The Escapist Avatar Adventure: An Open RP (Now Re-Opened!)

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Rugal
"DAMMIT! YOU SON OF A BITCH!" Rugal shouted in reaction to Tomoya Frying the Preacher before fleeing with an Injured Storm, leaving the harsh weather to finish them off.
Once it was clear that Tomoya had escaped, he turned his mind to the next order of business: The Preacher.
He examined the Holy One, clearly in a bad state and steaming from the amount of Dark Lighting that flowed though him.
How the hell is he still breathing!? How did he survive?! He thought as he realised there wasn't much time left.
"Your Power? How....How did you get it? I've trained by whole life but even I couldn't live though that! Tell me!" He pleaded, his greed starting to show after a long day of reasonable humbleness.

David
As Rugal interrogated the Preacher, David was more worried about getting back up to the ship.
"TERI! IS DAMIAN STILL UP THERE?!" He shouted over the raging wind while pointing to the ship.
"...WHO?!"
"THE AI GUY! THE ONE WHO SENT ME THAT MESSAGE!"
"YOU MEAN DIMITRI?!" She asked back as she went to contact him on her tablet.
"WHATEVER! JUST GIVE ME THAT THING!" He barked back before yanking it out of Teri's hands.

Dmitri
As Dimitri and Vermilion basically flirted, he received an incoming call from her master and pressed his finger to his ear.
"Yes, Mistress. How can I-"
"2 TRANSPORT SHIPS! FROM THE HANGER! DOWN HERE! NOW! ASAP!" David yelled loud enough to cause him to recoil from the volume of his voice.
"MAKE SURE THEY HAVE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT! PREACHER IS DOWN! BE QUICK ABOUT IT!" He finished as Dimitri shrugged of his minor ear rape.
"...Coming right...up..." He answered before hanging up, if he had blood to bled, his ear would be a river right now.

"Your Power? How....How did you get it? I've trained by whole life but even I couldn't live though that! Tell me!"

".....The Ship" The Preacher managed coughed up a few words in between his breaths. "Get everyone on board....... then I'll tell you......" Unbeknownst to Rugal, The Preacher had only minutes left. He began to mutter to himself, it was the strongest healing spell he had, but even that couldn't fully heal the damage on the spot. "Little one got a lucky shot in........"

Rugal/David
"....I swear if you fucking die without telling me..." Rugal stated before lifting the old man in a fireman's carry as David began to flag down the Transports he had Dimitri send.
"COME ON EVERYONE! WHILE WE CAN STILL FLY!" He shouted as he looked around the group.
Where is she!?
"ELENA!....ELENA!! WHERE ARE YOU!?" He shouted as the Crew Members who couldn't fly entered the transports.

Rugal boarded one and laid the Preacher down across one of the seats.
"Once you tell me what I want to know, then you have my permission to die." He warned again as he went the side door and began waving everyone over.

After snatching her tablet back from David, the Cleric wandered to the Preacher and readied her highest level healing spell (Level 2), gently placed her fingertips on the Preacher's body. She silently hoped that the positive energy of the spell would aid in dispelling the darkness within this poor man.

"Comeoncomeoncomeoncomeon! Work damnit!"

After the second level spell was exhausted, Teri reverted to using her lower level healing; hoping (praying to) that she could help in resuscitating the Holy Man. If he was as strong as he looked, the Rising Dawn desperately needed this man to fight Tomoya.

The others could only sit around and wait for the transports to bring them up.

Angelus | Akane

The arrival to The Rising Dawn with the children in tow was greeted with little fanfare; only a familiar AI (Dimitri) listing off docking procedures as the dragon found herself in the Hangar once more. Taking a look outside, she saw that conditions were looking extremely nasty; with all the thunder and lighting billowing about. It almost looked dangerous to fly in herself, and the dragon was used to storms....

"Be careful down there, Caim...."

Slindis and Melethia climbed in the transport with Teri, Rugal, and the Preacher. A quick once over of Preacher told Slindis that the man was in real bad shape. She took a few deep breaths, then placed both of her hands on the critically injured man to heal him up, since Teri's spells were ineffective. However, in the state the holy man was in, it only served to soothe him instead of bring him back in action.

"Mister Goldenhair, what happened to ya? You're tough, you can make it. Right?" The young girl held the holy man's hand, hoping that he'd make it as Slindis and Teri worked together to try to patch up the man's injuries.

Tajuh

He saw the transports and focused on getting the various crew members of the Rising Dawn on them before he left. "Hurry up, everyone!" Once the last people boarded, he took the controls of the last transport and made his way to the Rising Dawn.

bluecrimson:

"Mister Goldenhair, what happened to ya? You're tough, you can make it. Right?"

"Do not worry, my dear.......... All I need is a long rest" The Preacher was grinning at this point, he was confident in the crew at this point. "Besides........ you dealt with those ....unpleasant individuals quite well .......yes?"

bluerocker:

"Comeoncomeoncomeoncomeon! Work damnit!"

Seeing the futility in their efforts, he raised his hands. "There is no need for this....... You should save your energy for those who really need it......" He coughed again, while the wounds were healed, it was obvious the damage at this point had been inflicted. "Well young Paladin........ I have full confidence in you and .......your student....... prove me right won't you?"

Diablo1099:

"Once you tell me what I want to know, then you have my permission to die."

As he leaned back, he now decided to answer Rugal. "You wish to learn my abilities?........ hehehehe"
"WHAT. WHAT!? WHAT IS IT!?!"
The Preacher erupted in laughter at the man's naivety, his last breaths before he was gone were used to enjoy Rugal's frustration at his own greed. His laughter slowly died down, fading into a smile before he lost consciousness.

And with that, The holy man was now dead to the cast. While a more informed individual could see he wasn't fully gone, there was no way the rest of the Rising Dawn could hope to get him back now.

Rugal
Once the Preacher used his dying breaths to spite Rugal, Melethia, Teri and Slindis all got a look at the man he really was.
"WHAT IS IT!? TELL ME! WHAT IS YOUR POWER?! NOT LIKE THIS! I'M SO CLOSE TO MY RIGHTFUL GODHOOD!"

TELL ME!!!!

He continued to rant and rave until his face was red as he shook the old man's still warm body.
It was truly a sickening display of ego and greed and it greatly damaged the image of Rugal in the trio watching.
"YOU WILL TELL ME!" He screamed as he raised his fist and went to punch the dead man in the face.

David
As Caim made a note of his partner's warnings, Jake followed the rest of the crew in getting the hell out of here.
Once everyone was on board, the crying of David became clear.
"GODDAMMIT! WHERE ARE YOU!? ELENA!" He shouted into the storm until he realized the transport was taking off.
"Shit! WAIT UP!" He said as he climbed in just as it was about to take off.

As the Heroes left the temple behind them, a massive bolt of lighting stuck the tip of old Mayan Temple, sending so much power though it, it exploded, sending rocks and bits of metal across the entire area, threatening to strike them as they flew off.

Thus, the famed Temple of the Stone of Light was no more.

Melethia | Rugal | Slindis | Teri

Rugal's attack would have gone through... If it weren't for the Cleric touching the Preacher's body. A small scroll appeared and disintegrated; covering the body with a familiar shimmer of light right before Rugal's attack went through, and the King of Fighters found his fist coming into contact with a VERY familiar covering of force. The Cleric did not move from her post, her hands gripped tightly to the fabric of the Preacher's clothes, and her Tablet very calmly spoke, "Be mad all you want, but this body will not be desecrated."

She trembled as she said this; aware of the fact that she was drained in all of her faculties and locked in a pod with Rugal Bernstein. Those odds were not the best, but dammit, if she didn't defend this holy man's corpse, the Cleric felt that she'd regret it later. So, she held firm, as she did before in the woods. Her gaze did not waver from her charge as she shook; thoughts of what was to come in the next moment.

Caim, Cutie Bruisers

"Did you not see the shuttles coming for us, dragon? We're already on our way up. See you in a few."

Caim quietly broke the conversation, but did not sever the link. If at worst, he wanted to be able to contact her if something went wrong. Barring that, he occupied himself by watching Cadolbolg and Ton Ton cavort about in the Shuttle while they began to lift off. Shifting uncomfortably, Caim was reminded why he preferred flying with Angelus in comparison to these ships. It was too cramped for his tastes, and he liked the feel of open air on his back. This... This was distinctly lesser compared to his usual exploits.

Melethia | Rugal | Slindis | Teri

"...WHAT?!....OH YOU ARE STILL ALIVE!?" Rugal said as his fist came into contact with the shield a millimeter above the Preacher's dead smirking face, filling his mind with the mental image of him laughing at him for thinking he was dead.
"YOU DARE MOCK ME!? ME!? THE KING OF FIGHTERS!?" He shouted before Teri spoke and he knew instantly.
"...You..." He said in a quiet tone, clenching his fist as he glared at the Cleric, Her inability to talk helping her hide a *Gulp*
"...You dare....defy me?...YOU LITT-"
*Poot!*
He paused for a second as he felt the area around the back of his head, finding and pulling out a dart.
"Sorry Wheathair, but you need a time out!" Melethia said, holding a blowdart pipe and clearly not impressed with his disrespect for the dead.
"Why...you....little...runt..." He trailed off as the tranquilizer flooded his system, causing him to pass out into one of the transport seats.

Meanwhile...
As the Transports neared and the Preacher passed away, what the group for the most part didn't know was what he was doing on the ship for that entire time.
Angelus felt something faint, something...familiar...
....uhhhhhh....wh..what...happe-......Where am I?! WHAT'S GOING ON!? AM I DEAD!? AHHHH! WHY IS IT SO COLD!?!? a panicked voice cried out mentally.
The Voice of Jenny.

Melethia | Rugal | Slindis | Teri

As Rugal slumped down into the chair, Melethia went over to Teri with a sad look on her face. "Miss Teri, why did he have to act like that? What happened to the Wheathair that I knew?" The girl looked a bit betrayed at the man's reaction.

Slindis kept a sharp eye on the unconscious man, having seen a fairly power-hungry side of the man that she never knew existed. "Teri, we are going to have that training as soon as we get back. It will not be physically tasking, especially after what we went through."

Tajuh | David

He looked at David and motioned to a seat. "I'm gonna have to ask you to sit down for now. With Elena's Talent, she's likely wherever she intends to be. The details on what went on in there are still unclear to me, though, but the chances of her being harmed are small."

Tajuh | David
After some prompting, David finally settled down and sat in the seat, taking a second to wring the storm rain out the Angel Towel he took from the temple.
"...Sorry...Just...some time ago, She was...Enslaved by a Group calling themselves the Hammer Empire....It was rather rough on her. And these guys? They are un-fucking believable, Had a base under the Empire State Tower of all places. They want you, they will find you. Hence why I'm concerned..." He explained as he wiped the rain from his face with said towel.
"...Just...After I...err...Went to the temple with Rugal...As an...an-Advance party!...*Ahem* You didn't see her, did you?...I haven't seen her since."

Tajuh | David

He nodded knowingly. "So, she's the type to draw attention from dangerous groups? I'm sure that she knows enough to stay clear of them, but I've not seen her since before the drop. And if she did run into them, it's a matter of helping her see sense. Go ahead and call it odd, but sometimes to show that you care for someone, you've just got to give them space yet be there for them should they need you."

Tajuh | David

David finally wiped his face off and put his Towel up in his jacket pocket, keen on keeping his piece of history.
"...Ach, I still dunno...I mean this wasn't merely her being forced to kill, this included.....You know..." He explained, a nod and a awkward gesture giving Tajuh the message.
"Just I let her know I would never let that happen to her again and if she is in trouble..."

Tajuh | David

He calmly finished the statement. "Then you go and get her back. It's as simple as that since you care for her the way that you do. Doesn't matter whether she's pinned down in a tight spot or if that empire goes off and tries to make her fight you, does it? Those eyes are ones of a man that makes a goal and accomplishes it, no matter what's in his way." Tajuh was speaking in the tone of someone that had seen this before, and he was stating facts instead of lecturing the man next to him.

Tajuh | David

"...Yeah...Thanks just...I got REALLY lucky last time, like...I had the grim reaper on my side for some reason. I just don't know if I'll get that lucky again next time...." He sighed as he began spinning his M500 on his fingers, showing great skill doing so.
"Hell, even back there, I was more on the back-burner. Hell, that Kid, Melethia? She most likely did more in that fight then me...Now, don't go thinking I'm getting depressed, just I have to work REALLY hard to get shit done around here and half the time it's luck based anyway..."

Mood music for the first section.

Melethia | Rugal | Slindis | Teri

Teri's eyes still had that dull and glazed expression, even after Rugal had threatened her life... Again. God knows she was tired of all of this by now. Even the death threat barely fazed her. It was terrifying, certainly, but the feeling wasn't entirely there anymore. Was this what it was like to become a soldier? To stop caring about everything after dealing with it for so long? To repress and squelch anything that threatened your sanity? Well, the repression part she was getting down, it was a matter of not allowing it to affect her... Which was failing miserably.

That was when she heard Slindis speak up, "Teri, we are going to have that training as soon as we get back. It will not be physically tasking, especially after what we went through."

The Cleric looked up from her post beside the cold Preacher, and tilted her head to the side in confusion, her 'voice' getting that hard, almost emotionless edge again, "..? Ah, right. The training. I can't help but ask, Ms. Slindis, what kind of training this will be? As far as I've known, our exercises have been nothing but physical. Even when I was being taught how to concentrate, there was a physical component to that as well. Besides, what about healing? Don't we need to fix up anyone when we land?"

Curled up within herself, the Paladin was painfully aware of how drained her student was by this mission. And, sadly enough, it was only going to get worse.

Meanwhile...

Angelus froze hearing Jenny's voice in her mind, and summoned up the mask; allowing herself to turn human again. Even if she was nude, the moment in question made such human things irrelevant. That was, of course, until an exasperated AI informed her where to find a temporary set of clothes before allowing her to go her own way. Wandering down the halls aimlessly, Angelus called out via the pact's 'voice', "Jenny?! Can you hear me? Where are you, girl? It's me, Angelus! I'm here to help!"

Jenny
Panic filled Jenny's mind and body as her eyes adjusted to the darkness, finding herself to be in some steel chamber with traces of ice on the walls and she herself had some frozen moisture on her person.
She shivered both from cold and fear as felt something around her foot.
After a bit of movement, she grabbed it and tore it off, it was a toe-tag.
"j-j-Jenny? DO-a-a-a-A 2013!?" she exclaimed to herself as she recalled the events in New York:

Before the Battle of New York
After sending David and Elena after the Hammer Forces in the Empire state building, Jenny returned back to her clinic to lock up.
When she got there, the door was kicked down and the entire place was ransacked.
Man...Tomoya has REALLY done off the deep end... She sensed a Angel Soldier think.
"Tomoya?...Deep end?...What?" the Gardevoir asked herself, giving away her position.
"THERE SHE IS! MARK IN SIGHT!"
The last thing she felt was several shots impacting against her chest and blasting out of her back.

Present
"Jenny?! Can you hear me? Where are you, girl? It's me, Angelus! I'm here to help!"
a-a-Angelus?! Is that y-y-you?! I don't k-k-know. I th-th-think I'm in some k-k-kind of freezer. w-w-where are y-you? she sent back, rubbing her arms to try and get warm, the time she spent in the cooler before now catching up on her and threatening to kill her again.

Melethia | Rugal | Slindis | Teri

She kept a somewhat calm face on as she looked at Teri, although having to bury another man didn't sit too well on her. "If I told you what the training was, it would lose its point. and this training is crucial. Now, we worked well enough in there that the patching up can be done by some potions and other remedies. And much like my other rounds of training, this is mandatory."

Melethia looked up at Teri, clearly tired but not wanting to stress out the cleric any more. "Don't worry, Miss Teri. I'll work at helpin' the others out, so ya can just stick with her."

Tajuh | David

Tajuh just shrugged as he began pulling the transport in for the landing. "You're too hard on yourself considering what the rest of this crew can do. Just find your talents and work on them while you find out how to make your own luck. From where I stand, you've got the ability to make yourself known, even if you can't see it yourself. You want to find out how you'll tap into that potential? If so, hold your breath until I say so."

"Look, do you think I'm that stupid? Holding my breath for however long you want me to? I'm not that stupid." The man was clearly skeptical.

"If you want to learn how to be better than who you are right now, you'll do that. Or you could just refuse and never know."

David grumbled as the man looked at him expectantly, then he began holding his breath. Then kept holding ontil he thought he was beginning to get blue with no word from the man. And kept holding his breath until he thought he was going to die unless he got another breath, then he got the wave to breathe and gasped for fresh air.

"Wh-what the hell was that about?! You could've killed me!" David looked at Tajuh like he was a madman and was ready to hit him in the arm with the butt of his gun until Tajuh spoke again.

"You know that feeling for the last ten seconds where you wanted nothing more in existence than to breathe? Until your desire to improve matches that same desire you felt then, you will never reach your full potential." The man had a dead serious tone as he said that, clearly wanting the message to sink in.

Devon | Ella

When he got to the Rising Dawn's Hangar, he propped up the tired Ella as he walked her to a seat. Flying alone wouldn't have worn out the succubus, but it was an entirely different story when one had to carry 80 kilos of weight as well and avoid a massive lightning storm. "Any way I can help you get back on your feet?"

Tajuh | David

"You want to find out how you'll tap into that potential? If so, hold your breath until I say so."
"...Ya wha?" David asked, clear confused by what the hell he was on about.
"....Fuck it, though next time, Wait till I'm drunk, I'll do anything then..." He said as he took a deep breath and held it for as long as Tajuh stated.
It was easy to begin with, but after the first minute, it was really starting to hurt.
He gasped for air when he was allowed to.
""You know that feeling for the last ten seconds where you wanted nothing more in existence than to breathe? Until your desire to improve matches that same desire you felt then, you will never reach your full potential."
"......ohhhhh-kaaayyyy..." He said, clearly not one for the romantic "Follow your Dreams" type advice.

Angelus | Jenny

The dragon paused in confusion. What was Jenny doing in a food receptacle? No, that couldn't be right; they would have noticed her there. Hmn... Freezers for the dead? That was a strange thought indeed... "A freezer? What on earth..? Look, I'll try to home in on you; but I need your help to do so. Your signal is similar to a pact partners, so perhaps..."

Caim | David | Tajuh

Caim silently snickered at David's pathetic attempt to hold his breath, to which the soldier retorted,

"Oh go get some makeup you psychotic mime!"

Caim shook his head in response, and then paused when a message from Angelus entered his mind, "Caim, this is urgent! Ask the crewmates if there is a kind of freezer for the dead and where can I find it on the Rising Dawn!"

If one were to look at the Mute, they would have seen the equivalent of a 404 error on his face. Thus, after putting his thoughts back together, he relayed the question word for word to his comrades, confusion still coloring his expression.

Melethia | Rugal | Slindis | Teri

Teri only nodded quietly to the women's words, "Thanks, Melethia. It's good to know.. Hmn, I wonder what's so mandatory about this training..? I hope we land soon, I don't want to be around when he wakes up..."

It was no guesses as to whom the Cleric was talking about...

Angelus | Jenny

Jenny was now attempting to bust out of her icy coffin, but the cold made it hard to focus enough to use a Psychic attack to break the lock and she lacked the upper body strength to break out.
S-s-sure....just....give me a moment to re-NO! She said as she began to drift off from the cold, snapping herself out of it by slapping herself in the face.
...Okay..Just...Keep talking to me... She said as she tried to undo the lock, resulting the handle of her compartment shaking.

Caim | David | Tajuh
While he was confused by why Caim asked that question, David was able to answer.
"Ahhh, Right. Well, in hospitals and other such places, They have a place called a morgue, Basically, they cut open dead people so they can find out how they died. To stop the bodies from rotting, they put them in freezers. There's one next to the Medical Wing of the ship." He explained as Caim relayed that information to Angelus.
"...So why do you ask?"

Caim | David | Tajuh

Tajuh turned to Caim. "You're referring to the morgue? That's near the main training room." Although it was an odd question, he'd seen far worse ones. After responding to Caim's question, he pulled the transport in and looked David in the eye. "I'll only tell you one more time: until you feel that same passion, that same primal need that you felt earlier, you'll always be holding yourself back and be settling for mediocrity. David, you're better than that. In any case, we're back on the Rising Dawn."

Melethia | Rugal | Slindis | Teri

The transport pulled up shortly after Tajuh's did and Slindis lifted the body of Preacher, taking care to not damage the body. "Teri, we'll get the body ready for its final rest then begin the training. Melethia, mind checking on the others while Teri and I handle our business?"

Melethia nodded. "Okay, but I'm gonna get some sleep after that..." The day'd been longer on her than almost any other member of the crew, and her tattered tunic clearly showed it.

Caim | David | Tajuh

Caim frowned and shrugged, "I don't know, Angelus said something about it being urgent... I could ask her..."

His mind reached for the dragon's, and dropped the question; to which he heard a hiss, and a hurried "Jenny's in one of them! I don't know exactly what's going on, but she's alive! However, if I don't get to her quickly, she'll be lost again!"

Caim's eyes widened at that prospect, and found himself leaning against a wall, his voice broadcasting to both the dragon and the crew, "What? Jenny? But, I thought-"

"It matters not! If she's alive, then I need to find her!"

Caim nodded at that notion, and charged on ahead through the doors to the rest of the Dawn. "We're on the ship! I'll be right there!"

Angelus | Jenny

Angelus released a held breath before rushing towards the Medical Bay, looking for any signs that said 'Morgue'. Kicking down a door, Angelus could feel the chill run through her as she entered that cold place. Flames licking her hands, she yelled, "Jenny! Where are you? I'm here for you now! Please, say anything!"

Melethia | Rugal | Slindis | Teri

After seeing Caim run off, Teri's brow furrowed in confusion, but wrote it off as nothing new. Caim probably went to find Angelus and check on her; which is what she guessed (and she did know the two well enough to come to that conclusion). With a little wave to Melethia, Teri began to follow after Slindis to the Morgue, a solemn silence being kept between the two as they wandered to the place where the dead were prepared...

Jenny
"I'M IN H-H-HERE!" She shouted as she banged on the door of her compartment, failing to realize the door was thicker then it let itself onto be.
In a last ditch effort to mark her location, she started using Telekinesis to shake the handle on her compartment, allowing Angelus to find her.
Soon the door opened and the Dragoness slid out the tray she was laid out on earlier.
The second she was free she instantly sat up and took deep breaths of the much warmer air outside the cooler, the breaths leaving her mouth being clearly visible.
She had some frostnip on her skin and she was ice cold to the touch, but aside from that she was very much alive, despite the events in New York.
"T-t-t-t-thank you..." She said as she tried to harm herself up.

David
David was about to answer Tajuh when he heard Caim talk about Jenny before running off.
Mmm...Morgue Freezers..Jenny...
"OH JAYSUS!" He shouted to himself, she could have been alive the whole time!!!
Thus he took off after Caim and soon the pair of them reached the morgue past the busted down door.
They both entered to the sight of Angelus helping her to warm up.
"OOOHHHH SHHHIT! I am so SOOOOOOOOO Sorry, I don't know how you guys react to death, just...oh man, I fucked up big time!" He panicked, fearing that this was all his fault.

Morgue

Slindis made her way to the morgue with Teri, Melethia, and the body when she saw David and Caim sprinting there. "Watch it, I'm trying to carry Preacher to get him cleaned up before we send him off!" The door to the morgue was opened and the scene there was more than a bit awkward as Slindis put the body on one of the preparation tables next to jenny, and the dead man's outfit was charred from the lightning strikes.

"Um, miss, what are you?" Melethia looked at Jenny in curiosity, trying to make it a bit less awkward. Whatever the thing was, it was about her height. Maybe it was around her age too? She stifled a yawn as she tried to perform a checkup on the thing. Jenny could see that the girl'd had a hectic day from her torn-up tunic revealing the chain shirt underneath with two clear holes and multiple indented areas from bullets the shirt had deflected.

Morgue

Teri gave a little wave to her comrades, and followed after Slindis, sorrow still filling her despite the miraculous return of Jenny. A death and a rebirth in one day? Surely this couldn't just be coincidence...

Disregarding such thoughts, Teri busied her mind in her with the preperation of the Preacher's body. Angelus, realizing what had happened, ushered the re-birthing party away from the two Healers. Even she knew that the dead deserved their due.

"Come on, let's get to the Canteen. I'm certain all of us will want something to eat or drink after this long day..."

AI: Dimitri | Vermilion

The flirtatious atmosphere between the two AIs was broken when David had called in the Shuttles and news of the Preacher's death rolled in. Thus, the duo set to work making sure the Airship ran smoothly as all the Users arrived. Naturally, Dimitri was on the lookout for his Madam in particular; as he had not seen nor heard of her in some time... However, when he saw the vital signs appear on screen for the Cleric (which included Mental scans) his delicate brows creased, "... What on earth happened down there? Ms. Vermilion; take a look here. I don't think these are normal..."

Dimension: Avatar Adventures Universe

Location: Corrupted Forest | Corrupted Temple of Light | South America
Time: Midday | January 2nd

Airship Rising Dawn - Hanger Deck:

Aftan | Akane | Gabrielle | Jake

Unlike the rest of the crew, the Knights did not require the A.I. controlled drop ships to play the role of taxi and while Aftan could have easily helped transport a majority of the Airship's crew to the Airship, both her and Gabrielle had been a bit too busy to notice the general retreat that had been called until it was too late.

Spotting Akane, the Shadow Knight took off in a dead sprint towards the Kitsune and tackled... the tails.

"TAAAAAAIIIIIILLSSSSS!!!! I MISSED YOU!!!!" Gabs squealed in joy as she wrapped herself in the softness that was 9 Heaven sent Kitsune tails.

"I see that you and Mistress Angelus were able to take out the other carrier. Very nice work, love." The White Knight said in greeting to her Kitsune lover while keeping a wary eye on Gabrielle, lest she and Akane be pulled into a pile of Akane's tails as well, some sort of rather implosive action that would have left the trio in a messy mass of limbs and fur.

However, it appeared that Gabrielle was quite happy surrounding herself in her beloved's beloved tails, leaving the two to discuss the aftermath of the battle. Spotting Jake disembarking from one of the shuttles, the Aftan and Akane waved to him in greeting.

"Greetings Master Jake. How did you fare this day?" The Grand Master, giving the Writer a quick salute as he approached.

"Yeah Jake... didja kick some D'Angel ASS?"


Angelus | Cadolbolg | Caim | Ton Ton

As Angelus and Caim headed towards the Canteen for a bit of food and drink, they were ambushed. However, the attackers in this case weren't D'Angels or any other of the terrors brought to life by the Corruption of the Temple of Light, they were a pair of Mini-Cutie-Bruisers who took the opportunity to practice the art of the surprise attack.

"RAWT!" Cadolbolg roared... kinda... as he dove in from the third floor of the Hanger Deck, his claws glinting in the harsh overhead light. However it wasn't until the last minute that he shifted from attack mode to tackle hug mode, his ambition giving way to the joy that his parents were safe and sound.

THUD!

Angelus and Caim soon found themselves knocked over by their elated son.


Mark | Tajuh

Watching as David took off towards the Morgue, Mark took the opportunity to approach Tajuh for his advice.

"Hi Tajuh... erm... I was wondering if I could talk to you for a moment about the situation between David and Elena... at least the situation as I know it to be." He said as he pulled out a ring that he had been pocketing for quite some time. It was a simple ring but one that had been purchased out of love between David and Elena.

"She's left to return to her people... she's got some issues that are going on with her."


Devon | Ella | Kyre | Teri

The Blonde Succubus that Devon had rescued from Hell was indeed worn out but she had a look about her that screamed that she wasn't about to ask for anyone's help. From what Devon could see, she was badly shaken up by the whole ordeal of the retreat...

Flashback:
"Ella, any way that we could get out of this one and back to that airship up there? I don't know much about you, but I'd rather not die here."

Ella wasn't listening however as her focus was squarely on the Overly Muscled D'Angel that had embarrassed her. Swooping in towards her opponent, her single remaining Kama glinted in the black lightning.

SHINK!
SPORCH!

From Devon's perspective the two opponents were frozen in mid-motion. The first thing he noticed was that Ella's blade had embedded itself in the Angel's neck, a slow trickle of blood started oozing from the wound as she bent in and began feeding on the Dark Angel's life force. The slow trickle began to flow like a geyser as a tremor ran through Ella's body and cause her to pull the blade out of the Angel's neck.

To Devon's horror, the blade that had been left in the Angel's shoulder was jutting from Ella... causing the Succubus to retreat even as her opponent was dying and causing her to crash to the ground.

Running to his partner, Devon was both glad and horrified at the injury that Ella had suffered. He was horrified in that it was a stomach wound... the type of wound that signified a slow and painful death if not treated. However, he was elated in that he could treat the wound.

"I don't know what you think you're doing but you better get to those shuttles before they leave you behind." Ella said, her fingers splayed out in the general direction of where the shuttles had landed.

"Shut up." Responded the Bard as he let healing magic flow into the body of the ailing Half-Succubus...

It wouldn't be until they landed that Devon would discover that the Succubus' body wasn't the only thing wounded by the D'Angel's attack. Her pride was as well... and so it should come as no surprise to anyone that someone with an ego that was as big as Ella's would have lashed out.

Flashback:
"HEY YOU!!! I'M TALKING TO YOU!!!" The Devil's daughter yelled at someone that was walking behind Devon's back.

"What in the hell was Daddy doing here? Why in the hell would he come all the way up here to see some runty bitchy little bitch like you? You don't look worth the effort to corrupt! You don't look like much at all. I'm surprised that anyone took the time to keep the Angels off of your ass! You should have told them to leave you behind down there so that we don't have to go worry about your feelings later and people can concentrate on keeping themselves alive when we're in the shit!" Ella called out towards Teri as she landed on the deck of the Airship Rising Dawn and collapsed from the strain of carrying her wounded body and Devon's body to safety

It took a moment but Ella finally took Devon's offered hand. Perhaps he knew that there was something deeper lurking beneath the Succubus with daddy issues and even though the verbal lashing that she had hurled towards Teri had been brutal... wasn't there some reason that Lucifer had asked Devon to take Ella out of Hell?


Airship Rising Dawn - Crew Quarters:

Kurumu | Puce

The two had quickly left everyone behind in the Hanger deck to tend to their own affairs and to grab some badly needed rest. However, rest was far from coming as the two discovered. The stress of the day wrecked any attempts to sleep and especially wrecked the mood for any romance and as 30 minutes passed, the couple found themselves looking at each other... Puce having told Kurumu what Ella had done in the temple. How she had made a pass at him.

However... to her credit... Kurumu didn't believe that it was solely Ella's idea. Something strange was afoot, though she did not suspect who the source of Ella's sudden interest in Puce might be.


Airship Rising Dawn - Network:

A.I. Vermilion | Dmitri

The Vermilion A.I. was plotting a course away from the area as Dimitri mentioned the stats on his Mistress.

"I... I do not know. It appears that she is under a heightened amount of stress which is normal, however... there is something else present that is shielding the true emotional readings. From what the microphones and cameras are gathering regarding her, the readings should be much more placid than they are. I believe th... on no." The A.I. exclaimed as Ella's outburst was recorded by the microphones.

"Stand by. We may need to keep Mistress Ella and Mistress Teri separated for some time." Vemilion stated as she began working on the localized shielding console.

Dimension: Avatar Adventures Universe

Location: Corrupted Forest | Corrupted Temple of Light | South America
Time: Midday | January 2nd

Airship Rising Dawn - Hangar Deck:

Mark | Tajuh

Tajuh looked at the ring and ushered Mark over to a table in the Hangar, taking a seat as he placed the ring between the two. "This has to do with why the man's on edge? He's fairly simple to read, and something happened between the two." The way he said it, it was more of him confirming suspicions rather than finding out what had happened.


Airship Rising Dawn - Crew Quarters:

Devon | Ella | Kyre | Teri

He helped the Succubus over to an unoccupied room that wasn't too far from there, making sure to take it easy for the succubus as he guided her to the bed. "Ella, please tell me what's the big grudge between you and your father. I know he may not have been the best man, but he was the one that had me get you out of Hell. I've put a lot of trust in you so far, so could you put some trust in me here? I've nothing to gain with that, and we are going to be working together." Devon was clearly concerned for his unorthodox ally, and above all he wanted to hold some faith in Lucifer's words about Ella not being suited for Hell.


Airship Rising Dawn - Morgue:

Slindis | Teri

Slindis finished cleaning up the body of the man with help from Teri and sat the Cleric down. "Teri, would you like to start the training in here or in my room? As I told you earlier, it won't have any physical components, and I would rather not have anyone intruding." She knew that Ella's words earlier had likely hit Teri where it hurt with the way she barely held herself together.

Dimension: Avatar Adventures Universe

Location: Corrupted Forest | Corrupted Temple of Light | South America
Time: Midday | January 2nd

Angelus | Cadolbolg | Caim | Ton Ton

Angelus and Caim were pleased to see their child and his pact partner doing well, Angelus especially. She hadn't seen the duo since she delivered Riki and Kud to the safety of the Rising Dawn. With a deep smile, the dragoness embraced all involved: her son, her pact partner, and Ton Ton, and with a contented sigh, breathed; "Ah, it is good to be all together again..."

Caim couldn't help but to bask in this moment a little, but then wrestled his way out of the grip so he could get ahold of some toast already cooking in the toaster. The dragon chuckled lightly, as she knew that the Rising Dawn was under new management; and management was looking out for User needs moreso than the older ones... Perhaps it was the butler of the duo who made sure of that.?

Airship Rising Dawn - Morgue:

Slindis | Teri

Teri looked at her Master, and softly said, "I'd prefer it to remain private, Ma'am... Thank you for providing that option."

There wasn't much point in hiding it anymore; despite what the Cleric had tried to do. Ella's words had cut her to the core; and emphasized every little insecurity and doubt she had about herself thus far. It was funny how cruel people could be, and be completely unaware that one's jeers meant far more than intended. Sure, Teri knew that Ella meant to demoralize her, but the way she hit the nails completely on the head was alarming. Was she aware of things she had said, done even? The way she figured her out was alarming to the young Cleric, and Teri wasn't entirely sure if her footing would remain stable for long.

Airship Rising Dawn - Network: A.I. Vermilion | Dmitri

Dimitri let out a sigh of relief when he saw that Teri had made her way safely from Ella; and gave a quick status report to Vermilion, "User: Slindis has taken The Madam under her wing again. Cease the cautionary protocols until further notice. Otherwise, the Canteen is already being prepped to receive the bulk of The Rising Dawn's arrivals."

Dimension: Avatar Adventures Universe

Location: Corrupted Forest | Corrupted Temple of Light | South America
Time: Midday | January 2nd

Airship Rising Dawn - Hanger Deck:

Mark | Tajuh

"This has to do with why the man's on edge? He's fairly simple to read, and something happened between the two."

The Dramatist snorted as Tajuh was promoted to Captain Obvious for making that statement. To say that something had happened between the two... it was something that was monumentally obvious while the details of the situation were not.

"As a Writer I'm sort of privy to a bit of information that goes on with the characters that I've created, Elena, or Door as she was originally known, is one of them. Her and David were... well... lovers... together... in a relationship. But due to her time as a captive to the Hammer Empire, she was enslaved to a man by the name of Ekou. And during that time, she found that the sensation of pain broke her from his control, if only for a brief amount of time. Because of this... she's come to enjoy the sensation... it makes her feel in control of her world." There was a brief pause as Mark tried to think of why Elena would leave David, a man that was obviously trying to help her.

"She was receiving treatment for the trauma that she endured during this time but... well... her counselor, Jenny, died during the initial assault on New York. The simpler life that she had been enjoying with David ended there. So... let's skip ahead to now." The Writer segued... poorly but it was a segue never the less.

"David West has something of a chip on his shoulder for Rugal and was intent on killing him once the group dropped into the jungle. Initially Elena thought to help ... but when she saw the extent at which Tomoya's threat extended... she knew that she needed to actively work on defeating Tomoya versus the infighting that has made the Rising Dawn a rather laughable outfit at times. So she left... thinking or knowing that she couldn't convince David that he was wrong for wanting to kill Rugal." Mark concluded... and though he wanted to move onto a different topic, one that was more personal to him, he waited politely to see if Tajuh had any further comments regarding the matter.


Airship Rising Dawn - The Canteen:

Aftan | Akane | Angelus | Cadolbolg | Caim | Gabrielle | Jake | Kurumu | Puce | Ton Ton

The Canteen had sure enough been prepared by the time that the crew arrived. Puce and Kurumu were the first to arrive, followed by the Knights, their Kitsune and Jake... and finally the Mini Bruiser Pact Partners and the actual Pact Partners.

"Woohoo hoo! Angie! Caim! Cadolbolg! Ton Ton! Come sit with us!" Kurumu called out as she gestured towards the plates of food that had been arrayed on the tables for the crew's enjoyment and refreshment.

"Glad to see you all made it out in one piece... that Guardian was a bit ... difficult." Puce commented as he remembered how his powers seemed to have little to no effect on the metal monstrosity.

"So... I heard this juicy rumor... about you and Caim, Angie... care to share?" Kurumu asked as tucked into a bowl of Curry and Rice.


The Knight, the Kitsune and Jake were seated in the table next to Kurumu's... a bottle of Sake in front of three of them... Aftan opting for water.

"Kanpai!" Gabrielle called out as she knocked back a tiny glass of the rice wine.

"Must you be so loud?" Aftan asked the Black Knight as she rubbed her temples. She looked to be suffering from a bit of a head ache since they got back.

"Awww... what's wrong?" Gabs asked reaching out to hold Aftan's hand... only to have the hand pulled away from her.

"Nothing... just... go ahead and carry on."


Airship Rising Dawn - Crew Quarters:

Devon | Ella

Ella sat at a chair the belonged to the lone desk that was in the room where Devon had taken her. She looked pale still from her wound but she was conscious at least... conscious enough to explain things.

"Look... I don't dislike my daddy... but I don't love him either ... he was just never around much... and then one day... he just never came back. Okay? And whenever he comes around or I smell him... I just go off." This of course was a lie, which Devon could immediately tell was a lie and so he called her on it.

"Alright fine. I do love him... okay? It's not the sort of thing that we're encouraged to feel in Hell but I do anyways. He was just never around when I needed to talk to him. He would always go on these trips and be gone for months or years and then... he just didn't come back after his last one. Anyways... I've always had this feeling in the back of my head that what I was doing... following through with the actions that my mom encouraged me to do... it didn't feel right to me. It felt like I was clashing against something... but I don't know what it is. My mom saw that I was having trouble and so she pushed me extra hard to be more like her... it's just... it still doesn't feel right to do the things that I'm encouraged to do as a citizen of Hell and while I've always needed to talk to Daddy about this... he was just never around." This was more of the truth... actually it was the truth as Devon heard it.

"And so when I see him showing up and giving that girl, Teri, attention that I was never given... I get upset. I know it's not her fault but I wish he would show me something... or talk to me... you understand?"


Airship Rising Dawn - Network:

Dimitri | Vermilion:

Vermilion nodded and deactivated the localized shield barrier protocols and looked at the array of monitors in front of her. Every thing seemed to be going well and so she was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.

"It appears that we are out of the danger area and the crew is beginning their relaxation habits. I think we can stand down now, Dimitri." Vermilion said finally cracking a smile that had been absent since the arrival of the crew.

Dimension: Avatar Adventures Universe

Location: Corrupted Forest | Corrupted Temple of Light | South America
Time: Midday | January 2nd

Airship Rising Dawn - Hanger Deck:

Mark | Tajuh

He shook his head at the author's hypothesis. "If that was the case, would she not inform him herself of her intentions? Even with such a rocky relationship, one doesn't run at the drop of a pin. Something may have happened to drive a wedge between the two in that forest, Mark." Tajuh still wasn't too fond of the man's arrogant attitude, but he was fairly useful to bounce ideas against and point out small flaws that he missed.


Airship Rising Dawn - Crew Quarters:

Devon | Ella

He nodded at the succubus' explanation. "I hear ya. After all, if it weren't for my grandfather, I wouldn't have had a male figure in my life, either. It's impossible for me to talk about the man in much detail myself, but keep this in mind: out of all the people in hell that he could have had me take out, you were that person." Since Ella was still fairly pale from the injury, he put a hand on her shoulder and did a minor transfer of his blood over to her so she would have some more stamina even if it put the two at about the same level, and Ella could feel the transfer.

"Ella, could you make me a promise? When it's just the two of us, just be yourself. Forget everything that Agehea forced on you, forget what you learned in hell, and learn to relax. You do that, and I'll be there for you every step of the way." In that moment, Devon didn't really care what Ella was as he sat on the bed next to her.


Teri | Slindis

After taking her student to her personal room, Slindis closed the door and showed Teri the bed as she took a seat and sternly looked her in the eye. "Now for the thing I've needed to bring up with you since we entered the temple: your habit of repressing and ignoring your emotions. Don't deny it, Teri: I've seen it and done it too much in my time to not know it. So, you can tell me yourself in complete confidence that these words will never leave the room and start working through them that way. The alternative is having me pick it apart and tell you what you're repressing. In either case, it will come out today, and like all of my lessons, this is mandatory."

She knew her student wouldn't like this, which is why she had ensured her chair was in between Teri and the exit. However, this needed to happen for her student's own health and well-being.

Dimension: Avatar Adventures Universe

Location: Corrupted Forest | Corrupted Temple of Light | South America
Time: Midday | January 2nd

Airship Rising Dawn - The Canteen:

Aftan | Akane | Angelus | Cadolbolg | Caim | Gabrielle | Jake | Kurumu | Puce | Ton Ton

At the mentioning of a rumor regarding their relationship, the duo did as they did best: neither confirmed nor denied anything. It was much more fun this way; and the duo had a shared opinion that they wanted to take things slow and steady.

Angelus, upon taking a bite into some ham, laughed, swallowed, and said, "My word, not even five minutes on this ship and the rumor wheel is working against us. Caim, I cannot help but feel as if we're being targeted specifically for such slander. What ever should we do?"

Caim had the convenience of a machine to speak for him, and did so as toast was going down his gullet, "Rumors will be rumors, dragon. Let them plot and plunder all they want. In the end, they don't have any proof of these stories. Even eyewitnesses could be false... Speaking of... I do recall you said we could continue our discussion from those woods when there was a quieter time, yes?"

Ah, plots indeed. The duo were well versed in the art of hiding their true intentions under a cover of dialogue, whilst having the true conversation in the 'voice' of pact partners,

"That I did. Where are you getting at?"

The warrior smirked as he sipped his coffee, "I think that discussion was an important one and does not need to be tabled for too long. Perhaps after things have died down a little; and Jenny is back on her feet properly, we could continue it in a privacy that does not require us to do this?"

Another swallow, and a contented sigh, and the dragon gave a small nod for an answer, and helped herself to another piece of meat.

As for the Cutie Bruisers, they watched the duo make this subtle exchange without spoken words (but did not hear the private channel between the duo) and wondered if they too could pull off something in a similar light the further their pact grew.

However, the line of questioning via Succubus left Ton Ton confused, "What are you guys talking about anyway? What rumors?"

Airship Rising Dawn - Network:

Dimitri | Vermilion:

Ah, there it was; A smile! Dimitri felt his poise go slack for a moment, and then, with a flustered huff; went back to processing whatever it was he was doing... Ah yes, Canteen work! Right... As he typed, he said, "I will agree, Ms. Vermilion, it is nice to see the crew relaxed, for once... A shame it cannot be a constant."

Airship Rising Dawn - Crew Quarters:

Slindis | Teri

Teri rolled a 13 to Bluff! God, why does she keep trying?

I don't like this....

Teri squirmed in her seat, hand unconsciously reaching for the bequeathed pendant. If anything, it kept her hands busy while she tried to organize her thoughts. As she did so, her tablet stammered, "I don't know what you're talking about. I've been fine this whole time. Yes, I'll admit that being shot at and seeing Mr. Bernstein tear someone in half wasn't pleasant; but I'll get over it. I'm sure I just need a nap and a shower, and I'll be good as new! You know, exposure to water and everything. Hell, maybe Squishy can sit in some bathwater, he might like it."

Dimension: Avatar Adventures Universe

Location: Corrupted Forest | Corrupted Temple of Light | South America
Time: Midday | January 2nd

Airship Rising Dawn - Hanger Deck:

Aftan | Akane | Gabrielle | Jake
Jake wearily returned the salute to Aftan before replying. "Yeah Knights, killed a few. Gun is underpowered, but my sword works just fine. I think it needs a name, I feel right whenever I have to use it to protect people rather than outright kill. Or I need to talk to it somehow...But I digress, I need a friggin' drink. Then a sleep."

Nodding, they all headed off to the Canteen.



Airship Rising Dawn - Canteen:
Jake sat in silence, downing alcohol quickly, his larger glass never empty yet he never seeming to drink heavily. "Does anybody realize we left a drugged and probably pissed of Rugal in the Hanger bay shuttle? Ah Fuck it. Who cares. I need some sleep... And I've always wanted to try that comfy couch Akane has always sat in. Well, if I fall asleep in it, leave me there, Teri stole me room heh heh heh." Jake said quietly.

Akane whistled at Angelus and Caim's rumor, giving a wink and nothing more. She was waiting for the Succubus' response to it all whilst sipping her sake. Something was bothering her about Aftan, especially since her words in the forest.

Dimension: Avatar Adventures Universe

Location: Corrupted Forest | Corrupted Temple of Light | South America
Time: Midday | January 2nd

Airship Rising Dawn - Crew Quarters:

Slindis | Teri

Slindis stood up with a disappointed look in her eyes and pointed to the bed. "Teri. I know you're hiding a lot more. It's evident in the way you act, whether it's the glazed over eyes or the complete zoning out when you fight. What you're doing isn't healthy, and we need to talk about it, now. So sit down and allow me to work this through with you." She put a gentle yet firm hand on Teri's shoulder, clearly indicating that she wasn't going to let her pupil leave so easily.

"First off, let's break down the fact that you try to ignore your emotions altogether to be some healing construct. It's an attempt to distance yourself from what happens because if you mess up, you can go ahead and say that it wasn't your fault. Just that mask of yours that you put on for that purpose." Her eyes locked with Teri's, meeting hers in a piercing stare.

Airship Rising Dawn - Hangar:

Melethia | Rugal

As Tajuh and Mark had their talk, Melethia made her way back to the transport holding Rugal and managed to lift the man, clumsily carrying the man to his quarters. Wheathair, I'm gonna see why ya were so mean there...

Dimension: Avatar Adventures Universe

Location: Corrupted Forest | Corrupted Temple of Light | South America
Time: Midday | January 2nd

Airship Rising Dawn - Hanger Deck:

Mark | Tajuh

The Dramatist looked up as if accessing some sort of memory... he was in fact accessing a replay of the scenario in his head... before looking back at Tajuh.

"She was upset... upset at the fact that she, David and Slindis had just taken part in the wholesale slaughter of a village... men, women, children included. And then she witnessed even after that... David had gone off to stalk Rugal... to kill him. She couldn't take all the death that wasn't directly associated with Tomoya. She wasn't to be able fight Tomoyas forces directly rather than having to end the lives of people whose only crime was being at the wrong place at the wrong time." As Mark said this, he turned the ring towards Tajuh so that he could see the permanent blood spatter that had stained the ring.

"If you're as superstition as the people from London's Hidden Underground... you'd see this as a sign for the relationship between her and David as well."


Airship Rising Dawn - The Canteen:

Aftan | Akane | Angelus | Cadolbolg | Caim | Gabrielle | Jake | Kurumu | Puce | Ton Ton

Kurumu gasped at Ton Ton exclusion from the rumor mill and opted to be his link to what was likely to be the story of the year.

"Well... word has it that Caim finally admitted his feelings to Angie here and these feelings happen to be loooooove. It's just too juicy a topic to be left to stagnate... but apparently, Caim was in the middle of taking a bath in a river thinking about how absolutely gorgeous Angie was in that dress that I had made her for the wedding. So... while he's thinking this, he forgot to turn off his PDA and Puce here catches word of what he's thinking." Kurumu said excitedly as Puce started choking on some coffee that he was drinking at the time.

"I... *COUGH COUGH*... I what now?"

"Well that's what Gabrielle said that she heard you saying when you talked to her... and Puce wasn't the only one in the area at the time. Apparently Angie here was also in the area sneaking a peak a nakie Caim." The Blue Haired Succubus said with a smile that bordered on ... crazy?... insane? ... oh... gleeful... maniacally gleeful.

"Don't deny it Angie... ever since that stop over in Hawaii when Caim tried to get Cadolbolg in the water, you've been admiring Caim's body."

"Kuru... I really think you need to check your sources because I never said any of that to Gabrielle." The Ener-mancer said as he stifled a laugh at the story.

"Besides... do you think that if any of this was true... and I'm not saying that any of it is... they wouldn't want to discuss things in private first? And yet... here they are... dining with all of us."

"But... but... but..."

"Come on, love. Let's just eat and stop harassing them." Puce said before turning to Ton Ton and Cadolbolg.

"However... speaking of rumors... what's this I head about you two becoming Pact Partners?" Puce asked... amazed at how far his creation had progressed as an actual organism rather than the construct he had created not so long ago.


True enough something was bothering Aftan... but it wasn't since the forest... it was more recent than that. It was the point at which Kokoa had almost killed her ... and had she died, it would have been the second time that her lover had killed her... but it would have been the third time that something had happened to her due to Gabrielle.

The first time was when Gabrielle had accidentally dropped a live grenade next to Aftan. The second time was when she had sacrificed herself for Gabrielle and actually died. This was the third time that Gabrielle had proven a dangerous element to Aftan's life and as much as it hurt to think about... she needed to figure out a way to cope with the growing resentment that she felt towards the Black Knight.

Airship Rising Dawn - Crew Quarters:

Devon | Ella

Ella looked at Devon for a moment as if she was about to say something sarcastic and biting but her features softened for a moment and she simply nodded as she felt the warmth of Devon's hand on her skin and just sat there for some time.

"I will promise you that ... but you have to do something for me first. I called you Devi in the forest and you had this reaction like me calling you that almost broke you. Could you tell me why?" The Half Succubus-Half Daemon asked as her eyes seemed to be focused on the ground, as if she was counting the number of rivets that kept the floor in place.


Lucifer | Slindis | Teri

Now whether she was trying or not ... whether she was calling or not ... Teri had accomplished something that may or may not have been intentional. She called upon the Devil for attention and when she did that, he did appear to her. A portal of orange, yellow and red fire appeared nearby as Lucifer made his entrance into the room, a smile on his face appearing until he noticed that He and Teri would not be alone for this conversation.

"I .... I'm interrupting something aren't I?" The Fallen One's voice said in our Dear Little Cleric's mind as he paused for a moment to get a grasp on just what it was that he was walking into.

"So... Slindis... someone who could have built the Great Wall of China single-handedly is going to help you tear down the walls that you've put up for yourself?" There was no amusement in his tone however, nor was there any mocking... there was just the voice of someone who sounded concerned.

"She's right, though, Kiddo. Shutting away what you're feeling, regardless of where you're at isn't healthy for you." He said gently as he sat down next to Teri and continued to what Slindis had to say.

Airship Rising Dawn - Network:

Dimitri | Vermilion:

A.I. Vermilion nodded as she started piloting the ship towards the North, away from the Temple of Light.

"Agreed Dimitri. It would be nice to get away from here... from this network and perhaps roam around the internet for a time... see what we can see. Do whatever it is that we would like to do. Tell me... if this peace became constant, what would you do with your new found freedom?"

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