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Sora Lake

Subject Sigma. "What is up becomes down, what is left becomes right, what moves forward now moves back, so be ready in a fight".

2 · 584 views · located in Rosetta Continent

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

Groups

People who are often involved in Origin, generally living there, doing business there, or such.
The Adventurer's Guild, spanning galaxy wide despite having its headquarters based on Origin, is an organization of people have dedicated their lives to doing all sorts of quests, big or small.

Inventory

Shows that you are registered to the Adventurer's Guild, and is capable of showing one's acquired skills, stats, titles, powers, race, and general identification. Can be used as a Universal Passport.

Description

Image

(He is the blue haired one, but the one next to him is his best friend/adopted brother Zeebee)

Name: Sora Augustus Lake

Nicknames: Inverter, SL

Age: Ten years old, Born March 5th.

Appearance: (See image)

Known Family Members:
Father: Deceased, Murdered during their kidnapping.
Mother: Bedridden, Critically injured during their kidnapping.
Adopted Brother: Zeebee Elestria Lake
Image


History: Sora and Zeebee were abandoned as orphans by their parents at a nearby orphanage. However, before their DNA could even be sequenced to learn things about them, they were suddenly adopted by the Lake couple. They themselves were actual people with special abilities, and recognized those traits in Sora and Zeebee. Therefore, they not only raised them, but trained them to use their abilities. And indeed, they had been born rather special.

However, one day, the scientists learned about the amazing abilities they had developed and the new ones they had learned, and came for them. Their father was murdered in the process, and their mother critically injured. The two of them were kidnapped, taken into the lab, and experimented on. As they had lived normal lives before, unlike the Rixy Siblings, getting stripped naked and experimented on like this almost broke their minds. And Sora was planned to be someone that was harvested, given the designation Sigma, to feed Zeebee's abilities further.

However, something happened before this occurred, and they were able to escape. They heard about and saw other test subjects, and even fought along side them, but in the end after everything settled it was decided they should all split up to avoid attracting attention. Well, they did that...mostly...

Equipment:

Beam Sword Gauntlet

Blaster Gauntlet

Digitizer

Energy Barrier Gauntlet

Note: Its actually all one Gauntlet.



Supernatural Abilities:

Inversion: A wide ranging power that affects all of reality it comes across, Inversion lets him do just that. It lets him Invert things. There are technical limits, but for the most part, that is what it is. He can't do things like turn gold into brass, or fire into dirt, but turning fire cold, or inverting gravity, or the force of projectiles and directions of rockets. Sour to sweet, hot to cold, fire to water, left to right, up to down, his inversion is simple but limitless. It reaches beyond normal limits.

Superhuman Physical Stats: Nuff Said

Link: Can create a link with him and another person, which can give a wide range of benefits in exchange for sharing the senses, including the pain, of that person. Right now, he is only linked with Zeebee.

Cursed Eye: By releasing energy into the seal in his right eye, he can understand the nature of things and how things will go. However, this power is incredibly taxing and a bit unhealthy for him.

Adaptability: Developed this trait after forming a Link with Zeebee after the lab incident. His aging stopped soon after.

Gravity Magic: Oddly enough, Sora can use Gravity Magic.

So begins...

Sora Lake's Story

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[color=gray]Nestled in this system, among the cluster of planets, lay one of the many that had been developed by Civilization. This planet, known as "Origin", is a melting pot where one can live and resides, able to utilize the wonders of magic as well as the ellaborations of technology. It is a world where one could find anything and everything, not just what they might need, but also what they might want. Large, urban cities, filled not just with hackers and criminals, cops and office workers, but also mages, sorcerers, and the like. Even those that some might dub "Monsters", but for this world to avoid any qualms about racism, hostile creatures that appear to be of mythical nature are known as "Demon Beasts". This is to avoid any conflict with any sentient races. This world utilizes all sorts of technology, and possessed a sort of nexus of magical energy which makes it easier to travel to places that are also a Nexus, like Terra.

Yes, this planet of Origin in the Endaro System, is a place of both cellphone apps...and sorcery. Of steam tech and lasers. And on the continent of Rosetta, in the Capital City of Haythem, is known as the City of Dreams, where one can achieve their desires...but also risks being plunged into nightmare.

Sora Lake was one such person who wandered into Haythem, admiring the lights and sounds of the capital city alongside his brother. However, at the moment, only Sora was there. They were being careful about spending too much time with each other, or the others, since people would be coming after them, but on a night like this where the sky was surprisingly clear despite being in the capital city, he had decided to stop and take a rest in the Central Plaza at night, sitting on the edge of a fountain that was radiating a myriad of lights. He let his hand slip through the water, raising it up and then sliding it across the water's edge. It was such a peaceful night, he hoped it might last forever.

But of course, just because th

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Nestled in this system, among the cluster of planets, lay one of the many that had been developed by Civilization. This planet, known as "Origin", is a melting pot where one can live and resides, able to utilize the wonders of magic as well as the ellaborations of technology. It is a world where one could find anything and everything, not just what they might need, but also what they might want. Large, urban cities, filled not just with hackers and criminals, cops and office workers, but also mages, sorcerers, and the like. Even those that some might dub "Monsters", but for this world to avoid any qualms about racism, hostile creatures that appear to be of mythical nature are known as "Demon Beasts". This is to avoid any conflict with any sentient races. This world utilizes all sorts of technology, and possessed a sort of nexus of magical energy which makes it easier to travel to places that are also a Nexus, like Terra.

Yes, this planet of Origin in the Endaro System, is a place of both cellphone apps...and sorcery. Of steam tech and lasers. And on the continent of Rosetta, in the Capital City of Haythem, is known as the City of Dreams, where one can achieve their desires...but also risks being plunged into nightmare.

Sora Lake was one such person who wandered into Haythem, admiring the lights and sounds of the capital city alongside his brother. However, at the moment, only Sora was there. They were being careful about spending too much time with each other, or the others, since people would be coming after them, but on a night like this where the sky was surprisingly clear despite being in the capital city, he had decided to stop and take a rest in the Central Plaza at night, sitting on the edge of a fountain that was radiating a myriad of lights. He let his hand slip through the water, raising it up and then sliding it across the water's edge. It was such a peaceful night, he hoped it might last forever.

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#, as written by TheHaze
People need things. That's just a fact of life. Food, water, shelter, warmth, all that jazz. Without it, people aren't much better off from animals. Lucky for them, it isn't hard to get that sort of stuff in this day and age. In fact, there isn't much you can't get. People waltz about with fractal jewelry, toughs pack laser cannons on their ring fingers, the dead are brought back with a potion and a slap on the back, and pizza can be delivered from a galaxy away. Really, what sort of person needs anything else?

Lots of people, as it turned out. Such was the reason for the Model A idling in the boulevard on the mouth of the central plaza. It was a snazzy ride, and the driver was itching to get it moving. The tip of his cigarette pulsed with light as he inhaled for a sigh, drumming his fingers on the hardwood wheel. Somebody was late, and that somebody was going to be very sorry for that. The driver reached onto the dash, taking the old-style phone earpiece from its cradle and holding it to his head, spinning the rotary dial. There was a pause, a few rings, and there was a grunt from the other end. The smuggler looked around, nodding grimly to himself.

"How's it rollin', Jackie-boy? I'm attractin' flies out here, big man. You leavin' me with the bag or am I shiftin' your product?"

There was a few sentences from the other end, and Johnny leaned back in his seat, shaking his head slowly. This fucking guy. He stubbed out his cigarette on the tray he kept on the dash, grabbing another from his pack with his teeth and lighting it with his free hand. He shook out the match, sighing for effect.

"That's a shame, big fellah. Can't get you your goods without proper compensation, see? Nothin' doing means we don't do nothin', yeah? No worries though, we got another buyer lined up. Figure he'd pay double for- Oh, big man, 'course it's him. You got-"

He checked his watch.

"-three hours. Tick tock, fatboy."

Johnny hung up, pinching his forehead.

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Sora was lost in his thoughts as he checked his smartphone, looking through everything before he looked back at the night sky. He was checking to see if anything had happened, but he was currently enjoying a nice, quiet moment as it appeared peaceful. His shoes were lined up right next to him. He did not mind being barefoot here, because while he had yet to actually touch the ground, it was surprisingly clean. Clean enough to eat off of, though Sora had no intention of doing it.

He did not even check the battery of the phone as he slid it back into his pocket. That was because of his power, Inversion. He had inverted the battery to gain power, instead of lose, as this happened, giving him an infinite batter. Sora began to connect the dots of the universe, before wondering what the others were up to again...

"Seriously, I need to take care of myself. Maybe...register at the Adventurer's Guild?"

As he was talking to himself, he heard a voice come out from behind him. He shifted his body around, looking at him. He is older then me...but only by, nine years I bet "Yeah. I just got here a few days ago, this place is great. Dangerous though, be careful of the sewers. Sometimes Demon Beasts...that is what they often call Monsters here, come out from them and attack".

He then looked around, to make sure he was not getting distracted to be surrounded in any way.

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Character Portrait: Jaxon the Bandit Character Portrait: Sora Lake
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Sora was rubbing the back of his neck, after having pricked himself. As he was connected to Zeebee, he had done that to get a message to him, but now it was bothering him a little. After checking his Holowatch, which was magically linked with a secure, unique Bluetooth connection to his smartphone, for any new news, he sighed with relief.

"It looks like...everything is all clear...for now".

The entire city was in the middle of a festival, and Sora had moved himself over to the docks. He loved parties and all, but he had just taken a ride on the Hovercoaster. It had been enchanted with gravity magic to make it one hundred percent safe, but...it also meant it was able to be more extreme. Even if Sora inherited the Adaptability trait, which should have only developed in the Rixy Siblings, Subject I who they were cloned from, and Zeebee who apparently was abandoned to be an orphan by the same parents as Subject I, it did not mean he could adapt to everything.

"Even...Inversion...can't help here".

Sora sat down, his head still spinning. He looked around, and saw that there was another spaceship coming into the docks. It was a design he was unfamiliar with, but he shrugged it off. The ship had finished landing, and he saw the exit hatch was opening, when...

"Don't you dare say a word, brat!"

A large group of thugs came from behind, one was pointing a gun right at the back of Sora's head. THe others seemed interested in the ship that docked, and were looking to hijack it. However, they also seemed to be in a hurry...

If this guy called the authorities, and they checked the current me out, it might cause issues...okay, gotta eliminate them before he feels the need to. First off, what do they want? What are they after? It was stupid of them to come out already when the occupants had not left yet...they are rushed, or...running away. They are fleeing authorities, and plan to use the spaceship to do so. Me as a hostage, for safety...and after that...

Sora looked at the men. Although they could hide in a crowd to some degree, their current body and facial expressions indicated they were not just desperate, but ravenous, degenerate, and...lustful.

...less a hostage, more to use as relief even though...wait, hold on a second!

Sora started to lean towards the left for a moment. It was a slight, minor movement, but then suddenly the gravity for the entire area reversed...or perhaps, more accurate to say inversed. This caused all of them to slam into the ceiling above, including the one who had been pointing a gun at his head. Sora could exclude himself from getting affected by Inversion, or make it only work on himself. But right now, those details did not matter...because Sora looked mad as hell.

"Don't you dare tell me...you were going to kidnap me...because I look girlish!"

"You are a boy!?"

"DAAAAAAAMMMMMNNNN YYYYYOOOOOOUUUUUU!"

Sora knew he did not look manly, and that he was short for his age, and that he apparently looked "cute and adorable", but being mistaken as a girl? That was a bit of a stretch...at least, he believed so.

The man who had been getting out of the spaceship, the original center of this whole thing, had also ended up temporarily taking a side seat to this display.

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Character Portrait: Jaxon the Bandit Character Portrait: Sora Lake
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"Halt progression, Lord Hackenheath."

"What?" Jaxon was genuinely confused as he was about to step down the ramp and into the hangar he was permitted to land within, "What's up?"

"My external probe's detecting a shift in gravity from the outside. Leaving this ship could possibly result in you flying back outward into space."

"How?" Jaxon glanced backward, into the hallway of the ship. "That doesn't make sense. Isn't gravity supposed to be constant?"

"Planetary gravity proves to be stable. My sensor is detecting a selective shift within the natural forces of gravity just outside the exit hatch."

"Meaning..."

"This concludes that the shift in gravity is being implemented from a different source."

"That's...very fuckin' roundabout," the Highwayman sighed irritably, "What source?"

"Someone or something is affecting the gravity in the immediate area. My sensor also detects multiple life readings just outside the spacecraft."

Now that was good info. "Visual, please?"

In front of the exit hatch, a screen was brought forth from a sliding panel integrated within the wall just above the doorway. The screen blipped to life, showing an outer view from the exit hatch, revealing a blue haired kid, no older than ten, standing twenty yards away from the doorway. The kid was glancing up and had the angriest look on his face as he cursed the heavens.

"You said visuals. With an 's'. I only see one kid out here."

"Other life forms are above you."

Kay...what? "Can you...move the camera so I can see them?"

"Commencing action..."

The visual shifted upwards, revealing a variety of individuals currently plastered to the ceiling...quite possibly by that gravity shift the AI had mentioned earlier. Jaxon raised a brow.

"Strong kid, it seems," he noted as he continued to watch the exchange between the blue-haired boy and the many assailants around him.

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Sora Lake:
Age: 10
Race: Human (with abilities)
Black Market Bounty: 5 Mil in Gold.
Appearance: Something he was currently despising.

Codename: Subject Sigma

Gender: Male

This very same Sora was visibly upset at the moment, after having been called a girl. In fact, upset did not even come close to covering it. He was pissed off, although his face was a brighter shade of red.

After all that, Sora began to kick them out of the air. This was because he was still visibly upset, and wanted to kick things. After all, they had all thought he was a girl. He was seriously pissed about that, and in the process may have gone a bit far.

After that, he turned his attention towards the one in the ship.

"Hey, you!" Sora yelled, facing directly at the location Jaxon was, as if he knew where his presence was and could sense it.

"They came here to rob you after all, so you going to come out of there and claim some of this mess!"

Sora really just wanted to dump all this trouble on some else, and figured since they were planning to rob the owner of that spaceship it would be reasonable.

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Character Portrait: Jaxon the Bandit Character Portrait: Sora Lake
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The fuck?

Jaxon's surprise couldn't be noticed through his well disguise figure, but his eyebrows did flare up when he heard the direct call out to his position. This kid was omniscient as hell, he thought as he glanced up.

"Ya got a microphone?" he asked the computer.

"Processing request..." The ship began to click and whir around him, a microphone lowering over his position.

"External vocal systems online." the AI's voice could be heard not just in the ship, but outside of it as well. Jaxon collected the words in his brain, wondering if he should try to disguise himself anymore than he already had before coming to the conclusion that no one knew about him in uncharted space.

"Fat chance, kid!" Jaxon's voice rang through the hangar harshly, "They weren't here when I landed. You weren't here when I landed. For all I know, you led them here in the first place. So you can shove it up your own ass and deal with these fucks yourself. You made the mess. You clean it up!"

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(So apparently, my post got eaten and didn't go up)

Sora was kind of already irritated when Jaxon wouldn't come and help out, even though they had been targeting him in the first place and Sora was just collateral damage...well, sort of.

And so, Sora decided to use his power of Inversion in a rather unorthodox way. He couldn't see Jaxon, but he could see the ship after all. And while it would probably put some strain on him to use it this way, he was rather annoyed.

"What goes up..."

He said as he flipped a coin into the air.

"Must come down".

He spoke as he caught the coin as it fell...

And suddenly, Jaxon's ship experienced errors out of nowhere. Furthermore, the errors were completely nonsensical and illogical. After all, they were indicating impossibilities. For one thing, the ship's power reactor was now draining energy instead of producing it, the sensors that had been reading the outside now for some reason were reading the inside. And of course, what was probably the biggest issue was that the engines not only stopped responding, but if one was to do a detailed analysis, would realize somehow the engines had been inverted so that it would be locked in place.

Sora released the gravity inversion since the had gone high enough, and the people fell to the ground. Most were still alive, but a few...they had landed on their heads and had their necks broken. But Sora had been kidnapped and experimented on by scientists. He had already experienced killing. So he was unphased by this. Instead, he just wore an innocent smile, but had an atmosphere that would be capable of chilling veterans even at a distance.

"Oh dear! I wonder what happened! I should call the guards to get this straightened out immediately!"

Sora was not sure who he was, but he figured two things. One, he was not a criminal, but in addition to not being able to explain what happened, it would be more likely to be assumed Jaxon did this then Sora. And of course, he would get irritated at being questioned for hours by guards, while Sora would likely just get a lollipop and be allowed to go on his way to let his parents know he was alright.

Two, he was a criminal, and did not want to get involved with the guards.

Of course, there was the possibility neither would be true, but given his attitude just now and response, and selfish nature, Sora figured the two paths he saw were the most likely.

"Have fun!"

If Jaxon wanted this to be resolved without issue, Sora had made sure he would have to at least come out of the ship.

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Character Portrait: Jaxon the Bandit Character Portrait: Sora Lake
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Jaxon felt the ship rumble slightly as various alarms and notifications began popping up on the screen. "Systems Failing" was a common phrase to be seen on each of them, so even though the Highwayman had little wherewithal on what the ship was actually doing, he could be sure that it wasn't good. He could also be sure of who the culprit was.

The little shit...

Not like he was planning on keeping this ship anyway. It was a stolen personal ship from one of the more adept inventors in the Terran community, so he figured it would be found at some point. And he didn't want to be near it when he did. But he was still pissed that this kid really wanted to confront him about this for some reason. And he didn't have time to be playing baby-sitter or some other stupid task when he had bounties to collect.

But he couldn't stay here. Not in the ship, not in the hangar, and certainly not in the same room as that kid and his problems.

Sighing in irritation, he stomped through the ship to try and figure out of anything was worth keeping. His kataars and his pistols were already on hand, but surprisingly he'd never considered taking anything of Hackenheath's. He should've though...he was an inventor after all.

Luck was on his side as he rounded the next corner and discovered a room that had previously been locked to him wide open. He'd assumed that it was a vault of some sort, but had no clue how to break into it. Now he didn't have to...

"Let's see what ya got in here..." Jaxon mumbled with a smirk underneath his cowl as he rushed into the open door and began searching for something...anything, really. He didn't have much space on his person for much more than his gear and his money, but he figured he could carry out something intimidating. He knew better than to challenge the kid directly, else he would probably end up floating in the air, but he didn't want to seem too ordinary, which he was. But that had it's perks too.

Glancing around, he realized how tidy and organized everything was. A smooth, metal floor that shined from the fluorescent light above them and perfectly illuminated the room. Futuristic tools hung on the wall in a neat row and were organized by type and variety. But what drew the man's attention more was the plunder of strange equipment each placed in it's own glass encompassed chamber built into the walls. Each probably worth a ton. Each probably useful in some way.

Jackpot...

But he remembered his dilemma and he remembered the boy awaiting for him to show up. He'd have to come back for this stuff later as it was all too big and bulky to carry on his person except for one particular gun-like contraption hovering in one of those chambers. He drew a blade and smashed the glass, retrieving the device to inspect. It was pretty large, clearly meant to be fired over the shoulder. It was silver and metallic with a few blue accents on the side. No wires stood out as far as he could tell...the barrel and the trigger were the only two protrusions from the weapon. Jaxon knew regardless of what it fired (since it had no ammo) and what it was capable of, it would serve his purpose.




A minute had passed since the kid's last words spoken to the Highwayman. But then the hatch opened and Jaxon walked out, holding a large metallic-looking cannon on his shoulder that was pointed at the blue-haired boy. As for Jaxon, his appearance was concealed behind the tough leather outfit, the matching cowl, and the marauders hat perfectly shadowing his stare and features. All Sora would know from appearance was that he had dirty blonde hair that fell around his ears.

"The fuck is your problem, kid?" he spoke angrily, halting his progression. He didn't want to get too close to him.

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"Nothing" he just replied calmly as he moved further and further towards the exit to the docks. "These people wanted to rob you, so its your problem. Not mine. I just unfortunately got caught in the middle".

Sora calmly told him this whole looking at the cannon, not that he was concerned. Weapons, especially ranged weapons, were difficult to use on him thanks to Inversion. Of course, Inversion was not all powerful. Actually, his Inversion Power lacked the ability to really kill or do direct damage. He could screw with people, hurt or kill them indirectly, but Inversion on its own was not able to kill. Surprisingly he could not Invert life. Although, he was not sure about aging.

So just did a hop, a skip, and a jump backwards, getting ever closer to the gates when....sirens could be heard in the distance.

"Wait, what?! Why are they showing up?!"

Sora had not contacted security, so he was confused. However, he didn't really want to get involved. He might get questioned if he was noticed at the scene, so Sora wanted to escape now.

"Tsk. This is all your fault".

Now Sora wanted to leave as soon as possible, to avoid trouble and being noticed by the people he was hiding from.

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Maybe it was the weirdness of the past few hours since waking up or maybe it was the collective strain of his lifestyle coming together in the heat of the moment, but at the shedding of blame being tossed his way with a simple tsk! by a boy who looked no older than a fourth-grader, Jaxon snapped.

"MY FAULT?!" he boomed at the top of his lungs, "YOU THINK THIS IS MY FAULT? I JUST LANDED A FUCKING SHIP IN A LANDING PORT! I DIDN'T BRING THESE SONS A BITCHES IN HERE! YOU DID THAT!" he pointed an accusing finger at the kid before rummaging through one of his pockets for something.

"YA KNOW WHAT? I DON'T CARE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DEAL WITH THESE FUCKS! I DON'T CARE IF YOU'RE ANNOYED OR PISSED THAT I DIDN'T COME OUT AND HELP YOU WHEN FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, IT SEEMED LIKE YOU HAD IT ALL UNDER CONTROL! WHAT WITH YOUR MAGICAL VOODOO LEVITATION SHIT YOU PULLED FROM YOUR ASS!" When he pulled his hand out, it contained a rather tiny bomb with a skull painted on it and a short fuse...much like what Jaxon had now.

"SO GUESS WHAT? SINCE YOU'RE SOOOOOOOO INSISTENT ON ACTING LIKE A CUNT AND SHOVING YOUR PROBLEMS ON SOMEONE ELSE, THEN FINE! I WILL CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!" And with that, he slid the bomb across his chest, the friction lighting the fuse. Or perhaps that was his pure, unbridled rage. Regardless, he turned around and chucked the bomb at the group of unconscious goons piled up near the center of the room.

The moment the bomb landed, it exploded with a loud BOOOOM! that proceeded to shake the foundation around them. The flash was bright and the hot winds that flew around them struck instantly. The bodies that had been lying on the floor didn't even get the luxury of turning into detached limbs. Rather, their souls were absolved in the heat of the flame, their body parts dissipated in the fire of the explosion. But what he hadn't been expecting was the massive gun on his shoulder catching some of the flames...and exploding upon contact.

The gun didn't break apart in the fireworks display the bomb had shown, but it did just about shatter on his shoulder, splattering Jaxon from head to toe in a mysterious blue goop substance as well as a good portion of the floor around him. The goop seemed to be unaffected by the flame, nor did it dissipate upon contact. Much to Sora's luck, however, a piece of the gun that had flew apart from the force of the explosion smacked into the back of Jaxon's head, causing the Marauder to slump to the goop-covered floor unconscious...and covered in goop.

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Sora was a bit...no, very shocked at what just occurred. In fact, he was completely uncertain of what just happened. After all, it seemed like he reacted to something...but he reacted to the wrong something? Sora didn't even know what to do at this point, he just was stunned, however...

If the authorities came now, Sora probably would not escape attention. Yet, he also now had to consider the possibility that if he started blabbering on, they might actually listen to him given what he did. After all, people normally did not get that firepower without having some sort of reputation.

Sora did not trust Jaxon, but he knew better then to leave things to chance. Not after what he went through.

"Inversion..."

Sora inverted the man to go from weighted to weightless. He considered just outright killing him, but he also had to consider the possibility that it might leave evidence behind or cause him to wake up again mid-kill from instinct or something, like he was capable of. He then proceeded to drag the unconscious body away. Given that there was likely a security checkpoint coming into and out of the area, instead of leaving...he dragged the man to a small cantina in an area that had plenty of civilian traffic, and had a nice overview of the port. It also had a few businesses and resteraunts, and Sora chose to eat at a café. He placed Jaxon's unconscious, goop covered body in the chair of a nearby table, and then began to order some food using one of the credit cards he took from the criminals when no one was looking.

One of his orders was a coffee, moderate amounts of milk, some sugar. He was always told he seemed more like a "black coffee" kind of person, but he just shrugged that off. He did have a sweet tooth after all. And as he took a sip...

"Ah!"

It ended up being too hot, so Sora inverted it...but then, it was just the opposite, too cold, so he inverted it back and just blew on it like a normal person.

He was not even aware he had actually effected all the coffee in the area either at that time...

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Character Portrait: Jaxon the Bandit Character Portrait: Sora Lake
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"James."

Jaxon turned around, his eye mellowing to complacency as he spotted a woman behind him...a woman he knew. Auburn hair falling down around her head and crystal green eyes that could sparkle through anything, her flawless skin was just the final touch to her godlike appearance. And when she wore that white bonnet and purple laced dress, she glowed even more. He couldn't help but exhale. She took his breath away.

"James...what have you become?"

His own stare went down to his usual garb nowadays...his light blue leather suit that covered his entire body. His gloves that molded his fingers perfectly for precision and left no trace of him behind. His mask covering his face, his hat shadowing everything else, his identity hiding beneath his exterior.

She dressed to appeal. He dressed to be tactical.

"Everything you wanted me to be," he replied, the pleading obvious in his voice. He could feel a burning sensation creeping over him. Was that guilt? Shame? Embarrassment?

"No, James..." her voice was still tender, as soft as her touch that he used to know so well, "This is not what I wanted."

The burning grew more intense. Jaxon felt an emotion he hadn't felt in along time...pain.

"I've done everything for you. I've done everything because I wanted
you." His temper began to come forth, "How can I get you what you want?"

She shook her head as she stepped forward. Her eyes pierced through his shadowed ones, relaying the amount of disappointment she felt against him. She brushed a finger across his cleanly shaven face as she spoke the most haunting words of all:

"You can't."

And then she disappeared in front of him, leaving Jaxon to wallow in the intense fire that was rapidly spreading across his body...





Sora would soon notice Jaxon shaking all of a sudden as heat seemed to radiate off of his skin and into the air. It would even make the air around the Inverter a little warmer. Jaxon's eyes were shut, but in such a way as to signify pain that he was feeling. His grunts and mumbles were muffled as he began to squirm. He didn't regain consciousness, however.

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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The northern regions of the Rosetta Continent, just south of the Bittrend Mountains and the Marshlands, was a large saclae ruin larger in scale then Hayslem City times ten. A huge and massive ruins, overtaken by forest there were plenty of "urban" areas as well, and it created a diverse and unique Ecosystem in its own right. As such, creature mutations had a variety, no, an infinite number of possibilities.

Sora and Zeebee lake, two adopted brothers, could personally attest to that. They were wearing specialized adventurers clothing that would double as medium-light armor, and boasted shielding devices to help protect them against attacks. But from what they had seen, they wondered if they prepared enough now. Goblins and Orcs could also be seen here, but so could weird mutations they had never seen before. Now, there were a bit more typical ones, like Goblins capable of using Ice Magic, or a Drake that could breath lighning. Rare, but expectable. But they had also seen Winged Goblins, Organic Golems, Zombie Centaurs, and a number of creatures which appeared to be made of pure energy.

Honestly speaking, this was already mind blowing. And this was only what they had seen in the past hour, having made sure to arrive a bit early then the scheduled meeting time with the one who issued the Quest for an Escort and Assistance through these ruins.

"Did we...get here too early?"

Now, they were suddenly considering the idea that maybe they got overzealous and arrived too early, looking at each other with a bit of a comedic oops expression.

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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Cedric ducked under a bundle of hanging moss, brushing it aside. The area was interesting to say the least, he regretted not coming sooner. There was definitely magic here, creatures his research labs would have a field day with. Adjusting the satchel strap on his shoulder he continued on.

At a glance one would not expect to see him trudging through the ruins. Apart from the satchel there was nothing 'adventurous' about his clothes, he wore a suit, a long over coat, fedora, even his shoes didn't appear to be much for forging a path into the wilderness. Yet onward he trekked, seemingly unconcerned with his unconventional attire.

He felt his two companions before he saw them, which did not help his surprise when they turned out to be young children, at least in appearance. It wouldn't be the first time he worked with someone who was older than their physical age, and it wouldn't be the first time he worked with children who were much more skilled than anyone might expect.

"Haven't been here long I hope."

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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"Oh good...we didn't get here too early....no no, its fine".

"See? You worry too much Sora".

"As if! You were worried too!"

"Well, neither of us were probably as worried as those guys".

As Sora and Zeebee had that conversation, they pointed towards three sets of bones that were totally picked clean. However, and this should be of particular note, those three skeletons did not look old at all. In fact, they looked quite new.

"It looks like they downloaded an app yesterday from their phone, so...it looks like maybe there is something flesh eating or acidic here".

ALthough hat first glance Sora and Zeebee might look like normal children, there were some things that could be noticed easily. For one thing, they never once had dropped their guard. Each one had their hands near weapons, and almost constantly they positioned themselves in spots that allowed them both to cover each other's blindspots. In addition, Zeebee kept vigilance on the sky and Sora had repeatedly tapped the ground.

In other words, they were anticipating both flying and tunneling enemies. Flying was a bit more predictable but, it was known that tunneling enemies were those that people always forgot to anticipate.

In terms of experience, they were more diligent then some researchers Cedric might have, as they remained cautious at all times. It could not be heard in their voices or words, but their body language gave them away. Zeebee especially was a bit more on guard.

"So then, you are the one that submitted the Quest, right?"

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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Cedric had to admit he was amused by the terminology, quests and escorts and adventurers. He nodded a yes. "Just a little walk in the park." his eyes moved over the particularly clean skeletons, almost clinical. It was impressive enough for Cedric to make a mental note of. "You two must be Sora and," he paused to recall the name "Zeebee?"

Cedric could tell the two were clearly aware of their surroundings, he noticed their mutual synergy. It was like a pair of well trained guard dogs each ordered to protect the other. Their movements individually were completely natural but when taken together there was something unnatural about them. Like they had a connection that went beyond the senses. Good, he thought, always easier to work with people who work naturally together.

"Have you been in these ruins before?"

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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"Yeah, that is right. The one and only Sora Lake, and my brother Zeebee Lake".

Sora introduced them. Although Sora and Zeebee looked nothing alike, they were introduced as brothers. They were only adoptive brothers at the all, but they got along better then many blood brothers do.

As for the question on if they had been there before....

"No, it is our first time but we did heavy research on the area. After all..."

"...rule one of our own Adventurer's Code indicates one should do heavy research on any area we are going to that we have not been to yet".

"And Rule two is to make sure you pack not just enough supplies, but extra supplies for when things go wrong..."

"...which they always do, but when they don't, we get pleasantly surprised and save on what we need to buy the next time".

The two acted like twins, finishing each other's sentences and maintaining a perfect sync. In truth, this was partially thanks to the ability Link which had linked their bodies and minds and gave certain benefits.

"On that note, it appears the name of this city has long been lost, though some theorize this was multiple cities grouped together. As for the mutations...not only is this area high in mana count, but it also has a number of research labs that at one point or another were doing experimentation on monsters to learn more about them. It seems there are a good number near that tower there..."

Zeebee began explaining, jumping up with a strength no human child should have and grabbing onto a high tree branch, pulling himself up and then pointing at a large tower in the distance.

"There are also a few places closer. And along with creatures, it seemed there were those that dealt in Magic Tools, various practices of Magic itself, and as such you can find a lot in this city...if it doesn't kill you that is. It looks like the middle of the city is some sort of Pseudo Dungeon, because when I used a telescope to scout that area I thought I saw creatures coming out of the stone itself, though maybe it was the stone or monsters that were different from normal".

As the two explained various things, each one continued to keep a watchful eye on the area. And for good reason too, given that some creatures were watching. Not attacking, not preparing. They were waiting for one sign, any sign, of weakness. They were waiting for what would be the perject time to strike. It was nerve shattering, because even just a straight attack could be countered and what they were waiting for...

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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Cedric could feel it, them. The creatures around them, lurking, waiting, watching. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, the combination of natural instinct and his connection to magical creatures working to make him aware of the situation.

Reaching out in his mind he approached each creature, not directly, but in a broad sweeping manner. It gave the impression that he was more imposing than his physical stature, it would give them the same feeling of being watched that Cedric had. Not a challenge, but a sign that Cedric was aware and unafraid.

"We've got company already." he said casually, adjusting the satchel again. "Let's look for one of these research labs." creature hunting and data mining in the same place would be convenient.

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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"Indeed...only one thing to do then to draw them out..."

Suddenly, it appeared that Zeebee both moved and stayed still at the same time. AN image of Zeebee moved forward, while an image of Zeebee stood still at the top of that tree. The one that moved was Zeebee's Specter, a clone he could make that was his duplicate, even in terms of abilities and can also benefit from Sora's Link.

Sora meanwhile took out a pair of binoculars to scout the nearby area.

This Specter moved forward just a few steps, when suddenly a tree it went near launched it's branch out to strike it. But unlike afterimages or illusions, Zeebee's clone fought back. He blocked the strike using his arm in a martial arts style Cedric probably had never seen before, since they both were personally trained in it by their adoptive father. As he blocked, a huge surge of electricity came out and set the tree, or rather a monster known as a Trent, on fire. It swung around wildly at first before falling over dead.

"Looks like the trees might also be monsters. No wonder this place is listed as a dangerous area that should be avoided. Well, the outer ruins seemed clear, but this far in the closer you get, the more dangerous it becomes".

"Zeebee, how is the Specter? How much damage? How bad did it hurt?"

Notably, although Zeebee's Specter took the hit, Zeebee had gripped his arm. But the Specter appeared to be in at least twice as much pain.

"Taking a direct hit from a huge tree is always bad. A normal human would have had their bones crushed".

"You need pain meds?"

"No, its manageable. However...if we take the forest route, we will have to keep in mind those attacks. If we take the open route though, we will get swarmed by the other monsters...as for the nearest research labs, it looks like there is one over there, that large facility. The language is old Rozain, but it appears to read 'National Magic Research Lab'. It looks like its not in bad shape either...however..."

Sora looked around, and watched their surroundings. Zeebee was also on edge.

"It seems that they are just watching...no, unless...it might be a type of monster that waits for it's prey to attack something else. The moment that no one can really avoid, that brief moment in a fight where one cannot help but focus on what they are attacking. If it's waiting for that, then..."

Zeebee jumped out of the tree and rejoined the group.

"Then it's bad. If they travel in packs, the moment we attack one they will strike the attacker. And if they have this much intelligence, they may hold some of theirs back if we don't all attack at once...Mr. Valentine? It looks like we need to get a bit messy, so please stand clear. It is unfortunate, but it appears a battle where a one hundred percent chance of victory is impossible has already occurred...there goes Rule 3 again..."

"For the record, Rule 3 is 'Avoid Battles unless you can be certain of victory, so that when something goes wrong, the odds wont be as bad as they could have'".

Sora took out two guns, while Zeebee and his Specter deployed Electro-Blades from the sleeves of his arms (think Assassin's Creed Style but the blade comes out from the outside and not the palm side).

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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Cedric was impressed by Zeebee's specter and quick dispatch of the Trent. He couldn't help but smirk as his companions broke down the possible situation. Not having a guarantee of victory, the possible attack pattern of the unknown watchers, suggesting that he stay back.

"Oh I don't think you'll have to worry about me." he found himself subconsciously rubbing his ring, beginning to increase his reaction time and speed with magic buffs. Mentally he shifted from a non confrontational stance to a more aggressive presence, still not directed at a specific creature. His outward calm never changed as he reached out to see how many creatures there were. Despite his best effort he couldn't pin down a number, "I figure at least six. Hard to tell." he couldn't help but think the natural ability to mask numbers like this could be very useful.

"I'll let you two take the lead on this. It's what I hired you for after all. Then off to the research lab." a shadow of energy was weaving its way into reality around his right hand. "And remember, anything that doesn't get disintegrated is valuable to me."

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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"Five". "Seven".

The two said their own oberservations, but looked at each other in shock when they did.

"It didn't match?"

"That is rare...better be careful".

With Link, their estimates were rarely if ever different from each other, so when that did happen they grew concerned. And when Valentine mentioned about letting them take the lead, it did work out well. After all, Sora and Zeebee did not have as typical of abilities as one might think. Sora might seem a bit more atypical then Zeebee, but in truth Zeebee's only seemed more typical. In their works, there were fundamental differences.

Sora started off the attack by taking a simple step, but he seemed to put a lot of force into that step. And at that same time, it appeared that all of gravity in front of him inverted. Several strange creatures with colors that let them camouflage flew into the air in that moment, but in that same moment there was also one that had lunged from the side and was already at Sora's throat.

But it was not moving, because Zeebee had just stabbed it. Yet notably, there was also one at Zeebee's throat, but that was stabbed by the Specter...but then the Specter went falling to the ground with one of those creatures on him. And had Valentine moved to protect the Specter, there was indeed more in wait.

The Specter died instantly, but Sora shot it with a bullet while Zeebee stabbed another the moment he did. The moment Zeebee went to stab though, another jumped out of the ground aiming for his neck, which forced Sora to shoot it. But the moment he fired, yet another one was jumping out. Zeebee only just managed to get that one in time by releasing a bolt of electricity at it, and then also releasing a huge electrical pulse from his whole body. This wide spread area of effect attack is what finally broke the chain of attacks.

"Seriously...that was way more then six or seven..."

The two went back to back, looking at their surroundings. There were definitely more, but they were staying hidden. From all sides, at all times. Zeebee was not even sure he had the room to release a Specter.

"Guess we gotta use those then".

"Guess so".

Deciding to use some of their equipment, the two took out a cluster of small objects. Those were Microgrenades, and they threw them into every inch and hiding spot around them. Although these creatures normally attacked when one's focus aimed at another enemy, grenades didn't cause that situation and therefore they did not immediately react...which caused them to get blown to smithereens by the grenades. There were still plenty of samples from the chain earlier for Cedric though, so they figured he would be fine with that.

"The more forested route it is then, I think. I would rather not want to deal with those again if we ended up fighting something seriously dangerous".

"Agreed...no wonder they tell rookies to avoid this area..."

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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They came out quickly, in succession, from everywhere. By the third attack Cedric moved, raising his left hand toward the creature attacking the Spector. But he didn't attack, he blinked.

Appearing three feet behind the point he had been standing his hand was now pointed at a fourth creature. He fired a blast of dark energy, killing the creature. While this happened he was muttering an incantation while his right hand weaved its way through the signs of a separate spell.

As soon as the blast hit his left hand turned counter clockwise and it seemed like time slowed around him, he turned on one heel toward the next creature. His right hand swung around in a fist, carrying his bodies momentum and contacted the monster just below the jaw. The combination of speed and strength buffs with the slowed time increased the impact of the punch exponentially. Cedric could feel the jugular crumble, the bones crack. The creature crumpled in a pile on the floor.

As Cedric came back into real time an electrical pulse came from Zeebee, halting the chain of attacks. Taking inventory Cedric noted a few samples he could tag for his labs. Out of his satchel he produced three devices, tossing one at each of three corpses. They scanned the bodies before floating over them, projecting a barrier that would prevent any threat from damaging the subjects until they could be retrieved.

"Very well, after you." Cedric agreed to taking the forest route.

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Character Portrait: Cedric Valentine Character Portrait: Sora Lake Character Portrait: Zeebee Elestria Lake
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Sora and Zeebee kept an eye on the surroundings as they traveled forward, making sure to always watch the various approach angles, and now trees as well apparently. Since the trees themselves were also monsters on occasion. However, it was really clear that this place was at the center of monster evolution given the varients they could see in the distance.

Thankfully the route they took was the correct one, and they managed to get closer to the facility. But as always, or perhaps as expected, there came the next issue. One that could not be avoided or overlooked.

"This city...a lot of it is ancient, made of stone...but those doors are automated...and working..."

As Sora said, the doors to the front of the facility would automatically open when any living creature came near, and closed after they passed through or left. The city had been long abandoned however, so the fact that things still worked and had power demonstrated the genius that went into crafting this place.

"According to the guide, this place also had a few facilities for Magus Computing and Engineering....basically, a version of computers that ran on magic. It was not quite as good as the electronic computer systems, but it was effective...and it seems to be active. And connected to security measures. Well, since this facility focused more on the bio aspect of magic, I doubt their security will be as dangerous as the more tech based ones but...we should be careful all the same".

Fighting monsters was one thing, but now it turned out they might have to fight the building itself. Zeebee who read that from the guide make his explanation with a grim face. However...

"We are already familiar thanks to the spar...the intense training we got from dad".

Sora said that, and the two while not happy were not backing down either. The two rechecked all their gear and made sure they were ready for trouble.

"So unless you want to try a different facility, it looks like this is your best shot. After all, if it still has mana, the equipment and specimens may be in good condition".