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Joel Lambe

"Should you ever need me, I'll be by you faster than lightning can strike."

0 · 718 views · located in Joel's Vacation Home

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

Description

Vongola Guardian of the Lightning

Josei Lambe



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❝Like lightning, I only need one shot.❞

Sellouts | Breathe Carolina







❋ Full name ❋
Joel Lambe
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❋ Nickname ❋
Joey, Sleepy, Candy thief(given to him by his father)

❋ Alias ❋
Ohm-For one of the measurements of electricity. Izanagi- for the lightning god.

❋ Age ❋
18

❋ Gender ❋
Male

❋ Sexuality ❋
Heterosexual

❋Box weapon ❋
Joel's box weapon is special. Instead of one, he has seven blades that were all made for him. For the animal, he has a lightning chimera that he named Kirin, after a beast worshiped in japanese culture. Image

❋Flame type ❋
The lightning flame- A green type of flame that turns into greenish blue lightning paths. At full power it engulfs his body in green flame.

❋ Abilities ❋
Swordplay- Joel has almost a dozen swords that he uses in battle. Each has their own use.
Strength and speed.- Learning from his predecessors and creating his own style, Joel has made himself a cannon of speed, mimicking lightning, and power, mimicking thunder.





❋ Face Claim ❋
Nocits from Final Fantasy 15 and Sasuke from Naruto





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❋ Height & Weight ❋
5 ft. 9 in.& 145 pounds

❋ Hair color/Length/Quality ❋
Black/Neck length/ Untamed

❋ Eye color ❋
Originally blue, but turns red and yellow whenever he uses his abilities.

❋ Distinguishable Facial Features ❋
Other than having a serious look on his face most of the time, none.

❋ Birthmarks/Scars/Tattoos/Piercings ❋
Has a small smudge on his hip/A couple scrapes on his back and arms/Has a cross on his back going from the nape of his kneck to the arche of his back/none

❋ Physical Description ❋
Like most of the members of his family's group, he keeps himself athletic so that his speed and power don't clash or falter. He doesn't worry about how people view him so he keeps his hair untamed, mostly long enough in the front to keep away from eye contact with people. His eyes change colors depending on the power he is using, red for the most part. Though when he uses the highest mater of his flame, his eyes glow a green shade. Most of the clothes he wears are just plainly black, mostly for the reason that it's a plain color and also his favorite. If you ever see him in a suit it would be an all black on as well. The only time he wears other colors is when he wears his families shrine clothing.



[Likes] [Dislikes]
o Sleep Loud and obnoxious people x
o Calm environments Bugs x
o Hanging around his family Boredom x




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❋ Techniques ❋
Electro Magnetism- Allows him to control metal entities as if he himself were an attracting and repelling force Usually used with his swords.Image

Distortion-The ability to force his swords into existence casting them around his opponent. It also creates a ring light design his body showing his energy.Image

Flash stepping- Looks almost like teleporting, but in reality he is actually moving the speed of lightning. He can only travel short distances at a time, but if he throws one of his weapons, he is able to port in their direction.Image

The Guard- This is the true power of his flame. Makes the green fires apparent around his body and slowly makes a living entity appear around his person.Image




❋ Personality ❋
Even though he keeps a serious face, he's really not as strict and straight forward as a lot of people seem to think. He's mostly quiet and not really caring much of how people act. No he doesn't judge people based on how they act, but he tries to get to know them for who they are. Though since he rarely talks to stranger, mostly because he has a shy tendency about himself, he rarely gets opportunities to meet new people or get a girlfriend. Since he's an adult, he feels he has to focus more on caring for the younger individuals of his family. He's pretty hard on himself when he fails and try's to encourage others when they fail. Most of the time it's like he's his own worst enemy. One thing that is certain about him is that whenever he fights he seems to truly enjoy it, though he likes it, he also loves just relaxing and having fun. However, his version of fun might be boring for most, seeing as he's more laid back than the average person his age. Joel rarely holds any baggage either. If you get him mad, he may be angry for a while but, to this day, he has never held any grudge against anyone for too long. He's loyal to those whom he feels trust him and to those who he trust back.

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❋ Romantic Interest ❋
TBA

❋ Family ❋
Lambo- Adoptive father

❋ History ❋
When Joel was born his parents got into a car crash on the way home from the hospital, killing both of them and leaving him to be the sole survivor. Thus, he was placed in an orphanage from the time he was 1 until he was 4. That is when he was adopted by Lambo, who said he would raise him to become his replacement as Guardian of Thunder in the Vongola Family. From the time he was 4 to the time he was 14, Lambo tried to teach him everything he knew. Though Joel wasn't as lazy as Lambo was when it came to his training, he did enjoy just relaxing and spending time with the man in their shrine. He loved him like a father and decided to call him such from then on. A little after he was sixteen, Lambo had moved on to the other side, leaving Joel to train and maintain the shrine by himself. Though, that was when Joel invented a new style of fighting just for him and changed the flames name from Thunder to Lightning. He had always decided to stay calm about his situations, because his father taught him how, but when the new Vongola leader was chosen Joel vowed to stay by his side until the end. Thus Joel makes it his first priority to guide and protect the 11th until they are fully ready for the position.


So begins...

Joel Lambe'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?"

The setting changes from earth to Vongola Headquarters in Japan

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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#, as written by Damioa
Tsssss. Tsssss. Tssss.
The sound rang throughout the room. Hissing like a snake and cracking like glass that was slowly being shattered. A precision unlike any other was taken place. More hissing. More concentration. All for naught. At least, that's what the young man thought. He did this every morning. Meditation and focus, nothing on his mind. Nothing, but the feel of his own aura. The man was calm, but his aura was wild and fierce. A perfect match for him if he could think of one.
The hissing continued until he was able to make it as quiet as possible. It had always started loud. Mostly because it was easy for anything to be loud. However, for something that was loud in nature to be suddenly silenced. That, took true skill. He had almost made it. Made it so that the silence would rule over the noise, but every time he came close, he felt his aura fight against him. It always fought dirty, targeting the one place no man was safe. His heart. Figuratively and not, he was one day going to have to let go of his burdens to become stronger. The only question was, how?

"Hey Jooooooooooooeeeeeeeeelllll"

" Ah.."

The man jumped, snapping out of his meditation, surprised by the boys call. He looked at him for a moment before turning slightly away and displaying his aggravation. "ReallY?" That was hia only question. Not towards the boy in general, but to himself. Was he that far gone into his own world that he hadn't noticed his own god brother approaching.

"What?" The boy looked puzzled. "I didn't scare you did I? Usually you know when I'm sneaking up on you. Hehe." A look of achievement with a hint of cockiness displayed on the lads face.

"Shut it kid." Joel said with little care as he stood up. Passing by the teenaged boy with his eyes closed, he patted his blonde head of hair. "Don't you need to get ready? Or are you wearing that?" His eyes opened just to focus on the kids attire. Black sweats, a black hoody and a grey skull cap. "Ehh."

"Huh?" The younger lad looked himself over. "I don't know what's so wrong about this look. I rather have people see me for who I am. Not what they want me to be."

"What you are, is the head of the Vongola Familia. Or did you forget?"


"Nah. I remember, but, look at it this way. Do I look cool with my back straight and my stature in an uncomfortable strict look, or, do I look awesome the way I am now? I think you know the answer. If you want, I'll take off the skull cap." The boy removed his head warmer and reviled his hair that was the exact definition of what one would call hat hair.

"You know what Cain? Just be yourself. You're not good at faking the proverbial funk anyway." Joel grinned. "Let's go. I'm sure we at least don't want to be late."


The two left after Joel changed from his ceremonial attire to his business attire. Cain might have been able to get away with wearing whatever he wanted, but, being an adult, Joel didn't have that luxury. He had to prove to the older mafioso that he was able to instruct and guide the younger members. He didn't mind wearing his black casual suit very much. He was actually quite comfortable in it after unbuttoning the top buttons and untucking his shirt. The shoes were a little awkward in feeling, but he knew after walking for awhile he'd feel better.

As the two entered the hall, Joel looked around. "Okay. Now Cain, don't go running off and causing trouble. This is your party and you're expected to represent us and give a speech. Matter fact, have you even prepared one?.....Cain?" He turned around to where the boy use to be. He could have sworn he had followed him in there. "Damn," he sighed. After looking around for Cain with no avail, Joel decided it was best just to let him do what he wanted. After all, he was still a kid and you only get one chance to be a kid. The man walked around, admiring the weapons of old, including his fathers old shield weapon. It was kind of ironic to say the least. He never imagined that they would choose him to be the one to change the way his guardian type fought. Though, it came at a heavy price. No. That's not the way he saw it anymore. It came at a small one actually. His childhood wouldn't have amounted to anything anyway without the Familia.

As he turned, he felt a bump to his thigh. It was hard enough to get his guard up. He was at the ready to kill whoever it was that had nudged him. His eyes quickly went from blue to a crimson red, as he looked in front of him and saw nothing. Maybe it was an assassin. Or... A kid?

He noticed a small boy who seemed to be looking at him attentively and eased his horrifying gaze. His eyes went back to being blue and he gave one of those smiles adults give children to know that it's safe around the area. It was comforting, to him at least. Though when the boy started saying all this information that was directed to him, he couldn't help but feel the kid was a weird one. He didn't recognize him either.

"How do you know so much about me," he asked. It was indeed weird. It was odd for people to know Joel's full first name. It was even more odd that a kid knew it. though he didn't look that much of a threat. More like he was a mirror image of himself, before he matured. Though that's another story for another time.

Another boy came buy, latching onto the other kid. Joel didn't pay much attention to what he was saying. He was more attentive on how he carried himself. It wasn't happy go lucky. Not to say the least. More like, he just didn't care at all about his surroundings. It seemed like he wasn't a kid at all for a few instances in between his speech. Though, he was thrown for a loop when he was asked for his autograph.

"Really. I'm no one so special as to have his autograph taken. Though, if you insist, I guess I'll give one to you," he said as he called over one of the waiters for a piece of paper. He wrote down something to the first boy, 'Whenever you need, lightning will strike for you.' It was more of a figurative letter, and the boy probably wouldn't know what it meant, but he made sure only the first boy got it. For the second boy he wrote, "For my biggest fan," with a smiley face.

"There you guys go. There's a little note for the both of you in your letters. Enjoy the party boys." With that, he turned away and walked off, waving his hand in a wave. He really needed to find Cain. Wherever he was.





Meanwhile, but, nice while for Cain, he had found a few girls to talk with. Though they all seemed boring. Not the type of boring one could classify, but the type that you can categorize. Don't worry. He didn't even know what was meant by that thought. He just settled for not liking the rich type of girl, or the boring type of girl who is only either interested in money, herself, or whatever's he's interested in. Truth be told, he never even knew who his perfect girl was, which was probably the reason he flirted with so many.

After he was done with a few high class business man daughter type, he looked for his next source of "interesting" conversation. That's when he saw her. A girl that he was sure was his age, but she had a sort of innocence about her. One that the other girls seemed to have thrown away to look more lady like. Not to mention that, but instead of wearing a dress or business attire as the other girls wore, she was more casual, just like him. Sort of. Looking at her, he thought of the best ice breaker for his introduction.

"I didn't know that we had people coming in from a school trip." It wasn't flirtatious or anything, but at least, he might have been able to know where she went to school. That would lead into a conversation about where she lived and so on. He was the conversation master of sorts. He could get someone talking about their whole life in five seconds of meeting them. The trick was, to ask questions in the form of direct sentences as to not sound like he was nosy. Though he was. He wanted to know as much about everyone he met as he knew about himself. It was fun getting to know people. "Though I must say, that uniform does look good on you, but I've never seen any of the girls in the schools around my area wear that type. Oh, where are my manners, I'm Cain, nice to meet you." He stuck out his hand to shake hers. "May I trouble you for your name?"

There it was, the final attack, once past the name basis, it was all clear from there. Though through the words of description upon his plan, he never really put that much thought into any type of plan. He just says what he knows people will respond to so that he can have a nice friendly conversation. Whether he was flirting or not, never crossed his mind, but he seemed to always end up doing it. "Oh well." was the thought that crossed his mind when called out on it. He was just being himself. The only person he ever wanted to be.

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.

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: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera

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A limousine pulled up in front of the Vongola Headquarters. Patiently waiting, a swarm of paparazzi flooded towards the limousine. The doors flung open a few of Vongola's bodyguards came out first forming a circle of protection against the paparazzi to let the celebrity out. Nami Gokudera, the Vongola Guardian of Storm, known as Tempest from the band Blast of Tempest began walking out. She had her pop star idol outfit on and pink sunglasses and finally had arrived to the Vongola Headquarters. She and the bodyguards had begun making their way towards the door through the paparazzi.

Ms. Tempest would you like to comment on your new album?! Ignored. Tempest, please give us the insider to your new song! I will just keep walking. Can I get your number gurrrrl? Annoying.

This is the usual routine for fans because they always flocked together and are overbearing. She was advised by her manager to allow get through crowds quickly as possible because once you give one attention, then you'll have to do it for the others. Nami continued her walk down the path to the door in an attempt to get into the headquarters where only certain people are allowed.

A little boy snuck through the crowd and said, "Tempest, Tempest can I have an autograph?"

"Hold it," she said to the bodyguards. She took off her shades, knelled down to the height of the kid.

She pulled out a pen, "What's your name?" He replied Timmy and gave her a poster of herself. She wrote 'Much love to you, Timmy From: Tempest.' Gave him a kiss on the cheek and let him run off towards his parents.

"Let me get an autograph too Tempest!" yelled a few more people from the crowd.

"Let's go," she said to the bodyguards.

Nami gave a sigh of relief after finally entering the Vongola Headquarters. They saw the Vongola Ring of the Storm attached to a bracelet around her right upper arm and let her through.

"There's a lot more people here than I thought," she commented as she looked around.

Upon looking around, one lady caught her eye with her unique Maroon dress. Upon scanning her, she saw her large eyes and pupils contracting staring. The woman made eye contact with Nami and what was in her eyes was a deep intensity that she couldn't describe. Nami quickly broke eye contact, then looked in the direction the woman was staring in. It was center stage with Shaji Ai and the other Vongola Guardians on stage.

"Eh, looks like I'm a tad bit late," she thought to herself.

She quickly darted on the stage to stand with the other Vongola Guardians with a facial expression saying, "hehe, my bad."

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: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera

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Murasaki Eri


Nami's entrance was marked with exclamations, cheering, calls for autographs. Instant recognition. Which wasn't surprising, considering the Storm Guardian's background.

"I'm surprised no one recognized you, Ms. Cosplayer." Keiko teased her, nudging with an elbow while observing a boy managing to grab one of the CDs and Nami was signing it for him.

"That work and this work are different things. Best you don't confused them, Keiko." Eri replied before smiling briefly, a slight twinkle in her serious blue eyes, "Besides, we're surrounded by adults who probably don't appreciate the wonders of cosplay."

Suddenly, the Boss hopped off the stage and walked towards Nami, who was handing over the last copy of her CD to a girl in a wheelchair.

"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....."

Eri's eyes widened with surprise as well as bordering on 'we-are-screwed-if-he-says-what-he's-about-to-say' when a green static charge breezed through in front of her. A feeling she knew, because she had it too. Lightning flames.

The Lightning Guardian, Joel had flashed over to Cain, 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?"

The two argued, causing Eri to observe the crowd who had begun to look curious, anxious, restless and confused. She frowned, starting forward, hopefully to break the argument up. Too late.

SMACK!!!!

The area grew silent. No one had expected to see what they had just saw.

Eri's hands instantly shot up to cover up on of her cheeks, as if she was the one slapped, not Cain. Eyes wide with shock, the hands slowly moved to cover her gaping mouth. There was a red mark currently on Cains face. The only conclusion Eri could come to was that Joel had smacked Cain across his face.

But... from what she had seen the entire time, those two were inseparable, almost like brothers!

"Hmph. We'll talk about this later," Joel told the still shocked Cain. "We'll also have a talk," he then said to Namine before walking away.

Cain, it seemed, had different plans. As soon as Joel began to turn away, he ran 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.

"Hoo~ Dem cubs be fightin'." Eri heard Keiko talking behind her, a whistle following. Eri turned back to glare at Keiko before looking back at the fight.

"Cain, ST-" she was almost about to yell from the stage, composure forgotten when Joel responded to Cain's aggression.

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

Stopping, it seemed Cain understood the situation they were in but decided to leave the room entirely.

"Continue the party," Joel called out.

While Namine was speaking, Eri walked down the stage, hoping to catch Cain before the presentation was over.

Stopping in front of Joel, she placed her left hand on her right shoulder and dipped her head slightly. "I respect what you did but... isn't your role to guide him? Instead of deliberately forcing his role upon him? I know it's none of my business, but I'm part of the Famiglia now and the Boss isn't like you or me. I don't think he can easily conform to the changes made to his life. I'm pretty sure the Decimo wasn't like how he was initially as well. Think about it. I'll go get the Boss"

With that, she exited the same door Cain had gone through.

"Cain? Cain?" she called out, looking around. "Ai's doing her presentation."

She slowed down to a stop, looking slightly disheartened. "Hey Cain. I don't know you or Joel that well. But I overheard the conversation."

"Joel's right, we all need to grow up. Maybe he did it easily, while you're finding it difficult. I think I know what that feels like. We're about the same age."

She paused for a bit.

"I have an interest you know. An interest that some adults like Joel might find childish and not important, that it would tarnish the reputation that we should have as the new Guardians of the Vongola. But hey, there's a time and place for everything. I still enjoy doing my interest, but I don't shy away from my responsibilities. I have my portion of fun when I'm off-duty, but when duty calls, I'll have to be at my best behaviour."

"All I'm saying is, be the Vongola Boss but don't lose yourself in the process. The Vongola needs the Sky, don't they?"





Miyamoto Keiko


Keiko had caught the whiff of Namine's 'scent' a long while back before the idol made her appearance, showered with compliments, adoration and admiration.

'Huh... they recognize her... why not Ri-chan?' she thought as she watched one young child grabbing the CD from Namine's hands and after that Nami signed it.

Thinking that, she nudged Eri, jokingly stating, "I'm surprised no one recognized you, Ms. Cosplayer."

"That work and this work are different things. Best you don't confused them, Keiko." Eri replied before smiling briefly, a slight twinkle in her serious blue eyes, "Besides, we're surrounded by adults who probably don't appreciate the wonders of cosplay."

'Eh... kinda true.' she shrugged to herself.

Suddenly, the Boss hopped off the stage and walked towards Nami, who was handing over the last copy of her CD to a girl in a wheelchair.

"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....."

'Ass! Ass! Ass! SAY IT!' Keiko grinned to herself. Imagine the look on the crowd's faces! She was ultimately disappointed though as the Lightning Guardian, Joel had flashed over to Cain, 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?"

SMACK!!!!

The area grew silent. No one had expected to see what they had just saw.

Keiko noticed Eri's hands instantly shot up to cover up on of her cheeks, as if she was the one slapped, not Cain, before slowly moving to cover her mouth. There was a red mark currently on Cains face.

"Dayum." Keiko whispered to herself, an eyebrow raised.

"Hmph. We'll talk about this later," Joel told the still shocked Cain. "We'll also have a talk," he then said to Namine before walking away.

Cain, it seemed, had different plans. As soon as Joel began to turn away, he ran 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.

"Hoo~ Dem cubs be fightin'." Keiko whooped before making a whistle. Eri turned back to glare at Keiko before looking back at the fight.

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

Stopping, it seemed Cain understood the situation they were in but decided to leave the room entirely.

"Continue the party," Joel called out.

While Namine was speaking, Eri walked off the stage, going where Keiko assumed she was going.

"There she goes, what a dove. Peacemaking again." she sighed, following shortly after.

When Eri was done talking to the Lightning Guardian, she approached him, ignoring the disapproving stares her outfit was getting from the people around them. She softly tapped her fist against the cheek Cain had punched Joel on.

"Hah, kinda served ya right y'know." she snorted, moving over to stand beside him as Ai began her presentation. "Da cub's young, fulla' fire. I think das' a good thin'. Ya can't be a leader if ya let someone else boss ya around. He was gonna speak his mind, yea? Shoulda let him. It don't matter what da people think about us, it's what we do dat counts and I'm pretty sure we're gonna do lotsa awesome stuff dat's gonna wow them faces around us."

She grinned and nudged the Lightning Guardian's ribs with her elbow.

"Heh, I mean, that's what ya're supposed to make him no? A leader of the Vongola, someone who can surpass me, the Champion. So don't hold him back."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko

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#, as written by Damioa
Joel let out a sigh as he watched Cain walk away. He wasn't sure what he was suppose to do with the kid, but he never liked the forceful method. He looked over to Eri. From what he got on her background is that she could control his dominant flame. He wandered if it did the same things for her as it did for him. Though he wasn't going to try to fight her to find out. He also knew of her other activities, but unlike the flamboyant on in the room, she was more separate from that life while representing the Vogola.

"I respect what you did but... isn't your role to guide him? Instead of deliberately forcing his role upon him? I know it's none of my business, but I'm part of the Famiglia now and the Boss isn't like you or me. I don't think he can easily conform to the changes made to his life. I'm pretty sure the Decimo wasn't like how he was initially as well. Think about it. I'll go get the Boss" she said to him.

Joel closed his eyes and turned away. She was free to do as she pleased. He wasn't even really mad at the boy. Though being told that he didn't want to be the head of the family did ruffle him a little. Though, Joel knew all too well that Cain hadn't felt ready to be the boss yet. He wished he had a say in how long the boy would have to accept his fate. Though, it was never his will. Until the boy became the boss of the family, for real, he wasn't truly the boss. He would have to stand up and accept his birthright in order for that to happen. Though he tried to stand up for his guardians, he did so in a child like manner. If Joel hadn't stopped him there would be more than just a little scuffle that the two of them would have to worry about. In the past, other family member that had the same flame once tried to take the place of head of the family. That's what his father told him. If Cain were to rebuke his birthright, then someone else would be there, ready to take his place. That was something Joel couldn't let happen. He owed it to the tenth, not to let that happen. The choice was Cain's however and he didn't know what he'd decide at the end of the day.

"Hm," he moaned quietly as he felt the slight tap on his bruised skin. Snapping out of his train of thought and looking over, he saw the "Champion of Vongola" and stepped back a few paces with a slight blush on his face. Though whether it was from his bruise being touched or something else, he halted the thought of it.

"Hah, kinda served ya right y'know." The woman snorted.

Immediately Joel's frowning demeanor slunk down to one of question and his face dawned a face of someone who was being bugged or bullied. Only for a slight second of course. After which, he sighed and rubbed his cheek. "Yeah. I guess so," he conceded.

"Da cub's young, fulla' fire. I think das' a good thin'. Ya can't be a leader if ya let someone else boss ya around. He was gonna speak his mind, yea? Shoulda let him. It don't matter what da people think about us, it's what we do dat counts and I'm pretty sure we're gonna do lotsa awesome stuff dat's gonna wow them faces around us."

Joel wanted to laugh, but the nudge at his ribs got him to try to move away again. He wasn't use to someone in his space that much. Though, he had guessed Cain had been in his space many times before. Remembering that and with the girls next words he smiled. It was probably the first one that he showed at the party, and the last if he could help it. Though knowing Keiko, she'd do something else to make him loose his straight cut demeanor.

"Heh. Well I'll just have to put forth more effort on my end then to bring him up. I'll have him surpass you and be gentleman while he's at it," he teased. "Though would you be alright with that? Handing over your title as champion?"

Now that he thought about, Joel didn't even remember when she was dubbed Champion of Vongola. Well no matter, he thought. With people like the two that had talked to him, whom he hadn't spoke much with in the past, he was assured that he wouldn't be the only one in the team to care a great deal about Cain. Maybe if he let them help him make Cain into a leader, some of the tension would be laid off of his back. Though, things were never that simple.
..................................................................................................................................................................

"Stupid Joel and his rules and stuff," Cain spat kicking a bottle that someone had left on the floor, only to feel guilty about helping in littering and picking it up to throw it away.

He sighed and walked towards the nearest windowsill, only to find that the sun was no longer in sight and the sky was showing the stars and moon. He watched as they twinkled and cast the light upon the land. "I mean really. It's not like I was actually going to ditch my family. My dad's will." He sighed once more. "Damn it dad. Why did you have to die without preparing me first. Joel was prepared. Though I guess you wanted me to have a good childhood. You probably didn't expect to die so soon either. Heh. You remember when the three of us would play with my favorite ball. Joel accidently kicked it into a tree and then when I went to go get it I fell off. He was there though. Yup, he was there to catch me. He has always been there for me. Guess that's why he was the one you asked to guide me. Darn. I shouldn't be fighting him like this. We have the same goal and I keep giving him the loop around because. . . because. . . I'm not ready. I wish I was, but I'm not." He sighed once more and played with a ball of gum paper on the windows edge. "Damn. My first rule as boss should be a no litering rule."

He straightened up once he heard his name being called.

He turned around and saw that it was none other than his own Cloud Guardian. He had to admit he was kind of sour that it wasn't Joel who went after him. She told him of Ai's presentation and he shrugged his shoulders. "I'll return in a little bit. I was kinda thinking about something," He said, giving a smile to reassure her. She looked as if she was sad about something.

"Joel's right, we all need to grow up. Maybe he did it easily, while you're finding it difficult. I think I know what that feels like. We're about the same age."


Cain looked away from her for a moment to think about his god-brother. He really never thought about how Joel became the way he was so fast. Though it looked easy, maybe it was hard for him too. He decided to talk to him about it later.

"I have an interest you know. An interest that some adults like Joel might find childish and not important, that it would tarnish the reputation that we should have as the new Guardians of the Vongola. But hey, there's a time and place for everything. I still enjoy doing my interest, but I don't shy away from my responsibilities. I have my portion of fun when I'm off-duty, but when duty calls, I'll have to be at my best behavior."

Cain immediately thought the narrow minded answer to what her interest may have been. Heck anywhere to a secret collection of skulls to crazy fetishes were running through his mind. Making him give her a questionable look for a second. 'Wait. Whatever she's interested in is her business. I don't have to ask her what it is. I don't have to ask her. I don't.' His thoughts were jumbled and, the more he thought about not asking her, the more he wanted to ask her what it was. However, he decided to take the higher road and not ask her, feeling quite happy with himself for making an adult decision.

"All I'm saying is, be the Vongola Boss but don't lose yourself in the process. The Vongola needs the Sky, don't they?"

Cain smiled in his usual confident way and chuckled. "You're right. Who am I to deny my family what they need. They need the Sky, so I'll be the Sky for them."

It seemed like he was back to his normal care free self. With his nerves and pride healed he had decided to walk with Eri back to the main hall.

"So..... What is this interest you have," he asked without thinking.

Damn.

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.

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.
........................................................................................................................................................................................
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.
........................................................................................................................................................................................
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.
........................................................................................................................................................................................
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: Miku "Elizabeth" Risso Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri 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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Murasaki Eri


When Cain gave her a questionable look for a second, Eri could guess what the fool was thinking. She smiled a little at her own private joke.

"You're right. Who am I to deny my family what they need. They need the Sky, so I'll be the Sky for them."

It seemed like he was back to his normal care free self. With his nerves and pride healed he walked with Eri back to the main hall.

"So..... What is this interest you have," he asked out of nowhere.

"Well... since you're curious... I'm a professional cosplayer." she explained, opening the door for Cain and stepping in after him. "Do a couple of photoshoots, earn a bit of money, that sort of thin-"

SNAP!

That loud resounding snap of what was unmistakably fingers reverberated throughout the walls and suddenly chaos ensued. The structure around them began to be damaged by what seemed to be a very small projectile. Before Eri could move to assist the civilians and other famiglias, a brown haired guy suddenly jammed in front of her.

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."

'What the-' was what Eri could think initially before her entire vision altered, replacing the pandemonium around her with a quiet plain, the sky and the land meeting at the horizon over an incredible distance. The place was empty, safe for a few rocks, pointing straight up at the strange, purple sky that seemed to fade darker and darker as it permeated outwards. Staring down at her feet, she felt as if she was on a chessboard, black and white squares filled the space around her.

'An illusion... Mist Flames? No... this feels different.'

Feeling the presence of another inhabitant in the desolated land, she looked up, staring at the figure ahead of her while a cool breeze swept the land, causing her braided hair to sway about.

What she could only decide upon was that the person that was slowly walking towards her was whom the brown haired man had called 'Miku'. As Miku came closer, Eri recognized the eyes and face of the girl with long black hair worn in pigtails. A face of a very focused fighter, a thought reinforced when a plain katana fell down to be lightly grasped in her hand. When the girl was a few feet away from Eri, she spoke.

"Shall we."

It wasn't a question, it was a statement. Her voice was cold and it seemed the entire world seemed to react to Miku's words, suddenly dropping several degrees and the winds picking up their pace, whipping Eri's white braids around in contrast to her opponent's dark pigtails.

"I really don't suggest fighting. There're better ways to deal with this." Eri reasoned, holding her hands up, her ring perfectly matching with the sky in this world. "What is it that you want from us?"

Fighting wasn't something that Eri wanted to slip into right now.




Miyamoto Keiko


"Heh. Well I'll just have to put forth more effort on my end then to bring him up. I'll have him surpass you and be gentleman while he's at it," Joel teased. "Though would you be alright with that? Handing over your title as champion?"

"Hah!" Keiko snorted before jabbing a thumb against her chest. "I ain't gonna hand over da title as Champion over tah anyone dat easily, not even if it's da Boss."

She then jabbed a finger at Joel's chest and winked playfully, "Though, I don't mind a lil' competition, so bring 'im up tah mah level if ya can. I'll prove tah da world dat the title rightfully belongs to me. Da cub ain't gonna have anythin' on meh."

SNAP!

Keiko's more sensitive ears quickly picked up the source of the sound and she stared directly at a sharply dressed man with dark hair. Almost in unison, she quickly picked up several different flame 'scents', new ones, one of which was the 'scent' of the guy she previously met, Sora. Something was wrong.

"I KNEW IT!" she burst out in anger, whacking away a stray piece of falling debris caused by a ball that was bouncing around, apparently picking up speed. At first her sensitive eyes managed to keep pace with the ball, watching as the ball seemed to change directions whenever it was going to collide with a civilian.

'Huh... so they're not aimin' ta kill?' she thought, before the ball eventually became too fast for her to track. 'Dammit!'

Moving quickly, Keiko bounded across the room to intercept a falling piece of the ceiling, saving a fearful couple who immediately ran without any thanks.

"If da situation ain't clear enuf, go fer da exit!" she yelled after them, adding, "And YER WELCOME!"

All around her, she saw frightened faces, and immediately felt the need to help them all. Sure, the Sun Guardian was cocky, arrogant and seemed like she could care less about what others thought but when it came to people in distress, she wanted to be the first on the scene to help. This situation was no different. She breathed in deeply and released it with a shout, doing what she did on stage, no mic, just her loud voice working it out.

"EVERYONE OUT! OUT! OUT!" she shouted.

"Take this Miyamoto!"

She instantly locking eyes with the person who called her, staring into the brown eyes of Sora before the area around both of them changed. A boxing arena caged match surrounded them. She stared around the illusionary field before turning a glare at Sora.

'Dis ain't an ordinary illusion.'

"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." Keiko's eyes immediately saw the stars in his eyes. "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 that Keiko dismissed immediately along with the applause of what she knew was a non-existent crowd despite the fact that multiple faces were cheering and shouting around her.

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

Her inside ring instincts were brought to fore and her fist shot up in unison to the announcement.

"NOW! FIGHT!"

Sora ran up directly towards her with a flying roundhouse kick that she grabbed hold off, her Sun Flames slowly radiating from her like yellow tendrils of energy. Tossing him aside, her indifferent, stoic, unimpressed face stared him down as she seemed to glow like a sun.

"I knew somethin' was off 'bout ya." she told him, "And tah think dat I found ya a nice person."

One step forward.

"There're multiple lives out there dat could possibly be crushed by fallin' debris while ya trap me inside this illusion." her voice seemed to quiver with rage, and somewhere buried inside it, an unmistakable concern.

Another step forward.

"If ya had a bone tah pick with da Vongola..." she gritted her teeth in anger while her fists tightened, "...don't involve da innocent..."

She launched herself forward into such a perfect pounce, that if one were to look at her, they would see the after-image of a panther behind her. The look on her face was one of pure anger and rage, animalistic, protective rage.

"AND YA SURE AS HELL CAN BET ON IT DAT BEFORE YA TOUCH DA CUBS-"

She swung a powerful fist at Sora.

"-THEIR MUM WILL BE THERE TAH PROTECT 'EM!"

Her opponent rolled away, causing her fist to collide against the caged ring and ripping it apart as Keiko's fist burst through the metal caging. Pulling her fist away, the injured flesh healed instantly, the Sun Flames working their magic as they concentrated on the injured location.

"Da wide sky may encompass da other five flames, but there's a misconception 'bout da last flame. Da Sun lies outta reach from da Sky, in da depths of Space, a Star tah da faraway Universe." she said in a more controlled tone, bouncing about shaking her hands as she prepared to fight.

Readying herself, she got into her fighting stance, her midnight blue hair falling about as she did her signature head bob, "Da Sun will always be da greatest of da Sky Flames, remember dat."

Her eyes seemed to dull out, replaced by zoned out eyes that seemed to be out of focus, yet focused at the same time. Her entire demeanor changed.

"Don't lose yer footing, rabbit." she warned him. "Yer're facing an apex predator."

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: 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.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe

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#, as written by Damioa
Could he have done something for the brief dozen of minutes that took place? Was there a possible way to stop a lot of things from happening? Perhaps. Though the man looked and stayed silent, almost falling behind the guardians and the other mafioso as if he weren't in the room at all, or more like a crow perched on the ceiling having no business whatsoever to do with the humans. He looked down to see his friend passed out on the ground. That was fine. It could definitely be fixed. It would either be fixed or, the Vongola would have to find a new boss. In his eyes Cain wasn't ready to be a leader anyway. Especially if he could have his ring taken from him so easily.

He then looked over to Keiko. She was displaying a true meaning of mannerisms that weren't Vongola or mafioso worthy. Truly barbaric if one would actually define such a thing. He even watched as Nami went out of control. Something no gaurdian should do, and as she was ganged up on, he didn't think twice about not helping her. She had to learn one way or another, better it be this way. For, in his eyes, the hard way was always faster. Turning his head back to Keiko, who had started attacking Fredrick for some odd reason, he just sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. His eyes were closed as he entered deep thought. He ignored everything that was happening on the outside and concentrated on himself. It had to be certain, that at that moment, only three of them were truly worthy of being called Vongola Guardians. Any way one would think of it, if you put together a boy who seems to fear fighting, a woman who seems to love fighting, so much so that she is overconfident of her own skills, a woman who can't even control herself that she becomes that of an animal, and lastly, the boy who is supposed to lead everyone with a hard head, no experience and overall immaturity. These four were ones that seemed not to be worthy of their title. Though, Joel wouldn't say anything about it. For the things that seemed a certain way weren't his actual views on the situation. However, he wasn't going to throw them a bone. He wasn't going to be the one they relied on. Sure what had happened to them was horrid, but it didn't matter. Lessons are learned, one way or another. He gave one last sigh before opening his eyes again to see the cluster of jesters once more. Quite honestly, it was the gunfire that made his eyes open. He'd rather not look at the mess, but the gunfire was something he wasn't expecting. There were, or used to be rules about certain things. His father told him that when it came to the guardians and flames, it was the guardians duty to fight. It wasn't only dangerous for mere humans to get involved, but along some time after the second, it was taboo. It's like ponds taking the place of the king and queen. Not only are they not important, but they should know their place.

Still, Joel waited until they shot at a boy, interrupting his attack on Fredrick, before he said something.

"Calm your fire!!!" His yell was barely heard and the onslaught continued until something out of the norm happened. The bullets layed frozen in one position and he knew immediately that it was from one of their enemies. Though, instead of turning against the hitmen they exploded leaving no trace of the enemy flame users once the smoke cleared. Silence was dawned around the area. That's all it was now. No more a hall than just an area. One could even compare it to a ruined cavern. Joel walked to one of the men that had their gun out, placing his hand on his shoulder so that he could lean in and whisper in his ear. "Tell the rest of your group that they no longer have a place in the Vongola," was the only thing he said before starting to walk away.

"B-But... Hey. You can't do that. You have no say!!!!"

The mans reply was the last card that had to go on top of a full house. The last card to make the house fall in Joel's mind.

"Distortion," he whispered. Just like that, the man was in-between three swords, each with their own design. Joel could tell by the look in his eyes, his anger went away and the fear of a human came around. "And you have no say if I decide to kill you or not. Leave."

The man didn't say anything. He just glared at the lightning guardians back.

"What's going on here Joel? What do you think you're doing?" Joel glanced over to see it was one of the Vongola's families head elders. A man who had been around since the ninth generation, but wasn't known to the public as an elder. Though, to the close nit group of the Vongola and Joel, he was known as Samuel Kapachio. He was known for giving advice on certain things. Matters that the tenth didn't want to deal with. He followed the seconds way of thinking while the tenth followed the firsts. It also seemed he was just waiting for the tenth to pass, just so he could bring back the old ways of the Vongola. As Joel remembered it, once his father passed, it was Kapachio who ordered his training and it was also him who told Joel everything he wanted to be done to groom the eleventh. Joel neither hated nor liked the man. He did however, know that in truth, Kapachio had no power, especially since he wasn't young anymore.

"What does it look like Kapachio? You're plans for the eleventh generation are canceled. From now on, until Cain gets his ring back, IF he gets his ring back, the Vongola aren't making anymore moves."

"You son of a. . . You know damn well the steps we take if there is no head. If anyone, you know who is in charge and who isn't."

Kapachio looked as if he was about to blow his last gasket, though Joel kept him in the corner of his eye. "Maybe that's true. Maybe I do know." Turning towards the man, Joel walked up to him slowly, his face emotionless, though his eyes were burning through to Kapachio's soul. "Let's say you're the one in charge. You gather your men. You try to do things your way. Heck, you even find new guardians. Do you honestly think that you or anyone you have connections with can stop me? Let me give you another scenario. The guardians who are still able to fight currently. Do you honestly think they'll follow your ideals. Wasn't it you who said you needed me to lead them in that direction? You are nothing." Joel then turned around leaving the man to sit with what he said, adding, "Deal with it," as he walked towards the hit man again. "You heard me right didn't you? From now on, you and your group are no longer Vongola. If you stay her any longer, I'll kill you myself. Please just leave."

"What do you think you're going to do without us," the man asked, looking a bit frustrated to say the least.

"Well. We definitely wont be shooting at little kids while you're gone. Like I told Kapachio, you are nothing. Just pawns. Well, you use to be pawns. Now you're not even on the board."

Not wanting to talk about it anymore, Joel left the mans presence and his blades disappeared. He walked over to one of the doctors and said, "Clean them up." While nodding to Cain and Nami. "Let me know about their conditions later."

Before leaving he walked over to Fredrick, staring at him in the eyes, mostly trying to make him uncomfortable... and succeeded. Fredrick squirmed in the deafening silence that spanned the space between them like an animal with its back to the wall, trying and failing several times to break eye contact. He'd overheard the Lightning guardian's minatory diatribe against the Vongola elders and wanted nothing more than to avoid that caustic fury being leveled against him.

Joel sighed. "Well, well, well. What am I going to do with you. Pfft."

At Joel's words, Fredrick finally found the power—or perhaps the shame—to look away, electing instead to stare at his feet. He knew he'd failed the family by losing his ring. Failed Serlina. Failed everyone. They probably didn't even want him to be a Vongola guardian anymore... and who could blame them? He was a good for nothing whimp with two left feet and so little skill that he couldn't even stop some punk pre-teen from running all over him.

He was useless.

"Tell the others to meet me at my place sometime in the next few days," Joel continued. "I don't care when. Just make it before the weekend kid."

Fredrick nodded slightly in acknowledgement, head still down.

"Don't worry," Joel said, raising his hand. Fredrick tensed visibly, hunching his shoulders and screwing his eyes shut like a child expecting to be struck. When Joel simply placed his hand on Fredricks head, the Rain guardian relaxed a bit. "You'll get your ring back. . . Maybe. Though that really depends on you. If you want it back or not I mean. Well. It's whatever really. Later."

Fredrick watched Joel walk off, the man's words still bouncing around in his head.

Maybe. Maybe he'd get his ring back. It depended on him. Who he was as a person. His strength.

Fredrick sighed.

He knew that who he was wasn't anywhere near enough. He knew he'd just fail again.

Joel didn't really pay attention to much else. He was partly still in his own little world. Still thinking about things. How they currently were, what they used to be, and what they were going to be like in the future. Two things were certain though, without the sky ring, the whole group was in a cryogenic stasis, and Joel planned on it staying that way. There was no way Cain was going to be denied leadership. It was either him being head of the Vogola, or there not being a Vongola at all. As he left the rubble of a meeting hall and headed towards the outside, he almost smiled at the fact that maybe, just maybe, things would actually start to change. For better or for worse, change was something they needed. With Kapachio having knowing of the repercussions of crossing him, he was sure the man would halt his actions. If he didn't, Joel decided it wouldn't be a big deal to end his life completely.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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Ai had stood idly by, staying close to Cain, as all the chaos went by. The Vongola family seemed to be retaliating against the Rizzo guardians. Of course they weren't just going to stand by and allow the Boss and his guardians to be harmed any further, yet firearms should not have been authorized. If they'd harmed or by chance killed the Rizzos, they wouldn't have been able to question them and seeing as they came from the future, it wouldn't be ideal to have them die at the current time period. Of course nobody besides Ai and the external adviser DiCaccio really knew they were from the future, and DiCaccio couldn't give orders as he was busy evacuating the guests and assuring their safety. DiCaccio did return with a few CEDEF agents by his side. "Where are the saboteurs?" he called.

"They've retreated," Ai said, standing over Cain, "And they have stolen two of our rings, including the Boss's." DiCaccio pursed his lips upon seeing Cain's limp figure and ran toward him. "Is Cain alright?" "The Boss has sustained heavy injuries but is still functioning." The agents to DiCaccio's sides were calling for more stretchers. "Are the others injured?" DiCaccio asked, looking up at the other guardians. "The Storm guardian, Namine, has sustained heavy injuries as well and may be in critical condition. She has already been sent to the medical bay." DiCaccio couldn't help but notice the blood drying up on Ai's hair. "What about you?" "I could heal this body on my own, but it would be preferable if at least this head wound was tended to."

DiCaccio frowned at her response, not entirely out of concern but out of uneasiness, how this person, or rather creature, could shrug off what could have been a serious injury and wondered if there really was a person feeling the pain when this one seemed to not care. The only members of the Vongola who knew about Ai's true identity so far were himself and the Tenth boss, until he died of course. DiCaccio, out of the Tenth's will, had put a lot of trust in Ai and catered to many of her wishes so that she could 'complete her mission' which was supposedly for the good of all humankind. The circumstances of the Tenth's death also was a huge factor. Of course, there were many parts about this... whatever she was that DiCaccio did object to, but nonetheless, he had done whatever he could for her for the past four years without complaint, meaning that in a way, Ai had control over all of the Vongola through DiCaccio. Of course with Cain coming into power DiCaccio would have less control over the Vongola, merely being the external adviser and heading CEDEF. If Ai was going to need further assistance of the Vongola Family, she'd have to gain Cain's trust as well and that meant telling him absolutely everything, and DiCaccio was worried about Cain making the wrong decision to not trust her. In truth, DiCaccio's didn't entirely approve of the candidates the Tenth had chosen for guardians, and he had every right to choose his own candidates to give the half rings to (resulting in a ring conflict) yet it was the circumstances of the Tenth's death that caused him to change his mind.

"Boss, The police have arrived," one of the CEDEF agents told him. "Alright, tell them we have the situation well at hand, I'll deal with them in a second. " he turned to another, "And I want my men tracking down these people now. I simply want to know their position and their activities, but discretion is key. They are an enemy group with unknown intentions and powerful weaponry. And Ai," DiCaccio turned back to her, "It's best that the Boss and your fellow guardians know what's going on, so tell them only what they need to hear, alright?" Ai nodded. DiCaccio was just about to leave when a rather upset voice called to him. "DiCaccio! I want a word with you!"

Samuel Kapachio walked up to him, red with fury. "What's the issue, signore?" DiCaccio asked. "What's the issue?! Oh, well you see those men over there?" he gestured toward the group of hitmen who'd came in to apprehend the Rizzos, "Well, Joel just fired them! They were doing their job, they came to the aid of the Boss, and he fired them for it! Fucker threatened me as well! Do something about it!" DiCaccio frowned. More paramedics came with stretchers and they had to move away from Cain, Ai following. The CEDEF agents were already doing their assigned tasks.

"Now, Signore Kapachio, Joel's words are those of Cain's, and Cain is the Boss now, so whatever he did to you or those men was for a reason, out of Cain's will." Kapachio scowled. "Why you..." The two men used to be more friendly with one another, both having similar ideals as to what the Vongola should have been, until the Tenth's death. "So if Cain's the Boss," he spat, "Then you don't have any power anymore! He could fire you and get a new external adviser, doesn't even have to be a dedicated member of CEDEF like you were! That'll put a damper on everything you been doing behind everybody's backs! You've been keeping secrets, and I'm not the only one who knows. You and that lost puppy of yours who's been following you around! If she isn't your daughter, then who is she really, you sick fuck?"

"Boss, Lieutenant Kogoro says he wants to speak with you now," a CEDEF agent reported to him. "Alright, I'll be there in a second," DiCaccio responded, "Right now, escort this man out of the building, he's no longer part of the Vongola. You may use nonlethal force if necessary." "This isn't over, DiCaccio, this just begun," Kapachio threatened, "Once the word is out that Cain's lost his ring, then you've got a storm brewing. I'm sure you would know more than anybody that there are still families out there that are out for the Vongola's blood and they will swoop in and feast as soon as this big oyster pops open. Everybody in this room knows he lost his ring, including those men over there that you just fired! And we both know there are still many more like me within this family that want to keep it the way it used to be! Any one of them will use this against you!" "Get him out now!" DiCaccio yelled. Two CEDEF agents took hold of him and were forcefully moving him out, yet he struggled to finish what he was saying. "This was just one of the many mistakes you've made that will drive this family into the ground! And I'll be there to dig you out of the rubble and tell you that I was right, but I'm only going to salvage what's left of value!" The CEDEF agents, at this point, managed to force him out the doors.

DiCaccio rubbed his hand over his face before moving on and sighed heavily. "Oh, what would Iemistsu do," he muttered, "What would the Tenth do..." Once he regained his composure, he turned back to Ai. "You should report to the medical bay with Cain and Nami so you can take care of that head wound." he looked up at the other guardians, "And the rest of the Guardians should to, as a precaution. It would be a good chance for you to explain it all to them. And Ai, if you get the chance to speak with Cain privately..." he hesitated, "... You should explain absolutely everything to him. Once he gets his ring back," he didn't bother to add if he did, "You wont be able to rely on me to complete your mission, whatever else that is going to entail. All I can do is try and deal with the public. The guests are all witnesses, and they all witnessed those both the guardians and those Rizzos using box weapons. I'll do my best to come up with some sort of excuse that'll work in your favor, bullshitting is my specialty." Ai nodded. "The humans of the public and of the governing powers must see the potential in box weapons, yet must not grow to fear them," Ai told him, "If they fear that their enemies are already using box weapons, however, that may draw the governing powers to start implementing them in their military forces, which is ideal."

"I'll see what I can do, but it'll be difficult to put the blame on any particular group. Anyhow, I have to speak with the Lieutenant. The Vongola does have some influence over the Namimori police force, so hopefully we can get them to work in our favor as well. We could have them look for this 'terrorist group' as well, if they haven't already left Namimori." At that, DiCaccio left.

Ai then approached Joel. "The External Adviser says that we should all report to the medical bay as a precaution and so we can confirm the conditions of the Boss and the Storm Guardian. It is there that we can all be briefed about who the people who attacked us are."

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera

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#, as written by Damioa
Upon his movement to leave, Joel had no other choice but to glance at Ai, the peculiar little girl whom he didn't know that well, but seeing what he had seen of her, he was able to gather that she was either one of those brainwashed by there parents kids, or not exactly a little girl at all. "The External Adviser says that we should all report to the medical bay as a precaution and so we can confirm the conditions of the Boss and the Storm Guardian. It is there that we can all be briefed about who the people who attacked us are." she said to him. Joel took his pupils from the corners of his eyes and aimed them at the floor before closing them and turning away.

"They're alive right? That's all I need to know. How about you take in the important info and tell me about it later. Oh, and make sure Fredrick does what I asked him to do," he said, patting the girl on top of her head before leaving. Once outside, he walked for a good ten minutes, making sure to keep good distance away from anyone who would see him. He usually wouldn't have traveled in such a way, but in order to maintain a secretive stance on things, he snapped his fingers, letting a lightning bolt strike upon him and take him to where he wanted to go. Just like when moving fast, traveling through lightning put him inside of a different world. In all honesty it was a dark one, with strikes of light going here and there. To put it in greater terms, he was inside of a lightning cloud. There was no matter, no feel, only emptiness. Just like his meditative states. Remembering back on it, he use to be afraid of this world. It wasn't like the human world at all. Almost as if it wa another dimension. In this dimension, if he didn't trust his power, Joel would be shocked. That's how it was for a long time. For a long time he was shocked by the lightning he rejected and each time he was thrown into a different part of the world. He considered himself lucky though. Lucky that he had a father who loved him enough to go after him. Each time he landed somewhere, like Europe, or Africa, his father would be there within the hour and he would hold onto him, crying. Whining about how he didn't want to use his powers anymore. How he didn't want to be a lightning guardian if it meant being shocked all the time. To this day, he remembers exactly what his father use to tell him all the time. "Stay calm kiddo. It gets better with practice. Soon, the lightning will be tamed by you and it wont be able to hurt you anymore."

Though his father was dead now, Joel had taken all of his training since those times as calmly as possible. He even took life that way. Even now, Joel was calmly thinking about what to have the sky guardians do next. Getting the rings back of course was first priority, but there had to be steps taken before all of that occurred. Steps which would change all of his fellow guardians, maybe even himself, and put them onto the next level of their powers. At least he had hoped so. If not, then the rest of the rings would be taken. He already decided once he saw Cain's wrecked body that he would die for his ring. That should make it harder for his enemies to get it, but then, what would be the point of being the only one with a sky ring. He thought more clearly. It would be a waist after all. If they managed to take everyone else's rings, then he supposed he'd just give his to them. For he wouldn't have anymore use for it anyway. The Vongola undicesimo is Cain. Even now it is still Cain. Though if he were not to get his ring back then what? Joel had decided not to think that far ahead. It would come if it was meant to come. Just like lightning. With one strike, he was at the foot of his steps. He was back in Japan and let the storm caused by his lightning to stay. He enjoyed the rain more than the clear sky's anyways. Walking up the shrines steps towards the place that he called his home, he began preparations for a visit to his forest home in Japan and the training of his fellow Guardians as well as his own training.
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"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Cain shot up and screamed as if he was waking from a terrible nightmare. The cold sweat of his exaughstion was trickling down his face like a sweated water bottle. His breathing was hard and fast and he even felt as if he had been holding his breath underwater.

"What is it? Are you okay?"

The lights turned on and a nurse ran to Cains bed. The boy looked surprised at the nurse, for she was one of the most beautiful he had ever seen. "Oh. Oh yeah. Yeah, I'm okay, but I would feel better if I were to get your number," he said throwing her a smile.

"Awe. Aren't you cute." The nurse patted his head and left for the door. "Let me get the doctor and let him know you've awoken."

Awoken? Cain was confused by the words the lady had used before leaving. What was that supposed to mean? Had he been asleep. If so, how long was he asleep for. He looked at the window and saw the dark night sky that lingered outside. Judging by the fact that it was night he expected he had only been out for a couple hours or so. He moved his legs around a little only to feel a sharp pain from his right. "What the hell?" He drastically pulled the covers off of his lower body sending it toward the sky to find that he had a cast on his whole leg. "Awe man. What is this. . . What are these?" He used his fingers to push and tug on the metal rods placed. He sucked on his teeth and slammed his back into his bed, slapping his face and moaning at the fact that he had lost his leg.

"Mr. Vongola. S'cuse me sir are you okay," a voice called to him.

Without moving his hands from his face Cain turned his upper body from side to side. "No. I'm not really doing that well. You know, considering there are metal rods sticking from the thick piece of tissue that's attached to my leg and all." Finally removing his hands from his face he smiled and said, "Apart from that, I'd say I'm doing peachy doc. How about you?"

"I'm doing overjoyed. Especially considering at least one of my patients are awake already."

"One... you mean there are more. How many. Are all of my friends here too. Is Joel here!?"

The doctor grabbed a chair and wheeled it over to the frantic young man. "Easy now. There's no need to worry. Only one other patient was brought here. Though, her condition may be more severe than yours. She's still asleep actually. I had my men do everything, but we can't seem to wake her. Poor thing."

"She?"

"Yes. A Ms. Gokudera I believe." The doctor flipped his hands through a few papers. "Ah yes. Nami Gokudera. Brought in three days ago along with you. Seems she's inside a coma of some sort. Hmmm. Well anyway, I'm sure she'll be alright. After all, look at you. You came in here with your muscles frozen by some form of paralysis, but luckily that was keeping your bones in place which made surgery a heck of a lot easier for this old man."

"Is that so?" Cain looked at the doctor who seemed to be as carefree as anyone he'd ever seen before with a baffled expression. "Listen Doc, I'm gonna just throw this out there. How's my leg?"

"Well, it seems if you were a normal person without the resources you have we'd have to replace all the bone and the cap with a metal of some sort. However, since you happen to be lucky we can easily skip all that and just say what we've done to your leg is all we're going to do."

A brief silence filled the room and Cain stared at the doctor who had went back to checking his notes.

"Soooo.... I can walk again?"

"Hmm? Walk? My dear boy, if in two weeks you're not running then I believe the problem isn't your leg but your laziness. Hahahaha."

Cain didn't know if that was a yes or a no, but he had started to raise in spirits because of the doctors attitude.

"Hmm. Since you're awake we should give you pain killers for the time being. Note, you shouldn't get out of bed while on this medication for it might make you kind of loopy. Also they might put you back to sleep, but that isn't a bad thing considering we know you don't have a concussion."

"Wait doc," Cain called to the man before he left the room. "What about Nami? Can I see her?"

"Sorry my boy. She's not currently allowed visitors at this time. Maybe in a couple of days. We need to first see how her condition actually is before anyone can see her."

"Oh.... Is that so."

"Don't worry lad. We're all doing our best for her. You just worry about getting back into fighting shape in the meantime."

With those last words the doctor left, leaving Cain to the nurses who gave him his medication while he flirted with them. Within the hour he was back to sleep.

A few hours later he once again opened his eyes. Looking to his left, he saw the light underneath the door. The only light besides from the moonlight that had lit up the dark room. He turned his head to his right and immediately juked back almost falling off of the bed. "Oh my god. Who the hell are you?!"

The man who was sitting in the chair next to his bed stood up and reached his arm out for Cain. The boy flinched closing his eyes and felt a hand grab his arm and pull him onto the bed in his original position.

"Honestly Cain, you have to be more aware of your surroundings," the man said.

"Wait a second....Joel?"

"Who were you expecting? The tooth fairy?"

Cain rubbed his eyes then looked more carefully at the man. "Oh sweet. It is you. What's up? You look like you're okay."

"Yeah. Minus the amount of sleep I've been lacking the past few days, I'd say I'm good."

"Wow. I'm glad you're here, but why? I thought you were mad at me."

Joel looked at Cain then leaned back in his chair, closing his eyes. "Yeah well, just because I was mad at you doesn't mean I won't look after you. I did promise Decimo that I would protect you. I even promised Nami's father I'd do the same for her and also my father who said I have to because the tenth generation looked after him when he was the youngest. As oldest it's just a thing I have to do. Not only that, but you're my brother. I probably can't fight your battles for you, but I can make sure no one kicks you when you're down."

Cain smiled at Joel before laying his head back down on the comforting pillows. "So... we lost huh?"

"Hmmm."

"And Nami. She's hurt isn't she?"

"Hmmm."

"And me. I'm a failure as a leader aren't I?"

"Hmmm."

"Is that all you're going to say? Hmmm?" Cain turned his head towards Joel to see the mans was piercing him with a stare the whole time with one eye open.

Closing his eye and fixing his posture, Joel sighed before saying, "You can say we lost the battle, yes. However, the war has just begun. You can say Nami's hurt, but I'd say so is the kid who played with fire. She's not dead so she's okay. However, you can't say that you're a failure as a leader. Listen Cain, you weren't really a leader to begin with."

"Wh-what's that supposed to mean?"

"What I'm saying is just having a ring and title doesn't make you a leader. What will make you a leader is taking a stand through these harsh times. Fighting against those who wish you ill. Protecting those who are under you. What will make you a leader is learning from this loss and becoming stronger because of it. Whether you want to do that or not is up to you, but, like it or not, you are the sky no ring will separate you from it. No building will hide you from the lightning. No cavern will shield you from the clouds. No darkness will take away the suns light from your eyes. No mask will keep you from tasting the mist. No umbrella will guard you from the rain. No ear plugs will deafen the sound of the storm. Lastly, no other person will ever lead the guardians of those flames. So Cain, what is it you want to do?"

Cain thought about it for a few seconds. There was really nothing that he could do at this very moment, but he wanted badly to do something. Anything would do, but it had to make sense. "I.....I want to see Nami."

"Hmmm. She's in a comatose state and is allowed no visitors," Joel calmly said.

Cain sat up and pulled his heavy legs off of the bed. "I don't care. If I am truly the leader of the Vongola then I should see all my family in their time of need. Joel..... Can you help me?"

Joel slowly opened his eyes and looked at Cain's back. The boy was shivering, which could of been from the pain of his leg or by the anxiety of moving. He smiled at the sight, for it showed Cain was willing to fight to see the girl. "Fine then. Let's go see our sister."
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Joel pushed Cain on his wheelchair and hugged the walls tightly, ready to turn a corner at a moments notice.

"So, did you talk to Nami's father?" Cain asked looking up at the man.

"Sadly, yes."

"Why sadly?"

"He was mad. I let his daughter get hurt?"

"Well it's not like you just stood there and let her get beaten on. Hehehe. He's probably just mad."

"Hmmmmm."

Joels grunt made Cain want to get a better look at his face. "Joel..... You....You didn't just stand there did you?"

"The wild flame must learn to be calm."

"Wh-what? That makes no sense."

"Let's drop it until later okay? Shhh. Someone's coming. Act natural."

A nurse came out of the elevator and walked towards them. Joel, who had stolen a doctors outfit and mask had Cain, who was wearing full patients clothing and both had there heads down. Totally not suspicious at all.

"Good morning doctor." The lady said as she passed by. Joel nodded in recognition, but the lady stopped to look back at him.

"Oh. Doctor. You do know that we don't start working with patients until six a.m. You know, three hours from now."

Joel stopped moving with Cain and turned around. "Ah yes. Well I am a private doctor actually working with this lads family. I must conduct surgery immediately."

Cain looked up in surprise. "Surgery!?" he whispered.

"I couldn't think of anything else to say," Joel whispered back.

"Surgery? There aren't any surgery's planned for today. I would have known. I am the head nurse after all."

Letting go of Cain's chair Joel turned around. "Oh. My apologies. You see, I was only trying to impress you. I'm new here, but I've seen you around a couple of times and I thought you were actually quite a fair maiden."

"Doctor," the woman gasped, "I'm not sure you are thinking right. I mean, we're inside of a work area."

"I know, but I do have to say you are one of the most favorable women I've ever seen. Oh fair eyed maiden, can you possibly do me one favor?" Joel took her hand and brought her closer to his face.

"Wh-what is it?" The woman's face was red like a rose petal.

"Please, fall for me?"

"Doctor, I don't know what to say. Ummmm."

A click was heard and the lady fell unconscious in his arms. Joel removed his hand from her kneck and leaned her against a wall.

Upon returning to push Cain, the boy looked back and glanced at Joel multiple times to see exactly what had happened. "Joel. I didn't know you had such a way with the ladies."

"Yeah well, sometimes I wish I didn't."

"Why's that?"

"I only have one woman on my mind, I have no need for those who only fond me for my looks."

Cain sunk further into his chair. "Not what I meant, but okay.....Wait who...."

"Not telling."

"Awe."


The pair continued to trick doctors and nurses they had bumped into, into getting tazed by Joel and ended up leaving a row of people along side walls of the hospital.

"You know, I'm sure this is considered a crime," Cain sighed.

"We're mafia. It's what we do," Joel said quietly poking his head out of the corner. "Okay. So there are three doctors talking to each other. We're going to have to make a distraction. I'll leave you hear by yourself. You scream and stall them while I zap them."

"How long will these guys be out of it. I mean, what if they have patients to see?"

"Only for a few minutes give or take. Don't worry about that. Just stick to the plan."

"Roger."


Joel walked down the hall and turned the corner after waving to the men, while Cain began screaming."

"AAAAHHHHHHH...AHHHHHHHH"

The doctors all went to his aid, just as planned.

"What is it young man?" One of the doctors asked.

"It's horrible Doc. Horrible I tells ya."

"What's the matter son?"

"I-I....I can't feel my leg!!!!"

All the doctors threw each other confused glances. "Well," one of the doctors said, "It's because you have a cast on. Not only that, but a reinforced one. Hey...How did you even get on the wheelchair without an escort."

Cain looked behind the men to see Joel had caught up and was ready to shock them.

"Oh, I have an escort."

Zap.Zap.Zap. Each men fell unconscious on the floor and Cain and Joel left them behind as they headed for Nami's room. "Hehe. We should do things like this more often," Cain cheered.

"Don't count on it," Joel softly replied. "Here it is. Let's go in."

Joel opened the door and rolled in with Cain. It was dark, but the light from the machines next to the womans bed was enough for both lads to see their friend.

"Damn," Cain said grabbing onto his pants legs tightly, "What kind of monsters would do something like this to a girl?"

Joel looked down at Cain and then towards Nami. "I don't know. However, they will have their pay. Though it wont be the old school righteous glory. It wont be revenge."

"What does that mean? We're just supposed to let them get away with this?"

"No. Though we can't fight the girls battles for her. She is a guardian and thus must fight whoever took her ring. The same as you have your own battle to fight."

"What about you? What will you do?"

"I deem the person who I faced isn't the one I might in the future. If they were after the rings then that means they have a person for each of us. I am sure there are stronger ones amongst there group."

"Stronger?" Cain looked once again at Nami. "The hell. If someone is strong enough to put us both in a hospital then what type of person do you expect the one you're going to fight to be."

"I don't know. Though the lightning has spoken to me. It says that there is a monster somewhere. A monster that will probably succeed in taking my ring if I don't prepare. If I can't beat that monster, then you may have to fight it."

"Me... I can't even beat the guy who stole my ring and you want me to face someone who can beat you? Another person I can't beat?"

"No. I won't fail. . ." Joel looked away towards the door. "Well we've seen her. What's you're next move?"

Cain thought hard while looking at his friend. The daughter of a man who his father said had his back at all times. "Well, even if I wasn't going to fight for myself, I have to fight for Nami. I want to.... I want to get stronger."

Joel nodded slightly. "Very well. Then I shall train you to become not only a good leader, but also the Undecimo you were meant to be. Training will be fierce and your life may even shorten like your fathers was, but I will abide by your will."

"My fathers? You mean that technique?"

"Yes. Do you wish to concede your words?"

"No. It still stands. Make me stronger Joel."

"As you wish, Undecimo."

Afterwards there was a slight stir with the hospital executives. People were almost fired for sleeping on the job and luckily, by Cain's will and because the hospital was owned by Vongola, they all were able to keep their positions. Cain was released the next day and had his screws taken out, but was told he had to spend the weekend with a cast, in which time he would be given a leg brace for a week. Though he didn't take any of that with any type of salt. He went to Joel's vacation home in Japan, not to far off the countryside. It was around an area with a vast amount of trees and mountain life. Basically, it was a forest area. One which Joel believed would be a good quiet place for everyone to train. In the man's mind he only needed two weeks. He knew he could do it in one if necessary, but to make them all machines reinforced with their flames, he only needed two weeks. Though, like most things, it was easier said than done.

"Helloooooo!!!!"

Joel opened his door to see Cain standing there with a pair of crutches. "Come in, you're letting the air out. You're room is upstairs on the third floor. You'll be rooming with Fredrick.

"Whaaaaaa? Why do I have to room with Fredrick and what's with making a person in a cast sleep on the third floor?"

"Shut it. The girls get the rooms closer to the first floor. It's called hospitality. Also, I don't need you trying to sneak a peak at the girls when they go to take their baths."

"You're bath is huge though. I don't see the reason why we all can't share." Cain pouted sitting on the living room couch.

"Sure. Tell that to Keiko. See where that gets you. Anyway, I'm not only giving up my bath, but my room too, so just be happy."

"So where will you sleep?"

"Pfft. I don't need human things like sleep. I'll do what I do. As for the bathing, there is a shower on the third floor. Be happy with that."

The two continued to bicker for a while, Joel ignoring Cain, and Cain annoying Joel. Together they waited for the rest of their team to arrive."

The setting changes from earth to Japan

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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Fredrick's father, Lorenzo Koenig, was more than just a genius engineer and black market weapons dealer. He was also a self-described "badass mechanic". At the moment, Fredrick was riding shotgun in one of his father's recent engineering marvels—a 3D-printed electric sportscar. The thing looked like a cross between a Lamborghini and a Camero, complete with sharp edges and jutting contours. The car itself had a pristine white paintjob, though the tires and rims, along with being bulletproof, were painted pitch black. The windows, too, were tinted to such an extent that they were impenetrable from the outside. When Fredrick inquired about the color choice one day, his father told him red and black are fast colors, Freddy, ya gotta think strategically; no cop expects the white car to be the speed demon. The memory brought a small smile to Fredrick's otherwise morose countenance, however fleeting. Currently, the sports car was bobbing and weaving through lanes of traffic, going nearly twice the speed limit of course, though that wasn't surprising considering his father was the one driving. Every so often, the man would mutter a slew of cuss words under his breath as he downshifted, making an obscene gesture at another driver and threatening vehicular homicide. Apparently, the rival motorist slighted him in some shape or form. Fredrick didn't really understand it, but it was usually hilarious to watch.

Not today, though. After everything that'd happened, the kid just wasn't in the mood for fun. Instead, he just sighed softly, his chin in his palm as he stared out the passenger-side window, a newly forlorn look fresh upon his face. In the back of his mind, Fredrick was hoping against hope that something would stop them from reaching their destination. Maybe a flat tire, or the car's battery going dead, or a bridge collapsing and they get stuck in immovable traffic. Something. Anything to stall them from reaching their final destination. As usual, luck was not on the boy's side. Within fifteen minutes, they exited the main road and entered an area saturated with trees and mountain life. It wasn't long before they rolled up to their destination: a large mansion on top of a hill. It was a Vongola-owned property in the countryside, managed by none other than the Lightning guardian himself, Joel Lambe.

In total, they'd been driving for around half an hour. GPS calculated that the trip should have taken double that. Yeah, his father had something of a lead foot. "Pedal to the metal" wasn't just a euphemism where he was concerned. Fredrick sighed again, looking down at the backpack that sat on the car floor, between his knees. He really didn't want to go.

"You ready, Fred?" He father asked, putting the car in neutral and pulling the brake lever before cutting the engine.

"Yes," Fredrick muttered, though from his tone, it was obvious that he didn't mean it.

Koenig turned to face his son, his expression somewhat concerned. "You didn't bring any web-accessible devices with you, right? No cells, pads, laptops..."

Fredrick shook his head in response, still staring down at the bag between his knees. "Yeah, dad, I know."

Despite his son's confirmation, Koenig continued, "... because I can almost guarantee that I've seen some iffy activity on the Vongola's server logs, and you guys shouldn't take any chances, especially with Cain in that condition—"

"Yeah, dad, yeah," Fredrick snapped, his tone dismissive. "The network and stuff. We know." Fredrick looked out the window towards the mansion. "There's no service out here anyway."

The two sat in awkward silence for a minute, the chirping of birds and clicking of the car's engine as it cooled the only sounds to reach their ears. After a while, Fredrick glanced briefly over at his father before looking back down at his backpack, wringing his hands. He realized that the old man was just trying to help, but... ... it just wasn't fair. None of it! Why did his ring have to get taken like this? Why was he so pathetic as a Vongola... as a hitman, a friend, a human being? He sighed, opening his mouth to apologize, but Koenig spoke first.

"You know," Koenig began, his tone upbeat and airy, "your grandfather was a gifted assassin—a natural legendary hitman." Fredrick closed his mouth, chancing another glance up at his father and caught his eye. The old man rarely if ever spoke of his father—Fredrick's grandfather. As he understood it, the two men weren't exactly on the best of terms. Koenig grinned as he continued. "He didn't have time for any of that girly numbers crap, which was pretty much the full extent of his respect for my interests at the time... but anyways, he was an unstoppable combat artist." Koenig reached out and placed his hand on his son's head. "And every day I look at you, you remind me so much of him. You could maybe use a bit more of his blatant assholery—... er uh, fearless boldness," he said, correcting himself with a chuckle. Fredrick grinned at his father's bad joke despite his sour mood. "But in terms of ability, you are every bit the hitman he was. Probably even better, at your age."

"Really?"

"Really. You just have to summon the courage to bring it out, Fred."

"But I don't like hurting people like granddad... and I lost the ring. I lost Serlina..." He sighed, his grin evaporating. He thought back to his conversation with Joel, the experience gnawing at his psyche. "What if they don't even want me to be in their family anymore?"

It was his father's turn to sigh. "If you keep worrying about the what-ifs, you'll never get anywhere, kid." He pushed down on Fredrick's head playfully, forcing him into a half-bow. "If you're so curious, why not walk up there and ask 'em yourself?" Suddenly, Koenig's voice gained a slight edge. "Either way, you're getting out of this car in the next 60 seconds and I'm leaving, and I won't be looking back. I'm already gonna be late, and you know how your mother is."

Fredrick gasped audibly, the fear in his eyes nearly palpable. "But—!"

Koenig pressed a button on the driver-side door, popping the locks. "Out out out," he said, making shooing motions with his hands. "I need to hit the road."

Looking defeated, his shoulders slumped, Fredrick pulled the door handle and exited the car. Instead of swinging outwards like a typical car, the passenger-side door flipped upwards like a bird's wing. Begrudgingly, the boy stepped out of the car, hauling his backpack with him and slinging it over his shoulder. With a grunt, he reached up to grasp the car door and pull it down, but his father's voice stopped him.

"Oh, I almost forgot." Koenig reached under his seat, pulling out a small bag about the size of a large book. "Here," he said, tossing the bag. Fredrick caught it like a professional football player, his reflexes taking over. "It's a little something I whipped up to, uh, help you along."

Fredrick looked down at the bag, eyeing it with a curious expression. "What's inside?"

"You'll figure it out. Now hurry up and close my door."

Fredrick did as he was told, folding the door from its winged position back down into place. It locked in with an audible click.

Immediately, Koenig rolled down the window. "Don't try to contact me, because I'm not gonna come pick you up early. Have fun!"

Fredrick only managed a slight wave before his father's car jetted forward like a hellfire missile, engine purring. In a matter of moments, he bent a corner and was out of sight. Fredrick turned towards the house, flipping up the hood of his hoodie, pulling the drawstrings tight. As he made his way to the front door, he felt as if he were walking through molasses, each step harder than the next. Eventually, he reached the door and brought his hand up as if to knock, but then thought twice about it. Still the question remained: what use was a ringless wannabe Vongola like him, anyway? What was his purpose in being here again?

Several minutes passed as Fredrick just stood there outside of the door, motionless, his hand frozen in an almost-knock. He was confident that Cain, Shaji, Joel, and the others were already here, since he'd left out a little later then as planned. Would they even want to see him? After a while, he sighed, putting his arm down and turning from the door. He really didn't want to be here. They didn't need him, right?

His first thought was to call his father back to pick him up, but that definitely wouldn't work. No service out here for starters. Plus he had no phone on him... and his dad would just laugh and say no. Hmm... maybe he could just walk back. Fredrick pondered the extreme amount of walking that that would entail and immediately put that possibility out of his mind. With one final sigh, the maybe-Rain-guardian dropped his backpack and took a seat on the stairs leading up to the doorway. Perhaps he could just wait out here forever.

The setting changes from japan to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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#, as written by Damioa
"Oh. Remember that time you thought your dad was a zombie because he was sleepwalking? That was really funny. Hehe."

"Cain. . ." Joel looked at the talkative boy with his natural lazy look. "Shut up."

Cain waved his hands as if to blow away Joels comment. "C'mon. I'm bored and you don't have a computer, a television, or .... well, anything. We can at least talk right?"

"No."

"Come on bro. Tell me who you like. I might be able to help you out. You know they call me cupid in school." Cain giggled.

"When I use to go to your school, I remember they said you were the girlfriend stealer. Not that you could ever come to par with me. I don't need your help. Nor do I need you in my business."

"What? Aren't we brothers though?" Cain looked towards Joel who had turned his head away, sprawled out on the couch like he was sleeping. "Well fine," Cain said crossing his arms. "Be that way. I'll just count the seconds as they go by. One, Two, Three..."

Joel tried to zone the boy out, but the kid really knew how to get under his skin. Though, it was just his luck that not everyone got to see this overly childish side of the lad. No. Just him. He always found himself playing the part of older brother towards the boy. Not that he didn't enjoy it, but sometimes, like these times, it was really annoying. He also made a mental note to start watching what he said around Cain. With the way his mouth runs, if he told him any secrets then the beans would be spilled before he got a chance to think twice about it.

"One hundred thousand and something. One hundred thousand and two somethings. Where was I. Whatev's, I'll just start over."

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Joel sprung up from his backwards resting position and said, "Oh thank god," as he walked towards the door. Not really to his surprise, Ai had been standing at his door, but to his dismay she didn't have anything with her. He gave her a lackluster look and thought quickly on how to handle the situation, deciding to deal with it later, before standing out of her way so she could enter the summer home. "Come in." Those were the only words he said to her as he escorted her to the living room, sitting in the chair adjacent to the couch and next to Cain's chair. His stature in the chair was more like a king inside of his palace, bored at the everyday squabbles of his people. He didn't really want to admit it, but he was tired. Not so much physically tired as mentally. He really didn't enjoy having to father a bunch of kids for a week. He didn't even want to think about it if he was told to stay there longer with the group. Cain was one thing, but a bunch of little people walking around meant he had to keep his composure about him, even more than he already did at the shrine. Though he didn't feel a certain way about Ai being in his pressence at the moment. After all, having her in the room was almost like having no extra bodies in the room.

Cain on the other hand was excited to have another person that he could talk to. "Hey Shaji," he said with a smile on his face. "I'd stand up to hug you, but you know, I have this strange leg feeling. Almost like I have a cast on it. Hehehe."

Joel opened one eye to see the boy who had just made the lame joke before sighing and closing it once more.

"So who dropped you off huh? Your folks? Actually now that you mention it, I never met your folks before. I bet they're nice people. Oh. Did you know that this area has a nice lake. You should of brought a......Swimming suit? Oh." Cain looked her over and all that she was carrying, which by his surprise was actually nothing. "So I see you like to travel light huh? Well that's cool 'cuz you know what they say........ Yup. I know you know, so I don't gotta tell you." After a while Cain stopped talking on his own free will. Not getting a rise out of Joel and not getting the responses that he wanted from Ai, he settled with playing with his beanie for about an hour before another knock was heard.

"WE'RE HERE!" The voice was familiar enough for Joel to guess who was at the door, though once he opened it he was surprised to see the duo that were outside. One person was added and one was taken away and it didn't set well with him at all. Actually, instead of looking at the people who were in front of him, his eyes wandered for split second, finally resting on Fredrick before targeting Eri.

"Come in," he said keeping his eyes moving as if he was expecting another person to follow the two. His eyes, have they been half open were now squinted as if he was picking apart the situation bit by bit. Once he lead them all to the living room, he stayed in the hall for a moment to gather the current information in front of him, along with the current routes. There was no doubt about it. Things were how they were and there was no sense changing them. What would happen would happen and he'd have to let it, for that is what he decided to do.

"Fred!!! What's up man. Come on, give me five. I'd like to get up myself, but you know. My leg is kinda..."

"Cain!!!" Joel interrupted. His voice mid ranged in volume, but still carried a level of assertiveness with it. He turned to face Eri, relaxing his face as if he was his usual uninterested self before speaking again. "Where's Keiko? Is she coming?" If she didn't want to come it was her choice. Whether she wanted to keep her ring or not was also her choice, but before Joel did anything, thought of anything, he needed to have all the facts clear. Also, part of him worried what would happen if someone were to not show up. Though there was nothing, at least willingly, that he could do about it. In fact, in all forms, he had no jurisdiction over any of these kids. However, everything that he says and directs led to the path of Vongola. Whether they were to take that path was completely their choice. Though, with Cain he reached out and spoke more on the fact and he started to worry if he hadn't given everyone his time properly. Though he had always been watching and observing them, Cain was the one who got more emotional time with him. Therefore, if someone were to not follow the path, it would be his fault. Not only that, if someone were to get hurt, because of anything, from today onward, it'd be his fault. He had half the mind to go back towards the city and stop that from happening, but that wouldn't be like him at all. That wouldn't be staying calm. If he wasn't calm then he couldn't lead. He couldn't show a leader how to lead. So first, before jumping to any conclusion, he had to separate himself completely from the matter and be an outsider, an observer. So he calmly looked at Eri hoping that her answer would calm his nerves and that he wouldn't do anything out of his character. Though all of these thoughts were inside of his mind, his face stayed uninterested, making it seem like he could care less. Exactly in character for him.

The setting changes from earth to Joel's Vacation Home

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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Murasaki Eri


"Come in," was the reply. Eri opened the door, removing her purple sneakers, lifting them with her free hand and walking in.

"Excuse me for intruding." she bowed, yet again with her unchanging, traditional mindset to greet upon entering a house. She placed the sneakers where she thought would least obstruct the way and remained in her black knee high socks. She entered the mansion and looked around with her cold, blue eyes, observing what she could before looking at the occupants.

The owner of the mansion, Lightning Guardian Joel Lambe. The Boss, Sky Guardian Cain Vongola. The Mist Guardian, Shaji Ai.

"That makes five of us right now." she noted.

"Fred!!! What's up man. Come on, give me five. I'd like to get up myself, but you know. My leg is kinda..."

Eri shook her head a little with a brief smile on her face. She could understand where all this talking was coming from. After all, the Boss was probably holed up all the time inside a room or something similar, without any way to release the amount of energy he had pent up inside. Her eyes settled on the leg that broke, remembering the time when it was bent at an impossible angle. She looked up at Cain again. Surely he remembered as well? Maybe he was acting cheery to forget about it? She shook her head internally, no, that couldn't be. Cain wasn't exactly the type to dwell in the past anyway.

"Cain!!!" Joel interrupted, his voice carried a level of assertiveness with it at which Eri narrowed her eyes at, though she let it slide. He turned to face Eri, "Where's Keiko? Is she coming?"

Before she could answer, Shaji had spoken. "The Storm Guardian wont be arriving today. She is busy. She did receive a temporary replacement ring." She presented her fist and opened it, revealing silver rings in her hand with a large gemstone on each of them, being orange and blue colored respectively. "I had brought these rings with me for the Boss and the Rain Guardian. They are B-Rank rings capable of producing deathperation flames. Both are some of the most expensive rings in the world, but they do not compare to the Vongola rings in worth nor power. They shall serve as temporary replacements until we retrieve the Vongola rings we had lost to the Rizzo. They will be key for your training. I cannot assure that others are prepared for if we lose any more rings, but the Boss should be able to order them ready anyway, should it come to that."

"That's good to know we have someone here we can trust to help, Shaji." Eri gave the pink-haired enigma a smile, glad to know someone was already preparing all these for the Vongola. She turned back to Joel, a frown on her face as if she was trying hard not to remember something unpleasant.

"Miyamoto Keiko did not accompany me here today, however, she had stated that she will be arriving as soon as she can after she had completed a 'series of tasks', as she put it." Eri started, almost as if reporting for duty, traces of professionalism evident in her voice. She raised up the hand that she held several voice recorders in, each labelled with the names of the Vongola Guardians, except for her and Keiko. "I can confirm that she will be arriving, but I do not know when. Miyamoto has also handed me these to pass onto each of you."

She walked over to each of the present Vongola Guardians and handed the voice recorders to each of them. "I have not played them, but Miyamoto said that they are personal messages she has for each of you."

"Joel. It's Keiko. I know, I know. Ya're probably upset with dah way I handled myself during dah incident. Hell, I was even 'bout tah kill someone from dah Vongola." A short pause. You could just sense a conflict of emotions emanating, even if the proud, spunky Sun Guardian wasn't around. "I won't make excuses fer mah behavior. But I will make amends and this is dah first step. Go easy on dah Boss, Speedy. Guide 'im."

"Boss, Champ speakin'. Boss, yer an amazin' person and don't matter what happened, ya're still dah Boss. Vongola needja. Ya're still growin' and yer potential ain't reached yet, so don't stop there. After all, dah Sky encompasses everythin'. But Boss... I still ain't handin' over dah title of Champion over tah ya. I have a gift fer ya."

"Shaji. I'm sure ya've come up with something tah benefit dah famiglia in some way. I guess that's how I've always viewed ya. So Shaji, whatcha done? Do ya have information dat helps us?"

"Fredrick, you cub. I have something for you."


"Well, that's that." Eri said, walking backwards, with the last recorder that was definitely meant for Nami.

The setting changes from joels-vacation-home to Earth

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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"Shaji. I'm sure ya've come up with something tah benefit dah famiglia in some way. I guess that's how I've always viewed ya. So Shaji, whatcha done? Do ya have information dat helps us?" Ai quietly considered the inquiry after listening to the recording. She'd already told them all about the same things, including the Storm Guardian. If she did have any information that would have benefited them all at the time, she would have already told them, at least she assumed.

Ai had told them of how the Rizzo came from the future and that they were after their rings, but she refused to give more detail as to why. After all, the Rizzos believed that they were doing the right thing for humankind and the Vongolas, if they were in the same position, would likely to have done the same thing. Yet, only Ai truly knew why it was so important that the Vongola rings were to never be given to them, humanity's enemies. They did promise peace, but for humankind, there were fates that existed for them much worse than annihilation. It was key that the Aliens, Ai's ancestors, were to be completely annihilated. Thus, as Ai was programmed, to make sure that didn't happen, Ai needed the rings to be protected at all costs and the Rizzos to become unimportant. If the Vongolas were unsuccessful, Ai would need to protect the rings herself and she was willing to give up her own body to do it. Only, would she give up the lives of her family, her Boss? Ai needed to consider it further.

Ai had to consider every possibility in fact, as no matter what, Ai was going to fail in an alternate universe. Everything that could possibly happen was certain to happen. There would exist universes where the Rizzos would manage to take their rings and give them to the Aliens as their peace offering, thus resulting in Ai's universe or similar iterations. Unfortunately, Ai did not have the mental capacity to calculate the infinite. Ai took chances with almost everything, which she determined was the most logical course of action as she was bound to succeed no matter what. Just as she was fated to fail, she was fated to succeed. It was by chance that Ai had continued to succeed. Working by chance allowed Ai to continue to work hard, while if she knew she was likely to fail, she may not have worked as hard. It almost seemed that the less foresight Ai had, the better. Of course, foresight was also important as it helped her make good decisions.

In conclusion, knowing exactly how the universe worked was very stressful. The universe had no more mysteries and there was nothing left to theorize or philosophize. There were no uncertainties or variables, only natural laws of which were reliable for predicting exactly how a situation worked and what was the absolute best action. Surely, this was the goal of all science. Omniscience was something that Ai at her immature stage, just as all of her kind had aspired to, being minds that didn't know anything. Ai had also observed that humans had this lust for knowledge as well. An unenlightened mind always wished to be enlightened. Yet once Ai had achieved it she knew all truths, including the painful truth that omniscience was hell. It was impossible to learn when there was nothing left to learn, no unknown things to fear, no new discoveries to feel joyful about. Were sentient creatures greater than all of existence because mere existence didn't satisfy them enough to prevent boredom? Or was the existing universe greater because it could continue to expand while sentience couldn't go beyond the bounds of existence?

Philosophy aside, Ai contemplated possible information she had that could have further benefited them all. Then she remembered; "I am not an ordinary human being," she said suddenly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai 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: Hildegarde Faust

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"Koenig. I see you made it."

For an instant, Fredrick looked around, confused. Back in Italy, most people referred to his father as Koenig, while he escaped unnoticed. However, he did recognize the voice. Looking up, he spotted Eri walking up the stairs towards him and immediately froze. The sunlight seemed to catch her hair, which shifted in the gentle midday breeze, moving in slow motion along with the rest of her body. She was like a supermodel crossed with a superhero—strong, courageous, beautiful, and above all, cool. Instead of responding, Fredrick just stared, dumbfounded.

Eri walked right up beside him… and then knocked on the door. Fredrick came to his feet immediately, gulping once. “Uh… maybe we should wait…”

"WE'RE HERE!" She announced, causing Fredrick to wince. The door was not answered immediately, giving Fredrick hope that maybe nobody was home. Maybe he and Eri could just chill outside… maybe?

As if reading his thoughts, Eri turned to face Fredrick. "Nice to see you again. I take that the offer for dinner hasn't been cancelled yet?"

Fredrick chuckled nervously, looking down at his feet and scratching the back of his head. She still wanted to go out with him?! Fredrick internally berated himself. It’s not like a date or anything. Don’t get your hopes up. That’s when he thought of Serlina. She’d definitely give him her infamous “threat of encouragement”. Something like either you go out with her or I will! That made Fredrick smile, if but for a moment.

Then he remembered: he lost his ring. He lost Serlina. He lost everything.

He sighed, looking up at Eri. She didn’t deserve to be dragged down by his misery. Maybe he should just cancel it. He smiled nervously. “Uh… yeah…” He gulped. He had to protect her. He couldn’t bring her into his world. Didn’t want to show her just how weak and pathetic he really was. Then she’d never like him… That’s right. It’d be best just to distance himself from the others… especially Eri.

Especially Eri.

For the first time in a while, he looked her directly in the eyes, his expression becoming imperturbable. “Maybe later,” he muttered, reaching down, grabbing his bag, and slinging it over his shoulder.

At the same time, the door opened, and they were greeted with Joel’s reasoned countenance. He seemed to be analyzing them, as if they weren’t what he’d expected. Fredrick took the initiative, moving through the door before Eri did. As an afterthought, he removed his shoes and tossed them unceremoniously to the side, but did not otherwise speak.

"Fred!!!” Someone who could only be Cain exclaimed, nearly causing Fredrick to jump out of his skin. “What's up man. Come on, give me five. I'd like to get up myself, but you know. My leg is kinda...”

Fredrick sighed, but didn’t otherwise move, choosing instead to avoiding eye contact and look away. It was Joel who reacted instead, interrupting the boss.

"Cain!!!" The Lightning guardian’s was voice mid-ranged in volume, but still carried a level of assertiveness with it.

Fredrick was glad for the interruption, taking the opportunity to go sit in the corner furthest from the others. As they spoke about various things, all Fredrick could think of was shrinking away. He wanted nothing more than to disappear into his chair, becoming nothing and a burden for no one. He sighed. Maybe his father would come pick him up, if only he could find a way to contact him…

Suddenly, Eri appeared before him, the shadow of her presence blocking out the light from the overhead lamp. She handed him a tape recorder, which he took from her hands without question. She seemed to be waiting for him to press the play button, and so he did.

"Fredrick, you cub. I have something for you."

As Eri walked away, Fredrick began to tear up. Keiko… she sounded so genuine, her voice so full of compassion, as if she actually cared. Maybe she really did…

Fredrick brought his fist to his forehead, leaning his elbow on his seat’s armrest. He closed his eyes, trying his hardest to stop tears from breaching his eyelids and rolling down his cheeks.

Why were they all still pretending to like him? He was the idiot who lost his ring to some kid. He wasn’t a leader like Cain, or wise like Joel, or strong like Keiko, or awesome like Eri, or famous like Nami, or a genius like Shaji. He was just… nothing. They were probably laughing at him behind his back, and he knew without a doubt that he could not fault them for it—would not—because he deserved it.

Fredrick sniffed softly, the sound quiet enough to be unnoticeable. He opened his eyes. They were tearless. He refused to cry like some victim. It was his fault that he was in this situation, not Eri’s or Keiko’s or Cain’s or anyone else’s. They did not deserve to be burdened with his weakness. Not now.

If only Serlina was here. She’d know what to do.

"I am not an ordinary human being," Shaji suddenly blurted out. Even Fredrick raised an eyebrow at that one.

**


Alastor stepped back, admiring the fruits of his labor. With a little help from his Clocktower, Trevor’s C-Frame AI, and Hildegarde—the self-proclaimed “crouching brute, hidden mathematician”—he’d successfully performed the calculations necessary to estimate the current rate of temporal flux in respect to the space-time of this particular timeline.

In sending the Rizzo back to this specific point in time, the AIs calculated that they’d have roughly two months to perform their operations and divest the Vongolas of their rings. This would have allowed them to move slowly, cautiously, and also given them some buffer room in case the timeline began to change more drastically than they'd anticipated. However, from what he’d just calculated, they’d just eaten through that buffer.

They didn’t have two months’ time anymore. If his calculations were correct—and he did run them through his Clocktower and the C-Frame AI several times along with Hildegarde double-checking him as he went—they barely had over a million seconds remaining in their window before they did irrevocable damage to the future.

Essentially, the future they would return to, 100 years hence, would be one that was completely unfamiliar. In fact, it would be highly unpredictable. Anything could happen… and with the fate of humanity at stake, they couldn’t afford to roll the dice so cavalierly.

Roughly one million seconds—a conservative estimate. That’s about twenty-thousand minutes. Three hundred hours. Fourteen days. They went from two months’ time to fourteen days after one battle.

“Don’t look so good, eh?” Hildegarde said, allowing her thick accent to carry through.

“Not at all,” Alastor agreed. “Time is something we’re running short on, unfortunately.” He turned to face her. “I didn’t think it’d be this bad. We need to get the remaining rings and get out of here as soon as humanly possible. If one battle did that to the timeline, I can’t imagine what ruinous effects a sustained full-on offensive by the Rizzo would have...”

“No holds barred?” Hildegarde said, barely containing a cackle. “The effect would be: we’d kick their asses.”

“No, the effect would be: we’d totally erase the future we know.”

Hildegarde leaned back against the wall, folding her arms. “I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing,” her voice took on an endearing tone, “my cute little Alastor.

Alastor gave her a look somewhere between incredulity and chagrin, a slight blush crossing his cheeks, though if it was due to anger or embarrassment, Hildegarde wasn’t sure. She definitely loved poking his buttons, just to witness the results. It was positively delightful.

“Hear me out, boss” she continued, raising her hands in surrender. “Maybe changing the future is what we want. Maybe we can make it so that humanity is ready for the aliens before they ever show up as a blip on the deep-space LIDAR array.”

“Or maybe we accidentally make it so humanity flat out loses the instant they attack,” he said coolly, looking back towards his wall of calculations, hand to his chin. After a while, he seemed to come to a conclusion of sorts. “It’ll be best if we stick to father’s plan,” he muttered.

Hildegarde shrugged. “Just throw’n out ideas, Al.”

“The moment Trev finds this Vongola hidey-hole, we’re going in full-strength.” He looked at Hildegarde. “No purposeful killing, but no mercy, either. We’ll crush them completely, and divest them of the remainder of their rings in one fell swoop. We can’t afford anything less.”

Hildegarde grinned, noting Alastor’s use of the adjective purposeful. That was quite a bit of leeway, as far as he was concerned. “So only a few holds barred.”

“Essentially.”
“Sounds good to me,” she said, curtsying deeply. “O glorious leader.”
Alastor sighed, bringing his palm to his face in a halfway attempt to hide a budding grin.