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  1. Elita kept her attention alert as she listened in to the conversation from the ruined corner nook they had settled into. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much there that was very helpful immediately, much less in giving her a solid direction. The brief mention of someone named Altair was filed away for the future, especially considering the reaction it got, but it wasn’t relevant at the moment. The fact that Stratford was an unknown Fount caught her off guard. Maybe she had just suspected it with no real confirmation, but it had always made sense to her. She couldn’t really say if that meant anything here, but it was relevant information to the case. And then… A stolen relic. Once again, she couldn’t assume that it was relevant to Stratford’s murder, but she could file the information away. The Arc was stolen, Go-Shintai. District 1 Museum on loan from the Catholic Church. She clenched at her wrist lightly as she held her hand in front of her chest, her fingers idly dragging across it as she considered what that could mean… "Hey chief, remember when you threatened me and said we were alone?" She tensed up as she heard that, letting go of her wrist as she moved her hand to grab Tempest’s shoulder. She gave him a firm look, before motioning away from the two that were speaking. She took a few careful steps away from the scene, steadily to avoid tripping. I can’t assume we’ve been found. If it’s only a hunch, getting reckless would certainly out us to them. And that’s not a position I wish to be in. As she led them away from the crater, Tempest followed behind her, his hands carefully dragging the shadows to obscure them from view. She could see a bit of strain on his face as the darkness surrounded the two of them, forcing her to kneel a bit, slowing their movements slightly. She couldn’t be sure if the shadows muffled sounds as well, but she took a small glance over her shoulder to Tempest, “Perhaps we should look into that theft… I don’t like the idea, but it’s possible that… Stratford was a distraction for that. We would have to find out when the theft occurred, but I doubt those two would be interested in helping us. Lingering there seemed risky, since we seemed to have been noticed...” She kept her voice low, unsure if Tempest could even really hear her, but it was important to make sure that the two discussing those events were out of earshot. It was hard to figure out what exactly she was meant to do from this point, but… It was a lead, if only because it was a major event on the same day. Surely… It isn’t too far-fetched to think these events might be connected. I will have to get some input from the others… Perhaps they’ll have an idea on where to begin... Perhaps even a contact at the museum?
  2. ╔. .═════════╗ "I knew you could do it," she whispered to her vice-captain, cutting straight to the point. "Congratulations Kendra. And you too, Daichi." Kendra rubbed at her neck for a moment, shaking her head gently, "...It was too close for comfort. I only got lucky that he overthought the situation and played into Counter Gate." She glanced down at the roughly put together duel disk on her arm, brushing her fingers over the deck in it as she frowned, "Hardly a ground shaking performance from me." Kendra wanted to take some praise for the duel, but realistically, she should have lost. Yukihito was a conceited, narrow-minded duelist and that worked to her advantage, but that didn't mean she should have won. She did turn her head to Daichi though, giving him a little thumbs up, "Obviously I didn't catch most of it, but you looked like you were holding up pretty well there. Seemed like a tough opponent." “Yes, you both performed so well!” Vega beamed, though she now took a position with her hands on her hips, chest jutted out, and grinning wide, “Everyone on the team has shown off what they’re capable of now, so you guys should start making a good name for yourselves. Who knows… maybe the comparisons to Team Origin might come in handy!” She paused as she considered Vega's statement, a tiny sigh escaping her, "We shouldn't worry too much about that particular... Aspect. Seems like an easy way to get a swollen head..." --- "Oh, by the by, you all can call me Maddy. Nice to meetcha!” Kendra yawned as she glanced up from her spot, her head resting on her arms as she mumbled a tiny bit. She waved a hand in a small greeting to the new arrival, hardly considering who it was as she mumbled lightly to herself. Vega probably wasn't going to be a huge fan of the sudden intrusion. "It's nice to have you here today; I hope you're not offended if we dive right into things. We have an important match here, I think, even more so than the team may realize." Kendra raised an eyebrow briefly at that. Sure, it was following up a solid performance from them, but they didn't even know who they were facing yet. For all Rosalia knew, this could have been an immensely uphill battle... It seemed a bit excessive to build it up right away, but what did she know? Then... She followed it up with another round of congratulations, which only made Kendra's face drop a little. Despite winning, the duel left a bitter taste in her mouth. It was hard to feel proud of winning it, when it only happened due to her opponent being an airheaded narcissist. "But now we're gaining steam; Two wins... a draw," she added, a slight strain to the word, "and no losses. We're going to start garnering attention. Though we've already started gaining that in... one aspect." This, at least, Kendra could nod her head with. People are going to be paying more attention to them now that they're positive. If they had lost and stayed tied, people would lose interest... "I think we can take this momentum and really drive into it. For our next match... We attempt a clean sweep." Kendra didn't interrupt, despite immediately having a response in mind. Her finger lazily ran through a strand of her hair, curling it around her finger as much as she could manage as the captain continued. Sai's own response to her comments... Until finally, Rosalia asked for input. She let out a tiny breath... "...I think you're correct to put yourself in. We should probably wait and see what we might be up against, but they're going to want to see the captain giving a strong performance." She tapped at her desk for a moment, "Sai also should be in, and I have no doubt he can perform well enough. As for..." She glanced towards Eve and Falisha, her finger tensing for a moment, "I don't know nearly enough about Turbo Duels to say who should go in here." She shrugged her shoulders a tiny bit, "Daichi isn't... Entirely correct about things just falling into place, we have to work towards the goal, but he is right about one thing. Don't stress yourself over it too much. You'll perform better that way." She gave Rosalia a small grin, right up until... “You’ve got some real straight shooters, don’t you?” Maddy grinned as she hung on Vega’s shoulder, the younger woman’s face still drained of any color, “You know, you should really invite them t-” “Mom. Can we talk about this outside?” The coach’s face dropped a bit along with her tone. Not so much angry as… uncomfortable. Annoyed. The cheery Maddy blinked as it happened, giving a nod. “Alright, alright, I don’t wanna pester too much. I just wanted to come see your team, and pass along a message from your dad. If you can step outside with me for a minute, I can do that, and be on my way… oh and one from your auntie too!” “Yeah, that works. Just… warn me next time, will ya?” With a sigh, Vega nodded, stepping towards the door with her mother in tow. She turned around and pointed at Kendra, “Sorry guys, but I guess I need to handle this. Kendra, you’re closest to the projector and my notes so you’re in charge. Go ahead and go over our opponents this week and you all can start planning while I handle this.” As Vega pushed her mother out of the door, Maddy leaned back and gave everyone a happy wave, just in time for the door to slam shut behind the duo. Kendra let out a small yawn as she sat up slowly, shaking her head a bit as she did, “...Dunno what I’m supposed to really say, first time I’m learning about our opponents too. Haven’t had a chance to look into them.” She made her way towards the projector, flicking it on as the screen lit up in front of the team, “Alright, let’s go… Stormwolf. I’ve vaguely heard of them. They’re not a very notable team… Average performance, they had been in the league for a while. The most notable thing is that for most of their run, they were running with only three team members.” She tapped to the next slide, pulling up a picture of the Team Captain, “Mason Dunbarr is the captain and his known deck is Cloudians. He’s maintained a positive record, despite being their only Standard duelist. Guy looks even more tired than me.” Another tap, “Sigrid Talbot. She was their only Action Duelist at first… Vega seems to want us to use the same order as we did against Team Free, which is a choice I guess.” Kendra snickered a tiny bit at the next slide, “Here’s one for Daichi, their original Turbo Duelist. Corbin Fey, who has since swapped to dual roles. Action and Turbo. Fortune Ladies, which I guess we shouldn’t be surprised over…” She continued, the next tab showing a woman in a lab coat, a small pause given before she spoke again. “Vanity shot I guess. Eris is their second Turbo Duelist… And finally, we have a new guy. No record, no games, but they finally found a second Standard duelist.” Kendra’s eyes narrowed a tiny bit as she glanced at the notes Vega left her, a small mumble escaping her, “...Man, the coach’s notes are super scattered. Anyway. Like I said, she seems to want to put us in like she did with Free. She thinks the new guy, Itsuki, would be their standard duelist for the surprise… Dunno why she thinks the other two though. You three good with that?” Kendra folded her hands on her lap as she sat back, glancing at the others. The bags under her eyes were a bit softer than usual, but other than that… She looked just as tired as always, and just as forward as she glanced between Eve and Sai. Then she turned to Rosalia, "I think you're the better bet here. Your deck is more well-rounded than mine, I'm just good at fine tuning for my next opponent. A benefit to Xyz, ya know? When I don't know what deck they use..." She tapped at the projector lightly, "I don't like my odds as much. Think you can handle this?" ╚═════════. .╝
  3. ╔. .═════════╗ “Draw!” Yukihito added a fourth card to his hand as he began his turn, taking quick stock of the cards before placing a monster down. Like a bolt of lightning, a crystalline rabbit appeared, bouncing about excitedly. “I normal summon Bujingi Hare,” [LIGHT Beast; Level 4; 1700/500], “Then overlay it with Yamato! Xyz Summon!” The galactic spiral appeared for yet another Xyz Summon, but this time only the hare entered. Instead, Yamato strode across the top, standing above the center as crystalline forms flew from it, covering its body in armor. Headdress, wings, an ornate sword, and a more practical sword being notable parts among it, Yukihito grinned as he held his hand out. “Bujintei Susanowo!” [LIGHT Beast-Warrior; Rank 4; 2400/1600] “By detaching Bujingi Hare from Susanowo, I can either search a Bujin or send it from my deck to the grave. In this case, I’ll add Bujin Mahitotsu to my hand, then discard Bujingi Wolf to Special Summon it in defense!” As he followed the motions, an ornate eye appeared next to Susanowo, with crystalline white pouring from around it, leading to a red body below the hair-like white crystal. The monster took up a defensive form as Yukihito discarded yet another card, causing the monster to glow slightly. “Then I’ll use its effect- by banishing Wolf, I’ll send Bujingi Sinyou from deck to grave. Then battle! Susanowo, destroy Tornado Dragon!” The Bujin emperor spread its wings wide, rocketing forward towards Kendra’s Xyz, only to bring its broader sword down on the creature, the wyrm was torn apart, the wind that formed its body scattering, as if there had never been a storm. “I suppose I’ll have to set 1 and end my turn at this point. You haven’t really proven you’re any better than Aya, either… The minor leagues are so dull.” As the winds dissipated, Kendra was left standing there, a disappointed look on her face as she drew her next card, “You’re acting like I took the damage or something. Unfortunately for you…” Kendra’s trap card flipped face up as she looked to Yukihito, “This isn’t over yet. I activate Portable Battery Pack to resummon Batterman 9-Volt and Batteryman AAA. Once again, 9-Volt allows me to search for another Batteryman.” As the three figures returned to the field, the rectangular battery pointed to the sky once more. Another crackle of electricity signaled another search, “I’ll add, and normal summon, Batteryman Solar.” The flash that had accompanied the previous summons wasn’t present with this one, instead, light was refracted briefly as three solar panels were raised to the field. The largest, middle panel stood as light was absorbed from the sky, channeling towards Kendra’s deck much like 9-Volt before it, “When Solar is summoned, I can send a Thunder monster from my deck to the graveyard. I’ll send Thunder Hand.” The card was quickly deposited to the grave as Kendra looked towards her hand, “The current beckons. I overlay my three Batteryman monsters to Xyz Summon.” The portal reopened as 9-Volt, Solar, and AAA faded into light, circling down into it. “The flow of power won’t stop, all I can do is guide it. Xyz Summon, Ultra-Electromagnetic Radiation Dragon!” From the portal burst a large, rusted pair of wings that fanned out on either side of it. Mechanical claws followed closely behind as the sound of metal dragged itself from the portal, the bronze plated head of the thunderous creature reared itself upwards. The crackling electric filled the air around them as the Dragon took the field, a creaky, metallic call echoing across the stadium. [LIGHT Thunder; Rank 4; 2900 / 1600] “Battle. My dragon will be attacking Mahitotsu, and when it does, I can detach an Xyz Material from it.” One of the three lights orbiting Radiation Dragon vanished, being replaced with AAA appearing beside the mechanical dragon. A panel shifted in the back of Radiation Dragon’s neck, allowing the pair of batteries to slip into place as it shut… “When I do, I send one Batteryman from my deck to the grave-” A single card popped free from her deck, which she quickly deposited in the graveyard, “I’ll send Fuel Cell. And in return, Radiation Dragon’s attack and defense are doubled until the end of your next turn.” [2900 / 1600 > 5800 / 3200] “No kill like overkill, right?” Yukihito grumbled, waving for her to continue. With a creak, the head of Ultra-Electromagnetic Radiation Dragon began to turn. The build up on electricity around the dragon’s claws became apparent as the entire body crackled with it, eyes lighting up with a sudden burst. The monster lurched forward, raising its claws up as the current orbiting its body focused on them. Then, with a single slash downwards, Radiation Dragon sliced straight through Mahitotsu, cleaving the red plated figure straight in half. As the dust settled, Kendra placed a single card face down, the card materializing in front of her, “With that, I set one and my turn ends.” ╚═════════. .╝
  4. ╭── ⋅ ⋅ ── ✩ ── ⋅ ⋅──╮ Strange Ladder, Mesagoza – 2:00 PM With the assembly at an end and students finding their groups, the day was still not even half over for many of them. Despite the fact that Clavell’s speech had dragged on a bit near the end, he still managed to get them out before the end of the normal day, which gave the students enough time to begin their planning. The school was buzzing with activity, groups forming and taking over every corner of the school as they pondered their options and where they should go. Although most students already knew what they wanted to do, the group format meant they had to come to a consensus together… Of course, that meant that students were funneling out of the school as well, meeting up at various different points around Mesagoza. The local cafes and restaurants knew this time of year well, the post ceremony lunch rush. Of course, not everyone was interested in picking a place to meet that had decent food, if the small group gathering behind the Pokemon Center had anything to say about it. As they settled in to discuss their plans, another figure approach them. The boy seemed slightly older than the rest of them, his face covered by a medical mask. A ring of flowers draped around his neck swayed from side to side as he approached the gathered students, “...Group 13, right? Hopefully I got the right ladder, since I was going to be in this area anyway.” Wendy turned to face the masked boy. "Correct. Are you another member of this group as well?" If so, that brought the group's size to six. A fine number, often preferred by top-of-the-line trainers if everything she heard was to be believed. He nodded his head for a moment, before rubbing at his neck, "Yeah, I am, but I also won't be traveling with you, if you all intend to travel. Name's Mahli. I was offered an internship, working with Pokemon Centers around the region. I figured I would stop by, give you all my Rotom Phone number, stay in touch... Jaqc would probably get on my case if I didn't at least pretend to be traveling with you." "Wait, you're going to travel by yourself?" Ryu asked. Concern filled his question to the brim. "That's really dangerous, you know. We should stick together, lest you get caught unaware by a powerful Pokemon." Mahli paused for a moment, when he spoke again, his voice was a bit softer, "I mean... That's fair enough, but always a concern anyway. I've stocked up on Poke Dolls to make a quick break if I need." He gave the bag hanging against his back a little pat, "I'm heading towards Levincia for my first assignment, I wouldn't wanna drag you all out of the way." "Levincia?" Aruto muttered, rubbing his chin. "Isn't that the city where the Gym Leader Iono is from?" "You got it." He shot Aruto a quick thumbs up, before his eyes glanced upwards towards the sky, "...Man, I hope I don't have to interact with her myself. Not a huge fan. Hopefully the nurses take care of that." He coughed for a moment, before turning his attention back to the group, "I've heard some rumors though. You know how the Gym Leaders are all prepping for the challenge? I hear she's recruited help from those Team Star guys that run the Training Camps." "Team Star?" Scully raised Gligar up to his shoulder; It felt like a more dignified position than hanging in his arms. "I've heard they're supposed to be really strong, right?" Mahli's hand rose up as the colorful flowers shifted around his neck, lifting up over his head and floating into the air as the small, light green oval shaped main body revealed itself. The boy brought his hand up, scratching at the side of its cheek as he shrugged, "I dunno. I never checked out those training camps myself, I just heard about it while I was interning at the Center here. They're great places for gossip." Scully thought for a second about this, then grinned. He had an idea. "I mean... that sounds kinda neat. Right?" He leaned back against the ladder, attempting to affect a laid-back, confident pose. "We haven't really figured out where we go first, right? And Levincia's as good a place as any. Besides," and here he clapped his hands together, "I'd love to get that badge off Iono, Team Star or not!" "Well, looks like we've ended up with a little group of weirdos," Helena hummed as she continued to work on her pad, having only dodged the Gligar and nodded to the others as they showed up, "Myself included, of course! Helena's the name," She poked the Pumpkaboo atop her head, prompting a squeak from it, "And this cutie is Jackie. I don't see much of a problem with Mahli wandering off and doing his own thing, it'd just bring everyone down to force someone to go somewhere they didn't wanna go... But we may as well tag along to Levincia for the first stretch, ye?" Mahli shrugged his shoulders a tiny bit, a little smile tugging at the corner of his lips as he did, the mask shifting upwards slightly, "I guess that's fine. I don't mind the extra company. Right, Aroma?" His fingers reaching up to brush the side of the Comfey's body gently, a small coo escaping the floating flower bunch as he did. "If you all want to head out today, I'm good to go whenever, I'll just swing back by the school and grab my traveling bag. The east gate is a good spot to head out from, there's all sorts of wild Pokemon you can catch out there too, so you can keep yourselves busy." He turned himself around, giving the group a thumbs up as he turned away from them, "I'll catch you all outside the east gate later. I recommend being careful out there, the Pokemon get pretty strong if you wander too far from the gate!" Outside Mesagoza, South Province Area Three - 4:30 PM The individuals were given plenty of time to prepare on their own, Mahli apparently took his time on getting ready. Either he wasn't nearly as prepared to go as he made it sound like or he had been distracted by something. There were students roaming around on their own, preparing for their own journeys, or just enjoying the freedom to leave the city as they wished. There was a small group of students standing on a bridge of land connecting to the grassy plains of South Province Area Five. They charged back towards the arid Area Three with a brown amphibian held up into the air, cheering as they ran back into Mesagoza. The Wooper had a blank smile on its face, a small "woo" escaping it as they charged back into the city. Wild Pokemon roamed across the dusty terrain, settling in together to avoid human contact where they could. Rocky and harsh to those trying to explore deeper in it, but calm enough for the beginning trainers to travel through it... Mahli stepped through the gates of Mesagoza, rubbing at his neck for a moment as he took a small glance around, "I guess I should, uh... Damn, I shoulda gotten the numbers from those guys before I left, huh? Guess I'll be waiting over here at the gates..." ╰── ⋅ ⋅ ── ✩ ── ⋅ ⋅──╯
  5. --- 1st District, 9:00 AM Soon enough, I will have freedom to explore the scene of the crime. Elita hummed to herself gently as she tapped at her cheek gently, her eyes lazily scanning across the wreckage of District 1 from the top of her family’s home.. The site of the Tower’s origin was truly impressive, the police force had been working nearly non-stop to make sure that civilians weren’t accessing it. Dangerous to the common folk, a need to quell rumors about the mayor, or maybe… Maybe the police force was involved in the attack as well? She couldn’t rule it out, it would be a fair enough angle for the attacker to take, if they needed to buy time to get an opportunity to attack Stratford. She couldn’t rule it out… She brushed her hair behind her head as she thought back to the previous day. The tower’s rampage had cleared a path through the further districts, but even from her family’s home atop an artificial hilltop, she couldn’t see that far out. Her mother liked to have a good view of the rest of the District and the city beyond it, even if she liked to complain about the sight of District 12 so close to her own home. Elita was sure she enjoyed the sense of superiority she got from literally looking down at others, but that wasn’t her business. She knew it had been unlikely for the tower to hit her family’s home, it would have started moving in the opposite direction and then made a U-Turn back towards District 6 for that to happen, but she had to at least pretend to be concerned when she got a spare moment to call her mother… ___ Yesterday, 6th District, 2:40 PM She let her hand hold the phone steadily in front of her, a deep breath escaping the girl as she tapped on the contact labeled “Mom”. The phone buzzed as she held it up to her ear, until finally… “Where are you? You were supposed to be home at 2 on the dot. I have a very important meeting, I need you here to-” “Mother, have you been paying attention to anything today? Samsura Tower started moving. It carved a path straight through District 6.” There was a pause on the other end of the line, a choked sound escaping the woman, “What do you mean, carving a path? Are you okay, you were traveling through… Is this why you hung up earlier?” Elita let out a tiny sigh, nodding her head, before realizing that wouldn’t do anything to help, “Yes, I had to pause our conversation to figure out what the… Disturbance was. I helped quell Stratford. Unfortunately…” “Richard? Richard Stratford would not run a rampage through his own streets, you know that! You’ve seen the man-” “I’ll be home soon. It will be about an hour before I’m free. I need to speak to the other Founts, and then… When I get home, we’ll have this conversation in full. I thought you might appreciate the warning that your meetings today are likely to be canceled. I doubt anyone will be in the mood.” She hung up the phone before her mother could protest. She rarely did that, she just had to hope her mother would take the hint that this was a serious matter, and not argue with her on this one. It was rare she took such a hard stance against her, but it felt necessary since her own meetings were about to begin… ___ 6th District, 4:10 PM Elita quickly stepped out of the building, following the boy who had slipped free while others weren’t looking. She had been working to piece together most of the events of the day, from bystanders, from other Founts… And the rumors of a boy toying with shadows had caught her attention for obvious reasons. She knew it could not be that simple, there was likely no way for him to have been in the Tower at the same time as the evacuation events, but she could at least ask him for input. He stood in the alley, his hands in his pockets as he gazed up at the sky, but when he heard her footsteps exiting the bar, he seemed ready to jump and run at first notice. Elita held her hands up in front of her, “...I just wanted to ask a few questions. You are not required to answer anything you don’t wish to.” He flinched and Elita was able to feel a sudden tinge of concern from him. She forced herself to ignore it though, and waited for him to reply, “You’re the one who was hanging out with the reporter for a while. You saw Stratford die, right?” She paused, she hadn’t expected him to launch the first question. She nodded her head gently, a little sigh escaping her, “I did. I cannot talk about too much of what occurred. I cannot risk information falling into the wrong hands. What I can say is that Mr. Stratford perished and I am looking for the one who-” “I didn’t do anything! I was on the ground the whole time.” That panic spiked again as she held her composure, “I apologize,” Tempest seemed to tense up when she said that, “I did not mean to imply I suspected you. I just wanted to ask about what occurred on the ground level. I heard from bystanders that you were helping with the evacuation.” He nodded his head, before taking a deep breath… He launched into an explanation of the events as he recalled them. The brief mention of a weird book, and the constant reinforcements from the tower. When she asked about his abilities: “I can do small shadow manipulation. Nothing too impressive, but I can get a decent cloak, or a shield if the shadows are dense enough.” “Did you happen to notice any other shadowy figures during the events today?” Her face was stoic as she asked that, and his own scrunched up in confusion, “...No, I didn’t. It was all really fast, but… It was just me I think?” Elita nodded her head, before offering him her hand, “I appreciate your cooperation. I have one last request, if you will hear me out.” ___ 1st District, 11:15 AM And now, her patience was beginning to bear fruit. As the others gathered around, her focus drifted a bit to watched the sky, a small frown on her face, “I should have pushed to meet earlier than this, I suppose…” She wasn’t focused much on the others around her, instead taking time to watch the comings and goings of the police force. Watching their usual paths, how they patrolled the crater that they were busy investigating and what blind spots they had. It wasn’t as if she thought she could get down there easily, but she would like to take a closer look around the scene itself if she could manage. She let out a tiny hum as she took a glance at her phone, before putting it away as she turned her attention back to the crater. “I do not know what the rest of you would like to investigate, but I know what I’ll be checking out.” "Looks like the boydem ain't exactly running tours. I'm all for tearing through this yellow tape," Leo cocked his head toward Sei, "but not if our resident super-hero is gonna tackle me extra fast once I'm in. Got me all wavey after the reporter here fixed me up yesterday, not lookin ta snooze another half a day." Elita didn’t acknowledge Leo’s arrival, but she did give a small nod to him after the rest of what he said, “I will be entering the scene, but I won’t need to tear through the tape. I have a plan.” She nodded her head again as Tempest stepped through the group, “Are you prepared? We’ll have to avoid the police in there.” She felt a twinge of panic, but his face didn’t show much as he glanced towards the crater, then nodded his head, “First sign of trouble and we’re leaving, right? I know you want to dig up more information, but like…” He took another look at the gathered police force, then back to her, “It’s one thing when it’s a rogue tower, but there are actual people with authority here. You could get into a lot of trouble if you aren’t paying attention.” “I know. We will keep a low profile… I would like to hear what the investigators inside of the remains are saying.” ---
  6. I do not recommend trying to format a post with columns. It was more trouble than it was worth. looks neat tho

    1. Nathanael D. Striker

      Nathanael D. Striker

      Ugh, I can already imagine how much of a pain that is. X__X

  7. ╭── ⋅ ⋅ ── ✩ ── ⋅ ⋅──╮ Naranja Academy, Mesagoza – 9:30 AM STEM Homeroom The front of the classroom was empty as the students trickled in, leaving them to get settled in alone. A few students gossiped among themselves, while others just continued getting their sleep by taking little naps, until Tyme walked into the room a few minutes later, "I'm sorry, everyone. Director Clavell was speaking to me about the announcement today." A few students perked up at the mention, "That's why we were given a late start right?" Tyme nodded her head, before holding a hand up towards the class, "I'll mention it briefly, but then we're going to get to the lesson. The director wanted us teachers to meet to discuss the announcement today, so we weren't able to start at our usual time. Lucky for you, that meant you got a bit of extra sleep for the day!" She smiled as she took her place at the front of the class, nodding to the students as she did, "That's all I'm going to say though. If you want to know what the announcement is, you'll just have to wait until noon." With a knowing smile, Tyme gave the class a nod, before directing everyone back to their studies for the rest of the class session... DING DONG DONG DING General Studies Homeroom "I know today is a very late day and we don't have much time to cover anything substantial..." Jacq ran his fingers through his hair for a moment as he considered the options for the day, "With the end of our classroom time coming up, I really thought we would be able to cover a bit more than we did..." One student near the front of the class raised her hand, waiting for Jacq to notice her, and when he did, "Well... Can you tell us anything about the school event? You taught us about picnics and how to spot if our Pokemon are showing signs of illness, a lot of stuff we don't use in class, are those going to be useful for it?" Jacq smiled as he crossed his arms over his chest, "You could say that. The Director is going to go over it in more detail, but as usual... We'll be allowing you all to go on your own studies. Some of you may stay here, but I know many of you will choose to head out into Paldea to explore and forge your own path... I just hope some of what I've taught you will help. Let's review instead of covering anything new." Time passed from there, leaving the students at the mercy of Jacq's review. There was more than enough information for him to keep the class occupied for thirty minutes... Then an hour, then finally, hitting the 11:30 mark. DING DONG DONG DING Humanities Homeroom "Bonjour, my students! The past few months have gone by in a flash, I know. I wish we had more time to chat." The professor at the front of the classroom held a hand behind his head, a small laugh escaping him as he shook his head gently, "But nein, I'm afraid that isn't the case. You all have a wonderful experience ahead of you today... You'll be joining the school's très important annual event!" "The Treasure Hunt!" A small murmuring started as he held out his hands, "Now, now, I'm not at liberty to say too much. Some of our higher grade students knows. The Director loves to give the opening speech and all. I just cannot contain my own podniecenie!" Salvatore blinked at some of the blank faces staring at him from the front row, before laughing again, "Oh, yes. That would be excitement! With that, we can begin our lesson today... Excitement!" Salvatore led the students into a brief discussion, one that was entirely based on his need to get his excitement out, until... DING DONG DONG DING Each class was left to their own devices until that bell ring snapped everyone to attention. There was a moment of silence, quiet contemplation, until a voice spoke through the speakers. "Attention students and teachers, this is Director Clavell. At this time, I would like you to lead your students, one class at a time, to the courtyard for our special announcement. We'll begin with the General Studies..." Jacq motioned for his students to stand up, herding them out of the classroom towards the courtyard. Tyme's classroom wasn't far behind, and then last was Salvatore's homeroom entering the grounds. In the center of the track was a small stage constructed for the event, where Director Clavell stood above the rest of the school. He kept his arms folded behind his back as the crowd filtered into the courtyard, teachers moving up to the stage as he spoke up. “Everyone, if I may…" When no one stopped speaking to listen to him, Clavell pulled the microphone a bit closer to him, "Please, listen!" A little sigh escaped the director as he pushed his glasses up his face, the students were a bit rowdier than usual, the crowd chattering among themselves as he tried to get their attention. On one side of the stage, Jacq and Tyme both gave Director Clavell a little smirk, while Hassel and Saguaro tried to keep the other two from heckling the Director. On the other end, a black haired woman stepped forward, raising a gloved hand into the air as she cried out, “Hey! You all quiet down, the Director is trying to speak!” Her voice echoed through the courtyard as the students finally began to quiet down, the Director giving her a thankful nod, “Wonderful. Now, this will come to no surprise to most of you, as it has become a long running tradition in our school, but the theme of this year’s group studies is once again: ‘A Treasure Hunt’.” Clavell raised his hand in the air as a few students began to murmur among themselves, “I know, many students wonder if having the same theme could grow tiresome, but I believe the answer to that is no. It is important for each of you to find your own way through our world, and here at Naranja Academy, that means figuring out what brings you joy in this life.” Next to the stage, Dendra nodded her head, her arms crossing in front of her as she smiled. There was a brief whisper on the other side, Jacq had leaned in to speak to Tyme, earning him a little glare from Hassel. Still though, Clavell’s speech wasn’t finished, but a large part of the crowd was starting to get antsy as it continued, especially the younger children. “The Paldea region is a wonderful place for you to discover yourselves, and to soak in the expansive history we have… From the rich landscape, to our own Gym Challenge and Champion Assessment. And this year, we have one extra attraction for you, our eager students. In conjunction with the Pokemon Activities Committee, Pokemon Contests will be hosted across the region. Anyone who collects five contest ribbons will have the honor of participating on Paldea’s first Grand Festival to become the Top Coordinator of the region." "Of course... I will have to wrap this up shortly, so you can all begin your planning... We have organized the groups for your travels. If you are unsure of who your group contains, find a teacher or refer to the board we have put up in the main hall. Please, stick together for safety if you choose to travel across the region. For now, I will end on these important words. Never stop striving for anything but the best for yourself, students. If you lack direction, look to those around you for help. Your teachers will do whatever we can for you, as well as your friends, and of course... Your Pokemon. Never forget that." The crowd was about ready to disperse, but Clavell held a single hand up into the air, "Before you leave, we have two guest speakers. One, you all will likely know well. The other is associated with the Pokemon Activities Committee. Please, welcome Top Champion Geeta and Mr. Raoul Contesta to the stage." As Clavell finished, a figure approached the stage from either side. On the left, a tall woman with dark hair approached the stage, her arms folded behind her back as she looked out to the crowd of students. Most of them seemed to recognize her, varying degrees of excitement bubbling as the crowd spoke to each other... On the other side, an older man with greying hair, clad in a bright red suit climbed atop the stage as Clavell stepped down. He took the mic first, a wide grin on his face, "Hello, Naranja Academy! As your director introduced me, I am Raoul Contesta, and I'll be one of the three judges of each contest here in the Paldea region. My schedule is sure to be busy with how much I'll have to do!" That grin on his face broke out into a laugh as he clapped his hands together, "This is a momentous occasion, not just for you all, but for me. It isn't every day the Activities Committee is able to expand contests to a new region, so I look forward to seeing what any of you who chooses to participate can show me... I'll turn it over to your champion now, but I'm ready to be dazzled by you upcoming stars!" Mr. Contesta stepped back, allowing Geeta to take the mic from him. She folded a hand over her chest, "I believe you all have been waiting patiently, so I will keep this short. I see in front of me limitless potential in you students. As Top Champion, it has been my priority to see the light of Paldea shine brightly into the future. This is why, in conjunction with the Pokemon Activities Committee, I worked to bring Contests to Paldea. That said..." She paused, her hand dropping back to her side, "I greatly looking forward to seeing who wishes to challenge the Champion Assessment. The Gym Leaders across the region have been working overtime to be sure to make this the most interesting Gym Challenge yet, and I cannot wait to see the shining results. For now, however... Go, students. Your journeys begin here." ╰── ⋅ ⋅ ── ✩ ── ⋅ ⋅──╯
  8. I'd like to get at least one more person for this if there's anyone interested! Otherwise, I might close it down so... Here's hoping!

    1. LordCowCow


      I've been tempted but am in more than I intended to be and so have to be picky (plus, I've only barely started the game ^^;)

    2. Kazooie


      No worries! I got another in the Discord now, so it's looking good. I converted it into a full OoC today, so no shutting down. 🙂

  9. To Applicant ___ Congratulations. You have been selected for our new Region Transfer Program, and are being offered a once in a life time opportunity to attend the prestigious Naranja Academy for this school semester. In addition, you will be allowed the chance to participate in the school’s treasure hunt, a time honored tradition. If you applied, you no doubt already know what this means, but for the few who do not know, you’ll be given the opportunity to explore the Paldea region, participate in the Gym Challenge, make new friends… And as of this year, participate in Paldea’s first Pokemon Conference League, thanks to the aid of the Pokemon Activities Committee. For you aspiring Coordinators, this is the chance to earn a prestigious title as the Paldea Region’s first Top Coordinator. With this all said, it is important to note that the school has one major rule you must follow: Always be searching for your next step. It is always easy to lose yourself, or lose your way. We here at the Academy are dedicated to making sure our students come out better than they entered, and that goes double for our students from far regions. -Director Clavell Students from non-Paldea are being accepted in a student transfer, you can be one of those lucky students! There will be an in universe three-five month time spam we skip over, that'll be classes and stuff, so I'll set up a list of teachers, but most of them are going to be straight from the game itself, so if you need a quick refresher check the database below! Rules Character Application Database
  10. Elita let out a tiny sigh, gently rubbing at her head, “...Stratford has entrusted his dying wish to us.” She turned to Sei, her eyes seeming to gazing into the distance, “If you wish to help as well, I suggest we reconvene with the ones on the ground. Although unlikely, maybe they can point us in the right direction. I have questions that will need answers… And I’m sure they will want to know what happened here.” “I’ll bring you back to ground level, yeah. I need to run over to the university for some errands before anything else though.” Re-inspecting the wounds from the battle she just had, Sei sighed “And in this state at that, if I want to make it home for dinner.” Elita gave a small laugh as she nodded her head gently, “...I suppose that is fair. I will be heading towards… Well, wherever the nearest open bar is, I imagine. I just happened to win a bet. If you would like to join that, at least, we can bring the others up to speed… If your errands are urgent though, I can handle the talking part of things.” “If you’re offering me free food or drink, I’m definitely not about to say no.” The familiar pair of red wings sprouted from Sei’s back as she made toward the windows of the office. “Come to think of it, I don’t think you ever gave me your name. I told you mine on the way up, so it’s only fair you tell me yours now that we’re heading back down.” With a small nod, and a few steps forward, Elita sighed, “I believe I forgot… My name is Eilta Thomas, I’m sorry we didn’t meet under more pleasant circumstances…” --- Megalopolis 6th District, 3:00 PM "I suppose I should introduce myself, since you guys seem at least a bit chummy with each other. My name is April Soleil. I'm an investigative journalist, and all of this started while I was stranded a couple districts over.” Elita had to restrain an audible sigh as April began to launch on her tirade. The media was already here, that was concerning. If they were going to be swarmed with journalists, then she would have to take the lead here. Her mother had been very clear: Control the media to control the narrative… "the fact that I am now homeless. So, what I wanna know is why. Why did the mayor do this?-” She caught herself once more from an outburst. If she was going to be hellbent on blaming Stratford, there was little Elita could do to change her mind. It was going to be a very risky game she would be playing. “Why did each of you join in? Why does my insurance not cover giant monster attacks in a place filled with founts? Hell if I know any of it... First and foremost, which of you took down Stratford? If I'm gonna make enough to get back on my feet, I'm gonna need the first answers from those of you who stopped this. Don't give me any of that modest hero bull, I hate writing schlock like this, but a girl's gotta put a roof over her head." Elita almost felt relief for a moment. This was where she lived. Journalists hadn’t pinned down their position just yet, which meant… She wasn’t doomed to have to explain everything right off the bat. After a moment, she stood up, “...I am Elita Thomas, and I’m the one who quelled the force that had overtaken Stratford…” She moved one hand, motioning to Sei as she did, “Sei… I don’t believe I got your surname before, I apologize for that.. She helped me breach the tower’s defenses and protected me as I calmed Stratford. If you wish to talk about this, I have a few rules that you will have to listen to. You are not the only one who lost their home in this tragic event, and I won’t have you using that to bully any poor soul here.” “Hold up,” April stood up a bit straighter, scowling a bit, “What do you mean? ‘’Quelled’ and saying a force had overtaken him is an interesting choice of words. Are you suggesting that someone could control Stratford? When he was seemingly capable of weaponizing our entire city?” Elita’s hand was held up at the end of April’s questioning, “As I said, I will tell you what I can. What I know. However…” With each word, a pressure began to bear down on those around her, a pit in their stomach starting to form as her own emotions projected outwards, unburdened by her usual stoic demeanor, “...If you intend on using this opportunity as a vulture would, to feed with disregard of the dead, we will not have anything to say. If you intend to slander a dead man, who overwhelmingly aimed to help this city, I will not tell you anything. Is that clear?” “I want to pull myself out from the rubble, but I have no interest in reporting lies. There’s enough of that out there, without me adding onto it. So if you can swear to whatever power you believe in that you’re telling me the absolute truth, then perhaps I can. If not… the police are just a couple blocks away, and I’m sure the chief would be interested in meeting all of you.” With an offer of her hand, Elita nodded gently, slowly pulling herself together as she did, “Very well. I’m afraid, with what we know at the moment, there isn’t a story you can likely sell just yet. I joined the fray because someone's, who know I know to be Stratford, emotions were in a state of wild disarray, which I felt from the ground. Sei helped me into the tower, I believe through dive bombing a window, I was a tad… Disoriented from the impact.” “If that sensation earlier was your doing, I have to ask how you weren’t killed on sight without any defensive abilities,” the journalist’s scowl deepened a bit, “Between what sir stares-a-lot told me and what I’ve been able to glean, Stratford had more power than anyone knew. Even I could see that giant flying snake from miles away… so how, exactly, did you and her,” April motioned to the pactbearing fount, “Survive in close quarters with someone that powerful? And, I must ask again, what did your earlier phrasing mean?” Another soft breath from Elita as she steadied her emotions, by now, that pressure had fully let up on the others as she folded her arms in front of her as she sat down again, “...As I mentioned, Sei protected me. I do not have much in the way of physical defenses, and I’ll ask that you not highlight that in whatever you write, since that does pose a danger to me if too many people discover it.” She placed one hand on the table in front of her, before picking up a fork, “When the city was in chaos, things were being animated. I do not know if you saw it first hand, but many here were defending civilians from it. These objects were linked back to the tower, to Stratford’s frenzied mental state. I will get there in time. I have… Or I suppose had, I do not know if it was linked to Stratford himself or not, the ability to sever that connection and render the objects lifeless for a period, before they were reanimated. That is how I managed to get Sei and myself to Stratford in the first place.” “... And it was just the two of you? Sei must be pretty strong then. If she can defend you and fight at the same time…” her gaze drifted over to Sei, taking note of her appearance, before looking back to Elita, “With how she’s roughed up and you’re basically fine. Did she tank every hit?” “Sei’s defense was impeccable. When we arrived in Stratford’s room, I attempted to talk him down, but he was panicked. He feared an assassination attempt, and believed us to be the ones sent to carry it out.” Her face visibly fell at this point, a small sigh escaping her as she did, “...He was in that state when we arrived. Once again, I can only speculate. I do not know if that was what allowed him to animate so many objects, including the tower itself, but I believe it had a hand in it. Sei wished to carry him to the ground once we calmed him, but the blood loss… He would not have survived either way.” “The two of you, huh… Wild. But I suppose you say that’s the truth,” April let herself relax a bit and leaned back against a wall, “And I’ve no reason to disbelieve it, unless Sei disagrees. In which case… Please explain how he was panicked. And whatever it was that you ‘quelled’.” “I will stand by this account to my own dying breath, I made a promise to the late mayor, after all.” Her face had returned to its usual blankness, betraying none of her emotions as she spoke. “As Sei drew his attention, I approached Stratford. Once again, I would ask this doesn’t get out just yet, but I know you cannot promise that. When I touched him, I immediately collapsed. To get an account of what happened in the room proper, you’ll have to discuss with Sei, for I don’t know.” She paused, a little sigh escaping her, “...It was strange. I had never had something quite like this happen. As I mentioned, his emotions, his mental state, was wild. He was paranoid and panicked, and when I ‘awoke’ for the first time, I was alone. Stratford was gone, Sei was nowhere to be seen… And the room was pristine. I heard a voice in the room, one I cannot identify now.” “I thought just the two of you and Stratford were there?” April interjected. Elita lifted a finger in the air, “I did not confirm that, Miss Soleil. Please, I know this is complex, and I don’t fully understand it all just yet… Sei and I entered the tower together, Stratford was there from the beginning I am forced to assume… And there was one more physically present, but cloaked in shadows. This figure blocked a single one of Stratford’s attacks aimed at me… And then it challenged me to calm Stratford down. I don’t know if it was hoping I would, or if it was a taunt from an adversary.” “You heard this shadow person speak, yes? Then I assume this is also the voice you heard in… whatever happened when you fainted?” Once again, Elita shook her head. This time, she laughed gently, “It’s very annoying, is it not? No, this first voice was very… Casual. As if it was playing with us, that is why I hadn’t brought it up yet… I find that to be the most interesting part. I was going to mention at the end and ask if any other sightings of something like this had been reported.” She tapped the table idly, “The voice in this strange… I cannot call it a vision, or a dream. It very much affected Stratford. The second voice had no body, unlike the first. It seemed to whisper directly in my ear, and it was very interested in the fact that I was there at all. I would say it seemed surprised, but I don’t know if that’s what it was thinking. Almost as soon as I got there, it requested my name, but when I requested the same, it left… I believe it was female, but that is purely off the voice.” April listened along, taking it in without much of a reaction. Even as Elita finished the statement, April crossed her arms and tapped her fingers against them for a few moments… before slamming a fist on the bar in front of Leo. “God damn it! You can’t tell me something that juicy when I can’t even report it! Do you think anyone is going to buy your shadow person and illusory presence story!?” She groaned loudly as she raised a hand up to push the hair out of her face roughly, just to repeat the motion again with a bit more poise as the hair fell back, “I’m not saying you’re lying. It adds up more than just you and Sei being alone with Stratford. But fuck, all it would manage to achieve upon reporting would be paranoia and hysteria, which may very well be the aim of whoever did this. We don’t even know if our mystery elements are connected! And good luck getting the cops to listen, the chief won’t take hints from anyone, I’ve tried!” Elita gave an apologetic smile, “...Now you see the problems I’m facing, Miss Soleil. I wish to defend Mr. Stratford’s name, for he didn’t do this under his own will. I believe that spectral voice to be connected to his increased paranoia, but I cannot prove it… It would create more panic than it would anything else. People will drag his name through the mud for the time being, as I investigate with very few leads, and I must simply hope I can find enough proof to restore his name with time. I wish I had more to offer, something that would clear his name and point to the culprits, but as of now, I do not. In the meantime...” She motioned around the bar, a small smile on her face, "Perhaps you can find some engaging story among the defenders. If I can find leads... I would appreciate your cooperation, if you would offer it. You must have some experience in investigations." As heated as the conversation had gotten, Ryo was staring intently at those speaking, taking in every word. Concluding that she had heard enough, she hopped down from her barstool, quietly pushing it in under the half-destroyed bar counter before making her way out of the building without a word, only stopping to turn the sign hanging in the window to 'COME ON IN, WE'RE OPEN!'...
  11. imagine considering hosting an RP

    (its me, im considering it)

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and a Death Game RP were both my leading ideas in the past, but neither stuck the landing. Maybe an Avatar universe one but IDK man, it'd be a bit before I got any solid plans made for that.

    1. Cibryll


      Death Game?

      I'm guessing not the song from La-Mulana.

    2. Chaos Sonic

      Chaos Sonic

      Avatar...we talkin the blue people or Last Aribender?

    3. Kazooie


      Death Game, in this instance, is referring to a game called Your Turn to Die. It's a death game via majority vote, I posted an interest check for it here, about a year ago. The post itself explains the concept of the Death Game!

      As for Sonic, yeah, we're talking Last Airbender. I don't have it in me to pretend to care about the blue people. :KEKW:

  12. --- When Elita opened her eyes, she was alone in the office. The signs of the ongoing battle had disappeared, and a deafening silence hung in the air. There was no lights on within the room, the only source of illumination was what seemed to be moonlight breaking in through the curtains. With a little sigh, Elita brought a hand to her head for a moment. There was a searing pain, she remembered, but it seemed to have let up for the time being. She took a glance around the room, the fact that everything had gone dark was a concern. She doubted she had been out that long, at least… She saw little reason to assume it. Sei would have moved her somewhere more fitting, unless Sei had perished against Stratford. In which case, there was little chance she would remain alive herself. For a split second, she thought she saw the silhouette of another in the room, but when she turned there was nothing. She felt fingers run through her hair, but once again could find no perpetrator. Then she heard the voice, whispered in her ear seemingly from nowhere. "How did you get in here, mon coeur?" Elita wasn’t particularly fond of feeling fingers running through her hair, a brief spike of annoyance coming from her as she hummed lightly, “I suppose that would depend on where ‘here’ is, exactly. I suppose I just walked in, like anyone else would.” Despite the annoyance, her voice was calm… Though the corner of her mouth tugged upwards at the end of her sentence. "You're very interesting," the voice came from in front of Elita now, with the unseen fingers brushing gently against her neck, "I think we will make magnifique friends, what's your name?" Elita brushed her hand across her shoulder briefly, before letting her fingers push a strand of loose hair behind her ear. When she spoke again, her voice remained formal, “You may call me Ms. Thomas. A first name basis with someone I can’t even see? How unthinkable. If you would like to properly introduce yourself, I’ll do the same.” An unseen fingernail hooked itself underneath the strand of hair Elita had tucked away, lightly tugging it back out of place, "Oh, I'd love to introduce myself, but how am I supposed to do that when I'm not even here…" by the end of her sentence, her voice had faded into nothingness. Elita felt a sudden chill pass through her body, but after a few seconds that too had passed. Once again, she was alone. Elita let out a small breath as she shook her head, “Perhaps we’ll meet properly later then. Until then.” She stood straight as she focused her emotions… Then put her hand on the wall, closing her eyes as she tried to sense any emotions, anywhere inside of the building. “Something strange has happened… Where is Mr. Stratford? Or more importantly, Sei…” She didn’t wish to say it, but she doubted there was much of a chance of Stratford surviving the encounter with the state he had been in, but Sei had been doing well to avoid that fate. Beneath her feet, Elita felt the floor begin to rumble, lightly at first, but it only took a few seconds for it to build to a full quake. Opening her eyes, Elita saw the walls of the office quickly closing in, the entire room shrinking around her, threatening to crush her to death. Her focus didn’t break immediately, the rumbling floor only did enough to throw her off once the full quake had begun. A scowl crossed her face as she mumbled lightly to herself, “Whatever is happening here, I’d prefer it to be over quickly…” Her breathing hitched for a moment as the walls began to close in around her, the first real sign of her composure breaking at all as she focused her emotions, projecting them towards the walls as they drew closer. If they were actually closing in, well… It wouldn’t do much, but if it was a continued assault like what had been happening earlier… It might slow them down at least. Unfortunately, this was an entirely different assault than what she had encountered minutes earlier. The walls closed in until they met her body, and in a split second of excruciating pain, passed through her, collapsing together within her. Suddenly, she was surrounded by nothing but blackness. Nothing to see, nothing to hear, no sensation whatsoever. After a few seconds, Elita did come to feel one specific sensation. One coded within humans since birth to fear. Elita could feel that she was falling. Falling was fine. Darkness was familiar to her. She didn’t appreciate the sudden pain, but there was nothing she could do about it now. Discerning emotions was easier when she couldn’t see, and it was rare when she could close her eyes and not feel anyone’s emotions swirling around her, in a sense, she could almost relax. Falling, perhaps, was the tower crumbling around her. If that was how she was to perish, she could accept that. It meant Stratford was likely not rampaging anymore, and even if they had been unable to save him, there were plenty of people who weren’t at risk anymore. Her own life exchanged for that, while not optimal, was fine. ---
  13. Shadowy Intervention As the spikes closed in on Sei and Elita, a shadow blocked their view for a mere moment, clearing to reveal the spikes broken and a person cloaked in shadow before them. Nothing of their body was visible beyond the weapon they wielded, a scythe with the same wispy quality that coated their form. "My my," came an almost singsongy tenor from the figure, "So quick to judge one who seems to wish to talk with you... Personally, I'm quite invested in what she has to say. Why don't you hear her out, mm?" As quickly as he appeared, his form seemed to disperse back into the shadows of the room, with a soft chuckle echoing. Stratford’s already distressed expression turned to one of frenzy as he twisted his arms in the air, causing the fragmented weapons to lift up again off of the ground. “Proof of your treachery, bringing another with you in the shadows!” Thanks to the untimely intervention of a yet-unseen figure, it seemed they were doing this the hard way after all. If Sei caught this shady interloper again after the showdown, she’d be sure to give them a stern talking-to. But that could wait. Right now there were bigger things to worry about. “If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you just want an excuse to fight,” Sei sighed. She had a clear objective in mind. Separate Stratford from the building. That meant getting to him. Without killing him. With a firm stomp forward, Sei doubled down on the barrier she’d put up during the botched attempt at negotiations earlier, then charged forward with both of them, as one otherwise would with a large shield. If nothing else, she needed to at least get into the room as a start. "A protective barrier? So you're either an esper, or one of the kami's playthings." With a scowl from the mayor, the floor beneath Sei rose up, circumventing her defense and launching her backward. "You tread upon holy ground. Don't think whatever measly pact you hold could rival the people's belief in this city." Elita, meanwhile, was taking a deep breath at the entrance to the room. Her brow furrowed for a moment as she focused herself, her focus drifting around the room as she scanned for stray emotions that could be attributed to that shadow figure, “...And who are you? Are you one of those assassins as Mr. Stratford here believes?” Timed as if it were a response to her question, but most certainly not one, a chandelier plummeted down toward Elita, turned downward so that it was an enormous nest of jagged edges. As it did, a wall of shadows pushed over top of her, blocking the chandelier’s fall. It shattered harmlessly against the barricade, with the shrapnel falling down around them. “Perhaps,” the voice in the shadow chuckled softly, “but I think you can minimize casualties, from what I’ve seen. Try stopping Stratford if you can. Well… Toodles!” The shadows pulled back from Elita and out of the room, almost as if they had never shown up at all. “Hardly ideal…” She turned her attention back to Stratford, seeming hardly fazed by the shrapnel that was falling around her. She took a few steps forward into the room as Sei attempted to brute force her way towards Stratford. While the rest of her face didn’t show it, her eyes looked tired as she entered the room, her emotions projecting outwards around her to match the fear that was oozing around the room. With that, she took her tentative first steps...
  14. "It wouldn't be a fair competition if only one of us had luck on our side." Elita took a little breath as she took a few steps away from the exhausting manchild preparing to destroy the titan. Perhaps she had been a bit curt there, but there wasn’t much time for her to fully explain the depths of fear coming from whoever was in there. With the Tower starting to turn away from her, this gave her an opportunity to breathe, along with continuing to neutralize some of the stray animations as she focused herself. “This fear… It connects to each creation and gives it the ability to move, fascinating… If only I could learn how to do this myself…” It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to experience what the purity of emotions can do, even one as basic and innate as fear. Unfortunately, she couldn’t take the time to study how this fear is really connected to anything. Right now, she had a task to do… And no way to actually do it. "I can get us in," A voice, not the man from earlier though. "Not afraid of heights, are you?" She waited as Sei prepared for them to take off, her eyes scanning the large tower as she focused for a moment. Most likely, she would have to follow the strengthening feeling of fear inside of the titan… Which had the added benefit of meaning the connection to anything animated inside the tower would be much, much stronger. It was unlikely she would be able to dispatch them quite as easily as she could down here, a sad side effect of strong emotions. "I like the sound of that. Name's Sei, and I'll be your personal pilot and security for this job." Elita braced herself for the rough, jerking motion of being launched into the air, one arm holding onto the purse slung over her shoulder. She had no intention on leaving it behind as the two of them took off, before speaking again, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Sei. It would have been preferred for it to be under more pleasant circumstances though.” Elita kept herself focused as they soared into the air, swallowing gently as they were ascending far above the situation below. “...It would be a wonderful view, if not for the chaos…” She briefly heard Sei’s warning to brace herself, a deep breath being given as she nodded her head and awaited their incoming crash. She brought her purse up to shield her face as the duo crashed through the glass, a deep breath escaping her once again, as she stood up now that they were in the belly of the beast. “...The fear is a fair bit deeper. It’s connected to the Titan itself, which means we need to be on our guard.” She brought her hand to the wall next to her, noting that her dress had been ripped in a few spots from the glass as she closed her eyes, “...It’s animating many things, including the walls. It’s remarkable that it can still give life to things on the ground as well. I'll disable what I can, but as we get closer, it will get harder for me." "Then we'll have to go deeper," Sei observed, the wings on her back fading as the skin over much of her body noticeably became rougher. "Among other things, I can put up barriers to protect us. I do this kind of thing for a living, so don't worry about getting hurt or killed in here." "...I do the protecting people thing," Sei clarified, upon realizing that it may not have been clear. "Not the breaking into buildings thing. Or whatever this all counts as. Protecting people. That's my day job." She didn't mention that the walls being animated meant that they were probably going to make the trip more confusing... But she figured that went without saying anyway. She began to follow the trickle of fear coming from deeper, deeper, yet deeper still as she tried to trace each strand near the two of them. It took more focus than she was used to expending. Her hand fished inside of her bag for a moment, lingering there as she mumbled gently, "Stop moving." She knelt down, taking a look at the rug on the floor ahead of them, "It's animated. One of the simple ones, but it likely would pull from underneath us." She placed a hand on it, keeping calm as she forced her own emotion through the fear connecting to the rug, "I... Cannot say how many objects are connected. The projection is so strong and reaches all over the tower. Be prepared for the worst as we move."
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