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[COLOR=Indigo][FONT=Trebuchet MS][size=3][b][u][center]TATTOO[/u][/size]


They are an ancient form of body art.

I have a pair of wings tattooed onto my shoulders and a dark blue dragon tattooed onto the small of my back.

Some cultures believe that tattoos are the weaving of legends and are the captors of spirits.

I never believed in magic or the paranormal.

That was until I met [u]him[/u].

Last summer, I flew to New Zealand for a vacation. I was visiting Milford Sound when an elderly Maoui chief confronted me. Greatly detailed tattoos covered his face and arms. Tradition he said - tradition that he was proud of.

He was the one that made me believe. The one that made me realise that there are other forces at work in this world.

And that I could harness them.


[i]Location: Greek Isles, Greece[/i]

Lani sat back in her swivel chair, a pen in her mouth thoughfully. Before her lay a diary upon a scrubbed wooden desk. Her short yellow-green hair hung around her head as she thought of what to write for the day's events. An intricate golden armband shifted around Lani's upper arm. Her burnt orange eyes scanned the blank piece of paper.

A cool ocean breeze slid through the open window. Lani lent back further in her chair and looked out onto the dark blue ocean, a midnight blue sky dotted with diamond-like stars hung over the small crashing waves.

The sounds of the ocean were soothing to Lani. She had grown up around the sea, knowing its pleasantries and dangers. Growing up in the Greek Isles, Lani knew all about the ocean, from her mother and her grandfather. They taught her how to be as strong as the waves that crash on stormy nights and as calm as the seas on a clear day.

Lani sighed. Today had been a boring day. Just research in the lab. She hated lab work. She loved being out on the university's trawler, doing field work. It was that she loved the most, and feared.

Her father, a kind and gentle man he was, went out into a storm on his trawler to get the family some extra money for a local celebration was scheduled in the next few days. Unfortunately, a large wave made the whole boat capsize. When the boat righted itself again, Lani's father was nowhere to be found.

A knock echoed on Lani's door. She turned in her chair to face the door.
" Who would want me at this time of night?"
Getting up from the chair, Lani walked over to the door and opened it.
" Professor??!!?"

A short bald man in a white lab coat stumbled through her door. A circular blood stain could be seen on his back where he had been pierced through the body with five small blades. Lani rushed over to the dying man, holding him in her arms. Tears started forming in her eyes.

" Professor....what....how?"
" He's coming........that....madman.....he's coming.....for you ....Lani....he ......wanted...the keys......to your room......I wouldn't let.........him have them....." the Professor heaved.

The heavy sounds of boots came stomping to a stop at the doorway. The Professor's body went limp in Lani's arms. Blood covered the floor and Lani's arms.

" Well well well.....what have we here?" a dry, hissing voice came. Lani stood up slowly, her fists tightly clenched. Before her was a man who looked like a sickly clown. One of his arms, from the elbow down, was metal. Long, spindly metal fingers clicked together.
" You...you....bastard...." she growled. " I hate people like you who murder senselessly."
" Tsk tsk tsk. How can you say senselessly when you do not know my reason? So judgemental you young ones are today...." the man said. He stood a step towards Lani when he was flung back by some sort of energy. A dark blue transparent dragon formed around Lani.

" I expect this is what you were after me for?" Lani growled. The man sat up.
" Impressive. Already you have mastered how to summon your tattoos to life."
" So I have. What's it to you?"
" I, Asad, am a collector of tattoos myself. But yours are intriguing. How did you get the power?"
" Why would I tell you?"
Asad sighed. " Such a pity. You have only lightly touched the powers that either you, being incredibly strong, or a chief could have awakened. What a pity..." Asad continually shook his head.
Lani growled. " Why is it a pity?"

Before an answer was given, Asad rushed forward with inhuman speed and smashed Lani out the window. Free-falling through the air down a few stories, Lani managed to flip over so that her stomach faced the ground.

" Come on..." she whispered urgently. She felt a ripping feeling in her skin on each of her shoulder blades. Two transparent white feathered angel wings burst from her shoulders and slowed her down before she hit the earth.

Lightly landing on the footpath, Lani looked up to see Asad plummeting down towards her, his slim metal fingers outstretched. With one swing, he cut through one of Lani's feathered wings. She screamed out in pain and clutched her shoulder. Asad smiled as he landed loudly on the footpath, causing a crater to appear 10 feet wide. Lani stumbled back.

" What [i]are[/i] you?" Lani asked breathlessly from the pain.
Asad smiled wickedly. " Not of this world."

A police siren blared at them. Asad froze with his metal hand raised in the air, ready to strike Lani down with the final blow.
" Galatea...now is a good time...." Lani whispered to herself. The dark blue dragon rushed from her back and knocked Asad to the ground. Helping Lani take off, they flew up to Lani's room, to the astonishment of the police, gathered a few essential items and disappeared into the night.


[i]Location: Unknown[/i]

[i]White light surrounded Lani. Her wings were stretched out a little. Looking around, she saw a circle of people surround her. All had faces that looked so familar. They must be important, Lani thought. She took a mental note of each face.


All of them had tattoos. Lani could see them. Some writhering around their hosts, some dancing in mid-air. All of them had found out how to awaken this power that involved tattoos - somehow. But now, she had to find them.

She didn't know why, or what for. But something in her head urged her to find them. Something higher in force than humans. No matter what is was, she had to find them. Asad was not a memory she could forget easily.[/i]

[b]OOC: Sorry it's so long everyone. I do apologise. All right. Now, everyone's first post should have:

1. Something about their history.

2. Getting attacked by a minion of ?. I'm not going to reveal who he/she is just yet. But Asad (who you can see a pic of at the bottom) was a minion of this force. Their plan is unknown. But that's the fun part.

3. Find my character, or let my character find you. It doesn't matter that you are in a different country, just meet up with me.

Okie dokie. I think that's it. Have fun![/b][/FONT][/COLOR]
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[i][color=Navy]Location: Tokyo, Japan

[/color][/i][color=Navy]Sakura just got out of the shower and dried herself off, it was refreshing so she could start the day feeling clean. Looking into her full length mirror, she turned so her back faced it and turned her head so she could see the tattoos that sat on her shoulderblades.

The one on the left was a devil's wing, and the one on the right was an angel wing. They were contrasting and she thought they worked well together, though they had hurt when being etched into her skin. She had another set on her upper left arm, which was a wolf in the centre, with a Blue Dragon flying to the left of it, and a Red Phoenix on the right. They were her favourite tattoos because they represented her, she was like the wolf in many ways, being a loner, yet travelling in a pack when needed, she had burning traits of her personality like the Phoenix who burned continually and rose from the ashes, and she was strong like the mighty dragon.

Sakura dressed quickly and trotted down stairs into the kitchen area, where the usual note was left on the counter.

[b][i]'Sakura he,

Your father and I won't be home for the rest of the day as usual, make your own meals, take care of yourself, don't get into trouble, and we'll see you later in the night.

Kaa-san yoru.'

[/i][/b]Sakura rolled her eyes and crumpled the piece of paper, throwing it in the bin, she didn't know why they bothered to leave notes everyday, it was always the same anyway. She made herself breakfast and ate it quietly, her parents lived busy lives and they hardly ever interacted with each other. Her father was a technician, which had lots of demands since Tokyo was so technological. And her mother was a Biologist very devoted to her work, and was always researching something or another.

When Sakura had been young, she had been sent to many different classes so she would be kept busy, she took all of the martial arts, gymnastics, and acrobatics. They definately kept her busy on top of her school work, but she was glad for the classes because they helped her to remain fit and wasn't often lying around doing nothing.

Sakura jogged back upstairs and grabbed her duffle bag that she'd prepared earlier and left the house, jogging off through the busy streets to her personal dojo where she taught all of the martial arts classes.

When she arrived, there was no one there, and she changed into her uniform, tying her black belt around her waist securely. She went through breathing and meditation exercises to mentally prepare her and then started to warm up with the proper moves, doing series of punches, kicks, flips and other types of manuvers.

She heard a noise and became alert, looking around. Then she saw a figure come through the door, she had a smirk on her face. Sakura narrowed her eyes and automatically fell into a comfortable fighting stance.

[b]"Who are you? And what are you doing here?" [/b]Sakura asked, not liking her look.

[b]"My name is Ming, and I am a collector of tattoos, as I know you are." [/b]she said, the smirk still plastered on her face.

Sakura thought about her own tattoos, and the powers she could wield with them, but how would someone like this know.

[b]"So, you want my tattoos? Come and get them." [/b]she snarled, she called on her powers and a wolf appeared in front of her, it was the size of an adult male and had brown and grey fur covering its body.

[b]"You already know how to use your powers, how exactly?"

"I don't think so..." [/b]Sakura replied.

Ming summoned forth a white tiger and the two summons connected, circling wearily. Sakura didn't have very good control of her summons and keeping Lai out was wearing her out steadily, she quickly dashed to her bag, picked it up, and ran out of the dojo, hearing the footfalls of Ming as she ran to catch up. She looped the strap over her neck so it hung on her right and jumped onto the drainpipe of the closest house, clambering up quickly and escaping by the rooftops. She let go of Lai's summoning and peered back quickly, seeing Ming closely behind her as they ran over the roofs.

They reached the end of a line of houses and Sakura flipped off the side, landing safely and continuing. The chase continued until Sakura ran into a large, crowded office building with many storeys. Sakura got lost in the crowd and snuck into an elevator, just following whatever level the other people were going to. As the doors closed, she heard the loud curse of [b]"Kuta!" [/b]from Ming and she snickered. When the doors opened again she saw the sign and noticed she was on the 13th floor, she cursed silently and looked for the closest large window.

Sakura climbed out of it and felt the rush of wind from the height, seeing the ground far below. She heard people screaming at her to get down from inside the building, thinking she was suicidal. She prayed quietly, hoping that what she was planning would work. She closed her eyes and concentrated, she heard a tearing as wings pushed out of her shoulderblades, the one on the left was leathery like a bat's and the left was fluffy and feathered as a bird's. She breathed and flapped, taking off from the side of the building. She followed the winds and made her way back home, landing on the balcony that was outside her room.

She fell heavily onto the concrete, her energy was exhausted from the flight and summoning Lai. She panted and got up, unlocking the glass door with her key and entering. She dumped her bag and changed back into her clothes she'd been wearing previously, using her black belt as a regular belt as she often did. She yawned and grabbed a snack from downstairs, as she was headed back up to rest, her doorbell rang. Sakura hurried to the door and opened it to see a girl with greenish yellow hair with orangy eyes.

[b]"Hi, can I help you?" [/b]Sakura asked, not recognising her.

[b]"I saw you flying earlier and you landed at this house, I'm Lani. I was wondering if you have tattoos?" [/b]she asked.

Sakura raised an eyebrow and revealed her set of three animals on her left arm. She asked if she could come in, so Sakura let her in, and they discussed what had happened. Both being attacked by someone else that had tattoos with powers.

[b][color=Black]OOC: [/color][/b][color=Black]I hope that post's ok, but I wasn't sure if we already know how to use our powers. If it's wrong, just PM me and let me know.[/color]
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[COLOR=SandyBrown][i]London, England[/i]

David Franklyn sighed, staring at the clock. Three minutes left...three minutes, and he'd be free. Which, of course, meant that the professor was going to take twenty. And by that time, it'd be gone...he had to get this on paper, had to, had to with a passion that was making him jittery. In an attempt not to stare at the clock, he stared at his paper, and the string of notes that cascaded in the margins - and over half of his actual lecture notes. The riff had come to him, like so many others had, in a flash, so perfect and perfectly timed, with the exact spaces for the drum part and the vocal parts marked out, that he'd almost jumped out of his chair to get his guitar right then and there.

But that wouldn't have been appreciated. He was failing this class already. He couldn't afford to miss another.

True to his suspicions, the professor managed to lengthen the class by not just twenty minutes, but by a half hour. But then it ended - his last class of the day - and he burst out of the lecture hall like a bird set free, his mind already thinking out the vocals; although he'd never sing them...

[I]Crackling, burning...something hurt so bad he wanted to cry....but he couldn't. Not with Bea there...not when she needed him. The smoke burned his eyes, his nose, his throat, but he tried to pay it no mind, his thirteen year old body clumsy and slow in a situation that had him as panicked as a wild animal. Bea sniffled as she clung to his neck.

[B]"D-davy, I's scared..." [/B] He gently kissed the top of her head, eyes struggling to see through the inky smoke.

[B]"I know, baby, I know...I-"[/B] His voice cracked. He swallowed hard. [B]"I'm tryin' t'find the way...don't worry, we're -"[/B] again, that harsh bark crept in. [B]"-We're goin' t'be ok, just stay calm for me, ok, sweet'eart?"[/B] His friends may laugh at his pet names for his sister...he didn't care. It was keeping him from screaming, the knowledge that she needed him. Something crumbled behind them, sending sparks and a wave of hot air over them. He couldn't suppress a whimper...instantly stifled as he walked forward again. There had to be a way out...

There wasn't. Or at least there didn't seem to be. The fire was raging closer and closer...and in front of him was a concret wall. He cursed wildly, trying desperatly to see a break - any break - through the smoke. There wasn't one. Something - the smoke, the general lack of oxygen, the fear, some combination of all three - made him light headed, and he fell to his knees. Bea didn't make a sound. She just clung to his neck, tiny chest heaving. [B]Sorry, baby...I - I can't go on...[/B]

He vaguely felt himself falling forward...and then strong arms lifting him, holding him close. The next time he opened his eyes, he was in a hospital...and the doctors were telling his parents he'd never sing again. [/I]

Dave shook off the memory as he walked out of the university. So what if he couldn't sing? The music had always been his first priority. And that he had in spades...stacks and stacks of it, just waiting to pour from his pen. He was again lost in thought as he trudged towards his apartment; paying attention to nothing...until a heavy hand fell on his shoulder. He spun around, jumping away in the same move.

[B]"Ah...did I frighten you, lad?"[/B] The stranger was half in the shadows, hand still outstretched. Dave shook his head. He hadn't been [i]scared[/i]...just a little startled. [B]"Oh, that's alright then."[/B] He stepped out of the shadows, and Dave stepped away. The man was tall and stocky, with arms like iron bars and the grin of a madman. He was wearing sunglasses, but something seemed to be flickering [i]behind[/i] the colored glass...like they weren't meant to block light from entering...but block something else from exiting. He forced his voice to work, raspy and hoarse as it was.

[B]"Wh-who are you?" [/B] The man's smile shifted into something almost gentle. It didn't make him less frightening.

[B]"My name is Nerve...I'm a collector of tattoos, child...much like yourself." [/B] Dave backed even further away. Something was not right. Something was SO not right that it made his skin crawl.

[B]"S-so I have tattoos...so does most ev'ryone, these days..."[/B] He tried not to cough. It had been a while since he'd spoken out loud...usually relying on nods and other non-verbal ways of communication. [B]"That doesn't make me a collector. Doesn't make me anythin' special."[/B] A nasty thought occured to him, making him almost scramble further away when Nerve took one last step forward. [B]"'ow d'you collect tattoos, anyways? Y-you'd 'ave to skin someone..." [/B] Nerve's face twisted. He flicked his hand, and suddenly there was a knife in it, a long, curving, jagged-bladed knife. The mad grin was back.

[B]"That's one way of doing it...[/B]" Dave shrugged off his backpack, flinging it at the madman's head and breaking into a mad dash, all in the space of a millisecond. A shout of rage echoed as he turned the corner, followed by the sound of tearing fabric. Dave winced at the thought of his songs...but didn't slow, his all-too-vivid imagination applying that same sound to his skin. [b]"You can't run forever, boy..."[/b] the statement was alarmingly close. Dave's head whipped around to see Nerve standing in a doorway, not three feet away. He spun, running in the opposite direction, the madman's laughter echoing in his ears.

[b][i]God, if these tattoos do anything, if I really am special...[/i][/b] he prayed desperatly, pain beginning to flare in his chest...[i][b]let them work, let them do SOMETHING![/b][/i]. Something tingled in his feet, starting with his right foot, the one with the horseshoe he'd had tattooed for his eighteenth birthday...and suddenly, he was running three times, five times, [i]ten[/i] times as fast as he had been. He didn't stop to think - just focusing on not mowing anybody down. He slowed as he reached his apartment, darted inside and slammed the door, one thought going through his head:

[I][B]I have to get out of this city...[/B][/I]


Dave stepped out into the airport, clutching the bag that had all his belongings in it to his chest. He'd spent the last of his money on a plane ticket, and hadn't even bothered to check what country it been to. Not smart, he thought in retrospect as he looked around, trying to gauge where exactly he'd wound up. The dreamer in him had thought it would be a grand adventure to wind up in some completly random city...but now the realist was wishing it had spoken up sooner. And he'd felt...strange, since the incident with Nerve...he hadn't dared to try anything with the tattoo again...hadn't even tried to see what the [i]other[/i] one did...he walked into someone. He turned, smiling apologetically.

[B]"I -" [/B] he cleared his throat, trying to make the rasping clear just a little. [B]"I'm sorry, I didn't see you..." [/B] The person was a young woman, Japanese by the looks of it. She had been talking with another young woman, this one with greenish hair...something about them gave him the opposite feeling that his earlier meeting with Nerve had done. He rubbed the back of his head. [B]"Could one of you ladies please tell me where I am?"[/B] The Japanese girl looked incredulous.

[B]"You don't know?"[/B] Dave shook his head. The girl explained where they were, and Dave nodded his thanks, turning to walk away. Something, however, made him turn back. [B]"Uh. Either of you have tattoos, by any chance?" [/B]

Half an hour later, the three of them were deep in conversation in a cafe outside the airport.[/COLOR]
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[I]Orleans, France[/I]

[B]"They've started."[/B] Maximus turned to face the old man. "Have they now? And I suppose they want me to follow suit like a little lap dog?" The elderly man fidgeted slightly sensing the heavy tension in his Lord's voice.

[B]"I would assume so...why else would they summon us to France? I'm sure its nothing big, they may just want proof that we'll cooperate and even donate a little of our funds to them."[/B]

Maximus slammed a heavy fist onto the dark mahogany desk. ?Don?t be a fool Edgar. These people have more money than you can imagine, hell...they don?t even need it really. They?ll want me to assist them?give them some of my men to help the search. I detest being a mere vessel.?

The doors swung open and the tall and slender figure of the one named Asad strode into the room.

[COLOR=DarkRed]?My dear comrade, you won?t be some little puppet, you will be part of the ruling class of ?his? world. One such as you should know that with loyalty and such generosity as you WILL show him, that your rewards shall be great.?[/COLOR]

?Hmmph, you lie terribly Asad.?

[COLOR=DarkRed]?Hahahahahaha! That?s what I like about you Max, your sense of people is so, delectable. You will go out and seek the ones ?he? requires, I?ve chased one out of Greece, another was found out in Japan, and a third in London. You can no doubt find them in one place by now?you know how the power seeks itself out, that?s how we found you.?[/COLOR]

His grin was a sick one at that, much like the one Max himself had given so many others.

?So my work is cut out for me then is it. Fine?I?ll go prepare, I?ll use our little friend to sense them out for us. Meet me with whoever is joining us tomorrow morning.?

Maximus stalked out of the room going directly to the heavy metal door kept hidden in the back of the château. His footsteps made a eerie sound as he descended the ancient stairwell. Lighting the torch hooked to the wall at the base of the stairs, he proceeded for several moments to the first cage. He kicked the bars to wake the lump of rags in the corner.

?Wake up maggot, its time you earned your keep once again. Tell me where the others are?reach out to them give me the location and I?ll tell them to feed you properly for this week. Lie to me?and I can guarantee you no one will ever walk down these steps again.?

The young boy barely 14 sat for a moment, the dirt covered face deep in thought. Then he mumbled quietly and slid back to his corner.

?Very good?you see?it wasn?t that hard?and now you get to eat.?

Through the torchlight a similarly sick grin as that of Asad?s formed on Maximus? face.

OOC: I also kept your location a secret...partly because I don't know it myself...and I thought the bad guys could use a hostage....I hope you don't mind..if you like I'll edit it for you sis.
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[SIZE=1]OOC: Hmm... sorta strange that we're all going to meet up. Impossible, really, when you think about it. But here I go anyway... ^_^

Alex walked down the street, towards his apartment downtown. It was hard work, and determination alone that had gotten him in such a nice home. He felt thankful for everything he had got, even as it began to rain.

"I'm... singin' in the rain. I'm siiiingin' in the rain!" He sang, merely to humor himself. Turning the corner, he swung onto the next avenue and slowly closed the gap between his current spot and his apartment. He crossed a street, and into Central Park. He didn't walk through the whole thing, only cut through it to take off time. It also saved him money on transportation.

[i]"You're a failure, Alex. I don't think you're cut out for this world. It's pretty tough out there, and you're too used to being pampered, and having the truth sugar-coated to you. As I see it, you're going to be another one of those 70th percentile testers, who serves food at McDonalds." The man's voice dripped with poison, wounding the boy deeply. Who would've thought a father would treat his son so sourly?

"No! I won't fail! I'll be better than you. I'll be better than everyone," but the five year-old broke down into tears, crying as he ran back into his room, trying to retreat. "I'll show you ... one day." He mumbled as he shut the door, now calming down from his intial temper tantrum.[/i]

That was nearly 17 years ago. But the flashbacks continued. They gushed forth into his mind, like a flooding river, the tide threatening to violently over take him in a sea of memory. He fought back, but to no avail.

[i]"You're time is: 6:00. You gotta cut it down by an entire fifteen seconds if you want to make the varsity soccer team." The coach said. He was very serious about it, and so was Alex. He bowed his head, staring at the track as he thought deeply.

"I will never stumble. I will not falter."

"Ready, set, GO!" He took off, sprinting around the track like a madman. He had to run a mile faster than ever before. There was so much bearing down on him. His parents wishing for him to succeed, his internal drive, and all the other weights pulling at his very soul. He would shake them all off like he had never before.

Casting all of his stress into his feet, he pushed faster, even as his lungs and heart denied him. He fought against it, willing his body to keep up with his mind.

"Feet fail me not..." He sprinting, throwing up as he came in the final stretch. All the force left he had was exerted on the final step. The coach smiled at him, looking at the stop-watch.

"Good! You make the team! 5:38. Pack it up."[/i]

"I will never fail." He said, feeling alot more serious than he wanted to.

"You won't? Maybe you haven't until now. But you will." A sharp pain went up his back, as Alex was thrown forward with considerable force. His laptop case fell off his shoulder as he stood again, looking at the man. His make-up was smudging slowly in the dripping rain. "I've come to collect your tattoo." Immediately a knife was supplied, coming from out of the expansive sleeve he was carrying.

"Never." [i]Shit![/i] Alex thought to himself. How would he fend off a man with a knife? Finding out much sooner that he wanted, the man charged at him. He moved relatively slow, at least to Alex's eyes. Alex ran at the man, and at the last second, shifted his weight to miss their collision. Punching the man in the back, he began to run away, not to his apartment anymore. He needed to leave the city. He had a stalker, of some sort.

"Come back here!" The attacker quickly closed the distance, obviously faster than Alex had inticipated. Turning to face the man, he stepped into a defensive stance he had learned in karate. He hadn't taken it since he was around 15. Time slowed down, and he could actually still move at the same rate as before the "chronofreeze." That means, Alex guessed, that he looked as if he were moving at extremely high speed. He had a few moments, and realized then he could see each individual rain drop.

But realizing he had to fend off the man, he ran in, hitting his nose, neck, and solar plexus, then hopped back outside his attack range. To his dismay, time sped back up again, but the attacker was on the ground, gasping for breath. He gazed in shock, wondering exactly what happened and saw a red aura around him, quickly disappearing.

"What the hell?" [i]Screw thinking, I need a plane ticket. Now.[/i]

Alex sprinted to a taxi, leaving his laptop behind. He opened the door, and shouted at the driver, as he saw the agressor standing and running towards the cab.

"Drive! Go now! Just... anywhere, dammit!" The driver floored the gas, jolting them down the street. The man, stalker, whatever he was, was out of sight. "Take me to the airport." The driver took the order, and after a short drive, they were at the NYC terminal. He paid the man his due, and rushed into the airport, not thinking straight.

"One ticket one way to ... anywhere."

"Okay. Your flight's leaving... five minutes ago." The ticket seller said, not really caring at all. Alex sprinted off, thankful in the back of his mind that he didn't have to wait to get where he was going. The plane was the last thing left, as the itinerary said, and luckily, was first class. It would take him to his destination fast. With no heed to his credit card charges, and the transaction he has just performed, he sat down, sinking into the chair. Falling asleep, he woke up, much, much later at his destination.

"What the ... Tokyo?" He said, as he stepped off the plane, looking at everyone walking around, speaking Japanese. He felt out of place, and wished he were in a place that at least spoke a romance language. That might've been able to let him hold his ground. Seeing an englishman, he hurried over to talk to him.

"Uh.. hey. Really sorry about barging into your conversation," he said, breathing quickly partially from anxiety. [I]Why exactly did he take such a drastic measure?[/I]

"It's really alright," the man started off.
OOC: Wow... that was a long post.[/SIZE]
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[I]Venice, Italy[/I]

Renee was on the roof of her aunt's house where they were having a party to celebrate her 26th birthday. The evening had all been pleasant, good food, wine, company. Ren looked over to her own house, at her own little rooftop garden, beautiful and calm... She looked closer... it seemed as if she could vaguely make out the shape of a person at the end farthest away from her, dancing... kicking her herb pots over the edge?! She turned back to her aunt.

[B]"Thank you ever so much for the wonderful dinner, it means so much to me. But I think I need to go care for my plants. Unless you wanted me to stay longer, Tia." [/B] Oh, how she hoped it wasn't neccessary. She wanted to go see who was destroying so many of her plants, her babies.

[B]"That's alright dear, go see to your plants, I know they mean so much to you."[/B]She smiled [B]"Just come over in the morning and tell me how your plants are."[/B] Ren nodded and hugged her.

[B]"Thank you, Tia, for everything. I'll see you in the morning. Love you!" [/B] With that she went down the stairs and was soon unlocking the door to her house. She was worried, how could someone have gotten up there?

Finally getting the door unlocked, she hurried up to the rooftop and stopped. Staring. There seemed to be no one up there with her.

[B]"Avere paura della propia ombra?"[/B] [I]Afraid of one's shadow?[/I] Ren whirled around and looked under the bench behind her. Then she heard this horrendous giggling.

[B]"I'm not under there, you bobo, I'm over here!"[/B] Ren turned towards her roses where the voice had come from this time, still seeing no one.

[B]"I must be going insane... first I see someone dancing on my rooftop... then I start hearing voices..." [/B] She sat down on the bench behind her and put her head in her hands.

[B] "Mente sana in corpo sano."[/b] [I]Sound mind, sound body. [/I][b]"You have both. Don't worry." [/B] The singsong voice was coming from right beside her, on her left now. She lifted her head and turned it slowly to see someone, dressed very frighteningly for the Carnevale, leaning with both hands on the bench.

[B]"Ah! You see me now! How nice..." [/B] The frightening apparition got up and began to twirl around, the ends of her (for it was a woman) coat flapping. [B]"I...am Astraela; a collector of tattoos, just as I suspect you also are."[/B] As quickly as she had started twirling, she stopped, grabbed Ren's arm and began looking at her rose tattoo.

[B]"And my, my, my. Isn't that a lovely tattoo, dahling..." [/B] Astraela suddenly affected a stereotyped, rich british snob's accent. Ren tried to pull her arm out of her grasp.

[B]"What are you? And could you let go of my arm? You're cutting of the circulation." [/B] Astraela shook her head.

[B]"I'm afraid I can't." [/B] The thing seemed to frown. [B]"You see, I'm supposed to be getting your tattoos. Di due mali bisogna scegliere il minore."[/b][I]Choose the lesser of two evils[/I] [b]"Of course they'll both be [I]my[/I] two evils. But if you choose the [I]right[/I] one, you'll still be around! So be a good ragazza, and come along."[/B] Astraela began pulling on her arm. [B]"Up, up...come on...we are going on a loong journey. You'll have fun.." [/B] The mad laughter began again.

Ren started to concentrate on summoning her rose tattoo, the stem and thorns gradually began to rise from her skin. Astraela yelped.

[B]"Ouch ouch ouch! You nasty little..." [/B] Astraela's eyes, or what you could see of them, narrowed. [B]"So thats the way you're going to be, eh?" [/B] She sneered. [B]"Listen here, ragazza. I'm gonna take you to my master, one way, or another, so..."[/B] She lifted her hand and a pendulum fell from it. [B]"...sleep."[/B] Instead of doing as told, Ren made the stem and thorns grow more, forcing Astaela's hand open.

Jerking her arm from Astraela's grasp, Ren climbed over the wall around her roof, went down the fire escape, and was soon being ferried to the port. Once there she found the first person she could, bought their ticket from them, and was sailing away from Venice. Where to? She really had no clue...but...Il fatto non si può disfare...

[I]What's done cannot be undone [/I]


Ren got off the boat three days later, throughly sick of being on a boat. Disembarking was a little less enjoyable when you knew no one would be there to meet you...she turned in the middle of the departure que, looking back at the boat. She was glad to leave...but also wondering when she'd be able to get ahold of her aunt...someone tapped her arm, and she turned to see four people standing there. One of the men smiled, asking hoarsly...

[B][COLOR=SandyBrown]"Can we talk to you?"[/COLOR] [/B] Ren blinked.

[B]"Does this have anything to do with tattoos?"[/B]

[COLOR=SandyBrown][B]"It might."[/B][/COLOR][/COLOR]

OOC: Reiku? Do we get to use our bad-guys later? I find it highly amusing to write mine...I hope we get to...
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[COLOR=DarkGreen][I]"Where've you been?"


"You aren't s'posed to be hanging out with those kids. I told you already, Dimitri."

"Oh well."

"You want be a smartass again?! I'll knock you back like I did last week! Now lemme
see your pupils. I smell the beer on you"[/I]

[I]"No...no! Get off of me"[/I]

Dimitri was pinned on the ground. His dad stared directly into his eyes. This always frigetned Dimirti to his core. His dad made the most hateful face and reared his large right hand.

[I]"You smokin' again, eh?!"[/I]

He flinched at the thought of his dad's slap.

[I]"Get the hell off me!"[/I]

Another slap, twice as hard. His dad's hands were like sandpaper, which was not a nice addition to the pain.

[I]"Are you gonna keep pullin' this shit with me boy?! Skippin' your studies and doin' all these drugs, drinkin' like a bum?!"


A tear rolled down Dimitri's face when he remembered the punch he threw at his dad. It connected, his father staggered. He thought of all the times he and his dad played games, all the times they went to Moscow for sight seeing, every single good thing he did with his dad flashed through his mind in a second. Then he bolted for the back door, the cold Russian air like a symbol of freedom hitting his face. It relieved the sting of his father's slaps. He never turned back. Not once. He could just his imagine the heartbreak his mother felt, his uncle Alexi watching his brother beat him. He just stared at him while he ran for the door. An expression that read "Why are you doing this? You know what happened to me.". But it was too late. He took another swig of his vodka and the acidic taste of vomit pulsed up his throat. He was either drunk or upset, or maybe a combination of both.

A kid about Dimitri's age hit the pavement, followed by the screams of the bar owner.

[B]"Quit comin' here, you little bastard! I'm sick of all the trouble you cause!"[/B]

The boy got up and dusted off his clothing, throwing a few insults back at the man, and ran down the street. [I]What a neighborhood[/I], Dimitri thought.

He staggered up from the wall he was sitting on and made his way down the dimly lit street. While walking, he saw a man in an alley. Dimitri approached him, knowing he was probably pushing some drug. A smile appeared on both there faces, and Dimitri took the first action. He couldn't really get a good lok at him...[I]I'm drunk of my ass...[/I]

[B]"What do you got?" [/B] The man flicked his cigarette to the ground.

[B]"I have it all...name it" [/B] The man's eyes seemed to begin getting bloodshot...[I]what is he doing? [/I] Dimitri thought.

[B]"Who are you...what the hell are you doing?!"[/B]

[B]"I'm Seregei. I knew I'd find you someday. You have a tattoo. I'm a 'collector' of tattoos, you may say."[/B]

[I]This guy is friggin' nuts![/I]

[B]"What about my tattoo? What do you know about me? Are you some pervert stalker?!"[/B]

[B]"I'm gonna have to take your tattoo son."[/B] Four syringes popped out from his jacket to his hand, filled with a green liquid.

[B]"Oh....shit." [/B] Dimitri bolted down the street, while the man took to flight.

He ran for about two blocks, his leg muscles working like they never have before while being drunk didn't help.

[B]"Where is he?!" A black shadow swooped down from a tenament. [/B]

[B]"Gimmie the tattoo, or I'm gonna kill you." [/B] Dimitri was horrifyed, while Seregei now was taking to vampiric features, his irises were redder than blood, and he was forming large fangs.

[B]"No!"[/B] Dimitri's tattoo on his right arm began to bleed violently. He ripped the sleeve to let the blood flow in a long, continuous stream. A large puddle of crimson formed near his feet. Dimitri stared directly into Seregei's eyes. He was in agony and partially dizzy from the loss of blood, but he made a hateful stare. Seregei seemed a little suprised, then he laughed.

[B]"Dimitri...I can see you using your tattoo to you full potential."[/B]

Dimitri then placed both hands in the pool of his blood. It flowed into his hand formed as a sword.

It was an elegant sword; long, beautifully shaped blade, a large hilt, adorned with a black jewel in the center. He centered on Seregei's face, gripping the sword so hard his hands were numb and his knuckles were whiter than fresh snow. Dimitri charged at Seregei full force. He was tripped and pinned to the ground, one of the syringes about a millimeter away from his face.

[B]"Now the fun begins." [/B] Seregei jumped off of Dimitri's chest. He was standing in the middle of the street, glaring crazily at him. Dimitri tried to shake off his buzz from the vodka and the fatigue from the blood loss, but he couldn't concentrate. He toppled on one knee, his sword in the ground propping him up.

[B]"It's been a pleasure."[/B] Seregei flashed away one second and ended up by a weary Dimitri in another. He heard one of Seregei's syringes squirt the green liquid. The needle was placed in Dimitri's neck. He fell to the ground, eyes listless. He was lying there on the cold ground, dying.

[B]"You...asshole...I'm stiffnening...what the hell...why can't I move..."[/B]

The last thing Dimitri heard from Seregei was [B]"...embalming fluid..." [/B]

He rose soon after that, his tattoo sucking the blood back in his body. He was ready to vomit all over the road.

[B]"I...gotta get to...the hospital..."[/B]
Dimitri walked along the road. The snow was starting to fall. He could hardly walk because of the "embalming fluid" in his body, not to mention it was very cold.

He reached the hospital and fell in front of the desk, near a woman. She screamed [B]"Oh my God! Somebody, help him please! He's..." [/B] [/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkRed][SIZE=1]OOC: Uhh....whoever wants to meet up with me, go ahead.
-the one and only [/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[COLOR=SlateGray][SIZE=1]The building was a bedlam of noise, confusion, and chaos. Just how the Scarecrow liked it.

Sirens blared loudly in the background. Footsteps thudded, frantic and heavy, echoing in hallways. Rapid shouts of angry Russian mingled in the crisp, achingly cold air. Guns clinked and clattered. Doors burst open, slamming loudly. One in particular hit the outside with enough force to jar its hinges.

That was the door Scarecrow kicked open on his way out. He [I]was[/I] a bit pressed for time, after all. Assassinating a former Soviet leader doesn't leave one much time for sight-seeing.

The air was dark and clear. Not a cloud in the sky. The stars shone brightly, beaming down on the notorious criminal. His steps resounded on the wide roof as he raced towards the edge. Soldiers streamed out behind him, pointed their various pistols and assault rifles at him.


The Scarecrow turned, smiling wickedly at the assorted soldiers. The black cape he wore, a bit of a dramatic trademark, flapped around his bare chest and arms. He ran a black-gloved hand through his short blonde hair. His cold blue eyes glittered like sapphires in the star light.

"'Fraid I can't, chum," he called in fluent Russian, voice soft and breezy. "Got business to attend to elsewhere."

"You have nowhere to go!" a soldier bellowed.

"Ah, but that's where you're wrong. See, for the Scarecrow...sky's the limit."

He turned sharply on his heel, stylish black boots clicking across the last few feet of roof. Gunshots rang out behind him as he lept high and far from the building, 20 stories between him and terra firma. Bullets whizzed past him, and the ground began to zoom up to meet him, wind whipping past.

With a single, practiced movement, he put his fingers to his mouth and whistled sharply, moving his hand up high above his head. There was a sudden fluttering of feathers and the cold grip of a birds talons. The wind changed as a massive Crow carried Scarecrow up away from the earth. He turned to blow a kiss to the soldiers as the great bird flew him away.

"[I]Dasvedanya[/I], comrades!"[/SIZE][/COLOR]


[COLOR=SlateGray][SIZE=1]The Scarecrow chuckled and took a slow drag from his expensive cigarette. He swung his boot-clad feet up to rest upon a finely carved mahogany table, and leaned back in the plush silk couch. The great crow sat perched upon it, nipping his ear lightly.

"Good job, Kriz," he chuckled, stroking the birds feathers. It cawed in response.

Suddenly, his cellphone rang out, playing the guitar strains to Purple Haze. Scarecrow chuckled again, murmuring the lyrics as he picked up the small black cellphone.

"'Scuse me, while I kiss the sky..."

"...Eh, Kakashi-san?" came the vaguely shocked reply.

"One and only," the Scarecrow murmured, grinning and stroking Kriz. He knew quite a bit of Japanese. "What's the job?"

"We need you in Tokyo, now."

"I asked what the job was, not where you needed me," the Scarecrow grumbled.

"I cannot relate this over a phone call...come to Tokyo."

The line clicked dead.

"Well, shit..."[/SIZE][/COLOR]


[COLOR=SlateGray][SIZE=1]The Scarecrow stepped calmly off the private jet, looking around the Tokyo airstrip from behind rose-colored sunglasses. He wore a black ski-cap to his his hair, a fake scar winded by his eye, and a small patch of hair served as a false beard. He shifted his bag on a leather-clad shoulder, and ground out a cigarette butt with the heel of his black tennis shoes.

"[I]Doko desu ka[/I], Client-san..." he muttered under his breath.

The lamp cut out above his head, and a high laugh rang out.

"There's no job for you hear, Kakashi-san...only death!"

A wild looking man with white make-up on dropped from the wing of the plane. A twisted smile split his face, outlined in electric blue lipstick. His yellow eyes seemed to glow, as did his long, neon-green hair.

"[I]Dare ga[/I]?" the Scarecrow snarled, dropping his bag and peeling off his leather jacket.

"Just your friendly, neighbourhood tattoo collector!" the man cackled.


A long, wickedly curved knife slid out from the man's long sleeve, and he suddenly lunged forward, moving with insane speed and agility. The blade nearly missed the Scarecrow's face as he leaned back. The criminal swung up his fist, driving it into the man's stomach. The demented clown staggered back, and the Scarecrow kicked high, snapping his attacker's neck around. The man collapsed to the ground.

"What the hell was that all about..." the Scarecrow growled.

Once again, the high, evil cackle filled the empty airstrip. With a loud crack, the clown rose up, bringing his neck around properly. With eyes still gleaming, he sneered at the criminal.

"Not gonna be that easy, Kakashi-san...not by a longshot!"

The Scarecrow grinned grimly, and pulled back his shirt-sleeves, revealing his other tattoos. The barbed wire wrapped around his wrist.

"Oh, I think it will be."

With a loud cry, the Scarecrow brought his hand back, and swung it foreward with wild ferocity. A long line of barbed wire shot out, wrapping around the clown's neck. Blood slowly trickled from wear the barbs pricked his flesh. Still grinning viciously, the Scarecrow gripped the wire tight (avoiding the barbs, of course) and pulled hard.

Blood burst out from the clown's neck, and his nearly severed head lolled back. His body slowly fell to the ground, spasming slightly and bleeding heavily. The barbed wire broke off from the Scarecrow's wrist and fell to the ground. With casual elegance, the criminal turned and grabbed his bag, walking slowly away.

"This should be an interesting trip..."[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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Rayne had spent all day and half the night working on her computer, her boss at the firm had given her the project of creating a new program just for his company, why she still doesn't know. She removed her glasses and rubbered her tired eyes, then heaved a deep sigh as she glanced at the clock. 5:47 am. [I]I've gort a 7:30 class in the morning, and client apointments all day, I'm not going to get to sleep until... I'm not quite sure.[/I] She thought to herself as she began typing again. Rayne had been a computer guru her entire life, thanks to the fact that her parents were never home and that she had nothing better to do with her time. Through out highschool she found herself writing her own programs since the ones at school weren't sufficient to her needs, and when she graduated and began college companies began to find out her amazing talent with technology and was often hired for custome work.
Her cat was rubbering up against her ankles, begging for attention. Rayne reached down to pet him when she heard the lock on her door click. She quiclky turned to see as the door knob turned, but she made sure not to be seen when the door opened. She ran into the next room and grabbed a kitchen knife, she then silently waited next to the doorway.
She could hear the almost silent footfalls on the wooden floor of her main room, they soft and cautious. Her heart beat quickly and her mind began to run scenarios of everyt bad thing that had ever happened to anyone who had been attacked at home.
"I know your here miss Chalamone, you wouldn't leave your computer on when you weren't home." The voice was feminane and not French. "Come now no need to hide from me." The voice came closer. Rayne watched as the owner of the voice stepped through the doorway and took a swing at her with a knife.
"There you are!" She shouted her voice twisting with amusment. Rayne could now see her and she was frightened by her mere presance. She stood 5'10 and wore a long black coat that brushed the floor and a her face was hidden inside the hood. Her long black silken hair hung down in her face and hiding behind you could see her peircing yellow eyes. She smiled a thinly and to a step closer her knife held at her side. Rayne took a number of steps back holding her knife out infront of her, her hands were shaking and her palms were sweaty.
"Who are you... what do you want?" Raynes voice trembled slightly as she spoke softly.
"Keria... I've been watching you for a long time, so long I'm surprised you haven't noticed me yet." She walked closer, and swung her knife wildly in Rayne's direction. Rayne fell back, but the blade connected with her arm, blood falling to the floor and onto her pants.
"Leave me be!" Rayne shouted throwing the knife with her right hand, and as she did the chinese tattoo shimmered red for a moment. The knife flew through the air hitting it target in the shoulder, Keria did not flich as she rushed forward grabbing Rayne by her neck with one hand and her right wrist with the other. She looked down at the now black tattoo, then up into Raynes frightened eyes."
"Your supposed to have a martial arts back ground, what the mater... no backbone?" She looked back at the tattoo, then without lifteing her gaze replied. "How'd you get this to work?"
"What do you care?" Rayne asked confusion filling her voice.
"Oh Rayne, Rayne... my poor sweet Rayne, don't you know... this is the reason I've been following you." Her smiled widened and her eyes grew with fascination. Then suddenly before she realized what was happening she felt claws rip into the skin of her hand that held Rayne's neck. She released the terrified girl and leapt back avoiding a large paw that swiped at her. Keria could see the nearly tranparent panther standing infront of Rayne, as if it was protecting her own cub. It looked the same as any panther would, all except the deep emerald eyes which starred at Keria.
"So I see you've learned how to summon its power, most interesting... if I could just get a closer look." She replied stepping closer. The panther replied with a low growl and the baring of its teeth, Keria stepped back. "Very well then perhaps another time then. Good night Rayne, I look forward to seeing you again." Her voice sent a chill down Raynes spine. Keria left as quickly as she came leaving a blood trail behind.
Rayne waited a moment to catch her breath, her heart still beating a thousand time per second. She looked over at the panther who was now sitting next to her, she then reached up with her wounded arm and pet the muscular animal.
"Thank you Noir, you saved me." She replied soothingly s the panther purred loudly. "I just wish I knew what that was all about." She stated looking down at her hand.

The next day after many meetings and explaining to everyone that she had tripped and sliced her arm on her stainless stell desk, and not that she had been attacked by physco maniac in the middle of the night, she went home and sat at her computer. The screen came on and an image of the japanese islands flashed across the screen, then it was gone as if it had never been there. Her wallpaper of a black panther warding of a dragon appeared, no waves, no islands, just the panther and the dragon. Her cat 'Phantom' leapt up onto her desk infront of her and demanded attention. She picked him up and held him in her lap and began to pet him, his purring closley follwing. She tought to herself for along time as she pet 'Phantom'.
"Maybe I need a vacation... I've always wanted to visit Japan."


The next day Rayne found herself stepping off a plane in Tokyo International. The air waqs fresh and the sun was bright, she looked about at the tourists around her. Most of them hustling to their various greeters, and finding luggage. But a particular group stuck out in her mind as she glanced about, a young japanese woman, and a girl with the most paculiar shade of green for hair. She had to ask some one for directions, it wouldn't hurt to ask them, after all they lokoed nice enough. She pushed up her glasses brushe a red streak from her face and walked forward.
"Excuse me, I was wondering if either of you knew where I could find this address?" She spoke english hoping one of them understood it, but her French accent was thick and plain as day.
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The sun was just starting to set as Alexia stared over the balcony of her apartment. Her place was on the fifteenth floor, so she could easily view the sunset on the coast. She stood there with a soda in her hand, wearing a tank top and scrub pants, lost deep in thought. Not much had really happened that day, with the execption that she thought she was being watched earlier when she was on her lunch break. She sighed and took another sip of her drink. Something, however, was knawing away at the back of her mind, like something big was about to go down.

Suddenly she felt something cool and slinder slide past her foot. Alexia looked down to see a black snake with pale yellow speckles slither over her feet. Without the slightest bit of fear, she stooped down and scooped up the snake. "Kane, how the hell did you get out of your cage?" Kane stuck out his tonge in reply. Alexia just smiled, "Your probibly hungry, huh?" Alexia carried her pet back inside and placed him carefully back inside his terrarium. She then pulled a dead mouse from a mini-frig under the counter and dropped it into Kane's enclosure.

After making sure Kane's cage was firmly secure, Alexia stood up gazing around her small apartment. It looked more like a pet store warehouse than an apartment, with so many animal cages everywhere. Hobbling over piles of dry feed and bedding, she managed to get to the kitchenette. The full sized frig (where Alexia kept her own food) was covered with pictures and cards from friends, but none that seemed to be of family, and if you asked Alexia about it, she would simply reply coldly that she had no family.

There was a knock at the door and Alexia hopped over the random piles and peered through the peep hole on the door. A man with pale skin, long blonde hair, sunglasses and a dark trench coat stood at the door. Alexia, no recoginzing him, quietly locked the dead bolt, turned out the lights and slowly backed away from the door.

After a few moments the was another knock, this time louder and much more violent. "Come out, come out, Alexia." He said in a sinister sing-song voice. "I have come for your tatoos." Alexia, now panic stricken, cluched her falcon tatoo on her right sholder with her left hand. She quickly dashed into her bedroom, gabbed her backpack and hurriedly began stuffing as many esencials as she could think of: cloths, wallet, money, passport, anything.

She darted back out of her room and headed to the balcony, she gazed fearfully down the fifteen stories to the busy street below. Suddenly there was a huge cracking and a thud, as Alexia's front door broke completely off of it's hindges. Alexia quickly whorled around to see her intruder enter the apartment, stepping over the mangled door.

In a last ditch effort for self defense she grabbed a rusted metal pipe lying on the balcony. "Wh-who are you? What do you want?"

"My, my, how rude of me not to introduce myself," he said in an arogantly posh voice. "I am Torent and I suppose you could call me a collector of sorts, tatoos namely."

"What kind of sick wierdo collects other people's tatoos?" Alexia yelled, half out of fear and half out of confusion.

"You're about to find out." And with that, Torent began to roll up his sleeve, revealing a cyclone tatoo on his lower arm. Alexia, meanwhile, halfhazerdly charged him in a poor attempt to catch him off gaurd. Torent, however, simply flexed his palm in her direction followed by a huge gust of wind that threw Alexia into the wall and several cages including Kane's, causing them to shatter. Kane slithered away quickly to seek shelter in Alexia's backpack.

Torent walked over to her and pinned her down with one hand. He removed his sunglasses to reveal blood red eye. A wicked grin spread over his face as he tossed away the shades and raised his other hand pointed directly at her throat. Alexia winced, readying herself for the fatal blow. [I]Rei, help me![/I] the only thought that raced through her mind.

Suddenly the falcon on her sholder began to peel away from her skin. It then instantly attacked Torent's eyes with it's sharp talons. The distraction allowed Alexia to quickly grab her bag, jacket and shoes and dash out the door. "Come back here you little bitch!" She hastily pulled on her work boots and she hopped towards the stairs. The ancient incription tatooed on her left ankel bagan to glow. Suddenly, Alexia took off with amazing speed out the building and down the street.

Before long, she was at Miami International. Alexia rushed up to the ticket counter. "When's the next available flight out of here?" she asked the clerk.

"Um... Let's see... Tokyo in 5 minutes..."

"I'll take it!"
Several hours later Alexia was in the Tokyo airport. [I]Good thing Kat made me take Japanese back in college,[/I] she thought to herself. As she passed by one of the resterants on the bottom level, one perticular conversation caught her attention, mostly because is was in fluent English. She then heard someone in the group mention tatoos and an attacker. It was at this point she walked over to intrude and introduce herself.
OOC~ Bleh! Yeah, that last part kinda sucked but it's pretty late where I am now. Oh and incase you couldn't guess, Alexia's snake came with her :animesmil (accedently of course)[/COLOR]
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[size=1][color=#C82356]Nothing but the rush of wind met Yuna as she sped down the streets on her Suzuki. The only light that was provided was by the moon and several street lamps that stood in various places. It was a clear night as the stars danced in the sky, glinting in the sky as Yuna glinted on land. She soon stopped at the pier and took off her helmet, looking out at the vast ocean that neared it. Its sweet smell pulled her in and she closed her eyes, never wanting to open them.

Sitting at the edge of the dock, Yuna rolled up her pant legs and dangled her feet in the water. The breeze was nice and the air was mild, which had meant only one thing- another night out in town for late night parties. Yuna stood and managed to dry off her legs before putting her shoes and socks back on.

The sound of motorcycle engines roared as they neared where Yuna was. She managed to get on her bike, yet before she left, a gang of bikers had surrounded her. She merely smirked at them and knew exactly what they wanted- a race. The leader had spoke to her in a rough Irish accent and demanded she followed. She did so and was led to a track a few miles away from the pier, yet miles away from town.

[B]"If you finish first, I'll let you go anywhere in Ireland. If you lose, your lovely ass is mine to please, understood?"[/B]

Yuna merely smirked underneath her helmet as the leader chose a man for her to ride against. The moonlight glinted against her helmet and gave off a strange hero-like aspect, yet Yuna was no heroine, only someone who was looking to find a place in the world.

With all that was said, Yuna watched as a rider was placed next to her and a gunshot was sounded. She sped off quickly, letting dust rise into the air, knowing she was up by a few seconds. It wasn?t soon that she finished and saw the rider catch up, only to see that a girl had beaten him.

[B]"Now, I have access to all of Ireland and much more. 'Tis what it is, isn't it... Arty?"[/B] She chuckled and left the gang of bikers with their jaws hanging.


Sitting in a small pub, Yuna satisfied her thirst with a few beers. She looked at her watch and realized it was time she took off. Saying her goodbye's to the bartender, she walked out to her bike. Not wanting to go home, Yuna decided to go back to the pier, the only place that could keep her sane. She rode and rode as the wind blew in her hair, letting the moon be her only light. And soon enough, the moon's reflection shone on the water as Yuna parked it. Smiling, she sat at the edge, not putting her feet in.

A chill had crawled down her spine as Yuna sat only a few minute's. She stood and put her helmet on, knowing someone was nearing her, walking ever so nonchalantly, just watching what Yuna would do. The sound footsteps stopped and a voice that Yuna had wanted to forget sounded. Underneath her tinted helmet, her eyes flared with anger. The figure was tall with a medium build who kept on a large black hat that had a single white ribbon wrapped around the top and its rim seamed with silk. He wore a long black trench coat over black business suit with white gloves and men's black boots. This man kept his head down as he spoke in a malicious voice with a beautiful Japanese accent.

[B]"My dear Yuna, what a pleasure it is to see you again."[/B] Yuna cringed at his voice, but didn?t show her weakness. She took off her helmet and smirked, turning slowly, knowing he was holding several kunai in between his fingers. [B]"You're still beautiful as ever."

"I see that you haven't outworn those clothes of yours, Amatsu. But I must ask, why do you insist on following me? Perhaps you miss the battles we?ve fought or perhaps it's the feeling of my fist against your face that you tenderly miss?"[/B]

A malevolent chuckle arose from Amatsu as he looked up at Yuna. She was surprised to see that he hadn't changed much in the years since their last interaction. His eyes were still cold and the color of ice, his face was toned, yet something still lingered there that questioned Yuna.

[B]"I do miss the nights we spent together, challenging each other's strengths, mocking each other's weaknesses. Alas, I came here for the same reason I sought you out before, Yuna, and you know what I want."[/B] Amatsu walked towards Yuna who stood with a black pocket knife hidden where she held onto her helmet. There was something within Yuna that kept telling her to hold back on the anger and fear, but there was nothing that she could do as of now, for the only thing that could prevent her from hurting him was the grace of God.

[B]"I want..."[/B] Amatsu kept walking towards her and Yuna anticipated every move. [B]"Your..."[/B] At that last moment, Amatsu slashed at Yuna, [B]"TATTOOS!"[/B] She ducked down into a squat and side swept Amatsu onto his back, while she stood and ran.

Amatsu quickly stood and growled, he then threw a few kunai at her, but she was able to elude them as she got onto her bike. He knew her well, as she knew him, and knowing that she would still escape on her bike, he had been ready with his own. He raced towards her and Yuna had to throw a kunai that was caught on her seat back at Amatsu. She went on and on the road until he was next to her, pulling her towards him, wanting the art on her body. In this moment, Yuna had enough.

[B]"You will never have me or my tattoos, Amatsu! I will never succumb to a demon like you!"[/B] With the final words, Yuna slashed her pocket knife out towards Amatsu and it had cut deep into his upper right arm. Blood seeped through the black clothing and Amatsu was disappointed as the two stopped in a field nearby. He tsked Yuna as she called upon the black widow, who was the first of the Wicked Three known as Biliku. It was Amatsu's turn to call upon his tattoo of the scorpion that bears the pentagram on its back, its name was Nehebkau. These two insects were the size of VW Bugs, yet the two humans did not fear them.

[B]"Give up, Yuna! Biliku has already fought against Nehebkau and she has lost! There is nothing more you can do!"

"I wouldn't be too sure, Onito Amatsu!"[/B] Yuna directed her attention to Biliku and concentrated on sending the power of the moon towards her. With the help of the moon, Biliku was able to gain strength, speed, and poison, a poison that could defeat Nehebkau, but not destroy him.

The two creatures fought as Yuna rode off, knowing that her power was still connected to Biliku. She quickly retracted the spider as soon as she was far from Yuna. Her thoughts ran as quickly as she rode, she knew she had to seek the one who lived in the Greece Isles.

[B]"Let us pray that she is still alive and that Amatsu's boss hasn't sent a collector to her door."[/B][/size][/color]
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[COLOR=Indigo][FONT=Trebuchet MS][b]OOC: Glad to see that most people have posted. And this is supposed to be the supernatural Retribution : P[/b]

Lani looked around at the people she had met, searching for the ones in her dreams. All of them had had some sort encounter with the 'collectors' of their tattoos. Obviously all had something to offer this dark force, and it had to do something with their tattoos.

There was Sakura, the Japanese girl.
David, the Brit.
Alex from Florida, USA.
Renee, the Italian.
Rayne from France.

Looking over at them, Lani felt something was missing. Like there were some people missing from her dream.
" We need answers...." Lani whispered to herself, looking out of the window in the Tokyo airport. Standing up to address the group, she cleared her throat. They all came out of their own worlds and gave her their attention.

" I know that we've all be shaken up by these....unfortunate experiences, but I have no doubt that we are all wanting answers. I will organise them for us. I hope all of you have some sort of essentials with you. Because we are going to New Zealand."

A soft murmuring between the members of the group grew after Lani finished. No doubt they were wondering why they were going to New Zealand. Only Lani knew this. She wanted answers. And she knew just where to get them.

[b][i]Half an hour later...[/i][/b]

The group was lining up to board a private jet destined for Christcurch, New Zealand. All had collected essentials from the airport's stores before boarding. In their rush to leave their homes, some had only taken their wallets, IDs and other personal items. Lani looked down at her watch. It was going to be a very long flight.

[b][i]Uncountable hours later...[/b][/i]

Each member slowly descended the stairs of a small coach Lani hired to take them to a place called Milford Sound in New Zealand. No one but Lani knew why they were here.

" Um....Lani..." Sakura started, " Why are we here?"
" This is where I met the man who brought my tattoos to life," Lani replied, a serious tone to her voice.
" A man brought your tattoos to life?" Rayne asked in her thick French accent.
" Yes. He's a Maoui chief. The Maouis are the native people of New Zealand. Once you see him, you'll understand why and how he brought mine to life. In Maoui culture, tattoos are the weaving of stories, and captors of spirits. Or so he told me."

They group looked at her strangely. They saw a ghost-like pair of white feathered angel wings surround her, protecting her from something. It was night and the diamond-dotted sky hung over them silently. Not a breath of wind surrounded them.

" Well....it has been a long two days for all of us," said Alex. " I think it's time for us to get some rest. I know I couldn't sleep on that plane, nor that bus."
" I agree," Renee spoke with a soft Italian accent. " We are all exhausted."
" I have organised some cabins for all of us. Let me just go get the keys," Lani said before walking off in the darkness, leaving the group in the carpark, near the bus.

David looked over the darkened landscape. He could see the half moon being reflected off of the "Mirror Lakes" as they called them. High green mountains rose straight from the water's edge. It was one of the most beautiful sceneries he had ever seen. Lyrics started flowing through his mind like easy flowing water.

Soon, Lani returned and handed each member a key to a allotment of cosy cabins near the water's edge. She led them over to them and showed each to their cabin. For some reason, she had reserved a few extra. Something in the back of her mind told her not to be caught short of cabins.

Bidding a good-night to each member as they entered their cabin, Lani finally came to hers which was the last. Unlocking the door and entering, she found herself in a cosy cabin, rustically designed.

A roughly carved bed of wood with fluffy sheets looked very inviting to a increasing weary Lani. There was a beautiful bathroom, outfited with a large copper bathtub and a small shower. All throughout the cabin, timbers were used to increase the rustic effect the owners were trying to achieve. It was pleasing to the eye and fitted the outside surroundings perfectly.

Taking a quick but refreshing shower, Lani dressed herself in some bed clothes, climbed into the bed and quickly fell asleep.

[b][i]In the morning...[/i][/b]

Lani sat at the common room breakfast table. On her way out this morning, she had slipped under each door of the cabins showing the way to the common dining room. The caters had an array of breakfasts, catering for all types of diets. Lani herself went for the fruit and yoghurt.

She waited for the others to arrive. They would all need to travel some more before they'd get their answers.

[b]OOC: Ok people. I've attached some images of Milford Sound.

For those in the list at the start of the post, mingle with each other and join Lani at breakfast. I want a little interaction and bonding before something really big happens. ;)

For those that have yet to join us except ULX and Gelgoog, get to Milford Sound asap. I don't know how, but get there. Preferably find my character in the middle of the night, introduce yourself, get a key for a cabin, and in the morning, have my character introduce you at breakfast.

ULX, you can follow the group if you wish.

Gelgoog, do what you do best.[/b][/FONT][/COLOR]
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Rayne was extremely tired from all the traveling her and her new companions had all done. She shyly said goodnight as Lani closed the door behind her, leaving her alone in the cozy room. She looked about the room to see that it was indeed inviting, but she was still shaken from the previous events. She drew a warm bath, knowing that she wasn't going to be getting any sleep tonight. She slipped into the warmwater and flinched when the cut on her arm made contact with the water. She had been weaaring a jaket the whole time she was around the others so no one had seen the bandage on her arm covering the long deep gash she recieved from Keria.
After her bath she attempted to go to sleep, the bed was indeed comfortable, but there was no way she could fall asleep she knew she needed to but there was just too much going on through her mind at the moment. She lay quetly for almost an hour before she finally got back up. She changed back into her clothes and glanced at the clock, 5:47, a chill ran down her spine.
"This is rediculous, I'm getting something to drink." She replied grabbing her laptop, this she took everywhere with her. She left the cabin and found the common room, of course there was no one there aside from the tired looking overnight barkeep. She approached the bar and asked for a coffee. She then took her coffee and her laptop over to a small table next to the window. The view outside was dark and beautiful, she could see the moon glistening off the lakes surface. She shook her head and opened the laptop, she sipped her coffee as she conected to th web.
She logged onto her personal search engine and typed in, Tattoo's, collectors, histroy of tattoos. The screen quickly filled with whatever information her computer could come up with. She sat quietly the rest of the night reading all the information she thought might be useful to her and the others.
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Maximus left the airport in a rented limo. He was told that not one but two of the prospective 'hosts' where in this country. Asad himself had been tracking one in the small island chain, though he doubted she stuck around for more company. The others who had traveled with him; Asad, Ming, and Torent had all caught connection flights to find out if others had been rounded up, as well as a few members that were now missing.

[B]"Ireland is such a lovely country I have family origins here...let's see if I can russel up a souvenir or two...HAHAHAHAHA!"[/B] His insane chuckled startly several people nearby, but one look at his face convinced them not to respond.

He drove for what seemed like hours until he arrived at a seedy looking apartment complex. Here he paid the driver to wait and went inside. [I]So, this is where he has been living, what a dump. I hope he has what I've come for...I would so hate to have to find those damn tatoos on my own. Hmmm not that I don't enjoy a fight but skinning people is so messy...[/I]

He found his door, number 314, of course on the 3rd level. He raised his fist to the slimy looking door and pounded upon it.

[B]"Amatsu...I've come for your rent to the organization. Open up...we have business to attend."[/B]

The door creaked open as the hired man looked out onto Maximus.

[B]"You're here unexpected...I was not informed of the change in plans."[/B] Came Amatsu's dry voice, a hint of fear and surprise lay hidden in it.

Entering the shamble of a room, the smell of it even indicated the decayed persona of Amatsu. [I]How does he stand to live in this hell hole yet still keep those close clean...it makes no difference to wonder I suppose.[/I]
[B]"The time table has been pushed forward...I want those tattoos."[/B]

[B]"That will be a problem...my target has proven very...defiant."[/B] Amatsu seemed to shrink back after saying this, perhaps part of him expecting the things to come.

[B]"That's a shame Amatsu...because now...I have to take care of her...and...I have to end your contract."[/B] A short rigged blade shoved its way into Amatsu's stomach. He made a few grunts of pain, a small whimper and then fell to the floor. Maximus pulled the dagger free from its fleshy bed and cleaned it off with a handkerchief.

He closed the door behind himself and returned to the limo. Telling the driver to take him quickly to the next town over. Then he sat back brooding of his next task, suddenly spirting out in a sing-song manner[B]"Yuna...I'm coming for you..."[/B] .

OOC: Yeah sorry if killing off your enemy makes you angry...but...he just couldn't finish the job. Do whatever you like...you can even throw me off your trail...as long as its a good post you know nothing cheesy. But that only means that we would have to meet...so I leave whatever happens up to you Neuvoxetere.
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Dave woke with a start...he'd been having a nightmare - that's all he could remember. Undoubtedly, it would've had something to do with Nerve, and this whole "tattoos" business...but he couldn't remember. He honestly didn't want to remember. He staggered out of the comfortable bed and over to the dresser, blinking into the small mirror hanging on the wall. Dazed, bleary brown eyes stared back at him. [B][i]I look awful...[/i][/B] He staggered to the shower, still trying to shake off his early morning funk.

Half an hour later, feeling much more human, he strode from his cabin, carrying a guitar. When Lani had told them they'd need necessities, the first word that had gone through his head had been [i]guitar[/i]. Not sensible, no...but for him? Yes, a necessity. It wasn't a really good guitar...as a matter of fact, he was quite certain tht under normal circumstances he wouldn't have paid five shillings for it, much less the 20 pounds he [I]had[/I] paid...but he hadn't had much choice...it had been the price asked for by the one guitar carrying person at the airport.

He entered the dining area to find Lani already there, eating a bowl of yogurt. He nodded good morning, set down his guitar, and headed for the food counter. He was starving - the airline had served what could hardly be qualified as "food", and that had been many hours ago now. He loaded his plate with a little bit of everything; bacon, eggs, fruit, pancakes and toast, and covered the whole thing in syrup; joining Lani at the table. She stared at his plate in what looked like horror mixed with amusement.

[B]"You're actually going to eat all that?"[/B] Dave shrugged slightly, smiling.

[B]"Growing boy. Need my food."[/B] Once his food was gone, he picked up the guitar and moved to sit in front of one of the windows. The view outside was breath-taking; he couldn't remember seeing a place more beautiful, even in pictures. Almost unconciously, his fingers began picking out a melody, his mind supplying what his voice could not...

[B][i]Born a poor young country boy,
Mother Nature's son...
All day long I'm sitting
Singing songs for everyone...[/i][/B]

Maybe not entirely true, but it was close enough...time seemed to stand still as he felt himself relaxing for the first time since Nerve. Music always, always did that for him. He moved from one song to another, playing softly so as not to wake Rayne...the girl was asleep at one of the small tables, hunched over her computer.

[B][I]Heh. Looks like she's been up a while,[/I][/B] he thought. [B][I]Can't say I blame her...can't believe I even slept last night[/I][/B]. That simple reminder made his mood change abruptly. His finger shifted into another song, this one somewhat harsher, somewhat simpler.

[B][i]When I get to the bottom
I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and turn
and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again...[/i][/B]

It sounded wrong, acoustic and without the drums or vocals, but the edge in the guitar part matched his mood shift perfectly. [B][I]Wish the others would get 'ere...I want to know what's goin' on...[/I][/B]

[B][i]Do you don't you want me to love you?
I'm coming down fast but I'm miles above you...
Tell me tell me come on tell me the answer
and you may be a lover but you ain't no dancer...[/i][/B]

[B][I]Knew I should never 'ave got tattoos...Mum always said it'd come t' no good...[/I][/b]another part of him argued with that last part...[I][B]what if it's not the tattoos? If it's you, and not just them, if you 'adn't 'ad them, you'd've been dead.[/I][/b] He shook his head, still playing.

Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Helter skelter
I will you won't you want me to make you
I'm coming down fast but don't let me break you
Tell me tell me tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain't no dancer...[/B][/I]

[i]Crash![/i] Dave looked up to see that Rayne was now awake, and her laptop was now on the floor. He winced, standing up. Laptops were not cheap. [i][b]Bet I know what startled her...[/b][/i]

[B]"'ey, you alright?"[/B] Rayne smiled, apologetically and a little shyly.

"It's nothing...sorry I startled you..."

[i][b]I was right, it was that, I'm sure...[/b][/i] He listened slightly when her phone rang; transforming her voice from thickly accented to something as sweet as birdsong. He smiled...French was one of his favorite languages. She hung up.

[b]"That was nice...[/b]


[COLOR=DarkOrange]OOC: Billy Shears and Starrstruck both know what the two songs Dave played in this were...for those of you who don't, you can hear Mother Nature's Son [url=http://a420.v8383d.c8383.g.vm.akamaistream.net/7/420/8383/3b858b51/mtvrdstr.download.akamai.com/8512/wmp/2/6/224_2_3_04.asf]here[/url] and Helter Skelter [url=http://a420.v8383d.c8383.g.vm.akamaistream.net/7/420/8383/3b858b51/mtvrdstr.download.akamai.com/8512/wmp/2/6/224_2_6_04.asf]here[/url].

EDIT: Changed my post a little to go with Natchan's...[/COLOR]
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[SIZE=1]OOC: Wow. This moves fast... but like I expected, people are already becoming inactive.

And supernatural... aww. I liked my chronofreeze. Time to think something else up. Not exactly sure if someone already has the power I'm about to get.

[b]Last Night[/b]

Alex didn't want to go to bed, not even after the hectic day he had. It just didn't feel right to be relaxing when he was miles away from home, on some hippy trip for his tattoo. [i]Complete nonsense[/i], he thought quite loudly. The thought was persistant, constantly knocking on the door of the back of his mind. He fought to keep it restrained and in check.

"Need some fresh air...," He murmurred to himself, walking out of the cabin and onto a sizable rock overlooking the lake. He sat on the edge, peering down into the crystal clear water. Completely undefiled, pure, innocent from humans, it felt so different than New York City. No more honking, no more man-made mountains, no more rush-hour. Just the ominous silence solemnly hanging over his head, with the wilderness swirling all around him. The feeling was quite sickening, for a city-boy like himself.

The blood rushed to his head, the only thing his fatigued mind could do was make his body lay on the cold, solid rock to embrace the temperature of it. His feet dangled over the side, slightly moving in the breeze that was now caressing Alex. He grew tired of the wind's persistence, but could do nothing about it. He stood up on the rock, thinking again.

"So... how did I do whatever I did to fight that ... stalker? What exactly happened?" No answer came to him, aside from the fact that he was halucinating the whole time. Such a conclusion made him feel all-the-more crappy. So if he were hallucinating, why did he leave town, why was he here with these people? Such a trip would have been an utter waste of time. But for now, he resolved, he would try to understand exactly what had happened.

He took a step, one at a time, strolling back to shore off the rock. However, he stumbled, failing to find another foothold, and began his headlong dive into the water. Then it happened again. Time froze. He was floating in the air, but this time, he could not move anything. His appendages were completely frozen in time as well.

[i]Save me! Someone![/i] He thought hard, as his mouth was just as paralyzed as the rest of his body. A blue specter floated from out of the water, taking an interested gaze at him.

[i]Damn. I've finally lost it.[/i] The ethereal thing floated, and a symbol beyond his decyphering was the same color as the spirit. The circular emblem rotated slowly, picking up speed as it spun on its radius. Finally, the spirit pushed Alex back onto the rock, as if the icon had commanded it to do so. Then time returned to normal, the crickets began chirping once more, and the water gently lapped against the shore.

"Fuck... I just need to get outta here. But I'll do that tommorow." He retired to his cabin, completely drained of strength as he flopped into bed, closing his eyes wearily.


He awoke slowly, then stood up with a start. Where was he? Was it all just a dream? Closer examination to his surroundings showed that all of it, for the most part at least, was true. He shook his head disappointedly, wanting sorely to return to his regular life. He walked over to the other cabins, hoping someone had food. He would tell them of his plan to leave back for NYC over breakfast. If he mustered the courage.[/SIZE]
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[COLOR=GREEN]When Alexia got to her cabin, she immediatly tossed down her bag and fell face first into the soft bed. [I]Jet-lag's a bitch,[/I] she thought to herself as she nezzled her head deep in the pillow. Before she knew it, she was fast asleep.

A few hours later she woke up. "Ug... I musta dozed off," Alexia mumbled. She glanced at her illuminated watch, "Six! What the heck? It's still dark out." Alexia suddenly reliezed she had forgoten to reset her watch from Eastern time. She looked over at the clock on the bedside table as she set up. "Midnight, that sounds about right."

Still sitting on the bed, Alexia looked around the cabin. So much had happened over the past twenty-four hours; it seemed a little much to take in at once. As she glanced over the contents of the room, Alexia's eyes fell on her bag, lying half open in the corner. Suddenly she noticed something tiny and black poke out of the bag.

"What the..?" she said with curiosity and surprise, as she got up and walked across the room. Stooping down and opening her bag, she pulled out her small speckled kingsnake. "Kane, you little stoaway, how'd you get in my bag?" Alexia stood back up looking at her pet. In truth, she was glad to have him along; a little piece of home.

"I really can't sleep anymore now. Let's take a walk outside," she said, still looking at her snake. Kane hissed in reply. Walking outside, the cool night air felt refreshing. The night sounds and clear sky put Alexia at ease. The natural setting and beauty of this place was unlike anything she had ever seen before.

Soon she came to the lake. Taking off her shoes, she sat down on the shore and dangled her feet in the cool water. She sat there mezmorized by the moon's reflection in the water. Several yards away she noticed one of the guys standing on a rock, looking over the water. [I]I guess I'm not the only one who couldn't sleep.[/I]

Suddenly she noticed him slip and start to fall into the water. Alexia quickly stood up and grabbed her shoes, but before she could take a step, she noticed he was back on the rock. [I]What the hell! Did I just immagine that?[/I] Alexia watch the long, dark haired guy walk off. "I think I'd better head back too."
The next morning, Alexia was woken up by someone knocking on her cabin door. [I]Ug, it's too damn early for this[/I], she thought, rolling out of bed and making her way to the door. "Yeah, what is it?" she mumbled, opening the door to see the same guy she saw last night. He seemed kind of nervous about something.

"Oh, it's you, uh... I'm sorry, I'm horrible with names," she said, becoming more alert.

"Oh, it's Alex,"

"Really? My name's Alexia." He was quiet for a moment. "Um... Did you want something?"

"Oh yeah, um... do you have anything to eat?" He glanced over to the side, avoiding eye contact.

Alexia looked at him oddly. It didn't seem like that was all he needed. "Uh.. I don't think I have much. Maybe a bag of chips or something. You can come in if you want."

"Uh, thanks," responded Alex nervously. He walked in, closing the door carefully behind him. Alexia stode over to her bag and began rumaging through it.

"Sorry, all I got is gum, but think I remember Lani mentioning some sort of Common Room where they serve food. If you give me a few minutes to get ready, I'll walk over there with you."

"Sure, I guess, but I really wanted to talk to someone about something." Alex called after her, but Alexia had already disappeared into the bathroom, clutching her day cloths in one hand.

"Just talk, I'm listening," she called back from the bathroom.

"Well, it's just... I've been thinking..." suddenly Alex glanced down to see Kane curled up on the bedside table. "Um, Alexia, do you know you have a snake in your room?"

"Oh, that's my pet, Kane. Don't worry, he's harmless. Your not afraid of snakes, are you?"

"Um, no, not really." The bathroom door swung open and Alexia quickly strode over to a chair and began pulling on her boots.

"Good," she said without looking up, "So you won't hurt him like my psyco, ex-roommate tried last month." She stood up in front of a mirror and began braiding her hair. "Didn't you want to talk about something? I'm still listening."

"Yeah, well, it's just... I've been thinking... why exactly are we all here?"

"What do you mean?" inquired Alexia, still fooling with her hair.

"I mean we've all been attacked because of our tatoos. Then we find ourselves flying around the world to some distant country." Alexia tied off her braid and turned to face Alex. "What I'm saying is, what exactly does this Lani girl have to offer that we can't already do on our own?"

They were silent for several moments. "Well," said Alexia, speaking up finally, "She seems to know more about this whole thing than the rest of us."

"Perhaps, but I've still considered heading back home."

Alexia was quiet for a moment. "Maybe we should just hear her out; see what she has to offer. Then we can deside where to go from there. What do ya say?" She offered her hand to him in friendship. "Stick around just a bit longer?"
OOC~ Okay, Retribution, if you've got any problems with this just let me know. Thought it interesting, though, that the two American char's have similar names :catgirl: [/COLOR]
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[font=Verdana][size=2][b]OOC: [/b]Retri's right, this does move fast Oo. Sorry for the short post, I'm short of inspiration at the moment.[/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=navy]Sakura yawned as she entered her small cabin, she blinked owlishly and looked around. It was simple but she knew that the looks were deceiving. She was tired, and the simple bed with a fluffy pillow and soft blanket looked extremely inviting. Sakura tugged at her greyish blue fingerless gloves as she walked around, examining her home for the night and who knows how long. She decided to take a shower before sleeping so she felt clean, and took a nice warm shower that made her relaxed and even more sleepy than before.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]Sakura got out, dressed and fell onto the bed, practically falling asleep straight away.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]The next morning when Sakura woke up, she felt much better and took another quick shower to refresh herself. She thought about the events of the day before and that everyone in the group had been attacked because they had tattoos that could come to life. She shuddered and checked her animal tattoos on her left arm, she'd had them for a long time and were a part of her. She shook the thoughts off.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]After fixing herself up, Sakura left the cabin and headed over to the common room for breakfast.[/color][/size][/font]
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Sunlight stremed through the window and glistened off of Rayne's hair. She had fallen asleep over her laptop, an article about tattoos still on the screen.
'I see you Rayne...' The voice was in her mind, and it woke her with a start. She awoke with a gasp and in the moment accidently shoved her laptop of the table. It fell to the floor with a crash follwed by Rayne swearing in french. She quietly spoke to herself as she knelt down to survey the damage, a hand met hers as she reached down. She looked up to find the young british man.
"Hey you alright?" His voice was quiet and rough. Rayne smiled shyly.
"It's nothing... I apologize for startling you all." She replied noticing that there were now four other people in the room. She could see Lani, and the two americans, Alex and Alexia. She stood slowly and placed the laptop on the tale again, she was trembling slightly.
"Well it must have been quiet the startle for you, to wake you so suddenly." Lani stated from her table.
"Was it Keria?" Dave spoke up. A terrified look crossed Raynes face.
"How do you know that name?" Her voice shook as she spoke quietly.
"We both know it... you talk in your sleep." Lani replied smiling.
"Oh dear... " She removed her glasses for a moment. "What time is it?"
"7:45." Alexia answered looking down at her watch. "You look exsauhsted, how late were you up?" She asked noticing the dark circles under Rayne's eyes. Raye thought a moment as she picked up her empty coffee cup.
"I remember loking at the clock last around 6:30." She stated walking over to the caffee machine and filling her glass. "I apologize again for disturbing anyone." She sat dow at her computer and opened it to make sure everything was still in working order. Everyone else in the room simply watched a moment as the french girl sat typing away, it seemed as though nothing that had just happened had phased her.
'[I]That was seriously emberacing, I can't believe this.[/I] ' She thought to herself. She shivered a moment as the image of Keria appeard in her mind, her yellow eyes, plale skin, and that sickening smile. She typed without speaking for almost ten minutes when she glanced over at Dave who had sat back down and began to play his gituar. She jumped again nearly falling out of seat when she heard the ring of her cell phone. She fumbled getting it out of her pocket and opened it.
She carried a conversatin in french, which sounded much more natural for her. She was hung up the phone after only a minute and she turned it off.
"Anything important?" Lani asked.
"My mother wanted to know what kind of food my cat eats, shes watching him while I'm out of the country." Rayne replied still starring at her screen.
"That was nice..." Dave added quietly.
"I'm sorry, what was nice?" Rayne asked politely.
"Your voice as you spoke your home language... your french is beautiful." dave paused a moment, Rayne had stopped typing and he could see her face turning a light shade of pink. "From a musicians point of view." He stated.
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[SIZE=1]Really, I should wait for other peopel to get caught up, but meh to them. ^_^

Alex looked at Alexia, the person whom he had known for all of ten minutes, the girl who watched him get "pushed" back onto the rock. Why was she trying to change his mind? Did she think she understood him? He calmed down himself, letting the logical side of him speak. He shook her hand, as anything less would've been indecent, however, she didn't get the answer she wanted.

"I... don't know. Seriously, I have a life back in NYC. The city that never sleeps, and neither can I. I've lost so much time on my work it's not funny... and I don't have any reason to stay here." Alexia looked down for a minute.

"Just try it out... just for a day or so. What if your real life isn't in NYC. What if you go home, and realize you should've stayed here?" She challenged. Alex remained somewhat indecicive.

"I just don't know. I'm sorry I can' give you a straight answer, It's gotta be pretty annoying. To tell you the truth, so much crappy stuff has happened to me so far, I'm just praying all the while it's been a bad dream."

He sat down, thinking pretty hard again. He thought things through, analyzing, balancing, and finally decided to stay for a bit longer. A few extra days wouldn't hurt, he could always make up his work later, maybe next week.

"I guess I'll stay for a while." He said outloud. Alexis' face lit up like a child's face on Christmas. She seemed overjoyed, but why? They didn't really even know each other. But Alex decided that such questions might be seen as hurtful to her, so he didn't pose them.[/SIZE]
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[COLOR=DarkRed][SIZE=1]OOC: Halt! [I]I[/I] must post![/SIZE][/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkGreen]Dimitri awoke at night, tucked in neatly in the hospital bed. The IV in his left arm was stinging him, while a large suture was in his right arm. A large, frumpy doctor walked in, looking suprised. He had a bald head, a moustache, and his casual clothers on. He slipped into his coat when he entered the room.

[B]"Ah, I see you are awake. How are you feeling?" [/B] Dimitri just stared at the doctor, pain throbbing in his arm.

[B]"Well...not much of a talker, I see"[/B] He finally responded.

[B]"What happened...what happened to my arm? What's with the stitches...why was my skin hardening?"[/B]

[B]"Well, my boy, you fell next to the front desk. Your skin was stiffer than a rock. We had to see what the problem was, so we quickly did a blood test. A needle actually cracked when we tried to puncture your skin...anyways, we found a rare, home-brewed poison in your blood stream. It enters the tissue and hardens the skin cells. It adds quite alot of pressure on your veins, usually causing them to burst. It was tested a few years ago on some soldiers in different countries, but how it entered you is a mystery. Have you had any affiliation with any military experiments?"[/B]


[B]"And I didn't find any clues to where you live...are you homeless?"[/B]

[B]"Y...yes." [/B] Dimitri hated that. Homeless. [I]Like I'm is some loser drunk that has no purpose in life. Well...thats true, anyways.[/I]

[B]"So, we had to drain the poison and soften your skin before one of the arteries in your thigh bursted. After draining most of your blood and transfusing it, you skin went back to normal, and here you are now. Oh, and that large suture is from the place we drained the blood."[/B]

[B]"Did somebody follow me?" [/B] The doctor looked puzzled, then answered.

[B]"No...not that I know of. Was there somebody with you?"[/B]

[B]"No..."[/B] He felt bad lying to the guy, he did save his life.

[B]"Well, if you need something, just press the call button, either a nurse or I will come in and help you. My name is Dr. Vaskilovi."[/B]

[B]"Ok...thanks" [/B]

Dimitri wanted to plunge into the sweet oblivion called sleep, but he couldn't to no avail. The pain was too strong in his arm, and the thought of Seregei burned a hole in his mind. He pressed the call button, and a young nurse came in.

[B]"Yes, may I help you?"[/B] Dimitri looked at her for a second...[I]she's a cute little number[/I]...then asked,

[B]"Uh, is there a pain medicine I can take? My arm is killing me." [/B]

[B]"Sure, I'll add a little to the dosage in the IV."[/B]

Once she walked out, she was stopped at the door by a man. He was tall and slender, with long, white hair and a large hat. He was wearing a black trenchcoat and had on leather gloves. He had a large, crooked nose and piercing green eyes.

[B]"Oh, my apologies, ma'am. I'm here to see my friend"[/B] The nurse nodded and smiled, and went on her way.

[I]No goddamn way! Shit, come back, get him away from me![/I] Dimitri knew who it was. It was Seregei. He took off his hat and looked at Dimitri.

[B]"How are you?"[/B] Seregei flashed a little smirk that sent him chills.

[B]"What the hell are you doing here?!"[/B]

[B]"Here to see you, old friend of mine."[/B] He sat in a nearby chair and smiled.

Dimtri reached for the call button when in a flash, Seregei had unhooked all the the electronics except for the lights in the room.

[B]"Help me! He's gonna..."[/B] He couldn't move his lips. Seregei let out a hearty, menacing laugh.

[B]"Stay here."[/B] He couldn't move. He was paralyzed. [I]Son of a bitch, he is going to murder everyone! No![/I]


He walked from Dimitri's room and headed to the security desk. A large man with glasses asked in a rather annoyed voice,

[B]"Can I help you?"[/B] Seregei took out a large magnum from his coat and aimed square at the security guard's face.

[B]"What the f...!" [/B] One shot sent the chair toppling over, a large, gaping wound shattered the man's jaw. Several people ran from ajacent rooms to see the horror of the man with the gun. The young nurse he'd seen before sceramed as loud as possible,

[B]"Jesus, he has a gun! Help!" [/B] Another shot ended her calls for help.

[B]"Get me a helicopter and the patient in room 303 on the second floor, or you will all die." All of a sudden, about 400 men, all equipped with Ak-47's burst through all the doors leading to the outside of the hospital. [/B]

[B]"Ok, men, secure all 350 rooms in this hospital. Collect all the electronics that could contact the outside. Make sure everybody is against a wall with their hands up. If there is any questions, tell the people to shut up and follow orders. Also, I want you to flush out the patient in room 303. If he doesn't comply, along with any other people, kill them."[/B]

[B]"Alright, listen up everybody! I need someone to take me to the nearest PA system. If I don't get a voulnteer in the next 30 seconds, I'm going to kill 5 people. So, if you want to live, raise your hand." [/B] Nobody dared to move. You could hear the soft sobbing of the childern and other people.

[B]"You have 10 seconds left. Make a decision!" [/B] Thats when Dr. Vaskilovi raised his hand.

[B]"I...I'll go..."[/B] Seregei smiled and approached the doctor. He secured one arm behind his back and put the revolver to his temple. Dr. Vaskilovi was sweating profusely and was ready to piss himslef, but managed to compose.

"Good. Now, for the rest of you cowards..." Seregei killed five random men with his revolver. The muffled screams of the children and some adults were everywhere. Then a transmission came from Seregei's walkie-talkie.

[B]"Ok, sir. All clear."[/B]

[B]"What about room 303?"[/B]

[B]"He got....away...His window was open, and we sent some men to find him on the roof."[/B][I] He broke the paralyzation curse...sneaky little bastard.[/I] Seregei laughed, then said, [B]"Capture him. I want him alive."[/B]

Dimitri was finally free of the paralyzation. He struggled and struggled, and it paid off. Leaping out of bed, he was quickly putting on some shoes when heard some men run down the hallway outside his room. [I]They're for me[/I], he thought He looked to the nearest window and made an escape out onto the roof. He heard one of the men burst in and yell,[B] "Dammit, he got out the window! You three, follow him!" [/B]. Dimitri ran across the roof and made his way up a ladder. He saw a lone helicopter sitting on the helipad. God, I hope I can fly that, he thought. He heard the men running across the roof as well, their boots heavy on the gravel Dimitri quickly ducked behind the helicopter when he head the men slowly approaching him. His tattoo started to bleed.

[B]"Hurry up and flank him!"[/B] But, the commander was too late. The sword had been summoned already, and one of his men was propped up against the helicopter, bleeding from his midsection.

[B]"Where is he?!"[/B] A loud yell followed by a thud was the next sound that entered the atmosphere. Another one of his men wa slashed across the face and piereced near the heart. Dimitri had executed two men in this short period of time.

[B]"S....sir....he...too...ast...can't keep up..."[/B] The commander let out a grotesque croak and the spray of blood echoed through the hallway where Seregei was.

Seregei laughed and said, [B]"Make sure no one does anything, got it?"[/B] A few of the soldiers nodded. He threw off his jacket and was wearing a tight, all black suit with several clasps wrapped around his body. One hand had a tattoo of a snake with a syringe for a toung, and several needles slid from his hand in between each finger. He shot a hole through one of plate glass windows with his magnum, and climbed out. In a flash, he jumped up to the second story roof, right where Dimitri was.

[B]"Nice...nice..."[/B] Seregei flashed him a grin. [B]"Why don't you show me, eh?"[/B] Seregei aimed and fired the gun. Dimitri jumped to avoid the magnum slug that entered the helicopter. He landed, then chargd Seregei with all his power. Unexpectedly, it slashed part of Seregei's arm open, revealing a deep wound. Seregei winced, then sucked the blood like a vampire from his wound. His teeth were enourmous, his eyes were red and glowing, and his pupils were so small they were barely visible. His white hair was like a streetlight in the midnight air, illuminating the battlefield.

[B]"You will die tonight. Your tattoo will become mine." [/B] Dimitri had never seen a crazier look on a man's face. He turned and leapt down from the building. and ran as fast as he could. He was praying he could find the airport soon, which he knew wasn't far from the hospital. I need to leave the city, no the country to avoid this psycho. He ran to the airport and bought a ticket to a random place with what little money he had. He didn't even look at where it was headed, he just scrambled to the line and boarded the plane.

[B]"He...hit me?"[/B] Seregei let some of the blood trickle to his fingers, then he licked it off. Then, he went over the the bodies of the dead comrades and sucked away at some of their blood. The entire time he thought how he got hit. [I]Was he faster than me? How did he do it?[/I]. He went down to the window and entered the main hallway where he had came from.

[B]"He's gone. Kill everyone. Have a feast."[/B] The soldiers grinned. All their faces made the same drastic changes that Seregei's did. The massacre started as he grabbed his coat and walked calmly out of the hospital.

Dimitri boarded the plane and took a seat next to an old woman. He politley asked, [B]"Where are we headed?"[/B] The lady looked at him strangely since he was a little battered from the first encounter with Seregei, and said [B]"New Zealand. We should be there tommorow."[/B] He nodded and smiled, and drifted asleep.

When he woke up the next day they were forcing him off the plane. He picked up one of the free maps at the airport. [I]Hm...maybe I can stay at the Milford Sound campground...I'll hitchhike there. Let's hope it is free[/I]. He approached the lady he was sitting by and asked her, [B]"Excuse me, ma'am? Can you drop me off at a place, the Milford Sound campground? [/B]

[B]"Sure, honey, just follow me to the car."

"Thank you so much!"[/B]

It wans't a long drive. He made some small talk with the lady. She didn't ask about the wounds or anything, which was good. After they said goodbye, he made his way into campground. There were lots of cabins, with one large building in the center. When he walked in, everybody looked at him, while he stared back. He knew they had something in common with him.

An Italian girl (from the looks of her) stood up and said,[B] "Hi. My name is Renee."[/B]

[B]"Dimitri. Nice to meet you." [/B] She smiled and asked,

[B]"So, you have tattoos too?"[/B]

[B]"Yes, I do"[/B]

[B]"Good. You should come sit with us."[/B] He nodded, and they made their way over to several different people, and he sat down.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkRed][SIZE=1]Let me know if this was ok.

-the one and only[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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OOC: Sorry it took so long. :animeswea

[COLOR=DarkRed][B]IC:[/B] Renee sighed, the last four days had been a whirlwind. The attack from Astraela, meeting the others, coming here to Milford Sound. It was all a blur. She sat on the edge of the bed in her cabin. The room was beautiful, even if it was lacking in the plants area. She picked up the phone from the small nightstand at the head of the bed and dialed her aunt's number, waiting for her to pick up.

[B]"Hello?"[/B] Her aunt's voice sounded nervous and a little scared.

[B]"Tia? It's Ren. I just wanted to let you know that I'm alright, and I found some nice people to stay with."[/B] Her aunt breathed a sigh of relief.

[B]"I'm so glad, miele...when you didn't come over in the morning I went over to your house to see if perhaps you had gotten sick or fallen down the stairs..."[/B] She stopped abruptly. Ren finished her sentence for her.

[B]"...and found the mess. Well, I'm safe, I can't tell you where I am right now, because there might be someone after me. But you can tell the police to stop searching for me."[/B] Her aunt laughed.

[B]"How did you know I had the police searching for you?"[/B] Ren walked over to the window smiling.

[B]"Let me see... your one and only niece is missing and many of her plants are no longer on the roof but in pieces on the ground, which you know your niece would never do... That's how."[/B] A thought seemed to occur to her. [B]"How many of my plants made it? I mean, I do still have some of my garden, yes?" [/B] There was no response from the other end of the line.

[B]"Tia, please tell me. I would like to know."[/B] Her aunt sighed.

[B]"Ren, miele, all of you potted plants are either on the ground, or in pieces on your neighbors roof, and your bushes and trees are all burnt. There's nothing left bebè, I'm sorry."[/B] Ren felt like she had been crushed, but didn't let it show.

[B]"There's no need for you to be sorry... you didn't do it. I'll just have to start over, that's all. Well, I just wanted to let you know that I was safe. I love you. Please don't worry about me."[/B] She sat back down on the bed, waiting for a response.

[B]"I love you too, miele. Call me when you are able to."[/B] Her aunt hung up the phone, Ren remained seated on the bed for a moment or two before getting up and going outdoors.

She walked for about five minutes around the edge of the lake, before stopping under a large tree. Sitting beneath its calming branches, Ren soon fell asleep


Ren woke up to find the sun shining and her clothes and skin damp from a thin layer of dew, sighing she looked at her watch and realized that it was 7:45. She looked up at the tree she had slept under and began talking to it.

[B]"Hello, Dominare Albero. I have recently lost all of my babies to an evil jester, do you mind if I take part of you to start my garden again?"[/B] Hearing nothing she took that as a no. [B]"Thank you, old one, I shall take good care of your child."[/B] Ren started laughing as she found what was necessary to start a seedling. [B]"It's a good thing nobody is here to hear me. They'd probably think I was losing my mind."[/B] Holding the seedling carefully she hurried to the common room to get some water to place it in.


On her way to the common room, Ren saw Sakura coming from her cabin. She walked over and joined her.

[B]"Mind if I walk with you to the common room? I'm Renee Belezza by the way."[/B] She held out her hand, Sakura shook it.

[B]"Sakura Hiwatari. And no I don't mind."[/B] She smiled. When they entered the common room they noticed that the others were all there already. Ren laughed.

[B]"Looks like they were waiting for us. It was nice meeting you."[/B] She walked over to the buffet table. After getting a bowl of cherries and placing the seedling in a cup of water, Ren walked over and sat down in one of the chairs by the window next to Rayne and Dave; they both looked as if they had been blushing.

[B]"I'm not intruding am I?"[/B] Dave shook his head.

[B]"You're not."[/B] The door opened admiting a tall skinny man in the outfit of a punk rocker. Renee got up and went to meet him.

[B]"Hi. My name is Renee."[/B]

[B]"Dimitri. Nice to meet you."[/B] She smiled and asked,

[B]"So, you have tattoos too?"[/B]

[B]"Yes, I do"[/B]

[B]"Good. You should come sit with us."[/B] Dimitri nodded, and they made their way over to the others and sat down.
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[COLOR=Indigo][FONT=Trebuchet MS][b]OOC: I have put up an Underground thread for this RPG. Ask any questions and read notices there.[/b]

A soft caressing breeze filtered through the open screen windows. Lani looked out at the beautiful scenery. It looked different somehow. Something didn't feel.....right.

Looking back at the table now full of people, Lani stood and introduced the newcomers.
" Everyone, we have two newcomers. This is Leigh..." Leigh stood up and then sat back down quickly. " ... And this is Dimitri..." Dimitri quickly stood and then sat back down. " ...It seems that they too have been attacked for the same reason we have. Now, we will find our answers."

A Maoui chief walked into the small common-room. Elabourate Maoui style tattoos covered his face. He was a proud looking man - a fierce warrior if times hadn't changed. He held a thick wooden spear in his left hand.

" I am Torin, chief of the local Maoui clan," he said in a strong, deep Maoui warrior voice. He looked around at the group. " I sense great magical power."

Lani stood. " We came here seeking answers Torin."

" Answers? To what questions?"

" All of us have been attacked by so called 'collectors' of tattos," Lani said. " They tried to skin the tattoos off our bodies."

Torin looked at them stunned. " With knives?" Most of the group nodded. " They don't need knives to 'collect' your tattoos. The knives are only a vessel for a powerful magic that sucks the spirit out of a tattoo and into the holder of the knife."

" What?!?!" Alex shouted.

" Tattoos are not merely decoration boy. They are complex ways of capturing the spirits of creatures and elements. They are the weaving of great tales and legends. Tattoos are sources of powerful magicks once controlled and merged with their host's soul."

" How can we fuse with our tattoos?" Dimitri asked.

" That is something only the person hosting the tattos will know."

Suddenly the whole building shook. Everyone looked around frantically for the source. The windows started to freeze up. Ice shards started forming from the roof and dropping down dangerously near the heads of the group. Scrambling out of the building, the group and the chief ran outside to find themselves in amongst a blizzard.

Lani looked around to see Asad standing there smirking. His eyes were icy blue.
" Like my little snowstorm, snowflake?" he asked mockily.
" Oh yeah....just beautiful..." Lani replied sarcastically.

[b]OOC: Okay, fight your bad dude. And take into account what Torin said.[/b][/COLOR][/FONT]
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[SIZE=1]"What the FUCK!" Alex shouted out. He wanted to go home immediately. Some Maori priest guy had just told them people wanted to suck the souls of out their tattoos. And [i]now,[/i] there was a flash blizzard. Things were getting stranger by the minute, and he was stuck out in the wilderness with a bunch of strangers.

"So, why exactly did we run out into the blizzard? C'mon, people, have some common sense!" He shouted, but his voice was drowned out by the cold blasts of wind. He shivered again, moreso from fear than from the temperature when he saw the same stalker from New York.

"You're going to die. And I'll drink your blood in ecstacy..." he slurred, starting to run towards him. Alex gritted his teeth, and sprinted to meet him. He Jumped in the air, and lashed out to kick the insane clownish person. Then he stopped in mid-air, the snow flakes froze in time, and Alex was hovering in a winter wonderland. He took a minute to glance around, seeing several other people locked in deadly combat just like him, saw the stalker-guy with the knife coming out of his sleeve, and finally a white ghost rise out of the snow.

[I]Wait a second![/I] He thought at the ghost. It turned itself toward him, and then fed upon his thoughts. Again, a gold spherical icon spun in front of him, and he could actually read several of the words hovering within it.

[i]Anger, Fear, Desire to Succeed[/i].

The ghost turned back to the target, and stabbed at the man with an ethereal spear. It glowed with Alex's emotions, as time sped back up again. To his enemy, it looked as if the weapon appeared out of nowhere, and was near-impossible to dodge. The blade drove deep into his chest-cavity, as blood spilled out across the white, fresh-driven snow.

"Fu..gck..." he stammered, as he gripped his stomach in pain, trying to stem the fatal flow of blood oozing from his body. With the other hand, he threw his knife. Too fast to completely avoid, Alex moved his head to the side, just slightly enough to give him an annoying cut across his left cheek. The red river slowly ran down his face, as he just looked at his attacker again, willing himself or the spirits, or God, or whomever to freeze time again. He froze several times for a few seconds, not enough to really focus on anything.

But it came eventually, as his enemy was too weak to continue attacking, and now focused on defense. Time stood still once again.


Once again, the gold sphere rotated on its axis in front of Alex's chest. But this time, a ghost arose frrom his shoulder, where his tattoo was. The pain was excruciating, ripping through his very soul to venture forth to the outside.

"O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself" the ghost and Alexander said in unison, reading the tattoo from which he had originated. It then turned to face the wounded enemy, but did not physically touch it. Alex felt the ghost manifest itself within him, and he felt filled with divine power. A light yellow aura emitted, and snow was blown away from him in a forceful gale. The brilliance was overwhelming, and Alex thought [I]it must be God doing all this for him, and not some Maori tattoo stuff.[/I] When time began to flow once more, the man emitted a blood curdling scream, as his neck rotated around to a 360 degree position. Sickening cracks of his bone and sinew could be heard, as he fell down to the ground.

"So... c...old" he said, suddenly feeling the temperature around him. He too collapsed into the snow, conscious but at the same time unconscious, drifting in and out of a light haze. His enemy fell to the grount, utterly defeated, and Alex grinned in final satisfaction before his vision faded to black.[/SIZE]
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Rayne's heart stopped as she looked to find Keria smiling that malicious smile of hers. She stood akwardly, grasping the same knife as before she could that it was glowing a dull red almost as if it knew what was coming.

"Hiya, Rayne my dear... miss me!" She leapt forwad thrusting her knife at Rayne, but this time Rayne was alert, still fightened out of her mind... but alert. She rolled to the left and pulled a throwing dagger from her right cargo pocket. She felt the kanji on her hand pulse as she prepared to throw the dagger.

"Not this time." She replied quietly almost to herself. Rayne and Keria circled eachother slowly, they ignored all those in the surrounding area, only seeing eachother. A nefarious glint lit up Keria's eyes as she ran forward to meet Rayne who was waiting patiently for her attacker. Rayne waited for Keria to make the first move and the moment she did, Rayne released the dagger. It flew swiftly and hit Keria in the left thigh, she staggered a moment, but kept her feet. Rayne again moved out of the line of the blades attack but not enough, she felt the cold metal bite into the back of her shoulder. Rayne gasped, she would not Keria have the pleasure of hearing her scream. She tried to run, but Keria had already put her other hand around Raynes waist holding her close as to keep her from running.

"Come now... that wasn't very nice Rayne. Why would you do that?" She whispered softly in Raynes ear. Keria drove the knife slightly deeper into Raynes back, and Rayne grit her teeth. She thought hard on the situation and on what the chief had been speaking about only minutes ago. Her heart beat faster and her mind tried to focus, then as before she felt Keria pushed away by a large physical force. She turned quickly to find Keria on the ground, a large panther on top of her, awaiting Raynes command. Rayne wanted nothing more than to kill the girl herself but knew she couldn't, so she simply nodded her head afimatively and the panther turned its emerald eyes to its prey. Rayne turned away from the scene, and clapped her hands over her ears as not to hear the screams of pain coming from Keria.

She lifted her hands from her ears moments later when she felt the soft feline rub up against her arm. She looked deep into the panthers eyes, and a gentle voice could be heard in her mind.

"It's over she won't harm you ever again." Rayne wrapped her arms around Noir, she could feel the realness of the cat. Her toned muscles, her breathing, and most of all the soft fur. She sat quietly, dissmising Noir to return to her place of sleep. She felt the tinge of pain as reality came back to her, the dagger was still in her shoulder, she tried to reach it to pull it out but could not.
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