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  1. 4 likes
    Once Z. and Hector got back, it was time to distribute. This was trickier than Z. expected, though. Not everyone wanted or in fact deserved some fruit. The former category was taken up by everyone surrounding Clobber the Clobbopus and his newfound coconut-cracking abilities and the latter category, well… Jirachi was busy producing fruit of his own, so he didn’t need any fruit either. Whatever. There were still a few people/Pokémon milling about, so Z. stopped pretending to be Hector and picked one of them. Chester seemed especially aimless, having just walked up to the stream and then just back again, so Z. zeroed in on him. “Catch,” Z. tossed an apple at Chester’s head, though with a bit of underthrow, the apple landed just short of the Chespin. “Eat up,” they said. “Need all the calories you can get if we’re gonna be saving the world.” They looked past Chester to the rushing stream. “Were you trying to catch a look at your reflection in there? Water’s kind of fast for that. I tried to be a Froakie earlier and just ended up looking like a Treeko.” They frowned. “Other way around.” Why was it so hard to get that right? Hadn’t Marv always been a Froakie? “Whatever.” Chester picked up the apple from the ground and looked at it. “I was, and well, it is. Sadly, I am not too accustomed to this body yet, familiar as it may be in a general sense.” The Chespin waved his stubby arms at his side as if to convey this feeling. Then he let out a small, if not begrudging, “Thanks,” gesturing to the apple. “Sure,” Z. said. “Hey, though, hold still.” Z. did the same thing they did with Hector, pacing around their target, trying to get a good idea of exactly how they looked from every angle, and, when they were ready, did another sick backflip and came down as a copied Chespin. “There’s a better look, I hope,” they said. They imitated Chester’s stubby arm wave and pensive face. “I guess it’s more like this right now, though.” Like, Hector, Chester was suitably impressed. “That is quite the amazing skill, Z. I suppose it would make sense being a Zorua you’d be able to pull off illusions like that, just as my own head is harder than steel. And it’s a better mirror than the river, I suppose. Though, uh,” his mood shifted back to concerned as he studied the finer details of Z.’s illusion “do I really look like that?” Z. tried a few more different poses. “Close, anyway. I don’t think it's perfect perfect yet. I can feel certain things just not working right. I can’t do stuff I think that I should, but I already promised myself those were- Oh, you mean the face? Yeah, my guy. You look so fucking lost right now, I’d be surprised if you knew which way was up.” “Ugh, how mortifying.” The (real) Chespin brought a stub to his face. “I suppose I have had a lot on my mind with all the recent developments. Though!” Chester pointed skyward. “I am very much aware which way is up right now, thank you.” Z. resisted the urge to roll their eyes, if only because they couldn’t imagine Chester doing anything of the sort, and they were still mimicking him as best they could. They focused on the second of those sentences instead. “Yeah?” they said. “Which one’s more shocking to you, waking up one morning from a night of uneasy dreams and finding yourself transformed into a Pokémon, or being conscripted by a demigod to save a world you know nothing about?” Continuing their mimic, they also brought a stub to their head, jamming it right under their chin. “Or is it a secret third thing?” They needn’t have bothered with the mimicking. Chester wasn’t paying attention to the physical mockery at all. He earnestly answered the question. “I feel like I have taken to being in a new body surprisingly well actually. Jirachi’s proposition is also exciting, if not a bit daunting, especially with how little we have to go on.” His voice got low, but the next question was still clearly directed at Z. “How exactly does someone help another in a situation they’re both wildly unfamiliar with?” “Oh god, teamwork questions.” Now it was Z.’s turn to bury their head in their stumps for real this time. “You moderated me enough on the forum, so you know I'm not the person to ask for that stuff, especially when someone else is already a one-person team.” They did another sick backflip, but their memory of what Hector looked like all joined together was already fuzzy, so their impression came out the same. Z. dismissed it quickly. “Fucking… Okay. But you did ask me. I think, then, the best thing someone who's lost can do for another lost person is just be there with them. Nobody wants to be lost alone.” “Right, I should have kept in mind who I was asking,” Chester joked. “But if that’s all it takes…” He looked past Z. over to Hector. “But you would expect someone to be spearheading the rest, correct? Showing them which way to go?” Z. couldn’t help but stare. “You’re really hung up on this, huh?” they said. “I mean, you could fight him on it. Six on one doesn't seem like a fair fight but I've got a feeling in my gut that says I’ve taken worse bets. Maybe you haven’t. I dunno. But okay, just between you and me, but when I jumped into the water all the way back at the bottom of that dungeon, I absolutely wanted people to follow me, even if I didn’t say it. That sort of teamwork, if it does need a set leader at all, is a two-way street all the same. Of course, who did end up following me…” Z. left an empty space. They didn’t even want to think the name. “well, that’s what I mean about two-way streets, I guess. “Oh, but if you tell anyone I said any of that, I’ll peel your little green shell off of your little brown head and drag it through the mud.” Chester nodded along. “I see…” Then he started to laugh. “You’re more of a team player than I gave you credit for, Z. And if that’s the case, don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me. I may not be perfect, but I always respect another’s wishes. Now,” and this is where the laughter really got going, “let us be lost together!” And they wandered back off to the rest of the group for real this time. Z. shook their head. Part of them felt like a suck-up, going right after both moderators and getting back in their good graces. It was just part of the dance, of course. Act out, lie low, accrue social capital, and spend it all. But then again, Chester and Hector weren’t moderators anymore. They were people, and like Z. had just said, they were all lost. Before they could get too lost, they noticed something still on the ground. “Hey!” they called out. “Actually take your fucking apple!” They threw it at Chester’s head again -- harder this time.Z. balanced their new badge on both of their front paws, observing it as it glinted in the sunlight. It was just the right size to fit at the base of their new Zorua neck, but there were other ramifications to consider. Would it work while they had an illusion up, or did they have to illusion up a fake badge too to use the real one? It seemed like such an easy thing to test out, but they didn’t want to get sidetracked. They were playing good right now. That would probably change once they got where they were going, of course, and they’d otherwise have to force themself to listen to everyone’s yammering, but sure they could play nice for now. They put the badge down for a moment and took a drink of water. Were they supposed to set a home point now? Was this home? They hadn’t been lying about that Hierarchy of Needs snark. As frivolous as that chart was, shelter was still the next step. Was the night sky going to be their blanket? Z. scratched behind their ear and consciously felt the Zorua fur in the way. That would help in that case. Maybe they were supposed to make a bunch of lean-tos. Whatever. It didn’t matter. Not right now, anyway. “Alright,” Z. said, finally putting the badge on. “Let’s go get lost.”
  2. 3 likes
    There's so much wrong with this post that I don't know where to start. So let's start from the top of the post! So, right out the gate, there's a problem with your proposal. A very serious one. Torm owns the website, and he lives in the UK. So if the website was to cease operations in the UK, its operations as a whole would not be far behind unless he passed ownership to Yemachu and just continued footing the bill himself or something? Seems like a lot of hoop-jumping over what will likely amount to nothing. Furthermore, you flat-out admit you haven't done your own reading and research (you're basing your post off information from YouTube, ffs), and I hate to sound like I'm gatekeeping, but one should never present an issue as prevalent as you're making this one sound without doing their own research first. This sort of thing is exactly how misinformation gets spread around. So I took the time to read the Online Safety Bill's exact wording myself. Neither you nor the YouTube video linked back to anything showing the actual papers, by the by, so I had to do that myself, too. For shame. I'm pretty sure I legally need to clarify at this point that I'm not a lawyer, I've never been to law school, etc, and I've also never set foot in the UK, so someone who meets at least one of those criteria would be a better authority on what all I'm about to say. Not to mention a lot of this referenced other laws/documents but didn't say what was actually written in those. Anyway, assuming I've read all this right, the act does exactly what's written on the tin: Looks over the web and tries to make it less harmful toward children and animals. A noble goal, but that assumes that's all they do with it. Now, being American myself, I live in a country where there's no shortage of laws that also look over the web and what everyone posts on it. That being the case, I can say with full confidence that unless you've been posting content that involves the abuse of children or animals and live in the UK, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Your belief that this will have a profound impact on NCM is, however, frankly ridiculous. Not only do you need to be thirteen or older to register for this website, with most if not all of its userbase being fairly past twenty already, but NCM is such a small middle-of-nowhere site that's only tangentially related to Yu-Gi-Oh at this point, that anyone looking to make a move on/against this site would have to go out of their way to even know about it in the first place. You basically illustrated in great detail for us the amount of mental gymnastics you had to do to turn this particular molehill into the mountain you did. How, pray tell, would this internet equivalent of a middle-of-nowhere gas station town with exactly five buildings, come to the attention of the UK government, and why would they care if it did? Are you gonna tell them yourself? Have you been posting content that would get their attention? To summarize, your information sounds unreliable, the situation you've outlined is absurd, and your solution would mean shutting down the website as a whole since it's owned, run, and paid for by an Englishman (not Yemachu, who is a coder that does work on the cardmaker and possibly some behind-the-scenes stuff I don't know about). Now, I must again clarify at the end of my post that I'm not in the UK, and have only read the Online Safety Bill in a vacuum. If there's further context or information that I'm missing, I'm very open to that possibility, but based on what I've read both here and there, I could not disagree more with your entire proposal for so many reasons.
  3. 2 likes
    "Oh f...rick, where'd you hop out of jeezus. Aight then, one cracked coconut coming right up..." Marv chuckled with a slight croak...that would take some getting used to, seeing as he apparently surprised Clobber by just being there. "Sorry, I'll make sure not to sneak up on you like that again...would rather not take a left hook from you." he said in a joking manner. However, he did know the sneaking up on people...er...Pokémon part wouldn't be easy to not do...especially with what Froakies evolved into. Wait...would they even be able to evolve? That was a question he'd ponder later... For now, however, he took his coconut and returned... "I know you've got other questions. Like, how are you going to save the world? What can you do to do to stop the Endless Mist? Well, you weren't the only ones asking these questions. Even I, a genius, wondered the same. When I granted the wish to save the world, there was another wish—my last wish—that if I couldn't save this world myself, that I could have help. I'm sure that's what summoned you all." Marv just sat there, enjoying the coconut he had received along with the cup he received. It was a pretty ornate cup, in a...leafy...nature...kind of way. Regardless, he remained attentive to this conversation that Jirachi began...when his eyes immediately were glued to something that the Wish Granter presented. "And it also brought me these! These are called badges." Standard issue badges from the Mystery Dungeon series, though, it looked different than the other versions he was aware of, but he figured that made sense...this wasn't 100% like the other versions. But he continued to listen. "Back then, the world had many different kinds. Rescue Team Badges, Explorer Badges, Adventure Squad Badges, Expedition Society Badges… But now they're all gone...mostly. There is a special energy in these badges. They were first created by the Pokémon Rescue Organization to combat the natural disasters and rise in mystery dungeons throughout the world. If you set a 'Home Point' for them, then they will bring the bearer and anybody else nearby back to that location. You can also use them on other Pokémon and choose to stay where you are, badge in hand. However, they don't always work, and in those cases you must use an Escape Orb. Pretty mysterious, huh? ♪" "So the Rescue Teams, Explorers, Adventurers and Expedition takers aren't here much...makes sense..." Marv muttered, lulling that over in his mind. But at least the Rescue Organization made these, so that they could get out of danger. "And using them on other Pokémon...yeah that tracks, cause generally those would help in making some enemy Pokémon our allies...i-if I'm remembering correctly..." "But I believe these badges have more to them than that. There must be some other reason they were sent to me along with you all. I believe they can combat the Endless Mist. So, I would like you all to take part in an experiment with me. Please, everybody, take a badge and stand still. I will soon teleport us all to the center of the island." Marv shrugged, noticing the badges being summoned up by Jirachi. "I mean, we may as well..." he said, swiping at least one and attempting to pin it...wait... "Hmmm...maybe it needs to be sewn on? Or maybe...?" he looked at the badge, putting it near and on his chest for a moment...just to feel it sort of adhere to his skin. It made him squirm slightly, feeling the fact it just stuck to him... "...okay not going to lie...even though I'm a Froakie...this doesn't feel all that good..." He shook his head, before clearing his throat. "A-A-Anyway! I-I'm good to go when you guys are..."
  4. 2 likes
    Jirachi looked at Es and beamed, swallowing the last of the apple. "Wow, you're a strange one, for sure! But maybe it's because you're a Rotom?" Despite his words, his voice held no malice. It felt more like an innocent comment from a child's mouth than anything else. "You have good eyes too! Indeed, I am a genius! Jirachi, the genius!" He floated upward. "Because you're so discerning, I will use my genius brain… and help you out, just this once! ♪" He hummed in thought. "Let's see… There are some Nomel Berries further inland, and some Aspear Berries nearby. Oh, oh! And I have this! Ta-dah!" With a flourish, he produced what looked like a pear. But unlike the pears from our world, this one was blue. Not aqua, not indigo, but a deep blue with an orange ring at its base. "It's called a Belue Berry and I've heard it's super sour! And a little spicy too. Even better! "As for the water," he settled himself back against a rock, "it's as clean as can be! It comes from a spring and Suicune himself rated it safe to drink!" He puffed up his chest and then deflated. "Of course, that was long ago, and who knows if that's true anymore, but I can't imagine that much has changed. I had a drink myself a while ago and I'm still fine. ♪" Fired up by Es's comments, the mythical would also take part in the foraging, gathering water in small handwoven cups made from large, stiff leaves. He gave these to Es and anybody else who passed by. Even though they were made of leaves, they were stable and didn't wobble or fall over when placed on the ground. — Once everybody gathered together and received a cup, Jirachi clapped his hands together in enthusiasm. "All right! Now that we're all here, it's time to make a game plan. This is just like old times—" his smile froze for a second before he changed the subject. "I know you've got other questions. Like, how are you going to save the world? What can you do to do to stop the Endless Mist? Well, you weren't the only ones asking these questions. Even I, a genius, wondered the same. When I granted the wish to save the world, there was another wish—my last wish—that if I couldn't save this world myself, that I could have help. I'm sure that's what summoned you all. "And it also brought me these!" He held up a single gold badge, produced from who-knows-where. It appeared similar to the one he wore on his chest, but lacked the taiko drum shape of the original. Rather, it looked like a metal coin with a five-pointed star affixed to the front and a pair of wings to the back. "These are called badges," Jirachi explained. "Back then, the world had many different kinds. Rescue Team Badges, Explorer Badges, Adventure Squad Badges, Expedition Society Badges… But now they're all gone..." he glanced down at his chest, "mostly." The Pokémon returned his attention to the others with a smile. "There is a special energy in these badges. They were first created by the Pokémon Rescue Organization to combat the natural disasters and rise in mystery dungeons throughout the world. If you set a 'Home Point' for them, then they will bring the bearer and anybody else nearby back to that location. You can also use them on other Pokémon and choose to stay where you are, badge in hand. However, they don't always work, and in those cases you must use an Escape Orb. Pretty mysterious, huh? ♪" Jirachi lowered his hand and stared down at the star-shaped badge. "But I believe these badges have more to them than that. There must be some other reason they were sent to me along with you all. I believe they can combat the Endless Mist." He looked up, eyes blazing with determination. "So, I would like you all to take part in an experiment with me. Please, everybody, take a badge and stand still. I will soon teleport us all to the center of the island." With a wave of his hand, the psychic summoned more badges that floated over to each Pokémon. Unlike normal badges, these didn't have pins, nor could they be sewn on. However, as soon as the Pokémon placed them on their bodies, they stuck in place. They could also be removed with some resistance (like taking off a magnet) and then reapplied elsewhere. Jirachi nodded in satisfaction at seeing them stick. "Let me know when you're ready. We don't have much time left before the Mist arrives." OOC: Yes, banana leaf cups are actually a thing, which is neat. Look them up if you're curious! Also, I finally get to show you all these badges! I'm pretty excited about them, and I think they fit the RP pretty well too. And feel free to finish up any interactions you've started from last round and then react to what's going on here and stuff. I'm planning on moving us on next round, so if there's anything your character wants to say or do still, now's your chance!
  5. 2 likes
    Penelope and Alois The maid spat crossly. "I throw whatever I want." She stopped struggling, though, as if realizing the futility of it. "Didn't expect that kind o' strength outta a twig like you," she mocked instead. "Needed a girl to save yer butt, too. What a joke." Gunther, Edrick, Citron, and Raki The villagers gave what help they could, following directions and working together with an ease found only in those used to such things. Villages are formed when people come together for the sake of living. They work together and put their skills to use. In times of crisis, they gather with a readiness only found in trained servants or soldiers. A few glanced sideways at Raki, but most paid him no mind. Their usual xenophobia put aside in favor of helping an injured creature. "We'll provide what help we can," the shopkeeper said. "I've got a bowl of water here," Pheodea, the village weaver, stepped forward. She placed it on the ground next to Citron, keeping the girl between her and the wyvern. "Bandages 'ere," Thile plopped down a basket of bandages. "An' I can lift the wyvern if'n ya need," Achos bragged. "I'm very strong. Only fer a bit, though. 'M not that strong. It'd take a beast t'lift it o'erhead or summat," he joked. Everything was in place. Citron had the tools. She had the supplies. She had the help. Now, all she had to do was start. Link, Tsetseg, Cora, and Garinphasia Link jumped, but whether it was because of the wind, the timing, or the speed of his horse, he fell short. Thankfully, the meadows outside Phar were carpeted with a rich layer of grass, fertilized with sheep's dung, and as Timmy would say, "perfect fer lyin' doon on." And so the mercenary's landing was soft and springy. Even the earth was soft, churned up like butter by sheep hooves. Considering what happened next, one could even say he had the most fortunate result. Tsetseg's arrow flew straight, finding its mark on the horse's flank. With a piercing neigh, the horse stopped and reared. While the bundle stayed strapped on, Gaston was flung off of its back. It stamped its hooves down, tossed its head, and then galloped in a frenzy toward Garinphasia, rolling its eyes till the milky whites showed. In its panic, it didn't care how large or dangerous the wyvern was. All it knew was the pain in its leg. Meanwhile, Gaston slammed onto the ground, rolling to the side and clutching his arm with a piteous moan. He rose, staggering after the horse, with an expression as wild as the beast's. "No! I must… for His Lordiness…"
  6. 2 likes
    Anima grit her teeth as the Astonish went wide, a spec of horror, if not defeatism rooting itself in her chest as she brought a hand to her chin. Though his comment that followed the poison sting was annoying, it was the pained, and… Annoyed cry of her Pokémon that kept her grounded. “You’re right, you’re right,” she murmured, closing her eyes as Confi once again began to gallop towards the opposing Pokémon. “You wanna step it up too, right, Confi?” she’d smile, throwing a hand forwards. “Use tackle to close the distance; and regardless of if it hits or not, follow it up with an Astonish!” she’d call out, as the Pokémon began to suit the actions to the words. There was no time for second-guessing, no time to think-- Just feel. As the Corsola closed the distance, her tiny legs buckled for half a second, and she threw her entire Bulk at the Nidoran; eyes already beginning to glow with a bright pink as a sound like radio-static began to build around her! "I know you can take it Nidoran, Leer! Then Peck!" As Confi ran forward the Nidoran braced itself and leered to lower their defense once more before they struck Nidoran with Tackle. Despite their trainer's confidence this blow seemed to cause some damage, and the Astonish that followed managed to make it flinch. "Grr, of course that'd happen at this moment...its fine Nidoran, shake it off, their defense is down get that Peck off and we got this!" Anima nodded as the attack landed, a small smile coming to her face. They… May have had a shot at this! Even as Confi found herself having to get back to her feet post tackle, even as the Corsola was visibly panting from the strain of the fight-- They still had a shot. “You heard that right? I know you’re tired, Confi, but meet that Peck with a tackle-- Put everything you’ve got into it, and we can end this!” she’d call out, bringing both hands up in front of her. Confi, for her part, steadied herself for a moment, pink eyes trailing until she had locked onto the Nidoran, legs wobbling a bit, before she bounded off into a gallop! Preparing to throw her full weight into her opponent one last time, as soon as she was in range! Unfortunately, Nidoran had already gotten to his feet too; bristling with anger. With another roar of defiance, the small poison-type Pokémon moved to meet Confi’s tackle; horn first! White keratin slammed against the shell-like Exterior of the ghost type Pokémon, both Pokémon letting out a cry of pain as they bounced back, and yet… While Nidoran got back up-- Confi, did not. She tried to, for a moment, small nub-like feet scratching against the dirt for purchase, before… Going limp, pink-light fading from her eyes as she grumbled a quiet ‘Sola’ in annoyance. Anima had thought to say something-- Anything, but found herself speechless as she brought a hand up to cover the frown already forming on her face. The source, of course, was obvious; she had lost, but with that loss, several different emotions had all made themselves known. Annoyance, failure, that of a wounded pride, even… Guilt, for letting her partner get hurt. And yet every single one was connected, by a single thread, into a tight ball which felt like it was boring a hole through her chest; one which took her full attention, even as she slowly, and listlessly walked up and approached her Pokémon. It was like she was blanking, on the spot; mind racing with overwhelming emotion, as she knelt down and scooped Confi up into her arms. The entire failure had made it hard to process the battle itself; let alone anything that happened after. She was fairly certain Chad had said something in the aftermath; something to the effect of, “Ha, looks like being old doesn’t mean much when it comes to Pokémon!”, but… she wasn’t even sure what she was supposed to do now. It felt like she needed to do everything. The first word to leave her mouth, however, was… a quiet, hushed, “sorry”, which rang out only for her partner Pokemon to hear as she ran a thumb over the Ghost-type’s forehead. She had fought valiantly; bravely, and… Had mirrored some of the spirit Anima felt as if she should have had from the beginning. That was one thing to focus on. One thing to ground herself on, as she began to look up, and glance around. The others were all still in battles; though they appeared to be reaching their climaxes themselves, each one in a better position than she had been in hers. The pit seemed to grow larger as she tried to force a smile to her face, only to fail as she shifted her Partner in her arms, and glanced around. “...Sorry, but, I’ll be right back,” she’d murmur to the others as she began to back up; neither towards Anneliese, nor Jacklyn in particular, as she took another step back. “And… Sorry, but I’m flat broke; I’ll… Give you your winnings the next time I see you,” she’d murmur, albeit a bit louder, as she looked up towards Chad, before turning on her heels and walking away, off towards the nearest signpost and then Pokémon Center. The polite thing, of course, would have been to wait for the others to be done, but… Well, she could assume that they would understand the urgency of getting her partner healed; and more than that… She wanted to be alone, for a moment or two. That would be nice.
  7. 2 likes
    Belle was not a social person. She wasn't even a fake introvert: someone who couldn't stand social interactions in person but chattered away behind a screen. She denied any friend or team requests and ignored all messages sent her way. It was to the point where "Deadly Nightshade" grew notorious among League and Unite fans for being a highly skilled but terrible team player. People had to coordinate around her instead of the other way around. They didn't complain too much, though. After all, they usually won those games. So she genuinely could not understand why this boy Nate seemed to love the sound of his own voice so much, or why he wanted to team up with Belle for double battles, or even triple battles with the addition of Quinn. At least Moo didn't have to deal with this. She had returned him to his Poké Ball earlier. But now, her initial relief at seeing Nate return for her quickly changed to annoyance and exhaustion. It was as if he were a Sunflora taking in all the nutrients from the surrounding soil, and she was a withered Oddish beside him. When they passed a Pokémon Ranger, she almost asked them if they rescued human beings. Finally, the boy stopped. "Belle?" His voice dropped in pitch, turning unusually serious. "Do you see that?" He gestured toward a patch of grass in front of them. Belle had seen injured Pokémon before. That was just expected when employed by a Pokémon League Gym, even if unofficially. But their injuries had never gotten truly serious, and they had trainers to look after them. She knew they were going to be taken care of. These Pokémon… they had nobody. Belle frowned. "There's a website for if you find injured Pokémon. Pokémon Help Now. They locate the nearest Pokémon Ranger or on-call Pokémon Nurse for you." She had heard about it on Seddit. "Also Pokémon Centers. And Potions." Sabrina sometimes used a Hyper Potion in tougher fights, so Belle knew how to use one. "They're sprays." Before she could try to put her words into actions, Quinn—who had not abandoned her either—arrived, showing off her new Pokémon. "Cool." Belle glanced at the Ratffian who, if the boy was telling the truth, was the one that had inflicted these injuries. "Strong Pokémon," she admitted grudgingly. "Weird name, though." It sounded like what she had called Nate and Quinn earlier, except fancier. The girl purposefully turned away from the rat, anger kindling in her chest. Was this how all wild Pokémon fought? Were injuries like these common between Pokémon? She shook her head and continued the previous conversation with Nate. "Let's just contact a Pokémon Ranger. We passed one on the way here." Belle looked back at Quinn. "They might help you as well." Now that she thought about it, didn't "bruise my material body" mean that the girl was injured? It seemed like this Ratffian didn't distinguish between Pokémon or ghost in hurting others. Since ghosts, or at least Quinn's type of ghost, could get hurt. The girl shook her head. Yet another strange thing to add to the list of strange things about them. OOC: I feel like I should post a disclaimer that any views, thoughts, and opinions expressed by Belle are solely that of herself and do not reflect the views, opinions, policies, or position of myself, the writer. Also, yes, I had way too much fun making that fake website. However, it is actually based off of Animal Help Now, which is a great resource if you come across any injured or problematic wild animals. It will show you any wildlife rehabilitators in your area as well as their contact information. One of those websites that isn't useful until it is.
  8. 1 like
    oh you don't know how bus stops work? they're a lot like the framerule system in super mario bros.
  9. 1 like
    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” -Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV) Melissa wasn’t entirely sure what Fiona meant by there being more Fiona could teach her, but the game was quickly underway, so she was able to distract herself from overthinking that particular problem. “Uh, draw for turn,” she said. Of course, she was still trying to figure out the rules for this version of dueling, but she was getting there. “Well, first I’ll play this spell Terrors in the Hidden City, which is a Continuous Spell with three different effects -- one for my face-down monsters, one for monsters that are flipped up, and one when it's sent to the Graveyard. I can't attack this turn so I'll set a Monster, which, um, because of the first effect Hidden City, can't be targeted by any of your effects, and then I’ll set one more card face-down too.” Fiona eyed Melissa’s board. “Oh, what a scary card, I wonder how I'll get over that…” She drew her card and smiled. “Well, I guess first thing’s first. I flip this Monster into Attack mode.” The monster took the form of an ant but with a cartoon bomb instead of an abdomen. Melissa had to read the card to actually remember its name: Self-Destruct Ant. She managed just in time before the bomb exploded in her face. “When it comes out, we each take one thousand damage. Sure I get a bit hurt but that's the price you pay I suppose.” The exploding ant had reformed itself already and was now looking menacingly between Melissa’s face-down monster and Fen’s Inmato. But Fiona wasn’t finished. “I’ll also play this nice bunch: Goblin Attack Force!” Melissa knew that one. Even when starting at eight thousand Life Points, she remembered it being a menace of the schoolyard before archetypes became too synergistic for it to keep up. With only four thousand, well, that just meant it was twice as bad, didn’t it? “First I will have my Ant destroy that, uh, tomato!” Fiona said. The ant surged forward, though notably it didn't go into Fen’s field like their duel in the park, and chomped the air. Fen looked at her face-down card, then back at her hand, then at her face-down again. “I, uh, I activate Reinforcements, to, well, reinforce my Inmato’s attack by five hundred.” Fiona’s smile didn’t even waver, even as the image of the and shattered and she placed it in her Graveyard. “Ah well, my Ant is destroyed, but you still take a thousand damage for it thanks to its effect,” she said. “Your tomato’s not strong enough for my Goblins, though, so why don’t you take this one?” That was where Melissa stepped in. “That’s a bit too much. I can respond here,” she said. “My face-down is Sol and Luna, which means my monster and your goblin are going to swap positions, basically. So yours goes to face-down Defense position and mine gets flipped face-up. My monster is Magician of Faith, which will allow me to get the Sol and Luna I just spent back to my hand. Also, uh, this is the second effect of my Hidden City card. Because Magician of Faith was flipped face-up, it gets an extra fifteen hundred Attack and Defense. I guess you could target it now, though, if you wanted.” For a split second, Melissa felt Fiona glaring at her, though Melissa didn’t dare look up to see what her face was actually like. “Oh, what scary cards,” Fiona said again, as if a Magician of Faith could ever be scary. “I suppose set this card then and end my turn.” Melissa looked over to her group leader and current duel partner, “Alright, then it’s your turn, Fen,” she said. “Remember, we know what that face-down is, but I can only try to guess at the other ones.” OOC
  10. 1 like
    Anima had waited for the others as a courtesy, at the start of the route; but she couldn’t help but feel like Jacklyn’s comment about needing training was a bit of an unintended jab, forming a pit in her stomach as she slumped slightly in response to the comment. “Y-Yeah,” she laughed a bit awkwardly, taking one of the hands which had been holding the Corsola in her arms to rub at the side of her neck. “Guess it’s time for a… Er… Bit of a training montage then, huh?” she did her best to laugh, kneeling down to release Confi; who plodded out in front of her, letting out an almost silent cry of agreeance, as she began scanning the route. “...Catch you guys on the flipside,” Anima gave a slight wave as she rose back to her full height; keeping close behind Confi, as the ghost-type Pokémon began to ‘gallop’ forwards with heavy steps. At first, the Pokémon simply led her forwards, further onto the flat route; before turning mid-galop until plodding off into the tall grass silently. Chuckling lightly, Anima simply nodded as she took a few steps herself into the tall grass… And then a few more… And a few more, as she followed her Pokémon until they stopped, rather suddenly. Anima opened her mouth, so as to speak, before Confi beat her to it; letting out a shrill cry as a flock of Starly took off from the grass just in front of her. For their part, the majority of them left in a flurry of feathers and their own cries; as was the way of bird-like Pokémon. But one, however, seemed to halt mid-flight, looking around as Confi made yet another screech into the sky. “...So you wanna fight that one, right?” Anima glanced downwards, and then up towards the rotating bird. “...Hey! Er… Bird-Brain! Your fights down here!” she called out, kneeling down to just behind Confi, as she... Threw a pebble in the Starly's direction! The Starly, for its part, finally locked eyes on the source of the sound (and pebble);, having a larger target to attribute it to (as well as a rock to follow), and let out what sounded like an angry-squawk. For a second, Anima wondered if the bird would just leave them be to find another Pokémon, only for it to... dive towards Confi! “Same as last time, buddy-- Wait until it’s about to hit, and then strike with a tac-” she had barely gotten the words out, before the Starly had closed the distance. It was faster than she was expecting; much faster, and yet, the attack did… Little to nothing, as the Pokémon phased through Confi; the ghost-type Pokémon growing translucent, as the normal-type attack failed to make its mark! Using this to her advantage, Confi wasted no time bounding forwards and turning around as the Starly moved to right themselves, letting out a cry of ascent as she slammed into the back of the Pokémon. “Yeah, just like that! Wait until it phases through, then use Harden to make your tackles hit!” she called out grinning as Confi let out a cry of agreeance. Even as the Starly made to take off again, twirling from the hit, Confi kept the assault up; slamming into the back of the Pokémon once again. It was only as the Pokémon finally managed to reach the skies, again, and turned to face Confi again that… Anima realized a problem. Turning to see that Confi wasn’t a suitable target… The Pokémon turned its sights on her; darting through the air with extreme speed before slamming its side into her stomach, knocking the air from her mouth. “Hhh..!” she grit her teeth, stumbling back as the Starly squawked angrily; hovering in the air for a moment, before flying upwards and… Preparing to do it again! “It’s-- Coming back around! When it hits me this time, hit it on the rebound-” she managed to just get the comment out between breaths, before the bird slammed back into her side, knocking her to the ground, and yet… Confi made good on her instructions, yet again! Leaping into the air, the small Pokémon grew solid once again as she knocked the Starly to the ground, hard. The Bird moved to slowly get up, breathing heavily-- But it was too late, as Confi walked up and finished it off with another Tackle, leaving the bird unconscious in the slump on the ground. “...R…Right,” Anima wheezed a bit, as she moved to get to her feet, smiling a bit. “J-...Just like that, right,” she laughed idly, as Confi plodded towards her, sitting down with a triumphant cry. “We… Just have to work together, to keep their attention while you take them down, since they can’t hit you easily,” she smiled with a slight fist-pump. Of course, that was going to be… Easier said than done; given she was effectively signing herself up to be a punching-bag for any bird or rat who got frustrated when Confi wasn’t as easy to hit as they wanted. But… It was only the sound of her Pokémon turning around, plodding forwards as implacable as ever, which brought Anima back to reality; scrambling back to her feet, as she made to follow her Pokémon into the unknown, with a stammered, “h-hey!”, as she dashed off to follow the Pokémon; reminding her in no-short order, that this training was for the both of them.
  11. 1 like
    I don't think Torm wants to block himself from his site.
  12. 1 like
    Thessa was a patient woman. Many people would expect her to refuse to wait for anything but that couldn't be farther from the truth. When you could live as long as she could there wasn't much she had to rush for. But she had been intent on bringing Caesar down for a while now. She had decided it back in the church when his goons had fought with her. Yet she was still here, in one of the most bothersome places in the city, unable to go and let loose on him like she wanted. It was starting to get a bit frustrating. She continued to wander the park, watching as everyone scurried about doing some inane task or other, and debated just walking out and looking for Caesar herself. "Hey! Thessa!” The voice brought her back to the moment and she looked over to see one of the Fates coming over to her. Thessa turned towards her, expression not hiding how antsy she felt at the moment, and noticed there was another person nearby. “Hey, I know we keep just introducing you to people but this one’s pretty cool. Remember that prison break we did a little bit back? Belladonna here is the result of that. Was a pretty rad story tee bee aitch, but she’ll have to tell you about that.” "Oh yeah, think that rings a bell. Might be mixing some of em up but I gotchu." There was a couple she could think of off-hand and the name sounded somewhat familiar but, looking at the woman Clotho was introducing, she didn't think she had seen her before at least. "No worries, I've met a lotta people already and its always good to meet more. Even if some of them kinda suck." She looked Belladonna up and down. "You don't suck, right?" The name and the vibe screamed plant girl. Funny given one of the things she had taken a note of on her trip around the Shimmer. Maybe this girl could shake some things up after all. "Guess if you're with those girls you probably have some potential huh?" She smiled at Clotho. "They seem to be good at getting more fun people together then the others at least." "Anyway like she said my name is Thessa. I was just thinking about moving on but guess I can stick around a bit. Don't wanna be rude to a new face ya know? So, Belladonna, what do you think about the city?"
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    OOC TUESDAY NOVEMBER 01 180 DAYS REMAIN “This is an imaginary story… Aren’t they all?” -Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? (written by Alan Moore) Do All Words Can Do “Fuck!” The events of the last few hours had taken their toll on Director Sekelsky. The reports of rioting were finally dying down, people were returning to their homes, and heroes were permitted to stand down, but that just meant it was time for the casualty numbers. Multiple people had been trampled in the initial panic, and several more were injured in what ensued afterward, including one of their own, a cape who went by the name of Spotlight. It was worth another few expletives. “Fucking goddamn piece of horseshit! Cass goes off the grid for who knows how long and then decides to pull this fucking stunt. Did they know? They must have known. Surely they realized what would happen next, right? So they just left everyone else to clean up their mess, huh?” There were four other people in the room, and each of them was in costume, so Director Sekelsky mentally adopted the standard name protocols. Cape names when dressed as capes. Easy. At the opposite end of the sweatbox of a meeting room (how could it be this fucking hot in here in fucking November?) were Override, Ember, and Aeon. They were the main recipients of this briefing, chosen for a number of reasons but there was really one big one: availability. None of them had been at Hallowmas or taken the holiday standby shift (and who could blame them? It was Halloween. Even Director Sekelsky had hoped to spend the night with his husband and daughter until whatever this shit was), which meant they were actually around this morning. The fact they all had some sort of criminal record was concerning but not work scrapping and waiting for someone else. Bard was there too, seated alone on the near end of the sweatbox next to the projection screen. His costume was positively ancient, and his mask one of those tacky theater masks that only covered half of his face, but he refused to change it, always citing more pressing issues of the time. The Director couldn’t fault him for that this time. He was taking this even harder than Director Sekelksy was; he had a pair of white-knuckled fists pushed as far into the table as he could manage, and he was shaking and muttering something under his breath. It was probably something to do with his Thinker powers, Director Sekelsky thought. It wasn't something he understood, but Bard had also been instrumental in G3’s response the last few hours and he’d been a wreck then too. As long as he was functional and managed to check in with one of G3’s counselors later, he’d be alright, right? He sighed. Thinking things through like this helped get the anger out of his system. The only emotion that remained now was a quiet determination. From an egotistical point of view, it was his best feature. He didn’t have any superpowers, but he wasn’t powerless. “First thing’s first, where’s DEUS?” “Helping with the riots,” Bard said. He eased up a little too now that the meeting had started. “He was spotted in Graceland a little before midnight so he actually wasn’t too far away when it started.” “For once,” Director Sekelsky said. “For once.” “But that means don’t count on it happening again. Not that we should ever count on him.” “Especially now that it’s daytime,” Bard said. “He’ll probably be too busy rescuing cats from trees or helping old women cross the street.” “Or rescuing old women from trees,” the Director snarked. “So Plan A, then. Alright.” Bard handed him a trio of folders and he turned his attention to the three capes in the back. One for each of them. “As you are no doubt aware, the Renegade Cape Cassandra predicted the end of the world at Hallowmas last night,” he said. “This is so obviously S-Class, it’s practically the definition of the term. Unfortunately, the actual words on the truces don’t agree here. They were written more for singular, concrete threats. A tornado, some supervillain who’s gotten too big for their britches, a bio-Tinker’s experiment run amok. Not something as nebulous and off in the distance as this. If we try to litigate this through the normal channels, that’s precious time lost we could have spent dealing with whatever the fuck this actually is, so we’re hoping to avoid that.” He tossed the folders down the table, one at a time. Landing them neatly at the edge right in front of his target without anything spilling out was something that had taken countless briefings just like these to perfect, but it was worth it every time. “We do have some language in our favor, however. We just need the leaders of each of the three main gangs to agree with us, and sign a document saying as much. You three will be facilitating that.” “In those folders are our profiles on the three gangs and the leaders,” Bard said, standing up as well. “Gibbons’ Caesar” -- he pronounced it “ˈsi zər” -- “The Zodiac’s Ophiuchus, and, of course, the Moray Clan’s three Fates. Most of it’s common knowledge, but make sure you’re up to date on it. It also has my best guesses as to how the negotiations are going to play out. Unfortunately, it is probably going to be a negotiation. Six months is a lot of time for Scarlet City’s underworld to play nice.” “We’re going to have to play nice in return,” Director Sekelsky said. “We were the ones with the most cape activity last night. Again, the extenuating circumstances favor us, and obviously so, but they’ll be looking for any concession they can get. Also included in those folders is a copy of a temporary S-Class agreement. It won’t last until April, but it’s something we can use when the Peacekeepers get their act together, so as long as you don’t do anything stupid like make a legally binding agreement without our negotiators present -” “Or start a fight,” Bard said. “- or start a fight, we’re giving you a lot of leeway on this. We need those signatures, you understand? The meetings are already set up. Catty Key buzzed everyone earlier, so be sure to thank her when you get the chance. Your first meeting is with the Fates in Echo Park, the other places and times are in there as well.” His eyes met Ember’s “Ember, you’re not going to that last one as per our existing agreement regarding Gibbons, report back here after The Zodiac meeting instead for a different assignment.” The last moment lingered a bit longer than Director Sekelsky intended, which mattered in the face of all the time pressure, but was still recoverable. “You have a few minutes to finish your reading, ask any questions, you might have, and then get going. Leave through the back while the sixes don’t have the building completely surrounded yet.” Hidden World Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos Lanthimos, the Moray Clan’s three Fates, arranged themselves in various positions about their lair’s (for lack of a better word) throne room searching for something that might fit the correct vibe. It was the new costumes that were the problem here. They’d just gotten three matching dresses from Rajawongse made out of Clotho’s fibers -- and they were the kind of dresses that came with pockets! -- but the room had been put together with their old aesthetic in mind. They’d started out so stereotypical, even getting one of those prop replica thrones from that one show, but the dresses were some kind of postmodern art. They had a flow to them that looked especially nice when they all stood together and the blotches of color started to blur. It was a total clash. The only pieces of fabric left from their old costumes were their blindfolds. “Blindfolds” was another one of those words that was technically true but not really. They were a solid black, but The Fates could all see through them just fine. Part of the magic of Clotho’s string was that its properties could be whatever she wanted it to be. That was one of the reasons Rajawongse had been so inspired in the first place -- a practically infinite amount of new materials, right there at his fingertips, who wouldn’t? But phrasing it that way would also sell the Renegade clothier short. He was a master of his craft even without his power. Rajawongse had created dresses that were identical down to the tiniest stitch. With them, the only way to identify which Fate was which was their distinctive manner of speech. “Maybe it’s the room that needs to change, not us,” Clotho said. “Sure,” Lachesis said. “But that doesn’t change the fact we need to figure out what we’re doing right now,” Atropos said. She was also identifiable by the butterfly knife she carried with her, a helpful outlet for not just her power, but idle hands in general. The swish-clack sound of its handles seemed to punctuate everything that particular Fate said, and frequently some of her sisters’. They settled on one of their standard formations -- Lachesis lounging on the throne flanked on either by her two sisters -- just as three of their underlings entered the room. Vi, Sibyl, and Demiurge were their names. The Fates gave them some time to get situated and even offered them some fruit in case they hadn’t eaten breakfast yet. It was still early in the morning, after all. It also gave them an excuse to get everyone up to speed on the previous night's events, the prophecy, the riots, everything. “The Stadium isn’t our territory, though it’s close enough that it might as well be,” Lachesis said. “And we’re going to have to deal with the smashed windows that are in our territory. Some of our people are already on it.” “It won’t be finished until later, though. Right now, G3 --” “-- The Generic Good Guys --” “-- The Group of Giant Goobers --” “-- is going to be pushing us for some kind of temporary truce until they can get their act together, and we don’t have any reason not to accept.” “But we also have reason to believe the Gibbons aren’t going to take the deal,” Lachesis said. “There are a couple of reasons for that. The first is that, like, it’s Gibbons. There’s no way Caesar” -- she pronounced it “ˈsi zər” -- “is going to let a land grab opportunity slip through his fingers, no matter how bad of an opportunity it is.” “That’s what happens when most of your territory is crap,” Atropos said. Swish. Clack. “Even when you have the most of any gang in all of Skitty.” “So it’s in character for him,” Clotho said. “But perhaps more damningly, he laid out his plans this morning while Worm still had one of his walls bugged, and later we hear some Gibbons capes are on the way to our territory. So we just- we know it’s going to happen. ” “Sorry to bury the lede like that.” “Our people cleaning up Nola Street already know this,” Clotho said. “There are some pretty hefty capes helping out there, both ours and otherwise, and DEUS is still in the area for at least a little bit longer.” “We’ll fight too if we goddamn have to.” The swish-clack of Atropos’ knife was especially forceful that time. “The point is, there’s a little time before anything goes down. There are still a few preparations to make, though. More thorough battle plans, making sure complementary powers are together, that sort of thing. Your job this morning is to keep Caesar distracted, and the way we’d like you to do it is to wreck some of his shit first.” “The target is a warehouse eleven point five nine kilometers that way.” Lachesis pointed in a direction she knew to be Northeast. This was her showing off her Thinker power and she relished the opportunity. “Pretty close to The Shimmer without getting up and personal with it, about as far as possible away from what’s going to be happening here.” “We think it’s a lab for a Tinker on Caesar’s payroll, which means it’ll have a skeleton crew of just that one Tinker and an assistant or two.” “The point is to get them calling for help. We’re not killing them or anything. Just roughing them up a bit to get Caesar’s attention, you know?” Clotho winked. “Of course, if they do go running to the hills leaving a trove of Tinker tech behind, you might as well take any of the interesting shit, right?” “At the same time,” Lachesis was quick to add, “if help does show up, that’s your cue to get out of there. Remember The Stanley Principle. You’re not invincible no matter how far ahead you might seem.” The Fates finally went silent as the invocation of that nearly-sacred rule brought a little extra weight to the proceedings. Both Clotho and Atropos shifted uncomfortably where they stood, and Lachesis had to stop lounging and actually sit in her chair. “Oh, that was a lot, wasn’t it?” Clotho eventually said. “Sorry about that.” “Anyway, the actual meat and potatoes planning of this mission, that’s up to you,” Atropos said. “We’ve given you the place and the goal, kinda want to just see what you come up with,” Lachesis said. “Call it a test, you know? Show us what you can do.” OOC
  14. 1 like
    Actually, only half the characters are. The second in each district are from Tonikaku Kawaii (hence, Hayate/Kawaii Games). Perhaps I should have been more clear. Oh, well. Also, I realized I only had the manga's English title in the tags, so I added the anime's. Kind of strange there's a different one between anime and manga.
  15. 1 like
    Mark on You Spotlight hated Goodale Park. Now, he didn’t know a cape who liked it, but in his very biased opinion, fliers had it worst of all. Flight offered a freedom that few other powers could give. To be truly anywhere, a whole extra dimension with which to play, it changed the way your brain worked. Even in the middle of the park, where everybody was consigned to boring, two-d movement, he could tell who among the passers-by was yearning to leap from the ground and never touch it again. It was how they walked, of course, that was the big giveaway, the pure physical motion of someone who suddenly had to treat gravity with a little more respect, but there was also just a general disposition. It was claustrophobia was what it was. He adjusted his arm in its sling. If not for that, he could have been off scouting or holding down the park from aerial photography or something. They could have been any-fucking-where else in the city. But no, this was something Cassandra had asked of him. It had to heal naturally. “Just for a week or two,” they had said, “so people can find you afterward.” Maybe Cass could have let up a bit? He had already given a statement. It had been filtered through G3’s marketing machine and smoothed out into nothing, but it was a statement nonetheless. And yet, here he was, running little errands and doing his best. Director Sekelsky had grounded him for even associating with Cassandra in the first place. He should be flying, he thought. The world was going to end in less than six months. There were only so many days left that he could. “Fuck it,” Spotlight said. But before he could even put his thoughts of desertion to action, Sarah, Roy’s assistant grabbed his (good) arm. “Override is looking for you,” they said. “Override? Why?” But the only answer Spotlight got was a shrug. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. The movement of her shoulders let him catch a glimpse of the necklace just hidden under her shirt. The necklace was a glass marble wrapped in wire, and it glinted in the sunlight. Sarah was one of them. She had known just as much as he did, she’d just been better at staying under the radar. She must have seen his eyes widen. “He was over by the playground a few minutes ago,” she said. “He’s probably still there.” “Thank you,” Spotlight said. “I will.” Guys on Every Corner By the time Sasha arrived at Goodale Park, the furor of the press had died down to a more manageable level. It was clear that all potential scoops had been hoovered up, and now the reporters had to actually do the job of reporting. Sasha could walk by whole crews in meetings, some typing away on a laptop or tablet, some setting up recording equipment or lining up bounce pads to more evenly light up the shot they wanted. Clotho was by the front gate, whipping a yo-yo around and pacing back and forth. “Obviously our own territory takes precedence. That’s why we had the VVolf Pack stay behind in the first place. You can take care of yourselves, and, by proxy, us.” At some point, she brushed her hair back behind her ear revealing she was wearing Bluetooth earbuds. Despite them, it didn’t take long for her to notice Sasha’s approach, and she greeted the plant villain with an exaggerated over-the-head wave. “Hey! Glad you could make it! You’re looking good,” Clotho said once she was sure Sasha would hear it. “Don’t worry, you’re not late or anything. You’re actually early for what we wanted you here for since apparently, The Peacekeepers operate on the ‘hurry up and wait’ model. I guess I don’t mind. Means we have more time for our own activities.” She held up her phone as an example and took the opportunity to take her earbuds out as well. “We do need to go in in a sec. I heard Minos and I are going to disassemble some tinker tech, but hey, before that, let’s get you talking with some more people. There are a whole lot of other Moray Clan people here and you’ll have to know all of them eventually.” She didn’t take Belladonna by the hand but beckoned her forward. There was a moment where Clotho cringed crossing the threshold into Goodale Park, but she soldiered on regardless. It wasn’t long before Clotho spotted somebody worth mentioning. “Oh! You’ve heard of Aeon, right? Immortal girl? She’s a cop right now which sucks but she’s pretty cool besides that. Hey! Thessa!” Clotho ran over to Thessa. “Hey, I know we keep just introducing you to people but this one’s pretty cool. Remember that prison break we did a little bit back? Belladonna here is the result of that. Was a pretty rad story tee bee aitch, but she’ll have to tell you about that.” Hostages Hellhound did not respond to Sibyl right away. They woke up, yes, but took in their surroundings first, silently observing the asphalt walls and floor, the lack of ceiling. They blinked a few times and held the back of their hand out in front of their face. The first words out of their mouth were, “Well, I don’t think I’m concussed.” They closed their eyes. “Damian is still alive and I don’t think Poppy was ever in danger; I didn’t bring her today.” Lastly, they patted themselves down “And you managed to strip most of my utility belt. Alright. You may consider me impressed.” They tried to sit up from their mostly-supine position and winced. “Yeah, that makes sense too,” Hellhound said as they leaned back down. Instead, they just looked up at the sky. “Alright, well, believe it or not, this isn’t my first… interview. You know what I can and can’t say, right? But I assume you're going to be asking about Caesar anyway, so let's hear the questions anyway.” OOC
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    Jacklyn raised an eyebrow, a bit annoyed at Fuyumi's response saying, "jeez what's her problem?" The girl then shrugged, not really lingering on it much longer before she turned to Anneliese. Smiling at the girl she said, "oh yeah, Rus and I are the best of partners!" She gave an annoyed frown as she saw the Lepash walking over to the Shinx, still not paying her any mind, before going back to smiling. "But yeah, we're just like, naturally in sync in combat or something. I don't know how much battling you've done before, but you just gotta like, feel it. You know? Just whatever you think is best and shout it and I'm sure you and Leopold will work amazingly together!" Rus was a competitive pokemon through and through, and normally he would be fine being standoffish with Leopold. However, the Lepash could only let out a, "...pa..." as he seemed to understand the plight that the Shinx was soon to face, unable to do anything but sympathize. "Well, anyway, you're right. Let's get going! I think she probably went to the pokemon center so might as well go check that out. Come on Rus," the girl brought out her pokeball, bringing the pokemon back in. On the way to the pokemon center, the duo ran into their third who Jacklyn could see was looking a little more down than usual. Jacklyn frowned, less annoyed this time, but didn't really comment on it instead saying, "well, see you back there. Come on Anneliese, let's heal up and then get to adventuring!" Once their pokemon center trip had finished, the two of them made it on to the route proper, waving to Anima saying, "heeeeeyyyyy! We're here!" Getting onto the road the girl then took in a deep breath, before letting out a heavy exhale. "Ah, that's the smell of Adventure if ever there was one! And like, grass." The girl then said to her companions, "alright, we're here now! No longer bound by the confines of our starting town. And so, the world is our cloyster! We can go anywhere we want! As long as it's on this road I guess, but anywhere from there!" After rambling about it for a bit, the girl said, "well, with that out of the way we got some training to do! After all, even though we won overall, you still loss Anima and Anneliese you still aren't confident. So, as our leader I can't just let things stay the way they are. No no. And everyone knows an important part of adventuring is the training arc! The making new friends! Rising above adversity so that when you go into your rematch you kick some wild butt!" The girl punched her fist into the air, before pausing. Not really knowing how else to finish this she said, "well anyway let's take on whatever challenges are on this route head first!"
  17. 1 like
    Carmen didn't how she felt about being called unusual by Shiki, and she didn't think it was weird that someone would note something loud was loud. Of course, she was not loud and would never voice this out loud, instead continuing to stand by as Shiki spoke to the tombstone. Prior to a few weeks ago Carmen didn't really have any thoughts on the after life. Sure, she kind of wished there was one and that the dead would stay there instead of haunting the earth, but any actual specifics she didn't know of. She had always thought ghosts were real, or at the very least always had a real fear of them despite how impossible it would have seemed. Yet Shiki was speaking to their gravestone, both talking about helping them pass on and their next life. The girl still had no idea of what to make of that, whether it was something metaphorical or literal, and she didn't know how much her employer actually knew about such concepts. Obviously more than her at least. With her confusion about such a thing being unsolved, the group began to make their way out of the graveyard. Though, feeling like there was a fourth person involved in this conversation, and feeling awkward and fearful of not following proper social convention, the girl gulped before nodding her head to the tombstone. "Ugh, uh, bye." Shiki then moved to talking about their current working arrangements. More specifically, how they felt about working with each other. Carmen knew that this implicitly meant that she was going to have be doing more of this work; fighting ghosts, djinn's, demons, spirits, etc. That alone was more terrifying to her then having to work again with Brian. The man himself was also someone that Carmen wasn't exactly eager to see more of, though. He had been both rude and pushy and had even taken her flashlight from her by force at some point. Not to mention that Carmen wasn't sure why Shiki couldn't just leave everything to him by himself, after all Shiki themselves seemed to be doing as just one person. The girl did figure, however, that if she were still doing this task it would be considerably better to be with someone else then by herself, no matter who really. And Brian had also driven her and gotten Taco Bell for her as well. While he did speak up first, the girl shrinking away and letting out something of a pathetic groan at the memory that she was now and forever to live with the shame of being a pervert, she said, "uhhh....I would rather work with um, someone, then well uh, no one," the girl agreed. The girl again, nodded very swiftly, almost in a panic as Shiki brought up their food. "Y-yeah! We - we uh, didn't take any, uh, any of your food or anything."
  18. 1 like
    Brian rolled his eyes but he resisted the urge to make an accompanying hand gesture as Shiki continued to commune with a girl that, again, had nearly killed them. Especially when Shiki called him cold, like, that was just uncalled for. He wondered how Shiki would have done it, too, like, yeah, maybe if he knew the magic words, he wouldn’t have to physically wrestle with supernatural horrors. Whatever. But as Shiki stood up and moved to exit the graveyard, Brian felt a small pang of sympathy, and he lingered by Monika Georgiou’s tombstone for a moment before chasing after his employer. Shiki said other words, not that Brian caught all of them between his solemn reflection and Shiki’s obnoxious soft-spokenness. It sounded like he and Carmen were to be partners, though, continuing working together against the supernatural. Brian’s immediate reaction was, “Well, she better know how to drive. I’m not driving every single night,” but he managed to keep that one to himself. His next reaction, once he actually started thinking about Carmen, was “Shiki, you said it yourself. She’s terrified of everything. Why is she even here?” That one got almost all the way out of his mouth before he caught it. When it came down to it, Carmen was the one who had managed to get a seal on Monika in the first place. Brian wasn’t about to say she did all the work -- again, supernatural wrestling -- but she wasn’t just “there.” It wasn’t like he could have managed without her. And he knew that since, for a good portion of the night, he had tried! “Yeah, I guess I could work with Carmen again,” he said. “We perverts have to stick together.” “…Also, did you have any of the food we left in the fridge?” “What?” Brian said. “No, we went to Taco Bell like normal people.”
  19. 1 like
    Team JAA/AJA/AAJ "oh that? Rus and I don't need any tricks or planning like that. We're fellow adventurers and teammates after all! And when we work together there's no battle we can't win, right Rus!?" Fuyumi stared at Jacklyn for a while, not reacting much to Rus's antics, just continuing to look at Jacklyn directly. Finally she spoke up. "Ridiculous." was her response. Then she turned towards her companions and followed it with, "keep your secrets then." Before they left Kenta looked back once more "Uh, hey, probably go check on that other one eh? She kinda ran off in a hurry ya know." And then they were gone. Anneliese turned to Jacklyn. "You did wonderfully! I don't think I could have won if Leopold wasn't so strong. You said something about working together yes? That's incredible, you haven't even had Rus for long! I should learn from your example." Leopold looked horrified at this statement and quickly looked towards Rus as if asking the Pokemon to help talk Anneliese out of it. "But Kenta was right, we should go find Anima. I bet she'll want to know how it went!" Team BQN As the group looked for the nearest Pokemon ranger they ended up asking several of the other trainers for where they could find one. And all of them pointed them in the same direction. Heading over to the area indicated, with the Rattata in tow, they eventually saw something unexpected. A person dressed in a black outfit, complete with a helmet with a visor and a strange decoration on the forehead, and cape was standing just off the pathway. When seeing the group the man struck a pose, both arms to the side and one leg raised. "Hello adventurers, tis I, Pokemon Ranger Black! Do you have a villain in need of defeating? With my kick of justice I will surely strike them down!" His voice was muffled and, as he held his pose, he looked rather wobbly. Moments later someone else, dressed much more like one would expect when thinking of a Pokemon Ranger, hurried over. "There you are, I thought we told you to stop messing around here. You're confusing everyone and causing a scene, now go on, shoo, shoo!" "Alas, adventurers, justice will have to wait for another time!" He called before running off. The actual ranger let out a sigh and then turned to the group. "Sorry about that, is there something you need? Something that needs someone that ACTUALLY can do something to help?"
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    "H-heh how would I even know?" "Ya know what, I'll give you that...honestly we all might know stuff we don't know we know, you know?" Clobber thought about that a moment and shook his head. Or rather shook most of his body along with his head. It's not like the games where you just drop down a menu and can see what you're working with. Imagine if they all had some crazy super move that none of them knew how to use. Clobber heard Noibat muttering but decided to pretend he didn't hear anything. She was right through, what an absolute drag to get sent to another world only for that world to be ending. "Y-Yeah, if you don't mind...I'd like one!" "Oh f...rick, where'd you hop out of jeezus." Clobber was startled by the Froakie's response. Not in the least because he hadn't actually remembered there was a Froakie with them. Had he even done anything up to this point? Clobber was struggling to remember. Whatever the case Clobber had offered and they had taken the offer so he figured he should actually do what he said. "Aight then, one cracked coconut coming right up..." Clobber said, part of him pleased he was able to do something as he split another coconut with ease. --- Eventually they were all gathered around Jirachi, "Like friggin kindergartners listen to the teacher do story time." They proceeded to tell them about their grand plan to fix everything. Or not. It didn't sound like Jirachi knew all that much more about the how than any of them. They did bust out some shiny badges that apparently could teleport them which sounded very video-gamey. "Of course it did, this was a video game, dumbass." He muttered to himself. "So, I would like you all to take part in an experiment with me. Please, everybody, take a badge and stand still. I will soon teleport us all to the center of the island." "Hold on just like that, we're just gonna, what....go right into it and hope for the best? You crazy or something?" He looked around at the others, in part hoping they agreed with his outburst but also hoping they just ignored it. The badges were weird. They seemed more like magnets than badges. Flesh magnets. Which was a really gross thought. "More things to stick to me, great." He said as he reluctantly plopped it onto the nearest equivalent he could guess being his chest. And now he got to wait around until he got zapped right into danger. "Guess whenever you wanna do this then."
  21. 1 like
    With three arms and three bodies to occupy those Sibyl had made her way with the rest of the group to the meeting in Goodale. As they did, Sibyl encountered a problem almost immediately as they had made their way inside; the park's nullification field. Suddenly the three bodies in three arms had shifted to two heavier bodies in only two arms. "Oh, right." The girl was surprised, forgetting about this fact until it had happened, her face scrunching up a bit in annoyance as she did. On the one hand, she always thought the idea of an area inherently being a power nullifier was super rad and was always a bit curious about just what it was too. She also didn't really mind her powers being shut off as much as someone else did either. Her shadow arms helped her out with fighting and painting but, she was perfectly capable of doing both without them so it was only a matter of convenience to her. However, she had currently been benefitting from that convenience and to have it taken away from her so suddenly certainly didn't do good for her mood. So she just let one of the bodies lay on the ground until she was greeted by her gang's leader, her mood brightening up saying, "hey Lach! It sure does." She agreed with the Fates's assessment of this place sucking. Once another person came over, some Vic, and their exchange took place Sibyl got ready to leave when she was directed to do so. Walking out of the field, juggling the three bodies around a bit before she was able to fully use her powers again, she walked over to where the second of the Fates was. Dragging the three of them, she smiled and said, "hey there Tropo!" She then saw the other villain that she was told would be around here, Minos. Outside of being a part of the Zodiac and being something of powerhouse herself Sibyl really didn't know much about her, but that also meant she had no problem with her. And so, equally friendly she said, "oh and a friend too!" The girl shot the bovine woman a smile as well, before looking back to Atropos saying, "look, I brought presents." She tossed the three to the ground. Atropos returned Sibyl's greeting with a wave. She didn't seem surprised that Sibyl had dropped such presents into her lap, regarding them more with a "Oh, of course she managed all them" face than anything else. Minos and the crowd they had been keeping at bay, however, reacted strongly. Minos gave a comically large, though still genuine, gasp in shock, while the reporters surrounding the park immediately started snapping pictures. "Privacy!" Atropos said. Minos wheeled back around to face the crowd. She knelt down, plunged her hands into the street, and heaved upwards, pulling up a wall they could all work behind. The clamor of all the press was muted, though not by much. "I hate working with asphalt," she said. "I can do it, but it doesn't feel right. I still can't believe you got Hellhound, though! This soon into an S-Class event, this'll surely make everything go quicker." Giving a whistle at the wall Sbiyl said, "that's pretty nice." Then after Minos spoke she said, "oh? Oh, yeah I guess they are pretty important." Giving a bit of a laugh she said, "well, not like they were much of a fighter. Their dog was super cool though I don't know if you've ever seen that thing in action, but damn." Censer's smoke thing was also pretty neat, but until it shape shifted into a teleporting dog she found it much less interesting. With that done, Sibyl figured she'd see if there was any reason for her to stay around more and asked, "so, what's going down here today?" Minos nodded along, "Right, right. That's their 'thing.' I dunno, I heard they tried to supplement that stuff with little gadgets 'cuz Caesar's got a bunch of tinkers working under him, but I guess it doesn't matter so much when you get punched in the mouth like anyone else. We're just, you know, keeping people who aren't supposed to be here out, like, sixes, the public, anyone Caesar might have stuck some of Legion on trying to spy too. Honestly, as long as they don't get past the security line they're free to look at whatever, but- Hey!" One of the press with a stretching power had extended a camera over the wall and Minos leaped up to swipe it out of their hands. She missed, but the camera retreated back over the wall. "She literally just said 'Privacy!' What part of that don't you understand?" She paused. "Wait, did you call her 'Tropo?'" "She's allowed," Atropos said. "You're not." Atropos had been kneeling next to the three still-unconscious bodies, trying to sus them out. She pointed at Censer. "She'll have to get inside the part as soon as she wakes up, don't want random smoke coming out doing who knows what while we're talking to her." About Vambrace, she said, "He just need to get the wrist things off, right? And Hellhound, well, like you said, we just need to worry about their dog, probably." She looked back up. "Wait, where is Damian?" Sibyl looked around before shrugging, "dunno. The little scamp was following us around before we got here, but I haven't seen them around. Maybe it's a dog afraid of a park?" The girl joked. Atropos laughed. "I guess that makes sense. Something to keep a lookout for, though. Masters interact weirdly with Goodale, like, if the dog's already transformed, I dunno if he'll stop being transformed or if the power's only in the transformation itself... And Hellhound's the one we definitely want out here, since you're gonna want your powers for this." She looked at Minos. "Go take these two in the park. I dunno, find a Tinker to get his gadgets off? Find Clotho if you have to." Minos pouted. "Aw, I don't get to help out with interrogating? Aren't we all on the same side right now?" "All our teams are on the same side," Atropos said. "But my team's the one who got Hellhoud. And Ophie let me be in charge of security too. Actually, since I'm in charge, put up a few more walls so nobody can even look in from out there." A bigger pout. "I'm telling Ophiuchus you call him that." But she did as she was told, putting up three more walls and kicking through one to create an archway she could walk through. There was still light coming down through the lack-of-ceiling, but the soundscape around them was almost deadened. "I've called him that to his face," Atropos said when Minos was finally gone. "Alright, anyway. I'm gonna keep doing my job out there, especially now that I know at least one of them's gonna try and peek over -- maybe I can pick it off with a knife or something. Your job, then, for me, is to get something out of Hellhound we can use at this meeting. Yeah, we could just say 'We got Hellhound,' but I want that extra oomph, you know? "Don't beat them up again," Atropos said. "They'll just make things up if you try and torture something out of them. But also," a wicked smile crossed her face, "they don't have to know I said that, either." "Roger that ," the girl smiled a bit as Atropos left her to it. She agreed but Sibyl wasn't ever one much for interrogations and she didn't even really prefer torturing someone as a form of interrogation either. She similarly didn't actually care about any kind of prime info that would be used for some kind of negotiation, whatever it was they were even negotiating here to begin with. But, she did still find the villain interesting and was interested in some stuff herself, and so as Hellhound began to stir themselves awake the girl gave them a smile, friendly as any other. "Gooood morning."
  22. 1 like
    …In the event, Anima hardly got that moment of being alone. Between other new trainers, those working at the Pokemon Center, and her own mind… Anima couldn't help but feel as if she was surrounded at all times; as if her crushing defeat was evident by her actions. Was that normal? she had to wonder. Was it normal to feel like the world was crashing around you? she wondered, again. It was… Failure. She had failed in the greatest of extents, she had lost in the greatest of extents-- And her buddy was the one who shouldered this burden, so where did she get off feeling terrible? It wasn't until after the Nurse handed the Pokeball back to her, and Anima was walking out of the Pokemon Center that she even began to process things again. She hadn't even actively noticed, as the Nurse had said something about being prepared to train and stock up on potions-- she didn't have the heart to mention that she was broke, and simply nodded and said she would, most likely; though she could hardly remember it. Instead, she simply found herself… Stalling, outside the Pokemon Center, as she lightly kicked the dirt in front of her. The others were probably done with their battles by now. Were they waiting on her? Probably. But… She still hardly felt like moving yet. Instead, as Anima took a few steps to the right, she found herself kneeling down as she clicked the Pokeball to release her partner to the ground in front of her. Doing her best to smile, she nodded as the pink-eyed Pokemon stamped her feet a bit, letting out a somewhat quiet cry, as she… Lightly tackled into Anima's legs. "...I know, Confi," she smiled, patting her head. "...I… Should have had more faith in you, right?" she asked. The quiet Pokemon didn't let out a verbal reply; instead continuing to 'charge' into her legs, simply butting her head into the newbie-trainer's legs as she laughed a bit. "I know…" Anima trailed off. "...I wasn't as in-sync with you as I should have been. Despite being quiet, you're… Pretty aggressive in battle, right?" she asked, cocking her head to the side. "...I get it. You want to view every fight like…" she trailed off, nodding for a moment, as she let the silence finish her thought for her. "...I'll do my best to help facilitate that in our coming battles, okay?" she picked up the Pokemon, as she stared directly into their pink eyes. "That means I'll… Do my best to learn how not to hesitate, or freeze up again. We'll fight with everything we've got left," she promised her Pokemon. "Even if it takes some time to get there," she laughed lightly, spinning the Corsola around as she rose back to her full height, and began to walk back off towards the entrance, or exit to the town; planning on telling the others that she'd see them on the route, and that she needed to do some training, if she ran into them.
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    I'm no writer - or really much of a creative these days, but, I think it's sensible to start from a world perspective as to why your villains/characters exist. Perhaps generate a central problem and thus people who have different ideologies to fix the central problems may clash and thus from that branch your characters might spring. Someone may have a method to manipulate emotional energy either via an outside energy or something intrinsically linked to the general abilities, perhaps a party find emotions to be too "weak" and effectively cloud that capacity of magic or effect their usage, perhaps theirs a "religious" sect that believes the only way to true enlightenment and unlocking of potential is with emotional energy alone and they've learnt to manipulate it in a way that's effecting outside of their sphere on a grander scale. idk just spit balling but if you don't have a core character that you go, I want them to exist then you need something to spark ideas off. Hope this helps at all.
  24. 1 like
    Quinn was quick to be on the defensive. “Oh, no! I am not injured. At the very least, I am not hurt in a way that would impede our journey. I am ready to continue onwards once you two have wrapped up your business here.” Really, what hurt more was how both Belladonna and Nathaniel seemed more concerned with things other than her and Cassiopeia’s moment of triumph. Well, he supposed any sort of acknowledgment from Belladonna had to be a positive one, but Nathaniel had seemed so bubbly as they had left New Point Landing, talking about how he had to catch all the Pokémon that ever existed and some that did not. If it was jealousy, that was new. Quinn had not judged Nathaniel to be the jealous type. If this was about the Rattata, that was also confusing, but in different, more vexing ways. How did neither Belladonna nor Nathaniel know? Had they never experienced just what wild Pokémon could do to each other? To a human, even? It was why people were warned away from tall grasses without a Pokémon of their own at their side. And even besides then, in environments one might think were domesticated… Quinn gripped Cassiopeia’s string and held on tight. The naïveté of the living, they supposed. And the Rattata were still alive too. When Normandie walked over and sniffed one of them, it still flinched. But then Nathaniel said congratulations, so perhaps Quinn had just been overthinking things. “I am sure you will hear several stories from me,” Quinn said. “I do love giving a good tale.” And Normandie turned around and started pawing at zir foot, so she was done with her lording over still-alive things and certainly done with the introductions that came with that. “Oh, hungry already? Alright, for being so good…” They fished out a berry and offered it to the Rattfian, who snatched it right out of her hand and started gnawing on it. Quinn used the opportunity to stroke Normandie’s head, making sure to get behind the ears where he assumed Rattfians liked pets best. Getting up close and personal with Normandie’s fur, however, got Quinn to start paying attention to its condition. “Oh, you were just in a number of fights yourself, were you not?” Quinn said, jerking back upwards. “And Cassiopeia, forgive me, I do not know what I was thinking. A single potion could not have mended all that abuse you endured on my behalf. We should go back too.” Nathaniel had already rushed off back towards town with the wild Rattata. Quinn could only give chase, bursting back through the brush calling out, “Wait for me!”
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    With the match having ended, the girl looked over to see that Anneliese had also won her match though didn't have any idea where Anima was. Victory celebration was cut short, into one of a little frustration as Chad declared himself the victor in his own match. Perhaps though, it was less an annoyance at his own self assurance and her comrades defeat and more so that the man acted like it would only be natural for her and Anneliese to lose. "They lost because our team is amazing! Sure you won one, but we got two which makes us the better champions to be! And Anima will get her revenge for sure, so just you wait bucko." The girl then turned her attention towards her opponent, startled for a moment as the girl was closer then when she had last looked. As Fuyumi asked about what she had done, Jacklyn said, "what? Bucko isn't a code word it's like, what you call someone or like, bud? But less friendly?" That was clearly not what Fuyumi was asking for, however, as she didn't seem satisfied by that answer nor did it make any sense as a "prior strategy" or something that she had actually "done." Truthfully Jacklyn hadn't the faintest idea what the girl was asking for, but she had enough sense to know that it probably had to with their battle and more importantly her victory. And so proudly Jacklyn said, "oh that? Rus and I don't need any tricks or planning like that. We're fellow adventurers and teammates after all! And when we work together there's no battle we can't win, right Rus!?" The girl seemed proud with her answer, happily puffing out her chest, as the Lepash didn't bother responding to her. Instead, almost completely blowing her off. After all their victory, he felt, was entirely because of his own decision making and prowess. And so he walked off, leaving the girl to look back and say, "uh, Rus? He's just...shy?" The girl tried to save face with Fuyumi.
  26. 1 like
    It was the zombie that got there first, and therefore it was the zombie that met Chris’ blade once again. The chunk sound as his sword cut through rotted flesh and bone was satisfying, but Chris found himself in trouble as he realized just how deep he’d cut in. His sword was stuck on something, and the zombie was somehow still moving. Chris’ sidestep out of the way of the zombie’s counterattack -- another wild flailing of its clawed hands, trying to bring one down on his head -- was an awkward one. He wanted to hold onto his sword. He wasn’t about to lose it in the fog. But that meant he couldn’t get entirely out of the way, either, just rotate the zombie around. He ended up having to duck out of the way, which left him with a grazed shoulder. After he had just gotten it healed, too! Chris hissed through his teeth and jumped back up. Behind the zombie now was the skeleton, or what was left of it after losing its head. Chris had already complained that moving around without a head was cheating, and he was sure that differentiating between a fellow undead and a perfectly good alive person, while still cheating, was still within its capacity. He tugged at his sword again, and though it was still stuck in the zombie, all that maneuvering had finally gotten it to loosen a little bit. “Let’s see how you take it a second time,” Chris said, giving one final pull while, at the same time, raising his boot and kicking the zombie in the chest, sending it sprawling back into the skeleton. Both undead disappeared into the mist for a moment before Chris heard the sound of crunching bones. The zombie slowly reappeared in the mist, shambling back towards Chris yet again, but the skeleton had fully disappeared. Chris hoped it was for good. The zombie, though… “You just don’t know when to quit, huh?” Chris said. He brandished his sword and took a chance on another look-around as the zombie approached. He didn’t see anything near Lana or Ziun, so “Hey, go back and regroup with Estellise!” he said. “I’ll be right there, just gotta… Rah!” As the zombie got back into sword range, Chris whirled back around with a high horizontal cut that he aimed right at the zombie’s neck.
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    The Abra moved once again, going for yet another back attack as Jacklyn shouted, "Rus behind you!" The Lepash turned around to see the psychic pokemon send a pulse of energy at it, and as Jacklyn shouted, "attack it!" the Lepash responded with yet another Ember. While the fire had won the clash again, the Abra swiftly teleported away once more and evaded the attack. The girl grit her teeth, clearly frustrated by it constantly vanishing and reappearing. "Oh come on! Can't you just stay still! Rus, come on, Ember again!" "Why?" The girl asked flatly, before tilting her head and having the Abra use yet another Hidden Power. "So we can duke it out properly!But fine, if you're gonna keep dodging then so can we! Rus, use those bunny legs of yours and hop!" The Lepash let out a grunt at his trainers command, springing off the ground with great force and hopping over the attack. While Jacklyn was something of a simple minded girl, she knew enough to know that just playing this game of cat and mouse would keep resulting in the two of them going around like this forever. And so, she shouted, "Rus, get ready!" The Lepash started to have fire gather in its mouth only for the Abra to teleport once more. Pointing to its new position, Jacklyn shouted, "And fire!" Letting loose the flame that it had been gathering in its mouth striking the Abra again. Though the two pokemon had been hitting each other with move after move neither seemed to be taking much from each individual hit, yet still in spite of that the two of them were starting to show some wear from the fight. Rus had already been a little fatigued from the two hidden powers it had taken and it seemed that Abra was starting to show similar levels of injury. Yet all Fuyumi had to say was, "I see. So this is everything it has. Hidden Power." Feeling as if she was being mocked somehow, Jacklyn shouted, "yeah and it's more than enough!" Thinking that perhaps attacking point blank would deal more damage and make it harder for the pokemon to avoid the attack, and feeling like she had something to prove to her opponent now, Jacklyn shouted, "Rus, charge and bring it down!" Of course, Rus didn't know the move Charge, he was a fire bunny not an electric one after all. So instead he took the command more standardly, running head first at the Abra. Proving that he could do it before, without instruction, this time Rus decided to prove himself equal in dodging to the Abra by leaping over the Hidden Power once more. "Hm. No time. Hidden Power." Rather than teleporting, the Abra stayed still, firing yet another attack at Rus. The Lepash as well had no time here, being unable to dodge the attack. Despite getting struck dead on, though, Rus had no plans on stopping. Its fur flashing red briefly, the Lepash leaped forward, throwing its body into a Tackle and striking the Abra dead on. Jacklyn, surprised by the lack of fire in its attack blinked for a moment, but when Abra seemed to no longer be moving the girls confusion turned to a wide smile. "Heck yeah! Way to go Rus!" The girl ran over to give her pokemon a high five but as she brought her hand up to swing she then stopped, a bit confused as to how to actually go about doing a high five with her pokemon. Rus didn't seem to care in the slightest, but did let out a small puff of smoke in pride at its victory. Quickly recovering from her lack of actually high fiving, she excitedly pointed at Fuyumi saying, "see that! That's the next Korovan champ to be in action!"
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    In terms of spooky things Brian had encountered that night, being in a cemetery during the witching hours didn’t even crack the top three. But that didn’t mean he had to enjoy it. If he had his way in life, he’d only be in a cemetery and/or a graveyard once ever, and that would be after he was dead. Alas, he was alive and paying ill respect to the dead who he was sure he was trampling over as he stumbled through the gravestones looking for Shiki. It was only when he realized a low star in the distance was actually a lamp that he made any sort of headway at all in that direction. Thankfully, there really wasn’t anyone who even remotely looked like Shiki; he’d have recognized them anywhere, even as just a silhouette. Brian nodded when Shiki asked their question. “Ghost. Told you it was a ghost,” he said to Carmen, oblivious to the fact that he was the one who had introduced that ambiguity in the first place with his weird “demon, djinn, spirit,” ramble. He looked over Shiki’s shoulder to get a better look at the gravestone, taking it all in and adding a few more pieces to a puzzle Brian knew he’d never finish. “She didn’t have a face. I bet that’s a pretty big change from how she was while alive,” Brian said. “And she was scared of seals now, too. Imagine being weirded out over a seal. Couldn’t be me.” He shook his head. “I don’t know, what do you want me to say? Shiki, the ghost tried to kill me, or at least drag me to some otherworldly dimension that two custodians had already disappeared into. It sucks that she died young, but she didn’t have to make that my problem. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for things like that when there are all these other stories about benevolent passings-on.”
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    IC So much to do, and so little time... Rules The Story So Far Setting FAQ Application Accepted Apps changelog: (AM 11/18/2022): Discord invite link added (PM 11/18/2022): Full OOC is now live! (AM 11/30/2022): The RP has now started! IC link added, accepted characters tab updated, discord invite link removed (PM 01/13/2023): Updated cast list upon Yui's departure (AM 04/13/2023): Forgot to update the cast list again, oops (AM 09/10/2023): Formally adding Belladonna to the list of players, also I changed a name in the setting spoiler because I am *very good* at keeping track of established moments
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    The years have stopped coming.
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    I had some delicious kombucha from a neighborhood restaurant that I frequent. It's delicious.
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    Making food from a show: cute simple french toast Making a drink from a show: Drink slaps. > I-I mean <
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    Found my old DS Lite along with an Action Replay. Surprisingly the DS still has charge, so time to load up Pearl and cheat in a Manaphy egg to clear the game with.
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    Comradely Objects Fortunately, the trek to Goodale Park was a short one. The Church of the Sacred Harp was just off Second Avenue, and Goodale was three blocks south, with Goodale Street and, yes, Park Street forming the corner of its main entry gate. Even better, the route to the park from the church was entirely wide-open streets with little chance of ambush which allowed Sibyl and the heroes to keep an eye on Damian, Hellhound’s dog who had reverted to his teacup form, as he stalked behind them. Goodale was a modest little park with all the sorts of amenities one might expect of it -- a playground, picnic tables, a shelter house with restrooms, two monuments, including a bust of Lincoln Goodale, and a duck pond with a fountain. There was also a stretch of murals on an isolated wall nearby. Lincoln Goodale was some doctor who had been dead for longer than anybody could remember. Nobody could remember the reason for such a memorial, but he must have been important because Goodale Park had a special property that set it apart from everywhere else in Scarlet City: Goodale Park was a natural power nullifier. Power nullification affected different people in different ways, of course. Someone with a power that had reshaped their body to be that of a centaur would still be a centaur while galloping around Goodale Park. Wings didn’t just fly away when someone who’d had them all their life entered the airspace above the park. But flying itself might be exceedingly more difficult or a hypothetical centaur’s accuracy with a bow might become just better than that of a novice. Indeed, as the three arrived,, pushing their way past all the press that had gathered outside, then past security who was pushing all the press back and into the outer ring of streets just outside Goodale Park’s range, they could see both kinds of capes rushing around in the grass along with every other kind just past the gate. The air was full of chatter. Most of it was organizational, of course, trying to provide a direction to all the running about. “You’re a Tinker, right?” came one overheard bark. “All the Tinkers are comparing notes over by the trades monument. Oh, you’re a Thinker? Sorry, uh, I think they’re handing out ibuprofen in the shelter there.” Some chatter was what sounded like updates, though. “Spotted two known Gibbons agents flying westward,” was one call. “What did they hit? Was anyone tracking those ones?” Lachesis was the first familiar face they all saw, waiting by the main gate. She had her blindfold on, but she was dressed in a business suit and was busy applying an ice pack to her forehead. “Hey Sibyl,” she said as she walked up, clearly forcing a smile. “You’re still alive. We should have asked you to bring stronger stuff. Fucking hate this place.” She gave Override and Aeon a nod before her head turned to meet Lailah. “You’re still alive too,” she said. “That’s good. Wouldn’t want all that work to go to waste.” “What are you planning?” Lailah said. Lachesis’ smile became almost genuine. “What I’m planning right now is to rid myself of this headache.” She looked back at Sibyl. “A couple headaches, actually. No, seriously, good job. Hellhound’s a big get. Atropos is…” She pointed behind her with her free hand. “…over there running security with some of the Peacekeepers. Have her handle the interrogation. Should be outside the park right now so you don’t have to lug them around without powers.” Victor Sekelsky appeared behind her. “Who’s doing what?” Lachesis didn’t even turn around. “Heya, Vic. I already know what you’re going to say if I explain myself, so I’m just… not going to do that.” There was a long pause. Lachesis eventually looked over her shoulder. “You still there?” When he didn’t answer her, she said, “We’re on the same side right now, Vic, and you’re not my dad.” It still was a noticeable amount of time before Director Sekelsky spoke again. “I would like to talk to Archangel Lailah now,” he said. “She’s all yours.” “And I would like to talk to my team.” “Sure,” Lachesis said. She turned back to address Sibyl specifically. “Yeah, go see Atropos. She and I think Minos will know what to do with those. I’m gonna go…” She looked back at Victor again, who was still staring daggers right through her. “…get a new ice pack or something I guess. Hey, in case you didn’t hear, big meeting’s in a bit -- you’re all invited.” And she was gone, rushing off back towards Goodale Park’s shelter house. Once Sibyl had left, Director Sekelsky sighed. “Just once, I’d like to get through an S-Class without ulterior motives at play. But I’m glad to see you all in one piece still.” “It is good to see you too, my friend,” Lailah said. “If only these were better circumstances. I am sure Override has already sent you details of our encounter, but since we are on the subject of the Fates’ motives, there are things he did not see I would like to share with you.” The director raised an eyebrow, but was quick to assent. “Alright, come with me then. Override, I can only guess what Ophiuchus wants from you, but he was asking for you by name, so please go, uh, do that for me. Same deal with Stanley and you, Aeon, except I know even less. He’d be over by the gazebo, and I think Ophiuchus is over by the fountain. But also rest up if you need to. We’ve still got to hash out battle plans, but this might be the last break you’ll get until tonight. And maybe not even then.” OOC
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    Jelly Roll's concert was a BLAST! Struggle Jennings brought Caitlynne Curtis for God We Need You Now, Chase Rice brought his dog out for the last 2 songs of his incredible set, Jelly Roll brought his wife Bunnie for Kill A Man and he also brought out Afroman and they did a duet of Colt 45
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    “Fuck,” Brian said again. It seemed over. There wasn’t any noise that would indicate a paranormal threat still lurked in the bathroom, and he swung the flashlight around too just to see if the ghost was still hiding somewhere, but it wasn’t. Speaking of the flashlight, Brian noticed it was back to a steady beam of light, if a little hindered by its cheap bulb. He went over and jiggled the lightswitches too. The lights were working just fine. The last thing Brian did was find the spot where the ghost had faded away and brush the remaining ashes of the burned-up seal with his foot. Were they supposed to sweep that up? Couldn’t hurt, he decided. The paper towel dispenser was still stocked up, so Brian brushed as much as he could into one of those and tossed it in the bin. “I think we’re done,” he said. “Yeah, good job. Go seal up that last stall just in case and we’ll go tell that crabapple in the office she can stop doing her rosary and go to bed.” All in all, Brian felt pretty good about the whole thing. Sure, his life had flashed before his eyes a few times and the ghost didn’t actually answer his question, but that was the way it went with ghosts, really. If it had been a demon, maybe it would have been a bit more chatty, but Brian had enough demons of his own to deal with, he couldn’t be too upset to avoid one more. They’d dealt with it all the same. A win was a win. That was something his fraternity would always say to him. “Just take the fucking W.” Two things happened as he and Carmen made their way out of the school. The first was the aforementioned notification. Brian knocked on the door to the office and said. “Alright, you should be good. Just in case, don’t touch any of the seals for… a day or two?” He gave Carmen a look like he expected her to know how long these things were supposed to last but he kept talking. “Maybe a week just to be safe. Anyway, uh, leave us a good review on Ghost Yelp or wherever you found us. We’re getting out of your hair now. Have a good night.” The other thing that happened was they got a text from Shiki: Good work. I finished early. Come to cemetery. “Aren’t there, like, four cemeteries and another two graveyards in this town?” Brian said. “How’s Shiki expect us to guess the right one?” But his question was answered right away as he crossed the threshold out of the school and looked up from his phone, just across the street. “Oh, that one, probably. You know, I actually forgot that was there.” He looked back at Carmen and cocked his head towards the cemetery. “Alright, sooner we get this over with the sooner we can go the fuck to sleep,” he said.
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    I went and watched Gran Turismo again, saw it in D-BOX format... just as good the 2nd time as it was the first time
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    With me seeing this man live in concert tomorrow, I figured I'd post one of the songs I'm hoping to hear live
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    As the group continued to make their way southward in an attempt to find the resting place of the first Accursed, Sabrina had spoken about figuring out their route going forward. Though they had no map to follow, no road to travel, no compass to use and no sun to see they were not without landmarks. Were they under the assumption that they were in fact heading southward and westward they would be able to use the spire behind them, the one they had passed on their way to the shrine, as a sort of visual indicator as to which direction north was. Using that as an indicator of North they would then know that north westward, they could just barely make out another spire or two. It was difficult to see them fully as there was quite some distance between them and the hilly topography of the land they were in certainly didn't help. Westward was also the direction of the lion they had been observing. They would notice that the pack of gazelles it had been chasing would soon be apprehended by smaller, yet still crackling with lightning, lions as well. Further southward, though it was difficult to make out for the same reasons as the westward one, they would also be able to notice yet another tower stretching into the air. This one, however, was much less clear as the distance was much greater between them and any of the other towers they had noticed. Really, it was only because of the sheer height, unique coloration of blackened stone and inference making capabilities that they would even be able to tell this was another tower at all. This path had seemed to be one without any immediate dangers in its way, and most of the animals that were not predators seemed to recognize that they were in immediate danger being near the lions. However they did not run eastward as what sounded like a cross between a screech and thunderclap could be heard from that direction. Were they to turn that direction, they would notice far away from them - further than the lion yet not further than the southward stone pillar - was an enormous creature. Its size dwarfed nearly every animal they had seen thus far, both in height and width, such that even from the distance it was at they were able to clearly determine what this creature was. An elephant. Yet, though the elephant bared similarities to ones from their world, it notably seemed to have an enormous black rock almost growing out of the top of its body, one that seemed to be the same color as the pillars they had been seeing dot the landscape. They would also be able to notice furry humanoid figures near the elephant, not any specifics of them but they all seemed to be down on the ground. And the elephant grabbed one of these humanoids off the ground with its trunk, casually throwing one of them into its mouth. All of the other non-predator animals had decided to run, either northward, southward, or simply into the hills themselves, seeming to have some degree of burrowing capacity and the hills themselves seeming to have tunnels already set up. The Exalted were in no immediate danger from any form of wildlife, in fact even the scared animals fleeing in their direction never actually ran towards them and veered away, seemingly afraid of them as they would be a hunter.
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    “Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.’ But the people said nothing.” -1 Kings 18:21 (NIV)The conversation still felt like a tightrope, but it was a tightrope that Melissa was used to walking, so while she could feel her breath tighten up at the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, it was still a tightrope she had walked before. “I don’t actually think I know how two-on-one duels work,” she said. This was mostly true -- true enough to not be a lie, anyway. She’d been told how they work, but her up-to-recently lack of close friendships with anyone who would get in enough trouble to warrant one, not to mention her own aforementioned conflict avoidance meant that the need to know all of Duel Monsters’ variant rules fell by the wayside, replaced by more important things like, say, the Epistle of Jude. “I’m more than willing to learn, though,” she said. Here was the tricky part, though. Now she had to actually make a suggestion. Melissa looked around the desolate park, once again observing all the abandoned picnics and disrupted dates (the romantic kind, not the fruit) that could have been caused by the Spike Brothers but could have also been caused by something worse. “I would rather go somewhere else, if it’s all the same, then. I don’t need to see the big flashy holograms, personally. I get enough of that, from, well…” The angels weren’t really holograms, right? But it was funny to Melissa. She smirked even though she didn’t complete that thought out loud. She also felt the absence of humor coming from foreign thoughts inside her own head, like, they neither laughed along nor admonished her, but the lack of reaction was a reaction in itself. “But we should play. You came all this way out here. You invited us. It would be rude not to. “We could also turn lunch afterward into part of the game?” Melissa suggested. “Loser --” She caught herself, “or losers -- have to pay for lunch or have to put honey in their coffee or something. I’m not a big gambler but those are pretty small stakes if team pride isn’t enough.” She caught a glance of Fen and realized what she had just done. “Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to involve you in a bet. I can just- I can pay for lunch or drink doctored coffee. You don’t- You’re our team leader, I…” Whatever fire Melissa had had was gone, replaced by stammering. She’d made it that far, though, which she’d probably find impressive once the situation cleared itself up.
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    Chikacchi is kind of the chuuni in Yohane, teehee.
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    After it was clear that the two combatants couldn't fight any longer, the two of them having fallen unconscious in her grip, Sibyl let out a sigh as if all the emotion she had been experiencing at that point had just been breathed right out. "Well, that's that," the girl said nonchalantly, a smile on her face as she idly tossed the two to the ground. Her shadows then retracted back into her body proper and the girl stretched her arms. "Man that was pretty fun. I wonder if there are more that'd be down for this." With the two other heroes having won their fights the girl waved joyously saying, "rockin' job guys." As the conversation turned towards going to Goodale for some kind of big formal talk party, Sibyl looked up and said, "well, that doesn't sound like a place for me. So I'll probably bounce from here." As she was getting to leave, she pulled her phone out of her pocket, seeing a slew of messages from her long time bosses. The girl looked at them, seeing "sup gamerrrr so you know see you soon bestie" Followed by "hey just to let you know bring all four hands" Ending with "got an all hands on deck thing going on at goodale or as many hands as you cna manage these days lol *can" The girl raised an eyebrow at each of them, seeing that they were all sent at the same time and wondering if this was some kind of puzzle. Sibyl was never particularly great at deciphering the Fates messages, and they were prone to send them in either code or some kind of puzzle, and often times she just tuned it out anyway. So, she took all three of them at face value. She was going to see them soon, she need to bring all four hands, and there was something going on at Goodale that had as many hands as she could manage. Nodding to herself, she said, "never mind, looks like I'm coming with! And well," she walked over and hoisted up Hellhound and Censer, with more difficulty then she had previously during her battle saying, "bosses wanted me to bring all four of them so guess we're dragging them along after all. I can handle this much myself, and if an enemy does try to fight us well, then I'm armed! Ahahaha," she jostled the bodies in her grip as she laughed before starting to walk out the door, dragging them along with her.
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    Quarters! Vambrace flew parallel to the floor but not too far above it before lowering himself to the ground a good distance away from Aeon and pushing himself to his feet. The first thing he did was check his equipment. It wouldn’t be good if she broke it with just one punch, but she also stated her intentions of doing just that the second time it got in the way like that. Its thrusters had activated properly and the diagnostics he could run in what time he had were coming up green, but it was better safe than sorry. What did he know about Aeon? Only what he had heard, and the rumors were various. He’d had her wiki page once upon a time while waiting for a new update to compile, but hundreds of years of history would not fit in his brain no matter how much he read so he mostly skimmed it. Everything else he knew, he learned from Legion and his recounting of Aeon’s meeting with Caesar, which was not exactly helpful from a combat perspective. For fighting, he just had to go by instinct. "Punching’s going nowhere," he said to himself, which was a problem since punching with a tinker-tech gauntlet was his thing. "Just going to get grabbed and thrown or who knows what else. But she is still just a Brawler at the end of the day." He pumped his fists, boxing the air a little as he turned back towards Aeon, who was still standing there, patiently waiting with a goofy grin on her face for him to return to the fray. "Trust the plan," he told himself. "At least keep her busy." And he charged back in. Names, to Arcturus, really did matter. To have a cape name taken directly from the stars only meant one thing in Scarlet City: an affiliation with The Zodiac in general and Ophiuchus in specific. To keep it after defecting, as she had, was a massive insult, and a calculated one at that. Arcturus wanted that fucking snake to know exactly how much she despised him. It was smothering, working for the Zodiac. Everything had to be done just so, exactly the way Ophiuchus wanted, and if it wasn’t, then you might as well not exist to him. A small-time group might be assimilated all at once only for Ophiuchus to, despite the group's natural chemistry, tear the group apart because he "knew better." It was like buying a car, a perfectly good automobile, just to scrap it for parts. To continue the metaphor, she was like the catalytic converter. Maybe it was the pride talking, but Arcturus had been the most valuable member of her gang. Ophiuchus saw her as valuable by herself. A car can still run without its converter, of course, but not as well, and after everyone else went on a fatal mission she wasn’t there, well, it was a pretty heavy last straw. Caesar, though, let her do whatever the fuck she wanted. Some of that, she was pretty sure, was just so she could parade around wearing her newfound allegiance on her sleeve -- her name was as much Caesar’s insult as it was hers -- but also, as long as she did the occasional errand like this, she could fly up as high as she could and mourn absent friends in silence for all Caesar cared. Override’s threat was empty. He was clearly grasping at straws. It was almost a pity. She could have stood to play with him a little longer, but no, now was the time to go on the offensive. She sent her next ball of energy up to the ceiling. The ball’s shunt was targeting the rafters, breaking off one of the church’s many support beams, and, with accuracy only someone who had done this all her life could demonstrate, she sent it and some of the nearby ceiling crashing down on Override’s head. Hellhound and Censer found themselves in quite the predicament, or Hellhound did, and Censer wasn’t about to leave her teammate behind. “More smoke,” Censer said. “Better smoke. Uh.” She threw out some more, but it still didn’t have much effect on Sibyl’s shadowy appendages whipping around Hellhound’s dog/cat/thing. “Give me a second. Uh.” “You don’t really have a second, but I’ll do my best,” Hellhound said. They let out a little whistle, reverting their dog back to his normal, diminutive size, but at least without tentacled appendages interlocking and throwing everything into chaos, he and Sibyl were separated, and the dog was safe to recover for a moment at least. “Take cover behind the pews then, just buy whatever time you can!” Censer wasn’t exactly hiding as she let out the occasional “Uh,” or “No…” and shot up the occasional cloud of smoke behind one of the church’s many pews, but Hellhound did indeed do their best. It only took a second for their dog to leap out in a new form, full of confidence and without any of the damage Sibyl might have inflicted on him by swinging him around as she had. The dog still flickered in and out of reality, though; it appeared he had not entirely left the world of illusory tricks behind. “Nice place you got,” Lucky Cat said as Lailah picked herself back up from Arcturus’ shunting. “I was never really a church person, but I might change my mind if these are the sorts of hangout spots you got. You hiring?” She was still sitting back in one of the pews, legs propped up on the one in front of her, not making a move toward fighting at all, but it was still quite clear to both parties that the question was rhetorical at best. Still, Lailah responded as best she could. “It’s… I am sure we could find a congregation who would welcome you with open arms if you wanted,” she said. “It would be no trouble at all.” “Mm, I dunno.” Lucky Cat stood up and stretched, rubbing her shoulders and twisting around. “I’ve got a pretty sweet gig going on right now with the Gibbons, would hate to give that up. You know Caesar’s posts little bounties? Want to bet who’s gotten most of them?” Lailah didn’t respond. She was trying to access her power, but Lucky Cat’s aura was throwing a wrench in things. It wasn’t that it was completely disabled, no, the little balls of light were still there orbiting around her, she wasn’t cut off, but the mental effort required was more than she was used to. Every so often, an angel would flicker into view, but it was only for a moment, it was never long enough for it to actually do anything. Lucky Cat only laughed. Lailah switched tactics, giving up on her power and instead running in, but as soon as she took a few steps, her foot got caught on her dress and she fell back down to the ground. “Ooh, bad luck!” Lucky Cat said. “That seems to happen often to other people, but never to me. I guess a cat always lands on her feet, you know?” She made a little cat paw motion with her hands and walked forward towards Lailah. Despite her bravado, her steps were shaky too. “But this is fun! What do you think’s going to happen next?” OOC
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    Paradisi Gloria Lailah was feeling pretty good, all things considered. The implicit threat of violence against her person or the church she was staying at had not entirely gone away, but at least Sibyl was focused on other things now. Things could swing back the other way at any moment, Lailah thought, but she could keep talking and keep things engaged. The existence of two other capes in the room ostensibly on her side (they were from G3, after all) who she was helping accomplish a mission of their own also bolstered her confidence. Her power, represented by those little balls of light, probably betrayed that to an extent, but they were ever-wary and responded to the slightest twinge in her emotional state anyway. Capricious little things. She adored them. “What’s the saying?” she said. “Power corrupts? Or is it the desire for power that corrupts people? It’s difficult to tell when so many people can do so many different things, I suppose.” A new voice echoed through the church. “Oh dear. It looks like we’re interrupting something.” The speaker was just inside the church entrance: Hellhound, complete with her cup-sized dog still poking out of their bag. Lailah looked at the three capes around her. Did they know about Hellhound? Surely at least by reputation, right? Hellhound also surveyed the church’s occupants, and their eyes stopped on Sibyl. “I see Caesar isn’t the only one with a sense of humor when it comes to shaking down the church,” they said with a wry grin. “And it’s lucky for us, too, since we’ve got a bone to pick with you, demon girl.” “Us?” Lailah said. She knew Hellhound was attached to their dog but she thought it was a “singular unit” sort of relationship, like when they said “I” their canine companion was implied to be included in that statement. In that sense, they were alone. As if on cue, the stained glass on all four arms of the church shattered simultaneously as four more Gibbons members crashed through. Two of them, the one coming in near the entrance -- near Hellhound -- and the one coming through the glass depicting the fight over the sun managed a well-executed roll to avoid serious damage, while the other two flanking them all to the left and right did more of a swoop before lowering themselves to the ground under their own power. There were five of them now. “Archangel Lailah,” Hellhound said, “by order of Scarlet City’s new hegemon, Caesar of the Gibbons Gang, you are to step down as leader of the Apostles effective immediately.” And maybe it was the pride and confidence of just a few minutes ago still coursing through her veins, but Lailah’s answer was immediate: “No.” OOC
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    Anchor Roy Biff, face all red and hands clenched tight around the back of the chair he was leaning on, looked to the world like he was about to throw something -- hands, Sarah, the chair, whatever. Still, he managed to take a few deep breaths before responding to Override’s question. “Not an apostle, then?” he said. “That’s fine. But Lailah’s like every other holy leader Scarlet City has had, so I would have assumed you’d have been able to make some extrapolations.” “She is different,” Sarah chimed in. “She’s quieter than most. And -” “Thank you, Sarah,” Roy said. “It’s true that she’s quiet, but she’s quiet in that ‘wisdom’ sort of way, not in the ‘shy’ sort of way. And she’s not a gang leader. She’s not going to bite your head off if you look at her funny. Here, you want an itemized list of instructions? Do: keep Aeon in check because I worry she’s going to take that last as a challenge -- don’t look at me like that Aeon, you know you are.” He gave the hero in question a wry grin. “Do: be on your guard in case this big meeting goes pear-shaped. Lailah’s current church isn’t that far from Goodale Park so we might need you elsewhere to assist. And don’t, under any circumstances -” He paused, and frowned. “Mustard,” he said. “French or Dijon?” Sarah asked. Roy wheeled around to face Sarah and made a wordless gesture that could only mean, “Does it really matter?” to which Sarah just shrugged and exaggeratedly drew a question mark in her notes. When Roy returned his focus to the actual briefing he’d clearly lost his train of thought and had to move on. “You had better get going,” he said, “before the situation gets even worse.” We Live on a Fucking Planet Baby That’s The Sun One of the central tenets of the Zorrastran faith was that no one church was more important than any other. Whether it was smack dab in the middle of Scarlet City or out in the ruins with a wall practically aligning with the Shimmer, they each had unique quirks that made them stand out. To ascribe value to any one such quality of a church would be to diminish the other qualities, that was the teaching. To that end, no one church could house the Archangel for any significant length of time. Lailah lived the life of a nomad, a wanderer going between churches as she saw fit. They were obligated to house her, of course -- though they would have even without the laws of the church dictating as such -- and she presided over the weekend ceremonies, giving a few remarks if asked before moving on a week or two later. The church she’d ended up at for the first week of November was just outside the Short North area called the Church of the Sacred Harp. The lot used to contain a school building, but that had been torn down decades, if not centuries ago to make room for the large X-shaped building, one with an altar in the middle and rows of pews extending outward in each cardinal direction. At the end of each arm of the X was a scene depicted in stained glass telling the story of Zorro and Astra’s battle with Nil. The door under the scene showing the two, victorious, banishing Nil from the city, and yet with Nil’s final machinations looming overhead, was unlocked as Sibyl arrived, though before she could get a chance to take in too much more of the scenery, she was approached by the church’s pastor. “Welcome,” they said. “You’re a bit earlier than we were expecting but the Archangel Lailah is upstairs and should be ready for your appointment.” A pause. “Although, weren’t there supposed to be two of you? It doesn’t matter, I suppose. If you would just follow me.” The upstairs had a few more pews to view any sort of church service, but was mostly an office space, where the church took care of the various administrative tasks required of it. It was an open office, without walls or cubicles separating the two computers, refrigerator, or, yes, the cot where the Archangel Lailah lay, looking up at the ceiling. At the ceiling? No. In fact, Lailah’s eyes followed two globules of light, each no bigger than an apple, as they danced weightlessly around in the air. It took a prod or two from the pastor for her to even notice Sibyl’s entrance, and the woman scrambled up to a sitting position on the cot, brushing down her costume to something expected of her station. The orbs of light shifted their position as well -- they now flanked Lailah on her left and right. Her eyes fell on Sibyl and she smiled warmly. “Ah, my friend,” she said, revealing herself as someone who called everyone her friend whether she knew them or not, “how are you? Welcome. How may I be of service?” To the pastor, she added, “Thank you, you may leave us now.” OOC
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    Intermission: Mayor Sam Gladwell When he had gone to bed Halloween evening, Scarlet City’s mayor, one Samuel Gladwell, had done so at a reasonable hour. That was a word that he hoped people associated with him -- with his political career, with his friends, with himself as a person. Mayor Sam Gladwell was one reasonable human being. As that was the sort of person he was, he had assumed that nothing would wake him up until the reasonable time that his alarm went off. Instead, he had been awake since about one in the morning dealing with crisis after crisis. It was approaching one am again now, and he still wasn’t home. He was currently running on three cups of coffee, a hastily-eaten sandwich, and a fifteen-minute power nap someone had afforded him twelve hours ago now. Perhaps it had just been one constant crisis -- the riots, two of the three major gangs of the city deciding that now of all times was the perfect time to get back at each other, coordinating a massive memo chain between the mayor’s office and the Peacekeepers, not to mention responding to the press, especially so close to election day. This could easily be his legacy. If the situation was handled poorly, it would be all anyone would remember of him. Well, that, and the world would end. But as it all crumbled and fell apart, they would blame him then. Things were finally quieting down though. Most of the lower-level staff had been dismissed at five, anyone else deemed non-essential had left a few hours later, and coordinators like Director Sekelsky were foreseeing no more immediate issues. He’d even dismissed his bodyguards. He was alone now, with a single light to keep him company. He looked up. That single light was enough to illuminate his desk, yes, but he could see even outside the light’s expected radius. It didn’t just go away. Even when he closed his eyes, the light was still there. Mayor Gladwell turned the light off and allowed his thoughts to wander a bit more. The election was on his mind. His opponent was a businessman named John Fipp. There was a moment in the town hall mayoral debate where, after a spirited back-and-forth about the minutiae of various policies (and a little bit of name-calling -- Sam was willing to admit some of the blame on that front even if “That’s such a lie, they should call you ‘John Fib’” was a very strong line), a middle-aged gentleman stepped up to the microphone and asked the candidates to say one thing they liked about each other. It was a common enough question, one Mayor Gladwell and his debate team had even prepared for. He’d stayed on script for that one, pushing Fipp’s qualities as a businessman and how he clearly cared for Scarlet City. Fipp responded by reiterating the actual substance of the debate to that point. “They say, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff,’ because that’s the mayor’s job. If I am elected, do you think I’ll suddenly push sweeping changes and make everything worse? Of course not. Nothing is going to fundamentally change. I respect Mayor Gladwell and I respect the time he has spent leading our city, I just think it’s time for someone new.” John Fipp had left weaknesses abound for him. He could point out how he was minimizing the importance of the role. The mayor was the elected leader of the entire world! How dare he casually presume his mayorship would be no big deal. Not to mention, if the candidates were similar enough, why choose anything other than the status quo to begin with? Mayor Gladwell could have said any of those things. But when the moderator prompted him for a rebuttal, he simply smiled. “John, let’s just admit that we like each other,” he said, walked over to his opponent’s podium, and hugged him. Later, his team asked him why he did that, and he admitted that he felt forced to. “I couldn’t let him have the last word on civility,” he’d say. But that was a lie. He felt forced to, yes, but the other sort of way. For a brief moment, he saw the story of the debate stretching out in front of him, and the path between him and John Fipp’s podium was already laid out. There was nothing to do but follow it. As he reminisced further, he saw his path stretch out once more. He was moving again, smiling warmly and walking away. The idle thoughts had turned into dreams, ones that were only interrupted when his phone buzzed with a text from his wife. I know I promised I’d wait up for you but I don’t know how much longer I can last. Are you coming home soon? Mayor Gladwell smiled warmly and sent her a reassuring message. He stood up, put his jacket on, and began his journey home. Hopefully, he thought, the next important events would be a full week away. At least that would give him time to prepare. MONDAY NOVEMBER 07 174 DAYS REMAIN “They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” -Revelations 17:14 (NIV) Even It Out “Where’s DEUS?” Director Sekelsky and Bard were en route to Goodale Park for the truce negotiations, which left Victor’s second-in-command, Roy “Roggy” Biff, in charge of the day’s briefing. Like Bard, Roy was a thinker, though his power was a bit more well-defined. Bard just “knew” things. Bard’s power gave him information from a source nobody could pin down. Roy’s was more synaesthetic -- he associated situations with various colors and could use that information to his advantage. Also in the room was his second, Sarah N., and she was the one Roy had addressed the question to. “DEUS was last seen at the intersection of Summit and Fifth directing traffic,” she said. “He’s likely to be there until either rush hour ends or the construction crews get that light fixed.” Roy rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Green, I guess. Lime.” Sarah made a note in a little notebook she had in front of her on the table. “For whatever it’s worth,” she said, “construction has been playing rather nice lately. I’m sure that was factored into your calculations -” “It was.” “- but I felt like it would be good to restate the reason for optimism in this case. Even if something does go wrong -” “It won’t.” “- you can rest assured your plight has a decent chance of being answered.” “It won’t,” Roy said again. He straightened his clothes before actually starting to address the two heroes in the room. Override and Aeon had been assigned to work together again, though at least there was a better reason than “they were the only ones left” this time. “Alright,” he said, and he began his briefing: “Because you two were the ones who volunteered to relay as much information as you could find regarding the end of- regarding Cassandra’s prophecy,” Roy said, still dodging the role specific G3 members played in the events of just about one week ago, “you’re being assigned to formally pay that debt. We’ve been running our end-of-the-world simulations this past week, but we need to explore every option available to us. If it’s an end of the world somebody has thought of, it’s one we can try to prepare for. We’ve arranged a meeting with the Archangel, the spiritual leader of Scarlet City’s largest religion, and you two lucky ducks get to go talk to her.” “There’s a list of potential topics to bring up in your briefing packet,” Sarah chimed in, producing a pair of them and sliding them across the meeting room table, “but obviously the big important one is Zorrastran’s apocalypse story and how much of that the church teaches as metaphor, and which they take at face value. I mean, some of this stuff… The sky literally comes crashing down at one point.” “Thank you, Sarah,” Roy said, taking control of the briefing back. “We’d like you to also, you know, gently encourage the church to take the stance that this is not the end of days. Even if it turns out to be the case, we don’t need people believing it. Knowing your days are numbered does strange things to a person.” He paused, then frowned. “Beige.” Sarah made another note and kept silent this time. “Guess that means you better get going before things get worse,” Roy said. “Make sure to thank Catty Key for arranging this meeting on such short notice again, of course. Oh, and Aeon? Don’t disappear to go get food this time, hm? Meanwhile, miles away, Sibyl had been summoned to the Moray Clan lair, where two of the three Fates, Clotho and Atropos, awaited her. Lachesis, they explained, had gone on ahead to scope out the preparations for the meeting -- they’d be joining their sister soon. “But we do have a job for you,” Atropos said. “Very simple, one you’ve probably done a hundred times before at this point.” “The Archangel Lailah owes us a favor,” Clotho said. “And now’s the time to collect.” “Gotta sermon she needs to give next Saturday.” Atropos already had the papers in her hand and handed them over to Sibyl. They had right-aligned paragraphs and everything. “Don’t really need to say what happens if she refuses, do we?” “That being said, while you should be the most intimidating self we know you can be -” “Creation and destruction in one package, right?” Atropos winked. “- keep a good head on your shoulders. Lailah’s likely to have some people from the church with her, and that’s discounting her actual superpower. The Stanley Principle doesn’t work if you’re just being an idiot, right? She can suffer the consequences another day if she wants.” “You just gotta make them think you could kick their asses even if you can’t. Simple, right?” OOC
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    Bosses Hang, Pt. I The Fates didn’t wait for an answer. They moved as one, each grabbing at the wrist of the hero they wanted to spend their favor on and guiding them towards their assigned section of Echo Park. It was a wordless process. Had they arranged this beforehand? Or was it something that came up often enough that they already knew? In any case, each Fate had already been in front of their intended target. Clotho grew frustrated with Override’s suit of armor weighing him down and making it impossible for her to drag, so she settled on simply walking backward ahead of him with a beckoning hand gesture. Echo Park was just two paths, and Clotho had taken her charge further down the main one, following the creek to a small bridge, across which was a picnic table and stairs leading up to houses of those who were fortunate enough to have a whole park as basically their backyard. One such person came down the stairs with a dog on a leash. Clotho waved at them with a smile, one that the person returned before moving on, away from the other capes in the park. “You can sit if you want,” Clotho said, gesturing to the picnic table. She remained standing. “I will say up front that part of this favor is contingent on you not recording this or listening to the conversations of my sisters through external means. Obviously, I can’t stop you from relaying our talk through memory alone later, nor can we control your teammates if there’s a particularly loud outburst, but if we find out you stuck a microphone on them or your suit’s got a camera on, well, then you’ll owe us an extra favor, I guess.” She shrugged. “And it’d probably be a favor that didn’t have those moral protections the first two did, so, you know.” She paused, both to give time for Override to disable whatever he needed to and to let her threat linger in the air. “We’re not going to check, though. We’re not going to go looking for it, because what I want to spend my favor on is a matter of trust.” Another pause. Then she said, “Do you think I’m actively plotting to kill you?” Clotho didn’t give Override a chance to answer. “I ask because, well, if that’s your primary motivator for trusting villains, a binary ‘Are they killing me? Yes or no?’ you probably should be a lot more trusting in general, and then you wouldn’t need to be dangling this --” she held up the folder “-- out of reach. And if it’s just an ‘Oh, they’re supervillains’ thing, come on. Like, you’re the one trying to get me to sign something.” An impish grin crept onto her face. “Unless you want me to be trying to kill you,” she said. “I mean, my schedule’s pretty busy what with the world about to end and all, and it obviously won’t be right away, but I can probably slot you in if you want that.” Bosses Hang, Pt. II Atropos took Ember to the other side of the park. There was a wall there that nobody could quite remember the purpose of. It didn’t support anything and it wasn’t even attached to the overpass where the bird mural was. And yet, it had always existed as a part of Echo Park. And it had only gotten thicker over time, as more and more paint between the spray tags and the hackneyed cover jobs Scarlet City occasionally arranged cycled between each other ad infinitum. It was currently in its vandalized state. “Really ought to get Sibyl down here one of these days,” Atropos said, touching the wall, then turning around and leaning up against it. She reached into her pocket, pulled out her butterfly knife, and idly began toying with it as she spoke to Ember. “So, you’re one of the ones that got away, huh? Can’t say I blame you. There’s security in that that a lot of gangs don’t offer. I mean, we do, or try to, anyway, but still. Is that why you left? “No, don’t answer that.” She wasn’t flipping her knife around, just holding one of the handles in each hand and swinging the blade back and forth. Her attention was almost more on that than the actual words coming out of her mouth. “Make no mistake, I’m not trying to get either of us to switch sides here, I’m just trying to get to know the person who owes me another favor a bit more. You know, so you’re less likely to renege on the deal later ‘cause it’s just so tuned to your interests as well as ours or whatever. “Clotho’s definitely going to sign that, by the way. No worries there. My sister can speak for us all just fine. But yeah. If we’re going to be working together either because you owe us or because the world’s going to end otherwise, it’d probably be a good idea to drop all that for a moment and just hang out a bit.” Atropos seemed satisfied with the condition of her knife and went back to swinging it around. “Here is a question you can answer for me,” she said. “The other two, they didn’t really get a choice, I don’t think. But when our participation got priced at six favors, you said yes. I dunno. I think that’s interesting. I might have haggled a little. Why’d you say yes?” Bosses Hang, Pt. III Lachesis took Aeon to the top of the stairs and moved a little bit further down across the overpass to the corner of an intersection, crossing it to the other corner where an ice cream shop awaited them. It was closed, unfortunately (Lachesis pointed out their limited hours sign and said something like “Winter hours and it’s not even Winter yet.”) but the seating was still out and Lachesis scootched into one of the tables and gestured for Aeon to sit across from her. It took a moment for Lachesis to say anything. She looked Aeon up and down a few times first, then, “Freaky.” She looked up from the table. “You’re freaky, you know that? And I don’t mean, like in a bad way or anything. I mean, like, I try to size people up on first meeting them, just questions like height, weight, shoe size, all that good stuff. Age is a big number I like to grab ‘cause I can get it super specific and that catches people off-guard. But looks are a big part of that and, to be blunt, you don’t look that old. I’ve done my homework. I know how old you are - or how old you say you are, anyway - but, you know, dissonance. Freaky.” She settled down into her seat, leaning in to talk to Thessa further. “So, Æon,” -- it was not clear whether her mispronunciation was deliberate or not -- “The Immortal Hero. Keeper of Grudges, apparently. How’s G3 life treating you? I don’t actually know what I’m supposed to say here. I’m tempted to just act like this is a book club and talk about something I’ve read recently you might find interesting. Is that okay? I mean, it’s my favor, so I guess it’s okay. “I’ve been reading this book called All Men are Mortal by Simone de Beauvoir,” Lachesis said. “It’s about this prince of a made-up land called Italy who becomes immortal and decides to use his newfound lifespan to take control of the whole county. He thinks the only reason nobody has done this before is because they die partway through achieving it and progress stalls without their strong hand. But that turns out not to be the case. It turns out you can’t change the system by the rules of the system itself.” She shrugged. “I don’t know if that’s something every immortal fears or just the ones in stories, but you make me think of it.” Lachesis leaned in a little further into the table to the point she was almost lying against it, stretching out her arms to the edges of the thing. “The prince is a bit stupid anyway. Firstly because he gives up after, like, a few hundred years, which is surely nothing to someone who’s doomed to live forever, and second, like, you don’t have to become immortal to make a change in the world. I hope not. It’s tough given what the world is like, but, you know…” She perked back up. “That was a downer. First no ice cream and now all of that. I’m sorry. Hey, you know what?” She pulled a pen and paper out from one of her pockets. “As payback for being a lame-o, if you ever want to dump some nonsense on me, doesn’t have to be G3 work, just whatever you want, give me a call.” She wrote down her number and showed it to Thessa. “You have a good memory, right? Memorize it quick ‘cause it’s about to, uh.” It was a piece of nitrocellulose. Flash paper. Very quickly, the whole thing was in flames, and Lachesis tossed the thing on the ground and stamped the fire out. She looked back at Aeon and made a clicking noise with her mouth and a “call me” sign with her hand. Undoing a Luciferian Towers Dee Moxley didn’t wake up to the alarm on the main gate going off, she woke up to her own. That was the sort of person she was, always on a schedule. She didn’t even register the banging on the door until she rolled off the mattress the Gibbons had provided her when assigning her this station, put her glasses on, and pounded the top of the instant coffee machine to dispense something that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike coffee. She knew it was a tinker’s fault, that the person who had made the machine had had to scale back their design to the point that the machine could only be described charitably as “doing the best it could,” and she forgave the machine itself for its creator’s folly, but she missed the days of being able to leave the house and go down the street for a double shot of espresso. She’d wanted this post. This was the reason she joined Gibbons in the first place, for access to their resources, particularly the land so close to the Shimmer so she could study it without being bothered, but it did have its trade-offs, and that was one of them. Another was the people Gibbons had assigned to be with her. Babs slept through just about anything and lazed through the day despite her power and Güber, well, he was the one who made the coffee machine. At least it woke her up. It woke her up enough, anyway, to know to not respond to Güber’s wailing on the other side of her door. There was no way, without her console at hand, that she’d be able to help him by opening that door. But there were other ways. She tapped the side of her glasses and scrolled through the options that appeared on the lenses, finally selecting a few options that she believed would help the most. First was cameras. She needed to see what was going on, and her glasses flooded her vision with information. Next, obviously, was locking down the room. Whoever was attacking Güber was just on the other side, and though they’d demonstrate the ability to tear the walls of her lab down, now they’d have to try a little bit harder to get to her. Through the cameras, she saw the shimmers of her forcefields envelop the exterior of the room. They were the harder ones. The softer ones, those were the ones on the drones. It was time to wake those up as well. Her laptop was not in the room, an operational security oversight that probably had to be corrected once these particular invaders were repelled. Without that, she could only switch her drones on, off, and through a few basic modes. Two out of the three invaders were still in the warehouse? Maybe the plan was to contain them there until she managed to get Babs up. As for Güber, maybe if he didn’t pull out his “Ray Gun That Makes You Say ‘Ow’ And Nothing Else” at every opportunity he could think of something actually worth trying. She watched him struggle to his feet only to get duffed again and sighed. Alright, maybe not. But there were two more things to do before she had to go play the hero. She switched all the drones on standby in the warehouse to activate and put them on their defensive programming. A softer forcefield and electrical shocks within their range would hopefully be a good enough deterrent, and if it wasn’t… there wasn’t a good answer to that. But she’d think of something. As the drones, those perfect little balls of metal and tinker engineering, rose from the racks and started hovering around the warehouse in search of threats, all Dee had left to do was grab two supplies. The first was a forcefield extruder, a barrier gun that could buy her some time, and the second, meant for Babs personally, was an airhorn. “Anyone else want to come out?” someone said at her bedroom door. Dee readied her extruder, lowered the lockdown field around her room back down, and answered by bursting through. OOC
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    The journey to the warehouse had been filled with a short burst of, "oooh," "whooa," and "whoa ho ho," from Sibyl as they darted from one point in space to another. The sensation was something that was fairly indescribable to Sibyl, given that she hadn't ever had an experience quite like it before. Touching down on the ground after their journey had completed, tapping the ground with her feet to center herself after that jarring flight, the girl then gave a whistle as the door came to them, something she had much more experience with albeit it usually looked less abrupt, and slapped Adler on the back. "Man old timer, you've got some pretty rad tricks." With some pep in her step, and a smile on her face really starting to get amped as Vi charged forward to destroy the door in front of them, Sibyl made her way to it. Beyond the door, or rather the newely created hole in the wall, was a hallway that ran perpendicular to where they were entering from. A man, someone who seemed to look remarkably average, was dashing down this hallway in a hurry, spewing a string of profanities. "Shit. Shit. Shit. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck." "Hoohoo, guess it's my go now." The girl ran after the man, shadows covering her arm and turning her fingers into more pointed claws. Reaching out, the shadows extended off the arm and grabbed the man's arm. "Hey there! Where you off to?" The man had already made it to another door, banging on it and shouting, "Dee! Babs!" After his arm got pulled back, the man quickly pulled out what appeared to be a toy gun - like some kind of small laser blaster type thing that'd be in an old sci-fi show. Pointing the gun at her, the man shouted, "let go of me!" Her already jovial expression started to bear a wide grin on it as she said, "ooh, nice toy you got there!" The girl certainly did think it was neat, retro even, and couldn't help but start to feel more excited from the man's clear aggression. Yet, while she thought the blaster thing was cool, she preferred her fights to be more "personal." "Well, if you're asking, then," and the girl let go of him. Almost immediately after, her shadow hand flicked itself towards his gun, slapping it out of his hands before shadows covered Sibyl's other arm. Closing her hand into a fist, the girl stretched the shadow arm forward and slammed it into the man's face. Shouting at the door she gleefully asked, "anyone else wanna come out?"
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    Magenta Mountain The three received a text message as they approached the warehouse containing the actual address of their destination, though, given the circumstances, it wasn’t strictly necessary. Lachesis’ instruction of “the warehouse eleven point five nine kilometers that way” had narrowed it down far enough; there weren’t any other buildings it could be. It was also bigger than someone might be expecting, but that was all warehouses, wasn’t it? The most notable feature was on the side facing them, a set of doors that stretched from the ground to the ceiling, the kind that had to be slid open by a team of people, a hydraulic system, or a brute in a pinch. Sounds of whirring machinery could be heard inside and, occasionally, a giant CRUNCH! Lachesis had also said “Pretty close to The Shimmer without getting up and personal with it,” but that was underselling it, probably because even with a gargantuan warehouse in front of it, The Shimmer was just so much bigger. In Scarlet City proper, it was easy to just not think about it, to use the relative distance as a buffer from acknowledging the cylindrical barrier keeping the world contained within it. Not so here, with just the one thing for scale. It was still early enough that the sun was still behind The Shimmer, causing blotches of color to dance around on the field between it and the warehouse. There wasn’t time to admire it, unfortunately. The Moray Clan had a job to do. Their phones buzzed with a few more messages from The Fates: oh by the way its dee “the shield” moxleys workshop barrier tinker look out for forcefields ig go gettem tigers xoxoxo The Garden Goblin In addition to the G3 heroes’ discussions amongst themselves as they made their way from G3’s headquarters in downtown Skitty to the Moray Clan-controlled Old North district about the three major gangs of Scarlet City, there were a few other ways they could get a feel for what they were getting themselves into. The first was in their helpfully provided folders, which, as Bard had explained, summarized their database entry down to a few key points. It read as follows: Lanthimos, Clotho Lachesis and Atropos Cape Name: The Fates Active for: 2 years, 7 months Power Classification: Blaster, Thinker, Blaster respectively Entry is for all three as despite them occasionally being spotted independently of each other, The Fates are most known for operating as one cohesive unit. Founders and current leaders of the Moray Clan gang. Took part in attacks on branches of Hunter, Fifty-Three, and Boffa banks and orchestrated an attack on an Edison Mk III Armored Vehicle (see: March 15 Incident). A file on the March 15 incident was not attached to the folder’s summary. Goals: Monetary gain is the common throughline in their criminal activity. The day-to-day activities of the Moray Clan involve collecting protection money and otherwise making their presence known to the community they inhabit, which further reinforces this view. Someone had scrawled “It’s not money!” in the margins of all three folders. The second way was all the posters hung up every so often as the heroes entered the Old North district of Scarlet City. Each of them had a map of the city and a photo of The Fates someone had managed to take surreptitiously. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE they all read. The Moray Clan is generally sociable towards civilians and even towards members of the G3 Hero Organization, fully willing to participate in most truces. This does not mean they are to be trusted, or that they are not still working at cross purposes to the law. They are occasionally known to display a vicious ruthlessness toward those they deem their enemies. G3 cannot condone agreeing to any form of recruitment, however temporary The Fates promise your experience might be. Most of these posters had been defaced, most of them by random graffiti tags or stickers, but a few had been slashed up entirely. The third and final impression Ember, Aeon, and Override got of The Fates on that crisp first day of November was the tableau The Fates presented themselves as the heroes descended the staircase into Echo Park proper. Each of them was on their phone. Atropos had extended one of the corners under the bridge so she could sit by the water while watching something on her phone, her face intent and her headphones locking her out from the world until Clotho noticed the heroes. Clotho, for her part, had been pacing up and down the park’s main walkway sending text after text. She only really noticed the heroes by happenstance. Lachesis was taking a selfie by the mural under the bridge. The mural was of several of Scarlet City’s bird species. This was actually the second version of this mural, made after the first had fallen into disrepair, and taggers had wasted no time covering the new version with political messages. The bird Lachesis was taking a selfie with had a pair of breasts spray painted on; the fact that it was a cardinal and not a tit didn’t seem to bother her. It was Clotho that addressed the heroes first. “You guys don’t use Catty Key on us unless it’s really important,” she said. “It’s about this, right?” Atropos tilted her phone to reveal she’d been watching a stream of Director Sekelsky addressing the press. “Real, true end-of-days stuff.” Lachesis said. “Cassandra showing up on our turf after disappearing for so long too. Imagine being the only one knowing about an S-Class.” “Basically our turf,” Atropos corrected. “The Fairgrounds aren’t officially ours yet.” “Okay, basically our turf,” Lachesis said. “Still, imagine being the only one knowing something, anything, really. You probably act differently just to keep the illusion. But now I’m rambling.” She cast her eyes towards the folders, then back up, scanning each hero in turn. She lingered long enough on Aeon -- certainly longer than the other heroes -- to be noticeable, “Those things have the plan, then? What do you have for us?” OOC
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