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

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The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel
King Leoric | Nadalia | Joshua Graham | Peter Moore

".....SHE STARTED IT!" Leoric shouted as Laeta and Saren left the canteen, pausing to consider what she had said after his little display.
Who was she to lecture him? Does she not know the threat of Diablo and the rest of the 7 prime evils? Had she not seen the devastation they had brought down upon him, his kingdom and his people? Unless she too was part of this conspiracy...
Picking himself off the floor and readjusting his armor, his skeletal gaze glared at Hanna, showing hatred that computer technology from 1997[1] couldn't emulate.
"...This is not over, She-whore of Diablo..." He growled at Hanna before picking up his mace once more and marching out of the Canteen, keen to report to the Colonel of this base that there was a Traitor in his organisation. (Having missed the memo on the Colonel's true gender what with the whole "Smite the Demon Whore" thing.)

Such was his desire to leave his humiliation save this entire vessel/keep/possibly entire world from Demonic corruption, he didn't even bother using the proper pathway to the Colonel's, instead opting to "Wraith Walk"[2] there.
His soul (or what was left of it) soon arose from his old bones, causing all life to leave his body as his spirit made a bee-line for the "Waiting Room" David had met her earlier in.
It would be quite a shock for anyone working there when the Mad King began to reform right in front of them.
Marching right up to the receptionist, he then barked "King Leoric of Rising Dawn for the Colonel of this keep. I have learned troubling information in relation to one of his servants..."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel

Cloudtop Citadel: David West, Vihaan, Janet

"...Whoa-hold up. What's happening in 12 hours?!" David paused as Vihaan more or less confessed that something bad was going to happen.
"...Man, no one fucking tells me anything..." he bemoaned before giving Janet a quick salute-style motion and following after the Admiral.
Pocketing the USB as he caught up with Vihaan, he then asked "Shoouuuuuuld-...should we try and get everyone off the ship first? Maybe say that we're spraying for rats or something? Just if it's really THAT bad, then it might be best if the likes of Blondie (Rugal) and Sir Murderface of Slaughterdom (Caim) are on the same page. Hell, they might think *I* did it and, I mean, I could take them both but-...that doesn't mean I want to, you know?..."
Their conversation was halted by David stretching his arm in front of Vihaan, stopping him in his tracks as they let a specter of Leoric pass though the walls of the base before them like a passing flock of ducklings.
"...Think that's the New Guy, Emperor Leopold or something..."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel

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

Hillary's antics were most amusing to Rugal as he let the "Children" mingle.
While the constant influx of "Travelers" was rather stressful for those on the Rising Dawn, moments like this one, of seeing the excitement of both their own crew and visitors as they learned more about each other, made it somewhat worthwhile. (Though he still personally wished they would knock first).
His mind then turned back to Teri's statement, confirming his suspicions that she might have grown stronger or "Leveled up" thanks to recent events.
He wasn't sure if the others felt it, but the passive Holy and Ki energy radiating from his daughter was rather impressive now for someone her age.
It brought him back to a simpler time, long before his bids at world domination and his change of heart.
Wandering the world in an unending quest for the most powerful fighting masters in the world with nothing more then a pair of combat gloves and the clothes on his back.
The isolation, the harsh training and yet so-...peaceful...

" Oh, apologies, I must have zoned out for a moment there. *ahem* Now then, Me and Hillary still have a meeting to attend to. We hopefully shouldn't be lo-"
Rugal was interrupted by a alert on her daughter's tablet, prompting her to pull it out before a frantic rush of modulated, yet very angry sounding Spanish began to blare out of the device.
The caller ID was Viscus and the live feed featured the POV of one of the Citadel's security cameras as his armor was stripped and dismantled by the staff there out of such a lust for technological curiosity.
And the android himself was now little more then a disembodied head cycling though a mix of languages after one of the staff damaged his voice module.
"...Hm....I think he's bitten off more then he can chew...Teri, would you mind helping him while I bring Hillary to the Colonel? I think you and Dimitri might need to put Humpty Dumpty back together..."
The AI apparently heard that before rapidly cursing in Germa-
"He-HEY! Watch your tongue, there are children on this end of the line!" Rugal then protested, actually understanding what he meant that time...

[1] I know the release date was December 31st 1996 but because that day is New Years Eve, it's basically 1997. Unless she managed to sneak away from whatever new years events the Coors family had planned to play it
[2] "Leoric separates from his body, becoming Unstoppable (immunity to disabling effects) and gaining Movement Speed. When Wraith Walk ends, his body jumps to his wraith."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Cloudtop Citadel

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

"...Hm....I think he's bitten off more then he can chew...Teri, would you mind helping him while I bring Hillary to the Colonel? I think you and Dimitri might need to put Humpty Dumpty back together..."

"Humpty Dumpty?" Hillary's head tilted, unaware of the nursery rhyme reference. She wasn't talking directly to Rugal as he scolded the robot for his poor choice of words, not that he could be blamed for thinking she was. Direct eye contact was a difficult concept to confirm with Hillary after all, but as she turned her head back to Teri it would appear she held Hillary's attention. She did look disappointed in a sense, feeling like she'd hit it off with Teri. "Hmmmmmm.... Okay, I'm wish you could come with us so we could talk more! But your Dad's has been really helpful so far, I wouldn't want Hillary to waste this opportunity to help her. Maybe if it takes a bit for Hillary to get back to the Laplace, she could maybe have a visit with you again? We could pet Garm, or trade things that make people feel better, or tell each other stories like the time Hillary first ate bread!" Hillary suggested, cupping her own jar line with a hand this big goofy grin on her face. "We could even get a bunch of candies~"

"Until then, good luck and I hope you see Hillary soon, okay? Bye bye!" Hillary waved her goodbye and waited for Rugal to take the lead for their journey forward.

Despite Hillary's attempts to keep her footsteps semiquiet, being over a ton made that fairly difficult. At least Rugal wasn't going to lose her despite the occasional Citadel works greeting them to see if Hillary was some new sort of tech. "So Rugal? Hillary was surprised to find you had family here, that way you can see them often, and not be so far apart. Is Teri the only one here, or are there other Bernsteins Hillary might run into?" The gleaming woman asked him, a simple question sure but one that had multiple outlets to respond to.

[[Secondary Scenario]]

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

The secretary looked up at Leoric with the same amount of disinterest and mild contempt as she showed every single outsider to arrive in the Citadel. "The Colonel is currently in a meeting with another visitor at the moment." The secretary clicked a few tabs on her intercom board and pulled out a clipboard and handed it to Leoric. "She has been notified that you are in the waiting room. Fill out the clipboard and take it up when you meet with her."

The intercom pinged.

"Oh," the secretary mused, "the Colonel will see you now. Go ahead and head up." The secretary popped a piece of bubblegum into her mouth as she watched the Skeleton king leave. She flipped two more switches as soon as Leoric left earshot.

"Lieutenant Linendoff, the Colonel wants the Desire Drive prepped to be activated by tomorrow at 15:00."


Vihaan turned around as Leoric's bones passed behind him. "No, if you try to stop the event, you'll only cause the effects to worsen. I implore, do not share the nature of your mission with anyone." Vihaan turned back as soon as Leoric finished passing and swept out into the hangar array with David in tow.

"You are working to save your friends but do not harbor any feelings of mistrust, lest our problem discover your true intentions. To put it in a layman's terms, we will be quite fucked."

Rising Dawn: Hallway ------------------------------------------------------------------ 02:40 AM

Pvt. Peter Moore

Peter forced a laugh. He wasn't actually quite sure if the lamia named Miia was joking. Then there was an awkward pause. Guess she wasn't. Peter moved forward, undeterred by Miia's behavior, he remembered some of his classmates back in college acted the same way. They were probably all part of some sort of hobby culture or something. "Please follow me then," Peter said, "I'm heading back to the Canteen on a delivery."

The journey was short and uneventful. Though it was pretty difficult to shake the awkward atmosphere that Miia carried with her as she slithered behind him in cautious silence. When Peter got back into the Canteen he walked briskly over to Graham's table, trying his best to avoid eye-contact with the sulking Lieutenant, and set down the books before Graham.

Peter ran his fingers through his hair, "There you go, all of the atlas' and records the intelligence department said that you'd need to get caught up with the goings on." He picked up the first book and tossed it t Graham, "World Atlas, its got maps and countries." He placed the second down from the stack, "Historia. Big book of history, you'll only need the modern bit near the end." Then he motioned to the rest of the stack, "Rest of these are just things about the modern age you'll need to catch up on. Technology anthologies, environmental situations, political context, things of that nature."

That being said, Peter turned around and spoke to Miia. "Now we have to deal with you, Ms. Miia. Since you were on this ship before, do you can any recollection of any identification information, like a room number or something?"

Denver: Residential Complex --------------------------------------------------------- 08:00 PM

Airman Cecil Olpich

By God Cecil had seen things in his time. Death, famine, plague, and others, but he could not place his unease of that squirming creature that the young lady held. He held back a cough in his throat and turned around. Were all blonde-haired girls these years have horrible monsters following them around?

"Wel- welcome back." Cecil said. He put his hand over his mouth and coughed. "We'll take off immediately."

As soon as Nina secured herself into the cabin, the VTOL shot off toward Cloudtop Citadel. Above the Stormglaive lingered in the sky as if suspended by threads of moonlight. The blinking lights that lined it's massive hanger arrays looked like rivers of stars, ebbing and flowing with the glimmer of drones and VTOLS.

The radio crackled to life, "This is Stormglaive Admiralty, 311-C come in."

"311-C reporting in." Cecil said, clearing his throat of some heavy phlegm.

"311-C please be advised, we are detecting some exotic-matter on-board your system."

"311-C rogers, can confirm reading is from a friendly source."

"Stormglaive Admiralty rogers, fly safe, over and out."

By the time the VTOL touched down on the Cloudtop Citadel dry dock platform, the night was already well into the small hours of the morning. Cecil leaned back and his the lights in the main cabin. "Alright girl, we're here." he said gruffly. The flight had taken much longer than he had hoped. The fierce northerlies coming down the side of the rockies had made their route awkward and slow. But with little fuel to spare they had reached the mountain top base more or less in one piece. Cecil's upset stomach notwithstanding.

He opened the cabin doors and then got out himself. He smiled. Cloudtop Citadel was looking much better than he remembered, and even now at such an early hour the furnaces and machinery whirred away, commanded by passionate young women. "Take care now," Cecil said as he wandered off, tired. "Don't get into too much trouble."

The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Denver Ruins
Nina Zaczoltski | Phillip | Cecil

Having gotten what she came for, Nina would spend a decent amount of time taking pictures with her phone as they flew. Despite the dark skies, there was still enough light to make for some decent pictures, selfies included as long as Phillip wasn't in the shot. Oddly enough, the pictures that caught a glimpse of the noodle monster would be fraught with artifacting, picture tearing and overall poor quality, not that Nina seemed to mind. The Stormglaive's twinkling lights definitely would covet a decent chunk of Nina's picture taking while in Denver, honestly making her look more like a tourist than the hero she was presumed to be.

The flight back would be pretty uneventful except for one little noteworthy moment. See when Nina misheard

"311-C please be advised, we are detecting some exotic-matter on-board your system."

Now obviously they were detecting Phillip, perhaps on their way in the eldritch scanner was having a java update, but Nina was shocked that they'd somehow be able to identify the contents of the remaining box she was carrying. 'Honestly, that's an invasion of privacy if I ever heard one..! What do they care if I brought my collection..?' She crossed her arms in annoyance. "311-C rogers, can confirm reading is from a friendly source." 'Pfft, friendly source he says! Ya, absolutely nothing but family friendly content! Like they'd really buy that...' Nina gave Cecil a skeptic look until the voice on the coms replied. "Stormglaive Admiralty rogers, fly safe, over and out." 'No freakin' way! They actually bought that!?' Nina couldn't help but smile and give Cecil a proud thumbs up just in case the Stormglaive was still listening in.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel
Nina Zaczoltski | Phillip | Cecil | Pvt Kristen

Given the extended length of the trip, and the busy day Nina'd had thus far; it was no surprise she'd nodded off in the later part of the return trip. Curling up as best she could in the chair, arms around Phillip like he was a teddy bear, Cecil'd hear her mumble softly to herself as she dreamed. Phillip silently read from a blank cover, ebony black book that came from within him, clearly a fast reader at the speed at which he flipped through the pages bound within. The contents hidden within due to Cecil's angle and aversion to Phillip's presence.

When they finally landed, Nina stirred to greet the new day's night, Phillip briefly closing the book as Nina stretched her arms. "We're here..?" She yawned loudly, trying to dust the drowsy look from her face, and looking to her phone to gauge how much time had passed. "Take care now," Nina looked up passed the cockpit to see Cecil already on the move, prompting Nina to struggle to undo her safety belt. "Don't get into too much trouble." "Wait Cecil!" Nina shouted as she clumsily got herself out of the ship, and ran up to the weary pilot. "Phew, I know you're probably super busy, like- Wow this place is huge, like really really big! Anyways I'm getting side tracked, I wanted to say thank you for flying us out there and everything, definitely couldn't have done it without you!" She thanked the man before leaning towards him to whisper. "Truth be told, I'm also trying to set a good example for Phillip, impressionable youth and all, try and instill those good life lessons. You know what I mean." Her eyes however finally pick up on Cecil's fatigue and unease having dealt with Phillip for as long as he had, perhaps he was naturally weak to Phillip's influence. "You look, really crappy, that can't be airsickness right? Hold on a sec. Phillip?" She turned around to Phillip who was still in the VTOL. "You wouldn't happen to still have some of that banana ginger stuff you made for Mr. Seeder last week? Cecil looks like he could use some."

There was a pause before a jar slowly pushed itself part way out of Phillip's mass, and before they knew it Phillip had extended a tentacle out with the jar open. A few double swirling candy like this rattled in the jar for Cecil to take, a swirl of yellow and orange with flecks of what seemed to be ginger within. "Try one of these, it's pretty good for stomach pains and tastes pretty good too![1]" She insisted, but regardless of Cecil's decision on the matter, she'd start heading back to the ship to get her things and Phillip.

Once she was all gathered up, Phillip's book away and on Nina's shoulder's, she stood in the hanger area trying to decide where she should go next, a woman's voice cut through the steady sounds of the citadel. "Ms. Nina, Ms. Nina!"

'That Naamah was a Colonel, so who's this?'"Uh- HEY!" Nina mulled over this new information as Phillip snatched the letter with lightning speed, several tentacles dancing back and forth in a slow sway. "You don't just take things from random people! ...Even if it is for a, party? Let me see that!" Nina commanded, not putting down her box of dirty things as Phillip produced a tentacle with a toothy maw at the tip. It bit down, teared the envelope open, fished out the letter and held it open for Nina to read.

She looked back up to Kristen, who had taken a couple more steps back after delivering the letter.
"Hold it right there!" Making sure Kristen didn't manage to slip away from her just yet. "This LT Selmy certainly sounds impressed with us, whoever she is. Well, it'd certainly be a good way for us to get to know more of the crew, like you for example. You seem to know my name, but I have literally no idea who you are." She frowned, suspicious to her need to leave so fast. "As much as I'd like to accept this, there's a couple of things that'll need to be settled first."

"First, is Phillip allowed to accompany me for this party? If he isn't then I'll have to decline her request right now. Second, could he help with any of the food prep? As you can tell, you've peeked his interest, and I'd be lying if I didn't say the party would benefit from Phillip paying a visit to the kitchen. And lastly, we'll need to know where this party is and where we can get some shut eye? I had a nap on the plane, but today had been a Long day, and this place is built like a maze for mazes. Is there another room like what Ryan's got, cuz that would be perfect?" Nina yawned.

[1] And it actually was quite good, and although simply being away from Phillip would be a simple solution to his issues, the candy was a banana papaya ginger mix, and would have some benefits on its own.

The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel: Colonel's office
King Leoric | Colonel Yona Isami

"Ah, your loyalty is noted." Leoric happily chimed, blissfully unaware of the true feelings the secretary had for outsiders as her blew a bubble behind his back.
He wasn't entire sure what to expect when he walked though those doors but he did his best to maintain his air of authority as he did so.
"Ah, would you mind telling the Colonel I have some important information for him. I believe one of his underlings has pledged her loyalties to a lesser power..." He spoke to what he assumed was a servant who was-...sitting alone in this office...without any hint of the Colonel...
"...Forgive me, but I was told that the Colonel was available to see me? If he's too busy that he requires a servant to pass on his message, I understand. But considering the nature of the threat I wish to warn him about, I'd rather have an audience with him in person..." He reiterated as he stood there, holding his mace before him like some kind of cane to bring about his best side for when the Colonel-the Colonel who ran this base- got back from whatever Colonel-y things he was going.

It was then that his eyes(?) drifted down at Isami's desk, seeing her name plate as he showed her what a frightened human skull looked like.
"....OH-....oh, High Heavens! I-...forgive me! I was not expecting the colonel of this keep to be" His spectral voice rambled as he tried to think of any term or compliment he could deliver that would be enough to spare him the wrath his ill-informed words had wroth.


That-...was not it.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel

Cloudtop Citadel: David West, Vihaan

"...See, while I'm sure you have a good reason behind it, I mean, I get why Classified Information is Classified. But now that you are putting it in "Layman's terms", you see my concern, right?" David remarked, silently wishing that he never got involved in all this.
"Alright, alright, I'll put the thingy in the other thingy. Christ, I swear if this is just some kind of Hazing thing you guys do to newcomers, I'm going to beat your head in..." He sighed as they soon reached the Hanger level once more an-
"Hey there, Handsome!~"
"Oh for the love of- not this shit again..." The Irishman cringed, silently swearing off Cat-calling for the rest of his days after this experience.
"Gah, and they only start when I actually have a girl-friend. Such bullshit..."

[[Secondary Scenario]]

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

"Fertile, huh?" Yona put her smokestick down on the ashtray on her desk and stood up. Her jacket slipped off her shoulders and pooled on her chair. Her eyes were a brilliant cold blue and her hair fell in long copper strands across her shoulders. Wisps of smoke rose in swirling strands around her face. The amulet at her hip began to glow brilliantly, "I have not seen an undead since I was a child. I lived in a small hamlet off of the Red River, it was a quiet place full of a gentle people. They were farmers, nothing more, nothing less. They reaped wheat in the autumn and raised herbs in the winter, stored what they needed and sent what excess they had down the river to Candor."

She unbuttoned her shirt down to her navel. Another amulet hung between her breasts, a soft glowing gold etched with a full-bodied sunburst. "When I was five summers old, an undead horde swept through the north. They were raised by some vengeful necromancer that brought the mage school to ruin. Our grain stores were destroyed in the fighting. Pitying us, the Church of Eden sent its Paladins to give us aid. The Church is not so altruistic however, and the Paladins offered aid only to children and on the condition that they would be surrendered to the Church as pages."

"The township would not survive the winter. Those fool enough to stay in their mountain homes starved to death. Those that left died in the journey to stragglers of the undead horde." Yona pulled her dagger from her bag, "It is ironic that when I am so close to seeing my home once again, another undead should show itself before me. It is as if Eden himself would test my resolve." The dagger glowed brilliantly and it's handle grew out into a shaft of light. Her dagger had become a spear wreathed in golden flame.

"Come, undead. I will show you how fertile I am, and how worthy I was to have received the seed of the Order. I will show you my devotion, my body, and my virtue." Yona took two steps forward, "Return to eternal rest, oh Wretched Undead."


When David reached the old cabin of the airship, he felt suddenly ill at ease. The hallways were small, dark, and reeking of neglect. The area had been sectioned off by heavy blast doors, each marked with precautionary signage stating "Condemned. Turn back. Weapons Testing Fallout." Yet when approached, the doors slid open for David as if heralding his arrival with a grim greeting.

This part of the Rising Dawn was... strange. There were rooms and doors as there were above, but rather than simply be abandoned, it was as if the rooms were some sort of perverted shadow of those he recognized. Doors with names of heroes written on their tags, each all but scratched out in a mix of manic metal rakes or smeared in layers of dry blood. It felt like he was in a nightmare.

By the time he got to the "weapons lab" that Vihaan had specified, he felt thoroughly ill at ease. The door here was properly barred. Wrought with chains and barricades. Through the crack in the steel door he could make out the scene within. The machine Vihaan wanted was within, of this he was sure. But the smell of iron - dried blood caked on the walls and door like a copper moss - unsettled him.

Everything in nature told him simply, "turn back. Go away. Never return." Something unnatural happened here. Something horrible.

To enter he would have to edge through the gap in the door slowly. There could be no fast escape.

The Rising Dawn
Med Bay


Diana | Jenny

To Jenny's surprise, Diana did not resist. In her mind, she turned back into her normal self, the beautiful woman in the jet black minidress, and spoke: "I would not do that, if I were you. But you have won, and a deal is a deal, so I will point you to the right drawer. Not that one." It was a recent memory, one that Jenny opened. One of being a great dragon, and being shot at by missile after missile. One of crushing and chewing people who were half metal, and an awful taste and stench coming with it.

Diana pointed to another drawer. "You should take this one." the words 'Violet' formed in front of it, and she opened it. Jenny could feel disgust, arrogance and lust coming from it. Hatred, but without a specific target. And the memory of toying with a guy who did not know what he was in for. Slight amusement, but mostly born out of boredom. This was not something a good person would do. But it was the memory of not being in Diana's mind, but being in another mind, in Violet's mind. And putting some of the fear and hate Jenny could feel in Diana's mind in this other mind, targeting certain areas, areas used for lust, and twisting them with surgical precision.

"You should be able to fix Violet with this. I think his original memories are still intact, I just put a layer on them. Don't be surprised if he is a bit thirsty, after. And you might ... erase his memory of me, but keep the fear. That should keep him safe.
Now, you are strong and have earned my respect. I will not bother you, and if someone is under your protection, I will not harm them. Are we done?"

Cloudtop Citadel
Yona's office


Mio | Mitte | Yona Isami

"Fuuuck." Mio said, and put her flask back into her belt. "Though I admit, this was pretty hot. Fine, I won't drink here. Want to come over to the bar with me later, though, Mitte?" she winked with her remaining eye. "And I thank you for the assistance! I mean, I don't really have a hurry, so just keep me posted, alright? These metal ships are pretty badass, here, I think I am going to inspect some of them." She put her hand on Mitte's.

"Mind just showing me around a bit more? Maybe find some other weird fun people we could hang out with? I have the feeling there are a few." She came closer, then whispered in Mitte's ear. "Could also tell me where to find the booty."

The Rising Dawn

Anjali | Eddie the Dead

It had all seemed like a dream. But now she had come back, Eddie dropping her off in the canteen of the Rising Dawn, where they had met before. It had been a fun night, and Anjali had experienced things she never would have believed possible before. Beautiful dancers, a lot of gambling in a way that would put her grandmother to shame, and the magic of the moment. She did not know she could still feel an aphrodisiac, but apparently there were more things to being undead than just being dead.

She had a small grin as she was sitting down on one of the chairs in the canteen, looking at the snake-skin tattoos on her hands, silvery ghost snakes floating around her wrists and ankles. The rest of the night was a fuzz, and she was just slowly coming back to her senses, but she was not tired in the slightest. One of the perks of being undead. She did not know where she had left her uniform, again, but Eddie had promised to bring the things she would forget back into her room, so she would probably find it there, later.

Still, she was hungry and thirsty now, in her own way. So she waved one of the imps closer, smiling a friendly smile. "Hey, could you maybe bring me some breakfast? The ... uh ... blood to drink and flesh to eat. I won't ask where it's from. Also, do you know if something of note happened here last night, until now? I should go do my duty, soon, and do not want to stay out of the loop."

The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel: Colonel's office
King Leoric | Colonel Yona Isami | Rugal Bernstein | Hillary

"So Rugal? Hillary was surprised to find you had family here, that way you can see them often, and not be so far apart. Is Teri the only one here, or are there other Bernsteins Hillary might run into?"
"Well, there is also her mother and her sister but it's not a blood relation. Bit of a long story but a great conflict brought us all together and we've been that way since." Rugal explained (omitting the whole "I was a Super Villain" part) as they made their way into the waiting room.
"Her mother, Slindis, works in the medical bay of our ship and her Sister, Melethia, is a master craft-smith. She mainly does traps and weapons but thankfully she's finding work in less "Violent" fields these days..." He then added as they made their way towards the receptionist as she stared bored back at the duo.
"Rugal Bernstein, Acting Rising Dawn Captain, for the Colonel?"
"I'm sorry, the Colonel is currently in another-"

The doors to her office blasted open, prompting Rugal to quickly put himself before Hillary and bringing up his "Dark Barrier!" (Despite the fact if anything, she'd do more damage to the projectiles hitting her then the reverse...)
Fun fact: The human skeleton has over 200 bones and every single one of them was not being shot across the waiting room, like a claymore full of bones.
And in the mix was a series of expensive looking armor plates and even a crown of sorts, right before a familiar looking skull with a extremely pained expression frozen on it rolled along the ground at Rugal's feet.
"...The Colonel is done with her meeting now..." The Receptionist remarked before blowing another bubble from her gum.
"...Well-....I-....You're doing a wonderful job at your assigned task. Farewell!" Leoric's spirit remarked before hovering past Rugal and Hillary, keen to get away from the bad lady with the Holy weapons that REALLY hurt a lot.
Not that she could do much more to him now that he was in his spectral form but he wasn't going to hang around to see if she could.
"...Well-....Thank you..." Rugal remarked before lowering his barrier and making his way into the Colonel's office with Hillary in tow.
"...Oh Burning Hells, Has anyone see my crown?...This is really important!" The Mad King then began to ask people as a cadet playfully recreated Hamlet with Leoric's skull.

Once they were inside, Rugal was keen to make a better impression then the last guest she had.
Standing at attention and giving a salute, he then greeted Colonel Isami with "Pleasure to finally meet you in person, Sir. Apologies for any hassle Leoric might have caused. He joined us in the Battle for Denver and, frankly, at this rate I'm hoping he leaves. Rugal Bernstein, Acting Rising Dawn Captain and this is Hillary, another newcomer to our ranks. She's a long way from home and I wanted to ask if you if there is anything you could do for her."

The Rising Dawn
Med Bay


Diana | Jenny

"Now, you are strong and have earned my respect. I will not bother you, and if someone is under your protection, I will not harm them. Are we done?"

"...Hmmm...I suppose we are then...Just don't go making a habit of crossing my creator. Believe me, I won't be so merciful next time..." The mental construct of Jenny remarked before taking that folder of Violet and sending it like a email out of Diana's mind.
"Well, au revoir then..." She then said before snapping her fingers-


Diana awoke with a shock back in the Rising Dawn's med bay, right outside Violet's room were the wheelchair bound Gardevior was currently restoring Violet back to his normal annoying self.
"Dr. Violet?...Dr. Violet?..." She reached out telepathically as the former No. 2 of G-corp began to stir in his bed.
"zzzz-no, that dress looks!" Violet suddenly panicked, seeing how he had little recollection of doing anything to warrant being put in a medical coma and being placed in a medical ward.
"What happened?!....Where am i?!"
"Calm down, calm down. You-..." Jenny paused before briefly turning back to Diana, trying to figure out if to let her off the hook or not.
"...Had a fall. Hurt your head a little. I believe it had something to do with all that liquor you drank..."
"...oh god, I really did that, didn't I?...Ohhh, it's bad enough I shot Kaz but getting drunk on the job like that?..." Violet groaned as he got out of his bed an-
He froze has his eyes glanced over to Diana, prompting a sudden unease to come about him.

"...I'm-...just going to go call the office to pick me up..." He then rambled, not even asking Jenny why she was in a wheelchair as he walked around in a patient gown to the nearest phone.
"...I believe the term people use for this situation is: "You're Welcome"..." Jenny then send to the shapeshifter, even managing to get out a little wink.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn: Lower Levels

Rising Dawn: Lower Levels: David West

"...What the shit?..."

David was used to finding random stuff on the Rising Dawn, even after being there for as long as he had.
That one time they found an entire gaming room, that time he found out it had a Spa and especially the first time he found out it had a fully loaded armory.
"No one ever fucking tells me anything..." He bemoaned in what was quickly starting to become a catchphrase for him as he pulled out his weapon and began to walk down the halls of this "Weapons lab".
He remembered the first mission he had on the Dawn, during the infamous monster attack summer of which a slight demonic invasion was included.
He remembered fighting shoulder to shower as the hallways were knee high with demonic corpses and blood but-...fucking hell, this was way more spooky! And not even in a semi-awesome metal sense either. (Seriously, he totally used the "Killing Demons" story as a pick up line countless times).

It was then that he had a rather strange idea, seeing how this lab seemed to be working with a testing lab version of the crew's quarters.
While all the names were scratched off, he used his memory of where his room was before prying open the door and-
"Alright! Thank you creep who made this place!" He remarked as he happily took a nice large bottle of booze and began to down it, needing a bit of liquor in his life right now.
With renewed vigor and a high blood-alcohol content, he then started to pry open the door to advance onward.

[[Secondary Scenario]]

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

Mitte giggled and wrapped her arm around Mio, letting her chest press against the young pirate's shoulder. "Unfortunately, I think you're out of luck here. The girls here are all sworn virgins more or less. The colonel's orders." The mechanic-girl walked forward, swaying side to side as if inebriated before turning about and leaning on the far wall. Her eyes gleamed. "We don't really have treasure around here either. The base is pretty cut and dry, in direct contrast to the decadent opulence of the Rising Dawn itself."

There was a glint of light reflecting off of Mitte's chest. A pendant infused with a single drop-like gem of a black jet.


Yona sighed and ran her hands through her hair. She turned around, sat down on her desk and took a deep draw from her smokestick. "You and your crew have kept me quite busy for the past few hours," Yona said. Her voice dripped with a venomous annoyance, "whatever it is that you wish to impose on my limits of hospitality..." Yona paused when she saw Hillary. Her words caught in her throat. She put down her smokestick.

"A slime," Yona got up and swept across the floor toward Hillary, "by heaven. I had thought that all of your kind had perished in the age of ancients." Yona gently put her fingers on the surface of Hillary's skin and dragged her hand over her body. She drummed her fingers against Hillary, marveling at the metallic structure of her body.

"There's a chance..." Yona said under her breath as she whipped her jacket around her and put it on. "I'm sure I could get us all out of here, if she's truly a pureblood slime. I could get us all home."

But before Yona could say much else a red light and a klaxon filled the Colonel's smokey office.

"What is the meaning of this?" Yona grumbled under her breath.

The secretary was at the door, "We've got a problem. One of the heroes attacked and stripped one of Nahar's soldiers. She then resisted arrest and now they're standing off on the first floor. Also some of Nahar's soldiers were playing strip poker. The proper punishments are already queued up."

Yona stood up, straightened herself, and narrowed her eyes. "I did not think that you commanded a crew of bullies, Captain Bernstein," the Colonel snapped, "Aya, call high command and have them authorize use of force against the Rising Dawn. I want everyone who's not qualified for high-level combat evacuated to the Secured Floors and I want reinforcements from the Soul of Tomorrow as soon as possible. We are on high-alert now."


The main chamber of the weapons lab was covered in a thick layer of dust. The air was stale and had the same bite of bloody iron. David crept forward in the darkness, past derelict weapons, and yellowed design documents. The machines here looked like they had been neglected for decades, yet the machinery itself was far more advanced than anything else on the Rising Dawn. The terminals were slick and black, lacking any buttons other than black squares that he assumed to be biometric controls of some sort. The light here was impossibly dim and a sickly odor of rot began to creep toward David.

The blast door on the far side of the room was slightly ajar, the entire floor immediately before it was stained in dried blood. Deep in the caked puddles was a pile of dessicated corpses. From a distance it looked like they all belonged to young girls. David didn't have to go much farther before he reached the closest access terminal. There was a single slot sticking out of the console, and it looked like just the perfect fit for Vihaan's USB.

The screen lay blank and bare before him, covered in dust, but otherwise untouched by whatever nightmare dragged itself through these halls.

The ceiling creaked, the walls echoed with the sound of distant machinations. It was like he was in a waking nightmare.

[[Main Scenario]]

Glimmer of Hope
titania's story

"Do not go gentle into that good night,"

The sudden klaxon caught Titania by surprise. The little major stumbled and fell down to steps on the steep set of stairs that lead down from the docking arms the Rising Dawn had set itself in. Deborah caught Titania by the arms and hoisted her back onto her feet.

"Careful there Tania." she purred.

Titania looked up and nodded in thanks, "Thanks Deborah," her voice was soft. She had felt weak ever since she woke up earlier that day. Her body was sensitive and her balance was off. Her eyesight however had not diminished in her conscious absence, praise be to whichever god was watching over her prodigal soul.

The Citadel moved with a practiced efficiency. Gone were the light-hearted smiles and playful banter of the staff. Gone were the teasing and the affection between engineers. Now they worked with a cold steely expression. There was magic in the air, Titania could tell. Something powerful was here, and in full bloom. It was a wild, unruly magic, but not old. No. The flavor to the wild lashes of arcane energy where indicative of something new. Something young.

"Can you feel that too?" Titania asked.

Deborah nodded. Her red eyes were glued to invisible leylines coursing through the cavernous hanger. "Yeah, this is nothing good, I can tell you that." Even under the effects of Naamah or whomever else's observation, Deborah could still see the unnatural forces at work here.

Titania coughed. The air was bitingly cold.


"So what is the meaning of all of this?" Titania and Deborah followed the flow of magic to the top floor of the Citadel where a young woman confronted Nadalia, the Iron Queen. She had copper red hair and sharp blue eyes, fair skin, and a lithe build. Titania bit her lip. She knew those features, this woman was Candorian. The Candorian woman was definitely the one in charge of the complex. The amount of space the other soldiers gave to the woman was far too great to be for any other. And that's the infamous Colonel Yona Isami. The memory came from nowhere, but it gave Titania some comfort that she recalled at least some information from the period her body was being used as a meat puppet.

The Colonel stood face to face with Nadalia despite being an entire head shorter than the Iron Queen. Both women, however, seemed to be confident in their martial prowess. Nadalia glowed with radiance wrought from primal magic, both a faith in an ancient flame and the treacherous knowledge of one's own soul. The flames that she brought to bear did not seem to faze the Colonel.

Likewise, the billowing streams of holy magic coming from the Colonel did not do much to faze the undead Queen. Both eyed each other with a terrible ferocity.

Titania looked behind the two and saw a third woman, a lamia, cowering in a corner of the bathroom.

"Do you know your place?" Colonel Isami said, moving forward toward Nadalia, "You might have been a queen of a kingdom, but this mountain is under my jurisdiction. These are my people, my subjects and if you would have harm done to them, I will be sure to inflict the same to those under your own sovereignty."

The Rising Dawn Adventures

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel: Colonel's office
King Leoric | Colonel Yona Isami | Rugal Bernstein | Hillary

Hillary would smile brightly at Rugal's story, togetherness was a happy thing to not take for granted, despite no blood relations or with whom it was. "I'm very glad to hear it worked out then. Conflict isn't a pleasant thing, but Hillary has seen before that it can help make people all the more closer. You're very lucky to have them~" She complimented with earnest.

When Rugal introduced themselves to the receptionist, Hillary would give the woman an energetic hand wave, and nearly jumped when the door blasted open! Rugal would feel a short wall bump into his backside as Hillary pressed up against him, her hands grasping at the back of his jacket. Despite her paranoia of the shower of things being hurled out of the room, the bones slamming into the dark barrier, there was one article that reflected in Hillary's eyes as it flew by. So as Rugal finally made his way into the office space, Hillary would take a moment to prance over and pluck Leoric's crown from the pile, holding it gently in her grasp as she turned if over in her hands.

"Pleasure to finally meet you in person, Sir. Apologies for any hassle Leoric might have caused. He joined us in the Battle for Denver and, frankly, at this rate I'm hoping he leaves. Rugal Bernstein, Acting Rising Dawn Captain and this is Hillary." At this point Hillary would have walked in, fumbling to try and get the crown to sit right atop her head, the difference in head shape and her overall resistance to bending for its dimensions meant she had a hard go of it. "another newcomer to our ranks. She's a long way from home and I wanted to ask if you if there is anything you could do for her."

Finally able to get the crown to sit adequately, Hillary looked around and gave an meek wave to Yona. Now Hillary was extremely friendly, but the combination of Yona's negative attitude accented by her odd looks made Hillary a bit hesitant to be as outgoing as she normally would be. "You and your crew have kept me quite busy for the past few hours," Perhaps she'd done something wrong, and that's why she was so unhappy? Looking up at Rugal, she'd gasp as she realized she hadn't saluted! Clearly that must have been it, big wigs like Captain Kalrus always liked doing this whenever he talked to someone super important too. Hillary brought her hand up in a swift motion and struck her eyebrow with such force due to the momentum that a heavy clang rang out from the impact, much at the same time as Yona realized Hillary's physiology. "S-sorry!" Hillary apologized, thinking Yona'd stopped talking due to her interruption rather than the large dent in Hillary's face slowly filling itself in.

"A slime," "Uh... yes?" Hillary held her position as Yona swiftly approached her, unsure how "by heaven. I had thought that all of your kind had perished in the age of ancients." Now for most normal people, having a person they've just met tracing their fingers all over them would be a swift method to a slap in the face. Hillary was not normal and in fact welcomed such contact, but it was the words she spoke that concerned her. While Yona's touch danced across Hillary's cheek, down her neck, and down further to eventually leave one hand resting on her stomach and the other on her shoulder. "Uh... Hillary has never heard of the age of ancients..?" Yona'd feel Hillary's stomach move slightly, a by product of the air space within her expanding and compressing to allow her to talk. The drumming of Yona's fingertips would echo out Hillary's mouth much the same in an odd fashion. She was solid, immovable and cool to the touch otherwise. With another pause, Hillary glanced up to Rugal, scanning if he had any comment on this show of discovery. "There's a chance..." Yona said under her breath as she whipped her jacket around her and put it on. "I'm sure I could get us all out of here, if she's truly a pureblood slime. I could get us all home."

Hillary would have asked what a pureblood slime was, not understanding the language as the sirens went off, spooking the poor slime before heading back over to Rugal. "W-What's happening?" She cried, echoing Yona's own comment as the secretary from earlier addressed the developing circumstances. "That's bad right? We like Nahar?" She whispered to Rugal.

Yona stood up, straightened herself, and narrowed her eyes. "I did not think that you commanded a crew of bullies, Captain Bernstein," the Colonel snapped, "He prefers... Rugal..." Hillary replied, Rugal motioning for her to drop that conversation given the situation. "Aya, call high command and have them authorize use of force against the Rising Dawn. I want everyone who's not qualified for high-level combat evacuated to the Secured Floors and I want reinforcements from the Soul of Tomorrow as soon as possible. We are on high-alert now."

Yona would then quickly start making her way out of the room, Hillary looked from Rugal to the door and then back to Rugal. "So... That was different..." Hillary commented, stepping over to the office doorway leading to the reception area. "Well, this is good news? She said she could get us back and she knew Hillary was a slime even before Hillary said she was... Actually I don't think Hillary mentioned being a slime, did she..?" Hillary clapped, pleased that although things hadn't gone completely as expected, there was progress. "Now Hillary needs to understand what blood I have, Slimes don't have that, so that confused Hillary quite a bit when the Colonel said she was pureblood." Hillary questioned, her head slowly turning out to the reception area again. Hillary then would pop onto her tippy toes and gasp, quickly shuffling out of the room. "Rugal!! She forgot her big stick!!" She cried, coming back into view wielding Leoric's mace at arm's length. "We gotta go find her!" She pleaded, looking between Rugal and Aya.[1]

[1] Although Hillary is wearing the crown and wielding the mace, she's still the shiny steel apple since she still has it within her, so no change in her makeup!

Cloudtop Citadel
Yona's office


Mio | Mitte

"You know what you should do." Mio whispered to Mitte. "Get a better colonel, who allows you more stuff." she walked closer, noticing the swaying, but not commenting on it. She then proceeded to put a finger towards the pendant. "And what is this? Is this not a small kind of treasure, on a big piece of treasure?" She grinned, though she was wary off any quick movements, now.

The Rising Dawn
Med Bay


Diana | Jenny

Diana winked back, without any shame. "You did good." She then proceeded to walk down the hallway, slightly elated, quietly humming a tone. She took some time, just exploring the different hallways of the ship, until she came to a stop near the bridge. Seeing it empty, and seeing a big seat at the front, she non-chalantly sat herself down in it, and took a nap in a peaceful way.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel: Colonel's office
King Leoric | Colonel Yona Isami | Rugal Bernstein | Hillary


It seemed like a curse almost, how often he would just walk into a normally calm and stable situation only for it to completely turn to total chaos at the drop of a hat.
Granted, the issue with Leoric should have been a dead give away or some kind of omen but the REALLY thought he was going to be able to smooth things over.
Alas, as Yona put the entire base into high alert over what apparently seemed to be one of his crew becoming hostile to the staff of Cloudtop Citadel.
"...Well then..." He quietly quipped, his eyebrow twitching slightly with anger as he tried to figure out a way to defuse the situation.
As Yona went to deal with the matter, she was soon halted by a powerful hand gripping her shoulder with enough strength to stop her dead in her tracks.
"...I have little intention of leaving this meeting having left a bad impression. Call off your alert, I shall deal with the offenders myself. Thank you again for your hospitality, Sir."
Patting her shoulder, The King of Fighters then turned to Nadalia before exhaling loudly, not really keen on what he was about to say.

"...Nadalia...I mean this as a friend but if you do not cease your violations of our hosts code of conduct, I will have little choice but to personally intervene and restrain you myself. I know your power and you know mine. We both know that it is not a scenario that either one of us wish to inflict upon our allies. I might not have a proper "Formal" authority to order you to stand down and surrender, but I know you know full well the situation we find ourselves in. your friend...I'm going to ask you to put your hands behind your head and allow this base's security detail to escort you back to the Rising Dawn's brig."

Walking between Nadalia and the Colonel, he then added "You may resend your request for authorization of force against my ship, Colonel Isami. There is ill need for such rash action. Besides...if there is anyone properly equipped for disabling members of my crew: It's Me."
Looking at the incoming security detail, he then advised "Don't bother. She'll kill you like small dogs. Stand down and she will stand down peacefully...Right, Nadalia?
And with that, Rugal slowly got into a combat stance, a glare of sheer determination and focus staring down the Queen with a message that was loud and clear: Do. Not. Fuck with me right now.

Leoric meanwhile was much too busy trying to reform him to really weigh in on Nadalia's transgressions, after all, there was basically nothing he could do while he was in this state of existence.
As such, when he saw both his crown and his mace in the hands of Hillary, he was-...less then pleased.
"GAH! HORRIBLE MONSTER! RETURN WHAT YOU HAVE STOLEN OR FACE MY WRATH!" The ghost then screamed, because that's what this stand-off needed more of, as his empty hands phased though Hilary's mass in a display that was rather unbecoming of a monarch like him.

Rising Dawn: Lower Levels: David West

" we go then..." David remarked as he sized up the strange computer.
There was something rather wrong with this and the more he thought about it, the more it seemed like that this might just be Vihaan playing him as a sucker.
But-...then again, what if he was right and this was the only way to prevent whatever event he was going on about from happening?
"...I swear to christ, you had better not have fucked me on this Vihaan..." David spoke out before he finally went for it and plugged the USB in an-
"AHHHHH!" He screamed like a little bitch as he recoiled from the screen, his hands in front of his face and body to protect him from...nothing.
"...What the-..." He said to a black mirror that was an powered screen before he looked at the USB on the floor.
"Oh...put it in the wrong way round..." He then cringed before picking it up and plugging it in-

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel: Nadalia Vs Rugal Vs Yona!
King Leoric | Colonel Yona Isami | Rugal Bernstein | Hillary

"Right Rugal? Rugal..?" Hillary asked, moving to the side as Rugal stormed out after Yona. The man may have spoke no words, but the expression alone spoke an entire novel of complains to the current situation he faced. Still holding the club part of the mace with the handle sticking upwards, Hillary watched for a moment more before turning to Aya to say farewell. "It was very nice meeting you! I hope Hillary can see you later, but Hillary might not get home if I don't go now!" Bowing while holding the mace, the handle knocked into the upper doorframe, and smacked into her face from the impact leaving a ringing sound in her wake. Hillary would then try her best to catch up with Rugal, toddling along and asking for directions if she needed to make sure she didn't get lost.

Turning the corner and seeing the crowd with Rugal just making his way in, Hillary was quite pleased with herself. She knew she wasn't quick on her feet, but with the current ruckus going on, this must have been the place. "RU-"


Now for those who weren't informed, Hillary was innately afraid of fire. Even from her first witness of the bombastic chemical reaction of fuel, oxygen and heat, deep in her very being she knew that it was bad news bears. While in a controlled environment, she could at least attempt to put something in between herself and the combustion source (Keeping Rugal in between her and the welding torches for example), Nadalia's fire was on a whole other level entirely. In her current state of metallic splendor, she couldn't feel the heat that radiated outwards but she could sure see its size and might, and was left utterly shaken because of it.

"That lady's sc-scary!" She cowered, the words barely coming out. The head of the mace lay on the ground, Hillary sat down on top of it, the metal on metal making a small screech while she clasped the handle tightly which still pointed upwards. "How is Hillary supposed to talk to Rugal or the other lady over there!? Hopefully they finish soon so Hillary doesn't have to go over there..?" She thought aloud, leaning around the corner again to get an idea of the situation.

It was at this point that Leoric would notice Hillary, wailing in his ghastly form at her. "GAH! HORRIBLE MONSTER! RETURN WHAT YOU HAVE STOLEN OR FACE MY WRATH!" Which made Hillary nearly jump as she turned around to see the phantom grasping at her. "SHOO! SHOO! Hillary saw you come out when the lady throw her stick out of her room! She was very cross and Hillary is going to return her pudgy stick to make her happier again, and not be so mean to Rugal! SHOO!" Grasping the mace's head, she waved the mace's handle in Leoric's general direction but not directly at him, trying to ward him off. She might think that Leoric was a trouble maker given her past experience with him, but she wasn't going to resort to hitting just yet.

[[Secondary Scenario]]

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

Mitte rolled her eyes. "As difficult as she can be, each one of us here love the Colonel with all our hearts." She put her finger on the black gem in her cleavage. The black sheen seem to glow blue, "All of the officers have one of these. They say it contains a bit of the Colonel's magic. It binds all of our hearts together."


The screen in front of David sprung to life suddenly. The USB itself clicked and whirred, and the lights in the laboratory came on all at once. Blue light flooded the room as all of the machines woke from their ancient slumber. David could finally see the extend of the lab. Smooth metal walls coated in dried blood and deep rakes in the floors and walls. It was as if a whirlwind of blades had made its way through the place. He shuddered, there was a chill that bit into his very core, as if his own soul was warning him what he had just done was unforgivable.

Something loaded on the screens before him. A program had launched and was ticking through actions faster than David could track with his eyes. Commands jumped from monitor to monitor, turning on more and more systems as it tore through the computer systems like wildfire. Before long every screen in the room was executing the same obscure commands. Then as quickly as it had spread, it stopped. After everything was over, there was a list on the main terminal that stood before David. Despite his instincts he glanced over at the document.

Name: Capture Date
Do Victor: October 17, 1993
Nahir Ahmed: January 14, 2015
Sieghayer Rebecca: March 30, 2020
Cole Kelly: November 11, 2011
Donnell Elizabeth: February 1, 1945
Langley John: December 31, 2090
Ypre Jack: April 22, 1814
Alexander Johnathon: March 18, 1776
Fitzgeralt Ethan: July 2, 2013
Faust Molli: April 18, 2015
Antoine Cecil: April 24, 1624
Yamegawa Meiko: May 7, 2031
Yang Wenfen: November 4, 1999
Allyon Nicholas: June 11, 1963
Stausmahner Ian: September 24, 1983
Yohan Ezra: July 28, 1312
Vym Laurry: May 1, 2024
Spar Donald: November 23, 1650
Li Natalie: July 27, 2109
Kindunos Niko: May 17, 1741
Matsamuda Kei: August 24, 1803
Roberts Laura: June 26, 1885
Daniere Brian: July 24, 1922
Vaker Andahu: August 11, 2041
Nayadokovov Georgie: March 24, 1957
Steven Hughs: February 29, 1960
Isami Yona: March 15, 473366
Moore Peter: June 14, 2020
Coors Hanna: June 14, 2020
Valduur Vihaan: October 4, 2701

The list went on and on. There were hundreds of names, if not thousands. Each of them with a corresponding date. He recognized a few, he didn't recognize most of them. Though he understood that these were the staff of not only the Rising Dawn, but of the entire Rising Dawn group.

West David: April 21, 2015
Bernstein Rugal: April 21, 2015
D'Zannifer Kalastryn: April 21, 2015
Rostikova Katya: April 21, 2015
Khatri Anjali: February 9, 2016
Caim: April 21, 2015
Angelus: April 21, 2015
Zaczoltski Nina: February 7, 2016

Heroes too. David felt his breath catch in his throat. His stomach sank and his head started hurting. The world around him seemed to be spinning. Each time he close his eyes he could see the names, the dates, but not only that, but the faces of each of the people named. He knew their voices, their smiles, their tears. It felt like he had just met a hundred thousand new people, and yet he felt like he had known them for years and years.

Marlow Alice: April 21, 2015

He did not know that name. He could not know that name. Though he felt as if he must know. The world around David spun and spun, and he felt ill. The air was dry and wet at the same time, the whir of fans turned to a deafening static. The bodies in the corner of the room writhed. They reach out, thin frail arms reaching toward David as the dessicated bodies of those young girls tried to drag themselves across the floor toward them. Fresh blood seeped from inside of the vault where they came. The Rising Dawn shook, as if some massive drum was being struck in the center of the ship. David reached for the USB, although he did not need it. The names and dates were already burned into his mind. He stumbled out toward the door, but the chains had fallen down over the opening. There was no way out.

Bloodied corpses reached for him. Their desiccated faces crying out in silent anguish. There was a darkness above him, sweeping quickly. A glimmer of green light, and a great heaving mass of nanomachines landed between him and the corpses.

Niflheim raised his head and took a good look at David. He gave his version of a laugh, "No one would have thought it would be you to cause this, and that made you the perfect candidate for this job. Well done Vihaan, well done." The great black beast put a hand on the door and tore it from its hinges.

"Run David West, run. The weight of the world is now on your unworthy shoulders."


Vihaan stood before the Gem of Want with his arms out stretched. His grin was ear to ear. His robes whipped around him as the Gem grew in strength. Even within the protective vault of the secured floors, he felt the reverberations of David's actions. The old boy had actually managed to inherit a piece of the primordial soul, it was more that Vihaan could have ever hoped for. Now the threads of causality were unravelling, and in the first time in a hundred thousand cycles, time moved in a way that was not predictable.

The Game of Want reflected this uncertainty. Its power lashed outward, bolts of blue energy that reached outward into space time to search for the cracking threads in reality. The black gem, where it had pulsed with blue light one a month in years past was now constantly emitting a flood of azure light. The flooding of its eldritch energy filled Vihaan with a uncontainable jubilation.

"Come now girl! Show me your true form! I know that you cannot hide within that crystalline prison now that your lattice is unstable!" He raised his arms and channeled a spell of white flame, "Reveal yourself O wretched warden of worlds! Show your true form to me, White Rose!" He launched the ball of alabaster fire toward the Gem of Want.

The gem flickered, and then for the first time in a decade, the gem moved. A woman appeared where it was to absorb Vihaan's spell. A raven-haired foul-mouthed convict pulled through space-time by the Gem of Want.

B.C. landed on the metal floor below the gem stunned, but none the worse for wear. The gem hovered some distance away from the center of the room, letting out bolts of azure lightning. Vihaan took a step back and readied another spell, this time one that could harm the corporeal form as well as the astral body. "And this is who you've chosen as your champion?" Vihaan taunted the gem.

"This girl is hedonistic, petty, and rough. Yet her soul is as pure as snow. Her desire as plain and unadulterated as none other." the gem said. "Rise, virgin girl, and become my champion."

[[Main Scenario]]

Glimmer of Hope
titania's story

"Old age should burn and rave at close of day;"

Yona was furious, "And who gave you civilians the right to call me by my first name!?" The colonel drew her dagger and extended it into a holy spear. "And you! And you!" Yona pointed to both Rugal and Nadalia, "How do you presume to overstep both of your boundaries!?" Yona took a step forward and put the tip of her spear over Nadalia's Darksign. She turned to her subordinates, "Get the idiot civilians to safety and treat any personnel that were injured."

"And you," Yona growled, "what sort of queen lacks the ability to control their own power? The very concept of using your abilities against normal human beings should make you sick, yet you claim that the damage you dealt was merely an 'accident?'" Yona spat, "Those with great power must understand that it is never right to use their power to force people to obey you. Fear makes no great leaders, it breeds resentment and envy. I do not care that you did not mean to bring such strength to bear against my people, the mere fact that you have so little reservations in using your power against those who have none has shown to me that you are a person who is as childish as she is irresponsible."

Yona turned to Rugal, "All of you make me sick to my stomach. Take your crew and get out of my sight. It is clear to me that none of you value the lives nor dignity of those who are not blessed with strength similar to yours."

Titania was taken aback by the clarity of the young woman's words. The scars of her youth had left deep impacts on her personality, that much was apparent, but even beneath the veneer of righteousness, there was a respect for being that was rare even among normal humans. A restraint for actions and a developed sense of righteousness and justice that was akin to the idea of balance. Among Candorians, this Yona Isami must have been on in a million. A soul as pure and righteous as their idealized god himself.

Yona suddenly fell to her knees, gasping. At first Titania was confused, and started to look for the attack from Nadalia or Rugal, but she found none. Then the world around her grew disparate. The sound of static filled her ears. Deborah had fallen to her knees as well, gasping as if out of breath. The world seemed to shatter, each thing growing distant from each other before snapping back into place.

The reverberations of a great disturbance in the leylines passing through the Citadel echoed like the thrumming of a taut rubber band. Nadalia, too, felt the disturbance as she looked toward the Rising Dawn. She recognized the feeling, it was the same sort of sound that rang through the world when a red-eye orb was activated, or when a soapstone caused two timelines to collapse ontop of each other.

Several of Yona's officers also fell to their knees as if shocked. A bright blue light shone from their chests. Their pieces of jet was resonating with the collapsing leylines. Titania rose to her feet, her eyes were blurred, but she was sure. The leylines in the Citadel were collapsing. The invisible streams of mana were folding into themselves and falling from their course. Titania reached out with her magic to try to trace the source of the disturbance, but was shocked backward by a rush of emotions. The leylines were transmitting a sentience and buckling under the weight and immensity of the being trying to force itself into the world.


Naamah looked up, troubled by the sudden ripples in spacetime. She held onto her staff tightly had stroked Fatima gently with her other hand. "I this mislike greatly," she whispered to her other half. "It feels familiar... however. Like when Solomon first manifested." "This more sinister is."

Solomon himself watched intently at the ripples. They looked like the type that appeared on a pond after you had dropped a stone into the water. His heavenly crown, heralded by triangles of flat black space, shimmered in the glow of his strength. He was pensive and unsure about the nature of the world. There was something beyond that he could not truly make out - even past the far reaches of the collective's power. He had always felt something off with his kingdom. Siddhartha's absence and the strange influence that was dripping from each labyrinth created by his daughters was disturbing. No, not his daughters he had to remind himself. He too, was given form by the progenitor, his strength and his domain was a gift and an allowance of the greater power.

"This part of Niflheim's plan was?" Naamah asked, laying her head on Solomon's arm.

That this event benefitted the rogue unit's machinations was mere coincidence. The scale of this event is too great for someone of Niflheim's power to orchestrate. Solomon paused. He wasn't even sure if he himself had the strength to cause disruptions on a scale as grand as this.

"Naamah understands," Naamah cooed.


Philip looked up and saw it. He knew it. It felt familiar. A fellow being born in the shadowy reaches of imagination's end. None else could see it's flickering shadow as it descended upon the world. A watchful gaze borne of millions of stitched eyes. The presence was familiar and foreign at the same time. He knew instinctively of it's type, but did not know this sentience personally. At the same time, from Nina's side he glanced one of it's eyes gazing at the duo. Unblinking red eyes, a flick of a snow-white tail, and the unchanging smile. Visible to only Philip, the creature moved away, content in knowing that it had manifested at least one of its many bodies.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Maiden's Wish | Unknown Location
"Your one-stop shop of pain."

This world was kind of funny, B.C. decided. One moment she was walking down an aisle of a clothing store in the middle of a crowded mall, and the next she had dropped a few feet onto a metal floor. Still, despite her track record in school, B.C. was a smart girl, and figured this was the same kind of weird shit that had brought her to that primitive Earth in the first place. She straightened up and placed a hand on one hip, while the other casually flipped back some of her hair.

As she looked around at her surroundings, she realized that she was stuck. The walls around her were rounded, leaving her in a tall, metal cylinder with some sort of windows near the top, like some sort of odd, old-timey lighthouse. She also found it hard not to notice either the blue bolts of electricity that rained around her from the big-ass rock above her, or the voices that spoke out, because she wasn't alone.

"And this is who you've chosen as your champion?"

The man who spoke in front of her looked like he came from a place just as far away in time from this world as she had, but from the opposite direction. From his fancy robes, that weird little braid to one side of his face, and the fact that he looked like he was about to cast some sort of Magic Missile made her giggle softly. Then she heard a reply.

"This girl is hedonistic, petty, and rough. Yet her soul is as pure as snow. Her desire as plain and unadulterated as none other. Rise, virgin girl, and become my champion."

The convict merely raised her hands up in a shrug, but not before the one previously on her hip patted for her MP7's or Grenades. Both of which were oddly missing from around her waist.

"Listen, I don't really understand what's going on here, but I don't like being volunteered for anything against my will. And if I'm gonna champion anything, wouldn't it be fair to give me some sorta weapon?" she asked the disembodied voice.

She let her hands fall to her sides as she started to casually make her way towards the man, her hips swaying with every step.

"Besides, can't we talk this over? You look like a reasonable enough guy. Come on, why should we fight? I'm unarmed." the Curvaceous Convict asked with a charming smile on her lips.

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

Waves of mana erupted out of Vihaan's body and he took a step backward as B.C. approached. "I was not born yesterday woman," Vihaan said as he wove spells of strength and vitality around himself, "a woman's allure only surfaces when she's on the hunt." Vihaan's magical armor grew around him. A flurry of vibrant green-red light shimmered around his pale robes.

The Gem lashed out, a bolt of azure hit Vihaan and tore the enchantments from his body. The boy took a quick backstep to get out of range of B.C.

"White Rose, you are a strange mistress indeed," Vihaan spat. He threw off his mantle and dropped into a hand-to-hand position. The rivers of gold shimmered in the blue light emanating from the mysterious gem. Vihaan's stance was light, he kept his distance and his slight build afforded him flexibility most men couldn't. From his footwork and his eyes, it was clear that he was no stranger to melee combat. "I will vanquish any champion you throw at me, White Rose, and then I will have you."

The gem thrummed, "I will have a fair fight." Two swords manifested themselves in the room. One before Vihaan, the other before B.C. They were ornate, silver swords gilded with gold and gemstones. Vihaan drew his and flourished it. The blade was slightly curved, but otherwise quite similar to the weapons of olden knights. They were light, despite their length and composition, well balanced, and sturdy. "No magic, no projectile weapons. First to strike their foe is the victor."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Maiden's Wish | Unknown Location
"Fair? Life ain't fair."

Despite her easygoing stride and the friendly expression on her face, it was clear to the Black-Haired Convict that the Pretty Boy before her was no-one's fool. He took a step away from her, not looking away, as some sort of glow came off of him in waves. She took a reflexive step backward herself, even as her smile soured into an awkward grimace.

"I was not born yesterday woman, a woman's allure only surfaces when she's on the hunt."

"So you aren't an idiot. Could've fooled me, honey." B.C. taunted with an edged grin as she leaned forward and bent her knees in a ready stance.

But as a sheen of greenish-red light began to cover his robes, a streak of blue lightning struck him and seemed to shatter whatever it was he was trying to do. He called out someone, someone called White Rose, about being a strange mistress. B.C. had no clue who he was talking about.

As he took up a fighting stance of his own, the Convict realized that he wasn't about to back down, magic or no.

"I will vanquish any champion you throw at me, White Rose, and then I will have you."

B.C. sneered, "Big talk, from a little boy."

That was when the second voice she heard since arriving there spoke up again. This time, when she looked around, she realized that it was coming from the big, floating gemstone behind her, and her eyes narrowed.

"I will have a fair fight."

Fair fight? B.C. scoffed quietly. If you're having a fair fight, she thought to herself, you were doing it wrong. That was when she saw a silver sword begin to materialize in front of her. A single, hair-hidden brow quirked upward. She reached forward, took it from the air. Tested it's heft. It was light, which was a plus, though she would have been more at home with a knife in her hand. Or better, a pipe.

"No magic, no projectile weapons. First to strike their foe is the victor."

So that was how it was. Get first blood, and you win.

The Convict shot toward her opponent like a lightning bolt, her body low as she darted forward. Sword in one hand and kept at the ready. A murderous smirk was on her face, and both of her pink eyes were locked onto his.

"Eyes on the sword." she hissed through her teeth as she drew near and slashed, upward and underhanded.

Just as she jabbed her free hand in the direction of his crotch.

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

Vihaan struck the blade of B.C.'s sword with the guard of his and knocked the uppercut off-course. He leaned forward, and saw the punch coming - and in a moment of arrogance, he let the hit connect instead of dodging backwards. Her fist was hard and solid, sending a shock through his hips before the tensing of his muscles absorbed the full force of her blow. He fell forward, sweeping across B.C.'s back and whipping his sword around in a wide flourish - a move that would have taken off B.C.'s head if she did not throw the boy off of her with a sudden surge of strength. Vihaan landed on his feet a few steps away, dropping low again with his sword poised in his left hand and his right hand back toward his flank.

He laughed as he wiped a lock of B.C.'s hair from his blade, "Dirty tactics will get you nowhere against me." In his own arrogance however, he missed his chance to strike a blow. He shouldn't have gone for the kill, and one as fancy as that. Though it was pretty satisfying when he killed the crown prince with that move.

Vihaan took two steps forward and then struck out at B.C. His movements were reserved and fluid, keeping well at a range where he could duck out of B.C.'s strong heavy-hitting attacks. His attacks were a flurry of one-handed strikes, short, fast, calculated. Both his footwork and his bladework was guiding the would-be champion back into the wall of the building. "Someone who fights out of wanton desire has no chance of beating me."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Maiden's Wish | Unknown Location
"Victory isn't just about skill, or smarts, or luck. It's about wanting to win so badly, you'll do anything to achieve it."

There was a moment of sharp disappointment when the Convict realized that her unsportsmanlike ploy didn't come close to working. What was worse, the kid was ready for her. With a somersault over her back, his sword flashed near her head, and it was enough to send a stab of panic in her gut. With a heave, she pushed him off of her, but not without him taking off a lock of hair.

Turning to face him, the grin on B.C.'s face had shrunk to a hostile sneer as she raised her sword.

"Dirty tactics will get you nowhere against me."

She didn't bother to reply. Even if she wanted to, his ensuing onslaught of blows didn't give her an opportunity. The boy was fast, as fast as she was. And she could tell as he flashed his sword against hers, as metallic clangs echoed throughout the round chamber, he was good with it. As he pushed her backward with each swing towards the wall behind her, he smiled.

"Someone who fights out of wanton desire has no chance of beating me."

That was when she saw her opportunity. This time when he swung, instead of blocking with her own sword, she simply knocked his sword away from the two of them, and stepped toward him. As she did, she wrapped her sword arm around his. She grinned savagely as her chest bumped his.

"You clearly don't want the win enough then." she said as she sharply jerked his trapped arm upward against the joint.

In the next moment, she brought one knee upward toward his belly, and her left hand jabbed towards his throat. If she was lucky, this would be enough to knock the wind out of him. Then, victory was hers.

Caramel Frappe:
Technically helped with this

Texas Joker 52:
Also technically helped with this


The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Cloudtop Citadel: Rising Dawn and the surrounding Hanger
Nina and Phillip

Present Time!!

With it getting close to the party time, Nina and Phillip had gotten ready and started making their way to the ball room. Nina'd dressed herself in a black and yellow dress, with a matching choker, stockings and high heels. Her hair was woven tight to the side of her head and bound into a long flowing ponytail behind her. Of course she also had a miniature hat that was clipped to her head as well. Phillip however, had insisted on having a particular hat of his own. He was supposed to dress to impress after all, what would be more impressive than a chef's hat larger than he was?

Although Nina wouldn't notice the shadowy abomination as Phillip did, the fact reality was partly unwinding from itself was more than enough for her vision to go into sensory overload. She stumbled forward, being caught by Phillip as he propped up against the side of the wall. "Ugh, thanks Phillip..." Nina said feeling a bit light headed and rubbed her eyes. "I guess I'm not super used to wearing these new shoes just yet..." She lied, not wanting him to worry. Phillip merely watched the creature leave, feeling like he'd found something he could make a meal for using those bugs from yesterday.

With where she was, there was some of the citadel personnel around, Nina had to squint as she saw the blue lightning blasting out of the gems that they carried. "What the hell is going on here?"

[1] Gen also helped with this technically, but I don't have a quote to put that under
[2] Now if I knew how to do zalgo text properly on Escapist I wouldn't need to use the pictures, but since I can't get it to work here, this is the next best thing XD

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

"A man's downfall will always be his false sense of superiority over women." There was a pop as Vihaan's arm was dislocated. B.C.'s two blows landed hard against the boy. He crumpled, his gold chains and circlets rang harshly against the metal floor of the containment bay.

There was a small pause before Vihaan laughed. He rose from the floor quickly, dodging B.C.'s attack.

He landed several yards back, away from both his sword and the dominating presence of the lady convict. He cracked his neck as he put his right hand forward. His right hand had an angry red bruise from where it took B.C.'s strike. "I had always thought," Vihaan said as he sidestepped B.C.'s lunge of opportunity. He was moving fast now, his chains rattled madly, "your father told you... that Mankind's greatest folly was his desire for independence." He spat on the floor and hopped backwards, letting his left arm dangle to his side. "White Rose, you disappoint me with your self-righteous prattle."

Another attack-of-opportunity from B.C. came out of nowhere, yet Vihaan seem to know it was coming. He slammed his left shoulder into B.C.'s chest and knocked her away from him. "It is rude to attack when someone is talking." He straightened up and moved his left arm back and forth, having popped it back into place using B.C. as the counterweight. "Again, girl, I will tell you. Someone like you has no chance of beating me." He took off the gold chains and bracelets and circlets from his body and dropped the heavy outer-layer of his robes. The heap landed on the floor with an audible thump. His body beneath was lean and scarred, his face took on less of a playful and arrogant mood.

"My name is Vihaan Valdur, second son of Krishna Valdur, and high priest of the Maara. If I must fight you with my all, I will. For the sake of my people, and for the sake of my honor." Vihaan put his best foot forward and steeled both his body and his eyes. "I recognize you as my opponent in this fight."

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Maiden's Wish | Unknown Location
"Cause one of us is goin', one of us is goin' down."

B.C. was more than a little surprised to hear the Gemstone "speak" again as she dislocated the boy's arm. In fact, she hadn't been expecting any running commentary whatsoever. Still, the words it spoke made her smirk.

"A man's downfall will always be his false sense of superiority over women."

"Yer damn right!" she called out as she lunged forward with her blade to claim her victory.

Only the her opponent wasn't about to be beaten that easily. With a backward leap, the tip of her sword didn't even come close. Her eyes narrowed dangerously. This wasn't how it was supposed to work. Her last hits should have had him crumpled up on the floor for a good minute.

But when he lifted his hand, she couldn't help but nod with grudging respect. To be able to block one of those blows, after having an arm dislocated? That took discipline. Which meant he wasn't some martial artist wannabe with some natural skill. This little shit knew what he was doing. As she lunged forward, he took the opportunity to reply to the Gem's words as he sidestepped her.

"I had always thought your father told you... That Mankind's greatest folly was his desire for independence. White Rose, you disappoint me with your self-righteous prattle."

His attention was elsewhere. Seeing her opportunity, she took it, attempting another upward slash to his blind side. The little shit wasn't having it as he managed to not only avoid the edge of her sword, but shoved her away with his bad arm. She glared daggers at him, and for the first time since her arriving there, her face was devoid of any smile.

"It is rude to attack when someone is talking. Again, girl, I will tell you. Someone like you has no chance of beating me."

She stood there, just a few yards away as he took off the chains, bracelets and other jewelry that was weighing him down, along with the his robes. And from the sound they made as they thudded against the metal floor, all of it was heavy. And when he looked back at her, his game face was on.

"My name is Vihaan Valdur, second son of Krishna Valdur, and high priest of the Maara. If I must fight you with my all, I will. For the sake of my people, and for the sake of my honor. I recognize you as my opponent in this fight."

The Convict's lips began to curve upward again. This kid just didn't know when to quit, she thought as she began to snicker, and then burst out into raucous laughter. The kind of laughter someone had when they had just heard something hilariously funny.

If he wanted to play that way, then she'd bite.

"Alright then, kiddo," she said, tossing her sword aside and shrugging out of her pink leather jacket before tossing it as well, "I am Black Connie, Convict #7660103-B51, and I am an Anarchist from Future-Space. Call me B.C. for short."

She brought her fists together and grinned derisively as she said, "Not that you'll be able to say much when I'm through with you. New rules! No swords, only good old hand-to-hand, and our wits. Last one standing? Wins."

There was a moment's paused as she stared into his eyes before she dropped low and rushed toward him. Her right fist drew backward for a powerful right hook long before she could reach him. But once she got close, she flipped forward, placing her right hand on the floor. And drove her right knee towards his nose.

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

Vihaan's hands wrapped around B.C.'s knee and threw her out toward the wall. "A feint only works if you attack from a different angle than your original attack," Vihaan scoffed as he dashed forward while B.C. was getting back on her feet. He threw out a flurry of punches at her, forcing her arms up to shield her face.

Then he struck out with his right hand and drew his hand across B.C.'s chest, tearing her top into almost two pieces. The gem above boomed with azure light and a bolt struck Vihaan, launching him backward. The boy landed against the wall, dragging his hand along the metal, leaving trails where his nails dug into the steel.

A soft light enveloped B.C. and mended the scratches on her skin. "No poison." B.C. felt vitality being restored to her, the stiffness ease from her muscles, and her body lighten. What the gemstone did was more than administer an antidote for Vihaan's trick.

Vihaan grimaced, "And I thought you wouldn't notice." He flicked a ceramic lid off each of the nails on his right hand. Vihaan dashed forward and let loose another flurry of punches, this time however, he properly stuck his blows instead of faking his punches for the sake of his poison.

After two seconds of attacks he dashed backwards and set himself into another defensive stance, ready to parry and counter attack. He watched B.C.'s movement carefully, dutifully noting the tricky angles she could attack from.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Maiden's Wish | Unknown Location
"Fight smarter, not harder."

Things were going poorly. The boy countered her poorly-thought-out feint with ease, tossing her into a wall before rushing towards her even as she got to her feet. She brought up her arms to defend herself. And his right hand tore through her halter-top, drawing blood as his nails dug shallow grooves into her breasts. She started to stagger backward when she felt the scratches he made burn.

Vihaan was immediately thrown backward into the wall behind him by another flash of blue, and a soft glow began to surround the Convict.

"No poison."

It was a familiar feeling as her wounds began to close, reminding her of a young woman who practically oozed virtue as she healed her and others in the middle of a prison break. All the same, she was ready for another round as her opponent pressed the offensive.

He didn't bother with poison this time as he struck, and despite her blocks and parries, the blows that landed had impact, and one left a painful bruise on her left cheekbone. And then in a flash, he stepped backward and took a more defensive stance.

And he waited as B.C. merely stood there and gave him a once-over. He was good, but he was hurt. Even someone with his skill simply didn't shake off a dislocated joint so quickly. And while he was giving as good as he got, she was still fresher than him, physically. And a large part of that had to do with the Gem.

She glanced upward at the floating stone. Whatever it was, it was clearly sapient, and it was playing favorites. That was hardly fair, though she wasn't about to point that out in the middle of a fight, especially since it gave her a precious advantage.

Taking a few slow steps, the Convict began to circle Vihaan slowly towards his left side, rolling her shoulders and disregarding her currently bare chest. She needed to play this smart. She stopped. Paused for just the barest moment after having closed some distance between them. Then she moved.

She kept herself low as she darted towards him, but a second before she reached him was when she fell backward and slid the rest of the way across the metal floor. In the next moment, she pumped both of her legs into a trio of savage kicks aimed at his right knee, all the while keeping her arms up to defend herself.

On the third kick, she twisted like a snake, going belly down to the floor. With a solid push with both hands, she twisted again as she got to her feet, driving her left elbow into his. Which she immediately followed by a right hook aimed at his face as she completed her turn.

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

"Arrogance," Vihaan spat a swept his right leg away from B.C.'s attack, "do you really think I would stay still and let you combo me?" He met her elbow strike with his own, hitting hard and relishing in the sudden numbing pain that shot through his entire body as the two collided. He let her right hook land and answered by striking B.C. hard on both of her temples. When the two broke, Vihaan was still standing.

"You had the right idea, attack where the enemy is weak," Vihaan coughed as he rubbed the blood from his mouth. "But to attack such obvious places is foolishness." He took a step forward, "Let me educate you," he ran forward and struck out with his right hand, pushing B.C.'s shoulder backward, as soon as the edge of her frame passed the width of her stance he struck out with his left and hit her below the jaw and he dashed backwards. The strike didn't feel like it hurt. But... something else was off. It was starting to feel like she was underwater.

"There are four points to strike in my country's art of military brawling. The first is hard on the temples, enough to disturb the fluids of the inner ear. The second is to strike in at the base of the jaw and at the base of the nose," he held out three fingers to make his point, "the swelling of the throat and sinuses distracts from the natural rhythm of breath."

He took a step forward. His movements were sharp and deliberate, he hid his left arm behind his body when he could, and kept both feet tentatively on the ground, never utilizing anything as dangerous as kicks in the brawl. His entire lifeblood was in his balance, losing it now would be mean defeat.

The last point was on the abdomen, right above where the torso and the legs meet. Flood the body with a sudden burst of adrenaline, so they can't feel where your real blows are striking. Though on this girl, that might be difficult, given how strangely her muscles moved. Instead, Vihaan decided to stand his ground, giving a close eye on not only B.C. but also the floating gem above. His entire body hurt, the woman was strong, but any longer and this fight was his. If she was reckless one more time, he'd clinch it.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Maiden's Wish | Unknown Location
"Fuck this fancy shit."

As B.C. staggered backward from Vihaan's response to her latest attempted onslaught, she could taste the metallic tang of blood in her mouth. Her head was throbbing from the blows to her temples, and her coordination felt like it was going to shit. Of course, he took the time to explain exactly what his strikes were meant to do, which was a sign of arrogance on his own part.

The end result was that the smile was wiped off of her face for the second time in this bout. Instead, she bared bloodied teeth at him before spitting a globule of blood onto the floor. This whole fight was turning in his favor, and all she had to show for her effort had been a dislocated elbow, which he had promptly relocated not long after. She was outmatched when it came to skill. That much was clear. Which meant that a change of tactics was in order.

Wiping away a trail of blood from the corner of her mouth with the back of her hand, she stood up straight and steadied herself. Then she began to slowly but surely stride towards him.

"Alright you little shit. Now you've pissed me off. No more games." she ground out through her teeth.

Her hands were at her sides. There wasn't even any hip-swaying swagger like when she had first arrived there. She didn't seem to be taking any kind of offensive or defensive stance at all. But her posture, along with the look on her face as her eyes locked onto his, radiated a primal sort of violence.

While she began to cross the length of the room, she watched as he made to move away from her, but she simply continued walking. That was the one benefit of this damned place. There was nowhere he could run from her that she couldn't get to eventually.

When she finally reached him, she simply reached up with her left hand, and grabbed onto his right wrist and pulled it towards her with an iron grip. With a snarl, her right fist rammed home into his nose. It broke with a sickening crunch. Then she brought her fist back and drove it as hard as she could into his belly, with the express purpose of making him lose whatever he had for lunch that day.

The Rising Dawn
Med Bay


Diana | Hiryu

For some time, Diana was able to sleep soundly in the empty bridge of the Rising Dawn.
While it was fully equipped, ironically a lot of the Heroes of the ship were too busy to be up there much.
And it was in this peaceful place that the shapeshifter was finally able to get away from the madness of the ship and enjoy a nice calming-
"Diana Black?" A asian voice asked as she suddenly found a young man sitting in the chair right next to hers, despite the lack of noise (audio or otherwise) or any other hint that there was anyone else in that room.
He didn't appear to be like any of the other crew of the Rising Dawn, the fact that he was dressed like Some kind of Ninja most likely was the reason behind that.
"Apologies for disturbing you. I myself wasn't meant to be here but one of my students asked me to approach you with an offer...Can you do me a favor and look at your hand?" He asked before motioning to her empty hand-....which was now holding a letter of some description.
"Contained in that is a brief description of what I will ask of you and how you are to conduct yourself. My question is this: Do you wish to become a Strider?..."

Somehow, she just knew Jenny had something to do with this...

Rising Dawn: Lower Levels: David West

He had no idea what the fuck just happened but judging from the fact that he was now thinking like someone who just saw the unspeakable, David figured it most likely wasn't a good thing.
"What...the...FUCK?!" He screamed as he attempted to find a way out of this mad-house, it was nearly as bad as the demonic invasion, only this time, it was his fault.
"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?! WHY ISN'T ANYONE EXPLAINING THIS SHIT?!" He demanded as he did the only thing he really could: Start shooting.
Yelling with each shot, he unloaded on everything in the lab that was moving as Niflheim opened the door, allowing him to run off screaming in horror.
He stumbled as he did so but he refused to stop running until he was back in an area of the ship he knew was real.
Ramming his body against the wall, he slid down it before burying his face in his hands, shouting a few more times before he soon settled for merely sobbing and having the rest of that drink.
"...Vihaan...w-what the fuck did I just do?!" He asked outloud, trying to make sense of everything that just happened.

[[Secondary Scenario]]

Maiden's Wish
side story

"Never ask for anything, but desire everything."

"Mr. West, are you alright?" The voice that came was soft and sweet. The accent was uncharacteristic of the members of the Rising Dawn. It had all the underpinnings of someone young, pure, and gentled. He opened his eyes and he say a girl leaning against the wall besides him, her hands rested gently on her skirt and her long brown hair drooped down around her exposed waist. She looked at him, concerned, with piercing blue eyes.

David flinched. It was one of the girls that had nearly attacked him earlier. Between her and Katya, he couldn't say which one was actually more dangerous.

Yet, there was something different this time. Moreover, he didn't actually know her name. The list of names was still burned into his minds, alongside the faces they belonged to, and yet. He didn't know who this girl was. Her clothing wasn't Rising Dawn at the very least. She wore a loose sweater that left both her shoulders bare and a short skirt. Her hair was done, not elaborately, but with enough care that it was pleasant to look at the gentle weave of ribbons and braids. "Good heavens, you look like you've seen a ghost. Though it isn't often that I see a grown man crying his eyes out like a schoolgirl."

She sat down next to him, wrapping her arms around her knees, "I had just finished up with Saren in medical, and I come out and hear hysterical sobbing in the hallway. I come down the way, and it's you sitting here with bottle in hand and crying your eyes out. If I told you I didn't feel a little bit responsible, I'd be lying." She leaned forward, putting her cheek on her arm. "You aren't crying because of what I said, are you?"

There was a stretch of silence. "I guess something else is making you upset. Not a lot that I could think would throw a soldier like you into a fit of hysteria. But hey, whenever you're ready to talk, well. Well I'll just sit here with you until that time." There was an aroma of apples that followed the girl, a gentle, pleasant, and calming feeling. With her it was as if all the senses were being soothed, and the world around David stopped rippling with that eldritch energy. In a world of insanity, she was an anchor of the mundane.

"My name is Laeta, by the way. Laeta Selmy. I'm sorry if I was hard on you earlier, I... I'm quick to act. More so than my sisters. You can uh, you can call me Lee if you like. That's what the girls at school call me anyway. Laeta sounds a little bit 'hoodlum' in some contexts." She laughed. A gentle small smile and a tip of her head. Her hair shimmered around her as it settled down across her bare shoulders.


"I concede." Vihaan said bluntly. He wiped the blood from his nose and took his hand off of B.C.'s wrist. Her blow had never actually hit his abdomen, he had used both hands to catch her punch. Breaking her wrist grab was easy, that was the first thing they taught you in hand-to-hand, the difficult decision was deciding to take her first punch so he could prevent the woman from breaking her hand on his abdomen. If that had happened, he doubted that the Gem of Want would let him leave with his body unmolested. "You win."

He knew that the fight was rigged from the beginning. Without his enchantments, he was never as good of a fighter as his sister, and though he outclassed this woman with a sword, the awkward adaptation of his curved-blade style to the heavy weighted knight's saber was disadvantaged. In hand to hand, he lost in a fight of endurance.

Vihaan glared at the gem as he held onto B.C. "You win," he repeated. At least his father wasn't here to chastise him for losing to a woman.

"And the duel is completed. Begone, troublemaker."

The two fighters broke and Vihaan walked over to the lift and punched in his access code, commanding the whirring machinery within to being it's arduous climb up the sheer sides of the wall. He leaned against the wall of the lift and ran his fingers through his hair. "Still, I struggle to understand your warped sense of justice, White Rose. It is as self-serving as it is difficult to understand. You are rid of me for now, attacking me under pretenses of enforcing the rules of a duel, your actions are absurd." The boy admiral turned and left the containment bay. His footfalls echoed in the cavernous steel cylinder.

The gem hung in the air in silence for a short time before drifting toward the center of the room. Blue light continued to pour out of the stone in streams. The mending light showered B.C. and restored her to some semblance of her pre-fight attire.

Cloudtop Citadel
Yona's office

Mio | Mitte

Mio was about to try and get closer to the gem, to inspect it in detail, as Mitte suddenly fell to her knees, blue light shining from the gem. There was something wrong about it. This was magic, while Mio was not a particularily magic person, she had run into quite a few mages in her time. And from what she had gathered, it held Mitte bound to the commander. So there were two reasons for her to act in the way she did, and think quickly on the spot.

For once, she really did not like anything that remotely looked like it would restrict freedom in any ways. There were no gods or masters for a pirate, just the free seas and the dangers lying in them. And second, she had made acquiantance with another kind of magic that had bound people together, keeping the owner of the ritual in life for eternity, unnaturally, letting them continue their evil deeds without being able to die. Something that even remotely looked similar - there was a precaution in breaking it before knowing more.

So in a quick sleight of hand, not noticed by anyone but her and maybe Mitte, she put her hand on the shining blue gem and tried to yank it off, to break whatever connection Mitte had to the commander and to free her from the pain that drove her to her knees.

The Rising Dawn

Diana | Hiryu

As her sleep was suddenly interrupted, Diana opened her eyes and looked into the direction of the source, for a second glaring with anger, her skin turning dark, her eyes red, her teeth pointed and her turning black and moving on its own. Though this was a mere second, before it just seemed like a hallucination for Hiryu and he could see her normal, beautiful face looking at him in a calm and calculated manner.

She took a glance at him as he spoke, and a quick glance at the letter he apparently put into her hand somehow, before looking right into his eyes again. "I hope not all Striders look like they are trying way too hard. But ... consider me interested. At least in hearing out what a Strider is. You seem to have some sort of skill at least." She looked down at her hand again, and opened the letter with a long fingernail. "Just don't get any wrong impressions, my work ... I assume it is work ... does not come for free." She thought about Jenny having set this up, but decided she did not really care that much. Maybe she actually knew how to get rid of boredom, now.

Diana looked at the letter, quickly reading over what it said, while awaiting answers from Hiryu.

this dude helped a bunch!

So did this one

Caramel Frappe:
And this one too

Texas Joker 52:
Additional supervision by this dude

Airship Rising Dawn

Smoothing over ruffled feathers
Anjali | Engineer | Lucas "Luke" Cypress

"Who are you exactly? You're not part of the staff are you?"

Oh dear, leave it to one of the worker bees that comprised of the Dawn's hive to come crawling out of the woodwork and poke their nose in affairs that were not entirely their own. Luke had to resist the urge to roll his eyes at the accusation the engineer brought to his bar, and instead allowed his expression to slip into its usual "place"; a serene, but inviting smile - one that was not disarming, and held no preconceived notions of his patrons. Following that, he mimicked a thoughtful furrow of his eyebrows, a small "hmnn" leaving his lips as he expertly pantomimed thinking over the matter and giving an apologetic shrug in response, "Well, I can certainly tell you that I work here. As far as a matter of badges or identification, I've never been informed of such a thing. The same goes for my staff-"

He gestured to one of the imps with a light tilt of his head, the imp in question being the one who had brought Anjali a lovely, dark maroon piece of bovine liver. Placed on some lettuce for presentation, the raw meat's juices pooled on the platter as if it were fresh from the animal itself. Perhaps not appealing to the standard connoisseur, but it was deliciously raw and rare for the resident undead diner. However, the point of contention for Luke's case was not the meat that was being served, but the server itself. The fact remained that they too bore no identifications or badges, rather akin to Luke, "Furthermore", he added, "They've been working here longer than *I* have, and we've never gotten word about this protocol. Seems to me that the matter is some kind of clerical hiccup." Luke resisted the urge to smile at his choice of words, his mind briefly flitting to matters much more appealing than the present conversation before snapping back to reality again, "If it really means that much to you, send me the appropriate paperwork and I can have myself and the staff put in the order for the IDs? I doubt that'd be too much trouble...."

To seal the deal, Luke faked looking distracted by a particular bit of the bar that needed wiping, before adding with a faux gasp, "Oh, where are my manners? I never gave you my name! Sorry, it seems my age is getting away from me - I am Lucas Cypress, bartender and herder of cats - metaphorically speaking of course; but please, call me Luke."

Cloudtop Citadel

Impromptu tech-support
AI Dimitri | Garm | Teri | AI Viscus

"...Hm....I think he's bitten off more then he can chew...Teri, would you mind helping him while I bring Hillary to the Colonel? I think you and Dimitri might need to put Humpty Dumpty back together..."

Teri blinked in surprise after the new turn of events, but gave a dismissive wave of her hand as she cheerfully replied, "Oh, don't mind me. You're the captain and stuff, so I'm not surprised you got places to be. It was nice meeting you, Hillary! Later!"

I'll keep a good eye on Tear-ri while we're gone, Alpha Rugal."

Turning the other direction, Cleric and Wolf bounded off back towards the Dawn to pick up Dimitri from the Dawn's mainframe. While the "chauffeuring" was wholly uneventful, it was during the return back in the Cloudtop Citadel that the trio of Wolf, Cleric and AI noticed a distinct change in atmosphere - an alarm rang overhead, alerting to some kind of attack! Teri gasped at the sound, and urged Garm onwards to Viscus' location, images of all sorts of terrible things flashing in her mind. Maybe Viscus had finally decided that being "on probation" under Dimitri's restrictions wasn't worth being teased by others, maybe he had finally began a bloody rampage in the lab for having his external armor, maybe-


Garm came to a skidding halt when the trio of Cleric, AI, and Winter-Wolf arrived on the scene, only to find Viscus' physical form being poked and prodded by a selection of very enthusiastic engineers. Teri blinked dumbly as she surveyed the scene, her voice only barely escaping as she asked, "So...he wasn't the cause of the alarm?"

Almost as if on cue, the siren that rang overhead ceased, leaving the Cleric even more red in the face than before. Then, perhaps in a bid to give his creator a form of reprieve, Dimitri's voice echoed from the Tablet, "*ahem* While Viscus may not be the source of trouble, I do believe we were here on his summons regardless..."
Dimitri's pale blue avatar appeared on the screen of the tablet's display, and after a moment of straightening his tie (as well as Teri turning the screen for the engineers to see), he asked in a polite tone, "I'm sorry to break up your fun, but I am afraid myself and my compatriots have been sent to gather the one you are currently taking apart - as well as his body being made whole once more."

Cloudtop Citadel:
Nadalia Vs Rugal Vs Yona!

A mother's role is not always for her own brood
Angelus | Caim | Hillary | King Leoric | Nadalia | Rugal Bernstein | Colonel Yona Isami

Following a lovely rendezvous and more time assisting with clothes choices than he ever wanted to ("You look good in anything to me!" "That's not good enough!"), Caim found himself being shepherded by his partner to the strange and unknown halls of the Cloudtop Citadel, with the insistence that they had to attend some kind of function she had received an invitation for earlier. Caim, electing to 'voice' his misgivings over the privacy of the pact, opened the matter again with,

"I don't see why we have to go to this thing."

Angelus's 'voice' answered back in the same matter, "Because we were invited."

Alongside this, the message came with with a thread of 'respect' hiding in the undercurrents of her 'voice', Caim being able to sense that she was trying to soothe him as she 'spoke', even if she sounded exasperated. At least, he thought she did until she quipped, "You were a prince once, and yet your understanding of decorum is severely lacking."

With a huff and a cross of his arms, he shot back, "Yeah, because of the Empire. I focused on combat training moreso than 'courtly manners'."
"I thought the war started for you when you were 18? That's plenty of time for training in the court. Or were you so poor a student they gave up upon you?"

Caim rolled his eyes at the weak barb, before his expression grew slightly more grim, "I...Yeah... I wasn't great with people. That was more Inuart and Furiae's thing. Maybe that's why they got paired up, diplomats in the making."

Angelus drew pause at that comment, already sensing her partners misgivings towards the past flow into her, and decided to try a different approach, "Perhaps...But we are getting a little off topic - you said the dress is safe?"
"Yes, I told you five times already - it's in the armory, with the mask, whenever you need it. Just say the word, and I'll get it out. Also, before you asked, I polished my armor. See, look at the shine!"
"It looks very nice, Caim; but I just want us to make a good impression -"

Almost on cue, the alarm went off, and the duo bolted towards the source of the commotion, bringing them to the scene with Rugal, Nadalia, and the good Colonel, in addition to Hillary and Leoric having some kind of disagreement. Seeing as A) the alarm ceased almost as soon as they arrived, and B) the Colonel and her soldiers were suddenly on their knees, the duo decided to split the work. Caim went towards Rugal and Nadalia, his hand resting on the handle of his sword as the PDA asked in confusion, "We heard the alarm go off and came back as fast as we could...what happened to these people?"

Angelus, on the other hand decided to focus on Hillary swinging around a mace at the very undead Leoric. Straightening her back and arranging her face into the best maternal incarnation of "I'm not angry, just disappointed", the dragon-in-mortal-form stepped in with a pointed "Ahem!" to catch both Hillary and Leoric's attentions. Once both parties had their eyes upon her, she spoke in a gentle, but firm tone (one that was often reserved for her little ones when they were caught with hands in cookie jars),
"What seems to be the problem here? Don't both of you know that swinging weapons such as maces is a very dangerous thing to do outside of a training room?...also, that's not how you hold a mace. You're lucky I'm the one talking to you and not Caim."

Cloudtop Citadel

What about elevenses? Afternoon tea?
Cadolbolg | Ton Ton

Whilst the adults were all off dealing with their adult matters, a pair of youthful children floated along the halls of the Cloudtop Citadel, happily chattering with each other about the events to come,

"So everyone's landed on this new station thing, right?"
"That's correct. Ms. Angelus said that herself, Mr. Caim, and us have been invited to a get together of some kind."
"Hmn... So what do we do till then?"
"I.. Dont know to be honest. I've never gone to a big party before, aside from The Mistress' tea parties."
"Ooh, the Mistress' tea was actually really yummy! It was really sweet for tea!"
"That's because you asked for 3 sugars."
"I am a conni...conni...what is that c word... Uh, A GOURMET for sweets! I say we should look for some food!"
"But didn't we just eat?"
"We can eat again!"
"And we don't know if this thing will have food there too - we're 'growing boys' aren't we? And growing boys are supposed to eat lots and lots!"
"I don't think that's what they say-"

The two boys were cut off when they heard an exceptionally loud bang, the source of which being David West seemingly launching himself against a wall, quickly followed by a concerned Laeta Selmy. The two Cutie Bruisers, looked at each other and then back to the scene, before Cadolbolg hovered over and asked in a concerned voice, "David, are you okay?! I think the only people who SHOULD go through walls are my parents or Mr. Rugal, and even then it looks like it hurts!"

An unnamed manor
Los Angeles, California

How do you pick up the threads of an old life?

"...for the last time, as I said before - my absence was medical in nature. I was placed into a coma while my condition stabilized, and the whole affair was kept under wraps to avoid a PR incident. I already came into the office, I delivered the documents as requested. Why do I not have access to the account yet?"

"Our apologies, Mister Iprisson, it's only a matter of red tape - see, with your absence..."

"With which I have already clarified."

"Y-yes, sir; I do understand, but I'm working as fast as I can to grant you full access to your funds again. There is only so much I can do with forms that need to be processed and the like... Please give it some more time?"

"How much time are we talking about? I do need to eat..."

"Well, since your case is placed within high priority, by the end of the workday at the latest?"

"Very well. Can I receive a notification when the transaction is completed?"

"There is an email synced to this account, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue."

"I have no further questions then. Good day."

Clicking off the phone, Inuart groaned and settled into a comfortable chair in the living room. Despite the hiccups and royal pains in his rear end for the day - the affairs he had been sorting through had gone surprisingly well. Seeing as the assassination attempt left him with an incomplete autopsy, Inuart was never officially declared dead, and barring the payments for housing bills via direct withdrawal, his finances had been left relatively untouched, which left him the bit of hoop jumping he had just finished enduring with the bank to physically access the account on his own. It made sense, in it's own little way, for things to be a little suspicious to the bank before he physically showed up, but didn't artists have reputations for being eccentrics in this world? So what if he metaphorically dropped off the face of the planet for a few months?

As Inuart mulled over the frustrations of his situation, his phone rang again; the listing on the caller ID causing the bard's lip to curl. Yet, he still hit the green icon and held the phone about an inch away from his face as a cacophonous voice rang in on the other end,

"How-dee-doo In-u-art~! Talk to me, babe, how's my up and coming music star? Settle into the old homestead snug as a bug in a rug?"

Inuart repressed a groan of distaste, electing instead to rub one of his temples with a free hand as he answered, "I'm.. I'm fine, Mr... what was your name again?"

"The effervescent Sca-ra-mouche bah-bay, only one of the most we-ll sought after producers in the buiz~ How you managed to get this far without me really is a test-a-ment to how good your strings sang, but trust me In-u-art, I'm gonna send you to the -"

"That's...Quite enough. I already called the bank, and I'm waiting for their confirmation; why did you call?"

There was a pause, and Inuart could hear a shuffling of papers on the other end, before his newfound producer happily rang back, "Oh that's right, babe - my old secretary's outta town for the next couple days, and I've been runnin' round like a chicken with my head cut off; especially with date. DATES BABE- when were we planning to start that revival tour of yours again? I got something written down, but it's all chicken scratch. I gotta make some calls, you know - this guy who knows that guy who knows the PR guy, who knows-"

"I GET IT. Just...give me a moment-"

Inuart moved the phone away from his face and began to hit a couple buttons on the phone's surface, biting back an annoyed curse when he realized he opened the photo app instead of the calendar like he wanted to. However, the image that appeared gave the bard pause, as it was one he hadn't looked at in quite some time.

It was a group selfie, it's date showing it was back when Inuart and his compatriots were hiding out at Maximilian's house. From the viewpoint of the image, Inuart was the picture taker, Wesker flanking his right, Cortex on left due to his height, Doom and Bison behind him, with Max and Mizune barely filling the edges of the frame (and looking reasonably annoyed by it). A smile flitted across his face as he looked at the old photo, and flicked the display to the next, Scaramouche beginning to prattle on about some thing or another while Inuart "looked for the date".

Oh yes...There was the infamous "Toaster War" from before Bison made his bid for the presidency, detailed by a picture of him going blue in the face as he was strangled by a power cord. Cortex managed to save him and the toaster was defeated but not before he manage to swipe the Bard's phone.

Speaking of, the one right after that was part of an album Cortex had made when he tried to grow a woman in Max's basement using nothing but secondhand needles, toxic waste and plant seeds.
He could still remember the words he kept repeating as he stood there over a bubbling bathtub like some kind of witch at a cauldron: "Science isn't about why, it's about why not?!"
Inuart smirked, not only at the fact he was nonsensical enough to try such a thing but by the fact it worked.

And after that, it was a duo shot of himself and Wesker, from the first week of his recovery from alcoholism. The Former Black Mesa Administrator was beaming with pride as he head up his 1 week AA medal up in one hand and a Fanta in the other; Inuart following suit by holding up a bottle of water in the same manner.

However, the more that he looked at the photo, the contrast between the then and the now was more readily apparent to Inuart. His house was full of luxuries and creature comforts; a stocked fridge, comfortable furniture, air conditioning - but it was devoid of what he desired most. The joy the photo brought a moment ago quickly turned heavy, and sunk into his stomach like a stone. He felt strange, his throat suddenly going dry and something in his chest tightened as he mashed the button to close the application, suddenly no longer able to gaze upon it. Placing the phone back to his ear, Inuart quickly rambled "I'm having trouble finding it, I'll text you later" before ending the call abruptly and tossing the phone to a nearby chair. Curling in on himself, Inuart pulled his legs to his chest and rested his head on his knees, unable to properly comprehend what he was feeling or why he had tossed his phone like that. However, as the phone began to ring again, Inuart ignored it, his thoughts fixating on one thought:

"What am I doing here?"

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