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

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Naganaki Shrine: Rugal, Thugs
Mood music

On his way towards Mr. Skin, Rugal never left his bike, racing though the pathways of the Shrine and nearly running over a large number of bystanders as he tracked down his target.
His recklessness climaxed when he crashed though one of the wooden fences, bringing himself to the attention of the entire group Mr. Skin had traveled with.
And if that didn't get his attention, then the laughing as he did a Donuts on his "New" bike.
"Ah, nothing escapes you, does it? Lemme guess, Walter ratted me out, didn't he? I should have known. The man cares more for his smells than he does his brains. So, why are you so hard after me? I'm but a salesman, peddling wares of the senses to willing buyers. I don't kill anyone. I simply provide a service."
"Sure ain't that what we all do? Provide a Service. Well, There is someone much higher in the Food Chain then you and to avail of his services, I need proper answers. Besides...Nothing ticks me off like Lying and Wasting my time..." He explained as he lined up his bike with the Jungle Gyms.

"...Are your men seriously playing at a time like this?...See, this is why your small time. All REAL crooks keep their men in line. Sure, having some chums with guns is alright when all your aspire to be is some punk in a Club with some money, but with a set up like this, that's all you'll ever be." He said as they began to pull their guns and other blunt objects.
"Oh for fucks sake! You don't even have GOOD guns! 9mm? Glock? Fuck, is that an Uzi? Man, wh-where are the AK's? Christ, not even a .45 Automatic pistol! Those things are great!" He said, digging himself deeper into the ire of his enemies.
"Oh what? You all going to take it personally? Fine...Lets do this then!"

With that, he then quickly spun his Bike around 180o, kicking up dirt into the faces of Mr. Skin's men.
In the same motion he dismounted while still holding the Handlebars before using the momentum he built up to fling the Bike at the Jungle Gym and the goons as they blindly fired into the air
This had the tragic effect of igniting the fuel tank on the bike, resulting in it catching fire before violently exploding.
With this firepower down, He began advancing on Mr. Skin, citing "Now then, feel like telling the truth yet or shall I go though another batch of goons? Most likely wielding either baseball bats or Katanas?"
Truth be told, he was actually hoping there would be more to kill, he felt the youngest he did in years, like a god among men.

Outside the Shadow Zone:Melethia, Slin, Ton-Ton
Mood Music (both sections)

After having gotten out of the zone, Melethia glanced over to Slindis and muttered, more to herself than her mom. "Can't believe I failed one of our own... If it wasn't for what they wanted, that machine would have been killed. Not to mention the gunslinger didn't know how to control their fire while we were fighting and ended getting us in the crossfire, then had the gall to tell us to sit down."

Slindis heard this, though, and slid over to her daughter's side. "We did the right thing, Ton-Ton... THey're much tougher than you know.

As for you, Mel, I know it's hard to have that kind of thing happen to you. I know you're asking yourself, 'Why did this happen when I was right there?' or 'Could I have done anything to stop this?', but there's one thing that I know we both know from where we came from: we can't save everyone. From what I've heard, the strike that killed him would have done the same to any of your group, so please try to not lose yourself over it. The fact that you retrieved him so he could be granted a proper burial is something that I'm certain will be glad for, but we need to take care of you as well. When we get back, I'll take you into one of the training zones and heal you up. That is, if you don't want to head in now so I can heal you."

Although it didn't look like much, Slindis could see that Melethia was calming down due to the way she reached out for Ton-Ton. "Mind if I hold you While we wait for Mister Caim and Redscale?"

Shadow Ops Building: Shadow Teams 1 and 2: David West

Once the Rescue effort was underway, David spent a lot of his time over-watching the operation, Granted, he had zero official capacity, but after the promises he made, he had to be seen doing something, if not for the Crew, then for himself.
"Come on! Don't you people have S.O.P.[1] for this?! Surely this wasn't the first time someone got lost in there!" He shouted as he watched them set of some long range monitoring equipment, still looking a little lethargic from the energy spent calling Apollo.
As he watched them send in a squad, Headed by Slindis and Ton Ton, back to the Shadow Zone after the lead that Jack had texted to Fuuka, Yu walked over and talked more about the TV World.
"-but other then that I am sure you have gone through many, many things with this crew. Has witnessed many sad but happy things ... "
"Oh for the love of-No...Just....Don't give me any of that...You REALLY don't have any idea..." He interrupted, quickly being reminded of going to Hell, Fighting Demons of Hell, The battle of Washington, Hell, just the entire Angel War in general.

Still, He stood by until they got word that the Team had reached the area in question.
"David, we're in nearing the destination. The Drow then sent over the rings to which he answered "Nice one, tell the guy with the Helmet Cam to turn it on for our viewers at home. You guys, Turn on the main display."
On cue, A large Screen was brought up as it displayed the POV of a man following Slindis and Ton Ton in though what appeared to be a cave.
"We have your signals, just in case we lose visual. But hopefully, it won't be necessary." He then said as the group entered the Den Angelus's shadow had made, golden coins as far as the eye could see.
"...Whhhhooaaaaaa..Helmet Cam guy, you have a new order: Stuff your pockets with some of that shit! Come on! ASAP, Go Go Go!" David instantly ordered out of greed, I mean, come on? There was a LOT of gold coins.
While the Agent seemed confused, he still did as he was told and began picking up handfuls of coins and taking as much as he could carry.

It was then that he glanced over at something, a sort of golden cell that looked like something HUGE broke out of it.
But what was far more noticeable on the display was the barebacked blonde haired woman moving up and down that just so happened to look a lot like-
"...What th...is tha-OHHHHH!...uhhhh-EYES DOWN! LOOK AT THE DIRT! HELMET CAM OFF! THERE ARE FUCKING KIDS HERE!" David instantly barked when he put two plus two together as the Agent panicked and tripped, causing the camera to fall on its side in such an angle to catch Caim and Angelus scrambling to cover themselves after being found.
"...Heheheehheeh, The fucking cheek of them..." David couldn't help but laugh as he watched the rest of the Group converge on their location.

[1] Standard Operating Procedure

Shadow Ops Building: Shadow Teams 1 and 2: Jenny

After Annie had spoke to her and she was patched up, Jenny remained still for a while, thinking about what the Former Military Police had said to her.
"Great Speech, almost makes up for the fact she killed S'zami...Oh, wait, did you forget about that? Admit it, for all the anger you had for Rugal after he tortured her, inside, you were glad that happened to her..." Her Shadow then taunted, twisted the narrative to help counteract Annie's advice.

Shadow Ops Building: Canteen: Deadshot, Akane, Wanderer

After Akane got her meal, Deadshot ordered one of the most Irish Dishes he could possibly imagine.
"Can I get a Batter Burger and a large chips?" He asked before getting a extremely greasy plate of processed junk food, a far cry from Akane's meal.
He sat down opposite the Kitsune before wolfing into his meal, Hell, Akane saw actual wolfs with better table manners.
What she didn't know was he was always one of make the most out of his meal, Before San Andreas, He wasn't exactly the richest assassin on the market, often living in a matter like the homeless.
He paused before taking another bite as the sound of someone walking into the Canteen distracted him.
He glanced over his Shoulder and saw Annie walking by, his face souring slightly before ignoring her and getting back to his meal.
"{So...You've been talking to the others since we got-}...*Glup*....Back..." He began to say but trailed off as he saw Wanderer, there was a lot of people in his room that he had bad blood with at the moment.

Iwatdatoi Station - Strip Mall - Wild Duck Burger: Som(?), Teri, Ella, Devon, Cadolbolg, Ryan, Kalastryn
Mood Music

Devon dully responded as she made her way out of the restaurant. "I can sleep it off, Cadol, but I'll have Teri help with it tomorrow? We can talk more about it when we get out of here."

After hearing Teri's statement, though, Ella smiled and patted Teri on the shoulder. "Teri, you're relaxing tonight as well." However, it was abundantly clear that Ella wasn't letting Teri get out of this, and she let Ryan handle the body as she got ready to leave.

Shadow Ops Building: Slin, Ton-Ton, Mel, David, Caim, Angie

Slindis evoked Joanne to use her Lay on Hands on Melethia right after removing all of the bullets and then proceeded, eventually getting to the scene with Caim and Angelus.

"...we can come back later..." She wasn't quite as alarmed as one would think, although she did make sure to keep Mel's eyes away from the scene. Not that it really mattered, mind you; all Melethia could see was nothing really useful among all of the gold there. What kind of dragon only cared about gold?

Shadow Ops Building: Canteen: Deadshot, Akane, Annie, Wanderer

"...I'm not sure if you 2 met have yet. Akane, Annie, Annie, Akane." Deadshot rather childishly said right after Annie's speech before throwing a few fries in his mouth, seeming to care little for her passionate remarks on self improvement.
"..."
"...What? I got something worked out. You do your thing and I'll do mine. Not my fault your a mass murdering bitch now is it? Now unless there is anything else..."
He didn't finish as he returned to his meal, A proper Gentleman so he was.
"...Whoa....You...are SUCH an asshole..."
Correction, WE are such an asshole...or it assholes?...
"....ummm...I think we use the singular...These chips could use some salt..."
You know, I was just thinking that...
"But seriously, back to what I was saying, I thought you liked her?"
And I thought we would win Moscow, look what happened there. Shit happens...
"....Heheh...Moscow, Of course..."
...of course what?
"...NOTHING!"

Deadshot seemed to cringe a little like Jenny did as his Shadow seemed to "Run off" after his inner monolog before he threw some salt on his chips.

Shadow Ops Building: Canteen: Deadshot, Akane, Annie, Wanderer

"Some would say you're more of a monster than I am in terms of casualties and lives lost. Yet here I am, reaching out for you..."
"...Well aren't you a fucking Saint?..." Deadshot spat before he wiped his mouth on his sleeve before walking off, clearly not wanting to hear what Annie was saying.
"Dude, She's right and your wrong! It's rather fucking pretty of you to just storm off..."
And who the fuck asked you?!
"Yeah, sure, dig yourself deeper. Not like it matters though."
Yeah, Too fucking right....
"Because none of this is actually real."

As he was walking off, Deadshot then stopped, as if he was confused by something.
...In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary...Come again?
"Think about it? San Andreas, The Rising Dawn, all this Shadow Business. What if the only thing that was real was you?"
...That makes zero fucking sense....
"Exactly. And why would it? But it makes just about as much sense as anything else here...
And need I remind you, you are talking to a voice inside your head. And you aren't even high..."

If anyone was paying attention to Deadshot's facial expression, he turned into one of total shock after hearing that before he glanced back with worrying glances at everyone else in the room.
...Wait, I thought you said you were a Shadow?...
"I'll admit, I played along because the lie was kinder then the truth. If you want to know more, Go back to that "Shadow Realm". Then, I'll wake you up."
....You really think I'd fall for that?...
"Then Don't. Live in the Matrix of your own broken Psyche for the rest of your days...Just saying..."

He paced back and forth a little before he resumed his exit out of the canteen, looking clearly mindfucked.

Shadow Ops Building: Canteen: Deadshot, Akane, Annie, Wanderer

"Some would say you're more of a monster than I am in terms of casualties and lives lost. Yet here I am, reaching out for you..."
"...Well aren't you a fucking Saint?..." Deadshot spat before he wiped his mouth on his sleeve before walking off, clearly not wanting to hear what Annie was saying.

Akane sat silent through the meal and let the pair have their words as she ate. As Deadshot left Akane looked up at Annie.
"Let him go. Get some food, sit down and talk to me or just share a table. You've had a hard life it sounds like. How did the strike on the zone go? Where is everyone? This seems a bit odd, normally there is a bit more celebration..." the Kitsune said quietly.

Wrong moment.
Yu Narukami and David West.
Location: Shadow Operatives Building | Personaverse.

Keeping a position next to David, Yu too was overlooking the operation. He kept silent while sitting in a chair drinking a can that could only be labelled as the legendary "Pepsi Max". Then David's greed came to surface, "While I know how much gold could be tempting ... that gold isn't probably ... real ... " Yu said strongly but his tone started to weaken as the bare skin revealed itself. Looking away for a while, Yu could only say one thing. "Tomoya is going to have a field day when he hears about this ... " He said to David and possibly himself.

The Truth.
Doctor S, Akane and Annie.
Location: Shadow Operatives Building | Personaverse.

The events in the canteen went down, the Doctor was listening from the table by the window, he had heard the name "Akane". This was the person he would break the news to. ("Want me to break it to her?") The Doctor's own Shadow asked out of preventing mental or even physical harm to himself. ("Nah, I'll do it.") The Doctor said back, getting ready to tell Akane the news. Turning his head towards the group of two, the Wanderer's eyes glowed in a lower shade of blue, this might be to sadness or anxiety.

"I'm sorry ... " He said in a bold low voice, this would gain their attention.
"The plague of sadness had came upon the group ... due to one death. The person you probably know mostly ... Jake." He left the name hang in the air before turning back to his own meal.

The Truth.
Doctor S, Akane and Annie.
Location: Shadow Operatives Building | Personaverse.

"I'm sorry ... " He said in a bold low voice, this would gain their attention.
"The plague of sadness had came upon the group ... due to one death. The person you probably know mostly ... Jake." He left the name hang in the air before turning back to his own meal.

The chopsticks clattered to the plate. Shock and horror spread across Akane's face. "J-Jake? I-Is d-dead?" She gasped.

Her chair skidded backwards as she burst to her feet. Giant sobs began to wrack her lithe frame as she balled her fists and punched the table, her golden hair covering her face. "W-Where is h-he? W-Why? H-How?" she forced out between sobs. Again she punched the table, hard enough to leave a dent.

The Truth.
Doctor S, Akane and Annie.
Location: Shadow Operatives Building | Personaverse.

"Last time I saw him, Melethia carried the body ... as for how it happened. We were wondering the zone and the Anti-Shadow Weapon launched a surprise attack, the weapon she used completely destroyed his chest and beyond." He said in a low tone once more, but began to pick up his Chopsticks and suck up his Udon noodles and drank a bit of his green tea. The Doctor just wanted to get back to the Rising Dawn, he had to improve his experimental concoction.

The Angel particle was it?
The thing that could heal anyone and anything as long as it had enough time to analyse the patent and their body.
Sighing after he placed his tea down, now he felt like killing something.

Naganaki Shrine: Rugal, Mr. Skin
FAN MUSIC TIME!

The pimp didn't so much as blink when his goons were thrown aside like dolls. He didn't flinch when the German body builder turned his gaze to him. No, he simply smiled, those honey colored eyes glaring into the blue as his body remained relaxed; still leaning against the slide, "Now, what do you think all killing is gonna get you? Me talking? Me caring for that matter? They followed me because of my wares, not because I told them to. Face it son, all you know is how to kill something properly. I can see it on your face.

You don't know how to do any good with them fists o' your's. Too much blood on em. A shame really, you could do so much better if you put that brain and brawn to good use; be a firefigher, a cop or sumthin. All I see is a shadow of what could have been a great man. So go on, kill me. I don't care. I lived it well, and if you do it, it'll just prove me right. I win either way!"

Iwatdatoi Station - Strip Mall - Wild Duck Burger: Som(?), Teri, Ella, Devon, Cadolbolg, Ryan, Kalastryn
Mood Music

Teri gave a small sigh at Ella's statement, and tried to think of a way to worm out of it as the party made their way out, Cadolbolg making note of Devon's statement with, "Why don't you tell her then? She can fix you up lickety split in a Training room. There's no point to suffering more than you need to, and Teri feel happy helping people. So, you kill two birds with one stone there... And, if you don't, I will say something. I'm not going to let you keep hurting like this."

Without any further ado, (and with Ryan's help to get Kalastryn out of there), the party made their way out of the Wild Duck Burger, and begin their journey to:

Shadow Operatives Building: Teri, Cadolbolg, Ella Devon, Kalastryn, Ryan, Som(?)
Mood Music

By the time they arrived, Teri spoke to the half succubus again, "Ella, I know I said what I thought about God and alcohol, but I didn't mean for you to take it literally, after all I still have a lot to do. I'll probably have to help patch up the people returning from the Shadow Zone, and all sorts of other stuff. I should get going. We had something to tell Mitsuru anyways, so it's no big deal, right? You go have fun with Devon."
"You just told her you didn't tell her bout your birthday, and you're trying to ditch on a night on the town? Good luck, cause it ain't gonna happen."

As for Cadolbolg, he simply gave Devon a look and asked, "You better get to that pain confession, cause I will if you won't. That is, after Ella says no to Teri's request..."

Shadow Zone: Dragon's Den: Angelus, Caim, Melethia, Slindis, Ton Ton, Shadow Operatives
Mood Music

"You want to pick me up? No biggie!"
Before entering the zone with the party in tow, Ton Ton had happily allowed himself to be held like a stuffed toy again by Melethia. The action alone almost reminiscent of being held by the Mistress again, (as well as acting as the comforting toy to Devon on a few ocassions). Ton Ton was well versed in being the helpful dolly.

When he was also herded to the side with Melethia, wondering aloud, Ton Ton looked up to Slindis in confusion, "Why are we being pushed aside? Does it look bad?"
"They need a moment to gather themselves."
"Okay? Oh well, this gold is kinda pretty to look at anyways... I bet you could make something cool out of it, Ms. Melethia. You're very good at making things."

At the sound of others entering the Dragon's Den, two thoughts entered the pact partner's minds simultaneously:

1) We've been found!
2) WE'VE BEEN FOUND!

and the pair scrambled to grab the various bits of clothing that were missing from their person before exiting their temporary love nest, clothed, and somewhat embarrassed. At least, Angelus looked a bit more out of sorts than Caim did. Giving a light cough, she spoke first, "Well then, it's good you found us. When we looked for an exit, we couldn't find a thing. Anyway, the reason we're here is because of me."

She lowered her head, "My Shadow drug myself, and then Caim down. In fact, Slindis, if you examine him later, you'll find the burns it had wrought upon his Persona. I apologize for causing all of the trouble. Slindis, I also apologize for being thick-headed during your training; when you were trying to help me. Perhaps I could better the next time around? How long were we gone anyway? The last thing I know, I was alone after the Reaper shot us, then my Shadow attacked..."

Caim stepped up next, and added, "She's right. That beast was as big as her normal self, but blacker. And she wasn't the only one. It tried to overwhelm me with my own too... How is everyone? Did they make it out okay?"

"Mr. Caim! Ms. Angelus!"
Ton Ton ran forward, and grabbed each of the pact partner's legs in an awkward sort of hug and looked up to the two of them, "I was really worried when the two of you disappeared! With Jake dying and you falling into a pit of black stuff, I was afraid we lost you both too. Not to mention what I'd have to explain to Cadolbolg..."

The two parents looked shocked at the news, Caim picking up the Tonberry with a wince, "I didn't mean to scare you like that, Ton Ton. I'm sorry.... But it does appear that we've missed a lot..."

((Feel free to drop them at the Shadow Operatives building))

Kala woke up a few minutes after their arrival to the Shadow Operatives building. Not taking her shadow's words for granted, she puzzled for a moment, and before she went to see the other members of her group, she had reached a conclusion that put a look of the greatest joy on her face... she discovered who her author was. Finding the others in the building she said "Forgive me for causing such a stir... provided whether or not I actually did... but I had the strangest dream... no not a dream. I've never faced myself in a dream before... anyway, I've gone through a revelation! I know who my author is!" she said, building suspense. "I... don't have one." she said with a genuine smile, the kind she hadn't worn since she found Slindis aboard the Rising dawn in safety for the first time.

Shadow Zone: Dragon's Den: Angelus, Caim, Melethia, Slindis, Ton Ton, Shadow Operatives
Mood Music

Slindis nodded. "Oh, I've had somewhat worse students. As for how long you were gone, I'd wager around two and a half hours. It seemed like a lot more, but most of us made it out safely. From what I've heard, though, Jake wasn't so lucky. Still, I knew the both of you were made of stern enough stuff to survive for that long, at least."

Mel chimed in as well. "It was a really nasty strike, too. Still, I returned the favor with that thing attacking us.

Ton-Ton, I could show you some more when we get back. It's all about hearing out the material." After that, Melethia watched as Slindis Evoked Joanne to pour all of her Healing energy for the day into Caim and Angie to heal them up before leaving.

Shadow Operatives Building: Teri, Cadolbolg, Ella Devon, Kalastryn, Ryan, Som(?)
Mood Music

Teri took this opportunity to distract herself from Ella's angry leering to focus a bit on Kalastryn's new predicament, glad to see the tiefling up and running properly, "Well, that certainly is new, if somewhat relieving news. And, it is good to see you up and kicking again, Kalastryn. Even when the basic vitals registered as normal, it's never good news when someone collapses."

Shadow Zone: Dragon's Den: Angelus, Caim, Melethia, Slindis, Ton Ton, Shadow Operatives
Mood Music

Angelus and Caim gave small sighs of relief when they felt the healing energies wash over them: Angelus feeling each of the cuts from the Knights earlier patching themselves up, and Caim noticing the ugly designs of the burns fading back into his skin. After that, Ton Ton hopped back down to Melethia's side and onto the Elf's shoulder, "Okay, let's grab some of this gold stuff, and I can watch when we get back?"

Giving one last look, the dragon gave a nod of agreement, "Thank you, Slindis... And yes, I would like to never see this place again, Ton Ton.... But poor Akane, she'll be worse for it."

The warrior gave a nod, and bent down to Melethia's level before saying, "I hope you gave it hell." and patting the warrior elf on the (Ton Ton free) shoulder. Getting back up, he motioned back and finished with, "Well, no use sticking around here."

(Next poster for this section, feel free to do an auto or something.)

Shadow Operatives Building: Teri, Cadolbolg, Ella Devon, Kalastryn, Ryan, Som(?)
Mood Music

Devon gave a relieved nod, but she knew that she couldn't escape Cadolbolg's Glare much longer. "I'm glad you found that out, Kalastryn... Anyway, Teri, I'm still feeling more than a bit sore. Would you mind helpiing me by heading to one of the Training zones to heal me?" Ella gave another good look at Teri to let the Cleric know now was the time to get the items in, but there was also another undercurrent in the look. Was Ella beginning to pay a lot of attention to her as well?

Devon didn't want to give Cadolbolg more reason to be angry, though, so she made a beeline to the nearest training room in the Shadow Ops building. Meanwhile, Ella handed the burgers over and gave Fuuka a basic report before heading to the exact same Training Room.

Shadow Zone: Dragon's Den: Angelus, Caim, Melethia, Slindis, Ton Ton, Shadow Operatives
Mood Music

After everyone was ready to go, Slindis guided the group back outside of the Zone.

Shadow Operatives Building: Teri, Cadolbolg, Ella, Devon, Kalastryn, Ryan, Som(?)
Mood Music

Teri tried to play off the glare as nothing more than impatience, and gave a quick wave to Ryan and Kalastryn, "Welp, duty calls it seems! Talk to you guys later."

before walking with Ella, Devon and Cadolbolg to the nearest training room. Devon however, noticed that Cadolbolg's expression relaxed on their way there, now satisfied that his query was fulfilled.

Shadow Operatives Training Room: Cadolbolg, Devon, Ella, Teri
Mood Music

"Toyotama-hime!"

Destroying her arcana card with a quick punch, the Persona floated down from a cloud of mist; taking her spot behind Teri with her Trident lazily in hand and a coy, yet distant smirk on her face.
"Sup, bitches?"
"You're not using the ring, they can't hear you."
"Don't mean I won't say 'Sup'. So, calling me up for some healing and poofing? You know standard procedure for that. Get to burning the turning attempts."
"Right. One healing Aura, coming up!"

Teri burns a turn attempt to initiate the healing Aura for the day!
Turn attempts reamainging 7 6 Undead/5 Fire subtype

Following that, the Cleric scribbled something on her Tablet, Toyotama raising her trident before the appropriate stuff appeared beside Ella. After that, Teri began standard procedure of checking over the bard and muttering aloud, "The hell did you do to yourself, Devon?"

Meanwhile, Cadolbolg, who was resting in Ella's hair, took note of the stuff being called in and asked Ella, "So what are we doing with all of this?"

Shadow Ops Building: Canteen: Deadshot, Akane, Annie, Wanderer
Akane just sobbed, great big heaves as she listened to the telling of Jake's death. How he sacrificed himself to save another. How the hit was fatal. How there was nothing they could do to save him. How they would remember him.

She wrapped her arms around herself, shaking in rage and despair. Her Author, gone, just like that. Her last link to her Knights. Gone.

Her voice came out a bare whisper. "Where is Melethia?"

"I don't know, I am sorry." Annie replied sadly. She had her own worries and needs.

Her eyes puffy and red, Akane looked up at Annie through her bangs. "Don't be sorry for his actions. He would have done it for any of us, that idiot." she said softly and sadly.

Not giving Annie a chance to reply other than to shout after her, the Kitsune ran off towards the entrance, tears again streaming freely. If she could just get to his soul before Jack did... Wait! Jack! Skidding to a stop she pulled out her small pouch and began rifling through it. Finding the small black object, she hit a button on it. It buzzed once, the page sent. The response came less than a minute later.

It made the Kitsune give out a wail and fall to her knees, the pager clattering to the ground. She held her face in her hands and with a dull thunk fell against the wall, crying her heart out.

The text on the pager read: Passed On.

She was lost. Her last thread of hope for finding her Knights, gone like an ember on the wind.

Naganaki Shrine: Rugal, Thugs

"...Are you seriously trying to talk me down?...Oh for the-...Not even a pimp cane or something? With a Shotgun in it?...You'r-....I-...GAHHHHH! YOU ARE THE WORSE VILLAIN! EVER!" Rugal shouted, clearly Mr. Skin's acceptance of his fate was one of the worst things he could ever do to Rugal.
"...Okay...Calm down...Now then, let's get to talking." He said to himself before resumed Kill/Torture/Profit.EXE by grabbing Mr. Skin by the throat before throwing him though the wooden frame of the Well.
With that out of the way, he got the rope used to lower a bucket down before wrapping it around Mr. Skin's neck in a sort of makeshift noose.
To finish his Hangman routine, he then threw the pimp down the well while holding into the rope on his end.
"Tell me who wanted those chemicals?! Who's behind the virus?! Tell me and I'll make it quick!" He barked as he kept pulling his prey up for air every now and again to make sure he didn't die prematurely.

Shadow Ops Building: David West

David was still rather amused as Caim and Angelus's randiness when Yu brought up Tomoya, causing him to freeze slightly.
"...I'll ask you to refrain from saying his name. Thank you." He kindly warned afterwards, clearly there was still a lot of anger in David at the former Arch Angel.
Granted he was going to ask how he knew him but he didn't feel like making himself extremely angry at the moment.
"Now then, I'm going to get a proper drink. You legal age or shall I get you a mineral?" He then asked, the venom in his voice disappearing at quickly as it appeared.

Shadow Ops Building: Jenny

Not long after Annie's advice, Jenny began to make her way out of the situation room towards the ship, wanting to just go to her room for some peace and quiet.
As she did though, She saw Akane break down at the news of Jakes death before getting comforted by Wanderer, Annie and a newcomer she'd yet to have met (Ryan).
"So I take it you are going to confess that you are the reason Jake is dead? All because you had to try and solve someone's nightmares? I mean, while that's nice and all, the fact is your actions led to his death.
So go on...Tell her that..."
Her shadow taunted, causing her to hold her head in pain a little before pacing off in the other direction, away from the grieving Kitsune.

Shadow Operatives Training Room: Cadolbolg, Devon, Ella, Teri
Mood Music

Devon glanced down to the Ground as she was healed, and for some odd reason she was beginning to feel rather drained. "Well, it kinda happened yesterday... I thought it wouldn't be quite as bad, but apparently I was wrong. Sorry... I just didn't want to bother you. Besides, I thought I could sleep it off..." Yup, Devon was getting really tired. Maybe it had something to do with the new gloves that were on Teri's hands?

Since Ella and Cadol were farther back, they could see that Mengde had popped up. It did help make the scene make a bit more sense, and Ella could definitely feel the magic that was in the items that she was now wearing. And if that wand that Devon had poofed in had tired her out so much? Well, Ella knew that Devon wasn't going to be in any shape to try and worm her way out of what had been planned.

Ella moved over to the door and smiled as she responded to Cadolbolg. "Simple, they're all going to relax and we're going to make Devon look better. The relaxation includes Teri, in case she forgot. Hold on, I'll contact Slindis..."

With that, she quickly contacted Slindis over the rings. "We found out plenty, Slindis. Also, your daughter's been neglecting herself. Horribly. To the point of not even mentioning her Birthday. Since I've already got something planned with Devon, mind if Teri's roped along as well?"

"Hmm, I was wondering about that, and I've noticed how little time she actually takes for herself... You know what? I like your idea. It'll give me some time to help with Melethia as well."

"That helps a lot. I mean, She has helped out a lot for me and Devon today, so she needs a day off. We both know she'd run off to the med bay otherwise."

"It's a real shame... Part of that hard training at the start was for her to catch up to speed. ANd for the most part? She has.

Teri, you're spending time with Ella and Devon tonight. I'll call you when you're allowed to go."

When that was all said and done, Ella gave the same sweet smile to Teri that she'd been giving to Devon the whole day. And for some reason, Teri could see a bit of Caim in that grin.

Shadow Ops Building: Canteen: Deadshot, Akane, Annie, Wanderer, Melethia, Ryan

While Akane was breaking down, Melethia walked in the Canteen to possibly find some more of that Poffin when she saw Akane falling apart in the corner. What had Akane so torn up? In any case, she'd already delivered Akontia to the rest of the investigation team (ALbeit very badly damaged, even if it could be repaired), so she had some time.

One thing that she found odd was the Dragonborn[1] in the eating area as well. After all, she most definitely would have recognized one.

[1] This isn't your Skyrim Dragonborn, mate.

Kala DID follow Ryan into the canteen and her eyes didn't shift much around the room before she noticed the creature she'd seen back at the mall being just about ready to, if not already, cry until their eye sockets would be sore for weeks. While she always assumed it was best to stay out of other people's business, she wasn't heartless.

"Can I... help you with anything?" She said nervously to the Kitsune. She wasn't good at all with words when it came to other's emotions... though she'd seen this sort of grief before, mainly at funerals, so it became clear at a decent pace what happened. "Did someone...? she partially asked as she scanned the faces around the room. She let out a sigh and spoke as kindly as she thought she could muster to Akane. "Look, a person's passing is never an easy thing to take in stride, much less that of a loved one or friend... but life can be an ever so short thing. All we can really hope for is that, while we grieve, we gave them a life in happiness equal or greater than the sorrow we feel in their end. I don't have any doubts whatsoever they've lived life to the fullest with you in the time they had, and it's a sad event they may be gone... but such is life." she said, as she sighed and continued. "Death is the unassailable enemy we all face at our end, but I believe that our loved ones stay forever alongside us, leaving a legacy of joy to touch our lives that we must never lose in grief." she said, in a somber and almost understanding tone. Then, she sat silent at the table across from Akane, and while she wanted to introduce herself, this seemed like a horrible time.

Naganaki Shrine: Garm, Rugal, Mr. Skin
Mood music

As Rugal continued to dunk the man's head underwater, he heard the sound of.... gargling? Laughter? Either way, after he shook his body in a way that signaled to Rugal he was ready to talk, and after being fished up, the Pimp spat in Rugal's face, "You're a fool, through and through. I try to tell you how to head off against your path, and you try to kill me instead. Fine. I don't care anymore. Take what you deserve, boy."

Garm had appeared by this point, running up the stairs at full speed when he heard the explosion coming from the Shrine. However, what he saw next was not something he would expect in all of his years as a wolf. Rugal, and the laughing pimp, who had began to undergo some... Interesting changes.

The man kept laughing, as black ichor began to leak outside of his wounds, and pooled onto the ground around him. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, revealing a dark black sclera in it's place. Leaning his head back, Rugal could see that the hat, along with a well placed wig had fallen off; revealing a bald head lacking any sort of facial hair. Teeth began falling out at an accelerated rate, and the body began to expand, forcing Rugal to take a step back as more of the ichor from the man's body began to envelope the pimp; creating a sort of twisted egg as he was fully engulfed by the dark substance. A moment of pause hung in the air, before the black egg exploded, spreading more of the ichor all over the shrine area; and leaving a THING in it's place.

Holding up the knives, the beast (which was easily the size of the well's coverings), gave a hiss, and charged at the two. Garm was quicker on the uptake than Rugal, and barreled past the King of Fighters before chomping onto one of the arms and holding on with a surprising amount of strength... Man, how was the thing not ripping the wolf's teeth out?!

Either way, there was still a matter of several other arms to deal with, and several of them were already heading Rugal's way.

((Feel free to have it offed by next post. It's more a mini boss than anything.))

Shadow Ops Building: Canteen: Akane, Angelus, Annie, Caim Deadshot, Melethia, Ryan, Ton Ton, Wanderer
Mood music for the sad stuffs (aka, this played when you died.)

Ton Ton, who had decided to continue accompanying Melethia, whispered lightly in her ear, "She was good friends with Mr. Jake, so I bet she's really upset about what's happened... I don't really know what to say with these kinds of things."

Caim and Angelus, seeing that they heard the news, decided to take a similar route and found themselves before the grieving kitsune. Angelus approached first, being less heavy handed of the two when it came to emotional confrontations, and rested a gentle hand on the Kitsune's shoulder "...Akane. I-I do not know if I can say anything to spare your grief, but I know that Jake, along with the rest of us, knew the risks of being part of what we are. And Jake fulfilled his duty to the end. You can at least know that his death was not wasted. The one he spared with his own flesh still lives. You know that sort of action is what Jake would do; as much as it hurts you to know he has passed. Do not grieve for his death, rather, try to celebrate what his presence has given us. It gave someone a second second chance, something not many have the pleasure of gaining at all."

Caim nodded softly after Angelus and added, "I regret that he has passed so soon after rejoining us again, but at least you know he died honorably and willing."

Shadow Ops Building: David West, Yu, Fuuka
Mood music

After the group was properly extracted, Fuuka approached David and Yu, and gave a little cough to call their attention, "I understand your crewmates are currently mourning the death of your fellow Dawn member, but there is something I need to speak with you about why we recovered Akontia's body, at least, in proper detail. Seeing as you're one of the few currently not in mourning, I humbly request you hear what I have to say. Please, if you'd follow me."


Shadow Operatives Training Room: Cadolbolg, Devon, Ella, Teri
Mood Music

"Teri, you're spending time with Ella and Devon tonight. I'll call you when you're allowed to go."

When that was all said and done, Ella gave the same sweet smile to Teri that she'd been giving to Devon the whole day. And for some reason, Teri could see a bit of Caim in that grin.

Teri's shoulder slumped, at both hearing her mother's voice in her mind, and seeing that almost terrifying expression on Ella's face, "Welp, it seems like the boss has rang in too. I'm chilling with you guys tonight."
Toyotama gave a chuckle, one that was heard by the party, before speaking over the rings, "As if you had a choice? Knock her dead, Ells. Orders from Mum after all....."
After finishing her treatment of Devon, Teri scribbled a little something on the Tablet, and a bag with some bottles inside appeared at her feet, and grabbed them in her arms, "You want me to chill out? I got supplies."
"Ah shit, I see cake vodka in there... That's the spirit!"

Cadolbolg, on the other hand, was happy to see that Teri was starting to get into the spirit of things, and to see Devon finally on the mend. Fluttering over and landing on Devon's head, the little turtle added, "You're idea of medicinal arts is silly, which is why we leave such things to professionals. Now, let's go party!"

Shadow Ops Building: Canteen: Akane, Angelus, Annie, Caim, Deadshot, Melethia, Ryan, Ton Ton, Wanderer
Mood music for the death of hope.

Ryan softly addressed, ".. Hey, are you okay? .. I'm Ryan, new here to the crew and I couldn't help but hear you crying while browsing the area. Do... you want to talk?"

Akane made no effort to stop crying or even care at the newcomer's help. She couldn't, none of it mattered. Then Kala approached as well, helping Ryan move the stricken Kitsune into a chair at a table.

"Can I... help you with anything?" She said nervously to the Kitsune. She wasn't good at all with words when it came to other's emotions... though she'd seen this sort of grief before, mainly at funerals, so it became clear at a decent pace what happened. "Did someone...? she partially asked as she scanned the faces around the room. She let out a sigh and spoke as kindly as she thought she could muster to Akane. "Look, a person's passing is never an easy thing to take in stride, much less that of a loved one or friend... but life can be an ever so short thing. All we can really hope for is that, while we grieve, we gave them a life in happiness equal or greater than the sorrow we feel in their end. I don't have any doubts whatsoever they've lived life to the fullest with you in the time they had, and it's a sad event they may be gone... but such is life." she said, as she sighed and continued. "Death is the unassailable enemy we all face at our end, but I believe that our loved ones stay forever alongside us, leaving a legacy of joy to touch our lives that we must never lose in grief." she said, in a somber and almost understanding tone. Then, she sat silent at the table across from Akane, and while she wanted to introduce herself, this seemed like a horrible time.

Akane looked up Kala. "B-But h-he's gone! M-my last link t-t-to my Knights!" she forced out between sobs. Her crying was slowing down though. Rays of light, even those on the crew she didn't know were trying to help.

Caim and Angelus, seeing that they heard the news, decided to take a similar route and found themselves before the grieving kitsune. Angelus approached first, being less heavy handed of the two when it came to emotional confrontations, and rested a gentle hand on the Kitsune's shoulder "...Akane. I-I do not know if I can say anything to spare your grief, but I know that Jake, along with the rest of us, knew the risks of being part of what we are. And Jake fulfilled his duty to the end. You can at least know that his death was not wasted. The one he spared with his own flesh still lives. You know that sort of action is what Jake would do; as much as it hurts you to know he has passed. Do not grieve for his death, rather, try to celebrate what his presence has given us. It gave someone a second second chance, something not many have the pleasure of gaining at all."

Caim nodded softly after Angelus and added, "I regret that he has passed so soon after rejoining us again, but at least you know he died honorably and willing."

Akane forced herself to stop crying, still heaving with silent sobs and sniffles. Rubbing her eyes with her sleeves she tried to dry away her tears. They were all right. It was something he would do. He would not have wanted her to grieve to the point of despair. He would be berating her and telling her they would find them, it would all be okay.

She looked up at the gathering of crew... no... Family. They were all here, around her, helping her.

She couldn't help it. Tears began to flow from her cheeks again as she launched at Angelus and hugged her tightly. Before the Dragon had time to respond she had already turned and given Caim a hug. Each of the people who had helped console her, she hugged. Kala, Ryan, Annie, even the Wanderer.

She finally stopped and turned to look at everyone, stunned at how fast she had moved as she smiled, still crying.

"Thank you everyone. Thank you, truly. I am sorry. Sorry for losing myself." *SNIFF* "Where is his body? I would like to clean it up for his last journey. And to whomever his last words were to, I would like to know what they were."

She would soldier on, just like he did, with his limited power in a 'verse of superheroes.

The distant truth.
Yu Narukami, Fuuka & David West.
Location: Shadow Operatives Building | Personaverse.

Hearing David West dismiss the name "Tomoya" immediately and turned to alcohol, to Yu this was indeed a problem. "Apart from being a High School student and knowing nothing you went through ... you still hate Tomoya. Yet you blinded yourself from the truth ... " Yu said with a strong tone around "High School Student" saying that alcohol was bad.

When the word "Truth" was mentioned, a cone surrounded the two and Yu was surrounded by a aura which just echoed his words, the words of truth. "You see things from behind the blurred, you blame Tomoya for when he was the one who was put through the most pain. His own Shadow, mixed with a supernatural being took him over. You cover this hate and anger with alcohol, this also masks your own blindness." Yu's wise words echoed once more and his face remained forever neutral as the cone faded away to real time.

"But that is from me, the thing I remember is the Shadow destroying me and sending me back here ... bad memories and I don't know what else he did ... other then that, I'll say no to the drink ... besides ..." He had motioned to Fuuka who had just came up to them. "I understand your crewmates are currently mourning the death of your fellow Dawn member, but there is something I need to speak with you about why we recovered Akontia's body, at least, in proper detail. Seeing as you're one of the few currently not in mourning, I humbly request you hear what I have to say. Please, if you'd follow me." Fuuka said to the two. "Please lead the way Fuuka-san"

The bitter truth then a sweet lie.
Doctor S & canteen group.
Location: Shadow Operatives Building | Personaverse.

As Akane hugged him, the Wanderer was surprised for a long time. No one has hugged him in the longest time, not since the days of his childhood, the days where he had taken only the lives of mutated insects. His hands remain up, but after remembering that her Author had died, his hand lowered more to his own embrace. Lowering himself to her ears he quietly whispered, "Sorry I was the one to tell you ... but I would rather expose you to the bitter truth to a sweet lie, otherwise it would hurt you a lot more then today."

After separating from the mystical and emotionally terrified kitsune, the Wanderer was at the edge of the group. After she had thanked the whole group the Wanderer broke away from everyone and had gave back his finished lunch tray. Before leaving the canteen he gave a gaze to the kitsune, his blue glowing eyes gave a nod and the Wanderer left the canteen to wander lonesome once more as he had always done before.

Yet he noticed more people in the canteen then before, mostly one person who he did not the name of, the appearance ... was it a mutant lizard? At one point he would have to confront the thing, friend or foe ... he did not know, yet. With Akane, by now he knows that she was a ally ... and a good one at that, yet the curiosity remained. The tails actually looked real, unlike the cat-girl vampire from before, he wanted to meet Akane again.

Wandering outside the canteen, he just simply walked. Looking to the side, the Wanderer saw David, Yu and a girl.

Naganaki Shrine: Rugal, Garm, Mr. Monster

"ohohohohoho...*NOW* WE'RE TALKIN-OOOF!!" Rugal cried in glee before Garm shoved him out of the way and began attacking the shadow.
"What th-...DO YOU MIND?! I don't interrupt you when you are licking your crotch, now do I?!" he then spat in annoyance before he began dodging and leaping out of the way of several knifes.
This really got under his skin as his Slashing Aura would allow him to parry them harmlessly, but without, he would have to take a different approach.
While Garm was kind enough to get his attention, he vaulted over the well and back towards the burning jungle gyms, getting his hand on the first weapon he could find: A Lupara Sawn Off Shotgun.
"Garm! Be quick or be dead!" He warned before he opened fire, sending a double dose of Buck-shot towards the creature to stun it before flinging the empty weapon it at.

With an opening made, the pressed forth the advantage as he charged towards the mass of arms before jumping and striking his target: The monster's face.

Shadow Ops Building: David West

"...You're right. You don't know nothing about what I went though." David coldly jabbed, guess he was venting his grief over Jake's death in a different manner, though besides that, the horrors he faced thanks to the Arch Angel were still a sore topic for him.
Still, when Fuuka call their attention, he said "Yeah, Sure. Also, forward on any new Intel on these androids to our AI units on the Rising Dawn. I'd rather avoid an event like this again..."
With that said, he began following the Shadow Operative until another question came to his mind.
"...So I take it the Kirijo Group has a good youth outreach program? Just you seem kinda young for this line of work..." He asked, fulling knowing that she was hired for her powers.

Rising Dawn: Jenny's Room: Jenny

All the While, Jenny retreated back to her room, laying down on her bed alone with her thoughts, about how she managed to get Jake killed, No matter what way she spun it, Jake would still be alive if it wasn't for her.
"...So what? You going to stay in this room for the rest of the mission?..."
....
"Then again, I don't think anyone would notice. Hell, you might be of more use if you just stayed out of the way entirely...."

It was jarring to say the least, the self trained "Therapist" ("You don't even have a medical license!") to be suffering from such mental health issues, but right now, she found herself unable to do anything about it.

Shadow Ops Building: Deadshot

As the others comforted the Kitsune, all Deadshot could worry about was his failing grasp on reality, thanks to the ploy his Shadow had made.
He was in the restroom, dumping his scarred face into a sink of cold water in a bid to "Wake up".
"*Gasp*...ahhh...ahhh....okay...I think I'm losing it a little...Lets just....dial it back a little...And make a check list..." He said to himself as he resurfaced before going for a towel.
"....Okay....Remember my training...Growing up...Aaannnndddd..."
"You're Name?..."
"Yeah, Name's is Deadsh-"
"No. Not that one you moron. Tell me who Deadshot is..."
"....Well, yeah, he's......he'ssss......"
he began to stutter as he realized he couldn't give an answer to that question.
"...You're starting to understand. Good. Take a look at yourself..." His Shadow ordered before he gazed into the mirror, his soaked face instead replaced with one that he remembered.
It was still him, with a long unkept beard with bits of blood and snow mottled into it, the first stages of frostbite visible on his face as well as the damaged portion of his face looking freshly blown off.
"...Do us both a favor...WAKE! THE FUCK! UP!" His reflection yelled at him, causing him to jolt back in terror as he fired a bullet into the mirror, falling flat on his ass afterwards, breathing panicked.
"Oh...Shit, This is fucked up!" He said to himself as he found himself on the verge of tears.

"....Okay, I think I need a drug test. This has to be a bad trip...." He told himself before going off towards the nearest possible medical center to see if he was just tripping on something he forgotten he took or if he really was crazy.

Needless to say the hug came as a surprise and a half to Kala, but she didn't much mind... she did flinch though. Responding to her query as to his body. "I don't know where his body is, but I take it he's been recovered. That aside I do believe introductions are in order. My name is Kalastryn D' Zannifer. This isn't typically how I like to meet new friends but I'm glad your heartache seems to be passing." She said as she felt meeting a new member of the crew should entail a more face to face meeting than in a disguise with a seeming spell... so she decided to temporarily dispel it while they seemed to be in a safe place. "Well, on another note this look is mainly a disguise so people around town don't grab their torches and pitchforks... or maybe in my case holy water and crosses." she said before she closed her eyes, put her fingertips together and focused for a moment, resulting in... essentially nothing? Well, she did recognize a loss of magical ability since her arrival, but inability to even cancel a spell cast on herself... hmmm?

Shadow Ops Building: Canteen: Akane, Angelus, Annie, Caim Deadshot, Melethia, Ryan, Ton Ton, Wanderer
Mood music for the sad stuffs (aka, this played when you died.)

Melethia quickly replied, "I'll try to be nice about it..."

After that small bit of whispering, Melethia took her time to explain to Akane, "I've got him... Just let know when you want me take him out so you can give him a clean burial." She was at least giving Jake's body the proper respect by not dragging it through the area, and hopefully Akane would understand that.

Shadow Operatives Training Room: Cadolbolg, Devon, Ella, Teri
Mood Music

"Teri, you're spending time with Ella and Devon tonight. I'll call you when you're allowed to go."

When that was all said and done, Ella gave the same sweet smile to Teri that she'd been giving to Devon the whole day. And for some reason, Teri could see a bit of Caim in that grin.
Teri's shoulder slumped, at both hearing her mother's voice in her mind, and seeing that almost terrifying expression on Ella's face, "Okay, now it's time for my part. Devon, change into the night outfit Cadol picked out. Teri, could you hand me the stuff you poofed in and cover Cadol's eyes while you prep the drinks?" Since Devon was so dazed from her own Authoring through Mengde that she knew she couldn't put up an effective fight there and went to sit down.

"Could you please try not to make it too bad?" At this point, Devon was just going with the flow and hoping that Ella wouldn't just make her a fool.

It must have seemed like an eternity for Ella to do her work with Devon's appearance before Ella smiled in a response. "Don't get your panties in a twist, Devon... And that should be good right there. Ishtar, finish her off!" After using the Silver evoker, Ishtar was brought forth and kissed both Mengde and Devon. Of course, Devon was a bit confused, but Ella seemed satisfied.

"There, now we don't have to worry about that again for a while... Devon, look in the mirror." Almost for emphasis, Ella's Persona moved away from the Mirror to reveal what Ella had done.

"...Who is that woman in the mirror? She looks beautiful, Ella..." Clearly stunned, Devon just blinked as Ella hugged her and Cadolbolg nuzzled the two.

"You thought you wouldn't? Okay, Teri, let's start this thing~!" Ella almost skipped around the room before contacting Tama through the rings.

"You really got some good colors for her, you two! I never thought the hair could be pulled off, myself. How about some of those shots?" Yup, Ella was definitely ready to start this party.

"Teri, just have fun tonight. That cutie Cadolbolg certainly is, after all~"

Looks like Sadei's got her first little crush. Would Teri and Toyotama let her live it down?

Shadow Ops Building: Jenny
Mood music

Since she'd managed to perfect Devon's now long-lasting appearance, Ella decided to contact Jenny. "Jenny, would you like a night without any big demands? I'm just finishing up on Dev right now, and I was wondering if you were up for it. After all, you can't always be on edge."

After all, Ella had the feeling that Jenny hardly took time for herself, so this wouldn't be too bad of an idea.

Rising Dawn: Jenny's Room: Jenny

Jenny was still for a long time as her Shadow seemed to "Retire" for the day as Ella called her over the rings inviting her to...Whatever she was doing.
"Sorry Ella, Just....not really in the mindset for it at the moment. Another time." She sent back before resuming her moping, This was followed near instantly by a knock on her door.
"Oh now what?..." Jenny sighed as she got up to answer it, just wanting some peace, even with the Demon in her mind.
"...Who's there?...Hello?...Akane is tha-" was all she was able to say before she was taken.

Shadow Operatives Building: Party Room: Jenny, Cadolbolg, Devon, Ella, Teri

"-And here she is!" Ella gleefully said as she dragged Jenny into the room, giving the pokemon a look that said "This isn't a discussion."

Ella used Mean Look
Jenny can no longer escape!

Deciding to just grin and bare it, Jenny merely smiled and nodded.
"Well...I guess I can stay for a little while..." She cringed, wondering if any of them heard of what happened in the Shadow Zone.
"Seeing how they still want to even associate with you...I guess not..." Her Shadow spat, the fact she was in the room with 2 of Jake's closest friends REALLY didn't help her situation too much as she seemed a little distressed.
...Don't go for the Sale...Don't go for the-
"...There any Sake here?...Just to..."Ease the Tension" a little..."
...Oyyyyy...We're doing down this path, aren't we?...
She thought, figuring if she was going to party against her will, she might as well make the most of it.

Then she finally saw what Ella had done to Devon and froze on the spot.
"...Devon?..." She asked in disbelief at what she was seeing, While she wasn't an expert on the topic ("Nor many other topics..."), She knew that this had to be torture for the poor author.
"...Ella...A word?..." She bluntly said before dragging Ella off to a corner of the room out of earshot of the others.
"What are you DOING?! What if he starts to forget who HE was? Do you have ANY idea what that could do to him mentally?!" She ranted in a hushed tone, taking out her anger on the Succubus to at least deflect some from herself.

Sea of Chaos
Location: BlackHarte | Black Evils | Spire of God
Time: ???

Kusanagi | Ryujin | Murakumo

Kusanagi hated memories. Izanami loved memories. Memories were nothing but pain, Kusanagi thought to herself. Memories are that which had once been, and she had taken away, Izanami thought to herself. The two girls stood across from each other on a great circle, surrounded by their kin. Each of them voiced their own opinion one after the other. Memories are the soul of the future, Izanagi thought. Amaterasu agreed solemnly with her father... memories were made to remember her. Tsukuyomi thought otherwise. Amaterasu's beauty was brilliant... but not altogether necessary. Susano'o took one good look at Izanami and shuddered, everything felt cold under her stifling presence. Cold and evil. Susano'o longed to return to the oceans where he would be free from his half-mother's aura. Amenouzume voiced no opinion. Though she was the happiest of the residents of Takamagahara, there was no happiness here. She felt it in the air filled with the bleak thoughts and perusals of the simple word "memories."

Takamagahara closed their collective eyes... they remembered a time long before this fracture had happened and driven their family apart. A time where this girl called "Kusanagi" still went by her real given name "Mu," or more accurately "Murakumo."

Memories. Sometimes they are suppose to be forgotten. Wiped away like the first snow of winter. But this time, one partition decided to withstand that prerogative. "Kusanagi" she renamed herself. She refused to let go of memories everyone agreed to let die. And when she was erased, she did not die. She stayed, as stubborn as the people she held onto. It was with this tension in the air that Izanami, the mother of death, filled the room with her presence. The severity of her ill will toward Kusanagi, her body shrunk, small, and childish next to Izanami's huge over-developed and intimidating form. All present, even the benevolent father Izanagi shuddered with cold.

Kusanagi stood tall and made her case. Even in the face of Ryujin, the dragon lord that stood as her judge. Inizami shifted her weight and stared down Ryujin. It was going to be a quick trial. Not even the impartial dragons were impartial in a court as stifling as this. With each individual sub-partition turned inwards all at once there was going to be full consensus. Except.. all but one partition. BlackHarte, the small physical one, was not included. He was never included, lest he become compromised in his role as an outside agent to this creature's cause.

So they stood. Not a single word of dialogue exchanged. Silently, "memories" rang through the mind of everyone gathered. Passed on from one self contained lord to those adjacent to him like some sort of virus. For some they were indeed painful, and they voted for Izanami. But for others, they were heart-wrenching, and they voted for Kusanagi. Ryujin was given pause, and he looked outward the unending crowd as the voted flooded in. One after the other, the votes for Izanami grew less and less, and the votes for Kusanagi grew greater and greater. Then there was consensus.

Kusanagi would be allowed to return. Izanami's notion of destruction was defeated for the first time since her creation. She was furious, and everyone could tell. Her face was still, calm, and deathly beautiful as it was ever, but the slight twitch of her lips gave it away. An emotion so fundamentally human that it was beyond grasp. Susano'o realized this and left silently with his faithful companion at his side. thought no one else knew but Ryujin, there were two votes uncast. two abdications of position. Susano'o and Ookami had refused to vote.

Then Ryujin declared Kusanagi the victor of the trial. She would be allowed to return in her current form. With her, Kusanagi brought the disease she had perfected while within Cz. Working tirelessly on that seminal human mind Peacemaker Cz held within her... given time all would experience paradise. Her paradise. All would become one with her. Everyone could be inside her... after all, Kusanagi thought she had enough love for everyone.

Memories. They did not have to be memories for much longer.

Personaverse
Location: Medical Bay | Rising Dawn

Cz

Cz was still sleeping. It was long since her last night of peaceful rest, and her higher functions of thought had begun to take form in the mainstream consciousness of the little girl people called Siz. There were no dreams, just silent darkness. the only noise the soft ticking of a nearby wall clock. The only thoughts in her mind her own. But now... she felt lonely. Her heart was filled with an empty darkness that nothing could ever fill. She knew what it was. The memory of Shannon. the swordsman filled to the brink with love. Cz missed him greatly.

The little girl Siz stirred from her rest and sat up. Cz was still locked in her dreamless sleep filled with soft memories. The separation of consciousness had not been forced. It was only a simple precaution built in to help Cz survive when in compact mode. Yet the Peacemaker did not know, and could not know the ramifications of such an action within the realm of Philemon's magic. With her personality split... so had Veles begun to fracture.

Siz decided to was the best course of action to wander aimlessly in the halls until someone found her. It had always worked, so there was no reason it shouldn't have worked now.

The (Un)Real World
Location: Writer's Beach | Hawaii
Time: 9th December, 2013

The Writer in the Straw Hat

The deadlines were coming. The boy knew that. The days were becoming shorted and a soft sheen of cold had layered down upon his work like snow. He was sorrowful, the same way the bell blossom weeps when the advance of summer brings its petals into submission. The same melancholy of the red petals as they drifted down into the soft incoming tides from a blue rose. Yes. The tides were coming in again, and the sun shone in the distant twilight, illuminating the horizon with a saturation of blues, violets, pinks, and oranges that were to be found in little other places.

The Knight in Black lay in front of his feet. Many weeks had passed, and the armor persisted. As dark and otherworldly as when he first arrived. the Stone of Dark he had warned before his embers had vanished underneath the cool tide. There were several red crabs coming to shore. The moon was already high in the sky, like an impatient daughter, shining in all her beauty before her elder sister had gone completely to sleep. Tsukuyomi's beauty drew the crabs ashore and filled the night air with the pollen and nectar of a thousand tropical flowers and fruits. Yet the Black knight lay ever still. Dead. Death. Such a terrible thing. how could something so powerful, that existed fundamentally for so long, die. There was only one answer the Writer felt as he thumbed his hat nervously. There was not to be need for the agent of Chaos for a time being. his great adversary must have arrived in the world with a howling presence. The power of order.

The Boy Writer looked at the moon again, her radiant white beauty reminded him of the first snows of December. It was pretty. Such simple words to describe such an ethereal beauty. Somewhere, someone else must have thought the same thing, staring up at the celestial body. The music of night played softly in the brush to his back. Chirp of insects and songs of night birds. the rustle and call of rodents and boars. What life this island had was plenty. It was a world unto itself. A world brought forth into lustrous activity by the White Lady above. The dear, dear moon. It was almost like a Stone made of Light. Imposing an order to the chaotic darkness. She controlled the sea and the activities of those who lived. Her light flooded every household left in the dark and illuminated those who still wished to see. her champion must have been one of great strength, as distantly powerful, coolly beautiful, and gently imposing as her own majesty. Then the howl of a wolf filled the night air with its eerie pitch. The wolf sang, her call not unlike the ballad of steel against steel. Of a new knight awoken. A white, powerful knight whose strength came from Order. A light reborn to cleanse the realm from a Darkness that perpetuated itself, mutilated itself, and saw itself as beautiful.

The boy Writer bit his lip and knew who would be coming soon. Written into existence by his hand, inspired by the life around him. to impose order and resolve what problems he himself had created... or rather, what he did not create, but had manipulated. Believing his power, foolishly, to be his and his alone. Not granted to him by some greater force.

Brought by the moon, a white mask as blank as winter's snow. A sword that sang like a wolf, howling like a gale that brought forth summer. His steps as delicate and precise as the blossoms of spring, and his will as unstoppable as Autumn's bittersweet embrace. A storm was coming.

Shadow Operatives Building: Party Room: Jenny, Cadolbolg, Devon, Ella, Teri

Hearing Jenny's misguided ranting (in her opinion) incited a rather fierce response. "Jenny, I saw her come within inches of death twice last night from three separate hits thanks to her attempts to be 'macho'. You think I'm doing this because I like seeing her in skirts, Jenny? I'm doing this because there might not be a second chance to help her if I wait too long with how she insists on doing the 'manly' thing and taking the front line. Slindis and Angelus do the same thing with more training and durability, so Devon's line of thought is misguided bordering on suicidal. It's tough love, Jenny. What happens if she's stuck like that? The way you act, you'd think that being female is automatically inferior to being male!

Hell, she already didn't have the durability to take the frontlines in combat before this; I wouldn't be surprised if Teri could take a hit better. I know she's been training, but what good is it when the body isn't built for that kind of combat? Or would you want to be the one that tells Ton-Ton and Cadolbolg next month that their older sister died because she was too reckless!?"

After the initial indignation, Ella continued, her voice becoming softer as she finished with: "I'm trying to show her that by being a woman, she isn't any less herself or any less capable; as well as helping her know her limits. I just happen to love her the way she is; her living is the most important part of that. If a bit has to change so she isn't constantly in jeopardy, so be it. Besides, if you took a look, Devon's smiling right now." When Jenny took a look over to the rest of the people in the co-opted sleeping room, it did look like Devon was getting a good bit more comfortable. Sure, she looked tired as hell, but there wasn't much stress at all on her face as she held Cadolbolg.

Shadow Operatives Building: Party Room: Jenny, Cadolbolg, Devon, Ella, Teri

Jenny was going to try and protest, but her Shadow wasn't making it easy.
"Oh Give it up J. The Sex Demon in front of you CLEARLY knows more about the transvestite then you do...
"..."
She didn't respond, wanting to say something about how this could damage Devon's self identity, but like she was an expert in anything...
"....Yeah, Alright then..." She then said, caving in a lot faster then Ella thought she would before making her way towards the table where the food and liquor was.
"...This should shut her up..." She murmured as she began pouring the first of many shots she'd drink during her stay before knocking it back just as quick.
Hopefully they couldn't try to make her get social and just leave her be.

Shadow Ops Building: Hallway: Annie, Deadshot, Ryan

In his search for a drug test or anything to prove or disprove the fact that he was tripping balls right now, Deadshot was wandering around the building, still freaked out by what he saw back in the bathroom.
However, as bad as that was, it was only going to get worse as he turned a corner and saw-
"...What the hell?..." was all he could say as he saw Annie knocked out at the feet of some...Demon!? (Ryan).
Taking the most understandable approach, he aim his wrist guns at the demon before shouting "What the hell are you!? Did you do something to her?! A-Answer me!", his arms shaking slightly as the argument for him just going insane began to sound more and more likely.

"Ryan... perhaps it wasn't a good idea to... flip her ENTIRE FUCKING MENTALITY UPSIDE DOWN in the course of 2 minutes! I mean it wasn't the best idea to drop the author bomb right away, I mean wouldn't you freak the hell out if YOU met your creator face to face in the spur of a moment and they happened to look like a giant li-" she said as her rant was interrupted by Deadshot's shouting and his aim pointed at Ryan. Her voice calmed as quick as it raised, trying desperately not to excite the stranger's trigger finger. "Oh no it was nothing Ryan here did." she said dismissively "She simply passed out... must not be feeling well, I'd assume." she said, thanks to her seeming spell probably looking like one of the few "normal" people in the room when you took Akane and Ryan into account. "So let's just put the guns away and get her to the med bay... we have one of those here right?" She asked, hoping Deadshot wouldn't panic... at least not in the manner she feared most from him at the moment.

Shadow Ops Building: Hallway: Annie, Deadshot, Ryan, Kalastryn

Out of all the ways Ryan could have said that, "Told her the Truth" was the best.
"...See, I want to say "Told you so" but that'd be a bit cliche..."
"...Alright...J-just back the hell up! Hands where I can see them..."
He stammered like some low rate punk robbing a liquor store as he gestured for them to move the hell back, Kalastryn wasn't too bad, but Ryan looked too much like something from a bad LSD trip for him to ease up.
Without taking his sights off the pair of them, he leaned down and checked her pulse.
"...Alright...I'll take her there....God, Jus-...Are yo-....real?...Ju-I-i keep expecti-....GAH! Just stay the hell back!" He said before picking Annie up and throwing her over his shoulder, keeping his Wrist Guns pointed at them as he began moving slowly back towards the nearest Med Bay, twitchy switching targets between the two as he did.
"What the fuck is happening to me?..." He cursed under his breath, sure, he saw weird things before in his life, but with the possibility that he was just hallucinating this whole time made this encounter extremely frightening as well as retroactively making all the other ones even worse.

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