Katekyō Hitman REB0RN!: The Next Generation

Vongola Headquarters in Japan

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a part of Katekyō Hitman REB0RN!: The Next Generation, by Lloyd999.

The busiest place in Namimori is under it!

Lloyd999 holds sovereignty over Vongola Headquarters in Japan, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://reborn.wikia.com/wiki/reborn_wiki

Setting

Vongola Headquarters in Namimori has become one of the two major company headquarters for the Vongola, the other being in Italy (CEDEF headquarters is also in Italy, if you want to count it). Commissioned secretly by the Tenth about 50 years ago during a private affair that almost resulted in the company's destruction (anything mafia-related is kept secret from the public) it is sometimes described as being its own city, complete with its own power grid, water piping, hospital wing, restaurants and even shopping centers, making in very similar to the Pentagon in nature, and just as secure too. Many of its upper layers are open to public tourism, but there are more secret affairs kept in the lower floors and parts of the facility that can only be accessed by one of the old secret entrances it used to use.
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Vongola Headquarters in Japan

The busiest place in Namimori is under it!

Minimap

Vongola Headquarters in Japan is a part of Namimori.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo

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When the walls started exploding, spraying the crowd with fragments of cement and plaster, Fredrick did what came naturally: he protected the person closest to him, pushing them to the ground and shielding them with his body. Unfortunately for him, no good deed seems to go unpunished.

A particularly large chunk of cement smashed Fredrick in the lower back, but it didn't faze him. Serlina managed to throw up a shield of Rain flames at the last second, protecting Fredrick and those around him from the heavy debris.

When the dust settled, Fredrick looked down at who he managed to save with a smile. "I gotcha," he said, grinning goofily, his eyes squinched in effort.

He didn't expect to get punched in the face.

"Unhand me, cretin!" Came a familiar voice, though Fredrick couldn't immediately identify it. Reeling backwards, he fell onto his side, holding his mouth with his hands, countenance overtaken by a look of unadulterated shock, which gave way to fear as he realized who he'd so selflessly pushed to the ground.

It was the kid from before. The one who'd called him out of his name... again. Fred had noticed the kid lagging behind him like a stalker as he slowly made his way towards the front of the crowd earlier in the presentation. On several occasions, he attempted to lose him by taking a quick turn or picking up the pace, but sure enough the kid would always be a person or two away from him. Serlina would point him out. For a stalker, he was pretty bad at being inconspicuous, all things considered.

Multiple explosions rang out from the direction of the stage, shaking the very ground itself. A massive cloud of smoke billowed up around the area surrounding the stage, veiling it and a few of his friends in an inky opaque gloom. More debris showered the area as strange red balls hurdled about, bouncing off walls, crashing into chairs, and smashing out the overhead lighting.

"Ow!" Fredrick whined, tears brimming at the corners of his eyes. He levelled his gaze upon the boy before him. "What'd you do that for?!"

The boy silently picked himself up, completely ignoring Fredrick's question in lieu of dusting himself off. He then fixed his collar with both hands.

For Fred, it was like deja vu. "Uh... sorry... again," he muttered, sighing.

"It's okay," the kid said, his tone soft and amiable—much to Fredrick's surprise. The boy's entire demeanor had changed. When before he was a petty brat, he now seemed more innocent and unassuming.

"Wha?!"

"I said: it's okay. Or, rather, it will be." The kid took a step closer to Fredrick, offering him his hand. "Hi, my name is Alastor. Alastor Rizzo, but you can call me Al." The kid took a quick look around the room, taking in the destruction. "I don't know what's happening, but we should get out of here, right?"

Fredrick had yet to accept the kid's hand, electing to stand on his own. Something about this kid seemed off to him.

"Fred! Duck!" Serlina shouted in his mind. Fred ducked just in time to dodge an inflamed Palla that hurtled overhead, smashing into a nearby table before bouncing away.

"Come on!" The kid Alastor prompted, his voice becoming more high-pitched, his demeanor overly innocent. He was still holding out his hand, wanting Fredrick to grab it. "Please!" The kid looked away, his posture becoming submissive. "I'm scared! I-I... I just want my mommy..."

.... . .

Fredrick felt like a fool. Worse than a fool. He felt like a bully. First he bumped into this poor kid, and then he bowled him over, and now the lad was begging for his help. The Vongola Rain guardian wilted visibly. How could he ever have thought twice about this innocent child? The boy just wanted some help!

"I'm so sorry," Fred said, his voice going up an octave. He grabbed the kid's outstretched hand with his own. "It'll be okay. Let's get out of here, and then we can find your parents, okay?"

Alastor nodded, still refusing to meet Fredrick's eyes. "Okay," he muttered meekly.

"Serlina!" Fredrick's faerie box weapon heeded his call, zipping to appear beside his face.
"Ready to fight?" She asked earnestly.
"No... uh, no. Not yet," he stammered, looking to her. "First we have to get this kid out of here. His name is Alastor and he needs our help!"

Unbeknownst to Fredrick, a malicious smirk had wormed its way onto the boy Alastor's face.

"Isn't that right, Alastor?" Fredrick asked, turning back to his youthful charge.

Alastor didn't respond, his head still bowed, the top half of his face shrouded in shadow.

"Al? Are you okay? Don't be scar—"

With one violent tug, Alastor pulled Fredrick towards him, nearly causing the taller boy to lose his balance. Taking advantage of Fredrick's tumultuous position, Alastor loosened his grip on his enemy's hand, choosing instead to close his fingers in around the Rain guardian's ring finger—around the Vongola Rain ring itself. With a motion as slick as an eel, Alastor tugged once again, slipping the ring off Fredrick's finger.

Almost.

Fredrick regained his balance much quicker than Alastor expected, snatching his hand away from the boy—ring and all.

"Tch." Alastor hopped backwards a couple of steps, taking in the fact that his ploy had failed. "You stupid asshole," he said, his words dripping with contempt, a finger pointed accusatorially at Fredrick. "I can't believe they let someone so gullible be a ring bearer! You don't deserve it!" Alastor struck a pose, his leading leg somewhat bent at the knee. "I know you must suffer from traumatic dumbass syndrome," he began hushedly, speaking more to himself than to Fredrick. He eyed his knee while he spoke, making a fist with his right hand. "So I'll make this as simple as I can..."

With a swift vertical stabbing motion, Alastor brought his closed fist straight down upon his own knee—like a judge pounding a gavel. To Fredrick, it seemed as if the boy were gripping a stick or rod of some sort, though there had been nothing in his hand a moment ago. Despite all of the commotion surrounding them, an eerie silence settled over the immediate area, muffling all other sounds.

A tingling sensation flared at the point where Alastor's fist contacted his knee, surging throughout his body like a storm. It was a moment before the boy overcame the rapturous feeling, taking a moment to calm himself.

Three... two... one...

"Come," he uttered, his eyes screwed shut, face contorted in extreme concentration. "Hour Hand."

Alastor began to pull his fist upward away from his knee, his movements lacking haste. What followed his clenched fist was not nothingness, however, but a gunmetal-silver machete-like blade no shorter than the length of two daggers. The boy pulled the weapon from his own knee as cleanly as a master chef would a blade from a knife block. When he was finished, there was no trace of damage or discoloration anywhere around where he'd summoned the weapon, as if he'd called it from out of thin air.

The boy crouched in an obviously practiced stance, holding the blade parallel to the floor, its lengthwise edge staring Fredrick dead in the face. A soft translucent blackness emanated from the weapon, captivating the Rain guardian. Within it were tiny lights and various other things that twinkled and popped to some unknown rhythm. Fredrick couldn't help but think of whole galaxies being born, filling the universe with their light.

Of planets dying, their luminescence snuffed out forever.

The kid Alastor spoke his next words very very slowly: "Hand over the ring or die."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera

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Flandre produced an extremely large shield that was materialized in front of her. Nami's Guzheng's waves were rendered useless. She saw Flandre then begin to drive her wheels directly towards her, "Come on! How can she even make that thing?!" she complained.
Flandre quickly closed the distance between the two of them with her inhumane speed. 'I'll use this to my advantage then,' Nami thought. Nami bawled her first, thrusted herself forward using her cambio form, "Take this!" Nami took in a deep breathe of air. She sent a propelled fist to Flandre accompanied by scream. This scream produced a large destructive wave fueled by the storm flame from her vocal cords.

Flandre flinched as soon as the sound hit her. Her shield was pushed back slightly, yet it protected her from the blunt of the attack. Still, the scream was unpleasant in her ears and with both hands occupied, she could do nothing about it, though she did not faulted in movement. Flandre was a machine, and yet she could feel pain.

Both charged at each other screaming with no signs of stopping. Spectacularly, they collided. Nami's boosters fought against Flandre's wheels, both showing signs of buckling any second. Nami drilled her fist as hard as she could into shield to force Flandre back. Perhaps if she could get her airborne, maybe she'd stand a better chance; however, she was planted into the ground at stalemate against Flandre's shield. Flandre's arm creaked under the pressure, while her other arm was fixed behind her, sword pointed in Nami's direction like some Roman warrior's stance. Then, Flandre's shield arm lit up with black flames.

The mechanical arm began to rotating, twisting the shield and Nami's fist with it. A simple experiment. Flandre smirk. The whole shield lit up with Storm-shaped flames and began to spin quickly, like a drill. Her arm spun with it. Using Storm's property, Flandre turned her shield into a spiked saw.

Nami was flung across the room spinning in circles into the wall from Flandre's arm. She felt her body weaken and the immense pain from broken bones from the impact of being thrown. This fight as a whole was taking a toll on Nami and she was a tad bit dizz from the spin. "Guess I got to step it up too!" she said as she pulled out a box weapon. Upon opening it, two unnecesarily large boom boxes shoot themselves far across the room and a wireless microphone formed around Nami's mouth. She begun singing one of her upbeat songs 'Move it Tempest!' causing a surge of Sun flame energy to run through her body.

In her newly energized state, she was prepared to avoid this spiked saw and continue fighting. 'Take this Flan!' she hopped around while throwing an array of explosive mockingbirds at Flan. She merely blocked them with her shield of which spun wildly with the intense flames around it. Flandre felt each moment she used her flames more intense than the last. "Nami, Nami!" she called tauntingly, followed by a giggle. Then, she once again charged toward Nami, leading with her sword instead. Flandre may have not been allowed to kill the girl, but she was going to enjoy breaking her down.

Following Flandre's lead, Nami charged fist first aiming for Flandre's face. She attempted to use her left arm to deflect the approaching sword. Flandre, however, spun around as she charged and managed to knock Nami to the his using the whole weight of her shield. As Nami tumbled, Flandre quickly followed her, not wasting any time to gawk. Though, she frowned as Nami continued to move. Nami coughed up blood while she regained her composure. Barely holding onto her consciousness, she stood in a fighting stance for the approaching Flandre. Thoughts of running away and calling for help flooded her mind, but she knew as the Vongola Guardian of Storm, the defender of the Sky, she would have to learn to hold her own. "I won't give up!" she yelled diving once again headfirst. Flandre gritted her teeth as she did and simply knocked her back down with the butt of her sword. She placed a foot on top of her collapsed form. "Nami~" she said, the wheel rotating in slow short bursts threateningly, like a child lightly holding the trigger on his father's drill. "I will break you Nami~. Would you like that, Na~mi?" The wheel spun gently on her back. If Flandre wanted, she could have pressed harder, spun more quickly and the sharp wheel would make a bloody mess of the girl.

"I'm going to break you if you keep moving, untill I'm sure you're broken, Nami. I'm going to cut you open and take everything out of you, Nami. I'm going to cut offf every single piece of you Nami! And it'll hurt Nami! And you'll scream, Nami! Right, NAMI?! NAMI!" She broke into hysterics as her foot pressed down harder on the girl's back.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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"I know what you are, you probe,"the woman said, approaching her. Ai grew tense as she did, though it did not show on her face, the many cords wrapped around her like snakes, poised both to attack and defend. "I've read all about you. I know that you're holdin' that kid as your mind slave." Ai did not react. The statement was accurate enough. Ai was designed to control human bodies like that of the girl and was designed to be unable to survive without it. A necessary dependence as a tool was of no use if it did not preform its task. Ai was a free-willed creature after all, she merely had the incentive to follow the orders of her masters, whether that was her own kind or to a lesser extent, one of her humans masters such as Decimo and Undecisimo. Although, Ai had come to understand that the freedom of one is borrowed from another. Just as Ai had free-will, her human vessel's freedom was borrowed entirely, a freedom of which could be borrowed from Ai by her masters, of course. Naturally, freedom only had a 10% conservation rate, much like energy, but to put such an abstract term into a mathematical concept hardly seemed logical. It did, however, in the unimaginable workings of her kind.

"You are the enemy, probe, not the child you're... Infesting." the woman crept closer. The TID identified her as Hildegarde Faust, but she was still receiving the data slowly. "We've come to put a stop to your kind... a stop to yours taking any more of ours back where we're from, get it?" Humans, unlike artificial creations like herself, valued their lives. Ai learned that long ago, but it is still something that heavily effected her decisions. Though, to them, no form of life was complete without a conscious mind. Odd, really. Ai had the power to draw things out of the girl to help her live better than she could on her own. Ai could manipulate chemicals and fluids in her body to a perfect balance and could fight infection more intelligently than the primitive cells of the body could on their own. In theory, under Ai's possession, the girl was healthier than any other human, healthier than she needed to be. The girl would not feel pain either, nor face terrible apparitions such as nightmares. Plus, the girl's growth was suspended, so unless the body was damaged beyond repair, the body had the potential of living forever without decay. Ai wondered if humans such as this one would change their opinion on them if they knew about all of this.

Although, if Ai were to ask the girl if she preferred being under Ai's possession, she'd most likely deny it. Odd indeed.

"I'm only going to say this once. Hand over the Mist ring, and I'll overlook what you've done to that girl for now." "I will not," Ai responded almost immediately. "It is my duty as the Vongola's Mist guardian to protect this ring, of which is not easily overridden unless the Boss's life were at stake and even so, I would do all in my power to protect everything. I do not expect you to forgive what my kind has done to yours, and while I can explain the benefits I give this body, I will not, for it is necessary for your kind to dislike mine. It is crucial so I can complete my goal."

"Your arrival, however, may have ruined my whole mission as your actions effect on the future, by coming here, may be catastrophic for your kind. This incident may sway the human collective mind away from a direction that would give your kind an advantage in the battle for your planet. Yet it is still possible that it can all be fixed, as long as you and your allies do not continue to assault us for our rings."

"I do not expect you to believe me. I do not expect you to listen to me. It is in human nature to deny information contrary to their belief and I expect you will attempt to take my ring away as I expect that when you receive these rings, you will find the reward for your action unsatisfactory. I am ready to fight. I am ready to do everything in my power to defend this ring. I will also remind you that if you fight me, you will risk hurting this body of which you value if I am unsuccessful in defending it myself."

Ai held a bundle of cords in her hand defensively. "Choose your next actions carefully, Hildegarde of Quasar."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola

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Alastor enjoyed seeing Cain go through the motions. First: confusion, as he realized he'd been assaulted. Next: fear, as he realized he'd been virtually decapitated. Then, cold hard realization. Ah, yes. Alastor could see it in the boy's eyes, his revelation. The Vongola boss had just confronted the reality that he was engaging someone on an entirely different level than himself.

Cain leveled a fiery glare upon his enemy. Alastor responded with practiced arrogance. A raised chin. A faint smirk.

The boy didn't comprehend just how close the boss of the Rizzo had come to actually decapitating him. If not for the sanctity of the timeline, perhaps he would have forgone invoking Underhand—his box weapon's ability to phase through matter—entirely.

"I don't know who you are," the Vongola said, "but you are going to regret not killing me with that attack."

Suddenly, Cain streaked forward, brilliant red Sky flames flowing in his wake. The Vongola arced his trajectory, encircling Alastor in the flames. In response, Alastor simply turned his wrist, bringing the Minute Hand down by his side at an angle. When Cain made his first strike, bursting through the circle of flames like a speeding bullet, Alastor shifted in his stance ever so slightly, parrying the maneuver in a barrage of flame and sparks. The boy's momentum carried him past his opponent and back out into the ring of flames.

Alastor got the sense that Cain was annoyed with him, the way he kept streaking back and forth. So accelerated had the Vongola's movements become that he began leaving wide streaks along the ground as he attacked, forming a pentagram-esque pattern. Again and again he struck, and again and again Alastor parried, only moving his body just enough to catch and repel the attacks.

Alastor nodded to himself, closing his eyes and sighing softly. This was not at all going as he'd expected. Slowly, he raised his arm into the air, and once again snapped his fingers. This time, however, instead of a benign soundwave, a blue-black distortion saturated the immediate area, expanding outwards like a nuclear explosion. So foreign was this phenomenon that it could only be described as unearthly, the blue-black energy racing outwardly in all directions. Eventually, the distortion came into contact with Cain's ring of flames... and blew it away, as if it'd never existed in the first place. Cain could do nothing but guard against the dark energy and look on in awe as his flames were annihilated.

Alastor lowered his hand, a look of disappointment fresh upon his face. "Don't tell me that this is the full extent of your abilities, King of Flames," Alastor exclaimed, his condescension rolling over the area like the waves of a hurricane. "Surely I did not travel all this way to fight a novitiate?"

Cain didn't understand what the man meant by novitiate, but the way it sounded made Cain feel like he was questioning his experience, which wasn't really odd considering he had no fighting experience. Though he still smirked, figuring that he might as well. He was not the type to fret over a situation, not the one to ever give up. If the man wasn't going to go down with his pentagram strike, then maybe he'd fall if he used his ace. "Okay buddy, let's see if you can withstand this," he said rolling once again around the man. Though, this time he was skating backwards. He once again made a circle of flame, but this time he jumped up to the air, spinning as if he were a figure skater. The flames followed his body and a circular barrier of sky flames twirled with him. It wasn't seen by the naked eye, but inside the circle he kicked out his right leg, flinging flame balls at his enemy. "Spitfire revolution," he called.

Alastor sighed once more at the boy's words. He surely had a smug enough hubris to be the legendary King of Flames, that's for sure. However, Alastor began to believe he'd appeared too early in the boy's timeline for him to be of any challenge. He saw before him not a mythical king, but an insolent child. He had to be insolent, to come at one such as Alastor and then have the audacity to miss.

Maybe he was just getting a little too old for these games.

The man closed his eyes, flowing around each ball of flame like a leaf in a gentle wind, his body moving to and fro in curt practiced strides. By the time the Vongola leader landed after flinging his spectacular attacks, Alastor had managed to close the distance between them.

He opened his eyes, leveling a somewhat disgruntled glower at the boy. "You disappoint me," he uttered, bringing his sword to bear. "You are no king of flames."

Cain's eyes grew large, their spunky edge replaced with a look of shock. That was the best thing he had and he couldn't even hit the guy with it. He was also letting the mans words creep into his very well being. There was no way he could fight this guy. That much had became apparent. Still, he tried his best to throw one more punch towards the man. Heavy thoughts were starting to put weight on his mind and chest. For once in his life, he felt further from the sky than he had ever been before.

Alastor's frown only deepened as the Vongola's Sky guardian came at him with his fists—like some common brute. After everything that had just transpired, this brat had the gall to challenge him in bare hand-to-hand combat? As if that would win it for him? Of everything, it was this that finally managed to vex the Rizzo boss. Of all brands and breeds of combat, it was melee in which Alastor excelled.

In fact, it had become his specialty.

Cain was within striking range, his fist bared, a look of final determination ingrained in his features. Taking a stance, Alastor made a wide lateral swipe with his weapon, passing the blade through the boy's midsection and up across the chest, its cold black edge exiting clean through the side of his neck, the movement as fluid as a fish through water.

Cain stopped his punch halfway, once again going into a slight shock at the blade passing through him. His eyes widened in the fear of knowing that at any moment, this man could have killed him if he desired it.

There was no blood, or even the semblance of a wound, but Alastor had gotten the reaction he'd been seeking.

With a single offhanded kick to the shin, he sent Cain fumbling forward, his skates grating and rasping across the ground like a beleaguered old man gasping for breath. The dissonance of it all brought a terse grin to Alastor's face. To him, Cain's noisy failure sounded like music. This boy was the diametric opposite of the historic figure that shared his namesake. Perhaps that man would never exist in this timeline.

A shame.

Alastor dismissed his box weapon with the flick of his wrist, using his newly free hand to assist the other in straightening his tie. The motion was two parts suave, one part robotic.

Being stirred off of his feet, Cain barely managed not to fall face first on the ground behind his opponent. Turning around, the boy gritted his teeth, angered at the fact that he was being toyed with. "Don't fuck with me," he yelled, once again charging his skates and using the friction to torque himself into a powerful roundhouse kick. Alastor watched unamused as the Vongola head's flaming foot came his way. His moves were too predictable for the experienced man to even want to lift a finger against them. However, if he were to play defensively with the kid gloves all day, he would not only prolong his mission, but also stretch the time he had to be in the presence of such a wanting fighter.

The truth was, Alastor had become hopelessly bored of this banality. He resolved himself to finish the fight quickly and leave the boy to wallow in his own misery. Cain's kick was directed at his face—something the man had seen far too many times before. It was an easy counter. In one swift but smooth motion, he raised his left arm to block the attack. On impact, he immediately slid that arm up the boys shin, placing a vice grip on his calf. Cain reacted as expected, with quick and forceful tugs in an attempt to escape the mans grasp, but it was to no avail. The man had him trapped.

Giving an irksome half-yawn, Alastor moved his right hand onto the boys thigh and yanked backwards, bringing his opponent further off balance. With his left arm still coiled around the boy's leg, he positioned his wrist so that the back of his hand rested on the side of Cain's knee cap. In that instant, Cain and Alastor met eyes, the moment spanning lifetimes. It was the Rizzo boss that moved first, raising his elbow and smashing it into the outward side of Cain's knee.

It snapped like a twig.

Alastor followed it with a rapid jerk to the side, snapping the appendage once more but in the opposite direction, staring the boy dead in the eyes the entire time.

"Agony," Alastor muttered, a malicious smirk worming its way onto his face as he unceremoniously released Cain from his vise. As the boy careened towards the floor, Alastor snatched at his wrist, grabbing him and summarily tossing him to the side, sending him to crash painfully to the ground, his skates doing him no favors.

Cain went into a frenzy of tormented screams as Agony took effect, causing the same sequence of painful events to replay themselves again and again and again, the pain just as explosive as if it'd happened for the first time.

Smash to the side of the knee. Snap. Jerk to the opposite side. Pop.
Smash to the side of the knee. Snap. Jerk to the opposite side. Pop.
Smash to the side of the knee. Snap. Jerk to the opposite side. Pop.

Even as Alastor walked away, his forearms returned to their positions folded behind his back in sage-like formation, Cain's suffering continued.

"Aaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! AaaHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" By this time, the boy was on the floor, tears streaming down his face as he writhed in sweet passionate torturous agony, his high-pitched screams filling the hall to the brim before he went silent completely.

To Alastor, even this—no, especially this—sounded like the most harmonious of musics. The Rizzo boss continued his unhurried pace, tossing a small twinkling object up and down in his hand as if it were a toy ball. Judging by the silence at his back, Alastor surmised that Cain had fainted from the agony of it all. Hah. After yet another toss, he caught the object between his index finger and thumb, eyeing it. It was the Vongola Sky ring alright. 100% genuine. Worn by ten generations of Vongola heads.

Until today.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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“I will not,” Ai responded almost immediately. Hildegarde flinched in surprise, as if someone had raised a fist. This girl… her determination to piss the Quasar guardian off was positively inimitable. “It is my duty ,” she continued, “as the Vongola's Mist guardian to protect this ring, of which is not easily overridden unless the Boss's life were at stake and even so, I would do all in my power to protect everything. I do not expect you to forgive what my kind has done to yours, and while I can explain the benefits I give this body, I will not, for it is necessary for your kind to dislike mine. It is crucial so I can complete my goal.”

Hildegarde clenched her teeth, her golden eyes narrowing, acquiring a vicious tint. Her opulent burnished brown skin crinkling around the edges of her eyes and the corners of her mouth as her lips curved into a snarl.

“Your arrival, however, may have ruined my whole mission as your actions effect on the future, by coming here, may be catastrophic for your kind. This incident may sway the human collective mind away from a direction that would give your kind an advantage in the battle for your planet. Yet it is still possible that it can all be fixed, as long as you and your allies do not continue to assault us for our rings.”

There was an awkward silence as Hildegarde stared into the hostage girl’s unfeeling dead eyes. What Hildegarde saw in the girl was not human. Not by a long shot. Not anymore.

”I do not expect you to believe me,” the Mist guardian continued, “I do not expect you to listen to me. It is in human nature to deny information contrary to their belief and I expect you will attempt to take my ring away as I expect that when you receive these rings, you will find the reward for your action unsatisfactory. I am ready to fight. I am ready to do everything in my power to defend this ring. I will also remind you that if you fight me, you will risk hurting this body of which you value if I am unsuccessful in defending it myself.”

“Choose your next actions carefully, Hildegarde of Quasar.”


The Rizzo guardian remained silent, her frown deepening as she stared the girl in the face. The mention of her name did not phase her—it was to be expected when dealing with this one. They stood there, staring at each other for whole minutes, neither making a move.

It was Hildegarde that broke first.

“I think,” she began, scrambling the contents of her hand with her fingers, “that you’re underestimating—” she took a step towards the girl, never breaking eye contact, enunciating her next words with a thick southern drawl “—Just. How. Easily. I. Could. Kill. You.”

She took another step, coming within a car’s length of the girl.

“You have the nerve to speak of benefits. Benefits.” Hildegarde closed her eyes, the image of her younger brother coming to her mind, and with it, a righteous indignation. The invader—its clammy tentacles pouring from her brother’s orifices, oblong third eye fixed upon his chest like a tumor—spoke through him. It, too, spoke of benefits. Spoke of a disease-less existence. Spoke of chemicals and balances and health. Of a painless life. An immortal body.

These aliens just could not comprehend us. They could not comprehend humans—the sanctity of living.

Hildegarde sucked air through her teeth, opening her eyes. She could see it in the alien. Within the third eye of the invader itself—the one that she could not physically perceive. The one she knew was there.

Watching.

That thing, the one that’d called itself a probe, the one that spoke through her brother’s lifeless countenance, his dead eyes, his sagging visage… Hildegarde saw the exact same scene replicated now in this poor girl that stood before her.

These invaders always speak so loftily of how well they treat the bodies they infest, but that’s just it. Without a mind, it’s just a body. A shell. A doll—a part of some sick alien collection. You can comb its hair and wash it off and keep it from breaking, but that doesn’t make it alive.

That doesn’t make it a human being.

Hildegarde clenched her fists, squeezing so hard that the candies in her hand were crushed into numerous fragments, their jagged edges cutting into her flesh. Tenuous strands of congealed crimson dripped from between the fingers of her fist like a leaky faucet. If Hildegarde felt any pain from this, it did not register on her face.

In fact, she was grinning now, baring her pearly white teeth. “Tch. The future.” She took another step. “We’ve read up on the history. We know what you are, probe. We know why you came back.” She took yet another step. She was almost within the girl’s social space, but not yet within arm’s reach. “The fact that you appear in our history books means you’ve already had your effect on our time. You’ve already done your damage to us. To humans. We must be here because of you…” Hildegarde’s eyes grew big, as if something had just occurred to her. “And if you aliens can perform Space Requiem,” she mused quietly, whispering to herself, “then that means you must have already...” A pained expression flashed across Hildegarde’s face, but was quickly replaced with an aspect of zealotry. She held up her clenched fist before her enemy, her blood, having been squeezed between her fingers, dropping to the floor in small congealed globs.

“Ah, yes. We’re the good guys here. Not you,” she said, her accented drawl thickening further. “We sacrificed everything we loved to come back here. Everything!

The woman took a stance.

“What’s at stake now is bigger than me. Bigger than the Rizzo. Bigger than the Vongola you pretend to support. It might be as massive and awesome as Alastor himself! We’re here to save the entire human race from the likes of you.” Hildegarde turned her fist so that her palm faced upward. “So you must understand: the life of one innocent girl held hostage by a monster...” The Rizzo guardian chuckled softly, her toothy grin morphing into a vicious smirk. “Well, it just pales in comparison, don’tcha think?”

The woman opened her hand, revealing a mass of countless variegated candy fragments. “You really piss me off, ya know. I told you I’d only ask for the ring once, probe.” She shook her head, her disappointment evident in the tone of her voice and the inclination of her drawl. “I’ll tell Alastor I asked.”

Hildegarde took a deep breath and blew as hard as she could, scattering the fragments about and saturating the area surrounding both herself and the Mist Vongola. The fragments seemed to defy physics as they flew, arcing and bending and twisting in their trajectories as if tugged by some sort of outside force. Eventually, the fragments were floating all around them, suspended in the air at varying heights as if gravity itself had ceased its function. Each fragment within the cloud vibrated with an otherworld power as they settled into their positions, glowing faintly with a blue-brown hue. After a moment, neon-blue rays began to zip and fire back and forth, traversing the cloud and connecting the disparate pieces of candy like a child connecting the dots of a puzzle.

Hildegarde muttered but a single word in homage to this grand work: “Quasar.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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Ai was, with a thought process that could be equated to annoyance at some level, troubled about how firm the woman, Hildegarde, was on her opinion. One thing that did interest her was the fact that Hildegarde knew who she was, meaning she was from a possible future that Ai had returned to, or at least a possible her from the future. Ai had wondered exactly what she would have done differently in a different timeline, when she was designed to preform in the exact same way no matter how different the possible future was. Ai was a constant, a perfect constant, a feat of which defied the multiverse theory that could only be accomplished by her kind's infinite capabilities, with the assistance of the properties of the Mare Rings, a space-time bending property that had been drawn out of the original Ores somehow when the rings were created, and similar yet different properties were preserved in the other pieces, the other rings, as well. So, in theory, perhaps Ai's mission would be futile, unless of course she used the timeline where she was told of her failure, this one, to good use, to learn from mistakes. Of course, she would be equally futile if she was already in an Oedipus situation, where one with knowledge of the future makes an action to prevent such an event from happening, only for that action to unknowingly be the cause of the event. (Coincidentally, Oedipus gouged his eyes out out of disgust for his actions in the play, yet this didn't effect Ai, especially when the situation refers to the mistake of his father).

Ai, though had stated she was ready to fight the woman if she continued to prove ignorant, yet Ai would have much preferred avoiding conflict anyway and was planning on hopefully trying to convince the woman about how what Ai was doing was the right thing to do, Ai knew it was, she was told it was. What was right and wrong and similar morals were things very unclear to Ai, so she relied on others to tell her what was right and wrong, or rather, what needed to be done, and mathematics and quantum mechanics filled in the rest. Though, both girls probably knew that it didn't matter how right Ai was, Hildegarde was likely more powerful nonetheless. The universe wasn't built to work in one's favor, her kind knew that, yet they were seemingly the masters of it. Of course, at this point in time, her kind weren't the masters of anything but space travel, and even from accomplishing just that did her kind understand well that the universe wasn't favorable.

Hildegarde made her move, yet Ai could do nothing but stay on the defensive, cords surrounding her like the orbitals of an atom. Then, the attack began, beams transferring power between one another, not unlike static. Not unlike thoughts, at least as far as Ai's infantile stage was concerned. A chaotic jumble of pseudo-thoughts and proteins in an extremely low-energy setting, either too weak to sustain themselves and fading into the background, or connecting with others in what essentially equated to a conversation, where question and answer were one. There was no perception, but there was freedom of thought in a half-aware sleepy existence. She could hardly distinguish herself as an individual at the time, yet she knew she, or the group of her, was stronger than the others, smarter, more thoughtful, able to mature, aware enough to even understand that she was intentionally able to do so out of intentional creation. The way energy was transferred was almost like communication, yet communication and bonding were hardly dissimilar. An instantaneous event lasting an eternity. Ai may have preferred who she was at present, able to sustain perfect thought more clearly, able to perceive the world, able to control her own actions, yet occasionally, she desired returning to that sleepy state of slow eternal contemplation, the border between life and inanimacy.

Of course, it wasn't going to harm her any less. Crossing any of the streams would result in the instant detonation of many of the particles, of which would react with the other particles. It's operation was very similar to a weapon in the future known as a Hopwire grenade of which used Mist's construction ability. Whether variants were ever created for the Space flames or not in Hildegarde's version of the future was unknown, but the inspiration for the technique seemed to be there, but heavily improved on as Hopwires were only effective to restrict movement in indoor combat in small rooms, while this technique looked like it could be used anywhere with more effectiveness. Ai, however, had no intention of moving.

Ai merely stared at Hildegarde with all three eyes. To construct reality was difficult, and Ai had little imagination, but to fool the mind was to think logically, as logic dispelled any lie. "Then in turn, I shall only reason with you once." Ai's cords then tightened all around her, encasing her like some sort of mummy. Then, they all deflated like a balloon and dissolved into the ground, leaving no body behind. "And if compromise of another human life is what your kind is willing to do meet your ends," her voice said from behind her as cords grasped at Hildegarde's neck from behind, "Then my kind is certainly much more willing to compromise another human life to meet ours."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko

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The sight of the three Soras caught Keiko off-guard and she was even more surprised when she managed to stop one of the Sora's punches before the other two jumped forward to attack her with kicks, sending her backward against the caged ring. A deep growl emanated from within her throat as she glared at her adversaries.

'Three of 'em... Dis can only mean illusions. But they feel real.' she thought to herself, 'Too real compared tah dah Mist Flames...'

Leaping forward, her face set in a snarl, she swung out with a fist and a leg striking the two Soras that had kicked her.

The two Sora's were flung back on the ground. They quikcly hopped back towards their feet. "Ah, you're in rare form tonight Miyamoto. Come now Sora's, Chop Chop!" said Sora as he clapped his hands twice.

"TWO MORE SORA'S?!! Come on Champ! Handle this!" yelled the announcer; however, this time his voice started to seem more Sora-like that Keiko couldn't help but notice.

The five Sora's surrounded Miyamoto, "Guess I'll show you something new." Each Sora tightened their gloves on their hand. Each pair of gloves on every Sora begun to produce a unique flame type of the Vongola. Sky, Sun, Storm, Rain and Mist respectively. With this flame, Sora started to produce aspects of each flame type.

"Just hand over the ring" one said. "Save us the trouble Champ," commanded the other. "You're really pretty," said one blushing Sora. The other four stared at him with a look of shame, "Alright guys, roll out!," yelled one of the Sora's.

"HAH!" Keiko snorted, thumbing her nose before going back into her stance. "Dah more, dah merrier, rabbit. I'm gonna cut each one of ya down tah size, then I'll find dah real ya and then make sure ya can never have children."

The Sky flame Sora propelled himself shooting Sky flame from his hands, in midair he began shooting clusters of Sky flame at Miyamoto. Cluster for cluster, Keiko threw punch for punch, her upper body working like a machine, striking each Sky flame with her fists. When Storm Sora made both of his hands pointed like a hand gun which sent forth destructive bolts, Keiko did the exact same, punching the bolts. Which each punch, Keiko began to feel that the attacks were beginning to push her fists back, sending ripples across her skin from the impact.When the Sun and Rain fueled by their respective flames leap into close combat and sent a flurry of kicks and punches, she accepted the challenge they bestowed upon to her, only to finally realize the reason why she was losing so much ground.

Miyamoto Keiko's Sun Flames had been completely cancelled out. Punched and kicked all over by her enemies, she brought her body close together, trying to numb out the blows while she came to terms that her opponent's Sun Flame's Harmonic properties and Rain Flame's properties played a role, petrifying and then slowly eating away at her Sun flames, causing her to lose their strengthening properties and the regeneration. Angered that she was outsmarted by a mere rabbit, she roared and struck out at the Sun Sora, shattering her wrist with a punch that was way to strong for her body to handle. With that opening, she dodged the next punch from the Storm Sora.

Fueling her wrist with pure, concentrated Sun flames at an incredibly high release rate, a method she had concocted to help heal her most fatal wounds as soon as she could. As she rubbed the healing wrist, the Mist Sora moved his hands in a unique matter which produced a series of floating blocks, after moving his hands as if he was casting a spell, they were sent flying towards Miyamoto. Her fists went ablaze once more with higher intensity Sun flames, her state of mind beginning to enter a very feral, yet focused form, mimicking a predator hunting it's prey with only one objective: To Succeed. With great force and agility she surged forward, shattering each block with a swift jab while making her way closer to the Mist Sora and struck at him with multiple blows, ending it with an uppercut, straight into the air.

Done, she looked around her like a wild animal, her eyes holding a rather crazed look and a deep growl in her throat. Now focused, everything seemed clearer to her. Sight, smell, touch, hearing and even taste. The scent of the Flames became evident, although the hint of that odd smelling flame still seemed to emanate from somewhere. That must be the unknown flame this rabbit was using. Keiko hissed like a cat, her face forming an almost feline snarl.

Faintly, so faint that the sensitive Keiko dismissed it as imagination, a scream could be heard, a scream full of pain and agony.

"Ya're good, rabbit." she admitted, then bounded towards the Sky Sora, grabbing hold of his collar and aimed a fist at him in midair. "But even dah greatest hunters fall before predators!"

She punched, hell-bent on shattering the skull of this offender of the Vongola famiglia, this harmer of innocents, this proud hunter who thought he could take down the greatest predator of all.

All of the Sora's were lying on the ground hurt from Miyamota's fierce blows while the crowd went wild cheering. The unconscious Sora's then dissolved into thin air. *Clap, Clap* A slow clap came from the corner of the ring. Sora with an amused look upon his face walked slowly towards Miyamota, "Wow, honestly I'm impressed Miyamoto. You just don't tire out, do you?" He expected her to show signs of fatigue at this point, but she just kept going.

"Look over there," he pointed towards the audience, "You sure have kept them entertained for sure."

"Go get him Miyamoto!" "Knock her out Sora!" "Keep fighting!!!!" "Do it again!" yelled from all the directions of the audience.

In the audience, you can see hundreds of lively people sitting down, cheering, standing up, walking around; however, the strange thing about it was...they were all Sora's. There was a Sora walking around selling popcorn, hot dogs, drinks to other Soras. Some stood and cheered, others looked upset, and they all behaved as if they were a true legit audience. Keiko was briefly shocked back into her normal state of mind before this realization raised her eyebrows.

"You can do it champ!" a man with a coach-like apparel said from the sidelines near Miyamoto.

"You see Miyamoto in this space," he raised both of his arms. "This is my world and we can fight here for years until you're done," with both his hands raised fifty Sora's appeared and surrounded Miyamoto. They all produced a mixture of the Sun, Storm, Mist, Rain, and Lightning flame within in their gloves. They all had the same look in their eyes and stared directly at the Sun Ring around her neck.

'A space... his world...'

"You see Miyamoto, the Sun shines ever so bright; however, one day it'll explode, tire out in a sense. " he paused then continued, "And all that will remain is, the Stars"

'Stars...'

A golden star formed in every Sora duplicates eyes and begun shining. "Just know, ever predator will one day become the prey."

"Ah, it looks like they're all ready! This is your host Sora, and I'd like to say," he took a deep breathe that was heard through the microphone, "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEE!!!!"

All of the Sora's got into a fighting stance, then begun to charge at Miyamoto from all sides. Miyamoto closed her eyes and breathed in, before letting out a loud 'swoosh' when she breathed out. The noise drowned out the rest of the sounds around her, the crowd cheering, the announcer, even the footsteps of the other Soras. She now knew what flame she was dealing with and the properties it possessed. She didn't know how, but she knew somewhere deep inside. That was all she needed to get out of this space. She laughed quietly to herself.

"Star Flames... properties of Perception, the master Flame of Illusions..." she drawled out, her surroundings beginning to fade in and out of focus, the Vongola HQ and Sora's Space beginning to fight for dominance over her senses.

One second she would hear people screaming in terror, the next she would hear Soras yelling and cheering. One moment she would see debris collapsing all over the HQ, then she could see Soras running towards her with gloves with different flames. She began to glow with Sun flames and a yellow glow was trailing along her eyes as she looked around. Suddenly, everything became slow.

"Hey rabbit." Keiko stared up at the lights above the ring, almost with a very relaxed expression. "Didja know? Dah Sun is dah strongest when it explodes, and it's also dah most beautiful moment in dah Sun's life span. It ain't tirin' out-"

And then, almost like the shattering of a mirror, her surroundings disappeared, sending her back to the HQ where she really was. Screaming and debris falling galore.

"-it just knows it's time for it tah destroy an entire solar system. That's why, it's called a Supernova."

Sora stood there covering his eyes with his left hand. Just before he was about to reach for the sun ring in reality, the bright light produced by it blinded him. His illusion had been completely demolished, a first for him. After regaining his composure, he looked up to see the falling debris and raining palla's around him, slightly disgusted. His own illusions was much better than seeing panicking people running and chaos erupting everywhere. Although Donovan's controlled palla's weren't harming people, the raining debris, panicking crowd,and the falling people that were getting trampled went against Alastor's 'No killing' commandment. 'Is it more important to get the ring? Should I keep attacking? Is it more important to save these people to preserve the timeline? But without the rings we can't save everyone, a few could die, the end justifies the means....right?' thought Sora as he contemplated his next move.

Staring at the carnage around her, she looked back at Sora. "I have no time for you now rabbit. I have innocents to help, a family to protect."

He snapped out of his train of thought with Miyamoto's words 'rabbit' causing him to instantly focus on her. He saw Miyamoto dash off to help people without a second though. For a second, he was about to dash back to her and continue his attempts to take the ring; however, in his sight he saw a piece of debris gradually falling towards a child lying on the ground. He fueled up his elemental gloves with the Storm flames, stuck out his right hand like a gun, and closed one eye. "I'm not a fan of harming the innocents myself Miyamoto," he said to himself out loud. *Bang* Three quick shots of disintegration storm flames were shot at the debris which dissolved them in midair. "Get up kid, hurry move that way!" he yelled. The child responded, hopped up and quickly begun moving. Sora glanced around and saw others in similar scenarios with the collapsing debris. He hopped on his skateboard, cruised around, and begun helping the people with their escape.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!" she could hear the scream that she had earlier dismissed as her imagination loud and clear now. It was-

"BOSS?!" she called out, her drawl replaced by something that Keiko considered concern. She looked around her with urgency as the screams continued for what seemed like eternity until it stopped.

"Tch!" Keiko surged around the HQ, lifting up rubble that were trapping some of the innocents that she could sense, all the while trying to find Cain.

After what seemed ages to her, but only minutes to everyone else, she saw him. Hunched up into a ball with someone in a suit standing with superiority over him and that glint in between the man's fingers...

"HAND IT OVER!" she growled, swiping at the Vongola Sky Ring and stood between the stranger and her incapacitated boss.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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Fredrick stared at the boy Alastor for a moment, confused and unsure of what was happening.

”Fred, he’s one of the attackers!” came Serlina from his head.
Fred looked off to the side, catching glimpses of his friends locked in mortal combat. Shaji… Eri… Cain… Joel… Keiko… He looked back towards the kid in front of him. Then back towards his friends. Then back at the kid.

He did this several more times, his eyes becoming wider and wider until…

Fredrick turned on his heels and bolted, sprinting as fast as he could in the opposite direction of the kid and his hellish .

“Hey!” Alastor yelled after him. “Get back here and gimmie that ring!”

Fred looked over his shoulder to see the kid sprinting after him. For such a little guy, he was pretty dang fast. Fred kept running, diving forward once to dodge a flying red ball that whizzed overhead. The projectile spun away to smash into some poor light fixture (instead of his face). Next, Fredrick ran towards a Vongola hitman, dodging to the left at the last second.

“Excuse me!” He shouted, crossing one foot behind the other and executing a professional spin like a football player avoiding opponents on his way to the endzone. Looking over his shoulder, Fredrick noted that his pursuer also avoided the hitman, or, rather, the hitman avoided him, jumping out of the way at the last second.

Despite the Rain guardian’s best efforts, the kid seemed to be gaining on him. He managed to make it several meters past Eri, of whom seemed to be stuck in a daydream of some kind, before Alastor had gained enough ground to lunge at him, tackling him to the floor. They both crashed in a rolling tussle of hands and legs.

It was Fred who, thanks to his larger mass and superior height, came out on top, pinning his opponent to the ground with his arms and knees.

“I don’t wanna fight!” He said through haggard breaths, struggling to keep the boy pinned. “Come on!”

For a moment, Alastor stopped struggling, looking up at Fredrick with dire red eyes. The animosity the Vongola saw reflected back at him was so thick and ferocious that he flinched.

That’s when Alastor stabbed him in the arm.

“AH!” Fred yelped, pain exploding from his biceps as he stifled a scream. It felt as if someone detonated a grenade in his central nervous system. Alastor removed his Hour Hand from his enemy's wound, pulling back for another stab, but Fredrick removed himself from the situation, coming to his feet as quickly as he could. He gripped his upper arm with his other hand, blood trickling through his fingertips.

“Serlina,” Fred muttered through clenched teeth, “help!”
“Watch his weapon,” she responded, buzzing about his arm. “It has some odd properties about it.”
Fred took a step backwards, distancing himself from Alastor. “What?”

Serlina slapped at his Fred’s hand, wanting him to move it away from the wound so she could get a better look. “I couldn’t easily block it,” she said. “I tried.”

“Seriously?!” He said, his voice losing pitch I proportion to his depleting courage. “How do we get away from this pint-sized terminator?”

Alastor managed to pick himself up, coming to his feet and fixing his collar before levelling a dirty glare at Fredrick.

“I can hold the wound closed, so use your hands,” Serlina said out loud, hugging Fredrick’s biceps with her small body. “Just don’t get sliced again!”

“What?!” He said, backing away slowly as the boy Alastor advanced, weapon in hand like some horror movie serial killer. “Serlina!”

Fredrick was in full panic mode now. Sure, he could bring out his box weapon, but he didn’t want to hit a kid with it. And Serlina’s Rain flame shields weren’t effective against this crazy kid and his void-like flame.

Without warning, Alastor lunged at him yet again, weapon in hand.

"Crap!"

Fredrick may have been scared, but he was far from helpless. The moment he saw the blade coming at him, it was like something else took over. The sounds around him seemed to dampen as if he were wearing earmuffs, his vision tunneling, focusing on the weapon in the boy's hand. His thoughts dispersed as he took on a sense of complete mental clarity and acuity.

All that existed was him and the blade.

He dodged the vertical swipe easily, angling his upper body sharply to the left, twisting at the waist so that his shoulder and arm were out of harm's way. He felt a cooling sensation as the weapon passed by the side of his face and torso.

Without pause, Alastor pressed forward, this time making a wide, lateral swipe. Fredrick moved just as quickly, bowing forward at the waist and avoiding the attack yet again. He could hear the woosh of the blade parting the air just as much as he could feel the biting chill of the weapon as it passed over the back of his head. It was surprisingly cold, as if the flame itself was stealing the heat from his body. Swinging his upper body backwards, he used his momentum to dodge yet another strike, this one diagonal across the stomach.

“Fight back!” Serlina called out, still hugging his bleeding arm in an attempt to stem the flow of blood. Fredrick instantly ruled that out. There was no way he’d hit a child. “Don’t hurt him, just slow him down!” She didn’t have to read Fredrick’s mind to know what he was thinking. Fredrick’s eyes narrowed with renewed resolve. That’s right, I can just use the Rain flame! I can calm him down! Only problem was, there had to be physical contact in order for him to inject Rain flames.

Alastor lunged a third time, throwing himself at Fredrick like a rabid chimpanzee. That’s when Fredrick saw his chance. Gathering Rain flames in the palm on his hand, he rushed forward, meeting the unsuspecting boy half way, holding out his palm. Thanks to his own momentum, Alastor slammed into the Rain guardian’s outstretched hand, recoiling painfully, the Rain flames spreading throughout his entire body, his face contorted with astonishment.

But then he was gone, as if he’d never been there in the first place.

“Behind you!” Serlina shouted. Fredrick responded instinctually, surging forward with as much strength as he could muster. He spun around to see the boy Alastor with his blade jabbing the air right where his exposed back would have been.

“How…?” Fredrick began, but Alastor rushed him again. He knew he'd made contact with the boy... but now it was as if the hit had never happened. This time Fredrick grabbed Alastor’s forearm, attempting to wrench the weapon from his grasp, but then he disappeared once more. There wasn’t a single trace of him having existed. However, Fredrick was prepared for whatever trick this was. He shuffled forward and to the side, foreseeing another backstab attempt, but Alastor wasn’t there.

“Above!” Serlina called out.

Fredrick looked upwards just in time to see his opponent land feet-first on his face, the both of them collapsing to the ground. The first thing Fredrick did was attempt to grab Alastor’s forearm—the one with the deadly weapon in it—and he succeeded! Unfortunately, Alastor had a plan of his own.

“OUCH!” Fredrick yelled, pushing at Alastor with his free hand. The boy had sunk his teeth into Fredrick’s arm. He bit him. Hard. Fredrick twisted his arm, causing Alastor to both drop his box weapon and disengage from the Rain guardian’s flesh. The gunmetal-silver dagger clattered noisily to the ground.

Fredrick took this time to disengage entirely, hopping back several times and putting some daylight between himself and his opponent. He couldn’t believe that the kid had bit him, though looking at the teeth marks in his skin, at least there was no blood.

Fredrick’s heart went cold.

The ring wasn’t on his finger.

The Rain guardian looked over at Alastor, who was standing a meter or so away. The boy had the Vongola Rain ring in his fingers, and was smirking.

“I win! I win!” He called out, laughing.
“Give that back!” Fredrick yelled, holding out his hand demandingly. “Now!”
Alastor frowned, clenching his fist around the ring. “No!”
“Now!”
“NO!”

And so, Fredrick did the only thing he thought to do. The only thing he was really truly confident of. He ran.

He ran straight at Alastor, roaring like a madman. He wasn’t sure what he’d do when he reached the boy, but he ran at him anyway.

This startling maneuver seemed to frighten Alastor, because he stood there, shocked, like a deer in headlights. When Fredrick came within arm’s reach, the boy took off, running into the cloud of debris as fast as he legs could carry him. Fredrick gave chase.

“Give it back!” He shouted after him.

**


Hildegarde laughed out loud when the Mist Vongola disappeared. “You think illusions will work on me, probe?! You think you can escape?” She brought the first few fingers of her hand together, as if she were about to snap them. Her pure golden eyes widened, her voice becoming maniacal. “I’ll burn this whole fucking city to the ground before you get away with that ring!

However, before she snapped her fingers and detonated the Quasar, something odd caught her eye. Someone was rushing towards her deadly cluster, running full tilt. Whoever it was, they were heading for a straight on collision with her miniature constellation of explosive candies. Hildegarde’s expression melted in horror when she caught sight of the runner’s face.

It was Alastor. Well, his younger image. If he crashed into her web of explosives, he’d set off the whole thing!

“Shit!”

Hildegarde made a panicked grasping motion with her hand, as if pulling back the rip cord on a lawn mower. Instantly, all of the floating candy pieces seemed to lose their otherworldly gravity-defying qualities, falling to the ground as harmless chunks of solidified sugar.

The boy Alastor seemed to note his mistake as well and attempted to slow himself, but only succeeded in tripping over his own feet, tumbling head over heels into what was just moments ago a deadly cloud of explosives, before regaining his footing. He flashed Hildegarde a look that was some part fear, some part thanks, and some part annoyance.

And then, as quickly as he’d come, he took off again, running back into the field of debris. Hildegarde watched him go, somewhat confused. And then she remembered.

That monster was still here. Hiding.

“Hmph. It looks like my cute little Alastor needs me, so I’m sure you won’t mind if I wrap this up quickly,” she announced in her deep accent to the empty air, pouring her remaining candies into her hand. “You can run, probe, butcha can’t hide.”

A scream ripped through the entire area. Hildegarde didn’t recognize the screamer, but she bet one of her Rizzo compatriots was undoubtedly the cause. Her smirk returned with a vengeance. She’d wanted to finish off her target Vongola first, but second place wasn’t so bad.

As long as she beat Donovan.

“Ooooh no no no.” She said it like a mother berating a child, wagging her finger. “You can’t hide. I don’t have time for hiding.”

**


By now, Fredrick had been chasing the ring thief for a little over five minutes. He’d heard a scream a few seconds earlier that'd rattled him to his core. It was Cain. It had to be. Fredrick picked up his pace, gaining on the boy who’d taken his ring as they bobbed and weaved through the minefield of scattered debris and downed innocents.

“Come back!” He shouted at the kid, trying to reach out and grab the collar of his suit jacket. “My friends need me! Give it back!”

Fredrick was not chasing the boy by his lonesome any longer. Several Vongola hitmen had joined the chase, and were following alongside Fredrick, guns in their hands, though the ring thief was moving too erratically and the cloud of dust and smoke was too thick for them to get a clear shot at him.

Not like Fredrick would have let them shoot the boy anyway.

Without the ring, Fredrick could slowly feel Serlina’s presence fading, though every time he looked for her, she was still hugging his upper arm, and would always give him a silent smile. She was hanging on as hard as she could, but Fredrick needed that ring back. Now.

This cat and mouse game managed to run across most of the auditorium, and they were now out of the debris and back into the clear light. Fredrick could see that the kid was tiring out. He wouldn’t be able to keep running for much longer. This seemed to invigorate Fredrick, who kicked up the gear, gaining even more ground on him.

“Get back here—”

Fredrick screeched to a halt, nearly bowling over the three or four Vongola hitmen that were following in his wake.

“Guardian, sir. Why did you stop?” One of them asked, his gun still aimed at the floor. Fredrick did not respond. “Sir?” The hitman asked again.

Fredrick simply stared ahead, a look of abject fear on his face. He took a shaky step backwards, and then another.

The hitmen all turned in unison, looking to see what Fredrick saw.

Little Alastor hopped over some debris on the floor as he kept running, yet Fredrick and his entourage did not give chase.

“C-c-c-cain?” Fredrick muttered, looking down at the debris on the ground. It wasn’t rock or plaster or broken floor tiles. That was Cain, the Vongola boss! He was sprawled on the ground… unconscious?... dead?...

Cain’s unmoving body was not what had caused Fredrick's initial hesitation. No, his flames, his senses, his being reacted to the man standing further out. The man had his back turned to Fredrick, but the ring thief Alastor ran up to him, hugging the man’s leg as if it were a life preserver and he were drowning in the open ocean. The man looked down at the child hugging his leg, though if he was smiling or frowning, Fredrick was too far to tell. To Fredrick's horror, Alastor opened his fist, presenting the man with the Vongola Rain ring.

Fredrick's ring.

In response, the man pat the boy on the head, mussing his hair.

One of the Vongola hitmen standing beside Fred seemed to notice the downed Cain for the first time and ran to him, checking his pulse. The others attempted to follow, but Fredrick held out his arm, blocking their way, still staring at the man's back. Something about him was just innately threatening to Fredrick, but he couldn't put his finger on it.

The boy Alastor, still hugging the man's leg, turned to stare back at Fredrick.

He poked out his tongue, giving Fredrick and his posse the finger.

In response, the Vongola hitmen brought their weapons to bear, aiming their guns at the man's exposed back. "DON'T MOVE OR WE SHOOT!" One of them shouted. "HANDS UP! SLOWLY!" Shouted another. "Did you hurt Cain?!" Fredrick himself shouted, his tone as demanding as it'd ever been. He felt emboldened by the big strong hitmen flanking him. Surely they all weren't in too much danger. "And give me back my ring, please! ... uh... Now! Yeah!"

In response, the man turned his head very very slowly, leering at Fredrick and the other Vongolas with fiery red eyes. For his part, Fredrick reacted visibly, his face becoming pale, as if he'd seen a ghost. Somehow, this guy's face looked familiar...

And then, out of nowhere, someone rushed in from the side, taking Fredrick and the others by utter surprise. Fredrick recognized her instantly.

"Keiko! Wait!" Fredrick yelled, reaching out with his hand, but it was too late. Far too late.

"HAND IT OVER!" She growled, coming within striking distance of her target. If the man noticed her, he didn't act like it. In fact, he continued to leer at Fredrick, and Fredrick continued to sweat bullets.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko

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As Sora glided around on his skateboard assisting the escape of the Vongola attendees, he looked over and saw a painful sight. It was Cain, the Vongola Head, lying unconscious on the floor after what looked like a gruesome beating. Sora didn't even have to think to know who he fought, "Alastor" he said as he sighed. 'He didn't have to do all that, did he?' he thought.

He also saw that younger Alastor poke his tongue out and give 'the finger' to the Fredrick, the Vongola of Rain. That little brat ended up getting a ring before me? Little bratty as- thief.' In the past, younger Alastor made it a habit to take things, specifically for Sora his skateboard. He was never forgiven for the time he broke it.

Not far off from the Alastor's was Miyamoto, she was in an angered state within striking range of him. 'I can already see where this is going.'

"HAND IT OVER!" She yelled while he blatantly ignored her.

Sora cringed hearing her yell at Alastor while Alastor didn't even acknowledge her presence. 'She has no idea what she's getting into.' Sora pictured Miyamoto with her legs broken and backwards while her arms being left out of place, lying on the ground with both Alastor's merely chuckling at the sight. 'I'd prefer her not to end up like broken legs over here,' Sora thought, 'I guess I'll intervene, for her sake.'

"Hi-ho, Silver! Away!" he yelled like an old school western cowboy on his skateboard. He jetted off in the direction towards Miyamoto and Alastor. He hand both of his hands formed like mini-handguns, and jumped up off the ground with his skateboard over Miyamoto. While upside down in midair, he shot storm flamed bolts around her entire body as warning shots instead of hitting her directly. He landed in between the Alastor's and Miyamoto, pointed his left palm open as if he was signaling her to stop at Miyamoto and produced a lightning flame from his gloves. The current could be seen floating around his hands while he held an extremely serious look upon his face.

"You don't want to go any further, trust me," he said. He held the serious tone in his voice then said, "Look-a mon. Don't ya need tah heal-lah Cain? He will die-ya if yah don't use dah Sun fire." His atrocious accent was a pun at mocking how the Miyamoto sometimes spoke.

"Unless you'd rather have Cain be cripple for the rest of his life?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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It wasn't the miracle Ai had predicted, though it was probably better than what Ai had in mind. Ai had very little freedom of movement, so she wanted to distract Hildegarde while she trapped her by surprise. Ai was just about to grab Hildegarde when a scream echoed throughout the room. Cain's, the Vongola boss's scream. Ai's focus turned immediately toward asserting his safety, but there was no way she'd be able to do so with Hildegarde after her. She wasn't likely going to be distracted by an illusion again, yet another distraction had to be all Ai needed. "Uploading deathperation materialization data," she muttered, presenting a box out of her sleeve.

Injecting Mist flames out of her ring into it, Ai summoned a tree-sized creature out of the box weapon consisting of indigo-colored tentacles and beast-like eyes that dotted all around the thick rope-like mass. Each and every single one glared at Hildegarde. Nebbia di Malocchio, the evil eyes of the Mist. A box weapon based on a specific ring of special craftsmanship that was known by the mafia as a "Hell Ring". The origins of such rings are likely old enough to go back to the time of the Ancestors whom first crafted deathperation flame devices. That particular ring's craftsmanship was the responsibility of the one whom first conceived of Ai's type, the Malocchio as some humans have called them. This particular box weapon was meant to consist of multiple artificial Malocchio of which were fueled upon flames rather than human bodies. Consisting of multiple Malocchio meant it consisted of multiple minds fused as one which created a superbrain, a supercomputer of which Ai could use whenever needed. It couldn't understand many of the things Ai could, of course, as it would have required a large input of flames and a large amount of time to remain materialized to completely comprehend exactly what it even was, so it was merely used for complicated mathematics of which Ai would have trouble computing on her own, such as mapping out the multiverse. Of course, because it was fueled by flames, it craved them and could easily be used as a box weapon for combat, where it would seek out flames and consume them, and had no problem draining them from the source. After all, it wished to have enough power to comprehend on its own, just as any infantile Malocchio or even the entirety of her kind for that matter, did.

Hildegarde frowned at the beast before her, its unseemly shape and stature bested only by its misshapen monstrous eyes. Several options occurred to her simultaneously as she went over potential maneuvers in her head. She could use the remainder of her candies and recreate the Quasar. Hildegarde shook her head. No, no. It'd be uncouth to unleash such an amazing move twice in one fight. Maybe she'd just blow it to bits with a Nade, like she did to the stage when she first attacked. Hmm. Nah.

After a few moments of deliberation, one option stood out above all the others—not for its practicality, but because of how much of a mess it might make, and how fun it'd be to use. Her frown lessened at the thought.

Suddenly, the beast charged her, its tentacles fanning out like the digits of some massive unholy hand. Hildegarde reacted tactfully, dodging the initial assault using what remained of the stage as cover while she prepared, carefully pouring her spare candies from her dominant right hand into her left. She followed by popping one of the candies into her mouth, crunching it between her teeth. With her dominant hand free, she made a fist.

When the tentacles finally found her again, their deformed eyes swiveling to glare at her crouched form, she simply stood, revealing herself.

"Spitfire," she muttered, the word butchered by her full mouth. Without wasting another second, Hildegarde angled her head towards the ceiling and opened her mouth, spitting several fragmented pieces of candy into the air. The flame-infused fragments caught fire immediately, burning with an incandescent maroon hue. Like little rockets, they took off in all directions. In response, the innumerable eyes of the box beast began to swivel and shift in tandem with their various trajectories, as if attracted by the miniature fireballs.

Hildegarde wiped the spittle from her mouth with the back of her sleeve, watching her pretties go to work on the beast. The inflamed candies swirled around the beast for a few moments like fireflies in the wind before angling their trajectories and colliding with the flame-hungry beast, exploding upon impact. The resulting shock waves kicked more dust and dirt up into the air, creating a foggy haze.

Hildegarde raised her clenched fist to her face, kissing the tops of her knuckles. If one were to look closely, they'd notice off-red hairline fissures forming along the skin of her fist, traveling down to her forearms. Her entire arm began to vibrate ever so slightly. With the creature and its tentacles sufficiently distracted by the explosion and blinded by the cloud of dust, Hildegarde surged forward, fist bared, rapidly ascending a piece of rubble that jutted out of the ground like a ramp. WIth one powerful leap, she rocketed into the foggy unknown, piercing the cloud of dust like a missile, airborne, headed straight for the beast. All of its eyes pivoted immediately, focusing on her, but it was too late for all that.

"Yeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" She roared, her body angled like a crescent moon, her stomach out, fist held up behind her ear, other arm out in front of her, body twisted somewhat at the midsection. Within her eyes lied a frightening madness, an exhilarated fury. She enjoyed winning. She enjoyed pleasing Alastor. But most of all, she enjoyed making things explode—especially for Alastor.

"Haaaaaaaaw!" Hildegarde twisted her body as much as she could in the last instant, using her forward momentum to its fullest in delivering a devastating punch straight into the middle of the creature's unsightly mass. For a moment, nothing happened. Hildegarde remained in her stance, landing elegantly, fist still out before her as the dust cleared. Then, suddenly, she hopped back a few steps. Once. Twice. Three times, distancing herself from the creature.

And then it exploded in a fiery crescendo that bathed the immediate area in slime and singed creature-parts. The resulting resonance rocked the entire building to its foundations, further weakening the integrity of the structure.

Hildegarde pivoted on her heel, turning her back just as the explosion occurred, fist once again raised, the tails of her dress flapping in the artificial wind. "Infinite Mass Punch," she said in her usual drawl. "God damn I'm good."

Ai payed no mind to the loss of her box weapon, as box weapons repaired themselves easily. Whether Hildegarde attacked her again or not once she was noticed, Ai didn't care. Her priority was Cain's safety. She approached Cain as the others were harassing the Alastors and crouched over him to examine his health. However she could tell, she could tell he was alive and with medical treatment, he could be healed. The shock might have been worse than the injury, it seemed. However, it wasn't likely that Sun flames alone were going to heal him entirely. Ai stood back up and turned to look at the two Alastors, mainly at the older one whom threatened her earlier and was in possession of Cain's ring. Keiko, however, cut in and attempted to take the ring back from him. "HAND IT OVER!"

On the other side of the room stood Hildegarde, still in pose. When she was satisfied that the explosion had ended, she turned, facing the fruits of her destructive power. There was a small crater where the ugly creature once existed. "Hmph." Though she hoped that the explosion had taken out the body snatching invader and its hostage mind slave, she didn't get her hopes up. The probe and its ring were not her primary concern any longer.

Hildegarde dropped a piece of candy onto the floor, crushing it underfoot. Many of the fragments became lodged in the grooves at the bottom of her shoe, as was her intention. Suddenly, the ground below her feet exploded in a glorious blaze of maroon-red flames. She slowly began to lift off from the ground like a space shuttle launching for the first time. And then she darted upward, the Quasar flames emanating in controlled bursts from the candy stuck to the backside of her shoe. She was higher now than she was when she stood above the balcony, which ironically lay behind her. She was now overlooking the entire auditorium, scanning carefully, hand on her forehead as a makeshift visor.

That's when she saw her Alastors, surrounded by these primitive lifeforms and their pathetic excuse for weapons.

Disgusting.

Hildegarde brought her knees close to her chest, rolling in the air. Right before she lost her balance and dropped, she extended her legs and blasted off, Quasar flames exploding outwards with such ferocity that they melted what remained of the upper balcony. She zipped across the hall in a matter of seconds, landing so hard that she cracked the tiling underneath her feet. She was standing mere inches away from a girl—one of the Vongola ring bearers by the look of her, though her back was turned to Hildegarde, so she wasn't entirely sure. Not that it mattered.

The girl had midnight blue hair cut to neck length, and was slightly shorter than Hildegarde herself. She liked that. On the other side of the girl was someone she knew quite well. Sora. Hildegarde gave him the oddest stare, one that was incomprehensible even to her. All that she knew was that this Vongola girl was far faaaaaaar too close to Alastor.

She didn't like that. Not at all.

Hildegarde leaned forward slightly so that her lips were less than an inch from the girl's ear. "If you value your fucking life," she began, her tone as even and cool as a mid-autumn night. "You'll step the fuck off."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Cain  Vongola Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust

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Miyamoto Keiko


When the man was ignoring her, the proud panther had geared up for a pounce, to rip this person to shreds for messing with her cubs; her boss as well as the timid, peace-loving Rain guardian, whom she regarded as the runt of the litter. Even then, the runt needed protection.

"Hi-ho, Silver! Away!"

The all-too-familiar(and now increasingly annoying, since she had listened to a million of them back in the Star space) voice was accompanied by Storm bolts that caused Keiko to retract her claws and back away, snarling at the skateboarder. She glared as Sora landed in between the man and child, and her, his left palm open like a peaceful notion before producing a lightning flame from his gloves. The current could be seen floating around his hands while he held an extremely serious look upon his face.

"You don't want to go any further, trust me," he said. He held the serious tone in his voice then said, "Look-a mon. Don't ya need tah heal-lah Cain? He will die-ya if yah don't use dah Sun fire." His atrocious accent was a pun at mocking how the Miyamoto sometimes spoke.

The mockery wasn't amusing to the rage-filled Sun Guardian.

"Unless you'd rather have Cain be cripple for the rest of his life?"

"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!"

She spat, the stray liquid managing to splatter itself over the suited man's nice shoes.

"Dah Vongola Boss is young, but he ain't as weak as ya'll make 'im tah be, dah Vongola healers will handle his injuries. Mah Sun flames don't heal others." she glared at Sora, then pointed at the man in the suit. "Mah Sun flames WILL END YA foh what ya have done."

As if a statement, the finger she pointed the man with went ablaze with the highest intensity Sun flames Keiko had ever produced, almost as if it were a representation of her anger, the flames flaring out wildly.

Hildegarde leaned forward slightly so that her lips were less than an inch from the girl's ear. "If you value your fucking life," she began, her tone as even and cool as a mid-autumn night. "You'll step the fuck off."

As a retort, she turned around to stare at the woman, "Bitch, if YA value yar fucking life, ya'll get in line first."

She turned around to stare at the suited man again. "He's first on dah list foh what he's done tah mah Boss."

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: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Fredrick Dill Koenig Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko Character Portrait: Hildegarde Faust Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera

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Murasaki Eri


"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?"

Elizabeth went straight to the point, "Your ring," she said pointing her katana directly at Eri as a gesture to fight. "No Killing, remember Lizzy?" Miku's voice rang in her head. Elizabeth flipped her katana to the blunt end. Wasting no time for idle chatter with the Cloud guardian, Elizabeth dashed in head first sending three swift slashes at the Cloud guardian. Reacting quickly, Eri dodged the slashes and leapt away, creating distance between them.

"I can't hand the ring over." Eri twirled the Vongola Cloud ring around her finger, then balled her hands into fists. "And I'd rather not have you fight me."

She stared into her opponent's eyes dead on, seriousness written all over her face. "I won't be responsible for what I could do to you."

Elizabeth, slightly irritated by the staring and lack of fighting, broke eye contact with the Cloud guardian and shifted her head to the side. She slowly moved her left hand to grip her katana with both hands. Now standing in a stance like a modern day samurai, she shifted her sight towards her opponent the Cloud Guardian.

"Annoying," she said as her feet begun to produce comet flames.

Her feet thrusted her like a propeller as she quicky closed the distance between her and the cloud guardian sticking her katana straight out. As she grew closer, the comet flames halted and all that remained was a gliding Elizabeth thrusting her katana foward. Sighing, Eri's ring released Cloud flames and she produced a Box Weapon from her suit. Charging the Box, she released Roll X which propelled forward. Acting as a shield, Roll's shell managed to stop the plain katana in it's tracks.

"Go away." Eri told her black-haired counterpart, cupping her hands together for Roll X to land on. "This is my last warning."

"It's so cute Lizzy" said Miku from within Elizabeth's head. Unamused, Elizabeth looked at the strange 'Roll X' creature being held by Eri. 'Strange creature, defensive shield, hard to penetrate. Analysis complete.' After becoming uninterested, Elizabeth merely placed her katana by her side as if she was about to concede, then gradually pulled out a box weapon. "Touketsu Ite" she muttered. She extended her left hand towards Eri while an giant black cannon begun to take shape around her arm. After the cannon completely took shape, she lifted it with ease and pointed at the Cloud Guardian. With this wide open space and lack of cover, aiming was easy and precise.

"The Ring." she said as a commandment to give it to her. Two sets of large comet fueled blasts were shot forth,afterwards the giant cannon disappeared into thin air, With the shots still accelerating forward, Elizabeth grabbed her katana again and dashed forward for Eri focusing on the ring.

"I said-" Eri fueled Roll X with a buffet of Cloud Flames, causing it to expand and envelope Eri within itself, protecting her from external attacks. "-NO!"

"There is no way you can attack me in this state. You might as well just give up."

This was going to be a battle for endurance, with Roll X containing her, it may be a powerful shield but there was also limited amount of oxygen available for herself inside this confined space. However, Eri was not planning to give up that easily.

Elizabeth halted her charge on Eri and saw that this Roll X was going to be a problem that she'd rather not deal with. Once again she pulled out her box weapon Touketsu Ite; however, this time she prepared a different type of bullet directly fueled by the comet flame. A pale blue beam begun to form, "Break," Elizabeth said. She shot this comet beam blast at Roll X and froze it completely solid. She dashed in with her katana, made one swift slash at it, and shattered it like fine china. With Eri's defensive shield shattered and flames returned to her original box much to Eri's surprise, Elizabeth quickly slide behind her and put her hand on Eri's wrist and lifted her katana.

"Fine, I'll take the Ring," Elizabeth said nonchalantly.

"No Lizzy! Don't cut her hand off!" yelled Miku as an inside voice.

"We get the Ring, and one less problem to deal with. Alastor will understand." She begun to move her katana down.

Eri's eyes widened and she was beginning coat herself with Lightning flames to stop the incoming katana.

"Paging MikuBeth," said Sora from the illusion he controlled, "We got a problem out here. Alastor needs you out here asap."

Elizabeth halted her katana slash right before cutting her hand. She looked Eri right in the eye, "Lucky," she paused and her two pigtails blew with the wind. "Next time." Elizabeth gave Eri a hard push from her chest leaving a small amount of comet flamed ice on her. Eri stepped back, staring at her opponent as she made a large leap in the air, slashed it with her katana which at first seemed like she was slashing at nothing before looking down at the ice around her chest.

Ice? She's been using it for some time now.' Eri thought, using her Cloud flames to consume the ice. 'They're flames... but what kind?'

Elizabeth already knew ahead of time that Sora set up an escape mechanic in his illusion for her to leave on her own and was informed on how to use it. A light begun to produce from her slash and the illusion slowly dissolved away for both Eri and Elizabeth.

Now that Elizabeth was finally back in reality, she saw what the problem that arose. There stood an unidentified beast creature covered in black flames wearing the storm ring. "Is that the Storm Guardian Lizzy? She looks crazy!" Miku chimed in. "I presume so," Elizabeth said.

'Nami?' Eri thought as she stared at the black flames.

"WRRRYYYYYYYY!!!!"




Miyamoto Keiko


It seemed that everyone seemed to fear this man in the suit, she saw the boy backing up and sensed the girl behind her doing the same when the man in the suit looked at her with a very composed expression.

'Must be dah cream of dah crop eh? Bring your A-game.'

To Keiko's disappointment, the man's hand that was outstretched ended up on Sora's shoulder.

"The Sun ring is your responsibility, Sora, not mine." he maintained eye contact with the Sun guardian but was definitely talking to Sora. His voice was cool and calm, completely lacking in hostility, yet it was firm, and left no room for response, the complete opposite of Keiko's rash, brash, spoiling-for-a-fight attitude. "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."

"Bring it on, all o' ya!" she beckoned.

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.

Keiko knew this was an illusion and was trying to tune it out until she saw that Eri's head stood on top of a spear as if she was decapitated by Spartans while her body remained on the ground headless. Instantly, the view was enough to throw Keiko off her game.

"RI?! RI!" Keiko's calls for her friend soon turned hysterical and she walked over slowly, not wanting to believe her eyes.

"It's an illusion right? You can't be... you wouldn't..." Keiko tried to reassure herself, but upon touching the head, she could feel everything the way it is. She could feel the smoothness of Eri's skin, her velvety white braids stained with stick blood, the coldness of death lingering on her, the lifelessness in Eri's original vibrant blue eyes.

Keiko fell onto her knees, her eyes wide with shock. This wasn't an illusion. That was Eri, Keiko's senses couldn't lie.

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.

Keiko felt nothing, safe for the gaping hole in her heart that was caused by the sight of her death friend's head. Numbed to all physical pain, she reached for the head and plucked it out from the spear before cradling it like a precious baby. Rocking back and forth, Keiko repeated a sentence over and over again, almost as if a mantra.

"No, you can't be dead, you can't be dead, you can't be dead, no, no, you can't be dead."

And then, Keiko's tears finally spilled from her eyes as she screamed her anguish, her anger, her insanity.

Then as suddenly as it happened, it was over. Keiko collapsed onto her hands and knees, her shocked eyes staring out at the scene that was no longer there, her body shivering from the ordeal, completely oblivious to what was going on around her.

"No. No. You're not d-dead, Eri. Come on, it's fine, i-it's just a wound..." she whispered to herself, her tears falling onto the broken ground as she slammed her fist repeatedly against it, drawing blood and cracking it up even further.

"WRRRYYYYYYYY!!!!"

Keiko's feral side reacted to the ungodly scream and she herself released a scream of her own. A scream of anger, a scream of Storm flames. She charged at Sora on all fours and knocked him off balance onto the ground, headbutting the pinned guy.

"YOU!" she screamed into his face, her tears still spilling despite her angry, animalistic scowl. "WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?!!"

She continued to rain down more headbutts while screaming incoherent words in her primal rage, digging her nails into Sora's arms until she drew blood as she literally locked him into place, intent of smashing the guy's head in. The longer it continued, the more Keiko saw red and eventually became just as wild as the wildest of panthers.

"UOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!"

Characters Present

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

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"What are you doing here, kid?!" An urbane Vongola mafioso asked, her gun clutched tightly in her grip, barrel pointed downward. Trevor looked at the gun in the woman's hands, and then up at the woman's arms and shoulders, finally coming to rest at the woman's face, staring her dead in the eyes until it became painfully awkward.

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

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

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

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

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

To evolve.

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

They were just—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just like that day.

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

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

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

And then someone called his name.

**


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Trev."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Alastor Lorenzo Koenig Rizzo Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Donovan Shmautz Character Portrait: Murasaki Eri Character Portrait: Flandre Valiere Character Portrait: Trevor Twenty-Seventh Rizzo Character Portrait: Sora Rizzo Character Portrait: Miyamoto Keiko

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

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

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Trevor looked on at the girl as she approached. He recognized her instantly. She was Murasaki Eri, the Vongola's Cloud guardian, and wielder of the Cloud ring. She was tall, with silvery-grey hair and an unflinchingly stubborn expression on her face, her eyes darting between the three Rizzo and the fallen Storm Vongola in a rhythmic fashion. When she did speak, he simply absorbed her words, meeting her eyes with his own. Thanks to his makeshift mask, nothing but his eyes were exposed anyway, so she certainly couldn't make out any of his facial features. Trevor looked away from the girl, his eyes landing on Donovan and Flandre. If they'd noticed the Vongola girl approaching, they certainly didn't act like it. Even when she spoke, they still seemed to ignored her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hey!"

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

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

Trevor watched her go, his face expressionless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"BASTAR—!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaji Ai

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It was once written that because space was so vast (so very vast) that absolutely anything was possible. It was also once said by another person at another time that in the endless length of time, anything that wasn't impossible, even practical impossibilities, can happen. Of course, both were equally true, but at the same time, both time and space had their limits, limits of which could only have been measured in Ai's time, in Ai's perfect universe. In a sense, time and space were practically infinite, but not truly infinite. Only in true infinity could all practical impossibilities are certain to happen, and that existed only in the infinite possibilities of the multiverse. Therefore, everything that can happen, will happen, has happened, or is happening and in every single location it is possible to happen.

Ai had to face this all the time. Despite universes being infinite, there were always more universes in the future than there were in the past. Ai may have only come from one timeline, but that timeline would have split many times after she'd been taken to the past, and would be fated to diverge many times after the time Ai came to the past. It was in this way that the TID was flawed. When Ai received information from the future, it is from multiple futures which may have vastly different data. So, if she had, for some reason, requested information on whether she was successful in her mission or not, she wouldn't have been able to get a clear answer until Ai existed in the point of time where either the Aliens have won or the Humans have. One way she could tell is whether she'd even received the data or not, as she would not have received data from a future where she was successful, for her kind and the TID would have been eradicated.

Plus, Ai was constantly in danger. In the future she came from, the hellishly perfect universe, it was only a handful of thinkers that decided it was best to change the past, when the general governing opinion was to keep their perfect society alive and moving along the same way it always has. While there are futures where Ai's activities in the past remain undiscovered, there are many where they have been discovered and information from those futures have been cut off. Ai was designed, however, to be an independent thinker, cut off from the great collective conscience, so they couldn't simply kill Ai by thinking about it. At the same time, it was only possible to send an independent thinker backward through time. There have been possible futures where the governing opinions have bred their own independent thinkers to send back into time, yet not a single one was nearly advanced as Ai. Even the entirety of the collectiveness had forgotten true independent thinking. Ai was the single possible logical independent thinker. Ai, in multiple different universes, has had to deal with these lesser probes and very few have failed to defeat them, but because it was possible, there existed alternate universes where she had failed. Indeed, Ai's mission was faced with as many casualties as there were successes, but she worked hard equally in every universe where she existed to complete her mission; to exterminate her own kind.

In fact, the very night Ai had woken Nami, she had to fight a lesser probe which had been sent back to stop her. The probe had infiltrated the Vongola headquarters and took on the disguise of one of the staff. Ai had to destroy the human's body, unfortunately, but she killed the Alien assassin without much trouble at all and without creating any disturbance in the facility. The incident went completely unnoticed. Of course, because it was possible, there existed a few universes where Ai would have lost to the assassin. Ai did occasionally ponder the nature of her plight, every since the incident when the Rizzo family attacked them. “The fact that you appear in our history books means you’ve already had your effect on our time. You’ve already done your damage to us. To humans. We must be here because of you…” The Rizzos came from a future that her own timeline, at least up until the point they came back, was shared with. If the Rizzos came from a timeline where Ai was unsuccessful, then the odds were that Ai herself was fated to be unsuccessful. Ai constantly played Roulette with the multiverse and while she was fated to be successful at times, at others she was fated to lose. But what if she knew what her fate would be? Ai pondered exactly what course of action she would take if she knew that no matter what action she took, nothing had enough persuasive power to make her mission a success. It would have made it useless to continue trying, so it would have been sensible to give up, especially if she was certain that she would succeed in an alternate reality because it was possible and the multiverse was infinite.

These were merely hypothetical thoughts, however. Ai did not have true certainty that she had failed completely and while her odds didn't seem too well, Ai was programmed to continue toward her goal as hard as she possibly could, so if it was possible that she could be successful, she would continue to function.


The next day, Ai had arrived at Joel's home. It was Joel's idea that the guardians would be staying at his place while they trained, as enhancement of the Vongola's combat skills was the procedure Joel saw necessary to defend against the Rizzo. Ai would have suggested enhanced security of the rings by the Vongola's staff, but DiCaccio had notified her about recent attacks on various Vongola-owned facilities and services, twelve plus a thirteenth having occurred that day, and how they were most likely related to the Rizzo and had CEDEF on the case. They confirmed at least a single face at one of these attacks as having been present during the Rizzo's attack on the Vongola. DiCaccio suspected they were going for the networks, but he was somewhat confident about their safety. "Any sort of hacker would need control over at least half of our network to be able to do any real damage," he said, "All data is backed up, encrypted and cached daily. Haven't you heard? The Information Age is ending! Cyber-attacks are a thing of the past. We're at the dawn of the Deathperation Age, and the power wont be in the best farmer, engineer or programmer anymore, but in the most resolute pyrotechnic!"

Even if the Rizzos weren't trying to access their network to find the locations of the guardians, they would likely already know of each of the guardians' addresses in the future, with the exception of Joel's. Ai had already caught a girl in a wheelchair hanging around Cain's house one night when she was going to go there herself to eliminate another Alien assassin from the future whom was planning on using Cain's body. Ai could immediately recognize she was one of the Rizzos (although, it was strange that she was near the Boss's home when his ring was already taken). It was clear that they knew their home addresses. Joel's place, however, was quite unknown. It wasn't recorded anywhere on the Vongola's network. It was outside of Namimori, where the Rizzos wouldn't be expecting them, and it was quiet which was perfect for their training. Ai believed that she herself needed no form of training at all, but she didn't deny Joel's request. After all, it was her duty as a guardian to protect her family, so it would have been best if she was with the family.

DiCaccio was too busy to drop her off personally, so he had his agent Saffron drive her there. Ai could have driven a car herself, but her body's appearance was obviously too young to be able to have any sort of licensing that allowed her to do so. Ai didn't need to bring any of her personal belongings besides her ring—she had none other—so she came with no luggage. After Saffron dropped her off near the house and drove off, Ai approached the door and knocked on it gently. She could hear the Boss had already arrived.