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Dorothy Blue

"I wish my legs will grow a mile. Then I can walk away and go to all the pretty places grown ups always go."

0 · 480 views · located in THe True Earth

a character in “The Demon Hunt”, as played by CabbageAngel

Description

Character Name: Dorothy Blue

Other names: Doll (only Siem calls her that), Blue, Ribbon Girl.

Age: 9 and a half.

Character Song: Men of Snow, Ingrid Michaelson - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K_XIsAutg4

FC: Matou Sakura, Fate Zero

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Appearance

A small, pale child with violet hair and eyes. She appears sorrowful and like her mind is elsewhere, even when she smiles. She always has her eyes cast to the ground and has little to no presence. Her eyes are described as dead and vacant by others. She dresses in purple, white and red and always wears modest skirts and dresses. Beneath her dress, below her collarbone, there is a red gem implanted in her skin. That is where her Demonic Weapon is hidden.

Personality

Dorothy is a gloomy girl cursed to sense the emotions of the people around her. Because of this, she is sympathetic towards all humans who feel pain and can find herself feeling sorry for even the most awful of people instead of resenting them. She is kind to a fault and does her best to surround herself with positive emotions when she is forced to be around people, though she prefers to board herself up inside. She is never alone because of Siem. She cannot sense how Siem is feeling and they are very separate entities despite living in the same body. In truth, she doesn't want to be alone, but she can't touch people in case she is given their most tragic memory and being around people confuses her because she can't control her emotion sense. She depends on Siem's company too much, despite knowing he is an "evil thing".

Dorothy is incredibly intelligent due to Siem being far, far older and knowledgeable than her. He gives her his knowledge and forces her to read books constantly. She also is affected by Siem's arrogance and is growing increasingly cocky in battle and life in general. She almost picked a fight with some scumbag the other day before her senses kicked in. She won't take orders or advice from anyone when she is in this state. She doesn't want to be one with Siem, the same way he doesn't want to be one with her, except she doesn't want him to leave her, either. He would leave her if he got the chance without looking back.

Her greatest dream is to find someplace where everyone feels happy and protected. She also secretly yearns for the approval of Siem who, despite being evil, is the closest thing she has to family. A few friends who can care for her like Siem doesn't wouldn't be too bad either.

Likes

  • Having stories read to her, especially when the storyteller puts in effort.
  • Hugs. She may be afraid to hug others, let alone have any physical contact with them, but she gives herself one when she deserves it and pretends it's from Siem.
  • Places that feel happy.

Dislikes

  • Loneliness in a crowded place.
  • Growing up.
  • Learning.

Talents

Reading - She reads the most complex and longest of books in only a few to several days. She has borrowed most of the contents of the local library and is a regular there. This is Siem's doing, as he is the one that enjoys reading and learning. To Dorothy, reading is homework. Homework that never ends.

Chess and other games that require strategy: She wins against the oldest and most skilled of players... probably because she has an older and more skilled demon within her playing the game through her hands. She usually doesn't enjoy playing, but she does find the last few moves where the stakes are higher exciting.

Playing the piano: She refuses to let Siem play for her. Instead, he appears on the seat beside her and gives her piano lessons. She has as much skill as an 9 yr old when it comes to playing the piano and she likes it that way.

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Demonic Weapon

It's a shield that covers her entire body. It takes the form of red and black ribbons. It's hidden within the "gem" implanted in her chest and is activated by thought or emergency activated by Siem when something goes to touch her with malicious intent. The suit seems to do everything for her, even when she's not fighting.

- Protect - Completely wrap her up and shield her from harm.
- Project - Ribbons will be projected from her shield at an enemy. They can work as a grapple hook and drag her to places, or they can pierce through an enemy.
- Follow the Leader- Her ribbons will relentlessly chase the enemy like a bomb locked onto a target. It isn't good to chase them too far, or she'll get tangled.
- Battle Bot (?) - The suit sort of upgrades itself to become larger, to make a large monster-like robot creature. She can control the weapon from within by thought. If this form is sustained for too long, she can pass out.
- Toto - the ribbons can unravel from her and take the form of a small dog. Not sure about the use in this, but Dorothy finds it cute.

Magic abilities

Active

Pandora's Box: When all of her uneasiness and dark thoughts congregate inside of her, it can take a physical form and corrupts anything surrounding her, the size of which depending on how awful it is. This is the "ultimate attack" used when everything looks and feels like it's hopeless. Being hopeless gives her this ability. While she may look alive after this (eyes looking less dead and looking more healthy in general)... this isn't really useful. At all. If you want destruction and corrupted people left in her wake, then yay? She can get rid of hopelessness by passing it onto someone else and consequently driving them mad or just making them really depressed (depends on how that person deals with being hopeless), but she can't bring herself to do that so instead she lets it build up until it explodes. EDIT // Actually, then again, perhaps this power is useful. Demons have feelings too and she can take their hope away.

Know Your Enemy: By touching a person or an item belonging to a person with a fair amount of their DNA covering it, Dorothy can glimpse at the inner workings of a person. At first, she usually sees their most traumatic and/or sorrowful memory but if she grows closer to the person, she may be allowed further access into their mind. This is a power she has some control over, but not always. This power has the fault of giving her sympathy for the enemy, which is why her weapon is the body shield.

Death Stare: For this she has to be focusing on one target, stay very still and not blink. With this "attack", she paralyzes her opponent in fear. Your eyes are said to be gateways to the soul, and in her case, the gateway to Siem. When she uses this ability, it's not only her gaze paralyzing her opponent, it's her Demon Spirit. This allows her to get the enemy with her project attack. She cannot allow herself to be distracted at all during this.

Passive

Enhanced senses: Typical stuff that every Demon Hunter has. Strong sense of smell, hearing, sight, etc.

Emotion Reading: Gets a read on the emotional state of a person by sensing their aura. This happens whether she wants it or not. She doesn't like going outside where it's crowded because of all the emotions and also the chance of touching somebody skin-against-skin and getting a glimpse at the darkest region of their mind. Also, she cannot get emotional readings on demons or those possessed by demons.

Demon sense: Not very strong compared to others. She relies on her emotional readings to detect demons.

Demonic Soul

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Name

Siem (pronounced like the "sim" in "simon")

Character Description

Siem is very intelligent and at the moment, very humiliated due to being outsmarted, defeated and crammed behind the ribcage of a screaming baby. Despite being forced to do the work of good, Siem can't deny that he grows ecstatic at the prospect of a fight - whether he and Dorothy are fighting a human or demon. Being much older than Dorothy, he has raised her from the inside out. He wants to leave her body through whatever means possible and seemingly does not care when she is hurt in battle, only complaining that her moves are slow and teaching her what to do next time.

Siem is manipulative and gets what he wants and sulks when he doesn't. He often is whispering into Dorothy's ear and telling her what to say to get out of situations. Dorothy is vaguely aware that she shouldn't trust him but often gets tricked when he toys with her emotionally. He may be a totally evil arse, but his lying tongue comes in use. He's also very self-righteous, which influences Dorothy's character a lot and causes her to grow arrogant.

He doesn't show himself to others often, usually only to Dorothy in their own home. He also enjoys reading and extending his vocabulary and forces Dorothy to read constantly so he can read and learn through her eyes.

Despite calling Dorothy an "empty doll" and seemingly using her only as a tool, deep down, he holds some care for her. Probably.

History

Dorothy was donated to Vanguard by a teenage mum. Pretty standard. She doesn't know whether her mum is alive or not and is curious about finding her, like any child would be.

She spent her life being taught how to be a Demon Hunter while having some older guy bored out of his wits stuck in her head. Siem was the one who taught Dorothy her first words. Believe me, it was a surprise to everyone when she came out with, "Kill yourself!" Not only that, she first spoke at 13 months, though children usually begin talking at 18-24. After Siem had his laugh, he began to give the doctors more threatening messages through Dorothy's mouth, such as "I won't forget this" and "I'm getting out" and of course "As long as I live, everyone you love is not safe". Siem also realised he could control some of young Dorothy's actions and taught her how to walk. He could play other games with her, such as "Hit him. *smack* ... Hit him again." and "Grab the pen... grab it... front pocket... good, good... now raise it higher... and put it in his eye."

Toddler Dorothy was obviously dangerous and very easily controlled by her Demonic Soul, but eventually she learnt to stop doing what the voice in her head told her too after being punished countless times for it. Siem descended into boredom yet again.

Dorothy's power to see into someone's darkest memory did not develop until she was six. She hugged one of her trainers because she could sense they felt mournful and suddenly she was filled with the horrific memory of holding someone dear to her as blood poured from a gaping wound in their chest... this made poor Dorothy scream, run and hide under her bed. She had to be dragged back out, trembling and confused. Siem was excited by this new power and tried to coax Dorothy into touching others. The trainers wanted her to try touching people so that they could observe her power. She was made to by some more ambitious trainers despite obviously not wanting to. Sorrowful, violent and horrific images corrupted her young mind. Siem relished them. Dorothy learned why people hate.

Just as Dorothy discovered her hatred towards Demons and her pity for humankind, her powers grew stronger to the point she could not control them at all. Being stuck in a place crowded with so many mixed emotions and people hiding sadness was not good for her overly-sensitive emotion sensing ability. The effect on her growing brain made her feel constantly stressed and overwhelmed. The trainers trying to calm her and help her get over her panic but after the constant begging to be alone and extreme reaction to touching, they decided that the crowds and constant probing was not good for her.

She was sent to live with a nice elderly couple that supported Vanguard in a nice, family-friendly suburb. Dorothy discovered that no matter where you are, humans will always hold negative emotions behind their smiles. The move helped. But it would never cure her. Her disease was the power that the Demon Soul gave her.

Now Osborn is dead and Robin is soon to follow her late husband to the grave. Siem has been posing as her much older brother for the entire time they've lived with the Burrells. Dorothy began her life as a Demon Hunter only a year ago. Yeah, when she was eight. By some miracle, her training and intelligence (Siem) has kept her alive. She may be talented enough to fight but is still one of the very youngest and most inexperienced on the field.

And that's pretty much it. Very irresponsible for the Vanguard to leave a dangerous little girl living with a very old lady and an evil demon while other evil demons try to kill her but... well, Zero's got his own place already. They obviously don't care that much, right? Maybe she fell off the radar somehow.

AND THE REST

Equipment: Holy water, a well balanced lunch (courtesy of Siem not allowing her sugar), hand sanitizer, lip balm, torch, sunglasses, an overdue library book and a jigsaw piece she thought she lost.

So begins...

Dorothy Blue's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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(This is in the past where Zero was tracking that demon in the park. Dorothy will catch up to the present soon.)

In a quiet little neighbourhood, a quiet little girl sat in a quiet little park trying to read a quiet little book. The only sounds to distract her were the cars, the birds and the children playing on the lively playground just thirty metres ahead from her. At least, that was what it looked like to all who took the time to look at her. There were many more distractions inside her head that made reading almost impossible.

Dorothy glanced up from her book at the couple walking past her, smiling and laughing. Inside of her head, a smooth voice made an irritated noise.

"Tsk. What is it now?" Siem demanded, not pleased with this small disruption.

"Nothing," Dorothy whispered and buried her face back into the book's pages. After a few seconds she dropped it down on her lap. "I can't do this. They're too loud."

"That is something you're going to get over," her demon said sternly, "Focus on the words and forget about the people. You need to learn to shut the emotions out and focus on what needs to be done."

"I don't want to lose myself in a book," Dorothy complained and folded her arms stubbornly, "The people here are happy. It feels nice." Her vacant eyes hardened and she looked around the park like she was trying to seek something out, "Except someone isn't happy. It ruins all of this." She gazed solemnly over the children playing and Siem sighed exasperatedly.

"Look doll, people are always going to be unhappy. You're going to have to get used to it."

"But -"

"Pick up the book."

Dorothy slowly raised the book up and opened to her page, then she immediately shut it again. "Siem," she began strongly, which was rather unlike her, "I think you don't know much at all. Nobody who has to read and learn all the time knows everything."

There was a silence inside of her head, in which Dorothy nervously anticipated the worst to come. "I'm sorry..." she apologised very quietly. Then her hands snapped the book open. Dorothy stared at them. She hadn't done that. "Siem!" She whined and tried to shut the book, but her hands wouldn't let her. She soon managed to shut it, but it happened again. The battle went back and forth and looked quite ridiculous to passer-byers, especially when Dorothy's face was seemingly being smooshed into the open pages of the book by an invisible force. This continued until a large crash sounded and Dorothy looked up to see the sky looking much angrier than before.

"Oh, look here." Siem said sarcastically, though Dorothy knew he was ecstatic about this turn of events. "Looks like your break's over, doll. Suit up."

"A demon wouldn't use a spell of this size if they weren't fighting a bigger threat." Dorothy observed. "It's already fighting a Demon Hunter."

"And you know what's better than one Demon Hunter? Two. Now get over there before there's none left to go around." Siem tried to take control of her feet, but he had already spent too much energy trying to get Dorothy to read. Instead, Dorothy ignored the tugging and stayed seated. Just over a minute later, the skies suddenly cleared and the sunlight came back. "That was ... very irresponsible of you..."

"I'm hungry," Dorothy stated suddenly and put her book into her bag. Siem stayed silent. He must have been sulking again. "Are you ignoring me?"

"Eat the lunch I packed for you."

"The Demon Hunters will most likely be eating at Chickburgerz."

"I don't let you go to that place for two reasons. One, there is no way I am letting you consume that junk and it gives you a stomach ache. Two, you can't handle places with too many people and it gives me a headache." Dorothy didn't reply and cast her eyes to the ground. Siem's vision began to go blurry and after some confusion, he realised that she was about to cry. "... Fine. As long as you eat the food in your bag and not the food on the menu, you can go. I don't know why you want to. You aren't friends with them."

"Thank you Siem," Dorothy replied without answering his doubts and hopped off the bench, flinging her backpack over her shoulders. She began walking off, her head down and eyes still fixated on the ground. Siem sighed inside of her head, thinking to himself that though he may live inside the mind of Dorothy, he may never understand her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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#, as written by Kapento
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Barnabas Dialogue ◈ #003300 | Unwin Dialogue ◈ #660033


Unwin flinched from within, straining the boys eyes ahead to the end of the street as an all too familiar presence tickled at his curiosity. ”Siem,” he insisted when sensing the other demon that lurked within the small girl; orbs radiating their trademark crimson upon forcing the boy to carry on down the path. ”Do you see--”

”Blue!” Barnabas rudely interrupted the demon, regaining control over his form and bustling down the rest of the street, before coming face to face with the violet-haired female. Well, not entirely of course, given that the little girl had her face glued to the ground as per usual. ”What’ve I said about not looking where you’re going? You could wonder onto a road and get hit, you dunce.” Not necessarily meaning to sound scolding, Barnabas found it to be a habit he couldn’t quite shake off when setting both hands on his hips; at least when it only concerned Dorothy, who had the uncanny ability to drag out his more attentive nature.

”Dunce?” Unwin quietly remarked, his own thoughts buzzing around the youths head. ”What is that? Hm.”

”Anyway,” Barnabas said with a tilt of his head. ”Looks like your heading in the direction of Chickburgerz.” It wouldn’t exactly be his first point of call, although the boy knew many of the other hunters usually gathered at the place. A reason perhaps why he wouldn’t normally linger there without good cause. ”Don’t tell me; is Siem actually letting you go there for once? My, your demon must be turning into a big old softie. He slyly teased and shot a look at the smaller child, as if challenging the very demonic force in question that lay beyond the girl’s eyes. Heck even Unwin, surprisingly as it was, gave out a subtle chuckle of amusement to the boy’s comment. After all, even the demon himself wasn’t beyond petty mocks to rattle up his fellow demons.

”Let me take you there and if any bad demons come I’ll give ‘em a swift kicking, got it?” Barnabas said, quickly snaking an arm round the girls shoulders and pulling her gently beside him. ”Maybe once we’re there I’ll tell you an awesome story too, if you want? I know how much you like those.”

With that said he began to lead the way once receiving approval; guiding the small girl through the waves of people that crowded their path and towards Chickburgerz. It wasn’t too far away thankfully, and once arriving there Barnabas could already recognize a few of the hunters already inside and eating away, from what he saw through the window. It almost disgusted him in some way, somehow, making the boy almost wish that some demon would suddenly attack and cause a tiny bit of chaos; just for kicks. With that in mind he looked down to the little girl at his side and sharply remarked, ”Remember, be careful and stick close to me, ok? Bassy knows best.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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When Lance entered the Chickburgerz, his first thought was to sit on the table everyone else was at but Rue began to drag him somewhere else. He just allowed himself to be dragged despite remembering a few events that transpires when he was with Rue, one such event when a woman was yelling profanities directed at him and tried to separate him and Rue on the account that she thought he was a pedophile. After remembering that event, he thought it was much safer with one kid then a whole group of kids. Who knew what would happen if he sat on a table surrounded by kids? He would probaly be the talk of the town in a very bad way and have a few police officers haul him off to jail.

Rue eventually climbed off of Lance's head and gave him a pat on the arm before telling him he was a "good car, good boy" which earned another sigh from him. Rue soon began to pull his arm, trying to drag him away from the others and telling him that they should sit on one of the empty tables. He then gave up holding his ground when Rue began to pull on him forcibly and made his way over to the table and sat across from her.

As Lance examined the menu, ignoring the feet that was on his legs, he heard Rue speak up. "Lance, Lance! We should play fight one day, okay?" He then looked up at her and saw her grinning with delight. "I need to practice! It'll be fun, I promise!" He thought for a minute as he looked back at the menu, should he play fight with her? Sure he was lazy but his demon would never let and oppurtunity like this pass. And just as he thought about his demon, he appeared right next to him with his arms crossed.

"Lance, you will accept her offer to fight."

"Oh come on Araghast, I don't want to exert myself in a very tough battle."

"Then how about this, if you don't accept her offer I will force you to train for seven whole days, all day and night"

Lance then began to weigh both of those options, fight for maybe thirty minutes to an hour in a single fight, or spend an entire week and be forced to do anything his demon threw at him. "Well Rue, you got yourself a fighting companion." Lance replied as he decided on a fried chicken sandwich and cup of Pepsi as his meal.

He soon looked out of the window and saw a very...strange...sight. There was a strange man dressed in a twin tailed coat, and black and white striped shirt under some overalls, selling some balloons. He didint see anything suspicious about it, but his demon had a different opinion. "I suggest you remember that man Lance...There is something off about him." Lance just waved away his worry and got ready to take another power nap to wait for his food.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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Zero and Anna both noticed it, their senses peaking as they felt the demonic aura for half a second, and a lingering stink of demonic magic. Zero used his piercing gaze technique, to actually look for the demonic soul specifically, but had no such luck. It was as if this thing, if it was really there, had Danny's cloak ability, Lance's calm thinking, Rue's....crazy, Daisy's determination, and Zero's guts. How and why else would a demon come some close to them, yet just slip through their fingers before they got a chance to react? This was more then just a demon hunting them. This demon already knew who they were, and it already had its sights on them. And it had to be powerful. Avoiding the Aura sense was one thing, but Piercing Gaze? Zero could usually see right through cloaking spells.

But, since they could not tell who or where the demon was, they could not act or react. They were just trapped there, in that one booth, with all their friends, like sitting ducks in a restaurant. Zero was extremely on edge, but he tried to keep his cool since everyone else was there.

He snapped out of it though when Rue threw Candy into his face. "Okay, okay, I get it".

Of course, as he finished his meal, his phone went off. A very specific ringtone. Everyone elses phones and communicators and PDAs and what not would also be going off at the same time. Zero slammed his hands down on the table, and time slowed down in the entire place except for them and their phones. Zero activated the speaker option on his phone, and put it on the table. Luckily for Zero, by not having to move at all, "Talk fast".

A hologram of a place formally known as Sky Tower projected from his phone. "A new Hunt is on. We have located a powerful demon, that will likely require several hunters to eliminate. His name is Razakar, a Nightmare Demon. He has been slowly draining the human souls of this building to bolster his powers in addition to keeping up a normal intake of souls. He is located on the 13th floor, but the whole building is warded except for the first. Climb the tower from the inside, and eliminate the demon. The Hunt is on".

Time returned to normally instantly, Zero did not normally use it that long but they were in a public place so it had to be done. Still, his time powers would be out of commission for a bit, so that was annoying.

"Well guys, looks like we are all getting called in on this one. Let's get to work" Zero said as he stood up and started heading towards the door, Anna following behind him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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Rue was ecstatic. The fight was official - at some point, she'd finally get to show off her stuff to her big brother, Lance. Every bit of the sadist's body tensed in anticipation, hoping that she'd get the opportunity to strike soon. It was wonderful and amazing and more than winning or losing, she wanted it to be a long, strenuous struggle that took her to her limits. It was rare that a fight actually forced her to go all out - which was a shame, since that was where Rue truly felt as if she were alive. She made giddy little noises to herself that sounded something like a child would make when waiting for night to fall on the night before her birthday in order to open the presents. Her nerves tingled and crackled and she felt her cheeks heating up in pre-battle lust.

"Thank you, Lance!" Rue chirped, though she was really talking to Araghast than anything else. Irina made pleasing hissing noises from within Rue, happy at the development. "Let's make it really long and painful for both of us!"

Then Rue's nerves hit a fever pitch, bursting with tension - an urge to fight that was more immediate than her usual lust. Rue even felt her breath shortening into quick, excited pants and the muscles in her legs screamed for her to move. This could only mean one thing: a demon was nearby. Though - .... where, exactly? Every part of the girl was pricked up and she hung on to every little sensation, desperately trying to get a lead on the demon before any of her allies wanted to ruin the fun (mostly Daisy, urgh).

"Do you sense it?" Irina asked, taking on an uncharacteristically serious expression. "You do, right? It's close, but definitely much more powerful than usual. Be careful."

Then all of a sudden, time seemed to stop. Rue immediately twisted over to glance at Zero - who else but him, right? Her own phone was buzzing but she ignored it, focusing on the hologram of the Sky Tower. Rue quickly digested the information she needed - Sky Tower, 13th floor, climb from inside, and demon. For a moment, Rue's face twisted into a wicked predatory grin that was quickly replaced with a cutesy smile. "I'm sorry, Lance, but I'll drive myself this time." She said in a sing song voice, teleporting out of Chickburgerz via the window to get a headstart on Zero. With a combination of sprinting and teleportation, Rue navigated the rooftops and was the first to reach the Sky Tower when -

"Wait, wait, Rue." Irina warned loudly. "I know you want to rush in and fight, but I promise, you'll want everyone else for this. This one's too strong for anyone on their own." The girl observed the entrance to the Sky Tower from a ledge high in the air on an opposite building, gritting her teeth in frustration. She wanted to fight. She thirsted for it! And now she was being denied it?

"I'm so hungry!" The girl hissed, almost as if it caused her physical pain to sit still. "I want to kill it! Iriiiinaaaaaa!"

Irina sighed apologetically, patting Rue on the shoulder. "Let's wait for the others before heading in, okay? You know I wouldn't delay you unless it really was too dangerous."

The soothing words did nothing to assuage the lust but the huntress nodded after a long pause, bringing her thumb to her mouth to chew violently on the nail, drawing blood and tearing the skin entirely by accident, and not noticing the pain whatsoever.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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Danny started cracking some jokes as they ate, mentioning how Lance should try not training or sleeping and actually living a little, when Zero brought up the briefing. The demon they would be hunting was no joke, if it was keeping up a diet and siphoning souls from a whole building. The thing would be supercharged, and who knew what waited within.

Which was why, as soon as it ended, Danny bolted towards the place. Barry appeared next to him as he got close. "You know we demons have a name for this, right? We call them Nightmare towers. Supposedly, demons siphon off soul energy to give to Lucifer or one of hte other big bad demons, in exchange for additional power. This Nightmare tower does not have thirteen floors by coincidence. It was designed like that on purposefully. The thirteenth floor won't show up on the outside of the building. We will have to reach it there by climbing the tower one floor at a time...and it will not be pleasant. Nightmare Towers have....nasty defenses....in place. Each floor, you will be subjected to a different terrifying scenario".

"How do you know so much about Nightmare Towers, and how much do you know about Nightmare Towers?"

"I used to run one, before I got caught" Barry admitted. "Each Nightmare Tower has thirteen floors, and each Nightmare tower has different challanges on each room depending on the demon's preference. The more common ones involve watching loved ones die, public nudity, and facing your deepest darkest fears. Oh, and every attack made against you will be one hundred percent real....and each one could be your last".

As he finished, Danny and Barry arrived at the building. "Hey Barry, if you could physically manifest yourself like Anna can, that could help. You have not tried recently, maybe you will have more success this time".

"Alright, here goes nothing" Barry said. He focused really hard and tried to force it, before physically manifesting himself....as a skull. "Well, its progress".

Danny just gave a fake smile. "Yeah, totally. Now, lets go!"

Danny grabbed the door handle before Barry could stop him, and he was teleported inside the building, having missed the teleportation runes all over the handles, doors, windows, and every other exit and entrance.

Danny found himself now in the first room, with a talking skull. Across the room, his first challange awaited. It was....Barry's full and true demonic form at full power.

"Oh crap" they both said together.

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============Nightmare Tower Level 1: Inner Demon Reflection!============

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(Name and Level fully approved and created by Perks)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Bedlam Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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"Blue!"

Dorothy would have heard that voice from a mile away. She remained motionless with her gaze still glued to the ground, but her hidden smile grew wider the further he approached her.

"Bassy," both she and Siem said at once, Dorothy sounding pleasantly surprised and Siem sounding like this was the last person he wanted to see. Barnabas marched right up to her and began to scold her as per usual, which she took happily with a grain of salt and a nod. Tilting her head up, she felt her chest become lighter upon simply seeing him. She saw past his confident smirk to the one who lay beneath and offered a little grin, "Unwin. Good morning."

Dorothy liked Bassy and was one of the very few who did. In missions they would often pair off together, not only because Dorothy's power of seeing someone's most traumatic memory and Bassy's power of creating illusions were a match made in Vanguard heaven, but also because they both didn't believe they needed the others. With her being too nervous around people because of her powers and him generally being an ass, it was only natural that they'd fool themselves into believing that. Dorothy placed her trust in Bassy the same way anyone would put their trust in the grass being green.

"... My, your demon must be turning into a big old softie.”

Dorothy's smile dropped immediately and she looked guiltily away, knowing that one of the reasons Siem didn't like Bassy was because he constantly bit away chunks of the old demon's pride. However, she also believed that he didn't like him because they were too alike, something they both would never admit to. Siem sighed and Dorothy could picture him exasperatedly flipping his hair the way he always did.

"This child," he muttered, "I don't understand the connection. He has a terrible influence on you."

"... You don't understand a lot of things, Siem..." she whispered, frowning slightly at the demon calling Bassy a bad influence, when obviously he was the worst. She gasped as Bassy suddenly pulled her in towards him, not expecting the gesture, but nothing happened. Her face flared up and she buried in in her sleeve, still uncomfortable with being so close, but reassuring herself that it was fine. Trying to distract herself from her headache, she glanced down and nodded excitedly at the prospect of being told a story. Bassy told his stories so passionately she could almost see it happening around her, or maybe that was just his illusions. Maybe he could bring the book she attempted earlier to life? Bassy guided her through the crowds and she tried her best to avoid touching anyone else. He was doing a good job at making other people steer clear with all the pushing and shoving and whatnot. This behavior wasn't exactly unlike him, Dorothy didn't like to admit, but it wouldn't happen without reason. She then noticed the limp.

He's hurt, she pointed out to Siem by thought.

"Your ability to state the obvious never ceases to bore me, doll."

... Um... am I being used as a walking stick?

Siem inhaled deeply and began in a drawl, "It seems that his own needs come before his consideration of your reluctance to touch others, which is not out of character for the proud little snot. Use this empty head of yours for something and think. Has he ever asked you for anything?"

Dorothy unfortunately didn't have to think for long on that one, but she didn't want to think badly of Bassy. He must have just forgotten. That's right. She scolded her demon and removed Bassy's arm from her with a barely audible, "No thank you." As soon as the source of her nervousness was gone, she could already breath easier. As they approached Chickburgerz, something caught her eye to the right. She stopped walking and looked over at a man. He was a strange looking man surrounded by children sporting balloons. This man seemed to be beckoning over at the window of the fast food joint and nobody else on the street appeared to be paying him any attention. One of the children spotted her and waved, gesturing her over to him. She glanced at Bassy limping away just a little ahead of her to find he hadn't noticed that she had stopped yet, being the girl of little presence she was. She took a few sidesteps right.

"Don't do it, doll. That's a bad idea."

Dorothy froze. Her desire for a balloon dissipated and while she gave the strange scene one last lingering look, she realised something that disturbed her. She couldn't feel their emotions. Feeling under pressure, she ran up to Bassy and was about to tug on his sleeve when he swung around to her.

”Remember, be careful and stick close to me, ok? Bassy knows best.

"Like hell if he does!"

"I know," she replied distractedly, ignoring Siem. At that moment, a figure sprang from a window out of nowhere and sprinted past them at such a speed it left Dorothy's hair in disarray. She stared after the girl as she teleported out of sight. "Was that... Rue?" Rue was soon followed by a blue haired boy that burst out of the entrance to Chickburgerz and dashed past them with not even an acknowledgement. "Danny...?" A familiar beeping sounded from Bassy's pocket and she winced, knowing full well what that tone meant. "... I wanted... I wanted to have a happy day..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Bedlam Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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#, as written by Zalgo
Daisy

As she watched the strange man outside time suddenly slowed down dramatically. The thoughts around her were low hums. Tones and noises all stretched out to great lengths. At that very same moment everyone's phones rang. Zero had used his time manipulation to slow down time to a near crawl while they answered the call from HQ. She personally had pulled out her own phone and listened in to the instructions, looking back over at the projection from Zero's phone.

After the briefing she hung up the phone and put it back in her pocket. Thirteen Floors...

"It has to be. A nightmare tower... How appropriate for a nightmare demon."


And like that they were all off. She ran after the rest of them though she knew that she'd probably be close to last in arriving. Just as she exited the restaurant however she ran into two other demon hunters, Dorothy and Bassy. From what she could read Bassy felt just as cocksure as usual but Dorothy felt what closest resembled disappointment. Daisy often worried for Dorothy as she was the youngest demon hunter in the city and she had a demon who was, put simply enough, a jerk.

Though she was younger than her and less experienced Daisy didn't look down on her talents as Dorothy was a far better mind reader than her, easily putting her telepathy to shame. She knew that such potency was a double edged sword however, leaving Dorothy exposed to far stronger stimuli. Such magic could be dangerous in the wrong circumstances, hence why she often made sure to help out whenever she was around.


"Hey Dorothy, Hey Bassy." She greeted them both before coming up to Dorothy. |Is something wrong?| She telepathically spoke directly to her mind in an attempt at being mindful of her company. She didn't want to make Dorothy feel like she was being put on the spot in front of her peer. As much as she'd of liked to stay and hear Dorothy out however duty pressed her mind harder with every passing second. "Let's talk on the way. Don't want to keep the others waiting, especially Rue." She motioned for them to follow and started back on her way towards the tower.

She went fast to compensate for the fact that she was one of the slower ones in the group but she also made sure she wasn't too far from Dorothy. Even running most of the other hunters could outpace her easily but she always trained so she could keep up. That way if her powers ever failed her she'd have something to fall back to in such emergency. As for Dorothy she could easily get well ahead of her if she used her ribbons to pull her ahead however in a public street with people around she hoped she would use her weapon with discretion.


Eventually she arrived at Sky Tower, the building which housed Razakar. She stopped short of the door, looking around to see who else was here. Given her pace it was quite likely most of them were already here waiting for her to show. She didn't see Danny at the destination but that wasn't unusual given he was one of the few others who could go invisible. She was about to step in when she spotted the teleportation runes marked around the entrance. "Watch out for the runes on the door. We want to make sure we get through more or less at the same time." She warned others that might of been going for the entrance.

"Anyone see Danny here?" She asked in general, wondering if the others knew where he went. She hoped he didn't get stuck in there already.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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#, as written by Kapento
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Barnabas Dialogue ◈ #003300 | Unwin Dialogue ◈ #660033


Hearing the recognizable beep that chimed from his phone and buzzed in his pocket, Barnabas was quick to retrieve and produce the small device in his hand; knowing already what was to come or at least he could guess just as easily. ”A new hunt is to commence,” Unwin commented while listening on vaguely to the information presented to him, ”A nightmare demon in a nightmare tower, how fitting. Thirteen floors no less.” Barnabas on the other hand was silent for the moment, digesting the facts and accumulating his thoughts before slipping the phone back into his pocket.

”Hey Dorothy, Hey Bassy.” A voice suddenly spoke, snagging the boys immediate attention as Barnabas glanced between Dorothy and Daisy, who appeared beside them. ”Well if it isn’t Lazy Daisy,” The boy retorted sharply, offering a sideways glance to the older of the two females. However, their time was cut short as much of the gang had already departed for the destination; at record pace which even surprised Barnabas, which was only supported after when hearing, ”Let's talk on the way. Don't want to keep the others waiting, especially Rue.” To which the boy gave a nod.

”Heaven forbid we kept that crybaby waiting.” Barnabas sighed somewhat sarcastically as the small group progress on towards the Tower. Though of course, if he wanted to the boy could have sprung on ahead limp or not; but with Dorothy with him Barnabas would hardly drop the girl and run, and so he walked with the girls, even if Daisy was usually one of the slower if not slowest hunter out of the bunch. ”Don’t fret about it Blue. You’ll still have a happy day, I’ll make sure of it.” Barnabas offered some words of comfort to the little girl as they walked, knowing that the tower was not what either had in mind, and yet it was hardly a thing they could ignore. Duty was the most important thing, after all.

By the time they arrived at the Tower more or less everyone else was already there seemingly waiting for the go-ahead. From up on a ledge on a close by building Barnabas spotted Rue perched on the spot, almost practically sensing the girls eagerness to advance and finding it just a little bit amusing. Danny wasn’t there however, but Barnabas was hardly concerned by that fact. ”The fool’s probably inside and ahead knowing him,” he remarked in response to Daisy, rolling his eyes just a little for dramatic effect. ”Hope nothing bad has happened to him... at least not without me bearing witness to it first of course, heh.”

With that single thought burning in his mind and promptly reaching behind him, Barnabas grabbed at the end of the pole and swung it round in one sole motion; giving a sharp twirl in his hand and flexing his arms in place. Quickly after and with a passing thought, the green essence manifested itself into the blade of the weapon, perfectly forming the scythe to it's proper shape. ”Chances are I’ll be the first to reach the 13th floor, so that demon will be mine to wipe out,” the boy confidently stated in general, ”Unless anyone is up for challenging that fact 'course.”


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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Lance woke up not to the sound of his food being placed on the table, but to the sound of all the demon hunter phones going off at the same time. He groaned as he fumbled around his pockets to grab his phone, ignoring as the patrons around them seemed to slow down. As he listened to the instructions his heart began to pound faster and his blood began to boil, a hunt was on for a nightmare demon and he was eager for a fight. "Well looks like we are going hungry for this fight partner." Lance exclaimed and he bounded of his chair and ran full speed out of the Chickburgerz.

"Looks like today's hunt is going to be a dangerious one Lance, you know the drill for these types of missions right?"

"Yeah, we usually group up and come up with a plan."

"The demon might be prepared for us to charge in together, so what do we suppose we do to take it by surprise."

"That's simple, we barge through the front door and destroy everything that gets in our way!"

"Now your getting into the spirit Lance! Now ready your weapon!"

After their conversation, Lance summoned his weapon in a puff of black and red flames as he continued to run. After seeing the tower and everyone else waiting in front of it, he just kept on running full speed at the door. "Last one in pays for the food next time!" Lance exclaimed as he attempted to drop kick the door open, only to be teleported inside the tower and hit nothing but air. "That could have gone better..." Lance groaned as he slowly got off the ground and dusted himself off.

As Lance looked across the room, he saw Aragast in his true demonic form waiting on the other side and carrying a massive battle axe the size of a truck, and to add to the sheer intimidation factor, it was on fire. "So my first fight is against a clone of you...At least I can pretend that thing is actually you..." Lance mumbled the last part as he got in his fighting position.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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(WHAT THE FUCK WEBSITE. NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE MY POST GOT DELETED! WTF!) (Anyways, so now I am just speeding through this because I am fucking pissed) (Also, showing off future floors so people know what to expect)

As Zero arrived, he saw Lance get teleported inside. He also noticed Danny was not here, and therefore realized he must already be inside. "No way I am letting him beat me!"

Zero grabbed the door, and was teleported inside as well...

Level 1: Inner Demon Reflection

Zero and Anna, unlike everyone else who would come face to face with their inner demon soul's demonic form at full power that will be immune to all of their magical abilities due to the fact they have them as well, came face to face with Anna's Spirit Form. "What is going on here?"

Anna Clone just stepped to the site. "Your Demon has no malicious intent inside it. Please go to the next floor, and stop this demon. Also, Anna, you need to remember the truth if you ever want to harmonize".

Before they could get a reply in, the two of them were teleported to the next floor.

Level 2: The Suffering Witness

Zero and Anna arrived on the second level, only to see all of their friends, family, and loved ones chained up and being tortured to death. Zero almost rushed into to save them, but Anna stopped him. "This is all an illusion. If you look away or try to help them, it will reset. If you try to cover your ears, it will reset. And then everything inside this room will try to kill you. So please, as hard as this is, you have to watch this and listen".

Zero started to cry a little as he was forced to hear and watch this all. But when it was finally over, they were teleported to the next floor.

Level 3: Shadow Slasher

Zero and Anna now found himself in a standard hallway, with a door on the other end marked exit. Zero shrugged, and walked forward, only to be attacked and knocked backwards by seven different shadows.

"Well, this is going to be harder then expected" Zero said as he got up. "Guess its time to get to it".

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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(2000 word long post anyone? Hahaha... sorry ._. I was wondering if Rue should go first but then was like, y'know what? We're separated anyway and people are already inside.)

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Dorothy couldn't help but feel guilty at Daisy worrying for her. Every other Demon Hunter she knew was fully devoted to the cause and ready to throw away everything for the sake of duty. They wouldn't understand her lack of eagerness, surely. She shoved these thoughts aside in paranoia that Daisy would read them and tried to get herself excited at the prospect of bloodshed like everyone else, but it was hard.

It's OK, she lied to Daisy as she walked, I'm OK. I stayed up late last night. It was stupid of me. She smiled at Bassy telling her that she'd have a happy day, although she knew it probably wasn't going to happen. "I believe you."

When they reached the building, the first thing she noticed was the fearful aura. She could tell it was from the inside as it felt as though it was being sifted through a sieve, much like the Demon Hunters' emotions which she had to focus on to sense. She knew that it was going to be stronger once they entered. She spotted Rue looking over everyone impatiently and quickly averted her eyes. Scanning everyone else, she felt disappointed to not see... um, a particular other with them. Danny had apparently already rushed in like the idiot he could be sometimes and by the looks of things, Bassy was also planning on taking it alone.

"We shouldn't do this alone," she urged, looking straight at him. It seemed that nobody else could feel the fear being emitted from this tower. Of course they couldn't. Not yet, anyway. "This place is trying to scare me, I don't think we should act rashly -" Lance dashed out of nowhere and went to drop kick the door. "Lance, wait!" He was already gone and was soon followed by Zero. She jolted and ran after him. "If Razakar was expecting us to go in together, whatever lying behind thisdooristoomuchforthemtodefeatalone!" She hurriedly yelped out a reasonable excuse so fast that her words fused together.

Level 1: Inner Demon Reflection

As soon as Dorothy touched the handles to follow, she was teleported inside the building. "Zero? Lance? Where did you both go -" Her eyes widened as she realised nobody else was there with her. She twisted around to look at her other companions, but they hadn't appeared. She waited a dozen seconds for them to follow, but they didn't. She was alone.

"What? No..." she protested weakly, running back to the giant doors and tugging at the handles. She pulled with all her might then knocked her fists against the wood, desperate to be let back out. "Excuse me, where did you go? I'm trapped in here without you! Bassy?" She tried her hardest to project her pleads to Daisy by thought, but something told her that she couldn't hear her.

"She can't hear you," Siem, the something, told her bluntly. Dorothy cowered by the door, resting her forehead against it and trying to swallow her anxiety. Her entire surroundings held the stench of fear, just as she knew they would. Something was heaving behind her, something large and beastly that she was afraid to look at. Slowly, with her heart beating dangerously, she turned around and gulped.

It was a giant with a grey, skeletal figure that seemed to be decaying. Its head was covered by the skull of an animal, but through its black eye sockets she saw furious stars. In one hand it held a massive blade while in the other it held a ball of flames. It must have been at least 30 Dorothys tall and it was staring straight down at her, panting like a dog anticipating a kill.

"What is that thing...?" She whispered beneath her breath without thinking. Siem coughed.

"That thing is... a cheap imitation. A reflection."

"What do mean an imitation?" Dorothy asked in full earnest, "Whatever it's imitating is horrific."

"To a simple human, perhaps."

The monster didn't seem to be doing anything, just staring like it was waiting for her to move. She slowly raised her hands and undid a few buttons of her dress to expose a red gem on her chest. She knocked on it twice, not removing her gaze from the demon. "Come out, Toto."

Hundreds of thin red and black ribbons burst from her chest, wrapping her up like a mummy. They eventually stopped whipping around her when the only bit of her body exposed was her eyes, which she opened to stare at the demon.

"If you're not going to move, I will..." she murmured and ribbons shot from her.

"Wait doll, don't -"

The ribbons pierced through the demon's chest and hissing steam escaped through the tiny wounds. Dorothy wound her hands around her weapons and dashed to the right before jumping up and letting them pull her into the air as she swung around. She shot a few more ribbons at its back and was yanked in for a landing. Scrambling up its spine and over its shoulder, the ribbons around her right hand unraveled. Another one of her projectiles shot up to loop around the horn of the demon and she flew into the air before throwing herself to land on its face. She stared into its eye socket, her hand glowing with a purple aura.

"Nightmare Demon... what makes you scream?" She uttered before shoving her arm into the socket like a spear. She winced at the jelly that enveloped her hand and prepared herself for the memories... which didn't come. "What?" Come to think of it, the demon hadn't even moved at all while she was scuttling over him like an annoying jumping spider. It didn't even make a noise when she pierced its eye with her hand. Something was very wrong here...

"You made a bad move, doll..."

The demon made a sound like it was laughing. Its jaw creaked open slowly and Dorothy realised that she was in a very bad position as air was sucked into the gaping mouth of the beast, reminding her of the tide before a tsunami. Then it roared. Dorothy held on to whatever she could grip, her ears popping, but the demon was shaking too much. She flew off the skull and her ribbons drew back to her, but there was nothing she could do fast enough to stop her from slamming into the opposite wall. Small cracks formed on impact and she peeled away, dropping to the floor with an "oof".

"You complete... and utter... dunce..." Siem grunted through gritted teeth, "You tried to see its weakness through its memories, didn't you?"

"I know that I'm small and weak for a Demon Hunter. I thought that if I had its weakness, I could -" Dorothy managed as she tried to get up and wipe eye goop on the floor, but Siem cut her off.

"No, no, no. What did I tell you? It's a reflection. It's not a demon, it's a demon spell. A separate entity created from Razakar's powers. It's hardly alive, not to mention it only came into existence a minute ago! What traumatic memory could you take from that?"

"I'm so sorry..." Dorothy winced, bowing her head. Siem sighed from within her.

"Ugh... Just get u-"

"Don't do it, doll. That's a bad idea."

Dorothy's head lifted to the sound of Siem's voice, not inside of her head, but from the outside. It had echoed around the room, almost as though it come from the...

"Use this empty head of yours and think."

"Siem..." she said slowly like a student afraid to ask their teacher a question, "... Why does the reflection have your voice...? It's saying things that you already..."

"Because the reflection is of me, obviously." Siem explained darkly. "It's a crude recreation of my demonic body. What an insult, that such a low life should make an attempt at molding my glorious true form to control with his dirty hands. I will take great pleasure in tearing this faker apart."

"I like your other body better."

"Now, this is merely a reflection," Siem continued, ignoring her comment, "Keep in mind that it copies everything I have. When you shoved your hand into its eyeball like the grotty child you are, it had no memories to give to you, but you had memories to pass to it. As you can see, its sorting through your most recent memories. The only thing keeping it from going deeper into your more traumatic experiences is that we naturally have a resistance against mind magic, being that we specialize in it. However the more we fight it, the more powerful it will become, so we must destroy this quickly and not let it touch us again."

Dorothy felt sick upon hearing this. "Not all of these memories are mine..." she realised. If she allowed this reflection to touch her, it would see not only her memories, but the memories of her fellow Demon Hunters she had accidentally collected over the years. She couldn't hand those over to a Nightmare Demon! "They're not mine to give away!"

She looked up just in time to see it swing its massive blade down at her. Dorothy's ribbons pulled her to the side at alarming speed and she shot more out at the monster, slicing through the nape of its neck. She tried to pull herself into his blind spot while being chopped at when it threw a fireball in her direction. Her ribbons acted fast, building a cocoon around her to protect her from the blast but then it just dropped to the ground, smoking.

"Abandonment, loneliness, the fear of maturity, losing hope and control... oh, and what's this? Fear of your duty..." Dorothy heard from within her shell. She squeaked as she felt herself be picked up, thrown up and caught again. "... You are one terrified little girl, almost no reason for me to be torturing you. I have you dancing in the palm of my hand... but there is more in that head of yours. What are you not showing me?"

Dorothy remained shivering, her mind blanking out. She could feel its hand cupping around her, trapping her.

"The others.. you know what makes them cry in the night, though they are not all aware of it... Give away their suffering, it will make you feel better."

"I will never!" Dorothy's small heart pounded so hard it hurt. What could she do, what could she do, what could she do?! It was eventually going to crush her protective cocoon. It would flatten her unless she could just hear herself think!

"I don't know why you want to. You're not even friends."

Dorothy's shield exploded - the ribbons shot out, piercing through the reflection's hand. At her will, they sliced right through - all of the hundreds of lethal blades, cutting it like it was paper. The chunks of grey meat flopped onto the ground and the reflection screeched. Dorothy's ribbons wrapped around her legs to create columns for her to balance upon so she was able to look the reflection right into its one eye.

"That's what I hate about demons," she said coldly, glaring at it with dead eyes. Her ribbons slivered around her like menacing tendrils and she continued to glare as it raised its blade to strike. The corner of her mouth tugged up into a small, sadistic smile.

"You're all liars."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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"Well, that was interesting."

"Was it?"

Dorothy dropped to the ground between the split skull of the reflection. She stood, observing the carnage that lay around her small figure as ribbons retracted back into her chest.

"Crude imitation it may have been, it still isn't pleasant to watch yourself be torn to shreds through the eyes of your killer."

Dorothy hopped over a slab of steaming grey matter, careful not to dirty her shoes with demon slime. "That does sound interesting."

"Yes, well, that faker certainly learnt that it should never try to compete with the original. Destroying him was as easy as -"

"Breaking a mirror that won't shut up." Dorothy muttered dully. Siem paused. Something seemed off about the girl.

"Are you OK there, doll?"

"Huh?" Dorothy blinked in confusion, then looked at her feet and nodded slightly. "Uh-huh. Next floor. Let's go."
She looked at the decaying demon carcass one last time before being transported to a new nightmare.

Level 2: The Suffering Witness

Dorothy looked over the scene aghast, her jaw slack and eyes popping.

"What... is this...?" As soon as she identified the people chained to the wall before her she yelped and ran forward, but Siem stopped her. He chuckled, obviously enjoying the display.

"Oh, this old classic." He mused, not bothering to hide the amusement in his voice. "Watch your loved ones being tortured to death in front of you - no nightmare is complete without this simple yet effective mindf**k. The rules are no touching, ear covering or eye averting. Sit back and enjoy the show, doll. We're going to be here a while."

"I didn't realised I loved so many people," Dorothy mustered, looking at each of their pained faces. Her grandparents were there, Bassy too, of course, even the rest of the Demon Hunters, though she wasn't sure that they all counted as "loved ones." Especially one girl whose presence made her complain despite her situation, “What is Rue doing here?"

"... Well. That's harsh." Siem managed after losing himself to laughter. That didn't happen too often. "Speaking of which, where am I?" The demon appeared beside her, making her jump in shock. He looked down at her with cruel yellow eyes and a thin smile. "Oh come on, I wanted a closer look." He wandered off towards Daisy, in the process of having a nail removed, with a spring in his step. "Oh, I am here! I was not expecting that."

Dorothy brought her own nails to her mouth, hissing as Daisy screamed. Just watching these tortures made her body tingle. Trying to distract herself from the nail-pulling, she cautiously walked up to Lance, who had poker burns all over his exposed chest. She couldn't help but stare at the once capable warrior in his defeated state. He glanced at her through heavy eyelids and she backed away with a brief apology then bustled over to Bassy's side. He was the bloodiest one out of them, looking completely out of it until he saw her. His tearstained face brightened when he she called his name and he tried to reach out for her. Dorothy stretched out her own hand, mimicking his movement to every little twitch of his fingers, careful not to touch him.

"Why won't you help us? Blue -" The whip cracked down on him and he made a strangled noise, coughing up blood. Dorothy drew her hand back sharply, biting down on her lip to prevent herself from screaming, but that couldn't prevent her breakfast from forcing its way out. She buckled over as it was expelled from her, splattering on the floor and onto her shoes. Wiping her mouth and wincing at her burning throat, she staggered backwards and tried to keep her breathing even as she continued to watch, but it was getting increasingly harder to find air.

"Why are you doing this to yourself?" Siem asked bluntly from behind her. "Just go stand in the corner if this is making you sad. You don't have to see this so up close and personal."

"I've never seen Bassy cry," she croaked. "I've never seen any of them like this."

Siem smiled slyly. "This must be truly torture for you, then?"

"Yes. It's just that it's usually me who's helpless."

Siem's smile dropped and he looked down at her sternly, hands on hips. "Wait, so that is what's on your mind? Do you feel anything at all for these people?"

"These people aren't real!" She burst out suddenly. She pouted and continued, "The real Demon Hunters are too strong to ever be in this position! Also, Zero's hair is parted the wrong way."

"... How and when did you observe that, exactly...?"

A clunking noise sounded on the other side of the room and they both looked up to see a door. Dorothy sighed in relief. Obviously, the demon running the place considered this room wasted on her. She glanced over to Bassy. "Bye-bye, not-Bassy." She said and waved, wrestling back the impulse to hug him and cry magical tears into his wounds. Real or not, it still hung heavy on her heart to leave them there like that. She farewelled them all as she passed, trying her best to ignore all the screams and pleads for her to save them. “Please stop. You don't need saving by me. You're all just being mean.”

"DOROTHY!" The voice of a woman shrieked. Dorothy halted. Who was that supposed to...? She whipped around in disbelief, her eyes filled with hope.

"Mummy?"

Her small and insecure voice echoed around an empty room.

.

.

.

Level 3: Shadow Slasher

Dorothy stormed down the hall, her eyes blank and staring at dead at the door ahead. The demon was screwing with her. She knew it was watching her, laughing every time she showed weakness and made mistakes. She stopped to bring her arms up around her for a comforting hug, looking down at the drying vomit on her shoes. It had suddenly occurred to her just how alone she was.

She looked up when she caught a glance of movement to see seven shadows forming a circle around her. “...Toto...” she uttered and the ribbons shot out from her, piercing each shadow to the walls. But they didn't stay there. The shadows sprang back up as though the ribbons had passed right through them.

“It appears you're going to need a different tactic.”

Dorothy nodded and thought it through calmly. What killed shadows? She sighed and took her backpack off to dig around inside of it, then pulled out her torch. She switched it on and pointed it at the shadows as though she was shooting a gun as she bolted through the hall to the exit. After the last horror show, this floor felt like Christmas.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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Level 4: Memory Flood

As soon as Dorothy stepped through the door, she was drowning in a wave of every doubt she had ever harvested.

"Siem does not care for you." "Your powers play no use but in breaking you." "You left your phone home on purpose this morning." "You couldn't even stand to let him touch you." "You are broken." "Broken." "A broken, empty doll."

Her torch clattered on the ground. The gravity in the room seemed to drop and she was brought down to her knees, struggling to remain upright. Despite her best efforts, her head was forced against the stone floor and she tasted iron. "Siem. How do I get up?"

"Why does he care?" "He takes pleasure at your pain." "Nobody cares. Not the demon hunters." "You're a nuisance, really." "They only have to look after you because their consciousnesses won't allow a little girl to get herself killed." "Not even your own mother wanted the responsibility of looking after you."

Dorothy sighed and closed her eyes, just letting the familiar words wash over her. These thoughts would eventually end, the way they always did. "I know all of this..."

Every time she had ever needed saving flashed before her eyes like a slideshow. She saw herself in the talons of the demon Danny took down in a single blow, she saw herself lost in the city on the way to a mission, she even saw herself being crushed in the palm of the reflection and twitching on the ground in her present situation. These images were her motivation. Dorothy grit her teeth as she tried to push herself up from the ground, though she only succeeded in coming back up to her knees before faceplanting again. Panting heavily, she began crawling her way over to freedom while fighting hard against the atmosphere crushing her, but her route was blocked by a familiar figure leaning against the doorway. He tilted his skull mask up just enough for his sadistic smile to paralyze her then pushed himself off the wall and took slow, deliberate steps towards her. Though he moved slowly, her thoughts moved slower.

A boot came into contact with her side. The child let out a muffled cry as she was kicked into the air and slammed against the wall to tumble back at the fake's feet. She lay face up, spluttering and trying to move against the gravity.

"Question," the fake Siem chimed as he nudged her face with his foot, "Do you or do you not want to die?" Dorothy turned her head and tried to viciously bite his calf. Siem drew his foot back, laughing, before stepping on her throat. "Whoa there, I'm only doing what your demon buddy fantasizes of. Don't bite the messenger." He looked almost concerned for a moment. "Gee, I feel a little bad about this, though. It's like kicking a baby. Your partner's really twisted, you know?"

"W-Wha... t... ing bout..."

"I've been observing the others and found something interesting. Not everyone's inner demon reflection has tried to brutally murder them. The reflection was indeed only an imitation of your inner demon, but should have been more or less exactly like them, in personality and in form."

"... R-Raza..." Dorothy realised who was speaking to her through Siem's face and growled. The pressure on her throat increased.

"So, question." He leaned over her and stared into her eyes with sick pleasure. "Do you want her dead or crazy?" Dorothy spat at his foot and called him the rudest word she could think of. The fake Siem only chuckled at her resistance, "I wasn't asking you."

"Ah. Look at her. Trying." "If you live through today, what will happen tomorrow?" "Same old, same old, til the day you die." "Speaking of which, when did you last consider ending it all?" "You don't remember, do you?!" "Hey, little girl blue, where do all the bad feelings go?! Hey, Blue! Blue! BLUE!"

The voices grew deafening with confusion questions and she felt as though her head was going to burst. Not-Siem yanked her up by her hair and tossed her aside like the doll Siem always claimed her to be. Being brought violently back to reality, she sat up through the pain and pressure and glared over at him.

Her ribbons exploded from her and engulfed him, yanking him into the air. The last thing she saw of him was his smile before they completely consumed him and squeezed him out like a wet towel. She heard a series of cracks and other unappealing noises then drew her weapons back to her to find no body or anything that vaguely resembled one. Slowly, she managed to stand and walk unsteadily towards the exit.

Level 5: Maze of Embarrassment

Dorothy looked blankly ahead at the streets of a familiar city she could not recognise. Something felt missing. Upon feeling a breeze on a place that breezes are not often felt, she looked down.

"A... A... A...?!" She stammered and covered herself, her face turning completely red. People were pointing at her and some were even laughing. Shaking and covering the places that mattered she began to walk forward, the red spreading to her ears and her neck.

"Doll!" Siem suddenly appeared in front of her, his face flushed and eyes covered by one hand. "Cover yourself up, right now! You are naked, you do realise?"

"I-I know... b-but these are only illusions, so..."

"I don't care about the illusions. I care about the gawking nightmare demon who stripped you!"

"Don't say it like that!" Dorothy whined, growing even more humiliated. This was painful, but it was also something she really couldn't help... besides, she should have been the one scolding him. He had been silent for the entirety of the last floor but she knew that if she confronted him about anything the fake Siem or voices said he would be angry at her for the rest of the tower and she wouldn't get any of the answers she wanted. Thinking about this made her temporarily forget her embarrassment as she glowered at him. "... Siem. I am too young to have anything to be ashamed of showing. Why are you so red? Do you experience discomfort from viewing a nine and a half year old's naked body?"

"Anyone would, if you put it that way!" Siem snapped indignantly and disappeared back inside of her head, probably sulking. Dorothy smirked, knowing she had won that round, then apologized and wrapped herself up in ribbons. Better to be a mummy than naked, she thought to herself. Or maybe it wasn't. After that reaction, she had remembered that she did have some power over her jerk demon.

Siem always became like that during any time she had to remove her clothing, calling the situation "improper" and complaining that the doctors had not thought this predicament through. How was it going to be for him while she was going through puberty? Once her body had developed? How about when she became sexually active? The demon had vowed to make sure she remained a virgin for life, though she was not entirely sure what that meant when he first said that. Only recently she had come to terms with the fact that Siem was never ever letting her get married. At least, she thought that's what he meant.

Dorothy sighed in disappointment at that thought as she staggered through the streets of the place she now recognized as New York, reimaged as a maze. It was interesting to be among the throngs of people without the headache. She wondered if she could try visiting one of the more crowded areas of the city, considering that illusions had no emotions and she didn't even have to worry about brushing past them.

"I have never seen you so excited for anything," Siem commented, a little less pissed now that Dorothy had covered up. Suddenly, all windows on the street were either opened or smashed and various styles of guns were pointed out from them and locked onto her. "And now they're trying to kill us. Let's go, doll."

The bullets fired and she calmly walked through the waves as her shield deflected them all. It pained her to leave the ground, but because it was quicker, she shot her ribbons up and used them to swing through the city on her search for the exit.

Level Six: The Room of the Fallen/The Room of The Fate

It took her a while to find the exit, but when Dorothy stepped through the door she wished she had remained in her Spiderman fantasy. The room was eerily quiet compared to the bustling streets of New York and was lit dimly. A solitary light bulb struggled to stay alive and Dorothy watched a moth ram itself into its surface before it fell motionless into a bowl of hard candy. A pale, slender hand reached into the bowl and flicked the moth away before picking up a pink sweet and tossing it in her direction. The girl failed to catch it and it rolled across the ground, but she didn't follow it. She was too busy staring at the young woman sitting before her.

She must have been in her late teens, with ruby eyes and long, silver hair which spread over the ground like roots of a tree. Her veins beneath her very exposed translucent skin were bright red and glowing. There was something very familiar about this girl but at the same time, she was alien. It was something about that joyous spark in her eyes.

"Do I have to fight you?" She asked nervously. The girl raised her eyebrow and smirked as if to say "only if you want to" before offering Dorothy the candy bowl. She shook her head, know that Siem would kill her if she accepted candy from a demon spell or just accepted candy in general. The girl rolled her eyes before eating a candy slowly with pleasurable moans, making little Dorothy avert her eyes in discomfort. "...What are you supposed to be, then...?" The girl raised an eyebrow again.

"How can you not know?" Siem suddenly growled, "... That's you, doll. This is our fate, unless..."

Dorothy stared blankly then in horror at the girl's revealing clothing and overall intimidating appearance and vigorously shook her head. "Th-That's me...?! N-no, that's not right!"

The girl who Siem claimed to be Dorothy perked up and nodded enthusiastically, then smiled like she had a secret and averted her eyes up to the corner. She mimed hanging herself and suddenly laughed, then threw another candy into the air to catch it with her mouth...

The candy dropped to the ground to join the other. The girl gargled blood and her eyes slid sideways to look at Dorothy before they rolled upwards and her head slid from her. Dorothy's ribbon drew back to her and she glared through her fringe darkly at the corpse in front of her. She walked right up to her decapitated head and crouched over it.

"No." She whispered into its ear, "I'll never become you. I haven't survived hell to become a whore."

Before she got the chance to reflect on a) how awesome she felt, b) hang on did she just kill her future self that's a pretty big deal and c) oooh that was a naughty word, she was teleported to the next floor.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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Image

Level 7: Swarm.

Dorothy's frame of mind completely switched when she saw the undead rat hoard ahead of her.

"Ew!" She squealed and pressed up against the wall as far away from them as possible, but that didn't matter. Their glowing eyes locked onto their target and they swarmed her in a writhing mass, climbing up her legs and breaking their teeth against her ribbons. Dorothy groaned under their weight. "We can't go over it, we can't go under it, we can't go around it... we have to go through it." She murmured and continued to sing "We're Going on a Demon Hunt" as she waded her way through the rats.

Level 8: Dodgeball

As soon as she stepped through the door, something small and hard was shot out from nowhere and she felt it like a punch to the stomach. She curled over and coughed, then watched the rubber ball bouncing away in confusion. "Wh-what? That isn't right... why isn't Toto...?"

Another ball was propelled from thin air, though this time she saw it coming and leaped out the way to slam onto the ground on her hip. Her head whipped around to see the ball had created a small crater in the opposite wall. "O-Oh... he is working. Good, it's just that usually I don't even feel -"

"Pain?" Siem spoke up in her head, "Yes... it seems that the power of your Toto is being drained, doll."

Dorothy's eyes grew wide in disbelief. Without Toto, she had no way to protect herself! Why did she have to have such useless powers?! "... Right, because the tower is a soul s-" Two balls zoomed in her direction and she rolled out the way. "- is a soul siphon. It's trying to drain me."

"Probably. Your weapon is magic based and that magic comes from our souls. Because you've been so careless with it, it's losing its power. Luckily for you, you've kept your active abilities hidden away, so I doubt he's been able to reach them."

"I haven't used them because they're useless in any situation other than -" Dorothy grumbled as she dodged another when she felt a hit on the back of her head which sent her flailing forward. Suddenly, a wave was upon her, attacking at all angles. She darted away to try and escape but they were relentless and now, everywhere. It seemed that the Nightmare Demon had pulled no expense on this floor... he wanted to see her bleed. Dorothy growled at this and her ribbons raised up like snakes rearing their little heads, but Siem stopped her before she attacked.

"You don't want to do that. It's time to go into low power mode, doll."

The child hesitated and bit her lip, not pleased by what he was suggesting in the slightest. She slowly crouched down under fire into a little ball and hugged her knees, gritting her teeth as she was assaulted by the blunt projectiles. Razakar could see her bleed, but she wasn't going to cry for him.

Level 9: Feared Future Funhouse.

Dorothy staggered through the maze of mirrors, her ribbons unraveling from her body and trailing behind her like a grotesque, bloody wedding dress. Her breath was shallow and her body ached all over. She looked down at her own dragging feet, not wanting to see herself in this pitiful state when eventually curiosity won over and she lifted her gaze to a mirror. Her ribbons sagged to reveal her swollen lips and the sickly yellow and purple bruise that spread from her right cheekbone to her eye. A smudge of her breakfast had dried and remained on her chin, which she rubbed away quickly along with some of the dried blood. She closed her eyes and rested her throbbing head against the cool glass of the mirror, sighing in relief, then moaning in agony. She was too embarrassed to face the other Demon Hunters like this. With no enhanced healing ability, she was surely going to be rendered useless once the tower had been defeated.

When Dorothy decided to look into the mirror once more, she saw a pair of amused red eyes rather than her own. She yelped and fell backwards, only to find nothing there anymore. A soft, melodic laughter echoed around the mirrored halls and she caught glimpses of a woman with long, silver hair dancing through the mirrors.

"N... No! I killed you! You're dead!" Dorothy cried out after her and lifted herself painfully off the floor to run after the woman. The further she ran, the more she forgot about her pain and the more she saw her. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted her sitting on the lap of a man in white, her arms wrapped around his neck in a disturbingly intimate manner and her head nestled on the nape of his neck. Just as she past the mirror, she picked up on the detail of the woman staring at her as she licked his collarbone. She quickly averted her eyes in absolute disgust.

"... Don't tell anyone we saw that..." Siem managed through his own repulsion. Dorothy only nodded and turned a corner when something was thrown against the mirror beside her. She jumped back in surprise and spotted a head with an unruly mop of brown hair rolling across the ground inside a mirror. She didn't look for a second longer, already identifying the head and not wanting to see it for any longer. She glared at the mirrors surrounding her, turning around in a frenzy.

"Where are you?" She demanded and ran to a hall she saw the woman disappear down. Suddenly, she was just there. Right in front of her. Simply standing and smiling like she wasn't evil. Dorothy panted, the aching slowly returning to her body. She staggered forward and banged her fist on the mirror limply. "... Ge... Geh ouht here..." The woman shook her head and pressed her hand against the mirror, still smiling. Dorothy stared at her own hand against the hand of the woman. So small and fragile, yet so similar in every other way but size. This realization caused her to draw her hand back and shake it like she had touched fire. "No, I'm not going to become you! I'm never going to be you, no matter what!" The woman smiled gleefully and tapped against the glass, pointing out something behind the her. She did not want to turn, but slowly, she did.

In the mirror on the other side of the hall, she saw something that was enough to make her vomit if she hadn't done so already. It was a girl. A little girl in a violet dress dangling from her neck.

"No." Dorothy stated bluntly, her brain very slowly processing what was before her. "No. I don't understand this. This doesn't make sense. I - I don't..."

"Speaking of which, when did you last consider ending it all? You don't know, do you?! Hey, little girl blue, where do all the bad feelings go?!"

I... don't... know...

She turned around to find the woman no longer there. Both mirrors were empty, the same as the small girl's eyes. Unable to feel her feet, she walked from the floor in silence.

Level 10: In the Way

As soon as she stepped into the room, she was hit by piercing fear. Not the fear aura, not that cheap synthetic stuff, but the real thing. Fear filled with regret, sorrow, anger, panic... true fear. The man before her was real. The demon tearing his off arm was real too.

"Excuse me!" Dorothy interrupted and the demon dropped the arm, turning on her. It pounded the ground excitedly with its enormous front arms and bolted towards her with an unearthly shriek. In one last effort, her ribbons picked themselves up from the ground and threw themselves at the demon. Its two halves fell limply on either side of her, the same as her ribbons.

"That's the last for those..." Siem commented warily, "You should have let him die."

She ignored him and walked through the path between the demon when she caught a glimpse of the man, looking helplessly at her from the corner and cradling his arm. He moaned like a child and cried like one too, shamelessly rocking back and forth. One of her ribbons weakly raised up and tapped her shoulder, to which she nodded. It detached from her and slivered over to the man, working on bandaging up the stump at his elbow. She felt his gratitude and for a moment, his emotions smothered the fear aura. The entire room was filled with one simple phrase, Thank you. Dorothy didn't smile as she limped towards the door.

"Don't die." She commanded harshly before disappearing. "This is all for you, so don't you dare die."

Level 11: Your Sin's Curse

Dorothy reappeared in a plain white corridor adorned with golden statues of some kind. It took all of her energy to put one foot in front of the other and her shoulders shuddered with each step. She glanced at the statues she passed to find them all to be her fellow Demon Hunters with their demons. Danny was summoning a lightning bolt of massive proportions, Daisy's Thorn of Anguish was piercing the melting head of a demon, Rue was piggy-back riding Irina to victory and Zero and Anna were giving each other a high-five... they all seemed so happy, so dutiful, so... heroic. A thought nagged her. Where was she? She pressed on further down the corridor when she nudged something hard with her foot. She looked down to find a picture in a golden frame and knelt to pick it up for a closer look.

Two dozen faces of smiling children looked up at her. Some faces were more well remembered than others but all were undoubtedly familiar to her, as she instantly recognized the picture as her class photo three years ago, before she had dropped out of grade school to be tutored at home with high school material. Thinking about that made her lonely, so she distracted herself by looking through the picture some more. All of these happy, normal children smiling without a care in the world... she fed off their happiness like a parasite, pretending that the emotions she sensed from them were her own, though that would never be the case. A familiar feeling forced itself up her throat as she read the writing at the bottom of the picture.

Absent: Dorothy Blue.

Of course, she hadn't been there. She would often skip school to avoid the emotions or just to go somewhere where Siem would be less inclined to berate her for being wrong. At this she brought the picture down and found herself staring at the statue that belonged to her. There she was, a tiny thing hunched over on the ground with her hands covering her ears and her mouth open wide in a scream. Siem was to the right of her, his back faced towards her the same way hers was to him. He stood, his palms pressed against his eyes and his head tilted back in a shout. Dorothy's hands fell slack and the picture fell to the ground in a clatter. She looked down at the other statues which now all seemed to be looking at her, judging her.

Why couldn't Siem just... like her? Why couldn't he have been Anna, or Unwin, or anyone else?! Dorothy smacked the statue down from its pillar and kicked it away in a childish rage. Why did they get a friend while she got an enemy?! Didn't the doctors even consider the results of putting an evil demon like Siem in the mind of a baby? They got superpowers that were useful - what was hers? Nightmare fuel. Siem gave her that. And she was expected to fight with it - how?! She didn't want to fight anymore! Why... why couldn't she be like that man? Why couldn't she be good? Why couldn't she be protected? Why couldn't she be stronger?!

The glass of the frame shattered and Dorothy huffed, the realization of her tantrum slowly dawning on her. She had torn down every statue with her bare hands. Siem whistled.

"I've never seen you so destructive before today."

"Pleasedon'ttell." Dorothy blurted in a tiny voice, covering her face in shame. "I'm so sorry, Siem. Please don't tell." She trembled, the horrors of each of the tower's levels replaying in her mind. Siem crushing her... Bassy crying... her death, her failure, her sin...

But still, she could not cry. This was supposed to be a happy day, after all. Bassy would make sure of it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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#, as written by Zalgo
Daisy



Level Twelve: Clone of Another


She collapsed on the floor as she could feel sweet freedom from the gripping tongues which had bound her not long ago. She breathed heavily, relishing in the sweet freedom she now felt.

Good lord, I swore that couch was going to be the end of me.

"I can't keep being the one to keep you from succumbing to this laziness. If you don't start taking this more seriously we're both going to be in serious trouble."

That's easy to say. Accepting all this, just everything though it just...


She looked down, her sword's tip resting on the ground.

"They aren't depending on your words."

But on my actions. I, the stalwart heroine, will stand before the tides of hell. My body be ground to dust and my spirit will carry on in it's stead until it too is worn to dust. All before I let demons rule mankind.

"Let's try to do all that before our body is ground up though. Look."



She looked up ahead to see the final challenge before the demon. Of course it was Dorothy standing there, fully wrapped like a mummy in her ribbons. She understood that this was just another test to bar her from the thirteenth floor. Didn't mean she hated every second of it though.

Can't say I didn't see this coming. Still, there was some hope it wouldn't come to this.

"I know what you mean but aside from the whole emotional attachment issue you're going to need to keep your wits up for this one. Lucky for you she's not one of the more complicated opponents you could be facing otherwise you'd need to pull out your main power which I'd refrain from using so we can be more effective on the thirteenth floor."

Good thing she hasn't tried to jump us yet or your talking would be super distracting.


Connor just remained quiet, crossing his arms while he sat in the back of her mind.


"Hey, Blue. I know it's not really you so could you let me through or are we going to do this the hard way?" She stood and waited for a response from her most respected comrade's doppelganger. If this really was Dorothy she'd probably be confused so she waited to see if her reaction was genuine or not. The copy of Dorothy got ready to fight, just as expected. The demon wouldn't let them join together, at least not until it had to.

Just as the doppelganger was about to spring forward and rip Daisy apart she disappeared from sight. The doppelganger paused a moment, scanning for Daisy's emotional field. She couldn't find it, her soul was too well concealed for her to find it. Dorothy's mind was veritably churning with idea's on how to find her.

In a sudden brisk wave the doppelganger sent out a bunch of ribbons which reached out, feeling all around her. She believed that Daisy was close by getting ready to strike, a false assumption as her ribbons felt no such resistance. In truth Daisy had been hanging back, simply letting Dorothy struggle with finding her. Luckily for her Dorothy didn't know she couldn't float anymore, meaning she was looking in all directions which divided the number of ribbons near her hiding spot by a cubic factor.


Daisy removed her shoes so she made less noise when moving around and stuffed them in her pockets. She had a plan.

Dorothy was growing frustrated with the complete inability to detect her target when suddenly she heard the tell-tale hissing of acid over near a corner. She immediately lashed out with a number of ribbons, striking naught but the Thorn of Anguish itself, it's owner nowhere close.

So close. Maybe I'm over... Here.

She directly taunted her with her telepathy. Dorothy had better mental skills than her but her own telepathy was effective at far longer ranges than Blue's ability to see deep into another's mind. It also helped that Dorothy couldn't see her aura thanks to her invisibility.

She heard the sword again, just out of sight like last time. Reacting mainly out of reflect her ribbons slashed at the offending object, merely batting aside the Thorn once more. The Dorothy doppelganger realized she was being toyed with. The actual Dorothy wouldn't be quite so predictable but this clone was not a perfect replica. It got upset at the idea she was messing with it's head.


I'm sure you're listening quite hard for something, anything to strike. Something like my footsteps.

Dorothy heard the faint thump of a shoe. She whipped her ribbons all around the area, slashing in a cone toward the general vicinity of the shoe which Daisy had purposefully thrown to further throw Dorothy off track from where she actually was. The doppelganger heard another shoe drop, this one right behind her. She pulled her ribbons in and sent them out in a big blast, sending ribbons tearing through the air all around her. She hit nothing except a shoe which was easily torn to shreds, costing Daisy a solid twenty bucks which was the least of her concerns today.

Throughout the fight Daisy was using her telepathy to see where Dorothy intended to search. Everywhere the doppelganger believed she was she'd make sure she wasn't. With every psyche out maneuver she pulled Daisy cut away at one thing she knew Dorothy lacked: Confidence.

Every time she had made her chase a sound only for it to be nothing she could easily see the desperation growing while her faith in her own judgement quickly dwindled. Not even the fake Siem was able to keep the doppelganger from doubting her own decisions now.

"Please come out." She asked softly, any battle thrill or arrogance overshadowed by the growing fear of unseen threat.

Okay.

With that thought in Dorothy's head she threw her blade directly at her, head on. Surprised by the sharp object flying straight at her face her inexperience shined through. Her response was to react out of instinct rather than with any tactical precision despite her keen intellect. The ribbons weaved together to form a thick shield so the acid wouldn't seep through and hit their master however what she didn't know was the blade wasn't secreting any acid. The sword bounced harmlessly off the ribbon shield only to appear again in Daisy's grip as she had ducked under the shield immediately after having thrown her sword. In a smooth thrust before she could react in time Daisy thrust the Thorn of Anguish straight through her right eye, piercing the brain.

As the blade met her head her ribbons all went limp, receding back into the gem on reflex. Dorothy's doppelganger was dead.


The main reason Daisy didn't use the acid was because she did not want to see Dorothy suffer, even if it was just a doppelganger. She did what she had to, even if it seemed mean spirited. In the end she could only offer this duplicate a clean death, free from the suffering the blade's victims usually endured.

Pulling her blade from the head she looked over to see the final exit was open. The ceiling was starting to descend so she had little time to grieve. Her expression was stony and she walked with grim resolve as she approached the final door between her and her target. She had been pushed around too much both emotionally and physically to let this demon die a clean death.



Level Thirteen: The Nightmare Demon


There she stood, looking directly upon the visage of the awful mastermind behind this whole contraption. Quickly taking in the situation she's stepped into she could see Zero and Danny were emitting far more power than normal, there was lava pooling at several spots in the room and both Rue and Lance were at the back of the room opposite to the nightmare demon. Rue appeared to be far too injured to fight while Lance was injured but mostly hungry it seemed. Surprisingly she wasn't the last person to the top despite her expectation. She was able to recognize that Rue's wounds were a result of her own weapon, the evidence being the nature of the wound combined with the lack of blood and acid burns on both the clothing and the flesh. This would of troubled her but she didn't have time to be distracted by such petty concerns. There were only two things that mattered right at that moment.

#1: The destruction of the nightmare demon

#2: The safety of both her fellow hunters and the people in the tower.

Both her and Connor were emotionally invested in this fight and for more or less the same reasons. Despite their different upbringings they both shared an intolerance for injustice.


While she moved into position she could see the demon was clearly occupied with the two who were doing significant damage with their heightened abilities. It was good for them that they were able to bring out powers now after what was being taken from them all throughout the thirteen floors. Daisy had lost a large portion from a couple of her abilities which hampered her without a doubt. What she did have however was her invisibility and her most potent power: Her aura of sin.

This entire time since she had arrived she was invisible. She tried to reach out telepathically to the two currently fighting but it was little use after the intensified drain effected her on that last floor. She still had her sword though. Stepping carefully around the lava she got into place, secure in her invisibility as she patiently approached. Much like a tarantula patience was the key to her attack. Her aura was active, draining the demon's determination more and more the closer she came. She was careful not to move too close until it was distracted sufficiently enough for it to not notice any radical changes in it's mood. She readied her blade, preparing to strike when the moment was right.

Closer, ever closer did that moment draw.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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That was not much time, three minutes. But they had to make do. That was when Zero saw it. "The weakspot! Its the demon's eyes, with a soft boundary of his face!"

"Alright then, hey Zero, why not try an upgraded version of our Infinity Cannon?" Danny suggested. Zero agreed, and the two linked hands and streteched out their arms in front of them, like a cannon. Suddenly, all the offensive magical abilities they had charged up into a cannon shot, making it a flaming electrically charged sonic nova cannon, with various daggers inside spinning around ready to pierce the guy's face, and the two immediately moved at hyper-speed right to the guy's face, and fired. This resulted in a critical charged up shot hitting the guy right in the face. The only issue is that he hardened his aura like armor, so it absorbed some of the blow. Still, it clearly hurt him, just not enough as it should.

But the daggers were still there, which meant a lot of metal objects. Danny took this opportunity to launch a lightning attack that penetrated his defenses, and got a direct hit. Zero then used a flaming hurricane kick to do some serious damage. However, this just got the demon even more pissed. The demon began projecting his voice throughout the whole tower, so everyone could hear.

"Alright, so you think you shrimps can beat me? Little Wraithful Zero, so angry all the time yet holds it inside because he has major family issues....and major insecurity issues. Danny, so greedy for everything....even people's attentions. Lost your parents at a young age, right? So you became so greedy for the attention of others without their attention to comfort you. Little lost Rue, so lustful to feel anything, even pain, maybe not because your that insane....but because you know no one truly loves you. You don't feel love because no one gives you any, so you lust for other feelings to fill that void. Oh, Lance. We all know that no matter how tough your demon trains you, your passion will always be food. You will let down your friends, just for a frozen TV dinner. So useless....so gluttonous. That is your sin, gluttony. Lazy Daisy. Just another let down, a piece of garbage who would rather sleep all day if she had a choice then help her friends. Hell, maybe one day she will decide to stop fighting in the middle of a battle because of her Sloth Sin, and leave her friends to die. And then, there is Dorothy...."

The Nightmare Demon Paused, as he remembered what Dorothy did to the last things that just pissed her off. He was scared that she might have more physical strength then all the other Demon Hunters after that, and if he pissed her off....with Zero and Danny's attacks, she might be able to tear him apart with her bare hands next. "...well, she is just really envious of other people, because her sin is Envy and she is useless. Moving on......oh yes, Barnabas. Whoever named you must really hate you. But then there is your nickname, Bassy. Kinda sounds like Sissy. You do realize Lazy Daisy beat you to the top right? Hell, Dorothy is even ahead of you by a few steps I think. So prideful, yet so....worthless. All that Pride, because that is your sin, clouding the truth: You are the weakest Demon Hunter, just so insecure you do not even realize it. And now tell me, all of you Demon Hunters. Don't you find it strange each one of you has a Sin tied to them? Wraith, Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Pride. Are you sure you can trust your mission? Are you sure you can trust the Vanguard? Are you sure you can trust this....Dr. Eisenhorn is it? Seems like he has a lot to answer for....after all, the power of the Sin, if used incorrectly, could consume you entirely....why do you think he would neglect to warn you about this?"

Zero and Danny had a little under two minutes. They had been attacking the demon the whole time through his speech, but he was still up. "Oh, and as for you two....allow me to show you just another power of this Nightmare Tower! Countless Distractions!"

Suddenly, dozens of beautiful, naked girls showed up all squealing and reaching towards the two of them. Zero and Danny flinched a little, before Anna hit the both of them in the back of the head, knocking them out of the way of the Nightmare Demon's Darkness Bolt and getting them back into the game. "Are you kidding me! You two fell for that trick!?"

The illusion subsided, as the Nightmare Demon launched another attack at them. He had moved back to offensive. Zero and Danny did not have time for that, so Zero summoned his new weapons, the Laser Halos, and slashed through the attack, allowing them both to get off direct surprise attacks before he could become defensive and scored some major damage. Still, the bastard demon was still alive, and they reckoned that if the demon was not defeated by the time their Soul Harmonization Wore off in one minute ten seconds, his increased Soul Siphon would kill everyone in this tower before they could stop him.

"Wirlwind Barrage!" Zero shouted, unleashing a brutal attack to knock the Demon off its feat. THat was when Danny appeared behind him.

"Black Lotus Style! Ultimate Explosive Chain Barrage!" Danny attacked with full power, trapping the demon in chains again as several Scythes dug into the demon and caused explosions. Then all the chains exploded, significantly hurting the demon and burning its whole body. Razakar got up, and growled, except they were both there, and delivered roundhouse kicks right into its face. His aura shield was still up though, and getting in their way. They needed a way past it....little did they know someone else already figured out how.

"Darkness Barrage! 132 Terror Bolts!"

Zero had to put up a barrier, but even then the Nightmare Demon broke through so they had to dodge about half of them. Danny then summoned his Alternate Weapon, the Hyper-Sword, and tried to cut right through the protective aura. He managed to break through, and then the venom he had secretly placed on the blade took its toll, starting to weaken the magical power of the Nightmare Demon. But one issue remained. They only had thirty seconds left, and despite his weakening state, he was not weakening fast enough. Still, just one final shot might be the only thing they needed. Zero and Danny intialized another Infinity Cannon Location, and poured every ounce of magical power they could into charging it. Still, the Nightmare Demon poured every ounce of his magical power into his Aura Shield. "Say goodbye, pipsqueaks. Once your attack fails to kill me, I will crush you!"

Suddenly, that was when Daisy came out of nowhere, shocking everyone in the room, and stabbing the Nightmare Demon's aura shield in the one place that would result in it breaking and shattering, leaving him fully exposed. "Goodbye, Razakar".

"Goodbye, Razakar!" Zero, Anna, Danny, and Barry all shouted. "And good riddance!" And with five seconds left on the clock, they fired right into Razakar's eyes.

Razakar exploded and disintegrated, and suddenly the entire Nightmare Tower began to fade away. All of the Demon Hunters found themselves teleported into the building, the original building, lobby as the Nightmare Tower faded away and came crashing down. The air was still rich with magical energy though, which Anna knew was a good thing. It meant the Soul Siphon had still been draining people, which meant they were all still alive. They had succeeded. The Nightmare Tower....had been cleared. And better yet, Zero and Danny used the infinity cannon to do it, so they wouldn't argue about who killed the Nightmare Demon first.

Then Anna remembered, they just used a lot of magical energy, and after the boost they got, they would be extremely tired. And sure enough, when she looked, Zero and Danny had both collapsed on the floor, gasping. Anna helped pick the two of them up, and supported them with herself before looking at the others. Including Dorothy. While everyone had been focused on the Nightmare Demon, she had been focused on the monitors. And she had seen Dorothy break all those things with her bare hands. She might not be the most powerful Demon Hunter, but after what I saw....she might have the most physical strength out of them all...

"Woah. Zero, Danny, your arms!" Anna said shocked, when she confirmed what she saw before. Where nothing had been before, on Zero's right arm was a tattoo of the Dragon, and then on Danny's right arm but in a slightly different place, was a tattoo of a fox. "Hold on. Dragon of Wraith, Fox of Greed. This is related to what the Nightmare Demon said....about all of us having a Sin we represent....I wonder, you think that what he said before about Dr. Eisenhorn....you think he wasn't just BSing us?"

Then something occured to her. Anna put her hand on the floor, and attempted to harness the magical energy left in the air and any remaining teleportation Runes, and focused them into one, major Teleporation runes. She also focused some of it into Zero and Danny so they did not pass out, and some into Dorothy to heal her. "I figure we cant just leave all this around for another Demon to take advantage of. Teleporation Circle Activate! Zero's Apartment Building!"

Within that moment, they were all instantly teleported across town, into the hallway outside of Zero's apartment. Anna helped both Zero and Danny up again, and looked back at the others. "I know normally we would throw a party or something, but Zero and Danny both need to get some rest after taking down that Nightmare Demon and frankly, I think a few others need to as well. So how about tomorrow, after school when everyone is rested up, we go and throw a party then? Cause I think we should all be done for tonight..." she said as she looked towards Zero and Danny. Just rest up you two, you earned it....and you will need it when we confront Dr. Eisenhorn tomorrow....

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue

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Dorothy watched Barnabas cautiously as his eyes shut, not moving until his breathing had evened. Quietly, she packed up her empty sandwich container and threw her bag over her shoulders. Without a glance back she ran onto the street, not stopping once to catch her breath until her legs gave way. She collapsed against a lamp post, closing her eyes and remembering what the Nightmare Demon had said.

She was Envy.

Bassy was Pride.

Her eyes reopened slowly. The demon had hesitated to insult her. What was he hesitant for?

"Am I... scary?" Dorothy raised her hands above her head. Something was wrong with her. It was almost as if the same pressure from level four was pressing against her chest. "... Siem... I don't feel too good..."

"Let's go for a walk." Siem suddenly replied from beside her. She looked up in a daze as he grabbed her wrist and dragged her away from the lamp. For some reason, he walked slow enough for her to keep up with ease. "How do you feel bad?"

It took her a while to answer that. She felt bad in many ways. "... It's... the tower... Bassy -"

"The tower was all fake. Don't even think about what happened in there."

Dorothy glowered. She really wanted to get some sympathy from him, or anything other than neglect. "Then it's the memories. There's something wrong with them."

"How so?"

"When I think about them, I don't just see them, I can..."

"Feel them?" Dorothy looked up in surprise at Siem's interruption. He wouldn't look at her so it was impossible to tell what he was feeling, which was somewhat relieving. She focused on his hand wrapped around her wrist. This was all very confusing for her. She simply nodded.

"It's like I can feel what the person who had the memory felt at the time in happened, if that makes any sense."

"It makes complete sense. You're getting stronger. You take their emotional memories as well as their visual."

"But it's not just that!" She blurted, yanking her hand away from Siem's impatient grip "I saw the memory of someone losing a finger on machinery and - AH!" The small girl screamed and knelt over, cradling her hand. The few people on the path turned to look at her, some backing further away and muttering to themselves. She felt their uneasiness infect her. "Ow...! See? Whenever I think about it, I can -"

"Physical memory." Siem dismissed and pulled her back up to her feet. They continued walking side by side, Dorothy eyeing his free hand hopefully.

"... Why... why did I have to have this? Nobody else-"

"What can I say? You have to pay the toll."

"The toll for what?" Dorothy asked quietly, "The others are more powerful than me. Danny and Zero defeated the demon without me." Something struck her hard and she winced at the thought, "... There was no reason for me to go into that tower at all, was there, Siem?" Siem did not answer as they walked to the lookout over the city. "Fine. ... It sounds silly, Siem, but I just think sometimes that if I cry, all of these... things... in my head, they can go away."

"But you cannot cry." Siem replied harshly. "I have seen you attempt to get your way, but you know you cannot. You never have."

"But there has to be a way!" She shouted in a sudden burst of emotion. She stopped walking and stared at her dirty shoes, biting her lip. "... The... the voices said that the bad feelings go somewhere... I want them to go! There is a way for them to go, isn't there?!" Siem would not reply or even turn to look at her. "... You know something, don't you?"

"Do you want to be happy that badly?"

"I..." Dorothy faltered. The image of the joyous woman with red eyes flashed in her mind. Dorothy staggered towards the edge of the bride, gripping it and looking over the edge.

Something was wrong with her.

Something was rising.

"I don't want to fight, but I want to kill them!" She choked, looking over the edge. "But I don't want to see bad things anymore. Not their memories. Not their feelings."

"Then free yourself."

The view suddenly appeared more beautiful than anything Dorothy had ever seen. The other Demon Hunters were so strong and she suffered so much... for what? For every person she saved, they saved ten more. After a fight, she could be out of action for weeks due to an injury. She hindered them. They all looked after her. They looked after her but they couldn't save her. What she needed saving from was inside her head.

Something they couldn't reach.

They put it there.

Now all they were waiting for her to grow up... grow up into her.

She existed to kill demons and there was one she needed to put down before





















Dorothy's head suddenly snapped back and her jaw dropped open. A sickly blackish purple was expelled from her mouth and dispersed into the air in a gas, even being drawn from her nose and ears. Her wide eyes slowly defogged and sparkled with life for a brief moment before they rolled up and she fell down in a crumpled heap.

"... If you can." Siem finished.

He knelt over Dorothy's motionless body and sighed as he glanced around at the slowly dying plant life that surrounded them. "You've been opening Pandora's Box more and more frequently, doll..." He picked her up and rested her against his back in a piggy-back. She gripped the back of his coat in her sleep, murmuring something barely audible about wanting a story then laughing softly. Siem smirked and began to walk home. "You're stronger than you look, doll. So strong, they all have the right to find you scary. The only thing you need protection from is yourself..."


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.

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Dorothy woke up neatly tucked away in her bed. She turned her head to look at her alarm.

11:48

"Shivers!" She sat up suddenly and shoved the covers off her, "It's a school day! Granny's going to kill me!"

"Robin let you sleep in." Siem said from the bottom of her bed. Dorothy glanced over to see him looking tired and grumpy. "She lets you slack, if you ask me."

"Oh. Good morning, Siem." Dorothy greeted, surprised to see him. It was unusual for her to ever wake up with him in his physical form. She smiled. It must have been a special occasion. "What are you doing outside?"

"Just checking," he muttered as she began to change, turning to face the other direction. "How are you feeling?"

"Huh?" Dorothy's face flushed. Did he... did he actually care about something like that? "I feel fine, thank you."

"Good. I wouldn't want you to be distracted in class from worrying about last night."

"Last night?" The events of the tower came back to her and she shook her head. "No. It was all fake. The demon was only trying to break me." Her little chest puffed up with pride, "But I'm too strong to let it get me down! I am a Demon Hunter, after all."

Siem couldn't help but wince at that. "But what about Bassy? Bassy was real. He tried to kill you."

"He didn't mean to." She replied straight away as she tied her ribbon in her hair, "It's forgivable. I tried to kill him, too."

"..." Siem looked at her darkly, "... Hey, doll, what are you here to do?"

"Kill demons."

"You have to fight demons to kill them. Do you want to?"

Dorothy clenched her fists with determination. "I'll do whatever it takes."

Siem smirked, wanting to test the waters a little further. "... But you are weak. Weaker than the others. You do realise that you have been protected by your Toto more than you've used it to kill a demon, do you -"

"SIEM!" Dorothy barked, smacking her hands down on her dresser. "... Everything is OK now. Things are OK. Even if you say they're not..." She turned to him with a small smile. Her eyes had a spark in them, a tiny light of something fragile and naive.

"I haven't lost hope."