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Axilious

The Jack Mask, master of the show

0 · 297 views · located in Sagaro Mall

a character in “Masks of the Soul: Fragment of Truth”, as played by Alasund

Groups

Description

Image

Axilious.
'Oh, really now? You've never heard of me? Shall we correct this blemish?'







Image

What Kind of Mask is it?:
True


If True, in what state of completion is it in?:
In-progress

How do you create/transform with the mask?
To summon: There's a man, deep within.
To transform: Who feareth not the deadly sin.


Brief Description of Transformed State:
While his body doesn't change at all, his hair becomes bleached a stark blond, the eyes go a deep mixture between amethyst and sapphire. Deep eyes that captivate, and are memorable well beyond the sight of them. The hair is well stylised, always, and never shifts from being neat no matter how much rought and tumble he takes.

His clothes also become quite fancy, lapels, small adornments and lace ruffs mark the signs of Axilious as he revels in all the starkly noticeable signs of wealth.





Personality:
Axilious is one thing. A show off, a big flamboyant star who takes pride in making sure every action is tailor made to the audience. The audience he is sure is always watching. And, put simply, he draws the eye like a fly to the honeypot. There is almost an arrogant casuality as he accepts this and plays on his own sheer drawing presence.

Every word he says, every little gesture has meaning. Nothing is wasted for the audience's benefit. It's like an actor with a raving and clapping cloud, who insists on a few last skits before finally giving in to the exhaustion from the play and go backstage. Who continues even afterwards to meet and greet, to draw the fans further in.

He is well aware of how the mood in the room is, or how each flickering gaze aimed at him is appraised. Aware of every jealous look, admiring glance, every piece of annoyance, hope, happiness or even romantic interest that his presence draws. The other actors in this stage play are but second to the star standing forth.

This personality means he quite often gets in conflict with others one what to do, since he takes everything upon him, and refuses to follow anyone other than Torrings and Liesel. The mask that Torrings holds is the one that he respects enough to bow head to, imagining him to be the wiser mentor that leads the fray.

Everything is a game or play to him, seriousness never intrudes. Even injuries seem to concern him not merely for the attitude he takes towards it all. He also imagines praise and fans where there are none, proving that behind it all is a massive selfish and arrogant person.


Skills/Abilities when wearing mask:
  • Appraisal - He sees you looking at him, and generally has a good idea of the basic motivations for watching him.
  • Charming wit - He knows how a conversation is going, and generally has good words to keep it under control. He is skilled at manipulating the talking around to where he wants it to be.
  • Glorious in Battle, the Almight Hero - He is selflessly brave, constantly taking anything he can onto his shoulders in battle, attempting to hold the biggest burden. This is something of a fault, except it means that he never backs down in battle, and will take on something that would surely kill him.


Skills/Abilities of Transformed State:
  • Caromour, Ye who sleeps - A haze spreads out from him, causing those nearby to seem to lose concentration on the entire world unless they're resisting. This is used to stay unobserved in a crowds after transforming, or to attempt to subdue a group of weak minded attackers.(Minor)
  • Litany of Praise - Words chant through the air, each a praise of Axilious. Growing stronger, he can stand up to, during the duration of this effect, around a minute or two, attacks or assaults that would normally break his guard or kill him. Healing abnormally fast, he survives as shield and sword. This is a defensive move. (Minor)
  • Silent, strong and sure, Angel's Right arm - Locking eyes with someone, they are suddenly unable to track his moves, as it seems like he splits into multiple bodies, each one attacking and slicing into the skin. This is purely an illusion, and deals no actual damage, but it incapacitates the target, unless they have sufficient ability to resist it.

He has not developed his Major power yet.


Weapons
Ankulmosus - The double bladed staff

So begins...

Axilious's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: James Lyon Character Portrait: Axilious

0.00 INK

#, as written by Alasund
James Lyon ; Home - Dullahan Library Underground Car Park


Wasn't there always those last second fiddles you had to make, when going anywhere? Always. There was always the little hold ups that made you unable to be early. That, or fate was conspiring against him, as usual. James sighed as he looked himself in the mirror. He wanted to look professional, even though he knew it would go to waste when he transformed into Axilious.

Sighing once, and shaking his head, he grabbed the brush one last time and ran it as quickly as he could through his short hair, making sure not to leave a single knot before walking to his apartment's door. Nothing left for him to do but lock up, and hope to hell that he got something interesting to do as a Masked Task.

After all, he had one of the most special masks, even if he was the most average normally. Ugh. How he hated reminding himself of that. Shaking his head, he clicked the lock shut behind him, leaving his apartment darkened for the evening. If they were actually doing something tonight, he wouldn't be back for a while.

Checking his wrist-watch/communicator, he confirmed both that he'd be on time, and that there were no last minute changes of plan sent by Liesel. SHE was special. She didn't even have a mask. Frigging King too. The both of them were standouts without the masks, where he was only in there because he had the mask. He felt bitter just contemplating it. Everyone had luck but him.

Shrugging that back off, he made his way across the city, pausing here, waiting on traffic there, but the estimated time was just about the same. As he now stood metres away from the side entrance down into the underground carpark, he took refuge behind the conveniently placed greenery that was the start of the Library gardens.

'There's a man, deep within' The mask appeared. It was glorious. Unique. Brilliant. It was the side he wished he could fade into every day. 'Who feareth not the deadly sin.' As the mask touched his face, ecstasy crossed his features for a moment, before the plain brown hair flushed a brilliant blond, and the clothes shifted into the almost outlandish costume of Axilious.

'Ohho, mission me, mission my. Where else do we go to die? Hahaha.' Laughing to himself, he stepped, flourishingly, out of the cover, and strode confidently into the exit down to the underground carpark. 'There is no place like home.' Is all that the flamboyant Jack says upon entry, smirking around at the already arrived, before attempting to seek out the figure of Liesel, who was probably smoking somewhere around here.

The setting changes from dullahan-library to Throme

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: The Wheel of Fortune Character Portrait: James Lyon Character Portrait: Axilious

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Aki Evedane | Dullahan Library Main Entrance | November 21


A few seconds later, he averted his sapphire blue eyes. Staring at his own reflection seemed to be unproductive, even when he was in such a bored state. Plus, since his entire figure was tinged copper and his appearance was impeccable like always, there really wasn’t anything to look at. Well, while he was still here at the library, there were only a few things that he could actually do.

One. Go home, explain the current unfortunate circumstances to his father, dig one of the spare jackets up from the closets, and well, tell him to come back tomorrow and look for it himself. That’d be fine - except his father wasn’t the type to do any work that he could escape from.

Two. Try to find a way in. Maybe there was a few unlocked windows somewhere - no, that strayed too far from disobeying the law, and he already had enough cops on his tail. Didn’t need a couple hundred tailing him, itching to finally get the ‘highschooler with the bandages’ for breaking and entering? So what did that leave him with -

His train of thought was broken off when he caught sight of a young male, with an umbrella, walking down the street. With his brown hair and very boring appearance, Aki would usually have never noticed him. Other than the fact that he was traveling in the middle of Throme’s less busy districts, really - he had to emphasize the point that this person was probably the most boring person in the entire city. But why would anyone be here on a Friday afternoon? Well, obviously, Aki himself was an exception to that rule, but there really wasn’t anything to do in Throme around these parts anyways. Other than visit the unfortunately closed library, of course.

His interest piqued, he stared at the guy until he disappeared and turned the corner. Aki breathed out once, trying to persuade himself that whatever the guy was doing - it wasn’t going to be interesting. He failed, of course, and found himself quickly climbing down the stairs, before following Guy stealthily. Just in time to see him hide behind a bush as though he was trying not to be seen.

Now that was interesting. No matter how Aki ever tried to rationalize it, there could be nothing normal about a guy who was trying to escape notice. Guy was doing something hidden there, and even as Aki tried to get closer without being too noticeable, Guy stepped out from his cover. “Ohho, mission me, mission my. Where else do we go to die? Hahaha.” Except for the fact that he wasn’t the same Guy. This Guy, with his eyeshattering blond hair, and flamboyant clothing, looked nothing like the mousy brown-haired one from before. He didn’t act the same either, walking down the side path as though he was the king of the world.

There was only one thing that could explain this. A simple, magical explanation. A mask. Either that or the ability to unfurl his skin and exchange it for another appearance.

Aki sighed, before he backed away from the dogging of Guy’s steps. While normally he wouldn’t have gone through such a hassle - really, Fortune was as bad as they came - but it was the one tool that he had at his disposal to get to the bottom of the mess. He knew enough to know that whoever these people were, they wouldn’t take kindly to an eavesdropper, and he’d probably have to do away with his relatively uninjured state.

Stepping to the side of the street, he chose one of the larger pruned trees from the library gardens and hunched behind it. Checking to be sure that the coast was clear, he held one hand in front of him. “When you’re bored,” he watched as the mask faded into his hand, its silver metal eyeholes staring into his. Flipping it over, he placed it firmly on his face, feeling a familiar chill down his spine, before he finally enunciated that stupid-sounding phrase. “Gamble on my luck.”


Wheel of Fortune | Dullahan Library Main Entrance | November 21


Black hair turned sandy, blue eyes transformed into a gleaming gold, and a white scarf twisted its way over messy clothing. The Wheel of Fortune was in the house, and it was time for some fun! Looking around, he exaggeratedly contemplated his surroundings. Really? A stubby little tree? Bouncing up on the balls of his feet, he poked his head over the poor-looking plant, and saw something interesting.

A manboy with pfft clothing.

Maybe he thought that he was good enough to attract the attention of the Wheel of Fortune himself. He could barely stop himself from sticking out his tongue and blowing Pfftboy a raspberry, but some thought stopped him. Perhaps it would be more fun to just follow him for a bit, watch the show for a few hours, and then pop up out of nowhere. Well, Mr.Pfft was certainly having the time of his life walking down that street. Maybe he got the thrills from being watched. From the way he dressed, that certainly was a possibility.

There was nothing that he liked more than an actor that could put on a show. “You’re boring me… see you later then!” he finally whispered in an uncharacteristically muted voice. His form turned into a streak of black, and before long, he found himself joined into Pfftboy’s shadow. Almost like Siamese twins but without the twinness. The manboy went straight into the garage, as the Wheel of Fortune bounded on his feet and made strange faces at his back.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aki Evedane Character Portrait: The Wheel of Fortune Character Portrait: Amara Calen Character Portrait: Elegant Harlequin Character Portrait: Liesel Moringmer Character Portrait: James Lyon Character Portrait: Axilious

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Liesel Moringmer | Dullahan Library Underground Car Park

How long had she been waiting? An hour? Maybe two?

How many clicks had it been?

Well, then again, she was the one who came early.

One wouldn’t have thought the woman anxious if it weren’t for the lighter in her tight grip. Even now, the click, click, clicking of the empty lighter persisted, growing more frantic with each passing second. With her free hand, she braced herself against one of the columns in the lot. ‘Get a hold of yourself, Moringmer,’ the she told herself, but the crease wouldn’t leave her brow. Her lips were still pulled in that terribly agitated scowl. Damn it. She heaved a sigh tired sigh, letting her unlit cigarette fall to the ground – she was far too worked up over this, over one measly change. She had thought that he couldn’t surprise her anymore… and then he went and pulled this stunt.

“Just what the hell’re you thinking this time, Torrings?” she murmured. One would think that she’d be used to the man’s antics by now… ha. She’d like to see anyone who could read Arthur Torrings. After all, she’d known him for all of four years and she still didn’t have a clue. Just when she thought she had him all sorted, was finally dancing to his tune, he always went and changed up the rhythm and tripped her up. That man had a real knack for making her want to throttle him. Her gaze idly followed one of the last cars leaving the car park. About time. The library had been closed for quite some time now.

click, click, click

With another agitated sigh, she pulled up her left sleeve, glancing at the customized com-unit at her wrist.

Outbox: 12
Inbox: 0


click, click, click

“Fuck you too, Arthur,” she muttered, eyes narrowing just ever so slightly. Damn it. Why wouldn’t he answer? It was always like this with him – he says what he wants then just disappears for another week or two or if, she was lucky, even a month. He was never there when she needed him… well, no. That was obviously just a frustrated lie. He was always there at the right moments… but never anytime else. Like right now. His little present for a certain someone was weighing rather heavily on her mind (and lightly in the pocket of her coat). She was always the messenger, wasn’t she?...

The woman was snapped out of her thoughts and to attention at a sudden footstep. Hm? "What will it be? Joker? Ahahaha! What a joke-reporting for duty!" Ah, it was her. The first of the lot, finally. The lighter was tucked away into her pocket.

“Took y’long enough, eh, Karim?” Liesel called, an irritated smile pulling at the corners of her mouth. “Where’s the rest of the deck?” As soon as the question left her mouth, the second arrival showed himself. And then there were two… there were only two. And here Liesel had thought that she was being a kind and considerate person by setting the meeting this far into the day, but hey, what did she know? This obviously wasn’t a good time, despite everyone agreeing to it, or whatever happened to suddenly pop up in their schedules was more important than the fate of the city itself. Obviously, otherwise everyone would have been on time like she had told them to over and over.

She gave the missing members ten seconds benefit before her patience snapped. “Damn it, is it just you two?!” Her voice echoed in the car park, making it seem even louder than it was. A glance at her wrist told her the time: too late. She couldn’t wait much longer. “Leave it to you idiots to throw a wrench into plans first thing. Damn it.” She had planned to send three to one location and two to the other, but that wasn’t going to work right now. Sinking deeper into her thoughts, the woman began to pace, eyes shut in concentration. “Damn it! And you,” she said, pointing blindly at the Jack, “you’re not even complete yet. I can’t send you off alone, can I? Don’t answer that, I know I can’t.” Not unless she wanted more blood on her hands.

She could… no… or maybe… … all of a sudden, Liesel stopped, just heaving a sigh.

“Okay, you know what? We don’t have time for this,” she said flatly. She looked up, eyes narrowed, and gave both the Joker and the Jack a firm look. “Bottom line, Itex is acting up – getting more active – and we’ve got word on certain hotspots.” She glanced at her wrist once more. “There’s no time for questions – we don’t know when they’ll hit,” she continued, “so for now I want you two to head on over to Lil’ Maybelle. Not the main district, but that shady little area behind that… that spot apart from the popular bit, behind that rental shop or whatever.” They’d know where she meant. Probably. And if not, they should be used to her directions by now, so not her problem.

“Your job is to intercept whatever Itex plans to do there. If y’need specifics or got any questions, you got the units,” she lifted her wrist, “that I passed out. Just shoot me a message on the go.” Well, with that, she was done. The red-haired woman simply folded her arms and leaned against one of the supporting pillars… oh no, wait. “And you know the drill – keep away from civilians. You aren’t superheroes. You aren’t vigilantes. You have a mission, so focus on that. And Ax, you in particular, be careful – believe it or not, you have a bigger disadvantage than you realize with that mask of yours.”

And now she was done… and while they were on their way, she would be spending God-knows-how-long waiting on the rest of them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Liesel Moringmer Character Portrait: Axilious

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#, as written by Alasund
Axilious ; Dullahan Library Underground Car Park - Little Maybelle


Ohho, and so, the backstage players were late! A smirk replaced the casual benevolent expression, as Liesel outlined her belief that he wouldn't do his job! Well, well, the script was drawn, and the audience in their positions. The play was ready to begin, surely?

'Of course, of course, I'll try to be careful, and not alert the presence of the baleful. But seriously, mademoiselle, your doubt in my abilities wounds me.' Feigning, quite obviously, and injured look, the flamboyant man suddenly spun around towards the other Masked there.

'Very well, Ms do tell, shall we be on our way?' And before there could humanely be a reply, it seemed he already assumed a yes. 'Alright, alright, the stars alight. We've but things to do tonight! A play awaits, the play dictates. We've a job to do, after all!'

Prancing along, almost bouncing every step of the way, Axilious vanished from the car park, continuing to walk as if the world was watching him from every angle. Of course, there was not a single soul around the library car park entrance at this time of night, but that didn't matter. Head tall, eyes forwards,each step a measured, controlled pace with just enough saunter to make it look sauve.

The setting changes from throme to Little Maybelle

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amara Calen Character Portrait: Elegant Harlequin Character Portrait: Liesel Moringmer Character Portrait: Axilious

0.00 INK

#, as written by Witless
Karim, Masked Joker; Dullahan Library


“Took y’long enough, eh, Karim? Where’s the rest of the deck?” Karim picked a few cards from her deck at random: a Jack, Queen, King, and Ace (wow, what luck!) and threw them into the air. As they hit the ground, a man walked in, the only face-up card: Jack. “Damn it, is it just you two?!” Of course it was! The cards rarely lied, though circumstances did change from time to time... “for now I want you two to head on over to Lil’ Maybelle. Not the main district, but that shady little area behind that… that spot apart from the popular bit, behind that rental shop or whatever.” Ahaha! A shady part like that? Sure, Itex might go there, none ever populated the area. It was worth checking out anyone there. “And you know the drill – keep away from civilians.” Yes, mother. It wasn't like Amy always ranted on and on and on and on about... the Jack left, wind from his cape scattering the cards and flipping two of them in the process... Karim should be getting on her way as well. A car drove in as Karim left, probably a poor soul left to face Liesel's wrath... Ahahaha! Sadly, it wasn't worth getting caught up in the back-draft to stay and watch.

It was still raining. The parasol came up, and it twirled as Karim pranced through the back streets on the way to Lil' Maybelle. So much had happened, so little, but it was time to face Itex! Who could they be? Would they be excited at all to meet them? Hahaha, of course not. But fights were just boring, weren't they? This was... thievery, yes, guile, deception, trickery... magic. Would they see it coming? Not at all, but it would help to have more than just the two versus them, however many. Oh, they were there weren't they. Amy pushed her back to attention on the streets, to the mask she kept on her. Ah, masks! They were such fun! People never knowing who you were, always guessing, guessing, guessing... And who was this lovely mask? It seemed like only yesterday it was another... Was it?



Amara Calen; The Streets of Throme; November 21st, hours before


Amara walked out of the News From Throme offices, holding her umbrella and notepad as she walked through Throme. There was a meeting today, and a chance to confront Itex; Karim needed to be prepared. Amara shook her consciousness into awareness, making her keep watch for anyone interesting, pointing it out to her as needed. Masquerade needed a new target, and it would be stupid to let the enemy know Karim as herself from the get-go. Wrapping her coat around herself, Amara walked out toward Sagaro Mall, where people would still be walking even on miserable days like today. Karim kept a lookout and pointed toward one, a man walking briskly with a suit and briefcase, some businessman. Him? Karim gave assent. Whatever you want...

Amara walked up to the man, "Hello, could I have a few seconds of your time? I'm Amara Calen, from News From Throme. It's nice to meet you." She held out a hand which the man accepted and shook cautiously. "Umm... may I help you? I'm- I'm in a rush, you see? Business, you know, as usual?" "Oh, I'm terribly sorry to disturb you, but I'm conducting a survey for the papers; it won't take more than a moment of your time, and then we'll be on our separate ways again." The man sighed and pushed up his glasses, "Alright, but... only a few questions. I have an important meeting to go to, you know?" The conversation continued for not long after that, but habits didn't escape Amara's eyes. He shifted from foot to foot, answered questions evasively. He adjusted his tie, pushed his glasses up constantly, his eyes darted from here to there in conversation. He kept looking at his wrist for a watch that wasn't there. Whatever he was doing, he seemed nervous of it; the briefcase never left his hand for a moment. It looked heavy.

They parted, and Karim took over, following from above, making adjustments to the mask as needed...



Karim, Masquerade; Lil' Maybelle


Yes, Amy, no need to remind me... Ahaha! Hah. The mask went on, and Karim transformed, an Arthur Thorne standing there instead. The white suit was replaced by a darker one, a navy, dampened by the rain. His black umbrella (no longer the well-designed white parasol) did little to stop the rain hitting his legs or even the lower part of his suit. His glasses were taken off from time to time to be wiped clean then pushed back on and periodically pushed up again as they slid down the bridge of his nose. His brown briefcase by his side was wet and not getting any drier. He picked it up and began walking briskly through the backstreets of Maybelle. From time to time, he shifted his items in his hands: putting down the briefcase to wipe his glasses, moving it to the same hand as the umbrella, setting the umbrella aside quickly to dry his glasses using both hands (this got his already damp, dark brown, close-cropped hair even more wet).

The man paused in the alleys, looking for a signpost, any directions to get anywhere. "Drat. Umm... where was it. He said we were meeting... forgotten, as usual. Gosh darnit, write these things down sometime! Hmm... what was the name?" Arthur continued on his way through the backstreets of Lil' Maybelle, that bit behind the rental shop. He may have looked distracted, but he was ever on the lookout for potential meeting spots and strange characters in meeting...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amara Calen Character Portrait: Elegant Harlequin Character Portrait: Strength Character Portrait: The Chariot Character Portrait: Axilious

0.00 INK

#, as written by Witless
Karim, Masquerade; Lil' Maybelle


The umbrella wasn't helping at all. Arthur put aside his umbrella once again to dry his glasses; he had no idea where he was. Wandering the streets of Maybelle would only get you something if you were lucky, and that hadn't happened yet. Well, he was finding where suspicious people weren't, narrowing down the search. Maybe Liesel was wrong? Ahaha! A quick response, No, we were sent here for a reason. Quitting halfway would only bring punishment. But they were turned around; where was a sign? The glasses went back on, see-through-able again for now (sure, they weren't needed, but a disguise was a disguise; it needed to be perfect). A nearby street sign proclaimed this Orion Street, and a quick glance showed a coffee shop nearby, with eaves which would at least stop the rain for a little while.

Arthur walked past, as a man in a coat walked up to the door before him. He paused, waiting for something, as Arthur walked by. A voice in the head, Why'd he pause? Take note, pay attention. I will not have you slacking off here! So Arthur slowed down and paid attention. And felt a slight wave of heat... that shouldn't have been there. A quick turn of the head, a whispered "Decoy" followed just as quickly by "End." An onlooker might have seen another "Arthur" for a split second, less, actually. It started to appear in the back of the head before disappearing as quickly as it came, facing the other man, and its information was conveyed to Karim, the other image of Arthur.

The man was dry; his hair at the very least, his coat stiffer than it should have been after walking through however much rain. Coupled with the sudden heat, there was something strange going on here. A coffee shop was a meeting place, and this was no normal customer. Call it investigator's intuition or whatever. Keep track of that man. And don't be seen... ...Yes, yes, 'mother.' No need to remind me twice! Ahahaha! This looks to be an interesting day! Haha! At the end of the eaves, the end of the building, Arthur sat with his briefcase to the side, his umbrella down, his glasses wiped. The watch that wasn't there was fidgeted with, as a message was input to the communicator. "@J2: Orion St Cafe, suspiciously-dry man, keeping lookout, following if needed. Come here and help. P.S. you won't recognize me. Ahahaha! ;)"

Sitting there, an organizer was brought out from his coat and looked at, scribbled-in additions entered from time to time. Suddenly, the cafe door opened once again, and a pair came out, one the dry guy, the other a man with... some presence. Something just felt... strong about him, confident. As they walked off, Arthur finished his dry spell and packed up, opening the umbrella and picking up the briefcase. With safe distance, he headed off in a... similar direction, where he could keep tabs on the duo. Back at the end of the eaves, a piece of note paper was left, left for Jack when he arrived looking for her, the Joker.

The setting changes from little-maybelle to Backstreets of Throme

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Wheel of Fortune Character Portrait: Axilious

0.00 INK

#, as written by Alasund
Axilious + Wheel of Fortune; Backstreets of Throme


Chilly rain, small refrain, why didn't he bring an umbrella. Ax laughed as he half-mocked his human host internally. Well, it wasn't exactly correct, because James had taken an umbrella the entire way. He'd just left it in the greenery when he transformed into Axilious.

But what fun was it to be the star and forget a part of the play? Always others to blame it on. Always a person who deserved the guilt and who ought to be taught a lesson. Always someone else. After all, that was something the common human was good for. Taking blame, that is.

'Hum, hum, hummity hum.' The tune was bland at best, but it was the preoccupation that mattered the most to him. There would be a while before anything came of watching backstreets, and besides that, it'd just look like an obvious trap if there was a man unpreoccupied on a rainy streetcorner. Which is why he was now standing underneath an overhang, glancing casually over the shop's display.

"DAMN IT!" out of nowhere, the Wheel of Fortune stumbled back into view. "I forgot the time!" Then, almost as though he just realized that Axilious was there, he bounded up onto his toes with a smirk. "Just pretend that I was never here and go and do whatever. I wanna see a show!"

Shocked at the sudden appearance out of what seemed like thin air, he stepped back for one single moment before grinning fiercely. 'I am the star of the show.' The pronouncement shortly followed by an almost feral leap from the elegant prancer towards the new figure.

WoF stood there for a nanosecond, mouth agape, before he leapt backwards. "What are you doing, Lacey?!" he complained with a petulant frown on his face - more suitable for a child than anyone else. "You're not supposed to do that!"

'What, supposed to do my duty and catch an Itex agent? Hah!' Rolling forwards over the soaked road, and coming up smoothly, he stared down the other, soft blond locks plastered to his face by the driving rain. As the bladed staff materialised in hand, he flourished it, stepping closer. 'So, whelp, duel me and die honourably?'

That obviously wasn't WoF's idea of fun. Ignoring the completely incorrect statement, he continued stepping backwards, seemingly unworried of the extremely sharp object in Fluffy's hand. "But dueling is so ... boooooring. Why don't we do something else? You can duel with the," he glanced around then pointed at the shop display. "funny fake person in there. It even has clothes that are as pff as yours!"

Now, that did raise a grin, but it wasn't exactly 'haha I won't attack you anymore'. This was the 'What did you just imply? I think you need to be stabbed' grin. And sure enough, twirling the staff expertly, he stepped forwards measuredly, keeping pace with the retreating figure before lunging, staff directly out in front of him, attempting to skewer the other like a shishkebab.

He leapt backwards as quickly as he could, the staff not plunging into his chest - yet. After spending a few valuable seconds blowing a raspberry at the highly dangerous Lacey, he spun around and started running down the street as though his life depended on it. Which it probably did.

Growling as the blade missed, Axilious dismissed it and began haring after the vanishing figure. Trust Itex to turn tail and RUN. And this rain wasn't letting up either...

Trying to pump his legs as quickly as they could go, WoF alloted the vast majority of his brainpower to trying to remember one of his skills. Mainly because he wasn't really paying attention to where he was doing, his feet slid on a piece of slick sidewalk. A few seconds later, he was on the ground - bruised but not yet broken, completely wet, and a few meters farther away from his pursuer. And did he mention the pain?

To be honest, he'd expected a longer and better chase. However, he wouldn't pass up this opportunity. Slowing to a walk, he sauntered over towards the now injured prey. His movements designed to bring hype to the audience that... that... Holy hells. There was a one man who was staring at him strangely. Well, that sure put a dampener on things. Pretending to be going to check on the prone figure, he desperately prayed to whatever god was out there that the man keep on walking.

It seemed as though seeing threatening people walk closer made WoF's mind move faster. Without even noticing the other man, WoF quickly shouted, "Haha! I bet you're surprised!" and with hardly a transition, there was suddenly a rapidly spinning roulette wheel looming over his head.

Right. Itex was cowardly AND had no sense of presence. Well, the wheel certainly wasn't something that could be explained away, and the man now peering closer to try and work out what he was seeing was starting to become an annoyance. Even moreso when his wristwatch suddenly vibrated against his wrist. 'Goddamn all you pretentious self-absorbed critters.' Hopefully the man hadn't seen either of them well in the driving rain, and Axilious preferred to retreat while the Itex lackey made a fool of himself and became easily recognisable for the future. So, he jumped to the side, rolled, and vanished around the streetcorner...

The wheel gradually slowed, but WoF paid that no mind. There was no opponent, who had suddenly vanished around the corner. So, of course, he decided that the best course of events would be to -- there was a man? Who dared look at him as though he was the show? With a pout, he slowly picked himself off of the cold, hard ground and decided to follow Fluffy. At least he didn't stare as much. So, taking a cue from the other strange man, he bounded in the same direction.

Safe and sound around the next corner, Ax allowed himself a few moments of closed eye imagined adoration at his excellent exit. Well, whatever. He may have lost that due to a bystander, but he still had that message. Ah, Karim. Frowning and trying to recall the location of the Orion Coffee Shop, or of Orion Street itself, he paused, stretching the consideration out for just long enough...

And then his thoughts were interrupted by the Itex Lackey. Seems he'd realised the scene he was making too. 'Well, well, see what the gutters brought up...'

Ignoring the comment, the Wheel of Fortune merely blew the weirdly-dressed man a loud raspberry. "Your clothes, right? I knew they were gutter style." He reached forward to try and grab the elaborate material and surprisingly held it fairly easily.

Ax, completely shocked by the sudden aggresive reaction, stared for a moment before he tried to swat the hands away. 'Hands off my personage, if you please.'

WoF seemed to be just as amazed by his ability to place one hand on his opponent. However, he didn't dwell on it for very long. Despite the swatting hands of his opponent, he continued to hold on to the fabric before rubbing it between his palms. "Heavy." Looking up into Lacey's blue eyes, he seemed to find the entire thing quite amusing. "Yep. Gutter style. You should pick something that doesn't make you look like a jellyfish with legs."

And he dared to comment on his choice of clothes? Axilious literally seethed with rage, pivoting forwards to try and heave his fist right into the other's face. 'Gutter?!?!'

Leaping backwards, he was forced to relinquish his hold on the ornate material. Instead of trying to punch him (it was somewhat of a lost cause), he allowed a huge black book with peeling golden letters to materialize in hand and awkwardly thrust it towards Fluffy.

'Oof' Caught by surprise, failing to realise this was a masked opponent and therefore armed with a weapon not visible, Ax founds himself biffed on the chest by a book, staggering back despite the awkwardness of the blow. 'You use a BOOK to fight?'

There was a brief pause as WoF bounded up (with a loud giggle) to look at the stumbling Fluffy's face. "It's the Art of Escaping Boredom," he chimed. "You should read it. You wouldn't be as bored as you are."

'And you can tell I'm bored?' Laughing once, Axilious recalled the twirling bladed staff, grinning still, message forgotten... With one shout of 'Hah!' he struck out, joining battle in both word and weapon. While there weren't any observers due to the nature of the streets, and the rain driving even the lurkers of the backstreets away, Axilious performed as if to an audience.

And then there was the Wheel of Fortune, book cut into as he blocked the deadly blade, quite disinterested in the battle, took his part in the play as well. Pouting for every mark on his 'weapon', and always looking for a reason to escape his pursuer.

The setting changes from backstreets-of-throme to Sagaro Mall

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Deus ex Kaos 'Dek' Character Portrait: Elegant Harlequin Character Portrait: Strength Character Portrait: The Chariot Character Portrait: Axilious

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Chariot, Axilious, Dek, Karim, Strength ; Sagaro Mall

Post written by spudjohnson, Alasund De'astio, Harlequin Smile, and Witless.


"He's not ours." Chariot tensed, his right foot stepping out as he settled back into a battle-ready stance as he turned to check who Strength was referring to. "If he keeps this stasis on the civilians he could cause a situation." But there were also other concerns that could be dealt with quickly using this to their advantage. "Hold him or force him to leave for a moment, I'll retrieve the target." As much as his instincts yearned to fight, and self-control wavered under the chance to bring blade against a proper enemy of some bent, he had a mission to complete. And his last failure Judgement had been sure to burn rather solidly into his memory. Stepping back, Chariot turned to swiftly make his way through the currently unobservative crowd.

"Boring boring boring." Oh yes, how boring this had been so far. As he waved magnaminously to the various subjects around him who were so awestruck by his presence that they had seemed to lose grip on reality, Axilious continued to scan the floor for the almost customary piece of paper left by his erstwhile partner. "How a lord must bow before the demands of his people." The dramatic muttering continued as he finally found something in the crowd that was not quite like the other things. The figure which seemed to be talking almost scandelously closely to a normal civilian against a pole, it didn't matter that both were male, as Axilious had no prejudice to speak of for the peasants sexual relations, squinted in his direction and seemed mostly uneffected by the fog around. "Greetings." Axilious held his left hand carefully, ready to summon his weapon at a moments notice. "Have you perchance seen a rather eccentric lady pass through here?"

Power. Yes. Sweet power. Oh smell its intoxicating aroma. Oh GOD I want to fight them! Fight fight fight! Dek shook his head vigorously in an attempt to dissipate the bloodlust that boiled at his core. It was then that he realized that Renaissance Man was addressing him and his hostage. Dek cocked his head quizzically, then cracked his neck. "Well! Mr. Mist! Where have you come from then, ey? Time portal? Time traveler? Or do you just enjoy looking like a peacock? Nonono, you enjoy the grandeur. Nobility then! Maybe. I don't really care." Dek shifted Arthur slightly to the side so he could address Axilious properly, all the while keeping the knife tip in Arthur's back. For now.

"Now! Strange woman.." The volume of his voice dropped slightly as he feigned trying to remember something. "Strange woman strange woman strange woman strange woman... NOPE! No strange women about here, Just these cattle! My newfound friend and I were just people watching. Nothing too serious, mind. Just observing these ignorant, pathetic, idiotic masses that are so intent on buying new shoes or clothes or whatever else they waste their money on. They never want to do anything more with their lives. Just consume, and consume, and consume. It's like they get some sick high off of it. It's really quite strange. Isn't it, friend-o?" Dek looked at Arthur, hoping for a response. When he saw his eyes glassed over, a petulant tone crept into his voice. "Aww. Look at that. Your little parlor trick seems to have taken out my only friend here. And we were going to have SUCH fun in this crowd. A little slicing, a little dicing, and a LOT of panicking! But, alas, he's gone for now." Dek pushed Arthur roughly towards a concrete support pillar in hopes of knocking the man out. He spread his hands widely, flourishing the knife before hiding it in his coat with a bit of slight-of-hand. "Well, looks like youuuuuuuuuuu're my new play-mate! How do you wanna play, mister? Nice and easy?" Dek held his right hand out to the side, preparing to bring his axe-hammer into existence. "Or will we do this the rough and tumble way?"

"Understood." Already moving before he'd even finished the single word, Strength strode across the plaza towards the oddly dressed man. Whatever it was the guy was doing, it was getting worse. Most of the people in the mall were stumbling around with glazed expressions on their faces, looking at nothing in particular. Damn right it would cause a situation if it carried on. Not often a few dozen people fall into a hypnotic trance in the middle of a public place. The tiniest of smiles crossed his face as he moved towards his target, who seemed more than preoccupied with a pair of guys standing close to at the edge of the plaza.

Obstruct or remove target. That was an objective he appreciated. Obvious. Straightforward.

Easy.

Another step and the smile was gone, replaced only with calm readiness as he ran through an automatic checklist, scanning over the entire situation. Target currently unarmed, seemingly unaware of incoming. Focused on pair of men, standing too close together. Threatening body language from the taller of the pair, pinning the other to the wall, one arm flourishing a blade before concealing it in the jacket he was wearing. Strength narrowed his eyes. The guy who had his back to the wall was the same one that had rushed past as he and the Chariot had been waiting earlier. It could be coincidence, but that was unlikely. Especially as the newcomer, the one who was playing with everyone's minds, had gone straight for them.

He flexed hands, confirmed they were free from possible restraint and prevention of weapon retrieval, both arms relaxed and ready. Approaching at an oblique angle, coming in from slightly behind Axilious so that he had to turn to face him, and wouldnt be able to keep the other two men, and presumably the Chariot, in view whilst looking at Strength, he stopped maybe fifteen feet away from the group and took a breath, projecting his voice so that all of them would hear him.

"Excuse me." A seconds pause to let them register him. "Mall security. Someone mind telling me what's going on here?"

Obvious gambit, and whilst he looked vaguely like a security guard in dark jacket and heavy boots, it was more than obvious to any intelligent onlooker that he really wasnt. But then, that wasnt the point. The point was to break flow. To get the attention on him, so that Chariot could do whatever it was he was going to do. And for that it would do just fine.

A shock of pain shook Arthur out of his daze, and he looked up to see what was happening around him. A pillar was to his side, obviously what he had been pushed into. His assailant was in front, turned to address another person... Karim's eyes widened in recognition as she noticed the Jack standing there confused. And they widened further as she saw one of the pair she had been watching walking toward them. Mind racing, she tried to think of a way to get her identity away to Jack without attracting too much attention. What to do, what to do... there wasn't much time...

Aha! Karim left a flower, a rose, against the pillar as she scrambled back out behind it. That should be enough of a hint, if that Axilious would take the chance to spot it. Message given, Arthur scrambled back to his feet and sputtered out, "Who- who are you... you... who? Get- get away!" And the backward steps turned to a full run, through the still still crowd, toward the area where the second had walked from, where the third was hopefully still waiting. These people were important, and Liesel would be furious if they let them out of their sight! Let Jack take the other two... Arthur didn't turn to see what was going on, but he could hear someone saying something about security. This would have to be done quickly, it would seem.

Axilious smiled almost cruelly as he regarded the one who had just threatened him. "Why would you like to know? I think that if you--" Suddenly cut off by multiple sources of sound, Axilious swirled irritated at the more self-important sounding one, leaving the peasant to scramble away in fear at the awe of the lords. "You attempt to beguile us peasant." Formal, blunt, and putting the villian down with his very demeanour, the audience must even now be booing at the man who dared interrupt the protagonist's witty remark. A very fast glance easily told him that he wasn't regular security, and mall security isn't ever likely to go undercover. Which meant that this was a plot twist, putting a third variable into the already explosive cauldron of antagonist and protagonist. "Explain yourself."

Haughty, the gesture demanding obeisance was calculated just right, the dramaticism adding flair to his movements as the shimmering energy, very distinctively showy calling of his weapon, formed into the double bladed staff that was his hallmark. "I am to be unseen. Let me make it so." The grave pronouncement of the good guy being forced to do evil. The performance was about to start.

"Hmm. So we're going to go there, already? Really? Fine by me!" Dek shrugged his hood back and revealed his masked face. At the same time, he held his right arm out above his head, mentally invoking his weapon into existence. The shadows around Dek all shot towards his hand with such force that they moved the clothing of the people around them. The shadows formed a midnight black sphere above his hand before stretching into the sillouhette of his weapon, then materializing into existence. Dek slowly brought the hammer towards the floor before firmly planting the base of the handle on the floor. The tile beneath the handle cracked slightly under the weight of the hammer-axe and the force of his strength.

"So." Any trace of levity in Dek's voice had evaporated, leaving a cold emptiness that verged on murderous. "Where do you want to begin, whelp?" Rather than waiting for a response from his now-opponent, Dek spun his hammer and unleashed an Arc of Chaos directly at Axilious. Without waiting for the Arc to hit or miss Axilious, Dek gripped the chain surrounding the handle of his weapon and threw it towards the floor. The chain unwound from the haft with a mind of its own. Instead of piling on the floor, it sank into the ground as if it were water. Nothing happened for a short time before chains burst out from the shadows of various objects surrounding Axilious. The chains, hovering in midair, seemed to absorb the light before streaking off towards Axilious. Deep down, Dek hoped that his new friend would dodge the otherworldly chains. It would at least indicate that he'd found some real fun for a time.

The situation escalating fast, Strength took a half step back, raised both his arms, fingers curling in until his fists were clenched tight, ready and willing to summon his own weapons at a moments notice.

"Explain myself?" He raised an eyebrow at Axilious, utterly calm and rational despite the chaos erupting around them all."I think it's you that should be.."

Whatever it was he was going to say was cut off as the other man, the one who'd summoned a giant, and to Strength's eyes, completely impractical axelike thing, swung it outwards, a wave of something that twisted in the air like shimmering heat erupting from its blade, aimed at the other man. The dodge was reactionary, two quick steps back and to the right, even though it wasnt aimed his way. The summoning of the gauntlets was just as instinctual. A moment after he willed, metal wrote itself into existence, curling first across his knuckles then shot backwards, twisting so close to flesh it was like a steel tattoo that covered his entire arms in dull grey up to both elbows.

He kicked forwards, aiming for the taller man, Dek, the one who seemed by far the most threatening. With no strategy in mind save simply ploughing into and through, he was content just to pit himself against the situation and see what came of it. Lips peeled back in a grin that came just from the joy of joining battle, he amended the ever present objective list that was running through his head.

Obstruct or remove targets.

Chariot, not looking back to watch Strength's progress, weaved quickly through the scattered people to disappear into a smaller shop at the back; one of the more specialised shops, this particular one in handbags and other personal accessories. Giving the note in his hand one more glance, Chariot tightened his fingures around the missive and let the words burn as he activated his own powers for a moment. A moment later he had retrieved the target package and had moved to secure it before moving back to mop up the situation if Strength hadn't cleaned it all up by himself. As he exited the shop, he glanced once around, not that carefully but enough to pick up the more casual of persuers, and moved towards the emergency exit at the rear of the mall.

Eenie, meenie, miney, moe, where'd that stupid third guy go? Karim looked through the crowd, searching for the last suspicious guy, the only one not confronting Ax. Where'd he go, where'd he go... Ugh, this endless searching and searching was getting boring. "Ah, let's end this charade..." as Karim reached up and pried off the Arthur mask. "Where oh where has the strange guy gone, oh where oh where could he be?" she singsonged and walked toward the back of the mall, keeping an eye out every which way for him. Suddenly, Karim spotted her target exiting a random shop, something about bags or somesuch. With that, she rang her bell, "Let the race... begin!" Karim took out two knives and began pursuit, hoping a good chase would arise.

Metal besought metal, and air parted for the true showing of power as Axilious brought his double bladed staff into existance, lips firm in a straight line of disapproval. "Axilious, brave knight, who stands against the tide of darkness." The words hummed with power as he stepped right into the wave of energy humming towards him, gritting his teeth against the flicker of energy attempting to twist his very organs against him. "He who guards the nine seals, and holds the highest of praises amongst the lords of the realm." As the chains darted towards Axilious, the stoic knight began to twirl his weapon, using it as a shield against the darkened objects. "Fear the guardian of truth, for the world is his battleground, to enact victory after victory."

As the Litany of Praise continued, Axilious felt the amazing powers buried within him envelope his body in a now visible almost-halo that emerged from the dust blond hair, and slowly seemed to envelope the rest of his body in an unearthly glow. The blade rotations stopped as the last chain was slashed and knocked away, but Axilious did not attack. After all, it would not befit a leading role to be drawn into battle first. "Fight for the judge of the Air and Earth." He proclaimed, taking no note of what the other man had said, but simply letting him move in to attack his assaulter.

Behind his mask, Dek's eyes narrowed to irritated slits. This wasn't who he wanted to play with. Didn't he realize one of his comrades? This must be someone newer, someone who hadn't met Dek already. Emitting a faint sigh, he shifted his stance so that he'd be able to dodge at the last moment. The hammer hung loosely in his arms, ready to move at a moments notice. Despite it's size and probable weight, it felt no lighter than a normal hammer to him, but to his enemies it felt much MUCH heavier. Just before Strength's fists impacted with his face, Dek rolled and evaded the strike. Dek landed on his feet, hammer held with one arm at his side. "Well well, sir. It appears you've made a bit of a mistake. The person you want to maim is up there", he pointed at Axilious, ",not me. I'm on your side, I believe. Unless you've defected. Then you're meat. But it doesn't really matter to me, a fight is a fight." He shifted his weight back slightly, with his weight over his rear foot and ready to spring.