting from one of smug superiority to utter horror. On the stage, Kapachio and his posse mimicked DiCaccio’s expression.

On the Rizzo member’s finger was none other than the Vongola Sky ring. THE Vongola Sky ring. “Hi. My name is Alastor. Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo. And I’m your new boss.”

DiCaccio didn’t hesitate for long. “Arrest him!” He bellowed, making a lateral slicing motion with his palm, signaling his agents to action.

The CEDEF agents converged on the Alastor like the plague, but if Alastor was perturbed, again, he didn’t act like it. He didn’t even flinch, he just waited.

When the first few agents came within arm’s reach, they were immediately blown backwards, their legs and arms splayed as they flew through the air to collide painfully with other agents several meters away. Appearing beside Alastor was someone entirely new. The kid had a broad smile on his face, even winking at one of the agents playfully. His short orange hair was matched by his soft-featured face. It was as if he’d always been there, or he’d just moved too fast to be seen. When three other agents neared the duo, explosions rang out all around them, causing the agents to falter. Like a meteor smashing into the Earth, yet another person appeared, this time a woman. She landed like a monster, the asphalt splintering beneath her feet as she slid a half meter to a complete stop. The woman was heavily toned, yet somehow remained slender and wholesomely thin. Her skin, a deep rich brown, seemed almost radiant. She raised her finger, wagging it as if to a naughty child.

“No no no,” she chided, her voice artificially deep.

After another few moments, the trio was joined by two others.

There was an uneasy silence as DiCaccio stared, dumbfounded.

“As I was saying,” Alastor said, stepping forward, holding up the Sky Ring for all to see. “I have the Vongola Sky ring. That means I may lay claim to your empire, correct?” When DiCaccio didn’t respond, Alastor smirked. “Hmm. Well, consider me your boss, then. And them,” Alastor said, holding out his hand and referring to the Rizzo behind him. “They are my guardians.”

Several of the closest CEDEF agents started muttering amongst themselves. Alastor truly had the Vongola Sky ring on his finger—there was no mistaking that. The agents looked to DiCaccio for direction, attempting to hide their confusion behind their querulous façade, not turning their back to the perceived Rizzo threat.

Where DiCaccio was silent, Kapachio was not. “I’m afraid that’s not exactly how it works,” he said, eyeing Alastor. “Rizzo.”

In the next instant, the posse that surrounded Kapachio dropped down off the stage, moving to stand between DiCaccio and his agents and the Rizzo. They numbered seven in total, each dressed in tight fitting, outlandish leather outfits. What Alastor could only guess was their leader stepped forward, a man perhaps slightly older than Alastor himself. He casually gripped a black sheathed longsword in his right hand. A small equally-black retractable chain connected the weapon’s hilt to its sheath, dangling ominously. It was an interesting device for Alastor to behold. Such weapons were certainly outdated in his time.

“I am Yemyais,” the leader proclaimed, “son of Xanxus, disciple of Sword Emperor Yamamoto, and leader of the Varia, and I challenge you for ownership of the Sky Ring and the title of Eleventh Boss of the Vongola Famiglia.”

For the first time, Alastor looked taken aback. Surprised even.

Kapachio picked up on this. “I have the Cervello on call,” he snorted, a snide smirk spreading across his face. “They will arrive momentarily. You will then lose and hand over the ring to us. Got it?”

Alastor didn’t respond. Hildegard’s eyes darted to the left for a fraction of an instant, trying to gauge Alastor’s demeanor and prepare for his next move.

Suddenly, Alastor stepped forward. The Rizzo followed him, staying in their triangular formation. Yemyais and the Varia mirrored them, stepping forward as well. They met in the middle of the space, Alastor standing a yard or so away from Yemyais.

They stared each other down in silence, but it was Alastor that spoke first. He held up his hand again, putting the Vongola Sky ring on display. His said but a single word, a single command: “Bow.”

It was Yemyais’s turn to be taken aback. “Uh… say what?”

Alastor lifted his chin, straightening his collar with his non-ringed hand. “I said,” he began, making a swift downward motion with his ringed hand, pointing towards the ground with his index finger. “Bow.

A sound like an inbound missile inundated the area and the people within it. Few looked up, and so few were prepared for what came next.

BOOM!

It was as if the very Earth itself was shaken to its core. Excluding the Rizzo, everyone in the general area fell to their feet, the miniature earthquake causing them all to lose their balance. Kapachio managed to use the podium to keep his footing, but soon disappeared into a haze of dust and debris that cloaked the immediately vicinity around the stage. The Varia, however, were not so lucky. They ended up on their knees.

Alastor looked down at Yemyais, who was on his hands and knees before him. The Rizzo boss has quite possibly the most condescending look ever conceived plastered across his face. His next word came across like a dagger to the eye.

“Better.”

The media reporters and press core journalists, once they regained their footing, began to vacate the premises with reckless abandon, some even screaming. They left their cameras, their gear, their jackets and wallets. Anything that wasn’t already on their person, they ditched in panic.

Yemyais looked up to see Alastor staring down at him, his face contorting into a sneer. “You’ll pay for that.” The leader of the Varia shot up to a crouched stance, one knee nearly touching the ground, his left hand on the handle of his sword, his right hand holding it steady at his waistline. His weapon was glowing with a dark shade of orange. “Feel my wrath,” he muttered. Alastor raised an eyebrow, a comical expression on his face. The Varia leader was holding the sheath of his sword in an odd way, as if he were grasping… a gun?

“Ligre Zero.”

Yemyais depressed a hidden trigger on his hilt, and the blade fired from it in a flash, the sound of a gunshot ringing out. Using the momentum to his advantage, Yemyias guided the attack vertically, up the Rizzo boss’s abdomen and across his face.

The attack was fast, indeed, but it was not fast enough. At the last second, Alastor leaned backwards, dodging the attack entirely, though not with ease. The look on his face said he wasn't expecting something like this, and he wasn't. That was a surprise attack, and it was highly effective.

And it wasn’t over.

“Ligre One.”

Before the blade had even finished moving upward, Yemyais twisted his wrist, reversing the blade. Another gunshot echoed, this time from the sword instead of the sheath. The weapon darted back downward, at an angle, as if propelled by some powerful downward force.

Alastor hopped backwards slightly, just out of range of the attack. However, he did not dodge it completely. Part of his suit and undershirt were ripped, and exposed the skin hidden beneath it. Alastor frowned. “Tch.”

Yemyais took the tempo, surging forward in the fraction of a second it took Alastor to regain his balance.

“Tempesta Six.”

He twisted the blade once again, and the sound of yet another gunshot emanated from it, causing it to thrust forward with unnatural force. With this final move, he would run Alastor through, ending him entirely.

However, before the blade reached its intended target, it was stopped cold. A hand gripped the raw blade itself, the act seeming to halt the weapon’s momentum entirely. The orange-haired Rizzo had stepped in and terminated the assault easily.

Yemyais had a look of incredulity on his face, the result of having one of his best attacks stopped dead by someone’s bare hand.

Alastor, on the other hand, was looking down at his suit and shirt, which had a neat slice through them. He touched the tear with his hand, bringing his hand back to his face to look at it. There was no damage to his skin, but the outfit was ruined. Alastor looked towards Yemyais, his expression enigmatic.

“For the fang of one of you primitives to reach me… even without me using my flames. Nicely done.” Alastor looked towards the Rizzo who’d stopped Yemyais’s attack. “Donovan, if you would.”

Donovan released Yemyais’s blade, stepping back towards Alastor.

“If someone like you wants the privilege of fighting me for my Sky ring,” Alastor began, returning his gaze to the Varia leader. “You’ll have to beat my guardians first.” Donovan placed his hand on Alastor’s shoulder, and the two disappeared. The other Rizzo retreated backwards as well, making a flashy show of vacating the immediate area.

Yemyais’s expression was half perplexed, half enraged. Defeat your guardians first? He sighed, sheathing his sword. “How can I do that if you all just ran away…?” He turned, facing the other Varia, all of whom had come to their feet. He realized that the exchange he had with the enemy boss had lasted maybe thirty seconds, tops, yet it felt like an entire hour had passed. Something about that guy… to dodge some of his fastest attacks outright. It was pretty… weird.

Yemyais’s hand was shaking slightly, but after a deep breath, he managed to calm himself. “You guys okay?”

As the haze of dust and debris began to clear, coughing could be heard. It had to be Kapachio. “Kapachio, sir,” Yemyais shouted, looking into the haze, “are you okay?”

There was a moment of silence before Kapachio responded.

“RUN!”

Yemyais scrunched up his face, noticeably thrown. “Huh?!”

From within the haze came a piercing neon red arc of light, appearing without warning, like a demon after having been summoned. Kapachio, along with DiCaccio and several CEDEF agents, came running out of what remained of the haze, moving most expeditiously. Yemyais and his fellow Varia watched them go, turning back to look at the light in the haze. Yemyais gripped the handle of his blade with his left hand, a feeling of dread overwhelming his senses. Something was waiting for them within that haze. Something bad. He could tell his fellow Varia shared his sentiments, for they too prepared for battle.

And then, as the haze cleared, there materialized a… a… thing. It rested upon the wreckage of the former stage, hunched forward, one knee upon the ground, as if genuflecting to some unknown god. It was an all-black, bulky thing, like a medieval suit of armor come to life. Slowly, the armor began to stand. Darkish-gray flames emanated from it in waves. Like some sort of magnetic repulsion, they pushed against the senses of the Varia members. Those closer to the creature could feel a sort of dampening effect in respect their flames, as if they were slowly being negated out of existence.

Where its eyes should have been, there was only a horizontal neon red arc. With a creek, it came to its full height—a bit more than seven feet. It angled its head, looking upwards towards the sky in a silent howl of triumph, the flames surrounding it becoming thicker and more overwhelming, and their influence reaching further.

And then its gaze fell upon the nearest of the Varia.

As he stared down this impossible goliath, Alastor’s words came back to Yemyais with a vengeance. You’ll have to beat my guardians first. Could this possibly be what he was talking about? Was this the thing that caused that quake? Was this one of the Rizzo guardians?

“Crap.”