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Green Team Mission Thread [E]


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[font=trebuchet MS][i]Current Green Team Leader[/i]: DeathKnight[/center]

This mission thread is created exclusively for [I]current[/I] Green Team members to post in. Players have been notified about the posting order via PM. Please direct any questions you have in regards to the event to [url=http://otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=49109]The Legionnaires Underground[/url] thread.[/font]
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[color=darkgreen][center][b][size=3]Mission #109 : [u]Time Code[/u][/size][/b][/color][/center]


[color=green][font=Tahoma]A harsh wind blew, storm clouds rumbling loudly overhead. Everything seemed angry- the sea, the wind, the sky. The fury of nature continued to build until finally the sky released a torrential downpour, lightning cascading downwards to accompany it. Within the curtain of rain, a small orb formed several feet above the ground. It maintained a gentle hover and slowly expanded outwards, colors flashing over it's surface erratically- blues, greens, grays, reds, oranges, white, black. The orb's shape stopped expanding and it began to spin. Faster and faster it went until finally the surface of the orb shimmered softly before it exploded outwards in one final cataclysmic release of energy. As quickly as the explosion arrived, it receded- leaving behind five figures who were cloaked in the darkness of the rainstorm. Green Team had arrived.

Kaida looked upwards, hand raised to shield her face from the downpour. Her eyes traced along the coarse edges of the violent sky slowly. "What wondrous strength this planet has.." she mused softly to herself, admiring the heavens majestic appearance, "You never see these sorts of skies back home.."

"Somehow this island is less picturesque than I had imagined it to be." Arachnid said from behind her, glancing at the area around them.

Broken from her trance, she began to examine the area for herself. Their flashy entrance had scorched clear all of the nearby undergrowth, leaving behind deep scars in the earth. What surrounded them was a tropical forest- tall trees grasping desperately for the sky, various shrubs and bushes huddling together underneath them. There was no sign of animal life- human or otherwise and this lack of life left an eerie vibe that lingered in the atmosphere around them.

"Well, picturesque or not, we're in the right place." Kaida stated as she took it all in, "I suppose this tempest is our warm welcome to Easter Island."

"Forget being in the right place, are we positive we are at the right time?" Sakura asked, her eyes drifting to the skies above them.

Kaida looked to Era, who gave a quick, confident nod of the head in reply to the question. Kaida nodded back and reflected on the surreal trip they had just taken. Green Team's orders had required a leap backwards in time- over four thousand years in time, to be precise. The sheer enormity of the jump had left Era drained of her energy, but it was a necessary loss. The journey itself was hard to describe with words- it was an experience that could not be forgotten to say the least.

"Good. Now our mission truly begins. You all know why we are here- we must uncover the truth behind the actions of a certain rogue who has taken great pains to time travel here for reasons unknown. Our mission is to identify him, his motives and to undo any damage he has done to this place or it's populace. Once done, we will return him to his own time, using force if necessary. With that sai-"

"Hey, Kaida, look." Sakura interrupted her briefing suddenly. Her gaze was still transfixed on the sky, but her eyes had narrowed into a very serious expression. "I want you to watch where the lightning strikes."

Kaida turned and examined the strikes as they plummeted down intermittently, not finding anything unusual about it. "What am I supposed to be seeing?" She asked with an arched eyebrow.

"All of the strikes are hitting in the same area." Sakura stated.

Kaida's eyes narrowed into the same expression as Sakura's. Her eyes traced back around the sky and watched carefully- each bolt of lightning was landing in the same general area a few miles away. Not even one bolt was peeling off from where the others had gone.

"That would be the first clue as to where this nutcase might be." Arachnid said with amusement in his voice.

"Good eyes, Sakura. We just found where we are tromping to first. Keep your wits about you- we are not familiar with our enemy, the geography of this area and the situation we are going into."

Kaida nodded to her team to move out. They made their way in the direction of the lightning strikes, through the thriving greenery that teemed underneath the trees. The storm was becoming an annoying companion- sheets of rain continued to fall, the cloud cover above them churned violently letting out ear shattering claps of thunder.

"Say, Team Leader. Is that really all the information we were given?" Arachnid asked over the storm.

"It seemed to be rather paltry." Liquid added.

Kaida sighed and nodded, "It is rather paltry. Charging blindly into the unknown isn't high on my list of favorite hobbies, but that is all HQ had to give us. I have a feeling they were as irritated over it as we are."

As they walked, they talked. They had a couple of miles of terrain to hike in the pouring rain, so talking was the only real distraction they had from it. Above them, the clouds began to rotate, the rotation centering at the point where the lightning continued to strike. Kaida eyed the circulation with a wry grin.

"This seems to be getting more and more interesting.." She said, "Remember, always be aware. You never know when you might come under attack, especially in a jungle environment. You cannot allow the enemy to take you by surpri-"

A strange rumbling noise overtook Kaida's voice, increasing in loudness by the second. Hand at her pistol, Kaida froze, eyes fixated straight ahead. Fifty feet ahead of them the trees were shaking violently, the very leaves being torn off from the ferocity of it. A wall of water broke through the trees, smashing them into the ground with great force. It rushed forward, lurching strangely as it came.

"What is THAT?" Sakura asked, echoing the thoughts of each team member at that moment.

"I can see through it's movements. It's homing in us. That is not natural." Liquid said.

The wall of water sped up and suddenly doubled in height to twenty or so feet. It lingered in midair for a moment before it came crashing down onto them. The team was swallowed up and carried along inside it, their bodies smashed through anything that was in the water's path. Lost in the depths of the water, Kaida struggled to avoid the trees the water was speeding through, but it was to no avail. She slammed into several of them, pain coursing through her body. Having tossed and smashed the party, the water paused and stood still for a moment, swaying gently. Then, with a distinct shiver, it receded, mystically seeping away into the ground without a trace..

As the rain continued to carpet them, the Green Team lay within a few feet of each other, regaining their bearings from the mysterious attack..[/color][/font]
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[FONT=Arial][COLOR=Green]It had taken Era three days of preparation before she was confident enough to risk the lives of four team members on one time-leap. She flexed her fingers as she waited in the Green Team meeting room, reciting all the dates and memories she was going to use as ?holds? on this trip.

Some of them weren?t all that pleasant but they were necessary if she was to backtrack to exactly the right period in time. Vietnam, World War Two, World War One, Jack the Ripper, the Elephant Man.

All these situations created the ladder Era was going to use to pull the team back in time to Easter Island, 2000 BC. She had a petty clear image of the place in mind, HQ had made sure to supply her with all the knowledge she needed to form a clear enough image in her mind?s eye.

Eventually the team arrived and they all gathered around Era. She smiled confidently and, just like the routine they had all practiced, the team placed their hands on her arms, with Kaida touching her shoulders to give extra support in case Era?s energy began to deplete mid-jump.

When she felt she was ready Era closed her misty eyes and sucked in a deep breath. [B]?Ready, everyone?? [/B] her soft voice was shaky, and she hoped the rest of the team didn?t notice. They all replied with a unanimous [B]?Yes.?[/B] And they were off.

Era felt as if someone had attached a rope to her heart and were tugging her backwards at unimaginable speeds. Trials, wars, deaths and places flew past her and it got to the point where she wasn?t even sure if it was in her mind or all around her.

In only a matter of seconds the team had arrived on a stormy beach in an explosion of light but to Era it seemed to have taken years. She panted softly and held Arachnid?s arm to steady herself, listening intently to Kaida as she attempted to get her bearings.

[B]"Forget being in the right place, are we positive we are at the right time?" [/B] Sakura had never been one to doubt but Era could understand her unease. It took all the confidence she had to give Kaida a firm nod when the leader turned to her for confidence.

Era felt Arachnid pull away slowly to make sure she was standing steady and the witch squeezed his arm once to let him know she was okay. After a few more gasps of the salty air Era felt as though she could carry herself across the Island.

After Sakura had pointed out the lightning Kaida was certain where they needed to be and the team set off through the harsh jungle terrain to find this ?rogue?. Era struggled at first, the loss of energy that had she had incurred made it hard for her to sense things in her mind and at first she wasn?t sure if what she was seeing was actually there.

With the help of Liquid she managed to pick her way steadily, albeit slowly, over any obstacles that appeared in the team?s path.

[B]?What is THAT??[/B] Sakura?s voice echoed around the area before the great rush of the wall of water obliterated all other sounds surrounding the team. Era hissed and braced herself for the oncoming crash but even when it came she felt all the breath knocked out of her.

Her feet were swept up and her mind went blank, the speed and energy of the water seemingly wiping out all of her remaining energy. She clawed at the water madly, feeling panic flooding her body as she gasped for breath, only pulling in great mouthfuls of sour, freezing cold water.

Trees and bushes battered her body as the water carried the team and on more than one occasion she was sure she felt a hand reach out to grab her. Eventually, thankfully, the water receded and the team were left spluttering and coughing on the forest floor.

Era lifted her head, spitting out water as best she could, [B]?I have a feeling that?we?re dealing with something rather dangerous.?[/B] She was met by silence, but she knew the others agreed whole-heartedly and even as Kaida managed to pull her shaking and bruised body up Era sensed her previous nerves had increased.

[B]?We mustn?t let this keep us back, team. Are we all alive??[/B]

She was met by nods and a couple of croaky ?Yes, Kaida.?s. Era managed to roll herself onto her back, [B]?Kaida, I can?t see??[/B] she muttered, feeling despair and anger well up inside her chest.

[B]?It?s okay, Era, we?ll make sure you?re okay.?[/B] Era felt someone grab her elbow and she was sure it was Liquid. She let herself be guided to where she assumed the rest of the team were, instinctively reaching out with grasping hands to make sure she wouldn?t hit anything.

[B]?It may take a while for you to get your energy back.?[/B] Kaida stated and Era could only nod. She had great confidence in her team leader and would willingly be guided until she gained her sight?or became too much of a burden.

[B]?Kaida, if I??

?You won?t slow us down.?[/B]

Era closed her mouth and sighed heavily, letting Liquid tug her gently in the right direction as the team made their way onwards again, all of them now acutely aware of their surroundings.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[font=Arial][color=Green]Sakura felt strange as Era pulled them backwards through time, she felt confused and disoriented. She wasn't used to it and she wobbled when she took a step, feeling a little dizzy.

Sakura had been just randomly staring at the sky to try to regain her senses when she noticed the abnormal pattern of the lightning. It was an important factor that would help them find this person they had come back to get. She let Kaida know immediately and they decided that that would be where they were headed.

They started walking but soon Sakura noticed something else, something that wasn't right. As it got closer, she realised it was a giant wave. She shouted out a warning to the others. She didn't know whether to protect herself or stay with the others. She chose an option somewhere in the middle, where she grabbed hold of a sturdy tree beside her and started changing her respiratory system to that of a marine animal's. Sakura didn't remove her lungs until the wave was upon them. Her gills allowed her to breath alright and her tight hold on the tree kept her from being tossed around like the others. She saw Arachnid about to be swept past her and extended an arm, grabbing hold of him and holding him tightly. She could see the others being pushed and battered by the force, but there was nothing she could do.

As the water lessened, she slowly changed her system back to that of a human's. She released Arachnid from her tight hold and smacked him on the back to dislodge water that he had inhaled and went to check that the others were ok. They all got to their feet, some were assisted and they grouped together again.
[b]?We mustn?t let this keep us back, team. Are we all alive?? [/b]Kaida asked them.

Everyone replied positively, Era was blind and was worried she would slow down the team, but Kaida brushed it off, they weren't about to abandon a team member.

The group continued on their way again, Kaida was walking in front, followed by Liquid who was helping to guide Era, and Sakura walked beside Arachnid at the back of the group. She kept an eye on the sky and horizon, watching for anything else that was out of the ordinary. The lightning continued to strike, always landing in the same vicinity as the one before. Sakura didn't voice her thoughts, but she had a suspicion that the 'rogue' knew they were in this time, especially since that wave was anything but normal.

Sakura tried to think of what the 'rogue''s reason for coming back to this time was, out of all the eras, he chose 2000 B.C., Easter Island.

Sakura was very paranoid of more attacks on the group and changed her eyes to that of an eagle's, if there was something a miss, Sakura was sure she would see it with the sharp vision. She had brief conversation with Arachnid as they walked, but no matter what, Sakura couldn't shake the feeling that they were being watched.
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[size=2]Liquid had been through a lot in her life. She'd seen the word 'possible' redefined so many times that's she could accept almost anything. But there were a few things that she still believed were impossible. Time travel, for example. upo learning about her current assignment, she didn't know what to think. Even after meeting Era, Liquid still didn't really believe that it was possible to travel through time. But that was before Era had taken the team over 4000 years back in time.

The trip through time had affected the entire team. Era, of course, was the worst off, but everyone was clearly disoriented to some degree. Though physical recovery seemed to come resonably quickly for everyone except Era, it would probably be a while before any of them would be able to adjust to their current situation, with the exception of Era, who already knew of the reality of time travel.

Liquid was in her natural form, as there was nobody there but the rest of the team. And in battle, she was more effective when in her natural form, rather than her human one, as appearing human was a drain on her energy. As the team walked towards the site of the lightning strikes, Liquid mentally examined the area, getting a feel for the curent water content of the area and determining exactly how much it would boost her abilities. She was concentrating on this task as the wall of water approached, meaning that she did not sense it as early as she should have.

As the wall of water came crashing down onto the group, Liquid reached out with her power, attempting to dissolve the wall and disperse the water. Unlike the others, she was in her element. As a being of water, she was at her prime when submerged in it. The force controlling the wall of water was unfamiliar to her, bus she was still able to overcome it. She freed the water to behave as it should, and thus, the wall was gone.

Though the wall of water had posed to danger to Liquid, that didn't hold true for the rest of the team. Sakura diddn't seem as shaken as the others, but then again, she was the shapeshifter, so she could have simply altered her form. The already-weakened Era had fared the worst. Liquid helped her along as the team resumed their previous corse, headed for the sight of the repeating lightning strikes.

Liquid, with Era in tow, moved up alongside Kaida."You doing all right?" she asked.

"I'm fine," Kaida replied."How about you? Did you get through that all right?"

"And what exactly would a wall of water do to me? Remember, I am a being of water."

"True. You think you could stop another one before it hit us?"

"The only reason I couldn't with the first one," Laqara explained, "is because I was taken by surprise. Now that I'm watching out for it, I'll have no problem getting rid of another wall. In fact, I could probably take control of it myself without much dificulty. See, water listens to its own over anyone else. That's how I was able to overcome the force directing that first wall. The water accepted me over the unknown force. I simply allowed the water to behave naturally after removing that force, but if I'd wanted to, I could have taken control of it myself. If another wall comes at us, I could send it right back where it came from."

"Could you create one yourself?"

"Yes. Normally, It'd be a bit difficult, but I could do it. But in this weather, I'd have no problem making one. This weather may be detrimental to you, but from my point of view, it couldn't be any better. As a result of current conditions, my abilities are greatly augmented."

"Nice to know somebody enjoys this lousy weather."

"I don't enjoy lousy weather," Liquid replied. "We just differ on what weather is lousy. I happen to like the rain. Anyways, yes, I could most certainly create a water wall of my own. I could do a lot more without a problem in current conditions. We'll have to wait until we reach the rouge's location to determine what todo, but I'll probably have an opportunity to do something fun."
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OOC: My bad, I'm sorry. My comp has been kaput for two weeks. But here's my post ^_^

[COLOR=Navy][SIZE=1]The whole trip to 2000 B.C. had been interesting if not amazing. Arachnid had read about Era's powers, but this was the first time he'd gotten to experience the time travel power first hand. Arachnid had felt an odd tug at his body and mind as he was yanked backwards in time, but he'd made sure to hold onto Era as they shot backwards into a time when man was in a state like most of the tribes he'd seen in Brazil with his parents. Except these people were more superstitious and believed in "divine acts" of their "gods" snorting to himself Arachnid thought about how many bible beaters were around in the present time.

When the group had finally arrived at their destination two things made it a lousy trip. One, it was raining. Two, it was extremely dark and he couldn't exactly see what he was doing for a few minutes. Finally his eyes adjusted to the darkness and he noticed the large scar marks from Era's powers transporting them here.

The group had walked not all that far in the rain and wet underbrush when Arachnid's "senses" blared meaning there was something going on but he didn't know what until it hit. It was a massive wall of water. With only a few seconds, Arachnid fired off his webbing and managed to make a shield over and blocked some of the thrashing but he was practically submerged underwater and the shield wasn't doing a thing.

Arachnid could feel his lungs starting to burn for air and then the water dissipated and he was able to breathe. Liquid had managed to get rid of the wall. Still wet and a little lousy, Arachnid jumped up into a branch and lept a few branches ahead of Kaida and then hung upside down and reeled down on a webline. Kaida looked at him with a tiny look of annoyance.

"Yes Arachnid?" She said.

"Sorry about not being able to warn you. My "senses" blared and I should have said something."

"Senses?" She said a little questioningly.

"Basically a big alarm goes off in my head, its like a sixth sense that warns me of danger." He said as he dropped off his web line and started walking alongside the girl, but he glanced back now and then and watched as Sakura helped Era along.

He cleared his throat a little bit, "So besides controlling lightning do we know anything else about this nutcase?" As he said this, Liquid popped up next to Arachnid.

"I'm going to take a shot in the dark and assume this guy sent that wall of water after us as well." She said cooly and Arachnid let out a small whistle.

"So nutjob controls lightning and water..... Great, maybe he does some nutty hand motions and I can just web his hands up." He said optimistically.

"But he might also use verbal commands as well." Liquid said shooting his idea down.

"Hmm. Then I'll just web his mouth up. Oh what the heck, I'll just punch him really hard and knock him out. That'll do it!" Arachnid said happily as he walked back towards Sakura and Era.

"Era. Are you okay 'cause I can carry you." Arachnid said as he offered his hand out to the woman.

"I'm okay, I'll get my sight back after a while. Maybe Sakura could change into an animal for me." She said teasingly and the three stifled some chuckles as they continued walking in the jungle and towards their target.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[color=green][font=tahoma]The team continued to talk amongst themselves as Kaida went over things in her head. This was one of the more nonsensical missions she had been on- there was nothing here worth traveling thousands of years in the past for. HQ had given her one parting word of advice prior to the mission's start- "[i]His future does not have to be our future.[/i]" A cryptic piece of advice- she got the gist of it but felt that HQ was hiding something from her and her peers but what was it?[/color]

[color=darkred][size=1]"[b]Pondering, Kaida? You seem rather distracted. Do be careful though, I'm afraid that this jungle has developed an unhealthy taste for blood. Well, I suppose that's rather dramatic. I hope you'll forgive me for that. True though! Completely true, hehe. Ah, my, where are my manners. I've totally forgotten to introduce myself, hm. I am the ringmaster of this little event. Pleasure to make your acquaintance.[/b]"[/color][/size]

[color=green]The voice came from.. everywhere? Kaida's hand rested on her pistol, her eyes searching through the twisting shadows of the jungle.

"Keep your guard up. Arachnid, if things get too choppy take Era and withdraw to a safe positio-"[/color]

[color=darkred][size=1]"[b]The little general is giving out orders, haha. A habit from your old home, I presume? I mean, you are the famous otherworlder, the ex-general and mad scientist of the Legionnaires, hm?[/b]"[/color][/size]

[color=green]Kaida rubbed her forehead, shaking her head a bit. "Of course, he's from the future. I suppose he would know who we are and what our jobs are...I'm starting to dislike him..."

"Seconded." Sakura said, grinning a bit. "He's pretty annoying."[/color]

[color=darkred][size=1]"[b]Mmm. You would be... Little Sakura! Shapeshifter extraordinaire, my-my-my.. using the eyes of an eagle, hmn. An interesting specimen. Let's see.. who else do we have in this little entourage.. oh ho, Arachnid! Ah, I've read so many stories about your heroics. Yet, you are rather loud, aren't you? Tut tut! Then.. oh, Ms. Liquid! How was my little wave earlier? I'm rather skilled with the element if I say so myself. Hmm, the blind seer, Era. You seem rather worn out.. I hope this trip hasn't worn you down too much. Or did that attack mess you up a bit? Either way, do take care of yourself, hm? Without you, this little team will be stuck here and we wouldn't want that, would we? Ahh, well. No use fretting about that, I suppose.[/b]"[/color][/size]

[color=green]"And exactly [b]who[/b] the heck are you?!" Arachnid asked in an irritated tone.[/color]

[color=darkred][size=1]"[b]HAH! [u]Pay attention![/u] To you, I am but the ringmaster! You know, the suave gentlemen behind the scenes directing it all? Beyond that who or what I am is rather unimportant. I am very, very optimistic that I will have you shredded into pieces of flesh within the coming hours. But! You may prove me wrong. You are part of the Legionnaires, after all. Oh well! No matter. I do hope you find me to be a good host. I'd take it rather personally if you were displeased with what I have prepared, yes? Oh, speaking of which, I'd like you to meet some friends of mine. They should be arriving fairly soon! Punctual fellows, the lot of them. Not very sociable though- wee bit shy, you know.. heheh.[/b]"[/color][/size]

[color=green]"Something's coming." Arachnid said, glancing around them. "A big something."

"Don't tell me we're being ambushed." Kaida said, rubbing her forehead even more. "I am starting to recall why I utterly detest jungle warfare... ready yourselves!"

Around them humanoid creatures slid out of the shadows, lumbering awkwardly towards them. They were hideous- bulging veins, machinery embedded into their very flesh and a soulless, dead glaze to their eyes. They had the appearance of being human at one time but that wasn't the case anymore. Kaida's eyes narrowed as she thought of this- for all her time in war, this was a new experience that she wasn't enjoying.

"And these would be inhabitants of this island." Liquid said with some amusement. "They don't seem to like us. Perhaps it was something we said?"

"Perhaps. I'm starting to sense a recurring theme of hostility from this island. Let's return the favor." Kaida said, raising her pistol up and aiming it at the head of one of the creatures. She continued in a stern voice, "No quarter for these horrid machinations. They are now our enemy, no matter what they once were or could have been. Attack at will."[/color]

[color=darkred][size=1]"[b]Oh, but you have it all wrong. These are but my puppets, my trigger-happy friend. Made a few improvements here and there, tinkered with some things- they all seemed to be in very intense pain throughout it though, odd that. For you.. I would rather kill in more.. subtle.. ways. I'm a puppet master, heroes! Not some dumb brute. I can appreciate jousting with such respectable fellows as yourself, yes? Haha, give me the credit due to your killer-to-be, [i]please[/i]. These are just some of the interesting experiments I've run here. Would you like to see some more? Well, you'll have to work for it I'm afraid. Terribly sorry, can't just show off my genius to everyone. Ahhh, my.. look at the time. Heheh, enjoy the game, heroes! I've run out of time to converse with you. Much to do, you know. Tata~.[/b]"[/color][/size]

[color=green]Each of the creatures faded back into the shadows from whence they came. Up ahead there was a bright flash, very similar to the one that had brought Green Team into this time- too similar, in fact. It was far more immense and powerful, letting off an intense heat that was felt even at the distance the team was at. It vanished leaving behind a building that hovered forty to fifty feet in the air, casting it's massive shadow across most of the island. It was the length of a football field and was six to seven stories tall, ignoring the massive tower that jutted out from it's center skyward.

"It's amusing that he just claimed to be subtle." Liquid said shaking her head. "What a fortress.."

"No kidding. I'm kind of eager to do some damage to that nut. We're going to storm it, yea?" Arachnid said.

"Probably. He has given us a rather flashy invitation to come charging in." Kaida turned to her team and continued, "Well I suppose that is one of the things valiant heroes do best."[/color]


[color=navy][size=1]"[b]Good. Everything is going as planned. We require the immediate extermination of Team Green. We request that you not play around. They might just get the better of you. Jeopardizing our operation for your sick tastes must not happen, do you understand me?[/b]"[/size][/color]

[color=darkred][size=1]"[b]Heh heh heh. Don't doubt my talent. The pieces of them will be strewn about this island within a short period of time. I can guarantee it.."[/b][/size][/color]


[color=green]As they conversed, they were watched by their amused 'host'.. his mind intent on slaughtering them for his own entertainment. Piece by piece, bit by bit, drop by drop, hero by hero.. it was all going to be so much [i]fun[/i]. The falling rain, the thunder, the howling wind, the ominous fortress- it all mixed with the dark shadows and bleakness that seemed to have conquered the entire island, leaving it without even the slightest hint of light or hope... and Kaida's team stood in the midst of it all, their eyes focused on the madman's fortress that loomed far ahead. [/color][/font]
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[COLOR=Green]After the eerie experience that had just occurred, Era felt both her rage and determination rising. This man, or whatever he was, seemed far too cocky and Era really detested cocky people. She concentrated on her anger, hoping it would at least give her a boost for the time being. It worked, and gradually the witch?s inner eye began to clear.

[B]?Ah, Kaida, my sight is back. I shall be of help to you after all.?[/B]

[B]?All right, but I don?t want you straining yourself. Um?you need something to fight with??[/B]

Sakura saw a long stick on the ground and tossed it to Era, shrugging. [B]?It could be useful?[/B] she remarked and Era nodded. [B]?At least for a little while.?[/B]

So the team set off, Kaida in front with Arachnid next to her, eagerly cracking his knuckles on the odd occasion. Liquid mentioned how annoying it was, but that only seemed to make him enjoy it more, so he continued.

[B]?Ugh, men??
??I resent that.?[/B]

Era chuckled and swept her gaze around the island, trying to take in the enormous amount of history in the place. Her vision was still a little fuzzy, most likely due to the fact that the island held so much history it was hard for her to process it all. That?s what she hoped, anyway.

Slowly rain began to fall again and the team groaned, their hair and clothes sticking to their skin, making the already uncomfortable journey even more of a chore.

[B]?Listen, team,?[/B] Kaida began,[B] ?We?re getting closer now and I wouldn?t be surprised if this nut set some of his?creatures onto us. Keep eyes open and senses alert, please, we don?t want any casualties.? [/B] She paused, seeming to consider her options, [B]?And one of you stick by Era, the last thing we need is for her to get injured.?[/B]

Everyone nodded and Era flushed slightly, feeling like she was more of a weight on the already laden shoulders of the Green Team.
?Kaida, I?m rea??
?Shush, woman. We?re fine.?[/B]

Era sighed and submitted, drawing her dark cape around herself to try and hold in some of the steadily decreasing warmth in her body. Eventually the team reached a path, trees and bushes lining either side of it.

[B]?Well, I do believe this is the right time to be attacked.?[/B] Liquid stated. Whether or not she could sense something in the surroundings, Era wasn?t sure, but the witch could feel something too. Something ominous coming towards them.

She instinctively gripped the stick in her hands, letting out a shaky moan from the back of her throat. Kaida turned in surprise at the noise, noticing the worried look on Era?s face. [B]?I feel it too?? [/B] Arachnid spoke up, turning his head to the sky before twirling around. By now the whole team were frozen in spot, trying to take in every inch of their surroundings to see where their enemy was. In this dense forest that task was proving to be very difficult.[/COLOR]
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[color=Green]Sakura frowned as she heard the man, whoever he was, describe each of them. He knew a lot about them, but they knew nothing of him. She was on guard more than ever now, her senses were on high alert. The group walked toward the fortress ahead and each of the group started to feel another presence. Kaida told one of them to stay close to Era, which Sakura moved in to do.

Sakura heard a small sound and whirled around to face the forest on either side of them.

[b]"Watch out, something's moving in the forest!" [/b]Sakura warned the group.

There was a sudden rustling and a group of monsters leaped from the dense woodland to attack. Sakura stayed close to Era and tried to get a good look at the creatures, they were fast and vicious. The other members of the group had started to combat them. She caught a good look and saw it resembled a large wolf, it was larger than normal, had sharper teeth, sharper claws, and a ferocious look on its face.

Sakura started to shift quickly, her skin became thick, dark brown fur, her clothes disappeared and her hands and feet became large, strong paws which came along with razor sharp claws. Sakura grew in size and her face changed, stretching out into a muzzle.

In a couple of minutes, she had changed from a woman to a large grizzly bear. She stood over the group and the monsters. Sakura let out a roar and swung a powerful paw and batted a monster away from Era, who was fighting them with the stick she had given her. She felt a sharp stab of pain and roared angrily, one of the wolf creatures had bitten her side and was hanging on with his sharp teeth and strong jaws. Sakura punched it several times to get rid of it, after a long beating, it finally let go with a whine. She picked it up by the neck and squeezed tightly, killing it.

Sakura looked at the damage to her side and saw there was a steady flow of blood, if she stayed in bear form for too long in this state, it could be dangerous since the bear had more blood than her human, so when she shifted back to human, she could have died from blood loss. She decided to make a hasty switch back to human. She picked up a batch of wet dirt and slapped it on the wound, it was soothing, she picked up a large leaf and stuck it on top, that would serve as a makeshift bandage for now.

Sakura pulled the twin guns from her holsters and fired rapidly, slowly moving her way back beside Era.

[b]"Here, use this, it'll be better than the stick." [/b]she said, passing Era one of her guns and a spare clip of ammunition.

[b]"I'll still stay close by anyways."[/b] Sakura moved away but still close by as she had told Era.

She looked around at the others, they were fairing ok on their own, using their abilities to their advantage. She wouldn't be able to safely morph a large animal again until the blood flow slowed at least.

She saw a wolf running straight toward her, she picked it's throat as it leapt, and she fired, the bullet piercing straight through.
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[SIZE=1][COLOR=Green]The same feeling blared loudly in Arachnid's head and then they came. The wolf-like creatures who looked too big to be just mutated wolves. Something had happened to them to make them this big. However, the problem presented to Arachnid was that several of these things were coming at him and he lept up into the trees as two of the creatures slammed into each other and let out a whimper/growl mixture.

As he sat there, Arachnid saw the other one clawing at the tree and it started climbing. Gritting his teeth. Arachnid webbed up the three and hung them over the branch he was sitting on. The three monsters growled as foam dripped from their muzzles. When he'd finished he heard a roar from his left and saw Sakura pound the crap out of one of the monsters and then shift back to her normal self and start shooting the creatures alongside Era who was using one of Sakura's guns. Arachnid jumped in front of the two women and webbed up the creature's ankles, picked one up and punched it full force. The creature flew back at least thirty feet and came to a stop in a tree and was dead.

Shaking his head slightly Arachnid felt like stating the obvious. "Is it just me or does this guy need a different hobby or a girlfriend?" He said as he roundhouse kicked another creature into another tree.

"I mean yeah, some of these loonies this is their only hobby. But come on! Going back four thousand years?! There isn't any porn of any kind!!" With that said the girls gave him a death glare if they could manage it. Kaida ignored it and proceeded to punish a creature that got too close to her. Arachnid on the other hand was focusing on protecting Era who still seemed a little drained. Arachnid saw as he was leaping over another creature that two were slinking up behind Era and Sakura. As he was started to land, Arachnid fired a webline around the waist of the creature he'd lept over and swung it over the women like a mace and let go as it crashed into its team mates.

"Is there any end to these things?!" Arachnid exclaimed as he turned around and sucker punched another right in the jaw and sent it flying until it landed dead.

"I have no clue Arachnid." Kaida said as she killed another creature and turned towards him as he webbed another creature's legs up and flung it over his head like a rag doll and killed it on impact.

"Yeah, well this is getting annoying. All right girls, Era grab my shoulders." He grabbed her and lept up into a tree and looked down at Kaida. "Is there any possibility of us getting out of this spot and heading towards that tower any faster? I mean couldn't Sakura turn i nto a horse and give you a lift there?" He asked as he glanced over towards Sakura who was back up towards Liquid and Kaida.[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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"There are too many of us for that, dumb-s#!t," Liquid said to Arachnid as she shot one of the wolf-creatures in the head. "Plus, we don't want to tire Sakura out like that. Don't worry, we'll get there eventually."

"Only if we don't die first," Arachnid replied.

"You shouldn't worry. You're safe in the tree with Era."

Arachnid said something in reply, but Liquid ignored him. She was in the middle of a battle, and couldn't afford to be distracted. Besides, she'd just had an idea. Animals were driven by instinct, and that fact could be exploited. While these were certainly not normal animals, and while it was certainly possible that they were intelligent, it was quite likely that they were still at least partially instinct-driven. Liquid decided to chance it.

Liquid picked out the largest of the wolf-creatures and shot at it, deliberately missing. The shot caught its attention, and it charged at her. Instead of shooting it, she dodged to the side, then grabbed the beast and swung herself up onto its back. She shot the creature in the ***, and it took off. "Don't wait for me! Keep going, and I'll find you!" she shouted to the others as the wolf-creature she was riding ran off, followed by many of the others.

Liquid's gamble had paid off. Her move had drawn quite a few of the wolf-creatures away from the others. Kaida and the rest shouldn't have too much trouble dealing with the ones that had remained. Laqara, on the other hand, had her work cut out for her. In clear weather, she wouldn't have made the attempt, but the heavy rain augmented her abilities significantly. It would still be dangerous, but Liquid wasn't afraid to take risks. Besides, she was expendable. Era had to be kept alive, because only she could get them home. The rest of them didn't necessarily need to survive.

Liquid went for as long as she thought she could before jumping off the wolf-creature. As soon as she landed, a trio of the wolf-creatures came at her in a formation that gave her only one option. She vaulted herself onto the back of one of the wolf-creatures. Things continued in this manner for a while before Liquid realized what was going on. [i]They want me to do this. They're herding me along, leading me somewhere. Probably somewhere I don't want to go.[/i] She looked up, and saw that she was being taken towards the fortress, which she was now pretty close to.

Liquid leapt off the wolf-creature she was on, shooting it in the head as she did so. When the wolf-creatures charged, she vaulted onto one as usual, but this time she didn't stay on it. She lept off the creature, using it as a stepping stool. She grabbed onto a tree branch and managed topull herself up. They attacked the tree, tearing through it in an attempt to knock it over. Liquid was able to kill a few of them before she had to abandon the tree. She jumped down, landing on one of the creatures. She shot it, then jumped to the ground.

She was readying herself for another charge when the surviving wolf-creatures withdrew. Even so, she wasn't ready to relax just yet. And she was right to remain alert, for as soon as they'd withdrawn, someone put a gun to the back of her head. Liquid didn't give the person time to say anything. Before the person could react, she dropped to the ground and kicked the persons legs out from underneath him or her. She spun around and kicked the person's-a man, she saw-gun out of his hand. Then she saw a second person, also armed. She shifted to a liquid state, moving very quickly towards the new attacker. Before he new what was coming, Liquid was on top of him, in her normal state again. The man threw his gun as far away as he could, thus preventing Liquid from taking it.

By this time, the first man had gotten to his feet. Not wanting to waste time looking for his gun, he picked up Liquid's, which she had dropped, being unable to hold it while in her liquid state. The man pointed the gun at Liquid. "Freeze, ******"

Liquid froze. The man gestured for her to stand up. She did so, allowing the second man to get to his feet. Liquid had her first chance to get a good look at either man. She faced the man with the gun. She recognised him quickly. She'd know that man anywhere. "Kajo."

Kajo smiled. "Hello, Laqara. It's been awhile. Surprised to see me?"

"No s&^t, Sherlock. Who the hell's your friend?"

"Take a look for yourself. You should recognize him."

Liquid did indeed recognize the other man. He'd died before she was born, but she'd seen pictures. She knew who this was, and it shocked her even more than Kajo's presence had. The man was Branit Solero. Her father.


OOC: Liquid's going to be apart from the group for a bit. I've got stuff I want to have happen to her before she does, so please don't have her rejoin the group. Let me do that, please. Oh, and remember that she told the group not to wait for her.
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[color=green]An explosion ripped through the forest, decimating the last group of the wolf creatures. The charred remains of them grotesquely decorated the forest, letting off a horrible burnt odor. Kaida wrinkled her nose and glanced in the direction where Liquid had disappeared to. "Never thought I'd see the day she rode off on a wolf-creature." Arachnid said from above her. "Strange, strange world." Kaida laughed a bit and holstered her pistol. A calm had fallen around them- they were surrounded by the ruined remains of the creatures but the atmosphere around them was back to the strange tranquility that had been over it before. "What's our plan? Should we go after her anyway? I mean, she told us to go on but- is she going to be alright?"

"I will not condone her brashness but it's far too late to do anything about it. If she believes in her own strength, so shall we." Kaida looked to them. "I'm not saying I want any of you to go mucking around the island on your own, either. We're in a dire enough position without all of us peeling off to places unknown."

"But, you know, she made a pretty good distraction. Surprised me for sure." Sakura said with a grin.

"Yes, I can't deny her skill at causing a ruckus." Kaida said, shaking her head. "You all ready to go?" Each of them nodded. "That's good. Keep those senses of yours alert. I'll take point- Sakura, Arachnid on either side of Era. Era, be aware of all that you can without really taxing yourself." Once more, all nodded. "Move out." They took up the described formation and continued on, leaving the tarnished jungle behind them.

"I've been thinking about it and I think we need a nickname for ourselves." Arachnid said from behind her. She glanced back and arched an eyebrow at him. "Green Team is kind of stuffy, you know? Too official for casual talk. We need something.. flashy sounding. Something the press would like."

"Flashy sounding? I [i]like[/i] Green Team. Green is my favorite color." Kaida replied, shaking her head.

"Yeah but.." He trailed off for a second. "How about 'The Warriors of Time'?" He gestured. She blinked at him and shook her head negatively. "No? Uh, hm. I thought it was pretty good."

"How's 'Masters of Time' sound?" Sakura said. "Gives it a nice, dramatic feel to it. Powerful sounding, too."

"Masters of Time.. that isn't too bad." He replied with a nod of his head. "What do you think, Kaida?" She shook her head slowly. "No too, eh. Era, do you have any ideas?" He looked to her and she started to think about it. Kaida sighed and turned back to the front, staring up to the ominously looming fortress.

Some silence came over the group until Era chipped in her idea. "Defenders of Time. It describes what we do and sounds rather nice."

"True, true. Hm, Defenders of Time.." He pondered for a second. "That's a pretty good name. Heroic, dramatic and powerful. Not too shabby, Era! How's it sound to you, Kaida?"

Kaida chuckled and shrugged. "Fine, fine. I give. It's our new nickname. But I don't want to see it anywhere even remotely official looking, agreed?"

"No problem, no problem. No official documents, no official meetings or anything else like that. It's a promise."

Kaida shook her head and grinned. "Don't let it go to your heads, either. We actually need to defend time before boasting about it to anyone." She continued to gaze at the floating fortress. "To do that, we need to get up there."

"I can carry you and Era up there with an easy jump, chief." Arachnid said. "Might be a little quirky with the winds and rain, but I'm pretty confident."

"Do a test jump first." Kaida stated. "We will see how 'quirky' it is."

Arachnid readied himself but suddenly stopped and glanced around them. "Wait." He said, eyes fixating straight ahead.

"We have a visitor." Era said staring straight in front of them, her borrowed pistol raised. "It's just beyond those trees. It's watching us. Waiting. It's a.. " Her face contorted. ".. thing."

Sakura had an odd look on her face and she turned to Era. "A 'thing'?" She asked. "What kind of 'thing'?"

"It's an enemy. It's not human. I'm fairly certain it is about to try to kill us."

Arachnid shook his head, "This is bad-" A black tendril whipped out from the darkness and smashed into his chest, sending him flying backwards. Kaida's pistol was already in her hand and she fired off a rather large orb that rattled the forest with the subsequent explosion. It was an apparent miss as a large, black mass of tendrils leapt from nearby undergrowth and landed directly in front of her, writhing about disgustingly. It quickly wrapped a tendril around each of them and launched itself upwards, grabbing onto the floating island the fortress rested on. It slung itself over the top and slammed down into it, causing the entire island to shake with it's force. Kaida fired off another orb into the tendril that was wrapped around her, slicing it cleanly off. She fell a short distance to the ground and rolled into a kneeling position, firing off a shot to free Arachnid. It was dead on and Arachnid leaped to safety. He landed on the steps up to the front door and began to charge toward the monster. Kaida nodded and took aim to free Era next. The monster attacked, sending tendrils flying towards her. She did her best to dodge- but there were too many of them and was hit right in the stomach by one. She was sent flying past Arachnid; through the front door and into the room beyond, crashing into furniture as she went. She slid along the floor to a halt and laid in a pile of debris on her back, staring at the ceiling. Her mind regained it's senses and she sat up in time to watch Arachnid race inside, Era flying through the air soon after him. He caught her and let out a sigh of relief. He shook his head and set Era down, cracking his knuckles.

"Chief, you okay?" He asked, looking to her.

"I think so." She replied and uneasily stood up, "Nevermind me, where's Sakura?" That question was answered as Sakura's form flew through the now-open doorway, headed straight for her. She dodged out of the way in time, barely avoiding the collision. Sakura landed with finesse, sliding a short distance along the floor. She stood and dusted herself off smiling a bit. Kaida nodded and raised her pistol to the doorway as the monster leapt inside, tendrils flying towards them. Era and Sakura opened fire on it as Arachnid charged, leaping through the air. Kaida knelt and aimed. She let off a quick series of shots that destroyed the oncoming tendrils. Arachnid landed and gave it a quick one-two punch, causing it to physically shudder. "Jump, Arachnid!" He quickly leapt into the air and a large fireball slammed into the surprised monster. It went straight into it burning a gaping hole into it's body that oozed out black blood. Arachnid came down with a forceful punch into the gaping wound, his fist slamming into the monsters vital organs. It let out a heart stopping scream and violently thrashed trying to hit him desperately. He leapt back to avoid the strikes and landed next to the girls. Sakura put her gun training to good use and aimed a shot into the wound. The bullet was on target as the monster ceased it's movements, letting off death cries that weakened with each passing moment. The team watched as the monster's form shifted into that of drastically altered human's body. The man lifted his hand and reached towards them before passing on.

"No way." Arachnid shook his head. "That was.."

The rest of them were silent, staring at their vanquished foe. Kaida shook her head and sighed. "This.. is not science or experimentation anymore. I know both of those things and this is definitely not the same. This is something radically, radically different. This is.."

"Unforgivable." Era finished for her. Kaida nodded.

"Those wolves down on the surface, too.." Sakura said.

"Yeah.. each one of them was a person." Arachnid pounded his fist into his hand. "We need to kill this guy for this."

Kaida turned to examine the room and sighed. "This isn't right." The room ended suddenly- no doors, no hallways, no stairs, no nothing. A note was sitting on a table at the back of the room and Kaida walked to it. She picked it up and read over it. She snickered to herself and turned to her group. "It says 'Please take all deliveries to rear entrance, thank you'."

"You're kidding me." Arachnid said in disbelief. She shook her head no. "That insane little.. so we have to go all the way around this huge building to the back?"

"Seems so." Kaida replied and placed the note in her pocket.

"Well, let's do it. Let's show this guy who the Defenders of Time are." Sakura stated with a smile.

"Yeah, I guess you're right. Back out into the storm we go." He said in an less-than-enthused tone.

"Believe me, that's the last place anyone wants to go." Kaida said and walked out, carefully stepping over the deceased human. "Rest in peace." She whispered as she passed over it. "The Goddess will guide you now as she does for all."

"You say something?" Arachnid asked.

"Er, no. Let's go." Her team followed and circled around to the side. A dangerously narrow strip of land alongside the building lead off into the distance. The rain and wind lashed at her face as she stared at the narrow path. "This guy has us on a gauntlet. Pass the obstacles, you win the prize."

"The prize being?" Sakura asked.

"A chance to die to him personally." Era responded.

"Lucky us."

"I wouldn't doubt that." Kaida said and glanced to her team. "I don't need to remind you about what happens if you lose your balance." She pointed down below and each of the team gazed after it into the jungle below. "Well, let's get this over with, shall we?" She walked down the narrow path, the team following behind her carefully.[/color]
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[COLOR=Green]Era was, at that moment in time, extremely pleased that her mind's eye was not at optimum operation. While she could hear the rest of the team suck in a sharp breath, she merely braced herself against the wall and carried on; blissfully unaware of what lay beneath the path.

[B]"So...what if this is a trap?" [/B] Arachnid piped up, causing Kaida to cringe slightly. [B]"Do I have to answer that question now?"[/B] she hissed back, her voice just above a venomous whisper. She was in front, and unfortunately for her, could see rather clearly that there was a lot more path to come...and the winds were picking up.

Arachnid tried to pout, looking a little dejected as he scooted closer to Sakura. She shot him a meaningful glare and he sighed, content in muttering to himself under his breath.

Era felt the wind flapping at her cape and she shivered a little as her hair was swept back, the whistling of the elements seemingly projected through the canopy of leaves beneath them. [B]"Kaida, I do believe a cave would be most appreciated at this moment in time." [/B] a hushed murmur of agreement swept over the group, but Kaida stayed firm.

[B]"No, we must go forward as quickly as possible. For all we know, this path may not be here in a few hours."[/B]

The silence that met her ears was one of utter disappointment, but she chose to ignore it on the whole.

Ten minutes later and the team were getting desperate, until Sakura, with her eagle eyes, spotted something up ahead.

[B]"I see something!" [/B] she exclaimed, everyone else (save Era) squinting to see what she was looking at.

[B]"Huh, a castle, by any chance?"[/B] Era remarked, met by an affirmative nod from Sakura.

[B]"Well then, it seems we're almost there."[/B] Kaida smiled wearily and picked up the pace, the other picking their way steadily behind her.

OOC Apologise for the delay and lack of quality in this post. School has been hellish.[/COLOR]
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[color=Green]Sakura sidled across the ledge without much of a [color=Green]problem[/color], she wasn't at all afraid of heights, she was used to it, after all, she flew higher than the ledge in flying morphs. For those who were scared, she just gave the usual words told.

[b]"Don't look down." [/b]she said, she had her back against the wall and moved sideways with wide steps, keeping right behind Era.

Sakura's eyes were focussed on the other side, as they went further across the ledge, the view was clearer and she could slowly make out what it was.

[b]"I see something!" [/b]she cried over the howling [color=Green]wind.

They moved further forward and Sakura could guess what it was from the strong shape.

[/color][/color][color=Green][b]"Huh, a castle, by any chance?" [/b]Era questioned.

Sakura nodded, [b]"Yes."

[/b][/color][color=Green][b]"Well then, it seems we're almost there." [/b]Kaida's voice hid that she was tired, but they all knew the truth.

They were all tired; the enemies fought, the weather, the trials, and this ledge had made them tired.

Kaida moved faster, everyone else followed to keep up with her speed. They all hoped they could reach the other side quickly.

[b]"If no one minds, I'll fly ahead to scout and report back. Arachnid, keep close to Era." [/b]Sakura took out her second gun and gave it to Era.[b] "In case you need it."

[/b]Sakura concentrated and swiftly changed into a peregrine falcon, small and able to fly fast. She called out and flapped off toward the castle.

She looked around and noted the monsters that guarded the castle on all sides, some they had seen before and others that were new, she had to be careful since there were scouts in the sky as well. Sakura took mental notes and made her way over again, circling the group as they slowly made the rest of the way across the ledge.

They were all happy to be standing on firm ground and waited to see what Sakura had to report as she changed back to her human form.

Sakura told them all of what she had seen, she believed that this was where the man was staying but there was doubt since it was too easy for her to scout out everything. Maybe there was more to it, she didn't know, but they at least knew quite a lot for what was coming up.

[b]OOC: [/b]Sorry for the quality, I was a bit rushed.
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[COLOR=Green][SIZE=1]Arachnid listened to Sakura report back what monsters were guarding the castle and he devised a plan that should allow them to get past them with ease.

"All right guys, I have a plan." Kaida turned towards Arachnid with a questioning look.

"Okay Arachnid, lets hear it." She said with a nod and so he started.

"All right, I think I should be able to web the aerial monsters up if I use one of the ground monsters as a type of springboard. Then while I'm dealing with them then you guys can deal with the monsters on the ground. I know its a little rushed but it should work if I can get some sort of distraction." Kaida then unholstered her gun.

"Well Arachnid, I've got a distraction already for you." With that the group readied themselves and then it all happened at once. Kaida fired off a large orb that exploded in front of the aerial monsters, drawing the attention of all the monsters. This gave Arachnid enough time to do a running jump and use the closest monster as a springboard. He landed on the side of the building and used momentum and leapt off the side onto the back of one of the aerial monsters. He webbed up the creature and as it fell he leapt to the next one and fired off a line and held on as he dragged the creature down as he webbed it with his free hand.

When he finally landed he saw the other monsters on the ground were dead. He looked at Kaida. "So, do we go on into the building brave leader?" He said jokingly as she holstered her gun and nodded. [/SIZE][/COLOR]
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Liquid had been in some unusual situations before, but this one beat them all. She was 4,000 years in the past, attempting to stop a man from the future from performing sick experiments on humans and creating monstrosities like those half-machine things, and now her stepfather had her at gunpoint with a gun he'd taken from her while she stared at her real father, a man who'd died before she was born.

"You know who that is, right?" Kajo asked Liquid, indicating Branit.

Liquid nodded. "I do."

"Well, I've never seen you before," Branit told Liquid, "though you do remind me of my wife. How do you know who I am?"

"She came from the future," Kajo explained. "Well, the future as far as you're concerned. She's from the same time I am, over 20 years later than the time you came here from."

"I see," Branit said. "She remembers things that as far as I'm concerned haven't happened yet, just like you. You seem to know her."

"I do, though it's been four years since we've seen each other."

That remark took Liquid by surprise, though she didn't let it show. [i]It's been eight years since he tried to rape me, and I haven't seen him since. Why did he say four years, and not eight? Did he come back here from four years before my present?[/i] "Yeah, whatever," she said aloud. "Now, would somebody please tell me what's going on here? It's obvious you're working for the man I'm here to take out, so why haven't you killed me yet?"

"We're not here to kill you," Branit said. "Our boss wants your aid."

"He wants me to help him?"

"That's right," Branit confirmed. "He wants you to help him with your companions. don't worry, he doesn't want you to kill them, or even to harm them. He wants you to convince them to leave him be. Obviously, he feels that someone they trust, namely you, would have a bettter chance at persuadeing them to do so. Kajo and I are simply to convince you to do that. I guess he chose us for the same reason. I mean, you and Kajo know each other, and apparently I end up knowing you sometime in my future. It's much easier to trust a familiar face."

Liquid could tell that something was up. Trust? She'd never trust Kajo, not after he tried to rape her. And Branit had died before she was born. She recognised him because she'd seen pictures, but she didn't know him, and so had know reason to trust him. No, there was something else to this. However, she decided to play along, to try and find out just what was going on without letting either of them know she was on to them. "And why would I do such a thing?" she asked.

"Because of our boss's situation," Branit told her, "and his reasons for doing what he's doing. Our boss is from about a thousand years ahead of our-and your-time. In that future, there's a war. The two sides of this particular war were dead even for a while, but eventually, one side got the advantage. Our boss is on the other side, which is facing defeat. If they lose, they'll lose more than the war. Their enemy doesn't just kill soldiers. They slaughter innocents, massacre entire cities for no good reason."

That part was clearly bogus, but again, Liquid pretended that she couldn't tell. "God! Why would they do that?"

"We don't know. Anyways, our boss is willing to go to almost any lengths to protect the innocents. He came up with the plan of coming back to this time, taking people living now, and using them to fight. Unfortunatly, with the way things are-or will be, I guess-going for his side, just more men isn't going to be enough. But because he's doing his work here, 5,000 years before his time, he can take as much time as he wants, and still return at the instant he left. That gives him enough time to do what he's doing.

"What he's doing is taking men from this time and changing them. The human-machine hybrids he wanted to show you are the earliest attempts. Now, he and his men are a lot better at it. Those wolf-creatures that brought you here are some of his subjects. He has others, ones that are much more powerful. He believes that the small army of creatures he's creating here will be enough to win the war when he takes them back to his time."

Branit seemed as though he believed everything he'd just said. Kajo, however, was a different story. Liquid knew how to read the man. He was clearly enjoying himself. There was something going on here, and Liquid needed to find out what. "And what happens if I refuse?" she asked.

"Then Branit here will die," Kajo told her.

"Hey, wait a minute!" Branit exalimed. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you. You die, Branit. You die, and your death is caused by Laqara here."

"That's bull$hit!" Liquid exclaimed.

Kajo laughed. "No, it's not. Your actions cause Branit's death. In return for your cooperation, our boss will take measures to change that. He will prevent you from causing Branit's death."

"What has already happened cannot be changed," Liquid said. "Even if I accept the offer, he will die. That can't be changed. My answer is no."

"Suit yourself," Kajo replied. "Oh, and I told the truth. Branit's death is your fault."

Kajo pointed Liquid's gun at Branit. As soon as Liquid saw what he was doing, she shifted into her liquid state and charged at Kajo. Fast as she was, she wasn't quite quick enough. Just before she shifted back to her solid state and tackled Kajo to the ground, he fired. Then Liquid hit him. He was able to use her momentum to roll over so he was on top of her. He quickly got up and moved away from her, but not before she was able to get her gun back.

"Nice try," Kajo said as Liquid picked herself up, "but you were just a bit too slow, so he died. Pity, really. If you had simply cooperated, he would still be alive. Well, too late to change your mind. Nice seeing you, Laqara." With that, he turned around and walked away, heading towards the fortress. Liquid could have easily shot him, but she did not. She could see the game he was playing, and she would let him think he'd won. For now. Instead of shooting Kajo, she knelt by Branit's body, crying. Eventually she stood up, wiped the tears from her eyes, and walked slowly towards the fortress.

[size=1][color=darkred][b]Laqara Solero, aka Liquid, was finished. He'd watched the entire thing, and he was pleased with how well it had worked. He'd never doubted that it would succeed, but he had expected Kajo to die after killing Branit, which didn't happen. Liquid's defeat was so total that she couldn't even shoot the man who'd done it. [/b][/color][/size][b][size=1][color=#8b0000]He watched as Liquid got to her feet and walked in the direction of the fortress. Her sense of duty was admirable. She was in no condition to fight, and she probably knew it, yet she proceeded onwards.[/color][/size][/b]

[b][size=1][color=#8b0000]He remembered formulating the plan for Liquid. He'd studied her record, of course, but that hadn't told him what he wanted to know. Yes, he learned her style, including her penchant for recklessness, but to do what he wanted to do, he needed to know who she was, not just what she did. He needed someone who knew her, so he had used Kajo. The man had been eager to get revenge on Liquid for what she'd done the night Kajo tried to rape her. All he'd had to do to get Kajo's cooperation was allow the man to participate in Liquid's downfall. It had prooven to be a very good move, as Kajo's idea formed the basis of the plan which had so clearly destroyed Liquid. Now, Liquid was as good as dead, and when she entered the fortress, she would die. He could have her killed now, of course, but he wanted her to suffer first.[/color][/size][/b]

Liquid could tell exactly was was going on. Kajo was, of course, working for the rouge Green Team was there to stop. He'd have been easy to recruit, too. All he'd have needed was the promise of a chance for revenge, and he'd have offered his complete cooperation. Most of what had just happened was probably his idea. As for getting her away from the rest of the team, well, she could only assume that Kajo's boss, being from the future, knew her record, which would of course include her penchant for recklessness. He had presented an obvious opportunity for a move that fit her style perfectly, and she'd taken it.

This man, Kajo's 'boss', was clearly a sick individual. He could have easily had her killed. Hell, Branit could have shot her while she'd been busy fighting Kajo, and that would have been the end of that. But merely killing her wasn't enough for 'the boss', as she was coming to think of this man. The boss didn't want her to merely die; he wanted her to suffer first That would be why he needed Kajo. The boss could study her record as much as he wanted, but that would tell him only what she did. To truly hurt her, he'd need information from someone who knew her. That would explain Kajo's presence. Kajo, with whom she'd lived for two years, would certainly know her.

The boss's plan was solid, but he'd made one mistake. Kajo didn't know Liquid at all. Yes, she had once lived with him, but that had been eight years ago (although apparently only four for Kajo). Liquid had changed a lot in eight years. Kajo's plan was based on outdated knowledge, but he did accurately remember what she was like back then. The old Laqara, the Laqara that Kajo had known, would have been destroyed by what she'd just witnessed. But that Laqara was gone. Liquid was a very different person then she'd been back then. But Kajo clearly didn't know that.

Liquid could identify multiple mistakes which the boss had made. For one thing, he'd relied on the idea of Kojo,who hadn't seen her for four years. Another mistake was that he'd taken Kajo from that particular time. Liquid considered that to be a particularly important one. It showed thatthe boss wasn't as careful as he needed to be. He'd pulled Kajo from a seemingly random point in time, four years after Kajo had last seen Liquid but four years before the time Liquid had come back from. In a way, this was understandable. When one's looking back a thousand years or so, a period of four years is easy to dismiss as irrelevant. The gap may even have escaped the boss's notice entirly. Regardless of the reason, however, and despite the fact that it was an understandable error, it was a deadly mistake, as it meant that at least some of the boss's information was out of date.

And then, of course, there was the boss's greatest mistake: neglecting to kill his opponents. He wanted them to suffer, but that meant that he had to leave them alive, and a living opponent can kill you, whereas a dead person cannot. Still, a person devestaded enough was little threat. Which was why Liquid acted as though the boss's plan had worked. She wanted the boss to assume that she was defeated, her sense of duty forcing herself to continue when she knew she could do nothing except slow the rest of the team down. Liquid would reveal her hand only when she had to, keeping it hidden for as long as possible.

As she neared the fortress, Liquid saw something launch out of the forest and onto the floating island on which the fortress sat. There were some flashes, then nothing. [i]The rest of the team must be up there,[/i] she concluded. [i]And here I was hoping to rejoin them before going up there. At least I can get myself up there, though it would have been easier to have Era teleport me and the rest of the group up. Well, can't really do anything about it now. I'll just have to get up there myself.[/i]

Liquid kept walking towards the fortress. She wanted to be as close to it as possible before beginning her ascent. It wouldn't be easy for her to get herself up there, and she wanted to have as small a distance as possible to cover while in the air. When she reached it, she knelt and placed her hands on the ground. She remained in that position for several seconds, drawing energy from the water around her (OOC: It's raining heavily, remember). Eventually, she put as much power as she could into streams of water she fired from her hands. The force launched her into the air. She drew upon the water in the air to keep her from falling. She was able to land on the flloating island.

Liquid looked around. There was an entrance, a dead body, and evidence of a battle. She wondered if the dead man was one of the rouge's experiments. She didn't see any other bodies, so all four of the others were probably still alive. Just then, she saw more flashes. She walked in the direction of the flashes, stopping when she came to the narrow path. She guessed that the others had gone that way, but why, when there was a clear entrance? Liquid didn't like the look of that narrow path, either. It would be impossible to fight efffectivly while walking across it.

Liquid decided to take a look at the obvious entrance. Walking past the dead body, she came to a dead end. She saw the note saying to go to the rear entrance, and guessed that that's what the others had done. Liquid could see why, too. There wasn't any way out of the room other than the way she'd come in. At least, not one that most people would see. There was, in fact, a door. It was perfectly hidden, but Liquid had the advantage of her water-sight. She could see the doorr without too much diffficulty. She couldn't see any way to open it, though. Unless... there was another spot on the wall, near the door, that wouldn't be easily visible to most but that Liquid could see clearly. She placed her hand on it, and the door opened. [i]Of course. No doorknobs in the future, I guess.[/i]

Liquid hesitated briefly before walking through the open door. It closed behind her, but there was another panel that could be used to open it. Liquid, however, wasn't going back out. She continued forward.


OOC: Again, don't bring Liquid back to the group.
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  • 2 weeks later...
[color=crimson]The team entered a spacious, lavishly decorated entryway that was almost gaudy in it's rich appearance. Warm lighting gave it a welcoming, comforting feeling to it- a safe haven from the battlefield they had just left. A thunderclap shook the fortress and reminded Kaida that they were will within the chaos of their mission no matter how oddly welcoming the room felt. She gestured with a hand to her team to follow in a combat formation- no time for conversing or slacking off at all. They were in the enemy's lair and he was well aware of their presence. They were probably about to spring a trap but she had confidence in the powers of her team- even if they were short one member. "[i]I hope Liquid is alright..[/i]" She thought as the team moved beyond the entryway.

A pitch-black hand rushed at her, a set of claws outstretched that were about to rip her face clean off. She awkwardly dodged to the left and fired at her attacker. The small orb ripped into it's forehead and it fell backwards onto the floor. With the large form of the monster gone, her eyes settled on a most unwelcome thing. Within the room there were many more of the creatures, each of them staring coldly at the small form of Kaida in the doorway. Even with her experience in warfare their dead, serious eyes were disturbing and shook her confidence. They were tall and lithe, faces deformed beyond being recognizable as human. Their hands were mutated into claws that were the color of the night sky, the only coloration being small crimson stains spread across the claws.

Her team moved into the room and faced off against the monsters. Taking up the point was Arachnid- he had become their designated melee man for the time being. He had the fire support of the three would-be gunners and without any second thoughts each of them started firing. With harrowing speed the monsters rushed towards them. Some leapt through the air, others charged across the ground- but the team did not falter. Arachnid shot out his webbing, capturing one of the monsters in mid-air. With great strength he swung it across the breadth of the room, the webbed creature smashing into several of his comrades. As he did this the gunners did their best to keep him covered, but there were too many of them to do it adequately. A strange noise distracted Kaida and she glanced in the direction of it. Her eyes widened as she watched Sakura's form shift into a form that was the mirror image of the monsters that were attacking them- except for a slight difference in the color of her claws. The transformed Sakura moved with even greater speed and dexterity than their attackers. It was hard to follow her movements as she slashed and eviscerated many of their foes, leaving only bodies in her path. The monsters appeared confused by one of their own attacking them but they continued their onslaught as best they could.

"I think we've run into the 'King's guard'." Era said from beside her as her pistol ran out of ammunition. "We must be getting uncomfortably close to our objective."

"Hey, whatever they are we can kick their butts." Arachnid said, his fist ramming through the face of one of the monsters. "I've already killed like a dozen of them."

"Which begs the question: how many dozens will we have to kill to win?" Kaida asked

"Not too many more, Kaida." Era seemed to have recovered more of her strength and her view of the present was improving. "This batch is almost gone.."

Sakura zipped past them and Kaida noticed that their enemies numbers were indeed thinning. They noticed this too and withdrew, retreating through a formerly-hidden doorway. Kaida approached it cautiously and peeked in. A set of stairs descended down into a dank, dark basement hallway that was lined by pipework on the walls.

"Hey.. we get to see the backstage. Pretty sweet." Arachnid said, peering over Kaida's shoulder. He cracked his knuckles and nodded towards the staircase. "Wanna head into the belly of this beast?"

Kaida peered to the other doors in the room and then to the secret one. "Huh. Did he not expect us to win?.." She tilted her head pondering the possible arrogance of their foe. "No, maybe I think he wants us to go this way." The word 'trap' wafted into her head for the hundredth time that day and she shrugged. "Oh well. This entire mission has been one long, bloody trap." Her voice was tinged with annoyance. "Let's go into the 'belly of the beast' and muck around." The team descended the staircase and into a lengthy, darkened tunnel that seemed to go on forever.

Sakura let out a slight sigh as they went along. "That was a weird form to experience.. unnatural feeling, you know?"

"You were great though." Arachnid said with a grin. "Whipping around, slicing and dicing.."

"Yes, you were rather effective. You took me by surprise when you did that though." Kaida shook her head. "I haven't been around many shapeshifters."

"Kaida.. here." Era stopped and looked to a seemingly blank wall. "There's something beyond here." She placed her hand and groped along the wall until her hand depressed a piece of the wall. A segment of the wall opened up and Era smiled to herself. "This.. seems to be the real 'backstage'."

"Hey, nifty work, Era. I'm glad you aren't all.. worn out." Arachnid said.

"I'm still a bit weathered but I am feeling better." She replied.

Kaida walked into the hidden hallway and listened intently. There was a methodical hum of machinery just beyond a door at the end of the hallway. A knot grew in her stomach as she approached the door and gripped the handle. She turned it and opened it slowly, stepping inside reluctantly.

Dried blood caked the walls and floors of the room. Cages lined the walls, dead bodies of creatures rested within. Several autopsy tables rested nearby, their occupants still opened up for the world to see. As the rest of the team took in the room, Kaida walked over to a nearby computer terminal. She flicked the monitor on and took a few moments to adjust to the futuristic operating system within.

"Hmm.." Click-click. "This seems to be a depository for failed or.." She narrowed her eyes at the next word, "prototype experiments." Click, click, click. "The experiments in general seem to simply be aimed to create things for us to fight. There's no real reason to the research beyond trying to stop us." Clickclick. "Looks like there are some videos of people becoming 'prototypes'.. I think we'll skip that."

"Good call." Sakura said from behind her.

"Looks like once they stopped being useful they were left here to die of starvation.. then they got cut open for scientific examination." Kaida said as she skimmed over the files. "What a busy man he is." Click click. "Hmm. That's about all I can get from this.. most of it is insane ranting and raving full of jargon." She shook her head. "Let's get out of here.. this place is nothing more than a grave site now."[/color]
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[COLOR=Green]Era shifted uncomfortably as Kaida slowly but surely steered the group out of the room. There was a certain chill in the air here, but not a cold chill, one that chilled you to the core. People who were more in tune with their surroundings, such as the blind or magic, would feel it a lot easier than others. She frowned as a worrying little thought nagged at her brain. She couldn't quite place what it was, unfortunately, so she kept it to herself. Well, she tried to.

"Something the matter, Era?" Sakura asked, her voice hushed so as not to alert the other Team members. Era sighed and shook her head solemnly, though she didn't put much effort into her answer, "No, not really..."

"Not really? That doesn't sound very certain."

"Indeed, I feel a little strange not being able to tell exactly what's going to happen in this place." Era smiled awkwardly, "Isn't it a shame when we have to depend on these things?"

Sakura simply smiled and slipped a hand over Era's shoulder. The taller woman nodded in thanks and reached up to pat the hand of her teammate. That was all that was needed and Sakura dropped back to talk with Kaida. Era supposed Arachnid was too busy admiring things such as dead bodies and evil looking gargoyles to notice anything suspicious, so Era tried to concentrate as hard as possible, hoping she would regain at least a little part of her precognition.

"Kaida, I don't think we're gettin' anywhere." Arachnid sighed after a while. Era could hear the slight whine in his voice, and the only male of the group cracked his knuckles as if to state a point. Good old Arachnid; he didn't want a fight; he just wanted to thump a few skulls.

Era chuckled slightly but covered her mouth, disguising it as a polite cough, "Actually, Arachnid, we're moving forward. That's somewhere." Kaida was clearly annoyed herself, however, the next bend revealed some light at the end of the tunnel...quite literarily.

Arachnid suppressed the urge to cheer and quickened his pace slightly; Era did too, her slightly damp cape sticking to her legs as she did so.

"Now everyone, careful, we don't know where this will take us." Kaida was serious, and Arachnid slowed a little, crouching only slightly to be ready to jump into action. Yes, Era really did feel quite vulnerable without her full power, and it was becoming quite annoying.[/COLOR]
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[color=Navy]Sakura was very careful when they entered the room, she was sure that something was going to happen, it wouldn't be this easy. As she predicted, creatures appeared, her senses alerted her and she started to move around to make herself a harder target. She locked her gaze onto one of the creatures in particular, taking everything in.

Sakura stopped in her tracts and kept her gaze on the creatures, she groaned at the new, unusual change, her body re-arranging itself to match those of the creatures. She stopped and looked at herself, she was an exact copy except for her claws, which she left different on purpose for the benefit of the others.

Her senses as that of the creatures' was incredibly fast. She dashed forward, slicing through the creatures as she sped past, easily learning control of the new body. The creatures made questioning sounds as she killed them off, wondering why one of them was killing them. As they thought about that, she killed them.

Sakura descimated the numbers and soon they were all gone with the help of the rest of the group. They finally moved on, and Sakura reverted to herself, flexing her fingers after spending time in that body. She stored the image into her mind so she'd be able to use it again at another point in time.

The group found the light at the end of the tunnel and approached cautiously, not knowing what to expect. They followed Kaida through the door and looked around, suspecting something, anything, but there was nothing. Sakura frowned, it was way too strange, they were in a brightly lit room, with nothing in it.

They carefully explored, and after searching, they couldn't find anything still.

[b]"Is this the end of the line?" [/b]Arachnid questioned.

Sakura knew it couldn't just end like this, she changed her nose to that of a bloodhound and started to crawl around, sniffing. She took the different scents as colours. Everyone had their own unique colour to their scent. Kaida's was green; Era was orange; Arachnid owned a pale blue; and herself was a navy blue. Then there was a grey, it didn't belong to any of them and she didn't recognise it. She followed it around the room until she was against a wall.

It seemed like a dead end, but she could tell the scent continued on further. She rapped her knuckles against the wall, it sounded solid enough. Sakura tried everything, with the others watching, there was a secret to it, but she couldn't figure it out. She got frustrated and told everyone to back away.

Sakura underwent another shape shift, growing larger, pale blue scales, a large, heavy tail, a long snout. When she was done, a large blue dragon took up most of the room. She faced the wall and tapped it again, each section until she found a part that sounded hollower than the others.

Sakura growled and reared her head back, lashing it forward, releasing a large icy breath. The wall was encrusted in ice, and swung around, smashing it heavily with her tail. The wall shattered and Sakura examined the inside of the wall, it seemed like a key and voice recongition system. She changed back and told the group to continue, still slightly frustrated over the wall.

She mumbled about it as they walked on, the others were a bit surprised and slightly humoured by her attitude over a wall.
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[COLOR=DarkOliveGreen][SIZE=1]Arachnid had to chuckle slightly at Sakura's attitude as they left the room that she had royally trashed as a dragon.

"I had no idea you could do that! Though I didn't know you could change into one of those creatures either. Heh, shows how well I pay attention." Arachnid said jokingly which got a lopsided smile from Sakura.

The rest of the walk was mainly quiet and uneventful, that was until they finally saw a strange and pale light at the end of the dark corridoor. Arachnid walked quietly up next to Kaida and knelt down so he could look her in the eye.

"Okay, I'm going to assume he's in there. I'll climb along the ceiling the rest of the way there. You guys follow and when he sees you I'll land behind him and web him up quite nicely." Kaida nodded in agreement and she explained the plan as Arachnid jumped onto the ceiling and crawled along. The whole experenice was a buzz for him, ever since he'd been able to do this he'd always crawled along a ceiling at least twice a day just because he liked being able to sneak up on his friends and parents.

As the group proceeded down the hallway Arachnid noticed an air vent and motioned that he would be going up it. As he did so he anchored a webline to the opening and proceeded to climb up the shaft. the ascent took about a minute and then he found a bend that went into the room the group was heading for. He was able to peek through the vent's covering and saw at least three of those large black creatures and then the rogue scientist. He was sitting in a large chair, obviously distracted. Arachnid quietly climbed back down the shaft and informed Kaida and she said they would go on ahead and deal with the creatures if Arachnid could get to the man. Once the plan was ready, Arachnid lept back into the ventilation shaft and back to the vent in the room.

Once he'd done so a blast ripped into one of the creatures and Sakura in her new formm tore into the room and started tearing apart the other guard. Arachnid lept into the room at full force and landed on the opposite wall and then something else happened. His "senses" started blaring in his head and he lept to the ground as a large spider-like creature barreled down at him. Its fangs were dripping venom and its eyes had the look of hunger.

The man was laughing as the creature went after Arachnid but was stopped as Arachnid managed to web the creature up in enough webbing to cover a hummer. Kaida pointed her gun at the spider and fired at it and put the creature out of its misery and the group surrounded the man.

"Give it up. You're beat." Kaida said as she leveled her pistol to the man's forehead.

"Oh, I am? I thought it was you who was beat." He said as another group of black creatures emerged out of the hallway, except this time their claws pulsated a sickening green.

"I'm guessing those guys have venom in their claws. Dude, do you ever think of... hoichimamma!" Arachnid said as a creature took a swing at him and ended up having Arachnid landing on his head and using him as a springboard to leap up to the wall.

"ALL RIGHT! THAT'S IT!" Arachnid said as he coiled his muscles and pushed off the wall like a lance into a group of monsters and managed to throw them up against the wall and web them up tightly while the group started to fight another group of the monsters.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[b][color=darkred][b]He was enjoying himself immensly. Most of Green Team was running his gauntlet, discovering his gruesom experiments and fighting for their lives. They would eventually die. Meanwhile, Liquid was running through the fortress, pursued by two human guards. Under normal circumstances, he knew, she would have fought them and killed them, but in her current condition, she would die if she fought. He was having his men herd her towards him. She would die, yes, but he would have his fun first.[/b][/color]

[/b]Liquid ran down the corridor, pursued by two guards, both normal humans. She could have easily taken them out, but not if she was as emotionally devastated as she was still pretending to be. So she was running from them. Eventually, another pair joined the chase. She kept running. She'd kill them eventually, but not yet. She suspected that she was being herded, and she had a guess as to where she was being herded to. Based on what the boss had done so far, she believed he'd conclude by forcing her to relive Kajo's rape attempt. Wherever she was being lured to, he'd be waiting, probably with Kajo. She believed that she'd be raped before they killed her. She had no intention of letting this happen.

It wasn't too long before a creature appeared in Liquid's path. She didn't know what it was, but it was clearly not human. Liquid knew it wouldn't take long before she'd be outmatched by the force hearding her, so she chose that moment to stand and fight.

She started with the men chaseing her. She spun around, gun drawn, and put a bullet in each man's head. Then it was time to face the creature. She shot it several times, but it kept coming. She took careful aim, and shot it right between its eyes. That seemed to work, as the creature stopped moving and fell over. She shot it a couple more times to be sure it was dead.

[b][color=darkred]Things had not gone according to plan. Without warning, Liquid had stopped running, and she'd killed all those pursuing her, including his creation, in just a few seconds. He kept watching as she walked over to the dead men and took their gund. All traces of the defeated woman were gone. This was the Liquid who'd made a name for herself in The Legionnaires, not the Laqara whom Kajo had lived with. Obviously, Kajo had been dead wrong. He punched in the frequency for Kajo's comm unit.[/color][/b]

Liquid walked over to the bodies of the dead humans. Slipping her own gun into her belt, she picked up two of the guards guns and slid them into her belt as well. She picked up the remaining two guns and began walking down the corridor in the direction they'd been hearding her. A couple seconds later, she heard a beeping sound. Smiling, she put one gun in her belt to free up a hand, removed a small object from her belt, and pressed the button marked 'answer'. Raising it to her face, she spoke into it. "F^*k you!"

[b][color=darkred]"My, my, my! Language, Ms. Liquid! Might I ask how you came by that device?"[/color]

[/b]"What do you think? I took it from Kajo when I had him on the ground earlier. Surely you were watching. I gather you didn't see me take it. I did assume you'd be watching, so I made sure to do it quickly and covertly. I don't think Kajo ever noticed. I was wondering how quickly you'd try to contact him."

[b]"[color=darkred]You're a slick one, Ms. Liquid. A skilled actor, too. I'll admit, you even had me fooled."[/color]

[/b]"Yeah, well, that was the general idea. And it's not like it was hard to figure out what your intentions were."

[b][color=darkred]"I was assured that that wouldn't be an issue. Clearly, Kajo's information was not accurate."[/color]

[/b]Liquid laughed. "Oh, it was accurate, all right. Just out of date. It's been eight years since I last saw him. People can change drastically in eight years even under normal circumstances, and my situation was far from normal. You forgot to take the passage of time into account. You should have paid more attention to that."

[b][color=darkred]"Thank you for the tip. I'll be sure to remember it."[/color]

[/b]"You do that. It won't matter, because you'll be dead shortly."

[b][color=darkred]"You sound confident, Ms. Liquid. Perhaps you should be careful not to overestimate yourself. I think you will find me a far more dangerous opponent than those you've faced previously."[/color]

[/b]"Well, we'll just have to find out, now, won't we?" Liquid said. She dropped the comm unit to the floor and shot it, destroying it. She had no further use for it, so she got rid of it. She then proceeded onwards, moving in the same direction as before. She wanted to go to where her now-dead pursuers had been herding her, as she believed that to be where the boss was.

Liquid ran into the room, performing a complex series of acrobatic moves intended to make her a difficult target while firing her guns. She took out the normal humans first, as they had guns of their own. When they were dead, she took out the altered humans. Looking around after doing so, she saw a human she'd missed run into an adjacent room. There were others in that room, others who obeyed the man's orders to seal that room off. Liquid immediatly placed him as the boss, her target. Unfortunatly, she was unable to kill him before the door closed, blocking her.

Liquid guessed that she was correct. This was most likely where she'd been being herded to. The boss had clearly been expecting her. Fortunatly, the boss hadn't been adequatly prepared. He'd clearly been expecting to face a defeated woman. The force he'd had waiting hadn't been enough to stop her. The boss's remaining men were with him in next room.

Liquid inspected the sealed door. Like the others, it was automatic, and Liquid saw no panel with which to open it. She took a look around the rest of the room. It was clearly some kind of control center, though the true nerve center of the fortress was likely in the next room. However, Liquid found that what she had access to was more than adequate.

Liquid toook a seat at one of the room's computer terminals. The system was surprisingly easy to use, and she found it simple to do what she wanted to do. Accessing the fortress's surveillance network, she confirmed that there was no other way out of the next room. The boss and his men were stuck where they were. Liquid began to wonder if she was right about that room. Next, she tried to open the door, but could not. Clearly the door couldn't be opened from the side she was on. She'd have to get into the next room the hard way. She'd do that in a little bit.

Liquid's next step was to use the surveillance system to locate the rest of Green Team. She discovered that they weren't to far away from her current position. They were engaged in a fierce battle with an enemy force. She was able to identify one person who seemed to be of greater importance. The enemy forces were clearly protecting him. [i]Do I have the wrong man?[/i] Liquid wondered, [i]or do they? Well, I guess I should at least acknowladge the possibility that both me and tham have the wrong man. Let's see if I can't figure this out.[/i]

Liquid accessed the fortress's database and searched for personnel records. She found nothing. The information appeared to be missing, though it had clearly been there at one point in time. She was, however, able to find refferrences to two people who seemed to be in charge, though she found no names or other information. There were images, though. One was the man she'd placed as the boss, and the other was the one that Kaida and the others were currently up against. Liquid did find information which indicated that he was in charge, and that the boss was subordinate to him. She termed that one 'the rouge' because it was likely that he was the one Green Team came for.

Liquid had been starting to suspect that the boss was not the rouge that Green Team had come for. The presence of two authoritative figures seemed to confirm this. Most of Green Team was currently fighting the rouge. Liquid was up against the boss.

It looked to Liquid like Kaida and the others would be finished with their battle soon, most likely before Liquid was done with her own. Liquid knew that Green Team would have to get back together, and right now she knew where the others were. She wasn't going to go join them, but she'd lead them to her. From her terminal, Liquid could access most of the fortress's systems. She still couldn't control the door to the next room, the room where the boss was, but she could control pretty much every oher door in the fortress. She plotted a route from the current location of Kaida and the others to where she currently was. To insure that Kaida's group followed that route, Liquid eliminated all their other choices. She closed off all possible routes from their current colcation except for the one she wanted them to take, and sealed the doors so that they could not be opened. The only option Kaida and the others would have was to come to her.

With that taken care of, Liquid turned her attention to the sealed door into the next room. The boss was behind that door with his remaining men. Liquid used the surveillance system to determine just how many were in the room. It turned out to be only a few normal humans and two altered ones. Liquid didn't anticipate any difficulties in dealing with them.

Liquid walked over to the sealed door. She couldn't open it, but she could still get through it. She placed her hand on the door and concentrated. She created water inside the door, essentially as part of it. She then chilled the water, freezing the door. The entire process tok her a couple minutes. When the door was completely frozen, she stepped back and inspected the door. Her plan appeared to be going well.

Liquid placed her hand on the door again. She simoultaniously creating a sudden burst of water from her hand and one from inside the door. The door blew apart, its pieces flying away from her thanks to the force of the water burst from her hand. Liquid dove into the room with guns blazing, excecuting some impressive acrobatic moves while firing madly. When she emptied one of her gun, she took out another from her belt. She killed most of the normal humans first, disarming the others with some well-aimed kicks to their guns while doing so. She then poured fire into the two altered humans until they were dead. After that, she shot the few surviving humans. When she was done, it was just her and the boss. The guns she'd taken from the dead men earlier were all on the floor, empty. Liquid had her own gun in her hand, and it was aimed at the boss, who was disarmed. "Hi," Liquid said.

[color=darkred][b]"Hello, Ms.[/b] [b]Liquid. It seems I have underestimated you once again. You've killed my men, disarmed me, and are blocking the only way out of this room. It would appear that I failed in accurately determining your skill."[/b][/color]
Liquid immediatly recognized the man's voice. He was the boss, all right. "Your last mistake," she said. "This time, you're dead."

[b][color=darkred]"Which brings up an interesting question. Why, Ms. Liquid, have you not killed me yet?"[/color][/b]
"Well..." Liquid pulled the trigger, and there was nothing but the click of an empty firearm, "...that's because I happen to be out of ammo." She slipped the gun into her belt.

[b][color=darkred]"Ah. In that case, how about we make this interesting? you may recall me mentioning that I'm quite skilled with the element of water."[/color][/b]
Liquid nodded. "I remember. I take it, then, that you're suggesting we confine our battle to elemental abilities of water."

"Well, I'm thinking that this should be fun. Let's go."


OOC: Okay, Liquid has created a path for the others to follow in order to find her. It's now okay for the rest of the team to meet up with her. Just don't have them interrrupt her battle with the bos, and please don't have it finish in one of your posts. I want to do that myself.
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  • 2 weeks later...
[color=green]Kaida fired off a blast from her pistol and grazed the cheek of the man. He fell into a fit of deranged laughter and ignored the blood going down his cheek. The orb carried on past him, [i]through[/i] the wall and beyond. The room shook as it evidently hit something, exploding somewhere within the complex. An eerie calm followed as the sound of machinery being destroyed leaked weakly into the room. The floating island shuddered forcefully and an alarm blared out of an electric console next to the man. Kaida braced herself against the wall until the violent shaking stopped and looked up at the room with narrowed eyes- what was that? The creatures paid no mind to the shuddering, the alarms or otherwise and continued on attacking the Team. The deranged creator of the creatures was in a different mood, however- his hands danced feverishly across the console. Various menus and windows flashed across the screen too quickly for Kaida to read.

"You bloody harlot!" The man yelled out and turned to Kaida. He pointed at her accusingly, "Don't fire that insane device so freely! You'll destroy more critical machinery!"

Kaida arched her eyebrow and wondered what critical component she had destroyed. There was no answer- the island lurched downwards as the man returned to his console, muttering about destabilization, the fools he is dealing with and how they had damaged his precious keep. "Damn it, damn it, damn it! It's drifting towards the ocean!" He leaned back into his chair in resignation and began to nervously chuckle, falling firmly into his own madness.

His chuckling was unnerving to Kaida but she was preoccupied with the task of [i]not dying[/i]- a task that was rather important. The lurching motions of the island made fighting awkward- only Sakura and Arachnid were having an alright time with it, due to their physical finesse. Within a minute the army of creatures had been more or less slaughtered, and the Team once again surrounded the man. His eyes were tinted with insanity and he was blissfully unaware of anything around him. He was fixated on the monitor in front of him and Kaida followed his gaze to it. She began to read the information on the screen with interest.

"What's up with this guy?" Arachnid said and waved his hand in front of the unresponsive man. "Is this really the leader? The Rogue? What a nut."

"I think he's finally cracked. He never did seem too.. complete in the head." Sakura said, having finished turning back into herself. "Who would make someone like him a leader, anyway? Not a great choice if you ask me."

"He had his moments." Era replied and dusted herself off. "He did have some rather good traps."

Arachnid flicked the man in the forehead and peered into his eyes. "Hello? Paging insane boss, anyone home? Knock knock?" Still no response. "Tch. I suppose that means we win. Way too easy, if you ask me."

Kaida had been quiet through all of this, staring at the readout before them. She moved in front of the console and began to type, running through various menus of information. She shook her head, "Our ordeal isn't over." She leaned closer to the monitor, "This entire complex is floating off course and losing altitude at a steady rate. Come on, we need to-" She stopped and typed a few things. "Huh. Someones sealed most of the doors. That's weird."

".. Hey, isn't that a bad thing? Don't we need to, you know.. get out of here?" Arachnid said, a hint of concern in his voice.

"I could unseal them but time is not on our side at the moment." Kaida shrugged and sighed, "We'll just have to follow the path."

"What about this guy?" Arachnid cocked his head towards the out-of-commission scientist.

The scientist nervously laughed, 'waking up' right on cue. "It's far too late. My boss, my boss... my boss will get you. He's already left here, teleported away that Wizard did. Took your friend with him, too. Left my dying fortress, my [i]creation[/i]. Liquid will die, fighting alone like that. Doesn't understand teamwork, does she? A team, indeed. A dying breed of comrades. Just a dying breed." He shrugged, took a gun out of his pocket and smiled. "Our mission has already been accomplished. You've already lost. You just don't [i]realize it yet[/i]. With that said, my role is done I suppose. Farewell, sweet friends and thank you for playing the game. You played well! Enjoy the taste of victory." He put the gun into his mouth, smiled weirdly and fired it. None of them had tried to stop him and Kaida felt some sense of contentment with his death- he'll pay for his sins in the afterlife.

"Well, I suppose that answers my question. Cowardly bastard." Arachnid shook his head and cracked his knuckles still eager for some action. "So Liquid is dealing with the deranged guy's boss? I guess that's our Wizard?"

"We'll think about it later." Kaida said and ran towards the doorway. An explosion rocked the island and alarms blared out from all around them. 'WARNING, WARNING- MULTIPLE SYSTEM FAILURES' a computerized voice yelled out. "Yes, I believe it's time to go. Come on, Team." She stated plainly and sprinted out of the room, her team following her. They wound through the open doors as more explosions rocked the island, jolting it wildly as it lurched downward again. The door in front of them slammed shut and Kaida barely avoided running right into it. The erroneous closure of the door left the team at a dead end but another series of explosions opened the door next to them. Without even looking they ran inside and the door closed behind them, leaving them seemingly trapped. Kaida glanced around them and noted that instead of being trapped, they had arrived in an abandoned elevator. Sensing passengers, it automatically began to raise up at a quick clip soaring higher and higher. It was a rough ride as the island continued to plow onward to it's grave at sea with no way to stop it.

They arrived at the top floor and the door slid open, letting out a soft chime. Kaida cautiously stepped inside with her pistol raised. The only light came from a large cylindrical chamber at the opposite side of the room. Suspended within it in liquid was a young girl. She was clothed in a simple dress and had long brown hair that floated listlessly within the chamber. She couldn't have been older than nine or ten, but human ages were not Kaida's forte. She arched an eyebrow at the sight and wondered aloud, "What is she doing here?"

"Another experiment?" Sakura offered, looking around the room herself. She looked at some paintings on the wall and shook her head, disliking them. "These are really crappy."

"Hmm. Strange." Kaida said. Another violent shudder almost sent her face-first into the floor, but managed to catch herself in time. She righted herself and shook her head, "Blasted island is coming apart at the seams."

Arachnid approached the chamber and rapped lightly on the glass. "This kind of neat." He said to himself, examining the chamber. "Wakey, wakey kid. The heroes are here to save the day."

"Alright, well, if we there isn't a door out of here we're going to have to make one." Kaida fired a shot at the wall and blasted it wide open. Their old friend, the storm, greeted them with a loud clap of thunder. The rain was relentless, pouring down as hard as it had been when they first arrived.

Arachnid rapped on the glass of the chamber again. "Knock, knock, knock." The eyes of the girl snapped open and she stared blankly at him. Arachnid leapt back in surprise, "Whoa! Don't scare me like that, kid." Arachnid leaned forward, studying the awakened child. "Good morning, sleepyhead. You're just in time to get rescued by the Defenders of Time." The rest of the team hadn't noticed Arachnid's antics and continued talking to each other.

"So, Kaida, how are we going to get out of here?" Sakura asked, peering out of the hole. "Are we going to jump or something?"

"You got it. You can fly, Arachnid should be able to carry us down there pretty easily. We get to the ground floor, get off this deathtrap and help Liquid with the wizard." Kaida nodded to herself, confident in her plan. "Then we go home."

"Home, eh?" Sakura smiled a bit at that thought. "That's sounding pretty good at the moment, I have to say."

"Hey, chief?" Arachnid said as he looked at the little girl. "I think I woke up the sleeping princess."

"What?" Kaida said and glanced at him. "What are you talking about? She looks comatose to me."

Arachnid turned around and the child's eyes were shut again, but the machine had begun to let off a soft hum. "Uhh.. Well, just a second ago she was awake." He rapped on the cylinder again and rubbed his chin. "Huh, I wonder if I'm just seeing things. Mmm, I wish I could get this thing open." He sighed and kicked the cylinder's base lightly.

On cue the cylinder broke open and the child spilled out onto the floor, covered in the suspension fluid. He knelt down and shook her a bit, "Hey- hey? Are you alright, kid?" The girl seemed remained unconscious and Arachnid picked her up. "Don't worry, I've got ya. We'll take you to a safe time. Good home, good people. No wizards. Well, except for Kaida and I'm [i]pretty sure[/i] she's an alright kind of wizard."

".. You plan on taking her back to our time?" Kaida said with an amused expression on her face. She rubbed her chin, "I am fairly sure that is something we shouldn't be doing. Rather, I'm [b]definitely[/b] sure that is something we shouldn't be doing."

"Well, everyone else on this island is dead, aren't they? Who knows when people will immigrate here again. She'll die! Think about it!" He responded defiantly.

Kaida sighed at his humanitarianism and shook her head, "We're having enough trouble getting out of here without taking along unconscious girls."

As they spoke, Era felt something within her mind flick on from the girl's presence. It triggered her powers and suddenly she was submerged in a sea of memories- the little girl's, the castle's and most importantly the two bosses'. Her power was out of control for some reason; in her already drained state the force and intensity of it caused her to slip into unconsciousness. She fought the darkness for a moment before crumpling down to the floor, entering a feverish dream.

"Era? Era!" Sakura ran to her side and shook her. There was no response. She looked up to Kaida and shook her head. "She's.."

Kaida raised her hand and shook her head. "Don't say it, don't say it. I know. She's unconscious." She sighed in irritation and reached into a pocket on her uniform, taking out a small pyramid. "I suppose this will have to do."

"What's that?" Arachnid took an interest in the strange object and reached for it out of curiousity.

"It's a teleporter." She responded and pulled it back from Arachnid approaching hand. "It is a rather.. unstable device." Kaida nervously smiled and continued, "But it should get us to that island in one piece."

"Should?" Sakura asked and shook her head. "Wait, wait. Where else could we end up?"

"Well, ironically, we could land in the middle of the ocean.. but there is only a 10% chance of it. That's not too significant.. I suppose." Kaida gave Sakura a confident nod, "Trust me, it'll be fine. It just spits you out at the wrong place sometimes, is all." There was some silence between the three and Kaida shrugged, "No other choice, is there? You should have some confidence in my devices!" She put a hand on her hip and scolded them, "The time and effort I put into making these things is significant! I am the best inventor I know of and my devices are as safe as can be."

"Fine, fine." Sakura said and scratched the back of her head. "If you say so."

"Good. Get ready.. this might be a little shocking." Kaida had a wry smile on her face as she said this and that didn't ease her comrades nerves.

Energy flowed into the device from Kaida and it rose to life, letting off a soft hum as it came online. A read out on the side of it showed that it was fully operational and had no serious defects in it's operating system or mechanics. Kaida nodded and her finger hovered over the button. She looked up to Arachnid and Sakura, "You two prepared?" They nodded. "Alright. Here we go."

The island slammed into the ocean, grinding to a sudden halt. Kaida stumbled and inadvertently pushed the button, a flash overtaking them all. They were spit out just outside the castle, on the edge of the island itself. It was a rough landing but Kaida stood up and smiled, "Well, you guys really are lucky- we are not where I had directed us to but we are are not in the ocean. I consider this a success."

"Whoa.. that was a weirder trip than the time traveling thing." Arachnid said rubbing his forehead. "Alot of new experiences today. Maybe too many.."

"Yes, the first time can be strange. That feeling should wear off soon.. again, theoretically." Kaida walked over to the edge of the island and shook her head, "How anticlimactic. The island lost altitude too fast and it's stuck in shallow water." She chuckled, "So much for it being a deathtrap." The island was lodged awkwardly just off the coast of Easter Island, leaning at a slight angle. Part of it stuck firmly into the ground while the other part still maintained some of it's levitation. From her perch Kaida could see the entire island and she nodded to herself. "Alright, we need to get down there and confirm the Liquid's status. She's much stronger in this horrid weather so she might be punishing that Rogue rather easily. Still, it wouldn't hurt to know."

A low growl came from behind them and the three heroes turned around slowly to see the last remnants of the creature army. It was a mixture of new and old foes- mostly old. Arachnid stepped forward and shook his head, "How many of these things are there?" He laughed and shrugged, "Not that I'm complaining or anything."

"No." Kaida said and raised her pistol. "Take the two of them and get out of here. Get them into a safe location and help Liquid out as needed. I'll kill this swarm and make sure no more come after you all."

"You sure, chief?" Arachnid asked.

"Very. The Rogue is the key to the mission. The puppet master. Without him, the puppets don't move. Kill him and we won't have to mess with any more of these blasted abominations." Kaida looked at the two of them and smiled, "Get going. I'm trusting you to help make this mission a success."

"If those are your orders, then.. we're off." Arachnid picked up the two girls, putting one on each of his shoulders. He took a running leap off of the island, sailing through the air and onto the coastline a short distance away.

"Good luck, Kaida." Sakura said and nodded to her, "We'll make sure things go alright down below." With that, she shape shifted into a raven and fluttered after Arachnid, leaving Kaida by herself.

She turned to the creatures and didn't waste any time, squeezing the trigger rapidly. The orbs of fire ripped through various creatures and they charged her, advancing with terrible speed. Desperation overtook her shots, but they seemed to be endless- had there really been this many natives on the island? It seemed impossible, even as their bodies began to pile up in front of her. Did they bring civilians from their own time? That thought dawned on her and her thoughts turned pitch black- those fools. All these innocent people.. and for what? Losing her emotions, she poured as much energy into her gun as she could and let off a gargantuan sphere of fire that plunged through the ranks of the creatures, incinerating them in a hellish fire. It carried on through the castle's outer wall, decimating it's interior as it went until it exploded. The force of the explosion annihilated most of the castle's interior, sending shrapnel in all directions. Several pieces of it slashed her, cutting open her right cheek and several places along her arms. The burned bodies of the creatures piled up before her, each of them dying if not very dead. 'Overkill much, Kaida?' she thought to herself negatively. That had been a waste of her energy.. but overtly effective, if nothing else. Ignoring her light wounds, she turned to face Easter Island and squinted. She searched the island for some sign of her team. A wall of water rose up from a section of the forest, clearing out a swath of trees with ease.

"There's my first clue." She muttered to herself as she watched the water recede back down. "Not too hard to find with that excessive use of power." She glanced back to the ruins of the castle. "Not one to talk, am I? Hm."

Within the newly created clearing she saw a figure she presumed to be the Rogue fighting Liquid. Kaida knelt down and shielded her eyes from the rain, watching them closely.[/color]
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[COLOR=Green]Era?s mind was on fire. She wanted to scream, but found she could do nothing. It was the most horrifying experience she?d ever had, and for once she couldn?t figure out how to stop it. All she could see around her was total black. She knew she was standing, but wasn?t sure exactly how. There was no floor, but she wasn?t falling. It seemed as though her mind had tapped into something a lot more powerful.

Suddenly she was wrenched forward in time to what seemed like modern day England. She could ?see? the little girl who?d been in the tube. Era figured this was her memory she was looking into. Suddenly, she felt something on her hand. She looked down, and the small girl was looking up at her, little fingers holding onto Era?s.

[I]You?re a witch?[/I]

The voice was in Era?s mind and she winced, nodding in reply to the girl?s statement.

[I]These are my memories.

I imagined they would be.[/I]

The girl paused before she started walking, seemingly leading Era. The witch could tell they had passed into some hazy world, one she didn?t recognise. The future or an unclear memory? She couldn?t be too sure.

[I]Where are you taking me?[/I]

[I]You need to see?I am a key. I was used in the Wizard?s experiments. I?m a psychic, just like you.[/I]

Era chose to remain silent for the rest of the journey through the girl?s memories. She could no longer feel her body and wasn?t aware of what was happening on the island. In fact, it seemed to have been wiped from her memory. Everything had, she was starting with a clean slate.

[I]The man you were fighting, who killed himself, he was merely a puppet.[/I] Era nodded. She had understood this just before he died, [I]Your team-mates are fighting the real threat. However, it is unfortunate that he is merely a decoy.[/I]

Are started and tugged her hand out of the little girl?s grasp [I]A decoy?[/I]

The girl looked up sadly and continued with her explanation.

[I]There is another threat in your timeline, I?m not sure where, and this mission was merely a distraction to take you from the rest of the Legionnaires. Without you, they cannot go back in time to fight the real threat.[/I]

Era was in shock. She was not the most powerful Legionnaire and she certainly wasn?t the most well known. How someone powerful enough had managed to formulate such a precise plan was terrifying and Era?s already weakened mind fought to come up with a solution.

[I]Why were you on the island, child?[/I] Era asked suddenly, her composure returning momentarily.

[I]I am from the future. I have the same powers as you, and quite possibly, I?m more powerful, because I have my sight. My power was used so that the Wizard didn?t drain himself.[/I]

Era paused and bit her bottom lip, squeezing the girl?s hand.

[I]I am your daughter[/I]

[I]I see.[/I]

[I]Do not think of me as such. This moment will be wiped from your memory as soon as you regain consciousness. You will only remember what you need.[/I]

And in a second, Era was back on the island, lying on wet grass with Arachnid looking over her, a worried expression on his face.

[B]?Era? You awake??[/B]

[B]?Arachnid?we must get back. This?it was a decoy.?[/B]

And with that, the Time Witch slipped back in unconsciousness.

[B]OOC: Era?s just a little tired, so feel free to wake her up, Sakura. About the little girl being Era?s daughter?I didn?t have much to go on, and I thought it would make sense that the little girl had been used to do all the psychic business? (And I?m a sucker for plot twists.) Hope it?s okay. x.o
Boss, I know you?d said about the Wizards memories too. I hope it?s okay I only used the girl?s.[/B][/COLOR]
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[font=Verdana][size=2][color=navy]Sakura and Arachnid landed on the cold sand of the shore. She made a quick shapeshift back to her human form and watched as Arachnid gently lay his cargo down.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080][b]"Era? You awake?" [/b]Arachnid asked.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=navy][b]"Arachnid?we must get back. This?it was a decoy." [/b]she answered before her eyes closed.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080][b]"A decoy?" [/b]Sakura asked.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080][b]"No time to think about that for now, we have to go find Liquid and the Rogue." [/b]Arachnid replied.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]Sakura shook Era. [b]"Hey, Era. Wake up." [/b]she said quietly.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]Era moaned and her eyes fluttered open, looking up at Sakura. She smiled down at the other girl and gave her a hand up.[/color][/size][/font]
[b][font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]"What were you saying about this decoy thing?" [/color][/size][/font][/b]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080][b]"I don't know, the girl told me that there's something more important happening somewhere else. We have to go." [/b][/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080][b]"We can't leave now, we have to rescue Liquid, and you're still tired. We'll get the Rogue first, and check on Liquid, then we can go." [/b]Arachnid reasoned.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]The others nodded, they left the girl on the sand, hiding her behind some large rocks. The group ran across the wet sand, further down where they saw Liquid facing off against a man.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]Sakura continued running, making a moving change, she morphed into the dark creature they had faced earlier, and used it's speed to get there faster to help out Liquid.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080][b]"You have reinforcements, that won't change the fact that you'll all die here." [/b]the Rogue laughed as he fought Liquid.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]Sakura jumped into the battle, slashing at him with the large claws her morph provided. She backflipped out of range and charged forward again, he waited until she was close and let out a strong blast of fire. Sakura dashed to the left, but she was singed on her right side from not being fast enough. Sakura hissed, and Liquid took over. Arachnid and Era caught up, Era started firing immediately, picking her shots in case she shot one of her comrades. Arachnid helped to trap him with webs, letting them have a few free shots before he broke free.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]Liquid sent blasts of water toward the Wizard, using all the water that surrounded her to her advantage. Liquid looked at Sakura meaningfully, looking at the ocean. Sakura understood and ran over to Arachnid, warning him. She stood beside Era and dug into the ground, putting Era into the ditch she formed and lying over it to cover the hole. As she had been doing that, Liquid summoned a large wave, making it crash over their area. Sakura breathed normally, changing her breathing at the last second. Era was in an air filled ditch, getting a little wet as the sand became saturated. Arachnid had held his breath, wrapping webs around a tree a little bit away from the shore.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]The water subsided and they all got up, they looked around but the Wizard wasn't there.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080][b]"Surprise!" [/b]he roared as he came down from the air, using his magic to boost him into the air, avoiding the large wave.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]Sakura rolled and jumped up to meet him, they exchanged blows in midair, they blocked each other until he sent another magic spell at her, an orb of darkness, it hit her, sending her back along the ground, making a furrow with her body.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]She winced, and watched as the others continued to fight him. She slowly changed back to human, the right edge of her clothes was burnt, with holes in it and a dark burnt colour. Sakura didn't like making herself or any part of her an inanimate object, because it felt cold, since there was no warmth in it. She transformed her hands into long blades, running forward to enter the battle.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]Sakura heard a hollow clicking, Era had finished the two clips of her gun, they [i]had[/i] been using them the whole day. She ran over to Era, getting her to retrieve the spare clips she always carried, since she was incapable of doing so with blade hands. Era loaded up again and resumed firing.[/color][/size][/font]
[font=Verdana][size=2][color=#000080]Sakura ran forward again, arms outstretched, they had to kill the Rogue fast, because if what Era said was true, this was only a diversion from the real thing they were supposed to be doing.[/color][/size][/font]
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[SIZE=1][COLOR=DarkGreen]Arachnid could feel his anger rising at this guy as he jumped over the guy's head and landed on a low hanging branch and attempted to web the guy up but the wizard was firing off spells quicker than he could be webbed up. Finally Arachnid, losing his temper as usual, lept down and lunged at the wizard but as he was following through with his punch the man turned around and kicked Arachnid with a well placed roundhouse kick. The sheer force from both fighters sent Arachnid flying into Sakura and then both went rolling a few feet until they crashed into a tree.

"Son of a.."

"Arachnid. Do you think you could get off me before I force you off of me???" Sakura said rather testily as Arachnid jumped onto his feet and thought of a different approach as he jumped into the trees. At that moment Sakura hacked off a small tree with one of her arms and changed her other arm into a mixture of a gorilla's and a bear's and with a great yell threw the tree at the wizard. However, the wizard wasn't going to have any part of it and stopped the tree by merely utteriong a word and soon the tree was hurting back towards Sakura who had changed her hands back into blades and she sliced the tree into four large pieces.

Arachnid had managed to sneak around to the back of the wizard and then lunged again but this time instead of getting ready to punch him he landed on the ground and went to perform an uppercut punch. The wizard instead grabbed arachnid by the wrist, smirked and threw Arachnid into a tree. What the wizard didn't expect was that Arachnid had intentionally done this and fired a web line off and used his momentum to throw the wizard into a web and threw webbing over the man's mouth.

As he landed Arachnid dusted himself off, "Jeez that was annoying I thought that..."

"You think nothing foolish brat!" The wizard boomed as he tored out of the webbing and rushed the group.[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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