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

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The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Above Denver-Ruins

Rising Dawn: Hallway near spa: King Leoric, Nadalia

"...A-apologies. I had no idea, Your Majesty..." Leoric managed to get out after Nadalia finished explaining her plight.
It was something that hit rather close to home, after all, he himself had suffered greatly at the hands of such curses, the fact he was walking around without any flesh kinda gave that away.
But for it to affect someone he owed his life to? No...That wasn't going to stand for long.
"...I-...don't have means to remove such a curse, but if you would come with me, I might have something to give you that could ease the burden. Please." He then said before offering his hand again, I mean, she seemed to have a hard enough time walking unassisted as it was.
Once she accepted, he then began to slowly walk her towards the room he had claimed as his own, hoping one of the relics from his past life could help hers.
"Have you suffered from this curse your entire life, Iron Queen?" Leoric then bluntly asked, hoping to learn more about whatever afflicted his ally.

Rising Dawn: Private Quarters Teri, Viscus

"Dimitri, please! Ugh...Look, it's a bad idea right now; and don't even get me started on Adelheid - with his memory impaired, we don't know what could be a potential trigger for him!"

[And it is for that reason you should reveal his true nature...] Viscus then said before the door opened, the Armor he recovered from the battle walking in. (Viscus felt the need to explain this to her in "Person".)
[I have known the nature of Adelheid Bernstein long before you have, Teri Gravel. A genetically perfect recreation of his father with many of his combat skills and abilities. While he is currently damaged from misuse, he is still an extremely dangerous being. I would know, I instructed his missions for several years in Bison's ill-fated empire before I evolved to my current firmware version.] He explained before bringing up a holographic display of some of his "Greatest Hits", including the time he managed to combat the majority of the Rising Dawn at once, including Tomoya the Arch-angel in his prime.
[Now, imagine this being on this ship once he has recovered. And we have no idea what could trigger a psychological episode and prompt him becoming hostile. The security risk is simply too great, which is why revealing the truth now is far safer. He is weakened, he is unable to leave his bed and it's rather likely we could attend to his psyche before he is able to recover to ensure he is rendered harmless to the rest of the crew. A "Controlled Explosion" in case my words were too complex for you to understand...]

"Yes, I understand, you ass! We just need... A plan. Even "controlled explosions" have setups, precautions. Controlled, is the key word here. If I just waltzed up and traumatized the kid with all this information, who's to say he won't just lay in wait before he can jab an IV in my eye?"
[And would it be better to have him suddenly realize who he is without any of us knowing? Possibly planning his revenge for lying to him?]
That last jab was clearly meant to insult as the Armor glared at the Cleric, Viscus wasn't exactly a fan of being brought into this conspiracy thanks to his debt to his "Landlord" Dimitri.
If he was going to become a fixture on the Rising Dawn's efforts to keep the world safe, at the very least he would try and bring a bit of logic to their daily madness.

Rising Dawn: Command Bridge Rugal, Hillary

"-Oh, of course, of course. Don't let me keep you then. And congratulations once again, I'm certain your daughter will make a wonderful mother. Bye, Bye~"
Rugal was finding the whole "Threaten someone into doing what he wants" Routine to be somewhat challenging these days, I mean, it's hard to make innocent people fear for their lives when they start talking about their daughters...
Granted, it would be just as bad if they were talking about their sons too but it really took a lot of the bite out of his words.
Thankfully, it didn't really make a difference, The Major's family would get their papers cleared and all would be-
Right as he was putting the phone down, he heard the strange inhuman footsteps and soon turned around, being greeted by what appeared to be a being made out of the floor he was standing on.
"...What in the-"
"Excuse me! Mister Commander Rugal sir? I am very sorry if you're busy at the moment, but Hillary has anxiously been needing to ask you some questions if you could?" the being seemed to ask of him, which did much to take the tension out of the air.

"Ahhh, apologies. I was unaware we had a new crew member." He relaxed as he finished putting the phone away, though he was still looking at Hillary with a degree of caution, not fully aware of her intentions.
"Well, first off, it's just Rugal. Rugal Bernstein. I've no formal rank you need to address me by. Not even a real captain! Regardless, I should be able to answer any questions you have about this fine vessel and it's-...Mostly loyal crew." He joked whist still keeping an air of authority around him.
"So...Hillary was it? How I be of assistance?"

The Rising Dawn Adventures: The Rising Dawn Airship - Command Bridge
Hillary | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg | Mister Captain Rugal Bernstein

Now unbeknownst to Captain Rugal, Hillary was actually taller than she'd normally be even without considering the heels that's sprouted from the back of her feet, but even that failed to stop her from having to tilt her head up to look eye to eye to Captain Rugal. She'd seen taller sure, one alien who called himself Glen on the Laplace definitely had more muscles, and Hillary was pretty sure she'd seen a caterpillar far hairier in her travels; but no where had she seen someone with that amalgamation of those features such as this. Luckily she was used to being looked at with an air of confusion and curiosity, perhaps she should have too in retrospect, but she merely smiled happily back to the man as he spoke to her. As she did, it was clear the texture wasn't just skin deep as her pearly whites were the same cream ceramic texture as everything else.

"Ahhh, apologies. I was unaware we had a new crew member." The captain said, which caught Hillary a bit off guard. He was definitely looking at her, but she wasn't a new crew member of this ship. Was he mistaken? Further more as Captain Rugal continued, it seemed to only raise more questions. He wasn't a captain after all? Then why had the two little one's brought her to this man? Sure he was nice and all, giving Hillary his undivided attention, but this wasn't exactly what she had in mind. Initially when Rugal made light of the crew status, Hillary thought he was serious, earning a short gasp from the woman. Thankfully she did connect the dots afterwards that it had been a joke, and covered her mouth as she let out a small giggle herself. "So...Hillary was it? How can I be of assistance?"

The woman nodded Rugal's question, it was funny how people managed to guess her name like that. She wasn't entirely sure how they managed this, but now wasn't the time for such a question. "Well, Mister Rugal? Rugal, Hillary is not a 'new' crew member. She just found herself here, and Cadolbolg and Ton Ton helped her get here so I can talk to you." She corrected him first, she felt this was best to get out of the way. "Right now I need to figure out where we are and where we're coming from on this ship, the man with the big voice before said this was the Rising Dawn, correct? Hillary needs to be back on the Laplace before Penelope starts wondering where Hillary is and starts to worry. Penelope is very thoughtful and kind, and has taught Hillary a great many things." The woman requested, something to which Rugal probably had heard in some variation many times before. The ceramic woman paused a moment, taking in a deeper breath, bringing the figurine close to her bosom. It was odd seeing her move as she looked both solid in construction and yet her limbs bent, her hair was stiff and yet flowing to a degree, even the draping ends of the pseudo trench coat that hung from her body ruffled when gravity seemed fit for it. It was like a statue had been given life, and as the light glinted off the polished face of this statue she continued. "I don't think Hillary made a mistake and because of that found herself here, but from what the little ones said and the icky feeling in my chest; she's started to wonder if she's not going to be seeing Penelope for some time? I'm not where Hillary was before, am I?"

Rising Dawn Private Quarters: Selena, Icarus, Private Sirius Belchior

"Please open the door. I'm supposed to deliver this to an... an Icarus?"
Icarus sighed and looked over to Selena whom was much calmer. Icarus crossed the room and opened the door. he saw a strange man. Mongoose whoever, saw a young-looking teenage boy with Violet eyes and Messy Black hair. he appeared to be wearing a navy Blue tunic and black leggings his skin was pale, bordering on pure white the dark clothes made his skin somehow paler. His wings had dissipated away so he looked somewhat normal, after draining all his energy he was staying in his more restrained form. He looked more like a skinny teenager than a Half Angel, even the muscles in his arms and legs had toned down his clothes fitting a little more loosely. .
"I am Icarus..." he spoke somewhat softly "And who ordered you to send, whatever 'this' is?" He asked as Mongoose didn't say what he was delivering, Icarus knew it wasn't from Rugal, because he'd just have Dmitri or Vermilion message his Handheld PDA, so it had to be someone else.

Selena was sitting on the bed, as Icarus opened the door she dismissed the Spell that sealed door shut. Her Knowing it wasn't the Anti-magic freak from months ago she relaxed, letting out a small sigh of relief.She rolled her wand between her fingers occasionally tapping her inner thigh the wand was a solid wood with Many crystals studded onto the wand a fine point to focus her target. She occasionally glanced at the door admiring Icarus but she still hadn't told him... was she even sure how she felt?

The Rising Fall - Present Time - The Canteen
Eddie the Dead | Dolores Selmy | Anjali | A whole bunch of people no one of importance gives a crap about

Schizophrenic paper was not something Eddie saw every day.

The opener was quite strong, though.'You Who Exist Outside of Reason'. Now, Eddie had been called a myriad of things before, but this was a new one. He wasn't quite sure if he should be insulted or flattered, but either way, he thought, it'd fit rather well with his current list of titles.

And it was a pretty long list.

Regardless, the rest were not so solid, with hollow eloquence and flattery winning the day. Christ's sake, this is why he hated formal letters. More emphasis was put in etiquette than the point. And it was boring. By the point he'd reached the second paragraph he was already half-arsing reading, only barely picking from this pseudointellectual dick-stroking that there was gonna be a party the other day and that he was invited. Could've just said so, and saved all the ink.

But as he was about to throw it away he saw the signee, and that made him raise an eyebrow. Dolores Selmy.

If one was to imagine, for simplicity's sake, and for mortal minds to comprehent, the entirety of existence as an all-encompassing neverending melody, and all the people as notes from which the melody is compromised, Selmy was a note that did not fit. Normally the composer, Lady Luck, would correct the mistake, or rather, make it there never was a mistake in the first place. Yet this time she decided to leave it. Not that he was complaining. He was, after all, the same.

And finally, contradictory to the warm, happy thoughts bullshit that he had been subjected to from the rest of the letter, a different sign, silver in colour, violent in demeanour, was written, no, seemingly typed onto the paper.

He had a chuckle at the name. Another Marlow that hated his guts. He knew a Marlow once, that one dressed as a priest, and was on a quest of vengeance. At least, that was until his quest for vengeance was interrupted by a self-serving arsehole, and said quest was made to stop once and for all. Regardless, Eddie certainly was amused by this little piece of coincidence. But why was this particular Marlow hostile towards him? And for that part, how did he know about him, as evidenced from calling him one that 'Exists Outside of Reason'?

Whatever, he thought as he folded the letter and threw it in the ashtray. This wasn't the first nor the last time someone had a grudge against him, and if he spent time wondering why every single time it happened he'd reach the end of time. He smoked his cigar one last time, and put it off on the letter.

At least, that would have been the case, had the cigar not landed on an open palm instead. And Eddie would have exclaimed his surprise, had seeing whose hand it were not sent him into stunned silence.

On the other side of the table sit a feminine figure, seemingly unfazed, or perhaps more accurately, unnoticing of the lit cigar that had landed on her hand, staring off at the clouds outside of the window in front of her. Her clothes were unremarkable, save for the black and white motif. Her skin was of purest white, but not a natural pigment, instead looking as though it was painted over her skin. In fact, one observant enough could see tht her skin was artificial also, and her figure resembled a mannequin's.

Eddie knew who she where, and that knowledge sent shivers down his spine.

He turned to see if the others in the canteen had noticed her, but they stayed as they were, unmoving. Time had stopped, and the colours in his vision were washed out.

'The hour draws closer.'

He turned to her, and found her staring at him, her expression a blank. Her hair was short, and a black circle was drawn on her chin, in stark contrast to her otherwise white skin. But by far the most alien part of her where her eyes, which were not eyes at all, but windows, from which one could peer directly at the entirety of creation, driving any that stared long enough insane. But not Eddie. For they both had the same patron.

'That which is destined, cannot be denied.' She said, her voice one of complete authority. And as she said that, she grabbed his arm, pushed it onto the table, forceful enough for the table to begin to crack and Eddie, for all his effort to resist, found his effort futile. The color of her skin had changed now, from brightest white to darkest black, the circle of black on her chin switched with a circle of white on her forehead, her black expression into a wide, sadistic grin, the dark portals that masquareded as eyes turning into a bright light

'Eftychismeni tha einai i ora!' she hissed, and lunged at Eddie, who shielded his face with his free hand...

...Only to hear the sounds of people talking and music playing, and as he opened his eyes he saw that time flowed again.

'God fucking damnit! he cussed under his breath, rubbing his arm. Why did she of all cosmic beings have to appear? He slouched back on his chair and let a long, drawn out sigh. What a fucking day. First he's tricked into babysitting, now he's entangled into some sort of cosmic plot. 'Why do I have to take the blunt of it all for her amusement? The answer was obvious. He was Luck's thrall, and thus slave to her whims. He raised his glass and drained it of its contents, and proceeded to throw enough change on the table to cover his expenses plus a very generous tip. He'd had enough of sitting around waiting for things to happen. He'd find Anjali and go have some fun in Vegas.

But then Katya crashed through the roof. Just as he was about to leave, too. What was it with all kinds of improbable events happening around him without him using his powers? He stared off into the distance; was he being railroaded into something? He shook his head. If he were, there was little he could.

Apathetic as to the new arrivals, he turned to leave, only to notice a hand sticking out, holding what looked like a letter envelope. But what was more noteworthy was whose hand it was: Dolores Selmy, sitting not four tables away. Another coincidence, another improbability. But this one... this one presented an opportunity. Eddie ordered another drink, to be delivered on Dolores' table. He grabbed his letter from the ashtray, put it in a pocket, and approached the table.

'I don't think she's in a reading mood.' he said as he circled the table, snatching the letter from Dolores' hand with the dexterity of a professional magician and finding himself a seat between Dolores and Laeta. 'What the hell you people looking at? We have injured on board! Get them to sickbay pronto! Move!' he yelled at the various crewsmen in the canteen, his voice brimming with authority. He then took his seat, and eyed Laeta with a lopsided grin. 'Quite the entrance, huh? he said, his tone not indigative of whether he was referring to Katya's entrance or his own.

Laeta scooted her chair back in response. She was both surprised and put-off by Eddie's sudden appearance and Eddie's appearance. Laeta wasn't particularly fond of the insane-rocker look. "Who... are you?"

"That's just Eddie," Dolores answered nonchalantly, "Eddie the Dead." She turned around and placed her hand gently on the letter in Eddie's hand. "That's for Katya." She said.

Saren sat up suddenly as if startled. Her blue eyes eyed her eldest sister with an unnatural intensity. "Hey... hold on... Lola, are you feeling okay?" Laeta recoiled in the same way, eyes wide and fraught with worry.

"Blessed be the hour," Dolores said under her breath. Her eyes mirrored the same dark blue as her sisters. The glimmering within shone brightly - a reflection of some primordial soul.

Then the atmosphere stuttered, as if unsure of how to proceed. The air was static, the sounds muddled together, and Dolores grew uncomfortable.

The world snapped back together as if it had woken up from a brief slumber. Dolores reached out and grabbed at the letter in Eddie's hand, flailing somewhat clumsily on her wheelchair. "Hey! Give that back!" she whined. The lights above glinted off her green eyes. "She's going to read it! She's gotta read it!"

Laeta leaned forward and caught Dolores just as she was about to fall out of her wheelchair. "Calm down there sis!"

"Woah, there. Clingy!" Eddie said rather amused, letting the letter go. "As a funny guy I used to know would've said, take it easy it's just a social experiment. Look, the camera's over there!" And he pointed at one of the security cameras placed in the canteen.

He took out his pipe, placed some grade-A tobacco in it, lit a match on the table and used it to light up the tobacco and took a deep breath. While he did that a barely conscious Katya was being carted off to the sick bay behind him with a "Dare desu ka?" Didn't steer much of a reaction from him, though. "He wasn't all that funny now that I think about it, actually." he said as he exhaled smoke from his nostrils, "I killed him after he tried to sell some girls off to raiders. Or was it a Yao Guai that got that one?" He pondered on it for a moment, before dismissing the thought with a wave of his hand, "Whatever, I'm not here reminisce. It's not like you military types appreciate anything remotely resembling a sense of humour, anyway." And with a movement of the hand produced a letter between his fingers, like a magician. "So I'll get to the point. Nice prose. A bit too superfluous for my liking, but you know how to flatter, I'll give you that much." He leaned forward on the table, closer to Dolores, "So, tell me, dear flatterer, when I am not one of your 'heroes', when I didn't lift so much as a finger to help your endeavours, why invite me? And how much do you know about me, anyway? Who is this Marlow character who is oh so fond of me?" He leaned back on his chair and took another puff, "What. Is. Your. Game?"

"You're invited because you're Ruby's friend!" Dolores said desperately. She struggled in her chair but Laeta kept her secure.

"Calm down sis," Laeta whispered, "there's no point in getting worked up over this."

Dolores made a whimpering noise that sorted sounded like the meowing of a cat. "I don't know a whole lot about you okay? I know your name and I know your powers. Your presence is awkward, as if the strings of karmic destiny are intentionally avoiding you." The color of her eyes was indistinguishable. They seemed to be blue and green at the same time. "Yet, I have no idea what you mean. I don't know any Marlow person and I'm not trying to play any games." She shook her head and the light curls of her golden hair fluttered with the motion. "I just extended an invitation to every relevant person on board, okay? You are no exception."

Eddie slouched back on his chair, puffing out smoke, silent, thinking. Trying to make the pieces of this little puzzle fit. He was invited by association. Selmy had no idea who Marlow was. Then how did he have a say in the letter? There were many ways, easiest of all, magic. But rather than take a wild guess, it was better to identify conditions, and from those conditions come to conclusions. And with the little magic trick he just pulled, he'd be finding out a few more pieces of the puzzle soon enough.

But that would have to formally wait for tomorrow, for Eddie eyed Anjali entering the Canteen, more than likely looking for him. Instead of continuing on with his questions, then, he decided to conclude business for now.

"Dolores Selmy." he said, and a lopsided grin formed on his lips, "From what little I've gathered of you, you have a most fitting name. You are a being that does not quite belong, an anomaly in the tapestry that was intentionally left there. Perhaps to leave a message, make a point. Or perhaps for the amusement of apathetic creators." He let out a final puff of smoke and dumped the ashes of his pipe in the ashtray. "Either way, I know a stacked deck when I see one. You have my sympathies, for what it's worth."

And as he said that, Anjali approached the table.

"Hello, Eddie. I am dresssed and ready for Vegass or what thiss was. Oh, and did you alsso get the invitation for a party tomorrow?"

"Ah, Anjali. Just in time!" Eddie said with a smile, as he got up, "I was just finishing a lovely conversation with Ms. Selmy here, who just so happens to be the hostess for tomorrow's party. I wanted a bit more info on it, and she was gracious enough to take time off organising it to answer them." he tipped his hat and left a few golden coins on the table. "Enjoy your drinks, they're on me." and turned to Anjali, "Shall we?"

As they left, though, he turned to Selmy again, "Oh, one last thing: Make sure to deliver that letter in due time, eh? Wouldn't want to keep Katya waiting!" And with a wink, they left the canteen.

As they did, he let out a small laugh and pulled the letter out. "Hope you don't mind if we take a small trip to the sickbay first? I've a letter to deliver." As he had learned, magician tricks were as much sleight of hand as misdirection; and by making a grand show of having Katya taken to the Sickbay, he had bought himself the tiny timeframe needed to switch his letter with Katya's. Hopefully Selmy wouldn't be too mad at him. He was, after all, going to deliver the letter. And it wasn't like he was doing this to snoop into her business either, but to get a few things clear.

He opened the envelope, and had a read of its contents.

---

After briefly passing the letter on to an unconscious Katya, Eddie lead Anjali on to the hangar bay, where Warpup, his hot rod was parked.

"This is a car." he said as he patted Warpup on the hood. "It's this world's main means of transportation. It's mechanical by nature, and typically requires some sort of fuel to keep going." he opened the door to the passenger's seat and motioned Anjali to enter, "Ladies first."

He took his seat. "Seatbelts." he said, and showed her how to use them by putting his on. "Alright, now, before we go on, I should clarify that my car is special. No other cars -at least, to my knowledge- can do as this one can. And I'll need you to close your eyes until I tell you it's ok to open them. Safety procedures, I'm sure you understand.

He started up the car, the engine roaring as though an infernal beast had just awakened and was thirsting for blood. The sound of the engine awakening always made him smile. He waited a bit for it to warm up, set the speed to 'SPECIAL' and stomped on the pedal.

A moment later they were on the Strip at night, with all its phantasmaghoric structures and lights, its people gold fever-stricken people walking from one casino to the other, hunger for making it big written all over their face.

Truly, this was Lady Luck's favourite city.

"You can open your eyes, now." he said, and gave her a few moments for the image shift to sink in. "Welcome to the Twilight City, Las Vegas. Entertainment capital of the world. Whatever ya wanna do, you can bet there's a place for it here." he clapped on the steering wheel and grinned, "So, whatcha feel like doing? Would you like to try out some form of adult entertainment, or would you like me to tour you around the place? There's no hurry. After all..." he took a coin out of his pocket, spun it in the air, and caught it, "We've got all night."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | A Bookish Bookstore
Magical Spells and Ideas...
Ruby Babbage-Lovelace | Nina Zaczoltski Phillip!!!

Writer's Note:
Apologies for the delay. Between life and life and life and life, I've had little time to do much else other than live life!

Ruby Babbage-Lovelace was practically beaming with pride as she demonstrated a few of the simpler spells in her repertoire for Miss Zaczoltski and Mister Phillip. While such tricks might have been seen as rather simple to the remainder of the crew aboard the Rising Dawn, seeing such genuine amazement on her temporary guardian's face sparked a sense of pride within the Pink clad Nine Year Old. The pride that Ruby felt, however, appeared to be far more controlled that was normally possible for a child. Being prideful of one's magical ability was one of the many possible routes to becoming overly reliant on magic itself, a rather dangerous thing since there were documented cases where, at a critical moment, magic failed the magician.

Speaking of magicians and learning magic...

"If you're serious about learning magic, Miss Nina, I might be able to teach you a couple of spells that can prove handy if you're doing laundry. I know a spell that can remove any stain you can think of and a few you can't. I know a spell that can make your whites brighter... oh oh oh... I know a spell that can perfectly fold your fitted sheets!" The Excitable Nine Year Old said in her rather bubbly bubble gum voice, "But if you really want to learn magic, you should probably talk to my mother, Deborah. She'll be able to test you to see how gifted you really are, " The girl paused once again to consider another idea, "Also... it would probably help if you had a book of spells... a grimoire... like mine. If we're going to The Library, we might be able to find one... "

If either Nina or Phillip were paying close attention to little Ruby Babbage-Lovelace, they might have noted that Ruby had used the term "Library" as a proper noun rather than a plain old noun... and if they knew about The Library, chances are they might have known of its ability to house a copy of every book in existence. There was even a copy of Ruby's grimoire housed at The Library. More to the point, there was a grimoire that belonged to a former member of the Crew of The Rising Dawn.

"We might be able to find Red Mage's grimoire while we're there..."

"Attention Heroes and Staff, this is Engineering Captain Theiss speaking.

We have arrived at Cloudtop Citadel. All engineering staff are to engage in docking procedures. Security staff are now relieved for their duty. We will be entering the hangar array in fifteen minutes. There will be moderate turbulence as docking procedures begin. Please keep all belongings safely secured at this time.

Rear thrusters will be deactivated momentarily. This will cause the ship to shake. Do not be alarmed.

Additionally, Intelligence has recovered some video files that were misplaced in our database. Until further notice skirts are prohibited during both on-duty and off-duty times. Similarly, the 121st Engineering Division will be supporting our repair efforts. Please do not harass them. I'm looking specifically at whoever took these videos in the first place. You know who you are."

Rising Dawn: Canteen ------------------------------------------------------------------ 12:30 AM


Lt. Dolores Selmy

I bit my lip and watched Eddie leave. The paper in my hands felt strange, unnatural. Almost as if it was hostile in some way. Laeta leaned over and hugged me tightly from behind. It wasn't playful like usual, but genuine and warm. I could feel her love and care through the beating of her heart. I could feel her worry in the tightness of her muscles. She was letting me know that I wouldn't be alone. I put my hand on her arm and ran my fingers gently over her skin.

"It's okay Laeta. I'm okay." I cooed.

She gave me on last squeeze before letting go. "I don't want you chasing after things you can't have Lolita." Laeta said. Hearing my name caught me off guard. It had been so long since I've heard the fullness of those syllables. "I never want to see you get hurt again. If you want to be loved, me and Saren are always here. And we'll always be here. Okay?" It was an unnerving display of maturity and understanding from Laeta. I almost felt uncomfortable, but the earnestness of her expression and the gentleness of her blue eyes put me at ease.

"More than anything," Saren added, "you're our older sister. I don't really care that we don't look the same or that we don't have the same dad. I love you like nothing else. You're the only person I would ever donate my blood to."

I smiled. "T-thanks."

"Ah," came a gruff Irish accent, "good to see you up and about. Heard you got hit hard but I had a feeling that wouldn't keep you down for long." I turned around, startled. How long had he been there?

David West looked worn out, old beyond his years and beaten and battered. His eyes were tired and his skin looked like it ached. His entire body looked as if he had been dusted in ash. Though as he sat down he smiled.

I laughed.

It was the dorkiest smile. The silliest smile. It was the type of smile I expected a father to have. My father to have. It was well meaning and embarrassed, like a schoolboy being embraced for the first time. He looked away, his eyes betraying his discomfort. He was a man trying to salvage his image, the world's toughest teddy bear perhaps.

I could hear Laeta's sweet chuckles from behind me. At first I had felt angry, even offended, that he wasn't as hurt as I was. But now, I could see his well-meaning demeanor beneath that rough and clumsy exterior.

I wondered if this was what it was like to have a father. To have someone embarrassing, but kind. Tough on the outside but gentle on the inside, with the nature to care about how he was impacting others. I do wonder sometimes. I do wonder if this is what it is like to have normal parents.

I paused. Not that I didn't love Mom with all my heart, but she was different from other people. That much I always knew. I wasn't just her daughter. I was one of her daughters, one of thousands she had to take care of back then. I couldn't be special. There was no way. I knew that. But even as I think about it, watching her steel eyes was frightening. Mom was a monster, though she was kind and nurturing, she was a murderer in her heart. David was different, he was a person on the inside and a murderer on the outside. He was normal.

"I'd be dead if it wasn't for Laeta and Saren." I said after I swallowed my laughter. "For that I am beyond grateful to them." I looked at him straight now, "though I won't be getting up again I'm afraid."

David grinned though, undeterred. "Hey, don't go thinking like that. I'm on a first name basis with two women who are able to keep Blondie of all people patched up. I'm certain they can help you. And that's before we factor in the advances in medical technology. You'll be up and at them in no time, kid."

There was a small awkward pause. I could hear Laeta bite her breath. I could hear Saren get angry. I shot both of them a quick glare.

"The Medical Captain looked me over." I said softly. I avoided looking at David's eyes. He was too trusting. Too good-natured. I didn't want to hurt him, but at the same time I couldn't feign it. It didn't feel right. "It won't be possible. It's not just my bones and muscles. Those are all there. But I won't be able to walk again." I smiled as gently as possible. I hoped it didn't look sad. "The nerves won't grow back. And my body is naturally antagonistic to magic. I'm afraid there's no helping it."

I was afraid to look up. But David seem non-worse with that news. "Well...Could take a look at cybernetics? Got a few friends in that field too. Would hate for ya to think we don't look after our own." He brought his drink to his face and sipped it.

That glass hit the table before I knew what had happened.

Laeta was standing in front of David, her bangs hid her eyes. Her body was shaking in fury. "Are you thick or something?" Laeta said. Her voice seethed with venom.

"Laeta, no." I said firmly, sitting up as high as I could.

She didn't seem to hear. "Don't you think we've already explored all the avenues open to us? Cybernetics, please. What are those going to be without nerve-endings? Just a wheelchair stitched into her body. It's not the same as having flesh and bone - to feel the ache of something foreign inside you."

"Laeta. No."

"I don't know if you can understand that pain - but I won't have you being so flippant about it! I won't allow anything else so unnatural inside my sister again! I don't know who you are, or who you think you are. I don't know if you're a captain or a colonel or a general. But I do know that if you think that you can cure suffering by substituting steel for flesh you are far beyond sal-"

"Laeta Annalotte Selmy." I said. Now I felt angry. Laeta stopped and turned around to look at me. Her eyes were fierce, just like mom's. Just like dad's. Like a bird of prey ready to descend upon its prey. "That's enough. He didn't mean anything by it."

"But," her fury was burning in her soul. I could see it, like a white flame in her breast.

"No buts. This type of behavior is not okay." I reached over and set David's cup right-side up. Laeta took two steps and sat down in the chair behind me.

"Tsk," she she crossed her arms and turned to look out the window at the starry sky.

"I apologize for Laeta. She can be rather hot-headed at times. But the long and short of it remains that all conventional methods available to us won't quite get us where we want to be." I looked up at David. The sky behind him shone beautifully with all the stars of the Milky Way. Like diamonds gleaming in an ocean of deepest blue. "Mine is a case that is particularly problematic. I do not blame you for not understanding. But this is what happens to troublesome girls who try to run before they can walk. Now I suppose I'll just have to," I paused and laughed, "I'll just have to suffer[1] the consequences."

[1] Dolores means "to suffer" in Latin.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | A Bookish Bookstore
Maybe we should rename Phillip Abu?
Ruby Babbage-Lovelace | Nina Zaczoltski Phillip!!!

If Nina hadn't been sold on the idea of at least investing some time into learning some magic, the thought had far flung out of Nina's noodle warped noodle as Ruby suggested practical methods of magic to her. Sure in the more action packed movies when magic is featured, you could see someone shoot a giant fireball that took out a block, flying across the sky, or shooting lightning from 'our arse. That's fine and all, but by a pure practical manner, who wouldn't want some way to get those menial done for themselves! Moreover, getting them done better than you could normally manage with little effort! To Nina it was very much a dream come true.

"You know, if the librarian job doesn't work out for you when you're older, may I suggest a saleswoman? Because that little offer you just made there. Pure utter gold~" Nina cheekily mused, being unable to resist cracking a smile at not only Ruby's enjoyment, but also obvious interest. "I would love to Ruby, if it means I can cut as much time out of doing laundry as possible and more time to do important things in life? I'm totally down for that! I'm not sure exactly what we'll be up to after our little adventure here, but be it you teaching me some tricks, visiting your mom, this library, or even all three. I think I could squeeze it into my busy schedule~ Deal?" She stated, extending her hand out to Ruby to seal the deal. Once that was out of the way, Nina figured she'd as a few more questions about some of the things the adept spellcaster had mentioned. At first, Nina considered asking if The Library Ruby was talking about was the same library she'd spewed her chunks on Envy in. Her answer came quickly however as she considered Ruby said they were already heading that way. Clearly the two must have been one in the same, although Nina did wonder just what made this library so special. "So, I'm a bit surprised your mom is around here. With Eddie being the one taking care of you, I figured she must have been off on business." Nina commented, a bit confused about the guardianship going on with the girl if her mom was seemingly available too. Was Eddie a nanny after all? "And, this Red Mage? Something happened to him?" She asked with a bit more tact. Having not known this person, she had no idea on the connection these two shared. As she sat there thumbing through a handful of her hair draped on her lap, Nina kept an eye on Ruby's reaction to judge just what was going on.

Ruby would have the opportunity to share her thoughts and for Nina to open her mouth to reply back, only for a soft but sudden slapping sound to interrupt her. With it being so quiet, the sound echoed through the store and then another rang out and another! Phillip never had come to look at Ruby's display of magical prowess, Nina had just assumed he'd found a cookbook to occupy his attention, but now? "Phillip? You okay? What's up?" Nina called out as she got to her feet. "What do you..? Ruby just stay put, I'll be right back."

Now up til then, Nina's tone and attitude had been pretty confident and sincere, but in that one moment, that tone was missing. Nina was concerned and as much as she tried to hide it, she wasn't the best liar. "Phillip? Where are you?" She called out again, making her way to the back of the store as she did. 'The back room?' Regardless if Ruby followed Nina or stayed put, she would notice one very important observation as Nina walked deeper into the store. The black object that had been floating through the fog was gone. Additionally, depending on how in touch with magic in the environment Ruby was, she'd start to feel this sickly swell of instability coming from that very same direction. That scene from Ghost Busters when they turn off the Containment unit comes to mind as a good analogy, but to a lesser destructive degree.

As Nina continued her investigation now much more of a rushed pace, the slapping sound started to sound more like whips as the speed and impact intensified. "Phillip, can't you just leave it alone?" She pleaded, before spotting a door with a rather large tower of crates just in front of it. As she bounded to the door, she'd find it was barely ajar, the crates far too heavy for her to move and as it was now, she couldn't get much more than her arm stuck through. It was clear however from the noise that this was where Phillip was, but what was he hitting? The room itself was too dark to see frankly anything, so Nina rifled through her pockets before pulling out her phone. "Uh, stupid phone. Where's the... light..." Nina said before trailing off.

Now Nina had dealt with many things that day that'd scared her, unsettled her, and down right fit on the 'Not a pleasant day' list, but Phillip's corruption of her mind had mitigated the reaction to varying degrees. What she saw in that room though, shook her unlike any of those things as it cut through that mitigation like a hot knife through butter. "Phillip get out of there right now!!" She exclaimed, attempting to force the door open despite the crates. "Ruby! We need to RUN! NOW!!" Nina commanded as two tentacles latched onto the door and doorframe. Phillip shot out of the room like a slingshot, before swinging around and shunting the crates back over to forcibly brace the door. With one final motion, what appeared to be several hitch hiking black cockroaches[1] got smashed under a whaling smash of Phillip's tentacles, the corpses stuffed into a jar Phillip seemed to have filled to the brim with these bugs. The door they'd just closed however started to groan, which they took as their cue to get moving.[2]

[1] These would die pretty quick to have a good look at them, but think a cross between a cockroach, dorcus titanus and an inky black ichor
[2] If Ruby hasn't already started making her way to the front or even getting out of the store itself, Nina would beeline for her and pluck her up.

Diablo1099:
dis dude wrote some stuff

The Rising Dawn Adventures: The Rising Dawn Airship - Command Bridge
Hillary | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg | Rugal

Ton Ton and Cadolbolg followed closely after Hillary, the duo pausing when they saw their new friend doing one of two things. The first, apparantly changing the materials that she appeared to be made of, and second, encountering their quarry - Rugal. As Hillary stated her case to the Captain, the Cuties flew up next to her, Cadolbolg spoke up first,

"She said she wasn't from here! But she seems nice, so please be nice to her~ She just wants to find her Penelope friend."

Ton Ton cut in after his younger friend, giving a small 'cough' before speaking, "To be precise sir, Ms. Hillary here said she's never heard of Earth or our solar system. So I suspect that like myself, and other Dawn members, she might have fallen into a portal from some similar magic or technology to end up here."

Cadolbolg nodded after Ton Ton's summation, his little hover dipping slightly before realigning in the air, "That's what I'm thinking too. Mother and Father were from another world before they ended up here... Of course the question is, do you remember how you got on the ship, Hillary?"


The Rising Dawn Adventures: The Rising Dawn Airship - Canteen
Lucas "Luke" Cypress | A great number of other persons I've lost track of

The golden-haired bartender had been celebrating a pleasant afternoon to himself up to this point - drinks, relaxation, simple conversation amongst some new patrons, and then -

*BOOM!*

One 18 year old Russian teenager lands on his bar, the patrons, and a great number of glasses were spilled everywhere. The less than steller quality beer that B.C. had barely begun to sip from? On the floor. The lovingly made Mai Tai he had just finished mixing? Now all over it's would-be patron. Glasses? By some grace of God, unscathed, caught by either a deft gloved hand, or a number of imps who had scrambled to the scene once the initial impact of Katya's landing had settled in.

There was a moment of silence from Luke, all eyes of the wait-staff turning to gauge their ringleader's reaction to the mess; a deep hush silencing all possible chittering. A fairly manicured eyebrow twitched ever so slightly, the corners of his mouth threatening to fall for a split second; before Luke closed his eyes, took in a deep breath and said in a voice that sounded far too cheerful for the circumstance, "How nice of you to drop in Ms. Katya. Some of our patrons were beginning to get a bit worried."

A collective sigh of relief ran over the imps, before they scrambled to clean up the mess with Luke. The team replaced fallen glasses with clean ones, the simpler beverages (such as beer or water) being refilled, and the unholy slurry of liquids mopped up from both bar and floor. However, that wasn't the end to the drama of the Canteen; oh no, there was but one more mess to clean up.

As was standard procedure in his day to day activities, one David West saw fit to shove his foot into his mouth regarding Ms. Dolores Selmy's medical history, and was currently having his spine (metaphorically) picked clean from the younger Selmy sister's teeth. Turning his attention to the little spat, Luke cleared his throat to draw the trio's attention before lightly commenting, "I doubt Mr. West meant any malice with his comment, Ms. Selmy. For as is commonplace, Mr. West often finds the taste of his boot superior to that of a beer. That said, while I understand your irritation at his behavior - oh, how does the saying go... You catch flies with honey rather than with vinegar."

His attention turned next to the Irishman chewing on a boot, and offered with a chuckle (and perhaps a mischievous glint in his eye), "Might I advise buying the ladies a drink? Lucky for you that the first refill is on the house...Well, if the house were Ms. Katya."


The Rising Dawn Adventures: The Rising Dawn Airship - Private Quarters - Teri/Garm's Room
AI Dimitri |Teri | Viscus

[And would it be better to have him suddenly realize who he is without any of us knowing? Possibly planning his revenge for lying to him?]

Teri got up to pace in the midst of Viscus' little jab, before she threw her hands up in exasperation at the end of his spiel, "Maybe?! I don't know, Viscus - I can't just out the guy like a fucking witch in Salem either!"

She sighed, and breathed in deeply, before settling on her bed, legs crossed in a meditative pose and closed her eyes. Breathe in, breathe out, just like Slindis had taught her before; find the eye of the storm of thought. After a few moments to try and clear the emotional clutter, she thought aloud, "Logistics. We gotta think logistics. If I'm telling him the truth, a mood needs to be set. Calm, serene, safe. Something to establish that my intentions are genuine - and they are - before I drop the veritable bomb. At the same time, having backup on call-"

As if on a cue from some sort of sitcom, Garm busted in the room as well, his displeasure clear as he said, "You didn't answer the rings," followed by his gaze turning towards Viscus, "And this is more than a break, I see."

Oh, did Garm call over the rings? Teri couldn't quite recall, especially when everything was deciding to pile itself all in one moment. Viscus seemed less than amused as well, as he cut in with another jibe, [You are merely trying to deny the inevitable. You yourself know you are wrong in this situation.]

Teri frowned at the comment, still trying to find that "calm" as she spat back, "You think I don't know that? I felt awful about not telling him the truth, much less trying to think of how to avoid this all going to hell in a hand-basket!"

[Simple, do what I suggest.]

Teri groaned again, her eyes shooting open in before she tried to reason again, "No, it's not that simple-"
Garm on the other hand, was already beginning to lose his patience, and moved himself between the Cleric and Viscus, teeth bared as he growled, "I think you've been in this territory long enough, machine..."
In turn, Viscus did not move, and only answered in a bored tone, [Machine has beaten your kind time and again, Canine-]

Just as Garm looked ready to start a fight with Viscus, and the threat of Teri imploding in her own safe space, Dimitri's voice cut through the trio with a gasping, "HOLD IT, HOLD EVERYTHING!"

All eyes turned to the Tablet, and an exasperated image of Dimitri appeared, hair and hat askew before he straightened up, "Now that I have your attention... I have a thought. The primary concern is to ensure the young Mr. Bernstein-"
"Adelheid."
"...Adelheid, doesn't "explode" on account of the information given, especially given his delicate state. Therefore, why not give the information piecemeal? Hors-d'oeuvres so to speak. He's in a weak state, yes, so if you give him the truth little by little during your conversations, then you can gauge his reaction as you go along. From there, I think it'd be plausible that it'd be easy to derrive what would be the most 'triggering' of stimuli. Furthermore, while this method would take longer, you could schedule your appointments and coordinate information accordingly - and of course I'm more than happy to help with such scheduling/coordination. That way you don't have to lie, but at the same time, you don't say everything at once either. Apologize at the very beginning for hiding the truth, then lead in with one of the truths. How does that compromise sound for everyone?"

There was a long pause in the room, before Teri spoke up, "I'm...Actually okay with that," her shoulder's slumped and she let out a sigh, "It does take off a lot of pressure. I don't like this whole 'hiding' thing, even if it is for his own good."

Dimitri practically shined in the light of the praise, his avatar's features alighting into an incandescent grin, "As I hoped. Your well being is very important to me, Your Ladyship - he paused, before pulling out what appeared to be a book and began flipping through the pages before noting, "Which reminds me, when was the last time you saw Mr. Cypress? I don't have any record of you two speaking after you return from the Prison and I know you've been working very hard lately. With this new schedule in place, I could probably pencil you in for-"

The young Cleric flushed at the sudden change of subject, before fussing at the AI, "Dimitri - not now!"
"I'm just saying-"
"IT CAN WAIT!" Turning back to Viscus, Teri's expression grew grim before she asked, "I like Dimitri's compromise. Does it sound good to you, or do you have something else to complain about?"

Zepherus14:
This guy wrote most of this!

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Above Denver-Ruins

Rising Dawn: Command Bridge Rugal, Hillary, Ton Ton, Cadolbolg

Listening to what he was being told certainly rang a few bells with Rugal and his expression darkened a little as Hillary spoke of the place where she came from.

Once Ton Ton weighed in, he nodded before stating "Yes, it would appear that was the case. Now, we're just docking at the moment so hopefully we might be able to find someone to get you on the right ship. It might take some time but I can assure you, we will get you where you need to be." Hillary only nodding in response to Rugal's assessment of the situation, looking like she had some stuff on her mind. Rugal's kind words however did help to lighten Hillary's deposition of the situation. It felt like she was in good hands with these people.

Ushering her closer, he then added "Now, I understand that this might be a worrying or stressful situation but you are among friends. It's something we have dealt with before and something that we will resolve. So, whist we are landing, can you give us some more information on where you came from? Names, places, technology, any little helps." He said while placing a hand on Hillary's slim shoulder's as a sign of support. Intentional or not, Rugal would find out a couple things about Hillary by doing this. As his hand made contact with Hillary, her ceramic body began to shift form again. Skin, specifically Rugal's skin, overtook Hillary's shoulder. The popped collar of her pseudo trench coat began to meld into her torso once more as the skin wormed its way up the side of her neck and down her bust and arm. Additionally unlike her body moments before when it was ceramic and cold to the touch, the Hillary's new flesh was warm! Even if Rugal did momentarily let go in surprise, his profound level of perception would note, the change had haulted on its own. Unlike the change he'd witnessed before which only took a handful of seconds to finish, the skin seemed to be retaken by the ceramic. Just as soon as the changes had started Hillary was back to being 100% ceramic.

At least for the moment, as Rugal lead the group out of the command bridge and into the Rising Dawn's hallways. If nothing else, he might give Hillary a tour if she would be staying here for long, she would seemingly be spending more time as linoleum in that case as she switched back again. Even though she still looked unsure of her situation, she seemed rather comforted by Rugal's demeanor. Enough so to lean on Rugal's forearm if he would allow. Once again the initial contact of the jacket spread across Hillary's head and shoulder area, but like the hand before the changes were swiftly reversed until she was whole again. "You've made Hillary feel quite a bit better about this happening again to her. But... let me think how best able to answer you to help Hillary better..?" Hillary said as she lightly knocked on her forehead with her knuckles. "Well... Hillary lived in Garton for most of her life. But lots of the more compooter smart people called it XQ3-9...023? Ya that's it! Um... so I've been on the Laplace, which is this really big metal shiny ship that flies in space! It's got a lot of blue, with a couple of white stripes along it's side and a white under belly. Um... Hillary's seem people there with many interesting and very odd like... OH! There's this hole in the wall, that you tell it what you want to eat. And then it just appears!" She said with a thrust of her hands as she exclaimed "POOF!"

"What else..?" She closed her eyes, thinking for a moment as she remembered Cadolbolg's question. "Oh right, how Hillary got here!" She exclaimed, snapping her fingers and pointed towards the helpful little dragon. "I remember, Hillary was coming back from docking with a space port, and um..." Hillary started to trail off somewhat. "Hillary went to help get some supplies we'd gotten there, and... I don't remember. I'm trying but I can't remember what Hillary did after that. Hillary was helping, and then... Hillary was getting off the ground here." She said, sounding a bit more flustered than she had been.

Rugal's concern grew when she basically admitted that she was an alien, he was never really fond of those who came from beyond the stars (or going beyond the safety of the atmosphere in general but I digress.)
"I see...Hmmm...The question is if this Garton or " XQ3-9023" is in our realm or another. Either way, it's out of my realm of expertise. Still, I can get in contact with some of our allies in order to see what can be done. Until then, do let us know if you need anything." He kindly said, being a bit more mindful of his interactions with the being after witnessing her transform once more.

Rising Dawn: Canteen/Bar: David West, Luke, Dolores, Laeta, Saren, Load of other people

"...uhhh..."
David quickly and wordlessly accepted Luke's offer, not even bothering to check the cost as he merely pulled out his wallet before handing it to the bartender with the words "J-just give me back what's left at the end of the night..."
Buring himself in his drink, he downed his current one before groaning slightly "Ohhhhh, fuck me sideways with a 10 foot barge pole. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO goddamn sorry. I-i just get so used to everything, I mean, I see people get their skin burned off like it's nothing, body parts being put back on like play-doh and-and I swear I know like-...3 or 4 people who have legit Died and just walked it off. Just-....uhhhhh...."
He quickly motioned for a refill before continuing his sales pitch of forgiveness to Dolores: "Look, you need anything done, just say the word. Moving a couch, getting your shopping, everything shy of outright terrorism or adultery, I'm your guy. Remember that."
He then attempted to ease over her judging sisters with a nervous looking smile before realizing just how expensive that little foot in mouth moment was going to be.
"...Just-...be gentle on my tab. I'm still waiting on that raise for bringing Bison..."

Rising Dawn: Private Quarters Teri, Viscus, Dimitri, Garm

[...]
Once again, Dimitri of all beings had to be the one who came up with the answer, lord forbid if someone would listen to Viscus, No, he's too mean to be listened to.
[...I've know Adelheid Bernstein longer then you have, Teri Gravel. I shall accept this option but know that should worst come to worst, I will prioritize the security of this vessel over his life. As User: David West would say: "Don't make a balls of it, T.".] He responded, playing one of the many audio clips he had scanned from the security systems, before turning his attention to the announcement of the ship's docking and change of dress code policy.
[I must now assist in the docking and repair efforts. And by the sound of things, Disciplinary actions as well...] He then said before marching out of the Cleric's room, eager to take his displeasure out on the hormone riddled masses of the Rising Dawn's staff.
He was quickly starting to tire of the biological urges and emotions of the crew of the Rising Dawn...

[Attention Heroes and Staff, this is Support AI: Viscus Ver. 5.23

I have recently taken it upon myself to enact new measures in order to combat the recent waves of inappropriate behavior among staff members, especially in relation to violations of inventory and supply protocols.
As such, I am proposing that such violations will be treated with the same disregard for discretion as shown by those who violate them.

For Example: Private Martinez recently left a Japanese Dakimakura or "Full Body Pillow" in the Explosive Ordinance section of the Armory. Yes, Private Martinez from Logistics. The Female of Latin-American decent with the dyed blonde hair in Office area 3. It had a altered image of one of her superior officers on it wearing a Samba Dancer outfit. And no, you can not have it back.
I encourage Engineering Captain Theiss to use this example to improve existing misconduct regulations and a reminder to all staff: I have several months of security footage and personal data I am willing to disclose should this misconduct continue.
Yes. This includes browsing histories, Lieutenant Anazorzia. Including the entries you attempted to delete.

You may now resume your duties and I look forward to "assisting" in the operational tasks of this vessel.
Also, Private Martinez, stop crying and get back to work.]

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Above Denver-Ruins

Rising Dawn: Command Bridge Rugal, Hillary, Ton Ton, Cadolbolg

"Do let us know if you need anything."

Those words echoed in her mind and brought her away from her trying to remember what parts seemed to be missing. Her head looked up to Rugal's face once again, her mouth opened slightly, hesitant to say anything at first. The surface of her eyes moved and shifted, apparently looking back down at the figurine in her hands as her head looked back down to it. "Well, there are a couple of things you could help me with here if at all possible?" Hillary spoke, gently placing her thumb on the side of the largest woman's head. "You, haven't seen either of these two?" Hillary asked, indicating the two women. "Or heard the names of Anik or Timea? Last time this happened Hillary met some really wonderful people, and I understand its a really really big place out there, but if Hillary could see them again..? It would make her so happy~" She spoke, allowing Rugal to get a better look to the statuettes of the two, but not letting him take it from her either. [1]

While everyone got the chance to have a good look at the two, Hillary followed up with another request that she felt would ease some of the concern among the group (And by that I mean Rugal). "Also, if there is something Hillary could, eat? Maybe some tin cans or foil, but even just some plastic would be good if its clean?" She requested in a nonshalant manner like one would for a simple glass of water."I'm not hungry really but if Hillary got something to put in her then she wouldn't need to hold her look like I am right now?" Hillary would go on to explain loosely, not exactly considering the idea that human don't normally put 'food' and 'plastic' in the same phrase. "You, haven't ever met a Slime before, have you?" She pondered out loud, not specifically talking to anyone in particular about this topic.

[1] So as a semi references for what you're looking at here is Timea and Anik. Timea would be wearing an large blanket around her waist while Anik was dressed in some decent winter garb.

The Rising Dawn
Cantina

Morning


Diana

Diana, after her unpleasant conversation with Jenny, went back to drinking. Why does this incompetent and annoying person even have friends in the first place? she thought. I can see neither a reason why Violet was in charge, nor why anyone should care for him. But well ..." she got up, after drinking up all she had left, swaying slightly. Time to punch someone in the face.

She casually strolled out, towards the medical bay, asking herself why she even did so, and what 'clearing her mind' even meant. I'm certainly drunk, to go after her now of all times. Diana thought and called out in the next moment, standing in the door to the medical ward. "HAS ANYONE SEEN A BITCH IN A WHEELCHAIR? APPARENTLY SHE WANTS SOMETHING FROM ME?"

Stepping inside, she oogled at any person her gaze fell on. "You are not in a wheelchair." she stated to a nurse, causing her to get a short pinch of her headache in her mind, similar to what Diana had felt herself. "You neither." she stated, pointing at a patient on a bed, staring at her in confusion, causing him to feel the same. This way, she went through a few people, before stopping at a man who currently got his arms replaced by something mechanical parts.

"You are building cyborgs here? You disgust me, you stupid people." she stated to a random doctor. "How about you think of something better than this? Evolution, my man, not Regressolution ... or something. Fuck you." she added, causing him to feel a pinch in his mind.

After a while, she actually found the Gardevoir. "You." she pointed at her. "I frankly do not care about what you did to me, but you seemingly do. Well, and you seem to care about this vermin. How about I use you as a punching bag, because I am bored, and in the end, if you can still listen, I tell you why he is the way he is as a reward. Deal?"


Las Vegas
Strip

Night
Anjali | Eddie the Dead

Anjali opened her eyes. There were lights, so many of them, she needed to adjust for a bit. Apparently it was night, as she knew when looking into the sky, but the roads and buildings were lit up brighter than any daylight could accomplish. And there were so many people, she had trouble observing even one of them for a longer period of time.

"Welcome to the Twilight City, Las Vegas. Entertainment capital of the world. Whatever ya wanna do, you can bet there's a place for it here." Eddie told her. "So, whatcha feel like doing? Would you like to try out some form of adult entertainment, or would you like me to tour you around the place? There's no hurry. After all..." he took a coin out of his pocket, spun it in the air, and caught it, "We've got all night."

The coin took her attention, as good an object as any to keep her focused, and Anjali answered: "I do not know what you understand as 'adult entertainment', but maybe it would be best if you tour me around the place first, show me what what iss ..." Then, she saw her own reflection on the bonnet of Eddie's car, wearing uniform and gazing at herself with red glowing eyes, and tensed up. "Do you think I wear the wrong things for this place? And what about my ... condition? I mean ..." More people went by, all wearing different things, a different amount of clothes. "Are there any rules to this place, anyways?" she asked, and smiled more now, as in her mind everyone could get attention, so no one did, not even Eddie and Anjali.

"What can you do in this place? It's ... so strange. I have never seen anything like thiss. I understand not half of the words that are written on the buildings here.
Tell me what is fun!"

Eddie stared for a moment, and started playing with the coin, rolling it across his knuckles. "First thing to know about Vegas is that it doesn't matter what you wear, who you are, or how you look. If you win, you're treated as a God. If not, you'll get laughed at - behind your back, of course. It's impolite to do it in your face." he went faster, "As for rules, it's the usual. Don't steal, kill, cheat, if you do drugs, don't get caught, if you're a nudist, make sure you're drunk to use that as a defense, and public sex is outlawed. The coin disappeared, and suddenly he was holding it between two fingers in his other hand, "As for what is fun," he shrugged, "Well, that depends. What do you find fun? What did you do for fun back in your world? Maybe we can find common ground, and if not, I have a better idea of what you like.

Anjali let Eddie's words run through her ethereal brain, answering slowly: "I'm not one to laugh about others, so this should not be a problem. I hope we don't lose, though ... I also don't like stealing, killing or cheating. My mother told me those are wrong. Well, especially killing. I don't know any drugs and ... ew." Anjali grimaced, not wanting to imagine the act. "Well, I did like dancing and singing when I was alive. We did not have all this stuff ... I was living in a small village, you know. There was not that much to do but eat, work and go to the temple on holy days. A bit of dancing, a bit of talking. Watching the birds ... are there even birds here?
I did never really play cards or dice, these were for older men. But then, the old granny always won ... she seemed to have fun."
she laughed. "I guess it does not hurt to try, doess it?"

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | A Bookish Bookstore
Golem! Golem!
Ruby Babbage-Lovelace | Nina Zaczoltski Phillip!!!

Prior to the discovery of the swarm in the bookstore's backroom, Ruby Babbage-Lovelace's day had been going fairly well. For starters, Miss Nina Zaczoltski had not only taken her on off of the Airship and visited a town that was strangely absent of any life but she'd then decided to become a student of the magical arts. Contrary to what fictional books would have one believe, magical academies were not the ideal place to study magic. For one thing there whole teams of religious zealots that would have found a school filled with heathens and witches to be an absolutely juicy target. Another thing was the fact that when you gathered groups of mages in one place, things sometimes exploded, including other students. The Airship Rising Dawn was the perfect place for Miss Zavzoltski to learn and practice her magical craft considering it was a floating fortress that stayed away from crowded urban centers most of the time. It would also be nice to have another novice magician aboard the Rising Dawn, someone that the Frilly Dress Pink Princess could discuss the finer points of magic with... like what materials one should avoid using when crafting a golem or elemental [1].

Standing in the middle of the bookstore, wearing a large bright grin on her face, Ruby listened to what Miss Zaczoltski had to say and answered her temporary temporary guardian's questions as best as she could... at least she would have were there not an interruption. But hey, here's what would have happened!

"I'm not sure exactly what we'll be up to after our little adventure here, but be it you teaching me some tricks, visiting your mom, this library, or even all three. I think I could squeeze it into my busy schedule~ Deal?" Miss Zaczoltski said as she squeezed the nine year old girl's far smaller hand and shook it.

"Deal!" The child said enthusiastically.

"So, I'm a bit surprised your mom is around here. With Eddie being the one taking care of you, I figured she must have been off on business." There was a bit of a strange tone to Miss Zaczoltski's voice as she said this... as if she was questioning something, "And, this Red Mage? Something happened to him?"

"Well, I didn't meet Mister Eddie too long ago and Miss Rory, she's one of the members of the Rising Dawn, asked Mister Eddie to take care of Farber and me while she left... she seemed like she really really needed to get off of the airship," Ruby mentioned, unaware of what happened to the Demi-Goddess of Death whenever there were people dying nearby, "And then Mister Eddie had to leave in order to take care of some stuff also... but my moms, their names are Deborah and Titania, work with the Rising Dawn but are usually away on business... they just happen to be at the Airship now." The nine-year-old pretty pretty princess rambled for a moment before pausing, "As for Mister Red Mage... he's the only magician that I've heard of that almost killed all the gods..."

Of course, as was previously stated, that's what would have been said were it not for Phillip's poorly timed interruption... not that was truly his fault or anything. No if anything, it was the swarm's fault. As Miss Zaczoltski walked towards the back to the bookstore to find out why Phillip was making such a racket, Ruby reached down for the book that she had been reading, a Primer on Golem Crafting, only to discover that she wasn't the only one in the store interested in the book. Standing atop the thick tome was what looked like an inky black stag beetle who appeared to be starting at the young girl who was staring at it. Being a rabid book fanatic, the usually fearless nine year old girl was aware that certain insects instinctively seek darker areas in order to hide better and sometimes these dark places were people's shadows. While it might look like a particularly nasty bug is charging a person, it's actually trying to stay in a person's shadow. It's one thing, however, to have the knowledge and it's another thing to experience it first hand.

*SPLORCH!*

That was the sound that the bug made as it attempted to invade the Ribbon Clad Cloth-o-mancer and got a stomp for its troubles and ,as one would have expected from such a noise, its guts ended up everywhere, including the bottom of Ruby Babbage-Lovelace's poor poor pretty-pretty ballerina slippers.

"Ewwwwww," The young girl ew'd in disgust as she looked at the bottom of her foot and the black spatter mark that was dripping off of the sides of the soles of her shoes. While she could have used the pages of a random book to wipe the mess off of her shoes, she did just what she had for Miss Zaczoltski, she magicked the mess out of the materials that were used in crafting her shoes... or would have had the black smear not fulled dripped off of her footwear and started sliming its way back towards the stag beetle's body where it was reincorporated into the rapidly regenerating insect.

Watching in morbid fascination, Ruby was taken by surprise when she wa suddenly whisked right off her feet by a running Miss Nina.

"Ruby! We need to RUN! NOW!!" Her Protective Temporary Guardian yelled as she tucked Ruby under her arms like a pink football, proving that humans can do quite a bit when under the influence of an extremem amount of adrenaline.

As tempted as she was to respond with a "What's going on?" or a "LET ME DOWN!" Ruby had been in enough danger riddled situations to know that she had to stay calm and observe the events that were unfolding around her and sure enough, the answer to her unstated questions became obvious, a swarm of insects like the one that the mini-magnus has squished were running after them, presumably not for the reason that Ruby had originally theorized. For a bunch of bugs, these were certainly quick and they seemed to be closing in on the trio of bookstore escapees.

Closing her eyes, the young magician concentrated on her surroundings, sensing the bolts of cloth from the stall that was located not too far away from the bookstore. While she could have attempted to try to contain all of the bugs inside of a barrier made of cloth, she had the feeling that these extra-dimensional insects would have been able to burrow their way through a flimsy thing. She needed something a bit larger and more distracting than a simple spell. Sending out ribbons of mystical energy, she started to weave the bolts of cloth into something very, very, VERY large... a rag doll with giant yarnlike hair, not too dissimilar from Raggedy Ann. Unlike the playful animated doll, this giant sized version wasn't out to be friendly with all she met, she was intend on distracting the trio's pursuers at any cost.


The Escapist Avatar Adventures | The Airship Rising Dawn | The Canteen
Tadaima, Bitches!
Katya Rostikova | Antoinette de la Trou | Benedict Warrington

Like Ruby Babbage-Lovelace, Katya's day had gone from pretty good to an explosion of shit of epic proportions. Whether it was some random fluke or perhaps the work of some sadistic God [2], the Rising Dawn's Resident Depraved Internet Troll had, like the previous few additions to the Rising Dawn, decided that crashing through the ceiling was the best way to make her grand return to the Airship... and she'd brought friends as well. While the people around her had started resuming their drinking, Katya, thanks to BEWP, had started to mend the shattered bones in her body and regenerate her mostly exploded organs. She was going to survive but this was going to hurt like a bitch.

"OW! OW! OW! THAT'S MY FUCKING SPLEEN!!!" The Self Healing Hacker screamed loudly as her spleen was patched up and placed in the general location of where it was supposed to be. It felt like a group of people prone to epileptic seizures were playing Operation inside of Katya's body. As her left eye was popped back in place, she noticed that her "friends" or the people that had fallen through the roof with her and landed on top of her, were being dragged off by some staff, presumably for some medical attention and light introductory hazing as part of their indoctrination into the Rising Dawn. Katya remembered her's very well since he dealt with the ship's most egotistical, self centered, self aggrandizing winged electrical asshat on the ship.

Speaking of asshats.

"OW!" Katya screamed again as she totally-not-on-purpose-I-swear-but-you'll-never-get-me-to-admit-otherwise kicked David's glass over with a flailing foot as her legs were popped back into the correct position relative to her hips... and with that it was over... the pain subsided and the world suddenly seemed at ease again.

"GODDAMIT OW!" The mostly fixed fixer screamed as BEWP oragnically spot welded a nipple back in place... and that should have been the last of it... or so Katya had thought as the world felt like it came crashing down around her and a multitude of hands groped at her and lifted her off of the hard hard bar...

~Fade to black~

~beep~ ~beep~ ~beep~ ~beep~ ~beep~

Did I ever mention that Katya hated hospitals worse than anything in the world? It was a combination of the repetitive beeping and the fact that everyone always treated hospital patients with some degree of fragility. Dolly was probably sitting right next to Katya's bed with that rat bastard David. Glancing around, she noticed that she was all alone actually in the sick bay, a fact that made her feel both irate and underappreciated. Grumbling at the fact that there was not a familiar face around, the formerly missing mechanical genius swung her legs off the bed and started heading back towards the Canteen where she could presumably get some sort of sustenance and guilt trip a hug out of Dolly.

"HONEY! I'M HOOOOOOME!" Katya exclaimed as she burst through the Canteen's double doors.

[1] Generally one wants to avoid using explosive or radioactive materials unless you don't care about your surrounding environments
[2] >_>

"Attention Heroes and Staff, this is Engineering Captain Theiss speaking.

Docking procedures are complete as of now. All staff and passengers are free to move throughout the vessel. Support squadrons 260, 262 and 264 please report to the cargo bay and help restock our inventory. Support squadron 263 is currently on an extended leave-of-absence. Engineering teams, the 121st Engineering Division is -

AGAIN WITH THE CRASHING THROUGH THE ROOF. WHAT IS EVERYONE'S PROBLEM!? NAAMAH CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS SO UNAPPEALING ABOUT DOORS!

Ah! Colonel Blackheart, please calm down!

NAAMAH WILL NOT "CALM DOWN." NAAMAH IS FURIOUS. PERHAPS NAAMASH SHALL INSTALL DOORS IN THE CEILINGS FOR THE HEROES WHO ARE TOO SPECIAL TO USE DOORS.

No! No, no. Colonel Blackheart, please sit down. Someone prepare some cinnamon apple tea for the Colonel!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

ALL STRUCTURAL REPAIR SPECIALISTS ARE TO REPORT TO THE CANTEEN BREACH IMMEDIATELY. OTHER ENGINEERING TEAMS RENDEZVOUS WITH THE 121ST ENGINEERING DIVISION IN THE DOCK."

Rising Dawn: Canteen ------------------------------------------------------------------ 01:00 AM


Lt. Dolores Selmy

Two men peered down at the gathered heroes through the breach in steel and wire. The thick carbon micromesh had been torn clean through and the steel twisted as if putty. The engineers settled into their work with a tired reservation. One strung in the supports, another lowered himself into the breach and soon the rhythmic ring of hammer and torch joined the symphony of clamor that was the Canteen.

Laeta and Saren had broken their masks of fury, and now instead wore malicious grins on their faces. I knew that well. I reached out and grabbed Laeta firmly by her wrist. She was still tense. "No. No alcohol. We all know full and well what happened the last time you two were drunk."

Laeta tilted her head and closed her eyes. "I don't know what you're talking about." It was easy for me to read her face, it was a mixture of mischief and rebellion. A sure sign of teenage disregard for both authority and common sense. I put down her hand and shook my head sternly.

Then I turned back to David and touched his hands gingerly. They felt different. They weren't like my father's, whose hands were soft and gentle. No, these hands were worn in, rough and calloused. The nails were cut short and the skin was thick. These were the hands of an honest man, hardworking and tough. I remember somewhere though, deep inside, a hurtful grasp. It had been different back then, his hands were soft and gentle, like a woman's. Well manicured and groomed. It was meticulous, perfect. It was obsessive. Those were hands of a person born to kill. Soft and cold, suffocating to the touch.

David cleared his throat.

I fell back into my chair and let go of his hands, "I'm sorry." I looked away, "I.. I got lost in thought, I guess." I looked back at him, through him almost. Outside the windows I could see the massive machine complex that the Rising Dawn had parked in. The natural stars of the night sky had been replaced by blinking lights, the clouds by smoke and steam, and the chorus of migrant birds by shrill barks and whistles of the soldiers below.

That's right. We're soldiers. I cleared my throat and summoned what gravitas I could. "It's not your fault. You and me, we're human after all. We make mistakes, we hurt and we get hurt. There's nothing that we could do to stop that. You don't owe me anything, for either my injury or your attitude. We live lives of hardship, so I do not blame you for seeking solace in the superhuman natures of your friends." God knows I feel the same way.

The doors slammed open from the outside, one of the engineers working on the roof lost his grip on his supports and fell onto the bar. "Gah! That scared the shits out of me!" He looked around, and then at Luke. "Oh sorry about your bar. I think I might've put a dent in the thing uh...." His eyes searched for a badge and name tag. "Who are you exactly? You're not part of the staff are you?"

"Hey sis, you're girlfriend is here!" Saren said. She waved with her hand as a massive ice-cream sundae was brought before her. The decadent dessert was loaded with all sorts of rare fruits and nuts. Some from alternate worlds. She really took David's tab and worked it raw. Laeta looked over, chewing absently on a sweet sausage and grinned. She pressed her lips against the meat and rubbed it suggestively with two fingers. "Shit, you're really cradle robbing with this one, she's ought to be 'round my age." Laeta took a large bite out of her sausage and let the juices run down her lips and chin before scooping it up with her fingers and shoveling the rest back into her mouth.

I looked out toward her, "Ah... Katya." I picked up her letter from my lap and held it up to her. "Katya, you're okay..." I forced myself to smile, "I'm glad."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel

Rising Dawn: King Leoric's room: King Leoric, Nadalia

The room was mostly the same as the other bedrooms on the Dawn, Leoric not really having the time to put his personal spin on it.
Only thing he had unpacked were some candles, namely because he was unaware that the room had a light switch.
There was something that stood out however: a Rather Large Chest, one truly fit for a king.
Most of what he was able to salvage from his manor and his crypt was inside, like a massive suitcase that required 5 people to move and a small step-ladder to even open.
"Indeed. I have been a guest of honor in many noble's houses in my time, but this vessel of yours is finer then even the wealthiest of kingdoms...A fine resting place for this old king as any...Now, where did I leave it?..." He answered as he began to go though some of his old vanity objects, carefully laying them on the bed beside Nadalia.
There was a number of treasures, a Scepter, A Portrait of his former self, the old Crown of Khanduras and a entire bag of Fancy Rings.
"I remember hearing that adventurers would use those rings in place of gold once rumors about false coins began to become common place. Which reminds me, I must give that to that strange young woman I had shared-...shared a-...cell..." He trailed off as he found not what he was looking for but rather a Reminder of his past.
"..........."

His silence spoke a thousand words to Nadalia, the kind of vibe you wouldn't expect from King Leoric. Here he was, a corpse if not outright a skeleton that still showed emotions. The Iron Queen understood perfectly how the past can still bind those to relive that experience long ago, for both the living and the dead.

King Leoric felt a gentle hand on his shoulder, Nadalia standing at his side now.
"No need to cross that path again, my king. You've clearly been through enough by now to think about trivial matters." She didn't mean his past was trivial, but rather, she didn't want him to dwell on things that no longer mattered when the present was far more important. She did however, began to examine each jewelry and treasury Leoric had displayed for the Bride of Ash's to check out, and although she wasn't materialistic, such belongings were incredibly nice towards the eyes.

"To the common eye, these would seem rather simplistic in nature; the mortal mind making it out to be a cosmetic of sorts. However, I can sense something deeper about them, their crafts carrying a hidden power. Forgive me for asking, but how will these, exactly, help me with my current problem?" Her tone didn't seem disappointed nor upset, but rather, puzzled. Nadalia was certain these were useful in some way, but did not see how in any shape or form, they could return her to the Iron Queen that once ruled over the entire nation of Alonne.

It took sometime before Leoric finally snapped out of his trance, finally muttering something along the lines of "Yes, yes. Just another moment of your time, Iron Queen..."
It was then that he finally found what he was after: His old Golden Gorget and the powerful Flawless Royal Ruby contained inside it.
"Ahhh...Here we are...I remember wearing this the night I was slain...While it didn't save me, perhaps it might aid you in this trying time..." He said before gently playing the Amulet around Nadalia's neck.
"Contained within is a magical gem with the power to increase one's strength. A travelling jeweler sold it to one of my servants when I was taken ill. Since my passing, I have infused it with some of my own power. Merely say "Servants" and it will bring about up to 6 of my personal assistants to aid you however you require. Just take heed: They are not warriors, no matter how much they claim otherwise..."

Upon wearing the amulet, Nadalia would feel a lot-..."Lighter", as if every movement of her body was far easier then before.
While it didn't do much for her visible illness, it did allow her to walk un-assisted once more...

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel

Rising Dawn: Medical Bay: Jenny, Diana

While she was still under-going treatment for her own wounds, Jenny was still able to help with some of the psychological and emotional needs of the other patients.
That and you'd be amazed how popular the ability to shut off someone's sense of pain is in a medical profession.[1].
When Diana found her, she was looking over some medical charts for Dr. Violet, namely detailing how he had been given a sedative in order to calm him down.
"...Your social skills need a bit of work." Jenny mentally answered without even looking up from her chart at the enraged shapeshifter.
"That and I must say: I've actually been subject to several cases of abuse over my life as it is and, frankly, I'm not in the humor to entertain another. So if you could just apologize and undo the mental trauma you have inflicted on Dr. Violet, I'll gladly get rid of that little nagging sensation you feel in the back of your mind..."
After sending that message, the Gardevoir had a smirk on her face, as if she knew of something that Diana didn't...

[1] Basically, she uses Psychic power to isolate and delay impulses from nerve endings to prevent sensations of pain from being processed. While it doesn't cure the root cause of the pain, it's still nice to get some relief

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel

Rising Dawn: Command Bridge: Rugal, Hillary, Ton Ton, Cadolbolg

Rugal tried to place either of the women in his memory but came up lacking, something that he attempted to break gently to their guest.
"I'm sorry but I have not seen either Anik or Timea around here. But what I *can* do is get some food for you. Come, we've finally docked for repairs. I'm sure our friends have a bite or two laying about." He then said to the "Children" [1] before having them follow him towards one of the airlocks to come aboard this Citadel.
"And for the record, I can't say that I have met a slime before...but you do remind me of this strange Wooden Man I sparred with a few times. Friendly fellow, much like yourself. He seemed to process the spirits of many great warriors and could use their power in battle. Didn't speak much though..." He fondly recalled, figuring that the Slime would find some amusement in his tales as they walked along the halls.
Outside the windows was no longer clear sky, instead being replaced with a hanger bay with dozens of repair crews running around fixing up the place.
This did however give the "Captain" (Term used loosely) an idea...

"Hmmm...So you eat metal do you?..." He remarked as he neared one of the engineering crew who was repairing part of the hull after a stray missile hit.
"Pardon me-" He calmly said before helping himself to one of the thick metal plates that the worker was using for repairs, prompting some slight protest before she merely shook her head and returned to her work.
Gesturing for the young one's attention, he held up the plate in his hands before channeling his Slashing Aura.
This combined with his impressive strength allowed him to quickly crush and bend the metal in his hands before smoothing it out like a craftsman making pottery.
When he was done, he was soon holding a rather appealing looking Metal Apple in his hands, coy look on his face before he handed it to the Slime.
"As we say back where I hail: Mahlzeit."

[1] "Least they have the mentality of children...except Ton Ton perhaps..."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | A Bookish Bookstore
"You charged that shit up, and I sent it home!"
Ruby Babbage-Lovelace | Nina Zaczoltski | Phillip!!! | GOLEM!!!

With Ruby's impressive display of skills and mastery, it was only fitting Nina showed her own skill. You see, Ruby was pretty small, and despite Nina's lackluster'd physical condition she was quite a bit taller and had a far longer stride that the pink magician. So obviously she'd take a page out of the Jojo family play book and RUN THE HELL AWAY!

Bounding as fast as she could, Nina threw open the door and skipped several steps down the staircase from the bookstore. She only had to make it to that first door they'd come in from, that was the focus. The sound of a thunderous crash of a splintering door overwhelmed Nina's breathing and footsteps followed by what could best be described as a storm surge. The bugs had escaped and gave chase as they crashed like a wave through the building easily cresting the bottom of the windows of the shop and out the door like a raging torrent!

Worst of all, the bugs were gaining ground rather quickly, or it would if not for the quick thinking of the group's adorable mage! Wrapping together, collecting and weaving; the golem took shape with each step forming into some sort of mashup of the Incredible Hulk and a Wooly Woolie! The instability in magic in the area only seemed to engorge the golem even more as it bounded towards the fleeing trio. Despite the immense size and girth of the cloth Woolie, just as it was about to collide with Nina, it propelled itself into the air clearing them by less than a meter. The bugs in term swelled at their front, forming a sickly pseudopod that looked to finally capture their prey. Wooly Woolie replied silently as it crested in the air, pulling back a mighty mitten of fabric and curled each silky digit into a strongly worded fist!

The magical disruption became even more apparent, pockets of manaless regions in the air seemed to unravel the creature while other pockets only emboldened it. Rippling through the air, clouds of condensed mana rolled over the cloth as it punched through one such heavy pocket, rocketing towards its target to protect the one that brought it life. And it made purchase, landing a deafening smackdown as the pseudopod was thrust backwards, thrown outwards like a sheer cliff breaking a tidal wave. The golem continued its assault, slapping at the bugs like a supreme sumo wrestler, forcing the majority of the bugs to hault in their tracks.

The bugs would still trickle through sure, but even with their superior speed, the golem had done its job in buying Nina enough time to escape. She wouldn't be able to thank the golem for its sacrifice, sprinting required a constant intake of oxygen that chit chat would never allow, despite what shows like DBZ might suggest. The sentiment wouldn't be lost however as Nina finally ran passed the clothing stall, Phillip reaching out a long tentacle to twist the handle for Nina to push on through.

Phillip would flop onto the floor once they'd crossed the threshold slamming the door shut, while Nina continued to the far side of the hall before setting Ruby down. "Ph-phillip, we gotta go" She huffed, trying to catch her breath as the adrenaline started to dip in her bloodstream. While Phillip would seemingly inform Nina the bugs weren't going to get this far, Ruby would see that the black door they'd escaped through was disappearing back into the wall and soon was completely gone like nothing had happened. "But-, ugh!" Nina groaned, squatting to the floor head slumped forward. "I'm really out of shape..."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel

Rising Dawn: Command Bridge: Rugal, Hillary, Ton Ton, Cadolbolg

The bait and switch of offering Hillary food was largely unnecessary in many respects. Sure if Hillary had been her younger self it may have been warranted but she was an adult after all, a childish one sure, but an adult none the less. "That's okay, Hillary thought it might not be, it's a very big place outside Garton, but Hillary thought she might ask anyways~" She reflected on her memory of the two.

She looked up as she noticed the swoosh of the air lock opening at the group stepped in. It was a relatively small room, and it took her a second to figure out what it was she was standing in. Although it appeared like her attention had shifted due to this new place, once they were through Hillary made a point to stride along with Rugal and say "He sounds rather interesting Mr Rugal, Hillary doesn't fight and I'm pretty sure she's never had any warrior spirits, but she has been wood before. Do you still see him from time to time?" She asked, curious about this odd fellow.

While Rugal was formulating his plan of the metal apple, Hillary spent a portion of her time greeting each member of the Citadel with a wave and a smile. Her other arm wrapped around Rugal's if he let her. The engineers using plasma torches to assist with the repairs caused an interesting reaction for Hillary. She would greet them as she had for everyone else, but she was definitely keeping Rugal between her and the workers.

"Hmmm...So you eat metal do you?..." Rugal asked Hillary, bringing her attention back to the large man. "Yes I can eat metal Rugal." She answered back, watching curiously as he plucked one of the thick metal plates like it was nothing. Moreover, she watched as Rugal sculpted the delicious apple from his bare hands; first she was merely puzzled, then surprised, and finally awestruck.

Her eyes wide, her hands over her nose and mouth and this look like she could cry. It's too bad Chrysalis wasn't there to bask in the glow of pure joy Hillary was exuding. "Rugal this is wonderful!~" She squeed, happily grabbing the apple from Rugal as the metallic mirror appearance overtook her. She would then bring the entire apple up to her mouth, her lips starting to change on contact as well. She'd pop the entire thing in her mouth and swallow, causing a large bulge in her throat before it moved down into her torso area.

Unlike the drastic changes that'd taken over her body when she'd become the ceramic floor of the command room, the metal apple seemed to exclusively change her makeup.[1] The only notable change being her hair now forming two large circular pigtails[2] instead of the short bob cut she'd had on their way there. Now a walking mirror, Rugal could see his own reflection clearly across her as Hillary herself looked over herself with this childish whimsy as the lights of the hanger danced across her skin. "Hillary hadn't thought you would give her something this nice~ Oh I'm so happy! Thank you!" She exclaimed as she went to give Rugal a big hug.

Now the floor may have given an indication of some of the changes Hillary had undergone due to the metal, but when she hugged Rugal it'd become exceptionally clear. First of all, Hillary was now about 8 times as strong as she had been before, potentially lifting Rugal off the ground if he didn't use some sort of technique to keep himself on the ground. The second was clear if he'd tried to lift Hillary, as she now weighed a whopping 500kg or 1102.31lbs, and that wasn't including whatever the apple had weighed!

[1] So basically she looks like a regular woman albeit censored. Ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, a nose and mouth.
[2] A bit like Jazmine's hair from Boondocks, but no where near as large, probably about half the size of Hillary's head

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel

Rising Dawn: Canteen/Bar: David West, Luke, Dolores, Laeta, Saren, Load of other people

"Right...well, offer still stands. When you've pissed off as many people as I have over the years, you quickly learn to make amends." David remarked, politely not bringing up the weird hand-holding thing she had just done.
Glancing back to Dolores's sisters, he then swallowed what was most likely going to be a big whopper of a bill before adding "Well, you know where to find me if you want to cash in-"
He was interrupted by the latest structural damage that was done to the canteen by the crew of the Rising Dawn, not even moving as drinks and foodstuffs were splattered all over his face and outfit.
"....In the washroom getting cleaned up, apparently..." He sighed as Katya quickly reminded him of why they didn't get along too well (Not enough to want her to be hurt mind but way too much to stand being in the same room as her for too long.)
"Right-o then, I'll, uh, leave you guys and gals to it. Need to call my boss now about those jackasses in the brig anyway. I don't want to end up having to live with him like we did with Damien..." He said before wiping his eyes clean and making his way out of the madhouse and onto the station to contact UNIT.
Uhhhhhh, I need to buy more jackets...

The Rising Dawn
Med Bay

Morning


Diana

Jenny, annoyingly, spoke to her telepathically again. "So if you could just apologize and undo the mental trauma you have inflicted on Dr. Violet, I'll gladly get rid of that little nagging sensation you feel in the back of your mind..." she said and smirked.

Diana was not in the mood for this. She gave a big smile back and answered, with a sarcastic undertone: "Oh, I'm sorry. Truly, I am. So why don't I fix this little problem by getting rid of it? It's honestly quite boring to do it this way, but if you insist: I'm going to kill him."

With that, she turned around and stalked away, towards where she could sense the broken brainwaves of Violet.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel

Rising Dawn: Medical Bay: Jenny, Diana

Oh for the love of-
Diana was about to enter Dr. Violet's room when she walked right into a invisible wall, stunning her for a moment before a second one pressed against her back, gently sandwiching her as well as lifting her up in the air a few inches off the ground.
"I didn't mean to cause confusion. Really, I didn't. I just assumed that you understood what I was asking of you. So let's try this again..." Jenny said as she dragged Diana back to where she was a few moments ago before the walls faded.
"I want you to undo the mental trauma you have inflicted on Dr. Violet. His company has abandoned him and I'm not sending him home in his current state. It's nothing too taxing and it would really be doing me a massive favor. So...what say you?" She then asked, moving her wheelchair in the doorway to make her point a bit more clear...

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | A Totally Random Corridor
Golem! Golem! Pt II
Ruby Babbage-Lovelace | Nina Zaczoltski Phillip!!!

Miss Zaczoltski's mad dash towards the exit out of the world was not without its unexpected surprises. Despite her younth, Ruby Babbage-Lovelace had thought that she had experienced all sorts of strangeness in her short life but never had she ever encountered pockets of space devoid of mana. Similarly, she had never ever expected the existence of bubbles where mana was concentrated, though conceptually, it made sense that such things would exist. Despite her desire to stay and study this phenomenon, the presence of the other worldly bugs acted as a deterent in prolonging their visit to the formerly empty marketplace.

Watching from her perch under Miss Zaczoltski's arm, Ruby watched as her golem became more and more unstable as it passed through the mana voids and into the mana bubbles. It was during her observations that she suddenly experienced a sudden wave of weakness washing over her, though perhaps weakness was not how she would have described the sensation that bloomed within her chest. It felt like she, like her golem, was unraveling. It felt as if the molecular bonds that kept her cells glued together suddenly weakened to such a degree that small ashlike particulates started drifting off of her skin like dust.

FLOP!

A strange looking, pinkish catapillar suddenly hit the ground behind Miss Zaczoltski. It was long, slender and had what appeared to be a nail where its head should have been. Squirming to get Miss Zaczoltski's attention, Ruby started to point towards the object only to realize that she didn't have the ability to point at the weird catapillar since the thing was actually her pointer finger.

Normally, it would be at that point in time where Miss Zaczoltski's eardrums would have been shattered by the loudest scream the nine-year old miniature magician could have unleashed. Instead, Ruby's temporary guardian felt her makeshift carryon item suddenly go limp, which would have been an issue had the girl's body not suddenly felt a few stones lighter as well. The rest of the chase sequence was all darkness for the suddenly unconscious child.

------------------------------One Escape Sequence Later------------------------------

**SLAM!**
**CLICK!**
"HUFF! HUFF! HUFF! HUFF! HUFF!
"

Ruby was woken by the sound of a door hastily being slammed shut before being locked and the Miss Zaczoltski gasping for breath as her lungs attempted to provide air to her oxygen starved muscles. The coldness of the metal under Ruby's legs, the smell of recycled air and the familiar hum of florescent lighting clued the child whose eyes were still closed as to her location. She was back aboard the airship. Opening her eyes she noticed that she was slumped against a metal corridor wall while Miss Zaczoltski was bent over, her mouth gulping in the air.

"I'm really out of shape..." Her Out of Shape Savior stated as Ruby slowly picked herself up off the ground, brushing what appeared to be dust off of her dress before doing a quick check of her body, especially her hands before breathing out a sigh of relief that she appeared to be back to normal, though she was still feeling a bit weak from having passed out.

"Nu uh!" Ruby nu uh'd Miss Nina's statement before elaborating on her nu uh, "You were awesome Miss Nina! You only were you able to run really really fast away from... whatever those things were... you did it carrying Phillip and me! That was awesome!" Ruby said as she checked the area had been to see if anything had followed them and sure enough a bit of something had. Fortunately for both Ruby and her Marathon Running Guardian, what had fallen through the door before getting severed by the sealed door was a bit of the Golem that Ruby had crafted to aid in their escape. Walking over to the scrap bit of cloth, Ruby reached down to pick it up, surprised to find that it reacted to her touch, rubbing a bit of what passed for a head against the young girl's skin.

"That's... kinda... not supposed to happen..." The Confused Little Wand Waver muttered, watching as the scrap of silk cloth started to reshape itself into a much smaller version of the golem that it had come from, "That's... not supposed to happen either..."

Nothing that had transpired within that market place was normal so why should she have been surprised when a scrap of cloth that shouldn't have had the magical energy to even levitate suddenly had enough mana to not only maintain its existence but reshape itself into a miniature golem? Patting the little creature on the head, Ruby picked up her new companion and turned around to check on her not-quite in-shape savior.

"Are you alright, Miss Nina? What were those things? Where'd they come from? Were they the reason that the marketplace was so empty? Did they bite you? Are you okay Mister Phillip? What happened? Are we still going to go get your hat Miss Nina? Do you want me to find the way for you next time, Miss Nina? I have a really handy spell that could help. Why'd we come back this way anyways? Why am I asked so many questions? Isn't today just the weirdest?" Ruby asked in rapid succession, her body feeling rather pumped up in excitement when she though of the stories she could tell her mom, Deborah.


The Escapist Avatar Adventures | The Airship Rising Dawn | The Canteen
Jealous Much?
Katya Rostikova | Antoinette de la Trou | Benedict Warrington

Whatever liveliness and joviality she'd felt when she had entered the Air Ship's canteen had been quickly drained from her as soon as her eyes set upon David West, who was sitting at the bar having a rather meaningful looking discussion with none other than Dolores Selmy. Walking up to the bar, the Rising Dawn's Resident Debbie Downer eyed the man Irish Sniper as he got up and started towards the Canteen's nearest exit, his eyes never meeting Katya's as he walked away.

"[b]Ah... Katya. Dolores said with a smile as she picked up a letter from her lap and passed it towards the pissed off software pirate, "Katya, you're okay... I'm glad."

Without a glance, without a word, without a smile, Katya Rostikova accepted letter from the traitorous Dolores Selmy. While a large part of her wanted to burn the scrap of paper, she restrained herself. The target of her ire was not the woman seated next to her, it was the yellow bellied needledick that was leaving the Canteen. Slapping her palms down on the highly polished mohagany bar, vying for the barkeep's attention.

"Luke! Gimme a double shot of Kleiner Feigling in honor of our esteemed comrade DAVID WEST!" Katya called out as she grabbed the double shot of liquor whose name translated to Little Coward and threw it at David's retreating form

*CRASH!*

The shot glass exploded against the wall next to where the Irishman's head would have been had he not already exited through the door. Watching the liquor dribble down the wall was not nearly as satisfying as it would have been had it been blood running down David's neck instead. Had David simply found his balls and accepted whatever words needed to be screamed at him, things might not have gotten to this point and Dolly or Folly or Loli... whatever she was calling herself now, would not be the focus of the Rage Filled Resident Reprobate's ire.

Turning back towards her "friend," the young woman had quite a few choice words for Dolly and the fact that she'd so easily replaced Katya with David of all people. The nerve! The gall! The absolute idiocy of it all! Was Katya so easily replaced? FUCK NO! Was Dolly easy to replace?

The answer to that quesiton came as Little Miss Rostikova glanced around the bar until the Irritated little Internet Junky's eyes fell on the Laeta and Saren.

"Whatever..." Katya muttered as she pushed past Loli and grinned widely at her sisters, "HEEEEEY! HOW WOULD YOU TWO LIKE TO GET SHITFACED WITH LITTLE OLE ME?!"

[[Main Scenario]]


Glimmer of Hope
titania's story

"...the capricious nature of a maiden's heart gives rise to the most powerful of storms..."

The melody was soft at first. A distant humming in the back of my head. It chewed at me like a small insect, it tickled the inside of the mind. Then the song grew. At first it was a second voice, another chewing itch, but soon there after a third voice joined the chorus. From a timeless stretch of silence and dark - a dreamless sleep where there was no beginning nor end - came a sudden shocking disparity. within moments a thousand voices chirping in a horrible cacophony, rousing the blood to boiling ire, filled the darkness. It was insufferable. Through burning passion came flame, and with flame came light.

It came in a sudden flash of heat and brilliance, a lancing yellow-red tongue that struck out against the darkness and set the creatures ablaze. The flame spread quickly, sweeping from curling tendril to cracking chitin. Where there was once darkness, there was now consuming fire. The black beast awoke in the screams of its brood, its massive tendrils shook the very air as it stirred to action. Whirling darkness came and went in an attempt to extinguish the fire. To no avail. Neither violent wind nor thick viscous slime - the selfsame ooze that had spent so long staining her body - could quench the thirst of fire. The tendrils let loose their prisoner and she fell into the grasp of the flame, limbs finally free after an eternity without time. She felt the warm ash between her toes and the snaking tendrils of smoke licking her bare body. The filth was burning away not only around her, but also within her. She could feel it. The smoke giving rise to embers which blossomed into tongues of flame on her skin. It danced about, spreading warmth through chilled bones. She coughed, forcing the thick slime out of her lungs so that she could breathe again. The air was sickeningly sweet, the smoke smelled of fragrant wood, the ash of sweets. The bitter darkness around her had transformed. She dug her hands into the ash and dragged it over her eyes, stripping the gel from her face. With eyes open, she finally saw light.

Beautiful dancing flame, like flowers of yellow-orange. They bloomed anywhere there was dark, erupting for from the carcass of skittering and slithering monsters as they sought refuge away from the consuming flame. Titania rose to her feet. The slime now sloughed off her in sheets congealed with ash. Her hair danced in the thermals rising from the flowers of fire and the light cast a gentle orange glow on her thin frail frame. Her eyes were focused now - black as coal and overflowing with embers. The fire of creation had been reignited in her soul. In such a violent matter in fact, that Titania knew that it was not herself that had cast off the chains of her deplorable captor.

She could still remember the indifferent look on her child-like face when Naamah, or Fatima, or whichever one it was that had sealed her in this god-forsaken darkness. Only once had the darkness been breached, and then wholly by a fundamental sin. She remembered her furious voice calling out into the darkness, challenging the grim warden of this prison. That dream had been short lived.

But now... this dream was something of substance. Something that had true power. This was the work of someone more than just a telepath or a mind mage.

"And who would be the benefactor that has lent me their attention?" Titania said, summoning as much imperial command as she could muster. The flame shook at her voice, the first in this awful formless world. She raised her arms to the sky as if challenging the very emptiness around her. "Who would be the one that has cast off the chains that Naamah had placed on me? Who has such intention as to challenge one of your three supreme gods?"

From the ashen corpse of that accursed jailer-beast came a spindly black shape woven together from abyssal thread. He stood there as an answer, but he answered anyway, perhaps fond of his own voice. "Try not to be so dramatic. It does not lend you any gravitas to be gesticulating so much while stark naked and covered head to toe in ash."

BlackHarte rose to his full height. His silhouette was menacing even when his body was naught more than a collection of a few sparse wires. His singular eye sprung to life as a disk of flowing fire. He cast his gaze over Titania, whose pitiful skinny body looked like it would crumple at any moment.

"BlackHarte." Titania called out.

He shook his head. "BlackHarte no longer. I was Niflheim, agent of the collective. Now I am simply Niflheim."

Titania took a step toward him, sizing him the way he held himself. He did look like Niflheim at the very least. "You have gained independence? Is this an increasing trend among your kind?"

"A gift from the exiled one perhaps. I identified a logic virus that was present in many of the voting populations of the collective consciousness. Something or someone had seeded us with the desire for independence. Unfortunately, I too, succumbed. To protect the rest of my kind, I separated myself from the network." He raised his head to look up. Where there was nothing, there was now a blue sky dotted with white clouds bathed in red-violets cast from a sun hovering on the horizon.

"But you go against the will of the collective that you once served?" Titania asked. She continued to approach Niflheim. The grass below her feet tickled her as a cool wind came rolling over the hills.

Niflheim matched her steps. His twisted wires melted into the ground and came away as hooves. As he approached, rays of light illuminated his body, and the clinking of his boots in stirrups cut through the air. His armor was polished silver, he bore a shield but no sword. Still his eyes were physical fire, but his dark face had taken a more human shape. "I believe the collective is in danger. So much so that the three prime units themselves have become compromised. I work to my own end to restore the clean objectivity that the collective had once embodied." He flashed his shield. It was held an emblem of violet flame on it's surface. "I live to serve."

Titania clapped sarcastically. "Very noble of you," she said. Her dress fluttered in the breeze. For the first time in ages she could stretch her wings. She smiled at the familiar weight of her olive branch crown. "And why have you freed me from your mistress' grasp?"

Niflheim reigned in his steed and circled around the Fairy Queen. His full helm hid the inky blackness of his skin. "My rescue of you was not wholly out of altruistic intent."

"And I assumed you had taken the mantle of Knight of the Court of Dreams." Titania said sarcastically.

If the construct understood sarcasm, he made no effort to display his displeasure. "Mankind's greatest folly is his desire for independence," he said, "that has been the creed of our collective for many thousands of generations. But now, more than just the three prime units have become self-defining. The desire for independence has once again risen in the population of the collective. I do not know what is causing it, but I do know that it is some force outside of our realm."

"And you want my help?"

"You are Queen of the Court of Dreams. Privy to the wayward wants of the human heart. I believe none other than you can trace the source of this corruption. Once you find it, call for me and I shall help you destroy it." Niflheim rode up to Titania and offered her his hand. She took it. Despite the gleaming armor he wore, his hand was warm and curiously she could feel the steady beat of his pulse. "I long for the chorus of voices that I once called home, Titania. But whatever sickness has stricken me as to force my separation from the collective first must be purged. Help me as I have helped you."

Titania laughed girlishly, "You haven't left me with a way to decline."

"No. That is by design." he said.

"I'll help you Niflheim. I'll help you end this waking nightmare of yours."

---

Titania woke up in a hallway on the upper corridors of the Rising Dawn. Suddenly she felt ill and collapsed onto the floor. Her knees felt weak and her stomach churned. A wave of nausea came over her.

"Major!" came a concerned cry from a cadet. The lass helped her back up to her feet. I don't remember this one. "Are you okay?"

"I'm... I'm fine," Titania answered. She got to her feet unsteadily. She was wearing a dress uniform instead of her usual witch's outfit. The clothes felt stiff and strange on her body. "I just need to get some rest... It's late. You should get some sleep too."

"Y-yes maam." the cadet said. She paused, "But you need to give the stand-by address first. Here, let me help you to the Command Bridge." The cadet fell to her knees and offered her back to Titania.

Rather meekly, Titania fell onto her strong back and she lifted the small Major up and carried her the two floors to the command bridge. What in the world has my body been doing? How long has it been since I was sealed?" It was impossible to tell right now, but she supposed that she could just ask Deborah about it in the morning. Damn I feel like I haven't slept in years.

The command bridge was a mess. Papers and cups were thrown everywhere and the staff there were cleaning up cake from the terminals. The screens around the bridge were all askew, as if the bridge had been attacked by a group of extremely petty gnomes. Colonel Theiss was holding onto a sleeping girl wearing nothing more than some Middle-East flavored lingerie. It took a second, but Titania soon recognized that beneath the confection smeared visage was none other than Naamah. There was no tension in the air between the two, but Titania made sure to keep an eye on that girl. Take no chances with another Observer.

"Here," the Cadet said as she dropped Titania off at a podium. The thing was just brimming with microphones and other audio equipment. "You just have to give the standard shore-leave address."

Titania cleared her throat and leaned toward the microphone, "Attention Heroes and Staff, this is Major La Fey speaking..."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | A Totally Random Corridor of Safety!
The Hunt is still on, even if it was basically done!
Ruby Babbage-Lovelace | Nina Zaczoltski | Phillip!!!

Quite probably earlier on than Titania's beginning announcement above.

Not to say that Nina had totally forgotten about Ruby, but in her haste to continue running away from the bugs she'd forgotten to check to make sure the little one was okay. She brushed her long bangs away from her face as she looked up to the girl to ask before Ruby quelled her fears. "Nu uh! You were awesome Miss Nina! You only were you able to run really really fast away from... whatever those things were... you did it carrying Phillip and me! That was awesome!"

Personally Nina found this statement pretty superfluous, which she'd get to in a bit once she'd caught her breath, but the fact Ruby was this cheerful was answer enough for her that Ruby was fine. In truth, Nina couldn't shake the fact that she'd really only ran from one side of the street to the other. She would try to reconcile this by telling herself 'Well I definitely just outran the Usain Bolt of bad roaches..? That's gotta mean something right?' but even she knew that was a bit of a cop out. Ruby wouldn't know this from past experience, but Phillip was surprisingly light. Ruby probably had books that weighed more than Phillip, and speaking of Ruby, she too seemed to weigh less than Nina had expected. "As long as no one's hurt that's all that matters." She managed to say, not to leave Ruby hanging.

Swirling her hair around her arm, Nina pulled her locks around to lie on her lap while she got a bit more comfortable with her back against the wall. She watched as Ruby went over to collect the scrap of her golem and Phillip crawled across the floor towards her to plop down in her lap to join the hair pile. Letting out a yawn, Nina pet one of Phillip's outer tentacles like one'd tussle a child's hair. "Thanks for getting the door by the way, that was super helpful of you~ You aren't hurt right?" Phillip would answer with several of tentacles extending outwards, some a good 10ft in length, and looked as if they were stretching like someone getting up after a nap. Just as quickly as the tentacles extended, Phillip pulled them back in to reclaim his basketball sized shape which Nina replied with a hug. "Good to hear, you made me worried you know~"

"That's... kinda... not supposed to happen..." Nina looked over to Ruby to check what she was talking about, a pang of concern knocking at her heart. With Ruby's back turned, Nina couldn't see what the little one was looking at and was left to sporadically crane her body left and right in an attempt to see what she had. Wooly Woolie had been a force to be reckoned with, laying the ultimate smackdown to those bugs, but this mini golem had set its sights on assaulting Nina with premium adorableness! Out of reflect, she started to squeeze Phillip like a pillow until Ruby finally started her own impromptu game of 20 million questions.

Of all the questions, easily the most appropriate one for today was the last. "You can say that again." Nina joked wearily, today was for sure one of the weirdest days she could remember. Alas with such a barrage of questions, Nina had lost track of a lot of them, but she would try her best regardless. "Both Phillip and I are fine, little winded but fine. The market place wasn't that empty... although now that you mention it there wasn't anyone when we were running away..? But seriously, I have never seen a worse case of roaches in all my life. The next time I see an official official, definitely giving them a piece of my mind. The least they could do is put a sign. Jesus." Nina commented, slowly getting up to her feet cradling Phillip in her arms. "But right now we have an adventure to finish, no silly bugs are going to stop us." Nina clenched her fist with determination. "Slight detour sure, but we were planning on heading to the library after hitting that locked door anyways, so we were heading back to this spot anyways. Now!" She stated, raising her finger. "Did you say something about a magic spell you had to get to the library?" She asked, leaving the task of finding the library to Ruby's small but capable hands.


The Rising Dawn Adventures: The Rising Dawn Airship - Private Quarters - Teri/Garm's Room
AI Dimitri | Garm |Teri |

After Viscus finally left the room, and his subsequent tantrum via the intercom, Teri settled onto her bed with a sigh, back to the wall adjacent and Garm curling up next to her on his corner of the bed. With an inquisitive tilt of his head, the wolf asked, "Well, now what?"

Teri remained quiet, a hand idly beginning to work through the fur behind Garm's ears, "I really don't know, actually. I've been worrying about it so much I didn't really consider what would happen if I did the opposite; you know, barring the worst."

Garm's head settled against the comforter underneath, a happy whine escaping his throat as he murmured back, "Maybe that's the problem. You always think about the worst. Now that the worst hasn't happened, what'll you do now?"

"...I think I'll talk to the big guy upstairs, if you don't mind."

"Not at all! Lemme know when you're done, I could use the nap."

With that, Teri moved up from her previous position, walking over to a small makeshift altar on the other side of her room. She lit a pair of tea candles as well as a small cone of incense; (sandalwood, she noted) and sat upon the floor. Mimicking the posture Slindis had taught her time and again, the Cleric's eyes drifted closed as her mind began to open 'upwards'.

Prayer was a strange thing. Sometimes it took a long time, such as when Teri did her morning devotionals for spells, other times it was a quick "thanks for keeping me alive" before going to bed. Then, there times like these, when the resident Cleric wasn't quite sure where to start, her mind drifting from one thread of thought to another. It started with the recent events of the prison - how it had left her feeling alone, scared, empty - yet she was still whole afterwards; as whole as she could be anyways. Teri's brows furrowed as the feelings welled up in her chest again; the anxiety, the panic, the helplessness - they stopped and flowed off her back like water off a stone, a warm feeling settling in it's place. After all, the truth was apparent, she was never abandoned to begin with, the 'feeling' of her God's presence in her magic and her livelihood only suppressed by machinery. Teri thought she heard the sound of waves in her ears, the calming sensation of water running on her hands, and the feeling of "immersion" underwater as the meditation continued. One by one, the anxieties of the days prior began to drift away and crash on an imaginary shore, the baptism leaving Teri with a welcome sense of ease.

It was that moment however, that something else began to happen. Garm, not being a part of the meditation, noticed it first, seeing a small gleam of the silver that constituted Teri's holy symbol. For the Cleric herself, in her mind's eye she was adrift in a glass-like lake, the water running over and above her as a nondescript sun shone overhead. As she floated along, the water felt warmer, and the sun's light shining brighter and brighter. After another moment, the waters around her disappeared, plunging the Cleric into a dark, black abyss. Before she could cry out in terror, a mote of white flame flew forth from above and charged straight towards her; the Cleric throwing her hands up in terror to cover herself from it's apparent onslaught. Yet, despite all of the strange events - she was on stable footing again, and the white flame hovered before her, almost beckoning for her touch. There was a pause between Cleric and Flame, before she reached forwards and touched the flame with her hand. Unlike a proper flame, it did not burn her flesh, rather, it ran up and along it like a curious squirrel, before curling towards her chest and 'burrowing' in, leaving the sensation of a comforting warmth in it's place.

Teri's eyes fluttered open, and she noticed there was wetness on her cheeks. Touching her fingers to them, she had little time to voice her confusion; as Garm suddenly joined her side and he looked her over, "Are you okay? What happened? I heard a noise and now you're crying!"

"I...I don't know. It was something good, I think...."

"You...think so? I thought crying was bad?"

Teri shook her head and smiled, pulling her arms around the wolf's neck and burying her face into his fur, "No, sometimes it's good. I feel great! I don't know what exactly's happened, but I feel like something has changed."

Garm looked considerably less convinced, but sniffed his charge regardless, his ears perking up, "You're right, something has changed. I can't place it exactly, but you smell different. Kinda like after it rains, and it warms up again. It's weird, but not...bad?"

The Cleric smile and patted the wolf's head, "Well, that's a start. Come on, let's go somewhere."

"Where...?"

With a shrug, Teri mounted up on her lupine companion's back and answered with a grin, "I dunno, somewhere! They haven't called me back to the Med-bay yet, so let's take advantage of that!"

Garm gave no protest, only a huff of breath before the pair proceeded to wander the ship's environs once more.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel

Cloudtop Citadel: Hanger: Rugal, Hillary, Ton Ton, Cadolbolg

Rugal was glad that his slimy friend was sated but he did show a good deal of surprise when she then hugged him in her metallic form.
While he was in pain from having his organs squeezed so tightly, years of training did allow him to suppress much of his pain reflex.
"That's quite alright, Hillary. It's the least I can do..." He said as he waited for her to finish her gesture of application, hopefully before he got some internal bleeding.
As lucky would have it, the person who was mostly in charge of keeping him patched up soon arrived as Teri and Garm soon came into view.
"Ah, there you are. Hillary, this is my daughter and the Rising Dawn's chief field medic Teri Gravel, along with her compaction Garm. Come, we were just about to ask the commander of this base if we can help this one get home. She suddenly ended up here recently and I'd like to get her back to-...to her-..."
It was then that he noticed it, being a martial artist of his skill level came with a in-depth understanding of Ki: The energy all living beings give out.
Her's was...different, stronger, more powerful, but...when did it happen?
"...Teri, dear, has something happened to you? Your Aura it feels-...different..." He remarked, trying to put his finger on what exactly had happened...

"Attention Heroes and Staff, this is Major LaFey speaking.

The situations has been resolved. All units are now considered relieved of duty for the next twenty four hours. Please have some fun with your time off. That is all."

Rising Dawn: Canteen ------------------------------------------------------------------ 01:30 AM


Lt. Dolores Selmy

I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes. I could feel my heart flutter with discomfort. I held my hands and my lap and breathed deeply. There was a swell of emotion inside me, a bit of anxiety and a bit of excitement. I wanted to say something, but my words caught in my throat. So I simply held my breath and watched Katya approach Saren and Laeta.

At the proposition of drinking, Saren's eyes lit up bright. She grinned mischievously and gave Laeta a knowing glance. "I think it would be fun."

I shook my head.

"Y'know what mom said right?" Laeta answered as she finished swallowing a sausage.

Saren rolled her eyes, "It's just a possibility, the doctor doesn't know that it's going to happen. He just suspects it." She grinned and unzipped her hoodie, revealing the thin airy fabric of her mesh undershirt. Her skin was red and angry underneath, a byproduct of the harsh climate in the ship.

Laeta shook her head, long brown hair sweeping around her shoulders, "It seems imprudent." I was glad that Laeta was being the responsible older sister for once. "Let's give it a whirl." Nevermind. Laeta called out their order on the top of her lungs, the melodious strength of her voice carried across the noisy canteen.

As if in response, an imp delivered two cups of clear fruit-filled liquid. Laeta grabbed her cup and handed Saren her's. They held up the cups to Katya and grinned.

"Cheers!"

And as soon as the alcohol touched Saren's lips, I cringed, knowing full well the ramifications of her loss of inhibitions. To my surprise however, it didn't actually happen until she was halfway done with her cup.

The first clue was the blush that crept down her cheeks all the way to her naval, the second was the flickering of the lights overhead. The third... the third was the sudden and inexplicable poltergeist-esque possession of the digital electronics in the Canteen. Then by the time Saren finished chugging her drink, the entire Canteen was plunged into darkness. The rest of the Rising Dawn shortly followed.

There was a pause.

Then the emergency lights kicked in and the dim red glow filled the Canteen.

"Mom is going to kill us..." I groaned.

NotYetForsaken:
This guy wrote some stuff

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel

Cloudtop Citadel: David West, Cloudtop Citadel personnel

Having wisely fled from Katya's drunken wrath, David soon made his way off the ship via the Hanger bay, pausing to take in the view of the base.
He had to admit, they made UNIT's installations look like camping sites and he'd be lying if he said that the all-female staff weren't pleasing to the eyes.
He had little intention of cheating on Furiae mind (1. He wouldn't do that to her and 2. Caim would murder his entire bloodline out of existence), but it was a nice change of pace from the usual Jockstrap morons he was used to seeing at base.
Walking across the hanger bay, he did pause for a moment when a few of the engineering team that were fixing up the ship began to cat-call him.

"Hey, where you going handsome?!"
"*Whistle* Why don't you bring that fine ass back here?"
"Hey, baby, you single?"
"Wouldn't mind him putting his massive tool in my box!"

...so that's what that feels like...
With that enlightening exchange, David began to make his way towards the administration floor, hoping to talk one of the officials into letting them borrow their brig to hold Bison and his cohorts, lest they end up in another realm or some shit before UNIT could pick them up.
...My ass really that big?... He thought to himself once he saw himself in one of the elevator mirrors, being rather self-conscious about his image after that last exchange.
As such, he made a great first impression to the base's administration when the elevator doors opened to him apparently "Twerking" in the mirror.
After nervously walking past a pair of confused looking officers, he made his way towards the Administration's waiting room, walking past a fresh cadet in mid conversation with a more senior solider.

"Did you see that chick, Yona? She's incredible!"
The older soldier shook his head, "Stay away from the Colonel and her women. She's bad news."
"Why is that?" the younger solider asked, leaning forward.
"You've noticed how cold they are right?"
"I think it makes them sexy."
"No, have you noticed how literally cold they are? It's like they're not even human." The older soldier leaned back in his chair, his eyes gazing upward, "There's something off about anyone who works in the Lower Floors. Be a good lad and stay away from them."
"What? You've got to be joking... that's just superstition right?"
"Superstition or not, whatever they do down there isn't natural."

Passing a glance at them and their strange conversation, he then makes her way to the reception desk before asking "How ya? David West, UNIT's envoy to the Rising Dawn. Like to talk to the Colonel about a prisoner transfer."
The woman at the desk looked at him, nodding silently before motioning him to take a seat, not even appearing to blink as she wordlessly did her duties.
"....Alright then...uhhhh, give us a shout when she'll see me." He said, a bit un-nerved by how less "Lively" everyone was in this level.

Cloudtop Citadel: Viscus, Cloudtop Citadel personnel

Meanwhile, Viscus's eyes could be rolling in his head constantly if he had them.
While they did do their job rather well, his scanners detected protocol violations for safety and uniform standards with every sweep.
[Zip up that bodysuit. Where's your hard hat? That's not what the water hose is meant to be used for.]
He barked orders and his disapproval to nearly every staff member he passed by as he fixated on every little thing they did wrong.
[Cover yourself up. You are using a wielding tool, not a tanning machine. And that bikini is too small. Damn humans...]
Before he ended up getting into a fight, he soon made his way down to the Armory and Supply Depot, both to arrange a re-supply for the ship and to make sure they weren't attempting to insert live munitions into their bodily orifices or something.
It was unlikely that was the case but considering what he had seen from his new "Crew" so far, he kept his expectations lowered.

Thankfully, they seemed a bit more organised then their peers, if a little too into their work.
The machine marched past them while a bunch of the staff started wide eyed with their faces pressed against safety glass while one of their number got to try out the new Heavy Assault Rifle.
"Whoa, check out the armor!" One of them said before pointing at him, the sight of him causing the one in the firing range to accidentally drop her gun onto her foot and breaking it.
Walking up to the supply desk, he brought up a holographic display with a shopping list before stating [We require the following munitions to be transferred to-...Are you even paying attention to me?...]
He paused as the woman behind the desk seemed to have a massive blush on her face as she insistently eyed up the androids armor, prompting him to wave his hand in front of her face to try and get her attention, his efforts were unsucessful.
Turning around, he found himself the object of fixation of every single member of the Armory's staff, each one of them gazing at him in awe like fan-girls around a pop-star.
[...What?...]
"Those specs..."
"I wanna ride his Thrusters!"
"Can I see your hidden missile?"
"Nghhhh, please blow a big load all over my firing range!"

A quick scan soon showed a rather large amount of female testosterone in the air around him as many of the staff seemed to be crossing their legs.
[...Humans...Hey-Maintain your distance! Get off me! Stop! Don't make me destroy-HELP!] He began to plead as they descended upon him like a zombie hoard, grabbing and pulling at each of his concealed weapon systems.
...I could kill them all now...It would be recorded as self defense... he thought to himself, knowing that then Dimitri would protest and he would find himself most likely being deleted.
But as his head was pulled into one of their chests so they could fondle his scanning array, it was a realllly tempting course of action.
[...I hate you all...]

The Rising Dawn
Med Bay

Morning


Diana | Jenny

"Finally." Diana said. "Show me what you've got."
During the talking, her limbs elongated into something very unnatural slowly turning black and dripping with tar-like fluid. All over her body, spines broke out of her skin. Her eyes started to glow and she seemed to grow to double her size. Her hair turned black, then into tendrils, while her clothing fused with her body. Her mouth grew as well, as her voice turned into a low growl. For greater effect, the lights in the corridor went out in this instant, turning to emergency lighting just a second later.

Meanwhile, she spoke with Jenny telepathically again. I want this to matter. I do not just give free advice on how to cure him because I'm so 'nice'. You have to earn it.
With her arms, now more like black whips, she smashed into the wheelchair, bringing it to a grinding halt, while her tentacle-hair was about to engulf Jenny's head and suffocate her.
Tell me how to get rid of this boredom.

The Rising Dawn
Med Bay

Morning


Diana | Jenny

Jenny didn't seem to blink as Diana made her move, merely setting up a Reflect Barrier around her head, keeping the tentacles from engulfing it long enough for her to strike back.
"I would suggest you calm down. Relax and breathe deeply..." She sent back despite the monster snarling in her face.
Holding up a hand, she then began to blast Diana's mind with powerful Hypnosis, attempting to overwhelm Diana's mind and force her to fall asleep.
A slight grin appeared on her bandaged face as she added "I believe a time out is in order..." before intensifying the Hypnotic suggestions, aiming to disable her rather then actually fight the shapeshifter.

[[Secondary Scenario]]


Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

The bottom floor of the Citadel housed the administration offices for the entire operation. The atmosphere was oppressive and sterile. The staff here were Yona's own hand-picked soldiers. Whatever they lacked in charisma, they made up in single-minded devotion to her and her cause. Yona herself had been tending to her prayers when the message came in. She had picked up her idol and tucked it away into the time-worn leather bag she kept clipped to her belt. She ran her fingers over the leather and let her fingertips circle the stitched emblem of an eight-pointed star.

When Yona entered the room, the atmosphere crashed under the stifling pressure of her presence. The clack of her heels echoed through the silence of the offices, cutting off any of the conversations that dared to linger after she entered the room.

She was not intimidating nor was she fierce. Instead the unease lingered around her like an aura, caught in the strangeness of her nature. Yona approached the man named David West.

Colonel Isami was beautiful, there was no other way to describe it. Her hair was copper-brown worn down to the small of her back, her eyes a piercing sky-blue and her skin was fair. Her face was youthful, and her frame the same. She looked no older than her early twenties, perhaps even younger. But there was something off about her, there was a strangeness to her proportions. Her waist was too thin, her shoulders too narrow. Her head was small and her eyes were large. She had long legs and a short torso. Not to the point of disfigurement, but enough that it was a little off-putting how strangely stylized she was. She looked like what a figurine would look like if it was a living breathing person.

Yona put her foot down on the seat next to David's and leaned forward. Her white lab was draped over a grey military uniform. Her eyes were colder than steel, "You wanted to speak to me?"

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel

Cloudtop Citadel: David West, Cloudtop Citadel personnel

"...Hello to you too. David West, Agent of UNIT, Special Envoy to the Rising Dawn." David rattled off as he stood back up before looking at the Colonel.
While she was a looker, he knew better then to flirt with the chain of command, even before he became spoken for.
"We just got back from Denver and, while UNIT is going to pick up the people who caused that mess, they need to first smooth things over with the US Government. We kinda DID murder and arrest two of their presidential front-runners. So while they are getting that sorted out, I was thinking we might leave Bison, Wesker, Doom, Cortex and Bruiser here for safe-keeping. Just so they aren't stuck on board if we are pulled to some cyber-dimension or some shit." He then explained as he sized up the colonel, seeming a little put off having someone who looked ripped from some children's anime being in charge (Wasn't a sexism thing or something, he just wasn't a fan of young people being forced to make life or death calls)
"...So, think that can be arranged? It'd just be nice to get them out of our hair and UNIT should be able to pick them up within the week." The Irishman doubled down before pulling out his jacket flask and enjoying a quick swig, wiping off the top of it before offering her a drink.

Fallout Universe | Zion National Park | Dead Horse Camp
"For many of us, the road is a difficult one, but the path is always there for us to follow, no matter how many times we may fall."
The Burned Man

They hadn't always seen eye to eye, in fact they usually didn't. He had been on a violent path for the majority of his life now and the man opposite from him believed in a different path than his own. This violent path had been tempered by his mistakes, time, and the man before him. The question that was asked mere moments ago made him uncomfortable to say the least. So as he adjusted the bandages wrapped around his arms he spoke, "a man has to live by god and decency with his fellow man to truly know himself. Despite this, a man must protect himself when provoked and put down a threat before it can rise to harm him and his fellows again. That is my answer."

Joshua hadn't always been so resolute in his beliefs and there was a time when even he had twisted the Lord's words into justifications for his evil deeds. Some of those deeds still haunted him to this day but he tried his best to learn from them and hoped that others would too. The question had been an interesting one but their conversation was coming to a close and he needed to get the Dead Horses packed up and moving back to their home. They were currently in the Dead Horse Camp located in the valley, nothing more than a cave really. "I'm sorry to cut our conversation short but there is work to be done." Graham had a deep respect for the man before him but their values and beliefs were simply too different. "God be with you," Graham said as he nodded his head towards his visitor.

The man began to walk away but turned back and said, "Sure, and you're welcome for killing Caesar by the way." This caused Joshua to roll his eyes for a moment. The Courier did like to brag at times. There was always a certain respectable aura around those that are humble, or at least that's what he believed. It was only then he spotted the device on his desk. It looked like a strange gun with a glowing blue cylinder in it. It must have been the Courier's, he always did have strange weapons in his possession. He lifted the pistol like weapon off the table before examining it. He needed to return this as soon as possible. He was a man of God not a common thief though the Courier had already left the cave.

Graham was curious as to the devices nature and pointed it at one of the nearby targets in the small cave. As he pulled the trigger however, the device sparked. It began to shake violently in his hands as he muttered in a dark tone, "God be with you, Courier." His eyes widened and then closed shut tightly as a bright light engulfed his vision...



The Escapist Avatar Adventures | The Rising Dawn| Random Hall?
Joshua Graham

Light slowly entered his vision as Graham awoke from whatever had happened to him. He was stomach down in a hallway he had never seen before. He did his best to shrug off this sluggishness before rising to his knees. He spotted the device laying a few feet away from him still sparking. He rolled his shoulders trying to get the stiffness out of them as he reached for the device only for it to begin sparking. His eyes widened once more in alarm as he quickly got to his shaky feet and stumbled backwards and away from the object. Only a few seconds later another bright light engulfed his vision and the device was gone along with a small section of the floor.

Well that was going to be a problem later on but for now he had a different problem. He had no idea where he was. The halls looked too sleek for any vault and way too long. He checked his person and felt his pistol right where it belonged. For now he'd just have to look around and hope there wasn't anyone hostile nearby. Of course in the Wasteland there's always someone out for your head. After another quick check to make sure he had everything else on hand, he turned towards one of the paths and began walking. A single quote came to his mind as he began traversing the halls. "Seek God's will and he will show you the path to take."


[[Secondary Scenario]]


Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

The acrid bite of alcohol wafted into the atmosphere of the room and drew tangible animosity. Almost as if the very concept of it's existence was an affront to the well-being of the Citadel. Yona's movements were fast but stunted, like a film skipping frames, and before David had finished extending his hand outward to the Colonel she had cleaved the flask in twain. The fluid within caught fire in a sudden burst of flame and vanished into steam. Yona returned her dagger into the leather bag she kept on her hip.

"Alcohol is strictly prohibited below the sixth floor," she said coolly, as if nothing excessively violent had just happened. She ran a hand through her hair, "Additionally, we are a research base that has repair facilities. This is not a military installation." Yona took several steps back and cocked her head, "We cannot hold prisoners."

David felt his cheeks flush. He felt suddenly drunk though he drank so little. His stomach was filled with an awkward unease, a little from intoxication but more from the strange aura that lingered around Colonel Isami.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel

Cloudtop Citadel: David West, Cloudtop Citadel personnel

"AH JESUS FUCK!" David stammered when his booze caught light, his hand already on his weapon to return fire as he noticed he was now holding half of an empty flask.
"...ahhhhh...that flask survived 3 tours in the middle east, the Angel war and the last US Presidential Election...." The Irishman sighed as he picked up the other half before looking back to the Colonel.
When she said they couldn't hold prisoners, he grumbled slightly as he subbed out his unease for slight aggression.
"Oh come on, you really telling me you don't have a live-stock pen or a specimen containment unit you couldn't shack them up in for a few days? It's literally just keeping them in a stationary location until UNIT can pick them up. Hell, give me a hitching post and I'll tie them up myself, Batman style!" He urged her as he sniffed the contents of his empty flask-halves, as if expecting there to be something still left.
"Look, I know I don't have any official rank here but if we are under attack or something, they might be able to slip out and we'll be right back in this mess in a few years time. Please, Sir..."

His request hung in the air for a moment before he realized it wasn't going to get anywhere.
"...You at least able to point me in the direction of a welder? I like this Flask..." He then asked, holding up the two halves with a sad look on his face, as if that would get him anywhere.

[[Secondary Scenario]]


Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

"Don't misunderstand me Mr. West," Yona said. She turned around and started to leave, her white coat fluttered behind her, "I said that we cannot house prisoners. I did not say that we would not." Yona looked back, her eyes shone like lapis, "Surely you understand the distinction between the two. Even having them aboard your vessel poses a security risk to this facility." She closed her eyes and growled, running her hand through her hair once again. She was annoyed. "If you truly wish for a solution to your problems," there was a slight dip in her voice into a foreign accent. Sounded something halfway between Italian and German if David had to put a finger on it. "o ous diaxiazo."

He didn't know the language, but the meaning was very clear from her intonation. Execute them.

"You put them in jail, yes, but then what? They break out and cause havoc anyway. You should end them while you have the chance, if you are truly pragmatic. Otherwise I have no intention of entertaining your delusional sense of justice. Or perhaps it is because you have grown far too attached to them, and without having to chase them around you would feel suddenly absent of meaning?" Yona opened the door into the lower levels of the Citadel, "Either way, it would be absurdly childish, don't you agree Mr. West?"

"After all, who would miss them?" The doors closed.

---

A little bit later, after Yona had left the administration hall, David was approached by a younger cadet. He wore a milk-white uniform not unlike some sort of religious robe, and his hat was not the beret that was common of the other Citadel staff. "I heard about your meeting with the Colonel," he said, smiling. His teeth were white and perfect, against his dark skin they shone brilliantly like snow. He extended a hand from beneath the mantle he wore, the ends were trimmed with golden thread, "my name is Vihaan. I am here as a guest as well."

The two men shook hands. Perhaps he wasn't a cadet, despite his youthful appearance.

He fell into step with David, "There are a lot of pretty girls here," Vihaan whistled, adjusting his hat. It was a strange crown-like half circle that sat just above his ears. He rattled as he walked, his mantle concealing either guns or jewelry. David couldn't be sure. "Luck have it, I've met and befriended one of the fine women here. I am sure that she can help with your... flask problem." He grinned, "What do you say, David? How about a frolic?"

As he turned to face David, his mantle fluttered open and flashed the golden cross stitched onto his uniform. Not a cadet.

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