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Everything posted by Orcus

  1. Orcus


    I've finally gone from being anxious all of the time to only being anxious when I imagine venturing back into the world once quarantines are lifted, so that's something. I'm in Cali and they've started opening parks and beaches again and there is not a lot of social distancing going on, which definitely makes me feel incredibly confident, haha. Glad to see y'all are doing well (and also lurking!)
  2. I think it would be a fun experiment. Why not try it out? If it doesn't work than then no harm, no foul; but if does, then it would serve as a fun alternative to standard roleplaying and could prove a viable new means of RPing on the boards. I agree with both CaNz and Boo that at the very least it would be a challenging exercise.   But I would heed DeLarge's advice. For something like this to work, I think the right conditions must exist-- a cohesive vision for the story and frequent collaboration between party members, for example. But I'd be down to try.
  3. The Throwaways Volume 1: Who Are The Throwaways? * MISSION: Deus Ex Machina [INFILTRATION] Although Geistâ??s largest competition in the race to total superhuman domination is MacOne Enterprises, thatâ??s not to say their hegemony is otherwise unchallenged. While the other companies clambered over one another for a spot in the limelight, one company grew unnoticed and then burst onto the scene. The India based corporation Umbral Limited promised to â??unlock the true potential of the natural world,â? and apparently did exactly that, having expanded into multiple countries in only a year as a power provider and supersoldier creater. Whatever means theyâ??re using to create their supersoldiers would be instrumental to Geistâ??s expansion, so infiltrate their headquarters and unearth their secrets. * The Future â??This is a very simple situation: you have what we need, and we will not stop until weâ??ve extracted every bit of it from you, until you are reduced to nothing but ash! You can not run from us, Lucas Corrigan...â? Now â??Lucas Corriganâ?¦this is a sh*t plan.â? To clarify, her issue was not with Lucas. She and Corrigan had worked a number of missions together, and he was a more than capable leader. And, admittedly, it had not been his plan to trust the shoddy intel Geist uncovered about Umbral Ltd. But there were no Geist operatives around to yell at-- save the stealth transport pilot, and Alice was not eager to crash and die. Not today. So, just for today, she would have to take her frustrations out on her friend. â??Donâ??t blame me, Allison,â? he hissed, zipping up his jacket and flipping the deep hood over his head. Allison rolled her eyes and turned back to their team. Some of the faces were new to her, â??unweathered and untested.â? Lucas had introduced her to that mindset the first time they when on a recruitment mission together. Back then she had laughed, finding the sentiment ridiculous as the gentlemen they had attempted to recruit was a man who had fought, and killed, seven men in hand to hand combat at the same time. You could see his past murders hiding in the creases of his face. But Lucas said it didnâ??t matter. Anything that came before the Throwaways didnâ??t matter. Thereâ??s a difference between making your own mistakes and making Geistâ??s. Encouraging... â??Everybody shut up!â? She barked at the others. â??Our fearless leader, Neutron is gonna give you the attack plan one last time-- shitty as it may be.â? Lucas mimicked the action of gritting his teeth and stepped forward. â??Alright team. Weâ??re here to locate Umbralâ??s so-called clean energy source, whatever or whoever that might be. Once weâ??ve located it, and if it is a viable option, we will bring it back to Geist. If not, we steal what information we can and sabotage the rest. We donâ??t know where the energy source is, so weâ??ll enter on the 20th floor, clearing and searching as we go. Prioritize locating a security layout so weâ??re not blind for too long. Reaper will take us in, and we keep this as quiet as possible. Understand? Good.â? A series of grunted responses came from the unsurprisingly reluctant team, and Kato Aege, a young man codenamed 'Grim Reaper' stepped forward and grinned from ear to ear. â??Hold on tight, friends. You might not enjoy thisâ?¦â? He said with his idiosyncratic sing-song voice. A lovely, equally melodic voice laughed from the corner. Morgana stepped forward and draped her arm around Katoâ??s shoulder. â??Oh, I highly doubt that. I find teleportation to be one of the moreâ?¦ pleasurable means of travel,â? she sang, seemingly winking at every party member at once. Another teammate stepped forward, speaking in a decidedly sterner tone. â??Thatâ??s enough, you two.â? Despite Samuel Pratchettâ??s, codename Canary, short tenure with the Throwaways, his military background made it so he wasnâ??t shy about keeping the others in line. Alice found his loyalty and professionalism a welcome reprieve from the unruly lot she was usually placed in charge of. The less she had to worry about her teammatesâ?? behavior the less she had to worry about her teammates. Period. â??Yes sir!â? Kato mocked, flicking up a facetious salute, and the team was suddenly and abruptly inside of the building. Better still, the disoriented members were standing dead center in a brightly-lit office filled with rows of typing employees. The clattering of keys was a constant, low-level noise thrumming away in the sickly fluorescent light that flooded the vast room, and the team quickly re-oriented themselves, ready for whatever actions would be necessary. â??Reaper!â? Alice scolded, preparing for the sh*tstorm to come. Yet said sh*tstorm never came. The workers continued typing away, completely oblivious to the teamâ??s unexpected, and likely unwelcome presence. Alice and Lucas eyed each other curiously. â??You doing this?â? Lucas questioned. Alice shook her head and cautiously approached one of the employees. She tapped him lightly on the shoulder, but the man continued to ignore her. She shifted her eyes from the man to the computer screen and inhaled sharply. Well sh*tâ?¦ she thought with surprise. She motioned over for Lucas to join her, then pointed to the screen. Lucas sucked in air through his teeth and frowned deeply. â??Well what does that mean?â? Lucas wondered. He lightly shoved the employee to his left, then another, and then another. Each time, no response. â??Em, excuse me? Care to share with the class, dears?â? Morgana quipped. Alice turned to the team and squeezed the bridge of her nose. â??Youâ??re not blind, Avalon,â? Alice responded curtly to Morgana, using an abbreviated form of one of Morganaâ??s favorite titles. â??For whatever reason these people arenâ??t responding to external stimuli. Letâ??s use that to our advantage for the moment, but letâ??s also assume that anything could set them off,â? Alice ordered. The team swept over the room, checking the computers for any viable information, but primarily found a sea of logistical information, personal emails and correspondences with other companies. It was as if the employees were on autopilot, suspended in a corporate coma. "It's like they've been brainwashed...co-opted into working for these people..." murmured Canary, running a finger down a carefully-maintained list of names and personal information displayed on one of the many computer screens they were faced with, to the apparent ignorance of the employee using the computer. "One sympathises," sighed Felicia Cole, codenamed 'Danger', as she waved a hand in front of one of their faces, trying to drag any kind of reaction from the corporate zombies in front of them. Once they were sure there was nothing of importance on any of the computers, Alice signalled for the team to leave the room, but as soon as she gripped the doorknob a jolt of electricity shot up her arm and knocked her back. â??Stasis!â? Samuel swooped down to assist Alice. Her entire arm had gone numb, but she'd suffered worse injuries on the job: at least this time she could still use her arm. She looked back to signal for Tomiko, â??Arashi,â? to step forward, when she noticed something terrifying. All of the workers were staring intently at her. The closest employee stood up and surveyed Alice. â??Having trouble, friend?â? Her voice sounded friendly enough, but she was not smiling at Alice, and her eyes remained cold and empty. Alice motioned for Arashi to disarm the door and then engaged the employee again. â??I am indeed. The door malfunctioned,â? Alice said calmly. A small click from behind her indicated that Arashi had opened the door. The army of stares returned to their computers, and the woman in front of Arashi returned to hers as well, without a word. The team poured out into the hallway swiftly, and found themselves in a maze of offices and hallways. â??Oh goodee,â? Morgana groaned, â??This just keeps getting--â? Morganaâ??s sentence was interrupted by a strange noise, like the rushing of air into a vacuum. The others looked back at her, but the space she had been standing in was empty, with nothing but shadow taking her place. The group bunched closely together, scanning the halls in every direction. â??What now, Neutron?â? Samuel questioned. â??Now this is a rescue mission as well,â? Lucas responded without missing a beat. â??Arashi, can you feel the energy source in the building?â? Arashi closed her eyes and concentrated. â??Not very well, boss,â? Arashi said, shaking her head. â??I know itâ??s beneath us, but we need to get closer.â? Lucas turned his attention to Kato. â??Reaper, can you sense Morgana?â? Kato smiled eerily, and then for a moment he became hazy, almost blurry, as if he was an afterimage, before returning to his regular state. His smile was gone. â??Avalon is difficult to track as it is, thanks to her affinity with the Khaos magic, but thereâ??s something else disrupting my abilities. Like Arashi said, itâ??s below us,â? Kato added. Lucas grimaced. â??Fine. Then the plan is the same. Search every room, every floor. Assume everything is a trap. Letâ??s go.â? * OOC: There you have it ladies and gentlemen-- the beginning of the Throwaways! We're trapped at the top of a 20 story building, with who knows what traps standing between us and our goal. Add to that the sudden disappearance of an essential team member, and the possibility that more may too go missing, and we've got quite the beginning to our first mission as a team. So interact, foil some traps, run into some potential super-powered guards (*gasp*) but most of all be creative! This is as much your story as it is ours!
  4. Name: Allison â??Aliceâ? Knight Codename: Stasis Age: 24 Gender: Female Height: 5â??5â??â?? Weight: 124 lbs Appearance: [Alice] Aliceâ??s figure, weight and height are thoroughly average among women her age, and although at first glance her physical appearance seems so as well, a second glance at Alice would reveal a number of irregularities . She has striking bloodred eyes and her fingers, feet and nails are pitch black, with thin tendrils of that murky blackness trailing up her legs and arms. In addition to this, she has two black apparatus protruding from her temples, which give her the appearance of having horns. These neural inhibitors are permanent fixtures, allowing Geist scientists to monitor Aliceâ??s brainwaves and monitor/limit her abilities. Around the Molehill, Alice is usually inclined to wear some variation of a slightly large-fitting sweater or shirt in conjunction with patterned leggings and boots. When their missions require them to be out and about in the real world, Alice wears a combination of button up shirt, crop-top undershirt, high-waisted shorts or jeans and boots. Specialty: All-Rounder Superpowers: The Freeze- Alice refuses to divulge the nature of her ability with any of Geistâ??s scientists or her fellow Throwaways, save Lucas. What is known about her ability, however, is that she uses it to â??freezeâ? a given target. This can manifest as actually entombing an object or person in ice or by apparently freezing the target in time. In each instance, the effect can be either gradual or instantaneous, which scientifically should be impossible. Additionally, under extreme duress she has demonstrated other random abilities, as well as a more volatile personality. Whether her ability is multi-faceted or is constantly shifting is entirely unknown, but Geist has taken certain precautions to prevent her from causing a situation for them. They ran extensive tests on Alice, all with the intention of mapping the way her brain triggered her usual abilities versus the way it processed her â??randomâ? outbursts. Once they had discerned with relative assuredness how she tapped into her abilities, they modified her neural dampeners to allow her full control of â??The Freezeâ? but prevented her from using her ability in other capacities. This dampener also had the unintended but beneficial side-effect of decreasing her violent mood swings, which allows her to better interact with others, and has seemingly eradicate Aliceâ??s "other personality." Special Skills: Alice is fairly adept with parkour and slight of hand tricks, having primarily lived alone from ages 10 to 20 and utilized these skills for many years when she was too afraid of using her powers. Thanks to these skills she picked up on Geist's combat training quickly, becoming an agile, capable combatant in a matter of months. Sheâ??s also naturally observant, often able to discern the specifics of other supers' powers and people's true natures and hidden agendas, as well as discover clues in cases that her teammates might overlook or dismiss. Equipment/Weapons: Alice doesnâ??t bring any items with her into the field, but she has weapons training, and won't hesitate to steal an opponent's weapon or loot the corpses left in her wake. Personality Profile: Alice is a mentally unstable, but nonetheless is a mostly agreeable person and confident leader. Alice revealed to Geist psychologists that for most of her life her abilities would spontaneously flare up and the resulting outburst would cause her immense physical pain. She spent most of her childhood believing that life was pain, and generally had a negative outlook on existence. She developed a cheerful and optimistic, albeit slightly childlike attitude at some undisclosed point in her past, but when Geist finally found her this attitude was buried under a bitter, suicidal young woman looking for an end to her suffering. Since being inducted into the Throwaways and growing particularly attached to the Throwawaysâ?? handler and fellow member Lucas Corrigan (and thanks to her neural inhibitors) Alice has recovered some of her hope and optimism, although she does tend to switch abruptly from her personable persona to a more caustic, sarcastic and slightly violent personality. Although this had led some of her teammates to be wary of her around the molehill, the wise no better than to question her judgement in the field. Writing Sample: A male figure stepped into the building, and immediately felt the air shift around him--which shouldnâ??t have been possible. It was a warm, midsummer day outside and rays of light poured into the room, but he due to his â??conditionâ? he couldnâ??t feel the warmth of the sun, or most other physical stimuli. So even though the unnaturally cold air didnâ??t nip at the layer of skin surrounding his energy form, Lucas Corrigan knew the building was freezing. The bodies encased in ice certainly validated that assumption. For a moment his inclination to act as the dark avenger Geist desired him to be overwhelmed him, but he quickly compartmentalized those feelings. According to Geist, the person who had caused this was sending a message. She wanted them to come and find her. â??Some message,â? he growled, tracing his fingers along the human popsicle to his right. He concentrated on using his ability to attempt to free the man from his frozen prison. His energy surged against the ice, but the point of contact didnâ??t steam up or melt in the slightest. He increased his energy output slowly, wary of burning the imprisoned man, but to no avail. â??That wonâ??t do anything,â? a female voice said softly from above Lucas, startling him. He spun around and, in the process, accidentally discharged some energy into a nearby pillar, which hissed and whined as the ice melted. Above him sat a young, pink-haired women, her legs hanging over the ledge of the above floor and her arms looped through the side rail. Her blue eyes glowed fiercely from the shadows, like a predator watching itâ??s prey. â??It took you long enough to get here. I thought you would be fasterâ?¦ So what are you? A monster?â? The young girl questioned bluntly, eyeing Lucas from head to toe. Lucas knew she was examining him, probing his body like Geistâ??s scientists had for months. If he had to guess, he would say she was intrigued by his immunity to her talent. â??What do you mean, what am I?â? He responded, wanting to wrap up this situation as quickly as possible. Most of the supers that get recruited are unhinged or desperate. This girl-- â??Alice,â? according to her file-- was too ******* cavalier about the prospect of â??men in suitsâ? coming to take her away. Alice did not respond, instead let out a long sigh, before pushing herself off of the ledge. Lucas braced himself for an attack, but Alice simply glided slowly, gracefully, to the ground. Lucas remained motionless but alert as she walked toward him. Alice made a puzzled expression once more and then trailed her fingers across his skin, mimicking the action he had performed on the frozen guard earlier. Some of the skin that comprised Lucasâ?? outer shell froze and flaked off, but he remained largely unaffected. The woman pointed at the spot accusingly. â??See? Youâ??re not freezing, so you must not be human. You must be a monster, or an alien, or... are youâ?¦ Death?â? The woman asked with a mixture of fear and hope. In an instant Lucasâ?? anger towards the girl melted away, and he saw himself years ago, just waiting for his life to end. He took a step away from the girl and attempted a smile. â??Whatâ??s your name?â? He asked kindly, despite already knowing her name, age, height, weight and psych profile. Aliceâ??s eyes narrowed into a fine, deliberating glare as if she was aware of the deception. â??Alice,â? she responded simply. Lucas smiled. â??Iâ??m Lucas,â? he said as he pulled his shirt over his head, â??and youâ??re right. Iâ??m not human. Not anymore.â? Lucas revealed his body to Alice, and the odd black metal plates lining which lined it. As she peered closer she could see little lightning flashes throughout his body, glimpses Lucasâ?? â??trueâ? form. She placed her hands on the metal plates, which sent an electric charge through her body-- a default mechanism to prevent anyone, including Lucas, from removing them. Alice shook her hand back in forth, agitated. â??Hmph. A caged god. How fitting,â? she mumbled cryptically. â??So, not-Death-Lucas, are you here to kill me or trap me?â? Her words were venomous, but her expression read apprehensive. She obviously didnâ??t believe Lucas was there to do either; the entire reason she was in this prison for dangerous criminals was because no one saw anything other than a risk, a liability when the looked at her. She had been cycled from jail cell to jail cell, city to city, because no organization--prison or otherwise--wanted to risk having a monster like her in their stead. She could have been killed or experimented on at any time, but her captors never attempted to do so. Their only interest was in keeping her tucked away. Why would Lucas be any different? Lucas affectionately placed his hand on her shoulder. â??Neither. Iâ??m here to offer you the same chance Geist offered me. The chance to be more than a monster. To make amends for a life wasted. Is that what you want?â? He asked with unyielding conviction. Alice bit her lip nervously and shifted her gaze to the nearest frozen figure. Alice stared into its eyes, looking for something, and then abruptly snapped her fingers. All of the frozen cages shattered simultaneously, leaving the former prisoners alive albeit unconscious. She turned back to Lucas and nodded. â??I trust you, Lucas. Donâ??t make me regret this...â? â? â? â? Name: Morgana le Fey Codename: She's partial to The Scourge of Avalon or the Bane of Camelot, but she has no formal sobriquets or aliases. Age: Honestly, sheâ??s stopped keeping track. Gender: Female, although she is able to transform every part of her body on a whim. Height: 5â??11â? Weight: 126 lbs. Appearance: [Morgana] Despite living an innumerable number of years, she maintains the youthful visage of someone in their late 20s early 30s. She has seductive features: slender, fox-like eyes that alternate colors depending upon her mood; full lips which pull pleasantly over pearlescent fangs; and practically flawless tanned skin. Her appearance is supernaturally maintained, with nary a hair out of place or blemish found. Whether in the molehill or when mingling among the common people Morgana favors elegant dress, with rich, vivid colors like scarlet or emerald. Thatâ??s not to say, however, that Morgana never dresses down, but rather that she looks stunning in whatever she adorns herself with. Even the Geist inhibitors installed on her-- around her neck and wrists-- look fashionable, as she uses her still considerable magic to synchronize their appearances with her outfit. Speciality: Infiltration/Assassination Superpowers: Khaos- Morgana has the innate ability to manipulate the primal energy of chaos and unleash it upon her enemies. This power is difficult to quantify, and can work in a myriad of ways. Her ability can be subtle-- a sudden pinprick feeling in the skin, causing you to drop your weapon-- or it can be substantial-- an abrupt shift in the terrain shattering your ankle. Her ability is so unpredictable because chaos, being "a state of disorder," is manifested whenever a system (whether that be an item, or person, or element) is simply "disordered" i.e. not ordered according to it's original design. Without her inhibitors she could even use this ability to become chaos incarnate, a towering, fire-breathing dragon. Now, she is limited to creating flames and augmenting her body with dragonesque appendages. Special Skills: Morgana is so tremendously talented at bending others to her will that Geist believed said ability to be distinctly magical. And while she may coat her words Khaos before feeding them to the unwary, Morganaâ??s voice was honeyed by centuries of knowledge pertaining to the human condition. If her experience somehow fails her, the pure, unbridled confidence and assuredness that she exudes wonâ??t. Equipment/Weapons: Her silver tongue and sharp mind, of course. Morganna finds modern weapons too lacking in finesse for her tastes. Personality Profile: Unlike the other Throwaways, Morgana has the most transparent motivations; she is working with Geist because when she woke up from her Fae-Sleep-- a self-induced magic coma-- they were in possession of her body and had already outfitted her with inhibitors. Being well aware of the likelihood that she will outlive this predicament, as well as her captors, she goes along with their demands. This transparency is reflected in her demeanor. She quips and chides and flirts and harrasses and generally does whatever she pleases around the molehill without repercussions. She views the others as general entertainment, but she respects their struggles and will offer help whenever she sees them suffer. She often serves the role of peacekeeper between the other members thanks to her willingness to dole out blunt honesty. That being said, the majority of her past, and how that past has affected her, is unknown both to her teammates and her handlers. Geist assumes that most myths and tales involving Morgan Le Fae, Morgens, Murigen and possibly even certain myths regarding the Morrigan to be exaggerated accounts of her previous endeavors. Writing Sample: Something felt... amiss. It wasn't her body. No, that felt the same-- Nay, better, she thought as she stretched her well-rested limbs. Then she felt it; the cold embrace of bondage. Around each of her wrists and her neck was a black bangle of sorts, secure enough that an even a particularly skilled escape artist couldn't relieve herself of them, but not so tight as to be uncomfortable. How thoughtful, she thought with a smile, but ultimately nothing more than an exercise in futility. She elegantly waved her hands, snapped, and waited. And waited. And waited... "That won't do you any good." A female voice reverberated throughout the room. The woman placed her hands on the bed behind her and leaned back. "Is that so?" She inquired with genuine curiosity. It wasn't often that she was caught unaware, and even less often that she was caught powerless. Whoever captured her had captured her intrigue for better or worse. "I'm sorry to say it is, Morgan Le Fey. The devices are specifically designed to negate your ability," the voice buzzed again. The woman laughed and playfully batted her hand. "Oh no, please. Just Morgana. Morgan Le Fey is far too formal, and almost entirely reserved for the bitter ramblings of my enemies... And despite having crippled me, you don't sound like my enemy, my dear. No," Morgana continued, elegantly gliding out of her assigned bed, "You sound like a woman who cares about people, but who cares more about power." A slight hum coated the room, but the female voice didn't respond. Morgana waved her hand again, sure the disembodied voice was watching through some means. "We don't have to talk about that yet, sweet child. But I would appreciate if you would inform me as to how long I'd been asleep this time around. Judging by how delicious I feel right now I'd say... two hundred years?" Morgana guessed while surveying her cell. The room was startlingly white and smelled of a peculiar combination of alcohol, staleness and metal. If she had to discern her whereabouts she would surmise that she was being kept in some sort of underground bunker. Under altered circumstances she would find this situation delightful--waking up buried within the Earth does wonders for fueling and strengthening magic. But with all of this metal entombing her, and presumably due to the contraptions shackled to her, she couldn't connect with the Earth. Pity. "According to your... keepers, you were asleep for about 150 years," the voice responded. "Oh, right, right, George and Pierre! Such sweet souls. I will miss them," Morgana stated honestly. George and Pierre had been travelling companions of Morgana's back in the day, and when she decided that she was due for her Faesleep, a restorative artificial coma which rejuvenates the body and allows one's magic to grow naturally inside of them, they volunteered their bodies to watch over her. And if she was here, then they had undoubtedly failed and been reduced to ashes, which wasn't nearly as terrible as it sounded. Their souls passed on when it was time, it was simply the rambling husks that watched over her. Admittedly, husks weren't the most able-bodied guards, but she certainly hadn't expected anyone significant to stumble across her sleeping figure. "Morgana, you're right," the voice interrupted, more sure and steady. Apparently the speaker had finished wrestling with whatever insecurities Morgana had highlighted moments ago. "We do need your power. While you were sleeping the world became more dangerous, more unruly, more opaque. So-called heroes cast their shadows over us from above, judging our every move, with the potential to wipe us out on a whim. They're not heroes, they're tyrants in the making. But we're putting together a team, and we're going into the darkness that everyone else is content to ignore. We want to save lives, and we believe you can help." Morgana smirked approvingly and sat forward. "Well then, consider me conscripted! I could never turn down a good crusade, and you are absolutely right about my abilities being an invaluable asset to your team. So give me a change of clothes, a yummy meal, and a lantern and I'll lead the charge right on into the darkness, and I'll kill whatever is there. Do we have a deal?" --- Anywho, I'm really digging the sign-up NuXtos, buddy! It's a clever marriage of the stock format and standard prose, and I can't wait to see more of your character's backstory unravel! And as DeLarge mentioned, bring on the sign-ups people! Let's have a ball together!
  5. Fistful of Credits: The Jumper * Bounty Hunters: Orcus as E Darth Vectis as Cor'tak Rachael T as Khaleesi Ovaren Sora Trovinma Outlaw: DeLarge as Ferrus "The Jumper" Korven * Blazing Comet, Burst Nebula "And naturally, by get down to business I mean hop into one of our ships and get the Hel out of dodge. That bounty isn't gonna catch himself, am I right" E quipped, nudging Khaleesi slightly. Khaleesi eyed her friend the bartender, who E believed was called Jacks, before responding to E. "Sounds good. My associate here was just going to obtain some extra information for me about our target," she stated. E grinned and gave Khaleesi a thumbs up. "Fantastic!" She yelled, scooping up Khaleesi's arm with her own. "You can send it to our ship Strix! We'll patch Khaleesi's comm into our network and then link you in via a shared connection once we get all settled in." Khaleesi frowned and scratched E's hand, causing E to reel back in pain. "What in the blue hills was that for?" E grimaced, rubbing her wounds. Khaleesi straightened herself out and gave E a cold, dagger-like stare. "I don't appreciate being touched without my permission, or dragged away to mysterious places by people I hardly know. How do I know you're not slavers attempting to kidnap me?" Khaleesi questioned, obviously on guard. E had no interest in antagonizing their new parter--who would most assuredly claw the life out of her-- so she quickly presented her and Cor'tak's holo-I.D.s. Khaleesi looked over to Jacks, who produced a scanner and handed it Khaleesi. She waved their holo ids underneath and her scanner responded with an affirming beep and the universal green "good to go" light. She tossed the scanner back to the bartender and then curtly began walking past Cor'tak and E. "Fine. We'll take your ship," she decided aloud, right as she passed the duo, "but only because I don't want to potentially damage mine, and yours has superior stealth capabilities." Cor'tak's mechanical face contorted in a way that E assumed to be raising his eyebrow. "How do you know what our ship is capable of" Cor'tak inquired. E was amazed. Normally Cor'tak was not such a people pleaser-- had anyone else suddenly revealed unoffered information regarding their ship, these was a good chance Cor'tak would have broken them over his knee. Maybe it would be nice working with someone who brought out the less cranky version of Metallo, even if she did occasionally cut E. "Trade secret. And weren't you the one who said that we need to get down to business? Shall we get going?" Khaleesi smirked over her shoulder but continued to walk away from the bar and toward the shipyard. E looked back over to the Vul'orcha's associate, hoping for some answers, but she had already returned to bartending. E scoffed and looked back to Cor'tak. "After you, Metallo. Try not to purge to many of us lesser lifeforms as you chase after your lady," she mocked. Cor'tak grunted, or perhaps his mechanical bits shifted loudly, and walked dejectedly away from E. "I respect her apparent ability to cause harm and am intrigued by the unusual circumstances of her life choices given her species. Nothing more," he stated as flatly as possible. E wasn't sure whether he was lying or not, but she would be keeping an eye on Cor'tak during this mission. "Whatever loverbot. Let's just make it to the Strix before she learns all of our secrets before we learn any of hers," E suggested, patting her partner affectionately on the back, which he characteristically shrugged off.
  6. Video Feed Room Garrick and Xionis arrived in the room simultaneously. Garrick happily snatched his belongings away from Xionis and strapped them back into his person. Xionis smirked and chided his partner. "A little anxious from your time in the big house?" Xionis quipped. Garrick spun his pulse rifle around and then holstered it. "They threw me in with a man who wouldn't stop vomiting," Garrick said with a slight shudder. "Let's just say I'm not too keen on spending any more time with the people around here unless I have my gun." Garrick waited expectantly for Xionis to laugh, but he was met with silence, as Xionis was pouring over the control console, rewinding the feeds for each other districts of Alphonse. "But enough small talk," Garrick murmured, "let's get back to business." He turned his eyes to the feeds and began searching. The footage was largely unremarkable; waves of featureless criminals and homeless folks zipped back and forth across the screen, although they did so nervously, always looking over their shoulder. It didnâ??t take long, however, for a lead to appear-- several leads, in fact. Three out of the twelve feeds-- feed two, feed three, and feed twelve, M.H. Graveyard-- displayed suspicious behavior. Xionis allowed the other videos to continue to rewind, in case there was any incriminating footage located on them, and then played the three feeds one after the other. --- Camera 2, Winry Station This video recording heavily flickered and distorted, as if some form of magnetic feedback was disrupting the recorder. A large, hulking figure fitting roughly the build of their target sauntered across the area, and several other figures followed behind him. The mildly humanoid shapes rampaged around, causing more property damage than Garrick could ever hope to, and violently tossing around passerbies. The audio was badly damaged, so only the words "Leech," "...waste of time," and "-action" could be heard through the crackling static, before the line went dead altogether. Camera 3, Master's Crossing The recording began inconspicuously enough, with the camera trained on docking/departure platform which had long fallen out of use. A pack of birds burst forth from the horizon, followed shortly by a stampede of scholarly looking gentleman fumbling and stumbling over one another, followed immediately by grounded replicas of the first batch of interstellar trains ever created racing wildly through the open field. The trains swerved and careened wildly, crashing into one another and trampling over unfortunate elites left and right. Only a solitary replica remained unscathed, and it could be seen rocketing away from the camera toward the southernmost part of the Alphonse. Camera 12 M.H. Memorium The last recording began innocuously as well, and contained the least amount of carnage. The camera was focused on a massive graveyard, presumably housing the brave creatures who had given their lives to constructing Alphonse, and the massive building which appeared to be some fusion of a cathedral, a manor and a retro museum, which inhabited the center of the plot of land. Little could be seen of the proceedings inside of the building, but people were actively fleeing out through the front and side entrances, and random objects catapulted haphazardly from every window. One such object, which appeared to be some form of Lernean binding material arced perfectly from the building toward the camera and destroyed it. --- "I can see why no one wanted to talk. It looks like our bounty caused quite a bit of trouble here," Xionis griped, although now Garrick was the one ignoring him. He frantically began tearing apart the room while Xionis pondered over the footage. "All three instances match our bounty's MO," he opined as chairs and mugs fell over and shattered behind him. "But there isn't a single clear picture of Leech in any of the footage--" "Aha!" Garrick yelled, interrupting Xionis' thought. Xionis spun around to witness Garrick proudly pointing to what appeared to Xionis to be abstract art. He eyed Garrick quizzically. "Art? Congratulations?" He offered, in a slightly supportive tone. Garrick dismissed Xionis' confusion and pulled the Advent closer, revealing the real nature of the framed product-- a map. Garrick quickly stabbed his finger in several locations. "District two," he read, "The Winry Station, which is the only other currently operating departure zone in this whole damned place aside from the one we landed in. Possible escape route. District three, Master's Crossing. The first departure zone built, which now acts as an amusement park of sorts featuring working, albeit flightless, versions of the original twelve interstellar trains constructed." He stopped for a second, and he and Xionis stared at one another. "An amusement park. Here." Xionis stated with amazement. Garrick shook his head and continued, tracing his finger south from District 3. "The direction that solo replica took off in suggests it could have been heading for the service entryway, which would lead out of Alphonse and into 'Scar Canyons'. He could have a ship waiting for him out there." He then fingered the last location. "District 12, M.H. Memorium. which houses both the folks who conceived the project and those who constructed it. It's some sort of memorial/museum hybrid, which houses the actual, first ever built interstellar train, which was decomissioned who cares how many years ago." Garrick said with a shrug. Xionis stroked his chin, the pistons in his mind firing rapidly. "So violence and escape, destruction and escape, or theft and, presumably, escape," Garrick recounted quickly, "and only moments to spare. Which way should we head, partner?"
  7. â??Can I ask youâ?¦ a question?â?   E flinched slightly at the explosion of noise through her earpiece but continued nonetheless to tie up the unconscious guard. After ensuring all four of his hands were tightly bound behind his back and to the ceiling, she peaked her head out of the storage closet. Not a soul in sight.   â??Easy as AllReadies,â? she murmured before slipping through the opening. As she stepped away from the door her suit shifted appearance; an assortment of supply closet cleaning brands morphed into a combination of taupe walls, white border and green carpet. Freezing boring as freeze. Rich gangster types never had any imagination when it came to decorating their buildings. All that mattered was the coup de grace-- their personal living chambers. Nothing spoke more highly to a criminal's wealth the gold-lined bedpans. Her father actually put a freezing golden eagle the size of a Goldovian in his room. A Goldovian. What a load of giantshit.   â??I know youâ??re there, so Iâ??m just going to ask my question anyway. Why the â?â?? am I the one being fired at by a roomful of toontime villains?â? The voice interrogated. E's legs buckled underneath her and, unable to correct her balance, she slammed her head into the wall. She could barely feel her head throb due to her actively suppressing the desire to vomit up all of her insides. Extreme vertigo and nausea were a common side effects of listening to a Bleez swear, but that was common knowledge. And in this instance, knowledge was not power. Nothing prepares you for a Bleez profanity. Swearing is considered a terrible sin by the religious lot on Bleez specifically because of the destructive power. E remembered it had something to do with the frequency of their vulgarities having some sort of reality altering ability, but really, who gave a flying or floating freeze? E's head was throbbing, and she had given away her position. Muffled grunts and the loud whine of energy weapons charging up filtered through the wall she had just become acquainted with.   â??Damn it Klara,â? she hissed over her com. â??What in the blue hills did you do that for?â? E sprang to her feet and bolted down the hallway, just past the entrance to the room she had struck. The door burst open and a couple of hired hands flooded out. Luckily they looked right past the camouflaged E and proceeded to check the rest of the hall. Holding her breath, E tip-toed into the room and quietly closed and locked the door behind her.   â??Iâ??m just saying,â? Klaraâ??s voiced buzzed from Eâ??s earpiece again, accompanied by a chorus of blaster fire, â??Youâ??re the bounty hunter. Iâ??m a detective. One of us should be snooping around and the other engaging in illicit affairs, yes--but I feel as if weâ??ve gotten the roles reversed.â? E chuckled despite herself and then began to survey the room. It was mostly empty, save for the overturned bottles of Edaxian Cider and still pulsating nano-cigs. She grabbed the nearest chair and propped it underneath the door-handle, which, she noticed absentmindedly, a surprisingly large number of 22nd century buildings still sported in lieu of the much more fashionable hard-light knobs. E didnâ??t particularly care for one or the other, although the way the hard-light knobs always just appeared used to give her a startle back homeâ?¦   Why in the blue hills was she thinking about any of that garbage? Thinking about her freezing home, all those freezing lightyears away, filled with people she wanted to put on iceâ?¦ Being around crime lords must brought out the little girl in her, she figured as she wrapped a contact explosive around the leg of her makeshift barrier.   â??And I donâ??t trust this blue dude who hired us. Heâ??s not the right shade of blue. You know what I mean?â? Klara whispered, or at least did whatever the equivalent was to whispering when lasers fly by your face. E sighed lightly and cupped her hand over her mouth.   â??No.But I do know that that sentiment is pretty racist,â? E pointed out, simultaneously taking a few cautious steps towards the next door. She ran her hands along the frame and felt a slight tingle travel through her body. The longer her hands stayed connected to the wood the stronger the tingle became, and in a matter of seconds she felt as if a stray bolt of lightning was desperately scorching its way through her veins. Eldritch wood, she thought as she withdrew her sore finger tips. A popular material for those with coal to hide and a hefty account full of credits needing to be spent. It could only be found on one planet--aptly named Arboria-- and the trees on said planet were either cursed to Hel or possessed some natural form of energy stored up within their cells that reacted negatively withâ?¦ everything. Once again, E was less than interested in sorting out the science behind the pain shooting through her body.   â??Itâ??s not racist when you have empirical data defending your argument. In our lifetime weâ??ve known ten people with his specific shade of blue skin. And all of them literally shot one of us in the back. LITERALLY ALL OF THEM,â? Klara emphasized. E shook her head, deciding to ignore her friend and get back to business. She produced a small, half circle shaped item. Hundreds of miniature, tiny suckers lined the flat side of the object and a black, blank screen covered the reverse. E stuck the item against the door and the display on the rounded portion lit up. It flashed for a moment, and then another, and then another, and then a single bar of battery appeared. It was energy, E thought with a smirk.   â??Youâ??re not making a strong case for yourself. And, as your friend, Iâ??m going to suggest you donâ??t tell that to other people. Also, please stop talking to me, I have a decoy to shoot,â? E declared, taking a step back from the door frame. She pulled out her pistol, Honey, and deactivated the safety.   â??Perfect timing! Everyone here is dead,â? Klara announced triumphantly. â??50 credits on the line here. Yours is gonna be the right one. I can feel it.â? She was, of course, referring to the bet the two made prior to entering the building. E watched the tiny console of her DrainDame12 fill up with battery bars and readied her weapon.   â??Itâ??s going to feel so good taking your money,â? she said with a small smile before "unleashing the chains" into every inch of the wall. A handful of enemy shots whizzed pathetically by her, but after a few moments of continuous, merciless blasting the counter shots ceased. E kicked open the door and stepped aside just in time for three more shots to not hit her. She knocked a light crystal pillar into the opening of the door for good measure, but it seemed as if her targets were spent. Satisfied, she walked into the room; unfortunately her satisfaction instantly morphed into disgust.   â??Oh, Ew. Ewwwww. You owe me 50 credits,â? E announced. The room was lined with deteriorating insectoid husks, all copies of the original gangster they had come to abduct. That was her markâ??s special ability; he had learned to actively manipulate the genetic skill of his species, which allowed them to shed their exterior shell and control them through telepathic impulses. â??Multiple Mundus,â? as he had apparently and disappointingly named himself, forcibly instigated this molting to create dozens of â??clonesâ? which he could use as distractionsâ?¦ As was the case right now. Having the wrong man, or men, or insects, or whatever, never felt so good though...    BANG. BANG. Two loud shots rang into Eâ??s ear, absolutely ruining her celebration.   â??Klara. Klara!â? E shouted. The sound of miscellaneous debris being shuffling around echoed into the comm, and then the line went silentâ?¦ for approximately two seconds before some oaf began breathing heavily into it.   â??How does it feel E? To have someone you care for taken from you?â? A voice spoke dramatically through Klaraâ??s comm. Freezing blue bullfrog! She gripped her pistol tightly but said nothing. Klara was most definitely going to rub Loboâ??s betrayal in Eâ??s face after this was all over.   â??Fine, play the silent game with me. But Iâ??ll make you pay for the sins of your Harpy sisters---â? â??Ugggggggh, the Harpies? This is about the freezing Harpies? ****!â? E grunted. No matter where she went, she had to hear about the gods damned Harpies. They stole my life savings. They took my mechanical kneecaps. Blah, blah, blah. They werenâ??t her problem anymore, and she was tired of freezing hearing about them.   â??You can have Multiple Mundus and you can kill as many other, actual Harpies as youâ??d like, just give me Klara back,â? E bargained, wanting this hellish mission to be over with already. She could practically taste the stream or liquor she would need to wash away this day. After a brief pause, Lobo responded.   â??**** you Harpy *****!â? E heard a muffled commotion from afar, and then the distinct shatter of glass through her earpiece. Oh gods, she thought, piecing the situation together. She scanned the room for the nearest window and sprang right through it. Reflexively she extended her arms to full wingspan, triggering her feathers to emerge from her back pack. She gracefully swooped out of her descent and increased the energy output of her boot thrusters to quicken her climb. Klara was right above her, plummeting helplessly--and, E couldnâ??t help but notice, somewhat indignantly-- to the ground. She flew past her comrade and then banked sharply. She had learned long ago that the best way to catch a falling target wasnâ??t to just fly willy-nilly into it--the force would send them both reeling. You had to make the momentum work for you. She dove again, scooping Klara up in her arms, and then increased output again to initiate her gradual ascent.   â??Ugh. I hate it when we fly so f---Mmmf!â? E planted a kiss on Klara to keep her from swearing and potentially dooming them both. Using her one unimpeded eye she steered them toward the nearest rooftop and landed. Klara crumpled onto the ground and exhaled.   â??So I was right about the blue guy and you were right about the mark. That makes us even, I think,â? she said between gasps.   â??Sure babe. Sure,â? E shrugged. She extended her hand to Klara to help the woman up, but was interrupted by a loud roar from the building they had just exited. E could clearly make out Loboâ??s VTOL transport as it began powering up. Like Hel this guy is getting away with our money. She telepathically patched her comm to Corâ??takâ??s, who had been left behind on the Strix for this mission due to his relative lack of stealth capability.   â??Corâ??tak! Metallo! Fire at Loboâ??s ship!â? E ordered. Corâ??tak merely sighed.   â??So he did betray you. Klara was right,â? he opined. Klara nodded in agreement from the ground.   â??Oh ha freezing ha. You two can have a good laugh about it after we donâ??t get paid for this job because you let freezing Lobo get away with our freezing money!â? E shouted. Corâ??tak scoffed.   â??Rude. You know I literally do not care about the money. And even if I wanted to, I couldnâ??t shoot him down. Our turret would probably kill Mr. Multiple,â? he stated with his usual unhelpful demeanor. Loboâ??s ship began to rise slowly.   â??Fine! Send down Dionysus, Iâ??ll rip him o--â? â??Dionysus is still being repaired,â? Corâ??tak reminded her. E groaned and watched as Loboâ??s ship prepared to blast off. Doubly fine! We do this the fun way, then. She withdrew her rifle from her back and telescoped it to full length, the light bars gleaming as each additional section unfolded.   â??Metallo! Initiate plan Oh Gee!â? E commanded, punctuating her sentence with an explosive round right into the engine of Loboâ??s ship. The back end exploded like an antimatter warhead. The ship faltered in mid-air and then crashed into the side of the rooftop. It teetered precariously for a moment and then slowly began tipping in the direction over the ledge. E holstered her weapon and smiled, waiting for Corâ??takâ??s tinkering to take effect. Her smile began to falter, however, as the ship continued to tip.   â??Metallo!â? She screamed. The ship then slipped entirely off of the ledge.   â??This kind of thing takes a moment!â? He screamed back. â??Done!â? The ship continued its trajectory toward the ground, but no longer gained momentum. It simply floated along; everything was simply floating along, in fact. E hovered slightly above the spot she previously occupied, and Klara frantically waved her extremities in an attempt to balance herself. Relieved that Metallo didn't cock her genius plan, E activated her feathers and grabbed Klara by one of her flailing legs. The two rocketed over to the sinking ship to save their well-deserved prize. Luckily Lobo and Mundus were still knocked out cold from their all-too-exciting-big-boy-roller-racer ride. E grabbed Mundus with one arm and gestured to Lobo with the other.   â??Heâ??s all yours,â? she offered. Klara smiled and floated closer to Lobo, eyeing him devilishly. Before she continued, however, she motioned for E to turn off her earpiece. She then placed her lips right against Loboâ??s ear, and, quietly, muttered a steady stream of profanities into Loboâ??s ear. Lobo violently woke up, thrashed around, vomited for two minutes straight, and then, exhausted, passed back out. Klara gave a satisfied huff and then floated back to E.   â??Shall we?â?    EDIT: I edited this post to make it better in virtually every way. I should stop writing so early in the freezing morning. It either ends up as a steaming pile of garbage or something mildly palatable. Blurgh.
  8. Name: â??Eâ?. Known alternately as Strix, Dionysus, Unluck-E Age: 25 Height: 1.73 m Weight: 70.76 kg Species: Human (Tartarus)- Physically identical to Humans from Earth and other space colonies, the Humans born on Tartarus have the added benefit of being born on a world with harsher gravity than most other planets, granting them enhanced mobility on planets with lower gravitational pull. Additionally, due to the much colder temperatures of Tartarus, these humans often run much hotter and have been known to emit a warm aura, which at the very least is uncomfortable for surrounding creatures. Appearance: [E] E lived a relatively violent life even prior to becoming a bounty hunter, and thus developed a very toned, albeit scarred, body at a young age. Her most striking features are her crystalline amber eyes, a trait shared by her family line. She also bears a tattoo of a harpy on her back, the wings of which can be seen over her shoulderblades when she wears tank tops, a mark of her previous membership in â??The Harpies.â? Home Planet: Tartarus One of the first Earth-like planets discovered by astronomers as early as the 21st century. The planet is a rocky one, like Earth, but is further away from its star. It was one of the first colonized planets due to its similarities in atmosphere, composition, and landscape, but two major â??flawsâ? made the first hundred colonies the only colonies established-- the cold and gravity. The planet consistently stayed between -9 to -19OC and the gravity was twice as heavy as that of Earthâ??s. However the planet was rich with valuable stones and minerals and proved exceedingly responsive to terraforming, allowing the communities established to be self-sufficient long after they were abandoned by the rest of humanity. Equipment: Legato-Vyper M13 Armour- Her armour is fashioned from Lernean metamaterials, an â??unstableâ? material designed to change itâ??s properties when exposed to electrical currents. The suit has three settings: battle, where the material hardens into bulletproof and partially laserproof armour; camouflage, where the material can change its physical appearance into preset costumes or camouflage with its surroundings; and space, which converts the suit into an airtight unit capable of withstanding the vacuum of space. "Sparky"- The Raiden 7S handgun developed by the Interstellar Weapons Industries which fires shockrounds in lieu of standard ammunition, and is Eâ??s primary tool for subduing bounties. The shockrounds are a veritable assault on the senses; contact with the target causes the rounds to erupt instantaneously, creating a deafening boom, a blinding flash of light and an electric jolt that surges through the body. â??Honeyâ?- The EP230, nicknamed the â??Honey Badgerâ? by outlaws who have seen the Aeggripa Armoury manufactured pistol in action. An energy weapon which is only limited by the need to be â??cooledâ?? after a series of shots, this pistol is Eâ??s â??blast your way out of a cornerâ? weapon, and hasnâ??t seen an enemy it couldnâ??t take down. The weapon does have a stun setting, however, for marks who are either too resilient to be affected by her shockrounds or too susceptible to them. â??Xiuâ?- The M94 sniper rifle. A one-of-a-kind, semi-automatic rifle whose design is known only to WroughtIron, the personal arms manufacturer of the crime family she escaped from. The weapon is capable of firing up to a mile away, and utilizes two types of self guided ammunition--armour piercing and high explosive incendiary. The self guided bullets work via two methods: the bullets home in on a marker placed on the target or they follow the laser sight of the sniper, which guides the bullet to the target. "Talons"- Two straight blade trench knives E uses primarily for escape and for when situations get...dicey. These knives possess an energy pack within the blades, which allows the weapon to either emit an electrical current or superheat instantaneously. Hecate Neural Implant- A chip developed by the Human Intergalactic Republicâ??s â??Colonial Rangerâ? division. These implants were designed to allow a member of the Colonial Rangers, whose primary responsibility is the protection of and maintenance of human colonies, unmitigated access to the tech of whichever colony she or he was assigned to guard. Eâ??s implant was never tethered to a specific area, which grants her the benefit of freely syncing her neural system to any electronic device she scans. She has limited this connection to a small number of devices, including her ship, her battle armour and her partner Corâ??Tak, and she has also modified it substantially so that normal EMP and other jamming or hacking weapons will not be able to locate or affect her implant. â??Feathersâ?- The signature equipment of the all-female, galaxy hopping, universally wanted, bandit organization known as â??The Harpies.â? Normally appearing as a metal â??backpack,â? when activated large wing-like extremities emerge. Eâ??s feathers are linked to her neural implant, so she has finer control over her aerial maneuvers. Legato-Vyper PMCU-13 Dionysus- A legendary battlesuit forged by the Lernean arms manufacturer Legato-Vyper. Modelled after significantly larger MCUs-- Mobile Combat Units, mechanical behemoths utilized in interstellar warfare to circumvent ship vs. ship engagements-- Dionysus is a personalized armour which once adorned the trophy room of Eâ??s criminal family. The unit provides heavy durability, thrusters to navigate in space, various wrist, chest and shoulder mounted weapon compartments and has been patterned to Eâ??s neurochip, which allows her to summon the mobilesuit from afar and operate it remotely. Special Skills: E was born into a criminal empire, and the attitude necessary to survive in that environment has imbued her with a number of skills. She can charm or intimidate her way out of any situation, she is well-versed in the art of torture and generally maintains a ruthless mindset when engaging an opponent, and she can control her heart rate, which she mostly utilizes for deception. Additionally, E is familiar with a number of classical â??thieveryâ? abilities--learned both from her criminal family and from her time gallivanting around the galaxy with the organization known as "The Harpies"-- such as: slight of hand, confidence tricks, and has many of the intergalactic laws memorized so that she can weasel her way through their various loopholes. A life of crime was only half of what defined Eâ??s childhood; the other half was filled with gymnastics. As such, E is a lithe, flexible, extraordinarily difficult to hit target. Years of training has endowed her with an uncanny ability to harmonize with her surroundings, allowing her to creatively use the terrain to her advantage. Notable Vehicles: Legato-Vyper PCV-13 Strix- A black and gold prototype starship with red accents belonging to the fabled Legato-Viper â??Unlucky XIIIâ? line. Fashioned from Lernean starsteel and reinforced with a thick layer of unstable metamaterial, the ship is a marriage of stealth and cargo transport sensibilities. The ship is large enough to house five people in comfortable quarters and has a modest dining/food storage area. The bulk of the ship is the cargo bay, which is large enough to house a standard sized fighter ship or multiple crates. The starsteel absorbs roughly 70% of the heat expelled from the shipâ??s systems and the metamaterials actively releases the remainder of the heat in a haphazard pattern, which makes the ship extremely difficult to pick up on radars. The ship possesses some combat capabilities, although they are almost entirely designed to facilitate escape not assault-- namely a series of multi-purpose bombs stored in the shipâ??s belly, as well as a single laser turret and a disruptor cannon, which fires frag/chaff projectiles. Said projectiles cause superficial damage upon impact and then releases a large cloud of metallized glass fibre which heavily disrupts enemy radars. Noticeably, the Strix also possesses a synchronized warp drive, allowing it to safely navigate through hyperspace to return to destinations mapped in its internal network or planets who actively broadcast sync signals. Known Allies: Corâ??tak-A Necrocyte bounty hunter who has been bound to E through unfortunate means, who she â??affectionatelyâ? refers to as Metallo. Corâ??tak was instrumental in Eâ??s escape from her family, but despite the debt he feels owed to him, he is the one who travels the stars as Eâ??s personal bodyguard. Their relationship is mildly antagonistic, despite the two trusting each other implicitly. She has stated multiple times that she would never release Metallo from her employ, although if he truly desired to depart on his own she would very sympathetically deny him his request, such is the depth of their partnership. Klara Oâ??Phel- A former partner of Eâ??s during her time with â??The Harpies,â? Klara was assigned to hunt down and dispose of E after E went AWOL from the group. When Klara finally found E the two engaged in a highly publicized gunfight on the planet Hadrius, which resulted in the destruction of the building and supposedly the loss of their lives. This was, however, an elaborate ruse concocted between the two of them to ensure their mutual escape from the Harpies, who were becoming an increasingly violent and antagonistic force. Since then the two have gone their separate ways and pursued very different lives: E, that of a bounty hunter and Klara, that of an intergalactic detective. Despite this, they have been known to meet frequently for drinks and to have operated closely on a number of Eâ??s bounties and Klaraâ??s cases. Elenore â??Strongarmâ? Armstrong- A WroughtIron experimental soldier who was assigned to act as a hired hand for Eâ??s family. She was tasked with watching over and protect E in her younger years. When E escaped from her familyâ??s facility Strongarm pursued her adamantly; this changed, however, when she witnessed members of the family firing upon E instead of attempting to reclaim her. She immediately â??tendered her resignationâ? by murdering Eâ??s assailants and stealing one of their fighter ships. Since then she has shadowed E across the galaxy through means still unknown to E, acting as the womanâ??s silent guardian. On a number of occasions E expressed her discontent with Strongarmâ??s choice to follow her; if the family ever discovered Elenoreâ??s whereabouts they would undoubtedly hunt her down and brutalize her for her "crimes against the family." Strongarm cares little for hypothetical situations, however and continues to guard E with her life. Reputation: The reputation of her criminal family is known throughout the galaxies, and her time spent as a member of the Harpies is a well known fact. Even though she has abandoned her family and previous allies and dedicated her life to hunting down degenerates like them, the bounty hunting community largely ostracizes her and views her as little more than a criminal looking to off her competition. However, the few hunters who were either too desperate or too curious to turn away an alliance with her found her to be extremely reliable and a woman of her word.
  9. Name: Arakawa Chie Gender: Female Age: 280 Position: Captain of Squad 12 Appearance: [Chie] [Chieâ??s Glasses] Chie stands at 5â??9â??â??, has a lightly toned figure and possesses glowing amber eyes, said to be a side effect of some self-imposed experiment. Her skin is a light brown color. She wears a standard Shihakusho with a sleeveless, hooded captainâ??s haori over that. Her neck and chest area are covered by a dark, skintight material, which is actually part of hee experimentation "suit" peaking out.The only other additions to the standard shinigami outfit are the dark short gloves she wears also as part of hee experimentation suit (as seen in the bankai section). Personality: Chie is known for one quality above all others--focus. If Chie declares her intent to achieve a goal, nothing short of death will keep her from succeeding. It was this trait that helped her survive her childhood in the lawless 80th district of Rukongai, and which allowed her to overcome a near fatal interaction with hollows shortly after joining the Shinigami Academy. Due to this determination Chie has a very fluid moral and ethical compass, viewing anything that would potentially offer her a boon in life as being acceptable. While this has earned her a reputation as being â??psychoticâ? and â??heartless,â? the other members of the twelfth squad are quick to come to her defense. The general opinion of those close to her is â??Chie is an agreeable and friendly Captain who cares greatly for the well-being of her subordinates and would never sacrifice your life, unless she had previously discussed the matter with you and gained your consent.â? Needless to say, this has done little to amend other shinigamisâ?? opinions of her. Background: Chie grew up in the most dangerous of districts in the Rukongai-- District #80, Zaraki. She lived exclusively around murderers and criminals and feared every day that she would die without ever having done anything with her â??afterlife.â? The only thing Chie had to take solace in was the legend of Kenpachi Zaraki who too had the misfortune of being dumped in the filth of the the 80th district. However, unlike most souls who lived and died lamenting their lot in life, Kenpachi had managed to keep from drowning in the sea of violence and depravity and even escaped it. Chie made it her very first goal to escape from the 80th district and become a Captain like Kenpachi. Using her wits and techniques she learned from local gangs Chie battled her way from her home district to the gates of Seireitei. During this time she had discovered her reiatsu and was famished. When she reached the walls she could barely mumble the name of the school before passing out from hunger. When she awoke she discovered she had been accepted into the Shinigami Academy based upon her ability to survive the hardships of the outer rings and her surprisingly developed reiatsu. As soon as Chie had returned to full health she began voraciously absorbing information from wherever she could, but focused on her physical training. She sat in on courses for advanced students, watched spars between seated shinigami and lieutenants. It was during this time that Chie actually encountered Captain Zaraki and witnessed firsthand his strength. As soon as she saw him sparring with his son Arashi, who she trained with for a number of months, Chie realized that although his strength was impressive, she disagreed greatly with his philosophy regarding battle. She could not understand finding joy in conflict, nor could she understand his (and the entirety of the 1th division's) belief that no skill rivaled physical combat. She discovered that her initial goal was incorrect-- she did not want to be a captain like Kenpachi, she wanted only to be an excellent captain of the same or greater caliber of Kenpachi. She immediately began increasing her studies in kido and hoho, as well as science and development. She came to the attention of the then captain of the 12 division, Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi and was accepted into the 12th. She proved herself incredibly perceptive and clever when it came to development, and her willingness to engage in potentially dangerous experiments gained her respect (and fear) from the other members. This desire to constantly push her boundaries no matter the personal risk almost claimed her life. She managed to infiltrate the forbidden corridors of the Research and Science Institute and discovered a machine which could replicate an arrancarâ??s garganta and send the user to Hueco Mundo. She immediately used it and was assaulted by several hollows. She was able to fend them off with her recently developed shikai, but found, to her horror, that she was unable to return to Soul Society. Hollows continued to swarm her position and she was forced to struggle against them for two days before her Captain came to rescue her. By then she had lost an arm, a leg and one of her ears. She was healed by Captain Unohana but it was surmised that the loss of limbs would be permanent. She proved everyone wrong by developing a method of recreating limbs based upon gigai technology and the regenerative abilities of hollows--she had managed to extract samples of the hollows even as they attempted to rip her apart. After that development it took her only 20 more years to become the Captain of the 12 division when Captain Kurotsuchi was claimed, unfortunately, by one of his potions. As captain she immediately changed the atmosphere of the division, encouraging participation and the expressing of opinions by members of the division. She also encouraged all of her subordinates to not neglect their training in physical combat and kido. If they do skip their other training sessions they lose their right to not be experimented on without their permission by Chie. Thanks to herâ?¦ excitement in taking advantage of this punishment the 12th division's combat proficiency has grown exponentially from its prior incarnation. Additionally, one of her first acts as the new Captain was to develop a new eyepatch for Arashi, as his previous one was beginning to deteriorate from the stress of having contained Zaraki and Arashi's immense reiatsu. Noncombat Skills: As head of Squad 12, and by extension the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, Chie has a proficiency and love for building cutting edge gadgets and developing new serums and concoctions. Chie is also alarmingly skilled at gambling, betting and bluffing; these were talents she mastered at a young age as she learned to navigate through the seedier parts of Rukongai. To this day she's never lost money to another captain or anyone else unwise enough to challenge her. Zanpakuto: [Rateru] (Honey Badger)- Chieâ??s Zapakuto is unremarkable in itâ??s unreleased form, appearing as a completely unmarked katana with a black and silver handle and a black lacquered sheath.Shikai- The command to release Chieâ??s shikai is â??Show me the way, Rateru.â? Chieâ??s Zampakuto retains its size and shape but its appearance is altered slightly. The diamonds on the hilt become glowing circles of light which change depending upon which of Rateruâ??s abilities is being used. Likewise, the blade changes colors with use. Rateruâ??s latent ability is to manipulate either ambient reishi or excess reishi released from her own or her enemies attacks, not unlike a Quincy. Chie only needs to utter a simple verbal command to utilize the reishi in offensive, defensive and healing capabilities. Bankai- Fukutsu no Rateru (Indomitable Honey Badger)- Chie can release her Bankai with one of two phrases: â??This is our goal,â? or â??Nothing stands in our way.â? Either way, her Zanpakuto retains the same appearance as in its Shikai form, but the blade and the circular nodes glow either white or red (white for the first, red for the second), and a matching reiatsu emanates from the sword and Chie. Her outfit also changes to [this] as the release of her overwhelming reiatsu destroys her shihakusho.If she uses her first release, â??This is our goal,â? her zanpakuto allows her to perform one last feat, regardless of how improbable is may seem. It does this by absorbing as much energy in the nearby area as possible and then forcing Chieâ??s body to convert her reserve reiryoku into reiatsu. Although an extraordinarily powerful ability, it has two major drawbacks: after its use, Chie is completely tapped for energy and is unable to continue fighting without rest or some means of external healing; the ability only imparts Chie with enough energy to complete her goal and no more. So if her goal is to defeat three enemies and a fourth appears, she would be unable to defeat all four of them.Her second release, â??Nothing stands in our way,â? surges her reiatsu through her skin, completely severing her pain receptors and creating a damage inducing aura around her. In this state her body does not render pain in any way whatsoever, allowing her to continue fighting without flinching or reacting to external stimuli. While this effectively makes her a wrecking ball, it is a potentially fatal ability for her if she uses it for too long. Without feeling pain she lacks the natural instinct to move herself out of harmâ??s way and must constantly remind herself to do so. While she is a thoroughly skilled combatant, this affliction could result in the loss of limbs or something equally debilitating. Additionally, any damage received while in this state does not dissipate after her ability ends, so she must be given immediate medical attention.Other Notable Combat Skills: In an attempt to stay one step ahead of her opponents Chie has invested a great deal of time in studying and mastering unconventional versions of the Shinigami staples-- Hoho, Zanjutsu, Hakuda and Kido. This includes studying the fighting styles (both armed and unarmed) and abilities of Arrancar and Hollows and crafting a number of her own unique Kido. In some battles she will not even draw her Zanpakuto, instead relying entirely upon her unusual repertoire of skills. Due to her unorthodox technique many enemies find it difficult to anticipate what Chie will do next both in and out of battle. Chie possesses another surprising boon in battle; when she took over as Captain of the 12th division she discovered that Kurotsuchi had experimented on a number of dogs, cats and birds from around Seireitei. These experiments had disfigured the animals, but also enabled them to access their reiryoku and utilize it in a variety of ways, not unlike a shinigami. Chie immediately took them into their home and made them family, while simultaneously training them to hone their abilities like she would her squadmates. Although she doesn't actively use her pets in combat, they do defend her home from intruders, and if Chie is ever in severe danger she can alert them to come and rescue her. Writing Sample: "You bothered me... for this?" Chie crumpled up a letter with the Kuchiki family sealed pressed onto the back and tossed it into a pile of miscellaneous garbage. The messenger gasped slightly and her fingers twitched, undoubtedly from an instinctive desire to retrieve the letter. Chie turned her back to the messenger and snatched a small mechanical device off of the desk in front of her. She tinkered with it for a moment, causing a series of red, green and blue lights to flash and then placed it back down. "Byakuya's will clearly states that his last wish, as head of the family, was for Rukia to take the proficiency test and become the new Captain of Squad 6... no?" Chie questioned without looking at the woman. Chie could feel the messenger tense. "While that may be, Chinatsu feels that it would be best for our clan--" Chie spun around and put her face so close to the woman's that their noses almost touched. "Yes or no?" Chie asked again. The messenger's lip twitched slightly into a sneer as she responded. "Yes," she said through her teeth. Chie was amazed by the messenger's impudence. The woman was effectively an errand girl for the Kuchiki house and yet she had the nerve to enter into Chie's quarters uninvited and attempt to bulldoze Chie's arguments, as if Chie was some commoner and not a Gotei 13 Captain. Chie cared little for proper etiquette and courtesies--if the messenger had come in and called her Chie she would have paid little mind-- but she did find it somewhat alarming that the patented Kuchiki snobbery apparently rubbed off on everyone in their vicinity... Save Rukia. "Then the answer is no," Chie responded, turning her attention once more to the device in front of her. The machine made a light buzzing sound and flashed red. Chie sighed--the device was a reiatsu harmonizer, syncing up with the spiritual pressure of anyone in the nearby area. Chie attuned it to the messenger, and its red glow indicated that the messenger's reiatsu was aggressive, determined. Chie sighed again and faced the woman. Before she could scold her and "insist" that she leave Chie's office, the messenger handed Chie another note. "Chinatsu felt that this might persuade you to reconsider, Captain Arakawa," she declared. Chie eyed the note inquisitively and and tore it open. Chinatsu's loopy, pretentious writing assaulted her eyes, but she could make out several words from the first section: "goal," "development," "all of the money you could ever need." The second half of the message was slightly more legible and the ink seemed thicker: Chinatsu obviously felt more passionate about her message therein. "Making life difficult," "close the SRDI," and "stripped of possessions" were practically bolded on the page. Chie smirked and crumpled up this letter as well. "Underhanded allies do not help me achieve my goal," Chie mused while tearing up the new note. "Byakuya was a great ally and friend of mine in life, and Rukia has been a loyal comrade through and through. She is much more valuable to me than Chinatsu's fickle whims and money. Please tell Chinatsu exactly that, would you dear?" The messenger's eyes flashed with rage. She stepped forward to open her mouth and protest, but her body abruptly seized up and she was unable to speak. Chie smiled and shook her device at the messenger. Oh, and tell Chinatsu she'll have to send a different messenger next time, because if you even step into my office again, my security system will read your reiatsu and turn you into a walking bomb. Ciao!" Chie reversed the harmonization of her machine, severing the connection with the messenger's spiritual power. The messenger disappeared without saying another word, leaving Chie to ponder the extent of the trouble Chinatsu was stirring in Soul Society. [font='times new roman']EDIT: Changed appearance, bankai appearance, added to my combat skills, writing sample and added in a connection to Arashi. I hope the changes aren't too out there.[/font]
  10. IIffin' yer still accepting sign ups Lawliet, I would love to dust off my RPing gloves and take a crack at this.
  11. Orcus

    RPG V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.

    â??As sound as your plan is,â? Junko stated, watching Scytheâ??s amulet fizzle on the ground. â??Iâ??m not keen on the idea of massacring hundreds of UWG employees just so that you can have a personal buffet of souls.â? Rhea chuckled, earning another look from a displeased Scythe. Junko grinned slightly, but then regained her composure and motioned for Rhea to back off. â??No more senseless slaughtering,â? she reemphasized. â??Besides, storming our way through base after base until we find information about Ogre is going to alert someone to what weâ??re doing. We need to be a direct with this as possible.â? â??I absolutely agree, my dear sister,â? a voice chimed in from behind. The trio spun around to face the newcomer, and Junko gasped. â??Howâ?¦Ogre?â? A tall man with green hair stepped forward, his arms opened in embrace. He was dressed in a peculiar assortment of clothing; his long green and white jacket and orange pants were covered in a series of chains and buckles, and his boots appeared to be nothing but assorted belts. He walked up to the stunned Junko and wrapped his arms around her. â??Sister,â? he said with a wide smile. â??Iâ??ve missed you.â? Before she could react, Rhea grabbed Ogreâ??s collar and tossed him aside. â??Iâ??m so ******* tired of people popping up out of nowhere!â? Rhea screamed, chasing after Ogre. Junko blinked slowly, her senses still beside her. Ogre. Here. She expected the search to take days, maybe weeks. Andâ?¦ here he is... In her absentminded state she tightened the link between Scythe and her, tugging him in her direction. â??Umâ?¦ Junkoâ?¦â? Scythe murmured. Junko looked blankly at the chain, her thoughts preoccupied. I know what I have to doâ?¦ But I thought I would have more timeâ?¦ Ogreâ?¦ Scythe was almost on top of Junko now, and no amount of struggling was helping. Junko shifted her gaze back to her brother, and watched as Rhea furiously swung her fists at him. â??Whereâ??s Percy?!â? Junko could hear Rhea yelling repeatedly. But Ogre was paying her no mind; even as Rheaâ??s rained blows down on him, his eyes were trained on Junko. He was waiting for her to engage him. Junko smirked darkly, her confusing replaced with dark amusement. She had hoped for years that she would see him smile again, to see Osamuâ??s face peak through the veil. Or what she imagined his smiling face to look like. Osamu had never smiled in their childhood. â??My life is nothing more than people jumping out of hiding places and life revelations. Joy.â? She said sourly, before releasing her grip on Scythe, who tumbled over. She ignored him and leapt into battle alongside Rhea. â??Sister! How nice of you to join us,â? Ogre quipped with a smile. Junko sneered, swinging her fist at his jaw. He ducked down into a ball, whereupon Rhea kicked wildly at his face, but again Ogre deftly avoided the blow by leaning backward and rolling away. Mid-roll he pressed his palms against the ground beneath him and launched himself onto his feet. â??Well now that weâ??re all paying attention,â? he said, placing his hands playfully on his hips, â??we can get down to business.â? Rhea angrily stepped forward and jabbed a finger at him. â??Where the hell is Percy?â? She repeated like a broken record. Ogre smiled. â??Heâ??s in good hands, my dear.â? He said with a wink, which enraged Rhea. She took a step toward him, but Junko grabbed the girlâ??s shoulder and stopped her. â??Why are you here, Ogre?â? Junko questioned coldly, glaring at her brother. Without missing a beat, Ogre pointed at Scythe. â??Iâ??m here for him,â? he said plainly. â??Or at least I was. Seeing as you two have become so close, though, I think maybe youâ??re the one I ought to be talking to.â? As he was speaking his eyes glanced over the area between Scythe and Junko where the invisible soul chain resided. Scythe raised an eyebrow. â??Itâ??s impossible for you to know that,â? he declared. Orge snickered at Scytheâ??s surprise and then disappeared completely. Rhea and Junko started back in surprise, when he suddenly reappeared in the space between Junko and Scythe, a scythe readied at his side. â??I used to admire half-reapers,â? he admitted, wagging his scythe around the soul chain. It harmlessly phased through the chain several times before Scythe grabbed a hold of the weapon. â??Enough. How did you know that Junko and I were linked?â? Scythe demanded. Ogre matched gazes with Scythe but didnâ??t back down. â??The way you just warp around from place to placeâ?¦,â? he continued, ignoring Scytheâ??s question, â??How you get stronger by simply killing othersâ?¦ What an exciting life, huh? Well once I got some new powers of my own and killed a handful of you half-reapers I realized most werenâ??t so great. Especially not when theyâ??re rescued, huh?â? Ogre leaned in as he mocked Scythe. Scytheâ??s eyes flashed momentarily with rage and in one swift motion he attempted to cut through Ogre. The blade struck against Ogreâ??s skull, but didnâ??t pierce the skin. Ogre smiled. â??Oh, but you are much stronger than all of them,â? Ogre exclaimed flamboyantly, unfazed by the sword pressed against his skull. â??But maybe not strong enough yetâ?¦â? He disappeared again, this time reappearing atop a nearby building. â??Your pet is a bit bony, sis! Try feeding him some more bones. I hear they have some nice big ones down in Australiaâ?¦ Maybe we can talk a bit more there. Now if you donâ??t mind, I have other important folks to visit. Ta ta!â? he yelled, punctuating his sentence with a bow. As soon as he had said Australia, however, Junko had given Scythe a mental command to subdue Ogre, and so as Ogre rose from his bow, Scytheâ??s body collided violently with Ogreâ??s. The two became a mess of limbs and then disappeared altogether. â??Damn it!â? Junko yelled as the two vanished from sight. She immediately attempted to tighten the soul chain, but nothing happened. She could still feel Scythe on the other end of the chain, but somethingâ??most likely Ogreâ??s newfound powersâ??was disrupting her pull. It was probably better this way, though. Just because they were bound to one another didnâ??t mean they needed to travel together at all times. Junko was sure Scythe would find her in due time anyway. Rhea sighed and kicked the ground. â??What the hell do we do now?â? She growled at no one in particular. Junko frowned and massaged her forehead. â??We hi-jack a plane and fly to Australia,â? she mumbled. Rhea furrowed her eyebrows and turned to her companion. â??Iâ??m sorry, what the hell?â? She asked incredulously. Junko dragged her hand down her face and scoffed. â??Well do you have a better ******* plan? You wanna stand around and twiddling our thumbs while Percy stays firmly in those â??safe handsâ?? Ogre was talking about?â? She retorted. Rhea opened her mouth to argue but caught herself and decided against it. Rhea grimaced. â??Yah, thatâ??s what I thoughtâ?¦â? She said, trudging away from the battlefield. â? UWG Base Britain General Vela stood over the ravaged remains of a former UWG base. Limbs and shrapnel and fire littered the surrounding area, and the air was thick with death. He had been in the air for only a few hours, and the terrorists had wasted no time. He had expected their assault, having discovered the plans for the operation long ago, but he had not expected it to be so noisy, so unorganized, so amateurish, and despite his own countermeasures, so effective. He had ensured that none of the valuable tech had been discovered or eliminated, sure, but the reports of lowered morale amongst the people were already coming in. The terrorists had waltzed into his home and threatened his family, and now his family was looking to him for answers. For revenge. And he was ready to give them what they desired. â??Contact every available Storm and Iron Guard, instruct them to reconvene at Base 0,â? Vela ordered a nearby subordinate, who immediately ran off to fulfill the command. Base 0 had been established roughly one hundred years ago in once was New York in the United States of America. Only personnel with highest clearance were aware of the base, as Vela didnâ??t want to risk discovery of the base by V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. spies. But the time for secrecy was long past. He was going to tighten the chain around his enemies, conquer the floating monument to anarchy that they lived aboard, and end resistance to his perfect, safeguarded world once and for all. â??Contact WroughtIron as well,â? he continued to another subordinate, as he began walking through the wreckage toward his personal quarters below ground. â??The damage caused by the terrorist attacks has incapacitated a number of our shields. We will need their assistance in rebuildâ??â? General Vela collapsed on one knee and began coughing violently. His subordinate sprinted to his aid, but Vela swatted him away. â??You have your orders,â? Vela commanded, before retreating into the base elevator. As the car dropped down the shaft he stared down as the blood sprayed across his hand and exhaled. â??Hmph,â? he grunted as the elevator came to a halt. He staggered down the hallway to his room and forcefully threw open the door. No more than four steps into his room he collapsed onto the bathroom countertop and panted heavily. â??Things arenâ??t look so good, General,â? a raspy voice whispered from behind Vela. Vela begrudgingly looked up into the mirror and stared at the gnarled and twisted reflection of a figure behind himâ??a figure with whom he has well acquainted. â??You do not belong here, psychopomp,â? Vela spat, refusing to call the creature by its real name. In truth, it was a psychopompâ??his psychopomp, come to retrieve his soul. The creature laid a grotesque hand on Velaâ??s shoulder. â??Don't send me away. You have struggled enough, my son. Allow me toâ??â? Vela did not allow the figure to finish his sentence. Having recovered his strength through sheer force of will, he spun on his heel, grabbed the creatureâ??s robes and slammed it against the wall. â??I will not suffer you today, reaper. Not when the victory I have so tirelessly struggled for is so close at hand. No, I will not die today. Nor tomorrow. Nor a hundred years from now. I will not rest until this world has obtained her dues, until my people live in a golden age of peace. So strike me with blades, plague me with disease, you foul, wretched monster. You will not claim me. Now begone!â? And with a mighty toss the spirit was flung from Velaâ??s presence back to whatever hole it had slithered from. Vela nodded his head triumphantly and straightened himself out. He marched over to a nearby communicator and called to the hangar. â??Arrange a transport shuttle to Base 0,â? he directed. He then tossed aside the communicator and walked over to a keypad on his wall. He entered in a twelve digit code and the wall creaked, revealing itself to be two interconnected panels. The panels slid open, and securely fastened against the wall was a customized Iron Guard suit. Vela entered another six digit code into a panel next to the suit, which loosened the restraints on the armor. Wordlessly Vela suited up, prepared to crush his enemies underfoot. â? â? â? OOC: General Vela is about to lead an all out assault on the Nidhogg. But what is his ultimate goal? Aboard the Nidhogg the pieces of Xavier's plans are falling together just as planned, and he's about to make a powerplay, But for we, the rpers, a personal journey is about to begin--one of revenge, of discovery and of loss. P.S. General Vela's Iron Guard suit looks like this: suit. It's the second one from the left.
  12. Hey guys! Before I get into it, I'd like to thank DeLarge for taking the reigns on this thing. Good looking out mate!   So as stated, my computer has ceased living for an indiscriminate amount of time. Thus the only access I have to the boards right now is through my phone--which is less than pleasant for writing-- or on my sister's computer-- which she isn't particularly keen on. That being said, I will attempt to write whenever I can, and at the very least I can attempt answering questions via pm or here to keep things moving along. Of course, as DeLarge already said, he has a very intimate knowledge of events to come, so absolutely feel free to make inquiries towards him in lieu of myself.   Anyway, onto individual concerns:   Sazabi- I'm actually working on a post right now that I'm hoping to get up tonight, and from there you and DeLarge can take control of Junko and Rhea.   Kayin Cloud- given your group of character's current disposition toward Scythe (who is currently traveling with my character) I was thinking of having Darth Vectis' character Bane approach you and your group with an offer to go with him and hunt down Scythe, which would eventually see all of our characters meeting up somewhere (to be revealed later) and clash before further events transpired. Does that sound groovy to you?
  13. Orcus

    RPG V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.

    After Scythe vanished, Junko ushered the rest of the UWG workers to their homes and out of harm's way. She then returned to the plant and the Iron Guard's lifeless body and looked solemnly down at it. She reached to removed the helmet from the Guard's head, but as soon as her fingers touched the body, the soldier, armor and all, crumbled into a pile of ashes.   â??Damn it...â? Junko groaned, hanging her head. She had wanted to work with the Iron Guard to continue saving lives, and when they had done all they could, then she would have worried about the woman's true intentions. Even if she didn't intend  to keep her word, and even though the woman had belonged to the UWG... to die so unceremoniously, after saving so many innocent lives... Junko took her hand from the remains and touched the spot on her chest where Scythe had â??readâ? her.   â??It's like being trapped in a den of wolves,â? Junko spoke quietly, staring off at the carnage consuming France. Everywhere she went there seemed to be danger. General Vela's devotion to eradicating his enemies. Malik's dedication to lashing out at the world. Xavier's incessant scheming. And now the reappearance of Scythe, a figure without any cause or reason beside his biological imperative to collect souls and become more powerful. And what did she have to rely on? A demonic club? Murderous allies? A brother who has countless times attempted to imprison her? Junko closed her eyes and exhaled heavily, defeat slowly creeping over her body.   â??Auuuuuuuuuuuwwwwww,â? a ghostly wail emitted from her amulet. Junko scoffed bitterly. Malik was apparently satisfied with the level of destruction he had caused, as that wail was the signal for V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. members to â??wrap up whatever they were doingâ? and return to Nidhogg so that Malik could prepare his next move. It was never enough for him. Even though he had just claimed hundreds, probably thousands of lives, he was already thinking about the next batch of humans he could kill. He would never stop, not until every last human was dead and buried, and he had made a throne from their bones. What sickened her the most, though, was not Malik's unwavering rage, but her blind allegiance to him.   When she first joined V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. she would do whatever he asked of her; she was lost and upset, and he offered her a way to vent that frustration. After a few years she began to feel guilt and remorse over her actions, limiting her rage to only members of the UWG, who she blamed for everything, for her anger and for Osamu...no, Ogre's, actions. But had all of those Iron Guards deserved death? She killed many in self-defense, but many more she killed for pleasure, a pleasure which inevitably left her feeling cold and empty. And finally, watching the ashes of another person she had condemned float off into the wind, Junko finally admitted to herself what she had always known.    The entirety of the UWG hadn't tortured her, only the scientists she had killed long ago. The UWG  may have broken Ogre, but he was the one who continued his path of violence. And the same was true of her; instead of looking to the future, instead of trying to find a new purpose in life, she had used the past as an excuse to absolve Ogre of his actions and to justify carrying out her and Malik's vendettas. If Junko had chosen a different life, maybe she could have spared that Guard, and so many other Guards' lives. Maybe she could have stood for something, like that half-demon Sladeâ??who she had mocked for prancing around asâ??the Shroudâ? but who secretly she had always admiredâ??did. Maybe... maybe she still could stand for something.   Suddenly overcome with fiery conviction, Junko took off her amulet and tossed it to the ground. She stood over it for a second, and then smashed it into pieces with her Kanabo. She was done with V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. She had allowed her anger and frustration to rule her for too long, and because of that she had been blinded to reality, and had committed horrible actions. From then on, she would find her own way, a way to redeem herself. And her first goal was to find Ogre and--   CRASH.   A large object struck Junko across the face and sent her spiraling into the body of the deceased Cerberus, which was decaying at a much slower rate due to its size. Junko hopped off the body and stared with new resolve at the vengeful form of Rhea, C floating just behind her. No Perseus... Junko thought with surprise.   â??How dare you,â? Rhea spat, pointing at the sizzling space where Junko's amulet had been destroyed. â??It wasn't enough to betray me and Percy? You had to betray our ******* family as well?â? Rhea screamed. Her body was shaking violently, and her eyes were practically bulging out of her skull. Her skin shifted between stone and flesh forms haphazardly. She was completely claimed by madness.   â??You didn't find Perseus,â? Junko noted, ignoring Rhea's cries. Rhea's nostrils flared and she charged Junko.   â??Don't you dare talk about him, you *****! It was your brother who took him!â? she growled, grabbing Junko by her collar. â??Ogre was supposed to bring Perseus back to this base but he never did. He ******* kidnapped him!â? Junko's eyes widened with shock. Ogre wasn't working for the UWG any longer? Where could he have gone? Rhea angrily lifted Junko up and tossed her back at the Cerberus corpse. Junko, quickly reoriented herself and landed skillfully on the balls of her feet right in front of the monster. She stood up, unfazed, and stared down Rhea.   â??If my brother has Perseus, than I'll get him back,â? Junko announced. Rhea, who had been preparing to hurl more profanities at Junko, froze abruptly, her face contorted with bemusement.   â??You? Why the hell would I trust you?! When we thought Percy was in our grasp you aban--â?   â??If Perseus had been at that base, I know you two would have found him,â? Junko interrupted, tired of listening to Rhea accuse her. â??I made a promise to you that we would find Perseus, and I intend to keep that promise, whether you come along with me or not.â? Junko walked up the stunned Rhea and offered the woman her hand.   â??Well?â? Junko asked. Rhea gazed warily at Junko's hand, her anger replaced with confusion and reluctant hope.   â??What makes you think you can find them?â? Rhea questioned cautiously. Junko looked into Rhea's eyes and responded without hesitation.   â??Because I intend to find and kill Ogre. I have spent my whole life trying to bring him home, believing naively that I could save him even as he murdered and captured hundreds of half-demons. I won't stand for that any longer. But that means,â? she continued, sternly eyeing both Rhea and C, â??that if we work together, I won't tolerate either of you killing for pleasure. Understand?â? Rhea nodded in agreement, and C clapped his hands together.   â??Does that mean we're going to work as a team agai--â? A thick, black rope with a sickle on the end wrapped around  C's body, cutting him off mid-sentence. The rope wrapped around his body from the bottom up, leaving only his neck and head exposed. In one quick motion, the sickle whipped around and sliced C's spectral throat. Instead of drawing blood, however, energy leaked out, directly into the tip of the blade. Once C had been completely drained, the rope and blade emanated a bright blue light momentarily, then returned to its previous state and began retracting. Junko clenched her Kanabo tightly as not one, but two reapers stepped forward and revealed themselves.    They were an unusual duo; the one on the right had shoulder-length, straight silver hair, yellow eyes, and was glowing faintly, his body â??charging upâ? from cannibalizing C's life force. He held a katana in one hand, and in the other he carried what appeared to be an urn. He grinned contently at his urn and then strapped it into a pouch at his side. The other one sported long, dark red hair down to his lower back and red eyes, and he looked infinitely less amused compared to his comrade. He did not carry a weapon, but judging from the length and sharpness of his nails, Junko could tell he was a hand to hand fighter. Like the other, he also possessed an odd miscellaneous object: a red crow with onyx eyes sat perfectly still on his shoulder.   â??Hmph,â? red reaper grunted as silver reaper stopped glowing, â??Normally I don't care to cross you, Atanos, but that soul was mine to take.â? â??Atanosâ? responded flippantly.   â??You know I don't care to entertain your misguided 'claims' to souls, Mort. I arrived first; the soul is mine. But if you truly feel so bent out of shape about it,â? Atanos looked from Mort to Junko and Rhea and flashed a sharp, toothy smile, â??these two half demons ought to make excellent snacks.â? Mort glanced over at the two half-demons and sighed.   â??I don't know...â? he grumbled, obviously uninterested. â??The soul of the wraith boy was the only thing that interested me. No offense, ladiesâ? he called over to Junko and Rhea. Atanos placed his free arm around Mort's shoulder and laughed.   â??Come now, don't be so forlorn! There will be plenty more wraiths and phantoms to feed on. For now, let's enjoy ourselves,â? Atanos reasoned. Mort rolled his eyes and pushed Atanos away.   â??If you promise to stop touching me, I suppose we can harvest them. Sorry again, ladies. I promise this is my final decision, though,â? he said politely, and then aimed his blade at Rhea. Junko scowled and her knuckles went white from tension. As powerful as she and Rhea were, fighting against two half-reapers was potentially suicidal. But there wasn't any way out of it. Once a reaper had you in his sight, it only ended in one way: death.   Junko charged Atanos, hoping to get take him by surprise. The half-reaper deflected her blow and pushed her back, and then attempted to slash through her midsection. Junko pulled in her Kanabo and managed to stop the blade right as the tip sunk into her abdomen. Atanos smiled and applied pressure to his weapon, forcing Junko to wince in pain.   â??I've never fought against a half-Oni before,â? he admitted, his eyes flickering back and forth between her horns. â??But I have always wondered if your Kanabos were strong enough to stand against our deathscythes. I suppose I'll know the answer today, huh?â? Junko responded by headbutting Atanos and swinging her horn into the side of his head. He ducked out of the way fast enough to avoid being impaled through the face, but the barbs of her horns still caught his cheek. He reeled back and smiled, revealing an unmarred visage. Undeterred, Junko charged him again, only for a figure to swoop in and attack Atanos first.   â??Good job holding out for so long,â? the newly-returned Scythe said over his shoulder to Junko. Junko leapt over him and attempted to smash her club into Atanos' skull, but the half-reaper jumped away from the pair. Junko eyed Scythe with irritation.   â??Don't patronize me,â? she retorted. â??I was doing fine.â? Scythe turned away from her and placed his weapon on his shoulder.   â??You were.â? Without another word he dashed toward Atanos and engaged him in conflict. Junko turned her attention to Rhea, who was currently on the defensive as Mort slashed madly at her body. Junko readied her weapon at her side and sprinted to Rhea's aid. A second before Mort dug his claws into Rhea's skin, Junko clubbed Mort in the stomach, causing him to double over. Rhea followed Junko's strike by grabbing the back of Mort's shirt and tossing him into a nearby building. She then turned to Junko and nodded   â??Good swing,â? Rhea said appreciatively. She pointed to the clashing Atanos and Scythe and stared at Junko, incredulous.   â??Is that Scythe? He's not going to kill us after her kills that half-reaper, is he?â? Rhea questioned. Junko shook her head.   â??No. He's... on our side. At least for right now,â? Junko assured her partner. â??But let's worry about our half-reaper right now,â? she finished, watching as Mort dug himself out of the rubble of the nearby building. He wiped away a trickle of blood oozing from a head gash and frowned.   â??That's no fair,â? he stated, pointing his bloody hand at Junko's Kanabo. â??I have no weapon. She has no weapon. This is a hand-to-hand brawl. If you insist on using it, then go join Atanos and the boy with the big sword.â? Junko glared at Mort for a moment, and then tossed her Kanabo aside.   â??Ready?â? she challenged, cracking her knuckles.   â?   OOC: Don't worry about answering the call back quite yet, half-demons. Malik isn't urging anyone to return to Nidhogg, he's just asking that they finish their last murder or two, destroy their last building, and then head back on home for supper.
  14. Orcus

    RPG V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.

    â??This is not good,â? Junko decided upon reaching the closest burning UWG building to her. Rotfire flames licked the sky and the entire building appeared to be melting, like ice left out under the relentless eye of the sun. She prayed that she would find someone alive in the blazing wreck before her. Well, she did the closest thing to prayer that most half-demons knewâ??she closed her eyes, swore under her breath and rushed into danger. She barreled through the warped wall in front of her, creating a sound somewhere between and splash and a crack. The Rotfire consumed her, danced along her skin and attempted, in vain, to rend the flesh from her bones. She took a deep breath, allowing the thick, poisonous smoke to fill her lungs and empower her. She could feel her demonic features intensifying: her skin turned as black as onyx, the barbs on her four horns sprouted like tree branches, and her musculature doubled. She  knew every person trapped in the building could see her or feel her presence, and they feared her.    â??Move, now!â? she roared, causing the whole building to shake. Those who could manage to move or free themselves from their positions stampeded from the building, all the while steadfastly attempting to avoid looking at Junko. She involuntary chuckled with amusement, and Rotfire smoke expelled from her nostrils and mouth, nearly roasting alive a UWG worker.   â??Sorry,â? she apologized, although her voice had become low and beast-like, making it unlikely that the workers had heard anything other than bestial growling. She shifted focus from the fleeing masses to peer through the thick smoke and search for trapped survivors. She noticed, surprisingly, that the building was largely open, empty space. Few items of consequence were on the developing floor: only police-grade armaments. Where were the Iron Guard suits? Intel had suggested that every UWG manufacturer was assigned to create new Iron Guard suits, as to completely replace the existing police forces with Iron Guard. Junko grabbed the arm of a nearby worker and pulled her close.   â??What happened here?â? she interrogated. The woman violently attempted to free herself from Junko's clutches.   â??Don't make me laugh! You terrorists bombed us!â? she spit scornfully. Junko drew the woman closer, so that their faces were practically touching.   â??If I bombed this building, I wouldn't be here saving your ass. So check that tone,â? Junko insisted angrily. â??And that's not what I'm talking about. This is a UWG manufacturing plant. Why were you producing police gear?â? The woman's eyes narrowed and her lips pursed, and she took a moment to think it over. Junko rolled her eyes and shoved the woman toward the door.   â??Get to safety,â? she mumbled, and then dove into the flames. Several people were still trapped under the debris, and she was sure one of them would tell her what she wanted to know. She scoured over the first floor but found no living creatures, only awkward empty spacing, as if the original technology housed in this building had been replaced with smaller machinery. She scaled the deteriorating staircase and continued her search upstairs. The second floor was similarly vacant, with only a few riot shields and stun rods scattered about from the workers' frenzy. Junko grabbed a stun rod and examined it.   â??Something is wrong here...â?   â??Help!â? a man exclaimed from the other end of the building. Junko immediately tossed the weapon aside and charged in the direction of the voice, tearing through thick machinery and metal walls effortlessly. Finally she found the remaining worker, his leg trapped underneath a pile of rubble. Junko swooped over to him, grabbed the pile and prepared to free the man. Before the man could completely dislodge himself, however, Junko had an idea.   â??So just as a quick recap,â? Junko began, positioning the rubble so that the man's leg was no longer being crushed, but he was still pinned to the floor, â??you are currently trapped. The only thing preventing you from dying in a slow and painful manner is me. Let's keep all of this in mind when I ask you my next question.â? The man looked desperately from his caged leg to Junko and nodded hastily.   â??Good,â? Junko said with a toothy, demonic smile. â??Why was all of the original machinery removed from this plant?â? As opposed to the last employee, who steadfastly refused to divulge such important information to Junko, this man wasted no time in revealing the UWG's secrets.   â??About eight months ago, General Vela ordered all of the machinery relating to the Iron Guard troops to be relocated to more secure facilities, while all of the existing plants, like ours, were ordered to handle police- and exorcist-grade weaponry,â? the man sputtered frantically. Eight months ago? Junko thought, startled. That was roughly around the time Malik suggested Operation Ragnarok... General Vela knew this whole time? Even so, how did Xavier's spy network not find out about Vela's countermeasures? And if Xavier did know... just what is he up to? In her confusion, Junko accidentally let the rubble slip, and the man let out a loud howl.   â??Sorry!â? she yelled, gripping the pipes and smoldering rocks and tossing them clear across the room. She would have to worry about this troubling news later. Right now, her new UWG best friend needed to be whisked away to safety. She hoisted him up in her arms and smiled at him.   â??Brace yourself,â? she commanded, and then leapt through the second story window out into the fresh air. She struck the ground forcefully, causing the earth to crack and splinter. Her body absorbed most of the force of the fall, so the UWG employee emerged unscathed, albeit very shaken. She placed him down and readied herself to find the next plant when the cold steel of a firearm pressed against her neck.   â??Don't move, terrorist,â? barked the distorted female voice of an Iron Guard. ****... Junko thought angrily. She slowly raised her hands up, palm open, and attempted to reason with the soldier.   â??I'm not a terrorist, and I'm not your enemy--â? A heavy metal fist interrupted her sentence by striking her over the head. She crumpled under the weight of the blow, all of her senses knocked out of sorts.   â??I said. Don't. Move. You ******* terrorist,â? the Iron Guard screamed again. Junko remained motionless in an attempt to think up a plan of action. She wasn't interested in fighting against the Iron Guards now, and every second she wasted here another person was devoured by Rotfire. As the Guard aimed her wrist launcher at her, Junko braced herself. The shot never came, however. Junko looked up and much to her surprise, found the man she had just rescued standing between her and a white phosphorous bath.   â??She's not a terrorist. She saved everyone in the plant,â? he stammered, attempting to sound confident despite shaking violently. The Iron Guard's arm did not budge.   â??Members of the terrorist group V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. do not save people. It must be some sort of trap. Move away from her!â? the Guard ordered, but the man refused to obey. The guard shoved the man out of the way and then turned her sights back on Junk, but Junko had already taken advantage of the distraction to bolt away from the Guard. Thanks for the help buddy. Time to get to the next--    CRASH.   A massive paw stomped down in front of Junko, obscuring her path. Her eyes traveled up the large, furry black leg, over the set of three muscular necks and into six, red glowing eyes. A snarling creature stood over Junko and the UWG employees, and roared into the sky. The Iron Guard released an electronic hiss, which Junko guessed was a gasp.   â??She let a ******* Cerberus into the city!â? the Iron Guard screamed. The explosions must have short circuited the forcefields temporarily, Junko realized. The Iron Guard fired a volley of grenades at the Cerberus. The creature barely acknowledged the explosions against its body and swung its massive paw through the building Junko had only just escaped from, showering the group with flaming wooden shards. Junko spun on her heel and ran over to the group of UWG employees who had lingered behind and gathered them all underneath her, using her enlarged state to shield them from the raining debris. Most of the wreckage bounced off of her hardened skin, but a large wooden spike managed to pierce through her right shoulder.   â??Raaaagh!â? she growled in anguish. Despite the force of the impact, she remained stalwart in protecting the employees. Once the wooden hail had ceased, she reached to pull out the stake, when the large metal hands of the Iron Guard ripped it out instead. Junko winced and sprung away from the soldier, ready to fight. The Iron Guard tossed aside the shrapnel and pointed at the Cerberus.   â??That thing obviously doesn't belong to you. Help me kill it, and I'll turn a blind eye when you 'escape.' Deal?â? the Iron Guard offered. Junko didn't exactly trust the deal, but she recognized the need for assistance. She certainly couldn't kill the thing alone, and leaving the Iron Guard to fight against Cerberus would either result in the Guard's death or the death of thousands of citizens. Junko summoned her Kanabo and grinned.   â??Deal.â?   â?   â??Well?â? Xavier questioned as he gazed over a large, holographic map of the Earth in his personal quarters. His faceless comrade stepped forward and touched the hologram, causing a series of white dots to appear across the Earth.   â??These are the locations of all V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. members across the Earth who are in possession of their amulets,â? the half-demon spoke without a mouth, in a voice that was at once old and young, male and female. It touched the display again, and roughly half of the dots glowed green and the other dots disappeared. Around the borders of the hologram a series of images appeared, depicting scenes of half-demons destroying UWG plants and slaughtering humans. Among the depicted were Etna, Rhea and C.   â??Approximately 42% of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. members answered the call to arms, willingly or no,â? it continued. It touched the screen once more, and the green dots disappeared, replaced with red dots.    â??And the remaining 58% either avoided conflict altogether,â? images of a number of demons, including Heru and Kurama, appeared, â??or rebelled against the command and rushed to the aid of humanity.â? The number of videos was smaller for this group, with only roughly 20 half-demons, not including Junko and Slade, shown assisting humanity. Xavier grinned, satisfied.   â??Just as I thought, Jabril...  The members of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. are beginning to pull away from Malik's rule. Less than half of our recruits obeyed his order, and many of them,â? he said, expanding a number of videos of half-demons simply destroying UWG tech and sparing the humans, â??hold their orders in disdain.â? Jabril nodded.   â??The chances of your plan succeeding are approximately 64%,â? Jabril related. Xavier stood up from his desk and placed his hand on Jabril's shoulder.   â??This is only the first stage, dear Jabril. Do not forget, after we have finished our move, it is the good General's turn... And his wrath will appear, to most members, as a direct response to Malik's foolishness,â? he stated confidently, standing in front of the screen. He reached out to the projection, and all of the dots appeared black.   â??All in good time... All in good time...â? Xavier chanted. A knock at the door distracted him from his musings.   â??Enter!â? he commanded. Snow walked through the door and bowed.   â??Your requested guests, my lord. Mr and Mrs. Crenshaw,â? Snow announced. A tall, stocky man with short-cropped brown hair stomped into the room dressed like a cross between a gangster and a southern gentleman. At his side was a lovely, elegant, raven-haired woman, whose sharp suit, skirt and overcoat combination made her appear more mafia-esque in comparison to her husband, although her ripped off sleeves added a definitive brawler aura. They both removed their sunglasses, and Mr. Crenshaw removed his hat.   â??A pleasure, Xavier,â? the woman spoke with a strong, sultry voice as Xavier took her hand.   â??The pleasure is mine, Cora,â? Xavier charmed, kissing Cora's hand. â??I'm glad you and Henry could take time away from WroughtIron to meet with me.â? Henry, whose crystal blue eyes had been surveying the room, turned his attention wholly on Xavier.   â??Well normally we don't make deals with terrorists,â? Henry joked with a surprisingly pleasant southern accent. â??But the boss here was interested in your proposal,â? he stated, nodding to Cora. Xavier laughed and gestured toward two seats in front of his desk.   â??Well then, please, take a seat. We have much to discuss.â?   â? â? â?   OOC: The plot thickens! How does Xavier intend to consolidate power? What is his ultimate goal? Also, I'll be updating the Backstage with information on WroughtIron soon. OOC2: Whoops, I accidentally wrote Anue not Heru. My apologies!
  15. Orcus

    RPG V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.

    Washington D.C., United States of America, Siege of the Storm Guard The grind of metal joints screeched through the air, and the earth rumbled under the weight of the mechanical monstrosities known as the Storm Guard. The six â??saviours of humanityâ? towered over the army of Iron Guard around their feet as men stand above ants. Never in the history of mankind had a force so mighty gathered in place, striving toward one singular goal. Vela's call to arms had been answered in kind; and despite the overwhelming odds standing in its way, today the UWG army was going to march on Inferno. And although he was not leading the charge, General Vela stood before his troops, before the wormhole and before the world, ready to send his men off. â??Do not fear, do not falter,â? General Vela ordered to his legion of followers. â??You are humanity's greatest chance at reclaiming its future. All of our hopes rest on your shoulders. Do not fear, do not falter... And leave no enemy alive.â? With that, the General marched aside, and the army of Iron Guard rushed forth into the blazing beyond. An ocean of metal men washed over the flames of hell, and the conflict began immediately. All manner of demons rushed the entrance, claws, fangs, talons, whips and blades at the ready. But the army did not waiver, and the might of Vela's forces was shown full. â??Activate Rayo 01,â? Vela ordered confidently. The air around the mech Rayo crackled loudly as a surge of energy shot through Rayo 01, the head of the Storm Guard. Steam rose off of its metal panels, and bright white light burst forth from several circular energy discharge valves located in its palms, fingertips, chest and lining the sides of its arms and legs. Rayo 01 took one slow step forward, and then another, and now stood directly in front of the worm hole. The helm of the mechanical beast split three quarters of the way down, creating a nightmarish, smiling visage. A loud roar tore out of the Rayo, startling every person on the battlefield, save a smirking General Vela. A second later, Rayo 01 sprung into the air and dove right into the horde of demons. Its massive boots crushed dozens of demons underfoot, and dozens more were catapulted aside by the powerful swing of its arms. The Iron Guard members swarmed on the demons wounded by Rayo 01's rampage and quickly dispatched them. Despite this, the flow of demons did not ceaseâ??it only increased. Demons poured in from the skies, out of the earth and from the damned rivers. It seemed as if all of Inferno was spilling forth to counter the human invaders. From outside the wormhole, Vela smiled broadly. â??Give me your worst, monsters,â? he mumbled under his breath, as he stepped into his personal helicopter. â??It won't be enough. Let's go!â? he commanded his pilot. As the helicopter rose into the air, Rayos 02-06 activated behind, and a chorus of nightmarish screams echoed through Earth and Inferno. â? Nidhogg, Somewhere in southern USA, Malik's Chambers â??The arrogant bastard is actually doing it... Maybe I should send him a thank you gift,â? Malik quipped with a dark laugh before turning away from the tv screen to his guest. Xavier shrugged simply. â??His timing is truly auspicious,â? Xavier responded with a fiendish grin, crossing his legs and resting his chin on his knuckles. â??All of... our men are in place, and the General is airborne. We will not have another chance like this, Commander. Now is the time to initiate 'Ragnarok'.â? Malik walked from the tv to his desk, and sat on his dragon bone throne. The polished black bones reflected the flames from the tv screen and washed the entire room in red. Malik snorted smoke and leaned back in his seat. â??I agree, dear friend. Vela has his sheep convinced that they are safe from us, that his gaudy, mechanical beasts will pave the road for a future ruled by man. Let's show them the truth. Send out the order,â? Malik ordered Xavier. Xavier dutifully stood up, bowed and walked from the room. As soon as the door closed behind him he grumbled under his breath. â??The fool is every bit as arrogant as the General,â? Xavier murmured. He walked into the car adjacent to Malik's, which was designated as one of Nidhogg's training rooms. Being most frequently used by Malik himself, this room was the most advanced of all the training rooms, with an a.i. that became more clever and more dangerous the longer you survived. Xavier eyed several men scattered amongst the dangerous setting, and each one silently acknowledged his gaze. Xavier stepped onto the connecting platform between that car and the nextâ??a brothel-esque room where half-succubi, half-incubi and other half demons who could heighten sensory perception pleased stressed member of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. and waited several minutes. One by one the half-demons Xavier had looked upon joined him in the hallway. He greeted the four gathered V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. members with a smile. â??The Head has just ordered his own decapitation, as I knew he would. Jaime,â? Xavier spoke to the brunette man to his right. â??Send out the Commander's message.â? The demonspawn nodded and ran off into the next car. Xavier turned his attention to the next two, a boy with a thousand eyes scattered all over his body and a raven haired man with black sclera. â??Stark and Snow,â? Xavier commanded, â??make note of all V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. members who do not answer the call, and report back to me.â? They nodded dutifully and disappeared in a sulphuric smoke. Xavier turned to his last follower, a faceless, genderless half-demon, and placed his hand on its shoulder. â??And you and I should pay a visit to the engine room.â? â? â? â? Brittany, France, Train â??I hope we don't run into one of those,â? Junko sighed before burying her face deep in her hands. The Siege of the Storm Guard was playing on every television, and Junko didn't care to watch any longer. Regardless of the damage the Storm Guard caused, they could never clear out all of Inferno. Sooner or later, it would become a massacre. Rhea and C, on the other hand, were sitting on the edge of their seats, soaking in every minute of it. â??I wonder if they'll pull the cameras away once the demons start tearing apart the humans,â? Rhea wondered aloud. C bounced in his seat with excitement at the prospect. â??I hope they show it,â? he said gleefully. Junko eyed the two, disgusted, and sighed once more. Why me, she pondered, shifting her gaze to the outside world. Even if it was crawling with UWG, Brittany was lovely, and she found herself oddly longing for a life where she could enjoy the streets and the people without having to hide. The thought made her sick and forlorn, so she scanned the horizon for something to focus on. Her eyes settled eventually on a UWG manufacturing center a couple of blocks away, where men worked tirelessly day in and day out to create new weapons for the UWG. She could hear Malik's voice in her head, raving about his disdain for these buildings, and how one day they would be reduced to rubble. â??Whoa!â? Rhea yelled in response to something, startling Junko. â??Did you see that?â? She looked to both C and Junko. C nodded furtively in agreement, but Junko continued to stare out the window. Rhea grimaced and smacked her partner on the arm. â??What's the matter with you? C's ability hasn't gotten to you again, has it?â? she questioned, causing C to chuckle. Matter of fact, Junko had taken great strides to keep it from happening, which was why C was sitting beside Rhea across a table from Junko. â??Ha. Ha,â? Junko responded dryly without looking from the window. Rhea rolled her eyes and opened her mouth to respond, but a low moaning from both the ladies' pendants shut her up. A second after the moaning began, the lights on the train began flickering wildly, and the televisions clicked on and off. Before Junko could examine anything in the room, however, her phone began vibrating in her pocket. Apprehensively, she drew it out. Malik's name was emblazoned on the screen, with one word underneath it. VALKYRIE. A moment later, a series of massive explosions shook the train from every side, as if the sky and earth were erupting. The force derailed the train entirely, and it went speeding off into the street. Homes, cars and bodies were leveled as the train expelled the rest of its momentum. The passengers inside of the train all died almost instantly, save for three demonspawn, who were tossed violently from wall to wall. Finally, the front car crashed into a neotankâ??a weaponized spherical tank which, after running out of ammo, used jet propulsion to transform into an unstoppable battering ram. Junko dug herself out of the wreckage and stumbled out into the street. Rhea and C phased out of the rubble beside her. â??This is it, isn't it!â? Rhea shouted with delight once she was corporeal again. â??This is Ragnarok!â? Junko grimaced, her eyes surveying her surroundings. Ragnarok was Malik's ultimate plan against the UWG. A coordinated set of Rotfire bombings on UWG manufacturers and military bases by V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. spies. In the ensuing confusion, V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. members identified as â??Valkyriesâ? were to sow chaos throughout the cities, murdering any humans in their path. The plan had been met with mixed opinions; many half-demons were of a similar mind as Junko, and opposed unnecessary violence against innocents. What had convinced Malik to go ahead with it? â??How lucky can we be? Look!â? Rhea said, pointing toward the ocean. Smoke seemed to be rising out of the water, and there was commotion in the street. The UWG base housing Perseus must be there... Rhea grabbed Junko's arm and attempted to drag her toward the base, but Junko wouldn't budge. â??C'mon, Junko!â? Rhea said angrily. â??I know you got the message as well. We're Valkyries! Let's rain hell down on them, and save Perseus... and Orge!â? Junko pried her hand from Rhea's and took a step back defiantly. She turned away from C and Rhea and looked off in the distance, to the burning manufacturing plant. â??Innocent people are in there. I have to help them,â? Junko stated. Rhea grabbed Junko's arm again, violently this time. â??Fuck those humans! You promised me we would save Perseus,â? she roared. Junko spun around and struck Rhea in the chest, sending her flying away. Not wanting to waste another moment, or face Rhea when she got up, Junko unleashed her Oni form and charged toward the plant. â? â? â? â? â? OOC: Members of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E., Malik has unleashed an all out assault on each and every UWG building and employee across the world, and by extension, has declared war on all of humanity. Are you going to join in on the anti-human massacre, or will you stand against Malik's orders and help your persecutors? Or... will you do nothing at all? Regardless, be careful--humans will not discrimate against friendly and antagonistic half-demons from hereonin.
  16. Orcus

    RPG V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.

    â??Explain to me again why, exactly, we're at 'Merlin's tomb'?â? Rhea asked with more than a touch of irritation in her voice. Junko ignored Rhea's comment and returned to running her hands along the large stone in front of herâ??in part, she was continuing her search for a possible secret entrance into a UWG base, but at that point she was largely attempting to keep her hands busy so she wouldn't strangle Rhea. Junko understood Rhea's concern over her brother Perseus all too well, but ever since they had arrived in France she had done nothing but be antagonistic.    Sure, their journey hadn't been exactly fruitful thus far, but the only intel they had at their disposal was a fragmented sentence gurgled out by a dying Iron Guardâ??hardly the most precise information to base a rescue off of. Worse yet, France was one of the three most heavily populated UWG countries, and Brittany had a very respectable population size. Junko's horns and Rhea's black, pupil-less eyes were a bit difficult to conceal from so many eyes, and they had only barely escaped a confrontation with a group of Iron Guard. At least wandering through the â??legendaryâ? Paimpont forest, however unsuccessfully, was proving relatively uneventful. For now.   â??Brittany is known for Merlin's tomb,â? Rhea continued irritably. â??Would Vela really put his base right in the center of a tourist attraction? I thought the overgrown, uninhabited Val sans Retour was proof enough that the UWG wasn't that stupid,â? she grumbled, punching and denting a nearby tree. Junko inhaled sharply and balled her fists so tightly her knuckles whitened. She turned, slowly, to face her friend and spoke through pursed lips.   â??Rhea,â? Junko stated simply. Rhea snarled and marched up to Junko. Even though she stood three inches shorter than Junko, her confrontational posture made her seem taller.   â??Yes?â? she demanded, her body rigid with hostility. Junko spoke calmly, her mouth twisted in a wry smirk.   â??We will find Perseus soon. I promise you. But if you don't shut up and get back to searching, there won't be any of Perseus left to find. Or worse, he'll end up like--â? Rhea swung a large, angry rock arm at Junko to shut her up. Junko blocked Rhea's first strike, but a swift second one caught her across the jaw.   â??Shut up!â? Rhea yelled, kneeing the hunched over girl in the face. â??Just shut up, Junko! You don't know anything. We're going to find Percy. I won't abandon him like you abandoned your brother!â? Junko punctuated Rhea's sentence for her by punching the woman square in the nose, full force. Rhea howled, clutched her face and staggered back a few feet. Junko could see cracks forming in Rhea's rock-like skin behind her hand. Junko growled and bore her teeth furiously at Rhea. She wanted to rip the girl apart limb from limb and stomp her remains into dust, but she knew her partner wasn't in an impaired state of mind. At least that's what she told herself to calm down.   â??Can we get back to work now?â? Junko hissed through her teeth. The lines on Rhea's face began to recede into the point of impact, indicating that her injury was already healing. Rhea straightened herself out and responded to Junko's questioning by charging the girl. Junko braced herself against the attack, but a sudden flash of light stopped both ladies cold. They gazed in surprise as a blue mist swirled together violently in the space between them, rapidly forming a humanoid shape. Junko grabbed her Kanabo reflexively, causing the shape to speak.   â??Please don't hit me, sister!â? the voice of a young boy begged. What looked to be a ten-year-old wraith floated, â??fully-formedâ? between the two of them. Long black hair flowed out from his hoodie down to his bare feet, and his bangs covered his eyesâ??or rather they would have, but his ghostly red pupils glowed through his semi-transparent hair. He smiled anxiously at them, like a dog whose family had just returned, or a wolf preparing for its next meal. Junko couldn't decide between the two, but both made her uncomfortable.   â??It's been a long time since I've seen any family members!â? he yelled happily prior to swooping onto Junko to give her a hug. Every inch of her body immediately went cold, and she felt a deep sadness well up in her heart. When the boy wraith finally ended his embrace, Junko could not stop herself from weeping.   â??Oh my God, I'm so sorry!â? the boy cried honestly. â??I always forget not to do that. Please don't be mad at me, miss Junko!â? The boy â??touchedâ? Junko's shoulder, and the chill drained from her body back into his. Junko gulped down a breath of air, grateful to feel warmth again, although her heart was still terribly frigid.   â??How... how do you know my name?â? she questioned shakily, her voice unsteady from the short bout of crying. The boy frowned and placed his fists on his hips.   â??I heard you and miss Rhea fighting. You two shouldn't be fighting each other! Especially not when there are people like them to fight,â? the boy reasoned, jabbing a finger at the area behind Rhea and Junko. Emerging from the clearing were two Iron Guard members, weapons readied.   Shit, Junko thought, Rhea's yelling must have caught their attention. Junko once more prepared herself to fight; but, just as she raised her fists in front of her face, an odd sensation overtook her. She felt as light as air, as if she no longer had a body. Junko looked at Rhea, who was apparently experiencing a similar experience, and realized that the boy, whose hands were on each of their shoulders, was phasing them. Without warning or explanation, the boy whisked the demonspawn away from the soldiers and into Merlin's Tomb.   â??Sorry about that,â? the boy apologized. â??But they can't reach us in here.â? Interestingly enough, the area he had brought them to looked exactly like the kind of the place Iron Guard soldiers would be able to find them. The walls were rusted, the air smelled dank and all manner of rodent scurried about. But there was no mistaking itâ??the derelict structure was definitely a UWG base. An abandoned one, at least.    â??Seems your hunch was right,â? Rhea admitted begrudgingly. Junko smiled and turned back to the wraith child.   â??What is your name, boy?â? she inquired. He smiled and held out his hand.   â??Cauchemar. That's what they call me, at least. But you can call me C,â? the boy responded. Nightmare, Junko thought, a feeling of dread creeping into her stomach. His name is Nightmare... Junko placed her hand in his nonethelessâ??which was difficult, as it constantly shifted in and out of existence.   â??Do you live here, C?â? she asked. C nodded and began floating down a nearby staircase. Junko and Rhea followed closely.   â??Yes, ma'am. I've lived here for the past 150 years,â? he stated matter-of-factly. Junko covered her mouth to filter out the stench of blood, rot and mold around her. How could the boy stand to live here, wraith or no?   â??Do the UWG still use this base? Are there still UWG members here?â? Rhea questioned naively. Perhaps she hoped that the state of ruin was simply a disguise to deter any travelers who were clever or unlucky enough to phase through Merlin's tomb.    â??There are UWG soldiers here, but they don't use the base,â? he stated without elaborating. Rhea and Junko exchanged uneasy glances.   â??If there are soldiers here, C, then you should get behind us. I wouldn't want anything to happen to you,â? Junko said earnestly. C giggled, which surprised the two women.    â??They can't hurt me,â? he declared. When the two continued to stare at him, confused, he giggled again.    â??Here, take a look for yourself,â? he instructed, placing his hand through a broken keypad beside a large steel door. The device roared to life for a moment, energy surging through its long-unused panel. After  few sparks flickered from the panel, the door slid open slowly, revealing a massive, dimly-lit cavernous area. A small stream of some liquid washed over their feet, and a foul wave of stench struck both half-demons immediately. Junko doubled over to vomit, which was more surprising than the smell. She hardly ever vomited. Rhea, thankfully, did not possess bodily fluids to vomit, but she felt horribly nauseous all the same. As the two ladies recovered, C placed his hand into a wall switch which generated another power surge throughout the room. A moment later, the lights in the hall sprang to life, one by one. Junko gasped.   â??Oh...my...â?   The hall was filled with row after row, cot after cot, bloodied wall after bloodied wall of UWG soldiers. There bodies were mutilated and disfigured in ways Junko hadn't even though possible. The floor of the hall was dyed crimson, and Junko quickly realized what it was that had washed over her feet when the doors opened. But the sight and smell of the thousand damned soldiers wasn't the worst of itâ??both were drowned out by the shallow swell and shrinkâ??the rhythmic breathing-- of the entire room. Most, if not all of the soldiers in this room were still alive, held together by little more than frayed tendons and torn organs. Junko confronted C in disbelief.   â??Did you do this?â? She accused. C scrunched his face up, bemused.   â??Of course I did. Why are you mad? The UWG are bad. They're our enemy. So I hurt them for hurting our family,â? he said with wicked gleefulness. Junko took a step away, stunned, and heard a sickening crunch from beneath her shoe, followed by a soft wail.   â??Help...me...â? a voice whimpered from below. She looked down and stared, horrified, at the soldier whose arm she had just split in two. She screamed despite herself and fell over. What was wrong with her? Why was she in such a state of panic? She scrambled away from the soldier, directly into another pile of half-alive bodies, all demanding the same thing.   â??Help... us... Kill... us... Kill... it...â? a chorus of condemned souls chanted. As the chanting continued, C's demeanor changed. His entire being began pulsating light, and his face was distorted with rage. A torrent of wind gathered around his body, spraying blood and flesh all over the walls, as well as Rhea and Junko.   â??QUIET!â? the boy bellowed, a powerful surge of plasmic energy erupting from him and washing over the room. The voices immediately fell silent, and C returned to his prior state. Junko watched all of this from the floor, too startled to react. Rhea smiled and walked over to the boy.   â??Good job, C,â? she said with hushed admiration, ruffling the boy's hair. C flashed her a big smile.   â??Thanks miss Rhea!â? he exclaimed. He turned his attention to Junko and glided over to her. He stopped at her feet and offered his hand to her.   â??Awesome, right?!â? he declared. Junko eyed his hand warily and did not respond, instead hoisting herself up to her feet without his help. The cold feeling C had left in her chest had finally vanished, and she could feel her emotions returning to normal. She hadn't even realized until this moment that C's touch had altered her perception, causing all of her senses to become heightened. Once again in control, she intended to keep it that way.   â??Sure,â? she responded, taking a step away from C. She walked back over to the soldier she had un-limbed and hoisted him up onto a nearby stretcher. Junko avoided the man's horror-stricken gaze, concerned it might unnerve her again.    â??Tell me where the other base in Brittany is and I'll end your suffering,â? Junko said softly, placing her hands around the man's neck. Tears rolled down the soldier's eyes, but he remained quiet. C moved to above the soldier and looked down at him menacingly.   â??If you don't tell my big sis, I'll steal all of your happy memories and bury you under a pile of your friends, where you can spend the rest of your days rotting in misery,â? C threatened. The soldier emitted a horrendous gurgle and prepared to reveal the location of the base, when C interrupted him.   â??You know what?â? C realized, a fiendish smile spreading across his face. â??I know how we can all win in this situation.â? Without another word, C plunged his hand into the man's skull. Blue light spilled out of his eyes and mouth and blinded Junko. When her vision had cleared the man lay dead, and C was smiling at her.   â??Ready to find Perseus... and 'Ogre'?â? 
  17. Orcus

    RPG V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.

    â??Not too bright, are you, demonspawn?â? the Iron Guard mocked from behind his cold, onyx mask.   â??You come close to me, I pump your friend full of the good stuff. I'm sure she'd love that that--â? his last word melded into a cry of agony as Junko's kanabo connected with the side of his head. Had he been outside of the suit his head would have been cleaved off. But thankfully for him his thick armor coating absorbed most of the blow, and instead he was propelled through a nearby tree. Without a second glance at him Junko dropped her weapon and rushed to Rhea's side.   â??Rhea! Get up!â? Junko demanded, shaking her comrade abrasively. Rhea groaned and attempted to shove the girl away.   â??Stop, stop. I'm fine,â? Rhea insisted, although her voice was hoarse and tired.  Junko grimaced and gripped Rhea's shoulders forcefully.   â??How could you be so careless? How did he get a leg up on you?â? Junko questioned. Rhea's eyes narrowed, and her face contorted into a snarl.   â??I couldn't concentrate. Heâ??theyâ??the UWG took Percy!â? she stammered through a mixture of rage and distress. Perseus, called Percy solely by her, was her younger brother, although their dynamic was more akin to a mother and son. She raised Perseus, cared for Perseus, protected Perseus; if Perseus was conscripted for a mission, Rhea was sure to follow along, or forbid him from going entirely. Their relationship was certainly unhealthy, but at least they had one. Few demonspawn could boast the same.   â??Calm down. We'll get your brother back. Here,â? Junko said while shoving her amulet into Rhea's hand, â??go back to Nidhogg.â? Rhea opened her mouth to argue, but Junko covered her mouth.   â??Please,â? she pleaded, her eyes softening for a moment. â??You need to recover. I'll take care of him, and once I've retrieved your necklace I'll call you back to me. Okay?â?    Rhea grimaced, but relented. She tightened her grasp on the pendant and was whisked back to the HQ, and not a minute to soon. Crashing out from the woods came the previously ejected Iron Guard, his helmet severely dented.   â??Home run, hmm?â? he quipped. He stomped over to Junko and surveyed the area.   â??Did my previous date run off? And here I thought the night was going well. Pity,â? he stated nonchalantly. Junko smirked, grabbed her kanabo from her side, and propped herself off the ground. The Iron Guard made no motion, but Junko could practically feel the soldier inside flinch as her hands tightened around the hilt.   â??It must be the mask,â? Junko reasoned, resting the kanabo on her shoulders. â??Normally she's into half-demons.â? She spat the word â??half-demonâ? venomously. Laughter emerged from the war machine.   â??Huh. You catch on quick. What gave it away?â? He punctuated his sentence by pointing his wrist mounted grenade launcher at Junko. A second before the grenade fired, Junko swung her kanabo into the device. The reoriented grenade exploded in the Earth between them and soaked the battlefield in white phosphorous. The force from the grenade knocked Junko off of her feet, and her clothes burst into a torrid of nightmarish flames. She screamed as the fire ate away at her flesh and thick smoke crawled into her insides. For a moment her world was nothing but pain, and then it was simply nothing.   â?¦   â?¦   â??...Ugh!â? she gasped for fresh air as she abruptly and violently regained consciousness. She felt something squeeze around her waist, but for a mere instant; her body was in sensory overload and she could barely distinguish between what she was tasting and what she was feeling. She attempted to stand up and, in doing so, realized that she was not on the groundâ??she was being suspended in the hold of an Iron Guard.   â??Awake then?â? the voice from earlier joked condescendingly. Junko responded by thrusting her arms away from her body with as much strength as she could muster, breaking the Guard's hold on her. She hit the groundâ??freshly fallen snowâ??with a thud and rolled away from her captor. A second later she was on her feet, kanabo readied again. This time, however, she was going on the offensive. The Iron Guard was still struggling to regain his footing, so Junko decided to assist him by swinging her weapon into his hunched over chest. With a loud crunch the suit was flipped onto its back, and the pilot groaned  in pain. Wanting to avoid another flaming bath, Junko hammered her kanabo into his right arm, and then, once she was sure the mounted weapon couldn't fire, tossed aside her club and gripped the suit's helmet with both hands.   â??I want to see your face, you son of a bitch!â? she roared, severing the metal head from the rest of the robotic body. A pair of frightened, tear-stricken yellow eyes stared up at her. The pilot was surprisingly small for the size of his armor, encompassing less than half the interior of the suit. Although physical appearance for demonspawn was often a misleading indicator of age, the pilot could not have been more than a boy. A half-fury boy, as indicated by his fierce yellow eyes and birdlike features, but a boy nonetheless. Junko felt pity toward him for only a moment, and the boy took advantage of it. The boosters within the hulking feet of the suit emerged and activated, and the he shot out from beneath Junko, tripping her in the process. Her spine connected painfully with the ground, but she didn't allow it to phase her.   â??Ah, ah, ah. Not so fast,â? the half-fury stated as Junko pounced back on her feet. In his large, metallic, outstretched hand he held the V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. pendant and was poised to crush it.   â??Thought you had me, didn't you?â? he gloated, apparently very pleased with himself. â??But I destroy this, and you're stranded here. The UWG knows I'm here, knows to find me if my pulse stops. You can't beat a whole army by yourself.â? Junko's gaze fluttered back and forth from the pendant to the boy, back to the pendant, and finally, defeated, on the boy again.   â??You win,â? she admitted, dropping her weapon. The boy grinned a particularly malevolent, fanged grin.   â??I know,â? he said, drawing his hand into his chest and clamping the suit's hand down around the necklace. There was no shatter, however. No pieces of enchanted jewelry littering the ground in front of him. A smile tugged at the corner of Junko's lips.   â??Surprise,â? she mumbled, just as a loud wailing noise erupted from the guard's closed fist. What appeared to be a thin, solidified beam of light filtered through the guard's pointer and middle finger and extended out two feet. Like a helicopter blade, the beam spun around in a circle, slicing off  the guard's fingers and lopping of his entire left arm through the middle of the bicep. The guard dropped to his knees and screamed a voiceless scream as half of his right arm dropped limply into the snow. Junko casually walked over to the guard and stood over his kneeling body.   â??You said they'll look for you once your pulse stops?â? Junko questioned, but she was uninterested in the answer. The crunch of shattering bones echoed for miles around, followed by terrible, agonized pleas for mercy. It was only when Junko's fists had been completely coated in blood, and her opponent's face was mangled beyond recognition, that she finally granted him his mercy.   â??Tell me where Perseus is,â? she ordered. With great effort the boy pried his lips apart and muttered a single sentence.   â??Storm...storm guard...base...Brittany...F...France...â? Junko smirked, stood up, and casually gathered her belongings. She carefully placed the pendant around her neck and took a slow, deep breath.   â??I hope that there's a body left for your friends to find,â? she snarled, grabbing her club tightly and slamming it down with all of her might on the grenade cartridge on the guards left hand. As the explosion burst forth in a vengeful, furious glory, Junko was snatched safely into the abyss, leaving the guard to writhe in the flames of damnation, alone.
  18. Orcus

    RPG V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.

    In the Midst of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.   â?     â??--For the foreseeable future, we will have to endure the wormhole connecting our world to the Demons' world. But that does not mean we need endure the demons ravaging our world.â? The image of General Vela on the tv screen looked sternly upon the crowd he was addressing.    â??For far too long we have been on the defensive, watching as demons infested our world like roaches. They scorched our cities, murdered our kin and caused mayhem in our homes. At first, all we could do was hold them at bay. Despite the sorrow and the loss, our scientists worked tirelessly on a means to defend the people. Thanks to their efforts we were able to raise the walls around the UWG, allowing the people to heal and recover. From that moment forward we began reconstruction, then renovation, and now all people of the UWG live lives vastly superior in every way to their forefathers.â? He paused for moment as the crowd cheered him on.   â??However we were too content to stop at safe and secure. I admit that this fault was mine alone; I insisted that each and every scientist discontinue work in our arms department until the forcefields were complete. Fortunately, we have since perfected the shields. Unfortunately, the demons still roam our lands. But not any longer. Today, we remove the invaders from our planet, and bring the fight to them. I present to you, the Storm Guard.â? Vela stepped aside form his podium and beckoned to the area behind him. The ground parted and a massive, humanoid figure rose up. What appeared to be a much larger, thinner, more terrifying version of the Iron Guard suits stood behind General Vela, ominously leering at the crowd.   â??The new Storm Guard armour is state of the art weaponry, outfitted with defensive technology capable of defending against even the toughest of Behemoth strikes, and enough firepower to tear a dragon in half.  And with these phenomenal powers, the Storm Guard will march on our greatest enemy; the world of Inferno itself!â? The crowd grew hushed, and a series of whispers filtered throughout the crowd. Vela sensed the discomfort in the masses and shifted his attitude.   â??I know many citizens are apprehensive about sending our soldiers into Inferno based upon the belief that it is, in fact, the biblical 'Hell'. But I can assure you that Inferno is not Hell, or any otherworldly locale; it is simply another planet from another solar system which, through means currently unavailable to us, has become linked to our own.â? The crowd seemed to accept his explanation and visibly relaxed. Satisfied, Vela returned to his previous point.   â??Regardless of the world's origin, we cannot and will not suffer its oppression any longer. Six Storm Guard, along with the regiment of Iron Guard, will venture into the enemy territory, eliminate all surrounding forces, and then over the next several months will begin clearing out the demon hordes. In place of the removed Iron Guard, another ten Storm Guard will patrol the UWG's boundaries. The remaining Iron Guard and every active UWG sanctioned civilian soldier has a new missionâ??in addition to protecting citizens from rampaging demons, they will immediately begin tracking down and eliminating any members of the terrorist cell V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.--â?   â??Horse shit,â? Junko grumbled over the tv before taking a shot of whiskey. The other half-demons in Bacchus' Pubâ??the car of Nidhogg specifically designated as a barâ??laughed in agreement and clinked their glasses together. The bartender, an irresistible succubus named Laira, scoffed at Junko's comment and poured her another whiskey.   â??You don't agree with the General's brilliant idea?â? Laira asked, seductively rolling her l's despite lacking any discernible accent. More accurately, she didn't have a natural human accent, rather an amalgamation of all the attractive qualities from every accent on Earth. Likewise, her appearance constantly fluctuated as well, changing every second to reflect the desires of the person viewing her. Junko eyed Laira and shrugged.   â??If el general wants to sacrifice his own life, that's his prerogative. And, if he wants to send soldiers after us, goodee for him. But if he sends his soldiers into the wormhole they're all going to die. He thinks it some kind of war. The demons aren't sitting around, drawing on maps, reviewing battle strategies. Well,â? she paused, downing another shot.    â??Most of them aren't,â? she finished, motioning for Laira to fill up another glass. Laira smirked and gave Junko another refill.   â??And that ridiculous nonsense he's trying to feed people about Inferno,â? Laira chimed in, taking a swig from the whiskey bottle. Every eye in the bar was fixated on her while she drank, and she knew it; she winked as the liquor poured down her throat. Junko sighed.   â??You were saying, Lai?â? She questioned, trying to keep Laira focused. The half-succubus shot a dirty look at Junko, but obliged nonetheless.   â??Who does he think he's fooling, telling everyone that Inferno isn't actually Hell?â? Laira continued. â??Did he just close his eyes whenever Wraiths moseyed out of the wormhole?â? Junko chuckled, but truthfully, Laira had brought up the most disconcerting part of the General's speech. She understood why Vela would want people to believe that Inferno wasn't the â??afterlife.â? If the citizens of the UWG thought Inferno housed actual human souls many of them would have moral stipulations with his crusade. Not that public disapproval would stop him; he would have his way no matter what. But with the public behind him, people will actively devote their time to helping him conquer Inferno. And if he ruled over the damned, or worse, eradicated them, what repercussions would that have on the planet.   â??However it turns out will be great for us,â? someone growled from behind Junko, placing his hand on her shoulder. Junko shrugged the hand off of her shoulder and took another drink. She didn't feel like swallowing any of Malik's maddening anti-human, anti-demon beliefs. He couldn't care less about the cosmic damage Vela could cause, so long as the â??mortal foes of demonspawnâ? were annihilated.    â??Not today, Malik--â? She had hardly said his name when every amulet in the pub began to wail at high pitch. Everyone save Junko ignored the ghostly wail, precisely because they knew Junkoâ??who had appointed herself the unofficial â??retrieverâ?â??would answer the call. True to form, Junko's eyes narrowed and she slammed her shot glass down on the counter. Without saying another word to her comrades, she grasped her necklace. A swirling vortex consumed her figure, and spit her back out almost instantaneously. She had barely caught her bearings when a torrent of flames overtook her. She recognized the flames instantly as Rotfire, and quickly inhaled the embers off of her body.   â??I didn't expect one of you monsters to be along so quickly,â? the robotic voice an Iron Guard member buzzed at her. His suit was larger and clunkier than the other Iron Guard models; little differentiated him from a walking armory.  His visor was locked on Junko, but his right arm was aimed at a crumpled figure under his foot. A series of realizations occurred to Junko in a row. First, she realized that the Iron Guard member was gripping a V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. amulet in his left hand. Then she recognized the figure flattened under the metal boot and a loud roar tore from Junko's throat.   â??Get your fucking foot off of her,â? Junko demanded, her skin reddening and her extra horns emerging. The ally currently embedded in the ground was Rhea, a half-golem, and the closest thing Junko had to a partner, friend or lover. She had attached herself to Junko years ago, and although Junko hadn't been particularly warm to her, she never abandoned Junko.   â??No, I don't think I will,â? the Iron Guard responded, firing a grenade into Rhea's chest. The girl screamed in agony, but her golem flesh remained intact. Junko grabbed the hilt of her kanabo and readied it.   â??Well then, tell me what you think of this.â?   â?   OOC: Alrighty everyone, things are in motion! Go about your daily lives, but know that your enemies will be breathing down your neck worse than ever. The Iron Guard are looking to eliminate you. Exorcists seek your head as a trophy. The Storm Guard will attempt to squash any who enter into UWG territory. And who knows what repercussions Vela's actions in Inferno will have upon the world. All that and more lies in wait for you, amidst a sea of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.    Happy writing!
  19. â??That was quite the display back there, Julian. You're a prodigy if I've ever seen one,â? Haytham stated with a grin, trying to distract Julian's somewhat frantic spirits. He shared Julian's concerns, but at the moment it was best for the two of them to keep their wits about them.   â??Thanks, Mister Haytham! I wasn't all that great. That guy was just a cheater, and cheaters never win,â? Julian started rambling excitedly, apparently having forgotten his previous discontent. Haytham couldn't help but chuckle at the boy. Had he been that excitable at Julian's age? For some reason, Julian's display caused Haytham to recall his father's last words  to him prior to joining Malik's adventureâ??something about maintaining his youth despite the war. As Haytham looked at Julian, he felt himself sharing his father's sentiment; he did not want the war to rob the boy of his youth.   â??...So when are you going to show me your Light Constructs?â? Julian's voice seeped into Haytham's ears. Haytham faltered for a second and accidentally tripped over his own feet. Despite all of his agility, he couldn't stop himself from stumbling into a nearby fruit stand. The commotion caught the attention of some nearby guards, who turned around to inspect the scene. However, they were met with nothing but a confused crowd and a street filled with fruit. Haytham, pressed against the frame of  a nearby doorway, held Julian close as he waited for the knights to lose interest in the spectacle. Before he could check on the soldiers, though, his ears perked at a peculiar sound. He spun Julian around and placed a finger over his own lips, instructing Julian to remain quiet. Julian nodded.   Haytham and the boy crept down a dimly lit hallway, following a pair of faint voices Haytham could just barely hear thanks to his enhanced senses. Several passageways lined the hallway, but he was certain that the voices were coming from the door at the end. He approached the door and tested the handle cautiouslyâ??it didn't budge. Undeterred, he placed his left ear against the keyhole to hear better. Julian quickly did the same, smashing the back of his head against Haytham's.   â??...It's gotta be done, boyo. Chu'val is our true leader. He has arisen, and so the usurper must be removed,â? a gruff male voice declared. An awkward silence followed, and when finally the other person spoke, they did so in a hushed and nervous voice.   â??But... But we can not just... You know what she did to get where she is now? How... how...â? a meek voice questioned feebly.   â??Such cowardice!â? Gruff Voice roared, slamming his fist against a table so hard that even Haytham and Julian flinched.â??We must do whatever Chu'val asks! He, only he, can save us from the treat that looms over usâ??the Dragon Knights! They claimed to defeat the demons, but they simply took the demons' place! I wouldn't be surprised if some of them were demons,â? Gruff stated confidently. His comment caused Meek Voice to release an audible gasp.    Haytham rolled his eyes. This noise again?    â??What a bunch of jerks,â? Julian mumbled under his breath. Haytham grinned and nudged the boy approvingly. Meek Voice was convinced, however.   â??You...you are right! And she wants to make a truce with them! We have to take care of her!â? Meek Voice asserted, although Haytham could sense that Meek was wary about the implications of whatever he had just agreed to.   â??That's right, me boy! We have got to find her and take care of her as ye said, so that Chu'val can sit upon the throne one more!â?   Haytham felt the blood drain from his face and a cold chill grip his body. These two... These two were talking about...   â??Are these bad men going to hurt--?â? Haytham clamped his hand over Julian's mouth, but it was too late. The sound of chairs scraping against the ground filtered through the keyhole, and quick steps followed. As the door handle began to jiggle, Haytham shot Julian a look, which he comprehended right away. When the door burst open, Gruff Voice and Meek Voice were blinded by a bright light, and then were left alone. Halway across the city, outside of an inn, Haytham and Julian reappeared. Julian took a look at his new focusing stone and whistled.   â??Wow, this thing is powerful!â? he exclaimed excitedly. Haytham ruffled the kid's hair appreciatively, but his heart was heavy. Apparently the followers of Chu'val were a far greater threat than he had imagined.   â??We've got to get going, Julian,â? Haytham said, a determined look in his eyes. â??Malik isn't the only person in danger.â? Julian's gaze met Haytham's, and he knew that the boy understood.    The followers of Chu'val intended to take the Empress's life...
  20. Name: Junko Age: 83 Gender: Female Appearance: [Junko] [Outfit] [Angry Oni Concept] Junko's appearance is heavily influenced by her Oni heritage, but not so much so that she couldn't pass for a tall, fit humanâ??with horns. She stands at 6'2'' and, despite having a narrow frame, is very toned; this had lead many of the members of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E who harbor ill-will towards her to call her â??she-hulk.â? Her straight, jade-green hair reaches to the small of her back, and her Cleopatra bangs fall just above her crystal-blue eyes, which are always locked in a determined gaze. Her demonically-influenced traits fluctuate with her mood. In her average, neutral state, her teeth, while razor sharp, do not look any different from normal human teeth; her skin retains its light color; and her 6 in. horns protruding from above each temple, while alarming, are not particularly fearsome. When angered, her skin becomes blacker in tone (proportional to her anger), she grows two extra horns, each one on the outside of her original horns, and all of her horns become barbed and jagged and grow to a foot long. Junko prefers to wear one outfit with slight variations from day to day: a sleeveless collared shirt-dress-- usually some shade of blue, a white hooded jacket that ends halfway down her ribcage which is also sleeveless, white fingerless gloves and either brown boots or black sneakers. Personality: Junko is a stoic figure. After years of torture at the hands of UWG scientists, the descent into madness of her brother, and a lifetime of ostracization, Junko has learned to keep her emotions repressed. Many members of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. dislike her for this reason, but others have attempted to befriend Junko and relieve her of her burdens. Her determination to find her brother [see Background] has prevented her from becoming close to anyone. However, this has not stopped some demonspawn from joining and assisting her on her travels. Only several emotions slip through her hardened visage: rage toward the UWG, guilt over the fate of her brother and kindness toward strangers. The latter she developed from years of rescuing half-demons from death. Whenever she sees a human or half-demon in a weakened state, so long as they are not openly antagonistic, she will assist them in any way she can and leave them once they have recovered. Species: Half-Phlegethon Oni Species Description: Oni are natural denizens of Inferno. They act as the guardians of the Underworld, overseeing the torture of souls and quelling fights between inhabitants. Their position as hellish â??wardensâ? has endowed them with a less fiery disposition than other demons, and a natural tendency to break up fights, although usually this is done so through a great display of lethal force. They naturally have super strength and extremely durable skin, and depending upon which area of the underworld they hail from, they can develop Hellfire abilities as well (see Backstage). They are massive in size, often standing at around 10 feet and weighing around 500 lbs. They have a wide range of skin colors, but are usually found with red, black or blue skin, and a varying number of large horns usually protrude from their foreheads. Additionally, they are always seen carrying large iron clubs called Kanabo, the origin of which is a complete mystery. Abilities: Junko has incomparable strength and is able to stand toe to toe with even pureblood Oni demons. Her toned figure and Oni bloodline have made her fast, but not agile. Her fighting style is raw, comprised primarily of powerful swingsâ??either with her limbs or her Kanaboâ??and grappling. Through Junko's mastery of her Kanabo she has also developed a rock-solid balance. Her Oni-reinforced skin is also nigh impenetrable, able to resist bullets and most forms of blunt trauma. She is able to resist the debilitating effects of Rotfire partially due to her tough skin, partially due to a mild regenerative ability and partially due to her ability to consume Rotfire to rejuvenate herself. Additionally, her senses are significantly enhanced, allowing her to track opponents to the ends of the Earth. Supplies: Junko carries only three possessions on her: her Kanabo, a prototype cellphone able to sync with any electronic device and her V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. pendant. Background: Junko and her twin brother Osamu were almost killed at birth. Their father stood over them, scalpel in hand, prepared to slit their throats and end his shame, but their mother refused. She had already known that her children would be demonspawn and had already devised a plan to spare them anguish. They told their friends and family that the children died during childbirth, and then secretly delivered Junko and Osamu to the UWG base in their city. The twins were immediately shipped to Britain, where testing began immediately. They were subjected to every manner of inhumane torture and pain, in a bid by the government to discover their species' weaknesses. Simultaneously, the children were also exposed to experimental psychoactive drugs, and the scientists attempted convince the twins to hate their demon heritage. Vela personally oversaw this all of these sessions, and his visage was burned into the twins' mind. In the early years of their captivity, Osamu and Junko attempted numerous escapes, but after fifty years of failed attempts, they had given up hope. It was only the carelessness of a scientist's child that earned them their freedom. The boy had taken an interest in Junko, and Junko convinced him to release her and her brother from their bonds. As soon as they were free, Junko thanked the boy and then locked him in their cell to keep him out of harm's way. Although she was more interested in obtaining her freedom than seeking vengeance, she did not hesitate to slaughter every soldier and scientist she came across. Finally, blood-covered and exhausted, Junko ripped her way out of the underground bunker and whisked her brother to safety. However, Osamu's already frail psyche had broken, and in his madness, his Oni half consumed him. His skin turned jet black, his incisors grew to monstrous proportions, a two foot horn burst from his forehead, and his body burst into Rotfire. He slashed Junko across the chest and left her for dead. Thankfully, Malik came across her and brought her back to the V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. headquarters, where she was able to recover from her wounds. As soon as she was well she became an active member, volunteering to raid UWG facilities and attack UWG convoys whenever the opportunity arose. She justifiably blamed the UWG for her brother's condition and, believing him dead or lost forever, now wanted revenge. Imagine her surprise then, when a few months later she discovered her brother working as a UWG funded slayer simply called â??Ogreâ?-- his appearance had returned to normal, although he had learned how to enter his oni-influenced form at will. Using a stolen V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. amuletâ??as they only work in the hands of a half-demonâ??he was sending out false distress signals and murdering whichever half-demon appeared. Junko, heartbroken, has made it her goal to hunt down Osamu and bring him to justice. â? Really, really fantastic sign-ups so far everyone! I'll probably post the main thread on Wednesday or Thursday, but I'll be leaving the sign-ups open throughout, as the open nature of the plot makes it easy for people to jump into the story whenever.
  21. Living With V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.   â?   Welcome to the backstage thread for V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. where Iâ??ll keep a compendium of relevant world information, including major events and any important characters/concepts created by you rpers as the story progresses. And naturally, this is a place for questions and suggestions from interested parties.   â? â? â?   Locales   Eurasia/Africa[United World Government Territory]- Because the General Velaâ??s troops were located in Spain, he was able to quickly spread his forces out across Europe, Africa and Asia, mitigating most of the destruction caused by the demon hordes. Thus, about 80% of Eurasia and 50% of Africa still exist in manageable states, and areas of extreme importance, such as towns with high reserves of natural resources and capital cities, have state-of-the-art force-fields protecting them. However, this has also resulted in the hand of the world government operating heavily in this area, so people on these continents suffer invasive monitoring and extreme loss of liberties. Britain- The hub of the UWG. The entire population was evacuated two years after the creation of UWG and has since been used as a military base and laboratory. It is heavily fortified and requires the highest clearance to enter into Britain-- as such, many members of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E actively attempt to infiltrate the area or attack and raid convoys going in and out of the country. Japan- Japanâ??s isolated location allowed the demons to quickly overtake the country and slaughter most of its inhabitants. Although a large percent of Japanese people were able to escape inland, Japan itself was lost and now exists as a no-manâ??s land where demons run rampant. Despite this, ships under Velaâ??s control have been spotted sailing to the islands, although their business there is impossible to determine.   The Americas [Mostly â??Freeâ? Land]- North America received the brunt of the demon attacks and was almost completely leveled in the first couple of years of conflict. Viewing the northern continent as being lost, Vela did not bother installing fields around any North American cities. The bottom half of South America was salvaged, however, and a wall was erected through northern Peru and Brazil to prevent demons from breaching the rest of the continent and to prevent citizens from fleeing in or out of the protected area. Due to the lack of government presence in the Americas, V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E established their base in the USA, a massive, solar powered, 70-car train named Nidhogg. Nidhogg- A state of the art mobile base created by members of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. The giant, 70 car train can, although rarely does, house all 1,000 demonspawn living on the planet. The train is equipped with a low-powered anti-gravity propeller on the bottom of each train, which allows it to travel without tracks, and its powerful solar batteries allows it to travel at a speed of 120 mph while the sun is up and at 60 when working off reserve energy. The extraordinary performance of the batteries is due in part to the brilliant scientist they kidnapped from Britain and in part to the Phantom demon who permanently â??possessesâ? the batteries, who has formed a symbiotic relationship with the technology. 50 of the 70 cars are housing units, while the other 20 are miscellaneous specified areas, such as kitchens, training rooms, bars and arcades. Each car contains 10 anti-air guns and 10 mounted cannons, from which everything from stolen military shells to captured demons can be fired.   Australia/Antarctica- Little is known about the tidings in these two areas, as all communication has ceased from within, and large aquatic and avian demons prevent conventional means of travel, and even armed expeditions, to either of these areas.   The Underworld- A large swirling vortex in Washington D.C. acts as a direct doorway to what is colloquially referred to by humans as â??The Underworld.â? It is in fact a separate plane occupying the same space as Earth where all spirits of the dead pass on. Although segmented into three general areas--Paradiso, where the souls of the righteous and angels rest, Purgatorio, where souls seeking to redeem themselves and the deities who test them reside, and Inferno, where the wicked and demons howl--the portal only links to Inferno, or â??Hellâ?, although it is possible that one could reach the other realms if they survived navigating through Inferno. Inferno is divided into four large sections and is ruled over by The Beast: a large, rarely even seen Dragon-like monster the size of a planet. No one has ever seen The Beast; although, some people believe that The Beast has been keeping the demons at bay so that they arrive in a number manageable for mankind. Others believe he is biding his time, waiting to weaken the Earth enough that he may claim it for his own. Phlegethon- The South division of Inferno, where all creatures are relentlessly roasted in Rotfire, flames which never quell and inflict incredible physical anguish. The area is filled with volcanoes and lush forest, both of which pump smoke into the already-burning atmosphere. Even the rivers are constructed of Hellfire, which appears as a thick, magma-like substance running throughout the land. Natural demons like Jinn and Salamanders, and transformed human souls, like Succubi and Orcs, among others, dwell in this area. Styx- The West division of Inferno, completely subsumed by the never-ending rain of Soulfire, a liquid which whittles away at the creaturesâ?? stamina levels and drive and reduces them to little more than unmoving piles of flesh. Wetlands, marshes, grogs and endless beaches comprise this section, and each of these bodies of water produce a toxin-like mist which exacerbates the degradative effects of the raining Soulfire. Kappa and Leviathans are among the most plentiful natural demons who inhabit these waters, while Selkies and Sirens comprise a large number of the corrupted human souls. Cocytus- The North division of Inferno, where fierce, frigid storms of Allfire whip and shred the minds of Cocytusâ?? denizens until they are reduced to complete and utter insanity. Cocytus is a mountainous region, and the higher the altitude, the more ferocious the swirling, crackling Allfire becomes. Creatures such as Banshees and Dragons screech and roar their ways through the skies, spewing Allfire on Wraiths and Gorgons, to name a few. (Although Dragons, like Oni and simple Ghost types--phantoms, wraiths, liches-- reside in all of Inferno) Acheron- The East section of Inferno, home to the gritty, sandy Heartfire, which seeps into a creatureâ??s body and forms a solid casing around the heart, preventing the creature from making attachments or being able to relate others, eventually turning the creature into a callous, emotionless beast. Acheron is one expansive, arid desert, lacking any form of moisture save the Ichor--spiritual blood-- of the creatures who dwell there. Heartfire storms suffocate the inhabitants, who wander around alone until they accidentally encounter another creature, whereupon they will attempt to vehemently slaughter their enemy. Golems act as the wardens of this land and Basilisks the defense force, breaking up fights between creatures such as Minotaurs and Vampires, usually by devouring the perpetrators. Lethe- A river of pure Hellfire that snakes through each of the divisions of Inferno. Most things which enter in the river are immediately reduced to oblivion; however, certain creatures have entered into the Lethe and, after a bout of impossibly excruciating pain, emerged more powerful, more dangerous. Given the unique ability of Nephelim to manipulate pure Hellfire, its rumored that either the fallen angels descended into the Lethe and emerged in their new demonic forms, or that the Nephelim were born of the Lethe originally.     Terms   Iron Guard- Advanced, armored exoskeletons created by Velaâ??s science council to enforce Velaâ??s laws and defend the people from threats. The suits can be worn as battle armor or remotely controlled from Britain, the more common method of the two being the latter. The suits are extremely durable, even possessing the ability to withstand Rotfire for several hours, and have a number of features, including: rocket propulsion for sustained flight; visual sensors which can filter between any form of light spectrum; forearm rifle mounts which alternate between lethal and non-lethal grenade types; and self-destruct cores for dire situations. Sandmen- A shadowy subsect of the Iron Guard who handle stealth, espionage and infiltration. They wear thinner, stripped-down versions of the Iron Guard armors, trading out size and defense for enhancements such as: reflective stealth plating; built in EMPs; retractable forearm blades; and the ability to discharge an electrical pulse from anywhere on the armor. Each Sandman is fitted with two separate weapons-- a silenced sniper rifle and a silenced pistol, both of which are loaded with dissolvable rounds made from extracted, solidified Soulfire, which kills the target without leaving a trace. Storm Guard- The UWG's most efficient, terrifying creation yet. The Storm Guard are effectively a combination of the technology of the Iron Guard, the shields used to protect UWG cities, and the recently â??perfectedâ? Purefire engine. After run ins with minions of the Nephelim and the Nephelim themselves, Vela witnessed the extreme power of Purefire and ordered his science council to experiment with it, despite its volatile nature. 100 years passed before the scientists discovered viable means to utilize the energy, but the schematics for the Storm Guard were created simultaneously with the Iron Guard. However, only members with the highest clearance were privy to the existence of this technology, and as such, little is known about the capabilities of the Storm Guard, even to the Nephelim and Xavier's spies. What is known, is that there are two types of Storm Guard, â??Los Rayosâ? and â??Los Truenosâ? and it is surmised that the Storm Guard have at least all of the same abilities as the Iron Guard. Los Truenos- Storm Guard units 7-16, specifically designed to patrol the UWG and react to all demon and half demon threats. They are bulkier than their Rayo counterparts, as their armour houses miniature shield projectors, which makes them extremely difficult to damage. Since they only operate on Earth, they are easier to  service and replenish, so they are equipped with many manufactured weapons, such as guns and grenades. Their engines, although standard military grade, were forged in Purefire, which makes it so that the machines can operate for weeks at standard exertion before needing to recharge. Los Rayos- Storm Guard units 1-6, specifically designed to engage demons and survive the harsh Inferon environment. The paneling of their armor is constructed from a variant of the shield armor that, instead of repelling force, absorbs it. This allows them to continuously maintain the charge of their recently â??perfectedâ? Purefire powered engines. The Rayos possess the ability to discharge energy, like Revenant's battle suit, but the pilots have complete control over the strength, duration and timing of the blasts. The Purefire seems to have had some unexpected effect on the Rayos, making them more bestial, but the full extent of that transformation/corruption is unknown. Second Tech- For humans in the Americas and lower Africa, the governmentâ??s protection was not always available or desired, in which case the people had to learn to defend themselves. In these regions, older, outdated weapons--ones that were utilized about 200 years ago and various improvised and forged melee weapons-- were readily available, and so almost every person owned at least one weapon. These weapons of the people were colloquially referred to as Hand-me-down Tech and Secondhand Tech, which was eventually shortened to Second Tech. As time marched forth, however, people began tinkering with and improvising these weapons to make them stronger, and Second Tech became a more viable means by which to counteract demon hordes. Unfortunately, the distribution of Second Tech was seized by and is now regulated by a black market system of dealers dubbed WroughtIron, who sell the higher end Second Tech at exorbitant prices, and bully local weaponsmiths into producing lower quality weapons. Recently, however, WroughtIron has reduced the severity of these policies, and has gained more popularity in the US.   WroughtIron- A group comprised of former para-military, mercenaries and gangsters who gathered together after the USA was abandoned by the UWG. They recognized early the futility and impossibility of erecting a new US government, as every state had already created its own de facto ruling body. Instead, the group acted as guns for hire, traveling across the country offering their services to the highest bidder. Their role transformed, however, after the birth and growth of Second Tech. The organization, which had grown substantially over the years, began engineering the most impressive and dangerous weapon modifications, and various groups across the country attempted to bid not only for their services, but for their wares. The then leader of WroughtIron, Willard Crenshaw, realized that he could lead WroughtIron into a new age of greatness, and began "absorbing" other organizations into the folds of WroughtIron. Eventually, WroughtIron was the sole producer of quality Second Tech that rivaled even the most advanced UWG inventions. Whenever talented engineers would arise, WroughtIron would either buy their services, or, if they were unwilling to join the organizations ranks, they would sabotage their business or their life. The current leaders, Cora and Henry Crenshaw, are less tyrannical than their predecessors, always looking to handle matters diplomatically and lowering the prices on their products as to expand potential business.   Exorcists- Glory seekers, lunatics, revenge obsessed fools, devoted soldiers. All of these titles are adequate descriptions of the Exorcist,  tongue-in-cheek name given to all bounty hunter. These are men and women who actively venture outside of protected areas, with or â??withoutâ? government sanction, and track down demons. Most of them are provided with weapons by the military themselves, either because they find amusement in the Exorcistâ??s journey or they genuinely appreciate their vigilante efforts, but many more venture out with nothing more than their wits and improvised weaponry. The learning curve for Exorcists is extremely steep, so much so that any living Exorcists are considered tantamount to mythic heroes. There are two simple divisions between the existing types of Exorcists: Hunters stalk demons and attempt to bring them back into the cities for scientific research, while Slayers murder anything that resembles a demon.   "Hellfire"- A natural element which exists throughout hell. Although thorough studies have been performed on the energy source, and the UWG's scientists have even discovered a way to harness this energy, the origin of it remains a mystery to humans. In actuality, Hellfire is the anguish and pain of Inferno made manifest. Hellfire exists in five forms, four of which correspond with the divisions of Inferno (although whether the suffering particular to those areas influenced the Hellfire or if the Hellfire that manifests in those areas influenced the suffering), and one "pure" Hellfire. Despite its name, only three forms of Hellfire actually resemble flames, with the other forms resembling other earthly "elements". Demons who have been subjected to Hellfire can sometimes produce it as a result, and variant demon types have even developed from Hellfire seeping into and changing the nature of demons. The effects caused by exposure to Hellfire can be remedied simply by removing the target from the influence of the Hellfire. However, if a person, demon or demonspawn is subjected to Hellfire periodically or for an extended period of time, the effect is irreparable.  Rotfire- A sickly green flame with corrosive properties. In its natural state, the flame will burn for all eternity; when produced by a demon or demonspawn the Rotfire will linger for several hours before being put out. Rotfire, unlike regular fire, produces a unique sort of pain in the target, causing the target to always feel as if they are the threshold of fainting. Soulfire- A blue, gelatinous-like version of Hellfire. Physically, the Soulfire affects its targets like heated water, but its true strength lies in the damage it does to a person's will--whenever a person is struck with Soulfire they lose a little more of their will to live. If a victim is exposed to Soulfire long enough, they will completely lose the desire to live and will simply waste away from apathy. Allfire- Half flame and half wind, the yellow-tinged Allfire whips at the body and the mind at once, creating lacerations over the skin and disrupting cognitive functions. Eventually the target will completely lose their sanity, and is reduced to a mindless, speechless beast which acts without rhyme or reason. A popular trend for demons who possess this Hellfire is for them to affect lesser demons with insanity and toss them into populated areas. Heartfire- a gritty Hellfire which manifests in swirling clouds of sand. Heartfire has all of the properties of regular sand, but has the added affect of adhering stubbornly to the targets skin and seeping into their orifices. The Allfire prevents the target from creating links with other creatures, such as empathy, friendship or love. The emotional isolation breeds paranoia in the target, and eventually he becomes cold to socialization, and is transformed into a psychopath. Hellfire/Purefire- pure demonic energy only accessible to Nephelim and certain other as of yet unknown creatures. When a target is struck by Purefire, as it is sometimes deemed by scientists, all four ailments caused by the other Hellfire variations are felt at once, to varying degrees. Demons and demonspawn who produce Purefire do only that; it is nearly impossible to control and can even affect the user if he is careless.   NPCs   Frederick Castle- The undead spirit in an undead body. His exact location is unknown, but rumors of a plague which wipes out whole cities over night spreading across South America might indicate that heâ??s up to his old tricks, or it might simply be local fear and superstition. It is also rumored that he might be living in Antarctica or Australia, which would account for the inability of anyone to contact the two continents, but cannot be proven for that exact reason. Some people even joke that he walked back into the Underworld, simply to spite his would-be captors. That has not stopped bands of search parties from heading out into the world to attempt to find and re-kill him, with the hope that his death would permanently seal the interdimensional gate.   General Horacio Vela- The World General himself, who watches over the United World Government like a dragon watches over treasure. Nothing happens without his knowledge, and no one is spared from his swift â??justice.â? He alone holds control of the UWG, possessing no government to delegate tasks to--he creates and issues every decree, every law, by himself, with the limited assistance of his cabinet, the six Enforcers. Each of the Enforcers â??presidesâ? over a section of the UWGâ??s territory--West Europe, Eastern Europe, West Asia, South Asia, Upper (Northern and Central) Asia and North Africa. To prevent any of the Enforcers from rebelling against him he has secretly installed neural implants in each of the Enforcers which has their brains release endorphins whenever they think of him, allows him to see through their eyes, and most dastardly, allows him to induce a stroke if they ever step out of line. Despite the relative peace, security and prosperity his rule has brought, people under his command have still braved futile rebellion, and parties outside of the UWGâ??s sphere of influence tirelessly plot against him. Malik- The first demonspawn born into the world, and one of the very few half dragons. Malik was only able to survive his birth due to his inherited dragon skin, which proved nigh impermeable at the time. Already having the intelligence of a grown adult, he roasted his parents and the doctors with his concentrated Allfire breath and fled into the war-torn streets of Egypt. His dragon powers saved him time and time again from attacks generated both by demon assault and unrest within the population. In time he grew to despise humans and demons, viewing them both as barbaric, cursed races. He came to the conclusion that half-demons, being fresh in existence and free to choose their own destinies, were the most worthy of inheriting the Earth. To this end he created V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. both as an organization to strike out against demon and humankind and as a vehicle to ensure the continuance of the half-demon race.    Xavier- A secretive and manipulative half-demon of undisclosed demonic heritage, Xavier acts as one of Malik's lieutenants within V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E., collecting important intel and assets for the organisation. He is a master tactician with a sharp mind, which has made him an invaluable member of Malik's inner circle: however, behind the scenes he has dozens of half-demon combatants within V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. swearing loyalty to him and a great deal of socio-political power. His true ambitions and and motives are unclear to all but himself, but what is not in question is that Xavier is an incredibly dangerous man to cross.   Cora Crenshaw- The president of WroughtIron and a woman of amazing capacity and ravishing resourcefulness. A member of the Crenshaw "dynasty" she was groomed for leadership all of her life, as it was glaringly obvious that she possessed a tenacity absent from her five brothers and sisters. She was trained in various forms of martial arts, weapons proficiency, war strategy, business strategy,  economics and politics. She excelled in her studies and began actively maintaining the companies affairs at the age of 22. At that age the 27 year old Henry McEnroe was assigned as a part of her personal cabinet, and six months later they were married. At 26 she became the official head of the organization, and she immediately changed the companies policies. She filtered money into nationwide reconstruction, created a number of charities and philanthropic groups, erected a school to train a new wave of forces who could police the US and has lowered arms prices so that smaller groups and even individuals with the proper means can afford WroughtIron tech. General Vela, noticing the growth of WroughtIron, attempted to create an alliance with them, but Cora has shut him down each time. Despite the attacks on her headquarters by certain members of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. she does not regard half-demons with ill will, and a number of half-demons are in her employ.    Henry Crenshaw- Henry was born to Henry and Eleanor McEnroe, hitmen working for the Cross, a powerful religious group that operated out of Georgia. The Cross was split into two groups-- the Body, which believed that anything relating to the demons or half-demons was damned by god and should be eliminated, and the Spirit, who believed that the word of God could save anyone, human or no, and sought only to eliminate evil in whatever form it appeared. Henry and his family belonged to the Spirit. His mornings were spent in church, his afternoons in training, and his nights bathed in blood. Throughout his youth he was thin and scrawny, and so had to rely on careful planning and his wits to eradicate enemies. When he finally sprouted into the tanking behemoth that he is now, he had already learned the finer arts of stealth, poisons and espionage, and was unrivaled as a hitman. His skill, devotion and charismatic nature earned him control of the Spirit, and his first act was to ally himself with WroughtIron. In return, WroughtIron helped him wage war on and eliminate the Body. He fell in love with Cora the moment he laid eyes on her, and has devoted his life and resources to her cause. He personally works at their main police training facility training new recruits, although he functions as vice president as well.
  22. V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. WARNING- This rp is open to graphic violence, intense language and sexual situations. â? Only one man has ever escaped from Hell. His name was Frederick Castle, and he was a serial killer. He earned his infamy by slaughtering each and every person in a small midwestern American town and writing his name across their foreheads in blood. He traveled across America, leaving a trail of carnage in his wake. After the fifth city, the country went into a state of panic, and a bounty was placed on Castleâ??s head. Castle, however, was a ghost, and despite years of hunting, law enforcers were unable to apprehend him, and his murderous reign continued. The death toll rose unimpeded; until one day, 15 years after the first incident, when Frederick Castle walked into a police station in Washington D.C., laughed once, and then slit his own throat. The last drop of blood had hardly drained from his body when cold, demonic claws grabbed his soul and dragged him into the underworld. His soul was not judged or weighed--he was condemned to an eternity of torture as a drone, the lowest level of hellish denizen. But he did what no man had done before him. He refused his sentence, and, having meticulously remembered the route from the mortal realm to the afterlife, returned to his body. The combination of a dead soul encompassing a dead body opened a portal between the two realms and unleashed hordes of demons onto the Earth. However, this story is not about the undead dimensional gate known as Frederick Castle. No amount of technology or weaponry prepared humanity for the appearance of demons. Because the demons existed in forms highly reminiscent of creatures from folklore and myth, many people let their guard down around them. This mistake cost thousands of lives; the demons had roasted in the fires of damnation, many of them for eternities, and no longer possessed any sense of morality or mercy. They were chaos incarnate, acting purely on their desires. Governments around the world floundered in an attempt to mitigate the situation and crumbled under their own ineptitude. Only one man, a Spanish general, by the name of Horacio Vela, had the foresight, the temperament and the moral ambiguity to take control of the situation. He gathered together a massive army and threw waves of humans at the demons. Whilst his soldiers kept the monstrous hordes at bay, he entreated all of the worldâ??s renowned scientists to gather together in Britain to discover a means to defeat their enemies. Once they were, Vela had all of the fuel he needed to defeat the threat-- as he was effectively the only person with an army, and everyone capable of actually creating a defense system against the demons, the leaders of every nation had no choice to but to pledge their resources and allegiance to him. Overnight, Horacio Vela went from a skilled general to the leader of the United World Government. He imposed a series of strict, harsh rules, stripping people worldwide of their civil liberties but ensuring their survival. And somehow, despite coming to power more than 200 years ago, Vela looks younger now than when he took office. However, this story is not about the well-meaning world dictator known as Horacio Vela. Despite Velaâ??s severe governing and a new technology created by the scientists which erected an impermeable barrier around all major cities, many people still felt the wrath of the demons in their everyday lives. Smaller towns deemed unworthy of the expensive new form of protection were left to deal with the problem on their own. This violent relationship bred two developments. The first was a mass thinning of the population and of natural resources. The second, and more important development for the sake of this story, was a sharp increase in pregnancies among townspeople--demonic pregnancies. A year after the demons arrived, 300,000 of we half-demons were born. Mostly human, they nonetheless possessed demonic properties and abilities, as well as a predilection towards violence. Of the 300,000 born, only 270 were not immediately killed by their doctor or parents. Of those 270, only 90 demonspawn worldwide lived until adulthood. A law was passed demanding that all parents immediately murder any child suspected of being a demonspawn, though we have managed to save many. We 90 were despised and struggled every day to survive in the border between both worlds; demons viewed us as tasty humans, and humans viewed us as villainous demons. This story is about us. We crawled through the mud and spilled blood, through the shit and corpses, but eventually we found one another, and therein we found our power. Not telepathy or super strength or anything of that sort-- we had already developed those kinds of abilities in our adolescence. No, we found the power to lash out at the two worlds that had forsaken us, demon and human alike. We live in a world tempered by violence, so we became V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E., a so-called â??terroristâ? organization. Sometimes we protect humans. Sometimes we murder them. Sometimes we slaughter demons. Sometimes we sick them on government officials. We always save newborn half-demons. We do what we want, when we want. And thatâ??s all we can do on this god-forsaken Earth.   â? â? â?   Welcome one and all to V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. an open world rp examining the lives of people born into a broken world. We stand little hope of banishing demons from the Earth, though some of us have ventured out into the world to find Frederick Castle, with the hope that his redeadening will close the portal between realms. We are at a loss against the might and military savvy of Horacio Vela, but many of us have and will fight to the death to depose him. No, for most of us, every day is just about living, about surviving, about venting our frustrations on anything and anyone. This story will be about your personal life, as you struggle through a decaying world that hates and despises you. You are free to do whatever youâ??d like, whenever youâ??d like. Feel free to interact with other players or travel solo and see the world, or maybe even the Underworld! You could even create multiple characters, if youâ??d like, and have one stay with the others and the other venture out alone--just be sure to keep your posts between the characters clearly distinguished. Donâ??t feel as if you need to play as a half-demon, though. Humans do overwhelmingly outnumber half-demons, so if you are interested in playing a human who hunts demons (or maybe half-demons!), or an average person dealing with the trouble of constant demon attacks, or even one of the people who lives in a protected city, go right on ahead! Now onto the sign-up!: Name: Age: Half-demons age at a drastically reduced pace, so even characters in their hundreds often look like theyâ??re in their 20s or 30s. No half demon is older than 240 Gender: Being half demons, itâ??s entirely possible you donâ??t have a gender Appearance: Every half-demon has a noticeable physical manifestation of their demonic lineage. For some, it is understated, like a pair of horns or a forked tongue, but for others it can be drastic, like possessing wings or being a horse from the midsection down. Personality: Living in a world as downtrodden, oppressed and carnal as ours is bound to have some negative repercussions on your psyche. Some half-demons, however, revel in the vile and unpleasant, as they are more in tune with their demon half. Species: This will be half-â?somethingâ? for everyone. Species Description: While many demons are simply denizens of hell, some demon races are actually the cursed forms of human souls; for instance, people who indulged in sexual activity for selfish and cruel reasons became succubi or incubi in the afterlife. Along with that information, list noteworthy characteristics and abilities of the species here as well. Abilities: Did you develop the ability to create poison from your Naga â??fatherâ?? Or perhaps impenetrable stony skin from your Golem parent? All manner of abilities manifest in demonspawn, so be creative! For human characters, list any skills you possess that help you to survive in your harsh environment. Supplies: What kind of weapons and other useful items do you lug around with you? This story does take place a decent amount of time in the future (2254 CE) so technology has advanced a bit. Once again, be creative. The only thing ubiquitous to all members of V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E. is an enchanted amulet which allows you to teleport back to V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E.â??s base, call for assistance from an ally, or teleport to assist another ally. Background: Doesnâ??t need to be too long, just a compilation of the formative events in yours life. â? â? â? â? â?   If you have any questions at all, do no hesitate to send me a pm or to post your questions in the backstage thread. I'll post my sign up after a few people have posted theirs.
  23. The enemy dragon reared its head back, wild flames leaping from between its teeth. Bayel's dragon form tensed as she prepared for the oncoming strike. Just as her foe spread its maw to unleash a ferocious blast, a white beam of light shot down from above and pierced it through the snout. The dragon roared in agony and violently shook its head, causing the fireball to rocket off into the sky. Bayel's head whipped toward the ship, and a smiling Haytham disengaged his light bow and waved.   â??Garrick is not the only one with arrows!â? he called down jovially. Bayel snorted, hopefully in approval and flew off to finish her opponent. Haytham turned back to the deck and surveyed the battlefield. Julianâ??little sorcerous monster that he wasâ??was shaming a group of knights, while Garrick and Cassandra were human-cyclone-ing their way across the ship. They were certainly keeping the enemy at bay, but something seemed amiss...   â??Haytham, do you hear that?â? Amirah hollered at him from across the ship prior to spearing an enemy savagely through the heart. Haytham instinctively began to search around the air adjacent to the Vorzik, but there was no need. An explosion below him launched him clear off of the deck and over the side of the Vorzik. He dropped like a stone, his body still reeling from the explosion. In a moment of desperation he summoned a light ring, formed a spear, and extended it as far as his magical ability allowed. The spear cut through the wind and shrapnel and caught something hard. His right arm whiplashed from the abrupt stop, and his shoulder popped with a sickening squelch. A mighty roar tore from his lips.   Not my proudest moment... But at least I live yet, he thought through the pain. He opened his eyes to catch his bearings and grimaced at the sightâ??he had managed to dig into the very bottom of the Vorzik. A second later and he would have surely fallen into the second sight gracing his eyes: a bevvy of enemy ships was rising up from above, using the Vorzik's inability to climb higher to ambush her. Haytham growled angrily. â??This is... unexpected...â? he mumbled. The ships were climbing rapidly and were practically upon them. Need to be quick about this. Haytham directed his will toward the deck, and his mind instantly linked with Amirah's.   Enemy ships below. Fire the weapons once level. Meet me down there. Without wasting another moment, he formed a solid light ring in his left hand and drove it into his shoulder. As the shoulder reconnected, his hand reflexively released the spear. This time, however, he was prepared. He was suspended in free fall for only a moment before his feet crashed into the closest enemy ship. An enemy knight stepped toward Haytham, but he collapsed as Haytham's blades ripped through his kneecaps. His howl of pain alerted the other soldiers to Haytham's presence, and they flooded onto the deck like ants. Just as they surrounded Haytham, two flashes of light washed over the deck and a noise like a thousand horns bellowing at once filled his ear drums. And as is always true, after the thunder, came the lightning.   A stream of golden energy spheres erupted from both sides of the Vorzik and completely annihilated the two adjacent enemy ships. Fire, wood and bodies rained down from above and, amidst this destruction, plummeted a sole figure. Before the enemy crew could react, Amirah crashed into them, spear first. She pulled her spear from two bodies she had landed upon and swung it in a wide arc; the blunt shaft connected with a soldier's ribcage and knocked him off of his feet. His broken body collided with a couple of battle-mages in front of Haytham, clearing a path for him. Haytham plunged his blades into the hearts of the downed soldiers and then dove into the frenzy alongside Amirah.
  24. Haytham stared blankly at the doors as they closed behind Julian for a moment before turning to the remaining party in the room. No one could think of anything adequate to say in the wake of the Dragon Commander's request and Julian's childish display. The situation seemed almost too surreal for words. â??It seems that I've changed my opinion of the old warhorse, milady,â? Garrick decided, finding his voice before the others. Cassandra's face soured slightly. â??Or really, Virdisian? Do tell,â? she entreated, her voice lined with venom. Garrick seemed to care little, though, and responded candidly. â??He is not simply another soldier in the never-ending cycle of war. He's also a complete and utter lunatic,â? he said with a slight laugh. Cassandra's eyes flashed with rage, but before she could rebuke Garrick, Haytham spoke up. â??The Dragon Commander is taking quite the chance,â? Haytham reasoned, as there was certainly some truth in the Virdisian's words. Any man would see this journey as folly. If Malik was any less of a leader or a capable soldier, Haytham would doubt him himself. Or rather, he would doubt him more. â??The First Born does what he believes is best,â? Cassandra replied, her wording betraying her personal doubt. Haytham looked over at Knight Moretal hoping to gauge her reaction as well, but she was silent still, lost in her own world. Haytham wondered if she had any concerns of her own-- he had only heard tales of the knight, and even then only accusations that she was some form of necromancer and harbored a deep passion for Malik. Haytham put no stock in rumors, though, and was eager to learn more about her during their travels. Huh, he thought in response to his last thought. He was already referring to the suggested adventure as â??their travels.â? Naturally, he knew he would be joining Malik on this questâ??Malik was his brother in arms, after all. But it felt strange to embark upon something he did not completely understand the motive behind. Strange, and exhilarating. Apparently, despite his best efforts, he had developed his mother's love of adventure and the unknown. â??Then I will certainly go to his aid,â? Haytham announced, breaking away from his own torrent of thoughts. Cassandra nodded appreciatively at his decision. Suddenly eager to make preparations, Haytham stood up, bowed to the two who had yet to make their decision, and exited the meeting chamber. ***** Be safe and keep in touch, a message scribbled itself onto Haytham's enchanted parchment. Haytham knew better than to reveal the details of his journey to Iulia, but he felt compelled to let her know that he would be gone for an extended period of time. Additionally, it seemed prudent to have a quick means by which to contact Dragon's Rise if need be--at least, that's what he told Krom when he caught sight of Haytham writing to Iulia. He smiled and tucked the parchment into his pocket, before pushing open another large set of double doors--some carpenter must have amassed quite the treasure trove for building all of these doors, Haytham thought--leading into the hangar. Although Haytham had been raised around airships, he could not help but marvel at the sight before him. Hundreds of airships lined the interior of the hangar, each wholly unique in design and function save for one unifying item. Protruding in some direct for the center of airship was a massive floating crystal. The crystals varied in colour and aura, which reflected the capabilities of the ship. Lightly coloured ships excelled at combat and speed, darkly coloured ones at defensive maneuvering and powerful artillery. The particular ship that had been selected for Malik and his party was Malik's personal ship, the Vorzik, and it possessed a specialized hybrid crystal, created by the Dragon Rise's other most capable wizard aside from Cassandra, Morgan Leffae. The technology was extremely temperamental however, so Morgan was joining their merry band as well, partially to maintain control of the ship and partially to advise the commander. But he wasn't the only higher-up joining their crew. "Look sharp, Slayer!" Shouted the commanding female voice of a ferocious looking woman standing aboard the Vorzik. Haytham immediately snapped to attention and saluted the woman-- Amirah the Divine, the very first Dragon Slayer. Haytham knew nothing but respect and admiration for the woman, and shared a connection with her even deeper than his connection to the Dragon Commander. Although Malik was his leader, Amirah was the one who had spent the most time training and strengthening Haytham. She had seen his potential, not for being the son of Krom or Basira, but for being the capable and eager warrior that he was. "Relax Haytham," Amirah joked with a great laugh, before clasping his arm and pulling him into an embrace. "I am glad that Malik chose you out of all my slayers. You are certainly the most dangerous and the most capable. But from what I hear, all the travelers on this journey are of the skilled and trouble-making variety," she said, turning to face the ship. On board, Julian was scurrying around behind Malik, asking a serious of questions and making the crew members extremely uncomfortable. "Despite his age, he does seem to be quite the competent sorcerer," Haytham admitted. "He sneaked into the battle tower and then allowed himself to be captured so that he might meet the First Born." Amirah laughed with a mixture of incredulity and awe. "Some might call that the foolish vigour of youth... They would be right, but with proper training that boy could be a courageous soldier," Amirah stated. Haytham smiled and nodded in agreement. Amirah grabbed Haytham's shoulder and shoved him towards the airship. "Get aboard, Slayer Haytham. We had better wait for your other potential teammates to come around on board. I can give you a tour while we wait," Amirah said jovially. Haytham grinned and saluted Amirah again. "Aye, aye, Dame Amirah."
  25. Haytham enjoyed roaming the streets of Dragon's Rise during the afternoons. The people in the city were always in motion, haggling, arguing, lovingâ??they found solace from the war in their mundane everyday tidings, and Haytham could share in that when he walked among them. Unfortunately, the people in Dragon's Rise did not find his presence as endearing; whether they gazed appreciatively upon him or cowered at his fearsome appearance, he had a sobering effect on them. Their opinion bothered Haytham little, however, as he had accepted that he would always be an outcast in society. If they won the war, he would be a relic from the past; if they lost, he would be a war criminal. â??Always lost in your thoughts, Haytham,â? a female voice chided Haytham. He tore his eyes away from a family gazing at him from the shadows and looked at the speaker, one of his entourage. Her name was Emery Folcurt, and she was one of his two squires (yes, two. Haytham was the ambitious sort). Her jade eyes watched him with amusement, which betrayed the core facet of her character; her incorrigible pride. It was her pride that had encouraged Haytham to take her on as an apprentice. Few women would stand in front of a blood-soaked Dragon Slayer and demand that he teach her the art of the sword. Fortunately for she, she proved an able student. He opened his mouth to respond to her, but another did so first. â??Such insolence, squire! To refer to our Lord Pavel by the lord's given name is reprehensible!â? shouted the stern voice of a young woman who had previously been walking in front of Haytham. Her name was Aemelia Odinson, and she hailed from the Empire as well. During a particularly gruesome engagement between Corvin and Malik's warriors, the conflict spilled into a city on the outskirts of the Empire. Most of the villagers fled in the wake of such animosity, but Aemelia, who had long acted as the village's protector, grabbed her sword and rushed into the battlefield. The enemy scoffed at her approach, but their dismissal of Aemelia due to her age proved their undoing. It was only the rampage of a belligerent dragon that ended Aemelia's glorious display. Before the dragon could vanquish Aemelia, Haytham struck the dragon down. Aemelia felt so indebtedâ??and was lacking a home, since the villagers had abandoned her and the town had been razedâ??that she pledged himself to Haytham. â??Such severity is unnecessary, Aemelia,â? Haytham interjected with amusement. â??I harbor no fondness for titles or statusâ??especially not between allies. Leave formality for the Battle Tower.â? Aemelia nodded dutifully. â??Of course, my lord,â? she responded. Haytham smiled and placed his hand on her shoulder, before turning his attention back to Emery. â??Emery is right, however. My thoughts have overwhelmed me as of late. I think often to the end of the war, and the never-ending hardships we have welcomed into our lives by becoming soldiers. We will be secretly despised in life and openly worshiped in death. Interesting, no?â? Haytham questioned, his expression unreadable. â??What a... pleasant thought, Haytham. Yer a little young to be that... Hmm, I would say philosophical, but that sentiment is downright depressing,â? a gruff voice stated. Truthfully, everything about Leonardo Rumore was gruff: his facial hair, his grunts, his pastimes. Haytham didn't know much about Leonardo's life prior to finding the man drinking a village under a proverbial and literal table, but like Emery, Leonardo forced himself in Haytham's life. As soon as he sobered up, he began referring to himself as Haytham's â??mentorâ? and began following Haytham around to â??ensure his well-being,â? which amounts to little more than being loud, making lewd comments and drinking. What he lacked in general pleasantries and outright strength, he made up with tenfold in cunning. Haytham sometimes wondered if Leonardo hadn't planned out the entirety of his life in advance, as he's never borne witness to a situation where Leonardo didn't come out on top. â??What you should be thinking of at yer age is drinking and women! Speaking of...â? Leonardo grabbed Haytham's head and twisted in the direction of a nearby bread shop. Inside, a beautiful white haired battle-mage was purchasing some supplies. She had an exotic air about her: everything from her strange weapon to her peculiar garb evoked curiosity. Haytham found himself lost for words. â??Watch and learn, young master,â? Leonardo said coyly, swaggering off in the direction of the woman. Haytham, still stunned, could only watch as Leonardo draped his arm around the girl's shoulder and began making a fool of himself. â??Worry not, fair maiden. I will pay for your meal,â? he stated with a wink. The mage scrutinized Leonardo from head to toe before responding. â??...Thank you, sir knight,â? the woman said tentatively, her voice enticing and her accent unfamiliar. Leonardo threw the vendor some money and escorted the woman away from the store. â??Leonardo. Sir Leonardo. And there is no need to thank me Lady...â? He paused and leaned toward his captive, waiting for her to offer her name. â??Then I shanâ??t. Good day, sir knight,â? she said, bowing her head and peeling Leonardo's arm off. Leonardo, undeterred, continued to walk alongside the mage, with Haytham and crew following closely behind. â??So frigid, like the snows of Mount Galacius! Does an act of kindness not gain me at least a name?â? Leonardo questioned. The mage, also undeterred, answered in kind. â??An act of kindness would,â? she replied politely. Haytham scoffed, impressed by the mage's wit. Leonardo frowned and stroked his beard, obviously attempting to scrounge up another plan. â??Well then... How about I earn your name, and a date tonight?â? Leonardo reasoned. The mage stopped and sighed. â??How would you attempt to do that, sir knight?â? She responded without much enthusiasm. â??Well, judging by your attire, you are undoubtedly a witch of some considerable talent. Mayhaps we could battle against one another? I could show you my... longevity,â? Leonardo suggested. The mage grimaced and her demeanor hardened. A small bolt of lightning crackled around each fist, startling Leonardo. Leonardo instinctively reached for his sword, and Haytham decided that this madness had ensued for far too long. He sprung in the path of Leonardo's blade and stayed his swing. â??That is enough, Leonardo,â? Haytham commanded. â??I am terribly sorry for the conduct of my companion, m'lady. Please excuse his disgraceful behavior,â? Haytham apologized. The mage surveyed Haytham just as she had Leonardo. â??His behavior is forgotten. As for you... Have you a name, Dragon Slayer?â? she inquired. Haytham blushed despite himself. â??I am Haytham Pavel, son of Krom the Unyielding and Basira the Tempest,â? Haytham declared with a bow. The mage smiled and curtseyed in turn. â??A pleasure, Sir Knight Pavel. I am Iulia, a Battle-Mage from Sablerot. How is it that a man of such character keeps company with a ruffian like him?â? She motioned toward Leonardo, who had wandered off and turned his attentions to Aemelia and Emery. Haytham groaned. â??I oft ask myself the same thing,â? he joked, illiciting laughter from Iulia and himself. â??Truthfully,â? he continued, â??he is a loyal friend and a goodhearted man. He is rarely so rude or forward... I have seen him try many tactics to secure a date, but combat is a new one. He will be reprimanded for his disrespectful display.â? Iulia placed her hands on her hips and shrugged. â??No need to punish him... If it weren't for his behavior, we would not have had the pleasure of meeting one another,â? she said smiling. Haytham blushed again, before a thought struck him. He looked over at Leonardo, who winked at him prior to leading Aemelia and Emery down another street. Crafty troublemaker... Haytham thought disapprovingly. Even if Leonardo had... good intentions, Haytham did not approve of trickery, and would play no part in it. â??It would seem that was the intention of my companion all along,â? Haytham admitted. Iulia thought this over for a moment, and then shrugged once more. â??He has done no harm. There is no reason we should not reap the benefits of his deception. How about we reap those benefits over a meal? Although now might not be an opportune moment,â? Iulia stated as her gaze fluttered over to a nearby alley. A voice from said alley interjected. â??Quite an astute observation, Lady Iulia,â? a grinning man complimented as he stepped between the pair. From up and down the street men and women shrieked and fled into their homes at the sight of him. Even Iulia lowered her head with a mixture of respect and fear. Even though Krom, like his son Haytham, walked the streets of Dragon's Rise frequently, his presence always created quite the stir. â??Lord father,â? Haytham said, clasping his father's arm in an embrace. â??The Dragon Commander requires your presence. I have been sent to collect you,â? Krom explained, shocking Haytham. What need did the Dragon Commander have of he? Despite his concern, he maintained his composure when he addressed Iulia. â??I suppose we will have to postpone that conversation--â? â??Date,â? Iulia corrected. Krom chuckled in the background. â??Date,â? Haytham repeated, â??at another hour. How will I find you?â? Haytham had hardly finished his sentence when Iulia handed him a black scroll of paper. â??Enchanted,â? she explained, noticing his confused expression. â??Any message you write on this parchment will reach me. It was a pleasure, Sir Haytham.â? â??The pleasure was mine, Lady Iulia,â? Haytham countered. Iulia flashed him a smile before paying her respects to Krom and departing. Haytham watched, enamored, as she disappeared into the crowd. â??Very lovely,â? Krom announced, breaking Haytham's concentration. â??Your mother will be excited when I tell her--â? â??You said the Dragon Commander called for me?â? Haytham interposed, although he still had quite the sheepish expression on his face. Krom burst into laughter and wrapped his arm around his son. â??Still a boy in many ways, ey? I'm glad to see the war has not robbed you completely of your youth. But you are right; other matters need attending. Let us make haste to the Battle Tower.â?
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