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Cleo Eriaji

The sole survivor of a proud race.

0 · 628 views · located in The Penance Tavern

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Nemo

Description

The Last Tsufuru-jin

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Cleo Eriaji (CLAY-oh)
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 145 lbs / 1/2 Ton with Armor


Planet Plant. Better known as Planet Vegeta, home of the "Saiyans", a blood-thirsty alien race. Born to survive, bred to kill, the Saiyans launched a rutheless campaign across the universe, conquoring planets, wiping out all intelligent life in them and then auctioning them off to buyers. But the Saiyans were not always so powerful. At one point, they even shared their homeworld with another race: the Tsufuru-jin (also called "Tuffles").

The Tuffles were a peaceful, care-free race. For what they lacked in physical power and inability to use energy, ki or magic attacks; they made up for in technological advances unrivaled throughout the galaxy. They were a passionate society of philosophers and thinkers, favoring the arts and sciences. They constantly strove towards the betterment of their species as opposed to conquest or military training.

Although the Tuffles welcomed the Saiyans with open arms, hoping to continue co-existing with them on their home planet, it could never be so. The Saiyans were quick to ignite a long and bloody war that would come to be known as the “Tuffle-Saiyan War.” The technologic advancements the Tuffles possessed quickly allowed them to gain the upper hand in the bloody conflict. Indeed, they very well almost won the war.

Almost.

On the verge victory, the Tuffles found themselves confronted with an unfortunate happening beyond their control. The full moon, an occurrence on Planet Plant happening only once every eight years, transforming the entire remaining Saiyan population into their mightiest form: the Great Ape. The Saiyan army obliterated the Tuffle population in one night. The war was lost. Planet Plant belonged to the Saiyans.

As the Saiyan monsters descended upon the Tuffle capital, Doctor Eriaji, his wife and their newly born son desperately boarded a spacecraft, attempting to flee the planet with their lives. Unfortunately, the ship was damaged in the fight before it could achieve takeoff. Quickly setting his baby boy into the craft's only functioning escape pod (meant for documents and small-objects, not large enough for an adult), along with the holographic schematics of his life’s work, Dr Eriaji blasted his child into deep space, saving him from apocalypse.

The child’s name was Cleo.


A Wanderer



Landing on a nearby planet, Cleo was found and raised for the first five years of his life by Vrackians, a peaceful race of farmers and gatherers. Blessed with his natural Tuffle intelligence, Cleo learned and comprehended information at a supernatural speed. Reviewing the schematics given to him by his father (as well as videos recorded by his mother after his birth during a more peaceful time), Cleo quickly realized that he was not a native to his current planet. Rebuilding and modifying his escape-pod to a more suitable craft, Cleo bid farewell to the Vrackians and began his journey home, unaware that his planet was already lost and his parents already dead. He was five years old.

For the next six years, Cleo wandered the galaxy, learning more and more everyday as he went. Although most of the planets he encountered contained peaceful inhabitants, he quickly discovered the necessity to defend himself against those few with more hostile residents. Basing the design off one of his father’s schematics, Cleo began building body-armor. It wasn’t difficult, as each planet visited presented new resources, new tools and new adjustments to his original plan. With his superhuman intellect, Cleo easily completed the first model of what would eventually become the Arkangel Armor.

When Cleo at last arrived on Planet Plant, he quickly discovered the truth. The Tuffles had lost the war with the Saiyans. His family, his heritage, his very race…all wiped from existence. In his rage, Cleo attacked a small Saiyan establishment, killing many of the aliens before sustaining major injuries and being driven off. Flying from the world as quickly as he could, he crash-landed on Planet Rihatsan, where he encountered the Rihatsu. An ancient race of wise-men, Cleo found peace among the aliens for another eight years, adopting the Rihatsu code of ethics. Partially fueled by his grief for his fallen comrades, Cleo developed a deep respect for sentient life under the Rihatsu’s teachings. Respect for sentient life…except for the Saiyans, of course.

Apart from centering himself emotionally, Cleo dedicated himself to his previous work of advancing the technology he had. While he remained rooted in Rihatsan, he continuously left for deeper parts of the galaxy, discovering new materials to build better armor and weapons. Perhaps his greatest discover was of the strange substance “muteki”, a metallic liquid that seemed capable of absorbing massive amounts of energy. After molecularly freezing the compound, Cleo quickly incorporated it into his armor. He continuously went to hostile planets, testing his suit over and over again, training himself in the fires of lethal combat. Learning from each of his countless battles, the Tuffle modified his armor daily, incorporating every scrap of knowledge learned both on and off the battlefield. Once, a large platoon of Saiyan warriors landed on Rihatsan, planning to eridacate the Rihatsu and auction the planet like they did with so many before. Meeting them head-on, the young Tuffle easily emerged victorious, slaughtering his most hated foe in dark ecstacy.

"The Rihatsu were careful to teach me the moral fulfillments of life. Nature, knowledge, justice and virtue...all became beautiful to me. But in their ethical lectures, they neglected the darker satisfactions of sentient fulfillment. Killing the Saiyans awakened an ancient lust that could not be extinguished once realized. I am woefully convinced of no greater pleasure then destroying the embodiment of one’s hatred and detestation."


After years of work, Cleo finally succeeded in completing his Arkangel III Full-Body Armor, its power beyond even what Cleo had anticipated. At the age of eighteen, Cleo at last said his goodbyes to the Rihatsus, deciding that he was old enough to find his own way. Before he began searching for a path, however; he set out to test the full power of his Arkangel III and discover the limits of its fathomless command. Journeying into deep space, the last Tsufuru-Jin once again began training. He would hunt dying stars throughout the galaxy and battle the supernova that followed its death. He would pitt his flight power against the gravitional pull of a black hole, racing against the speed of light itself. He would find entire solar systems devoid of life, ending each barren planet with a flick of his wrist. Cleo took his power to new and unexplored limits.

After training himself, the Tuffle at last left in search of a new life, a new beginning…and perhaps a new reason to exist. Quietly traveling through space, he found himself on the Planet Terra. Finding a home on the planet, Cleo quickly caught the attention of the TNG, with whom he began working closely to revolutionize Terran defenses.


Arkangel III

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Cleo’s greatest achievement; the Arkangel III Full-Body Armor is constructed from the strongest materials throughout the galaxy. Its strength, power and durability endows its wearer with the formidability of gods.

The Arkangel armor utilizes a variety of alien substances, including:

Impervium: a dislocated metal alloyed from the alien metals pullum and silicis, found on the planet Fundam, located in the Carina-Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. Pullum and silicis are smelted together to alloy impervium, but only through extreme heat. Impervium has a solidus point of 1.3 million degrees Fahrenheit, and a liquidis point of 1.5 million degrees Fahrenheit.

Exceptionally tough, hard and durable, impervium is the metal alloy used in the Arkangel. The entire Plate of the armor is almost completely comprised of impervium. Because of its superior strength and high-melting point, the alloy is practically impervious to lead, plasma, and most other piercing, heat or smashing attacks. Impervium is also extremely magnetic (30,000 gauss), and is in fact held together in the Arkangel design via a series of densely energized internal magnetic fields.

Muteki: a metallic liquid found on the planet Peniculus in the Crux-Scutum Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, Muteki has been christened “Tek” by TETRS troopers. Muteki liquid has the ability to absorb massive amounts of energy, a trait which proved extremely useful in furthering the defensive capabilities of the Arkangel. The substance was molecularly frozen and incorporated into the armor. A thick layer is plastered over the Plate, while a Muteki “gel” substance flows freely throughout the Pillar. Two densely concentrated “gems” of Muteki are also embedded in the palms of the Arkangel.

The ARKNGL III is composed of four layers of armor: the Plate, Pillar, Foam and Skin.

Plate: The Plate is the outer section of the armor, and the only layer that is completely exposed to the environment. The Plate is constructed entirely out of high carbon impervium, a dislocated metal alloyed from alien elements. Only the hellish core of a Neutron Star (1.5 Million ºF) can generate the heat required to forge impervium.

Pillar: The Pillar is an elastic shell just below the Plate. It serves a myriad of important purposes essential to the functionality of the ARKNGL. Its primary function is structural support. The Pillar keeps the Arkangel closely knitted together through a series of densely energized magnetic fields. The Pillar is also responsible for movement throughout the system. A neurological pathway at the base of Cleo's neck connects to his central nervous system. The pathway collects chemical signals released by the brain and transmits them into kinetic action. Whatever Cleo tells the suit to do in his mind, it does. The Pillar seals the remaining two layers of armor, air-locking Cleo from a potentially hostile environment. Muteki Gel flows freely throughout the Pillar, offering significant protection and further absorption of energy concentrates.

Foam: The Foam is a thick layer of protective foam separating the Pillar from the Skin. Engineered to absorb up to 10 million newtons of force, the Foam is capable of protecting Cleo's structure from even the most powerful exertion of force or shock wave of energy.

Skin: The Skin is the final layer of the Arkangel Armor. Thin and tight, it clings closely to Cleo's body like a jumpsuit. The Skin is responsible for accommodating all of Cleo's biological needs, as well as maintaining reasonable living conditions throughout Arkangel in general. An extensive temperature regulator keeps the entire suit at a safe temperature in even the most extreme environments, while a Thermal Disruptor nullifies his heat signature. A particle filter prevents any poisons or toxins from entering into Cleo's system, including radiation and electromagnetic waves. The Skin's bioscan technology sterilizes and seals any prevalent injuries upon detection (although series medical attention is not something Arkangel is able to give). Jutting from the Skin along the shoulders, back, and quadriceps are a series of energy generators, which supply a constant shield of densely protective energy around the Plate, in addition to the Muteki Gel coat.

Directly in the center of the ArkangelIII is the Fusion Reactor. Arguably the most important piece of the armor, the Fusion Reactor supplies seemingly limitless power to the ARKNGL III Armor.

The Arkangel III Armor utilizes a variety of skills and offensive energies.

Super-Kinetics – The suit allows for impossibly dexterous range of motion, speed, strength and flight.

Energy Manipulation – Draws upon the suit’s massive stores of energy, centering it into a single focus point to be used, usually in a beam of high-intensity light.

Element Manipulation – Draws upon natural gases, molecular compounds and binding energies to manipulate and accelerate charged particles (ions, positrons, electrons, etc.)

Sound Manipulation – The suit can create sonic frequencies of all kinds. Whether it be to change Cleo’s voice or to release a devastating shock wave of sound, the uses vary

Magnetic Manipulation – The suit can create or nullify magnetic attraction, pulling attractive particles out of the very air to be used as needed, without disrupting the magnetic field used by the Pillar to keep the suit together.

Spirit Manipulation – The most lethal energy the suit is capable of harnessing. Cleo draws upon the essence of life itself, forming the powerful energies into tangible substance.

Muteki Gems – Although the entire Arkangel III Armor is coated by the layer in this stuff, two “gems” of densely concentrated Muteki are embedded in the palms of the armor. If aimed and timed correctly, Cleo can absorb incoming energized attacks, store them and then release them in the same manner in which they were received. He cannot however, alter the energy once it’s been absorbed. It can only be stored and released

The ANDEE armor (used by TETRS) was inspired by Cleo's Arkangel. The Arkangel has all of the ANDEE's functions and protections.

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So begins...

Cleo Eriaji's Story

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#, as written by Nemo
"Logic is all that exists in the world, Zee," Cleo's metal fingers curled, "they govern the laws of life, death, and even morality itself. Your reasoning is flawed. I will not sit idly by and let these crystals fall into the wrong hands simply because am I not 'enlightened' enough to understand them. Perhaps you are the one who needs enlightenment, Seraph. Trillions of years of evolution have made you coy and confident. You think you are above me. You think you are above mankind. You are wrong."

The armor-clad Tuffle stepped forward, his fusion reactor suddenly sparking into an intense gold light. "I will not allow these crystals to fall into the wrong hands. If you will not confiscate them from Aiyanna, I will. More importantly, I will not wait until she is 'enlightened' to do so. I will do it now, and you will not stop me." His voice, cold as ice and sharp as steel, was a weapon in itself. The Tsufuru-Jin had so long maintained a bland undertone, hearing him speak with emotion was almost unsettling.

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#, as written by Nemo
"I understand plenty," Cleo took another step forward. The floorboards cracked beneath his boot. "I understand that these crystals are possibly the most precious recourse in the Multiverse. I understand that Aiyanna, an unstable renegade AI who's psychological counterpart committed genocide on countless worlds, wishes to use these crystals for her own purposes. Given her violent past, I do not think she is the most appropriate candidate to wield their power."

"Furthermore, I understand that you, Zee, possess the authority to confiscate these crystals from Aiyanna. For reasons clearly beyond my comprehension, you will not do this. Are you willing to risk the lives of billions, Zee? Will you truly entrust your god tools to a computer who cannot even control half of her own consciousness? Perhaps the loss of mortal life is of no consequence to a being such as you, Zee. Perhaps we are insects in your eyes." He crossed his arms then, briefly charging a blinding gold energy pulse and shooting it out from his body in a blurring shockwave. Tables and chairs flew into the air, swept away against the winds of a hurricane. The aura surrounding Cleo was brighter then ever.

"But mankind is all that I have left in this universe," he grit his teeth, waves of fusion energy rolling off his armor, "...and I will give everything to protect it... even if I must risk the fury of the gods themselves to do so."

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#, as written by Nemo
"Neither do I wish to fight you," Cleo asserted, though the steadily-increasing joule output of his fusion reactor seemed to say otherwise, "I simply wish to retrieve the crystals. I will not let a homocidal AI have control of the Multiverse's greatest weapon, simply because you say she should." He stepped forward. "Stand aside, or remove the crystals from her body yourself. We do not have to fight. Simply take the tools from her."

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#, as written by Nemo
"Me?" Cleo seemed to growl, "I am not the one who is entrusting the very fabric of the Multiverse to a computer. Tell me then, Zee, if you do possess such extraordinary 'foresight', then enlighten me. Show me what will happen if Aiyanna succeeds in her endeavours. Give me a vision, if you can." His voice hardened. "...but leave nothing out. I will stay my hand only if both the end and the means of this mission are virtuous."

The setting changes from Gambit's Bar to Langara

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#, as written by Nemo
"It does not look immediately familiar," Cleo confessed, "although the stations and fleets surrounding it are certainly of Aschen make. Seeing as how Aiyanna desires to save Langara, I would reason that this is the future state of the Aschen homeworld. Completely barren. Scorched by the ever-looming sun it orbits."

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#, as written by Nemo
There was a long pause.

"Both scenarios are undesirable," Cleo finally asserted. "If I do nothing, the Aschen people are doomed. If I intervene, the Terran people are doomed." He held up a finger. "BUT, not by my own hand. It is the fault of the Empire for what happens to Terra. Their actions are independant of my own resolve. Similarly, the scattering of the Aschen people is the fault of the Coalition. I can lay credit to neither of these occurences." He nodded towards Langara. "Aiyanna will only the use the crystals to heal her planet, correct? She will not abuse their power for any malevolent purposes? She will protect them and not allow them to be stolen?"

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#, as written by Nemo
"I'm afraid I must question your design," Cleo shook his head, "while Aiyanna's path does appear to be ultimately good, I simply must object to McGregor's continued tyranny. Are you telling me that this man is possessed by an Ori? Do you have any idea how much destruction he has caused in the short ammount of time he has been allowed to rule? He is a monster. You have the power to stop him, so why do you hesitate?" He motioned towards the Aschen fleet. "Why do you clean up some messes and allow others to fester? What exactly IS your purpose in the Multiverse, anyhow?"

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#, as written by Nemo
"So you are not balance-keepers as I had hoped," Cleo nodded with a gulp, "quite a shame. There are so many powerful forces of evil in this universe. It would have been nice to find at least one that works against them. Ah well. What mistake did you make, anyhow? Did you let the crystals get into moral hands?" The Tuffle stepped back. "Nonetheless, I will withdraw my attempt to confiscate Aiyanna's crystals. Furthermore, I will endeavor to assist her in her project to save Langara. Once the war is over and the Ori defeated, I will attempt to smooth over relationships between the Aschen and the Scatterans. With any luck, the worst of what you've foreseen will not come to pass."

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#, as written by Nemo
"Well, that is good to know, then," Cleo nodded, "you just must understand how it looks from a mortal perspective. There is a reason, after all, why less and less people on Terra believe in God. Why would beings with limitless power allow corruption to exist in the universe? We ask ourselves this because we know that, if WE were the ones with the power, we would make things right." Cleo shrugged. "At least, we like to think we would. Anyway, I thank you for this. I trust that what you have just shown me is not some elaborate lie. Know that I will not hesitate to withdraw my former offer of help towards Aiyanna if all of this turns out to be an elaborate hoax."

"I request that you take me back to Gambit's," Cleo nodded. "...I also request one other thing, if you would be willing to permit it."

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#, as written by Nemo
Cleo Eriaji drew a breath.

"If ever we meet again, or if I come into contact with any of your kind on some seperate occasion," Cleo spoke very slowly, "...you must never, ever, under any circumstance, show me the future again. Do we have an agreement? I am never to see anything that -will- transpire."

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#, as written by Nemo
There was a pause, and Cleo's helmet retracted back into his armor, revealing his face. He was smiling.

"Fair enough, Seraph." He extended his hand. "...should we shake on it, or there some other mystical parting ritual you ascended beings have established?"

The setting changes from Langara to Fort Veritas

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#, as written by Nemo
White-coated scientists fretted about the lab in a frenzy, wielding clipboards and pens with righteous fury as they conducted their day-to-day research in Fort Veritas. Revolutionizing Terran defenses certainly didn't happen overnight, and the NOVA team was hard at work even now, immersing themselves in their extensive studies and in-depth engineering.

A small cluster of men and women were gathered in the center of the large room. Among all the scientists, one in particular stood out. He was a tad shorter then the rest, and unlike the others, he wore no coat. The man walked about in a simple tank top neatly tucked into his work pants, a thin layer of sweat coating his alabaster skin. He had a runner's physique, and his toned muscles knotted beneath his skin as he handled a particularly large looking rifle. His long hair was swept over his face.

"That is good, Mr. Quimn. Just stand there and hold the reactor out in front of your face." His voice was a pale and cold as his appearance.

Mr. Quimn, a particularly nervous looking scientist who stood about ten feet away from the group, was holding a strange, rectangular piece of tech in his hands. "Are you quite sure about this Cleo? I don't know if we should test it HERE. On one of your own staff, no less..."

"Not to worry, Mr. Quimn. I have taken all necessary precautions. At worst, you will receive third-degree burns along your hands and lower arms, with possible bone-deterioration in your ulna, radius and upper humerus."

The surrounding doctors looked at Cleo in obvious shock. Shifting in discomfort, the Tuffle thumbed a strange of hair behind one of his pointed ears. "...that was intended to be an attempt at a humorous joke..." he confessed blandly, "I apologize if it did not come across as su-"

"Hey!" a young, squirrelly looking physicist turned suddenly, pointing an accusing finger at Hatchet. "You're not supposed to be in here! Who are you?"

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#, as written by Nemo
"Not at all," Cleo shook his head, hefting the rifle over his shoulder. If Jack knew anything about guns, he might recognize the weapon as an Mk II Disruptor Rifle. "At least, nothing that cannot wait until later." He turned his head briefly. "Mr Quimn. We will have to postpone your untimely death for now." Said by anyone else, it might have been funny... but Cleo's pale monotone simply sucked the humor out of everything he said.

"Very good, doctor Eriaji..." Quimn gasped, quickly stepping out of the line of fire and scampering off. The scientists surrounding Cleo began to disperse, and the Tuffle set the rifle down on a nearby crate. "Mr. Hatchet, was it? I am doctor Cleo Eriaji, head of the research division here in Fort Veritas." He extended a hand. "Is there, perhaps, something I can assist you with? We rarely get visitors in this section of the Fort."

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#, as written by Nemo
((repost))

"Not at all," Cleo shook his head, hefting the rifle over his shoulder. If Jack knew anything about guns, he might recognize the weapon as an Mk II Disruptor Rifle. "At least, nothing that cannot wait until later." He turned his head briefly. "Mr Quimn. We will have to postpone your untimely death for now." Said by anyone else, it might have been funny... but Cleo's pale monotone simply sucked the humor out of everything he said.

"Very good, doctor Eriaji..." Quimn gasped, quickly stepping out of the line of fire and scampering off. The scientists surrounding Cleo began to disperse, and the Tuffle set the rifle down on a nearby crate. "Mr. Hatchet, was it? I am doctor Cleo Eriaji, head of the research division here in Fort Veritas." He extended a hand. "Is there, perhaps, something I can assist you with? We rarely get visitors in this section of the Fort."

The setting changes from Fort Veritas to Gambit's Bar

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#, as written by Nemo
A strange, armored figure walked into Gambit's, his metal feet clacking against the floor with every metronomic step. He stopped suddenly, his masked face looking about at the almost-deserted establishment, helmet turning slowly to each corner of the room.

The mask suddenly retracted, folding in plates over the wearer's jaw down to his neck, revealing the man behind the armor. His young and emotionless face could have chiseled from white marble. His pallid grey eyes flickered from object to object, his lips turning up in a dissapointed smirk. Anyone with access to TNG Media might recognize him as Cleo Eriaji, a head scientist at Terran research facilities.

Or at least, he had been in a time before. A time before the towering sky scrapers of Wing City lay smoldering in a pile of plasmic rubble. A time before the people of Terra had been forced into hiding and left mourning of their loved ones. The Aschen Occupation had scarred the planet nearly beyong repair, and all the former champions of freedom and sovereignty, so previously revered in the old TNG, were now wanted fugitives of the Empire.

Slowly, the Tuffle's grey eyes found Zaccariah, his gaze coursing curiously over the young boy's slouched frame and depressed mannerisms. He walked slowly over to him, speaking out in a voice as chilling and emotionless as his demeanor.

"That is an awful lot of alchohol for someone so young," he remarked. He could have been rebuking Zaccariah or merely commenting on his condition, it was impossible to tell.

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#, as written by Nemo
Despite Zaccariah's desperate attempt to appear calm and collected, he came off to the Tuffle as anything but. The young boy's sporadic shaking and senseless anxiety certainly did nothing to assure Cleo of this teenager's battle competancy. He couldn't even manage of passing conversation...

But his scouters hadn't lied. There was an impressive power locked away in this child, even if the child himself wasn't terribly powerful on the surface. He was worth investigating.

"An average human liver can metabolize between .3 and .5 ounces of pure alcohol an hour," Cleo nodded blandly, walking around the table and standing across from Zaccariah. Although perhaps a bit intimidating in his power armor, the Tsufurujin didn't appear aggressive or angry.

...then again, neither did he come off as friendly or inviting. Cleo hardly came off as anything at all except cold and melencholy.

"Perhaps I can purchase a less-toxic beverage for your consumption?" he offered, "alcohol is almost exclusively detrimental to personal health. An herbal tea, perhaps? There is exceptional tea on stock in this establishment."

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#, as written by Nemo
The pale ends of Cleo's lips almost perked up into a smile. "No, child. You are not in any sort of trouble for being exceptional." The Tuffle's armored fingers grasped the cup of tea, his eyes fluttering shut as he drank deeply from the hot liquid.

"You must excuse me. I imagine this must be strange, approaching you like this," Cleo nodded, setting his glass down, "I have been watching you, among others, for a short time now. I would have apporached you sooner, but my condition rarely allowed for it." He took a short, shallow breath. "I am Cleo Eriaji. Once, I was a prominent scientist under the employment of the Terran National Government. The Aschen Empire would very much like to kill me."

The Tuffle leaned forward. "I have given you my name, and while I may already know yours, I think it is only polite that you give it to me yourself." He extended his metal-plated hand, offering it plainly.

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#, as written by Nemo
"Zaccariah," Cleo nodded thoughtfully, "I am sure you have seen the terrible condition our planet is in. The Aschen Occupation has scarred our world. Our cities are in ruins, our people are dying. The Terran Resistance has been fighting a long and bloody war alongside the Taiyou, Varden and the Coalition to defeat the Imperial menace and reclaim our world. But the strength of our enemy has been something of a mystery to us until now."

Cleo placed a small, rectangular device in the center of the table. A holo-image beamed out of the device, revealing the face of Raphael Mcgregor, god-emperor of the Aschen. "Although Emperor McGregor's forces have suffered from a plethora of defeats at the hands of the Union, his power is still at large. He seems capable of performing feats of strength rivalling those of a god... perhaps, in part, because he is one. Raphael is possessed by the Ori... a near extinct race of ancient aliens who's psychic prowess is near limitless. Against the mortal armies of the Union, the Ori will surely prevail."

"...but, of course, there is still hope."

Cleo's finger tapped the holopad. The face of McGregor dissolved, leaving in its place a strange looking weapon that could have been a gun. "Long ago," the Tuffle elaborated, "when the Aschen were still a noble, free Confederacy, they fought the Ori. No gun or ship could bring the alien menace down, and it seemed as if the enemy was destined to destroy humanity. But the Aschen brought forth an ancient weapon, as cruel and terrible as it was powerful. It was called the Saangral; a device designed to target and destroy psionic energies. Not even a god could stop it."

"THIS, Zaccariah, is what we need. If the Ori falls, the Empire will follow quickly after. The Saangral is being held in Aschen custody, and we need it for ourselves. It's the only way we can win the war."

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#, as written by Nemo
"Both good questions," Cleo nodded unblinkingly, "I suppose, if I were in your shoes, I would not trust me either. Unfortunately, I have no way of proving it to you. I have refused to kill Aschen soldiers unless attacked. This is not their fault, after all. They are being moved like puppets by the Ori."

"As for what I need of YOU, it is quite simply. I would like to hire you. You and a team of superhumans. The Resistance is busy preparing their fleet for the final battle of Terra. They cannot spare the men to retake the Saangral. We need you and a team of mercenaries to do this. I've been frequenting Gambit's for the last week gathering the forces. I need you to be a part of this."

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#, as written by Nemo
Cleo Eriaji drew a long, expectant breath.

"Then we die, Zaccariah. All of us. Together. Gloriously."

A deep silence followed, and the Tuffle rose slowly out of his seat. "I do not ask you to either accept or decline at this instant. Go to whatever place you call home. Sleep. Rest. Talk to those you love. I will visit with you again in three days time for your answer, at which point I will have hopefully assembled the rest of my team." He picked up the cup of tea, downing its remains in a single gulp.

"Do not be afraid, Zaccariah," Cleo nodded, the faintest stirrings of empathy evident in his eyes, "there is a mark about you. 'All are men are fated, few are destined' as the proverb goes. I believe there is something great inside you. You should believe it too."

That said, Cleo turned and walked, leaving the bar as mysteriously and quietly as he came, the faint metrenome of his boots against the floorboards echoing into nonexistence.

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#, as written by Nemo
A strange, armored figure walked into Gambit's, his metal feet clacking against the floor with every metronomic step. He stopped suddenly, his masked face looking about the establishment, helmet turning slowly to each corner of the room.

The mask suddenly retracted, folding in plates over the wearer's jaw down to his neck, revealing the man behind the armor. His young and emotionless face could have chiseled from white marble. His pallid grey eyes flickered from object to object, his lips turning down into a disappointing smirk. Anyone with access to TNG Media might recognize him as Cleo Eriaji, a head scientist at Terran research facilities.

Or at least, he had been in a time before. A time before the towering sky scrapers of Wing City lay smoldering in a pile of plasmic rubble. A time before the people of Terra had been forced into hiding and left mourning of their loved ones. The Aschen Occupation had scarred the planet nearly beyong repair, and all the former champions of freedom and sovereignty, so previously revered in the old TNG, were now wanted fugitives of the Empire.

Reaching into the folded plates of his armor, the Tuffle retrieved a peculiar looking device that he fitted over his right eye. Once equipped, he made another pass around the bar, carefully examining [d]Demor Ragani[/b], Tesseract, Nargiz, and Felix. Clearly this man was looking for someone.

Or something.

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#, as written by Nemo
As Demor brushed past Cleo to exit the bar, he would suddenly find an armored hand clasped around his throat, preventing him from leaving. The Tsufuru-jin's movements had not even been visible. One moment, his arm had lain limply at his side, the next, it was seizing a man's throat.

"Not so fast..." the Tuffle sighed in a pallid monotone, applying light pressure to Ragani's neck and attempting to shove the man back into the bar.

Once everyone was contained inside the bar, Cleo raised his voice, speaking to everyone in the room who would hear him.

"Patrons of Gambit's," he announced. While his voice carried far, it was bland and emotionless, almost as if a machine were speaking to them. "I apologize for the inconvenience I am about to place you all in. I assure you, it is necessary. You are about to be part of an experiment. A very important expirament that could, possibly, decide the fight of Terra as a whole." The Tuffle cleared his throat, his crystalline-grey eyes glaring unblinkingly at each of the patrons in turn.

"I am going to fight you," Cleo explained calmly, "each and every one of you. I will fight you until either you submit or one of us loses consciousness. I am not giving you a choice as to whether or not you desire to partake in this. If you try and flee, I will pursue you. Now." The Tuffle drew a breath. "I would like to do this one at a time, so I'll begin with..." He looked to Demor, "...you? Are you currently prepared to engage me in combat? I ask that you energize to your maximum strength at this time, please."

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#, as written by Nemo
Cleo Eriaji perked a mildly amused brow at the Drachini squirming at the end of his arm. "Nothing to say, then? Very well."

With that, Cleo would literally attempt to pick Demor off the ground and throw him into the nearby wall with incredible force. If the young teenager did nothing to defend or protect himself, he would likely loss consciousness upon impact.

"Now is not the time to explain myself," Cleo turned and glared at Nargiz once finished with Ragani. "But rest assured, it is IMPERATIVE that I fight each of you. The fate of Terra and the end of the Aschen Empire depends on it. Now, who is next?" He looked cautiously over at Tessaract. "You certainly seem ready to fight. Please step forward and energize to your maximum-"

It was at that point, of course, that cleo was attacked by a caped fire/ice spitting rainbow penguin. Unfortunately for the costumed man, he had chosen to 'tackle' Cleo. Tackling Cleo was like tackling a tank. It was very, very hard to make him move. The penguin man would likely slam directly into the folded impervium plating in the Tuffle's sternum and lose consciousness.

"Now. Who was I talking to again?"

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#, as written by Nemo
Each and every one of Jake's fireballs connected with uncanny accuracy, the flames splitting off of Cleo's armor like exploding fireworks. The Tsufurjin did not appear damaged or daunted in the least bit. He stood and took the assault as if he weren't even being assaulted at all. "I admire your courage," he nodded to Jake, "but your powers are futile." That said, the Tuffle would raise his hand, letting loose a massive wave of psionic energy towards the young boy. If struck, the overwhelming telekinetic blast would almost certainly put Jake out of the fight.

"Very good, yes," Cleo nodded to Tesseract, "please step forward and energize to your highest possible level of combat proficiency." The Tuffle took two steps towards the assassin and stopped, his scouters running a plethora of scans over the figure.

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#, as written by Nemo
Cleo Eriaji spoke plainly and intelligently, as if he were giving the Russian assassin a lecture. "Because if you do not, incapacitating you will only be all the more easy for me. This is an experiment, mind you. I need proper test subjects."