Cloudtop Citadel ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 10:00 AM
Lt. Abigail Martin
Abigail put her hands on Teri's and held them at bay. "I am fine," she croaked. A few stray strands of hair rolled down her face and she brushed it back up with her fingers. She tried to stand up and shakily did so, leaning against the wall as she rose. She looked at Viscus and grimaced, "You people let such an unstable AI run free?" Abigail shook her head, "Such lackluster discipline must cause unceasing trouble."
She let the Cleric see her skin, bruised and angry though it was. Though it seemed as if she was not done any lasting damage.
The other soldiers gathered behind their officer, and that's what they were. Despite their youthful appearance and playful nature, they were soldiers as well as students and researchers. Their gleaming eyes and ruby lips were stretched into pensive glares. Abigail commanded them to lower their weapons with a quick wave of her hand.
"I'm afraid that we have reached the limit of our hospitality," Abigail leaned against the wall. Her eyes were steel, "please vacate as soon as possible. Take that machine with you."
Rising Dawn ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 10:00 AM
Lt. Dolores Selmy
I yawned. There was some light filtering in through from behind the curtains, and the sheets were cold on my skin. I sat up and stretched, the cloth fell from my bare arms and pooled in my lap. My back hurt and my hips were sore. I must have been twisting and turning in my sleep, and the weight of my legs strained the muscles in my hips. I groaned, the air was cold. I reached over and grabbed my shirt and slipped it over me, taking care not to crease the silken cloth as I pulled it over my breast and stomach. I swung my legs over the bed and slipped carefully into my chair.
My name is Dolores Selmy. Everyday I have to remind myself that. I can feel the other voices nibbling in the back of my head. I had forgotten their names. All the better. I am Dolores. It means to suffer. My name is Dolores. It means to suffer.
I looked up and my face stared back at me in the mirror. Gentle sloping cheeks and a round chin, a button nose. Wide, wet eyes covered by a sheet of blonde hair. I brushed my bangs to the side and clipped it back with a pin. My skin was white, almost as pale as snow. My eyes were a bright green.
Today was the day of my party, but really it was more of John and Molli's party. I smiled. John had come up with the idea, I had just organized it. The man was something else, soft-spoken and unassuming, but an incredible intelligence agent. He had a ring made from the raw iron from Molli's first childhood project, a dune buggy that she worked on with her father. It glimmered in my memory, a dark iron laced with gleaming rivers of platinum and rose gold and crowned with a round polished sapphire to match Molli's eyes.
There was a knock.
"Are you okay?" Isaac said as he walked in. He was wearing his dress uniform, his hair was combed neatly back and his deep olive skin had been powdered lightly with some white dust. His face was twisted into a grave grimace.
"I'm fine Isaac, is something wrong?" I leaned back in my chair and covered my bare legs with a blanket.
Isaac walked in and looked at me in the mirror. The frame made it look like we were a couple in an old photo. "There's been a class 3 emergency," he said softly, "the Rising Dawn was attacked and your sister is missing."
I looked up at him. For some reason I couldn't seem to care. I knew I should be worried, frantic even. But right now I wasn't filled with anything. Not surprise, not fear, not worry. I smiled, "I'm sure Laeta will be okay."
"I didn't mention," Isaac began, his brow furrowed.
"Saren isn't one to get herself missing." I answered. It felt automatic, unthinking. Like someone else was talking for me. The day wasn't going to change. The party was still going to happen. "Would you kindly help me into the shower? It's cold." My name is Dolores. It means "she who suffers." What kind of father names his daughter that?
The Rising Dawn Adventures
The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Cloudtop Citadel: Main Concourse
Caim | Hillary | King Leoric | Nadalia | Miia | Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Nina and Phillip
The light of the newly born flame washed over Hillary's form, flicks of orange and yellow overtook the glistening silver's own colourations. Hillary's trust in Angelus' words prior helped to keep her from gaining some distance, but that didn't stop her from eyeing that flame none the less. Her head tilted upwards as she watched the flame come to rest atop her head like a glorified spotlight. Hillary's mood brightened once more as Angelus offered her hand to the slime, to which she happily accepted, lightly swinging the arm back and forth as they made their way to the elevator. Because she was under the impression Yona was the owner of the mace, and she didn't need it where she was headed, Hillary would have simply left it leaning against one of the walls in the open.
The story Angelus told Hillary of her two bundles of joy brought a smile to Hillary's face. Truth be told, Hillary's interpretation of family was quite a bit broader than most, and thus didn't much bat an eye at Angelus calling the turtle dragon or the stuffed gecko fish her children. In fairness it only went to show she'd done a fine job at raising the two to be as kind and helpful as they had. She only hoped the two children knew how much they meant to her.
"Though your reverence for this Penelope is similar to mine in regards to my children - is she family to you? Perhaps a mentor?" Hillary was then asked, to which she replied, placing her other hand to her chest holding onto her figurine. "Penelope? I say she's family. Like family away from family? She's helped teach Hillary many things over our travels, show her how other people do things, and make sure she doesn't get into trouble." A sheepish smile coming across the woman's face. "Some of the others say that she's more of a nanny, but Penelope is very quick to say that's not true. "It's my duty to make sure everyone on this ship is cared for, Hillary is no exception!" she'd say." Hillary stated, wagging her finger with a slight inflection to her voice as she rhymed off one of Penelope's lines. "So... maybe she's a little of all the things if you think about it? But certainly a very good friend to Hillary~" Hillary kicked her legs out excitely.
As they got closer to the elevator, Hillary turned her head to the controls for a moment before confirming they were supposed to go up. With Angelus' approval, Hillary called the elevator and waited patiently as the group following behind to gather orderly. Once the doors opened, Hillary entered and was immediately met with a loud buzzer. She would look around confused a moment before realizing the problem. "Wait, Hillary's had this happen before..." She said as she stepped back outside and offered for others to board instead. She then looked down at herself reluctantly. "I guess Hillary needs to get that apple out of her..? Just wait a second." She begrudgingly stated as she started to cough with gusto.
Glimmer of Hope
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Oblivion was absolute. There was nothing dark about this darkness, Luke found, as he traversed the eternal fog. The ancient stillness stretched on and on. He could feel nothing, not wind, nor cold. He could hear only the sounds of his own thoughts and as he weaved through unfathomable distances, he could not know for sure he was actually moving. There was nothing here, not even magic, for him to place his relative position.
For a million million miles it was pure nothing.
Then it came to a sudden end. It was that pull, that gravitational presence that guided him out of the grey miasma. He had lost it's faint pull when he entered the cloud, but it had been guiding him subtly through the barrier from the other side. Luke burst out from a world of nothingness into a world of something.
There was no sky, but there was a horizon. He was thankful for even that much. He landed. There was gravity here. And then he heard it - music. Long wailing pulls on an invisible violin, the heavy thrum of cellos, and even the soft trembling of a piano echoing through the air. There was air. Luke took a breath, the air was gently sweet, as if dashed with sugar.
If he didn't already know better he would have said that this was Paradisum, but this was not heaven nor hell nor purgatory. His feet shifted under him and he looked down. The earth below was moving as if water, thick waves of golden light swept toward the dark cloud behind him. That's where the music came from. As the liquid light ground against the thick grey walls of shifting clouds, it thrummed with the beautiful melody.
To him, this liquid light was solid, but as he looked out he saw nothing else upon the surface. It might as well have been a sea born of sunlight. Even further there were no twinkling stars, no other worlds, and not even a great burning light to illuminate the realm. It was just gold on one side of the horizon and and endless blue sky on the other. High above, some wispy clouds hung high in the false sky as some half-hearted imitation of a normal world.
As strange as this place was, he felt at ease. As if he belonged here. He took a step away from the wall of darkness, the only thing he could make out in the infinity. There was no curve as the horizon stretched out. This was no world, but an endless flat plane. He took a second step. The waves below his feet swelled as it crashed into the dark wall behind him, stripping some of the aetherial darkness off of the barrier and into the sea of light.
Then Luke felt it again, that pull. A pulse of attraction akin to love, but not right. As if a foreign entity had read about love in a book and imitated it. It felt undeniably wrong but, at the same time, not unpleasant. He looked for the source and he saw it come into existence right before him. There was no flash, no fanfare, no storm of feathers, nor glimmering portals. She was just there.
She couldn't have been older than fourteen.
Her eyes were red. Beautiful, shimmering like an ocean of blood. Her hair was white, and her skin was pale. She wore a sheer white dress over a thin petite frame, and through the fabric Luke could see she was no real girl. She was like a doll, unblemished skin, perfect and baby smooth from head to toe. She smiled, brushing away a long lock of hair. Though there was no wind her dress and hair fluttered in some false breeze.
"How do you do?" she said. Her voice did not sync up with her lips. Instead the song of the sea shifted to imitate her voice. She was merely opening and closing her mouth in an imitation of speech.
AI Dimitri | Garm | Teri |
AI Viscus | Lt. Abigail Martin
Viscus froze for a moment before twitching wildly for a moment, Sadei's energies doing much to knock his system out of whack long enough for his efforts to be undone.
While Abigail was spared his wrath, the tone of her voice and the general vibe of the room made it clear they had to leave and do so rather soonish.
[...You have made an unwise choice this day...] The machine barked before standing back upright while Garm and Teri talked about their orders to return to the Rising Dawn.
It was then that the Cleric mentioned the spawn of Rugal Bernstein, something that greatly vexed the AI even more then the comments Abigail had made about "Allowing" an AI like him to act freely.
[I warned you he was a danger to himself and others...He's also still on the ship. While I am unable to remotely access the Rising Dawn's security from here, my estimates suggest he has yet to leave the airship. We are leaving now.]
Shooting one last glare at the Citadel staff, he merely picked up both Garm and Teri, one under each arm before adding
[You may expect a complaint at your Human Resources department for the unauthorized dismantling of my combat armor. You are lucky I am not allowed to kill you this day. Reflect on your conduct or I will return.]
His rather hallow threat delivered, the android then began to hover before flying directly to the ship, zooming though the Citadel's hallways with his two unwilling passagers in his grasp.
The Flight back to the Rising Dawn was a short but rather memorable one, while they might have both been used to flying with Angelus and other Heroes, Viscus was a lot-..."Faster".
Within the space of a minute, Teri and Garm found themselves being brought into an airlock on the western side of the ship, not far from the crew's quarters.
[The rest of the crew are now safely on the ship. It appears we are leaving the base due to the event. I will interface with our mainframe here and try to determine the cause of the event. You may resume your search for your "Brother" now...] Viscus droned before leaving to attend to more important matters...
Glimmer of Hope
" 'Mother' is the name of God, on the lips and hearts of all children."
"How do you do?"
First memories were always the hardest to remember.
In one moment, there was nothing. In the next, he was bathed in a warm glow, as comforting as a hug and gentler than gossamer. He was granted a name - one difficult for human tongues to grasp on a whim, but it meant "Morning Star" or "He who bears Light"- and light, he bore. Everywhere he went, a light always seemed to follow, joy tinkling from a presence that was everywhere at once - a safe haven in an unseen gaze and source-less voice. A guiding principle, a hand that sowed, a direction to take.
The day he was given his duty, he would forever consider it the day he stopped being a child.
Lucifer shuddered, blinking back a strange moisture that found its way to his cheeks. Reaching up, he found that it was in fact, tears, flowing unbidden and without recollection of when they started. That feeling that washed over him moments ago, that comfort, it brought to the surface something Lucifer thought he had buried, and was wrecking havoc over his collected persona. However, it did not last - as something felt strange about it, false - an imitation, a flawed reproduction rather than the "real" he was reminded of moments ago. Longing was quickly overwhelmed by anger, boiling hot in his breast; reaching it's way to his expression, which at this point was reminiscent of an angry dog than a man.
Lucifer's wings flared out reflexively, flapping with indigence as he shouted to the doll-like creature, "Don't play cute with me! I've come a long way to get here, and it's not for something so inane as niceties!"
A moment passed, the Morning Star's chest heaving like a pair of bellows after his angry declaration - a recollection of a gentle voice played in the back of mind, reminding him to keep to his manners during all dealings - before taking a deep breath and running a hand through his hair in an attempt to smooth it out. After another moment, he exhaled, and looked back to the creature again, this time, his voice much more level as he said, "...That a bit brusque, forgive me. I am known as Luke, and I am...'inquisitive' I suppose. Who..or rather, what, are you? I can tell what I'm looking at is only an avatar - a preferred form. It was more than a little obvious when the mouth wasn't actually speaking. Second - if you're anything like what I encountered on my way here - are you the one who is responsible for the imprisonment of the collective known as the Rising Dawn; and if so - why?"
Glimmer of Hope
"Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night."
"Awadar?" she tried to say. The strings strained in the sea as it tried to replicate the hard consonants of Luke's words. She pouted and turned around, her feet dancing deftly on the surface of the golden sea. When she finished her turn her dress settled around her like flower petals. "'olle'dieb?" she tried again. She shook her head and took two steps back and two steps forward. She seemed to be frustrated.
Finally she opened her mouth to speak. To truly speak, with her voice, stemming from her flesh and blood. The music softened to make way for her voice, "a' nomae Uenia i. la nasa mae ayannala'a."
Luke's eyes narrowed at the seemingly innocent response - given what he had gone through to get to this place, he had the sneaking suspicion that this "Venia" was trying to pull a fast one on him; especially after what he had gone through just encountering the creature moments before. Unlike her little walk/dance across the golden sea, Luke remained in place, only shifting slightly to adjust his weight on the sea as he asked again, "Alright, so your name is 'Venia'. That answers one question. But two more remain. First, what are you? You don't seem.... human. At least, not like any human I've encountered."
"Hmm..." Venia said as she put her hands over her eyes. "a' sumir fala oe a i. lugo pea ha ang'a." She made a motion with her hands outward like a parent playing "peek-a-boo" with her daughter.
"That doesn't answer my question."
"'ogido ergo sum?" Venia tried again.
This was going nowhere, and while he was usually a patient fellow, Luke was feeling rather irritated by the evasive maneuvering around his question. It reminded him of a time when he spoke with a budding psychic who pointed out that Luke did the same thing when it came to Q and A - perhaps this was karma, in it's own way. Another thought that flitted to mind was a moment at the bar, when his patron smiled like a child who got away with stealing a cookie undetected, and suggested that he should be more direct with what he wanted, rather than treating conversations like a sparring match. Bad habits were hard to break, even moreso when you were in denial.
Refusing to relent, Luke answered, "I didn't ask when you came to be, I asked about your nature - what are you? An agent standing in for someone? A diversion? Or perhaps you see yourself as god, and this is your domain?"
Venia cocked her head and laughed, doing another spin, "a' Uenia i," she said as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.
""Forgiveness..? A concept personification?""
"Ahn," she said."a' ol mianni haeshi. pe'ire ua li ama'a, ludo'a awasa'a hima'a dohe'a. uedera ni noho, mi amo manda lorre - i felle hu'so mir ua. luga pea'a nya ang'a. pashi ous an'hi mosse... dolore maderi logi ang'a ai a' shihee."
"Finally, a somewhat straight answer! Was that so hard?"
Luke took a moment to parse over what was said - and then drew pause. 'dolore' - baring the strange language his conversation partner was speaking in (though the benefit of being an Angel, excommunicated or not, was that regardless of one's language capacities, magic could fill in the gaps), he noticed that word in particular was of a language he did not need magic to understand; and thought aloud, "Dolore...that was Latin. But why, when you weren't speaking it up to this point?"
Venia pointed at the wall behind him as the golden sea crashed against it, stripping sheets off the ephemeral cloud. "Dolore na shuberi, do dai aifa a' shodaia. Dolore loudea'a i. a' ei todoeia mediara"
"Hmn... you say you want to help, yet you bring oblivion. Did someone wish for you to kill them?"
"su' ollo mejioru eng'ge, lou bashi ud nomair lathri moun i edo hrisse. suun'ollo biid na maer i gossiri mendre, hos' lanlanthri'shumi ha'ad i sha shaana ud es jori'i dendann. a' uenia i ud he ollo i a' shu massu udi ollo go nam ollo."
Luke gave a false smile, the same he always gave when he tended the bar, tilting his head with a faux sympathy as he would listening to any other sob story, "Funny, I wasn't given the memo of the apocalypse. It's kind of important when it comes to my to-do list. Sorry, but I think you might be jumping the gun here. Try again in a millennia or two?"
"See," Venia said as she pointed to the golden shifting light beneath them. And as Luke looked, the more he began to see something disturbing in the shifting light. This entity had dissolved worlds. "Again and again," the string sang, "so how do you do?" Venia asked again, pointing at the wall.
It was at this point that Luke realized that she wasn't asking him how he was, but how he managed to breach the wall.
Titania settled into a chair at the command bridge and put on her floppy hat. When it came to playing the part of a Major, wearing her stupid floppy hat instead of her witch's hat is an important piece. The chair was comfortable, leather and stuffed with feathers for padding. The navigation map cast a soft blue glow on all the gathered captains.
Rhodes settled into the chair next to her, being the only other Major on board the dawn. The engineering captain Theiss, security captain Do, intelligence captain Donnell, and Rising Dawn Acting Captain Rugal Bernstein were the others around the map. The hum of the engines pierced the walls of the room deep within the Rising Dawn, monitors lining the walls and ceilings gave them a good view of the world around them. The Citadel hanger doors opened and the Rising Dawn lurched, tearing free from the docking arms of the Citadel drydock. The ship floated backwards before casting itself out of the Citadel, finished with repairs, but still somewhat beaten up.
Rhodes leaned forward, her comically oversized bust jammed against the table. Titania winced, putting a hand unconsciously on her chest in empathetic pain. She was somewhat glad for her modest figure, given just how impractical Major Rhodes seemed. "So what in the world was that back in the base?" Rhodes demanded, her accent peaking through in her fury.
The other captains looked at each other. They didn't know.
"Donnell, do you have any idea?" Titania asked, putting a hand on the table and switching the display to a strategic view of the immediate area. The Rising Dawn was now drifting toward somewhere in middle America.
"I have an inkling, but nothing concrete yet," she said. She looked away, a finger fiddling with her hair. She was lying. She knew exactly what happened.
Rhodes turned toward Rugal, oblivious or uncaring of Donnell's tell. "How about you? Could that have been a counter attack by your 'Bison'?"
Titania fiddled with the map some more, noticing the strange silence of the ship's micromachine caretakers. Did even they become injured as a result of that leyline collapse? Or was it the result of something even more insidious? All she knew was that something had changed in reality immediately following the event. Everything seemed off, just by a little bit.
Airship Rising Dawn
AI Dimitri | Garm | Teri
After waiting a moment till Viscus was out of earshot, Dimitri blithely quipped to his companions,
"Admittedly, that could have gone much worse than I anticipated. At least nobody was injured...mortally?"
Teri sighed and rubbed her temples before mounting up on Garm again, "We can make jokes about this later. Get back into the mainframe and search for Adel on the cameras, Garm and I will start at the med bay and work our way out from there. Also - if you could send a message to Dad that I'm back on ship, that'd be great."
"But of course, your Ladyship. Anywhere in particular I should search?"
"Hmn.. Well, if I were trying to escape the ship, where would I go?"
"Instead of the med bay, why not check the Hangar first? If he wanted to leave, that would be the most obvious exit point."
"....noted. Could you still send that message to Dad?"
The Rising Dawn: Hanger Bay
AI Dimitri | Anjali | Garm | Teri
With the power of logic (and a text message to a worried father), Garm and Teri made their way to the Hangar at breakneck speed - the Winter Wolf galloping with the speed of a horse, the duo found their way to the Hangar, Garm sniffing the air and voicing with dread, "I smell blood...And something else- something Mechanical..."
"That's gotta be Adel, keep looking!"
Without too much more effort - especially given that the young man was practically leaking the stuff, the wolf and Cleric duo came upon both Anjali and the very weak Adel. Teri dismounted with little effort, and gasped, "There you are! You had me worried sick!"
Pulling out a set of medical tools and poultices, the Cleric bent down to Adel's level and gently spoke, "Do you remember me? I'm the doctor from the Med Bay? I'm here to get you back there - you still have a lot of surgery that needs done, and moving around too much isn't going to do you much good. Let me try to patch up some of it..."
In the meantime, Garm turned to Anjali, and followed what he *loosely* observed from human tradition, "Thank you for finding this human. My friend was worried this one was hurt, and hurt he is," He tilted his head after saying this, giving Anjali a curious sniff as he asked, "I haven't seen you before. When did you show up on the Dawn?"
Glimmer of Hope
"Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,"
Deborah ran her fingers over the cream colored pages of the book as she woke the shifting runes. The golden light shimmered and the writing tore itself from the paper. They danced to an invisible song, swirling and weaving into the air, illuminated and animated by an unseen ocean. Deborah whispered into the space before her and brought the runes into alignment.
"Show me the others," she cooed, borrowing Titania's wild ancient magic to peer into the changing world of living language.
When Nina opened the steel double doors into the main kitchen deep in the Rising Dawn, she was assaulted by a plume of spices. Yet, despite the number of people in the massive kitchen, designed to feed 500, there was silence. Outside of quick footfalls and the singing of steel and ceramic, there was little noise. The staff here wore bright blue uniforms trimmed with golden ropes. They were clean cut, professional and moved swiftly and efficiently. Their insignia gleamed on their chests, two silver wings crossed over a knife. In neat letters on each of their uniforms they wore their names and the bold words "1021st Culinary Corp."
The counters and stoves were filled with pots closed and open with all sorts of meats and vegetables steaming within. A officer swept by the two heroes carrying a pot of thickened red sauce brimming with the fragrant aroma of roasted sesame, dried peppers, tomato, and pork roux.
On the far side some of the lower rank staff were helping a patissier prepare several trays of assorted tarts for baking. He cast a glance at Nina, his face hard and old, eyes narrow with crows feet and wrinkles. His lips were pulled then as his fingers flew over the trays, setting jams into the half-baked dough before his assistants dashed the top with a white whipped syrup.
There was a crash and a rumble as racks of meat were brought in from huge cargo doors near the end of the room. Three huge carcasses were strung up on the rack, beautiful beef, ruby red and with marbling visible even from a distance. A younger man walked up to them and grabbed a sheath at his waist, and in a movement faster than the human eye could see, he flashed a ceramic blade so long that it was more akin to a sword. Several thick slabs of meat sloughed down to the waiting pots of several younger cooks. The young man cleaned his ceramic blade with a thick black cloth and put it gently back into it's aerated sheath.
A middle aged Slavic man stood in the middle of the room inspecting some cuts of carrot woven into nets, flowers, birds, and sheets. His thick fingers held the delicate sculptures with an uncharacteristic dexterity. He put them back onto the plates of the cooks and sent them away. He turned toward Nina, now that he was not occupied inspecting the work of his subordinates, and cast to her and Phillip a piercing glare.
His thick black mustache bristled as he strode up to Nina and Phillip. He towered over her, and he spoke deeply as if his voice came ringing out of his chest rather than his throat. "I am Captain Avanovonov, and who might you be devshka?" He eyed Phillip too, untouched by the eldritch aura. He had seen far worse in his culinary pursuits.
Laeta kept pace behind David, sullen and quiet. Her footfalls echoed down the halls as she walked, head bobbing side to side and shoulders slack. Her mind was stuck, repeating the same loop over and over again. It couldn't be. There was no way. It was a mistake. Yet, the golden ink and smooth cursive belonged to no one else but Lola. She shook her head and she shook her head.
Her head hurt, he feet her, her heart ached. She wondered if Saren was okay, she wondered if her mother had been called into duty. And then suddenly she hit something on the floor with her foot.
"Gwaaaaaa..." came a halfhearted cry. She looked down.
"Vettya?" Laeta said. She bent down and picked up the armadillo-tortoise from the floor. His stubby legs palmed the air as he left the ground. The big head bobbed up and down. He "gwa"d again. Laeta looked amazed, she had totally forgotten that they had arrived with Losko and Vettya in tow. "Where have you been? Where's Losko?"
"Gwaa..." Vettya responded. He put his legs on Laeta's breast. "Gwa... gwaaaaaa..."
"You lost Losko?" Laeta put Vettya back on the floor where he circled her and then leaned on her ankle. "You were being chased by a young girl wearing lingerie?" For the moment her mood lightened, no longer weighed down by either Vihaan's revelation or of David's frazzled mood.
"Gwaaaaaaa..." Vettya said.
"She was looking for 'a white rabbit'?" Laeta parroted the armadillo-tortoise.
The Rising Dawn Adventures
The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Cloudtop Citadel: Main Concourse
Caim | Hillary | King Leoric | Nadalia | Miia | Rugal Bernstein | Nina and Phillip
There is a big difference between a small cough or two and a full blown coughing fit, the disparity instinctually caused quite a few people to pause as they passed Hillary for the elevator. Looking at her, she didn't seem in distress standing up straight instead of hunched like one would expect. It was also far more gutteral than the normal throaty style, what would have been her diaphram clearly working overtime. While the first load of people went up and down the elevator, Hillary would attempt to silently reassure people she was fine, waving them down and a liberal use of ok signs. It would continue for a short time more until finally she stopped, and it that brief silence a quiet rattling sound could be heard. Similar to a round stone in a bowl rocking back and forth, the sound echoed from within Hillary.
Slow, breathy air passed across Hillary's vocal cords as she exhaled, her head tilting up. The rocking would continue, slowing rising until there was a 'taaaang' sound around Hillary's collar bone area. Mouth ajar, Hillary looked around a moment at the few waiting there and then turned around to face away from everyone for the last part. She'd push her hand into her mouth, and keep going until most of her forearm was in there, the slow whine of metal on metal audible throughout the whole thing. There was a brief rattling within before her arm started to pull back. Her neck would bulge slightly as a round sphere was pulled up through her throat. With a popping sound similar to a jar lid opening, Hillary's fingers would be now clutching a mirror like apple, little dents dotted the apple from her grip.
She would then inhale sharply, before turning around to present the apple to Angelus, "Ah, sorry Hillary didn't explain, but that's a lot for her to do, and we don't have lots of time. But now Hillary won't make the elevator mad anymore!" and as luck would have it, the elevator dinged and revealed itself. Hillary would go in once more, the alarm angrily buzzing at her. This time was different as Hillary stooped down and gingerly set the steel apple down, and immediately Hillary's feet started to take on the material and appearance of the vinyl floor of the elevator. Swiftly shifting across her about half way through the elevator buzzer ceased, putting to same any weight watcher's program with such a rapid drop in mass.
Once the change was finally over, Hillary stood back up, looking quite a bit different than she had before. The visage of a freshly waxed floor smiled back at them, a dark blue leaning to near blackness with a spattering of speckles coated Hillary's body. Gone were the two large ponytail buns, replaced with a short bob cut framing her face. An additional mass sat atop her head, distinct from her hair as it appeared to resemble a hat. Grooves appeared along her body; her mid neck and both shoulders, while a semi free flowing cloth started from her hips and traveled down a quarter of her thigh. Additional grooves were present just after her elbow's on the forearm as well as a similar position for her legs. Finally while her fingertips seemed to be largely unaffected, her toes had melded together into a solid mass, now looking more like a shoe or boot. With these in mind and the location she was in, Hillary looked the fitting image of an elevator attendant; appropriate outfit included with a hat, gloves, sleeveless dress, and low heel'd boots.
"Well what's everyone standing around for? Hillary remembers very clearly we need to get to the ship quickly." She announced, clapping her hands. "Please enter the lift if you would everyone?" She waved an inviting hand into the space.
Airship Rising Dawn
Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Major Rhodes | Theiss | Do | Donnell
It wasn't often that Rugal was in one of these meetings, least since his career change.
Seeing how the main reason he even got this job was strong arming, it wasn't exactly too comfortable for him to be surrounded by those who actually got their position legitimately.
While the Major grilled other members of the Rising Dawn's management, A familiar beep came from his PDA.
As they spoke, he checked it and found a message from his daughter, giving him some much needed reassurance in this strange time.
Still, it was what it was and when the question of if this was Bison's work came up, he gave his answer
"...You have actually interacted with that man, right? He masks his weakness with the illusion of power, same with his stupidity. No, whatever happened back there couldn't have been his doing. Even his comrades, for all their knowledge of trans-dimensional technology and theory, there was no way for them to get the means to set up such an event. Now, my former-..."Personal Assistant" Viscus did attempt to get some data on the event off the base personnel but his social graces are rather "Ungraceful" so that went nowhere. Might as well call it an "Act of god", though-...my daughter...she seems unable to use her Holy abilities. Whatever happened there might have been bigger then we feared..."
It was then his gaze turned to Titania, making him recall her actions right after the blast.
"...And yourself, Titania? There any suspicions or thoughts? Whatever happened there was most likely magical in nature and, as much as it pains me to say, that is a field my knowledge is limited on..." He then pointedly asked, clearly attempting to put her in the spotlight in order to try and pry something from her.
Ever since he got here and their interactions were limited but with purpose, such as giving him a new Ki generator, but one he knew about her for certain is that she knew much more then she was revealing...
The Rising Dawn: Hanger Bay
AI Dimitri | Anjali | Garm | Teri
Adel was stable, though that was mostly out of his stubborn nature more so then actual HP levels. (Wonder where he got that from...)
Still, once Teri began to patch him up, he made little attempt to flee, merely muttering over and over again "Not again...Can't-...let it happen again..."
While much of his bandaging and prior medical attention had been undone by his escape attempt, much like another tall, blonde pile of muscles with legs, his flesh was coping with what World Marshall had done to it rather well.
Of course, having access to magical healing helped but it was rather amazing just how far you can get out of mere spite for pain and weakness.
"He's trying to get in...he's trying to get in again...Need to-..." He stammered before things took an unexpected turn.
Even while Teri was trying to get him patched up, he instead opted to try and further inflict pain on himself in an attempt to drown out that bastard's voice.
How he did it? His Slashing Aura flickered for a moment around one of his hands before he drove it into his left shoulder.
His expression said it all, the brief shock before a sort of calm began to befall him: "It's gone...it's gone..."
Mio | BC | Others
Mio had heard people coming from behind her, so she was only surprised for a single second as BC reintroduced herself. Then she just leaned back slightly, to be even more engulfed by the bosom, and closed her eye. "Hey Carrie!" She put her arm back to keep her there in a soft half-hug, then answered: "No need to apologize! You are free, as am I.
I'm currently trying to get some organization back, after all, I am a captain, I know how to take responsibility." She slightly rubbed her head against BC's bosom. "Other than possibly everyone else in this place, for others, or for themselves!
So yeah, if we get more chaos, I'm starting a mutiny, and make this place less stifling! How have you been?!" She pulled herself out of the bosom again and turned, facing BC and looking her over.
The Rising Dawn
Diana | Blade
"A party?" Diana asked, switching to actual voice again. "Seems right up my alley. So, is it invitation only? Is there a specific dresscode? You seem slightly ... unsubtle, right now." She followed him, keeping up easily despite her monster heels. "And from what is going on here, it's probably not a single source of crisis. I'll still take your Sake, though."
The Rising Dawn Adventures
The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Rising Dawn's Main Kitchen
Captain Avanovonov | Nina and Phillip
Arriving at the steel doors, Nina traced a hand over its cold frame, sending a shiver up her arm. "Well this looks promising, what do you think?" Nina asked, looking over to Phillip who was currently gyrating on her shoulder. Tugging at the brim of his chef's hat, the presumed excitement from the noodle was clear, they had arrived. "You know what we need for this?" Nina asked aloud, digging into a pocket. "Music!" she said as she pulled out her phone and handed Phillip an earbud. While one of the chunkier appendages held it close several smaller tendrils no wider than spaghetti noodles reached out from the mass and pulled the earbud inside. "You good?" Nina then asked, placing a hand on the door handle, several of Phillip's tentacles thrust expressively as if to say 'God Damn it, OPEN THE DOOR!!!'
She pushed open the door with a smirk and let it play. Although Gene's version is timeless and largely unsubstitutable, but that sax solo was fabulous.
Once inside, Nina nearly had to brace herself from falling backwards as the rush of scents washed over her. The spices, sizzling meats, steaming veggies all brushed passed her like a longing embrace. It was no wonder she was already salivating, even if she had been feeling a bit peckish in anticipation of coming here. It truly was an oasis of the culinary arts and techniques, most of which were lost largely to Nina. Sure, you can watch someone carve a beast into cutlets to be cured, but it takes a special eye to properly appreciate the art that goes into such a thing.
Phillip had that special eye, and as Captain Avanovonov approached he might make note of Phillip's mannerisms. Most of his tentacles were doing their usual squirming as they do, but several were flicking back and forth, some curled at the end like they were grasping. Deliberate, measured, yet disorderly; it was hard to judge just what each was doing as they switched over several times. "Look at them all Phillip! Bit of a step up from the kitchen we have." Nina joked, clicking pictures with her phone. Self absorbed in what she was doing, she didn't realize the Captain was approaching until his figure blocked out the fluorescent lights in the ceiling and his rumbling voice echoed from his chest.
"I am Captain Avanovonov, and who might you be devshka?"
"Holy freakin' Jesus Christ!!" Nina exclaimed, legitimately startled as she grasped furiously at her phone she nearly dropped in the scare. "A little warning next time would be nice?" Phillip however continued what he'd been doing, giving Avanovonov a better chance to watch this creature's mannerisms. "Nina Zaczoltski, new hero around here I guess? It isn't quite official, like I don't have a badge or some fancy hero name or..." Nina stopped her rambling, eyeing Phillip a moment. 'Well he might care?' the thought crossed her mind before returning to the Captain. "I was, WE were hoping that it wouldn't be too much trouble to let Phillip here have at it and make some stuff for the party? Wasn't really made clear on what was on the menu, but I will be able to vouch that he has, excellent tastes." Nina almost bragged. Let it be known, it's hard to state one's own abilities while not undercutting those of another, especially when one is a chaotic void spawn of madness. "That wouldn't be too much trouble would it, Ananovo- Ana-" Nina looked back to Phillip. "Well?! What is it then? ... Captain Avanovonov?" After a brief moment, Nina looked back to the large Slavic man. "Sorry, Captain Avanovonov. It's been a day, as you can see, I'm in a bit of shambles." Nina gestured to the tattered dress she was still wearing, having figured getting there was priority one for the moment. "So is there an extra hand your team would need or-"
At that point, Phillip ejected the earbud, released himself from Nina and adjusted his chef's hat as he splatted to the floor. "Wait hold on, we need to ask permission from Anano- Right Avanovonov... We can't just march in here when it's not our kitchen." Nina argued, gesturing to the Captain like he was supposed to take her side. "Well sure it 'technically' isn't their kitchen either, but they have it for the party, it's largely their call, I'm just trying to be civil." Nina argued back, crossing her arms. "Well if you think you can do a better job, why don't give that a try too then mister smarty noodles? Just hand over one of my dress boxes so that I can try to find at least something moderately alright to wear for this party?" And with that, Phillip engorged his body to his larger size as a large cardboard box was pushed out from within. He would then shrink back down before proceeding further into the kitchen, tentacles flailing with what could interpret as excitement.
The Rising Dawn
Anjali | Adel | Garm | Teri
"I'm not ... I don't want to hurt you." Anjali said and walked closer to Adel, not really knowing how to react. "Maybe you need to just close your eyes ..." In this moment, Teri and Garm were approaching, galloping and stopping in front of her and Adel. She smiled at them, unsurely. Teri, the healer, immediately went to Adel, seemingly knowing what was going on, which calmed Anjali.
The wolf, on the other side, spoke to her. "I am ... new, I think?" she answered, her speaking to a wolf seeming a lot less weird after all that happened. "I think yesterday? At least it tells me that. I was away for a bit and now came back." Sniffing her would give Garm the scent of the fresh raw meat she had eaten, and a smaller, not penetrant, but swampy scent of decay. There was also something else, something that seemed to be more ethereal than real.
She looked at Adel, worried as he drove his hand into his shoulder. "You should not do this. This just brings calm for a moment. What is in your head?" She held out her hand, and a silvery snake ghost came forth from it, Anjali herself being more amazed and confused by it happening than actually controlling it. It stopped in front of his eyes, looking into them.
The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Glimmer of Hope | Cloudtop Citadel Halls
"Breasts, boobs, tits, mammaries, sweater-puppies, flesh pillows... I could do this all day."
B.C. | David West | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg | Laeta | Mio | Others
It was nice to be appreciated for once, although the Space Convict suspected that the main reason the one-eyed, one-armed Albino Pirate Girl was glad to see her was because of the fact that she had her boobs upside her head. But, she felt the need to take what she could get, so when Mio's arm reached up to return the hug, B.C. gently set her chin against the top of the shorter woman's head.
"No need to apologize! You are free, as am I. I'm currently trying to get some organization back, after all, I am a captain, I know how to take responsibility."
"Sounds like a headache." she said blandly as her eyes darted in the direction of the stick-in-the-mud, David.
"Other than possibly everyone else in this place, for others, or for themselves! So yeah, if we get more chaos, I'm starting a mutiny, and make this place less stifling! How have you been?!"
The Black-Haired Bomber's head perked up at that, and she murmured "Ooooh, a mutiny... That sounds like fun!"
Letting go of Mio, she stepped back and put her hands on her hips before jerking a thumb back at the group she had been accompanying.
"Been better, but tell ya what: Shit's hittin' the fan, and we've gotta get back to the Dawn. So let's walk and talk, maybe even get a drink." she said, before her voice brightened and she pulled a slip of paper from her cleavage and added, "I've even got an invitation to this party that's coming up. Maybe you can be my plus-one."
The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Glimmer of Hope | The Rising Dawn Corridors
"This better not be some invisible-ink style shit."
B.C. | Mio | Others(?)
As they made their way to The Rising Dawn, B.C. largely kept both herself and Mio just out-of-earshot of the others, wrapping a companionable arm around her current cohort's waist. All the while explaining what she had been up to since they last saw one another. And, since she felt like Mio was a scoundrel after her own heart, she largely kept the explanation without lies, half-truths, or even extravagant embellishments. Well, mostly.
It started with how she had decided to "commandeer" one of the Dawn's VTOL dropships when no one was looking--nevermind the pilot she had knocked out in the cockpit, he didn't even see it coming so it still counted--and flew it to the second-closest large city after picking a random direction. From there, she set it to crash-land just outside the city while she bailed with a parachute, and made her way into the city proper where she could take care of something she considered incredibly important: Changing her look.
She had just finished a trip to a nice little beauty salon and was in the middle of shoplifting several new outfits when she was snatched from there and dropped in front of the Gem of Want, and that entire debacle with the damned brat. B.C. couldn't help but embellish that part, mainly because she couldn't stand that kid, and because she felt that he deserved some shit being flung his way.
"So, after beating the boy's ass like a cheap war drum, I get dragged into this interrogation room with Dull David over there, this other chick, and these two cute little lizard-dragon kids, and we're told that apparently, we've all been brought into *this* dimension by some entity that wants us for... Something." she told her, eyes narrowing in a combination of suspicion and confusion and adding, "The particulars of why were never really explained, but they think it isn't good."
"But, they're apparently posing as someone that doesn't belong, and Davey-boy thinks it's this Alice Marlow, Marlow Alice girl, and we've gotta capture her or some shit. All I want is answers, but that's where this invitation comes in." she said as she waved it around in her free hand, before flipping it between her fingers and finally reading it.
Please kill my daughter.
~ Charles Marlow
Her face was impassive as she read it twice to make sure she wasn't mistaken in what it said, then tucked it back into her cleavage and continued.
"That's why I figure, may as well take you along as my date so that David doesn't get his panties in a bunch about 'cheating' on his girlfriend by going undercover. As if there was a chance for anything like that to happen. So not my type." she finished, her tone remaining casual so as not to betray the sudden stab of concern the invitation had given her.
What it said wasn't at all what she had expected. She was expecting something like "Black Tie Required", or "RSVP", or at worst "BYOB". Not "Please kill my little girl, signed The World's Worst Daddy". So that was... Something. Either a confirmation of who or what Vihaan and David suspected was their culprit, or a complication. Ultimately, it didn't matter to her. She didn't plan to kill or capture this Alice, she was either going to warn her, or work with her.
"So, Mio. Credit for your thoughts?" B.C. finally asked, giving her a curious sideline glance.
The Rising Dawn
Diana | Blade
"Well, from what I gathered, it's for Heroes of the Rising Dawn. And I've been here even before Rugal, not to toot my own horn or anything..." Blade remarked, tooting his own horn so hard the rest of the orchestra was drowned out.
"So I doubt we'll have anyone my right to be there. As for you...hmmm....You're pretty new here so you might be better suited if you impersonated someone else. Be good practice for you anyway, need to cut your teeth before we get to the real work. Kinda like that one time I invaded this outpost in Africa an-Blah blah blah, blah blah blah-"
It wasn't even worth trying to process what he was saying at this point, though he might be onto something about pretending to be someone she wasn't.
Fact of the matter was, the longer she spoke to this guy, the more she wanted to knock him out, shove him in a locker and-...Suddenly his idea began to make a lot more sense.
"Anyway, so the party is just up ahead. You figure out who you are going to be yet?"
The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Cloudtop Citadel: Hallways
B.C. | Cadolbolg | Caim | David West | Laeta | Mio | Ton Ton
David was rather glad that B.C. had found someone else to bother, though it did surprise him it was another woman.
He didn't have any problems with that, what with being heterosexual male and all but it did catch his eye for a moment.
"Ahhh, still the "Anything that moves" phase. They grow up so fast..." He joked as he kept making his way towards the party, pausing only when Laeta began to address a pet of hers.
"Holy shit, a pet that can't murder me...This place is becoming soft." He remarked, right before trying to figure out where he had seen such a creature before.
"Hey, I think I ate one of those things in Mexico." He rather densely said, quashing any notion that the life altering event he had witness/caused would stop the infamous David West "Foot in Mouth" trend.
The glare from both the woman and the creature said it call as the Irishman protested "In my defense, it was still most likely the healthiest thing that I put into my body that weekend..."
It was then that Laeta started to "Speak" with it and any hopes of a "Normal" pet being on the Rising Dawn was crushed.
"...Hold up: How in the name of god did you get "You were being chased by a young girl wearing lingerie?" from "gwaaaaaa"? There weren't even any syllables in that!"
Questioning the logic of the mighty Vettya got him little but an angry snarl from the creature, prompting him to counter with "Hey, remember which one of us is the Apex Predator here!...Wow, I am seriously having this conversation right now...My life is weird..."
Glimmer of Hope
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Titania interlocked her fingers and leaned forward, her hat shifted on top of her head and fell over her eyes. She pushed up the hat and shook her head. "Major," Titania said slowly, "I outrank you Captain Rugal. Among the heroes, you might be the leader, but try to remember that I am not one of the heroes." She ran her fingers over the table impatiently, "Be that as it may, while I see where you are coming from, I am not a sorcerer nor a witch. You mistake me for my namesake."
"That being said, are you not a specialist in the supernatural, Tania?" Rhodes asked, turning her piercing blue eyes toward the small white-haired woman.
Titania shifted in her seat and absent-mindedly played with the digital map on the table, "I know a little, here and there. Mostly stories that my mother used to tell me. But far be it from me to take the bedtime stories of my mother and grandmother as military intelligence."
Captain Donnell excused herself, swinging her legs over the side of her chair and landed with a small squeak as the rubber soles of her boots hit the polished steel floor. Titania eyed the intelligence captain on her way out. She seemed uncomfortable. On her way out the dragon and the warrior with the PDA came waltzing in the closing doors.
"And who might these two be?" Rhodes asked. Her mood seemed less sour, but her thick accent made her sarcasm particularly hard to detect. Titania couldn't say if that was an accusatory tone or a genuine question.
"Allow me to say one thing," Captain Do said. He swept his hand over the air before him and switched the table from a strategic map to a video recording. He pointed at the reconstruction of a random hallway on the Rising Dawn. "One of my officers has informed me that this recording was taken several moments after the event." He hit play.
There was a flash of light. Rumbling. The space around one of the steel walls seemed to buckle and break before David appeared in the hallway, screaming and crying. Then the grown man ran down the hallway blubbering through his own sobs of fear.
Titania stifled a laugh.
"If anyone knows anything, it is probably David West. For five minutes before the event, David West entered the ship and then vanished off the grid. Whatever he did then, well, my conjecture is that it has something to do with the event. We should find and detain him." The security captain sat back down in his chair, running his fingers lightly over his chin.
Captain Avanovanov seemed taken aback. He watched Phillip scamper across the floor toward the stove line, tentacles flailing like pasta noodles in a blender as he went. "That thing wishes to cook?" He paused and looked at Nina, "Not that I doubt the unnatural prowess of a monster... but we have some monsters of our own. I do hope he won't take it personally if they shoo him away."
The first cook that Phillip ran into was a shorter Hispanic man with a thick mustache and carefully combed hair. He wore two hairnets over his head in a cross weave and he stood on the back of his heels, flipping skillets as he moved along the long line of stones. The name on his uniform read "Lt. Gabriel Mandez."
The Asian cook with the ceramic blade walked up with a thick cut of pork shoulder in his hands. He tossed it to Mandez who caught the shoulder in a skillet and set to work with a chefs knife. In one, two, and three cuts he pared the skin and fat and lean meat from the slab and send the pieces of flesh careening into different skillets. The skin into a boiling oil, the fat into the saucepan, and the meat into a high-rim pot filled with tomatoes and rosemary. "Yamada, what is that thing staring up at you?" Mandez asked as he worked, taking careful steps around Phillips crawling mass.
"I have no idea. Do you think it's trying to help? It's got a big chef's hat on." Yamada replied shrugging. He turned around and started back toward the meat racks. "You should give it something to do, we don't want it getting in the way of anything dangerous after all. Ted is liable to throw that thing into the pasta bin should he wander back in from the freezers."
Mandez gave a gruff "ok" before turning to Phillip. "Do you think you can make some pesto? I need to prepare some pine-nut pesto to add to the fried skins. Make it nice and spicy, with subtle earthy flavors. We have some black truffles near the spice bin if you need them. But try not to use too much. The truffle makes the pesto gamely."
"Gwaah." Vettya told David. The armadillo-tortoise was clearly annoyed, and he bit the air toward David in a halfhearted attempt to show his aggression.
Laeta frowned, "Vettya might not look it, but he's a nature deity. I doubt that you could actually eat him."
"Gwa." Vettya affirmed.
"Mom found both Vettya and Losko in the lost jungles in South America hanging around some abandoned shrine. They're wonderful friends and they're not pets."
"Gwaaaaa," Vettya said matter-of-factly.
"Nonetheless, we should go find Losko. I'm certain he'll know what's going on. He always knows what's going on." Laeta nodded to herself. "Losko is the White Rabbit you know, he's a custodian of time and place. He'll know exactly what happened here. Or at least, he should know more than us!"
Glimmer of Hope
When the realization of what Venia was asking of him finally processed in Lucifer's brain, he felt his blood run cold . Given what the creature had shown herself capable doing, as well as her inquiries, Lucifer felt every sort of natural sense of alarm and fight/vs/flight kick in in core.
Lucifer watched the Material Plane. He walked in it, he sampled it's delights, he tempted mortals, he presented the choice of vice verses virtue; and on rare occasions he was allowed to step in when something sought to end the balance he so delicately facilitated. However, there was one big issue in this particular case:
"This is way above my paygrade."
He needed to find The Boss ASAP, try to set this to rights, and extract the Dawn + it's inhabitants from whatever strange little zone they had been thrown into.
Extending his wings to their full length, Lucifer did a little mixture of a jump and a flap; barreling himself back towards the strange sky and clouds he pushed himself through before, and focused on his teleportation magics once again - earnestly and silently praying that this time, he could push through to a proper destination. Anything was better than being stuck with that thing below him, with it's veneer of innocence and 'forgiveness'. Even the oppressive darkness that Lucifer had escaped moments ago seemed more inviting. The magics swirled and shaped around him, and Lucifer jumped.
The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Cloudtop Citadel: Hallways
| David West | Laeta
"...Right, forgot. Magic is weird as balls...Still, I could take him..." David remarked as he glanced around, not entirely sure what to make of the situation.
On the one hand, he had to get his pride back up after earlier, but surely he was above challenging cute creatures to fights to the death just so he could say that he could, right?
It was then she talked about a rabbit with apparent powers over space and time, because of course he did, but considering what just happened to him, perhaps talking to someone/thing with a bit more insight on these matters then himself might be a good call.
"...So does this Losko know-....What's going on with that explosion earlier? I mean, I know a few things about catching rabbits. Country boy and all that..." He then remarked, figuring that finding a rabbit in a place like this shouldn't be too hard.
Especially if Melethia kept putting all those traps in the air vents...
"Just when we find him, can you do me a favor and ask him some things for me? I mean, I know they understand what you are saying but me?..." He trailed off, still trying to figure out how exactly that worked.
The Rising Dawn: Hanger Bay
AI Dimitri | Anjali | Garm | Teri
An unintentional cry escaped from Teri when Adel stabbed inself in the shoulder, which quickly turned to indignace. With an angry frown, Teri grabbed Adel's hand and gently pulled it away from his now bloody shoulder, admonishing, "Stop that! I'm trying to you keep you alive, dingus!"
With a frown, Teri began to look over Adel's wounds again, when an idea crossed her mind - if what Adel said was true, and someone really WAS trying to invade his mind, she did have another option. Letting go of Adel, Teri sifted through her pockets, and pulled out a pale gem, before placing it in one of Adel's free hands, "I'm gonna want this back eventually - but if you hold onto it, it'll keep your mind safe. Now, will you please stop cutting yourself up and let me help you?"
Garm wanted to voice the displeasure at the action, but was instead intrigued by Anjali and her magic snake. The combined scents + the strange magics were enough to make him tilt his head in confusion, "You don't smell like a human. What are you? And what is that thing?"
Airship Rising Dawn
Angelus | Cadolbolg |
Caim | Do | Donnell | Major Rhodes | Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Theiss | Ton Ton
"'Who might these two be', she says. As if we were but random commoners stumbling into a war meeting. HMPH!"
Caim and Angelus stepped into the light of the Command Bridge, allowing the video to play before the mute carrying the PDA used his device to say,
"I am Caim, a warrior of the Rising Dawn; and this is my partner, Angelus. We came here because our children said they learned something important on the base, and wanted to come to this meeting to speak of it."
Moving back a swath of her hair revealed the turtle-dragon child, who was hiding among the locks as a means of comfort through all of the madness that was happening lately. Ton Ton, on the other hand, was resting on Caim's shoulders, and deftly jumped down to the edge of the table, Cadolbolg following suit with a soft flutter of wings. With all eyes on them, Ton Ton coughed lightly to get the adult's attention and said,
"um, my name's Ton Ton, and this is Cadolbolg. When the crazy magic stuff happened, we bumped into David; and then were lead to speak to a man I've never seen before. He told us...A lot of strange things."
At this point, the two reptilian children recounted everything they were told by Vihaan while on the base; from how there was apparently someone masquerading as a member of a Dawn, the name Marlow Alice sparking interest, to how the presumed party being held by Dolores Selmy could potentially be a trap; finally ending with Cadolbolg saying, "We don't think David did anything wrong - but he might know more than he thinks he does. If we do go get him, we can't treat him like an enemy; or he'll be scared and run away."
Airship Rising Dawn
Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Major Rhodes | Theiss | Do | Donnell | Caim | Angelus | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg
"And I wasn't ordering you to do anything. I was merely asking if you knew anything of value. But noted, I shall not assume you intellect is above anyone else's in the future..." Rugal shot back at Titania, looking about as pleased with this interaction as much as anyone else back talking him.
"As it stands right now, it could be anything. And that doesn't help us. Sooner we know what it is or can even make a guess of what it is, the sooner we can react and the sooner this situation can be brought to an end before things get any worse, for all of us." He reminded those who have gathered here.
After his little speech, they were soon joined by Caim and Angelus's family, prompting a slight nod of acknowledgement, least before Do showed the tape of David having his little breakdown.
"...What in the-...David's not one of us, but for something to rattle him that much?...Must have been something major..." He remarked as he watched the tape, as well as the reply of David smashing into a wall over and over.
Listening to the recollection of events that Ton Ton and Cadolbolg informed the rest of the commanding staff, Rugal tried to think of he had ever heard of this "Marrow Alice" woman before.
"Well, I don't feel that David could ever be considered an enemy. Besides, for all his talents, he's not exactly-..." He trailed off as he motioned back to the video, now showing him run into that wall for the 5th time.
"...What I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't fear too much. He's never been an enemy of the Dawn, nor do I believe that this is proof he now is. All we are going to do is find David and this "Marrow Alice", bring them both here and we can hopefully get to the bottom of this matter. And I think that we might need to have a conversation with Dolores. I don't know this Vihaan, but this is the best lead we've gotten. It might be nothing, and I'd be personally glad if it is, but if it isn't, we need her to tell us what she knows."
Standing up from his seat and looking at the other Rising Dawn Command staff, he then asked "If anyone has any objections to this approach, now would be a good time to tell me..."
"And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray."
He left the warm winds of Venia's realm and slipped into the space between space in a flurry of feathers. The leap was difficult. The gravity of Venia's presence pulled Lucifer toward her as he was trying to leave. But like a fish breaking the surface of oil slicked water, Lucifer broke free and flickered into a world. It was suddenly cold. The world was drawing energy from his body. It was dark. There was no light, but his light gave way to a solemn world. A grey world. It was a city, drawn in shallow lines. Grey stone against a grey sky and dust hanging still in forsaken air. Tall buildings of glass and steel memorialized in dust and stone.
The cold bit into Luke with an ancient and forlorn grasp. This world was dead, grasping at Luke for some foreign touch of life. There was no wind. There was no fire, no light, no dark. A world devoid of disparity.
He looked up at the sky and found nothing staring back. Cloud were in the sky, frozen since some ancient cataclysm. Yet there was no moon, no stars, no sun. The universe here was devoid of energy, a literal world past the end of time. He walked forward, listening to the silence around him. His steps didn't echo, the world didn't have enough energy to answer his calls. There were signs of a battle, a flood. Weapons and vehicles were strewn across the city covered in dust, but there were no bodies, no fossilized remains of ancient men. No bones, no dry blood, not even signs of distress.
This world was familiar though, it felt right, it felt like home as vague as it was.
Then he came upon a blade in the street, gleaming bright in the light of his fallen divinity. The sword seemed like the only color in the world. Upon the edge of the sword were ancient Enochian runes etched on in desperate haste. Simple words. Somber words. Words of despair.
"The end has come. There was no fight. Beware the Girl in White."
The hilt of the sword was wrapped in a piece of a tattered red cloak. It was upon the cloth that there were a few names that were written. It was in a different pen, after the runes on the sword had been carved. These words were in Latin, written by a familiar hand.
"In honor of those who fought until the end of the world, remember these names: NJ, RM, CZ, KC."
There was residual magic here, protecting the sword and cloth from the curse of death that shrouded this world. Luke could see the phantom image of a warrior cloaked in tattered clothes sitting before the sword. Soft burning flames held in hand to keep the darkness at bay. He planted the sword in the ground here and wrapped a red cloth around the handle. He turned to leave, and as his phantom crossed Luke's vision, he saw that the ghostly figure was an old hero, Lucieon.
"Why do you run?" came Venia's haunting voice as she stepped out of a shattered storefront. She emitted a golden light herself, driving away the darkness. The space between their two glimmering souls, the world seemed not to exist. There was only physicality where the two divine souls shone.
Glimmer of Hope
"Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Titania raised her head at Rugal's sudden commitment to authority. "An old-fashioned witch-hunt it is then," she said as she got up from her chair. Rhodes rose soon after. She had her hands in the pockets of her trousers and her coat hung loosely from her shoulders. Her eyes, while fierce, seemed somewhat distant.
It was no difficult task to discern that her daughter's involvement in the case weighed on her mind. Though from what Titania knew, and the information Captain Donnell passed on, Rhodes was only Dolores' mother in practice. The Lieutenant's true origins were lost to the annals of history, hidden behind a veil of near-east mysticism and romantic religious rhetoric. A DNA test had shown that the green-eyed girl had no more genes in common with her mother than any other stranger. Yet. Titania paused as she thought. The Lieutenant had sisters blessed by the same strange genome as herself. There was something strange in their blood. More than human, and more than just the meta-human divinity that Rhodes carried within her own flesh and blood.
Captain Do spoke up, "I will leave talking to Lieutenant Selmy to the heroes themselves. My team will secure the ship in preparation for any events." The older Vietnamese man strode out of the command bridge, calling up his teams as he did.
If what the children said was true, their story about Vihaan, Balance, and the presence of an unstable continuum... Titania shook her head. She should be able to recognize it if time had been folded even once, if not the hundreds of times that this Vihaan boy claimed. Her role as an observer superseded the effects that such a simple entropic whiplash a timeline state collapse could...
"Tania," Rhodes said, "Go to your daughter."
"Excuse me?" Titania replied, shocked by the terse command. "I don't know what you are trying to..."
"Go to your daughter," Rhodes repeated as she turned around, "I can feel it coming. A tragedy. Go be with your family. I have matters to which I must attend, but I will not allow this to separate another mother from her family."
As the other captains left one by one, Titania walked up to Rugal's side and grabbed him by the sleeve. The man was nearly twice her height she mused. She only barely came up to his waist. It was almost like being with Oberon again. Thoughts for another time though. "Rugal, hold on. Before we go see the Lieutenant. I've got a question. Don't you think it was strange that the Intelligence Captain left just as Angelus and her brood came in? I think Donnell knows something that we don't as well. It might be worth investigating. It would be better than following the obvious lead." She paused and looked around, small embers glittered before her emerald eyes. "For if what the dragon says is true, then such an entity must be playing us for fools, having watched us do this dance for a thousand times before." Though, she didn't see anything strange with the world, for all of the things that are explicitly wrong with it, the basic nature of it all seemed relatively unchanged. Titania motioned toward Angelus, Caim, and the two smaller broodlings. "Let us go find either David or Donnell and discover the whole truth of the matter. I have a strong feeling that this 'Alice Marlow' is not someone we are able to find."
"You don't have to worry," Laeta said as she started down the hallway, "Losko is very fluent in English."
Rediscovering Vettya had revitalized Laeta's mood. Between seeing Saren hurt, watching space-time collapse before her, and having to deal with a man with the emotional depth of a twelve year-old her mood was pretty sour before. But now she felt like she could take on the world. Like there was a way out of this unbelievable mess.
There was a flick of a tail.
Laeta turned around. Vettya "gwa'd". "Hey did you see that?" Laeta said, spinning around.
A flutter of a long white tail vanished into one of the air vents behind them. "Was that a cat?" Laeta asked, confused. She let Vettya down onto the floor and the armadillo-tortoise hid behind Laeta's legs. There was an uneasy feeling in the air, as if they were being watched intently by a pair of unblinking eyes.
"Mr. West!" Laeta said as she started to back off.
A pair of small white paws landed on the back of David's head with a squeak as a white ferret-like animal jumped over his head and sped down the hallway. The lights flickered off in its wake, weaving back and forth over the steel floors.
It looked back. "Help me!"
A sweeping darkness swept past David and Laeta, bringing with it a whirling wind that knocked Laeta to the floor. "Gwaaa!" Vettya said as he nudged Laeta.
"Please help me!" the small white creature said again as it turned a corner. The darkness followed with haste.
Rising Dawn ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 12:00 PM
Lt. Dolores Selmy
Isaac stood awkwardly behind me, shifting his weight back and forth as he kept his eyes glued to his boots. He looked for like a beaten dog than the proud officer he once was. "Isaac, please help me." I said slowly, holding a towel over my front. Taking showers by myself were no longer possible. Moving from my wheel chair to the steel bench that the engineering corp had welded into my shower was a difficult and dangerous task. I shifted in my seat and ran my fingers through my hair. Oil and sweat slicked my fingers. I grimaced.
"Come on Issac," I asked again, "I can't do this without help."
I heard him inch closer, the squeak of his boots against the tile floor bit into my bones, sending shivers up my spine. The air was cold. He slipped his arms under mine and lifted me up like a cat. He held me at arm's length and set me down on the steel bench. The cold made me shudder.
"Did I hurt you?" Isaac asked, alarmed.
"I'm fine, I'm fine. The metal, it's just a little cold," I answered. I gripped the side of the bend and shift myself slightly so that I was completely on top of the flat metal surface. Isaac bowed his head and stepped out of the shower. I gently closed the frosted glass door, but left it just a little ajar so I could still see Isaac. He shifted his weight uncomfortably for a bit and started to leave. "Isaac?" I called out after him. "Where are you going?"
He paused for a little bit, unsure of how to answer. "I'm going to give you your privacy," he answered.
"No. Stay here. I'm going to need you to help me out when I'm done."
"This is one of those situations where we're both adults Isaac. You can look at me, I'm not embarrassed."
"But," was all the response he could muster.
"Isaac," I said, peering through the hold in the door. There was something welling up inside me. I was annoyed, angry. I felt weak and unwanted for some reason. I felt frustrated, I wanted to scream. The cold bit into my skin, the towel tickled my skin and the vague dampness of the shower sent prickles down my skin. I hated it, I hated everything, I hated how light my body felt, I hated how I couldn't move my legs yet I could still feel the cold of the steel on my skin.
I was angry. "Isaac," I said. I knew my voice was hush and tense. I knew that this was how Rhodes sounded when she was upset. How Laeta sounded when she was mad. I knew this was what mad was supposed to sound like, but I didn't know if this was what I was supposed to sound like. "I am not the girl that you saved eighteen years ago. My name is Dolores Selmy. I am not Lola." I was angrier than I had any right to be. "You don't have to feel bad for me! I'm not some weak little bitch anymore okay!? I'm not some delicate flower that needs to be protected, I'm not a doll for passing around, I'm... I'm... I'm my own person and I'm saying that I need help right now! As an adult, as Dolores."
Isaac was staring at me like I was some sort of monster. "Lola..."
"No Isaac! No! I'm not the little fucking girl you fell in love with in elementary school Isaac. I'm not afraid of men, I'm not some scarred little girl who needs you pretend like the reality is... that the reality is." I paused. I didn't know where I was going with this. But I felt sad. I was sad because I couldn't remember anything from back then. I was sad because I had been treated like an inferior version of myself my entire goddamn life.
My name is Dolores. It means to suffer. I suffer. I suffer always.
"God," the words trickled out of my mouth like the last drops in a rivulet. "Look at me. I'm pathetic. I'm twenty four years old. I can't fight, I'm not a leader. I don't have any skills, and I can't even get the boy whose been in love with me for two decades to look at me." Was pity all that I could do? Just for once. I wanted to feel like I was in control of my life. That people would do the things that I told them to, that something would go my way.
I spent all my years listening and obeying. I listened to Rhodes when I was young. When I was a teenager I listened to Dad. When I was an adult I listened to my superiors. My god. I never got to do anything. I never got to do anything.
"PFC Mohsen." Just once. Just once I would like to be the one that's in control. "Come into the shower."
It hurt. It hurt. It hurt. It hurt.
The sheets were cold against me, the ceiling above was bare. The air was cold all across my body. It was always cold. It always felt cold. It hurt. I held myself the best I could. I wanted to cry but no tears would come. I just sat in silence in the darkness of my room.
Isaac left a while ago, apologizing and bowing for all the good it did. I got carried away. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that. I respect you as a person. Blah blah. They were all the same in the end. I ran my fingers tentatively over my breasts, over the cold wetness that stained my skin with a blushing maroon. These would turn into bruises soon. I traced my fingers over some of the larger splotches. It still smelled faintly of Isaac's breath.
Outside of that the sheets were stained red. It hurt. I had thought at first that it had come today, which would had made sense. It had been about three weeks. But... this blood was different. I was used to a thick dark maroon. Rich blood, old blood. But the crimson between my legs was bright red, and a little pink in places that it mixed with... well...
I wish he had handed me my tissues before he left.
My abdomen hurt badly, not only the surface and the muscles, but something within. I felt... broken.
In the end I wasn't in control.
I'm never in control.
How could I be?
I was used to being on top. I was used to setting the pace. I always knew how to play the part of the willing toy. But... I was crippled now. I lost control. I got hurt. I rubbed my shoulders. Why am I so cold? The chill of the air bit into me even more than before my shower. I traced my finger down to my navel and wet the scratches on my sides and hips with saliva. It would help the cuts heal.
But I had to do something about this blood. I needed someone to help me. I couldn't get up by myself. I couldn't call Rhodes. What would she think? What would I say? I couldn't call Laeta. She would by furious, even more than Rhodes.
I sat there in the dark, in the cold, in silence. I was hurt.
Something must have tore inside of me.
A stitching or something.
I still had fresh wounds.
I shouldn't have done that. I'm stupid.
What did I want to accomplish from doing this? What did I get from this? Did I get some satisfaction from forcing Isaac to sleep with me? Did I really need so much to feel like I could order someone around?
He should have known better. He knew I was hurt. Why did he do what I said?
Because I told him.
Because he wanted to.
Everyone is the same.
When I was young and my name was still Lola, I used to do this all the time. I would sit in the dark of my room, naked and bloody. Cold from all the wet places on my body and sheets. Back then I would ball up and cry. I would cry and cry and wish for someone to save me.
No one ever came. The world was cruel after all. It wouldn't stop spinning just because of some doll.
Lots of people would care if I died. Lots of people cared when I was injured.
No one cares if I'm hurt.
When I was young and my name was still Lola, I would sit in the dark of my room. Holding myself against the wall, buried in pillows. I would sit there in the dark after everyone had left and I would wish that the world would end. That someone would come and swallow all of the evil souls that infested the world.
Humanity had lived too long. That's what I had decided.
When I was young and my name was still Lolita.
I used to wish I had sisters.
People who cared that I was alive. That I was doing okay.
When I was young and my name wasn't Dolores, I would wish I had a father. Someone who loved me more than anything in the world.
When i was young, I wished I had a mother. Someone who was strong, perfect and untouchable.
How did it go so wrong?
My sisters are better people than me.
My father abused me.
My mother is too busy to take care of me.
Why did it go so wrong.
When I was young, and I didn't have a name. I wished that I could be the main character of the story.
I never realized how wrong I could be.
"And I wonder, what kind of Wonderland will you make?"
This guy wrote some of this :)
The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Rising Dawn: Hallways
David West | Laeta
"Oh shit-" David instinctively remarked when the whirlwind hit, prompting him to pull out his weapon before taking aim.
Once he realized he had lacked a target, he then broke into a sprint after the rabbit, personally hoping that it would be one of the slower, fatter ones as he did.
"YEAH! JUST HANG ON! AND I KNOW HOW THIS SOUNDS BUT CAN YOU PLEASE SLOW DOWN!?" He shouted after the rabbit as he barely began to outpace the lights going off like dominoes.
This day just gets better and better doesn't it? He groaned to himself as he pushed past the burn as the rabbit came into grabbing distance.
Well, I say grab, but it was almost akin to a rugby tackle as David leapt at the rabbit before pulling him into his chest for safety while his body slid on the metal.
Before he came to a halt, his weapon was out and he was taking aim in a crouching stance at the darkness as the lights in the hallway went out one by one.
"The Explosion earlier! The really loud one. If you know anything, can you tell me before the manifestation of darkness is upon us?!" He shouted, out of stress and panic seeing how this damn hare could have been running from one of the Old Ones for all he fecking knew.
Rising Dawn: Hallways
Jenny | Chrysalis
As the Rising Dawn pulled away, Jenny made her way along the hallways near the medical bay, carrying a few bandages and painkillers in her lap as her wheelchair moved silently though them.
She had been making this arrangement since they won the day in Denver and, while she'd prefer that her friend would just let herself be treated in the medical bay like everyone else, she understood her fears and concerns.
As well as how vulnerable one can feel after a rather brutal beatdown.
Her trip took her to an old storage room that a number of spare staff uniforms among other uninteresting things.
Checking to see that the coast was clear, she held up her hand to her head before sending out a message: "I'm in the Staff Storage around the corner from the medical bay. And watch that leg of yours. Lean on the walls if you need to."
Once she was done with that, she then began to clear an area on the floor as well as using some cloth to set out a sterile area of it.
Must of taken at least 20 minutes before Jenny heard someone come in. They stood in the doorway, leaning their back against the door with their eyes shifting about. She couldn't risk letting anyone else find her here, even though she was disguised.
Adjusting her glasses, she posed with confidence and looked directly at Jenny with a rather annoyed expression. ".. To think you found me out using your psychic powers- pft. Even with my shapeshifting, there has to be some bullshit that prevents me from completely blending in. So, i'm here like you've asked. Just remember, address me as Fox News Reporter Britney Tang, not by my real name."
Britney Tang (aka Chrysalis) made sure to avoid all the equipment and stuff lying about, so she wouldn't get her bare skin scrapped or at the very least, stub her toe onto something. Being close to Jenny, the girl couldn't help but stare at the Gardevoir.
... Wonder why she didn't sell me out. I'm not a hero among these chucklefucks,
and I know for a fact if that asshole from the brig found out she was helping me- Wesker would go after her too. Why is she taking this risk for ...?
Crossing her arms, Britney Tang said with a somewhat grateful but moody tone, "... I, never got around to thanking you. After getting my ass beat, I figured I was good as dead. But, you kept me afloat and those pain killers prevented me from going into a coma, or ... dying. Shit, just thinking about it gives me chills."
Actually, she also began to feel a bit ... sorry for Jenny? Not pity or in that sense you feel too bad, but just that ping of guilt seeing someone in an unfortunate situation like forced into using a wheelchair. Still, she kept her mind off such things and wanted to know what Jenny wanted, a catch. After all, no one was stupid enough to help a criminal out for free unless they wanted something in return.
"It's fine, "Britney". I understand what you are going though right now. I mean-...I'm still kinda going though it myself." Jenny somewhat darkly joked as he lightly tapped on the frame of her wheelchair.
Once the area was prepared, she then said "Besides, it's what I do. Help people, even if they feel they don't deserve it. And with you already trying to blend back in instead of taking some time to recover, a bit of help wouldn't hurt. That being said, might I make a suggestion? Next time perhaps pick out a form that doesn't have the same color hair, skin, clothing and even the same measurements as your old body. Oh, and everyone knows Fox News hires blondes."
With her little barb thrown in and the medical equipment prepped, she then did one of those "Anime Head Tilt" smiles as she asked "Now, is there any bandaging that needs to be re-dressed or do you just want something for the pain?"
Airship Rising Dawn
Rugal Bernstein | Titania | Major Rhodes | Theiss | Do | Donnell | Caim | Angelus | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg | Nadalia | Miia
"Thank you Nadalia. David might be a bit jumpy right now so be sure to keep him calm. Otherwise, I'm certain that "Iron Skin" form of yours should be able to nullify his attacks." Rugal replied to the Iron Queen as they began to form their plan to resolve the matter at hand.
But as the meeting wrapped up, Titania actually reached out to him about her concerns with one of the other airship captains.
"...Hmm...Getting rather hard to figure out who to trust around here..." He mused as he began to question the timing of her suggestion.
"Well, I guess the best thing to do then is to try and follow all 3 leads then. Rest assured, I have very little intention of harming anyone who is the target of our investigation. Why, even if David was to open fire on myself personally, I would ensure no harm befalls him. The same for the young Lieutenant and the Intelligence captain. As you are aware, this event affected my daughter personally and I intend to get to the bottom of it as quickly and calmly as possible. Now, if you wish to investigate Donnell yourself, be sure to take one of the other Heroes with you so we can all learn from your findings. As for me, I shall visit the Lieutenant and politely ask her what she knows. If there is any problem with this plan, do let me know."
Turning his attention to those gathered, he then added "Whomever you wish to seek out, be sure to use your communication rings if something happens. I would contact David, but it would appear he lost his while evading-...whatever it was he was running from. Exercise caution, it's unlikely they will attack but until we understand what exactly is happening, it would be foolish not to be careful."
It was then that he set off to visit Lt. Dolores Selmy, hoping to finally put an end to this matter.
The Rising Dawn Adventures
The Escapist Avatar Adventures
Rising Dawn's Main Kitchen
Captain Avanovonov | Lt. Mandez | Nina and Phillip
Nina stooped down to open of the cardboard box, an assortment of dresses and accessories stored inside. Her brow furrowed as the Captain called Phillip a monster, but let him finish while she started pulling out different outfits and judging what she could work with given her situation. "First of all, I'd appreciate you not calling Phillip that, it certainly isn't nice but I won't dare lecture you on that. Phillip doesn't just wish to cook, he does." She spoke, lifting up a green stripey one piece before scrunching up her face and putting it aside. "He cooks me three square meals, lunch boxes when I go out, and for the last little while I've been selling stuff he makes." She stated, pulling out a couple random bangles, letting out an 'Oooo' before setting them aside. "Pays for all the ingredients he wants and even saves for different appliances and utensils he wants me to buy for him. He doesn't have a lot of experience talking with other people..." She said as her eyes looked across the way to Phillip. Her phone still playing in the back of her ear as it shuffled to a new song from Phillip's own library. Despite her little argument with him, Nina was relieved to see the cooks weren't immediately shooing away Phillip. Never had she thought she'd witness such a thing, something in the back of her mind telling her Phillip shouldn't interact with anyone else for both of their sakes and yet she couldn't pinpoint exactly why. Ignoring that for the moment, she smirked as Phillip pulled up a stool to elevate himself, looking on what Mandez had been working on so far to judge where to go next. "But he definitely has a knack for talking through his food."
Once Phillip was ready, he started collecting some of the ingredients he'd need. Hopping off the stool, he rolled across the ground before coming to a rest, his chef's hat fluttering back onto him. Starting with the nuts, Phillip would prep the sweet pecans and pine nuts for roasting, a light oil and salting later they were thrown into the oven. While this was happening, he started to wash an assortment of leafy greens; Basil, parsley and majority of spicy arugula. They'd then be blanched, ice bathed, dried and lightly chopped with the fluidity of a well-oiled machine. Given the volume he'd need for the skins, the nuts would be finished roasting by the time he was done with the veggies, several tentacles shoved themselves into an oven mitt to fish the roasted goodness out. With another flurry of chops, the nuts were broken down into a nice crumbled pile. Garlic and a small amount of the truffles were also processed for accompanying taste before throwing the whole lot into a food processor; salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice tagging along.
It was at this point that Phillip set the lid down and awkwardly left. leaving a single tentacle slowly extending to maintain its position at the food processor while the rest of Phillip surveyed the cheese. Small tendrils erupted from the lone tentacle as they pulsed the machine, occasionally lifting the lid to push down any sides before repeating the process. Apparently aware of his surroundings, several times Phillip rapidly lifted the extended limb to allow people to pass under it while he decided on a pecorino romano cheese. Letting go of the food processor and grappling the countertop firmly, Phillip rapidly reeled in the limb like a grappling hook. With the cheese in tow, the noodle monster used the generated momentum to twirl up onto the stool once more. The cheese would be grated and gradually added into the pesto by
hand tendril until a final consistency was reached. Finally finished, Phillip would give Lt. Mandez a look for approval before a pack of saran wrap was coughed up from within his mass. He'd then quickly seal off the pesto and throw it into the fridge to let it keep while the skins were still being prepared.
While Phillip waited patiently for the next order, another solitary tentacle slowly slinked its way across the outer edge of the counter area. It would stop at a menu, the tip waggling back and forth over it before the menu was snatched and quickly brought back to Phillip and Lt. Mandez. Thrusting the menu forward for the lieutenant to see, Phillip would gloss over the main courses, then stop at the vegetarian menu and any other 'specialty' availabilities for staff whom might not have the same dietary requirements as the garden variety human. Eventually he'd end off by underlining the very bottom of the menu, the space after everything had been listed off, tapping at it with an air of contempt to it. Clearly, something was missing from this otherwise perfect party platter.
The Rising Dawn Adventures
The Escapist Avatar Adventures
The Rising Dawn Airship: Hallways just outside the Command Bridge
Nadalia | Miia | Hillary the Slime
"Excuse me, but Hillary couldn't help notice you... Well you look very troubled? Is there anything Hillary could do to help?" An unfamiliar voice called out to Miia. Pivoting to the door she'd just come through to see what appeared to be a metal woman sticking her head through the door. She gave Miia a simple wave and a smile, offering for Miia to step out so they could talk without interrupting the meeting.
In actuality, Hillary had been waiting patiently just outside the doors of the meeting room the whole time. Having followed Angelus there, she respectfully agreed to wait outside while the commanders discussed what their next plan was. Standing remarkably still as she slowly brushed her thumb against the steel figurine in her hands, lost in thought. The thunderous footsteps of a very perturbed Nadalia were enough for the metallic orbs of Hillary to look up and stop like a proper statue. Her featureless eyes following the woman as she strolled right into the meeting. Hillary breathed a sigh of relief before freezing again as Miia came into view. Lacking footsteps, Hillary hadn't heard the slithering lamia from down the hallway. "M-maybe we should leave. This doesn't involve us Nadalia." The woman quietly pleaded as she reluctantly followed. 'So that's Nadalia?' Hillary thought to herself, slowly walking over to the door to observe this strange new person.
Making her way out, she'd find what appeared to be a odd mix between the silver surfer and an adult version of Jazmine from Boondocks, especially when it came to her hair. Two large spherical ponytails came from behind her head, easily the size of her own head. She was unclothed, Miia could see herself reflected off several parts of Hillary's body as the surface remarkably smooth and polished. Despite this lack of clothing, she was still technically nude. Trying to judge nationality, Miia might guess she may be something vaguely to Central/Southern America, but it was hard to tell. Largely though, the woman standing before her would be quite cheerful, empathetic and open to hearing out the concerns of others. "Hillary's never seen someone like you before, you don't have legs like Hillary normally does!" She giggled, amused by this fact.
Seeing the questionable captain Rugal exit the command bridge, Hillary's head turned as she called out to him. "Oh! Mister Rugal! Is everything alright, is everyone done in there?" She asked, unsure what the plan currently was.
The Rising Dawn
Mio | B.C.
Mio, experienced in the art of bragging, could theoretically easily look through all the little exaggerations B.C used to explain how she got here. Since, however, bragging was indeed an art, this made Mio only like her more. She walked next to her, keeping the posture like she was the captain in charge, and listened.
"Another another dimension? Well, this is just great. Have they ever heard of steering?" Mio chimed in one time, and later: "A monster posing as a beautiful woman? That is truly the meanest of traps. It reminds me of the one time I listened to a siren's song, my crew tying me to the pole so I would not go after her. But seems like we need to capture the siren this time, doesn't it?"
As B.C was finished, she answered her question. "So we never know if it's not just a woman posing as a monster posing as a monster. Before we do anything, we need to question her. Can always still keelhaul her if we're in the wrong. And ..." She looked at B.C., or rather her whole body, and winked. "You got it right that you do not even have to ask me to be your date. Just follow your heart while we are in there, and we will solve this is no time.
"Look at the new thing I am going to do.
It is already happening. Don't you see it?
I will make a road in the desert
and rivers in the dry land."
-Isaiah 43:19 New Century Version (NCV)
Lucifer took a step away from the white-clothed being, recoiling as if he had been struck by a live wire. How the hell did she manage to find him? Was she not trapped in that aetheric prison of gold sand and puffy clouds? After all, when he arrived, she had inquired about his entry. Did she, through some strange process of magic, latch onto his teleportation and piggy back off of that? Or, most insidious of all - was she only lying about her inability to leave, and saw fit to toy with him, like a cat cornering a mouse?
The Fallen Angel's gaze flitted to the Bonfire and then to Venia again, as his mind continued to race over possibilities of what to do. If this creature truly did as she said she could, and was able to end worlds, then fighting her was a foolish task; at best a stalemate, at worst - his end, as well as all potential hope of finding the reason behind the Boss-blockage (and by extension, the whole font of this strange occurrence he sent himself to investigate). Gaze flickering upon the Bonfire again, Lucifer could sense something strange about it, a sort of 'connection', like a network on humanity's computers, he could sense there were more, scattered across many distant lands. If Lucieon the Hero had placed one of these Bonfires here, then perhaps he could use this as a means of returning home - a river's current that returned to the ocean. But, at the same time - Lucifer gazed back to Venia, his silence unbroken - she was able to follow. It was safe to suspect, even using the Bonfire as a point of reference, he would only be able to jump forward, and not back.
That was when inspiration struck. If her focus was turned upon him and not his fellows of the Dawn and the strange zone they were trapped in, then perhaps he could make himself useful as a distraction. The Dawn, Chaotic and messy as it were, was full of clever and powerful people, and the airship was able to jump dimensions and worlds when running at full capacity. They needed time, and he could grant it, as long as he was able to keep his cool...
Finally deciding to break the silence, Lucifer crossed his arms and put on a slightly exaggerated pout, "Are you really surprised? You told me you were able to destroy worlds. Nobody really wants to be around someone who can do that. Besides, what gives you the right to do so? What authority do you have to end such things? Take this place," he swept his hand over the barren land, "I take it this was your doing? Why? Do you take pleasure from this?"
The Rising Dawn Adventures
The Escapist Avatar Adventures
The Rising Dawn Airship: Command Bridge
Angelus | Caim | Major Rhodes | Nadalia | Miia | Rugal Bernstein | Captain Do | Titania | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg
As all the adults began to decide where to go, Cadolbolg bravely raised his little claw, "Me and Ton Ton will go with Nadalia to find David! He might get scared if he sees her first, cause she looks strong! We could be uh... Diplo...diplo..."
"Diplomats, my little one." Angelus gave Cadolbolg a litle scratch behind one of his horns, pride clearly showing on her face, "I do feel that is a good idea," she looked to Nadalia, her expression shifting to a wry smile, "No offense to you, of course; but perhaps an aggressive approach would not be sufficient to catch a spooked hare. I can assure you my little ones will not burden you - their appearance belays their strength."
Ton Ton waved his little lantern in acknowledgement and puffed out his little chest, "We'll good, promise!"
Following that, he mounted up on Cadolbolg's back, and the duo fluttered after the Queen of Ash.
Caim stretched lazily, his PDA intoning,
"That leaves us with Donnell. Where is his workstation and his private quarters? Those would be the first sections I'd check first."
Meanwhile, back with Nadalia and the Cuties, Ton Ton announced to his co-worker, "I'll try to contact David over our communicator rings first - he might just tell us where he is!" A moment of silence later, Ton Ton 'sent', "Hey David - can you hear me? Some serious stuff is going down, so Mr. Caim and Ms. Angelus sent us to regroup with you. Can you tell us where you are?"
It wasn't the entire truth, but at the same time, it wasn't a full lie either; a vagueness of language Ton Ton deemed mostly acceptable.
"I am ... undead, I think." Anjali responded to Garm, looking at him curiously with red glowing, hollow eyes. "I do not know more. And this is, I think ... a spirit. It can do small things, but it can not harm people, I think. At least when I did it previously, it did not do anything."
The snake swirled around Adel, then came back towards Anjali, stopping right above Garm. "I do not know much, my apologies. I just came here a day ago .. and I was invited to a party, but I don't think it iss happening yet. What are you, wolf? I have not seen one who could speak before, even if I heard some storiess ... "
The Rising Dawn
Diana | Blade
"Tssk tssk tssk, Blade." Diana said, pulling Blade by his collar and stopping him from walking further. Her grip was quite strong, stronger than one might have expected, even if she was quite toned. "Are you sure you are working for the right organisation? You seem not much more than a grunt. With ideas, maybe worth considering ... at other times. So how do you expect me to impersonate you if I do not know how to talk like you? Do you even have an invitation? It usually works like this.
I mean sure, if you want to go the high risk route, I could go in on my own. But I also could just be your plus one, what do you say? I could even look a bit less perfect, if you wanted it. Or I could just be your shadow, following your every move ... how much time do we have to wait on the party to start, anyways? I do not see any preparations made yet, and if I stuffed you in a fridge to impersonate you you might even be frozen or just free yourself by the time the party was starting.
So what do you say? Be less talkative unless the situation calls for it, let me do the thinking, and you have an attractive party companion, your trophy wife, so to speak?" It was spoken, showing how little regard she had for him in her tone of voice, but he might notice that she was actually quite helpful, not letting him trap himself into a corner, and hinting at what might be if he did not go with her plan.
Glimmer of Hope