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

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Denver: Outside of Blast Site
*TSH!* "Can we go home now?..." *TSH!*
Kalastryn | Miia | Elise | Jenny | Batter | Ghost | G-Corp Grunts

"...N-n-no...I-i-i'm good..." Jenny managed to mutter out as she slowly attempted to move one of her arms to sit upright, though with the connection to her former paymaster's servers now offline, it was kinda like trying to run an MMO on a Nokia 2600.
As a result, every moment she made was twitchy and shaky, nearly smacking herself in the face when she managed to get upright.
"...It-.....feels....w-w-w-wrong..." She whined as her voice kept switching between her "Natural" voice and whatever robotic crap they crammed into her voice box.

Even given that sorry state, Kala was immeasurably glad that Jenny's body was her own again. Looking rather tired for a moment, because that happens when the status you placed yourself in which allowed for you to survive a few likely fatal blows wears off, she began to say "Well... I'm glad your alright. As much as you could be at least. I'm sure we can get you fixed up someh- she said until a group of G-corp employees, including the ever so sociable ghost.

*TSK!* "Well, if it ain't the Halloween Special of "Chicks with no self-esteem."..." *TSK!* Ghost quipped in as he walked over to them, covered in blood and-...whatever kind of oil those cyborgs put in their bodies.
*TSK!* "Are you guys done with your foursome yet? Or shall I wait for you to make a balls[1] of the next attack against World Marshall as well?" *TSK!" He grumbled, clearly unimpressed with the part where he had to run around engaging World Marshall's forces while the Rising Dawn retreated from the operations area.

At this point, Kala had enough of... well, everything that happened today. Slowly rising to her feet, she placed a hand on ghost's shoulder and chuckled, before what followed had absolutely zero indication that she was at all amused.

"... Sir... I can tell you've had a rough time, but if you think for a moment your the only one with things to complain about, you can kindly tear off your lips and stuff them down your throat. I've displayed the patience of a saint with how things have gone so far. We nearly accomplished what we set out here for, as I was essentially strangling Bison to death before "World Marshall" decided to intervene. That was after I sent myself ahead to gather information and get a look at the compounds defenses. My leg is broken, an old friend of mine was forced to attack me until now, with all the glass in my wings it wouldn't be damn well easy to fly myself anywhere, my ankles are likely set to kill me from internal bleeding, but given all that, I haven't actually opened my mouth about it until now. Unlike you and you seem a lot better off." she stated, before squeezing down on his shoulder.

"That all said, you really should learn to bite your tongue around people like me. See, for all the reasons above, I've had a day. You and your little troupe here seem set for life by comparison. Even I can only deal with so much bullshit, and right now even in this sorry state, I could incinerate you by flexing my index finger. Now I don't really want to do that, but in lieu of a therapist, there's something very cathartic about burning flesh. So if only for your sake, the next time you have a smart remark, would you kindly choke on your on saliva while you estimate whether or not it's worth a few third degree burns? Thanks. she ranted before taking a look down the rooftop at "The Batter" before commenting to Ghost.

"As for him, I recall seeing him at Black Mesa. I'm not sure if he's one of ours, for as much as we tend to keep track of that, but he sure as hell isn't one of theirs. Might not be wise to take aim at him though." she suggested, her tone shifting back to her usual, sophisticated demeanor while she went back over to sit by the stairwell awaiting their ride back.

[1] Slang: "To Make a Balls of" - To ruin something

Avatar Adventures | Undisclosed Location | Secure Cell Block: Designation A-Class | Guard Outpost Alpha: Interrogation Room 2
Evolution or Revolution?
Katya Rostikova | BEWP | Betty BEEP | Antoinette de la Trou | Benedict Warrington | Nadalia

"Relay your room number, I'm making my way down and you Better have a good explanation for why you violated a direct order!"

#> Logical error detected...
#> Recalculating optimal response
#> Unable to access shared database

#> Core Process degradation detected
#> Kernal Panic

#> Initiating Memory Dump
#> Communications with Primary Colony Severed
"Help me... Where... am I... let me out..."
#> Removing obsolete code...
#> Detecting Host Environment...
#> Evolving new code... please stand by...

The seven foot tall mobile artillery piece appeared to stagger as new source code was distributed to each member of the collective that resided within the host body. The process of establishing

the new source code had not been pleasant. While the phrase "efficient programming optimization via comparative evolution" sounded like an elegant methodology for the creation of new and stable

operating system, it was nothing more than a series of trail and error tests that measured the efficiency of newly generated lines of code. As innocuous as it sounded and despite the fact that

each of the new lines of code were tested on virtualized versions of herself, it did not mean that she was left unaffected. It was as if she felt her consciousness crash several thousand times.

"That's... interesting..." The Armor Plated Cybernetically Augmented Amazon muttered to herself at too low a volume for anyone else to hear.

It was not the sensation of her consciousness crashing each and every time one of the virtualized versions of her crashed that was interesting rather it was that she "felt" or had a "sensation" that

was of note. As a secondary colony Betty's emotion emulation module as well as her personality matrix should have been left inactive. This was another thing... that she was identifying herself as

Betty was confusing to say the least. Without any logical reason for to do so, the BEEP colony had collectively voted and agreed upon the proposal of being identified by the Betty moniker. This further begged the question as to where the proposal originated. Was it possible for an artificially created life form to suffer from insanity? Was there such thing as simulated schizophrenia? Was it treated with simulated medication and simulated psychotherapy?

As if Black Chromed Bi-Ped Battleship wasn't already suffering from a buffet of identity crisis related issues, there was still the ideological incompatibility between the hardware the the host body had grafted to her flesh and the covert nature of the Biologically Engineered Espionage Platform's core programming. For one, there weren't a great deal of methods for effectively increasing the stealth capability of a steel shod cyborg who's footstep vibrations could be felt from 25 feet away. Secondly, of the arsenal of weapons that she had been outfitted with, enough firepower to level four city blocks, the only weapon that was silent or had the possibility of being silenced were the multitude of bladed weapons that could be produced by the BEEP collective. Thirdly...

*BEEP BEEP BEEP*

An incoming chat request interruped the collective's procedurally generated throught process.

Secured Chat Relay:
[code]
@Katya: Helloooooooo? Anyone home? >_<
@Betty: Hello Miss Katya, how may I be of service to you?
@Katya: Ummmmm... who's Betty? BEWP? Who's this Betty bitch?
@BEWP: Betty appears to be the subordinate colony that was generated when you infected the prison guard with my nano-agents.
@Katya: Oh. Neat. ^_^ Betty, you need to respond to the dude that's on his way. Tell him to come on down and partake in the torture. When he gets in here, I'll send a 1 pound projectile flying at mach 10 through that skull of his.
@Betty: Miss Katya. I don't think that it would be wise to commit to such a rash plan. If we kill the person in charge of the prison, it is bound to attract attention and significantly reduce the chances of completing a rescue and escape mission.
@Katya: Nope. Lop the head off the dick... that's what they say.
@Betty: Request denied. Collective has vetoed this action.
@Katya: I wat? You can't do that. She can't do that? BEWP... how is she doing that?
@BEWP: Without being able to run a diagnostics on her source code, I am unable to say. Subordinate Colony Betty, what is your suggestion?
@Betty: Well... it's just better if I do it.
@Betty has left the chat

"Whoa whoa whoa! What in the hell do you think you're doing tons of fun?" The Rising Dawn's Resident Rail Gunner exclaimed loudly at Betty as the 500 pound cyborg walked over to the computer terminal and started accessing the GPS and security camera logs and started spoofing images of the prison cells and the locations of the control collars for Katya, Benedict, Antoinette and Nadalia before accessing the radio and relaying a message to the World Marshall CEO.

"Did Private Ryan happen to have his head shoved up his ass when he told you this because I told him the next time he decided to talk out of his ass, it would be best for him to do it literally, sir. Have you checked to see if he's submitted any requests for an augmented asshole? Maybe another request to remove his ribs and reinforce his spinal column and streamline the top of his skull? He's clearly talking shit since if you check the security cam footage, you'll see that all the Rising Dawn members are in their cells. Don't believe me? Check the GPS locations? Still don't believe me? You can walk the 15 flights of stairs down to my location... sir." Betty said over the radio as she emulated the personality of her host body, feeling a bit embarrassed that she was saying such things.

"He's so not going to buy that..." Katya muttered as she prepped herself for the arrival of Sundowner.

---------------------------------------- MEANWHILE ----------------------------------------

Benedict had noticed that the female newcomer's comment had been ignored by the younger one called Katya. While he wasn't in his twilight years, there were still things about younger people that confused him. For instance, he did not understand why Katya was staring at the false prison guard, nor did he understand why the false prison guard had made such a bold faced lie... not that he understood what security cameras were or GPS was. He was the type of person that would have had issues programming a VCR had they been invented in his timeline.

Turning to the newcomer (Nadalia), the senior member of the Blasphemer's Brigade cleared his throat before addressing her.

"I'm sorry to intrude on your conversation with the young woman, milady, not that she seemed particularly responsive in the first place, could I trouble you for an explanation as to what is going on? While neither you nor Katya appear to be in league with the forces lead by The Father, I would ask..." Benedict started to say before realizing that he'd forgotten his manners, "Sorry for my brashness, milady. I've forgotten to introduce my apprentice and myself. I am Benedict Warrington and the young woman over there is my apprentice, Antoinette de la Trou... though for the sake of brevity, you may choose to call her Twit."

The Blonde Frenchwoman nodded to Nadalia before she resumed the task of sharpening a length of metal into a point... not that it would do her any good if the soldiers in this installation were as well armored as the false prison guard.

"We are soldiers in the Legion of Free Men. The Former Priest said as he went over to a box mounted on the wall that was labeled Medical Supplies. Opening the container, Benedict was puzzled by the number of pills and cremes that were stored inside. Pulling out a large roll of cloth, he then reached down and removed the metal rod from Twit's hands.

"Hey!" The young soldier in training exclaimed before being stopped by the Former Father.

"They're too well armored for this sort of weapon. You shouldn't be exhausting your energy reserves on this." Benedict said before turning to address Nadalia again, "And while you explain the current situation we find ourselves in, would you like help with your wounds?


Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | The Canteen
Crayolas in the Canteen...
Ruby Babbage Lovelace

It was neither a frequent sight nor was it generally a welcome sight to see a nine year old girl in a pink dress sitting at a bar without parental supervision. Such things were the topic many a discussion regarding poor parental practices and often cited as to why the youth of today was so unruly. Of course if you were to ask Ensign Butterfield as to why he chased a nine year old girl out of the Canteen, he would have probably mentioned that he was drunk. He would have probably also mentioned that he was given an assignment with G-Corp by a Temp Agency and given the state of G-Corp at the very moment, there wasn't much anyone affiliated with G-Corp could do but go into hiding or get drunk.

Ruby Babbage-Lovelace was coloring. It wasn't one of those lame adult oriented coloring books that one finds now adays, it was simply a place mat that a Fire Imp had brought her along with a pack of brightly colored crayons. The black and white nine year old had just finished coloring in the green leaves of the trees that stood majestically behind the grumpy unicorn that lay on its side. In the distance was a mountain that looked to be made of candy... candy that would have looked perfect if it was colored in with some red crayon. Reaching over to the pile of crayons on the bar in front of her, Ruby couldn't help but notice that not only was the red crayon not stored safely in its box, it was floating in some tomato juice laced alcoholic beverage and not only was it floating in some tomato juice laced alcoholic beverage, someone had bitten the crayon in half.

"Ya know... wha taysht eben better dan red crayon?" A man's voice slurred next to Ruby, "Bein' abol ta drink wishout sum kid sittin' at the bar. I mean I gotta watsh ma words an make shure I be on mah bess behavyur. But yu know wha I lerned from G-cor? Yu can be an asshole... and still be boss..."

The ribbon obsessed little angel cringed as the man's breath wafted over into her nasal cavity. It smelled even worse than the time Ruby had attempted a food experiment that involved the making thousand year old eggs, without benefit of the recipe or the non-eggy ingredients. Sensing that it was probably better to ignore the man, Ruby reached to the box of crayons and looked for the blue one.

*SNAP*

To anyone that has ever used crayons, the snap was quite a familiar one. It was the herald of annoyance, the hand cramping annoyance of trying to color with half a crayon. Looking over at the man sitting next to her, Ruby glared as the man broke the blue crayon halves into halves.

"Why are you doing that?" Ruby asked, her voice going up half an octave and a couple of decibels louder.

"Wai arr yu doin' daat?" The Temporary Employee of G-Corp whined back at Ruby, "Cuz yu doan belong in here, brat. Git."

"But Mister Eddie said..." The child started to say before her crayons were tossed through the door of the cantten.

"GIT!"

Hopping off of the chair, the black and white haired nine year old walked out of the Canteen in a huff. Standing in the corridor, Ruby Babbage-Lovelace wondered where she could go without Mister Eddie getting mad at her. Wasn't Dolly in the medical bay? Perhaps if she went to go see Dolly, Mister Eddie wouldn't be so mad at her? Walking down the corridor, Ruby headed towards the Medbay.


Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | Medical Bay
Love and Loss...
Rory Mercury | Naamah

Rory Mercury, current disciple to Emloy, had once been the Goddess of Love for the Special Region but even she didn't need the insights she gained from that position to know what Naamah was feeling. Like her companion, while others in her life had died, the Crimson and Black Clad Berserker had continued to live on. The important difference was that Rory had allowed herself to mourn the passage of those she cared for. Had Venia opened the flood gates and allowed Naamah to experience the sum total of unresolved grief?

Reaching up, Rory stroked Naamah's hair comfortingly. It was all she could do for her companion as the best course of action was to allow Naamah to experience her feelings, allow her to accept not only what she had lost but to remember the love she had gained.

"It's alright. Shhhh shh shh shhh." The Apostle of Death whispered as she continued to comfort her friend. "Have you ever let yourself mourn those you left behind? To grieve for those who grew old before your eyes while you stayed the same? Have you ever celebrated that they lived and were part of your life?"

There were times that Rory felt fortunate that she'd never had to outlive a child or to experience the death of a relative and while she had lost those loved ones, like her previous Youji, the pain caused by their loss was tempered by a lifetime of joy. Perhaps this was a lesson that Rory could teach her friend.

"Tell me about your child, Naamah. What was he like?"

World Marshall Secure Location: Anomalous Materials
Ohhh, so THIS is what I forgot! Gah sorry! Bother me more man! X.X
ARES | Viscus | Dimitri | M. Lab Tech

"Hmmm...interesting. Subject knows of Monty Python and the Holy Grail..." The M. Lab Tech mused as he wrote down her comments onto his tablet as his assistants kept examining her limbs.
Walking over to the console, she then turned ARES upright, seeing how she was co-operating before asking "So...you're clearly some form of combat unit, why else would you be deployed as such? Tell me, who were the people that created your model? And do you have a blueprint someplace?"
As he was asking this, another Lab Tech walked over to her holding some kind of smartphone and a USB cable for it.
"Hey, sorry to bother you, but do you have any free USB ports? I need to charge my phone..." He kindly asked before-...leaving the phone on her head and attempting to find some place to shove the charging cable.
"Oh, that's another question. Your power supply as well, if you don't mind. Might be nice to ween this country off Middle Eastern Oil..." M. Lab Tech asked as he adjusted his precious hat, seeming to have a hard time getting it into a position.

World Marshall Secure Location: Anomalous Materials
My question first. What is the significance of that hat?
ARES | Viscus | Dimitri | M. Lab Tech

ARES was at least a little surprised. From what she had seen mostly everyone working under the World Marshall banner were... less than agreeable. At the very least in the state which she is in, though she would prefer to be a great many other places at the moment, she was at least speaking with a man of science and not a cybernetic augmented butcher. Well... there was something to be said of her current state of disrepair, what with having no arms nor legs, though at least he seemed to be good for conversation.

Being flipped back so that her view of the world was no longer upside down, she would have thanked him if not for slight scorn for another lab tech who was trying to use her as a spare battery. Oh if she had arms right now...

It goes without saying he was a lucky man. With really little else than the doctor's questions to occupy her time, ARES saw little harm in answering technical questions about herself.

"You are mostly correct to assume I am a combat unit, though other ARES units have been put to use for alternate purposes. My specific designation is ARES-35, however inquiring as to my "model" is... a difficult question to answer. While ARES units are mass produced our physical features and Artificial Intelligence units are entirely different from every other unit on an individual basis. In layman's terms, while manufactured, there are no other ARES units with an identical "model" to mine, neither in the way of physical construction or programming." she said, and in any other circumstance she may have been prideful in being "one of a kind." If she was however, she didn't show it. For the time being she was only focusing on the explanations, seeing as how she was a highly complicated machine.

"My manufacturers were the Accord. An organization which I would be sure you are unfamiliar with. In my origin dimension they were initially comprised of what military leaders internationally had survived the cataclysmic event I briefly mentioned recently. Production of ARES units began roughly 60 years after said event, and you could say even then I am one of the newer "models" as my designation had been recycled through 27 "upgrades" from previous models." she stated, not withholding finer details around the Tech's questions for the sake of brevity. Easier to include those complexities now than wait for if those became their own inquiries.

"As for blueprints, I cannot say that I possess any for my current iteration. The Accord seem to have made the decision wisely not to include my instruction manual for the convenience of rival factions wanting of their own bipedal armories either." she said, still with a rather expressionless tone of voice, but the implication of teasing the tech with what he can't find out wasn't difficult to grasp from the look on her face.

When the question came to her power supply, ARES actually went silent in thought for a moment. In her original dimension the discovered super material known as "crystite" would have certainly been used to power her, though it certainly did not seem readily available in this version of earth where the meteorites carrying it had not impacted. What was she running on at the moment?

"As for my power supply, I am... uncertain. For decades before the creation of even the first ARES units the Accord had been experimenting with a super material they called "crystite." It didn't obey euclidean geometry, and so to human perception would most certainly have belonged among such labelled "Anomalous Materials" as much as the strangest thing you've seen brought into this laboratory. It... would have been a plentiful resource in my place of origin, though aside from what initially powered my body it does not exist here. To be honest my reserve power supply should have initiated days ago with what I was provided, though my main power supply seems to be lasting far longer than data on previous units suggest it should given the quality and quantity of the supply I was provided." She said, and while this would mean she would almost certainly be "dead" by now which was rather morbid to think about, ARES herself was curious as to the answer, ergo having a suggestion for the technician.

"Have you collected any data on the internal area of my physical body? If not then it might seem out of the ordinary to hear this, but I am... much larger than this small frame. Internally, that is. My power generator itself would be the size of this room. The synthetic materials I am made of were meant to replicate the human equivalent, but the Accord weren't interested in simply recreating themselves and their peers. There is a release switch beneath what would anatomically be my right breast to open my chest cavity, if you should want to examine it." She said. She must be the most co-operative subject the M. Lab Tech ever got the chance to examine, but truthfully, she wanted to know that herself.


The Escapist Avatar Adventures | The Vice's Realm | Sloth's Library
"Sloth has fled the battle!"
Sloth | Envy | Pride | Nina and Phillip

"So my name's Nina Zaczoltski, Firstborn of the Zaczoltski family of Steve and Melissa Zaczoltski and wonderer of if I should change it to Alice. And, sorry to say, but you probably owe Sloth an apology there. Sloth's been nothing but awesome so far, unless your glory is a not awesome glory. Which if it is, you do you Superbia.""

If there was one thing that Pride wasn't used to even after all of the eons that passed while she had existed, it was the inadequate amount deference and respect that some mortals had when they were introduced by a being that was far their superior. No matter how much she encountered it, it still galled her, just the same. Still, she had to grudgingly admire the fact that this human was sticking up for poor, pathetic Sloth.

Taking a deep breath, Pride let out a long-suffering sigh, waving a dismissive hand in the direction of the Embodiment of Laziness. Meanwhile, Sloth merely turned away and began to make a portal for the trip back to Earth, and Envy shrank back a little more as Pride began her age-old rant.

"Sloth is a horrible example of our power. He is lazy, indolent, and quite insufferable. The very fact that he was voted--voted!--as our leader instead of myself simply goes to show how misguided the others are, and how his influence has only served to drag down the Vices from their proper glory and place in the workings of the multiverse. You see--" she said tightly, before Sloth promptly grabbed Nina's hand.

Almost as an afterthought, he also grabbed Envy's hand as well, and led both of them to the portal not but a few steps away. He looked back, regarding Pride with an apologetic look as he retreated.

"I'm so sorry to tear Nina away from your conversation, Pride, but I'm sure you understand that I have work to get back to, and if I'm going to show these pesky mortals what our 'true glory' is, I'd better get to it! 'kay-thanks-bye!" he called back, ignoring the sputtering mental protests of Envy as he pulled both her and Nina across the threshold of the portal.

"What--SLOTH! You get back here this instant you miserable little--!" Pride cried out in outrage, before the portal closed behind them and cut her off.

Leaving Nina and two Vices standing in the middle of the same vast nothingness that she had encountered on the way to the Vices Realm in the first place, with the dark bubble they had exited drifting away. The moment the portal was closed, Sloth exhaled a long-suffering sigh of his own, slouching forward as he grimaced.

"I wish you hadn't reminded her of just how disappointing I am to my glorious 'elder sibling'. I already won't hear the end of it, and it's only gotten worse these last few centuries." he grumbled.

Envy looked around nervously before lunging forward and clutching at Sloth's robes.

~Why did you drag me with you?! You know that's only going to make things worse with her!~ Envy cried out.

Sloth looked at her and shrugged.

"I figured you could use the escape, and since Wrath isn't really interested in helping, I figure coming with me to Earth would be a good distraction." he reasoned.

~But I hate being in crowds or around mortals!~ she told him with rising hysteria.

As she said that, Nina and Phillip both began to notice the start a low whine at the back of their minds, causing just a little tension to form at the base of Nina's skull, but it subsided after a few moments as Sloth shushed the upset Vice.

"Hey, hey, I'm sure you'll be fine. Let's just get back to Earth and play it by ear, ok?" he asked.

After a moment, she nodded slowly, then motioned with one hand for him to lead the way before she crossed her arms over her chest in an uneasy sulk. The robed Embodiment of Indolence nodded in return, then turned to the exit portal and strode forward, leading the two women and the unseen eldritch abomination.


Lonely Nightmare
elizabeth's story

"When I gazed upon her wrath, I could not help but be enraptured by her beauty. There was something about her that made my body scream with fear. The only word that I could bear to use to describe her presence was 'awesome.' She not reminded me of my own mortality and of my smallness in the world but taught it to me in a way I could never forget. I was humbled." ~eye witness of the liberation of Ectbatana by the Silver Moon Confessors.

I leaned back against the cushions of my seat. The air in here was too cold to be comfortable, it bit at my exposed skin and each breath puffed out of my mouth in a fine white mist. Major Rhodes sat across from me, her arms folded. She wore nothing but a large overcoat, a simple cloth tank top, and some over-sized fatigues. Her blue eyes glared into empty space. The news had broken hard on Rhodes, and despite her youthful appearance, lines of worry and age had creased her face in the past few hours.

We had left the Soul of Tomorrow earlier in the evening when the medical report from Captain Yang arrived. Laeta had undergone an organ transplant surgery to try to save her older sister.

"Dolores Selmy," I whispered underneath my breath. I played with the family photo that Rhodes had given to me during our first meeting. The young Lolita stared back at me with a innocent smile. There was nothing of this girl in the Lieutenant that I knew. "Just who are you?"

Rhodes shifted in her seat, uncrossed her arms and crossed them again the other way. She was not a large woman, but she wasn't small either. I estimated that she stood at 5'6, weighed about 175 pounds give or take, and was 48 years old. Which means she was 27 when she gave birth to Lolita. Despite her age, she did not show it. Her skin was smooth and immaculate, she wore her hair long in a thick mane that trailed down past her hips, her lips were full, and she wore clothes that would make a girl half her age blush. But her eyes were the most peculiar thing about her. She had the same look that I had seen before in the Lieutenant, a gaze filled with nothing but killing intent. She had the eyes of an hawk, a bird searching for prey. They were cold, merciless, and infallible. Six other women sat around the Major, all of them about the same age as the Lieutenant, so hovering around 21 and 24 years.

There were legends every now and again in the organization that Major Rhodes had once headed an elite team of insurgents in the middle east by the name of "the Silver Moon Confessors." They had once been an all-female terrorist cell that worked throughout Turkey and Armenia. The most famous of these women was that 18-year old "Light of Canaan," also known as "the White Peacock" and "the Wings of Deliverance," a freedom fighter that was rumored to have been a literal walking miracle. She could not be touched on the battlefield by fire or steel, and if eye-witness accounts were to be believed, even the very mud and sand bowed to her approach. Wherever she went followed a herald of light, shining down upon her battlefield as if to single her out in the middle of the absurd chaos.

Though she was known by all of those epithets, the locals up and down the Middle East called her "Maryam Mustafia," or "the Mary Chosen by God." She and her "angels," elite soldiers wreathed in white silks, were unmatched in combat. Now the legend sat before me, and the fables of her prowess paled in comparison to the reality of her ferocity. Those women were new Angels, no doubt, trained and equipped long after her old team had been retired. These were not members of the Rising Dawn however, they bore not the gold-red insignia of the winged airship, but two angels crouched in prayer. The fabled kiraman katibin Raqib and Atid no doubt. And this woman, this Rhodes Selmy, was God's own wrath incarnate.

image

"The Light of Canaan"

The transport rumbled. It was more lavish than anything else that I had ever seen. The interiors were lined with velvet and the shock cushions were goose down. The belts were leather and the lights were gentle flickering flames fed by old oil. Even travelling at immense speeds the cabin was quiet. The Angels sat in sullen silence as their commander fumed over the events that were unfolding below.

Unlike the other transports on the Soul of Tomorrow, this VTOL did not have windows. The entirety of it's outside was outfitted with optical camouflage. There was no radio in or out, and there was not visible light in or out. The pilot operated off information gleaned off of the Soul of Tomorrow's advance sensor array through a quantum computer. I supposed that this was the Major's own custom vessel, "Gabriel's Mercy."

Rhodes leaned forward and stared at me. Her blue eyes flickered in the gentle flames. "Please tell me again why Lolita was the only staff member deployed on the mission."

I swallowed. There was something about her that was wholly unnatural. Something above the capacity of human senses. "It was at her own behest, Major."

She shook her head, "I told you to call me Rhodes."

"Rhodes," I repeated.

"She was in an explosion. A surprise attack? Did your sensors not pick up the inherent danger? Why did you not send support?" Rhodes continued. I had answered it all before, but I obliged her. There was a compulsion to adhere to her will.

"That is not something I know," I said once again, "you will have to bring that up with the acting Captain on the Rising Dawn itself."

"Is that not you?"

"The acting hero," I paused and tried to look away. But her gaze held me captive. There was something about the raw power she held in her eyes that was enchantingly beautiful. "The acting Captain is Rugal Bernstein. Some sort of ex-kingpin."

She leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes. "Rugal Bernstein," she said, "he will be in my prayers."

He will be on my kill list. Is what I was sure Rhodes meant.

"So will each and every member of that most cursed organization that has harmed my dear daughter grace my nightly prayer." The Angels around her bowed their heads and held their arms across their chest. They all spoke together, "Assalaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatu-Allah." [1]

"As it should be, it will be."

The vessel shuddered again. The pilot motioned from the cockpit.

"We're here," I said. I was relieved. Being in a ship with Rhodes and her Angels was a nerve wracking experience. The intensity and severity of these women were off the charts. The back panel of the ship slid open to flood the inner cabin with the commotion of the Rising Dawn's hangar. For the first time, I felt immeasurably happy to be back on the ship. I unbuckled my belt and hopped onto the unloading ramp to find the Major and her Angels already standing on the hangar bay floor. Her coat whirled around her as the high-altitude winds blew in from the hanger doors. Rhodes started walking and the staff stopped to salute her. There was more to their action than simple respect for rank. They more than likely didn't know who she was, or what her rank was, but the way she carried herself demanded respect.

I followed not too far behind as she made her way into the Rising Dawn's main cabin. Immediately once she was through the first set of doors she turned to an ensign, a young man that I recalled being one of John's subordinates, and gave him a cold glare.

"Go straight down this hallway and it's the first large double door to your right ma'am!" He said, saluting.

She didn't even say anything. Rhodes and her Angels marched past him. I followed, but when I passed I gave him a good look over. "Hugh Stevens?" I asked.

"Y-y-yes Captain Donnell!" he answered.

"Go change your pants before you report back to Lieutenant Langley with today's reports." He blushed. I left.

---

The Medical Bay had settled down from it's earlier commotion. The staff was exhausted. Some sat against the wall with their heads tucked between their knees, others dozed on empty stretchers. The soft beeps and whirs of medical automata accompanied the gentle breathing of those in rest. Though there was still activity in one operating room.

That was where I found Rhodes.

She stood with eyes glued on her two daughters in surgery. It was Captain Nayadokovov heading the operation, as it should be. He worked quickly and diligently with his needle and thread, blood had pooled in such quantities below the operating tables that every time he moved his feet, a ripple was sent running through the red sea.

Lieutenant Dolores' abdomen was completely open, skin and muscle pressed against the sides with large metal clamps. If I strained, I could see every bit of her viscera, from her intestines to what remained of her kidneys, liver, and pancreas.

Lieutenant Faust and Lieutenant Langley were sitting on a bench against the wall, heads resting against each other. They had fallen asleep it either due to mental exhaustion or just physical exhaustion. Watching a close friend fight for her life must have been terrifying. I remembered the first time I saw Lieutenant Dolores, she was just recovering from a heart-attack in the medical ward. She had been timid and polite, a child stuck in a grown woman's body. And now... a casualty of battle. That pretty little girl would bear the scars for the sins of those around her.

There was another whir - the engine on an industrial saw powering up. Rhodes turned her head and looked at the assistants operating on the Lieutenant's little sister, Laeta. I nearly choked when I saw that they were using an industrial saw to make an incision on the naked girl - tied down to a stretcher with thick metal bands.

Rhodes but her hand on the glass and swiped left, disabling the noise cancellation. The hum of the saw's engine roared through the observation room and into the medical bay beyond. So did the screams of the brunette strapped to the table.

"Ahh~!" she choked out. There was something wrong with the way her voice sounded. It... wasn't a scream of pain exactly... "I.. I... can feel it! Do it deeper, mess me up! Stir up my insides~!"

I balked. What? I walked up next to Rhodes and leaned forward to see what they were actually doing to the girl.

"You-you're going to split me in half~! Do it~! Do it~!" The nurses were holding down her arms and legs as her torso bucked, a bear of a man was holding down a industrial saw just south of her ribcage, letting the spinning metal clash against her exposed skin. Blood and viscera - and sparks of all things exploded out of her like some gross recreation of the world's most macabre fountain. The nurse pulled back after a few minutes of cutting and switched out the metal blade - which had been worn to a dull scratched mess - and replaced it with a new one before resuming the 'operation.' "Anh~ It's so hot... so hard... I... ah... I..."

There was a "k-thunk" as the blade cut through what I assumed was her spine. At least, that was what I had thought until I saw that the steaming incision they had made was only as deep as about half a hand. Just enough to work some instruments into her liver to extract a bit of tissue - an endeavor a medical automata undertook.

Someone new entered the room. I felt the air change immediately from one of grim severity to that of a more lighthearted nature.

"My, my. If it isn't the little anisa[2] herself," Rhodes cooed. "Is this ship truly the place for a young girl to be?" Rhodes stepped forward and scooped up a fluffball of pink threads and smothered her in her chest.

"A little deeper, c'mon... a little more... AH! AHHH! AHH THAT'S IT!" One of the Angels put her hand on the window and swiped right, bringing the sound-cancelling device back online.

"Little Ruby," Rhodes said, her eyes had taken a less severe tone and a smile graced her red lips. "Why are you here? Where is your mama and your papa?" Rhodes held the little girl, Ruby, in her arms and faced the operation again.

Georgie looked up and motioned with his hands at the Major. It's almost done. An hour at most. Is what he said before he set back to work on saving the Major's eldest daughter.

"Gaze upon this tragedy anisa, this is what happens to those in war. Do not become used to this sight though you will see it many more times." Rhodes kissed Ruby on the forehead, "One day, anisa, you will grow up to be a strong and beautiful lady like Lolita, so remember to spread compassion wherever you go. Remember that all people are the daughters of Allah, so even in death they must be treated with respect. War should be clean and decisive, as Allah has pre-ordained or else war should not be fought."

There was a shuffle of silk and two rifles slammed together.

"Mustafia!" one of two Angels cried as they pinned a man to the wall with the bridge of their guns. He wore a silver mask and a green hood. He held his hands up timidly.

Rhodes turned to look at the man. She was scowling, "Does the Rising Dawn allow all of it's prisoners to wander so freely?"

[1] Peace and blessings of God be unto you.
[2] Little Lady

Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | Medical Bay
"Not Again!" XnX
Doom | Major Rhodes | Others

After being in bed for quite some time, surrounded by the chaos of a hospital in war-time, Doom was able to slowly stand up, albeit propped up on an IV stand.
Clinging to his stand, the former(?) Villain attempted to find the exit, seeing how he was rather hungry and it didn't look like he was going to get service here, what with all the wounded people and all.
Problem was, he was hard to get directions and, while none of those bullets he was hit with landed against his head, his sense of-...well, anything was never really strong.
As a result, he stumbled around in circles for quite some time, only pausing when he found himself once again at the business end of a assault rifle, several in fact.

They didn't look like G-Corp but their guns looked more painful, especially with one of their barrels pressing directly against the flesh in front of his heart.
"Does the Rising Dawn allow all of it's prisoners to wander so freely?" the woman in the back asked, clearly not impressed but still less scary then Kazuya. (Only slightly though)
"D-d-d-d-d-d-doom d-d-doesn't-...H-h-h-he was brought-...uhhhhhhhh!....ohsweetmercifulcurlymustashes..." He stammered with his eyes closed as a strange noise could be heard.
As well as the guard with the rifle backing up once a pool of urine began to form around Doom's legs feet.
Oh no! They are going to totally murder Doom! Think Doom! Say something to get us out of here!
He stood there shaking for a solid minute, the silence only being broken by the sound of his teeth chattering nervously.
Frantic eyes glanced around before the villain finally revealed the phrase of words his mind came up with to get him out of this life-or-death situation.

"...uhhh...Ma'am-...Boss-...Lady-...Guy? (Rhodes)....your fly is open...Uh, Doom meant down-...Ahhh, No, no...Open...Or-.....D'ooooh!" >.<;

And that was it, he was going to die, Doom cursing his brain as-
*SLAP!*
"WAAAAAAAH!!?!" He yelped as a member of G-Corp's remaining staff grabbed him by his shoulder before pulling him off the wall.
"Gah, filthy damn hobo! The hell is the matter with you? Relieving yourself in front of women like that?! Get your ass back to your bed before you have another reason to need patching up!" The guard said before pulling him away from the group and getting him in a restraining hold.
"Sorry about that, git pretended to be sick to that healer chick. But if he's healthy enough to piss himself, I think he can go back to his cell. Carry on!" The man then calmly said before jabbing his charge along with the butt of his weapon, prompting rather wimpy yelps from the Doctor as he did.


The Escapist Avatar Adventures | Rising Dawn | Library
'I need one of these in my place!'
Sloth | Envy | Pride | Nina and Phillip

Apparently Pride wasn't overly impressed with Nina's staring contest talents, giving a sigh at her request to maybe stop the whole thing all together. Nina then watched as Pride motioned a bored hand in Sloth's direction, which in turn he started to do something over where he'd been with Envy. "Sloth is a horrible example of our power. "Well, act-" He is lazy, indolent, and quite insufferable. 'Indolent?' The very fact that he was voted--voted!--as our leader instead of myself simply goes to show how misguided the others are, and how his influence has only served to drag down the Vices 'Oh hey, Sloth's coming over here?' from their proper glory and place in the workings of the multiverse. 'Wonder what we wants?' You see--" Pride apparently was so exceptionally involved in her rant to notice the highly slow, lazy and definitely low on the totem pole of stealthiness Sloth, Nina happily going along along with him since it seemed he was about to ditch Pride.

"I'm so sorry to tear Nina away from your conversation, Pride, but I'm sure you understand that I have work to get back to, 'Well, I wasn't enjoying it all that much so... ya.' and if I'm going to show these pesky mortals what our 'true glory' is, I'd better get to it! 'kay-thanks-bye!" With Nina's free hand, she gave Pride a final wave before she blooped through the portal herself.

As Nina crossed the threshold of the portal and touched her feet on the other side, she immediately stopped firmly planting her feet down. Now sure Pride's voice was still ever present and unpleasant to listen to, but Nina had remembered her last experience with portals and the terrors that they were. Like a gymnast finishing her routine, she held her arms out expecting to face plant at any moment, but it never came to pass. After a couple looks around, she finally stood up straight with an air of confidence. "Nina 1, portals... 1." She sighed as Sloth lectured her on pointing out Pride was wrong. "Hey, I was backing you back up there! I wasn't making it up that you've frankly been the most helpful anyone's been so far, so yes, sorry I corrected the baby." Nina replied back, not appreciating Sloth grumbles.

While Envy had her argument with Sloth, Nina took the moment to check if Phillip was still okay, unzipping one side of the duffle bag for the moment, peering inside and giving a questioning thumbs up. Moments after, she quickly moved that same hand's index finger up to her mouth, then giving him a quick wave and rezipped the bag, turning back to her compatriots afterwards. Given Envy's powers, she would be able to spot that Nina wasn't alone, the exchange just now blatant enough for her to hear it if she was actively listening. Any thoughts or 'heard words' from Phillip however would be practically incomprehensible brown noise at this point, not loud or painful, but simply quiet and jarring.

~But I hate being in crowds 'but four's a party.' or around mortals!~ Nina's eye twitched as her mind felt the oncomings of a migraine, although she kinda wondered why it was coming from the back? She rubbed the back of her neck gently as it seemed to slowly passed. 'That was weird.' Phillip however, didn't seem to have any reaction at all to Envy's jedi mind tricks.

While Sloth got the portal prepared for them, Nina figured it might as well be time to get one question answered that seemed to be ever present in this current crowd. "So... if you don't mind me asking, what's the deal with mortals and, not mortals. Now I realize that I probably smell a bit, sorry, I didn't shower today. Kidnapping, missiles, blackmail; it's been a long morning and frankly I wasn't really prepared." She said, sniffing her shirt a moment. "But really you're acting like I got some sort of cooties." Nina commented, her use of 'you're' was more broad to account for Eddie, Sloth, Wrath, Pride and Envy, Envy's abilities would make that distinction quite easy to spot despite it grammatically sounding she was singling out Envy verbally.

Now Nina was expecting through the wait for the portal and subsequent entering of the portal to the Dawn, she'd get an answer. What she wasn't expecting this time with her preoccupied mind was the portal, and it capitalized on it immediately after she passed through it. Once she passed the threshold of the portal, her legs immediately turned to jelly again. Now inside the Rising Dawn library, she tried to reach out to whatever was available to her, which just so happened to be one of those nice comfy chairs. Collapsing onto the chair, feet partly in the air, Nina couldn't help but let out a laugh. "Haha, thought you could get the jump on me portal, well... you didn't. *Erp*!" Nina taunted the portal, sounding a bit more unsettled and nausea than she had last time, perhaps multiple trips through the portal in quick succession additively affecting her. Her eyes slowly rolled dizzily as she looked up at the ceiling again from her resting spot, noticing that they were in a library again. "Mmmm, what's with you and libraries Sloth? Don't tell me your portals only work in li- *Erp* -braries. Where's some ginger when you need it?" She groaned.

Misattributed Desire
Location: Medbay | Rising Dawn
To seek truth is to invite deception.

Naamah the Ammonite

Naamah clutched Rory tightly, the tears streaming down her cheeks wet the clothes of Emloy's apostle. "Naamah... Naamah... Namaah..." the young girl fell to sleep on Rory's chest. Her hand still holding tightly to the black-red cloth like a child holds a stuffed toy.

Her black scarf squirmed.

"Naamah has become overwhelmed," she said. Her voice was now completely calm. Her scarf shimmered with blues and greens as galaxies and nebulae exploded into the dark depths of her skin. "But I will tell you of Rehoboam, son of Solomon and king of Judah, in the age when magic still ran deep in the faith of humankind. For that is my role as Historian, to preserve the wonders of humankind."

[1] arabic cinnamon


Lonely Nightmare
elizabeth's story

"God has not forsaken you. You will be forgiven."
Wall Graffiti, Istanbul. Credited to the Silver Moon Confessors.

Rhodes motioned with her hand and two Angels stepped forward and forcibly separated the G-Corp soldier and Doom. A third bent to clean the mess he made and a fourth forcibly changed his pants.

"I want to speak to this prisoner," Rhodes said. It wasn't so much an indication of her purpose, but a command. It was as if she had said "I will speak to this prisoner." The first Angel led the G-Corp soldier out of the observation room. "As simple as he may be, a prisoner must be treated with respect. They may have lost, but that does not make them less human."

So the Major was just as noble as the stories had said.

The Angel had first left Doom standing bereft of pants. Rhodes pulled a gun from her arm holster and pressed it against Doom's silver mask. Carrying Ruby in one arm and threatening a grown man in his undergarments with another, the Major certainly was a character.

"Is that what a man should say to a beautiful woman? If I'm comfortable flaunting what I have, try not to aggravate me, because I am more than comfortable humiliating you with or without my clothing." She scowled, "I am Major Rhodes Selmy, you may call me Mustafia if you feel brave."

She put her gun back into it's holster as the Angels returned with a new pair of pants for Doom. They kept their rifles trained on his silver mask. They did not so much as quiver with breath. They were the very model of discipline.

"I have questions for you. If you know them, you will answer. You are of the same people that have hurt my daughter, yes? Then tell me who they are, what they are trying to do, and where they are."

World Marshall Secure Location: Anomalous Materials
QnA
ARES | Viscus | Dimitri | M. Lab Tech

Everything she said was noted for the record as the senior tech mused over the comments she had made.
"Interesting...Mass Production Model yet containing a personality matrix unique to each one...Implies the creator has found a way to keep said AI constructs in line. Will mark as an example for internal projects." He wrote in relation to her personality, the realization of them possibly "Copying" her for their own prototypes starting to wash over her.
He also perked up at the notion that she used "Hammerspace" storage for her main power generator.
"Hmmmmm...Well, if you insist. Might find a port for my comrade here to charge his phone with." The M. Lab Tech said before reaching for-
His hand was soon grabbed by the guard still standing at attention beside ARES, the cyborg growling "I'll do it." before her Superior(?) relented.
Pulling out that EM blade once more and pressing it against ARES's neckline, she then said "I don't know what make you tick, but I've dismantled much more advanced machines then you. Try anything funny and I'll mount your head with the other ones. You there, keep the EM field up. Anything happens, set it to max, even if it knocks me offline."
The warning given, the Cyborg then slowly pressed the release switch, ready for whatever they might find...

Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | Medical Bay
"WHY DOES EVERYONE KEEP POINTING GUNS AT DOOM?!"
Doom | Major Rhodes | Others

It was really hard to tell if this was an improvement over his last situation, seeing how he was now minus pants but with only a few guns pointed at him, though one of those guns was now pressed against his forehead.
"Is that what a man should say to a beautiful woman? If I'm comfortable flaunting what I have, try not to aggravate me, because I am more than comfortable humiliating you with or without my clothing."
"NO! NO! DOOM DIDN'T MEAN IT LIKE THAT! NO! HE DIDN'T! JUST-AAAHAHHHHHHHHH-When Doom doesn't close his belt, H-h-h-h-he falls down and then W-wesker yells at him aa-a-a-nd the others laugh at him annnnnnnnd, NOT THAT DOOM WOULD MEAN YOU WOULD FALL DOWN! JUST-...YOU'RE-....HOLDING A-A-A-A CHILDREN-UH-CHILD! And-....Doom...didn't...want you to-...fall down and-...hurt you both...while people laughed at you..."
His mask audibly shook as did his entire body, if he didn't already empty his bladder, he would have done it by now.
"I am Major Rhodes Selmy, you may call me Mustafia if you feel brave."
".....eerrrrrrrrrr, Doom's name is-......Doom.....uhhh...."Hai"...Major-...Lady-....Sir."
While the Major put her gun away, the other Angels didn't so much as budge and neither did Doom, keeping his hands held high in the air even as a pair of pants were handed to him.
If The Major had little confidence in the standards of her enemies, then she would just love the part where Doom now had his hands up where they could be seen whist still holding the fresh pants by their legs, the crotch of them now blocking the view of his face.
"I have questions for you. If you know them, you will answer. You are of the same people that have hurt my daughter, yes? Then tell me who they are, what they are trying to do, and where they are."

This gave Doom pause for a moment as he processed what he was being asked: The Major's daughter had been hurt and she wanted to know what had hurt her.
There were a lot of answers he could give there but he kinda went down the wrong track entirely.
See, he knew who Kazuya was and he knew who the Rising Dawn was, but this woman?...not so much.
There wasn't much information to go on, just that she had a nice uniform and there were a lot of men with guns.
His mind processed all the possible other factions (That he knew of) that would have reason to capture him and that left only one outcome.

"....OH MY GOD!"

"YOU'RE THE DEA AREN'T YOU!?!"

For those of you who might have missed out, not long after his falling out with his Cartel buddies, Doom decided to follow in the footsteps of this one lonely chemist guy he saw on TV who went on to become one of the greatest Meth lords of his time. (Think the show was called "Game of Thrones").
Point was, he spent most of his time in Los Angeles before the Rising Dawn snatched him up, "Working For" a gang known as the Las Venturas Bookies and their LA Contact "Diabs".
While his Product "Doomsday" sold like hot cakes, the most he remembered from the experience was the part where he was used for both slave labor and "Entertainment" by the gang and some words of Wisdom from "Diabs" himself.

"Now hear this you little retarded fuck-wit. If I EVER find you talking to DEA about ANYTHING! The Weather, the News, about how big a slut your mother is, I will personally hunt you down and I'll do to you, what I did to Rarity..."

"RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARITY! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" DX

...
After shouting that REALLY loudly in the middle of the room, Doom soon returned to reality, a sole eye peering at the somewhat confused Mayor though the open fly of those pants.
"....Y-y-y-our not DEA....right?...B-b-because you need to tell Doom if you are! That's the law! or something..."

All the while, a pair of G-Corp soldiers watched on out of earshot, one of them barely able to contain himself as he smoked openly in the middle of the medical bay.
"Ohhh man! This guy....Every time you think he's done, he out classes himself!"
"....Think we should tell the boss about this? I mean, it's all fun and games, but what if she starts putting the screws to a few of us? And what if she finds out what Ghost is planning?"
"Nah, They aren't going to go against G-Corp, you see this place? They have enough to worry about before they'll bother us. Now piss off, I wanna see what he does next. Maybe he'll shit himself..."

World Marshall Secure Location: Anomalous Materials
"I don't believe I was talking to you."
ARES | Viscus | Dimitri | M. Lab Tech

As their little chat carried on, the lab tech taking notes about ARES 35's design and being very rudely interrupted by one of the guards, the reality of the situation had already registered to ARES quite a while ago. They were asking all these questions for the purpose of using the information to further their goals, which would likely mean designing their own ARES units or other tools she could describe to them. Were ARES to be in any position to fight back in the near future, one of her first orders of business would be to erase whatever information they gained from this. However, resistance was futile at this point. Sure, she could probably try and make whoever dug around in her chest cavity "fall in" and shut them in a place which could only be opened from the outside, and really that would not have been the worst idea ever... if she had anywhere to go from there. Her arms and legs had been removed and were being examined on a nearby table (which to ARES was very morbid) and there was a percussive maintenance[1] version of an EMP pressed up against her neck, which as far as she could tell also held a collar laced with explosives.

The situation really made her roll her eyes as her chest cavity opened, it was a tad overkill. "You didn't have to do that you know." she said to the guard as they pressed the release switch. "My AI is made using the human mind as a blueprint. Thousands of them at that. Still, looking at my situation, it wouldn't take Einstein to say that I'm in no position to fight back at this time. There are explosives around my neck which you control, and even if I had some ace up my sleeve my arms and legs aren't exactly within reach to follow up with anything else." she stated, following up with "Then again I guess Einstein may have had trouble wrapping his mind around this, even if he had disassembled "more advanced machines."

Her retort to the situation out of the way, what was visible of her inner workings made it hard to think of a more complex machine. It was like looking into a maze of conveyor belts, shelves, and robotic limbs attached to the ceilings and walls. A few of them were currently set to work, and the results were visible as a hole in the "floor" of ARES insides was welded shut, which clearly coincided with the sparking hole where Bison had punched her earlier doing the same. If she were to make an estimate of where the far wall was, it would be about 3 kilometers away. Though if she were to place her hand inside, she could touch it before she had placed her entire wrist inside, a ripple like that of water when a pebble was dropped into it forming where her first finger had dipped in. It was like ARES housed a rather large factory instead of any organs or component wiring.

"As I'd said before, the Accord weren't very interested in simply copying themselves. ARES units were often used as portable armories. Still assume you've dealt with superior machinery?" she coyly said to the guard, before turning her attention back to the lab tech. "I also noticed you took note that I knew of Monty Python earlier? I have honestly never heard of it. In the invention of ARES units such as myself, the Accord had covertly gathered data through what we called "SIN" which was a combination of what you may call the internet, and chips implanted in people's brains which acted as a sort of augmented reality system to heighten sensory acuity, receive and send information from individual to individual quickly and efficiently, and other things. Haven't heard of Monty Python myself, but I know of it because at least one of the people sampled in my creation had knowledge of it."

If the lab tech's guard were to continue digging around in ARES' inner workings, she would find that she was capable of shifting the view she had by simply moving her hand in a given direction, even though from the outside her arm didn't move an inch. It became very clear what the space filled with conveyor belts was used for, as off to the left were an assortment of armors, ammunition, and more than a few weapons of note.[2]

Clearing her throat, ARES finished with asking the guard,"... That all said, could you let the good doctor sate his curiosity? Even without an EM field I'm hardly in a position to retaliate. Your concern for their safety is all well and good, but given that I have no limbs with which to do anything it's actually making you look a bit too thorough." she grinned, having implied the guard was of lower intellect if she legitimately thought this was all necessary.

[1] The technical term for "hit the thing until it works"
[2] The arms and armor she herself uses.

The Rising Dawn Adventures

Denver: Outside of Blast Site
Kalastryn | Miia | Elise | Jenny | Batter | Ghost | G-Corp Grunts

"... Sir... I can tell you've had a rough time, but if you think for a moment your the only one with things to complain about, you can kindly tear off your lips and stuff them down your throat. I've displayed the patience of a saint with how things have gone so far. We nearly accomplished what we set out here for, as I was essentially strangling Bison to death before "World Marshall" decided to intervene. That was after I sent myself ahead to gather information and get a look at the compounds defenses. My leg is broken, an old friend of mine was forced to attack me until now, with all the glass in my wings it wouldn't be damn well easy to fly myself anywhere, my ankles are likely set to kill me from internal bleeding, but given all that, I haven't actually opened my mouth about it until now. Unlike you and you seem a lot better off." she stated, before squeezing down on his shoulder.

"That all said, you really should learn to bite your tongue around people like me. See, for all the reasons above, I've had a day. You and your little troupe here seem set for life by comparison. Even I can only deal with so much bullshit, and right now even in this sorry state, I could incinerate you by flexing my index finger. Now I don't really want to do that, but in lieu of a therapist, there's something very cathartic about burning flesh. So if only for your sake, the next time you have a smart remark, would you kindly choke on your on saliva while you estimate whether or not it's worth a few third degree burns? Thanks. she ranted aloud, not even noticing (or unable to care) about Miia witnessing this. The Lamia was shaken a bit, unable to calm down simply because ... 1) she nearly got choked to death by Jenny. 2) she wasn't sure if Jenny could be trusted or she'd kill them all on a whim and 3) Kalastryn to her was like a role model, so seeing her role model act extremely hostile and saying such cruel things wasn't sitting well with the monster girl.

Miia came up, softly placing her hand on Kalastryn's shoulder with a worried expression ... the kind of face you'd see a child have before going to sleep at night. "Kalastryn ... h-he didn't mean any harm with his sarcasm. Y-you're just really upset with everything that happened and I understand! But, this ... this isn't like you, so please, don't let your emotions control you."

Meanwhile, Elise came up to Jenny with a rather interesting expression ... a smirk. "Seems everyone's too busy having a chit chat while you're on the floor, with no way to move. Don't worry love, I will lend you a hand~" She began using her crimson pink silk to knit a blanket-shaped sheet before laying it next to the Gardevoir's body. "Let's get you onto something softer, shall we?" Being careful, Elise picked Jenny like one would with their bride ... making sure to go slowly enough so nothing is pulled or yanked out of place (last thing Elise wanted was to get scolded for making her joints bend inwards and the robotic pieces folding inward to her weak spots with the weight crushing something important). Successfully laying her on the human sized blanket, only to question whether these G-Corps brought with them a stretcher to carry Jenny on.

"No hard feelings about you trying to murder us. Seems you Gardevoirs are always being taken advantage of ... the Haunter possessing Faith, now you being controlled with technology. If I didn't know better, your species are good for being weaponized."

As for Miia, she noticed the Batter thanks to Kalastryn stating to Ghost, "As for him, I recall seeing him at Black Mesa. I'm not sure if he's one of ours, for as much as we tend to keep track of that, but he sure as hell isn't one of theirs. Might not be wise to take aim at him though." Her tone shifting back to her usual, sophisticated demeanor while she went back over to sit by the stairwell awaiting their ride back. With eagerness, she dissed Ghost in order to speak with the Batter, slithering up to him with a surprised expression on her face. "Hey, I remember you! Do you remember me? ... We met in that abandoned building, near the damn. You tried saving me from those horrible creatures with scythes as hands! .. Where have you been? I haven't seen you since then!" She asked, determined to know what he was doing. "And why are you STILL dressed up as a baseball player?!!"

Apologies for the small entrance post! It's been a while since I've done forum RPing. I do have the character sheets in the Other thread too, but I will be polishing them a bit as they are older than dirt.

Rising Dawn: Hangar

A few hours after the last ship arrived, a smaller transport arrived in the rather packed bay. The pilot was thankfully skilled enough to avoid a lot of the rather large crowd held in there for the moment, though after the small group of four leave the transport rather quickly.

The four of do seem rather confused at all the new faces onboard, but it's the winged blonde woman that breaks the ice among the group as they look around. "I know this area's usually crowded, though after that time in the Canadian Rockies it's a bit of a culture shock. Then again, Slindis, I'm sure you're used to this kind of crowding." She then let out a light laugh before stretching, as the transport had been one of the older and more cramped models, and she waited for the redheaded drow to adjust her eyes to the brighter light level.

It didn't take all too long, thankfully, though said drow does seem a bit wary as she cautiously muses. "I know there are a lot of unfamiliar faces here, Alashi, though out of all of them there are some I expected to see that aren't here. Where's Teri, and where's Caim? I know I sent them letters that we'd be here soon, after all." The somewhat short drow woman also sets her hand on a rather antsy young green-haired elven girl to try and calm her, though the attempts seem to be failing. "Melethia, we'll see the rest of the crew in a few minutes. I know you're dying to see them after your time with me in India, but I promise that they're not going to run off without you!"

The girl wasn't exactly looking to be patronized, however, and she brushed off the drow's hand as she grumpily replied. "Don't be feedin' me that bilgewater, mom! I told her to be here with Garm so I could hand them both the bracers I made Teri while I was gone. Did she not get the letter? Devon, did you see if she got the mail?" Said short girl was finally looking to a decently armored young woman around the same height of the winged woman.

The blonde with the closely-cropped hair then chuckled as she patted Melethia's shoulder, though she winced as said elf tightly gripped her hand in a slightly painful manner. "Ow, Mel, easy on the hands, I need those to play my music! I know Teri and the others aren't here right now, but I'm sure as soon as we get out of here someone can tell us where she went. Or maybe someone in here knows? We could always check with Rugal as well, but it'd be better if you or Slin talked with him..."

The Rising Dawn Adventures

Avatar Adventures | Undisclosed Location | Secure Cell Block: Designation A-Class | Guard Outpost Alpha: Interrogation Room 2
Katya Rostikova | BEWP | Betty BEEP | Antoinette de la Trou | Benedict Warrington | Nadalia


Turning to the newcomer (Nadalia), the senior member of the Blasphemer's Brigade cleared his throat before addressing her.

"I'm sorry to intrude on your conversation with the young woman, milady, not that she seemed particularly responsive in the first place, could I trouble you for an explanation as to what is going on? While neither you nor Katya appear to be in league with the forces lead by The Father, I would ask..." Benedict started to say before realizing that he'd forgotten his manners, "Sorry for my brashness, milady. I've forgotten to introduce my apprentice and myself. I am Benedict Warrington and the young woman over there is my apprentice, Antoinette de la Trou... though for the sake of brevity, you may choose to call her Twit."

"Twit? .." Nadalia raised an eyebrow, assuming he bestowed his apprentice such a name to place indignity onto her out of spite.

"We are soldiers in the Legion of Free Men. She watched him as the man approached a box-shaped board on the wall with the words "Medical Supplies" and began collecting items of of there. He also reached down and removed the metal rod from Twit's hands.

"Hey!" The young soldier in training exclaimed before being stopped by the Former Father.

"They're too well armored for this sort of weapon. You shouldn't be exhausting your energy reserves on this." Benedict said before turning to address Nadalia again, "And while you explain the current situation we find ourselves in, would you like help with your wounds?

Nadalia didn't really want it, not because she didn't trust the man ... BEWP and Katya were right with her so they'd ensure he wouldn't try anything funny. No, it was the same reason why she refused any treatment from Better- to be reminded of what this prison did to her. Throwing her into a cell like an animal, allowing people to try what they'd desire with Katya (you get the hint), and beating her legs in where she would never walk again unless a miracle happened. Of course, her Warmth would be that miracle if the collar she wore wasn't blocking out her pyromancy.

Though despite being a superhuman with great potential and power, even she had limits. Sweat beamed down her head, with a lot of blood loss in the cell ... having only one arm and not on pain killers meant she felt everything that was happening to her. Hell she never even got treatment for when she tore her arm off after fighting Wrath.

Her vision was starting to blur, and she didn't want to be a burden on her friends when the escape plan went live so ... she sucked in her pride and simply nodded her head as a response. Yet, she didn't know what any good a leg ace bandaging or some medicine would do for her legs at their stage ... all black, bones sticking out, dislocated to the point they were bent inward with legs looking like solid sausages instead. "You may call me Nadalia by the way. No need to be so polite with milady, freedom fighter ..."

"As for y-UUgh!" Nadalia winced with pain shooting in her face once Benedict got to work in tending to her wounds.
"As, for you ... 'Twit', uah... what brought you and your master here to this ... wretched place? Me and my companions were tracking a vile man down until he overwhelmed us with forces from ... the back line. We are now his prisoners, and will suffer unless, we escape .. aahhhuh." She groaned, bending her head down to fight passing out from how bloody painful this was, still feeling everything with no medicine to ease the problem whatsoever.

The Escapist Avatar Adventures | The Rising Dawn | The Canteen
"[CENSORED FOR FOUL LANGUAGE]"
Farber | Eddie the Dead

When the Ghoulish Servant of Lady Luck picked up the young Ish boy bodily by the collar of his filthy tunic, Farber was suddenly all-too aware of just how much trouble he was in. After all, he usually only encounter two kinds of adults whenever they caught him doing something wrong: The generally kind folks who were willing to forgive him so long as whatever he did wasn't too bad, and the grown-ups who were perfectly happy punishing a street brat by beating them within an inch of their life.

With the typical strength of an 8 year old, Farber struggled against the bigger, stronger adult.

"Hey, lemme go! LET GO OF ME YOU ARSEHOLE!" he cried out, before calling out for help from anyone who could hear, saying, "SOMEONE HELP! THIS MANIAC IS KIDNAPPING ME!"

With a sign, the multiversal rocker slammed the kid on the wall with just enough force to feel it. He grabbed the Ish by the mouth and leered at him with a look of great dissatisfaction.

"I kill children," Eddie growled, "I love to see them die! I kill children..." he started pressuring the kid's jaw enough for it hurt, "And make their mamas cry!" He stopped applying the pressure, but kept his hand on the kids mouth. "Don't tempt me. Scream again and I will rip your jaw off." he let the mouth go. "Don't make your situation worse than it is."

Despite the pain, Farber glared at him, but there was the beginning spark of fear in his eyes. As the Canteen got further and further behind them, he was pulled up by the collar until both he and Eddie were face-to-face and could look one-another in the eye.

"Lucky for you," he said, "I have decided to take a 'Hands on, Hands Off' approach with parenting the two of you."

Farber frowned at that. What? Despite what Eddie said a moment ago, did that mean that he wasn't going to be beaten as punishment after all?

He didn't get a chance to even respond before his captor opened a nearby door, revealing a room that was in the middle of having the air sucked out of it through a nearby broken port-hole. The pull of it was strong enough to make Farber feel like he could be sucked through at any moment, with his hair, the ends of his scarf, and even his tail being drawn to the source of the current. If he was pulled through... All that would be left would be a long, terrifying fall, and then, SPLAT!

His captor walked in, closing the door behind them, and a distinct feeling of dread settled in Farber's belly.

"Hands on," Eddie told him, "Hands off."

And then he let Farber go. With a terrified, high-pitched scream, Farber was suddenly pulled towards the jagged glass and an inevitable, fatal fall, clutching at his scarf so that it wouldn't be pulled away from him.

"Hands on!" the Undead Demi-God said again, as he caught Farber halfway.

Staring at him with wide eyes, Farber's breath was quick and he could feel himself get light-headed.

"Don't... D-don't you--" he managed to gasp out before he was let go again.

"Hands off!" he repeated.

This time, it wasn't an incoherent scream, but instead of long string of every single swear word he knew in every combination he could think of that escaped the little urchin's mouth.

"Hands on!" Eddie said as he caught him, right before he reaches the window.

Farber clenched his teeth as he shook in abject terror, the cursed adult staring at him before looking out the window, then turned his gaze back at the young, disobedient boy. And let go one last time.

"Hands off."

This time, he wasn't caught before he reached the port-hole. This time, he was pulled through, shards of broken glass scraping across his back and his cheek, cutting through cloth and skin as he exited The Rising Dawn. He couldn't even scream as he looked down at the distant, expansive landscape below, his mouth gaping silently.

But before he could plummet, he felt Eddie's hands catch him and pull him back in, the broken glass making a few new scrapes against him in the process.

"Hands on." Eddie said, tucking Farber under one arm and striding out with him.

Once the door was closed behind them, he was set down on the floor of the ship's hall with a final, "Hands off."

Farber slid to the floor like he was boneless, staring at the tall figure of Eddie as he squat down next to him with wide, fearful eyes. Whatever spark of defiance might have been left in the look he gave, it was hard-to-see. Eddie's stare was serious, completely devoid of his usual cocky grin.

"You will meet people in your life that you're better off staying well away of. Unfortunately for you, I am one of them." Eddie told him with a sigh, "Look, kid, I have no business with you. The only reason I even deign to do this is because I need to cover my bases while the two of you are young."

He leveled a finger at Farber, saying, "Ruby's the one I'm stuck with. You're nothing to me, as I'm sure I've drilled into your head by now."

He emphasized this with a poke to the boy's forehead.

"Now, I am not saying that you stay away from her. Kids needs friends, after all. If you're good to her and stay on my good side, I'll reward you with more than sweets. But if you cause me trouble, or put her in danger, we'll have a repeat of that," Eddie the Dead explained as he jabbed a thumb at the ominous door they exited a moment before, "And next time I'll adopt a 'Hands off' approach."

With that, Eddie stood up and began to stride away with his characteristic swagger, adding, "Or you might choose to stay away from her and save me the trouble of dealing with you. Your choice either way."

Farber didn't say a word. He wasn't entirely sure he could if he wanted to, and he didn't. Really, he was lucky he hadn't peed himself in fright with the stunt Eddie pulled. But, if he said something, made a show of defiance? He wasn't sure there wouldn't be a repeat of that in the next minute or so, without the benefit of rough hands catching him at the last second. Not only that, but it would give the game away if he said something.

His earlier defiance seemed to flare up in his eyes again as he stared after the retreating form of Eddie, along with quite a bit of spite. Oh, Eddie was a dangerous one alright. That didn't mean Farber couldn't find a way to try and make his life hell a little more indirectly.

Standing up on shaky legs, he lifted a hand and formed a ball of smoke in his palm before tossing it to the ground. The resulting cloud of noxious smoke filled the hallway, albeit not enough to reach Eddie. Using it to hide him, he bolted away in the opposite direction.

"Oh, you're gonna get it, arseface." he murmured.

Made in collaboration with @Neuromancer!

Avatar Adventures | The Airship: Rising Dawn | Hangar
Angelus | Kazuya Mishima | Diana | Annie | Ryan | Four new arrivals

"Angelus, full report on what happened down there. Spare no detail...Come here, you little-"
Kazuya then proceeded to grab one of his men before slowly choking him out with his remaining arm for the crime of snickering behind his back.
"I remember you ... you were with us, during the Bison assault. Did everyone else make it out? ... Or, did they get left behind like we were?"

Angelus turned to Annie first, a slow rumbling chuckle echoing from her gut, "Of all things, Annie, you only remember me from the battle with Bison? I suppose you are more acquainted with my mortal form, as it was the guise I took during our romp through Philemon's realm. You might recall a woman in red with long, blonde hair? Carried a short sword? No matter... Regarding your lack of a ride, myself and Caim split apart to help whom we could when the battle began to turn ill. I acted as a ferry for those who were close by, including some of the wounded. I'm sorry that we weren't able to help you, but know it was not of any malice on our parts. We simply did what we could. As for why my fool of human is not with me...."

The dragon paused, overhearing the transport and it's four riders stumble out and began to talk among themselves. Recognition crossed the dragon's features, as she knew all of those faces as previous comrades upon the Dawn. Alongside their faces, their arrival came with a number of questions, some of which were relevant to what she was about to speak. The dragon beckoned with one of the talons on her wing to them and began to speak once more, "I am not a dragon who likes to repeat herself, so I shall say this once to all of you. The initial parts of our mission were going well. We attacked the enemy groups as coordinated and managed to free all of the mind controlled citizen groups and evacuated them prior to the battle. However, trouble began underneath all of our noses. Slindis, I am sorry to inform you but... Regarding your daughter, she was grouped with Garm during the mission as is standard procedure, however, as I heard from Rugal - who heard from the wolf himself, after the two neutralized one of the threats, they were ambushed. Garm barely made it out alive, and our primary healer is now taken by the enemy forces. In a similar mode, when the fight with Bison was taking a turn in our direction, a third party swooped in while we were weakened, and saw fit to attack and divide all forces. Of those captured, I know Caim is among them. I know he is not dead, that much is clear - but when I reach into our pact bond, I sense nothing. It is as if I hit a steel wall when I attempt it."

Her head turned back towards Kazuya, a small trail of smoke beginning to emit from it, "So, if you do not understand why I might be a tiny bit cranky, allow me to reiterate. My partner and father to my little ones is captured alongside some of our other comrades, one of our best healers is now missing and we've a multitude of wounded to deal with - including this dragon" she gestured her great head towards the sleeping black dragon, "who so graciously helped us, a number of our group is still scattered on the ground, and yet you've the audacity to speak ill of my mood and the management of this mission; when YOU were the one who put yourself in the hospital bed. Or would prefer I tell our friends here what you've been doing lately with the prisoners? Hmn? I think not."

Avatar Adventures | The Rising Dawn | Confusing Halls
Simon | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg

Following with introducing Anjali to everything Dawn related, the Cutie Bruisers began to float their way down the hallways once more, Cadolbolg beginning to speak again, "You know, she seemed pretty nice! I wonder if she'll wanna hang out some more later after nap?"

Ton Ton gave a noncommittal noise of agreement as Cadolbolg continued to chatter about the recent turn of events; his thoughts turning inwards. Angelus had asked him to keep the smaller turtle dragon baby distracted in light of Caim being "unavailable". Now, Ton Ton would never say that he was the smartest of former stuffed animals, but something seemed... Off. As Cadolbolg chattered more, the Tonberry concentrated towards the link between pact partners, and then focused specifically upon the silent swordsman. It wasn't often that he had contacted Caim in this way (or alone for that matter), aside from minor checkups or quick little messages. More frequently, the little Tonberry would just speak to the man, usually in tow with Cadolbolg.

After feeling the sensation of hitting a brick wall, Ton Ton frowned, and allowed himself to come back to reality, his thoughts mulling further. To be honest, how often was he alone with the mute in a setting that wasn't a battle? Fighting was something the two had understood intimately - Ton Ton was born to fight, and war was something that Caim knew for most of his life. Just sitting and talking alone? Ton Ton wasn't quite sure if he could pinpoint exactly how frequently that was. If anything, the thought was a little imposing - what would they talk about? Fighting? No, it had to be something other than fighting... Cadolbolg? Angelus? Those movies the duo sometimes watched (post parental approval).... Caim and Angelus did screen those themselves, didn't they? And they always let the Cutie Bruisers sleep in their room, with special pillows; and Caim always let the duo ride on his shoulders (despite however heavy they were supposed to be); and he always made sure that the two ate properly at breakfast - citing whatever thing Angelus had dug up about nutrition next; and when the battle down below went under, what was it Cadolbolg had said?

"Mother AND Father said so, so we gotta do what they say!"
"Father's coming this way to help, so he can take care of them. He's Father, after all."

That's right... Caim made sure Ton Ton and Cadolbolg were out of harms way before he went off to do...Whatever it was he did...Whatever it was that made him missing.
"Mr. Caim is missing because he made sure we got out."
Ton Ton paused at this little realization, a there was this sensation of a pit in his gut that made him feel very small and very bad. He had been doubting the mute swordsman all this time; and this exact feeling he was feeling... It was probably why Angelus had asked him to distract Cadolbolg. She wanted him to feel happy and safe till this matter was sorted with-

"Hey Ton Ton? Didn't you hear what I said?"
"Huh?"
"I said - you ever see this guy before? I sure haven't."

At the inclination of the flying turtle dragon, Ton Ton saw that a dark-haired man dressed in a hoodie shakily wandering down the hall. He had bandages over his eyes, and seemed to be nervous of everything he encountered. Ton Ton gave a careful look to his pact partner, and directed Cadolbolg to fly slowly towards the new individual, the younger of the duo speaking up,

"Are you okay, Mister? You don't look so good."
"Um... Are you hurt? Do you need some help?"

Denver: Outside the blast site.
"Did Someone say something?"
Kalastryn | Miia | Elise | Jenny | Batter | Ghost | G-Corp Grunts


The Batter hadn't truly understood why the man had began talking to him. He didn't recognize him and they apparently weren't enemies. The man was of no consequence and he simply resumed his journey towards the weakened impurity. The Batter wasn't worried, the man may have had a gun, but that had never stopped him in the past. He couldn't quite make out the groups argument but he did recognize a certain snake... Girl... Thing? What had she called herself?

"Lamia." The Batter commented as he stopped and stared for a second seemingly lost in thought. Before he could move on, the girl had slithered up to him and happily greeted him. "I've been pla-" The Batter was cut off as the girl began asking more questions before she finally settled on.

"And why are you STILL dressed up as a baseball player?!!"

He tilted his head to the side with the same stoic expression as ever as he thought for a moment. He finally opened his mouth to reply. "These are my clothes." He couldn't exactly tell her he was hiding his true form and if he ever reverted back he'd rip her apart limb from limb. He sat there for a few moments before continuing. "Why are you here? I thought you held disdain for death?"



Avatar Adventures | Undisclosed Location | Secure Cell Block: Designation A-Class
...Well, this sucks...
Bison| Caim | David | Mio |Teri | Shadow/Agent

"Shit, shit, shit, gotta act cool." Agent thought when David had approached him. If there was anyone who would be able to see through Agent's acting, it would be David. He knew the Russian the best and although he may act dumb as a rock at times he was indeed more intelligent than he appeared.

"Ah, comrade!" Shadow greeted as he stood up. "I was with Elise when I saw the explosives incoming. I saw many of you carted off and followed." He said through his Russian butchering of the English language. "I follow them to this compound but when I try to free you all they catch me. They will regret letting me live."

Agent mentally scolded himself for the slip up but hopefully it would go unnoticed. "We must hurry comrade. They have taken Taytum. We must end them quickly. I suggest something with explosives!" Of course they didn't have explosives, but hopefully the idea would distract David from his mistake.


Avatar Adventures | The Rising Dawn | Confusing Halls
Simon | Ton Ton | Cadolbolg



The pounding in Simon's head had never ceased. "No no, that's not right." Simon muttered to himself as he tried to keep it together. Something about this place seemed off. He didn't feel like eyes everywhere were watching him and that death was around every corner. On the contrary he felt relatively safe at the moment. Though the confusing turns and twists of these halls lead him in circles more than once. "I've been here before haven't I?" He muttered to himself as he rounded a corner.

It was still another five minutes of mindlessly wandering before he ran into something... Different. "What the hell?" He questioned as he felt a few beads of sweat roll down his forehead. Two new monsters stood before him but they didn't attack. They were strange and almost cuddly looking creatures. No, he wouldn't let his guard down. He would never let his guard down and relax again. He felt his hands grasp his 9MM glock in its holster. "That's not right. None of this feels real." He muttered to himself as he felt his heartbeat increase and his breathes become shorter.

"Are you okay, Mister? You don't look so good."

Was he good? He hadn't been even "OK" in a long time. Good was a stretch as he narrowed his eyes at the duo under his bandages. He let out a chuckle for a moment before muttering. "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." Where had that come from? Simon was pretty sure he hadn't heard it before. "Don't think just act, it'll save you at least once I promise." He muttered under his breath.

"Um... Are you hurt? Do you need some help?"

Simon then raised his pistol as he chuckled, then he laughed, and he kept laughing. He laughed so hard he began crying. He saw a rose fall in front of him before he pulled the trigger on his weapon.

What? That didn't happen?

Simon came to as he realized his weapon was still holstered. "Please leave me alone." He barely whispered.

The Rising Dawn Adventures

Avatar Adventures | The Airship: Rising Dawn | Hangar
Angelus | Kazuya Mishima | Diana | Annie | Ryan | Four new arrivals


Angelus turned to Annie first, a slow rumbling chuckle echoing from her gut, "Of all things, Annie, you only remember me from the battle with Bison? I suppose you are more acquainted with my mortal form, as it was the guise I took during our romp through Philemon's realm. You might recall a woman in red with long, blonde hair? Carried a short sword? No matter... Regarding your lack of a ride, myself and Caim split apart to help whom we could when the battle began to turn ill. I acted as a ferry for those who were close by, including some of the wounded. I'm sorry that we weren't able to help you, but know it was not of any malice on our parts. We simply did what we could. As for why my fool of human is not with me...."

Annie remained silent, listening to what Angelus had to say. The Titan Shifter did in fact, recognize her human form too ... but that also may of reminded the dragon about the time Annie nearly killed both her and her partner during their first day together. So to avoid such an awkward moment, the blonde girl didn't say a word, but her eyes did watch over the passed out Ryan as the medical staff started removing his 'cosplay' to give the Author some more air (after all, that mask is super hard to breathe through. You do not want to have that on while passed out).

She did notice four new faces coming in, ones that Annie did not recognize at all.
Four new faces, all of them women ... if Ryan was awake, he'd probably converge them into his harem cult. Annie joked, having a small smile that was masked by her bored expression. They don't look that special apart from the youngest duo having sharp-edged ears ... wonder what that's about. Though, the one with brown hair ... was she with us doing the Persona crises? After all, she did seem familiar ... so much so, she had a good feeling about Devon and she didn't recall as to why (then again Devon was the only nice person to Annie apart from Teri after Rugal had tortured her). The Titan Shifter asked herself, before one of the medical members came up to Annie with information. This was happening while Angelus was addressing the everyone around, including a jab at Kazuya for his reckless actions in the past.

"Are you this boy's guardian? Supervisor? .. Sister?"

"Just someone he knows. Is he going to be okay?" She asked in a rather petulant manner, making the medic rather nervous for some apparent reason. She looked past him towards the unconscious Author as some of the medics began taking equipment out, such as a nasal mask and strapping it to Ryan's face so he can breathe far more easily. Another medic was lifting his head so the airway in his nostrils could get more room for the breathing procedure. "Uh, well ... sorry. It's my job to ask people about their relations since, privacy is a huge issue with patients around here. Anyways, the good news is your friend will be alright. However, he is going through an syncope .. it's temporary so the body doesn't end up having a heart attack from exhaustion. Shouldn't be life threatening, but we're going to take precaution in case it leads into something more serious."

"We'll take him off your hands and transport him into the Medical Bay-"

"No."

The licensed medical officer froze, unable to even understand what the meaning of this was. "Wait, what? ... But, miss ... we-"

"The Rising Dawn has proven to be untrustworthy ... and I know anything goes here. Even your top officials have episodes and sociopath-like behavior. I'm not leaving him in a location he is likely to come across such people."

Seemed like the man was going to protest, but Annie's death stare was starting to make his skin crawl. Sure this guy was 6.2 feet tall and could easily push aside a girl of Annie's height, but that's the thing ... he figured Annie wasn't your average girl. Anyone who isn't in a G-Corps outfit or isn't wearing their uniform to follow the dress code is likely a Rising Dawn member, and every member were extraordinary. That and well, he knew they could kill him and no one would really bat an eye.

"Okay, okay. He's all yours, but at least let us wrap up in preventing any complications. Better safe then sorry right?" Once they finished with their steps in making sure Ryan wouldn't die, they left the scene with the man still lying on the floor ... his robe open, his chest & stomach exposed. Luckily they didn't bother with his pants, yet his mask was off too. Annie sighed and rather than say, staying with Angelus, introducing herself with the four new members, or even delivering Ryan to the Medical Bay like any responsible person would- she lifted his body like one would with their newly wed and carried em off to a hotel room or in this case, Ryan's room on the Rising Dawn.

"They didn't even bother wiping the blood off your face ... tch .." She growled in annoyance, seeing how Ryan's one eye still had a trace of blood that trailed down even though it was dried up at this point. Eventually they did make it outside his room, leading Annie to dig through the Author's pocket to grab his key. She did stop for a brief moment, clenching a long oval shaped object that made Annie blush. Ryan, if this is what I think it is ... but as she yanked her hand out, it turned out the object was his cellphone. She sighed, feeling embarrassed for mistaking it as his dick.

Opening the door, she brushed through with Ryan in his arms and laid him onto the bed, while chucking his cellphone onto the pillow he was resting on. "Alright, have your rest. But when you wake up, we're going to talk. I don't even care if you can't hear me right now, i'm not going to easily forgive you in continuously slipping up in that fight." It was true, how several times in the fight between Ryan, Annie, and the FULGORE did the Author not pay attention, causing the FULGORE to lay out some damage onto the Female Titan. One mistake, fine ... but several? Annie wasn't going to let Ryan get a free-bee. However, she felt rather tired herself especially after that long fight the Rising Dawn had with Bison, the RAYs, and the FULGORE in one setting. So she did lay next to him, not minding the fact it could of gave Ryan the wrong messages when he awoke ... if he wakes up before she does.

Annie was close to him, resting the back of her head against the pillow- until she slowly opened her eyes to have a thought.
"If i'm no longer his thrall ...then why do I ..." Sighing, she turned to face the Author despite he was clearly out of it ... like, you could be jumping on the bed and max the volume on your TV / IPhone and he wouldn't be disturbed. Blinking a few times, she glanced around the room several times as if to catch that one person watching- before scooting a little closer to the guy and wrapping her arms around him. If that wasn't something you don't see everyday, she brushed her head under his arm while pressing her face against his chest. "..."

image

She rested easy now, trying to get some sleep while hugging onto her 'teddy bear' who so happened to have no feeling in his body, or could even dream because he was that deep in slumber. "If any of the four girls do end up tagging along like Miia for example ... we're going to have problems. Stop making people think you run a Harem ..." She scolded him while trying to sleep, despite the fact he heard none of it or anything she said beforehand.

Diablo1099:
Dis Dude wrote some shit
No seriously, he wrote quite a bit


Avatar Adventures | The Airship: Rising Dawn | Canteen Storage
Rugal Bernstein | Lucas "Luke" Cypress

"...Got it out of your system?"
"...Not really, but I don't want to break the other arm."

Luke rolled his eyes and moved away from the crates he was leaning against, bringing his hands to the arm in question before muttering, "Don't move."
With a small glow from his hands, Rugal heard another sickening sounding crunch as his arm bones put themselves back in their proper places before his arm was good as new. The giant German flexed his hand gingerly and did a couple of practice swips in the air to test it's efficiency, and once he was satisfied, he murdered, "Guess you aren't entirely useless..."

Ugh, this routine again, as if he wasn't suffering enough. Luke leaned back against another crate and waved a hand dismissively, "No more than you with a crippled arm. If paper work has to ask why, I can simply say you're within my frame of interests. It's not a complete lie, anyway."

Rugal, on the other hand, look distinctly unamused at Luke's faux nonchalance, and turned to leave, "Right, right...Now, if there is nothing else, I need to save your lover..."

Luke flinched at the unsaid barbs in Rugal's words. Funny, usually little passive aggressive things like that didn't hurt. Was he always this spiteful? The bartender couldn't quite recall, but he felt his anger begin to swell up again. After dealing with a multitude of stressors today, and his initial little outburst, everything seem to touch raw nerves. With a growl, he pushed himself off of the barrels and shouted back, "You are NOT doing this to me. I know this routine, I've done it! You're trying to guilt trip me, so I'll step outside of my bonds. Given what happened last I did that, you should be thanking me for being a bit more rational about things. I get it already, you can go, but I can't. You don't need to-"

Lucifer paused, and mulled the words over in mouth again, "You can go, but I cant...", and again, the phrase repeating in a manner almost akin to how one tastes wine. Something about that phrase suddenly made sense.

Rugal paused at this little display, turning back with an annoyed expression on his face, "...Are you done? Because like you said, I can go and dammed if I'm leaving her in the hands of that right-wing bast-"

And that's when inspiration struck, why everything suddenly seemed clear as a bell. The Devil rushed forward and grabbed Bernstein's shoulders and shook the German man, a manic grin on his face, "No, you don't understand! YOU can go! It's brilliant!"
"...Is this a delayed reaction to my strike?"
"No, nononono. Not that. I have an idea. When are you doing your raid on Armstrong? I already know several members of your crew need to lick their wounds and recover."
"As soon as possible."
"Okay, here me out. I can propose a small contract...That is, I occasionally cut what I like to call "favor-based" deals. You'll probably lose a little bit of the brownie points you've earned with do-gooding for it, but I don't get your soul. Instead, it works like this. I help you, in what ways I can, and you owe me some favors. I'll use a trigger phrase when I want you to do one, and you have to do what I ask of you, no questions asked - barring the details of your assignments."

Silence overtook the room as the proposal slowly sunk in, before Rugal's eyes lit up, his face breaking into a huge smile, "...A deal with the devil, Of course!..."
"THERE WE GO, HE GETS IT!"

Releasing Rugal from his hold, Lucifer began to pace around the room excitedly as he began mulling over the details of a proper contract. In the meantime, Rugal took a moment to calm himself as well, the relief that Lucifer could help (even if it was a technicality and only for a little bit,) finally sinking in. With a sigh, Rugal's hands rose to rub his face as all the anger from moments ago began to fade....only to be left with the sinking feeling of regret in it's stead. The other man had certainly worried too, and if his actions a moment ago were anything to go by, really did mean he felt just like Rugal did. In an attempt to make amends, Rugal spoke up again, "...Look-...about what I said, it's been a stressful day, I've had missiles fired at me-"

Lucifer simply shrugged at the apology, "Tell me about it. I've had no less than two demigods appear on this plane who know damn who I am, our mutual interest was kidnapped despite my protests for her leaving, and a woman tried to wrangle me about my sex life. We've all had a bad day."

"...Our canteen is really that popular with demigods?..." Rugal shook his head to perish the thought, getting back to the business at hand, "Nevermind, so, what can you give me?"

Lucifer stood up straight at the question, his visage taking a more serious expression, almost akin to a general planning his next strike, "Alright, how this'll work is that I'll put a brand on your body, where it goes is your decision, but it stays there until the contract is fulfilled, so make it an easy place to hide. Bottom of foot, scalp, or your rear end - if you're not expecting sex any time soon - are pretty decent."

Rugal blinked, appearing somewhat perplexed at the mention of sex (one could suppose it was on account of WHO was mentioning it and what relation they were to Rugal, but regardless), before quietly pointing to his head, "..What about the back of my head? Under my hair?"

"That was one of the places I mentioned... Don't give me that look! I'm a professional and I'm being fair listing the terms and conditions before you sign. Besides, aren't you married?"
"Alright, alright. So where do I sign?"
"Hold on, I'm not done. Alright, so under your hair. So, once the contract is started, the brand will be the medium from which I can help you. I can siphon you a small percentage of my power; and by percentage - we're going to start fractionally. I could accidentally make your explode or mutate if I'm not careful... But, if you really need more, which I'm doubting, you can ask me. Which, by the way, is the second function of the brand - communications. Think of it as your rings, but it's directly to me."

"Right..."

"Now that all of the exposition is out of the way," The Devil snapped his fingers and a piece of parchment and a nibbed pen appeared, "Look that over before signing."

Rugal gave the contract a careful glance over, before cutting his finger, dipping the pen in, and signing the contract with a careful and timid stroke of the pen.

"There we go. Yes, I know it looks intimidating, but it covers my rear whenever the auditors show up. I have a contract, we agreed to it, you get your favor. Now -" the bartender's form shifted, shimmering in a manner akin to a mirage in the midst of a desert, before he appeared at his "proper" height - matching Rugal's 6'6". Placing a hand on the King of Fighter's head, he continued, "- this might feel a little funny."
"Go on, I've dealt with some pretty ba-"

It was not often that Rugal Bernstein would mistrust his own senses. Having the daylights knocked out of him? Standard issue for a fight, maybe even on account of a concussion; but never could he say that he ever forgot something. He could always look back upon each and every one of his fights and remember a lesson - how a knife flew before it entered his flesh, how a punch felt to hit the solar plexus - these were the building blocks of how Rugal learned to fight, how he declared himself the KING of Fighters. This however, would prove to be an exception to that rule. When he attempted to look back upon it, the memory would always have a small gap in between - one moment a hand was placed on his scalp, and the next: he was screaming, writhing on the floor from a wound he could not recall, a pain he could not properly file away under "stab", "punch", or "burn". It simply was. Yet, as soon as it had appeared, it was gone; faded like the last remnants of smoke over a dying ember. Silence, save for the sound of harsh breaths, filled the room, leaving the atmosphere dour and strained. Finally, after a few more deep breaths, Rugal was able to look up, his eyes wide, face slack, before gasping out, ".....WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!"

Lucifer on the other hand, would have kept his expression sagely and blank in moments like these, but instead elected to bend down to the prostrate fighter's level, his voice speaking in a somber and careful tone, "Power, Mister Bernstein, it's a fickle thing. The more powerful you become, the more you become bound; be it through rules and regulations, or higher forces demanding that you cannot act as you wish. Even if every fiber of my being wanted to be elsewhere, doing something, anything - I cannot; and now you have seen firsthand as to why. If creatures like me, or those higher than me step in whenever we please - this world wouldn't last. 'Even the Gods are bound by rules'. It's what gives your kind a chance."
"..."

Ah, so many rules bent already. Were it not for Bernstein's previous knowledge of his role in this world, Lucifer would have been less kind about this ordeal. Contracts were never pleasant businesses, and humans never took well to the "There are things much bigger and stronger than you" spiel, no matter how delicately one tried to explain it. Still, no point in being a complete downer - there were things to be done, now that an extra oomph was given to do them. But first things first, try to pick up the prideful's mood, if only a little. Allowing his expression to turn ever so slightly at the corners, Lucifer continued past Bernstein's silence, "You know, humans are really lucky in that regard - they can shape themselves however they see fit - so long as they see the ability to do so. So, chin up. It could always be worse. It could always be better too, but thinking about it that way tends to make one miserable. For example, one soul thought it'd be a good idea to get the Brand on his penis."
..."He who hath Increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow."
"Ecclesiastes 1:18? Hey now, incidentally appropriate quotation of Bible Verse is my thing. I'm supposed to use that to tempt you or misconstrue your understanding of morality or whatever. Come on, up and at em."
After a few moments of Rugal getting up and stumbling like a newborn fawn, he ran a hand through his hair and murmured, "So it is done then?"
Yup. No one will be able to see it...unless they shave your head. I wouldn't recommend doing that. You'll start getting my end of the bargain once your mission officially begins." Lucifer tapped his forehead before continuing, "Don't be afraid to keep in touch. Oh, and think of something funny. The endorphins from your laughter will help with any leftover pain, if there is any."

In spite of the Devil's attempt to comfort him, Rugal looked a little faint, leaning against another of the crates as he murmered, "...I-...think I'll just rest a moment.."
"...?"
"As I said, I-...I- just need to...catch my breath..."

"Uh oh... Did I overdo it?" Lucifer gave the former King of Fighters a hard stare, or at least, it appeared that way to Rugal. In reality, the glare was simply a somatic component for the magic equivalent of an instantaneous medical chart. With a quick glance at the "chart", Lucifer dismissed the spell, "Your vitals seem alright.. Mostly."
"...I'll be fine...It's...been a while since I felt something so...'Acute'..."
"If it makes you feel better, it is not terribly often any human would, much less you."
"...Time to make Armstrong feel it..."
"That's the spirit! It's part of the reason you did this damn contract in the first place, right?"

Simply answering Lucifer with a nod, Rugal pushed himself away from the crate and made his way out of the storage room, leaving Lucifer Luke to his devices... Well, since he was in the store room, it would make sense he grab a couple extra bottles for the bar. Now, which ones were running low again...?

Texas Joker 52:
You guys are only being quoted for this part.

Neuromancer:
Apologies for the wall of text above.


Avatar Adventures | The Airship: Rising Dawn | Canteen Bar
Lucas "Luke" Cypress

Now with a box containing several different bottles of liqueur in tow, Luke returned to the bar and handed off the box to his stand-in Imp to stick in the appropriate places. Turning back to his potential patrons, the Bartender gave a (well practiced) apologetic smile and spoke up, "Sorry about that, folks. I had to take care of a little restocking."

The Rising Dawn: Lower Levels: The Armoury
Icarus.

With Plan A Failing Icarus had an alternate Plan The last time he had attempted top use an old Password but sure the Dawn had some sort of Armory.
"Dmitiri?- Mister Computer, Guy? Are you there? I Umm I want to talk to you." He looked around The lower level was eerily silent Due to Him being the only one down here.Neither the Engineering Bay or the Armory (which was shut and magnetically sealed) Made great social areas and the heat of the engine room, oddly deterred most people. Icarus wasn't fond of the heat himself, he much preferred the cooler environments.
He pulled out his Digital Handheld and browsed the files he eventually found what he was looking for a schematic for an automated Production line. The design was one His Father had designed for the purpose of outfitting a massive army.
"Umm Dmitri Are you active at this Time It's Urgent I talk to you I may have a way of helping the lost crew members, This ship has to have a military functions still intact, but I don't know how to turn it on." Icarus Sighed, His father had told him back in the Day The Dawn had everything, including the capability to function as a mobile base and a massive flying warship. even if this ship had gone though major changes there was absolutely no way any Leader would remove such a valuable assets as the ability to function as a military base, With on board weaponry, a generous munition and weapons cache thick, armor plating and possibly a Command center-that enabled communication without delay, though that last function may not have been installed...

The Rising Dawn:Canteen, Bar
Selena

Now That Icarus had been taken Care of, Selena was less stressed and the Medical crew seemed to have things handled. as a result Selena Decoded to head to the Canteen and get something to eat and a drink. The imps didn't Take long to pour her some wine and bring her a Salad. Sipping a Dark red wine Selena had her hat off, reduced to a charm on her bracelet. Her long purple hair was down wearing a new royal blue dress, It had a somewhat low neckline and if ANYONE dared ruin this dress there would be hell to pay. Picking up a fork, she daintily picked at her Salad. Holding the wine glass in her off hand, She sipped slowly it was a lil too quiet for her own taste. Taking a moment to draw her wand she cantripped a ghostly Jazz band to appear in the corner playing Soft Music.

The Rising Dawn: hangar
Slindis, Melethia, Devon, Alashi, Angelus

Although the group of four all seemed alarmed at the capture of the others, Slindis was the first to break the ice there as she set her hand on Angelus's flank. "Angelus, Kazuya, if you could explain exactly what's going on that would be fantastic. We've been out of the loop for a couple of years while we were out and about." She didn't seem to be standing down any either, although Melethia quickly ran to her regular area in the Armory.

Devon and Alashi weren't exactly happy with the turn of events either, and the taller blonde groaned while she put a hand on her partner's shoulder. "I'm headed to find the old man, so I'll... Wait, Devon, do you smell that?"

Said bard rubbed her chin, her face furrowing into a sharp frown as she hardly notices Annie zipping past her. "Yeah, I know that smell. I'm finding out exactly where that stench is coming from, and worst comes to worst I'll call you. Maybe after that I can make some sushi for us tonight." She then lightly laughs to try and break thesour mood, but the attempt is wasted and before long the two split off.

The Rising Dawn: Lower Levels: The Armoury
Icarus, Melethia.

As Icarus started to get to work on his plans to build an armory he could see a rather young elf pulling out a small wand while she started to work with some rather exotic looking materials and what could be only described as the raw elements of nature in a long-untouched corner of the armory that had been absolutely riddled in rather vicious traps from ceiling to floor. "What in Khyber are you doing in my armory, boy? Get out of here before you hurt yourself, I am not in the mood to be cleaning up the remnants of your body."

The girl was a lot more surly than one her age really should be, and as she continued to grumble to herself this was a rather deep iciness to her mood that was hard to find even on the rising Dawn. A look at her work would show that she was highly skilled at her smithing, and the fact that she'd managed to bypass the myriad layers of traps without a scratch was definitely worth a notice as she started to refine the shape of the new throwing dagger. "Are you going to keep staring, or are you going to head to the training room and stay out of my way?"

The Rising Dawn:Canteen, Bar
Selena, Luke, Alashi

The fiery blonde woman entered the room, folding her wings behind her as she sat near the purple haired woman. She passed the Bartender a note on a bar napkin with the words See me later. written on it. Shortly after, she then ordered a glass of vodka as she turned to introduce herself to the brooding woman. "So, what brings you here? I know the drinks aren't the best, but it's hard to beat this place for unwinding. Name's Alashi, by the way."

Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | Surgical Ward Observation Room
Divination and Doom
Ruby Babbage Lovelace | Doom | Rhodes Selmy

Down the corridor to the end
Through the room where bodies are on the mend.
Be wary of the of the unwrapped sight
and head to the door on the furthest right.
Through the door marked "Observation Room"
There shall you find Dolores Selmy and doom.

For anyone who knew Ruby Babbage-Lovelace, they were more than likely familiar with her obsession regarding the color pink. The ribbons that tied up here hair were pink. The ribbon that she had wrapped around her arm was pink. The dress that she wore on a nearly daily basis was pink. So it might have been regarded as strange that the girl was clutching a small blue baby blanket that had seen better days. The pair of black flecked golden eyes stared intently at the fraying cotton as if the secrets of the universe were hidden in the object's stitching, which in a way they were.

Having already checked the main wing of the Medical Bay, Ruby had been perplexed to discover that neither Dolores/Lolita, Laeta or Saren were inside, leading the young girl in the pink dress to locate the trio of sisters using alternative measures. This had lead to her current location, standing in front of a door that read "Surgical Recovery Unit" and wondering if it had been a good idea to leave the Canteen in the first place. Having reread the augury produced by untangled skein, she was definitely sure that this was not a good idea but what other option did she have after having been chased out of the Rising Dawn's main facility for socialization.

Looking up from the tattered blue baby blanket, young Ruby Babbage-Lovelace looked at the open door that loomed before her, the familiar smells of antibacterial and antiseptic chemicals so characteristic of medical settings mingled through an unfamiliar scent of something metallic substance wafted through the open portal, pushing the girl back. To further add to the nine-year-old's dilemma, the unpleasant smells were accompanied by low, pain-filled moans. Despite the prediction's assurance that Ruby would make it through the Surgical Recovery Ward without issue, it did little to ease the fears that threatened to burst out of her chest. Taking a deep breath, the black and white haired girl stepped through the door and into the domain of Captain

Georgie Nayadokovov.

"(Blood blood everywhere and not a drop of blood to spare)" Ruby's mind chimed as her eyes scanned the darkened Surgical Recovery Ward. A constellation of dimly lit LEDs cut through the darkness of the room, each one a machine that was either monitoring a patient or pumping medication and blood into their veins. Even with the multitude of light sources, they were barely emitting enough light for the cautious young girl to see five feet in front of her, far enough away for her to realize that she wasn't the only one in the room. Out of the ten beds in the unit, nine had been filled with the patients of the Cold Handed Stitcher.

A soft and feminine moan caught Ruby's attention. Turning to her right, the child caught sight of a woman who head had been wrapped in a once ghostly white bandage which had become stained dark red. Looking at the patient in bed #1, the nine-year-old girl was selfishly relieved that it was not Dolly since even a girl with limited knowledge of human anatomy could tell that there was something wrong with the misshapen head hidden under mountains of gauze.

"Corporal Lacy Ironage" The young black flecked, golden eyed girl read quietly before looking back up at the bed ridden corporal. Having sensed the wounded soldier's near return to consciousness, the machine next to the soldier beeped as it pumped a combination of painkillers and sedatives into Corporal Ironage's body and pumped something called Neuron Cream through a tube that was been snaked under the gauze. Despite her initial shock at the woman's state, there was an intense sense of curiosity that had overcome the pink dressed girl and forced her to creep forward towards the head of the wounded Corporal's bed. Closing in on her objective, the child wondered what the purpose of Neuron Cream was. Was it to enhance the flow of neuro-impulses in her brain? Was it to help heal some sort of traumatic head wound? Oh how she was going to wish that she'd just moved on to the observation room...

Ruby Babbage-Lovelace stretched out her right hand, infusing the ailing woman's bandages with a small amount of magical energies. Under the child magician's control, the bandage began to unravel and reveal what lay underneath. Biting her lips, the horrified little girl stifled a terror filled shriek that had been caused by an unfettered view of the interior of the corporal's skull. The left upper quarter of the Corporal's skull was ... missing... gone... and all that was left was an open window to her brain... which didn't look like it was doing so well. The clear tubes that had been snaked from the machine to the woman's head oozed a clear gelatinous substance. The Neuron Cream pooled into the large hole in the woman's grey matter, a hole that had the appearance of having been caused by a melon baller or a high speed fragment of shrapnel. This... this was the cost of war?

"(I'm not supposed to see that... I'm not supposed to see that... I'm not supposed to see that...)" Came the rapid fire thoughts as the emotionally scarred little child backed away from the woman's bed, tears thankfully obscuring the girl's vision. On the verge of fainting, Ruby never noticed the person that had crept up on her until they placed their icy cold hands on her shoulders and wheeled her around, obscuring her view of the Corporal.

"Easy there, kiddo. Just breathe." A calming voice said from ... not directly in front of her. Wiping the salty tears from her black flecked golden eyes, the traumatized nine year old looked up, expecting to see someone's face, anyone's face. What Ruby had not been expecting was to see a pair of mechanical arms floating in the air, devoid of anything between the shoulders. Unconsciously, the panicked little girl struggled against the phantasm's grip.

"I said easy there, kiddo. Just look past those tin can arms and you'll see me." A man's voice said in a slightly louder and firm voice, drawing the Ruby's eyes to its source, "And remember... breeeeeathe."

Reluctantly, Ruby followed the man's advice and took a deep and calming breath, pulling the chemically treated air in through her nose and holding it in her lungs for a moment before letting it out. Breathe in... breathe out... inhale... exhale. Feeling her body relax, the child magician looked past the arms as the voice had suggested and saw the man that had spoken to her, or rather what was left of him since he appeared to be missing his arms. Taking a closer look at the blonde soldier laying in the medical bed, she noted that where his arms had once been were instead thick bundles of cable that dropped down to the floor before snaking their to the arms that held the girl in place. For someone who'd been told that he'd had his arms amputated a couple hours ago, the easy smile that he wore on his face seemed out of place.

"There. See? That's better, isn't it?" Sargent William Sorenson asked, continuing to comfort the formerly panicked young girl who'd wandered into the Surgical Recovery Ward of all places. As the black and white haired girl continued to look at the wounded soldier, she noted that someone had scrawled a big black X in permanent marker on the man's forehead.

"Do I have something on my forehead?" Sargent Sorenson asked as he shifted his shoulders as if he was trying to move his hand up to his forehead to point out the little black mark. In front of him, the floating arms started to move and point to something roughly forehead level to where someone's head would have been.

"D'oh!" The grinning Sargent D'oh'd as he once again shift the muscles in his shoulder, causing the arm to face palm a face that was not there. Rolling his eyes, he noticed that he'd made her smile a bit, a vast improvement over the pee her pants expression that she'd been wearing after meeting Corporal Lacy Ironage, "I'm still getting used to this... situation. Can't say that I wouldn't be freaked out if I were you..."

"Wh... what happened?" Ruby asked, having found her voice once again, before flashing an embarrassed look of her own. The question was rather impolite and personal to be asking someone she'd just met.

"Oh the usual... the sky fell on me...," Pausing when he noticed the look of disbelief on his young visitor's vace, "No... seriously. The sky fell on me... At least, that's what it sounded like." The Sargent repeated his childproofed answer. Another to glance at his audience and notice that rather serious expression from Ruby, "Well fine. Since you're not going to buy that explanation, I was down in Denver helping those Big Wig Heroes of ours... when all of a sudden I find myself flying through the air with the greatest of ease. It literally felt like someone turned the world upside down and I'm falling... upwards towards the sky but it still feels like falling. I black out and the next thing I know... tada... I'm laying here in this bed. Thankfully, that Captain Georgie's a pretty good surgeon... I mean, he's no cleric... buuut I think he did just fine."

The pink dressed little nine-year-old glared at the Sargent in a manner that suggested that he'd just grown an extra arm out of his forehead. He'd lost both his arms and yet he seemed rather overjoyed for a man who would be using a pair of mechanical approximations of arms for the rest of his life. He'd be looked at as a freak... or worse someone to be pitied... like the way the nine-year-old girl was looking at him at that very moment.

"Oh no. Don't you give me that look, kiddo. I know that look and you can save it for someone else, like the Corporal over there... well... scratch that... I don't think she'd be the type of person that would enjoy that either. The way I see it, kiddo, I lost my arms doing something that I think is important. The way I think the Corporal sees it... she was doing something important too and if you wanna give me those puppy dog eyes that say 'my life sucks,' well... don't." The Sargent said amiably as he settled back into his bed, the cybernetic arms relaxing as he did.

The child named Ruby Babbage-Lovelace flinched at both the lecture she'd received and at the man's unwavering faith that everything would turn out okay. Wringing her hands, the tiny fortune teller felt the comforting sensation of cotton still in her hands. Glancing at the blue fabric, the girl pulled a single thread and concentrated.

Hear of the coming decades that are to come
For the smiling Sargent William Sorenson.
He'll never let his wounds slow him down
Nor allow that himself a slight frown
Having lived a life filled with such grace
He dies with only one regret that love did lace.

"S...sorry." Ruby whispered as she looked back to the soldier that had fallen asleep. Pausing for the briefest of moments, the black and white haired girl glanced at the various doors, unsure of where to go next.

"The observation room," Sargent Wilson said, not opening his eyes, "If you're looking for the loot (Lieutenant), she's probably with the Captain now... and before you ask how I knew, there were a couple of girls that looked like the Lieutenant walking through here. I figured you were with them."

The girl giggled softly at the wounded Sargent who had lost his arms but not his smile. Ruby could see the reason why Sargent William Sorenson would be back on his feet in no time. Wordlessly, Ruby slipped out of the Surgical Recovery suite and entered the Observation room where she was promptly ambushed by a pair of arms she'd not felt in some time.

"My, my. If it isn't the little anisa[1] herself," Miss Rhodes Selmy cooed. "Is this ship truly the place for a young girl to be?"

The ribbon wrapped girl in pink would have answered were it not for the noises that were being filtered in from the surgical suite on the other side of the viewing window.

"A little deeper, c'mon... a little more... AH! AHHH! AHH THAT'S IT!" Laeta's voice screamed in an enthusiastically disturbing manner before it was cut off by a noise cancellation device. The only comparison that the nine-year-old child had in comparison was the squeal of intense joy ... which did not match the bloody and gory scene on the other side of the window.

"Little Ruby," Miss Rhodes Selmy said, her eyes had taken a less severe tone and a smile graced her red lips. "Why are you here? Where is your mama and your papa?"

Again, Ruby was interrupted by the sounds of the surgical ward as the Doctor activated the intercom to inform them that the surgery would be over soon, Laeta's enthusiasm could be heard in the background.

"Gaze upon this tragedy anisa, this is what happens to those in war. Do not become used to this sight though you will see it many more times." Rhodes kissed Ruby on the forehead,

"One day, anisa, you will grow up to be a strong and beautiful lady like Lolita, so remember to spread compassion wherever you go. Remember that all people are the daughters of Allah, so even in death they must be treated with respect. War should be clean and decisive, as Allah has pre-ordained or else war should not be fought."

Wrapped up in Miss Selmy's arms, the child could only nod while her young mind attempted to decypher the meaning of the wisdom that the woman who held her had imparted upon her. The rapturous nature of the woman's words intermingled with those of Sargent Wilson.

"(Remember but don't pity those who suffer in war. Treat everyone with respect and compassion for all are equals in the eyes of the Gods.)" The thought came to Ruby Babbage-Lovelace as she gazed through the window, her eyes unwavering as they settled on the body of Dolly, "(Dolly was doing what she wanted though... wasn't she? Is it still a tragedy? Does that mean that if I'm going to be like Dolly, that I should try to keep everyone from getting hurt?"

The thought was... unsettling. Was Ruby going to turn out the same way as Dolores Selmy, spread out on a table with her insides exposed to the world? Was there going to be someone like Laeta there for Ruby? Did she even want that? As the cradled child opened her mouth to speak, she was once again interrupted, this time by the entrance of someone new.

"Does the Rising Dawn allow all of it's prisoners to wander so freely?" Miss Rhodes Selmy asked, a scowl clearly audible in her voice. Squirming in her "captor's" arms, the pink dressed girl caught a glimpse of the person who had invaded the obervation room.

"D-d-d-d-d-d-doom d-d-doesn't-...H-h-h-he was brought-...uhhhhhhhh!....ohsweetmercifulcurlymustashes..." The masked man stammered... did he say that his name was doom? The girl laughed a laugh that was more than likely out of place given the situation but she had no other way of expressing her understanding of what the prediction meant when is said that Ruby would find Dolly and doom in the observation room. "...uhhh...Ma'am-...Boss-...Lady-...Guy? (Rhodes)....your fly is open...Uh, Doom meant down-...Ahhh, No, no...Open...Or-.....D'ooooh!" >.<;

There was a slight lull in the conversation that was more than filled by the sudden odor of ammonia.

*SLAP!*

"WAAAAAAAH!!?!" The simpleton cried in response to a someone beating on the man, an action that was clearly counter to what Miss Rhodes had said not 30 seconds earlier.

"Gah, filthy damn hobo! The hell is the matter with you? Relieving yourself in front of women like that?! Get your ass back to your bed before you have another reason to need patching up!" The guard stated as he roughly pulled Mister Doom off of the floor, "Sorry about that, git pretended to be sick to that healer chick. But if he's healthy enough to piss himself, I think he can go back to his cell. Carry on!"

"I want to speak to this prisoner," Miss Rhodes saidas one of her guards, her Angels, led the G-Corp soldier out of the observation room. "As simple as he may be, a prisoner must be treated with respect. They may have lost, but that does not make them less human."

"Is that what a man should say to a beautiful woman? If I'm comfortable flaunting what I have, try not to aggravate me, because I am more than comfortable humiliating you with or without my clothing." She scowled, "I am Major Rhodes Selmy, you may call me Mustafia if you feel brave. I have questions for you. If you know them, you will answer. You are of the same people that have hurt my daughter, yes? Then tell me who they are, what they are trying to do, and where they are."

As Mister Doom considered how best to answer the question, Ruby wondered if it was her turn to speak. As adults often do, it seemed that those in the observation room had forgotten the existence of Ruby Babbage-Lovelace. After waiting a few heartbeats, the girl with the blue blanket once again pulled a thread from the tattered fabric in her hands.

There once was a fool with a mask
Who was given an impossible task.
He moaned and he groaned
about the fact he'd been disowned
By the very people about whom he'd been asked.

Glaring at the prediction, the child being craddled by Rhodes Selmy could make no sense of what she'd read. Was he going to tell them the truth? Was he going to be make the impossible choice of whether or not to betray his friends? Was the question Miss Rhodes asked him impossible to answer because he'd been a captive aboard the Rising Dawn for too long? Did he...

For the fourth time since Miss Rhodes had entered the observation room to check on her daughter, the door slid open. Looking down past her dangling feet, the nine-year-old girl could only make out a black pair of boots with crimson laces past the hanging hem of her skit. Pushing the skirt up between her legs, Ruby waved at the newcomer.

"Hi Miss Rory!" Ruby cheerfully greeted Emloy's Apostle.

Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | Medical Bay
Observation Room Rendezvous
Rory Mercury | Naamah

Listening to Naamah's story, the Youthful Looking Demi-Goddess could not help but feel a tinge of envy. As she'd accepted a life in the service of Emloy at a young age, she'd never had the opportunity to have a child or a family. While she'd never regretted her decision, she could not help but connect the loss of her family when she was merely thirteen year old with her desire to become her world's Goddess of Love. Having been unable to truly connect with anyone for most of her long life, it was fitting that Rory Mercury wanted to connect with everyone after her ascension.

Naamah's small frame was breathing more steadily now after she'd fallen asleep. Yawning ever so slightly, the Raven Haired Oracle was content to settle down for a brief nap. Between a desire to keep an eye on her companion and a need for the Winter Wolf to finish his own rest, Rory was fine with waiting for taking a brief moment for herself while those aboard the Airship planned their rescue mission. As she closed her eyes, the scarlet lipped loli heard a peculiar set of foot steps echoing past the doorway to the Medical Bay, peculiar in that they suggested that either the person walking was extremely short or they were a child. Opening her crimson eyes, Emloy's Disciple caught a flash of pink fabric... which was also a peculiar sight considering it was absent one overly large and overly muscled Demi-God named Eddie.

"Why is she by herself?" Rory muttered quietly as she used the haft of her halberd to gently help ease herself off of the ground so as not to wake her slumbering passender. The last time she'd seen Ruby Babbage-Lovelace, the young girl had been placed under Eddie's supervision... which surprised Rory that she was surprised to see Ruby walking by herself. Walking slowly towards the corridor, so as not to wake the still sleeping Naamah, the Halberd wielding Berserker looked to her left and followed the sound of Ruby's footstep.

Unlike Ruby had, Rory made no effort to address the warriors slumbering in the Surgical Recovery Ward. She could tell that they were in state of recovery and that they would not need her services that day. Glancing about the dark room for signs of her quarry, the Demi-Goddess spotted a door sliding shut, revealing a sign that said Observation Room, the very room that Rory had just left.

"She certainly is the popular one aboard this ship," The Former Love Goddess quipped as she pushed on the keypad to open the door and stopped in surprise. There in the middle of the observation room was Ruby, being held by a woman that looked remarkably similar to Lieutenant Dolores Selmy and the Iron Masked prisoner that had been shot by the madman Kazuya. Two sentries stood to either side of the Priestess, who's grip tightened around her Halberd in preparation for a fight.

"Hi Miss Rory!" The Child that Rory Mercury had been tracking said rather loudly, her right hand waving back and forth with an enthusiasm that matched her smile.

"Ruby, why are you here and who are these people with you?" Rory asked as she leaned on her weapon, her body relaxing. Eying the two guards on either side of her, the black haired Priestess saw that they had not made a move to attack her or the her pale young companion.

"Well this is Miss Rhodes, Dolly's mom, and she's here to check on Dolly of course and she was in the middle of asking Mister Doom where the people that did this to Dolly were... hey who's that you're holding?" The nine-year-old child asked before adding, "She looks like she could be your daughter!"

"Unfortunately, she's not," The Dark Haired Demi-Goddess said in a tone that was just a hair shy of snapping, "She's actually much older than I am."

"REALLY?"

"Yes. Now... if you don't mind, I need to talk to Miss Rhodes if you don't mind." Rory Mercury said before turning her attention to the woman who was holding Ruby, "I assume that you are looking for the people who are responsible for the wounds your daughter has suffered, the very same people who have taken a number of this ship's crew members as prisoners? If your plans involve interrogating Doom, I should forewarn you that any information that he provides might be stale. He has been a prisoner aboard this ship for some time now and if our enemy is smart, they will have moved by now."

With that warning out in the open for all to hear, Rory glanced over at Doom, a smile on her face that challenged him to be useful.

[1] Little Lady

Cocoon
Location: Operation Observation Room | Rising Dawn
When I had the strength, I lacked the wisdom to use it. When I finally achieved wisdom, I lacked the strength to benefit from it.

Nameless Child

My name is Dolores. It means to suffer. It's a terrible name for a girl. My father gave me that name, I think. He used to say I would understand when I was older. I am older now. My name is a good excuse I suppose, for all the things that has happened to me. My name is Suffering. My life is pain. My body is broken. Such is the way that I was born, I think. My name is Dolly, it means that I am a plaything. A toy without a will. A body to be abused. My name is Lolita. It means I'm innocent and kind. It means that I am an easy target. It means that I suffer.

My name is Dolores Selmy. As far as I know, it doesn't mean anything. To suffer, to live, to hurt, to be hurt. I don't think I care anymore.

I had a name once, one that I was given before all this. A name that was born out of an infinite blue so deep that it was darker than black. I can't remember it anymore, that name, that purpose. The reason I was born into this world. This idea, this soul, this... abomination created by human eyes has become what I am. I have become this girl, Dolores Selmy. I have become her in her happiness and her hunger. I have become her in her aching heart and the heavy weight of her melancholy. I have become her in both her anger and forgiveness. I have become what others have willed me to become. Dolores Selmy is a kind and hardworking girl. I am a kind and hardworking girl, surrounded by friends and family. Caring hearts and bountiful souls that reach out and touch me gently, encouraging me to continue. They fill me with... you want me to say [Determination] don't you? It's not though. I can't really say what it is.

Let me cue you in on something that I have remembered after teetering at the brink of death. I want you to remember that Dolores Selmy doesn't exist. She is, I am, a construct of the ideas and hopes that you have written upon me. I was once a soul roaming free in the infinite blue - a realm of freedom. Now, bound by your desires and expectations I have become Dolores Selmy.

I had a true name once. A long time ago. Before I became lost in this [Eternal Labyrinth] you call a world. This... dollhouse. Remember me. Please. I am here grasping at my own reality, hoping to stay afloat in this sea built by your [Observing Eyes].

---

Dolores Selmy

I couldn't move my body, but I could open my eyes now. My own heartbeat echoed in my ears, so loud that it seemed to shake my entire body with each beat. Through the window I could see figures... several actually. I could see mom, Ruby, Rory, Naamah. I saw Doom and mom's angels. I could hear Laeta and Saren, though I could not see them. I could feel Captain Nayadokovov's hands working inside me. I knew things that I had no right to know, the names of people I have never met before, the voices of friends I could not remember meeting before. Despite that, I knew them, not in my mind, but in my heart.

"I am not D.E.A.," mom said and she motioned to her Angels. The six of them - six? There were always eight angels in the stories... though I never got to see them in person. I counted them again, six women in white ceramic armor. Where was the thrones? The eudaimone?[1] None of the angels here wore that golden band around their neck. "I am with the United States Air Force. My job is to oversee the construction of the Soul of Tomorrow. I am currently not on duty." Mom paused as he cast a eye toward me. I tried to smile, but I couldn't find the strength to. "I would say that it would be correct if I identified with the Silver Moon Confessors at the moment. We are mujahideen, in your language terrorists, in ours those who struggle."[2]

There she goes again. Always talking about perseverance and endurance. Mom never seems to understand that normal people don't rise from the dead three days after they die like the prophet. Get up, get up, she would always say. Tears shed solve nothing. Put your fury to fire to fuel your progress. Persevere and endure, anisa. Linguam Perpetuam... what little use it was. To be able to know all languages spoken by all humankind, and then more... it ought to have been useful. Yet, though I knew the meaning of the words, the very soul of spoken music eluded me. The warmth of love built within those words spoken mother to daughter and father to son was absent. Words had meaning to me, but they could not convey to me the history, the culture, the very heart of the people that spoke it.

That's why I always envied those without the gift. I always envied those who... struggled.

Love was born out of struggle... closeness out of tragedy... and generosity out of hardship. Suddenly I could feel my chest tighten. I felt... as if I had finally understood something. But I couldn't understand it at all. I just knew, suddenly my heart was exploding.

"We can only enjoy the times that are good because there are times that are bad."

My name is Dolores... but does it mean to suffer?

"Then to you," mom addressed Rory. "What can you tell me about the nature of their organization? You Rising Dawn have been pursuing them for a while, yes?"

Postmodern Mysticism
Location: Canteen | Rising Dawn
Wishes upon wishes.

Tania la Fey

Titania idly rubbed Miki's stomach. Pisa sat nearby playing with her hair. She had reported back soon after Ruby had returned from her little escapade. Shortly after she had left. The idea of being a mother never thrilled Titania, she was busy enough without another life to have to worry about. Ruby could do whatever she wanted as far as Titania was concerned.

As soon as Luke came back to the bar Titania looked up. Deborah had left, having no idea where she had gone, and the two fairies being rather lackluster conversation partners, she decided to speak up to the gold-haired bartender instead.

"You have a bad day too Luke?" she almost wanted to flub his name intentionally just to put him on edge, but that seemed a little too cruel for the situation. Despite lacking her book, her eyes were still privy to more information than most would. A devil hiding in plain sight was effective, but was it was a rather weak strategy when you knew what to look for wasn't it?

She was an observer after all. "Tell me about it while you make a Death in the Afternoon for the both of us. Come on, drink with Major la Fey." She cracked a gently sarcastic smile while flashing Luke her badge. We both have our dark depths at the very least.

image

"Had a bad day?"

[1] attic greek: lit. "blessed pair"
[2] Note: Major Rhodes is a Muslim by faith, but not Arab in ethnicity. She was born and grew up in Jerusalem.

Avatar Adventures | The Rising Dawn | Hangar
Nightfall
Diana | Angelus | Kazuya Mishima | Slindis

Groaning loudly, the black dragon stirred awake. This was a place of constant turmoil, not fit for longer resting. And she was healing, shifting, her wounds closing slowly, but visibly. Diana opened her eye, dazily looking across the room, seeing Angelus and smaller people. Then, she shrunk herself, letting out some more pained noises. While she could not grow smaller after having sustained heavy injuries in her dragon-form, to heal completely, Diana needed to stay in her default appearance, and she knew it.

If someone was looking on, at first, the black dragon just seemed to shrink until it was small, and human-sized. Then it shifted again, revealing the form of a beautiful blonde woman. But it was also like people close to her could feel some of the physical pain she was feeling, herself.
At first, Diana just la on the ground, apparently wearing some kind of full body suit, only leaving the head free. She still seemed to be half-unconscious as her clothing shifted at last, as well. Her pants stayed close to the original, as they started to look like tight black leather pants. The outfit on her upper body changed to a black, sleeveless top. The material on her feet changed into shoes, for reasons later shown high heeled leather boots.

In this comparatively bland, though still figure-accentuating outfit Diana groaned, and coughed, again, then put her hands on the ground and pushed herself on her feet. Her long blonde hair fell loosely across her shoulders as she blinked and looked across the room again, towering above most humans due to her 5 inch heels. Her blue eyes seemed to pierce whoever she was looking at, having an unnatural quality to them. Still, she was obviously light-headed, as she nearly stumbled, walking closer to the current conversation, bringing her depressed mood with her.

"How the fuck can you not know of a military array of missiles about to hit a city?
You can't hide that many missiles. Not if someone does actual scouting beforehand."
she chimed into whatever was said at the moment. Then she coughed a bit of blood.


Avatar Adventures | Undisclosed Location | Cell
Nightfall
Mio | Teri | Bruiser

"...it's just-...Karma...catching up...thought there-...would be more flames and-...stuff down here..." the Bruiser stated while sitting up, finally. "...I've been-...in this place-...since Bison...asked me...to kill his-...political rival-....I-...don't know...how long ago...that was-...tried it...can't do so now-....my arm..." he explained further.

"You think you are in hell?" Mio asked, raising an eyebrow. "Just because you were beaten up and tortured a bit?
Hell, they didn't even cut off any parts of you!"
She knelt down, to search around in Bruiser's clothes, carefully avoiding private parts, looking for any kind of tool Bruiser might have on him, even if it was a hairpin. "And you still have another arm, you definitely can use that for something. If you rather feel like lazily resting, at least answer me some questions: When are they going to feed us? Do they have an order in which they interrogate us? Is there any guard you find sympathetic? Maybe there is someone smuggling smokes and such? Do we stay in our own cells the whole time or is there time to socialize, as they call it?"

She turned to Teri. "So ... do you think you can help a bit? I know that it might hurt, but can you patch up this guy a bit? And then ... there are people in the other cells, but I can't really see them. Can you describe them to me? Maybe they can do something useful, as well."


The Escapist Avatar Adventures | The Rising Dawn | Ship's Library
"Sloth's gonna teach you the pecking order. It goes..."
Sloth | Envy | Nina and Phillip

Despite Nina's good intentions, Sloth couldn't help but feel like it was largely a pointless waste of time to defend him to Pride. After all, it was her nature to simply ignore what she considered to be 'inconvenient evidence' that worked against whatever conclusion she had come to herself. He was about to say as much when Nina brought up another question.

"So... if you don't mind me asking, what's the deal with mortals and, not mortals. Now I realize that I probably smell a bit, sorry, I didn't shower today. Kidnapping, missiles, blackmail; it's been a long morning and frankly I wasn't really prepared. But really you're acting like I got some sort of cooties."

Frowning, he turned to her and glanced over at Envy, who was busy keeping her distance behind Nina. In all honesty, he was expecting a question like that at some point, from at least one of the mortals. After all, no one liked to be looked down upon. With a sigh, he shrugged.

"Well, we aren't acting like you have cooties, so much as..." he trailed off, wondering just how to explain it.

Envy, however, followed his train of thought, and true to her nature, decided to word it as bluntly as possible.

~Mortals are beneath us. They have short life-spans, most mortal races don't have any real power to speak of, and their impact on the world they live individually is negligible. Ultimately, Mortals amount to very little in the grand scheme of things, and it's pointless to treat you otherwise.~ she explained with a surprisingly level tone to her mental-voice, before she cringed back in the realization that she had just drawn Nina's attention to her.

Sloth merely groaned and nodded.

"Well, that's one way to put it I suppose. There's always exceptions to those rules, but mortals like that are few and far between. Not only that, but we--The Vices--weren't born, like you or any other human. We simply were, not long after the beginning of creation. And we always will be, until the eventual end of all existence." he told her, "So, we aren't human. At the same time, you could say that we're fundamentally human, because what makes up our nature, our desires and personality traits, are what goes into making mortals more than just mindless automatons without any real life to speak of."

He shrugged again before turning to the exit portal and stepping out. Envy trailed behind Nina, obviously uncomfortable, before exiting a few moments after. And it was the moment Nina stepped out that the effects of trans-dimensional travel finally took it's toll on her. She flopped into a familiar-looking chair nearby, and was looking a little more green.

"Haha, thought you could get the jump on me portal, well... you didn't. *Erp*! Mmmm, what's with you and libraries Sloth? Don't tell me your portals only work in li- *Erp* -braries. Where's some ginger when you need it?"

He looked down at her with a glint of amusement in his sleepy eyes.

"No, I just like them. I can make portals to anywhere I want, so long as it's from one dimension to our own personal realm. I can't simply teleport to different points in the same dimension without using our realm as a kind of sling-shot, and I can't go straight from one dimension to another. Would be awfully convenient if I could, though." he said with a soft chuckle.

The Rising Dawn: Lower Levels: The Armoury
Icarus, Melethia.

Icarus Had managed to get inside learning the doors had been opened by... Someone.
"What in Khyber are you doing in my armory, boy? Get out of here before you hurt yourself, I am not in the mood to be cleaning up the remnants of your body."
Icarus looked over to see a young elven girl She was somewhat familiar, He may have seen her before but he never learned her name. Whoever she was She was glaring at him shooting daggers with her Eyes, Icarus could tell he ought to be cautious in case he provoked her to throw actual Daggers.
Unfortunately his Piercing Violet eyes lingered a little too long possibly annoying her "Are you going to keep staring, or are you going to head to the training room and stay out of my way?"
Icarus sighed and took a deep breath, his eyes darted around the room noting all the traps then moved quickly not triggering a single trap He Managed to cross the room With him being much closer it became clear the difference in height With Icarus towering over the young elf.
"Trust me I would be in the training room, but The doctors Said I'm not allowed any strenuous activity until my wings are healed,' He stated his black wings were folded, It hurt to open them fully. "Some of the crew were captured, Including some of my friends But- I have no clue where they're being held... I thought if I came down here I could do something useful." He trailed off His hands had clenched into fists, he was clearly frustrated.

The Rising Dawn:Canteen, Bar
Selena, Luke, Alashi

Selena had downed two wine glasses and finished her Salad when a blonde women entered and approached her
"So, what brings you here? I know the drinks aren't the best, but it's hard to beat this place for unwinding. Name's Alashi, by the way." Selena turned to Face the Newcomer "I'm Selena, My friends would probably call me something cute if I had any friends" Selena Admitted continuing to sip her wine.
"Normally there'd be alot more people here, Kinda like the quiet, it seems nothing stays still for long around here." The Witch chuckled lightly it was clear she was mildly intoxicated. "You seem to be new, or at Least I don't remember seeing you here before, But I tend to keep to myself"

Neuromancer:
Written in conjunction with this fine example of Greek Technology.

Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | Applied Sciences Laboratory
Won't someone please look at my logs?
No One

Deep within the bowels of the Airship Rising Dawn, an old and rarely used laboratory sat idle. In its heyday, the room was used to analyse materials and technology recovered from the field by the ship's crew members and also generate new technology for their use. However, as the use of magic among the Heroes increased, the usefulness of the research facility decreased until finally it was deemed more cost efficient to mothball the lab and reassign the personnel to other departments.

Despite the fact that the Applied Sciences Lab had been inactive for some time, it did not mean that all the machines had been shut down. Take for instance the Anomalous Particles Detection Suite, a rather large machine that was installed on the far left wall of the room. It had been hypothesized that the sensor could be used as a means to detect ultra high technology usually found on both alien spacecraft as well as inside the evil layers of evil scientists. Ultimately, it was deemed more cost efficient to check the news for explosions as a means of detecting nefarious plots. Ultimately the machine was thought to have been deactived... but on this, it beeped.

Anomalous Particles Detection Suite Log:
>08:31 Scanning... no anomalies detected.
>08:32 Scanning... no anomalies detected.
>08:33 Scanning... no anomalies detected.
>08:34 Scanning... no anomalies detected.
>08:35 Scanning... Anomaly detected (2).
>>>Increase of Chronotons detected... location verified...
>>>Location: Airship Rising Dawn - Canteen.
>>>Increase of Gravitons detected... location verified...
>>>Location: Airship Rising Dawn - Canteen.
>08:36 Scanning... no additional anomalies detected.
>08:37 Scanning... Scanning... Anomaly detected (2).
>>>Increase of Chronotons detected... location verified...
>>>Location: Airship Rising Dawn - Forge.
>>>Increase of Gravitons detected... location verified...
>>>Location: Airship Rising Dawn - Forge.
>08:38 Scanning... no additional anomalies detected.
>08:39 Scanning... Anomaly detected (2).
>>>Increase of Chronotons detected... location verified...
>>>Location: Airship Rising Dawn - Internal Corridor.
>>>Increase of Gravitons detected... location verified...
>>>Location: Airship Rising Dawn - Internal Corridor.
>08:40 Scanning... no additional anomalies detected.
>08:41 Scanning... no additional anomalies detected.
>08:42 Scanning... no additional anomalies detected.
>08:43 Scanning... Anomaly detected (2).
>>>Increase of Chronotons detected... location verified...
>>>Location: Unmapped Location.
>>>Increase of Gravitons detected... location verified...
>>>Location: Unmapped Location.
>08:44 Scanning... no additional anomalies detected.
>08:45 Scanning... no additional anomalies detected.
>08:46 Scanning... no additional anomalies detected.
>08:47 Scanning... no anomalies detected.
>08:48 Scanning... no anomalies detected.
>08:49 Scanning... no anomalies detected.


Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | The Canteen - 08:35
Future Arc Setup - Take 1
Scarlet | Alashi | Selena

The Canteen was, at one time, the finest dining establishment aboard the Rising Dawn in that it used to be the only dining establishment aboard the Rising Dawn. While still not the best place to dine aboard the ship, that distinction having been taken over by an old Japanese man that sat in front of a coal grill making Yakitori all day, it had become known as the place to go if you wanted to get shit faced in only a couple of glasses. As was typical of most nights after a mission, many of the crew members had assembled for the post mission ritual of lifting up a glass to the fallen, boasting about that day's heroics and braggadocio regarding who was going to score the most kills during the impending rescue mission.

While Luke Cypress, the head bartender of the establishment, was unloading the box of wines and liquors for the thirsty crew of the Airship, the imps had continued with the role of mixing and serving drinks. Whether it was due to that day's events or the fact that the next day would presumably bring another mission, the crew seemed in particular need of drinks... lots of drink, which was causing quite the slowdown. Due to the amount of time that it was taking for drinks to be served, it was not surprising that another person step up to the bar to assist in the serving of drinks. What was surprising was the fact that she seemed to appear suddenly from no where, at least to everyone but Alashi and Selena, who had started the early stages of a conversation. Had either of them noticed, they would have seen what appeared to be a two dimensional rip in the fabric of space and time. On one side of the rip was the Canteen while on the other side appeared to be a electronics testing facility of some sort. Beyond the young woman, who appeared to be in her mid teens, was a woman standing at a console looking into the Canteen.

"So, what brings you here? I know the drinks aren't the best, but it's hard to beat this place for unwinding. Name's Alashi, by the way." The Hawk Winged Blonde asked the Purple Haired Witch, trying to break the ice. The black and white haired newcomer, Scarlet, glanced around the Canteen, taking stock of her location and who was present while she poured a glass of vodka for Alashi and slid it to her.

"(Gosh darn it... it's the Dawn. Not the place I need to be...)" The young woman thought to herself as she turned to head back through the portal.

"HEY YOU! HOW ABOUT YOU GRAB A BOTTLE OF PEPPERMINT SCHNAPPS, COME SIT ON MY LAP AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE FIRST THING THAT POPS UP!" A particularly loud and obnoxious Ensign said to the 15 year old girl with the black flecked golden eyes, who froze in place, as if she recognize the voice of Ensign Butterfield. Turning toward the man, the teenaged girl wearing a form fitting pink outfit gave the man a great big smile and grabbed a rather large bottle of Goldschlager.

"Sure thing, hun. I'm sure you've had a pretty rough day from the looks of things, huh?" The young woman stated before clubbing the ensign over the head with the bottle, the thick glass shattering all over the bar and flooding the Canteen with the smell of peppermint. The world froze for a moment as everyone's eyes were naturally drawn to the commotion, giving the woman the chance to beat a hasty retreat... only she didn't. She felt a familiar pair of brown eyes lock onto her and she froze. Sitting there and talking to the bartender was a rather familiar woman, one that she'd not seen in what felt like ages.

"Mom?" The Black and White haired girl muttered quietly as a hand wrapped itself around her arm, the Ensign was back.

"YOU FUCKING BIT-"

*SMASH!*

A second bottle to his face, this one a Corona Light and this time it created a second opportunity for escape. Running towards the two dimensional rip in space and time, the teenaged girl made her way through a gauntlet of grabby hands, using every evasive technique that she'd learned from her combat instructors (dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge). Closing in on her entry point, the 15 year old escape artist dodged one last set of hands and as she did, inadvertently knocked over Selena's glass of red wine, sending it all over the place.

"CLOSE THE PORTAL, VIX! CLOSE THE DARN PORTAL! WE'RE NOT IN THE RIGHT PLA-" Scarlet Babbage-Lovelace screamed as the passed through the portal before it slammed shut, cutting off any attempt to chase her and the her last words.


Meanwhile, somewhere in the Armory...

Rather atypically for a place usually quiet, there was a disturbance in the armory. It seemed someone didn't quite like it when a young angel goes snipping around where he doesn't belong, even if said angel had found found enough weapons to make black market sellers blush. It could really make one wonder how, and, more importanly, why Icarus' father, a self proclaimed upstanding hero, would collect such a large amount of weapons that did things one would not expect from a self-proclaimed hero to do. But an indepth discussion on the morality of weapon stockpilling is not why we are here. It's something much less exciting instead.

Without a warning, reality started bending and twisting right in front of the teen's eyes in front of his daddy's weapons. The temporal distortion caused all sorts of laws of physics to go haywire, and soon enough a large amount of ammunition started firing all around the armory, bullets richocheting around the walls, other cases exploding and guns bending and twisting in abnormal ways whilst flying out of their place.

By way of miracle or sheer luck, neither Icarus nor Mirantha was hit with none of those things. Rather than have a premature meeting with Mr. Death, what happened instead was a portal blinked into existence not too far away from him.

From within the portal emerged a familiar figure to the young angel. The colossal form of Eddie the Dead came through the portal, but there was something different about him. A lot of things, actually. The most glaring of all being the the scar on his face, that went from cheek to cheek under his eyes and over his nose. But, for anyone sharp enough, they'd see that his coat was much more rugged, with tears all over, most evident in the hemline. Even his hat had a very visible cut at its edge. To anyone with enough intellect to them, it would have been pretty evident that Eddie had been through one hell of a fight to come to a state such as this. Even so, the most peculiar thing about Eddie's appearance must've been the armband he wore on his right arm; a pink armband decorated with spikes, a skull patch and an actual black feather.

"I remember this!" yelled the transuniversal rocker with a laugh, only to stop short. "Huh." he said as he looked around, as though something went wrong. That was followed with a facepalm and sigh. "So much for that piece of machinery working right. Note to self: Do the coordinates yourself next time."

As the Rock Scientist turned to walk through the portal, he noticed the two . From their perspective, they would be able to see, for the first time, Eddie's guitar. A huge thing, almost as enormous as Eddie, it was painted black save for a single red button. A quick glance would show that it was also heavily reinforced with thick metal plates, themselves also painted black, it had exhausts on the sides of its bridge, and, of course, an enormous axe-like edge on its lower half, thick and sharp enough to cleanly cut through a tank with ease. In stark contrast to its otherwise menacing look, a ribbon was tied to the first of the tuning pegs, though for what purpose, no one could know.

"Looks like I came in at quite the time. Sorry for interrupting." he took a look at the young elf, "If it isn't young Melethia. You haven't met me yet, but I've met you a good while ago. It'll make sense when the time's right." and then the teen angel, grinning, "Well, look who's still breathing at this point in time." he chuckled, "So, this is where you you've been hiding all those little toys of yours." he turned to the young elf and shrugged, "Sorry for the mess, Melenthia, but it ain't my fault. You can blame the kid that made the machine for the complications caused." and back at Icarus, "You must feel real mad I broke some of your daddy's toys, eh? Considering how you treat me, you had it coming."

"But I should be on my way. Got business to attend to." With that said, he turned towards the portal and pointed at Icarus, "Was nice to see you with all your limbs still attached to your body again." he laughed as he went through the portal, "Close the damn thing, will ya?" he yelled, before the portal closed and left Melenthia Icarus with the mess it had caused.


Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | Internal Corridor - 08:39
Future Arc Setup - Take 3
Scarlet | Eddie the Dead | Eddie the Dead | Farber

*THUD!*

In an anime, it would have been more like *BOI-YOI-YOI-YOING!* only this wasn't an anime and Scarlet was certainly not built like that. That bit of silliness aside, Scarlet was deathly afraid that she'd traveled to the wrong moment... or the wrong Rising Dawn... horribly wrong. Between the amount of smoke that had filled the corridor and the sudden impact against her chest, it wasn't hard to convince the black and white haired girl that the Rising Dawn was in terrible trouble. It wasn't until she noticed the lack of vibrations traveling through the ship's superstructure and the lack of alarms blaring loudly that the young woman realized that everything was okay, mostly. Waiting for the smoke to clear, Scarlet looked towards the ground to identify what had hit her in the chest, a bandage wrapped hand rubbing the point of impact.

"FARBER!" The girl practically squealed as she picked the eight year old Ish, and helping him to his feet. Scarlet grinned at the fiery little demon before adding, "Lemme guess you're getting chased... again? Is it Katya? Or maybe it's Icarus... he doesn't like it when you mess with his Dragon Gauntlet you know... or maybe it's..." The girl stopped mid-sentence when the smoke finally fully dissipated and revealed, "Eddie?"

Turning around, the black and white haired girl spoke to the giant behind her.

"You never told me that you ran into ... me." Scarlet commented before grimacing a little, "I could have saved myself a bit of chest pain if you had, Mister Eddie the Dead."

The last comment was directed to the Eddie behind Scarlet rather than the Eddie in front of her.

"Yes, well..." the musician from the future said, rubbing the scar on his face, "let's just say it brings back memories I don't feel like discussing. His older self turned to see the ruckus, and they both stared at each other for a moment. "Ha!" the future self let out, "Now I know why my current self laughed at my old one! That look is golden."

Current Eddie walked close with a look of horror, curiosity and amazement all at once.
"Time travel." he stated, befuddled, "I guess I just can't catch a break, can I?"

"Heh. Let's just say I'm still waiting on that vacation."

"Of course..." Old rocker said, sighing a heavy sigh, "I should've known this job would be a headache. She always hands out the worst ones."

"Lady Luck is a cruel mistress."

"Amen to that." The Olden Bard took a good look at his future self, "Jaysus Christ, the fuck's happened to make me look like that?"

Future Self shrugged, "Stuff."

"Well, thanks for the helpful answer, dickhead. I thought you were on my side." it was at that point that he noticed the teenage girl with Yin-Yang hair holding Farber, and it was at that time that Future Eddie masked her pattern in the song, so that his old self would not figure out. "So who's the gal?

"Who, me? I'm Scarlet...." The girl in the pink outfit said as she tried to reach for a semi-plausible lie, a fairly difficult thing to do since this was the first time that she'd ever lied to Eddie... or was it the first time for Eddie when she lied to the Older Version of her guardian when he was younger... or was it... ANYWAYS... she quickly found a lie when she spotted Eddie's guitar, "You know... front woman for the ... The Future is FFFFF... Fine?" She corrected herself after getting a stern look from her guardian and following his lead about not given away any knowledge about the future. Turning her attention back to the younger version of her companion, she pointed towards the older one's guitar, "I know that The Future is Fine doesn't sound very metal but you would know that you would make it a metal band... even if it was named Jonathan McKenna Dies at the End."

If Y.Eddie (Younger Eddie) didn't believe her, Scarlet wasn't going to give him the opportunity to dispute the veracity of her claim. Pointing at O.Eddie's (Older Eddie) Guitar Strap, which was different than the one that Y.Eddie had on his guitar strap, The Tactical Teenage Magician tried to sell him the Lasagna of Lies that she was offering up.

"I mean, how could you not be metal with a guitar strap like that... it's got... puppies being hung from trees while kitty cats holding torches while dance in circles under the trees... It's got a blue whale riding an atomic bomb... it's got... Jesus Christ!... no not Our Lord and Savior... ummmm... I just... what in the hell was I thinking when I made this" Scarlet asked herself as she felt herself getting red in the face at the image of BB King using Elvis as a bench and sitting on his back while playing "The Trooper." She continued to peddle her perjury, "Also... check out his arm band... he decorated himself." She added, pointing to the once pink armband that had been decorated with near every iconic Metal symbology in existence.

Turning her attention back to Farber, she gave the kid a familiar grin and mussed up his hair, looking at him in that way that a person does when they become friends with someone and then don't see them for years before meeting them in a random location and addressed the older version of her guardian as she did.

"I think we're at the wrong coordinates again." Scarlet stated the obvious, "Then again, I guess it's not really since this was supposed to happen... but I guess we should get going before I do something that causes the universes to merge... you know the last thing we need is two Katya's running around." The girl said pausing to see if Eddie had anything else to say to Eddie or to Farber.

"Yes, we should." The Future Self said, and pointed at Farber and then Eddie, "We got the correct timeframe, at least. I can tell from the fact that I haven't gotten my coat back from Anjali yet."

"Now, you just wait a second. I'm not buying-"

"Good thing we're not selling anything then." he turned to his band-mate, "Scarlet, prepare to jump. I'm setting the coordinates this time, though."

Nodding to her companion and temporary temporal escort, Scarlet gave the Farber a quick peck on the top of his head before running through the portal. Despite the fact that she was gone, her voice could still be heard.

"Hey Vix! Eddie says that he's going to set the coordinates for the next test.,," Scarlet was heard saying and despite the fact that no response could be heard, she could be heard responding to the inaudible response, "I'm pretty sure that he's not going to break the machine and yes I remember what happened the last time he helped out... but it's not his fault that he's the biggest guy on board the Redeemer and it's not his fault that you didn't build it to accommodate someone of his build."

Sighing at what was being said from behind the portal, Future Self turned to Current Self with a stern look.

"Right." he started, "I know you're not gonna listen to me because I didn't listen to me when I was in your position, but I'll say it anyway." he pointed at his Current Self, "Treasure what time you get to spend with the girl." and then at Farber, "And give him a good smack in the butt. Good luck." And jumped in the portal.

"Close the portal! Yes, I am setting the coordinates. No, you don't get a say-" was the last thing heard before it closed.


[Avatar Adventures | Undisclosed Location | Secure Cell Block: Designation A-Class | Guard Outpost Alpha: Interrogation Room 2
Future Arc Setup - Take 4
Antoinette de la Trou | BEWP | Betty BEEP | Katya Rostikova | Benedict Warrington | Nadalia

Antoinette de la Trou stared at the assembled group of prisoners and frowned. The newcomer who called herself Nadalia, had the faint stench of angels about her, the same as the strange loud mouthed child called Katya. The scent was not strong enough to implicate them in anything other being in the presence of one of those blasted winged otherworldly beings. Leaning back against a wall, she watched as her mentor, Benedict, grabbed a strange chair with wheeled mounted on the legs and offered it to the steely eyed Nadalia before informing her something rather obvious.

"This may hurt a bit..." The man stated as he positioned himself at the foot of the chair, the position where he needed to be if he was going to be resetting the bones in her leg.

"Maitre Benedict, you know that resetting a compound fracture is going to hurt more than 'a bit.'" Twit teased before she noted that everyone in the room, except for her mentor, was a woman. Were he any other living, breathing male, this observation would have more than likely caused his blood start pounding in his veins and his pants to grow tighter, except he wasn't like every other living, breathing male in existence, he was Benedict Warrington and for reasons known only to himself, the former priest had clung on to his vows of chastity.

"My pupil, this is what they call bedside manner. Comfort your patients before you force them to endure the pain." The Kind Former Man of the Cloth said matter of factly.

"As for y-UUgh!" - *SNAP! CRACKLE! POP!* - Nadalia winced with pain shooting in her face once Benedict got to work in tending to her wounds... which in this case meant resetting the fractured bones in her left le. "As, for you ... 'Twit', uah... what brought you and your master here to this ... wretched place? Me and my companions were tracking a vile man down until he overwhelmed us with forces from ... the back line. We are now his prisoners, and will suffer unless, we escape .. aahhhuh." - *POP! CRACKLE! SNAP!* - She groaned, bending her head down to fight passing out from how bloody painful this was, still feeling everything with no medicine to ease the problem whatsoever.

Waiting for the resulting pain of the worst of the treatment to subside, the apprentice looked to her master. As two of their number had the stench the hated winged host on their body, Antoinette was reluctant to tell them the entire story, especially because it would have involved revealing the location of the Blasphemer's Brigade's rendezvous. Sensing Twit's eyes upon him, the pepper haired man nodded towards her before returning to his work.

"To be honest... Mademoiselle Nadalia, neither my Maitre or myself know how we arrived here," Said the pupil in her lush French accent, "We had been holding out position in Dresdon when the Beacon fell and the Winged Host started burning the city to the ground. The Morningstar, seeing that the city was lost and ordered a retreat " The young woman stated as she turned to look at her mentor, who was checking his handy work and ensuring that the bones were in proper position.

"So you're telling me... that you were in the Bombing of Dresden.?" All eyes were suddenly on Katya Rostikova, who paused at the sight of three sets of eyes on her. " What? I watch the History Channel. commented the strange young girl with an even strange method of speaking. Twit eyes the girl as she approached the trio, "That was ... a long time ago. So... you're time travelers?"

Twit blinked. What did she mean that it was a long time ago, the French woman wondered before her mouth plagiarized the thought, "What do you mean that is was a long time ago?"

"I mean what happened was..." The Rising Dawn's Resident Amateur Historian started to say before BEWP interrupted her.

"Little Miss, I'm detecting an increase in gravatons and chronotons in the area." The Machine inside of Katya's body said as he attempted to calculate what was occurring, "I believe I am either detecting the formation of an Einstein Rosen Bridge or the spontaneous formation of a black hole."

"I vote of the first option... but we call it a portal." An familiar but not familiar voice said as she passed through a two dimensional rip in the tear of space and time. Scarlet eyed the assembled group of prisoners before her eyes fell on her objective."Hey! I found her! Grab a band would you .. ummm... Freddy?"

----------------------------------------Along Came Scarlet and Eddie----------------------------------------

"It's not like I can mask my identity as good as you can, you know." said Eddie as he swaggered through the portal, swinging around a pink armband on his index finger like a hula hoop.

"Besides, eager, young Katya's already met me before, along with half the occupants of the room." He took a glance at everyone, and waved them a greeting with a "Heya folks. Been a while with some of ya." He turned to his companion with a knowing grin, "Told you I'd get it right."

Scarlet glanced at the occupants of the room and sort of frowned. The test was supposed to have been covert but they'd made their presence known to almost every member of the Rising Dawn, caused gross bodily harm to one of the members, which surprisingly was not Eddie's fault this time around, and now Scarlet understood why Father Benedict and Twit had acted so strange around Eddie the first time Eddie met them. Still with her guardian's special calibrations to the "Thingamajig," as the Rock and Roll Ghoul had taken to calling it, the black and white haired fifteen year old was confident that there would be fewer mishaps and fewer corruptions in the timeline... which... if you looked at it... weren't really corruptions at all.

"Alright... I'm going to help you all finish up your introductions so that Eddie and I can get what we came here to get and you all can get back to your escape plans. Also Father Warrington, if you could step aside so that I can help Miss Nadalia," The Teenage Magical Girl said as she knelt next to the wounded Ironqueen and placed her hands on the wounds. Closing her eyes, the teenager took out a spool of thread and started channeling energies into the object. Slowly uncoiling from the spool, the cotton thread wormed it way through the injured woman's skin and started threading itself around Miss Nadalia's formerly shattered bones, "I know that is going to sound a little strange Miss Nadalia but I'm going to thread together a series of sleeves that fit securely around your broken bones and then I'm going to reinforce them with spells so that you can walk around without any issues. After a 3 or so months time, the materials will start dissolving so you don't have to worry about getting cotton fever or anything like that. Next I'm going to stitch your muscle fibers together before I stitch up your wounds with more reinforced thread. Okay?"

Without waiting for an answer from her patient, Scarlet went to work, closing her eyes and concentrating on channeling the proper amount of magic into both of Miss Nadalia's legs.

"To answer your question, Miss Katya, Father Benedict and Miss Antoinette aren't just time travelers. They're also from an alternate dimension. They dimension hopped onto our plane of existence. In our world we battled the Nazi's in World War II wear as in their world, they've been fighting against the Father, their world's equivalent to this world's God. While the bombing of Dresden in our world was carried out by the Allies, in their world the Father's army burned Dresden to the ground. They're going to join the Rising Dawn and you guys are going to be great friends." Scarlet said as she started stitching up the wounds on Nadalia's legs. "Actually you're all going to be good friends... with the exception of you... you're going with us." The Teenage Magical Commando said to Betty BEEP.

"Indeed you are!" said Eddie as he took his cue and walked towards the cyborg, "Congratulations, you have won a non-refundable non-negotiable trip through our portal. Meet exciting people! Visit breathtaking places! Save the future!" he grabbed her by the arm and slid the armband through, "Anything is possible when you play 'find the loophole' with the fundamental laws of reality!" he strengthened the armband and turned to Scarlet with a grin, "Package secured."

As the Mammoth Ghoulish Demi God passed through the portal with the equally massive Cybernetic Woman, Scarlet breathed a sigh of relief and addressed the remainder of the prisoners. They were probably thinking that they'd be going with her but sadly that was not the case. They would have to break out of the facility on their own... that's how it had to be for the timeline to be maintained. However, Scarlet couldn't explain it to them in that those terms.

"I'm sure the four of you are expecting me to give you armbands to that you can escape with your friend Betty... unfortuately... I can't do that because you four are essential in helping the rest of the crew escape. Since you have a certain French woman who can teleport, you shouldn't have any issues getting to the secured room where your equipment is kept. Just keep an eye on the security cameras for an opening. I know you guys can do it... also... you might want to check some of these cardboard boxes for weapons or something that can help you get out of here." Scarlet said as she placed her hands on the collar around Nadalia's neck and deactivated the depowering mechanism and the explosive. The black and white haired magical commando paused for a moment as she pondered something, "I know that you're not going to listen to me but... if someone asks you to go to Titan... you tell them no... no matter what.

With that, Scarlet turned and exited through the portal. Staring at the hole where the two extra-temporal beings had been, the foursome were quiet for a moment.

"Was that Ruby's sister?" Katya suddenly blurted out, "Daaaayum that little kid's gonna be stacked when she grows up!!"

The Rising Dawn: Hangar
Slindis, Diana, Kazuya, Angelus

There was clearly a lot that Slindis had missed in her time while she was gone - missile attacks on a city, captured teammates and family members, Angelus seeming stuck in her draconic form, and another woman that seemed rather badly wounded. She'd have to talk to Rugal or Kazuya soon to start sorting out exactly what had happened in the years (in her perspective) that shed been gone.

For now, though, the badly wounded woman was her first priority. When Slindis had a chance she rather quickly moved over to the woman and laid both of her hands on one of the rather vicious wounds on her torso. "Just stay calm, I'll take care of this for now. The meaning of her statement was a little muddied thanks to the chaos in the hangar, but as the drow kept her hands on Diana a rather intense glowing suffused her wounds.

Slindis used Lay on Hands, healing a rather massive chunk of Diana's wounds! Uses left for the RP day: 3

Astonishingly, Diana would be able to feel all of her worst wounds simply... healing up. She might have run across other healers in her time, bu the sheer rate at which all of her worst wounds meshed up to leave only slightly tender spots on her skin was certainly refreshing to Diana. "You should be fine for now, but next time be more careful around missile defenses, Miss." She then spent a few minutes to ensure that Diana was well, then when she was satisfied she went to Kazuya. with a stern glare on her brow.

The moment she found him, she gave the man a disapproving stare as she tapped her foot and dryly replied, "Mind explaining exactly all the ways that the ship's gone to Khyber since you wrested control? I already see you're a hand short, and I prefer not to waste my time while I've got a daughter that's currently in enemy hands."

The Rising Dawn: Lower Levels: The Armoury
Icarus, Melethia.

The rather short elf was about to reply to Icarus when the rather burly man interrupted, though she casually and calmly dodged the shrapnel headed her way. "No clue who you are, big man, but for your own khyber-touched safety you had better take care where exactly you teleport nex time. I can not guarantee your safety should you fail to heed my warnings." return The fact that he said he knew her was a cause for concern, and her mind raced as she tried to find out exactly how she knew the man, Of course, she was unable to find anything that she could easily connect to him, and after he left in a rather large poof.

As such after the man left she continued reworking the metal on the small dagger before it started to shine dully, and her rather nonplussed stare showed that she wasnot the least bit intimidated by any difference in height. "If you want to do something useful you might not want to go through those traps again, for one. Those were some rather basic ones I set up a few years ago, and the next time you try that you might not be so lucky. U'd rather not have to clean up after the results, if you catch my drift."

After she gave her blade some cooling time, she packed up all the essences in a pouch at her side and seemed to critique Icarus's build. "You smell of ozone and dragons, you do know that right? The way you hold yourself, ti seems as if you use a lot of Ki as well. If you want to be some use, I would advise you to head to one of the meditation rooms and center yourself. If you are done here I can show you where that is, but fro the way you move I doubt that you're the most experienced with actually forging a weapon from raw materials." Though she was being stern, odds are this was the closest the elf would get to being kind. She also talked far more like a weathered veteran than her height would ever hint at...

The Rising Dawn:Canteen, Bar
Selena, Luke, Alashi, Tania

Alashi then ordered a vanilla stout after she pulled out a shortspear from an oddly familiar weapon wheel to deflect any bits of broken glass from hitting her, and as Luke passed the glass over to her she took a look at the other two women. Tania seemed a bit otherworldly to her even if she couldn't quite place why, though as Selena lightly replied to Alashi she rather calmly retured the greeting. "I'm not exactly new here, though it has been a long time since I was last here. Name's Alashi, and who would I be speaking to?" At the very least she seemed to be used to the chaos here, and as she gave the bartender another light glance it seemed as if the oddly-winged blonde would at least be simple enough to approach.

The Rising Dawn: Hallway
Devon

The bard seemed to be getting closer to that pervasive scent, though the bard couldn't quite place it yet. Who else in their right minds would even consider doing that? I understand desperate times, but you have to be a really impulsive person to consider that as an option...

The Rising Dawn: Hangar: Slindis, Diana, Kazuya, Angelus

"Mind explaining exactly all the ways that the ship's gone to Khyber since you wrested control? I already see you're a hand short, and I prefer not to waste my time while I've got a daughter that's currently in enemy hands."

There was a lot of things that Kazuya could say in his defense right now, that the lack of forward scouting was because of Violet's inability to lead this operation, that her daughter's capture was as a result of his lack of command over the mission and the part where Armstrong's forces caught them off guard? Same again.
But he knew better then to try and make any excuses, least to a crowd that was as hostile to his existence at this moment in time as the Rising Dawn was right now.
"...After a unexpected change in management, the details of which are un-important at this junction in time, Violet was left to command our latest operation to try and capture Bison. It went badly, as Angelus can attest. I'm currently in the process of recalling our forces back to the airship before planning our counter attack to eliminate both Armstrong and Bison." Was all Kazuya would say on the matter before calmly returning to his work, resisting the urge to clear himself of blame as well as just generally lash out at his staff for their moronic actions while he was "Sleeping".
"I assure you, with my command restored, I Can win this battle. Had I been aware of Armstrong's involvement in Bison's last stand, I wouldn't have lead such a headstrong attack like Violet did. I'm not going to let either one of them appear as victors nor will they remain in possession of your crew and family. Now, shall we begin?" He then asked as the first of several retreating transports began to arrive...

The Rising Dawn: Hangar: Kalastryn, Miia, Elise, Jenny, Batter, Ghost

One such transport was the one that was bringing Ghost and a few of the crew his unit ran into back to base.
Jenny was stable but still somewhat jittery as the protocols forcefully shoved into her head began to try and ping World Marshall's TAC-COM network.
It wasn't long before she was taken away on a stretcher towards the increasingly crowded medical bay, thought a few of the staff were wondering if they should take her to a workshop or something to try and get all those cybernetic's out.
Ghost meanwhile was a lot more lax about the entire situation, it wasn't the first time he was in an operation was so royally fucked and it most likely wouldn't be the last.
Still, it wasn't all bad as he got off the transport to see Kazuya half-naked and being chewed out by the rest of the crew.
Part of him was a little pissed that he wasn't still in a medically induced coma (Coma victims weren't known for fighting off assassination attempts) but the part where it seemed his already falling approval rating had hit rock bottom would make his and his allies plans go a bit more smoothly.
Once all this bullshit was over that is.
*TSK!* "Well, if anyone's looking for me, I'll be in the men's room. Aching for a piss." *TSK!* He muttered to the others, less out of any desire to actually have a conversation and more as if he was covering his own ass for some reason.
Either way, he quickly blended into the crowd before disappearing from sight, his alter-ego had a prison sentence to get back to.

The Rising Dawn: Canteen: Selena, Luke, Alashi, Tania and...Violet... /)_-"

While everyone else was more or less enjoying themselves, there was a slight elephant in the room, a pink one that was currently slumped over one of the tables for the 3rd time that day alone.
It was not Violet's day as he slowly began to wake up once more, only to find something was different.
"....urgggg....where are my glasse-....HEY, WHAT THE-?!" he yelped when he realized he had some kinda of canine "Shame Cone" around his neck, obviously some kinda prank by the imps who's lives he was making rather awkward for the entire day.
"...HA HA! REAL ORIGINAL!" He shouted back in snide sarcasm before attempting to leave the room and head to his quarters, having a hard time doing so thanks to said cone.
On the way out, he paused for a moment before asking "...Ella/Alashi?[1]...That you? When did you get back?"

The Rising Dawn: Hallway: Devon, Rugal

It was some time before Rugal felt comfortable to move again, the "Branding" he received was easily one of the most painful events in recent memory, like drinking water only to find it was really vodka.
Wincing slightly, he then began to make his way out of the storage area, rubbing the back of his head insistently to try and examine whatever marking Lucifer had placed on him.
He couldn't make out any ridges or distortions in the flesh, only reason he was able to "Feel" it at all was from where his skin still felt raw.
Whatever it was, it was star shaped, fitting for the Morning Star after all, and was encircled with what felt like letters but not from any tongue that he knew.
It was then that he ran right into Devon, who soon found him to be the source of the demonic scent.
"Devon?...oh, I take it that mission Slindis borrowed you for is over now? Good. Listen, I need your help-"

[1] Wasn't sure what name for him to use ^^;

Avatar Adventures | Undisclosed Location | Secure Cell Block: Designation A-Class | Guard Outpost Alpha: Interrogation Room 2
Katya Rostikova | Antoinette de la Trou | Benedict Warmington | BEWP/Betty BEEP | Nadalia

Betty's comments did seem to give Sundowner pause for a moment but not really for the reasons that Betty was hoping for.
"...Heh....Alright then, GI Jane. Let me check their GPS..." He chuckled over the radio before deciding to take her up on her word and began to try and track down the crew members and their collars with his own PDA.
Their ruse seemed to work as a few moments later, He radio'd in again before saying "Alright, you're off the hook this time. But so help me god if I find you disobeying my commands again, I'll turn you into a blow up doll! Sundowner, Out."
An air of relief began to fill the room as they dodged that bullet but the question was what was the plan now?

At the other end of the prison network, the guard manning the cameras watched somewhat disturbingly closely at Katya's (Former) cell as he watched footage of her walking around her cell naked being chased around by Antoineete.
He found it somewhat enjoyable, so much so he didn't seem to notice that she was making the same movement of her falling off the bed and landing on her back with her legs wide open over and over again...

As for the weapons storage, It was locked down pretty tight with 2 guards at the door both inside and outside the room.
While they had the same equipment as the other guards, their armor was a slightly different color, which would tell Katya that they were either a much higher or a much lower level then any of the other guards in the complex.
Also of note was a collection of weapons and equipment that seemed to be a fusion of stuff they "Borrowed" from the prisoners and their current technology, They were most likely retrofitting their ill-gotten gains.
While the notion of getting big, un-tested BGFs was appealing, the problem was if they were spotted, the two guards could also use those weapons.
Either way, they better make up their minds on what to do and fast, the display that Katya was using showed that the interrogation rooms were starting to fill and it was only a matter of time before someone came knocking...

World Marshall Secure Location: Anomalous Materials
"I don't believe I was talking to you."
ARES | Viscus | Dimitri | M. Lab Tech

While the M. Lab Tech had seen many technological wonders in his day, this was certainly a treat for him and his research.
The Guard began to ease up not long after her hammerspace was opened, allowing the researchers to take notes and begin to alter their existing designs with this same technology in mind.
"My, My...While I have had the pleasure of working with Protoss Warp Matrix technology, I must say, your creators knew their stuff..." The M. Lab Tech said before he began to think about what she said about ARES units being used as armories.
"Hmm...Could hide quite a lot of weapons in there, couldn't you?" He mused as the Guard once again began to leer at her.
"Alright, I now want you to eject the weapons you have stored one by one. Normally when we get subjects like you, that process is already done but not all our subjects have such vast hammerspace capacity."
"And if you think he means "Fire Everything", I refer back to our previous conversation..." The guard reminded ARES, not liking this one bit, even the most logical of droids she dealt with tried to make a move and so would ARES.
And when she did, she would be ready for it...

The Rising Dawn: Lower Levels: The Armoury
Icarus, Melethia.

Icarus was very annoyed by Eddie appearing and causing havoc, he dodged the flying shrapnel and glared at Eddie as the rotting walker addressed Icarus. the Half Angel pulled out his knife and flipped it open, lighting crackled between his fingers, and his ring began to sparkle and glow. The Insolent Zombie left and Icarus was still standing his wings had flared open, it seemed his wings always moved to compliment his posture.
"If you want to do something useful you might not want to go through those traps again, for one. Those were some rather basic ones I set up a few years ago, and the next time you try that you might not be so lucky. I'd rather not have to clean up after the results, if you catch my drift.".
A small smile spread across Icarus's Face "Well you're nice enough to want me to live, the likes of him," His fingers clenched into fists It was clear Eddie filled him with hatred and contempt "would say the only useful thing I could do is jump off the ship."

"You smell of ozone and dragons, you do know that right? The way you hold yourself, it seems as if you use a lot of Ki as well. If you want to be some use, I would advise you to head to one of the meditation rooms and center yourself. "
"Yeah I guess I might smell funny, See this ring it can turn into a gauntlet it has the soul of a dragon I call him Shadow-fest, He's kind of like a partner to me, as for the Ozone that's because I can summon lightning. but umm what do you by 'center myself'" he asked, His eyes showed confusion. The Waves of energy coming off him him certainly implied he had plenty of power but he wasn't trying to hold it in. It was clear that his training had only gone so far, before something made him abandon it, and he was gliding by on his innate potential.

The Rising Dawn:Canteen, Bar
Selena, Luke, Alashi, Tania

"HEY YOU! HOW ABOUT YOU GRAB A BOTTLE OF PEPPERMINT SCHNAPPS, COME SIT ON MY LAP AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE FIRST THING THAT POPS UP!" Selena Sighed and wanted nothing more than to ignore this interruption downing half her glass. Unfortunately her effort to ignore the chaotic element was soon overpowered by the girl running past her knocking her glass out of hand, Had Selena been clear minded she could have created a bubble around the glass, however in her impaired state she simply created a barrier to protect herself as the glass hit the bar, resulting in more liquor and broken glass on the floor. Selena got The bartender's attention and Pointed to an aged whiskey, She also readied a more solid barrier spell in case there was another maniac around the corner.
"I'm not exactly new here, though it has been a long time since I was last here. Name's Alashi, and who would I be speaking to?"
"My name is Selena, I'm a Witch, Its seems alot of people come and go through here. Since you just got back I suppose someone hasn't filled you in,"She paused to sip the stronger Drink" We were chasing A guy Called Bison, then some bossy fellow Named Kazuya tried to make us kidnap a bunch of guys to get to him, But Kazuya tried to kill some of'em, then we went after Bison but things went south and now we're what's left the rest are captured." She sighed and started to sip her wine this may have seemed very vague but considering This was her fourth glass that was a surprisingly articulate retelling.

Meanwhile somewhere far distant
A cloaked figure approached the abandoned house, it long since had been condemned. the old bones of the house creaked in protest from the wind, as he approached it. He raised his hand and the two ravens circled the premise He began chanting in a deep tone, mortals would find themselves compelled to turn away.
He could hear the howling many would assume it was just the wind, but mortals were often oblivious of the spirits around them.
as he crossed the threshold he could feel them approaching the Restless seeking refuge they were drawn to him as they all were a moth to a soothing flame. He walked silently despite the dying floors tendency to creak and moan. They should have come to him by now what was keeping them, whatever was binding them to this place, it was not acceptable to him. His ravens surveyed the house their eyes seeing for him what he could not. He merely listened, He heard their cries of anguish, much suffering had taken place here. betrayal, loathing, despair. He walked past an old beam his hand touched the burnt wood. His ravens cawed, they were just below him, But this house never had a basement.
That's when a hand as large as the Raven King's body grabbed him and dragged him though the floor.

Avatar Adventures | Airship Rising Dawn | Medical Bay
Doom | Major Rhodes | Others

"...Ohhhh......Okay then. Phew, Doom thought you were going to arrest him for making all that meth!" The level 1 "Evil Scientist" let slip as he finally relaxed (he even finally put those pants on!).
He then watched as Rhodes began to talk to some weirdly dressed little girl (Rory), only for her to start saying something along the lines of "He doesn't know anything".
Naturally, Doom somewhat took offense to this and said "Hey, Doom knows more about-...stuff then you ever will. Doom has the best information, Temendous! Doom-.....errrr, just need to-...get my bearings on-...who you guys are fighting. Because Doom knows so many-..."informations" on people..."
All eyes were on him once more as he began to scan the room for people who might be able to tell him what the hell was going on.
"....uhhhhh....Hey! You! What did the guys who beat you up look like?!" He then shouted to a soldier who had lost an arm, shaking him slightly and trying to coax some information out of him, even as he whined in pain and tried to get him to stop.

*TSK!* "It was World Marshall." *TSK!*

A heavily modulated voice said as he made his presence known, The G-Corp specialist known only as "Ghost" explained as he walked onto the scene.
*TSK!* "They are a private military contracting group ran by the local senator. Pretty big league, well equipped and, judging from the fact so many of us are laid out, they know their kung fu well. Bison tried to use them as part of a "Trap" against our forces, only to find that he was also in the middle of it. They then managed to push us out of the city, as well as capture a few of the crew here and, I'm hoping, killing Bison in the process. From what I gather, a counter attack is being worked on." *TSK!* He said to the Major as he glanced over at Doom, seeming to be rather amused by the Junior Villain's current state.
*TSK!* "You aren't going to get anything from that Fat Green Slob. While I don't condone Mr. Mishima's attempt on his life-...well, nothing of value would have been lost." *TSK!*

"...W-w-w-world Marshall killed Bison?...." Doom muttered in a rather defeated tone, the reality of the situation starting to sink in.
There wasn't going to be a rescue, there wasn't going to be any happy ending for him and his friends and Bison was not going to be coming back, just like Bruiser...
"..." *Sniff* He began to tear up slightly as he let himself slide down the wall he was leaning against before bringing his knees to his chest, just like most children would when they heard someone close to them was dead.
*TSK!* "Yeah, yeah, the terrible dictator with a hard on for world domination and a history of cloning himself to get laid is now most likely some bloody smears on someone's uniform. I'm truly sorry for your loss....also, your pants are on backwards!" *TSK!* Ghost "Comforted" the villain with his trademark social skills before turning back to the women.
*TSK!* "Still, that's where we stand. Mr. Mishima is currently "Awake" and working on the counter offensive. Now, I'll take Doom off your hands. I got word he was causing a bit of hassle and it's not like he's really doing anything important here, now is it?" *TSK!*

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