Y.Z.: Act II (PG16)
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It was a rainy day in Tealia, but even more so outside of the infirmary provided for wounded soldiers, otherwise known as TFI, which creatively stood for Tealian Forces Infirmary. The rain pounded mercilessly upon the window of room number thirty seven, which contained patient number three-one-seven-one. The room was full of people, which was not usually permitted without the consent of a superior officer, which in fact had been provided. The room, in fact, while holding a patient, was being used as a location for a private meeting between a commander and a few choice people.
The eyes of Rosaline Dian jolted from place to place in the room, taking in every aspect of the strange setup. The past two weeks had been a whirlwind experience for her, and she still had problems adjusting to the modern world. The room, while made to accommodate one person, was about the size of two large bedrooms, and was lined with many shelves and cupboards, all white like the walls and tiled floor aside from the chairs everyone was sitting on, which were red. There was a fairly large window on the eastern side of the room, but it was currently under the influence of a rainstorm, which made things loud and depressing. The bed in the dead center of the room was white as well, with white sheets, and a brown haired boy lying in the middle, connected to life support. It had been two weeks since he fell into a coma. When they took him into the hospital, it had been determined that he had shattered a bone in his right leg, presumable by the large hole that had pierced it, and he had become so physically exhausted that he became unable to hold consciousness. Yes, the medical case of Reid Davies was a strange one, and he had been subjected to many tests with little insight into what had really occurred. Even now, the scientists knew nothing, or rather, refused to say anything.
Rosaline looked at the boy, tracing his slow yet deep breathing pattern. She hadn't seen him since he fell into his coma, and regretted it. She had accepted Tealia's offer to train her, so that she wouldn't be such a burden anymore, but she was only learning at a slow pace, and she was far from becoming a well seasoned fighter. She had even picked up the use of a quarterstaff. Rose continued surveying the room, meeting eye contact with most of the group. It was all girls in the room other than Reid. Faewyn and Alicel, whom of which she had been spending the majority of her time with, Adela, and her mother, Commander Milo. Commander Milo was a strong looking woman, probably no older than thirty three. Her hair was long, straight, and a colour similar to that of her daughter, though it seemed more blue than the green-blue Adela had. She was a tall woman, perhaps six feet tall, with an attractive figure despite her age and the fact that she had a child. Her face suggested a calm and soothing mood, which Rosaline easily recognized as a ploy, a method to throw the group off guard. It was obvious that she had some bad news to relay to the group. The woman stood, showing off her commander uniform consisting of a blue, long sleeved jacket with white sleeves and buttons. On the back of the jacket was the symbol of the Tealian ranks, four stars running down the back vertically, with the imprint of a tulip at the very bottom. She also wore a blue, tight skirt that went to just below her knees, which showed of her curves, and a pair of navy blue boots that run up to meet the skirt.
Lianne Milo surveyed the group of teenagers before her, including the body in the bed. She proceeded to clear her throat my couching into her right hand, before proceeding to speak. "As you all may be aware, the threat of a war between the nation of Tealia and the nation of Carn has growing ever so quickly. They have been building up their forces at Alta with little resistance, since Prince Regul has been locked away. All they've needed to attack us thus far is justification, and now they have it." The woman proceeded to clear her voice once again, and Rose could tell this wasn't good. "Princess Juliet has gone missing from the castle in Carn, and the King is accusing us of kidnapping her. One political fault by the Queen will lead to a full scale war at this point, which is not something we can really deal with. Therefore, we need to locate Princess Juliet and prove our innocence so that, at the very least, we can postpone the war a little further. Carn has provided us with one week to return the princess, and with all of the other units busy preparing for war, I'd like you guys to become a new unit charged with the mission of locating the Princess. Rosaline, I realize Juliet is your sister, correct?" Rosaline nodded, a little bit distressed that Juliet had gone missing. Why would some do that? What purpose would it serve? "And that man we captured shortly before you, Aertan was it? He is an acquaintance?" Rosaline proceeded to nod once more. "Very well, he shall be joining you, and any other people you may want as long as they are not busy with other military duties."
Commander Milo approached her daughter, and poked the girl in the forehead, in the location of the purple dot similar to the ones all of the others had received. "I also have some information regarding these strange skin deformations. Scientists here are referring to the phenomenons as 'mahstion scars', and it has been confirmed that they hold some sort of unidentified power. About fifteen percent of the world's population has received these scars, and while the cause and reasoning behind it is unknown, it's recommended you avoid combat with anyone with these scars until they are analyzed further. It can't be certain, but there is some sort of belief that there is a link between these scars and what happened between Rod and Reid two weeks ago.
She proceeded to take her place in the middle of the room again, a smile now on her face. "Now, I have some more amusing news for you all. As you should all understand, Reid became a bit of a celebrity for thwarting the objectives of a traitor, despite our efforts to keep the incident out of the press. With the news of the war, the citizens of Tealia have began to become more and more depressed. Therefore, we've decided on an announcement to give them something pleasant to talk about." The woman turned to her daughter again, a big grin on her face. "As of today, Adela, you are now engaged to the hero, Reid Davies. The promise of a wedding between a hero and the commander's daughter, it's something that will make the citizens happy, even if you won't exactly wed for a few years."
"WHAT!?" Rose spoke up, getting out of her seat angrily. "You're picking his wife for him!? How is that fair to him!" She stormed out of the room in a big huff, before sitting in the fetal position down the hall a ways, her head tucked in and her wings spread out.
A stirring began to occur in the bed as the eyes of the boy slowly opened, to look at the group before him. "Huh...? Where am I? ...And why do I have the feeling something bad just happened?"
Adela listened to her mother's long einded speech with a blank and bored expression, sitting quietly only because she didn't want to get reproached by the person she'd been chasing after for all these years. The strange device she'd found at the scene of the crime still sat in her bag, wrapped in her bandanna. Nobody had questioned Adela as to where her bandanna had gone yet, as she'd gotten rid of the cyan ribbons on her legs and the wrist warmers as well. She hadn't even confided in her mother and idol that she'd found it. She wanted to ask Reid what it was first. Adela hated the scientists. They never told her anything because they thought it was too gruesome. And thus, Adela wanted the answers first. Whether it would hasten or slow down Reid’s recovery, Adela didn’t care; she wanted to know why this was happening.
Her mother explained half of it to her, and Adela squeezed her eyes shut when her mother poked her forehead, and Adela was tempted to bring out the device. Her mother had actually noticed something. Adela knew her mother was observant, but Adela had never really noticed that she’d ever pointed out anything odd with Adela herself, even when Adela began to wear the strange yet lithe outfit that was now blood-free.
Alicel listened intently to everything Commander Milo said, sometimes drifting off and wondering how such a beautiful and strong woman could’ve produced such a brat who was like a very cute demon. The father must’ve been a weird one. Alicel shook her head. What was she thinking?? This was serious! She focused herself on the dot on her forehead, and strained her memory for whether or not Rod had one too. Fiddling with her one remaining bracelet, she’d never really paid much attention, and though she simply couldn’t get the memory of the corpse of a friend out of her mind, she shoved it aside for the billionth time. Her mind was having a hard time focusing on anything, but when Commander Milo mentioned that Adela would be engaged to Reid, Alicel’s lower lip began to quiver with mirth.
When Adela’s mother mentioned that she’d be engaged to Reid, Adela’s lower lip began to quiver as well though with shock rather then mirth. That was all that was registered on the young girl’s face; shock shock shock.
Alicel, suppressing a great burst of laughter, excused herself with the excuse of going to comfort Rosaline, who had stormed out of the room after declaring that it was unfair to Reid to decide this for him. Of course, it was unfair, but the idea would’ve made Alicel shriek with laughter if it weren’t for the fact that Rosaline really liked Reid.
Adela, however, stared at her mother with big watery eyes and choked out in as cutesy and ‘pity-me’ a voice she could, “WHAT? B-B-But Mooom! I-I, I HATE HIIIIM!!!” Of course, this was all just a pretty façade to keep from actually having to marry him. It was a gruesome thought, and Adela couldn’t even force the image to come to her mind. She wasn’t even fourteen yet for cripes sake! Inside, Adela was shouting the most foul curse words in her mind, cursing Reid, cursing Commander Milo, cursing Tealia for being depressed and needing such an outrageous idea to cheer them up.
“I WON’T WON’T WON’T!!!” Adela shrieked like a toddler, her shrill voice practically making the whole room shiver, “NO NO NO!! I DON’T LIKE HIM! I HATE HIM, HATE HATE HATE!!! HE’S WEAK, AND HE’S STUPID, AND HE’S UGLY AND AND AND…” She continued to yell her opinion of Reid through a steady stream of fake tears that were quite convincing, repeating the words of emphasis three times each, before ending her speech with another blood curdling shriek, reducing her cries into small resigned sobs to lengthen the effect of self-pity while on the inside she was smiling smugly at her exceptional performance that would surely call the whole thing off.
For two weeks, Aleksandra Zaitseva had languished in her cell at the Tealian Forces Disciplinary Barracks, cut off from any human contact save for the odd corrections officer assigned to patrol the cell block. With the departure of Rosaline, Aertan, Alicel, and Faewyn, she was (somewhat amazingly) the only prisoner left in the entire block. Either the Tealians didn't have much trouble with breaches of military law among their own personnel, or all the Carn POWs were kept in other facilities (or executed outright). Probably both.
While Adela was staging her mock tantrum in the Tealian Forces Infirmary, Aleks simply sat on the cot in her cell, mumbling what she had memorized of an arcane code of laws to herself; she had already recited the first six subchapters verbatim and was just starting on the contents of the seventh subchapter. "'Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 47, Subchapter VIII, Section 855, Article 55. Cruel and unusual punishments prohibited,'" she droned. "'Punishment by flogging, or by branding, marking, or tattooing on the body, or any other cruel or unusual punishment, may not be adjudged by any court-martial or inflicted upon any person subject to this chapter. The use of irons, single or double, except for the purpose of safe custody, is prohibited.'"
The lone corrections officer on duty had put up with Aleks' muttering the first few times, but at this point in time, his patience was already wearing thin. "Quiet down in there, you whore!" he yelled as he walked up to the door of Aleks' cell and started banging on the bars with his baton. "Just be a good little prisoner and pipe down already. I'm sick and tired of hearing your rambling about this 'Uniform Code of Military Justice.'"
"'Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 47, Subchapter VIII, Section 856, Article 56. Maximum limits,'" Aleks kept murmuring, undaunted. "'The punishment which a court-martial may direct for an offense may not exceed such limits as the President may prescribe for that offense.'"
"Okay, that's it for you," the guard said as he put away his baton and produced a key ring from his belt, intending to unlock the door and drag Aleks to the proper facilities to administer corporal punishment. "If you're not going to shut up on your own, I'll do it for you."
As the officer opened the door and stepped into the cell, Aleks abruptly stopped her recitation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. "Bring it," she said.
"You trying to threaten me, slut?" the officer uttered as he brandished his baton and advanced towards Aleks. This thin-skinned guard wasn't going to bother with proper protocol at this point; he was just going to beat Aleks in the confines of her own cell and get it over with right then and there. He was so blinded by his anger that he simply didn't realize he was playing right into Aleks' hands. Literally.
Aleks didn't bother waiting for the corrections officer to attack, springing up from the cot and shoving him as hard as she could, taking him completely by surprise as he was thrown into a wall. Aleks' assault continued swiftly and mercilessly as she kicked the guard in the head and ribs repeatedly, not stopping until she was sure he had been put out of commission for good. After taking the time to strip the guard of his uniform and put it on over her Soviet Naval Infantry combat fatigues, Aleks walked out of the cell, closing the door behind her with a resounding clang.
Faewyn had been uncharacteristically silent during the assembly. It wasn't out of mourning over Reid's condition, though; she had gotten accustomed to that after the first week or so. That was something Faewyn had always had a knack for, getting accustomed: even Rod's death had reached a certain point of calm now. The first time...it had been horrible, even though the girl performed her investigation with an unnervingly calm and unbothered air, even though she hadn't as much as twitched as she came face-to-face with Rod's mangled body, it had been absolutely horrible and she could barely count the number of nights she had woken up, drenched in cold sweat after being visited by that sight. On the outside, Faewyn had been just as chipper, upbeat and, curious as before, though, and in retrospect some of her actions seemed a bit insensitive towards her friends' feelings. The requested delay in burying Rod so she could get an additional investigation in had probably been the worst; she wasn't sure if Alicel had ever really forgiven her for that one, but to Faewyn it had been something that had to be done, a necessary process for her to get over the matter. She had studied Rod's corpse, every last cut, wound, and abrasion photographed, sketched, investigated and analyzed. The scientists were still rolling their thumbs, but Faewyn wanted to know.
Well, the cause of death had been easy enough: considering that the boy's skin had been torn off and every vein and artery in his body had been severed in multiple places, it would have been more disturbing if he had survived. The inconsistent cut pattern nailed it down as Wionus, but the sheer scope of the damage implied Wionus in excessive amounts; certainly way more than Reid could ever produce. Unfortunately, the wounds had yielded no sign of mahstion-based weaponry, or any weaponry for that matter. Then there was Reid's leg wound...
Faewyn's glance traveled to the comatose boy without really seeing him. The wound wasn't nearly as grotesque as Rod's, but it was - if possible - even more puzzling. Whatever had struck him had passed straight through the bone and shattered it without leaving a trace. The shape of the wound suggested a stabbing weapon or projectile of some kind and the resistance to healing confirmed the presence of Mahstion, but therein lay the quandry: what kind of weapon could cause a wound like that? Thanks to Shiraume's quick intervention, Faewyn didn't have nearly as much information on this wound as she had on Rod's, but the fact remained that the weapon had passed through a human leg without being deflected or broken. There was no way a dagger, even an empowered dagger, could shatter a bone like that. There was no sign of carbonization or acid burn so it couldn't have been Fionus or Wation, Eation would have been fully capable of crushing the bone but it couldn't conceivably have pierced the flesh like that. This left Winous, but that was hardly an adequate answer to the question. Ever since she was recruited, Faewyn had spent every available second of her weapons training at the archery range to test her hypothesis, bit not even the sturdiest crossbow bolts could withstand the amount of mahstion necessary to punch straight through a bone and keep going, the wood unfailingly giving in under the sheer pressure and bursting into a cascade of splinters. It hadn't taken long before people started maintaining a ten-meter safety radius when they saw Faewyn with her crossbow (Jokingly labeled the 'piecemaker' by her peers) and soon after she was gently handed the suggestion to practice something a bit less volatile. No, bow and arrow weren't the answer; either the projectile had to be more durable or it had to obtain a lot more velocity from the weapon itself. There was something Faewyn was missing, she knew it, it was written all over the faces of those scientists who kept giving her long, understanding looks as she badgered them about the finer points of ballistics and any kind of weapon that could give a projectile more momentum than a crossbow. There was something to find out, and she would find it, no matter how many sleepless nights that meant. Well, at least her endeavors had been far from fruitless: Faewyn was now quite the shot with a crossbow and had grown adept at controlling the amount of mahstion she released into her techniques; her spells weren't misfiring and fluctuating nearly as much as before, although of course...she cast a brief glance at the small mark between thumb and index finger on her right hand, she hadn't gone through the trial by fire yet; many of her mother's techniques had been put to practice, but not that one.
Faewyn suddenly snapped out of her reveries, blinking slightly and rubbing her eyes - which now bore a distinctly dark lining that had nothing to do with makeup - as she stifled a yawn, wondering how much she had spaced out on. Apparently, the commander had just announced a mission of some sort, declaring that they could have...Aertan and whoever else they could recruit. Aertan? Faewyn tilted her head quizzically at the thought that a prisoner from Carn would be let out of custody like that, but didn't want to get on her commander's bad side by demanding a recount of the mission and revealing that she had been spacing out in mid-briefing again; she'd just ask the others after the briefing. It wasn't like Faewyn minded Aertan, after all. Oh, she wasn't quite ready to talk about it yet, but she had felt a certain understanding for the priest ever since she heard about his quest to save princess Juliet. Despite their differences, they were the same in this; both wanted to rescue someone important to them, and although she still couldn't quite shake the feeling of dislike over the bargain that the hunter had offered her earlier, Faewyn could sympathize with the motives behind it. Aertan...deep down, he was probably a good person. Faewyn blinked again, mentally reprimanding herself; that was the second space-out during this briefing. Fortunately, the topic wasn't hard to catch this time, seeing as how commander Milo was demonstratively pointing it out as she declared that there might have been a connection between the dots and Rod's mysterious death. Faewyn really had to restrain herself so as to not interrupt the commander at this point; she hadn't told anyone about the throbbing in her dot back in that jail cell, and as far as she knew it was still her secret, but maybe...maybe if she told them it would uncover something important about the whole mystery? The girl made a mental note of Milo's warning, although it hardly seemed necessary: after all, she didn't have anything against the people with dots she had met thus far - most of them being her friends - so it wasn't like she was going to get into a fight with them anyway.
It was then that Milo got to the really big news: Reid and Adela were getting engaged. Faewyn's eyes widened as the news reached her mind, a smile spreading across her face. Wedding were fun, and an engagement was - to her mind - what you got as a placeholder while you arranged the wedding. Ohh...this was going to be awesome! She didn't realize Rosaline's blatantly obvious crush on Reid...not at all...
"Really?!" she chirped, but before her youthful exuberance got any further out of hand, Rosaline had voiced her protest before storming demonstratively out of the room, soon followed by Alicel, while Adela burst into a fit of complaints over her new fiancé.
Faewyn had half a mind to join her friends, but just then something even more exciting happened: Reid stirred, mumbling something incoherent. For a moment, Faewyn simply stared, unable to fully believe the sight in front of her eyes, but then...well, then her joy burst out in all its glory.
"Reid, congratulations!" the girl exclaimed, lunging at her bed-ridden friend and hugging him with all her might - at this point, Reid was probably counting his blessings over the fact that his injury was only in the leg - "What happened?! Does your leg still hurt?! I told uncle Kain to take a look at it but he said it was best to just let it be, even though I knew it would probably hurt, but they wouldn't let me treat it anymore! It was so scary when you just blacked out and Rod died and we were all so worried about you, and now you're back and-!" she had to take a brief pause to get some air into her lungs, but it certainly didn't leave him enough time to recover from the barrage of statements, let alone formulate a reply, and soon Faewyn charged onward again, tears streamed from her eyes, creating a peculiar contrast with her sunny smile that no number of in-between sobs could get rid of, "And now-and now you're a hero, you're engaged, and you're going to get married!" she trilled in finish, finally relinquishing the unfortunate boy from her grasp and wiping the tears away on the back of her hand, before turning a hopeful glance to the boy, "Can I be bridesmaid?" she inquired innocently, her glance traveling to Adela in turn, "I've always wanted to be bridesmaid. I had no idea you liked Adela, but I'm happy for you."
Her friend was back, there was going to be a wedding and fun for all, and Faewyn was happily back on cloud nine, blissfully unaware that anything in the world could possibly be wrong right now.
OCC: God this post is long. I think I might have dragged the first part on a little longer than I should have.
Bar stood in front of one of the sixteen straw melee dummies just outside of the Tealian Forces Barracks. Each one had a set of two red targets; one was painted on the face and the other on the chest. Even though the dummies were made of straw, the Tealian Forces had used some type of chemical combination to reinsure that the straw dummies were never damaged from the constant beating of blades and arrows. Bar intended to completely destroy them during this practice using nothing but the Dancing Abyss.
He grabbed hold of the small hilt connected to the black blade on his right side. Slowly he released the leather strap holding the blade to his hip and did the same for the blade on his left. The large chains holding the two black swords clanged and chimed as they hit each other and the ground beneath Bar's heavy black army boots. Bar scanned the four rows of dummies set up in strait lines, hoping that his custom weapon would be enough to slice though the chemically protected straw. Without much hesitation, Bar tightened his grip on the blade to his right and quickly used the hilt to swing the second blade and the five foot chain with it. The blade hit all four of the straw dummies in the first row as it made its circle. Watching the speed of the blade, Bar let go of the hilt in his right hand and sent his left hand forward to grab the chains with his gloved hands.
Success! Bar had grabbed the chain and had began using the momentum of his spin to increase the speed in which the blade would go and the power of it's strikes. Thud, thud, thud, went the two black blades as they hit the dummies and each time the strikes would get stronger. It wasn't until five minutes into the attack on the innocent dummies that Bar could tell that he was making at strong impact on the first four. Every time the thud sounded off he could feel the blades sinking in more and more, which was a sign that Bar had beaten the special chemical used to protect the straw dummies. Now he just needed to slice completely though at least two and then he could call it a day. "Maybe a little bit of my Mahstion will increase the power and slice through the dummy in one or two hits. But I've already used a lot of my energy just hitting these dammed dummies and I don't feel like taking a visit to the TFI because I passed out after not pacing myself. It's worth a shot. The rain keeps pounding on me and making the chains more slip and hard to control and I would rather pass out than cut myself," Bar thought to himself as he continued the attack with his Dancing Abyss.
Concentrating hard, Bar channeled his Dation Mahstion into the two blades. He could feel that it was going to take a lot of his energy just to take down two defenseless dummies, so he attempted to use the dark, gray clouds covering the sun's rays and use the darkness provided to help out in the attack. Finally, he was able to generate a stronger, sharper blade. "Now, let's lose the speed and increase the power." Bar came to a sudden stop, making the chain wrap around his abdomen. Before the blades touched his face and the chain got to small, Bar shot the black swords out in front of him and into the two dummies that he had been attacking for the past fifteen minutes. With the help of his Dation, the blades went right through the dummies. "Got 'em" To complete the destruction Bar spun one last time and sent the blades right through the two dummies, leaving them hanging by just a small section of reinforced straw.
The blades stopped spinning and slowly dropped and hit the mud around Bar with a splash. The soldier looked at the sliced straw that covered the dead, wet grass around the melee field. "That...was harder...than I thought," Bar whispered. He was almost out of breath from the fifteen-minute assault on the dummies. Hopefully he didn't get this tired when the fight is for his life. He quickly strapped the blades to his hip and let the chains hang at his feet. He wiped the mud off of his chest plate, which didn't help at all since he just smeared the mud and painted the palms of his gloves with it. He turned to go to the Barracks, but when he did a stinging pain set off in his left leg. He looked down and spotted that his pants had been cut. The back of his left leg was drenched in his own blood. "Dammit. Guess I cut myself in during the assault. I'll have to get it patched up in the TFI." He quickly changed his direction from the Barracks to the Infirmary and began to limp the whole way there.
It was warm and dry within the walls of the Infirmary. Bar was glad to get out of the cold rain, but it didn't help much because he was currently soaked to the bone with almost freezing water. What appeared to be a nurse walked up to the wet, dirty soldier and began to fuss at him about dragging in all that mud with him.
"Sorry about that. I can't really stop mud from sticking to the bottom of my boots now can I," Bar said to the nurse. She sighed and apologized about the huge fuss. "Now, I need to get patched up. I think I might have cut the back of my left leg while I was doing a little bit of practice out in the field." The nurse looked at where the cut was in is cargo pants and nodded.
"Yes, I think this is one cut you're going to have to get patched up Mr. Karson," The nurse said after examining the wound. "We're going to put you in room 36 and so you don't have to limp all the way to the Barracks in the rain you can stay in there over night. So if you could make your way up there, I'll send another nurse." Bar nodded and limped away from the woman, making his way to his assigned room. It didn't take him long since the rooms had been sorted in 1, 2, 3 order. Most of the rooms next to his were empty, except for number 37 directly across the hall from his. The room was full of people. All of them were around what looks like a male, who must have been the patient seeing as he was connected to life support. Normally Bar would have just let them be, but it looked like something was happening inside of the room because of all of the people inside. Bar walked up to the door and peered through the small rectangular window. It looked like someone was beginning to speak. Very slowly and quiet like, the soldier turned the door handle and cracked it open just enough to hear what the person speaking had to say.
"As you all may be aware, the threat of a war between the nation of Tealia and the nation of Carn has growing ever so quickly. They have been building up their forces at Alta with little resistance, since Prince Regul has been locked away. All they've needed to attack us thus far is justification, and now they have it." The woman speaking cleared her thought and then began to speak once more. "Princess Juliet has gone missing from the castle in Carn, and the King is accusing us of kidnapping her. One political fault by the Queen will lead to a full-scale war at this point, which is not something we can really deal with. Therefore, we need to locate Princess Juliet and prove our innocence so that, at the very least, we can postpone the war a little further. Carn has provided us with one week to return the princess, and with all of the other units busy preparing for war, I'd like you guys to become a new unit charged with the mission of locating the Princess. Rosaline, I realize Juliet is your sister, correct?" There was silence this time as the woman spoke to someone in the room. Bar guess that someone must have given a silent answer because there was not speech.
It wasn't long before the woman began to speak once more. "And that man we captured shortly before you, Aertan was it? He is an acquaintance?" More silence that Bar guessed consisted of some form of motion that indicated a yes or no, but most likely a yes. "Very well, he shall be joining you, and any other people you may want as long as they are not busy with other military duties." The woman stopped there for a small moment, give Bar enough time to understand what had been said. It sounded like the people in the room were given a mission to find Princess Juliet because the King of Carn as accused them of kidnapping her and if they don't return the princess then a war would come into play. Bar must have missed something because he had no idea why the King of Carn would accuses this group of people of kidnapping a person of royalty. His thoughts were interrupted as the same woman as before began to speak again.
"I also have some information regarding these strange skin deformations. Scientists here are referring to the phenomenon as 'mahstion scars', and it has been confirmed that they hold some sort of unidentified power. About fifteen percent of the world's population has received these scars, and while the cause and reasoning behind it is unknown, it's recommended you avoid combat with anyone with these scars until they are analyzed further. It can't be certain, but there is some sort of belief that there is a link between these scars and what happened between Rod and Reid two weeks ago."
[i]"Strange skin deformations? What are they...Oh, wait," Bar thought to himself. He reached up to his forehead and remembered the dot that had appeared there not long ago. It had completely slipped his mind until the woman had mentioned them. "So they carry some kind of power that no one can identify. Why is it that I haven't felt any burst of power since the appearance of the dot then and what happened to those people mentioned, Rod and Reid?" After all of this, some news about a wedding was going to happen. At this part Bar close the door slowly and crossed the hall to room number thirty-six to think about what had been said in the meeting across the hall.
"...And?" Aertan held a new set of clothes in his hand, seemingly unaware that his current set had been slashed with multiple holes when the Tealian Forces had captured him at the border of Alta. The woman who had done all the healing from earlier was standing before him, the guard standing outside looking as if he might wet his pants if Aertan were to harm even the slightest hair on Shiraume's head. Aertan was quite sure that the guard would then take Aertan's place in this jail cell. Shiraume gave no answer to Aertan's inquiry, simply continued to wave her hand loftily over his burned and bleeding tattoo. She was humming an odd tune to herself, a rather depressing one that sounded fit to be for the procession of a funeral. Aertan sincerely hoped she didn't sing this song around her patients.
"You will join the prisoners from earlier. Your main motive was to rescue Juliet, was it not?" She asked, looking up at him with her strange eyes, that seemed to be inflicted with aniridia. No matter how much he strained his eyes, he could see no pupil. It was as if her iris' were white, or they simply didn't exist.
"Yes." Came Aertan's blank reply.
"I'm not good at debriefing," Shiraume explained as Lionus danced across Aertan's forehead, "And so I will allow Adela to explain the new mission assigned."
"Wait," Aertan started to say, but Shiraume's Lionus stopped suddenly.
"I said," She repeated in a deadly voice, "I'm not good at debriefing."
Aertan wanted to take a few steps back from the weird woman who hadn't even waited for his question, but the Lionus roughly wrapped itself around his head again. It was obvious that she was peeved. And she'd seemed like such a pleasant person earlier. Sighing, Aertan let her heal his wounds without much protest, and when she was finished, she stepped out of the cell, and both the guard and the healer stepped out of sight. Aertan assumed this was the prime time to change into his new clothes. And so he did; but it was obvious to him that his own style preference had not been taken into account, and he'd simply been given the most basic outfit. Probably picked out by that Shiraume lady who wore plain entirely white outfits. It was better then having everything be flowery though.
"I'm finished, if anyone cares." Aertan announced, knowing Shiraume had not left due to the prison door having never shut.
Indeed, the woman in question's head peered out from around the corner, and she said, "Come with me."
"Not possible." Aertan replied, flatly, but at that moment, a string of Lionus formed into a long spindly hand unlocked the cell door and slithered back around the corner. Aertan would've taken this chance to make a bust for it, but he tugged lightly on the mahstion bracelet, and when it didn't seem like that would be unlocking itself anytime soon, resigned himself to following the woman, who hadn't bothered waiting for him. The Lionus did, however, and it soon led him to the infirmary. This was where that kid who had shot Haeon't earlier was, they'd said something about taking him away earlier. Reid was his name, if memory served Aertan right.
"Oh dear." Shiraume said in a voice that didn't really sound interested, "It seems that Adela has learned of her new predicament. I wonder... has Kallen found out?"
As she began to mumble to herself, Aertan could now fainted pick up the loud screaming and crying and sobs that were erupting from the room. It wasn't hard to guess who Adela was, even if he hadn't known her name prior. It was obviously the little girl.
"Ah, it seems as if Adela is not the only lamenting female." Shiraume said, as she stepped into the hallway.
"Princess Rosaline." Aertan greeted, tilting his head forward slightly when he caught sight of the grieved girl, "I see that I have missed out on something important."
"You may ask Adela to explain the new mission for you when she calms down, or perhaps the sacrifice." Shiraume said, ignoring the twitch of Aertan's wings when she uttered 'sacrifice', "I have some business to attend to." She bowed neatly before gliding off as though in a dream.
"...Right." Aertan raised an eyebrow, staring after the healer.
"Adela's probably not going to be telling you anything soon," Alicel said, looking up from sitting across from Rosaline, "Commander Milo's probably going to make her shut up soon. She's going to be married to Reid, you see."
"Pleasant." Aertan said, his voice sounding extremely disgusting by the idea of marriage in general.
"So we're going to go find Juliet, after Reid is better. Commander Milo says that Juliet's disappeared, and Carn is blaming Tealia, so we're going to find Juliet and prove that Tealia isn't responsible." Alicel continued, ignoring Aertan's sarcastic remark, "Commander Milo says that you'll be helping out."
"..." Aertan glared down at his distant relative and snapped, "That makes no logical sense. If a Tealian team suddenly pops up with Juliet in their clutches, that's not going to solve anything." Aertan sighed, scratching the back of his head, "And if she suddenly pops up in a Tealian Force unit that includes me, then I don't know whether the king would include us as sacrifices for Tylonstus or just kill us on the spot. I think Tealia forgets that I'm from Carn, and-"
"Your tattoo burns though. I know what that means." Alicel stated.
Aertan didn't bother to finish his sentence, simply stared warily at Alicel.
"Hn." Was the only response Aertan could think of.
"So Rosaline, look, Aertan is on our side. Cheer up, you know? He's got those freaky hands and Fionus, so finding Juliet will be a breeze. And Adela's not going to just let herself be married off to someone, and I'm sure Reid isn't the kind to sit tight either. We just have to be patient, right?" Alicel grinned at Rosaline, though she wasn't all that sure that Rosaline was listening.
A woman, clad in white. Her long blonde hair is so white that it's nearly the same shade as her elegant yet simiplistic dress. Her heels have flakes of dried blood on them, as the woman didn't bother to clean off her heels from the incident from earlier. Nobody has questioned her strange ways. She barely acknowledges the other healers; she doesn't need to, she's adept enough at her practice to need no acquaintances with the others to learn tricks of the trade. She holds her head up high, poised and proud, though her eyes are blank and empty. She suffers from aniridia, an ailment that leaves her nearly blind. She 'see's with her Lionus magic, and uses only the smallest amounts so nobody can see or feel the light when it passes over their faces, or across their frames so that she can make out where they are as opposed to herself.
She stands at the spot where Rod's body once was, though the blood has long been cleaned up and the investigation of the scene completed. She does not know why she is there, but knows what spurred to wind up in a place far from her original destination. Surely, surely something has been watching her. Kallen, perhaps, as a joke, since Kallen is aware of how aware she is of her surroundings?
The woman turns around, but is met with nothing, simply the light of the doorway that leads to these dungeons, as she has carelessly left it open. She must think of a reason if a guard comes to inquire as to why she is here again. But she has none. But, she doesn't need a reason. She turns back around to face the hall that leads to the other cells, which are unoccupied. There are many prisons underneath the surface of Tealia, a fact that seems to be well hidden and not discussed. She glances about herself, and suddenly realizes what's off about her surroundings. The door has shut again, and it is not a breezy day. She feels watched again, like a specimen standing in a glass case with scholars pressing their noses in to get a better look.
"Who is it?" She asks, her voice quite calm and indifferent. She is unfrightened.
"Nobody." Replies a masculine voice tauntingly.
"I see. Then may I leave?"
"You came of your own will; there is no one keeping you here."
"That is true." She answers the logical statement, and steps away from the spot where Rod's body had once pooled blood. But when she takes another step away, she is suddenly falling into a pool of Dation, that shoots for the woman's mouth at the first chance it has, to muffle her rare scream of terror as she is engulfed by the element she hates the most.
"Ah." Says the voice, "It seems I lied." And both the woman clad in white and the man clad in black disappear in pools of Dation that seem to evaporate, leaving not a trace of their prescence except for a higher concentration of Dation in the air then before.
OOC: Crap post, but I'm fighting writer's block.
"Phase one has been completed. May I proceed with phase two?" The long haired boy asked of the Carn soldier behind him as he gazed upon the city of Meredy, Tealia's capital. The two were atop the highest point of the Queen's castle, and were looking over the town with interest. The boy's hair, which was divided in half into white and black colouring, blew restlessly in the rainy wind. The large, bulky man behind him shook his head negatively. Apparently now was not the time to move.
"WHAT THE HELL THERE IS NO WAY I AM MARRYING THAT TWIT!" Reid started up after learning the reality of the situation. "I DON'T CARE IF IT'S THREE YEARS AWAY, I DON'T CARE HOW CUTE ADELA IS, AND I DON'T CARE IF MY MOTHER APPROVED IT!" He continued to shout from an upright position in his bed, over and over, until Commander Milo smacked the two both upside the head.
"You two will do as you're told. How do you know if you hate each other? How often have you lead a normal conversation? I get a good vibe from you two, I feel you'll make an excellent couple! You're just so cute together!" The Commander threw in her words of encouragement, and Reid just glared in response at her and Faewyn, the thought 'Women are crazy' running through his mind.
Meanwhile, Rosaline was still trying to cope with what had just occurred. Even with Alicel's attempts at making her feel better, she really didn't. But what was this feeling? Was she mad at Reid about this, even though it wasn't his fault? Should she be mad at him? Standing up, she regained her composure and bowed to Aertan after regaining her composure. "Thank you for your help, Mr. Aertan. I'll be fine, I just need to get some sleep I suppose. Let's go check on the others, shall we?" She began to walk towards the room, content that Reid had now awoken and she could hear him arguing over the whole ordeal.
A flash of lightning struck. "Now?" A loud BOOM of thunder cracked afterwards as the man nodded amidst another flash of lightning, giving the entire situation a dramatic undertone. The boy raised his arm into the air towards him, and dation began to concentrate into what appeared to be a portal of some sort. The large Carn soldier watched just outside of the infirmary with binoculars as a portal just like the one before the boy formed. The boy entered the one before him, and appeared out of the one near the militaristic institution. He licked his lips as he found himself automatically face to face with two sentries that were charged with security at the infirmary. They didn't have much time to react before a white beam of unimaginable strength pierced their chests, killing them almost instantly. The two corpses fell to the ground, large holes blown through their bodies, leaving a bloody mess.
An attack of such powerful concentrated mahstion would be enough to bring everyone within one hundred kilometers to the conclusion that a demon was present in the area, and such an assumption wouldn't be far from the truth. Rosaline, Reid, and Commander Milo's eyes shot open at the overpowering aura of mahstion approaching from nearby. Reid threw off his sheets and grabbed his equipment, throwing it on quickly despite the fact that he was still far from able to hold his own against a normal enemy, let along someone of that strength. Rosaline, still in the hall, brought her flute up to her chest with both of her hands in a ready position, not anticipation that she would have no time to react.
It all happened so fast. A white beam of lionus pierced the wall of the building, raising dust into the air, and when visibility became stable, Rosaline was drooped over the shoulder of some mutilated human, her eyes open, but void of consciousness. The wet, black horns of the boy glistened in the artificial lighting in the hall, his four wings flapping to remove any excess moisture. He grinned at Aertan and Alicel, who were before him, which revealed his sharp and deadly fangs, his blood red eyes seemingly staring through them, piercing their very soul. The 'thing' brought his right hand, which had lengthy, sharp fingernails that resembled claws up to his long, elven like ear, before scratching it as if nothing interesting was occurring. He pointed one of these fingers beyond the two people in front of him, shooting a black beam of dation at a soldier who had turned the corner to check on what was occurring. It nailed the woman's chest, splattering red blood upon the wall behind her.
Reid and Milo got out of the room just in time to witness this, and Reid readied his bow with a shaky hand from the shock of the appearance and power of this... thing. The demon boy grinned again, before speaking his first words to the group. "Aww, I was expecting a much more positive first meeting, not one where I receive so many rude looks." His left hand lifted towards the girl who was on his shoulder, and he grasped her by the back of her gown, holding her out for all to see. Reid clenched his teeth. He could have shouted her name, but what good would that have done? "I'll just be taking this girl now, seeing as nobody else has been able to get her." The boy glanced at Aertan casually, before bearing his fangs once more in enjoyment. "Aertan Svartel, you have been charged with treason, and are to be eliminated, along with the rest of this pathetic group." He proceeded to spit on the ground before him, before stepping aside to deflect a shot of lionus back at it's owner. Commander Milo fell to the ground unconscious as her own attack backfired and hit her in the right arm, leaving a large open wound in it's place. Reid attempted an arrow, but the demon before him caught it between his fingers with ease, leaving Reid hopeless and wide-eyed.
"Really, if you're going to try and kill I, Cress Alberto Tylonstus, the seventh Apostle, you might want to try a little bit harder."
Aertan narrowed an eye in annoyance when addressed by his full name. So how did this little demon-spawn know his name? An Apostle? Tylonstus? This was vaguely familiar, but only vaguely. Either way, Aertan cracked his neck and glared down the Apostle, scoffing at the monster, "Treason? My entire life is treason against Tylonstus, isn't it?"
Haeon't and Geote stirred in the framework of Aertan's wings. The knobbly bumps at the top of his wings turned and turned, before Aertan held his forehead in even more annoyance then before, the two hands spinning out of their confines and clawing at the air to get at the apostle. Aertan, however, had different plans, as great rings of Fionus looped themselves around Haeon't and Geote's arms, the entire massive fireball surging toward the apostle. A true apostle, Aertan knew, would be untouched by this attack, which was quite draining in reality. It certainly wasn't human, but that certainly didn't mean it was apostle.
"Ah, by the way," Aertan said, in a peeved voice as Haeon't and Geote sped forward to assault the apostle, "I'd hope that you're not planning on taking away a hunter's captured prey. That's rude."
Alicel's eyes automatically travelled to Aertan's left hand, which lay loosely at his side, while his right hand controlled the Fionus around Haeon't and Geote. It was like a magic fog he'd hidden in, out of sight, had finally lifted. She wanted to ask him questions, ask him who he was, ask him if this was the reason he didn't want to be found near Juliet. She wanted to ask him why he had even been on Carn's side when they treated their family like dirt.
"Svar-" Alicel started, but Aertan waved it away with his left hand, which fell back to his side after the weak gesture, focusing on the Apostle rather then his family tree. Alicel stepped backward a few steps. She couldn't do anything, because Aertan had taken the initiative. Water and Fire didn't mix, and Alicel had never been raised to fight with her mahstion. And how could she whip the apostle with Rosaline in his grasp? Alicel shrunk backwards, a heavy feeling of envy tugging at the corners of her mind, even though the whole idea made her quiver with shame. How could she feel jealousy now, at this crucial moment? She was distracted however, by Adela, who had seemingly really gotten riled up from bad news after bad news after more bad news.
Adela slid into the very middle of the battlefield, dragging a shadow of Dation behind her as the tendrils wrapped themselves around her, and pulling out her bow, fired four arrows fashioned out of her mahstion. Two that mixed themselves with Haeon't and Geote's Fionus. Two that sped directly toward Cress to try and pluck Rosaline out of his hands before she was burnt to a crisp by Dation and Fionus and sharp clawed demon hands.
Adela continued shooting clump after clump of Dation toward the Apostle, the puddle at her feet rapidly fading away. Having completely forgotten about her engagement and her tantrum, having no reaction to her mother's words about her never having really conversed with Reid and hating him only because he garnered more attention from her then Adela could even imagine. It was a good enough reason for Adela, so why not her mother?
Aleks crept through the oddly silent hallways of the disciplinary barracks, nightstick in hand as she performed a visual sweep of her surroundings. The attack on the infirmary had drawn off most of the security contingent, leaving only a token force to keep an eye on the few prisoners contained within the facility. Aleks had the misfortune to inadvertently bump into one of the few unlucky individuals left babysitting.
"Hey, you down there!" the guard called out to Aleks. She was a Hispanic female around Aleks' age, with short jet-black hair and bright green eyes; she was clad in the uniform of the Tealian Forces, which outwardly resembled that of the United Nations Space Command Marine Corps from the Halo series. "Shouldn't you be at the infirmary trying to secure the compound from further intrusion by Carn operatives?"
Aleks struggled to find the proper words to tell the Tealian NCO. "I...I was just transferred here to Meredy a few days ago. I don't know my way around here," she uttered, attempting to give off some pretense of emotion.
"So, a newbie, huh?" the officer said to herself. "You'd better come with me, then."
Aleks had no choice but to follow the officer's lead towards the infirmary. Her escape plans would have to be delayed...if she was going to escape at all. As far as the Tealian Forces were concerned, she was one of their own soldiers, and desertion carried the death penalty with it.
OOC: Stupid question number two: are the characters in the discussion thingie approved? Because, you know, if not then I'll have to edit this post. :3
Faewyn's eyes widened at Reid's outburst, "You don't like Adela?" she inquired in a childishly innocent voice, tilting her head quizzically, "Then why are you marrying her, Reid?"
Apparently, she had never gotten acquainted with the concept of arranged marriage. The circumstances left very little room for explaining such things, however, as the room was suddenly assaulted by an individual so creepy that he made even Aertan look like a harmless little kitten in comparison. For a moment, Faewyn simply gaped, overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the mahstion presence, and before she had even managed to reach for her weapon, both the guards in the room and commander Milo herself had been struck down and Rosaline had been captured, the stranger haughtily declaring that they had all been sentenced to die. Aertan and Adela immediately went for a counter-attack, and for the moment Faewyn chose not to interfere, even as she readied her staff, still set into crossbow mode. Her mahstion control may have been better than before, but with Rosaline there, she didn't dare fire one of her charged-up shots; one miscalculation and her friend would be torn to pieces by a maelstorm of splintered wood. No...she couldn't risk that, she just couldn't. With these thoughts in mind, Faewyn anxiously followed the scene, still clinging to her crossbow just in case this arrogant enemy would leave an opening.
Meanwhile, just outside the infirmary, another stranger had stopped to observe the scene, the gray, standard-issue military rain cloak hiding his features from view, save for a small bit of the bronze-colored face. In all honesty, said person had found the return to his hometown somewhat disappointing thus far. It wasn't the lack of a welcoming party or even an official escort of some sort, he could live with that. What really got him riled up was the weather.
"Rain..." he muttered for himself, trudging across the desolate courtyard, nothing spoiled a hero's return quite like rain. But there was something else too, a certain tension in the air, like a thunderstorm just waiting to burst out. On one hand, he found the prospect invigorating, but on the other...this wasn't just your average adrenaline-inducing trouble; no, this felt more...sinister.
It was then that the surge of mahstion erupted, ringing every warning bell in the stranger's mind. He didn't waste any time, immediately breaking into a run.
"Hey, you!" he called out to a figure slouching by the entrance, "Do you know what's-?" the moment he got close enough to the guard to see his face, he realized the futility of his demand. The man's eyes were completely lusterless, locked in a mask of passive horror, and the moment the stranger touched it, the lifeless body lost what little posture it had and fell to the ground, revealing five, evenly shaped, bloody holes reaching straight through his stomach and out through the back. The living man's eyes narrowed, his right hand instinctively reaching beneath his cloak while the left confirmed the absence of a pulse, his amber eyes glinting in what little light shone out from the main building, a new surge of mahstion erupting from somewhere in the hospital wing, this was really bad.
"Well, what do you know..." he mumbled softly, his hand returning from beneath the cloak, now holding a weapon that looked like a standard-issue quarterstaff, save for the sizable axe-head at the end, "Looks like someone decided to throw a welcoming party after all..."
Casting one last glance at the fallen soldier, he charged towards the infirmary at full speed, the wind catching a hold of his hood and pulling it back, revealing a head-full of blonde hair, tied up into a thin, rope-like ponytail at the back which danced back and forth as he rushed towards the source of the disturbance, weapon in hand. 'Reece Everard is back in business!'
"You and I are one in the same, Mr. Svartel. My very existence is treason against Tylonstus, yet I stand before you representing him. However, don't waste my time!" The apostle's voice grew irritated as the fireball reflected in the creature's red eyes. The ball of fionus hit it's target, but as the inferno disappeared and the smoke began to clear, the figure of the boy was seen right beneath Aertan, before utilizing an uppercut to his stomach with Rosaline still draped over his shoulder. It would have been difficult for anyone to see him move and leave a ball of dation behind to make it seem like it had hit him.
Cress, while not given much time to react, soon found himself involved with Adela's assault. He easily caught the remaining arrows like he had done with Reid's, before breaking them in half and dropping them to the ground. "The battlefield is no place for little kids." Was what he said before he disappeared from plain view once again. Reid's eyes shot back and forth, looking for the opponent. His ears caught the creature's movement, and determined it's location. "ADELA!" He shouted, on cue with the appearance of Cress, who was now directly behind the young girl, his free hand raised with Lionus gathering on the palm. How the hell was he both a Dation AND a Lionus user? There wouldn't be any time for her to react, and a blast of that magnitude would surely kill her if it made contact.
At that moment, time seemed to stand still for the boy, and then everything went black excluding her body, which seemed to be resonating with a dim green light. He grabbed his forehead in agony as the little green dot began to burn furiously, and he fell to his knees as the room became lighter again.
However, he was not in the room with the others anymore. He was standing... in the sky? No, the sky was purple, why was this sky blue? How the hell was he standing? The sky suddenly changed to a shade of green, and the wind began to gather, as far as Reid could see, in a specific area before him. It was strange. As far as Reid could tell, there was no mahstion present in the air, and he could not see beyond the clouds below him. Where was he, exactly? His attention was drawn back to the wind gathering before him after it began emitting a strange green light. The light was similar to the light he was admitting, only this one was much stronger. The mass of wind did nothing for a moment, but one final flash of light revealed the true nature of this wind.
Standing before him was a figure, obviously female, but obviously not human. Everything about her was a green colour. Her skin was a pale green colour, her hair dark green and flowing down to her ankles, though it danced wildly in the breeze, with her bangs brushing her green eyebrows. She didn't look that old, perhaps thirteen or fourteen, which was backed up by her small frame and lack of definitive curves, though she was about Reid's height. She was dressed in a simple white robe that went down to her knees, leaving her shoulders, arms, and an inch of two below her neckline bare. Her eyes completed the inhuman persona, as they were white, just white, with no visible pupils. She gazed at Reid in a manner that suggested she was daydreaming, but Reid could only assume she always wore that expression because at the same time it felt like she was peering right into his soul.
Reid reached for his bow as a safety precaution, but his hand caught air where the bow should have been. Upon closer inspection, he found that he too was dressed in a similar robe. The girl shook her head, and a smile formed on her lips which were a green not unlike the green of her hair. Her eyes remained in a daydreamy state, however, which Reid found somewhat relaxing. This person, if she was a person, had a very relaxing aura about her. After a moment of silence, and the two staring at each other, the green girl began to relay words to the boy.
"Reid Davies of the wind, you may simply call me 'Mistral', for that is my tribe name." The girl, Mistral, had a very soft, emotionless voice, but it seemed to incorporate a very child-like pitch that reminded Reid of his sister when she was distracted. "I'm sure you have many questions to ask, like who I am, what I am, or where we are right now. That, however, will have to wait until afterwards. For now, let's just leave the information at the fact that I am you, and I can provide you with the power to protect."
"You're the one who killed Rod, aren't you?" Reid said cautiously as he took a step back from the girl. If he was making proper sense of what she was saying, could she have been the one that took control of his body that time?
"No, not I. Since we have become connected, we will now be able to talk at any desired moment, I will explain all after your friend's are safe. It won't be long until they too meet their other halves..." With these words in Reid's head, Mistral faded from his vision, and everything turned black again. He suddenly found himself back in the hallway, and it was as if no time had gone by since he zoned away. The only difference between then and now was that his body had the same green glow Mistral had been radiating, and the Wionus concentration radiating from his body was tremendous. Commander Milo, still on the ground and wounded, watched wide eyed as Reid disappeared for a moment and reappeared where he had previously stood, Adela in his arms. "Very good." He heard Mistral in his head.
Cress' attack hit thin air, and impacted the wall at the end of the hallway. His eyes locked on to Reid's with a look of annoyance present. He was surely thinking 'how the hell did he do that?' The demon boy spat on the ground, and stepped back as a black mahstion portal formed behind him. "Apparently I must take my leave now. I'm sure we'll meet again. And don't worry! I'll take good care of the sacrifice here." He shook the unconscious girl violently and licked his lips, before entering through the portal, appearing at the HQ in Alta amidst a dark room.
Reid glanced down at the girl in his arms, who he set down in fear of her beating him. The green aura faded, and he stumbled slightly, apparently exhausted. "Dammit... Rosaline..."
OOC: Don't worry, everyone will get their own little friend. XD
Alicel loosened her grip on her whip, feeling as guilty as ever for having done nothing except be a nuiscance, for having done nothing but watch as Rosaline was taken away again. Shuffling over to Aertan, who lay in a crumpled heap. Squatting down beside him, she was hesitant to even touch him, but reached out to help him up. He had different plans however, as Haeon't grabbed Alicel's wrist, the girl amazingly not flinching at the touch of the filthy-looking hand, but staying where she was as Geote slammed himself into the ground, pushing Aertan up onto his knee's. The Svartel before her looked extremely flustered as he tried to catch his breath and clutched his stomach.
"Don't touch me." He wheezed out as Haeon't released Alicel's grip, "Filthy... blood trait-" He turned his head in the other direction as he coughed up some blood. It was a mighty fierce punch that that demon had, and spitting out the remaining blood in his mouth, Aertan stood, with Geote still on the ground like a walking stick.
Alicel's expression seemed not to register the insult, as she simply stood up as well and glanced at Reid, who had moved at what seemed like the speed of light. She hadn't even seen him flinch.
Adela herself was still shaking from simply being in the presence of so much Lionus magic, and she stared up at Reid with a wary and surprised face- She had just turned to stare into blinding white light and then the next she was being placed onto the floor. Determinedly looking away, she screwed up her face in an effort not to really cry, but it didn't help that by looking away, she stared straight at the wounded Commander Milo. So how had she escaped without a scratch? Because Reid had gotten her out of the way just in time. Otherwise, Adela wouldn't have stood much more chance then her mother, who was surely superior in terms of skill and talent.
"I'm not..." Adela blubbered to herself, her face turning a flustered red as she clenched her hand into a fist and pounded it down onto the tile floor, "A KID!!!!!"
Aertan lazily stared at Adela, who was crying yet again, though the tears were probably a bit more genuine in the new situation. He silently watched as the girl stumbled to her feet in a discoordinated way and muttered, “I’m gonna find Shiraume.” before storming out of the ward. So, that was probably the fourth time he’d heard someone down talk Adela about her age since he’d met her.
“So. Now we have to find Juliet and Rosaline.” Aertan said, ignoring Adela as he thought to himself.
The eye on Haeon’t’s palm opened and switch to a mouth as it hovered next to Aertan’s temple, “Kirden’s whispers say that Julie-“
Aertan interrupted the mangled harsh hiss of a voice, “Haeon’t, Geote, please move Commander Milo to Reid’s vacant bed, it’s probably more comfortable then the floor. Don’t touch the wound and don’t move her too much so that the injury does too. You know the drill.”
Haeon’t’s mouth switched back to its eye, and Geote lifted himself off the floor, Aertan taking a step forward to steady himself as the two arms gingerly lifted Commander Milo off the floor and into the room.
“I… don’t know.” Villa murmured timidly as she trembled in the company of the others, “I don’t… remember…”
She braced herself for the blow that would surely come. She had failed yet again. But, hadn’t they seen it? Hadn’t they been observing her every move since she became that other girl? Hadn’t she done enough just by saying yes to becoming this guinea pig? Was there more? Something she hadn’t noticed or seen?
Where had she been? She was in Carn, now. But before? Where had she been? They say Tealia. But Villa had no recollection, she mumbled almost incoherently, shrinking backward as she spoke, “I-I only re-remember a little girl w-with teal hair.”
”My hair’s not funny! At least I don’t have white hair like an old lady!!”
As if someone had split her head open, Villa whimpered as she squatted down, clutching her head. It was the blue hair; just the blue hair. And the white hair, she could remember seeing the few strands that hung in her eyes. But the more she thought about it, the more it hurt, and she blanked it out. After being excused for being a failure, Villa scurried out of the room and let her sleeves drag on the floor behind her as she resisted the urge to cry. Her head hurt whenever she tried to think of the things they wanted to know. But she’d been doing this for so long because they needed to know.
It was nice, to feel normal…
Faewyn could do nothing but gape at the ensuing battle. Not only was this stranger stronger and faster than she had even thought possible, but he knew how to wield two types of mahstion? No, that just couldn't be right! Each and every living being was only born to one mahstion type; all the books in mama's library had been absolutely adamant about it, and to top it off Lionus and Dation were opposing elements. Still, this shock was relatively minor in comparison to what happened next; her mark suddenly sprung into the old throbbing routine again, forcing Faewyn to relinquish her grasp of the crossbow and grab a hold of her forehead again, her body swaying back and forth in a feeble effort to stay upright. Reid...her glance traveled towards the boy, only barely recognizing its target. The mahstion presence surrounding him was astounding, it was-Faewyn gasped as the obvious conclusion jumped out from the depths of her mind; wind mahstion in excessive amounts, certainly enough to...she swallowed heavily, curling up into a fetal position while continuing to clasp her head, even as the throbbing continued to subside. No, that couldn't be right! Reid and Rod were friends! He'd never have killed his own friend like that! Never, NEVER, EVER!
Faewyn was still in shock as the battle cleared, the stranger disappearing with Rosaline in tow. She had done nothing, nothing what-so-ever. What kind of a soldier was that? The girl's eyes traveled across the room in desperate search of something positive about the situation, anything, anything at all. As long as she had even the tiniest spark of happiness, no matter how futile, she could go on...
"Halt, intruder! Oh..." Faewyn's attention was immediately drawn to the other stranger who had just burst into the room, glaive in hand, "Guess I missed the battle, huh?" he inquired sheepishly, brushing aside a few locks of blonde hair from his bronze-colored face before turning down his weapon in a decidedly embarrassed manner. The girl's stare intensified, there was something familiar about this stranger, she was positive that she had seen him somewhere, but...
"Reece Everard reporting for duty, commander." the stranger announced, "Although I guess this is not a good time for that either..?"
At Faewyn's exclamation, the stranger's attention was finally turned to her, both staring at each other for a moment before his eyes widened in surprise, "Fay?" he inquired cautiously, "What in the Styx are you doing here?"
"It is you!"
"Hey, hey, easy." Reece mumbled as the girl leapt at him, catching his waist with the same kind of crushing hug she had applied to Reid earlier and bursting into a fit of uncontrollable sobs, tears running down her cheeks and incomprehensible fragments of speech like 'they took her!' escaping beneath the sobs, "Fay, look; whatever's wrong it will turn out okay in the end. I'll see to it, alright?" he gave Faewyn a paternal pat on the head before turning his attention to the others, his expression now dead serious, "Alright, does anyone mind filling me in on what just happened here? Who took who? Why did this room have the mahstion concentration of a small country a few minutes ago? Why are there more dead bodies lying around here than at the morgue? And what in all blazes is a Carn priest doing here?" he cast a suspicious glance at Aertan, "For the love of justice, someone tell me what the heck is going on."
OOC: Okay, I'm back! ...I think. Ah well, we'll see.
Cress, finally free of that burden of a sacrifice, made his way to the large chamber that served as their strategy room. His mission would not be over until he reported to number 1, and if he did not he would be more than punished. His eyes only looked forwards as he walked through the halls. This place was underground, and very dark. Only the odd, dim lionus lamps hanging from the ceiling every thirty feet cast enough light to make the path visible, though that was enough for apostles for their sight was more adept than that of your regular human. The halls, sporting a width of only around fifteen feet, had walls and the ceiling carved out of a flat, smooth, crimson stone that eerily reflected the light from the lamps, giving everything a crimson glow, including the white tile floor. From time to time, there would be a white door in the wall, but for the most part apostles were forbidden to enter these doors unless an order was given to them to use one. They were only permitted the use of the halls, their residence (which, mind you, was just a tiny room with no furniture, where they all had to sleep on the tile floor basically on top of each other), the strategy room, and the cafeteria.
The apostle's indifferent hike to the strategy room was soon interrupted as a girl erupted from a room in front of him. Cress didn't get a good look at her face, as she turned so that she was walking with her back against him. While he had never seen this girl before, her mahstion signature proved that she was one of them. So had she been away all of this time? There were six apostles other than himself, and he had only met five, so that would have made sense. He ran up to the girl's side, aware that she seemed troubled, and placed his right, clawed hand on her shoulder, implying he wanted her to stop. While he hated the other five for the way they treated him, it was possible he had a chance of befriending this white haired girl. "Excuse me, I don't mean to sound rude, but I've never seen you before. My name is Cress, I'm the seventh apostle. And you are?" Without giving her the chance to answer, he continued. "Is something troubling you? It isn't right for such a pretty face to seem so depressed." He mentally cursed his voice. For some reason, it almost sounded like a woman's. He was only lead to assume that this, plus his unusually feminine appearance, that he was the first apostle spawned from a male and a female being fused.
--> --> --> -->
As time went by, a medical team came for the wounded, and Commander Milo's room was quickly filled with doctors seeing to her wound. The rest of the group was told to wait in the small cafeteria the infirmary had. It was a ghastly sight walking to the specified location. Dead bodies being placed in body bags by morgue workers, red blood splattered over the white walls and floor.
Reid stood against the wall of the cafeteria, his head down and eyes closed. Commander Milo's wound, Rosaline being taken, it was all too much. Just what the hell was going on? What the hell was that thing? Do you find yourself troubled? A voice in the back of his mind asked, obviously the voice of Mistral. You have friends, do you not? Talk to them. I have much to tell you and them as well myself. Reid sighed, and stood upright once more as he faced the group, which he guessed had a lot of questions themselves. "So, what do we do now? Obviously, we can't sit around here and wait. We need to find Rosaline and Juliet."
I can answer that for you. A voice echoed in everyone's head as the dot on Reid's began to glow, the light eventually consuming his body along with a strong wind swirling around him, until nothing physical could be seen of him. During this time, Reid's body felt like it was being torn apart, reconstructed. Unfortunately for him, that wasn't far from the truth. When the wind settled and the light disappeared, Reid was not standing where he was previously, but instead stood a young girl in her very early teens, that looked uncannily like Mistral. Her hair was dark green, straight, and ran down to her ankles, bangs falling over her thin eyebrows that took the same colour. Her eyes, unlike during Reid's encounter with Mistral, had pupils, and were large and dark green, and wide with confusion. The girl was dressed in Reid's clothing, which had seemingly shrunk to fit her thinner, but not shorter frame, and the accented the little curves she had.. The biggest difference was that her skin took on a more human colour than Mistral's, losing all green tint and becoming just pale, while her lips were the normal pink you could expect of a girl. "Gah!" The girl shrieked in a shrill, high, feminine voice as she grasped onto reality. "Mistral, what the HELL did you do to me!?"
Following this, her eyes seemed to dilute as her pupil noticeably disappeared. "I apologize, Reid." The girl once again spoke, apparently not under Reid's control this time. In fact, he had been shoved back into the back of his mind. "I could have manifested my presence in a number of ways, but this was the most convenient way of getting my point across." She looked the group over, and waved her right hand, hand all of the dots on their foreheads began to glow. "My name is Mistral, and I am a descendant of the Goddess Ophelia, as is Reid and all of you. I'm sure you all have many questions to ask, so I'll try and cover as much as I can before you ask them. I suppose I should start with the story of our people, since the rest of this would make little sense to you."
Mistral bowed to the group, placing her hands in front of her as she did so, before making herself comfortable upon a cafeteria table top. "According to Reid's memory, memories of the Goddess have been long lost. A very long time ago, there existed only one celestial being. Her name was Ophelia, and she was more beautiful than anyone could ever imagine. She brought the world happiness, and everyone respected her. However, one day a new God appeared out of nowhere. His name was Tylonstus, and he arrived with the maleficent intent to rebuild the world as his own, darker land. As you can imagine, Ophelia wanted nothing more to prevent this, so she attempted to seal Tylonstus in the Earth's core. She succeeded, but Tylonstus dragged her down with him, thus ending the reign of any god on this planet. With the last of her power, the goddess Ophelia created two female humans that were infused with her own power, the power you now call "mahstion". These two humans reproduced, and their predecessors did the same, generation after generation, until the tenth of Earth's population today became capable of using the power. Alas, over these years, memories of the Goddess soon faded, yet somehow the memories of the tyrant, Tylonstus, survived. Carn adopted him as their god of worship, and now the world is torn because of it."
She looked over the group of youth and smiled. "We are all distant descendants of Ophelia, and as such we are charged with a duty. Carn's constant offerings of young women to Tylonstus have begun to unravel the seal he is contained within. If Rosaline had been sacrificed a few weeks ago, there would already be nothing left. Even so, Tylonstus' darkness has begun to surface through a variety of methods, including the way Rod became so corrupt. It is our duty to prevent this evil from continuing to surface. As of now I'm unaware as to how we can achieve this goal, but I'm sure we can find a way."
"Now, I am called what we like to be referred to as a "fael", which in my language means "other"." Mistral continued, apparently with the intent of informing the group about her in more detail. "Every mahstion user has a fael within them, but they remain dormant until they are needed most. In Reid's case, I was awakened by his desire to save Adela. I am Reid, and Reid is me, we are two sides of one coin. The reason I am female is because the fael represents the opposite of their "reila" or "container". I may not be acting like it right now, but my usual personality is quite opposite of Reid's dry personality, it is just important I take this seriously." Hey Reid scolded her mentally at the dry personality comment.
"Fael's are represented by two entities. There are the "plufael", which represent the good in the reila's heart, and the "negafael", which represent the evil within the reila's heart. Negafael tend to consume their reila and take control, much like what occurred when Reid was forced to kill Rod by his negafael, Maelstrom. Since a fael and their reila are one person, they can feed off of each other's power, granted them abilities not usually possible for an average mahstion user. For example, I could permit Reid the power to move much faster, and strengthen his wionus based attacks. We can also assume control of each other's forms, as I've shown today. Basically, he can assume this form if need be, though I doubt he'll want to, and I can take control of his form if the need arises once again. I can also manifest myself in other manners, like speaking to you all through thoughts."
The girl extended her arm, revealing a ball of white energy that lacked a mahstion signature. "Like I said, usually you would have to NEED your fael before it would appear, but utilizing this energy I can awaken your faels now." The ball began glowing brighter, before shattering into a flurry of small beams that pierced the hearts of the group. "You should now find yourselves being transported into your own mind, where you will meet your other half. Have you any questions when you return, you can ask me. However, be quick, for I doubt Reid wants me to keep this form much longer."
OOC: Sorry guys, your fael has to be the opposite gender. This post was kind of weird funny in it's own way. XD
OOC: Crappy first post, sincerest apologies. Trying to get the feel for this character again.
Bobby was in one of his usual melancholy stalkings, which meant that he was upon the sight before he realised there was something amiss. His heyes were on the leather cap of his stump, his arm turned upward to that the long sleeve fell away to reveal the brown elather surface, studded with iron. "You're a mess, you're a cripple. Tealia might train you now thatthey're about to go to war, but don't expect them to put a cripple like you in anything important. Even if you are a damned fine swordsman..." He scolded himself, tempering himself with loathing and anger. Still, there was a chance that the 'Mashtion Scar' might be useful. He doubted it though, the dark attrocity on his head would probably only further penalize him, thanks to his luck.
Finally shaken from his revire, he took several moments stopped on the walk outside the cafe to stare openly. What on earth was tha girl on the table doing? Moreover, what was that light? Lastly, and most importantly, WHY IN THE NAME OF TYLONSTUS WAS IT COMING TOWARDS HIM?! As it hit him, he felt his vision darkening, and expecting the blackness of unconsciousness, or death, he was quite suprised when he simply lost himself to swirls of earthy murk, from light tan of a sandstorm, to the deep near black of deep minerals...
Slowly, they began to solidify. A cave, in complete darkness. There was no sight, yet somehow, he saw. The walls, the celing and floor lined with crystals that could have been bright with color, but in the void of light were as black as all else. He stood face to face with a strange figure, who had the light. It wasn't that she gave off light, or as if some light shone on her, but she seemed simply immune to the darkness of the cave.
The figure that stood before him was beautiful, female, yet clearly not human. Her skin seemed sculpted, as though of redstone into a delicate, slightly angular, yet somehow soft and enticing face. the eyes had no pupils, or a better word would be no irises. It was hard to tell, since they glinted a pure shining black like onyx. Her hair was comprised of fine, almost crystalline strands of jet that hung down, just barely brushing her shoulders. She was clad in a tan garb of what appeared to be sandstone, a full dress, though that wasn't quite the word. It looked as though it was emulating hide of some sort. Looking down at himself, he saw that he was clad in the same, like sand made cloth.
He glared at her, seeing the pity clearly in her eyes. Who was she to judge? Seemingly reacting to his thought, she spoke, in a soft voice, like the caress of wind through a cave. "I'm you, bobby." He raised an eyebrow at her. "Really? Yes, I can clearly see the family resemblance." he said sarcasticly, gaining a small smile from her. "You don't eavesdrop much, do you? Just listen, and I'll explain everything. I'm what you would call a Fael, and my name..."
OoC// I don't have word on this computer right now, so I don't have spellchecker yet. x_x; So there might be like... a lot of error's in this post. </3 And I got REALLY lazy after Adela's thing. Having four characters is a pain in the butt. xD
Aertan, if nothing else, was somewhat disgusted at Reid's sudden change in gender. Alicel, like usual, couldn't bear but to burst into uncontrollable laughter, but quieted to listen to She-Rei- errr... Mistral explained the dots on their foreheads, as she explained Tylonstus, and as she explained pretty much... everything. Adela, who had been fished back after being unable to find the healer Shiraume, turned a deft shade of green when Reid suddenly made the big switch, and held her tongue only because of Mistral's embarrassing statement that Reid had wanted to save her. (She didn't need any saving, by the way, she had been, perfectly fine, on her own. Could've beaten that weird demon thing to a pulp if she'd wanted to. You know, the works.)
When Mistral began to talk about the gods, Aertan's left hand twitched, and at the word 'tyrant', the rose began to glow feverently, with renewed vigor as an incredible number of doubts for Tylonstus flew through his mind. It was obvious that it was taking all of Aertan's self-control not to yell out in the middle of Mistral's speech, as he was digging his fingers into his palm so hard that unmistakeable drops of crimson fell to the floor. He was sure that of all the people in the room, he wanted to hear the bits about Ophelia and Tylonstus the most. This was one doubt that was not in his mind. The glow began to ebb when Mistral moved on to talk about Fael's, however, and Aertan took a deep breath, just barely relaxing his fist.
It was quick. The pain in his fist disappeared when the light seemed to engulf him, and he landed roughly on a brick floor. He was first aware of the fact that the tattoo on his left hand was gone. His hand was unblemished, and he could flex it freely without the stiff burning on the back of his hand. The second thing he realized was that he was bathed in a glowing and flickering light. He scrambled to his feet as he came to the conclusion that he was in a burning throne room, the flames surrounding him on all sides. Aertan tentatively waved his hand slowly through the flames, and though they burned brightly, they were not hot. Even he felt the heat of his own mahstion. His head jerked to the side when he heard a cackle, however, as the strangest woman he'd ever seen sat upon the brick throne that seemed to fall right out of the ceiling. She wore only a red bikini, and, as Aertan noted, had sustained no burns from the flames that engulfed her as well. Although, she had quite the numerous amount of tattoo's, as her entire body was covered in swirly and zigzagging red ink, while she wore a pair of red lace-up boots on her feet. Her hair was aflame, the short cut pulled behind her head and held at bay by a very odd looking mask. The white bone was stained with red, thick horn like spikes protruding from the back of the mask, and the woman waved her hand lazily, the crimson painted on her long nails gesturing around the room.
"The flames don't harm those of Fionus mahstion." She said, crossing one leg over the other, "And this here mask, isn't it cute? I killed a Ruby Lion Fish and decided that it's skull looked really nice."
Aertan raised an eyebrow as she continued to chatter away, "My name is Hoeten, but they call me Haeon't because it sounds a lot cooler, don'tcha think? Anyway, I'm your plufael, and Geote is your negafael, he's annoying as heck because he's just a stick in the mud, if you know what I mean. I'm so glad to be able to see you in person, I mean, those wings of yours are so unflattering."
Aertan automatically glanced to his left and jumped when he saw no hand, no knobbly ends, just a regular wing without arms. He turned to his right, and Geote waved at him, shrugging as best one arm could shrug.
"Shut up." Haeon't snapped at Geote, "I don't want to hear a word out of you. This is my time. Go bug sweetie on your own time."
"Sweetie?" Aertan finally spoke up, disgusted.
"So anyway," Haeon't continued, ignoring Aertan's annoyed expression, "As you can see-"
"We're not curses of Tylonstus. Quite the opposite really, since we're children of Ophelia. Against the tyrant, naturally."
"SHUT UP. SHUT! UP!" Haeon't shrieked, and Aertan decided that Haeon't was an opportunist, taking advantage of the fact that she was larger then Geote at the moment, "Stupid, freakin', negafael."
And with that, Aertan sat upright in his seat, blinking around before shaking his head, frowning at the sight of his bloody palm and the tattoo that had returned to its rightful place on his left hand.
Adela stared squarely at the boy who was dressed in an outfit with fabric designed exactly like her own, except the garments were a dark onyx shade of black, lined with gold, the top a sleeveless mandarin collared shirt over a pair of pure black trousers that practically made him disappear into the great shadows cast by the tall forest around them. Bathed in moonlight, he looked incredibly, sickly pale, and his black hair that hung in his yellow eyes couldn't repress the disgustingly kind eyes that were sleepy, his face stretched into a soft smile.
"Ugh." Was all Adela could offer, along with a curled lip of disgust.
The boy laughed lightly, and Adela cringed.
"You truly are an enigma, princess. You're normally so cheerful and glad." He said, and before Adela could interject with a crude comment, he introduced himself with a formal bow, "My name is Jeckt, please do feel free to call upon me at any time you wish for my company or assistance. I'm at your beck and call."
"Good," Adela snapped, "Let's start first, don't call me princess. It's disturbing. Second, don't smile at me with that freaky blank smile that just screams your going to do something freaky to me. And last, don't talk like your from the first century, it's weird."
Jeckt tapped his chin thoughtfully, before saying, "Well, I can oblige to only one, my apologies. What would you like me to address you as?"
"Master, Superior, something like that." Adela said haughtily before quickly waving her hands in defense as Jeckt opened his mouth to speak, "No, no, I wasn't serious, that's even freakier then Princess. Well... it's close. Just call me Adela, that works fine."
"But that's rude."
"Er, no, it's not."
Jeckt smiled, and Adela determinedly stared anywhere but at his freakishly good-natured face, "Very well, Adela. I do believe I should meet Mistral soon, after all, we're technically engaged, aren't we? What a strange prospect. I've never met her, only seen her just now. Ah, the world works strange fates."
"...Are we done here?"
"It is against your desires to speak with me?"
"You're creeping me out. Just a little."
"I'm Kranius." Said the white haired teen, wearing a white cotton shenti about his waist along with a dark blue scarf around his waist, fashioned as a belt, "And I dunno, that's really all there is."
Alicel shifted to her other foot and said, "Why don't you ever help me in battle? Like Mistral and Reid??"
"You've never asked for it." Kranius smirked, "Besides, you've never wanted to fight, so I don't exactly get the chance to, now do I?"
"I did! When Aertan kidnapped me, remember? I fought him, but my powers were just the same as before?"
"Yeah, well, you were only three days my reila. It's called the element of surprise. I mean look, aren't you surprised there's such a handsome guy living in your mind? I mean honestly, most girls would-"
"Most, girls. I personally think the fact that you're only half clothed is a major turn-off, and your white hair makes you look like you're an old man, and you're kind of flabby, not much muscle, so I don't understand why you're flashing the world with your pathetic-"
Kranius turned a good shade of red as he snapped, "I'm your opposite, and since you're so intent on surrounding yourself with things you like, naturally I don't. Besides, I like this style, thanks. You might not be able to feel it, but it's really hot on this godforsaken island of a brain. Next time you're about to die, don't expect me to help!"
And with that, Alicel was booted out of her own mind. Naturally, the first meeting didn't go so well. As was expected of an Alicel opposite. As someone with little confidence in herself, but a good knack at acting it, Kranius must've been the most pompous prick on the face of the planet, a boy who sat on an ego as big as the world he lived in. And as far as Alicel was concerened, her brain was not a godforsaken island.
"M-Me??" Villa stammered, "I-I'm the s-sixth apostle, Villa. It's a pleasure to m-make your acquaintence." She curtsied as best as she could, before she continued to stumble over her words. Her face turned bright red at the mention that she was pretty, (as praise was something that she was unaccustomed to) and she managed a small smile for the younger apostle.
"Ah, I seem to have failed as an experiment. I don't remember what I've been doing for this past year. It hurts when I remember those things. But I'm supposed to tell them what I've seen and what I remember, but, I don't know anything, so they're really angry and I don't know, so..." Villa paused, unable to think of how to go on, "I don't really know what to do. My missions comprise mostly of being an experiment, so, I've kind of failed. I can only remember little things. I don't know what I've been doing this past year."
Smiling, Villa turned to Cress and said, "You must be the newest apostle. Your awfully nice."
OOC: Aaack, I just realized that this post is going to be freakin' enormous. O.O Eh-heh...hope it makes sense. xD
Faewyn had still been in a state of shock as they were escorted out of the infirmary room. There had been so much happening that it was giving her a headache; too much, just...just too much. First Reid had awoken and everyone was going to be happy and have a wedding, then the next thing she knew she had been in the middle of all that horror and violence, and then...her glance shifted to Reece again, her hands still firmly clinging to his arm, and then she had found one of the few people in this world who had actually called her 'friend' again. She had wanted to be happy, to chatter away like her usual self, to ask about everything that had happened to him since he left uncle Kain's clinic with that newly mended wing, to tell him about all the incredible things she had witnessed, to introduce her old friend to her new friends, and yet-she sighed lightly, seating herself by the table around which they were holding their little conference, yet she couldn't bring herself to speak.
There was one thing she could do, though...the girl's hands instinctively darted for notebook and pencil at Reid's sudden transformation, the leaden tip dancing fervently across the rapidly filling pages as Mistral introduced herself and proceeded to talk to them about...well, about everything more or less. Rod's killer, the true identity of Thylonstus, the origin of mahstion...everything. Faewyn was absolutely spellbound, her lips not moving to utter a single word and her eyes not leaving the peculiar apparition that was controlling Reid. With the explanation about the negafaels, and specifically the part about one of them having been the one to kill Rod, a huge burden was lifted from Faewyn's conscience. It hadn't been Reid, it hadn't! And she had known it! Still, the prospect of something like that existing within Reid was unnerving, and when Mistral proceeded to explain that they all possessed one, the girl wasn't exactly relieved.
There was no time for interjection, however, as the fael proceeded to unleash some kind of energy at them, the girl's consciousness fading before she managed to voice her fears and a pleasant darkness slipping over her eyes...
Within the confines of her mind, Faewyn groaned, slowly coming to again. She was lying face-down on what felt like cold, wet grass...except for the minor detail that grass wasn't usually crimson in color. Rising to her feet, the girl surveyed her surroundings. She was standing on a floating island of some sort, moisture hung in the air, small drops of rain sprinkling down from above, and from somewhere above she could hear the distant rumble of thunder. The source of this was unclear, however, as the entire islet was draped in a shroud of thick, white fog which prevented her from seeing anything but the small patch of crimson grass she was standing on and-she paused, squinting into the fog; she couldn't be sure,
"Hello?" Faewyn called anxiously, walking towards the figure. It seemed to be male, judging by the height, but whoever it was, he had his back turned and paid no heed to her inquiry. Faewyn gave an involuntary shudder, something about this didn't feel right; wasn't the fael supposed to come out and greet her? "Umm...excuse me?" she asked, softly grasping the stranger's shoulder and turning it so he would face her, "Are you my-?"
Faewyn froze in horror at the sight in front of her, letting out a shriek and backing off, her hand clasping her mouth as the mangled body of Rod veered around to stare at her with empty eyesockets, falling face first onto the grass with a dull thud as fresh blood from his wounds mingled with the crimson of the grass, renewing its color, before the fog swept in over the cadaver, concealing it from view.
"Aww...what's the matter?" taunted a high-pitched, male voice from behind the girl, "You didn't seem so bothered last time, Fay."
The girl whirled around, not sure whether to be relieved to notice that this figure was fully alive. It was a male of about the same height as Faewyn, but that was pretty much where the similarities ended. The being before her was thin and wiry way beyond even Faewyn's standards, like he had been starved for a long time, slightly yellowish skin clung to his frame like wet paper, muscles and bone partly visible through it, his wings little more than blackened stumps sticking out from his back. His hair was white, hanging in an unorganized mess over his thin face and down to about mid-back behind him, a pair of slightly maddened, light green eyes peering out from beneath the mess of locks; the only true sign of life he exhibited. The being was draped in a frayed, black robe of some sort, its sleeves long since torn, and a dark green belt securing it around his thin waist. His feet and hands were both bare, their nails yellowed and lengthened to claws, and his mouth was not doing much better, even as the row of razor-sharp teeth grinned smugly at her. His feet were secured together by means of a bright, silver-colored chain which attached them to a wooden cross behind him, the feet dangling just a few inches above the ground. Similar chains held both his wrists at bay, and another pair snaked their way into an X-shape across his chest, partially laid bare by the decadent state of his robes, even his neck bore a thick metal collar which secured it to the cross, ensuring that the being could not move as much as a muscle.
"Who-" Faewyn stammered, taking a precautionary step back, "Who are you?!"
"You don't know?" the being replied, pretending to sound deeply hurt, "All the times you called on me and you still don't know my name..."
"Called on you?" the girl echoed, "I-I haven't-"
"Oh, please!" the creature on the cross snorted, "Think about it! Use that much-praised head of yours! Where do you think you got the strength to injure Haeon't? Who gave you the calm to observe your cadaver pal over there?" he shook his head as much as the collar would allow him, "Oh, Fay, Fay, Fay..." he tutted, "You really have to start paying attention."
"That-" Faewyn mumbled, "That throbbing in my mark, that was you, wasn't it? You're my fael?"
"Negafael to be precise." the creature corrected her, "Typhoeus, at your service. I'd scrape and bow, but..." he gave a hollow laugh, glancing at the chains, "...as you can see..."
The girl shuddered again, there was something deeply wrong about this creature, and that word...negafael? Didn't Mistral call that thing that killed Rod a negafael?
"Typhoeus..." she repeated, her glance hardening a bit, "Who chained you here?"
Typhoeus merely stared at her for a moment before bursting into another unnerving fit of laughter.
"Answer me!" Faewyn snapped, stamping her foot. On queue, a roll of thunder came in from the distance.
"Why you did, of course." the apparition replied matter of factly, "This is your mindscape, Fay, all that you see here is your own creation."
"But, then...Rod's body?"
"Oh yes; a very nice touch, that one." Typhoeus replied, the lunatic smile never leaving his lips, "Though personally, I'm partial to the slowly bleeding Rosaline over there..." he licked his lips in a sickening way, nodding towards the mist, though the collar turned this gesture almost unnoticeable, "You've got a deliciously twisted imagination, Fay."
"But I didn't!" Faewyn protested in horror, "I-I would never even want to imagine my friends-"
"Oh yes you would." Typhoeus retorted, "Don't lie to me, girl; I know all there is to know about you. Every fear, every doubt. Every dirty little secret you thought no-one would find out, every twisted fantasy you never dared to realize; you've fed them all to me, right here in this place. And I know, without a shadow of a doubt..." his glance went one step up in creepiness, "We're not so different, you and I."
"You're disgusting!" the girl replied.
Her darker half merely smiled in return, as if he had just been paid a compliment, "Why... Yes. I. Am." he replied, intoning each word carefully, "But unlike you, I see no need to hide it behind a mask of sickly sweet joy."
"You're wrong!" Faewyn persisted, shaking her head furiously, "Wrong, wrong, WRONG! I'll never be like you! Ever!" at her cry, the chains around the negafael's body tightened, binding him more firmly to the cross.
"That's right!" he jeered, "Lie to yourself! Delude yourself! The closer you bind me to your heart, the closer you are bound to me! Try to loosen the chains and you will only give me more space to move!" he cackled like a wicked witch, "Either way, you can't escape me...Fay. In the end all will be as I said it would be!"
"No!" Faewyn cried out desperately, tears streaming out of her eyes, the rain coming down in full force, "I refuse, I refuse to-"
"It's all his fancy, you know." interjected a new, calm voice, "He can only control you as much as you let him."
The girl blinked, wiping her eyes as a third figure approached from the fog. This one was also male, but certainly a relieving sight compared to Typhoeus. He seemed slightly shorter and younger, his face still bearing a hint of child-like roundness and smoothness, but the depth of his clear blue eyes seemed almost endless. The creature's skin pigment was about the same as Faewyn's, and his hair bore the same, vivid shade of teal, combed into a bowl haircut. Like his counterpart, the fael was draped in a robe, but his was snow white and well kept, and a couple of simple wooden sandals occupied his feet, and his wings were fully functional, seemingly formed of the mist itself.
"Ah...it looks like we've got party crasher." the negafael snorted, "Take a hike, saint-boy, she's mine!"
"Come." the other male remarked softly, paying no heed to Typhoeus as he grasped Faewyn's hand and pulled her upright, promptly turning her away from the specter at the cross and steadily marching them both towards the mist ahead, "This is your domain; not his." he whispered softly, "Silence your worries, shut your eyes and picture the happiest memory you can."
"I-" Faewyn hesitated.
"Please." her guide replied, giving the girl a friendly smile, "Trust me."
She nodded, shutting her eyes as she searched through the memories for something suitable. There was Reid's awakening, but that was directly followed by Rosaline's abduction. She wanted to remember the shopping, but there was Rod, and she didn't want to think of Rod right now. Then, then...she clenched her fists, willing her mind back, further back, before she had even met her friends, and there it was: bright and clear, that one blissful mother-daughter day; the trip to the mountains. A small, weak smile spread across Faewyn's face, and suddenly a strong gale whipped past her. Opening her eyes, the girl found the disturbing islet with the blood red grass and oppressive fog gone, replaced by a beautiful, green meadow, majestic mountains towering up on all sides and a small river running in from between the pine trees in the distance. It was a beautiful place, a natural reserve, her mother had told her, but Faewyn couldn't for the life of her understand how she had gotten there.
"Wha-?" the girl gasped, taking a few steps through the lush grass in sheer astonishment before turning to face her guide, who was smilingly lightly in a rather self-contented way, "How did we-?"
"This is your mindscape, Faewyn." the apparition replied, "It's a reflection of your mood. When you are content, it is a lush paradise, but when your heart is in disarray..."
The fael nodded solemnly, "When you arrived here, you were full of fear and your mindscape responded in kind. It turned into what you were afraid it might be.
"I see." Faewyn replied, "So does that mean that Typhoeus-?"
The male sighed, "Unfortunately not." he replied, "Typhoeus is indeed your negafael. But don't worry." he added, "As long as you remain at peace, he will not be able to reach you. Oh, but where are my manners?" he added in self-reprimand, "I am Isaire, your plufael." he gave her a flourishing bow, "Please call on me whenever you need my assistance."
The girl nodded, "A-alright." she replied somewhat shakily, "It's nice to meet you too...Isaire."
They both fell silent for a moment, watching the landscape, a warm, summer breeze causing the lush grass to rustle.
"You should probably start heading back." Isaire added after a while, "Your friends have probably already had their visions."
"But...what about you?" Faewyn asked.
"What about me?"
"If I leave...will, will you be alright?"
The fael chuckled, shaking his head, the mist wings swirling in unison, "How quickly you forget, Faewyn." he replied, "This place is your reflection. As long as you are well, so am I."
"I see." the girl replied, "So...this will all be here when I come back?"
"If you wish it to be."
Faewyn's smile widened, "Alright then, I'll be back as soon as I-" she paused, frowning a little, "Umm...Isaire, how do I get out of here?"
"Not to worry." the fael chuckled, his voice growing distant and the landscape blurring, "Somebody else is already arranging that for you."
Reece, quite frankly, was puzzled. For one, no-one had bothered to introduce themselves to him, so the majority of the people around the table had been complete strangers. Then they had embarked on what seemed to be a meeting that would clear everything up for them, but the next thing he knew, the injured guy - Reid, was it? - had suddenly switched genders and started talking like a fantasy novel, about gods and faels and all that rot. In all honesty, the soldier wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but it sounded like a righteous quest, and he was never one to back down from a righteous quest.
Well, he wasn't given much of a choice on the matter either. Mistral had barely finished talking before she had cast some kind of spell to send all of the people at the table off to la-la land, Reece included.
"Ergh..." the man mumbled, rubbing his eyes. He felt like he was standing on a hot beach, and that was pretty much what it seemed like as well. Well...if beaches had ash gray sand, anyway. Regardless, this place was full of it, and for good measure someone had set up a ring of fire around the area he was in, the blaze reaching up towards the darkened sky above, filling the place with heat. Wiping the sweat of his brow, Reece peered into the haze, he noticed a figure not far from him, though its appearance was blurred. Walking closer, Reece noted that the being in question was, in fact, a woman. Regal, that was perhaps the best way to describe her. Her stature was tall and imposing, even as she sat on her knees in the sand. Despite the heat, not a single bead of sweat crossed her skin, which - the soldier noted - bore a slight tint of gray. Her hair, however, was bright, flaming red, reaching down from her head to the ground in a mass of elegant curls. She wore a surprisingly plain, red dress which covered both her chest and her legs well beyond the call of mere modesty, and on top her head she even wore a vermillion-colored crown. Her eyes, however, were obscured by the locks of red hair, betraying no sign of having noticed the soldier.
"Nice place you've got here." Reece began, walking towards her as he wiped the sweat from his brow, "Real nice, love what you did with the fire and...volcanic ash? So you're my fael, right?
The woman merely tilted her head towards him for a moment, gesturing towards the ground in front of her, whereupon gray and white sand was organized in neat squares, a number of chess pieces arranged on each side, red on hers; white on his.
"Oh...I get it." Reece replied, "I have to beat you in a game to get my answers, right? It's some kind of test?"
"Not a very talkative type, are you?" Reece sighed, settling down on his side of the makeshift board. The red pieces most likely stood for black. The first move was his. The sand was hot and made his feet feel like they were on fire when he sat down, but he refused to back down, grasping the fourth pawn from the right and moving it two squares forward. It was then that an asymmetry in the setup caught his eye.
"Looks like you have me at a slight disadvantage." the soldier remarked casually, gesturing towards the empty square where his queen should have been.
The woman's lips curved up ever so slightly as she mimicked the opening maneuver, "I thought you'd enjoy a challenge." she replied, her voice as steady and unflappable as her countenance.
"So you talk after all." Reece remarked with a chuckle.
The soldier shook his head in confusion, before something suddenly dawned to him, a smile similar to the woman's working its way up his features.
"I get it." he said, grasping another pawn and moving it forward before intoning his next question, "One answer per move, am I right?"
"Correct." the woman replied, another chess piece moving across the sand.
Reece nodded, proceeding with his next move without hesitation, "Let's get to it, then. Are you my fael?"
"Indeed I am."
Another pawn marched into the fray, the two opposing forces staring each other down in preparation for the upcoming conflict.
"And I can call upon you for help at any time?"
Question absolved question as the game proceeded, colored chess pieces criss-crossing over the sand as pawn fell to knight, knight to bishop, bishop to pawn, and pawn to tower. Reece had always fancied himself a decent chess player, but Sieglinde - it seemed - had each move figured out. Every time he thought the next move would clinch it, it would turn out to be a complicated gambit of some sort and the crimson lady would claim more than her just compensation for any losses until eventually...
"Stalemate." Reece remarked in a slightly disgruntled tone. In terms of advantage he had been losing, bad, and a victory would have been optimistic in the extreme, yet somehow this conclusion wasn't satisfactory...perhaps because of the haunting feeling that it had been handed to him, "So...I guess the game is over?"
"So it would seem." his opponent replied, rising up from the ground and dusting off her clothes.
"You gave me that stalemate, though, didn't you?"
"You really know how to annoy me, you know that?"
The last thing Reece saw before departing from the bizarre world was that same, enigmatic smile playing on Sieglinde's lips.
This was all going to end in lecture, he knew it. It was almost amusing that they still bothered. His glance idly swept the office, crossing over the bare stone walls, the spartan bookcase crammed with religious tomes, and finally the little desk by which he sat, a small table lamp illuminating the space - quite redundant, he found himself thinking - as well as both people occupying the room, a number of papers strewn across the desk.
"What do you have to say for yourself?" this time, the creature in question was a low-ranking priest, balding and pudgy, his wrinkled face looking like it was on the verge of imploding on itself, his robes covered with the stench of sweat, cheap grease and a certain other substance which really wasn't worth analyzing further. His hazel eyes, however, were alight with righteous fury. Where oh where did these sorry excuses for living beings derive such immeasurable pride from? He would really have to get to the bottom of that one of these days.
"I am not quite sure I understand you, Padre." his voice was of a rather light, feminine quality but the complete monotony gave it a chilling edge, and Velin didn't miss out on that tiny tinge of fear in the priest's eyes as he observed the priest through equally impassive, light blue eyes, "I have done nothing wrong."
"Nothing wrong?!" the priest spat out furiously, "Four acolytes, Dahn! Four acolytes were murdered within these halls!"
"Not acolytes." the other replied calmly, "Traitors."
"Lies!" the priest boomed, "I trained those acolytes myself, Joseph for one would never have-!"
"Joseph was found guilty of treason against the great Thylonstus and his corpse, I gather, was within the explicitly forbidden area of the archives. Really, the burning of his tattoo should be proof enough of his treason."
"I would agree if I were convinced that those burns were caused by the tattoo."
Velin tilted his head ever so slightly to signify polite puzzlement. Though his smooth, androgenous face remained as passive as ever, the look in his eyes seemed to turn a bit more intense, "Are you implying something, padre?"
"I swear by Thylonstus..." the priest hissed, "If it was up to me I would have every last one of you abominations burned at the stake."
"But it is not your decision..." Velin continued conversationally, rising up from his chair and wandering over to the priest, whispering the last bit into his ear, "...is it, padre? Now if this is all, I shall take my leave of you. Good day."
"Hold!" the priest called, "I didn't give you permission to leave."
"...but surely you wouldn't wish to prevent me from doing the work of the great Thylonstus?" Velin filled in, "After all...the youngest of our flock was assigned a rather delicate matter to see to today. I should hate to think that something would go wrong with the sacrifice..."
The priest merely glared at him, but couldn't find a retort, "I'm keeping my eye on you, apostle." he sneered at the departing figure's back, "And I swear to Thylonstus I shall get to the bottom of your scheme!"
"You do as you like, padre." Velin replied impassively, pushing open the white door of the supervising priest's office, one of many within the area, and stepping out into the dank hallway of the apostles' quarters, flicking aside the single strand of his gray hair that had taken up a reddish tinge as he made a mental note of who the next 'traitor' within the clergy would be. Fortunately, that dogmatic fool was so open in his dealings; it wouldn't take much to frame him. Just as he was contemplating this, however, Velin's sensitive ears caught on to voices from the hallway; not stupid acolytes looking for a thrill, no...a deep, blood red color began creeping up another strand at the front of his face. To anyone who had been around the first apostle long enough, this would have been a clear sign to tread lightly.
One could have said that Velin tread down the halls, but it was truly more of a form of floating, a small but steady release of Wionus energy maintaining his steps just above the level of the floor and thus effectively hampering all sound from his advance upon the two younger apostles, well...right up to the point when he addressed them.
"Please do not let me interrupt." the first apostle remarked in mock-courtesy, his monotone voice giving the words their usual sarcastic undertone as he loomed over Villa, his black, feathered wings stretched out complacently, "After all, I am certain that whatever it is you are discussing is far more important than the tasks both of you have been appointed with." the gaze of his light blue eyes crossed over both of them, a clear sign that an incorrect answer would turn out most painful, "I am correct in this, am I not?"
OOC: Umm...yeah, would you believe that this is the downsized version? xD
OOC: Expect a bad post structure wise. It's been so long. XD
"Hmm, peculiar. For one so old you certainly don't know when to hold your tongue like an old man should." Cress spat in a tone that was lined with hostility. He subtly moved in between Villa and Velin, and his red eyes continued to glare up at the intimidating first apostle. "The girl I've been charged with looking after, Rosaline. I have moved her to the designated holding cell as requested. Therefore, I have no further appointed tasks until I have to attend to her later on." He bared his fangs, the glare continuing. Out of all the other apostles, Cress hated Velin the most, and every time they had met face to face the discussions had been hostile. "I suggest, that in the future, you do not step out of line and attempt to give me orders. You may be the eldest, and you may be the one charged with handling reports in regards to our operations, but you are not in charge of either Villa or myself." The apostle boy prepared himself. Chances were he was going to feel pain for even thinking of standing up against this man. All of the other's feared him, but Cress did not. He was either really brave, or really stupid.
"Sister, you know we are forbidden entrance into this place." A young girl, appearing no older than ten years old said to another, who looked exactly like the original. Both of the girls had curly, pastel purple hair that fell down to their ankles, two pairs of demonic wings erupting from their backs. One pair was blue in colour, while the other pair was red, symbolizing their purpose as apostles of Wation plus Fionus. These two girls, both dressed in white sun dresses with an accompanying pair of straw sandals, were the third and fourth apostles respectively. Their names were Kira and Kyra, and they were inseparable twins, despite being created weeks apart.
Kira's playful pastel purple eyes met the cautious pastel purple eyes of her sister, both faces cursed cursed with an eternal red blush. That Kyra was always trying to kill her fun. Despite being identical twins, they did not have identical personalities. Kira was the eldest of the two. She was playful, and loved to hold her age above the head of Kyra. She also lacked any form of common sense. On the other hand, Kyra was intelligent, calm, and understanding. Kyra was often favored by the other apostles and by the Carn military, and it made Kira jealous. Despite Kyra's warning, however, Kira flicked the light switch to the room they had infiltrated. When the lights came on, every single detail of the small room came to life. The cracks in the black tiled floor, walls, and ceiling, the dim crimson lantern hanging from the roof, and the red light of the crimson coloured bars from the laser cell in the center of the room. Within this cell was what the curious apostle wanted to examine - the girl the newbie had been sent to capture, Rosaline Dian.
The subject was still unconscious, as Kira discovered after running over to peer into the cell. It was just as she had been told. This girl was very pretty. "Look! Look! Look at her white wings! They're like snow!" She pointed out enthusiastically to her sister as her finger shot out in the direction of the wings drooped over the girl's - who was lying on her stomach - back. Kyra did nothing but sigh and nod as she followed after her sister. In this light, the inhuman features of these two girls became more apparent. For starters, they both had long, dark purple, hairless, forked tails present slithering behind them through a holes in their dresses. Like Cress, they also possess elongated ears, though there were not nearly as long and pointy as his, and they also possessed a pair of tiny lumps on their heads that could be considered horns. As Kira grinned at her sister, the beastly fangs of a monster appeared. The most horrific feature of their heads, however, was that they both possessed a third eye positioned in the center above the other two. Kira's was blue, while Kyra's was red.
The two girls jumped with a start as the door slammed behind them. They turned to see Azyla Astrange, the second apostle, and their caretaker, leaning against the door with an indifferent look upon his emotionless face. Azyla was an apostle born from Wionus and Fionus, and this was represented by his large pair of feathered wings. The left wing was green, while the right one was blue, which also held true for his eyes. Physically, he looked around the age of eighteen. It was impossible to tell what he was wearing at this moment, since a black trenchcoat covered his entire body, conflicting with his short cut navy blue hair. "We have to leave..." He said, void of emotion, to the two girls as he reopened the door. Azyla rarely showed any emotion, which made him an excellent caretaker for the two girls, who loved to annoy others. The twins sighed before resigning to the boy they considered their big brother, and left the room.
Mistral snapped her fingers, releasing everyone from their trance. The fael girl stood up on solid ground once more, before proceeding to speak. "You now all have a mental bond with one another. You shall be able to communicate through thoughts with one another, and us faels can do the same." Her body began to glow green once more. "Now, I must permit Reid his body once more. I suggest you head towards the snowy nation of Beta if you wish to learn more about the crisis the world faces." The light then consumed the girl and cleared a few moments later, Reid left in her place.
"Ugh... what happened?" Reid muttered, holding his head. His eyes shot open as his memory came back to him. "Right. Mistral took control and made me a girl..." He shuddered before continuing. "ANYWAYS, what's our next plan of action?"
OOC: HOMG, PC is finally back! It took s-o-o-o long...;__; *Whinecling* IC time! ^0^
Not as much as muscle moved on Velin as he witnessed Cress' self-righteous little rant, but it didn't take a genius to notice that the deep, blood red color of the strand at the front was slowly but surely seeping into its neighbors, "Hmm, peculiar." he echoed in his usual impassive tone, "For one so young you seem to have a very poor memory, Cress. I am the one in charge of discipline within this little unit, so unless I am mistaken that would make you the one out of line, seventh apostle." there was a distinct tinge of distaste in Velin's gaze. He had never been fond of this particular apostle and his taste for bravado, and judging by the way it was acting the feeling was mutual, "I thought that not even you could misinterpret a simple command of 'fetch', yet you certainly took your time..." his gaze intensified, "Need I remind you of the five virtues of an apostle?" he raised his right hand, extending one claw-like nail at the time as he counted off the words, "Efficiency. Punctuality. Reliability. Devotion. But above all..." the last nail shot out at lightning speed, "Discipline." he gave Cress an appraising look, "Oddly enough, you seem to have forgotten all of them. Oh, well..." he lowered his hand in a gesture that seemed to suggest dismissing the matter, but in a blur of wionus-propelled motion the first apostle had closed what little distance had remained between him and Cress, his right hand grasping the apostle's arm right above the point where the glove ended and the five, blade-like nails digging into the unprotected skin, accompanied by a sickening sizzling sound and the smell of burnt flesh.
"Perhaps you shall have an easier time keeping them in mind now that they are branded into your skin." Velin remarked casually, releasing his grip to reveal a set of five charred cuts at the spots where his nails had entered; he hadn't cut through to the bone - that would have been wasteful - but they were certainly deep enough to be quite unpleasant, "The mahstion in those cuts will linger for about two days. For that time, I would suggest that you do not attempt to heal them." he continued conversationally, retracting the nails to their usual state and still addressing Cress from over his shoulder, "Contemplate on why you received them and we might avoid such inconveniences in the future. I will expect a detailed report of your subpar performance on this mission within the day. As for you..." he cast a disdainful glance at Villa, "I have been asked to inform you that your contribution to today's experiments was most unsatisfactory, so I would suggest that you go and work on your meditation exercises. There has been talk of terminating failed projects and I should hate to find either of you on that list. Good day."
With that, Velin strode off down the hall without sparing as much as an additional glance for either of the two, the blood red color in his hair slowly retracting in favor of the usual gray and the black pendant around his neck swaying back and forth in queue with his movements. The threat to Villa had been a complete bluff, of course. She was far too valuable a resource to squander. After all...she could remember. Weak and pitiful though she was, she was still Velin's best bet at regaining his own memories, but there was no need to tell her that...after all, thinking that you were fully replaceable tended to do wonders for people's job motivation.
Cress, however...Velin's hair briefly took up a light, reddish tinge as the insolent seventh returned to his thoughts, but he soon calmed himself again, pausing by the strategy room and walking over to the center of the room where he lowered himself into a sitting position, his eyes narrowing to the point where they really weren't more than two stripes of blue in the dark, his standard meditating position. Cress served a purpose too...he was loud, rebellious, and foolishly open about it. In other words: he was a perfect scapegoat. A tiny tinge of teal briefly entered one of the strands at the front, yes: if there was one thing you could count on it was that Cress Alberto Tylonstus would create a scene wherever he went. And as it so happened...a scene might yet turn out to be just what Velin needed.
"Fay! Fay, wake up!"
Faewyn blinked, slowly adjusting to being back in the real world. She found herself lying on the floor, her chair toppled over and a sizable bruise on her left arm, which - Faewyn gathered - she had fallen down on, a worried Reece crouched over her.
"Wha-what happened?" Faewyn mumbled, absent-mindedly rubbing the bruise as she got back to her feet.
"That would be my question." her friend replied, "Everyone else woke up from their visions just fine, but you kept twisting and turning; you even knocked that chair over. What happened in there?"
"It's...sort of blurry." the girl half-lied, giving Reece a faint smile as she rose to her feet, her glance traveling to the others to forestall any further inquiry, "I'm alright, though, really. I-I guess it was just sort of overwhelming." the soldier didn't look convinced, but seemed content to drop the matter as Reid spoke up, inquiring what they should do next.
"Yeah, I'd like to know that too." Faewyn, who had completely missed Mistral's announcement, chimed in.
"Oh, you're going to like this one." Reece replied, grinning, "To you guys and anyone else who spaced out through that; we're going to Beta. Mistral's instructions, no less."
Faewyn's eyes widened, a blissful little smile spreading across her lips, "Really?" she asked, but then a thought struck her, "We? Reece, are you..?"
"Of course I am." Reece replied vigorously, before realizing that perhaps this was slightly uncouth as he turned to address the rest of the group, scratching his head, "I mean, I know we haven't even been properly introduced yet and I'll be the first to admit that I'm still really confused about this whole thing, but I'd still like to help if that's alright with you." he addressed his plea primarily to Reid, who appeared to be the leader of the group, "I mean, apparently I have one of those whatchacallits inside of me too, and by the sound of things it would appear that you need all the help you can get. Besides..." he cast a sideward glance at Faewyn, "Friends of Faewyn's are friends of mine, and Reece Everard never leaves a friend in trouble. My glaive is at your service."
OOC: Post from school, GO!
"Velin~!" Kira shouted affectionatley as all three of her eyes caught a glimpse of who the twins considered their leader. After Azyla had removed them from the room, he had gone off somewhere, leaving the two twins to wander the halls unsupervised once again. Out of boredom, they had wandered into the darkness of the strategy room and hidden themselves so that they could scare any Carn soldiers who dared enter the room. Alas, Velin came in before any soldiers, and with their vision enhanced by their third eyes, Kira automatically recogized the leader and leapt on to his back, most likely disrupting whatever he was doing. "Hiya Velin! Whatcha doing?! Can we help? We're bored! Hey! Stop it Kyra!" The girl barked a her calm companion, who was pulling her sister from Velin's back with a sigh.
Kyra curtsied before Velin, forcing her hyperactive other to do the same. "I apologize sir. As you know, we have have been cooped up for weeks now without work, and Azyla isn't the best man to act as an entertainer. We were curious as to if you had any possible work for us." She shot a glare at Kira as she spoke in her calmest voice, albeit still one full of childlike cuteness, who was about to speak up but refrained after her sister's glance. Kyra's third eye blinked as it looked Velin over. Her eye had the uncanny ability to analyze anything, breaking it down into data that she could easily remember. Kyra, if anyone, was aware of every apostle's strengths and weaknesses, and Velin did not fly under that radar. She knew ticking number 1 off would result in some painful consequences.
Cress, in the meantime, was learning this first hand. After the attack, he had collapsed to his knees, his white and black bangs impairing his vision. He held his left arm out and stable with his right arm, applying pressure so that the blood wouldn't spew out so quickly. His breaths grew longer and deeper, which mixed themselves with his screams of pain and tears. When he was used to the pain to the point where it became tolerable, he stood up, dropping his arms to his side. He didn't say anything, but rather turned his back to Villa and walked away without acknowledging her. Velin may have beaten him that time, but Cress was positive he wouldn't do it again. Perhaps it was time to try and bring his own ambitions into fruition.
"Um... so. Who the hell are you again?" Reid asked rudely, the question directed at Reece. "I know your name now, but just WHO are you? I don't want to bring along random people that could be burdens." Humorously, this was coming from a fifteen year old boy who still had little grasp on reality after all that had occurred lately. "I guess we're heading to Gregar now. Even if we did find Rosaline like this, there is no way we would be able to defeat that thing that took her away in the condition we have now. Sure, we have our faels, but we still know so little about them." Reid proceeded to look at his feet glumly. "But dammit, it's my fault she was taken in the first place. If I hadn't lost it and gotten myself knocked unconscious..." This was barely audiable to anyone but himself and Mistral, who gave him a playful mental 'snap out of it!' kick.
OOC: Sorry the Reid parts are so short. Not much to do with him right now. XD
OOC: I'll be short too, partially because I'm vomitting up pure acid. x.x
I growled, my hand travelling to the hip-sheathe of my knife, not at all happy about some of the things she had told me. That's when I realised, I hadn't even gotten her name. "Min." "Thanks." I said aloud dryly, moving in towards the others. Instinctively, I selected one boy out of the crowd, a little shorter than me with spiky brown hair. I held out my hand, my right hand, obviously, towards him. "The name's Bobby Roze." I said, my face blank, but my tone distasteful. ot of him, though I couldn't exactly make that clear, but at the situation in general. "And it seems like I'm in on this jolly suicide scheme." I said, before checking my coat, shifting my shoulders to make sure my left arm was covered. After all, you didn't want to make your introduction to people by saying you were crippled. Then they just used you for meatshields. "Though I think I have only the barest udnerstanding of what exactly's going on."
As if Villa had ever trembled more in her lifetime, she shook without restraint now, tears welling up in her eyes as she was engulfed in a wave of utter fear and terror. Though she feared almost all the other Apostles with equal passion, her fear in Velin suddenly increased ten-fold, while her fear of Cress decreased ten-fold. She reached out a shaking hand when Cress walked away without another notion, but though her fear of him had decreased, she had been so utterly frightened by Velin that she couldn't even think of calling out his name or title. And so she stood, before dejectedly dragging her sleeves along the floor, her long fingers and nails nearly touching the floor as she walked with her head bowed but her shoulders tall. It was like this that she walked back to her room, a simple room that was entirely white. Due to Villa's purpose to the apostles, she was permitted no distractions, certainly not in the place where she could think to herself. Thus, it was almost hard to make out where the lines of the furniture met or ended.
Sitting down on the end of her bed in this vast whiteness, Villa frowned, and knew that she had to think. This was her mission, her job, and failure was not well recieved.
'And what's you're name?' The girl with the teal hair asked cheerfully as she looked over the invisible person's application.
The girl nodded, and Villa strained to remember whether the faceless person had said something just then, 'But it sounds cooler when you say it out loud- that way, I won't make a fool of myself and say it wrong, right?'
Why was this little girl being so laid back?
Why shouldn't she be?
She was doing something important, Villa remembered. She remembered wondering why such a young girl was handling such an important matter.
But even this short recollection shut out Villa's lights as she lay sprawled across her bed, unconcious with a gruesome and tortured expression with her hands loosely clutching at the long white strands of hair.
"Well," Adela said, slapping Reid on the shoulder, (a little harder then just light jest, but not hard enough to hurt someone who wasn't a total pansy,) "Thanks, it's great to know that we who were awake would've been of no use saving Rosaline, and with your help, it would've been a breeze. Stop acting like a tragic-hero, it's not helping at all. Either way, the creeper said he was an Apostle of Tylonstus, and thus, we can safely assume that Rosaline and the freaky-guy are both in a place that harbors a freakish- excuse me," Adela added at the sight of Aertan's raised eyebrow, "Religious interest. What are we going to find at Beta? Snow? Yeti's?"
Alicel couldn't help but repeat Reid's words however, "Some stranger who could be a burden..." She mumbled as she glared at Aertan who ignored her to the fullest, saying in argument to Adela's headstrong theory, "With the vast amount of credit you Tealian's obviously give us, we've probably hidden those monsters right in the middle of town, so obviously, we don't need to find where they are, what they want, or who they are. As far as I'm concerned, as the preacher for my respective church, I've never heard of Tylonstus having any Apostle's. Certainly not apostle's as ugly as that demon-thing. So I'd imagine that their either, not in Carn, or, well hidden enough so that nobody's ever found them before. Sure thing, let's waltz right into Carn and ask them where their Apostles are." Aertan finished with a flourish of sarcasm, leaning back into his seat.
"I think we should just go, since we're not really accomplishing anything by sitting around here." Alicel snapped with obvious irritation toward the passage of speech between Aertan and Adela.
ooc; Gah, I'm so lost as to what to say. xD; So that's why I ended the post short-up, I didn't want to just babble incessantly. Sorry! *sweat*
"Mama's research." Faewyn replied to Adela's rhetorical question. It just came out spontaneously, but the girl was not about to take it back. This was her homeland they were discussing, and this person was trying to belittle it, "I-I took some of it with me when I...left home." she struggled hard not to let her mind slip into dark thoughts at this point, using Isair's predicament as motivation, "But I know mama kept copies of everything she ever wrote somewhere. If...if we just search around a bit I'm sure we'll find something we can use. She did work with offensive mahstion, and we need to get stronger, right?" she directed the last question to Reid, "Wionus was here specialty, but she did a lot of research on others too. And, well..." she bit her lip, "I'd like to know how that Cress person could use two types of mahstion. The answer's in one of her journals, I just know it is!"
It was then that Reid shifted the subject by mentioning that they didn't need any burdens. Though it seemed to be primarily directed at Reece, a number of others seemed to react, including Alicel and a stranger who had just joined into the conversation, the latter seeming particularly mindful of covering his left arm for some reason.
"Burden?" Reece echoed, his expression hardening slightly at the boy's rude manner, but soon reverting to the usual pleasant one, "No, I understand-" she added, raising a hand to silence Faewyn's objection, "I imagine I would want to know as much if I were in your shoes, but I assure you I'm no burden. I've served in the Tealian military for the last eight years, though seeing as how I've spent the last three years of my career patrolling some forsaken backwater - courtesy of certain officials who shall not be named - I suppose I can't blame you for not knowing. I've got quite a bit of experience in not getting myself or my unit killed, and this weapon isn't just for show either." he nodded towards the glaive strapped across his back, "But if you want proof, feel free to test my skills for yourself." he grinned confidently at Reid.
"I-I can vouch for him, Reid." Faewyn interjected, "Reece is the one who taught me how to use a staff. And, well..." her gaze traveled to the floor, "He's the first friend I ever made, so I was sort of hoping you two would get along. I know-I know that's not a good reason." she added, raising her gaze again, "But it would really mean a lot if-"
"Fay, that's enough." her friend interrupted.
"But-" the girl protested.
"I said that's enough." Reece persisted, "Look, I really appreciate you sticking out for me, Fay, but Reid's right; if my skills aren't enough then I shouldn't come along to burden the group. I want to get accepted on my own merits, you know that, right?"
"I...I know." Faewyn replied, "I'm sorry."
"Don't." Reece objected, "You haven't done anything you should feel sorry for." he turned his attention back to Reid, meeting the younger's gaze calmly, "It's your call, both on who gets to go and where they go." just as he had finished, however, the soldier's pose suddenly jerked in an odd way, his lips forming out words in a far lighter, more feminine tone than before, "If I may interject?" Sieglinde spoke through her host, ignoring his objections, "It would be prudent not to rush to conclusions about the worth of anyone in this room. As descendants of the goddess, our fates are intertwined. Whether we walk together or not will not change our destiny, but a united front is often stronger than a scattered one." a serene and decidedly un-Reece-like smile played on the soldier's lips, "Please do consider this if you truly value what's at stake." with that, the body jerked again, a decidedly disgruntled-looking expression confirming that the original Reece had returned "Sorry about that." he grit out, "But it looks like a certain fael" he received an interlude of meaningful silence from the back of his head at this point, "-got very wordy all of a sudden. Like I said, it's your call."
As tended to be the case in such situations, Velin betrayed no sign of shock as Kira lunged at him from behind, bombarding him with questions before her more mindful sister managed to drag her down, forcing her to join her in courtesy as she presented an apology. The voices had been enough for identification, as if the very act hadn't been a giveaway. Kira and Kyra - the double trouble twins, as some of the Carn soldiers had dubbed them - if Velin could have been considered to like anyone it would probably have been these two. To an outsider it may have seemed strange, especially considering that Kira had a tendency to get on the nerves of even the saintliest of people, and in all honesty Velin couldn't quite comprehend it either. The best explanation he had was that the girl showed no fear of him - it was not the usual bravado that some put on, the kind which people like Cress thought could somehow hide the revolting stench of terror beneath it, no; Kira seemed genuinely oblivious to the prospect that anything seriously bad could happen to her and strangely enough it made Velin feel obliged to live up to this expectation in his own peculiar way. It was comforting to know that at least one person didn't regard you as a monster. Kyra, on the other hand, was one of the few apostles who actually used that head of theirs as something other than a meat shield. Besides, both had been loyal to him, and Velin rewarded it in his own subtle ways, often letting them off with less in the way of lasting pain than most misbehaving apostles - like now, in choosing to let Kira be pulled back unharmed, when an average person interrupting his meditation would have walked out at least one limb short, provided that they could walk at all. Normally, this kind of mercy would have been the queue for the offending party to make a run for it as soon as possible, but Kyra had probably divined enough of his mood to know that they weren't in the immediate danger zone, and thus proceeded to explain their case instead:
"As you know, we have have been cooped up for weeks now without work, and Azyla isn't the best man to act as an entertainer."
'Try months like me.' Velin's mind jabbed in, 'Because obviously I'm the funnyman who'll turn that frown upside down.'
"We were curious as to if you had any possible work for us."
Velin paused at this, giving the two apostles in front of him an appraising look as he pondered his response, "No further official missions have been assigned at this time." Velin replied in his usual monotone, "However..." he added, weighing his coming suggestion one last time, "If you are truly so bored, I may have a task for you." he paused, "I take it, you know that the good padre-" he always referred to the supervising cleric in this fashion, so there was hardly a risk of misunderstanding, "...has been quite...enthusiastic in his work as of late? As your probably know, he is currently in the process of attempting to prove that we are all vicious, priest-killing abominations created not by the power of Thylonstus but through inhuman mahstion experiments." this was all completely true, of course, at least on Velin's part, but people weren't supposed to know it, "From what I gather, he has even pilfered information from the secret archives to support his case; he wouldn't leave it far from his person, probably concealing it in a file somewhere within his office. The contents of this file, I admit, I'd be quite interested in getting to know. However, the file in question is no doubt highly classified, so it would be best if the good padre wasn't aware of the information passing hands. A simple distraction strategy would no doubt buy one of you the time necessary to find it." he shrugged, "Of course I have no official backing for this assignment, so getting caught would have...unpleasant consequences. As such, I won't hold it against you if you don't accept, in which case this conversation never took place. There is also some risk-free work in keeping an eye on the two failures..." again, the implication of the youngest apostles was not hard to spot, "...but baby-sitting them usually isn't a worthwhile task. That is all I can offer at the moment, so take it as you will." he gave a small, indifferent shrug, "Now that the sacrifice is here and Cress carelessly left her companions alive, I have no doubt that more work will have arrived by the end of the week. If you can wait that long, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Regardless, I will be here if anything important comes up."
"As much as I'd love to fight a charming gent such as yourself," Reid replied to Reece's challenge, his tone clearly mocking the other male's, while at the same time ignoring Adela for her remark, "We really don't have the time right now. If you're so inclined to prove yourself in such a manner, do it on the field. Just don't blame at me if you die." He turned bright red as his voice reached that feminine pitch Mistral had. Obviously, she wanted him to stop. Mistral was going to be a playful nuisance to him. "Sorry, couldn't resist~" She giggled in a much different mood than she had been in earlier, but broad casted this line mentally to the whole group. Reid coughed, his voice clearing back to it's normal tone. "ANYWAYS, I guess if we're planning on exploring Faewyn's theory, we should leave soon. I guess I'll leave everything to you, Faewyn." Reid said, looking at the girl with a glint of respect in his harsh eyes. "I've never been to Gregar myself, too cold. I guess you'll just have to be our guide then, huh? We should probably rest tonight and get prepared. Who knows how many of those apostles are out there? We need to find our friend..."
In the meantime, Mistral had invaded Adela's mind for one soul purpose. "Jeckt, Jeckt~" She called out playfully and randomly. "Are you planning on meeting me at any time, or were you planning on hiding yourself from me? We are to be wed, after all." Of course, since she was TECHNICALLY still Reid, and just projection herself into Adela's head, they could both hear what the two fael would be talking about.
As if on queue, a Carn soldier entered the strategy room carrying a paper, which Kyra automatically recognized as one of the papers the military used to assign orders. The man, despite being large, muscular, defined, and chiseled, shook ever so subtly once his eyes met up with the six eyes the twins had possession of. He held the paper out to Velin, and with a voice only a man suffering from fear could manage, explained the details listed on the sheet. "N-new information has arrived from our intelligence division involving the group Cress encountered earlier. They are a-apparently heading for Gregar, and have some sort of strange new power that Cress mentioned upon arriving back here. This group has now been marked a high level threat, and must be eliminated soon. Thus, HQ has decided to give you permission to take yourself and three of your best apostles to "rendezvous" with the group upon their arrival in Gregar. It is expected that they will arrive within two hours from this point in time." The man quickly shuffled out of the room, leaving the two girls to pin all eyes on Velin. Three of those, belonging to Kira, were full of hope, and it looked as if she was giving him puppy dog eyes. The other three eyes, like they normally were, seemed indifferent, although there was still a glint of hope in them.
"Get up, girl."
"...Huh... what?" The blue haired girl muttered as she finally came to on the cold, hard floor. She pushed herself up on to her knees, and began to look around. She was in a cell, that much was certain, and a very small cell indeed. The bars that made up the cage were lined with lionus, meaning if she tried to break out with her own mahstion, it would be useless. She jumped a little as a tray containing a meal of bread, chicken, and water flew at her from outside of the cage, directing her attention at the white and black haired monster from which the meal came. "Who are... what are you?"
"That's a little bit rude." Cress replied to Rosaline with little real interest in his voice. While he acted indifferent, this girl could actually be of some use later on. He rose his left arm into his view, a white bandage soiled with blood wrapped around the wound Velin had given him. "My name is Cress, I'm an apostle." The girl replied with a puzzled look on her face, giving Cress no choice but to take the time to explain the situation to her. "Listen, I don't know why they want you so bad, especially since you were born as a sacrifice..." He got up and opened the door, his back turned to the girl. "But don't worry, I won't let them kill you... yet." He slammed the door behind him, leaving Rozaline to cry. She was such a naive girl from the reports he received. Would she really be of any use? Only time would tell.
"If I die, I imagine I won't get the chance to." Reece replied to the younger male's remark, seemingly taking the hostility in good humor, though his grin may well have been fostered by Mistral's little trick, "But as long as it's for a noble cause it's all good. Better to die standing than live on your knees, I say."
Even Faewyn couldn't help a guilty little giggle at the change in Reid's tone, though she soon silenced it so as to not come off as rude. Besides, Reid's next request was serious, and the girl certainly didn't fail to spot the sentiment behind it. It was obviously taking a great deal of trust on Reid's part to give such a big role to someone else in a matter that was so important to him, and trust wasn't something the boy seemed to fond of giving, "Leave it to me." Faewyn replied, nodding confidently, "After all...I'm getting quite used to being a guide. Oh, and you might want to pack something warm." she addressed the last remark to the group in general, "The country is...pretty high up in the air, even by our standards, so it might get a little chilly. And the maps!" she added spontaneously, tilting her head, "It's preparing time now, right? I think I've got some maps and stuff here, but I need some time to find them."
"Guess I'll hit the practice field in the meantime, then." Reece remarked, "That's my kind of preparation. If you need me, you know where to find me." he waved a farewell to the group before proceeding to wander down the hall, glaive in tow.
"I guess I'll go search through my notes." Faewyn announced, "Let's meet up here tomorrow morning, okay?" with that and a quick wave of farewell, she darted off in her own direction. This was an important mission, after all, and every detail had to be considered.
Despite the rather...unexpected contents of the newly arrived order, Velin didn't seem to display the least bit of interest in the messenger's news, his light blue eyes merely staring indifferently at the man, although he eventually reached out his hand in a slightly reluctant manner and accepted the piece of paper. This man reeked of fear, and it was taking some self-restraint from the first apostle's part not to lunge at his throat for it. Of all human emotions, fear was the one he disliked the most.
"Try a 's-s-sir' or two next time." he remarked impassively as the messenger made a hasty departure, duly reading through the document, as if he didn't notice the three puppy-dog eyes staring him down oh-so-endearingly. This was an unexpected turn of events; oh, he had seen a mission coming, but one requesting not only himself but also his best apostles? Velin's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, whatever these strangers had done they certainly seemed to have the high and mighty priests of Thylonstus shaking in their little ceremonial robes...yes, this was worth investigating. Besides, an order was an order.
"If I said 'no'..." the first apostle began, his eyes still focused on the paper, "...would I ever get to hear the end of it? No, don't answer that." he added, a tiny hint of teal in his hair betraying light amusement as he slowly rose to his feet, brushing off the dirt from his clothes and meeting his juniors' expectant gazes, "Third apostle Kira Zeybal, fourth apostle Kyra Zeybal, you are hereby officially assigned to work with me on this mission. Carry out your orders swiftly and efficiently and there shall be no complications. Departure will occur as soon as the team has been assembled." it was his standard speech upon assigning a mission, so every apostle save Villa already knew it by heart, but Velin supposed that some conventions had to be followed, "Has the fifth returned yet?" he inquired, pausing by the exit of the strategy room, "The failures are more trouble than they're worth, and I dislike the idea of leaving them and the sacrifice here unsupervised."
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