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View Full Version : Y.Z. Act III [PG-16]


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parallelzero
January 3rd, 2008, 12:34 PM
"AND THE BOARDERS ARE AT THE START LINE FOLKS. THIS LOOKS TO BE AN EXCITING RACE, WITH SUCH CROWD FAVORITES AS BILLY DURAM AND ALLY PENBUR." boomed over the loud system, deafening the red haired girl dramatically. This was silly, it all was silly. Why did they, the Archai squad, have to help with stupid things as protecting the Princess of Carn at a frigging skyboard race? The phoenix girl knew the answer, it was all jealousy talking on her part. Rosaline Dian was an important sponsor of their efforts. If anything was to happen to her, than Flazure would be in deep trouble. Although, what Flaire couldn't wrap her mind around was why she would come all of the way to Meredy, Tealia anyways. Sure, Prince Ryan invited her, but why would they go in a public place knowing their lives were at risk? The girl's red eyes wandered until they locked on to the two shades of blue glistening in the silver haired girl's eyes on the opposite side of the course. Good, Ellianne was in place.

'Ally Penbur' noted the relative location of her comrades from atop the stand for the starting line, along with the location of the Prince and Princess. This was troubling. They had received a threat from the terrorist group known as ARTI days prior about an attack on their lives, but nothing suspicious was really visible. She sighed, before grasping her board tightly in her hands. Reid Davies didn't like taking on this form, this name, for anything, but skyboarding was one of those things where he just didn't have a choice. Although, he was more concerned about meeting people he didn't want to meet while in Tealia rather than the imminent threat of a terrorist attack. After all, some of Tealia's finest soldiers were there. What if someone he knew recognized Mistral's appearance, even after all of these years?

The skyboarder was quickly brought back to reality as a loud beeping was heard, which signaled the beginning of the race. Habitually, the green haired, white cloaked girl dropped off the edge of the starting line, which was essentially a long beam hoisted sixty feet in the air, before throwing the board below her feet and taking to the sky. The course at Meredy was simple. Nothing but a few circular laps. The only real issue was that skyboarder has become a much more violent sport in the past five years. As long as you tip the ref enough, you can punch, kick, or even stab the competition as much as you want. Unfortunately for Reid, he always played fair, which left him at a painful disadvantage in most races. However, it was because he played fair that Ally Penbur had such a large fanbase.

Lap one, lap two, lap three. Flaire couldn't help but notice her boyfriend was distracted during the race. If she could, she would have shouted something along the lines of "WE'VE GOT IT COVERED, IDIOT!", but he'd probably just become more distracted. Reid's competition didn't look too serious, but there was one black cloaked man trailing closely behind Reid that she has never seen before. Flaire's eyes suddenly darted to Ellianne in the distance, who rose quickly as the black cloaked man whipped out a knife and threw it at Reid's neck, which caused Mistral's body to fall at a dangerous speed to the ground. At the same time, the sound of an explosion erupted as dust flew up in the center of the racetrack, many armed men appearing from the cloud that had appeared.

Gunfire was heard from the stands soon after as Ellianne has torn out her pistols, and was firing from over top a cement block on the stands, hiding behind it every so often to avoid projectiles being thrown at her. The stands erupted in panic as people began to flee from the stadium. When the dust cleared, approximately twenty men, five dead from the gun wounds, were present, a large hole in the middle, and Reid lying on the grass nearby. Flaire turned in a concerned manner towards the location of the Prince and Princess. They weren't out yet... Why? Rosaline was trying to convince the soldiers to let her stay and help... typical. The phoenix girl sighed as she stretched out her wings, before taking to the sky. When she was about 50 feet in the air, just above the black cloaked men, she pointed her hands downwards before a stream of fire fell at the men, engulfing most of them in the heat and burning them alive.

Reid ripped the dagger from his back before resuming his own, male form and pulling the blade from his back. He was in pain, and he was pissed. There were five men in his generally area, all shocked that this girl had just changed into a guy. "What the hell are you!?" Reid smirked and began to point at each one of them, mouthing the numbers one to five as he did so and writing it down on a piece of parchment he took from the pocket of his cloak. "Hey! What the hell are you doing!?"

Reid smirked again. "Sorry, I really shouldn't be writing down how many coffins I'll need before I kill you, should I?" His voice was arrogant, very arrogant, and Mistral inside his head laughed a little. One of the men shouted "Bastard!" before all five men came at him. He caught the sword of the first man with his own, only to throw a punch at his heart with his left hand, the poisoned stinger visible. With the poison in the man's body, Reid kicked him in the gut so that he fell back a few feet. While he was busy with the first man, another came at him, only to meet with a gunshot to his head, splattering blood all over Reid's white cloak. Reid blinked twice. "...Thanks Ellianne!" The silver haired girl sweatdropped. The third man was heft, and he carried a large hammer. Unfortunately for the man, he was slow, and met with Reid's blade to his throat long before he got an attack in. In the meantime, the fifth man's head left his body as Flaire's dagger came flying at it from the left, his body falling with a thud nearby the others.

The three met in the center when the last body was dealt with, and Reid yawned. "I was expecting them to send some better people than that. I guess it's a good thing Sven was on vacation today. We didn't need him after all."

"Yeah, really..." Flaire replied, stretching her arms upwards before falling onto Reid, resting her head on her hands on Reid's shoulder. "I just want to take a nap..." A loud scream was heard suddenly, which snapped Flaire out of it as Rosaline came running back down the stands, four men chasing her.

"Dammit... Rosaline!" Reid shouted, quite aware that at the rate they were catching up to the princess, he wouldn't be able to help her.

Loki
January 3rd, 2008, 01:06 PM
“THIS WEEK’S SALARY IS ON YOU, BILLY!”

Levi sighed, leaning as far away from the rabid Billy Duram fan he’d had the misfortune of sitting beside. As far as Levi was concerned, any skyboarder had a fan in him. People who could fly in the sky without the help of wings. But stealing a skyboard wasn’t exactly the easiest job, considering they were so huge. So Levi consented to showing up every now and then to watch these competitions. He could never get very hyped up, since there were always Tealian soldiers crawling all over the place, and he constantly had to avoid them.

The race began, as usual as ever. Levi wasn’t paying any attention though, because he was trying to get out of the stands, nervous that a Tealian soldier who was heading in his direction might’ve caught sight of his unmistakeable red hair and goggles. It was difficult, being famous. Levi laughed to himself, before people began to push and shove him out of the stadium, every man for himself as a mad stampede trampled all over the thief. If anything good came from it, it was that the Tealian soldier was whipped away with the crowd, or preoccupied with fighting off the intrusion.

“Ahhh.” Levi stood and brushed himself off, re-adjusting his crooked goggles. Scratching the back of his head, he looked around himself, unfazed by the commotion. After all, this was pretty similar to a gang fight. It took most of his willpower to keep from joining the fight, as his natural urge to just sock someone was edging him on. But his resistence paid off in the end, as he caught sight of a very pretty damsel in distress, being chased by four of the men that had probably caused the disruption. He stared for a moment, as though assessing whether she was pretty enough to merit a grand-scale rescue, but a grin broke out Levi’s face when he recognized the girl. He wondered if he could get himself a pardon for his stealing practices in Tealia for saving the Princess of Carn.

Worth a try.

In an explosion of Wionus, Levi bent down to press the two buttons on his boots, his metallic wings expanding and launching him into the air before they shrunk once again. Twisting around in the air, Levi landed feet first on the man who was closest to catching the Princess. Crushing his foot down on the man’s skull and smiling when he head the crack, he turned to face the other three men.

“It’s rude t’chase a girl y’know.” Levi stated in mock seriousness, snapping his fingers in one man’s face before the attacker had the chance to sink the dagger into Levi’s face, a tornado of Wionus blowing two away, while Levi dished out a roundhouse kick to smash the third’s head into one of the seats.

“And,” Levi turned to the Princess, “Y’really shouldn’t stick around when they chasin’ after ya. Where’s yer escort m’lady- GAH!”

“GOT HIM!” Shouted a Tealian soldier, who had flung himself on top of Levi, his huge weight compared to Levi sending both of them to the ground, a number of other soldier’s running to catch up.

“GOT ‘IM NOTHIN’!” Levi yelled, pounding his fist on the floor in frustration, “Y’GOT THE WRONG GUY!”


- - - - - - -


She was dying, and anybody could see that. Her chest heaved, every breath a chore. She had difficulty keeping her eyes open, her eyes lids heavy, as though someone had hung weights upon them. The Plague was tugging them shut, ever so slowly so that eventually, they would never open again. She insisted against it, but I was confident that the illness would not transfer to me, and stayed by her side with Ella, who was safe from this disease that was destroying her family.

“Will you,” She inquired softly, mustering her energy to speak, “Bring … the items on my nightstand… to their destinations?”

Silence overcame us as I pitied her. She was dying, and anybody could see that. Even herself.

“I will.” I replied, picking up her hand and squeezing it reassuringly. I made no movement from my spot beside her bed though, because I was going to keep my promise to stay by her side until the nearing end.

“Don’t tell… Reid and Aertan…. About this.”

“I won’t.”

“…. Thank you.”

A charcoal haired young man snapped his eyes open, pushing himself off the window of the airship. Trying to catch his breath from the unsettling dream, he ran a hand through his hair, sighed, and let his head fall against the glass again. Waking up in that sudden manner made him feel as though he hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep, and the bright rays of sunlight that burned through the window beat any sort of drowsiness away. Remembering something like that was unpleasant. He’d lacked the courage to stay in that house after she’d died. He wasn’t acquainted with her mother at all, and it was awkward to him, to be alone with someone who had just suffered two tragedies in a row.

It was selfish of him. Selfish, and insensitive. But he couldn’t help that. Books didn’t tell him how to act in situations like that.

It had been four years since Alicel had died from the plague she caught from her also deceased father, Reks. It’d been exceedingly long, with her fael’s efforts against the plague dragging out the process. She’d been one year shy of receiving the letter from the Princess of Carn, and so Lazarus was the one to read it, and keep it. It was his only clue to where he might find Reid, the person Alicel had asked him to give a silver bracelet to. She’d written only two letters before her death; One for Ella, which I delivered after the funeral, one for an ex-priest, Aertan. She explained that Aertan would understand that she’d written only him a letter because she was unwilling to burden anyone else with the knowledge of her illness. Aertan, whom Lazarus assumed was cold and insensitive, would most likely fail to mention it to any of the others that Alicel had once known. He’d actually failed to say anything to Lazarus when he’d managed to track the ex-priest down. (He was considerably hard to find though, and only through a friend who had mentioned something about Verdance by chance had he been able to discover his whereabouts.)

He stood from his seat when the airship sputtered to a stop, and moved quickly to the exit. Stepping off the ship, he looked around himself, brushing off his snugly fitted double breasted jacket with a free hand as he did so. If there was anything he got out of going to Beta, other than getting pushed back onto another airship the minute he handed the letter over to Aertan, it was a nice winter wardrobe.

“Flazure, huh?” Lazarus mumbled to himself, looking over the letter that Alicel was supposed to have received from Princess Rosaline, “I’m glad I didn’t have to give this Reid guy anything. It would’ve been a pain, to get into that country, or send anything in. So, now all I have left is Reece, who’s MIA according to Aertan, the Princess, which will be virtually impossible, and Adela. It’ll be a pain to get an audience with this girl too. I wonder if I missed anyone…?”

But, that was the whole reason he was in Tealia anyway. It would be easier to get an audience with a Lieutenant, when compared to getting one with a Princess. Folding the letter up and sliding it back into it’s envelope, Lazarus proceeded to head towards the base where Adela was stationed at.


- - - - -


“The bimbo?” Adela mused, an untouched glass of water sitting on the coffee table before her. Sitting with one leg crossed over the other and her arms folded, Lazarus felt like he was trying to convince her of something that she didn’t believe at all, even though death wasn’t exactly something most people would deny on the spot. But as far as he could tell, this girl who looked no older than himself sitting at position of Lieutenant probably wasn't similar to most people. She seemed colder than Aertan, who had recieved the letter and news with nothing more than a sigh and a troubled look.

“So is that all you have to say?”

Lazarus blinked, surprised at the girl’s reaction before mustering words, “W-Well… yes.”

Adela was silent for a moment, staring through the glass windows beside them out of the corner of her eye. She’d made an effort to forget about everything, and now this man she’d never met was telling her that the bimbo had died within Adela’s most hated year. The year when she was still waiting on someone else like a child. It was easy, to forget them. But now that Alicel was dead, she'd have to choose whether she wanted to go pay respects in Alta or continue on her determination to erase her past. She stood, leaving her water where it was and turned to leave the sitting room. She'd made her choice faster than she'd anticipated.

“Then be on your way. I have better things to do than listen to how someone I haven’t seen for five years died.”

“You don’t care?” Lazarus asked quickly, standing up as well. He hesitated when Adela turned a cold gaze upon him and he stared, unbelieving at how heartless the girl before him was, repeating his sentence in a statement as though proving it to himself, “You don’t care.”

Adela faced forward again without a single change in her indifferent expression, walking briskly away as she spoke, “Mind your own business.”

Drumming her fingers on the handle of her mahstion gun, Adela swerved around a corner to head for the training room. She needed to relieve some pent up stress in a productive way. She was frustrated that that man had found it in himself the right to judge exactly why she didn’t care. ‘Mind your own business’ was something that everyone needed to learn, and so it had turned out to be the expected answer amongst soldiers when they spoke to their Lieutenant. It was no different for the soldier who saluted Adela, stopping in her tracks as he spoke. He was vaguely aware that Adela made no effort to face him.

“There has been a disturbance in the skyboarding competition.” He stated stiffly.

“Has it been resolved?” She asked, folding her arms impatiently, hating the subject of skyboarding, or any other kind of sport.

“According to the report, it is under control. It seems as though it is a terrorist attack, and most of the perpetrator’s have been killed or captured. It began when one of the skyboarders, registration name unknown, attacked another, Ally Penbur. However, the soldiers present have reported capturing the thief known as Levi, who is charged with multiple counts of theft, four murders, and other offenses.”

“That petty thief?” Adela snapped scornfully, turning her sharp eyes onto the soldier, “If he’s already captured, then I don’t care. As for this terrorist attack, find out the registration name, find out everything about that skyboarder who attacked Penbur. I want to know what kind of failure would try to attack a stadium full of Tealian Soldiers.”

parallelzero
January 5th, 2008, 07:38 PM
"I understand why we're here... But why is the little punk here too?" Unfortunately, the entire fiasco has ended in the capture of the Archai Squad by Tealian forces, despite the pleas of the Princess of Carn. Even though the Prince had cleared his name of all charges, apparently there was some bitterness within the ranks over his absence. No doubt due to the fact that he was originally engaged to wed Adela Ciacco, a girl he had recently learned had become a commander like her mother was. What had happened to her? Reid wondered. This was his first time in Tealia in years, and the air of Meredy hadn't changed a bit.

Flaire nudged him in the ribs with her elbow softly, snapping the boy back to reality. He glanced back at the thief, who was being closely watched by four soldiers who had him surrounded. That being said, they weren't in amuch better predicament. Actually, the three Archai Squad members were stuffed uncomfortably close together between for Tealian soldiers as well, and the fact that they were walking down a long, dark hallway void of windows didn't really help add to the appeal. "I guess he was a wanted a criminal or something... although I do owe him thanks later for saving Rosaline." His voice dimmed to avoid Flaire catching the second half of the sentence. she considered Rosaline one of Reid's past love interests, and wasn't particularly fond of her. Although if they sat down for a while, they probably could come to understand one another. Rosaline was a very innocent and polite girl, after all.

"Heh, I guess so. How are you doing Ellianne?" Flaire responded, before turning her attention to the wyvern girl who was stuck in behind the couple. With a look of false comfort on her face, the silver haired maiden managed to provide a pathetic looking thumbs up as an answer to the question. "Well, that's good!"

"She's obviously lying because she doesn't want you getting worked up..."

"Whatwasthat?"

"Nothing..." Reid was aware of Flaire's energetic, yet occassionally violent personality when he became a couple with her. The girl was easily worked up, especially when the condition of her friends was involved. Despite this, Reid found it entertaining to be sarcastic with her from time to time. The group finally reached a door at the end of the long dark hall, and one of the soldier opened it, before essentially throwing Reid inside, back up, onto the floor inside. Flaire landed on her butt on top of Reid.

"Hey, girl, get in there!"

"..."

"Hey, are you listening to me? Answer when you're spoken to!" Unfortunately, Ellianne was having some trouble. Obviously scared by the larger man, she shook subtly as she slowly walked into the room, before Levi was thrown in after her. Just as the door shut, as the man was leaving, the back of his shirt suddenly caught aflame. Cries of pain rung in the hall from behind the door, and Flaire let out a snicker.

"Flaire... get off of me."

"Fine, but you make a good pillow, Reid."

"Really? I wouldn't know by the number of times you FALL ASLEEP ON ME."

"Hmm?"

"Nothing..."

Ellianne sweatdropped, but perked up when she realized there were two other people in the room...

Loki
January 5th, 2008, 09:10 PM
"Ahhhh, this sucks. So much for a royal pardon." Levi whined childishly, his arms roped together from his hands up to his elbows with rope. Awkwardly, he wriggled about on the floor, trying to get to his feet, rolling left and right before he finally let out a frustrated cry, pushing himself up with his forehead. Finally on his feet, he shook his head and blinked once or twice to get his goggles back onto the bridge of his nose, "S'about time. What'choo guys doin' here? Don't look like bloody murderer's 'ta me. 'Fact two ah ya are pretty cute. Can't say the same about you mate," Levi laughed, addressing Reid, "Winds don't blow my sails in that direction kiddy."

Winking at Ellianne, Levi smiled, "Heya there sweet pea, if yours or my head's not blown to pieces by then, you free sayyy... next Saturday?"

"Cease conversation." Came a chilly voice. Levi, completely unaffected by the lack of amusement in the feminine voice, turned and came upon Adela, who was standing in front of her desk with a gaze of little more than sheer disgust. He, who knew nothing of who she was or why she was here grinned stupidly and made to salute in mock seriousness. However, the ropes that bound his hands together caused him not to salute, but to lose balance and fall back onto his face.

"Ohhh, I got me three cute ones. I got the makin's of a harem here."

"The murder of the Evallen family, and multiple thefts of valuable pieces." Adela glanced at the soldier in the corner of the room nearly out of sight, holding a clipboard while ignoring Levi's rude comments to the fullest. He nodded, and Adela turned her eyes back onto Levi, ignoring Reid and his company. Her arms were tightly folded across her chest as she let loose with her condescending attitude, saying without the slightest twitch in her serious face, "You're not very impressive for a murderer."

"Aw, what can I say?" Levi replied, continuing to be unaffected by Adela's bitter ways, struggling to get to his feet again, "They were kind of annoyin', 'specially since the lit'le girl kept moanin' somethin' about needin' ta pay medical bills er som'thin. Wouldn't stop askin' me not ta take the money right? Like I'm gonna tell her "Oh yeah sure, I went ta' all the troubl'ah gettin' here, but if you need it den I guess I be goin' elsewhere t'night." Ay, I got what I wanted, 'nd they didn't have to pay no medical bills, we're all happy 'in chummy right?"

Adela seemed not to have heard a single word as she grabbed the back of Levi's jacket, pulling him up and saying without a smile, "It's not going to be such a cheer when I get what I want. You, behind bars."

"Aw, c'mon now," Levi smirked slyly, "You're makin' me blush."

Adela's grip on his collar intensified, and in a second, Levi's face had collided roughly with the wall, the Lieutenant straightening and folding her arms again, silent for a moment before her gaze turned sharply to the Archai Squad. To be specific, she was mostly pointing her attention at Reid, whom was underneath a girl wearing a repulsive fancy dress that made Adela's upper lip twitch in digust. Her expression finally changed from indifference to irritation as she turned to face them entirely, leaning her weight on one foot. The soldier in the corner leaned over in the slightest, surprised at seeing the normally stiff and on-call Lieutenant standing in such a manner. Adela was silent for a minute before she scoffed, striding behind her desk and pulling out her mahstion gun so that Reid could see it. Setting it down on the mahogany tabletop, she began to unbuckle her gun holster, speaking lightly in a tone that was obviously a frail cover over an undeniable amount of resent.

"So," Adela began, speaking clearly to Reid, "Of course, I've already fixed up everything in your favor, and I assure you there's not a soul in Tealia who might make the mistake that the Commander's daughter is engaged to the exiled hero."

She pulled off her holster and tossed it onto the mahogany tabletop, unzipping the small pocket on the inside.

"Once you're finished here, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd get out of my sight for as long as you live or die. And I'd appreciate it if the next time you decide to get caught by the Tealian Forces, I would be ten times more inclined to write you a clearance statement if you would refrain from attacking Tealian soldiers, Miss Teluia, it hinders progress when a soldier is hospitalized for burns.” Adela made no comment about the soldier himself, showing about how much she cared about the soldiers themselves.

After adding a flourish to her signature, Adela pulled out a stamp and pressed the seal next to her name, dropping a necklace she'd pulled out of her holster onto the paper before folding it in half and holding it out to the Archai Squad, "I wager you'll need this necklace back Mr. Davies."

“I hope you don't mind, but the Archai have outlived their welcome in Tealia.”

parallelzero
January 6th, 2008, 02:30 PM
Reid gulped a ferocious gulp. Adela. Lovely. Unfortunately, he was a little more preoccupied by the less than suitable comments coming from the direction of the apparent murderer. A murderer. Perhaps he didn't deserve Reid's gratitude after all. It wasn't strange to take the life of another. That ironically, was life, however there was a difference in taking a life in order to protect and taking a life for one's selfish agenda. Murderer or not, this kid sure did let his mouth run about woman. It was only a matter of time before- "SLAP". Nevermind. Ellianne had approached the boy, and slapped him hard across the face. Apparently the thought of going out on a date with his kind was enough to send her of all people over the edge. She proceeded to throw her head to the side and walked away from the boy, her face beat red from a flurry of both anger and embarrassment. Even Flaire sweatdropped at the sight, knowing that was well out of the wyvern girl's personality. "That's okay Ellianne! You don't have to take that kind of harrassment from such a low creeper like him!" She offered encouragement, which Ellianne responded to by sighing.

"Ohhh, I got me three cute ones. I got the makin's of a harem here."

Flaire's foot came at Levi's head at this comment. "STINKING PERVERT. GO CRAWL INTO A SHALLOW HOLE AND DIE."

Both Reid and Ellianne found themselves drawn to Adela once more as she drew the mahstion gun from it's holster. Ellianne instinctively reached for her own in self defence, but Reid signalled to her that it wasn't necessary. Reid glared at his ex-comrade suspiciously as she took out the weapon and told him of things he already knew. He cringed however, when Adela attempted to address Flaire lighting the soldier on fire. "Oh, I'm soooo sorry. The next time my friend is being harrassed by your soldiers, I'll just sit and watch, okay? And when she ends up hospitalized because of what your soldier did, I'll be sure to tell the paper that you permitted him to do so, and the world can see what a witch you are." Flaire subbed the word witch in for a nastier word. She didn't want to push her luck too much.

"Anyways." Reid began, full well knowning he needed to divert the topic before the very lives of Ellianne and himself became at risk by these two young women, as he took the piece of paper from Adela's hand, unfolding it neatly as to gaze unto the necklace below. "Telling us we're unwelcome here does not fall under your jurisdiction, commander. The prince and queen have allied themselves with Flazure, much like the royalty of Carn. We can come and go just as we please." He grabbed the necklace and chucked it to Flaire, who seemed pleased by the fact that her boyfriend was giving her something that belonged to his ex.

"Reid? Oh- Adela." Rosaline Dian suddenly barged in through the door, panting vigorously. "I was... afraid... I was going to... miss you..." She continued to pant between words. Reid smiled an awkward smile. The young woman's heart was in the right place, but she just seemed to push herself too hard. Rosaline, once an unnaturally thing and dirty looking girl from 15 years of being contained underground, had blossomed into a beautiful 21 year old woman suitable for the role of Carn's princess. Her body, once frail and malnourished, was now 5'9", healthy, and overall very attractive, although Reid would never admit that to Flaire. She had long since abandoned her longer hair style, and had cut the navy blue locks at a location that was just past shoulder length. Her blue eyes had never been prettier as well, as they had found the love and admiration of many people, although many Carn citizens still despised her for not carrying out her role as sacrifice and taking the deceased Princess' place. Usually, she was forced to wear the most elegant of dresses, but today she wore nothing more than a white sundress and dainty white shoes. If her identity was realized by the public, she'd be in trouble, so she had to dress differently while going out on excursions. "Your presence has been requested by the Queen to attend a dinner tonight at Tealia's castle. The leader of the Archai squad will be there, so the whole squad has been invited. Sven will be there too, along with my father. Also, Adela, the Prince has requested your presence as well." The Princess went back to catching her breath after the long speel of words, and Reid looked at her concerningly.

"...Shouldn't Ailia be with you? Where did she take off to? It's dangerous for you to be out like this and you know it." Reid eyed the Princess suspiciously. Sometimes he wondered why he let his younger sister join up with Carn and act as Rosaline's body guard. She was never around when she needed to be, after all.

"Ah, yes. She's helping prepare the dinner. Apparently there is going to be a big announcement, so please try not to be late! You'll all be given accomodations when you reach the castle, where you can spend the rest of the day until the dinner at seven. I'll... see you there then?" The girl smiled an innocent smile. Her soft voice didn't really help add to the aura of innocence she radiated with.

Flaire eyes the princess suspiciously at the last line. Was she making a move on Reid!? She better not be!

Loki
January 6th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Adela, with each response, noticed that it was getting harder and harder to keep a passive face. At the end of it all, she was just about ready to blast their heads off with the mahstion gun in her hand, but sighed instead, feeling the air in her lungs calming her. She opened her mouth to speak, but was interuppted by the sound of shattering glass. Her mouth closed, an annoyed look crossing her face for a split second as she turned to regard Levi, who had stumbled into a glass vase after being kicked by Flaire. He stared at the carnations on the floor for a second before jumping and hurriedly apologizing.

"Ah, s-sorry thar girly, I wuzn't watchin' me step." Levi sweatdropped, “But, don’t worry dolly,” He said to Flaire, “At the rate this is goin’, I migh’ not crawl, but I’ll certainly die in a hell hole called prison.”

"Stand still, shut up." Adela snapped, Levi's tense shoulders sagging as he hung his head. What a boring response.

Her eyes darted back to Reid and Flaire, as she began to speak, "Excuse me, Ms. Teluia, but I did not ask you for your opinion. I have extended my best effort to remain at least minimally civil towards you, and I'm sure you understand why this is an effort to be appreciated. Mr. Davies, I relent, your words are fair enough. Let me specify, you are no longer welcome in this office, so if you would please take your lea-"

"Reid? Oh- Adela."

Adela sighed in frustration, but said nothing to Rosaline's interupption, listening with a bored and irritated gaze. She was arrogant now, but she was far from the type to rebuke those superior to her in ranking, unlike that washed up excuse for a Princess. She frowned after Rosaline revealed that she was also invited. Dinner with the Archai Squad was not an appealing prospect, and she would not be allowed to refuse, due to this being the Queen's invitation.

"Oh an invitation to dinner? I am the hero of the day after all, so I'd say that sounds great! I’ll show up for dessert, if you don’t mind-" Levi grinned, before a soldier grabbed his shoulder, the color in his face washing out as the burly man’s rumbling voice interjected.

"You are not included."

"Aw, don't be such a stiff, yah? Just a slice ‘o cake and I’ll be on mah merry way." Levi nudged the man in the ribs with his shoulder awkwardly, though both he and Adela looked far from amused, "… Alright you stick's in da mud, I be shuttin' up now if that makes ya'll happy. My head migh’ be a little safer from all yer violent tendencies. ‘Nd they call me ah murdahrer."

"Your silence is greatly appreciated by everyone who seems to have an affinity for lingering in this office." Adela rolled her eyes, "Thank you for relaying the invitation. I will inform the Queen of my presence tonight later on, please do not bother yourself with these trivial duties Princess Dian. Now, I assume that you have come to retrieve the Archai Squad. I have already signed any documents I have been informed of, so unless they may somehow find that they have further business here, I'm sure that Mr. Davies will not object to seeing you to your next destination."

Adela paused, tapping her finger on her gun before finally saying, “And there’s a man by the name of Lazarus seeking an audience with you Rosaline. If you’d like to hear what he has to say, I will send one of my soldiers to call him back. In the meantime, Garrick, please place the murderer into the seventy-fifth cell, second level. I want two mahstion bracelets, both on his ankles. I also want the satchel of explosives around his waist.”

"I have a name, y'know. My name's not murderer, it's L-e-v-i." He sneered childishly before his jaw fell open, "W-wait, d-don't take my explosives, I got somethin' in thar I want ta keep! It ain't dangerous, just a keepsake, lemme get it before ya take the bag!"

"OI!" Levi yelled, losing his accent when the soldier pulled the bag off of his belt, "I SAID DON'T TOUCH IT YOU BUMBLING IDIOT."

"And this is why I told you to rope his feet together too." Adela sighed, caring very little when the soldier was sent flying into the same wall that she'd smashed Levi into after taking a kick to the face.

"Yah but tha' way I can't walk on mah own y'know." Levi shrugged, turning back to standing in place after retrieving his explosives, looking as though even though he'd just taken out a soldier, he had no intentions of busting out at the moment, "I be takin' my leave after I have my fill of cute faces. Bit jealous of ya though mate. Y'got what, four cuties on your tail. Seem to me they're all pretty high rankin' too." He laughed, sitting down, "So do yer worst, Lieutenant."

parallelzero
January 6th, 2008, 05:34 PM
"Someone wants an audience with me? I can't imagine what for..." Rosaline replied, trying her best not to comment on Adela's overall attitude. She had heard rumors of the commander's behaviour all of the way over in Carn, and a lot of them were none too pleasant. "I suppose I'll accept to meet with them, but Reid, would you mind accompanying me for the remainder of the day? There are many things we need to catch up on, and Ailia would probably like to see you after two years."

Reid glanced over at Flaire, who has giving him the 19-year old equivalent of puppy dog eyes. He had promised to take her shopping after their mission was over, and she really wanted to go. Not to mention she probably wasn't that fond of letting Reid accompany Rosaline off all on his own. The girl hadn't left his side since they met, after all. Well, essentially... "I don't know, I mean I'm not really supposed to leave Ellianne and Flaire behind..."

"That's fine, they can come too! I mean, I'll just set the meeting location at the VIP quarters at Cirallie Falls Plaza. There we can get as much food as we want, and there's a bunch of stores nearby so we won't be bored after we meet with this person..."

"CIRALLIE FALLS PLAZA!?" Just the mention of the locating was enough to light Flaire's up in delight. "THE Curallie Falls Plaza? Famous for it's vast size and numerous stores and restaurants that make it THE place to visit on any vacation to Tealia?" Rosaline nodded in response to each of the points the phoenix girl asked. Finally, Flaire let out a squee of delight before grabbing Reid and Ellianne by the hands and dragging them out of the office. "See ya, you little brat! I hope that bug thats stuck up your ass falls out before dinner tonight!" She called back, in Adela's obvious direction.

"Heh... sorry." Rosaline apologized, bowing. "I know this isn't my place to say, and I know you don't like Reid, or Flaire, Adela, but you should try to be a little bit nicer. That wyvern girl is half blind, and mute. Flaire was in the right by protecting her." The Princess spun around to head for the door. "And sorry to trouble you again, but I need you to pardon Levi for this evening, just temporarily. I have an important issue I need to discuss with him. Have an escort bring him to the dinner tonight, but be sure he remains on his best behaviour. And please send the one requesting an audience a message informing him of the meeting place and that the meeting will take place in one hour. Again, I'm sorry for burdening you on behalf of my own personal wishes... This isn't even my country after all, nor do I still feel I deserve the title of Princess..." With that said, she closed the door behind her.

Loki
January 6th, 2008, 06:42 PM
Adela leaned back in her seat. Peace at last.

"Commander," The soldier began tentatively, unknowing how the girl would react to Flaire's parting comment, "Shall I cancel the training regimen you planned for this evening?"

"Sure. Why not." Adela snapped, in a terribly foul mood as she put her gun holster back on. It felt terribly light, and Adela immediately reached for her mahstion gun, hoping the weight would return. When it didn't, Adela frowned, turning to stare out of the window. It had been five years, huh? Reid looked incredibly different. His attitude didn't seem to have changed all that much though, from what Adela could see. After dragging him into the back of her mind, she was finally allowing herself to think freely. That Phoenix girl was annoying as hell, and she was rude. Washed up was the wrong choice of words. More like, washed away. Not to mention that Adela had done nothing to her with the same caliber of rudeness to that dressed up doll, thus, the girl had had no right to speak like that towards Adela. That blind girl must've been helpless beyond helpless if she was hurt by a plain, weak scout soldier. Scoffing to herself, Adela moved around her chair, folding her arms as she stood before the window, watching the soldiers beyond doing exercises. She preferred this view over the view of Tealia itself. On that side of the base, she would see air ships coming and going. She hated airships more than anything else in the world.

"Sooo..." Levi shifted rocked side to side in boredom, disliking the silence that came with Adela being lost in her thoughts.

"Oh shut up already." Adela sighed, not turning around. Thinking about everything had calmed her, and reflecting on her actions, she sighed. She'd most certainly not imagined that Reid's new girlfriend could be so..... Disagreeable. And that was for a girl who had been little more than a animal behind bars as a child. As far as she'd been told about the princess' history anyway, by word of Rod's Father.

"Erm... what shall we do about the murderer?"

Adela's eyes slid toward Levi, who gave a hopeful smile.

"You heard the Princess." Adela said to the soldier, "He's pardoned until tonight."

"AWWRIGHT!" Levi whooped, but gagged when he was thrown against the wall, his neck surrounded by sand that was flowing in from underneath the door.

"Shiraume and Kirden will accompany you for the rest of your stay here at the Tealian Base." Adela turned her head as a woman with long brown hair wrenched open the door, the left side of her face mangled with burns that she hardly bothered with hiding, followed by Shiraume, who hadn't changed in the slightest, other than her hair, which hid the right side of her face, mangled in the same manner as Kirden's. Shiraume's right eye was covered with a medical patch that sunk into the hollow where her eye obviously should've been, while Kirden wore a black eye-patch to match her entirely black attire. The only thing she'd lost since being turned into an apostle was her black veil, which she needed more now than she had before. The sand loosened to form a collar, fortified with Shiraume's Lionus flowing through the middle. Stepping forward, Shiraume snapped a mahstion bracelet onto Levi's left wrist before standing again, moving back as Kirden grabbed a tuft of his hair and wrenched him to his feet.

"Get up." Kirden commanded to Levi, who gaped shamelessly at their faces, "Shiraume is busy with healing and we don't have time to be gawked at like zoo animals. Hurry it up."

"Adela, what shall I do if he disturbs the patients?"

"Shut him up." Adela replied, as though it was obvious, "Kirden's already done it anyway."

Shiraume's indifferent left eye watched Levi, who was fiddling with his collar muttering something about 'itchy', before she turned, sweeping out of the room with Kirden close behind her. A line of Eation connected to Levi's collar, dragging the thief along and knocking him off balance. Kirden's strength was more than enough to pull him along the floor though. The two, Shiraume and Kirden, had been inseperable ever since they had abadoned the name 'Villa', each having taken the half of the side-effect that had plagued the apostle after attempting to use the iridescant potion that had kept Villa in Shiraume's form for a year.

"Leave." The Lieutenant waved the remaining soldiers out of the office.

Adela had thought that after she gave Reid his necklace back, she would never have to see him again. But now she had the chance to look forward to the fact that he'd be present at the dinner tonight. People these days had no consideration for others. She didn't want to make it seem as though just seeing him made her sick to her stomach. That was weak. But nobody seemed to have the insight to tell that just being around him was excruciating. They were doing a really good job, minding their own business.

"Ahh, what a pathetic sight." Adela clenched her fist, ignoring Jeckt's voice as he taunted both her and Xaviae. She blocked out the sight that Jeckt gave her of Xaviae. All she needed was the sight of his snow white hair, "It's not enough for him to just up and leave, but he's gotta come back with another girl too. And she's got higher ranking than you. He just keeps climbing up the ladder, doesn't he? Carn's Sacrifice, Daughter of the Commander, Phoenix Princess, man. He's caught a real ringer this time."

"More like he's going down the ladder." Adela replied coldly, "She's about as high ranking as a destitute beggar on the streets."

"At least we're never deployed to Flazure." Xaviae interjected, hating the tribes as much as Jeckt and his reila, watching his butterfly necklace swing in the sunlight, "That would be the worst."

Work was waiting. Blocking out her faels as she had done so many times before, Adela pushed away thoughts of the Archai Squad. Civility was of the essence, Adela repeated in her mind once or twice before beginning to sign documents and review the station plans for Tealian Troops in Flazure. Seeing all this protection for people she hated wasn't helping at all.

YoshiRiRu
January 11th, 2008, 11:16 PM
OOC: Okay, I know it's short, and I know my sign-up isn't even finished yet, but I made a promise, so a promise is a promise. This is just to get things moving; I'll have my sign up done by either tonight or tomorrow.

IC:

In room 208 of the Sundown Inn in the south-east sector of Meredy, tempers were rising.

"Just one more day, please! That's all I ask fo-"

"I've had 'bout enough from you, kid. I don't want to hear any more of yer jabbering. I knew I never should have agreed to take you. Nothin' but trouble, you young punks. Three days. Take it or leave it. We're leaving tonight. Y'all can come with us, or you can stay here and die, we don't care. We're payed already. But there's no way that I'm going to risk the lives of my crew for more than I have to.. or am being payed to, while we're on the subject."

"If it's money you want, I can get you all the money you want, just as soon as I get-"

A harsh laugh barked out through the door frame, and a young maid sweeping the halls, daydreaming about sharing a plate of pasta with Billy Duram was quickly shaken from her fantasy, and she rushed down the stairs, flushed and ashamed of herself.

"If you think you can lie to Jaak Delacroix, yer a bigger idjit than I thought. If I had a buck (1) for every time some sap gave me the 'I'll get you all the money you want' speech, I wouldn't need to be doin' this kinda !#$@ for a livin'!"

"..You're a monster..!"

Another dry laugh burst from the closed door, although it fell upon no ears, instead merely bouncing from wall to wall like an insane man rocks from wall to wall in an asylum.

"Y'all got a lot of nerve, partner, callin' ME a monster. Why, if I were a monster, I'd just call up them rich folks down in the nicer sectors and tell 'em all 'bout a little friend I got with a pretty pair of wyvern wings that I'm sure he'd LOVE to take a gander at.."

Silence. Amy Stringam, the young maid with a tendency to daydream, slowly reascended the stairs chastising herself for being afraid of nothing. The loud voice began again, softer than before.

"Now. Why don't y'all just think about it, and see us at the dock tonight? Or maybe you'll be a damn fool and stay here, maybe find yourself a nice master to parade you like a prized animal on the street, but hey. It's your life, partner."

The door to room 208 opened and Delacroix, a tall, broad man wearing a leather cap and jacket walked out, his patchy yellowed beard slightly discolored from his silver white hair. As he stepped out of the room, he took a sharp look at young Ms. Stringam, who promptly turned tail and fled down the stairs again, clutching her broom tightly to her bosom.

The door quietly shutting behind Delacroix seemed to also close the door on Axel LeRoux's fate. As the silence grew to a roar around him, he felt, not for the first time, his sanity clear it's throat and look at it's watch, shaking it's head. He needed something to drink, and quickly.

After waiting to make sure he wouldn't encounter Delacroix in the bar below, Axel set out for the bar, a large overcoat covering (to the best of it's abilities) his valuable wings, and he sat down at a booth several booths away from the door. He ordered a drink, made a toast to no-one in particular, and took a shot.

Agrias spoke up from the confines of his conscious mind.

"Oh, Axel.. it'll be okay. You.. just need to-"

"-man up and find Artemis!" interjected Pandora. "There's nothing for you anywhere else; you've tried to live a boring life and it ain't your style, you dig? Find your old pal, you know it's what you want to do."

"And how would I go about doing that?" Axel groaned, and to his disappointment, (but not surprise) neither of his faels had responses for him. He had to face facts; Artemis wasn't anywhere to be found. In the three days that he had been in Meredy, Axel had checked everywhere he had access to, and nobody had even heard of him. The only place that he hadn't combed was the royal palaces and the military facilities; none of which he had any method of infiltrating. A wild idea came into his idea of getting arrested and busting from the hands of the law once within, and reuniting with his long lost comrade, but a sigh and a single glum word from Pandora shot that one right out of the sky.

"Psyche."

Loki
January 12th, 2008, 05:18 PM
"Hmm... are you sure you don't have just... water?" Lazarus sighed, a stack of books leaving only half of the irritated bartender's face visible. A bookworm at a bar was surely one of the greatest annoyances of all.

"It'll cost you."

"For a glass of water?!" Lazarus cried incredulously, only adding fuel to the fire.

"Do you want the water or not?!" The bartender snapped, and Lazarus handed over a few gold pieces without protest, as though he'd simply made a scene to annoy the man. Though he hadn't, he just didn't want to get into a fight over a glass of water. He should've taken his unfinished water from the Tealian Base. It would've saved him some money. Perching his chin up on the cover of his books, Lazarus sighed. How was one to get an audience with a Princess? Alicel had met some very inconvinient people in her lifetime. He'd probably have to go back to that moody Lieutenant to ask her to arrange it. Maybe if he bugged her and promised to go away forever she would do it. Turned out unesseccary though.

As soon as the bartender set down a glass of water, Lazarus felt someone tap his shoulder. Turning, he was face-to-face with an unmistakeable uniform. Tealian Forces.

"C-...Can I help you?" Lazarus asked, wondering whether the commander had changed her mind and decided to lynch him for being annoying.

"Lieutenant Ciaccio has arranged an audience with Princess Dian for you. You will arrive at the Tealian Base in one hour." He said stiffly, "And you are not to be late, as Princess Dian has more important business to attend to."

"Oh." Lazarus replied, as though meeting with the Princess was a daily thing. The shock of such a simple solution to something he'd been pondering about since leaving the base was numbing over his brain, "Y-Yes of course. I'll be there."

Though the soldier didn't stick around to hear the last part of what Lazarus had to say, as he promptly exited the hotel, leaving a dumbstruck Lazarus sitting at the counter. The bartender seemed to have forgotten all about the water ordeal, and was curious as to why Lazarus would have the privelege to meet with a Princess.

Lazarus, however, forgot about the water altogether.

~ + ~

Crap post, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do... xD;;

parallelzero
January 12th, 2008, 08:49 PM
Flaire walked closely alongside Reid, to the point where she was practically hanging off of him, her obviously uneasy eyes examining every person that walked past her. On Reid's other side, the left, Ellianne was hanging off him in a similar fashion. If it had been any other girl doing it, Flaire probably would have snapped despite her social discomfort, but to her, Ellianne was family, so she didn't mind. They always hated going out in public, because their kind always got strange looks in public, even under the protection of Flazure. Well, of course they would. In the eye of the majority of the public, they were still nothing but items representable of social status. They went out in public knowing that they would get these lustful and dirty glares from people, especially walking around plain as day with their wings out. If anyone was aware of what Flaire's colourings meant, chances were they'd try to capture her regardless of consequences. To add to the poor image of the shopping group, Rosaline was also with them. Her white wings made it clear that she had royal blood in her body. Thankfully, Carn made sure nobody knew what their Princess looked like. After all, she had become a terrorist target the second she became pro-Flazure. But that left Reid to wonder, how exactly did the attackers from earlier know who Rosaline was? Perhaps Carn had a leak in it's intelligence? Ah well, he'd bring it up with the King later that night. But back to the topic at hand: the group was essentially a big walking target.

After a short while of navigating through a labrynth of Elizabethan styled homes, complete with the tall iron fencing and beautiful, luscious gardens, the group finally arrived at their destination. It was a large building, made of brick which was covered elegantly with lush, green vines and ivy. This pattern of brick and growth continued upwards for ten floors, and was squarely sized at nearly half a kilometer in width every which way. Cirallie Falls Plaza was the single largest shopping center in the entire world at the time. While it was ten floors, only the first five were for general shopping needs. Floor 6 was full of restaurants, floor 7 was an amusement park, floor 8 was used for business dealings, floor 9 was a hotel, and floor 10 was reserved for Meredy's VIP guests.

The group entered the large, glass revolving doors of the building with little hesitation. Of course, they still had 45 minutes left until Rosaline's meeting, so the girls insisted on shopping. It didn't take long for the girls to let go of him after entering the nearest clothing store and hearing the words "I'll buy!" come from Rosaline's mouth. Reid couldn't help but think "That girl... she's trying to go bankrupt, isn't she?" at the reality that Flaire would buy an entire clothing store if she wanted to. For the first little while, things were okay. They just looked. Then, the girls actually wanted to try things on. Reid sighed, full well knowing that he was going to have to reply to all of their "How does it look?" comments, on top of Flaire trying to outdo Rosaline's outfits. Fun. It could get worse, too, they could try and-

"Reid, why don't you find some outfits for when you're in Mistral's form as well?"

Dammit... To Flaire, when Reid was forced to assume the form of a girl for mission purposes, he was her doll. It had been that way since they first met, and Reid hated it. Mistral, on the other hand, found great joy in it. As a fael, she could technically wear whatever she wanted, and while Reid was in her form, the outfit he was wearing could be manipulated, but the fael girl found great interest in the human species and their everyday activities. Though, the fael girl had been very quiet for the past couple of days, as had Yule, Flaire's plufael. Reid saw this as the perfect opportunity to change the topic. "Hey, did something happen between Yule and Mistral? They haven't really been talking lately..."

"They got into an argument over- ...nevermind." Flaire responded, but abruptly stopped, which left Reid to tilt his head curiously.

"AIIEE!" A loud female scream was heard from outside of the clothing store they were currently in. Reid tensed, as did Flaire. Where was Ellianne and Rosaline? Did they take off without telling the two? "STUPID FILTHY BEAST GIRL. GET AWAY FROM ME!"

"HEY! GET THE HECK AWAY FROM HER! SHE DIDN'T DO NOTHING TO YOU!"

Reid sighed. He knew that voice, and familiarity lead him to come to a conclusion about what was going on. "We're going." Flaire nodded in response and they bolted out of the store into the massive cobblestone floored colosseum that was the hall of the second floor. Sure enough, there was a crowd huddled outside of a pet store. The sounds of some sort of physical damage being wrought on some poor person, and cries of Rosaline and another female voice for someone to stop. Reid's eyes narrowed as his pace increased. Damn it all, they better not have been doing what he thought they were. Was society really THAT opposed to the wyverns and phoenix? He made haste to draw his sword as the two drew closer. He wouldn't actually use it as a weapon unless necessary. After all, these were citizens, and if any stupid moves were made by the Archai Squad, what little trust placed in Flazure could be lost.

A burst of wionus shot up into the air from the center of the crowd, but it cut off abruptly, which implied the user had been interrupted. Reid knew that wionus. After all, he shared the blood of who, it belonged. Almost there... the voices of the crows began to fill the ears of Reid.

"Serves the little witch right."
"Those people have no place here as anything other than slaves anyways."

And it just went on. Flaire eyes watered as she heard all of this. She must not have caught on to what was happening until now. On top of that, the things being said had probably brought up a lot about her past. As they finally hit the crowd, massive winds began to form under the boy's control, parting the crowd so that they had a path to the center. Flaire rushed ahead, and found herself looking upon a horrid sight. Ellianne was on the ground, fallen on her side, completely bloodied by wounds of what could only be a nail bat. Rosaline, crying, was draped over the unconscious corpse, trying to pour as much lionus into the girl as possibly to prevent the chance of death. On the other side of the crowd's center was a very large man in comparison to the small, butterfly winged girl who had a red, chained quarterstaff in her hands. It was split into three pieces so that it could be swung around. This girl was bloodied as well at the right side of her stomach, and her black Carn uniform had been torn in multiple locations.

The large, ripped, topless man swung again at the blonde haired girl with the nail bat, and she narrowly evaded by cartwheeling off to his side. She threw her staff down on his exposed head with all of her might, but it did no good, and she got the man's fist into her stomach, which had her sent far into the crowd. "Hey look! Another beast girl! A phoenix!" Someone in the crowd shouted out, his voice full of entertainment. The man's gaze focused on Flaire, who was still at Ellianne's side with Rosaline, trying to help. Between helping his sister fight and preserving the life of his comrade, Reid had chosen to stay at Ellianne's side.

Upon seeing Ailia thrown away and the man's target being changed, Reid stood once more, his eyes irritated, but not pissed off. He knew Ellianne would live, and this was a natural reaction from a people whom up until recently enslaved these people. By the time Reid had stood, however, it was already too late. He had miscalculated. Flaire's face was drilled into the ground as the insanely large man moved at an inhuman speed towards the girl and brought his bat down vertically on her bent over back, the sound of cracking bones echoed even above the sounds of the crowd as her upper body was ground into the cobblestone, her red eyes wide open in fear. That speed... for a man like that... it was impossible... If Reid had blinked he would have missed it! Did he have a fael? No. Fael's can only increase your speed depending on your body size. His body was far too huge to gain the significant a speed increase.

Fael or something else, that was it. "Unforgivable."

"What was that ya brat? Ya got some kinda problem with weedin' out them people that are usin' so much of are resources 'n' money? Besides, tha wyvern gurl attacked a ladi. I'm doin' tha lady a faver." The man spoke with a bizarre accent, and he wreaked of alcohol. Yet, he wasn't drunk. "Ya shouldn' get involved in tha operashuns of NEAR. Ya may end up like tha there Carn girl who got involved."

"NEAR?" Reid readied the sword in his right hand. The man responded accordingly by ripping the bat out of Flaire's barely concious corpse, a pool of blood beginning to form as the nails were removed from the girl's flesh, and a soft whimper was heard coming from her mouth.

"Ya, NEAR. We're a organization aimin' to set thin's right in tha world." Reid couldn't help but think how stupid this man was. Unless he had a reason for spewing this out, of course. "Ya see, evar since Flazure formed, it's ben feedin' off are resources n cripplin' the economy. NEAR wans to fix that by removin' the weed." An extremist group. The market for phoenix and wyvern must have crashed after Flazure was formed, so that must be why they're resorting to killing them. "N you dun't wanna mess with me. After all, I've ben given sum of that there special drug they've been administerin' to willin' soldiers. Makes me unbeatable." Reid grinned. So that was it. "What, what ya grinnin' 'bout you little brat?"

"You beat down my friend, my sister, and then my girlfriend. Then you proceed to tell some random group of people all about this secret organization. Why would you b-"

"Why d'ya think?" It was followed by a menacing laugh, which had Reid's eyes shoot open in sudden realization.

"DAMMIT. EVERYONE GET OUT OF HERE! HE'S GOING TO KILL YOU ALL." With the speed he had exhibited, it wouldn't take him long to kill everyone on the floor. Some people began to ran, while others seemed to remain behind for reasons unknown.

"Y'people are interested in joinin' up with NEAR, eh?" Grunts of confirmation came from the remaining people. That was his purpose? The reason for this whole thing? To get new recruits? "Very well." A vast pool of dation formed behind the man, and he motioned for the new recruits to jump in. He was using it for teleportation. That was an ability Reid hadn't seen since his experiences with the apostles five years prior...

When the only people left were the wounded bodies of Ellianne, Flaire, and Ailia, along with Reid and Rosaline, the man stepped back towards the portal. "Reid Davies of the Archai Squad. I reckon ya should keep out of are affairs. Some goes for little miss Carn Princess over there." Rosaline's eyes shot open. He knew who they were. How did he know that? "And the little phoenix princess over thare, she's damn lucky I didn' kill her." He knew that too!? How did he know THAT? Even the King of Carn and Queen of Tealia didn't know that! "Ah well, nex' time maybe. Until then - Ciao." He fell back into the portal, and all was silent.

That is, until Reid finally spoke once more after a few minutes of reflection. "How did they know all of that... How did they know?" He turned around abruptly and knelt down in the puddle of blood beside Flaire, who was still bleeding heavily, her breathing short and shaken. Ellianne wasn't faring any better. While she had many more wounds than Flaire, they weren't as severe, and unlike Flaire, she had no broken bones.

The sound of footsteps behind Reid made him turn around. To his surprise, his sister, Ailia, was there, barely standing, with her right hand supporting her left, dislocated shoulder. "Sorry... I wasn't much use... By the time I got here, he had already done most of the damage to Ellianne. Apparently she had tripped and landed on a woman. One of the guns fell out of her pocket, and the man saw all of this and jumped at the opportunity..." Her voice, too was shaken. Thankfully, her wounds were nowhere near are plentiful nor as severe as the other two. "I just paged the hospital a moment ago, they should be here shortly. And Rosaline, I called Tealian HQ to inform them of the issue and to move the location of your meeting to the hospital."

"What the hell are you doing, brat? You need to lay down as well. You're in no condition to be moving around."

"Maybe for once... I'll agree with you... big brother." Using the wall as a support, she slid down into a sitting position on the floor.

It wasn't long after that they were transported to a nearby hospital, and Tealian forces arrived on scene. In the end, Ellianne, Flaire, and Ailia were all placed in the same room after having the more severe portions of their wounds healed. Reid and Rosaline ended up waiting in the room as the three slept.

Reid threw his head back as he let out a loud sigh in the comfy guest chair in the medical room. He had never, NEVER seen a look in Flaire's eyes like the one he had seen in her eyes when the bat hit her. It was so full of pain, and fear. It was so... unlike her. He could only imagine what kind of pain one would have to be enduring to provide such a look. He hoped he'd never have to see that look again...

Loki
January 13th, 2008, 02:50 PM
Adela heaved a sigh. As she read the hastily put together report on the event at Cirallie Falls Plaza, a soldier stood by to wait for orders. It seemed like Rosaline was a danger magnet. Or maybe it was Reid. Either way, she knew she should’ve prepared for something like this the minute they showed up in Tealia. And now she’d have to apologize for it. Oh, how she hated apologizing. How much more excruciating it would be to apologize to the Archai Squad. She slammed the report down on the table and the soldier jumped from the sudden movement. Adela remained silent however, staring down at the words before sweeping out of the office and stepping into the very middle of the room, giving orders as she did so.

“I want the fifth squad to occupy Cirallie Falls, and the third to meet me at the hospital where Princess Dian and the Archai Squad should be. I want at least ten units investigating NEAR.”

“Shall I make an announcement discouraging discrimination against the Phoenix and Wyverns occupying Tealia?”

Adela hesitated and glanced at the soldier, silence overcoming the room again. Thoughts ran through her head.

“Not unless Prince Ryan asks for one.” She replied, sinking into a pool of Dation and emerging in the hospital waiting room, brushing off her dress and taking one sweeping examination of her new surroundings. Irritation registered in her expression upon seeing Reid, but she said nothing to contribute, merely stated plainly, “My apologies for the disturbance at Cirallie Falls Plaza, Mr. Davies, Princess Dian. I hope that it is not a burden to ask you to keep both Flaire and Ellianne’s wings concealed at all times. They may be free, but that does not mean they are equal in the eyes of all Tealian citizens. It is in your best interest.”

She turned, “I have asked for the third unit to accompany your stay in this hospital, and for half of the unit to accompany you for the rest of your stay in Tealia. Our head healer should arrive any moment now to continue treatment on your friends, and they should be fine in less than an hour. Princess Dian, I ask that you discuss whatever it was you needed to with that murderer before his incarceration tonight. He will arrive with the healer shortly as well.”

She sank into another pool of Dation, making sure to show up outside of Cirallie Falls so that her own Dation wouldn’t mix with what was undoubtedly a large amount of Dation that must’ve been swirling in the Cirallie Falls Plaza. It would be a feat, to find those few particles that would be stronger than the rest due to drugs.

In the meantime, at the hospital, Shiraume peered around the corner the second Adela left.

“What a stiff.” Levi’s voice came, before he yelped from being punched, and muffled another yelp after being punched again for being loud in a hospital.

“It’s good to see you all again.” Shiraume smiled, stepping out from the hallway where she'd been avoiding Adela, who would undoubtedly give her another cold reception, “Flaire, Ellianne, and Alia are out of harms way and are simply resting at the moment. However, I’d prefer if they had peace to rest while their bodies catch up with my healing and wash out the remaining Lionus that is preventing any scarring tissue from forming. Rosaline, please be careful of Levi, he seems to know more than he lets on, but I have arranged an empty room if your discussion must be private. Unfortunately, Kirden will also be present during your discussion, but this is a necessary and unavoidable precaution, as Levi seems to know your face and name, something that Carn covets. ”

“It’s not hard to find tha-owowowow!“ Levi began, interrupted when knuckles of sand drilled at his temples.

OoC;; I honestly hate the posts I've been making. xD; I'm sorry guys, they're all so crappy.

Jack O'Neill
January 13th, 2008, 06:23 PM
Aleksandra Zaitseva, a.k.a. Staff Sergeant Natalya Romanova, hated everything.

She hated working for Tealian Forces Materiel Command, who rebuffed her when she rediscovered the methods for making Mahstion-independent firearms and explosives. She hated working for Tealian Forces Medical Command, who essentially employed her as a guinea pig and manual laborer. She hated life at the Meredy base, where she had to deal with all sorts of boobs, boneheads, and general incompetents in her various lines of work. She especially hated Lieutenant Ciaccio; in Aleks' eyes, that shrill harpy of a commissioned officer couldn't command even a class of kindergarteners, much less a platoon of NCOs who had been defending Tealia long before she was born.

The only thing keeping Aleks from suffering a psychotic episode and breaking her cover was alcohol. Lots of it. She was currently at the Sundown Inn's bar, where she was in the middle of downing her fifth beer of the night. As events unfolded around her, she simply remained at the counter, asking for refills when needed. She was on her seventh beer when the Tealian Forces soldier came to inform Lazarus of his meeting with Princess Dian. Upon hearing mention of the names of the Princess and the Lieutenant in quick succession, Aleks decided it was time to go; she quickly gulped down what little beer remained in her mug and tossed a bag of gold coins onto the counter. "That should take care of my tab here," she chirped as she rose from the stool.

The barkeep redirected his attention from Lazarus and his bookpile to the bag of coins that Aleks had left for him. "That's what you said last time, Sergeant Romanova," he muttered as he pocketed the bag. "I'll count them later."

As Aleks stumbled over to the exit, her gaze just happened to fall upon Axel LeRoux. A kid wearing a thick overcoat in relatively warm weather definitely registered as suspicious to her. She shuffled over to his booth and sat down across from him. "Hey, kid," she said, "that there is one damn fine coat you're wearing. Don't you think it's a bit warm to be wearing something like that, though?"

With that extremely cryptic statement, Aleks left the booth and walked out of the hotel in a slight alcohol-induced haze. She was barely several yards out when she was spotted by the same Tealian Forces soldier who had given Lazarus his orders. "Sergeant Romanova!" he called out.

"Yes, what is it?" Aleks replied with a question of her own.

The soldier replied back, "There's been a terrorist attack on Cirallie Falls Plaza. 5th Squad, 2nd Platoon, 1st Company has the plaza secured, while 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon has been assigned to hospital duty. There are at least ten other fireteams patrolling the surrounding area."

Before the grunt had finished his status report, however, Aleks was already running towards Cirallie Falls; despite being slightly drunk, she still had an impeccable sense of direction. "Sergeant, wait up!" the soldier called out after her.

parallelzero
January 18th, 2008, 08:34 PM
Reid groaned at the sudden appearance of Adela. He was NOT in the mood for little miss emotionless' cold little statements and orders that Reid wasn't going to pay too much attention to. What did she know about them? What did she know about their cause? If she really understood what kind of stand they were trying to make, she wouldn't have done something as insulting as asking the group to have their wings hidden. But no, she didn't stop there. She proceeded to tell them that she would be assigning soldiers to accompany them. His mood lightened a little as Adela left and Shiraume came into the scene. She had always been such a nice woman, and it was refreshing to actually get a nice greeting for once in the town. Actually, it may be a good time...

"Rosaline, go to your meeting with the felon without me. I have something else I need to do for a while." He rose from his seat, and Rosaline followed suit. She looked at him, concerned, but decided against asking about it and made her way to the room that housed the thief and murderer. When she had left, Reid turned to Shiraume, before opening his white cloak and letting it drop to the floor, and then removing the white undershirt that he had on underneath, although he kept his black pants on that were underneath the cloak. He turned his back to her, revealing two deep, obviously infected, black gashes, where a normal person would have wings. "I need an examination. A thorough one, and you can't tell anyone about the results. I don't want anyone worrying about nothing..."

Rosaline looked over worringly at Kirden before taking her seat, while removing the sunhat from upon her head. She wasn't comfortable speaking her mind in front of Kirden as well. She had intended on the conversation being private, but there wasn't much chance of that now. "Um... Mister Levi?" Her voice, very innocent, had never been very power. "I have a favor to ask of you... Uhm..." She began twiddling her fingers. She was a woman now, why she still did such gestures really was a wonder. After a while, she just decided to blurt it out. "Could you please act as my envoy and travel with the Archai Squad? Since I'm not allowed to participate in the battles, I'd like to send someone capable. Of course, you'd be free of your prison sentence, and your paycheck would be generous, although you would be under Reid's jurisdiction and if you did anything wrong you'd most likely be killed..." She had a knack for somehow mixing good and bad news into one nice long string of words. That was a talent.

---

"But, sir! A war with Flazure? NOW? You realize, sir, that this would label our country as an enemy of both Carn and Tealia!"

"Lieutenant. Please don't speak out of line. You are aware that these decisions are not mine to make. We've been assured that the two countries will not take action on us if we take any action on Flazure. After all, most of their population already don't care for the country. The leaders can only push their stance so far before their citizens rise against them, after all."

"But SIR-"

"LIEUTENANT. I gave you an order. The operation begins at 00 hours, and you are to mobilize your unit. Also, we'll be using the new units during this operation, so go make sure Auricia is ready by tonight."

"With all due respect, Auricia is still injured from the testing, sir. I don't care if she's a weapon in the eyes of the government or not, we wouldn't send any soldier in the condition she's in."

"Do you expect me to care? Do you expect anyone to care? A weapon is a weapon, it doesn't matter if they can breathe. Now, Lieutenant Tappen, I suggest you do as you're ordered. You haven't been a Lieutenant for long. You can always be demoted."

Darkness. Foolish mortals. This world is doomed to the darkness.

Loki
January 18th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Shiraume lifted her fingers to her mouth before stopping halfway there. She bent over a little to get an even look and traced the wound with her finger just centimeters away from the blackened skin, being sure not to touch it. Furrowing her brow, Shiraume straightened and weaved her fingers together, pausing before finally apologizing in advance as she felt the wound, starting from the bottom and moving up to the top. Sighing, she impatiently hooked her blonde hair away from her eyes, probing between the black patches.

"Well Reid..." Shiraume said quietly, immersed in the wound on his back as a tendril of Lionus stretched to form gloves while handing her a syringe. Her eyes lingered on the syringe for a moment before she swiveled around to face Reid, "I'll take a blood sample then." She jabbed the needle into his upper arm, continuing, "The results of the blood test won't come back for awhile. I'll need more labs for that black skin, but it's apparent that there's tissue damage on top of bruising. It's best if you try not to do too much bending so that the tissue can mend." She capped off the blood sample and set it on a tray of Lionus. Shiraume turned to look at the wound again. Silence overcame her as she gently felt between the wounds, where his spine was. She frowned.

"You've been using those synthetic wings, haven't you?" She asked with disapproval in her voice.

Pulling a pair of tweezers off of the Lionus tray, Shiraume continued with various things, sending samples to be tested by way of Lionus.

"It's not my place," Shiraume said apologetically, "But as a healer, I'll give you my honest opinion. You shouldn't try those wings until they're approved. They might cause your spine serious damage. But if you want to continue with it, try not to put them on again until the bruises go away. I'll inform you of the lab results sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, please don't strain yourself and give this wound some time to heal. I've never dealt with synthetic wings before, so I'm not sure what the effects will be if I use Lionus on it. I'm sorry I can't do more."

------------------

Levi gaped stupidly at Rosaline. Kirden did too.

"P-P-Princess-" Kirden spluttered, but Levi quickly interuppted, standing up with a boundlessly joyous expression.

"HECK YES!!!" Levi answered with extreme enthusiasm, pumping his fist up and down, "I'M OUTTA THE TIN CAN- Er." He stared at Rosaline for a moment before sitting back down, "I'm not worried about that Reid kid, I don't mind taking orders. And not to be impudent Your Highness, but I don't get killed, I do the killing. But getting out of jail, and getting paid for it? Sounds like a plan to me." Levi grinned, but the smile quickly changed into a surprised look when he realized something.

"Oh. The Archai Squad is allied with Flazure, aren't they?" Levi muttered to himself. It shouldn't be an issue. The Jaquez Family didn't have enough income to send out assassins now anyway. At least, not assassins of the caliber that they could even touch Levi's head. Er, unless they were anti-phoenix-wyvern assassins... No, this was like a get out of jail with profit ticket. It was too good to give up just because of that.

"Yeah." Levi smiled, "So do you want me to do anything in particular? Send you reports every now and then, just be their babysitter, or do you just want me to follow 'em around?"

Scarlet Weather
January 19th, 2008, 03:55 PM
"So picking on girls makes you a big man, huh?"

The burly Underneather's drawl went unheard by the escaping topless male. He alone, of all the room's occupants, had stayed when the other Underneather had warned everyone to leave while remaining outside the portal. Hidden by the shadows, he had watched. He would have protected the girl, but he had been there too late. Besides, the man's inhuman speed would have been a problem if he had just rushed in. But waiting on the sidelines sickened Gael. His anger and rage knew no bounds. How could anyone do that to an innocent girl? She'd done nothing! What made the underneather's rage really boil was the fact that he had been lied to. Those NEAR punks! They promised him money for researching pre-cataclysmic technology so long as he was kind enough to dispose of a certain special agent named Reid Davies. Gael hadn't cared at the time. A war between the winged ones was of no consequence to him, he was an underneather. As long as his airship could fly and there was work for him, he could weather a war without any personal risk. But fighting wars was different from beating a girl with a nail bat. Gael knew how fighting was supposed to work. One guy beat the snot out of the other guy, by any means necessary. On the other hand, one guy whaling on a defenseless girl was classified as abuse. It didn't matter whether the girl was human or winged, someone who did that deserved instant death. And that was what Gael planned on giving this guy.

What now, Gale? Are we gonna kill the soldier-boy? Diana's giggling voice broke across Gael's thoughts. The fael appeared in his mind's eye, resting herself on an outstretched tree limb. I mean, if that was him why didn't you throw the knife and off him right there?

"Shut up, you stupid louse," Gael grumbled. "We aren't killing that boy anytime soon. Damned if I'll sell my services to anyone who lets their employees do things like that. I don't care if they've got wings or not, hurting someone in that way is wrong. I'm not gonna be a part of it, no sir."

Fortuna's subdued, calm voice broke through Gael's mind as well while he pictured the fael sitting at an old card table, crystal ball in her hand. Gael...

"Captain. I don't care if you're a part of my soul or what, anyone who is not named 'Gael' and is part of my crew adresses me as 'Captain'." Gael admonished grimly as he slipped from his hiding place and moved towards the city's square, careful to blend in with the crowd.

Ah, of course. Captain. I'm glad that you've decided to stop working with these people, but what are you going to do now? Fortuna's voice softened the normally rough and blustery Gael, but only for a moment.

"Do? What am I going to do?" Gael laughed at the question. "What we always do, of course! We fuel up the Otherworld and look for work again! Honestly, what kind of a question is that?"

Captain, don't you think we should tell that soldier what we know? Fortuna was concerned, moreso then usual.

Unfortunately, this prompted Diana to begin performing her duties as a Negafael. Oh come on, sis! You've got to be kidding me! Of course Captain isn't going to do anything like that! Why should we help these stupid Tealians anyway? Fat lot of good they've done us! she challenged.

Fortuna remained calm, though her voice still registered concern. But if we truly wanted to hinder NEAR's actions, wouldn't it be best to-

Yeah, yeah, who cares? As long as we aren't helping them kill girls, we've done our duty. Let's just hit the road and call it quits!

But-

"SHUT UP!"

Gael's command was followed by a burst of as much assertive energy as his psyche could muster. Both faels quivered as the rush of energy passed them, shaking the landscape of their mental world. Gael's eyes sparked as he advanced towards the two mentally. "You know by now that I make up my own mind about these things," he growled. "Now, I really don't feel like doing anything particularly nice for Tealia-"

Fortuna's face fell and Diana prepared to launch a crushing "Toldja so!" at her sister just as Gael finished his sentence with "-But those NEAR punks are asking for it, and I want to make sure that they go down and stay there."

Diana was confused. So what are we doing?

Gael's eyes were set as he replied "We're going to decide the old fashioned way: coin toss." Removing the small gold piece from his pocket, he positioned on his thumb. "Heads, we go to that Reid kid and tell him what we know. Tails, we leave without saying a word." As both faels acknowledged the fairness of this form of decision making, Gael flipped. The coin spun through the air as a golden blur for a moment before rushing down into Gael's awaiting palm. Both faels watched breathlessly as he slapped the coin onto the back of his hand. The three were silent as Gael slowly raised his hand and stared at the image displayed in front of him. A small grin slowly spread over the Underneather's face. "Looks like we'll be paying a visit to Mr. Davies, and this time it won't be to knife him in the back. Fortuna, c'mere. We'll need that ability of yours to track heat signatures to find him. Diana, sorry, maybe next time." His orders given, the captain stepped forward lightly and quickly, following his fael's directions as he tracked Reid Davies towards the capital...

parallelzero
January 23rd, 2008, 03:53 PM
"I see..." Reid went silent for a minute to consider his next course of action. If Shiraume's analysis was correct, then the science department in Flazure must have been aware of the effects. If that was so, then why did they refrain from telling him, and instead start lying about it? It wasn't that strange, however. He had been considering the possibility of being used for a while now. He had links to both royal families, and was one of the few supporters of Flazure that was neither phoenix nor wyvern. Not to mention he was in a romantic relationship with their princess. While the others weren't being used by the country, he surely was, which meant Sven was too. After all, Reid set down Sven's acceptance into the squad as a requirement for joining himself.

"You know, you really shouldn't push yourself, Reid." An eccentric, male voice chanted from the doorway. "After all, Rosaline and Ailia would have a fit if something were to happen to you, and that's always troublesome for us."

Reid threw his cloak on before turning to the source of the racket. Standing in the doorway was a boy, no older than seventeen, with messy, snow white hair and icy blue eyes. He, like Ailia, was dressed in a black Carn uniform. Uniforms now a days were never really that creative. It was generally a pair of black pants, and a black jacket with a white patch on it. The patch had the black rose symbol on it that Carn was so famous for. However, this boy had an additional badge, one with a black horizontal stripe on it that indicated he was a part of the Princess' royal guard. He wasn't very tall, only standing at 5'6", but it was obvious he was a practiced fighter.

There wasn't just the boy, however. There was a woman with him, as well, most likely in her early 20s. Her hair was straight and black, falling halfway down her back, and her eyes were blue. She was pretty tall, at least in comparison to the boy, standing at 5'11". Like the boy, she was dressed in the uniform of one of the Royal Guard, with the exception that she wore a black skirt and stockings as opposed to the pants. She was physically attractive, but Reid would never admit it. He knew better.

In reality, these two were originally the two parts of one of the apostles, Cress, during the events five years ago. They boy's name was Blanc, and he had some sort of relationship going on with Reid's sister that he didn't like. He was always flirting with her, but thankfully she didn't return the feelings. Ilya was the name of the woman, and she didn't talk much. However, she was a very powerful fighter and an idol for Rosaline. Damnit, had they overheard all that? He sighed. "Don't tell the others, you know what would happen if you did."

"You mean how Rosaline would force us to confine you to the sick bay until you healed, regardless of what was happening in the world? Yup. I'll keep my mouth shut, and I don't think Ilya will have too much of a problem with it." Blanc grinned, but Ilya's eyes seemed to track Reid's every movement. Was something troubling her?

---

"Kirden, please understand. If I involve anyone with military connections, all of their actions would be restricted. Besides, you know military personelle from either country are not permitted to provide personal aid to Flazure unless in the case of an emergency. Also, I don't want to bring any citizens into this. So, a convict is the perfect choice, so long as he behaves." Rosaline's glance shifted from the soldier to Levi once more. "And you. Don't think for a moment that you'll be able to get away with anything stupid while under the surveillance of the Archai Squad. I warn you in particular about harming or saying anything inappropriate to the two girls that Reid has at his side. He holds those two very close to his heart, and if you do anything to them, I won't be responsible for what happens to you, nor will he. If you abide to these conditions, you will be hired and released tomorrow morning. Until then, you are being held for your crimes."

---

"Oh? Lieutenant Tappen? Why are you here? You visit me on Tuesdays, not Saturdays."

"You're still not well, Auricia?"

"I'm well enough to fight, if that's why you're here. "

"You don't have to fight, I can always talk them out of it and let someone take your place!"

"Don't be naive. I was born to fight after all. To fight and die..."

Loki
January 23rd, 2008, 09:14 PM
Levi folded his arms and leaned back in his seat with a satisfied grin spread across his face. So it was worth saving her after all. Talk about a smooth bail. Although he wouldn't have been surprised if that stingy Lieutenant wasn't too enthusiastic about pardoning him. It wasn't as though she could do much now though. He was the Princess of Carn's envoy.

"Alright." Levi replied easily, "I won’t say or do anything to them. If I do, then I accept the beatings I’ll probably get. They’re pretty violent people, from what I’ve experienced earlier in the Lieutenant’s office… Reid is the important one though, right? I’ll keep an eye on him and send you an update every now and then. I’ll make them write some stuff too, it’ll be more interesting that way.” Standing from his seat, Levi sighed, readjusting his goggles and ruffling the back of his hair so that it would remain standing at attention. It would definitely not be fun, this babysitting job. It would definitely be better than rotting away in a prison though.

“If tha’s all, then I’ll beg yer pardon and be on my way.” Levi hitched his accent back up as he shoved his hands into his pockets and turned to look at Kirden, “So ‘cuz I’m still a convict ‘in all, I guess I’m spendin’ th’night in prison anyway, eh?”

“Hmph.” Kirden stuck her nose in the air as sand wove itself into the shape of handcuffs around Levi’s wrists, and compacted itself to become as hard as stone, “That’s up to the Lieutenant. Although I don’t know where else you’re welcome to stay, since you obviously can’t stay in one of the hospital rooms, you being who you are.”

“It’s no more fun killin’ half-dead people then it is livin’ round ‘em.” Levi shrugged, only to get shoved out of the room by Kirden who paused and turned to Rosaline.

“You shouldn’t be so trusting of people Princess. It’s not my place to judge your decision, but he doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would stick around if his life was in danger. And that’s what the Archai Squad is all about, isn’t it?” Kirden sighed, shaking her head as she let the door swing shut again, “Have a nice afternoon then.”

--------

“Blanc, Ilya.” Shiraume greeted, smiling warmly at the two who had just arrived in the doorway. They were two of many people who made her feel awkward when she was addressed as ‘Shiraume’ instead of ‘Villa’. It was interesting, how many duo’s had stuck together even after they’d been ripped apart. Although some staying with each other were a given, like the pieces of Velin. She rearranged the tools on the tray and wrote a note with instructions on what to do with them as Blanc and Reid conversed. As the tray floated out of the room over Blanc and Illya’s heads, Shiraume clapped her hands together twice before the Lionus evaporated off her hands.

Brushing off the skirt of her white dress, Shiraume looked up at Blanc and Ilya, “Shouldn’t you be keeping an eye on Rosaline? The Lieutenant might blow a fuse if she has to apologize for something again.” Shiraume clasped her hands together in her lap, laughing as though talking about a little sister that could only be doted upon. But her hands immediately parted again as she remembered something.

“Oh, I should check on Flaire and the others.” Shiraume said suddenly, looking at Reid, “Would you like to see them too? They should be stable enough for visitors, there weren’t any wounds that couldn’t be healed with Lionus after all.”

------

“We’ve tried to retrieve some of the Dation particles in the air that was released by the drugged man, and they’ve already been sent to be diluted. The results should be in by tomorrow at the latest.” Said a reporting soldier, “Cost of damages are being calculated at the moment, and witnesses are being identified and called in for questioning.”

Adela sighed. She really wished she hadn’t come at all.

“Do what you see fit.” She replied vaguely.

“… Lieutenant?” The soldier asked, raising an eyebrow.

“I want someone to go through the records- Find all and any report that mentions the organization ‘NEAR’ before now, if any. Just run a double check.” Adela sighed, rubbing her temple in frustration. If only they would leave just a little faster. Maybe by this time tomorrow, they’d have already high-tailed it out of Tealia. It would be good if life went back to the way it had been for the past three years.

“Right away. We have also received a report that the Staff Sergeant is on her way.”

“Fantastic.” Adela said flatly. She wondered how much longer her civility would last, and if she could keep enough of it to speak to that pessimistic drunkard without throwing a few unprofessional jabs in. She had nothing left to do before that stupid dinner party anyway. Maybe she could get the Sergeant to go in her place. Highly unlikely.

Jack O'Neill
January 24th, 2008, 11:19 AM
Aleks finally arrived at Cirallie Falls Plaza, extremely out of breath. As a Lionus user, she couldn't teleport from place to place; without ready access to an IFV or other form of mechanized transport, all she could do was run, and that she did. "You okay, Sergeant?" a private asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Aleks panted. "So, anyone mind telling me just what happened here?"

"I think I can answer that," the voice of a male corporal piped up. It was Aleks' own 2IC, Corporal Thomas Andreyevich Gradenko. "From what I can gather, it was an assassination attempt on several members of the Archai Squad by members of an organization that calls itself NEAR. Three of them sustained injuries and were taken to a hospital not far from here."

The acronym "NEAR" sounded somewhat familiar to Aleks; she had taken part in counter-insurgency operations against it just a few months ago, actually. "Wait, did you just say NEAR?" she asked.

"That's the name, or at least that's what the witnesses have told us," Corporal Gradenko replied. The two NCOs started walking towards a stairwell. "Apparently, someone tipped them off the Archai Squad was going to be here, and they decided to take matters into their own hands. But then again, the squad's not exactly the most secretive part of the Flazure military."

"You don't say," Aleks remarked as she headed up the stairs. "How come there was no security detail posted to them?"

"They never asked for one. They were off duty, and they were trying to keep a low profile."

"And several of them are now in hospital due to their hubris. If there's one thing I can't forgive, it's stupidity. It was damn foolish of them to go gallivanting out in public like that without anyone else to back them up. Why couldn't they shop at the post exchange like the rest of us regular grunts?"

"To be honest, Sergeant, they're a bunch of fops and dandies," Thomas shot back. "They think they're too good for the PX."

Aleks and Thomas arrived at the second floor, where the attack took place. Even with the military contingent on this level, there was still a reasonable civilian presence; shops and commissaries directly away from the attack continued their business as usual, while many of the shoppers simply went around the cordoned-off crime scene. The two NCOs had to fight their way through the crowds in order to make it to the crime scene, where Lieutenant Ciaccio and the rest of 5th Squad were waiting; while Thomas waited off to the side with several other soldiers, Aleks walked up to the Lieutenant and saluted her.

"Lieutenant Ciaccio," Aleks said, trying to maintain her composure. "What's the insult of the day for today?" she thought to herself.

parallelzero
January 28th, 2008, 02:15 PM
"Kirden, please understand. I'm not the irrational little girl I was when I first became Princess. It's been five years, and I'm well aware of the influence of money on people like him. Although, I don't feel right about having to use such a method, it is one of the few things that I can actually use to help people..." Rosaline got to her feet, and slowly made her way to the room's exit, her sundress and hair swaying under the influence of the breeze from an open window. Before completely leaving the room, allowing the door to shut, she put in one last sentence. "Besides, something bad is going to happen soon. Something that will push them all. They're going to need all the help they can get..."

---

"Really though, you can't say you weren't responsible at all for walking around like that. An obviously male voice rung in Flaire's mind as she sat on the hospital bed, staring worriedly up at the ceiling with eyes wide open. While the pain was lessened, and her bones moreso were repaired, it still hurt enough to bring her to tears when she moved around too much. She hadn't spoken a word since the incident, but rather had done nothing but stare, as if she was desperately searching for something. "Listen, I know you feel bad and all, but you know it troubles everyone when you aren't so... erm... energetic. You need to let go of the past during times like these, or you're just going to become a burden to the others." Flaire groaned in response. She knew her fael was correct, but it was hard to let go of years of confinement and abuse. "You didn't have anything to live for before, did you? Ellianne gave you someone to believe in, and then Reid came along. You owe it to them to give it your all. Although, you really should drop your street persona every now and again, you just get on everyone's nerves. It's obvious you only keep that persona to hide your feelings."

"Yule."

"Yes?"

"Shut up, I know all of that already. I know, damnit... Besides, didn't you make Mistral so mad that she won't even talk to you anymore? What'd you do, anyways?"

"I told her I didn't like her outfit."

"You have a lot to learn about girls."

"Apparently."

Flaire turned her head to either side, as Ellianne and Ailia were in beds on either side of her. From what she could tell, both of them were still sleeping peacefully. They had been lucky, they had no bone damage like she did, let alone wing damage like her own. She ended up becoming distracted looking at Ailia's butterfly wings. It was weird to think Reid once had a pair. They were so fragile, but so pretty with all of their colours. With this in her mind, she drifted back asleep temporarily.

---

"Yo Shiraume! How's it been? It's been forever~" Blanc said eccentrically, which made Reid sweatdrop. That boy was such a weird kid. "We were told Rosaline was in a meeting, and to wait here. But since you're going to see my lovely Ailia, I suppose we'll tag along for that~" Reid suddenly looked irritated. When did Ailia belong to him?

"Hmm, I don't know. Really reminds me of a younger you, actually~" Mistral spoke for once in the back of his mind.

Reid sighed. "Oh, so you give me the cold shoulder for two days and NOW you decide to input something?"

"Yup~" The conversation dropped after that. He could tell she had something she needed to talk to him about later, but understood that now wasn't the time. Reid made his way to the room's exit to go see the three girls, but bumped into Rosaline as he did so. "Oh, sorry! How'd your meeting go? We're going to see Flaire and the others now, so you could tell me after if you want."

"Sure, that's fine." Rosaline replied cheerily as she glanced over at her two guards. "What was my father having you two do so suddenly?"

Blanc looked hesitant to reply, so Ilya did it instead, in a cold, emotionless voice. "He wanted us to investigate something."

"Oh? What was that?"

"That's classified."

"Anyways, we'd better go. Shiraume, I'm assuming you can lead the way?" Reid interjected before Rosaline got too worked up.

---

"Lieutenant Tappen, why are you looking at me like that?"

"You know I disagree with the use of dolls for battle purposes. The government is crazy for thinking this is alright."

"Even so, it isn't our place to say otherwise, as soldiers of the military."

"I know, Auricia, but ever time you pilot one of those things you end up hurt..."

"Shall we go? I'm sure the Colonel will be waiting for us at the main docks..."

Loki
January 28th, 2008, 03:51 PM
ooc;; I don't know what I'm doing anymore. xD So in that sense, this post might reflect that. Apologies in advance.

ic;;"Good afternoon, Sergeant Romanova." Adela replied absentmindedly, "I trust Corporal Gradenko has given you the update on the events at hand. In that sense, please lead the clean-up of this investigation, and look into this new rebel organization NEAR, alongside your usual tasks...."

She stopped, letting an irritated gaze wash over the civilians who were going about their business. It was getting harder and harder to distinguish mahstion signatures with all these meddling people. But Cirallie Falls Plaza wasn't exactly a place you could shut down without prior notice. And it seemed that most people weren't all too concerned about NEAR. Not many had yet accepted the prescence of wyverns and phoenix's in general society, and that was something Adela couldn't blame them for. But she could blame them for getting in the way of official investigations.

"Use whatever civil methods you need to dig up something concerning them." She continued, wrenching her gaze away from the crowds to face Sergeant Romanova and Corporal Gradenko, "I have other business to attend to, but report any findings to me as soon as possible." Adela nodded to the two who had just arrived before turning on her heel and leaving with a soldier trailing behind her, scribbling down the agenda for the day after next.

-----

No response from Kirden. She was busy remembering how much better things had been when Rosaline was just a sacrifice. Back when Tylonstus was still her entire world, her driving reason for living, her very existence. Although, no one could recognize her now. She’d always worn that veil. And it was probably now that she needed to wear that veil more than in the past. Ah, cute little Aertan and his missing left hand. It had been so many years since she last saw that annoying little brat. But he wasn’t excluded from those who wouldn’t be able to place where they’d once heard her voice.

“Ah.” Kirden looked up, surprised to see that Rosaline had beat her back, “Blanc. Ilya. A party is it? Not that I wasn’t expecting to run into you guys at least once…”

She jerked her thumb at Levi, who had a strip of ducktape secured over his mouth. Necessary measures to keep him from interrupting Kirden’s thoughts moments earlier. He waved a hand as best as he could with his hands cuffed in sand, “I’m taking him over to the prisons now. He’ll be spending the night there until Lieutenant gets the order for his pardon.”

“His pardon?” Shiraume peered around the doorway to see both Kirden and Levi clearly, “Why is he pardoned?”

“Don’t ask me.” Kirden shrugged, dragging Levi past the group, “I’ll catch up with you later Shiraume.”

“Oh… Okay.” She said, sliding through the doorway and turning to Reid, Rosaline, and the two she once referred to as ‘Cress’, “Well, I’m not sure it’ll be good for them to have so many visitors at once. I was thinking it would just be Reid.” She laughed, “But if you’d all like to see them, then please be very quiet so that you don’t disturb them if they’re resting.”

Leading the parade down the hall she held an index finger up and stuck her head into the room before retreating and holding the door open with a smile, “They’re asleep, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you’re silent.”

parallelzero
January 31st, 2008, 08:46 PM
"Oh~ My dear Ailia~ You are like the Sleeping Beauty of my dreams~ But alas! Even in the presence of your Prince, you fail to awaken~" The deranged boy called as he threw his hands down on the bed on either side of the sleeping girl, eventually easing his body in closer. "I know! Perhaps a kiss~!" It was at that moment that the Prince was overthrown by both his subjects and the sleeping beauty, as a foot flew up at his stomach from the bed, and Reid's foot made contact to his skull after being thrown into mid air by the initial kick. It resulted in the "Prince" being thrown at a 45 degree angle at the wall.

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?" The siblings shouted angrily, Ailia beat red from having woken up to that scenario of all things. "WHAT ARE YOU? SOME TYPE OF PERVERT!?" This time only Ailia spoke, as Reid had run to the side of Flaire, who was stirring uneasily in her sleep, most likely as a result of the noise they had caused. It was obvious by the glistening streaks under her eyes that she had been crying, although out of pain, or for a different reasoning, was unknown at the time.

"Reid... would it be better if I was dead?"

Reid's eyes widened in shock as the words came from his girlfriend's mouth. If one was to describe the mess of thoughts he had at that very moment, they would have a very difficult time doing so. "W-why are you asking that?"

"...I was just thinking, that's all. Nevermind." She stared up at the ceiling like she was a while before, not even making an effort to look at her significant other.

There was a brief moment of silence between the two for a moment. A brief but thick moment that you couldn't cut with a steak knife. Eventually, Reid was the one who broke it. "We don't have to keep doing this, you know. We can leave the squad and settle down somewhere rural. You, me, and Ellianne, the three of us. We wouldn't have to worry about this kind of stuff..."

"Don't be stupid. You know I can't do that. I'm the Princess, and I... I..." She began to sob softly, and Reid lifted her up into a hug. But something was wrong, he realized, when he brought his hand away from her and saw it covered in blood. He looked over his shoulder, and almost dropped her. As the gasps of the other people in the room were heard, Reid just brought the girl closer to him as she began to cry extremely hard. "...I ...I ...I don't know what came over me! All I could think about was... was... freedom. I couldn't take it anymore, it's haunted me forever! Before I knew what I was doing, I had already done it! God! Oh god, what have I done!" She clung to Reid for dear life, shaking wildly from loss of blood, and he clung to her, crying himself now. For, amidst a thick pool of blood on the bedsheets, were Flaire's wings, severed from her body by her own dagger, which was lying nearby.

Loki
January 31st, 2008, 09:39 PM
Shiraume sighed when Blanc flung himself into the room without any concern for the resting. Although she should've been expecting it, she'd wondered if he'd even take to hear the fact that she's specifically asked them to be quiet. She strode briskly over to Blanc's side to help him to his feet and to steer him out of the room. She was halfway there when her feet stopped moving. Such a strong scent. It was everywhere. How could she have missed it? The commotion. The commotion had done it. Shiraume spun around to see the source of the smell. The distinct smell of blood she'd acquired an acute sense for after the back-fire of that vile liquid. Wings.

Phoenix Wings.

"Everyone needs to leave at once." Shiraume instantly moved towards her, a blinding amount of Lionus encircling Flaire and Reid before she could get there. She made no move to force the others out of the room though. She was too preoccupied for that. Rushing to their side, she could think only of stopping the stench. She gagged at the clear sight of wings, roughly cut from their place on her back. Red hair orange eyes. Would it make any difference, if she didn't have the wings? Shiraume hardened her expression. The first priority was healing the wound.

"Reid, please," Shiraume said, hovering her hand over Reid's shoulder, unable to touch him, "It's impossible for me to treat her properly like this. I'm sorry but I’m going to have to ask-..." The words stuck. Piling up in her throat, they were blocked, unable to form themselves out of lack of air. What a strong smell. The smell of phoenix blood? Ignore it. The thought that she was going to ask Reid to move away escaped her mind entirely. Lionus weaved itself around and in between Reid and Flaire, the flood of light encasing the girl’s back. To have those wings back was something that she'd already given up, and right now the blood more dire to Shiraume than anything else. If she healed the wound without reattatching the wings, putting them back on would be a near impossible feat. She put a hand over her nose and mouth, shrinking back into the very corner of the room and holding her arm across her stomach.

“Someone… please call a healer…” Shiraume choked out.

Hurry hurry, her mind was telling her, get rid of the blood, get rid of the smell…. There was no need for a healer to heal any wounds in this room. The healer needed to clean the blood. Clean the smell. Escape escape! Massive amounts of lionus had flooded the room in reaction to Shiraume's distress. The sight of a beheaded Kira replaced the phoenix wings, the head rolling off the side of the bed with a heavy thump. Kyra's shriek echoed through Shiraume's head.

----------------

"I CAN SMELL IT!!" A maniacal voice cackled, the man who stood alone in an endless white room clutching his dark crimson hair as though trying to suppress a massive headache, "I SMELL IT, BLOOOD,” He paused for a sharp gasp for air, “BLOOOODDD!!" He shrieked, knocking himself back onto the single victorian lounge couch that was situated beside him. A sadistic and insane grin was spread across his face as red splatters suddenly began to appear on the white walls and floor of the room, marking where they began and ended.

“I hear the sound of despair….”

“REMINDS YOU OF GOOD TIMES, DOESN’T IT DEVITELL?!” The man shrieked with laughter, as he morphed into a little boy who reached out and grabbed thin air, his voice turning innocent and threatening, “Doesn’t it, big brother??”

At the touch of the little boy’s grasp, a girl appeared in the blink of an eye, no older than 14 years of age. She was dressed in an old fashioned Prussian blue dress, heavily laden with frills and lace around the hem, collar, and wide sleeves. Her gaze was blank and indifferent, completely unaffected by the walls that were slowly turning into a pure shade of blood, or the thick sticky substance that was accumulating around their feet.

“It does… The Everard girl….” Devitell replied in a hushed and reverent tone.

“I REMEMBER!” The boy laughs, stomping his feet so that the blood splashed up and around.

“Phoenix wings…” Devitell murmured and Jazrelli’s eyes fixed upon his older twin brother’s.

Thought shorter by an entire head’s worth of height, his eyes were filled with unending malice and displeasure as he hissed, “Something about those good-for-nothing slaves?”

Levi listened to his plufael and negafael silently, his arms loosely embracing his knees. It was incredibly cold in this prison. It tasted nothing like the freedom he’d been so desperate to acquire. Perhaps there was no such thing as true freedom. But the feeling was real. He knew this. The feeling that you could do whatever you wanted. Levi closed his eyes as Devitell and Jazrelli continued to converse. Devitell was so annoying… mentioning those phoenix wings and wyvern wings. That those two girls had had earlier.

Rosaline was saying something about not trying anything with them. As if he would. He didn’t particularly care about politics, but he’d never been raised to treat them as equals. As if he’d try something on someone of that low ranking. The Jaquez family once flourished in the trading of phoenix and wyvern slaves. He’d only ever seen those wings behind steel bars before today. Acting and treating them equally was not difficult. But considering them as true equals was a different story entirely. It was not a feat that could be done in less than an hour. Princess Rosaline had nothing to worry about. Neither did that Reid kid.

That stupid Everard family that had been insufferable enough to doubt whether the Jaquez family had truly ceased trading. Liza was suffering because they stopped the trading, living an increasingly less luxurious life as their parents continued to spend the same amount as when they’d had a stable income.

They’d deserved to die.

“I want to rip someone’s head off again!! Again, again!!!” Jazrelli shrieked with laughter, falling back onto the couch, overcome by his mirth. Devitell and Levi both watched silently, but the scene was blocked from Levi's eyes when he opened them.

Freedom, huh?

parallelzero
February 3rd, 2008, 01:02 AM
"Ilya, remove Reid, Shiraume, Ailia and Ellianne from the room. Place Shiraume in a bed in room 34 with Ailia, and take Elliane to room 37. Bring Reid to that room as well, I'm sure he won't want to be around that many people right now. Afterwards, I want you to check the archives downstairs for any files regarding phoenix' and bring them up here. Blanc, come here and give me a hand with the repairs. If she loses anymore blood, it might make recovery difficult!" Rosaline took charge at the sight of Shiraume's malfunction. Thankfully, she had been studying the ways of a healer for the past five years, and with the added power of Blanc's lionus, she wouldn't run into too many errors... she hoped. But that's why she wanted Ilya to check the archives. Dealing with the health of a wyvern or a phoenix was different than any normal person, as rumor had it they both possessed some sort of unique abilities.

Ilya dealt with Reid first, as he was a direct obstacle to the healing procedure. While the tall, quiet girl couldn't help but admire his determination not to leave the girl's side, she couldn't help but feel sorry for the couple. There were going to be many trials for them to overcome in the forseeable future, and they'd have to have more than pure determination to overcome them. What troubled Ilya more was not knowing what would possess someone to cut their own wings off. Sure, Flaire's kind was discriminated against, and she must have met many hardships, but wasn't that a little extreme? Was she mentally ill? If it was deemed so, what would Reid do?

Eventually, Ilya's work was done.

---

"Has she really been this disturbed the whole time? Did I really not notice? Is this somehow my fault?" A tap on Reid's shoulder snapped him out of it. He had been moved into a room with Ellianne, who had only witnessed the end of the event, and she had invited him to sit on the bed she was lying in upright. When Reid turned to look at Ellianne, who shook her head in response to his many questions. It was obvious by the glint in her eye that there was so much she could say, so much she wanted to say, but couldn't. Mute, and half blind, she was the epitome of unfortunate. Yet, she was one of the few people Reid felt really understood him. Ever since they set out on the journey, he had always felt he had a big brother relationship with her, but he always failed to notice that he hurt her when he decided to go steady with Flaire. Even still, she persisted in helping him whenever she could. She pointed to her heart, and then to Reid's heart, which was her way of indicating he needs to have a heart to heart with her. "I guess you're right... I can't help but worry though. She mutilated her own body, she must be deeply troubled..."

But Ellianne didn't have a response for that. She wished she did, she truly wanted to help him. After all, the feelings she had for him were genuine, there was just no way a relationship could ever work between them. About an hour later, Rosaline came into room 37 and found the two playing cards on a table in the middle of the room, Ellianne obviously in prime physical condition. Placing his card hand on the table, Reid stood to face the Princess, who wore a troubled look upon her face. Ellianne watched and listened intently. "We... couldn't reattach them... But we stopped the bleeding, and the combination of mine and Blanc's lionus should have her up within the hour..."

"Don't worry about the wings though. I have a feeling it'll work out."

"Huh?"

"You'll see later!" She knew something he didn't, and it didn't sound like she intended on revealing it anytime soon. "More importantly, it's about her mental state. After we sealed up the wounds, we had a psychiatrist have a look at her. The doctor says it probably won't be a problem anymore after doing something so extreme, but she whatever is troubling her has something to do with Rod... You should probably sit down and talk to her in a bit, once the bandages are off."

"Thanks Rosaline. You've done so much. It's hard to believe five years ago you could barely use lionus."

"Thanks..." She turned to head for the door, her white wings still covered in blood from dealing with Flaire. "One more thing though... Watch her carefully, Reid. If she acts abnormal again, something could be wrong with her. And if it really is related to Rod, and you haven't told her you killed him yet-"

"I know."

"Okay."

And with that, Rosaline took her leave, leaving Reid to figure out what to say to the girl, the girl who took her own wings.

Loki
February 4th, 2008, 09:55 PM
"Jeez," Kirden sighed, using a sheaf of paper to fan Shiraume, who was pressing the heel of her palm to her forehead, breathing deeply yet unevenly, "This is why I told you-"

"It's not like I knew she was going to do something like that." Shiraume replied calmly, wiping her brow with the back of her hand and sighing. Sitting back against the post of her bed, she peeled her long blonde hair away from her face, revealing the burned and gray skin underneath that she kept hidden. After she found sufficient cooling through the breeze, she ran her fingers through her hair a few times to pat it back down into place, slapping her cheeks lightly to bring herself back to reality. Putting the packet of paper down on the nightstand, Kirden sat back in her seat with folded arms, cracking her neck as the silence continued to engulf the room.

How embarrassing, a breakdown like that in front of everyone. Shiraume made a mental note to apologize later on. She was wiped though, from the sudden exhaust of all her concentration on focusing the Lionus. And it wasn't even all that focused, fizzing in and out of materialization and doing little proper healing. She was glad Rosaline and Blanc had been in the room, but she'd wished she'd told at least someone that she couldn't handle all that blood. Remembering it was enough to send her sliding back down the bed to lay down.

"Levi is properly locked up, don't worry about it. I'll inform Lieutenant Ciaccio of all the developments later on." Kirden replied, judging Shiraume's thoughts by her expression alone, "She's been acting strange for awhile though." She glanced at Shiraume and shrugged, "I know, but she's been lenient and more irritating than usual. It's like she's being thrown off balance. It's actually kind of entertaining to watch her be the one squirming instead of us."

"That's true." Shiraume laughed.

-------------

The sweet smell of smoke filled the air as Adela watched the flames flicker weakly as they ran out of fuel to burn. The faint flecks of white amongst the black ashes were a reminder of what the powder that was now slipping through the cracks in the cobblestone once were. As much as she hated it, a sense of guilt had been eating away at the edge of her mind. Faewyn had been her favorite out of everyone, but Alicel was definitely the runner-up. There was nothing wrong with doing something that so reminded her of the past like this. It was precisely because it was now in the past and nothing could be done about it that Adela had foraged up enough willpower to let go of almost half a decade of stony principles.

Adela blinked. Oh. She'd forgotten two more people. Not that she'd ever really known Juliet, it wouldn't hurt. She waved the soldier standing by over to her side again, having requested he stand a fair distance away. Removing a yellow carnation and a pink flower she couldn't name off the top of her head from the boquet of randomly assorted flowers, she tossed those onto the pile of ashes and lit another match. Aertan wouldn't have needed matches.

Again, she watched in an almost awe-inspired fascination as the swirls of smoke curled into the air and disappeared. She'd visited Rod's grave a few times already. It was as though it was far away, like Juliet's or Alicel's. Scoffing to herself, she twisted the end of her red bandanna around her finger as the flames died away for a second time. Her expression hardened. Ugh. Self-pity. This whole day had just been made for breaking rules she'd set for herself, wasn't it? Standing up, she took a deep breath, smelling the burning perfume of the flowers. Enough.

Sleep before the dinner. That would do plenty of good to regain her calm. Bare minimal of words and social exchange. Ignore everything that doesn't matter.

She felt better already and almost broke another rule by letting a smile tug at the corners of her lips.

"See, I knew you were somewhat human. But, she likes forget-me-nots."

Adela's expression wiped off to reveal indifference, maybe a hint of annoyance. She recognized this voice, of course, and turned around to see a calmly smiling Lazarus who was carrying two thick books under his right arm. She glanced at the books for only a split second before folding her arms.

"Mind your own business." Adela was engulfed by Dation, disappearing as the soldier left behind sweatdropped, unknowing where his Lieutenant had just run off to.

"Do you know where the hospital is?" Lazarus asked the soldier plainly, white pink streaked forget-me-not sprouting from nowhere, "I can't find someone I've never met before with mahstion." He tossed it upon the ashes, turning back to the man who watched the flower for a moment before nodding and setting off.

After being led to the hospital in perhaps half the time it would've taken for him to find it on his own, the soldier let Lazarus wait in the lobby while he informed a passing healer that there was someone to see Princess Dian. Lazarus turned a silver bracelet over and over between his fingers as he waited, his elbows resting on his books that were weighing down on his legs. Ah, after this, he would be free to go back to studying herbs.

parallelzero
February 7th, 2008, 03:10 PM
"OW. WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?" Flaire shouted at the white cloaked figure standing beside her bed. She was upright, and had her left hand covering her right cheek. She removed it temporarily, a red mark becoming visible making it look like she had been hit, although not hard. She moved the hand to hit the cloaked boy, but dropped the hand as she caught glance of the serious look in Reid's eyes. Submittingly, she finished her own question. "Yeah, I know... I did something really stupid, didn't I?" She had an unusually sincere glint in her eye; a rarity that Reid had noticed she only had when she had come to a deeper realization. "But Miss Rosaline had promised I was going to be okay, so I'll trust her word. She also told me that you were the one that killed Rod, but I'm okay with it, 'cause she told me it was your negafael's fault..."

Reid raised an eyebrow. Did Flaire just submit without causing a rukus? Did she just refer to Carn's Princess as "Miss Rosaline" and not act like Rosaline was public enemy number one? Had she taken a severe bump to the head? His raised eye began to twitch upon hearing that Rosaline spilled the beans and then lead him to believe she didn't. It seemed the princess had a strange sense of humor. "Idiot..." Was the only word he could manage to put forth at first, and her head sunk at it. "Do you understand how worried I was about you? Ellianne too. I don't see why you would... remove your own wings."

"She was scared, you emotionless twit." Yules voice boomed in the heads of the two. Reid, having recovered from the eye twitch, started twitching. Reid and Yule were on terms about as good as a cat and a mouse. To make things worse, Mistral and Yule were fighting, so Yule probably held that against Reid as well. "Because YOU couldn't protect her when you said you would, she got hurt because of her heritage. Can't you see, because of you, she wanted to get rid of that heritage." Reid's eyes hit the ground like an anvil at the statement. Was it really because he couldn't protect her? Was this really all his fault.

Mistral, completely pissed off by Yule's declarations, decided to get involved as well. "I can't believe you, Yule. You have no respect for the feelings of other people!"

"WOULD YOU TWO JUST MAKE UP ALREADY." The two reila's shouted in sync. Seriously, they had been fighting over something so trivial for so long.

"Not until he apologizes for insulting my outfit!"

"That's absurd. Why would I do that? You're just overreacting!"

"Oi, Mistral?"

"Yes Reid?"

"Since when did you care what other people think, let alone boys?"

"..."

Bingo. So she did have a crush on him all along. She had been strangely distant lately, so that must have been the reason.

"I'm... er... sorry. I wasn't thinking when I called your outfit bland..."

"See, that wasn't so hard." Flaire responded to Yule's apology aimed at Mistral, and the two faels fell silent. Finally, the two could get back to their conversation. "Listen, Reid. It's not your fault I got hurt. It's just, I was scared of everything. I'm afraid of being hurt again for being who I am. But that's why we joined the Archai Squad, right? I was being selfish..." Her eyes met the bed below her sadistically, before Reid's hand sat itself on her head, causing her to look up at him again.

"Yeah, you were being selfish. We were all worried about you, and you forgot that you aren't the only one suffering from that sort of treatment. I was exiled from my hometown because I lost my wings, remember." He winced at the memory of being held down and having his wings torn from his back. "But, that's why it's so easy for me to forgive you. I once thought about suicide after being exiled, so what you did is completely understandable..."

Flaire gave a meek grin. "But some good did come out of this. I've realized I can't get on in life acting like I have been, so I'm going to try harder to change. I want you to watch me change. I want you to be by my side the whole time!" She finally got out of bed, and walked over to the far window, looking out at the darkening sky. Reid couldn't help but feel awkward looking at her back without wings. He saw her reach up to her neck to unbutton the hospital gown she was wearing, and it dropped to the ground, leaving her in nothing but the bandages around her upper body and her underwear. Reid, bright red, was thankful she was not facing him. "The party is going to start soon, right? Can you help me take these bandages off so I can get ready?"

"S-s-sure." Reid responded hesitantly as he slowly approached her.

The girl turned her head to look back at the boy, and raised her eyebrow. "What are you being such a wimp about? It's not like you haven't seen me naked before!" Reid sighed and got to work removing the bandages.

---

"Oh right! The meeting!" Rosaline exclaimed to the hospital employee that told her the person she was supposed to be meeting with had arrived. "I really hope it's short. We need to get back to the castle soon."

Ailia sweatdropped. "Er... Princess? Should you really go see anyone dressed like that? You still have blood all over your hands and sundress..."

"Ah, I'm sure it will be fine. He'll understand the situation I hope." Blanc now sweatdropped as well, before thinking "She looks like she just murdered someone..."

After a few minutes of walking, Rosaline found herself at the place of meeting. "I apologize about having to move the meeting so suddenly. There was an incident which required my immediate attention. I am Princess Rosaline Dian of Carn, and these three are my royal guard, Ailia Davies, Blanc Twirette, and Ilya Arco." She motioned to each one of the soldiers as their names were called, both Ailia and Blanc waving happily when they were introduced. "I am to understand you have some sort of business with me?"

Loki
February 7th, 2008, 03:39 PM
Lazarus looked up from his books and stumbled to his feet in surprise, the books toppling out of his lap. The silver bracelet was just about to topple to the ground before he caught it, apologizing profusely for his clumsiness. Collecting the books off the ground as quickly as he could and putting them onto the seat of the chair, he stood and bowed respectfully, nodding to her royal guard as well.

"I-It's an honor Princess Dian, I'm sorry that I interuppted..." He paused when he caught sight of her blood-stained sundress. Pointing, he opened his mouth to say something, but shook his head. It was a hospital after all, and it wasn't his place to ask.

"Y-You seem to be in the midst of something important, so I'll cut straight to the point. I've come to inform you of a girl named Alicel Florinen's death about four years prior. Victim to the plague that is infecting mahstion users, she was able to arrange matters before her passing and left me with the duty of delivering this to you." Lazarus held out the silver bangle, "She informed me that another pair is buried with Rod, and that within the letter I gave to a man by the name of Aertan Svartel is the third pair, which Alicel has request to be left upon Princess Juliet Dian's grave. I'm sorry to say that she did not live long enough to recieve the letter you sent."

Lazarus paused, thinking of a way to close such a blunt and to-the-point revelation. He remembered that Alicel wanted him to apologize for her lack of ability to go out and pick a different gift for her inaguration as Princess, but Lazarus couldn't apologize for something that belittled the deceased like that.

"A-And... Oh, yes, the Aertan fellow told me that should I find the chance to meet with you, to tell you that he says congratulations on your inaguration as Princess of Carn. "

Lazarus glanced at his books, wondering if she would give the same reaction as the Lieutenant. But the Princess, no matter how much blood she was covered in, seemed to radiate a different sort of aura than the Lieutenant's cold and unfriendly exterior.

"...And that's... all, I suppose."

parallelzero
February 10th, 2008, 07:44 PM
"Ah, yes. I learned of her death upon visiting Alta a few months ago. I wasn't with her very long; only a few months in fact, but I knew her very well." Rosaline finished her thoughts abruptly. she had already come to terms with Alicel's death, as had Reid, who wasn't really that involved with her friendship wise to begin with. She bowed politely. "I apologize for being the reason you had to travel such a distance, and I apologize for my current appearance." She really was a girl of manners now, while once she was an uneducated fifteen year old without a clue about how the world worked at all. It was obvious to anyone who knew her then that she had put a lot of effort into creating a life during the past five years. The princess reached out and took hold of the bangle, before bring it back to her chest with both her hands on top of it. "I'll make sure to carry it with me.

Reid was in the process of making his way back to the lobby. Flaire, still worn down from the procedure and blood loss, was attempting to walk along side him, but ended up using him as a support instead. It had been unusual when an attendent of Rosaline had found them in Flaire's hospital room and given them fancy clothing to wear. On top of that, the same attendent, a female, had stripped him down and thrown him into a shower. It was embarrassing. In the end, he had to admit that he looked pretty spiffy. He sported the all purpose penguin suit- er, tuxedo, with a pair of shoes to match. His brown hair, despite his own will, had been combed back, and the small ponytail taken out so that it all fell down. Flaire, he had to admit, was quite stunning despite the weakened physical state she was in. He figured that she was probably just tired, and after a nap on the way back to the castle, she'd be fine. Taking a break from the bland black, grey, and white dress she had been accustomed to wearing, she had been forced into wearing a sleeveless dress, knotted at the shoulders with a v-neck wrap collar. Empire-waisted, it had a black ribbon tied into a neat bow in the center, which seperated the bust of the dress from the skirt, which was light and flowy. Her red hair, while usually tied up in a ponytail, was for once... not, and completely down. Although, she had cut it shortly before departing, so that the wavy mass only reached halfway down her back, as opposed to her ankles. She had put a hair clip in the right side of her head, with a silver feather on it. It was a gift she had gotten from Reid a long time ago, but had only recently learned to appreciate. She also had on a pair of black high heels, which added to her walking inability.

"Hmm? Who's that, Rosaline?" Reid asked upon arriving at the lobby, and finding Rosaline and Lazarus chatting it up. See two available seats nearby, he sat Flaire down in one and then took one beside it, allowing her head to rest on his shoulder as she regressed into sleep. He watched Ailia joke about something to Blanc, most likely a joke about being dressed up, and his attention turned to Rosaline looking him over. "Er... is that the person you were meeting with?"

Rosaline snapped out of her moment of brainlessness and attempted to gather her words again. "Oh- right. This is indeed the man I was to meet with. He is familiar with Alicel and Aertan, and came to deliver something. Reid, I'd like you to meet-" Rosaline remembered something. She had never caught his name. "I'm sorry, I don't believe you introduced yourself to me." Reid looked interested. Despite what differences he had once with Aertan, it was still interesting to hear about old comrades.

He was taken back once more when Ellianne finally entered the lobby, all dressed up herself. She was wearing a vertically textured light prussian blue dress, spaghetti strapped with black fabric lining the folded bust, along with iridescent sequins scattered across the ankle length-skirt, and it was all accompanied by matching high heels. Her silver hair was brought up into a bun, while her bangs still hung down over the sides. Unfortunately, not used to high heels at all, Ellianne made a big stepping mistake, and began to fall for the ground at an incredible rate...

Loki
February 10th, 2008, 09:07 PM
Lazarus shifted in his seat, uneasy around all these people who seemed to know each other so well. It was like being a third wheel, only this time he was the... four... five... seventh wheel. He swallowed a lump in his throat and glanced around at his surroundings as the Princess and the guy who was apparently 'Reid' began to converse. How casual he was with her. A princess, and he addressed her by her first name, and not only that, but spoke to her as though she were just your every day civilian. But, he supposed, a princess needed a few accquaintences like that to stay sane. He snapped out of his thoughts when Rosaline addressed him, asking for his name.

"Uh." Lazarus began, having lost all train of rational thought, interuppted by the sound of heels once more. A stumble and trip later, Lazarus' books were once more scattered across the ground. An expression of light surprised crossed his face when he noticed he'd managed to catch the girl around the waist. She was awfully thin, and just one look at her back and Lazarus' calm demeanor that had already been rattled by being able to come face-to-face with the Princess of Carn shattered. He gaped freely at the Wyvern girl's wings for a second or two before quickly realizing the position his was in, slapped back to reality. Helping her back to her feet, he cleared his throat in embarassment and bowed his head a little.

"S-Sorry about that. Uh... are you... alright?" He said, trying his very hardest not to crane his neck around to look at her wings, instead determinedly looking elsewhere. Wyvern wings! In the flesh! Not just books, but the real deal! He longed to examine them, but... well. He wasn't really in the position to be pulling her wings around at the moment. After a lack of response he mentally slapped himself. Of course not. She'd just gotten harassed by a total stranger.

"W-Well anyway." He turned quickly to collect his books off the floor a second time before focusing on Rosaline and averting his gaze from the wyvern wings. She was considerably less interesting, because pulling around white feathered wings would probably get him landed in jail. "I apologize for not introducing myself earlier. My name is Lazarus. A pleasure to meet you."


-------------


"Find someone else then." Adela snapped, tapping her fingernail on her front teeth, avoiding the clear gloss on her lips, "How about the seventh squad? It's not like they're doing anything particularly spectacular. There will not be another terrorist attack right under my nose."

She folded her arms, leaning back in her chair.

Adela's dress was far from fancy, due to the canvassed texture of the rayon fabric. Had it been her choice, she would've worn her uniform to the dinner, saved herself the trouble of digging through her closet for the off-white dress Commander Milo had bought her for her sixteenth birthday. The square necked piece resembled her usual uniform anyway, double breasted. With 3/4 blouson sleeves, the fitted bodice was complete with metallic buttons, and a waist top over the gathered skirt that reached just past the middle of her thigh. The only color apart of her outfit were her pumps, complete with wide yellow, buckled straps over the open toes and pyramid-shaped studs at the heels made of thick, stacked leather heels and lined with green. She had done little to nothing to her hair, leaving it hanging between and around her eyes causing her to look essentially the same from the neck up save for light gunpowder gray eyeshadow and clear gloss. Combined with her irritated gaze and crossed legs, she looked more like a stuck-up rich woman than a Lieutenant. Then again, she could technically be counted as both.

"Lieutenant, aren't you going to bring your mahstion gun...?"

"Mind your own business." Adela replied in a snippy tone, bringing her fingernail away from her mouth and signing a document that had been laying on her desk. Tch. A pardon for a convicted murderer that had already been proved guilty? That Rosaline was really pushing her luck. And Adela had thought for sure that Rosaline's sense of righteousness would've kicked right in. She dated the beginning of the pardon for the next day before standing, "Mr. Pak-Jaquez has yet to have his evening meal." She rolled her lavender eyes, "Be sure to get one to him."

The assistant nodded silently, making a note of it on his clip board.

Adela pressed her fingertips to her forehead. She wasn't sure if she could last through this dinner. Since when was a simple meal able to become such a headache? She shook her head and exited her office, making sure to dodge as many people's eyes as she possibly could.

parallelzero
February 11th, 2008, 12:25 PM
Ellianne broke free of Lazarus' hold and regained her own composure, before wandering over to Reid where she took a seat on the opposite side of him, her hands together on her lap. She was quite embarrassed, as noted by the bright shade of red her face had taken. Reid, understanding that Ellianne may have come off as a little rude, slowly got up and sat Flaire's head on the back of her chair, before turning to face the man. "I apologize. Ellianne is actually mute, so she isn't capable of expressing her thanks directly. She's actually blind in one eye as well, so I apologize for any trouble."

Rosaline looked worriedly over at Flaire, who obviously wasn't in the greatest condition. "Er... Reid? Are you sure you should be bringing Flaire? The doctor recommended at least a full night of recovery before she was out and about again. Don't forget she just had her wings cut off. Being a phoenix, it must be pretty hard on her mentally as well." She made a valid point, but she didn't factor in Flaire's own personal will.

"Don't worry about it. I tried to get her to stay, but she insisted on going. Besides, you're the one who told her she'd be okay, Rosaline." He wanted to add the line 'just what are you hiding from me?' but he thought it best to avoid it in front of company. "Just how are we getting to the castle, anyways? You said we wouldn't have to walk."

"By airship of course. That's how all of the royalty travel now a days." She glanced over at Lazarus, who most likely felt out of place. "Well, I'm going to go get changed. Sir Lazarus, would you like to join us at dinner tonight? We were just about to depart, and I'm sure we have an extra tuxedo. You are a friend of Alicel and Aertan after all... Well, I'll take my leave."

Rosaline left, along with her guards, leaving the other four alone. "I'm Reid Davies by the way. I believe you already met my sister, Ailia. The sleeping one there," He gestured at the red head, " is my girlfriend Flaire Teluia, and you've already met Ellianne DuCharme. We're a part of Flazure's Archai unit. I once travelled with Alicel and Aertan, five years ago in fact. In reality, I'm the one who freed Rosaline from her fate of a sacrifice." He extended his hand. "Anyways, nice to meet you."

---

"But sir-"

"Tappen, you've recieved your orders, now follow them. Your unit is to penetrate the castle in Meredy and act as a distraction, before rendevouzing with the main force at Flazure in the morning."

"Yes, I know that sir. I may be speaking out of line, sir. But is that not suicide, attacking that castle?"

"Auricia should be more than enough to deal with the guards there."

"But sir, she's nothing but a girl! She'll be killed."

"She's isn't just an ordinary girl, Lieutenant. You've seen what she can do first hand."

Loki
February 12th, 2008, 07:03 PM
Lazarus rubbed the back of his neck and pocketed his free hand as Rosaline departed with her invitation still hanging in the air. A friend of Aertan huh... Lazarus still vividly remembered the experience of getting less than ten minutes close-up sight of the snowy country of Beta before the man kicked him back onto the airship telling him to never come back again. Right. Friends. Something like that. Lazarus sighed and switched himself back to reality, listening to Reid's speech, choosing not to respond to certain comments and listening silently instead. Rosaline and Reid really left little opening for him to interject anyway, but it was just the same. He was too busy with his thoughts to bother with words anymore.

Lazarus glanced at Ellianne. Unfortunate to be both mute and blind in one eye; Wyvern to boot. He didn't have much chance to dwell on it though, because he turned his entire attention onto the girl that had been called 'Flaire'. He was sure he'd heard 'phoenix wings'. He mentally forced himself not to gape a second time. It was easier though, because apparently the rare articles had been cut off. What a shame. His attention returned as his speeding thoughts were sliced through by Reid's voice once more. Flazure. That would explain the wings. And the freeing of the sacrificial ceremony would explain the casual speech. Lazarus nodded slowly, finally saying, "It's nice to meet you too."

He paused at the opportunity to study Wyvern wings up close and added, "I'd be glad to attend the dinner tonight, as long as it's no trouble."

Lazarus considered clearing up the mistake that he and Aertan were on good terms, but decided that it was a useless bit of information that wouldn't really make much difference. As long as the person in question never heard of the mix-up, his head would at the very least remain where it was.

parallelzero
February 20th, 2008, 05:20 PM
Despite the warm welcome he provided, Reid couldn't help but be skeptical about this newcomer. His eyes kept darting back to Ellianne's wings, which troubled him greatly. It was too early to come to any conclusions, but it would probably have been worthwhile to watch him closely for any suspicious actions. After all, there was the chance he wanted those wings for himself. Whether or not Ellianne was attatched, however, was unknown. Ah well, he figured it was best not to dwell on it. He didn't really think that, he just forgot all about it when an incessive nagging arose in his mind. "Reid, Reid, I want to wear a dress too!" Even though she wasn't really an independent being, the fael girl still longed for real world interaction. It was sad, really, that faels lived such a life, bound to another. Though, some faels chose to control their reila, so Reid was lucky Mistral wasn't like that.

After a while of Rosaline's absence, one of her attendants came out of the hospital room to leave us with a message. Apparently she was taking a little longer than expected to get ready, and with the time of the dinner drawing near, it would be best they went ahead. Reid sweatdropped as the attendant told him. Why does she word things like that when she's a Princess? It sounds more like an order than anything due to her status... Reid finally rose from his seat after a moment of thinking, and lifted the sleeping Flaire into his arms, allowing her head to rest peacefully on his shoulder as her body arced downwards. Ellianne made her way to the boy's side, and looked down at Flaire with a meek glint of envy in her eye. She didn't make eye contact with Lazarus, as she had caught him looking at her multiple times. It made her... uncomfortable.

The three finally made their way outside (they weren't particularly patient with waiting to see if Lazarus followed), before making their way over to a bulky, yet sleek looking airship. It looked similar to an elongated minivan of ancient times, times that utilized long since diminished gasoline supplies, only it had a pair of wings and a wionus engine strapped onto the back. Reid carefully sat Flaire in one side of the vehicle, before running around to the other side so he could sit in between the two girls. Before getting in, he looked down the street to the site where just earlier that day they had encountered NEAR. What was their purpose? He winced as a drop of rain suddenly fell onto his nose. Rain. It was symbolic of so much for the boy. Would it's significance further increase in the not too distant future? He decided it best not to consider such a thing, and got into the machine while taking Ellianne's hand to lead her in. As the door shut, it began to downpour outside. It was pure luck that it was timed so well.

After a flight of about ten minutes, the vehicle landed upon an airstrip high atop Tealia's castle. The castle itself was nothing special in design. It was reminiscent of something from the medival era, yet was designed with the latest in mahstion technology. The halls were lit with lionus lights, fionus heaters were used to heat the huge structure, and wation pumps were used to circulate water to all of the rooms. Before stepping out of the aircraft, Reid gently woke Flaire, who mumbled as she regained consciousness. He tickled her a little, which got sn immediate response from the girl. As immediate as jumping and hitting her head on the roof, actually. "Ow! That was uncalled for..."

"That doesn't make it less funny..." The two laughed together. Ellianne found it surprising. Flaire generally would have hit Reid for such an action. Were they becoming even closer? Was it too late to try?

The group was eventually lead down many long halls and corridors until they arrived at the dining hall. It was an enormous room with a ridiculously large table, although only about half of it was set for dinner. The room had a very medival feel as well, decorated with swords and armor on the walls as decoration, and a huge chandalier hung over the table, lit by lionus. There weren't many people in the hall yet, other than servants running around to get things ready. Reid gulped, however, as a ball of fionus went whizzing by his head from off to the left.

The origin of the flame was Kayle Spar, leader of the Archai Squad, and Flaire's mentor. The thirty year old wore a stupid grin as he walked up to his subordinates, before grabbing Reid's hand with his own, large, hairy hand and shaking ferociously. "Good to see ya guys again! Feels like it's been years!" The stupid grin matched his jolly appearance perfectly. He was a muscular man, standing at about 5'11", dressed in an incredibly blue tuxedo. His hair, blonde and combed back, made the few black hairs on his chin stand out. His eyes, while green and comforting, seemed to take in every aspect of the room around him. Despite his appearance, he was an incredible soldier, and his mahstion ability ranked much higher than that of Flaire or Reid. "I heard all about what has happened to you guys since arriving here, and I apologize for not sending more backup. If I had, Flaire may not have-"

"I'm fine, captain." Flaire replied, her salut looking ridiculous while dressed so formally. She always did have an incredible respect for the man, so much as to talk formally with him. Perhaps it was because he trained her, but it made Reid a little jealous. "I assure you it will not impair my services to the squad!"

"Good to hear, good to hear. And what about you, Ellianne, fairing well?" He eyed her carefully. He was the only one out of the whole squad aware of her special health condition, and it was up to him to make the call as to when to retire her from the squad for such reasons. She brought her hand up to salut, before bowing graciously in indication of her well being. "Excellent. Now, Reid, Flaire, I brought you guys a present when I flew up here."

Reid raised an eyebrow. That was unlike him. "A present?"

"Yes, yes." He stepped aside, revealing a young girl behind him. She was no older than ten, and had an eager yet loving look in her blue eyes. Her straight hair, royal blue, was cut messily at her shoulders, and she possessed a pair of tiny phoenix wings, like those of a hatchling. She was dressed in a small flower print dress, with white nylon going up her legs. She also wore a heart necklace around her neck.

"Mommy! Daddy!" The girl exclaimed as she ran up to the couple, jumping into Flaire's arms before the redhead lifted her "daughter" up. Reid sighed. He had to bring Kanna, didn't he? She was a girl who had lost her parents because of their nationality, so the Flazure government charge Reid and Flaire with looking after her as a test to see how dedicated the two were to the cause. Despite the annoyances the girl seemed to possess, such as talking in third person, Flaire seemed to be really happy when Kanna was around. It gave her a very maternal feel. He smiled sheepishly as he watched the little girl hang herself around Flaire's neck, saying "Kanna missed you, Kanna missed you!"

Loki
February 20th, 2008, 06:47 PM
"Preparations are moving along smoothly?" Adela asked, walking with unexpected grace. She'd never been one to do high heels. Her head held high, she glanced around imperiously. After calming down a little, she felt refreshed and ready to face Reid and Flaire civilly. She might even take the time to strike up some random conversation with Rosaline, catch up a little, ask what she's been up to these past five years. The attendant following her with her mahstion gun and a clipboard in hand nodded in response to her question. The silence was all the young Lieutenant needed, and she bit the inside of her lip to keep from smiling. This was by far the best mood she'd been in since she'd heard that the Archai Squad would be coming to Tealia. Instead of a smile, she let out a content sigh, before entering the hallway. She was early, but this dinner seemed like a pebble in her way, rather than the mountain it'd been this afternoon. Dressing up... wasn't so bad.

"Mommy! Daddy!"

Or something like that.

Adela stopped in her tracks. A little girl. And Flaire? That meant... No matter what she'd told herself earlier, and no matter how good a mood she'd been in seconds earlier, nothing, not even her own concrete will that had kept her sane for the past five years, could keep the look as though she'd just been slapped off of her face. The attendant leaned over to ask why she'd suddenly stopped, but seeing her expression, he stepped back. Adela wrenched her gaze away from Flaire and the child, swallowing the lump in her throat, pressing her lips together tightly to keep from saying anything. Digging her nails into the palm of her hand, a new thought surfaced. That girl was too old to be their child. This fact changed nothing. She whipped around. Calm. Keep calm.

"Stay here." Adela ordered the soldier, taking a deep breath and escaping the hall. She walked with her usual poise and even gait, but after the door shut behind her, it was as though a switch turned off. Her lungs felt like they'd deflated. She had to recollect herself. This was a stupid time to start pitying herself.

"Lieutenant?"

Adela immediately straightened and glared at the person who'd mindlessly intruded. Not this guy again.

"Are you... okay?" Lazarus asked, raising an eyebrow and tilting his head.

"Mind your own business." Adela replied curtly, looking away with her best most irritated look on her face. He took a moment to gather his thoughts. Scoffing and shrugging, he shook his head and continued on to the hallway. He wasn't particularly interested. Breathing air back into her lungs, she pressed her cold hand to her forehead, taking another deep breath. This wasn't a big deal anyway. It would be bad if people began to assume things from her reaction. It didn't matter if it was right or wrong, it would just be a hassle. She nodded to herself. This was a good reason to keep being civil and acting as usual. A good mood would be bad too. Just act as always.

"Lieutenant," A soldier hurried up to the girl who immediately straightened again, his voice hushing as he stopped before her and saluted quickly before whispering, "We have a problem."

Adela furrowed her brow as he continued, "The guards that are watching Mr. Pak-Jaquez have concerns about him being pardoned."

"Don't tell it to me," Adela sighed impatiently, "I wasn't the one who-"

"No, excuse me for interuppting, but, the problem is that, we're not quite sure that... the Archai Squad will be safe with him around." He said, quickly hurrying to the main point before Adela could interject again, "Mr. Pak-Jaquez doesn't seem..... entirely sane."

Adela raised an eyebrow and regarded the soldier.

"...What?"

"He's been muttering things like... well, we can't tell whether he's asleep or not. But myself and the other guards believe that... He's still a very dangerous criminal. We... We think that his fael's might be controlling him right now... his faels might be more dangerous than he is."

Adela scoffed before shaking her head and walking back to the hall, calling behind her, "Well that's a given. Don't bother me unless he says something important. I don't care if he has a taste for blood, he'll need it if he's going to be apart of the Archai Squad."

parallelzero
February 20th, 2008, 07:39 PM
Reid caught a glimpse of Adela just before she stormed out of the hall, obviously in reaction to seeing Kanna. He really did need to talk to her at some point about his reasons for leaving, about why he didn't contact her, about him and Flaire. Everything, he needed to explain everything, or else she'd never call him a friend again. Things simply couldn't continue like they had been. He apologized to Flaire and said he was going to use the washroom, before following the lieutenant out the door a few moments after her. He didn't have to go far after leaving the dining hall, and just barely missed the end of her conversation with the soldier. "Kanna doesn't belong to Flaire and I, you know." He said out of nowhere from behind her as he placed his hands in his tuxedo's pockets and leaned against the wall. "Remember the incident five years ago in Gregar? Where all of the phoenix and wyvern were captured? Her parents were killed there. Flaire and I were just asked to watch her until she's actually adopted by a proper family. Flaire and I are still nowhere near clear enough with our relationship to actually consider raising a child..."

"Moreover, you need to... understand. I left five years ago because I was blackmailed into it with my life, I didn't have a particular choice in the matter. It was a long road I walked those five years, and the only two people I had to rely on were Flaire, Ellianne, and Sven. We all relied on each other. I wasn't even permitted to contact anyone I knew, especially with the formation of Flazure. I was only allowed contact with Ryan and Rosaline, and that's because they needed my contacts to establish a country. I'm a tool, I have been since I left. But I'm okay with that. I agree with protecting the wyvern and the phoenix, and I agree with the path Flazure is taking. But... that doesn't change the guilt I have for leaving you... and the fact that I killed Juliet." He stood upright again, before pulling his hand out of his pocket, the necklace that had belonged to his mother, and then Adela, held firmly in it. He lightly tossed it at her, but whether or not she caught it was up to her. "Keep that. It may not symbolize what it used to, but think of it as a token of apology, our friendship, and my trust. Or, you can choose to throw it out. I don't care. My mom died from that damn plague last year anyways. Besides, Mistral's heart still belongs to Xaviae, I believe."

"Hello? Xaviae? Jeckt?" Mistral called out into the depths of Adela's mind, still dressed in her white sundress. "I'm... sorry I left you guys. Guys?"

Loki
February 20th, 2008, 08:49 PM
She'd nearly toppled right over, catching the necklace in her heels, with legs like jello from suddenly running into Reid. Staring down at the necklace, Adela felt as though just having this discussion with Reid was enough to deflate her lungs again. She glanced at the soldier, who saluted and exited the hall. Calm. Adela took a deep breath as quietly as she could manage. Civility. She blinked away tears as her thumb pressed against the butterfly. Peace. She bit the inside of her lip, staring a hole in the ground. What could she say? She'd envisioned this many times for the past five years. This scene, where Reid would come up with a half-assed excuse. In her visions, she would give him a disgusted look, shake her head, and just walk away. Or she would ask him whether he thought that was a good enough reason for her. She would ask him whether he knew who he was talking to. Not the Lieutenant of Tealia. A girl who was always left behind. Self-pity! Adela started looking around at anything but Reid. She'd already given herself an hour before this dinner to pity herself. She needed more? Selfish.

Finally she scoffed, managing an awkward smile as she turned away from the hall, "It... It's not like it matters anymore." Adela quickly abolished the last of her tears. She was proud to know that not a single one had been shed. Smiling at the same time. This was a good feeling too. "I've been mad at you for five years now." She nodded and stared up at the ceiling, "I think that's good enough."

Wiping her eyes again she rubbed the salty water off on the skirt of her dress and turned back around, glancing around herself.

Her hands stopped moving. She was suddenly remembering her conversation with the guard just minutes earlier. Reid was apart of the Archai Squad. That little girl... said 'Mommy' and 'Daddy'. Adela sighed. Reid, Flaire, none of these people deserved to know this. "The soldier I was speaking to earlier mentioned that Mr. Pak-Jaquez, the thief and murderer from earlier, may still be a little dangerous, even though it's been at least a year since he last murdered someone. Be on guard around him, and watch out for your friends while he's around. This is confidential but, I think you need to know, his family used to be slave traffickers, before Flazure was organized. He probably doesn't have a very good viewpoint on wyverns and phoenix's. I don't approve of Rosaline's decision, regardless, I can't go against it. Keep an eye on him for me in Flazure, be sure he doesn't do anything radical. Basically, as long as you treat the people around you with a little more consideration than you used to, and don't tell me you treated me and Faewyn and everyone the same way you treat them," Adela nodded towards the hall, "and as long as you can reach your goal for phoenix's and wyvern's being accepted into society. I guess I can forgive you for leaving without saying anything. This whole equality thing is the whole reason you left right? So then, if you can convince everyone else in the world, you had a good reason to leave."

Adela took a deep breath.

"I think I've said enough. Too much, probably." She nodded, patting her eyes before heading back towards the hall thank god she didn't use mascara. Thank god she didn't use eye liner. Thank god the eyeshadow was waterproof.

She stopped again turning around with a smirk, "Oh, Mr. Davies. It would be good if you would just send militia requests directly to me. It's slow, tedious, and unecessary to go through Prince Ryan. It makes no difference if it's you or him that tells me to do something. I'll do it if I want to, I won't if I don't. This, in return for not yelling at you until your ears fell off."

Entering the hall again, Adela picked up her usual indifferent yet constantly annoyed mask. She motioned for the attendant that he could continue to make sure her mahstion gun was always at her side. She contemplated greeting the leader of the Archai Squad but... Reid would have to first convince her that the phoenix and wyvern people were worth her time before she would willingly go



Jeckt's laughter rang through the forest as usual when the two fael's heard Mistral's voice. It wasn't his usual cackle, it was just a laugh of mirth, lacking any underlying schemes or intentions. He hung limply off the tree, the chains being the only thing holding him up as he practically suffocated from laughter.

"Your face!" He said between fits of laughter with a hoarse voice, "Your face!"

Indeed, Xaviae was sheet white. Of course, there was only one reason that Mistral would come back. He looked down at the necklace around his wrist and let a distressed look grace his features as he glanced back at the dying Jeckt. He sat in a patch of sunlight, while Jeckt was shrouded by the gray shadows.

"Shut up already, will you?" Xaviae pleaded, but this only made Jeckt laugh even harder.

"We're where we always are, little princess!" Jeckt called out as soon as he recovered from his laughter. Xaviae glared at Jeckt who raised an eyebrow and smirked. Standing up, his black hair suddenly turned snow white at the sight of Mistral. He found himself at a loss for words as he fiddled with the hem of his shirt.

"Princess," Jeckt began with a smile from his place at the base of the tree, "It's been a long time. How can we help you? Prince Charming here is a little too shocked to see you, so I imagine that the big baddie here is going to have to-"

"Jeckt." Xaviae shook his head with an irritated look as he glared at the negafael, "You're really bored, aren't you?" He didn't wait for a response from the all too willing to respond Jeckt, "Just shut up already. Five minutes. One for every year, how's that?" He turned back to Mistral before replying to her last comment before Jeckt decided to take the stage, "... It's fine Mistral. I'm sure you had your reasons. Is there anything you need from us?"

"Us." Jeckt scoffed, "You mean you."

The tips of Xaviae's hair turned black as Jeckt mouthed silent curse words, the chains tightening visibly as the black haired fael writhed to find a more comfortable position. His expression of irritation mirrored Xaviae's, but he zipped his lips.

parallelzero
February 23rd, 2008, 06:25 PM
"Jeckt, I'm physically almost 20, and you're physically 18, but I guess you haven't grown up mentally like I and Xavaie have. And don't refer to me as Princess. You know better than I do that I'm nothing but a common and simple girl." Mistral sighed as she ran up to the two male faels of opposing forced. As she approached Xavaie, her eyes locked on to the necklace around his wrist. He was still wearing it. She had assumed he would have thrown it away like Adela had intended on doing, but apparently not. It made her happy, and she grinned out of this happiness. Was that why he was so flustered, though? Was he afraid she was going to take the necklace away from her? "Hmm?" She hummed as she got up in his face, before giggling and backing off. "Xavaie, you're so cute when you're nervous~. But no, I only wanted to see you guys again. It's been five years, and the one guy I've had to talk to is Reid since Ellianne's faels are mute and Flaire's are annoying! And Reid is so dry!" Reid sweatdropped. Did she forget he could hear everything? As Adela departed, Mistral decided it was time to go for now. "Well, see ya! Maybe we'll see each other again?" And with that, she disappeared.

Content with what had occurred, Reid made his way back to the dining hall, where he found Flaire, in her dress, on the ground playing cards with Kanna. He sweatdropped for the second time in the last five minutes, before moving in and sitting down beside Flaire, whom leaned on him and placed her head on his shoulder. "You've been wondering what this dinner is about, haven't you? It's bugging you, I can tell." She whispered into Reid's ear before playing another card to the obsessively amused Kanna's game.

Reid nodded. "Yeah. Why now? Why all of us? I thought Sven was supposed to be here as well, but I haven't seen him yet. Something feels wrong, but Rosaline didn't seem too concerned so I don't know..." He watched as Kanna moved into Flaire's lap, and the Phoenix girl began to stroke her "daughter's" head as she sang an ancient Phoenix folksong quietly. It was in old tongue, so the meaning of the lyrics were unknown. Reid admired Flaire's singing voice, and he had since he first heard it. It was her main source of revenue when she was with Ellianne, after all.

When she finished the song, she gave the boy some words of encouragement. "Don't worry, keep your head up high. I'll be here to support you, and I swear I'll will protect you." She looked at him and gave a pure grin. Reid grinned back, knowing full well he had said the exact same thing to her three years before that day.

---

"How long until the operation commences?"

"Ten minutes."

"Isn't this mission sort of suicide, lieutenant?"

"That isn't for us to question."

"What about the girl you were ordered to bring? Is she not a liability?"

"Soldier, you apparently aren't familiar with the capabilities of a Skill."

"A skill? What is a skill, sir?"

"That isn't for us to question."

"Lieutenant Tappen. I'm ready."

"Auricia, are you absolutely positive you want to go through with this?"

"...You know I don't have a choice. Besides, it's the reason I'm still alive..."

"..."

Loki
February 25th, 2008, 07:37 PM
ooc; FILLER POST, GO!

ic; "Did..." Xaviae began, staring stupidly at the place where Mistral had disappeared, "Jeckt, Jeckt, did you see that?! Did you hear that?!" His face broke into an undeniably elated grin, the negafael raising an eyebrow as Xaviae punched his fist into the air. "She said I was cute!!" His hair popped out a vibrant shade of orange, and Jeckt raised an eyebrow. The negafael's yellow eyes were filled with a mixture of amusement and pity.

"You're the happiest I've seen you in five years just from that? Get over it already Xaviae, your pheromones are showing." Jeckt stuck his tongue out, before sighing and slumping down in the loosened chains, "Ahh, that was considerably more boring than I thought it would be."

Nothing could dampen Xaviae's spirits though. The plufael was beyond happy.

"You're just jealous!" Xaviae laughed, plopping down on his patch of sunlight and turning his tanned face up to the blue sky. Jeckt regarded the once-depressed fael that he'd put up with for five years. Jealous? Jeckt smirked to himself. He was the one who'd gotten a kiss- If anyone, Xaviae should've been jealous of him! Choosing to keep this to himself however, he silently stood by as Xaviae revelled in his good luck, holding the necklace up. Ah, he really was too nice of a negafael. Still, 13 years of plotting... He'd give Xaviae six and a half years of peace for that. Jeckt closed his eyes. Seeing the happy guy was starting to get disgusting.


- + - + - + - + -


Levi's head lolled back-and-forth from one shoulder to the other, in time with the cheerful tune he was humming to himself. No, it was not Levi. Jazrelli suddenly stopped humming, his head suddenly stock still as he stared up at the ceiling of the prison he was encased in. This sudden lack of movement didn't last long however, as Jazrelli stood up in his reila's body, taking three even strides from the back of the cell to the front. It wasn't particularly roomy, this cell for one. He peered through the bars at the three guards, who stared back just as curiously. Silence passed between the four, before Jazrelli turned back around and began to walk in circles. His eyes scanned the entire dungeon, passed his hand over every single stone, knocking on some of them.

"This cell is boring Devitell!" Jazrelli announced, Levi's voice an entire octave higher than usual as he flailed his arms about.

Silence. Followed by, "Well they gotta have some trap doors or SOMETHING!"

More silence.

The guards watched in amazement as the person in the cell carried on a conversation solely by himself.

"Faels." One guard whispered to the other, nodding solemnly as they looked on in pity at the solitary teen complaining to what seemed like an imaginary existence. They lost their casual observation stances when Jazrelli voiced his opinion, each one clutching his weapon at the ready.

"I want out." Came the childish voice, the sound of a boy who would not be reasoned with, "I want out." He repeated, "Out, out, out, LET ME OUT!!!"

Levi's body went rigid as an ironing board before crashing to the floor, unconcious.

parallelzero
March 3rd, 2008, 01:50 PM
"Has anyone else noticed that we have yet to be graciously greeted by our hosts?" Kayle inquired to the entire group within the large dining chamber, after cautiously looking at the time on his small, black pocket watch. His blood red Phoenix wings twitched nervously. It had been a half hour now. No sign of Sven, no sign of Rosaline, no sign of Prince Ryan, and no sign of the leaders of Carn and Tealia. It really was odd. Not to mention, there was something suspicious about it.

Kanna had gone to an upstairs room with a nanny to get some rest, while Flaire, Reid, and Ellianne had resorted to the card game 'Golf' as a means of entertainment. Flaire was getting a bit hot under the collar because Ellianne kept winning, but Reid didn't mind. After all, he was troubled by this absence as well. Finally, one of Kayle's men returned from scouting the castle. The soldier, dressed in a white robe, with long black hair, whispered some news into the ear of the commander that left him completely shocked. Kayle regained his composure, before doing what he knew he had to; he confronted the people in the room.

The Archai Squad leader coughed to clear his throat, before clenching his fist in preparation of the announcement he was about to give. "Comrades, military staff of both Tealia and Carn in favor of our cause, and unfortunate employees of this grand estate, it is my great misfortune to have to inform you of this." Reid was captivated, as was everyone else. He proceeded to smell the air curiously. What was that smell? "I have learned that, at approximately 7pm this evening, half an hour ago, the nations of Beta and Gregar launched a combined assault against my home nation of Flazure." Sounds of surprise and discomfort echoed across the room. Flaire gasped as she brought her hands to her mouth, and Reid and Ellianne's eyes met the ground. But... that smell, what was that smell? "Also, it appears that both the King and Queen are absent from the castle, as well as their royal guards." That meant... no... There was no way they sided with the Beta and Gregar after all this of their own will. Reid should have been furious, but he was beginning to feel dizzy.

His eyes shot open in realization as to what the smell was, before throwing a hand to the air as wind gushed upwards. "Flaire! Take out a portion of the roof!" Flaire, confused as to what he was talking about, nodded as she threw her hands together before aiming them upwards. Feeling a bit tipsy, it took her a minute to channel the Fionus into her hands, but eventuallu a large ball formed that was fired off at the roof, leaving a large gap up into the rainy night sky. Reid blew the falling rubble away with his own abilities, before channeling the air in the room up through the hole. At that moment, the lionus lights in the room flickered wildly, before they went completely out. "Dammit. Commander! This castle is being targetted! That was gas just now!" But, what were they going to do? His weapons were still in Rosaline's flying limo. Ellianne and Flaire had theirs, but he was left unarmed...

---

Lieutenant Ashton Tappen of Gregar's Special Defence Squad adjusted the thin, circular glasses surrounding his blue eyes carefully, before pulling back his short blonde hair so that it fit neatly under his white, military issued beret. It had a red vertical stripe down the middle so that it was not to be confused with Tealia's similar uniform piece. He proceeded to pat down the white jacket (three red stars across a black stripe in the top left indicating his rank), as well as his white pants that met a pair of black boots. After he was finished fiddling with his uniform, his attention turned to the girl hanging off of his right arm as they walked down the corridor of Castle Tealia.

The girl was cute, only about fifteen years old in contrast to his age of about 18, but still cute. Her hair, violet in colour, fell gently down a short ways past her shoulders, as her bangs fell down to cover her left eye. Both her eyes were violet as well, and both the strange hair and eye colours were the results of experiments she had been forced to go through as a child. As a Skill, one who was saved from death only to be made as a tool for the military, she really did live a sad and lonely life. She was dress in a white, skin tight bodysuit that covered from her feet up to her neck. The bodysuit was decorated with horizontal red stripes where her wrists and ankles were. Overall, it wasn't a very attractive outfit, but she was forced to wear it. And, Ashton felt uncomfortable around her in it, since it outlined all of the girl's curves. Auricia, Ashton has noted many times before, has some sort of mental condition that leaves her dependent on a single person. Unluckily for him, Auricia had chosen him. That's the reason he was Lieutenant at such a young age, and he hated it.

The boy looked around, troubled. Nothing was going according to plan. The gas hadn't worked, and he was forced to give up half of his unit to combatting the forces of Rosaline Dian at the front of the gate. That Princess should have been gone with her father. Not to mention that other Skill. Where had he gone? Had he gone ahead? Or had he stayed behind?

---

About ten minutes had passed since the realization that they had been trapped dawned on the group. Kayle had ordered the evacuation of anyone who wasn't military personelle capable of combat up to the second floor, and the rest had to be prepared to engage any enemies in the room at any given moment. They needed to finish things quickly. They needed to go and save their homeland. That was all that was on the mind of the Archai Squad. Luckily for Reid, he had found a sword on one of the suits of armor around the room. And, while it was terribly heavy and bulky in comparison to his own, it would have to do. Now all that was left was to wait in silence, the only sound being rain from outside falling through the hole in the roof hitting the floor, in anticipation of the enemy.

Loki
March 3rd, 2008, 05:00 PM
ooc; There's so much that I feel like I should do, but I don't know what to do. xD; Sorry~


ic; Sitting on a pile of four dead men, a boy no older than 17 watched the last bit of smoke from his cigarette waft up into the air, curling into long tendrils of gray. But from his point of view, everything was tinted yellow. Wiping off blood staining his hands on the jacket of the highest corpse, the ruby haired demon pulled what was left of the cigarette from his mouth and stubbed out out the flame on the back of the dead man's head. Blowing out a mouthful of smoke, he smacked his lips, stepping over the bodies littering the ground. He swayed to an inaudible tune, snapping his fingers every now and then with the beat. Sparks flew from his fingers whenever he snapped, and he was almost caught off guard when the clothes of one of the numerous dead men caught fire. The youth considered putting it out. But... he decided against it. They would have more fun trying to identify everyone if they were all burned to bits! Even metal plates would melt in the face of his flames. Dieter grinned.

"That's a great idea!" Dieter said to the corpse, now burning up in flames. He snapped the bones in his hand before ripping it straight off his wrist, ignoring the searing knives of pain jolting up and down his arm. He ignored the smell of burning hair and flesh. This boy was a skill, and a downright insane one at that. This was his mental condition. He hadn’t a single definite personality that one could pin down and label him with. He was here, he was there, he was happy, he was sad. Dieter was just… out there! At the moment though, he was rather pleased with himself, and the dead man. The hand he’d broken off stretched, morphing into a sky board that Dieter promptly hopped onto, replacing his stump of an arm with an open hole, lined with metal on the inside. He shot off across the dead people, fire spurting from the open hole like a giant torch. He knew he could’ve just changed his feet into the skyboard, save some pain for himself. But, that would look stupid, having a skyboard for feet. Besides, none of these soldiers could even put a hole through him without him putting a hole in himself first. He couldn’t leave the battle field without feeling at least some pain. It’d been ages since they’d let him out on the loose anyway. Pulling up his yellow sunglasses, when he reached the end of the scene of carnage, Dieter smiled at the flickering flames. It smelled pretty bad. He replaced his shades.

"Ahh, now what?" Dieter mused, opening one of the multiple cans of carbonated and caffeinated beverage he kept with him at all times and downing it all in one go. He crushed the can in his fist, stepping off of his sky board and reattaching his hand with a sick slurping sound of flesh mending itself. Tossing the can over his shoulder, Dieter sighed. He was pretty sure that Tappen had said something about the main hall. Stupid phoenix and wyvern trash. They wanted to gain independence? Hah! Yeah right. Those fools didn’t have a single Skill on ‘em. Humans could never fight on an equal level with a living, breathing weapon. And this Dieter knew. Wandering aimlessly, the Skill had ‘lost’ his group earlier. More like he’d turned himself into an empty shell of armor and they’d walked right past him. But regardless, he was hopelessly lost now. Why did these people make such annoyingly large castles? A sudden realization hit Dieter. Fear gripped him on all levels. He grabbed the smokes he had on him. Three, including the one he’d picked up from the dead soldier. Knowing his habit, it’d all be gone by tomorrow. What if he never found his way out?? Death, Dieter did not fear. As long as he had soda and smokes, he was a-okay. Finding a destination was now ten times as important to Dieter. Again, his hand suffered the fate of becoming a skyboard. He was a pro at skyboarding. Honestly, what else could he do other than practice? Locked up in that empty room all the time.

The castle’s endless mazes became less annoying and more interesting. The sudden turns and dead ends were fun. And the gas that knocked out the majority of the guards was even more fun. Today really was a good day! Whichever guard wasn’t completely out of sorts due to the gas got skewered by the knife that occasionally molded out of nothing on the front of his skyboard. But Dieter ran into the last thing he expected to see and the abrupt stop caused his to fall right off of his board. He hit his neck first on the fall, the broken bones mending themselves quickly as he let his feet, which were sticking straight up in the air, fall back to earth.

“Reporting, Lieutenant Tappen, I am most certainly not wasting time and energy!” Dieter said, saluting with a stupid grin across his face before getting to his feet. His eyes came to rest on Auricia as soon as he began to brush himself off. Switch. His cheerful gaze became wary, and he stood lazily, his weight on one leg as he snapped his fingers, the skyboard hovering in the air turning back into a hand that fell into his other hand. As his hand was reattaching itself, Dieter looked up at Tappen, “Lieutenant, is there anything you’d like me to do? Back-up at the front gate? Ambush in the main hall? Patrol for surviving guards and dispose of them?”


==================================


"That was too easy." Levi sighed, holding a ring of keys in his hand as the door to his cell swung open, their hinges shrieking with the sudden movement. He twirled the keys around his index finger, whistling as he strolled out of the jail cell. Sure, he was getting pardoned tomorrow. But he was still a free convict right now, wasn't he? He'd come back in the morning or something. Before everyone woke up. First though, he wanted to know who had set the gas bomb. It was a good thing that Jazrelli had been in control of his body, otherwise he would've been out like a light as well. No, make that, good thing there was a small window that Levi could use to get fresh air. Stepping over the unconcious bodies of guards, Levi made his way out of the prison. But the minute he opened the door, he was faced with something that reminded him of a great battle for the fortress of Tealia. Clashing swords, banging guns, bursts of mahstion- all over the place. Hm. Levi blinked twice before closing the door again.

Maybe tonight wasn't a good night for going out to the bar.

'K.' Jazrelli said to Levi, sitting on his couch with his head hanging, 'Maybe busting out of here wasn't a good idea. I don't want to go swim through battle with a mahstion bracelet on.'

"Agreed." Levi sighed, sitting down on the bed in his cell, "If they weren't causing so much noise, I could probably get a good night's sleep, too."

'... You're not going to help...?' Devitell's slow and sleepy voice came.

"Naw." Levi said, tossing himself onto the very uncomfortable bench that doubled as a bed, "I'm not gettin' paid to help Tealia, and I'm supposed to be locked up anyway. Don't stress on it Pak. I'm not really required to do my job yet."

parallelzero
March 16th, 2008, 11:31 AM
OOC: Due to the fact that we lost three long posts that we don't particularly feel like rewriting, this post will take the place of the three that disappeared when PC went down. It contains a summary of what occured in those three posts.

Ashton and Auricia stormed into the dining hall, only to find that it was seemingly empty. In reality, under Kayle's guidance, the Archai squad had developed a surprise attack strategy. While Reid, hiding in a suit of armor, caused a distraction, Ellianne weaved ice around their feet, leaving them vulnerable to a fireball shot from Flaire, whom was lurking in the darkness. The attack proved uneffective, and ultimately lead to Flaire's downfall as Auricia revealed her bizarre ability to transform her arm into a blade. That, paired with speed that Reid noted to be impossible even for one using a fael, ended up with the red haired girl receiving a blow through the stomach by Auricia's sword arm.

In the meantime, Reid was engaged in combat with Ashton, whom was using some sort of weird translucent spear that seemed to appear and disappear according to his will. A fellow wionus user, Reid was intent on stopping him. Unfortunately, Ashton's bizarre weapon and speed proved to be too much for Reid, and before falling into unconsciousness, he was left with some parting words. "You think you can beat me when you can't even use your faels properly? Pathetic." At this, Mistral took control of the unconscious Reid and attempt to rebel some more. Just as she was about to become finished as well, something strange occurred.

-

But while the Archai Squad dealt with Ashton and Auricia, Lieutenant Ciaccio was preoccupied with a surprise attack from Dieter, who was thankfully in a good mood. Adela’s natural disposition however, spoiled that good mood as she failed to hold up her part of the conversation. After crushing the bones in her right hand with his foot, Adela managed to use her left hand to shoot a hole right through Dieter’s chest. His heart, the only part of him that could be truly damaged without immediate repair, was unfortunately not in his chest, and the shot proved ineffective. Before being thrown back by the shot however, Dieter rooted his prey in place by drilling a nail (which was his pinky torn off,) through Adela’s left hand. His weapons proved to all be dripping with poison, and the nail split Adela’s median nerve in half, while also sending poison into her system. The poison had little time to kick in however, as she was immediately picked up from the ground by an irritated Dieter, who simply chose to pull her off the nail, rather than extracting it first. Her mutilated hand would soon become of little importance however, as Dieter became bored with his toy and tossed her aside, expanding his hand into a mahstion gun and shooting her through the stomach before she hit the ground. The impact of the shot sent her reeling into a wall, and with that, the Lieutenant was crushed between rubble from the roof that had already situated on the ground, and the stone that she’d knocked off the wall as she smashed into the wall.

In the meantime, by order of Ashton, Auricia was about to kill Ellianne, but Lazarus intervened with the bud of a monstrous flower, knocking Auricia’s blade away from Ellianne’s throat and lifting Auricia into the air with vines of ivy. Just as Lazarus was preparing to drop Auricia into one of his giant venus fly-traps, Ashton destroyed both plants, and ordered Dieter to take care of Lazarus. Without delay, Dieter appeared right behind Lazarus, who had no time to react before Dieter’s fingers turned into longswords, plunging his arm through the eation user’s back without a second thought. However, Dieter was given no time to finish the job quite as cleanly as he’d done with the Lieutenant, as he was promptly interrupted.

-

Flaire, thought to be unconscious or worse, suddenly lifted into the air and became surrounded in flames. The flames enveloped the castle, forcing Ashton and the skills to retreat. When Reid awoke some time later, he found himself on the floor in the ruined dining hall. He was greeted by the voice of Sven, he's friend. He was informed of the enemy retreat, and that Sven had a hand in protecting Princess Rosline during the attack. When Reid inquired as to where his girlfriend was, Sven motioned to a girl, no younger than ten, with red hair and red eyes sitting shyly over with Ellianne, tiny phoenix wings in tow.

Loki
March 16th, 2008, 06:05 PM
"Thank you." Lazarus looked up with a weak smile, taking the handkerchief a healer handed to him gratefully and wiping the blood he’d just coughed up off his chin and lip. The Skill had been kind enough to puncture one of his lungs, his stomach, and kidney. Lazarus was just glad that the Skill hadn’t been able to puncture his heart, as he’d probably been aiming for with the second strike. Lionus enveloped him as a healer examined Lazarus from the top to the bottom, making sure that Flaire’s healing flames had properly covered everything. Coughing into the handkerchief again, the healer was at a loss as to why Lazarus was still afflicted by this bloody cough. The patient was quickly handed a glass of water to rinse out the blood as they continued to try and figure out what was afflicting him. Spitting out the now pink water into a basin, Lazarus wiped his mouth off and glanced at Flaire. Or at least, what was left of her. Phoenix wings. Lazarus sighed and put the empty glass cup next to the basin on the floor. Somehow, his interest had deteriorated. They seemed to attract so much trouble. He’d probably get caught up in it all if he kept hanging around them. Rubbing the place where his lung and two ribs had been broken, the young scholar sighed. Another attack after that would be highly unlikely, and if there was another one, there were still seeds scattered all across the floor, seeds he’d eventually have to summon back to the half-empty pouch inside the pocket of his scrapped suit.

Unbuckling his arm guard, he picked up his beaten book and opened it, to reveal that the book was empty, only the margins of the pages left. Setting his weapon where the text should’ve been, Lazarus proceeded to close its pages and snap the clip that kept them shut in place. A cough interrupted him, and he spat the thick crimson into the basin quickly, disliking the taste. The healer had Lazarus’ equal curiosity in what was ailing him.

’Master, it seems that there was poison in the blade of the man who assaulted you last.’ Hyacinth’s delicate voice echoed in Lazarus’ mind. Well, that was an easy solution. Ask the faels. Why hadn’t he thought of it before.

“Thanks.” Lazarus said to no-one, before mixing his own antidote in the empty water glass by dropping a seed in the basin of water and blood, and crushing the petals into a paste in the cup with some rough eation. Another flower grew to add its healing dew to the paste, and the coughing slowly stopped after Lazarus had ingested the antidote. The lovely antidote to every poison that Lazarus had spent a good six months thinking up. The antidote was always made from the poison itself, of course.


While Lazarus was making his antidote, soldiers were digging up rubble on the other side of the dining hall, where Adela lay unconscious. The pressure of the rubble had cut off circulation to some of her limbs and such, and healers were using lionus to keep the blood flow pumping, regardless of the weight that was slowly being removed. By the time she was unearthed, between the efforts of the healers and Flaire’s flames, Adela was out of immediate danger. Sitting her against the rubble, a group of soldiers watched on as a healer surrounded her limp hand that twitched involuntarily every other second with Lionus, beginning the long process of realigning her median nerve and trying her best to get rid of the long scar that ran from the punctured nerve to the place where her index finger curved to her middle- the place where Dieter had ripped her hand off the nail.


“Hey.” Levi peered curiously at the Lieutenant as he dropped in from the hole in the ceiling, landing lightly as the wings on his feet shrunk to their usual size. The word was used both as a greeting to the Archai Squad, but also as an attention getter for his more dire question, “Does that mean I’m not getting pardoned today?”



ooc: According to Levi, we said that he'd get pardoned 'tomorrow'. Since it's already 'tomorrow', he's busted out of jail and is going to join the fray. |D

parallelzero
March 17th, 2008, 01:38 PM
"WHY THE HELL DID YOU RETREAT!?" Was the first line Ashton heard as an abnormally large fist, about the size of Ashton's own head, plunged upwards into his gut, raising him into the air and in turn permitting him to cough out flemily in pain. Dazed, and still raised by the gigantic fist, the lieutenant attempted to straighten out his now dizzied senses while trying to be ignorant of the pain he was feeling. "BECAUSE A SCUMMY PHOENIX GIRL DID A MAGIC TRICK!? IS THAT WHY YOU DIDN'T KILL THEM ALL!?" Commander Retwan gazed angrily at the shaken up eyes of Ashton as he spewed his remarks, getting spit all over the boy. The Commander was inhumanly immense, and that was an understatement. He was ridiculously impatient, as well.

Ashton grunted, disconcerning himself with Retwan's remarks. After a moment, he spoke. "I retreated because the risk was too high. I did you a favor commander. Surely you're aware that if anything were to happen to any of the Skills on this vessel, that you'd lose more than your job." The words were lined with an undertone of arrogance. "Also, please don't step out of line and try to remember that while I may be below you in rank, Colonel Everett has appealed to the higher ups and given me jurisdiction over this mission and everyone participating in it." That was enough to send the large brute over the edge.

Ashton still caught by the stomach in Retwan's monstrous fist, found himself quickly being plowed towards the ground at an amazing speed. As suddenly as this began to occur, it ended just as suddenly and he fell to the ground as if the giant had dropped him. Blood plattered all over the boy's clothes as the large man toppled backwards, his hand apparently missing from his arm, as it appeared to have been cleanly cut off. Confused for a second, Ashton's mind was put at ease when the man's own hand came flying out of the shadows, smacking Retwan in the face and toppling over. Behind the hand, a small figure appeared from the shadows. It was a boy, no older than twelve. He had cold, purple eyes, long purple hair, and the only thing he was wearing was what appeared to be a long brown rag acting like a sort of poncho, black pants and shirt underneath it.

"It would be problematic if any harm were to come to the Lieutenant." The boy spoke in a voice just as cold as his emotionless eyes as he revealed the right arm he had hidden beneath his rag, in the shape of a hatchet. "Think yourself lucky. If one of the other two skills had found you, especially Auricia, you probably wouldn't be alive. You're lucky she's resting in her cabin." The boy's eyes met Retwan's, and the commander got to his feet and wandered away down the long metallic corridor in defeat, in pursuit of a lionus user that could reattach his hand for him.

The boy grabbed Ashton's hand and helped him to his feet, before shooting him an 'are you okay?' look. All the Lieutenant could do was sigh. "You didn't have to haunt him THAT bad, Tsukasa. Poor guy will be afraid of sharp objects for years."

"It was necessary." Tsukasa replied abruptly and 'matter-of-factly'. "Without you, miss Auricia would most likely become uncontrollable- Er... sir? What's the matter?" Ashton wobbled back and forth out of nausea. Seeing the innerds of someone's arm wasn't particularly thrilling.

---

"Well, this is an interesting turn of events~" A cheery female voice chimed as the Princess entered the room. Reid sweatdropped. That brat of a princess... she knew this would happen all along. Rosaline was dressed in casual clothing once again, and she wore a cheery look that was terribly inappropriate for the situation at hand. "Regeneration. A unique ability that only the phoenix possess. By shedding their former selves, they are capable of 'rising from the ashes' and repairing any wounds that are potentially dangerous. The process however, has some drawbacks. First of all, the process disperses all of the user's mahstion, which was the eruption of flame that occurred earlier. Secondly, the user is left in a childlike stage until their energy is fully restored. They will age as their power is restored, but how quickly this occurs is up to the willingness of the victim."

"WHAT THE HELL!? YOU HID SOMETHING LIKE THAT FROM US!?" Reid barked angrily as he grabbed Rosaline by the collar of her sundress. "AND WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!? WHERE IS YOUR FATHER? IS CARN AND TEALIA IN ON THE ATTACK!?" Sven placed his white gloved hand on Reid's shoulder, and the boy let go of the princess.

"Flaire was aware of it... I told her about it, so..." Rosaline's eyes hit the floor, and she abruptly changed the subject. She knew her actions were unfitting for the situation. Was she a bad Princess? "As for my father, I don't know where he is. Nobody does. Yet there is no proof to link his disappearance to the war, so as a country we can't take any action..."

Reid was knocked over as something small leapt and clung to his side. When he regained his senses, he found himself looking up into the childish eyes that now belonged to Flaire. He could tell from the eyes alone that she was scared and confused about what was going on. Had Rosaline actually told her? The girl's hair was shorter than it would of been had she still been nineteen, and it only reached her shoulders. Her body was much more petite, and wrapped in an old brown rag that was most likely placed on her due to a lack of proper clothing. The two stared at each other for a moment, before she broke down into childish tears and clung to his chest. After a moment, she brought herself back up and puffed her right cheek. "Well, you could at least say something!" She sat up, still atop Reid, and wiped the tears from her eyes.

"S-sorry... It's just... this is a little... sudden."

"Pedophile!" Sven disguised in a cough as a joke, which in turn got an angry glare from Reid.

Loki
March 17th, 2008, 04:00 PM
Smoke veiled Dieter’s view of his magazine. It was a wonder how he could see through the gray smelly substance, but after this many years, it was like a personal talent. Lounging on a couch beside an old man, his head was resting on the knee of the other skill, who wholly ignored the second-hand smoke wafting up into his face. His hair was a snowy white and upon his upper lip and chin was something reminiscent of a van dyck moustache and goatee, though considerably thinner. He was dressed in a black casual suit, a burnt orange turtleneck underneath the jacket, matching the exact shade of his eyes. Wrinkles were only just beginning to touch the corners of his eyes and around his mouth. Rasch by name, the old man coughed once, obviously fake and only for show before plucking Dieter’s cigarette out of the younger skill’s mouth, crushing the butt between his gloved index finger and thumb. With a flick of the wrist, the cigarette had flown across the lounge to the trash can on the other side, flying like a dart. Dieter’s only visible eye surveyed Rasch with contempt, before ignoring the action, turning back to his magazine and turning the page. Silence had fallen over the two skill after Dieter had exhausted his supply of stories about his latest expedition. Being one of the few who could pass without a scuffle without responding to Dieter’s questions and comments, Rasch had never taken the effort to speak a single word to Dieter. Indeed, he’d neglected to say anything to anyone ever since he was made into a Skill, but a mere three years in the past.

Regardless, Dieter had chosen Rasch as one of his favorite out of all the skill he’d met, along with a few others. For the very same reason that he did not dislike Auricia to the extent that one might expect. Rasch was the silent skill who preferred to stand to one side during battle, rather than actually participate, often requiring some kind of forceful motivation or blackmail to actually do anything other than defend himself from getting his clothes dirty.

“Think about it Rasch,” Dieter had begun to babble once more, and Rasch gave the boy using his crossed legs as a pillow one ear of his attention, “Flazure. That’s like a whole country of people, just waiting to be massacred. After all, they’re all phoenix and wyvern, right? That’s what we’re trying to exterminate, right?” Dieter sighed, pleased with the thought, “Don’t worry Rasch, you won’t even have to get off the airship. I’ll take care of ‘em all. Except the ones attacking Ashton, Auricia and Tsukasa’ll probably go for those ones.”

Rasch tuned out. He wasn’t interested in this endless talk of death and killing. Speaking of killing, Dieter had abruptly stopped talking. Rasch knew exactly why, because his eyes slid over to the door of the lounge, filled with indifference at the smell of blood.

“I smell the Lieutenant and the Commander’s blood.” Dieter commented, silence passing over the two skill before the junior bursting out into uncontrollable laughter, “What a joke! Ah, wish I’d been there to see it.”

parallelzero
March 18th, 2008, 07:57 PM
"With all of this stress I'm going to wrinkle before my time!" Kayle moaned after making his return from a meeting with one of the subordinates whom had managed to escape from the attack on Flazure. "Flazure has been occupied, our princess has been kidified, and other than Princess Rosaline, any trace of all royalty from Carn and Tealia is practically non-existant..." He was murmuring to himself, but due to how the sound carried itself in such a large room, the majority of the soldiers and medical staff in the room could overhear it. A Tealian soldier inquired into the status of Flazure's citizens, he simply replied with "Most of them escaped into the catacombs beyond Flazure and sealed the exit." Most of the people in the room were relieved by that statement. The catacombs had been prepared in case such a thing ever happened, and contained enough food to last an extended amount of time. They'd be safe as long as the enemy didn't find a way to break the mahstion barrier barring the only entrance and exit.

---

Useless. Useless. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't help him. I thought if it was him, I could protect him. But I was wrong... The girl sat in darkness, alone on the ground in the fetal position.

---

"So... what's our next move, anyways?" Reid inquired after returning from changing into his usual white robe outfit as opposed to the shredded tux he had woken up in. It was only one in the morning, but the castle was so busy with soldiers and medical staff coming in and out, that it would prove difficult for anyone to get any form of sleep, at least for a while. Reid glanced over at the unconscious Adela, and figured she was the only exception. Flaire had gone up to see if any of Kanna's clothing would fit her at her current size, and Ellianne had also gotten changed back into her usual travelling gown and now was at Reid's side.

Kayle cleared his throat for a moment, and then silence followed for about thirty seconds as he figured out what he was going to say. Finally, it came. "With our current circumstances, it would be stupid to attempt going back to Flazure in a rescue mission. We were so easily beaten by those strange soldiers, and I don't think we're particularly prepared to clash with them again..."

"It's because you're weak." Reid jumped back as the face of a young man was directly in his own. The man's blue eyes were blank, yet curious, and his red hair was in a long and messy fashion that was up in a variety of uncoordinated spikes. He was dressed in a white shirt that was way too large and baggy for his thin frame, paired with a pair of baggy jeans. His hands were in his pockets, and he was slouched over. Reid went to yell at the man, but he was cut off before he even began. "Hmm... I see. You and your fael are nowhere near synched..." Reid once again went to speak, to inquire about what the hell this guy was talking about, but the guy wandered off in a slouch over to Ellianne, before examining her thoroughly. She turned bright red and backed off. "You're mute... yes? You have no way of communicating properly with your fael, and you suffer from much more than your muteness and partial blindness... And that phoenix girl... yes... she requires a special approach..."

The young man was met with a foot to the head as Reid drop kicked him. "STOP TALKING LIKE WE AREN'T HERE!" However, the man was not pushed back. In fact, the kick had no effect at all. He turned to face Reid with an indifferent look on his face.

"You can't hurt me like that... Our levels in power are far too different, fallen." Just who was this guy? How the hell did he know Reid was a fallen? And what did he mean when he said Ellianne was 'suffering from much more than muteness and partial blindness'?

Flaire suddenly made her reappearance, dressed in a white blouse, green and red plaid skirt, and a pair of pennyloafers, her face bright red from having to wear such a thing. But it just looked so... natural on a girl her size. Reid had to use all of his willpower not to laugh or go 'awww' tauntingly. But as soon as she arrived, the man was crouched down in a bizarre fashion, looking at her curiously. "Yes... a different approach." The man stood up again, and then turned to face the entire group. "Okay. I'm going to take you on as my pupils!" Everyone sweatdropped.

"Whaaaat?" Flaire sighed in a childlike voice, completely confused as to what was going on.

Loki
March 19th, 2008, 07:38 PM
Adela woke up when she felt something gurgling up her throat. She slapped her right hand over her mouth automatically coughing it out. She was no stranger to the feel of blood, but was completely startled when she moved her hand away just far enough to see the crimson liquid splattered over her hand. She was quickly handed a handkerchief, which she did not take the time to thank the soldier for, as she’d already begun to cough again. In almost no time, the handkerchief was dyed red, plucked out of her hand by a healer who handed her a new one. It didn’t take long for them to figure out what was wrong with Adela, as a healer quickly dragged over the patient who’d displayed similar symptoms and was now completely fine- Lazarus, who peered curiously at the coughing Lieutenant. He sighed before putting his books down, opening the pages of it and extracting a small pouch from under his arm guard. Asking for a glass of water, Lazarus poured purple powder into the glass, before holding it out to Adela with the simple command, “Drink.”

She took the liberty of eying his suspiciously, even though she cringed at the taste of blood. Taking the glass of water, she coughed into the once-white cloth one more time before taking a sip of the water. Adela coughed even harder at how bitter it was, spitting most of it out before ingesting any of it.

“Gross.” Adela stuck out her tongue, making a face at the water before drinking the rest of it without complaint at the sound of her hoarse voice. She looked positively green by the end of it and seemed unable to open her mouth, shoving the empty glass into the hands of a healer and looking almost sicker than before.

“It’ll wear off.” Lazarus said plainly, enlisting the help of two soldiers to help him make more of the antidote. It would probably be extremely useful in the future. He’d have to compress the powder into tablets, for easier ingestion, when he found the time. His source of poison this time came from the two handkerchiefs soaked in Adela’s blood. A quarter of his powder went to others who had also been attacked by the boy with the ruby hair, while the rest sat in the bottom of his book, along with various other powders and antidotes.

“Completely?” Adela repeated in awe as a soldier nodded solemnly. She made to stand up, but blood loss sent her whirling back to her feet. An entire squad, gone. “Not even a single survivor?” The soldier shook his head. Their adversary was amazing. The idea of apostles seemed so far away in the face of these new monsters. Adela was sure she’d shot that boy right through the heart- and yet he’d seemed wholly unaffected. Not even an apostle would’ve survived that. Immersed in thought, Adela ignored almost everything around her, interrupted every now and then by a searing pain up her arm, still enveloped in Lionus as a healer tried to piece together her nerves again. She swallowed the yelp that rose in her throat every time though, and allowed herself to be interrupted wholly only by casualty reports. The entire 7th squad, stationed at the west wing entrance had been massacred. By who, Adela was sure, but she was confident that it had to have been someone similar to the boy she’d fought herself.




“Princess Rosaline.” Levi bowed courteously in greeting, a movement he certainly wouldn’t have afforded her before yesterday. A movement that one might've wondered where he'd even learned; but it wasn't as though he'd forgotten all the manners that had been so diligently pounded into him years ago. His eyes peered curiously at Flaire for a moment, rather enjoying the fact that he was older than someone, but he immediately diverted his gaze with a look that was bordering disgust at the sight of her wings. No, that was no good. Levi wiped the look off his face. He’d have to get used to it, if he were to be stuck babysitting her for the rest of his pardoned life. His efforts at keeping an indifferent expression were quickly nullified however. He was wholly entertained by the arrival of the new man, deciding that seeing as he hadn’t participated at all in the battle, he had not been included in the jab about being weak. Everyone here was so uptight and had all their panties in a twist. This man looked nothing like them. He looked like a guy who could really chill.

“Me too? Can y'train me too?” Levi pointed at himself eagerly when the man announced he would be taking everyone on as pupils. He wasn’t really sure who ‘everyone’ encompassed. Besides, if he was going to hang out with the Archai Squad from now on, he needed some serious fighting skills, not just your everyday street fighting. This was a great chance. A good chance to scope out the abilities, styles, and tendencies of everyone else as well. If he was going to work with them, being thrown into a serious fight with them first thing wasn’t exactly his idea of teamwork!

parallelzero
March 20th, 2008, 02:19 PM
"Ah, let me all introduce you to Stahn Evalise, everyone." Sven introduced the strange man with an overly cheery tone as he planted the black end of his black scythe on the cracked floor below him. "He's an old acquaintance of my father, and he's been an invaluable contributor to the studies on fael over the past five years. I was asked to retrieve him to attend tonight's meeting, but it turned out he proved pretty useful in defending Rosaline as well."

In the mean time, Stahn had his face up close to Levi, examining his eyes closely. "Your eyes speak something cruel. If you want to train under me, you'll need to learn to control the cruelty."

"Wait a second! Who said we were going to train under you!?" Reid barked in obvious annoyance as he stomped as foot down and got into Stahn's face instead of the other way around. "Sure you can take a kick to the head, but what can you show us that would really prove you're capable of 'training' us? Besides! Isn't this all a little sudden!? You just show up, call us weak, and expect us to bow down to you and accept you as a trainer. We have better stuff to do!" It was pretty much safe to say that the stress from the last twenty four hours had finally gotten to him. You could practically see the sparks flying off of Reid's eyes and meeting Stahn's.

"When you can do this with your fael, then deem him unworthy~" A female voice chimed from Stahn's side. Everyone was shocked to see a girl standing beside him, with long red hair and bright blue eyes, dressed in a dark blue Chinese dress. Reid could tell, they all could tell, that girl was Stahn's plufael. In material form. "It isn't something that lasts for an incredibly long time, but thanks to Stahn's strong bond with me, I'm able to keep myself in a solid form separate from his body for a short time." She giggled as she faded away, most likely back into Stahn's subconsciousness.

Reid stepped back, and glanced over at Flaire, who was watching with wide eyes. "I trust him! He's got cool hair!" Reid, Ellianne and Sven sweatdropped. Had her mentality also regressed along with her physical form? After recovering from the shock of ever hearing something like that come out of Flaire's mouth, Reid exchanged glances with Ellianne. She seemed okay with it. "So are we going, are we going!?" The little girl called once more as she inched closer to Reid, before taking his hand and looking up at him with puppy eyes. All Reid could do was sigh.

"I think it's a good idea." Kayle said after seemingly appearing from absolutely nowhere. "It's obvious we can't beat those things at our current capacity, and we have about a month before rations run out in the catacombs. If you guys want to go ahead, I'll take a small squad and search for the King and Queen. Chances are Carn and Tealia won't last long without leadership." Reid sweatdropped again. He was trapped.

It was about this time that Reid actually noticed Levi's presence, just as Rosaline was giving him permission to go as long as Adela was there to watch over them. Reid would have made a big complaint about Levi coming along, but instead he had something better to say. He sucked in air and prepared himself to shout across the room. When he was prepared, he did as he planned. "HEY ADELA! GUESS WHAT!? YOU GET TO COME TRAIN WITH US AND BABYSIT LEVI!" He then prepared to have a chair hurled at him.

Stahn, completely uninterested in what was going on, scratched his nose before leaving them with a final few words before taking off. "Very well. Get some rest tonight, we'll depart for my home in Alta in the morni-"

"Wait, we're coming too." A serious voice belong to Blanc of all people erupted as Rosaline's guard stepped forward. He glanced back at Rosaline, who was behind them. "I'm sorry, your highness, but without your father, you aren't particularly safe back at the castle. We've decided we'll go train as well, so we can better protect you." Rosaline's eyes began to water, before she began to sob with happiness. "GAH. Princess, don't cry! Don't cry!" Almost everyone in the vicinity sweatdropped.

"Whatever..." Stahn sighed before exiting the dining hall sluggishly. Afterwards, everyone seemed to go their own way. Kayle left for the city on business, Rosaline had gone with her guard to pack, Ellianne had taken Flaire up to bed, since Kayle didn't want Reid sharing a room with a ten year old girl, and Reid himself did nothing but go to the courtyard at the back of the castle. It was quiet there, he could think. The rain had ceased, and the cool night air brushed against his face as he laid on his back on a white bench beneath a white arch amidst a field of roses. The sound of water trickling nearby could be heard as the fancy stone fountains sustained some sound as fireflies danced around like wishing stars. The many weaving walkways were dimly lit with lionus infused in the cobblestone. A nice place, a nice place indeed.

Loki
March 20th, 2008, 03:32 PM
"Shut up!" Adela’s voice was like a whiplash in response to Reid, a hoarse yet completely irritable voice ringing across the room. She fended off a healer that was trying shove lionus down her throat, getting to her feet in the process. The knees supported by less than sturdy heels almost giving out once or twice before she regained her sense of direction. Adela was not about to take off her heels surrounded by all this rubble on the ground- besides, that would be a ridiculous antic. She cursed this lightheaded feeling; It made her feel undignified. Composing herself she ordered a list of all the dead accounted for in the west wing, and a draft on every member of the 7th squad that had not been identified as one of the bodies. After finishing up with her commands regarding the massacre, she turned a wary eye on Stahn. She, a Lieutenant, train under that man who lacked every sense of grace on the planet? Training with the peevish Archai Squad? Certainly not her idea of a party worth attending. No, that wasn't important right now. What was important… Adela turned a severe gaze on Sven. He'd better have a good excuse waiting for her as to why he too left without a word. Actually, it was probably her mother who was more curious about the excuse, but having taken her place, Adela was ready to give Sven a strike out lecture. Then there was Flaire. Ugh. Now that she was a little girl, she would be all the more hassle, probably. What a nuisance. Ignoring her and Ellianne to the fullest as usual, Adela snatched her gun up from the healer who was trying to fix Adela’s throat. It was like a congregation of people just trying to get to her. Without a word to Sven about his desertion, Adela turned her mahstion gun about in her right hand, stalked over, and whacked Levi across the back of the head with the handle.

"You, sir, are not pardoned yet. Come with me and we'll finish the paperwork." Adela turned her eyes on Rosaline with even more annoyance than she'd displayed towards Sven, but just the same, said nothing to her, instead turning on her heel and marching out of the dining hall. She hadn’t had much contempt for the girl five years earlier. Who knew she was the selfish and bossy type. Adela, quite frankly, hated being bossed about. The Lieutenant? Deserting her forces to babysit one measly murderer? "Contact my mother." She barked to one soldier, and turning to another, snapped “Draw up an estimate for damages, if anyone has any issues with the subject of security, tell them to shut up and take it where someone cares. You there, organize an investigation, I want to know exactly where the Queen, King, and-“ She paused, as though an adjective on the tip of her tongue before continuing as though nothing had happened, “that Prince were last seen, with who, why, where, how, everything. Get me that report on NEAR already, it’s been more than enough time for that investigation to have wrapped up.”

“Princess,” Levi whined, rubbing the back of his head which was essentially unharmed by Adela’s assault, “Does that cranky woman really have to come with us? It’s not like I’m going to go off and kill everyone in sight- unless they’re all enemies, that’s a different story, right?” Sighing he neglected to wait for an answer, hanging his head and shaking it before giving a casual salute, “Tch, I’ma head off ‘in get meself pardoned for gettin’ rid of some people who were just livin’ off government good will anyway. Catch ya’ll later.”





“I’ll have you know I’m not willingly babysitting you.” Adela said, adding the final flourish to her signature.

“I’ll have you know that I’m not willingly babysitting them.” Levi motioned with his arms as though her were moving the load of blame to the Archai Squad, “But it’s that or the gallows, m’dear Lieutenant, and quite frankly, I’d rather be followin’ around some girl who changes age and cuts off her wings than decaying in some pithole.”

Adela folded the paper and held it out to Levi, who launched it into the air with a burst of wionus that seemed not to faze Adela in the least, though looking closely, her fingertips twitched towards her gun. Catching the paper, Levi read it over, incredibly silent for someone such as him before stuffing the paper in the pocket which he kept the card from his sister in. “You ran with a gang earlier, did you not?” Adela spoke plainly, “Surely they hear of things that we don’t.” Levi shrugged before Adela continued, “There were two particular soldiers in the attacking forces that were able to manipulate their bodies into weapons- swords, guns, whatever. I shot the one attacking me right through the heart and he got back up as though nothing had happened. I want you to-“

“I answer to the Princess.” Levi replied coolly, saluting Adela mockingly, “Not you, Adela. Sure, I’ll ask around. But that’s to prepare myself for whatever crap we’re heading into. I’m not going to do squat for you. So don't expect a report from me.”

parallelzero
March 21st, 2008, 01:16 PM
"Well, isn't this a nice surprise? The ever sociable Reid who never has time to talk with his own sister is all alone." Ailia teased her older brother after realizing that he too was out in the courtyard. She took a seat beside her brother, whom had risen to a sitting position upon hearing the only family he had left speak. "It's true you know. Especially since mom died, you've been avoiding me!" Reid knew the reasoning for that, he could see it even now. It had become increasingly obvious as she grew up, as well. Her mannerisms, the way she carried herself, her overall appearance - expecially in the white nightgown she now wore... and her blonde hair, blue eyes and wings - they all fueled his reasoning.

"I guess you just remind me too much of her..." He replied quietly as his eyes met with his sisters. Yep, just like his mother's eyes... "Besides, you know I've been busy-"

"Busy? With Flaire? With Ellianne? You left everything behind for those two. Family, friends, everything! I didn't know where you were until mom dies. That was three years, and you didn't even show up until the funeral which took place TWO MONTHS after. I was alone for TWO MONTHS and I didn't even have a shoulder to cry on!" She was sobbing now, her face buried in her hands. He was always around crying girls, it seemed. His life was becoming a running gag. "What makes them so special, anyways!? Why did you leave me again!?" She screamed through her hands in reference to Reid's travelling companions

Reid grabbed Ailia's arm and pulled them away from her face, showing the tears rolling down her face which was tinted red. "Nothing makes them special. It's what they stand for. You remember the night I lost my wings, right? You remember I almost died?"

"Yeah... but you didn't cry at all. Big brother just brought you back to the house all bloodied up. I cried myself to sleep that night..."

"Phoenix and wyvern people go through worse things than that every day. When I thought of it like that, I couldn't just ignore it anymore, so I decided I'd help them. For the first while, I wasn't permitted to establish contact with anyone. Not to mention I was undercover."

"Yes, we all remember Ally Penbur. I remember the first time I heard about it, I couldn't stop laughing!" A smile returned to the girl's face, and she suddenly broke out into laughter for reasons beyond Reid's present understanding. He understood, however, when he realized his cloak was completely hanging off of him. Mistral had played a prank on him, reverting him to her fifteen year old self. He sweatdropped. Why did it figure...? Ailia just seemed so... above him when he was like this. Probably because she was older. After a moment, Reid found himself back in his normal form. "It seems Mistral hasn't forgotten!"

"Apparently not... but that reminds me. Why are you coming with us? You don't even have a fael." He scratched the back of his head casually. It was true.

"To make sure you're okay... You've been through a lot lately and I hate just hearing about it. I want to make sure you stay safe, since you aren't exactly the most cautious person!" She smiled, and then he smiled back, and then the sister fell asleep on her brother's lap.

---

"If you answer to me, then do so now." Rosaline said coldly. Having overheard the conversation between Adela and Levi from the hall while walking with Sven, the Princess decided she had to intervene if all was to go smoothly. "We are NOT in a situation that requires that attitude. If you want your pardon, you will cooperate with Adela and ANYONE involved with Archai squad." This was a totally different Rosaline than before. Like most people, she had buckled under the stress of the situation at hand, especially with all the politic garbage that had been thrown at shortly before this encounter. "And Adela, I know we're from different countries, different governments, and I'm sorry to have to drag you into all this... I'll make sure you're properly compensated when it's all over, but for now I need you to bear with it. Since, well, I'm worried about the Archai Squad..." She might as well have said she was worried about Reid, since anyone could see through her cover. "Anyways, if you have something to say to me, I'd prefer you do it now..."

"Adela~" Sven, bored of waiting outside for Rosaline, chimed as he too entered the room. "What's it been? Five years?" If he only knew how much trouble he was asking for by entering...

Loki
March 21st, 2008, 02:45 PM
Levi glanced over his shoulder at Rosaline. He was silent for a moment, chewing over his thoughts before stepping aside and shoving his hands in his pockets like a child.

"Sorry." He said in a begrudging way to Adela, who spared him only a sidelong look before giving her attention to Rosaline. Pft. Like she needed to be compensated. Her expression was bored as Rosaline preached to her, but her brow knit together at the mention of the Archai Squad. No, more accurately, Reid. She hated how Rosaline was constantly hanging over them. They weren't even from her country! She really had a way with meddling in other countries affairs. She was just piling onto her load of things to do, things to worry about. This was why Adela had not concerned herself with Flazure, unless directed to by Prince Ryan- Flazure was a seed that he’d adopted. Not her. Flazure was just a side project. Tealia took priority. And now, she was being forced to switch her priorities at the word of a foreign Princess? Just because Tealia’s royalty was gone didn’t mean that Rosaline could just pick up what they’d left behind. She couldn’t seriously think that Carn was completely out of harm’s way. She would be better off going back home and protecting her own country, like a proper princess. Adela’s thoughts ran off in this manner, and she was almost surprised when Rosaline told her to say whatever Adela wished to say to her. It was all Adela could do not to burst out laughing. Her? Say all these irritable things to the Princess’ face? Risk losing her post? Hm. Fat chance.

Leaning her chin into the palm of her hand, Adela opened her mouth with a criticizing yet somewhat bemused look written across her features, "Princess Dian, I am sure you are completely capable of comprehending as to why I am displeased. There is no need for you to ask me to say it aloud and risk losing my post, nor do I desire to say anything against the word of royalty. However, pardon me for stepping out of my bounds this once, but let me make clear that I may not have spent as much time with him as yourself, but I am quite sure that Mr. Davies is perfectly capable of handling himself, and there is no need for you worry about his safety. I've no doubts that if he were in any sort of danger, the others in the Archai Squad would certainly rush to his aid.” Speaking of the Archai Squad…

“Good morning, Mr. Sarate, I do believe it’s been five years.” Adela’s voice came as chilly as Rosaline’s, refusing to address Sven on a first name basis as he’d done with her, “Unfortunately I am not compelled to converse with a-…” Adela stopped and let herself glance at the Princess.

“Forget it.” Adela snapped, breaking her graceful speech. It wasn’t worth saying if Rosaline was just going to flail her authority over Adela’s head again. She determinedly averted her gaze from the infuriating duo, flipping through the papers on her desk with her still clumsy left hand, moving slower than usual so as not to scatter the pages across the floor on accident. She used her right hand to uncap her pen again making marks here and there. While Rosaline was in this self-important attitude, Adela wasn't about to take her chances by asking her to, quite frankly, get out.

“Princess,” Levi cut through the silence that Adela had left hanging. Leaning his weight on one leg, and cracking his neck, Levi put his idea into words that sounded the most dignified to see if he could raise his chances of getting approval, “If you haven’t already found out enough information on the cockroaches that never die, would it be troublesome for you if I called upon old friends for information, people that may not have the cleanest slate in regards to their criminal records? Or would it be better should I not contact them again?”

parallelzero
March 22nd, 2008, 12:58 PM
"I'm a horrible Princess. That's what you want to say, right? That's what you think, right?" Rosaline said melancholically as she stared blankly at a wall, completely ignoring everything Adela had said. She didn't need the speel about putting her own country before Flazure. She had gotten it before. She just wasn't"Sometimes it would be better if people would just come out and say these things. It would make me feel better than having everyone judge from afar..."

"Your Majesty... he DID say it was okay if you went ahead with it. You're in a delicate position after all." Sven butted in, not revealing the nature of the issue before Levi and Adela. That telegram Rosaline had received from Carn's council. Were it's contents to be believed? If so, she didn't really have much of a choice in the matter as to her next plan of action. What was even more troublesome was that if he spoke the contents to anyone, they would most likely be killed along with Sven. Great. Flazure had way too many enemies. Someone had to be pulling strings here for it all to fall together so perfectly... Without another word, especially to Levi, the two left for the night.

---

The rest of the night came and went, and eventually it was time for all those who were departing to depart. They were all routed down to Meredy's docks, where they boarded an airship destined for Alta. It wasn't to be a long flight - just a few hours actually - but the airship was surprisingly empty other than the group planning on training with Stahn. But, after coming back out onto the main deck after throwing his stuff in a room with Sven, Reid noticed something was amiss. "Oi, Sven! Where are Rosaline and them? I thought they were coming with us, but I don't see them..."

"Reid... Rosaline cut us off from Carn this morning..."

"What!?"

"She had to make a choice. Her country or Flazure. She's Carn's Princess, not Flazure's. This was bound to happen sooner or later with how things were going anyways..."

"...But..."

"But what? Stop clinging to Rosaline, Reid. You have Flaire now, and I've never seen you happier. Yet you're always doing things with other girls that sends them the wrong messages. Adela, and Ellianne in particular-"

"Wait, what about Ellianne!?"

"Are you really THAT blind? Then this conversation ends NOW." The worst part of it was, that this conversation was taking place where everyone could hear it.

"Would you two cut it out? You're ruining the scenery~" Stahn's melancholic voice rang through their ears. He looked up close at them blankly for a moment, which made them sweatdrop, before revealing a megaphone hidden behind his back. "EVERYONE MEET ON THE DECK NOW." It didn't take long for Ellianne, who was being forced to give Flaire a piggyback, arrived. Flaire, still in her scarily cute outfit from the night before, jumped off of Ellianne and ran over to Reid, before grabbing onto his hand with her own tiny one. Why? Was it for security reasons?

Loki
March 22nd, 2008, 07:29 PM
"Yeah. Say it aloud. You guessed it right anyway, so why do I have to look like I'm doubting royalty if you know what I'm thinking anyway?' Adela thought to herself bitterly as she paid one ear of attention to her mother's words. Though five years had passed, the woman still looked as young as she had back then, and was smiling sweetly at her daughter. Grumbling and complaining to herself, Adela drummed her fingers on the desk, feeling awkward that she was in front of her own desk, instead of behind it, where her mother was wearing the most irritatingly amused expression.

"I think this is the first time you've asked me for a favor in a long time Adela~" She chimed in a very pleased tone. Adela resisted the urge to roll her eyes. As capable a commander she was, her light-hearted ways were still too much for Adela to swallow, "In return, after you get back, we should go shopping togeth-"

"I have to go." Adela said quickly, standing up from her seat and buckling her gun holster around her waist, "Don't want to miss the ship." She explained, shrugging and quickly escaping before hearing any more 'mother-daughter-bonding' nonsense that had sprouted into her mother's mind after five years of watching her child's social skills deteriorate. Regardless of how recluse Adela had become, she still recognized some of the citizens who waved morning greetings to her as she passed them in the streets, letting herself exchange quick conversations with them. Most of them all commented on how she rarely came out to town anymore without some sort of urgent official business. Most all of them were just friends of her mother who knew the her from five years ago. The girl who was a prankster and always cheery. Thus, Adela at the very least, unknit her brow and kept a placid expression to pass under the radar. She was a cranky person, but the entire city of Meredy didn’t need to know that firsthand. Besides, it wasn’t as if these people were her soldiers, who she could order around, or Flazure, who had caused her so much grief and headache.

“Thank you, I’ll try my best.” Adela replied in a light voice to the mechanic from whom she’d always bought the ingredients to her pranks from as she hurried along. Ah, it was such a nice day. Thinking back, it was amazing to Adela how much more open she’d been back then. The type of girl who would burst into a shop and treat it as home, or call adults by their first name even when they told her it was rude. Was that really her? Adela was amused to notice that not a single person had brought up whether she had a boyfriend or not. Who in their right mind would, after reading those articles about the Commander’s daughter and the Hero of Tealia’s falling out? Adela’s somewhat better mood was instantly ruined at the sight of the hero, however. Wondering how long Flaire would be in that form that was –almost- as repulsive as her usual, the Lieutenant stood to the side and listened to Sven and Reid’s exchange. Ah, it was about time that someone let Reid realize how much he was sponging off of the other countries. However, the conversation took the wrong turn and Adela opened her mouth to snap at Sven that she didn’t give a rat’s ass about whatever Reid did anymore and that if he was going to pity her, at least not mention that he’s having a swell time with his new girlfriend. She was interrupted by Stahn though, and almost as if nothing had changed over the years, Adela instantly slapped her hands over her ears with an annoyed look on her face when his voice burst through the megaphone.

“We’re not deaf!” Adela barked back, grabbing her things and throwing them over her shoulder, marching onto deck before realizing where she was. She didn’t mind airships, but the deck was the one place she avoided like the plague. Retreating to the side of the deck closest to the rest of the airship, Adela leaned against the wall. It was still the deck, technically, but it would have to do for now. She was interested to know why this Stahn guy was under the impression that he had any right to train the Lieutenant of the Tealian Forces.



“IN-COMIN’!!” Levi yelled, flipping over to add flair to his landing on the deck, the enormous metal wings on his feet shrinking away at once when he touched ground, “Man dude, yer no good at landin’, are ya?”

“I… don’t think I’m supposed to be here…” Lazarus replied as-a-matter-of-factly, rubbing the back of his head, having not expected Levi to let go of the collar of his shirt before landing. Ignoring his extra luggage that was presently collecting his books and grumbling under his breath about bent corners, Levi stretched his arms out to the sky and grinned, “Ahh, it feel’s great ta start anew! S’like I’m a new man! Startin’ fresh!” Airship were Levi’s absolute favorite contraptions in the world. Being unable to do much more than jump higher than most people, actually being in the sky was like he wasn’t handicapped at all. He’d only been on one once before this, and heck was he looking forward to it. In an endlessly good mood, he’d practically forgotten all the underground information he’d paid a pretty price to his old boss for about the secret experiments. Even though the price had been pretty much a third of everything Levi had ever stolen, the information was still incredibly vague- nothing about how to really get to them, just the gist of what they were supposed to be: The ideal experiment turn-out.

So what’re we up to, good mentor uv ours that’ll help me set Jazz and Pak in the real world?” Levi asked Stahn excitedly, thinking that having Jazrelli’s company for awhile would be killer-fun. And much like Levi, he hardly cared how literal ‘killer-fun’ would end up turning out to be, with Jazrelli.

parallelzero
March 23rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
"Yes, you are deaf. You're all too deaf to truly listen to your faels, which is why you've yet to reach a higher level of ability." Stahn's voice continued to boom through the megaphone, which was now conveniently aimed in Adela's direction. Reid could tell already that he would never hear the end of this excursion from Adela down the line. "Your training begins this very moment. While I'm talking with you all, my plufael Ming will take her time to instruct your faels on a level of thought that you won't be able to hear. This is an advanced technique that you will learn during your training. For your training to be successful, however, you'll need to break down any barriers you have with your faels, and each other. It is for that purpose that my training methods are built the way they are."

"Okay, listen up faels!" Ming's voice rang on a frequency that only the faels, and not their reila, could hear. Her voice was strong, feminine, and much more serious sounding than the voice of Stahn. Of course, their personalities were supposed to contrast, so that wasn't unusual. "Shortly, Stahn," She said his name affectionately, "will give your reila each a pill to swallow. That pill was specially designed by Stahn himself to alter your reila's physical and mental forms into ones of your design for the purpose of the training term." This caused a lot of raised eyebrows, especially from Mistral and Sae. Though it was an intriguing thought to most. "This may sound strange, but it's necessary. It's also quite fun too, and I'm speaking from experience. Anyways, there are a couple of conditions you must first uphold! The new form must be the opposite gender, since it's drawing off your energy. You must also pick a form designed to humiliate them. I know it sounds cruel, but once again, if you wish to get stronger, it's necessary. You can give them any traits you want, permitted it doesn't defy biology. You also need to impair them somehow, just to give them an additional obstacle to overcome. You can also alter their personality to a small extent if you wish, just so long as it doesn't impair their thought processes too much. That is all. Oh, wait, don't forget to name them, because thats the name they'll register as their own until the training is over." Mistral sighed. This would probably end up tearing them apart from their reila more than the intended opposite. Though there must have been a method to the madness...

"Okay, so in order for this to work, I'll first be assigning you all partners in which you have to be with at all times. You'll eat together, sleep together, train together, and bathe together. Don't worry about any gender barriers, those will be overcome shortly." There was a long pause of silence. Reid's eyes twitched. What the hell did he mean? No, seriously, what the hell did he mean? And why the hell did everything this guys say sound like it was no big deal what so ever?! "After having a glance over your histories, I've decided that this will be the best set of matchups: Ellianne DuCharme and Lazarus Javor," Ellianne glanced over at Lazarus nervously. She had been certain he was watching her at some point... In the meantime, Reid was wondering why he was there in the first place, "Levi Pak-Jaquez and Flaire Teluia," Little Flaire sighed. She didn't trust Levi, not one bit, and she wanted to be with Reid. "Sven Sarate and Ailia Davies." Reid's head bounced up. Had she not stayed behind with Rosaline? He glanced over and saw her standing against the edge of the ship. The brat had stowed away! "And finally, Reid Davies and Adela Ciaccio." Reid's blood froze, on the spot.

But without giving anyone a chance to rebuttle quite yet, he began to distribute a small object to everyone. When Reid got his own, he realized it was a small white pill. "Wait a minute. You want us to take an unfamiliar drug from someone like you?" Reid glared at Stahn, who's facial expression didn't change at all. Stahn glanced over at Flaire instead, which redirected Reid's eyes to watch his little girlfriend take the pill without a second thought. Reid sighed, realizing if he had any hope of completing the training, he'd have to do it. So he took a breath and gulped it down, Ellianne followed soon after. When Stahn was sure everyone had injested the pill, he seemed to mutter something, and then there was silence.

Reid awoke with a start to find himself staring up at a sky coloured as if it were dawn. He couldn't help but wonder what had happened after taking that strange pill. Was it some sort of sedative? No. His rest had been far too painful and violent for that, he could tell by the amount of sweat he could feel he was covered with. But the cool morning air, it felt nice against his skin, even nicer than it would have normally for some reason. But why was he outside? What had Stahn done? He awkwardly shifted his weight in what he could tell now was a pretty large hammock hanging from two trees. Large enough to fit two people, as he could feel another presence in the hammock suffocating his own. His eyes glanced over to his right side, ignoring the fact that his hair was nearly covering his eyes, and they locked onto a large male beside him, probably in his late teens. Reid... hadn't been drinking... right? Shocked, he attempted to roll away, and ended up landing flat on his face on the grassy ground below. His hand felt around for a blunt object, and upon finding a stick, he rose again before delivering a blow to the young man irrationally. Ellianne, Flaire, Ailia, and Sven had yet to wake up, so nobody yet had noticed the large mansion that they were all camped around yet. The mansion that belonged to Stahn.

Loki
March 23rd, 2008, 04:43 PM
Upon hearing Stahn’s response, Adela’s face spelled out nothing less than “S-C-A-N-D-A-L-I-Z-E-D.” She’d never been talked back to so bluntly before. At least, not in a very very long time. However, upon hearing that his fael would be exchanging a secret conversation with hers, she could see the excited look on Jeckt’s face burned into the back of her eyelids every time she blinked. Dear god. This man wanted to kill her. That was the only ulterior motive anyone who would leave her in the hands of her faels could have. She glared death at Stahn as she listened to his partner assignments. Levi and Flaire? Well, that was certainly unexpected. Was Stahn unaware of the lovely couple’s status as boyfriend and girlfriend? Adela scoffed and folded her arms, looking away determinedly before realizing that with all the partners that had been named, the only other person left was-

“Reid Davies and Adela Ciaccio.”

Under ‘Scandalized’, “S-H-O-C-K” was written on Adela’s face as her jaw dropped. It took her a moment to process that she was going to be stuck with Reid- and wait, had Stahn said ‘bathe’ together?! Woah, woah. In the time it took for Adela to come back to reality, everyone else had already taken their pills. The Lieutenant’s brain reeled as her lip curled in disgust.

“WHAT?!” Came her shrill shriek that very closely resembled the ear-splitting sound of a banshee. Forgetting her paranoia about airships and storming over to Stahn to point at him accusingly, “ARE YOU TRYING TO MURDER ME?! THERE’S NO WAY-”

However, a white pill shot itself down Adela’s throat, Stahn’s excellent aim causing it to slide down her windpipe without much harm.

“THE HE-…hell.. are… you.... d-… doing….” And all went black.

Her uncomfortable nap was promptly interrupted by a blow to the head. Sitting up abruptly and grabbing for whatever had hit her to prevent another blow, Adela barked in her most disgruntled ‘you-are-so-dead’ voice:

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOIN-“ No. That wasn’t her most disgruntled ‘you-are-so-dead’ voice. That was… was…

“X-X-….XAVIAE?!?!” Adela’s voice, or more like, Xaviae’s voice, jumped an octave as Adela sat up in the hammock with incredible speed, turning it over and sending her face first into the ground.

’N-No…’ Xaviae’s real voice echoed to her, ’Er, th-that would be um…’

Jeckt’s laughter interrupted his sentence. Though Jeckt had a way with laughter, by the sound of it, it seemed as though Jeckt would never breathe again, as he’d already laughed so hard that no sound was coming out anymore. “Oh- my stomach!” He mouthed to Xaviae who sweatdropped with an extremely guilty expression on his face as Jeckt managed to take a breath and continue laughing at Adela’s misfortune. Looking down, Adela screamed again at the sight of tan skin, a white button-up shirt that was un-buttoned, and most of all- her sudden lack of womanly assets. If anyone had ever had a grudge against the Lieutenant, now was the moment to take a picture for endless blackmail. Grabbing the sides of her shirt and pulling it together over her chest, (even though there was nothing to cover up) Adela felt her face heat up as she proceeded to ignore everything else in the world.

“WHY DON’T YOU WEAR A SHIRT UNDERNEATH XAVIAE?!?!” Adela screamed, undoubtedly waking up anyone who’d had the luck to stay peacefully asleep.

’I’m sorry!!’ Xaviae insisted in a half-wailing, half-desperate voice, ’It was better than Jeckt’s idea!! And it’s weird for me too! You don’t know how weird it is to see… me… as… er… you-’

“I’d rather look like HIM than YOU!!” Adela retorted, gripping the messy locks of burnt orange hair in her bandaged fists, lamenting her new appearance.

’…WHAT?!’ Xaviae slammed his fist down on the grassy floor of the forest, ’My fashion sense is TEN TIMES better than Jeckt’s THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Are you implying that he’s better looking than me?!’

Adela wailed shaking her head curling up and letting one hand go of her hair and pounding it on the ground, “Nooooooo! I can’t beliiiieve this!! My hair! It’s ORANGE.”

’Your name is Bruno, by the way. Nice manly name. I picked it, you like?’ Jeckt asked though fits of laughter.

She let out another shriek of frustration that easily bested all the rest in terms of pitch, quality, and fury, “JECKT!!!”

’I’m kidding! Jesus Christ.’ Jeckt scoffed.

’Ming told us to pick a new name, so… that creepy freaky little boy that has all your mechanical memories told us to name you Armon. I think it’s too similar to Adela, but I guess me and Jeckt couldn’t think of a better name. It’s better than Bruno, right? … Adela?’

If Adela had had any reason not to speak to her faels for the past five years, she now had the best one ever.

----

“Oh calm down!” A false feminine voice came and Adela lifted her head to look at a silver haired girl, who was looking down her cobalt blue tank top, “It’s not so bad. But really Jazrelli, why didn’t you give me a better set of boobs? Honestly, can these even be considered boobs? I’m like a washboard! This sucks! Man, you can barely see ‘em! And this bra- it’s not lacy at all. Is this what they call a sports bra? Man. This is pathetic. I might as well be a guy.”

Indeed, the only feminine aspect to the girl balancing easily on the side of her hammock was her outfit, the tank top and an olive green cargo miniskirt. Upon her feet were a pair of black combat boots, her body contributing minimal curves, no butt and no chest. Her silver hair was short and choppy, just barely brushing her shoulders that deceived her flat build with their delicate appearance. Bright onyx eyes examining herself very carefully as she looped a strand of hair around her finger, girlishly kicking her legs and looking around at her surroundings as though nothing had happened. There was only one person who could be so content with become the opposite gender. Levi. No no, let’s not call her Levi anymore. As per Devitell’s suggestion, Levi’s new name was Gina. Gil for short. It was only accepted by Jazrelli because it wasn’t a “girly” name.

’I hate girls’ Jazrelli snapped, in his silver haired teen persona one leg thrown over the back of his couch, surrounded by the usual endless white expanse, ’So why would I make you look like one if I had any choice? Why’d you swallow that stupid pill anyway? I don’t want to be here. Let’s go home.’

“No can do Jazz,” Gil chirped with a smile, “I like it here actually. I guess the dude behind me is Flaire, right Jazz?”

’Tch.’ Jazrelli stuck his nose up in the air, ’Like I care. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t talk to girls. Consider me gone.’

“Awww!” Gil stucking out her lower lip in a pout, turning her usual voice into a nasally whine, “Jaaaazz! It’s not like I’m going to be a girl forever! You could at least let me enjoy it!”


’I love dress-up games!’ Hyacinth clapped her hands together, a smile coming to her usually blank face. The expression didn’t reach her emotionless eyes however, making her look almost malicious. And for Lazarus’ fate, it was most definitely malicious.

Long dark violet curls were spread around the young girl’s thin shoulders, her bangs swept aside to elegantly cover part of her left eye. Her attire was entirely black save for the red rose on her black silk choker, and the white lace lining her outfit. She wore a knee-length skirt, complete with two petticoats underneath for volume, and a form fitting halter top that defined every detail of her perfect, curvy body- one that might’ve belonged to a doll, rather than a human girl. A pair of two inch high ankle boots of black suede covered her feet, the thin laces criss-crossing over each other. It was one of those shoes that, if not properly broken in, would chafe like a nightmare. Upon her right wrist was a ribbon and rose, matching exactly to the choker on her neck, and black ribbon tied into a neat bow with curled ends held her heavy hair away from her ears. Hyacinth had affectionately named her Violette, though she was still on ends about the name with Orcha, who wanted ‘Viola’. Violette was ‘stupid’.

Violette stirred in her sleep, “Mmm…”

Her voice was high and sweet, feminine and refined.

’Oh my god. What just happened?’ Lazarus thought to himself, his eyes snapping open at once.

The first thing Lazarus noticed was that there was someone next to him, and he was pretty sure that he’d just been sleeping. The second thing he noticed was that his pants, were not on his legs. The third thing he noticed, he took note of with a flinch. Someone was screaming their head off- and by the sounds of it, was a guy. What the heck?

Trembling as he sat up he realized that he was in a hammock. Okay. Whew. It’d be harder for anything to happen in a hamm- NO, NOTHING HAPPENED. Lazarus’s eyes practically fell out of his eyes at the sight of what was causing his legs so much itchiness and discomfort. Skirt? He looked a little higher up. Halter top?

…. W-WOAH. B-BREASTS?!?

He yelled in surprise but it came out more like a scream. He knew why the guy was screaming now. Because the guy was probably a girl. So-… So… The person beside him…

Violette shrieked again, falling right out of the hammock at the sight of wyvern wings. Woah. A little too close there. He didn’t need to be THAT close to study the wings.

’My sweet Violette,’ Hyacinth cooed from inside Lazarus’ mind, ’Don’t get your petticoats dirty!’

“HYACINTH, WHAT- WHAT DID YOU DO?!”

’I TOLD her that leaves would’ve been better. Stupid lace and frills.’ Orcha scoffed.

’No,’ Lazarus thought, ’I really prefer lace over leaves…’

Scrambling to his feet, Lazarus took a breath and looked down again. AGH!!! His face was beet red by now. This cup size… was probably similar to Orcha’s…. ORCHA HAD THE BIGGEST BUST LAZARUS HAD EVER SEEN!! Perhaps a side effect of his new personality quirk, Lazarus was out like a light again, fainted upon the ground.

parallelzero
March 23rd, 2008, 06:48 PM
"Ngh... everyone quiet down... I want to finish my nap..." Flaire murmured from her hammock - which she now shared with 'Gina'. She wasn't awake enough to catch it yet, but her voice was much deeper than a female diaphram would ever permit. Realizing the rukus had yet to come to a hault, she finally sat herself up, rubbing her eyes, which were now emerald green, in a very feminine manner. When she was finished, she glanced blankly at the group standing in front of her. Who were they? She'd never seen the likes of any of them before... "Where... am I?" There was extra emphasis place on the 'am I' as she finally noticed what was wrong with her voice. "What the HELL!?" The eighteen year old male shouted after getting a look at his body. It really was a shock. He had gone through another age change, IN ADDITION to a gender change. That Stahn bastard... He brushed a piece of black hair out of his eyes, reuniting it with the rest of the shoulder length hair, before looking at his muscular body. His skin was slightly tan, and overall he would be the type of guy any girl would crush over. In fact, he would have gone out with himself if he wasn't a guy and going out with Reid anyways. He was wearing a white dress shirt that was unbuttoned, revealed a black t-shirt underneath, along with a simple pair of blue jeans and running shoes. "Okay, I demand an answer here!" She had already concluded that everyone else here had been aboard the ship... but which one was Reid? "Get used to it, Deon." Yule laughed from within Flaire's head. 'Deon' was about to rebuttle, but was interrupted.

"So I take it you're Flaire then?" An unconfident male voice spoke quietly from behind Deon, making his presence known to the whole group. The new guy was very feminine in appearance, definately moreso than 'Gil'. He had long, straight golden locks that fell halfway down his back, and big blue eyes that seemed like they belonged to a girl more than anyone. Even his skin had a girllike softness to it in appearance, and his body was a bid more curved than a normal guy, although it WAS a guy if you looked closely. He was dressed in a white shirt that was too small for him, showing off his smooth stomach, and a pair of tight black pants. "I WAS Ellianne, but I'm being told now my name is Christian."

"Wait, you can talk!? Ellianne! YOU CAN TALK!" Deon replied, completely shocked at what he was hearing. His long mute friend could talk again!

"Only because Alhouette chose for me to be able to speak. Without him..." He looked as if he was about to cry, adding to his overall feminine appearance.

"Don't cry, don't cry! My name is Deon, apparently, but I'm not exactly sure why I can accept it so easily..." He sweatdropped at this realization, before turning to laugh at Lazarus. "But DUDE, you are stacked! Oh my god, I couldn't stop laughing in my head at first glance. Judging by your reaction, you're that Lazarus guy, right? And you, little flat chest, you're Levi? And that leaves the other guy... the one who won't shut up, as Adela. Although the attitude gave it a way right a way." In away, he was insulting Adela. "But..." Her eyes wandered to glance at the final person who was awake. It was a girl, and to Deon she looked like she was straight out of one of those manga books Reid liked to read, "You're either Reid or Sven based on our circumstances, I suppose... But which one are you?"

Reid panicked, still completely lost as to what the heck was going on. This people... they claimed to be people he knew... but they were the wrong gender, and they didn't look anything like the people they claimed to be. "Wh... what are you-" He began to say, uncertain of how he was going to reply to such a question since he considered himself to be normal. But, he proved himself wrong when he got an earful of his own, high pitched female voice. This usually wouldn't be strange to him, but it was much different than the voice he heard when he used Mistral's form. This voice was different, this voice was his own, or rather her own. Not sure what to do next, Reid finally clued in on the problem with his hair. He pulled away some pale pink strands of hair out of his face. The rest of his hair was the same colour. It reached halfway down his back, and a portion in the back was separated by a navy blue butterfly clip so that a small layer in the center of the back overlapped the rest of the hair mass. He blinked, confused, his light blue eyes reflecting the dawn's light. She was pretty short, much shorter than she had been as a guy, and her body was thin and petite. In regards to curves, she didn't have a lot, but they were present, at least moreso than with Gil. She was only about an A-cup, as well. In regards to her outfit, whe wore a cute white blouse with an accompanying light, pale pink, pleated skirt. Around her neck was also tied a pale pink ribbon. She also wore white stockings that rose to just below her skirt, along with a pair of black penny loafers. "Mistral... you based my appearance off of something from a manga... didn't you?" Reid murmured irritably in his new voice after coming to terms with his situation. He looked like a preppy schoolgirl.

"I... uh... might have, Sanako... She replied nervously. Sanako? That's the name she gave him? Yup, definately inspired by a manga. Sanako spun around at the sound of laughing coming from behind him. He found himself looking at the two who had just woken, obviously Ailia and Sven. Ailia was laughing at Reid, and while Reid would usually yell, Sanako's brother was older than herself. It was true, Sanako appeared to only be about fifteen, while Ailia looked to be eighteen. She had kept her blonde hair that she inherited from her mother, but it was much shorter, revealing blue eyes that would have been green in her old form. The ex-girl was tall and lanky, towering over the timid looking girl who sat beside her. He didn't seem fit for fighting, however. But... Ailia didn't have faels, so how? Oh well, he'd ask her later. For some reason, she was dressed in the cloak Reid WOULD have been dressed in had he been in his old form.

"OH MY GOD! YOUR WINGS, SANAKO!" He continued to laugh, and point. It took words from the girl beside her to clarify what the boy meant.

"Reid... what Evan means... y-you have wings now. B-but... they aren't normal." She said shyly, and then tried to hide her face behind Ailia. Apparently, Sven was first to suffer the mental changes. Her hair was forest green, wavy, and fell down to her butt. Her bangs were long enough that they covered her eyes, which were brown underneath all of that hair. All she wore was a light green dress, that outlined her petite thirteen year old body. Even his wings had taken on a different form, turning brown in colour from their usual white.

"Darnit Ruri, you ruined my fun!" 'Evan' stepped in, his personality apparently yet to be unchanged by whatever the hell Stahn did.

Sanako blinked for a moment. Her wings? She didn't have wings... She struggled to glance back, and suddenly realized what was so funny about them. They weren't capable of flight, in fact they looked decorative. They were just... two tiny, black, bat like wings that gave her a devilish appearance. Mistral was going to pay someday. Sanako blushed as she jolther back away out of the view of most other people. That was just embarassing... "Don't worry, Sanako, I think you're cute!" Deon laughed, and Christian just observed.

"SO, HOW ARE YOU ALL LIKING YOUR NEW FORMS?! WAIT TILL YOUR PERSONALITIES KICK IN!" Stahn's voice boomed through a megaphone at the mansion before them. "I THINK YOU SHOULD ALL GET INVOLVED ROMANTICALLY WITH YOUR PARTNERS! IT'LL BE BETTER FOR YOUR TRAINING!" This was followed by a laugh.

"YOU SICK PERVERT, WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO US?! AND I'D NEVER FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE LIKE HIM!" She shot her finger in Armon's direction, and jolted her face away from him, face reddening slightly. Of course, Stahn couldn't hear here.

"That type of reaction..." Deon began.
"Could it be?" Christian continued.
"Sanako is a tsunderekko?" Evan finished, before snorting. Of course, chances were only those three knew what that meant, because Sanako just acted like she didn't hear it, since she didn't know what it meant.

Loki
March 23rd, 2008, 07:34 PM
"DON'T CALL ME ARMON-" Armon screeched in fury, still stuck in his original personality before his expression completely blanked out, yellow eyes dulling over for a split second. His hands loosened their grip on his hair, revealing that they'd caused the messy hair to become even more ruffled. Blinking, he looked around himself. Woah. That was weird. Standing up, Armon looked himself over, almost as if newly realizing that he was the wrong gender. However, judging by his expression, it looked as if he could care less. Yawning, Armon stretched. It was almost as if he hadn’t thrown a temper tantrum a few seconds earlier. He scratched his head, staring at Stahn out of the corner of his eye before turning to Sanako, hardly even noticing the totally shoujo look about her. He registered that this girl was once Reid.

"Sorry about that," Armon smiled serenely, “I guess I was kind of freaked out."

'There she goes!' Jeckt was having the time of his life, undoubtedly.

’You’re terrible….’ Xaviae sweatdropped, watching as the boy who was once Adela watched with light interest at Sanako freaking out over Stahn’s preposterous suggestion. The cheery smile’s quality changed instantly to a sly one, ’Adela is going to kill you…’

“Tch,” Armon scoffed, “You’re not going to fall in love with me? I thought Mistral liked Xaviae.” He ran a hand through his hair as though to make his point, “Aren’t you under Mistral’s control right now?” He laughed, and in his mind, wholly ignored, Xaviae was practically chewing his fingers off in anxiety.

’Ican’tbelieveshejustdidthat Ican’tbelieveshejustdidthat Ican’tbelieveshejustdidthat Ican’tbelieveshejustdidthat…” Xaviae repeated to himself over and over again, unable to imagine himself doing such an arrogant and self-important motion. Yet, he’d just seen it with his own eyes. Xaviae would certainly not last the remainder of the day. He was already on the verge of tears, because Armon was ruining his personality. Jeckt had refused to tell Xaviae what kind of new personality he’d given Adela, and he should’ve known. He lamented over the fact that he couldn’t think of a personality obstacle that was greater than her stubbornness towards being told what to do. As the mechanic she’d visited so frequently in her younger years would say, she was ‘back to normal’. The mischevious prankster who always had a smile on to hide her malicious intent. And that personality was wearing his appearance.

“Hey old man,” Armon looked over his shoulder with a smirk, jerking his thumb at Sanako, “Why’ll falling in love with that bubble gum bimbo help our training? I’m up for it, if it’ll really help all that much. I mean, might as well, right? It’s not like it’ll affect me any once this is over-”


“WOAH, VIOLETTE, YOU HAVE A KICK-ASS FIGURE. TRADE ME!”

Violette shrieked slapping Gil’s unabashed hands away from her chest, “Don’t touch me!” She cried shrilly, clapping her hands over her beet red cheeks, sparkling tears brimming in her purple eyes.

“Psh,” Gil shrugged waving her hand as though swatting away an annoying fly, “At least you have something to be touched. Look at this! I can’t even get a handful!” Gil frowned, trying it out.

“P-P-Pervert!! Lesbian!! Homosexual!!! Eeeekkkk!!!!” Violette slammed the heel of her palm into Gil’s chin, hiding behind the hammocks a good five yards away from Gil. Had Levi’s personality not kicked in yet? No. It had. Had it been Levi, he would’ve stared and drooled, not groped and examined. He at least had that much restrain. But being a girl as well, Gil could’ve cared less. Polar opposites, Gil was the type who would probably start changing in front of guy- she couldn’t care less. Violette was the type who wouldn’t even change in front of a girl. Tomboyish, stubborn, and spoiled, Gil immediately sat up and barked, “What was that for, you crazy witch!”

’I like this.’ Jazrelli smiled, pleased with himself as he sank back in his seat. He’d modeled Levi’s new personality around his own. The perfect personality, if he did say so himself. Ahh, he was such a nice person, giving his flawless personality to someone else without a second thought. How generous of him. Levi owed him one.

Violette’s jaw dropped ever so slightly, her arms protectively defending herself from another attack, “Excuse me?!” Feminine to a fault, Violette was the epitome of lady-like manners and tendencies. She stuck her nose in the air, “I refuse to associate myself with someone as barbaric as you.” Turning her back to Gil, she curtsied to everyone else, her expression changing instantly from insulted to sweet and cute, “I don’t believe I’m supposed to be here, so my apologies if I’m a burden. I’m not sure how I ended up here myself, so please inform me of any way I can make it up to you for being as kind as to take me along.”

parallelzero
March 23rd, 2008, 08:49 PM
"You’re not going to fall in love with me? I thought Mistral liked Xaviae. Aren’t you under Mistral’s control right now?"

Twitch, twitch. "DON'T MAKE IT SOUND LIKE I BELONG TO HER, YOU IDIOT! I DON'T HAVE TO LIKE YOU JUST BECAUSE MY FAEL DOES!" Mistral retreated from Sanako's consciousness at this point, having migrated over to Armon's to hide with Xavaie. The moment the training was over, and they regaining their proper forms, the faels were going to be screwed.

"You know, if I knew you two were going to make Adela like that, I wouldn't have made Sanako a tsundere person... What in god's name is that Stahn person thinking, doing something like this, anyways?" Mistral leaned in up close to Xavaie's face. "So, what do you think?" They were close enough for a kiss, but she playfully leaned away from him. "This is serious though. Sanako is being combative with Armon, which means there is a high possibility she finds herself somewhat attracted to him. That's the way a tsundere type character works, anyways. If she starts to seem less combative towards him over time, we're in trouble. Flaire is here too, she'll remember everything after. And once they snap out of it, and Adela finds out she may have been participating romantically with Reid in some way, shape or form, well... you know..." She brought her fingers to her throat and mimiced a cutting. "We've truly created hell..."

“Hey old man,” Armon looked over his shoulder with a smirk, jerking his thumb at Sanako, “Why’ll falling in love with that bubble gum bimbo help our training? I’m up for it, if it’ll really help all that much. I mean, might as well, right? It’s not like it’ll affect me any once this is over-”

Twitch, twitch, twitch, twitch. Mistral braced herself as Sanako began whipping anything she could find at Armon. Rocks, sticks, twigs... "BUBBLE GUM BIMBO!? YOU'RE MAKING FUN OF MY HAIR COLOUR NOW!? WHAT ARE YOU, FIVE YEARS OLD?! I LIKE MY HAIR THANK YOU VERY MUCH!" Mistral winced. She may have made Sanako out to be quite the feminine tsundere. Though... she hadn't touched her IQ at all, so why did she miss the bimbo insult? "AND DON'T SPEAK ABOUT LOVE SO CASUALLY! IT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN JUST THROW AWAY!" When she was done with her outburst, she turned her back to the boy and stormed off over to Violette and Gil, her face bright red. She needed the company of other girls now. That guy was just so... infuriating! "Can you believe the nerve of that guy!? he's so arrogant!" She was later joined by the shy, young Ruri.

"M-M-Mistral, guys, I'm scared..." Sae stuttered as she entered the realm of Xavaie and Jecht as well. Unlike most of the faels, who had chosen to age along with their reila, Sae had not. She still kept the form of a fifteen year old girl with long, dark blue hair and matching eyes. She wore a pair of white pajamas, for no apparent reason, which hung loosely on her petite body type. She was actually curvier than the thirteen year old Ruri.

Mistral answered quickly and bluntly. "We're ALL scared."

"Okay, everyone." Stahn said as he approached the group, eyeing everyone, and taking note of the most obvious mental changes. Even he got a chill down his spine by how messed up this all seemed. "When I said you'd be doing everything with your partner, I wasn't joking. You see, there are four hotsprings out here in the mountains..." Another chill, this time it was because of the glare he was receiving from Sanako. Was that... killing intent? "Each pair will be going to one of these hotsprings to bathe. You WILL bathe together, at the same time. If I catch you not, you will be removed from my course, and the antidote to the pill I had you take will not be administered, meaning you will NOT return to normal." The pressure from the killing intent increased tenfold. He had to wrap things up fast and get out of there! There was nothing worse than a ticked off girl, no matter how cute she looked. "ArmonandSanakohavethenorth,EvanandRurihavethesouth,ChristianandViolettehavetheeast,andDeonandGilhavethewest. HavefunandI'llseeyouinalittlewhileforyournextexcersize!" He shouted it all out in one blurb before turning around to take off, only to have an extremely sharp stick whizz by the left side of his head. He sweatdropped, and then turned around.

"What the hell will bathing together prove?" Sanako said with an extremely angry tone. "I won't be going there, not even if someone drags me. I'll stay in this form for the rest of my life if I have to, I AM NOT BATHING WITH THAT PERVERT."

"Pleasegodmakehertakethatbathe, pleasegodmakehertakethatbathe, pleasegodmakehertakethatbathe, pleasegodmakehertakethatbathe!" Mistral murmured rapidly, still with the other faels. Sure, it was probably partially because Sanako didn't want to bathe with a guy for ethical reasons, but... there was probably a chance she didn't want to show off her lack of a definitive figure more than anything. Mistral would know, it was the way she made her. At this point, she felt like a mad scientist seeing her creation go horribly, horribly wrong.

"One of the requirements of this training regimine is that you come to understand every aspect of your teammates. You were once a guy, he was once a girl, I don't see why you need to hide your body."

"HOW DO YOU NOT SEE WHY!? It's a thing of ethics!"

"If I believed in ethics, would I have placed you in such forms?" Sanako stuttered as she tried to create a rebuttle. Ouch, defeated. "Now, go take your bathe or else you really won't be going back to your old form, understand?" And with that, he was gone.

Sanako stormed off towards the north after momentarily troubling herself with the ribbon tied at her neck, which was becoming undone. Reid had been a slacker with no cares for little imperfections! Mistral had wanted to fix that... As she walked past Armon, she murmured, "If you lay so much as a finger on me, I'll kill you, you jerk..." Her cute little demon wings trailed behind her as she started to climb the path, making sure not to dirty her cute uniform. Mistral knew she really was good natured. The fact that she had just been thrown into a new form had left her more stressed than she should have been. Hopefully she'd cool down a bit after a bath in a hotspring...

Christian, in all his feminine glory, cautiously approached Violette, before extending a hand out towards her. "Shall we go then, it'd be my honour to lead you to our destination, Miss Violette." Wow, smooth talker.

"So, Miss Gil, would you rather walk, or would you rather I carry you to the hotspring?" Deon asked his partner politely. He had to admit, she wasn't the most feminine looking girl in the group, but a girl was a girl, and they all required the same sort of respect. "And ignore what everyone else thinks, I believe you look quite stunning."

---

"Oh good god, what have I created?" Stahn murmured after confining himself to the safety of his home. "Their personalities are a lot different than I anticipated..."

"Says the one who I turned into an eight year old crybaby~" Ming laughed as she appeared at his side. "I think it'll be okay, you just worry too much. You know your methods work, they do every time!"

"Yeah, but I've never had a student try to impale me with a stick..."

"True, very true..."

Loki
March 24th, 2008, 03:14 PM
Had it been the present-day Adela, the young woman would’ve already blown a million fuses, going off about how Sanako would have no right to lecture her about love in a shrill voice. However, Armon merely smiled at Sanako, dodging with reflexes that came with Xaviae’s body, “Well, if anyone here is five-years-old, judging by your appearance, I’d say you’re the closest bet really. And honestly, I’m the one who throws love away?” This was a great joke to Armon, who laughed, “Hahahaha! That’s rich kid, that’s rich. I’d say I have the right to talk about love any way I want, so don’t criticize me. And if you really care all that much about bathing with me, then just close your eyes. No need to make such a big scene! I personally prefer to see where I’m going, and it’s not like you’ve got much of anything to mention anyway. What are you so hyped up about?” He asked arrogantly, unraveling the bandages around his arms and bracing himself for more objects to be flung at him. Undoubtedly there would be another shower of nature’s good earth to be forecasted in the near future.

'I think Stahn is just trying to fix the mess a lot of our reila are in... I think.' Xaviae shrugged and sighed, depression hanging over his head like a rain cloud, 'And I think Adela isn't going to talk to us for another ten years if she figures out that Reid or... er... Sanako... was interested in her. She's going to tear her hair out over it, I know it.'

Xaviae's mind was brooding over his missed chance to swipe a kiss from Mistral- especially since Jeckt was winning 1-0 so far while everyone else was discussing the situation at hand. He hardly cared about the consequences with Adela now- it wasn't as though she could do anything more than yell and ignore them. Wait, what was he doing?! Now was not the time to be obsessing over something trivial like that. He glanced at Mistral, 'I'm more worried about you though. Reid is really different. I mean, after all, Jeckt's just amplifying what he would've done to Adela anyway- but wow. A shoujo manga girl... Wait. Bathing?'

Jeckt was practically choking, 'Ahh, this day is too funny. I'm going to die, I know it.'

A horrible realization dawned on Xaviae as he spun around, revealing to Jeckt his desperate and flustered face, 'YOU'RE going to die?!' Xaviae suddenly burst out, 'I don't know why I still listen to you!! Argh! I forgot that there was the bathing element- EVERYONE IS GOING TO SEE.... see... y'know...... EVERYTHING!! IT'S MY BODY!! I knew you were up to something when you said it would help with the training if she looked more like what she was trying to materilize.'

'By everyone,' Jeckt smirked, pointing his index finger at one of the faels standing beside Xaviae, 'Don't you mean Mistral'?] Ah, he did enjoy antagonizing the sweet couple, 'And why is it all plufael's here? I'm going to faint from the sheer good feeling going around you know. Ah well, it's good that we're such great friends Xaviae.'

'Aggghhh!' Xaviae groaned, his orange hair turning pure white as he slapped his forehead, sinking down to a squat as though he was trying to fall through the ground. His face turning completely red as he imagined the worst case scenario- which was pretty much what things were en route to, 'I hate you Jeckttttt!'

'I'm sure,' Jeckt replied coolly, still smirking, 'I'm sure. Because that's what friends are for, right?' He snickered ignoring the fact that in Xaviae's grief, he could easily break free from the chains that bound him to the tree. If he switched places with Xaviae, his entertainment would be over. Had it been Jeckt who was the plufael, and Xaviae the negafael, he would've never dug himself into this grave so easily. Well, it was true, that was simply the nature that made Xaviae the plufael, rather than the negafael. Ah, sometimes things were more entertaining from behind the scenes.




Gil regarded Deon with a raised eyebrow, not criticizing, but as though contemplating whether he was serious or not. Finally she shrugged and answered, “No that’s okay, I can walk. I’m not Violette.”

A vein pop appeared on the back of Violette’s head, her sweet expression that had been politely accepting Christian’s hand turning irritated and dark, the corner of her mouth twitching as though she dearly wanted to say something. Taking a deep breath however, she rubbed the place between her eyebrows to rid herself of any possible chance for wrinkles, “Thank you so much… Christian is it? I’m so glad that someone here has a semblance of good manners.” She didn’t need to look at the person she was referring to before she nearly got a flying kick to the head, squealing and ducking behind Christian at once, grasping his arm tightly in her arms as she peaked out from behind him indignantly at Gil, who had landed, sliding gracefully before straightening and pointing an accusing finger at the girl hiding behind her partner.

“I’VE GOT BETTER MANNERS THAN YOU COULD EVER WISH FOR, YOU COWARDLY BI-“ Gil spat on the ground with her last syllable, making a vulgar hand gesture at Violette and sticking her tongue out. Jazrelli burst out laughing, holding his thumb up in approval as Devitell peered at the scene from her black splotch in the corner of the room, sweatdropping. Female… huh…? She seemed more masculine in personality than Levi. Poor Master Jaquez… he’d be shamed even further. Jazrelli even kept his wings on his feet. Levi would be disappointed had he noticed that. He was probably too accustomed to them being there, and thus, had only first noticed that his figure wasn’t much to mention, “Come on Deon, I need to wash off the girly germs that these two are practically oozing from their pores.” She grumbled, stomping away.

Violette’s jaw dropped open at Gil’s attitude, forgetting all about how unladylike it was to do so. Not even the ladiest of ladies could prevent letting at least some piece of their aghast expression leak through. She pointed a trembling finger at Gil’s figure that was slowly growing smaller along with Deon, whom Gil had effectively grabbed the sleeve of, barking in a frustrated voice, “I’D RATHER BE A GUY WITH NO BOOBS THAN A GIRL WITH NO BOOBS, SO LET’S GO.”

A streak of red crossed the bridge of Violette’s nose, signaling how insulted she was before she mumbled to Christian, “We shouldn’t let Mr. Stahn think that we’re not going to take this bath… I don’t know how you can live with all this hair, it’s really heavy.”

parallelzero
March 24th, 2008, 05:22 PM
He's not worth it, he's not worth it, he's not worth it... Those were the only words going through Sanako's mind as she trekked up the dirt path that lead to the hot spring that they'd apparently be sharing. Her and HIM. Either way, she'd finally regained her calm after all of the shock from what was going on. It was weird, she knew she was Reid, but she couldn't act like him, and it didn't seem right to refer to herself by the name. She glanced over her shoulder casually from time to time, making sure there was enough distance between herself and Armon. Occassionally, when she found there was enough of a gap, she would stop to straighten her uniform. this included ironing out any wrinkles with her hands, or wiping off any specks of dirt that may have been present. Sometimes, she'd make eye contact with the boy while looking back, and reacted by sticking her nose up and looking ahead once more. But, she had hope. It was a hot spring, right? It was probably big, so she could get in before he saw anything, crouch down on the other side, turn her back to him, and wait for him to get out before sneaking out herself.

"If it makes you feel any better, Reid's body type is based off of my own from when I was that age-" Mistral stopped abruptly, before turning bright red. "CRAP! That means you'll basically be seeing my body too! No! No! She won't let him! That's right!" Now she was panicking much like Xaviae was. It was cute... in a way. "But wait a minute! That means Adela was making fun of my body type from back then! Is that what you thought, Xavaie!? Is it!?" Had Mistral finally cracked? Probably.

Eventually, after climbing numerous wooden steps, Sanako arrived at the top of a large hill that overlooked the mansion buried in the valley of trees below. There were four hills like this, and she could only imagine there was a hot spring on each one. Her focus returned to the one before her. So far, there was an open air hut leaning against some trees, with another pathway leading most likely towards the hotspring behind it. Sanako's eyes quickly locked onto something good. There were towels on a bench under the hut! Yes! She could just hide herself in that! As she ran nearer, her happy face turned to one close to tears. The towels were locked in glass container with a lock on it. A note was attached that read "The key is in the water. P.S. if you break this then you won't get changed back~" Sanako almost snapped. No, no. She had to keep calm... calm...

"Hey! Pervert! I'm going on ahead, okay!?" She called back, not particularly caring for his answer before she began to navigate the new dirt path behind the hut. After a short while, she finally came to the spring. "Wha... wha... WHAT IS THIS!?"

---

"So you did as I asked then, Mistro?" Stahn addressed his butler as he took a sip of tea.

"Yes sir, they should be finding out any moment now... but isn't this a little bit... rude?"

"Well, they have one month to accomplish something that would normally take up to a year to do. Some adjustments needed to be made."

---

The... the hot spring... nearly three quarters of it was sealed off by a fence, leaving only a small portion for actual use... "WHAT THE HELL!" No, no, calm. She only had a moment before Armon would catch up. She took a moment, struggling to get her clothes off before the male arrived. In the end, she ended up getting into the water with her white bra still on, only to take the wet object off and throw it with the rest of clothes on the side of the spring, which were neatly folded and arranged. She quickly made it to the farthest possible corner of the delightfully warm water basin - which was only like four metres from the edge. She cursed this water, it was far too clear. Even if she sat down normally, he'd be able to see everything. So, in the end, she decided to sit in the most shallow area possible so that she could lift her knees up, wrapping her hands around them. He'd see her naked from the back, but that was far better than from the front. Hopefully he'd be a quick bather, because she wanted to get out of there... Even so, she was shaking nervously, her wings in particular had a bad nervous twitch.

"We're all doooooomed." Mistral whined.

---

"Oi, Deon, keep your girl out of control!" Christian shouted as he threw out his hand in disgust.

Deon sweatdropped. His girl? It's not like they were dating. And... didn't Deon have someone else? Was it that Sanako girl? No... there was no chemistry there. Was he thinking of someone else maybe? Without getting a chance to dwell on it much longer, he suddenly found himself being dragged away by Gil, who seemed quite anxious to leave. Their journey wasn't particularly a long one. The spring was located much closer to the mansion than the one up north. Deon blankly looked at the glass case with the towels enclosed in it. "This guy... he's really persistant." It didn't take long after that for him to sweatdrop afterwards, as he got a good look at the enclosed hotspring. Did they really have share this tiny space? No, what if they broke the fence? He proceeded to do so, ever so slightly from outside of the water. As he peered in through the removed board. He sweatdropped again. The entire hotspring had been filled with rocks, other than the area meant for them. "Great, looks like we have to fit in that little space." He moaned, before turning to look at Gil.

---

"Shall we take flight, then?" Christian asked once more before shaking himself free of Violette's grasp. In another swift movement, he slipped his right hand into her left hand and locked it, before gracefully beginning to lead her away to their destination. "My hair?" Christian asked thoughtful. He supposed as a girl he had just been used to it, though it wasn't different enough now for him to make a good comparison. "I suppose when you live with it all your life, you just get used to it? You should take pride in your hair, it's a lovely shade. It compliments your eyes quite nicely." If Ellianne was still fully intact mentally she probably would have been saying all of these things to Sanako. She had ever so wanted to talk with Reid, to let him know about the real her. But, here she was, flirting with another girl. Well... I guess technically it isn't ANOTHER girl... you get the point. The two met the same shock the others did when the arrived. After breaking the fence slightly and realizing it was full of rocks behind it, Christian had no problem with removing his shirt, revealing his strangely feminine upper body. Of course, there was no bust, but he was just... well... slightly curved. "It appears we don't have much of a choice, Violette. Is there a way you'd prefer to do this? I don't want to offend you in any way."

Loki
March 24th, 2008, 06:25 PM
“Well, I’m so flat and skinny I won’t take up much space, so it shouldn’t be a tight fit.” Gil said, pulling her shirt over her head. She didn’t care about many things, such as the fact that Deon’s eyes were right on here, or that the hotspring was ridiculously small. She peeled her sports bra away from her chest to look down it, before giving a rueful sigh, “Man, this is so unfair!” She looked up at the hotspring for a moment before shrugging and tossing the garment away, undressing as she walked towards the water, “I don’t know if you’re the kind of person who really cares about this whole butt-naked thing, but I honestly don’t have any problems with it.” She dipped into the warm waters and stretched without a care in the world. If it counted, she was still wearing her dog tag…

’EW, GIRL PARTS, GIRL PARTS, GROSS!!!’ Jazrelli yelped, rolling over and blindly crawling under his couch.

“Oh shut up Jazrelli, you’re technically a girl anyway, what are you freaking out about? I bet your chest is bigger than mine even!” Gil snapped, sending spurts of water up into the air with bursts of Wionus every now and then to entertain herself, “Actually, I bet you don’t even remember what size you are!”

’I haven’t been a girl since you were THREE Levi. I don’t know, but MOST three-year-olds don’t really need bra’s.’ Jazrelli retorted irritably, picking at the dust bunnies that hung off the bottom of his couch. He hated this Stahn guy. What a useless training regimen. Jazrelli didn’t feel any stronger than before- in fact, he felt weaker! How was he supposed to fight if he possessed a weak flimsy girl’s body?! He couldn’t do it. Devitell probably could, he was constantly wearing all that lacy frilly icky stuff. Jazrelli was extremely displeased. And nothing good came out of a disappointed, spoiled brat. Only time would tell how long it would take for the plufael to throw a temper tantrum. The last time he’d thrown a temper tantrum? Well… the Everard Family had suffered the consequences.

“Hmm, I wonder if I have to use conditioner.” Gil wondered aloud, Levi being the type who merely washed his hair with some soap and was off on his way.

-----------------------

Head-over-heels, is what Violette would’ve been if she wasn’t still clinging to the idea that she was male- goddamnit. As such, she simply replied with a half smile and a thank you while Hyacinth fanned her ego, pointing out why her idea had so obviously succeeded better than Orcha’s would’ve. The two faels argued endlessly, both of them having too much affection for their Reila for their own good.

“Ahh…” Violette sweatdropped, glancing over the cramped hot springs with a wary gaze, “I don’t know if there is ‘another way’… Mr. Stahn is… really thorough. I just can’t look down. As long as I don’t look down, it’ll be okay! … I’m so dead.” She hung her head and consented with first figuring out how to remove a halter top. There was no tie in the back, nor the front. No, the problem wasn’t getting the halter top off. It was… facing what was underneath. Unbearable. Unbearable. Violete dragged her fingers down her face in grief, “There’s no way I can choose whether to take off the skirt or shirt first… they’re equally horrible….”

’Oh come on Viola-my-sweet-Lazus-gone-wrong, it’s not that bad!’ Orcha smirked, pointing at her own chest, ’You see half of it every day, you’re just getting 50% more of the show! Would it help if you thought of it as my body instead of yours?’

“NO!” Violette wailed in response, “THAT’S EVEN WORSE!”

Gathering herself, Violette straightened and took a deep breath. Okay. She just had to do it. Think of it as a new experience to add to the diary at home. Okay. Just don’t think about it. Okay. It would be hard, just pull the hem up…

“I CAN’T DO IT!!!” Violette pounded her fist on one of the fences, biting her lip she mumbled through her clamped lips, “Mo, I mave moo oo eet.” (No, I have to do it.)

“It’s not that I care about you seeing… You’ve seen it all anyway but… ARGH it’s bad enough being able to FEEL it but I don’t want to SEE IT!!” Violette was truly in over her head. Lazarus being the respectable young man he was, would prefer to keep this view from himself until the proper time- and quite frankly, now was NOT the proper time. Orcha’s earlier suggestion hadn’t helped AT ALL. He did NOT want to see what was under the leaves that did a poor job of covering up the essentials anyway. Violette thumped her head against the wall before finally summoning up the last of her courage. Closing her eyes she made the world record of peeling off her clothes and sliding into the water.

“I can just… grow some lily pads in the water!” Violette brightened, reaching over to grab the packet of seeds. Wait.

Good god.

It was too far away! Violette’s expression was crushed, as her hand, stretched out towards her discarded skirt fell limply on the ground. Was this punishment for something? Something in an earlier life, or something?

’Oh no!!’ Hyacinth wailed.

“What?!” Violette instantly sat up straight, shivering at the sudden cold piercing her shoulders and immediately sinking back into the water, folding her arms over her chest so at the very least, she couldn’t see much more than what Orcha usually offered anyway. Ugh. Very awkward feeling.

’YOU’RE CURLS ARE COMING UNDONE!!!’ She cried.

“…….”

-----------------------

Sitting down at the edge of the hotsprings, Armon sighed in annoyance as he pulled off his black overshirt- the one different she’d noticed in his appearance in reference to Xaviae, that his shirt was white. Dropping it carelessly on the floor without folding it, he folded his arms as though contemplating something serious. As promised, he glanced not even once at Sanako- like he’d said earlier, there was nothing to see.

“Why do you wear all these bandages Xaviae?” Armon asked looking very awkward as he tried to removed the bandages around his torso, “They’re useless!”

No response, as Xaviae was too busy with his own affairs to care about Armon’s critique of his fashion sense, ’No Mistral, that’s not what I think! I think you’re a very… At the risk of sounding like a pervert, I think your figure is perfect! Whatever Armon says is Jeckt’s opinion! I only did the appearance! I swear, ask him yourself!’

’Is that true? That’s your body from back then?’ Jeckt asked Mistral with great interest, ’I remember you had more to your figure than THAT five years ago. You at least would’ve filled in the shirt, if anything. I couldn’t really tell the lower half though, since you wore that sundress. Can’t really see much under that thing, you know? Anyway, you’re not giving yourself enough credit Mistral.’

’Okay I regret asking for your opinion, nobody wants to hear it anymore.’ Xavaie said quickly, waving his arm at Jeckt to tell him to shut up.

“Finally, it’s about time it came off.” Armon sighed, tossing the bandages aside. Unlike Sanako, and very much like Gil, he didn’t seem to care all that much about stripping for someone else. Strange, because even the old Adela’s personality would’ve merited much resistance and temper tantrums. Perhaps it was her mischievous side taking over, preferring to torture and antagonize Sanako over modesty, “Your boxers are really boring Xaviae.”

’PLEASE,’ Xaviae cried, squeezing his eyes shut as Armon plopped into the water, ’DON’T. COMMENT ON MY UNDERWEAR.’

“It is~” Armon teased, sitting down and leaning his elbows up on the side of the pool, “You could at least have it be orange, like your hair… usually is. Gray makes it look like you’ve overwashed them or something.”

’Trade me places Jeckt. Trade me places.’ Xaviae moaned, refusing to open his eyes.

’No way!’ Jeckt cackled with laughter, ’This is too funny! You can try to trade me places, but there’s no way I’m going to let you escape this humiliation. I’m stronger, better, and faster than you- think you can get me off this tree if I don’t want to leave it?’ Jeckt scoffed, tapping the chains, ’Good luck.’

“So Sanako, what’s your plan of action right now? You got in a lot faster than I thought you would, so you probably have an idea of how to get out unseen. Not that I can’t see everything right now.” Armon shrugged, completely uncaring, “I’m rather enjoying myself right now, it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten the chance to really relax, so I’ll probably be here for awhile, if that’ll help you think ahead of how you’re going to work around that. You’re unlucky you don’t use Dation like me, otherwise you could probably cover yourself up with Dation. I doubt Wionus’ll do much for you. Wation would’ve been convenient for you. Too bad that’s not your affinity.” What a horrible way to strike up a conversation with Sanako’s personality type.

parallelzero
March 24th, 2008, 07:09 PM
"Why do you care so much about how you look? I mean, speaking from experience, sure it's good to look nice, but when I think of my appearance, the first aspect of my body that pops into my head isn't my chest." Deon replied knowledgably, not making any effort to look away as Gil changed. It wasn't anything he hadn't seen before, anyways, so why was it a problem as long as she didn't care. He proceeded to remove his own clothing, not particularly caring if Gil saw his male unmentionables, although he didn't look himself. Gil was once a guy, she wouldn't care. Following this, he had no problems slinking his way into the hotspring. He, however, made no effort to distance himself from Gil, and sat fairly close to her. Sure, she didn't have a stellar figure, but there was something about her personality... "So, what do you think about the others? It's not like we're in different boats. I mean, the only person who got the long end of the boob stick was Violette, really..." He let out a sigh afterwards. "Though, something doesn't feel right, y'know? I feel like... there's someone I should be concerned about..."

---

Christian sweatdropped. Violette's main issue wasn't that she didn't want him to see her body, it was that she didn't want to see her own body. That was... kind of sad within itself. What was even more shocking was that she managed to undress and slip into the water before he finished a blink. It was... impressive. Though, he couldn't help but eye her body, It was nice, much better than the one he had as Ellianne. Deep down, Ellianne was jealous that a guy had a better figure than her. After he removed his own clothes, he slipped into the water himself, hoping Violette had not seen. He had absolutely no problem wading over to Violette, where he sat down right beside her. Their legs were practically touching! "It's weird..." He began abruptly. "I haven't been able to talk for so long, but here I am. I still have these infernal wings that make people hate me though." He referenced the pair of white wyvern wings on his back. "Though, some people find them interesting, it seems~" He ended his sentence with a positive infliction as he gave Violette a wide grin. He knew he had seen Lazarus looking at his wings when they were in their old forms. "Seriously though, I'm surprised by all of this, and I'm surprised everyone is taking it so well. Adel- er, Armon in particular. And Reid..." His eyes hit the water, not having forgot the feels he had for Reid when he was Ellianne.

---

Sanako stuck her mouth into the water and began to cutely blow bubbles as Armon made his way into the water. When she was absolutely sure he was in, she took a quick glance back. He was in the way of the exit. She was trapped. She almost lost it after overhearing Jeckt's comment about her figure through. Thankfully, she deterred herself by blowing bubbles again. Things took a greater turn for the worse, however, as Armon began to question her escape route. What would she do? Would he stay there just to annoy her? Wait... "Wh-wh-what do you mean you can see everything!?" She cried without shouting, or throwing anything. Really, there was nothing she could do in fear of revealing herself. "And... stop making fun of me, you're really mean you know..." Why was she beginning to feel really tired for some reason. Why? What was going on? She had been in the hotspring for a while now, but would that do anything to her? This was bad though, he had yet to move, and quite a bit of time had past. Eventually, the comment about her wionus being useless was brought up, and she took it as a personal attack. Without thinking, perhaps because of being tired, she grabbed a rock off the bottom of the spring, stood up, and spun around, revealing that in fact she wasn't as flat as her blouse made her seem. But as she was about to throw it, she murmured something incomprehensible and her whole body just gave way and she fell face (her face already had a red line across it from being exposed to the heat for too long) first into the water with a splash. She'd likely drown at that rate.

Loki
March 24th, 2008, 07:56 PM
Okay. So Armon was a butt head.

That was true enough. He nodded in agreement at her comment, with a satisfied expression of light contemplation. Yeah. He’d been pretty mean.

“Well, I’m not so much making fun of you as I am point out the bare fac- Woah there!” Armon cringed back at the rock she was preparing to throw. He wasn’t exactly a supple twig in water. But before she could throw the projectile, she did the one thing Armon had really hoped would not happen. Of course, he’d probably jinxed it. “Hey!” He cried in surprise when she hit water. Major crap. The first thing he did was fish her out by her arm, though that was most certainly not the first thing he ended up grabbing. Sweatdropping, he caught her arm on the second try, and pulled her from underneath the water. Okay good. She was still breathing. Because there was no way she would be getting any mouth-to-mouth crap from him. No sir. Whether she was different as hell or not, she was still Reid, and Armon was still Adela. No. Kissing. Of any possible kind.

His expression was far from worried however, in fact it was more exasperated, as though dealing with Sanako would soon become more of a chore than good fun. “I’d say the bath is pretty much over, in your case. Stahn shouldn’t have any complaints.” Armon rolled his eyes, pulling her into a sitting position in the hotspring at the very least while he got out to move over to the towels, fishing out the key with a strand of Dation and unlocking it. Hey, he was being pretty considerate, not just pulling her out and leaving her there. And he was pretty skilled, sitting her up like that all with one hand on her arm and arm only. There would be no risks for her being half-conscious and throwing more dangerous objects at him later. Besides, she was interrupting his bath.

“Here, you crazy girl.” Armon said, a towel wrapped around his waist as he pulled her out, draping a towel over her in the process, “You’re really weird. It’s not like I haven’t seen a girl’s body anyway. You didn’t have to pass out on me.” Sighing he plopped her down on the floor on top of his oversized shirt.

“I’m going to finish my bath.” He snapped, sitting back down in the water, “You better not do this next time. Xaviae, is that chivalrous enough for you?”

’If you weren’t naked in my body, yes, probably.’ Xaviae had since pulled the collar of his shirt over his white hair in complete, perfect, and flawless humiliation.

Jeckt snickered at the extreme entertainment he was getting out of this pointless training exercise, ’She acted faster than I thought she would. Wonder what she’ll do when she hears she got grope-‘

“You,” Armon said in a casual tone as he leaned back, forming a bucket out of Dation and pouring water over his head, “Are not telling her anything.” He shook his head and hair like a wet dog shaking off the water on it’s fur coat before peeling away the long orange strands away from his face.

’You’re still as bossy as ever.’ Jeckt scoffed.

“Your hair is a lot longer than I though it was Xaviae.” Armon commented, measuring an orange lock of hair with his finger, ignoring Jeckt to the fullest.


-----------------


Violette laughed a little reluctantly due to her current situation, but genuine nonetheless, “The Lieutenant is probably going to have a cow by the time this it all over! Her faels are really in for it. She seems pretty unaware of what’s going on.” Violette paused to think and listen for a moment, reminiscent of Lazarus’ tendency to come to complete stop in the middle of his sentences, “I think your wings are interesting! I don’t like not understanding things, and I don’t understand why people are so against Wyvern’s and Phoenix’s. I mean, really, they’re just a pair of wings. It could’ve been the other way around, my wings could’ve been the source of discrimination. Why are wyvern and phoenix wings so special? I’ve always wanted to know what makes them so different, so… hateful, I suppose?” Shaking her head, Violette continued her rambling, “I think Levi was originally pretty similar to Gil right now. I mean, I was on my way back to Gregar, and he suddenly just grabbed my collar and told me ‘We’re going to be late!’. And here I am. In all my suddenly-female glory.”

She slid down into the water so that her nose just barely hovered above the surface. Watching her long curls lose their shape as they floated around her, Violette sat up a little so she could speak, “But I guess I just care more about the differences between genders. The Lieutenant doesn’t seem like she cares at all, and Levi… well, we’ve already seen how much he’s enjoying this…. I don’t know Reid very well honestly, but now that he’s changed into this new crazy little girl, I think I can never relate to him.” Violette shifted her head left and right, watching the waves that her hair drew, “But it’s great that you can talk- before I didn’t understand anything you were trying to say. Makes it difficult to have a conversation!”

-----------------

“Hey,” Gil shrugged, “I’m supposed to be a healthy young male. It’s not that I care what I look like, I care what I can see. You know?” Laughing, Gil sent a particularly spectacular shot of water into the air and grinned, “I don’t like being a refined person. It’s more fun to do what you like and say what you want. That’s why I’m a criminal. Or at least, that’s why I was a criminal. They don’t judge you down there as much as they do on the flip side.”

Gil watched Deon lightly as he mentioned the missing aspect.

“I feel like I’m missing something between- alright alright, that’s a little too open.” Gil interrupted herself shaking her head with mirth as she continued to make herself a water show, “I wouldn’t know what you’re missing, but even though I like being a girl, I’m certainly not too keen on staying as one. I feel like I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time, and things just look and feel different. I think different, but I still think the same… girl persona, guy persona, it’s all there. And no matter how much I try, I can’t remember how to talk with my accent. Those are things that are missing for me. I’m not a complicated person, so I really don’t feel like I’m missing much. You Archai Squad people seem like a total enigma though. Couldn’t tell you what you’re missing, maybe just the usual faces changing so much makes you feel set apart or something.”

Gil paused. Someone?

"Hey, you're that Reid guy's girlfriend, aren't you? ...Er, usually... anyway... You don't mind that he's going to be spending the next few weeks with his ex-fiance? I mean, not that I mean to pry. Just, pointing out something that I'd be concerned about myself."

parallelzero
March 24th, 2008, 09:20 PM
"What we're supposed to be, huh?" Deon repeated, placing the same emphasis on the word that Gil had. "Then you're in denial. I can't speak on behalf of Stahn, and I can't pretend to see a method to his madness, but I think he wants us to submit to what we are now. It's most likely a test of some sort. Nonetheless, it looks like we'll probably be spending a month like this, so..." His eyes then met Gil's as she reminded him of Reid, of Sanako. It was true, he had been his girlfriend, but... "For some reason, those feelings aren't there anymore. When I think of Reid now, I think of Sanako and her personality instead of the person I've known for the past five years. I'm thinking maybe Stahn intended this, so I'll play along. It's still crazy weird though... However, if Sanako chooses to fool around with Armon, then I'll just have to fool around with you~" He grabbed onto Gil's arm suddenly, and rubbed up against her in a joking manner.

"I'm grateful though. I didn't expect you to be a very good listener at first. In fact, I've been thinking you disliked me since I met you... are you the type of person who dislikes what I am? I AM the princess you know. If you hate me for that, I can see if Stahn will allow a change." He didn't quite understand why he was telling this unmannered girl such a terrible secret - even though a guy calling himself a princess was kind of funny - but there was just something about her he felt he could trust. He got up abruptly, his the water covering his body reflecting the rays of the morning sun. To the east, however, it appeared rain clouds were approaching. "Well, shall we head back down? It looks like it's about to rain, and I'd rather beat the weather!"

---

"Well, to be quite honest, we do have longer lifespans than normal people..." Christian began. "Sanako knows it, Deon knows it, but most people aren't aware of it. Most people who do know use it as justification for calling us freaks, while those who don't pretend to know and just follow suite. And, because we live longer, we fetch a much higher price than Phoenix people. It's a sad and ridiculous history, and only greed is to blame. It's one of this world's sad truths..." His voice took a solemn tone, but still he managed to look at Violette and smile. "This is problematic, though. For some reason a girl seems to be more attractive to me than a guy, and strangely, it's you..." Christian's face turned bright red as her realized what he had just said. "I- I- I- mean! I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I'm not used to talking! It was a slip of the tongue!"

He hastily stood up and got out of the water, putting on his pants, before leaning over and extending a hand to Violette who was still in the water. "It looks like rain. We should probably go back now. If you're truly worried about seeing yourself naked, I can dress you. It's not like I haven't seen any of it before." After thinking for a moment to himself, he threw in another line. "Also, what you said about Sanako. I don't think she's crazy, I just don't think she knows how to deal with embarassment. I've had enough experiences with his fael to know she wouldn't have turned him into a psycho. She's most likely pretty feminine and kind when she isn't being embarassed by Armon. She probably needs some female friends to help her along. Obviously, I can't fulfill that role, but could I ask you to? I would be indebted to you."

---

"Kyuu... kyuu..." Sanako's breaths took a similar sound as she began to stir once more. She wearily opened her eyes, and found herself gazing over at Armon, who was once again in the water of the hotspring. She hadn't been completely conscious as he saved her from drowning, but she could remember bits and pieces of things that were said to her. She shivered briefly, which brought to her realization that she had a towel draped over her, hiding her important parts. She turned completely red for a moment, realizing that for him to have moved her out, he must have seen everything, but it faded after also realizing that he had the decency to cover her up. Had she been... misjudging him? "I've always been a burden to you, haven't I?" She said softly, barely audable as she struggled to stand. Her face was red not from embarassment, but most likely from a fever she had recieved as an after effect of staying in the water too long.

She refused to make eye contact with him, and so she had her head turned to face the hut. "Ever since the first day I met you, and I accidentally spilled your mom's coffee on you..." She didn't talk for yet another moment. Why was she getting so worked up? Reid wouldn't get worked up like this! "It's been that way forever, and when I ran away I decided I wouldn't be a burden to anyone anymore. I'd get stronger, that's what I told myself. But then I just became dependent on Flaire and Ellianne and began to drag them down." Was she having an epiphany of sorts? Could she say the things she couldn't say as Reid. Or... had the heat just gotten to her?

Wobbily, she got to her feet. Most likely, she was in no condition to be walking around at least until she had proper rest, yet she shakily made her way over to her clothes, accidentally dropping the towel along the way. She didn't have the energy to bother picking it up. The heat had claimed that energy. "When I met you again, I realized that all along I had been a greater burden to you than ever, and I didn't know what to do..." She struggled, but eventually managed to get both of her white undergarments on, but that was as far as she got before having to rest her petite body on a nearby rock.

"...Even now I'm a burden to you. Not once have I ever been able to compensate you for the pain and suffering I've caused you." She smiled meekly. "I'm a useless person. Even like this, I'm useless. You're strong, so I used to always look up to you. Me, I'm just a coward at heart. A coward who can only put on a brave face when the situation calls for it..." It began to rain. Sanako stared worriedly at her clothes. She was weak, she had a fever, and she could barely walk. How was she going to get dressed and make it back down. Moodswinging back in a Sanako-like personality, the thought of having him needing to dress her was unacceptable! This inspired a burst of energy, and she quickly assembled her clothing and put it on, making sure everything was perfect. Unfortunately, however, she ended up paying the price of wearing a white blouse with a white bra, and was forced to cover her chest. "Anyways, I feel so much better, no thanks to you, who caused it in the first place!" She was still obviously ill, as she had a red streak across her nose that indicated her fever, and she struggled to keep her body from shaking. "And just because you've seen it before, doesn't mean it's going to make me feel okay showing you my body, pervert. I'm shy about showing it off, unlike you, so you better learn to respect that."

"You guys are so dead if I tell her just how disrespectful he was." Mistral, still having been in Armon's consciousness the entire time, watching. She was obviously referencing the feel Armon had gotten in while bailing her out of the water. "Though if your reila was smart, he'd pick up on the fact that she's acting fine when she isn't. Let's just see how this turns out." Mistral was surprisingly smug. She had something to hold over their heads now~

Loki
March 25th, 2008, 02:47 PM
Armon sighed, lending the obviously delusional girl an ear as he formed an umbrella of Dation over his head, peering at the droplets of rain breaking the smooth glossy surface of the water. His back was turned to her, because after that scenario, there was no way he wanted to see her butt naked ever again. His expression changed with every mention that Sanako made. Rolling his eyes when she mentioned the coffee incident. Letting himself agree wholly with the burden fact. It was true. It was very true. He remembered fully the number of times Adela had let herself get saved by Reid, but failed to point that out as he stood, drying himself off without caring much about Sanako's prescence. Sitting under the roof of the hut, he dressed himself from the waist down, balled the bandages that were supposed to go around his torso into a messy lump, and stuffed it in his pocket. He was too lazy to put it on right now. Back-tracking to Sanako's very first comment as he wrapped bandages around his forearms as though it were habit, he said without much grace or sympathy, "Yeah, you are a burden."

Blunt. He didn’t care if Mistral told Sanako what he did. Why should he? The truth was the truth. He bit one side of the bandage and knotted it with his free hand before continuing, “You’re a burden, but you’re not useless. And let me get this straight,” He shook out the next set of bandages and started on his other arm, “I’m telling you this because your soft side creeps me out, and you better not expect me to praise you when your mind isn’t melted jello. You’re a burden on me but you’ve already made Flazure a country. Your connections made it so, so in that instance, you’re not useless. You think you’re useless because you can’t do big things like Rosaline and make a country a country. You can only ask. You think you’re useless because you can’t give the order to have soldiers stationed in Flazure to protect the people you made free. Instead you have to ask Prince Ryan to tell me to give the order. But I don’t think the graciousness of royalty extends to the far reaches of Phoenix and Wyvern people without your influence, because by ordering that race to be freed, they’ve destroyed families of great wealth and influence that specialized in the trade. You stop here and you’ve not only destroyed the people you tried to save, but the people who suffered for it have suffered for no reason. not to mention my squads stationed in Flazure that’ll probably be obliterated by NEAR if they ever got the chance. Rosaline and Ryan aren’t in the picture anymore. You were the only outsider at the start; and you’re the only outsider in the end. Sorry Rei- Sanako, I’m not here for you, her, or the mute girl. I’m not going to tell you you’re not a coward, because a coward is just someone who does what he’s told.”

Armon scoffed, standing up and throwing on his overcoat, “And that’s why I do what I’m told, even when I don’t like it. Because I’ve decided to be a coward and do what other people think is right. If I wasn’t a coward, I wouldn’t be here. I’d have told Rosaline no, whether I lost my post or not.” His heavy words came while he was doing something as trivial as rubbing the towel over his head, and pulling it off, revealed a bored and indifferent face, “I’m going to be frank and tell you that I hate the way you’re acting right now. This is all for you Archai Squad people after all. Fine, it’s apart of your personality. Fine, you don’t like showing me your body- It’s not like I was trying to look at it anyway. If you think you’re a coward, than sit around here and be a coward to Stahn. I plan on getting stronger than Stahn so I can get out of here and do things the way I want to, rather than getting jerked around by royals. Once we’re out of here, I’ll stick around only because whenever you get like this,” Armon pinched Sanako’s cheeks between his fingers sharply without mercy, “You really do become useless. And that princess girl should spend more time learning about being a princess than giving Mr. Freedom-Fighter a cheesy pep talk.”

Stepping back and squatting down to let her hitch a ride on his back, he sighed, holding his arms out behind him, “Get on, we’re going back and letting Stahn have a piece of our minds about this whole bathing business. I’m not going to save you if you’re stubborn about this stupid ordeal next time, I promise.” He suddenly turned, “Oh wait.” A tendril of Dation formed an umbrella, “You’re carrying the umbrella, because I don’t have three arms.”

’Somehow, that wasn’t as sweet as I’d envisioned it.’ Jeckt sighed hanging his head in disappointment.

Xaviae sighed, falling back onto the grass with a look of extreme relief on his face- Armon was once again, fully dressed. Thank god. His hair was still completely white from nervousness though, ’Mistral, don’t make it worse.’ He pleaded, putting a hand over his eyes and dragging it down his face, ’I think we have enough blackmail against me already.’

’I’ll say!’ Jeckt snorted earning a pebble to the head.

-------------------------

“Longer lifespans?” Violette said, greatly interested and completely forgetting about her situation. She kept herself toned down only because it was the ladylike way to do things. If it had been Lazarus, he would’ve already shot off with thousands of questions, “Really? I have to make a note of that. That’s really interesting… Ah! No no, that’s okay! I mean…” Violette sighed, looking up and away from her chest, “I’m sure if I was still a guy, I’d be at least a little interested… though I’m more interested as to how one gets to this size. Perhaps it’s the nutrition mixed with genetics? Surely it can’t possibly be just one or the other, I mean, that would be a stretch-”

She sploshed out of the bath in this way, mumbling to herself about what nutrition could cause this highly unnatural (in Lazarus’ opinion anyway,) phenomenon.

“No, I dress myself, thank you for the offer though.” Violette replied, somewhat distracted by her idea’s and theories, “Hyacinth didn’t make the halter top too complicated… perhaps one would have to become extremely thin after being morbidly obsese….? No. That’s somewhat scary.”

Violette craned her neck around as she itched her leg from the stupid petticoats, “Oh? Sanako? Well, she seems better than Gil.” Violette pondered, “I’ll try my best, but I can’t dodge flying objects in this outfit as well as I used to!” Laughing, she slid her feet into her boots and picked a seed off the ground, peering up at the rain.

She held the seed out on her flat palm and caught the stem of the giant leaf that had popped out from the seed, holding it over her head and pointing at it with her free hand, “Isn’t this the cutest umbrella you’ve ever seen?”

’It doesn’t match your outfit….’ Hyacinth grieved, ’You have to curl your hair again when you get back… straight hair doesn’t look good with this outfit Lazarus…’

“You’re finally calling me Lazarus, huh…” Violette sweatdropped, knowing her faels wouldn’t be able to get over the fact that their dearest Reila was displeased with them.

-----------------------------------------------

Gil hardly had any time to react to Deon grabbing onto her arm, because Jazrelli reacted for her first. He popped from his teen form into a little boy who crawled out from under the couch, still hiding behind it like a shield.

’GIRL GERMS, GIRL GERMS!’ He shrieked, sending the white room into an earthquake that made Gil’s head reel, ’GET AWAY, AWAY!! OI, WHATEVER YOUR NAME IS,’ He yelled over at Deon’s fael, ’CONTROL YOUR REILA!! I’M INFECTED!! I’M GOING TO DIIIIIIIE-‘

“What are you talking about Jazz?” Gil swayed back and forth, trying to catch her bearings again while she saw stars flying around her head from the sudden explosion of paranoia from Jazrelli, “Deon’s a guy-“

“WHO WAS ORIGINALLY A GIRL!!” Jazrelli interrupted desperately, holding his arm out, “LOOK, I’M MELTING!!”

Gil ignored her fael, who was obviously just using his transformation abilities to try and prove his point. She fished out the key to the towels and unlocked the compartment, tossing one to Deon before wrapping herself in one the way a child would, around the shoulders rather than around the torso. There was no reason to point out any further that she had no chest to hold the towel up in place anyway. Besides, she didn’t know how those other girls managed to do it. Rummaging around the pile of clothes, she fished out her undergarments and spoke in response to Deon’s comments, “I don’t remember from before, because it was probably really complicated, but I don’t dislike you now. I’m probably not a good listener, I just didn’t have anything to say!” She laughed, pulling on her skirt before her shirt because it required less bending over if she could just stand up and pull her skirt on at the same time, “Jaz, you should know. Want to enlighten us?”

’No.’ Came Jazrelli’s stubborn response, ’I’m not talking to a guy who was originally a girl and a girl who was originally a guy.’

“You’re a guy who was originally a girl.” Gil pointed out, waggling her finger at Jazrelli for being a hypocrite.

’SO?! IT’S NOT LIKE I TALK TO MYSELF. BESIDES, YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO MESS AROUND WITH A GUY WHO ALREADY HAS A GIRL… BOY… WHATEVER FRIEND!!’

“Last one back to the mansion smells like rotten fish!” Gil cried, the minute she finished lacing her boots, bolting out of the hut and straight into the rain without hesitation even though she’d just taken a bath.

’DON’T ASK FOR MY OPINION IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO LISTE-… Fine. Fine then. I’ll just be here. You know. Here. Anytime you need someone to make fun of. I’m available. You got a few freebies, but I charge a $50 per jab at my pride rate you know.’ Jazrelli grumbled, sitting down on the couch and folding his arms in frustration.

parallelzero
March 26th, 2008, 02:55 AM
So that was, deep down, how Adela thought? What she thought of Reid? Sanako couldn't help but agree with the truths Armon pointed out. Her whole purpose for the past five years was to act as Kayle's puppet so that he could create Flazure. Why had she - had Reid, been okay with that? Flaire and Ellianne too - were they using him? Had he been wrong to leave all along? "You're wrong though. You can't be doing this for the 'Archai Squad people'. That squad only existed because of Carn's support. Something we don't have any more. This whole world is going to hell, and I can't help but feel that if I had just left well enough alone and butted out of the phoenix and wyvern thing, this could all have been avoided..."

She dropped silent for a moment as she positioned herself on Armon's back. She had been a bit shocked that he offered at first, and almost considered declining. Her body, however, nudged her that it was probably smartest to accept the offer. And there she was, her body against his. She rested her feverish cheek on the back of his neck, before quietly whispering into his ear the rest of her reply to his speel about how bad of a person she was. She didn't even care that he had said all that he did. She had known it all along. "For now... my goal isn't to get stronger than Stahn. Now, I just want to get stronger than you so I can stop being your burden and so that you can see that I'm capable on my own too!" He had inspired her. In his own weird, little way, he had inspired Sanako Davies.

The devil winged girl suddenly came to a realization. Despite the fact that she was shielded by an umbrella now, the fact that her clothes had already become substancially soaked remained, and as those wet clothes began to cool, she began to feel increasingly cold. After shivering a multitude of times, she buried her face into Armon's back as she held on tighter, trying to use his body heat as a source for the heat she lacked. "You're so warm..." She said quietly, before she fell asleep. Miraculously, she was still holding the umbrella upright, even while asleep.

"I'm so confused..." Mistral sighed to nobody in particular, although she was audiable to Jeckt and Xavaie. "I can't even tell if these two are mismatched or not... Ugh." What? It bothered her! She liked to know what was going on with her reila romantically, at least.

---

"Well, I highly doubt you'll have to dodge objects from her..." Christian sweatdropped. Violette was far too polite and ladylike to most likely inspire any violence from anyone other than Gil. "I'd be more concerned about what Stahn has planned for us all. I mean, I'll bite that these are his actual training methods, as strange as they may be. But, this also seems like a way for Stahn to keep himself from getting bored. I stirred briefly when we knocked out and transferred here, and I'm pretty sure I overheard him say something about 'editing their pills later'. That didn't have any significant meaning to me at the time, but now... I wonder what it would mean for us. Because, really, we're just his playthings right now." He raised a valid point. This did seem to be a game to Stahn, and they were all wrapped around his finger. Perhaps he was mad, but it didn't matter. Christian didn't really care as long as he was trained properly. Distracted by this thought, the boy began to walk alongside Violette without paying any mind to the rain. Even though it was raining, the boy was completely dry as it all seemed to hit an invisible shield surrounding his body. Being a wation user, such things were doable. "Editing pills though... I wonder if that means we'd get different forms, if on temporarily? Ah well, best not to dwell on it, and most likely best not to tell the others about it. Knowing them, they might become even more cautious than they most likely are already! That wouldn't be good!"

---

"Would you grow up?" Yule sweatdropped over in Deon's consciousness in response to Jazrelli. "Stop being a hypocrite, as well. Even I can tell that you're female deep down, and this is the first time I've met you." He was... none too impressed with Gil's fael, that was for sure.

Before Deon had a chance to say anything else, Gil had already taken off for the mansion. Not seeing any other choice in the matter, Deon took off after him. It was a wonderful feeling, running in that form. There wasn't the same er... resistance found on the male body that there was on the female one, so it was much easier to run.

With a mental link to Gil still established so that she could hear it as well, Yule had something he needed to bring up with his reila. "As much as I hate to say it, I'm going to have to agree with that ridiculous fael on one point, Flaire. Don't forget about Reid." It was a hard thing for him to say. After all, even as Flaire, she had doubts about being with Reid romantically often. He was afraid that if she had such a golden window of opportunity, she might take the advantage of being involved romantically with someone else. In this case, he was afraid it might be Gil.

"What happens, happens. Don't be such a worrywart, Yule." Yule sweatdropped. Why had he given Deon a carefree personality, again?

Loki
March 26th, 2008, 03:35 PM
She admired him. Armon stared straight at the ground with a blank look. As a guy, he honestly told himself; yes, I understand, and I wouldn’t contradict her for admiring me. But when he thought of who and what he really was, as distant a memory it seemed, he shrunk, almost in shame, that anyone could admire someone like that. Someone who had hardened her heart, promised herself to never trust again, and yet, had willingly put her trust in Reid’s ability to set things right in Flazure. Armon hated people who broke their promises. If they couldn’t keep their own promises, then they could never be relied upon. Armon turned his head and eyes just enough so that he could see the tips of Sanako’s bubblegum pink hair. He looked away. What strength? The strength from wallowing in trying to rise above and beyond where Adela had fallen from with endless hours of training and simulations, really just an illusion to chase away the self-pity? The endless night’s watching the gleam of a mahstion gun and wondering how Rod had put himself in the control of someone else, let himself be controlled enough to point the gun at a friend and pull the trigger. It hadn’t been Rod’s strength. But she’d desired that ability to be so unfeeling and cold.

Was that to be admired?

“Mistral!” He barked his face turning irritated again, a few minutes after her comment as he sloshed through the rain, “You don’t have to know, because we are mismatched. We’ve been mismatched since the very beginning, and even if we were a good couple- which we’re not, it’s not going to happen.”

’That was a fast decision.’ Xaviae commented, to receive no response.

It was a fast decision. But by the dark look on Armon’s face, it was most certainly a decision that he regretted before even making it. Right now, he was in a turmoil. Right now, it had been no lie that it wasn’t happening, because he didn’t like Sanako. Bottom line. Her personality clashed with his, and it frustrated him. But even if by some god-forsaken chance that he did come to love her, then he wouldn’t allow it to happen. Inside, he was still the one that had gotten dumped without a word. He was still the one who had waited for someone he’d loved while that person started to get to know and love someone else. He was still the bitter one. And now was no different than ever. This was only temporary. What would he do when this was all over? What would he say to Sanako’s real identity? ‘Sorry, but I wasn’t really me, so it doesn’t count’? What he’d said earlier was a direct contradiction to his true opinion. Falling in love was something that Armon would have to put up all the old precautions all over again. Focus on training- the real training, not this bull that Stahn was thinking up for his own amusement.

“Warm, huh?” Armon scoffed, standing still for a moment, knowing that by the lack of speech from Sanako that she was fast asleep. He laughed, though it was a very distant chuckle, “I don’t feel warm at all…” He started walking again, “Hey, you better not remember any of this when you wake up.”

’Hey, as funny as this is,’ Jeckt rolled his eyes, ’If I think Adela’s going to get even more screwed up after this, then you’ll pay the price.’

Xaviae glared at Jeckt, standing up from his spot and retorting, ’We’re not going to talk about this right now.’

A smile played on Jeckt’s thin lips, but a sneer replaced it. Fine, if the King of the Forest said so. There wasn’t anything that wasn’t already known to be said anyway.

-------------------------------

’Oh yeah, you can tell I’m a girl.’ Jazrelli said sarcastically, stretching out on the couch with an annoyed glare at the ceiling, ’I’m impressed, considering Levi’s said it like, five times now. You’ve got serious deduction skills.’ Phoenix faels. He stuck his nose in the air, ’I don’t have anything to say to your kind.’

“Jazrelli!” Gil scolded while listening to Yule talk with Deon about Reid and such, and suddenly, a blurry memory flashed in her mind when Deon replied to Yule’s warning. Stopping in her tracks entirely, not even paying attention to the rain, her eyes widened as she held up a hand to stop Deon.

The silver haired girl raised an eyebrow, “Woah. Red flag. I’m sensing something no bueno…” She glanced at Deon and grinned, deciding not to think about it, “Like the fact that you’re going to lose!” She bolted again and Jazrelli slapped his forehead. Something had to be done before Levi got back. If Levi ever found out that he’d had anything more than a conversation with a phoenix or wyvern member, he’d surely melt as Jazrelli had been pretending to do so earlier. He shot Devitell a threatening look, and the negafael shrunk back into her corner again, guilt written all over her forehead. She’d done more help than harm by bringing that memory of the infinite cages in the Jaquez basement back to Gil’s awareness, even if it had been blurred by the pill. Jazrelli wasn’t about to get stuck in this form forever if Gil refused to work well with Deon.

parallelzero
March 26th, 2008, 04:29 PM
They landed in Alta. How convenient. And they checked all four of the skills and Ashton into a hotel for nearly a week. Even more convenient. Obviously, there was something going on with the higher ups that required him to not be around for a week. That probably wasn't a good sign. Things had gone far already, almost too far in Ashton's opinion. He never had believed in the slaughter and enslavement of people, no matter how different they are. He was only in this bloody Gregar military because of the events that lead Auricia to become attached to him. It wasn't that Auricia was troublesome or anything, he was quite fond of her. It was just, it's her fault that he was involved in this whole ordeal. Although, this suited his fancy. He'd be able to gather information behind the military's back. Not to mention...

"Okay, since we've got nothing better to do for a week..." Ashton began. He stood before all of the skill in a conference room the hotel leased him. It wasn't particularly fancy. Just a large, carpeted room with a large round table in the middle, really. "I figured we'd get some training in. My sensei heard we were nearby and invited us, although he said if we want to use his facilities, then we'll need to assist him in aiding with the training of some of his other students. Is everyone all right with that?"

"It's fine with me..." Tsukasa was the first reply as he rose, his rag of an outfit shuffling as he did so. "I guess it will give us an opportunity to discuss that matter with Master Stahn as well." Out of all the skills, Auricia and Tsukasa were the only ones aware of Stahn. Auricia's reply was simply stated with a nod as she looked up at Ashton from her seat at the table. Having no need for her battle outfit anymore, the girl was now decorated in a pair of tight jeans and an equally tight violet tanktop that outlined her seventeen year old curves. She wasn't particularly lacking in those or bust size, but she wasn't overcompensating either. She had a pair of dark purple butterfly earrings on as well. They were fitting, for she had purple butterfly wings of her own. Having his response, Ashton looked to Dieter and Rasch. Dieter was the one he really needed to come along, however. Stahn specifically requested Auricia and Dieter, after all.

"HAHA! I wonder if he'll put you in THAT form again!" Seritii, Ashton's plufael laughed. Ah, the fond memories of training. No, not really fond. That man made sure that training with him was a different kind of hell...

---

It wasn't until they arrived at the courtyard before the mansion that Sanako actually woke up again and slid off of Armon's back without a word. Even Mistral had gone completely silent after hearing what the boy had to say on the way back. She didn't thank the boy. In fact, she didn't say a thing to him. She was too distracted by the arrival of Deon and Gil. Her heart sank. He looked like he was having fun with her. Her heart sank even deeper into the pit as Yule appeared to have a word with Mistral, alone. Even Yule, the fael who always seemed to keep his cool, was distressed. She didn't know how or why it happened, but she suddenly found herself face to face with Deon. "Listen, Sana- Reid. I think we should stop seeing each other... I mean, not like, not physically seeing each, but we should stop being involved romantically. I told Yule to "

Sanako blinked for a moment, assuming it wasn't really Flaire speaking and it was just Deon's doing. But... Mistral deterred that thought by repeating just what Yule had said. This was a decision Flaire had been considering for a while. The entire thing was genuinely Flaire's idea, and she couldn't keep on going romantically. Had she really been playing him all along? Sanako didn't even bother giving Deon a reply right away, and swiftly punched him in the fact, before turning away and looking at the ground, fighting her tears. "Bastard... YOU COULD HAVE AT LEAST TOLD ME THE REASONS DIRECTLY!" She clenched her fists and walked back to Armon's side. She didn't speak a word. He didn't need to know. It was none of his business. Although, after all her fighting, she still managed to shed a few tears that were covered up by the rain.

Eventually, Christian and Violette arrived in the courtyard too. The rain had finally subsided just as the whole group was suddenly greeted by Stahn, who came out of the front doors of the mansion with a completely serious look on his face. The already upset Sanako could already tell. Something bad had happened. "As you may have noticed, Sven and Ailia are missing from this group." He began, his voice solemn. "Something happened back in Carn, so I sent them to investigate." Carn. Dammit, dammit, please no. "It pains me to say, but Princess Rosaline Dian was found dead only a few hours after arriving back in her country. She was murdered, it seems." The reactions from Deon and Christian were typical. Deon looked down and away from Sanako in particular as he clenched his fists, while Christian seemed completely taken aback, almost tripping and falling on Violette.

Broken. That one word could describe Reid at that very moment. Reid or Sanako, it didn't matter who he was at that moment. He was broken. And thus, she ran. She ran without looking back, like a coward. That girl Reid had saved five years ago, who didn't know anything at first. That girl who he had helped and recieved help from all these years... She was dead! DAMMIT SHE WAS DEAD. After running for a few moments, she tripped, landing on her stomach in the mud. But she didn't get up. What point was there in getting up, or going back to the bastard who dumped her or the boy who seemed to hate her? Rosaline was dead, and all she wanted to do was cry.

Back with the others, even Stahn seemed to be a little moved by this death. The world was turning chaotic. The thoughts on the minds of most now were: was someone pulling the strings?

Loki
March 26th, 2008, 06:09 PM
"Teacher?" Dieter backflipped onto the table, catching his left hand on the surface before reeling his legs in and landing on it in a cross legged position. He loved doing these things, because it proved to him that he was a skill, it proved that he was just plain better than other people. He pulled his sunglasses off and stuck them back into his ruby hair across his forehead, raising an eyebrow as he watched Ashton carefully with his neon orange eye, the pupil as small as the head of your standard nail. It gave him a constantly angry glare, even though his expression showed that he was quite content, a calm smile on his face. His personality at the moment was considerably more laid-back than usual- enough so that he wasn’t even throwing a temper tantrum at the sign outside of the hall that said ‘no smoking’. However, he was chewing caffeinated gum along with the usual bottle of soda in his hands. "Well, if he asked for me specifically, I don't see why not! I don’t know why he’d want me and Auricia though, it’s kind of like, we’re polar opposites, yeah? Well actually, I changed my mind, I’ll only do it if Rasch does it. Hey old man, are you coming too? The more the merrier and it’ll be better to have a few Lionus user’s around in case someone gets hurt, you know? Don’t you agree?”

Rasch had not been so gracious as to give Dieter his attention this time around, as he was soaking in the plain simple room. It was a nice room. Rasch liked it very much.

“Old man!” If Rasch did such ungraceful things, he would’ve sighed, but instead he stepped back to Dieter’s side and gave him a light ‘thwack’ on the head with his black raven-head handled cane. Dieter sighed and settled in, waiting for Rasch to finish examining the room. As he finally stepped away from the walls, Rasch turned to Ashton and raised a steady hand that looked more aged than his face, drawing his answer with a long bony white finger.

’I have no objections.’ His finger drew the letters as fast as he’d have said them- an advantage to the skill who had chosen not to speak with lower life-forms and passed this silence as the psychological defect that came with his species. He was fully aware of what his psychological defect truly was, but it was such an oddity that nobody else even thought of it, except for the scientists who had witnessed it first hand.

“Great!” Dieter pumped his fist into the air excitedly, his sunglasses falling back into place as he did so, “Are we headed there now? Now? Today? Tomorrow?”

Rasch stroked his beard quietly, observing the lighting system while he wondered to himself what the training would entail. And how, exactly, four killing machines would help with it. Rasch sweatdropped. No. More like, he was wondering why he and Tsukasa weren’t favored over Auricia and Dieter. What could Lieutenant Tappen’s old teacher possibly need with a pacifist and a sadist?

-----------------------------------------

Armon’s satisfaction at seeing Deon- Flaire, more accurately, getting punched was short lived. His eyes went wide at Stahn’s revelation of Rosaline’s death. True. He’d hated her. But he sorely regretted his last words to her now. Looking down in shame, Armon clenched his fists. Fear gripped him- what if the Tealian royalty was also dead? True, he hated Prince Ryan. But the idea of him not being there to pass on irritated requests from Reid made Armon sick to his stomach. His stomach? His personality wouldn’t allow it, but Adela’s strong desire to find and obliterate whoever had murdered Rosaline, whoever had kidnapped Prince Ryan and the Queen- was causing his legs to itch. He wanted to run from this place, use this form to get in. But when he found himself running, he wasn’t running away with mahstion gun in tow to do some serious killing and undercover investigation.

“Reid!” Armon called, taking a step forward before hesitating. His gaze turned to Deon. Silence fell over him before he wrenched his gaze away. Somebody had to be the princess in this world, and that somebody didn’t have time to give cheesy pep talks. Like he’d said earlier. This was the only reason he would go after Sanako now. And also because the training wouldn’t go right, if she was gone out in the rain caught in both grief and fever.

“Then…wh-… where’s Blanc?!” Gil exclaimed, remembering the boy whom Shiraume had been so enthusiastic to see, “Where’s Ilya?! What are they doing-… They should’ve come with us, then- then this wouldn’t have happened! Wh-Wh…” Gil clenched her fists, “What am I supposed to do now?! I’m not here for the phoenix or wyvern people,” She snarled with a furious gaze, more Levi than Gil with her last sentence denoting his opinion, “I’m here for Princess Rosaline!!”

Armon hesitated again. They hadn’t come with because… He looked up, determination to fix everything in his eyes as he ran off after his partner, “Sanako, come back!”


Violette stood silently, the giant leaf that had been in her hand floating silently to the ground.

“Mr. Stahn…. Could you please inform me as to where the room I’m to share with Christian is?” She said quietly.

“You-“ Gil whirled around, looking absolutely disgusted, “Still care about something like that?!” She raised her hand to slap Violette, but the latter beat her to it, aggravated by yet another death of someone who didn’t deserve it.

“I hate people like you. You don’t have any right to act like you’ve lost something important.” Violette replied coldly, turning away and heading into the mansion and out of the rain before finishing her sentence, “You’re a murderer too.”

Gil stared at Violette, horrified. The truth that had just passed her lips stung more than the slap. She hardly remembered all that, and yet it played so clearly in her mind. Suddenly, everything wasn’t as simple as it was before. It wasn’t that someone had just killed the person who had saved her from death or a lifetime of jail. It was that she hated that person for killing Rosaline. But, wouldn’t that put her in the same position as someone who had known that family? And- It hadn’t been just one person… Gil grit her teeth biting back tears.

’Chance.’ Jazrelli’s voice echoed, filled with mischief and malice, his lips smirking when he sat up. He was just about to possess his reila and slaughter that arrogant Deon fool and his annoying faels before he felt the light touch of someone’s hand on his shoulder. Forget that. What he felt first was him sinking into the black puddle that had pooled under him. His scream of fury was cut short when he was swallowed whole, ’DEVIT-‘

In both Jazrelli and the couch’s place, a silent girl peered up at the ceiling. The girl who had been hiding in the corner of the shadows, trying to help Gil remember her hatred for Deon’s species before she grew too close. She did not want to see her dear Levi suffer. Her melancholic expression over her soft features deceived the fact that she was the negafael, instead of the malicious and spoiled Jazrelli. But, with Levi’s preferences and attitude, it was not surprising that even his fael’s were oriented incorrectly. She opened her mouth to speak, and though it was a very quiet pitch, it was easy to hear, for her voice was pure and untarnished, ’I apologize for being selfish and inconsiderate of the tragedies at hand. But at the moment, my dear Levi will not be able to resist my dearer brother’s control, and I should like to do all I can to avoid further casualty. I will be placing Master Jaquez under a spell of sleep, until he has had the time to absorb this saddening news. I do not wish for your grievances to be furthered. So please, if I may trouble you with this request of mine, please bring him to a more comfortable place to rest, and do not stir Master Jaquez until he wakes up on his own.’ She began to disappear as Jazrelli's furious words began to come back into earshot.

But Gil collapsed on the ground, out like a light, before Jazrelli could do anything but scream.


---------------------

Having longer legs was definitely an advantage. It wasn’t long before Armon caught up with Sanako, grabbing her wrist and forming an umbrella out of dation quickly to hold over her head, “Hey! You-…” Armon paused, deciding it’d probably be best to reword his sentence, beginning again more gently with a very awkward sort of voice, “You… shouldn’t be out here. You’ll get sicker….”

He trailed off, not really knowing how to deal with this. Not just him, but Adela too. Pulling off his over shirt he sighed and draped it over Sanako, saying, “You said to Deon something about saying this directly, right?” He patted Sanako’s head and gave her a half-smile, the corners of his lips sagging a little at the memory of Stahn’s news, “Sanako, you want to get stronger right? Then, let’s go back and make sure something like this won’t happen ever again. I have a reason now- I’ll stay with you guys and help out with all this Flazure….” Armon could not longer refer to it as ‘nonsense’ if he was going to help out, “This Flazure business. If… that helps at all.”

Trying his best with a better smile than earlier, he said a little brighter, “You don’t want to be a burden anymore right? Soooo, let’s get out of the rain so that you don’t get sicker, and so that we can make sure whoever is behind all this gets what’s coming to him.”


-----------------------


A white haired man stood at the news bulletin board, snow falling silently all around him. His cold red eyes had softened with the passing years, and his crimson bangs had been brushed aside from his face, leaving the words of the latest news clear in sight. His expression was one of worry, as two monstrous arms sprouting from his wings read the flyer as well, their eyes spinning from side to side in the palm of the hands.

“I wonder if Faewyn has heard…”

parallelzero
March 26th, 2008, 06:54 PM
Deon hung his head. Probably not the best time to break it off with Reid. But, he didn't know this would happen. He was never particularly fond of Rosaline to begin with. The boy was violently snapped out of his guilty thoughts as he was suddenly slugged in the face by an unknown attacker. After regaining his balance, he blindly swung back, nailing Christian in the jaw and sending him flying to the ground. "What's your problem!?" He expected to see the effeminate boy teary eyed on the ground like Ellianne had always been, but Christian only looked up at Deon with determination and dislike.

"What the hell did you do to her!?" It wasn't hard to figure out what Deon had done. He hadn't chased after Sanako after all. "After all of this time! All of the time we've been together, you decide to do that today of all days!?" Christian didn't say another word, and got to his feet. Attempting to wipe away the blood coming out of his mouth, he walked into the mansion in pursuit of Violette. As he walked by Stahn, he grabbed a key from his hand that was held out to him.

"Up the stairs, first door on the right. There won't be any training today, so you two try and relax as best you can. Also, I'd like you two to have dinner with Armon and Sanako tonight. I think Reid would probably like the company." Christian nodded without even looking at the man as he entered the building.

Blood still dripping from his mouth, he took his right arm and planted it around Violette's back as he lead her up the brown Victorian stairs. "We're going to have dinner with Armon and Sanako tonight..." He said quietly, before a stray tear rolled down his cheek. "Why... why did it end like this..." He unlocked the door to the room and lead Violette in, before setting her down on the white canopy bed and sitting beside her. The blood still fell.

---

"Don't concern yourself with what I said to Dion! That bastard! That bastard... after all this time... WHY THE HELL NOW!?" She looked up at Armon, who was doing his best, with teary eyes. "Don't act like you care! You never liked Rosaline to begin with! Why the hell are you trying to comfort me!? EVERYTHING I'VE WORKED TOWARDS IS GONE. EVERYTHING." She swung at the boy with her free hand. "And Rose too! What did Rosaline do to deserve this!?" She gasped for air, which snapped her back to the reality that if she didn't at least calm herself a little, she was putting her health at risk. After calming herself slightly, she found it was easier to rationalize what she was saying, and was starting to recognize the efforts Armon was putting into everything. "Take me back..." She stated coldly and bluntly, still crying. "I'm cold, Armon... I'm really cold..." She clenched her muddied skirt in her hands as she steadied herself, but lost her footing in the mud and began to fall again, although Armon still had hold of her wrist.

"Xavaie!" Mistral shouted as she appeared abruptly in Armon's realm, falling right into the other plufaels arms, crying. "Xavaie! This is too sad, far too sad!"

---

"Okay then. Since we all seem to be in agreement, we leave now!" Ashton stated cheerily. His was excited. There was always something interesting going on at that manor. "Sensei said it was urgent that we get there ASAP, so I think it'd be best we try and get there over the next few hours. It's noon now. However, Auricia, Dieter. Keep in mind. The people sensei is training right now. They're the ones we fought at Castle Meredy. So, don't treat them as enemies, even if they attack you. We seem to share a common goal..."

"Right." Auricia replied as she got to her feet. "Don't sweat it, I'm not a violence fan anyways. You should be more worried about that one!" She never did call Dieter by his name that often. 'That one', 'him', she seemed to have a thing against his name.

"Alright, so we're going to take airboards since I don't quite feel like tiring out my wings. I'll see you guys downstairs in a bit." Then he left the room, leaving the four faels to their own devices.

Loki
March 27th, 2008, 02:34 PM
Violette took a deep breath. Now was no time for her to be grieving over something like this. Being the one who had known Rosaline the least, she would swallow her sadness and help everyone else who had more right to care about this than herself. She bit her lip, but loosened her bite when she felt Christian’s arm around her back. Her face turned completely red, but drained of all heat when she saw the blood. Where had that come from? Had she missed something? Had Gil taken her anger out on him? The unanswered questions running through her head were interrupted when she realized they’re arrived at their room already. Letting herself be set down, she arranged her skirts before peering at Christian. After a pause, a moment of silence in which she was probably supposed to respond to his question, she finally moved. Giving a half-hearted smile, she reached over and wiped away what was left of his tears. Silence came over her, and words of comfort would not pass her lips. It was just like back then.

She pulled her hands away, though her eyes still lingered on the blood. But something else caught her eye. Her books were stacked neatly on the nightstand. Immediately, Violette stood and pulled out the handkerchief that was pressed between the pages of the book that was not hollowed out. It was normally used simply as a bookmark, but she hurried over to Christian, unfolding it as she did and wiped the crimson off his chin. She had to say something. Anything.

“Do you think… it’s ended?” She asked softly, before pressing her lips together. No. This… Lazarus knew, was not the end. There would certainly be more in the future in store for them.

---------------------------------------------

Armon’s face darkened. Frustration. Irritation. Impatience. It was all written on his face. Only if one really stared could one find the sympathy he was supposed to be giving. His childish side took over as he tightened his grip on Sanako’s wrist, letting his voice rise in volume as he spoke, “Fine! I won’t act like I care! But don’t ask me why I’m trying to comfort you! It’s because I’m worried about you!!! …Why else….”

Armon blinked and let go of Sanako immediately when she requested to be taken back, snapping, “You…” He stopped though, catching her easily around the waist. He noticed the awkward position faster than someone who was faced with a death and cut-off relationship should’ve, and he fixed it quickly and gracefully by using the chance to lift Sanako into the air.

“Don’t expect me to do this again!” Armon snapped, his face heating up despite the cold as he held Sanako securely under the knees and around her back, “I’m only carrying you back like this once!”

He sighed and shook his head, hurrying back. In his embarrassment, he forgot entirely that he could just use Dation to return in no time. But because he forgot this, he was able to ask Sanako a question that had been nagging at him ever since he’d caught up with her, and as gently as someone as frustrated as him could, he inquired, “Are you going to stay and train here? I mean... Are you going to go to Carn?”

----------------------------------------------

'Mistral...' He wrapped his arms around Mistral's shoulders protectively, managing only a mumble, 'It is. It's... It's unfair.' He stared at his pure white hair for a moment before tightening his embrace.

----------------------------------------------

Rasch sighed. He dearly hated sky boarding. It was so… unrefined. Certainly not made for the elderly. And he was not about change his form just for something as trivial as this. He twisted the ends of his moustache between his index and forefinger in thought. How would he escape this predicament? His gaze came to rest on Dieter, whose personality had undergone another switch. He watched silently as Dieter’s eye dilated and un-dilated, registering and processing the information that he would be meeting people he’d neglected to kill the last mission. Shaking his head, Rasch loosened his grip on his cane, prepared to keep Dieter at bay, but he almost let a look of surprise cross his face when Dieter began to laugh. It was a very quiet and calm one at first, but his grin soon turned into one of sadistic anticipation.

“Perfect!” Dieter cackled after Ashton had left, the desire to kill practically exuding off of him, “Then it’ll be less boring when I get to slaugh-…” Dieter stopped midsentence, his face suddenly crashing into disappointment as he realized Ashton’s order and reasons.

“…Common goal?” Dieter’s voice grew chilly and arrogant as he wrenched off his sunglasses again. He glanced at Rasch and asked in a loud voice, “Are we here to save a worthless tribe of people, Rasch?! Are we here to try and get stronger because we’re weak as hell?!? No! That’s Lieutenant Tappen’s goal. My goal is what the goal of the most important person in this pitiful army’s is!”

The old man peered silently at Dieter. That… was what Rasch had always been under the impression they were here for. That they were here to destroy all efforts to keep Flazure from becoming a proper nation, that is. Rasch was no longer sure of their goals, after Tappen’s comment. He was confused, but his blank eyes closed as he lifted his hand up to draw Dieter a request to divert his attention from Ashton’s comment. He could inquire about it later, when Dieter wasn’t quite so keen on starting a fight. Dieter paused for a moment after reading the glowing letters that floated in the air, contemplating whether he wanted to change the subject or not. His wary gaze grew indifferent. Well. If Rasch wanted to, then he didn’t mind too much.

“Sure you can hitch a ride on my sky board, but why? I’ll have to use my feet if you do, because if I make it a normal one with my hand I won’t be able to even the weight…” Dieter mused, completely forgetting about his anger from earlier and about replying to Auricia’s comment towards him, “Well, forget telling me why- It's not like you'll tell me anyway. Come on, let’s go, you can ride on the back.”

'I'll be sitting.' Leaving those words to evaporate on their own, Rasch exited the room, quickly tailed by Dieter.

"...Ohh, so it's just because you don't want to ride something that's out of your age range, huh? I guess it'd be weird, seeing a dude as old as you on a sky board!"

parallelzero
March 27th, 2008, 02:41 PM
"Dieter." Tsukasa's voice boomed from behind the older Skill. "The nature of Ashton's plans do not involve the slaughter of those other people. However, it does involve you killing a lot of strong people. Does that not satisfy you enough to follow blindly for now?" Ever the peace keeper, Tsukasa recognized that Dieter was the least likely to stay loyal to Ashton unless he was given some sort of motivation. Knowing Dieter's love of violence, that should be enough, but he seemed to have something against the phoenix and wyvern people. Probably because of the way Gregar's military decided to raise him after converting him into a skill...

After listening in enough, Auricia decided to contribute something. "Besides, didn't you hear? Princess Rosaline, the main person endorsing Flazure, was found dead this morning. We aren't needed to kill off that country now. It'll fall without our help." Really, she was just repeating what Ashton had told her. She never really was aware of what was going on in the outside world. She didn't care, either. Why both wasting time worrying about stuff that doesn't affect you? If she needed to know something, Ashton would tell her after all.

---

After being asked if it was the end, Christian just sat there quietly, his face reddened by the fact that she had been touching his face. "Listen... Violette. I'm sure the others would agree with me on this. I want you to leave, Lazarus." He went by Lazarus' real name to make it more obvious that it was all Ellianne talking. "Things are just going to get more dangerous from this point on, and I don't want you directly involved with us, risking your life." Christian quietly stated as he touched his hand to hers. "This... isn't your battle to fight, and... well... I'm sorry, I just met you recently, yet I'm saying stuff like this... Though, when this is all over, I won't be able to say anything at all again..." He made an attempt to quickly change the subject.

"Ah! Sorry to trouble you!" He remembered all Violette had done with cleaning up his wounds and wiping his tears away. He had been so caught up in thought, that he had forgotten to acknowledge them. "I guess I shouldn't have hit Deon like that. I'm too much of a wimp to last in an actual fight, even in this form. Flaire has always been better than me, and I guess that's why Reid fell for her instead... But now, after all they've been through, she just decides to drop the relationship. Right before the Rosaline thing nonetheless! I'm afraid, Violette. I'm afraid he'll never go back to normal after today." He took both of Violette's hands now, and looked at her eyes with his own deperate ones. "That's why I need you to talk to Sanako! There's no way I'd be able to console her, knowing that I had feelings for her!" Had. Yes, Ellianne realized it now. She really stopped having genuine feelings for him after Reid started dating Flaire. She just... couldn't keep up. Since she couldn't speak, there was no way she could...

---

Sanako's faced turned a vermilion red as Armon swept her off her feet, or so to speak. Her face still stained with tears, and her eyes still watery, she looked up at him with her big blue eyes as he actually began to carry her back. "Y-you care about me?" She stuttered, still not really sure how to respond to the blunt way Armon had gone about it. "Someone like me, who's caused you nothing but pain the past five years? You... actually care..."

She didn't say much after that, at least not until Armon inquired into her plan of action. "I was going to leave. I want to leave. But that's not going to fix anything, is it? Besides... I promised you I'd get stronger than you... If that means staying here, bathing, sleeping, and so on with you. Then I will. It's just... I don't know how to deal with this pain. I just feel like I could cry forever..." Her eyes began to water violently again. "This is wrong... guys aren't supposed to cry..." She plunged her face into Armon's shirt for a moment as she let it all out. When she was done, she said one last thing before going silent again. "Armon, you're so warm..."

---

"My, my, this is troublesome." Stahn muttered to nobody in particular as he placed Gil on the bed she was to be sharing with Deon, whom had disappeared shortly after the incident. It was troublesome, but tragic. Even so, Stahn knew that benefits came with this situation. If they overcame this as a team, they would make much faster progress. Not to mention he had those Skills on the way. Two of the students caught Stahn's eye, and one was sleeping right nearby. Maybe, just maybe, they were two of the ones he was looking for...

Loki
March 27th, 2008, 04:04 PM
Dieter looked over his shoulder at Tsukasa, his face unreadable. It wasn’t hard to guess what he was thinking though- Tsukasa was by far one of his less favorite Skills. As far as Dieter knew, he was just plain boring compared to other Skill. (Rasch was a special case. He was like a father figure, so he could slide.) Shoving his free hand into his pocket, Dieter grinned, giving a cheerful reply that consisted of malicious words, “If you want me to stick around and do your dirty work, I don’t know if ‘blindly’ is the best word to use, Tsukasa. I’m close, but I’m not a mindless killing machine. I have my principles, even if there aren’t very many.”

“Thanks for the clue in Auri-chi,” Dieter downed the rest of his soda before crushing the glass between his hands and scattering it across the floor of the hotel, “But I’ll make that country fall faster if I feel like it.”

---------------------------------------

Violette blinked, thinking for a moment before smiling and holding her hand flat over her head, “Sure I’ll try and talk to Sanako, but…. it’s the same as you and me.” She stood, slipping her hands out of Christian’s after giving them a quick squeeze, “I don’t really know her very well. I don’t know what I can do… and…” Violette peered over her shoulder apologetically, “I don’t really think this is Deon’s fault at all. He couldn’t have possibly known that Rosaline had died before telling Reid. I’m sure he wouldn’t have, if he’d known. With this opinion, I might not be able to say much at all, but- You should talk to him too. You’ve been with him longer than I have, the support is probably more significant if it comes from you.”

She turned the doorknob and opened the door, turning to inform Christian where she was going, “I’m going to talk to Stahn for a moment about whether I’ll really be staying here or not, I’ll meet you at dinner, okay?”

It wasn’t hard to find Stahn. After asking for directions, she found herself outside of Gil and Deon’s room. She knocked three times, sliding inside as she’d been told that Gil was resting. Deon was nowhere in sight.

“Mr. Stahn, I’d like to inform you that I, no longer have any desire to participate in this ordeal. However, I’m perfectly willing to stay for awhile and complete the training, if it’s convenient for you.” Violette stated, her hands clasped behind her back.

-------------------------------------------------

“You-…” Armon sighed as he cut himself off for what felt like the thousandth time, “Nothing but pain, huh…? Hmph! I’ll tell you off about that later! In the meantime, don’t get me wrong! I care, but you don’t have to put it in such a-!” Armon shuddered, “Girly way! -And what the heck am I saying? I feel like the touchy-feely guy in whatever shoujo manga you popped out of…. Argh, forget what I just said!”

Letting himself calm down a little- or more like, bottling it up until Sanako would be more in the mood to throw sticks and stones at him rather than cry her heart out, he shook his head, “As a girl, I’d say that I probably wouldn’t think the guy was human if he didn’t cry in this situation. It’s not like there’s anyone around that cares whether you’re a guy or a girl anyway.” However, his eye twitched when Sanako repeated the same thing she’d said just earlier, “…I get it. I’m warm. Thanks, if that was a compliment.”

’No thanks to you though, I’m freezing.’ Armon hung his head back and felt the cold rain sting his skin. He looked forward again when they finally reached the mansion again, greeted by a silence that, sadly, was extremely fitting.

-----------------------

”Please don’t take it!! W-We need that for Grandpa! Please-“

“Aww, wouldja shuuut up?!” A pink haired boy no older than 15 sighed, sitting comfortably at a humble kitchen table as he counted the wad of money in his hand, “There’s not much here anyway, so really. Grandpa’s going to die if this is all you got anyway.”

In the corner of the kitchen, a young girl trembled- she looked only about 8, yet she had her arms protectively around a sickly old man who looked to have little reaction to the scene. He was nearly gone, one could tell. I stood in the other corner of the room, and though I made no sound, I knew that nobody could hear or see me. It was just how things like this worked. Finally, the thief sighed, standing up and pocketing the money, “Well, I guess it’ll be enough fer a week er so. Prolly not even…”

“Please don’t take it!” The girl cried a second time.

The thief glared at the little girl, “Ya think I care? Do ya? It’s a man eat man world y’live in girl, learn how t’git around. Maybe if you were older, I would leave you a few bucks- but I hate little girls like you.”

“Stop it!” She left her grandfather for the first time and beat her little fists hopelessly against the thief’s leg. He peered down at her. It was no longer a glare, but a stare that spelled out death.

“Y’sure you wanna leave yer old man all by his little lonesome?” He sneered, pointing at the old man. She hesitated, very slowly turning her head back to her grandfather. He was sprawled across the floor, the word ‘L.I.V.E.’ etched into his bleeding forehead. The look of shock on his face was matched with blank, dull eyes, “’Cause he don’t look too hot t’me.”

“Grand…pa?” She choked out, a mere squeak, staring at the corpse with horrified eyes. A smile crossed the thief’s face.

“Stop it!!” I screamed, hurrying forward to grab the thief’s hand that was gripping the little girl’s head. But my hand passed through his as though I weren’t there. I wasn’t there, even though I’d been there the entire time.

”Enough of this nonsense- Grandpa, Grandpa! Now that he’s finally DEAD, now will you SHUT UP?!” Levi turned his wrist, and the sound of a breaking neck spent shivers up my spine. He tossed the limp body of the little girl aside and picked out a coin from the satchel of money he kept with him. Squatting down, he wrenched the old man’s mouth open and placed the cold coin on his tongue before whipping the wrinkled mouth closed once more, “Don’t swallow it now old man, you’ll be needin’ it for your medical bills in hell, ya? Or maybe you’ll wanta use it for free passage into heaven. Do what you like- I don’t believe in heaven.” He smirked, a sharp breeze behind him etching the word ‘L.I.V.E.’ on the little girl’s forehead as well.

Suddenly, I turned and looked at the dead body, smiling the same smile as Levi, speaking the same words as Levi, “You don’t get money. You- can go to hell. I believe in hell.”

parallelzero
March 27th, 2008, 05:18 PM
"If you want to go, then go. It seems Flaire has already decided to depart, at least temporarily." Stahn replied to the girl with his usual monotone voice as he spun around. He shook his bourbon glass round and round, the ice cubes clinking against each other in an irritable fashion amidst the golden liquid. "Though I would prefer you stay. Ellianne seems to have taken a liking to you, and I think with your help, she might be able to permanently regain a voice." He shook his poison for a second before downing another gulp. He really hated drinking, but sometimes it had to be done to forget about his problems. "And don't give me the 'she's under the influence of your pill' line. I've heard it before. I don't rig the things so that you fall in love with each other. More than anything, it makes the things one may not usual be able to express expressable." Without another word, he walked out the door. He glanced back with a grin. Maybe he could lighten up the next day a different way...

---

Sanako giggled a little at the issues Armon was having with getting out what he had to say. When they eventually reached the mansion, she broke free of the boy's grasp and got to her feet, walking away a bit. Her back turned, she announced her plans for the next few hours. "I'm sorry, after all this, but I need to be left alone for a while. So, I'll be in our room for a while, and I'd rather not be distrubed..." She dashed back in got her face up close to his, before planting a kiss on his lips. Only halfway through did she realize what she was doing, and jumped back after a moment more. "Oh my god! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to- WHATEVER. Just don't expect it to happen again!" As she began to walk inside, she left Armon with one more comment. "Seriously though, thanks... for everything, Armon. I don't think you know how much it means to me..."

When Sanako arrived to her room, she did nothing but sit there in the darkness. Lights off, blinds closed, and she was under a blanket. Sometimes she cried, sometimes she just sat there and stared blankly at what she could see of her feet under all the darkness. This went on for six hours, with no signs of stopping.

Loki
March 28th, 2008, 07:04 PM
OoC: Oh my gosh. x_o This post was insanely difficult, I'll have you know. I have nothing to do, it's all so awkward, and I know nobody cares, but I do, because this post really sucks! D: Rawrrrr, sorry it took so long.

iC: Armon grumbled to himself as he towelled off his hair for the second time today. Stupid him. Stupid stupid. What had he been so nice to that girl for? Now look where it got him! Wiping his face free of rain drops, Armon sighed, throwing the white cloth over his shoulder and sitting back. Damn. Five years of focus and diligence gone down the drain in one singular moment. Leaning his head back and rolling it around his neck to crack it, he sighed yet again. His mind was so jumbled that he’d already lost count of how many times he’d sighed, each sigh having a different meaning behind it.

’So…’ Jeckt stated blandly, his voice and expression revealing to the world that he was officially bored out of his mind, ’Lucky Princess, aren’t you?’

“Don’t. Call me a Princess. Loser.” Armon added bitterly, earning a twitch of the eye from Jeckt.

’Loser?’ Jeckt repeated in slight disbelief, ’I don’t think you’re in any position to be calling me names. Both of you are weak as hell, if I wanted I could go off and-‘

“But the point is,” Armon interrupted, exhasperation thick in his voice as he rubbed the back of his neck, “You wouldn’t, so I’m not worried. I have a headache guys, go away, wouldja? How much it means huh…” He stamped his foot in frustration and groaned to himself, “It’s not going to mean much after the thousandth time if this keeps up!!”

--------------------------------------------------------

The silver haired girl let out a yelp as she sat stock straight. Though only six hours had passed, it had felt like an eternity, the same scene playing over and over in her head as she wondered whether that little girl had had friends. Sitting up in the bed she sighed and peered beside her. Deon wasn’t there, so that meant that she hadn’t slept too late… What had happened again? She remembered the news of Rosaline’s death at once. Taking a sharp breath, she also remembered Violette’s words. Reminding her of how cold and heartless she’d been, she thought for a moment, the way she did when she was Levi. Would she still get paid for this? Gil took over quickly though, feeling a stab of guilt at such a selfish thought. Gripping the sheets between her fists Gil bit her lip. Lost in thought, she threw off her blankets and decided to get something to drink. Her throat burned with suppressed tears. Inside her eyelids was the clear vision of the little girl’s dead body, which Levi had stepped over without a second thought before the dream would repeat itself. Every time she blinked. Dead body. Blink. Dead body. L.I.V.E. had been just another scramble of Ivel. One of the prime ways they’d linked it back to the thief who called himself Levi.

By some stroke of luck, Gil found the kitchen with some ease. Big mansions… She hadn’t been in one for so long. At least, hadn’t inhabited one. Sure, she’d stolen plenty of things from huge houses, but it was truly inconvenient. Too easy to get lost, too easy to run into security, too easy to run into servants… Gil’s luck ran out when she tried heading back to her room though. The kitchen doors had been different. Her own room’s door was… the same as every other bedroom’s door. She puckered her lips in thought. She was still really drowsy. Drowsy?

She perked up before opening the door to her room. Jazrelli should’ve been screaming and shouting right now. He’d yet to say anything at all. Perhaps he just wasn’t talking on a Reila frequency. Gil yawned as she pushed the door open. Nope. Wrong room. It was too dark.

“Ah.” Gil noticed the bubblegum pink hair first thing and made to leave, “Sorry about that-“ Before she heard the sound of crying. Armon didn’t really seem like the best of the comforting men in the world.

“Hey,” Gil closed the door and turned on the lights, positioning herself cautiously beside the door, “Still feelin’ down?” She suddenly wished she hadn’t spoke up. Er, being who she was, she was probably not the number one person to be er… speaking with a victim’s close friend.

parallelzero
March 28th, 2008, 08:58 PM
Suddenly, from the darkness became light. Wait, light? "Ow, ow, ow, ow! Turn them off!" Sanako shouted as she suddenly clued into the fact that she had been staring directly at one. Fresh tears from the pain rolled down her face as she desperately rubbed her eyes in order to regain her vision. It was also a decoy to try and make it look like she hadn't been crying. "Y-you could have given me some warning before turning them on!" She stared blankly up at the door as her vision began to clarify. This wasn't the first time her vision had been like this, however...

"Mommy! Mommy! It hurts! It hurts! I can't see anything 'cause it hurts so much!" The boy cried as the blonde haired woman rushed him into an emergency bed conveniently located on the bottom floor of their house. The sound of a little girl crying in the background was faint, but present nonetheless. The woman flipped the boy onto his stomach, revealing the horrific sight present - or not present - on his back. Where once the elegant, yet rare wings of a butterfly once hung, were two terrible gashes, blood seeping out at an unimaginable rate. At the speed it was going, the boy would surely die of blood loss by the time the night was over. The woman, finally revealing her face, was crying. She knew that she could save him, but chances are she'd never be able to see her own son again afterwards.

"Reid, you need to calm down. Mommy is here, and Dad went to get help, okay?" He couldn't see it, but she was injecting a sedative into his arm. Before he knew it, the darkness became unconsciousness.

As he opened his eyes, he found himself staring up directly at the hot desert sun. He winced, and his vision began to clear. He sat up, but it felt awkward for some reason. After a short glance, he realized he was completely bandaged around the torso, and his wings were nowhere to be found. The boy, 11, eventually got to his feet, and found himself on the outskirts of his town. Upon trying to re-enter, however, he was met by a heavy blow by an aluminum bat to the head. "Damn Fallen, your likes around here will just cause this town bad luck. We don't need your kind around here!"

"Mommy... it hurts... so much... I can't... see..." And then it was darkness once again.

Sanako's heart shattered a little more as these memories came rushing back to her. Why had she forgotten that day?

As her vision finally cleared, she found Gil standing at the door, not Armon like she had originally suspected. Even though she had told him to stay away, she still kind of wished he would come anyways... But, presented with another girl to talk to, she jumped on the chance... quite literally. "Gil!" She cried as she leapt at the girl, turning it into a death grip as she hugged her. Her eyes, not crying, but still extremely watery and red from crying, stared at Gil hopefully in hope of some sort of reasonable support. "Yeah... I really can't take my mind off it, y'know? First Deon breaks my heart, then one of the most dear people to my in my life was murdered... It's hard to just shrug it off in a few hours." Not really considering Gil's life as Levi, she proceeded to say more than she should have. "Why would someone murder her, Gil? What justification is there for taking someone's life? Especially the one of an innocent? I just can't find a reason as much as I look for one!"

---

"Eh!? Princess Rosaline died!?" The shocked voice of a normally calm young woman cried after reading the news in the Betan paper. With all of the news about the plague and the war in there recently, everyone had wanted a change in focus. but this, this was not what she had in mind. Even as a resident of Beta, miss Laeina Waters, age sixteen, did not agree with what had been going on. Not so much as a word had been breathed to the public about the attack until it actually occured, and it was an unjustified attack at that. After straightening the cream beret atop her straight, shoulder length black hair, she proceeded to enter her favorite little coffee shop. It was such a nice place, with friendly staff and an exquisite selection of the finest beverages. Laeina, while you wouldn't believe it, was raised on the streets of Beta until she turned fourteen, at which time she was adopted by a family of aristocrats. Already well mannered, the Waters family affectionately aided Laeina in become a proper young lady. And, as a proper young lady, she demanded the best coffee suited to her tastes.

She took a seat at her usual table - a simple, wooden one seater by the farthest window where she could stare dreamily out at the simple street beyond the glass. The snow fell gently, making even the most gruesome of petty tasks, such as doing road work, look relaxing. She elegantly crossed her legs, her long cream coloured skirt shuffling as she did so. As she awaited her order, she straightened her long sleeved, white blouse so that it just bathed perfection, while humming a melodic tune by a classical artist long forgotten by the lower class. She unraveled her thin red scarf from around her neck, only to wrap it back around again, flicking the leftover end over her right shoulder.

She sighed as she rested her head on one of her white gloved hands. It would be her last time visiting this shop for a while, yet nothing interesting had occurred. Usually, at least a boy or something would try and ask her out on a date, which she would politely refuse. As the Waters family had taught her, she was only to marry into a rich family. She had noticed, especially recently, that many boys seemed to become infatuated with her. She was quite a catch, she had been told, with an elegant, kind and innocent presence extremely rare in the day and age. She personally thought nothing of it, but she also had an attractive figure as well. She was thin, decently tall, and she couldn't argue that her chest was at least slightly above the norm for her age group. Pair all of this with a cute face, and it was understandable why she was so popular in school.

After politely thanking the staff, and leaving a generous tip, Laeina curtsied before heading on her way. The doorbell chimed a cute chime as the cold air hit her like a brick wall. Now came the long walk to the harbor. I hope Stahn has a good reason for calling me out so suddenly...

Loki
March 29th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Deon?

Gil blinked. Well. She obviously missed the notification. Wait- there were more important things right now, like how Sanako was bear hugging her back in two. It wasn't as though she had much flesh on her to begin with. All bones and skin. Gil smiled a little, hugging Sanako back as she spoke, "She was always in the most danger out of all of us. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people hated her for being a supporter of Flazure." Gil suppressed the thought of her own family, who was now living on their old wealth and having very little income left from their smaller businesses. Yeah, they probably hated anyone related to Flazure.

Gil racked her brain at Sanako's question about why anyone would kill the innocent. Rosaline hadn't been innocent at all, Gil knew this. But just the same as Sanako, she couldn't find a reason to kill her for it either. She furrowed her brow ever so slightly.

"The reason... would probably be because they couldn't see past their own selfishness. I mean, I was thinking about it earlier." Gil began, "Because, when I... you know... I didn't think I'd ever have to face it again. I thought-... I thought I could just leave it behind as a joke. I never expected to meet people who had grieved over what I'd done. And if I did- I probably would've laughed at them. Crying over what I thought would've been like spilled milk. Soldiers who came after me couldn't care less about them, but more about me who had broken the law. They weren't sad. It's not like the people who do these kinds of things end up seeing the consequences of it everyday."

Gil sighed and suddenly startled herself, "Oh! Sorry about that, I didn't mean to ramble on about that useles-... the stuff. I'm just trying to figure out why someone would kill another person. I guess what he thinks is justification is different from us."

It was awkward, being able to see so clearly into a murderer's mind. Because she was one? She hadn't exactly thought twice about it, when she was Levi. Gil couldn't help but wonder. When she was back to being Levi, would he care about Rosaline's death as much as she had? Or would he still be thinking about his suddenly cut off paycheck?

parallelzero
March 29th, 2008, 11:30 AM
"...Why exactly did we land all the way up here?" Tsukasa spoke, only asking for the benefit of the others and not his own. Best not to have Dieter get too worked up, after all. No reply came. Though, Tsukasa was aware of the reason. Auricia's health had never been the best. Although that was to be expected after the accident she was saved from. Torn in half by a train, not exactly the easiest thing to recover from, even after being revived as a skill. There were many times where she'd just collapse in pain, and nobody really knew why. Some scientists suggested it was all in her head, but looking at her when it occured, it seemed highly unlikely. And, it happened again. So here they were, walking down a path from which they had landed nearby at a hotspring. Ashton was in the lead, carrying Auricia on his back, with Tsukasa trailing behind. Where they there yet?

---

"But... some people do what they have to, right? That's how the world works. I didn't realize it until today, but I too have done things that I shouldn't have done." Sanako replied as she began to stroke Gil's head for comfort. But really, she was only doing it for her own comfort. "As part of the Archai squad... I've had to kill innocents before. So, really, what makes me different than a murderer? We're more similar than we are different, really... " Sanako then let go of the girl, and then headed to the door without another word. Was she really no different than a murderer? Had Reid been wrong this entire time? "I... need to go to dinner. I'll see you later... Sorry for worrying you..."

Still completely depressed, she showed up in the dining room about ten minutes later. Her thoughts had distracted her, and she ended up making more than a few wrong turns. If it was under normal circumstances, she would have been impressed by the fact that the dining room was set up just like a fancy restaurant, with numerous tables, shrubbery, and classical music playing in the background.

Chistian perked up as he saw Sanako enter the dining room. It would be awkward, but he still had to try and make her feel better. As she approached closer and closer, however, he became more and more afraid of saying something wrong. The first thing he noticed, was that she looked a mess. Her usually neat and tidy appearance had been reduced to something unfitting of a girl obsessed with neatness. Extremely unkept hair, ripped stockings, her blouse stained with tears and a few buttons were opened near the top, going as far as to show her bra. She took a seat in the corner opposite Christian, and silence ensued. Terribly awkward silence.

Loki
March 29th, 2008, 12:54 PM
"..." Dieter peered curiously at Auricia, sitting on his sky board and floating behind the others rather than walking. The left side of his board was splattered in blood from his bleeding wrist, having pulled it off to act as his sky board now that Rasch was merely walking. "Is Auri-chi okay?" He asked raising an eyebrow. He'd never seen a Skill faint or pass out, unless that Skill had the desire to do so. Humans were just so weak that they couldn't manage to hurt a Skill to that point. Dieter felt a severe gaze boring into the back of his head, and turning around, he saw Rasch raise an eyebrow.

"... I know, I know!" Dieter snapped irritably, hopping off the skyboard and catching his left hand in his right, "It's not going to help any. Jeez, sometimes I really wonder whether Auricia is really a Skill or not. Man, we're walking, living, breathing killing machines and she can't even stand the smell of blood."

Instead of the usual squelch of flesh on flesh, Dieter's hand was reattached peacefully with Rasch's twitchy Lionus stitching it back together.

"Lieutenant," Dieter barked, as he began to walk on his own, "What are we supposed to do anyway? It's not like we were made to help out with training. And then you don't want me to attack 'em- What, do I just stand there and let 'em take a chunk or two outta me? Not that it'll hurt any, but I'm not going to settle for that y'know. It's boring. Make Tsukasa or Rasch do it. Don't know why this teacher've yours thinks I'm going to do any good. Probably off his rocker is what I'd say if he thinks I'm going to stand around and let myself get attacked without killin' somebody."

------------------------------------------------------

Having stolen into the room he shared with Sanako after she'd left for dinner, Armon was thankful to find a second set of clothes conviniently hanging in the closet. It was different from his usual clothes, due to the fact that the overshirt was more cargo-styled with various pockets, but the pants were essentially the same. He took the time to put dry, clean bandages on again, amazed at the fact that he could wrap them around his torso with little trouble, unlike before as Adela, where she wasn't able to put bandages on by herself at all. Armon had noticed his original shirt strewn across the bed, meaning that Sanako had definitely been here. He suddenly sneezed, sighing as he whipped a tissue out of the box. He'd definitely get sick if this kept up. Crumpling the tissue and tossing it into the trashcan with the skill and aim that he certainly wouldn't have had as a girl, he rebuckled his belt around his waist. Armon added a new accessory that wasn't apart of Xaviae's usual appearance in the meantime, feeling empty without the weight. His gun and holster, of course. And after having it returned, the butterfly necklace was safely back in it's place on the back pocket of the holster.

Wondering if he could pass with the excuse that he was tired to skip out on this dinner, Armon wandered throughout the halls, before finding someone who directed him to the dining room. Upon entering he felt his eyes widen. Six hours and Sanako still hadn't fixed herself up? He opened his mouth to scold her and tell her to go back and change, but he was interuppted by the sound of heels behind him. Ah, the only girl in heels here was Violette.

She smiled uneasily when he turned. Had she been there all this time? No, Armon mused, she had probably only just gotten behind him. He would've noticed earlier had she been behind him for as long as he'd been wandering around.

"Sanako-" Armon began, raising an eyebrow at her shirt, but Violette let out an 'Eek!' and hurried to the seat beside Sanako, buttoning up her shirt.

"Sanako, why do you look like this?!" Violette fussed, running her fingers through Sanako's hair to help untangle the pink strands before patting it down, "You look horrible! " Honestly, Violette wasn't as dolly as she normally was either. Her hair had lost all it's bounce and curl, looking much longer than it was before. It still looked damp too. Somehow, Armon felt over dressed. No, not really. Sitting down in the free seat beside Christian, he traced the edge of his water glass with his eyes, silent.

He didn't know what to say to the Sanako sitting diagonal to him.

"Let's get you tidied up after dinner, okay?" Violette gazed worriedly at Sanako, as she sat back to give Sanako some space after her sudden need to fix every wronged piece of beauty on Sanako's person, "You shouldn't treat yourself like this."

parallelzero
March 29th, 2008, 02:51 PM
"Please try and be more considerate, Dieter." Tsukasa, once again, commented before anyone else had a chance. "Don't forget that none of us really chose this fate. I didn't choose to be slaughtered by my own mom after watching her slaughter my younger sister, only to be pieced back together and turned into this. No, this is something we're made to do. Our bodies may not be human, but our souls still are. If Auricia can't stand blood, then you need to just accept it."

"Tsukasa, enough." Ashton finally spoke, and Tsukasa did what he was told. Ashton was terribly irritated by Dieter's views on everything. "I honestly have no idea what he sees in you..." He murmured to himself at first, but decided he should give a proper answer. "Don't worry, sensei's methods tend to be extremely painful. To the person he's training, not the subjects being utilized for the training. Chances are you'll be able to go all out-" He froze. Someone was watching them. But who? There, that's where the breathing was coming from. Was it an animal? Only one way to find out.

Laeina sincerely hoped they didn't notice her. She had originally caught sight of these strange people, and instantly recognized one as Lieutenant Ashton Tappen of the Gregar military. Why were Gregar's officers here, at Stahn's place? After panicking, she hid her self amoungst some bushes so she could eavesdrop, but if she was caught- "Oww!"

The high pitched cry of pain pierced Ashton's ears. So it was a girl? He had to admit, his aim was pretty good to hit a hidden target with a rock. The target rose out of the bushes very quickly, and Ashton readied himself to attack if she was hostile. He had to admit, she was pretty cute, with her long black hair and brown eyes. What Ashton was skeptical about, however, was her outfit that seemed better for a winter climate, not the temperate one here. She made a move, she was going to- bow? Over and over again, the girl bowed up and down, apologizing. Ashton sweatdropped. There was a 2% chance that this girl was an enemy.

After a moment of private conversation between Ashton and the girl, the lieutenant addressed his unit. "Okay, this young woman's name is Laeina Waters. She's from Beta, and is heading to sensei's place as well. Since our countries are allied right now, I figured we might as well escort her the rest of the way. So, be on your BEST behaviour." When he said BEST, that meant that if anyone did anything abnormal, they'd be in for it. Laeina waved at the group before bowing in gratitude and following alongside Ashton, who was once again carrying Auricia.

---

"I... didn't see much need in getting ready. I don't have anyone to impress..." Sanako stared blankly down at nothing in particular as she spoke monotonously like she was in a trance, although she seemed to be looking at her spoon. She had stopped crying, which was an improvement, but she had seemed to move into a more robotic-like depression "Everyone around me seems to get hurt... therefore I'll let myself become alone from now on." Anyone could tell that she had gone off the deep end, and needed to be snapped out of it before it was too late. "Nobody else will get hurt because of me then, right? Then there's no problem... "

Stahn listened in from beyond a nearby wall. It'd be problematic if Reid wasn't snapped out of depression soon. Very problematic. Christian listened in as well, disturbed. How crushed would someone have to be to start thinking like that? Especially Reid, who was usually the optimist. Had all of his motivation for living just drained away like that? If so, could it not be possible that he could start considering more severe ways of dealing with his sadness?

Loki
March 29th, 2008, 04:12 PM
Switch. Dieter’s light and cheerful face contorted with arrogance towards Tsukasa.

“Considerate?” Dieter pulled his cigarette from his mouth and spat before replacing it again, shoving his hands in his pockets. Tsukasa was such a boring person. His irritation was evident in the fact that his teeth were grit down on the paper wrapped tobacco, “Nobody asked you Tsukasa. If our souls are still human, then there’s no reason I have to accept anything, because humans are selfish spit’s of flesh that can’t do anything right. If I’m human in soul, I can say and have my opinions whether you like ‘em or not. You say what you want, but you don’t know anything, so stop acting like you do. I chose this form, half-dead or not, and the hell if I know whether Auri-chi chose it too. Quit hangin’ your head over me like you’re my owner or something, pipsqueak.” Dieter spit his cigarette a few feet in front of him before crushing it under his foot, “If you want me to do something, hide your ass behind Lieutenant Tappen and tell him to get me to do it, coward.”

The word ‘Dieter’ written in Lionus was flung at an amazing speed at the back of Dieter’s head, sending the latter sliding face first down a good portion of the hill. It was his chin that landed first before bouncing him up into the air again. Splat, right on his back, Dieter peered up the hill at Rasch with an exhasperated gaze. The old man had his hand in the air after having flicked his wrist to send his sharp chide into Dieter’s attention. His hand began drawing words again, though he stopped after the first four letters because Tappen had returned.

“So, be on your BEST behaviour."

Rasch pointed at Tappen, then at Dieter before brushing his black jacket off and continuing down the hill.

“He was askin’ for it.” Dieter mumbled childishly, the bloody scrape on his chin moving from his neck to disappear under his eyepatch. He hopped back to his feet, wrenching his pinstriped vest off and shaking the sand from it, craning his neck around to look at Laeina, “So what’re you headed for this dude’s house for? Don’t see much point in-… Alright, fine, best behavior, jeez. All your panties are in some kind of painful twist or somethin’, I swear.”

-------------------------------------------

Violette shook her head and offered Sanako a smile, “You shouldn’t only get ready when you have someone to impress. You’ll feel better if you always look your best.” She frowned when Sanako spoke her proposition though, “Sanako, that’s not going-“

“Enough!” Armon slammed his palm down on the table and stood, knocking his chair aside, “I’ve had enough of this! I don’t know what to do with you anymore! Is this what you call getting stronger? Is it? Let me tell you; I don’t think you look strong at all. I think you look like a little girl who’s just running away! Before, I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see how you could possibly admire me in any way- I couldn’t see how you thought I was an obstacle to surpass. I see it now. It’s clear as day, because you look absolutely pathetic. Set your priorities straight! Are you going to pretend that you’re solving everything this way? Are you going to tell me that Rosaline is dead because of you?”

“Armon-“ Violette began, standing up as well, but it wasn’t about to end there. Armon’s patience had finally run dry.

“That’s what I hate about you Reid! You blame yourself for this and that! Everyone around you seems to get hurt, huh? Don’t flatter yourself! The world doesn’t revolve around you! Are the people getting hurt not around me? Are they just people who are completely unaffected by anyone but you? Shut yourself off if you want- I’m beyond the point of caring, because you don’t even care yourself. Do what you want, but I’ve already changed my mind. There’s no way I’m going to follow someone who falls apart like this into a battle for something I don’t even advocate. Free the wyverns and phoenix on your own if you want to act like this. This is a war, Mr. Davies. If decide you’re not going to wimp out every time a sacrifice is made, I’m all ears.”

“Armon!” Violette cried, equally furious, “Think if you were Sanako for a secon-“

“I’ve already moved on from the things she’s dealing with.” Armon whirled around, “You don’t know anything about me OR Reid! You want me to sympathize for him? Alright. I pity him. But you know what? I think this is great irony. Swallow your own medicine Reid. At least she had the decency to tell you she was leaving.”

Without another word, Armon left the dining room without dinner. Screw Stahn and his stupid training principles.

parallelzero
March 29th, 2008, 05:15 PM
Sanako jumped, startled by the hand being thrown against the table at such a speed and intensity that the silverware jumped. She proceeded to wince as every word that came out of Armon's mouth pierced her painfully like being showered by arrows. Her eyes still pointed down, but they were no looking back and forth rapidly as she thought of what to say in rebuttle. What was there to say in rebuttle? She knew he was right, but couldn't bring herself to admit it. Even after Armon had stormed off, she still said nothing.

Christian sighed, before lifting himself from his seat. He politely pushed it in, before walking to Sanako's side. He raised his hand elegantly, before swinging it down across the unaware Sanako's face. "What the hell are you doing!? Say something for yourself! Show me that the boy who's been protecting me for the past five years was actually capable of protecting me! Or have you always thought like this, been like this deep down? Was I fool to put my life in your hands!?" Sanako touched her right hand to her right cheek, which was quickly reddening. It hurt, a lot. She looked up at Christian, shocked at the gesture and what he was saying. "Well!?"

Her eyes softened as they looked back to the ground. "You're right... Maybe I always have thought like this. I thought like this after Rod died, and after my mom died. But, that didn't stop me, did it?" Her voice was still quiet, as if she didn't really want to say it. "I guess I wasn't a good choice-" Her face was engulfed in pain as Christian swung again.

"Did you listen to a THING Armon said!? Stop blaming yourself, Reid!"

Stahn suddenly came in from the doorway in which Armon had left, carrying the boy by his shirt collar. "My, my, look what I found. I arranged this dinner, you know, you should stay and enjoy it~" He sat Armon back down on his chair, before finally freeing him from his grasp.

It was Sanako's time to get up out of her seat. After taking into consideration everything that Armon said, there were a few conclusions that she had come to. She went to his side, and like Christian had done to her, she slapped Armon with all of the power her little arm could muster. "WOULD YOU GET OVER YOURSELF? You still haven't forgiven the fact that I left, have you!? After all of this time, I had let myself believe you'd have the decency to forgive me. I left for a legitimate reason. But no, you can't let it go because I came back with another girl! For the love of God, I didn't even start dating Flaire until three years after I left!" She spun around, in an attempt to leave before Armon got his hands on her, but found herself spinning around to slap Armon again as she remembered something else. "And ANOTHER THING. How could you take it out on Violette, she didn't deserve that! You need to apologize to her!"

This time, she actually succeeded in walking away, only to sit at her dinner seat once again. "Stahn. If I complete this training, I'll be able to avenge Rosaline, right?" She said, before watching the man intently. "No... we'll be able to avenge her, right?" Christian smiled, before sitting back down. It seems she had gotten the message, finally.

"Well, yes, in theory. You'd have to find out who did it first..."

"Good, now is there anyway we could get a round of drinks?"

"Pfft, no way. I'm not serving alcohol to a minor, especially not a girl. You'd never hold it in."

"..."

---

"Ah, Mr. Stahn is an aquaintance of my parents. They're business partners of sorts I believe. Anyways, he requested my presence here, and despite the fact I have school, my parents still sent me." Laeina reply to Dieter's question. Tsukasa watched the girl closely, looking for anything peculiar about her that would suggest she may be a threat. She had no weapons on her, and he couldn't sense any mahstion leaking from her body...

"Are you an aristocrat?" Tsukasa finally said something, taking note of her well kept appearance and expensive clothing.

Laeina blushed as she held her hands together at her waist. "Well, in a way, yes. I was adopted two years ago. Until then, I had been living out on the streets my whole life." The streets, huh? Impressive. Was there some street skill she had that Stahn wanted?

"We're here..." Ashton said as they arrived at the gates of the mansion.

Loki
March 31st, 2008, 04:00 PM
Enough.

Armon had had enough.

And thus, even though he’d just been slapped twice for two stupid reasons that he normally would’ve sent Dation arrows at Sanako for, he sat silently, refused to meet anyone’s gaze, and let an ugly expression linger on his face for the rest of the meal. He did not apologize to Violette, who looked more concerned about the quickly disintegrating relationship between Armon and Sanako than the jab about her being an outsider. She peered at Christian, her cheeks pink with apologetic embarrassment. She hadn’t really helped much at all, though… it was probably good that Sanako had had the motivation to stand up for her. It was a good sign, right? This rift wouldn’t make things worse, would it? Violette hung her head for a second. Ahh, how Lazarus wished he’d been transformed into Alicel instead of some random dolled up girl. It would’ve been so much less awkward, and at least Alicel didn’t have a huge… Violette shook the thought out of her head. Now was no time to be thinking about that. What was done was done. Alicel had passed away a good four years ago, and Rosaline, just a few hours ago.

“It’s okay Sanako,” Violette sweatdropped, feeling an aura of low-tolerance floating around Armon, “It really wasn’t that bad…”

’Ahhh, what a stubborn guy. Not attractive.’ Orcha hung upside down from one of the tree’s, having earlier blended in completely thanks to her hair and dress of maple leaves. She stuck her tongue out at Xaviae and Jeckt, to receive a raised eyebrow and disgusting expression respectively.

’Shove it.’ Jeckt barked, his face returning to normal, ’Nobody asked for an opinion from ugly.’

’Aww,’ Orcha crooned, a smirk on her black lips, ’Your insults suck too!’

For a split second, Armon’s hair turned jet black. But only for a split second, as Jeckt quickly calmed himself. No reason to get worked up over someone else’s negafael. At least he had a sense of modesty in terms of clothing. If leaves could even be considered clothing. And that ugly make-up! She looked like a clown. He slid down the tree, the chain’s sliding with him as he sighed in content. After putting her down a few times, he felt better already.


“Special, free-of-charge trainers have arriiiiived~!” Dieter called into the courtyard, busting into the mansion without bothering to be on-call for good grace. Strangely enough, this time, Rasch did not scold Dieter for having no manners, instead, merely waltzed right in behind him, peering at the room while he moustache twitched. What a fancy room. He preferred the simplicity of the hotel conference room. Dieter however, had stopped completely in his tracks upon walking in. Unlike Rasch, he was not absorbed in the room’s decorations, but instead at the person who had just stepped off the staircase. Dieter smiled like an innocent child, his cheeks turning red as he pointed at the silver haired person staring back at him with curious green eyes.

“Rasch, Rasch look! It’s a crossdresser!” Dieter exclaimed, excited beyond all belief.

The vein pop that appeared over the girl’s head couldn’t have possibly been bigger. Dieter sweatdropped at the killer aura being emitted as the person clad in a tank top and miniskirt practically breathed fire in his face, “I’M A GIRL!!!!”

Rasch suppressed a bemused expression as he turned to watch the scene of Dieter getting chewed out by the curve-less girl. How unattractive. Wait. Rasch sighed and scolded himself mentally. As an old man, it wasn’t proper to judge a young woman’s worth by her appearance. Had he been perhaps forty years younger, then it would certainly be perfectly fine. He continued to survey the room. Well, it would be pointless to utter the only five words he ever said to just one person. Until everyone of any worth on the premises was gathered, he would hold off on introducing himself.

“al-RIG-ht I GET the POINT!” Dieter cried, his voice fluxuating in volume as he was shaken back and forth by his collar by Gil, who had successfully busted his sunglasses, which lay in shattered pieces on the ground. Wrenching himself out of the monster’s grasp, he rolled his eyes and pulled another pair of sunglasses from the cavity where his heart should’ve been, though from the outside, it looked as if they had merely come from a pocket inside his vest.

“Wait.” Gil stood back, annoyance cast across her features at Dieter, “Who are you people?”

parallelzero
March 31st, 2008, 06:40 PM
"Oh, how wonderful, my assistance has arrived~" Stahn sang cheerfully as Dieter first entered the room, setting off Gil in an instant. Gil's reaction was natural, Levi wasn't present during the attack at the castle. However, both Sanako and Christian were quick to prepare themselves. They, however, were weaponless, so that seemed futile. Sanako went to speak, to accuse them of murdering Rosaline, but Stahn stopped him before he could. "They aren't enemies. We're all on the same side here." Same side? Was he stupid or something!? It was these people who attacked them in the first place. She held her tongue, however, realizing there would be no benefit is mistrusting Stahn now, especially if she wanted to avenge Rosaline.

"Hey! Hey! Ashton! This is what you call a 'magical girl', right?" Auricia enthusiastically called back to her Lieutenant. Sanako jumped back a ways as she realized the violet haired girl was talking about her. "I mean, she really does look like one!"

Sanako sweatdropped. "Do I... really look like that?"
"...Yes." Christian sighed in response as he sweatdropped as well, stating it in a way that suggested 'you didn't notice before!?'

Ashton sighed as he stepped out of the shadows of the hallway and into the dining hall, Laeina following behind closely with her hands held together down by here waist. It was easy to tell at first glance that her personality would by striking similar to Violette. That refined personality that would probably leave a bad taste in at least Gil's mouth. "No, Auricia. That's that boy from the castle. Remember? The one with the brown hair?"

"Oh, you mean the one you beat really easy?" Anger marks formed above Sanako's left eye.

"Hey! Shut up! Don't talk like we were on the same level! I was-"

"Weak? I told you that, but you must have been unconscious." Ashton cut Sanako off, arrogantly flaunting his victory over Reid. Sanako was once again about to do something she'd regret after the mental fuse to the bomb that was her self control almost reached the end of it's line, when her hand was suddenly snatched from her own control. A boy, probably somewhere between the ages of 10 and 12 now had it in his grasp, and he knelt down and kissed it, which made quick work of the pale colouring of Sanako's face, turning it bright red.

She quickly snatched her own hand away, looking down at the boy in shock. She wasn't left an opening to rebuttle as he stood and bowed, flashing her a smile that almost melted her heart. "I am Tsukasa. It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss." He stepped back to Ashton's side, leaving the beet red girl to twiddle her thumbs before moving to hide behind Violette. Christian sweatdropped. She may put on a tough exterior, but she's pretty easy to woo, huh?

Auricia however, was highly amused by the gesture Tsukasa had made, and her face was tinted red with embarrassment as she watched. She, however, broke into uncontrollable laughter as Ashton swallowed a pill he accepted with much distate, transforming him into a red pigtailed, green eyed little girl, most likely around the age of ten, dressed in a small white dress. The girl stared unamused at everyone, but Sanako couldn't resist. "Not so tough now, are ya, little girl? Now that I'm bigger than y- AHHH!" All the girl had to do was flick her hand open to send a stream of fionus at Sanako, engulfing her head and hair. She didn't say anything, but rather blankly watched the result of the attack. Sanako ran around in circles for a moment as she tried to put the fire in her hair out, before finally dumping a glass of water on it. "Violette, can you fix my hair~?" She asked as she ran over to Violette afterwards, struggling to identify had any damage had been done.

"Don't mind Rita, she's just a bit of a prankster. Don't worry, you're hair is still just as beautiful." Sanako's face turned beet red once more as Tsukasa spoke, and once again Sanako retreated to safety behind Violette, not particularly sure how to react. In this respect, Sanako was still a kid.

"Okay, have we all had our fun ye-"

"YOU THINK THIS IS FUN!?"

"Yes, Sanako, I do. It wasn't obvious before? Now, shut up and listen if you want to get stronger." Stahn barked back at the girl in a much more serious tone than his usual one. "Admittedly, I've been hiding some important information from you all. First, and least important, NEAR is an organization of my creation." Christian gritted his teeth. All of the pain he had suffered from the attack, that was his fault!? "Now, before you say anything, that attack yesterday was a test to see if you were worthy. Whether or not I was going to come to you would depend on how you dealt with the threat. You didn't win, but you did display your ability to function as a whole, so I let you pass. I wasn't expecting Ashton and the Skills to interfere that night, though."

He glanced at Rita, who finally decided to speak. "I apologize, sensei. But I had no choice to follow orders at the time." Sanako and Christian were crazy confused. It was safe to assume that those... strange people were called Skills.

"It's fine, it's fine. It helped provide some motivation to come along, I think. Anyways, NEAR is an organization created to protect the Ophelian Core." An even more confused look washed over Sanako's face. A whatti-what? She listened with her total attention provided, however. "You see, when the Goddess Ophelia left this earth, she left behind a fragment of herself. With it, the user could probably mold the world into their own image. It would mean the end of life as we know it. But you see, the goddess wasn't stupid. She scattered the core into an unknown number of pieces and bound them to the human soul. Generation upon generation, these shards have been passed down to new hosts."

"Unfortunately, one man has decided to begin to collect these shards, and I think this is why Rosaline was killed. When the shard is removed from a human's soul, they die. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. They just plain drop dead. I can guarantee you this. Rosaline Dian had a shard in her soul. And, some of you here do as well." Stahn muttered an additional phrase under his breath, but it wasn't modern language.

Sanako wasn't sure exactly what happened next, but she could tell it was triggered by whatever it was Stahn murmured. Her chest just... started to glow a pale green colour. The same thing happened to Gil, Rita, Stahn, and the polite girl who's name had yet to be identified, only the colour coincided with their mahstion. The new girl, however, hers glowed violet for some reason. She stumbled backwards, hitting Violette and smacking her head off of the older girl's chest. The light faded shortly after. "You four will be undergoing intensive training starting tonight. If you don't want to be killed, that is. That's why I had Ashton bring the skills. I'm sure you'll learn faster if your lives are actually on the line. There's also the matter of your alignment. You don't all have to join up with out organization, but we could use all of the help we can get in infiltrating the enemy base at the end of the month. Of course, you'll have to accept the absolute truth when the time comes." Absolute truth?

Rita, naturally, was the first to reply. "You know you have my support, sensei."

"I don't know... I don't have any real combat practice... at all." Laeina replied uncertainly as she bowed apologetically.

Stahn grinned. "But you have that ability, don't you? That newly discovered mahstion?"

"Well, yes, but-"

"Show us."

Submittingly, Laeina sighed. She turned to something with little value - a wooden chair - and stared intently at it. After a moment, her pupils began to glow violet, and she raised her hand. The chair followed. The then squeezed her hand to make a fist. The chair shattered. Sanako blinked. Auricia blinked. Christian blinked. Tsukasa blinked. Rita blinked. The hell was that? "I apologize..." She bowed again, before dusting the residue from the smashed chair off her skirt. "I may have gone a little overboard using my Psyion..."

"Then you're training. That power will be invaluable in battle, Laeina." In the end, Stahn decided for her.

Not quite sure what to do herself, Sanako turned the rest of her group worriedly. "Guys... I don't want to be separated from you guys to do different training, but I need to get stronger... What should I do?"

"You'll be training with them most of the time, Sanako, it's just the occassional excersize. Besides, the one who wants to abuse the power of the Ophelian Core, the man who killed Rosaline. His name is Kayle Spar."

"N-no way! He'd never-"

"We have proof. Images from one of the other recent murders. It was him, no doubt about it. Though the fact that he gave you permission to train here must mean that he doesn't see you or may teaching abilities as a threat..." Sanako was surprised she hadn't passed out. This day was just full of surprises.

Loki
March 31st, 2008, 07:54 PM
Armon stood off to the side, watching everything with a serious glare. The comedic scene’s occurring in front of him couldn’t even twitch the corner of his lip. He was still extremely angry, and it didn’t seem like he would be getting over it anytime soon. Mostly though, he was watching the skill who wore the bright yellow T-shirt and was currently searching through all his pockets and sticking his hands through his body in various places in search of- The Skill broke out into a grin as he stuck an index finger in the air. Armon couldn’t resist sweatdropping when he merely plunged his hand into his back pocket. After sticking his hand through his heart, lungs, and stomach, the last place he looked was his back pocket. Armon frowned at the sight of the pack of cigarettes. He didn’t approve of smoking in any form. It was easy to tell what mahstion the skill used though, because upon clamping the death stick between his lips, the skill merely flicked the end and it lit. Unless he’d made his hand into a lighter?

However, when one of the new intruders transformed as well, the skill spat out his (already) half used up cigarette and collapsed in uncontrollable laughter.

“Sure!” Violette was strangely skilled at fixing hair without a brush. Probably an after effect from Hyacinth so that her favorite doll’s hair could never be anything less than neat.

“Lieutenant!” The skill that had almost destroyed Adela’s left hand cried, pointing at the red haired girl, “-No no, I should call you Rita from now on, shouldn’t I? Ahahaha!!!”

“Woah, so,” Gil once again peered shamelessly down her shirt, wholly okay with being apart of the conversation in only this way, “I have one of these shard-thingy’s too?”

Dieter suddenly stopped laughing at something Rita had said. Displeasure was oozing out of his every pore as his expression suddenly changed from carefree mirth to disgusted fury. “No choice but to follow orders?” He hissed at Rita, sounding nothing like Armon had ever heard before, “Being here…. Is essentially something that they don’t want? Are you telling me that…..” He took a breath, though spoke in the same trembling voice as before, very much like he was trying his very hardest to stay calm, “You tricked me into going against the people who are more important than you?”

Suddenly he smiled, a serene, calming smile that last only till the end of his question, “Did you forget to tell me some details?”

The skill let out a yell that was something between suffering and fierce rage. Violette slapped a hand of her mouth when Dieter pulled his hand off, a routine motion that was surely a gruesome sight to anyone who’d never seen it before, the hand morphing into a mahstion gun- all this in less than a second. The shot fired clearly, but the results of the fionus bullet were completely nullified by a white orb of Lionus that hovered at the tip of Dieter’s gun, his wrist dripping with blood as a tortured expression crossed his face, “I knew it. I knew you weren’t on our side. If you were, then you wouldn’t care if I killed those people!” He pointed his gun at Christian due to his lack of a free hand, though the orb of Lionus followed the tip, “ARE YOU USING ME?” Dieter laughed, “DO YOU THINK I FALL UNDER YOUR JURISDICTION IF YOUR GOAL ISN’T THE SAME AS GREGAR’S? I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS ABOUT THIS ROSALINE GIRL, OR THIS OPHELIA CRAP. THE BEST THING IS THAT THAT STUPID COUNTRY IS GOING TO DIE WITHOUT THAT PUFFED UP PRINCES-“

“That’s enough.”

Dieter was instantly silenced. Switch. He peered up over his shoulder at Rasch, who had put his very own hand on top of Dieter’s head. His eyes were wide in awe, at the old man who wrenched the mahstion gun out of Dieter’s hand and reattached it with Lionus.

“Rasch,” Dieter broke out into a genuine smile, “Did-Did you just say something other than ‘You may call me Rasch’?!”

The man said nothing in response. Dieter’s excitement instantly deflated at the lack of words, though he was satisfied enough to keep from questioning Tappen’s plans any further for the time being. He moved back behind Rasch with an innocent smile. He was truly like a child to Rasch, to be so pleased as to have gotten two words that were different from what he always heard. Hearing Rasch’s voice was so rare, and it was almost never directed at him! Rasch, however, was not as pleased as Dieter. He had no intentions of disobeying Gregar at the current moment. Sure, he certainly had not been as conscious of his self-being as Dieter when he’d been inches from death, and so he had not chosen the fate to become a living weapon. He felt no inclination to do exactly as Gregar told him. However, he also felt no loyalty towards Tappen, in high contrast with Tsukasa and Auricia. He also was feeling cheated.

This time, Rasch did not even bother to lift his hands. Lionus scrawled across the air, the look of contempt on an aged face being the only way to convey the arrogant way the words would’ve been spoken.

‘Please, Lieutenant Tappen,’ The Lionus read, ‘if you would kindly explain the differences between your intentions and ours.’

Kayle, huh? Armon ignored the conflict between the skill’s and their Lieutenant, trying to think of a moment in time that Kayle might’ve slipped to give her a clue that he was behind all this… No, if he was good enough to get past Rosaline, then he probably hadn’t slipped in her presence. And then there were these Skill people. Judging by what the yellow-clad one had done earlier, they probably could manipulate their bodies. Aertan had cut his hand off, to never get it back, while this man seemed to take it off and put it on like an accessory. The two who were questioning the Lieutenant couldn’t be trusted. They didn’t seem intent on changing sides. Actually… Armon considered the circumstances for a moment. He didn’t really trust the Gregar Lieutenant either. But it was Stahn that irritated him the most. Adela’s Lieutenant side took over at once.

“Are you telling me that you’ve caused me to waste an entire squadron on investigating your stupid organization?” Armon snapped at Stahn, folding his arms, “And then, not only do you waste my soldier’s time, you call me out here to waste mine as well? Is there any point in calling those of us who do not possess a shard? And you have-…” Armon grit his teeth, “Whatever! I’m going to bed, I’ve had enough of you crazy people for one night.” He stopped halfway across the hall though and turned around to glare at Dieter.

“Oh?” Dieter lifted his sunglasses away from his eyes before smirking, “… You must be the Lieutenant. I see your hand still works- a shame it is. And I was so sure I’d killed you, too. Got a lucky break, didn’t you? Oh speaking of killing, did you like my poison?”

Armon’s glare intensified before he finally turned around to finish storming out of the hall, snarling at Stahn, “Don’t you dare bother me.”

Violette had officially lost all interest in anything but the Psyion. Kayle? Who was that? She didn’t particularly care at the moment. Ophelia? She’d already studied Ophelia. Shards? Perhaps another day. Hurrying over to the remnants of the chair, Violette picked up a piece and turned it over in her hand. Was there a pattern to how it was destroyed? Perhaps Psyion was like an extension of one’s body? If so, then the chair would’ve broken as though it had been gripped too tightly in the palm of a hand, the same way Laeina had tightened her hand into a fist. Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.

Violette- No, Lazarus, had a fascinatingly one-track mind.

parallelzero
March 31st, 2008, 09:11 PM
"While they seek to destroy, I seek to preserve." Rita began. He had to word this delicately. If they got an answer they didn't like, Dieter and Rasch would most likely go back to Gregar, inform them of his treachery, which would destroy any element of surprise. "If all of the shards are found, legend or not, this whole world is in danger. I want to prevent that, so that people like you guys don't end up suffering anymore than you already have."

Auricia smiled warmly. "That's why Tsukasa and I joined. All of us Skills carry a special kind of pain, whether you'll admit it or not. I know this all sounds surreal, I thought so as well, but I have faith in whichever path Ashton chooses, because he understands my pain, and he understands that I wouldn't wish the pain and sorrow I suffered from the day my father pushed me in front of that train." Sanako watched this girl intently. Pushed in front of a train? By her own father? Just what were these people? But still, her story and willingness to prevent the pain of others touched Sanako deeply, and she embraced the girl with a stream of tears. Auricia stared back in shock, before sweatdropping, realizing what she must of done.

"If you really want to know why I asked the rest of you hear, the answer is simple." Stahn called back after Armon. "It's because despite that they have these shards, they still need friends to help protect them. Is there truly nobody here you want to protect? If that's so, you can just go home then. Maybe I was wrong to think you could overcome your weaknesses."

---

Sanako winced as the morning sun reigned over her vision. What had happened last night? Not much after Rita showed up. Stahn explained everything, then Armon stormed off- Right. She remembered now, she had gone back to her room an hour later, after socializing with everyone for a while, she had returned to her room. Since Armon was already asleep when she returned, she had gotten changed into a pink satin nightgown and snuck into the bed beside him.

Her eyes wandered to the side, and saw that Armon was still resting. It would be rude to disturb him, she thought, not realizing what was wrong with how she was thinking. Therefore, she quietly got herself out of bed, being considerate enough to not shake the bed too much at the same time. Her movements felt sluggish compared to the day before. Ah well, maybe it was just her mind playing tricks on her. The bathroom, she decided, was her destination. She had to look good for the new day, after all. As she walked past the mirrors on the bedroom walls, she failed to catch a glimpse of her black silk nightdress cut to look like a sundress upon her busty, doll-like body, or her short purple pigtails, or her purple eyes.

No, it wasn't until she was in the bathroom, with the light on, until she actually noticed. Sanako wasn't Sanako. Sanako was Violette! 'Violette' passed out, landing quite loudly on the floor. A loud knock then came from the door, and Christian stormed in, carrying a still sleeping 'Sanako' in his arms. Christian's originaly thought when he woke up beside Sanako was that she had accidentally gone into the wrong room, but then, he remembered what he had overheard Stahn say. "ARMON GET UP DAMMIT. SANAKO AND VIOLETTE SWITCHED FORMS."

Violette, having regained her awareness, rose from the bathroom floor and entered the main portion of the bedroom. But, she hit the floor again when she saw 'Sanako', her body, with Christian.

Loki
April 1st, 2008, 10:46 AM
Even after the night before's crazy events that just seemed to be a blur of shock and surprise, Armon had still managed to get a very nice night of sleep. Actually, more like he'd forced himself to. He'd been drenched so much in the rain yesterday, if he'd been awake all night thinking useless thoughts that wouldn't make anything better, he most definitely would've been sick today. As of now, however, he felt perfectly fine, save for the same frustration he felt before he went to bed. He mulled over Stahn's words, closing his eyes to feign sleep when Sanako woke up. Someone he wanted to protect? He was wrong to think that he could overcome his weaknesses? Armon made an effort not to scoff at the man. The only thing Stahn had gotten horribly wrong was Armon's entire mindframe in general. If someone couldn't protect themselves, there was no point in their existence. That man didn't know a thing, and yet he sat there acting high and mighty as if he did….. Armon grit his teeth. So then, why was he still here?

What a pain- Armon sat bolt upright when he heard something crash to the ground in the bathroom. He was this close to calling out Sanako's name, but then decided that after getting slapped by her twice, she didn't deserve his worry. He was halfway through lying back on his bed when he was sent into a sitting position again at the next interruption, rubbing his head in annoyance as a headache rattled his brain.

"SANAKO AND VIOLETTE SWITCHED FORMS." A voice Armon tagged as Christian yelled much too loudly for the early morning hours.

Armon watched Christian’s face for a momen before yawning without much care. Armon noticed with a disdainful glance: the sleeping Sanako and then the Violette on the floor.

"But there's no patternnn..." The Sanako in Christian's arms mumbled, turning her face into Christian's torso to block out the sun. Eh? Sanako looked up at Christian, blinking sleep away from her eyes, "Hm, Christian? What's wrong..." She yawned, covering her mouth and nose politely before continuing, "Why are you carrying m-"

Sanako's eyes went wide at the sight of her chest.

"... Am I... missing something?" She stammered, before noticing that she was not Violette, and more importantly, was being touched by Christian. As Violette, she probably wouldn't have cared less, but Sanako was still Sanako and she immediately drove the heel of her palm into Christian's chin and shrieked, scrambling away, "DON'T TOUCH ME!!"

"Wh-What's going on?!" Sanako cried, looking at Violette collapsed on the ground, "Why am I... unconscious?!"

"Shut up already." Armon sighed, rubbing his eyes, "She passed out on her own."

Sanako turned her accusing index finger on Armon, "WH-WHY AREN'T YOU WEARING ANYTHING?!"

Armon raised an eyebrow before looking down at his bare chest. Oh, she must not have gotten the memo that he was wearing loose cotton pants underneath. He smirked. It was a little early for jokes, but, why not? She’d presented the perfect opportunity.

"I couldn't resist. I mean really, a girl right next to me? Completely defenseless?" He shrugged, feeling less aggravated than he did earlier already. Maybe this wasn't so bad a way to start the morning, "But I'm pretty sure that it was that body," Armon pointed at Sanako, "Not that one.” He jerked his thumb at Violette. “So you don’t have to worry at all. Oh, but wait, you are in Sanako’s body right now, so technically…." Sanako turned a bright shade of red, pressing the skirt of her nightdress down.

"PERVERT!" She yelled, grabbing the nearest object. Armon dodged a lamp, then a chair. He noticed that the books sitting on the desk were completely untouched. Yeah, this Sanako was definitely Lazarus. Same weird worshipping tendencies towards books.

"Calm down!" Armon snapped, ducking down, "I didn't do anything to you! Actually, technically even if I did do something to Sanako, it wouldn't really have been you... -Woah!" Armon dodged a vase that shattered to pieces upon impact with the ground, "I told you I didn't do anything!" He pulled the covers off his lower half to reveal his striped pants, "See?! Pants are on! Jeez, like I'd even want to try anything with you. Too violent for my tast- Hey! Stop throwing things already!!"

-----

With no call for manners, Dieter’s bare feet were propped up on the counter, slouching as he munched on a piece of toast and jam that hung from his mouth. He didn’t bother to use his hands, because both of them were occupied by giant bottles of soda, both of them at least half gone. His bright red pajama pants were too big for his twig-like frame, barely holding onto his hips and revealing at least a third of his black boxers. His sunglasses lay neatly folded next to his emptied plate, along with another glass of soda. He wore no shirt, much like Armon, except that the latter actually had flesh. Dieter looked to be a skeleton in terms of build, and every time he breathed in, one could practically count his ribs. His hair was flying in all directions, a particularly large cowlick on the right side of his head, the crazed hairstyle revealing the dead flesh and burns, scars streaking across the wrinkled skin. This gruesome sight didn’t bother Rasch in the least, who was already fully dressed with a cup of black coffee in front of him as he read a leather bound book. His moustache was properly gelled, and he’d even taken the time to don his monocle and black gloves. The contrast between the two was a sight to behold.

“I’m hungry.” Dieter commented as he chewed on his breakfast.

Rasch’s eyes left his book for a split second, a look of self-pity that was almost as if he were saying, ‘Why did I get stuck with this guy?’

But it had been he who had convinced Dieter to stay and refrain from telling Gregar of Lieutenant Tappen’s movements. Rasch had been amused enough by Tappen’s attempt at consideration towards himself and Dieter to stay for this, at the very least. He knew that he was merely a tool that would be used as a stepping stone for the more important things. He looked back down at his book his expression showing that he was moderately concerned. The old man wasn’t quite sure how long he could keep the skill across the table under his control. Even Dieter would have a limit towards how submissive he would be towards Rasch. His loyalty was directed more at Gregar than anything else. Rasch turned the page as he mulled over a way to turn Dieter’s steadfast loyalty towards his own goals. It’d be simple if Rasch would just speak more. No, Rasch ruled that out as a solution. He’d rather go back to Gregar than speak regularly.

“Rasch,” Dieter sighed, balancing one bottle of soda on his head as he tossed his half eaten toast back on his plate with his free hand, “Do you agree with what Tappen is doing?”

Rasch closed his book and took a sip of his coffee. Dieter made a face; he hated coffee. Lionus wrote Rasch’s response, ’I plan on having Lieutenant Tappen show me what he’s going to be doing, and then I will decide with whom I side with.’

Dieter read the Lionus with a blank expression, “…Yeah I guess. But I doubt that Tappen really cares about our suffering. More like Auricia or those other weaklings. And besides, how would he know what we’ve suffered? I hate it when people who don’t know anything butt into my business.”

Rasch tapped the table and the Lionus wrote faster, ’I don’t need pity for my own grievances. However, it would be wise of us to be sure to examine all our choices before jumping on the bandwagon.’

“Hey, Rasch,” Dieter said with a sly grin, changing the subject entirely as his personality switched once again, “Since you’re so talkative today, tell me how you nearly died. I know Tsukasa and Auricia's now, they wouldn't stop saying it yesterday. If you tell me, I'll tell you the way I almost died! How about it??”

Rasch raised an eyebrow and opened his book again to signal the end of the conversation.

’No.’

parallelzero
April 1st, 2008, 01:20 PM
Rita sighed as she was lead into the kitched by Auricia, whom was cheerfully pulling the little redhead along like a mother. Auricia had been with Ashton when he first trained under Stahn years before, so she knew Rita's personality all too well. Indifferent and silent unless provoked. That was the personality the female Ashton possessed, and Auricia knew full well how to take advantage of it. "Ah! Die-chi! Rasch-chi!" Auricia exclaimed as she found the two other skills in the kitchen. Really, not understand why Dieter himself did it with her name, Auricia decided she would tag the -chi onto their names for a while to see how Dieter would react. Rita was being the skill girl, blushing madly. Would those two even listen to her as a commander in this form? Ashton mentally slapped himself. No, that was part of Rita's personality. Too wary of what everyone else thought.

---

Stahn glanced carefully at the televison monitor in his room. Thank god for having an archaeologist for a brother. He always brough him such nice things, like the cameras stationed in everyone's room. He gazed intently upon the havoc unfolding in Armon and Sanako's room. "It should be wearing off in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Now." He watched as 'Sanako' went into a sudden daze, snapping out of it just as the real Violette began to stir once more. "Good, good. Now, how is subject eight doing?" He buzzed through a microphone, and received his reply.

"Fine, sir, vitals are stable."

---

"Eh? What just happened?" Sanako blinked, her arm raised in the air with a fork in it, previously ready to permanently fuse it with Armon's flesh. Her hand dropped, realizing she was in her own body. "I'm me again, I'm me again~!" She hugged Armon out of happiness, but mentally smacked herself after remembering the fight they had the night before. "Sorry, you probably don't want to be hugged by a 'wimp', right?" She puffed up her cheek as she gestured for Christian to take Violette and leave. He did as he was told, and lead the girl back to her room. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm getting changed." She didn't bother making him close his eyes as she stripped her nightdress off, revealing the undergarments she was wearing. She tossed the dirty bed clothes at his face as she went to reach for a plain white, knee length dress with black spaghetti straps. She didn't make it that far, as she suddenly became engaged in a coughing fit, sending her to her knees. She tried covering her mouth, but disengaged the idea when she felt something coming up. Her eyes shot open, it was painful. The sound of fluid hitting the floor was heard as a decent amount of blood exited the girl's mouth, leaving her, sweaty and shaking, trying to wipe away the excess with her arm.

---

"That was unexpected..." Stahn murmured as he watched Sanako with interest. "Could she have... no. Maybe it was just a side effect of my experiment."

Loki
April 1st, 2008, 02:13 PM
Dieter took his attention off of reading Rasch’s book upside down when he heard Auricia. His eyes noticed Tappen behind her, and his fingers reached for his sunglasses, putting them on before they waltzed up to the side of the table.

“Auri-chi!” Dieter grinned, “You gave me a nickname! That’s really cute, don’t you think Rasch? I mean, usually you’re always giving all your attention to Tappen- is the sudden interest in twisting our names around from the fact that Tappen’s like, half of what he was before?” Dieter laughed, and Rasch took note of the lack of ‘Lieutenant’ when Dieter addressed Ashton. His respect had already dwindled, huh? Rasch sighed and turned the page of his book. “You should pay attention to us more often. Maybe I won’t take my hands off as often if you do.”

’Rasch only. Please refrain from strange nicknames.’ Lionus danced in front of Auricia’s face to form Rasch’s stern comment, the man in question readjusting his monocle. Besides, Rasch-chi just didn’t fit. The rhythm was all wrong, and it was very hard to pronounce. More importantly, it was embarrassing, and a very stupid nickname in the first place. It wasn’t even a shortened version of his name; just an extended one. He swallowed a mouthful of coffee, enjoying the bitter taste that Dieter hated.

“Did you have breakfast yet, Auri-chi?” Dieter asked, finishing off half a liter of soda. It was nesseccary for him to have this much caffine in the morning, otherwise, he wouldn’t jumpstart at all during the day. He’d just crawl across the floor like a snail, free of any energy and devoid of any thought process, “The food here is pretty good. Well actually it tastes just like every other food I’ve had, but maybe my tongue is defective.”

Rasch looked up suddenly. But it was a silent gesture that Dieter, busy examining his tongue, didn’t notice. It hadn’t been long, but Rasch could already smell the blood coming from the rooms. It was an unfamiliar scent, so it obviously must’ve belonged to one of the humans.

------------------



“Sounds about right…” Armon mumbled to himself with an indifferent gaze as he showed no reaction to Christian and Violette’s departure. He felt that the joke had been lifted far too fast. He didn’t bother changing at all, instead, simply sat where he was and watched Sanako change. Yesterday, she’d made a big deal out of changing in front of him, so he’d ignored her to the fullest. And now, she wasn’t making a big deal out of it, so he’d watch her. It was simply the way things balanced out. He supported his head from lolling back into sleep with the palm of his hand, his elbows propped up on his knees. This way, he could annoy her and get vengeance for last… night? Armon took a double take when Sanako began to cough up blood. He had horribly slow reflexes in the morning. It took him awhile to register that now was no time to be holding a grudge against her. He was by her side in a flash after he’d finally processed the information, a hand on her head as if to make sure she didn’t suddenly just shrivel away.

“Hey, what’s going on?!” He was tired of worrying. He was tired of all this crap that was happening around Sanako that he had to deal with. And yet, he dealt with it anyway, forgetting his frustration for a moment.

“Here,” Armon stood and reeled his hand away from Sanako, “I’ll be right back.”

He retreated into the bathroom and picked up a small towel, running it under the tap before squeezing out the surplus. Folding it as he returned, he held it out to Sanako, “You want me to go get Stahn, or that skill that uses Lionus?”

parallelzero
April 1st, 2008, 06:12 PM
Rita's right eye twitched slightly, indicating her irritation with Dieter's words. Half of what he was. The nerve. "Actually, Die-chi, it's because I feel like I can trust you now~" That was Auricia's justification, and she was sticking with it, even though she didn't really trust him. Then, that smell filled the air. The smell that curdled Auricia's stomach. Damn enhanced Skill noses. She could smell blood, not a lot of it, but blood. Usually, Ashton would rush ahead and help, but right now... "Er... I'll be right back~!" It wasn't a lot, right? She couldn't just not help. Even so, she left Rita behind with the other two accidentally.

After following her nose [XD froot loops], Auricia eventually came across the room of Armon and Sanako, just in time to see Sanako smack Armon's hand away with her own. "IDIOT! STAY AWAY FROM ME!" She shouted in a manner that was borderline mad. "YOU COULD CATCH IT TOO!" That was the truth to an extent, but there was an immeasurably small chance of one with faels being able to contract the plague, although it was quite obvious Reid had been unlucky enough to have that incredibly small percentage work against him. "...I ...I worked so hard to hide it all this time... But I guess it doesn't matter anymore." The coughing came again, and she fell to her hands as she regurgitated more of her own bodily fluids, mixed with red blood. She didn't cry, she wasn't going to cry. Crying wasn't going to fix this. "Armon, I've been like this since just before my mom died. This happens from time to time, along with other symptoms. Most people only die within a few weeks of contracting this disease, but Mistral's presence, I think, delays the effects on me. Juices dripped from her lips as she talked, and she suddenly stood shakily once more. "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine, honest." She smiled sincerely, although it was blatantly obvious she was lying. This had been it, the whole reason she had been acting the way she had the day before. She blamed herself for her mom's death, thinking she gave her the virus...

Auricia would have said something as she continued to spy, but she could only bring her hand to her chest as she watched on.

---

"You sure there's no known cure yet?" Stahn talked into the microphone again. He got the same reply as early. "No? Sorry for wasting your time..." This was bad. Stahn hated bumps in the road that were difficult to flatten, after all.

Loki
April 1st, 2008, 07:04 PM
Armon frowned. The plague? The same one that had claimed Alicel?

"Fine!" Armon sighed, though this time, 'fine' meant something different from last night as he squat down in front of Sanako, ignoring her warning that he could catch it as well, "You make me worry about you incessantly and then you tell me that you have the plague now? Now, of all times. Great going, because that's going to make me feel a lot better." He grabbed Sanako's chin between his index finger and thumb without mercy, using the damp towel to wipe blood off her mouth. He refolded the towel without letting go of Sanako, using the clean side to wipe her brow before sitting back, "I don't care about this plague business. It's everywhere in Tealia, if I was going to get it, I would've gotten it by now."

'But excuse me,' Jeckt sighed, playing absentmindedly with the chains around him, 'The vicinity wasn't nearly as close as this before. And she kissed you last night, don't forget. I’m feeling my will weakening! I-I can’t fight it anymore! I’m sorry Adela, but you have the plague now!'

’Shut up.’ Xaviae barked, fiddling with his necklace apprehensively, huddled in the shade, ’It’s not funny Jeckt.’

"Whatever," Armon sighed in response to Jeckt, standing up and bringing Sanako to her feet. Upon pulling her to her feet he realized she was still in nothing but her undergarments and he flushed, directing her back onto the bed and handing her the towel. His expression was serious as he spoke, "I don't care if I get the plague. I don't care if you care whether I get the plague or not. What I care about is that by hiding this you put everyone else in-..." Armon blushed, unable to finish his sentence. Ugh, what a sappy sentence. He hadn't even realized he was about to say something that might betray his ideals. Sighing, he sat down beside Sanako, giving her an aggravated side glance, “Well if you want to hide it from everyone, then I won’t go get someone. But I don’t know why you want to hide it. I’m sure everyone else feels the same way I do about your disease.”

Armon swallowed all his pride to give Sanako a half-smile and a sarcastic jab, “You’re so lucky you have an understanding partner like me.”

------------------------

Rasch peered after Auricia silently. The girl had gone to the source of the blood, he could tell that her smell was mingling with it somewhat. Dieter finally noticed the smell, and his tongue immediately reeled back into his mouth. Silence overcame the two skill, broken when Rasch stood to bring his empty cup of coffee to the sink. It wasn’t his business what Auricia or those other people were doing.

“Oh.” Dieter looked down at his bony torso, “I guess I should go change, huh? I’ll be back later.” He stood as well, staring at Rita for a moment before smirking and leaving. Definitely a bad sign.

Rasch sat back down and raised an eyebrow at Rita.

’Lieutenant Tappen, I assume that each of us skill will be assigned to train with someone with a shard. Have you any idea how the pairings stand at the moment? There are four skill and four humans, are there not?’ Rasch asked through Lionus, refusing to speak to what he considered a simpleton; a human.

parallelzero
April 1st, 2008, 08:18 PM
"I haven't put a lot of thought into it, really." Rita spoke for the first time this morning as she brought her finger to her chin and glanced upwards, lost in thought. "I thought that I'd probably give Auricia to Sanako, Dieter to that Gil girl... Umm..." She paused with childlike innocence as she struggled to think of who was left. "Oh! Right!" She brought her right fist down into her left palm. "Tsukasa can help with my training, and I thought you could help that Laeina girl, if it wouldn't be too much trouble?" She rubbed the back of her head casually, before wandering over to the cupboard... which she couldn't reach. She struggled, struggled so very hard in pursuit of the peanut butter, but she just didn't have the height for it! "Um... Rasch? Could you help me out here?" She sweatdropped.

---

"Armon... I don't think you're fully comprehending it." Sanako said quietly as she slid the dress on over her head, and slipped her feet into a pair of pink flip flops. "It's sweet of you to try and make me feel better, but I decided I'd accept it when I found out." She moved to the doorway, her back turned to the boy. She wouldn't show her face to him, not now. He didn't deserve to see the look of pain and sadness on her face. No, not after trying to help. She wouldn't wish that on anyone. That's why she kept it a secret all of this time, after all. "Armon... I probably won't live until my next birthday. That's why..." She froze for a moment to recollect her thoughts. "That's why I need to do what I can now, while I'm still here. Rosaline's death helped me realize that." She managed to look back and flash him another smile of sorts. "I'll be okay, so just don't worry~"

---

"So, Violette, why are you still here?" Christian said bluntly as they arrived back in their room. He didn't want to bring it back up, but really, he was concerned. "You of all people shouldn't be mixed up in our mess, especially with this whole new NEAR - Ophelian Core thing." He sat the girl down on the bed as he picked out an outfit for the day. In the end, he decided on blue jeans and a white blouse which was unbuttoned near the top to show a black shirt underneath. He tied his long hair into a ponytail before continuing. "Even I want to run away at this point. But I won't. I have a debt to pay back to Reid after all, for taking care of me all of this time. You, however, have no such debt to pay..." He truly did want her to leave. He was developing feelings for her, and he didn't want to see her hurt. Not now, not ever...

Loki
April 1st, 2008, 09:11 PM
Armon’s smile slid off his face. He sat where he was for a moment his mind blanking out before he took the few strides from the bed to the door in a new world record speed. Grabbing Sanako’s wrist for what felt like the millionth time though it was really only the second, he spun her around and trapped her where she was by embracing her. He didn’t care about catching the plague. It wasn’t like there was much Adela was looking forward to going back to anyway. “I know!” He insisted desperately, sounding angry at something, but certainly not Sanako, “I comprehend, I do! I realize that…” He hung his head, glaring holes in the ground, “That you must’ve already had the disease for a long time. That you’ve already had more time to live than other people.” Armon tightened his hold on Sanako after he’d blinked away some of the tears that stung in his eyes, feeling like the same helpless little girl he’d been a long time ago, “I just… I can’t just not worry! I can do something to help you with Flazure. I can do something to help you with this training. But I can’t do anything against the plague! All I can do is worry. So don’t tell me not to. It’s not fair that you can be considerate of me and I can’t think of you at all. I’ve stood by like a stranger for what feels like forever. I’m going to make it up to you. I’ll hold all my grudges when this is over. I can’t turn my eyes the other way if it’s you.”

He didn’t want to be a guy anymore. Armon wanted to be Adela. He wanted to disappear the way Adela did and break his promise to himself that he would never cry again. What a stupid promise.

------------------

Rasch sighed, his fingers stretching as he picked up the jar and set it in Rita’s hands, not willing to use Lionus on such a tedious chore. So he would be faced with that strange girl with Psyion, eh? He’d have to keep his heart on the move at all times then… just to be safe. This old body wouldn’t be able to keep up if the organs were shifting around all the time. Rasch granted himself a moment of annoyance before standing, leaving his book where it was with the words ’I suppose I should change then. I’m in my room, I will inquire as to the location of the training when I am through.’ floating over the cover. As he walked back to his room, Rasch took a deep breath. He smelled no one in the vicinity. It had been a long time since he’d been in his real form. Not even he knew what he looked like now. Nobody he still knew and spoke with had seen him under the age of 50, except for a number of the scientists who had worked on turning him into this monster.

The effort of keeping his entire body configured to something different from the usual had become so routine to him that letting it go was an effort in itself. White hair darkened and turned ashy gray. Burnt orange eyes closed and opened to reveal crimson red eyes. Wrinkled skin smoothed out. The irregularly tall and spindly build of an aging man evened out to give way for a young man’s body, lean muscle revealing that he relied on flexibility and speed, rather than brute strength.

The real Rasch Von Foma, age 19. He peered into the mirror, examining himself before making a face. It was like seeing someone else, he was so accustomed to being old. (He’d found that more people were able to ignore an old man than a young man whose eyes were red.) He changed his outfit, from the proper suit to the clothes sitting in his suitcase that he received every other month from scientists who wondered whether Rasch would go back to normal or not. The indifferent expression on Rasch’s face was exactly the same look that the older Rasch constantly wore. He ran a hand through his gray hair, before closing his eyes. This would either cause Dieter to stay for the rest of his life, or cause Dieter to leave at once. Rasch wondered to himself, whether Dieter’s excitement at seeing that Rasch was actually not much older than him would prevail over his fury at being lied to. As far as Rasch had seen, Dieter hated lies.

Zipping up his jacket and pulling on his gloves, Rasch sat down on his bed, considering changing back. He wasn’t used to this form. But perhaps, if he truly followed through with Lieutenant Tappen, this form would be more handy in fights than the older one. He would have to get used to the sudden mobility he’d gained from younger limbs.


--------------

Violette rubbed the back of her head, trying to forget the sudden surprise of being Sanako instead of herself.

“Ah, well… if you really don’t want me to stay,” Violette replied in a light voice, “I’ll go back to Gregar, but, I was just going to stay for the duration of this training. It’ll be easier for Stahn, and I’m not in any immediate danger here. Don’t worry about me, I’m sure, even in this ridiculous form, I can hold my own in a battle. I might come with you though. I don’t want to go back to Gregar, knowing that they’re- Ella!”

Violette suddenly blurted the name, remembering that they were indeed in Alta, and that Ella was all by herself in that house.

“I have to visit her… no, but I can’t visit her like this…” Violette mused to herself, suddenly forgetting about everything else.

parallelzero
April 2nd, 2008, 12:41 PM
"Stop being an idiot, Adela." Sanako bluntly stated, trying her best not to cry out in pain from being embraced so tightly. She... had made Armon, which was actually Adela, shed actual tears. She felt ashamed now, she shouldn't have come out and said it like that. It would have been better if she had just dismissed the blood as coming from another cause and let the topic die. Her eyes were wide and watery, and her face was red as she embraced back, but... "This isn't like you. I haven't told anyone because I just wanted to live on normally, without everyone always worrying about me and treating me differently. I'd rather you hate me now instead of bottling it all up until I die, anyways..." Even though she was significantly shorter than Armon, she still reached up and locked lips with him for the second time. When she was finished after a moment, she drew her face away again. "I'm sorry, I just wanted to see what it was like one more time. A kiss..." She broke free of Armon's grasp, and backed off a little. "Shall we go then? To breakfast?" Sanako spoke cheerfully, like she was trying to disguise what was wrong with her once again.

---

"Ella?" Christian repeated, surprised by the sudden change in topic. Come to think of it... "An Ella in Alta? Could it be the one who cared for Alicel before she died?" Yeah, that had to be it. Reid always spoke fondly of how he rescued Rosaline, and Ellianne had heard the stories a million times. He always spoke so fondly of his companions, as well. "If you're going to visit Ella at some point, you should take Reid. Ella helped him hide Rosaline after he rescued her, after all." Maybe that would give Sanako and Violette some common ground for conversation at some point... "You never know, Stahn might give you guys your proper forms for a day so you can go see her or something. Just ask."

---

"So it's true?"

"Yes sir, we got a hold of the police reports from Beta. That girl was responsible for killing her parents when she was only six years old. She... crushed them with her power, leaving nothing but crushed, unidentifiable corpses. She got off the hook on the terms that she was mentally ill, and they had no real proof it was her since psyion wasn't known of at that time. Nothing has happened since that incident, however."

"What was her reasoning for killing them?" Stahn inquired.

"She just... disliked them."

Loki
April 2nd, 2008, 01:40 PM
Armon let a small smile reach his lips, feeling rather happy for himself. Strange. Minutes earlier, he’d been completely intent on ignoring Sanako. Why was he suddenly acting as if he cared at all? “Let me change before we go, I won’t take long.” He said, turning away from Sanako for a moment to pick up his shirt. As soon as his face was away from Sanako, a confused and surprised expression crossed his face. He interrogated himself as he pulled the black long-sleeved shirt over his arms and buttoned it up, leaving the top three buttons open. Did he really just voluntarily embrace someone that he knew was Reid? Was he really okay with the fact that he’d kissed Sanako back? The thought almost made him shiver, but he didn’t, busying himself with pulling on the pair of stiff jeans and picking up his belt. What was wrong with him all of a sudden? He ran his fingers through his hair to make it at least somewhat neater than before, before turning around, two rolls of bandages in his hand. He’d put them on later.

“Alright, let’s go. I’ll play along with you when there are other people around.” Armon said, putting the bandages into one of the pockets in his shirt, reaching out to open the door, “And I’m not being nice to you just because you have the plague- I was going to get over hating your guts eventually. Just had to accept it a little earli-…” Armon stared at the girl he recognized as a skill standing at the door. Reflex. He immediately slammed the door shut again, his entire face a violent shade of red as he slapped a hand over his eyes. How long had she been standing there?!?!

No, wait. He shouldn’t jump to conclusions. What if she’d only just gotten there? Okay. Better not make any suspicious moves then. Argh, too late!! Armon sighed. Okay. Calm down. Maybe she was really ditzy. Hopefully. No, he couldn’t open the door again.

“Did you know she was there?!” Armon whispered to Sanako, jerking his thumb at the door, trying to calm down so that his face wasn’t still red by the time they reached the kitchen.

-----------

Violette nodded, smiling fondly, “That’s Ell- No! I was also caring for Alicel before she died!” Violette hung her head, “But everytime I tried to make a cure with my plants, the plant would just shrivel up before I could do anything with it. Well, I guess Alicel thought it was really funny, so I did help a little…”

Violette straightened, lightly tapping her fist on her palm as she decided on her plan of action, “Okay, I’ll ask Stahn to let me and Reid go back and visit Ella. Of course, in our real forms, otherwise Ella is going to pass out from laughing. This is actually kind of weird, how everything’s all connected. I’ll think I will ask. I’ll ask Stahn today, while everyone else is doing that shard training. The visit should only be for a day or so.” Violette was now in a considerably good mood, grabbing Christian’s hand and pulling him faster towards the kitchen with a new spring in her step, “You should come too! Ella will love you! She’s really nice, and the more the merrier! I mean, it’s a huge house that was even too big for three people, and now it’s just one! I can’t wait to introduce you to her, you really have to come meet her!”

parallelzero
April 2nd, 2008, 02:46 PM
"WHAT!? ME!?" Panic button, panic button, panic button. Christian almost went into cardiac arrest as his face lit up like a Christmas light. The Ellianne within was going on a rampage of confusion. That was... she had just been asked out, right? "Well I dunno. I'd feel like I was imposing..." He scratched his nose awkwardly as he spoke, but when he made eye contact with Violette, he knew there would probably be no backing out. She was confident in her decision to bring Christian along. Or rather, Ellianne. "S-sure, I guess. But keep in mind that I won't be able to talk..." Maybe that was part of her plan all along? To take advantage of a girl who couldn't scream for help!? Or maybe, maybe she was planning on using Ellianne as a trophy girlfriend!? Or maybe, just maybe, Christian's imagination was overthinking it. "U-umm... Should we go to breakfast now? Stahn said something about wanting to train early today. Maybe if he's nice, he'll let us leave this afternoon? I'd like to check on Gil when we go past her room, though, I feel bad that she's in there alone by herself..."

---

"I appreciate your cooperation." Sanako chimed as she indifferent leaned herself against the door, crossing her arms as she watched Armon get changed, something she would not have done the day before. "There's a chance I may enter temporary paralysis today, since my symptoms seem to follow a cycle. If that happens, I'll be counting on you again." Her eyes darted to the side. "But if that happens in front of the others, feel free to tell them. I probably shouldn't hide the truth forever." She moved out of the way as Armon reached for the door, but her eyes locked on his lips. He had kissed her back, right? It wasn't just a one way thing? She turned red as she thought about it. However, that shade of red might as well have been white in comparison to the shade she turned after seeing Auricia behind the door.

She extended her hand out in an attempt to stop Armon from slamming the door, but failed miserably. "N-n-no! Would I have done that if I knew she was there!?" Sanako was clumsy with her words, stuttering and shaking as turned her back to him to save herself from showing how red she was.

"Don't worry, Sana-chan, I won't tell anyone~!" Auricia's voice chimed from behind the door as she set off, realizing she had disturbed them. Ah, that was so cute~

"L-L-Let's just go!" She stuttered again as she took Armon's left hand with her right. "I'm pretty hungry." Her eyes darted to the ground, embarrassed. Argh, this was Adela! She was going to kill him later! But... She just felt safe around him. If he was there, she didn't feel like all light was gone...

Loki
April 2nd, 2008, 04:35 PM
“You better not tell anyone!” Armon barked at Auricia, dragging his hand down his face, feeling foolish for not having noticed a third prescence. Even if it was behind the door, how could he just stupidly let that happen right in front of her? He could still feel the heat in his cheeks. There was no way he could go to the kitchen like this. More accurately, holding hands with Sanako was the thing he couldn’t show up doing. Well… whatever, at least until they got to the kitchen. Racking his brain for a subject to talk about. Something, anything. Okay maybe not anything, Armon thought as he rejected the two topics that had come to his mind: Where Flaire was, and what was going to happen to the Archai Squad, what with Kayle and all. Something to talk about… Armon stopped walking for a moment. It only took a split second for him to recover from his mind wipe this time around though. He put a hand to his forehead. It was like his entire train of thought had come to complete crash stop.

“What-… the heck?” Armon raised an eyebrow, bringing his hand away from his face and giving it a quizzical look, as if it would suddenly tell him why he was blanking out so much, “Oh, forget it.” He shook his head, pulling Sanako beside him as he walked towards the kitchen faster than before. He didn’t notice that all the red from his face had finally disappeared, but upon reaching sight of the kitchen, he gave Sanako’s hand a quick squeeze and let go.

Although he stopped in his tracks before reaching the kitchen a second time. This time, his mind wasn’t blank, it was racing. Armon’s eyes stared at the skill who was walking back to the kitchen with endless hostility.

“Hm?” Dieter looked up from polishing his sunglasses, the hem of his shirt in one hand and his red shades in the other, “Ah, judging by your mahstion signature… you must be the Lieutenant.” He broke into his signature grin. “You seem different from yesterday, I almost didn’t recognize you.” Armon dearly wanted to shoot all his teeth out. He hated that smile. There was nothing different about him. That skill was just trying to pick a fight.

“You didn’t answer my question last night.” Dieter stretched and put his hands behind his head, “How did you fix your hand?”

“That’s none of your business.” Armon replied coolly.

Dieter frowned for a second before reverting to his original face, “Hey hey, hold up your end of the conversation will you? You’ve learned haven’t you? The longer you keep me talkin’, the longer you have to live.” He turned his hand into an umbrella, mocking how he thought that Armon was hiding under the umbrella of protection presented by Stahn and Tappen’s presence, “Don’t think that little girl in the kitchen’ll keep me from finishing the job Lieutenant. But don’t let me interrupt you any further. You won’t be able to enjoy your breakfast if I’m there as well, so I’ll go play with Auricia or something instead of Rita.” His hand reverted back to normal, “You shouldn’t get so tense when I’m around Lieutenant. I’ll be sad if you’re scared of me, because killing you won’t be any fun that way.”

He laughed, turning around to wander around the mansion a little longer.


----------------


“Who else, other than you?” Violette tilted her head before addressing the problem of Christian’s speech problem, “Well, you could stay in this form, if you wanted. Knowing Ella, she probably wouldn’t mind if you couldn’t talk, but if you mind, then I’m sure it’ll be no problem if you stay this way. But yeah, let’s go to breakfast!”

She paused at the mention of Gil, resisting a frown.

“O-Okay.” She choked out, trying to seem pleasant, “I don’t mind.”

But upon finding Gil’s room, Violette insisted on hiding behind Christian. The last thing she wanted to see was that barbaric buffoon’s face in the morning. Especially with the death glare that the girl gave her immediately when she wrenched the door open.

“What do you want?” Gil raised an eyebrow, bluntly addressing Violette and ignoring Christian completely. He didn’t make much of an impression on her.

“Ch-Christian had the decency to think of you before we went to breakfast! Since Deon’s not here and all…” Violette stammered indignantly from behind Christian. Gil raised an eyebrow, before scoffing. It was amusing, how Violette was intent on not seeing the brash girl who had forgotten that as a girl, it would be a good idea to brush her hair.

Gil stuck her tongue out at Violette, before opening the door all the way so she could pass through, “Sure, I’ll come.”

parallelzero
April 2nd, 2008, 06:48 PM
Some time later...

"What's this all of a sudden?" Sanako murmured to nobody in particular as she leaned against the wall of the dining room, her arms crossed. She had been enjoying a nice game of checkers with Auricia when they were suddenly beckoned into the dining room. She was pouting at the fact that she had been called away so close to victory. Irr-i-tat-ing. It was safe to say that she had turned back to her usual self, anyways. She had been pretty offended when Armon made her let go of his hand earlier, especially after walking all of that way. But, she'd get over it. She was being too forceful anyways...

"All of you get out. Now." Stahn said coldly and matter-of-factly. His audience sweatdropped. "I need to use the mansion for about twenty-four hours, so you don't need to worry about training until then. Therefore, I'm kicking you all out. Go stay in the next town over if you want, or if you know anyone nearby, you should go there since you probably haven't seen them in a while. As for your appearances..." He raised his left hand into the air, and snapped his fingers. Sanako blanked out for a brief moment, recovering before she actually hit the ground, and standing up straight once more.

Wait a second... was she higher in the air than she was earlier? "Gah! We're us again!" Reid shouted, looking around at the group, and then himselves. His old body, his old clothes, his old- Oh crap, Adela... was going to kill him. He inched over behind Ellianne, who seemed distraught by the sudden change back. She couldn't talk, after all, and she was half blind. The male form of Christian must have been nice for her in that respect...

Ashton had made good use of the confusion, throwing a black, ringlike object over Dieter's head. As it fell around his neck, it tightened. If Dieter misbehaved while they were out, all Ashton would have to do is press a button and dation would shoot horizontally across his neck from every angle, cutting it clear off. Skills were almost invincible, but they did have one big weakness. If their head was to separate from their body, they would, in fact, die. "If you think it's so funny to take stabs at my appearance and rank when I'm Rita, Dieter, I guess I shouldn't treat you any different than I would a dog, huh?" Ashton was obviously pissed off with Dieter about the way he was being treated as Rita. Quite obviously indeed. "We'll stay in town, and pick up supplies while we're there, understood?"

"That's boring~..." Auricia sighed as she hung her head. "But, but, guess what I saw this-" Eep, killing intent radiating from Reid. Auricia shut up.

"Saw what?" Tsukasa asked.

"Nothing! Nothing!"

Ellianne took hold of Reid and dragged him over to Lazarus. She pointed at Lazarus, and then at Reid. "Er... she says you wanted to ask me something?" Reid clarified. Crap, where was Adela? He was a dead man walking, a dead man walking. Well, he was in the literal sense anyways, but still...

Loki
April 2nd, 2008, 07:46 PM
“Oww…” Adela grumbled, having crumpled onto the ground. She’d been blanking out so much that she hadn’t had the chance to recollect herself before she hit the floor. Ah. “My hair!” Adela grabbed a handful and wrenched it into sight. It was teal again! She almost smiled in glee, seeing her dress and boots back in place along with her mahstion gun and everything, but she suddenly remembered something less than pleasant. Her face turned purple as she clamped her hand over her mouth. Good god. She swallowed a shriek, instead throwing a furious glare at Reid and pointing accusingly at him, “YOU- YOU-!!!” She slapped her hands over her face, preventing them from reaching for her gun to blow his lips off, turning bright pink as she yelled something incoherant, half muffled by her hands. What the heck?! No, it wasn’t just that she’d been kissed by the person who rejected her- wh-what was the nonsense about caring about him she’d spewed earlier!? She suddenly brought her hands away from her face, revealing the look of shock at the realization she’d come to. Of course. This wasn’t her doing. This… This was…

“Xaviae….” She muttered threateningly. Adela received no answer, and she tilted her head to the side, looking irritated, “Jeckt.” She addressed her negafael, demanding an answer.

’Sorry, but he’s…’ Jeckt looked over his shoulder with a small smirk at the unconscious Xaviae chained to the tree, blood soaking through his bandages. Jeckt tapped his crystal ball absentmindedly, ’Taking a nap at the moment, Princess. Did you need something? I can tell him when he wakes up, if you want.’

“Why are you-… forget it. You’re so dead.” Adela snarled.

’I actually feel quite fine, Princess.’ Jeckt replied, ’And have no intentions of dying anytime soon. Well actually, I wouldn’t die until you die-‘

Adela chose to ignore her fael, who was harmlessly sitting around doing nothing. Perhaps she would’ve done something, if she’d thought to peek into the forest and seen Xaviae. But Jeckt had already blocked that passage, and she was currently preoccupied with other things. “Reid!” Adela barked, opening her mouth to lecture him, “I’m not your toy-“ She remembered another thing. The fact that Reid had the plague caused her to pause in her lecture. But… he’d said earlier that he didn’t want to be treated differently. Adela glared him down. That was perfectly fine with her. “I’m not your toy! We’ll continue this discussion later.” She gave a sweeping glare at everyone else, before moving to storm out of the dining hall. She was perfectly prepared to relish her day back in her normal, lovely female form.

“Wait a moment, Lieutenant.” Lazarus reached out and grabbed the back of Adela’s collar, “You should come too!”

Adela turned a glare on Lazarus, who sweatdropped. She was definitely not the same Lieutenant he’d met earlier. “Come where?” She asked dangerously.

“To visit Ella!” Lazarus kept his hold on Adela and glanced at Reid, presenting the thing that Ellianne had mentioned earlier in suggestion form, rather than inquiring, “This is perfect! Now that we’re back in our regular forms and have a whole day off, let’s go visit Ella. We can stay there for the night, it’ll be easier, and I’m sure she’d appreciate the company!"

-------------------------------------

Upon being summoned to the dining hall, feeling that something was amiss, Rasch had chosen not to appear as his true self. He stood silently to the side, old as he was the last time anyone had seen him. He watched on when Dieter was leashed like a dog, and sighed, glad that he wasn’t as unruly as Dieter. He would hate to have that death trap around his neck. Dieter didn’t seem too concerned though. He stared at Tappen through his sunglasses with a half bored, half annoyed glare. This was a bad sign. Rasch rubbed his chin in thought. He would certainly have to find a way to calm Dieter once the collar was off. Otherwise he wouldn’t have any time to observe the Lieutenant’s plans. Ah, why didn’t the Lieutenant think it through? Dieter surely had lost every speck of respect he had left for the boy.

Dieter’s lip curled in disgust as he tentatively touched the collar. Even he valued his life. And thus, amazingly, Dieter said nothing in response to Tappen’s comment about treating him like a dog. Instead, he ripped his hand off intentionally in Auricia’s presence, turning it into a sky board and sitting on it. He sulked, glaring daggers at Tappen and wrenching his wrist away from Rasch’s lionus.

“Don’t touch me.” Dieter spat at Rasch. The old man did a double take letting a light look of surprise sneak past his usually expressionless face. He’d never been spoken to like that from anyone, let alone Dieter.

Someone was really pissed.

parallelzero
April 3rd, 2008, 09:01 AM
Reid was quick to hide behind Ellianne as Adela seemed ready to kill him, a technique he seemed to have inherited from his Sanako persona. Ellianne sweatdropped. Honestly, this is probably the scaredest she had seen him during her entire term with him. "It wasn't my fault! It wasn't my fault! I had no choi-" He shut up. He realized he did have a choice. Sure his personality had been altered, but he still chose to do what he did. Thinking back, he probably shouldn't have encouraged Adela to act herself despite his condition... Or, at least, encouraged her not to kill him over this fiasco.

"You know, you can hurt him as much as you want, just don't kill him since he has that shard in his soul..." Stahn said indifferently as he overlooked the fiasco below. Reid almost fell over. That guy... someday... He felt a mental slap from Mistral at that thought. That's right, he had told her after learning about the plague to snap him out of it whenever he started to think up long terms plans. He had to think short term now, he had no other choice. "By the way, don't think just because I'm letting you out like that, you can just run away. I can change you to and fro from your forms at my mercy. So, if you aren't back her by noon tomorrow, I'll make sure you're stuck in that other form forever~ NOW GET OUT."

---

"Oi, Lazarus, are we there yet?" Reid asked, as they had been walking along for a while now. Forest, plains, forest, plains, mountains. There wasn't a whole lot to see in Alta, was there? For the entire trip, Ellianne had remained at Reid's side, still concerned about his condition from the day before. She looked around from time to time in search of Flaire, hoping that maybe she'd come and right her wrong. Whether he admitted it or not, Reid was depressed by the fact that she wasn't there, often looking to his left where she'd usually be hanging from his arm and sighing. He sweatdropped as he suddenly remembered something important. "Er... where's Levi?" Ellianne followed suit in the sweatdrop chain.

---

The old man stroked his flowing white beard gently as he read over the telegram he had recieved from the Church of Tylonstus. First Juliet, then the King, and then Rosaline. There were one two people left in line for the throne, and they were only children in comparison to those deceased. Two children he held very dear to his heart, as they had been left in his care and told to treat them as his own. Evaline Ria Dian and Piper Dian, two heirs to Carn's throne that had been born in secret and hidden away in case such a thing ever occurred. Not even they were aware that the king was their real father. They had regarded him as their uncle, and Juliet and Rosaline as their cousins the entire time. But if what this telegram said was true, and there was a possibility they could be discovered, they'd be targetted by this killer, no doubt. He had to protect them even if it was with his own life...

The old man was startled when he heard a knock at the door. He struggled to hide the telegram in his old Victorian dresser as he called for the person to enter. The door opened slightly, and the face of a young girl, no older than twelve stuck out from behind it. "Father, do you know where big brother is? I want to show him a picture I drew!" The old man laughed, and then pointed down to the courtyard below his room. There was an old oak tree Piper liked to read under, so he was usually there. "The usual spot? Kay~!" The girl chimed as she left, closing the door behind her. The old man managed a smile, despite the fact that he knew the dangers that girl would be facing. Evaline and Piper. Those two were close, maybe too close for their own good. Though, having lived in a mansion, forbidden to make contact with the outside world, he supposed it was natural. Evaline, for example, was too reliant on Piper. And well, Piper in regards to Evaline... that was just a little weird.

"Big brother! Big brother! Look what I drew!" The twelve year old girl shouted as she ran across the grassy courtyard to her brother. Her hair - blue, wavy and shoulder length - bounced as she ran, her bangs occassionally getting in her eyes so that she had to blow them out of the way. The red plaid ribbon in her hair - which was tied into a bow atop her head, the excess ribbon falling to her chest on both sides - bounced in synch with her hair. Her big blue eyes were full of glee at the thought of her big brother praising her latest creation. Her outfit didn't seem fitting for a girl of high social standards, but it was what she liked to wear so the servants could do nothing about it. Essentially, it was a long sleeved pink dress with a skirt that fell down to just above her feet. The sleeves seemed almost more suited for a sweater. Overtop of the torso portion of her dress, she wore a vest in a reddish-purple colour. It was decorated with ribbons like the one in her hair. There was one in the center of the chest, and one on the bottom left of the vest, both tied into bows. The dress had an insanely large collar that was meant to come up over the vest to create a center focal point where the big ribbon was, and that was accomplished by folding the triangular collar over the vest. On her feet, she wore nothing but black pennyloafers. She wasn't terribly tall either, being the age she was.

Evaline panted cutely as she finally reached Piper, who was reading, before holding up the sketch she had made. "Look! It's of me! I spent six hours in the bathroom in front of the mirror sketching it! You like it, don't you!?" She wasn't a bad artist, really. In fact, she was quite talented, being able to at least get proportions right and draw straight lines and such. This picture, however, was her pride and joy, being her best work yet. "I'm gonna paint it and give it to you, I think!" She gave another smile.

The old man watched from his window. Those two were innocent in their own ways, but he wondered how long that would last...

Loki
April 3rd, 2008, 10:18 AM
Piper Dian was a boy who not many people remembered, even after the second introduction. He was kind and unassuming, the type who would always give someone the benefit of the doubt. But he simply did not make an impression. His brown hair had a very neat layered cut, but due to the fact that should he have grown his hair out any longer, it would reveal the natural waves in his hair, fly away locks of hair were everywhere, patted down as best as possible. His vivid green eyes had long since grown used to the strands of hair that insisted on hanging between them, the even and kind gaze that contrasted his wild hair reading very slowly so that he could take in every word. Piper loved the spot in the courtyard, shaded by the leaves that blocked out little bits of sunlight. Sitting in the shadow of the tree, Piper had just enough light so that he could see the tiny print clearly, but not so much that the high contrast hurt. The young teen’s personality was easily displayed in his choice of clothing, a pair of knee-length khaki cargo shorts, and a sleeveless black cotton turtleneck. Simple and straightforward. Even sitting down, one could see that he had a very slender build, taller than most people his age. Easily embarrassed by the fact that he was far from the definition of masculine, he often wore a simple, pale blue zip-up hoodie. The garment lay discarded however, because nobody ever judged him seriously, in the safety of home. Maybe the servants would tease him, but it was all in good fun, and Piper was always willing to laugh with them.

He turned the page to start the next chapter, only to hear Evaline’s voice and calmly close the book at once. He didn’t even think of marking his spot- Evaline was more important. He smiled as he sat up straight to get a better look at what his little sister was presenting to him, pulling his lanky legs into a cross-legged position.

“It looks amazing!” Piper easily shared Evaline’s excitement, his little sister being the number one element in his life. He examined the drawing, nodding at her question about whether he liked it or not, (but it was drawn by Evaline, so really, how could he not like it?) “I love it Evaline, I already can’t wait see the finished version. It really looks just like you!”

Even as he said this, the number one thing that was running through Piper’s mind was that, if it had taken Evaline six hours just to sketch it, how much longer would she be shut up in the mansion when she was painting it? He truly loved the idea that Evaline was giving him her masterpiece, but one of the few things he sorely hated was being away from his little sister for long periods of time. He didn’t ever say it though, because he wanted Evaline to be able to surprise him with whatever she’d been doing while she was away. And being able to see her again after being apart was the best.

Piper weaved his fingers together in his lap, “Have you shown Father yet, or are you going to finish it first?”

--------------------------------------------

“Who cares?” Lazarus replied, sorely aggravated by the criminal. He was still feeling the after effects of the Gil and Violette conflict. But he was certainly feeling much better, back in his usual form. Being a guy was definitely better than being a girl. Ruffling his hair and enjoying it while it was still short, he turned onto the walkway that led past the garden in front of the Florinen household. The garden was still in the usual, flawless condition, even with one less person working the soil and watering the plants. Ella must’ve had a lack of things to do, since traveler’s rarely stopped by her house now that Reks was gone. The pumpkin patch out back had been replaced by a field of flowers apparently, because the vines that usually stretched around the home had been replaced with brightly colored flowers.

“Ella!” Lazarus called when they were halfway past the gardens. A woman peered through the window of the kitchen, a teapot and mug in her hands. Upon seeing who’d called her name, her jaw dropped wide open and she immediately disappeared. Lazarus sweatdropped at the sound of clattering pots and pans as Ella hastened herself to put the teapot and mug back in place. The door flung open and Ella hurried out onto the porch.

“Lazus!” She waved, but paused, seeing the group of people with him. She tilted her head for a moment. What a strange bunch.

No. Wait. That one on the side was familiar. She tilted her head to the side, tapping her chin in thought. Who was that… Ella blinked.

“Reid!” She snapped her fingers in realization, “You look so different! Why are you with Lazus? Oh my, I’m asking too many questions! I have to prepare some tea! Oh dear, tell me that you’re coming next time, I don’t even have the tea set out!”

“I-It’s…” Lazarus began, but Ella had already rushed into the house, “…really, okay…”

Oh well. Lazarus turned and grinned at Ellianne, “I told you, she’s really nice!”

“A little frazzled more like it.” Adela folded her arms, stalking past Lazarus, “I can see why Alicel is- was so annoying.”

“You really are the sweetest person I’ve ever met.”

“Mind your own business, 'Lazus'.”

parallelzero
April 3rd, 2008, 02:42 PM
"Really? It really looks like me? You really like it? I'm so glad! To be honest, I made a big mess and one of the maids gave me trouble..." Evaline was truly happy as she sat in the grass before her brother, suddenly falling on her back so that she could stare up at the massive branches of the tree behind them. "Nu-uh. I haven't shown father yet. I promised him I'd try hard, right? I'd try hard to be a good artist like mom was. You too, right? You promised father something after she died, didn't you? What was it?" She sat upright as she peered at her brother with interest.

Yes, those were the peaceful days, but peace doesn't last forever, as history has shown...

---

"My, my, this really is a surprise. A representative from the Underneath attending a NEAR meeting? How bizarre." Stahn thought aloud as he stared at the man on the farthest side of the table from him. "And you're his father, none the less..."

"His? You mean you know Reid?" The man replied anxiously. It was dark in the room, so it was difficult to truly see what he looked like.

Stahn smirked. "Ah, so I was right. I know your daughter too, but they've never mentioned you..."

"Probably not, I might as well be dead to them..."

"Hey, are we here to talk about relationships or the state of the world?" Carn's representative shouted with true anger as he stood from his seat. "Our King and Princess are dead, and the only heirs left would never fare well in the political office, yet we can't risk the chance of them being assassinated. Not to mentio-"

"The Saviour Faction is making it's move. They've created a false heir capable of taking the throne. It's a troublesome situation, isn't it? I'll help you, but I need you to keep those two alive by your own power for a week or two. In the meantime, I'd like you to organize a resistance force. If there truly is someone trying to steal the throne, it's best we have some resistance."

"Fine, we will comply with your outrageous demands, Stahn Evalise."

---

Reid sweatdropped. It seemed Ella hadn't changed. He made a "Tch" noise at Adela's comment, but chose not to say anything about it, now wasn't the time. How could she speak like that of the dead, the day after Rosaline died. How could someone be so heartless... SLAP. Reid stood wide eyed as he tried to figure out what had just happened. It looked as if... Ellianne had slapped Adela for the comment she had made, before grabbing Reid's hand and leading him towards the house. It was cowardly, but how could she defend herself against her actions, really, when she couldn't talk. She just didn't want Adela to say such a thing without being punished. It was cruel to Reid, especially after what had happened the day before, to say something like that.

Loki
April 3rd, 2008, 03:42 PM
Lazarus was too shocked for words. The sound of the slap had issued a flinch from him, and he was still halfway through recovering from the cringe when Ellianne stormed off with Reid.

“E-Ellianne…” He stammered wondering whether this would impact the visit. No, he knew it would. Glancing back and forth between the two girls, Lazarus made an uncomfortable face before turning to follow Ellianne and Reid into the house. He wasn’t about to stay out there alone with a witch that was steadily growing angrier as she realized what was going on. As soon as the door closed behind Lazarus, Adela hands clenched themselves into tight fists, gritting her teeth to hold back her frustration. The sting on her cheek just made her angrier. Too much. Everything was just too much. Reid, and then that girl… The entire Archai Squad. Served every one of them right that… they’d lost people they cared about at every angle. It served them right. She squeezed her eyes shut. She was so over this. There was no way Adela was going to stay in her form. She’d go back and tell Stahn that she was through with this, that there was nobody- absolutely nobody that she wanted to prote-

Her eyes opened, and when her thoughts came reeling back to her, she was sitting on the stairs that led up to the porch. What the-? She peered down at her feet. Mind blank? Another one? She sighed irritably and leaned the side of her forehead on the white oak post. Never did she get a moment’s peace around these people. It was always this and that, trouble here, trouble there.



“Hmm, wasn’t there one more girl with you guys?” Ella asked as she set mugs of tea in front of everyone before fixing her own, with a dash of milk and two sugar cubes from the tray in the middle.

“She’ll be fine, she’s just cranky right now.” Lazarus replied, adding nothing to his tea, “Ella, can we stay here for the night?”

“Ohh...” Ella peered over her shoulder at the hall that led to the front door before addressing Lazarus’ question, “Of course you can! I only have three bedroom’s though, Alicel and Reks’ old bedrooms and the guest room… but if someone really wants to, there’s the couch as well… I don’t know if any of you guys have problems with sleeping in those rooms though, I haven’t gone in either Reks or Alicel’s rooms, so they’re probably really dusty and messy. Or at least, Reks’ room probably is. Oh!” Ella turned to Ellianne with a smile, “That aside, I don’t believe I’ve met you before. My name is Ella,” She held her hand out to offer a handshake, “It’s nice to meet you…?”

----------------------------

“Oi, Live, over here. Why are you still wearing our threads y’ditcher?”

Levi stuffed his hands in his pockets, sitting down across a man dressed in the same button up shirt as him, except yellow in color and unbuttoned most of the way to show his bright baby blue T-shirt underneath. His hair was cornsilk blonde, deceivingly kind pale blue eyes examining the different levels of fruit and yogurt in the colorful parfait sitting between the two teens. Unlike Levi, his pants were pulled out over his boots instead of stuff in. They were made of heavy black denim, fitting loosely on his frame that showed he was strong enough to lift more than his share of weight, but thin enough to show that he was far from a muscle man. Three small stars were tattooed onto his upper left cheek, growing as they moved away from the bridge of his high set nose, the largest no bigger than a nickel. Absentmindedly, long spider-like fingers mixed up the parfait, destroying the perfect layers and turning it into a pot full of unpleasantly colored paste. He didn’t hesitate to put a spoonful in his mouth, waiting patiently for Levi’s answer.

“Here.” He tossed the spoon up in the air and caught it again, holding the handle out to Levi who extracted a hand from his pocket to take it. He picked a raspberry out of the mixture, expertly working around the vanilla yogurt and scooping up only berries and chocolate syrup that hadn’t been mashed together.

“Too lazy t’steal clothes. ‘Sides, I like this shirt.” Levi finally answered before using the same spoon that the criminal across him had. There wasn’t a single criminal in the entire shop that cared about sharing spoons, because only two criminals were sitting at the table for two. Neither cared about the whispers inquiring whether they were gay by a girl who had been watching them, as the boy clad in bright yellow was very handsome in his own right. He didn’t spend hours every morning fixing his bangs into the perfect sweep across his eyes for nothing. The criminal scoffed, grinning at Levi’s response.

“It’ll cause you more trouble than you’ll be wanting, being pardoned and all.”

Levi looked up from fishing around the parfait, “Where’d ya hear I got pardin’d?”

“I don’t shut my ears when my clients are standing around gaping stupidly. I have no qualms with eavesdropping.”

“Should’ve known you were listening in on the boss.” Levi picked out three blueberries, only to get the spoonful stolen from him when the blonde across from him picked the spoon out of his hands.

“It wasn’t the boss, it was some soldiers who came in to get their swords sharpened. Besides, you don’t have the right to call him boss anymore. How’s the knife I put through your stomach doing? You must’ve found some Lionus user, cause your eye looks whole. Didn’t Buchos put a needle through it? Ah, no he put a needle through your-”

“I’m not here to talk about what y’all to me when I told you I wanted to leave. You still makin’ bombs?” Levi said, supporting his chin with the heel of his palm, staring at the various stalls outside.

“Oh?” The same fingers that had mixed up the contents slid the parfait glass aside, tossing a pencil and notepad covered in grease and black fingerprints towards Levi, “That’s what you’re here for? I’m gonna charge you for bombs now that we’re not buddies, just so you know. Can’t believe you called me out here for a reason like that. I had to think up some BS excuse to get outta here to meet you y’know. Traitor that you are.”

“You should leave too, Sol.” Levi commented, listing the bombs he wanted.

“Tch.” Solomon scraped the heel of his rubber soles down Levi’s shins, leaning back in his seat with a bored expression. Killjoy didn’t even flinch, even though Solomon had kicked him hard enough for his leg to bleed. “I’m thinkin’ about it.”

Levi looked up in surprise, “Why?”

“Tell me why you left, and I’ll tell you why I’m thinkin’ about it.”

“Nevermind.”

-----------------------------

Piper regarded his sister for a moment before putting his index finger to his mouth, smiling as he answered, "That's a secret."

ooc: Ugh my mom is having a cow. I'll finish later.

parallelzero
April 3rd, 2008, 07:32 PM
OOC: The... ungodly shortness... it burns. But seriously, I have nothing else to do. >.<

Ellianne took Ella's hand hesistantly and shook it, offering a kind smile. She frowned suddenly, remembering that the smile was all she could offer. She looked worriedly over at Reid, the one who always ended up explaining what was wrong. "Ah, Ella, don't be offended by Ellianne's silence. She's mute, so..." He dropped two sugar cubes into tea, and began to stir. He watched his hand carefully. He was shaking. "Er... sorry, but I should probably check on Adela, seeing as she's not here yet..." He knew what the shaking meant. It was almost time, almost time for his disease to become active again. He made it as far as the door, which he opened, before falling forward and smacking his chin on the wood. "...Crap."

Ellianne heard, and rushed to his side, panicking. What was wrong? What was she going to do?

Loki
April 3rd, 2008, 08:24 PM
Adela turned a furious gaze at the door when she heard it open. Whoever it was, she wasn't interested in seeing them. The look disappeared at once though, when she saw Reid crashing to the floor. She vaguely remembered Sanako telling her that paralysis came after the coughing. But... Sanako hadn't told Armon how to handle it! Adela was close to losing all sorts of coherant thought, but soon regained her calm for a second, remembering that Ellianne, who was already panicking, didn't know about why Reid was paralyzed. Eurgh... sliding around beside Reid on the opposite side of Ellianne, she frowned as she looked down at him. She was not about to break the news to everyone, like Sanako had told her she could. She didn't want to be held responsible later. She looked up at the door, which swung open on it's hinges.

"Ella, it's fine, we'll handle it, just go back inside..." Lazarus was saying gently, trying to push the woman back inside. Having seen it in two cases, Ella was absolutely beside herself, Lazarus glancing over his shoulder. Terrible timing, he thought, before reluctantly leaving Ella's side for a moment to hold a handful of flowers out to Ellianne.

"Hardly the time to be wooing her, don't you think Lazarus?!" Adela snapped, looking at the damage to Reid's chin before gently prying his lips apart to see if he was unlucky enough to be bleeding in his mouth as well. Gentle, she reminded herself, having earlier sorely wanted to smack him around the head. She would get the chance later.

"I'm not flirting with her," Lazarus retaliated, glaring at Adela who ignored the accusing gaze, "The flower petals should close up any wounds in his mouth if you put them in water and . It should help ease bruising and bleeding on his chin too, if you soak it." He instructed, pushing the flowers into Ellianne's hands, "I'm sorry I can't stay and heal it myself." He stood again, hurrying back to Ella and pulling out a dark navy handkerchief, mumbling something to her as he steered her to her room. He glanced over his shoulder one more time. Ella wasn't the only one who'd seen the paralysis before.

"Let's at least stop the bleeding in his mouth before we move him inside. You can use wation, right Ellianne?" Adela demanded, speaking the girl's name for the first time, "Then do what Lazarus told you to!"

She felt hopelessly useless, having no particular powers that would help at the moment. She couldn't even bring them inside with a Dation warp, because she'd never seen the inside of the Florinen house.

--------------------------------------


"No, we're not gay." Sol addressed the waitress in a flat tone as he watched her freeze up, "That's rude."

"Wh-What?" The waitress who was taking away the empty parfait glass stammered, not remembering that she'd ever inquired about their sexual orientation.

"It was written all over your face." Levi explained, ripping his order out of Sol's notebook and putting it down between them, "So anyway, I want these," Levi circled the top half, "By next week."

"Ehhhh?" Sol whined, glancing down the list.

"Don't 'ehhh' me, I'm a paying customer this time." Levi replied, putting the pencil down and sitting back, "Speaking of paying, you ordered the food, you're paying for it, because it was gross."

"It was delicious." Sol replied snatching the paper off the desk and crumpling it into a ball, stuffing it into his pocket, "Thanks for eating it all if you didn't even like it, Live. Wait wait wait, what are you doing in Alta anyway? I thought you said you'd come visit me in Carn if you ever got free?"

"Um, babysitting." Levi replied, "I have the day off though, the kids kind of ditched me."

"Murderer to babysitter." Sol scoffed, "That's what I call a mid-life crisis."

Levi looked up from sifting through his bag of explosives, speaking coldly to one of his oldest friends, "Don't remind me of that."

parallelzero
April 4th, 2008, 12:24 PM
Ellianne winced as Adela snapped at her to do as she was told. She knew she had to, she knew she had to hurry and help, but she was shocked. Those days Reid had locked himself away, not coming out for anything, is this what he was hiding? She wasn't an idiot. Being one who was cursed with a weak body, she was aware of the symptoms of most diseases just in case she was to contract them. A tear fell onto the flowers in her hands. He wasn't supposed to die before her! Even so, she did as she was told, placing the flowers in his mouth and channeling water from a nearby source into his mouth.

Reid knew the second he caught sight of Ellianne's tears that she knew. Dammit, she was the last person he wanted to hurt. But, he couldn't say anything, because unfortunately he had plants of all things in his mouth. Thankfully, the paralysis didn't last very long, only about five to ten minutes depending on his luck. If he didn't have Mistral, chances were his paralysis spells could have last an upwards of ten hours. He felt hot tears on his back as Ellianne fell on top of him. Dammit. "Reid... Don't... leave me too..." The words came muffled, as it was distorted by his clothes, but he had heard it, right? Ellianne... said something? Was she aware she had spoken? Probably not. But... a traumatic experience to snap her out of the aftereffects of another traumatic experience? It was a plausible explanation, but... It was his fault, right? The fact that he was on the verge of death was traumatic enough to cause this..?

"You really are pathetic, aren't you? I go away for five years and this is what you turn into? A worthless little boy who does nothing but blame himself? Though, I guess that's what I get for leaving you in my stupid sister's care." A voice sounded in Reid's mind. It sounded like Mistral, but the tone and the use of language was much more malificent.

"Oww..." Mistral's voice whined after the sound of her being slugged on the head was heard. "Hey, you left Maelstrom! Even though you're my twin, you left! I'm the plufael here! It's kind of hard to keep a balance between light and darkness when the negafael is MIA!" The source of the other voice finally stepped into view. Maelstrom, like always, looked essentially like a darker, mirror version of Mistral. He had been once told that faels that were twins were extremely rare. Unlike Mistral, however, there were a couple of differences. Maelstrom's hair was a much darker green than Mistral's, and she wore it in a long ponytail. Her eyes were also a darker green, and her sundress was pure black and torn in multiple places with holes.

"Whatever, don't talk like it's my fault. I'm under the impression that you two are too synched, so if you were to use Mistral's form you'd still suffer from the paralysis, right? I guess I'll do you a favor, just this once."

Reid was overcome by the familiar feeling of his body reshaping, until suddenly he regained control of his body. Dark green hair fell over his eyes has he stood up, gently pushing Ellianne aside. He looked down. Maelstrom was right, he could move like this. This would be perfect for use when his body was in the paralysis state. She clenched her fists. Why did Maelstrom's form feel so much more powerful than Mistral's? It was almost overwhelming. "Ellianne, you spoke!" Was the first thing she said, which startled Ellianne. This wasn't Reid or Mistral she was looking at, so naturally she was a bit shocked.

"I... oh god, I am speaking..." Her voice was melodic. Flaire had once told him Ellianne used to sing all of the time, but to think her voice was like this when she just spoke regularly. Her eyes watered as she held back her tears. "But... you're going to-"

"I know... I know..."

"Blech. You people are sappy."

"Good to have you back, sister." Mistral replied sarcastically.

Loki
April 4th, 2008, 01:34 PM
"Is everything okay-" Lazarus hurried out onto the porch, sweatdropping at the sight of Reid. He wasn't accustomed to seeing him in Mistral's form, and upon seeing that Reid was back to being female, he automatically tensed, looking down to make sure he hadn't suddenly changed and neglected to notice. Whew. Lazarus relaxed. Still male, thank goodness. "I put Ella to sleep for awhile, so we should stay away from her room unless you want to fall asleep. The sleep fragrance should wear off in about an hour or so. Is your mouth okay?" Lazarus asked Reid, "Cause I have an actual paste that'll heal cuts all the way I left in the medicine cabinet, if you need it."

Sitting back, Adela folded her arms, glaring at Reid as though he'd made her worry over nothing, even though the disease that she should've been worrying over was still there.

'Go away already, you ugly hag.' Adela made a scandalized face, but Jeckt quickly explained, 'Not you Princess, this stupid negafael that keeps hanging out over here.' He said, 'Who's fael are you anyway? The diseased hero's negafael is right in front of us, you the mute or the dweebie's negafael?'

'Excuuuuse me,' Orcha flipped out of the tree she'd been sitting in, 'I'm not a mute or a dweebie's fael. My reila is ten times better than yours. He's handsome and he's easy to get along with, unlike your cranky 24/7 PMS'ing witch of a puffed up self-important witch. I'll rip your esophagus out next time you have anything less than praise to say about my Prince Charming.'

Adela's glare shifted from Reid to Lazarus who sweatdropped. He hadn't even noticed Orcha's absence. And the way she was talking about him wasn't exactly far from embarrassing.

'You? Rip out my esophagus? What are you going to use your feet? I'd blow your hands off before you even got within a foot-'

"Enough." Adela stood, demanding an answer from Lazarus, "Which room am I staying in?"

"Well, I was planning on sleeping in the attic, since there are only three rooms. This was a traveler's stop, so all the beds are twin sized. You can stay in the guest room, Alicel's, or Reks' old rooms. Although if you weren't throwing a temper tantrum earlier, you would already know since Ella told us where we could sleep just a few minutes ago..."

Ignoring his last jab, Adela stormed into the house, "I don't care which room I stay in, just tell me where to go."

"Er..." Lazarus turned to Reid and Ellianne, "Do you guys have any preferences? I know some people don't really like occupying rooms where people have... well..." He trailed off, before redirecting the subject, "I don't think it's a problem as long as Ella doesn't mind."

parallelzero
April 4th, 2008, 02:39 PM
"Er, I'll sleep in Reks' room. We've slept in worst places before, trust me..." Reid replied, still a little weirded out that Maelstrom had leant him her form until the paralysis broke. Where had she been the past five years? Was she plotting something? Or was she genuinely concerned about him? It was hard to tell with negafaels. Too shifty. Even so, unless he'd rather be paralyzed, this would have to do for now. "Ellianne, you have no problem where you sleep either, right?"

"R-Right..." She answered quietly, still fascinated by the sound of her voice that she hadn't heard in years. "I... have no problems with where I sleep... But, Reid, can we talk later? I've wanted to talk to you for so long..."

Reid smiled. "Of course!" Ellianne smiled back and wandered inside, sitting herself down on the couch. Sure, she was still half blind, but she could talk! She could really talk! But, could she say the things she wanted to? Could she tell him... everything? And now that she could talk, would he treat her differently? She collapsed onto her back and closed her eyes to just rest them. She didn't want to think about that yet.

In the meantime, Reid had moved to go inside as well, but remembered Lazarus had probably never seen him in a different form. "Er... sorry about the shock. My life is a running gag like this, since my faels like to manipulate my form. But, it's thanks to that that I'm able to move right now. Thanks for the help though, and I'm sorry for not telling you about my... condition. Nobody was really aware of it until now."

He turned back to look at Adela, wanted to thank her as well, but his eyes suddenly glazed over as he lost control. "So, you're the witch who's been causing my reila so much grief." The voice was cold, evil, so unlike Reid. It was obviously his negafael. "I never thought I'd have to see your flat chest again after I helped 'motivate' him to leave you high and dry five years ago. I never did like your negafael. Jeckt, the bastard is too stupid for his own good. But looking at his reila, it's not hard to see why."

Loki
April 4th, 2008, 04:26 PM
"I-I'm uh," Lazarus pointing inside, "Going to erm, go some more tea or... something."

Escaping before Orcha could join the fray, Adela swallowed her fury in exchange for an arrogant scoff, even though her insides were burning to pieces out of the desire to at least get one shot at Maelstrom. (Damn it all that she was using Reid's body.) Folding her arms, she opened her mouth to retort, "Excuse me, ugly old woman, do I know you? Actually no, I don't really want to get to know a nobody like you, since your presence is obviously unneeded, after being gone without anyone caring for five years. Nobody asked for your opinion. Actually, nobody who matters here really cares, but by all means, continue wasting your breath."

'Nice to see you again too.' Jeckt spat sarcastically at Maelstrom, curling his lip at the sound of her voice as he picked dried blood off of his skin, 'What happened to your red light? Your ugly dress would've looked great with it.' He looked up from his hands and peered over his shoulder, as he heard someone moving, forgetting about Maelstrom for a moment, 'Welcome back to you too.' Jeckt said, a frown on his face as Xaviae stirred.

'Forgetting the useless plufael strapped to the tree,' Jeckt continued, 'You're not doing a very good job of keeping your reila from crawling back to mine, now are you? All it took was for me to rearrange some of Adela's thought process' so she'd say a few things she wouldn't normally say and your reila comes back for- I think it's two kisses at this point. I agree, my reila's pretty dumb, but if I'm stupid, I wonder what the IQ of your reila is, playing right into my hands without a second thought.'

"The hell did you rearrange, you ass?!" Adela snarled, "And did you just call me-"

'Oh? You didn't notice? Changed my mind, if you didn't suspect me of putting words in your mouth, then I guess you would've said them by yourself. You just needed an extra push off the cliff, didn't you?' Jeckt replied, sending a shot of Dation through Xaviae's right pectoral absentmindedly, ignoring the plufael as he coughed up the blood accumulating in his lungs. 'I think your reila had something to say to mine, Maelstrom. It's rude to interrupt you know.'

parallelzero
April 4th, 2008, 06:17 PM
"Xavaie!" Mistral shouted, appearing at the plufael's side, beside the tree. "Jeckt! Screw off! This is just like before, when you posed as Adela's plufael, deceiving us all that time!" A swift blow to the head sent Mistral's skull crashing into the tree, however, and she fell to the ground, somehow still conscious. She got to her feet, and squinted to see the negafael as her vision blurred, blood running down her face from the large wound on her head. "Maelstrom... Why? I thought you'd changed..." She suddenly felt her perspective change as she grew closer to the ground. She suddenly realized she had regained the same, much smaller form she had taken five years before. The towering form of Maelstrom glared down at Mistral as she pointed her right index finger at multiple points on Mistral's body, pinning her down to the floor of Adela's mind with arrows of wionus through the flesh on her arms and legs.

The negafael smirked a satanic smirk as her eyes lit up a devilish red colour. "You can only blame yourself. After all, it's thanks to you that I've been able to succeed this time. You've played nicely into my hand. With my absence, the boy has slowly become unbalanced. Without a balance between dark and light in one with faels, they tend to become too reliant on one side, and are thus easily manipulated by the other." The witch of a fael reached into a pool of darkness, reaching in and dragging out another body that looked exactly like the regressed Mistral. "See? Look what you've turned our precious reila into! You! You've made him just like you!" She threw the Reid-trapped-in-Mistral's-form beside Mistral, and pinned her to the ground in a similar fashion. "I'm going to take over like I tried to five years ago, but this time I'm not going to make the same mistakes I made back then." Her body disappeared, leaving the two pinned in Adela's consciousness. Her voice boomed still, however. "First of all, I'm not going to try a takeover with you two present in the consciousness, which is why I've conveniently placed you two in a seperate consciousness. I wouldn't of had to bother if Jeckt hadn't saved Mistral back then. I still question his reasoning behind that. A negafael, helping a plufael. Idiot."

In the meantime, the physical form of Mistral turned completely to face Adela. "Hey, witch. You still have that gun that won me my freedom five years ago, don't you? That weapon that gave me the motivation to possess Reid and tear the body of his closest friend to tiny little shreds. It was thanks to three key people in Reid's life that have kept my presence surpressed. Rosaline Dian, Flaire Teluia, and you. Now that he doesn't have any of those three people, I can finally make my move. I thank you for being such a witch." Her form suddenly melted away to Reid's form, although the eyes still had a red glow to them. 'Reid' reached into the pocket of his cloak, pulling out a mahstion gun, one that belonged to Ellianne. 'He' pointed it at Adela. "Once you're dead, I won't have to worry about you at all, will I? But of course, you still have a gun of your own. So, what're you going to do? Kill Reid, or be killed?" It spoke with Reid's voice, and smirked with Reid's smirk, but it was obviously Maelstrom. "You shouldn't have any problems shooting me, right? You hate me for leaving you, for not saying anything, for making you suffer, right? All of that pain I've caused you, it still hurts, doesn't it? Being alone. The truth is Reid never wanted to leave you, he tried to get away to say goodbye at least, but I took him away from you. But if you kill me, you kill Reid. If you don't kill me, I kill you. Choices, choices.

Loki
April 4th, 2008, 07:52 PM
'Mi-...str....' Xaviae choked out, before Jeckt stood, with an ugly contorted expression on his face, a square of dation crushing Xaviae's head against the tree. His already sharp pupils contracted, the size of pinpricks as he crushed his crystal ball with his fist. As he disappeared he snarled, 'Shut up, and don't ever say her name in front of me again. Or else I'm going to shut you up in that tree until you die.'

’Jeckt!’ The bloodied plufael yelled in a hoarse voice, trying to push the Dation off of him while still bound in chains. The negafael he’d just called out to was already half gone, but heard Xaviae’s words as the Dation engulfed his head, the words ringing to be heard by no one but the owner of the black box that began to suffocate Xaviae, ’Don’t you dare!!’

Adela clenched her fists. What the heck was she supposed to do? Lazarus... where the heck was he? And Ellianne! They were both absolutely useless! Maelstrom.... huh? She definitely like Jeckt a lot more than Maelstrom. He at least, was nice when he was chained up.

“Don’t kid yourself.” Adela spoke, trying to smooth out her voice, “.” She reached to unbuckle her holster, glaring at Maelstrom as she did so. Too damn nice. She was too damn nice. Reid would die eventually anyway. It would've been fine to just end it earlier. Her trembling hands suddenly stilled though, her hair growing shorter and her body growing even flatter and slender than before as Jeckt pulled out the mahstion gun, appearing in front of Maelstrom with the barrel pressed under her jaw. His face was displeased and serious as he glared into the false Reid’s eyes. His clothes were visibly different. Over a button up-shirt was an open sports jacket, a dark ashy gray in color, just one of the variations between his appearance inside Adela's mind. Jeckt's hands were covered in black cotton gloves, and two silver rings were upon his index and middle finger that held the mahstion gun up, and instead of flat slip-ons, he wore a pair of black belted boots.

"You don’t deserve to know why I saved that plufael. With that in mind, your reila is going to die soon anyway, right?" Jeckt muttered, before moving his finger to pull the trigger, his left hand disappearing as he used up the energy to fire a shot. He stared at his finger, which had stopped just short of the click he wanted to hear. A trigger safety made of Dation had formed between his finger and the trigger, “… Kill or be killed, Princess.” He pressed his finger against the safety, which didn’t budge, “And I don’t plan on dying anytime today.”

His hand stiffened, the gun sliding out of his hand.

“You can’t be serious.” Jeckt murmured, his voice slowly revealing a sense of panic with each word as Rod’s gun clattered to the floor, “You want me to die… For someone who freakin’ hates you?!”

A dation warp enveloped the tip of Maelstrom’s gun as Jeckt reached out and clutched her throat tightly, shoving Maelstrom against the white brick walls, digging his thumb into her windpipe. The same furious contorted expression he wore inside Adela’s mind surfaced as he snarled loud enough to show his aggravation, but not loud enough to garner the attention from those indoors, not wanting anyone to intervene, “You want me to die for someone… who you freakin’ hate?!?!”

-------------------------------------------------------

Dieter, being Dieter, had already long forgotten about the collar around his neck. Being his first time in a populated place, he’d reasoned that the measures were necessary to keep him from killing everyone who accidentally bumped into him or spoke to him. After all, if anyone had anything to say to him, it wouldn’t be too hard as long as he didn’t get their lungs or voice box or throat area. Attack first, ask later. However, even though the village wasn’t very big, it was a whole new adventure to Dieter, who never remembered a populated place that wasn’t up in flames from a pirate attack, or a place that wasn’t filled with scantily clad women when his mother neglected to find a babysitter or couldn’t afford one. Of course, this was just Dieter's excuse to enjoy his pathetic excuse for freedom. This village was peaceful, and like a child, Dieter had to peek into all the window displays.

“Rasch,” Dieter said, pulling on the master of diguise’s sleeve, “You think this place sells any cigarettes? I want a brand with more tar in it!”

So it would smell worse, Rasch reasoned, shrugging in response as he read down the list that Tappen had made. Groceries… huh…

A group of humans altered for war, grocery shopping. Rasch shook his head with a sigh. Only Lieutenant Tappen could think of such an outrageous use for them.

“WOAHHH!” Dieter’s eyes had stars of awe in them as he hurried over to the butchers stall, “This guy is cutting up meat in broad daylight! Why aren't you wearing a collar like me?! Tappen! This isn't fair at all!”

Rasch sweatdropped. No, that kind of meat was different from the human flesh that Dieter had in mind.

parallelzero
April 4th, 2008, 09:24 PM
"So, the witch does value his life." Maelstrom stated even as she was being strangled. She didn't care. Jeckt was only a minor setback. The wind suddenly picked up, and a blade of wionus swung across Jeckt's wrist, severing his hand from his arm. Maelstrom took the opportunity to kick Jeckt away, before ripping the severed hand from her throat and throwing it at him. "Don't screw with me, Jeckt. You're held down by your reila, I'm not. That alone creates a great enough power difference." She freed her gun from the dation, and pointed it at her - Reid's - foot, and fired a shot. She didn't feel a thing.

In the meanwhile, still secured to the floor of Adela's mind, Reid was, despite being in Mistral's younger form, feeling the pain. He screamed. He could do nothing but scream as the feeling of having a bullet pierce his foot shook his very being.

Maelstrom smirked as she pointed the gun to her other foot. "You're right. He is going to die soon, which is why I have no problem doing this. Part of the reason this whole plan has had any success is because he's been burdened with it for so long. This is all for my own amusement anyways, and if I die with him in the process, at least I'll die happy." She fired at the other foot. Reid screamed. She fired at both legs. Reid screamed louder. The stomach. Further screaming, and now crying. "It seems I'm running out of non-fatal places to shoot." She suddenly noticed another presence; another gun pointed at her.

"You wouldn't shoot at me, would you Ellianne? After all I've done for you, you wouldn't dare." Her red eye turned to look at the wyvern girl, who was shakily pointing a gun at who she thought was Reid, her eyes wide in shock. In a swift motion, Maelstrom swung the gun in Ellianne's direction and shot. The shot hit Ellianne in the right half of her chest, thankfully away from her heart, and her head shot back as she fell to her knees.

"...Reid...why?" She murmured as she fell onto her hands, tears flowing.

Reid, sweating and shaking violently from the pain he had received, persisted in trying to break free from the wionus that had him bound. He couldn't let this go on, or else he'd lose everything, everone! Ellianne, she got involved too. DAMMIT.

"After learning of the death of Princess Rosaline and the loss of his country, Reid Davies of Flazure's Archai Squad went berserk and killed one of his friends. He then proceeded to commit suicide after realizing what he had done. That's what the papers will read. What do you have to say to that, Adela Ciaccio?" Maelstrom brought the gun up and pointed it at Reid's head...

---

Auricia, Tsukasa and Ashton all joined Rasch in his sweatdropping in response to Dieter's comment. How could he be unaware of something so simple and commonplace? "That's animal meat, Die-chi." Auricia stated as she covered her nose and mouth with her hand. Human or animal, blood was blood, and there was a lot of it around. "He probably has a license, so that's why he's allowed..." She clung to Ashton's hand, and he blushed based on the suddeness of the action. "Right, Ashton?"

"Uh... yeah. While you're a Skill, Dieter, remember you're also a soldier. Soldiers don't just aimlessly kill the innocent like you seem to enjoy. We're not murderers." It was pointless preaching to Dieter, Ashton realized, but it didn't hurt to try. "But since you seem to keen on visiting the butcher, you can." He shoved a list into Dieter's hands. "There, get everything on that list. Maybe he'll even let you cut it if you ask nicely. But DON'T reveal your abilities. Rasch, go with him to watch him. We'll go off and get the vegetables and fruit."

Loki
April 4th, 2008, 10:36 PM
Jeckt got to his feet as though losing a hand was nothing, black smoke floating from the mahstion gun and thickening as it swirled through the air, splitting in half as it formed new hands for the negafael. His expression had calmed, now only of light disgust as he watched Maelstrom break her own reila's body down. Damn her to pieces. Oh wait. Too late for that. He stared at Ellianne for a moment before brushing himself off.

"You're not a very good sadist, so don't even try." Jeckt snapped, looking at the ripped sleeve of his jacket, the edges having been cut off with his hand, "You're not even a good masochist, since you can't even feel the bullets. Man you just suck as a negafael in general, don't you? Tch."

'Big brother, you shouldn't antagonize her...' A boy about the age of 14 ripped the wionus arrows out of Reid's arms. He looked exactly like Jeckt had five years ago, but was a different existence entirely, his shoulders shrouded in a brown mantle rather than the mandarin collared silk shirt that Jeckt had always donned at the time. On the other side, a little girl who hadn't changed at all since she ran off to the forgetting island struggled with the arrow in his legs, 'Otherwise Princess is going to be mad at you.'

"Shut up Armon, I'll do what I want, the kid is half dead already." Jeckt snarled at the boy who held all of Adela's mechanical memories and skills, "I'm just going to rearrange my plans, Maelstrom annoys the crap outta me and I don't want to see her ever again. It'll be better if she does herself in. A fitting end to a worthless ♥♥♥♥♥. Yeah kill yourself already girl. Do us all a favor and get it over with. It'll be a valiant way to go, rather than withering away like a weakling from some disease, yeah?"

'Hey!' The real Armon snapped at Reid as the little girl padded over to Mistral to free her, 'Wake up already!' He lifted his hand to his face and tore his right eyeball out, closing the eyelid to hide the gruesome sight as he crushed the eye in his hand, letting black goo blacken the punctures from the wionus arrows and close up the wounds. 'You said you didn't want to be a burden anymore right? You said you wanted to become stronger, didn't you?! Well now's a better time than any, isn't it?!?'

"If you want a reaction from my reila before you blow your head off though," Jeckt ran his hand over his sleeve, the cloth reappearing as it passed, "Let's see..."

The black blanket that had surrounded the second largest tree in the forest disappeared, and Adela, chained to it, struggling against them.

'Let me go Jeckt!' She yelled, gritting her teeth when the chains tightened, digging into her arms and legs.

"Hey hey, the hag is asking you a question Princess." Jeckt pointed out, and Adela stopped struggling for a moment, glaring at the roots and dirt at her feet.

"Not a chance." She muttered, squeezing her eyes shut and clenching her fists. Not a chance she would ever let those headlines hit papers, or even scripts. Everything here... She opened her eyes when Jeckt suddenly covered his nose and mouth with his gloved hand.

"I don't understand..." Lazarus stared at Reid in confusion, a pure white flower growing from the split seed on the floor, it’s bud bending over to drip Lazarus’ most potent healing liquid onto Ellianne’s bullet shot, "But you... don't really seem like any Reid that I've met so far." A The color in his eyes drained to form a black tear drop tattoo that slid down his cheek. His other eye did the same, but the tear drop slid up to his forehead, the two tattoo marks suddenly expanding to imitate Orcha’s facial tattoos. “It takes a long time to heal bullet wounds … so I’d appreciate it if you’d stop putting holes in him.”

Vines shot up from the ground and grabbed Maelstrom’s limbs, one with small thorns puncturing her wrist as it pulled the hand that held the mahstion gun away from her head. It didn’t matter if the vines were cut.

“The entire garden is covered in seeds, and if I run out of vines I can just use roots.” Lazarus stated, “Keep cutting them if you want, it’ll never end until you’re completely paralyzed.”


---------------------------------------------------------


Of course, he got stuck with Dieter. Why was Dieter so clingy towards him anyway? Rasch sighed at the crushed and pathetic expression on Dieter’s face after learning it was animal meat.

“H-How…” Dieter stammered, looking at Rasch as though he were a cruel kitten-killer, “C-Could anyone eat an-an animal?! They’re so cute!!”

Rasch sweatdropped, unable to respond in either words or Lionus. (Why was Dieter suddenly assuming that Rasch was some sort of meat-lover? The old man rarely ate more than half a regular sized steak in a day…) He was at a complete loss. Was this what happened when Dieter was exposed to the outside world? Dieter did seem like the type who would eat anything put in front of him as long as it was edible. No wait, that wasn’t the problem. Why was Dieter reacting so strongly to killing animals when he didn’t lose a wink of sleep over massacring an entire battalion of humans? Enigmatic… even more enigmatic than himself, Rasch admitted. The boy just needed a chance to show it. Embarrassed to be seen with him, Rasch shooed Dieter away from the stand, the crazy skill pulling his jaw open with his fingers as he let an even flow of tears fall as he stared at the meat he’d mistaken for human flesh earlier.

“C-Cut it…” He blubbered, remembering the Lieutenant's permission, “T-Tappen! I d-did-didn’t know he w-wuh-wuhz such a crool p-p-perrrsssooon-“

Rasch mercilessly whacked Dieter about the head with his cane, sighing as he unfolded the grocery list and handed it to the butcher silently. The butcher took it, somewhat confused by the old man’s companion. Probably one of those loonies he was reading about in the papers lately… Rasch and the butcher debated heatedly, one side completely silent, over the best cuts of meat while Dieter lamented over the idea of a cow being killed to be eaten. He was forbidden to use his powers, so when Rasch turned around, ready to go find the Lieutenant and the others, Dieter put his two index fingers up next to his head and gave Rasch huge puppy dog eyes.

“Mooo?” He moaned in a sad voice, trying to sound half dead.

Rasch peered down at Dieter, trying to comprehend what exactly the scientists had done wrong to make such a fine piece of work.

parallelzero
April 5th, 2008, 09:51 AM
"Move over Armon." Mistral weakly said as she crawled over to Reid's side. It was weird looking at a mirror image of herself, especially since it wasn't her. Mistral knew one thing. Maelstrom was wrong. "He won't respond to anyone but me at this point..." She leaned over the Mistralfied Reid and pressed her body up against his, before leaning in for a kiss. Reid was engulfed by light, and when it cleared Sanako was lying in his place. She slowly opened her eyes. "You feel better now, right, Reid? You need to go back to try and subdue Maelstrom, and I'll stay here and work on dealing with Jeckt. Do NOT listen to what that witch says. She'll try and play mind games with you."

Sanako blinked. "You couldn't have given me MY form?"

"Er... well, Maelstrom has yours right now, and I couldn't really think of a better one..." Mistral watched as Sanako disappeared, before struggling to get to her feet, taking on her older form once again. She looked up at the black sky of Adela's mind, and held her arm out as a bow composed of wionus formed around her hand. She brought the bow up to point into the sky, and drew a wionus arrow back. "All I need to do is cause a distraction for now..." She let go, and the arrow pierced the sky. If her calculations were correct, it would hit Jeckt. "HEY BASTARD. LET ADELA GO." It was obvious Adela and Xavaie wouldn't be able to fight this battle themselves, so she'd have to do it for them, even though she was already bruised and beaten by Maelstrom.

Maelstrom let out a shriek as the vines took hold of her. Wionus spun around her, turning into razor sharp bladed that would constantly cut the growing vines as her form shrunk back down to that of her true self. She couldn't feel anything, but she had crippled Reid's body too much to use it for combat purposes any further. She was quick to point the gun at Lazarus, but wasn't presented with an opportunity to fire as another presence had decided to intervene. Her head jolted back in Jeckt's direction, to see a figure completely covered with a black cloak.

The figure bent over and picked up the mahstion gun that Jeckt had dropped, and pointed it at Maelstrom's head. "Hey, Adela, you can hear me right? I'm going to be taking this back, at least for now. As for you, ya witch. I have a debt to repay to you after cutting me up so bad. Though I guess it's thanks to you that I had my mind purged of that evil... Even so." The figure pulled the trigger, and a bullet of fionus pierced Maelstrom's right eye. "Give me my friend back, ♥♥♥♥♥."

Maelstrom shrieked. How? He was supposed to be dead! In the end, Reid's body fell to the ground, as he had regained control, locking Maelstrom in a cell in his mind until they could figure out what to do with her. "You're... a skill... aren't you... Rod?" He managed to say with a quivering smile on his face.

"Hey, you're still sharp as ever." The cloaked figure chimed as he threw down his hood, revealing Rod's signature raven black hair and emerald green eyes. "It's been a while."

Loki
April 5th, 2008, 10:52 AM
Adela suddenly reappeared, sprawled across the ground as she gasped for breath. The limited air in the enclosed space that Jeckt's Dation had created around her had almost run out. She clutched her head, a splitting pain overcoming her as Jeckt stared at Mistral like he'd never seen her before. Back in her mind, Jeckt's outfit had changed back to the original, but the right side of his face, undoubtedly mangled and destroyed, was covered in black goo and blood. He looked away from her, determined not to face her as he pulled an arrow of wionus out of his cheek, dissolving it as he glared at Xaviae. The flesh that should’ve been ripped out with the blunt angle Jeckt pulled at splurted onto the grass only as black liquid that quickly evaporated.

'Fine. Move over, you god damned bastard. You’re lucky your girlfriend was here…' He spoke quietly to Xaviae, in a defeated sort of way, his body evaporating into the black smoke that had formed his hands earlier. He raised his voice and turned his head very slightly towards Mistral to show he was speaking to her, though kept his gaze fixedly away from her. ' So fine, I lied to you about being the plufael. Would you have even looked at me if I didn't? I know the answer to that already though. ... I don't need someone who can’t see past that. If you had just died… then you would never be able to see that weakling again.'

Xavaie collapsed without the support of the tight chains, just barely catching his fall with weak arms. Jeckt wasn't on the tree. He must've retreated inside it, where they were properly supposed to be. What was that last line? Weakling was fine with Xaviae. He’d long gotten over Jeckt’s opinion of his strength. He even believed in it a little, after being completely helpless against him.

'Big brother is such a sore loser.' Armon commented, standing up and holding his hand out to help the little girl up as well, ’Xaviae, you should take a break for awhile.’

Before anyone could speak to him, he disappeared as well, the little girl waving goodbye at Mistral with a smile and following his suit. The two appeared where they could always be found, on the open plains outside of the forest, where one could see the slowly rising sun. It stayed just barely peaked over the horizon as Xaviae clenched his fists, trying to speed up the regenerative process that the fael in control was granted. As his cuts and bruises mended, he remained on the ground, feeling no energy to hoist himself up. He'd been completely useless- again. Once he was completely whole again, Xavaie turned over onto his back to look up at the sky. The rays of light were just barely piercing through the purple darkness. ’I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything Mistral.’ He said as his bandages turned white again, the blood from earlier disappearing, ’You always have to help me out…’

Adela pushed herself into a sitting position, staring blankly at Rod. She thought immediately of the mangled corpse he was the last time she’d seen him and looked down at the bloodstained handkerchief. Rod had been ripped to pieces, and yet here he was. Just what were these skill people?

“… Reid-“

“Tell him later.” Lazarus snapped, “Go inside Adela, Rek’s bedroom is the third door on the right, don’t go too far or else the sleep toxins in Ella’s room is going to get to you. Once you see it, come back and warp Reid there, it’ll be better if I don’t move the flowers after I’ve grown them. You’re in charge of moving everyone, make sure they’re on the beds when they get in there. I don’t want to accidentally bump anything if we try to move them manually.”

Adela narrowed an eye at Lazarus, disliking being told what to do. How had she ended up nearly completely unscathed? She stood and stormed past Rod and Lazarus, turning when she reached the door to glare at Rod for a moment before hurrying inside to peer at Reks’ room. Upon opening the door to his room however, she flinched at the sound of nuts and bolts hitting the metal scraps that tumbled out of the door. It was like… a sea of stuff. Messiest room she’d ever seen. She spotted the bed, thankfully free of any scrap metal, and a puddle of Dation appeared beneath Lazarus and Reid. Lazarus didn’t seem to react too much to being transferred back and forth between Dation, sticking a hand into his pockets and picking out black seeds that grew the pure white flower at every puncture wound. “Ellianne’s bullet wound should be mostly healed by now, you should bring her to Alicel’s room after it’s done. It’s the next room down. Shoot, I don’t have enough of the right seeds with me…” He picked out two gray seeds to make up for the missing black one.

She sat down beside Ellianne to wait for the droplets of sap to finish closing the wound, peering at Rod again.

“So whose side are you on? Still corrupted or not?" Adela asked suddenly, remembering the insistence of following Gregar's orders on Dieter's part.

parallelzero
April 5th, 2008, 12:02 PM
"You pull crap like this and expect people to see past the fact that you're a negafael, Jeckt!? Grow up! If you don't want to be looked at in a negative light and have people actually trust you, then start doing things to gain that trust!" Mistral shouted at Jeckt. If she had the opportunity to slap him, she would have, right there and then. She finally decided there was no use in talking to him about it, and moved out to tend to Xavaie. Mistral waved back at the girl before she disappeared, managing a smile. "Don't be stupid, this is the first time I've helped you, Xavaie. Besides, it's natural to help those you care about, right? Oh- crap. I better go help Reid detain Maelstrom! Sorry! We'll finish this later!" She disappeared suddenly.

"Witch! Bastard! Let me go!" Maelstrom screamed as she pounded against the bars of the cell she had been imprisoned in. "I was going to win! I was going to win! And then that other bastard, the one I killed, he-"

"Shut up." Reid interrupted as a wionus arrow pierced Maelstrom's arm. "I won't forgive you for hurting Ellianne!" Mistral took that as a cue to silence her sister once and for all. She wasn't sure if it would work, but she had an idea inspired by Adela's mind as how to contain her. She appeared in the cage with Maelstrom and grabbed the negafael's hand. A sudden unfamiliar warmth flowed through her body as Reid's soul began to burn. They were suddenly engulfed with light, and as it cleared, only Mistral remained. She turned to face Reid, and smiled, revealing that one of her eyes - her left one - had taken on a much darker green, the same colour of green that Maelstrom's eyes were. In the physical world, Reid's eyes had undergone the same change. It had worked, she had successfully taken Maelstrom into her self, using her own body as a prison.

"Who's side am I on?" Rod repeated the question mockingly. "Isn't it obvious? I'm on yours. Well, I'm supposed to be on Gregar's, but after learning some things I decided to hit the road. Whatever corrupted my mind disappeared after I 'died', so I'm fine now. You guys, however, don't seem to be that fine." He cleared his throat. "Listen, I need to tell you something, but you need to promise me you won't tell Reid." He didn't bother waiting for a reply. "Apparently Rosaline's body just up and disappeared. There's a chance-"

"...That someone intends on turning her into a skill?" Ellianne weakly said, finally stirring from being unconscious. "Adela, that... wasn't Reid, right? He'd... never shoot me..."

"Ah, the cute girl is awake once more~" Rod chimed, before suddenly examining Adela more closely. "Come to think of it, you haven't done so bad yourself, Adela~ Wanna get a coffee some time, or are you still hitched to Reid?" Some habits died hard.

Loki
April 5th, 2008, 01:56 PM
Adela stared down at Ellianne, before smiling, "Nah. That wasn't Reid at all." Her smile turned into an unimpressed look when she stood however, helping Ellianne to her feet as the white flower shriveled away, it's beauty becoming dry and brown. "And of course it's not obvious!" Adela barked at Rod, "I don't understand skills at all. And if Rosaline becomes a skill too, then I guess I should stop worrying about dying, since I'll probably be made into one too. Honestly, left and right...." She muttered irritably before turning to walk into the kitchen, revealing the stingy aspects of her personality when she replied to Rod, “If you’re paying, I’ll go. But you have to tell me how to kill people like you first. I shot one through the heart and he got up like it was nothing….” She clenched and unclenched her left hand, feeling the tingly sting from earlier, “And don’t ask me about Reid again.”

'Trust... huh?' Jeckt's voice echoed quietly, as Xaviae sat up, 'Who should grow up? She wants me to do things to gain trust? She wouldn’t have said that to me if I were-'

'You're a negafael, no matter which way I look at it. Don't even try.' Xaviae replied coldly, standing up and moving away from the tree. The last place he wanted to be was anywhere near Jeckt. He walked out of the patch empty of trees due to the center, disappearing into the dark shadows of the thick forest. First time helping him out? No, there was the other time when he'd sent away that little girl. Then she was the motivation to free himself from the chains after thirteen years. And he hadn't done anything in return. Damn. Too weak. Still too weak. Though Jeckt had shut himself up already, the sky was still a grand mixture of colors, purples, pinks, and oranges. Not a single soul moved in the center of the forest, where it was normally so lively.

Adela walked back out of the kitchen with a mug of tea, blowing on it before speaking, “I won’t tell Reid, but it’ll be better if someone tells him soon. As ann-….” Adela gave Ellianne a wary look before re-wording herself, “I didn’t particularly like Rosaline, but I don’t think he’d really appreciate a surprise like seeing Rosaline all of a sudden in monster form. Oh,” She looked up, “No offense. I guess the Skill I’ve run into the most is…”

“Not sane.” Lazarus interjected, stepping over a pile of machinery, “The one who had poison in his weapons, right?”

Adela ignored Lazarus, continuing her sentence as though Lazarus never even spoke, “... definitely psycho. Anyone who would wipe out one of my squads for no god damn reason would be...”

“Hey, listen to me…” Lazarus sweatdropped, but in the end decided to ignore Adela as well, “Ellianne, are you feeling better? The shot was close to your heart though, so I’m sure that it’s under some strain… It’s better to get some rest, otherwise your body won’t recover from the shock as quickly. And we only have one night here before... be-... fore....”

Lazarus hung his head. He hated Stahn's ways.

parallelzero
April 5th, 2008, 08:17 PM
"Adela... you smiled!" Ellianne cried enthusiastically. Not once since meeting her had she witnessed the expression reach that girl's lips. She suddenly realized an error in the statement. "Ah! Sorry, that sounded rude! It's just nice to see you smile, that's all. You're pretty cute when you smile. Er, not that you aren't cute when you aren't smiling!" She proceeded to sweatdrop. Anyone could tell that the last line was a blatant lie. Scary Adela wasn't very cute at all. "Furthermore, your name is Rod, correct? My name is Ellianne. I hope you don't mind my wings..."

"Ah, no, I don't mind them at all. You're very polite, and your pretty voice compliments your appearance." Rod hadn't lost his way with words in five years, that was for sure, as Ellianne turned bright red. Though, there had to be at least a five year age difference between the two, so she didn't take it too seriously. "Anyways," His voice took a much more serious tone as he stared at Adela with the eyes of a man on a mission, "Judging by what you've said so far, you haven't pieced together the theory I have. You see- Reid, go back to bed. You sure as hell aren't in any condition to be up yet."

Reid popped his head in the doorway. "Damn, you heard me huh? Fine, I'll go lie down, but on the couch. Tell me your theory there." As Reid walked by towards the living room, Rod and Ellianne caught sight of his eyes, both different shades of green. Ellianne was going to say something, but Rod stopped her, before signaling the others to go to the living room, where Reid had crashed on his back on a couch. Rod leaned against the wall, his white wings folded inwards delicatly beneath the cloak he was wearing. Ellianne took a seat at the foot of the cough Reid was sitting on.

Rod took a moment to clear his throat, before stating his theory. "Don't you think the pieces fit together a little too well? After the apostle experiment was a failure, this plague surfaced, and the Skill development started shortly after that. With this plague, there are a lot of people dying, which provides Gregar with a lot of test subjects. Then, out of the blue, right after a group of Skills have been successfully created, a war breaks out, bringing the end of many more lives. More ended lives that leave a window open for the creation of more skills? Simply by looking at it this way, you could conclude that-"

"Someone intends on creating an army of Skills." Reid intervened. He spoke calmly, despite the pain he was dealing with.

"...Right. I've also come to assume that the plague is man-made. At least, based on rumors I've heard in the lab the past five years. Although, it's flawed. It doesn't effect users who possess faels unless it's injected directly into their bloodstream, and even then, it acts much slower. If this Skill army had a true enemy, it would be safe to assume that fael owners would fill that role, right? I've also heard rumors of the Gregar military killing innocents in search of something..."

Reid gulped. He knew what that was, but Ellianne answered for him. "Ophelian Core shards." So, this proved that Stahn hadn't been going on about nothing all of this time. But, did that mean that Kayle was somehow associated with Gregar? Was he responsible for this plague? Was he the reason Reid had contracted the plague himself?

Reid glanced over at Ellianne, before lifting his head. If he died, what would she do? She was obviously too reliant on him at this point. "Guys, can I talk to Adela alone for a minute? It's kind of important. You had something to say to me anyways, right?"

Loki
April 6th, 2008, 10:13 AM
Almost right after hearing Ellianne try to cover up her pathetic attempt at a compliment, Adela's face deadpanned. Straight-line for a mouth, distant glare, raised eyebrows. "...Thanks." She said, without really meaning it. No more of that then. She looked away from Rod's gaze, not wanting to hear his opinion all too much, but turned it back the opposite way when Rod revealed that Reid was listening in.

Adela immediately moved towards the window upon entering the sitting room, wrapping her hands around her mug as she stared out. This felt just like five years ago in Faewyn's house, except, less sappiness, less hugging, less crying. Less Faewyn and Aertan. She listened intently, looking out across the plains that very quickly ended in a chain of mountains. Everything was too green. She took a sip of her tea, thinking to herself. ’An army of skill. Huh?’ Adela leaned her shoulder on the window pane, watching the grass sway in the light breeze. ’So I wonder how many skill are already created.’ She counted to herself, lifting a finger for every skill she’d encountered so far. The old man. The psycho one. The girl who had eavesdropped on her and…. And then the other one. Now rod. That made five in total. If one added Rosaline as a tentative variable, then that would make six. Right now, they had Reid, Ellianne, Lazarus, Levi, and herself. Five. But if Rod was really staying with them, then that meant that they had more people than skills. With the current knowledge of how many skills had already been made anyway.

“But we don’t have enough people, if we’re going to go up against an army of skill.” Lazarus pointed out, examining one of the reddest roses he’d ever made. It smelled like nothing. “We have the Lieutenant, Reid, Ellianne, and Rod for sure.” Lazarus stated, “Levi’s attendance is tentative now that his proprietor, Rosaline, isn’t around to give him the incentive.”

“What about you?” Adela asked, swiveling around so that her back was to the window.

The rose in Lazarus’ hand shriveled, a horrible gray. But even so, the sweet smell that was purer than anything filled the room. “I’m not sure yet. I'm still thinking.”

She opened her mouth to speak, but Reid beat her to it.

"Guys, can I talk to Adela alone for a minute? It's kind of important. You had something to say to me anyways, right?"

Adela took another drink, waiting for the room to empty. Even when it was empty, she couldn’t bring herself to say it. It was too embarrassing. Too sappy. Too….. she wasn’t sure if she wanted to hear the answer. She wasn’t even sure if it was a question. Her mind traced circles, going nowhere. “You don’t…” She began, but no, that wasn’t the right way to say it. “Maelstrom said… that I mattered… to you.” She finally spoke, looking up at Reid with a wary gaze, “I don’t understand why I do. I feel like I’m just your… plan B. Do you-...” Adela hesitated, sighed, and sat down on an arm chair, putting her mug on the coffee table.

"Forget it." She spoke with a clear and confident tone now, evenly and calmly, "It's not important. What were you going to say?"

parallelzero
April 6th, 2008, 05:18 PM
Reid listened intentively to what Adela was saying. Well, he tried, but because she kept breaking up her sentence with hesitation, he had to piece together the final product her words were leading up to. Even after he had put it together, there was a moment of silence as he tried to piece together a proper response. When was the last time he really had to think about his feelings? This was the first time in a while. He never really had to think of a response with Flaire, he just kind of said it. Was that how unimportant their relationship had been, though? "I..." Now he was the one hesitating. He was way too close with far too many girls, he couldn't deny that. There were a million ways he could word this wrong. But, he couldn't deny the truth about they first three years after leaving. "Listen, I never stopped regretting leaving. To be more precise, I never stopped regretting leaving you. Maybe that's why I eventually decided to be with Flaire, because I finally needed to fill that hole. I don't hate you Adela, although you're justified in hating me. You're not my plan B, but it's just... since I came back you really haven't given me much of an opportunity to talk with you properly..."

He struggled to sit himself upright, and took careful care not to disturb the flowers implanted in his wounds - that was a really weird way to heal, by the way. "Anyways... I'm sorry to ask this of you after all you've had to deal with in regards to me, but I need a favor. You see, when I die, Ellianne won't have anywhere to go. She's kind of taken on the role of a younger sister to me, and I don't want her to be unhappy... So, could you make sure she finds somewhere welcoming to go after I pass away? Ailia too. She's really the only person I have, and I can't imagine what kind of condition she's in after hearing about Rosaline. I'm kind of pissed at Stahn for sending her to investigate." Happiness. That was a word he'd been playing around with in his mind for a while. "Happiness." He blurted it out. "That's what I've decided I'm going to go out fighting for, so all of my friends - so everyone, can be happy. Especially you, Adela, you deserve happiness after all I've done to you. You deserve to live in a happy world."

Loki
April 6th, 2008, 06:36 PM
Adela peered at Reid, her legs crossed and arms folded like always. Almost like she was at a meeting or something. A happy world… huh? She couldn’t bring herself to smile at these words. They were a sad sort of bittersweet. It didn’t matter to her whether they were genuine. It wouldn’t matter this time next year. Reid would be dead by then. Of course he wouldn’t know. A happy world didn’t exist for Adela. Happiness was fleeting moments that landed for a split second before flying off again. She smiled at the idea of a happy world. It was just like him to think like that. And just like him to bring up another girl right after he’d finished trying to convince her that she wasn’t just the second-rate girl. She shifted, sitting up straighter in her seat. This long pause was probably getting to him. She mulled over her words. Honestly, she hadn’t yet placed her trust in any of it. It was good that he’d realized that she’d suffered for all this time.

It was about time that she realized that she wasn’t the only one. But there was only a very small slice of that revealed to her with the information that Reid was a walking dead man. There was only a very small piece of her that wanted to relate to that and ask her, ‘how would you feel if it was you…?’

“I will.” Adela assured Reid, “Unfortunately I can’t take their financial support from the government treasury for a private request, but I’ll slice a piece off of my own salary so that they can live comfortably even if their own occupations aren’t the best. They’ll be protected under the shelter of the Tealian Forces as long as I’m Lieutenant, that much I can do with my authority. I’ll send the order tonight, so that even if something should happen to me, it won’t affect them. I’m not sure how much protection I can spare for Ellianne if she chooses to return to Flazure, if the state in that country continues, considering it is a number one target for terrorism and Carn has already withdrawn.”

“I’m glad that you care, Reid.” Adela stood, picking up her mug of tea, “I really am, but now that I know, it’s fine. I don’t need to be looked after. Focus on ending what you’ve started. I’ll stick around, but my determination for the people you care about isn’t the same. So…”

She smiled, a melancholy sort of smile before she turned around to leave the sitting room, exhausted from the day’s events just like every day since she’d run into Reid again, “It’ll be for nothing, if you don’t end this before the plague does.”

Adela sighed when the door clicked shut behind her. There wasn’t time for anything anymore.


“Tappen! Auri-chi!” Dieter called out to them, ignoring Tsukasa and waving Rasch’s cane about in the air. His collar was caught by Rasch before he was able to run off towards them, the old man shaking his head in disapproval. Dieter had been trying to bolt left and right, excited by this and that. But Tappen had told Rasch to keep an eye on him. An eye on the boy who’d declared himself what the butcher called a ‘vegetarian’ without really knowing what it was. He was a ridiculous person, Rasch had decided.

He could hardly remember the time when he was like Dieter, though it wasn’t long before he became a skill. Being the son of a wealthy man, and a complete recluse that had rarely spoken to anyone other than his brother, if even, Rasch had never been outside either. He very faintly remembered the sense of wonder at being in town. It was an overwhelming feeling that had sent him into a fit of tears. Yet Dieter was adapting like it was nothing. Rasch found a seed of curiousity in his mind as he stopped Dieter with a question.

’Have you really never been in a town before?’ Rasch’s lionus wrote in front of Dieter’s face.

Dieter tilted his head and contorted his face, trying to remember. “Probably, but I always thought animal meat was brown even when it was raw. And then I grew up around a red light district in the Underground, so it was kind of different from this place.”

Kind of? Rasch resisted the urge to puke. How old would that meat have to be?

“Why, do I really look that out of place?” Dieter asked, putting his hands behind his head. Rasch rubbed his temple.

’Nevermind.’

parallelzero
April 6th, 2008, 08:45 PM
"Yeah... before the plague does..." Reid repeated to himself as he dropped his face into his hands. She was right. He was already aware of it, but he hated other people acknowledging it. Especially when he ended up thinking about the sadness his death would cause his friends and family. He fell back onto his back on the couch and closed his eyes. He really felt like going for a walk, but he wasn't stubborn enough to do that in the condition he was in. Dying before his predetermined time wasn't exactly his preferred idea. Adela was keeping things from him, even after he put himself out there. It irritated him a little, but he didn't care too much. He deserved it after all. Yeah, maybe he deserved to die...

When he opened his eyes, he realized a lot more time had passed than he originally intended. He must have fallen asleep. Of course, that much was obvious by the fact that moonlight was drifting through the open window along with a cool breeze. Someone had left a lamp on, but nobody was in the room with him. He sat up, and found himself covered with a red blanket. Who had..? Oh well, it didn't matter. He carefully checked all of the places that he had received bullet wounds, and found that they had all healed up properly. It was really interesting, using Eation for such a purpose. He stood up and stretched his arms and legs. Nope, no pain. It seemed the effects of the plague had completely passed, at least for the day. It would be a month at least before they hit again. But... if it was getting worse, they might become more frequent.

Reid slowly made his way to the kitchen, where he poured himself a glass of water. "Hey, sleeping beauty is up~" Rod chimed as he entered the kitchen as well. Reid raised an eyebrow. "Sorry, Sanako, or should I call you Ally, I've been hearing stories. Hey, if you're going to be a part time chick, you should date me some time." Reid sweatdropped the most he had ever sweatdropped in his life. "I'm JOKING."

"Sure... sure you are. Where is everyone? What time is it?" Reid asked. The house was pretty quiet. Though, it couldn't be that late...

"9pm. Ellianne fell asleep in Alicel's room shortly after you did, Lazarus went out somewhere, Ella is still out of it, and Adela is in the guest bedroom to my knowledge. You should go out and get some fresh air, maybe take her with you? It's pretty nice out here at night, away from the city. She might enjoy it."

"Her? Adela? She doesn't really seem to enjoy... anything."

"Yeah. You still have a thing for her, don't you? She probably has her reasons. She seems like she has pretty high standards, and you aren't exactly top of the food chain."

Reid sweatdropped. "What makes you think I still have a thing for her?"

"Just ask her!"

"Fine... fine..." Reid let out a sigh as he found his way to the guestroom. Good, the light was still on. He knocked twice, before pitching his proposal. "Hey... Adela? You probably have better things to do, but do you want to go for a walk? Rod says it's really nice outside... so... uh... I'll be out on the deck. You don't have to come if you don't want to." And off he ran.

ooc: Skill part coming soon.

Loki
April 7th, 2008, 03:48 PM
Adela sat silently at the small desk, having found paper and a pen inside the drawer. It was definitely a traveler’s stop, for these two things to be so easily acquired for letters and such. After writing out the order, she looked up at the sound of a knock. She opened her mouth to tell whoever it was that they were free to open the door, but Reid spoke first. She glanced back to the letter as Reid spoke before she turned to finish it. He was gone anyway, she’d heard him running off to the front porch.

She didn’t write anything personal in this letter. Well wishes for her mother, hopes that things were going well, that she was still on two feet. Those petty things weren’t included in this letter. By its simple existence, it meant that she was perfectly fine. And she knew that her mother was perfectly capable of handling herself. Folding it into thirds, Adela sealed it shut and stood, picking up one of the various jackets hanging in the closet. It was a simple, washed out blue hoodie. By the fact that it was hanging in the guest closet, and by its color, Adela deemed that it was probably a second-hand clothing article that Ella had hung for travelers to wear when it grew cold at night. Oh well. It would have to do, as she certainly wasn’t walking outside at 9PM wearing just her PJ’s. As she walked slowly through the house, she hardly even registered that this place was once Alicel’s home, and that she’d lived and died here. It seemed like just another pit stop to her. She paused beside the kitchen and glanced at Rod when she slipped on a pair of sandals.

Well, whatever. He would come if he wanted to, it wasn’t like Alta was forbidden territory. Adela sighed, continuing to the deck with one hand in the pocket of the blue zip-up hoodie and the other with an order in hand. She wrenched the door open, surprised that it didn’t squeak. It was one of those screen doors that seemed like it would make a racket, especially with how old the house must’ve been.

At first, she ignored Reid, pulling her hand out of her pocket and making a fist, tighter and tighter until she finally let go, revealing a black figure resembling a crow the size of a robin. The Dation clamped the letter in its beak and took off, gliding much too smoothly for a normal bird, not flapping its wings even once. It landed on the mailbox on the other side of the garden, wrenching it open with its talons and shoving the letter into the metal container. As soon as the door was closed and the red flag raised, the crow disappeared into a tendril of black smoke. Adela finally turned her gaze to Reid, the smoke slowly falling into her hand and dissipating.

“Do you need a lantern?” She asked plainly, referring to the dark, but stepped off the deck without one anyway. She didn’t really have much problem seeing in the dark, and the moon was enough to give everything a faint bluish purple glow anyway. Adela stopped to wait for Reid at the bottom of the three short steps, sticking her hands in her pockets.


-----------------------------------------

The back door swung open, and Lazarus stepped inside, pulling his shoes off and heading to the kitchen to get a glass of water. For the past three hours or so, he’d been wandering around the garden out back, weeding, turning soil, and either picking dead flowers out and replanting them or concentrating nutrition at that spot. Give the garden another half hour or so, and it’d be back to the condition it was when he’d left this place- top notch. An hour was dedicated to cleaning off the two rectangular slabs of stone that stood out back, each with a name engraved on the side. Eation had truly been useful, for shaping the huge boulders and moving them to their proper places.

He stopped in the kitchen doorway upon seeing the man Reid and the others had called Rod. A skill, they’d said. His face broke into a calm smile as he held his hand out, “I don’t think I ever introduced myself. I’m Lazarus Javor. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

parallelzero
April 7th, 2008, 06:54 PM
Reid refrained from commented on the sweater Adela was wearing, but it took all of his willpower. Maybe it was just because he hadn't really seen her in casual clothes... ever, but it just seemed so out of place. He watched from afar as she released the majestic dation bird into the sky, most likely carrying a letter to who he assumed was her mother. Again, no comment. Come to think of it, had she ever mentioned a father? He couldn't recall ever hearing of one, even from Commander Milo. Did he pass away? Or was he a good for nothing like Reid's father? Maybe he'd never know. Oh well. When confronted with the question of a lantern, he shrugged it off and didn't reply as he followed her down the steps. What, did she think he was incapable of navigating in the darkness? He finally did reply after trailing after her for a moment, she'd probably be angry if she was ignored. "Nah, it's much nicer without carrying a light around." Well, it was true. Natural light screwed up the view, like the dancing fireflies and the night sky.

He didn't finally submit to Rod's idea of taking Adela for no reason. After all that had happened, there were questions that he had to ask her. "I'm sorry. As of late, I've been the center of attention, I role I hate to take..." Technically, he was acknowledging that he was a burden, but he was also acknowledging that he hadn't taken the time to actually dedicate a bit of time to Adela. After earlier, despite what she said... "Listen, I'm going to just come out and ask." He held his hand out, allowing a firefly to perch on his finger. The night air was refreshing, and the starry sky was breathtaking. With all the lionus pollution in the big cities, it was rare to see such a sight. "Do you... Do you hate me? It wasn't until you found out that I was sick that you actually started calming down on the verbal abuse, so I'm kind of thinking that maybe... it's out of pity. If I wasn't sick, you wouldn't be nice to me at all, let's face it... That assumption is right, right?"

---

"Rod." The Skill said as he extended his hand to shake, his emerald eyes glistening in the light of the kitchen. "My last name is unimportant. Let's just say I belong to family with a greater military power in Tealia." Rod looked Lazarus over. He was dirty. Had he been gardening? Was there a reason to garden at someone else's house? He darted his head to the door, implying that he wanted to go out. "Is Alicel buried out there, by any chance? I did know her, ya know, so I wouldn't mind paying my dues. I don't mean to open closed wounds, but is there any chance you could show me where her grave is?" There was silence for a moment as he recollected his thoughts, but decided to add something onto what he had already said as he crossed his arms across his black cloak and leaned against the kitchen wall. "I've actually been saving this question for Reid, but I guess I can ask you. Do you hate what I am? A fate I didn't choose, but a reality that exists anyways. A Skill, that's what I am. Do you hate me for it?"

Loki
April 7th, 2008, 08:07 PM
Adela sat down and watched the fireflies. She really did prefer the darkness of the city, where it was little windows of light that spotted the expanse, not bugs. She liked the sound of airships moving all night, it gave her less time to think about things she didn't want to be reminded of. Her expression was blank as she looked up at the stars. The real thing was different from the stars in Jeckt's sky. But her mind wasn't fixed on the stars at all. Instead, she was thinking about what Reid had just said. True. She'd changed only after he'd revealed his illness to her. She frowned, believing that it wasn't true that she was acting out of pity.

"First, I don’t hate you. I wouldn’t have taken a walk with you if I did." She spoke flatly, bringing her legs up to her chest and leaning her elbows on her knees, "If you don’t pity yourself, then there shouldn’t be anything for anyone else to pity. I do care that you have the plague. My list of people who I’ve ever considered real friends is really small. Shiraume, Kallen, you, and maybe Kirden. Even if I hated you for five solid years, what happens to you is still important to me, because I don’t hate you now. If I did, then I wouldn’t have stopped Jeckt from shooting you earlier. If I did, I wouldn’t have told you that I cared that I felt like I wasn’t important to you, and I certainly wouldn’t be wearing pajama’s in your company- that’s highly unprofessional. Trust me, the only thing your disease has done is help Armon realize how crappy his attitude was. I know mine has too. So I’m working on it. Do you not want me to? I don’t really know many people who enjoy listening to me talk the way I usually do, so I just sort of assumed…”

--------------

Lazarus glanced at the back door and motioned for Rod to follow him, “It’s no problem, I’m glad you want to visit them. I’m not going to bring a lantern, because I don’t want to disturb any of the flowers that close up when it’s dark, I hope you don’t mind. It shouldn’t be a problem for you though, walking through the dark.”

Lazarus stepped out of the back door, carefully inching around gardening tools, gloves, books, shears, brooms, and just about every other necessary cleaning utensil for as clean kept a house as the Florinen’s. “That brings us to your question. We’ve only really just met, so I don’t expect you to know. I’m a scholar, and anything that presents a mystery or something for me to learn about is interesting. I don’t care whether they’re good or bad in the general view. I think your species is absolutely fascinating. But I don’t usually say this, because it makes it sound like I’m talking about lab mice or something. You seem like a good person anyway, after all, you did stop Reid and you told us all this stuff about Gregar that we never knew. I’m really interested in the controversy of skills because ” Lazarus stopped for a split second, remembering that day in the mansion, the whispers of flowers hushing in his ears as he glanced behind him at Rod, “But I do hate this one skill that we met. I don’t like people who can’t think on their own, and he seems to exist only for Gregar.”

“Here, this one is Alicel’s and this one is Reks’ grave.” Lazarus pointed first at the grave on the left, then the one on the right.

parallelzero
April 8th, 2008, 06:18 PM
Reid listened with interest at what Adela had to say. Was she being honest? Yeah, she was. Adela was by far one of the most honest people he knew - to the point where she was brutally honest. Her reasoning was rational as well, he supposed. He smiled as he sat down beside her, crossing his legs in a childish fashion. "Hey, I think the pajamas suit you. The sweater, however, probably isn't your smartest choice of attire..." He braced himself for the almost certain punch he'd get for that, before looking up at the sky with curiosity. "Seriously though, you should wear casual clothes more often. You looked great in that dress the other night, but I didn't want to say anything..." He paused. It was time to talk seriously again. "No, no, change isn't bad. If changing is really something YOU want to do, then I guess I won't try and stop it. Let's... change together then, since we both want to improve ourselves!" He stood up once more, and grabbed her hand abruptly as he leaned in to kiss it. The cheek would have been something a girl or a kid would do, and the lips probably would have gotten him beaten. Hopefully, this would get the point across, even though it was weird.

He didn't bother giving her a chance to respond to the gesture, he really didn't want to know how she'd respond. He was SCARED to see how she'd respond. This wasn't Sanako dealing with Armon, this was Reid dealing with Adela. Those were two totally different scenarios. He grabbed her and started running. "Hey! I just remembered something! When Alicel and Rosaline found us that morning, I caught sight of something really awesome when I stirred in my sleep while being transported. It should be somewhere around here- AHA." He stopped suddenly in front of a clearing amidst a group of evergreen trees. Amidst the clearing was a field of strange purple flowers that were glowing mysteriously amidst the moonlight. "Pretty sweet, huh? I did a bit of research and they're called Starspan. They only bloom at night."

---

Rod laughed. "You're talking about Dieter, right? I've only met him once, but yeah, he's like that. The others don't seem too bad, though. I just wish there were more girls, y'know? Auricia is cute and sweet, but she's head over heels for that Ashton guy." At times, Auricia was the only girl he had a chance to look at, so of course he had the highest opinion of her.

He knelt down before Alicel's grave, removing something from beneath his cloak. He placed whatever he had removed onto the grave, and when he took his hand away, it revealed a small white stone that glowed mysteriously in the moonlight. He proceeded to do so with Reks' grave. Assuming Lazarus would be confused, he explained. "Ah, these are special rocks that act as family heirlooms. They're supposedly good luck charms meant to send the dead off to a happy life. Since I have no use for them at this point, I figured they'd be better off with them. It's unfortunate that I might have to give one to my best friend soon, however..."

Loki
April 9th, 2008, 03:12 PM
Adela peered down at the jacket she was wearing before being pulled along. It’s not like the jacket was hers to begin with… Awkward, she’d never been kissed on the hand before. It was like a gentlemanly gesture that died with chivalry. She said nothing- or more like, didn’t get the chance to say anything. Being pulled along, Adela bumped into Reid as soon as he stopped, wondering what the heck had gotten him so-

"Pretty sweet, huh? I did a bit of research and they're called Starspan. They only bloom at night."

She stared down before stepping forward, squatting down beside it. They reminded her of Lazarus’ healing flowers, somehow. Placing her chin in her hands, she said, “They have a strange pigment, but they’re beautiful.” Adela reached out and stuck her hand in the midst of the flower buds, feeling the velvety petals knock against her hand. Standing up, she turned to Reid with a light laugh, “Look, you’re being nicer to me too. Come on, let’s go back.” She reached out and grabbed Reid’s hand in hers again, “I bet Stahn has hell in store for us tomorrow.”


ooc; My turn to give a really short post. xD;

parallelzero
April 9th, 2008, 03:28 PM
Reid blinked curiously as Adela let out a laugh. He hadn't heard her genuinely laugh in five years, and he assumed she probably didn't do it that much. He didn't receive a chance to reply to her first comment as he was surprisingly grabbed and dragged away, but he was able to get a few words in about Stahn. "I'm sure he will have things in store, but not really for US. Armon and Sanako is more like it." Despite the fact that the truth didn't really warrant it, his voice was full of enthusiasm. It was weird, but maybe he didn't mind the experience as much as he probably should. Exploring life from a different point of view wasn't all bad...

---

The morning light stung Reid's eyes as he awoke the next morning. He raised his right hand to block the sun, and found that thankfully he still possessed his own hand, not Sanako's. That meant Stahn was probably true to his word and wouldn't return them to their other forms until noon, whether they were back or not. He sat up, and looked around at the unfamiliar room he was in. It was Reks room, and it wasn't particularly unique in any way, but it took him a minute to regrasp this fact. Right, they had come to visit Ella. Unfortunately, thanks to him, she had been bed ridden for the entire day.

He eventually threw the sheets off his body, revealing that he was only wearing a pair of black boxers. Too lazy to get dressed, he threw on a white housecoat he had borrowed from the bathroom and made his way to the kitchen, which was empty. Was nobody up yet? Or were they elsewhere? Either way, he ended up putting the kettle on so that he could pour himself a cup of tea. He really was more of a coffee person, but tea would suffice for caffeine stimulation. His drink in hand, chocked full fo sugar and cream, he went into the living room where he sat down on the couch.

Loki
April 9th, 2008, 04:15 PM
Lazarus was not a morning person. His hair, a complete mess of black locks sticking up as though a bird made a nest of it the night before, was completely unaccounted for as he stumbled down from the attic with his shirt draped around his shoulders, buttoning up the split-tailed vest as he nearly face-planted from missing the last step.

“Good Morning Lazus!” Ella’s cheerful voice came. Lazarus looked up with bleary eyes, blinking away sleep. The flower must’ve shriveled up through the night, “I only just finished getting dressed and cleaned-up, I’m so sorry I don’t have breakfast already set up! Is there anything you’d like?”

Lazarus rubbed his face and shook his head, “No, anything will do, thank you.” She hurried off and busied herself in the kitchen, catching sight of Reid in the living room opposite the kitchen and calling good morning to him as well. She obviously gotten over her fit, or completely forgotten it altogether. Lazarus sat back down on the last step of the house, completely ready to fall back asleep as he leaned against the wall of the stairwell. His eyes were half-closed as he continued to clumsily button up his shirt, pulling up his socks before standing up on unsteady legs. He wanted to go back to sleep. Yawning, Lazarus snapped his finger and a seed hurled itself out of Ella’s room and into Lazarus’ waiting hand just as he sat down at the table. It took all his might not to just completely fall unconscious on the table again. After awhile of hearing only the sounds of Ella clattering around making the morning meal, he heard another door open, peering up at Adela who was standing in the hallway between the living room and kitchen. She was fully dressed, her hair neatly brushed into the usual style and looked fully alert. She first glanced at Reid in the living room before turning into the kitchen. She frowned as she took a seat across from Lazarus.

“Don’t you look your best.” She spoke sarcastically, before biting her tongue in retaliation. Old habits die hard. So much for change.

“I think he actually looks rather nice, compared to usual!” Ella said cheerfully, turning around with a spatula in one hand and her other outstretched to Adela, “I’m Ella Florinen, I don’t think I got the chance to meet you yesterday!”

Adela peered at Ella’s hand. How strange, being introduced to her host after having stayed one night. She shook Ella’s hand, “Lieutenant Adela Ciaccio. Thank you for allowing us to stay the night, I apologize for all the inconveniences we’ve caused you.”

“Oh don't worry about it, you learn to go with the flow, with all the travelers that used to stop here!” Ella turned back around to finish cooking, “Breakfast is going to be ready in just a little bit! There's tea, milk, and juice over there. Unfortunately we don't have coffee, I hope that's no problem."

"Not at all." Adela said, glancing over her shoulder at the beverages lined up like soldiers on the counter. She wasn't really one who ate much when it came to breakfast, but a fried egg and plain pancake would do fine for balance.

Lazarus lifted his head from his arms, "Hey, where's Rod?"

parallelzero
April 9th, 2008, 06:41 PM
"He slept outside! Said he'd be in whenever he decided to get up!" Reid called into the kitchen, not particularly feeling like getting off the couch. Morning, especially early morning like it was now, wasn't particularly his favorite part of the day. He was famous for staying up late even though he was aware of the early day ahead of him. Of course, Rod was the same, which was why he was still snoozing behind a tree. Caffeine... he needed caffeine. Tea... He stared blankly at the teacup in his hands. Sip. Blink. Sip. Blink. Sip. Blink. Yawn. Sip. Blink. Morning was for the restless. He finally moved his lazy butt off the couch and wandered into the kitchen, only to bump into Ellianne, who was still dressed in a satin, pink nightdown that fell down to her ankles. Apparently, she had just woken up as well. That much was obvious by the fact that her normally straight, silver hair was scattered and tangled all over the place. "Ahh, sorry Ellianne, wasn't paying attention."

"That's okay!" She offered a smiled as she took a handful of her hair and pulled her hand down it in a pitiful attempt to organize it once more. She turned bright red, remembering why it was such a mess. "Ella... I'm sorry to ask this of you, but is there any way you could help me do my hair? Flaire usually did it for me, so..." She looked at Reid worryingly, hoping she hadn't upset him by mentioning Flaire. He didn't give her a reaction. Maybe he was too tired?

Reid slowly made his way to Reks' room, deciding he better get changed. After arriving, he couldn't seem to find his clothes. Even after searching for five minutes, there was nothing!

---

Stahn grinned childlishly before sticking a chunk of chocolate cake in his mouth. "Let's run a little social experiment... I won't be able to watch, but I'm sure I'll hear about it later."

---

"Hey, guys? Have you seen my- What? What are you looking at?" Reid was obviously referring to Ellianne, who stared at him blankly, before panicking and looking at herself, finding no difference. "Wha- Crap." Sanako brushed a bubblegum pink lock of hair away from her blue eyes as she stared dumbfoundedly down at the bathrobe that had fallen off of her, showing her naked. She was extremely quick to cover up, since Lazarus was in the room, and hid beneath the robe she once wore. "Ella?" She squeaked. "Are there any clothes you have around here that might fit me?"

Ellianne sweatdropped. "Lazarus... I think it's better if YOU explain this one to Ella." It would probably make more sense if someone she knew told her... maybe.

---

"I had a good time last night, thanks to you Ashton~." Auricia sang as she followed closely behind Ashton, who was sweatdropping. Bad choice of words on her behalf, bad choice of words. Tsukasa sweatdropped, most likely interpretting it the way Ashton had hoped he wouldn't. "But I'm sad! You'll be going back to your little girl form soooooon." Her tone took that of a whiney little kid. It was true. They had left bright and early from the motel they were staying in so that they could get back to Stahn's before noon, with time to spare. Chances were, after two days of no training, he was really going to crack down on them today.

Loki
April 10th, 2008, 02:51 PM
Underneath the table, Lazarus was nursing a newly grown lump on his forehead from having whacked his head against the edge when he tried to dive under it. Ella was halfway through scraping a pan of scrambled eggs onto a plate, the spatula stopped halfway through it's motion while the eggs fell onto the plate with a resound 'plop'. Adela didn't even turn around at the sound of the voice. Frozen in the spot, she at once wrenched a handful of her hair in her fist, pulled it about so that she could see it. It was still teal, thank all the goodness in the world. But... her still being a girl, and Reid being a girl too... awkward!!

"E-Ellianne!" Lazarus whined, "I think I should be the one getting out of here ASAP, not explaining!" Regardless, Lazarus couldn't resist the chance to share his knowledge as usual, and regardless of his complaint, proceeded to explain to Ella, "That girl over there is Sanako, she's the female form of Reid created by his plufael. This has something to do with the training we're going through, which is why we're all in Alta to begin with, but... there should be at least another five hours before we change back...."

Ella wasn't listening though, "Sure thing, I'm sure some of Alicel's clothes would fit you. It's just like before, except with... different people!"

Adela poured herself a glass of milk, not understanding what Ella was referring to. Probably something from the last time she'd met with Reid. She was very careful to leave a strand of teal hair in the way of her eyes, remembering now that they'd be changing back into those ugly forms. She needed to savor this time in her real body before all hell ensued, Armon taking over again.

"Here you go!" Ella reappeared in an instant, carrying a plain brown skirt and a cream long-sleeved blouse, "Maybe you'll need shoes and socks...? Oh!" She spun around and clapped her hands together, "I would love to do your hair Ellianne, but why don't we have breakfast first? It'll get cold if we don't eat soon!"


---


"That was so much fun!" Dieter stretched, his yellow T-shirt replaced with a neon blue one for no apparent reason. The skill seemed to have completely forgotten about the scene at the butchers, having seen the huge stock of cigarettes behind a convenience store counter, the huge stock of soda, and the candy stalls that had rainbows of sweets. He grinned at Rasch and pointed at himself, “I didn’t even have time to think about killing anyone I was so busy! It was weird!! And the new brand of cigarettes I got from that store is great, and then I saw a melon soda which was amazing, and then-!”

Rasch tuned out, considering he’d been with him the whole time. However a certain word brought his interest back to what Dieter was saying.

“-So Lieutenant Tappen,” He was saying as Rasch wondered whether Dieter had completely forgotten about the collar around his neck after being let back out into society for the first time in over half a decade, “I decided that if you’ll let me go around town every once in awhile, I won’t say anything about your traitorous ideals and plans, even if I go back to Gregar. Is that okay?” He asked, his red sunglasses perched upon his head as he walked backwards. The comment Auricia had thrown in earlier flew over his head entirely, his happiness crushing it under its weight, and perhaps it was for the better. This way, Dieter didn’t get the chance to make a snide remark about Tappen’s other form while he was still in the process of being unaware of the collar around his neck.

parallelzero
April 10th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Sanako and Ellianne both sweatdropped at Ella's lack of attention to the entire ordeal. Somehow they expected, well... a more confused and surprised reaction. Sanako sweatdropped again as Ella made a reference to the last time she saw her. Had she just been compared to Rosaline? Would Alicel's clothes even fit her? They just barely fit Rosaline back in the day, and Sanako- She sweatdropped mentally. That's right, Alicel had been pretty flat, and well... she was too. A wave of depression washed over her. She stood back up, taking care to keep herself covered with the robe as she stood, she waited for Ella's return. There was no further waiting as Ella reappeared, carrying an outfit that Sanako quickly scooped out of her hands, offered a word of thanks, and dashed off. Ellianne followed after, hoping to get a word with the female Reid. If he was going to be the only one stuck that way, at least for now, she might as well befriend the girl as Ellianne.

Sanako went into the closest room to her, which was Alicel's old room, before dropping the clothes down on the bed. Why here? Why only her? This was too awkward, far too awkward! She didn't even feel any attraction when she looked at girls like this! A chill ran down her spine as she heard the door open and close behind her, but she was able to identify the intruder as Ellianne by only the sound her feet made when she walked. Ellianne walked quietly, gracefully. It was okay if it was her. She was a girl too, after all. "Um... are you okay, Sanako?" The silver haired girl inquired warmly as she walked in front of the younger girl, forcing herself into Sanako's view. "The change was pretty sudden, so I wanted to make sure you were feeling alright."

"Ah, sorry to trouble you~" Sanako replied, completely comfortable with her company as she dropped her bathrobe, exposing her entire body. She began to twirl her hair with his right finger unconsciously as she laid out the outfit to have a look. "I feel a little funny being the only one who changed, but I'll deal." This comment was followed by a heavy sigh as she made an important discovery. "Was she expecting me to wear this without underwear?" It was a feminine sort of whining voice that she was using, and it brought a giggle out of the wyvern. "W-what?"

Ellianne giggled again. "Despite how you act in front of Armon, you're really quite feminine, aren't you?" She got the reaction she expected from the miniature-bat winged girl, as Sanako's face lit up bright red. Deep down, Sanako knew it was true. "Although, you're still pretty undeveloped, aren't you? Your bust is tiny, and-" Sanako didn't tell her to shut up, nor did she provide an angry glare, Ellianne just stopped on her own, deciding it wouldn't be best to hit a sore spot if she was self conscious about her appearance. And judging by the fact that she turned even redder, chances were she was.

"H-hey! I'm only fifteen! You have three years on me! I bet you were like this too at my age!" Oh yeah, she definately was self conscious.

"Nope~" Was the only answer Ellianne left. "You're just behind~"

Sanako sweatdropped. She was in despair. The thoughts of her underdeveloped body had left her in despair! "Just... help me find some underwear, okay?" Ellianne giggled at the sudden, intentional topic change.

Rod, perched in a tree, finally stirred from his long night of sleep. The morning was a fine one, and this accusation was quickly supported by the fact that he could see a pink haired girl, COMPLETELY NUDE, in the window nearby. He didn't know who she was, she was pretty young, and pretty flat, but still COMPLETELY NUDE. She was with Ellianne. Was she going to get naked too? Would it be a sexy party? He intended on finding out using the simplest trick in the book: spying. The obviously hadn't noticed him yet, after all.

Sanako stared down at the undergarments. Plain, white, very little lace at all. Alicel hadn't been very feminine, had she? She would have preferred something a little more decorative, but oh well. And... the bra... it was her size. She cried mentally, almost doing it out loud at the sad truth. In reality, Reid had given up trying to fight Sanako's personality. It was much easier if he followed it. She pushed aside a "What? Are you dissatisfied?" comment from Ellianne.

She made quick work slipping on the panties, but suddenly came across a strange, yet familiar feeling. She was being watch- "YOU BASTARD! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING!?" Rod didn't have time to react as a blade of wionus crashed into his side, knocking him clear off the tree. Damn, busted. Sanako quickly recovered from her fit when the enemy was removed, and she through her bra on, only to end up dodging a brush that had been thrown at her.

Ellianne had somehow completely gotten change amidst the ordeal, however her hair was still a mess. "You're a girl, right? You should know how to do hair, right? Do mine and then I'll do yours!" Sanako was about to tell her that she wanted to finish getting changed first, but Ellianne insistingly forced the brush into her hands and knelt down before her. Sanako had no choice but to do Ellianne's hair. She enjoyed doing hair, but she didn't want to make a habit of doing it in underwear. It didn't take long to do, and Sanako knelt down in front of Ellianne, still in her underwear, so that she could do her hair. Sure they were both girls, but it was somewhat embarassing.

---

"Deal." Ashton replied, sounding somewhat shocked. That was too easy, and as long as the collar was around Dieter's neck, he'd have absolutely nothing to worry about. "Now, do any of you remember Rod? You met him once. He's joining our unit soon." Auricia sighed. She remembered all right. The stupid lecher had been staring at her the entire time. Even after Tsukasa told him to stop, he just kept doing it! He was frigging creepy! "So, yeah, hopefully he'll be on board as well.

Loki
April 10th, 2008, 07:13 PM
"Hmm... They're taking awhile." Ella spoke as she set the table, breakfast set across the table.

"I'm sure they won't mind if we start without them."

"Why don't you go check on them?"

Adela looked up at Lazarus like he was crazy. "Well, you're the other girl, I can't exactly waltz in there while they're getting dressed and stuff. Maybe they need help finding something... or something." Adela ignored him for another five minutes, focusing her attention on dragging the tip of her finger around and around the edge of her glass. Awkward silence.

"So what was that earlier?" Ella asked, Lazarus sweatdropping as he asked whether she'd even heard his explanation. Adela didn't want to hear it twice. Being reminded of their fate in five hours wasn't her number one wish. Scooting out from the table with a short comment on where she was going, she stepped up to the room she'd deemed as Alicel's- since she knew what every other room was. She knocked twice before opening the door, sticking her head in.

"We're waiting for you two-......."

Adela stared at the two girls, Sanako doing Ellianne's hair. In underwear she assumed was Alicel's. O-kay then. The number one thing was the fact that she'd technically kissed Sanako, even though she'd been Armon at that time. The second thing was the fact that Sanako was actually Reid, and now they were the same gender.

Adela never understood why anyone would need someone else to fix your hair. She personally would never leave styling her hair in someone else's hands, and so she couldn't comprehend the two girls in front of her.

"... Forget it." Adela sighed, "We're starting without you."

She closed the door and stalked back to the kitchen, "They're playing dress-up." She stated bluntly, sitting down at the table and stabbing a fried egg onto her plate as Lazarus sweatdropped. Damn. Time for a quick recovery, though she couldn't think of anything positive to say, "Just let them be."

------------------------------

"Rod?" Dieter looked over his shoulder to see where he was going before turning back around, "Nope. Don't remember him." He listened to Auricia's description, and as soon as she said 'creepy', he snapped his fingers in realization, "That one guy that totally ignored the brat?! Yeah he was pretty awesome, sounds cool with me."

Rasch stroked his beard in thought. That one guy was of course, Rod. The brat? .... Ah. Tsukasa. The fact that Rod had disregarded Tsukasa was probably the only thing Dieter remembered about him.

Rasch said nothing in response, his way of showing that he couldn't care less either way. He had no problem with perverts, because he never ever changed into a female. Too much trouble. And whatever he did to Auricia was none of his business, as a gentleman.

parallelzero
April 11th, 2008, 07:56 PM
Sanako blinked, completely confused. What had been wrong with Adela? Had she done something wrong? She eventually decided it was nothing, and proceeded in finishing Ellianne's hair, humming sweetly to herself. After doing so, she finally engaged in getting changed. She slipped the brown skirt on first, running her hands down it afterwards to straighten out any wrinkles. She was still very obsessed with her appearance, obviously, and Ellianne noticed the contrast between Sanako and Reid, who usually would care less about much of everything. The cream blouse went on next, and she soon realized that she had no socks or footwear. She eventually found a pair of plain white socks hidden in a random drawer, and a pair of short black boots under the bed. They would have to do until they got back to Stahn's place. When she was finished, Ellianne grabbed her by the wrist gently and dragged her out to the others. "Tada~" She chimed as she came came in before Sanako, moving out of the way to reveal the smaller girl. She waved her arms in a presentational fashion.

Sanako turned bright red. Judgmental eyes, all watching her. She was scared of Lazarus' opinion in particular. He was a guy after all. "I think I look fat in this..." she squeaked, despite the fact that she was extremely thin. Way too self conscious, waaaay too self conscious. Nervous, and not knowing what else to do, she absent mindedly twirled her pink hair with her right index finger. She really was a different person without Armon around, which lead to the obvious conclusion that she had some degree of feelings for him. She then took a seat for breakfast. She wasn't particularly hungry, but it was a long walk back, so she could use the energy boost. "I'm sorry to trouble you, Ella, but do you have any juice? Tea and coffee is too strong for me." Ellianne sweatdropped. She was such a kid.

"Hey, guys, who's the violent, flat, pink haired girl upstairs? Think she'd date me?" Rod asked as he came in the back door, not yet aware that Sanako was now sitting at the table.

Sanako's hands twitched as violently as her eyes did. Her eyes had a violent glint as she quickly grabbed a fork and whipped it at his head. "LIKE I'D DATE YOU, YOU PERVERT! YOU SERIOUSLY THINK YOU CAN SPY ON ME WHEN I'M GETTING CHANGED AND HAVE ANY HOPE OF DATING ME!?" Unfortunately, Rod dodged the fork.

"Umm... Rod? That's Reid..." Ellianne squeaked, a little bit shocked by the change in attitude. Apparently it wasn't just Armon that triggered her violent side.

"Tch, I could care less. Reid or not, she's still a girl, and she still thinks like one. Plus she's attracted to guys~" He replied indifferently. Ellianne sweatdropped.

---

"Right, that's the guy." Ashton replied, not feeling like sparing too many words for Dieter. He almost fell over at the random comment Auricia followed up with. It was absolutely, completely, indefinately, ultra, super random.

"Die-chi, Rasch? Do you think I'm attractive."

Tsukasa sweatdropped, especially because his opinion wasn't requested.

Loki
April 11th, 2008, 09:05 PM
Lazarus chuckled when they walked in, fully awake at this point as he lifted his mug of coffee to his lips, pausing before taking a drink, "You both look very pretty. But Ellianne, aren't we changing back in 5 hours anyway?"

Adela bit her tongue to keep from commenting. She had so many crude things to say to Sanako right now, she couldn't even count them all. Absentmindedly eating her egg, she stared at the surface of her milk and seemed to pay little attention to everything else. In reality, she was paying too much attention to everything else, and so she was somehow able to keep her face straight and uninterested until Sanako flung a fork at Rod. At the moment Sanako moved her arm to throw it, she moved aside, almost like a reflex. She blinked in surprise when she realized the fork hadn't been flying towards her. That felt like a first.

"Violent...." Adela began, her expression somewhat surprised as she tried to gather the words in floating in her head.

"...Ts-...." Lazarus stammered in a strangled voice, "Tsundere!"

He burst out laughing, only to get a knife flung at him by Adela, who snapped, "Shut up!"

Ah, thank goodness Adela didn't fit the term Tsundere towards anyone other than Reid. Otherwise, Lazarus would've been in big trouble. Actually, he would've been in more danger from the knife, which had lodged itself with deathly precision in the cabinet right beside where Lazarus' head had been but two seconds earlier.

"Why don't we all sit down and eat breakfast?" Ella suggested, sweatdropping at their antics, "Deep breaths!" She breathed in and then out before speaking in a lofty way, "Calm yourselves." She turned a bright grin on Sanako, her voice returning to a bright and chipper tone in a split second, "Juice is next to the icebox! We have orange juice and lemonade!"

Adela sat back in her seat with her arms folded. Hmph. How could she like Sanako? Even as Armon? Then again, he didn't really like her 50% of the time... She shook her head. Only a few hours left of being normal.

Better make 'em last.

----------------------------------

"You're a lifesaver." Levi grinned, organizing his bombs into different zippered pockets.

Solomon chewed on the end of a toothpick as he examined the blue bags under his eyes in a handheld mirror, turning to look at himself from different angles, "I can't say the same about you."

"You want to hang around and see what Stahn does to us? I get to turn into a girl and nobody gets on my case if I look down my shirt. It's like a free show." Levi said, buckling the bag onto his belt before he stood from the hotel bed across from the one Solomon sat upon.

"Not really," Solomon replied, "I'm not interested in girl's."

"Oh, right." Levi shrugged as he sarcastically mocked the blonde who sighed and traced his blue eyes, "You're more the 'android-no-gender' type, aren't you?"

Solomon looked up, somewhat offended, holding his nose in the air as he jokingly ran his hand through his hair, "Of course not! I'm narcissist, get it right Live."

Levi laughed, opening the door, "Yeah, right something like that. Anyway, there're a few cuties around if you want to scope out the chick's I get to hang out with everyday from now on."

"No means no." Solomon replied, throwing himself back onto his bed and pulling the covers over his head. He raised his voice so that Levi could hear him through the blankets, "Those would require long-term relationships. I can't stand the same girl for more than an hour, you want me to spend my life with the same girl? Might as well kick the bucket now."

"Hah, yeah well, I'm gonna go before I suddenly turn into a girl out of nowhere. Probably get a few weird looks for that."

"Not like you don't get weird looks for your wings already!" Solomon yelled after Levi before he shut the door.

------------------------------------

Dieter's cigarette dropped out of his mouth when he frowned, and he crushed it under his foot before turning around. He pulled his sunglasses up and perched them on his head as he spoke with his back to Auricia, "I hate most women, and I've never thought a single one of them was attractive except this one girl who I ended up killing when she got too close to me, so, no I don't think you're attractive at all. I guess you should count yourself lucky. Besides," He shrugged, pocketing his hands, and craning his neck around, "You're constantly hanging off of Tappen, you think I want to get mixed up in some soap opera that's at my disadvantage thanks to your weird psychological attachment to him? No thanks. I'm not about to fight Tappen for you when I can find any other woman I want on the streets of the Underneath."

Rasch sweatdropped. Not at Dieter's blunt response, but at the fact that she'd asked him; A 50+ year old man to everyone but the scientists who had made him into a skill, instead of Tsukasa, who was... well... Considerably younger. Still, he had to patch up Dieter's fall-out.

'Please consider an old man's sentiments when he says he truly has no opinion. Perhaps, ask me again at a later date. I will try my best to formulate an answer before then, if it aides you.' Rasch doubted he'd even give her an answer in his real form or later on though. As an old man, she just looked like a little girl who buzzed around Lieutenant Tappen like an annoying fly. He was just glad she wasn't hanging off of him the same way Dieter did. A tag team assault would be too much. And anyway, who the heck came right out and said 'You're attractive'?

... Oh. Rasch had completely forgotten the person who had spawned this subject to begin with.

"Betcha Tsukasa thinks you're hot as hell." Dieter threw the comment out in the open without a second thought, "And don't even get me starte- Oh, but I guess I shouldn't say anything as long as this collar thing is on. Luck is on your side, Lieutenant!" Dieter laughed.

parallelzero
April 12th, 2008, 09:42 AM
"She's more like an older sister to me than anything, Dieter, so don't say such halfassed things." Tsukasa, more irritated than usual, spoke. Dieter had apparently hit a sore spot, but there was justification behind it. Tsukasa was almost killed after watching his mother cut his older sister into pieces with a meat cleaver, so upon meeting Auricia he tried to fill the void in his heart with her. Then Dieter and Rasch were thrown into their little squad, and ruined everything. In the meantime, Auricia had entered a spell of depression, walking behind Ashton with her head hung low. She hadn't been acknowledged at all. Were skills really meant to live lonely lives? Were they really just weapons? They still had human emotions, so she couldn't see why they were just referred to as weapons. But still, they were told that they weren't permitted to associate themselves with normal people. Was it in fear that they would leave Gregar? It was a little late now...

---

Sanako blushed at the compliment Lazarus gave her, as did Ellianne. "Well, I didn't want to spend those five hours looking horrible. Besides, wasn't it Violette who said one should always look their best? Or something like that..." Ellianne joked as she sat down at the table beside Sanako, before pulling a stray hair that had fallen over Sanako's eyes off of her face. "We should have Violette doll Sanako up some time! I'm sure she'd look cute in all sorts of outfits!" Ellianne, at this point, was obviously having WAY too much fun. Well, there weren't many other opportunities where she could express thoughts like these, since she had only just gotten her voice back, so it was excusable.

"Suntair?" Sanako attempted to repeat the word tsundere, but for some reason she couldn't grasp her lips around the pronounciation. She would have had to read the word before saying it properly. Obviously, she had no clue what the word meant, which made it funny. She was also confused as to why Adela whipped a knife at Lazarus after saying it. She took a mouthful of egg, before getting up to find the juice Ella had mentioned. "What's a suntair?" She looked innocently over at Lazarus, who had said it, before retrieving the lemonade and pouring some into a small glass. She sat back down and took small sips, cringing cutely a little bit at the sourness. It wasn't obvious at first glance, but like Reid, Sanako's eyes had also taken on different shades. One eye was dark blue, while the other was light blue. "Hey, do you guys think I look like a kid? I mean I have these tiny kid-ish wings," she turned her back for everyone to see the cute little bat wings portruding from the blouse, "And my frame is pretty small. I'm not very curvy, and my voice is pretty high." It was amazing the garbage she spewed without Armon around. Rod was having problems keeping from saying something that would get him injured.

Loki
April 12th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Lazarus blinked as he ate a folded plain pancake, trying to remember what Violette had said and when, “Really? Did I say that? I don’t even remember. Tell me this when I’m female though, I’ll probably be more inclined to acquiesce. ”

“You look fine,” Adela sighed, irritated by the constant beration Sanako was exuding about her appearance, “And it’s not like it’s going to change anything just by talking about it. Besides, there’s a modified human over there who’s about to explode with pervy comments if you keep it up.”

“Tsundere,” Lazarus interjected quickly, digging up the definition in the back of his mind, “A character stereotype that is applied to someone who’s brash actions do not reflect their gentle intentions. We all have reasons to believe that’s the character model that Mistral molded you to, and it’s quite common for a tsundere to have violent tendencies towards someone they care about or have romantic feelings for. That’s why when you attacked Rod we all reacted like that, because it fits your character traits.” He helped himself to another pancake, adding butter to this one as he pulled a newspaper that was dated from nearly a month ago and flicked it open, “Tsundere are usually cute and childish in appearance but this isn’t always the case. In terms of your last question, there are plenty of girls twice your age with high voices, maturity is completely unrelated. The only way you’ll appear childish is if you carry yourself in a childish manner, so if you’re worried about that, you should focus on your mannerisms rather than your appe-“

“Excuse me.” Adela stood from the table in the middle of Lazarus’ speech, “I’ll be outside.”

She spun around on her heel and disappeared through the front door. Lazarus sweatdropped, “Did I…. say something?”

“You were babbling again, Lazus!” Ella said cheerfully, “You always end up spreading the subject.”

“… It’s not like I’m trying…”

----------------

Dieter sweatdropped as he tried to make a quick recovery from seeing Auricia hang her head in depression. He realized that her question had been different than how he’d interpreted, ‘attraction’ being that other more subtle definition he’d read when they were trying to see whether they could put him into society or not. He had to make up for it! “Au-Auri-chi!! Don’t worry about it, I mean, my opinion doesn’t really matter! You have a great personality, and you’re nice to humans even when they don’t deserve it, so don’t look so… so serious! It’s not like me and Rasch and the brat are the only guys in the world anyway~.”

“The Lieutenant is very fond of you Auricia. You need not trouble yourself further.” Rasch pointed out, stroking his beard as he looked pointedly at Lieutenant Tappen. Dieter’s jaw unhinged and hit the floor. “Not fair” was written all over his face as he tried to set his jaw back in place, fake tears cranking out of his good eye like a waterfall.

parallelzero
April 12th, 2008, 07:41 PM
"So what you're saying is that I'm violent towards Rod because he's my friend and I care about him? But I care about you guys too, and I'm not violent..." Sanako tried to reason with her behaviour, completely forgetting to question why Mistral gave her such a personality. She cocked her head to the side as Adela become aggravated and left. Again, had she done something wrong? Something to upset her? She was being polite, so she couldn't figure out what it was that was setting the older girl off. Curious, she rose from the table, before setting her dishes on the counter. "Thank you for breakfast, Ms. Florinen, it was delicious." She said politely before curtsying, and running out the door in the direction Adela had gone. "Um... Adela? Have I done something to upset you? I didn't mean- ...Armon?" That was definately Armon... in Adela's clothes. "I... didn't know you were a crossdresser."

---

"This is an intersting way of showing them time is running out~" Stahn, satisfied with himself, chimed after the activation of yet another pill. He looked across the dining table at the girl he was babysitting. Laeina stared back, her eyes fixated on nothing in particular. She hadn't spoken a word to him in the whole few hours they had been alone. What was she thinking about? She certainly was a hard read. Though, she was cute, hard read. There was a chance, based on the conditions of her parents murder, that she was under the influence of her faels somehow, despite the fact that they hadn't awakened yet. He intended to figure out if that was true, and he'd find out today.

---

Evaline hummed quietly to herself as she walked down the grand hallway of the estate she lived on, a pencil case hanging loosely in her right hand. Today, for sure, she was going to finish that painting! She was sure of it! But first, she had to check on her father to tell him that she had gotten up and ready. She eventually found the large, intimidating looking door that held her father's quarters, and opened it enough so that she could sneak her way in. "Good morning, father~" She exclaimed in song as she caught sight of her old man, sitting peacefully on the chair before the window, his back turned to her. There was no reply, so she moved closer to him. Maybe he was just sleeping. "Father?" She called again. Still no response. She moved to go around to his front, and suddenly noticed it, there was another presence in the room, and it was standing right before her father. "Who are you!?" She called at seemingly nobody, as she looked around feebly for something to defend herself with, but found nothing.

As if out of nowhere, a young woman appeared, her white hair tied into a bun a top her head. She was dressed in the uniform of the Carn military, and she held two mahstion guns. It was then that Evaline noticed the blood dripping from her father's body - his corpse. Her eyes grew wide with shock, and tears started to fall, but she couldn't make a sound. "As per order of the rightful Prince Tertia, you and your brother are to be executed on the grounds of posing as heirs to the throne." The girl spoke, and rose her guns to Evaline's head. She couldn't move, she couldn't speak, all she could do was barely breathe and cry. What was this woman talking about? The woman's fingers began to push down on the triggers, Evaline shut her eyes, and gunshots were heard. When she opened them, she found herself on the floor, her father's body on top of her, all bloodied up, making her clothes and body bloody as well. She knew what had happened. He had been alive still, ad he threw himself in the line of fire. But now...

The young girl's eyes were still wide with shock, and grew wider as she found the guns pointed at her again. A gunshot was heard, she felt something extremely painful enter her right arm, and then there was darkness.

---

Auricia froze in her place, as did Ashton and Tsukasa. "R-R-Rasch? Did you say something to me?" The only person who Rasch ever really spoke words to was Dieter. He had never said anything to Ashton, Tsukasa, or her until now. "Does that mean you consider me a friend? Does it? Does it?" She ran up to the older skill, her eyes bright and energetic. Ashton and Tsukasa sweatdropped. This was going to be a long day.

Loki
April 13th, 2008, 12:49 PM
Armon?

Adela looked over her shoulder irritably, “What are you-…” She froze immediately at the sight of orange hair. Not blue, not teal, not green. Orange. No, that wasn’t all. Her voice- her voice! Her shock was quickly overtaken when Armon’s personality kicked in. He peered down at the dress Adela had been wearing and sighed.

“Well damn.” Armon said, as though not even caring as he moved indoors, pinching Sanako’s cheek tauntingly as he smirked, “You haven’t done anything Sanako, don’t worry about it. Adela’s just a prick.” Poking his head into the kitchen again, and speaking with manners that really didn’t equate with his usual carefree and teasing ways, “Sorry to bother you Ella, but I have to borrow some clothes as well. It seems that Stahn is just out to make more trouble for us.”

Ella laughed. Seeing as tall and striking a man as Armon in Adela’s dress was too much. “R-Reks’ clothes might not fit you…” She stood, trying to recover from her bout of laughter, “Ohhh dear. I’ll bring out an extra set just in case you guys change back as well.” She motioned to Lazarus and Ellianne as she retreated into different bedrooms. Armon followed her into Reks’ room, staying put as she left with another set of clothes which she brought into the kitchen and handed to Ellianne. Lazarus sighed, unbuttoning two more clasps on his vest while stopping Ella from going into Alicel’s room again.

“Don’t worry about it Ella, I doubt Alicel’s clothes will fit me if I change back to a girl anyway. These clothes will be fine, Violette is just going to have to live with not looking feminine for a few hours or something.” Lazarus said, completing his preparations and turning a page in the newspaper, as though having finally relented to the idea that he was going to be stuck changing back soon anyway.

“Oh,” Ella looked up, “That was quick!”

Armon smiled calmly as he walked back into the kitchen, wearing one of Reks’ old sleeveless T-shirts that looked as if it had been bleached too many times over and a pair of black denim work jeans that were smeared with random stains from both Reks’ hobby of tinkering with Underneath machines and his old job of rescue missions in the mountains. He’d gotten stuck with a pair of hiking boots because all the other shoes were too small, and still, even with the fact that the boots had been huge on Reks’ strangely small and agile feet, Armon’s toe still bumped into the front every time he walked. Ah, what a pain. He wanted his old clothes back. Pulling on the half-turtleneck collar, Armon thanked Ella and apologized again, “I’m sorry for the trouble, it’s incredibly rude of us to ask this much of you.”

“It’s not a problem at all, they’re just hanging in closets and gathering dust,” Ella replied quickly.

-----------------

Piper’s lungs felt like they’d deflated as he scrambled around the house, trying not to look at the shocked expressions of death on the bloody corpses on the ground. No, no! He tripped over the body of his butler, a man who he’d known for the better part of his life and had been like his second father. The young boy didn’t even give the old man a second thought. He wasn’t important right now. There would be time to think of him later. There would be time to mourn for him later.

He’d known there was something wrong when nobody had woken him up for the morning meal. He rarely got up on his own, and so there was always a battalion of servants trying to drag him out of bed and get him dressed for the day. But he’d opened his eyes and ears to a deathly silence. Strange in itself, but he’d not questioned it. Perhaps there was an important person here to visit father, and all the servants were busy working to keep things organized. He’d dressed in this complete silence, washing his face and brushing his unruly hair in the quiet. Picking up his book to go and read under the oak tree like he always did, Piper opened the door to his bedroom, only to meet the first thing that hit him like a frying pan across his horrified face. The dead corpse of his butler, a kindly old man whom Piper had known for the better part of his life. Silence?

But a few minutes ago, Piper couldn’t find it in him to spare a second thought for the old servant. He was too busy running around, looking for the most important person in his life. She wasn’t in her room. Where was she?

“Father!! Where’s Evaline-! …” Piper cried as he burst into his Father’s room, the sight of the dead body that belonged to his beloved Father, then Evaline underneath him, unconscious, stopping the flow of words as his brain suddenly shut down. “Ev-…” He choked out, his expression that of immeasurable amounts of torment, terror, and disbelief. “Evaline…” His voice cracked, but he realized that he was not the only one conscious in the room. He instinctively dodged a bullet shot, moving aside to earn only a bloody gash across his forehead rather than a complete hole.

Piper crumpled to the floor with an agonized cry of pain, pressing the heel of his palm into the deep cut that splurted blood and flowed steadily into his left eye, blinding his vision as he looked up at the woman who had fired. Damn. He wiped away the blood with wation, moving aside as another shot hit the place where his head had been seconds earlier. He tried to stand, but only succeeded in putting the shot through his stomach, rather than his heart.

What… was going on? Piper crashed into a bookshelf, noticing the weight of the bookshelf on top of him as he lay crushed between the floor pooled with his blood and the heavy furniture piece, the smell of dusty old books all around him. He held on to his conciousness for only a few seconds longer before the blood loss turned his vision black. He needed to save Evaline.

’What an unreliable brother…’ He thought in regret.

----------------

Rasch blinked in surprise at Auricia’s excitement. Friend? He didn’t understand. He knew what the word meant of course, and what it’s meaning to a human was. But he’d never considered anyone a friend before. There were outsiders, and Erik. He’d never really labeled his relationship with his brother the way Auricia had, though he was quite sure it fit the definition. He patted the younger skill on the head without a word and continued walking.

parallelzero
April 13th, 2008, 03:46 PM
OOC: This is one of those posts that excersizes the PG-16 in the name. Read at your own discretion.

Sanako covered the cheek reddened by Armon's pinching assault with her hand as she wandered back inside. He had called Adela a prick, but didn't that mean he was calling himself a prick? She figured she wouldn't disagree. Even so, nothing really had been resolved. She still didn't know what she had done to upset Adela. It must have been something, rather than the nothing Armon was telling her about. She stood against the frame of the door, watching as Armon mingled with Ella. She stopped watching after a while though, irritated by the thought that he had said very little to her and then moved on to have a full out conversation with that older woman. He always was complaining about Sanako's body, though. Maybe he liked the developed type? Her overall mood took a nosedive, and she wandered back out the door when nobody was watching, before wandering around to the grass outside the front of the house, just before the road, where she sat down, looking ever so depressed.

"Hey, you okay?" Sanako looked up suddenly to meet the face of a person she had never met before. It was the gentle face of a boy who seemed genuinely concerned, his long black hair brushed over his left eye. She had to admit, he was kind of cute. He was tall, probably at about six feet, and he wore a pair of blue jeans and a tight black muscle shirt that kept in view his strong, well toned arms. She stared blankly at him, wondering why he bothered coming off the road to see her. She looked away suddenly, her face slightly red, not exactly sure what to say. "Ah, I apologize. I was just coming back from the next town over, and I saw a cute girl that looked a little sad, so I thought I'd offer my concern." Whoever this guy was, he knew how to use his words right. Unlike with Armon, whom she would have looked away from if he had said such a thing, what this boy said caused her to lock eyes with him. He was gentle, caring, cute...

"I-I-I'm sorry to worry you. I'm just a little distracted, that's all." She replied quietly, not pushing him away as he sat down beside her.

"Boyfriend problems?" He inquired. Was it that obvious? No, such a thing was predictable with teenaged girls. He was guessing. His brown eyes surveyed her with curiosity. He then held out his hand, revealing a red candy wrapped delicately in plastic. She accepted it without a second thought. She really needed a candy right now.

Sanako let out a sigh as she began fiddling with the wrapper, trying to break the candy free of it's plastic prison. "Something like that..." She wouldn't admit to this stranger, as nice as he was, that she was jealous. She finally broke the candy free, and stuck it in her mouth, before she began sucking on it. Mm, cherry.

"That's a shame. You've got a really cute face. It's a waste to see it looking so sad." She didn't notice the smirk on his face when she stuck the candy in her mouth, nor the way he was impatiently looking at his watch, as if he was waiting for a certain time to come. He smiled, and looked up at her. Whatever he was waiting for, it had happened. "Besides..." The boy's cute face grinned creepily as he jumped on top of Sanako, his lefthand reaching up her blouse while his right hand injected something into her left wrist. She wanted to scream to protest, but for some reason she couldn't vocalize any sounds as his left hand felt around in inappropriate places. "That candy can temporarily make anyone mute. Pretty clever, huh? You won't be screaming for help. And what I injected into you..." He leaned his face up close to hers, and licked tears away from her right cheek, causing her to try and flinch away. "...That will prevent you from using any mahstion on me. That helps create the perfect situation for me to have my way with you." Sanako tried again to scream, to call for Armon, for anyone, but no words came out. She could only try and struggle as he lifted her up by the right wrist violently. The struggling stopped abruptly as the boy smacked her hard with the back of his hand, leaving her in a state that was barely conscious. With that done, he took his leave.

Unluckily for him, someone had been watching the happenings from behind a bush, and the young boy ran up and into Ella's house without a second thought, coming across the strange group of people in the kitchen. "Miss Ella! Miss Ella!" The boy, Fremal, and twelve years of age exclaimed. He was obviously panicked. "A girl out front was just abducted by someone! I think it's that guy who's been kidnapping, raping, and then killing the girls that have been turning up in the stream downtown!" Rod couldn't help but think this kid knew some interesting words for his age. Ellianne on the other hand, found this more alarming.

"We're all here, right? So it isn't our problem." Rod remarked coldly. They didn't really have the time to waste with some random girl. He glanced strangely over at Ellianne, who was looking out the back door worriedly. "Something wrong, Ellianne?"

"...Sanako isn't here..."

"...****..."

---

"Hey, you two?" Ashton asked Rasch and Dieter after deciding to take a break at the edge of town. He looked quite irritated. "Auricia was behind you, right? ...Where is she now?" He knew that should would never, NEVER leave his side without telling him where she was going. This was a problem.

---

Sanako finally came to in a room that smelled of blood and other, disgusting things. A familiar creaking along with the trickling sound of water outside lead her to believe that she was in a building alongside a waterwheel, most likely close to town. She tried to cover her nose, but found she was tied to a large wooden bed with extremely thick rope. She had been stripped down to her underwear, and her wrists and ankles were red with blood from the rope rubbing against them. To make things worse, the sheets, which she assumed where once white, were all stained red with blood as well. In fact, even the walls were splattered with the stuff. She grimaced. What the hell was this place!? "I see you're awake." That familiar voice from before chimed. She tried to use wionus, but nothing came of it. She couldn't even contact Mistral! What the hell had he injected her with exactly? The boy from before stepped out of the shadows, holding a meat cleaver that was stained with blood.

"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?" Sanako shouted. She had gotten her voice back, at least. "LET ME GO YOU SICK SON OF A-" She stopped midbreath. The cleaver was held up to her throat so that even one false move would end her life. The boy tore some of the bloody sheets from the bed and gagged her with them. The taste of blood filling her mouth. He tore the cleaver away as the door opened, leaving her with a minor cut on her neck. Another boy came into the room, looking exactly like the other, aside from the large sack he dragged behind him. They were twins?

"So? Did you get a good one?"

"I'll say, check this out." The new boy pulled the string off the sack, allowing for the material to fall away from the contents. Sanako's eyes grew wide as she saw that the contents were an unconscious Auricia, bruised and beaten badly. She hated blood, right? There's no way she'd last even if she woke up in this place... Her train of thought was interrupted as the first boy came back, bent over her stomach, and licked it. She couldn't protest, but only make grunts from beneath the bloodied gag as his tongue ran up and down her flesh, as his hand worked it's way towards her chest again. She cried. It was all she could do. And then the worst of it came as the meat cleaver found it's way INTO her stomach. She stared down in absolute pain and shock as he used it to peel the flesh from her body.

Loki
April 13th, 2008, 07:07 PM
Ella jumped up, “Fremal, it’s not safe to be out here now, we’ll take care of the girl, you stay put while I call your father to come take you home. What if they knew you’d seen? Don’t be so reckless!” She ushered him into the living room and pulled the shades while Lazarus stood up in alarm, stopping them as he tossed his newspaper aside.

“Kid! Which direction did they go?” Lazarus grabbed hold of Fremal’s shoulder, interrogating him urgently, “Did you see??”

Rape….? Armon’s face registered plain disbelief as he rushed from checking the front patio to the back. The kid was lying. He was definitely lying. Armon stood outside of the back door, grabbing the back of a patio chair to support himself. The kid wasn’t lying…. Shoot. What the heck was Stahn thinking, switching them early? He would shoot his head off when they got back. He really would. If Sanako had still been Reid, this wouldn’t have happened. He turned back in doors, to find that Rod had already used his abilities as a skill to smell out their trail. Damn it!

“Ellianne, you have to stay here.” Lazarus was insisting, “If you go, something could happen to you too. Stay here.” He repeated, gripping her shoulders as though to finalize his request, before turning to catch up with Rod. The fact that he could turn back into Violette at any second hardly crossed his mind.

Armon grit his teeth as he hurried to catch up with the others, grabbing Lazarus’ wrist and throwing him back to where Ellianne was, “And your female form is perfect material for creeps! Stay put, I already have enough to worry about, and I’m not adding you to it!” He slammed the door behind him, catching up with Rod after sliding into a Dation warp and popping up right beside the skill, who ran considerably faster than Armon. He couldn’t think of anything to say. What could he say? He should’ve dragged Sanako in with him. Worrying, he told her he would. But it wasn’t enough, just worrying. He picked up his pace, though even at his fastest he still trailed behind Rod. Damn, he should’ve never let her out of his sight. Damn. Damn. Damn!!

------------------

“Auri-…” Dieter turned around and blinked. Auricia?

Rasch frowned and furrowed his brow, ’She was indeed right beside us but moments ago. Perhaps we were separated in the crowd?’

“Last week, you know the Edwin girl that disappeared?” Dieter looked up, tuning in on the conversation between two women on the other side of the village while also glancing at Rasch to do the same. The two skills listened with heightening dread, “She showed up in the river just earlier. Dead. The doctor said she was raped.”

“But she was such a fighter!” The other woman insisted, “She could use mahstion and she was perfectly healthy.”

“She had strange toxins running in her system, I heard.”

Dieter stopped listening, smelling the air for the familiar scent of Auricia, “I smell her.” Rasch nodded in agreement, his face relaxing for a split second before a new smell caused his face and Dieter’s to contort.

“I don’t recognize this smell.” Dieter stated in escalating fury, “It smells human.” He glanced at Rasch who closed his eyes, “Like blood, and women.” He frowned, “God damn humans. The hell are you doing to a skill?!” Dieter grabbed his wrist and was just about to rip off his hand before gritting his teeth. He wasn’t allowed to do that here. But this was-… Dieter clenched his fist in frustration before running off at an irritatingly slow human pace, grabbing Tappen’s collar as Rasch followed. The scent was faded, what with the mingled humans everywhere. Not everyone smelled like blood, but women smelled like women, and humans smelled like humans. It was hard to pick out Auricia’s scent in the middle of it all. Rasch’s cane pressed across Dieter’s chest lightly as he took the lead. He could distinguish the smell of blood and humans more easily than Dieter, who had never been forced to be in such a crowded place. The old man nodded towards Tappen, whom Dieter was pulling along.

“Auricia’s been kidnapped by psycho human rapist.” Dieter explained bluntly, before they swerved out of town. Once safely out of civilian sights, the black, dead-looking wings that were littered with holes on Rasch’s back opened, and with one great beat of his wings, he was thrust forward, closely followed by Dieter who had Tappen on the back of his skyboard.

“Rasch!”

The elderly man nodded. He could smell it too. There was another scent that he’d smelled before, not just Auricia. But if Dieter knew it as well as he, then who was it? A recent smell, for sure. One of the other girls that were meant to be training?

“Tappen, I’ll take care of the filthy humans,” Dieter barked as he turned up the acceleration on his skyboard, catching up with Rasch, “You and Rasch grab Auricia. I can smell her blood, it’s everywhe-“ Rasch smothered his nose and mouth with his gloved hand at the sudden smell of blood that washed over them. Dieter looked up, completely used to this smell, “That’s not Auricia. That’s the smell from yesterday morning, Rasch. Wouldn’t that be the bubblegum girl, then? One of those shard people, right?”

Rasch sped up, but soon let Dieter overtake him as the boy hopped off the skyboard, leaving it to Tappen’s control as he propelled himself toward the cabin hidden under the shade of trees. Screw trees. Dieter could smell them as though they were right in front of him. He smelled something else. The Lieutenant. A skill? That Rod person they’d been talking about earlier.

“You-!” Armon’s voice came, but Dieter gave him only a glance before grinning. Switch. Dieter burst into the cabin.

“BYE-BYE, FILTHY HUMANS!” He yelled, half in glee at being able to kill someone after so long, and half in fury at the insult they’d given to a skill. Unlike usual, Dieter spent no time talking, immediately grabbing the twin closest to Auricia and thrusting him up against the wall of the cabin, “YOU LIKE FUN, RIGHT?! THAT’S WHY YOU HAD THE NERVE TO EVEN TOUCH AURICIA, RIGHT?” Dieter screamed, crushing the human’s stomach between the wall and his foot, for lack of having his other hand to pin him against the wall. The human coughed blood up, splattering the crimson across Dieter’s face as the skill licked it off his chin and spat it back in the dark haired boy’s eye, “Yeah…?” He whispered with a smirk as he leaned down to see the dying expression that was different for everyone he killed, “You like fun? WELL SO DO I! YOU’RE DEAD!!”

He cackled as he ripped the human’s head clean off, the same way he ripped his hands off like it was nothing, just in time for Rasch and Tappen to pull Auricia out of the bloody building before she woke up.

“AND YOU’RE THE OTHER ONE, RIGHT?!” Dieter turned as the remaining twin put the machete right through his stomach, Dieter’s blood spurting across the ground. The skill pulled his sunglasses off very calmly. He didn’t care about a sword that missed his heart by a mile. Dieter stuck his tongue out and ripped his eyepatch off, “GO TO HELL!!” He shrieked, blood flooding out of his once covered eye and propelling at the human with such speed that it put four holes in his body: One point blank, one through his heart, another through his stomach, and the last through his neck.

Dieter carefully draped his hair over his eye before turning to look at the male version of the Lieutenant, who had cut the bubblegum girl’s ropes with Dation.

“Sanako!” Armon said desperately, “Sanako!!”

Spitting out another mouthful of blood, Dieter stepped over the dead body of one of the humans.

“Tch. Rasch!” Dieter called as the old man stepped back inside to heal the wounds Dieter had sustained, “The get the human, my injuries won’t kill me.”

Rasch glanced at Sanako, who’s entire abdomen looked destroyed. He put his hand lightly on Armon’s shoulder for a moment before engulfing Sanako in blinding Lionus.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I wasn’t there Sanako… I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you.” Armon said, over and over again, holding her delicately while trying to brush away his tears, “I’m sorry…”



OoC: It's really messy, I know. D: Really sorry, but I had to speed finish it because of my mom. Hope I didn't go further than you wanted me to, I just think it would be right to have Dieter half-slaughter them and not finish...? xD;

parallelzero
April 13th, 2008, 09:23 PM
Sanako's eyes were wide with shock as the entire scene unfolded before her. Have her stomach dug up, the others coming to her rescue, Dieter absolutely slaughtering the two captors. It all passed over her wide, shocked eyes. No more. She couldn't take any more. "Armon..." She brought her left hand up to the shirt by his neck and gripped it tightly. She wanted to die. Life wasn't fair. Why live? She was going to die anyways, wasn't she? Why not just die now? She wanted to just tell Armon to stop Rasch from healing her, to just let her die, but instead she ended up burying her face in his shirt, crying. "...I don't want to be alone anymore. Please, don't leave me ever again! I want to be with you! I LOVE YOU! Don't leave me again!" She screamed into the shirt, and it came out muffled, yet understandable. "I've had enough! Why is all of this happening to me all of a sudden!? What did I do!? Why do I have to live the last of my life with these hellish events!? If this is what it's going to be like, I should just die now!"

"...Ashton?" Auricia mumbled as she finally came to. She found herself looking up at his face for only a moment before she sat up and threw up to the side. She... wreaked of blood. Everything wreaked of blood. She threw up again. "...What happened? The last I remember, I was walking with you guys, and then I think I was hit with something..." She was crying, unconsciously, at the thought of worrying everyone. Whatever she did, she hadn't meant to.

Ashton sighed as he brought her up to his knelt down level and hugged her. What kind of bastards would do such a thing. To Auricia, to anyone? They deserved what they got in the end. "I'm sorry... I didn't even notice you were gone... And then... DAMMIT." He threw his fist down at the ground. In the end, he wasn't even the one who saved her. "I'm usel-" He was cut off by Auricia's lips locking with his. They tasted of regurgitation, but he didn't let go until she did.

"...Don't be an idiot. I was careless. Besides, I'd love you even if you killed me. Because it would have had to of been for a good cause, since you're just that type of person." She smiled at him meekly, and they embraced again, just as the bloodstained buildings went ablaze at Rod's hand.

Tsukasa scoffed at the Armon + Sanako and Ashton + Auricia moments. He was surrounded by ill-fated, naive couples it seemed. What was love, really? A few words that meant nothing. A few words meant to deceive until one day the user of those words turns around and kills the other. That's what love was to Tsukasa. That's what love was to his mother. "Something wrong?" Rod inquired, his back turned to Tsukasa's as the fire raged behind them. When he received no response, he decided it best to walk away. "Don't blind yourself, kid. That's the reason I'm a skill." Tsukasa scoffed again.

"Sanako, are you okay!?" Christian inquired after appearing out of seemingly nowhere. Ellianne had changed back shortly after the others left, and Christian had quickly left in pursuit after donning a pair of jeans and a white blouse. The girl finally brought her head out from it's buried location amidst Armon's shirt, and looked at the source of the the voice with bloodshot, wet eyes. Christian reached out to touch her, but found himself repelled by her words.

"DON'T TOUCH ME! ONLY ARMON CAN TOUCH ME! GUYS ARE... GUYS ARE... Guys are... guys are..." She buried her head in Armon's shirt again, crying. Christian was completely taken by surprise, and backed off hesitantly, his heart shattered at what this event had done to her - to Reid. Psychologically traumatizing events often had these kinds of effects, but what would happen the next time she was Reid? Be scared of herself? Hopefully they could help her recover before then.

Loki
April 14th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Armon lightly wrapped Sanako’s hand that was gripping his collar gently in his, “I won’t leave you,” He reassured her, roughly drying his eyes with his shoulder before pressing his lips lightly against her forehead, “I won’t leave you.” He chose not to say anything about her reaction to Christian, holding her closer and shooting an almost apologetic look at him. He would talk her out of it later, if she ever calmed down enough to hear it. “It’s over now.” Armon murmured, pulling away just enough so that he could see her face. He offered her a smile, lifting a hand to brush her hair away from her face and blot her tears with his thumb, “…I love you too.”

Still inside the blazing cabin, Dieter spat out a mouthful of blood as he pulled his eyepatch back on, the steady flow of blood that had been draining from the left side of his face stopping as soon as it was securely in place. Damn he was covered in blood now. He looked down at his once bright-red shirt that was now a dark crimson, the pinstripes on his vest revealing the large splotches of blood soaked into the black fabric. He tried to wipe off some of the liquid on his face, only succeeding in getting meager amounts off while smearing the rest. Oh well. It just meant that he wouldn’t be able to stand around Auricia for awhile. He didn’t bother to step over the headless corpse that lay in the middle of the room, stepping right on it without a care. Picking up the sunglasses he’d dropped on the floor, their red lenses dripping with mostly blood and other bodily fluids from when Dieter ripped off the first human’s head, he whipped it through the air, back and forth as he rid it of anything that he didn’t want in his good eye. He ignored the fire all around him, even pulled out a cigarette and lit the end as he walked out, the flames moving aside as he passed through.

“Damn it Rod you burned the sink.” Dieter sighed, inhaling a mouthful of smoke from his cigarette before turning his head to blow it out of his lungs, the organ immediately repairing itself of all cell damage the second the smoke left its confines. He stood a considerable distance away from Auricia and Rasch, wringing out his shirt. It was too bad there were only two humans. He had so many ideas on how to kill them, but only two had been executed, a real waste. “Guess I can’t get anywhere near Auricia or Rasch until I get some new threads, huh? Ah, that sucks.” He didn’t really seem to regret it.

Rasch stood as the Lionus finished mending Sanako’s stomach. A frown was etched into his old features as he turned to look at Auricia and Tappen. He looked back down at Sanako before his finger flicked back and forth at racing speeds, explaining the roadblock that had caused him to finish healing so early.

’It seems that her cells are rejected my Lionus. It is most likely due to the toxins that are preventing her from defending herself- She is out of immediate danger, however, I am currently unable to heal the wound completely. I would suggest bringing her someplace clean where bandages can be administered to prevent infection.’ Rasch stepped away, pulling off his gloves that had the smallest smear of blood. The amount could hardly compare to the amount on Dieter, but Rasch didn’t want it. He wasn’t about to wear a pair of gloves that had been stained by an undignified existence. Tossing them into the flames, he brushed himself off and the giant black wings on his back shrunk and folded into a pair of old, withering black-feathered wings.

Armon picked Sanako up, his arms behind her back and under her knees, standing just as Dieter called over to Tappen and Ashton with a twinge of irritation in his voice, “We’re leaving!”

A skyboard flung itself at Dieter, transforming into his hand in midair and landing on his stump of an arm with a sickening squelch. Dieter turned around, smirking as he headed for Stahn’s, rolling his hand around on his wrist to get the feel of having it on again, “Meet’ya there.”

Loki
April 14th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Armon lightly wrapped Sanako’s hand that was gripping his collar gently in his, “I won’t leave you,” He reassured her, roughly drying his eyes with his shoulder before pressing his lips lightly against her forehead, “I won’t leave you.” He chose not to say anything about her reaction to Christian, holding her closer and shooting an almost apologetic look at him. He would talk her out of it later, if she ever calmed down enough to hear it. “It’s over now.” Armon murmured, pulling away just enough so that he could see her face. He offered her a smile, lifting a hand to brush her hair away from her face and blot her tears with his thumb, “…I love you too.”

Still inside the blazing cabin, Dieter spat out a mouthful of blood as he pulled his eyepatch back on, the steady flow of blood that had been draining from the left side of his face stopping as soon as it was securely in place. Damn he was covered in blood now. He looked down at his once bright-red shirt that was now a dark crimson, the pinstripes on his vest revealing the large splotches of blood soaked into the black fabric. He tried to wipe off some of the liquid on his face, only succeeding in getting meager amounts off while smearing the rest. Oh well. It just meant that he wouldn’t be able to stand around Auricia for awhile. He didn’t bother to step over the headless corpse that lay in the middle of the room, stepping right on it without a care. Picking up the sunglasses he’d dropped on the floor, their red lenses dripping with mostly blood and other bodily fluids from when Dieter ripped off the first human’s head, he whipped it through the air, back and forth as he rid it of anything that he didn’t want in his good eye. He ignored the fire all around him, even pulled out a cigarette and lit the end as he walked out, the flames moving aside as he passed through.

“Damn it Rod you burned the sink.” Dieter sighed, inhaling a mouthful of smoke from his cigarette before turning his head to blow it out of his lungs, the organ immediately repairing itself of all cell damage the second the smoke left its confines. He stood a considerable distance away from Auricia and Rasch, wringing out his shirt. It was too bad there were only two humans. He had so many ideas on how to kill them, but only two had been executed, a real waste. “Guess I can’t get anywhere near Auricia or Rasch until I get some new threads, huh? Ah, that sucks.” He didn’t really seem to regret it.

Rasch stood as the Lionus finished mending Sanako’s stomach. A frown was etched into his old features as he turned to look at Auricia and Tappen. He looked back down at Sanako before his finger flicked back and forth at racing speeds, explaining the roadblock that had caused him to finish healing so early.

’It seems that her cells have rejected my Lionus. It is most likely due to the toxins that are preventing her from defending herself- She is out of immediate danger, however, I am currently unable to heal the wound completely. I would suggest bringing her someplace clean where bandages can be administered to prevent infection.’ Rasch stepped away, pulling off his gloves that had the smallest smear of blood. The amount could hardly compare to the amount on Dieter, but Rasch didn’t want it. He wasn’t about to wear a pair of gloves that had been stained by an undignified existence. Tossing them into the flames, he brushed himself off and the giant black wings on his back shrunk and folded into a pair of old, withering black-feathered wings.

Armon picked Sanako up, his arms behind her back and under her knees, standing just as Dieter called over to Tappen and Ashton with a twinge of irritation in his voice, “We’re leaving!”

A skyboard flung itself at Dieter, transforming into his hand in midair and landing on his stump of an arm with a sickening squelch. Dieter turned around, smirking as he headed for Stahn’s, rolling his hand around on his wrist to get the feel of having it on again, “Meet’ya there.”

parallelzero
April 14th, 2008, 06:40 PM
OOC: Yay for confusing, jumpy posts.

Sanako flinched every time she heard a guy speak, as if she was afraid that at any minute, he would attack her and take her away again. No, no, she didn't want that! She would never trust a guy again! Part of her knew that she was a guy, though, which was causing internal strife and an increased amount of stress. In Armon's arms, she eventually buried her face in her hands until she passed out, having hit the limit of pain from the earlier experience. She drifted into the endless abyss of darkness. Nowhere to run, no place to hide. When one was trapped in the darkness, there was no choice but to face it, or be devoured by it. Chances were, being devoured seemed more likely at the moment.

After a while, the group finally arrived at Ella's house once more. The entire group had reverted to their other selves at this point, and Sanako was delivered for whatever medical treatment she needed, while Auricia made haste to work on her own wounds with her lionus. "It seems like we've both fallen in love with troublesome people." Ashton said casually to Armon as Violette was off tending to the wounds of the unconscious girl. Ashton didn't even know the half of it. "Sanako didn't look too well. I doubt she'll wake up anytime soon. If you want, I can have Auricia carry her. She's a girl, so it should be fine, right?" Really, this was the first Ashton had exchanged any real words with Armon / Adela. He was choosing the wrong ones, too. Of course Armon would want to carry her after what had just happened. "I'm sorry. This wouldn't have happened if you guys hadn't gotten caught up in NEAR in the first place..." He left without waiting for a response. There was too much to do.

---

"Hm?... Did... Something happen?"

Sanako cringed as she heard a male speak. Stahn. Had she slept the entire time? She must have. She stared blankly upwards at the ceiling of the main hall of Stahn's estate, her entire vision blurry. As it finally cleared, she realized she was still in Armon's arms, and struggled to break free. Christian noticed that she was stirring, and turned to Violette, who was still wearing Lazarus' clothes.

"Takes her upstairs and fit her for an outfit, preferrably something nice, and clean her up. Bathe her if you need to, and you should do they same. We need to have a little talk with Stahn." Christian was dead seriously, and he looked into Violette's eyes with a burning passion. What was that? He was determined, determined to set things straight. Reid didn't deserve all that was happening to him, and the root of the problem was Stahn. "Armon, I think you can lead things off."

"Let's go..." Ashton sighed as he grabbed Auricia by the wrist and began dragging her to the kitchen. Tsukasa followed. "All of you. This isn't our opportunity to argue, Dieter. We'll get a chance later." He predicted Dieter's next move before it had even begun.

Loki
April 14th, 2008, 07:34 PM
Armon let go of Sanako when she tried to squirm out of his grasp. He was deathly afraid that she’d react the same way she had earlier with Christian, though he wasn’t expecting it to happen at all. Just a petty fear. Waiting for the rest of the room to clear out, Armon clenched and unclenched his fists, barely even hearing Dieter, who was still covered in blood and lingering a good distance away from everyone and everything. “Yeah yeah, I hear you. I kind of need a shower anyway, it’s getting hard to move with all this dry blood on me. Man, this was a new shirt, too. Maybe I’ll bleach it white.”

As soon as the door swung shut behind Rasch, who had placed a hand on Armon’s shoulder lightly before leaving as though to transfer some of his calm and placid attitude to the furious boy, Armon reached over and grabbed Stahn’s collar.

“You bastard!” He snarled, opening off in a confusing manner, “You and your stupid games. Is this amusing to you? Is it? You wanna try getting raped? Isn’t that hilarious?!” Armon shook Stahn’s collar, “If it weren’t for you… If you weren’t such a delirious ass, then this never would’ve happened. You call yourself a trainer?” Armon scoffed, roughly letting go of Stahn, “You’d be in deep **** if they actually finished their job. Sanako’s not even an actual girl. It would’ve been better if you’d just kept your entertainment to yourself and let me stay in my real form; at least if it were the real me, it would make sense, and at least I wouldn’t...” Armon bit his tongue. He wasn’t going to criticize Sanako. Her personality was different from Adela’s. It was better, just in the wrong place this time. “What the heck is a guy who’s been transformed into a girl and almost gets raped in that form supposed to think? Do you know how wrong that entire thought is? You better have something to fix the crap you’ve gotten us neck-deep in. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve cause us nothing but trouble since you first showed up. What good have you done?”

“What have we gained from this, other than more crap on our shoulders?” He demanded.

---------------------

Violette nodded silently, before taking Sanako’s hand gently, tugging her along, “Well,” She said, trying to keep a bit of positive attitude for Sanako’s sake, “Since we’ve just put on your bandages, let’s pick out an outfit! Hyacinth had a lot of clothes put in my bedroom, let’s go look through those!” Violette swerved into the room she shared with Christian, closing the door behind her and opening the closet to reveal a ridiculous amount of clothes that had obviously been fabricated by Hyacinth. “Oh, but if you wanted to take a bath, I can get the water running right now! Here,” She handed Sanako the scoop-neck shirt she’d been looking at, “Hold this, I’ll put some water in the tub. A bath is always good to help relax yourself! Especially a bath that’s less stressful than the ones we took last time!” She let out a sort of dead laugh at the memory before walking into the bathroom to turn on the water.

---------------------


A young man with dark ashen gray hair stepped into the warm building, brushing snow off of his hair, which barely tickled the base of his neck at the back, while his shorter bangs were neatly held in place away from his eyes by a small drop of gel. The general neatness of his layered cut was deceived by the fact that the tips of his carefully straightened gray locks were beginning to flip out ever so slightly from the humidity. The handsome teen was wearing a pair of black rimmed glasses that shielded his crimson eyes from view, soft skin and lithe body complimenting his spotless black pinstriped suit. Instead of a tie, a red scarf hung loosely about his neck, which he neglected to remove. His black coat that protected him from the cold outside hung on the coat rack, dripping melting snow on the hardwood floor of the casual café.

“Rasch!” The girl behind the counter tossed her elbows onto the counter and peered up at him with as cute a grin as she could make, bouncing her pigtails up and down intentionally as he stepped up to the counter. He was one of the few bachelors in town, one of the few with a charming half-smile that constantly softened his gaze that was normally severe when inside business meetings. She was promptly shoved aside as the manager took her place.

“Mr. Von Foma~!” The manager said respectfully, “It’s been such a long time.”

“Yes,” ‘Rasch’ smiled his calming and kind smile, fixing the ends of the sleeves on his blazer and pushing his glasses up on the bridge of his nose, “It has been quite some time. I’ve had some business to take care of, but I’ll be sure to stop by more often. The usual, please, on the same tab as always.”

The manager nodded to one of their wealthiest patrons, “Right away.” He almost stepped away from the counter but paused, “Oh, Mr. Von Foma. If it’s no trouble for you, there is someone here investigating the murder of Princess Rosaline Dian, from Carn. She’s sitting over in that corner. You could get some help with that errand you’re always running.”

Rasch blinked, his expression curious as he peered over at a girl with butterfly wings. He smiled and turned back to the manager, “I will have a word with her then, if you don’t mind.”

The manager nodded as Rasch moved to sit down opposite of the girl, sitting only on the edge to show that should she desired to chase him away, he was fully prepared to leave, “Excuse me,” He said politely, folding his hands in his lap, “I heard that you’re looking for a murderer? Oh- I apologize for interrupting you and suddenly jumping into such a morbid subject so quickly,” Rasch tilted his head forward very slightly to show that he meant no harm, “Please let me introduce myself. My name is Rasch Von Foma. Formalities aside, I cannot tell you whether or not the man I am thinking of is related to the murder of Princess Rosaline Dian, but I do know that he is completely capable of pulling off the feat, even in the highest security. If you find this person worth looking into, I hope I might join you in investigating him, as I am searching for him as well.” Rasch smiled, “I do hope I’m not being too forward.”

-------------------------

parallelzero
April 14th, 2008, 09:19 PM
"Hmm... So that's what happened, is it?" Stahn answered, his voice and expression not showing any particular concern for the fact that Armon had him by the collar and was shouting in his face. "I guess it's natural to have doubts about my intentions at this point. After all, we've suffered from interruption after interruption, so the actual training has yet to commence. Though, it seems some progress has come out of this..." He was thinking aloud, that much was clear. "I think it's safe to conclude that you've figured out who it is you want to protect? Sanako? Reid? Both?" He carelessly looked up at the roof for a moment, as he gathered his thoughts. "As for whatever mental scars the girl has accumulated, it's up to her to choose to get over them or not. I could tell that she seems to be afraid of men right now. If that really is the case, I won't be permitting her use of her male body until she's recovered. I have no intention of making a bad situation worse, especially a bad situation that was unplanned. I'd like to try and have a talk with her tonight, if you don't mind. You can come along as well, if you'd like, since you two seem to be an item of sorts... Of course, I'll need to make some adjustments to my body so that she won't be upset..." And there he was, rambling on to himself again, completely ignoring the anger Armon was exerting.

---

"..." Sanako wouldn't utter a word, no matter what Violette said or did. Her eyes stared intently at nothing. Lifeless, as if she was teetering on her death bed. That really wasn't far from the truth, though. After everything that she had been through the past few days, death seemed like a nice break. It was going to happen soon anyways, so who would care if she sped up the process. She held the scoop-neck shirt for Violette as she went in to run the bath. she eventually set the shirt onto a nearby desk, and began removing the little clothes she wore. In reality, her outfit had burned down with the hut, and she had been taken to Stahn's in her underwear and wrapped in a white blanket. She dropped her undergarments, which were still stained with her blood that had shot from her stomach, and began to unravel the bandages that went horizantally around her stomach. There were a few layers, but she wasn't surprised. Nothing would surprise her now. She ran her right hand over the skin on her stomach. It had deformed as a result of the lionus not completely healing, and the wound had begun to take on a scar-like appearance.

"..." The water stopped running, and so she made her way into the bathroom, and then into the tub, which was relaxingly warm. The thought crossed her mind that she could just drown herself now if she wanted to, but something kept nagging at her not to. What was it? A promise long forgotten? Love? She stared down at her naked self in the bathwater. She needed to figure out what it was. Just what was nagging to keep her alive?

---

Ailia Davies was staring off into space again. It wasn't uncommon now, after Rosaline's death. She had no real purpose anymore. It wasn't really herself that she was concerned about, either. Her brother, Reid, must have been torn by the news, and she wasn't even there for him! What kind of sister was she!? And then she got sent on this stupid, yet obviously bogus murderer hunt by Carn's higher ups. That new "Prince" ordered it personally. He wanted justice against the one who killed his "dear sister". Seemed like they sent her away to keep her out of something. And Sven, where had Sven gone off to?

"Excuse me."

Ailia looked up at the speaker in a bored manner. She had seen at least a hundred people in the past two days, none of which had any good leads. "Go away, I don't c-" She stopped herself. Was she becoming like Adela? NOOOO. "...Okay, tell me what you know then. I'll be taking my leave soon, and I'm not particularly interested in the fat of the story. I just want the facts. Heaven forbid anyone use those anymore."

Loki
April 15th, 2008, 03:12 PM
He didn’t even care.

Armon grit his teeth. Damn that Stahn didn’t give a crap at what had happened while he was so wrung up about it. It should’ve been the other way around.

"I think it's safe to conclude that you've figured out who it is you want to protect? Sanako? Reid? Both?"

He flushed, quickly responding, “I-It doesn’t matter-“

But Stahn kept on trucking. He wanted to talk to her? Bull, like Armon would let that happen. He frowned when Stahn said that he could come supervise, and that he’d change himself into a girl too to keep the already tentative stability Sanako was in as balanced as possible. Fine. Those terms were okay with him, but only if Sanako wanted to go. He was still considerably frustrated by the end of Stahn’s musing, grumbling something about him being a complete loser before shoving his hands in his pockets with an aggravated glare. “Don’t call us an item. I’m not packaged goods, and neither is Sanako. Actually, don’t even say anything about us, it makes me sick to hear you say it. Let’s go Christian, this dork isn’t bringing his head back to Alta anytime soon. I’m not wasting my breath on an old geezer.” He spun on the heel of his foot, leaving the room. Where he was going, he didn’t know. He didn’t care. Just anywhere far away from Stahn.

“Ohhh…” Gil sat on the banister of the second floor, leaning her elbows on her knees as she spoke lightly to Stahn, “They had a much more eventful break than I did.” She sat back, balancing herself with her hands as she kicked her legs back and forth, teetering dangerously off the edge, “Well for the record, I think this has been lot’s of fun, so there’s at least some good there~!” Gil grinned, before whipping her legs over the railing and away from the edge, landing on the carpet of the second floor with a light thump as she wandered off to find Sanako and Violette.

--------------------------------

“Y’know what,” Dieter snapped to whoever was listening as he slammed the bathroom door open, the blood trickling down the left side of his face being collected by the once-white towel around his neck, “This is why I hate crappy plumbing systems. It’s like, hell, I’m tryin’ to take a shower and in the middle of it, the boiler craps out and turns me into a skill-cicle!! You want me to heat my own water while grabbin’ the soap and shampoo and crap? Man! It’s not like I’m about to grow another arm or somethin’. Jesus.” He hitched up his dark jeans that had been sloppily thrown on, not even fastened as he searched around for the color shirt he wanted. Pulling a T-shirt from the bottom of the bag sitting on the floor in the corner of the room he shared with Tsukasa, he stood without putting it on, pulling the bloody towel around his neck away and searching for a spot that wasn’t covered in blood, “I have the consideration to get rid of the blood on me and God decides that I’m too good for hot water. Should’ve just changed instead of takin’ a shower.”

Dieter faced the wall, wiping off his left cheek with the small patch of towel that was still white, being sure to keep his hair in the way while doing so. He didn’t really have any problems with people seeing the left side of his face, but people seemed to be the ones with a problem when it came to seeing it. He wasn’t about to spend all day concentrating on keeping his face human when he could just hide it. Fastening a fresh eyepatch over his eye and again, blotting away whatever excess had slipped down his face, Dieter continued to grumble about how boiling hot water had suddenly turned into icy needles in the middle of his shower.

“Oi,” Dieter looked over his shoulder at Tsukasa for a moment before pulling a plain white form-fitting T-shirt covered in yellow paint splatters over his head, and buttoning his pants while heading back to the bathroom to look for his sunglasses, “How’s Auricia’s holdin’ up against the fort? The other girl looked just about ready to kick the bucket, so y’know.”

---------------------------------

Rasch smiled dryly. The girl didn’t seem keen on listening to him, though he found that mildly interesting. He’d never been told ‘Go away’ by anyone except Mihael, but that had been a different story, and a different kind of ‘go away’. Well, Rasch reconsidered suggesting a suspect to her. It wouldn’t really be worth sharing the story to someone who wasn’t really planning on looking into it, or someone who didn’t really seem like she wanted to even know.

“Facts...?” Rasch nodded absentmindedly at the waitress who placed a thin glass of peach smoothie in front of him, certainly not the drink of gentlemen, but one of the young businessman’s favorite sweets that he left untouched at the moment, “Well let’s see…” How was he going to explain the person he had in mind? Such an enigma was his twin brother, though at one point he’d practically been able to read the other’s mind.

“I’ll first put out why I believe he might’ve had a motive towards harming the Princess. He hails from a wealthy family that once kept Phoenix as pets, and like the rest of his remaining family, certainly did not advocate Flazure’s creation. Knowing his current personality, I would not be surprised at all if he chose to openly reject the forming of Flazure as a retaliation. Another would be that he was extremely attached to his brother, who grew away from him as time passed.” Rasch shook his head with a sigh at the memory, “I suspect he envied the Princess for suddenly growing closer to her family, in contrast to him. And after all, she was like a living, breathing celebrity that represented change- the very thing he hated the most. I believe he was able to pull it off…” He took a miniscule sip of his drink, before tapping his chin lightly in thought.

“Because he is a master of disguise. Not just your average master of disguise, but if you’ll believe me, which I of course do not expect you to, he seemed to be able to rearrange and re-mold his features. I admit I never bore witness to this ability, but I certainly do not think that one can triple one's age and height with make-up. He was able to take down the entire security system of one of the wealthiest families here in Beta on his own, at the main mansion no less.” Of course, Rasch admitted to himself, Erik had found very little need to dress up in his own home after the death of their father though, Rasch contemplated, the security of course had moved in on him...

“I’m sure a castle would be present no problem to him, quite honestly. He also seems to have a habit of publicizing his murders before doing as he pleases with the bodies, though I admit it has been quite some time since I last heard of any of his movements. Ah, yes, I’m quite aware of the disappearance of the Princess’ body, it was a rather poorly hushed up subject if you’ll excuse me saying.” Rasch added before continuing with his usual smile, “I’m not sure if this is quite what you’re looking for, but I hope I can help in any way possible with your investigation.”

parallelzero
April 15th, 2008, 07:40 PM
"Please stop wasting my time..." Ailia said coldly as she stood from her seat, glaring at the stranger with distrust. "Those views are shared amongst every noble on the planet right now, and stop talking about the removal of Rose's body in public." She hadn't realized it, as referring to the Princess as Rose had become second nature to her, but using that nickname revealed her familiarity with Rosaline. "And don't talk like you know what's going on. YOU DON'T. Now if you don't mind, I'll be taking my leave now. I have better things to do than waste my time listening to the same crap twenty times a day about a possible murderer who just turns out to be someone different each time!" She needed to go back... to go check on Reid, and on everyone else. She HAD to go, even if they meant going against the direct orders of the Prince.

---

"Don't forget how fragile humans are, Dieter, and don't forget that Auricia isn't human." Tsukasa murmured from the bottom bunk of the bed, his eyes focused upwards at the bunk above him as he supported the back of his head with her arms. "Sanako also suffered much greater damage than Auricia, and I don't think she's regained the ability to use her mahstion. She's emotionally frail right now, so you probably shouldn't do anything to her. On the other hand, I can safely say Auricia Raito is completely fine." The line between Skill and humans needed to be understood. That was something Tsukasa had acknowledged ages ago, and it was something Aston would have to acknowledge someday too. He and Auricia could not be a couple.

---

Stahn kicked himself mentally. Yeah, he'd screwed up big time, there was no way to dodge that truth. Was there really a way to make things up to them? Maybe... if he laid all his cards on the table. "Everen."

"You sure, boss? You haven't taken that form for a while, not since inventing that pill, really."

"Yeah, I think now is the time."

---

A sudden noise from the window in the bathroom startled Sanako as a gust of wind blew in. It was only about two o'clock in the afternoon at this point, so the sun had passed overtop of the estate and now was on the opposite side, leaving the air flying in cooler. A shiver flew down Sanako's body as the air brushed up against her skin, and she ended up sinking farther in the water that had begun to take on a soapy translucent white colour from the non-stop lathering the emotional zombie of a girl had been doing. She wanted to clean it all off. Everything. It needed to be clean!

Sanako finally looked over at the window as the sound came again, and she looked just in time to see a hand grab the ledge of the window to hoist the body of a girl not much older than herself up. The bubblegum haired girl just stared unphased at the new arrival. The strange girl was quite obviously female, but she exuded a tomboyish aura of sorts, just based on how she moved and the overall manner in which she carried herself. As she rose, her straight, short green hair bobbed beneath a black baseball cap, her amber eyes, which were covered by the odd green hair, gazed curiously at Sanako. "Umm... sorry to disturb you!" She exclaimed awkwardly as she brushed off her black, long sleeved shirt, and pants of the same colour. She certainly looked like a tomboy. While because her clothes were baggy, she didn't seem to appear very athletic, but who knew what was really under them. "My name is Melody, but I guess you know me better as my male form crafted by my faels, Stahn. Melody Insinia, teenaged genius, star athlete, and fighter extraordinaire, AT YOUR SERVICE." She made sure Violette could hear it all as she gave a big thumbs up. Sanako still stared blankly. She didn't care. Why bother caring?

Loki
April 16th, 2008, 02:36 PM
Rasch took a sip of his smoothie, moderately amused. Foreigners were so much more fun, because they treated you like trash. It was… an adventure of sorts.

“I see, you do have a point.” He said calmly, stirring his drink with his straw, “Then please, do not let me take up your time any further. My sincerest apologies for mentioning something that I should’ve kept to myself. I hope you find your murderer soon, Miss Detective.” His amused smile was the last thing he offered before picking up his drink, and heading off to his usual spot in the corner of the café. Well, it’s not like he said anything important.

’Good luck finding anything with that attitude.’ He thought, his smile that was kind taking on the air of arrogance when he turned away from Ailia. The girl was obviously not from a well-to-do family. She couldn’t even nail the basics down of keeping your mind open to all opportunities. Of course one could tell that she was not keen on finding herself a murderer. How unprofessional. He sat down, again, continuing his thought process which was reeling away from his prior conversation. It wasn’t exactly true that all wealthy men thought the way he’d described. After all, the living foil to that statement had been sitting right in front of her. He took a sip of his drink. So ungraceful, to keep those people as pets. It held absolutely no amount of class at all. And it’s not like they were anything particularly special, since there were billions more where they came from.

Flazure was an excellent establishment, in Rasch’s opinion. Gather up the lower class in one place and isolate them from the rest of the world. Let them create their faux-bourgeois and wealthy families that would never be able to rise above the originals. He smirked, pulling his straw out of the pinkish icy liquid and putting the end in his mouth.

Their antics were too much fun to let anyone ruin.

----------------------------------------------

Flicking his sunglasses up onto the top of his head, Dieter raised an eyebrow at Tsukasa, before turning around to scoff. “Each and everyone of you, saying this and that. First we’re human, we have feelings, but then we’re not human, we’re different. Man, even I’m starting to get confused.” Dieter laughed, showing that he wasn’t confused at all in reality. He knew that skills were different from humans. No, not just different. Better.

“Alright, alright, I won’t do crap to the human, but that kills my plan of dressing up as her sappy lover and seeing what this love business is all about.” Dieter joked, fumbling through his bag of clothes and tossing out T-shirt after T-shirt while he tried to find a clean vest. “Man, I don’t get how Auri-chi can even say she loves somebody.” He stood from the bag, giving up. T-shirts were easy to find, vests were not. “Pretty sure we all got done over by people we liked, y’know? Pretty sure they were all human, like Tappen, too.” Dieter said, without really noticing that this might be a subject he might not want to bring up, and without really noticing that he himself had been killed by complete strangers.

----------------------------------------------

Violette stared blankly at Melody, having just opened the door with a change of clothes on top of a neatly folded towel. Stahn? The Violette side of her gaped, but quickly recovered, knowing that staring with one’s jaw hanging open like a stupid mule was rude and degrading to oneself. Had it been Lazarus, he would’ve probably closed the door quietly and broke out into hilarity once safely by himself, but seeing as it was not, Violette smiled.

“Well this actually makes me feel a lot better!” She said placing the towel and change of clothes on the counter, picking up a brush, “We haven’t been suffering through this alone after all. But did you have any business here? Perhaps you should wait until Sanako’s finished taking a bath?”

Violette left it at that, her somewhat airheaded personality mixed with Lazarus’ indifference towards big surprises extracting a poor response at such a startling revelation.

“Well since you’ll be in this form for some time,” Violette jabbered to Sanako, when she sat down on a stool she’d pulled over, “You should learn how to take care of your hair!” She set the brush she’d been holding on the edge of the tub, balancing it with the precision of a girl as detailed as herself. Gracefully, she gathered Sanako’s pink hair that was floating freely in the water, running her shampoo covered fingers through the middle. She didn’t seem to notice that Sanako probably wouldn’t care about this at all, “Since your hair is so long, you should keep the shampoo at a minimum at the tips. Otherwise, they’ll dry out and split really fast, and nobody likes split ends.” Violette lectured pointlessly trying to keep up a conversation of some sorts, even if it was one-sided. She didn’t like awkward silences, and one seemed to be hanging around Sanako like a dark cloud.

“And when you add conditioner, try not to add too much around your roots, the tips are most important. Brush your hair when you have conditioner in too, before you wash it out. That way there aren’t any tangles or knots that don’t get coated. Oh, and be sure to keep the conditioner in for at least two minutes before rinsing! The effect is amazing!”

She jabbered on about the proper hair ethics, wandering away from Sanako’s side for a moment to retrieve a cup that was supposed to hold toothbrushes but was currently empty. Setting it beside the clothes and towel, she closed the drain in the sink and filled it halfway with water, dropping a white seed in it before returning to finish washing Sanako’s hair, waving a hand absentmindedly halfway through as a familiar white flower blossomed and bent it’s head over the edge of the cup. The sap that dripped out took a distinct bluish color.

“And rubber bands are an absolute no.” Violette continued, brushing knots out of Sanako’s hair gently, taking her time so as not to pull, “They destroy your hair, it’s terrible. Maybe we should try a different hairstyle than you usually have after this...”

parallelzero
April 16th, 2008, 05:49 PM
Melody sweatdropped as she was pushed aside for a lecture about taking care of one's hair. It was obvious Sanako didn't particular care, or at least she didn't appear to. She was listening though, as her eyes glanced at whoever was speaking. Maybe she just needed someone or something to snap her out of her unsociable phase? Melody had never dealt with rape before, but naturally being a girl, she understood how one thought. "Nah, I can talk about it now. I really need a bath too!" She exclaimed as she lifted her shirt up over her head, leavind her hat secure. Was there a reason for keeping the hat on? One could only wonder. In terms of bust, Melody possessed more than Sanako, but not a lot more. She was thin, and her arms were lightly toned with muscles that indicated she didn indeed excersize. Her fram actually was quite athletic. She wasn't even wearing a bra underneath her shirt, emphasizing her disregard for her female body. Not to mention her outfit in general showed this disregard. The pants came off next, revealing that she was in deed wearing boxers that hung loosely off her waist, as opposed to the usual underwear choices for a girl. It looked like after changing back, Melody had just raided her Stahn wardrobe and taken whatever didn't fall off completely. Chanced were that was the truth, and she had spent so long as Stahn that she didn't own girl's clothing anymore. "Sorry... I don't really have any clothes. It's been four years since I assumed a female form last, and I never thought I'd have to again." Yuuup.

When she was fully undressed, she jumped into the tub with a splash, moving in a way that conceled the back of her left leg - which seemed to be bandaged for some reason. She positioned herself in the small tub so that she was behind Sanako, her legs spread out around the girl's balled up body. Melody leaned in again Sanako's back, and wrapped her arms around her as she brought her mouth to Sanako's ear. "I'm sorry I put you through that..."

Sanako's eyes shot wide, and she reacted in a way totally unlike what she should have, pushing Melody away and getting out of the tub in an anrgy fit. "You think you can just apologize and it'll be okay!? I can't believe you! I was nearly RAPED. I HAD MY STOMACH CUT OPEN!" Well, at least she was talking. "Can you even comprehend what kind of pain I'm feeling-"

"SHUT UP!" Sanako looked shocked as Melody told her to be quiet. What right did she have to tell her to shut up after all that had been done to her!? The green haired girl rose out of the bath, the water running off her skin. "...I told you I'm sorry... I didn't mean for that to happen, but... Don't talk like I don't understand when you don't know anything about me!" She tore off her hat with one hand, and reached down to rip the bandages off her leg with the other. Sanako stepped back at the sight of the girl before her. She had been using the hat to hide three short, black, cone like horns spread horizontally across her head. The bandage had been used to hide a severe leg wound that was cut into the shape of a swastika - the symbol was one of those of hell in this time - and it bled like it was still fresh. The bandages had also been used to tie a long forked tail to her leg, and it whipped around rapidly behind her like a snake. She brought her fingers up to her eyes, and removed the contacts, revealing cat-like eyes that were golden in colour. "You two can't tell anyone what you've seen or what I tell you, I won't even tell you the whole story. Basically, my father sold me to science to fuel his own agenda. I was a pawn in early apostle experiments, and then in skill experiments as well, which is why I ended up looking like this. I was reduced to the status of a demon, and a Carn priestess was forced to engrave this symbol into my leg. It never stops bleeding, and it never heals. You know that priestess, Sanako."

"You don't mean..."

"Ellianne. She resisted at first, but in the end she didn't have a choice. I escaped from my prison, and began working in the field of science with the intention of reversing the physical changes done to me. I don't age, so I have all the time in the world. In the end, I created the pill I'm using for your training, and created the identity of Stahn to aid in the creation of NEAR. I'm probably the only person who knows everything about what's going on." She proceeded to hide the features she had unhidden once again, signaling while that she had a lot more she could tell, she was refraining from doing so.

Sanako was crying. She had been selfish again. Thinking about suicide and the like. Melody had gone through so much more than her. Tons of people had. DAMMIT. She needed to make things right! "Violette! I want you to make me really pretty for Armon! I'm sorry, I keep saying I'm going to change and then I end up being worse! I owe you guys so much for helping, and I owe a lot to Armon. So... so I want you to make me look pretty and help me think of a way to pay him back!"

"While you're at it..." Melody said smugly, knowing she had done her job. Though, maybe she'd stay in this form. It had been a while now. The biggest pain was tending to the wound constantly. "Would you mind finding me something to wear? Nothing girly! That's not my style! But I can't go around wearing what I have been, especially if I still want you guys to take me seriously as a trainer. Sanako sweatdropped. When had they ever taken her seriously as Stahn?

Loki
April 16th, 2008, 07:03 PM
Violette sat where she was, blinking slowly as though trying to register everything that had just happened. This and that, that and this. Her head reeled for a moment or two before she finally came back to reality at Sanako’s request. Well. Something happened that made Sanako come back to life, so that was really all that mattered to Violette!

“Sure!” She said, still trying to wrap her brain around everything as she stood up, “Here Sanako, your clothes are on the counter, and I’ll go get another set of clothes. I don’t think I have any clothes that aren’t… girly though, I think Gil would have more of what you’re looking for, if that primitiv- girl even has a second set of clothes.” As Violette returned to the room and pulled the closet open to examine the selection presented, she raised her voice so that Sanako could still hear, “Well I don’t know Armon that well, and the way his head works is a total maze to me, so what would make him happy… I think he’ll be happy enough to see that you’re better. Don’t worry Sta- Melody, I won’t say anything about those horns or the leg-thing, it’s a secret between us girl-… Well, between us.”

Violette pulled out a sleeveless mini-dress, “Hmm, you could wear this with a pair of… pants…? But I don’t think Hyacinth gave me any of those…” She shook her head and tossed it onto the bed, reaching up to flick through the closet again. Why was there suddenly so much more lace than she’d thought before? Speaking of clothes… Violette pulled out a white skirt and dark green zip-up sleeveless shirt that had black lace around the collar and hem. Setting them aside as she continued to sift through her clothes, she pulled out a cami top that was amazingly, plain in color and design.

“I don’t have any pants or shorts, or even short skirts, so you might want to ask Auricia or Gil.” Violette said, pointing at the cami top in her hands, “I think this is about as ‘un-feminine’ as it gets, for the clothes Hyacinth provided. I’ll leave it here, I have to get the curler heated and oh- Come here for a minute before you put on your clothes.” Violette whipped out the towel from underneath the clothes and neatly wrapped it around Sanako’s waist, clipping it in place with a hair clasp and picking up the glass of sap, the white flower shriveling back into its seed as soon as the cup was gone. Lightly tapping the sticky blue sap from her finger onto the gash on Sanako’s stomach, she rinsed her hands before bandaging her stomach speaking, “Well Sanako, what kind of hair style do you think we should do? Maybe we should try something elegant, you were worrying about looking childish this morning, or maybe a pin-up?”

“Hey guys.” Gil’s voice interrupted Violette and the latter gave a sudden jerk at the sound. They still seemed to be at odds with each other. Gil’s worried expression peered around the door, “I heard about what happened, is everything ok-….”

Gil blinked at Melody, a lightly surprised look over her face. She wasn’t as much concerened with her full demon-glory, but more of the fact that it seemed like Sanako and her had just been in the same bathtub?

“Who’re you?” She asked bluntly, forgetting her original point of showing up. Gil notably made no comment towards the multiple oddities on Melody.

parallelzero
April 16th, 2008, 08:12 PM
"Let me give you a hint." Melody said, uninterested in Gil's arrival, as she snapped her fingers. Gil's form quickly snapped back to Levi's, ripping any clothes he had been wearing as Gil. She snapped her fingers again, and Levi returned back to her normal form - Gil - only... her hair was a neon pink. So, it was obvious that Stahn's strange sense of humor was not a trait given to him by his faels. In fact, it was a natural trait that had passed over. Maybe, just maybe, this trait was a little more sinister when he was Melody... She turned her back to the pink haired Gil, and accepted the cami top from Violette. "Umm... I think Sanako has some pants, and I need to borrow underwear, so I'll be heading over to her room for a moment!" The green haired girl exclaimed as she darted out the door extremely quickly with a burst of energy.

Sanako winced as Violette put the sap on her wound. It was cold, but as it was applied, it began to feel soothing. After her bandages had completely been applied, she walked over to the outfit she had been provided. "We've been changing clothes way too often lately..." She sighed as she slipped on her undergarments, before pulling up a black skirt with pink lace going along the hem, and securing it. The shirt came on next, and it was essentially a white, sleeveless, button-up blouse, pink lace lining the buttoned side of the shirt. She was chilly, not used to haveing her shoulders and arms exposed while dressed. "She looked herself over in the mirror, red in the face. She spun around once to see how the skirt moved. "Do you... really think he'll like it? I've... never felt like this before. At least, not as a girl... It feels different somehow... Love..." She grabbed a chair and brought it over to Violette, before sitting down. "I trust your judgement, so do whatever you want. You can even cut it if you want. It's for him, after all. I want to prove I'm willing to change, so maybe a new look wouldn't hurt..." She thought silently for a moment. "Oh! And what about make up?"

---

"Make it known that there will be a public execution tomorrow."

"...Your Highness? Is that wise?"

"Those two are enemies of the nation, posing as heirs to the throne. They need to be humiliated when they die. Besides, I've been asked by him to use them as bait for something."

"Yes sir."

---

"Big Brother..." Evaline groaned as she finally stirred into a conscious state. Everything was dark. She gagged herself at the overall scent of the extremely tight space she was trapped in. It smelled of decaying corpses. Had they just been thrown away like trash? Where were they? She called again. "Big... Brother..." She coughed, and then a familiar pain resparked in her left shoulder. That's right. She had been shot. The wound was still bleeding too. "Big Brother... I don't want to die here..."

Loki
April 18th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Violette shrugged moving Sanako’s hair this way and that as she watched each result in the mirror, speaking lightly, “I don’t know if Armon is the make-up type, you know? I mean, Adela doesn’t wear any make-up either. Except for that dinner night, and you could barely even tell. We can add a little bit of eyeshadow though, maybe a well-blended bronze… or gold.” Violette picked up the brush from earlier, “We shouldn’t make too drastic a change, just in case it ends up not looking the way we wanted. Besides, you can do prettier things with long hair than short.” She stabbed the word ‘short’ at Gil, who ignored her, busy examining her new hair color in the mirror, “Let’s just cut off the tips. It helps make your hair healthier if you trim it every now and then… Oh! I’m sure Armon will love it, it’s you, after all!”

She sifted through the drawers and cabinets, smiling at the idea of being so loved and finding new motivation in Sanako’s make-over, retrieving everything she thought they might need. The whole place was almost… designed for her. Everything that one needed for a great morning of getting ready for something was there.

As she trimmed the edges of Sanako’s hair, varying the length at the end while she imagined different hairstyles. What would look best on Sanako, with the outfit she’d picked out for her? Violette had been Hyacinth’s doll, and it was almost like Sanako was hers! She finally understood why Hyacinth had gone so overboard. She pulled the pink locks up into a ponytail, pulling a black ribbon out of an overly decorated shirt she would probably never wear. Snipping a notch in either end of the ribbon, she tied it around the hair tie, making a small neat bow.

“Gil,” Violette said, “Go check on Armon for me, will you? You’re sneaky enough, don’t get caught. This is going to be a surprise. Tell me what he’s doing when you get back.”

Gil made a face as she stared at her new pink hair. For a second, she thought she could hear Jazz screaming in protest, but the sound quickly disappeared. “Alright, but you owe me. Hair dye or something like that, how am I supposed to match the clothes I’ve got with this hair color?? Man, arrogant girl. Who the heck…” She disappeared through the bathroom door, off to search for Armon.

“Let’s see…” Violette turned on the curling iron, ignoring Gil’s complete obliviousness as to who the other girl was, “I’m going to curl your ponytail, and then we’ll leave these pieces…” She brushed the two chunks of pink hair framing Sanako’s face, “To give some solid structure…” Violette carefully brushed pink bangs away from Sanako’s eyes, “And we’ll give your bangs a slight curl to give them some volume!”

She pulled the curling iron over and patiently made medium-sized ringlets in the younger girl’s hair, asking plainly, “Ah, you’re incredibly lucky to have someone you love so much. What’s it like?” Violette inquired curiously, like a gushing girl that was congratulating her friend on getting a boyfriend and trying to get an insight on the ordeal. She seemed to not have any recollection of Christian’s words about how he wanted her to leave because he didn’t want her to be put in danger. Either that, or she was just too focused on keeping Sanako in a good mood to remember.

------

The body crushed underneath a bookshelf let out a racking cough, blood spurting up Piper Dian’s throat and adding to the puddle that had already pooled around him. He couldn’t muster the strength to push off the books that weighed him down, but he had to respond to his sister. That was the most important thing, making sure that she wasn’t scared, that she was going to be okay.

“You’re not…” His breath caught as he worked down another cough, “You’re not going to die here Evaline...” Piper opened the eye that wasn’t caked over in blood, straining to see his younger sister, “Get out of here.” He paused, tensing his arms as he tried to push the bookshelf off. It was so heavy, the wood and restricted space combined causing his attempt to fail miserably. “They’ll… come back for sure.” He took a raspy breath, inching his arm towards Evaline and the corpse of their father under the crushing weight, “I won't... let them find you..."

parallelzero
April 18th, 2008, 08:21 PM
"Well..." Sanako said quietly as she looked down at her feet, completely embarassed. She hadn't really looked at her hair yet, and the question had fully drawn her attention from it as she twiddled her thumbs nervously. "Even though he acts like a jerk, he's really nice when he wants to be... But, he's always doing his best to help me, and when I'm with him, and I look into his eyes, my heart can't help but skip a beat. I care for him too, but I don't know how he exactly feels about me..." She finally noticed the way her hair was turning out, and let out a soft squee of delight. "It looks nothing like it did before! But.. but it looks so good, and it makes me look a bit older too! You're an artist, Violette! But... I kind of have a question for you too." An awkward silence followed like as if someone had said a bad joke. "What's going on with you and Christian? There's something, isn't there? You two seem really close!" It was her turn to feel enthused for Violette. There was definately something there, something they hadn't made open. "I mean, with a body like yours, you could probaby get any guy, but how do you feel about him? I wish I had a body like yours..."

---

"I want you to tell me right now." Christian said, a hint of hostility in his voice, as he pointed a stick at Armon. They had wandered outside out of boredom, as the girls had yet to come back. Why were they taking so long? Oh well, it left him with this opportunity. "Can you commit to Sanako, Armon? To Reid, Adela? Can you support her? Will you be there in her final moments? If you won't, I WILL. I won't let her suffer more because you can't dedicate yourself to her!" While the stick gesture was stupid, his eyes were resolute. This was something he was passionate about. "If you can commit to her right now and follow through, my heart will be put at ease and I'll never bring this up again. If you hurt her, though, I will kill you." Whether or not the last line was overdramatized was difficult to comprehend. He truly seemed resolved.

---

"...Rita? What are you doing?" Auricia sweatdropped as she watched the tiny redheaded girl jumping persistantly up at a jar of peanut butter atop a shelf. Someone had an obsession. She was such a kid... Well, she was a kid, but still. The little girl stared hopfully up at Auricia with wide eyes. Rita was expressive with her face. She didn't like to talk. Auricia sighed as she reached for the jar, before giving it to the girl who scurried away to the opposite counter to make her sandwich. Where they actually going to train anytime soon, or what? Babysitting that girl was troublesome, annoyingly so. She wasn't really aware that most people thought the same of her, however.

Loki
April 18th, 2008, 09:32 PM
Violette paused as she pinned up a stray ringlet, a sort of curious look on her face as she peered down at Sanako. Her mind processed various thoughts but in the end she merely grinned and laughed, “I’m not even sure what’s going on between me and Christian.” She sat down and sifted through a drawer filled with make-up, “I like him very much. And I’m sure he likes me too.” Violette smile softened as she pulled out some gold eyeshadow, pushing the drawer closed again, “But I’m not sure of anything else…” She instructed Sanako to close her eyes as she brushed a very light amount of eyeshadow across Sanako’s eyelids, trailing off of her original sentence and tacking on a new one, “I’m fundamentally not interested in men, whether I have a ridiculous figure dreamed up by my overimaginative fael, which is a real hassle by the way. I mean, I’m not originally a girl, and I won’t stay as one. The Lazarus part of me kind of repels any attraction.” Violette hooked a strand of dark hair behind her ear, a smile crossing her contemplative expression, “But, me and Christian aren’t actually official, so I’ll tell you about all that if it happens. Back to the original subject, maybe you should ask Armon how he feels when you meet up with hi-“

“Target is with Christian, the two look serious and the latter is pointing a stick at the former.” Gil interrupted without a second thought when she appeared in the bathroom doorway again, “They’ll probably have it all dealt with by the time you get there though, the question wasn’t exactly one that someone can really… elaborate on, I guess.”

Violette sweatdropped. The latter was probably Christian.

“What was the question?”

“Confidential, commander.” Gil stated sarcastically, saluting before she jerked her thumb over her shoulder, “Target is outside, in the courtyard.”

“Well….” Violette glanced from Gil to Sanako before scooting the latter out of the bathroom and into the hall, “Let’s go! I’ll come with you and drag Christian away, that way you and Armon can be alone. Gil, don’t interfere, okay?” She changed out of Lazarus’ original clothes and into the outfit she’d picked out, calling over her shoulder at Gil who rolled her eyes at Violette. She appeared beside Sanako with a burst of wionus.

Gil winked at her before walking in the direction opposite the courtyard, “Good luck with your boyfriend! You look awesome, though you looked fine before you got dolled up by dolly.” She laughed sticking her tongue out at Violette, who seemed to be getting better at controlling her reactions to Gil’s taunting.

--------------

Armon glanced at the stick for a moment before sighing, “I’ve already committed. I’m already here, aren’t I? Supporting her, that is. Do you know how irritating it is that she’s not here right now?” Armon shook his head, sticking his hands in his pockets as he took a seat on a white wire bench, “I’m already so freaking paranoid. It’s like, nothing is going to happen, she’s with Violette, so it’s fine. But I feel like something’s going to happen, because something always does. Is worrying about where she is and what she’s doing 24/7 commitment enough for you, Christian? Is feeling like I always have to be with her enough? I’m not going anywhere, ever, so kill it with the questions.”

A disturbing thought ran across Armon’s mind. What if she was the one who left? Again? He quickly shoved the thought aside. That wasn’t going to happen again. Composing himself, Armon blinked at the sound of a familiar voice.

“Hey you guys!” Violette was waving at them, dragging Sana-…

Sanako?

Armon stared, dumbfounded, only barely remembering to keep his mouth from gaping in surprise. That was definitely a change in pace. No, what was more important was that she looked a little more responsive than when they’d parted from before. Violette clapped her hands together gleefully- she was wearing something different from when Armon last saw her too. “What-“ Armon began, blinking in confusion before Violette interrupted him quickly, preventing him from saying something stupid, which he most certainly would’ve done.

“I gave her a little haircut and stuff, and then we ran into a few complications which is why it took so long, but doesn’t she look great?” Violette gushed, as though presenting her masterpiece of the year.

Armon blinked. It was sudden, but he remembered Sanako obsessing over her appearance when he was Adela earlier this morning. “Yeah, you look beautiful.” He said, and Violette had to resist the urge to laugh. It sounded so awkward, the word ‘beautiful’ coming out of Armon, who nearly always spoke in the same blunt way as Adela. Neither of them were particularly good with words, Violette had deducted, and such a simple response was somehow what she’d been expecting. She sidled up to Christian and slid her hand into his, pulling him away.

"Christian, I'm really sorry, but can you help me clean up the bathroom?" Violette said, an excuse pointed towards Armon who glanced at Violette, somewhat irritated. What an obvious woman. She just had to go and make everything so... unnatural.

Violette gave Christian no time for protest or anything of the sort, and by the time they were gone- which wasn't very long, Armon had already stood from the bench, for lack of anything else to do. It was rude to sit, while someone else was standing... right?

"S-So..." Armon tried to gather his thoughts, and shifting the weight of his body to his other foot, "Are you... feeling better, Sanako?"

parallelzero
April 19th, 2008, 11:23 AM
Sanako was hesitant about presenting herself to Armon, which was the whole reason Violette had to drag her down in the first place. Would he like it? Would he hate it? What if he thought it looked stupid on her? What if he dumped her over it!? Were they even going out in the first place!? WHY COULDN'T SHE STOP HER MIND FROM RACING!? She surprisingly didn't wince when she saw Christian with Armon up ahead.

“Yeah, you look beautiful.”

'Thump thump, thump thump' went the girl's heart. The pink haired girl's face grew so warm you would have thought she had a fever as she turned to look away from him, twirling the left piece of hair framing her face with her left finger, her face bright red. She didn't know how to reply to it! Hell, she could barely stop herself from fainting! Why was her heart beating so fast? "Th-thanks..." She managed to squeak, realizing she couldn't say nothing. He... liked it, right? He must have. He called her beautiful! She suddenly saw Violette grab Christian and flew the coop, leaving her no choice but to fend for herself. Some friend. When it was only the two of them, Armon decided to go ahead and ask a personal question.

"Are you... feeling better, Sanako?"

Was she feeling better? She had been too distracted to actually consider how she felt about everything else that had happened recently. She opened her mouth a few times, her back still turned to him, as she considered the appropriate reply to give. She held her right arm down as she grabbed the upper portion of it with her left hand, rubbing the shoulder area for warmth. It was a bit chilly, and she didn't like being cold. "I... I don't think I can easily forget about everything that has happened. But, I think, as long as I can stay with you, I can at least keep my mind off of it and stay strong. I've said it enough the past few days, but I'm NOT going to be a burden anymore. I may be troublesome, maybe even a little immature, but I'll change for the better, for sure this time. I won't run away anymore. if you're here, I'll have no reason too. Because I love you." She turned back to look at him, with no tears present in her eyes, and she smiled meekly. "That is... if you feel the same about me."

---

Christian didn't respond the entire trip back to the bathroom as Violette dragged him along. Armon hadn't given a reply he would have completely accepted. But... it didn't matter, did it? Ellianne had lost again. Even with Flaire gone, he had fallen for someone else. Was she nothing but a kid in his eyes? It didn't matter. Reid had chose someone else. Furthermore, ever since changing back into Christian, he had been regretting something. "Violette... I'm sorry for not really paying attention to you at Ella's. I've been dependent on Reid all this time, so... I don't really know what else to do. I don't have anywhere else to turn as Ellianne. Sorry, I just feel like I abandoned you." He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek, before backing off. "...I wish I had somewhere else to turn..." He whispered to himself.

Loki
April 19th, 2008, 12:57 PM
Armon stared silently. Of course she wouldn’t just forget. That had been such a stupid hope. He smiled and stepped forward to pull Sanako into an embrace. It hadn’t been a lie when he’d told Christian that he was constantly worrying about her. If she was here, in his arms, then that meant that everything was okay. As far as he was concerned, that was the most important thing. “I told you already, didn’t I?” He let his mind be put at ease for the moment. Nothing was going to happen. Everytime, everytime, something had always interrupted it, or something had always gone wrong. He pressed his lips lightly on Sanako’s. It was different than before, because he wasn’t sure how she would react. Before, it was always him who could choose how to react. He flushed, pulling away for a moment in embarrassment, finishing his sentence to try and take him mind off of his self-conciousness, “I told you, I love you too.” He looked down at the ground, mumbling, “And… I’m sorry I wasn’t there. If I’d just been there… then none of this… would’ve happened.”

He looked up with a light smile, twisting his last sentence around to be a little more positive. He couldn’t let himself slump off into regret now. “I’m going to make sure that nothing like this can happen again. So… let’s change together.” He remembered that that was what Reid had said to Adela yesterday. It was true for them, it was true for himself and Sanako too.


----------------------------


The mention of Reid and Ellianne left a bitter taste in her mouth. Violette tightened her hold on Christian’s hand, before coming back to reality, quickly letting go. Her face was getting warm, knowing that Christian had just kissed her.

“That’s okay,” She smiled, moving into the bathroom to clean up the mess, “A lot happened, so I don’t blame you at all. And besides, we’re not really the same when we’re in our original forms, so it’s not like we actually have to…” Violette trailed off. She didn’t want to say it. She didn’t want to say that Lazarus wasn’t the kind to pay attention to things like girls or attraction. It was like admitting that she’d lost to Reid before the competition even began.

“Well anyway, I wasn’t offended or anything.” She said, draining the now lukewarm bathwater that had been left before dropping the eyeshadow into its proper drawer, “I understand, so you don’t need to apologize.”

parallelzero
April 19th, 2008, 02:23 PM
Sanako accepted the kiss. In fact, she kissed back, leaning into it ever so slightly. His lips were warm, his body was warm, his presence was warm. She wanted him there, she was sure of that now. There was no doubt in her mind that she wanted to be with him. As their lips parted, and Armon made his promise to her, she was left with a foul aftertaste in her mind that needed to be addressed. "...But, what about when we change back? We won't be able to be like this again! It'll be Reid and Adela, and they're nothing like this! I don't want to lose this!" She shook her head in protest of the thought. They still had almost a whole month to figure that out. This was now, they had to savor it! She brought her lips up to his and kissed them again. She didn't want to hear his answer. It wasn't like he was going to say 'then why don't we just stay like this' anyways...

---

"Not the same... I suppose..." Christian repeated, before sitting down on the floor with his legs crossed like a child in public school. "I just wish I was a stronger person. All my life I've had to depend on people, but I guess when you're what I am, you have no choice but to turn for help from others." His words were full of spite. He was a bit more vocal about his hate for wyvern treatment than Ellianne would have been. "Even with the disbandment of the Archai Squad, I'm going to support the cause. But first, we need to save Flazure's citizens before the barrier protecting them breaks. I want to... I will. I'll do it. And I'll avenge Rosaline, and everyone else who's died because of this whole mess. I swear."

"Well, the first step towards that goal is to get your ass downstairs out to the courtyard so we can practice training." Stahn's familiar voice rung. Apparently he wanted to do the afternoon's training in that form. Stahn raised an eyebrow after witnessing the glare Christian had given him, before moving on to find the next group. Christian then gently grabbed Violette's hand and began to lead her downstairs. He was a little shocked, however, when he exited the estate to find Sanako and Armon with their lips locked.

"Uh... Sorry to interrupt? We're starting training momentarily, though, so it'd be nice if you could break it up." He was ticked. Very ticked.

---

Knock knock.

"Die-chi? Tsukasa? We've got to go outside now!" Auricia exclaimed at the wooden door that housed the two male Skills. Rita was on her shoulders, sleeping like a little brat, and she had retrieved Laeina as well, who hadn't said a word. Auricia was having problems figuring out what went through that girl's head.

Loki
April 19th, 2008, 04:23 PM
Armon’s thoughts were preoccupied. Sanako was right. Adela and Reid were different. Though the reason for the tense and strained relationship was obvious, it wasn’t as though it was something that could be fixed in a heartbeat. They would have to start all over again, probably. He opened his eyes, irritation written all over his face when he pulled away from Sanako. He looked at Christian with a light glare. He glanced at Violette, behind him. His glare intensified. And Christian was lecturing him on commitment? Armon folded his arms and stood up straight, looking pointedly away from Christian. His mind had completely wiped itself of the dilemma that would present itself when they went back to normal. All he cared about right now was how aggravating and clingy someone he’d once not minded at all was being.

“Sure,” Armon replied sarcastically through grit teeth, “Anything for you.”

Christian needed to butt out. Making someone else’s business his own was really annoying. Armon bit the inside of his lower lip to keep himself from saying anything else. No matter what, Christian was still Ellianne, and Ellianne was important to Reid.

“Um…” Violette began, with a sweatdrop and smile, “If we’re training, then I should probably go get my things.” She pulled her hand out of Christian’s, stepping back inside, “I’ll be right back.”

Gil stepped out into the courtyard, passing by Violette as though she hadn’t even seen her, “What’s up with this super tense atmosphere?” She asked obliviously, hooking her thumbs in the small pockets of her shorts, “Did I miss something again?” She sighed, looking over her shoulder at Violette’s retreating figure. But instead of Violette, she saw a dark chocolate brown pinstriped suit. Pulling her line of sight up, she blinked. For a second, she’d thought it was yet another person she didn’t know running about the mansion, but it was just the old man skill, who was walking very slowly, reading at the same time. She blinked.

“Hey old man,” Gil pointed at him, turning around, “What happened to the wrinkles on your face?”

Rasch looked up over the edge of his book, his gaze blank. Was this rude girl Laeina? No, that was Dieter’s training partner. Thank goodness. Rasch walked right past Gil without a word, sitting down on the nearest bench and turning the page. He didn’t need to exert any extra communication effort towards someone he had absolutely no business with. By the streaks of black in his once pure white hair, it was true that Rasch was visibly younger. Mobility would be useful, in training against a psyion user.


----------

Dieter sat up from his bed, “Eh? Outside?” He hopped off of his bunk, opening the door, “For what re-…” Dieter noticed Rita on Auricia’s shoulders. His curious expression quickly changed into one of amusement, the smile he was repressing at the sight causing the corners of his mouth to twitch upwards. Love, huh? He started laughing, unable to hold it in any longer when he retreated back into the room. “C’mon Tsu-“ Dieter immediately forced himself to sneeze, scratching his nose afterwards and finishing his sentence, “-Brat.”

What the heck, he’d almost called that irritating brat by his name. Too close a call. Dieter snatched up his sunglasses, sliding them on and doing one last-ditch effort to find a clean vest. Aw damn.

“Man, I swear somebody’s out t’get me.” Dieter sighed, kicking the bag of his clothes aside as he stepped into the hallway, “Yeah let’s go Auri-chi and… whoever you are.”

He began the trek en route 'outside' without giving anyone the chance to say anything, showing that he may not have known who the other girl was, but by her scent, she was human, and if she was human, he wasn't interested in being introduced to her.

---------

parallelzero
April 20th, 2008, 03:02 PM
"G-guys... please be nice." Sanako squeaked at the obvious tension between Armon and Christian. She was confused. What were they even arguing about? Christian wasn't in the wrong for asking them to stop or anything, so why was Armon being so confrontative? It wasn't a big deal or anything. As Gil had so nicely put it, was there a loop they had been left out of? "Let's just get along, okay?" She smiled in support of her own suggestion.

"Wow Rasch! You do look younger! I know we can change our physical age, but I've never noticed any of us actually do it!" Auricia exclaimed as she exited the estate soon after the pinstriped Skill. Rita followed behind, licking a lolipop while looking around curiously at everyone. Laeina came out last, looking at her feet in disarray. What was she distracted by? From what Sanako was aware, the black haired girl had been with Stahn the entire day they were away. Had he done something to her? Nah, Stahn was Melody deep down, and she didn't seem like that kind of person. The black haired girl walked by Sanako, and the pink haired girl could have sworn she had heard something, but she couldn't be sure.

"Your father is an interesting person." Sanako looked a bit shock, but didn't reply, as she was double guessing what she had heard. She hadn't seen her father in years. Even when her mom died, he didn't show up to offer any support.

Stahn suddenly announced his presence from atop an oak tree on the edge of the courtyard. "Is everyone here then? Good." He knew Violette wasn't there, but she would be better off working on her healing anyways. They'd certainly need her assistance by the time things were said and done. "Whether or not you have noticed it yet, I've adjusted each of your bodies, aside from the Skills who did not injest the pills, to be 3 times more sensitive to pain than usual. Most likely, even the slightest wound will be enough to knock most of you unconscious. It will truly be like a hell." He paused for a quick moment, thinking over the rest of the speech in his head. Sanako was a little worried. She had felt all kinds of pain the past couple of days. She didn't want to feel anymore. She grabbed Armon's hand for comfort. "Time is beginning to become short, and I have an important training mission for you to embark on tomorrow. Do not doubt my methods, it is necessary." Another pause. Just what was running through his mind? It was hard to tell. "If you want to leave, you might as well now. Those of you that carry Ophelian core shards - you may have to leave a piece of your humanity behind in order to excel to the next level. If you have qualms with this, you'd best back out now." He looked to Sanako and Gil in particular, the only two present who had seen Melody's state. Was a portion of that state the result of Melody unlocking this power? "Rita, show them."

"Yes, sir." The little girl spoke for the first time in a while, before she stepped before the group and dropped her shirt, her back turned to everyone. There was a section of her skin, just below where a set of wings would have been, that was black and scaly. Was that what he meant?

"And she got off easy. While the Goddess Ophelia herself granted us these powers, the end result will be determined by our hearts. If there is even a smidgeon of darkness in your heart, your body will take on some sort of deformation. So who still wishes to train?" Sanako grabbed extremely tight onto Armon's hand. She knew that there was so much darkness in her heart at the moment, and she still couldn't contact Mistral to consult with her about how to deal with it. What if this left her in an even worse condition?

...Wait a second... As if on queue, Sanako and Christian glared over at Gil.

---

"I took you in as my own. You, three children who suffered neglect from the rest of the world. You, three children who hated the world for it. You, my tools. You, my 'daughters'." Kayle Spar spoke into the abyss of darkness as a spotlight rained down upon him from above. He was dressed in nothing more than a white labcoat, which was stained quite sickeningly with blood. "Now it is time to test your hellish abilities against those of the 'heavens'. We'll call this a test operation. Basically, your task is to see that the execution in Carn tomorrow is seen through." Another spotlight turned on, revealing three girls with extremely different appearances.

One, a girl with long violet hair and orange eyes that almost seemed to glow, opened her mouth. "Acknowledged." She was leaning on a sharp looking black bow, and her clothing was certainly unique. She wore a long, cream coloured jacket over her thin frame, and around the waist it jutted out into eight coat tails, each of which had her family's insignia on it in brown at the waist. Underneath the jacket was a skin tight, black shirt that climbed halfway up her neck, and seemed to be attached to a pair of black stockings that reached down to her feet. On the side of the black stockings, small grey tildes (which is from where she recieved her name) ran up them. She also wore an arm-length, black archers glove on her right arm, which replaced the right sleeve of the jacket. Peculiarly, she had white greaves over her lower legs and feet, with a gold plate on each one with her family's insignia on them once again, with black boots present underneath the greaves. To top off her strange outfit, she had on a white hat, with a black stripe running horizontally around it. just above her right eye a black rose, followed by some black feathers, were scene on the black stripe, making her look more like she belonged in a gang.

"Well, if Tildie thinks it's fine, I guess I'm fine too." A much younger girl responded. Her short hair was white, and her eyes a colour similar to the orange in the eyes of Tilde. She wore a crimson dress, lined with white where the layers parted and the colours lightened or darkened. The sleeves were puffy, and she wore a strange head piece that seemed to be a band with a rose on the right side. "What about you?" She turned to the third girl, absent mindedly twirling a silver dagger in her right hand.

OOC:
Saral (http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Daiaki711/1194217599499.jpg)
Tilde (http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Daiaki711/1187295210681.jpg)

Loki
April 20th, 2008, 03:59 PM
“Mmm… sounds like fun!”

The third girl’s blue-purple hair matched the shade of her cat-like eyes completely, reaching just past her shoulder blades. The upper layer of her hair had been pulled up into a side ponytail on the left side of her head, the rest flipping out around her shoulders. She threw her head to the side to shift her long purple bangs, ending in the middle of her left eye while the right side was long enough to be brushed aside. Her tongue shifted the cigarette in her mouth to the other side. The middle ‘daughter’ was dressed considerably different from her sisters, a magenta midriff baring tank top over a black spandex sports bra that poked out from under her shirt covering most of her torso. A frilly layered maroon and black skirt was worn low on her waist, long black socks pulled up to the middle of her thighs. It was obvious that she was over accessorized, a black skinny scarf with bright magenta stripes at the ends around her neck, a yellow bandanna tied about her right bicep, black baggy wrist warmers, a huge white ring on her right index finger, a matching one on her left ring finger. He nails were painted dark purple and black, alternating in color with each finger, and she wore a pair of white frayed cowboy boots on her feet.

None of this was peculiar however. Grasped in her left hand was an enormous stuffed animal, white and fluffy with black circular felt for eyes, its flat mouth in the shape of a horizontal 3. The bunny’s been out of the ordinary if it weren’t for the blood that dripped from the corner of its smile, the red cotton that burst from where it’s heart should’ve been, and the sheer fact that it was being towed about by a grown teenager. It’s head lolled limply back on it’s neck as the girl shifted.

“Are we going now?” Audi asked, chewing on the end of her cigarette, holding up the stuffed bunny, “Alice is bored!”

The head fell forward without Audi moving her hand, as though nodding in agreement, “See?” The girl giggled pulling the stuffed animal back and hugging it tightly

-----------

Rasch didn’t mind it when Gil had commented on it. He didn’t mind that Auricia had commented on it, though he was thinking to himself that the minute she’d laid eyes on him she’d seen a skill change his physical age already. But what he did mind was Dieter.

“WOAH, RASCH, YOUR HAIR! It’s black? I didn’t know that, I thought maybe it was like, blonde or something!” Dieter was babbling, scrutinizing Rasch’s new appearance, “And you look a lot better without all those wrinkles. Why don’t you stay in this form all the time? It’s gotta be a pain being old and-“

"Is everyone here then? Good."

Rasch thanked the gods for Stahn’s interruption, turning back to his book. Even though he was thankful for the excuse to shut Dieter up, there was really no point in listening to what he had to say.

Armon frowned. He was supposed to be nice, huh? He held Sanako’s hand as tightly as she held his. No way. Not after implying that he’d be the first person to jump at an opportunity to take Sanako away. He just wanted to forbid her from seeing him again, but that wasn’t possible. He was important, as annoying it was to admit. He furrowed his brow at Stahn’s revelation. Three times the pain? Fine, he could handle that. He glanced at Sanako. That method might be counter-productive, at the moment… He sighed. They really had no time to take a break. Life was getting a little too exciting for Armon. And then Stahn dropped another bomb, and he had to force himself not to practically crush Sanako’s hand from the reaction. He didn’t think of Gil at first, thinking only of what kind of deformation Sanako would be stuck with. No, he admonished himself, she wouldn’t have a deformation. Not her. That was when he finally landed on the same wavelength as Sanako and Christian.

Gil folded her arms, oblivious to why they were staring at her, “What?”

After all, she didn’t really think that at the moment, she had any “Darkness” in her heart. It’s not like she was targeting someone. And besides, meeting Sol was always a good cleanse for the soul, even if he wasn’t really a pure person himself. “I’ll be fiiiine. I don't mind deformations, cause I mean…” Gil pointed at the wings on her feet, “I already have one."

“Hey,” Dieter folded his arms as he spoke up, tilting his head to the side with an irritated look on his face, “If you wanted it to hurt more, you could’ve just told us. Would’ve been easier, really, and honestly, more fun for me, right?”

“The difference between an illusion and a fatal blow is the key element in the alteration, I’d suppose.” Rasch said, looking up from his book for a split second before turning the page to start the next chapter. Dieter’s jaw unhinged again, the blue-clad skill forgetting about Stahn’s words entirely.

Dieter quickly turned to Auricia and pointed shamelessly at Rasch, “Y’think he talks more when he’s younger or something? ”

parallelzero
April 20th, 2008, 07:38 PM
"Alright then. For the sake of me being able to keep an eye on the lot of you so that there isn't too much death, the training will take place two at a time. Those who aren't participating will wait inside. The windows will be shut so you won't be allowed to see what's going on, and the only two people permitted to watch are your partner, and Violette, who I'll have on standby in case anyone comes close to kicking the bucket." Stahn briefed the group before jumping from the tree branch he was standing on and landing like a gymnast with his hands in the air. "First up are Auricia, and..." If you had blinked, you would have missed Stahn's movement in which he ran over to Sanako and grabbed her hand, attempting to lead her away. But she clung onto Armon's hand, not wanting to do this at all, and stared back at him worriedly. Stahn made another tug, and her grip faded. "...Sanako! The rest of you, aside from Armon and Rita, can go inside."

Christian sighed as he wandered back inside in a depressed manner. He had lost, he knew that, but still. The doors finally closed behind him, and he was only left to worry.

"Alright, you two ready?" Stahn asked the two combatants as they stood at opposite ends of the courtyard. It was obvious that neither of the two girls wanted to fight each other, especially Sanako who had suffered enough the past few days. Although, Auricia didn't liek to fight with people she considered friends, so it was just as hard on her.

"Miss me?"

"Mistral! You can communicate with me again!" Sanako exclaimed. Good timing for her fael to reawaken from whatever slumber the syrum she had been drugged with placed her in. Sanako flicked her wrist, and wind flew by. Good, her wionus was working again as well.

"GO!"

"Wait, wha-" Sanako only had a second to grasp the situation before she was met with Auricia's foot to her head, sending her flying. As she flew, her vision blinked on and off like lights flickering in the thunderstorm. Normally, that sort of attack would have been easy to recover from, but it felt almost like someone had dropped a piano on her head. Tears fell instinctively from the amount of raw pain that kick had delivered, and she was met with pain once again when her back finally hit the ground. She rose shakily, barely able to move as she made a futile attempt to regain her composure. How the hell was this fair?! Stahn sent a glare Armon's way. He wasn't allowed to interfere, only watch. "I... I... I... I won't let that happen again." She stuttered, unable to formulate her sentence properly as she wiped a bit of blood from her face. Deep down, however, she knew it was futile. She couldn't beat a skill before, how would now be any different? Especially with no weapons!

Auricia sighed as she pulled her right hand behind her back in a manner that suggested she was stretching. "I'm sorry, but I'm not allowed to go easy on you, Sana-chan..." As she brought her hand back into plain view, the truth that her arm had changed into a blade became known. Sanako would have shouted 'crap' or something similar, but she wasn't permitted the time. To put things bluntly, one second she had both her arms, the second her right arm was on the ground beside her, completely severed from her body. Blood spewed out, and Sanako's eyes rolled back into her head before her body hit the ground on her back. Auricia ran over to the fallen girl, worried, and took her pulse. "She... she's dead... STAHN YOU HAD ME KILL HER!" The Skill was completely horrified at the thought of having killed her friend, and she collapsed to her knees. Rita stood. Crap, was this Stahn's intention? Did he want Armon to kill him?

"Relax. She's not dead." Stahn said matter-of-factly before sipping from a teacup that had shown up inexpicably. He pulled his right sleeve up, and looked at a watch. "If she doesn't come to in five minutes, then yeah, she's probably dead. You all knew coming into this that there was a chance of this occuring, so..."

---

"Huh? Where am I?" Reid murmured as he found himself staring up at a blue sky, not the light purple sky he was used to. He had been here once before, he was sure of it. The day he met Mistral? Yeah, that seemed about right. Something suddenly grabbed onto his hand and pulled him up. "Mistral? What is this place?" He mumbled, after realizing who had put him upright.

Mistral shook her head, revealing her lack of knowledge. "I remember meeting you here. In a way, I think this is where I was born, Maelstrom too. Other than that, I'm not too sure." Her attempt of an explanation was followed by a sigh. They seemed to be on an invisible platform in the sky. But... the sky was everywhere. There was no world below them; nothing of the sort. They were just suspended in an endless sky.

"This is the Garden of Eden. My home, if you will." A motherly voice rang amidst the sound of the wind as a peculiar girl appeared before them. Her short brown hair was hidden beneath a peculiar silver helmet that wound round and round itself in a twisting fashion. It had strange black decals on it as well. She sported a suit of armor with the same colour scheme, and a pair of shredded metallic wings that also followed these colours. The girl closed her grey eyes and blushed before bowing to the reila and fael. "My apologies! I am what your kind calls "Ophelia." Reid blinked. As in the Goddess? THAT Ophelia? "A piece of myself lives inside of you, which is why I can communicate with you like this. I've caused you quite a deal of trouble, I'm sorry." For a Goddess, who were subject to worship, she really didn't seem willing to let him have a word in. "A dear friend of yours died because of me, and because I'm not present, much misfortune has fallen onto the world. You have a great deal of pain in your heart as a result..."

"I'm fine." Reid stated bluntly, and the Goddess brought her right hand up to her mouth the giggle in a refined manner. "...What?"

"You're a very straightforward person! But you can't lie to me, you know. I live me life through your eyes and the eyes of everyone else who carries me inside them. What happened this morn-"

"ENOUGH. I'm fine."

"Reid..." Mistral said quietly as she took his hand. "You need to stop doing this to yourself. It's okay to feel angry about the things that have happened. Stopped trying to push everything behind you, it's unhealthy..."

"I... don't do that..."

"You do. Everyone worries about you, so you try not to burden them by pushing the problem away. You're caring to a fault, and a big fault at that. That's why you didn't tell Adela after you left, isn't it? You thought it would be better to leave her wondering than to tell her 'Hey, I'm doing really dangerous stuff'!" Mistral was right... "Even now, when your remaining life is so short, you're still doing it! Rosaline died, Reid, yet you're trying to pretend as if you aren't sad about it! You were nearly raped this morning, and you're trying to pretend as if you aren't shaken by it! I thought you said you were going to change!"

"I... I AM."

"When!? You don't have a lot of time left! If you can't do it for yourself, at least do it for Adela! She may not seem like it, but she probably cares the most for you!" Mistral was downright furious now. Had she been bottling her anger because he had been? Reid's eyes sunk to stare at the abyss of clouds below him.

Ophelia stepped between the two, and placed one of her hands upon Reid's shoulder. "If I may intrude... From what I've seen, Reid Davies, you have family, friends, and a fael that care for you. You should rely on them more for emotional support. I believe, from what I've seen of you, that you can change."

"...Yeah... maybe you're right."

---

"Five minutes is up." Stahn said solemnly as he put his hand down. "You might as well discard her body or something so we can have room for the next group."

"...She's breathing..." Auricia announced after going to pick her up. There was suddenly a flash of light, and when it cleared, Sanako was standing, with her arm attached, ears pointed, and a bizarre set of wings portruding from her back. The right one was white and feathered, while the other was black and demonic; both were quite large. She didn't say a thing as she barely managed to walk over to Armon, before collapsing into his arms.

"I'll... change for sure this time. I promise..."

"Well, it seems she came to terms with her darkness..." Stahn muttered to himself.

OOC:
Ophelia (http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Daiaki711/1197632313794.jpg)

Loki
April 21st, 2008, 02:32 PM
Dieter hopped up and down, a half emptied soda bottle in his left hand. He was grinning, talking to himself as he stretched his body at all the wrong angles. Gil stood with her hands clasped behind her back, the two of them waiting silently. She let her eyes trail over to Violette, who clutched her shoulders, shaking. Hmm, so it was that bad, huh? Gil blinked back to look at Dieter whose grin had spread even wider, crueler, eviler. She squatted down, preparing herself.

“Ready?” Dieter’s eyes dilated for a second at the sound of Stahn’s voice. He squat down as well, his arms hanging loosely at his side as he swayed back and forth. He mouthed something and Gil frowned, “Go!”

She immediately moved to the left, pressing the button on her boots and beating the giant metallic wings once to send her out of the huge crash that would’ve hit her directly. In the precise spot where she’d once been standing, a huge crater with Dieter standing in the middle had formed. From the impact of his attack, Dieter’s entire arm had mangled into a disfigured broken mass of flesh, but it immediately whipped about to become a regular arm again. He laughed, and Gil furrowed her brow. Creating a burst of wionus at her feet, she hurtled down towards Dieter, putting her hand right through his abdomen. The skill kept laughing, spitting out a mouthful of blood. He reached around and grabbed Gil’s head, wrenching her aside with the vice-like grip of his hand and throwing her head first against the ground.

“THAT’S IT!?” Dieter cackled, before taking a deep breath, his maniacal smile turning into a calm smile when his personality sudden took another swerve, “Ahh,” He complained, “This isn’t fun at all. Knowing that this is just some stupid training thing makes it boring.” He sighed, scratching the side of his head and dodging a kick that would’ve scraped what was left of his face off, thanks to Gil’s wings. He licked his blood that was dripping down his cheek before wiping the saliva off with the sleeve of his shirt. Dieter spat another mouthful of blood from his mouth as the punctured flesh and stomach quickly turned whole again, bending his back at a 90 degree angle to dodge a kick that would’ve scraped his face off. That was one useful thing about her wings being on her feet instead of her back, he realized.

“No good.” Dieter shrugged, bending his spine back into a normal angle and pointing his finger at Gil’s forehead, “I don’t really want to take another shower, so I’m going to make you move away before I kil- keep attacking you.” He swiftly moved his fingers back and forth, making a pentagram before flicking it with his middle finger- all in the span of a second. Gil was thrown back with merely the force that was created by Dieter’s finger, crashing into a wall and falling limply to the ground. The second she hit the cobblestone, she burst into flames that spread from her forehead. Neither Levi nor Gil had ever felt the sensation of being burnt to death. Neither Levi nor Gil had ever felt the sensation of having all four limbs punctured by someone’s fingers. Dieter took a swig of his grape soda while his free hand continued to put holes through Gil’s body, his elongated fingers snaking around like spider legs. Gil shrieked, the first sound she’d made since she’d started this death-like sparring session.

Levi opened his eyes, feeling the cool sensation of being locked up inside his mind again. He always felt this way when Jazrelli was romping about in his body, though lately it had been Gil, instead of Jazrelli. He wondered where Jazrelli had gone. It was a little lonely, without his crude remarks, and it wasn’t like Devitell ever said anything.

A little girl stood in front of him, about his height due to the fact that he sat on an empty bench inside his prison. She wore a torn green sundress, her blonde hair clipped away from sad blue eyes that watched Levi very carefully.

“Yo.” Levi managed to say before she contorted her face. She burst into tears. He blinked in surprise, but made no move to comfort her- a stranger. Who the heck was she? He racked his brain, trying to think of having ever met any girls about her age other than his own little sister, whom this girl most certainly wasn’t. She wasn’t nearly as elegant, as perfect, and she was dressed like a commoner. He recognized the face, but he didn’t know her name. Disregarding the fact, he continued to speak to her as normally as he could, “What’s up?”

She buried her face in her hands, sobbing uncontrollably. It was obvious by the way her mouth was moving that she was making sound, but only silence came to Levi’s ears. After a moment of this silence, Levi sighed, moving to stand up and find some crude way to comfort her or something, but he was surprised to find himself rooted to the spot. “What the-!?” Levi pulled at the bony hands holding him to the bench, and he let out a startled cry at the rotting flesh and face of an old man who stared up at the thief with black empty sockets. He recognized the old man by the ‘LIVE’ etched across his forehead in blood. The old geezer? He turned to look at the girl, finally remembering who she was. She was still crying, but thankfully her face was still whole. He took a step back at the sight of ‘LIVE’, suddenly etching itself across her forehead too, and he looked around. Liza. Solomon. Rosaline. Anyone.

Anyone to get him out of here. Anyone to get him away from these people that were supposed to be dead. Gone.

“G-Get your hands off of me!” Levi stammered, not realizing that he was suddenly speaking like the gentleman he’d been trained to be for nearly 15 years. Trying to wrench his ankles out of the old man’s grasp, he paused in his struggle when the half-skeleton wheezed, as though it was trying to speak. Levi double his efforts to free himself. He didn’t want to hear it. He didn’t want to hear the words of someone who was supposed to be dead. He couldn’t attack the man’s hands, he couldn’t use wionus at all and chains made from gold coins pinned his wrists to the wall.He had to get out. Away from these people whom he never wanted to see again, whom he was never supposed to see again.

Suddenly they were gone. He stood in a rich and lavish building, and was dressed in dark red suit. The open ceiling showed a light purple sky with birds calmly floating across it. It was peaceful, and Levi relaxed. No more dead people. He stiffened at the sound of a familiar voice though. He would’ve preferred the dead people over that voice.

“This is my daughter, Liza.” The dark figures across the room said, their voices dripping with affection.

“And the boy over there?” The strangers pointed at Levi who tried to pull his hands up to cover his ears. He didn’t want to hear it. He didn’t want to hear the words he knew were coming. But gold coins chained his hands to the ground and his hands couldn’t reach his ears. The couple who had been asked the question didn’t even look at him, answering with a wave of the hand as though it were completely irrelevant.

“Oh, a servant’s child.”

“That’s a lie!” Levi shouted on cue, shrinking away at the same time, embarrassed by the fact that he was even there. He was supposed to be up in his bedroom, where nobody could even see him. Not a single person seemed to hear his outburst, the black shapes laughing at a joke his father had just cracked about his wings on his ankles. His head felt like it was splitting in half, spinning with all the worst memories. The shortest figure looked towards him, the only constant thing in his memories that were playing in fast forward, her black silhouette watching him for a moment before turning to walk away with her mother and father, more slowly than every other person that spiraled around him. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block out unwanted recollections to no avail.

“Go back to the Underneath, wingless wretch, cursed by Tylonstus!” Mr. Pace snapped, shaking off Levi’s hand.

“He’s probably the God’s punishment for the Jaquez Family. After being in the human trade business for so long.” A couple whispered to each other during a ball, glancing at Levi.

“What a disappointment.” Mr. Jaquez snapped, looking over Levi’s calculations, “They’re all wrong.”

“Hey kid, move outta the way ‘less y’wanna get stabbed.” Kiljaro roughly shoved Levi aside, “Yew rich bastards ain’t got no business down in these parts.”

“That girl is such an angel compared to her brother.” A woman praised her, and Liza smiled at Levi, self-satisfied.

“You want to leave? You want to leave after I’ve given you a place in the world, a home, food, and everything that keeps you alive right now?” The Boss inquired, amused by Levi’s worthless desire, “Don’t make me laugh.”

“Pay with your life kid, that’s the way y’get outta a gang in these parts! SPOILED BRAT!” Bruner stabbed a needle through Levi’s eye, “I KNEW YOU’D BACK OUT ON US! I KNEW YOU WERE SPINELESS, USELESS, WORTHLESS!!”

I can hear you. Levi gripped his hair in his hands, pulling down and trying to hide his face. I can hear you.

“A parfait?” Levi looked up in surprise, revealing the tears of agony streaming down his face, his face breaking into a shaky smile at the voice he’d been sorely waiting for, the face that looked utterly confused as it scrutinized a glass of yogurt, granola, and fruit, “What’s that?”

“It’s what’s in your hand…” Levi replied in relief, realizing that the tears that had wet his cheeks were gone, speaking more confidently and grinning, “Doofus.”

“Can you hear me?” A voice interrupted.

Levi didn’t take his eyes off of the 13 year old Solomon sitting across from himself, 12 years old. If he did, then he’d hear them talk about how worthless he was. They would compare him to Liza again, pity him for not being able to exceed the standards set by someone five years younger than him. By a girl, in a world dominated by men. If he looked away from the timid and shy Solomon from five years ago that was having his first taste of what would become his favorite food, then he would go back to those horrible memories.

“I see. The hatred you feel causes you to be unable to see me, or the Garden of Eden.”

Levi opened his mouth to speak, but he couldn’t make a sound, because the hand of a skeleton had tightened its grip around his neck, cutting off all sound and air.

”You killed people? You told me you don’t do that kind of stuff! That’s why I came with you in the first place! You’re screwed man! Why the heck did you do that, Ivel?!”

Levi hung his head, looking down at his own feet and the metal floor of his prison. He remembered what he’d said in response to the last memory that had hurtled itself into his aching head that had been on the brink of recovery, “That’s not my name anymore Sol. Stop calling me that already.”

The steady sobbing of a little girl reached his ears, and he brought up his eyes, a tired and defeated look on his face as he managed a smile for her. He was such a loser. He wasn’t any different from all those rich people who played their stupid games day and night, who had only spoken to him because of his last name. Liza would’ve rushed to comfort this girl. That’s why Liza was perfect. Sol would tried to think of a way to make her laugh. That’s why Sol was so well known in Carn. Reaching over, Levi patted her on the head, the gold coins shattering into sparkling dust. “Hey. I’m sorry, for everything.”

She looked up, blood sliding down her forehead, the word ‘LIVE’ becoming so disfigured that it was almost impossible to read it.

“And, I’m sorry for your old man.” He pulled his hand away and laced his fingers together. “I’ll make it up to you. What’s your name? I gotta know the name of the person I owe five hundred, right?”

She smiled too, and the bony hands around Levi’s feet turned into clouds, the iron bars of his prison fading away, “Hanna. Hanna Everard. Me and Grandpa are in the Cemetary of Tealia.”

Levi nodded, and didn’t take his eyes off her until she’d disappeared into clouds as well. He looked down when she was gone. What the heck? He was definitely standing in the sky. Or at least, some kind of sky. It was blue, which was all wrong. He looked up and saw another girl. He definitely didn’t recognize her.

The sky Levi was floating in ended abruptly behind him, leaving an endless black pit. One step backwards, and he’d fall forever.

“You still insist on condemning your family?” The girl asked, with a soft smile.

Levi looked up with a frown and stubborn look, “They’re the worst kinds of human beings.”

“And yourself?”

Levi paused for a moment before he took a step back in late surprise, when he registered her implications of his past deeds. His foot definitely slipped off the edge, but he found himself standing upright at a safe distance from the edge in a second. Old bony hands disappeared into clouds again, having pulled Levi to safety. The girl’s smile grew as she laughed lightly, “You seem to regret and hate everything, Ivel.” She stood up, brushing herself off before saying kindly, “You can see me because you have come to accept what you did to the remaining members of the Everard Family, but you fail to see the rest of the garden. Do you know why?”

“I’m holding onto those memories, to remind myself that the world hates me and I hate it back.” Levi said, clenching his fists, “I don’t need you to call me Ivel to remind me. So don’t.”

“So the people you care about, your sister and your other friends… they aren’t apart of the world?”

Levi blinked, and a chunk of black disappeared, revealing my blue sky and white clouds.

“They’re different.”

“And the phoenix and wyvern people. They don’t deserve your sympathy because they’re valued less than everyone else, even though that’s just like you?”

Another area of black disappeared, “My father never locked me up like he locked them up.”

“Do you want to see Liza?”

Levi’s expression registered shock, “Y-….” He stuttered, trying to gather his bearings, “Yes.”

He looked around for Liza, but saw no one. He saw the great expanse of sky, and was suddenly hit with a realization. He looked down.

“Isn’t this the sky you ran away for?” The girl smiled, “Though it’s a different color, don’t you think it’s just as beautiful?”

The corner of Levi’s lips twitched upwards. It was true enough “Whatever you say, lady.”

“My name is Ophelia.” She replied calmly, and Levi’s eyes widened in surprise. He opened his mouth to speak but suddenly he was alone again, in his prison. The only other person was Devitell, who stood on the other side of the iron bars, smiling at her reila. Levi was still for a moment before taking a breath to speak. Instead of words however, he scoffed and sat back down on the bench, crossing his arms. Shaking his head, almost in disbelief, he wasn’t surprised when he felt a strange tingle all over the left side of his body. Forgive his parents? No way. They were the ones who brought him into the world. That was bad enough, but they were the ones who made his life suck even more after they figured out that there was no point in keeping him around. Forgive? He smiled to himself as he shook, the sheer difference in the normal conditions of his right compared to the sharp sting on his left causing him to be able to feel the very line that was being drawn down his body, the spiteful side of him and the forgiven side. He closed his eyes again, and Gil took a sharp breath.

“MAN YOU’RE LIKE A COCKROACH!” Dieter shrieked with laughter, having discarded his bottle of soda to concentrate on Gil’s body, which had suddenly become whole again. “Thought only skill’s could do that! Y’hiding something from us?! Wait don’t tell me, I’ll shoot you through your heart and then we’ll know! Just gotta move your heart if you’re a skill!!”

He ripped his hand off, excitement gleaming in his eyes screen by red lenses, the limb turning into a mahstion gun as soon as he had a good grip on it. But he paused in surprise when he found a bomb floating down into his line of vision. Alarm crossed his face as he quickly slid back to avoid having his head blown clean off, the explosion merely making fireworks in the end and sending black gunpowder onto Dieter’s T-shirt. He curled his lip in annoyance, straightening while he reattached his hand. Gil’s unconscious figure lay sprawled across the burnt ground underneath her, and Dieter suddenly appeared beside her, sticking his foot under her and kicking the limp human into the air, “If you’re unconscious, then just admit you lost already. I’m not gonna fight someone who’s freakin’ sleeping.” He caught her by the back of her shirt, her feet barely scraping the ground. Dieter took one good look at Gil, preparing to give a finishing blow even though he wasn’t supposed to. He immediately dropped her upon getting a clear glance, “Oh, yuck!”

Violette stood up in alarm. Anything that made that terrible, terrible skill say ‘yuck’ was not good.

“The whole freaking left side of your body- Uuughhh!!” Dieter slapped a hand to his mouth. From the neck down, a very defined line was drawn down Gil’s body, the left side’s skin burnt and raw, while the far left side of her face looked as though someone had held a torch to it. Honestly, Violette didn’t think this was as bad as what it could’ve been. She was breathing, anyone could see, and Violette was glad of that. Even if it was Gil. She looked over her shoulder with a curious look at Rita as Dieter gagged, trying to keep his breakfast down. He stumbled back and shook his head, his hand still clamped firmly over his mouth when he ran back into the house, away from Gil.

Rasch looked up from his book and was surprised when Dieter didn’t even start blabbing about how it went; merely ran right past him and up the stairs. A moment later, Rasch flinched ever so slightly at the sound of a door slamming. He was utterly confused at Dieter’s peculiar behavior and began to worry for himself. Hmm… He closed his book and ran a hand through his hair, even the few strands of white disappearing as he grew even younger, to about his mid 20’s.

“It’s probably my turn.” He said, in a casual voice very different from the usual stiff and proper way the old man version of himself spoke, “Better not take any chances.” He peeled his blazer off and tossed it lazily over his book, pocketing his hands and waiting for Gil to come back inside for the final signal that he could go outside.

----------------------------------

Armon’s hands were sheet white from gripping the bench he’d been sitting on so tightly. He hated this. He was right there, and he wasn’t even allowed to do anything. He bit his tongue sharply, tasting blood when Sanako’s arm was severed. The kick had almost made him as dizzy as she probably had been, and he practically shrunk away when Stahn announced the five minutes were up. He stood up, halfway through reaching for his mahstion gun to shoot Stahn until his was just a pile of flesh, but Violette grabbed his wrist to stop him. She said something, but Armon couldn’t hear it. He wrenched his hand out of her grasp, not wanting to ever see another girl in the entire period of time that he was himself. She said something again, but before Armon could reach his gun, Sanako fell into his arms. The tortured look on his face faded ever so slightly, as he felt himself smile ever so slightly in shaky relief.

“S-Sanako…” His legs shook a little. He didn’t notice her wings. Who cared? All that mattered was that she was alive. He barely noticed when someone ushered him into the house to make room for Gil and Dieter. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Armon held Sanako with shaking arms. He didn’t want to crush her with his desire to hold her tightly enough so that he could make sure that she was really alive, but he didn’t want to hold her so loosely that she might be in danger again, “That was… a real ordeal, huh?” He laughed nervously. What was wrong with him? The feeling from earlier was different from anytime before. Even if she had the plague, she was alive. Even if she was kidnapped, she was alive. Even if she left without a word, she was alive. Even if she loved someone else, she was alive. Armon swallowed a mouthful of his own blood, making a face and looking up at Rasch, who was sitting calmly on one of the couches near the door to the courtyard.

“Excuse me…” Armon said quietly, trying not to gag when a tendril of Lionus roughly shoved itself into his mouth.

“I can smell it.” Rasch explained without looking up from his literature when Armon looked at him quizzically, “It’s on your hands too.”

Armon looked down at his palms, but it was already healed. “Th-Thanks…” Armon stuttered before looking back at Sanako, “I don’t mind if you want to change but… be a little more careful… nex-next t-time.” He had trouble getting ‘next time’ out. There shouldn’t be a next time. But there had to be a next time, if anything was going to change. He couldn’t manage a smile for her anymore, it just wasn’t possible. Armon gave an apologetic look, looking down. Whatever hell he’d get from Christian if that guy ever found out would be well deserved.

“I really… hate this training sometimes.”

parallelzero
April 21st, 2008, 04:45 PM
Sanako stared up at Armon, feeling guilty for worrying him AGAIN. She could tell just by the way he looked at her, and the words he was speaking, that this event had left him a little more than shaken up. The look in his eyes was familiar. Sanako - Reid - had seen it in the mirror once, when his mother died. Even though she was alive, she had given him enough of a scare to look like that? She leaned in and kissed him upon the lips for a time that exceeded their normal elapsed time for such a gesture, and she spoke once their lips parted. "Don't worry, I won't leave you again. Not like I just did, and not like what happened five years ago, that's a promise from Sanako AND Reid AND Mistral, Xaviae." She was trying her best to ignore the convulsions her wings were experiencing, sending waves of pain through her body. It was to be expected though. You just don't throw a pair of wings on someone's back and expect their body to instantly adjust. Even though she was ignoring it, her eyes previewed the pain for most people who looked unto them. "But... I realized I can't just accept dying anymore. Because there's you, because of all my friends, I just can't up and disappear. When everything is over, could you... help me find a cure?" Ophelia was right. Reid did have friends that cared about him. Family, too, even though Ailia was the only family he had. That was why he had to live on.

"Aww, they're so cute together, I wish you would do more romantic things like that~" Auricia chimed to Rita, who was on her shoulders once more. Auricia's face was marked where tears had fallen. She had most likely been sobbing about having nearly killed Sanako. The skill looked over her shoulder at the little girl on her back, who blinked with unamused eyes.

"Pedophilic lesbian." The little girl barked bluntly.

"That's not what I meant..." Auricia sweatdropped.

"Gil!" The little girl barked again, although this time it sounded more like an order. Did she want Auricia to take her over? The skill let out a sigh as she did as she was told. But when they found Gil, Rita just looked the girl over, before staring intently. Did she not want to initiate conversation? Rita was pretty quiet for no real reason...

All in the meantime, Christian had chosen the darkest corner of the large living room to sulk. He was being immature, he knew, but the fact that he was losing to some guy Sanako had ditched for five years... And then there was Violette. What he felt as Christian for Violette was barely present with Ellianne in regards to Lazarus. Did she need to break away from Reid somehow? Was that the best solution.

Loki
April 21st, 2008, 07:19 PM
Rasch tapped his foot impatiently. What was taking so long? He loosened the tie around his neck. What was wrong with his older self? This stupid red tie was practically suffocating him. And ugh, his shirt was tucked in. Disgusting! Rasch looked considerably less professional by the time he was finished altering his outfit for his younger self’s preferences, messing up his long black hair. He was the spitting image of the man Auricia had met in Beta, as he paced back and forth. He didn’t want to read about some boring thesis. He wanted to go take a nap, or take a nap, or maybe even take a nap. Yawning, he sat back down on the couch, folding his arms in annoyance. He’d noticed Gil’s burnt body, but his new personality told him that he didn’t have to do anything unless they asked. Besides, it was a disfiguration thanks to her own issues; why should he have to heal it for her? Rasch sighed again, his younger self obviously considerably more impatient than usual, barking in an aggravated voice, “Forget it!”

He stretched out on the couch, putting his blazer and book at the end and folding his arms under his head, “I’m going to sleep, wake me up when it’s my turn.” He yawned again, turning around to face the back cushions.


----------------------


Armon smiled, a very little smile.

“A cure?” He seemed highly amused by a memory in his mind. He kissed Sanako’s forehead, “The letter I sent to the Commander already requested for the efforts to find a cure to be doubled in the research labs under my jurisdiction. Of course, Adela probably doesn’t want me to tell you this.” Armon took a deep breath, trying to calm down. She’d said all the right things. “But of course, we should look for one ourselves… we’re probably more useful than those lazy bastards down at the lab anyway.”

Armon suddenly frowned again though.

“I’ll tell Xaviae, but…” He sighed, “I don’t know where he’s up and gone off to. Jeckt won’t tell me either, all he’s been doing since meeting Maelstrom is sulking in the tree and he only answers ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions. If even. See look. Jeckt, will you help me out when I spar with Christian later on?”

’No.’ Jeckt’s voice was muffled through thick layers of wood, but obviously hoarse, his response filled with irritation as though daring Armon to keep trying to provoke him to say more.

Armon shrugged at Sanako, shaking his head at the hopeless case.

----------------------

Gil chewed on her words, her left arm flinching involuntarily every now and then. Between her half closed eyes, she could see Rita and Auricia. She’d woken up the second she’d smelt that putrid scent coming from the flytrap that Violette had accidentally mixed up with a healing flower, much to her annoyance. Rita was about Hanna’s age, Gil thought to herself. Hanna was about Liza’s age. Just a little younger, maybe.

“Yo... What’s up?” She formed the words with considerably difficulty, sleep trying to pull her eyelids shut again. Damn it all if Rita started crying like Hanna had. It’d be like another bad nightmare all over again. Gil mentally slapped herself for automatically starting the conversation the same as she had with Hanna. Way to be.

----------------------

Blood drained down the sink, diluted by the water that was steadily running. His head bent over the ceramic bowl, Dieter blinked, his good eye watching the swirling red tendrils with light interest. His left eye blinked too. But it’s eyelids were turned 90 degree’s from normal, so that his eyelids formed a vertical line between each other when it closed. Though it was really only bleeding, it looked as though Dieter was crying blood. He sighed, swirling his finger in the icy water. His stomach felt like crap. It was good that he’d reached the bathroom before his stomach had done a complete backflip. It wasn’t a problem if he could see his own mangled face, but seeing it on someone else was just gross. He’d already memorized every last groove and flaking flesh on his face, but cutting someone and peeling their skin away was a completely different story.

There was a reason why Dieter did not accept skinning people as a method of torture before killing them.

He turned off the sink and blinked his eyes as quickly as he could. The flow of blood slowed. Securing his eyepatch, Dieter glanced up at the mirror and confirmed that he had no problems with looking at his own face. He pulled the black bobby pins holding his long bangs away from his face out, discarding them on the edge of the sink and wiping his mouth. Bleck. He sifted through the empty soda bottles in his room and downed two sodas in five minutes, before lighting a cigarette.

“Bored.” Dieter announced to no one, second-hand smoke blowing out of his mouth at the same time.

parallelzero
April 24th, 2008, 06:57 PM
OOC: This post is done by both Loki and I. XD

Stahn yawned with discontent as Laeina finally took the stage with Rasch. She looked slightly disturbed at the idea of engaging in combat with someone inhuman. It was a feeling she had expressed to Stahn prior to the day, but he had told her it was necessary. She was aware that she possessed some kind of weird power she couldn't control. Nobody had ever told her, but she knew. She killed her own parents. All of her memories from before that moment were gone, but that much she remembered. Just what exactly was it that gave her this strange power? She was intent on finding out, and because of that she would fight this man.

She bowed politely. "I'm... sorry if I hurt you. I don't have a choice, Mr. Rasch." Stahn eventually signalled for the training to commence, and Laeina made quick work of levitating a nearby tree from outside of the coutyard, and throwing it towards Rasch like a dart. Stahn watched on with curiosity. Whatever it was that had her, if it was a fael or not, under it's control, he needed to draw it out. He was hoping against it, but if all else failed he would have to kill her.

“No problem at all.” Rasch replied, expressionless as he rolled up his sleeves calmly, “I’m hard to kill, that’s the precise reason I’m here, and injuries are no problem to me.”

Rasch’s canine’s grew and he ripped a cut down his right arm, sharpening the dripping blood into a whip-like knife that seared through the tree. The trunk and leaves sped past him, a breeze whipping his black hair into his eyes. He leaned to his right, as though falling. Rasch lifted his finger and pointed at Laeina, right between her eyes. The whip of blood split into five different rays, each one tearing through the air at Laeina. Rasch's eyes blinked very slowly as he watched the whips pierce her heart, lungs, stomach, and windpipe. Stahn's idea that these people had any sort of chance against the monsters that they were was absurb.

Laeina fell to her knees slowly after the whips pierced her organs. She gasped for breath, but received no air. Just as she thought she was dead, something suddenly healed her wounds. Her heart beated extremely quickly, unnaturally so, as she suddenly lost control of her body. Laeina's body growled at Rash as an unfamiliar energy radiated from her body. The air was thick with her killing intent as pupiless eyes stared Rasch down. In a flash, the earth around her began to erupt, hot magma flowing up from the surface. Stahn stood on the tree, taken aback as he glared at Violette to get a safe distance away from the battlefield. She had enough power to pull magma up from Alta's earth? What the hell was this? He had no choice, he had to do something.

The girl growled again as she leapt at Rash, only to be met with a flying kick from a small, green haired girl with horns and a whip-like tail. Laeina's body flew and met the tree Stahn had previously been standing on, before the tree collapsed onto herm knocking the body unconscious. "...Well, I didn't want to kill her, and I guess I succeeded." Melody murmured as she restrained her inhuman features, before looking over at Violette. "You can repair the holes and damage, right? With your eation?"

---

"We're up next." Christian said coldly as he approached Armon, who was still with Sanako. He eyed her wings with worry, but said nothing, sensing her despair. "I don't intend on going easy on you, especially since you're a mahstion gun wielder as well. This'll settle things." He was intent on settling the matter that had begun just before this gruesome event. Sanako eyed the two boys with worried eyes. She had her suspicions earlier, but this was reinforcing them. Were they fighting over her..? Did Christian - Ellianne - have feelings for her?

"Christian..." She began, deciding it would be best to end it before someone got severely injured as a result of her. "I... don't love you. Not like that. You're like a brother to me, so just... back off! I chose Armon! Besides, you have Violette, don't you? You can't obsess over me when you have her!" Christian was shocked, so shocked that he scoffed and turned his back uncharacteristically. It was true, he did like Violette, but Sanako had been his number one.

"Now it seems I really have something to settle with you, Armon."

"N-no! Please don't! Guys! Nobody needs to get hurt! Don't make me cry again!" It was almost like a threat, but she was serious. She didn't want to cry again.

...Exactly the situation Sanako had wanted to avoid.

Loki
April 25th, 2008, 07:16 PM
“Y-Yes…” Violette stammered, watching as Rasch walked past her, running a hand through his hair as he sighed.

“Definitely not worth being in this form.” He shook his head, his hair growing pure white and wrinkles appearing on his young face that had once bore handsome features. Just before the last of his black hair disappeared, he commented on himself with his signature expressionless face, “I’m covered in this stuff…” He held his arm away from himself, the gash having healed up long ago. His normally spotless white hair had fallen out of it’s neatly combed look, making him look tired and weary. Covering his mouth and nose with his hand to avoid the strong scent of his own blood splattered over the right side of his body, he wasn’t surprised to see Dieter hurtling down the hall and practically dangling over the edge of the open loft of the second floor when he walked back inside.

“Rasch!!” Dieter cried, looking much better than before, “What the heck did that ugly wench do to you?!”

Rasch shook his head silently, pointing to himself before picking up his blazer and book in his clean hand, still holding his arm away from himself.

“Why’d you do that to yourself?” Dieter asked following Rasch as the now old man scaled the stairs to go wash off the blood, “You don’t like blood, right?”

Rasch didn’t answer, merely walked past Dieter silently. He lightly knocked Dieter’s head with his book when he passed, shaking his head again before disappearing into the room he had all to himself. Dieter blinked and looked back down at Auricia, “What was that?”

Violette wobbled on her legs, sitting down on the bench again after she’d set the ground and trees back in place. She caught her bearings and looked up at Melody, “Sorry, I’m just going to take a quick break. I haven’t used Eation on real earth that much in awhile.” Standing up again, she swerved into the building and looked around for Gil, and after seeing her still immobile on the couch, Violette looked for Sanako. She smiled at the girl giving her a thumbs up as though to tell her ‘good job’ on her training session before retreating up the stairs. Dieter eyed her as she passed, though she said nothing to him, only smiling silently to acknowledge his presence. He blinked in confusion but shrugged it off. Maybe it was just in her nature to be polite to anyone. Moments later the sound of a door closing was heard, and Armon let go of Sanako. Turning from her, he stalked out the door and pulled the safety catch off of his mahstion gun, discarding it on a coffee table as he walked outside. He glanced over his shoulder at Sanako, before glaring at Christian.

“Nobody’s going to get hurt Sanako, don’t worry about it. If anything happens, then we can just have Violette heal us later, it’s not a big deal.” It was, actually, Armon was telling himself. They both used mahstion guns, and those did a whole lot more damage than swords or any other less advanced weapons. If either of them got hit, there’d be some serious consequences, what with this triple the pain nonsense.


“Aww,” Dieter whined, jumping off the second floor and heating the air underneath him to cushion his landing as he stepped onto the floor, “I want to watch this. This whole not-allowed-to-watch business stinks.” His eyes avoiding looking at Auricia and Rita, or more accurately, Gil, “I’m bored now, let’s play a game or something!”

parallelzero
April 26th, 2008, 12:11 PM
"Throw things at the doofus." Rita said in an emotionless tone that seemed almost like she was making fun of Dieter as she threw a vase at the skill in response to his desire to be entertained. Auricia blinked as Rita then proceeded to throw a small clock, and she became intrigued. So intrigued that she suddenly had the urge to throw something at Die-chi as well. "Waaah!" Rita exclaimed in surprise as the violet-haired skill whipped the small girl at Dieter unconsciously, sweatdropping as the girl faceplanted against the wall and fell onto her back on th eground below. "Mean... ie..." She murmured, her head spinning. She sat up, preparing herself to strike back, but wasn't given the opportunity, as she watched Stahn drag Auricia away, muttering something about using her to heal anyone who got hurt in the next match.

---

"I won't go easy on you." Christian shouted over to Armon, mahstion guns in his hands. He had no intention in losing this. Sanako wasn't at stake anymore, but now this was a battle to at least keep some pride. On the bench at the side, Sanako was shaking as she watched the two with worried eyes. This was her fault, wasn't it? If she had noticed Christian's feelings earlier, this probably wouldn't have happened. Her attention was redirected as an arm wrapped around her shoulder and brought her in close to Auricia's body. She looked up at Auricia, and the girl smiled.

"Friends fight sometimes, right?"

Stahn eventually signalled the beginning of the battle, but his eyes kept wandering to the base of a tree where he had tied Laeina for now. She wasn't visible, but if something were to happen... His train of thought was snapped back to the battle as Christian's guns fired at Armon, shooting frosty bullets that would hurt and freeze on contact.

Armon pulled up a sheet of Dation from the ground, engulfing the bullets. He didn't need to dodge projectiles. As soon as the sheet had swallowed all the bullets a hole opened up in the middle for a few seconds. Armon pulled the trigger to his gun four times, while a semi circle of dation spun around to settle behind Christian, releasing the icy bullets they'd just eaten up towards him while the dation bullets hurtled at him from the front. Black goo puddled around Armon's feet, slowly evaporating into thick black clouds that circled around him. Armon pulled the trigger again.

Wation flew up from the ground and froze instantly, creating a shield that absorbed the bullets from both sides before shattering from the impact. When this had been occuring, wation had also froze around Armon's feet in an attempt to hold him in place as Christian run up closer and rapidly fired ten bullets, five from each gun. He was aware that this was bad. Armon could teleport, he couldn't. There had to be a way to secure his movements. Sanako watched on, even though she didn't want to, wincing at every bullet fired, as Auricia held her head. The skill couldn't think that this was incredibly sad for a friend to watch such a thing.

Ouch was an understatement. Looking at the smallest cut that he'd gotten on his cheek from one bullet that had scraped past his fog of dation, Armon pressed the heel of his palm against it, gritting his teeth as ice spread from the cut. It stung. He wrenched at his feet, a futile effort. He was getting irritated now. If he forcibly broke the ice on his feet, it would hurt enough that he wouldn't able to walk. That would be a problem.

"Tch." Armon snapped, putting his mahstion gun back in the holster. He held out one arm, tightening his fist as the clouds around him seeped into his grip. As soon as he opened his hand, the Dation formed a pure black bow. Pulling back on the string, Armon fired five dation arrows. He could control the paths of these arrows like heat seeking projectiles, it was easier to change their trajectory than it was with Mahstion bullets. Armon pulled out his gun again, looking down at his feet. He pointed the gun down, pulling the trigger on each foot. The ice shattered, enough for his feet to be free from the ground. The force of the blast sent Armon to his knees though.

Whatever. He didn't need his feet. He disappeared into a Dation warp, and the left over puddle shot across the ground, sending tendrils up around Christian's legs while the thickest vine of dation wrapped itself tightly around his neck. Bullets showered from above, and Armon had taken the battle into the air. He was sitting on a black disk because his wings were hardly used frequently enough to support his weight. Adela's weight maybe, but not his.

Christian had a short lived taste of victory after the bullet hit Armon's face. It all happened so fast that he wasn't prepared. First came the arrows, that Christian narrowly dodged as Armon freed himself and disappeared. There was a sharp moment of silence, before something pierced his shoulder with excrutiating pain, and numerous more hit his head and upper body, sending Christian'd bloodied and either unconscious or dead body to the ground. Sanako left. Auricia ran over to Christian's body, casting lionus over the unconscious form as Stahn spoke.

"All of the training is done for today. You should get cleaned up."

Sanako crashed face first on her bed, hiding her face. Why could nothing go right? But she promised she'd press on, and she would. She wasn't going to cry anymore, but she could still be upset.

Loki
April 26th, 2008, 07:41 PM
While Dieter had gracefully leaned back to dodge the flying Rita, he fell back onto the floor after she faceplanted, laughing his head off. That was entertaining! Dieter sat up moments after Auricia had left, catching his breath as he stood up, almost like he was in a drunken stupor. The Lieutenant had just smacked right into the wall, and Dieter wouldn't miss a chance to laugh at him. Or, in this case, her.

"Aww," Dieter sighed, still smiling while he laced his fingers and put them behind his head. Leaning back on the balls of his feet, he paused for a second before shrugging, "That was starting to get fun, too. Come on, let's wait for Auri-chi to get back." He plopped down on a couch, crossing his legs and resting them on a coffeetable, "Maybe we shouldn't throw Stahn's stuff though...?"

It looked like Armon was walking, even though his feet felt as though they'd been shattered. He swallowed the lump that was blocking the air from getting into his lungs, saying nothing to anyone while he slowly made his way inside. Clouds of Dation supported him, and he immediately threw himself beside Dieter on the couch, the clouds evaporating, "Can you melt this ice?" Armon asked, "You use Fionus, don't you?"

Dieter blinked slowly having stood up immediately when he realized that Armon intended to sit down on the couch. Like he was going to sit on the same piece of furniture as a human. A sappy one at that. Dieter folded his arms.

"Just because I have red hair doesn't mean I use Fionus." Dieter said, the ice on Armon's feet bursting into flames, "And really," Armon gripped the edge of the couch as he felt the searing heat on his legs. He flinched but waited patiently for the ice to disappear, surprised that the flames didn’t disappear even after the ice was reduced to a puddle of water on the floor, "Don't you think a burn is gonna hurt as much as frostbite?"

Dation engulfed the flames on Armon's feet as he snapped, "I was expecting you to melt it from an outside source, not set me on fire."

Dieter laughed, genuinely amused at Armon. The skill managed to speak through his bouts of laughter, "Man, did that guy whack you across the head or something? Hahahaha! Who are you talking to? Because I don't think it's me, if you expected me to do you a favor and not get a show out of it. And you still owe me, because it’s not like you can melt mahstion ice with a blow-dryer or anythin’. Keh, unless you want to sit there for a day or two." Dieter smirked, pocketing his hands when he looked over his shoulder at the door, "What's takin' Auri-chi so long? Just make sure the dude’s alive and get outta there! Honestly!”

Armon tuned out, looking down at the blackened ends of his pants. They were charred but still in one piece, thank goodness. He wasn’t really sure if he was welcome back in the bedroom he shared with Sanako right now. Which meant… ugh. He was stuck with this stupid skill.

----------------------

Rasch sighed, clutching the shower curtains with his free hand as hot water doused his arm and shoulder. He wasn’t interested in taking a real shower, and thus had merely opted to peel off his bloody white shirt and stick his arm in the shower. That would be too much of a hassle. He blinked, remembering the last time he’d actually seen his blood go down a drain. He’d avoided looking at it for more than a decade now. The very reason why replayed in his head as he watched silently, even after the red liquid had been washed away.

”Mihael!”

Rasch looked down at the boy in the mirror, no older than 7 with wide emotionless red eyes. Actually, he wasn’t even sure if it was him. It could’ve been Erik, for all he knew.

”Wh-What are you-?! MIHAEL!!” Rasch picked up a towel, ignoring the sounds of the young boy in the mirror screaming at the top of his lungs, the sound of ripping flesh, the sound of Erik shrieking for Mihael to stop. He calmly soaked up the water droplets on his arm and shoulders, clicking his tongue in annoyance when he noticed that the white towel had turned pink. He’d missed a spot, damn it.

He dared to glance at his reflection again to see if he could discern the location of the blood, but instead of a younger self, or even his current form, he was looking at Mihael. The two stared each other down, blinking at the same time. Rasch tore his gaze away from his little brother and turned on the shower, waiting for the water to heat up again. ”You’re a monster.” Rasch was halfway through reaching his arm out to get rid of the streak of blood on his under arms, but he froze. ”I’m going to get rid of you. If one of you is gone, then the other one won’t be so scary, right?!” Mihael laughed nervously.

“Ouch.” Rasch muttered to himself as his shoulders and legs began to ache in all the places that Mihael had hacked them off with a kitchen knife. His twitching hand lowered the toilet seat cover with difficulty, and he collapsed onto it, his legs giving out underneath him. How irritating. Rasch turned the shower off, sitting to wait for the memory to pass, like it usually did.

”Mihael, stop stop!!” Erik cried, tears streaming down his face, “Don’t kill him!”

“Mihael,” Rasch’s voice cracked, tears streaming down his face, “Stop-“

“DON’T SAY THE SAME THINGS!!!” Mihael shrieked, an edge of hysteria in his high-pitched voice, raising the butcher knife again, “YOU’RE NOT TWINS!! YOU’RE NOT MY BIG BROTHERS!! YOU’RE CLONES! IF I GET RID OF ONE OF YOU, THEN YOU CAN’T BE CLONES ANYMORE!” Erik screamed in both anguish and fear, running out of the room at the sight of his most important person’s mangled, destroyed body. It looked like him, the wide red eyes and the long black hair. Was it him or was it his brother? He couldn’t even tell anymore. Was he Erik, or was he Rasch? Was he the one who was ‘dead’ or was it his beloved brother? Which one was dead, and which one was alive? Erik cried even harder.

Mihael stared down at the blood soaked body in surprise before having just enough time to look down at the knife sticking out of his heart.

“Why thank you,” Said the voice of a man, who extracted the knife from Mihael’s heart, “For providing us with our next specimen.”

parallelzero
April 26th, 2008, 09:00 PM
Nagging. What was nagging at her? Sanako couldn't figure out what was wrong. One minute, she was completely worried and distracted about Armon nearly killing Christian, and the next she couldn't help but think something was missing. Something wasn't in her line of sight that needed to be. Something that would probably get into trouble if she wasn't there to supervise. Her daughter? No, she was only fifteen, wasn't she? Why would she have a daughter? But... wasn't she twenty five? Confusion overtook Sanako, and she finally looked up, removing her face from the pillow for the first time in at least ten minutes. She stood up, and came to the conclusion that something felt wrong. She was taller, notably so, and she probably wasn't much shorter than Armon now. And, her chest, it actually bulged from her shirt! Her clothing had changed as well, into a short, sleeveless, light pink dress with a v-shaped neck that showed not skin, but a white shirt underneath. A black belt rested around the waist of the dress, and a black hood, fastened to the white straps, fell down her back. The hood sat beneath her hair, which was now down and just slightly past her shoulders. On her left wrist, she had three wristbands. one white, one blue, and one black, and on her right ring finger a wedding ring sat. A wedding ring? Oh, that was right, her name was proudly Sanako Ciaccio now. On her feet rested a pair of bubblegun pink running shoes, with a black band wrapped around each ankle.

Sanako Ciaccio pondered for a moment. Something didn't fit. Rita was her daughter, right? But for that to be true, she would have had to have been pregnant at age fifteen. Oh good lord. Was that the truth? It was one of the things she couldn't recall. She certainly didn't look like she had ever given birth, in fact she was quite attractive now, having lost her childish figure and taken on a more womanly one. So maybe it was an adoption? Deep down she knew this was all a farce though. Melody was screwing with them. Oh well, she'd better find her good for nothing husband!

---

Melody giggled wildly. Surely everyone needed to lighten up after such a hard training day, and this would be the perfect way to accomplish it. She couldn't wait to see every wide-eyed at the bizarre Ciaccio family!

---

Rita had felt dazed for a little while now. Something wasn't right. Where was her mommy? Her daddy? Was she lost? She was kind of afraid. She'd never been separated from them before... "Mommy!" She exclaimed as Sanako came down the stairs, running into her mother's embrace. "Where were you mommy? I was scared and I couldn't find you or daddy and there's all these scary people!"

Sanako kissed her redheaded daughter on the forehead gently. "It's okay, sweetie, Mommy is here. We'll never go away again." She meant it too. Part of her was sick with herself.

"Really?" The little girl asked innocently.

"Really. Now go help me find your Daddy, okay?" She very much loved her husband. It hurt her to be parted from him as well. Though it was hard, she relied on him so much for money, since she had to spend of time looking after Rita. Not to mention cooking and such.

Loki
April 26th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Dieter laughed. He laughed and laughed, and he'd never laughed so much, so genuinely. Armon sat patiently, leaning his cheek into the heel of his palm as he waited for Dieter to stop laughing. He fully understood why the skill found Armon's predicament so amusing- after all, if it were the other way around, Armon probably would've died of laughter now. Dieter weakly brought his fist down on the ground once or twice, still breaking out in uncontrollable laughter. He looked up at the new Armon and the cycle started all over again.

"AHAHAHAHAHA, HA, HAAAHAHAHAA!!" Dieter rolled around on the ground, shaking his head and trying to ignore the stitch in his side. All he needed to do right now was pay attention to laughing at the Lieutenant's predicament, which had jumped to #1 on the scale of strange happenings.

"IT'S NOT FUNNY!" Armon dug his foot in Dieter's stomach, only squeezing out more laughter as the suddenly older man turned beet red. He removed his foot and looked down at the gold ring on his finger before shaking his head, "It's not- WOULD YOU STOP LAUGHING!?!"

"Oh- My stomach!" Dieter choked out between bouts of laughter. He was laughing so hard that no sound was even coming out of his mouth anymore. Armon sighed, sitting back down and folding his arms. He looked down at his new clothes, even though they didn't feel new at all. Actually, he didn't feel as old as he was, dressed in a black shirt with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows under a white graphic T-shirt with black tribal markings going up the side and around the sleeves. The stainless steel rectangular earring in his right ear felt like it’d always been there, and so did the black Gatsby hat that flattened his burnt orange hair. Armon made a face in thought. Last he remembered, he hated hats. He turned the dogtags around his neck over in his hands. They were blank. Dieter finally recovered, gasping for breath.

“I never thought I could die from laughter.” He sighed in relief before looking up at Armon again. He snickered and Armon planted his fist in Dieter’s face.

“You’ve already laughed enough.” Armon snapped, standing up, and hooking his fingers in the back pockets of his gray pants, now almost a half head taller than Dieter. He turned to go back inside, but let out a startled cry when Dieter grabbed his arm and dragged him in like a stuffed animal.

“We gotta go show Auri-chi and Rasch!” Dieter cried in excitement, “Rasch can’t not laugh at this!”

Halfway through the door, Armon wrenched his arm out of Dieter’s grasp and snapped, “I’m not a zoo exhibi-…” He sweatdropped at the sight of Sanako and Rita, and quickly looked at Dieter, alarmed. He flinched when Dieter practically fainted with laughter. Wasn’t he friends with this guy? Or at least, he was…? No, the real question was, why was he so immature? Armon slapped a hand to his forehead before dragging it down, grabbing Dieter’s collar and trying to put the skill back on his feet, “Calm down Dieter, it’s not that funny! Seriously! And don’t make any unesseccary comments.” Armon added quickly when Dieter pointed at Sanako. Maybe Sanako might not have known what he was pointing at or opening his mouth to say, but Armon did, and it was most certainly a comment on her newfound chest.

“I think this is Stahn’s doing…” Armon reached up to scratch his head but remembered that he was wearing a hat halfway through. Sighing he dropped his hand. He wouldn’t be able to get the hat back into this position later on, he knew it. Looking over at Rita and Sanako he smiled, “Feels pretty normal though. What are you ladies up to?”

-------------------------

Rasch opened the door to his room, stepping out to get a cup of tea. He heard Dieter's wild laughter and froze for a minute, his emotionless gaze staring down the door opposite his room.

He changed his mind and closed the door. Tea would have to wait until Dieter had calmed down.

parallelzero
April 26th, 2008, 09:59 PM
"Not a lot. Rita just couldn't find us, and she was scared." Sanako said as she approached Armon, Rita trailing behind. She hadn't noticed earlier, but her voice had matured as well. It wasn't so high. So, this was the man she had married. Just as charming as he always had been. She leaned in, pressing her body against his, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately. She eventually unlocked their lips, and heard Rita go 'Eww!' which made her smile as she stared into Armon's eyes. "Would you like me to cook dinner? I'm a little bit hungry, and I think Rita probably is as well. Then tonight, we could-"

"Whoa, what the HECK?" Auricia exclaimed out of shock after finally arriving from outside, an unconscious Christian on her back. Sanako became confused again. That boy... he had feelings for her? A crush on an older woman wasn't very healthy. She laughed mentally at the thought, before being snapped back to reality after Auricia got close and examined her chest. "How'd you make them bigger so fast?" Sanako sweatdropped, and Rita looked up, confused. "I take it Stahn pulled something again? You look so much more attractive like this! You should stay this way!" Sanako sweatdropped again. This girl was really... open. Immaturaly so. "Hey, Rita! Remember when he turned you into a cat-person!?"

Rita shuffled behind Sanako, hiding behind her legs. "Who... are you? I don't know you." She tugged on the skirt of Sanako's dress in indication that she was nervous. Auricia almost passed out.

"Suddenly... this is less funny." Auricia whined.

"I don't think so." Stahn's voice suddenly rung as he walked through the front door, greeting the others. "I think this is probably good experience for both of them. Sanako, you really love him, don't you?"

"Well, yeah. We ARE married, after all."

"Then see? I didn't do anything wrong, I just made their bond stronger~"

"I guess you're right." Sanako said thoughtfully, before taking Armon's hand with her own. "So, what do you want to eat?"

Loki
April 26th, 2008, 10:39 PM
Dieter watched quietly. The exchange between Rita and Auricia had silenced him, and his face spelled out slight displeasure. He wasn’t sure if he was still entertained or not. That Lieutenant had had the nerve to forget Auricia? He grit his teeth and made a very quiet sound as he averted his gaze, “Tch.” This was why love was no good. He stormed upstairs without a word when Sanako kissed Armon- he didn’t want to see it, and it wasn’t entertaining at all. Humans and their weird ways of extracting pleasure from other humans. The only thing other people were useful for was dying and suffering. He hated anything that reminded him of the red light district.

Armon watched Stahn with a wary eye, before turning to Sanako with a smile. He ignored Dieter’s departure. During the ten year jump, Dieter had probably told him most there was to himself, so it wasn’t a surprise. However, Armon failed to remember that this Dieter wasn’t the same as the Dieter he was accustomed to. This Dieter wasn’t yet accustomed to PDA. “Hmm, anything sounds good to me.” He answered Sanako, tilting his head to the side to look at Rita, “What do you want to eat Rita?” It was obvious that he was pointedly avoided looking at Christian, or even acknowledging his existence. It was… awkward. Very much so since he knew the reason why the boy was unconscious. It seemed like that had been ages ago though.

“Oh,” Armon looked around, “Is everyone else going to eat too? You might have to make more than usual Sanako…”

---------------------------


Everything ached and stung. Even after sparring, Piper Dian had never felt this miserable before. Crumpled on the ground, Piper opened his eyes, feeling as though weights were trying to pull them back down. He struggled to sit up. He should never have sent his bodyguard away. If he hadn’t sent him away, then maybe this wouldn’t have happened… No. Piper fell back against the cold stone floor. It would’ve happened, but Evaline would be fine. His guard’s purpose wasn’t to guard Piper. It was to make sure that Evaline went unscathed if Piper couldn’t save her himself. Solomon was good at disappearing, after all. Where was he..? At such an important time, too.

“Ugh…” Piper realized that though he was more sore than before, any of his life threatening injuries had been healed. Why? He sat up this time, getting to his feet only to come crashing back down when his knees unexpectedly buckled under his weight. He looked around. Evaline, where was Evaline? He scrambled to his little sister’s side, gingerly lifting her shoulders off the ground. She was almost as bruised and battered as he was. Who the heck… would do something like this? “Evaline.” Piper said quietly, trying to summon up a disk of wation to soak the dirt and blood off of her face. He looked in shock at the mahstion bracelet around his wrist, trembling at the thought that he was officially completely useless.

“Where are we?” Piper asked no one, looking around at the room that could be labeled as nothing more than a prison.

parallelzero
April 27th, 2008, 08:56 AM
"You're in Wershtenstein, the highest security prison in Carn." A voice called from the darkness beyond the cell. Everything was dark, really, except for the dimly lit hallways. "You've been brought here under the accusation that you two are false heirs to the throne. In fact, you're the real ones." There was definately someone in the darkness. A man, and he most likely wasn't a guard by the sounds of it. "It may sound hard to believe, but you two were born after Rosaline Dian, and kept hidden away in secret in case something ever went awry with the family. The new 'Prince' is a fake set in place by someone. That's why the Carn Liberation Force has been created, we'll get you- URK!" A blinding flash of light flew from the right, beyond the view from the cell, and struck the man in the head, before his head exploded into a bloody mess, his body falling to the ground. From the direction the arrow had shot from, a violet haired girl appeared, blank eyes glowing a magnificent orange as she looked at the prisoners before throwing the black bow over her back.

"Silence."

---

"Pasta! Pasta!" Rita exclaimed, being sure to keep her distance from everyone but Sanako and Armon as she ran circles around them, arms flailing behind her. Auricia let out a depressed sigh as she left to take Christian up to his room, completely exhausted. It wasn't fair. Her Ashton was off frolicing with other people now! Hopefully it was only temporary though. She wasn't sure how long she could go without him.

"Pasta it is then!" Sanako said with a smile, before looking at the number of people in the room. "But... there are an awful lot of people to prepare food for. I'm not sure there are enough materials here to prepare such a meal..."

She looked over at Stahn, who nodded, before adding in his own two cents. "We have the supplies, but it would be much easier and faster if one of the staff here cooked it all, don't you agree? You guys should just relax. It's been a very long day after all, and even in that form, you're still feeling the effects of awakening the core, aren't you?" His concern was genuine as he eyed Sanako over. Her wings were still shaking, meaning she was still masking her pain.

"No, I'll be-"

"Armon, take your wife and sit down. She looks unwell." Was all he left them with before heading towards the kitchen.

"Really... I'm fine!" Sanako protested, a bead of sweat rolling down her forehead. Stahn was right, natural, she still wasn't feeling 100%.

---

"Violette?" Auricia called as she entered the room of Christian and Violette, before laying Christian down on the bed beside the girl. "You should come downstairs and eat something! Armon and Sanako are adults now, and Rita is their child, and- Well, Stahn is just being mean."

Loki
April 27th, 2008, 03:43 PM
Hearing Sanako referred to as his wife seemed to be out of the ordinary. Maybe he was still adjusting to the sudden jump between time frames. Armon shook the thought out of his head though, sweeping Sanako off the ground and looking down at Rita, "Come on, let's go back upstairs and let mommy rest." He scaled the steps, walking slower than he usually did so Rita could keep up with his long strides. Once out of sight of everyone else, Armon narrowed an eye at Sanako, silently berating her for walking around even when she was in pain. He'd been so caught up in everything else, he felt bad for not noticing first. Armon didn't really even know what it felt like, and that bothered him. It bothered him that he seemed to have a habit of skimming over the finer details, ten years later.

He didn't say anything in regards to her wings though. If she didn't want them to know that she was in pain, then there was a reason- even if it was a stupid reason, which he was pretty sure it was. Something like not wanting to make people worry, probably. Armon gingerly laid Sanako on the bed they shared before folding his arms, "Sleep." He commanded before walking into the bathroom, picking up an empty glass and filling it with water. “I’ll stay here,” He spoke, putting the glass of water on the nightstand and kissing her on the cheek, “and wake you up when its dinner time, okay? I really think Stahn should’ve waited a little longer before putting this into effect.” Armon sat down on the edge of the bed and smiled at Sanako while hoisting Rita up to sit on his knee for a better view, “Are you okay? It’s not too stressful or anything?”

------------------

Violette sat up, running a hand through her hair to flatten it, even though it looked just as neat as it always did. She was a still sleeper. “I think I’ll just get something to drink. Thank you though.” Violette said, smoothing her skirt before standing up. She’d hardly even thought about changing into pajama’s or anything, having been overcome by a headache. How she loathed using Eation on dirt. It was so heavy to move around. She blinked halfway through standing up, “Wait.” Violette stared at Auricia, as though suddenly registering what she’d said, “What was that about Sanako and Armon? Their daughter is Rita? But- what? That…”

Violette hooked a strand of hair behind her ear, “That doesn’t make sense.” She glanced over her shoulder at Christian before walking out the door, “Well I’m going to go to the kitchen. Would you mind walking with me for awhile? I think I’ve missed quite a bit, if you’d be so kind as to fill me in.”

parallelzero
April 28th, 2008, 06:53 PM
"I'm fine, I'm just a little tired, that's all! I can go help, honest!" Sanako rebelled against being imprisoned in bed. She refused to look Armon in the eyes. He'd know something was wrong. She was obviously lying. She was older, and the plague had reacted to that. There was the possibility her health was at a much greater risk now. As she attempted to sit up, she was tackle hugged by Rita back down to her laying position, and Rita was quick to point out to Armon that her mommy felt hot. "You can just go eat, I'll be fine sleeping here!" She finally submitted before Armon could worry or question her condition. She was further saved as Rita dragged Armon downstairs to eat. With that, she fell asleep.

It must have been at least three in the morning when she stirred again. She glanced over at her side, and found Adela there, glistening in the moonlight, half- "CRAP." Reid exclaimed in a whisper as he snuck out of the bed. Why the hell wasn't she covered!? She'd kill him if she found out he saw what he saw. He hadn't noticed it before, but she was actually quite attractive, especially when she was peaceful like this. He quickly and quietly moved to her side, before draping a blanket over her and leaving the room after throwing on his usual cloak, although he had to cut slits in it in order to fit his new wings. He was feeling a lot better illness wise, but the new additions to his back were still painful to move. It had been so long since he had wings now. Even though they were completely different shapes and sizes, they were probably still good enough to fly with. Deciding it'd be best to get some fresh air, he crept his way out into the courtyard.

The moon, the sun's ghost, hovered eerily in the sky, casting a white glow across the forest before him. Maybe a walk would calm him? And so that's what he did. He wandered the forest trails for about half an hour, before overhearing the sound of a flute somewhere in the distance. It was nostalgic, and somewhat depressing to hear, but... he recognized the song. And so, he sought out the source. Eventually, he stumbled across a clearing amidst the sea of trees. The flowers he had shown Adela the night before littered the clearing. So, they appeared here as well? In the middle of the flowered clearing sat a lone stump, and upon it a green haired girl played a black flute, her black horns and half-closed, golden eyes reflecting the moon's light. She was practically naked, wearing only a dark purple stripe of leather around her upper body, covering her essentials, and an incredibly short, tight pair of leather shorts of the same colour. Melody's black tail swayed back and forth to the song of the flute. The music suddenly stopped, and Reid fell to his knees, coughing up blood. Crap! Twice in three days? "Eat this." A voice said as a strange leaf was shoved into his mouth. He had planned on spitting the bitter green piece of nature right away, but when he recognized the voice as Melody, he did as he was told. Miraculously, the coughing subsided. "It's something I'm working on developing. It won't cure you, but it should suppress it and maybe give you a little longer to live if I can complete it." She didn't make eye contact with him. Was she embarassed about something? Most likely the fact that he overheard her playing.

Reid was a little surprised that she had made such a thing. He stood, and lost his balance for a moment, barely uprighting himself as he glared down at the flute the demon girl possessed. "That song... Rosaline used to play it a lot..." Melody looked as if she was about to reply, to try comforting him, but she just smiled as she took her seat on the stump again, and began to play the same song over again. Reid smiled contently. She wasn't an idiot when it came to reading people. To hear that song was just what he needed. He couldn't help but notice, however, that bloodstains were all around her mouth. Had she been feeding on something? When she noticed what he was looking at, she blushed after completing the song.

"It's gross, right? I hunt animals and eat them in this form. It's kind of like an instinct, I guess. It just adds to my overall unpleasantness." An opportunity wasn't presented for Reid to say otherwise. "Did you need something? I wasn't really expecting company. We could break in your new abilities now if you'd like." She held out her hand to Reid. "And, would it be okay if I called you my friend? I haven't had one of those in a long time." It was kind of sad, really. He barely knew about this girl, but it was easy to see she had been through a lot.

And so, they trained. In the end, the boy learned a lot more than he would have on his own. That little bit of lionus and dation he now possessed: he learned how to utilize that. How to move quickly, how to attack effectively, the training was good. He had a good teacher, despite her lack of self esteem. Things went a little awry at six in the morning, however. "Reid... I smell blood." The demon girl said as she raised her nose to the breeze that had just started. The morning sun had just broken the horizon. "We should probably check it out." Hesitant, Reid agreed, and it took them on a short journey through the forest. "Suicide attempt. She's still alive." Melody murmured as she looked over the red haired phoenix girl who's body was scattered across the grassy ground. Blood was everywhere, and multiple gashes were scattered all over her body. Two daggers were embedded in her flesh. One near the chest, the other near her stomach.

Reid grit his teeth as he lifted Flaire's unconscious body in his arms. What the hell was she thinking!? "Melody, you can save her, right!?" For the love of god, she was going to get it when she woke up again. For being such an idiot!

"Yes, but should I? Isn't this the second time she's done bodily harm to herself? Maybe she truly wants to die?"

"She doesn't!"

"..." Melody thought for a minute, before turning in the directing of the estate. "Fine, let's go, but be fast. Use that technique I showed you to increase your speed." Reid grit his teeth, before focusing the wionus around his feet and dashing off after the girl. It wasn't long before they arrived, and Melody practically threw Levi out of his room so that Flaire could be set down. Then she glared at Reid, before throwing him out as well.

"So, Levi. How are things?" Reid made a sad attempt at starting a conversation in order to distract himself. His friend had commited another act of self harm. A suicide attempt nonetheless. He needed all the distraction he could find. Where was Adela? He could use being yelled at right about now.

Loki
April 28th, 2008, 07:20 PM
Between all the commotion, Levi giving a yelp when he was suddenly ripped from his very comfortable bed and sent soaring face-first into the opposite door to give Dieter and Tsukasa a rude wake-up call, Adela had obviously woken up. Especially when she added to it by letting out an ear-splitting shriek. It was never a good thing when you were in a queen-sized bed without your shirt- or bra on. Wait. She grabbed a fistful of blanket and pulled up. At least pants were in place, even if they were a million times too big. Grabbing the waist to keep it up, Adela sifted through the closet to find her regular pajama's that she'd used at Ella's house, donning those at light speed for her own security. If Sanako, or Reid, whichever form he was in, wasn’t by her side, that meant that he- or she- had already gotten up and seen. Especially with that out-of-place blanket on top of her. Even if it had been Sanako, Reid would still remember after he woke up. Adela flung her fist into the wall in embarrassment, her face an unhealthy shade of complete red. She let out another strangled, incoherent yell of frustration as she stamped her foot. She dearly wanted to kick someone- mind you, someone, anyone, but not something. It had to be a person.

But she didn’t have the nerves to face Reid right now. She clutched the collar of her tank top irritably. Damn.



“Ow…” Levi rubbed his nose as Dieter pulled open the door, glaring down at whoever had rudely interrupted his beauty sleep. Of course, beauty sleep couldn’t really be applied here, because his tousled hair was not doing it’s job of covering the inhuman side of his face, so as Levi and Dieter stared/glared at each other respectively, Levi opened his mouth to comment on how similar their skin looked, while Dieter turned positively green and slammed the door shut again, the sound of another door slamming shut as he practically threw himself into the bathroom, retching at Levi’s skin.

“…Well that was rude.” Levi said, having not noticed Dieter’s earlier reaction to Gil’s skin due to the fact that she’d been completely unconscious. Levi looked over his shoulder with a pout, addressing Reid’s question at last, “How are things?!” He complained, “I got thrown out of my room without an explanation and then some skill decides that my face must be absolutely grotesque even though his face is missing pieces of flesh and slams the door in my face! Then, not only that, but I was having a very beautiful dream about-“

“AUGH!!!” Levi’s sentence was cut short as a male voice let out a startled cry and Lazarus tumbled out of the room he shared with… well… Ellianne, now. At first, he was more concerned with what he’d just barely caught a glimpse of, “SORRY!!” He practically yelled, blocking his eyesight with his hand, blushing hard as he stammered, “I-I didn’t see anything so-….” Lazarus blinked at the sound of laughter and looked over at Levi, who was on the floor with laughter, oblivious to the reason he’d been kicked out of his room. Lazarus didn’t register why Levi was laughing at him, assuming that he was probably aware that Christian had not found the need to wear a shirt before going to bed. But connecting the fact that Christian was a guy and Violette was a girl- and a girly one who didn’t wear pants at that, Lazarus remembered the garment that she’d worn to bed. “AHHHHH!!” He yelled again.

“YOU LOOK GOOD IN IT!” Levi called after Lazarus, who had slammed the door behind him shut as he hurried to change before anyone else saw him in a black-itchy-lace-silk night-gown. He was so lithe and twig-like that not even with all the movement had Lazarus managed to make a single rip in the dress. “Cross-dresser!” Levi yelled loud enough for Lazarus to hear, forgetting that it was the dead of night. Or, morning, really.

“SHUT UP!” Lazarus’ voice replied.

Levi chuckled at the memory of Lazarus in such a girly dress before turning to reid, a stupid smile still stretched across his face. Ah, he was fortunate that Gil slept in a baggy T-shirt and boxers to begin with. “So, why am I not allowed in my room? Somethin’ up or something? I mean, we’re back in our normal forms and everything, is Stahn messing with us again?”

parallelzero
April 28th, 2008, 08:13 PM
"We found Flaire." Reid said coldly to Levi after finally recovering from the chaos that had ensued in regards to Lazarus. Chances are the same thing had happened with Ellianne that had happened with him with Adela. And... he had definately heard Adela screaming a few moments earlier. It'd be best to stay on guard at all times until she had calmed down. The last thing Reid wanted was a mahstion bullet in his flesh again, especially over something like this. It wouldn't have been a big deal if he was in Lazarus' shoes. He had seen Ellianne nakes plenty of times, since she was a high maintanence person who had always been frail and always got herself into trouble. But... he wondered if she'd be okay with him today, after what happened the day before. Would she hate him now? And what would Adela be like with him? This was totally different when they were in their other forms. "She... tried to kill herself."

---

Even as Lazarus dodged back into her room, a pillow was thrown quickly at his head. "GET OUT!" Ellianne cried as she tried to cover her upper body with the bed sheets. She was completely red, to the point where she looked like she could break out crying at any minute. That wasn't too far from the truth. She was crushed by the events that had occurred the day before. She had lost to Adela. Of course she had. Adela was a lot stronger than her... "Just hurry up and leave! I won't be coming out of my room today!" She covered her head with her sheets and sobbed quietly to herself. Was this what it was like to have a broken heart? She'd never experienced it before...

---

"Hey! Hey! It's morning! Want to play a game?" Evaline's eyes crept open to the sound of the voice of a young girl, probably not much older than herself. She sat up, and as she became more aware she remembered everything that had happened the day before. She was in a jail cell now, she could tell that for sure. Piper was sleeping beside her, and she was in a great deal of pain from all of the wounds all over her body. Her arm looked gross, the bullet wounds beginning to become infected. She then noticed the source of the voice. A young girl with white hair and orange eyes, clad in a crimson dress. She was probably Evaline's age. "So, do ya wanna?" When no reply came, the girl raised her eyebrow impatiently. "Oh well, let's play anyways!" Before Evaline had a chance to reply, she had a needle in her stomach. Then another, and another, as the young girl whipped them at the target. Evaline screamed and coughed up blood, eventually falling to her hands as she attempted to catch her breath. She wasn't aware, but the needles now portruding from her chest were in the shape of the black rose tattoo almost every Carn citizen bore. "You're a boring girl~"

"Cease." A cold voice came from beyond the cell, and the archer girl from the night before appeared, glaring blankly at the white haired girl.

"Fine, I'll stop. You're no fun Tildie!"

"Aware."

Loki
April 29th, 2008, 03:02 PM
Lazarus let the pillow smack straight into his face. Dodging it probably wouldn't have helped much, and it wasn't as though it were a particularly dangerous projectile. He looked down at the object in his hands before dropping it, reaching over to a pile of his clothes that Violette had neatly folded on a stool inside the closet. As he stood between the door and closet, buttoning his pants, it was obvious that Lazarus was debating between staying, even if it was against Ellianne's wishes, and leaving to ask what was going on. Books didn't tell you how to deal with crying girls- or more like, the books he read didn't. He pulled on his vest, buttoning two in the middle before picking up the pillow and pulling out a random shirt from Violette's vast collection.

"Here," Lazarus put the pillow back onto the bed and laid the maroon v-neck on top, averting his eyes from Ellianne's chest even though it was already pretty much covered up, "If you're not coming out the room today, then at least get some sleep- And I'm sorry I wasn't there to heal you right away, Violette is just..." Lazarus scratched the back of his head, trying to gather his words before sighing in frustration, "Forget it, she's just really irritating. I won't bother you anymore." Lazarus turned on his heel, wrenching the door open again. As soon as he stepped out, there was definitely something wrong. When Lazarus looked to his left, Levi wasn't laughing anymore.

"Uh-" Lazarus uttered before Levi stood up from his spot on the floor. He pulled his goggles off of his neck and put them back in place, glad to see that they'd come back after he'd transformed. They were like an extension of himself, so it made sense.

"Guess I'll hang out with you here for awhile then." Levi remarked, crossing his legs and leaning on the wall beside the door to his room. He was silent for a moment before banging the back of his head on the wall, frowning, "Damn I messed up on this job. Three times now." He heaved a disappointed sigh, squeezing his eyes shut with a frown on his normally grinning features.

"What's going on?" Lazarus asked, following Levi's disgruntled comment. Closing the door behind him as he stepped out, he absentmindedly buttoned the rest of his vest, waiting for an answer.

"Flaire." Levi jerked his thumb at the door next to him without opening his eyes or moving his head.

Lazarus quickly picked up on the vibe as to why Levi would've been thrown out. He pieced together the main details he needed to know, and didn’t ask anything else- it was obvious that something was not going well, by the look on Reid and Levi’s faces. "I see..." He glanced at the sheet of wood that he'd just closed, somewhat glad that he'd done so. He didn't think Ellianne was fit to hear that Flaire was back and not in good condition. But, Lazarus felt like that wasn't his decision. He hadn’t known her for nearly as long as Reid. He looked up at the person in question, "Are you going to tell her," He inquired, referring to Ellianne, "or should we wait until everything’s calmed down?”


---------------------

“Hey Alice,” Audi crooned, swinging her stuffed animal back and forth by it’s arm, swaying in time with the cotton object, “Don’t you think that boy is really cute? I love cute things! He’s kind of scrawny though… Oh well! He has pretty eyes!” She threw the stuffed animal into the air and caught it in a deathly tight hug, grinning down at Piper, who was staring at Evaline in shock, completely ignoring Audi. After having tightened his grip on her after seeing the man who’d been from the Liber-something group, it was like there was a big empty blank. Like someone had erased part of a chalkboard. The next moment, Evaline’s scream burst into his ears the unpleasant sound causing him to freeze. He looked down and she wasn’t in his arms- how? He looked around before hurrying to her side, worry written all over his face.

“Evaline-“ He stared desperately, fighting tears before Audi’s foot smashed into his chest and threw him across the cell. He made no sound when his shoulder crashed into the stone wall, biting his tongue to keep himself from yelling out. He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction.

“Excuuuse me!” Audi dropped her cigarette on the ground and crushed it with her heel, pouting at Piper, “I just complimented you, you faker! At least say thank you or something! Tch. You’re cute but you don’t have aaaany manners! And I was even contemplating making you one of my stuffed animals! Right, Alice~?”

The bunny stuffed animal began to bleed from its mouth when Audi kissed its ear, smirking at Piper who was pulling himself back into a sitting position. She glanced at Tilde, “You never said we couldn’t play with this one, right?” And before Tilde could say her one-word response telling her no, Audi pressed up against Piper, her nose only a centimeter from his, “Maybe he’d look cuter if he didn’t look so beaten up.” She giggled, “You look really pathetic!” The chain smoker sat back on her heels, easily dodging a swipe that Piper had flung at her, “Too cute!” Audi laughed in glee, “You think you can put me out of commission when you’re more than half dead?” She stuck out her tongue at him before standing up again, strolling casually back to her sisters’ side, “So why are we here again? Well I mean, I know why we’re here,” Audi waved her hand in the general area, “But why are we here, with this ugly excuse for a stuffed animal and the cute boy? Aren’t we just supposed to make sure the execution goes right? Isn’t that like, tonight?”

Piper pressed his lips together, furrowing his brow. Execution tonight. Carn’s heir’s? That definitely made sense because Father had been the King’s brother, Juliet and Rosaline his cousins. It was of course common knowledge to Piper that he was born after Rosaline- he was younger than her by a few years. A fake prince? Set in by whom? Piper squeezed his eyes shut.

He didn’t care.

Somebody just had to come and save Evaline! He slammed his fist weakly into the wall. He was so useless.

“Aww,” Audi smirked at Piper, “Look guys, we made him sad. I’ll let you live, if you want to become one of my stuffed animals. I’m sure Alice would appreciate the company~”

“Shut up.” Piper’s voice cracked as he glared at Audi as though everything was her fault, “And don’t touch my sister.”

Audi clutched Alice tighter, smiling. She was highly amused when she glanced at Tilde and Saral, “You know…” She began turning a conceited look on Piper, “I don’t think you’re really in the position to be giving orders. Anyway, like I was saying, why are we down here? It’s dark and musty and I don’t like it.”

parallelzero
April 30th, 2008, 01:13 PM
"Cease and desist. Our job is merely to watch them, not torture them." The ghostly voice of Tilde spoke. Saral raised an eyebrow. It was a rare occurance that the silent Tilde spoke more than one word at a time. However, what the archer was showing now is what Saral considered her weakness. Tilde followed orders right down to the very last detail. No less, no extra. A year or two ago, they participated in a training operation that involved protecting a man. Things were going fine until the man attempted to kill them. However, Tilde nearly died because she wouldn't participate in self defense because her orders were to 'protect him'. In the end, she had to be knocked unconscious by the other two, as she had engaged them in battle because of those orders.

Saral sighed before kicking Evaline's bleeding body against the wall, the girl letting out a squeak before more blood started running out of her mouth. She fell on her stomach, shoving the needles in farther, and she screamed again, unable to move in fear of further pain. "Fine. Let's go, Audi." Saral murmured as she made her way out of the cell door, muttering something most likely offensive as she walked past Tilde. The witch wasn't even who she considered her leader. She'd listen to Audi over Tilde any day. But, they'd been told time and time again not to fight with one another. That wasn't a particularly easy task to accomplish.

---

"Later... I'll tell her. I have things to talk to her- to both of them about anyways. I need to... Nevermind." The last part involved Reid thinking aloud, before catching that he was doing it. He needed to apologize, to both of them. And... he needed to tell Flaire about his disease. Even though Deon had broken up with Sanako, Reid and Flaire would still very much be friends, and it was her right to know. Still, it'd be hard. Then, there was the fact that she'd attempted suicide in the first place. What drove her to such lengths? It bugged him. "I'm going outside." He murmured, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he walked off, his feet dragging. "Get me if anything happens."

Loki
April 30th, 2008, 02:54 PM
Audi looked over her shoulder at Saral, sighing with a shrug, Alice flopping by her arm up and down with the movement. Blood oozed from the stuffed animal's eye as it stared at Piper, who watched the somewhat inanimate object with repulsed eyes. Audi had mentioned something earlier about making him into a stuffed animal. He broke his gaze with the cotton bunny, crawling over to Evaline, and gingerly pulling her off the ground, being sure not to add more pressure to the weight that he was trying to alleviate. He glared at the remaining two girls over his shoulder, and Audi flipped her hair over her shoulder, pulling out a cigarette and lighting a match. The distinct smell of second-hand smoke filled the room when the purple-haired girl flicked the ashes on the end with her ring finger, smirking at Piper as she turned on her heel as well.

"Lighten up Tilde, they never said we couldn't torture them either." Audi dropped Alice carelessly, the stuffed animal landing on it's feet with a small ‘squeak’ sound while Audi laughed, switching her smokes from one hand to the other, "Come on Alice, Tilde~!" The girl chirped cheerfully, "It's gotten boring down here anyway. You think we should send for a medic, in case the little girl dies before the execution...? "

The stuffed animal stood where it was, immobile for a moment before standing up straight and rigid, turning from the cell without looking at Piper even once. It hurried after its master, leaving a trail of blood behind it, turning around to pick up a dagger that had fallen out of the destroyed felt over its chest. These people were strange. Strange, as in, terrifying. Piper tore his gaze away from the stuffed animal a second time. It was like a bad nightmare, and he’d wake up in a few minutes or so and his butler Lucas would be trying to drag him out of bed in his strangely polite and calm voice that contrasted his attempts to forcefully drag Piper to his morning studies. Then, he’d ditch morning studies to go look for Evaline while dodging Lucas, and then when he was finally caught by the old man, Lucas would tell him that Evaline was locked up, finishing the self-portrait she’d told him about. And then he’d go find his Father to alleviate some of his loneliness, and after his Father finally remembered where Piper was supposed to be, he’d be shooed off to the library for a few hours to study about boring things like politics. Maybe if he got lucky, Judell would be there to teach him a new trick with wation, or maybe spar a little with him and undoubtedly make fun of how twig-like Piper was.

Then everything would be okay again. He made a mental note that when he woke up, he’d ask Judell whether, when faced with a situation where someone had a sharp object stuck in them, would it be better to remove it so that it wouldn’t worsen with movement, or keep it where it was so it could block some of the blood loss. Piper’s mind was a blank, but he felt at ease with the delusion that he was just having a bad nightmare. Some of his common sense came back into play.

Piper was at a loss to say anything though. Everything he wanted to say was an apology for being so useless, for being so weak. But he didn’t want to say that. Right now, he didn’t want to be comforted by Evaline, because he was in better condition than she was. He needed to say something to her. His mind reeled, thinking of different ways he could get her out. If he could bet on Solomon showing up for the execution, he could have him get her out of harm’s way whenever they were revealed to the public. That would be the easiest time to escape. But if Solomon wasn’t there, then having waited and done nothing for… how long had it been now? Piper had lost track of time. It felt like everything was surreal, and time wasn’t even moving anymore, inside the cell. He opened his mouth to speak to the girl who’d stopped the others from attacking them, desiring to ask her how much time he had left before the execution. He didn’t want to call her back though. It’d be better if she left and he didn’t know when he’d run out of time, than if she stayed and he did.

“We’ll get outta here soon.” Piper mumbled, steadying his voice and trembling hands. It was easy to put on this strong front, because he didn’t want to trouble Evaline with worries about him, his pathetic existence that had just been branded as fake, “I’ll think of something.” He stated aloud, more for his own assurance than Evaline’s.


--------------------


“You’ll be the…” Levi glanced at Lazarus who shrugged, “Third or second to know.” He called after Reid, “Depending on whether Lazarus hangs around or not. Don’t wander too far.”

“I doubt that lighting would strike the same person twice.” Lazarus commented on Levi’s warning that was obviously directed at what had happened to Sanako only about a day before.

“Yeah well, he’s not really the same person.” Levi shot back, and Lazarus swallowed a lump in his throat, glancing uncomfortably at the room where Ellianne was. An awkward silence settled over the two of them, Lazarus shifted from foot to foot while Levi made almost no movement whatsoever. This continued for quite some time before an irritated female voice inquired as to why Levi and Lazarus were standing idly about in the middle of the hallway. Her voice was disapproving, almost as though she was a hall monitor or something.

Levi sighed, disgruntled that he had to explain it again, “Reid found Flaire, which is why I’m out here, I don’t know why Loz is out here, but I guess it’s got something to do with Ellianne.”

Adela’s face registered light surprise before she replied with a sort of uninterested, “Ohh.”

“Are you looking for Reid?” Lazarus piped up, a pathetic start at keeping the conversation going. Adela ignored his statement entirely, looking at the door behind him out of the corner of her eye. She’d already made a point not to show up until Reid’s mahstion signature had disappeared. And Flaire? She didn’t care. If Reid had found the phoenix girl, then she wanted nothing to do with the whole scene. She didn’t want to know why Levi wasn’t allowed into his room, she didn’t want to know what state Flaire was in, heck, she didn’t even want to know if the girl was alive or not. …Okay, well she wanted to know, but only because another blow to Reid’s emotional state would probably leave even the kind, caring Violette at a loss of things to say, and Adela was far from Violette. But she wasn’t about to ask.

Adela closed her eyes to block her view of the door. She had nothing to do with what Armon had done to Christian. Ignore it, she commanded herself. Turning around, Adela held herself like an official even when she was wearing a pair of cotton shorts and a yellow plaid jumper-shirt, her back straight as she walked away without a word to either Levi or Lazarus, before anyone else could figure out that she’d left the confines of her room. Upon reaching the kitchen, where she’d planned to get herself a drink of some sort, she blinked at a dark haired child who was wearing a pair of silver-rimmed glasses that looked as if they belonged to a man three times his age. They were too big for the little boy's face, so the little hands held the glasses up to his eyes so that he could see properly. He glanced up from his book to identify the person who’d just walked in before ignoring Adela, turning the page of the book. Well, Adela reasoned, if he didn’t have anything to say, then she didn’t either. Plodding over to the fridge she was halfway done reaching out to open the door when she noticed that the boy was staring at her. She glared at him, and he made no effort to hide the fact that he’d been watching her hand.

After a moment, he decided it wasn’t interesting anymore, and continued to ignore her.

Adela raised an eyebrow before shaking her head. Whatever. She opened the fridge door and immediately closed it again. The cold bit at her legs like clamps, and she decided that she’d get something warm to drink. The boy raised an index finger and pointed at a mug of hot water standing next to the sink without lifting his gaze from his book.

“What’s your name?” Adela finally asked warily.

“I don’t know.” The boy shrugged as if it were nothing that he didn’t know his name, turning his head to look at the next page.

Forget it. Adela sighed, tromping out of the kitchen. Weird kid.

parallelzero
April 30th, 2008, 05:11 PM
Reid raised an eyebrow, although the twinkle in his eyes was a hopeful one. "Rosaline's siblings? She had two younger ones?" Rod, after being absent since the incident at Ella's house, had arrived outside suddenly with some shocking information. Apparently, an execution was occuring that night, and the people who were being executed were, as Rod claimed, Rosaline Dian's younger brother and sister, who were being executed on the charge of being false heirs to the throne after the 'rightful' heir declared it so. It seemed a little fishy. In fact, it most likely reaked of fish. The hope quickly turned to determination. "And it's being held there, huh? It's settled then. We're going to bail them out." He threw his right fist into his left palm as he headed towards the entrance to the estate. Today would be a good day, hopefully, for the first time in a while.

"Psst. Psst, Reid!" A voice called in a whisper suddenly as Reid was on his way to tell the others what had happened. He looked around, confused. Where had the voice come from? "Down here~!" The voice came again, and Reid's eyes darted down to an unnaturally large ventilation shaft. The grate was covered, but Auricia was obviously hiding behind it, barely fitting in the compacted space. "Is Ashton around?" Reid raised an eyebrow, before looking up and down the hall like a sailor searching for land. He shook his head, and went to inquire as to why she was hiding, but was cut off by the information he had been seeking. "We're playing hide and seek!" Reid sweatdropped. He should have known, with the way Auricia was and all. She brought her finger up to her lips to indicate silence, and Reid nodded wearily. This girl... had a bizarre type of energy.

After a while of walking more, he encountered Adela, who was coming out of the kitchen in an irritated manner. Reid, being the dolt he was when he got excited, completely forgot about what he had seen at three in the morning. "Oi, Adela! Rod went to Carn and found out a few things! Rosaline has living siblings, and they're getting executed tonight, so we have to save them! I... need to do it, to make it up to Rosaline!" While it wasn't a lie, it wasn't the real reason. He needed something to snap him out of it all, to set him back on track. This operation would - no, needed to be that thing. "You'll help, right? I mean, you didn't like Rosaline that much, but if she has living relatives, then we might be able to fix things, at least a bit. The first step to my new goal, I guess." He was like a little kid, all excited.

In the meantime, Tsukasa had crept past the two and entered the kitchen. He noticed the glasses wearing boy, and raised an eyebrow. "Are you..." He stopped himself, and shook his head. Nah, it couldn't be.

---

"Bandages." Tilde barked as she slide some underneath the cell door. It would be problematic if Evaline died. It wouldn't be fulfilling orders, and calling in a doctor would just get them in trouble. "Food." A tray of bread came underneath the door next, and Tilde watched the two carefully... or at least, it seemed that way. Her eyes revealed no emotion. Family. She wanted to observe what that was like. She was curious, as she was with most things. She had a family of her own, but that was only symbolic, a crest she wore plastered all over her clothing. She never really HAD a family. Not one that supported her in any way, anyways.

"We'll be okay. I have a feeling." Evaline said painfully before grinning up at her brother, her face splattered with blood. Really, she was completely dizzy from blood loss and overall sustained damage, but she couldn't let herself pass out. She didn't want him worrying.

Loki
April 30th, 2008, 06:31 PM
Adela supported her elbow with her left hand, her right tapping her chin thoughtfully as she watched Reid as though deciding whether he was for real or not. Was it just his hobby, to go and meddle with Carn’s affairs or something? Well, the first time was an order, she supposed. The teal haired girl brought her hand away from her face, hugging her arms and leaning against the wall, glancing sideways when she replied, “We don’t know if these heir’s are willing to help out. It may be more trouble than good if we help them. And with a fake Prince implemented, we might not achieve anything but bad favors from Carn’s citizens, since until we have proof that he’s fake, these real heirs you’re talking about might not help at all.” Adela was silent for a moment, chewing over something that she’d bit her tongue sharply in order to prevent herself from saying. She heaved a sigh, defeated when she peeled herself away from the wall, “Alright alright, we’ll go. You’ve done this before anyway, it shouldn’t be too complicated. Oh.” Adela stopped in her tracks, musing over a new thought, “Security might be tighter though, since you did pull that stunt a few years ago with Princess Dian… Ah well.” She shrugged, as though not really caring, “Too bad Aertan’s not a priest anymore.”

She resisted the urge to frown. She’d be prepared to knock Reid about the head with the handle of her mahstion gun the next time she saw him for the fact that he’d seen more than she’d ever intended on showing him, but his excited face burst her bubble. Well, as long as he wasn’t getting down in the dumps over Flaire. That would be even worse. “If these heir’s didn’t want their rightful place after Rosaline died and let the fake Prince step up, then that means that either they didn’t want the throne to begin with, or they just didn’t know. Hm, either way, that probably means neither of Rosaline’s remaining siblings are fit to become the next royal in charge. That would leave the government in the hands of a council of elders or something… That would be a pain in the butt…” Adela blinked. Speaking of royalty, she’d completely forgotten about the Queen and Prince Ryan. Adela was suddenly overcome with a searing need to know what had happened to them, and made a mental note to ask Stahn about it. He’d probably know, seeing as he seemed to know everything.

“Do you want to leave after you find out whether Flaire will be okay or not?” Adela’s gaze and voice were obviously very annoyed by the fact that she was the one brining up the subject. She’d regretted it before she’d even said it.

----------------------------

Piper stared at Evaline for a moment. He wasn’t worried about ‘we’, or ‘us’. He was worried about her. Nothing mattered, as long as Evaline was okay, and he’d already failed to this point. He knew how to administer bandages. But there wasn’t much good that bandages could do for her arm if he couldn’t use his mahstion.

“Can you sit up on your own for a minute?” Piper asked gently, not waiting for an answer but very cautiously letting go of her. Piper kept his eye on Tilde while he hurried to pick up the rolls of bandages. When he picked them up he paused, staring at the bandages before turning back to Evaline. He left the tray of food where it was. Right now, he wasn’t hungry in the slightest. All the blood in the world seemed to be in this cell. He couldn’t eat with the metallic smell of blood filling the air. He contorted his face when he looked down at the needles in Evaline, “I have to take these out.” He said, apology and hurt in his voice. He reached out to pull out one the needles but hesitated. His hand could only get about halfway from him to the needle before it just stopped on his own. It would hurt horribly when they were pulled out, he knew. And there were so many. “Sorry.” He mumbled, pulling his hand away.

He took a deep breath and reached over to quickly slide the needles out, making sure not to cut or puncture any more flesh. The job was done faster than Piper could’ve ever done had it been anyone other than Evaline, and he swiftly bandaged her torso. Once he tied the final knot, he sighed in half relief, wiping his brow. He felt the cold metal mahstion bracelet on his wrist and stared at it ruefully. It was causing so much inconvenience.

“Well,” Piper smiled down at his little sister, “I think we’ll be okay too.” He glanced over his shoulder at Tilde again. He was somehow in a much better mood already, now that the needles were out of Evaline. He stood up squeezing Evaline’s hand gently before walking over to the tray and picking that up as well. Glancing up at Tilde again, Piper stood where he was with a serious and wary expression for a few seconds before deciding to manage a half-smile, even if she was probably what he should’ve considered the ‘enemy’.

“Thank you.” He looked back at Evaline, speaking while he came back to her side, not wanting to be too far from her again, “Do you want to eat?”

-----------------------------------------------

The little boy put his glasses down, standing up on the seat to read the top few lines of the book before picking up the glasses again, peering at Tsukasa blankly through them. He blinked very slowly, and the bright, curious look on his face earlier turned into a completely flat and unreadable face that was all too familiar. He looked back down at his book and turned the pages to the back, pouring over the index as though it was just as interesting as the rest of the book.

parallelzero
May 1st, 2008, 12:59 PM
"Who cares if they want to be the heirs or not!" Reid shouted at Adela, irritated by her way of thinking. Why couldn't she look at things other than the facts for once? "Innocent people could be killed! I know it's naive, and that innocent people die every day, but what good are my goals if I can't even save the family of my friends? Rosaline was important to me, Adela, she was my friend. Her siblings are in trouble, and you'd honestly expect me to ignore that?" He grit his teeth. This girl could be so frustrating sometimes, even though she probably didn't intend to be.

His eyes wandered to Adela's side as Melody approached from beyond Adela's line of sight. Was she going to reveal herself to the soldier? "Actually, I already intended on having you guys infiltrate it. At least, your particular group. Can't have Ashton and the skills going unless completely necessary, since as soon as Gregar realizes they've flipped, we'll be placed in a tight situation. There isn't any real proof of their legitimacy as heirs to present to the public, but a small resistance group has assembled in rebellion against the new 'prince'. That should be enough, if we play our cards right. Also, this morning, Tealia, under the control Mr. Rod's father for the time being, has etched an alliance with Carn for some reason or another. So, Ms. Ciaccio, you should probably decide whether or not you plan on staying or going. I have no intention of allowing an enemy access to my training." The girl spoke quickly and breathlessly, and Reid needed to explain who this girl was before Adela asked questions.

"Er... this is Stahn. I mean, this is Melody, who IS Stahn. Stahn's real form, anyways. He's been using the same kind of pill on himself all along to look how he is. He's actually Melody here..." Melody's eyes wandered to look at Reid, before turning back to focus on Adela."

"So? What's your answer, Lieutenant?"

---

Evaline did as she was told, and braced herself as Piper went to remove the multiple needles from her stomach. She didn't scream, but squeaked painfully ever time one was torn from her flesh, tears welling up in her eyes and eventually pouring over her eyelids and down her cheeks. When it was done, she was left trying to catch her breath. She ate hesitantly, not saying a word of thanks. She had no voice, what was there to say at this point? Could she honestly say they'd be okay at this rate. It had finally sunk in. They only had a few hours left to live. Her gaze changed to look at Tilde, who only nodded when Piper thanked her. Evaline watched Tilde, Tilde watched Evaline. It was strange. Even though the girl's eyes seemed lifeless, there was a feeling of curiosity radiating from them. Was she examining them for some reason?

Loki
May 1st, 2008, 03:01 PM
Adela opened her mouth to retort to Reid, but after a moment of silence, she closed her mouth and glared over at Melody, uncaring at this sudden revelation at the present moment. She was angry at the girl’s second-to-last statement. “And I have to word things better?!” She snapped bitterly, before turning to face Reid, discarding any thought for considering her words before she spoke, “I never told you to ignore it Reid! I pointed out things that you need to know, because you never think ahead. You just jump headfirst into everything and cross your fingers and you don’t think about anything else!! You don’t think about the consequences at all! -Fine! We’ll save them! What then?! Leave Carn to a false Prince while we hide the real heir’s until someone makes the faker kick the bucket and then somehow convince the people of Carn that we, outsiders, have the real heirs? Oh yeah, that sounds so convincing! And leaving the fake Prince in place, that sounds like a good idea, let’s get more people to tail us, Gregar AND Carn, sounds absolutely wonderful!!”

The little boy in the kitchen looked up from his book at the shouting voices before closing his bound literature, heaving the book off the table and hopping off of his chair with the book in both his arms wandering past the scene without even glancing. They were interrupting his enrichment.

She spun around, pausing for a moment as she contemplated the possibility of losing her position as Lieutenant. Looking up and walking away without stating where she was going, Adela barked at Melody, “I already said I was coming.”

Adela hated watching her tongue. It didn’t help at all. She didn’t want to not be allowed to say things just because other people didn’t like it. The thought of ditching the effort altogether crossed her mind, but she shoved it aside to contemplate later. It was really no question, that she’d already given up on being pleasant. It was just something she couldn’t do anymore. She turned the corner at the end of the hall, planning on returning to the rooms to finish sleeping. If Ellianne could lock herself up and hide away, why couldn’t she? The Lieutenant pushed the door shut behind her and locked it, uncaring if Reid had anything he needed in the room or not. He’d figure out a way in if it was really that important.

parallelzero
May 1st, 2008, 05:52 PM
"Maybe it's because I have no 'ahead' that I decide not to think that far." Reid murmured to himself, before being forced to sweatdrop at Melody, who was sticking her tongue out at the retreating Adela. When she was clear out of sight, Reid brought his hand up to his face and dragged it down. "Ugh... I'm just no good with women." It was true. Adela, Flaire, Ellianne. He just couldn't do anything right. Not with them, not with anyone. There was one person, once, who he never had these problems with, but she was long gone now. Banishment screwed his whole life over, he knew that. This was really one of those times where he really needed parental advice. Of course, with no parents, that was impossible. Why did he have to figure out everything himself? Nobody here was any help at all. How naive was he, to think everything in life was simple? He was an idiot. An idiot.

Melody watched him think with curiosity. She had an idea of what was running through his head, and couldn't help but feel responsible. Everything that had happened thus far was in some way or another her fault. "About Flaire's wounds..." Reid perked up a little, interested in the topic. "After further analysis, they didn't seem to be self caused. The angle of the blade was backwards. Whatever stabbed her, she trusted it enough to let it get close enough to take stabs at her. It was probably pretty short." Reid's eyes twitched. It all made sense now, why Kayle came to them with Kanna. That little girl was probably one of his pawns. Had he sent her out here in order to decieve Flaire? Though, Flaire wasn't killed. Had something gone wrong? Of course, this was all speculation. He wouldn't know until she woke up. "Ellianne is with her now. It could be a while until she wakes up, so I took the liberty of informing the others of our task. We'll be leaving in a few hours, and our operation will start at 1900 hours. You'll be Levi's partner in the operation~" Reid blinked. Levi, huh? He didn't really trust him, what with Rosaline being gone and all, but maybe he would realize these heirs could most likely renew his contract.

---

"You're sure you want to go through with this? You could leave now. You'll be branded a traitor the moment you get involved with this." Rod said to Adela, creepily sitting on the window sill, seemingly having appeared out of nowhere. He cracked his neck, before standing and dusting off his snow white wings arrogantly. "I know as well as you do the problems that could arise from this, but it's no use talking to Reid about them. He's a 'shoot first worry about it later' kind of person, but I'm sure you know all about that." His voice was soaked in 'matter of fact'ness, and obviously referring to the fact that he left her. "If you want my opinion: don't bother with him. Not a lot of good in getting involved with someone half dead, you'd just be full of regret after he passes on. And I can tell you're easily irritated by him, so don't force yourself to have feelings for him just because of his condition - of course, I could be totally wrong. But it's just my friendly opinion~"

Loki
May 2nd, 2008, 08:35 PM
Adela glanced over her shoulder at Rod with an indifferent expression before looking away again, “I’m already involved, so… there’s really no difference between pulling out now or later. And I already told Reid that I’d stick around. I’m not about to lie to him, that would make me a hypocrite.” Adela sighed and shook her head, leaning her chin into the heel of her palm, “I’m not forcing anything, and certainly not because of the plague. It’s just, we don’t… I’m always in an argument with him or something.” Adela stood up, folding her arms and pacing about, “And it’s not like he irritates me all the time, it’s just that when he doesn’t irritate me, I irritate him, and vice versa. It’s like no matter what I do, I’m not laid-back enough for him. It’s not like I’m strung up for no reason… And I can’t just ignore him! I mean, it’s not really as easy as I thought it would be, ignoring someone who’s right next to you all the time…”

Adela stopped short and blinked, really registering who she was talking to at last. She gave a wary and unimpressed glance at Rod before sitting back down on the steps to show that most of that rambling was now over, long gone.

“Forget it.” Adela stated indifferently, “It doesn’t have much to do with you anyway.”

Argh, how frustrating could this be? She didn’t even care about what happened this morning anymore. It seemed so unimportant, so trivial. She straightened at a memory of something Reid had mentioned earlier. That could be useful! Swiveling around to look at Rod she asked, “You’re the one who told Reid about all this heir business, right? Then, do you know them, or the security set-up for the execution, or… anything? It doesn’t matter if Reid doesn’t care, I want to know myself, so that at least someone isn’t jumping in blindfolded.”

parallelzero
May 3rd, 2008, 11:25 AM
"Actually, the security isn't overly tight in general. Really, only the entrances are blocked. It looks like it may be TOO easy. Not to mention the fact that they were pretty anxious to announce it. The probability of it being a trap is about 90%, really." Rod turned his back to the lieutenant, ruffling his feathers before running a hand through his hair. "Though it may not be a trap for us. If it was a trap for us, don't you think it would look a little more thought out? Unless there's some sort of hidden factor. Either way, you probably don't give Reid enough credit. He may talk stupid, but I'm pretty sure he's weighed out the possibilities. Not that it matters to me either way, skills aren't allowed to participate unless something goes wrong. Even then, we're supposed to hide our identities. It would be pretty bad if the deceased son of a Tealian general appeared." He sighed before stepping out the window of the room. It was true, after all. Things wouldn't be able to go back to how they were, not like this.

---

Reid passed the remaining time by training with Auricia and Ashton. He needed to get stronger. Time wasn't on his side. The sad truth was there. Melody had suggested that if he kept himself on par physically, he might be able to delay his emminent death even longer, perhaps long enough for her to discover a permanent cure. He found that with this new ability his near death experience had granted him, staying on par with Auricia was much easier. He could match her speed, heal his own wounds with the little lionus he possessed, and he had an overall increase in strength. But, would that be effective over what cards Kayle had to play? Obviously, they intended to mass produce the Skill, but what else did he have up his sleeve? How aware was he of the Ophelian core and the power the shards possessed? That girl, Ophelia. She said she saw everything he saw. Was that true? It would make sense, if her presence was at least similar to Mistral's...

"Whoa~" Mistral exclaimed. Ashton had taught Reid how to manifest Mistral differently, and the fael girl stood before him, completely solid. "Even though this is temporary, this is what being a part of the real world feels like? I like it!" Auricia watched on, having never seen a fael other than Ashton's before. It was pretty amazing, and she smiled.

"They can take any form you desire. It could even be a weapon. You've seen me use my fael as a spear before." Ashton added, his index finger pointed upwards, before Mistral faded back into Reid's mind. "And that's that. I think we're leaving soon..." It was three in the afternoon, at earliest, and they had gone without interruption for hours. What the heck was everyone else doing?

---

Ellianne stared intently at Flaire, who stared right back. The phoenix girl had just woken up, and was trying to recollect her memories of what had occurred the past couple of days. They went to train, then she was stupid and broke up with Reid... that's right. Then... Rosaline died, and she ran away. She wandered in the wilderness before days, and then Kanna somehow appeared, and then... and then... Tears rolled down her cheek, her eyes still locked on Ellianne. "I'm an idiot..."

"Yes, you are." Ellianne replied, her eyes now showing irritation at the first words Flaire and spoken. Ellianne had just... talked? Flaire almost passed out. Was she still dreaming? She was suddenly slapped across the face by Ellianne, who glared angrily at the redhead. "How could you do that to him!? Then you ran away, do you know how worried he's been!?"

Flaire closed her eyes, and rolled to face the other way. "I'm an idiot..."

---

Tre D. Florence neatly put away a book away amidst his brown, wooden shelf of many, before brushing a dark blue strand of his short, but curly hair away from his eyes. Being the only priest in the Underneath city of Azern, he wore a white, robe-like garment that fell down and covered his feet, a black hood falling off the back to about his mid back. On the back of the white sweater, the ensignia of the New Church of Ophelia, a black cross overtop a golden wing, was imprinted. He was a large man, standing at about 6', and he was fairly muscular as well. His wings, grey and owl-like, were folden at his back. Things had been tough recently, what with the incident at Flazure nearby, and with Alta right above their small city, things were bound to get worse.

The young Father let out a heavy sigh, before picking a new book from his shelf. "Romeo and Juliet" was the title. Ah, how he loved ancient literature. Wasn't a fan of modern stuff, but ancient lit was where the party started. This writer, William Shakespeare, interested him incredibly. His grey eyes looked out the window of his little room amidst the church, to see one of his childhood friends entertaining two guests that had stopped by to use the church as a rest stop on their search for some people.

"Reid Davies?" The girl outside spoke, looking at the two strangers with a raised eyebrow. She knew who they were talking about. "Well, I'd be lying if I said I didn't know 'im. We were friends as children, close ones, but then he up and disappeared without a word..." The girl's hair was certainly a unique colour. It was long, probably to about her waist, although it was tied into a ponytail by a black ribbon, but it was orange, of all the colours. Her eyes, big and curious, took on a sepia hue as they analyzed her surroundings. Her outfit was split into two portions. A tight, black vest stood overtop a white t-shirt, a grey zipper running up the center. The t-shirt was exposed at the sleeves, as the vest had none, and the girl's midrift was exposed as the vest and shirt were just a little too short. She also wore a pair of black shorts, that came to just above her knees, before the remaining leg length was rolled up to that height. There was a white button at the waist, and a white belt ran around, indicating that the shorts were in fact actually rolled up pants. Her shoes, black, with white bottoms, were dirty, indicating she had been doing some adventuring during the day. A blue, teardrop shaped earring hung from her right ear, the other ear not possessing one, and black, leather fingerless gloves wrapped around her hands. "Well, I suppose I could take your names, and tell him you were looking for him if I see him."

"Cress."

"Kyra."

"He'll know who we are."

"Gotcha!" The tall, fit girl exclaimed. She had a particularly good memory. There was no need to right it down. "Just in case you see him first, tell him to come home and see Bianca Wereste!"

Loki
May 3rd, 2008, 12:51 PM
“I don’t know what they want from me.” Levi whined, rolling around on the carpeting of the hallway, bored out of his mind, “Do they want me to go to Carn to rescue a bunch of heirs dressed my PJ’s? They’re even kind of too small for me, considering they were Gil’s.” He sighed, flopping flat on his back. Lazarus had left long ago, saying something about fresh air, while Levi was still waiting to be let into the room. Apparently, nobody remembered that he was waiting to change. He rolled over onto his stomach and stared at the crack between the door and the carpet, waiting for something to happen. Of course, nothing did. He lifted his head and let it thud against the ground. “Bored.” He announced to no one. Voices interrupted his own train of thought for the first time in what seemed like forever though. Looking up, Levi listened silently to Flaire and Ellianne talk to each other.

“I’m an idiot…”

Levi blinked, pushing himself up into a sitting position.

“Yes, you are.”

He froze, staring at the door in surprise before a frown crossed his expression. Getting to his feet, Levi brushed himself off and opened the door without invitation after Flaire had repeated herself. His face looked annoyed when he wrenched open the closet door, pulling out his old outfit and looking over his shoulder as he pulled the garments off of their hangers and tossed the plastic articles over his shoulder, addressing Ellianne casually, “Could be a little more considerate with what you say, or more like, how you say it, y’know. You sound like that cranky Lieutenant, harping about pointless stuff. What’s done is done.” He sighed in exasperation at being unable to find his pants, deciding to pull his T-shirt off first. He balled it up, tossing it across the room into the bathroom before pulling on the teal shirt that was issued to the members of the gang he’d run with in Tealia, differentiated by the swirl design around his shoulders. “It’s not like getting on her case is going to make all of Reid’s worryin’ go away.”

“And besides, he’s gonna worry more if she’s all depressed, so it’s not like you’re helping that any by telling her she fails at life.” Levi pulled his black pants out of the closet, grinning in victory to himself as he snapped out the wrinkles before finishing changing. He glanced pointedly at Flaire while he dug around for a belt, “Which, you don’t, if you were wonderin’. Hmm, aha! Now…” Levi extracted himself from the closet, looking around, “Where are my gloves...?”

“Levi, we’re leaving soon.” Lazarus’ voice came, peering into the room. He held three rolls of bandages in his hands and glanced at Ellianne once without addressing her, “I brought three, I didn’t know how many you wanted.”

Levi stood up from looking under the desk standing in the corner of the room, pulling open drawers as he spoke, “Three is good. I’m not going to bandage my legs or anything that’s already covered up, so it’ll be more than enough.” He caught the three rolls with one hand when Lazarus threw them to him, sighing as he looked around, “Aww, forget it. It’s not like I can wear them on my left hand anymore anyway.” He pulled a chair closer to him with his toe, and tossing two rolls of bandages onto the desk, unrolled the bandages in his hand and wrapped them around the mangled skin of his left arm and on his hand and fingers, “Sorry ladies, I’ll be impeding on you a little while longer.”

---------------------------------


“Tonight?” A blonde-haired-blue-eyed teen said without revealing much interest as he turned the screws in the skyboard back in place with a screwdriver, “That’s pretty sudden.”

“Yeah, but my ma wants to go watch, same as the way it was with Rosaline last year. Says that somethin’ big’s gonna happen again and she’s not gonna miss it for the world. Can’t stand her stupid gossip sessions. She’s closin’ up the shop just to go see.” The customer, a teen about the same age as the mechanic across from him, rolled his eyes, sitting on the end of the counter with a roll of half-eaten bread in his hand, “I don’t see much point in doing this whole execution scene though, it’s not like they ever denounced the Prince, or even said that they were the real heirs anyway. I don’t see how they were doing any posin’ to being with.”

Solomon shrugged, appearing not to care or know anything about it. Tossing the screwdriver aside before flipping the switch, the flow of energy slipping through the jumpstarted piece of junk metal sent the skyboard up in the air. Sol’s keen eyes spotted a 3 degree off-balance, but it’s not like the kid did anything important with the board to begin with. It wasn’t worth fixing while he had more important things to do. “How’s it look?” Solomon asked, sitting back to watch the floating skyboard.

“Great! Thanks Sol.” The boy turned to leave, “One of these days, I’ll get enough money to buy one of your customs!”

Solomon’s mind was far from his work at the moment, or even the prospect of selling an expensive custom skyboard. Piper would be expecting him to show up. But the heck did Piper want him to do, showing up in the middle of a Carn execution? It would be problematic for him, since he was located in Carn to begin with. He gave a quick wave goodbye to the kid from the shop across the street before sighing, getting up from his seat behind the counter and poking his head out the door to his shop. Looking left, then right, he saw no regulars, or potential customers lugging big things of machines around, and shut the door, turning the sign on the door to ‘closed’ and pulled the blinds down on the display window.

Stepping upstairs to his little flat, Solomon pulled out a mask, smooth with slits for eyes and a sinister smile. It was plain in appearance, but it was quite valuable in itself, since it was something that Levi had stolen from his parents’ treasure heap. He waved the mask around, spinning it by the sash as he pulled open a drawstring bag with one hand. Peering inside, he counted the right amount- ten, and yanked the little bag shut again, tossing it onto his bed before he pulled on a black long-sleeved turtleneck and flexible black gloves that stuck to his skin. He pulled out a dark green cargo vest, pulling it on over his shirt and filling the pockets with bombs that had been made for Levi. He’d make more of whatever he used later, Levi’d just have to suck it up.

Stepping downstairs again, Solomon slipped down the trap door under the counter and once safely in the tunnel under his shop that was drilled to the spot in the slums of Carn where he got most of his better paying jobs, Solomon pulled on the mask and adjusted it so that he could see. Opening the bag, there were ten pieces of finger armor, sharpened and elongated to become claws. Customized weapons made to fit like a glove over the pair he was already wearing. It was Solomon’s favorite part of being a mechanic. He flexed his hands before setting out across the tunnel, ignored by other criminals who were scattered across the insides of the tunnel. Man, this job he’d picked up as Piper’s bodyguard was really more trouble than it was worth. This was why the only friend worth being friends with was Levi, who could bail himself out when he got caught.

parallelzero
May 3rd, 2008, 09:27 PM
"So, I see Reid is associating himself with circus freaks now." Tre muttered to nobody in particular is he tilted his novel back a bit so he could see out the window. Ah, they were finally leaving. It was about time; they had been talking to each other for quite some time now. Perhaps an hour or so? Either way, four o'clock had finally rolled around, and the sun was beginning it's descent. The sun always set early in the spring months, though Tre had no clue why. It just... kind of happened that way. There was probably an explanation long ago, but that information was probably lost. A lot of things were lost, and that's why he doubled as an achaeologist. He adjusted his circular glasses, but had them knocked off his head as his head was met with a rolling kick, sending it towards his knees. He calmly picked his glasses of the ground nearby, and set them gently upon his nose. "Great, another crack. Thank you kindly, Bia." He said calmly, as if nothing had ever happened.

Bianca's left eye twitched angrily. "Stop acting like I didn't hit you, Tre! And they weren't circus freaks!" She huffed, before brushing a strand of her orange bangs out of her eyes. She stomped her foot with irritation. The two had a sort of love-hate situation. Childhood friends with each other, they were often like this, though Bianca solved all of her problems with violence anyways.

Tre closed the book with the hand he was holding it in, and set it on his lap. There was an awkward silence, and Bianca sweatdropped at it. "One had three eyes, the both had horns. I don't think 'human' fits that well. Anyways, we should be going."

"Going?" Bianca inquired thoughtfully, pulling her left leg up with her right hand behind her back to stretch. "Where are we going?"

"Didn't I tell you, Sister Wereste? We have an appointment in Carn tonight."

---

"Is everyone ready then?" Melody chimed happily as she stepped out of a large blimp. Reid stared up at the giant balloon-like vehicle with starry eyes. He didn't have the opportunity to show it much anymore, but he was still very much a technology geek. His attention was brought back to Ellianne and Flaire, who watched him carefully from farther back in the courtyard. He needed to talk to them at some point, but not now. Why was Flaire even coming? She was in no condition to fight. "The skills and Ashton will be coming as backup. They will not leave this blimp unless it looks grim for you guys, although there shouldn't be too much difficulty. The trip will take about 3 hours, and we'll arrive outside of Carn's capital just in time to intercept the execution. As for strategy, you guys can talk amidst yourself on the way there. Now, all aboard~" Reid began to head back to Flaire and Ellianne, but soon found himself ushered onto the blimp by Rod before he could do so.

---

"Three hours." Tilde informed Piper and Evaline of their remaining time to live. Evaline had a fever, and was shaking violently from a mixture of the cold, and her infected wounds. Even if they somehow survived, it was beginning to look like it'd take a miracle for her to live beyond that in her current state. Tilde watched on, unable to provide anything useful for this. If that girl died before the execution, it would be her fault, and her orders would be left unfulfilled.

Evaline smiled up at her brother, before grabbing his hand, still shaking. She was in a lot of pain, especially in the arm where she had been shot. "I guess I can't keep my promise to become a good artist, huh?"

Loki
May 3rd, 2008, 10:18 PM
Piper looked over at Evaline, his left wrist raw and red from tugging and pulling fruitlessly on his mahstion bracelet while he let Evaline hold his right. Letting his frustrated expression slip off before drawing his little sister into a hug, Piper was vaguely aware that he didn’t feel particularly warm himself. It was much too cold in this cell, and he forced himself not to tremble. The body heat he had left was measly, but better than nothing. Piper leaned his cheek gently on Evaline’s head, “We’ll be fine,” He said, wishing he’d brought his jacket along. His eyes had been burning ever since he’d finished bandaging Evaline’s torso, needles sticking themselves into his eyes while he forced down tears. “And when we get out of here, we’ll fix your arm.” Piper had been careful not to bump her arm, and thus his embrace was awkward and cautious to steer clear of the multiple places that Evaline was wounded.

It wasn’t fair. Piper would’ve given the world to trade her wounds right now. The blood that had been streaming down his face had long dried, caking itself onto his skin. The stinging cut was just a throb, a little headache, while the rest of his body merely violently protested whenever he tried to move, after being bruised from Audi’s heel and the weight of an elaborate, expensive wooden bookshelf. Little points on his body stung from book corners digging their weight into his flesh, but it was nothing. He wasn’t bleeding, he wasn’t with fever, and it wasn’t fair. He was older, and his existence now was essentially pointless. Three hours. Piper swallowed the lump in his throat, pulling his arms away to try pulling at the mahstion bracelet again. If he could just use some wionus, then he could at least clean the wound on her arm. He tried to pull it clean off his wrist, pressing his hand as narrow as he could. Without butter or oil of some sort, it was no good. The bracelet was tight against his wrist to begin with.

Three hours. Solomon would definitely come. Piper was reassured by this idea. It didn’t matter that Solomon wouldn’t be able to bail out of a spectator filled crowd with two people; Evaline was more important, which cut two down to one. And Solomon had a lot of customers who could heal Evaline in a heartbeat. She’d be fine. That was really the only thing that was damming the salty water threatening to brim in his eyes any second now. Just three more hours left to live, Piper told himself. If he’d gone and done things differently, the only thing he’d change is waking up on time that day. Then Evaline might’ve been able to escape.

He looked over at Tilde, as though the number of hours he had left would suddenly change and go up. But when he was only met with her blank expression, he turned back to Evaline, “You’re already a wonderful artist, Evaline. There won’t be anyone who doesn’t know your name in the future, you’ll see.”

------------------------------------

Levi’s face twitched uncomfortably about every three minutes. Having bandages all over the left side of his face and a few around his right cheek to cover the burns closer to his nose was really uncomfortable. He randomly waved his left arm about, hating the feeling of it trapping all the heat and causing his arm to burn up to a crisp. He pushed up his sleeve to help the air reach his arm, fanning his face with wionus. It was irritating, but at least it didn’t leave him with any real disabilities. Well, other than the one he’d had his entire life. Stepping onto the blimp, Levi looked around, commenting sarcastically, “Well ain’t this the stealthiest thing the world’s ever seen.”

“Who knows.” Lazarus commented, following Levi with his eyes fixed on a book about the old Carn and Tylonstus relationship.

“Y’think it’s cooler than it looks?” Levi asked, sighing as he peered around, stuffing his hands into his pockets, “I mean really, I feel like we’re going on some kind of lame tourist joint, rather than- bleh-blehck!” Levi stuck a finger in his mouth, swirling it about before pulling it out and making a face, “Man th- ew, yuck!” Levi made careful precautions not to stick his tongue out too far as he spoke carefully, “These bandages taste horrible!”

Adela walked past him without a word, carrying her boots in one hand and walking onto the blimp with nothing on her feet but black stockings. Armon was really messy. It had taken her ages to find her boots kicked under the bed, which was possibly the only thing that left her to be one of the last to show up. She immediately took a seat and pulled on her shoes, paying no mind to Levi who was trying to keep himself from adjusting the bandages so that he could speak more easily and breathe. He seemed inclined to be able to do that, and cover up his burns at the same time. Impossible. Dieter laughed at Levi, able to look at him without a sick stomach now. “You look like a monkey! But you don’t smell like one, you smell like old carpet. The hell do you smell like carpet?”

“I got bored, waiting to get into my room.” Levi replied. Dieter and Levi. Birds of a feather. They chattered away about pointless things while the old man persona of Rasch wiped off his cane with a red silk handkerchief, idly wondering why he’d been pressed into coming along when it really was none of his business, this Carn stuff. And besides, if they needed a healer, they had Auricia, it was really quite the overkill, sending all the skill under Ashton’s jurisdiction to this scene. He’d end up just sitting around on this blimp being bored in the end, because Dieter would of course, gladly take over any killing or intervention that he needed to do.

“So how are we going to be set up? There are quite a few people here, so I don’t know how you all want to execute this…” Lazarus began the strategy conversation when he closed his book.

“Hmph.” Adela zipped up her left boot, readjusting the long white tongue before folding her arms stubbornly to show that she would not be participating in any discussion. She was good at holding grudges.

parallelzero
May 4th, 2008, 11:04 AM
"Ehhh, what's this?" Reid whined, looking blankly down at the parchment in his hands. Melody looked up at him cheekily, a 'gotcha' kind of grin spread across her face. He knew what this was. Probably the layout for the execution. He sweatdropped, probably not wanting to know where she had gotten it. Rod? Improbable, he sucked at obtaining that kind of thing. Oh well. Best not to ask questions. The truth remained that he was apparently now in charge of strategizing this operation. He pulled open the chart, and set it on the table in the blimp for the convenience of everyone around him to see. What was on the chart was a map of an all too familiar colosseum-like structure that Reid knew like the back of his hand from his initial mission to free Rosaline. At the northern part of the structure was a large pedestal, which had two X's on it - one on the left, and one on the right, both the same distance from the center. There were red circles on either side of both X's, indicating soldiers. At least two of these circles were located at each of the entrances in the east, west, and south, and row upon row of seating was spread out before the pedestal. This, the top part of the structure, was just that - the top.

"Okay, if you haven't already figured it out, the X's are our targets, and the circles are enemy soldiers. There aren't a whole lot of them, so we should be cautious in case of a trap. There are two entrances to a group of catacombs that run underneath the entire city of Nephistos - here, and here." He marked two squares on the chart in the very back. "If we can escape into there, we can follow them out of the city, where this blimp will be waiting. The problem is getting there, since Levi and myself," he drew two triangles on either side of the colosseum, outside the walls but in line with the pedestal, "will each be taking one of the siblings and running to the back."

Ashton grunted. It was sound in theory, but there were too many uncertain variables. "You're joking, right? You'll be killed before you get back the-"

"I'm not done." Reid crossed his arms, before drawing two more triangles on both sides at the back, up in the walkway above the seating. "Adela and Ellianne will provide cover fire from here. We don't want to alarm them of your presence right away, so you'll need to take cover until we start. If anything comes at us, you need to shoot it." Ellianne nodded, not expecting such a large role. "As for Lazarus and Flaire, you two will be waiting at either catacomb entrance. They're hidden, so search for a lever as soon as you arrive, and pull it when we start running. Melody will be with you guys, so leave anything to her that may go awry." Flaire wearily nodded. She was still a little woozy, but she could rest on the trip. "I've left a radio communicator with Ashton. So, if anything goes wrong, we can call for backup."

Melody hummed loudly to herself as she bounced a soccer ball up and down with her feet. Would things really go that smoothly? Probably not. She was a little disappointed though. She didn't expect him to have thought it through that much.

---

"If we have a future, I'll be known as Evaline the imposter princess." Evaline whispered to herself as she closed her eyes. Exhaustion, shaking, she couldn't take much more. Her eyes were already starting to lose light, so why bother trying to keep them open? It was futile now.

---

"Audi~ How much longer until I can cut people up~?" Saral chimed in a bored manner as she threw a shortsword into the air, spinning, before she caught the blade of the sword. Blood came, but she did not wince or exhibit any other registration of pain. The wound closed itself, and she grinned a satanic grin as she picked up her headless, armless, and legless stuffed dog. "I'm so boooored, and Tilde keeps hogging the prisoneeeeers! I just want to cuuuut soooomeoooone~!"

Loki
May 4th, 2008, 02:30 PM
Lazarus chewed on his lip, looking over the plan. Even with this map, it felt like a lot of important things were missing.

“So basically yer askin’ me to bust through an entire battalion of soldiers,” Levi pointed at his triangle and then drew his finger across the circle to the X, “and then go to the back of the catacombs under heavy fire?” He drew his finger up to the other triangles, Lazarus or Flaire in an L shape. He stepped back from the table for a minute, smirking, “Sounds like stealing. ‘Cept the baggage is about ten times the usual weight- how old are these heir’s anyway? I mean, if they’re younger than Princess Dian, they’re gonna be about my age. I don’t know about you,” Levi waved his hand at Reid, “Because you’re like, two years older than me, but I’m not exactly built to run around with someone as heavy, or maybe even heavier than I am. And I mean, we can’t exactly assume that they can run on their own. Maybe I can just punt the kid to the catacomb and catch up.”

Adela rolled her eyes at Levi, but said nothing. It would be easiest to open a warp, but sending other people across a distance like that wasn’t exactly in her range. She wouldn’t be able to guarantee that they’d end up at the entrance to the catacombs. They’d probably end up somewhere in Beta, for all she could do. That was just fine with her though, it meant that she still had nothing to contribute to the plan. She stared at the map with a scrutinizing look, memorizing every last detail before finally looking up at Flaire at Lazarus’ words.

“Are you sure you’ll be okay?” Lazarus asked Flaire, looking over his shoulder at her. He didn’t really know her at all, but she most certainly didn’t look like she was in the condition to go perform a rescue operation.

Adela glanced at Rasch, “It’s possible for you guys to change your appearance entirely, isn’t it?”

Rasch nodded slowly, saying nothing more. Dieter explained, peering at the ground below the blimp interjected for Rasch, “Our mahstion signatures are pretty messed up though, so they’d be able to figure out it was us if we went anyway. I would love to take your place if you’d let me though, Lieutenant!”

Adela scoffed, and dropped the subject, much to Dieter’s disappointment.

Levi rubbed his left cheek making a contorted face as he scanned the map, debating whether to tell about the abandoned tunnels that ran deep underground Carn. It was the criminal’s ideal hideout, and he wouldn’t be surpised if there were one or two hanging out in the catacombs, since it was disrespectful to actually enter that place unless someone had died and they were stickin’ a body in there. Most royal deaths were publicized, so there was always plenty of time to hightail it out of the catacombs before anything figured out the criminal had even been there. He sighed, and mentally shook his head. Nah, they didn’t need to know. He’d just have to beat Reid to the catacombs and make sure any thugs down there didn’t have the nerve to pick a beef with them.

“Sounds good to me.” Levi shrugged cheerfully, “We should go over this again when we’re almost there; I’ll probably forget it all by then, so really!”

----------------------

“Aww, who knows?” Audi sighed, throwing Alice over her shoulder, gripping the paw with her purple nails in a vice grip, “Tilde’s probably having a cow over worrying that the cutie and his annoying sister’ll die before the show. Don’t know what got her panties in a twist- think she was born like that?” Audi cracked her neck, before pulling Alice back onto her lap, playing with the floppy ears as she chewed on the end of a cigarette, “Go slice the songbirds outside if you want to cut something,” Audi suggested, pushing her smoke to the other side of her lips with her tongue, “They’re annoying as hell.”

parallelzero
May 4th, 2008, 08:18 PM
"Just focus your wionus around your feet, Levi." Reid informed the criminal, looking at him gently despite the concern that had just been thrusted at him. "It'll enhance your speed, and I doubt any of the soldiers will be using guns, so evasion shouldn't be too difficult. Adela and Ellianne are there to clean up, mostly, and just in case any enemies are hiding in the stands, sooo...." Ellianne sweatdropped. Cleanup? She didn't want to kill people unless absolutely necessary, so she hoped he was only referring to those that could be considered a threat. She looked over at Flaire when Lazarus addressed her, and the phoenix shook her head in a 'I'll be okay' fashion. Right, she'd be okay. Her dress was still torn, and the gashes were still present beneath them. Were the wounds like those Sanako had sustained? Unable to be completely healed? Anyways, they were about to depart...

---

"Get up, rugrats." A gruff voice comanded Piper and Evaline as two soldiers entered the cell and grabbed Evaline and Piper by the backs of their shirts. Evaline was barely conscious at the time. Her whole body hurt, but she couldn't die yet. She didn't want Piper to see her die. That'd be the worst for him. Tilde's eyes followed the two soldiers as they left the prison, the two prisoners in tow. Her job done for now, she headed back to her comrades.

When Evaline opened her eyes again, she found herself secured tightly to an extremely thick log. She barely found the energy to turn her head to the left to see Piper in the same situation, spotlights blaring in her eyes causing her to wince in discomfort. Beneath Piper, firewood was set out. Realization suddenly struck her, and she began to struggle against the ropes despite her pain. No, she didn't want to die like that. No way, no way! No way was she going to burn alive! Her eyes suddenly met a malificent pair of golden eyes in the king's throne before the execution scene. The figure was cloaked, but you could see his eyes, his blonde hair, and his goatee. He was the 'prince'!? He grinned an evil grin as he threw his hand out, indicating the beginning of her demise. One of the soldiers lit a torch and threw it at her feet, another doing the same for Piper, and the kindling went ablaze. The heat intensified.

"This is somewhat nostalgic. You even look kind of like her." A voice suddenly said from beside her. His presence was different. Comforting, friendly. And who was 'her'? Rosaline? where had he come from, anyways? The soldiers recovered from their surprise, and Reid unsheathed his sword, locking blades with the nearest opponent. He grit his teeth. He hadn't practiced with his sword in a while. He concentrated, and a black aura formed around his blade, before it solidified and cut through the soldier's sword. All it took after that was a kick to the head to knock the soldier out without killing him. He pointed his index finger to the other side of the stage, an extremely strong gust of wind bursted across the stage, putting out the two fires. He cut Evaline's rope, and the girl fell into his arms. Now, the- CRAP. He had totally forgotten about the other soldier. No time to react, he was already on top of him with a lance. The boy braced himself, but the blow never came.

"Seven years and you still need us to protect you? Pa-the-tic." The girl staring back at Reid stuck out her tongue as she raised her hand, spinning a large metallic hoop around her index finger. The soldier lay on the ground nearby, his body twitching from the heavy impact. "You could have at least writter, ya know. The church is a wee bit boring." Tre was flabberghasted. There were plenty of books! Sweet, sweet books. The priest nodded at Reid, and Reid just smiled. "What!? Wipe that stupid grin off yur face! This isn't the time! We can play catchup later! Yur hittin' the catacombs, right?" Reid nodded, unaware of how Bianca knew that. "Tre's been doing too much reading lately... You go ahead, we'll catch up in a bit!"

"Just as pushy as ever..." Reid sweatdropped as, with Evaline in hand, he leapt off the pedestal, landing on the top of one of the rows of seats, before leaping to the next. Gunfire was heard as Ellianne followed her orders. But Reid wouldn't look, he couldn't look. He had to push forward. Evaline had lost track of what was happening ages ago, but she was being rescued, and that was all that mattered, right? Finally, Reid caught sight of the door up ahead, Flaire's silhouette on the other side. He was taken aback, and dodged to the side, however, as a body fell from the walkway above and landed nearby. He looked up, and saw Bianca charging down it, smacking any soldier that had originally been heading towards Ellianne. All they needed now was...

The entire colosseum lit up with blinding white light, allowing for the group to escape through the exits unseen, and leaving a very confused audience scared and furious at the lack of a show. The 'Prince' stood angrily. He had been promised that they would not get away!

---

"E-evaline..." The young girl replied to the inquiry about her name from Reid. "My name is Evaline, and that's my brother Piper." Reid held his hands over her wounded arm, the little lionus he possessed flowing into it and slowly repairing it. She felt a little better now that the pain was subsiding. Her expression became an embarrassed one as she realized that she looked like a complete mess. In front of her saviour, no less! Reid blinked. She really did bear a resemblance to Rosaline. There was no doubt in his mind that this girl was Rosaline's sister. The boy, however... he'd need some convincing.

Reid smiled comfortingly. "That's a pretty name." She blushed. His attention then turned to Tre and Bianca, who stood off to the side, Tre holding his finger up so that he could read while the lionus created light. He was checking what this book said about the catacombs. "Tre, thanks for the light back there. I was afraid we'd be seen escaping." Tre just nodded, adding a 'Uh-huh'. Bianca looked pretty irritated, glaring at Reid angrily. "...What now?"

Her glare intensified. "I don't even get a thank you!?"

"Oh yes, the great and mighty Bia. I am forever indebted to you. Please, let me be your husband." Reid said monotonously, his voice rich with sarcasm.

"You're just as annoying as ever."

"I'm aware."

"I hate you."

"Probably."

"Idiot!"

"Yes?"

Ellianne sweatdropped, before turning to Tre. "Have they... always been like this?" Tre looked up from his book.

"Yeah, you could say that."

Loki
May 5th, 2008, 08:16 AM
ooc; Uh-oh, Era got blocked too. xD Sorry for the crappy post, but here it is... *shot'd*

ic; Piper's eyes were fixed on the Prince. He glared at him, and didn't turn his gaze even when the flames were set on the firewood at his feet. Solomon would come. He knew he would. Piper blinked when he saw steam floating up from the fire. Steam? But before he had time to contemplate it, he yelped in shock when the head of the soldier who'd lit the fire smashed violently into the pedestal, barely missing Piper's own head.

"I don't get your logic man!" A pink haired man was grumbling to himself, "I'm the younger one and I have to haul the older heir around? Makes no sense to me! I'd outrun you anyday, with or without wionus!"

Piper stared at the shirt he was wearing. It was strikingly familiar... "AH!" Piper shrank away from the strange boy's kick, the metallic things sticking out of his feet scraping huge gashes into the concrete and cutting the ropes as soon as the gale of wionus had subsided. Piper fell, barely landing on his feet and stumbling to safe ground that didn't consist of glowing firewood. Piper wasn't sure if they were trying to save him or not. He let out another yell when an explosion blew the soldier headed straight for the intruding teen away, sending him into the pedestals as the man grabbed his arm roughly without much care.

"Suck it up, and !" He grinned at Piper, before bending over to feel around on his shoes. Piper had no idea what he was trying to do, but he did know that one minute, the metallic things on his feet weren't any longer than half his arm, and the next, they were the size of his own broad white feathered wings. And also that one minute, he was standing on solid ground, and the next, barrelling through arrows of Dation that pierced soldiers that ran after them. He looked back for a second and squeezed his eyes shut when a sharp blow burst against the ground with a sound like thunder. Just a minute ago, he'd been burning with heat, and now he was freezing against the wind chill that was pelting at his face while his... kidnapper seemed like the best word, propelled them across the ground with wionus, pressing a button on his shoe that made a click sound every time the weird things on his feet grew smaller again. Evaline. Piper forced his mouth open.

"Where's Evaline?" He asked with difficulty, and the person who had his arm in a vice-grip said nothing in response. Did he not hear?

By the time they slowed down, Piper felt like he'd just gone on a trip to dreamland, nauseous from the ride while the kidnapper seemed completely unaffected.

"You really are a horrible guy." Piper heard an unfamiliar voice say, as he was dragged down a hole.

"Yeah I know, but hey, it's not like I made sure they were dead before I left, I just did my job and didn't pay attention to the details. Can ya blame me? Alright kid, we're almost in the clear." The pink haired boy jerked his thumb at his face, "The name's Levi, and the loser over there is Lazarus."

Piper peered over at a dark haired man who smiled at Levi, "You've been making so many jabs about your age, why don't you respect your elders?"

Levi laughed at the other man. Just laughed.

"Where's my sister?" Piper spoke immediately, and urgently.

"In better hands than you are." Lazarus replied, glaring at Levi who whistled innocently.

-----

Piper looked over his shoulder at Evaline distractedly while Lazarus sighed irritably, grabbing the sides of Piper’s face and wrenching his gaze back. "Stop moving!" Lazarus commanded, holding a white flower over the cut on Piper's forehead and letting the excess sap slip down Piper's face to heal the blue bruise on his cheek which he'd attained from yelling out in protest when they'd set the firewood ablaze. The feeling of a fist crashing into his face was fresh, and the sap felt good against the sore muscle. Piper flinched when a drop fell into his eye, quickly apologizing for moving again at the annoyed look on Lazarus' face.

"Man you don't look like Princess Dian at all." Levi's arms were folded as he bent around Lazarus to look at Piper, who laughed and sweatdropped.

"Hahaha... the servants like to tell me I was adopted... Since I don't look like anyone in my family..." Piper rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment, and Levi sweatdropped too. What a depressing thing to say to someone. Piper forgot about Lazarus for a moment and looked worriedly over at Evaline.

"WOULD YOU-" Lazarus threw up his hands as he stood in frustration, the flower turning back into a seed in mid-air before he caught it, sighing and sitting back down. He took a deep breath and tried to calm himself. He'd never had this much trouble with a patient before.

"Sorry!" Piper bowed over and over again, "Sorry, sorry! I forgot, I'm sorry, it won't happen again!"

He looked over at someone he recognized. He hadn't really ever seen her in real life, but they'd touched on her identity in studies. The Lieutenant of Tealia glared at Piper, and he looked away immediately. She didn't seem too friendly, and the mahstion gun in her hand looked even less friendly. "Um," Piper held up his left wrist to show the mahstion bracelet tightly attached, "Is it possible for you to get this off?"

Lazarus looked at it for a moment and smiled, "We have people who can make a key for it."

"Thank you. Ah, you know for... everything, I guess." Piper smiled, as Lazarus pulled the flower away and pulled out a different seed, "But... who are you guys and why... did you save us?"

parallelzero
May 5th, 2008, 12:13 PM
"Eat this." Melody bluntly commanded Evaline as she shoved a piece of bread into Evaline's mouth, and then into Piper's mouth. "It's laced with a compound I created, meant to re-energize the body and mind. Give it a few minutes to kick in." Evaline nodded. This teenager could make such a thing? Amazing. She was even starting to feel a little better. "As for who we are, I suppose you could call the organization NEAR, but this little mission was all his doing." The demon girl, although her hat and various other tricks kept her identity hidden, jerked her thumb at Reid, who seemed a little embarrassed by the acknowledgement. "The one who single handedly rescued Rosaline Dian five years ago." Reid brought his right hand to the back of his head in embarrassment. He had never really asked for credit for it, and he hated being flattered.

"So you're... Reid Davies?" Evaline inquired. There probably wasn't a single Carn resident that hadn't at least heard his name. Whether that was a good or a bad thing was dependant on who you were talking to. It was good though. She at least knew his name.

"WAIT. That was REID that rescued the princess? Our wimpy little REID?" Bianca shouted, and Tre sweatdropped as he brought his hand to his face. That girl tended to be slow on the uptake. Nobody justified her outburst with a response, and she sweatdropped. "Fine, I guess he was!" She wandered over to Piper, and grabbed hold of his arm so that she could see the lock on his bracelet, before pulling a lock pick out of her pocked. It didn't take long for the wristband to pop off. "You owe me." Both Reid and Tre sweatdropped now. Where had she learned such a skill.

"Some Sister..." Tre murmured.

"Shut up."

Flaire wearily kept herself standing, but occassionally used Ellianne for support. "We should hurry about and leave... the longer we stay here the more at risk we are..." She murmured.

"Right, let's go. Can you use mahstion, Evaline?" Reid was assuming no, since she had no bracelet.

"Ah... not yet."

"Can you walk?" She nodded. "Fine then, let's head out."

---

"Catacomb exit. Half hour." Tilde informed her comrades of their next order. Saral spun her sword into the air again, the severed head and body of a songbird falling to the ground as she caught the blade again. "Exterminate."

"About time. I can finally cut some people~

Loki
May 5th, 2008, 02:45 PM
Piper gently rubbed his wrist, “Thank you.” He said quickly to Bianca before giving Reid a quick glance. Their family owed so much to him. Could Piper ask for more than what he’d already done? Well, the boy mused, he’d save it for later. It was important to get rid of that horrible fake prince, but it was more important to get out of here safely, into the clear. He followed the Lieutenant, who had been the first to step out across the ground, beginning their trek to the exit. He extracted clear water from the the ground before he rubbed his face with the disk of Wation while he walked, getting rid of the caked blood on his face. As soon as he was done, he pulled out a new sphere of wation, holding it out to Evaline, “Want to wash off your face?”

Levi opened his mouth to say something to Flaire but closed it in consideration. He made a face. This was so unlike, him, considering whether it would be a bad idea to say it now. Therefore, without a second thought, he went ahead and blurted out, “Want me to carry you?”

“You just live in that gutter, don’t you?” Lazarus asked, sweatdropping as even Piper eyed the distance between Levi and Evaline at his questionable savior’s suggestive comment.

Levi shrugged and smirked in response, “It’s always worth a try Lazus. This is why you never get the girls man, you think you can marry your books but you just can’t!”

“I don’t see you getting any girls either.” Lazarus pointed out, completely indifferent to idea of not being a ladies man. Levi waved it off as though it were nothing that he wasn't a ladies man either, more of a failure flirt. It was silent for a long time before Levi finally figured out a good come-back.

“I don’t get any permanent girls, but hey. Commitment is like flushing your life down the toilet. Especially if you get a naggy one,” Levi shot the comment straight at Adela’s back, the latter tensing up at the jab, “Who’s particularly got something shoved up her-“

“Will you shut up?!” Adela barked, whirling around and only proving Levi’s point further, “We’re not safe yet, so save it until we get out of here, you retards!!”

Adela turned around again and picked up the pace. Levi pointed at Adela’s back silently and raised an ‘I-told-you-so’ eyebrow at Lazarus who rolled his eyes. I-Told-You-So only worked when you denied it, and Lazarus most certainly had not disagreed with Levi about Adela’s tendency to be strung up about everything, though he was skeptical about the second part, which was probably just a poor choice of words on Levi’s part... or a lack of knowing the expression on Lazarus’ part. The two continued to have a hushed conversation, to keep out of Adela’s earshot, and by the time they were almost at the exit, Adela looked ready to shoot someone. But before she could blow off Levi’s head, Adela faltered.

“That…” Piper’s voice interrupted her, and she threw a dark look at him only to loosen up at his expression. She followed his gaze to a stuffed animal that was limply sitting against the wall next to the exit, “That stuffed animal…” He threw an arm across Evaline instinctively as the rabbit’s head lolled to the other side, “It belongs to someone who was torturing us earlier in the cell. I don’t remember her name.”

Levi slapped a hand over his mouth to stifle a laugh, but Lazarus punched the other’s arm when a steady flow of blood slipped from the stuffed animal’s button eyes, staining its pale pink velvety fabric. “It’s crying…blood?” Lazarus asked, but he took a few steps back in surprise when the stuffed animal fell onto its side, bleeding across the ground before it pushed itself up into a standing position.


“Oops~” Audi smirked, examining her nails while she chewed on a cigarette, “I wonder where Alice has run off to?” Waiting was so boring.


Piper ducked when a dagger flung itself out of the place where the stuffing was slowly falling out of its heart, the sharp object having been headed straight for Piper’s head. His duck was unesseccary though, because Levi had stuck his leg out and kicked the knife off its course, looking down at the toy with a confused look to match the ones on Adela and Lazarus’. Moving, hostile stuffed animals weren’t really something they encountered every day.

“My name is….” A recording played from inside the stuffed animal of someone introducing themselves before the words fast forwarded to an excited squeal that was obviously from a different conversation. “Alice~!!” Adela did a double take, having registered the name as ‘Alicel’ instead of ‘Alice’ at first. She shook her head after she’d noticed the lack of an ‘l’ sound at the end of the name. And besides, it was a stuffed animal, not a blonde bimbo. A butcher knife with a small ring attached to the end of it's handle tumbled out of the cotton bursting from its skin and the stuffed animal bent over and picked up the knife, wrapping its stubby arm around the grip. “Aren’t you a cutie?” Audi’s voice came as apart of a recording. At once, a streak of wobbly wation sliced at Alice, who cut through the water with her knife and disappeared up the exit, as a dation bullet blasted at where the normally inanimate object had been but seconds earlier. A squeak emitted from its feet every time the fabric hit the floor.

Outside, Audi picked up Alice in her arms when the stuffed animal ran over, with butcher knife in hand. Alice’s master looked over at Saral and Tilde with a poor explanation, “It’ll be more fun if they’re prepared to fight us~ That way it won’t be so boooring. I only want the cutie- Alice says that he can fight now. You guys can have the rest~!” Audi looked down at the stuffed animal, “Oh?” Audi shook her head, “No, changed my mind, Alice says there are a whole bunch of cuties! So whichever one is the cutest, I want that one.”

She giggled, "But I don't know, Princey was about as cute as it gets, don't you think Alice?"

The stuffed animal handed Audi the butcher knife, the girl spinning the object around her index finger with her other arm securely around Alice's neck.

parallelzero
May 5th, 2008, 05:56 PM
"Actually, I'd kind of-"

"No." Reid interrupted Flaire's acceptance of Levi's offer. There was no way he'd let Levi touch her, what with his mind and all. The chaos was interrupted as Piper pointed out the bizarre stuffed animal near the exit. Evaline hid behind Reid, as he was closest to her position, and the toy proceeded with it's routine. A girl's voice came from the doll, before the disgusting, bleeding thing fled out the door. Reid sweatdropped. It was... so lame. Yet... effectively creepy. He drew his blade, holding it out to his left. "Piper, Evaline, stay in the back with Flaire." Flaire opened her mouth to protest, but he interrupted sharply. "I've already decided I'm not losing anymore friends. Stay in the back." She couldn't say much more to that. It was, she decided, useless. He was never this cautious before. How much had she missed in the three days she had been away?

Bianca surveyed the exit, before bringing her large hoop to her side. It was about her width and height in size, and was decaled with roses and vines etched into the metal. "Frig Audi, now you've gone and spoiled it!" A voice echoed down the cave as a small figure stepped into the entrance, the moonlight producing a long shadow of the girl that extended down the route. Her gothic dress and white hair blew lightly in the breeze. "Now, who am I going to play with?" Her orange eyes locked on Melody. "Ohhh, you look like fun to cut up. There's something different about you, ♥♥♥♥♥." She swung her hand horizontally, and a scratched etched itself across Melody's forhead, a tiny slice of her bangs falling. Melody didn't say a word. Her mind was racing. What kind of ability was that? She was getting the same vibe she had gotten from Laeina! She couldn't be sure about this girl's capabilities, but there was one certainty...

"Everyone split up! We're dead if we group up!" As if on cue, Saral disappeared at the sound of Melody's voice, appearing only two ruler's lengths away from the demon girl. Before she had time to react, her entire outfit tore into shambled, aside from a pair of black shorts and a white undershirt, revealing all of the pieces she had worked to hide. "♥♥♥♥♥!"

Saral cocked her head to the side, stepping back a bit to admire Melody's assets. The tail swung violently, and her horns reflected what little light there was. "I like you better like this~ There are more things to cut~" How was she doing it? There was no way the limits of the human body could allow one to shred clothes in less than a second, especially with no blade. But if this girl truly was like Laeina, then what powers she had weren't linked to mahstion or the Ophelian core at all. Then... what? "If you get distracted, you'll get cut too quickly~" Saral chimed as she swung her hand over the general area of Melody's chest, and she felt her flesh tear open and blood spill out. She began to cough up blood. Not good, not at all.


"Die." Tilde commanded Reid as he finally reached the exit with the others, only to meet up with another one. Evaline hid again. This girl was the reason she was still alive... Reid sighed, before throwing his sword into the ready position again. Tilde drew her bow. "Unfortunate."

Reid smirked. "I'll say! I really like your outfit. It'll be a shame to damage it!"

"Jokes." Tilde replied, shaking her head as she drew her bow. There was something about how this girl acted that bugged Reid. She seemed almost emotionless; inhuman. He motioned for the others to go ahead, but Ellianne, Tre, and Bianca stayed behind, just in case. Tilde looked back at Audi. "Pursue." She parried Reid's dation coated sword with her bow, an blinding, pale yellow energy arrow firing without her pulling back a string at all. Although she fired in the opposite direction, away from him, much to his surprise he found himself dodging the arrow as it flew back from the direction it had shot. It came around again. What the hell!?

"TAG!" Bianca shouted as she ran past Reid, smacking his hand like if they were in a tag team match. She threw her hoop horizantally in Tilde's direction, but it suddenly became possessed by dation and disappeared, only to shed the dark energy as the hoop appeared from the ground beneath Tilde, knocking the girl into the air enough for Bianca to catch the hoop, jump, and smack the girl back to the ground with it. "HYAAA!" Much to her dismay, the girl got back up, despite the fact that at least some of her bones should have been shattered. "WHAT THE HELL!?"

A subtle grin formed on Tilde's lips. "Checkmate."

Loki
May 6th, 2008, 05:02 PM
Lazarus hurriedly 'shhh!'ed Levi after he burst out laughing at Reid's statement about friends. "HAHAHAHA, THAT WAS EPIC! SO CHEESY- Oww." Levi's loud voice was abruptly cut off when Lazarus smacked him across the back of the head, whining in annoyance and glaring at Lazarus, "What, didn't you think it was lame?"

Lazarus rolled his eyes at Levi, wondering why Levi had suddenly decided to say whatever he liked. "They left already, light bulb-" Lazarus' statement was cut off when he heard Melody curse, "See?!" He snapped to Levi, pulling himself out of the exit to find himself face-to-face with a harmless looking girl, save for the face that she had a cigarette in his mouth. It was a stalemate as Levi barked for Lazarus to move his 'fat ass', but the gears in Lazarus' head were already moving at the speed of light as he and the girl stared at each other, sizing up their opponent. Finally, she bent away and pulled the tobacco roll out of her mouth, blowing a cloud of second-hand smoke out of her mouth as Lazarus quickly tried to wave it away. He didn't mind smoke, but he did when it was blown directly into his face.

"You're not so cute." She said, "There's one more guy behind you, right? Move, so I can see him."

Lazarus yelled in surprise when something grabbed about his ankles and dragged him aside, Levi popping up and looking over at the general direction he'd been flung, "Lazus!"

"Hmm..." The girl peered down at Levi who ignored her entirely, crawling out of the exit ungracefully and mashing his foot down on the skeleton that was holding onto Lazarus' ankles, "No, you're not as cute as Princey either!" She sounded disappointed, "A~lice," She called, putting the cigarette back between her lips as she began to skip over to Piper, "Take care of those two, will you? Maybe you'll have a new friend soon!"

Audi stopped in her tracks when a skeleton that had suddenly rose up behind her blew to bits. Turning to look over her shoulder, she smirked, "Sooooorry, buuuut... I'm not interested in girls."

Adela swung her leg around, landing on solid ground before swiping her other leg at Audi, who dodged all of Adela's attacks with ease, avoiding the occasional bullet by a hair's breadth. Close combat wasn't really interesting to Audi. "Play with the garden," She said, sounding uninterested as she turned around. Skeleton hands burst out of the ground, "You can't win against me here, we're practically standing on a whole city of dead people!" The hands pushed themselves out of the ground, little red shards glowing in their empty sockets as Adela warped herself away from the group that had just tried to dogpile her, showing up between Audi and Piper just as the former raised her index finger.

"Oh come on," Audi barked, irritated, "Don't be so persistent."

Adela's eyes widened for a second before she spun around, slapping her hand on Piper's shoulder and roughly shoving him aside just before a skeleton gripping a rusted broadsword crashed the blade down on Piper's head. Smashing into the ground, Piper looked up and felt a pang of guilt at the gash on Adela's arm. It wasn't large, but it was deep, by the blood spattered across the floor. Adela swallowed the pain and picked up her mahstion gun with her good hand, "Move, Flaire! Get them out of here!! This place is swarming with skeletons!"

Audi sidestepped a bullet, "I don't really like fighting myself, you'll ruin my outfit. Can't you just go fight Mr. Gramps behind you?" She ducked, swerving from side to side and stepping back and forth to dodge the shower of bullets that were being sent towards her.

"Stand still." Adela snarled.

"You wish." Audi stuck out her tongue, looking down in surprise when her cigarette fell out of her mouth.

"That wish came true!" Dation encircled Audi, rooting her in place before a bullet seared through Audi's abdomen.

"Aww, look what you did to my favorite body." Audi sighed, looking down at the clean bullet hole in her midsection. Not a single drop of blood flowed out of it, "It was the only one that wasn't all messed up and now I don't have any bodies that aren't all chopped up... Well, why don't you give me yours instead, then?" Piper was completely forgotten as Audi refocused herself on getting a new... body. He glanced over at the stuffed animal, which was lying limp and ordinary on the ground. It was not bleeding, and there were no stains on it's fabric. It was just normal. He turned his eyes to Lazarus and Levi, who were trying to fend off the garden of skeletons, an entire battalion's worth. The skeletons merely picked themselves back up after they'd been knocked to pieces, causing an endless battle, save for the ones that got swept up in the huge venus flytrap's mouth.

"Man, and I just got through with 'Respect the Dead', but what am I supposed to do if they attack me?!" Levi cried, his foot smashing a skull off the spine, "Lay down and let them mash me into chopped liver?!"

"What the heck are you talking about?!?" Lazarus asked, giving a confused glance at Levi the wires wrapping around a group of skeletons and dropping them in the open mouth of the plant, acidic liquid boiling up over the rims of its giant petals.

parallelzero
May 9th, 2008, 08:14 PM
A large bolt of lightning ran through the chest of one of the skeletons, separating the bones long enough for Flaire to lead the two siblings down a safer path. It was no good. Skeletons here, skeletons there. Great escape route choice, Reid. She'd have to give him props later in the form of a kick to the head. She looked back occassionally to see if those two were still safe as she fended off the undead, and quickly noticed that the girl - Evaline was her name? - was distracted by the fight Reid's group was fighting with that strange archer. Though it seemed they at least had the upper hand. Thank god. A girl who could cut from a distance and without a weapon, a girl who could raise the dead, and an archer girl with a substancial ability yet to be revealed. She was scared to wonder how Melody was doing, still inside the catacombs with that little girl. Though the young demoness could probably handle herself. Flaire had been quite shocked when Melody's true form was revealed. Who would have thought?

---

"Checkmate." Tre repeated the archer's comment as he looked up from his book to see white chains rising from the ground, eventually wrapping themselves around a dumbfounded Tilde. The girl's confused expression quickly turned to one of amusement, causing a great deal of discomfort in Reid's stomach. What were they overlooking? There had to be something, based on her reaction... Oh shi- "That arrow. Where the hell is that arrow!?" Tre pointed out the absence first, but even that was too late. Moments later, arrows began to rain down on the group. Tre attempted to cast a barrier, but was shocked when the arrows passed right through without even breaking it. As Reid fell to the ground, bloodied from the arrow rain, he was trying to comprehend where so many arrows had come from. He closed his eyes, giving in to his inevitable death.

Light. Where was that light coming from? It touched his heart and made it feel warm. His eyes opened once more, and found himself where he should be. On the ground. Strangely enough, he felt better than ever, as if something had given him an energy boost. In a matter of seconds, one of Tilde's arms fell to the ground with a clunk. Only then he caught sight of Evaline in the distance, who was radiating with white light. So that's where-

"Look away!" Tilde monotonous voice was filled with fear as she clenched the joint which had once kept her arm in place. From the bloodied mess, long ropey things could be seen hanging out, and sparking. The same came out of her arm on the ground. Wires? She wasn't human? That was incorrect. She was human. She had blood running through her veins. Had she been modified somehow? Either way, the technology was far beyond their time...

---

"It's unfortunate. I'm not allowed to kill you. He told us not to." Saral sighed as she dropped her hands to the ground, slash marks forming in the rock below from the motion. "Oh well, I'll just have to cut you up enough that you wish you were dead~" Melody, originally relieved by the fact that she'd be spared - of course he wouldn't wish to kill her, he still had his uses for her - was suddenly taken by fear again by the girl's new threat. With her power, she could easily have all of her limbs severed and still live through it...

Loki
May 9th, 2008, 09:03 PM
A shriek ripped from Adela's throat as an old rusty butcher knife severed a deep gash in her shoulder, a half-rotted corpse spinning the knife expertly in it's fingers. Pushing one of it's decaying eyes back into it's head, the corpse stuck out it's tongue as it stepped up to Adela again, grinning madly as its opponent gripped the cut that had left her right arm completely immobile. A gurgle of blood dribbled out of her mouth, suffocating another scream when the blade ripped through her stomach. The animated corpse gingerly lifted Adela into the air by the dull end of the blade, cutting into her flesh slightly more, throwing her aside when it pulled the blade out of her body, lazily dropping its hand back to its side as it waited patiently for Adela to try to push herself off the ground. “New body!” Audi clapped her hands together excitedly, spinning around in glee as skeletons picked the bloodied Lieutenant off the ground. She fell roughly again with a fwump onto the ground when a foot smashed the skeletons away.

“Oi!” Levi’s voice barked down nervously at Adela, “What’re you doin’, dying over here?! Hey, w-wake up- GUH!” He crashed into the ground after the corpse threw its leg against Levi’s chest, knocking the wind out of him, but not before her left a bomb in his wake, the explosion blowing the corpse into bits and pieces.

Levi looked over at where he’d left Lazarus while gulping air back into his lungs and scrambling back to his feet. It was practically a forest, where Lazarus was, but he could still hear the distinct sound of skeletons clanking around. A highly entertained laugh came from within, but it was not Lazarus’ voice. It was a mature female sound, and Levi could only guess that Lazarus had loaned his body to his fael to support the forest. An ominous quiet followed by the complete stop of all the moving skeletons gave Levi the chance to scramble over to Adela, who was biting her lip and squeezing her eyes shut as she tightened her grip on her shoulder, taking short gasps of air. There was no chance to say anything though, because a yell of pain that was distinctly Lazarus came from the overgrowth of plants. The cry was cut off with the dull thud of a heavy blade hitting flesh every now and then, and Levi trembled with each pause. The plants all shriveled up at once and turned back into regular seeds, revealing Audi behind Lazarus with her arms around his neck, hugging him from behind as she smiled smugly at her victim.

“I don’t really like your body- I don’t like boys. But you were being so mean to my cute little skeletons. I really don’t like that venus flytrap you know.” She crooned as Levi noticed a giant pool of blood at Lazarus’ feet, “And you’re not even as cute as the fake princey! So impertinent. But your personality seems good. Maybe I’ll make you into a stuffed animal, like Alice.” She giggled, pecking the already unconscious eation user on the cheek before letting him drop into the puddle of crimson, “Well, have fun dying! I might come back for your soul, later.”

Levi stood up from Adela’s side, looking with wide eyes at the huge X brutally hacked into Lazarus’ back, “You bit-“

Audi turned a cheerful look on Levi before her eyes shifted to her left, glaring at where Flaire and the others had escaped to.

White light, and the gash was gone. White light, and Levi looked down at Adela, who was staring back up at him in disbelief. “What the-“

“Aliiiiceeee!” Audi wailed, more of a whine than anything else as she pouted, looking at the pile of sliced bones and the mashed up corpse that was now completely unidentifiable, “You’re so nice!” Five shallow gashes ran across Audi’s stomach, “Really, it’s not like this is an important body, you didn’t have to die for it.”

The stuffed animal on the floor twitched with motion, “Oh!” Audi looked up, smiling, “Revived, already, are you? You’re getting better at this! Tilde, do you want to go ho~oome? Me and Saral will clean up the stupid princess and the cutie, if you want! See, watch~” Audi put her forefinger and thumb in her mouth, blew, and with a sharp whistle, every skeleton in sight moved to resume the battle, more than half headed for Flaire, Piper, and Evaline, “Hey wait a minute, they never said anything about Princess knowing any kind of tricks! Princey can use wation and general swordplay is what the thing said, right? The heck are they doin’, cheating us like this!”

Audi huffed, ignoring Levi and Adela as they pulled Lazarus out of the blood. He was healed, but completely knocked out.

“Wake up, y’old man!!” Levi snapped, shaking Lazarus by his arm as Adela made to kick Levi where it hurt.

“Forget it, he’s out for now, you go get Flaire and them, bring Lazarus with you!” She turned back to Audi, who had since extracted a new cigarette and was carelessly puffing away on it as she contemplated useless things, having lost her interest in the battle, “I’m sure if we can knock this girl out the skeletons will disappear.”

parallelzero
May 10th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Ellianne watched in a manner of confusion at Tilde's panic at the loss of her arm. For once, the girl seemed very human, much more so than she had previously. Had the severing of those wires effected her more than physically? The girl looked about ready to cry, but it wasn't from physical pain. She probably felt exposed. The girl finally took hold of her arm with the attatched one, and held the severed area up to her shoulder. The wires snapped together, and pulled the arm off, which oozed blood before the joint sealed itself closed with flesh once more. Tilde's eyes once again glazed over with lifelessness, and the ground around her began to erupt in pillar of light as her eyes glowed a violent orange. "Continue." The energy, Reid could tell, was the same she used to make her arrows. However, there was no way it was mahstion. She had too much control over it. He looked up as the energy fell down from the pillars like snowflakes, eroding anything it touched, including his own flesh.

He panicked as he fell to his knees. The others were already in deep trouble thanks to the barrage of arrows from earlier. There's no way they'd live at this rate. Not to mention he could barely move, as whatever the hell this girl was producing was painfully eating away at his flesh and clothes. He threw up his hood in a desperate attempt to keep his head safer a little while longer. It'd be all over if it ate away to his brain, after all. But what was his next move? Whatever the hell that Evaline girl was doing off in the distance, she was still doing it, but it wasn't enough for him to overcome the pain long enough to move...

Suddenly, the hellish snow stopped, and the Tilde fell to the ground, a gaping hole in her chest where her heart should have been. She was still alive though. She was breathing. She didn't need her heart to live? "I really hate violence. I really hate saving people who almost killed me. But hey, this is all in good fun. After all, I have a death to avenge." The young man standing behind Tilde's fallen body murmured off to nobody in particular as he pulled his white and black bangs out of his eyes. His hair, long and straight, was cut symmetrically in half. the left side was white, while the right side was white. A pair of black horns erupted from his head, reaching down to the back of his head and curving outwards. He watched on with red eyes, with pupils similar to those of a cat, before stretching his tall but scrawny body, which was covered by a black cloak. "I didn't even have to put enough effort in to remove this rag though... that sucks." It had been a while since Cress had gotten any excersise.

---

"Too easy to read. You have a weak spot on your back, right about here." The fifteen year old girl's voice said in a matter-of-fact manner as she spun around, her red, demonic wings shuffling wildly along with her elongated, purple tail as she spun. She pointed to the location on her back. "You're thinking 'there's no way you'll cut it though' right? I don't have to. It'll happen without me moving in thirty seconds." Kyra's dark, almost black-purple, shoulder length hair blew in the breeze as three eyes - two a pastel purple colour, and the third a blood red colour in the center of her forehead - stared Audi down. She glanced back to Adela for a moment. "You've grown substancially." Kyra was younger than Adela, only at the age of fifteen physically.

As if on queue, Melody erupted from the catacombs, Saral flying out afterwards, waving her hands wildly as she attempted to strike down her opponent. Melody noticed Kyra below, and nodded as she communicated with Kyra telepathically. Technically, she was part apostle herself, which granted her the ability to do such a thing with another. She dove, her large wings finally falling victim to Saral's inhuman ability. She kept herself at a high enough altitude to fly over Audi from behind, which left Saral's next blow free to hit Audi as Melody barely pulled up in time.

"Uh... oops... sorry Audi~~~~! Ha.... ha.... ah.... crap."

Loki
May 10th, 2008, 09:45 PM
Adela flinched while Levi shivered from head to toe at the shriek emitted from Audi's general direction. White strips of cloth seemed to appear out of nowhere, torn and tattered as they evaporated into the air, "SARAL!!!" A furious voice screamed shrilly before Audi's body fell limply to the floor, years of rotting that had been stopped by Audi's powers catching up with it as it turned into a mere skeleton wrapped in colorful clothes. Adela looked around as the skeletons began to clatter to the ground, falling apart without Audi's powers. The corpse however, still stood tall, looking around quietly before it also fell with a heavy thud, the sword clanging against another sword as it skid across the ground.

The Lieutenant whipped her head around when she heard the dull sound of a knife falling through flesh, and she couldn't even spit out the word she wanted to say when she saw a butcher knife sticking out of an astonished Levi’s left arm, gripping an unconscious Lazarus by the collar with his good arm. A skeleton behind them waved at her, a slit across Lazarus' throat spurting more blood onto the ground as his face took on a terrible color. How much blood Lazarus had lost at this point, Adela wouldn't even want to know. When the skeleton dropped to the floor, something caught her eye and she turned yet again. The pink stuffed animal twitched to life and stood, bleeding profusely now as it left behind a trail of blood. A recording played as it skipped away, “Bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye,” it said over and over again, the sound of something pressing the buttons of the tape recorder inside it sounding between each farewell. It disappeared entirely from view after its third step, though it shouldn’t have been out of Adela’s range of sight.

“You guys-“ The same white light from earlier healed Lazarus’ cut, but he was horribly pallid, and white light did nothing for Levi, who still had the knife lodged into his arm.

“Ahh,” Levi trembled as he slowly pulled out the knife, which fit snugly in his arm, “Hoooly- crap!” Levi took a sharp breath when he swept it out of his arm, and sighed in relief when the wound closed up almost immediately.

“Never want something stuck in me ever again.” He shivered, before noticing Lazarus on the ground, who was now working very hard to get full breaths into his lungs, sweating as his face drained of color, “O-Oi, y’don’t suppose this white light replaces blood, does it?!”

Adela looked over at Saral with a glare before glancing at Kyra with almost more contempt than she’d held for Saral, “I see you haven’t grown at all, whichever twin you are.”


------------------------------


Dieter was dragging his fingernails down his own face in torturous agony as he paced about the blimp. It wasn’t fair, that they could subject him to the smell of this much blood and expect him to sit quietly. The 12-year-old Rasch who was gripping the hem of Dieter’s vest, trying to calm him down, was wholly ignored, dragged around behind Dieter as he fruitlessly dug the heels of his feet into the ground, “Calm down!” was the only two words that managed to escape his mouth. Dieter parted his lips and let out a frustrated cry, grabbing Rasch’s wrists and flinging him off, having lost all reason as blood leaked out from under his eyepatch. He collapsed, curling up on the ground and gripping his hair in his fists as he yelled merely for the sake of letting off steam.

Pounding his fist onto the floor, Dieter fought to keep his breath steady, ignoring everything and anything else as he was swallowed up by the desire to kill someone.

Rasch sat quietly where he’d landed after being tossed away, watching Dieter uneasily.

“TAPPEN, LET ME GO!!” Dieter yelled, wrenching at the collar around his neck without much care for the fact that he would most definitely end up with a bruised neck from tugging, “LET M-e goooo~…” Dieter’s voice lost its volume as he shuddered, his fingers gripping his throat as he gagged from choking himself. His shoulders heaved from the effort of breathing between his fingers, and somehow, suffocating himself was Dieter’s barbaric solution to satiating his desire to kill someone, while at the same time blocking out the scent of blood. Dieter let go as soon as he lost the last of his breath, just before he passed out and resumed his screaming when the smell reached him once more.

“Whyyyy did you bring me heeere?!” Dieter moaned, covering his face as he shook violently, “I hate thiiis! Let me out. LET ME OUT!!”

He was halfway through pushing himself up onto all fours before a sharp blow to his head sent a splash of blood being held back by his eyepatch to escape the edges, sending Dieter back to the floor, unconscious.

parallelzero
May 14th, 2008, 02:45 PM
Saral hovered there, sweatdropping. Crap, they had lost? It wasn't a big deal, really. This was in theory, a test mission. They would be outfitted appropriately for the next mission. She was going to get it from Audi later on, though. "Eh... Apostles, huh? Weren't you supposed to have disappeared after Cloaks and his friends over there kicked your butts five years ago?" Reid sweatdropped. 'Cloaks?' And besides, they didn't come close to beating the Apostles. They were only victorious because Tealia showed up at the last minute. Not to mention Juliet's death... He mentally kicked himself for bringing that back up. Some thoughts were better left buried until the right moment. This was not that moment. "Well, this sucks~~ I can't do anymore cutting today. Ah~ Oh well~" She brought her small hands up to her face, blushing like an embarassed little girl. It wasn't hard to see through the guise after all that had happened, however. Dation engulfed the body of the fallen Tilde, and soon absorbed Saral as well. They didn't use mahstion... so they had an accomplice? Come to think of it, Kayle used Dation.

"Don't... relax yet. We need... to reach the rendevous first." Melody's broken sentences were enough to indicate that she needed help. She walked with her arm covering the wounds she had sustained on her stomach, fresh blood still leaking overtop of the limb and dripping to the ground. It was a true wonder she hadn't passed out from blood loss yet, not with her smaller body anyways. Tre moved towards her in an attempt to heal her, but she crept away. "Don't... you can't... No time... We need to meet with Carn's resistance force to... deliver them."

"Them?" Bianca asked, and mostly everyone sweatdropped. She apparently wasn't the brightest. Tre walked over to her, closed his book angrily, and smacked her across the back of the head with the hard covered novel. "Ow! I get it! I get it! The heirs! The heirs!"

Kyra eyed Adela with all three of her eyeballs. "You have a dark aura, Ms. Ciaccio. Something is troubling your heart? Nevermind. You have changed, however, and from what I can see, not for the best. You'd best clear up that aura sooner than later..." Cress raised an eyebrow as he watched Kyra work her magic. He had told her not to say anything stupid, but it seemed like she wasn't paying attention. That girl always zoned out at the worst times. Even now, she was still shaken by the death of Kira. Kyra and Kira were originally two sets of twins that had been mashed together. When Kira died, the twins that made Kyra, Gillian and Fresia, lost their sisters. It was a memory they never let go of, and probably never would. Cress could sympathize. He was there when Kira was killed. Had her head cut off. It was horrible. He turned his gaze to Reid, who said nothing, but gave him a 'we need to talk later' kind of glare. He assumed he knew about what. Rosaline's death.

Reid was nearly knocked off his feet as a tiny blur jumped into his arms. When he regained his senses, he found the Evaline girl staring up at him, her big blue eyes all teary. She had probably been scared out of her mind. "I'm so happy! You guys didn't die! I don't want anyone else to die because of what I did!" Reid sighed. This was all to familiar. Why? Of course, because he had thought the same thing only a couple of days before. No, he needed to distract himself. He couldn't look at the past, not until this was all over. This mission, anyways.

"Listen, this isn't your fault. You and your brother didn't do anything wrong. It's just this stupid Prince trying to take over. We're going to take you somewhere safe." He couldn't help but wonder if that was true. If they were taking them to Carn's rebellion troops, wouldn't Piper and Evaline just be used as figureheads for the campaign?

Ellianne approached Lazarus, a pouch of ice in her hand. "Here... it's an icepack. I didn't know if you'd need it for anything. I'm not a healer, so it's about all I can do... I can make more if we need them for anyone else. So... uh..." Her eyes hit the ground. Once again, she had been useless in a battle. Maybe she should have done the smart thing and just gone back to being a priestess...

"You okay? I guess my plan didn't go completely as planned..." Reid asked Adela, offering a smile and a wet cloth for wiping herself free of any undesired dirt, sweat, or blood. "But... you're safe, so I'm happy." There was an awkward pause for a moment, and he broke it after panicking. Crap, too obvious, too obvious! "Er... I mean, everyone! It's good that everyone is safe!" He brought his hand up to his forehead and wiped away a bit of blood. Odd. When had he taken a head wound? It continued to bleed.

Loki
May 14th, 2008, 05:06 PM
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” A blonde woman screeched, pouches of cigrattes bursting and flying across the room as she threw an uncontrollable temper tantrum. Stuffed animals all across the room twitched in fear as she grabbed the nearest teddy bear and immediately ripped it apart into little shreds of fabric and cotton puff. She shrieked again, grabbing more stuffed animals and digging her long yellow nails into the limbs and tearing them apart, throwing them around as she stumbled around the room. “I HATE THIS BODY!!” She screamed, smashing one of the skulls laying about into her reflection that revealed a huge patch of off-color skin that had been sewn onto her right chest. It was obvious that when this body had died, it hadn’t died intact. Audi picked up the pink stuffed bunny that bled all over the place, ripping it apart in her fury and dumping out a saw, butcher knife still covered in Lazarus’ blood, mahstion gun, daggers, knives, shuriken, needles, everything jam packed into the animal fell out across the floor as she flung open a closet. Her teeth still grit with anger, she could hardly notice her somewhat disheveled appearance of smeared bright red lipstick or her long bangs hanging in her seething blue eyes. Her hand reached into the depths of the closet and pulled out another stuffed animal, completely identical to Alice’s stuffed animal that she’d just pulled to pieces save for the color of the plush fur.

“HERE!” Audi barked irritable, throwing the black bunny at the ruined remains of the pink one. She stormed around, crushing skeletons that hung around her room as she brought her purple heels down on them, throwing stuffed animals back and forth before stopping in the middle of the ruins to scream yet again; “AUUUUUUUUGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!”

She pulled a pillow off of the bed buried in stuffed animals, stuffed her face, yelling random curse words as skeletons all around her burst into piles of dust and stuffed animals fell limp as she incinerated their souls. Audi didn’t care. She could collect more souls later, get more skeletons later. Alice sat in the corner of the room now, watching with plain black button eyes as Audi threw open another closet, a sudden silence showing that she was examining all of the blank expressions on the dead bodies in this particular closet.

“ALL OF THEM ARE MISSING A PIECE SARAL!! IF YOU WOULD JUST KILL SOMEONE WITHOUT SLICING THEM TO BITS, I WOULD HAVE A NORMAL LOOKING BODY!!” Audi shrieked slamming the door shut and continuing her tirade about the room, “BUT NO, YOU HAVE TO GO AND SLICE UP CAROL’S BODY!” Audi slammed her forehead into a wall, pounding her fists against it like a spoiled child, she pulled away with a huff and looked down at her current body, dressed in all bright colors, “Damn murderer sliced up Haley’s body before I could stop him. Would’ve trashed this body if she wasn’t so pretty. But it’s useless since I can’t go outside in this body. A dead celebrity isn’t exactly the most useful body.” Audi sighed, tapping her- or rather, Haley’s, chin.

“Ah, screw it!” Audi snapped as Haley’s body slumped to the floor and the body of a 14-year-old girl extracted herself off the hanger that kept her feet off the floor of the closet, “It looks more normal for me to be carrying Alice in this body anyway, even though the arm isn’t from the same person.”

Indeed, the girl’s arms were of two completely different shades, one a dark chocolate, and the other a sun kissed tan. The majority of her skin was of the latter color, and her jet black hair was pulled up into a bun that had wild curls jutting out from all directions. Ironically, out of all of Audi’s female bodies, the youngest one was the least wacky in style, dressed in a black and green striped tube-top mini-dress with black 4” pumps. Leather bracelets wrapped around her bony wrist and tapered eyes lined in heavy black eyeliner and gray eyeshadow. As much as this look didn’t suit a girl her age, she strut about without a care as she pulled the black bunny up from it’s place in the corner, “I have to go find someone pretty again,” She sighed, picking up an unlit cigarette from the floor and fishing around the pocket of a dead body’s pants, the name tag hanging over the empty bag of flesh reading ‘Seyren’. Audi had plenty of bodies, but never a body whose original name was the same as another body’s. She wanted the entire alphabet before going back around. The body of the little girl was originally Bianchi, but it wasn’t anymore. It had been ‘Audi’ for nearly ten years now, after the real Audi, the same age as Bianchi at the time of her death, hacked off her classmate’s arm because she was ‘being annoying’.

Pulling a lighter out of Seyren’s back pocket, Audi lit her cigarette and sat down on her bed, perching her arms on the piles of stuffed animals around her as she snapped her fingers, sighing, “Ah, what a great rampage.” Skeletons pieced themselves back together at the sound of her snap, particles of dust rearranging to become their original form as they marched around the room, putting things back in place as Audi inhaled a mouthful of smoke. She gagged and coughed hard, before throwing the half used smoke at a skeleton in irritation, “Tastes horrible in this body.” She spat into a wastebin ungracefully and crossed her legs.

“I’m done now, you guys can come in if you’re still out there.” Audi called to her door, a nonchalant look on her face as she propped her head up against her hand, pushing her chin into her line of view.

----

“Shut up, nobody asked you to give me a personality test.” Adela barked at the female apostle, turning her face away in frustration, “I’ve heard that tirade enough times, and I don’t need to hear it from you.”

Levi rolled his eyes as Lazarus lifted his head to manage a meek smile for Ellianne as he took the ice pack, “Thank you.” He said breathlessly between one of his gasps for air. Levi was tempted to drop Lazarus right then and there, but simply roughly pulled Lazarus higher into the air as the latter grimaced when his arm was being pulled without warning. He slumped against Levi again when the thief loosened his grip, and Lazarus issued an irritated and exhausted glare at the person who was supposed to be helping him, but was really only making things worse. He didn’t have any right to judge Ellianne- who was doing a whole lot more helping than he was, even if ice would only cause his lungs to feel as if they’d deflated even more. “Would you-“ Lazarus’ head spun and he paused to breathe, deciding that wasting his breath on Levi was not worth it at all. He looked down, catching his breath before turning his eyes up to Ellianne, pausing to take a breath between each little phrase, “Sorry- to bother- you.”

Adela wiped off her own forehead and then glanced down at her shoulder which was dripping the last remnants of blood, though there was no gash left. Wiping it off, Adela refolded the cloth to the clean side and shook her head at Reid. She let a half-smile reach her face as she rearranged the folds of the cloth, saying lightly, “I’m fine, just lost a little blood. Not much, compared to everyone else though. Your plan would’ve worked, if it weren’t for those three girls, so it’s not your fault anyway. It turned out okay in the end.” Adela turned and grabbed Reid’s wrist, pulling it away as she pressed the clean side of her cloth against the injury on his head, “I’m glad you’re safe too, Mr. Hero. Your opponent didn’t look like she was planning on dying anytime soon.”

A droplet of water danced across Piper’s fingertips as he stared down at them darkly, turned away from everyone else as he entertained himself quietly. He’d never worn this expression before- not even to the fake Prince, and he hid it as desperately as a coveted secret. An irritated, jealous, and frustrated face hinted with a sense of melancholy graced his young features that glared at his fingertips. The droplet hopped into his palm and clenching his hand into a fist, the water was crushed from it’s original form as he turned with his usual placid expression on his face at the sound of Levi’s voice calling, “Oi, Princey!”

“Sorry,” Piper smiled, laughing embarrassedly, “I spaced off.”

“Eh.” Levi moved his head, unable to shrug because of Lazarus’ weight, “Just wonderin’ if you were in one piece is all.

“I’m fine,” Piper replied quickly, “Thank you though.”

Levi made a face that showed he hadn’t really cared in the first place, looking back at Lazarus and Ellianne, saying bluntly to Ellianne, “Y’know, I’m thinking that half-dead girl over there needs a little more help than Lazus here, but if you want to take over lugging his 165 lbs ass around, be my guest and I’ll go help the girl!”

“I don’t weigh-!” A short gasp for air interrupted his indignant exclamation before he gave up, wishing dearly that he hadn’t been stuck being lugged about by Levi.

Piper turned around again, keeping his light-hearted expression on. These were special circumstances, Piper reminded himself, taking a deep breath. It’s not like Evaline would pay more attention to them forever. It was a good chance, to start trying to live separately! Piper smiled at this ‘chance’, resisting the urge to laugh at its sheer absurdity. What was he supposed to do, living without Evaline? Read all day? No thanks. He sighed and wondered where they would be burying father. They would bury him, wouldn’t he? But wait. If he was Rosaline’s real sibling, not just a cousin, didn’t that mean Uncle- no, His Majesty, was his real father? Or was it the queen, or was it both? He felt anxious to meet up with the Carn Resistance now. He wanted to know everything… about himself?

How strange, Piper glanced over his shoulder, sweeping a glance around at everyone. It was like everyone knew who he was; everyone but himself. He swallowed a lump in his throat, the lump pushing down more questions than he could count, more questions than he wanted answers for before turning around, confident that his expression was firmly affixed.

"They know where we are now so... should we..." Piper jabbed the air with his finger as he pointed down the path, his voice trailing off as he lost his courage to speak in a group full of strangers. Especially since they'd all been hurt; technically on his account. Maybe he shouldn't rush them? "Oh- sorry, forget that..."

parallelzero
May 16th, 2008, 09:59 PM
"Pfft, she would have succumbed to my awesomeness eventually." Reid joked. A bad, arrogant joke that was fueled by what they could basically call their victory, even though they were bailed out in the end, AGAIN. "But, Mr. Hero? You make it sound like I actually win things. I don't. People help, and then get discredited. Though, from what I heard, you got quite a bit of credit from the Apostle incident, despite it being the military that solved it and not you~ Ahh, I'm joking. Don't kill me!" He smiled like the fool he sounded like. he hadn't been in a mood this good in days... even if he hurt all over and he was being smothered my a twelve year old girl.

"I'm not half dead! I'm fine!" Melody barked, gasping for breath between sentences. Reid responded with a sweatdrop. Oh, yeah, when my stomach is oozing blood and I can barely breathe, I'm fine too.

"You're never fine." Mistral's voice echoed in his head. "You're probably more high mainanence than most girls~." Reid sweatdropped further. Nobody asked her! Besides, he wasn't that high maintanence... at least, as long as he wasn't Sanako "Oi, idiot. I know what you're thinking, remember? You're pretty high maintanence in general, it's just more obvious when you're Sanako. I mean, how often have we had lengthy discussions about decisions in your life? I'm pretty sure we spent an hour one day when you went about debating whether or not you wanted pizza or a burger!" Time to play the 'ignore the fael game'. "I know what you're doing! Cheater~"

Cress rubbed the back of his head with his right hand, as he sifted through his pant pockets with his left. A look of realization glanced over his face before his attention turned to Kyra, who waved a piece of paper in the air before dropping it on Reid's face, who was still on the ground, Evaline still all teary eyed and on top of him. He didn't want to seem rude and push her off, though he wondered why she wasn't clinging to her brother. He reached up for the paper, and brought it before his eyes, scanning it quickly. "Looks like we don't need to deliver them. We already have."

"Eh?" Ellianne cocked her head to the side. She had been busy preparing bread and water to serve as food while everything else had been taking place. Luckily they had brought this extra bag of goodies like Melody had suggested. "But... I don't see them... Anywhere. What about you, Lazus? Flaire?" Flaire shook her head.

"And we just got back from scouting." Bianca added, twirling her hoop around her left arm out of boredom. 'We' obviously referred to her and Tre, who was idly flipping through his lovely little novel. Reid couldn't help but think Tre, Lazarus and Rasch should start a book club. "Didn't see 'nothing."

Reid held the letter up, although since he was still pinned to the ground, it looked kind of funny. "It's from Ailia. Apparently she and Sven aiding the Rebellion force. Cress and Kyra are serving as their envoys. So basically we just need to hand them over." There was more on the piece of paper than just that revalation, but it was for his eyes only until he could decide what to make of it. To put things simply, he wouldn't need that discussion with Cress now.

"Fine... We need to get back anyways. Only a few weeks left of your training." Melody added her two cents. It was true. Once their time limit ran out, Flazure's citizens were dead. Not to mention Melody had said something about mounting an attack on the enemy's main base. "Evaline, Piper, you need to go with these two."

"But... why can't I stay with you guys!?" Evaline retorted. The question wasn't directed at Melody, but rather, Reid. The demon girl was quite offended.

Reid sweatdropped. Why him? "You'll see us again, but we're heading off somewhere dangerous, and we can't bring you guys..."

Loki
May 16th, 2008, 11:33 PM
Adela raised an eyebrow at Reid, smirking as she checked the bleeding, “Nice save.” Ignoring Melody as she looked around for a clean spot on the cloth she’d been given, Adela glanced over at Piper, who had fallen into silence as he continued to half-heartedly bounce a water droplet across his finger tips. Weird guy. She looked down at his sister holding Reid in a vice grip. Even weirder little sister. Resisting the urge to pry her off, Adela folded her arms, tightly pressing her hands under them to make sure she didn’t shoo the princess away. Adela hated her affinity for royalty, but she couldn’t help it. Authority was authority, even if they weren’t in their proper seat yet. And even though the brat wouldn’t be the actual ruler. She doubted the prince’s ability though, he seemed more interested in himself and his sister, more then the country of Carn.

Lazarus shook his head silently, slumping when he became even dizzier from the action. Had Levi not been preoccupied with the ‘Lazus’ instead of ‘Lazarus’, he probably would’ve voiced a complaint about the sudden increase in weight. Damn that Lazarus, saying he didn’t have any interest in girls. Nickname status was like, huge! (In Levi’s terms of success.) He seethed with false jealousy; honestly, he wasn’t interested in a girl who was half blind, practically mute, and had an important holy status as priestess. (He wasn’t one for ‘holy’ things.) But man was Lazus makin’ progress!


Piper silently rubbed his left arm with his other hand after having discarded the drop of wation, listening patiently. He was okay with leaving, but then again, he wasn’t sure because Evaline seemed so disappointed. What a conflict. Piper pressed his lips together. Words